Regrets

Wow!  I have to say that things are rolling downhill at quite a pace.  Ironic, funny, whatever or however you want to call it, but I met up with two good friends last night and it felt like there had been no hiatus of three years at all between us.  So yesterday I was feeling great and today….holy shit….someone pissed off some of the fates and now they have their gaze set on me.  I would prefer they didn’t, as I seem to be getting nothing but payback for some past discretion I am sure.

Now I know that asking your husband for a divorce and agreeing to still live in the same household in order to finish the renovations sounds absurd and for whatever reason, I thought I could handle it.  I even swore that I wouldn’t hang around two particular friends again, without my husband being present, just to keep the peace.

Boy, I had no idea how much that decision would make me miserable.  The three of us got along like a house on fire and we talked about pretty much anything and everything.  I do regret the 3 years apart but what I regret the most is the way that I treated them.  I didn’t show them the respect they deserved by properly explaining what was going on in the first place.

I showed them that I wasn’t a very good friend and for that I am ashamed of myself.  I have always been one to try and treat others as I would like to be treated and I HATE it when someone treats me like crap when I deserve so much better.  But I treated those two with disrespect and they did deserve so much better.  They brought me up from a bad place and made me feel welcome and made me laugh!  They listened to me whine (yes, I whined a couple of times) and they made me feel wanted.  By wanted I don’t mean sexually, I mean that my friendship was important to them and that I was missed if I wasn’t around.  That is what I mean.

I know they were missed by me when they were not around or I was not able to meet them etc.  I have missed them for a long time.  Quite a few times I wondered about stopping in to see them but I wasn’t sure what type of reception I would have received and to be honest, I was afraid to face the firing squad should they decide to be angry with me and let me know it.  I would have deserved it, no doubts about that and I would not have tried to excuse my behaviour and would have taken my whooping without complaints…like I should have done three years ago.

When I got there, they hadn’t arrived yet and I was talking with another friend of mine about dogs and tattoos….two of my favourite subjects.  J  We talked for quite some time.  Then one friend arrived, and then the other.  None of us spoke for a while, but then I decided it was like ignoring the elephant in the room and I broke the ice.  It was uncomfortable for a while but being the great guys that they are, I soon felt like I was at home.  I ended up staying for a lot longer than I had anticipated but I am so glad I did.  I won’t do to them again, what I had done 3 years ago.  These are two fantastic guys that I would like to be close to again.  I know it will take time, and I also know that I am going to have to earn what came to me last time so easily.  They are worth it and I will do it.

When you feel more at home with friends than you do your husband, I would say things are not looking good for that marriage.  Lol.  Ah, hell.  I laugh but it is not a funny laugh, but a dear gods, please release me from this hell kind of laugh.  I haven’t changed my mind one little bit at all about the divorce; he seems to think that because things have been running along smooth, that all is ok.  Geez!!  The only reason things have been running smooth is because I have been keeping my mouth shut on all the stupid and idiotic things that have been driving me freaking crazy!

And I think what is sad is he has really been trying, legitimately lately, not just lip service.  Unfortunately, that has come several years too late.  I can’t do it.  I have spent too many years being pushed down; being told that I must conform or change in some way.  That I am not good enough just being me.  Well enough!  I am good enough just being me!  But not for him…he wants someone different and that is fine, I can deal with that…I have come to terms with the fact that he and I are not good for each other in any way. 

And I have to mention this, just because friends happen to be of the opposite sex, does not mean that there is anything sexual going on.  I am tired of defending my friendships with other men to him when he has LOTS of friends who are women….and let me tell you that I know not all of them have been platonic over the years.  But I am not going down that road.  I am at a stage in my life that I don’t want to go from one dick to another, but I treasure the friendship more than anything else.

