Sunday, January 31, 2016

In-Field First Aid & CPR for Dogs

One of the last things I posted was the Pet Bloggers Challenge on January 10th. In it I specifically said that I want to post more regularly. So, 21 days later, I bring you this. LOL.

Truth is, I've been busy. And a nasty chest cold swept through the house and knocked us all on our asses. If it makes you feel any better, while sick I sketched out five future posts. Getting them post-worthy though . . .

One of the things I did during my blogging silence was take an Emergency Care and CPR course for working K9 handlers and first responders. WOW. This was different from the Red Cross Pet First Aid class I took years ago. That class was geared towards pet owners and focused on what to do if your pet was injured. This class, however, was designed for dogs working in the field, mainly police K9 units and military working dogs. It was fascinating. A couple things I learned are:
  • Inspect your dog everyday: ears, nose, feet, skin, mouth, etc. It's important to know what is normal for your working dog. If something is abnormal it should be addressed immediately.
  • It's also important to know your dog's working temperature. Dogs who work on a regular basis can safely be several degrees higher than what is considered "normal."
  • Should your dog ever over heat, it's important to cool him down right away. Use ice water if necessary; the benefits of a quick cool down outweigh the risks. Then take him to the vet, even if he looks okay. There could be hidden damage to vital organs.
  • Don't use hydrogen peroxide to flush out wounds. It damages healthy tissue. Instead, use saline. The vet suggested raiding the dollar store for squeeze bottles of saline. Put a bottle or two in your travel first aid kit. Be aggressive when flushing out of wound.
  • Unroll and reroll your vet wrap to keep it from being too tight when you need it.
  • Dogs have extremely strong chest muscles. Performing CPR on a dog is hard. Success rates aren't all that great, but you should learn how to do it anyway.
Because this was a class geared towards working dogs, we discussed things like bullet wounds, stabbings an accidental ingestion of illegal drugs. We were given handouts on what to put in an advanced first aid kit and the dosages for epinephrine, atropine and Narcan in emergency situations. We even practiced intubating on CPR dog dummies.

The same day I took the class I got an email from Trudog with the following infographic inside.

Stay safe. I'll have something for you tomorrow. Promise. -- K

Monday, January 11, 2016

Awww...Can't Kill Them

I post stuff about my dogs a lot. All my blogging buddies are saying "Yeah, and . . ." But you guys come here expecting to hear about the adventures of Jedi and Roxy. This is Kelley's Dog Blog after all. Well apparently some of my Facebook friends didn't get the memo. The other day Hubby ran into an old coworker of mine. Coworker asked "So what's up with Kelley and that dog?" Hubby was duly perplexed, so Coworker elaborated. "It's like every other post is about her dog." Hubby laughed and showed Coworker his phone. This is his screen saver pic:

See, Hubby's got the Puppy Love too. But then Hubby gently explained to Coworker that Jedi is my stress reliever. I am happier and calmer these days. That dog has undoubtedly prevented me from murdering several people (who probably deserved it). Yep, that's why I love him!

I recently downloaded a meme creator app. It's a fun way to share my sarcasm. Here's my latest one, inspired by Hubby and Coworker's conversation.

It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers get together and share things that make you say "Awww." (Though in my case that may be short for "Awww shit! That girl ain't right!") Thanks Sandee over at Comedy Plus for hosting this. Hop around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Pet Blogger Challenge

It's that time of year again, time for the Pet Blogger Challenge. Pet bloggers worldwide answer 10 not-so-simple questions and share what they know with each other. This is the fourth time I've participated in the challenge. Each time I find new blogs to follow and learn a few things in the process. Thanks Amy over at Go Pet Friendly for putting this together. Without any further ado, here are this year's questions.

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

The puppy I waited 35 years for
I've been blogging for three and a half years. Kelley's Dog Blog is my story: A sarcastic, slightly neurotic woman decided to get an AKC German Shepherd puppy at the age of 44 and tries to enter the world of dog showing and dog sports. Truth is, I suck big time -- but I'm having fun. Along the way I share some of my adventures as an animal control officer in a small beach town. I have a bad attitude and a potty mouth. I drink too much wine, eat too many brownies and may or may not have homicidal fantasies. I blog because it's cheaper than therapy. I don't know why people read my blog. Seriously.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I completed the Blogging A to Z Challenge in April. That was more difficult than I had imagined! I chose the subject of dog shows. I learned a lot about the subject myself in the process. It helped me recommit to showing and we entered 18 dog shows in 2015. You can see the entire A to Z posts here. Surprisingly, the most visited post in that series was P -- Pedigrees and Registrations. Who would have guessed that?!

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

The meme
I really put a lot of thought into If You're on the Fence, Get a Lab. Anyone who has seen my blog knows that I am a German shepherd girl. However, GSDs are not for everyone and this post was written for a woman on Google+ in hopes of dissuading her from getting a German shepherd puppy. A similar, but more tongue-in-cheek post was So You Want a GSD. That one was inspired by a silly meme a friend posted on my Facebook page.

