Friday, August 31, 2012

Elka, now and for the future (400th post!)

So, here we are. 400 posts! It sounds like a lot, doesn't it? I think it sounds like a lot.

I certainly didn't (and still don't) have a finite "arc" for this blog in mind, so I guess it was inevitable I'd make 400 and beyond. I just wanted to mark the milestone!

So, what to talk about? Woefully unprepared, I asked on Twitter what the topic ought to be, and maggie68d helped me out. Elka, obviously. Her achievements and what we've been working on. I thought it a splendid plan!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

ParaMutt Products: sales help Dobermans!

Just last week, I posted about some great stuff on Etsy. This week, I posted about an auction for a collar on eBay (finished by now), that would benefit the Doberman Assistance Network. Well guess what? Today I'm writing about something that combines these two ideas in a wonderful way!

ParaMutts Products is an Etsy store (with a Facebook as well) where you can get a variety of handmade, sometimes custom made, paracord collars for your dog. AND, most of the proceeds from these sales go to the Doberman Assistance Network. Pretty rad, right?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If you like it, name it

I've heard a lot of good advice when it comes to shaping behaviors, and eradicating behaviors. Interestingly, there is some overlap in the Venn diagram of the two.

If you are shaping a behavior, you reward it when you see it, and put a name to the cue.

If you are eradicating a behavior, you can treat it as though you're shaping it. Name it when it happens, and put it on cue. Eventually, said behavior will be offered, or performed on cue, and not at other times.

It might sound kind of weird. I thought so. But it can work!

Want to learn how?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jayde, a Dobergirl in need of Adoption or Foster in Texas

Jayde is in Texas. As the flyer says, she's currently in boarding, but foster or adoption is the goal! She has a beautiful crop (don't tell Elka!) and knows many commands. She sounds like a drivey girl, so definitely good for an experienced Doberman person, perhaps with an eye towards doing dog sports? If you're interested, or know somebody who can help, please don't hesitate to contact the email address on the flyer!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26 2012: National Dog Day

So, for National Dog Day, I'd intended to take Elka to the Feed and Seed, to pick out a new squeaky (!) toy and get a fresh bag of food, as she is almost out. However, the Feed and Seed is not open on Sundays, and I'm wrestling with an unfortunate cold thing. Who gets a cold in August, seriously?
(flashback to our beaching in May)

Of course, since I did not turn to Elka and say the magical "Do you want to go in the car??" words, she doesn't know that our trip has been postponed. That's the thing about dogs, in a way; their anticipation is very immediate. Kids, they know their birthday (or Christmas or Halloween or whatever) is coming, and they get anticipatory and excited, so much so that the actual event becomes a letdown. Dogs, though they have a memory, live in the moment, and encourage us to
do so as well.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Conklin NY Doberman Update: Sasha has gone home, Houston might be next!

So, I emailed the Broome County Humane Society because really, if I'm posting about dogs in their care, they might want to add some insight!

The animal profiles on each page had been updated, which I hadn't noticed, so there is more information there already to glean about each dog.

I was also informed that Sasha has gone to her home (yay!) and that they hope to send Houston home this weekend (double yay!)

Handsome Houston. Fingers crossed that his adoption goes well! This boy is 10, a sweetie, and doesn't really bark a whole lot. Definite bonus! It suggests (to me) that he's still pretty confident despite what he went through.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pink Studded Collar Auction to Benefit the Doberman Assistance Network!

Here's one for the strong but sensitive girlie-dogs (and boy dogs....boys can wear pink too!)

Other than the fees that eBay collects, all funds from this auction will go to benefit the Doberman Assistance Network.

DAN pulls Dobermans from high kill shelters and organizes their transport to safety. These dogs are then cared for by regional Doberman rescues until they find their forever homes! You can read their recent cases on the DAN site, which include CoCo, who was a stray in South Carolina, and Gracie, who was dumped in a shelter in Texas.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Etsy Esoteria

Like many people (you know who you are), I dearly love Etsy. Not that I ever purchase very much on Etsy, mind you, nor will I probably ever sell anything there. I just like browsing, getting ideas, seeing what exists in the world.

Of course, my frequent topic of browsing is "dogs", or "dog training", or "Doberman". It seems no matter how specific you get, somebody has something. It's pretty neat.

So, some things I've found. Elka kept me company on the couch while browsing occurred.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rocks in the baseball field?

