Saturday, August 19, 2017

New Class

We have good news and bad news on the rally front.
  • Bad news: The Tuesday Training group is taking a break. The weather has been horrendous. When it's not raining it's unbelievably hot and humid, making everything difficult. Even worse, there's a children's soccer league using the park now, making parking nearly impossible. Hopefully we can start back up when things cool down.
  • Good news: K-9 Obedience Club started a new novice rally class on Monday nights, under cover with giant fans. Last Monday was our first class and Jedi and I learned a lot.

Class was more formal than what we were doing in the park. It was set up more like a trial would be. We had a ring with regulation signs and the dogs were crated when not in the ring. I was afraid Jedi would be an idiot. Alas, the idiot was me. I need to memorize the signs and learn to make better use of the walk though. Jedi performs better when we move at a brisk pace. When I slow down -- or stop because I can't remember my left from my right -- he loses focus.

Surprisingly, Jedi knows more than I thought he did. He didn't forge ahead, his fronts were relatively straight and he executed the left finish like a pro. Even the teacher was amazed! Also, we were one of the few teams that knew the left about turn. (We've been practicing.)

We learned a new sign! This is rally sign #35, Call Front, Return to Heel. It looks difficult, but really isn't. How's that for a change? It goes like this: We walk up to the sign and stop. I back up and call Jedi into front position. I tell him to stay, walk around him and return to heel position. From there we walk back the same direction we came from. So yes, it's just like the picture -- if you're any good at interpreting pictures (which I am not).

There are a bunch of signs for me to learn! Beginning rally teams need to know 36 different signs. At a trial there will be 10-15 of them in the ring. Some of the signs involve weaving and spiraling around orange cones. A team will lose points if they touch or knock over cones. This part is challenging for clumsy women and long-bodied dogs!

We're making progress, slowly but surely. We'd do better if I was a better, more consistent trainer. Fortunately, Jedi doesn't care. I don't know when we'll be able to start competing. It seems that every semi-local trial conflicts with a nosework or scent work trial. But we're having fun -- together -- and that's the most important thing. -- K

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Showtime -- What, When and Where

As I've mentioned, we're putting on a dog show. RK and I have never done this before. It's proving to be more difficult than I think it should be. As a blogger, I naturally looked to the internet for guidance. I can't find anything offering useful information for a clueless newbie. So, we're doing this blind -- eek! And in true blogger fashion, I'm sharing my journey (much like the A to Z of Dog Shows series several years ago). I hope that someone else will find my efforts helpful -- maybe even encouraging. Let me know!

I've been combing through extremely dry booklets and manuals for weeks, trying to make sense of it all. My brain hurts! I've labeled this Step 1, even though these things were set up by a previous show committee. [Note: We're holding a conformation show, though much of this step would apply to performance trials as well.]

What:

First, you must determine what kind of show you're holding. Conformation shows come in different varieties. A Specialty Show is a dog show of only one breed, given by a specialty club. An All-Breed Show is a dog show where all (or almost all) the different purebred breeds are being shown and judged simultaneously. A Limited-Breed Show has more than one breed but less than an all-breed (i.e. a herding club hosts a show for all the herding breeds).

The German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida is a specialty club. We're holding two specialty shows back-to-back on one day -- Friday, April 6, 2018. The Greater Orange Park Dog Club is an all-breed club. They are holding back-to-back all-breed shows April 7 and April 8. Currently they are doing the same thing RK and I are, but on a much larger scale.

When:

The AKC has strict rules regarding show dates. However, said rules are not clearly written in one centralized, easy-to-use location. It's enough to give a girl a headache! 

Chapter 2, Section 3 of Rules Applying to Dog Shows states:
Each club or association which she'll hold the show in its territory at least once in every two consecutive calendar years she'll have the sole show privilege in the city, town or district of its assigned territory.
I read that several times and keep thinking WTF? First of all, why did the AKC feel the need to underscore "in its territory?" I can't find anything anywhere defining territorial boundaries. 

That aside, the AKC divides the year up into 52 weekends. Weekend 1 is the first full weekend of January. Clubs are assigned the weekend number. For example, my club has weekend 14. No other German Shepherd group within 200 miles can hold a German shepherd specialty show on that weekend without the express written permission from the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida.

Where:

