Don’t feed your dog a vegetarian diet, you damn hippie.

23 Sep

Said no dog ever.

Ok, let’s talk dog nutrition.  Dogs are carnivores.   Well, two out of three Dog Snobs say so because technically speaking, Giant Pandas are also carnivores if we’re being literal, even though their diet consists of 90% plant matter. Anyways, what we can definitely all agree on is that dogs are NOT meant to eat a vegetarian diet. We know your rescued Formosan Mountain Dog, Kale, loves her vegan kibble, but guess what, you dirty dirty hippie–dogs love cat shit. That doesn’t mean that your dog can exist entirely on Kibbles n’ shits,  though they might do a bit better than on your weird soy based nuggets.

Let’s play a game. We’re going to post the ingredient list an AAFCO approved Vegan Dog Food and the ingredient to a Guinea Pig Food and ask you to tell us which is which…

 

Food A: Dried Peas, Brown Rice, Pea Protein Concentrate, Oats, Sorghum, Lentils, Organic Canola Oil, Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts, Potato Protein, Brewers Dried Yeast, Alfalfa Meal, Flaxseeds, Natural Vegetable Flavor, Quinoa, Millet, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vegetable Pomace (Carrot, Celery, Beet, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress & Spinach), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite & Calcium Iodate), DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Parsley Flakes, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Preserved With Citric Acid and Mixed Tocopherols (Form of Vitamin E)

 

Food B: Alfalfa Meal, Soybean Hulls, Wheat Middlings, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Salt, Lignin Sulfonate, Cane Molasses, L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate (Vitamin C), Limestone, Yeast Culture (dehydrated), Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Biotin, Manganous Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate

 

Food B is, of course, the guinea pig food, but but we really feel there should be more difference between the two.

Here’s the thing–there is a difference between thriving and surviving.  While theoretically a dog could subsist on a vegetarian diet, it doesn’t mean it’s ideal. Plus, if you really claim to be humane (and isn’t that the reasoning behind most vegetarianism), isn’t part of that also about respecting different species’ inherent needs?  So, if you must own a vegan or vegetarian pet… get a damn rabbit.

Unless you’re Monty Python. In that case…Run away! Run away!

For a look back at a previous post on our personal vegetarianism and feeding our dogs, click here.

WTF Wednesday: The Dying Alone Version

17 Sep

Ready for Christmas? No? Us either, but we do have the perfect gift for the saddest people you know… and we mean really, really, really sad.

 

We’re pretty sure this is not what The Beatles meant when they crooned, “I want to hold your hand”.

We’re pretty sure this is not what The Beatles meant when they crooned, “I want to hold your hand”.

That will come in…handy.

We are also fairly certain that the type of person who uses this leash also sleeps with a boyfriend pillow.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 12.42.20 PM

Don’t be that person.

Owner Profile: The Do I Need a Vet Dunce

9 Sep

Description:  The polar opposite of the “Hounding Hypochondriac”,  the “Do I Need a Vet Dunce” rarely, if ever, gets their dog vet care, at least without desperate poking and prodding from friends, family, and internet strangers.   The DINAVD is unlikely to recognize a true emergency even if it literally hits them in the face in the form of pus.

 

Common Locations:  NOT at the vet, sitting on the couch eating bonbons while their dog hacks up an internal organ,  on Yahoo answers and breed specific Facebook groups asking “How much blood is too much?”

Hey, post on Facebook and see if there is a holistic cure, ok?

 

Breeds Owned:  Labs, Boxers and other accident prone dogs.  Dogs with protruding eyes like Pugs and Bostons.

And over there...on the floor.

And over there…on the floor.

 

Skill Level:  Skill level definitely follows a bimodal distribution.  Many are completely inexperienced and don’t realize what a true emergency is, while others are experienced dog owners who think they can take on any malady themselves even when they shouldn’t.

if-it-cant-be-fixed-with-duct-tape

Duct tape: Not just for resetting broken legs and cropping ears.

 

Catch Phrases:   “It’s just a flesh wound”, “He’ll get over it”, “Do you have any aspirin?”

