Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Piss On, Piss Off

Jedi has gotten really bad with his marking lately. He even peed at training class. Inside the building! I was mortified. As an apology, Jedi gave this to our trainer, complete with a big red bow!

OK, truth be told, Jedi doesn't care about the Nature's Miracle (which really is awesome, BTW). However, he will care if he doesn't quit. Why? Because the next step is this:

Yep, I went there. Maybe peeing on himself a couple times will break him of marking whenever he feels like it. You see, not only is it a bad habit, but if he pees on the course during competition we're automatically disqualified -- regardless of how much I paid to enter or how far we drove to compete. I know! I'm desperate! Does anybody have any ideas, suggestions or experiences with this? Please share!

Anyway, it's Wordless Wednesday and you're probably thinking I've used too many words already (as in "Did she really have to talk about pee? EEEWWW.") Click around below and see what others are sharing. I'm sure you can find something less . . . eeewww. TTFN, -- K

Monday, April 25, 2016

Earth Day at the Park

I've been busy lately with work, family and Dog Club stuff. I felt bad because Jedi and I hadn't had any quiet time together. Fortunately, we had some nice weather for Earth Day (my day off!), so I took Jedi to the park for a long walk. Halfway around the path we took a break for water and photos.

We also shared a couple Sausage McMuffins, talked to fellow walkers and saw a hundred squirrels. (Stupid squirrels.) After that we stopped at PetSmart for a nail trim and ran a few errands before heading home for a nice afternoon nap. What a nice, lazy day!

Today is Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers try to brighten the start of you week. I know Mondays can be hectic. When things get rough, I'm going to look at this picture a Jedi and think about walking in the park. It'll make me smile. I hope it makes you smile too. Happy Monday! -- K

P.S. Don't forget to thank Sandee from Comedy Plus for putting this together every week. She's the real Smile Maker! Click around below and see what others are sharing today.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Silly Dog Signs

It's Silly Sunday. And here's a surprise . . . I'm silly when it comes to dogs. And I get a little goofy about dog shows. (OK, so maybe it's not a surprise.) My friends and family think it's pathetic funny. Sometimes they'll see silly dog memes on FB and feel the urge to tag me. Here are a few of my favorites.

Have a silly Sunday! Click around below and see if you get a case of the giggles. And if you have a rib-tickler of your own, link up! Thanks Sandee for hosting this each week. -- K

Thursday, April 21, 2016

For Your "What If" File

Did you know that April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month? I'm a worst-case scenario kind of girl, so I collect various tips and tidbits to keep in my "What If" arsenal. Ideally, I'll never have to use this information, but just having it is strangely comforting for me. Today I'm going to share three of my favorites.
  • There's an App for that! Did you know that the American Red Cross has a pet first aid app? They do! It covers a variety of scenarios for both dogs and cats. Even better, it's free. You can download it here.
  • Get a Kit. It's a good idea to have a pet first aid kit, separate from you people first aid kit. Some people meds are toxic to dogs. And some things you may not want to share, no matter how much you love your dog (think thermometers). There are plenty of pet first aid kits out there you can buy. Or you can even make one yourself. A couple years ago I wrote a post about it. You can see it here. Please note, you should rotate the contents regularly. Expired medicine doesn't do you much good.
  • Know what to look for. Bloat scares me to death. This is a condition where the dog's stomach flips. It's common in large, deep chested dogs -- like German shepherds -- but no dog is exempt. I've heard of Boston terriers and French bulldogs bloating. A friend sent me the following video. (Go ahead and watch, it has a happy ending.)

I watched the video several times and actually feel better. Again, I hope I never have to deal with bloat, but now I have a better idea of what to look for.

So, do you feel any better now? I hope so. -- K

P.S. My worst-case scenario tendencies don't stop at my animals. If anyone wants to discuss bug-out kits and share zombie apocalypse plans, let me know! And on a completely random note (completely random being my specialty) did you know that the CDC actually discusses zombie apocalypse planning? No kidding! Here's a link. See, you learn all kinds of strange stuff on my blog. You're welcome!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wish You Were Here

I work 10 hour days, Sunday through Wednesday. By the time Wednesday rolls around I am spent. This week has been especially busy. It didn't help that my last two weekends have been filled with Dog Club stuff, forcing me to squeeze in all my regular errands after work. 5:00 came way too early this morning. With a little grumbling and a lot of coffee I made it to work on time. Two hours later Hubby sent me a picture of Jedi curled up in my bed and I became tired all over again. (Here's the pic ran through SuperPhoto.)