But now I am stuck with a house that is partially renovated and me wanting out desperately.  This is my punishment and cross to bear I fear for some evil I did, knowingly or not.  I will get through it….eventually and will probably have a scar or two to show for it, but I will survive this.  Oh dear lords, let me survive this.  I have survived worse, I know I can make it through this….I would just like to survive with my sanity intact.  A few of you are asking what sanity…..thank you…I do have a little….I swear I do.  😉

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/ Sandysvoicebox blog.   All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS/SANDYSVOICEBOX ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/Sandysvoicebox, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012

 

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Ignorance Is Not Bliss

I have been professionally training dogs for about 15 years now.  Now my clients can range from 12 week old Yorkshire Terriers, to 4 year old Great Danes.  Working breeds, hounds, companion dogs and of course the herding group.  You name it; I have pretty much trained it.  But regardless of the breed or mix of my canine client, I am constantly astounded by their human counterpart.

Yep.  The human client is the one I am usually left speechless with.  And you would think that after all these years I would have seen and heard it all, but nope.  I am still floored by what some people say.  Ok.  To be fair, I realize that not everyone researches canine behaviour as much as those that are working with dogs every day.  I will give them that.  However, as an owner, you should be aware and know what signals your dog is giving you so you can either praise or correct any good or inappropriate behaviour before it become a habit.

I have to say the biggest myth I constantly hear is that your dog loves everyone and would never hurt a fly.  Please people, use your heads. 

My rules are simple to remember: 

1) Your dog is an animal first 

2)  Your dog is your pet second

As for the question often asked when I take my guys out is if they bite.  My answer may sound glib but in all honesty, it is the truth.  ‘They haven’t yet, but they have the tools to do so’.  This answer is not to project some sort of macho stereotype to any particular breed of dog because, quite frankly, having a dog that bites is not something anyone should be proud of or want in our households.  The answer is to make all of us aware that they are animals and we as a society tend to humanize them and forget that fact.  Most cases of dog bites are through neglect.  Yes, neglect. 

WE neglect to see the signs THEY are giving us!

We approach THEM with direct eye contact and usually smiling which means we are baring our teeth.  Now stop and think about that for a minute.  Picture how we must look to the dog: we are coming right at them, usually directly in front of them and then reach over their heads.  Each and every one of these steps every owner should yell NO!! when they see it.  Not as a response to their dog, but to the stranger approaching their dog in such an aggressive manner.

Approaching a dog in this manner may get you bitten by even the gentlest old soul out there.  Approaching a strange dog for the first time should always be done towards the side of the dog and not head-on or from behind.  Second, never maintain direct eye contact as the dog will perceive that as an act of aggression as you are asserting your authority over him and he will feel threatened and may act accordingly.  Thirdly, when you do reach out to pet him, present the back of your hand, let him sniff and usually most dogs step in to get more.  DO NOT pet the top of their heads.  After he has sniffed your hand, turn it and scratch him under his chin and neck, and then you can travel up to the ears and head.  To reach over the top of their heads is also an aggressive move. If he were approached by another dog and the dog laid his head across his shoulders or tried to stand over him, the other dog is telling the first that he is boss and the first dog must submit.  This can be followed by a scuffle between the two.

This is just a small taste of the different things that WE do every day to provoke a dog to bite.  One of the best ways to learn dog behaviour is just to watch them interact.  You will learn so much when you take the time to simply watch their behaviour when in the company of another dog(s).

And please remember that dogs don’t see our intentions any different than if we were another dog approaching.  We are not special in the fact that we are human and our ignorance will all be forgiven.  We must learn how to read what our dogs are telling use.  And they always tell us something, every time we see and/or interact with them.  The majority of us just don’t take the time to figure out what they are saying.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/ Sandysvoicebox blog.   All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS/SANDYSVOICEBOX ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/Sandysvoicebox, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012

 

Check ALL Your Dog Treats…RIGHT NOW!!

Everyone needs to go straight to their cupboard where they keep their dog treats and dog food for that matter…look at the back, side….wherever it tells you where these treats are made. If you cannot find a country but it says IMPORTED by: then you can be rest assured they are made in China too. THROW THEM OUT!!
When will we learn that there is NO QUALITY CONTROL in China…why do you think they are so cheap to manufacture our goods?
If you want to complain…don’t complain about lack of quality control in China, but the lack of ethics in the companies that have moved their business out of North America and to a country where lying is an expected business practice.

