Archive | March, 2015

Dog Breeds V: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly e.g. Shorty Get Down

23 Mar

Time for more breed profiles, we know, we’re overdue. Tough Titties. This time we’re tackling the breeds whereupon it’s easy to believe there is in fact  a connection between pleasantness and length of leg. That’s right kids, it’s time for the Achondroplastic (There’s a Scrabble word for you) breeds per our selection. Brace yourselves for a lot of short jokes.

Pemmies, Cardis and for funsies their peasant cousin, the Vallhund (Sort of)

Okay, so technically a Vallhund isn’t a Corgi but it has the same shape and can also be a big dirty asshole, so we’re lumping it in, so ha.

The Good:

-Want a sport dog? Drive a compact car? We’ve got the dog(s) for you. There’s a reason you see a ton of corgis at dog sports. They’re good at it, despite the length of their legs. They are generally good with kids and make great junior dogs, in conformation or performance.

-These are dogs bred to take a kicking and keep on ticking (literally). Both breeds of Corgi are dogs that can run with you or go for a long hike and come right back in and snuggle down in your apartment. They’re hardy and fairly healthy. Certainly not frail dogs.

 

-Owning a Vallhund means that you can own a rare breed without people thinking you are a snob.  The flip side of this is that you will spend a great deal of time convincing people your dog isn’t some sort of Corgi mix.

The Bad:

Before we dive in to the bad, we’ve gotta split these guys up. First off, the Cardigan is the one with the tail, the Pembroke is the one with the queen and the Vallhund is the one with the vikings.

-The Pembroke is spitzier (Cardigans have rounder ears and softer personalities), and everything that comes with that. They can be sharp and reactivity is not uncommon.

Similar to the Kraken, but longer.

 

-Corgis love to get fat. Real fat. They’re easy keepers and usually very food driven, always a dangerous combination. Combine that with their short legs and long back and you’ve got a recipe for the bad back mentioned below.

The Ugly:

-Like every other breed on this list, Corgis are prone to back problem because of their length of back. That’s an expensive surgery, lots of rehab and a long time to keep a normally active dog fairly still and calm.

-The hair. So. Much HAIR. These dogs walk into a room, puffs out their cheeks and Poof! Blows hair on every surface. Honestly, it’s almost magical if you don’t have to be the one vacuuming it all up.  Get used to find  wafting balls of hair in corners and under furniture.   And on your clothes.  And in your food.  And in other places we dare not mention.

Dachshunds

The Good:

-These tiny creatures are a bundle of fun (albeit not always in the way you would want them to be).  Full of spirit and energy, prepare to be kept on your toes by owning one.  They are attention-loving clowns who will steal the show whenever they can.  If you are someone who can find the joy in your dog stealing baby Jesus from a Christmas display (seriously, BusyBee has a friend whose dog did this), then you might be well-suited for this breed.

 

Loyal to the core, Dachshunds bond strongly with their owners and are almost underfoot (literally).  Dachshund owners will tell you that they are sweet, affectionate, and cuddly with those that they deem acceptable, but may not be so with strangers.

Blanket Burrower: Expert

 

The Bad:

Ever heard of Doxie World Domination? Well, it’s a real thing.  Many Dachshund owners can attest that these dogs are cute, they know it, and they aren’t afraid to use it to manipulate you.

 

-Barking is actually bred into this breed. They were bred to hunt small game and bark to alert his human. If you want silence in your home, don’t get a Dachshund.

-They’re like pringles, you can’t have just one.  Seriously, most Dachshund owners start with one and then slowly (or not so slowly) start adding to the herd.   While this may not seem like a bad thing, imagine some of the less desirable traits in multiples.  You might want to invest in some ear plugs.

 

The Ugly:

It should be no surprise that these feisty little creatures are prone to back injuries.  Add in a propensity to be overweight and a love of dive-bombing off of furniture or anything else they can climb up on, you have a recipe for disaster.

 

-If you are looking for a highly biddable dog, you should look elsewhere.  Dachshunds tend to have a mind of their own. They believe they are in charge at all times. They like to decide where they are going, when they are going there and what they’ll do when they arrive.  That isn’t to say they can’t be trained, but it will take a lot of patience and a sense of humor.

 

Basset Hounds

The Good:

Just seeing one toddling along is enough to make anyone smile.  They tend to approach life with a certain joie de vivre that can be contagious.

