Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dobbie The Disgusting

I promise, there's a post coming, but I had to share the latest bit of dog psychology I have been given the pleasure to watch in action.

I have been reading about dogs and their amazing sense of smell.

Dogs can smell another dog's poo and tell if that dog is big, small, male or female, neutered or not.

This of course points out the incredible difference between dogs and us. We don't smell poo beyond the fresh and not fresh stage, even though our noses are essentially non-functioning compared to our dogs. I wonder if poo would smell better if we simply understood it's complexities, like learning to appreciate the difference between a Shiraz and a Merlot.

Dobby, the kidlette's dog has quite the nose, and in many ways, he is the ultimate definition of why people hate small dogs. He is shrill, shivery, nervous, jumpy, a notorious marker of chair legs and curtains, and carries a huge Napoleon complex on his tiny little shoulders. He also smiles and walks like a man, so he can be very unsettling. (recently learned Mugs Fact: small dogs mark in the house more often than large dogs because they have a smaller concept of territory).

Smile for Grandma!

He is a rescue with an unknown background, so who knows what baggage he's carrying.

Dobby has improved so much since the kidlette adopted him. He comes when called, is well-behaved off leash, heels like a Schutzhund graduate and  only pees on stuff when we aren't looking.

"You can't look at Dobby as a dog," and ex-boyfriend of kidlette's explained to the non-Dobby loving current one, "it's better if you think of him as a creature. I did, and we got along fine. Besides, if you want to love Clare, you have to love Dobby."

She's a kid after my own heart, she is.

The kidlette and I were on a walk with our dogs yesterday. Our mini-power- pack consists of Charlie, my middle-aged Rat Terrier, Brockle, my large and boisterous GSD mix and Dobby, the kidlette's Italian Greyhound/ Min Pin cross.

Dinah and Snocone are dodderers and dawdlers, so they walk with Jim.

We like to play along Fountain Creek at Monument Valley Park.

There's a trail below the actual park, part of the homeless highway that winds through the city. We can safely let the dogs loose and stay out of trouble. Neither the police or the leash-law abiding citizens like to hang out down there.

It's fun to watch, because the tiny terrors attack poor Brockle with incredible fury. Charlie will actually grab his collar and choke him down if I don't keep an eye out. Dobby barks and bites, barks and bites. I would feel sorry for Brockle if he didn't clearly think it funny. He teases them to a complete frenzy then jumps into the icy water, knowing the little sissies won't follow. As soon as they calm down he jumps out and launches at them, going scooter-butt at 100 mph until they're nuts again.

We were walking down our favorite trail when the dogs flew by. First Brockle, with a huge grin and a wicked glint in his eye, then Charlie, honing in on his collar like it was a baby pigeon on it's first flight, and Dobby.

We turned to look behind us and saw Dobby rolling in something.

"Oh no," the kidlette said.

"I'm sure it's something gross," I replied.

"I know what it is." The loo on a girl's face while watching her boyfriend puke in the alley behind a bar was plastered on the kidlette's.

"Brockle dumped a giant smelly load back there."

"It was too big for my plastic bags, I couldn't pick it up," I said. Nothing like being busted for ignoring my dog's poo during Earth Week. I knew I was destined for hell.

"Oh, it's getting picked up, Dobby's rolling in it." (recently learned Mugs Fact: small dogs will roll in large dogs excrement so they smell "bigger" to other dogs).

We watched in horror as the little troll stood up, gave himself a satisfied shake and came running towards us at full speed. The smell hit a good twenty five yards ahead of him. There is a price to pay when you run out of your regular dog food and buy a cheap bag of whatever to hold until you can get to Big R. A very high price. Brockle's unsettled stomach had delivered a mother load of runny, hunter's orange, mud bath for Dobby. Yep, I was going to hell and not getting to serve my sentences concurrently.

His white chest had turned orange, he had a clump of Brockle poo hanging from one ear. There was poo smeared and caked all over his harness and collar. The little ogre had a huge grin and proud strut as he trotted, sneezing, past my two dogs. Neither seemed bothered, but I didn't see any sign of, "Hey, check it out, Dobby's as big as a Rottweiler!"

He's just started doing that," the kidlette said with a sad shake of her head. "I don't know what his problem is."

We finished our walk, dreading getting into the car. Dobby pranced, danced, and attacked Brockle with enthusiasm. Before long he had long tufts of Brockle hair hanging from his chin and stuck to his chest. He was almost insane with delight over his warrior costume. Clouds of poo perfume hung in the air around us.

Please note the tufts of Brockle hair glued to his chest and neck with poo.
Sorry about the photo quality--it was getting dark.

We carefully maneuvered Dobby into the car and tied hi down. I then drove a good 10 mpg over the speed limit to get the kidlette and her gross little Gollum home and into the shower. I figured any cop who pulled us over would take one whiff and give us an escort. As we rolled the windows as far down as they could go I realized that there would be no waiting. I had already entered hell.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hi Guys....

Here you go Becky, this is the Tim you guys will meet and ride with. There's very few of us who
get the scary face (ahem).

