Wednesday, August 29, 2007

13 Uses for Dog Fur

1) No further need for bookmarks,you can easily identify where in your book you left off by presence of fur and sometimes pawprints.
2) Helps identify corners in the house that need dusting
3) When found in food, decreases guests' appetite, thereby saving grocery bill
4) Worms it way into all electronics, giving owner an excuse to buy new stuff all the time
5) Encourages selecting clothes that match the dog, so no one at work sees the dog fur. Much simpler when you only want "dog colors" at Nordstrom. And they actually know what you mean when you say that, they must have an excellent training program.
6) Warns CATS to stay AWAY. And by "CATS" we mean anything non-Lab that is in the backyard. That especially means you, SQUIRREL!
7) Gives that Dyson a reason for its expensive existence.
8) When planning home decor, it's best to plan around dog fur color. Fur makes decorating a little simpler, as only dog colors are allowed.
9) Makes all the money spent on expensive air filtration system seem like a wise investment, despite evidence to the contrary.
10) Makes for a good joke when at a tense work meeting and can't think of anything more innocuous to say.
11) Chasing fur bunnies the size of Godzilla out from under the bed is really fun on a Sunday afternoon. Really.
12) Makes the vacuum repair shop so happy when the Dyson that no longer has suction shows up for yet another cleaning.
13) Makes a house a home sweet home.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

13 Things that bug me

I'll be more positive next week, but this week I am presenting my pet peeves from twenty years in the competition dog world, as a competitor, instructor, and club member. (#1 is the one most likely to get me to walk up to the offender)

1) You are standing around talking with your dog on a leash. You finish talking and start to walk away. Nope, you don't give your poor dog any warning, he just gets his neck yanked on. Because you are mean.
2) Dogs that are perfect at home are rarely so in class. Do NOT tell me "he sits perfectly at home". You are not at home.
3) People who want me to train their dog, so he can be a perfectly behaved like mine. First, mine aren't perfect. Second, I train my dog. For about 10 minutes a day. Got ten minutes? I bet I am actually busier than you....and I have 10 minutes.
4) People who come to class with out-of-control dogs AND out-of-control kids. Look, you've already proven you can't train a child, what do you think I can do with you?
5) People who don't want to train with treats "because my dog will just come to expect them". I wish your employer would say they can no longer give you a paycheck for the same reason.
6) Folks new to dogs who are past the "everyone knows more than I do" stage and have moved into the "I know more than everyone else" stage. Guess what, there is always more to learn. And you might learn it from anyone, so quiet down and listen up.
7) Anyone who "evangelizes" their training method. This especially includes P+ trainers...lighten up...use some P+ methods on people instead of tearing into them because they haven't seen your light yet. Maybe you can teach them something. Maybe they can teach you something.
8) Perfection level obedience people. You know, I have never once been asked what my scores were. Only if we got the title. (for you non-obedience folks, that's like asking your kids "did you graduate" vs "what was your GPA". Come to think of it, I've never been asked what my GPA was, only my degree - a Master's.)
9) People who can't let their dog just be a dog.
10) People who are too serious to have fun with their dog.
11) People who won't let their dog in the house because he is dirty. Ever hear of a bathtub? Great invention. BTW, your kids are pretty dirty too, can I put them in the run when you bring them over?
12) People who get two puppies at the same time, from the same litter, "so they can be each other's buddies during the day", then complain to me that they are more bonded to each other than to humans. Gosh, wonder why.
13) People who get a new puppy, then go on vacation. Without the puppy. I have never understood this. A puppy is not like a purse, it's a commitment. Cancel the vacation. You can teach a dog every skill he will need to survive in a humans world in the first 8 weeks. Go on vacation, well, you have missed out on that magic window. And you wonder why your dog is the slow learner in the obedience class.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Dogs win MEDALs

We love it when dogs are heroes....

Lucky and Flo, Black Lab heroes

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Does clicker training really work?

You bet! Here's a collie that was taught to retrieve a HOT DOG....enjoy!

Good BOY!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rental dogs

Only in New York.....

BTW, I will never be for rent.

Read about Rental dogs in Manhattan

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

13 things my Labs have eaten

As you might have noticed, I have Labs. Labs are, well, special, especially in terms of what they will find edible.

