Thursday, August 30, 2018

Show Season Now Open

Dog sport and show opportunities increase dramatically after Labor Day here in Florida. You can do something (or multiple somethings) every weekend between now and June.

I'm limited by time and money (aren't we all?) and try to choose entries carefully. It's even harder now that I have two dogs, each training and competing in different events. Here are my latest conundrum:

The West Volusia Kennel Club shows are September 22 and 23. These are in Deland, about 90 minutes from home. We can drive back and forth daily, forgoing the cost of a hotel.

Fast CAT is being offered Friday through Sunday, twice daily. I'm entering Jedi Saturday and Sunday at $25/run ($100 total).Hopefully this will be enough for him to earn his BCAT title.

I'm waffling on whether or not to enter Trooper in the 6-9 Puppy conformation shows Saturday and Sunday. They're also $25 a show ($50 total). Trooper and I take handling classes twice a week (at $10/class). Trooper improves each time, but I'm not sure he'll be ready by the show. However, I have to decide NOW. Entries close on September 5. With Monday being a holiday, I have to get the entry in the mail by Saturday.

Here's the dilemma:
  • I can enter with option of pulling him (and losing the $50) if he's not ready. OR
  • I can keep the cash, continue to train, and plan for the shows in Ocala (which will require a hotel stay) in November.
  • Monkey Wrench: There's a sanctioned match (a more relaxed practice show) the night before the WVKC shows. The match is cheaper and we can register the day of (though it's cheaper to pre-register). However, the match starts at 7 PM. This would require us to stay in a hotel after all so that we can make Jedi's event Saturday morning.
See the kind of crap that goes through my head? I can drive myself (and my husband) crazy with this stuff. Any suggestions?

BTW, October is also fraught with difficult decisions, but I'll save that drama for another time. Too much of my neuroses can be detrimental to normal-brained people. Later, -- K

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Puppy vs. Fitbit

The picture doesn't show the extent of the damage. The
band is irreparable. Luckily, the tracker is just scratched.
First rule of having a puppy: Don't take your eyes off the puppy. I broke that rule and my Fitbit paid the price.

Puppies have no self control and are apt to make bad decisions. You can have three dozen puppy-approved toys on the floor (like I do) but the moment you turn your back the puppy will grab something else -- usually something expensive, like my cellphone. (Right Jedi?)

This time I took off my Fitbit before showering. I forgot to put it back on right away and Trooper found it. The rubber wristband was no match for his shiny new teeth.

The second rule of having a puppy: Buy the protection plan. I broke that rule too.

Fortunately, I had another Fitbit (long story that makes me look stupid) so I can still keep track of my steps. Good thing too, because on conformation training nights I hit my daily step goal. If I keep this up I'll finally lose those 20 pounds. (This is what I keep telling myself when icing my knee the next day. I'm 50 and trying to run around the ring with a German shepherd puppy. WTH is wrong with me?!)

My knee hurts and it's time for ice, so I'm going to cut this short. See you around the ring! -- K

Monday, August 27, 2018


I was worried that Jedi wouldn't accept Trooper. All kinds of thoughts went through my head.
  • Would Jedi see the puppy as a usurper? Jedi has always been the baby. 
  • Would Jedi think of Trooper as a rival? Jedi had always been the center of my attention. 
  • Or would Trooper be considered a threat? Both dogs are intact males and too much testosterone can be a bad thing.
The first few weeks after we brought Trooper home were stressful. Jedi was a bit of a jerk. Hubby and I watched the boys closely. Jedi was allowed to be assertive (i.e. body blocking) but not aggressive (charging). Roxy was a lot nicer to the puppy, though she was very clear that she didn't want to be climbed on.

We made sure Jedi got plenty of one-on-one time with his people, as well as supervised group time in the yard. Poor Trooper would ask to play and Jedi blew him off.

