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The Good, The Bad and the Expensive: Dog training fads, programs, and you

28 Apr

Let’s face it kids, the RDP are some gullible sons (mostly daughters) of bitches. 

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We buy matching  leash and collar combinations for dogs who don’t care- and our outfits must coordinate too or the sky will collapse. We attend courses and seminars based upon the biggest training trends of the moment that don’t actually fix issues we really have. We spend thousands of dollars on books and DVDs destined to show us a better (More expensive) way to do things we’ve done pretty much the right way from the beginning thanks to those who’ve come before us… and we do it all with a grimace that if you squint could be considered a smile for someone giving birth to a bowling ball. It’s so common now, it’s expected- we are hardly immune but we think we lack some serious critical thinking skills when it comes to the consequences beyond just the financial with every new fad or program we toss at our ever-willing canines. So here’s a few things to consider before you shell out the big bucks to learn how to pet your own dog.

 

  1. What do I expect to improve by attending/participating/purchasing this?Achieve

All the courses and DVDs in the world cannot change basic facts of any scenario. They cannot make up for a bad match, a bad temperament (Dog or owner) or a bad attitude. They mostly can’t give you practical experience, they can’t teach you know your dog better,  and they 100% absolutely do not make you an expert in anything. Sometimes you just need to face facts. Your dog is what it is, you are what you are and at a certain point you need to be okay with the fact that there is no magical cure or fast forward button. Buying the latest in harness/leash/collar/equipment won’t suddenly make your dog Lassie on a leash. Spending time with agility gurus is not going to get your Basset Hound to be the NAC any more than a 2 week online behavior course does makes you a professional trainer no matter what your PDF certificate says.

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2 What’s the ripple effect going to look like?

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So this is more for training your dog than yourself. It comes down to how well you know your dog and your dog’s proclivities. How will these approaches hit further down the line. If you have a dog who could be prone to obsessive behavior, looping or anxiety, teaching them crates are THE safe place from stress will be more hindrance than help. If you have a dog who is head-shy, maybe taking them somewhere to be hit with a soft flying projectile to the head isn’t the best move. Are you helping big issues or are you feeding smaller issues? Those smaller issues rapidly become big issues if you let them. Just because it’s worked for others doesn’t mean it’ll work for you and vice versa. Know when it’s starting to go off the rails and have an idea of how to reverse it if it does.

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3. Am I really going to follow-through with this?

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A weekend seminar is one thing, a multi-thousand dollar course is another. It’s the difference from volunteering at a church soup kitchen and joining Scientology. Why would you spend the cash if you weren’t prepared to go full Tom Cruise? If you’re not ready to jump on a couch with your PVC creation or your puppy checklist isn’t it in your best interest to learn about it before you flash out the big cash?

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Really there’s something out there to suit every temperament and need, but be a smart consumer and more importantly, be a realist. Don’t put yourself on a trajectory you can’t pull out of without considering the full repercussions. Now we’re certainly not the types to crap on dog-fancy entrepreneurs- there are plenty of good ideas lodged in each new fad program, DVD series, my puppy will be more awesome than yours-type seminars etc, but don’t let the hype derail sense. You’re better than that- or at least pretend you are. 

Safety First! (Yes, weak- but also you’re welcome)

 

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A dick by any other name: BusyBee’s latest annoyance

7 Apr

Me:  Hey, I’m so sorry that my dog was a dick this morning.

Neighbor: Did you just call your dog a dick?

Me:  You don’t?

Neighbor:  No. That’s not very nice.

Really?  You think calling my dog a dick isn’t nice?  Well it’s a good thing she didn’t hear some of the other things I’ve called him recently.  One of the things I am most proud of is my vast knowledge colorful insults.  I’m pretty sure I’ve called my dog a twatwaffle or an assmarmot at least a few times in the last few months.

Dogs have been killed for less than this.

Here’s the thing.  I love my dog.  I really do.  Just ask my Facebook friends who have to see at least 30 gazillion photos of him per week (and yes, those pictures of him sleeping aren’t all the same, I swear). But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t sometimes act like a dick.  And as his (loving) owner, I reserve the right to call it as I see it.  The names I call him really have no bearing on my love for him.   And beyond that, guess what?…he doesn’t understand that I am calling him a phallus and he certainly doesn’t know what a marmot is.

