Thursday, October 31, 2013

GSD Jack-O-Lanterns

Hubby LOVES Halloween. Last year he went all out with the decorations. He did even better this year. The graveyard has stage lighting, strobes, hidden speakers and a fog machine -- all remotely operated. The neighbors have been checking it out all week. Son #2, Girlfriend and I had fun with the pumpkins. I carved two German shepherd themed pumpkins. Hubby calls this one "The Hell Hound":

Click here for pattern.
And this one turned out better than I thought it would:

Click here for pattern.

Patterns for both of these are on the Internet, just in case you want German shepherd Jack-O-Lanterns too.The second pattern involved LOTS of shaving and took hours to complete. If you attempt it, make sure you have the right tools!

The kids did these two:

Yes, that is the Death Star on the right (I love my kids!) There's also a Pikachu pumpkin, but I couldn't get a good picture. How about you? Did you do anything fun for All Hallow's Eve? Do share! -- K


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

When someone names her dog "Jedi Mind Trick" you can pretty much guess she's a Star Wars fan. What you may NOT know is that Hubby and I are also big Halloween fans. (Come back tomorrow to see our pumpkins -- they're awesome!) Unfortunately, the dog isn't nearly excited about the holiday as we humans are. And I have pictures to prove it!

My pup with a Dark Side (Darth Vader) and Light Side (Yoda) pumpkin.
Which will young Jedi choose?
Jedi sporting his Yoda ears. It took several pieces of pizza
to get him to stay still long enough to take the picture.

Hop around to see what crazy things others are doing for Halloween. -- K


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jedi's New Collar

Where's all the stuff for big dogs?
Petco is not my pet store of choice. But when I heard they had Star Wars items I just had to go. I've been looking for a Darth Vader costume for Jedi for weeks now, but can't find anything to fit an 80 pound dog. I can understand if we're talking Yoda (he's tiny) but Vader? Come on! He's big and scary looking.

The first time we went to Petco there was absolutely nothing available for dogs over 25 pounds. I expressed my displeasure with the store manager. (Hey, he started it by asking "Can I help you?" Mom always said "Don't ask the question if you're not prepared for the answer." But I digress . . .) Mr. Manager suggested I come back Monday, saying they'd have a new shipment. I did. Still no fun costumes for big dogs. All I found was a collar, and they only had one design -- the dark side -- in big dog size (see below). I bought it of course, but I'm still disappointed. Why can't big dogs enjoy in the fun? -- K


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dogtoberfest 2013

Every October First Coast No More Homeless Pets puts on Dogtoberfest, a Halloween-themed dog festival to raise money for their low cost spay/neuter programs. I like to go when I can. This year FCNMHP changed the format. In previous years it was a charity walk where people pledged money and prizes were given to the biggest fund raisers. Last month they joined forces with Best Friends' Strut Your Mutt for the big walk and turned Dogtoberfest into a free event (though you could buy $25 VIP passes for extra goodies). We took the free route and though it was nice, I don't think it was as much fun as in years past. I can't put my finger on exactly what the difference is either. Jedi was overwhelmed too, which made things much more difficult. Hubby and I stayed for only an hour or so and then left before the dogs got too over-heated in their costumes. -- K

P.S. Sorry about the photo quality. Hubby took them with his phone.     


Friday, October 25, 2013

Scoop Your Poop (a poem)

I'm participating in the 3rd Annual Scoop That Poop campaign. This year's theme is poetry. I'm not much of a poet, but here is an original dog poop poem from an animal control officer's point of view.

I found this on the internet, but have seen similar threats
from residents within my City. Seriously, poop is one
of my top five complaints

If on your morning walk
Sometime before dawn
Your dog should leave a present
Upon your neighbor's lawn,
Please take a moment
To pick up his poo
Because I promise that
your neighbor's watching you.

Should you leave the pile stinking
He will call me in a fit
Ranting and raving
About your puppy's shit.

Then I'll have to write you
A $50 ticket
For being too lazy
Not to just pick it.

Here's a word of warning
From an ACO
We never buy the story
That you "didn't know."

All across the country
From California to Maine
Every officer's answer
Is going to be the same:

"Whether your dog's a purebred
Or a lovable mutt
You are responsible for
What comes out his butt."

