Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Someone wrote to me to ask me if I could write about what it takes to breed of litter of puppies. He belongs to my list and said he sees how excited some people are when they send pictures over the list sharing and bragging about their newest litter of “hopefuls.” He said that he would be interested in just what it takes to be a breeder from the time the puppies are born until they are sold.

Well what it takes is a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of luck! In other words, it’s a lot of hard work. Most breeders are real excited once the puppies are born and nine times out of ten, most happy, grateful and exhausted by the time the puppies leave for their new homes.

For the non-breeder that views the pictures of the fluffy little butterballs, they think what a wonderful thing this must be to have all these little guys to play with. They are adorable and you just want to pick them up, hug and kiss them. That’s the fun part. But more than anything else, having a litter of puppies is a full time job. No actually it’s more like putting in overtime, because you’re on 24 hour duty when you are raising puppies.

So alright, let’s take a look at the process that takes place when breeding. Before you do anything else, make sure you’re breeding for the right reasons. And no, breeding to let the kids experience what birth and new born life is all about is not the right reason to breed a litter of puppies! And it’s not about thinking you’re going to be able to make a fortune to pay your mortgage payment that month or put a down payment on a new car. Think again. IF you’re lucky, you just MIGHT break out even. Other times you end up losing money when you breed a litter of puppies. That is if you are doing it right. Breeding is expensive.

The only reason to breed a litter of puppies is to help improve the quality and promote the betterment of the breed. With each new litter, the good breeder is looking to improve on the quality of her last litter. She takes from that experience all the best and worst of her lines and tries to improve on it with her next and subsequent litters. Hopefully, she will know the strengths and weaknesses of her lines and will breed accordingly in her future breeding.

So when does the breeding begin? It is not when the two dogs mate that it begins. The good breeder has planned her litter long before the “honeymooners” meet. The good breeder will have spent countless hours and research of the pedigrees of the dogs that she wishes to breed. The good breeder doesn’t just wake up one morning and decides to breed her bitch to “Joe Schmoe’s” dog down the street. No she’s been planning her bitches breeding from the time she bought or bred her.

Foremost in one’s mind if they want to be a good breeder is the acquisition of a well bred bitch that is properly structured and possesses an undeniable character according to the breed standard. She also should have been x-rayed or that she is quarantined to x-ray well. Ideally, it would be to your advantage to know something about the pedigree she comes from. Is there good temperament, hips and elbows in her line? Does she come from lines that have the proper breed standard? What about the health problems in her line? And don’t let her breeder tell you that there is nothing in her line that carries any health problems. EVERY line has some health concerns in the pedigree. The trick is to stay away from those lines that are known for producing a multitude of health problems. It would be wise to investigate the health problems of the German Shepherd Dog BEFORE you start breeding into it. There are many articles all over the internet that can help educate you on this breeds predisposition for genetic health problems.

If you can’t see her parents, at least see pictures of them and what’s behind your bitches bloodlines. Does the breeder have her sisters and brothers or other relatives that you can look at? This will give you an idea of what to expect with your own bitch as far as temperament and structure is concerned.

When you are looking to buy your breeding bitch, do you know what good German Shepherd temperament is? If you are buying a puppy, look for the puppy that is outgoing, confident and just darn right sure of herself. Does the puppy greet you? Is she freely sharing her kisses with you? Watch to see how she interacts with her littermates. Does she play “nice” with them or is she the “boss” over the rest of the litter? If she’s the boss, then you are looking at the “alpha” of the litter. She will be the one that has the most dominate personality. She will be strong willed and will challenge you for the alpha position in your home. She is the one that must know at all times that it is YOU that is the alpha in your home. In other words you are the boss and not her!

Don’t be swayed by the cute little fluffy pup that sits over in the corner or hides under the table. Sometimes people have the tendency to want to “rescue” the shy little pup. “Oh look how cute that one is over there. The poor little baby is scared. Come here sweetheart.” If she is shy, this is not what you want to introduce in your breeding program. That shy puppy may turn into a fear biter or become aggressive later on in life. Temperament of the puppies started long before they were born. It’s in their genetic make-up. Shy away from the shy puppy.

If you buy yourself an older puppy or a young adult, the same requirements should be in place as far as temperament goes. It’s even more important now as their personalities are already set in. So get familiar with the breed standard which you can read about on the Parent Club website (The German Shepherd Dog Club of America).

Alright then, you’ve just purchased your foundation bitch. This is probably the most important thing that you can do when establishing your breeding program. Buy the best bitch that you can afford. She will determine your future success as a breeder.

Take her home, love her, play with her, train her, socialize her and feed her the best food that you can afford. The breeder that you bought her from has done her part as far as breeding the best quality that she could. Now it’s up to you to make sure that she realizes her genetic worth and that you too breed her to the best of your ability. Don’t forget to “pick the brain” of the breeder that you bought her from. She should help guide you because she is familiar with her bloodlines. If she’s a good breeder, she likes to see her kennel’s bloodlines being utilized in a good breeding program.

(To be continued)….

From the book: "BREEDING BETTER DOGS".............. Highly recommended as a basic reference in every breeder's library. It should be required reading for all breeders. -- Helen Sondrel - breeder

It is fascinating and easy to understand. I can now hope to master the methods and ideas that will really make a difference. -- Patricia H. Riepe

The text focuses on the fundamental aspects of producing better dogs. It was written for those interested in upgrading their stock and producing quality animals. The author anticipates the type of information that most breeders need and presents it in a clear and easy-to-understand style.

Some of the unique methods which have proven to be of great value are the color charts and stick dog figures that are designed to help breeders plan their future breeding on paper to see what they are likely to produce. The pedigree charts and stick dog illustrations provide an easy method for interpreting the pedigrees of potential dams and sires, and for predicting the qualities in their expected litters.

My rating: Breeding puppies: (1 - 4)

Monday, August 30, 2010


Some dogs are just “lucky dogs.” Probably if given his choice our dogs would want to sleep up on the bed with us and many of them do already. But if you’re someone like me, I have never liked dogs or cats on the bed. The thought of it, makes me itch and scratch. But that’s just me. Some people love having their dog sleeping right next to them…..literally.

For those of us that prefer our dogs off the bed but still near to us, you might consider some of the excellent bedding that is available for our canine friends. Some people have many of these beds scattered throughout their homes for their dogs to lie on. These beds can be particularly comfortable for the aging pet that has arthritic limbs and finds laying on a hard cold floor not such a comforting prospect.

Take a look at this Heavy Duty, overstuffed orthopedic extra large Memory pet bed. I love the extra large size of this bed for a big dog like a German Shepherd.

• 2 layer of fabric cover : Inner layer water resist Taffeta fabric zipper cover with strong industrial stitch to secure the stuffing. The bed also comes with our durable zipper jean denim fabric cover (outside layer) for easy cleaning and maintain. BEST material for best comfort and long lasting. Extra replacement cover is available at my other listing for combine shipping discount. BUY 2 or more same size bed in 1 transaction will automatic get 1 external replacement denim cover for FREE.
• The bed is over stuff with top quality shredded memory foam for ultimate comfort and support. Mixed with 100% new premium fiber-fil and new shredded polyurathane foam for maximum resiliency and loft. Our new shredded mixed foam comes with multi color and density to achieve the best comfort and support in balance.
• DogBed4Less bed product is 3-5 times weight more than other bed sold in retailer and a lot more practical compare to others because of our premium foam stuffing and re-useable durable fabric. Why spend more money to replace the poly-fill bed regularly while you can get a luxury comfort foam bed that your dog will love and last longer with easy maintain? Additional replacement cover always available at the website.
• The external zipper fabric cover is luxury Durable 10 oz jean denim with dark blue color (58"X50"), re-usable many, many times and machine washable/dryable. The listing size is for the cover size only, the actual size of the bed will be slightly smaller due to thickness of memory pillow. Only internal cover is water resist which able to temporary block the water. The same denim fabric is sold for $9.99 to $19.99 for 1 yard in the big retailer store like Joann, This 58"X50" denim cover will need 4 yard of fabric that will cost $40++ just the fabric alone.
• Our best thick combination foam stuffing be able to support your pet up to 180 lbs and will not flat overtime unlike others poly-fill bed. Great for multiple dogs or large dog.

This next bed I loved the shape and size of the product because it looked very roomy for the dog to stretch out on.

Extra Large 44"x64"x44" Corner Dog Bed with Bolster Available in four different colors! The Cover: This Corner Dog Bed with Bolster comes with a zippered, removable cover that is washable and dryable for easy and convenient cleaning. The cover is a durable poly-cotton fabric and comes in a variety of colors; khaki, khaki plaid, charcoal grey, or hunter plaid. The top area where your pet lays is an amazingly soft oatmeal berber material. The Filling: The filling used in this Corner Dog Bed is Hypro-Loft fiber, an exclusive blend of virgin and recycled fibers that provide unmatched loft retention. The bed isn't going to matt or shift, allowing the bed to keep it's shape during washing or under extended use. The filler is also enclosed in a liner so you can wash the cover as well as the filling, allowing you to keep the bed fresh and new!

This is another Memory Foam bed. I sleep on a Memory Foam bed myself so I know how comfortable they are.

