Monday, March 28, 2016

Awww...Better?

Jedi was feeling bad this weekend. He was fine at the Easter egg hunt, but that night he became whiny and clingy. Even worse, he kept us up all night -- both nights. So this morning I took him to the vet first thing.

I described the symptoms to Dr. Hansen who promptly gave Jedi the finger. Yep, right up the poop chute. Jedi was not happy. (Long story short: he has an enlarged prostate. We have medication for it and he should be fine soon.) Jedi was a good boy during the exam. To make up for the violation he endured, I took him to his favorite place for a plain junior cheeseburger and a large water, no ice. Suddenly, everything was better. Aren't dogs great?




It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers get together and share things that make you say "Awww" and start your week with a smile. Thanks Sandee over at Comedy Plus for hosting this. Hop around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Silly Easter

This year Jedi, Hubby and I went across the St. Johns river to visit the Easter Bunny while simultaneously supporting homeless animals. Friends of Clay County Animals is a non-profit organization that supports the Clay County Animal Shelter. "Through fundraising and public education, FOCCA is able to assist with medical care, enrich the shelter environment, promote adoptions, and reduce euthanasia." One of their major fundraisers the annual Doggone Easter Egg Hunt. There's a park next to the Orange Park City Hall where hundreds of treat-filled plastic Easter eggs were poorly hidden. At 12:30 dogs and owners were released into the park to gather eggs with one rule: an egg could only be picked up if a dog touched it with his nose. Dogs and people had a blast, despite the ugly weather. Hubby took pictures.

We waited patiently for the signal. BTW, that's Jedi's mother next to us.

It took a few minutes for the dogs to get into it. See all the missed eggs?

Jedi "found" quite a few, earning his Official Easter Egg Hunter bandanna.

Jessica over at Beagles and Bargains has a fun post on how to make your own doggie Easter egg hunt. Check it out! And if anybody gives you grief (i.e. non-dog friends) tell them that it's a "holiday themed enrichment exercise tapping into the dog's primal instincts, specifically his prey drive and sense of smell." Let them argue with that!

Hope you're enjoying the holiday with friends and family. I'm working. *sigh* I always work Sundays, and there's been a few reports of giant rabbits hopping at large, so . . . lol. Later, -- K

Florida's Pet Lemon Laws

Last July I took over the presidency of my German Shepherd Dog Club. It's more challenging than I had imagined. One of the things I try to do to increase attendance is have something fun and educational at every meeting. I want to give people a reason to come out on the second Tuesday of the month. If someone can get everything by reading the minutes in the newsletter, then why bother coming out, right?

I've learned that guest speakers are always a big draw. I've also learned that they're also harder to get than you'd think! We tried to get a holistic vet to come speak at a meeting for three months and they either bailed out last minute or didn't bother to return calls. So I had to come up with something last minute. (NOTE: I don't like last minute changes!) After a small tantrum I put on my animal control officer hat, updated an old blog post and did a presentation on Florida's Pet Lemon Laws. It turned out to be really nice (surprise!) so I thought I'd share with my online friends.

Florida has one of the better Pet Lemon Laws in the U.S. However, it Doesn't protect you if you don't know about it. You can (and should) the read the exact verbiage of Florida State Statute 828.29 but I'll point out the basics here.


The ordinance specifies a minimum age

State ordinance says that no one may transport into the state, or sell from within the state, any cat or dog less than 8 weeks old.

TIP: If someone is offering to sell you a 6 week old puppy – it’s illegal! Don’t take it.

We all agree that babies are cute. However, it's important for puppies and kittens to stay with their mothers until at least 8 weeks for health and developmental reasons.


Health certificates are required in most cases

State ordinance specifies that all animals sold must have a certificate of veterinary inspection signed a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of the sale. Among other things, the certificate verifies that all vaccines have been administered and the veterinarian warrants that to the best of his/her knowledge the animal has no sign of contagious or infectious diseases and has no evidence or internal or external parasites.

Required vaccines and tests for dogs are: canine distemper, leptospirosis, bordetella, parainfluenza, hepatitis, canine parvovirus, rabies (if over 3 months), roundworms, and hookworms.

TIP: If someone is offering to sell you a puppy or kitten, ask for the health certificate. It’s required! If there isn't one, look elsewhere.

It's important that you know your local ordinances as well. Local ordinances can be stricter than State ordinances. This is the case with people who live in Jacksonville (my city). Jacksonville ordinances state that "The owner of any cat or dog that is sold or exchanged for valuable consideration between private parties or is required to provide" a health certificate "at the time they are offered . . . These certificates must be presented to any animal control officer upon demand for a review."

