Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Swear It's True!

From time to time I share my crazy work stories. I swear they're true (seriously, I'm not that imaginative). However, I do change names and identifying facts to protect myself. It's a strange job, but it pays the bills so I'd like to keep it. With that in mind, welcome to my crazy world . . .
Not my raccoo
I received a call over the radio. The dispatcher said there was a sick raccoon in the backyard of 1410 State Street. I was met by a young woman. She told me she used to work for a veterinarian, so she knew the raccoon was rabid. I grabbed my catch pole and told her to stay back. When I approached the raccoon I saw that it was missing part of its left ear, had a large scrape on its left side, and the left rear leg appeared to be broken. The poor thing was a mess. I gently scooped it up and put it in a transfer cage. As I returned to my truck the young woman said, "It's lethargic, it walks funny and is out during the day. It definitely has rabies." I told her I thought it was probably hit by a car. She was flabbergasted.
I had a woman call last week to report that her cat was missing. She was in a panic. She had recently moved to the area and was afraid her cat didn't know how to get home. I loaned her a trap and suggested she bait it with her cat's favorite food. I gave her some tips and told her not to worry, the cat was probably within a three block radius and I suspected it would show up in the next few days. She was still frantic. She called me everyday and I told her the same thing every time. Long story short . . . The woman called a pet psychic. She spent $80 for the psychic to tell her to put the trap on the next street over and the cat would be back in a couple of days. Guess what, the cat came back. She called me raving about how accurate the psychic was -- never mind that I had told her the same thing . . . for free! Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong profession.
Bipolar Betty had two dogs -- a big black one and a big white one. The dogs got out on a Sunday and killed the neighbor's Chihuahua. In the dead of night, Betty drove her dogs three states away before the incident was reported the following morning. There was a dispute as to which dog killed the Chihuahua. All the witnesses said it was the black dog. Betty swore it was the white one. She refused to let me see the dogs. She even refused to show me pictures and instructed he vet not to speak to me. We went round and round. Lawyers got involved. Ten days into the investigation she said that her dogs had different bite patterns, so what I needed to do was dig up the dead Chihuahua and compare the wound to her dogs' mouths . . . uh, no. And if even we had agreed to her outrageous request, she said she was not bringing her dogs back to Florida, so I had nothing to compare the wounds to anyway.
This is a real toy, and yes, I own one.
I named mine after a local hoarder.
A woman called me at 10 AM saying that she was moving and had to get rid of her cat. She asked if I would take it. When she gave me her address, I realized she was about 5 miles outside of my city limits. However, she was about 20 miles away from the County shelter. I told her that I had one empty cage (I only have 5 cages total) and a pickup scheduled for the following morning. I made a deal with her: if she brought me the cat by 5 PM I would take it. Not only would this save her the trip, but it would save her about $75 in fees. She said that she didn't have a car and asked if I would come get it. I told her no. My truck is on GPS (so the boss knows when I leave my jurisdiction) and technically she does not qualify for my services. I was doing this as a favor and on the down low because I was not suppose to use City resources for people who don't pay City taxes. I told her that the offer expired at 5 PM, at which time I had to notify the County what they were picking up the following day. Otherwise, she needed to take her cat the County shelter between 8 AM and noon Tuesday through Friday, and pay the surrender fee plus no vaccination and no county tags penalties. (I don't charge those fees.) Well, no good deed goes unpunished. Not only did she not bring me the cat, she also called and complained. Twice. I've been told to stop being nice to people. I've never been accused of being too nice before. I don't know how to handle this.

Yes, these are real stories. I have a hundred more, all equally bizarre. Some days I think I'm trapped in a Twilight Zone episode. Other days I just drink.

In honor of Thoughtless Thursday I'm going to stop thinking about my crazy job before I go insane. Thanks Ruckus the Eskie, M.K. Clinton and the pups over at Love is Being Owned by a Husky for giving me a safe place to vent. When you're done with my insanity, click around below to see what others are thinking about (or not thinking about) today. -- K


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shady Wednesday

It's HOT out there. Jedi and I make sure to enjoy as many shady spots as we can find.

And on a totally unrelated note, look what came in the mail this week:
Jedi earned his CGC title in March, and the AKC sent us a fancy certificate about 6 weeks later. However, since Jedi is a German shepherd (and we're members of the club) the German Shepherd Dog Club of America sent us a congratulations AND posted it in the national magazine. How cool is that?
This is the Wordless Wednesday hop, so I'd better shut up before I'm not allowed to play. Anyway, hop below around and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Monday, July 27, 2015

Who Dat?

