Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Mug Cake (for Elka)

Not only had I quicked Elka's nail while trimming it Sunday night, but when Monday morning rolled around, and we took the sock off, she was bleeding again. Or still. I think again; it looked like A LOT, but I think being freaked out about it probably multiplied the volume. Me being freaked, that is. Elka minded it, but wasn't a wreck. I just didn't anticipate it to still be a problem; I knew that Elka didn't have Von Willebrand's Disease (will post about this on Thursday. This week is just coming together, isn't it?), so I didn't think it was life threatening. But still bleeding was a total problem in my eyes.

So I called out of work. And took her to the vet, hoping they would be able to get her in without an appointment. Last time we had to have an emergency vet trip was the year before I started the blog. She'd broken her toe by getting it caught in the leash while pouncing on a tennis ball in the back yard, and the vet sedated her to x-ray her to be sure of which toe was broken. In all honesty, I should've said no, because it seemed pretty obvious which toe, and that it was only one. But what it came down to was she peed the bed, with my fiance in it, while sleeping off the sedation. So, not knowing what the vet trip would hold, I called out, so that I could supervise her and keep her from worrying at it through the day, in the belief (hope) that things would be better Tuesday.

Of course, I still felt horribly guilty. She yelped when I pressed a paper towel to it, which she hadn't on the night of the Incident. So I sprinkled some cheese on her food after we came back (armed with cauterizing powder and gauze). I kept a baggie of treats on the coffee table and gave them to her for doing things like moving out of my spot on the couch. And oh yeah, making her a Flourless Peanut Butter Mug Cake, from the Kirbie's Cravings recipe.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adventures in Nail Trimming

So, I finally did it.

I guess it was a matter of time.

Three years later, and I cut one of Elka's nails too short while trimming. Colloquially referred to as having "quicked" my dog. Let me tell you, it isn't a fun time.

She made a tiny little whine noise and pulled her foot away. She'd already been doing some foot pulling, which is frustrating when you're wielding little bladed things and trying to avoid the very thing that I realized I'd done.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Custom Caricature of Your Dog: Doberman Assistance Network auction

The Doberman Assistance Network has an eBay auction right now for a Custom Caricature of your pet!

The work that they have as examples looks pretty rad!

As always, the proceeds from the auction go to help Dobermans in need across the country. The Doberman Assistance Network works to pull Dobermans out of kill shelters, transport them to foster homes, and much more. Without them, so many Dobermans would be in jeopardy, languishing in shelters, and wondering if they'll ever have a person to love them.

So, if you have some cash to spare, head on over to eBay and give it a bid! Please share this, tweet it, tell your friends who are just as dog (and pet!) crazy as some of the rest of us. The Dobermans thank you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Conklin Dobermans Now Available for Adoption

On July 5, I posted about 13 Dobermans being removed from a home. The "owner" signed them immediately over to the Broome County Humane Society, which is good. She's also apparently lodged a Not Guilty  plea in court, which is sad and laughable, but I guess that's the way it goes. At least the dogs are safe.....or at least most of them. My understanding is that one of them did not survive.

However, the healthiest of them have apparently been deemed good to go for adoption! They are listed on the Broome County Humane Society web page. When you click "Adoptions", you'll see "All Available Animals", including, when you scroll down, some of the Dobermans. They only have 8 listed as of the moment I'm writing this, and only 3 have pictures, but the sooner these dogs can get into experienced Doberman homes, the sooner they can get on with happy lives, cared for by people who love them. And will, one would think, do things like feed them.

I would be happier with their listings if they had more information about the actual dogs, but my understanding is that the Humane Society is more or less at capacity, and they do what they can. It would be good to know if any sort of temperament testing has been tried, however. The only concrete info they've listed is ages of the dogs, and that they are spayed or neutered. There has been a bit of contention because the Broome County Humane Society did not release these dogs to Doberman rescue, but it's my understanding that they did have some level of communication with the Doberman Assistance Network and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. I do hope these things are true, and not rumor.




Friday, July 27, 2012

Signs and Symbols

I've been thinking a lot about how we communicate with Elka, and how she communicates with us. Some of it is from working on the dog training book, some of it is just from those thoughts that surface when you interact with a dog as much as I do.

Dogs work off of body language, and scents, and sounds. Humans work off of body language, sounds, and words, both spoken and written. In fact, we humans take it a step further (if not more) and have symbols that aren't words, but still expected to mean things. Obviously, these things don't mean much, if anything, to dogs. But sometimes they catch their attention.

