Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sometimes things happen with dogs when you just have to laugh or you might just barf. And there are times when you just have to share. Yesterday I was sitting enjoying some R&R in my living room; my husband and I were discussing the day when he told me this story. At the time I was eating popcorn and nearly choked I got laughing so hard. First he calmly stated "oh I forgot to tell you what happened today."
First the ground work. Luke and his Dad go for a big hike every weekend; they have a few spots but one regular one. They were on their regular walk when Luke had to do his business and it was a bad one, grass. We all know what happens when dogs eat too much grass as it exits. Well; Luke had a hanger and my husband had but one bag with him. I was already laughing just hearing this; my hubby is not the strong stomach type. Continuing on; he had to do the large leaf search (I've done it many times) and finally found one which he did the best he could with while trying not to get any on him. After his near death experience they continued on their walk.
I was in the shower when they got home and I all heard was "he needs his butt wiped." This is typically my job; doesn't bother me in the least. Luke got his rear end cleaned up to my amazement. After that; we did our regular morning routine, breakfast, brushing etc. Then my husband had to go grab something out of his car and as soon as he opened the door it hit him. "Smells like crap," looking around his very nice white Yukon with light beige leather interior he quickly found the cause. I was laughing really hard at this moment; and yelled out what he saw before he could even tell me, I knew it was coming I just didn't know when it would happen. Luke sits on the back seat; but not regular like, he sort of stands facing forwards and sits only halfway with his butt pushed up against the back of the seat. You just know what happened right?
There were two big smears on the back of his seat. Okay; this is the choking part, I nearly choked on my popcorn as the tears flowed down my cheeks. He had to laugh at this point; as he told me how he had to clean it up and even after spraying it and leaving the windows open for hours "that stuff lingers." I laughed and laughed I pictured the whole story playing out.
They keep you humble; and my husband agrees. Now go hug your dog. ;)
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I was recently sent a book which I offered to read and review; so here it is. First I'll let you all in on a little secret about me; Sherri. I'm a Christmas maniac; it is by far my favorite time of year. Our house gets the full on decking of the halls; being that we are now in Southern California it takes that much more to seem like Christmas. So when I heard about this new book which happens to be about Christmas; I was all over it. That and the fact that the heros of the day; are a pack of poodles. So Christmas and poodles? It's gotta be good. This new book is called Flying Poodles; A Christmas Story., written by Karen Morss and illustrated by Ginger Nielson. The book can be purchased on the link above.
Itune app for Flying poodles; A Christmas Story
I know that you don't all have poodles but if you love the Night Before Christmas story and you love dogs you have to love this. The story was inspired by the team of standard poodles that ran the Iditarod; yes truly they did and the book is done sort of like the Night Before Christmas story. Flying Poodles is imaginative with some very cute twists. The illustrations are much like those from back in the good ole' days of Christmas story books. I loved it and Flying Poodles will hold a primo spot on the shelf for the day that I have Grandchildren to read Christmas stories to. For now it will be read to me and the dogs. ;)
No matter who your four legged snuggle friend is for the Holiday Season; you'll both love this new canine Holiday edition.
Posted by Sherri at 10:05 PM
Friday, October 29, 2010
Your new puppy lays there quietly sleeping in your arms; you waited so long for this moment.
Bleary eyed you make your way to the crate; the source of the yelping to be let out.............again.
Patience? It's been growing thin these days, hard when your 3rd pair of shoes have lost the puppy war this week.
Where is that puppy?
You suddenly realize; it's been a while since you've had to clean up a mess in the house.
You stand dumbfounded as your 10 month old comes when called.
Full grown; finally, now you are missing your tiny puppy.
Your indescribable and unbreakable bond is cast in stone.
What a great adult your dog has become; a well adjusted member of the canine society.
In their prime; fit, athletic and ready to take on the world.
Your constant shadow.
Six; is a great age.
As your vet offers you the "Senior" package; you recoil in disbelief.
The sun catches the glimmering grey on their muzzle; something you hadn't noticed before.