Our park has a somewhat lame baseball field.

Essentially, it would otherwise be a big open field, but for a big huge tree, and a chain link backstop. I've never seen anybody play baseball on it, there are no bases, and it really just seems to be there for the municipality to mow with huge riding mowers.

Even with all that, it's still perplexing to me that a couple of rocks have appeared in it. They're not spaced properly to be makeshift bases. They're not close enough to other rocky areas to have rolled there. They're sure to irritate the guys mowing, if not outright damage the equipment. There are no craters, so they aren't from space (or at least not recently). So why, rocks? Why?

Elka doesn't know either.

She has opinions on rocks in strange places as well.

I guess somebody tossed it out of the woods?

It's not a bad looking rock. Just lost.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Young Dog Blog Seeks Supportive Sponsor

Young dog blog seeks supportive sponsor.


  • Walks on a sunny day
  • Products made in the USA
  • High quality treats and kibble
  • Discussion of an end to breed discrimination

Can offer:

  • Ad space
  • Featured/sponsored posts
  • Elka endorsement
  • Honest support of products that I favor

Those of my blogging buddies who have landed themselves sponsorships, how did you do it? I'd love to hear about it! Did you write letters? Were you approached? Have you maintained the same sponsorship relationships for the duration of your blogging?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Doberground Railroad

I've been posting a lot about the Dobermans from Conklin, NY, some of whom currently reside in the Broome County Humane Society. Trust me, I know. Have you seen the news? Sasha, of that group, has been adopted. She'll be going home on Saturday!

There's a certain magic that seems to happen when people see dogs in need, in person or online. So, I thought I'd tell you a little story about something that I witnessed on Doberman Talk on Wednesday.
Somebody posted a link to a Last Hope Doberman rescue in Texas' Facebook, and a small story.

This little girl is 6 months old. She was literally on the table to be euthanized when the shelter tech begged, and got, one more day for her. That's right; almost to the needle on 8/15, and the tech bought her time until the morning of 8/16.  Last Hope either didn't have the room, or didn't have the fosters, and so put out the plea.

I saw the thread on Doberman Talk at 4:21, on my dinner break. I, mind you, am in central New York, while Abbey girl is in Texas. Totally nothing I can do. I put her on my Facebook, and tweet the Last Hope Dobermans link, figuring I can get her out there, at the very least. Doberman Talk, though, did better.

At least one of the members is also a member of Adapt Rescue, also in Texas. Well, they're full too. But, another member, in Colorado, could foster her (approved by a rescue there) so long as somebody could pull her from the shelter, and get her there. This was established within two hours, people. Then legs of transport were figured out, with stops, and set. Then, there's a Texas local interested in her as well, and they're working on whether that adopter might be approved or not.

So, be it foster in Colorado or a new forever home in Texas, Abbey is saved. This is the power of the Internet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Conklin NY Dobermans for adoption: slightly more info!

On August 5, five Dobermans were left from the dogs who were rescued in Conklin, NY.

Go to for information on the dogs, and for information on the adoption procedures, shelter hours, what the shelter's wish list is, etc.

Well, now there are 4 left! Or I thought there were....Dusty is back on the site again. I wonder if the removal of his picture (or its reappearance) was a glitch? I hope he wasn't adopted to a family unprepared for his Doberness, and returned already. That would be very sad. Dusty appears to be a fawn, perhaps with color dilution alopecia. Since I'm already speculating a whole lot, I might as well mention that a good and balanced diet might go a long way for Dusty, considering the situation from which the dogs were removed. He's listed as 4 years old.

Houston (my personal favorite; shh, don't tell the others!)

Storm (albino, with a sometimes crazy ear, apparently!)

Nani (red girl)

And last but not least, Sasha, who has at least one application in from a family who wants to take her home!

Edited to add:  If you read in the commends, KimyandKaylaa has said that their application for Sasha has been approved, and she will be coming home on Saturday! Woo! Congratulations to them, and to Sasha!

The last time I posted about these wonderful dogs, Kimy and Kaylaa responded that they were so happy to have found my post! They are the ones who (with their MinPin) have an application in for Sasha, and they met all of the Dobermans when they went to visit! They said that Sasha of course stole their heart, and that Nani and Houston were both dolls. They said that Storm was rather reserved, and that he barked a lot to make sure everybody knows what a Big Boy he is. I'm sure this whole thing has been very scary for him, and I hope that a Dober-savvy person comes along to adopt him and give him a nice stable home life where he can gain the confidence that he deserves to have.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dre, Pit Bull in Danger in Colorado

Remember Lennox?