Just a pir-marmot.  Nothing see here.

Referring to my dog as an asshole or dick in conversation isn’t going to traumatize him or impact our relationship, I promise.  I can pretty much guarantee that people have done worse things to their dogs than calling them a cockmuppet (you’re welcome for that new vocabulary word).

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Kermit gives no fucks.  Sorry, Jim Henson.

So the next time you hear someone telling their dog that that their mother was a hamster and their father smells of elderberries, please don’t don’t get your panties (yes, I used that word. That is an entirely different issue for an entirely different blog) in a twist.

Older and Wiser, An Educational Rant By Potnoodle

6 Apr

I think I may be getting old, dear minions. (Long time, no see by the way. How’s your mom? Good, good.) As I was saying, I’m aging. I’m still actively involved in dog groups, I pitch in my two cents here or there but more often or not I just find myself shaking my head at what the young whippersnappers are working themselves up about this week. I remember those days (like five years ago), those long forum arguments about training styles, dog food, etc… but it all seems much more petty now. Of course, the training battles are still waging, as they were when the earth began and as they will when it ends. That’s not what I’m thinking about. It seems to have come in to fashion to be a hard assed dog owner. Where did that come from? When did pet weight become a dirty word? What’s with the nail nazis, commenting on every photo of a dog that doesn’t have nubs for nails? Fur Mommy is about the worst insult some of you kids can come up with, and it’s getting a little out of hand. I mean, we like to judge. It’s what we do, but our goal is to bring some levity to dog ownership, not make people feel like shit.

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Except for the real shitty ones.

Let’s talk about that first point a little further. Sit down for this, are you ready? There’s no need for the average dog to look like a pit bull walking into the show ring. You want your dog to look like that? Cool. Get out there and do the work. Food bowl conditioning is another point entirely, and maybe we’ll get to it one day but for right now, let’s focus on telling you kids to stop being shitlords and using pet weight as an insult especially if the dog is a FUCKING pet. Pet isn’t a dirty word, by the way… but I’ll talk about that shortly. Obviously, we don’t like fat dogs here at TDS, see a previously written article titled something along the lines of “Your dog is a fatass, feed him less”. A dog with a little coverage on his or her ribs though? That’s okay. It doesn’t make you edgy or cool to come along and comment on the dog’s weight. It really just makes you look like an asshat. Stay in your own lane, and out of my grass, damnit.

Alright. Toe nails. I get it. Same with the fat dog thing. Toe nails that touch the floor are ACTUALLY bad for a dog. I’m with you on that, I was a groomer for years… I’ve clipped some hellacious ones. This craze has gone too far though. Not every dog is a show doberman (Thank the sweet baby jesus). They don’t all need little nub nails. What if I told you that dogs use their toe nails? What a novel thought! Have a look at these cheetah toe nails (They don’t retract their claws like other cats, by the way. Never say we didn’t teach you something.) I recently witnessed someone in a facebook group comment that a whippet’s toe nails were too long. Mind you, the nails weren’t touching the ground. You know what whippets do exceptionally well? The same thing cheetahs do well… run and turn.

If you want to spend hours of your week devoted to your dog’s toe nails… more power to you. Get off the dick of people that have dogs with perfectly fine toe nails though.

Last point now. Thanks for sticking with the ramblings of an old woman. Fur Mommies and Pet Owners. Did you sneer up your nose when you read that? I bet you did, we’re all friends here… this is just an intervention. An intervention for assholes… but not the good kind of assholes we are. The Shitty ones that think it’s fun to infiltrate groups of Pibble Mommies and Pupper Lovers and wreck shit. Y’all need to get better hobbies. Why, all of a sudden, is having pet dogs a bad thing? All these people are doing is loving their perfectly fine, pet weight pets and clipping their toe nails like… once a month. The majority of you little shits work in the pet industry. These people are your bread and butter. And guess what? That Malinois your mom bought you that does rally and dock diving every now and again is a pet too, no matter how many “working dog, do not pet” patches you put on his Julius K9… so cool your shit. It does not make you cool to join groups and rile up suburban dog moms. That means it isn’t cool to join just to post pictures of your dogs testicles, or your dog eating raw bunnies, or your thin dog. (Also smoking doesn’t make you look cool either, while we’re covering dumb shit children do. )

OK Kids, Now that we’ve covered some home truths I feel we can carry on. We hope to soon get back to a much more regular posting schedule. You guys have gotten out of hand while we were gone. If you have a topic you’d like us to address, please do let us know. We’ll consider it.

