Ignorance and Stupidity Monday, Jun 24 2013 

Goodness, goodness me. I’m afraid I have another vent/rant session for you today.

Boyfriend, wonderful patient, and accommodating person that he is, attempted to appease my crazy dog lady side and took me on a date to a dog event. It’s the local Dog Fest. (Poor man, still acclimating to the wonderful world of Dog Snobs and having a difficult time. He called it The Dog Show.) I was thrilled!

So, cheap phone GPS in hand we made what should have been a 30 minute venture. It turned into an hour and a half of getting repeatedly lost, aforementioned cheap GPS not working. At all. And finally stumbling across our final destination, which, to our dismay, Boyfriend knew how to get there the whole time.

Upon arriving I slowly descended into Dog Snob hell. Full of dog owners of the following types:

-Loving owners with snappy Fido racing around on the end of a Flexi-lead.
-Gangsta wannabes with their overweight (“I worked hard to get that muscle tone on him! I put him on the treadmill for five minutes a day!”) Pitties on the ends of chains heavier than they are.
-Know-it-all Newbies (Courtesy of the Dog Snobs blog) with a clicker pointed at their dog, prong/choke collar strapped on, and alternately clicking and yanking away to no avail while Fido completely ignores their stupidity.

There were several other types there, but previous listed persons represented most of the group.

Now I know why I am no longer comfortable at dog events like I used to be. Because the majority of the people there are morons. That being said, they are mostly forgivable. They are simply oblivious and rather ignorant.

What killed me was the “trainers/professionals/experts” at this event. There was a protection demonstration event. There was a Dutch Shepherd, German Shepherd and Doberman that were the dogs demonstrating. The Dutch was probably the best one. Overall he was attentive and relatively precise. But at one point his handler ordered him off the “attacker” and he released, then without warning or cue lunged up towards the decoy’s face. Nothing was said, no correction was issued, but his handler (a trainer) had to pry him off of the poor decoy’s bite suit.

Ther German Shepherd seriously concerned me. His handler would go to pat him and he would turn around and snap at his handler’s hands. He was jumpy, unfocused, stressed and seemed to barely hear his handler. It was very disturbing to me to see “trainers” telling large groups of dog owners that these are excellent examples of protection dogs when they seem (a) not trained to appropriate standards (b) not temperamentally suited to it.

As if this were not sad enough the same “trainer” as was working the Dutch Shepherd made sure to inform the crowd that agility is an excellent venue to start dogs out in from the moment they walk in the door, (because heaven knows they need to be jumping and putting lots of strain on their growing bone structure) and it’s a prime place to take dogs with reactivity and focus issues. Ummm……

My thoughts about that went something along the lines of: “Okay, so you’re saying I should have started teaching my giant breed puppy to jump over obstacles when she was 3 months old? What am I supposed to do when she starts having severe joint problems down the road? Oh wait, and people with reactive, unfocused dogs should take them to events, let them loose in an area with lots of other dogs, and attempt to get them to go over/through obstacles?” *FACEPALM*

What a great trainer. Though as a disclaimer I have yet to work Holly or Bri in a protection sport of any kind. It’s probably never going to happen actually, and I have yet to title either of them in agility. Still, the advice and behavior of the dogs seemed poor.

Now, one thing I HAVE done is drafting. That’s something that I know about. Bri is a happy Newf when she’s hitched up. A true example of her breed when it comes to that! Holly, while not a drafting breed, still greatly enjoys it, though she can’t do it nearly as easily as Bri. In training both of them to pull I have never, ever, ever, EVER corrected either one of them. It’s a game. If it ever got to the point where they did not enjoy it then I would pack up the harnesses and carts and move on.

At the event there was a weight-pulling demo and the man doing it was letting people try it with their dogs. A beautiful little Pittie came up and the supposed “expert” put the harness on, hitched him up to a weighted cart with no conditioning, turned the normal leash into a slip lead and started yanking the poor pup along telling him to “work”.

This man seemed to be one of the sorts who let his dog advertise the size of his balls, or the lack thereof. He’s boasting of everything his Pit has done, but in none of it is there a title through the AKC or UKC. He then went on to criticize two “fag Asians” because they had a little Papillon with bows on her ears that they carried around.

All in all, it was a rather disheartening day, full of moments in which I wanted to fly my true dog snob attitude, but didn’t out of sheer pity for Boyfriend, who was already out of his world and likely to shrivel up and die of embarrassment had I said anything.

So, with that rant completed, let me say that my little foster girl, Miss Maya, is getting spayed Monday morning, and has a page on Petfinder which can be viewed here:

Here is my shameless plug for my foster girl. CLICK IT! Please.

So, that concludes my rant/vent/blog update/shameless plugging. Thank you. It’s good to get it off the chest!

Hope you are all doing marvelously!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly, Bri & Maya

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I Have Pictures!! Tuesday, Jun 18 2013 

I have pictures for you!!

