Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beach Day Part 2

Above: Jedi loves to dig
Right: Hubby and Roxy take a stroll
Below: Group shot followed by more dogs
Three weeks ago the German Shepherd Dog Club got together for a beach day. At the time I promised to shake down my friend for pictures. It's taken longer than I had wanted but . . . voila! By the way, hundreds of gorgeous pictures were taken but I'm intentionally avoiding those where you can recognize faces. I don't like to post pictures of people without their express permission -- you never know who's in the Witness Protection Program these days. -- K

Jedi's First Easter

The day before Easter we took a trip to the north side. Jedi visited his mother, brothers, sister and all their human families. The humans laughed, drank wine and dyed eggs while the dogs played until they passed out. 24 hours later Jedi is still tired.
Today I put bunny ears on Jedi. I thought it would make a cute picture. Jedi disagreed.
He pouted . . .
then he flopped on the ground . . .
and when all else failed, he tried to eat the bunny ears.
These are the best pictures I could get. They are not nearly as cute as I had wanted. I think Jedi was right on this one! All in all, Jedi is not impressed with Easter. I hope you're enjoying the holiday more than he is. -- K

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I'm One of "Those" People

True story: I finally joined the 21st century and bought a smart phone. I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 (and yes, it's awesome). Since both my phone and Blogspot are Google based, the phone automatically imported all the pictures from my blog. I was showing my friend (an iPhone owner -- blech) my pictures when she asked "Do you have any pictures of your kids?" AND I DIDN'T! I'm afraid I have become one of "those" people. So, I'll try to take a few pictures of the boys, but until then -- look what I can do with my phone! -- K

Top left: Jedi and Roxy chilling in the grass.
Bottom left: Jedi at the dog park.
Bottom right: Roxy on patrol -- cats and squirrels hide in fear.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Out Damned Spot

The only spot Jedi wants is the black one on his tongue.
The picture was taken at the Atlantic Beach Dog Park.
Good news! We went to the vet today to check Jedi's demodex spot. A skin scraping revealed no live mites, only skeletons. The ivermectin treatment is working! We're going to continue with the medication for another 10 days and then return for a second scraping in 30 days. When we get two negative scrapings we can consider the demodex gone. Whoopie! The vet also increased Jedi's medicine. The dosage is based on weight and Jedi is now 61 pounds -- nine pounds heavier than he was a month ago. Believe it or not, he still looks skinny!

I'm glad that Jedi is doing well. However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed about not showing him next month. I've waited 35 years for this and I don't want to wait any longer. (I've mentioned previously that patience is not one of my strong points.) Even though we won't be running around the ring, Jedi is still going to the show next month. My Dog Club's President suggested I bring him anyway so that he can experience the atmosphere of the show. She said that the sounds, smells and excitement of a dog show can be overwhelming and this will be good practice for him. Madam President is one of the most knowledgeable dog show people I know, so if she says "You should do this . . ." I'm gonna do it! Last week we bought Jedi a bigger crate (he just keeps growing!) and plan on taking him to Elkton with us. The show is a week from tomorrow. I'm so excited! I will post details and lots of pictures.

The weather has finally cleared up! It's been cold and wet for the last week and the dogs have been cooped up too long. Jedi is bored and driving everybody crazy. Jedi and I are going to take a walk. He needs more leash training and I need less junk in the trunk, so this should be good for us both. Catch you later. -- K

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bark Box

This is just an example. Truth is, we have no idea
 what's in the box. OMG the suspense is killing me!
OK, I did it. I broke down and ordered a Bark Box. I've been wanting a Bark Box since before Jedi was born and today I finally ordered one. I will tell you all about it when it gets here.

I don't remember where I first saw Bark Boxes advertised, probably in some magazine. It looked neat, but I'm a skeptic when it comes to ordering stuff online. I've been disappointed by false advertising before! However, I signed up for the free newsletter and have been pleasantly surprised. It's full of interesting info, not just "buy our cool boxes" blurbs like I had imagined. The latest newsletter had 33 DIY Dog Toys from Things Around the House. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not crafty. (This is particularly depressing because the rest of my family is!) So when I see simple, creative ideas I can become giddy. I am sooooo going to try some of those. I think we'll start with the muffin tin puzzle.