Do you ever wonder if animals recognize themselves in a mirror? Neuropsychological researcher Stanley Coren (author of The Intelligence of Dogs) has an interesting article about it here from Psychology Today.

On this Mischief Monday Hubby and I introduced Drogo to the mirror. Adult male bearded dragons can be aggressive toward each other, so we expected him to puff up and bob his head at the "other dragon." Instead, he sat quietly and admired his reflection. I don't blame him, he's a good looking lizard!

Anyway, this is being linked up to the Awww...Monday and Monday Mischief blog hops. When you're tired of laughing at my lizard hop around and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sepia Dragon

I know this is Kelley's DOG Blog, but regular visitors will recognize Drogo, our favorite bearded dragon. I have never known a reptile to have so much personality. His permanent grin and agreeable temperament also make it easy to dress him up and take silly pictures. You can see those pictures on his Fashion Dragon page. However, today I'm posting a more dignified picture.
Drogo's head tilt is just endearing as any dog's
Both Hubby and Son #1 are reptile enthusiasts and we've had several different species over the years. Bearded dragons are my favorite by far. They are heartier and easier to care for than most. The don't grow as large as iguanas and seem to have a nicer temperament. And unlike snakes, their diet consists of bugs, fruits and vegetables. No mice or rats. I used to have rodents as pets, so it's distressing for me to use them as food. Therefore, this is a snake-free house. Luckily for Drogo, I have no emotional attachment to bugs.
Before you run out and get a Beardie of your own, there are a few things you should consider:
  • They need large tanks to be comfortable. Do you have the room for one?
  • They need a warm climate. This could require heat lamps in the colder months.
  • They need special lighting, both day and night. The bulbs can be expensive. And they get hot, so in the summer you may need to change bulbs to keep the right temperature in the tank.
  • Substrate isn't cheap and needs to be cleaned regularly. (We use a special reptile-safe sand.) And it needs to be completely changed periodically.
  • Dragons are social creatures. You need to handle them frequently. They also need supervised exercise.
  • Fresh fruit, vegetables and live crickets have a short shelf life. You will have to buy and prepare food frequently.
  • Crickets stink. We buy 50-75 at a time and keep them in a separate tank, feeding only 8-12 at a time. We still have to go to the pet store at least once a week to buy bugs. Crickets have a high mortality rate. Since we only feed live crickets, many are thrown out.
Still interested in a bearded dragon? Check out The Bearded Dragon. This is the most comprehensive site I've found and all the information is free. And if you have/get a beardie, let me know!
We're joining Ruckus the Eskie and Earl's World in this Sepia Saturday hop. Click around and see what others are sharing today! -- K

Friday, July 24, 2015

National Hot Dog Day

Yesterday I was flipping through the channels and saw a Sonic commercial. They were advertising a special deal on hot dogs for National Hot Dog Day. What?! I didn't even know that was a thing. The kids and I looked at each other in disbelief, then we loaded the dogs in the car and headed to the nearest Sonic.

Not the kind of "hot dog" we're looking for Jedi.

Does Roxy wants a hot dog?

I think that's a "yes!"

Jedi doesn't need any help with his hot dog

So did anybody else know that National Hot Dog Day was a thing? We love hot dogs. I'm putting it on the calendar so we don't miss it next year. -- K

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just What I Asked For

I've mentioned before that Hubby and the kids have nicknamed Jedi "Kelso." Like the That 70's Show character, Jedi is a pretty boy who often does dumb things. Sometimes, however, I suspect my dog is a lot smarter than my family thinks. And other times I'd swear he understands every word I say.
Jedi has never been a cuddly dog. I know he loves me, and he's demonstrative with his affection, but it's usually just a quick lick, a goofy grin or a bump-n-wag. He never stays still for loving more than a minute or two before wriggling away. I guess that's just who he is and I don't want to force him to do something he's uncomfortable with.
Dozer, Jedi's brother
About a month ago I went to visit my friend Blondie. Jedi's brother, Dozer, lives with Blondie and her family. I was sitting on the love seat chatting away when Dozer suddenly climbed up and put his head in my lap. He stayed that way for the longest time. I was so amazed that I snapped a picture of it with my phone. It's an unflattering picture of me, so I'm not going to show it to you. However, I did show it to Jedi when I got home, saying something akin to "Look what your brother does! I'd really like it if you'd do that too." He gave me a goofy grin and bounced off.
Fast forward to last week. I came home early with a sore back. I went to bed and figured it would be better in the morning. It wasn't. It was worse. But stubborn me still waited several days before going to the doctor -- just in case it got better by itself. (BTW, I'm not real fond of going to the doctor.) By the time I got an appointment I was in excruciating pain taking all the old painkillers I could find in the medicine cabinet. My backache turned out to be a kidney/bladder infection. OUCH. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and better pain meds, along with instructions to stay in bed and rest. Here's the amazing part: Jedi never left my side. When I was in bed, he cuddled up beside me for hours at a time. When I was on the couch, he was next to me resting his head on my leg. And when I was on the floor crying in pain, he was laying over me, licking the tears from my face. My snuggle-free dog turned into the biggest cuddle bunny I've ever seen . . . just what I had asked for.
Jedi -- see the family resemblance?
Alas, it was short lived. Now that I'm on the mend Jedi has returned to his old ways. He still follows me room to room -- he is a shepherd after all -- but he keeps watch from a distance, with the occasional quick lick or bump-n-wag to say hello.
Now that I'm feeling better I've got some blogs to catch up on. I missed you guys! And hopefully a few posts of my own will come along shortly. I discovered that it's hard to be creative while in pain. I also discovered that you can find an episode of Law and Order and/or Law and Order: SVU on TV any time of the day or night. Who knew?

