Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We usually go all out at Halloween. Hubby spends weeks decorating the yard, compete with stage lighting, hidden speakers and a fog machine. These pictures are from last year:

If you look closely, you can see Son #2 rising from the grave in a morph suit.
The whole family gets into the holiday.
Our pumpkins have stopped traffic.
Click here for last year's GSD jack-o-lantern patterns.
 
But this year our house is dark. We live in a cul-de-sac at the end of a long street. It use to be filled with kids, but over the past 10 years all children have grown up and moved away. Last year we only had a dozen trick-or-treaters. It's sad. Hubby has decided to forgo the decorations and spend the evening volunteering at the American Legion instead. I'm going to sit in the dark and watch the last season of Dexter.
 
I couldn't completely ignore the holiday, however. I dressed the dogs up and did a photo-shoot earlier. Aren't they precious?
 
It's not easy finding costumes for large dogs. They didn't care much for those hoods either.
Jedi is a handsome devil
And Roxy is a beautiful bumble bee

I'm not sure how I feel about not celebrating Halloween with costumes, spooky decorations and LOTS of chocolate. I think this is the first time in 40+ years that I haven't done something. We didn't even carve pumpkins!


OK, enough pouting. I'm going to order a pizza and check out the Pet Parade. Animals in hats always make me feel better (much to Jedi's dismay). Tomorrow I'm going to get as much discounted Halloween candy as possible. And maybe a pumpkin. Seriously, what were we thinking?!
 
How about you? What are your plans for this evening? -- K

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Other Duties as Required"

So why is it that my Thoughtless Thursday posts always end up being "My Crazy Job" posts? I don't know, but for some reason it fits! This week's post stems from an incident that happened last Sunday. I was writing someone a ticket for his dogs being off leash on the beach. He had been drinking and was unreasonably angry (and probably a bit embarrassed) and started with the whole "I pay your salary" " and "Your job is to . . . " routine. (Two of my top ten Things to Say to Guarantee a Ticket, by the way.) I resisted the urge to bitch-slap the douche bag and gave him the usual response: "No, Sir. My job is to enforce all animal-related City ordinances, including the leash law." But it got me thinking. Perhaps some people really don't know -- or maybe don't want to know -- what my job actually is. I know some think it's like that show on Animal Planet. (It's not.) Others think that I'm "just a dog-catcher." Sometimes I wish it were that easy. Truth is, I do so much more. My regular duties include:
  • Assisting citizens with lost, sick, found or injured animals
  • Routinely patrolling the city neighborhoods, parks and beach front
  • Enforcing City leash, barking and clean up laws
  • Investigating dangerous dogs and dog bite complaints
  • Ensuring proper animal care and sheltering laws are adhered to by the public
  • Performing animal welfare checks
  • Investigating animal cruelty
  • Issuing warnings, citations and summonses pertaining to animal control and welfare
  • Impounding animals at large
  • Caring for animals in custody
  • Performing routine maintenance of the Animal Control vehicle and equipment
  • Maintaining records of citations, warnings, animal bites, animals taken into custody and cruelty investigations
  • Preparing cases for court

And then there's the clause on my job description that says "and other duties as required." That's the one that always bites me in the ass. Those duties have included:
  • Certified school crossing guard through the state of Florida (Yeah, that's a real "thing")
  • First responder (I patrol parks and the beach regularly and have discovered many situations that required PD and EMS; Yes, I am First Aid/CPR/AED certified)
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations training (I can serpentine backwards, in 4WD, in soft sand without knocking over the orange cones -- but not without swearing)
  • Euthanasia technician
  • Chemical capture (a.k.a. dart gun)
  • Writing newspaper articles and press releases
  • Appearing on the local news (hate that!)
  • Organizing and participating in community relations events for children and adults
  • Maintaining several City webpages
  • Public Notary
  • Designing new Animal Control citations
  • Attending City Council meetings
  • Educating City officials and local politicians
  • Appearing before the Code Enforcement Board
  • Teaching dog bite prevention to children
  • Developing and teaching the Animal Control unit for the Citizen's Police Academy
  • Researching and re-writing ordinances
  • Finding an interpreter for a deaf defendant (NOT easy)
  • Researching insurance policies and comparing them with City dangerous dog requirements
  • Departmental "go-for," picking up/dropping off equipment and vehicles all over the county
  • Plain-clothes beach surveys
  • Undercover vice decoy operations (essentially I pretend to be a prostitute and pick up johns)
  • Researching, hiring and assisting wildlife trappers for gators and coyotes
  • Accompanying PD while serving warrants (I grab the dogs, they get the bad guys)
  • Assisting Sea Turtle Patrol and Fish & Wildlife with dragging dead sea animals off the beach (trust me, ewww)
  • Catamaran counting (yes, I have to keep track of boats on the beach)
  • Developing an ACO Field Training Program
  • Training new animal control officers
  • . . . . and whatever the Chief thinks up next