Once a date is secured, a club must find a place to hold the show. There are many things to take into consideration, including:
  • Cost of rental. This is a biggie! A club can’t spent its entire budget on the venue. As you will see soon enough, there are a lot of expenses when putting on a dog show.
  • Location. Is it in the club’s geographical location (wherever that may be)? Can out of town exhibitors find it easily? Are there dog-friendly hotels nearby?
  • Type. Is it an indoor site? Outdoor site? Combination of the two?
  • Size. Is it large enough to hold all necessary rings, exhibitors and spectators? Enough space for x-pens? Is there room for vendors?
  • Parking. Is there enough parking for the judges, volunteers, exhibitors and spectators? Is there room/hook-ups for motor homes? Where is parking in relation to the rings? 
  • Conditions/Usability. Is there grass? If so, will it be mowed beforehand? Is the area level and free of tripping hazards? Is it clean? Is there adequate light, ventilation, heat, or A/C? Is there access to water?
  • Toilets. Are there flushing toilets on site? If not, is there room to set up porta-potties?
  • Other amenities. For example, indoor space with electrical for grooming, kitchen use for concessions, covered pavilions, available trash cans/dumpsters.
If a club is moving to a new venue, the site must be approved by the AKC beforehand. The 2017 AKC Show Manual states that:
Any site not previously used for an all-breed or group club event must be visited by an AKC Executive Field Representative prior to approval by the Event Operations Department. A site diagram (detailed layout) must be provided at the time the event application is submitted to the AKC’s Event Operations Department with ring size and aisle widths and location of all amenities. If there are possible problems that may occur with the parking, a layout and parking plan should also be submitted. Approval from the Events Operations Department must be attained if any change of date or venue location is required.
This is a lot to take into consideration. Fortunately for us, we've had an agreement with the Greater Orange Park Dog Club for several years. They've jumped through all the hoops to secure a location (the St. Johns County Fairgrounds) for weekend #14. Several specialty clubs have subcontracted to use the grounds the Friday before. It works out for everybody.
  • The Specialty Clubs get a nice location with decent amenities. Honestly, our club wouldn't be able to afford the location on our own.
  • The All-Breed Club can offset some of their expenses and/or get additional volunteers (our agreement requires man-hours in lieu payment). Plus, there are people at the show grounds on Friday as they set up.
  • Exhibitors have the opportunity to show in two specialty shows (Friday) and two all-breed shows (Saturday and Sunday) giving them four chances to win in a three day period. That's awesome! This increases the likelihood of entries for both clubs.
  • The larger number of entries warrants a higher point value for the winner. Since we've had this arrangement, our specialty shows have all been major-pointed shows -- and that makes everybody happy! (See here for an explanation of points.)
And as far as I can tell, that's Step 1 in a nutshell. Tired yet? Wait until you see Step 2! TTFN, -- K

P.S. If you have experience putting on a show -- successfully or not -- PLEASE chime in. Don't tell RK, but I think we're in over our heads here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Here's Your Sign


Lowes is Pet-Friendly! 
It says so right on the door.

Remember, when visiting pet-friendly establishments:
  1. Be a good ambassador. If your dog isn't well-behaved, having a bad day or your business doesn't allow to you focus enough attention on him, please leave him at home. Your behavior (and that of your dog) directly affects the rest of us.
  2. Say thank you. Make sure to tell the manager/owner that you are there because of the dog friendly policy. If it's a chain (like Lowes) find their corporate Webpage/Facebook/Twitter and thank them there too. A well-written thank you can make a big impact.
  3. Spend money. They're businesses, not charities. These establishments need to make money to stay open, especially small Mom & Pop operations. Yes, you may be able to get something at Walmart a little cheaper. But isn't it worth a few dollars to support a dog-friendly place? Money talks my friends. Ours should be saying "We want more dog-friendly places."
  4. Spread the word. We all have dog friends. And if your well-behaved, thankful, money-spending friends tell their well-behaved, thankful, money-spending friends . . . Just think of the possibilities!
It's Wordless Wednesday, so I'm going to stop talking. Hop around below and see what others are sharing. And speaking of sharing -- please let me know of any dog-friendly places you know about. Talk to you later, we have some shopping to do! -- K

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Goodbye Z

Sad news from here: Jedi's mother crossed the rainbow bridge. She was a sweet dog and will be missed dearly. It's weird speaking of her in past tense. I will always be grateful to her for the wonderful pup she gave me. I'll think of her every time Jedi does the sneaky "scratch my butt" move that Zasha was famous for.


Golden Breeds Zente Zasha
4/2/2008 - 7/29/2017

It's been a bad summer for GSD club dogs. We also lost Colonel, Mikey, Tasha and Tundra. No matter how much time we have with our dogs, it's never enough. And with that, I'm going to log off and love on my dogs. I hope you do the same. -- K

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Rosie

During our South Carolina trip I finally got to meet Rosie the White. I'd heard so much about her. She is my cousins' white German shepherd, and she's absolutely beautiful.

Here are a few things about white German shepherds that you may not know:
  • White German shepherds are not albinos. The color is the result a recessive gene. 
  • The white gene has been present since the beginning of German shepherds. A white herding dog named Grief was the grandfather of Max von Stephanitz's foundation dog.
  • In 1933 white coats were deemed a breed standard disqualification by the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany.
  • In 1968 white coated German shepherds were officially banned from competing in the conformation ring by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
  • In 1998 white German shepherds were officially disqualified from the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) breed standard and banned from the conformation ring. 
  • White German shepherds are allowed to compete in all other dog sports including obedience, rally, herding, agility and tracking.
  • Surprisingly, white German shepherds are still registered with both the AKC and the CKC. If both parents -- regardless of color -- are registered with the organization as German Shepherds, all puppies -- regardless of color -- are fully registerable as a German shepherd dog.
  • The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized white German shepherds in 1999 and they are allowed to compete in conformation ring. I think the International All-Breed Canine Association (IABCA) also recognizes white GSDs.
  • The German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) oversees the breed standard for AKC German Shepherd dogs. White German shepherds are a heated topic and the club argues amongst itself whether or not to allow them on a regular basis. 

There are clubs world-wide dedicated to the white German shepherd. The White German Shepherd Dog Club International, Inc. even holds national conformations shows. A simple Google search will provide you with hours of reading material.

There are breeders who specifically breed whites as well. And just like every other breed, it's buyer beware! The quality of these puppies can vary greatly. Do your research. Ask for health and temperament tests. My cousins did their research and found a great breeder. Rosie is wonderful. She is a healthy, well-balanced, even-temperament dog. Rosie is definitely a GSD. She takes her job as "family dog" seriously, providing love and protection to two active children.

