'Good Dog' and Competition Obedience

Lately, I've been watching the series Good Dog on Hulu.  Dr. Stanley Coren, who's the host of the show, has a lot of good advice about dogs... although there is some of it with which I don't agree.  Still, most of the advice is sound, and it's a good time waster on this three-day weekend.

One of the first things I noticed about his training methods was that they were very much in exact line with my first foray into training dogs.  When I was about 13 or 14 years old, two of the teachers at the middle school I was going to at the time were involved in competition obedience trials through the AKC.  Because of this, they decided to offer an after-school class to students and their dogs to help them learn basic obedience commands.  If it wasn't already obvious, from there it kind of snowballed for me in a big way.

But the core of the type of training that I learned then is still what I use today.  [Not particularly with Sadie -- I'll get to that in another post.]  I would still use those metal training collars, and I've never even clicked one 'clicker' in my life.

Not to say those training methods aren't great.  Just to say I've never had experience with them, and thus don't use them.

The Good Dog series I've been watching on Hulu, though, has made me really, really wish that I was back in competition obedience at the AKC shows.  One of the things I'd love to do most is take a group obedience class with Sadie.  Not only would it get us both out of the house (and hopefully help with her socialization ... and mine), but it would be a great refresher to maybe get back into dog shows again.

Here's an episode of Good Dog that has a great segment of a little bit of what competition obedience is like:

Pretty cool, no?

If you're thinking you can't compete in dog obedience at an AKC show because you don't have a purebred dog, you'd be wrong (fortunately!)  The AKC Canine Partners Program allows for registration of mixed breeds to compete in obedience, agility, rally and other events.  There are some stipulations, such as the fact that the dog must be spayed or neutered, but they're fairly minimal.  The fee for registration isn't that much, either.

Someday.  Someday, I'll be able to do all of that stuff.  But until I can, maybe one YOU can and then post about it so I can live vicariously through your actions.  :)

It's at least something neat to check out!

New/Old Sadie Videos!

I posted a couple of Sadie videos to YouTube last week!  One of them is from 2008, right after my then-boyfriend and I first got her, and the other is actually from last Wednesday.

I know I can see the difference in the way she was back then and the way she is now.  Can you tell the difference?

From 2008:

From 2012:

Hope you like 'em!

I Guess She Just Knows

So for the past few weeks, I've just been in kind of a slump emotionally.  The last few years, Sadie and I's lives have been improving, but I'm still not where I want to be.  And sometimes the hills I have to climb seem too damn steep, and I get tired and sad.

I'm sure it shows in my habits and the things that I do -- when I get into these slumps.  But Sadie just seems to know when I'm getting into one of those moods.  And she lets me know she knows.

Although she follows me around much of the time I'm home, when she knows I'm feeling down she's right at my heels.  In fact, she's right at my heels annoyingly so.  If I stop to do something around the house, I'll either have a cold nose in the back of my calf, or she'll actually lick my leg if I have on shorts.  When I turn around to look at her, she just sways her tail back and forth like, "Dude, yeah, I'm here.  What?"

Also, she pretty much has the run of the house and the furniture.  She can sleep on the bed, on the chairs ... wherever she's comfortable.  When I get into one of these slumps, though, most of the time she's right at my feet.  Sometimes, she's where my feet should be when I'm sitting in the chair, and I have to move my feet uncomfortably to the side.  And sometimes, she's where my feet should be, and I have to move my feet uncomfortably to the side, and she puts her head directly ON my feet.  And if I move my feet, she looks up at me like I've inconvenienced her greatly.

Also, when she feels she's being ignored, she will gather up one of her toys and start flinging it around.  If that doesn't garner my attention, she'll start barking at it.  And if that doesn't make me start laughing, then sooner or later I'll get a Sadietoy to the forehead.

So it seems I'm starting to come out of my slump here lately, and she is currently sleeping on the bed.  My feet are comfortably sitting in front of me at the moment.  There are no Sadietoys being flung unceremoniously at my head.

If [when] I do start feeling down again, then I'm sure to start getting leg cramps from having my feet to the side, and blinking seconds before some ragged stuffed animal comes flying at my face.  I guess she just knows.

Sadie the pooldog.

Blogville Olympics!

Sadie participated in the Blogville Olympics Marathon Chewing event!  It was pretty fun to enter, and there were a pretty good number of participants!