Well, in Brighton, Colorado on July 31, an interesting thing happened. A run of the mill thing, really. Two dogs got loose, a pit bull and a Doberman. They were kind of freaked, and ran around for awhile, and were chased by people who were trying to catch them. They barked at people, and a lot of those people were scared and called the police. Once the dogs were finally caught, the owners were called. The Doberman went home. The pit bull is in danger of being euthanized for being "dangerous".

Not a single stranger was touched in this frightening barking spree. Nobody was jumped on. Not a paw or tooth was laid on a single person, by either dog.

I learned on Doggies and Stuff that there is a ChipIn to help Dre's family with the legal costs.  Dogster has run the story as well. There is a petition to save Dre, where you can add your voice (the petition page is where the above photo of Dre and Machomotto is from). The goal is 100,000 signatures. Currently, they're at 55, 095. My understanding is that Dre's next hearing has been postponed until August 21; at that point, let's hope that the DA looks at the FACTS rather than emotional opinions. A barking dog is not a biting dog. A biting dog is a biting dog.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Elka and her puddle, round 2 (now with more splashing!)

A slightly longer video this time, and one that's certainly more representative of how Elka typically plays in her puddle!

She runs towards me at the end there because there's a pavilion right next to the puddle, with public restrooms, and a jogger had just emerged from one of them.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In or near Asbury Park, NJ? go to Woofstock!

Woofstock is on August 16...that's this coming Thursday!

It takes place in New Jersey, land that I love. The Wonder Bar is just up the street from the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, and right across the road from the ocean and boardwalk. Woofstock is a concert that benefits the Monmouth County SPCA; it's also a pre-registration event for the "Grateful" Dog Walk and Pet Fair, which will be on October 6, at Brookdale Community College.

  • Bring your dog for Yappy Hour <outside on the doggie deck>
  • Meet 2012 Honorary Chairdog PINOT
  • Get together with your teammates or register for the Walk as an individual
  • Pick up important forms, promo materials, etc.
  • Learn valuable fundraising tips
  • Hair Designs by Rachael Herman
  • Live Music <inside on the main stage
  • Music by On Your Marks, Cross Town Train, Earthman, The Hopeless Carrion
**Dogs must remain outside for the duration of the event so please plan accordingly!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Some statistical popularity

Sometimes, it surprises me what gets the most attention on my blog.

For instance, last Friday's post, A small rant.... has gotten 164 hits, 28 comments (well, 56, but that's because I replied to them all) and 4 shares on Google+!  It's not a surprise that some judicious grousing about something got attention, and there was some equal commiseration, and also some good discourse. I do want to emphasize that I don't dislike small dogs; I dislike irresponsible owners. Often the two dovetail, to my dismay, but to my relief, nobody seemed to think that I hated little dogs. So that's good.

Another popular post lately? The Doberman: Color, which I first posted on April 5. Are you ready for this? That one has gotten 1250 hits. I hope for people to be interested when I post Doberman specific things (this is kind of a "Doberman blog" after all, in addition to being a dog ownership one), and my color post has consistently received readership in the months since it first went live.

To give you a sense of scale, my total hits to date since starting this blog on April 7, 2011, is 57,257. I wonder how much it could have been if I did that color post earlier! Still, more than 50k is pretty good, in my estimation.

I'm not sure how many email followers I have, but I have 82 people who publicly follow The Elka Almanac using the Google widget dealie. Many of you also common with good regularity, which I really appreciate! I enjoy the dialogue that having a blog like this fosters with other dog owners. It really helps me get my nerd out. We're all on this road with our dogs, and I like talking to the people who are sharing the journey and seeing where it takes us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Command Clinic: Look at That

All right, all right. "Look at that" isn't really a command. I've heard it described as a game, which I suppose is sort of it.

"Look at that" is something you may have heard of if you're interested in clicker training and positive methods of training. It's in the book Control Unleashed, by Leslie McDevitt. It's sort of what I've done when working with Elka in respect to other dogs. At absolute perfection, I want her to just be able to ignore other dogs. At worst, I want her to be able to be calm around them. Lofty goals, right? Shoot for the stars!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Would you like some cheese?