Finally, Rosie has a famous littermate! He was all over the news in 2015. Her brother, appropriately named Lieutenant Dan, was born without a foot. The special puppy was given to a girl without feet. You can read the story and see pictures here. Warning: grab some Kleenex first. You'll need it.

OK, enough gushing over my cousins' dog. Jedi says it's time to get back to my own dogs. TTFN, -- K

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Who's At The Door?

Last week I told you about the strange couple that's been seen around town. Yesterday I received this picture from the dispatcher. The peahens stood outside the police department for several minutes before moving on.


Do you think they wanted to talk to Animal Control? We'll never know because it's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Saturday, August 5, 2017

More Crazy Work Stories

Not the ducks in question
Many of you have written me saying that you absolutely love the crazy work stories. Lucky for you, they're not in short supply. It seems that work has been extra crazy lately. Here are some of the calls I've had recently:

A woman called the police dispatcher to report ducks in her pool. She was frantic, afraid that they would drown. I arrived to find a female mallard and ducklings swimming in a pool that obviously hadn't been chlorinated in a very long time. The woman was upset because every time she'd scoop a duckling out with a net, it would jump right back in. (I DID NOT say something snarky.) I assured her that the mother would not let her babies drown, and the best thing to do would be leave them alone. However, to make her feel better we secured a float to the side of the pool so the ducklings could climb out. I would bet my last paycheck that they didn't use it.

Who else keeps newborn kittens on their desk?
One of my crazy cat ladies found a litter of kittens but couldn't find the mother. She said that she couldn't bottle feed them either because she has a job now. So, I picked up three two-day-old kittens. They couldn't stay in my kennel or else they would have starved to death. I couldn't find a foster family to take them until the following day so the babies came home with me for the night. It was awful. Kittens need to be fed every 3 hours. They also need to be stimulated to relieve themselves. Mama cats use their tongues; Kelley used a warm washcloth. Kitten poop is stinky, sticky and gross. Jedi and Roxy wouldn't leave the kittens alone. Jedi was the worst! I don't understand how he can smell anise on a Q-tip from 3 feet away, but must stick his nose on a kitten to figure out what it is. Fortunately, the kittens are now with a more qualified foster family.

Animal Control deals with the City ordinances related to domestic animals -- leash laws, feral cats, barking, etc. In theory, wildlife calls are limited to scoop and run (i.e. sick raccoons) or the immediate safety of the public. I'm not trained or have the equipment for most wildlife, so in moist case my office refers people to wildlife specialists. I DEFINITELY don't do snake calls. That being said, I had a snake call last week. A hysterical woman called 911. The dispatcher sent me to the address to see if I could calm her down and advise her. Ahhh, the joys of working in a small town. I arrived on scene to a woman standing in the middle of the living room holding a broom. Across the room was a large, sliding glass door. Jammed up against the door frame was a 3-foot garter snake who looked just as terrified as the homeowner. I was able to open the sliding glass door and use the broom to guide the snake outside. I have never seen a snake move so fast. The way I see it, all of us wanted the same thing, but I was the only one calm enough to think it through. I wish all calls were that easy!

I had a woman call me saying that an opossum was badly tangled in a soccer net and she couldn't get it out. She wasn't exaggerating. It was a cheap, child's net that folds easily for storage. The opossum had several pieces of the net wrapped around his neck and front legs. One leg was wrapped so tightly that the foot was beginning to swell. every time someone approached the opossum he would panic and flop around, tangling himself even worse. Thankfully, the homeowner was more concerned about the animal than the net and had no problem with me cutting her son's toy to shreds. I started with the head. The poor animal probably thought I was trying to cut his head off and kept biting at the scissors. He nearly bit me twice. I ended up shoving the end of a catch pole in his mouth to keep him occupied. Once his head was free I put the catch pole around his neck. This allowed me to safely position him while I cut the net from around his legs. He wasn't cooperating! He kept grabbing at the net with his dexterous feet and prehensile tail, tangling himself more as I was working. Fortunately, I was faster than he was and after 10 minutes he was freed. He stared at me for a moment or two and then ran into the woods -- without even a thank you.

I got an email from Code Enforcement. A resident sent in a complaint stating that the neighbor behind him didn't clean her back yard and he was "tired of smelling dog shit." To be honest, there's not much I can do about it. Our ordinances state that I can write a ticket to someone who doesn't pick up poop on public property -- and even on a  neighbor's property! -- but I have no authority to compel a person to clean their own property. That being said, I investigated anyway. I started with the complainant, who wasn't home. Then I went to the house in question. A teenage girl was home. I gave her my card and asked her to have her mom call me when she got home (I'm limited on what I can do/say to minors). THEN I went next door . . . And this is where the job gets weird. I knocked on the door and said:
Good Morning. I'm Officer Kelley with Small Beach Town Animal Control. I get a lot strange calls and investigate them all. That being said, may I go into your backyard and sniff for dog poop?
Yep. I did. Long story short: Didn't smell poop. Dog Owner cleaned her yard, then called to bitch about her neighbor. Complainant called (he saw me on his home surveillance) and bitched about his neighbor and his impotent HOA, the ones who should be handling this. And Next Door Neighbor knows Hysterical Snake Lady and she told him all about the incident. Luckily, she had nice things to say about me. Everybody knows everybody in Small Beach Town -- it's enough to make a girl paranoid.

