Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another weekend and another fun story - plus alien in a Rocket suit

Ok.  I'm beginning to think that it's not dog show mojo I've got going has to be road trip mojo.  As in, seeing things I've never seen before, and hope to never see again.


Leah and I went and visited Sandi last weekend.  It was great - we got a chance to catch up, help feed 11 puppies their first real meal, and change ribbon collars.  We were going to the annual IDR+ Holiday party on Sunday, so we were transporting a foster to be dropped off to be seen by the vet.  Tucker is an adorable 5 month old with huge natural ears and lovely personality.

Tucker, like most Dobes, likes to suck on things.  Blankets and fluffy things are Dobe favorites.  We didn't think much of bringing a puppy into Sandi's house with bitch in heat.  But let me tell you, the event that follows is enough to make me think of something like that...forever.

We take off Sunday morning for Union.  Tucker is in the crate in the back.  About 10 or 15 minutes into the drive, I can hearing a sucking noise.  I turn around.....

and make eye contact with an upside down Tucker head who is busy sucking himself. That part of your mind that's in the gutter right now?  You'd be correct.  But did you include the humping?  I sure wouldn't.  But it's true.  He was humping his face.  Uh huh.  I just said that.

I shrieked at him.  I was aghast.  But bless his little heart, the shrieking LEAVE IT that filled the car made that horrible scene end.  I let him continue the air humping as long as he wasn't putting his face down there. 


End disgusting scene.

Now, an improvement.  You know the movie Men in Black - the first one?  Where they visit the lady in the country who lost her husband.  "It was Egger, but it wasn't Egger.  It was like somethin was wearin an Eggar suit...."

I'm almost convinced an alien has taken my dog and is just wearing his skin around.  The last two weeks I've had a pushy, excitable, attentive, but quick to settle dog in my house.  One that is eating every meal, not getting sick, DROOLING and bouncing for food, and hunting cats.  It's...odd.  Very odd.  I think the Three Amigos may have realized I was serious about breaking up the brotherhood in March.  I am, AGAIN, contemplating if I'm going to go through with it.  It depends on his performance at his first Obed trial in Feb.  I'd prefer to keep him intact and let him age a bit.  But don't tell him that...I like the improved, happy go lucky Rocket.

I read an interesting article a few weeks ago.  It was talking about a correlation between a dog's digestive system and their emotions. It applies to humans too.  You know comfort food?  Apparently that's real - you can get emotional satisfaction from eating that food (mine's my mom's beef and homemade noodles..YUM).

The example used in the article was a nervous, anxious dog that had a digestive issue.  They added probiotics to the dog's food, and the results were very positive - the dog's whole demeanor improved, and her digestive problems disappeared. 

Guess what I've been giving Rocket the last few weeks?  Coincidence?  Maybe.  ;)

I love science!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another entertaining dog show weekend....

I'm pretty sure that whatever dog show mojo I've got going on, it's the "slightly malicious for high entertainment kind."

Honestly.  You remember that movie "Best in Show?"  I never really used to think that dog people were always like that.  But seriously, I'm pretty sure that movie is almost completely accurate.

What man bends at the waist to brush a dog with no thoughts to where his ass is pointing?  A man who breeds show dogs.

What woman brings dogs to a show and goes "hmmm...something smells....what is it?"  Discovers the source of the smell.....and then leaves it on a crate for an entire weekend?  You guessed it...a woman that shows dogs.

The stories that Leah and I have from dog shows are quite comical, to the point of painful.  Last weekend, our friend Sara and her husband were nice enough to let us stay in their house.  We got to go out to eat, do a little shopping, and just hang out.  It was really nice!

