Sunday, October 4, 2015

Black & White Sunday

This is Indiana.

Friday, October 2, 2015

September 2015 Expenses

One day late, due to yesterday being Bruce's birthday.

Keeping track of my dog related expenses is easy for me, as I use a budgeting app to track all my expenses, and pay for nearly everything from my checking account.  It keeps accountable.

Some months are quite expensive, while others are relatively cheap.  It all balances out in the end, and can give folks an overview of the costs associated with caring for three raw fed dogs in the Midwest.

September 2015 Expenses



This month was very inexpensive!  Expenses are relative, and everyone is different, but this was a very "cheap" month for me.  Food made up the bulk of the expenses.  I placed an order for green tripe and beef kidney from My Pet Carnivore.  I purchased beef heart, complete ground lamb, goat tongue and goat liver from a farming operation/raw food supplier in southern Indiana.  I also purchased chicken leg quarters, pork loin, and a bag of I and Love and You dehydrated raw from the grocery store.

Health was the cost of Bruce's prescription, and the miscellaneous costs was three new stainless steel bowls.

I am quite happy, as this is my least expensive month since March of this year.  Last month was nearly twice this amount.  I am contemplating a year end post, with total expenses for the year.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Bruce!

Today is the big boy's 6th birthday!  While he is a rescue, I do know today is his actual birthday.

I will refrain from complaining about Bruce in this post, and instead share some photos.

All photos were taken this afternoon.  Happy Birthday Bruce!

And finally, his best side...

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Refuse to Take a Training Stance

This has been sitting as a draft for several weeks.  I've been fearful of publishing it, for a variety of reasons.  

I might be the only one who has noticed this, but I don't write about training.  I write about my dogs' behavior on occasion, but not training.  Why is this?

Short story-my dogs are dicks.

Seriously.  And for this reason, I refuse to pass judgement on the behavior of other dogs or the training methods of their owners.  For the most part.

For the record, I am a huge fan of positive reinforcement.  But I am NOT a huge fan of dogs being euthanized because, for whatever reason, they did not respond in the necessary ways to positive reinforcement.

None of my dogs are capable of loose-leash walking.  Not that I haven't tried.  Neeko went through three different series of strictly positive reinforcement classes, each one eight weeks long.  Bruce has worked with three different positive reinforcement trainers, including an eight week basic obedience class, to the tune of nearly $1000.  Faolan has had one on one sessions with two different trainers, each costing me over $100. I have worked exhaustively with each of them.

But I have to be able to control my dogs when on leash.  Neeko wears a Gentle Leader.  Faolan wears an Easy Walk.  And Bruce wears a prong collar.

Yes, I put a prong on my dog.  He is uncontrollable otherwise.  I have yet to meet anyone (including the three trainers) who were able to control him with a flat collar, head collar, or any kind of harness. I don't issue corrections.  He self-corrects with it.  Guess what?  He gets super excited when he sees it, and rushes up to have it put on him, because he knows he is going for a walk or a car ride somewhere.

Neeko and Faolan are good out in public.  For the most part.  But they are also stubborn, strong, and headstrong.  They don't go anywhere without a full treat pouch on my waist.  I bribe my dogs all the time.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Neeko occasionally bitch barks at other dogs. Faolan will occasionally try to jump on people.  Does this make them bad dogs?  No.  Does it make me a bad "trainer?" Maybe.

Bruce doesn't get to go anywhere except for the vet and occasionally DQ.  He is 90+ lbs of unpredictable muscle.

I could write an entire post about a fairly well-known trainer whom I know personally who has dogs sent to him from all over the country with severe behavioral issues.  He is their last chance.  He "fixes" many of them. Sometimes he uses prongs, and sometimes he has to use E-collars.  I do not judge him.

All three of my dogs know plenty of behaviors.  Sit, shake, high five, double high five, wait, watch me, down, bang, treat on paw/impulse control, etc.  However, they only perform them if the reward is worth it to them, and there isn't something more interesting than me around.

My dogs resource guard.  From each other.  From me.  They have killed chickens, guinea fowl, rabbits.  They are incredibly vocal. (Read-loud barkers/howlers/talkers.) They jump on the front window, the fence, the furniture, the doors. Sometimes they counter surf. They are pushy, demanding jerks.

So when I see a dog pulling on it's leash, barking, walking it's owner, getting a bit excited or having a meltdown, I refuse to pass judgement.  I've been there, done that.
There's the motorcycle wave, the jeep wave, I even think there is a Subaru wave. Us people with dogs that are occasionally out of control need a wave too.  A show of unity, solidarity.  A "Hey, I know what you're dealing with, and it's ok" wave. A "my dog is a dick, too" wave.
Now for my conditional clause.  I will judge you (but not your dog) if you put a fearful, anxious, or aggressive dog in a situation in which you cannot control it, and the dog is at risk of harming itself, a person, or another dog.

My name is Rebekah, and my dogs are big, strong, and occasionally jerks.  But I am able to control them.  They are also happy, healthy, loved, and well-cared for.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Black & White Sunday

Some of my family came to spend the day with me yesterday, and brought one of their dogs with them.  I have posted about Nanuk, aka Babydog, in the past.  They rescued him at approximately 8 weeks old last year from a local Humane Association.  He is now all grown up.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Recent Raw Meals

After the break is a sampling of some of my dogs' meals over the last couple of weeks.  My dogs eat the same meals with the same portion sizes.  They are fed twice daily, with dinner being the larger meal.  I feed a mostly/flexible prey model diet, occasionally including premade, commercial, and dehydrated or freeze-dried raw.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 2015 BarkBox Review

I am a BarkBox subscriber.  I am not asked or encouraged to do these reviews.  All opinions are my own, and apply to my feelings in regards to my particular dogs.

The September BarkBox was waiting on the front porch for me this afternoon!  Reviews of previous and/or current BarkBoxes can be read HERE.

This month's theme is Bedtime Story.

The Goods

Starlight Bite Plush Toy.  Listed retail value $14.00.  Cute plush toy with squeakers.  It feels fairly durable as far as plush toys go.  Adorable, and fits well with the theme.  I *may* let Neeko play with this some.

Organicfuls Chamomile, Honey and Duck treats.  Listed retail value $8.00.  Whole, quality, mostly organic ingredients in these smallish biscuit treats.  Grain, GMO, and soy-free!  Bruce loves biscuit type treats more than Neeko and Faolan, but these have coconut listed as an ingredient, and he has demonstrated a sensitivity to coconut in the past.  While this seems to be an excellent product, I am on the fence about offering it to my dogs.

Chuckit Max Glow.  Approximate retail value $8.99.  What dog doesn't love chuckit balls?  This one fits in the large holder, and glows in the dark after being exposed to light.  I can't wait to try it out.

Butcher's Block Bully Chew.  Listed retail value $4.00.  We love bully sticks here.  However, we have received this product from this company in the past, and they do not last nearly as long as other bully sticks, even ones that are shorter than this.  I am still pleased to have received it.  

Grandpaws Lamb and Kale soft treats.  Listed retail value $8.00.  Small, soft, grain-free training treats with ok ingredients.  My dogs tend to love any soft treat, particularly if they are slightly stinky.  These fit the bill, and I am sure my dogs will enjoy them.

For my particular dogs, this month's BarkBox was ok.  I will definitely use three of the products, and the other two will be either gifted or donated.  To try BarkBox for yourself, and get a free month added to your subscription, click HERE.