Click here to see the post over at Murphy & Stanley's blog with photos of all the participants!

In fact, she even won an award!  [So did everyone else, but don't tell her that...]

Here are a few more shots of Sadie's chewing marathon that weren't entered:

I actually bought this thing *expressly* for this event.

She loved it.  In fact, it was gone in about 15 minutes.

The least flattering picture, I think.  Yay chewing!

Can't wait until next year!  Congratulations to all the competitors!

Heat Stroke & A Sad Post

It's summer (if you hadn't noticed yet), and it's one of the hottest summers on record.  There's partial flooding and record heat on the east coast, fires and drought in the mid-west ... it's just absolutely miserable.

I can't stress how important it is to keep your dog cool during the summer... better bloggers have said it better than I ever could.

So, instead, I'm going to tell the story of how I killed a dog one summer.

Yes, you read that right.


I was about 13 or 14 years old.  We were living in extreme southeastern Georgia, and it was a hot, hot summer.  Then again, most summers in Georgia are hot.

Our family hadn't really gotten into Aussies yet -- we just had American cocker spaniels.  I was, at the time, really starting to get to the splitting point:  Either I would be into dog shows for years to come, or I would try to rebel and hate the entire process.  I think kids that age seem to always have something to be angst-y and over-emotional about.  I just took what I had closest to me.

So it was on this hot, summer day that the rest of my family decided to go off to do something together, and I was left alone at the house to take care of the dogs.  I don't even remember where they were going, and I guess it's unimportant anyway.  The important part was -- and this was key -- my mother had deemed me grown-up enough to stay home by myself AND also decided I was responsible enough to take care of the dogs for a while by myself, too.

This distinction was a bit of a push up to my pride.  I was flattered that my mother thought I was responsible enough to take care of the dogs.  But if I'm going to be honest, I can say that the most uplifting part of the fact that I was going to be alone was the fact that it would allow me to watch the movie we had rented again without interruptions.

I was more about watching the movie and being finally alone than any amount of responsibility that my mother was giving me.

They left, my mother letting me know that I should let out the dogs once while they were gone.  And then I was free!

In the movie went.  And I sat like a zombie in front of the screen.  About halfway into the movie, I realized I needed to let the dogs out... so I did.

I then went back to watching the movie, and promptly forgot I had let out the dogs.  In humid, baking heat.  In the middle of the afternoon.

 Engrossed in the movie, I didn't realize it until 25-30 minutes had passed.  I can't describe the immediate feeling of panic that went through me when I realized the dogs were still outside.  It was overwhelming and like a slap... I went out and looked at the dogs in the runs.

They were hot.  All of them.  All of them looked miserable... but they looked okay.  Except Cooper.

Cooper was lying on his side, and he didn't look like he was breathing.  I ran and got all of the other dogs in first, and then I went to Cooper.

Cooper was about a year old tri-color pup with an abundance of show coat and a really neat personality.  He also had a breathing problem, and just hadn't been able to handle the extended time in the sun at all.  When I went to him in the pen, his eyes were glazed open and unfocused, and his breathing was shallow.  Even in the short time I stood there, there were moments where he wouldn't take a breath at all.

I didn't know what to do.  Logic was about the only thing I had, so I reasoned I had to get him inside and get his body temperature down as fast as possible with ICE.  I know now that this is not the way to deal with heat stroke, but at the time I was clueless.  This was before the days of cell phones, and I had really no way of reaching anyone at that time.

I won't fully describe the next couple of hours.  Cooper did wake up a couple of times, disoriented and blankly staring around, as if he was completely blind and didn't remember where he was.  Then there were the long, absolutely horrible seizures.  I cried almost the entire time.  I had no idea what else to do.

When my parents got home, they didn't have time to be mad.  They took Cooper immediately to the vet, and when they got home a few hours later, they told me the vet had put Cooper to sleep.  He was beyond saving at that point.

The enormity of the fact that Cooper's death was squarely on my shoulders was probably one of the most horrible things I've ever had to deal with.  My parents didn't punish me for the ordeal.  I guess they figured the guilt I felt and the lesson I'd learned was more than enough punishment -- and they were right.

To this day, I'm absolutely fanatic about keeping my animals cool.  The air conditioner where I live went out a few weeks ago, and I almost had a panic attack.  Luckily it was fixed the next morning, less than 12 hours from when I broke.  But it was still a nerve-wracking experience.

