Middle school. Home Ec. class. You totally thought you had accomplished something. They taught you how to make 'real' food and make a felt pillow shaped like a cupcake. I mean, really, what more is there to know?
Do you know WHY they taught you to make these delightful 'Hotdog Roll-Ups' (their words, not mine)?
Let me tell you. (Hint: It's not because they're oh so good for you.)
They teach you how to make these because they want you to survive college.
Oh, those other classes tell you they're 'preparing you for college' all the time. They're full of crap. Home Ec class is teaching you how to SURVIVE!
Cuz, you see, when you're a broke college student with a $10 grocery budget - you need to know this stuff.
They're making sure than when you're at Aldi's and you see a package of unidentified carcass sticks (the 'proper' name for hotdogs) for $.79 in the same case as a $.99 tube of generic crescent rolls - you can say to yourself, "Wait a minute, I know EXACTLY what to do with that!" And then, you will go home and make yourself a 'delicious' meal... Well, a meal anyway.
Never mind your moral objection to unidentified carcass sticks. Now is not the time for such foolishness.
You just made an entire meal for $1...and you still have enough to do it again tomorrow. THAT, my friends, is saying something! (let's just hope it's not saying e.coli)
....hmmm... I know I have some of that Pepto Bismol around here somewhere...
Lots of people donate to various charities during the holidays. I'm still not sure exactly why this is - considering there are so many other financial strains at this time, but I guess that's just how it is.
So, I feel in some small way it is my duty to remind people to know what they're giving to before they just hand over their cash.
Some people have the money to be able to give without a second thought. That's not me. It's important to me that my money do the most it possibly can - because there's not much of it.
This is an organization many people are familiar with.
I NEVER give my money to this organization. Let me tell you why.
I don't appreciate being deceived. Many people believe that when they give their money to the HSUS, it is going to the dogs, cats, and other animals in need of care. They believe this because the HSUS goes to great lengths to get them to believe it. Sadly, it's not true. You can read about one specific example of this here. See, that place in your city often called the Humane Society that houses homeless dogs and cats hoping to be adopted is NOT The Humane Society of the United States. I know, sneeky, right? The money you give to the HSUS is not really going to the care of those pets sitting in kennels in your town. It's going to things like lobbyists, advertising, and board member salaries. The HSUS is an animal rights group (much like PETA), not an animal care taking organization. In fact, many people call HSUS "PETA in as suit and tie". There really isn't that much difference between the two.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I think things like lobbying aren't important. They are. Lobbying is the way many of the animal welfare laws have been brought to the attention of legislators and passed. I'm also not going to tell you that I necessarily agree with everything the HSUS lobbys for. (but that's a whole different discussion) Either way, I want my money to go where I think it's going. I don't like being tricked. I want my money to go to the local dogs and cats who need it.
THIS is why I NEVER give money. I find the best way to give is by giving supplies the shelter needs. When I see the brand of dog food my local shelter uses (Purina Dog Chow in Green Bay) on sale - I buy some. When paper toweling is on a great sale - I buy a bunch. When my dogs get bored with some of their toys, I wash them and donate them. Many pet supply stores even have a bin you can put the stuff in right there so you don't have to make a special trip out to the shelter. And if I ever decide to give money - I'll give it directly to the shelter or rescue I want it to go to.
So, if you're going to give this holiday season (and I hope you do), just remember that all is not as it seems. Educate yourself, and ask questions. The dogs will thank you for it.
Like a mist, consciousness drifted over the drowsing group. Here and there a
muzzle lifted so the owner could scent-scan the air. A dozen pairs of ears
swiveled and then pricked. She was coming. One by one, they sensed her
A heavy tail thumped as a Samoyed gazed down the starry path. It had been a
long time for him, this waiting. No matter, the feel of her caress was fresh
and unfaded. He had slumbered for over forty years, paws twitching, dreaming
of her arrival and of dashes of mountain trails. He never knew when his
breath had frozen mid-dream. He had just continued his sleepy vigil.
"She comes." The knowledge passed from dog to dog. A shaggy form rose and
yawned. How many steps had he taken at her side through busy happy years, through lean and bitter years? Nearby, a nervous whine escaped the wolfish throat
of a more anxious creature.
A shifting weight from paw to paw betrayed the restlessness of the show dog.
His immaculate coat showed now rumpling from his long repose. Beside him, a
little bitch crept forward to peer between the shoulder of those in front of
Across the broad expanse, dogs were rising, throwing off the effects of
their deep slumber. Ice crystals from New England, the Rockies, Alaska, the
Arctic and Antarctic were flung into the air to mingle and fall with a minute
They all knew she had loved them. The unchangeable law that a dog's life is
of short duration compare to man's had doomed her to countless partings. Her dogs would be waiting, the old timers said, to pull her sled throughout
eternity. The musher's legend had comforted her and years later when she was frail
and aged, she would think of her dogs resting expectantly, timelessly until
the reunion should come. Could such a lovely thought come true?