Yep, I do a lot of weird and random things. It keeps life interesting. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate well onto a job application. HR sees "animal control officer," assumes I chase dogs, and then promptly throws me in the "not qualified" pile. *sigh* And my duties are so eclectic that it's difficult for me to articulate my computer, teaching, organizing, customer service and public speaking skills on a resume. I'm afraid I'm going to be an overworked, underpaid, unappreciated animal control officer for the rest of my life. (On the upside I'll have lots of Thoughtless Thursday material!)


Like I said, it's Thoughtless Thursday. Click around and see what others are sharing today. -- K

P.S. Craziest call of the week: I spent way too much time chasing down a pervert* who was exposing and pleasuring himself on the beach. At high tide. While families and other beachgoers were enjoying one of the last warm days of the year. Talk about ewww! Cops got him -- with the help of ACOs who called it in, provided a good description, rounded up witnesses and wrote official statements. Great job, yes, but how do you put that on a resume?!

[*Disclaimer: For legal reasons, I should say "alleged pervert." Our Constitution stipulates that he is considered innocent until a court of law proves he's a sicko bastard.]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jedi's Thinking Face

We graduated from our clicker class at the Humane Society on Saturday. Jedi worked really hard. How do I know? because this is his thinking face:

Look at that focus!

When that upper lip is tucked under his front tooth it means Jedi's brain is working overtime. It paid off too.

Look at that booty. Good job Jedi!
If you want to learn more about the class -- seriously, it was a blast! -- then check out yesterday's post here. If you want to see what others are sharing on this (mostly) Wordless Wednesday then click on the icons below. Warning: There's always a lot of fun stuff on Wednesdays and you can easily click for hours. You should probably pee first. -- K



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

And We Passed!

Jedi and I finished our class at the Jacksonville Humane Society on Saturday. The class ended with a series of obedience contests. Jedi walked away with quite the booty! He got a first place ribbon for Fastest Down, as well as second place ribbons for Fastest Sit and Most Puppy Push-Ups (sit-down-sit). Hubby got a picture of Jedi doing his push-ups (below) and yes, he's sticking his tongue out at me.

Even more exciting, Jedi got a trophy for Best New Trick! Much to my surprise he finally figured out how to pivot on the perch. It's not a pretty pivot -- honestly, his is probably the ugliest pivot in our Body Awareness and Targeting class -- but it was good enough to impress the JHS class. What a good boy!




We finished the class with an introduction to basic agility equipment. The dogs ran over dog walks and through a tunnel. They jumped over hurdles and through hoops. They wove through poles and tried out a rocker board and a pause table. Jedi was a trooper! The dog walk and rocker board didn't phase him (I was concerned they would) and he actually enjoyed the tunnel, coming through it with a giant grin on his face. Now I'm thinking "Where does a girl get a cheap agility tunnel?" and Hubby is a bit worried. Jedi did have some issues with the hurdles. Even though the were low, he knocked them down because he has a bad habit of dragging his back feet. *sigh* (But that's why we're taking the Body Awareness and Targeting class in the first place.) This JHS class was lots of fun and I've already talked to the instructor about signing up for her Canine Good Citizen (CGC) class in January.

Weave poles are tough for long dogs!
Meanwhile, we have more exciting dog training news! K-9 Obedience Club opened up a Find the Odor (nose work) class starting in November. I just happened to be online when the email came out and Jedi and I picked up one of the eight spots! I can't tell you how happy I am about this. Jedi is the nosiest dog I've even had and his sniffing can be a big pain in the butt. Maybe this way I can channel his overactive nose into something positive. Jedi's brother, Dozer, does nose work and his owner says he really likes it.

Anyway, it's been a long day. Jedi is napping and I think I'm going to join him. Then I'm going to try to get him to stand in a box -- more stuff for the Body Awareness and Targeting class. Yes, it's kooky, but we're having a blast. TTFN, -- K

Monday, October 27, 2014

Awww...Turtle


 
The days are finally getting cooler around here. (I'm not complaining!) Today I saw a Florida box turtle sunning himself and it made me smile.
 
Start your week with a smile. Click around and see other things that make you say "awww." -- K

 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Me and My Shadow

 
My beautiful boy, just happy to be out with me. No matter how bad the day is, I know I get to come home to this face -- and that always makes things a little bit better. Yep, I'm a lucky girl. 
 