The dim light in the evening reveals the tell-tale cloudiness; not there the last time you looked.
Runs distance is shortened; rocketing air leaps for the Frisbee are now grounded.
Runs become walks.
Naps are now an afternoon event.
Food carelessly dropped on the kitchen floor is there to see another day.
Where once a whisper could be heard; now a bellow is barely audible.
Your guardian has become your guarded treasure.
**The steps from puppy to old dog are short ones; enjoy each stage, each moment as they are far too brief indeed.
Posted by Sherri at 11:26 PM
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Funny how some people dress up little dogs; haul them around in little bags and treat them like little dolls. I actually feel very sorry for these dogs who don't get to be dogs. A tiny yorkie or Chihuahua is no less a dog than a German Shepherd or an Alaskan Malamute. One of my all time favorite clients was a chihuahua named Chili; she had one of the biggest personalities stuffed into one of the smallest little bodies. She was no slouch; Chili was the boss of a very busy and happening pack and it was clear as soon as I met them that she was indeed "top dog."
When I was a child; we had a toy poodle, his name was Strawberry (yes I know.) He was all of 7 lbs at his heaviest but he was one tough cookie. Many small dogs are tough; they have to be in a big dog world. He often had big dogs running for the hills as he came out swinging. Jessie is much like this; she has put many a big dog in their place. She oozes confidence; scary to many dogs no matter what size. I love to see small dogs hiking, swimming, playing frisbee (with tiny frisbees) and anything else that mid to large size dogs get to do.
Of course there are some things to be aware of with small dogs but they are still just dogs. They love to rough and tumble; love to sleep with you, go in the car and play at the park just like all the other dogs. You have to be more concerned about safety with a small dog; afterall they are small. But what's inside is a dog; the heart of a canine and they should be treated as such. To treat them like little tiny people is simply unfair. And the big guys; some of them are not nearly as tough as the small guys. Sure there are big tough big guys and not so tough big guys; just like the small ones.
A tiny munchkin dog does not belong in your arms 24/7, a giant breed wants to sit on your lap, a Whippet might love to go for a swim and a Bassett might just want to go for a run. Break out of that "breed" exterior shell or size mold; and let your dog be a dog.
Posted by Sherri at 9:47 PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Games; don't we all love games? Our dogs love when we play games with them; whether they are simply fun and games at home or the competitive type, they're game. I recently spent several hours shooting Splash dogs; what fun. I love nothing more than shooting action; stopping time so that you can have a glimpse of what you are missing with your regular human vision. The things that you get to see are truly amazing. I love watching dogs have fun; and these dogs were definitely having a good dose of it. I've shot hunting competition, frisbee, agility etc etc.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday evening; it was me and the hounds, everyone else was out. I thought about heading down to the beach; the dog beach that is to shoot all the dogs having fun. Then I considered that I'd have to leave my guys to do that and being that it was just them and I; I shot the pack instead. I love shooting my guys; and I have to say that I have done a lot of shooting them. After a backyard shoot and some sunset deck shots I gave them their dinner. Once they ate I prepared my own dinner and we head down to watch some chick flicks.
Funny how whatever I'm doing is what the pack is doing. When I went outside with my camera; they all followed. Up to the balcony; all but Jessie followed me out there, she needed a bit of help to figure out where we'd gone. Then they all followed me down to the family room for some much anticipated canine R&R. Canine R&R is not only for the canines; it is very much for the humans as well. And that human would be me; the lucky one. There I was with the three most wonderful dogs I know; each laying on and under their own blanket sharing the sofa with me.
Tilley took up the opposite end from me; Jessie was smack dab in the middle and Luke snuggled so close to me that I was squished up pretty tightly in the corner. Getting up and down took some work; wriggling out from under Luke, but he wasn't giving an inch. As I sat watching my movie I glanced at them all; I took in the view; a pretty great view. I smiled; what a pack, what a great pack we are. Not long into my movie I had to smile again; both Tilley and Jessie were snoring, quite loudly while Luke ran and twitched in his dreams.
It is their presence; their simple desire to be in my presence that makes it all so wonderful.