Despite my tale of the thoughtful thing Jedi did for me, it's Thoughtless Thursday! We're joining Ruckus the Eskie, M.K. Clinton and the pups over at Love is Being Owned by a Husky and all the folks below to share what thoughts are -- or aren't -- in our heads today. Check it out! -- K

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Drogosaurus

I went to see Jurassic World. I have mixed feelings about it. I'll rant about that later. But for now, I'll share this:

King of  the Dinosaurs
Yep, we're still at it. Poor Drogo. Want to see more? Check out Drogo's Fashion Dragon page. The again, maybe you shouldn't. There's a good chance you'll never think of me the same way. Yikes.

This is a hop! Click below to see what others are sharing today. -- K

Monday, July 20, 2015

Beat the Heat Fun

It's hot outside. I don't want to be out any longer than I have to. Honestly, I don't want to do anything! But if we don't find something to keep Jedi occupied, he finds a way to entertain himself. It's not always good. Sure, it makes for a fun Monday Mischief post to read, but it doesn't make for fun household. Thus my never ending quest for -- dare I say it? -- Jedi mind tricks. Today I'm sharing our latest Anti-Mischief find.
A few weeks ago Hubby tagged me in a Facebook post from Folsom Veterinary Hospital. You may have seen it too. Essentially, they made a giant flavored ice cube for dogs. I thought it sounded interesting so we gave it a try.
I bought a carton of low sodium chicken broth and gathered up scraps from the last few dinners. We had a little steak, a bit of grilled chicken and a hot dog, all cut into tiny pieces. Yum. I diluted the chicken broth with water to make about two quarts. I found a clean plastic container and went to town. The trick is to freeze it in sections so the tidbits are spread throughout the cube (otherwise everything ends up on the bottom).
I started with the chicken. I dropped a handful in the bottom of the container, poured about a third of the broth/water mixture over top and froze it until it was solid -- a good three hours or so. Next came the steak and another third of the liquid. Again, it had to freeze rock solid to get the layered effect. Finally, I dumped in the hot dog and the rest of the liquid. Then I let it sit in the freezer overnight.
The following day we ran the container under hot water and plopped the ice cube into the dogs' kiddie pool. Jedi thought that was the best thing ever!
He licked and chewed on that giant ice cube non-stop for 45 minutes until Hubby had to take it away because it was starting to rain. (Welcome to Florida!) This is definitely an outside treat.
Don't worry, he got it again the next day and picked up right where he left off. Roxy, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. Go figure.

This is a blog hop! Click around to see what kind of mischief others are getting in to. A great big thanks to Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Alfie’s Blog and My Brown Newfies for hosting today's fun! -- K

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Time For a Career Change?

The other day I realized that I have been an animal control officer for over 10 years. 10 YEARS! Lately I've discovered little idiosyncrasies that might indicate it's time for me to do something else.
  • My memory is strangely selective. There are residents that I see regularly. I can remember the names of all the dogs, but can't seem to remember the names of the people.

  • However, if someone was a jerk to me not only do I remember his name but everything else associated with him -- address, the car he drives, where he works and every ugly word that fell out of his mouth.

  • My work clothes get more use than anything else in my closet.

  • Whether I like it or not, certain smells are ingrained in my brain:
    • I can smell an embedded collar from 10 yards away.
    • I can accurately detect Parvo with my nose alone.
    • I can walk past someone in Walmart and tell that she's a hoarder.
    • I can differentiate dog pee from cat pee and human pee. (Sadly, this has come in handy.)

