Tuesday, July 30, 2013

But my dog is so friendly!

We hear it all the time from *that* person at the dog park, or in Petco, or at an agility trial, or while trying walk our dog down the street.  There is this assumption that all dogs are uber-friendly and would just LOVE for your unruly dog to jump at them, climb on their heads and lick the fur off of their faces.

There have been so many blog posts about this same topic from so many wonderful trainers and bloggers like this one from the Dogsnobs. I can't help but think, however, that the subject bears repeating.  Dogs are becoming such a large part of society, that it's important we understand a little more of dog behavior, and be good stewards of these wonderful beasts in our charge.  Let's start with one startling piece of information; not everyone likes your dogs!  Shocking, I know!

We think it's cute when that 4 pound ball of fur jumps up on us demanding our attention.  Or when the puppy runs up and begins licking a strange dog's face.  Choruses of "Isn't he cute" follow this mannerless blob every where it goes.  It seems to be part of the "kinder gentler" generation where we don't correct our children for bad behavior, so why should we correct our dogs?  They are, after all, our children, right?  They are just kids that walk on 4 legs instead of 2.  No, this isn't cute, or funny, or desirable in any way.  It is rude, whether it is your 2 legged child, or your 3 legged pet. 

Dogs are social animals, and require rules.  As their human, it is our responsibility to understand their needs and to take care of them.  Part of that responsibility is to teach them manners.  Yep, that's right, we must TRAIN our dogs.

Dogs need someone to teach them right from wrong.  In the wild, the pack leader would make sure a dog knew that lunging and jumping in another dog's face is unacceptable.  If we, as humans, fail to teach the dog the same thing, we are only creating rude little furry jerks on 4 legs.  We are also setting the dog up to fail.  One of these days, that crazy "friendly" little ball of fur is going to jump in the face of a dog that has had enough, and will teach the dog a lesson- the hard way.  Unfortunately, when this happens, the finger pointing begins, and it is pointed everywhere but where it should be...on the owner of the rude dog.

If you were walking down the street minding your own business and someone jumped out from behind a parked car and began to molest you, the law would be with you if you decided to *correct* this individual for invading your personal space.  Sadly, our dogs are not offered that same benefit.  As a dog owner, I find it necessary more and more often to protect my dog from other's nasty little beasties.  On any given agility weekend, I will have to place myself between my dog and an unruly mongrel at least twice.  Of course, when I protest, I am berated as having "an aggressive dog."  No ma'am, my dog is not aggressive, he's just sick and tired of being molested by dogs like yours.  
Bottom line, train your dogs.  If your dog learns to behave in public, then your dog will be happy, as well as the dogs around you.  A happy dog is a healthy dog.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I swear, it sounds like a band's name, doesn't it?  Figjam.  I would think a nice blues band.  Well, it's not.  It's what I spent all day Saturday doing.

Do you see this tree?  The large one right in the middle?  The one that is taller than the house?  Yes, that one.  It's a fig tree.  We trimmed the tree way back when we moved in, but it STILL looks like this.  And it is FULL of figs.

Some of them have ripened, but just a few.  A small few, but enough of them that they require attention.  I made about 15 loaves of various types of fig bread, and decided to try something different.  First, I washed and cut them.

Put 4 pounds of figs (yes, 4 pounds!) in a pan with sugar, honey, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.  Cooked it down until it was thick.

Filled some half-pint jars with the jam.  Aren't they cute?  11 half pints of jam.  What am I going to do with 11 pints of jam?  I guess a better questions is what am I going to do with the other 400+ pounds of figs on the tree, ready to explode with juicy ripeness just any day now?  I guess you will have to wait and see!  In the mean time.  Would you like some jam?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I love this dog!

Check out my boy and his drive!  He is such a joy to run!  I love the things we are already teaching him!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A day at the graveyard

Now that I'm over what I saw yesterday at the graveyard, I thought I would post some of my favorite photos from my trip.

A simple black and white.

Yes, I went a little nutso with the HDR, sorry.  I have already told you I have a problem. I did, however, like the look.  

This one is HDR'd pretty heavily as well, but I think it has more of an artsy feel.

Somehow, I find this gravestone redundant.

Sad, but lovely

the graveyard is just thick with redundancies.  