Monday, October 25, 2010
At the park one day I was approached by a woman who asked if her puppy could play with Luke. "Sure;" although I did tell her that Luke loves the fact that he can intimidate puppies. "Wonderful" she said; I need an adult dog to put him in his place; and I have to agree, she did. This particular puppy was lacking in the manners department and without any guidance he was sure to become worse. Puppies need a great deal of teaching; it starts as soon as they are born. Their Mother teaches and guides them through their weeks with her. I've often seen Mom's flatten a puppy or two and hold them down until they scream. Is she being cruel? Not in anyway, she is doing you the new puppy owner a favor.
Many people consider disciplining a new puppy to be mean or cruel. "They're only a puppy" is the common response to someone attempting to discipline. Puppies need discipline; they need it from their human family and other dogs; mature friendly dogs. The first lesson is usually nipping; if you are lucky enough to have an adult dog as well then you are going to be much better off. Adult dogs let puppies know very quickly what is acceptable biting and what is not. It's all about feedback.
Pretty much the whole concept of how dogs learn is based on association and feedback. If a puppy does naughty things like chewing shoes or your feet and receives no feedback; then they never learn what is and is not acceptable. Yesterday at the park a young dog came charging straight at Luke; she never stopped, she barreled right into him sending him flying on his butt. At 10 years old he should not be taking a hit like that; but he never saw it coming, neither did I. I assumed she was going to stop. As soon as contact was made Luke sounded like a grizzly bear; the young female knew immediately that she'd made a mistake. Luke had some blustering to do and it was over; she left and steered clear of him the rest of the time.
Had Luke not responded to her actions; she would have thought nothing of it and probably done it again. Disciplining starts out small and grows with a lack of compliance. All dogs are different; some puppies are very sensitive to feedback, others need more bluster in their feedback. Just like with Luke's feedback; there was no touching involved it was all noise and commotion. But it left had impact; he got his message across and she learned. This is the perfect scenario.
Guidance for both good and bad in the form of feedback is essential. That added with reward for good behaviors helps push a new puppy in the right direction. But to sit back and do nothing; to let a puppy get away with inappropriate behaviors is setting yourself up for a whole heap of trouble down the road. Puppies are little clean slate; just waiting to be filled with great information, that's your job as their new guardian.
Posted by Sherri at 10:14 PM
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
They deserve our best
I am always surfing the web; I like to see who is having puppies and who are some up and coming GREAT breeders. While I am on my quest to find the "good" ones I inevitably come across the bad. And when I talk about the bad breeders; there is no one "bad breeder" mold. Of course there are the big ones; the millers, the ones who are the focus of many tv investigations. I've talked about this often but it seems you can never say enough; if I reach just one new reader each time I read I will be happy.
I remember a while back having a heated conversation with a group of dog people. I had called a certain breeder; a miller, in my opinion they fit all the criteria. And that is my criteria. I caught a lot of heat for tagging this breeder as a miller; no I don't care, I call it like I see it. It is a huge facility; dogs are bred in cages, whelped in cages, puppies are raised in cages and then shipped to you. You can pick your puppy from an image on the puppy page then pay with paypal THIS IS A WARNING SIGN.
They all deserve a home and a family
This is one of the major contributors of pet overpopulation. The big assembly line breeders are pumping out puppies by the bucket full. Just the other day I ended up on another breeder site; I was appalled at what I found. This couple had decided to go into the dog breeding business; they had no idea of what they were doing which was obvious by the lack of health testing and knowledge on their website. Another I visited just yesterday had puppies available from litters that arrived Nov 16, Nov 17, Nov 23, Dec 12 and it just kept going. THIS IS A WARNING SIGN!!!!!!!
The economy is bad right now; and many of these big bad breeders are still pumping them out. And they are running clearance sales; yep puppies half price "today only." THIS IS A WARNING SIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Think any of these puppies had early stimulation or socialization? Think any of them have been snuggled and loved by the people who are pumping them out? Think again. This is business and only business; there is no heart in what they are doing; money is what drives these businesses and it is a sad business indeed.