It's Sepia Saturday, where it's ok to be just a little bit different. (Lucky for me!) Thanks Ruckus, Ethel and Earl for hosting this hop. Now friends, hop around and see who else is sharing today. -- K



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Painted Jedi

A few months ago I shared my desire to try out the Paint Your Own Pet class at Painting With a Twist. Unfortunately the classes were always on Sundays -- my regular workday. And getting a Sunday off is damn near impossible during beach season. Well, I finally got to go! They offered a Wednesday night class and Breeder and I jumped on it. It was so much fun.

I started with this picture:

 
 
And this is what I came up with:
 

 
So it may not look exactly like Jedi, but at least you can tell it's a German shepherd, right? Considering that I have no artistic talent whatsoever, I'm pretty happy.
 
 
OK people, Thoughtless Thursday. This is my favorite hop of the week, as you never know what people are thinking -- or not thinking -- about. I always find a giggle or two clicking among the blogs below. -- K
 
 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Winner Wednesday! (Not Very Wordless)

A few months back I had to give up my position as editor of my dog club's newsletter. I really didn't want to, but my job and health problems took up so much time that I couldn't give the newsletter the attention it deserved. (Each issue took 20 to 30 hours from start to finish.) It was bittersweet when I received this in the mail yesterday:

Jedi models the ribbon. Obviously he's not as excited as I am.
 
Our newsletter won first place in the German Shepherd Dog Club of America's newsletter competition -- for the second year in a row!

Category: monthly; Division: 26-60 members

It's Wordless Wednesday (not that you could tell by my post). Hop around and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Class is Lots of Fun

Jedi and I are now taking class twice a week. Because of the crappy weather last month, our Saturday morning classes were pushed back a few weeks. Graduation is next weekend. The instructor promises it'll be lots of fun. I have hubby coming to take pictures, so hopefully I can share next week.
 
Meanwhile, K-9 Obedience Club is offering a new Body Awareness and Targeting class on Thursdays and we were fortunate enough to get in. (There are two full classes plus a waiting list.) This class is being taught by an agility competitor -- instead of an obedience competitor -- and the atmosphere of the class is very different. Much like her border collie, the instructor is focused, animated and full of energy. Instructor believes in building confidence and giving lots a rewards -- to both canine and human students. In an hour and a half Jedi probably ate two cups of diced chicken and I had a handful of Tootsie Rolls!
 
My perfect perch!
We're doing some rear end exercises where Jedi pivots his back end with his front feet staying on a fixed marker called a perch. We've done something like this before and I always had a hard time finding the right perch. My Star Puppy instructor had us use a book. We did, but it was odd shaped and slippery, which made Jedi uncomfortable. I had another instructor who used round pavers. These were better. I liked the shape but they were low to the ground and awfully heavy to tote around. This instructor sent an email before class started and suggested using a hard plastic dog bowl. That was my eureka moment. For starters, I had one of those! I have no idea where it came from and I have almost thrown it out two or three times. I'm glad I didn't. It's perfect: it's the right height, it's lightweight yet strong enough to support Jedi, it's round, and it's portable.
 
Another thing we're doing in class is using ladders lying on the ground to help teach the dogs foot placement. I've got one of those too, so we're do this at home. Jedi's still a bit leery so we're walking across it the short way for now. Remember, it's all about confidence building! It's funny though, I put it on the ground and he'll run right up to it, tail wagging. He knows that if he walks through it he gets a treat.
 
It's ugly but it works!
Instructor also had this thing in class called a travel plank. Have you heard of this? It's just a flat board raised about 4 inches off the ground. Instructor says she's got about 20 different exercises we could do with it, but for now we're just teaching the dogs to walk across it. You wouldn't think the dogs would freak out over it -- and you would be wrong. Instructor said you can buy some fancy shmancy travel planks online ($80! I looked), or you can go the cheap route and build your own. I chose cheap. Hubby and I went to Home Depot and bought a 1' X 4' piece of shelving, a 2" X 4" post and a box of screws. Voila! We made our own travel plank for less than $10. (The shelf had a slippery finish. I lightly sanded it and stuck on those non-skid bathtub thingies. It's ugly, but it works.)
 
As you can see, we've been a bit busy. Wednesday night conformation classes started up a few weeks ago and I've been meaning to go, but . . . I've been so overwhelmed with work and the training classes we already have that I haven't been able to find a time. I hope to start back up soon though. But not this Wednesday, I have something fun going on. (I'll share later.)
 
Anyway, enough blogging! I have to get back to Jedi. We're supposed to have a special trick for graduation and it's not going as well as I would like. I'm trying to get him to do a full circle while standing on the bowl, but he seems to get hung up halfway round. *sigh* We have four days to figure this out. Wish us luck! -- K

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday's Got Your Goose

 
 
 One of the perks of my job is that I'm not tied to a desk all day. Sometimes I find interesting things while patrolling -- like geese gathered round a construction pond. Doesn't that make you say awww?
 