Extra Large 4” thick Orthopedic grade 100% Memory Foam pad pet bed for large dog.
• 4" thick luxury comfortable 100% new 1 piece therapeutic memory foam pad (secure by waterproof breathable internal zipper cover + external durable denim cover). Best material for best comfort and long lasting (40"X35"X4" size).
• DogBed4Less bed product is heavy duty and a lot more practical compare to others because of our premium memory foam pad and reusable durable fabric. Why spend more money to replace the poly-fill bed regularly while you can get a luxury comfort 100% memory foam bed that your dog will love and last longer with easy maintain? Additional replacement cover, different sizes or pillow type overstuffed memory foam dog bed are always available here at Amazon.
• Compare to retail of $199. Extra replacement cover is available at my other listing for combine shipping discount. BUY 2 or more same size bed in 1 transaction will automatic get 1 external replacement denim cover for FREE. Click the dogbed4less link on the top next to the title to see more pet beds selection.
• 2 layer of fabric cover : Internal layer Taffeta waterproof fabric zipper cover to secure the pad. The bed also comes with our durable zipper jean denim fabric cover (outside layer) for easy cleaning and maintain. Our internal zipper cover is waterproof on 1 side and breathable water resist fabric on other size to allow an air circulation, please use the waterproof side on the top refer by the label to prevent any liquids entering to memory foam and prevents the growth of allergens. Great for older dog with bladder problem.
• Relieves the pain of arthritis, hip dysplasia, joint and muscle stiffness. Our high density Memory Foam never loses its shape, providing years of comfort & support. Memory foam has a soft feel that is similar to gel in that it adjusts to your body's shape and pressure point for maximum resiliency and comfort. Non-allergenic and perfect pad for your pet up to 180 lbs. Great for pets with Arthritis. The pre-washed fabric cover 40"X35"X4" is luxury Durable 10 oz denim with blue color. Machine washable and dryable. The cover completed heavy duty wash cycle for complete softness and clean. Reusable many many times.

Then I had to include this bed as well. I liked looking at the pictures of the dog in the advertisement. This is like having a sofa and a bed in one product. This is the extra large Beasley’s Couch dog bed.

BRAND NEW Extra Large 54" x 34" Beasely's Couch Dog Bed! The Cover: This Beasley's Couch Dog Bed comes with a zippered, removable cover that is washable and dryable for easy and convenient cleaning. The cover is available in a variety of colors and fabrics. The bed is available in amazingly soft polysuede material in blue, sage, tan or chocolate. The bed is available in durable corduroy material in chocolate or tan. And this bed is also available in a poly-cotton blend material in teal paw plaid, hunter plaid, and brown plaid. Please e-mail me with your color preference before or just after purchase otherwise the polysuede tan shown will be sent. The couch has a bolster on three sides for added comfort. The area where your pet lays is amazingly soft cream sherpa material. The Padding: The padding used in this Beasley's Couch Dog Bed is 3" medical grade convoluted foam. The orthopedic foam is meant to disperse and reduce pressure for added comfort for your pet. This bed is ideal for any type of dog, especially if you're trying to keep them off YOUR couch! Great for older pets or ones with joint problems!

So there you have it. These are only a few options you might like to consider when looking for bedding for your dog. There are so many more and the list is too long for this article. I often wondered how a dog can be comfortable laying on a cold hard floor. My bones hurt just thinking about it!

My rating: Dog beds: (2 - 4)

Friday, August 27, 2010


Whether you breed, show or just own the German Shepherd Dog doesn’t mean that you won’t experience a little of each of these things at one time or another (good, bad & ugly). So let’s take a look at some of these things.


The pride of ownership of the best all around, “do everything” with type of dog.
There really isn’t too much that you can’t do with this dog. He’s extremely devoted and is need to please in unrivaled.
He’s a great watchdog.
He’s a great baby (kid) sitter.
He loves to go out for hikes or walks.
Many of them love car rides.
He’s very easy to train.
He definitely is the “poster” child for “Man’s Best Friend.”
I think more movies have been made with the German Shepherd Dog than any other breed of dog.
He’s a hero! I bet he’s the breed of dog that is instrumental to saving and rescuing more people’s lives than any other breed.
He’s very good at sizing up people knowing if the person has good intentions and who doesn’t.
He doesn’t make friendships easily with strangers.
The devotion of some people in this breed that work unselfish hours to rescue them from shelters or other abusive situations.
The breeders that take responsibility for ALL the dogs that they breed, whether it’s a pet, show, or working animal.
These are the same breeders if a rescue calls and says we have one of your dogs, that they take the dog back and re-home him.
Breeding a healthy, strong litter of German Shepherd puppies.
Breeders who give the best care to their animals through proper nutrition, immunizations and training.
The lasting friendships that we make because we share the same love for this breed.
The wealth of information that can be found through communication from one breeder to another.
The amount of time and devotion that some people in this breed give to their local breed clubs and the Parent club.
The “newbies” still coming into the breed.
Helping the “newbies” coming into the breed by being a mentor to them.
The German Shepherd Dog will always be a beloved breed simple because they are what a dog should be like.

The number one “bad” about the German Shepherd Dog………DOG HAIR!!! EVERYWHERE!!! THIS BREED SHEDS A LOT!!!
They never live long enough. 8 – 12 years (give or take), but never enough for anyone that owns and loves this breed.
Because of their popularity, many people that should not be breeding are breeding because of the money they hope to get from this popular breed of dog.
Because of the over breeding of the German Shepherd Dog, many of them will find their final “homes” in a kill shelter.
Intestinal health problems as well as other genetic dispositions for certain diseases.
People that breed and don’t know the first thing about how to read a pedigree.
People that breed that don’t know the first things about the proper structure and movement of the German Shepherd Dog.
People that should never have their judging license because (see my last sentence).
People that don’t know how to train and socialize this breed.
The lack of sportsmanship by some that exhibit dogs.
The same judges judging the National every couple of years when there are those judges that are never asked that could do an equally good job or even better!
The expense of some dog foods that we would love to feed our animals, but we can’t afford so we have to feed a lesser quality food.
Some people never volunteer when they belong to a club but instead bellyache about how the club is run.
These same people reap the rewards of those that do do the work for the club.
And what about those people that never say “Thank you, or congratulations” to their fellow exhibitors?
The “newbies” leaving the breed because of the indifference shown to them by those that should know better.
Being in the breed with the attitude of "What's in it for me?" rather than what good you can do for the breed.

Those breeders that are told that one of their dogs is in a shelter and they say, “It’s not my problem!”
German Shepherd puppies and adults being used as “bait” dogs for fighting breeds of dogs.
Those judges that are dishonest and set up the “winners” before you even walk in the ring with your dog!
Those exhibitors that would even ask a judge to put up their dog because of friendship, or because the judge wants to get a lot of judging assignments that the exhibitor has promised to make sure that he does.
Anyone that would abuse this breed through neglect, indifference, torture or with the intention to cause it harm in any way!
The ingredients in some dog foods, like rendered concoctions – road kill, diseased animals, dead animals from shelters, etc.
Those that pass judgment on others in the breed by spreading vicious lies and gossip about someone or their animals hoping to get people to believe them.
This is especially ugly when it comes from people in the breed that should be setting an example rather than being an example of what people never want to be like!
Because of the indifference by some, the breed clubs diminish, the entries are down and the sport of showing dogs as we once knew it may not be re-visited again for some time if ever again.

So these are just my thoughts and like usual just my opinion.

From the book: "WHEN FRIENDSHIP HURTS: Does anything hurt worse than betrayal by a close friend? Sociologist and friendship expert Jan Yager (Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives) explores failed, hurtful, and destructive friendships in When Friendship Hurts.

The book describes 21 types of potentially negative friends. The "Rival," for example, is envious to the point of malice. The "Blood-sucker" expects you to be there every moment. The "Controller" must be in charge of everything, from where you meet for lunch to whom you date. Yager lays out strategies for dealing with the problems when you want to keep the friendship, while also warning about extreme behavior and discussing triggers that lead to friendship conflicts, such as jealousy, anger, and change (of marital status or job, for example). Yager also guides you to examine your own destructive or harmful traits and recognize patterns in your family background that affect your friendships. Overall, this book will help you learn how to deal with destructive friendships--when and how to save them, when and how to end them, and how to cope when a business friendship goes wrong.

My rating: The Good: (4), The Bad: (1), The Ugly: (1)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The dog owner has the right not to have to share his bed with a 90 lb. flea bitten, hair shedding, bad breath “in your face” dog who hogs all the pillows.

The dog owner has the right not to be awakened at 4:00 am because his dog didn’t finish his business outside the night before and decides he wants to finish what he started now.

The dog owner has a right to eat his food in peace without having his dog think “everything she eats, I eat.”

The dog owner has the right to talk on the telephone to her friend without having her dog dropping dirty toys on her lap, nudging her hand for a pat, or circling her while barking in protest for being ignored.

The dog owner has a right to put the dog in the run to do his business outside rather than have him come back in and deposit it on the floor.

The dog owner has a right to use the bathroom and close the door without you sticking your nose in and making your presence known by bringing your ball in and looking for the owner to play catch with you at this very “private” moment.

The dog owner has a right to get up from his chair at his desk and not have to step over you to prevent him from falling on the floor.

The dog owner has a right to have a clean house without picking up dog hair on the bottom of his socks or picking it out of his food.

The dog owner has a right to have a well behaved dog that comes when he’s called and stays when he’s told to rather than be ignored hoping you go away.

The dog owner has a right to get up in the middle of the night to go in the kitchen for a snack and not step on one of your squeaky toys thinking he just stepped on a mouse.