Lucky for me, tomorrow is Thursday -- my day to relax. However, my calendar says otherwise. I have training in the morning, a standing lunch date with my son, a retirement ceremony in the afternoon and a dog club meeting in the evening. Dammit, I'm already tired.

It's Wordless Wednesday and apparently I'm not too tired to use a bunch of words! Click around below and see what others are shrining today. -- K

Monday, April 18, 2016

Awww...Beach Day!

We had a nor'easter blow through last week and we were afraid that this year's Beach Day BBQ would be rained out. Two days before the event I had a dozen people email, text and PM me asking if we were going to cancel. I sent out the following:
Our annual Beach Day BBQ is scheduled for this Saturday -- two days from today. Yes, today is kind of ugly. It may or may not be ugly on Saturday. However, we're going to hope for the best and have our Beach Day anyway. We're not changing the date because:
    • Saturday pavilion reservations are hard to get. We reserved this spot 3 months ago and our fee is non-refundable.
    • Weather changes constantly here in North Florida. There's always a chance that Saturday will be gorgeous.
    • German shepherds are hearty dogs. They won't melt in the rain nor will they blow away in the wind. German shepherd people aren't wusses either.
So, gather up your dogs and come on out to Hanna Park on Saturday. We'll have a great time regardless of the weather.
Well, I'm glad we didn't cancel. It was windy and a little chilly, but the sky was clear and bright blue. 19 dogs and about 30 people showed up. We had a lot of fun and way too much food. Here are a few pictures (NOT taken by me):

Group photo. Yes there are non-shepherds in the club too!

Chance, one of the many rescues in the club.

Tundra found a shell!

Jaxx, our youngest member, is just too freakin' cute!

Some dogs love the ocean . . .

but mine do not.

It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers try to brighten the start of your work week. Did it work? Click around below and see what others are sharing. Thank you Sandee for putting this together each week. Happy Monday! -- K

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Show is Over

Last weekend the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida held our annual shows. There were a lot of changes this year.
  • We took advantage of recent AKC changes and added a third show. We still had the AM and PM shows on Friday like usual, but we were able to hold a third show on Saturday. This show was in addition to the Greater Orange Park Dog Club all breed shows on Saturday and Sunday. This gave German Shepherd people five chances to win over a three-day weekend.
  • We moved our ring. For the past 5 years at the fairgrounds we've shown under cover on hard clay. This year, we moved the ring out into the grass. This meant that we had to break out our ring poles and sledgehammer. We also had to set up canopies to provide shade. This required a lot more physical labor. However, it looked nice and we got a bunch of compliments from the participants. I guess it was worth the work.
  • We sold a potluck lunch. The club bought soda, water, plates and plastic ware. Club members were asked to bring in stuff. (I personally made 30 sandwiches.) We set out the spread and sold lunch for $5 a plate. It was stressful to coordinate because most people waited until the last minute to say they were bringing something. However, it all turned out nicely and everybody seemed to enjoy it. We even had leftover food.
  • This was my first show as club president. Our show chairman handled all the show related stuff -- AKC paperwork, hiring judges and stewards, arranging travel and lodging, securing the venue, finding a photographer, coordinating with the other clubs on site and the like. (FYI: It's a lot of work). I handled most of the peripheral duties -- arranging volunteers, running concessions, making coffee, buying donuts, stocking the trailer, transporting 100 pounds of ice, organizing raffle baskets, coordinating set up and break down, etc. (Lesson learned: There are A LOT of little things that go into putting on a show.)
  • I didn't show Jedi. I went back and forth over this for several weeks, but ultimately I decided against it. The club really needed me in a leadership role and as much as I would have liked to run around the ring, I just didn't have the energy to do both. On a happy note though, a friend of mine came up from Miami to show her dog Enzo, and he got the final points (an elusive major) needed to make Champion. I was thrilled that I was there to see it.
  • The Greater Orange Park Dog Club added obedience and rally trials to their conformation shows this year. It drew more entries -- some people just came for just one competition, and others showing in all three. However, it required a lot more volunteers too. I was a ring steward Saturday morning before our third show.
Our show weekend went very well, but I'm glad it's over. It was exhausting. The weather was beautiful, albeit a little warmer than I had wanted. (Mid-80's. In April. Can you believe it?!)

I didn't take a single picture, despite the fact that my camera was in the car. Lucky for me, a few of our members are real shutterbugs. I stole these pictures from our club's FB page.