The comicals:
1.  Rocket only eating his dinner after eating Revy Glop.  Weirdo.
2.  Missing day of show entries by 5 minutes.  Really?  I drove 5 hours to your show, and I get a snide response?  Forget your next one, I don't need to show my dog that badly.
3.  I was sick the entire weekend.  Like the "popping pills every hour" kind of sick.  And there's nothing better than spending long periods of time at a dog show and in the car when you're sick.
4.  Personal space.  I know that crating at a dog show can be tricky.  You get friendly with your neighbors, meet new people, and have a good time.  However, you should not be getting friendly with your neighbors, ass first, and then pretend that you don't notice.  Really, I shouldn't know more of what your ass looks like in your khaki colored jeans than your face and your Cosby sweater.  Also, you don't make friends with strangers when you move their chair to sit in front of their dog's crate.  EH EH!  BAD MAN!
5.  You discover the type of people you attract.  Leah is one of the nicest people I know, and she regularly makes new friends at dog shows.  I, however, am only approached by strangers when I am doing cross-stitch. Think of the demographic on that one.  Also, is there something wrong with my face??  Maybe...don't answer that.  Or they approach me when they want to tell me how I am showing my dog wrong.  I wasn't showing him wrong when I beat you in the ring........
6.  Smell all of your things prior to bringing them into a show site.  Honestly.  Do not set up a crate near someone, who instantly starts wondering what that smell is - out loud.  Especially when your neighbor is sick.  You don't want people wondering if it's YOU that is that smell, or if it's one of your dogs.  You should not smell like rancid bully stick or rancid anal glands, and you shouldn't own anything that smells like that.  If you identify the smell, REMOVE IT FROM THE BUILDING.  Don't say "oh, that's what smells!" and then LEAVE IT THERE FOR AN ENTIRE WEEKEND. 
7.  I tend to fall asleep in cars.  I also have a pretty vivid imagination when I'm semi conscious.  The problem is that I start a conversation in my mind with my fellow passenger...and then continue it out loud.  Yes, things like "they were making muffins" do come out of my mouth, along with the follow up confusion when my confused fellow passenger asked me WTF I'm talking about.

I'm hoping that since this weekend is a dog show free weekend that it will be more normal.  But I do get to spend time with some 5 week old Dobe puppies, shop at IKEA, and meet some fantastic IDR volunteers.  WIN!

Short training update - I commented that I will be showing Rocket in Novice B in February.  Let's hope I don't shoot myself in the foot with that one.  :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun at Sch and random other dog-ness

Schutzhund yesterday was interesting.  We had a chance to watch dogs from all levels work - from those getting ready for their IPO to a 5 month old still on a rag.  The training methods are from one end of the spectrum to the other, but I was especially tickled to watch the helper clicker train his Obed portion on his GSD.  :)

Have I mentioned how much I hate having intact bitches around when I'm training to show or train my dog?  Any chance of success almost goes straight down the crapper.  I will say, though, that Rocket did better with the helper the second time around, and he was only one dog behind the bitch in heat that was all over the ring.

Anyhow, he did a good job for his first time ever.  The helper was really nice and knew what he was talking about - and didn't give a rip that my dog had never done this.  We're starting with some burlap on a line - tossing it around, dragging it on the ground, etc.  Rocket had a few moments where he went up and at it, which is good!  He was complimented on his grip - when he wasn't trying to bat the thing out of the air with  his feet.

All in all it was a lot of fun!  It's definitely an all day event, though.  I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of progress we make.  It's great to spend time with other dog people and talk drive, motivation, and goals.

The food saga continues.  The Pro Plan made Rocket extremely oily, so when I went to Theisen's I had planned on trying California Natural.  Low and behold, there was Canidae on the shelf for the same price as Pro Plan - I completely forgot about it!  Better ingredients, good amount of calories, but not grain free - which is what I was going for.  I also got him started on probiotics again, and will introduce fish oil when I'm sure his stomach is good with the Canidae switch.  So far, so good - he's hoovering it, no upset stomach, no gas, nothing.  Which is good, because we've got a show in two weeks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trying something new and exciting!

Leah found a new local Schutzhund club that wasn't put off by Dobermans.  WIN!  To become a member, you have to attend three training sessions to see what they are working on and what kind of people they are.  We've gone to one already, and it was really nice - everyone helps each other, and no one cares if your dog isn't able to participate in all three phases of the training.  They are pretty knowledgeable too - intent on using motivation to get the spirit of the dog in the sport.  It's RAD!  We get to head out there again on Sunday and test Rocket and Jayne on the protection portion to see if they can be started.