There is a saying that has been around for years; there is no money in breeding dogs. I agree; if this statement is coming from what I would consider to be a good, ethical breeder. They spend money on health testing, over the top nutrition and medical care, temperament testing etc. Sure they are paid for their pups as they should be; there is a lot of hard work that goes into breeding and raising great puppies for you, the future puppy buyer. But those who pump out puppies; the people who breed their dogs at every season, sell their puppies online, have 10 or more breeding bitches at a time, supply the pet stores and sell to anyone who has the money; these breeders make money. They make money because it is a business; a cold hearted business.
Where do dogs belong? I can tell you that they do not belong in a cage; they do not belong in a breeding facility (if you prefer that term). But to me; not all millers are filthy facilities, many are clean, efficiently run businesses. But dogs ARE NOT a business. They are living, breathing creatures who deserve a whole lot better from the humans they have ended up with. It breaks my heart when I see how these dogs are treated; no one cares about them, the only care they get is to make sure they continue to pump out the goods.
And the puppies that these people are pumping out are not healthy and happy; these people don't spend their cash on making sure that you; the future puppy owner gets a healthy happy product. Oh it will be cute; on that you can be sure, they know how this business works. Although one site I was on didn't even take the time to wash the mud off the puppies for their "look how cute we are" pictures.
So when you stumble upon a website; one with adorable puppies set up in the cutest of poses. They probably have a teddy bear or flowers beside them; and they've even been given a name. When you scroll down and see puppy after puppy; when all you need to do is to email these people, go to the paypal page and purchase your puppy DON'T DO IT. If you give these people your money; you are helping to keep these people in business. The Mom and Dad who linger; the dogs left in cages with no one to hug them, no one to walk them, no one to climb into bed with; there is none of that for the ones left behind in the cages. When they fall ill; there is no one to care for them, no one to lay their head on until they get well again. They are often dumped, discarded or worse. After all they are no longer useful; they have no money making abilities once they are ill.
And after their puppy producing days are done; then what? Do they spend their golden years on a fluffy bed by a fire, cared for by their loving guardian? No; they too are cast aside; often dumped at a shelter. But if they are one of the lucky ones; they will be adopted by a loving family who will then give them the life that they deserve but have never known. It is truly mind boggling how many of these places there are; do your research.
Please pass this on to anyone who loves dogs; perhaps it will make it's way to one, just one who doesn't already know this. If you are that one; find a breeder who has a litter of puppies in their bedroom or living room. A breeder who has all the health testing done so that you; the next generation gets a healthy happy puppy. If you've found a good breeder; it should be difficult to get one of their puppies, they only want the best for their dogs and puppies. And that puppy has received everything that they deserve; including a healthy and very happy Mom.
Dogs deserve our best; you can make a difference.
Posted by Sherri at 11:28 PM
I love when I find a new product; I love great dog products. There are a lot of products out there that are not great; some are a complete waste of time and money. So when I stumble onto something that I think is a good idea; I gotta try it. The company that makes these leashes is called Pet Walker-plus and is located in southern California. I got a medium leash for my two standard poodles. I liked the idea that they could cross back and forth and the leash would not tangle. I also like that Luke can walk out ahead where he likes to walk and Tilley could remain behind me where she likes to walk.
I really liked the leash; and found the hardware to be quality construction. They offer nylon, leather and a combination of nylon/leather leashes. The leather leashes were beautiful. Plus they have a very cool attachment for the large leash which has a quick release if needed. If you release the latch the dogs are released from the handle but remain joined to each other by the leash.
The leash can be used for dogs the same size or two different sized dogs as each leash is specifically designed for a weight range. I have a green nylon leash with two medium leashes attached. I think this is a great idea if you walk two dogs at the same time. Just imagine; no more tangled leashes.