Things changed after Roxy died. Jedi became more accepting. The boys wrestle constantly. It's healthy play. They take turns as to who is chased or thrown to the ground. Jedi self-limits and Trooper is learning that if he's too rough Jedi stops the game.

My old camera is too slow to capture the boys playing. But I did get this shot of them napping together. Jedi opened his eyes just as I took the picture (of course) but went back to sleep right after.

Trooper will be an adolescent soon enough and I wonder how the dynamics of the relationship will change. For now though I'm going to enjoy the sweetness of this and wonder how I got so lucky. I love these dogs! -- K

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Back to Basics

It's round two for me and the whole dog show thing. It's been years since I've been in the ring, so I thought I'd reread a couple of the books I bought when Jedi was a pup. I was hoping to find a few things I might've missed the first time around.


The first book I picked up was Raising a Champion: A Beginner's Guide to Showing Dogs. I've had this book for years but didn't remember reading it. I must have, as I found a card from Jedi's puppy shower inside it.

This book assumes that the reader has already chosen a puppy. However, everything else is great for the total newbie. Since I'm a Newbie Plus, I glossed over the parts pertaining to:
  • How a dog show works
  • Picking your first show
  • Premium lists
  • Entering a show
  • Ring patterns (though I did stop and look at some of the more obscure ones)
I think I know that stuff well enough. However, I slowed down and reread the parts about:
  • Handling a lead (getting it bunched up in the hand just right takes some coordination!)
  • Teaching a puppy to stack (even though the book doesn't cover the GSD stack or free stacking, it still had some useful tips)
  • Teaching a puppy to gait (I need help here!)
I'm a visual learner and like that this book has lots of pictures. I wish the book addressed the teeth exam better. This is required for GSDs and Jedi hated it. Trooper doesn't like me playing with his mouth either so . . . ugh.

The book was published in 2001 but is still relevant today.


The second book was The Absolute Beginners Guide to Showing Your Dog. I do remember this book. Many of the pages are dog-eared from the first reading. The pages on how to fill out an entry form are well-worn.

I skipped over a lot of the information about the history of dogs shows, finding the right puppy and navigating the paperwork. The chapters on stacking and anatomy were definitely worth reading again. (Unlike the book above, this one did cover free stacking, which is preferred in the GSD ring.)

I read the warnings about backbiting, poor sportsmanship and judicial bias with a different perspective this time around. In fact, I even had faces to go with some of the sleazy tricks mentioned. (Yeah, I'm talking about you, POS Pro Handler in Perry.)

The book is divided into five sections:
  • Is Showing Right for You?
  • Basic Training
  • Mechanical Skills
  • Paperwork and Paraphernalia
  • Showtime
Each chapter starts off with an "In This Chapter" list, and ends with a "Remember" list of key points for quick reference and review.

I really liked the sidebars. Divided into four categories -- Fancy That, Talking Dog, Watch Your Step! and Tips From the Pros -- these bite-sized nuggets are spread throughout the book. There are also several appendices with useful information. However, this book was also published in 2001 so some information is outdated.

This book is perfect if you're in a hurry (i.e. puppy is napping) or you have a short attention span (like me).

Both of these books are worth reading. They do a nice job demystifying the world of dog shows. That said, each author tells the new fancier that books are no substitute for handling class. SO TRUE! Trooper and I go to class once a week and do some (but not enough) reviewing at home in between. I'll share how that's coming along later. See you around the ring, -- K

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Missing Roxy

It's been six weeks since Roxy left us. I still miss her. Some days I'll remember something about her and start crying. I'm still grieving, though Trooper is a nice distraction.

The sharpness of the loss is fading, and Hubby and I have been reminiscing lately. Roxy had rough start, but all-in-all she had a good life. I wrote about her origins before we brought home Jedi. Although she mellowed some with age, Roxy was a mischievous, hard-headed, loving dog until the end.