The club put on a ATTS test a few weeks ago.  It was interesting to see how different breeds respond to the same stimuli.  The judge was the former director of the ATTS and hilarious to boot.  He had a really good understanding of dogs' purpose and how it would relate to their reaction to specific stimuli.  He expected that Dobermans, based on their purpose, would remain between their handler and any strangers that approached.  Rocket passed the evaluation with average scores on everything - the main goal!  He thought, though, that he could stop the aggressive stranger in his tracks by showing him his ass instead of his mouth.  So smart.....

My goal of showing Rocket and Kaylee at Doberman Nationals is still in effect.  They are both so smart and willing to work.  Our main issue is distractions - I have to teach them to ignore what is going on around them - and that's against their nature. 

I'm still using a clicker for almost all of their behaviors.  When they get a 100% understanding of what a command means, I may move them to prong collars to help reinforce what I'm asking - simply to avoid the "blow off" - which is something Kaylee likes to do.  ;)

So far, so good! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh yeah, I have a blog.

HA!  Bad blogger!

Life has been crazy lately.  I switched my work schedule to 4 10 hour days instead of 5 8 hour days.  It works out well for work, but cuts my free time at night short.  I do get three days off every week though, and that is a big bonus.

Rocket is still doing well.  I've been able to up the distances he's heeling successfully, as well as adding in turns and figure eights.  It's hit his little brain that head's up = food and praise, so he is consistently offering full eye contact the majority of the time.  I'm starting more dumbbell work as well, in terms of "taking" it willingly.

A weight update - as a last ditch effort to get him to consistently eat and put on weight, I bought a bag of Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach.  His reaction makes me think they put crack in the bag.  He dances and bounces and gobbles food now, with an obvious change after just 5 days.  Weird *ss dog.  I think he heard me talking about setting up a neuter appt when he turned 3 if he didn't mature.

Allie's allergies are much better.  Not to the perfect point yet, but we are going to try giving her allergy shots to combat her 27 allergens.  The food switch was really helpful, now we just need to deal with the environmental.

K-dog is very, very smart.  :)  And focused, and serious.  But in a good way, the way that made training Ruby fun and rewarding.  She is starting to get the point of stay, heeling with eye contact, and signals.  She's so smart I can see her brain working....she'll catch herself on something I corrected her for a minute ago.  She is very much an eager sponge!  We are working on learning that my left side is the default position, not the show dog stand in front.  Punching in the ovaries is occurring less often, there are no more "shark teeth", and by golly, we love to spin and twirl!  I also randomly taught her to crawl so we can share that as our trick for graduation next week.

I set the very, very lofty goal of showing both dogs at Dobe Nationals next year.  EEEP.

Funny recent comment regarding why Dobe Natl's are a week long from a non-Dobe person.

Are you ready?

"Because there are three sizes....that's why it takes a week."

I'll let you think on that one for a bit.  :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vacation and the Injury Report

Jeremy and I went with his father's side of the family on a cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate Grandma and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary.  We had a fantastic time snorkeling, swimming, exploring, eating, and spending time with family that we don't see often enough.  I think our honeymoon will have to be on a cruise - literally everything is taken care of for you, and of course, you get to take an awesome boat everywhere!

I've got the best tan of my life!  Jeremy is peeling really bad (ew) but mine is a minimum.  Hopefully it sticks around!

The injury report includes a run in with a decorative boulder.  Seriously.  I was trying to keep to the extreme right side of the road to get back to our cabin and somehow misjudged the distance between my right foot and this rock.  Blood everywhere and a numb foot later, I tried to walk it off because I had an audience.  I've got a lot of bruising, but the doctor says there isn't a fracture she can find, so I guess I'm good to go.

This afternoon I managed to burn my hand on the mower I borrowed, followed by twisting my left ankle in a divot in my front yard.  Win!

And now onto the important part of the blog - training!

I haven't updated in a while, but things are progressing the way they should.  I've shortened the amount of time I train Rocket at a time, because he seems to be in a better place the less time I spend asking for repetition on exercises.  We are getting distance on go outs, much better attention on heeling, and, out of nowhere, we can now drop from a signal at a distance.  WOO!