A nice Texas stone

My next cemetery adventure will be for a groovy night shot.  Let's hope I can get what I'm looking for!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Desecration Defecatin

Seriously?  No.  Just, no!  I just have nothing else to say about this.  Sorry, I need to go pray or something.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Raw Vs. Kibble

Few things cause more controversy among dog enthusiasts than the debate over feeding raw vs. feeding kibble.  The topic is discussed often, and I have seen many dog owners avert their eyes or change the subject when asked that one question many of us fear "what do you feed your dog?"

There are some hardcore opinions on both sides, and that simple question can often go from discussion, to debate to downright mudslinging.  Nothing sends a dog owner into a frenzy faster than implying that they are not offering their beloved pet the best care they can offer.

I have had raw feeders refer to kibble as "death nuggets", and kibble feeders accuse raw feeders as being "lazy" or "uneducated" about the dog's digestive system.  The kibble feeders imagine a raw feeder as someone who just tosses left overs and spoiled meat at the dog, or letting the dog forage for road kill.

I have done both, I have fed good kibble, bad kibble, prepackaged raw, and home processed raw.  The answer is easier than that.  And more difficult.    Just like humans have different dietary needs, so do dogs.  We tried going raw with Kyra, because of her many allergy issues.  Then we tried raw with Hemi, to try and encourage him to eat more.  We then added Boo as well.  Let's just say it was a complete and total failure. We spent hours power shopping to find good prices on meat that wasn't full of fillers, or antibiotics, or other evil things.  We would spend a whole weekend cutting up whole chickens, sometimes grinding up bone/meat of other animals, and packaging for meals only to have to start over the next weekend.  We followed the recommended process of switching the dogs to raw; the protein and bone to meat ratio.  No matter what we did, someone was always running at one end or the other.  Vomiting, or explosive diarrhea.  I called on my mentors who fed raw and sought out their advice, and adjusted bone percentages on the dogs to try and firm up their digestive tract, always to no avail.  In the end, we gave up. Yes, I admit it, I'm a failed raw feeder.

Currently, Boo is eating I/D.  (Somewhere a dog enthusiast just fainted).  Boo has IBS/IBD, and was unable to tolerate anything else.  Now that he is on I/D, and taking prednisone, he is a happier, healthier dog.  He even has more energy to run agility.  Would I immediately run out and buy such a food for my new dog?  No.  But, I have done what I feel is best for all of my dogs.  If Boo is healthy, and is not suffering from gastric distress by eating the I/D, then that is what I will feed him.

In the end, I think pet owners just want what is best for their dogs.  I try not to judge what others feed their dogs, and hope they don't judge me.  I remember the days when we fed our dogs Gaines Burgers and Purina kibble.  There are so many more choices now, and I think it's important to treat each dog as an individual and find what works best for them.  Maybe, just maybe, one of these days, we'll be able to have more than 1 dog at a time on any given food.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Naughty dogs

Is it any wonder I love my naughty dogs?  

Hemi found a teddy bear in the sunroom--this was a gift from my DH while were still in college--and Hemi decided it was HIS!

Boo does NOT like it when Mingo gets to play with toys and he doesn't.  He will still the pup's toys at any turn.  Look at how proud!  (Of note--we had to hang this toy up to dry overnight, it was soaked with Boo spit.)

Mingo had some sort of upset tummy, and went on a hunger strike.  When he started eating again, he decided he wanted Boo's "special" food.  (Boo's food being that expensive I/D crap that vet's peddle.)  We were able to entice him to eat with the I/D, and then he got to where he would tip the bowl over, spread the food on the carpet so he could pick and choose the pieces he wanted.  Silly dog.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another use for all the goodies in the garden:  GUMBO!  Tomatoes, okra and peppers from the garden, andouille sausage, chicken, smoked salmon, onions, spices, and lots of cooking on the stove.  Stored in individual containers and froze for Gene to take for lunches.  About time to make another pot, I think.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Since we moved, and have a new puppy, we had to search for a new agility instructor.  I lucked out and found a great instructor at What A Great Dog.  Jody is an experience handler, and started a "puppy basics" class for a group of seasoned handlers with their new pups.  I was lucky enough to get into this class on week three.  One thing we learned was the spiderdawg trick.  A great way to teach some rear end awareness.  Since I was late starting the class, I only had a week to train this, but with the clicker, I achieved success!  