For the last six months Roxy had occasional accidents in the house. To protect the carpet (and ease clean-up) we would confine Roxy to the tiled kitchen when we were gone. She had a nice Karanda bed, a thick quilt, fresh water and a few chewies to keep her comfortable. But that's not what she wanted. She wanted to be on the couch. She figured out how to get around every baby gate and blockade we set up. We'd come home and Roxy would be snoozing on the sofa, looking pretty damn proud of herself.

Roxy had no shame. If she did something "bad" she'd look at me definitely like it was my fault -- surely I should've known better. She had no couth either. Roxy would burp like a frat boy at a keg party. And if we happened to have our faces there then too bad for us. And if we were in the pet store and she had to poop then at least I'd have something to blog about. Twice.

Roxy was a picky eater. She didn't like crunchy biscuit treats. If it wasn't meat, she'd turn her nose up at it. (Surprisingly, she loved pears. Who would have guessed that?) She'd always inspect her food bowl before eating too. She'd look at me suspiciously, as if she thought I was poisoning her kibble.

Roxy was equally picky with toys. She went nuts over the laser pointer but everything else was beneath her. Most of the time she'd take a treat or toy just to tease another dog with it. She'd just lie next to whatever it was, daring the other dog to come get it. Both Logan and Jedi fell for this trick. The boys -- each 20 pounds heavier than Roxy -- would bark and whine, trying to get her to relent. This could go on for half an hour before Roxy would get bored and walk away.

Roxy was also evil to the cat. She would sneak up on Gucci and lift up her back end as she walked by. Gucci would yowl and I swear Roxy laughed. In retaliation, Gucci would sneak up on Roxy when she was sleeping and box her face -- no claws, but 3 or 4 good hits to the face. I think it was a love/hate relationship between them. About 6 months before Gucci died I caught the two of them napping together.

As I mentioned, we're still grieving. I've noticed that people grieve differently after losing a pet.
  • I have a friend who cremated all her dogs and keeps their ashes in a beautiful box on her mantle. (This kinda creeps me out, so we always have the vet dispose of the remains.)
  • My neighbor buried her dogs in a pet cemetery and visits them regularly. (She's obviously not a Stephen King fan.)
  • I know someone who plants a memory tree for each dog. I think that's a beautiful tribute.
  • Hubby saves collars.
  • I enjoy looking photos of happier times. (And obviously, I blog.)
  • Son #2 did something different. He got a tattoo -- his first -- in honor of Roxy.
The hardest part about having pets is having to say goodbye. I miss that old dog. -- K

Monday, August 20, 2018

Saving Fifi

Elsa wasn't the only German shepherd saved last month. On July 2nd I received a call from Arthur Whole. He wanted to surrender his dog right now. In fact, he was a little miffed when I told him I wouldn't pick up his dog until the following day. (I had a dog bite case that took precedence. Plus, Mr. A. Whole was an A-Hole when he called and I'm a passive-aggressive bitch.)

When I arrived at A. Whole's house there was a beautiful sable shepherd in the yard. (To be honest, I was expecting a pit mix. Yes, that's profiling.) The dog seemed friendly, despite her owner's bitching about everything from money (he paid $500 for "this stupid dog") and dog hair.

At one point A. Whole said "If I'd known about all the dog hair I wouldn't have bought her. Do you know how much these things shed?" The question was probably meant to be rhetorical, but I answered anyway with a cheerful "Yes, I have three of them." I then pulled out my phone and showed him way too many pictures of Jedi, Roxy and Trooper. He was flabbergasted. He asked "How do deal with all the hair?" I gave him my best well aren't you special? look and told him that I bought an expensive vacuum cleaner. (BTW, "Duh" was implied.)

