Tuesday, March 27, 2007

So Carina, where do YOU shop?

My keen fashion sense and beautifully appointed home is an inspiration to so many. People are always asking me - "Carina, that is just fabulous, where did you buy that?"
So you little people want to be just like moi?
OK, I'll share.
In the photo above (taken Christmas morning at my friend Robbie's house. Must say I look particularly lovely. Can you believe she put that photo on her blog???)
Pajama bottoms from Old Navy. I love that store.
Freebie agility t-shirt from the Gem City agility and dog training club in Dayton, Ohio.
My gorgeous hat, scarf and gloves were a gift. Surely they came from Saks or Needless Markup?
No! Walmart! Really. Hard to believe, huh.
Underwear and bra - I was going commando there, just like Kate Moss.
I believe my eyewear was purchased at Rite-Aid.
Actually I have some Glamour Shot type photos someplace but they are really so not me. Not that the above one is really "me" either, haha! But it's more entertaining than frou frou shots.

Antique stores, garage sales and resale shoppes. (Resale Shoppe sounds better than "Goodwill store" doesn't it?) This was last Sunday in Fenton - great store, she welcomed the dog (and Charles) and had tons and tons of fun things including a porcelein Victorian bedpan for $15.00 that I almost bought - where I bought the following tasteful furnishings for my lovely home:

Enlarge this one by clicking on it! I may start collecting this guy's prints. Duane Bryers Hilda collection - absolutely fun full figured pinups, very popular in the 50s and 60s. Isn't it cool? You just can't buy this shit at tacky places like TJMaxx or Target, that's all Chinese crap anyhow.

A neat-o very old frame for one of the many prints and photos I have that need frames. $5.00, gotta love it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cooper gets a bath, I get a hamster named Dorothy.

Cooper is six years old and had the first proper grooming and bath of his entire life! Feet trimmed, ear hair coiffed, the whole bit. Professionally done and he was cranky about it but he does look marvellous. I mainly took him in because he was getting dreadlocks on the insides of his thighs and I don't have the right grooming tools to get those out kinda painlessly.

Elvis and his Rottweiler Daphne cuddling. Again. Gratuitous awww photo.

This is Dorothy, and that is Elvis contemplating Dorothy.
No, I didn't want a hamster. I think "pocket pets" are kind of silly and think hamsters ought to stay in China and Syria and whatever deserts they're supposed to inhabit.
But I have one, she was free and it was just one of those things. Some people get drunk, go online to zappos.com and 3 am and buy hundreds of dollars worth of shoes. I get free hamsters.
She bites. Quite hard, actually.
Most varieties of hamsters kill each other if kept together in cages, they are bloodthirsty little loners.
They're also omnivores and like meat.
So far the only vegetable type thing she likes is carrot, in an indifferent sort of way.
Cat kibble and bits of cooked salmon she rips out of my fingers and crams in her face. If I wave a bit of animal protein at her cage, she climbs the bars and sticks her tiny little paws through and gets really excited.
When she is not frolicking in the bathtub, trying to rip my fingertips off or busily making nests out of toilet paper, she lives in one of the bathroom cabinets up high so Elvis can't get to her.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I'm on a bit of a roll here with posts about Stupid Pet Laws.
OK, here's one for you - courtesy of threecollie at the excellent northview diary.

567 English cows (that's five hundred and sixty seven - enough to fill up a couple of stadiums. Over six hundred thousand pounds of cow - pound by pound equivalent to well over 3,000 people, living, breathing, perfectly healthy cattle, representing tons of perfectly good meat, milk and other cow by products, the sort of animals romanticised by 19th century painters) were slaughtered by a government agency at taxpayer expense.
Because their paperwork was incorrect.

Yes. The EU mandated paperwork kept by the farmer was not 100% consistent with the EU mandated ear tags.
So DEFRA slaughtered all his cattle and destroyed his livelihood (at taxpayers' expense, did I mention this part.)

Here's the news article.

My dogs are microchipped and licenced and have the legally required rabies vaccinations for my state and wear tags accordingly.

I know people who refuse to do this.
Maybe they're not so paranoid after all....


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eleanor Herrick v Holland Wisconsin.

This is Reno.

This is the news story about Reno, his owner Eleanor Herrick and her other dogs.

I don't have a lot of time online this week so I'll let others speak.

Eleanor tells Reno's story. Includes contact info for the town of Holland WI, if you want to make your voice heard.
Margot writes about it.
So does Karen.

I emailed the city of Holland WI, you can too.
Telephone - 608-526-3354
Fax - 608-526-6564

While I understand the reasoning behind putting a limit on how many dogs a person can own, I don't agree with it. It is not the number of animals at issue, it is the comportment and behaviour of the animals and their owners which determine clean, peaceful neighborhoods.
It makes more sense to enforce existing laws - excessive noise, loose animals, aggressive dogs, odor and health concerns, neglecting animals, irresponsible breeding, etc. Eleanor Herrick has violated none of these. She and her dogs are good citizens.
It is simply an illogical law and I hope she is granted a variance.
Thank you.
Carina MacDonald.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Meet Kiki!