Start your week with a smile. Click around and see other things that make you say "awww." -- K
 
 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sepia Smile


We're still here!

Jedi and I have been very busy lately so blogging has been pushed aside. Sorry. Hopefully things will calm down soon and we'll have more time to share. Hope all is well with our blog buddies! Happy Saturday. -- K


P.S. Thanks Ruckus, Earl and Ethel for giving us a chance to say a quick hello. It's Sepia Saturday. You know the drill . . . 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stop. Please. Stop.

Today is Blog the Change for Animals. Bloggers worldwide are coming together to make a change for animals. And there are some great posts out there! Some share the efforts that are being done to make a difference for animals. Others offer tips on simple things you can do to help make a difference. I hope you take the time to read all the posts in this hop. My submission, however, is going to be a little different. I'm asking people to stop doing things. In my roles of animal control officer and active member of the animal community, I see well-meaning people do things that are actually hurting the cause.
  
  • Stop with pathetic hard luck stories. Everyday I have people tell me that they don't want get a shelter pet because they can't deal with an animal that has issues. Truth is, the big issue that most of those animals have is simply a bad previous owner. A recent study from Petfinder.com discovered that most pets are surrendered for reasons that have nothing to do with the animal. Others are in the shelter because they got lost -- without any form of ID -- and their people never found them. But if all Joe Public ever hears about shelter animals comes from that Humane Society/Sarah Mclachlan commercial, what is he suppose to think?
    Instead of "Poor Sadie spent the first years of her life living in a cold backyard and forced to have litter after litter before her heartless owners abandoned her." How about "Sadie is a 3-year old girl was a great smile. She loves car rides, belly rubs and a good game of fetch. She's looking for someone with a strong throwing arm and a bucket of tennis balls." Which dog would you rather bring home?
  • Stop assuming every animal was abused by it's previous owner. Some animals -- like some people -- are just shy and sensitive by nature. Some were just poorly socialized. Of course your pet flinches when you yell and raise your fist over your head. I would too! You're being scary and irrational. And here's the best part about dogs: they live in the now. Even if a dog was abused, he's more likely to move on if you stop dwelling on it.
  • Stop sending out the graphic pictures. No I don't "need to see them." Seriously. STOP
  • Stop with the judgmental guilt trips. Just because someone isn't doing what you're doing doesn't mean that they don't care. For example, I don't foster. I'm a horrible foster mom and have kept all three foster animals they came into my house. (I don't have room for any more.) I do, however, spend a great deal of time investigating animal cruelty/neglect complaints and educating people on animal welfare. Others may transport, or clean cages, or raise funds, or donate professional services (i.e. photography, landscaping, graphic design). We all have different talents and available free time. It's better for everyone -- especially the animals -- if you focus on what people are doing instead of what they aren't.
  • Stop asking for money. All. The. Time. A while back I donated $100 to a local spay/neuter organization. Since then I have received a letter requesting money every 4 to 6 weeks. And this 4-page letter is always accompanied by graphic photos and over-the-top sob stories. Total turn off. And I wonder: how much of my donation has been spent on soliciting more donations? To be honest, I don't even open the envelopes anymore; they go straight to the trash.
  • Stop using logical fallacies. There are ads out there that claim just one female cat and her kittens can lead to the births of over 2 million cats in eight years. Mathematically that may be possible -- if all the kittens live, if there is an equal amount of males to females, and if the same amount of kittens are born every time with the same male/female ratio and there's a food source large enough to support all these cats. But realistically we all know it's not possible. And when you use flawed logic and inaccurate statistics people call bullshit and stop listening to what you have to say.
  • Stop saying "kill shelter." Its inflammatory and does nothing to help the animals. In my city we have two main shelters: an open admissions shelter (a.k.a. "kill shelter") and a limited admissions shelter (a.k.a. "no-kill shelter"). Our "no-kill shelter" is a privately run Humane Society. Because it is limited admissions it only takes in what it wants, when it wants. And it only accepts owner surrenders, not strays. If the Humane Society feels that your animal is not adoptable or there isn't a place to put it you are sent to the City pound. The City pound is an open admissions shelter. They are mandated by law to take in every animal that is surrendered or picked up running at large. This includes the old ones, the sick ones, the mean ones, and the newborns without mothers. And the Pound has to accept these animals regardless of whether or not there is a cage to put them in. Unfortunately, not everything is adoptable. Some animals have severe health or behavioral issues. Sometimes foster parents willing to feed day-old kittens round the clock are unavailable. And sometimes cage space can't be found for a hundred extra animals. When the shelter runs out of options, animals die. The vet techs who work at the municipal shelter mourn every animal they have to euthanize. Vilifying a shelter, using acrimonious labels and calling the people that work there "Puppy Killers" doesn't help the animals at all. In fact, it turns the public against these open admission shelters which reduces their adoption rates, and in turn increases euthanasia rates. [P.S. The "no-kill" shelters do kill animals with health and behavioral issues. However, if these animals are labeled "unadoptable" then they don't count. Read the fine print.]
Animals are a very emotional issue. And animal advocates are a passionate group of people. But sometimes in our zeal we become short-sighted. Judgmental. Offish. Even . . . Fanatical. DON'T STOP CARING! But maybe step back and see how we're viewed by the rest of the world. I would hate to think that an animal missed out on a loving home because my fervor scared someone off. How about you? -- K