So this summer, make sure that you keep ALL of your animals cool.  Never leave them in a car alone for ANY reason.  Make sure they have plenty of fresh water at all times.  And educate yourself on what to do in case of an emergency.

So ... this wasn't the most happy, joy-joy of posts.  But I hope that it helps make my point, and that people take the issue of summer heat seriously, especially for their pets.

Been Busy!

I know, I know, I've been neglecting this blog that no one reads.  :)

I actually have a post that I'm going to be doing soon about how important it is to keep your dog cool during the summer ... but it will be a difficult post for me to write, so I've been putting it off.

Also, I've been working a LOT due to the storms in on the east coast, and haven't had time to do too much.

In the meantime, here is a video of Sadie performing the blanket dog intelligence test.  I thought it was funny as heck.  Sadie did not agree.


Excellent Agility Post!

Just a short post to direct your attention to a GREAT post about starting in agility with your dog from the website 3 Lost Dogs.

Click here:  A Beginner's Guide to Dog Agility

I've often thought about getting Sadie into agility (definitely more about that later!), and this post offers many reasons, resources, and information about the dog sport.  Check it out!

New Video: Sadie @ East Cobb Park 6/9/12

A short video today!  Just Sadie and I walking through the park earlier this month.  It's one of the best parks close to where I live, which makes it pretty busy on the weekends.  Early morning, though, it's not crowded at all, and very peaceful.  There's a small stream that runs through the middle of the walking trails... Sadie refuses to go into the water.  :)


Great Cocker Spaniel Grooming Video

Okay, this is an awesome video of how to groom an American cocker spaniel.  REALLY nice video ... but it's an hour long, so be prepared to sit a while if you really want to know.

Lots of things Mr. Salas goes over are SO familiar.  The little flap on the edge of the ear to know where to start clipping -- using shapes like 'v's and such to figure out where to start and stop clipping -- using the lines of the fur and where they grow and determining where to clip and where to use a stripping tool -- changing the way the blades on the clipper are angled to cut different lengths of hair -- all of those are tricks all decent groomers know.

Also the dog is a really, really nice chocolate cocker spaniel with a GREAT personality that is what every cocker spaniel should aspire to be.

I have no idea if Mr. Salas' grooming products work, and I'm not being endorsed in any way, but the video is awesome and the before and after is cool as well.  If you're interested in all in grooming, give it a look!

It's More Than Just Brushing...

The video below shows the before, during, and after of me actually grooming the heck out of Sadie.

Okay, so I've said I know how to groom cocker spaniels.

... Sadie is not a cocker spaniel.


The grooming job isn't ... exceptional.  But I bonded with my dog.  And she won't bring in as many pine-needles or dirt.  And it's fur!  It'll grow back!  Really!

Sadie and I have a routine when it comes to grooming.  It's the same thing every time.  I call her over, we brush sections at a time, and when she's done she gets a cookie.  It's such a routine, that she'll turn around for me to brush her other side without my even asking her.

So brushing is just a routine, but I believe that all types of grooming -- for any dog -- is more than just that.  It's part of owning a dog, and it helps with bonding with your pet.

First of all, just even brushing your dog allows for a few different things.  You can check for parasites, skin irritations, and other problems while you're grooming.  It gives a great idea of the general health of your dog.  For instance, when I was brushing Sadie yesterday, I found a burr in the fuzz behind one of her legs.  I was able to take care of it before it became a problem.

Also, it's spending time with her.  I think she actually likes the brushing part (although she's not so keen on the 'haircut', 'bath', or 'blow-drying' parts..).  After a few grooming sessions, and working with her to train her to relax, she almost gets excited when I'm pulling out the slicker brush.

And so the grooming job I did wasn't perfect.  But my point is, even if it's not exactly the best haircut in the world, it's something every dog owner should try.  If only for the experience... trust me, as you learn what works, you'll get better at it.

I know I will.

Sadie Video: Sweat Mountain State Park #1

Sadie and I normally go out to Sweat Mountain State Park because there's an awesome dog park there.  But I was unaware until recently that there are also some awesome trails headed back into the woods at the park.

Here's a neat video of Sadie and I on our first exploration of the trails.  I hope to make some more videos of this at some point... we didn't go on hardly any of the trails, so there's a bunch more to explore.  Enjoy!