Kiki is a lovely Pembroke Corgi (the smaller ones without tails - cattle herding dogs, no kidding) who I am training in agility and she is SO MUCH FUN. She is confident, very biddable especially when there are hot dog treats involved and enjoys the heck out of this.
This was her third class and there she is doing six weaves with little coaxing, being brave on the teeter and dog walk and she simply adores tunnels. She's real focused (did I mention hot dog treats) and will go over, under and through obstacles without being asked, just for fun.
Many thanks to her human for letting me train her, I don't know which one of us is learning more!


Hey wait, this thing is moving.....

Must.....get.....hot dog..........

Hey lookit how high I am here!

Oh, these are easy.


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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spaying and neutering - should it be enforced?

For dogs and cats, I mean. Not people, where in some cases I think it would be a sensible idea. But I digress.
Last year I wrote a little about about What They Don't Tell You about speutering.
I've been noodling around with revisiting this, since some cities are now legally enforcing surgical castration and hysterectomies on all companion animals, for "the common good." This trend is accelerating and I believe it is a scary and dangerous trend.

I am not saying spay neuter is a bad thing, it's not, although there are certainly some potentially serious downsides to early s/n. BUT if one is going to make an informed decision about doing major surgery - and spaying is major surgery - it's wise to understand both benefits and risks. Knowlege is power! And the politically correct information drummed into our heads is that there is NO risk to early speuter. Which, simply is not true! Read the links in the following....

Semavi Lady has done some fantastic research on this. Please go read what she has written on the lies we are being told about the "benefits" of early speuter. She says it better than I ever could have.

The photo above shows an Anatolian Shepherd at work, taken from the ASDCA website.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Puppy breath candles and doggie crack.

Two things you didn't know you really wanted until right now.

Kockeyed Kandles sells candles, incense, lotions, laundry spray and scented oils many fragrances including Puppy's Breath.
I can't resist, gotta order! They have regular Puppy's Breath, "more like outside puppy breath" and Puppy's Breath Fresh, "sweeter, smells more like an inside puppy's breath." I haven't a clue what this means but I sure want to know!

Mary has Doggie Crack and you don't have to go to the bad part of town to buy it. Just order from the comfort of your home. It's legal too! And proceeds go to a good cause - Mary runs a rescue for small dogs and most of her refugees need veterinary care as well as food, housing, lots of love and good forever homes. Mary is good people.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Should AKC allow mixed breed dogs in competition, part 2.

I think this is going to become a reality. Fine.
It will make many mixed breed owners happy (although it will piss off some of the snobbier purebred fanciers.) It will make it easier for people to compete in more working events by making them available to all dogs regardless of heritage.
It must be noted that there are already many registries and venues for mixed breed dogs to compete: USDAA, CPE, UKC, AMBOR, MBDCA and many others. Granted, I imagine AKC sanctioned events outnumber other registries and AKC holds events most others don't, like Rally Obedience and tracking.
To refresh your memory, here is AKC's information page on their proposal.

My no vote still stands, though.
Mainly because the AKC is bullshitting you about "protecting the health and wellbeing of all dogs."
If they did, they would not be selling millions of dollars worth of registration papers to the largest commercial puppy breeding operation in the country. They would not be actively courting commercial breeders at all. These breeders do absolutely NOTHING to promote the integrity of purebred dogs and are both directly and indirectly responsible for the killing of millions of perfectly good, healthy animals, mostly at taxpayers expense.
This sort of breeding "advances the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs" how, again?
Here is the Hunte Corporation home page. The largest commercial puppy breeding and puppy broker operation in the country. Probably the world. Yup, AKC recognised.
When the dogs get unbreedable or sick, they're killed off. When they get a little old, or the factory farm gets too crowded, breeding animals are auctioned off by the hundreds. The auction lists are just heartbreaking and horrible to read.

If there is an outreach by AKC to the general public informing people of the way to find a responsible breeder and why rescue and shelter dogs are a gtreat idea, I haven't seen it. If the AKC has done anything at all to inform the general public that "AKC registered" doesn't mean squat about the quality and soundness of the dog except both parents were registered, I haven't seen it. Too many people think that "AKC registered" or "having papers" actually means something special.
Both the information packet and their own mission statement point out that promoting the "AKC message" to a wider group of dog owners is an important goal. What their message is, I'm not sure. It's stated right there on the information page that mixed breeds are inferior and the hope is that when mutt-owners are exposed to purebred dogs they will be encouraged to make their next dog an AKC recognised one.