< -- Promise NOT to be this guy and then check out the posts below.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

#DogWalkingWeek -- OUCH!

Last week I shared on the Walk Your Dog Week Celebration Hop. I pledged to walk Jedi for at least 15 minutes every day. Did we succeed? No. We walked seven miles for charity over the course of six days -- even walking in the rain -- but on the 7th day I developed trochanteric (hip) bursitis. Again.

What is trochanteric bursitis? In layman's terms, it's inflammation of the small, jelly-like sacs, called bursae (singular: bursa), around the hip. (It can also happen in the knee, shoulder, elbow or heel.) Bursae act as cushions between bone and soft tissue. Injury or repetitive stress (aka overuse) can cause painful inflammation. All my research indicates that trochanteric bursitis is more prevalent in older, overweight, out-of-shape women (like me). My experience says it hurts like crazy! Ice, rest, anti-inflammatory meds and/or steroids help. There are also stretching exercises that can help prevent it, as well as losing weight and getting into shape.

But for now Jedi and I have put away the walking shoes. Son has been taking him for short runs and Hubby has been throwing the ball in the back yard so Jedi is still getting some exercise. I've tried to break out a few puzzle toys to work his brain some too. (A bored Jedi is a bad Jedi.) Meanwhile, I'm laid up on the couch trying not to move. No walking, no celebrating, no hopping.


This is a blog hop. Click around below and see how successful other walkers were this week. -- K

P.S. Don't worry about us, we'll be out walking again soon enough! The weather is slowly cooling down and I'm looking forward to after dinner strolls.



Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Finds #15

Look everybody. Friday Finds . . . on a Friday! And I've got some treasures for you! This week the internet has been buzzing. Things have been busy around here as well: Jedi's birthday was last week; work is all turned upside down with the sudden departure of my boss; and the weather change is so wonderful that I've tried to be outside as much as possible. It's a wonder I did any reading!

Hopping around the internet I landed on the blog of veterinarian and author, Dr. Rachele Baker. I spent quite a bit of time there, but found two of her posts particularly interesting. Take Care of You Pet's Teeth and Oral Health is probably the most compressive article I've ever read on caring for a dog's teeth. Keep Your Pet's Ears Clean is equally detailed. In fact, I think I've been doing it wrong. Both posts give names (with links) of specific products to make your teeth and ear care regimen as effective as possible.

Here's another health-related article that I enjoyed: Tips for feeding your sick dog! from K9 Instinct. Logan had a sensitive stomach, so I always kept rice and chicken broth in the house. I wish I had known about bone broth and electrolyte replacement fluids as well.

I love simple solutions. And as I get older I appreciate multi-functional things more and more. Less to store, less to buy, less clutter. When I saw Kimberly Gauthier's 3 Surprising Uses of Baking Soda for Pet Parents I got really excited.

Talk about simple-yet-amazing! Check out the video below to see 7 Simple Hacks Every Dog Owner Should Know. I'm speechless!

 
How about another contest? My Brown Newfies has one here. Jen and her big, beautiful dogs are giving away a Natural Stride sampler full of hip and joint supplements. Good luck -- though I really want to win it myself!

And finally, a post that really spoke to me. As I mentioned before, the first week of October was National Walk Your Dog Week. I tried, but I didn't do as well as I would have liked. (I'm recapping that in another post.) This morning Cascadian Nomads posted Six Tips To Make Daily Dog Walks Happen Beyond #DogWalkingWeek. This was the right message at the right time for me. So I'm cancelling the pitty party and trying again. Thanks Bethany!

It's another gorgeous day outside, so I'm cutting this short and taking Jedi for a walk. Meet me back here next week for another group of goodies. TTFN, -- K

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jedi's Got Balls

(Ha Ha, made you look!)

One of my favorite things to do is play fetch with Jedi. It's a great way to unwind after a difficult day at work. It doesn't require much thought on my part and Jedi loves its so much. In fact, if I'm on the computer too long and/or Jedi is feeling restless he will bring me a ball.

