Thursday, February 28, 2013

Product review: The HooRag

We were contacted by Mary at HooRag bandanas, to see if I wanted to review the product for Elka. I'd never heard of HooRags before, though I'm happy that I have!

A HooRag is a seamless bandana, a tube of stretchy fabric that can be used in a number of ways. I don't frequently use bandanas, not because I dislike their usefulness or aesthetic, but because they can be bulky, or get untied and lost, or the knots get cemented after they get wet and dry...that kind of thing.

Imagine my delight at the compact package the HooRag made when I got it in the mail!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I have a post on!

Hey folks!

Not sure if any of my regular readers also read, though I do. They have a section (column?) called Dogster Confessionals, for which they accept reader submissions. I sent one in, and it's running today!

So, hop on over, if you'd like, and read "I'm Not Hearing Voices: My Dog Talks to Me"

Tasty Tuesday: Vodka sauce

When I was little, I loved pasta. LOVED it. When we went to restaurants, I wanted spaghetti with butter on it. Sometimes cheese, but only American. I graduated to cheddar eventually. At home, I loved boxed macaroni and cheese. In fact, it's one of the first things I learned how to make on my own, on the stove.

I still don't much like red sauce. I am from the state of New Jersey, which means I must love tomatoes, and I do, but I pretty much can't/don't tolerate cooked tomatoes. Only in specific instances.

One of these instances? Penne a la vodka. Or rather, pasta with vodka sauce. I don't always use penne, though some kind of ridged tubular pasta is best, to catch the sauce most efficiently. I tried it at a restaurant once, when somebody else at the table had it, and went home and finagled my own formula, involving chipotle in addition to the regular crushed red pepper, and sometimes using bacon instead of the pancetta. I also use Asiago instead of regular parmesan, and some white cheddar (picky picky, right?), and add diced chicken breast.

Because of the alcohol (and because it's so darn good), this is one dish that doesn't typically get shared with Elka.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Elka, where's my other sock?

When my fiancé got up the other day, he brought socks downstairs with him, as one does. After getting out of the shower, he returned to his socks, which were no longer there. In fact, one was on the floor. Alone.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Black and White Sunday February 24 2013

Oh, and for everybody who asked on Wednesday: Elka was holding a small "leather" notebook. There was a thread on Doberman Talk of dogs holding objects, and it was something that came to hand. I told Elka to "take it" and "hold it", and got the picture. Granted, it was of questionable quality, but there you go!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Donations for Dobies!

There is a fundraising drive for the Doberman Assistance Network on

Their funding goal is $2500, and it will run for two months.

Current DAN cases include Roscoe, who is being treated for Parvo

And here is a current picture of Blaise, who is now out of DAN's hands an in a foster home, waiting for his forever home. He's come such a long way, appearance and health wise, in a little more than a month!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sick and Sleeping

So, this week, I was largely felled by an unpleasant flu/cold thing. Not many activities were to be had.

Instead, there was a lot of this:

And some of this:

And even a little bit of this:

I will say, it's nice to know that you have a dog who ignores bags of used tissues that are within easy reach, because that would be totally gross and I don't even want to confront such an issue. It's also nice to have a nice, warm dog who will happily nap with you. If my nose wasn't plugged, I'm sure the Doberman-aromatherapy of brownies would have been very relaxing. Nice thing number 3? We thought to teach Elka hand signals, so when my voice went, we could still communicate just fine.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Canine Body Language: Piloerection

There are times Elka becomes aware (or decides that she's aware) that Something Happened outside. Or that Somebody is there. Or maybe the wind blew. Something.

But she'll go look out the door, or a window, growl or grumble, and sometimes give a bark. Invariably, when she decides she's the home's protector (or at least that something requires our attention), she sports a "mohawk", as we call it. Or, as Real Dog People call it, piloerects. Piloerection is when the hair stands on end; on a sleek, short haired dog like Elka, it is really very apparent.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Doberman Assistance Network has a new case: Roscoe, who has Parvo

From the Doberman Assistance Network Facebook page:

D.A.N. has taken in a new boy who is in dire straits. Emaciated and sickly, test results have shown that poor Roscoe is Parvo-stricken. The next few days will be critical to Roscoe's recovery. You can directly help him by becoming a Gold, Silver or Bronze sponsor, helping pay for his veterinary care or food or making a general donation. No amount donated is too small. We also need to spread his story as the more people who know about his plight the bigger his support network will be. We are pulling for you sweet boy, hang in there and keep fighting.

To help Roscoe, and other Dobermans in need, please visit the sponsorship page on the DAN website.

Wordless Wednesday February 20 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Made by Meadowcat: Custom Doggie Fleeces

As you know, gentle readers, we do occasionally put clothes on Elka, but only for necessity. She has a hoodie, and a fleece vest, for those occasions when it's super cold, super windy, and her teeth are chattering. Or, sometimes she asks for the hoodie, though she doesn't really have a separate word for that yet. But I digress.

One of the mods on DobermanTalk, Meadowcat, has taken to making fleeces for dogs. It started out just for her own dogs, as so many of these things do, but she's expanded into a small business and is working on getting an Etsy store up. You can visit her Facebook page, Made by Meadowcat, to see both the custom fleece coats that she makes, and also the snoods, though I am sharing just one image below, of Harley, who is owned by a member of Doberman Talk:

They're easy, they're comfy, they're snuggly. Oh, and for orders through the rest of February? Meadowcat is having a "Share the Love" special. Not only is the order 10% off, but 10% of profits this month will go to the Doberman Assistance Network! You can contact her with any questions (and I assume orders) at Madebymeadowcat AT gmail DOT com.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elka...did you...?