Missed everybody.

 Life has been a little over the top lately, good and bad.

So here's a share and some thoughts to get things kick started again.


3 yr old Amber Champagne Dun Tobiano Gelding - $750 

Driver is a beautiful 3 coming 4 yr old gelding. Has been started and will continue to be trained until sold. He is not registered because his mom is grade but his dad and grand parents are of some awesome old race and cow lines (Three Bars, Custus Rastus, Leo, Easy Jet, Jingles Hurrah, Snazzy Man, Top Deck, Sonny D Bar) His mother and grandmother were both proven winning rodeo horses his dad is currently being trained for barrels and will be on sight to be seen as well.. Driver has a ton of potential but I just don't need a 3rd rodeo horse so he has to go as he is the youngest. He is quiet and well mannered. He did put his front left foot through a fence and now has an ugly scar on it but it has not seemed to bother him at all. He should average 15+hh. His mother is 15.2hh and his dad is 14.2, grandma is 16hh, and grandpa is 14.3. I think that he has a great future in either english or western. He is going to be an excellent horse for that person who is ready for a horse who will take them to the next level...with proper finishing of course. He has had a slow start due to me having a baby when he was ready to start.. he does tie, pick up his feet, and bathes...been a while since he's been bathed but he's very quiet so it wouldn't take much to re-introduce it to him and I will be working on all of the basics with him as well as putting some more training into him.. he will also be started on barrels as soon as I feel he is ready for that step up and once that happens price will slightly increase. Will only sell to knowledgeable horse people. This horse is too nice to be sold to a green horn.. I hate to sell him but I just don't need him. My loss is your gain. 
1st and 2nd and 6th pics - Driver
Black and white horse is his mother, Palomino is his Dad, and sorrel is his grandmother. His grandfather is identical to his dad. --- Craigslist

This is an example of  BYB that doesn't bother me in the least and why I can't jump on the hate all BYB's bandwagon.

This grade gelding is clean limbed, a pretty color and started right. From the look and sound of the ad he is out of a proven mare and stud from running lines. I'm talking local, gymkhana and Little Britches stuff here. 

He's a great price and seems to have been started right.

There is a good market for a well trained horse like this. I would look at him and buy him if he was sound with a minimum of behavior issues.

In 90 days I could sell him, more than likely without advertising, just word of mouth for $1500 - $3000, depending on who he turned out to be.

His biggest fault is his neck, but I think it would come around with the right training.

There is a market for horses like this.


Then....this is what I did a week ago Saturday. First NRCHA show in 5 years! 

Not fast but very pretty spins

Our stops were blah, but I just asked for with a "Whoa," -- she only had shoes on for a week.

She got underneath herself  by the stop and back...

                                                                                      Correct position on the fence

          First fence turn, just at the end marker, exactly  where I asked

Got a little behind on our right turn, but still at the marker.

                                                                                           good right circle

good to the left
Mugs be very happy with Madonna

We were (are) very rusty...I sent my video (no you can't see it) to the Big K and his only comment was, 'You'll be fine, FOCUS!"

I didn't remember I was actually at a horse show until we were 1/2 way through the pattern. Madonna was high headed and anxious, but kept her feet where they belonged, and I was very happy with her.

We were good enough to place fourth and to pull a check, so, watch out world, we're coming back! 


Because the up and coming clinic is very different for Tim and I and we still have some open slots, I wanted to throw open the door for suggestions.
Remember, we're open to green horses and riders and you don't have to work cows, although trust me, you'll want to.
What would you want to learn from me over the course of three days? I am healthy enough to give about 2 hours a day of my undivided attention, the rest will be either Tim, or the both of us. 
How about from Tim (Big K), what do you want from him?

Talk to you soon.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Enough Already! Mouthy Monday

Tim says, "Janet?! You are thinking too much.
Stop it and go ride your horse, you have a clinic to get
ready for!
(we still have slots for horse and rider combos)

Cindy D sent in this story Mouthy Monday--

I'm always tickled by a great rescue story.

The Christmas Gift.

