Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Product Review: Kong Dental Dog Toy

February is Pet Dental Health Month, and in recognition of that, we were offered a KONG Dental Dog Toy, Large, Red  for review. Kong products are a staple in this house, and have been since Elka first came home, when she had her little blue puppy Kong and little blue puppy Kong Flyer (don't impose your gender roles on her!)

New toys are always cause for joy (and we've got another toy review coming down the pike), and Kong toys inspire a certain love and concentration in Elka, as will of course be seen below. Wisely, the Kong we were sent was of the X-Large persuasion; Elka does okay with a Large, but sometimes the bigger ones make her work harder and longer.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I don't like Twitter so much anymore

Note: this mostly applies to my "dog" Twitter. My writing Twitter is what I find I've been spending a lot more time on, and interacting with people on.

I don't spend a lot of time on my @TheElkaAlmanac Twitter anymore. I'll share peoples' blog posts, and look at specific peoples' accounts to interact with, retweet, whatever, but looking at my feed in general? Not as much anymore. It just kind of depresses and frustrates me.

I've done it to myself, in a way. One's Twitter feed is full of who you've opted to follow, or follow back (I do tend to follow back, my numbers permitting. It's only polite, after all). But with my interest in supporting dog rescue and boosting the signal for people and things like that, I've gotten a lot of follows and such whose tweets I don't want to read. I also don't want to go and unfollow hundreds of people. It's my choice, and I could do it, but it doesn't seem fair. But.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Canine News Roundup

The weather is blah and my post is late and so you're getting some interesting dog news that I've seen recently. Enjoy!

Apparently many US athletes at Sochi are adopting stray dogs. Russia's official solutions to stray dogs in general, and at Sochi specifically, were heartbreaking at best, and but for the diligent work of some individuals forming rescues, many  many dogs would have been euthanized for the sake of public appearances. Our country has a stray dog problem as well, though at least they tend not to be viewed as "biological trash" (or one might hope not).

In other (and even happier?) news, scientists have discovered/decided that dogs do, in fact, know what we're saying. Or at least understand that we are speaking to them, as they have centers in their brain dedicated to speech, discovered in another study using MRI. They're also sensitive to emotions (but I'll be you knew that already!).

I last wrote about Detroit here in November (I think) when I posted about an organization who was doing "Thanksgiving Dinner" for Detroit's stray dogs. Well, on February 18, animal advocates in Detroit stayed overnight in dog houses, to "raise awareness about the dangers of leaving pets outside at night". I understand that my dog values are not everybody's dog values, nor are they necessarily common, but it blows my  mind that people will regularly leave their pets outside through all sorts of temperatures and weather. If they changed even one person's mind, it's worth it, and I hope they reached a lot of people, and changed a lot of minds. Dogs (and cats) die outside in the winter. They're mammals, just like people. These are not difficult facts.

Monday, February 17, 2014

DDR Mission 6: Learn more about Red and Abby (warning, some super skinny dog pictures)

Distinguished Doberman rescue is dealing with the largest single-rescue operation they've had to, to date. 6 dogs from the same household, at least two of which has Lyme's disease, and most of whom need to be spayed or neutered.

Red and Abby were the first two taken from the house, and apparently Abby is Red's dam. I'm putting their pictures behind the cut, because they may be upsetting; they're super skinny in a few of them.

Sponsorships and donations can be made on their web site, http://www.ddrinc.net/, and you should specify "Sponsor Abby" or "Sponsor Red" in your Paypal instructions. If you prefer to donate via check, address is  PO Box 583 Moon Twp, PA 15108.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Doberman Health ~ Health Testing outside the United States

I live in the United States, and as a result have a rather ethnocentric view. I try not to, but there are times I find myself falling into it.

One of those times is with regards to health testing in Dobermans before breeding. Many of the health tests I know about, and thus recommend when looking for a breeder are ones based in (or mostly available in) the United States. But it's a big world out there.