The dog owner has a right to take a vacation once in awhile that doesn’t include going to a dog show or taking a dog with him.

The dog owner has a right to take a ride in his car that he just washed and waxed and not take you for a ride slobbering all over the windows or throwing up all over the back seat.

The dog owner has a right to have beautiful wooden end tables in his living room rather than wired dog crates with your toenails sticking out the front end.

The dog owner has a right to kiss his wife and perhaps look for a little “amour” without having you pop your head up between the blankets planting a wet one on his face.

The dog owner has a right to buy herself a fashionable outfit without feeling guilty that she didn’t spend the money on another workout outfit to pick up your dog run.

The dog owner has the right and the need to be the alpha without you challenging her every step of the way.

The dog owner has rights even if you see it a different way!

My rating: Dogs and people sharing their lives: (4)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Last night when I was feeding my dogs, I found a piece of glass in one of my dog’s food bowls. It wasn’t a sliver but a small hunk of glass. I was so upset because if I didn’t see that, my dog could be laying on a table at the vet’s office right now. I checked the other dog’s bowls of food and I didn’t find any other pieces of glass. I just got off the phone with the company (Diamond) and I will send them the piece of glass for their quality control people to review. I've asked that their quality control people call me.

I know that I’ve occasionally found suspicious things in human food as well. But I’ve never found anything that could really be considered dangerous to my health. Just things that may have been unappetizing. I think we’ve all been to a restaurant and may have found a bug in our food and sent it back. This happened to me at a Chinese restaurant one time and although they offered me another plate of food, my appetite was severely diminished at this point. So I went back to work without having had lunch that day.

We have all read about the disgusting things that can be put in dog food by the rendering plants (beaks, hoofs, feathers, road kill, etc.). However yucky those things appear to us, I don’t know how many dogs lives have been immediately compromised by those unsavory ingredients, but long term health issues is what every dog owner has to question. But to find something like a piece of glass is something that I can’t take lightly. How did something like this happen? Have any of you ever found some dangerous things in your dog’s food? Oh I’ve heard even of a dead mouse in dog food before. That would make me sick, but at least I would be able to see it. I was very lucky to have seen this piece of glass at all. My eye sight isn’t the greatest, so I thank God that I did see this!

The government runs the pet food industry which is known as AAFCO. It is this industry that determines what our animals eat. They actually allow a certain amount of contaminants in dog’s food. This may include waste matter, dirt, foreign objects such as bedding, decomposed matter, etc. This is safe for our dogs? They wouldn’t put it in our food, so why are they allowed to put it in our dog’s food?

It’s bad enough that we have to worry about our animals foods being contaminated because of the rendered meat meals and by-product meals. These are frequently highly contaminated with bacteria because their source is not always slaughtered animals. Animals that have died because of disease, injury or natural caused are a source of meat for meat meal. The dead animal might not be rendered until days after its death. So by this time the carcass is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Dangerous E. coli bacteria are estimated to contaminate more than 50% of meat meals. While the cooking process may kill bacteria, it does not eliminate the endotoxins some bacteria produce during their growth and are released when they die. These toxins can cause sickness and disease. Pet food manufacturers do not test their product for endotoxins.

Now to make this incident about the glass in my dog’s food even scarier is the fact that I just told a breeder friend of mine whose wife is an x-ray technician about this. He told me that my dog could have died and I would never have known why. He told me that an x-ray would not have revealed the piece of glass. So my vets would have never found it on an x-ray. This is horrifying!

So please check your dog’s food when you feed him. I’ve never experienced this before and hopefully this will be the last time that I do. But all it takes is one time, one piece of glass or something else that has a sharp edge to puncture our animal’s intestines. I shudder at thinking what could have happen had I not detected this in my dog’s food. I’m still shaking about this incident. Has it come to the point where we need to check everything we pour into our dog’s food dish with a magnifying glass? With all the recalls on animal foods that we have to worry about, we can now add this to the list as well.

From the book: "DOG OWNER'S HOME VETERINARY HANDBOOK".......Open the front cover and the first two pages you see contain the Index of Signs and Symptoms, from Abdomen (painful, swollen, distended, and tucked up) to Weight loss, Wheezing, and Whining (continual). There's a comprehensive index in back, of course, running the gamut from Abortion to Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis, which is all very useful, but when your pooch is in pain, it's great to be able to turn, with the minimum of folderol, to the page that says to relax, it's nothing a bit of extra grooming won't fix, or alternatively to hightail it over to the vet hospital. It's a wonderful reference for any dog owner, with chapters on emergencies (such as burns, dehydration, and poisoning), as well as worms, infectious diseases, skin care, and canine eyes, ears, and nose. There are chapters on the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems, the nervous, musculoskeletal, and urinary systems, plus dog sex, whelping, puppy pediatrics, geriatrics, and chapters on cancers and medications. In short, it covers every health dimension a dog owner might want to know more about, identifies the possible causes, helps you determine the severity of the condition, and indicates what treatments or actions to take to best insure your dog's good health.

My rating: Dog Food industry: (1 - 4)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I touched on this subject a little bit last week, but I wanted to write about it some more because education is always a good thing. I wrote about the black German Shepherd female that was used as a brood bitch for a fighting dog operation. They used this bitches puppies as bait dogs for their nasty “hobby.” I also reported that she was rescued and is spayed living with a family. The reason that I’m re-visiting this subject so soon is because of a few things that I saw and read this morning.

I belong to Face Book. I never thought I would really enjoy it as much as I do. I’m not however, one of those people that is on it 24 hours a day. I check in a few times a day because there is always some new up to the minute news that is added. Besides there are a ton of German Shepherd Dog people on there. There are lots of pictures and lots of conversation and some enjoyable activities I partake in. This morning there was a video about a book that is due to be launched in October called “Oogy.” I watched the video and it told of a story of a pit bull puppy used as a bait dog like the black German Shepherd’s puppies were. His story wasn’t any different. He too was used and abused like all the other puppies for this horrific act of violence. Most of them never come out of that ring alive. And the few that do are damaged beyond repair. Oogy is one of the fortunate ones that made it out with his life but Oogy is terribly disfigured. When you look at his head face on, it looks lopsided. One side of his face is severely scared and his one ear was totally torn off his head. He is a funny looking character and some might call him downright homely. But once you get past his unattractive head, the thing that catches your eye is the spirit of this dog. It is the spirit of this dog and the smile on his face if you will, that lights up an otherwise unappealing face.

This is what I wanted to touch on today; the spirit of the dog. How can dogs that have been so badly abused and tortured, love and trust a human being ever again? I am totally amazed and in awe of these dogs that have had their lives almost taken from them at the hands of a human being (????) turn around and give and accept love from us ever again. How can they be so forgiven of man? How can they allow the hand that abused him to now stroke and love him? How do they do this? Is this what is called blind faith? Are they what some call, “just a dumb dog” after all? What separates the dogs tolerance of unfairness from that of mans? Most of us would lash out and protect ourselves or at the least never forgive extreme abuse from anyone. What makes the dog so darn forgiving? Why does he tolerate so much from man? Some may say because man is his main source of his food supply. Without man feeding the dog, surely he would starve if left to his own means. Or maybe he would be forced to turn to his ancestor, the wolf and learn the “call of the wild” methods of survival once again.

Do you think that the dog has been so domesticated by man that he will accept anything and everything that man does to him? When you think of it, man is all the dog knows about. He is so far removed from his ancient ancestors (the wolf) that his need to survive is so dependent on man. Man is the alpha in the pack when a dog is involved and like in a pack in the wild, the subservient members will take just about anything from the alpha including being beat up, mauled and sometimes killed. Is this why the dog tolerates so much from man? Is this why he would give up his life for man? It could very well be.

So no matter how long we domesticate the dog, way down deep in his DNA, he is programmed for his need to have a pack leader and because of this (in my opinion) he will take whatever is given to him as his lot in life. So if he is born in to a life of abuse, he will suffer silently just as he would if he was one of the lowly members of a pack in the wild. Take a look at the animal programs about animals that live in packs. The lowest member of the family is often the one that is mistreated, picked on and sometimes killed by the alpha or those in higher authority. Could this then explain why the dog tolerates so much abuse from man?

I received an e-mail this morning from one of the rescue groups that I send this blog to a very interesting but disturbing letter. Those of you that don’t belong to my e-mail list don’t always get everything that I send to that group or the things that they send to me. Last week I wrote a letter to a Free Cycle group that I recently joined. I mentioned it here on my blog as well. However, on my list I forwarded the letter that I wrote to one of the owners of that list. My concern was that they now will be offering animals to people on their list. She reassured me that the majority of the people on her list were all for this, so I was voted down. It is something new that they are doing. I saw a turtle listed there a few days ago and someone already claimed him. I’ll be watching what other animals that they list as well.

Well anyway getting back to today’s e-mail from one of the rescue lists. It was a very well written and informative letter about a woman that is a “collector” of animals. She used Craig’s list to make money off of the animals that she adopts from shelters. They are left in cages in their own urine and feces. It seems that this woman is contacting breeders about puppies that they have advertised. She gets the dogs and abuses them for her own sick, evil mind and then re-sells them. Because some people are very desperate to find homes for their puppies, this person could call them and sweet talk them in to letting their puppies go to her. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! There are a lot of “not so nice” people roaming the streets looking for unsuspected victims!