Last June, I wrote a post called The Things You Notice, where I talked about a red riding hood statue that was in a yard Elka and I frequently passed (now no longer there, sadly). Due to construction, we have a slightly different walk route lately, and today Elka noticed a Buddha statue in somebody's yard.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Product Review: Kong Squeezz

Ever since our recent Gummy Bear success, Elka has been a lot more interested in squeaky toys. She no longer seems to think that she's hurting the toys when they squeak, and will actually play by herself with one. This is nothing short of miraculous, I assure you. Elka is a sharer, of the highest caliber.

So, when I received an email asking if we'd like to review the Kong Squeezz with rope toys, I said "Yes please!" We love new toys at Casa Elka, and I love Kong toys pretty much as a rule. They're durable, they don't smell funny, and Elka tends to react well to them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday July 24 2012

So, as it turns out, Elka likes watermelon.

I do too, really, as one might expect. But when the watermelon came out, Elka was very, very interested. And insistent. And duped one of our friends into holding it for her!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dog Bloggers Unite for Rescue

Even though I got Elka from a breeder, I do what I can to support dog rescue, and Doberman rescue, as well. 

Rescue is more than just driving cute puppies around, or finding a box of them on the doorstep. Rescue is heartbreaking, intense, and grueling work. I have nothing but admiration and thanks for people who are on the front lines in the rescue of any breed, and any animal. It takes guts, and stubbornness and patience. It takes faith that there will be money, that there will be a spot, that a vet can be found and a home.

Dog rescue relies heavily upon donations, of time, money, and supplies. Dog rescue survives because of peoples' generosity, and their unwillingness to let the cruelty or inattention of others to go unanswered.

Real dog rescue, where lives are saved, struggles and triumphs every day.

Real dog rescue is what took thirteen emaciated Dobermans, now twelve, from the home of a woman in Conklin, New York. The Broome County Humane Society is to thank for that, and the concerned citizen who reported his or her suspicions. Two of those dogs have found homes, and the other ten are evidently being made available for adoption next week, so they're accepting applications.

Real rescue is Doberman Rescue Unlimited, who takes in those Dobermans whose families had another baby. The Dobermans whose people are moving, and didn't find an apartment that takes dogs, or found an apartment that bans Dobermans specifically. DRU takes those dogs that ended up with same sex aggression when they reached maturity, the Dobermans who have thyroid disorders or Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The Dobermans who were "too energetic" and strong for their owners. 

There's the Doberman Assistance Network, that pulls Dobermans out of kill shelters and gets them into foster or rescue groups all over the country. People who transport dogs for them aren't paid to do so, or at least not in money. They volunteer their time, and are paid in thanks. A pregnant Doberman, dumped into DAN's hands, just had puppies not long ago. Who abandons their pregnant dog?

There's a Doberman who came to Distinguished Doberman Rescue because she got fleas....so her family decided to keep her outside instead. Without treating her. 

Then there are smaller ways to help. Freekibble.com donates kibble daily to dogs (and cats) in animal shelters. You just need to answer a question; you don't even need to get it right.

Every purchase on HelpingUdders.com will donate a percentage to the rescue of your choice.

A lot of people don't think about rescue, or don't think that rescue has pure breeds. A lot of pure breed rescues are in fact pretty full, and a lot of those dogs are surrendered for the same reason dogs end up in shelters: they're too big, too energetic, too destructive, etc. etc. Many people who get rid of their dogs do so rather than putting the time in to make their rather normal dog a good canine companion. They don't come out of a box like that, people! 

So, for your next dog, consider adoption or rescue. Look into what organizations exist around you. Taking one of these dogs in can be more rewarding than you realize!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

6 Products For People Who Are Silly For Their Dogs

Every once in awhile, in my Internet "travels", I find products that are (unfortunately) overpriced, but very clearly for people who are absolutely silly for their dogs. Mind you, I'm not using "silly" as a derogatory term; I know very well that I'm totally silly for Elka. It is her job to be the best dog (really, I believe that every dog is, at some time, for their person.) and she performs very well. Sometimes better than others, but I'd be lying if I didn't take some of the blame.

I think these things are pretty nifty, if prohibitively priced.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Obligatory re-share of Doberman vs. Kitten video

This is not Elka. However, this is very, very cute and I hope you enjoy it.

Notice the fake ferocious bitey face, and the utmost gentleness and bite inhibition that Sugar Tree, the Doberman in the video, displays. She's even lying down a lot of the time, so it's easier for the kitten to get her!

Friday, July 20, 2012

"That's the devil's dog."

Some days, Elka and I seem to sow terror wherever we go.

A bunch of people got off a bus stop as we walked past, and they stared at her, whale-eyed, turned sideways, rigid.

I didn't pick a Doberman to scare people, mind you. And I also must emphasize that she was perfectly behaved. At heel, paying attention to me, and calm.