Image of Earth taken from the International Space Station

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

With Distinguished Doberman Rescue: "Mission 6 - Your Help is Needed"

I found this story via a thread on Doberman Talk, and the DDR, inc. Facebook page:

"On Wednesday we received notice about a family that could no longer care for their dogs. After speaking with this family we learned they were seeking help from a rescue due to their current financial situation. At that time we only knew there were several Dobermans as well as some Mastiffs in their care.

Upon arrival on Friday, we were introduced to six sweet Dobermans. 5 females – Stormy, a 10 year old female, Abby, a 9 year old female, Princess, an 8 year old female, Lady, a 6 year old female, Trampoline, a 5 year old female and Red, our lone male who is 6.

Each dog was gone over with a fine tooth comb and notes were recorded regarding their medical needs. The first night we took home three of the Doberkids who we felt were most in need – Stormy, Abby and Red. Stormy will be seeing a vet tomorrow. We believe she may have a thyroid problem and this is the reason for her excessive weight. Abby and Red saw our vet on Saturday morning and received fluids, bloodwork and 4DX tests. Unfortunately Abby and Red both came back positive for Lyme disease which in turn means they will need to be on Doxy for 30 days.

Today, we were able to go back and bring home the remaining three. Lady will need to see a vet for a possible skin infection along with a potential thyroid issue. Princess and Trampoline do not seem to have any immediate health issues, but we will also have 4DX tests done on them as well.

Stormy, Lady, Princess and Trampoline all need spays and dentals. Red needs a dental and neuter - and, we suspect all of the other dogs could potentially turn up positive for Lyme as well.

We estimate the cost per dog is in the area of $500 or more with the Doxy needed to treat their Lyme Disease.

While these dogs need medical care and tlc, we feel as though this was a successful rescue mission because we were able to make a difference in the lives of six dogs also educate the former owners and in turn prevent this situation from happening again.

Our immediate need is financial for these our Mission 6 babies. Prior to taking them in, we had a total of 30 dogs in our care. There are several major medical cases that were already in our care prior to the Mission 6 dogs. Our rescue was already overwhelmed financially and in need of funds. Now we find ourselves in dire need. We are asking for donations in any amount. Please, no amount is too small. As you all know, we operate solely on donations and without your help we cannot help them.

We would like to sincerely thank all of our volunteers for stepping up immediately in this time of need. When the situation arose you were all willing to drop everything and help. Your commitment to the dogs is a true blessing to DDR.

Donations can be sent via paypal to donations AT ddrinc DOT net or paid via credit card by clicking the donate button on our website."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Westminster 2014 ~ Some Doberman Discussion

The 2014 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is on Monday, February 10. It snuck up on me! Dogster ran a post about it last week, which keyed me to the date. I don't have a Best in Show prediction, not really (I don't really follow the dog show circuit, as you may have guessed), but my opinion of it is kind of like Leonardo and the Academy Awards: I'd really like it if he got one of those Oscars, but patterns show somebody else is probably going to take it home.

So, I'd really like it if a Doberman got Best in Show (or even just won the Working Group this year; a Portugese Water Dog won last year, though FiFi [GCH Protocol's Veni Vidi Vici] got it the year before).
Doberman Line Drawing from Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fun in the Snow

So, you may have heard about the snow we got. It was quite a lot, in fact. Not five feet, nothing of Canadian scope, but a good 10 or so inches.

An interesting thing about Elka is she doesn't like being cold, but she loves playing in snow.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What I think of the Audi "Doberhuahua" Superbowl Commercial

I'm sure you've seen the Audi "Doberhuahua" commercial by now. I saw it before the Superbowl. I didn't even see the Superbowl (go team!). It's caused discussion in the dog and Doberman world, as one might assume. Interesting discussion, interesting thoughts. There are of course many ways to look at it.

(it's also not summer yet)