This story happened almost exactly one year ago.
At my house we had 2 dogs. We had just lost Dugan, Tom's old Collie a few months before.  It was a hard blow for Tom as he and Dugan had been together for many years. Dugan went everywhere with him. They were buds.
Truthfully except for the part of missing Dugan terribly, it was kind of nice only having 2 big dogs to care for.  I really had no intention's of looking for another.
The two dogs I had left came from my Mom.  She has been showing and breeding labs since I was a young girl, and is now one of the top breeders in the country (you can see her website here) and is very very particular about which of her dogs get bred.  Both of mine were dogs that had very minor genetic defects.  Even minor defects eliminated them from the gene pool so they got to come and live with me.  They are Mason and Smarty Pants.  Mason is deaf and Smarty has a minor heart defect.
Anyway back to my story...
The way our house is set up, is a big chain link fenced dog yard off the back of the house, and then a drive through gate going back into the pasture. Then we have a man gate on the side that goes to the open front yard. The person who put these fences up, did not do a great job, all the gates are crooked, and chains (around the poles) are required to keep the dogs from getting out of them.
A year ago someone who will remain nameless (her initials are Cindy D) went through the big gate and forgot to rechain it.  My very bad horses, with eagle eyes, immediately saw their chance to get into the dog yard where all the best grass is.  All they had to do was push on the gate, pop the latch, and walk right in.  So naturally while they were all in there filling their big fat bellies, the dogs also saw their chance to escape the confines of their yard and go on a little walk about.
My neighbor saw Smarty trotting down our road and got him and put him back in the yard.  She did not realize that the big gate was open, but luckily he chose to stay in the second time.  I suspect that there were horses between him and the gate and he still is leery of them. They are awfully big ya know.
Animal Control picked up Mason about half a mile from our house.  He is microchipped and so they called me before they even had him back to the pound.  I got there right away (in hopes of not having to bring home a dog that smelled like the pound) and they told me to go back and find his kennel and bring them the paper off the door. 
So there I am strolling through, just minding my own business looking for my big fat yellow dog.  Of course it makes me sad to see all those dogs there, but I am pretty much a Labrador girl so it kind of makes it easier for me to keep walking....until I saw this:

Now here is what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Old dogs do not very often get adopted.  The paperwork on this dog said he was 5.  If that dog is 5 then I am 20 (I haven't been 20 in centuries).  I knew that this old guy didn't stand a chance. 
I stood there for a minute, he barked at me, but then wagged his tail.  I talked to him, he sat down and wagged some more.  I went on to find my dog, but could not get that face out of my mind.
When I asked, they told me he was a stray.  I said, "You know that dog isn't 5 right?" 
They ignored that question and went on with the paper work on Mason.
 I asked how long he had been there. 
"Not quite 2 weeks"
He would not be adoptable for a few more days.
When I got home I told Tom about him, he reminded me that we didn't really need another dog.
I showed him the picture.
He frowned at me. 
I said, "People don't adopt old dogs"
He frowned again.
He said, "Do what you think is right."
I struggled with this decision for 2 days.  What if he doesn't get along with the other two?  What if he has medical issues?  What if, what if, what if.  What if no one else adopts him?  No one is going to adopt a dog that old.
I went back to the pound and they let me take him out for a walk.  I said "sit" his butt hit the floor.  I said, "down" he laid down.  Hmmmmm this dog was some body's bud.
He had an elbow that was gnarled and twisted, which caused him to limp. He had the classic rear end of a dog with hip displaysia. His teeth were rotten and his eyes were full of cataracts.  Yet he wiggled and squirmed like a puppy when I scratched his butt, and then he smiled.  You a dog smiles.
I finally decided the right thing to do was to give this guy a forever home for Christmas. 
I paid the fee and took him out to the truck. I said, "Do you want to go for a ride?" 
He jumped in.
We named him Butch and he smelled like the pound.   I took him to the tub and said, "get in the tub." He jumped in the tub!   Once he had a bath and smelled ok, I let him meet the other two.
That part didn't go so well.  Controlling three intact males can get a little dicey when introductions are first made. There was a lot of fighting and growling, and lots of me trying to distract with cookies, and all my dreams of saving this dog started to go down the tubes. 
I could not let him outside without the other two with out a fight starting.  While I was gone to work I had to keep him in a separate kennel up by the house.  I could bring them all in together but had to watch them constantly. 
I cried each time I had to break up a fight. I didn't know what to do. I could not take him back.  It was just a mess.
Christmas morning Smarty got sick.  Emergency visit, days and days of trying to figure out what was wrong (turned out he swallowed a pacifier from Tom's grandson and had to have it surgically removed) but in the midst of that, I had just made another attempt to put them all out and saw poor sick Smarty sitting at the door with a sad and scared look on his face and Butch was in his face snarling, growling, and trying to provoke a fight.
I admit it, I snapped.
I went out and laid into Butch.  "YOU...STOP...FIGHT...ING...WITH...MY..DOG!!!!"
That was it.  I have never had to say a harsh word to him since.  I have never had to break up a fight since, they all share one big dog house, and are best friends.  Sometimes he and Smarty lay right next to each other.  Butch is the one dog I can leave in the house all day when I am at work.  He goes down each night and lays with my son Simon.  He stays there all night. Ne never gets in the trash, he never once has had an accident in the house. He is the only dog that comes when I call.

When I brought him home and took him in for his first check up, I said to my vet, "This is not a dog I will pour a lot of money into."  In less than a year, I am pouring money into this dog.  He has an infected eye, and 400 dollars later we are still trying to get it healed.  We buy Rimodyl for him all winter, he gets special vitamins and joint supplements, and the works.
He is such a special dog. I cannot imagine how nobody claimed him. How could you not miss a dog this wonderful? If he got out today, I would not stop searching till I found him. So in my attempt to give the gift of a new life to a dog, I found that God gave me the biggest gift of all.
I truly believe that God had a hand in helping me to the pound that day.