Breed Opinion: Cocker Spaniel

Let me begin by saying I doubt I will ever own a cocker spaniel again.  Ever.

I'm not going into the breed history at all.  Although I will say that if you're interested in learning about the breed history and more general information, you should check out the webpage of the American Spaniel Club.

I will go as far as to say I know more about American cocker spaniels than I do about English cocker spaniels.  And I can say that the American variety is the one that I'll be addressing here... although there are a lot of similarities between the two distinct breeds.

The main reason I will never own an American cocker spaniel again is because I'm not a fan of grooming.  Okay, I HATE grooming.  Sadie grooming is fine:  Cleaning up feet, clipping around the ears, and even brushing to help alleviate with shedding I can do.  Nooooo problem.

I don't think people realize just the amount of grooming that cocker spaniels need.  Part of that is because most cockers look like they haven't been groomed at all.  Anyone who's seen a cocker in a show clip (English or American) would, if they didn't know better, think that that's the way the dog looked naturally.  Or, at least pretty close.

But no.  It takes a lot of work to get a cocker to look as good as they do at dog shows.  But before the three hour grooming and bathing session, often times there's this:

Photo Credit:  Mike Baird from here
I won't get into the particulars, but we used to use four or five different kinds of scissors, four or five different kinds of brushes & combs, and three different sizes of clipper blades to get our cockers ready for the show ring.  Pet clips weren't as bad... but it was still an hour job on average.

The second reason I will probably not own a cocker spaniel ever again is ... you never know what you're going to get.


If you get a dog that's true to the breed's personality, everything is pretty good.  Those dogs love everyone to the point of fault -- they'll jump into the arms of your mugger and beg for cookies.  They're carefree and happy-go-lucky, and constant clowns.  They're willing to make a fool out of themselves just to make you laugh, and they LOVE to be around their people -- sometimes more than they like to be around dogs.

If you get something else, though... it's something else.  I've seen cocker spaniels that were in the lap of someone one moment, and the next they were trying to take that person's face off -- all with seemingly no provocation.  I've seen cocker spaniels that show almost every good sign that they're going to come up and lick you to death and then they try to take a finger off.

I've never seen a breed that, when the personality is bad, they have absolutely NO warning system before a bite.  Even most of the chihuahuas I've met at least will growl at you a good long while before they try to take a hand off.  Cocker spaniels go from quiet look to removing flesh at an alarming rate... if they're on the bad end of the breed personality.

I suppose every breed can be like that.  And I haven't had a cocker spaniel in a while.  Maybe things have changed now.  When we were showing them, they were still just falling out of place for the #1 most popular breed in America, and had been over-bred and had a host of problems.

And the last reason I will probably never own a cocker spaniel again is:  They are stubborn as all hell.

Cocker spaniels are SMART.  They figure things out and if they are motivated enough they can learn anything.

If they want to.

I actually got a Companion Dog title on one of our cocker spaniels when I was growing up.  I stuck it out for three years with that dog for that CD title... and I don't think I could have done it with any other dog.  Because Tattle was smart as hell... and I even think she wanted to do as I asked for the most part...

... unless something was more interesting.

... or I wasn't within sight.

... or I went more than 30 feet away.

... or some really good smell was on the ground.

... or she hadn't gotten a good night's rest that day, and man she needed a nap.

You get the picture.

I have a desire to do agility, competition obedience, or herding.  Some other dog sport or something.  And if I decide to do it with a cocker spaniel, it will take approximately 10 extra years in my opinion.

So there ya go.  My opinion on cocker spaniels in general.  I suppose I haven't really painted a glowing picture of them, but that's why I call these posts breed opinions.  :)

Do you agree with mine?


You Want Me to Groom -What-?

Grooming.  Honestly, I effing hate grooming in general.

I'm not talking about bathing.  Bathing and drying I don't have a problem with.  It's when you're pulling out clippers & scissors and dog nail clippers that I start having a problem.

I grew up in a dog-showing home that had cocker spaniels.  We had (at any given moment) a montage of at least 10 dogs.  They were (at any given time during the week) all in various stages of grooming.  So most of my formidable years were spent grooming SOMETHING every weekend.