  • I have called my family on the way home and had them put my robe in the laundry room so that I could wash my uniform right away without walking through the house.

Not the balls we're talking about buddy!
Apparently I notice -- and comment on -- unneutered dogs while driving. My sons have said "Mom, please quit looking at dogs balls!" more times than I can count.

Animal Cops has been banned in my house. I get frustrated and yell at the TV, telling the ACOs to quit playing it up for the camera and use their safety equipment.

I am a vinyl glove connoisseur. Seriously, latex is for rookies.

  • What’s that cologne I'm wearing? Adam's Flea Spray!

  • I have a deep-seated distrust of all Chihuahuas.

  • I eat more meals in my work truck than I do at the kitchen table. I even have a stash of plastic forks and extra straws in the glove box.

  • I point out unleashed dogs in my friends' Facebook photos.

You see cheap nylon leashes, I see the ultimate multi-tool!
  • I have done things with a nylon slip lead that would make MacGyver jealous.

  • My colleagues and I have shared gruesome case details and photos over lunch. They didn't ruin our appetites, but the eavesdroppers behind us were a little queasy afterwards.

  • I did the math: I have over 4000 hours of beach driving experience. I'm an excellent driver, yet I still have nightmares about running over children buried in the sand.

  • I have walked into a room and said "Oh God, what's that horrible smell?!" only to discover that it was me.

  • I have 12 veterinarians, eight ACOs, four shelters, three wildlife rescues, Rabies Control, Fish & Wildlife, a pet crematorium and an at-home euthanasia service programmed into my cell phone. In comparison, I have seven family members in the same phone.

It's Thoughtless Thursday, and as usual I am thinking too much! But Ruckus the Eskie, M.K. Clinton and the pups over at Love is Being Owned by a Husky let me link up anyway. Thanks guys! Anyway, once you're finished with my nonsense, click around and see what others are thinking -- or not thinking -- about today. -- K

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

The 4th of July was hot! I wasn't sure how Jedi would feel about fireworks so I took him to our local college campus for a little exercise in the lush grass around the giant pond. I was hoping that if he was tired he'd be less anxious. I guess it worked. Our neighborhood sounded like a war zone and he was oblivious to the whole thing!

Not easy pic to get. Jedi was more interested in the geese than he was the camera.

And on a totally unrelated note, look what came in the mail yesterday! It's Jedi's Temperament Certificate! Now we can officially add the title TC to his registered name.
Even better news, it's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around to see what others are sharing today. -- K

Saturday, July 4, 2015

My American GSD

My gorgeous American show line dog
Most people look at Jedi and see a German shepherd dog. Period. German shepherd people, however, like categorized German shepherds. They ask things like "Show lines or working lines? American, German or Czech?" So what does this mean?
Many Herding breeds and Working breeds are divided into show lines and working lines. Basically, this depends on the primary reason the dog was bred.
  • Show line breeders emphasize conformation to the breed standard. Height, weight, proportion, angulation, gait, coat color and texture are all important.
  • Working line breeders emphasize function, drive, instinct and performance.
The truth is, you'll never get a perfect dog. A show breeder may choose a dog with a lower energy level and weak instincts as long as the conformation is correct. A working line breeder, however, may choose a misproportioned, poorly coated dog if it has the right drive to do what needs to be done. It should be noted that a responsible breeder always breeds for health and temperament above all else.

Country of origin can make a difference too. European German shepherds tend to have a higher drive and can be more aggressive (especially if they aren't working enough). Most police dogs and protection dogs have European roots. American dogs (both U.S. and Canada) tend to have lower energy levels and -- dare I say? -- are much prettier. Please note: All these are generalized statements. You can always find a dog that doesn't follow the norm. I have seen beautiful European dogs in the show ring and I have seen American dogs kick ass in herding and protection sports. Even better, I have seen well-rounded dogs with both conformation and working titles.

So, does it matter? Some people think it does. Some people will even vehemently argue that one group is better and the other is "ruining the German shepherd dog." I recommend you avoid those people. However, if you're looking to add a German shepherd to your life you should take these things into consideration depending on what you want to do with the dog. And ask the breeder what traits she was looking to pass on when she chose to pair up those two dogs.

