Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sepia Pepper

It's Sepia Saturday! Last Tuesday I shared some pictures of Pepper for the #FuelTheCure Contest and Fundraiser Blog Hop. Pepper was our first dog. She was a great dog and her life was cut short by cancer. For the hop we were suppose to portray our dog loving life. It was tough to pick the photos because Pepper loved life to the fullest and we were always taking pictures. So here are three more. Enjoy!

Pepper had an entire wardrobe of bandannas.
We'd get bored and dress Pepper in Hubby's shirts. She
always seemed to find it as funny as we did.
Here Pepper is laying on my legs. She always wanted to be where
we were, even if we were just sitting around watching TV.

We were heartbroken when the vet said "cancer." How could that be? She was nine, and we decided not to do chemo. Instead, we used steroids and pain killers to keep the symptoms at bay. The vet said to keep her happy, feed her junk food (the cholesterol wasn't going to kill her) and enjoy whatever time we had left. We took a hundred car rides and ate more McDonald's cheeseburgers than I can count. The steroid therapy worked for a while, but 6 1/2 months later we made that awful decision. Her quality of life was more important than our need to have her in our lives.

Cancer sucks. It chooses victims at random and leaves loved ones feeling helpless and angry. And that's why I titled my contest post "F.U. Cancer!" I screamed that phrase (and other obscenities) so many times when Pepper was sick. Why did cancer have to take my Pepper? The Dog & Cat Cancer Fund is working to find a cure. Wouldn't it be wonderful if nobody else had to lose a pet to cancer?

Want to learn more about the #FuelTheCure Contest and Fundraiser Blog Hop? Want to see more pictures of Pepper? (You know you do!) Check out F.U. Cancer! And while there, click "like" so that Jedi and Roxy can get some yummy treats in Pepper's memory. Then come back and click away. There's always lots of interesting posts on Sepia Saturday! -- K

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thoughtless Gucci

It's Thoughtless Thursday. Have you given any thought to the word "thoughtless"? defines it this way:

  1. Lacking in consideration for others; inconsiderate; tactless: a thoughtless remark. 
  2. Characterized by or showing lack of thought: a shallow, thoughtless book. 
  3. Not thinking enough; careless or heedless: thoughtless of his health. 
  4. Devoid of or lacking capacity for thought.
Kelley's Dog Blog defines it this way:

This is Gucci. We got her when we were stationed in Japan. My best guess is that she's somewhere around 17 years old. 
Gucci has gotten very demanding in her old age. She'll take food off our plates when we're not looking, she climbs onto my computer when I'm blogging, and she barges into the bathroom when I'm . . . well, when I'd rather be alone. Her latest thing: she wants to sleep with us. Correction, she wants to sleep on us, and protests -- loudly! -- when we move. She may only be 8 pounds, but my hip (or back, or leg) starts to hurt after a while. The minute I try to reposition myself she shrieks out "MEEEOOOW!" This happens a dozen times a night.
We've resorted to locking her out of the room at night. But she's sneaky. She'll hide in the bedroom until we go to sleep, and then climb into bed with me and Hubby. She's continually waking us up with the most annoying meow on the planet. She also screams if Jedi looks in her direction, usually just as I'm starting to drift off. Eventually one of us wakes up enough to throw her out. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in days. I'm exhausted, but Gucci doesn't care. How thoughtless is that? -- K

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm not a gambler. Slots, poker, the lottery -- they're all a waste of money for me. Raffles, however, are something else. I love raffles.

I went to an adoption event on Saturday. They were raffling off pretty baskets full of doggie items -- I'm a sucker for Baskets O' Crap -- and the money supported Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA). FOJA is a non-profit group that works with the county shelter "to benefit the lives of shelter animals by focusing on fund raising to assist with medical care, enrich the shelter environment, promote adoptions, and reduce euthanasia." How could I walk away? I bought $10 worth of tickets. And I won!