When people surrender their dogs I have a series of questions I need to ask. A. Whole's answers just pissed me off.
  • He said he'd had the dog for 3 years. No, he never spayed her because he was going to breed her and sell the pups. (Remember, he paid a whopping $500 for her.)
  • No, he didn't have any shot records.
  • No heartworm prevention either, even though he lived less than half a mile from the mosquito-filled marsh.
  • He guessed she was "half and half" housebroken. He wasn't sure because she wasn't allowed inside -- you know, because of the hair.
  • No, he couldn't think of any special traits ... except maybe that she didn't escape over his 4-foot chain link fence very often.
What a jerk. I had originally planned on transferring the dog to the county shelter right away. They would vet her and put her up for adoption. She was a beautiful dog and would be adopted quickly. But I couldn't do that. I just knew she'd get another A. Whole for an owner -- and she deserved better.

After a good cry I started making calls and cashing in favors. Unbelievably, a rescue in central Florida was willing to take her, sight unseen. RK offered to drive Fifi to the rescue -- on the 4th of July, a 6-hour round trip without holiday traffic.

It's been six weeks and I think of Fifi often. I recently got an update from the rescue: Fifi is now called Lola. She turned out to be a really nice girl, albeit full of energy. (The rescue used the word "spitfire.") She's heartworm positive (I'm not surprised). Lola is housebroken, has been taught basic obedience skills and was spayed last week. An approved adopter is coming to look at her this week. Once the heartworm treatment is completed, the adopter plans to train Lola in agility. She'll have a loving home and a positive outlet for her energy.

My heart is full. THIS is why I stay at my underpaying, often-thankless job. -- K

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Alpha -- The Movie

Hubby, RK and I went to the movie theater Friday night. We saw Alpha. Internet Movie Database (IMDb) describes the movie like this:
In the prehistoric past, a young man struggles to return home after being separated from his tribe during a buffalo hunt and finds a similarly lost wolf companion to start a friendship that would change humanity.
So you KNOW I had to see it! But ticket prices are ridiculous these days. I hate spending that much money on an unknown movie. What if it stinks?! (Hooray for Redbox!) I'm going to give you my honest opinion -- good, bad and ugly -- and you can decide if you want to see this one.

The Good:
  • The cinematography is breathtaking. That alone was worth seeing it on the big screen.
  • The emotions feel real -- fear, angst, love, loss. Too often emotions fall flat for me, especially in dog movies.
  • The story is predictable but still entertaining.
  • The film's cadence isn't traditional Hollywood style, which I found refreshing.

The Bad:
  • It's all subtitles. Fortunately, there's not a lot of dialog and the emoting is good enough that non-readers could probably get the gist.
  • Some scenes are intense and may be too scary for young children.
  • The trailer spoils the "twist" at the end!

The Ugly:
  • The language is obviously made up, so why the subtitles?
  • Realistically, the protagonist would have died from hypothermia a half dozen times. Kids, don't try this at home.
  • A real wolf -- or even my German shepherd -- would have bitten the main character. Often. And hard.
← I have this shirt and I wore it to the movie. Without giving too much away, I was not disappointed. *hint, hint* I bought my tickets a week out so I had great seats. (This theater has assigned seating.) I enjoyed the movie, but would have liked it better at matinee prices.

WARNING, SOAP BOX TIME: I'm glad I went opening weekend if for no other reason than to send a message to Hollywood that this is the kind of movie I want to see produced. Sadly, money talks. And I'm so turned off by most of what's out there. Now that I think about it, Alpha is the first non Harry Potter, Star Wars or Marvel superhero movie I've seen in the theater since The Martian three years. (BTW, that was an excellent movie.)

Anyway, whether you go to the theater or wait for Redbox, Alpha is worth seeing. Later, -- K

Friday, August 17, 2018

Trooper Goes to the Beach

Hubby and I took the dogs to the beach last week. It was Trooper's first time. I wasn't dressed to get wet, but let them get close to the water. Trooper wanted to drink it.

I like the dogs' reflections in the wet sand

Jedi made sure that the entire beach knew he doesn't like to get his feet wet. Trooper didn't seem to mind either way.

Jedi gave his running commentary -- as usual

Getting a picture of both dogs looking forward wasn't easy. Of course, the best one of the dogs has me sporting some serious RBF (resting bitch face).