Feeling brave? Hop around to read more poop poetry. Enjoy! -- K

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tug Toys

Psychedelic fleece
Truth be told, I AM NOT a crafty person. My mother quilts, sews, bakes, knits, tats and crochets. She is also quite adept at cake decorating, origami, decoupage and ceramics. I have no idea what happened to me. Anyway, when I see a fun but simple craft that I can do, I get really excited. My latest find: no-sew tug toys. (Actually, I didn't "find" it, Erin over the Five Dog Blog did.)

I bought a yard of bright fleece (on sale -- score!) and with some measuring, cutting and braiding I created a tug toy that Jedi actually likes. Unlike his rope toys, this one is soft and machine washable. And it doesn't hurt so much when he starts flinging it around. YEA!

Are you inspired yet? If you follow the directions in Erin's blog you can make one too. My only advice: keep your braids tight and anchor your loop. Erin used a chair. I'm not as classy; I used my big toe.

I'm so stoked by my success that I'm wondering what other crafty things I can do. Mom would be so proud. -- K

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It's early. Can't we hit snooze one more time?
It's Wordless Wednesday again. If I must get up with the chickens, it's nice to have some fun pictures to look at while drinking my coffee. Though I'd rather crawl back into bed with Jedi . . . Since we're up, why not hop around and see what everybody is up to this morning? -- K

Monday, October 21, 2013

3rd Annual Fun Match

It's that time again! The German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida is hosting their third annual All Breed Fun Match this Sunday. And trust me, we put the "Fun" in Fun Match. I'm excited because my other dog club, K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville, is letting GSDNFL use their property this year. This venue is closer (for me at least) and has a better layout for showing -- though parking can be a pain. I'm still debating whether or not to enter Jedi. We could definitely use the practice, but I don't think I can show and work the event at the same time. (And some club members are still a little iffy about committing. grrrr.) Either way, it's going to be awesome! We always have a good time, meet some great people and make enough money to cover our expenses. I hope all my local blog friends can make it. I'll post pictures next week for the rest of you. -- K

Bad Business Cards

A couple months back I read that Jen over at The Elka Almanac had business-type cards for her blog. hmmm Not a bad idea to get your name out. My blog has come up in conversation before and people have asked "What's the site address?" I think handing the inquirer a card would look a lot classier that writing the info down on piece of scrap paper. (Yes, I've done that!) I Googled "German shepherd, business cards" and found some at Café Press. I spent 30 minutes tweaking the template and placed an order. This is what I got:

I'm rather disappointed. I wish I could say that your can't read it because it's a bad scan. Truth is, even if the card were in your hand you wouldn't be able to read it. The font is too small and blurry. Do they not have quality control guys? And it took three weeks to get here -- after they sent me an email saying that my order had shipped.
I should have known better. I ordered a shirt from the same company about a year ago. The picture was great. But when I washed the 2XL shirt it shrank badly. It was still quite wide (actually too wide) but shrank a good 5-6 inches in length. I am too old and fat to wear crop tops in public! I still have the shirt, though I've never worn it. Maybe I can make a pillow or something out of it.
A couple weeks after the cards arrived I got a "rate our service" survey from Café Press. I hesitated, but finally filled it out. I was nice but honest. I told them about my disappointment with the two orders and the speed of shipping. I told them that I didn't envision myself using their services again. THEN I got another email saying they were sorry and wanted to make it right and redo the orders. I thought about it but have decided to cut my losses. So now I'm looking for business cards again. Anybody out there have any suggestions? -- K

Sunday, October 20, 2013

BTC4 Animals -- My Favorites

Did you check out the Blog the Change for Animals hop on Wednesday? There were some good ones! Here are my favorites:
  • Mary Maier's Number One Adoptable Dog Photography Tip. Not only was this blog unique and informative, it was full of gorgeous dog pictures. Seriously, check it out!
  • A Tonk's Tail highlighted domestic violence shelters that allow pets. Something Wagging This Way Comes (a blog I read regularly) also did a post on animals and domestic violence. This is not something I've given much thought to. I found it interesting though very sad.
  • Go Pet Friendly (another blog I visit regularly) had advice for meeting unfamiliar dogs. My favorite part was for the owners. I nearly cried when I read: Don’t be afraid to be firm, and remember that saying, "No, this isn’t a good time to meet my dog" doesn’t make you a bad person. This is an issue I'm dealing with right now. Despite my best socializing efforts, Jedi still gets uncomfortable around strangers. But only sometimes, which makes it difficult for me to predict. Part of it might be his age. Whatever the reason, it's very frustrating. He's a beautiful dog and people want to touch him all the time. I'll kindly-but-firmly say "he's a bit overstimulated right now." Some people reach anyway. He's lunged and snapped before. It's scary. I feel like an awful owner. It's difficult because I take him to strange places to desensitize him -- and hopefully making it better in the long run.