 

This is NOT limited to just those you have heard about but ALL treats and food that state they are made in China or state “Imported by”.

The life of my canine kids is worth much more than the price of a bag of treats or a bag of cheap dog food!!

 

Crufts Fiasco

The shocking display at Crufts this year has and is still creating quite a stir in the dog world.  Those who don’t truly understand the show dog world are nodding their heads in agreement of the KC and the mockery that was made of a truly historic dog show.  Those that are a part of the show dog world gasped in horror as to the reasoning of disqualifying these dogs.  One can only simize who started this particular piece of stupidity or why it was done the way it was.  The only thing Crufts succeeded in doing was humiliate some well known breeders and some have decided to step away from the ring all together. 
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for breeding healthy dogs.  The show ring is supposed to show the best example of the individual breeds.  So the pekinese had scar tissue from a previous injury….why was he consequently disqualified for it?  An injury is not possible to pass on to future offspring so in no way does that affect the future of this breed.  However, disqualifying him from the ring, taking away his newly earned title and creating such huge drama and negative feedback has done much more damage than an old eye injury could ever even imagine to. 

But here is the thing, if they truly wanted to make sure all of the entries to the show were healthy, then they should have had particular health testing as a requirement needed when they signed up.  And it should have been for ALL breeds, not just fifteen that they had chosen.  This was nothing but a farce and a complete slap in the face in the history of this historic event. 

Some breeds were not affected by this farce and for those winners, my hat is off to you and your great success!!  I also add a warning and that your beloved breed may be next on the chopping block.  Seems to me that veterinarians are getting to have a great deal of say, and possible changes, to breed standards these days.  Veterinarians do NOT know everything about dogs.  We (the public) tend to believe they do, but some don’t even understand simple canine behaviour which makes me shake my head.  They may understand the inner health and mechanics of their body, they simply do not always know about their minds.  Case in point will be the over vaccination of our pets which our vets have pushed for many, many years.  And it has not been until the vocal and consistent voice of a few that now more and more are doing their research and following their heads (and the laws) and applying  healthy doses of vaccines.

My point is we all want our dogs to be healthy, those we are breeding and showing as well as our beloved pets;  and to have them come from healthy lines, but to publicly humiliate those that entered this event and those that judged this event was uncalled for and extremely unprofessional.  I can only hope that more than just those that were affected boycott Crufts next year.  The KC astounded me with their willingness to bend over and be violated like they did, as well as their inability to see the big picture.  What part of them didn’t realize that they had just single handedly ruined Crufts reputation and made this fabulous and historic event into a joke? 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/ Sandysvoicebox blog.   All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS/SANDYSVOICEBOX ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/Sandysvoicebox, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012

Unbelievable!!

The recent chaos at Crufts proves that the dog world is in some deep crap!  But to have a contest on Facebook that will give a free puppy to the winner once their page has reached 300 likes just takes the cake!  It is times like this that it becomes very clear that any red flags from a website or from a breeder while on the phone should indicate to the buyer to drop them like a hot potato and get the hell out of there!  NO reputable breeder would EVER have a contest of this sort….EVER!!  Their puppy buyers are very well vetted and phone interview or not, there is not a chance they would even think about doing something like this.

A reputable breeder doesn’t usually have an issue homing a pup as they generally have a long waiting list of those that have had pups from them before, have been referred to them or have chosen them through research and good instincts.  Reputable breeders usually breed for themselves first, and since not every pup can be a potential champion, those looking for a pet are in luck.  🙂

But a contest?  NO freaking way!  And quite honestly, I recommend any buyers out there run for the hills when and if they see something like this from someone who calls themselves a reputable breeder.  A contest of this sort clearly shouts what kind of breeder they are.  Again, this is simply my opinion, and everyone must decide for themselves who is reputable, and who is not. 

 

 

Copyright  © 2012 Sandy Allen/Unleashthehounds blog and Sandysvoicebox blog.  All rights reserved.  All pictures and content of these blogs are the sole property of Sandy Allen/Unleashthehounds and Sandysvoicebox and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner.  Copyrighted 2012.