And yet another snarky dog t-shirt
Next time I'll wear shorts and take Trooper into the water. Who knows, maybe he'll like it! -- K

Monday, August 13, 2018

Check That Chip

The American Veterinary Medical Association has declared August 15 Check the Chip Day.
As an animal control officer, I'm a big microchip advocate. I return chipped animals all the time. Remember Elsa's story?

All my dogs are microchipped. However, each one has been registered under a different agency: Home Again, AVID and 24 Pet Watch. If the worst happened and my dogs got out, the shelter would have to make multiple calls to discover they all belong to me. Well, not anymore.

I discovered the Michelson Found Animals Registry and registered all the chips. This is completely free. They don't charge to register or update. I strongly suggest you do it too. Not chipped? Talk to your vet about it next time you go. I've also seen traveling vet clinics, animals shelters and humane societies offer low cost chips. Below is an infographic from the AVMA.

Infographic: Microchip Your Pet

Thursday, August 9, 2018

And It Begins

The view from our hotel room -- just had to share!
We have officially started Trooper's dog show training. Last weekend RK and I took our dogs to Fort Myers for a 2-day handling seminar. That was incredible! The instructor, Norma Smith, has 45 years of experience. As a professional handler she won 300+ Best in Shows and has been to the Westminster Dog Show a bajillion times. I learned a lot, and realize that we have a lot to work on.
  • Trooper has beautiful movement, and really likes to trot around the ring. To get the right form, I need to lengthen my strides instead of just moving faster. At the same time I need to keep my back straight, left arm bent and tucked and the right arm loose but not floppy. This is easier said than done. It feels awkward right now. My hips, knees and glutes have been protesting for days.
  • Trooper will stack beautifully when I'm not asking for it. But we're having problems getting him to stack on command.
  • Standing in the ring is a must. Trooper doesn't like to stand for longer periods of time. When he gets nervous or bored, his default is to sit down.
  • Trooper is unsure of the exam. He'll let me show his teeth with no problem, but is not fond of strangers touching him and he keeps backing up. This is not good, and definitely something we need to work on.
  • Trooper travelled very well. It was a 7 hour drive each way (including potty breaks). Trooper didn't bark or throw up.
  • There were 19 dogs at the seminar, all crated in the same location. Trooper was awesome! The noise and close quarters didn't bother him at all. He would sit quietly in his crate until it was his turn to work and happily go back in when we were done.
  • Trooper didn't have any problems with the hotel. He would let me know when needed to go out, and didn't balk about relieving himself while on the leash.
  • Trooper is still a puppy and has his limits. He did great on the first day, but on day two he told me he was done. We tried not to overwork him, giving him plenty of happy breaks. However, I think a two-day seminar was just a little much for him.
My pooped pup. BTW, it's a large crate -- he just likes
to cram himself into the corner.
We got home Sunday near midnight. I had court the following day, so I couldn't call out. (I was exhausted and really, really wanted to call out.) I don't know how I made it through the day. BTW, despite the fatigue, I won my case.

Monday night Trooper and I had S.T.A.R. Puppy class. We're trying to teach Trooper basic doggie manners like walking on a leash, coming when called and keeping four on the floor even when excited. These are tough concepts for a puppy!

On Tuesday night trooper and I drove out to the west side for his first conformation class. Again, stacking and standing for exam were the big challenges. On a happy note, we got to see his breeder again. She says he looks good. Trooper remembered her and was very happy to see her too. How sweet is that?

Wednesday night I slept. A lot. 

Now it's Thursday and the freaking out begins. The West Volusia Kennel Club shows are next month (September 21 & 22). The shows will be inside with flushing toilets (always a plus in my book). The venue is close enough to drive there and back each day. And this was the location of Jedi's first shows. How sweet is that? I'd love these to be Trooper's first shows too, but I don't know if we'll be ready by then. I've got three weeks to make up my mind before I have to send in the entry. ACK! I guess I'd better get off the computer and go practice some stacking with the pup. Catch you later, -- K

P.S. I've been rereading blog posts from Jedi's show days. You would think I'd be less neurotic about it this time around. You would be wrong. Hubby is already looking for some "ring water."

