Saturday, March 29, 2008

Looks? Shmooks!

I must admit that I wasn't really paying attention to what my two humans were talking about until I heard my name mentioned. Then my ears perked up. They were discussing whether it was really reasonable to drive several hours to have me evaluated by the professional handler that they had been talking with. For one thing, they said, even if I had the "perfect body," according to the AKC standard, it still costs a lot to get a championship. There's the handling fee, which, from their research, is about $70 per show, plus mileage, plus training and conditioning, plus entry fees (about $25), etc., etc. Not only that, there's not predicting how many shows it would take to earn a championship, because there are specific rules about how points toward the championship are earned. It could take as few as 3 shows (very rare) or it could take dozens. There are also plenty of dogs who simply don't get a championship, no matter how many shows they compete in. The investment in getting a champioship can't be recouped until puppies are sold. Certainly, it is possible to breed without a championship, but the puppies are not worth as much. Then, there's the expense of getting my hips and elbows certified as structurally sound by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals), because it would be unethical for them to breed me without this.

Oh, and about that "perfect body"---They are noticing that mine has a few imperfections! One of my back legs tends to turn out a bit when I stand or walk. What do I care? It works fine for me. I can run and leap for a ball like a gazelle! Anyway, the end result of their discussion is that they have decided not to put me on the dog show circuit. That's fine with me. I say, "Looks? Shmooks!"
That's my dad, at the
show where he finished
his championship.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why do German Shepherds Make Good Police Dogs?

Pssst........ because they lo-o-o-ove doughnuts!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Surprising Bloat Prevention Findings

After I heard about a nasty disease that could kill me, I decided to listen very carefully to everything my people said about it. The disease is "Bloat" or Gastric-Dilatation-Volvulus syndrome (GDV). It can be a serious killer of large and giant breed dogs. After I heard my partner say that there were some new findings on prevention of GDV coming out of Purdue University's veterinary school, I made sure I found out what they were all about. Some of the findings were opposite to what I had originally learned. Here is the summary:

"Dietary Risk Factors for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat) in 11 Large and Giant Dog Breeds"

(1) Having a raised food bowl increases the risk of bloat (GDV). This is opposite to what most people have thought in the past.
(2) If the dry food has fat listed in the first 4 ingredients, the risk of bloat is increased. In fact, one-third of all cases of bloat in this study could be attributed to feeding dry foods containing fat among their first 4 ingredients.
(3) The risk of bloat is increased dramatically if the dry food fed contained citric acid and was also moistened prior to feeding. Almost one-third of all cases in this study could be attributed to this.
(4) Dry foods containing a rendered meat meal with bone among the first four ingredients significantly decreased GDV risk.

Wow....This is pretty dramatic. My partner has told me that she has seen a lot of bloat cases in her life. If caught early, surgery can be very successful, but the studies on prevention have not been terribly helpful in the past.

Here is a list of articles about GDV:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ugh...So much rain....

There is not much to do inside in the rain. I tried to get someone to take me outside for a romp, but all my partner would say was, "Not now." It's not that I like going out in the rain, because I hate getting rain drops inside my ears. Even so, it is so boring inside. A couple of times, I would pick up the Snowman and take it to my person to throw it, but it gets pretty dull to trot across the room and back, even for a toy. So, I just padded back to my crate and flopped down. From my crate, I can see through the sliding glass door to the deck. It is pouring out there. Even if it stops raining soon, I know that it will have to dry out a bit before I am allowed to run, because it's too easy to slip. My people had quite a scare, a few months ago, because I slipped while galloping on some wet leaves and trying to turn quickly. One of my back legs slid out and it really hurt, so I yelped and held my leg up. You'd have thought I'd died! Both humans ran over to me and felt my leg all over. They looked really scared. It wasn't THAT bad. I limped for a few minutes, and I was completely fine in an hour. Even so, they would not let me run at all for a week and now I'm not allowed to run when it's wet outside.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do You Know How to Poison-Proof Your Home?

"Ready to do a little homework, pet parents? National Poison Prevention Week is almost here─March 16 to March 22─and because our pets depend on us to keep them safe, we think it’s the perfect time to review the harmful substances your furry explorers may encounter at home. Here are just a few ways to ensure that your household is pet poison-proof: ......." [continued at the ASPCA's web site:]

Now THAT's funny!

I overheard my human telling someone a story that she heard on the internet. My ear's perked up because I heard the word "German shepherd." It's really quite funny.

I pulled into the crowded parking lot at the Super Wal-Mart Shopping Center and rolled down the car windows to make sure my German Shepherd Pup had fresh air. She was stretched full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress upon her that she must remain there. I walked to the curb backward, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay. Do you hear me?" "Stay! Stay!"The driver of a nearby car, a pretty young lady, gave me a strange look and said, "Ummmm--why don't you just put it in park????"

Monday, March 3, 2008

Names of Toys

Eureka! After months of having different sounds of gibberish said to me whenever I wanted to play with one of my toys, I have had an educational breakthrough. I now realize that each set of sounds refers to a different toy. For example, in the picture on the left, I am staring at my "Log." Between the Log and my chest is my "Snowman." At my right elbow is the "Stuffie." By my right paw are my "Tennis Ball" and my "Football." To my rear is my "Red Bone." For a long time, I've known that I should pick up my "Dumbbell" if I needed to go outside. Yesterday, though, my partner started something different. She started having me pick up the Football when I wanted to go for a "romp." (That's a trip outside solely for the purpose of play.) I guess the Dumbbell is going to be reserved for just going "outside." (That means a very uninteresting "bathroom" trip.)

Yawn....Learning things makes me sleepy.

My Favorite Facebook Page! I am SUCH a Fan (I'm also their mascot!)

I try not to discriminate against a species that is "less fortunate" than mine.