I'm not sure if anyone who wasn't subject to that sort of thing can relate.  When you want to hang out with friends or go to the skating rink, and you mother says it's okay -- after you give Sprite and Irish a pet clip, wash three other dogs, and make sure all the crates are taken outside and scrubbed -- then you start to get a bit of resentment.

So I am REALLY, REALLY good at giving dogs a cocker spaniel haircut.  Especially a pet clip.

I am REALLY REALLY bad at any other type of doggy haircut.  Especially on a dog who is such an undefinable combination of breeds that there really is no set or good way to determine how to "properly" groom her.  [Read: Sadie]

All past dogs in my life, if they required grooming, have been given some modification of a cocker spaniel pet clip.  My old shih-tzu, Pepper, probably got the worst of it when I had him.  In fact, I actually brought him to a few dog shows where his haircut was so ... strange ... that people asked me what breed of dog he was.

So having said that, now let me say this:  I groomed Sadie over the weekend.

She looks ... interesting...

If nothing else, she will shed less & will be a bit cooler.  She doesn't look as strange as when I shaved her completely down about a year ago... but still pretty strange.  I took video, too, and I'll be posting that at some point within the next few weeks.

But I didn't take video as an instruction or informational type of video.  The results at the end will make that self-evident.

I did it because regardless of the results, and regardless of how I feel about grooming in general, grooming your dog is beneficial to both you AND your dog -- and unless Fluffy's a champion show dog with going into the ring who's trying for perfection, it doesn't freaking matter what the end result is like.

But I will be getting more into that when I put up the video.  :)

In the meantime, here is a video of a lab in a bathtub getting a bath.  This dog is more relaxed, I think, than I have ever been in my entire life.  And that's saying something:


Dog Park - Day 1

I can't say Sadie's always been a fan of dog parks.  She didn't start out as a fan of car rides, dog parks, or anything outside our little hallway when I first got her.

Now, though, she's about the dog parks.  Maybe not so much the car rides (unless there's a squirrel outside of the window), but the dog parks ... she loves those.  This particular trip was very early in the morning, so we were the only ones there.  Sometimes it's more fun that way, too.

Here's the video:

You can get a good look at her goofy combination of basset hound and sheltie when she's perched on top of the picnic table.  Soon I'll be posting some pictures of her bow-legged-ness.

Happy Saturday, all!

An Introduction to Sadiedog

I suppose I should introduce the puppy of spiffiness.

She is, after all, the coolest dog evar.*

Coolest dog evar ... if you measure coolness by length of nose.

Back in 2008, I had been living without a dog for just about two years.  For me, that was almost living without breathing.  Dogs had been a part of my life for so long, that without one I felt pretty empty -- like my life was missing something.  So after checking with my significant other at the time, I submitted an application to Sheltie Rescue of Georgia.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Two months later, I made the assumption that they didn't have a desire to adopt to me.  I had been honest, at least.  I mentioned that at the time, I was living in an apartment.  But I also mentioned that having owned Aussies in the past, I was greatly aware of the exercise requirement that a Sheltie would have.  However, I also knew that that was a story rescues hear all the time ... and most of those stories turn out to be not true.  It was true in my case, but they had no way of knowing that.

The first place I looked (after deciding that Sheltie rescue was uninterested) was at the local animal control facility.  There just weren't any dogs there that I felt would have been a good fit, although I wanted to save them all.

On a trip out to see the boyfriend's mother, she suggested we go to the closest animal shelter out there, just to look.  So we loaded up in my car and took a trip out to the Randolph County Animal Shelter.

The place was tucked away down a dirt road, in a town that consisted of a fast-food joint, three gas stations, and a high school.  When we pulled up, I was seriously doubtful I was going to find my dog there.  I thought for sure the only things that we would see were going to be Red-tick Coon Hounds and Pit Bulls.

But as we entered, there were quite a variety of dogs.  In fact, the first dog I had a one-on-one with was a little Jack Russell mix.  He didn't seem to have any interest in me, though, and I thought I was going to be disappointed again.

Then the shelter worker suggested I take out this short, funny-looking thing with Sheltie coloring.  They brought her over to me, and this dog was CLEARLY unimpressed by me.  In fact, she seemed eager to go back in the pen with the other dogs.  She was absolutely nervous to be out of her element.  She was also completely sweet, if not horribly shy, and although she was nervous she seemed to be trying to figure out what to do to ... interact with us correctly.