Anyway, several months ago I saw that Penny over at Dog Paddling just loved her Bark Boxes. She had been getting Bark Boxes for six months and loved every one of them. Then I got a coupon. I'm a sucker for coupons. THEN I saw that 10% of the profits go to shelters and rescues. I'm a sucker for shelter animals. I was convinced. So now Jedi and I are (im)patiently waiting for our first Bark Box to get here. I have no idea what's inside -- it's a surprise. I'm not good with surprises. I'm not a patient person either. (So why did I order one?! Because I want one!) Thanks for sharing my lunacy enthusiasm. You can now return to your normal lives. -- K

UPDATE: Bark Box sent me the following in an email: 

Thanks so much for signing up for Bark Box, we’re so excited to have you on board! Here are a few things you might be wondering:

1. We ship out awesome Bark Boxes once per month on the 15th of each month.

2. If you signed up after the 10th of the month, your first Bark Box will arrive next month. 

I guess we're waiting another few weeks. sigh.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Long Time No See

Hi! Bet you thought I'd forgotten about you, hunh? Truth is, my computer caught a virus, and I have been without one for over a week! It's been tough. To keep busy I've cleaned the house, watched several movies (nothing worth mentioning, sorry), ordered a bunch of stuff from the Jeffers Pet catalog and spent lots of time playing with Jedi. He fetches really well now, and manages to catch the ball two out of every three times. Don't laugh, eye-mouth coordination takes practice! Speaking of practice . . . No, we haven't been practicing our loose-lead walking like we should -- and it's coming back to haunt me. At 5 months and 55 pounds, Jedi can pull pretty hard now! Guess I'd better get on that. He's only going to get bigger and stronger.

Good news: while the computer was down the brain was still working, so I'll try to get some interesting posts up soon. There are a few things brewing on the personal front too, but I don't want to share just yet. I'm afraid I'll jinx it. (Who knew I was so superstitious?) Stay tuned, there's more to come! -- K

Saturday, March 16, 2013

No Show

See his bald spot? That's NOT sand.
Jedi's first dog show will not be the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida specialty show next month. I'm disappointed. There are several reasons: I haven't been practicing like I should, the Greater Orange Park Dog Club cancelled the fun match that was scheduled for today, and worst of all, Jedi has demodex. It's not bad, but the egg-sized bald spot is on his left side -- the side that will face the judge in the ring!

I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject. I can give you a dozen different links to medical blogs -- but I won't! What I gather is that demodex, sometimes called demodectic mange or "puppy mange," is not uncommon and is not contagious. We're treating it with ivermectin (the heart worm medicine) though many sources recommend doing nothing because most times demodex clears up on it's own. The demodectic mite is ever present in the environment and all dogs have the microscopic buggers crawling on them -- eeewww. Normally the dog's immune system keeps the mites in check and nobody's the wiser. When bald patches appear it means there's an autoimmune or antibody deficiency. Young dogs, old dogs and sick dogs are most susceptible to demodex. What's frustrating me the most is the question: does/should demodex keep me from breeding Jedi? I can't find a clear answer. Some say that the autoimmune/antibody deficiency is hereditary and I should not breed, period. Others say that demodex is common in puppies and I shouldn't worry about it unless it continues into adulthood. I don't plan on breeding Jedi soon -- if ever -- but I would like to get a definitive answer. Any thoughts? -- K

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Beach Day

Above: A side-by-side of Jedi (5 months) and Roxy (7 years)
Below: Roxy (left) and Jedi (right)
Today the dogs and members of the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida gathered at Mickler's Landing Beach. We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to show off so many beautiful dogs. It was 75 degrees this afternoon with a steady breeze blowing off the water. I took my camera but spent so much time socializing that I only got a few pictures. Sorry. Fortunately we have one member who was taking pictures all day. He's much more talented than I am (he's taking pictures for our show next month!) and he promised to share. When he does, maybe I'll have some better photos to share with you. Hubby and I are going to his house for game night next weekend and I'll make sure to badger him for a CD -- when not kicking butt in Pictionary! Until then you'll just have to make do with these. -- K

Friday, March 8, 2013

Jedi's Busy Day

Today was a busy day for Jedi and my pup is pooped.
  • We started the day with a romp in the woods. Jedi and Roxy enthusiastically chased birds and sniffed mole tracks.
  • Next we stopped by the groomer to get a pedicure. I'm a big chicken when it comes to trimming nails. Fortunately, Kathleen at Petsmart is not. She adores Jedi and is always happy to see him. Unfortunately, the feelings are not mutual! Poor Kathleen. We'll have to stop by and say hi in between nail trims -- maybe then he'll like her more.
  • We dropped Roxy off at home and took Jedi to the vet to have a rash looked at and get some medicine for his conjunctivitis. Jedi has goopy eyes. eeewww. They also gave him a colorful bandanna to add to his collection. 
  • Hubby and I were hungry after a long day of running errands and ended up at Al's Pizza in Atlantic Beach. Not only is the food very good (I highly recommend the Mediterranean calzone) but the restaurant welcomes dogs on the outdoor dining patio. Jedi tucked himself under the table and snoozed while waiting for lunch, ignoring the traffic and pedestrians passing by. Jedi missed his midday meal, so we ordered him a soft pretzel and bottle of water. After the food arrived Jedi was a lot more "animated" and it took a while for him to figure out that he wasn't getting anything unless he was lying down. Self control is still a challenge for Jedi.
  • We ended the day at home where Jedi voluntarily put himself in his crate and has been sleeping for the past hour. What a good boy! Come to think of it, I'm a bit tired and could use a nap too.

