Friday, September 25, 2009

Do not read if you are a sensitive soul

So I'm on a Weineramer roll. I aluded in an earlier post to the dogs eating a bluebird nest so here's the story...

I take these dogs to a forest service road on Mitchell hill in Preston. We get a few hundred feet in and they get to go off leash. Lately they have bee eating everything in sight. Blackberries, human poo, dirt, grass etc. But the worst were the blue jays.

So one day we were walking along and they started snorking around in the bushes. The male raised up his head and and had a baseball sized bundle of twigs in his mouth. "Drop it" I barked automatically. For all the problems these dogs have this seems to be a command they obey. So he dropped it.

I walked over to see what it was. It turned out to be a birds nest containing four freshly hatched chicks. Very nearly embryonic and partially chewed. Oh shit, now what do I do?

Obviously since they were on the ground at such a young age they weren't going to survive. Add to that the fact they were now chewed and these poor birds were for sure goners. I started to walk away. I came back a few seconds later. Then left and then came back. I probably spent a good ten minutes trying to decide what to do. Talking to myself and cursing on the trail. Do I walk away? Try to save them? Let the dogs finish the job? I have a huge problem with letting anything suffer. So what did I do?

I found a large rock and killed the birds. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I hope I never have to do it again. Now I hated it while I did it but feel no guilt now that it's done. I'm curious what would my blogger friends have done? I really see no alternative to what I did. What do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If you read my last post you met these dogs. They were not in this condition 4 months ago. I wrote a post about how they were eating everything in sight. Well two weeks ago I realized why...they are starving.
It's funny when you see a dog practically everyday you don't immediately realize changes. Two weeks ago after watching them eat human feces, a blue jay nest (with the baby blue jays in it...another post), the trash in my car and many other things I realized they were painfully thin. 
Right about the time I started taking care of them their owners changed their food to a raw diet. I don't really approve of raw diets. I think a high quality kibble is fine. It can be hard to get the proper amount of nutrients when feeding raw. But I said nothing they aren't my dogs. Then I finally took a good look and noticed the bones sticking out. The owner was home and I spoke to her. She said "Yes, we noticed too. We are feeding them more"
A week passed....they got thinner.
I spoke to her again. "Yes, I TOLD you were are feeding them more" 
Two weeks passed...they got thinner. Now had she really fed them the right amount for their energy level and metabolism two weeks should have been eough time to see progress in their weight gain, dogs do not mess around. So today I decided to not let them off leash and leash walk them. They try to eat everything on the trail and it's dangerous. 
The male had a bowel movement that was black and the consistency of asphalt....possibly showing intestinal bleeding. I lost it. I called the owner and told her until the dogs had a clear vet check I would no longer walk them. Then I cried for these poor animals
I fed them every treat in my bag. How can people do this to their animals?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Do not read if you have a weak stomach or are eating

The above video is of two new clients Graham and Daisy. Most of the time I feel superior to you working stiffs. "I am doing what I love" I think while wearing a smug smile. "Ha ha ha look at all those suckers going to an office everyday". I muse disdainfully to myself.

Then the universe gives my uppity ass a reality check. Today was one of those days. Today I detested dogs, wanted nothing to do with another four legged friend again.

Here's why...
These dogs are Weineramers. Most people know them from the William Wegman pictures.

He made them seem pliable, calm and almost human. They aren't by any stretch of the imagination. They are large game hunting dogs orginally from Germany. They are protective, territorial and can be aggressive if not socialized early. They are not "beginning"dogs. High energy and intelligent they can be a handful. They bark and run very fast.

They aren't my favorite breed, I'll admit. So twice a week I pick up these two dogs, put them in the car and take them to a very nearly vertical forest service road and let them run off their beans for an hour. It's exhausting. Every time I get to the house they attack. Jumping, barking and the female jumps on top of the male humping like a horny sailor.

Today was no different. I got there and was immediately attacked.Fending them off I leashed them off while pushing the female off the male about ten times. I threw them in the back of my car and took off. On the way to the trail we saw a doe and two small fawns. I paused to watch and was hit from behind by two snarling spitting barking beasts. The deer ran off. I pulled up to the trail and managed to get both beasts out of the car.

Once on the trail I have to let them drag me several hundred feet before taking off their leashes. Once I do they take off and I have a small amount of peace. Not today. I released the hounds of hell and they took off. I walked sighing to myself when all of a sudden I was NINJA HUMPED the female came crashing out of the forest hit me from behind and furiously went at my back. This is an 80 pound dog. I managed to get loose and kept going. She tried it FOUR MORE TIMES!! The last time I threw her five feet off the trail with a growl into some blackberry bushes.