We talk to the dog a lot. I credit a lot of her comprehension to the fact that we have conversations with her.

Sometimes, these conversations are utterly hilarious. Like the other day, when my fiance was going upstairs after having eaten breakfast. Partway through his ascent he stopped and turned. "Elka, did you drool in my pocket?" he asked in a scandalized tone.

Elka did not look up at him, but went and got a toy that she shoved in my hand, so that we would play tug, as if to say "No! I'm playing!"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Black and White Sunday February 17 2013

Elka doesn't snuggle with Pokey's really Gumby who is her pal. But, sometimes magic happens, I guess.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

When is a breeder a puppy mill?

Too frequently in dog news, there are stories that hurt my heart.

Not everybody feels the same way about dogs. I get that. Not every breeder feels the same way about their dogs, and I get that too. But there should be an accepted baseline, you know?

There are the sorts kinds of things that bring the AKC under fire, as the New York Times reported last week. The AKC evidently has a total of 9 people for the entire country, to carry out inspections of this sort. And that's only if somebody calls them in, I daresay. The AKC is a breed registry, and a pedigree database. That's really it. They claim to be an animal welfare agency, and I know that they are a registered not for profit, but what is the point at which welfare is called into question? How many puppies makes a puppy mill? How much poop needs to pile up before conditions are  considered bad enough? How many cages, stacked or otherwise?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Command Clinic: Heel (with a bonus Front)

The other day, Elka and I were playing with Gumby. Maybe we'd just come in from a potty trip, and it was celebratory tug? I don't remember. Regardless. When we play tug, I like getting Elka all riled up and snarling like she really means it, and then having her "drop it" and then either Down, or Heel. My fiancé hadn't seen this mystical "heel" happen, and had us repeat it several times.

Elka will go from facing me into a heel pretty well at this point, off leash in the house, and also in the yard. If she's a bit crooked, I say "Excuse me, straight" and she straightens herself out in relation to my heel, and sits. I can also say "Front", and she'll swing her hindquarters around and sit in front of me. But how did we do it?

(Front, if slightly crooked)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ways to Have a Heart!

One of my goals when I took the Pet Blogger Challenge was to talk more about rescue and dogs in need; I think so far I've been doing pretty well with that!

Valentine's Day is kind of one of "those" holidays. If people are single, they may or may not feel rotten about it. If people aren't single, they might feel that they don't need Hallmark to tell them when to express their love. The commercialization of every last Day that we capitalize the D on is getting a little out of hand, and other than a certain nostalgia for conversation hearts, I can't really claim to love any one specific thing about Valentine's Day. (Now Easter...I freaking love Cadbury eggs...)

So, on Valentine's Day, why not love dogs? Maybe especially dogs who are currently "single".

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Elka's Swank New Collar!

So.....remember the Ceberus Designs princess collar that was on eBay as a fundraiser for the Doberman Assistance Network?

Well...while the bidding was going on, one of my lovely aunts emailed me about Elka's collar size, claiming that a pet store by her was having some great sales on leather collars, and she wanted to get one for Elka.

Guess who fell for it hook, line, and sinker?

Guess what came in the mail this week?

Yeah, that's right. My lovely Aunt Jen got that collar for Elka!

(Elka is still not thrilled with the red couch)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Caution: Area Patrolled by Doberman

So, last Monday, I posted about our new furniture.

In the course of cleaning/organizing/clearing things, we located a sign that our housemate had purchased, but we hadn't hung anywhere just yet. It's so hard to choose where signage should go sometimes.

But, in the interest of display, I put it on top of the light switch in the living room.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Doberman Assistance Network: video of 2012 dogs

I can't toot the Doberman Assistance Network's horn enough. They deserve it. They work tirelessly for this breed.

Below is their video from Youtube, reviewing the rescue dogs of 2012. Tearjerker alert: it is to the song "I will remember you".

Of course, they're also well on their way to helping lots of Dobermans in 2013.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Show off your dog's waistline!

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing about health and obesity. Mostly because I could stand to lose a few myself, but hush now. I'm working on it.

Elka's weight, to date, has not been a problem for us to maintain, and well. The fact that she's oversized (i.e., taller than she should be) is added incentive, as I don't want undue stress on her joints. Those need to last her a good long while, you know!

Pet obesity can be a problem, though, especially because dogs and cats are ultimately at our mercy for food. We can feed them adequately, or too much, or not enough. Adequate is the goal, obviously. A dog (or cat) in a home setting isn't necessarily hardwired to stop eating when "full". What does "full" mean to a dog, anyway?


Name: Elka
Sex: Female
Breed: Doberman
Age: 3

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things....

We frequently have a hard time keeping toys on hand in this house. Elka loves toys, and as I've said before, Elka's love is not a gentle one.

Amusingly, squeaky toys used to actually have some level of protection from her. The squeak made her hesitate, jump back, regroup. That seems to have gone away in its entirety, though, and the squeaking only encourages her.

Monday, February 4, 2013

We got new furniture!

We got new couches. And a new coffee table. Elka, to say in the least, is dismayed.

See, first, we emptied the living room. Took the furniture out. The whole nine. Poor princess had nowhere to lay, and was very disgruntled the entire time.

(please ignore our unsightly Internet wires. They were in a table that is no longer there)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Doberman Assistance Network Monthly Sponsorship program

Love Dobermans? Want to help Dobermans in need?

The Doberman Assistance Network now has a monthly sponsorship program! For $5 a month, you can help Dobermans in need, and the organization that's working daily to do it. Also on that page, you can donate directly to Blaise's cause (formerly known as Manny, who I've blogged about before) with varying levels of commitment.

(logo is property of the Doberman Assistance Network)