Eating lunch at Al's Pizza. Not a bad day for Jedi!

This is going to be a busy weekend for the dogs. Sunday is the German Shepherd Dog Club's Dog Day at the Beach. Some of the most beautiful dogs in North Florida will be at Mickler's Landing Beach. I can't wait! I'll have pictures. Promise. Until then, -- K

P.S. I'm serious about that calzone!! Spinach, feta, ricotta and mozzarella baked inside a perfect calzone crust, served with marinara sauce. YUMMY. I had intended on bringing half of it home for dinner later, but apparently self control is a challenge for me as well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jedi's Driver's License

Here's something silly you can do. Subaru has a site where you can make a driver's license for your dog. Seriously! Here's Jedi's:

Now you want to make one for your dog too, hunh? Go ahead . . . and send me a link! -- K

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

S.T.A.R. Puppy

Jedi and I are taking another class out at K9 Obedience Club for the next 6 weeks. We are tackling the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy course and I am very excited! S.T.A.R. Puppy is such a popular class that Jedi and I were on a waiting list to get in. Apparently there were so many people interested that the club opened up a 2nd class on Wednesday nights. Whoopie!

S.T.A.R. stands for Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsibility and is designed for puppies who have already completed a basic training class. This class also prepares the dog-owner team for the next step: the Canine Good Citizen title that I blogged about several months back.

I promise to share everything -- whether you care or not! And if I can get Hubby to tag along, you may even get pictures. -- K

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dutton Island Preserve

It's been 10 days and 5 posts since I shared a picture of my dogs. What's gotten into me? With statistics like that, I'll never reach the status of "Crazy Dog Lady!"

Here are a few pictures I took of Jedi earlier. Isn't he just gorgeous? It's hard to believe he's only 5 months old -- today! BTW, Jedi poses for photos. It's easy to get a picture of "Noble Jedi." It's much harder to get "Goofy Jedi" -- the one that I actually live with!


These pictures were taken at Dutton Island Preserve. It was cold and overcast when we went, so the colors aren't as vibrant as I would like. Dutton Island is a beautiful park in Atlantic Beach tucked up against the Intercoastal Waterway. It's a great place to walk with your dog. There are several nature trails, a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch. Parking is decent, the terrain is relatively flat (no major hiking!) and there are picnic tables sprinkled throughout the park. A couple warnings though:
  1. The yellow flies can be relentless in the warmer months, so take bug spray, and
  2. KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH. Animal Control patrols this park often, and I'm told that the brunette ACO is a real bitch!
Other than that, pack a lunch, grab your leash and have a good time. -- K

P.S. Hold your hate mail. I'm the brunette ACO. And yes, I will write you a ticket if your dog is off leash. On the flipside, if your dog is on leash, I'll give him a cookie. I keep Snausages in my truck. (Not such a bitch after all, hunh?)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Riverside Arts Market

I am continually trying to find dog-friendly places to take Roxy and Jedi. Today we visited the Riverside Arts Market. I have mixed feelings about the trip.

What I liked:
  • The market is very dog-friendly. There were many dogs there, and several dog-oriented vendors.
  • LOTS of taste-testing. mmmm . . .
  • Flushing toilets! I was afraid there would be Porta Potties.
  • Street musicians. There are areas where different musicians set up. The Navy Jazz band was on the big stage this morning. I could have sat and listened to them for hours.
  • The atmosphere is very laid-back.
  • People! Most everyone was very friendly. I even ran into a family (and their dog) that I hadn't seen in over a year. If you're reading this, "HI KIM!"
What I didn't like:
  • It was colder than I would have liked. The strong breeze off the river cut right through my jacket. (However, I bet it would be really nice in the summer!)
  • It was crowded. Today was the first market of the season (it's closed during the winter) so that may have been a factor.
  • Parking sucked (see above). And if you go, beware of idiot drivers. Jedi and I nearly got hit by a guy in a Mercedes with dealer tags. He was driving with one hand and talking on his cell with the other, totally oblivious to pedestrians. Yeah, I calling you out Asshole! 
  • Hubby's attitude. Many of the patrons were too "yuppie" or "new age" for him, and he grumbled about it the entire time.
The dogs attracted a lot of attention -- probably because they're gorgeous! However, I think it was a little overwhelming for them. Roxy was wearing her prong collar, which helped with her pulling. But about 45 minutes in, Jedi forgot all his training and began pulling like crazy. At 52 pounds he can do a lot of pulling. So between Hubby and the dogs I didn't get to explore the market as much as I would have liked.

So here's the plan: Jedi and I are going to work harder on loose lead training. Obviously I need to add more distractions. Then in a couple months -- when it's warmer -- Jedi and I will return to the market without Hubby. Anyone wanna join us? -- K