I'm trying to work on his attention span.  He has a tendency to want to trot the ring when he feels he's accomplished something, or, sniff the floor if he thinks that food may appear.  I've had to keep his attention by being squirelly - and for those of you that know me IRL, you know that I'm about as squirrelly as an ice berg.  Which leads me to....

The K-dog!  Someone should have told me that Dobe bitches are so much easier to teach things than dumb boys.  I can be squirelly with her (I practice!) and she gives me the look of "Ah yes, watch the lower life form monkey herself for me.  Perform, monkey, perform!"

Her attention is stellar, I can re-direct her bitchy tendencies (if I catch her hairy eyeball early enough) and she loves the work.  I've never been punched in the ovaries or about lost my fingers so much in my life, but she helps me not be serious - because she's serious enough for the both of us.  We'll see how she continues to progress once I start asking the "hard" stuff from her - dumbbell work and working in a ring with other dogs.

For shits & giggles I asked Leah to bring Revy with her to Kaylee's training yesterday.  Holy cow - I now know why I would never train a short dog.  My neck was starting to hurt, but it went really well overall for a dog that hasn't spent a lot of time at the club training.  It did help me remember how to control my body movements - I had to keep reminding myself to stand straight, bend the knees, keep the back straight, etc.

I can't decide if I'm ready to attempt Beginner Novice with Kaylee or Rocket at the State Fair dog show....maybe I'll just keep that plan for our September show.  I think I'll make sure I enter Ruby in Rally.

Rocket's next UKC show is next weekend - keeping our fingers crossed that we can pick up some more competition wins!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You never know until you've tried it!

Dobermans are usually known for being highly intelligent and relatively easy to train. That being said, I thought that rocket was pretty good at picking up new things, with the exception that he has no attention span. I now have proof that a bitch is way more fun. That's what I'll be getting next time!

Kaylee is a riot and so much fun! I'll have her ready before rocket.

Silly boys!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


For the humans! My parents, brother and his girlfriend, and Jeremy and I are going on vacation to Minnesota for the week starting tomorrow! No dogs allowed, so everyone gets to stAy home with Erik and have fun. I wish they could go, but it's not fair to take one out of four. No work for a week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ahhh....the drama llama.

Oh the joys of owning an intact dog.

Rocket being intact isn't usually that much of a bother.  I did get the chance this weekend, however, to get to know him in his "altered state" - otherwise known as "horny little toad."

What does this altered state entail?

1.  Stacking? What's that again?

2.  Gaiting? mean the "let's see how fast we can pull the human around the ring."

3.  What's my name?

4.  Who are you again?

5.  sniff.....sniff.....sssssssssnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiifffffffffffffffffffff......whine, whine...........snifffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

6.  You're blocking my view of the bitch behind you.

As fun as that all sounds, it was really, really obnoxious.  It did not help that I purposely tried to avoid the "blossoming" bitch by putting us second in the ring for BIS...only to get told by handler of said bitch "I'm going in front of you."

Now, really?  Was that necessary? Technically, my dog was the second fastest mover.  He should have gone second.  But instead, a handler with an bleeding bitch forces herself between myself and the dog in front of us, causing my immature dog to overload on delicious smells. (EEWWWW)

As my first experience showing UKC, it could have been better.  I'll keep going, but I wanted to try UKC to see if I could be successful handling my dog myself and get away from the politics of AKC. 

I did score an awesome basket at the raffle and a new Scentsy warmer, so the weekend wasn't completely without enjoyment.  ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rocket's First UKC Show

Leah and I made the short trek back to the Amana Colonies today for a UKC Show.  We managed to fit Rocket, Jayne, Chuckie, myself, and Leah in her HHR - Chuckie and I got to share the passenger seat.  :)

It was Chuckie's first show ever, and he did a fine job!  Both of the judges told him how handsome of a little man he was.  Leah and I took turns showing him, and he didn't mind the handler switches.