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Coyotes and Yuppies

This pic was taken in a nice subdivision
A while back I promised to write this post when I could do it using "polite words." Well, I'm going to try, but I can't guarantee that an F-bomb or two won't slip in. Sorry in advance.


Coyotes have been in Florida for decades (some reports say as early as the 1920s). As more and more land was developed, the displaced coyotes adapted to urban life. About a year ago one or more of them moved into my jurisdiction -- and the residents are losing their [deleted F-bomb] minds.

I was asked to contact the FWC (Florida Wildlife Commission) along with various trappers to see what options the City had in dealing with the coyotes. Things I discovered are:
  • Coyotes are present in 49 states (they can’t find their way to Hawaii yet) and all 67 Florida counties.
  • The average coyote in Florida only weighs about 27 pounds.
  • The territory size of an urban coyote is about 3 square miles – the same size as our small, beach town.
  • Coyotes are opportunistic eaters. They have been known to eat rodents, rabbits, lizards, snakes, insects, deer fawns, small wild pigs, grasses, fruit, grains, fish, carrion and garbage.
  • Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to keep rodent populations under control. In an urban environment they also help control the populations of raccoons and feral cats.
  • Coyotes are generally not a threat to people and are usually easily scared off.
  • Coyotes are usually shy and elusive, but are occasionally spotted where food is readily available.
  • Attractants such as small animals, pet food, garbage, bird seed and fallen fruit are common culprits that bring coyotes into communities.
  • Coyotes breed once a year with 2-12 pups per litter, 6 being the average size.
  • Coyotes will not be relocated. If a coyote is captured it must be euthanized.
  • Removing coyotes from one area can result in coyotes moving in from surrounding areas and producing more pups per litter.
  • Removal efforts have to be continuous or coyote populations will quickly return to their original size.

A resident set up a wildlife camera to see the coyote
traffic in her yard. Yep! It's a coyote.
I contacted several licensed coyote trappers and gave them a tour of the city, showing them where we had sightings. The best offer we got was $300/week per trap (because of the city’s layout, the trapper suggested 3-4) plus a $95 removal charge per coyote. There was no guarantee that a coyote would be caught or that residents would refrain from disturbing the traps. I also spoke with a biologist with FWC. She recommended that the City learn to peacefully coexist with the coyotes (like everybody else does).

The Powers That Be went with door number two. The University of Florida gave us hundreds of “Living with Urban Coyotes” brochures and FWC came out and did a coyote presentation for residents (complete with a stuffed and mounted coyote). For 18 months we’ve been telling people:
  • Keep garbage cans sealed and eliminate other potential sources of food.
  • Harvest fruit trees regularly. Pick up any fallen/rotten fruit.
  • Maintained fence to help keep coyotes out of yards.
  • Keep cats indoors.
  • Dogs -- especially small dogs -- should be kept on a short leash and supervised while outdoors.
  • Coyotes are most active from dusk until dawn. During those times be careful around wooded areas and places with lots brush which could hide coyotes.
  • Use hazing techniques (yelling, throwing rocks, air horns, pepper spray, paintball guns, etc.) to scare the coyotes away as they see them.
This information is on the City's webpage, the City's FB page and was sent out with the water bills. Brochures are in City Hall and the Police Department. Despite all our efforts, I'm still getting angry calls about coyotes. Why?