 

 

Anecdotal Evidence:

Potnoodle:  The person that first comes to mind with this Owner profile is not someone I know in my every day life, but rather someone I once saw in an American Bully group I joined, not because I am a fan of the breed but more because I have an anthropological interest in people that measure their dog’s toughness by how large his head is. Anyway, the DINAVD in this situation was a “breeder” and had a bitch that had recently given birth. The bitch had since prolapsed and the Dumbass was asking if he could “shove it back in and hold it with a stitch” himself and avoid a vet visit. I nearly died. Needless to say, I’m no longer in that group.

Better ask other people who don't know what they're doing either.

Better ask other people who don’t know what they’re doing either.

 

BusyBee:  Among my other vices (mmm…cheese), I admit to having spent an inordinate amount of time on the “Answers” section of a popular dog-centric website.   Despite knowing better, I often find myself stuck in a spiral of stupidity brought on by the slew of DINAVD who routinely post there.  Whether it was asking if a broken leg would heal itself, if it was a bad sign that mama dog had started labor 3 days ago and no puppies had been birthed, or how to best pop a Pug’s popped out eye back into it’s socket , the answer is pretty much always the same… GO TO THE DAMN VET.   And yet, you’ll see people try to justify NOT going to the vet as hoards of internet strangers are pleading for them to seek professional help.   While it’s a good thing to have a working knowledge of canine first aid, it’s even more important that you recognize what is beyond your skill level…and getting off the damn internet to get it taken care of.

Because...the internet.

Because…the internet.

Sarah McLachlan, this is all your fault: A rant by BusyBee

29 Aug

Volunteering at my local city shelter as an adoption assistant, I work in the kennels while they are open to the public and work with people to find the right dog.  A big part of this includes answering questions.  I’ve been asked weird things (“Will his penis get bigger?”), inappropriate things, (“Can I let my kid pull on his ears and see how he does?”), and downright infuriating things, (“How much do you think it would be to crop that dog’s ears?”).  But at least once per shift, I get asked,  “Was he abused?”   This question, although well-meaning, make me want to pull my hair out.   Why? Because the assumption that all dogs who end up in shelters are “damaged” goods is a harmful notion.

We’ve all met these people, right?  The people that say my dog is afraid of *fill in the blank*, so I think he was abused.”  Fill in the blank with: teenagers, men, women, loud noises, people with hats, people without hats, people in pink…. you get the idea.   I’ve also literally seen people “test” a dog at the shelter by lifting their arm as if to hit the dog to see if he reacts. When the dog inevitably flinches, the potential adopter usually responds by saying something like, “Oh sad, someone used to hit him.”  I haven’t tried it (probably bad form for a city volunteer), but I often want to throw a punch at their throat and see if they flinch.

There is no disputing that horrible cases of abuse are discovered every day. We’ve heard the stories and seen the pictures (thank you, Sarah McLachlan). And, yes,  many of these animals end up in shelters. So there is a possibility that your shy or reactive dog could have been abused before you adopted him or her.  That being said,  I can literally count on my hands the number of dogs we’ve had in the four years I’ve been at the shelter who have come from abusive situations**.   In case you suck at math, that’s less than 10.  I’ve often found that people interpret shy behavior, skittishness, or anxiety as signs of an abusive past.  More likely than not, it’s due to shelter stress or undersocialization.   The truth is, most dogs in shelters have never been abused, but were surrendered because their owner had no time for them, got married, had a baby, can no longer afford the dog due to the recession, had issues with their landlord, etc etc etc.  If your adopted dog is skittish around certain people or situations, chances are he was simply undersocialized rather than being abused. Lots of shelter/rescued dogs have simply not dealt with many of the experiences that we take for granted.

While it may seem somewhat harmless for people to assume that most shelter dogs have been abused, this can be harmful in two ways.  First, it may prevent people from adopting perfectly lovely animals because they don’t want to deal with the aftermath of this imagined abuse.  Secondly, many owners use their pets’ imagined past as an excuse for their present behavior. If a dog exhibits fearful behavior towards a man, it might be dismissed as being a result of his past abuse, which in turn makes it less likely that people will actually work on the issue at hand. Where does this come from?  Probably because the whole concept of adopting a dog has become a “save the world” crusade. We are bombarded with images (yes Sarah McLachlan, I’m looking at you again) of abused, pathetic looking dogs now living in shelters, waiting to be saved and loved. This has inadvertently created the image that dogs need time and a lot of comforting because of the background or history that they are coming from and that most shelter dogs are abused. It creates the impression that rules, training and  structure can be cast aside for later, perhaps “when the dog is ready for it”. The truth of the matter is, no matter what your dog’s background is, you have to focus on the present and not dwell on his past, real or imagined.