Our ring and canopies. LOTS of work.

One of our Club dogs, Lizzie. She moves like a cloud! (Notice all 4 feet are off the ground.)

Concessions turned out very nice. We made almost $200!

Our Club members made some gorgeous raffle baskets.

Our awards garnered quite a few oohs and aahs as well.

New Champion Enzo and his handler, Jessi

Sorry you missed the shows. They were great. They'll be even better next year when we host the 2017 Southeast Futurity/Maturity shows in addition to our regular shows. That's kind of a big deal, BTW. But for the next couple months we're going to rest and regroup.

I, however, can't rest just yet. This Saturday is our annual Beach Day BBQ. It's the favorite event of the year for many of our club members. And it takes more work to put on than many realize as well. Fortunately, I've planned this before. (Next year I'm delegating!) Back-to-back weekends may not have been the best idea. I'm too tired to make German Shepherd Cupcakes this year.

Anyway, I need to cut this short and load up the SUV. I'll share Beach Day with you later. I'll even try to remember to take pictures. TTFN, -- K

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


My job as an Animal Control Officer is seldom boring. What it lacks in pay, it makes up in fun stories. Here's the latest:

My kennel is at City Yard, butted between the water treatment plant and the heavy machinery. It's a very busy place with lots of traffic. So imagine my surprise when I saw this yesterday, right next to the throughway:

A mallard duck has decided to make a nest in the middle of City yard. The Public Works guys were afraid she would get hurt so they coned off the area. They even provided Mama Duck with bread and water. 

So now we're all waiting to see the ducklings. I'll let you know when they hatch. Isn't spring great?!

Don't forget, it's ACO Appreciation Week. Here are a few ideas to make your local Animal Control Officer feel appreciated. 

It's also Wordless Wednesday! (And as usual, I used way too many words.) Click around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy National Pet Day

Apparently today is National Pet Day. Did you know that? It's all over the internet!

Today I'm celebrating with Roxy and Jedi . . .

Hermione and Drogo.

I'm also remembering the ones who've passed, like Pepper and Logan . . .

Spike . . .

and most recently, Gucci.

I am so lucky to have had all these wonderful pets in my life. I hope you have wonderful pets of your own to share the day with. 

In addition to National Pet Day, today is also Awww...Monday! I hope my pets have brought a smile to your face. Click around below and see what others are sharing. I'm sure you'll see plenty of happy pets today! -- K

Sunday, April 10, 2016

National ACO Appreciation Week

As regular readers know, when I'm not dogging or blogging, I'm running around as an animal control officer. It's an interesting job and it pays the bills (barely). If you want to know more about what I do, click on Animal Control under "Stuff I Think About" to the right. I share the good, the bad and the you-can't-be-serious! (HINT: My job is not what you see on Animal Planet.)

The second full week of April has been declared National Animal Control Officer Week. According to the National Animal Care and Control Association:
This week of appreciation is designed to give recognition to the hard-working men and women of Animal Control who risk their lives and devote huge amounts of personal time and resources, while they serve the public like other public safety and law enforcement agencies empowered with the same duties.
If you want to do something for your local animal control officers here are five easy ways to share some love:
  • Say thank you. Seriously, we don't hear those words enough. I've heard "screw you" and "dog Nazi" and "stupid wannabe cop" more times than you would think. But I cherish every heartfelt "thank you." Sometimes they even make me cry.
  • Put it in writing. If an ACO has helped you in any way, tell someone. Write a letter to the editor or send an email to the Mayor. Angry people have no problem expressing how they feel, but all too often happy people forget to share.
  • Tell us a happy story. Not everything we see is pleasant. Happy stories help mitigate the ugly stuff. If we've helped you find a happy ending, let us know! Did you adopt a dog from the shelter? Email us a picture!
  • Bring something to the shelter. Spring cleaning? We'll gladly take your used towels and blankets. Did you find a sale at Petsmart? We'd love it if you thought of us. There are some niceties that just aren't in our budget -- toys, pig ears, rawhide rolls, canned food, dog treats, catnip -- and we often buy them with our own money instead of having the animals go without.
Stop calling us names. The term "dogcatcher" is derogatory. It's right up there with "ambulance chaser" for lawyers and "pill pusher" for doctors. Not only is it offensive, it's just not true. We do so much more than catch stray dogs. We enforce laws and ordinances, investigate animal bites and cruelty complaints, fight animal abuse, testify in court, advise the police and local politicians, care for and return lost pets, rehome abandoned animals, educate the public and a whole host of other things. Go here for a list of my "other duties as required." You'll be surprised at some of the stuff I do. (Can you say Faux Ho? Yep, I've done that!)
Everybody likes to feel appreciated. And despite popular opinion, animal control officers are caring people and have feelings. (Yes, really!) I hope you take a second to say "thank you" to an ACO this week. -- K

P.S. The collage below cracks me up. It's funny because it's true.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

That's My Boy!