Be aware of lists and groups and social websites. Predators walk among us. I just heard of an incident last night from a teenage girl that I mentor who had a page on My Space. She contacted me and copied and pasted something someone wrote to her. I told her not to respond to him at all. Her aunt and uncle made her close her page down. So we have to be careful with our children and our animals. It truly is a jungle out there but unlike the animals in the jungle who hunt and kill to survive, there exist in our world those that hunt and kill for the sheer pleasure it brings to them.

From the book: "THE LUCIFER EFFECT: UNDERSTANDING HOW GOOD PEOPLE TURN EVIL"....Social psychologist Zimbardo is best known as the father of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, which used a simulated prison populated with student volunteers to illustrate the extent to which identity is situated within a social setting; student volunteers randomly chosen to play guards became cruel and authoritarian, while those playing inmates became rebellious and depressed. With this book, Zimbardo couples a thorough narrative of the Stanford Prison Experiment with an analysis of the social dynamics of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, arguing that the "experimental dehumanization" of the former is instructive in understanding the abusive conduct of guards at the latter. This comparison, which is the book's core insight, is embedded in a sprawling discussion about situational influences that cobbles together a discussion of the psychology of evil, a strong criticism of the Bush administration, and a chapter celebrating heroism and calling for greater social bravery. This account's Abu Ghraib focus will generate demand.

My rating: Social networks and lists: (1 - 4)

Monday, August 23, 2010


I wrote four other articles this morning and hated them all. That said, doesn’t mean you or I am going to like this one any better! Oh yes it is tough being a writer. We are self critical and sometimes can be real “pain in the neck” perfectionists. Some days we wake up with a bit of “brain fog” and thinking of writing about anything can become a real challenge for us. But I’m thankful that I can write anything at all when I have three German Shepherds running around from one room to the next dropping dirty toys or bones on my lap. Or like “Bu” dripping water from her sloppy mouth all over me and my desk as I try to write any article at all. It’s non stop raining this morning so I find myself surrounded by the breed of dog that I try to write about five days a week. When I can no longer tolerate their overly enthusiastic personalities contributing to my insanity for one second more, I am so thankful for the invention of the dog crate!

When I read the e-mails from a list about which is the better dog, the one that has won at the Specialty show or the one that has won at the All-Breed show, I’m thankful that I’m not showing anything right now. I wouldn’t want to contribute to anyone’s jealousy getting out of control, so I’ll just let others remain in that “enviable” position!

Then when I read on a list about the problems of the Parent Club and its lack of new membership, I’m so very thankful that I turned down running for the presidency (NOT) of the club. Can you just imagine a club run by a peace loving woman who detests fighting and “I’m better than you” types of mentalities? Can you just imagine what it would be like belonging to a club that truly was for the betterment of the German Shepherd Dog, rather than for the betterment of ones own personal agenda?

A post was sent over one of the list several years ago telling of one of the most horrific cases of dog abuse I had ever read up to that time anyway. It was a story about a puppy named “Mooie.” She was the puppy that had acid thrown all over her body and face. It was this heartbreaking story that led me to write about a puppy that I never met except through the horrors of her photographs. My article didn’t save the unfortunate Mooie, but it would open up a door for me to write other articles about the abused and neglected. It would also introduce me to the founder of Last Hope, Safe Haven, Dawn Restuccia. I was saddened for the precious little Mooie whose life was sacrificed and whose story was read all around the world but I am thankful to that little baby as well. Had her story not been told, I may never have met Dawn and her unselfish efforts to be the voice for those who couldn’t speak for themselves.

Owning my own list and blog has afforded me the opportunity to meet some new people in the breed while maintaining old and cherished friendships as well. How else would I have been introduced to Bruce and shared in his fantastic stories of life in the wild on “God’s mountain” that he shares with his wife Carol and their three dogs? Or how about Kathy and her white German Shepherds that like Bruce both have contributed generously to articles here on my blog? Kathy’s unique way of sharing a story with us and her wonderful artistic drawings adds to the enjoyment of my readers on this blog. Both of these fine people and others like them as well make me realize just how thankful I am to have been introduced to their friendship.

And how about my longer standing friendships? Many times I write about some of my dog friends experiences here on my blog. Sometimes they don't even know that I'm writing about them until they read it here. They give me so many interesting things to write about. I'm thankful to one of my dearest friends Lorraine who is one of the more sweeter people in the breed. It's through some of the heartaches that she has endured that I find a need to write a story surrounding it. Also recently I got goosebumps when she and I had one of our most interesting conversations about "OUR" dog Kharu - I bred him, she loved and owned him. It was the story of how he came back to pay a visit to the home where he once lived and died.

Not to be outdone by Lorraine is my friend Marilyn, who will enthusiastically give me a call. I'll ask her what's up and she'll tell me that she has the next article for me to write about on my blog. Her suggestions are for articles about this world and not the spiritual world like those I've shared with you from Lorraine and Kathy. So yes I'm thankful to Marilyn, but because she and I can talk for hours sometimes, I wish I would write down what she called be about because by the time I get off the phone, I forget the reason she called me in the first place!

These people and others that write to me privately and offer suggestions for articles here on this blog, I'm very thankful for.

When I read about the dangers of giving too many shots to our dogs or the dangers of putting poisons on our dogs to prevent ticks from enjoying their chubby little bodies, I’m very thankful for the knowledge of some of the people on the lists that I belong to. If I need to know how to dry up a hot spot or how to take weight off a dog, all I need do is type in my question and my inbox will be filled with opinions, educational viewpoints and just down right good old common sense. Belonging to some of these lists, I would dare say that it has saved some people thousands of dollars!

And for those of you that have read this “blog about nothing” today, I am thankful that you stuck it out with me! What do you expect on a rainy, dreary, gray, miserable day anyway…………..a literary masterpiece?

And I just know that my Amber who is laying right here next to me while I type this is very thankful that she NEVER has to go into a crate like her wild daughters. Instead she lays patiently looking up at me (almost in a hypnotic trance like state) waiting for the next butter pretzel she’s sharing with me to drop her way. Yes life is good for Amber. She’s very thankful, indeed!

And aren’t you thankful this article is finished?

My rating: one can never have enough friends in this breed: (4)

Friday, August 20, 2010


I wouldn’t trade places with the new people just coming into this breed for all the money in the world! (OK, maybe I just lied…….I think I’d take all that money in the world after all)! I am so happy that I came into this breed when I did………..all the way back in the 70’s. Gee, I just aged myself didn’t I?

Let me tell you guys what you missed. A big fat black and white German Shepherd Dog Review with pages and pages of the top (and hoping to get to the top) German Shepherd Dogs. I mean I saw pictures of Grand Victors that we’re still talking about today. Some of you know the ones that I mean. They still decorate some of the pedigrees of our dogs that we are breeding and showing today. A few of those Grand Victors that come to mind were Lance, Mannix, Scorpio, Judd, Harrigan, etc. And those puppy ads in the Review…..why I remember one time someone ran a two page ad on three or four month old champion sired puppies. Can I tell you about the pictures they advertised (I can still see them in my mind)……well let’s just say all of the puppies very equally magnificent looking. I dare say that they would still be winners today. They were that good! They were deep bodied, plush coated “champions in the making!” I’ll never forget that ad, it impressed me so much. Having subscribed to the Review, received it, read it, advertised in it and read it all over again……..we held in our hands a magazine that was on it’s way to be award winning and recognized by her peers in the world of dog specialty magazines. Yup, some of us experienced a WOW FACTOR!

Thumbing through the Review, you not only seen all the “greats” in the German Shepherd Dog kingdom, but you also seen all the “greats” in the handling profession as well. We’d see the smiling, winning or furrowed brow of a handler staring back at us from those pages in their show winning pictures. You’d get to say hello to Bob, Jim, LaMar, Sandy, Gail, and Gary, Gerry, Henry, Mary, Freddie, Terry and even that young curly haired, tall skinny guy. What’s his name? Jimmy? Isn’t that guy still around today?! Seeing these handlers lined up in the ring, competing and doing whatever it was to beat their fellow handlers was watching handling expertise at it’s finest. Having these “second to none” professionals handle your dogs was experiencing the WOW FACTOR!

And what about all those wonderful judges we had? Do you know what it was like to see Ernie Loeb standing in the middle of the ring evaluating one of your dogs? How about the ever wonderful true lover of the breed, Mrs. Connie Beckhardt? I think I saw Harry Schneider’s name on more Premium lists back in those days. Then there was Fran Ford. Was there ever a more “gentlemen” of the breed than Fran? He’s still judging today. How about Ralph Roberts? I’ll never forget the year that the German Shepherd Dog Club of Greater New Haven had Ralph and Mary Roberts fly in from the west coast to judge a futurity and a five point major show. Can I tell you Mary Roberts was a class act….a true lady in every sense of the word? My bitch took Best Opposite Sex in the Maturity under her and a five point major reserve the next day under her husband. That was my “Nuance” that you see at the top of this blog. The futurity was so huge, that we were taking pictures of the winners in the dark! Yup you newbie’s, don’t know what you’re missing! Having these icons of the breed award your dog his championship points, well you just knew you were experiencing the WOW FACTOR!

Oh and lets not forget those most magnificent of all shows, the National Specialty show put on by the Parent Club each year. One’s coming up again real soon. Check out the dates on The German Shepherd Dog Club of America’s website. If you haven’t been to one of these shows, you just must put it on your “to do list.”

