Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

"It's All in How You Raise Them"

I'm sure you've heard many a breed advocate utter this phrase: It's all in how you raise them. Meaning, vicious dogs are made, not born.

As an obvious Doberman advocate, you might be a little confused when you read my answer: That isn't necessarily true.




Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Announcement

All right. Due to my typical personal fall slow down (it's cold here now! [well, getting there] And did a rainy/snowy thing I did not like), I'm going to change my update schedule. I maintained Monday through Friday for awhile there, sometimes with Sunday thrown in, sometimes extra Tuesdays, etc. But I fell behind at some point, and have kind of done Monday through Wednesday, which strikes me as less than effective, with all of those empty days yawning before me.



So. I'm going to try switching to a Monday - Wednesday - Friday schedule, the same as I do with my writing blog. In a way, this is cheating, as we know Wednesday is Wordless, so I will make effort to maintain a Tuesday Tails contribution as well, and perhaps a Tasty Tuesday as applies (see, blog hops make things easy and motivating!)

But, especially with NaNoWriMo looming, I don't want y'all to think I'm totally ditching you. Because I'm not. I'm just writing a lot, and reading, and trying to get housework done and pay attention to this dog 'o mine and oh yeah, work. That working thing.


Monday, October 21, 2013

It's that time of year again (....almost)


So, seeing as how it's almost the end of October (finally!), I've been thinking about National Novel Writing Month.

As happens to me very often, I had an idea at the beginning of the month  (an urban fantasy novel about an occult biker gang, to put it in a nutshell). I started planning it out a bit, did some reading, started watching Sons of Anarchy again (I'm only partway through season 2, no spoilers please!), that kind of thing. So I was ready, right? Then I looked up and it was only October 16. So.

Now I'm thinking of writing something that takes place at the Jersey Shore, where I'm from (surprise, right? Writing about a place I know). But of course there are ten days left before November. So. I still don't really know. And I may or may not have already started the other novel (also urban fantasy), which may or may not be cheating if I use it (it is).

So I need to lay in some toys/treats for Elka to occupy herself with so I can shoehorn some writing time in evenings after work. Remembering to freeze Kongs will help. Getting a couple new squeaky toys will help, as they only last so long. It's funny, Elka didn't used to like squeaky toys, but she sure does now! I can just watch her play with one, and they are an enforced "No, you play with that yourself" toy.

Any of you novelling this year? How does your dog occupy him or her self when you write?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sweetheart update

Good news! (and isn't it nice to hear that?)

Sweetheart is no longer hospitalized, and is safe in foster care. She's up to 36 pounds and had a solid poop! (only parents and dog people obsess so much over poop, I swear).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Practically Human, But Better

By now, you've probably heard or even read the article "Dogs are people, too" in the New York Times (in the opinion section, despite the usages of Science™ to carry out the experiment. That's telling, n'est-ce pas?) If you haven't, in a nutshell, the neuroscientist on the case, Gregory Berns, trained (with positive methods and help from a dog trainer) a team of 12 dogs to voluntarily go into an MRI, wearing a pair of noise blocking headphones, and stay there perfectly still for the duration of a brain scan wherein they confirmed brain activity that is indicative of canine emotions.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blog the Change October 15 2013

Today, for Blog the Change, I want to talk about the Doberman Assistance Network.

DAN was founded in 2007 and went into business in 2008, "when people from the Doberman community realized the need and came together to assist this intelligent, affectionate, and often misunderstood breed" (from the DAN site). I didn't realize it was such a young organization, actually. They try to accept owner surrenders. They work with breed specific rescues, and they work to pull Dobermans from shelters and organize transport to get the dogs to safety.



I love the Doberman breed, and I feel like this is "my" breed. In a way, even as a writer, it's hard to articulate how important this kind of work is. There are so many dogs who need help. There are so many breeds who need champions, big and small. The way people treat dogs, casually, like puppy factories or toys or garbage. And then the people who care about the breed pick up the pieces.

Most recently, I posted about Sweetheart (the picture of her is graphic and very sad, be warned), a dog who was taken in as a stray in Charlotte, NC. The update on her is that she is Heartworm negative, and accepting food. Maybe she just needs love and groceries, and DAN can provide that, until she's well enough to go to a home.

But that's just the most recent DAN case I've blogged about. There are any number of them who aren't quite so touch and go, who don't necessarily make it onto Facebook. There are dogs pulled from kill shelters with time running out. There were dogs who had nowhere else to go, when their breeder who passed away. I hear people say "It's just a dog" when they hear impassioned please for help, and when they hear outrage at the treatment of dogs. And yes, they are "just" dogs. Which means it's up to us, as humans, to watch out for them. To be responsible for them, and help them, and make sure they aren't cold and afraid and hungry.

If you're interested in sponsoring a dog (Nola and her litter are still listed on their site), you can visit the DAN site. They don't currently have anything in eBay (and remember the lovely collar my aunt won the bidding for?) but they do have a lovely 2014 Doberman rescue calendar. They also have an Amazon wishlist and a store with DAN merchandise.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dogs make their own fun

There's no telling what toys Elka will like and play with, and what toys she'll hate.