All this happened in a two week period. During that time I also had cases involving: peacocks, two dogs with microchips (one was untraceable), feral cats in a trap, National Night Out, a dog bite at the pet store and crossing guard recertification. (That's one of my many "other duties as required." Click the link if you want to see some of the other weird stuff I do.) Like I've said before, this job seldom boring. -- K

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Not a Peep

I hate Peeps. You know, those gross sugar-coated marshmallow things that are sold every Easter. Even worse, they're now showing up during other holiday seasons in different shapes -- Christmas trees, pumpkins, hearts, etc. I've seen different flavors too, like chocolate, strawberry and cotton candy. Doesn't matter though, they're still disgusting. (What's that saying about polishing a turd?)


I have friends who think my Peep aversion is hilarious -- and they take every advantage to Peep me. I've received multiple boxes of Peeps in the mail. One friend made an elaborate Peep tray for a potluck. Another slipped a Peep into Jedi's Easter basket at a charity egg hunt. I was opening eggs expecting dog treats and found a marshmallow monstrosity instead. Blech. No need to imagine my reaction, it was posted all over Facebook.


The worst part: during the sugar-bunny bombardment, I was given a stuffed Peep toy. Jedi found it -- and he loves it! He carries it around the house and uses it as a pillow. It's so freakin' cute! I don't have the heart to take it away from him.


I think I'll change tactics and tell my friends that I hate wine and puppies now. Think they'll shower me with shepherds and shiraz instead?


Believe or not, it's Wordless Wednesday. Yes, I've used waaay too many words for a "wordless" post, but hopefully my punny title will earn me a pass. Anyway, hop around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K

Monday, July 31, 2017

Awww...What Is That?!

Here's the strangest Animal Control call of last week:

Peacocks in the Park -- absolutely scandalous!
These girls have been seen around the beaches for a few weeks. However, they just recently came to my tiny beach town -- and the residents are losing their ever-loving minds. I'm getting calls about the hens ten times a day. I can only imagine the pandemonium if there was a beautiful -- and noisy -- male running around as well.

Wildlife is outside of my expertise. I contacted the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) and was told that peacocks are considered native to the state and we are to just leave them alone. Apparently, this answer isn't good enough for some people and they're pissed that I'm not doing anything.

Fun Fact: Peacocks read signs better than many of our residents
This picture was sent to me by Code Enforcement and I'm still laughing. It seems that the peacocks are tired of being harassed. They were seen heading toward the police department, no doubt to make a complaint to Animal Control. This job is never boring

So, did the peacock story make you giggle? I hope so! It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers come together to brighten the start of your work week. Click around below and see what others are sharing. Thank you Sandee for putting this together each week. Happy Monday! -- K

Sunday, July 30, 2017

We're Back

We're back from South Carolina. The AKC Show Committee Seminar was informative and overwhelming. I was given tons of paperwork. In addition to a handout of the PowerPoint, I came home with a bag full of official AKC rule booklets:
  • Rules Applying to Dog Shows
  • Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges
  • Dog Show Stewards
  • Junior Showmanship
  • Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline
  • Dealing with Misconduct
  • Match Regulations
  • Obedience Regulations
  • Obedience Judges' Guidelines
  • The Steward in Obedience
  • AKC Rally Regulations
  • Rally Judges' Guidelines
  • The Steward in Rally
  • Rally Signs and Descriptions
To be honest, it's some dry reading. I'm going to sort out all the paperwork next weekend. And it appears that I'll to have to print out the 197 page 2017 AKC Show Manual myself. Unfortunately, that wasn't included in the ton of paperwork.

I learned a lot at the seminar. I also discovered that there's a lot more I need to learn. Ugh. But all in all, I'm glad I went. I met some very nice -- and more experienced -- people from other clubs. Each gave us a card and offered assistance via email. One woman told me that she had signed up this seminar three times in the past and it had been canceled each time. I guess RK, VP and I were lucky to get in first try.

After the seminar Hubby and I went to my favorite aunt's house. (Love you Auntie!) We spent time with my aunt, uncle, cousins and some friends who moved to SC several years ago. I also got to meet Rosie the White. (I'll tell you all about her in another post.)

On Saturday morning Hubby and I returned to the TD Convention Center to catch part of the dog show. GSDs were in the ring at 8 AM and I didn't want to miss them. I have priorities! Auntie went with us and I think she had a good time. I was able to narrate and answer questions, hopefully making it more enjoyable for her. I love dog shows and it's fun for me to share with others.

It's been a busy weekend and I'm exhausted. I need to unpack and watch Game of Thrones (again, priorities!) before heading off to bed. I have some fun stories to share later, so make sure to come back soon. TTFN, -- K

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Road Trip!

True story!
Hubby and I are getting up before dawn tomorrow and driving six hours to South Carolina. Why? So I can attend a four hour seminar on dog shows at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, SC. (Yes, the math seems a little off. Fortunately, I have family there and we're turning it into a mini-vacation.)

This event has a fancy schmancy name: AKC Show Committee Seminar -- Symposium for Show Committees. It's being sponsored by the American Kennel Club, the Greenville Kennel Club and the Piedmont Kennel Club. I hope it's not a waste of time and money. BTW, it's not a free seminar. Did I mention that the AKC doesn't make things easy?