In my day I saw some of the top dogs in competition at these National shows. The Covy Tucker Hills magnificently pretty dogs dominated many of the entries at these Nationals. Their Christmas ads in the Review didn’t have too much competition for uniqueness and beauty. No, I take that back…..there were many wonderful Holiday ads now that I think about it! The stud dog classes and brood bitch presentation took your breathe away. Presentation after presentation of top quality filled classes. Youngsters that would go on to make breed history were getting their first introduction at some of these National Specialty shows.

Do you know what it was like being a newbie back then rubbing elbows with the elite in the breed? I sat next to and talked to living, breathing, walking encyclopedias of the history of our breed. I don’t know, but there must have been something in the water at that time because I can’t say that I had any problems meeting and befriending some of these marvelous people. When I hear new people in the breed complaining that no one will help them or even talk to them this only reinforces my belief that I’m glad that I started in the breed when I did! Yup, definitely something in the water back then and we didn’t even have what you guys have today with the vitamin and flavored enhanced waters! Exhibiting and attending a National in these days was experiencing a WOW FACTOR!

I want to know when’s the last time you experienced a WOW FACTOR in this breed. When’s the last time a dog stepped into the ring that took your breath away? Oh I don’t mean the pretty little bitch setting herself up in the ring all by herself or the handsome boy in the Best of Breed competition. All of them are nice representatives of the breed all right, but I’m talking about the one that you’re still talking about a couple of months later. I’m talking about the one that you’d take out a second mortgage on your home to make an offer to his owner for. Where are those dogs? He may not be the one with the most winning titles, but he’s the one that if he didn’t have a title at all, you would just have to have him anyway! Is he out there? Is someone hiding him just waiting to spring him on a hungry audience?

When was the last time that you went to a dog show and watched artistic expression from the tip of the dog’s nose to the handler’s expertise to the judge’s unquestionable knowledge? I mean did you ever walk away from a show knowing you just experienced a blending of like minds in the middle of the ring where you were awed by the dog’s quality, fascinated by the handler’s presentation and agreed with the judge’s decisions? Then you just experienced a WOW FACTOR!

How about watching the German Shepherd Dog do what he was bred to do? Did you ever sit at ringside watching a totally obedient dog in the ring being put through his exercises and come out with a 100% winning score? When’s the last time you saw a German Shepherd herding sheep, or have you ever seen them do this at all? Ever see a German Shepherd attack his handler’s padded sleeve? How about watching a German Shepherd be put through his testing for his Temperament certificate? Ever see a German Shepherd rescue a drowning child? How about a hero dog going back into a burning house to pull his master to safety? Has your dog ever put himself between you and a wild animal that wanted to make you his lunch? What about watching a dog trained for police work knock the breath out of a bank robber who’s running off with your life savings? Then you’ve experienced a WOW FACTOR!

I suppose a WOW FACTOR can mean different things to different people. A WOW FACTOR can be how in awe you are of your bitch that just produced a litter of twelve healthy fat new born pups. A WOW FACTOR can be how you shake your head in disbelief as you watch your young daughter pull your dog’s tail for the hundredth time without him even giving a whimper. A WOW FACTOR can be when you call the owner of the stud dog of your puppies and tell him after watching one of the youngsters in this litter gait around your backyard that you just watched a future Grand Victrix in the making! A WOW FACTOR can be that you are in awe and wonderment that one of the icons of the breed has decided to take a chance on you and mentor you and because of their help, you just finished your first champion!

WOW means just that……WOW……how did that happen, what did I just witness, or how did I get so lucky? WOW means something extraordinary just happened and you just experienced the WOW FACTOR!

From the book: "SUCCESS THROUGH A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE".... Your mind has a secret invisible talisman. On one side is emblazoned the letters PMA (positive mental attitude) and on the other the letters NMA (negative mental attitude). A positive attitude will naturally attract the good and the beautiful. The negative attitude will rob you of all that makes life worth living. Your success, health, happiness, and wealth depend on how you make up your mind! When motivational pioneer Napoleon Hill and millionaire CEO W. Clement Stone teamed up to form one of the most remarkable partnerships of all time, the result was Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, the phenomenon that proposed to the world that with the right attitude, anyone can achieve his or her dreams. Now this remarkable book is available for the twenty-first century. You, too, can take advantage of the program that has brought success to generations of people seeking -- and finding -- a better way to live. Napoleon Hill was the world-renowned bestselling author of Think and Grow Rich. From a reader: "Next to the Bible, this is a must read!"

My rating: Living with German Shepherd Dogs is always a WOW FACTOR: (4)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I’m a fan of most animal programming on television whether it’s on Animal Planet, National Geographic or National Geographic Wild. If it’s about animals, I’m there. Some of them can be entertaining while others are very informative. Then there are those that can be very shocking and down right horrific. Like everything else in life, there is the good and the bad. I’ve always been a sensitive person when it comes to watching anything in pain. I’m even more so as I get older. I’m fascinated by the Predator and Prey types of shows with the Big Cats but when it comes time for the Predator to kill his prey, then I turn it off to watch a commercial or two and then come back to the programming.

Some of you might remember me writing about how much I really like the Pit Bull dogs. They can be some of the most loving and affectionate among the dog breeds. But naturally man sensationalizes everything and all we hear about is how mean they are and that they’re vicious killers. Just like the German Shepherd Dog is known to be one of the breeds of dogs reported that do the most biting offenses against people.

Well in this last week, I watched another part of a series on the Pit Bulls used for fighting. Here again, I turn the parts off of the dogs killing one another in the ring. What disturbed me on this particular night though was talk about a black German Shepherd female. This dog was used for breeding to produce puppies known as bait dogs! You read that right. Her purpose was a brood bitch for this sadistic operations unsavory behavior. Bait or baiting is the act of worrying or tormenting a chained or confined animal by setting game dogs upon it as sport! The dogs bite and tear to subdue the opposing animal by incapacitating or killing it. Baiting is a blood sport used for entertainment and gambling. It is illegal in most countries with varying levels of enforcement.

Well I’m happy to report that this particular lowlifes operation was shut down and the dogs were confiscated and received medical attention. Some were too far gone with their injuries and then there were others that were too aggressive for rehabilitation. The female black German Shepherd was also seized. She was very frightened and distrustful of people. Well with some work and training, she is now leading a life as someone’s loving companion. She was spayed and there will be no more of her babies used as bait dogs for the sadistic pleasure of these monsters.

It infuriates me to hear that German Shepherds are used in this manner. That’s not to say that I think that any dog should be used in this way. Our beloved breed should never find itself in the “pit’s of hell” known as a fighting ring used as bait for a dog’s jaw that is more powerful than his and can rip him to pieces.

Yesterday I saw a program on Dr. Phil on this very subject of fighting dogs for profit or someone’s sick pleasure. There was a man on the program that was sent to prison for fighting dogs and cited for animal cruelty. This cold, callous individual was there to say that he didn’t think what he did was cruel to his dogs. This was a sport like any other and didn’t see the difference from what he does with his dogs and those that chose and enjoy watching boxing. Again a video (that I didn’t watch) was shown to the audience and it was one of this man’s own dogs that was getting mauled and ripped apart. What I did hear was the screams of his dog in apparent agony. I muted the sound after a short bit. He claims that the dog was just scared because it was his first time in the pit. He said he was fine and he took him back home and put him on his chain again. Some home life with a big old heavy chain wrapped around his neck. Dr. Phil was all over this guy. The man didn’t seem too concerned. He had his lawyer sitting out in the audience. He was asked how many dogs he killed. Without too much thought, he answered a couple of hundred. He said he usually just took a gun and shot the dog if the dog was too injured to save. He thought that he was doing the dog a favor and doing the humane thing by putting him down. By this time, I’m ready to jump through the television screen and choke this ignorant “poor excuse” for a human beings neck!

We as breeders and owners of the beloved German Shepherd Dog must diligently protect them from the predators out there that are looking to do them harm. Sometimes these types of people will go to animal shelters and use the dogs from there as bait dogs. They will also pick up strays that are roaming the streets.

Now this just came across my computer yesterday. I recently joined a Yahoo Group for recycling. It’s called Freecycle. I get e-mails from them all day offering items for people to take for free. They just need to come and pick the items up at the person’s house. Also people will post that they are looking for certain things as well. Yesterday one of the moderators came on and I’m quoting one of the sentences from her e-mail…………”We are looking for someone who has knowledge about caring for pets and wishes to help members offer or seek animals through this group.” (End quote). Now I was gone most of yesterday (sorry I didn’t get a chance to write on my blog before I left), so I haven’t got a chance to write to her about this yet. I do not think that this is a good idea. I can understand what they are trying to do here. Obviously because some people find they can no longer keep their animals, they are looking to place them in good homes. However, these moderators do not know the people that join their lists. Many of these predators look for free dogs or puppies and read the want ads of their local newspapers. Some might be used as bait dogs, and others may find their way into a lab used for experimentation. There is lots of money to be made on animal’s misery! So although the moderator’s intentions are good, I will have to write to them today to voice my concern.

We live in a scary world. We don’t want to have to become paranoid, however no concerned animal lover can ever be too watchful about the people that we invite into our lives. The predators are out there looking for their next prey or meal ticket! After all, this is their “SPORT” of choice. When they need to “train” their dogs, they might come knocking on your door when they hear about one of your dogs that you are looking to place in a “loving forever” home! We don't want to ever hear that one of our dogs is being used for someones profit from animal cruelty!