Look at that basket -- treats, squeaky toys, a ball, wine for Mommy -- how great is that! Jedi couldn't wait to check out the giant stuffed bone.
You can't tell from this post, but . . . it's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around and see what others are doing today. -- K

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

F. U. Cancer!

Too many doggie (and kitty) lives have been shortened by cancer. I'm joining Oz the Terrier and Zuke's in the #FuelTheCure Contest and Fundraiser Blog Hop. Basically, I blog, you read, and Zuke's donates $5 to the Dog & Cat Cancer Fund.

This post is dedicated to Pepper, a great dog who's life was cut short by cancer. Pepper was a "free to a good home" puppy. The boys were 6 and 10 when she joined our family and we had a busy household. We felt bad about leaving the puppy home alone so Pepper went everywhere with us: Cub Scout meetings, football practice, the beach, camping, sledding, hiking. We may have only had nine years with her, but I'd like to think they were a good nine years. Here are some pictures of Pepper loving life.

Whether is was camping in the woods . . .

walking on the beach . . .
or playing in the snow,

Pepper was always ready for an adventure!

She's been gone five years and I still miss her. She was an awesome dog.

Oh, there is one more thing. This is a contest as well as a fundraiser, and Zuke's is giving away goodies to the blog post with the most likes. Pepper was an expert beggar, so here is her saying "please vote for us."  Thanks! -- K

P.S. Pepper's story continues on Sepia Saturday with more pictures (yea!), more cancer (boo!), and another F.U. or two (lol).

This is a blog hop! Take a few minutes and see how others are saying "F. U." to cancer. And if you're a blogger, why not join? It's not everyday that your post earns $5 for charity! Contest rules are here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sepia Nostalgia

I was looking through old files and found some pictures of Logan when he was in his prime. He was a good lookin boy! I pulled up some pictures of Jedi too and put them side by side to compare them. I don't know how fair this is, since Jedi is less than two and we didn't get Logan until he was at least 5. Anyway, see for yourself.

Left: Logan, 2007, best guess 6ish

Below: Jedi, 2014, 18 months

My observations:
  • Both boys are gorgeous with lush coats. I remember Logan's coat being incredibly soft. I think Jedi's is a bit coarser.
  • Jedi's markings are a lot darker. (I wonder if he'll lighten up as he gets older.)
  • Jedi's bigger. Logan topped out at 78 pounds, whereas Jedi is already 85, and I expect him to put on a few more pounds when his chest fills out.
More importantly, both boys will always have a special places in my heart. Logan was the German shepherd I wanted to since I was a 6 year old girl. He was loving and loyal and a gentle soul. I couldn't have asked for more. Jedi is the AKC show dog that I've always wanted. We're awkward in the ring and haven't earned a stinking point, but that doesn't matter. I'm a lucky woman. -- K

It's Sepia Saturday! Hop around and see what others have to share today.

P.S. Shameless Plug: click here and vote for Jedi. This IS the dog you're looking for. (For all you geeks out there, this is a Jedi mind trick.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

No Questions Please

It happened again. I was out in uniform and I got the "Can I ask you a question?" I should have said not now, should have handed him my card and said "Call my office in the morning." But no. I thought I could help. I listened to his question. And this one was a doozy. It went something like this:

Guy: "If I neuter my dog will he stop peeing in the house?"

Me: "That would depend on why he's peeing in the house in the first place."

Guy: "He's spiteful." [Note to self: I should have walked away here.]

Me: "I doubt he's doing it to just to make you mad. There's got to be a reason, and it makes perfect sense to him. What kind of dog is he? How old is he? Is it sudden or has he been doing it for a while?"

Guy: "He's a pug. He's 7. He does it all the time."

Me: "Have you taken him to the vet? Maybe he has a urinary tract infection. Maybe his bladder is just not big enough to hold it for as long as you're asking. You really should talk to your vet."

