Saturday, November 30, 2013

10 Random Facts

This is my 200th post. Can you believe it? Eighteen months ago I started blogging to work through the loss of my heart dog, Logan. I had no idea what I was doing (sometimes I still don't). In my first post I apologized in advance if it sucked, though I really never expected anybody to read it. Now I have hundreds of readers, most of whom I don't even know!! In the interest of getting better acquainted, here are 10 random facts about me:
  1. I'm left-handed.
  2. My first dog, Eli, was named after a Three Dog Night song.
  3. I fell in love with German shepherds watching Run, Joe, Run at the age of 6. (Go ahead, do the math.) 
  4. Next month Hubby and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I can't believe that man has put up with me for a quarter century!
  5. I lived in Japan for three years. That's where we got Gucci.
  6. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.
  7. I've wanted to show dogs since I was 9(ish) but didn't get my first AKC papered dog until 35 years later. I got in the ring for the first time last September. It's harder than it looks.
  8. I'm afraid of failure. Fear has kept me from doing too many things. I hate it. 
  9. I eat when I'm stressed. I stress easily. This is not a good combination.
  10. I love a good pun (and several bad ones). 
It has been an incredible year and a half. Thank you for following my blog. I've thoroughly enjoyed talking with all of you, and look forward to getting to know you better. Any random fact you'd like to share? -- K

Friday, November 29, 2013

Darth Jedi?

Black Friday has a different meaning in this house. "Someone" has fallen prey to the Dark Side. This unnamed individual has learned how to open my closet and remove plastic hangers -- and then chew them to bits. He'll climb up the cat tree to eat Gucci's food. He's crapped in the house twice in the past few days. He won't sleep at night. He charges the door and keeps getting in the trash. He's been such a turd that even Roxy has told him off. This is not the dog I'm looking for.

Is this doggie adolescence? If so, it sucks. Maybe his behavior has changed because Hubby has gone back to work full time, and Jedi is upset that he's lost his daytime companion. It doesn't help that my work truck is making me sick (long story for another day) and all I do on weeknights is puke and sleep. Yeah, lately we've been piss poor puppy parents (say that five times). Whatever the reason, I want things to change.

All joking aside, there is one behavioral issue that needs addressing NOW and I'm at a loss as how to fix it. Jedi is an ass to people (non-family members) in the house. I'll put him in a sit-stay when the door is opened and everything seems to be fine. Then out of nowhere he'll charge and bark at the person we just let in. This is not acceptable. It's scary for the house guests and embarrassing for me. And I'm afraid it's a lawsuit in the making. I'm having difficulty expressing to him that if we let a person in the house it's OK. How do I make him understand that I've got things under control and I'll let him know when I need his help? Any ideas? -- K

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Me a Reason

It's the holiday season. Most of you are happy thinking of turkey and presents, friends and family. Me, I'm trying to think of reasons not to hit people with my animal control truck. Seriously! This time of year people come out in droves to dump their pets at the shelter. This is the call I took Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving:
"I'm leaving town tomorrow, so I need to get rid of my dog today. I don't know anybody here in town so you need to come get him." 
Same day I got:
"The neighbors are complaining that my dog barks too much. I'm pregnant and it's stressing me out, so you need to come get my dog."
I wish I could say I'm surprised. Unfortunately it happens every year. I've had animals dumped because "Mom's coming for Christmas and she's allergic to cats" and "We can't afford boarding for our dog while we're on vacation." I had one woman dump her cat because she just redecorated and the black fur clashed with her new furniture. I'm not making this up! So I'm going to practice some deep breathing and think of 10 reasons why I shouldn't hit people with my truck.

10 Reasons NOT to Hit People with My Truck

  1. I think the "Thou shalt not kill" thing applies to stupid people too.
  2. It's illegal.
  3. Prison orange is not a good color for me.
  4. I don't have time to "do time."
  5. Running people over is against City policy.
  6. There is a remote possibility that I'll feel bad later.
  7. Karma might have better plans for them.
  8. Stupid people (indirectly) pay my mortgage. If I kill them I'll be out a job.
  9. It might mess up the truck.
  10.  ????
Well, crap. I've only got 9. Can you think of a 10th? Let me know. -- K

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Someone has been a bad dog. Good thing it's Wordless Wednesday, 'cuz I've been saying a lot of bad words lately! It looks like Jedi wants to say a few things as well.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all. I hope to come back with more appropriate words later. -- K


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Today Kelley's Dog Blog is honoring a cat. This is Gucci.

Gucci in her younger years
I've recently discovered that Gucci is deaf. She's always had selective hearing -- she's got "cattitude" in spades! -- so I'm not sure when she lost her ability to hear. And I feel bad for not noticing that she has gotten old. I just realized that she is 16+ (my best guess is that she was about a year when we got her in 1998). She's watched my kids grow up and has seen several dogs come and go. She's better traveled than most of my friends, having gone from Tokyo to Los Angeles to Baltimore and finally retiring in Florida. She's been a good companion -- and I'm not just saying that because she is sitting in my lap!

Want to see what other cats (and dogs) are doing today? Hop around and find out!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mapping My Walk with a FREE app

Today's hike
One of my favorite places to walk Jedi is the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. It's a beautiful spot with trees, flowers, a stream and no people. Seriously, we may run into another person every third trip. There are multiple trails that meander up and down a couple hills. It's such a relaxing walk that I often don't realize how far we've traveled. I usually feel it in my legs the next day.