It also states that "All unsterilized dogs and cats that are given away or exchanged at an arm's length transaction must also have current" health certificates.


New owners have responsibilities

Buyers have 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to have their new pets examined by a veterinarian.

TIP: Line-up a veterinarian before you bring home your pet. As soon as you get it home, take it to the vet! Why? Because you may have legal recourses should something go wrong.


Buyers have legal recourses

If within 14 days of the sale of the animal a licensed veterinarian of the buyer's choosing certifies that at the time of sale the animal:
  1. Was unfit for purchase due to illness or disease,
  2. Had the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease, or
  3. Had the presence of internal or external parasites (excluding fleas and ticks).
OR

If within one year following the sale of the animal the veterinarian certifies the animal:
  1. To be unfit due to a congenital or hereditary disorder that adversely affects the health of the animal, or
  2. The breed, sex, or health of the animal is found to have been misrepresented to the consumer.
The buyer may:
  • Return the animal for a full refund of sales price (including sales tax) plus reimbursement for veterinary fees to examine and certify the cat or dog as unfit, and the cost of emergency services to relieve suffering. (The statue says reasonable costs, but doesn't specify what is reasonable.)
  • Exchange the animal for a dog or cat of equal value. The consumer can also have certain veterinary costs reimbursed including examination and unfit certification fees as well as the cost of emergency services to relieve suffering (limited to a maximum equal to the cost of the cat or dog).
  • Keep the animal and have vet costs reimbursed for treatment to attempt to cure the animal (up to the original purchase price of the animal).

TIP: Remember, you're out of luck if you don't have a health certificate and/or failed to take the animals to the vet right after purchase.


There are conditions and restrictions
  • Unless specified in local ordinance (i.e. Jacksonville), the health certificate requirements don't apply to “free to a good home” animals, so caveat emptor!
  • An animal may not be declared unfit "on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted after the consumer takes possession of the animal."
  • If a veterinarian deems the animal unfit, the buyer must notify the seller within two days of the veterinary determination, and then written documentation stating the animal is unfit for sale must be provided to the seller within three business days.
  • The seller can require the buyer to take the animal to a veterinarian of the seller's choice for a second opinion. (Seller pays for the examination.)
  • The seller can specify in writing the presence of specific congenital or hereditary disorders. In that case the buyer has no right to a refund or exchange for those specific conditions.
  • County and City operated animal control agencies, as well as registered nonprofit humane organizations, are exempt from these provisions.

Drawbacks 

The ordinance can be difficult to enforce. It's easier for local animal control agencies when a municipal ordinance piggybacks the State ordinance, specifying "if [blank] occurs, then the penalties are . . ."
Unresolved disputes between buyers and sellers are settled in civil court (AKA small claims court). Civil court is not criminal court and can be slow and frustrating.

How to protect yourself
  • Know the State and local ordinances
  • Demand a health certificate
  • Take your new pet to a veterinarian right away
  • Read your contract -- whether you're getting your new pet from a breeder, shelter, rescue or pet store

TIP: A good breeder will have these provisions written into your contract. (Mine did!) If they're not in your contract, ask to have them added -- though you're protected under the law whether the provisions are in the contract or not.


I hope you feel a little more informed. If you don't live in Florida, it would behoove you to check out your own state and local ordinances to see what kind of protections are available to you. You never know when you might need them. -- K

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Show Dog

Wow, it's been a while since I did a book review. I haven't been reading much. Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred was sitting on my Amazon wish list for months. I wasn't ready to pay $25 for it, so I was hoping it would come out in paperback. When I found it used for $5 I pounced! But then it sat on my "to be read" pile for another six months.

It's an interesting book, but a bit slow. It took me months (and months) to finish it. I would read it for a few days, then put it down for weeks before picking it up again. I finally finished it last weekend.

This is a true story. It follows Jack, an Australian shepherd. Jack is owned by a first time dog show person. (Like me!) Jack's owner, Kimberly, is a regular middle class woman with regular middle class responsibilities -- work, kids, etc. (Also like me.) Kimberly hires a professional handler to show Jack. (Not like me.) The author follows Jack's dog show career for over a year. When the story began the author didn't know how it was going to end, nor did he know anything about the dog show world. He does a nice job weaving in history and terminology throughout the story so even a layperson can follow along. If you're interested in dog shows you may find it worth reading -- especially if you can find it on the sale table.

My personal feeling when I finished the book: depressed. After reading all that Kimberly, her breeder and her handlers did to train and show Jack, I felt vastly inadequate. German shepherds are at least as competitive as Australian shepherds; maybe even more so. It doesn't help that my dog club has joined up with an all breed club and we're putting on five shows in three days next month -- and I didn't enter Jedi. I know that neither of us are properly conditioned for all that running, and as president I felt that I'd serve the Club better from behind the scenes. Still, sigh.