P.S. No my dogs aren’t fat and they have perfectly acceptable toe nail lengths, even by Nail Nazi standards. I thought about posting a photo but I don’t need facebook stalkers, thanks.

Wishful Thinking

1 Jan

You can’t always get what you want…but we sure can dream.    Although we’re pretty sure most of our wishes fall under a more general “don’t be an asshole” category, here are 10 d0g-related things (of many, many more) we hope will happen in 2017.

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  1. People will actually research breeds before getting a dog.  And no, watching reruns of Frasier to learn more about JRTs doesn’t count.
  2. Dog shit will no longer litter the sidewalks because people actually learn to pick it up…and dispose of it properly.  
  3. Poodles will no longer be indiscriminately bred with any other dog that has four paws.
  4. Good sportsmanship will reign supreme in the dog sport world (yeah…right).
  5. Drama whoring of petty dog things across social media will be drastically reduced.
  6. Can those creepy pictures of dog heads on human bodies stop being a thing?
  7. Please stop showing pictures on Facebook of how short you’ve dremeled your dog’s nails.  We really don’t care.
  8. For people to actually acknowledge that their dog is rotund instead of just calling it “muscular”.
  9. “Don’t worry, he’s friendly” will be stricken from the English language.
  10. We will all take more time out of our busy lives to actually work with, and enjoy our dogs.

 

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So minions, what do you hope 2017 will bring??

 

 

Good Sportsmanship, it’s not just for losers.

30 Aug

Picture it: Sicily, 1922… or a dog sport venue, 2016. Whichever works for you.

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An adult human being stands in the middle of the course/field/ring with his or her dog. Complaining. Loudly. His/Her dog, previously amped to be there with him, excited to do the task he has trained for, is now subdued, ears tucked back almost like an embarrassed kid whose mom has asked to speak to the manager. The man/woman is ranting and raving about a recent rule change/equipment change/ring setup. A perfectly reasonable change… a change he/she has had time to prepare for. Yet here he or she is, being a dick.

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You’ve chosen the wrong button.

Don’t be that asshole. Just don’t. Do you even remember why you’re playing this game? Could it have something to do with the dog sitting at your feet. The dog that could be playing the game he loves to play with you but is instead being completely embarrassed by your lack of ability to behave like a grown ass man/woman.

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Almost as embarrassing as this pun

We know, we know. Dogs don’t think like that. We get it. However, we do think you should be embarrassed of yourself. You paid your dollars to be here. Probably a lot of them. You can claim you did it because your dog just loves the sport so much but we know the truth. Your dog would be delighted playing in the park or on a hike. There’s some part of you, rather you admit it or not, that is here to win. Maybe not the entire competition but you’re here for titles or you’re here for points or world invites or… something. If not, your panties wouldn’t be in such a twist over this new rule, or that little screw up, or the weather or whatever it is that has you up in arms.

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We aren’t saying we don’t want to sleep under this. We’re just saying we aren’t ass marmots about it. 

Can we ask you again not to be that asshole? Think about the novices that are here for the first time. These people who have been told by trainers and friends what a warm welcoming environment such and such sport is. How much fun it is, how wonderful it is to walk into the ring or onto the field or course with their dog by their side to play the game they’ve trained so hard at. Then those novices arrive, fresh faced and innocent, to see you shit all over the sport that was supposed to be friendly and welcoming. And you’re obviously in the know, as someone who has been playing for years. Someone with a successful dog, someone who was here to win.

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He’s in it to win it.Obviously. 