Posted by Sherri at 7:01 AM
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Yesterday I was headed to the store to pick up a few things when I thought I'd take a shortcut. I didn't actually know if this was a shortcut but thought I'd see if it might be. Well as I drove down the road I quickly realized that this was not going to be a shortcut and it was in fact a dead end. I was coming up to a cul de sac; and as I drove closer to my dead end there was a Golden Retriever doing his business at the side of the road. As I pulled into the cul de sac it came out onto the road and stood smack dab in the middle. "Okay; uhhhh, does someone own this dog?" I asked myself. I stopped for a good 30 seconds waiting.......waiting; ah yes, the lady in the car.
There were several cars in the cul de sac and I hadn't noticed that there was a woman in one of them. She got out; gave me a very dirty look and called the dog to her car and opened the back door. Seems I had interrupted her dogs free for all; and the woman had to get wet. Perhaps that was why I got a dirty look; well no matter. I was able to turn around now being that there was no longer a threat of running over the dog in the MIDDLE OF THE CUL DE SAC.
Alrighty then; this is my beef, people need to be with their dog. If that means that you are going to get wet; well so be it. If that means that you have to stand out in the middle of a snow storm, a hurricane or a sand storm, that's what you have to do. I don't know how many times that I have pulled up to a park to see an owner sitting in their car while their dog is out gallivanting around the park alone. I wait until I am seen by the owner; before taking my dogs out of the car. This is usually when the owner flies out of the car to get their dog.
Supervise: 1. to direct or oversee the performance or operation of.
2. to watch over so as to maintain order, etc.
Supervision is a must; just like with children, if you are not watching how can you take care of? You can't; supervision demands attention, eyes on you dog at all times. If your dog is going to be off leash you must first; be in attendance and second, be watching your dog. Obviously the woman today was not even watching her dog from her car. If she was she would have seen me pulling up and been out getting the dog before I even entered the cul de sac. What if I had been a maniac driver speeding down the road without any concern for who or what was around? The dog could have easily been hit; and it would have been the driver who was to blame.
Accidents happen all the time; why set yourself and your dog up for one?
Posted by Sherri at 9:29 PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
But for the dogs; if you've ever had a dog with diarrhea and couldn't seem to get it turned around, then you need to know about pumpkin. I don't know how many people I've shared this with but once you try it; you'll be hooked. Pumpkin is a very good binder when you need binding for your pooch. But; if you need loosening it works well for that too. With it's water absorption qualities it can quickly firm up loose stool and help to loosen up a dog that is having problems with constipation.
Pumpkin nutritional facts
more pumpkin info
Who knew? good for kidney stones and parasites
From everything that I have researched; dogs can eat seeds as well as the meat of a pumpkin. I know that when we carve our pumpkins the dogs are in there looking for tidbits to grab. If you are feeding raw, grate the pumpkin very well and use a small amount. For the pumpkin in a can (not pie filling) use a couple of teaspoons for a med-large dog. Pumpkin can cure diarrhea within hours; how great is that?
And just for the love of it, I made these cookies for the dogs and they are pretty good. They taste sort of like Cheese crackers. Yes; I always taste my baking before offering them to the dogs. Hey; I want to know if they are actually good or not. Even Luke ate them.
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
-small size 1 1/2" for 15 min. Leave in for 15 min again at 275 to dry.
Posted by Sherri at 9:46 PM
Think Tank makes amazing camera equipment bags, covers, straps, backpacks, slings and accessories. I'd love to have one of each for sure. If you are in the market; be sure to check them out.
I also like to share news of great prizes to be won. Think Tank is having a big photo contest with great prizes..........check out their page all about it on Facebook by clicking here.
I also like to share news of great prizes to be won. Think Tank is having a big photo contest with great prizes..........check out their page all about it on Facebook by clicking here.
Posted by Sherri at 12:10 PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Its raining today; not just raining but pouring and storming. And I have to admit that I love it; being originally from the North East I often grow tired of the South West weather or lack of it. Yes sunny and warm is glorious but sometimes I just want some weather; something to make me stay in with the hounds all day. Well today was that; we were jolted awake before 5 am with a thunderous boom and bright flashes of lightning. All was fine until the big one. I was out shooting the lightning when BOOOOOM, a crack of thunder so loud accompanied with the a full sky lightning show. It was the kind of boom that sends shivers through your whole body.