As I mentioned earlier, Jedi got a couple new balls for his birthday. First up was a large Rogz Grinz Dog Toy Ball. These come in several colors and sizes, but I opted for the large red one because it's so damn funny. (Yep, I bought the ball just so it would make me giggle. Does that make me a bad owner?)

The ball has a hole in the back to put treats in. Jedi didn't care much for that, even when I smeared some cream cheese back there. What he did like, however, was how well the ball bounces. The ball is lightweight too, so I can throw it pretty far -- and I throw like a girl! The packaging says it floats too. The part I don't like is that I can't get Jedi to hold it the right way to get a funny picture. I tried for three days and this is the best I can get:


What's with the sideways smile?

The other ball Jedi got was an 8" Jolly Pets Tug-N-Toss Ball. I had read somewhere (can't remember exactly where, sorry) that these things were great for active dogs. I couldn't wait to share it with Jedi. This one is a lot of fun, though I think I should have bought the 10". The ball is surprisingly light as well. The handle makes it easy to fling, and the handle makes the ball bounce in unpredictable directions when it lands. Jedi will run out into the yard and try to stop it with his feet. Then he'll carefully pick the ball up by the handle and bring it back. The packaging says that this ball also floats and won't go flat even when punctured. Good thing too, because Roxy kills balls.

Both these balls are a big hit with Jedi, but if I had to pick a winner it would be the Jolly Ball. Both of these are great for those times that Jedi needs to run around and I'm to tired (or sore) to run with him. In fact, I'm thinking a few doggie-friends might find a Jolly Ball under the Christmas tree this year -- if I can find a way to wrap it!


It's Thoughtless Thursday. Hop around and see what others are thinking about today! -- K

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Smile For The Camera

How NOT to hold a Grinz Ball

 



Jedi got a Grinz Ball for his birthday. I've been trying to get a picture of him holding it right side up for three days! This is as good as it gets.


It's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Monday, October 6, 2014

AWWW....Sunrise!


Going to work at 6 A.M. sucks, but a view like this makes it easier. These were taken from inside my animal control truck.
 
 
Start your week with a smile. Click around and see other things that make you say "awww." -- K
 
 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Friday Finds....on Sepia Saturday?

Guess what day it is! Nope, it's Saturday. This week's Friday Finds was pushed back a day to celebrate Jedi's birthday yesterday. Yep, that was fun. But don't worry, Roxy and I still found some fun stuff to share.

Roxy is constantly licking her paws. I always assumed it was a nervous habit, then I saw this article from Dog Tube. Say Goodbye to Itchy Paws! said her itchy paws could be from "a buildup of allergens and toxins in the environment." Oh no! Now I feel horrible! The article also said that soaking her feet in Povidone-Iodine Solution might help. I found an 8 oz. bottle of Povidone-Iodine Solution at Wal-mart for $6. I'll let you know if it helps. Meanwhile, if any of you have tried it, please let me know.

I was so sad to hear about the passing of Dr. Sophia Yin on Monday. She was definitely an inspiration to veterinarians, animal care professionals, trainers and pet owners worldwide. I've linked to her articles several times. There are dozens of moving tributes to her online. On Tuesday it was announced that Dr. Yin had hanged herself. What a tragedy. In light of this announcement Jessica Dolce posted Depression and Suicide In Animal Care Professions: What Can We Do? This is a very thought-provoking post. And it hit close to home for me. I can tell you that nearly all the animal control officers and shelter workers I know drink too much, smoke too much, and/or are on anti-depressants.

October 1-7 is National Walk Your Dog Week. Jedi and I have been trying to walk more (despite the rain) and joined the Walk Your Dog Week Celebration Hop where different pet bloggers share information, tips and photos to help inspire everybody to grab a leash and go. Click on the link to see my post and links to the hop. A few of the other posts offer a contest as well, so click away! Cesar's Way had a great dog walking tip this week. Check out How to Fit the Dog Walk into Your Daily Schedule (this is a problem in my house for sure!)

Are you feeling lucky? This week we found TWO awesome contests! Do you need a first aid for your dog? The All Things Dog Blog has five Kurgo First Aid Kits to give away here. And Keep the Tail Waggin is giving away a gorgeous Levian leather leash here. Let me know if you win!

Here's a picture that a friend posted on my Facebook page:


It's hilarious because I get sniff-searched daily. The dogs have even pulled my dirty uniforms out of the hamper to get a better sniff. I tried to explain to Jedi that Mommy has to touch other dogs to pay for his cookies, but somehow that just sounded wrong.