 

**And as an aside, the abused dogs I have met at the shelter?  A majority of them have been among the most loving and forgiving.

How to make dog friends or at least not make people hate you, Fang’s underqualified guide to hostility management

26 Aug

If you are anything like us cool kids here at TDS you’ve noticed that dog people can be… shall we say difficult, to get to know. From just plain shy to downright nasty, the dog community is as varied in temperament as the prototypical high school as portrayed in “Mean Girls”.

And cynicism.

 

While I could name the cliques, it usually comes down to breed and social class and personality. That’s boring, so we’ll save you that minefield and simply go through some basic etiquette rules that will keep people from actively trying to ruin your life (at least in theory).

 

1) Say something nice about everyone’s dog

 

Be serious. No one likes Crocs.

 

Channel your inner Southern Belle lead with a compliment even if you hate it. Compliment the shit out of something. No need to gush since no one likes a kiss-ass, but a cursory, accurate compliment (It helps if you mean it but sincerity isn’t really a requirement for some people) can go a long ways as a conversation starter. The best compliment you can pay a performance dog person is simply “Your dog looked so happy out there.”. While you have to mean that particular one (I own the beaten wife-heeling dog. Don’t try to placate me), it’s incredibly effective and seriously, it’s that easy and usually the start of a solid acquaintance-ship.

Not a compliment.

If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t bother faking it, but come up with something you can defend, or precede your compliment with your “outsider” status. e.g. I’m not really familiar with <aspect> but your dog’s <attribute> was <adjective>. You can head off the “Oh? What’s so gorgeous about him?”* that some pissier-than-thou types will throw at newbies to fluster and upset them.

*There’s a time and a place to educate a protegee. Teaching newbies to have an eye is different from public shaming. Learn the difference.

 

2) No one likes a kiss-ass

It’s Ruby Tuesday’s. This isn’t anarchy.

 

It’s one thing to be nice and complimentary, it’s another to be an ass-sucking lapdog. Friendship does not require consensus on every topic (It would be very odd if it did) and having your own opinion, and not just parroting the opinion of others is a big step in being your own person in the dog world. Some opinions are easy to form and are simple aesthetics, others involves some straight-up education and take time to learn. Take the time to learn it and don’t take someone else’s word as true gospel until you’re willing to defend that opinion in a knock-down drag out fight.

 

3) Discretion is the better part of not being an asshole

I mean, it’s me! I have commitment issues and an Oedipus complex. You’re better off without me. Feel better now?

 

Honestly, people don’t want honesty. For those of us who are “bullshit challenged” it can be a struggle not to just beat the liars into the ground with the nearest blunt object. However, that is socially unacceptable and apparently illegal so we make do with discretion a.k.a Silence or if you’re good, tempered honesty. So if you’re not sure of your audience, keep it to yourself.

 

4) Loose lips sink (friend)ships and reputations

Close enough.

 

In the realm of honesty, is just shutting the fuck up. Sometimes shutting your mouth is the only thing to do. You will have opinions. People will do things that make you reconsider the voluntary extinction movement. And despite what your mother told you, your eyes won’t actually get stuck in that backwards rolling position. Shooting off your mouth unchecked is rarely the smart choice, particularly if you want to not have people hate you. Calling that dog a fat-ass in earshot of owner friends, even if it’s true, is bad form and not a great way to win friends or influence people. Commenting on how a dog looks depressed in the obedience ring or how you’d be embarrassed to show said dog are opinions best kept in your head and filed under B for ‘Bitchy things best unsaid”.