"That's Sandy," said the lady, looking down at the shaky, funny-looking mutt in front of me.  "We had to put her brother down a few days ago.  I think she's scheduled for a few days from now."

Well, then.

About 45 minutes later, we were in the car with "Sandy" in the back seat.  She was shaking like an epileptic and looking around with huge, brown eyes as the world zipped by us.  I had no idea what I'd gotten myself into.

Sadie, about a month after she was brought home, with her sheep man toy.

The first few months were a whole new experience for me.  All of the dogs I'd had in the past were dogs that I'd either had to calm down and train them to be not so excited, or dogs that were fear aggressive who I had to gain their trust and teach them greeting manners.

Sadie in a 'relaxed state' on the couch, three months after coming home.

"Sandy", who was now renamed Sadie, had no desire at all to interact with people.

She wasn't aggressive.  She wasn't destructive.  She wasn't excitable or ... much of anything.  In fact, for the first three days, she didn't eat anything at all.

After four months of having to bar the hallway with a suitcase so she wouldn't sit in the dark corridor and not move for hours and hours at a time, I said to my boyfriend at the time, "Maybe I should bring her back to the shelter...?"

"What?"  He looked at me as if I'd had two heads.

"She's clearly unhappy here.  Nothing that I'm doing is working.  She's miserable."

He looked at the dog, who at the time was snoozing beside me on the couch.  "First of all, she's doing great.  She's not exactly perfectly happy, but  ... look at her.  She loves you.  She wasn't doing that a few months ago..."

I peeked down at her, and she did seem relaxed, if not overjoyed to be alive.  Then again, she was asleep.  "Yeah, I guess so..."

"And if you bring her back, what do you think will happen?  Who do you think is going to adopt a dog who doesn't want anything to do with them and runs away?  If you bring her back, she's going to be put to sleep.  And that's better than trying to work with her here some more?"

"I didn't think about that."

"Well, you're not bringing her back.  She'll come out of her shell, you'll be able to help her.  You'll see."

Sadie in a 'more relaxed state' on the couch 4 months after she got home.

It's taken three years, multiple moves, a lot of stuff happening in our lives, and I've finally realized that (as a wise person once said) I didn't get the dog I wanted ... I got the dog I needed.

She's still not an 'outgoing' dog when it comes to new people.  But she's come miles and miles.  She plays!  She runs!  She chases squirrels and cats and sometimes bears!  She's funny and one of the most snuggly dogs you will ever meet.  She's smart and probably one of the best behaved dogs I've ever owned.

And she is ALWAYS interesting.  I don't know what I would do without her.

So there you go.  A very short version of the story of Sadie.  No doubt there will be more in the future.  Life with her is always exciting.  :)


* "coolest dog evar" may be a biased opinion of the author

New Toys

So Sadie and I went to the pet store today.  She needed some food.  It never fails that while I'm there, I get her something else, too.  This time we walked away with 2 toys; a rope toy and a lil' Nylabone.

Over the years, she's had one other rope toy.  She was never that interested in it -- she's not really a 'tug-of-war' kind of dog.  In fact, she is opposite of a 'tug-of-war' kind of dog.  My efforts to get her to play tug-of-war usually result in her letting go of the toy and giving me a wounded, "Fine.  If you want it that bad, just effing take it, mom.  No need to be so forceful.  Geeze.  So violent..."

Shiny new rope toy!

Still, occasionally she'll pick it up and shake it.  Occasionally, she'll shake it and let it go and it will fly across the room and bash into something breakable.  Occasionally, it flies across the room and into my eyeball.  It depends on how vindictive she's feeling that day.

She actually already has a Nylabone.  She's had this Nylabone for about 5 freaking years.  When I got it, I had no idea what kind of a chewer she'd be, so I covered my bets and got a Nylabone for "STRONG" chewers.

Sadie is not a "STRONG" chewer.  Sadie is a "dainty" chewer.  As a result, even after 5 years her old Nylabone looks like this:

The ends could put out someone's eyeball.

So I figured I'd get her a Nylabone for "dainty" chewers:

"I feel pretty!  Oh so pretty!"