It was Rocket's first time in the UKC Confo ring, and it went well.  He got a Group 2 his first show and a Group 1 his second show, so he has a competition win. 

Jayne did a great job and got a BIS Altered!  WTG brotha from anotha motha!

Rocket acted like a diva.  Yes, I said Diva.  He likes to show when he wants to show, but god forbid I have him do it when he doesn't.  When he wants to, he does a great job.  When he doesn't, he decides that it's more appropriate to be in BIS and ignore bait, sniff the floor, and refuse to free stack by ignoring me.

Some day I will be smarter than my dog?

Overall a good to the gym! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'll never be in Novice A again.

For a very good reason!

Last weekend was fabulous.  Leah was wonderful enough to get up early and go with me, help me with my class conflicts, hold my dog when I went into the ring for our pre-class talk, not making fun of me having to stop to go to the bathroom every exit on the way home when we were only 20 miles from her house......

Ruby did such a great job.  She was good in the car both days.  She didn't cause a ruckus being crated in the Rally building.  Her only "issue" was wanting to visit with everyone she saw...kind of throws off her concentration when she's worried about catching the eye of the next person she sees.

In Obed on Saturday, she received a 192 1/2 and 2nd place to finish her CD title!  We then ran over to the Rally building and received a 100 and 2nd place for her second RN leg.  Of course, there was a ton of schmoozing involved.  She can't walk by someone without an attempt at getting their attention so they'll pet her and tell her how pretty she is.

In Obed on Sunday, I told her she could do anything she wanted as we finished her title the day before.  She decided that she really wanted that $10 prize and walked out of the ring with a 195 1/2 and much love and praise from the judge.  We finished her RN title that day with a 97 and 2nd place, and commenced with much schmoozing, grunting, rooing, and growling.

I was planning on her retirement - a dumbbell will take an extremely long time to teach her (convincing a Sibe that she really wants something enough to chase it down, pick it up, and - oh my god - bring it back because YOU want her to is so simple.....) and she just gets frustrated the more we work on it. 

I *may* test the waters and train her in a different way to see if it works.  I got a ton of guilt trips this weekend from my fellow club members about how I owe it to her to see how much I can teach her.....maybe I'll take that challenge on.

She was such a great girl this weekend - I love this dog!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Holy crap, nerves!

I'm really excited, because I'm hoping that Ruby will earn two titles this weekend - her CD and RN.  We had a good Tuesday night...more than good, actually.  So good that I'm afraid that I sucked all the good recalls out of her and she won't have a repeat performance this weekend!

She actually came on a recall.  All the way.  With a perfect front with no hesitation.....THREE TIMES.  In a row.

Sounds simple, right?  I mean, it's something that everyone tries to perfect.  It was once something I never had to worry about.  But I made the rookie mistake of trying to get her thismuch closer to me by helping her get there...and she started to refuse.  "Hey, don't grab my collar."

But, three times on Tuesday.  I was so excited I couldn't believe it......that was my biggest worry for the weekend.  Now all I have to worry about is getting up and going early on both days, and figuring out how to solve the conflicts I have between our Obed and Rally classes on both days.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!  Hopefully we have two title ribbons to share this weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011

First Trial away from Home

I got peer pressured into showing Ruby in hour and some away.

I sent in my entries today and realized that she has the lovely habit of crying in the car.

Hopefully Leah won't want to kill us.  :)

This means I have to start practicing again.  I entered Rally/Obed both days, so hopefully she'll finish two titles - her RN and CD.  I promised her Obed retirement if she cooperates!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Something that irked me today.

Not dog related.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around something I witnessed today.  I'll give an account of the situation and see if this makes any sense.

Someone at work that you know is getting married.  That person didn't tell too many people, but several people decided that they needed to throw her some kind of celebration.  She said no several times to the idea, but it was done anyway, with gifts and cake.

I understand that marriage is a big deal.  I know how exciting it is.  However, if someone says "no" repeatedly to ideas from others about throwing her a shower, why in the world do you do it anyway?

Is the idea of celebrating something that someone doesn't want to celebrate basically ruin the whole point? Like "Oh hey, you didn't want to make this a big deal, but we're going to make it a big deal because that's what we think it should be?"