If you’re new, you will not have much cachet regardless. Thoughtful and well-articulated opinions will be received well, but in general a response of “And you are?” is the best you can expect to running your mouth thoughtlessly. Sometimes those people are assholes but most of the time they’re just not as impressed by you as you are. The concept of “paying your dues” is very much alive in dog events and a little respect for your predecessors and frankly, betters,  goes a long way. You are nobody until you prove you are a worthwhile contributor and being conscious of your reputation is very forward thinking.

 

5) Respectful doesn’t mean doormat

No is not a dirty word.

 

Respect works both ways. Disagreeing with others is part and parcel of human nature. You are 100% entitled to your opinion. No one should have the capacity to make you feel badly about expressing an opinion respectfully shared in an appropriate environment. Someone screaming “Troll” at you or dismissing you off hand because they got all butt-hurt over your opinion being different than theirs is seriously not worth the mitochondrial strain of a single ATP conversion.

 

Lock the Doors. *nerd joke*

 

6) You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re also entitled to be wrong.

 

Wallow in your wrongness like a pig in filth.

 

You are not the Pope. Your opinions are not infallible and the world does not actually revolve around you. Be prepared to have your opinion challenged and to be forced to admit that you may not know it all.  I know you may find this hard to believe, but even The Dog Snobs get things wrong sometime. Accept being wrong gracefully and sometimes, even if you’re not wrong it’s not worth the screaming hissy fit to prove your point.

 

7) Neutrality isn’t sexy but it’s smart.

Okay, maybe a little sexy.

 

Dog people on the whole are rabid about what they believe to be the best for our canine compatriots. If you ever want to be called every nasty name in the book bring up any hot topic dog issue (Pinch collars, Raw Feeding, Spay.Neuter) and watch the fur fly. Particularly online every disagreement  is treated as some moral objective when for most of us it comes down to familiarity, efficacy and convenience.. We tend to forget that total agreement on every issue isn’t a precursor for a friendly acquaintance and as such tend to shut out everyone who disagrees before their point is even made. Public neutrality offers you several alternative options and can garner more specific helpful information from all corners. You don’t have to placate the idiots, but refraining from calling them stupid publicly until they’ve proven it beyond a reasonable doubt is usually a smart move.

 

8) Forgive us our trespasses

They really are most of the time.

The road to being an asshole is paved with opinions and bullshit both of which fall freely from the mouths of the guilty. That being said, purely being opinionated with a bad delivery can drill holes in the little Jersey Barrier between Asshole Highway and Opinionated but generally a helpful friendly person Boulevard. Give people the benefit of the doubt if you’d like it in return and even if they are an asshole, be willing to let it go. Forgetting is something else entirely.

 

 

As an introvert with hermit qualities in combination with having the unfortunate tendency to just say what comes to mind regardless of audience, the few friendship making skills I personally retained into adulthood mostly consisted of bracelet making and token food offerings. I still find myself exceedingly uncomfortable in group situations but if I can break the ice with these general rules, anyone can. You’re welcome.

That’s what’s up.

How Shitty is Your Breeder? Another Dog Snob Guide to Life

23 Aug

A few weeks ago a loyal reader sent us a suggestion. Normally, we don’t take suggestions but this one happened to hit home so, here goes.

 

Every dog person starts somewhere. Sometimes it’s with a dog from a shelter, sometimes a rehome from Craigslist and very rarely, people get their first dog from responsible breeders. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, Real Dog People (™) have very humble beginnings. That’s right, It’s very common for future RDP to get their dogs from backyard breeders (Occasionally,  wannabe RDP get their second and third dog also from bybs…. but we won’t continue to beat that dead horse.)

 

Since Backyard Breeders get sneakier by the day, we’ve compiled a list of red flags that your dog might be from less than honorable origins.

 

1) Your breeder has a shitty website or a presence on the web in all the wrong ways. … and by shitty we mean like our previous post . We don’t expect world class here, but a slick website with easy purchase options, half-filled out health info, and fake, or shall we say creatively exaggerated, titles are a bad bad sign. Other bad signs include where they advertize (Puppyfind? EBay? Craigslist? Nextdaypets? Come the fuck on) what they advertise (Super tiny teacup titweasels!) and realistically who they associate with (Dawgs 4sael 4Cheep on Facebook does not imply quality).