Guy: Mumbles about spending money, then says "None of my other dogs do it."

Me: "How many other dogs do you have? What sexes? Are they fixed?"

Guy: "Two females, two other males. Some are fixed, but not all."

Me: "It could be a group dynamics thing. Perhaps you should fix all the dogs. It might remove any hormone-driven issues. You might also want to consult an animal behaviorist. Your vet can help you find one."

Guy: Complains again about the cost of a vet. Asks if there are any cheaper solutions. [Note to self: SHUT UP! RUN AWAY!]

Me: "What are you using to clean up the mess?"

Guy: "Murphy's Oil Soap."

Me: "You need to use an enzyme cleaner. Your dog's superior nose can smell the urine and he will return to the same spot. Buy enzyme cleaner. Get Nature's Miracle -- it's in a white bottle with red lettering -- NOT the crap from Wal-Mart. Follow the directions exactly. It's not cheap, but it's worth the money."

Guy: "Anything else?"

Me: "Yes. You're going to have to retrain your dog. Limit his access to the house. Buy a crate. Set up a dog-safe area in your home for him when you're at work. When you're home, keep him on a short leash and keep an eye on him. Pretend he's a puppy again. Call a trainer. Or look up Dr. Ian Dunbar on the internet, he's got some great tips on this."

Guy: Complains about the time and money this "damn dog" is going to cost.

Me: In the most pleasant tone I can muster, "Yes. Dogs are expensive. And time consuming. If that's too much for you, I can help you find him a more suitable home."

Guy: "Oh no! I won't do that. He's full-blooded!" [Note to self: Don't say it!]
My new motto! Seriously, I need to stay out of other
people's craziness. I have enough of my own.
Me: "They're all full of blood. Anything less and they die." Snicker. Anyone?

Guy: Looks at me like I have two heads. [Told you! See my feelings about "full-blooded" and more here.]

Me: "I really have to go now. You have a good day." I DID NOT say "idiot" aloud. I hope.

I'm sure nothing is going to change with Askhole. The only thing that changed was my mood. I went from PFK to pissed off. And I'm never getting those 15 minutes of my life back. -- K

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Talking Sh*t

It's Thoughtless Thursday and really, what's more thoughtless than not picking up dog poop?! I'm joining the Scoop that Poop Campaign to help get the word out. Last time I wrote a bad poop-themed poem; this time I've got pictures.

As an animal control officer, my duties include patrolling the beach front of my tiny beach town. My town allows dogs on the beach, whereas the neighboring beach towns prohibits dogs during peak hours. This means that all the dog-loving residents of north Florida flock to the 2 1/2 miles of beach I'm responsible for. Not everybody is happy with this arrangement, as many dog haters enjoy the beach too. My job is to make everybody happy. (I fail.) I'm on the beach 2-3 hours a day. My work hours shift with the seasons, so during the summer I can be on the beach as early as 6 AM or as late as 9 PM. And at least once a month I'm on the beach in plain clothes counting dogs and looking to see how many owners break the rules when they think Animal Control isn't watching. Did I mention that dogs on the beach is a big deal to my tiny town?

And that brings us to poop. Poop left on the beach is disgusting! People walk barefoot on the beach, sun worshipers lay on the beach, and children dig in the sand. No one wants to see, smell or step on a steaming pile of poop. You would think that this is a given . . . but no. I have seen people with a bag in hand look down the beach for my truck and walk away, leaving the pile behind. I have watched people kick sand over a fresh pile (like that makes a difference). And I have found bags of poop left on the beach to bake in the sun, often less than 20 yards from a trash can. Owners who let their dogs run off leash on the beach (a big no-no) never notice their dogs stopping to poop. People who play with their dogs in the surf never bring bags to the waterline. Their dogs poop in the water, leaving floating turds for swimmers and body surfers to dodge. Funny thing, people who get caught not picking up after their dogs always have the same excuse -- "I just ran out of bags" -- despite the fact that the city has bag stations at every entrance. And people wonder why the other beaches banned dogs!