Learn, Baby, Learn!
RK and VP are meeting us in SC to take the seminar as well. We're hoping that this will better prepare us for the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida specialty (conformation) shows in April. Topics to be presented include:
  • AKC Paperwork Made Easy
  • Attracting New Exhibitors
  • Communications Between Clubs & Judges
  • Event Hearings
  • Judging Contracts
  • New Programs
  • Premium List
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Show Site Planning
  • Superintendent/Secretary Selection
I'm excited. And a bit anxious. I'll share what I've learned when I get back. -- K

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chillin'

Jedi and I arrived at nosework class early last week. We passed the time with a photoshoot. Class meets at a doggie daycare tucked between the freeway and skeezy motel. Who would have thought I'd find this gorgeous backdrop?


I'd tell you all about it, but it's Wordless Wednesday! Hop around below and see what others are sharing today. -- K


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Busy, Busy, Busy

Look what came today!


We actually passed the test a month ago, but still . . . I'm so freakin' excited! I keep all Jedi's certificates in a binder, much like I keep all his ribbons in a box. I enjoy pulling them out to reminisce and wonder where we'll a year from now.

Fall is just around the corner and various dog trials are starting up again. I scoured several sites (including Infodog, UKC and BHA) to made a calendar. I wanted to see what was being offered where. I'm trying to see what Jedi and I should do next. It's tough! There are multiple things to do every weekend from October to April.
  • In October there's a UKC nosework trial in Ocala. We need to pick up one Novice Container leg to earn our Novice Nosework (NN) title. We also need one leg to earn our Novice Handler Discrimination (NHD) title. I think both elements are being offered at that trial!
  • Rumor has it that an AKC Scent Work trial will be offered in Ocala sometime in December. I definitely want to do that.
  • My favorite training site will host monthly Barn Hunt trials starting in October. We only need two legs to earn our Open Barn Hunt (RATO) title.
  • There will be several Rally trials nearby in the next eight months as well. I'd love to try for our Rally Novice (RN) title. The Tuesday Training crew has been working so hard on it.
  • My GSD club is hosting conformation shows in April. As I mentioned earlier, I'm kinda on the planning committee for that!
  • And somewhere along the way the GSD club wants to hold both an AKC Scent and Go and an AKC Scent Work trial.
Holy cow, I can already feel my weekends (and money) slipping away. Oh well, at least I'll have something to blog about. See you at the show! -- K

Monday, July 24, 2017

Awww...Bath Time

My dogs are allowed on the furniture. I enjoy snuggling on the couch while watching Dr. Pol and taking afternoon naps with the A/C cranked up. What I don't like, however, is the dirty dog smell. Sharing living spaces with the dogs requires a little work to keep the stink away. This includes:
  • Washable furniture covers
  • Changing the sheets often
  • A vacuum cleaner that really sucks (I have a Dyson)
  • And regular baths for the dogs
I wash the dogs about once a month, more as needed. I have a grooming table and forced air dryer and usually do it in my back yard. However, about a year ago we had a Pet Supplies Plus open up in town and they have a self-service dog wash. It's awesome! For $15 I can wash and blow out both dogs. The store provides all the amenities and they clean up the mess. Hubby went with me last week. Instead of helping, he took pictures. These are the best ones. He was laughing so hard at Jedi's fussing that most of the pictures were blurry.

The raised tub is perfect for my back and everything I need is right there

Jedi is very vocal at bath time. Everyone in the store comes by to
see what's going on. He's howling in this picture.

Roxy watched Jedi get his bath. I'd swear she was laughing at him too!

Ah, clean dogs! Much better. It's Awww...Monday. This is a hop where various bloggers try to brighten your Monday with Awww-inspiring posts. Click around below and see what others are sharing today. A big thanks to Sandee over at Comedy Plus for hosting this hop. -- K


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Still Sniffing

K9NWSource has the AKC target odors!
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about nosework. Don’t worry, we haven’t quit! In fact, we’re plugging along nicely. Trainer is incorporating the new AKC Scent Work rules into our Thursday night classes. What does this mean?
  • We’ve added another odor -- Cypress (which replaced peppermint). Jedi is still working Sweet Birch (level 1 AKC/UKC/NACSW), Aniseed (level 2 AKC/UKC/NACSW), Clovebud (level 3 AKC/UKC/NACSW), Myrrh (level 4 UKC) and Vetiver (level 5 UKC). Yep, my dog smells!

  • We’ve added another element -- odor buried in dirt. Only AKC has this element. All three organizations (AKC/UKC/NACSW) have interior, exterior and container searches as well. UKC and NACSW also have vehicle searches whereas AKC does not.

  • We’re practicing handler discrimination. Jedi has to find something with my scent on it. UKC does this too, but they always use cotton gloves hidden in boxes. At UKC level 1, Jedi has to find a box with my glove in it while all other boxes are empty. As UKC levels increase, gloves scented by other people are added to the other boxes. AKC went a different direction. Level 1 is still cotton gloves and boxes. However, as levels increase the handler's scent is put on cotton balls or Q-tips and hidden like the odors.

  • We’re learning to pinpoint the location of the odor. During competition a judge can require a handler to point out where the odor is hidden. The handler's guess must be within 6 inches of the actual location. The acceptable margin of error decreases as the competition level increases. Gulp.
Jedi says the odor is in THIS box
The Scent Work Club of Ocala is holding a Scent and Go (same concept as a Show and Go) next month. It's being judged by the standards of the new AKC Scent Work program and is offering all five elements (interior, exterior, containers, buried and handler discrimination). Despite it being on a Sunday (my regular work day) and a two hour drive, I signed up. The club shooting for an AKC Scent Work trial in December and I want to be ready.