Clearly a menace

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dog Tag Art Giveaway: Winners announced!

Thank you very much, those of you who entered in the Dog Tag Art Giveaway! I always think that free stuff is exciting (that might be genetic) and am doubly excited when I'm the one who can provide it, or help facilitate, anyway.

Per usual, Miss Elka V is the one who presided over the selection ceremony.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stop Breed Specific Legislation

In light of what happened to Lennox last week in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I'm following along with many of my fellow bloggers, including Sleeps With Dogs and my buddy Z on LiveJournal. I posted about Lennox before, and if you want to read somebody more versed and more experienced, this is Jim Crosby's very articulate post on how he feels the case was "handled", and his breakdown of a video of Lennox's behavioral evaluation.

Lennox was not killed because he was a dangerous or vicious dog. Lennox was killed because he looked like a "pit bull", which is a dog banned in Northern Ireland as a result of the Dangerous Dogs Act. Shit like this happens in our country as well, people. In Denver, Colorado, for instance.   Maryland is making gestures towards it. At least one county in Florida has it. Ohio had it and, thankfully, dropped it.

Breed Specific Legislation does not reduce dog bite incidents. Breed Specific Legislation kills dogs.

The only way, I feel, to reduce dog bite incidents and dog attacks is to educate people about dogs. That's everybody. Educate dog owners on how to properly raise, train, and socialize their dogs. Educate the general public on the basics of dog behavior and how one should or should not behave around a dog. Start with little kids, as they're learning about the world. Include it in school, with canine guest speakers and visitors. You can't force people to learn, unfortunately, but you can try to educate. You can try to be informative, and friendly, and prove them wrong by example, with responsible dog ownership.

What happened to Lennox could happen to any dog. It could happen to a Doberman. It could happen to a German Shepherd. It could happen to a Rottweiler. It could happen to a Boxer. I am, without equivocation, against Breed Specific Legislation, and feel it needs to be stopped.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday July 17 2012

Pancakes, with bananas on top!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anonymous Dog Opinion, 3

Everybody's a critic, right?

What you're about to see is not a product of Elka, but rather a dog whose identity (and whose owner's identity) will remain protected.

The book in question, for it was a book, was from 1929, and was essentially sheet music with cardboard covers, on how to play the Ukelele.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Save the Date: July 23 is when Dog Bloggers unite for rescue!

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

We may have gotten Elka from a breeder, but that does not mean that I don't support adoption and rescue. The two ideas aren't mutually exclusive, you see. So, on July 23, I will be joining my fellow pet bloggers to talk about Dog Rescue!

Friday, July 13, 2012

GUND "Top Dog" contest

I was approached this week to share information about GUND's first "Top Dog" contest. I thought it sounded fun, and kind of neat, and agreed to share it with my readership (I love being able to say a thing like that, by the by. Thanks guys!)

Quoted from the email:

Have you ever wished you could immortalize your pet? If so, you are in luck, because today GUND announces the first ever GUND “Top Dog” contest!
Launching July 16th and inspired by the wildly-popular Boo stuffed dog from GUND, the “Top Dog” contest invites pup parents from around the country to submit photos of their own four-footed friends, in one or all of the following four categories:
·         Most Beautiful Dog
·         Ugliest Dog
·         “Doganista” / Best Dressed Dog
·         Dog that Most Resembles its Owner

The Grand Prize will have tails wagging; GUND will create a limited edition model of the winner’s dog. The dog will be available in gift and toy stores in 2013. That’s right! Your pup could become a GUND plush just like Boo!
You and your readers may submit their dog photos via the contest tab on GUND’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GottaGettaGUND), which will be live on Monday, July 16, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. EST. The contest will run July 16, 2012 - August 15, 2012; winners will be chosen the week of August 20th and announced the week of August 27th.
Simultaneously with the Top Dog Contest on Facebook, GUND will run the Most Pinteresting Dog Contest on Pinterest. Consumers will be asked to post their entry on their own pages, “tag” @GUNDMostPinterestingDog and submit the link to GUND at MostPinterestingDog@GUND.com. The Most Pinteresting Dog Contest winner will be selected based on the number of times the entry is “liked” on the GUND Pinterest board and the winner will receive a selection of GUND products valued at $250 retail.
For complete rules, see Top Dog Contest and Most Pinteresting Dog Contest rules at GUND.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Doberman Health: Hips and Elbows

In my "Picking a Breeder" page (you'll see it up top there), I state that you want to look for a breeder who has gone through either OFA or Penn Hip for their dogs. Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are crippling and painful conditions that can affect dogs. In addition to the (to me) obvious quality of life concern, a dog crippled by one or both of these conditions is not a dog that does well in conformation competitions (or should not, anyway), and cannot adequately perform in working venues.