From the book: "BADD NEWZ: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE MICHAEL VICK DOG FIGHTING CASE"......Book Author, Kathy Strouse, has launched her first book, “Badd Newz-The Untold Story of the Michael Vick Dog Fighting Case”. She reveals the never before reported twists, turns, obstacles, plots, and setbacks that made building a case against superstar Michael Vick the challenge of a lifetime. Readers will be shocked to learn how close and how often Vick came to walking away from justice. Investigators were fueled by a determination to rescue the innocent dogs and to bring Vick and his Badd Newz crew to justice. The small team of “dead game” investigators put everything on the line to take a stand against the brutal “sport” of dog fighting. Strouse also introduces the undercover investigator known only as Dog Angel. A shadowy, elusive figure, he has worked for over 35 years infiltrating the underground world of dog fighting, rubbing shoulders with some of the most infamous characters in the “game”. The reader will learn how Dog Angel infiltrated the inner Badd Newz circle and used every skill in his arsenal to help make the case against them. No dog fighting case has ever captured the attention and the hearts of the public like the Michael Vick case. Most Americans had no idea that such cruelty even existed. The stakes in this case were very high. Success would send a message to dog fighters across the country that law enforcement was pledged to stamp out this cruelty and send the perpetrators to jail. Investigators knew they had to bring Vick to justice in spite of his wealth and fame. Climb aboard the rollercoaster for the story of how they did it.

My rating: The use of German Shepherds as bait dogs: (1), Profit from animal cruelty: (1)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Recently I was approached about placing an ad for “Discount Ramps” on my blog. After reviewing their website and products, I consented and you’ll see an ad on my blog for their website. I decided to have their website here because of all the many different products that they offer the pet owner to help make yours and your dog’s life a little bit easier. So I’m going to post some of those products here for you to look at. They also make other “make your life easier” products besides dog items. Check out their website for more information. They truly have something to help make your dogs and your life easier.

They offer dog ramps for every size, weight and length you may need. These ramps are used for your dog to help him get in and out of your van, truck or SUV without him having to jump to the ground. Sometimes this can be too much on an aging dog’s legs or hips or a youngster.

One of these ramps is an aluminum folding dog ramp. Some of the features of this ramp are: Light weight design
• One Year Warranty
• 2 lengths to choose from
• Durable grip tape surface - excellent for your pet's feet
• Hollow aluminum frame for maximum strength
• Strong hinges to allow ramp to fold in half
• 2 ¾" attaching lip for added stability
• Carrying handle on the side allows for easy transport
• Strap mounted on the side keeps the dog ramp compact for storage
• **Not designed for human use**

Your pets will get plenty of use out of this dog ramp. The new folding dog ramps from Discount Ramps are some of the strongest & sturdiest on the market today! Each ramp has an aluminum construction with heavy duty hinges that allows the dog truck ramps to hold up to 250 lbs. The dog ramp features a grip tape surface platform for superb traction in any weather for almost any pet. These folding ramps are available in 2 lengths to accommodate any dog or pet. They have a usable width of 15 inches and a 2 ¾" attaching lip on the top of the dog ramp allowing it to be used for Trucks, SUV's, Cars, or nearly anywhere. These dog truck ramps also feature a carrying handle and a strap mounted on to the ramps so that it can be strapped together in the closed position for easy transport & storage when not in use.

This is just a sample of the many ramps that this company makes. Check out all the many different sizes on their website.

They also make pet stairs. This can help a pet up on a bed or sofa that may have limited mobility. Here’s an example about one of the many steps and stairs that this company sells.

• Portable light weight design, only 10 lbs.
• Gives access to the back seat of an automobile which is difficult to do with ramps
• Supports over 250 lbs. for any size dog or pet
• Durable indoor/ outdoor carpet and plastic construction can be cleaned with soap & water
• Attractive design with neutral colors blends in almost anywhere
• Unique sloping treads are easier for small dogs to climb
• 19" height works well with most couches and beds
• Constructed from high density polyethylene and indoor outdoor carpet
• Made in the USA
• One year warranty
• **Not designed for human use**

They also make steps for loading a dog onto a boat and then there are steps for your dog to get in and out of the swimming pool. I thought that this was a great idea. So let’s say the steps that you normally would use to go in and out of your pool is on one side, but your dog is too tired to swim over that way, this can be placed in another area so he can get out quickly and easily.  See the above picture.

This company also offers crates and vehicle barriers for your utility vehicle, vans and mini vans. There are dog seat protectors and dog seat covers. There are SUV cargo liners to protect your vehicle's carpet and they work for hatchbacks, SUVs, and vans. There is a dog crate constructed of aluminum and brown 1/8" wood laminate paneling. This dog cage is lightweight yet sturdy. The angled design gives it a unique look and makes it easier to fit into the back of mini-vans or SUVs when transporting. The pet dog crate also includes two tie down tabs on the front top corners, so you can more easily secure the dog crate when traveling.

I really enjoyed looking at this companies many products to help make traveling and living easier and more enjoyable for you and your dog. Check out their website on this blog for yourself.

My rating; “Discount Ramps”: (4)

Monday, August 16, 2010


The very first time that I put up a couple of kennels in my backyard we attached them to the back of our garage. The dogs could go in and out of the garage as they pleased because I had a “doggie” door for them to use. Can I tell you how much I loved that? So did they. You just drill a hole in the wall of the garage and attach the “doggie” door to the hole. The reason I liked this so much was that the dogs went in and out of it whenever they wanted except late at night when I locked those doors for the evening.

The nice thing about having your kennels attached to a building is that the dogs can get out of the sun or bad weather if they want and come inside. These doors have been around for a long time, but I think they are a God send to dog owners for the convenience that they afford our animals. Besides fencing, “doggie” doors are one of the best inventions in my opinion. The dog is not forced to stay outside if he doesn’t want to. He comes and goes as he pleases. Ideally a platform should be placed out in the dog’s run and one inside the garage or building. This way he’s not lying on a cold, damp or hard surface.

Some people that don’t own a dog kennel but keep their dogs in a fenced in back yard love the convenience of the “doggie” dog as well. The only difference with this set up is that sometimes when your dog is feeling a little bit frisky, don’t be surprised by the little “gifts’ that he may bring into the kitchen and deposit at your feet. This is especially true if you have cats. He may share the rest of his uneaten dinner in the form of a “nearly dead” mouse or worse.

Now let me say here that if you have pets that you want to give freedom to by coming and going as they please, caution and common sense should be used. Only use these doors attached to your house if you have a fenced in yard. Depending upon where you live (what state) there are other things to take into consideration. Are there venomous snakes or bad mushrooms that grow on your lawn? Do you live in a neighborhood where children can throw things over the fence for your dog that may not be healthy for them to eat like a chocolate candy bar? If you live in a state like Florida, are there fire ants on your lawn? These are all the kinds of questions you should ask yourself before giving “Fido” his freedom to come and go as he pleases.

Another reason that some people like having a “doggie” door attached to their homes is because the owner may have physical ailments that make taking her dog for a walk close to impossible. Because she realizes the need for her dog to get fresh air and exercise, having a “doggie” door is the answer for her and her animal.

Here are some “doggie” doors that I found on Amazon.

My rating: "Doggie" doors: (4)

Friday, August 13, 2010


I think I’ve mentioned that I love music and their lyrics as well as my love of quotations. The title of today’s blog article is from an old song that Kenny Rogers made popular many years ago. Aww…….…the genus of a song writer’s quick wit and imagination!

Several months ago I wrote about taking care of ourselves as we hit our senior years. We are all concerned about our aging dog’s health, but if we are not healthy ourselves taking care of a breed like the German Shepherd Dog can prove very challenging indeed. I bring this subject up again because of an e-mail letter that I read on one of the rescue groups that I send this blog to. A woman wrote that she didn’t feel that she could take care of a rescue like the German Shepherd Dog. She felt she was too old to take care of a dog. I think she said that she was 60 years old or in her early 60’s. So she was being honest and this is how she felt. Well many people wrote in response about this subject of the mature person taking care of this breed. I think everyone who wrote thought that the woman’s age should not have been a deciding factor about taking care of a rescued dog. Some went on to tell of many wonderful people in their advanced senior years happily and capably taking care of a dog or two or even more. But one must remember that not everyone’s circumstances are alike.

So I thought I would re-visit this subject again. Like the breed that we all love, some of us age better than others. While we may read of the 80 year old woman who just graduated from college or the 72 year old man that just ran the Boston marathon, those numbers are fewer than what the average person of this age is doing. Few (but some) may say that they are feeling better now than they ever did when they were in their thirties. However, this is just not the normal confession of a person over sixty.

Taking care of and raising a German Shepherd Dog is work……period! It is not all fun and games. It’s not just about throwing a ball to “Shep” a couple of times a week or teaching him how to sit or roll over. It’s a lot more and then some. Because each of our dogs like ourselves is individuals, they learn differently, they react differently, they age differently, and the one constant is that they challenge us differently. It’s just like kids. Some kids never give you any problems and are a “dream come true” when raising them. Then there are those that keep you down on your knees visiting God in prayer more then you ever did in your entire lifetime. Well it’s the same thing with raising a German Shepherd Dog. They all might be labeled a German Shepherd, but they’re all not cut out from the same mold.

