Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Foster Homes Needed for Doberman Rescue Minnesota!

In March, I wrote about Doberman Rescue Minnesota and the fabulous work that they do for Dobermans in need.

I'm sure a lot of rescues are hurting. This year, Special Needs Dobermans stopped being able to help private owners, due to a shortage in funds. But yesterday, Meadowcat (remember Meadowcat? She has an Etsy store now, by the by. And has expanded into collars. Maisie at Reactive Champion did a review.)

But, because Doberman Rescue Minnesota is not a kennel, but rather relies upon foster homes to house their rescued dogs, they are in need of volunteers, especially foster homes. So, if you're in Minnesota and would like to foster or otherwise volunteer, you can fill out their online Volunteer Application.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dogs and their Owners

What's that they say, about dogs and their owners resembling one another?

My single grey hair (discovered last week. Did you know it's rather hard to take a picture of one's own head? I supposed I could've asked somebody, but didn't think of it):

Elka's single white hair (much harder to see, apologies, so I drew an arrow. It's on her flank, not her head):

Now, I'm sure my grey hair is because I'm *sigh* 30. Elka's white hair on her side, I have no idea. I know dogs will frequently grow back white hairs after an injury, but to my knowledge, she hasn't hurt herself in that manner. Or she did on the scale of a single hair follicle and I missed it. Go figure.

(I thought about posting this for Black and White Sunday, but thought that might be a little too tongue in cheek....)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shelter dogs making nursing home visits

I was surprised and pleased to see a positive dog-related article in my local rag yesterday: Pooches pay visits to area nursing home. This was not "just" a story about therapy dogs; this was a story about a shelter called by a local nursing home to see if they had any dogs that could come and visit! The shelter director, Kerrie Colin, performed her own tests to see how dogs would be around walkers, wheelchairs, etc. and brought two miniature schnauzers over, with great success.

(picture from Wikimedia Commons, not one of the Miniature Schnauzers in question)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Does your dog work? Should your dog work?

On Terrierman's Daily Dose, he wrote a great post lately entitled "And What is the Work of Your Dog?" His is a blog that I read frequently but do not often comment on. I don't know about working terriers. My dog experience is largely and completely related on this blog, and doesn't amount to much when compared with others, both on and off the blogosphere.

It's a very good question, though. Dogs only recently became our couch adornments (I mean, other than the toy breeds, whose whole point is to be couch adornments). Pretty much every breed was created for a purpose, some more specific than others. It's worth looking at the history of your breed, and considering your expectations of your dog, and how their lives go.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Look over there! What's that?

I know it's kind of the stereotype of the dog owner to think that their dog is the smartest and bestest dog of them all. Really, it's every individual dog's job to be the best dog. It's just the way things are.

Of course I have stories like that, though. Where I just couldn't believe Elka's intelligence, or the mental connections that she made to reach the behavioral end. A main reason we picked Doberman is for the intelligence; perhaps we didn't think that through? But it's been great, for the most part!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Black and White Sunday April 21 2013: sleeping Doberman pose 137

There are many Sleeping Doberman poses. I haven't actually counted them all; it just seemed appropriate to slap a number on this. Not quite stretched out, not quite curled up, not quite "bundle of paws". A study in and of itself.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Product review: Hartz Zoo Balloons

Once Elka started to play with and love squeaky toys, I had to pretty quickly get on the bandwagon and find ones that could suffer through her tough love and last for more than one play session. The Kong Squeezz toys have done quite well for that, though they are a bit spendy. The Tuffie Squid was another, but one I had to watch her with pretty closely. So, you can imagine I'm pretty happy to find a "renewable resource" of squeaky toys right in my grocery store, the Hartz Zoo Balloons. I'm not sure why they're seven bucks on Amazon, as I typically pay four and change, but it is what it is.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Doberman Assistance Network: Fundraising and new cases (warning, pictures are pretty sad)

It happens all too often, I suppose. Two needy Dobermans, Calla Lilly and Godfrey, from two different locations, have come into the Doberman Assistance Network's care. The poor things are able to walk under their own power, but they are all but skin and bones (the pictures are bad; they'll be under the cut at the end of this post, if you'd prefer not to see them).

I will show you this picture, though. Remember Blaise? He has a home now. And looks great!