I wasn't sure how she'd like it, and I couldn't really pop it out of the packaging in the store to test it.  So it had to wait until we got home to see if she'd like it.  Judging from the video below, I'd say it was a good purchase:

I'm not sure the rope toy will be as much of a hit.  Also, judging from the video, I will have to pre-think before filming to make my bed so I don't come across as a complete slobby-slob when posting videos on YouTube.  Don't judge, it's Saturday!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Breed Opinion: German Shorthaired Pointer

First of all, let me say I'm by no means an expert on anything.  So take all of this with a grain of salt.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a fairly large member of the sporting group of dogs recognized by the AKC.  They're generally a combination of liver and white, with a good number of color combinations possible.  I'm not going to go into the specifics of the physical attributes of the breed.

If you're interested, however, here are two good links:

The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
Some German Shorthaired Pointer Pictures

What I'd like to talk about, though, is their personality traits.

When I was showing dogs in the Junior Handling classes back when I was growing up, I actually had the great opportunity to show and own a GSP for a little while.  In addition, I was around them a lot at dog shows.

From my experience, GSPs have some of the coolest personalities in dogdom.  In fact, I'm not sure why they aren't more popular than they are.  Generally, the love everyone, are extremely smart, and are absolutely beautiful.  Their coat is easy to care for, and aside from a few hereditary diseases they're generally pretty healthy.

On the other hand, they can be stubborn sometimes, have an extremely high exercise requirement, and like to chew more than maybe your regular dog breed might -- although being mouthy (i.e. wanting to hold something in their mouth all the time) is a GOOD thing, considering the work they for which they were bred originally.

They're one of the few sporting breeds that still has a good-sized following that actually does field/hunting work outside of a competition arena.  That's because they stay true to their original purpose.  They're smart and aloof at the same time because they were bred to point to game -- finding it by themselves ahead of their owners and using a good deal of individual judgement to determine what to do in a situation to help with a successful hunt.

The dog I had the opportunity to live with for a while, Stacey, was absolutely awesome.  She was just a huge goofball; a huge clown.  In the show ring, she was fairly poised and it didn't take her long to be trained to show her stuff.  At home, though, she'd slobber all over everything, roll on her back in the middle of a mud puddle, or run directly at me until I was either bowled over or covered in dog drool.

She also did not stop moving while she was awake.  Granted, she was a puppy, but even as she got older her high energy was clearly much different than the rest of the American Cocker Spaniels in the house.  She'd run circles around them... and they would watch her as if she was on crack.

When she finally fell asleep, though, she was OUT.  You could pick up her legs and jiggle them around and she wouldn't move.  More than a few times I picked her completely up from a chair to put her on the floor, and she didn't even do much more than grunt at me.

A GSP would be great for an active family with kids.  Or someone who liked doing things outdoors on a regular basis.  I don't think they'd make a good apartment dog... although I suppose anything would be possible as long as they still got enough exercise.

They're one of the coolest, healthiest, and prettiest of the purebred dogs.  You just have to have a sense of humor, and be ready to deal with an EXTREME stream of energy.

If you're thinking about getting one, make sure to do your research and make your purchase from a reputable breeder.  :)  Do you have a GSP?  If so, do you agree or disagree with my opinion?  Let me know in the comments, or email me at sadievlogg at gmail dot com.

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day!  Sadie and I pretty much just sat around and did nothing, except I did do some yard work and she hung out with me while I was picking up pine cones in the yard.  She was wholly unimpressed.  There was a distinct lack of cats/squirrels to chase, and she was not about helping me at all.

Lazy mutt.

At any rate, here is a video I took today of the bird's nest that has been built by some sparrow/wren type birds in a non-used hanging flower pot in the yard.  The baby birds are in there, but you can't really see them in the video.  Momma bird was also wholly unimpressed with my video idea.  The nearby squirrels were also quite pissed off at me.

Maybe there will be a more exciting video next time.  :)


I actually had planned to write a post about some sort of breed of dog today.  However, after having given Sadie a bath and brushed her, there is only one thing on my mind; shedding.

O. M. G.

A pile of Sadiefur

What you are looking at is a pile of Sadiefur.  I brush her every other day, and this is also after a bath.  Every day I brush her, I get about this much fur off.  Yet she's still fairly fluffy, and has a bunch of undercoat still.

Where the hell does it come from??  Does she have some sort of super-fur follicles and it grows back immediately after it falls out??  Is she pulling it from a 3rd dimension?  Does she really not have that much fur, but when she does go outside she sucks extra fur from the air that belongs to other tan colored dogs?