We kept going. I realized there were workers on the trail. The dogs have "excellent recall" ah huh. I call they don't come.They attack the workers with tongues and paws.Fortunately they are good natured and we move on. We get to the bottom of the trail and there is a man with a Boxer who he says is afraid of other dogs. They won't come..I am mortified. I resort to turning tail and running into the forest to get them to chase me. They do and the female attempts another hump. At this point I growl (literally) an she stops.

We head back up the trail. When we get almost to point where I know the workers are I see the dogs off the trail eating something........ Oh god, is it something dead? I wish...

See apparently one of the workers had a call of nature. It happens, no judgement on my part. But now it's being enthusiastically consumed. Fighting my stomach I swat them away from it and get them going again. They run ahead to say hello to the workers. I round the bend to see one of the workers allowing the dogs to lick his face....

I drove them home with my head out the window.

Today I hated my job

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

So what do I do?
I'm having a bit of a conundrum about these shoes. Here is the story...
About a month ago I got a package delivered by UPS. It wasn't mine. See I had a PO Box when I lived in the crazy lady's house in Preston. So the person who now has the box ordered ink for his printer to the box but UPS doesn't deliver to PO boxes. So since I had a forward on the box they sent it to me.
At first I didn't notice it was UPS so I took it to the post office, they wouldn't take it even though I was in the post office where the box was located. So then I went to the place you can drop off UPS packages, they wouldn't take it. They said the driver wouldn't take it and I had to call for a pick up or just keep it.
So I went home and tried to google this guy and found his facebook page. I figured if he lives close I'd go give him his ink. I gave him a day or two to respond. He didn't. So I went to UPS with the plan of explaining the situation and if they refused I was going to throw the box at them and run away! I was spending way too much time trying to do a good thing. I explained, the clerk seemed to understand and I left the box.
Two weeks later it was back on my doorstep. So this time I opened it trying to find maybe a phone number, nothing. So I called Kodak and explained the situation. They put me on hold for so long I got irritated and hung up. I decided to give up and wait and see if UPS came looking for it.
That night the guy emailed me from my email to him on Facebook and asked if I still had the ink. I said yes and since I was passing by his work the next day I agreed to drop off the ink. The next day I did. He was very sweet and gave me a bag from his work (report shoes), an umbrella and some other stuff. When I looked in the bag there was a letter from him offering me a pair of shoes for being so nice. I looked at the website and boy I wanted these shoes, totally cute.
But I turned him down explaining that it wasn't necessary. He insisted as I frankly hoped he would. I picked out the above shoes and picked them up. Truthfully I felt a little uncomfortable taking them because I feel his gift to me was out of proportion with what I did for him but pleased with the shoes.
Here's the rub...they don't fit. Every shoe in my closet is an 8.5 but they don't fit. I was disappointed, I like the shoes. Mark says to call him but I feel weird about making him work more on something he didn't have to do.
What would you all do? I don't think I can call but before I tried them on I sent him an email thanking him again. If he responds and asks if I like them I may tell him then but I don't think I can call. Is that weird?

Friday, June 05, 2009

What I never say but would like to...

I generally don't work with serious aggressive dogs. I did once and this is what happened.

Now granted that was five years ago and now I feel better equipped to deal with what may happen but I mostly refer on to a person who has been training dogs for over 20 years... not five.

When I worked in the Home Decor store I could sell an ugly vase with a smile on my face and know the consequences weren't dire. Sure the neighbors might whisper behind the home owners back but it wasn't life or death.

Now it is.

Recently I had two cases of aggression come to me. The first was a Border Collie mix who would basically try to kill any other dog she met while leashed. The owner called and said they just eeded a little "brush up" on their manners. Slowly I pulled out of her that the dog had bitten a dogwalker, menaced her three children (backing one into a corner) and the whole murderous rampage while walking thing. She seemed dedicated to this little dog named "Tulip" and scheduled an appointment quickly with my referral person.

The second was a mini schnauzer named "Annie" who came to me through a shelter referral. Annie was exhibiting strange repetitive behavior, circling exclusively to one side, and had recently rushed out to rip at the pants of a neighbor. She as of that point hadn't bitten anyone...yet. I referred her on too. She too quickly made an appointment.