To be honest, Jedi's show career is probably over. I can't see putting him back in the ring. He doesn't seem to like it and my inexperienced handling skills allowed too many bad habits to develop. Looking back, there are so many things I could have or should have done earlier. And to rub salt in my wounds, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins again next week. I'm not participating this year, but last year I did a great series on Dog Shows for the Novice Fancier. I feel a little hypocritical now.

Want to know a secret? Don't tell Jedi, but I've been seriously thinking about getting another show puppy and trying again. Not right away; probably in a year or two. We have too much going on right now. But I am tucking away money and looking at breeders. Maybe I can find a kickass mentor in the interim. Lord knows I need help! For now Jedi and I are going to do nosework and anything else that tickles our fancy. OK, pity party is over. Yes, I'm still disappointed, but I have to get ready for nosework class. We have a trial in two weeks! TTFN, -- K

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happy Puppy Day

It's National Puppy Day! Did you even know that was a thing? In honor of the holiday I'm sharing pictures of Baby Jedi. Seriously, what's cuter than a German shepherd puppy? For me, not much.


I can almost hear you squealing "So freaking cute!"


Three and a half years later my gorgeous, goofy, loving, loyal companion looks like this:


I love him even more today than I did back then. He's grown into a great dog.


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


Monday, March 21, 2016

The Jedi Mobile

I told you about my new (to me) car a few months ago. Hubby has been calling it "The Jedi Mobile" since we got it. (To be fair, I did buy it with dog shows in mind.) Well, he officially christened it with a custom-designed tag. And if that isn't enough, he also got a license plate frame for the back too. Before you know it I'll be part of the crazy dog car club where you can't see the car color through the copious dog-themed bumper stickers . . . Uh, maybe not. Just trust me when I say it's kinda creepy. I don't know if I'm ready to take that leap yet.


That being said, we're taking the the Jedi Mobile to Ocala in a couple weeks for a UKC nosework event! I sent the entry form in on Friday. I'm excited. And a tad bit nervous. Right now it looks like Jedi and I are going solo. Yikes! Hubby's band has a gig (yep, dog girl married a drummer) and right now it looks like none of my friends can get away. Sooo . . . anyone want to go to Ocala? -- K

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patty Silliness

I don't drink beer -- green or otherwise. However, we usually have a little St. Patrick's Day silliness around here. For example, today's photo. Jedi and I were early for nosework class, so I thought I'd take a few pictures while waiting. Facebook jazzed them up a bit. I think this one turned out pretty nice:

 
Here's Drogo's picture from last year. This is the picture that spawned his Fashion Dragon humiliation awesome web page.
 
 
And finally, there's this:
 
The joke: What's Irish and sits on your lawn? Paddy O'Furniture!
I sent this picture to my husband via Facebook. The reason why is super funny. Or pathetic, depending on your sense of humor (or lack thereof). I've been telling Hubby the same joke on March 17th since 1988. He doesn't think it's funny -- which, of course, makes it hilarious! It's gotten to the point that I don't even need to say the joke, just the punchline will do. I've had to get creative over the past 20 years because he'll go out of his way to avoid hearing the joke. Silly husband. Hope you're enjoying the holiday. Later, -- K

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Was Here

Jedi and I took advantage of the spring weather we had last week. (It was short lived. The weatherman says record highs in the 90s today.) While out, I took pictures of my favorite subject. Isn't he handsome?!


It's Wordless Wednesday, so I'm not going to drone on and on about how much I love this dog. Lucky you! Just know that I could (and often do).


This is a hop. Click around below and see what others are sharing today. Then go outside and enjoy the weather. Don't forget to take your dog! -- K


Monday, March 14, 2016

Another Lesson from the Dog

Hubby saw this on Facebook and tagged me. Sometimes I need a reminder.


There's a lot going on in my brain these days: taxes (we owe), car repairs, work, the logistics of a cross country trip for a family wedding, Dog Club President stuff, dog training, upcoming nosework trials, bills, and all the crap involved with being a grown-up. And this daylight savings time thing always throws me off. Grrr. But remembering the not-so-subtle hint from Hubby, I took a page from Jedi's play book yesterday.

I work on Sundays. Getting up an hour early is harder and harder every year. My body said it was 4 AM when I rolled out of bed yesterday morning. However, being at work early gave me the chance to see the sun rise over the ocean. I asked myself "What would Jedi do?" Then I just enjoyed the moment. Unlike Jedi, however, I refrained from peeing on something. (Jedi would have peed on everything.)