(Picture from Doberman Assistance Network's Success Stories page)

You can help in a number of ways! On DAN's Sponsorship Page, you can sign up to give a $5 monthly sponsorship. You can also sign up to directly sponsor Calla Lilly or Godfrey's care. There is Gold level sponsorship at $250, Silver sponsorship at $150, and Bronze at $100. Veterinary care comes in at $100, food at $50, or general donations at $25. You can in fact donate any amount, through Paypal, and ever donation helps.

The Doberman Assistance Network also has a General Funds Wishlist on Amazon.com, and those items ordered would go directly to DAN and to Dobermans in need. These items range from toys to medications and shampoos, the kind of thing that every shelter and foster environment needs.

Also, as a reminder, there are 12 days left on the Flower Power Fundraiser. Funds raised for DAN are up to $258, out of a goal $1000. So, if you can, spread the word on that! I also posted about it here last Friday, if you want to share a post that does not include shocking images of Dobermans who have been starved. It isn't for everybody, I know. So why do I include them? As a reminder to myself, and others, that not dogs have all the toys they could ask for, or the treats, or the couches. Not all dogs even have even their most basic needs met, and that is horrible.

So, I'm not going to cue up sappy music and pan through the saddest animal pictures I can find. But I am going to share with you these two, who are in good hands, and on their way to learning about the good life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rummage for Rescue, 12 pm- 4pm May 19 in Racine, WI

Elka, I don't know why you're doing this.....

The other day, we were on the couch, waiting for friends to make a quick Walgreen's run, and waiting for our ordered Chinese food to arrive. (By the by, we can order from our favorite Chinese restaurant online now, using the Eat24 web site [which apparently also has an app, and gives you funny things to Tweet when you've placed your order], which coupled with Domino's makes me feel as though we're living in a more Jetson's future as the days go by.)

My fiancĂ©  lay down with a blanket for the duration, and Elka lay with him. She cuddled under the blanket, and put her head on his foot. Then she slowly moved his foot with her head, perhaps for more comfort? More space? We weren't sure, and thought to blog about it. She also put her very cold nose on his bare ankle. He was thrilled.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sponsored Post: Harmful Training Devices

Harmful Training Devices: What to watch out for
The evolution of dog training has gained serious pace over the last decade- and largely for the better. However, there are still innumerous products on the market which promote punishment as a route to obedience. There is much debate as to whether or not these products have any useful place in modern dog training practices. Nonetheless huge numbers of these training aids are still sold each year- and the majority to the general dog owning public, who have no formal schooling in using such devices. Here we look at some of those products involved in this debate.

Prong Collars
Prong collars are made up of interlocking links which support blunt, and sometimes not so blunt, prongs. When tightened these prongs pinch at the dog’s skin. These devices are fearsome looking things- yet despite their aggressive appearance many dog training professionals support their use.
Advocates insist that the pinch is no worse than the pulling or jerking which others forms of obedience training rely upon and unrestrained use of the much less aggressive looking choke chain can actually be much more damaging. Designed for use on large dogs there have been reports of severe damage caused to smaller dogs which have been erroneously fitted with them. This only serves to highlight the fact that this type of training aid should not be readily available to the general public.

Choke Collars
A ‘choker’ as it is often known, is the most commonly used of the punitive training aids. Chokers consist of two loops of chain, one slips around the dog’s neck whilst the other is used to tighten the first, and hence help instruct the dog. Many responsible dog owners use them and would be appalled to see them categorized as a harmful training device and this is where the debate becomes much more complex. Whilst the argument against prong and electronic collars seems clear cut, the restraint offered by a choke chain is seen as wholly acceptable by many.
It is our belief that chokers are not necessary- and whilst not as harmful as the other devices they should also be avoided. If you look at the dog collars at dogscorner.co.uk you will not find any of these chokers for sale. The simple fact is that non-punitive training is more effective.

Electronic Collars
There are three main types of electronic dog collars: sonic, spray and electronic. Sonic collars emit a high pitch sound which dogs find discomforting, spray collars emit either water or bespoke solutions into the dogs face and electronic collars deliver a shock. Especially cruel are citronella collars, the substance emitted causes prolonged distress as the scent remains after the initial spray.
Once again some dog training professionals stand by the use of electronic collars as a valid means of instilling obedience. Whilst this point remains open to debate, what is clear is that such devices should not be available for purchase by the general public. Without formal training it is quite possible that these devices can cause serious discomfort for any dogs on which they are used.