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Little Miss Maya

She joined me like she usually does in the reception area of the kennel as I was cleaning up. She’s very photogenic, I don’t even have to hold a cookie in front of her nose to get her to perk her ears and look adorable!

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What a face!

I’m pretty sure she’s a Lab Pittie mix, she’s got a bit of the look of both of them. What do you guys think?

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She’s got a near-terminal case of the Wiggle Butt, and she hasn’t had a single accident in her run. She only potties in the separate yards where we let the dogs out for play and potty time.

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She saw the treat come out and laid down. Self training? Smart lil thing!

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Finally got tired of the camera and settled down for a rest. She’s had a busy day playing with her new-found friends!

I may have a place of my own lined up in the next few days. I sincerely hope I do. I would like to have my baby girls down here from Washington, I desperately miss Holly and Bri, terrors that they are. Plus, I would like to get Maya into a house situation as soon as I can, she’ll have more training, exercise, and love if she’s in a home rather than the kennel. Still, I’m thankful she has somewhere to call home!

Hope you are all doing fantastically!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly, Bri & Maya

 

Maya Sunday, Jun 16 2013 

Alas, I still have no pictures for you! With any luck, and maybe if the budget is good this month, I will be able to get my phone camera fixed so you can at least get an idea of what my foster girl looks like.

She now has a name, Maya. She continues to stay at the kennel I work at, and during down time when I’m there she gets out and plays with her doggie pals and afterwards hangs out with me while I go about my cleaning routine. She is certainly a velcro dog, always, always, always glued to my knee. It’s kind of like having a shorthaired, hyperactive, 30lb version of Bri. Almost. Bri moves quite a bit slower than Maya does.

On a happy note, what with the increase in salary, my boyfriend (I got me one of them too) and I are planning on getting a place together. Hopefully somewhere a whole lot closer to my work and his best friend’s place, that way my poor, beleaguered van doesn’t have to haul itself  over hill and dale four times a day so I can get there and back again.

Let me tell you, finding a place is easier said than done! As a young tween I always thought it’d be a piece of cake, go, pay money, move stuff in, live there. HA! Deposits, first/last, roommates(?), pets allowed or not, EVERYTHING! Being a grown-up is bothersome!

More to come as life unfurls!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly, Bri & Maya

Foster & Stupidity Friday, Jun 14 2013 

I realize that, in my short life, I have been incredibly sheltered, and in all honesty raised in a very peaceful, liberal, and hippie-ish community. I have always taken things such as environmental awareness, voting, and healthy living for granted. Now, I find myself surrounded by people who don’t understand or practice most or any of the things I was raised with.

Don’t get me wrong, these people are wonderful, sweet, friendly folks! They’d give the shirt off their backs to someone in need which is why I try so hard to bite my tongue when it comes to some things… Like irresponsible dog breeding.

This story starts with explaining that I unintentionally have obtained another dog. I think of her a foster. She’s a beautiful little black Lab/Pittie mix. Probably 9 months to a year old. I saw her running loose near a friend’s house and, upon asking around, found out that she had belonged to a neighbor, but they didn’t want her so they gave her to someone who also decided they didn’t want her and threw her out the window. She’d been running around the neighborhood ever since.

Well, I can’t keep dogs where I’m staying, but I work at a boarding kennel. I called my employer she said to bring her in the next day. I did. Now the little Miss, currently unnamed is staying at my work. She’s gotten her shots, and has a spay appointment. I’ll be sponsoring her so she can go to adoption events with a rescue in the area.

Now, it is on the spay that I would like to harp.

The people I am staying with, lovely as they are, have no dog sense. NONE. It is almost painful. Especially considering that one used to work for animal control. I have always taken for granted that you (a) don’t keep dogs outside 24/7. (b) don’t breed dogs unless they are purebred and have titles to the moon and back (c) spay and neuter all animals that are not going to be shown and bred. RESPONSIBLY. These people don’t do any of this.

They keep all their big dogs chained up outside. Since I have lived here one of the dogs got heatstroke and died in my arms. They are backyard breeders. “Oh, people want purebred puppies of this breed.” is their battle cry. No papers, no titles, no working, not even solid temperaments and socialization, yet they still breed irresponsibly.

Like I said, this is not my house, and I really cannot interfere though I desperately want to. But I finally snapped last night when someone started telling me that I shouldn’t be spaying my foster girl. I asked why on earth they thought that and the response was, “Someone might want a breeding dog.”

That really put me off. She’s not purebred, no one knows the health problems she could have, she has no titles yet, and dear lord, dear god, I would NEVER adopt her out to someone who would want her for breeding.

I attempted to explain kindly the whole puppy mill and backyard breeder vs. responsible breeder thing. But of course that only made these people offended because they’d bred their dogs.

What can I say. People are absolute idiots, and since I moved down here the urge to beat my head against a wall out of sheer frustration at their stupidity has become a daily thing.

My camera is currently broken so I have no pictures of the little girl, but hopefully soon!

Hope you are all doing well!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly, Bri & Foster girl