It's Sepia Saturday! We are joining Ruckus the Eskie and Earl's World as we share what's on our mind with an auburn hue. Click around and see what others are sharing today! -- K

Thursday, July 2, 2015

From the Phone Log

I have a phone log at work. I record all the phone calls that come into the office including names, dates, times, addresses, when the call was returned, the nature of the call and any notes about the conversation. I use Excel spreadsheets because they're convenient and searchable. FYI: That log has saved my butt several times. I'm not saying that residents lie -- but several have over-exaggerated and/or omitted information when lodging complaints to my boss. I know! Not only do the logs keep me informed and protect my heinie, they can also be entertaining. Sometimes the messages left on my machine are down right hysterical. Here are some of my favorites from the past few months. As usual, it's all true, but I have changed addresses and street names to protect the innocent ME! Enjoy.

  • Caller wants to report a kitten that was hit and killed on Mayfield Road earlier today. It's before you get to the little park on the right. She doesn't know what street that is but wants to know if somebody picked it up. Kelley's Notes: Mayfield Road is 10 miles long and crosses two jurisdictions. The caller didn't leave a name or phone number so I couldn't get any additional information. I haven't received any other calls, so I'm assuming it's either gone or not on our part of Mayfield Road.

  • Caller thinks there is something living in the storm drain on the corner of Davis and Petunia because his dog won’t leave it alone when they go for a walk. He wants to know if I'm brave enough to stick my face in the hole and take a look. Kelley's notes: I am not. Whatever is there will have to stay there.

  • Caller saw our "found dog" ad on Craigslist. She wants to know if it's hers. She is missing an intact red-nosed pit bull, male. He's been gone since March (two months), thinks he got out through a hole in the fence. No microchip, she doesn't believe in those. No collar, dog "never leaves the yard." Kelley's notes: It's not her dog. Our dog is a female Chihuahua mix. BTW, the ad has a picture.

  • Caller saw a "malnutritious puppy" on Franco Street. Kelley's notes: Good thing we don't eat dog! Seriously, patrol area and look for a skinny dog.

  • A woman has a stray cat that has been hanging around for years; they "kind of adopted him." The cat has started acting up, scratching people and dogs walking by her house. She's looking for advice before deciding whether or not to euthanize the cat. Kelley's notes: I suggested having a vet rule out any medical issues before euthanizing. The cat could be in pain and acting out to keep from getting hurt. She said she hadn't thought of that. You're welcome kitty!

  • The dogs at 1401 Adams bark at the garbage men on Thursday mornings. The neighbor at 1399 yells, screams and bangs on fence at the dogs. Caller works nights and wants everybody to "just shut the fuck up" so he can get some sleep. Kelley's notes: Contact dog owner and suggest dogs be contained inside the house on Thursday mornings between 8 and 10.

  • A squirrel fell into her pool. She fished it out and wants to know what to do with it. It's breathing but not moving. She doesn't know if it's "brain dead or just resting." Kelley's notes: When I called back she stated that the squirrel had gotten up and ran away. I'd guess it was just resting.

  • Ducks keep flying into his pool. They show up around 5:30 every night. Kelley's notes: ??

  • There is a dead cat on Cedar Drive. The vultures are eating it. "It looks like the Serengeti over here!" Kelley's notes: LOL!

  • There's a stray gray pit bull at the Villas. The dog is very friendly, but he keeps attacking leaf blower. The lawn guy can't finish and we pay him by the hour. Kelley's notes: I picked up the dog. He was very friendly.

  • The neighbors are letting their cat out and it's attacking everybody else's cats. They won’t get it fixed. She thinks the other neighbor, Larry, will hurt the cat. She wants something done right away. She'll do whatever it takes. Kelley's notes: 20 minutes later she called back saying she changed her mind and doesn’t want to get involved. Larry is her son’s father. Please don’t do anything, and don’t say anything to the neighbors about the cat. She doesn’t want any trouble.

  • Caller says there's an opossum outside her window during the day. She thinks it has rabies. Kelley's notes: I told her not to worry. It's not uncommon for opossums to be out during the day. I also told her that an opossum's body temperature is too low to support the rabies virus. It's not rabid. She told me I was lying.

  • Ms. Taylor says that something is digging holes under her house. It's agitating her dogs and they're keeping her up all night. She's frustrated. If she catches it can she kill it? Kelley's notes: I gave her the number to the Florida Wildlife Commission and told her that it was illegal to discharge a firearm in the city limits.

As I've said before, this job is seldom boring. I couldn't make up anything this bizarre if I tried.

It's Thoughtless Thursday! Click around and see what others are thinking -- or not thinking -- about today. -- K

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

Drogo wants to wish everybody a happy -- and safe! -- 4th of July holiday weekend.

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