I was recently given my third copy of "Marley and Me". With all due respect to the author, I am pretty sure Marley was a snap to handle compared to some of my dogs. BTW, I don't need any more copies, thanks.

So, for your enjoyment, here's a list of the strangest or most expensive things that my Labradors have been deemed tasty, along with the dog's name and incident year. No dogs were ever harmed during these misadventures, but my sanity was threatened several times.

1) A novel that I was on the last chapter of. [Splash, 2007]

2) Two tubes of lipstick, remains smeared into carpet. [Splash, 2005]

3) One electronic door-lock key chain thingie for my Toyota, replacement cost, $200. [Splash, 2005] With photo goodness!

4) One rather large rock, of shape and size somewhat like a kiwi. The rock was unwisely placed in the dinner bowl at the advice of a veterinarian to slow down the alarmingly fast Lab-eating-process. Rock was simply added to the meal by the Lab. Don't worry, the entire meal came back up again promptly. On the carpet. [Chuck, 1989]

5) Uncountable pairs of jeans and shorts, all of which had held treats in the pockets, at least until the pocket and the treats were eaten. [all the dogs, every year, will I ever learn?]

6) One bright green highlighter, followed the next day by some amazing green-colored poop. [Holly, 1990]

7) The metal connector pipe that goes between the toilet and the wall, quickly followed by bathroom-flooding hilarity! [Chuck, 1986]

8) Technically not eaten, rather thrown into the toilet: a talking dog toy, which proceeded to malfunction for several days and drive me crazy figuring out where the *&$#? noise was coming from. [Splash, 2004]

9) One each of about 8 pairs of socks. Missing sock usually found following canine throwing-up sounds that strangely are only heard in the middle of the night. [Chuck, 1986-1988]

10) The cable television wiring along the north side of the house, which was unwisely placed within canine jumping-up reach. Cable pulled from inside to outside, and chewed into little bits of course. The cable box, on which the television had been resting, was yanked 3 feet through the air to the exterior wall. The television was miraculously undamaged despite its fall to the floor. [Jill, 1996]

11) Any electrical wiring, extension cords, appliance cords left exposed. (note to dog owners: always unplug everything. Even stuff that's on a shelf. Canines are clever, devious, and generally hungry.) [Jill, the Dog-Who-Was-Fond-Of-Wiring, 1996]

12) One telephone cord, chewed while I was on the phone, thereby ending the conversation and allowing me to return my full attention to the dogs. [Chuck, 1988]

13) A corner of a rather small Persian rug belonging to a family friend. About the size of a bath mat, the rug didn't look like much, but when we took it to a dealer for repairs, we found it was worth an astonishing amount. Equally astonishing was the repair bill, which was aboout $1200. [Chuck, the Dog-Who-Taught-Me-The-Value-Of-Crates, 1986]

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Code Monkey

Here's a link to one of my favorite songs. It was part of Jonathan Coulton's "Thing a Week" project, where he actually wrote and recorded one song each week. This one's my favorite....

Code Monkey!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

13 Reasons to ignore Harry Potter

I read a lot. I've read all the Harry Potter books. This last book, however, made me realize that J.K. Rowling is....well, she is just not a very good writer. I know they are children's books, but for engaging, well written, and imaginative, try #1 on my list.

I've focused on books that I think have been overlooked by many, so there are few best-sellers here. Best-sellers are easy to find. These aren't, but they are worth looking for:

1) "Tithe" by Holly Black. Oh, how I love this book. Imaginative, compelling, and well written. She has also written "Valiant" and "Ironside", set in the same world, and of course the "Spiderwick Chronicles", which has been made into a movie coming out soon.

2) "Night Watch" by Sergei Lukyanenko. What's the difference between good and evil, freedom and responsibility? Also recently translated are Day Watch and Twilight Watch. If you are so inclined, do NOT bother with the awful American movie remake -- see the original Russian one.

3) "Pattern Recognition" by William Gibson. I don't know why Hollywood is so gaga over Philip K. Dick. Maybe it's because they don't actually read? In book after book, Gibson takes the online culture, and extends it in some amazing way. Bonus trivia: Gibson coined the term "Cyberspace".