So, after I wrote A small rant the other day, I didn't anticipate having another such story to share with y'all.

This story is a bit more uplifting, anyway.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Elka and her puddle (our first YouTube video!)

I got a super-short video of Elka playing in her puddle at the park. You can also view it on our YouTube channel (which only has the one video so far): Elka and her puddle

Really, I thought that she would be more into it. Normally, she's a bit more prancey and splashy. Maybe she got camera shy?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Still 5 of the Conklin Dobermans available at the Broome County Humane Society

I was looking today at the Broome County Humane Society for the Dobermans, because how could I not? It looks like many of the younger ones (Bella was 4) have been adopted already! That's good news for them!

The five who are left are all 8 and 10, however. Some may not be housebroken. I don't know of a whole lot of people who go to the shelter with those criteria in mind. I also wonder at the ages that are listed, which are either 8 years and 1 month, or 10 years and 1 month. Either they were littermates, or the Humane Society is guessing, is my guess. I really don't know.

Houston is a big handsome lug. He's one of the 10 year olds, and though there is grey in his muzzle, he isn't as grizzled as some older dogs that I've seen. He looks like he still has some pep to him!

Nani is also 10, and has a sweet smile.

Haley is 8, and an albino. Her ears are natural, and she has a great expression on her face in the picture below. In all the pictures of her, really. 

Storm is also an 8 year old albino, and still looks pretty skinny. Depending on his preferences, I'm sure he'd love to sit down and share a hot dog or two with somebody. Maybe make it a date!

Sasha is a pretty 8 year old red girl. It's interesting to me that the reds and the albinos are the dogs who are left; even Blue Bella went home quickly, practically as soon as I had posted the first time.

Of course, just by looking at their pictures, I don't actually know anything about them. The less time they have to spend in the shelter environment the better, though. It can be psychologically damaging to dogs, and really, these guys just came from living in crated quarters. They shouldn't live out their senior years in shelter cages. Spread the word!

Friday, August 3, 2012

A small rant.....

On our walk, Elka and I saw a person standing in the middle of the sidewalk up the block from us, talking to another person. There was a chihuahua on a retractable leash, that squared off and stared as we approached. Person 2 went back to their house (and I noticed they were holding a small dog as well). Person 1 (with chihuahua on retractable leash) turned and saw us. Her dog exploded in lunging, snarling, and barking, staring at Elka, eyes hard, ears forward. Elka looked at the dog, and looked at me. I gave her a treat. Person 1 crossed the street with her dog, still lunging and snarling, for which I am grateful. However, she did not lock the retractable leash, so she ended up on the sidewalk across the street from us, with her dog barking and snarling in the middle of the street. Elka looked at the dog, and looked at me. I gave her a treat. The woman didn't call her dog to her, but said in kind of a breezy voice "oh, now, come on, don't do that." Elka looked at the dog, and looked at me. I gave her a treat.

If our roles had been reversed, I don't doubt that the woman would have been quite upset with me. If my Doberman acted like that, barking and snarling and lunging, people would call the police. People would yell at me, and feel justified in their suspicion or hatred of Dobermans. I don't hate chihuahuas; I just hate that we encounter so many small dogs who don't appear trained in any way, and whose owners, purposefully or no, encourage these horrible behaviors.

Size should  not matter in dog behavior. Dogs should be polite, and trained, and managed. Dog owners should be conscientious. I don't care how big your dog is; if you're on the sidewalk or at the park, and your dog poops, pick it up and put it in the garbage. Don't bag it and throw the bag into the woods. Don't just leave it there. Take responsibility. These kind of behaviors make it so hard for dog owners to get allowances in towns. There are no off leash areas in my town, and few businesses that allow dogs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doberman Health: vonWillebrand's Disease

On Sunday night/Monday morning I had the unfortunate experience of having quicked Elka's nail while trimming it. Other than Wednesday, it's rather become this week's theme, unfortunately. That's my life, no shortage of inspiration, I guess!

Part of the reason I've been talking about what seems like such a minor thing all week is the fact that her nail bled for so long. It was unsettling, to say in the least. I didn't think that it was life threatening, as I knew that Elka was a carrier for vonWillebrand's disease, but neither affected nor clinically affected. And then I realized that it was time to talk about vWD.