I'm really excited about today's walk because of a free app I downloaded onto my phone. Map My Walk connects to the GPS in my smart phone and keeps track of all kinds of info. For example: today I walked 2.43 miles in 1 hour, 11 minutes. The webpage for today's walk breaks down my pace and even shows the elevation. I am so stoked! I can't wait to visit the Arboretum again. There are so many other trails to explore.

And speaking of hiking with your dog, check out one of my favorite blogs: Hiking With Fido. I stumbled upon it during a blog hop. This blog is based on a Meet Up group in my hometown. They get together with their dogs and explore Southern California. The pictures are beautiful and sometimes make me a little homesick. If we weren't 3000 miles away, Jedi and I would be joining them.

Anyway, I'm trying to increase the amount of exercise Jedi and I are getting. I hope this new app will help encourage me to walk more. (Jedi doesn't need encouragement.) What do you think? Have any suggestions as to where we should go next? -- K

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I'm feeling nostalgic on this Wordless Wednesday. 367 days ago I got to see my puppy for the very first time. He stayed with the breeder for another month before I could bring him home but I was already madly in love!!

Jedi back when he was still "Mr. Blue"

Hop around and see what others are thinking about today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

GOOD Business Cards

Two weeks ago I shared my bad business cards and asked for help finding good, inexpensive ones. Overwhelmingly you all said Vista Print. Kimberly over at Keep the Tail Wagging told me about Fiverr: a place where talented people will do all kinds of thing (including designing a unique business card that is Vista Print ready) for $5. Intrigued, I checked it out. I found CallMeFay from Indonesia on Fiverr. I emailed her a picture and some information and asked her to create something that made me look good. In less than 24 hours I got this:

How awesome is this?! I couldn't be happier. (Like the picture? That's Jedi as a puppy. The original picture is here.) I specified that I was going to send the finish product to Vista Print so she sent me the design in two formats (.pdf and .jpeg). After that, it took me a whole 5 minutes to order my cards from Vista Print. They arrived in 8 days (less than half the delivery time of the other place) and I got twice as many cards for about what I spent for the first batch.

BTW, did you know that Vista Print is based out of the Netherlands? I didn't know until I got my PayPal receipt. (UPS says my package came from Ohio though.) I am very happy with my new cards, but am little concerned that it took people on three continents to make me look good!

Thanks everyone who offered advice. I wish I had asked the first time! And if you have some free time, check out Fiverr. You'll be amazed what people will do for five bucks. -- K

Saturday, November 2, 2013

National Cook for Your Pets Day

Did you know that yesterday was National Cook for Your Pets Day? Seriously, I'm not making this up! There's a website with a pledge and everything. I took the pledge (mainly because they promised to send free recipes) and then I realized: I don't cook for my family, what makes me think I can cook for the dogs? Feeling brave, I searched the Internet and found a couple recipes that looked doable. Plus, I already had the ingredients in the house. (It was raining outside and I didn't feel like driving.)

The first recipe I found was Beef and Cheese Balls over at Kol's Notes. The ingredients: two pounds ground beef, two potatoes, a cup of cheese, an egg and a bag of freeze dried liver treats. (Yes, I keep freeze dried liver in my pantry. Doesn't everybody?) A little bit of boiling, frying, mashing, smashing and baking later and voila:

My notes: I made my balls larger than 1" and still got over 3 dozen. The recipe calls for a 4 oz. bag of liver treats; I had a 2 oz. bag and that was plenty. I like that these meatballs are cooked (unlike satin balls) but I still wasn't going to taste them. I couldn't get past the liver smell.

But more importantly, the dogs' notes: Why do they have to cool before we can eat them? Why can't we eat them all now?!

I found a second recipe on Cesar Milan's website for Healthy Pumpkin Balls. These ingredients were also simple: canned pumpkin, molasses, water, vegetable oil, whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder. (I left out the cinnamon. Jedi and Roxy don't care for it.) I mixed the ingredients, plopped it on to a greased cookie sheet and baked for 25 minutes. This is what we got:

My notes: There's no egg, so I tried the raw dough. Kind of bland, but not bad! I rolled the dough into 1" balls and got almost 3 dozen cookies.

And more importantly, the dogs' notes: Where's the meat? We want the meaty ones!

So, are feeling inspired? What are you cooking for your dogs? If you'd like to try these recipes just follow the links to original sites. And if you have a recipe you like, please share. -- K

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fun Match recap

Last Sunday was the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida's 3rd Annual Fun Match. It was a clear, cool day -- perfect for showing dogs!

I decided at the last minute to take Jedi in the ring. It was the first time we'd done anything in a month. He looked great; me, not so much. I need to work on my movement. And apparently I need to remember to keep my right hand down. What's with that limp wrist action?!

I should smile more too. Don't you think? Ugh. Now stop looking at me and notice the gorgeous dog at the other end of the leash.

Lucky for me, the judge was able to see how beautiful Jedi is despite my shortcomings. He won First Place and Best of Breed in the German shepherds. He competed against his brother and half brother -- tough competition! He went on to the herding group and took third. Being a Fun Match there are no points toward Champion (it's just a practice show for novice dogs and handlers). Instead, Jedi got a squeaky toy. He didn't mind.

Look at that face. I love this dog! I know he'd do so much better in the ring if I were more dedicated/less clueless.

So, any suggestions? -- K

P.S. Thanks Madam President for the photos!