I'm going to assume that these dog owners are ignorant (instead of just inconsiderate) and spell it out in pictures. See if you can guess which of these activities are ok and which are not.

Building silly things out of sand is ok.
(This sandman amused me so I took a picture of it.)

Walking a leashed dog on the beach while enjoying the scenery is ok.
(This amazed me so I took a picture of it too.)

Letting an unleashed dog poop on the beach is not ok. Let's hope that's picked up.
(Picture courtesy of The Limericist, who writes much better poop-themed poems than I do.)

Surfing during a storm is stupid, but it is ok.

Playing with a leashed dog on the beach is ok. 
(Look, it's baby Jedi!)

Leash or no leash, letting a dog poop in the water is not ok
(Photo courtesy holisticmonkey via flickr.)
Do you think people will get it now? Me neither. I guess that's job security! -- K
P.S. I'm going to try to attach this post to two -- yes two! -- separate hops. Cross your fingers! If I get it right, you will have all kinds of fun stuff to click on below.
Hop 1: Scoop that Poop hosted by Sugar the Golden Retriever, Oz the Terrier and Pawsitively Pets.

Hop 2: Thoughtless Thursday hosted by Ruckus the Eskie and Love is Being Owned by a Husky.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

This should be called Speechless Wednesday. Roxy (the dog) and Gucci (the cat) have had a love/hate relationship for 7 years. I guess in their old age -- they're 9 and 17 respectively -- they've decided to call a truce and take old lady naps together. I should join them!

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dog Training -- Works for People Too!

I wish my boss would talk to my dog trainer.

There are so many things that Trainer has taught me do with Jedi that I think would be suitable at my job as well. Here are the top five things from Trainer I wish my boss would incorporate at work:

Be Clear. I ensure my commands to Jedi are not ambiguous. I make sure I have eye contact, use short words that can't be confused with something else, and try not to mumble. For example, if it's time to go inside I'll say "Jedi, House" instead of "Well I think it's kind of late, maybe we should think about retiring for the evening." When Jedi runs to the door, I know he's got it.
Supervisors should give employees the same courtesy. It's frustrating to be told half way through a project that you're doing it wrong, or that's not what he was looking for. Tracking down your boss so he can explain a cryptic email is time-consuming. Deadlines and instructions should be clear and concise. And contrary to popular belief, everything can't be TOL (top of the list).
Be Consistent. In my house we have rules. Jedi must sit outside the kitchen while I'm preparing his dinner, he's never allowed out the front door without permission and the trash is off limits. I'm not being mean, that's just the way things are. Surprisingly, Jedi's okay with this. He seems to find comfort in being able to predict my behavior. In fact he gets concerned when the routine is "off."
On that same note, an inconsistent boss is a nightmare. Something that's condoned today should not be condemned tomorrow. It's easier to work for a consistent hardass than someone who's wishy-washy. Employees work better when they're not constantly looking over their shoulder to see to what's going on this time.
Praise Often (and don't be stingy with the treats). Jedi likes being told he's a good boy. You can see it on his face. He know he's done the right thing. A small reward -- be it a belly rub or a Beggin' Strip -- reinforces the behavior. In fact, if I praise and reward in a timely manner, he's more likely to do the behavior again!
Surprisingly, this works the same way with people. It's called operant conditioning. It's not a secret. Books have been written about it. Classes are taught on it. Say "thank you" and "Good job," leave donuts in the break room once in a while, and people will voluntarily work harder. Even better, happy people are more productive.
Have Reasonable Expectations (and set things up for success). When training a new behavior we always start out slow. At dog class Jedi will give me a down/stay for 10 minutes while Trainer is talking. But it wasn't always this way. In Puppy Kindergarten we were happy for a 3 second down, then a 5 second down, slowly working ourselves up to longer times. If Jedi became frustrated we'd back down to an easier level for a while before increasing the difficulty again.
This should be a no-brainer for management. No one wants to fail. It sucks. A good supervisor knows their employees' limitations. Train employees, then supervise until you know they've "got it." If projects are broken down into small, manageable bits, employees are more likely to succeed. Success breeds confidence.
And the final lesson, Don't Rub Their Noses In It. When potty training Jedi we knew mistakes were going to happen. And they did. Messes were cleaned up and we would try to figure out where we wrong in the training. Were we clear? Were we expecting too much too soon? Then we would try to come up with a strategy to prevent it from happening again. Belittling Jedi and constantly bringing up his shortcomings would have just been a waste of time. In fact, it could have ruined the trust between us, making things more difficult in the long run.
It's no different with people. Despite our best efforts sometimes "Shit Happens." When mistakes are harped on people are less likely to try, morale plummets and productively slows down. Let's just deal with it and move on.