In an ideal world, we humans will age well. We won’t be troubled by arthritis or other crippling physical and mental disabilities. We will not have had suffered a car accident or an accident on the job. Depression will not have immobilized us. Our life’s partner will remain healthy as well and we’ll both take that trip to the “pearly white gates” of Heaven at the same time. Our dogs will live to be a ripe old age of 15 or 16 with never a moan or a groan because arthritis is keeping them from doing the things that they love. His hearing will be as sharp as when he was a six month old puppy. He’ll eat well until the day he dies and he’ll slip away to the “Rainbow Bridge” while peacefully sleeping on his soft warm bed. Yes this is in an ideal world!

But what about reality? How does it work in the real world? What about those of us who don’t age well? What about our dogs that don’t fair any better? Maybe the sixty year old woman has all she can do to get out of bed in the morning. We’re not walking in her shoes…….or moving around in her body. Maybe our grandmother doesn’t look a day over fifty, but this woman may feel several years over seventy. We all know what we are capable of doing. What feels right for one person may not feel right for another person.

Because all German Shepherds are not created equal……because they all come from different pedigrees……..and if you are adopting a rescue dog…….we don’t know how he was raised. Some in this breed make wonderful house dogs and you wouldn’t even know that they are there. Well except when you want to use the bathroom and you notice a shadow following you. But let’s face it, some dogs make excellent house dogs and others do not. Case in point, most of you know that I own three bitches. I own the mother dog and her two daughters. The mother dog is my constant companion as she’s my house dog. Her two daughters are the “Wild Childs!” Would they make good house dogs? No, no and again no. Oh they’re in the house a few times a day and when they are, its total chaos’s. Their mother was very easy to train. Her daughters are much wilder than she ever was. “Bu” can never sit still and her sister “Jess” imitates everything that she does. Now my house dog would be great living with a senior citizen. Just give her love 24 hours a day and feed her and she’ll be happy and content. Would her daughters be good companions for a senior citizen? NO! They might put her in an early grave!

Another thing to consider is the financial responsibility for the senior citizen especially if she’s living on a fixed income. Taking care of dogs is expensive. Some are wondering how they’re going to feed themselves no less a dependent animal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all people over sixty have one foot in the grave! Not at all. Many people are healthy and strong and have taken good care of themselves and are aging very well. But there may come the day that age does get in their way and I don’t care how well someone ages, he isn’t what he used to be. Each step becomes more calculated. A dog not only needs his basic needs to be met, food, water and shelter, but he needs a fair amount of exercise to keep him healthy and strong. If the human isn’t up to that then both of them may suffer.

On the other hand, a dog can be the greatest gift for a senior for many reasons. A dog can give the aging owner a reason to get up out of bed in the morning to begin with. The dog can provide comfort and companionship to an otherwise lonely person that may have said good bye to some important people in her life. A dog can provide hours of entertainment and laughter to someone that might need a good laugh once in awhile. Taking care of a dog can take one’s mind off of her own problems and help soothe a weary soul.

So not everyone’s conditions are the same. Some age well. Others do not. Some are financially secure. Others are not. Before you take on the added responsibility of a dog, check out “what conditions your conditions are in!”

Taken from the Audio CD..."21 NUMBER ONES"..........The gravel-and-grits voice of Kenny Rogers ultimately came to define the "Urban Cowboy" era of pop excess, even as the earlier "Lucille" and "The Gambler" were some of the most galvanizing story songs in country music's history. Looking back at this body of hits, it's easy to poke fun at the treacley "You Decorated My Life" or wince at the cheesy string arrangements on "Through the Years." It's also natural to wish Rogers had never heard of Sheena Easton, his misguided duet partner on "We've Got Tonight," and recorded more with the soulful, sad Dottie West ("Every Time Two Fools Collide") and the randy Dolly Parton ("Islands in the Stream"). (A bonus track, "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer," pairs him with old pal Kim Carnes.) As the years went by, Rogers got fatter, lazier, and more content to make crappy TV movies and wallow in the flaccid sentimentality of adult contemporary pop ("Buy Me a Rose"). He also got smug--the worst of sins for a man in his business. But behind the microphone, he always knew how to make even the hoariest of lyrics resonate with feeling. And at his peak, he was the perfect male country superstar, equal parts swagger and sweet, sweet promise. --Alanna Nash

My rating: The German Shepherd Dog is right for everyone: (1 - 4), Senior Citizen raising the German Shepherd Dog: (1 - 4)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I’ve recently discussed here about some of those breeders that knowingly breed to animals that have genetic health problems or those that breed to dogs that have undesirable temperaments. But what about those breeders that don’t x-ray their dogs that they use for their breeding program or breed to dogs that is not x-rayed? The majority of stud dog owners do x-ray their dogs and many of them are OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certified. Then there are those others that are not concerned about x-raying their dogs because they say that the animals in his dog’s pedigree come from good hips.

Would you breed your x-rayed bitch to a stud dog that wasn’t x-rayed or had an OFA number showing that he’s certified? Do you think it’s an important part of having a good breeding program or do you think it’s just one more nuisance that you don’t want to be bothered with? And speaking of x-raying, how important are those elbow x-rays? And what do you think of some of those dogs that only have an OFA number for hips attached to the back of their name? Does this mean the dog’s elbows were x-rayed and he doesn’t have good elbows? Would you breed to a dog that only has one set of OFA numbers for his hips and not his elbows?

I believe that more and more breeders are conscientious about x-raying their breeding stock. I personally haven’t heard about too many animals that are crippled from dysplastic hips or elbows, although I’m sure other people have.

So here’s a question for you. If you x-rayed your animal and he or she didn’t have perfect hips or elbows and wouldn’t OFA certify would you still use him/her for your breeding program? In order to answer a question like that, one would also want to know about the litter mates to the animal that you are considering breeding? Were they x-rayed? Were there others in the litter that didn’t have good hips and elbows? What about the parents and the grandparents? Were they all OFA certified?

Some breeders feel that if they x-ray their bitch and she won’t certify because one of her hips is not as good at the other one, they will breed her anyway. They feel that if she is of superior quality that they will take a chance on breeding her and only to stud dogs that are OFA certified and come from a long line of OFA certified dogs and bitches in their pedigree. Are they taking a chance? Well of course they are. We all know that even dogs that are OFA certified can produce bad hips. There are no guarantees when you elect to breed dogs.

Do you feel as a breeder that you owe it to your puppy buyers to have the parents of the puppies that you’re selling be OFA certified or at least having been x-rayed? What responsibilities do you owe your puppy buyers? It is after all about more then producing the prettiest puppies. It’s about producing the healthiest puppies as well.

I think if one goes on the Parent Club website (The GSDCA) and you were to look at the stud dogs that have produced winning progeny, more times than not, you will see that those dogs have OFA numbers. Speaking of stud dogs, there are some stud dog owners that will not even allow a bitch to be bred to their dog unless she too has a certified number.

Now there are different degrees of dysplastic hips and elbows. As I said, some breeders will breed a bitch that doesn’t have perfect hips. But where do you draw the line as to what you will breed and ones that you will not breed? Would you breed one that is slightly dysplastic or would you breed one that has one good hip and the other is more severely dysplastic? Is there a line that you draw as far as considering using these animals in your breeding program? And would you tell your puppy buyers about the mother’s hips?

Will you only breed to a stud that has both OFA hips and elbows? If you see a stud with only an OFA number for his hips and not for his elbows, do you automatically eliminate using that dog in your breeding program?

There will be those breeders that will say there are too many things to take into consideration when choosing breeding partners. They will further argue that the whole dog’s package both physically and mentally must be taken into consideration. What do you think…..only breed good hips/elbows or is it ever alright to breed those that don’t qualify for an OFA number?

From the book: THE GENETIC CONNECTION: A GUIDE TO HEALTH PROBLEMS IN PUREBRED DOGS....The Genetic Connection: A Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs offers the most complete collection ever assembled of breed-specific information for the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions with a genetic basis. For the veterinary practitioner and the serious breeder, The Genetic Connection covers more than 240 genetic disorders, including how they are genetically transmitted in different breeds, how they are best identified, and strategies to help prevent them from occurring in future generations. The book is cross-referenced by both condition within bodily systems and by breed. It includes an in-depth index and table of breeds, along with a detailed bibliography of supporting articles and texts. An appendix of the major players in canine genetics completes this substantial publication.

My rating: X-raying dogs BEFORE they're bred: (4)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I went to a funeral today to watch “Greatness” be buried. It was a sad occasion indeed. “Mediocrity” stood up at the podium and read a eulogy about “Greatness.” There wasn’t a dry eye to be found by those who were in attendance. “Mediocrity” said that all of us in this church today could only hope to strive to be like “Greatness” was. When talking about “Greatness” the word ordinary never came up in conversation. All conceded that he was beyond reproach and no one ever questioned his integrity.

There were those that never made it to the funeral today. “Must be right” decided to give her point of view while writing to someone on an e-mail list why the club needed to stay the way it was. “Meekness” could only shake her head in agreement as no one ever listened to what she had to say anyway. When backbones were given out, someone else got hers as well. So “Meekness” just went along with “Must be right” because well, maybe she is right after all!

Then there was “Good Old Sap” who goes along with everything everyone else says because being liked is more important to him then being right. He figures if the majority wants to change the club, well he’s up for anything.

“Old timer” tells everyone to leave everything alone. The club has survived all these years with things the way that it always has been. “Old timer” doesn’t like change. She believes leave things alone and stop trying to change them all the time.