I was exhausted when I got home. I took another cue from Jedi and enjoyed a short nap.


And finally, according to Jedi (my trash hound) food doesn't have to be a chore to be enjoyable. I really didn't feel like cooking. Dinner was a five-minute dig through the fridge. We had cheese and crackers, hummus with peppers and carrots, pimento stuffed olives and big, juicy grapes. All this was washed down with a cold sparkling moscato. Hubby and I grazed while singing along  with a Mel Brooks movie. (Tight tights.) Not only was dinner tasty and enjoyable, clean-up was a cinch.

  

It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers try to bring a little happiness to the beginning of your week, although this may be more of an "Ahhh" than an "Awww." Either way, take a lesson from the dog and relax a little. While you're at it, hop around below and see what others are sharing today. Thanks to Sandee for hosting this every week. TTFN, -- K

P.S. I just remembered that there's more moscato in the fridge. Oh happy day!


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ft. Caroline -- Again

Jedi and I visited Fort Caroline for the first time back in October when we participated in the Bark for Life cancer walk. We loved it so much that I've been trying to get the dog club check it out ever since. Well, today that happened! It was a gorgeous spring day. A group of us packed a picnic lunch, a park ranger gave us a talk on the fort's history and then we wandered around like tourists, enjoying a beautiful historical monument in our own back yard. Did I mention the park is free?!


Part of the Bark for Life festivities included the dogs earning their official Bark Ranger badges. They even posted the dogs' pictures at the park!


Here's Tala walking past the gates of the fort.


Here Jedi and I are standing on top of the wall. Fort Caroline was settled by the French, so I couldn't resist the taunt: "Your mother was hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." (That's Monty Python for you "normal" people.)


And here's Jedi standing on top of a cannon with the St. John's River in the background. (Hubby thinks this pose may be frowned upon by park officials. Sorry!) We ended the day with a picnic lunch and a lot of laughs. It was a great day. -- K

Friday, March 11, 2016

Jedi's Tummy Troubles

I haven't found any formula that work as
well as the original -- skip the knockoffs!
Today I'm talking shit -- literally!

Jedi had an upset stomach last weekend, causing some pretty ugly accidents on my carpet. Thank goodness for Nature's Miracle! Except for the diarrhea, he seemed healthy and normal. Had he been bloated, lethargic or otherwise uncomfortable I would've taken him to the vet right away. However, this isn't my first poop rodeo, so I thought I'd see if we could cure it at home first.

Use100% pumpkin, not the
pumpkin pie filling.
The first thing we tried was canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is an interesting little vegetable as it helps with both diarrhea and constipation. However, it didn't help this time. Jedi ate around the pumpkin and crapped behind the couch.

We then moved on to the broth and rice regimen. Logan had a sensitive stomach so I learned to keep cooked rice in the freezer and chicken broth in the pantry. With Logan, we would skip the first meal after he threw up, and the next three would be white rice and chicken broth. By the third day he was always good to go. Unfortunately, Logan's remedy didn't quite work for Jedi. I found this rice water/chicken and rice combo and it did the trick.

Here's the recipe for a happy tummy:
LOVE the calrose rice! It's
sticky and flavorful.
  • 2 cups regular white rice (not par boiled like Minute Rice)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4-6 jars strained chicken baby food
Put rice and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the water is white, resembling skim milk.
In a separate pot, boil chicken until well done.

Once cooled, strain rice from water. SAVE BOTH. Put rice water in clean container. Put half of the rice in a large bowl. Freeze the other half for another time. Note: you've boil the hell out of the rice and it doesn't have much flavor at this point. I label it "dog rice" and use it for upset tummy at a later time.

Once cooled, shred the chicken and combine with the reserved rice. You may want to add a little of the rice water to ensure the mixture is moist. Save the water the chicken was boiled in. I like to freeze it into cubes for summer treats.

DAY 1: Every few hours offer about 2 cups of rice water with a jar of baby food stirred in. Very important: make sure your dog has access to fresh water all day.

DAY 2: The first meal of the day is about 2 cups of rice water with a heaping cup of the chicken and rice mixture stirred in. Second meal is 2 cups chicken and rice.

DAY 3: Both meals are half regular food and half chicken and rice. If all goes well, return to normal diet the following day. Freeze any leftovers for next time.

I'm happy to report that Jedi's tummy is back to normal, no shit! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) -- K

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Julie the Wonder Dog

This is not my picture. The picture belongs to my friend Maryann. It's a beautiful tribute to her dog, Julie. Julie passed away last week, breaking the heart of everyone who ever knew her.