Maybe "yuppie" isn't the best word. But I couldn't find a word for "Whiny citizen who has more dollars than sense and expects the government to fix all their problems because they pay taxes."
  • I have citizens outraged because they've always had outside cats and don't think they should have to bring them inside then cite reasons like the cats' freedom and the smell of the litter box.
  • Others are offended that they should have to change their walking routes or garbage routines. How dare we suggest they keep cans closed and not put them out until after dawn.
  • I've been called heartless for telling people to stop free-feeding the cats and using the phrase "the circle of life" when investigating animal carcasses along the tree line.
  • Some residents want the animals trapped and removed regardless of the cost. Others scream bloody murder if you even hint about using/raising tax dollars to pay for it.
  • The local "animal lovers" want the coyotes relocated -- federal law be damned.
  • The local know-it-alls argue publically with the experts over science and biology, citing ambiguous articles they read on the internet.
  • And everybody yells at me, despite the fact that I have no influence on the decisions made by City, State and Federal leaders. Heck, they didn't even as my opinion!
I get it, people don't like change. But that doesn't mean it won't happen. The coyotes are here to stay. Residents are going to have to adapt. The sooner people accept it, the better. And if one more person calls me a [deleted F-bomb plus other obscenities] I'm going to snap! -- K

Friday, August 3, 2018

Handling Seminar

Isn't Norma Smith's logo adorable?
In June I saw an ad on Facebook for a 2-day conformation handling seminar in Ft. Myers. It looked like fun and I knew I wanted to get a new puppy -- eventually. I showed it to RK, who's always up for a road trip. She even offered to let me handle Chili (Jedi's brother) if I wanted a working spot.

I entered, thinking I would have plenty of time to process the information. But God has a sense of humor. The day I put the check in the mail I got the email about Trooper. I actually went to the mailbox and pulled the entry form before the mailman showed up. Then I paced for three days. I filled the entry out again, registering for a working spot with "a new puppy, name to be determined."

Now I'm pacing back and forth waiting for RK to get off work so we can head to Ft. Myers. She estimates a 7 hour drive (including potty breaks). Ugh.

The seminar will cover many things that I need help with, including:
  • Moving the dog correctly
  • Stacking properly
  • Breed-specific presentation and 
  • Ring procedures
The seminar ends with a mock dog show. Unlike a real show, it's the handlers being judged, not the dogs. The literature says "Think of this as the best junior handling class for adults." Yeah, I'm a bit nervous. To make matters worse, the trainer I had lined up here in Jacksonville injured her ankle and we haven't been able to practice. Trooper is going into the seminar completely green. (Chili will be there for back-up if I need it.)

I'm hoping to come back full of knowledge and a bit more confidence. If all goes well, Trooper's first show will be late September -- as in six weeks from now. Great, now I'm even more nervous.

I'll tell you all about the seminar when I get back. Think happy thoughts! -- K

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Turkey Update I told you about the turkey traipsing down Main Street. All my sources told me that the jerk in the yellow house has been harboring the turkey for weeks. This is against City ordinance. When I went by yesterday to talk to him about it, I discovered why he was christened "the jerk in the yellow house." Anyway, Jerk denied it. Meanwhile, the turkey has been strolling the streets, scaring neighbors and ruffling feathers (figuratively and literally).

My partner and I overlap one day a week (today) and we came up with a game plan. Shortly thereafter another turkey sighting came in. We went out with our big-ass nets and I was able to catch the turkey on the first try. (BTW, that rarely happens.) With a bit of effort, we were able to get the ticked off turkey out of the net and into a dog crate on the back of the truck.

A few turkey follow-up facts:
  1. Upon closer inspection, "she" is actually a juvenile male. (A hunter friend of mine told me that the proper term for a young male turkey is "Jake." Ironically, that's also her son's name.)
  2. Jake (the turkey, not my friend's son) has been banished from the beach. My partner relocated the turkey to private wooded property on the north side of town. Rumor has it that there are a few girl turkeys in the area so maybe he won't mind the move.
  3. And not to be overlooked: I caught a freaking turkey! 🦃
Jake was not happy to be put in the back of an animal control truck -- so naturally, I snapped another picture. I've been texting my FWC contact about our turkey drama. I sent him the "Jake in Jail" pic too (mostly because it's funny). He sent me the following text:

What a way to finish my shift. I really earned my pay this week! -- K