National Feral Cat Day was the day after this hop, so many of the blogs focused on feral cats. Jedi and I skipped through of those. We don't hate cats, but this is Kelley DOG Blog after all! Which blogs stood out for you this time? -- K

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Jedi disagrees . . .

I love Wordless Wednesdays! It's fun to see what everybody's up to. I always get an "aww" and a couple LOLs with my morning coffee. What a great way to start the day. Hop around and see what I mean. -- K


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Be a Good Neighbor

It's already October 15th, time for another Blog the Change for Animals. Where has the year gone? I had a tough time coming up with something to say. I wanted to share from my experience as an animal control officer but how do I follow My Crazy Job and I Am Not the Dreaded Dog Catcher? To top it off, today was a crappy day and I'm not really liking my job right now. I looked at my top five calls and realized that if people would just try to be better neighbors my job would be obsolete. My biggest time killers are:

  1. CATS -- Here's a big shocker: not everybody likes cats. And cats don't care if you like them or not. My job would be so much easier if people kept their cats inside (BTW, leash laws apply to cats as well as dogs in my city). Cat owners always say "My cat never leaves the yard." Truth is, cats don't give a damn about property lines. They poop, spray, wander, scratch and lay wherever they want. They stalk lizards and bird feeders regardless of whose yards they're in. Your less-than-cat-loving neighbor shouldn't have to put up with your pets. An unaltered cat will make and have kittens as often as possible, which adds to the problem. And my number one complaint with cat owners: people who move and leave their cats behind. Those people SUCK!

  2. DOGS AT LARGE -- That's legalese for "running amok." Dogs are experts at finding holes in the perimeter. They just know when a gate is unlocked, a slat is loose or a door is left open. I wish people would keep Fido from taking himself for a walk. Even worse though are the people who intentionally leave gates and doors open because the are too lazy to walk the their pets. And then there are the real jerks who feel that the leash law doesn't apply to them because 1) they pay X amount in taxes 2) my job is to [fill in the blank with something they're not doing at the moment] or 3) "they're good dogs" (yes, I hear it all). Another shocker: not everybody likes dogs either.

  3. NOISE -- Pet owners are masters of tuning out their animals' barking, squawking and howling; unfortunately, their neighbors are not. Noise complaints go up this time of year. The weather is cooling and people are leaving their windows open. At the same time dogs and pet birds (yes, I get parrot complaints) are spending more time outside. I get dragged into it because Mrs. Jones is too chicken to tell Mrs. Smith that her pets are whooping it up and it's annoying.

  4. POOP -- Seriously people, pick up after your pets! No one likes to dig cat poop out of their children's sand box or stick their hands in it while gardening. (Trust me, those are some angry calls.) Likewise, people don't like steaming piles of dog crap in their yards, on the sidewalks or between their toes while walking on the beach. They also don't like to sit on their porch while the smell of s**t is wafting from your yard.

  5. IMPOUND & BOARDING -- I spend entirely too much time housing, feeding, walking and cleaning up after other people's pets. Please invest in microchips, collars and tags. Check them periodically to make sure they are legible. If you move or change your number, update your chips and tags. Other things: 1) Buy a tag with your name and number; don't rely on the rabies tag from your vet/county. Those offices are closed on evenings, weekends and holidays. It can take days for them to return my call. 2) Microchips migrate and/or fail. Have your vet check the location and operability of microchips at your annual check-up. 3) Teach your cat to wear a collar. People tell me all the time "I'm afraid she'll hang herself." In nine years I have never seen a cat hang itself (um, they make breakaway collars). However, I have seen thousands of cats euthanized because an owner couldn't be found. And even inside cats get out sometimes.
These five items take up about 90% of my time. Just imagine what I could do if people were responsible pet owners and considerate neighbors. I could be proactive, making the city a better place for people and animals alike. Instead, I spend the day trying to make everybody get along. (I fail. A lot.)

Fortunately, there are people doing wonderful things for animals right now. Even better, many of them have blogged about it today. Hop around and see they have to say. There are some great posts out there and I will share my favorites with you later. Until then, be nice. -- K

P.S. Please hold the hate mail. I really do like cats.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

We Won!