Now I come to find out both owners scheduled one appointment and then never followed through. Never made another appointment, never worked with their dogs and ow want to "rehome" these aggressive pooches. Here's the letter the other trainer got from one

We have tried to use the clicker more, but since we are not home that much it has been hard to train her. She is better around strangers while we walk the dog but still ballastic with people coming to our house unless they have the time to get to know her.-and most of the time they don't-Kid's friends (in and out of the house ) and solicitors, repair people. We put her in the crate. I'm afraid she might run out the door with the kids not being that careful. She was doing so good at the park that we let her off leash and she plays with the other dogs. Unfortunely a couple weeks ago she bit a runner that just entered the park. His pants did not tear, but had a small flesh wound. After the bite he still kept on running in the park. He filed a police report. We are planning to bring her back to the shelter. I emailed SPRD to see if she is adoptable through their organization. Do you know of anyone who is capable of controlling her with strangers and wants a sweet mini schnauzer who is now potty trained? she does not bark at home at all and just loves to cuddle. Thanks for all your help.

Here's the other

> After much agonizing deliberations, we have realized> that we need to find a new home for Tulip :(> As you know she is a very sweet dog. But> unfortunately, due to her size and aggressiveness with other> dogs, she is to much for us to handle (w/ 3 kids). > She's not getting the attention and walks she needs> because we can't take her everywhere with us like we> used to do with our old dog. We used to take our old dog> to soccer games, parks, etc.. with us but we can't with> Tulip. She was suppose to be my son's dog (as he> picked her out at the shelter) but because of her size and> aggressiveness (& pulling) we can't let him take her> for walks. So after a few tears, we've decided we need> to find a new loving home for her. She deserves the best> and we were hoping maybe you could help. If you know any> one who would be interested (or any organization I should> call) please let me know. I think she can be better if> someone has time to train her and work with her more,> but she might always be a bit aggressive with some> dogs.>> She is such a sweet girl and still sleeps with my son> at nights, so this will be hard but we know its the right> thing to do. So if you know any interested parties let me> know.

Basically these two families took on the responsibility of owning this pet and when it got too hard they want to give that responsibility to someone else.

This the response I want to give...

Dear asshole owners,

I'm so sorry that little Fido turned out to be more than you can handle. I'm so sorry that when cute ball of fluff grew up and was ignored for long periods of time he turned aggressive. Who knew that was going to happen? That's right we all did. And when you saw a problem coming, as you did many months ago when you called me, you chose to ignore it.

You were given tools to work on the problem why did you choose to let it slide? Did you not understand that when you adopt something you are committing for life? Do you understand that this problem is your fault? You caused this...YOU! So now you want to pass off your mistake onto someone else? Will you tell them the truth or will you lie about sweet little Fido to get him out of your house?

Do you know that Fido eventually will more than likely end up in a shelter? That is after three or four other new homes, escalating problems and more than likely a bite incident. Oh and just to be clear that bite victim is likely to be a child. I know you are trying to protect your child but by doing that you are endangering someone elses.

So, no I will not help you to re home Fido. But I will tell you what to do. Take responsibility euthanize your dog yourself. March over to the vet explain that you were an asshole (he'll believe you, like me he has seen a lot) and kill (no more euphemisms) your dog yourself. Let him have the luxury of not spending his last days shivering in a concrete kennel in fear. Let him be warm and in your loving arms one more time. Let his last moments be with the person he loves the most, horrible asshole. Then as you wipe the tears from your eyes promise me you will NEVER own a dog again because you don't deserve one.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Our Second Room

The next night we were moved to a corner rom with breathtaking views of the lake, even from the toilet!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Crater Lake

Frankly I didn't think this vacation was going to happen...then when it started I wasn't sure it should continue...

In the weeks leading up to this vacation the cat got sick, Lola pulled a muscle, my 100 year old grandmother died and Mark had to have nose surgery. I was running ragged all over town to vet and doctors appointments. Plus Mark had a big project to be finished the day before we left. So we had a huge fight the night before we left. I think we were both just stressed and not sure the other was appreciating each others plight.

We managed to smooth that blow up over and got ready to leave friday. The pet sitter came at 930 in the morning and it took me almost two hours to explain the weird quirks of the house and the 7 different medications the cat needed to survive the weekend.

So we left, then the check engine light came on in my car and then the air con was ninety degrees for eight hours. Well about 120 in the car. It would work for ten minutes and then have to go off for ten minutes. The GPS tried to send us off on dirt roads and my clutch kept slipping. Eight sweaty hours later we arrived at the hotel.

Breathtaking huh?!

Well we got there at 9:00 at night (just in time to miss the last seating at dinner) and they had given our room to someone else. Well this is where our luck changed for the better. They said the magic words....Upgrade.

Our original room was a deluxe lakeview. This was a loft, one of only four in the hotel.

Two floors, two beds two breathtaking views. Marks only complaint? There was no bathroom on the second floor...shockingly primitive.