We aren’t saying that competitors shouldn’t complain. Of course we’re not; We love to complain. We love to complain amongst ourselves and god knows we love to complain online. You know what? Complaining gets shit done. Look at this week’s agility news. Bye Bye Chute, don’t let a dog get trapped in you and break a leg on the way out. There’s a time and a place for those complaints. Send emails, talk to reps… just don’t make an ass out of yourself in the middle of a competition. Of course, there’s also the option of voting with your money. Don’t compete in events where you don’t agree with the rules/regulations/equipment… but that might limit your opportunity for glory/accolades/a fifty cent piece of ribbon and we couldn’t have that, could we?

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But they feel so good when you roll in them naked…. I mean hang them up. On you wall. Like a normal person. Yeah… hang them up. 

 

 

Dating with Dogs: A Primer

21 Jul

Dating is hard.   Dating with dogs…is interesting.   In addition to the normal questions that run through every single person’s mind (What should I wear? Am I showing enough boob?  Too much boob? How’s my breath?), a dog person will probably also have some, if not all, of the following thoughts:

  1. Will my dog like my date?
  2. Will my date like my dog?
  3. Will my date like my dog more than me?
  4. If my date has a dog, would our dogs get along?
  5. How does my date feel about dog hair?  
  6. I sure hope I don’t have any dog hair in awkward places.
  7. What will I do with my dog if my date comes back to my place?
  8. More importantly, what will my dog do if I bring a date back home?
  9. Will my date be turned off by the copious amounts of photos of my dog I have?
  10. Should I have hidden said dog photos?
  11. How slowly should I reveal my layers of dog crazy?
  12. Can they handle the crazy?
  13. When is the appropriate time to tell someone you are dating that you write a blog best known for ‘dog toy or sex toy’ comparisons?  (Ok fine, maybe that’s just us).

 

 

 

 

There also some things you should probably know before dating someone with dogs:

  1. Love us, love our dog.  It’s really kind of simple.   
  2. We like our dogs more than you.  That’s unlikely to change.  
  3. If you are insecure being a third wheel, please move on.  The dog was here first, and you are the interloper.  While we can find a way to squeeze you in on the couch with us, the dog isn’t going anywhere.
  4. While ideally we would find a significant other as dog crazy as we are, we are fine settling for someone who supports (or at least doesn’t get in the way of) our own craziness.
  5. Don’t take us cutting our dates short as a personal affront.  Sometimes we really do need to go walk the dog, and no, that’s not a euphemism.
  6. Our hobbies consist of dogs,  dog people sometimes,  and lots of driving to dog events. If you want to come and “be supportive” you will be bucket bitch. That title is exactly as glamorous as it sounds. We also probably will ignore you until we  need a brush, a snack (for the dog, and I’ll know if you steal one)  need you to get me a leash,  or (surprise) need you to fill a bucket. It’s not personal, I just need those things and you’ve volunteered.
  7. Don’t question our dog-related spending habits.  Ever.
  8. You can maybe work up to holding some of our dogs’  leashes, but don’t be offended if we never ask you to hold it.  If you volunteer,  we’ll probably say no. It’s not that we  don’t trust you,  but given that your reaction to our dogs  sitting on command was on par with witnessing a statue of the Madonna weeping blood…we don’t trust you.
  9. Our voices change when we talk to our dogs, and it isn’t cute.  Deal with it.
  10. Get used to us being more excited to see our dogs  than you when we come home.  
  11. If you aren’t ready to hear the answer, don’t ask who we love more–you or the dog.  

So, dating with dogs?  Any tips?  Success stories? Horror stories (please, share your misery! Do it! ).  Share below! 

Dog Commands: Reading Between the Lines

14 Jun

 

We here at The Dog Snobs have impeccably trained dogs. They’re not even dogs, really. Just perfect fuzzy robots. However, when we are walking Rover3D2, we sometimes notice that many times, people use one command when they really mean another.  Or they use one command when they really want to say something else entirely.  It’s craziness, really.  So, in order to help you out (because we are nothing if not helpful), we’ve made a list of what  people  *really* mean when they use certain dog commands as well as some handy-dandy alternatives.  You’re welcome.

 

“Heel”  really means…

“Walk next to me and don’t be a dickbag or I’ll beat you in private like the civilized people!”