There are other dog training techniques that would work for people as well. Things like:
  • Avoid distractions when teaching a new task
  • Find the best motivators for each individual/situation -- and use them!
  • Difficult tasks require a higher value reward
  • Watch your tone and body language
  • New tasks must be repeated multiple times before they become rote, so be patient
What do you think? Makes sense, hunh? I say forget all these management seminars. Instead, send supervisors to dog training classes. Not only will it make them better leaders, it'll make them happier people. Seriously, spending time with my dog is more fun than any leadership training class I've ever taken. -- K

P.S. I am thrilled to see the return of the Training Tips Tuesday hop. A big thanks to our hosts Dogthusiast and Tiffany's Diamond Dogs. This is probably my favorite blog hop. I always learn so much! Click below and see what gems others are sharing today.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Chuck It!

Chuck It!
We finally broke down and bought a Chuck It. I think we were the last family in Florida without one. The packaging was right, it really does fling the ball a long way! Thankfully the ball is neon orange, else we would have lost it several times. The dogs loved it for about 15 minutes -- and then they were worn out. (They're both passed out on the floor as I write this.) I tried to snap a few pictures while Hubby was launching the balls. Wanna see?

Jedi has the ball, Roxy wants it.
Now Roxy has the ball and Jedi wants it.
Jedi has the ball again and gives Roxy a raspberry.
Hubby's favorite part was that he could use the Chuck It to pick up the spitty ball, keeping his hands drool free. (Hubby gets more freaked out about drool and hair than I do.) Do you have a Chuck It? Do you like it? Got any tips? Inquiring pups want to know! -- K

P.S. We're participating in the Monday Mischief blog hop this week. Why not jump around and see what other pets are doing today?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beware of Animal Lovers

Warning: I feel another rant coming on!