Seriously! Yeah, I can't believe it either. Sometimes I forget how gorgeous he is.

A friend of mine snapped this photo at the UKC Nose Work trials last weekend. It had finally stopped raining so I took Jedi out to stretch his legs. He was free stacking just because (as in "because we weren't in the show ring where I want him to stack himself . . .") My friend called Jedi's name and when he looked at her this is what she got -- with my little point-and-shoot camera too. I cropped out the drenched chick on the other end of the leash, put a vignette filter on the edges and -- voila.

Anyway, enough with words -- it's Wordless Wednesday! Click around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Monday, April 4, 2016

Awww...Jedi's Nose

The first box. UGH!
Jedi and I went to Ocala for our UKC Nose Work Pre-Trial tests on Saturday. We signed up to take the novice pre-trial (birch) and the advance pre-trial (anise) in the morning. The goal was to pass them both first thing and then head back to Jacksonville. However, the trials were set up so that we could retake them in the afternoon if we failed (for additional fees, of course).

It was raining Saturday morning. We had the option of staging inside the building instead of crating in our car as was originally planned. However, the facility was humid and noisy so I kept Jedi in the car for most of the morning. Jedi stayed dry, but I got nice and wet walking back and forth (hence my drowned rat look in the pictures). To make things worse, we were the last team up.

Birch was first. We were called into the testing area and given the instructions. There were 10 identical boxes in a long row. Only one contained the target odor. We had three minutes to find it and the timer started as soon as we crossed the start line. I held Jedi at the line for a good 30 seconds in hopes that he would catch a whiff. I talked softly to him, trying to pump him up. Then I gave the command: "Jedi, go find." Jedi didn't even try. He barely sniffed the boxes. I couldn't get him to focus. I walked him from the start line to the end, turned around and came back. He didn't indicate on anything. He was obviously uncomfortable. So then I started pointing and asking "Is it here? Is it here?" This usually helps to refocus him. When I pointed to the first box he looked at me and laid down. That's his signal. I called "Alert" and was told no. Jedi lied to me! I was disappointed but tried not to show it. I told him he was a good boy and left the testing area. I took him back to the practice boxes and had him indicate there. (Practice boxes are marked, so I knew which one had the odor.) When he got it right I gave his treat and praised him. I want this to be a fun and positive activity for him.

Box 8 -- Correct!
In hindsight, Jedi probably laid down at the first box just to get the whole thing over with. I don't know if he was nervous or picking up on my nerves. Either way, that wasn't the result we were looking for.

45 minutes later we were called up to search for anise. Jedi's focus wasn't any better. Like the previous time, he went up and back without any indication. So again, I started pointing. And again, he laid down at the first box. WTH Jedi?! This time I didn't believe him. I looked him in the eye and said "Jedi, go find." He sighed and got up, walked to box 8 and laid down. I called "Alert." We found it this time. YEA! Jedi got his treat (sausage!) and lots of praise.

We had about three hours until the next pre-trial. In the interim we went for a drive. I got coffee at Dunkin Donuts and bought Jedi a breakfast sandwich at McDonalds. We found a Petco and walked around to clear our heads. By the time we got back to the testing site we were both more relaxed.

We searched for birch a second time. Jedi was a little more focused, but not as much as I would have liked. Again, I walked him up the boxes and back. He sniffed each and every one (this is called cataloging) and then laid down at the first box. I took a deep breath. The voices in my head were arguing back and forth. What if he's lying again? What if he's not? Do I risk breaking his trust? I asked him "Really, Dude?" He looked at me as if to say "Yes, really this time." I called "Alert," hoping I made the right call. The judge smiled at me and said "Correct." Jedi wasn't bluffing! Once my heart stopped pounding I accepted our ribbon with pride. It was a long, happy ride home. How's that for an Awww...?

It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers try to get you to start your week with a smile. Did Jedi's victory do the trick? I hope so. Whether it did or not, make sure click around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K