I took over the job of newsletter editor for my German shepherd dog club last spring. I've worked long and hard on it, obsessing over every jot and tittle. A few months ago Madam President urged me to submit my first four issues to the German Shepherd Dog Club of America's national newsletter contest. I did and we won! The GSDCA felt that we had the best monthly newsletter of all the medium size GSD clubs. See that giant ribbon? It's ours!! Madam President is bringing it back from the National shows. As the editor I am honored, but know this was a team effort. Club members have stepped up with articles and pictures and fun information, making my job much easier. Still, it's nice to have all my time and effort validated. I guess I do have some talent after all. Take that Mrs. Tubiola!* -- K

* Mrs. Tubiola was my overcritical, disparaging 10th grade English teacher. I hope she's rolling in her grave. (For the record, I had nothing to do with her death.)


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

I've wanted to show German shepherds since I was 9. In my teenage years I read Dog Fancy while my friends read Tiger Beat. (OK, I read that too!) It was 35 years before I finally bought my first AKC dog, Zente's Jedi Mind Trick, and when he was 11 months old I worked up the nerve to show him. We got a blue ribbon. I couldn't have been happier if I'd won the lottery. Dreams come true -- sometimes they just take a while.

hmmmm . . . . There seems to be a lot of text for a "wordless" Wednesday! Enough of me, hop around and see what others are doing. -- K


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Keeping Calm -- NOT

I think this is going to be my mantra for the weekend. I have so much to do and no time or energy to get it all done. As I've mentioned before, I'm the newsletter editor for The German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida. I take the position seriously and try to turn out a decent newsletter every month. Well, between back-to-back dog shows and training a new ACO at work, I haven't written last month's newsletter yet. The monthly meeting is Tuesday -- as in three days from now -- and then I'll have a brand new month of stuff to worry about. I considered writing a combined September/October newsletter, but don't think it'll work (and have no idea how to format it with the crappy Microsoft template I use). The editor before me only turned out half as many pages as I do (she's not the blabbermouth I am) and everybody was fine with that. I asked myself: "Do I really need to put all this additional pressure on myself for a volunteer position?" The answer was no -- Surprise! -- so I've decided to publish a smaller newsletter this month. Sounds good, but now I have writer's block. Or maybe that's just snot. I thought my stuffy head and sore throat were fall allergies and took a bunch of Benadryl. It didn't help and now I'm wondering if this is a cold coming on. UGH.

I'd like to just lock myself in the office and write/format the newsletter for the next two days, but I have other things to do this weekend as well. I need to go into work and feed the animals, I need to prep for another week of training and I have a couple police reports that need to be written. I can't figure out how train the new guy and still do everything that needs to be done so I've been going in early and on my days off to do things. The overtime is nice, but the hours are kicking my ass. No wonder I'm sick!

And poor Jedi just wants attention. Hubby is working full time now. Not only is Jedi crated more during the day, he's not getting his morning and afternoon romps. The poor boy is bored. I'm trying to type here and he keeps nosing me and giving me "the look." I feel guilty. We haven't walked our favorite park in weeks and I can't remember the last time we hiked the Arboretum. Sometimes I feel like a horrible doggie mom. I need to find time to fix that as well. (On the plus side, we did have a nice nap together earlier. Thanks Benadryl.) 
It's almost midnight. I'm going to log off, walk away from computer and go wrestle with the pup before plopping into bed. I'm not being very productive here anyway. TTFN -- K

Friday, October 4, 2013

Jedi's New Toy

Last Christmas we got Jedi the Holiday Hide-a-Squirrel toy. He loved it. I would often find him chewing a squirrel or tossing the stump around. Eventually everything was ripped to shreds and the toy was thrown out. For his birthday we got him another Hide-a-Squirrel toy. This one is larger and sold exclusively through Petsmart. (However, Kyjen has a bunch of Hide-a-Squirrel toys in a variety of sizes. You can even buy replacement squirrels!) Jedi enjoys this toy even more than the last one. We did good! -- K

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Jedi!

One year ago today I was up to my ears in affidavits and police reports, working on the worst dangerous dog case my little town has ever seen. My brand new (and now former) partner looked like a deer in the headlights, wondering what she had gotten herself into. Just before lunch I received a voicemail from Breeder (now Dear Friend Breeder) saying that Zasha just gave birth to a boy. A couple hours later there was second voicemail -- another boy! I was excited because I wanted a male and I was second (maybe third) in line to pick. All in all there were six males and one female. It was another month before I could finally see them, and yet another month before I discovered that I was able to bring home the puppy of my choice, Mr. Blue! It's been an eventful year and I wanted to celebrate it. (BTW, Jedi doesn't care about birthdays. This is all me.)