3) "Complications" by Atul Gawande. An honest appraisal of the medical residency program and how it affects patient care, both positively and negatively.

4) "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephensen. I won't even attempt to explain this book, but it's Cyberpunk and over 1000 pages, and about, er, gold and cryptography.

5) "The Eight" by Katherine Neville. Okay, Rowling-esque warning: this book blows the socks off of the "Da Vinci Code", but it's written....well, it was her first novel and it shows. Still, it has an amazing plot.

6) "Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog" by Vicki Hearne. Actually, I'll recommend anything by Vicki Hearne, she has an amazing affinity for animals and is an engaging writer. Jon Katz is more popular, but honest-to-god, he's had dogs for, what, 10 years and published six books already? How much can he possibly have to say? Try Hearne instead.

7) "For the Love of a Dog", by Patrica McConnell. Or anything by Pat, and if you get the chance to hear her speak, drop everything and just go.

8) "Education of a Wandering Man" by Louie L'Amour. His autobiography, and what an interesting life.

9) "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea" by Charles Seife. Who would have thought a book about nothing could be so interesting? Did you know at various times zero has been worshiped, banned, considered demonic, and used to fend off Satan?

10) "The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood" by Sy Montgomery. Another engaging, empathetic writer. My dog Splash chewed up my copy when I was on the last chapter, so I had to go to the bookstore and read the last few pages there.

11) "The Coming Plague" by Laurie Garrett. Forget how it sounds, this book tells the story of amazing researchers at the CDC, who work in hazardous conditions for low pay, and protect us all. Plus, emerging infectious diseases rock!

12) "A Dog's Life", by Peter Mayle. Okay, almost a best-seller, but who can forget the line "The House of 1,000 bottles, most of them empty." Anyway, we approve of books about dogs.

13) "A Winter's Tale", by Mark Helprin. I missed this one when it came out, and I just recently discovered it. I haven't finished it yet, but it's already on my 13 list, and that is saying something.

I've purposely left dog training books off this list. That's a topic for another day. Happy Thursday!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Tired Splashy

Originally uploaded by olmikeydog

We had a great weekend. I went on three walks. I'm a little tired in this photo, but I am waiting for Meerkat Manor to come on. Mom's watching Shark Week, and I'm a bit annoyed. Meerkat Manor ROCKS.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dog Shoots Owner

All I can say is....whoah dude.

Read all about it

13 things I like

I only have two things that I really love (an old sock and a toy hockey puck), and two is not the same as 13, so today I have a guest post from my mom.

What Splash's mom likes:

1) Agility practice, even though we almost never compete. I meet so many people who love their dogs and treat them the way I treat my own. Plus, it is good exercise for me and the dogs.

2) Bodybuilding. I joined World Gym a few months ago, and I'm working out with a trainer who looks just like an action figure. I am much stronger and fitter in just a few months. When I am working really hard, he calls me "monkey butt". Not sure if that is a compliment or not, but I think it might be.

3) I don't know why, but I've gotten used to keeping my bookmarks there, all nicely organized, and I don't know what I would do without it.

4) The TV show "Eureka", because it doesn't take itself seriously, and that is always refreshing. Plus it is SciFi and NOT Star Trek (yawn) so that is good.

5) My job. Yup I am a true geek and I like my job. I go home and read books for my job. I'm reading Everything is Miscellaneous" at the moment, and it's really thought-provoking.

6) The Nordstrom shoe department. 'Nuff said about that.

7) ColdFusion and the CF programming community.

8) Hanging out in my backyard, playing with dogs.

9) My MacBook pro, which runs OSX AND Windows....that is way cool.

10) Labrador retrievers, pretty much every one I have ever met. I cannot imagine a more happy-go-lucky breed. Did you know that Labs have been the #1 breed in the WORLD for the past 20 years? (Sorry Cal and Freda but there it is).

11) My Chemical Romance. Yup my big dark secret is that I adore Goth Rock. :-p

12) Anything pink. Especially hot pink. Maybe Splash would look good with pink fur?

13) All the people I have met, virtually, through blogging. You guys are awesome.