And since it's Sepia Saturday, I'm going to show you what it looks like when Jedi doesn't want his picture taken (which is more often than not):

 
Thanks Buddy. And thank you dear reader for muddling through my crazy, mushed up Friday Finds/Sepia Saturday combo post. Things will be back to normal next week. Promise. Until then, check out all the fun stuff that other people are sharing on this Sepia Saturday. -- K
 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Jedi Turns Two!

Today is Jedi's birthday. I can't believe my puppy is all grown up. Time goes by so fast! It seems like I was just writing about Jedi's first birthday, and here we are celebrating his second. Jedi really couldn't care less about birthdays, but I wanted to do something special.

Jedi's new collar.
Jedi got a few birthday presents, of course. (Not that I need a reason to buy dog toys!) I got him a large Grinz Ball because I thought it would be hilarious to see in his mouth. He got a Jolly Ball because I heard they were fabulous (my reviews here). I also got him a new Star Wars collar. The other one was faded and had an all Empire design; this one is brighter and has the Rebel Alliance on it too. Who knows, maybe changing Jedi's collar will help quell those Dark Side tendencies. (I know, and maybe Greedo really did shoot first . . . pffft.)

And what's a birthday party without a cake? I considered buying one (we have some nice doggie bakeries in town) but changed my mind and made it myself. Unlike my children, Jedi doesn't care if his birthday cake is ugly and lopsided. I tried a different recipe from last year.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup (about 1 1/3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 jar of strained beef baby food
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (a 2.5 oz. package) real bacon bits
  • Whipped cream cheese spread for frosting
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, oil, baby food and eggs.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then stir in the bacon bits. Batter will be the consistency of cookie dough.
  5. Pour into a greased and floured 8"X8" baking pan. (I used a 7"X10" bone-shaped silicone mold, so no flouring.)
  6. Bake approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly poked.
  7. When cooled, frost with cream cheese.
Jedi and Roxy both liked the cake. It had a strong meaty/biscuit flavor. (Yes I tried it!) NOTE: Since there are no preservatives the cake should be consumed quickly. Don't be stingy, it's a party!

Look, here's a picture of the birthday boy. Do you think he's having a good time? (Regular readers know Jedi hates wearing hats, so this picture is pretty amazing.)


Happy Birthday Jedi!

Finally, music for the festivities. I'd like to close with a stoooopid -- but funny -- video from MTV called "It's My Dog's Birthday." (Apparently this is a parody of an offensive, profanity-ridden song not worth listening to.)


Thanks for celebrating us. Now for Jedi's real presents -- extra play time and belly rubs! Catch you later. -- K


P.S. We're linking up with Rascal and Rocco and joining today's pet parade. It's a virtual party! Click around and see who else is here today.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

E-I-E-I-ACO

As an animal control officer I am suppose to only deal with domesticated dogs and cats. That being said, I've handled all kinds of animals -- and they always come with a story.

This one was NOT plastic
In my last work stories post I told you about the plastic alligator. That's how most of my wildlife calls are: part ignorance, part exaggeration, part paranoia (remember, everything is rabid). So when I got a report of an alligator in the retention pond on Sarah Circle -- again -- I didn't believe it. I'd received the same call three or four times a year for the past six years. However, true or not, I have to check out every call. I went to the retention pond and didn't see anything. I walked around the bank and half-heartedly looked for tracks. Nothing. I heard a splash from the storm drain three feet to my left. Instead of the turtle I expected, I saw a snout. A gator snout at least five inches wide! I peed my pants, screamed like a girl and ran back to my truck. I was able to snap a picture -- from a distance of course. I would guess the gator was at least six feet long. I don't have the tools or training (or guts!) to handle gators over three feet, so I called FWC (the Florida Wildlife Commission) to arrange a trapper. Unfortunately the gator was gone before the trapper came out. To this day I have no idea where it went.

I spent two weeks looking for a raccoon with a peanut butter jar stuck on it's head. It was spotted around 7th Street a dozen times, yet I never found it. I never found a raccoon skeleton stuck in a peanut butter jar either, so I'm hoping for the best.

Me and the horse -- of course, of course
A few years back the police station got a call about a woman on horseback "riding while impaired." (I'm not making this up. Honest!) The police detained the woman and called me to impound the horse. I'm a city girl and know nothing about horses. My partner, on the other hand, had a degree in Equine Science -- my partner who wouldn't answer her stupid phone! I called her 15 times in 15 minutes. Nada. Meanwhile, we were drawing a crowd and the officer told me to "get that horse outta here." I had a large enclosure next to my kennel a mile away. I hadn't been on a horse in 20+ years, so I thought it prudent to walk the horse to our destination. Unfortunately for me, there was a lot of clover in that one mile stretch, and Horsey loved clover. Now, when a 1000+ pound animal with great big teeth wants to stop and eat clover alongside the road . . . you stop and wait while it eats clover alongside the road. It took an hour to walk that one mile. I had a rookie cop following me in my truck, filming me and calling with snarky comments the entire way. And since our route took us through several housing developments, spectators were everywhere. I had my picture taken so many times I felt like Angelina Jolie on the red carpet. I think I may have muttered "DOG catcher my ass!" a few times as well. The kicker: Partner showed up 20 minutes after we got to the kennel and said "Why didn't you just ride it here? I would have." I called her some dirty names. To make it up to me she took me horseback riding the following year, and here's a picture to prove it.