 

“Look at me” really means…

“Stop staring at the drunk man dancing a jig. It’s awkward for all of us.”

 

“Leave it”  really means…

“Goddamnit, if you eat that tikka masala I dropped on the floor we’ll both suffer.”

 

“Drop it” really means…

“Let go or I swear to god I’ll cut your head off and then who will have the toy?”

 

“Come” really means….

“Keep running and see who gets to have dinner tonight.”

 

“Wait” really means…

“Move and die”

 

“Off” really means…

“If you push me down the stairs, I’ll break your kneecaps.”

 

“Lie Down” really means…

“Please just stop dicking around for five seconds.”

 

“Be nice” really means…

Nevermind. We don’t say that. This is for bad people.

 

If the above commands are a little too mainstream for you, may we also suggest these alternative commands:

 

“Don’t be a dick” 

“Really, stop being a dick and behave for 5 seconds so I don’t send you to Cincinnati to replace that Gorilla.”

 

“Get off my grill”  

“Get off that, I haven’t paid you off yet.”  

 

“Get out of there” 

“Get out of the cat box filled with delicious kitty truffles.”

 

“Don’t touch me” 

“You ate/rolled in something nasty, so no, I do not want your kisses.”  

 

“On your own time!”

“Will you PLEASE stop licking your junk next to me on the couch?”

 

“Seriously?” really means…

“Don’t even think about doing that dickbag thing you are about to do.”

 

“Calm the fuck down”

“Stop flinging yourself in the air, you freak.”

 

**Did we miss anything?  What favorite commands do you use?  Which commands would make your neighbors blush?  Share below!**

Don’t Be The Bitch in Apartment 2B: A Guide to Not Being An Asshole (by BusyBee)

14 Apr

For those of us who live in apartment complexes, we know that the etiquette for having dogs in a “vertical” community is a lot more complicated than living in a single family home.   Complicated, however, does not mean that you get a pass on you or your dog being an asshole.   So here are a few tips I’ve come up with after years of living in apartments with dogs (plus a silly thing called common sense):

1.Dogs bark.  That’s cool.  Some dogs bark more than others.  That’s…still cool.  But letting your dog bark all day?  Not cool.  Whether your dog is barking because of separation anxiety, because he sees moving shit outside of the window, or just likes to hear his own high pitch voice, please at least make an attempt to do something about it. We get that remedying some of these things takes time and patience,  but that doesn’t mean you should give up and just let your dog “bark it out” when you share 4 walls…and a floor…and a ceiling…and a courtyard…with your neighbors.   There are actual training protocols (gasp…shit you can do to make it better?) and techniques that will help.  Getting to the bottom of why your dog is barking is the first step in finding a solution. And while you are working on quieting your dog, give your neighbors a friendly little warning so they know you aren’t just some obtuse asshole who doesn’t care that Puppy barks from dawn to sunset.  You might even ply your neighbors with wine and cheese (I prefer a nice Gouda) so they are less annoyed when Fluffy flings himself at your door each time you walk by in the hallway.   

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2. If your dog piss and shit in the hallway, clean it up.  It’s not something to leave for the management to deal with in the morning.

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3. Related, while I get that dogs often are about to explode as you run them outside for a walk or potty break, don’t be that asshole who lets your dog do his business right at the threshold of the apartment complex.  No one, not even other dog owners, wants to take a flying leap over a puddle of piss to get outside.  Repeat after me:  Your building’s entrance is not a fire hydrant…

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4. If your building has an elevator, respect boundaries.  Letting your dog go barging into the elevator before anyone has even gotten out is just not terribly rude, but it’s a dog fight waiting to happen.  At the very least, I’m apt to throat punch you for invading my bubble.

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5. Another handy-dandy elevator tip-not everyone wants your dog’s nose up their skirt, in the crotch of their pants, or shoved into your grocery bag.  Keep a short leash on your dog when sharing tight quarters.