The organization does good things. The AKC Canine Health Foundation funds research on many doggie health concerns and this benefits all dogs, regardless of heritage. They donate large amounts of money and resources during disasters like Katrina. They sanction responsible breed clubs and tons of working and conformation events.
They are not the bad guys and if this passes, I'm happy that more people will be able to get out and have fun with their dogs, I really am.
If they would just tell the truth, "we need more money so we're considering accepting mixed breed dogs" this would sit much better with me. Truthfulness is so refreshing! I guess I just can't get past the hypocrisy and the snobby attitude is all.
That's why I'd still vote no.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Honey, is dinner ready?

AKC and mixed breeds.

I'm not completely inflexible.
After talking to more people, doing some considering and getting feedback, I may be changing my mind about my NO vote on allowing mutts to compete in AKC working events.
I need to let the issue marinate a bit more, though. I'm starting to come around to the idea that it may be a good thing for ALL dogs in general, although I remain highly suspicious of AKC's motives.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Recessive genes and breeding....

Diana made a comment about Cooper being inbred, in response to my writing about the AKC judges making snarky comments about his heritage. (As an aside - check Diana's writing. It's excellent!)
OK. The long coat is a recessive - also called a "throwback" - gene. Essentially a gene for a trait that both parents carry, but do not exhibit. The long haired gene in Rottweilers and other molosser breeds is thought to relate back to the early northern European mastiff type dogs from which Rottweilers are descended. Andrew Brace in his wonderful book "The Ultimate Rottweiler" states that long haired Rotties tend to be very heavy boned and laid back. The woman who did the litter evaluation on Coop's litter said the same thing.
If both parents carry the recessive gene, offspring has a roughly 25% chance to exhibit the trait but it does NOT mean they carry the gene themselves.
Cooper has donated some DNA to a study being run at MSU vet school. They are attempting to identify the gene (or gene marker, I'm not sure of terminology) for the long haired trait.
Both Cooper's sire and dam had regular coats. Both were finished champions with both show and working titles. His sire is Evrmor's U R The One. If you look at the roster of dogs entered at Westminster, you will see the kennel name and many of his progeny! Cooper came from a very carefully thought out breeding - currently there is no way to foretell things like fluffieness!
Fluffy Rottweilers are very uncommon, but they can happen just as easily in carefully planned breedings as well as poorly planned ones. I had put a deposit on the litter before they were born, saying I wanted "pet" quality since I have no interest in breeding or conformation showing.
Cooper has a "limited" AKC registration. This means he is eligible for everything except the conformation show ring - the long coat is a disqualifying fault - and were he to be bred, his progeny would not be AKC-registerable.
Except for the fluff, he is quite gorgeous. Ideal size (just shy of 100lbs), beautiful head, strong bone, gorgeous topline, feet, markings, everything.
Why are some things considered not part of the breed standard and disqualifying faults? Well, first, if there were no breed standards to uphold, there wouldn't be breeds, really! There would just be types. Second, most criteria are there for a reason. Some traits - like white boxers and Dobermans - also carry deafness and horrible skin problems along with the gene for albinism. Many criteria are tailored to the original purpose of the breed. Rottweilers were cattle drovers, guard and carting dogs, and all around farm worker dogs, used to go dozens of miles a day in all sorts of weather conditions. Unlike rough collies, Cooper lacks a harsh water repellent outer coat. This means when he gets wet, he gets wet to the skin and STAYS wet for ages. In his original job, he would stay cold and wet for days!
Despite the fluffy thing, he is 100% Rottweiler. His temperament is absolutely classic. Aloof with strangers, yet adores all children. Once he likes someone, he loves them forever. Prone to bossiness and dominance, yet extremely biddable with honest, fair training. Calm, yet give him a job and he has tremendous drive and enthusiasm. Incredibly smart with the ability to think things through and problem solve. Mostly horrible and overbearing with other dogs (although tolerant with puppies and little dogs.) Very alert and strongly bonds with his humans. Naturally protective and territorial, but since I'm the boss he is calm and welcomes most everyone, at least when I'm here.
This describes every Rottweiler I've owned except Daphne, actually.
So. Just wanted to clear things up and defend my junkyard dog, haha! I sure hope Cooper has his daddy's longevity...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Aced the trial!

Both days. Cooper took first place both Thursday and Friday (scores 190, 187.5.)
My dog rocks. :) One more Q and he gets his CD title. Which isn't that big a deal really, but I will be glad to have acheived it.
And, I should probably read the rule book....holy moly those judges can be particular and precise...but certainly we can do much, much better if I pull my weight, haha.
Still, not bad for a first try!

Did I mention this was a Collie specialty and so my ragamuffin dog was surrounded by these insanely well groomed, chalked and glossy creatures. Thursday's judge was jokingly calling Cooper a junkyard dog. Oh har har. Today's judge asked me if he was ILP'd - I was warned AKC people could get snobby and my dog's heritage may be questioned.
So poo on them...actually I met some really nice helpful people and while it's not nearly as fun as agility, we had a good time and I'm looking forward to our next obedience trial!