“New beginnings” is bright eyed and hopeful. She wants so much to learn and hopes that she can follow in the footsteps of “Greatness” some day. “Cranky old geezer” has her nose way too high up in the air to take “New beginnings” even remotely serious. She’s of the thought that you start at the bottom, scrap and claw your way to the top like she did. Don’t look for any hand outs from her! Nope “Cranky old geezer” and “New beginnings” don’t even correspond with one another.

And how about “Under the disguise of?” “Under the disguise of” is the guy that aims to please everyone. One day he’s serious and the next day he’s the joker. Most of the time the rest of the crowd enjoys reading his e-mails and laughing at his jokes. But there are those other times that the crowd doesn’t appreciate his brand of humor when they are trying to get something serious done. “Under the disguise of” can be very shrewd while trying to win the popular vote of the day.

“Leader of the Pack” is the one everyone thinks has all the answers to the clubs problems. Sometimes she does and other times, well lets just say, everyone is left to draw their own conclusions. When she has the answers, she’s a saint. When she doesn’t, there are those that wonder why they voted her in to office in the first place.

“Quarrelsome Ed” is the guy that say’s white if you say black. No if you say yes. “Quarrelsome Ed” is the one that is out to prove everything you say is wrong. If someone says the club should stay the way it is, “Quarrelsome Ed” will say, “No it’s time for a change in the club.”

“Don’t give a damn anymore” is tired of all the bickering in the club and feels that nothing ever is accomplished anyway. So he’s moving on and won’t be renewing his membership dues come the end of the year. He feels the money he puts out for his membership dues will find a better purpose.

“Sick and tired” is moving on also. “Sick and tired” is sick and tired of all of the bickering, jealously and back stabbing. Not only is she giving up on renewing her membership to the club, she has chosen to get out of the German Shepherd Dog breed all together and has just bought herself one of those expensive designer dogs where they don’t have any AKC conformation shows anyway………well not yet.

So some remained and some left and some wondered if they should stay or leave. And those that went to the funeral of “Greatness” walked with a heavy heart from the church to his burial plot. Oh “Greatness” would have been so proud of the stone that his loyal friends bought for him. He would have looked at the headstone with pride as he read the words for all those to see that ventured past his grave site. They would read: “Here lies “Greatness” which only few hope to ever achieve; loyal beyond compare. Heaven opens her gates for him because what Heaven sends it calls home again.”

And so the battle rages on about the future of the club. While they continue to “get their points” across, some forget about the real reason they got involved in the German Shepherd Dog breed to begin with….to promote, to love, to get the word out about the best dog on earth. They forgot today that “Greatness” got buried. They forgot that today they buried the German Shepherd Dog!

From the book: HOW WE CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY: THE 9 CHOICES OF EXTREMELY HAPPY PEOPLE....Foster and Hicks conduct workshops internationally in the development of interpersonal skills. For this book, they interviewed happy people from all walks of life, from the United States to Eastern Europe. The resulting personal stories, writing exercises, and quotes together inform and instruct the reader in the nine principles discovered by the authors in their travels. Foster and Hicks use their nine choices to teach leadership development in the corporate world and also as a diagnostic tool for medical doctors. These choices include the active intention to be happy, accountability, identifying needs and desires, and centralizing goals by creating a dream list. These are followed by recasting (looking at experiences in positive ways), exploring options, appreciating every day, the art of giving, and, finally, exploring truthfulness. Similar to Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance (Warner, 1995) and the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, this is recommended for public libraries and consumer health collections.

As one reader wrote: when I stumbled across this book a few years ago, it changed everything. Of course, I still have normal bad days, times when I feel sad or discouraged. But it's different now -- I don't despair -- I know that I'm finally learned how to be truly happy, and nothing can take that away from me now. READ THIS BOOK!!

My rating: The German Shepherd Dog: (4), Club woes and troubles: (1)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I don’t think I’ll hear an argument from anyone when I say that paying a visit to your dog’s veterinarian can be very expensive. Sometimes an ordinary routine visit may find you paying for your dog to have expensive blood work done, stool samples checked, shots brought up to date, etc. Your vet may tell you he recommends that you do this for your dog or that for your dog. Before you know it, you walk out of the office having just laid out a couple of hundred dollars or more.

If you are lucky, you have a great veterinarian to take care of your animals and he has done so for many years. You’ve developed a friendship with him and if you’re a breeder, he’s willing to work with you and your breeding program. Some veterinarians do not look kindly on breeders. I know this to be true because I have a veterinarian right in my own town, not five minutes away from me. Once she found out that I was a breeder, she didn’t want to take care of my dogs any longer. One time she told me if I breed my bitch which I told her that I planned on doing, that she would not be there for me if the bitch had any problems while whelping her litter. She takes care of all of the shelter animals and is responsible for spaying and neutering them. She is very much against breeders. I should have asked her about all of the pure bred dogs that she takes care of; how does she think they got here? Needless to say, I no longer go to her. What a shame because here office is so close to me.

So we all know some very good veterinarians, but what about those that are not? What about those that make costly and sometimes deadly mistakes? Because there is no statistics on veterinary malpractice suits, it’s hard to know just how often this goes on. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) collects not statistics on this.

For comparison purposes, many industry experts look to human medicine for data. This next information blew me away. Medical errors kill as many as 98,000 people a year and probably even more according to a decade-old Institute of Medicine report widely regarded as a baseline. Wow………..I just can’t believe that that many people seeking medical attention lose their lives because of a medical error. That really is unbelievable.

Veterinarians are human after all and mistakes do happen. But who wants to own the animal that has that mistake happen to him? It could be very costly financially and in some cases deadly to the animal. Following are some stories about some of these veterinarian mistakes.

A lawyer and his social worker wife suffered from extreme distress when a pathologist’s report from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine said that their dog had osteosarcoma, an aggressive deadly bone cancer. They had discussed putting their dog to sleep so he wouldn’t suffer so much pain. They reluctantly even scheduled the euthanasia. The day before the dreaded appointment, they got a second opinion from an expert at the Ohio State University who ruled out cancer and said the dog was recovering from any injury!
Listen to this one. A woman’s dog required four surgeries to repair the damage caused when her vet mistakenly operated on the wrong leg and then to make matters worse botched that operation as well when a bone plate fractured during surgery!

Then there’s the woman’s cat that had diabetes. The poor cat spent the last two years of his life grappling with severe brain damage which cost the owner $16,000 to care for him. It turned out that her vet allowed his adult son, who was not licensed as a veterinary technician to administer insulin to the animal without supervision the records shows. The penalty that this vet received was a $250 fine and 30 day suspension of his license. Records show that he was placed on six months probation.

Animal lovers were outraged at the “slap on the wrist” type of discipline this veterinarian received. They feel that a $250 fine and a stayed suspension were completely inadequate as a deterrent. What would happen to a human medical doctor if that happened some wondered?

Even more stunning are those owners of injured animals discovering that state veterinary boards dismiss up to 80 percent of the complaints filed against their members with a legal system that regards pets as mere property. There is no way to recover damages for emotional loss.

Laws vary, but in most state courts animals are worth their market value and maybe any economic value they generate for their owners. That could be a considerable amount of money for show dogs for instance but not for most household pets.

Let’s say you have an older mixed breed dog, the value of that dog is generally considered to be under $100. It’s sad and unfair for people who care about their animals only to find out if their animal is killed or injured, they cannot sue.

These are just a few of the horror stories that some people and their beloved pets had to endure. Most vets are caring individuals and want the best for our animals. Some shouldn’t even be practicing. I used to know someone that worked for a veterinarian clinic and she once told me, “Barbara if you knew what went on here after people leave their animals, you’d be shocked!”

When we have to leave our animals over night for a procedure or operation, most of us are nervous wrecks about it. We’re concerned about our animals pulling through the operation, his recovery, etc. What we don’t need to be worrying about is if our animals are being treated properly. I remember many years ago taking someone’s cat into a vet that was sick while her owner was away. Now mind you this was the owner’s vet that she had been going to for years. I’ll never forget how that cat was taken out of his carrier and literally slammed on the table. Can I say that I was shocked? You bet I was. The owner gave him a piece of her mind on her return from her vacation and that’s the last time the vet ever saw her animal again.

If you have a great vet, then he is a God send. There’s nothing more rewarding than having a vet that cares and knows what the heck he’s doing. If he’s that good, people will travel the extra miles to go to him.

Dr. Witiak’s stories of the bond between the veterinarian, client, and pet take the reader into the exam room and on house calls to experience the laughable calamities, miscues, and surprises as well as the personal sorrows, revelations, and joys that treating animals can bring. This is a book of vignettes and personal commentary by a devoted veterinarian who is dedicated both to the science of his profession and to his personal belief in the importance of being loved and loving.
Dr. Witiak makes readers laugh when he checks a small dog’s breath and gets bitten on the nose and then makes them cry when he hugs an old man who has just lost his faithful canine friend. The stories give the reader a deeper understanding of how the unconditional love of our animals enables us to love each other better.
This is a joyous ride where readers bounce from one event to the other just like the veterinarian bounds from exam room to exam room — each with its own surprises. Readers discover just how organic caring is as Dr. Witiak works his magic, enjoying his tongue-in-cheek observations and self-deprecating humor along the way.

My rating: veterinarians: (1-4), veterinarians that work well with breeders: (4)