The Nosework and Rally Club of North Florida is holding UKC trails in Ocala this October. I'm going to enter. Yes, I plan to compete in both AKC and UKC. They are similar enough that Jedi should have no problem. Jedi's job is: Find odor, tell Mom, wait for treat. I'm the one who has to worry about the rules.

Even more terrifying exciting, the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida has received licensing to hold official AKC Scent Work trials. We're working with Trainer to see if we can make this happen. RK and I are already working to put on a conformation show -- do we really need this stress too? Yes, yes we do. We're currently scouting out areas to hold a Scent and Go and a Scent Work Trial. We're also brainstorming on ways to encourage other club members to get involved. Any ideas?

So my friends, keep following. One of two things will happen: I will pull this off or I'll implode. Either way, it'll be epic! Later, -- K

Thursday, July 20, 2017

OMG STOP!

I'm feeling grumpy this morning. Knowing this, I probably should have stayed off the internet. But I didn't, and now I feel a rant bubbling up inside. Lucky you!

I'm a member of several German shepherd groups on Facebook. Apparently, they'll let anybody join. Normally I just snicker at the comments of the dumb masses, but today . . . I just want to slap some sense into people. Instead, I'll share my sarcasm wisdom with you.

The breed name is shepherd -- with an E -- because these dogs were originally bred to herd sheep. If that is too difficult to remember, just look at the top of the page. Every group spells the breed correctly in the name of their group (i.e. German Shepherd Lovers). When you post about your "shepard" you look like an idiot and no one will take you seriously. And some of us will mock you on our blogs.

Quit prefacing posts with the phrase "no negative comments," especially if you're going to post about something controversial. If your ego is so fragile that you cannot handle somebody disagreeing with you, get off the internet. This is not a safe place.

Stop asking strangers on the internet for medical advice. If your dog is lethargic, bleeding, throwing up, has diarrhea or unusual swelling GO TO THE VET! Yes, they're expensive. But they're also necessary. It's your job to figure out to work veterinary care into your budget. That's part of being a responsible pet owner. And do you really trust someone who can't spell shepherd correctly to diagnose your sick dog online?

Quit asking people online to name your new puppy. Seriously, if you can't do something as basic as naming your own dog, you're not cut out for pet ownership. Just rehome the dog now before you screw it up. And while you're at it, go buy a box of condoms -- you're probably not cut out for parenthood either.

Why are you asking people if your dog is "pure"? If you wanted to ensure that you got a purebred dog, you would have gone to a reputable breeder and paid for a pedigree. Instead, you bought $100 dog off Craigslist. You get what you pay for. However, a paperless and/or mixed breed dog can still be a wonderful companion -- so please, just shut up and enjoy your dog.

By the same token, the word is purebred not "purebread." Also, horses -- not dogs -- are referred to as thoroughbred. And stop saying "full blooded." All dogs are full blooded -- dogs less than full of blood are usually dead. Please use the correct terminology. Otherwise, you're no better than the "shepard" people.

Quit minimizing bad behavior as "just being a shepherd." Killing small animals is not "just a strong prey drive." Biting your neighbors is not "just being protective." These are not normal, acceptable traits. Read the breed standard. German shepherds are supposed to be fearless and aloof but never hostile. The standard also states that:
"The dog must be approachable, quietly standing his ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them."
Asshole dogs makes things more difficult for the rest of us. Instead of making excuses, please train your dog.

CONFESSION TIME: In addition to being a Grammar Nazi, I think I'm a Dog Snob. (Lord, help my husband!) I'm not even 50 yet and I've turned into a cranky old lady. Well, this should make for some interesting blog posts. Stay tuned! -- K

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jumbo Shrimp

Jacksonville has a minor league baseball team. Last year the team name changed from the Jacksonville Suns to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. (I don't know why.)

I'm not a baseball fan, and never watch it on TV. I think most major league players are giant douche bags. However, there is something different about minor league ball . . . It's fun! I'm a big fan of the cheap seats. For $5 you can sit on the berm in left field -- right by the players. No assigned seating, just a good time. Kids run around laughing. Adults socialize, eating cheap hot dogs and drinking cheap beer. Vendors hawk their goodies. Players chat with fans and foul balls fly overhead.

Once a month dogs are allowed into the game -- for free! I don't know why more people don't take advantage of this. It's a great way to socialize your dog. On the berm so you can sit as close or as far away from others as you want. There's lots of noise and activity. Your dog must learn to settle, but you can get up and move around when you want. An added bonus: the family bathrooms are plentiful and large enough to accommodate you and several dogs. (This is especially helpful if you are drinking beer.)

Some friends and I went to the last Canines and Crustaceans night and had a blast. Here are a few pictures:

Jedi LOVES the cheap hot dogs

Jedi also loves Pepper, his 12 year old Malinois friend

Jedi's mother, Zasha, joined us too

A rainbow over Bragan Field

Zasha thinks that the new mascot, Scampi, is kinda creepy

We had a great time. Jedi had dozens of people pet him. Even more told me he was beautiful. I agreed, of course. And Jedi was serenaded on our way out of the stadium. There's a saxophone player that hangs out downtown, playing for tips. He's fun and entertaining. I asked him to play the Star Wars theme -- and he did! LOL. That was probably the best money I spent all night.