The Unbreakoball is a great example. It certainly hasn't broken, because she hates it. Hilariously.

She likes squeaky toys now, though. When she was little, she seemed to think she was hurting them, perhaps because of the way we taught her bite inhibition (the yelp 'n' stop playing approach).

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Donations for Sweetheart through Doberman Assistance Network (Warning, graphic picture)

Sweetheart is a Doberman that is estimated to be 2 years old. She was brought in as a stray in Charlotte, NC and is currently in emergency care.

She weighs 29 pounds.

Somebody has offered to match donations to Sweetheart, through the Doberman Assistance Network, up to $300 until Midnight on Sunday, October 12. Donations can be made via Paypal, just make sure to put "Sweetheart" in the Special Instructions box. There's a PayPal "Donate" button both on the DAN home page and also a link to it from their Facebook page.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Never Stop Training

Yesterday, Patricia McConnell posted "Gotta Love That Recall" on her blog, and while I read and recommend her as often as I can, I also noticed the specific phrase which I've poached for the title of this post: Never stop training.

I'd been thinking about this lately, in fact, when a certain long nosed miss started nosing up to peoples' plates in a manner she had not otherwise displayed. I may or may not have been mostly unbothered by this, for it was rarely, if ever, my plate she was getting too close to. This is Elka, who I can leave in the car with McDonald's or other takeout and she will not touch is. Elka, who has been in a room with a coffee table full of nachos and dip and even pigs in a blanket and not touched a thing. Elka, who dropped a turkey sandwich she had in her mouth when I said "drop it", and left along a dropped tupperware of taco meat when I said "leave it".


(forgive the old picture, I don't have a new one of her lurking in the "safe range" of food that is not hers)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Special Needs Dobermans Annual Clothing Sale!


From October 7 until October 27, Special Needs Dobermans will be having its annual store clothing sale. It's a variety of t shirts and sweatshirts with the Special Needs Doberman logo on it, for "non auction prices" (to quote their site). The merchandise order form is a document that will download, you fill it in, and then cut and paste your order to an email, addressed to store AT Doberman911 DOT org. They can accept payment via Pay Pal, check, or money order.

Sales of the Special Needs Doberman merchandise go to pay the administrative fees for Pay Pal and eBay, so that they can continue to devote 100% of donations right to the Dobermans, instead of having to use that money to cover those fees.

Donations help Dobermans who are in rescue and need veterinary care. Special Needs Dobermans used to be able to help privately owned dogs (like Whisper), but they've had enough of a downturn in donations in recent years that they are no longer able to do so. On their site, you can donate to specific Dobermans whose stories are listed, or simply donate to the General Fund. If you're uncomfortable with PayPal, you can also mail in a donation. If neither of those catch your fancy and you feel devoted to senior dogs, there are a number of seniors in need listed on the Senior Doberman Project, also run by SND. These dogs are either seeking sponsorship or seeking forever homes, and their locations are listed.

Monday, October 7, 2013

When trying to educate on dog message boards (warning, .gif post)

We've had a spate of new (and some not so new) users on Doberman Talk who have bought their puppies from less than reputable breeders and are being very public about how it was their choice, they're going to love their dogs anyway, we're all meany butts, etc. etc.

Okay. Fair point, it is their choice. And at least one of them is a troll, more likely than not. It doesn't take a lot of Doberman Talk browsing to learn what the hot buttons are: taking a puppy home too soon, bringing a male puppy into a house where there are other males, ear crop issues when a natural eared puppy was purchased from a backyard breeder and the new owner is searching for or has found a less than optimal cropping vet.

I'm not the most knowledgeable of members on Doberman Talk. There are many people there who have been in Dobermans for longer than I've been alive. There are people there who have been picking up the pieces from bad breeders for years and years, working with rescues, getting puppies shoved at them, almost anything you can imagine.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fundraiser for the Doberman Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin

The Doberman Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin is having a T-shirt fundraiser!

They've set a goal of 50 shirts to sell, and there are 17 days left for them to fulfill that goal (17 shirts sold to date). They're pretty snazzy looking shirts, with a line drawing of a natural eared Doberman and a cropped Doberman (and I know black t-shirts are my favorite!), I've heard from somebody who has one that they are quite soft and cozy, and they are $20.

The DRAWI's mission statement is as follows (from their web site):

Our Mission - To utilize every opportunity to assist a Doberman in need, regardless of situation, age or health concerns; to ensure their health and happiness, and place them in loving forever homes; To assist and educate current Doberman owners, potential adopters and the general public on the Doberman Pinscher breed.


Doberman Rescue Alliance Wisconsin is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that is run by volunteers. Donations and fundraisers are their bread and butter, and they've helped hundreds of Dobermans find homes. If you would prefer to directly donate instead of getting a t-shirt, information can be found here on their web site.