Anka

Just some great shots of Scottie’s Anka that I captured this afternoon. She is so willing, expressive, and always ready to work or protect or play or snuggle. Scottie keeps her in exquisite working condition, and perfectly groomed. I can’t wait to see what she does on sheep and in various dog sports!

 

Advertisements

Poet at 4 months!

Genius puppy knows take/hold, sit, down, stay, baby heelwork, and a nice stand/stay and show off command. He is such fun to train! I love his rear, topline, body, tail, head, and neck. He has nice bone, and his front is acceptable and stands to improve as matures. He moves soundly and is joy to work with. He is an awesome Whippet boy. His first shows will be this fall. He loves the lure, so next summer he can begin his coursing career.

38614752_1862812983785883_6153395294177329152_o.jpg

Adopt Don’t Shop, at Least Not With a Manicure

15940590_1283501721717015_2339271696452702031_n

I read an article today by another blogger. It stated, in typical sexist fashion, that only a “terrierman with dirt under his nails” is a real dogman, as opposed to “the overweight matron with gold lacquer on her finger nails.”

I supposed that’s supposed to refer people like me, who show dogs and have vaginas, and like the original author, clearly don’t have a personal trainer.

Sexism aside, the rest of the post clearly implies that doing dog sports (such as lure coursing with my Whippets, as opposed to lamping with them) is “pretend” dogmanship, and also that such dogs who participate are worthless (or at least that their existence is pointless).

Well, since lamping on Clearwater Beach (where I grew up) isn’t super practical, I was quite happy to discover lure coursing. I had the luck to live somewhere where meeting another dog person, who just might give me a ride (as a child) to a dog event was not unusual. Thus, I was introduced to the world of dogs, sighthounds, and lure coursing. A similar course events lead to my introduction to dog shows, obedience training, and other dog sports.

My dogs have always been companions first, and they forever will be. The notion that being a pet, a friend, is a meaningless job that “any ol’ dog” can do is endlessly frustrating to me. The number of behavior specialists who have a job, and the number of dogs in shelters, clearly indicate that a large portion of ill-bred dogs cannot cut it as companions. A pet dog actually needs to be an even more stellar example, in some ways, than many dogs owned by professionals. A very savvy handler can manage or modify most annoying or difficult behaviors. A pet in a true pet home must be stable, easy going, biddable, healthy, easy to care for, and generally pretty flexible and pleasant to live with, even with a handler with a low skill set.

A show dog may belong to a more savvy than average handler, but he still needs more than a pretty face and a dose of flashy side movement. Show dogs need to be able to handle change, travel, multiple handlers, intensive grooming, loud noises, crowds, buildings, surfaces, speakers, and being touched by many different people. Being animated, out going, biddable, and very stable is paramount for a dog to have any real success in the ring, regardless of breed.

Both jobs are better suited to healthy, sound-minded, long-lived animals of quality. There’s also literally nothing wrong with owning dogs that one finds pleasant and beautiful to look at, for any reason.

I’ve long subscribed to the idea that doing anything legal, safe, and fun with one’s dog is a good thing. I have a hard time imagining discouraging any person from participating in a fun activity with his or her pet dog. After all, dogs love training, bonding, exercise, and time with their people. Getting out and socializing with other dog lovers is wonderful for the handlers, too (usually!).

This other blogger’s post ended with a flat out statement that anyone who isn’t working a dog on a real farm, hunting, or similar setting has no need to purchase a well-bred puppy of the breed they prefer, but should adopt a shelter dog. In his region of the country, and my own, that means a young adult, poorly bred pit bull terrier.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Every dog owner deserves the breed of dog they desire and which suits them best as a companion. It’s rather obtuse to imagine that working dog handlers don’t also live with their dogs as friends, too. Any purpose a dog has, his first job is as a companion, in most cases. If one’s ideal dog happens to be a poorly bred pit bull mix (which might excel at fly-ball or agility or weight pull, and can be a good, active pet for some households), then so be it.

The rest of us have no more obligation to clean up other peoples’ messes (that don’t suit our households) than does the working dogman who requires a specific breed and bloodline to do the job required.