You probably can't tell, but it's Wordless Wednesday. Click around below and see what others are sharing today. Then come back tomorrow, because I've got plenty of words about annoying people on the internet! Oh yeah, I feel another rant coming on. Later, -- K


Monday, July 17, 2017

Awww...Happy Space

I named him Fuji
Things have been a bit wonky at work. Animal Control was kicked out of the police department four years ago because my office space was needed for yet another commander (yes, our department is top heavy). I was given an office in City Hall. It was nice, but there were a lot of stifling rules including no noise, no animals and no personal items.

Two years later I was kicked out of City Hall because the new mayor wanted my office (which he used less than three days a month). I was given part of a storage closet sized room in one of the community centers to store my computer and file boxes. I couldn't be in the building when it was rented out for parties or on Sundays during AA meetings. Other times I had to rearrange the room just to get to my makeshift desk. And like before, I was told no noise, no animals and no personalization. Also, no phone.

Eighteen months ago the police building was closed for renovation and our staff was working out of three separate locations. I pretty much worked out of my truck. Good news! The new building is complete and we're back in. I have a huge office with everything I need to work -- files, computer, printer, phone and my boss down the hall. My office also has plenty of storage. The closet is bigger than the space I had to share at the community center!

I got the OK to put a crate in the office for temporary animal holding and was told to personalize. Woohoo! Along with a radio, framed pictures and a mini fridge, I brought in a 2-gallon fish tank and an orchid because I like to surround myself with living things (except maybe for people). I finally have a happy work space! Sure, the job can still be stressful. Cases like last week will still happen, but now it's easier to take a few minutes to relax throughout the day. How about you? Where do you relax while at work?

It's Awww...Monday, where a group of bloggers come together to brighten the start of your work week. Click around below and see what others are sharing. Thank you Sandee for putting this together each week. Happy Monday! -- K


Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Show Must Go On

My current expression
(if I were an adorable pup)
I'm a little frustrated right now. When I gave up the presidency of my dog club last month, I was looking forward to having less responsibility and more free time. Like I said many times, there are a lot of little things that come with the office. Those little things quickly become a large time suck. My intention was to concentrate on competing with Jedi and looking for another show puppy.

Well, plans change. At the May club meeting I was told that the two women who’ve planning our dog shows for the past few years have called it quits. Just. Like. That. Even more frustrating: for two years I tried to get them to share information about show planning -- I even had someone willing to take it all in -- but said women guarded the information like a virgin guards her hymen. Now we need to come up with a Plan B.

Channeling my inner Butterfly McQueen
Only a handful of club members have any experience with conformation dog shows, and all but two -- me and RK (the new Club president) -- have stated they want nothing to do with putting on the show. Grrr . . . So the choices are:
  1. RK and I do it ourselves (and hope that others change their minds about helping) or
  2. It doesn't get done.
I've wrestled with this for a few weeks now. I worked so hard the past two years to build this club up, I'd feel guilty letting it flop. Hubby wants me to relax and concentrate on my health -- "Honey, remember what happened in February? You need to slow down." (Why does he always get to be the voice of reason?!)

From what I can gather, the club is required to put on a show to keep our AKC sanction. How often we have to do it is in unclear. I know there are problems with securing and/or giving up assigned show dates if they conflict with another nearby show. It’s very confusing and I can't find any definitive answers on the internet.

Recently I discovered that an AKC Show Committee Seminar being held in Greenville, South Carolina at the end of the month. I signed up. It's a six hour drive (each way) for a four hour seminar. (Fortunately, I have family in Greenville that I haven't seen since last August, so this is a great excuse to visit.) RK found a pdf of the 2017 AKC Show Manual online. It’s 192 pages long -- eek! -- and I’ve been going through it slowly. It very detailed. And surprisingly empowering.

So, guess who’s putting on a dog show? I’m unbelievably nervous. And strangely excited. True to Kelley fashion, I’ll share our efforts over the next nine months and we’ll see how this baby turns out together. And out of respect for my husband, I will try to watch my stress levels while doing it. Wish us luck! -- K

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Thick Skin and a Strong Stomach

I've heard things that would make
Chris Rock blush!
People often ask "What does it take to be an animal control officer?" I'm sure they want to know about my training and certifications. However, my response is usually "A thick skin and a strong stomach." I've been doing this since 2005. I've seen people with much better resumes quit after only a couple years. Trust me, only the school of life can prepare someone for the things I deal with. For example, here are two thick skin moments from this week:
  • A message was left on my machine at 7:29 AM on Sunday morning. The voice was definitely male, however, caller ID said the phone number belonged to someone named Heather. The message was (and I quote) "Hey you bullshit mother fuckers, you should be open, not tell me to call the goddamn cops for animal control you fucking assholes." Nothing else was said. I called back at 9:35 AM stating that I received a call from an unnamed man at this number. I repeated the message verbatim and said “If Mr. Potty Mouth has an issue he wants assistance with please have him call back. However, if just wants to swear at me then please don't bother." Surprise! I never got a call back.

