A forum I frequent has had disputes amongst members lately about "wrong doings" and "fixing things" and "inattentiveness" and "too many pets" ad nausem.  I've stayed out of it because... who really wants to be called out on what they did wrong six years ago, five months ago, yesterday?  If it was wrong, and the person knows it... I'd just be pretty darn sad if it kept coming up over, and over, and over... again.

With that said.  Irresponsible breeding kills me.  I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who have had litter, after litter, of non-health tested, non-otherwise tested stock.

Buzz was intact until 28 months old.  Bailey was 9 months old when Buzz was neutered.  Bailey was bough for me, to "possibly breed" with.  My dad thought if you have one of each sex and they're of the same breed, you might as well breed them, right?  Thankfully we neutered Buzz.  No Buzz puppies.

Bailey was intact until 14 months.  "We" (the family) had intentions of breeding her.  Then we went through a single hellacious heat cycle with her (half of which happened while we were on vacation, you see how wimpy we were) and she was spayed soon after coming out of heat.  They were then given the title of "just pets" or "farm dogs" or "hey, you, go chase the guinea hens off the cars."

So, while we were responsible with our dogs (I think that counts as being responsible--no litters), we had a barn kitty named Baby who had litter, after litter, after litter.  We loved playing with the kittens and they "always found homes" so, really, it was ok, right?  Wrong.  Baby was born in 1990 and had litters of kittens until 1997.  Seven years of uncontrolled reproducing.  She was our pet, and was vaccinated, but she had litters and litters of kittens.  We tried (unsuccessfully) for about a year and a half to contain her after weaning kittens to have her spayed.  She always escaped.  It did not fail.  Her second to last litter of kittens contained Rasza, our beautiful grey kitty boy.  She escaped ONE MORE TIME and had a singleton litter of a short haired calico female we named Mischief.  Baby was then, finally, spayed.  Except it didn't go so smoothly.  The vet "misunderstood" and declawed our outdoor, barn, kitty that we were trying to HELP (yeah, she was spayed too)!  My dad said NO More Cats In The House (we had Rascal and Rasza inside at this point), so she had to live outside, with no front claws.  Somehow, she still survived.  (The vet spayed her daughter Mischief for free to "try" to make up for declawing Baby... and Mischief died shortly thereafter.)

After a tragic family loss in 2005, everyone ended up coming to live in the house.  No more losses, no more tragic losses needed to take place.  We went from having one cat live inside permanently, to having five animals living inside all the time.  Some may say THAT was ridiculous, but it has worked for us.

I've done as much as I can humanly do for all of our animals, who didn't have the best start here, in an attempt to make up for it.  Nobody has had a truly bad life, but I've provided them with all the necessary veterinary care and good food and clean, safe, warm environments since then.  My perception of others has changed a lot, knowing how difficult it can be to make changes like that.

The point of this?  I'm human, I learn from (most) mistakes, and I have a genuine passion to provide the best life for my critters as I can.

As my dad would say, "Accident's don't just happen."  Well, he's right.



My dogs have been wearing collars lately.  They never used to.  Every collar they wear has a "name tag" on it.  Typically a Boomerang Tag, because I love those.  It's pretty uncommon though, for them to wear the collar with microchip/rabies tags attached too.

The point of this pointless post is to ask if your dogs wear tags, or even collars...

I have no real reason.


I'm Exhausted!

Between being Trial Secretary, going to School, exercising and stretching Bailey As Is Allowed, and dealing with Buzz's medical issues... I'm exhausted!

Recheck for Bailey tomorrow morning.  We've not been as good this week about stretches for various reasons.  Surprisingly, when I do them, she seems to be improving--rather than me getting frustrated that she is sliding backwards!  Maybe it's my imagination... we'll see tomorrow.

In other wonderful news, we finally got whole-blood DNA samples sent out for the CHIC repository.  They went out yesterday.  Let's hope the shipping place I used actually knows what the hey is going on.  They were mighty confused, and mighty slow.

Our house is a state of construction--still.  I think everyone's fuse is getting short because it feels like we live in a one room house for right now.

The dogs need baths.  Who wants to come do that for me?


Embracing My Dog

Our good friends Crystal and Maisy recently wrote a post titled, "In Praise of the Abnormal Dog."  It's a wonderfully inclusive post that you'll have to read to get the full effect.

It's something I've thought about a lot, and especially this morning.

We all spent the night at our cabin, and after arriving home this morning, I didn't put the kitties crates away (or close the door).  Buzz went to sniff Rascal's crate and Bailey immediately shoved herself into a tiny crate so she could guard it.

Why am I posting this?  Because all my girlie-dog did was lift a lip.  I've been oh-so-concerned about the relationship between my two dogs now that Buzz is deaf and doesn't respond to her "get away" cues.  Buzz has had teeth on him more times than I wish to convey, despite me trying very hard to protect both of them.

In the past Bailey has gone from lip lifting to snarl/lunge in record time because other creatures did not respond the way she wanted.  For her to lift a lip... and WAIT, is pretty darn impressive.  She's been showing me a lot lately that she's capable of quite a bit more than I give her credit for.  She's learning that even at home, I can manage things that are going on, and she doesn't have to take on the Hallway Monitor job she doesn't really want.

Buzz responded, she didn't aggress... and it was a pretty funny situation after that.  I practiced calling her away/out (she did so successfully, score one for training), and then I put her into her own crate, for a break.

Improvement, improvement, improvement.  We can do this, we can function as a household.


Not Enough Improvement

Bailey had another appointment with Dr. Julia on Wednesday.  She was slightly better, but Dr. Julia wasn't very happy with her progress.

Still right quad stiffness, her core muscles aren't building, and she needed another adjustment (or five).

We go back next Friday, and I'm hoping for better news... but if not, Bailey will be getting vibrational therapy to hopefully jump start her recovery.

I have a feeling this will be longer than the anticipated 8-10 weeks.  I'm working on letting go of the guilt, and focusing on the fact that she WILL improve, even if she can't compete again.  She'll be pain-free, sometime in the near future.


Camp 2010

Camp is Awesome.  That's all there is to it.  We even got nap time this year!

The campers were awesome, all four dogs in the bad dog closet did a nice job.  We squeezed seven people and nine dogs into the itty bitty red cabin.  It was loads and loads of fun.

Buzz practiced his cookie moving powers after we used him for a structure lesson.  The kids "drew" lines to see how well he was built and then... we played with the toothpaste.  It says "4-H Dog" on his right side...  He was such a good sport.

And then it was bath time.