You would think, having had Australian Shepherds at one point in my life, that I'd be used to the shedding.  Honestly, I don't remember very well that far back, but I don't remember any of the Aussies having this huge of a shedding problem.  Maybe it's a combination of her basset hound and sheltie that makes her shed like a husky with a dire need of Rogaine.

I -do- remember that the husky was an epic shedding machine, twice a year.  I remember that as if it were yesterday.  The husky shedding made this pile of Sadiefur look miniscule and diminutive and other words that mean small.  When I was living with the husky and it was the time of year for EPIC SHEDDING, I had fur everywhere, even with baths, brushing, and forced-air drying with a professional grooming dryer.  I fur in orifices, people.  Think about that.

So look at the pile of Sadiefur, multiply that by about 10, and then wonder if you want a husky as a pet.  Heh.

I actually did have a de-shedding tool at one point.  During my numerous moves, it appears to have vanished.  Trust me, I looked for it everywhere.

Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, this will taper down.  Until then, vacuuming, sweeping, and epic brushing will be an almost daily routine.

My next dog will be hairless, I swear.

Introduction to Sadie's Mom

Hi!  I'm Sadie's mom.

First of all, let's get the preliminaries out of the way.  I'm 36 years old, single, and live in Georgia.  There.  That should be enough.

Now, about why I'm writing a blog about dog stuff...

Starting from the age of about 6, I was always around dogs.  In fact, my mother still 'blames' me that the family got into showing dogs.  When I was in 5th grade, two of the teachers at the school I was going to at the time had a student dog obedience class that was held once a week after school.  I signed up for it, and attended with our mutt at the time, Kris.

After that, it was a LIFE filled with dogs.  My mother acquired an American Cocker Spaniel named Dizzy.  From there, we started showing and breeding them.  I got involved in junior handling and even wrote a junior handling column for one of the American Cocker Spaniel breed magazines.  I can't remember a weekend in my youth where I wasn't at a dog show ... or at least grooming and bathing dogs to go to dog shows in the future.

From there, our family eventually got into a different breed, Australian Shepherds.  And that's when the obedience bug took over.  I helped my mother teach 4-H dog obedience with our local 4-H club, and eventually even got a Companion Dog title on my pup at the time, Tattle Tail.  [She was a Cocker Spaniel.  I have no doubt there will be stories forthcoming about that, lemme tell you...]

I grew up, got married, and while I was married worked at several veterinarian clinics and also the local Humane Society.  While married, we were the proud owners of a Shih-Tzu named Pepper and a Siberian Husky named Shiloh.  I even managed to get the AKC Canine Good Citizen title on the Shih-Tzu.

My divorce allowed me to take Pepper with me, while my husband decided to keep Shiloh.  During it all I was always training and learning new things.

Eleven years later, after moving around a bit and having to say goodbye to Pepper, I decided I couldn't live without a dog.  I traveled to a Humane Society in rural Alabama, and that's where I met Sadie.  Sadie and I have been together for 5 years now, and she's been something else -- to put it mildly.  I've never had a dog like her, nor have I been so challenged.  But I'm sure I'll be spewing about that, too.

So over the years, my life has been filled with dogs.  I have a lot of knowledge about "old-school" obedience, a good deal of different breed knowledge, and a love of dogs that borders on obsessive.  So, I figured, Why not write about it?

So there you go!  I hope to be doing posts here a few times a week on different subjects that cross my mind.  Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or disagree.  But mostly, this is a place for me to toss out all of the doggy ideas I have flying around my head that I feel I need to get out.  I guess that's your warning.  :)



My name is Sadie's Mom.

Well, okay, that's not what's on my birth certificate, but it might as well be at this point.

I am the proud owner of a 100% certified rescue mutt named Sadie, who is a big part of my life.  She's such a big part of my life, in fact, that I thought that she deserved her own blog.  She is about 5 years old, and is a basset hound/Shetland sheepdog mix that I got from a shelter in Alabama about 4 1/2 years ago.  But there will be more about that later.

Here on this blog, I hope to have posts about many things.  Not sure yet what will be included, but I have lots of ideas.  Hopefully, they will be entertaining... but mostly they'll just be my rambling about all things dog - including Sadie-specific posts.

Hope all goes well!  :)