  • I was on routine beach patrol. I saw a man with two dogs -- one in the water, one on shore. I went over to ask him to keep both dogs in the water if playing off leash (per ordinance). Seriously, I had only wanted to give him a friendly reminder. However, he got an attitude right away. He told me I wrote him a ticket seven years ago and he was still pissed about it. (I honestly didn't remember him and I think that upset him even more.) He told me not to talk to him unless I'm going to write him a ticket, and I'd better call the cops too. So . . . I called for backup and wrote him a ticket. THEN he had the audacity to be angry because I did what he wanted. WTH?
I've seen too many dogs like this
A strong stomach is also helpful to do this job. Some of the things I've seen keep me up at night: emaciated animals, embedded collars, parasitic infestations, hoarders, disfiguring dog bites -- and things too horrific to mention. Yes, I've seen a therapist and have taken antidepressants in the past. Currently, I swear too much and I self medicate with way too many carbs. I threaten to quit my job on a regular basis.

So why do I keep going? Certainly not for the money! I would make more as a dental tech or as an assistant manager at McDonalds. (Some statistics say a good $10,000/year more.) I'm sure I'd have less grief -- and fleas! -- if I did. But deep down I like to think that I'm making a difference; that the lives of people and animals are better because of my efforts.

I know I've been absent from the blog lately. I've spent the last few weeks working a cruelty case. It's been an emotionally grueling yet deeply satisfying experience. Animal cruelty is not a common occurrence in my tiny beach town -- and for that I am grateful. I can't go into detail about the case, but I can share my part in it. I was called in on my day off to assist the police department. The detective brought me in as the subject matter expert (how cool is that?!) and I worked this case from start to finish.
  • I was on scene taking pictures and collecting evidence.
  • I was able to advise the police officers on what was needed to ensure a strong animal cruelty case. (With thanks to the additional training I keep asking for!)
  • I collected and notarized affidavits.
  • I participated in jailhouse interviews.
  • I gathered and interpreted veterinary reports.
  • I went to the State Attorney's Office to help argue the case for an indictment.
  • I accompanied the sergeant to get a warrant for criminal animal cruelty.
Score one for good guys! The judge who signed the warrant actually shook my hand and thanked me for doing my job. So to all the jerks that like to tell me that I'm "just an F-ing dog catcher," I'd like to say:


Because apparently I'm an F-ing dog abuser catcher too. [Insert obscene hand gesture here.] And with that, I'm going to open a bottle of wine and take a hot bath. I think I earned it. -- K

Saturday, July 8, 2017

More From the Phone Log

I've shared stories from my phone log before. The calls that come in aren't always what you'd expect a "dog catcher" to deal with. And some of them are just funny. Like always, the stories are true -- as unbelievable as they may seem. However, I've omitted or changed identifying information to protect both my job and the idiots colorful residents who live here. So, if you think you see yourself on my blog be quiet. Nobody knows it's you. FYI: My notes are in purple italics.

Ms. Zimmerman called to complain that the cat from across the street keeps coming to her house. It's very skinny. The boy who lives there told her the was sick and his family was going to put the cat down on Saturday. "The vet said it was something with initials." (I asked FIV?FLV? She didn't know.) Ms. Zimmerman was worried that the cat was going to make her outside cats sick (but not worried enough to keep het cats inside). She picked up the neighbor's cat and said it was skin and bones. The cat freaked out when she tried to put in a box. She didn't want to be bitten and scratched so she let it go. (She didn't say why she wanted to put it in a box.) She wants Animal Control to come get it, and make her neighbors put the cat to sleep. Kelley's Notes: I called her back and said that we can't force the owners to euthanize their cat. However, we CAN enforce the leash law. Once we have the cat we can return to neighbor with a citation. I offered to give her a trap. She said she didn’t want to be bothered but insisted that “It’s friendly, you can just pick it up.” I told her that I didn’t want to be bitten or scratched either. She accepted the trap after all.

Not the exact house, but pretty damn close!
Mr. Williams stated that a stray dog had camped out at his beach house. He couldn't get it to move and wanted someone to come get it. Kelley's Notes: It was a beautiful house with an amazing view. I didn't want to leave either!

I got a call from the trailer park manager whose tenant moved out and left four cats behind. He wanted to "hook this chick up for abandoning her cats." Kelley's Notes: I wanted to hook up the cat owner too! Unfortunately, Chick didn't leave a forwarding address and her cell phone has been disconnected. Grrr . . .

A woman with a heavy southern accent left a message on my machine saying she wanted to "report animal cruelty on East Boardwalk." Kelley's Notes: I left message for the caller and asked her if she was looking for Tiny Beach Town, North Carolina. We don't have an East Boardwalk in Tiny Beach Town, Florida. However, we get calls from NC on a regular basis.

A local landlord called my office. She wanted to know “what to do about emotional support dogs” and how to spot a fraud. She stated that a someone looking at her rental has a large, aggressive animal that he claims is an emotional support dog. Wannabe Renter told that Landlord had to allow the dog (despite her no pet policy) because “It’s the law.” Kelley's Notes: I suggested she contact a lawyer -- This is way outside my bailiwick. Unfortunately, fake service dogs have become a big problem. I even talked about it last year.

And here's a bonus from my FB page:
Dear Jerk With Attitude,
Don't send me a nasty email saying you "called 10 times and nothing was done" to fix your problem. I have caller ID. I KNOW you only called four times. And you never left a message stating what you need. I can fix a lot, but I can't fix stupid.
I'm sure you can figure this one out! And you can probably glean what kind of month I've been having. On top of this, I'm working an ugly cruelty case and trying to move into the new police building (yea!) after essentially working out of my truck for two years. Like I've said before, my job is never boring! Thankfully, blogging keeps me sane(ish). Thanks for following along! -- K