Julie was the smartest dog I've ever known. There is nothing that dog couldn't do. She had titles in obedience, rally, herding, tracking, agility and lure coursing. She pulled carts (drafting), fostered homeless pets, tended horses and visited veterans as a certified therapy dog. Julie was a once in a lifetime dog -- if you're lucky.

Understandably, Maryann is grieving right now. And none of us can find the right words to express our sorrow. Good thing it's Wordless Wednesday. Sorry to be such a bummer today. Click around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Monday, March 7, 2016

Awww...Jedi's Thinking Face

True story: Jedi can't think with his mouth open! It's funny. He'll be calm and relaxed, looking something like this:

Resting face

Then we'll ask him "Where's your ball?" or say a word he recognizes like "squirrel." He'll immediately close his mouth and give us his thinking face.

Thinking face

Once Jedi has processed what was said he'll usually return to his happy self. If certain high value words like "Outside" and "Cookie" are said, his ears will stand straight up and he'll jump to his feet -- sometimes knocking me over in the process. Those words are usually s-p-e-l-l-e-d.

Resting face -- again

However, If we say something that Jedi finds unpleasant like "Bad trash" or "Clean your ears" we're more likely to get a response like this:

Classic avoidance "I don't want to" face

Try this at home! See if your dog has a thinking face too. I don't normally advocate animal experimentation, but this is harmless fun. It may even help you better understand your dog. Think of it as inter-species communication development. Make sure you have handful of yummy treats when doing this -- you want your dog to has fun too.

It's Awww...Monday. Sandee from Comedy Plus hosts this weekly hop so that we can help you start your week with a smile. Did Jedi make you smile? I hope so. Click around below and see who else can elicit a grin today. -- K


P.S. I want to give a big Thank You to Tracy from Furrie Fotographie for the pictures. These are just a couple she snapped while we were chatting. Check out her website to see the gorgeous pictures she takes when she's actually trying.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jedi's Nose News

I had mentioned in January that Jedi and I started a new nosework class. We just finished that one and rolled into the next class. I thought I'd what we've been doing.

Four dogs and MINE is the one posing for the camera!
First of all, the class is all German shepherds which IMHO is pretty freaking awesome!

Jedi is the oldest dog, and has done some nosework before under the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). This class uses United Kennel Club (UKC) rules. The rules are similar, but not exactly the same. Switching gears has been a bit challenging. 

NACSW says that each dog has their own tell when they find the odor. Our job was to learn to read the dog. At trial the handler calls alert and the judge says yes or no; the handler doesn't have to explain how they know. 

UKC, however, requires the handler to state the dog's indicated response is beforehand. Therefore, we're training the dogs to have a predictable, reliable tell. Jedi's previous tell -- pawing -- is frowned upon by the UKC. At higher levels it can lead to point deducting "faults." Instead, we're teaching him to lie down for a low hide and to sit for a high hide. 

This class started off with dogs searching funny looking boxes. These are 18" cubes with 6" holes in two sides. I have a cardboard practice box, but we use metal and wooden ones in class.

In this class dogs are learning the target odors backwards from the other class. Currently the dogs are finding all five of the odors together. As we progress, dogs will be taught to find the individual odors separately.

Another thing we're doing that NACSW doesn’t do is teach our dogs owner discrimination. It's similar to something you'll see in higher levels at obedience trials. I have glove that has been touched by nobody but me. This glove is hidden in a box and Jedi has to find it. Right now we're only working with two boxes -- an empty one and a gloved-filled one. The ultimate goal is to have 12 boxes, each containing a glove that has been handled by someone, and Jedi has to find my glove. Pretty exciting, hunh?

But the most exciting news came at last class. I've known for months that the Nosework & Rally Club of North Florida was hosting a UKC nosework trial in April. In fact, I was really bummed when we bombed the ORTs last January. UKC accepts NACSW scent discrimination pre-tests and I had wanted to participate in the April trials. What I didn't realize is that UKC allows these tests  -- called pre-trials -- to be held in conjunction with the trial. (With NACSW they are two separate events.) And since I registered Jedi with the UKC two months ago, he's eligible to take the pre-trials in April! The instructor was as thrilled as I was. In fact, she rearranged the lesson plan so that Jedi and I could get in some pre-trial practice.

So with that, I need to cut this short and break out the boxes and birch oil. Wish us luck. Lord know we could use some. -- K
  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Brothers!

We met up with Jedi's brother at the German Shepherd Dog Walk last weekend. A friend took this picture of the two of them together. Aren't they gorgeous?!

Me and Jedi on the left, Dozer and his mom on the right.

BP_Wordless_wed_Hop_Logo_2014

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