Herp-a-derp

 

-If you’re looking for a dog that just wants to hangout, take casual walks, and chill out on the couch you don’t need to look much further. Most Bassets are pretty Bro-ish dogs. They’re cool to go on a weekend warrior hike, or hang out and drink some beers., Whatever dude.

 

The Bad:

– Although they are short haired, Basset Hounds shed more than you might expect, and tend to drool after they eat or drink. A Basset Hound may not be a good choice for someone who likes a very tidy house or doesn’t like slobber hanging from their lamps…and their furniture…and their ceilings. 

If you live in a city, or have neighbors who are looking for any reason to hate you, the vocalizations of a Basset will not win you any friends.  They’re a breed of dog made to make noise, and they’re very good at that. People that love them tend to love the baying but not so much their upstairs neighbor.

The Ugly:

-Bassets just aren’t healthy dogs. Yes, yes, we know you have an uncle with a pack of hunting Bassets that are healthy as horses. We’re not talking about those. They’re prone to numerous genetic issues, allergies, and of course the back issues of all the other breeds on this list. Their ears alone are a nightmare, thanks to their general droopiness. They are also another breed that tends towards fat.

-The basset is a breed pretty heavily impacted by BYBs, because of their cuteness. As always, one should be careful where one gets their Basset.

Probably not to standard

 

-Hound Stank is also a very real thing.

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WTF Wednesday

12 Mar

Drink up, bitches.

Because our dogs apparently deserve better than tap water, a company has created sparkling dog water that comes in a bedazzled bottle. Seriously. And, at only $30 for a four pack, your dog can drink in style and empty your pockets at the same time. Wonder how many bottles it takes to fill the toilet up,  if we’re talking about fulfilling our dog’s wildest desire.

Wishes do come true!

 

It’s not that I don’t want to take your money: A Letter to today’s disgruntled clients.

7 Mar

Dear Indignant Client,

Today I am pissed. As you have seen I work in a dog-themed business in a management-type capacity. I don’t manage employees, I do however have independent and, on my work days, sole control over what essentially amounts to a Pass/Fail evaluation to determine admittance to our Shangri-la. I manage who comes in and today you failed repeatedly and amazingly, so I’d like to explain to you my reasoning because you seemed offended and confused. I heard you call me stupid and I’d like to explain exactly what transpired to you, since you seemed unwilling and unable to see it.

Just kidding. It’s both.

I saw you walking in, or should I say, being dragged in, barely keeping your balance as your hell hounds charged through the parking lot, paying not a lick of attention to the useless bags of flesh at the end of the lead (That would be you). You laughed, or maybe you half-heartedly told the dog to quit, flapping your flexi leash like a mentally-challenged chicken attempting to fly.

And he still has better leash control than you do. Think about that one.

That dear client, that was your first failure. It showed me you had no control of your dogs and little to no desire to gain that control. Whatever your dog does will be “Cute”, “So funny” or “I don’t know he’s just like that”. You feel no personal responsibility for your dog’s behavior and aren’t inclined to acquire it despite signing a contract with me to the contrary. I watch this, shaking my head, and mentally preparing for the fiasco, all the while hoping your lack of responsibility or caring will be made up for by your animals’ exceedingly good nature and forgiving temperament.

My little munchkincakes is such a delightful companion.

Your entry into my work-space is calamitous. Your hell-hounds attempting to lay siege to the gate starts what could only be described as a battle of decibels when the shrieking of disgruntled cattle dogs rattle the gates and the eardrums of those of us unfortunate enough to listen. You giggle when I tell you to please move your dogs back. “Oh they’re fine,” you tell me, allowing obscene vertical advances over the gate into cattle dog country. When the gate suddenly and forcefully pushes outward as twenty-five pounds of unmitigated Australian rage hits it, you jump back. That vicious dog could hurt your precious babies. “Mine will not be,” I tell you. You get an inkling that I’m not pleased, but I’m probably a bitch anyway so who cares what I think.

Nothing. Like what my dogs think of murdering yours when it jumps over the gate.

That dear client was your second failure. It showed me that you truly believe that you know best, regardless of the needs and concerns of others. Your dogs are “fine”, therefore everyone else’s dogs must be fine with whatever yours may or may not do, and therefore their owners must also be fine. I do not claim perfection for my charges. I asked you not to do something. You ignored me. That doesn’t bode well. It also tells me that left to their own devices your dogs are assholes. While this doesn’t make entry impossible it does require you to get your head out of your ass. While I understand it’s warm and safe in there, the real world would appreciate your participation in things that involve you.

So much advice for you… So very very much.