2) How much do you spend at the vet in your puppy’s first year? We aren’t talking normal puppy stuff like shots or that time Fluffy inhaled the contents of your trash can. We’re talking genetic issues and those lovely little surprises that come from puppies raised in less than sanitary conditions. Bad things happen to good breeders, of course… but a puppy with ten different kinds of worms, missing one or both balls, or just generally poorly configured is much more likely to have come from a shitty byb than from a good breeder… and suddenly that 600 dollar puppy isn’t looking better than the 1,000 dollar puppy from the good breeder down the road. 

Not Relevant, but Potnoodle loves sloths and creepy pick up lines.

 

3) You’ve never actually been able to verify any health testing records with OFA or anyone else and the breeder is cagey about their existence or keeps saying they’ll show you but they never actually surface. Option B of course is your breeder doesn’t believe in health testing. If it were a problem it would have been an issue with the parents, right? Sure, except the parents are usually too young to see degenerative conditions and gone to other pastures by the time the issue appears later in life. Out of sight, out of mind. Also that’s not really how most genetic issues trail on down the lines.

Well, we can… Average puppy buyer, not so much.

4) You haven’t actually heard from your breeder since you picked fluffykins up from the Wal-Mart parking lot. Your breeder doesn’t respond to your inquiries about poor health or your accomplishments until you drop the “Looking for another puppy” bomb. *Ka-ching* noise is all they hear and it’s all they can do not to pee in delight.

5) Your contract or agreement is less valuable than the Sonic napkins we pitched this evening. While most contracts are borderline unenforceable and heavily favor the “Possession is 9/10ths of the law” ideal, most breeders at least put together something halfway decent so you don’t wind up with a genetic and temperamental nightmare. Some simply will hand you a health certificate and toss you and your puppy out on the unforgiving aisles of the Walmart parking lot. Something is writing is great, shit that matters in writing is better.

You could say we were ‘thirsty’ for pictures in this article. And no, we won’t apologize for that awful pun.

6) You mention your breeders name at your first dog event and people that have the same breed start making shifty eyes. “I’ve never heard of them” or “Ohhh… tsk” the more polite ones will say, while the more straightforward owners lecture you on the horrors you are in for in your puppy’s future. Most of us will just wince and nod in the corner. You’ll learn one way or another.

Your Breeder Sounds… nice.

7) Your dog looks different from those pictures you saw online while researching your breed. You got pulled in to the rare colors scheme. Every breed guess is “*Intended Breed* Mix”. Turns out, a breeder that breeds for good pets and therapy dogs…. doesn’t always hit the nail on the head.

Should have done your research.

8) Your breeder is breeding dogs across multiple registries, particularly if they are the same breed but registered differently.. If “Papered” is used as an attribute anytime in your correspondence that”s a bad sign.. While for most breeders papers are a foregone conclusion (AKC, UKC, Canadian KC, KC, FCI, KNPV etc) for crap-pushers they are a sure sign to Joe Stupid that the dog is A) Valuable B) Worth Breeding and C) Healthy. Crap-registries have been created specifically to exploit this completely false equivocation. Some less than savory breeders will breed within this framework until they manage to get their hands on their more legitimate AKC/UKC counterparts. Most will continue to breed their crap dogs ignoring health testing, actual quality, soundness, the market and common decency while preaching about their working dogs who incidentally are usually 20-40lbs overweight and have never actually seen a decoy or a cow in the entire span of their existence.

Actually worth more than ContKC papers.

9) Your puppy is health certified, but not guaranteed past a couple of days. We know, this one can be confusing. A Health certificate verifies that the puppy you are being handed is healthy… right now. A Health guarantee… well it guarantees that your puppy will be healthy for the foreseeable future. This isn’t going to save you if you’re stupid and take your 8 week old puppy to the dog park, but it will protect you if any genetic health issues pop up.

 

10) Your breeder is not a member of your breed club. While this isn’t always an indicator, since some breed clubs are snobby and elitist (Here’s looking at you, PCA) and some are moderately psychotic (Hahahaha, yeah not going there), your breeder should be involved with a local breed club,local kennel club, or even a working club if that’s their focus.