6. Short leashes are your friend when inside the complex.  Don’t be that twatwaffle who lets your dog round a corner on his flexi-leash and blindside a neighbor precariously balancing her recycling on her way to the garbage room leading her to land face first in a pile of crushed cans (Not that I know this from experience…. )

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7. Not everyone in your building loves dogs and not every dog in your building loves other dogs.   It’s pretty simple. Keep your dogs on leash in the common areas at all times.

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8.  Finally, know thy dog.  Not all dogs love sharing the tight space of apartment living, but for many people it’s not realistic to move into a single family home.  Therefore, make the best of your situation and set your dog up for success.  Knowing what upsets your dog, what is likely to get them over-excited, and managing it from the front end is a whole helluva lot less work than dealing with pissed off neighbors after the fact.

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**What do you think?  What is the worst experience you’ve had living in apartments with dogs?  Are you glad you don’t have to?  Share below**

So you think you’re a dog show judge

16 Feb

Not that kind of dog show

It’s that time of year again kids, a time of year where “Check out the ass on that bitch,” as said around the water cooler doesn’t result in a sexual harassment suit, but rather has everyone rushing to their TV and/or computer to see which retriever they’re talking about. That’s right, it’s televised dog show season. (Westminster is on right now in case you hav been living under a rock somewhere). It’s that time of year where people who have literally never been to a dog show feel the need to tell everyone who actually have what they’re doing wrong and why and occasionally (and usually hilariously) how to fix it. Can we just say how exhausting this exercise is for all of us? Yes. Well, it’s really damn exhausting. So here as some things that are annoying and you can read them and also be annoyed or ashamed as the case may be.

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1. Dog shows are many things, but they are not a beauty pageant.  Our ability to lecture will outlast your ability to keep saying stupid things so just go with it. Dog shows are intended to be (now repeat after us) an objective evaluation of breeding stock per their closeness to the breed standard. The reality is often something a bit different but beauty has very little to do with it (Have you ever seen a Bulldog… we’re not even sure mothers can love those faces). The Poodle didn’t win because it’s floofiest, it won because it’s a Poodle and Poodles are showy and it’s probably had more work put into their career than we collectively will put into ours ever.

2. Just because you own(ed) one doesn’t mean the dog in the ring is actually a particularly good example of their breed and therefore should win. It also doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a bad example of their breed and should never win anything ever. It just means they didn’t win, so we move on to the next show… except we can’t because it’s still on tv.

3. If the camera spends no time on a particular it’s because they’re not going to win. Why? Because they already know who wins because most shows (Westminster and recently the livestream of the AENC are the exceptions) were completed weeks ago. Spoiler alert, you can look up the results online. It’s really not that exciting. The actual camera work has nothing to do with the outcome. Their editing is the network equivalent of “Let’s wrap this crap up in as timely a manner as possible so we can air more football.” *masculine grunty noise*.

 

4. You don’t have to like the winning dogs. You don’t have to throw them a parade. You don’t need to bake them a congratulations cake, but no one likes a poor sport even if you’ve never actually been to a show in the first place and are just venting your spleen on the Cute N Fluffy Forum for Kids Who Can’t Spell Good.  Listing off why you think the winner is horrible in a public forum is likely a bad decision. Also a bad decision is visiting that website. This also applies to the clued-in. Foot-in-mouth syndrome is a bad thing. Honesty is nice and all, but you will have to interact with these people forever. A smile and a nod is often the best response to a gag reflex.

 

5. Dog shows are political? Say it ain’t so! Okay, yes dog showing can sometimes fairly be compared to the fiasco that is the presidential race, but the reality is that face time matters. Odds are good your showy friends who are tuned into dog shows can peg the group placers at a large event maybe 80% of the time. (TDS averages vary slightly but Fang is super-good at this game. Not to brag or anything because it’s kind of like being the best at horseshoes, fun at parties where you want to make people uncomfortable but usually not all that pertinent). Basically never bet on dog show results with people who actually go to show…

6. Pretty much everyone in the ring is a professional or has been doing it long enough to be a professional in every way but financial gain. People can and do make a living off this stuff. You probably can’t do it better, and if you could you’d be out there already.