When did "Animal Lover" become synonymous with "Stupid Idiot"? I can't count the number of times I've dealt with asinine situations only to have an indignant person tell me "I'm an animal lover!" Like that makes difference. Here are a few examples:
  • A guy found a very skinny, sick cat on his doorstep. He offered it food but the cat wouldn't eat. So what did Guy do? He opened the cat's mouth and tried to shove food down it's throat. Not surprisingly, the cat bit him. Then Guy panicked -- "What if it has rabies?" -- and called Animal Control. We impounded the cat and it died during quarantine. So we had to decapitate it and send it's head to the lab (this is the only definitive way to tell if something is rabid). When asked why he stuck his finger in the mouth of a stray cat, Guy responded "Because I'm an animal lover." P.S. The cat didn't have rabies. And if Guy had called me first, I would have taken the cat to the vet. It probably would have been euthanized, but at least it wouldn't have had to die alone in quarantine two days later.
  • I have several hoarders in my tiny town. They each have at least 20 regular cats that they feed, plus a dozen or more that just come by for a free meal. Hoarders' houses smell like dirty litter boxes. The stench from the door will knock you back; I don't know how people actually live inside. I try to help Hoarders by removing sick animals, getting adult cats fixed and finding homes for kittens. Yet every time we get things down to a manageable amount, Hoarders suddenly get more cats. It's frustrating. These people know it's unhealthy. They know the neighbors are fed up. But they just won't can't stop. Why? Because they're "animal lovers." And they're crazy. Really. They're crazy.
  • I got called to a strip mall. There was an English bulldog locked inside a car. The car was in full sun and all the windows were rolled up tight. The complainant said that the dog been there for at least 20 minutes. I could see the dog panting heavily, his tongue was bright red, and he was frothing at the mouth. My infrared thermometer said that the inside of the car averaged 102 degrees and was rising. I was trying to get a police officer to come out to break a window when the owner strolled up. (Mind you, I had been there for 10 minutes; the dog had been in that hot car for at least half an hour.) I had Owner pull the dog out and gave it some water. Then I wrote Owner a ticket for cruelty. She couldn't believe it because she "loves" her dog and "would never do anything to hurt him." Want to know the reason all the windows were up? She paid $3000 for the dog and was afraid someone would steal it. Because that's worse than dying from heat stoke.
  • Here's a personal example: I was at a dog show. A friend of another club member asked if she could pet Jedi. I said sure. (He was relaxed and had been touched by a hundred different people all weekend.) But instead of reaching out and scratching his chest or shoulder, Friend decided to grab Jedi by the muzzle, lean over him and stick her face in his face. Before I could say "What the hell are you doing?" Jedi barked and lunged, muzzle punching her in the mouth. (I'm sure he felt trapped, but I wish he would have just growled.) Jedi didn't break the skin, but he did leave a big bruise and gave her a fat lip. I corrected my dog and asked Friend if she was okay. She said yes, and told me she was "an animal lover." (I didn't see how those statements were connected, but was too upset to say "What?") Then Friend proceeded to tell me that her cat had jumped on her shoulder and peed down her back that morning. I guess he didn't realize she was an animal lover.
  • People who claim to "love" their animals surrender them to me all the time because they can't -- or won't -- pay for necessary vet care. Or a pet deposit. Or flea/heartworm treatment. Or food. Seriously.
I'm here to say that "love" is not enough. Love is not a substitute for responsibility or common sense. I literally cringe when someone tells me they're "an animal lover." Please, if you're truly an animal lover, SHOW me, don't tell me.

* And on a side note: I'm going to choke the next person who looks me in the face and says "I could never do your job because I'm an animal lover." Are they implying that I'm not?
Okay, my rant is over. You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. -- K

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sleepia Saturday

Jedi loves his crate!

I have never had a dog that was so content to be in a crate. We have two, an extra large wire crate and a smaller plastic airline crate. Jedi prefers the smaller one (probably a size too small for him). We leave it open most of the day. He'll climb in and out on his own, often taking short naps. He'll also run to his crate when he feels uncomfortable (strangers in the house), when he's trying to hide (ear cleaning time) or whenever he sees me put on my shoes (he still doesn't like car rides). When I say "Get in your box" he runs to it with enthusiasm. It sure has made life easier, especially when travelling to dog shows. I wish I know what we did! How about you? Do you use a crate? How's it going for you? -- K

P.S. This is a blog hop. See what others have to say in sepia today.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Fun Read

As I've mentioned before, I like to read. Most of my book choices are about dogs, dragons or dead people. So when I saw Dog On It by Spencer Quinn on the sale table at Books-a-Million I had to get it. This is the first in a mystery series about Chet and Bernie. The story is narrated by Chet -- the dog! -- as he follows his human, a private detective. It's actually quite funny. Like Jedi, Chet eats everything, marks often and is perplexed by certain human emotions. But his hypersensitive nose and keen observation of human behaviors help solve the case. It's a fun summer read and definitely worth the $5. -- K

P.S. I've already ordered the next book from Amazon.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Here's one for a Thoughtless Thursday. I was at Walmart the other day and saw this:

Why?! I don't understand the appeal. Maybe because I have two large dogs -- not to mention a kennel full of strays -- so I can get all the real poo I want. What do you think? Let me know. -- K

P.S. If you really must have this, you can get it on Amazon here.