I don't know.  It's just something that hit me today, and I'm still thinking about it hours later.  Ugh. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nothing more exciting.....

than helping someone find a GOOD breeder for their first dog!

So....anyone know any good Cavalier breeders??

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rocket/Ruby - Latest Progress

He turns two this month!  He'll supposedly be a big boy then, but I don't think that's going to happen.

We've made some definite progress in terms of his training.  I've always put a prong collar on him for safety purposes, but haven't really put it into a whole lot of use while training.  I decided to just take it off of him and work on a buckle to see how it goes. 

There was no difference.  In fact, it may have lowered his work inhibitions a little.  Weird!  But now I have an excuse to buy him a new collar to train in.  :)

New stuff we've been working on:
1.  Moving stand
Not bad!  It doesn't hurt that he knows what "stand" means...when I give him the command while heeling he freezes into a stand, wonky feet and all.  I'm ok with that for now, but will teach him to stabilize himself in the future.  He kind of understands the return to heel at the moment, but he's a little unsure.
2.  Directed Jumping
We've worked on this a lot with just one jump, but I've introduced them both at the same time.  I haven't been asking him to "choose" yet, just showing him two jumps and what signals mean.
3.  Broad Jump
I've been doing this with him for ages, but just this week I pushed it to his actual jumping length - 56".  He did it successfully twice! so we'll continue to get him comfortable with the leap.
4.  Finishes
I haven't done a whole lot with finishes, just teaching the basics.  I haven't really taught him a square sit yet either, so that's why I've only been teaching him the movement, not the entire exercise.  I want him up and moving when I give him the command, so I've taught him a "touch" to have him jump at the command.
5.  Out of Sight Stays
This one is going to be a little rough.  On downs he's pretty good.  It's when he's sitting up and can watch me go behind him or out of the ring that makes him chatter his feet and twist.  I've been using a board to remind him not to move his feet but it's gotten too small.  I'll have to use something different.
6. Go Outs
He knows how to go to a designated place.  I've been extending the distance necessary to see where his confusion starts.
7.  Heeling
Yay!  I've been able to get him to understand where his head is.  Now I just have to teach him how to sit!  We can do it very nicely without starting from a sit.  I'll be able to put them together sometime this year.

Ruby has decided her recalls are no longer broken, but her stays may be.  D'oh!  I think it's a matter of practice and her "old age"....she's getting crankier.  We just need one more leg of her CD so I want to get her back in form to finish that up before she goes to straight Rally.

All in all, a lot of good progress lately!

Bad things come in.....6s?

I've been a very, very bad blogger.  But I have an excuse!

I gave my computer to a friend to update.  He plugged it in at his house, ran a preliminary program, restarted it, and it died.  I had to order a new power source, which isn't a big deal.  What is a big deal, though, is that my computer is "rare."  So, on the entire interwebs, there were only two places to find the part.  I did get a small break, though, because it was half off at one site.  Almost 3 weeks later, I've got a working computer again!

That was the beginning of the end.

A few days later, the alternator on my husband's truck goes out, leaving him stranded a few times, usually late at night after I've gone to bed.

Another day or two later, I'm driving home from the club and smell burning, and a huge white cloud is following me down the road.  The station has a cracked head gasket.

We borrowed Grandpa's truck for Jeremy to drive while he waited to get his part for his truck.  He drives it one day, and I go out in the morning to borrow it for work so he can take my Cavalier in for an oil change.  Overnight, the front right tire has gone flat...all the way to the rim.  Yep, tire had a crack in it.

Finally, for broken item #5 - my washer goes out last Friday night while I'm cleaning so we can leave for the weekend.  I had to go purchase a new washer that night so it could be delivered this week.

#6 is currently an unknown....I'm crossing my fingers that nothing else decides to go wrong!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I can't take credit for the blizzard or the catchy post title, but I can take credit for the abuse endured on Allie and Rocket while I was pretending to be a photographer.  :)  Notice how the fuzzy dog is telling me that only losers stay inside.