 

7.  Finally, it’s only a dog show. Seriously guys, it’s just a dog show. There was a huge amount of upset over the Puli lady in her sweatsuit last year (It wasn’t the best choice in outfit but there are always extenuating circumstances and blah blah. This is our not caring face), and more again about how Poodles always win (Duh) and how it’s all a conspiracy because <non-dog person’s pet breed didn’t win>… erm sure.

Take the red or blue chill pill and get over it. The choice is yours.

 

So the moral of the story is, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show and try not to get too serious about it, unless you are actually in the show.  In that case, best of luck not tripping, choking on bait you keep in your mouth, or impaling yourself with a comb.

 

More than you wanted to know a.k.a. Why I’m not here right now, by Fang.

2 Nov

As many of you are aware I recently moved and have been more absent than usual from our illustrious blog this fall. Busy Bee and Potnoodle have been rockstars keeping up where I’ve bitched out and I owe them many frilly drinks on our next adventure. As for me… well  I started a new job (Which I think I actually love), left a situation I can only describe as a rut (Didn’t love but it was home) and have been struggling with my mental health on a level of intense and scary I’ve not had in a long time. This is a dog blog, but it’s still a blog and I feel like some explanation of my absence to our readers and my co-writers is in order.

Minus the substance abuse problems of these rockstars.

I rarely talk about personal things (and by rare I mean jackalope riding a unicorn to the moon rare). My problems have been and will continue to be my problems whether or not I voice them to others. When things are going poorly it’s rare for me to talk much at all. This has been a very quiet fall everywhere but in my own head.  Finding topics I can be flippant about in TDS irreverence has been difficult if not impossible when every good thing I can find personally is torpedoed by my own brain. I’ve been torpedoing other things too making it an incredibly lonely time despite being more involved with other people than I have been in years.

Not to make this about me or anything.

In a non-technical sense I have an anxiety disorder. In my case essentially it means I obsess over minor things that are stressful to the point of destroying my own life. I can say that and think it’s totally normal and that alone is likely a problem. I was tentatively diagnosed as a child which wasn’t technically correct but I’m not going to argue. I literally cannot turn off the wave of bad feelings in my head without a lot of mental prepping and relaxation techniques. Sounds like a real party, right? I learned to cope well enough to pass as a semi-productive human being but my coping mechanisms of ‘control issues’ and ‘sucking it up’ are only effective for so long. In a more technical sense, I can play “Genetic component mental health disorders Bingo” on my family tree with most of the DSMV-IV so the possible diagnosis element scares me more than the label it was given a decade ago. There’s a lot to be said about removing the stigma from mental illness, but I am neither brave nor an advocate for anything beyond minimizing the stupid in my daily existence, so while I can tell you I have a problem, I still don’t super-want to talk about it or hang up a banner let alone announce it to complete strangers in public.

 

I do also like spinach and sailor suits.

Dear readers, while you’ve been working away productively this fall, I’ve been whittling away the tenuous grasp I have on reality and practicing my high-dives from ridiculous anxiety cliffs down to end of the world ocean while telling everyone things are great and aiming for an air of “I’m totally fine, how ridiculous for you to wonder, peon”. While the anxiety itself has been justified, the attitude about it has not been, nor has the pulling away from anyone who cares about me, the lame excuses for not wanting to talk, the refusal to discuss anything that doesn’t have four legs and fur or the brushing-off of my fellow TDS authors when they ask for my input. It’s not okay and I’m sorry.

Nothing says I’m sorry like potato animals.

So here’s the gist, kids. I’ve been gone for a while. I will likely continue to be gone for a while minus the odd rant, at least until I can find my sense of humor again. Things are not alright and I am not okay, despite what I may in fact tell you but I’m pretty sure they will be okay eventually, maybe, and once they’re okay-ish then I will be too.

Except really fine.

 

Some things that are fine (For realz):

-My dogs are fantastic and perfect.

-I get to sign papers giving kids puppies.

-I really do like my new job.

-Booking hotel rooms for dog shows gives me things to look forward to.

-Many people have it a lot worse than me (Which is awful but finding perspective helps tone down the personal angst a lot when you’re stuck in a loop)

-I have friends who at least tolerate me when things are rough.

-Ironic use of Z for pluralizing words.*

*No that’s never okay.