LOVE this trick, and love my boy.  He works so hard for me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From Wiggies to Feathers?

Anyone who has been in breed for any length of time knows about poodles and Wiggies

I recently found an ad feather extensions for dogs.  Really?

I'm sorry.  I just don't even know where to go from here.  I do have to wonder if there is any significance to the fact that a doodle is the model?  Things that make you go "hmmmm".

Monday, July 8, 2013

Serious talk about "Doodles"

There has been much written on both sides about designer dogs, specifically "doodles".  To rehash everything here would be redundant.  Almost as redundant as that last sentence.  Doodles became all the rage starting with 2 main crosses "Cock-a-poos"  (Um, really?  The name isn't even appealing) and labradoodles.

Sidebar:  In the interest of full disclosure, my first dog as an adult was a cocker/poodle mix.  An adopted dog.  One that was rescued from an abandoned house.  I did not buy the dog.  I did not seek out the dog.  I simply gave a homeless dog a home.  Dogs that are rescued are NOT the point of this post.

I have, unfortunately, seen an increasing number of doodles and this just breaks my heart.  I met a lovely woman with 2 of these doodles.  She informed me that they went this route because they wanted a dog that didn't shed, and her husband "wouldn't be caught dead" with a poodle.  When I looked at her 2 dogs that had this horrible stiff coat that shed, and was matted to the skin, I wondered if her husband realized that when he walked these 2 dogs, he looked like he was walking 2 horribly bred standard poodles that were swaybacked and blocky.  I decided it didn't make a difference, so I left it alone.  The poor dogs had to be shaved down to the skin because the hair was so matted.

At a recent agility show, a novice handler with a border collie/poodle told a friend that they went with the cross because "everyone knows that border collies aren't good with children."  My friend and I were flabbergasted.  Where did this notion come from that all you have to do is add a poodle to a breed and all of a sudden you have the "perfect" dog?  I know poodles are the perfect breed, and evidently others believe so as well.  That's the only reason I can come up with for why they are crossing so many breeds with poodles.

I am a firm believer that any breeding should be done for a good reason.  To make money is not a good reason. There are unscrupulous types out there breeding doodles and selling them to the unsuspecting public for big bucks.  These *breeders* tell their clients that doodles don't shed, and are AKC registered because the parents are registered.  I am always amazed at the price tag that comes along with these "mutts".  The *breeders* of these dogs are supporting their families off of money earned through fraudulent means.  John Q. Public wouldn't knowingly spend an exorbitant amount of money on Volvo because it had a Jaguar hood ornament on it, so why are they willing to pay for a mutt disguised as something it isn't?  I don't have an answer, but I wish I did.  Faithful poodle, lab, and other purebred enthusiasts work hard to try and educate the public on the reality of what they're purchasing.  Sometimes it feels like we're fighting a losing battle.

Others choose to try and shame people into admitting the truth, like this blog post from the blog Dogsnobs:  Doodle Rage--Dogsnobs.  Hopefully, if dog enthusiasts continue to speak to the issue and work hard to uncover the truth, maybe the general public with start to see the truth and we can turn the tides.  Dogs deserve better from us.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Photos that make ya go "hmm"

Another day for some comic relief.  Here are some favorite photos (taken by me) that make ya go "hmm"  Enjoy!

Before you laugh...it worked.  (Okay, go ahead and laugh, but then tell me you don't try it!)

Someone wants to break through and get a toy.

Hogtie yoga from the master!

HDR'd of Mingo HATING the pool!

I have heard that people are just DYING to get a bite of these pancakes

I may have already posted this before, but it is still one of my favorites.

Friday, July 5, 2013

RIP Eggroll

It is with great sadness I report the loss of our rooster, Eggroll.  He was such a cool dude, and took great care of his girls.  He will definitely be missed.  He was stiff, and appeared to have a head wound.  We are assuming he panicked during the fireworks and flew into the side of the coop.  I have never owned chickens before, but heard horror stories about aggressive roosters.  This guy was cool, calm, collected, and never showed any sign of aggression towards us.

We will miss you Eggroll.