This article was written by Richard Howe, a life long dog owner with an interest in all things animal, on behalf of Dogs Corner. You can buy everything you need for your dog from toys to dog beds with Dogs Corner. One thing they will never sell are punitive training aids. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

18 Days left to help the Doberman Assistance Network!

The Doberman Assistance Network's Flower Power Fundraiser has only 18 days left. At the time of this posting, the total money raised was $117, out of a $1000 goal. That's $117 more than they had in the first place, but woefully short of what they hoped for. Dogs like Demi (warning, picture heartbreaking) have found nowhere else but with DAN, and without this kind of funding, these dogs are just alone. I know it's more fun to post pictures of Elka eating pizza and stories about her stealing socks, but this is the flip side to all the dogs who are brought into the world; some Dobermans never have these things. They don't have couches, and pizza, and socks, and people who love them. The Doberman Assistance Network, and others, are trying to fill that gap.

(DAN logo linked from the Doberman Assistance Network Facebook page)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Training Dreams

Because of the nature of my Google alerts, an article on dog training at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. Because I am super smart, I both went "Hey, working dog center?" and "are they the same people that do PennHip?" (yes, they are. ish. It's at the University of Pennsylvania, anyway. And they have the same little ikon in the Chrome tabs that I'm looking at. Good enough for me!). Of course my next question was "Well, what kind of working dogs?", and that took me a surprising amount of time to figure out (a fail on my part, not theirs)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Good news from the New York Supreme Court!

So, can you guess what the New York Supreme Court said on April 4, 2013? Can you? (well, if you follow me on Twitter you can, obviously!)

The case was The People of New York State v. Diana Shanks. The situation? A German Shepherd named Ranger was leashed to a porch railing. He broke his restraint and attacked an American Pit Bull Terrier, named Ghost, who was being walked past on the sidewalk by his pregnant owner. Ghost was both collared and harnessed, and was at no point unrestrained during the conflict. Both dogs inflicted injuries on one another, and Ghost's owner, though not injured by either dog, miscarried.

Even though Ranger perpetrated the attack, his owner filed charges against Ghost, seeking to have him declared a dangerous dog. Even though Ranger perpetrated the attack (and many people feel that German Shepherds are "dangerous dogs", by the by), Ranger's owner thought that Ghost was the dangerous one because he is an American Pit Bull Terrier.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Island of Misfit Toys? No, we have a toy graveyard.

With Elka, we have toys that are "supervised" and ones that she can just have all the time. For the most part, the "supervised" toys are ones that we've gotten to review (like from Zippypaws or a PetsLoveToys box.) Or they're squeaky toys, which are not awesome when people in the house are sleeping. Or they're ropes, which a certain miss has apparently now decided must return to their original thready forms. Or, or or. You get the idea.

So, the "supervised" toys go on top of the refrigerator when she may not have them. This has resulted in a rather sad and desperate collection of things that I haven't yet thrown out because seriously, that's dog blog gold, and also because I feel bad throwing things away. But I also don't feel like I can give them to her most of the time.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Product review: The Kong Air

After our success and Elka's enjoyment of the Kong Squeezz, I thought we'd give another of the Kong line a try.

The Kong Air squeaks in much the same manner as the Kong Squeezz, which is far less abrasive than some squeaky toys. That's a definite bonus! It also has a fuzzy "skin" on it like a tennis ball, a clear plus in Elka's eyes.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Elka, wondering why my sandwich isn't hers.....

There's a certain, intent, "Are you gonna share that" look that Elka has. She's very polite, so long as she knows you aren't intimidated by her (she can be very pushy on people not willing to tell her  things like "off", "down", etc.)

Pictured here is a combination of "Are you gonna share that?" and also "Why are you taking my picture again?"  Perhaps "Why are you taking my picture instead of sharing that?"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Doberman Eating Pizza

As you've likely noticed by now, I'm fascinated by the search terms that bring people here. Also occasionally by the location, seeing visitors from France, Brazil, many Canadian locations, and all over the United States.

Last month, a search "Doberman eating pizza" was performed using the Department of Homeland Security IP, according to my Statcounter. It was late at night; maybe they were on break? Maybe it was somebody stealing their wireless? I don't rightly know. It doesn't really matter to me, though. I'm sure we've all committed non work related Googling on occasion. 

But here, for my peeps at the Department of Homeland Security, I give to you: a Doberman eating pizza. Pizza was the last slice from a pepperoni and beef Domino's handmade pan pizza.

Elka was very happy, I assure you.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Can't we just cuddle?

I was reading on the chaise lounge part of the leather couch the other day, and Miss Elka decided that she needed to be up there with me. We lay together companionably for awhile, but of course I couldn't just let things be. I had to get the camera.