(an x-ray of normal hips, from Wikipedia Commons)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bid on a Handmade collar, Help the Doberman Assistance Network

As I understand it, some people are collar junkies. Really, I only have one collar at a time for Elka, two right now because I got the waterproof collar for our beach vacation. Not that I think there's anything wrong with being a collar junkie; it's just not me. I do what I can to facilitate those folks, though, and so I bring you a beautiful and slightly over the top collar handmade by Cerberus Designs.

I've talked about the Doberman Assistance Network before, but I can't overstate the importance that DAN has for Dobermans in shelters and rescues in this country. I'm given to understand that the 13 Dobermans in Broome County Humane Society have had an interest taken in them (one might assume) by DAN, and if the Broome County Humane Society should choose to give those dogs over to rescue, they could hardly be in better hands.

The eBay auction is running until July 11, so if you want your big ol' dog to look like a total badass, go ahead and bid, and see if you win! I'll want to see pictures.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Beating the heat

Every once in awhile when we're at the park, I'm concerned that we're going to end up like the beginning segment in a show like Bones, or Law and Order, or the X-Files. Elka becomes super interested in an area and I'm unable to ascertain why, and I'm just certain she's going to bring me a skull or something one of these days. It isn't because we live in a bad area or anything, mind you. It's just my thought process.

Because for some mysterious reason, she won't drink water on our walks, I encourage her to hit the creek when we're near it. Dogs don't sweat to cool off, not really, they pant and they release some of that heat through their feet, so I figure standing in the creek must help.  I actually read somewhere that using alcohol wipes on your dog's feet can help them cool down quickly as well, but I don't remember where that was, and it's up in the air if it was a reliable source.

Dog Tag Art: company and product review (and giveaway!)

As you may have noticed, Elka ends up with quite a lot of jangles on her collar. Other than the bottle opener, and even that one is arguable, I would say that they're all necessary. There's her dog license, her rabies tag, her AKC Companion Animal Rescue program tag, and a plain old "dog tag" with her info on it for your average joe. However, I was approached by Dog Tag Art to try out their products and write a review, and I just didn't want to say no. In fact, she doesn't even jangle any more than she did before....miracle of miracles, the tags come with those rubber silencers!

(I love it when a company has a picture of their "founding dog" with their material!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

13 Emaciated Dobermans Removed from Home

I have "Doberman" on Google Alert, as one might expect.

Well, this afternoon, I got this article: Conklin Woman Faces 16 Cruelty Charges

To give the horrible rundown, 13 emaciated Dobermans were removed from this woman's home. All but 4 were in crates that were inches deep with excrement. There was no food or water for them. And she claimed to be a Doberman rescue.

There were more crates to be found elsewhere in the house, but those dogs weren't alive. Some of them weren't even identifiable by species.

The dogs were signed over to the Broome County Humane Society, in Binghamton, NY (which is my backyard, by the by). From the above article:

Those interested in donating items or money can stop by the Humane Society at 2 Jackson St. in Binghamton, or call 724-3709. A list of needed items are available at http://bchumanesoc.com/.

 This makes me feel literally ill. If you have the ability to help, it would definitely be appreciated. I hope that this woman may never own animals again (they removed three hamsters and a rabbit as well). I hope that all thirteen dogs pull through.

Take Two Aspirin and Call Me In the Morning

Yesterday morning, Elka woke me up. This isn't unusual, right? It was 9:30, about our regular walk time. She wasn't whining or asking to go out, though. She didn't hop off the bed because she detected Action in the Kitchen. She didn't step on me while repositioning. She nosed at my hand and flipped it with her snout until I woke up.

She's never done that before, and I asked her if she wanted to go out, and she hopped off the bed then, and waved her left paw at the door as I reached for the doorknob (this is something she's started doing lately, which I find adorable). When we got downstairs, though, she didn't want to go out. And I realized I had a headache. Not a migraine, thankfully, but enough that I took some Aleve, drank some water, and went back to bed for a little while longer, Elka shadowing each of my steps and settling down next to me again.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Funny Thing About Counter Conditioning

There are a few things I've worked on with Elka on our walks.

First all, the Holy Grail of walking a dog, especially a big one: loose leash walking. I'm happy to say that, combined with the clicker, repetition and improved consistency (I've never said I was perfect; I just play it on the Internet), Elka walks loose leash very well. I still Heel her on my right. We're also working on the left, for which I use the cue "Fuss", which is German for "heel", so we can act all fancy.

We've also worked on reactions to two persistently present things: barking dogs, and machinery, be it from construction or from yard work.