 

This  is hardly a complete list, but if your dog came from a breeder that fits into one or more of these categories…. you might have fallen prey to the dreaded BYB. We forgive you, until you do it again. Then we will mock you.

 

Speaking of shitty breeders, the AKC just released their list for nominations for Breeders of the year. Congrats to the good multiple breeders on the list! We admire your dogs and your dedication to your breeds’ health, integrity and temperament. Many years of continued successes and furthering your accomplishments…. To the shitty breeders on the list, well, we hope your raging case of karmic herpes clears up sometime in the next few reincarnations. We doubt it, but you know, trashy behavior begets trashy karma.

WTF Wednesday: Just pick up your damn dog poop like a normal person

20 Aug

Because using a plastic bag is too much work, we have found yet another poop removal product that panders to the…useless.    Like the Poop Freeze , The Poop Trap,  and the AuggieDog Pop Vacuum before it, the Ash PooPie (really, must that second P be capitalized) promises to revolutionize the way you pick up animal waste  .Yay?

 

It’s like a magic wand for turds. BIPPITY-BOPPITY-POO!

 

This product reminds us of wart Freeze Off in the most disturbing of ways. Press this device in to the blemish on your yard (or face) and just like that…gone. We do have to wonder about the smell though. Can you smell the burning poo? What do you do with the little pile of shit ash that is left behind…. leave it there? Do you carry it around on walks and leave the little piles of ash on other people’s lawn?  We have questions, and this video answers none of them. It does, however, answer the one question we didn’t ask. Can it be used on human waste? The answer is yes… but we don’t want it to be.

 

 

Don’t Dunning-Kruger it up: BusyBee gives a brief psychology lesson

18 Aug

I want you all to add a new phrase to your vocabulary (other than assmarmot and twatwaffle, which should already be there):

“He really Dunning-Krugered that one!”

Confused?  Wondering what the hell a Dunning-Kruger is? Think I’m just making up words now?  Well kids, it’s my favorite cognitive bias (wow…nerd alert).

According to Wikipedia, “The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias manifesting in unskilled individuals suffering from illusory superiority,  mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude”  (Read the original study here)

Still confused?

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Simply put,  people suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect are unskilled and unaware.   That’s right, it’s a double-whammy of ineptitude.

MjAxNC0xZDU1ZjVhMTRkNmU5MDlj_52e83fd048990

As many of us embedded in the dog world know, people Dunning-Kruger it all the time. That guy who insists that he’s the best dog trainer in the world and yet can’t get a decent down-stay out of his own dog?  The woman in an online forum who always has (bad) advice to shove down peoples’ throats?   The craptastic breeder who insists that her dogs are the best despite having no titles? That 19 year old dude who says he’s a dog training expert? (pro tip: 19 year old dudes aren’t experts on anything, except maybe consuming large amounts of food…and masturbation).

What do all these people have in common?  They’re totally Dunning-Krugering it.

Are you sure it's not you?

Are you sure it’s not you?

 

As many trainers can probably tell you, unskilled dog owners are easy to work with.  They can be taught and most are eager to learn.  But if they’re unskilled and think they’re the best thing to happen to the dog world since martingale collars?  Watch out.  These are the people who will literally drive you to the point of madness as you beat your head against the proverbial wall trying to deal with them as they merrily perch on the top of “Mt. Stupid”.

images

Don’t get stranded on Mt. Stupid. It’s a long way down.

 

So the next time a know-it-all dog owner/trainer/groomer/breeder pisses you off with their unwavering (over)confidence, just smile, nod, and chalk it up to good ‘ole Dunning-Kruger.

images-1

 

**So minions, any experience with the Dunning-Kruger effect?  Found any good ways to combat it? Just need to vent?  Share below!**

Meanwhile in Crazy Town a.k.a. And the point of this is what exactly?