Any dog’s job is as worthy as the next. I find these remarks from a so-called dogman especially ironic since this individual also loudly opposes Greyhound racing, a sport and industry where some of the last true dogmen in the world thrive, full of wisdom to pass on, along with a deep love and respect for their beautiful, athletic animals. Perhaps a terrierman who longs to own and work his dogs into the future might consider a more open-minded view of others who treasure their dogs, the breeding those dogs have, and the activities they enjoy sharing with those animals.

He may or may not change his views, but regardless, I’ll be painting my nails and getting ready for my next dog event.

 

Give a Dog a Bone

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about feeding bones to one’s dog. Most people want to know how to introduce raw, as a dental supplement and treat. Others want to transition to purely raw. Alarmingly, I found one of my puppy homes routinely is feeding the dog cooked chicken bones.

So, here’s a break down of feeding bones to dogs.

First of all, cooked bones are a hard line that should not be crossed. They can splinter, cause a blockage, or cause digestive upset due to grease, sauces, and such that may be on the cooked item. Keep cooked bones of any kind far out of reach of any pets, until they can be safely thrown away outside of the home. If your dog does manage to steal some, don’t panic. Keep a close eye on the animal for the next few days.

If you want to give your dog a raw bone as a treat, I highly suggest frozen beef marrow bones. They are sold at many grocery stores. The biggest risk with them is the dog getting his lower jaw stuck in the opening of the bone. This isn’t common, but keep it in mind and consider supervising chew time with these bones. They are otherwise very safe, and can also be stuffed with peanutbutter, like a kong can, once the dog eats all the marrow out of the bone.

If you’d like to introduce the dog to raw bones, like chicken leg quarters, I suggest going slowly.  Dogs that are not used to this diet can get an upset stomach. I usually start with a few spoonfuls of ground turkey in the food. If that goes over well, I might feed a drum stick. If your dog won’t eat it, try running hot water over it for a minute or two.

As a weekly treat, a leg quarter will be loved by your dog, and it does indeed help keep the teeth clean. Raw bones break as the dog eats them, but not in the same brittle, dry, sharp way that cooked ones do. They also aren’t covered in grease and other things we cook with.

Feeding an entirely raw diet is also something that works well for a lot of dogs, but it is an undertaking to feed a truly balanced diet this way. Some companies make pre-prepared, balanced raw diets, which work well if one is able to afford it.

Since I get asked a lot, my own dogs eat a variety of kibbles, from Purina to Taste of the Wild, depending on the day and the dog, and generally get raw meaty bones at least once a week. I also do feed safe table scraps, and I train with treats. If your dog is in fit, lean condition, and digesting his food well, there’s nothing wrong with a treat here and there!

I also wean/raise litters on both kibble and raw, so any dog I bred will be well adjusted to eating either or both when it goes to a new home.

Here is Rigby, pictured at 13 years of age. He remained fit and healthy, with clean teeth that needed no formal care, well into his teens, living to 16.5 with no major issues. I believe raw food given weekly or more is a lot of the reason why.

11949548_947451891988668_6906810752719847297_n

Not Nothing

No one ever made me feel as small as you did
No one made me feel as cursed
I’d lie awake in bed just staring at the ceiling
Wondering if things would get worse

I was trapped under your thumb
Believing when you called it love

But I will forgive myself
And start to let it go
Accept that who you chose to be
Was out of my control
And though it might be hard
To begin again
I’ll write myself a brand new story
With a happy end
I survived
So tonight
I am taking back my life
And I’ll show you
That I am not nothing

I kept my head above the water
‘Til the moment when all the elements aligned
And I could fly away to heal my broken spirit
And leave my demons far behind
You always said that I was weak
But the bravest thing I did was leave

So I will forgive myself
And start to let it go
Accept that who you chose to be
Was out of my control
And though it might be hard
To begin again
I’ll write myself a brand new story
With a happy end
I survived
So tonight
I am taking back my life
And I’ll show you
That I am not nothing

Looking up at the sky
I think I see the start of a sunrise

And I will forgive myself
And start to let it go
Accept that who you chose to be
Was out of my control
And though it might be hard
To begin again
I’ll write myself a brand new story
With a happy end
I survived
So tonight
I am taking back my life
And I’ll show you
That I am not nothing
I’ll show you
That I am not nothing

– Beth Crowly
Neither of us are nothing.