4. What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

Again, that would have to be the Blogging A to Z Challenge. What I really liked about the challenge was that I met so many people outside my genre of pet blogging. In fact, I sought out interesting sounding blogs that had nothing to do with dogs. (I know, gasp.) I really enjoyed it and wish I had had more time to read other blogs. Unfortunately, putting out 26 posts in 30 days was grueling and time consuming. I'm glad I completed the challenge, but I'm not going to do it again this year.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

The shirt says "My dog makes me happy.
You, not so much."
My most popular post this year was 8 Photos of Happiness. It was a fun and happy challenge that went around the internet. The post was probably so popular because everybody relates to fun and happy.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

There are four or five blogs that I read religiously. The one that I seek out first, though, is Let's Go Dog. The author, Leah, had two big, beautiful dogs and a wanderlust. Like me, Leah can over think things -- but she's much better at finding solutions. The blog is fun and informative. It's also beautifully done. The pictures are gorgeous, the layout is clean, and typos are nonexistent. (I have no idea how she does it.) I loved her Postcards from the Perimeter series. Leah and her dogs got a motor home and traveled the perimeter of the United States for three months, blogging about it the whole time. My favorite, favorite part was when she stopped right here in Jacksonville. I got to meet her in real life!

NOT Jedi. He's just as computer
illiterate as I am!
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

Yeah, well, this is where I really suck. My old computer bit the dust and I'm still trying to figure out Windows 10 which came with the new one. So until then, I do most of my blogging and picture editing on my not-so-smart phone. I play around with Google+, but it's not as user friendly as I would like. I'm on Facebook all the time but I don't link my blog to Facebook very often. (I try to keep those two worlds separate.) So, skills? I don't got no skills.

Jedi ate my glasses, so I need
something easy to read
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Make it easy for the reader. Too much "clutter" slows the download (especially for those of us trying to read on a cell phone). Lots of bright colors and multiple fancy fonts are distracting. Also, make it easy to comment so readers like me can join the conversation.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

I would like to post more regularly. I tend to write in spurts. Sometimes I can come up with five posts in three days. Other times I can go five days without a single idea. I notice I get more hits when I post regularly. However, I don't like to post unless I have something worth saying.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

Can somebody please explain Twitter!

So that's it for the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge. Now I'm off to read what everybody else has to share! See you tomorrow. -- K

Saturday, January 9, 2016

ORTs, Take One

As I mentioned on Thursday, my friend and I headed to West Palm Beach to take the birch odor recognition test. We were able to leave Jacksonville at a decent time and miss most of the traffic. Better still, the weather cooperated and we stayed dry. We ended up in West Palm around 3:30 in the afternoon and stayed at a hotel right on the water. The rate was twice what I like to pay, but it was really, really nice. Semi was a very good boy this trip. Jedi, however, felt like being a jerk so the dogs had to be separated most of the evening. They finally became friends on the way back home. Too late, knuckleheads!

A fellow German Shepherd Dog Club member designs GSD themed shirts. I packed my green one for the trial. Little did I know that my friend packed her blue one. We looked like goofy twins. No matter, everyone was looking at the gorgeous dogs anyway.

My friend and I we're running our dogs back to back. Another friend was only testing clove, so the judge let her in to take pictures of us running our dogs (her hide would be later and in a different box). Unfortunately, she's an iPhone user and my old Android wasn't up to par. This is the best picture of the bunch and it's a bit blurry. Sorry.

So how did we do? Well, Semi passed; Jedi did not. I called alert on the end box, but the odor was really in the box next to it. I should have taken him around again to make sure he was interested in the right box. I was nervous and forgot how long three minutes really is. It didn't help that the staging area was also the potty area. It was full of pea gravel and . . . well . . . pee. Pee (especially girl pee) is Jedi's Kryptonite. By the time we left the staging area to go to the practice boxes Jedi was drooling and unfocused. Damn testicles really make him stupid sometimes. Yes, I'm disappointed, but this early morning view from our hotel softens the blow.

Nice, hunh? Did I mention it was 75 degrees -- the second week of January? Anyway, I have no idea when we'll be able to take the ORT again. I looked at the trial calendar. The closest one in the next six months is in Oklahoma. Uh, no. We're going to keep practicing until something comes along. But for now I need to vacuum my car. Both dogs are blowing coat. We used crates and seat covers, yet there is still enough hair in my car to make a third German shepherd. -- K

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hoping and Hot Boxing

If all goes well, this time tomorrow Jedi and I will be in West Palm. Am I nervous? You bet! First of all, I'm not real fond of driving. According to MapQuest it's 275 miles from my house to the testing site. My plan is to leave early so that we can get to West Palm before rush hour. The weather forecast says there's a good chance of rain as well, so I want to leave plenty of wiggle room for stupid drivers. Cross your fingers.

We've been practicing nose work in the driveway. Sometimes Jedi gets really excited and skips the first few boxes. I'm trying a trick called "hot boxing" to help remedy this. Every second or third run, the scent is in the first box. Hopefully this will encourage him to check the first box.