11 Aug

Any of you reasonably up to date on dog show drama may be reasonably well-aware of what we’ll refer to as “Piper-Gate 2014″. For those of you unfamiliar, the very abbreviated version is a Sheltie named Piper escaped from her caretaker when her owner was off at her breed’s national back in April. Through several somewhat iffy transactions over a holiday weekend, the microchipped but unregistered Piper ended up in a breed-rescue. Within a short period of time, the owners of Piper had returned, contacted the rescue, and began what should have been a simple, albeit documentation-intense, return process. Last week after much batshittery, the matter hit a courtroom where the judge ordered the return of Miss Piper to her owners. Seems simple, despite being overly dramatic and filled with stuff Dr. Phil needs to produce a show on including internet bullying, larceny accusations and what we can only assume are “I know you are but what am I” rubber/glue threats.

Right on, you creepy bald bastard!

 

However, instead of returning Piper, the rescue posted a $10,000 bond (Here) .  Wait, what?  $10,000?  Do you know how far that would go in most rescues and how many other animals that money could save?  Why would any good rescue give that kind of money to keep ONE dog that has loving and responsible owners who desperately want her back and after all this drama really didn’t need to be rescue in the first place?  Oh, that’s right.  Ego and making a statement against breeders.  We get it.  Many rescuers are vehemently against breeders, but Piper is not a shitty BYB Sheltie who ended up in a home with some yokels.  She’s a much-loved champion dog from a good breeder who happened to get lost.

 

Too Late. She said Spite.

 

Really our question is, to what end is the rescue fighting this? If the real mission of the rescue is save and rehome unwanted Shelties, they certainly are barking up the wrong tree.  Why not spend their energy and money pulling other dogs from shelters who truly don’t have anywhere to go?  We’re pretty sure that this has become more about people than about the animals and we really don’t like the people.

 

…except on command.

 

 

Unfortunately for good rescues this has, in much of the ethical breeding community, created a major backlash. Why would breeders support a rescue who wouldn’t do their best to reunite a dog with their owners or breeders? Ethical breeders take their responsibilities to their dogs incredibly seriously and being painted with the same brush as BYB garbage millers does not induce a particular love of donating to said organizations.

 

“Rescue keeps calling me at night and breathing heavily.”

This is just another case of when everyone would be better off if rescues and breeders could work together.  So many more dogs would be saved in the long run, but unfortunately both sides have to be willing to work together, and Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue has certainly burned  firebombed some bridges.

 

I put a Hollister on your face. That’s how much I hate you.

 

So dear minions, until cooler heads prevail (Or Ohio just gets wiped out in a Noah’s Ark styled flood) Piper will remain in limbo. What can you do to prevent such an incident happening to you?

 

-Microchip, register, and keep your microchip information up to date. IIt can serve as proof of ownership in many states. Make sure you have a secondary contact (Breeder or a trainer-friend is usually a good choice) in case you are for some reason unreachable.

-Keep current full body and profile pictures of your dogs to use for ‘Lost Dog’ posters and for quick identification in places where microchip scanners aren’t readily available.

-Make and keep good rescue/shelter contacts. Volunteer, transport or offer clerical assistance to rescues in your area. You will never know when that networking will be helpful. The more eyes looking for your pup the better.

-Have a “Lost Dog” plan in place for any pet-sitters or friends who will be watching your dog. A simple checklist of who to call and where to check first as well as friends and contacts who can help put legs on the ground (or on the Facebook groups) to help find your pet.

 

 

Be the cooler heads, kids, and with luck Piper will be home, safe and sound shortly.

 

Bill Nye’s got this. Bring it down a notch, peeps.

Owner Profile: The Hounding Hypochondriac

5 Aug

Description:  Always convinced that their dog has been stricken by some horrible (and rare) malady, The “Hounding Hypochondriac” is well-known by their beleaguered vets and on  internet forums as that woman who swore her dog had ebola last week because he reverse sneezed for 15 seconds three days ago. We totally understand worrying about our dogs. A little neurotic watchdogging is good for the soul, really.  And obviously it’s better to catch a serious health issue sooner than later, but somewhere between “My dog looked at me funny, better call the vet” and “My dog is bleeding profusely, I’ll just slap a bandaid on” is a happy medium.  A happy medium that the “Do I Need a Vet Dunce” (stay tuned for this owner profile coming soon) nor “The Hounding Hypochondriac” have never known.

Not a dog.