I'm not that familiar with chickens either, so when we got a call from the nursing home about a rebellious rooster, I knew it wasn't going to end well. The complaint was that the rooster was disturbing the elderly residents, pooping on the porch and pretty much fouling up the whole place. (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.) The nursing home was next door to the American Legion with a four foot fence in between them. Partner and I showed up with a pair of nets. The cock -- and I mean that in every sense of the word -- would taunt us and every time we'd get close he'd hop over the fence. The out of shape, uncoordinated animal control officers, however, would have to go around the fence, 50 feet in both directions. We must have walked around that fence 100 times. I swear that bird was laughing at us! This went on for 45 minutes, mainly because we had an audience and didn't want to admit to the public that we were getting our butts kicked by an 8 pound chicken. We were eventually saved by a dog running-at-large call. Thankfully the bystanders were laughing too hard to film us. I'd hate to see myself on YouTube under the heading "Animal Control Outsmarted by Rooster."

The goat incident wasn't quite as embarrassing. Yes, I said goat. A man called the office stating that a pair of goats were running amok at his mother's house. When I arrived he was there along with several neighbors, all of them expecting this city girl to wrangle those wayward goats. No pressure. Fortunately the property was surrounded by a four foot chain link fence, and I was able to close the gate to keep them from running in the street. Unfortunately it was the largest yard on the block, and those goats wanted nothing to do with me. That day I discovered that goats are surprisingly fast. After chasing them around (and around and around) the house for way too long, I decided to call in reinforcements. The ACOs from neighboring beach cities said they were happy to help, though I suspect they really just wanted to see the goats. We were able to separate and corner the animals and get slip leads on them. One of the ACOs handed her phone to a bystander and asked him to take a picture to prove that we really did have goats at the beach.

I worked with many wild animals at the county shelter. One time we had an injured turkey vulture. We were concerned because it was going to take a couple days for the wildlife rehabber to come get the bird, and the bird didn't look good. Even worse, we couldn't get the bird to eat. We offered it warmed canned cat food but the vulture wanted nothing to do with it. It didn't want raw hamburger either. We were afraid that the vulture wouldn't make it to the rehabber. Then one of the field officers radioed in, saying he was on his way back to the shelter. He had a cat that was hit by a car and it was still warm. We waited with bated breath as he threw the dead cat into the bird's enclosure. And we actually cheered when the vulture tore into the carcass. The vulture was going to be OK! I have never been so happy to see road kill.

I went in one day to find a giant pig in one of the holding pens. (The night officers were always leaving strange things for me. Ask me about the peacock sometime.) Someone told me the pig was a "piney wood rooter." I have no idea what that is, but I do know that it was one big boar! The top of the his head was waist high and he looked like a 55 gallon barrel with legs. The pig was neutered (I know!) and good-natured, so our rescue coordinator wanted to find a petting zoo to take him. That ended up taking three months. Meanwhile, the pig's room and board was my responsibility. Twice a day I would have to go into the pen to feed/water, scoop poop, hose things down and scrub out the kiddie pool which he thought was a fancy toilet. Lucky for me, he was a friendly pig -- maybe too friendly. He would lean into me and rub against my leg like a dog, squealing and grunting while I scratched his back. He would really get into it though, often pinning me against the fence and cutting my leg with his tusks. It was scary and he was too heavy to push away. He would also block the gate so I couldn't leave. Wilber just didn't understand my feelings against inter-species dating. I had to find a way to let him down easy. By chance I learned that he loved grapes more than he loved me. I would throw handfuls of grapes into the far corner to buy myself enough time to clean the pen and clear the gate. I probably spent $100 in grapes that spring, but it was better than becoming the Bride of Franken Swine.

Yeah, sometimes my job is just. plain. weird. As I write about it I realize just how much shit -- literal and figurative -- I put up with on a regular basis. And then I realize . . . I'm grossly underpaid. Maybe that Crazy Cat Lady was right and there really is something wrong with me! -- K


P.S. It's Thoughtless Thursday, why not hop around and see what other weird things people are thinking about today?