You have your required paperwork (Shockingly), and I give you the other forms. You fill them out, only grumbling mildly about how much work it is to write your name and read a few lines of text. It’s a stretch, I understand. All the while I’m managing my own hell-creatures desperately attempting to keep yours from making it into their space and starting what I could only describe as ‘Lord of the Flies’ with more swearing. Finally the arduous task of simple word construction is over and we’re ready for the moment of truth; The temperament test. I explain the rule, a simple off-leash greeting in our big room. My big sweet boy is my barometer. He is sweet and big enough to not get squashed in a conflict and he refuses to engage in squabbles. Your first dog is a delight. Sweet, gentle and attempting to provoke a playful response from my boy. He complies and they bow and scramble at each other playfully. My pesky puppy joins the fray and your first dog alters the play to include her and yet not overwhelm her. I will enthusiastically pass *that* dog. The second dog enters for what should have been a similar test. The grumbling from the start is not unexpected but the repeated posturing over everyone is not promising. Refusal to disengage from said behavior on a recall, and proceeding to bully each of the the others to a corner and continue to ignore your plaintive calls to “Sweetiecake Mufifn Prince of My Heart!” is the nail in the coffin. “I’m sorry but he does not pass. He cannot go in”

At this point, dear client, we were at a draw. I can grumpily overlook the lack of control, training, and concern for others, because through pure luck, you have one really excellent dog-friendly dog who listens to strangers. Your second dog could be really awesome but we will never know for sure because of said things I am unable to overlook because he is not in fact dog-friendly. We could have left as friends (Not really.You suck hard.) but then you had to go and ruin it, client by opening your stupid-filled mouth.

It’s indignant bullshit filling, Mr. Shark. Sorry about that.

 

“I can’t believe you won’t let him in. We’ve never had a problem, and it was just with that one dog! He just doesn’t like German Shepherds. This is ridiculous. Nothing even happened. This place is a joke I would never pay to come back here.”

As I unclench my jaw and swallow the words I feel rising in my mouth. Firstly, Believe it. I take *real* safety issues incredibly seriously. Your dog poses a safety risk for others, human and canine. He is a bully and you show no interest in gaining control over his less than desirable traits. Secondly, if you haven’t had a problem yet, it’s because you’ve either refused to recognize his behavior as a problem and ignored it likely pissing off others like myself extensively, or because you don’t take him anywhere. Thirdly, my big male is essentially the toned-down version of most park dogs. He isn’t overtly pushy. He won’t bounce your dogs around in rough play. If they have an issue with him odds are pretty good it won’t be good with others. We tried with puppy, no improvement. So, it was two vastly different personalities, sizes and appearances. Fourthly, neither dog is a GSD, but thank you for playing. Yes, it is in fact ridiculous but not for any of the the aspects that you’re considering.I offer to let you use our training yard but you stomp out in a huff.

Angry! Fury! Breedism!

This is your third and final failure, client. It’s not that I don’t want to take your money, in fact, were I less scrupulous, I would do precisely that. I can kick you out per owner discretion without giving you a refund, see? If it were about the money, I’d let you in to run amok and ruin everyone’s day with your ill-mannered dog and your shitty attitude. The bitching about you and your dog alone would ruin my day, and frankly I’m not interested in dealing with anyone else’s shit today so my money grubbing plans will have to wait. And just so we’re 100% clear, when I say your failure, I do in fact mean you. I failed you today, not your dog. Your dog simply didn’t pass. Their likelihood of passing in the future is fully determined by you. You failed and you failed your dog.

And it’s all yours/ Lucky fella.

So thank you. Thank you for pointing out to me that working with a dog, regardless of the struggle is more rewarding than letting it pass by in front of you without doing anything. Thank you for confirming my initial thoughts as I saw you being yanked across the lot and making me sure of my choices. Thank you for overreacting to the exact wrong part of what I told you. Thank you for not listening so I don’t feel badly about telling you ‘No’. And finally thank you for your rudeness, without which I would be unable to compose this letter. I’ve been doing this a while and I’ve gotten especially good at seeing issues and potential problems. I’ve passed dogs with reservations and those reservations, if unaddressed have become realized. I don’t tell you this to hurt your feelings since I genuinely don’t care about your feelings. I tell you this because you need to know and you need to address it before you have a real problem, not just some uppity bitch failing your dog because she is just hateful. I am all of those things, but I promise I don’t use my best qualities on lesser beings.

Sincerely annoyed,
Fang (Your not so friendly and not-so-amused local uppity dog bouncer.)

It’s a calling. You’re welcome.