This is a blog hop. Click below and see some more no-brainers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

  Jedi's Happy Place:

Jedi loves lounging in the yard. He'd be outside all day if I let him. (I don't because he likes to dig and bark at the neighbor's dog.) And Jedi LOVES chewing on bones. I've never known a dog to love bones as much as this guy. He usually only gets one when I need some uninterrupted time -- like blogging or watching Game of Thrones.
It's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around and see what others are up to today. -- K

Monday, June 9, 2014

Beat the Heat Fun

It's HOT here in Florida. Temperatures are in the 90s with high humidity. I'm miserable; I can't image how the dogs feel. For fun, Hubby and I bought 60 pounds of ice and filled up their kiddie pool. Wanna see their reactions?

At first Jedi wasn't so sure. Hubby tossed a few ice cubes to pique his interest.

We buried a few toys in the ice as well. He was curious.
He took a tentative step, and then . . .
he started digging. See all the ice he flung out?
He had a blast!
Roxy, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with it. This is as close as she got!
What are you doing to keep your dogs cool and entertained during the summer? Seriously, inquiring dogs want to know!
We've joined the Monday Mischief blog hop. Hop around and see what fun others are having today. -- K

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Remember Me?

Wow, I just looked at my last post and realized that it's been over a month since I've been here. Sorry. Did you think I was dead? Let's catch up:

If I were a cat . . .
WORK: I lost another partner. He gave a whole two days notice. For those who are counting, that's three partners in three years. When are the powers that be going to realize that "something ain't right"? As soon as we get new animal control officers trained and certified they leave for a better job. I know what you're thinking: Why am I not leaving? I'd like to switch paths -- as in not be an ACO but possibly stay in a related field. It's harder than I thought. I have applications out there. (Tips and prayers are most welcome, by the way!) Anywho, my last partner left me with quite a mess including: a dangerous dog in the kennel with a drawn-out legal battle, a couple bite cases, animals in quarantine, and several unfinished pet projects from the Chief. Even on my days off I've been going in to feed animals, check messages, etc. Today is the first day I haven't had to go to work in a month. I'm exhausted.
HA! I should take more
lessons from my dogs!

PERSONAL: I've developed some health issues. I've had a dozen appointments with four different doctors since my birthday six weeks ago. I'm not going to bore you with the details -- this is a dog blog after all. The good news is that I'm not dying; the bad news is that I'm REALLY stressed out and it's affecting my health. [From my doctor: Wine, brownies and profanity are not the best way to solve problems. I respectfully disagree.] To make things worse, my old house and old car are in about as good a shape as my old body, so a large portion of my time and money has gone to repairs. (OK, and wine. And brownie mix.)

DOGS: The dogs are awesome. They keep me sane. Jedi and I have class on Monday nights out at K-9 Obedience Club. He's doing well. I'm trying to get him into a Canine Good Citizen class so he can earn his AKC CGC award. I'm nervous and excited. His chest hasn't filled out yet, so we're still on a hiatus from the show ring. There is no way my adolescent pup can compete with the big boys right now. Between me and you, I think we needed a break anyway.

CAT: Gucci's not looking so good. She's 17(ish). She's lost weight and is slowing down quickly. We think our time with her is coming to an end, so we're making the most of it while we can. She seems to enjoy the extra attention, not to mention the baked chicken and real tuna.

OK, enough about me. I'm bumming myself out. I'm going back to the dog-related stuff. And I'll try to post more often. Promise! -- K

P.S. Saw this and it made me laugh. Hope you snicker too.