Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kwispelbier - Dogs drinking responsibly. Or not.

Some enterprising folks in the Netherlands are marketing beef beer for dogs.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dog thefts and more agility photos.

I wrote this alert for my dog list. Something to be aware of if you show or trial with your dogs!

Everyone's probably heard of the Staffy who was stolen in November at the Novi Pet Expo.
I was there for the UKC Winter Classic this weekend, and there was another attempt. Someone tried making it out the door with one of the flyball dogs. Thankfully the dog was recovered but the "tall young guy" (I talked to the security guard) ran out and they didn't catch him. Also, I heard that someone else came back to their crating area and someone had a crate door open and was petting their dog. Unbelievable.
I was in the agility part of the building and we all tried to have a buddy system going, but there were still times when there wasn't anyone right there. I had a padlock for my crate, and this is an excellent idea IMHO. The crate was padlocked pretty much whenever I walked away from it. I have a very large dog and crate so it's not like someone could pick the whole thing up!
The security guards in our area were great, they were strict about not letting people in & out with dogs unless we had the proper paperwork. But it was really busy at times and there was only one guard per door. My suggestion is unless there is someone with the dog at all times, to at least have secure locks for the crates and never leave a dog in an x-pen unattended. I could see how easy it would be to steal a dog there, and I can't imagine how heartbreaking it would be.

And, unrelated - more agility photos! I didn't even know these existed, got them from a friend yesterday. From last August.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Buick City, Flint MI.

About a mile from me - across from the river park (officially, Veterans' Park) is what remains of the old Buick plant. Buick City was officially closed in 1999, and what was a sprawling factory complex has been leveled to the ground. This took a few years, as demolition crews systematically reduced acre after acre into piles of rubble, then hauled it all away.
Now there's weeds growing up between old bricks and concrete slab and 1960s industrial linoleum flooring. I trespass there with the dogs sometimes...these photos were from a grey early morning walk a few weeks ago.
A very old part of the plant still stands - must date to the 1930s. Huge blackened brick buildings. I so want to go explore...but I have seen footprints in the snow leading over there. So, I think there is probably crack dealing and prostitution and squatting and all manner of people I probably don't want to meet while I'm by myself. Charles, if you're reading this - we need to go explore!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cow, evolution, Great Dane, Jesus on the dog door.

This is a highland cow in the snow.

This is Duncan. This is Duncan's story.

Did you know that our National Park Service rangers are not allowed to tell you how old the Grand Canyon is?
In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology.

Story here.
However, they must carry a book in the Grand Canyon gift shop telling you that the Grand Canyon was formed by Noah's flood.
Actually I thought the biblical flood - there was a huge flood - was pretty much documented in Turkey, with the Ark's final resting place on Mt Ararat.

In more religious whacko news, Donosaurs and humans lived happily together and you can see proof of this in the biblicaly correct creation museum in Kentucky.
So T Rex chased Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. Who knew? And why are there no mentions of dinosaurs in the Bible? Plenty of talk of donkeys and dogs and birds.
Things that make you go hmmmmm. I'm guessing that the people who are putting this museum together don't really believe the premise. Rather it's a way to make money (not that there's anything wrong with that) off scientifically naive people ignoring the findings of geology and paleontology and biology because it's just, I dunno, easier to believe that some Supreme Being snapped its fingers and taa daa there we were. Because those science classes are so difficult, why bother?

One more religious whacko item coutesy of the Boomer Chronicles.
Image of Jesus on Doggie Door saves dogs from almost certain death.

Hopefully Jesus suggested dog training classes.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Diet Pill for Dogs! (Results Not Typical.)

Last week the Federal Trade Commission fined four major diet pill companies $25 million for making false claims. No really. There is no pill that turns your body into a fat burning furnace, melts away fat and creates rippling muscles without the bother of diet and exercise. Get out! You cry. Read the small print at the bottom of any diet-scheme ad containing testimonials. It says "Results Not Typical." No duh Sherlock.
(Oh the funny thing - the pills will continue to be sold. Just some of the wording in ads will be changed. I don't think there will be much of a decrease in sales, either.)

Also in the news last week: FDA approves a diet pill for fat dogs.
Things that make you go hmmmm.
Apparently it makes the dog feel bloated and cuts fat absorption. Also, dogs treated with the drug may suffer from vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea and lethargy, the FDA said.
It's not approved for humans and your vet has to prescribe it. How reassuring.

Fat pets.
How does this happen? I had a dog get a bit fat once. I quit feeding pellets, started feeding raw and got a bit overenthusiastic with food amounts because the dogs LOVED their new food. One gained 10lbs. I started feeding her less (we already walked and hiked many miles a week) and she lost the weight. Easy peasy.
Since humans control how much, and what type of food a pet gets, it's really easy to regulate their diet and maintain healthy weight. Absent a medical condition of some sort this is a no brainer.
And, if your dog is too fat you are not getting enough exercise. Ha! That's probably quite true.
And, the owners of that poor dog pictured should be charged with abuse. I think owners of fat children should be penalised too, for that matter.

Sharpen critical thinking.
Is there a legal-minded person out there who can explain to me just why the government should fine advertisers for lying? Isn't ALL advertising fudging the truth to one extent or nother? If advertisers were allowed to say whatever they wanted, then maybe people would stop thinking "if it's in print it must be true because otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to say it" and would actually start to use a little common sense. A grassroots common sense movement would gain momentum. Power to the people! I feel badly that so many people are so easily hoodwinked and parted from their money. But that's their fault, isn't it? Gambling is legal in most states; I don't see much of a difference.
Results are not typical. :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Quiz: How guilty are you? And other things.

Here's the quiz.
Me: 27 years, 7000 quid, possible death penalty. Oopsie.

The ultimate "how to mess with a telemarketer" prank.
This is hysterical. Turn up your speakers.

Yesterday was my dog Cooper's sixth birthday.


I just finished Steven King's Lisey's Story. My review: "Entertaining but he should stick to fantasy and gore." (Hello, Kirkus? I am available for book reviews.)

Want latke recipes? I got your latke recipes right here.

Raise your hand if you enjoy being naked in public.

Happy New Year!