Closer. She was very near now. A small fox of a Siberian stirred and climbed
to her feet. She was dwarfed by a grey giant who had pushed to the front of
the crowd. They shared a question, "who will lead to the mistress?"
The answer came as a massive paw extended and flexed. Tawny fur quivered as
the dog stretched and shook off decades of sleep. The mistress' first lead dog
would be her leader now.
The great dog went to stand far ahead of a grey-weathered sled. Slowly,
tentatively, the multitude found their places. The legend was coming alive. A
promise was being kept.
A chubby, clownish face turned to look back. It split into the trademark
Husky grin. All stood ready. She was here.
The mistress stepped across the threshold and paused. Her breath caught. Her
heart thumped and last beat. The scene cleared before her as years fell away
from her eyes, her body. It was true - all as it had been foretold.
A team of a thousand strong stood before her. Sled dogs of every
description...each a well-loved friend eager to away, to race down the trail. A querying
bark from the golden dog broke her reverie. She smiled. With the swift,
free motion of a youth, she stepped upon the runners and placed her hand on the
driving bow. Team, sled, and driver sprang ahead and vanished in a flurry of
snowflakes and windrush. Godspeed.
A hardy and eager worker, the Samoyed is known for black lips that curl slightly at the corners into the "Samoyed smile." Bright and alert, he likes to stay busy and enjoys participating in agility, herding, weight pulling, sledding, pack hiking, conformation shows and more! His heavy, weather resistant coat is suitable for very cold climates and should be pure white, white and biscuit, cream or biscuit.
Check out that Samoyed smile:
Speaking of smiles... I know somebody else who's smile I love:
Hmmm... come to think of it, maybe that's why I like those Samoyeds so much. They remind me of my Lilly.
They're practically twins... ya know, minus the black nose, purkey ears, and great big coat...
I took it this evening. Then, feeling a little frisky, I downloaded a free photo editor so I could play with it. It's called Paint.net and it's quite awesome. This particular feature is the 'oil paint' effect. It's faboo!
I love this one too...
It's called "pensil sketch". I can tweak the thickness of the pensil strokes to make the shading darker or lighter and everything... it's just plain cool!
OOhh Ohhh! And "sepia"...
Oh, be still my heart, that girl sure is pretty.
If any of these pictures strike your fancy, and you would like a high-res. copy to print out and hang on your fridge, or make as your desktop background... you can find them here:
The point of this blog was to tell the story of my dogs. Sometimes I lose track of that.
That's ok. They don't mind.
Since it's not all that long since Thanksgiving and we're heading toward Christmas - I've been thinking about what I'm truly thankful for... about what truly brings me happiness in my life.
Bailey is one of those things.
Ten years ago I wanted solid, stable, capable, fearless dogs. Preferably a pair or Rottweilers. I had been training for only a few years, but I was pretty good at it. I dreamed of beautiful militant dogs who asked how high when I told them to jump.
I never got my militant Rottweilers. (but I did eventually learn the Rottweiler in my head and the Rottweiler in real life were two very different breeds)
What I fell in love with was a fearful, anxiety filled, chicken shit German Shepherd mix who just plain shut down when he couldn't deal with the situation at hand. He ran from men, and shook violently in new places. If he was off leash, he just plain ran. I wanted him to learn new things, and all he wanted to do was hide in the corner and shake like a leaf. I loved him dearly, but we did not get along very well for the first few years.
At home, I would call him to me and he would run into his kennel for fear I was going to force him to do something - he didn't know what, and he didn't want to find out. His obedience was surprising great in a familiar place, but his previous training had not been a positive thing in his life.
I felt like all I was able to accomplish with him was to make us both miserable. Some days I just hated him and thought I really made a mistake adopting him. Some days I felt completely unqualified to help him. Technically, I was.
I changed all his commands to German and started to focus on what he needed from me rather than what I wanted from him. I began to find the ability to let go of my unrealistic expectations. Slowly, he started to teach me and I started to figure out how to help him overcome his anxiety.
People who know my dog today simply don't believe me when I tell them the dog they are petting at one time would have run away from them peeing all over himself and shaking violently. Had he been a fear-biter, he never would have made it past 6 months of age.
Now, I truly love working with shy/soft dogs. They force me to turn off the brash personality that comes naturally to me and figure out how to soften myself and help them build confidence and work through their fears.
I love that boy with all my heart and can never repay him for all he has taught me. I'm glad he's getting a chance to live the life he deserves to live now. I hope it continues to be a long and healthy one.
Today, he is registered as: Edles Lehrer vom haus Treehugger