Tilley is the only one who isn't fond of thunder but now she seems okay with it being that she is losing her hearing, a nice benefit of aging. But this one could not be silenced; this was one of the biggest booms that I have heard. I nearly jumped out of my skin myself; it made me immediately head for cover. And as I ran in I realized that all the dogs were up; standing up on the bed, startled. Luke was obviously the most concerned; he had his ears plastered back and his eyes were in fear mode. "Say nothing," I immediately told my husband. It is hard; our human reaction is to comfort, but if we comfort we fuel the fear. I know that many of you think that your dog needs comforting when they are afraid; but what they really need is guidance.
Luke looks for eye contact; he wants to know how we feel about this, you can see him doing it. So when we act like nothing just happened or what has just happened is amazingly great; he immediately calms. If you have a dog that is already fearful it may take a while; many repetitions of calm guidance from you and the family. It doesn't change overnight but if you give off the right messages you can see it start to work immediately. I reacted to the thunder because I was startled myself; this fueled Luke's reaction. But; as soon as I saw that he was indeed having a fearful reaction I shut it down; I stopped talking immediately and made a point of saying how cool the next one was. He kept an eye on the situation but was no longer fearful.
It can take some bigtime control not to react; or to react in a way that does not come naturally. But it's worth the effort; a dog who has a fear response can become so bad that the reaction itself becomes a danger to the dog. So again; chill is the name of the game.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Well; I have a new lap dog, yep. He isn't new to me; just my lap, Luke. He has decided that he quite enjoys sitting on my lap. When he was little he would always sit or lay on my lap; four feet facing the ceiling and as happy as a clam. But once he got to be a big boy that stopped; oh he would sit beside me and there isn't a dog that likes to snuggle more than this one but the lap, well that was for puppies. Not anymore.
Luke's favorite thing in life is the moment after dinner; when we all head down to the family room to either chat or watch television, he loves it. He spins in circles throwing his head in the air until everyone is settled. Then he either dives up on the couch or sits in front of the coffee table to watch t.v. Last week I was chilly; I was sitting in one of the large leather chairs and contemplated if there was enough room to haul Luke up there with me. I thought there was so I called him over. Being that he is a nervous guy about having things done to him I made it a quick and easy hoist and he was up and settled in. The fact that he is so tall and lanky I did not want to invite him to jump up on me, I could just imagine the stomping I'd get. I had him back up and then sort of manually backed him onto my lap, no fuss, no freaking out.
Once there I could literally see him thinking about the whole situation. I wasn't sure he was going to be okay with this; we were very snug in our chair. But before I knew it; he was asleep and I was warm and cozy. Now; Luke being Luke I knew that this might be a problem. He forms habits very quickly and he likes what he likes and he definitely enjoyed this lap dog thing; especially with Mom. Since that night he comes and asks me to be on my lap; sometimes I allow it, not always. It is very important that he ask and just as important that he understand that sometimes the answer is going to be no.
Tonight was a yes night; so I hoisted him onto my lap. His skinny butt fits nicely beside me in the chair; although his huge chest is a bit awkward to place but this evening he teetered it on my left knee. With one leg on each side of my left leg he was soon sleeping and dreaming away. I was very aware of his heartbeat as it was directly against my leg beating away. With his head curled over one shoulder like a bird he was a happy guy; and me? Oh ya, nice.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I spent several hours at the Pet-a-palooza yesterday morning. I went to photograph the Splash Dogs; but had a look around before I ventured over to the pool. This is the first thing that caught my eye; she was up for adoption and about as cute as they come.
I wandered around the vendor booths; picked up a new leash to test and review (more on that in another post) and then onto the pool. It was practice time when I got there. This is the wonderful thing about these events; at practice time anyone with any dog can give it a go. It is very entertaining watching each team give it a try for the first time. Many dogs are not going at all; no matter how hard their owner tries. Others dive in and don't want to get out.
Some of the dogs were obvious super athletes; flying high and far making it look like a walk in the park.