Friday, February 15, 2019

Sneak Preview

Trooper's not a puppy anymore!
I know I've been absent lately. Honestly, there's not a whole lot worth sharing. However, I've spent the last two weeks filling out entry forms, booking hotel rooms and coordinating calendars with Hubby. The next two months have A LOT going on. Here's a sneak preview:
  • Trooper had another sleepover with J-Lyn. While there, he started doing road work. This is something we're going to continue. I've got a Kelley-sized tricycle and everything!
  • Trooper turned a year on Monday -- just in time for the Fast CAT trials in Tallahassee next weekend,. Both boys are going to run AND Hubby and I are competing in a shooting competition the same weekend. We'll see how that works out!
  • I'm in the middle of two interesting dog books. I'll share them with you soon.
  • My dog club's annual German Shepherd Dog Walk in Historic St. Augustine is just around the corner. This year I'll be walking two dogs. I'm a little nervous.
  • Trooper is headed to North Carolina with J-Lyn next month. Over three days he'll compete in an All-Breed show, two GSD Specialty shows and the Southeast Futurity/Maturity.
  • That same weekend Jedi will be in DeLand for an advanced Barn Hunt workshop and two trials. The jump from Open to Senior is huge. We need all the help we can get.
  • April is also a big month for us. Trooper will compete in my dog club's two GSD Specialty shows followed by two days of All-Breed shows.
  • That same weekend, Fast CAT will be available at the Fairgrounds. I'm debating signing up Trooper and/or Jedi. I'll wait until after Tallahassee to make that decision.
  • April 27 is my dog club's Specialty Match, held in conjunction with a breeder-friend's annual BBQ Bonanza. The match planning isn't coming along as easily as I had hoped and I'm stressing. Surprised?
So you see, fun and newsworthy posts are coming soon! Please be patient. Until then, -- K

Sunday, February 10, 2019


WARNING: I feel a rant coming on!

I've been writing this post for years, but have never been able to publish it. I couldn't write for more than a minute or two without the post sounding like a Lewis Black routine. Maybe this year I can better articulate what's in my head. Maybe . . .

Like millions of other people, I watch the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on TV every year. In 2016 I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Rumor, the German shepherd. (She was beaten out by the German shorthaired pointer.) Watching Rumor take best in show in 2017 was a big thrill. I'm surprised the entire world didn't here me cheering. And then last year I was there in person. So yeah, Westminster is a big deal for me.

But as much as I love the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, I hate the day after. There are all kinds of non dog show people putting in their two cents worth. I want to tell them all to just S.T.F.U.

First of all, yes those dogs have balls. On the large, short haired dogs (think great Danes and mastiffs) they are quite noticeable. We all see them, you don't need to point them out. And yes, the judge touched them. Because conformation dog shows were designed to judge how breeding stock conforms to the breed standard, dogs that can't breed are disqualified. So yes, the judge feels for the presence of both testicles. The dogs don't care. Most dogs are more bothered by having their mouth examined. So, get over it people, they're testicles!

I'm a member of a couple German shepherd groups on Facebook, and there's always a plethora of asinine comments on there too, most from people who own "Shepards." (I've mentioned this group before.) These people bought a $100 dog of Craigslist that kinda looks like a GSD so obviously they know everything.

One thing these "Shepard" people complain about is "slope-back dogs." First of all, it's called angulation. Read the breed standard and you'll discover that the GSD is supposed to be:
. . . well balanced, with harmonious development of the fore quarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles.
The breed standard specifically states that the withers (highest point of the back) are to be higher than and sloping into a level -- not roaching or sagging -- back.

It's important to understand the history of the German shepherd. The dog was originally bred to tend sheep. (FYI: tending refers to the dog being a living, moving barrier to move/keep livestock where the sheepherder wants the flock to be.) Says the breed standard:
A German shepherd dog is a trotting dog, and its structure has been developed to meet the requirements of its work. . . . The gait is outreaching, elastic, seemingly without effort, smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. At a walk it covers a great deal of ground, with long stride of both hind legs and forelegs. At a trot the dog covers still more ground with even longer stride, and moves powerfully but easily, with coordination and balance so that the gait appears to be the steady motion of a well-lubricated machine.
A well-built German shepherd should be able to trot alongside a flock of sheep all day. So you see, that "slope" is there for a reason -- the ability to trot properly. If you don't like it, get another breed!