This one doesn't have enough woe in it, but I liked it nonetheless.

Stay warm everyone!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday Classics from the IL

Disclaimer:  I can't make any of this up.  But it's possibly exaggerated, as I'm usually trying really hard not to laugh in someone's face.

We were in Illinois yesterday, where gas was about .30 cents more a gallon for the ethanol blend than in Iowa.  I'm in the back seat.

Driver: "Gas went way up again.  How many miles per gallon do you get in your car?"
Passenger: "On the way here...about 28-35."
D: "What....what?!"
P:  "Well yeah...when I put ethanol blend in it.  I get about 24 - 27 when I use Flex fuel.  I was told there's not really a reason to use the Flex fuel until after gas gets to a bit more than $3.50 a gallon."
D: "Well right, cars burn ethanol faster.  No wonder your gas in Iowa is cheaper.  They put all that ethanol in it."
P: "What?"
D: "That's why Iowa gas is cheaper.  They put so much ethanol in it compared to Illinois gas."
P:  "I'm pretty sure it's because Iowa has a larger tax subsidy for ethanol."
D: "That's what they want you to think.  I always burn Iowa gas faster than Illinois gas."
P: "But I'm pretty sure it's the same gas they sell here in Illinois.  We have state subsidies that make it cheaper."
D: "Well I don't know about that.  I'm pretty sure it's different gas."
P: "It's the same gas...the octanes are the same."
D:  "I don't know about that.  I always go through Iowa gas faster than Illinois gas...that has to be the reason."

D to P: "Pass Bob the salsa."
Bob:  "I don't want salsa."
(D and Bob are not married.)

P:  "I think we're going to get going...."

The list goes on and on....those are just a few highlights.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Crazies.

So yeah.  What the title says.

Have you ever spent so much time with someone one on one and begin to realize that they may be slightly unbalanced?  The unnerving part is that I won't notice for several months and the instant my husband meets them he lets me know that they are nuts.

So....let's say that you let this person believe that they are always right in terms of dog things.  You start to subtly add in your own experiences and research, but you're always wrong.

The crappier part comes in when that person has helped you so much...but also shown you things that don't work for your dogs, because they believe in a "every dog has to be trained the exact same way" mentality.  When you try and point this out, you're told that you spoil your dogs too much and you don't control their lives well enough.

The bottom line occurs when you have an incident with your dog, and you vent your frustration to this person.

Person then states that you shouldn't allow your dog to act that way and shame on you.

Now....Rocket is an intact Male Doberman.  A breed very well known for same sex dog aggression.  You do everything in your power to control the situations he is in because you know this and the damage that could occur.  When someone allows their young, intact male dog to run at your dog, barking and shrieking.....and you're holding your dog's collar to keep him behind you, but the little dog automatically runs up to your dog's boy parts and gets up close and personal...WTF DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

I had control of my dog.  I grabbed his buckle collar instead of his prong and swung him in circles behind my back to keep the other dog in front of me.  I got an apology from his owner and we went to work.

He knows when to focus.  He knows how to behave in a busy ring with other intact males.  He KNOWS what is expected.  It's when we are not actively working that he is allowed to be himself....which includes all the same sex male DA he was born with.

Yet somehow...I was in the wrong.  I let my dog growl at another dog.  Rocket got a "shame on you!!!" and a finger shaking.

Seriously?? SERIOUSLY?  My dog is not. like. other. dogs.  He is meant to provide protection for me, to work with me up close and personal.  It is NOT in his nature to welcome strange males into his personal space, let along let them sniff his boy parts.  It is NOT in his GENETIC CODE to allow this.

I do a damn good job managing him, and it pisses me off to no end to hear crap spewed at me about my breed....when I did my research...and person has never had one...not even a working breed.

And they wonder why I wear headphones when I train.


I've been incredibly lazy with training lately.  Sure, we have member classes on Thursdays, training on Sat, agility on Mon and I'm assisting a beginners class on Tuesday...but I haven't been putting a lot of work into it.  We've had a ton of OT at work, so I'm cramming in as many hours as possible so I can a much larger cushion in my bank account.  Rocket's back on Orijen, which means I can either fork out the $80+ for a 29 lb bag of the red meat or just go in every two weeks or so and spend $40 on a 15#.