Most of the time Jedi paws at the box with the target scent inside. This is great, as I have to tell the judge when he finds the odor. Sometimes all he does is give me a look. I don't always "get" the look. And if I can't read his alert we don't pass. And I will have wasted a lot of time and money. sigh. Fortunately, the friend going down with me has done this before with Jedi's brother. She's walked me through what to expect so it's not such a mystery. Still, I'm nervous.

On a happier note, Jedi and I started our new nose work class this morning. A few of my friends from the German Shepherd Dog Club are in the class too. I really like the instructor and think we're going to have fun. I'll tell you all about it another time. Right now I've got to get ready for tomorrow. You know, last minute shopping, packing, laundry, blah, blah, blah. Wish us luck. I'll share the results when we get back!

It's Thoughtless Thursday! And as usual, I'm thinking too much. Lucky for me 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 for hosting this. Anyway, hop around below and see what others are thinking (and not thinking) about today. -- K

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Today Can Wait

It has dropped nearly 40 degrees it the past week. The temperature was in the mid 80s the last week of December. Now things are where they should be for this time of year, with overnight lows in the 40s. I had to throw an extra blanket on the bed. I don't mind; I sleep better when it's cooler.

This morning it's tough to get out of bed. I have a busy schedule today. I need to to get up. But I'm warm and comfy wrapped in one of my mother's homemade quilts. Not only is it beautiful, it's the perfect size and weight for cocooning. It's like being wrapped in Mom's love.

When Hubby got up for work Jedi decided to climb in bed with me. With a sigh and a soft lick, he laid down on beside me. He hardly ever wants to snuggle. I snapped this picture and hit the snooze alarm. By the way, I'm writing this post in bed. It's dark, quiet and comfortable here. Soon I'll have to get up and get going. But for now, the day can wait.

You may not be able to tell by my post, but it's Wordless Wednesday. Click around below and see what others have to share today. -- K

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Yes, this is Kelley's DOG Blog and we're opening 2016 with a picture of a lizard. That's the kind of year I'm hoping for -- quirky, adventurous, unpredictable and fun. (Plus, I couldn't get Jedi to wear a hat.) Jedi and I are starting the new year at full speed. We have several things going on this month, including:
  • Starting today: silly dog tricks! I've always loved Kyra Sundance's Do More With Your Dog stuff. It's a fun and positive way to have fun with the pups. There are even Trick Dog Titles that you can earn. Anyway, I joined a Facebook Spark Team. Starting today we're going to work on 15-20 different tricks and, Jedi willing, we will earn our Novice Trick Dog title this month. Wanna play along? There's still time to join us! (BTW, learning is free; there's a nominal fee if you want the title, but it's not required.)
  • On Tuesday the German Shepherd Dog Club board is getting together map out this year's activities. I'm excited. I have some ideas and an amazing core group of people working hard to revive the club. I'm already seeing some energy and excitement coming back into the membership. Cross your fingers. And just for fun, visit us on Facebook. (BTW, right now I'm doing most of the FB Admin for the club, so yes, you're seeing some of the same stuff here and there. I'm not creative enough to come up with different things for each social media. Shhh, don't tell.)
  • This Thursday we start a new nose work class. This one is at the same place we did our Sniff 'N Go in November -- literally 5 minutes from my house! This instructor uses UKC Nose Work rules, which will be different. I'm really looking forward to it.
  • Next Saturday (as in 8 days from now -- EEK!) Jedi and I are taking the Birch ORT in Lake Park, Florida. Wish us luck!
And I know I said "NO RESOLUTIONS" yesterday, but there are a few things I'd like to accomplish this year. Let's call them "goals" instead, OK?
  1. I'd like to get rid of some of my clutter. To do so, I've joined the Declutter 365 Facebook Group. I'm hoping it'll help (she says as she sits in front of the computer typing instead of actually picking up stuff . . . ) Yeah, I need help.
  2. I'd like to lose weight. My brother finally proposed to his girlfriend after 16 years. (I know!) I'm flying back to California for the wedding in August and I'd like to be 30 pounds lighter. I need help here too! (BTW, I could stand to lose twice that much. However, if I dwell on that fact it makes me so depressed that I want to eat a pan of brownies. Mmmm, brownies.)
  3. I've been saying "I want to go to the Westminster Dog Show" for decades. Decades! It hasn't happened yet. I'll be 48 this year. I don't want to say I'm running out of time, but . . . I know me. Talk is cheap. When I finally decided that "I want a puppy" I opened up a CD and had money taken directly from my paycheck. Two years later, I had Jedi. (BTW, the CD is still active and saving for the next puppy. Don't tell Jedi.) So I've decided it's time to get aggressive about Westminster. Last week I reactivated an old savings account and I'm using this Money Savings Challenge. If all goes as planned, I'll have $1400 (plus interest, I don't trust me with money sitting around in a jar) by this time next year. I want to be at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club cheering for the German shepherd.
And with that, it's time to log off. I've got a pot of beans cooking (a New Year's tradition in our family), some trick and sniff training with Jedi, and today's declutter mission: figure out where to put the stuff that's being evicted. Later, -- K