Something these "Shepard" people don't understand is that the angle of slope is exaggerated when stacked (put in the show stance). The FB post to the right illustrates this point nicely.
  • The top picture shows a dog in a traditional show stack BTW, most GSDs stand somewhat that way naturally. Stacking is just teaching them to put the left leg back and square up the right.

  • The bottom picture is the same dog stacked the way every other dog in the AKC is shown. Pretty dramatic, isn't it?
Pine Hill German Shepherds has a well-written article about the German shepherd structure titled Why Do They Walk Like That? I highly recommend you read it.

Finally, I'm tired of people assuming my dog has hip dysplasia. (He doesn't. I have the test results to prove it.) Responsible breeders test for hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy and other genetic anomalies before adding a dog to their breeding program. Of course, these breeders aren't selling their puppies for $100 on Craigslist. You get what you pay for.

Funny story:
I was walking Jedi in Petsmart, minding my own business. This woman came up to me and in a very condescending tone (thanks to my day job, I know condescension) asked how I was managing my dog's hip dysplasia. WHAT?! She went on to say that she noticed his back was sloped so she assumed he had hip dysplasia.

I nicely explained that he was a structurally correct, American show line GSD. I told her that his hips were OFAed and came back good.

Then I asked her how she was managing her diabetes. She was confused. I told her that I noticed she was grossly overweight, so I assumed she was diabetic. She called me a bitch and walked away in a huff.
OK, maybe it was a mean/funny story. Perhaps I could have handled that better. I need to perfect my "Bless your heart." (Northern friends: if a Southern woman smiles and says "Bless your heart" she's calling you an idiot.)

Anyway, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show starts tomorrow. I'll be watching. And I WILL respond to asinine comments. If you're a "Shepard" person, it would be best to just S.T.F.U. You've been warned.-- K

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Chariots of Fur (again)

I signed up for the Chariots of Fur 5K again this year. Unlike last year, Jedi and I didn't train beforehand. Honestly, we haven't seriously walked since Trooper joined us back in June.
  • Good news: we were only 1 minute, 19 seconds slower than last year.
  • Bad news: we were both really sore after the race.
We each took species appropriate NSAIDs and rested for the next couple days. (Remember, NEVER give your dog Ibuprofen.)

Hubby and Trooper met us after the race. Hubby was even able to snap a picture of us crossing the finish line. What a good doggie daddy!

Several of my dog club friends did the 5K with us. Afterward, we all went to a dog-friendly restaurant for beer and pizza. (I ❤ my friends!) Wanna join us next year? -- K

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Trooper Takes a Ride

One of the officers needed me to help him with a project and we went in his car. Trooper came to work with me that day. No problem, Trooper was put in the back of the squad car!

Trooper was not impressed. The back seat is hard, molded plastic designed for perps, not paws. Trooper couldn't get any traction and slid around too much. He prefers the Animal Control truck.

We ended up dropping Trooper off at the kennel . . . after taking pictures, of course! LOL. -- K

Friday, February 1, 2019

Pet Blogger Challenge Recap

Last month I participated in the 2019 Pet Blogger Challenge. It took a while, but I read all fifty entries. I tried to follow links and wander through as many blogs as possible. Below are some of my favorite finds from this year's hop. I hope you'll take the time to check them out.
  • Gone Dog Mad shared four quick, easy and cheap DIY Brain Games to keep a dog's mind active. The blog is chock full of interesting how-to ideas and dog-friendly recipes, Enjoy!
  • Life & Cats has an interesting post about cat shows. Yes, cat shows. They are completely different from dog shows and I found that fascinating. Who would have thought a cat blog would be mentioned on a dog blog?
  • Oh My Dog shared a beautiful post about the echo a dog leaves behind when it dies. It's absolutely beautiful. The blog if full of interesting and often thought-provoking posts. This is definitely a blog to spend some time meandering through.
  • Paw Print Pet Blog covers more than just dogs. You'll find information about fish, reptiles and rabbits too. My favorite: the did the Blogging From A to Z Challenge in 2016 and the theme was dog snacks. Everything from Apples to Zucchini was included. I loved it.
Did you see the blog hop? Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know! -- K