The Prozyme is nuts - he looks like a different dog.  Noodle too - they both look athletic and trim instead of so skinny they can't function.  They both eat two meals a day now, so that's been huge.  Best $23 I've spent....the bottle has lasted almost 3 months.

Kind of bummed....husband doesn't feel that our house is big enough to have the four dogs and foster too.  I see where he's coming from - Rocket's a freaking bucking bronco through here and Allie and Ruby aren't too small either.  Someday, when we have a larger house we can foster, but not anytime soon.

VERY EXCITED for the day Rocket's new collar shows up!  Shouldn't be too long now!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just ordered my first Paco collar!

SO EXCITED!!  Finally decided to invest in a really nice leather collar for the kid, we'll see how my custom design request works out!  The design is based on this belt.  

I've been drooling over their designs for a few years and wanted something special, so we'll see how that belt transforms into a 1.5" wide double layer black collar with an extra D ring and silver hardware.

Yep, I get excited over dog collars.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Anyone else want to have a party when they pay off a credit card?

Yes, I am one of those people who gets excited about dumb things.  Paying bills?  Yep.  Paying off a credit card?  I better be strapped in my chair.  Vacuuming?  Boy howdy.  Cleaning my cube at work?  SCORE!

But seriously, I'd love to have a party every time I get myself out of debt.  This does mean, that in 2026, I will have a huge blowout appropriately named "Stick it IA Student Loan!"  Nothing like paying off $50k in student loan debt when you're 45.  I don't know how people manage to have kids and student loans.

Hopefully, if things go as planned, we will be out of credit card debt by this time next year. 

Training Today/Ruby Update

Ruby is weird.  No more coughing, no more stressing's like she's decided it was a month of get Mom worried about my health then go to the vet and find nothing....then start acting normal again.

I think she was put on the planet to give me more gray hair.

I took Allie and Rocket to the club for training today.  Allie did surprisingly well!  She does even better without a prong collar on, so I just used a clicker and her martingale.  She didn't lose focus or lose any of her enthusiasm for the 30 minutes I messed around with her.  Our number one thing to work on if I'm ever going to show her is her sit.  She still has puppy butt, and in an attempt to be able to see my face, she'll sit about 2 feet away from me instead of right next to me.  Other than that, she was doing a great job.

Rocket had much better heeling today, but I can tell it's going to take me quite a while to get him used to keeping his head up and attention on me when we are moving.  We can reliably do about 5 steps before he has to look elsewhere, so I'm continuing to reward him for his head placement.  I added the last board to our broad jump and he handled it without any issues, so I'll be able to start moving the boards apart to get him to the distance that they will be when we trial.  He had much better attention today too, and I think his ecollar training is working...when I say "leave it", he leaves it and doesn't go back.

We'll continue to work work work!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Keep your paws crossed for Ruby

Ruby, the survive it all with a growl dog, has changed recently.

I can tell she still wants to get around and go go go, but I noticed a really slight gimp in her gait.  She's been getting herself very worked up, so much so that she's giving herself lick sores on her feet.  She's growly and antsy and short tempered, more so than usual.

The scarier parts are the reasons why we're going to the vet this afternoon.

She's starting to choke on water and food.  I can hear her coughing after getting exciting about something.  Her panting in the house has increased and she's more restless than usual.

Jeremy and I have been wondering if she's older than we thought.

Please keep everything crossed for her today, I don't know what we'll do if it's what I'm worrying about.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

I've never been one for new year's resolutions, so instead, I'll make a few goals.

1.  Get out of debt
2.  Save for a new car
3.  Keep working out
4.  Make more progress at work so I can get promoted!
5.  Remember the things that matter the most in life

Now, dog related....
1.  Get more points towards Rocket's CH
2.  Finish Ruby's CD/RN
3.  Keep training Rocket in obed/agility/tracking
4.  Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer
5.  Retrain Allie

I hope everyone takes the time to make goals for themselves this year!