 

Common Locations:  Vet clinics, Yahoo forums, Facebook Groups not necessarily of the medical variety, and the Facebook pages of veterinary friends demanding medications for issues of dubious seriousness.

 

Breeds Owned: Inevitably the HH has a dog who could eat arsenic for breakfast, get hit by a car at lunch and be ready for Alpo at dinner. Typically the HH’s dogs are disgustingly healthy in part due to extreme preventative care and a bubble-boy existence but also just because their owners are so aware of potential issues the dogs just don’t come into contact with dangerous objects all that often.

Also works as an effective fart catcher

Also works as an effective fart shield

 

Skill Level:  Varies widely.  Ranging from the sport dog owner who worries that a quicked nail will ruin their dog’s chances at the next trial to the owner who thinks Fluffy might have the plague because he didn’t want to fetch today, the Hounding Hypochondriac is frustratingly common. Vast majority will however be on the very low to mid-low range. Most experienced owners will have a bucket-full of tricks for the most banal of dog-issues and will see the vet after the simplest fixes have been tried and failed.

Step away from the computer. It’s just a little gas.

 

Catch Phrases:   “How late is the e-vet open?”, “How do you know if your dog is dying?”, “Is that a pimple or a mast cell tumor?”, “I think I need to google that”, “Is poop supposed to be <shade of brown>?”

 

Wardrobe:  PJs, Scrubs and a purse big enough to contain an entire mobile first-aid kit.  You never know when you will need to intubate your own dog.

And Vera Bradley Purses

Anecdotal Evidence:

 

BusyBee:  I feel like I live in two worlds-one in which I am surrounded by knowledgeable dog people with good dog sense (i.e. you all), and one in which I am the most savvy dog person around.  In the latter area of my life, I am usually the one who receives worried texts, emails, and phone calls about Fido’s latest malady.  Whether it’s concern over a dog licking his nether regions (why does a dog lick his balls?  because he can, duh), being concerned because a puppy lost a tooth (it’s something they do), to deciphering doggy diarrhea for my friends, I’ve pretty much heard it all.  In terms of poop, yeah,  I’ve pretty much heard every possible “diagnosis” ranging from poisoning to  giardia to late stage stomach cancer.  Pro tip: dogs get diarrhea sometimes.  Shit literally happens.  And if that shit isn’t happening over an extended period of time, relax and take a deep breath before you give yourself stress poops over nothing.

It’s not a tumor

Fang: So that whole working for dog businesses thing? Yeah, I get these assbags and their internet diagnosing counterpart the “Do I need a Vet? Dunce”  All.The.Time. From the 12 year old labrador mix who was freaking out from the word “boarding” (We informed the owner when he arrived to take her home and usually that is the end of any further poop discussions. Three days later, rather than having taken our advice to keep her on the bland diet and bring her to his vet the next day, he had to drag her to the e-vet at 3am and $400 later informed us that we had Parvo and should be shut down… Umm. Pardon? A rapid call back had us clarifying immediately that the vet had not in fact informed him the dog had parvo it was just “On the list of what the internet said it could be.”) to the person who is demanding I give an opinion on their Golden Retriever’s rash since it’s probably ringworm (No, it’s not but I’m not going to tell them that since I’m not their effing vet!) to the idiot who straight up announced to me that their dog was autistic (They clarified by saying it was Asperger’s no doubt thrilling the ASD community to no end) and therefore would never have good manners… So here’s the deal, don’t call me with your Munchausen-by-proxy-server canine conditions. In fact, if we’re really friends you know it’s best not to call me at all unless you need real assistance with something that isn’t trying to talk you off the ledge of stupid you wandered up on to via Google and Dog Forums. I’m apt to push you off while calling you stupid and hanging up on you.

 

Potnoodle: Much like Busybee, I do have to occasionally interact with non-dog people. These interactions are typically just me repeating “Take him to the vet” over and over again.  In my younger days, I’d occasionally offer the “Give him some pumpkin” or “Try a benadryl” approach but over the years I’ve learned this is enabling and the next thing you know you’ll be bent over a 120 bloodhound pulling out spay stitches while she tries to remove your arm. True story. Lesson learned, and now I sound like a broken record when I’m called for vet advice… even for the most trivial of things.

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