I started with a party hat. I love hats, and think dogs wearing hats are hilarious! Unfortunately, Jedi's feelings towards hats haven't changed since Easter. After 20 pictures and some creative editing this is all you get. Sorry.

We also did presents. Petsmart sent Jedi a Happy Birthday coupon for a free toy/treat (with additional purchase, of course). We bought another puzzle toy (review here) and a Superman chew toy. We're Batman fans and have no problem with the dog chewing on Superman. Kong sent a $2 coupon as well, so Jedi got some Kong stuffers to keep him occupied in his crate while everybody is at work.

And finally, what's a birthday without cake? I searched the internet for "dog birthday cake recipes" and the same recipe showed up on a dozen different sites. Hmmm . . . So this is what I made. Want the recipe?

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • More peanut butter for frosting and bacon bits for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small cake pan. (I used the silicone mold from Bark Box #4, so no grease!)
  2. Combine egg, peanut butter, honey, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir in carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together flour and baking soda, then fold into carrot mixture. Spoon batter into baking pan.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes. let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Jedi and Roxy both liked the cake; Son #2 not so much. (Yes, we all tried it.) The cake is really dense and a little bland for humans. NOTE: Since there are no preservatives it should be consumed soon. Don't be stingy, it's a party!

Happy Birthday Jedi!

 Thanks for joining us on this joyous (albeit silly) occasion. Now it's time to give Jedi what he really wants: quality playtime. I'll catch you all later. -- K
P.S. Below is one of my favorite videos on the internet. Dunder (another beautiful German shepherd) grows up before your eyes. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

JSO's tribute to their 4-legged officers.

I took a class at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Academy. This statue stands outside the front door. I thought it was beautiful -- and moving -- so I snapped a picture. What do you think? -- K
P.S. This is a hop. Check out the blogs below to see what others are thinking about today.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Advice From Veteran Fanciers

I joined an online dog show forum about a month back. Members include everyone from veteran fanciers to newbies like me. It's full of great information and I've learned a lot. In between shows I posted a question: Any tips on how to show on a budget? (This can quickly become expensive!) I received 30+ responses! I want to share some of them with you. BTW, my comments are italicized for your enjoyment.
  • Take a cooler. Food at show grounds is often expensive, bad for you and just plain bad. Restaurants are expensive, fattening and often bad too.
  • Ask others who you trust about judges preferences for your breed and keep notes from show to show so that you know where your entry fees are best spent.
  • Make sure you wait until your dog is mature enough and in good coat so you don't waste your money while he/she grows up.
  • Find handling classes, seminars and people you think do a good job and learn everything you can about grooming, training, and handling while you're waiting for your dog to mature. That way when the dog is ready ... so are you! To be competitive you need a nice dog who is well groomed, well trained, and well handled. Spend the money up front learning instead of losing.
  • Watch Craigslist for discounts on dog stuff. Sometimes you can find some amazing things for cheap. (Which reminds me, I really want a portable grooming table. If you know of a reasonably priced used one in the north Florida area, please let me know! -- K)
  • After showing for awhile, figure out what equipment you 'can't live without' and invest in those items for the long haul. (Again, grooming table!)
  • Shop at Goodwill, thrift stores, etc. for show clothes. Buy wash and wear (not dry clean only) and check labels.
  • Don't get sucked into buying the catalog. Many shows are MBF ( so the listings online around 8:00 the morning of the show.
  • Resist going "shopping" at the shows for dog goodies. (Or budget beforehand. Seriously, you want a couple goodies!)
  • Make sure you bring your paperwork with you that the superintendent mails you.
  • Make a list so you don't forget things and end up buying duplicates at the show.
  • Take your emergency pack: safety pins, extra pair of panty hose if you wear them, comb, bandages, sunscreen, etc. (Kaopectate!)
  • Gas up the night before, check air in tires, have change for tolls and money for parking.
  • Share everything whenever possible: travel, rooms, catalogs.
  • Set your priorities. Home bills gotta be paid first.
  • And from me: sign up with (or something similar) to find great rates and earn free nights. Hotels are expensive!
Anybody else have any ideas? Seriously, keep them coming! -- K