The Future of Dog Shows

E. Katie Gammill, AKC Judge/Exhibition Editor,TheDogPlace.org

Do breeders and owner handlers no longer understand the sport of dogs? “Show and go” doesn’t get the job done. You are either in, or you are out.

Examples: People bump a dog up to Specials class without first asking the competitors if they would prefer that the dog stay in the classes and hold the major. People double-enter and don’t show up. Owner handlers drive miles to get to that major only to find someone else “slept in” or didn’t go. Time and again, we hear “the major broke” but sometimes exhibitors come to ringside to get a number and they see a few numbers aren’t picked up and so, assume there is no major. Then due to late pick ups, find it is THEIR FAULT the major didn’t hold because they didn’t compete and the rest of the armbands were picked up at the last minute.

Do breeders still count the “Specials”, especially now with “Awards of Merit” entries, when it comes to possibly winning over the Specials and picking up a major? Sure Groups are tough but a judge gave you the honor of representing your breed and you skip Group competition? And did you know when if ANY breed in the Group has a major, and your dog wins the Group, it counts as a major for your entry?

Breeders Discourage Future Breeders
Breeders are, and will always be, the backbone of the sport and the future of dog shows. When I read we must do things to attract newcomers to our sport, and then hear the complaints from buyers who speak of contracts, breeding restrictions, exorbitant prices, and in some cases rudeness, is it any wonder buyers run to the nearest shelter for their pet? Between our actions, the lack of breeding litters, and restrictions, we don’t have to worry about Animal Activists. We are shooting ourselves in our own proverbial foot!

I have attempted to teach new breeders or owner handlers only to have them disregard my effort. The future of the sport depends on them but I suppose it is the times. I can say “What was” worked a lot better that “What is”. If we refuse to honor the sport of dogs and play by the rules, we defeat our purpose. If we all breed what we like and disregard the standard, we will join the ranks of the “doodle dogs”.

Breeding To The Breed Standard
Another example: Why won’t the breeders and handlers stand up for the Standards? I love breed type, the look of eagles, the virtues that separate one breed from another. I love “cropped ears and docked tails”. A big, substantial Great Dane one can “look in the eye” represents the Apollo of the breed. Nobility is a look; I love the keen presence of each individual breed, be it large or small. I grieve the loss of these attributes, but they can be preserved IF breeders take breeding to standard seriously and evaluate their dogs honestly.

When evaluating dogs, does one keep a dog for a single attribute, or does one choose the overall dog? It starts there. IF you breed for eye improvement and it shows up on the worst puppy in the litter, and you choose to keep that “eye”, the next generation will take you backwards. IF you choose the best overall puppy, keeping your positive virtues intact, your reward comes when you later breed that dog. In the next litter will be a choice of an overall puppy that incorporates the desired eye. This requires patience, but “socks in” your virtues and moves your program forward.

There are breeders, and then there are BREEDERS! True breeders know how to incorporate a virtue into their program without losing their own “look”. Meeting a breeder with four generations of “OFA excellent” hips in her dogs, she asked me how it could be that all puppies in the last litter were dysplastic? I’m no expert in genetics, but I am an expert regarding “You plan, Nature laughs”, keeping us on our toes. It’s always been that way. But the sport and a good breeding program will survive if we just carry on.

Present and Future Breeder Tools
With frozen semen, opportunities are abound. Hesitant at first regarding Award of Merits, I look at it now as an opportunity for newcomers to view many “greats” of many breeds. Frozen semen and Award of Merits allow access to studs long forgotten affords a fresh approach to possibly getting “back on track”.

Many dogs age well and are still breathtaking. Even those who don’t age as well have a certain dignity and presence that is undeniable. It’s regrettable only one dog and one bitch can be recognized when so many are so deserving. Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your breeding program.

The future of dog shows and that of your breed is in your hands. It’s a worthwhile responsibility. Don’t sit back and think others are fighting the battle to preserve either one just for you. Get involved before it’s too late and the privilege of owning a dog is taken from us all. BREEDERS ARE THE FUTURE OF THE SPORT.

http://www.thedogplace.org/SHOWDOG/Future-of-dog-shows_Gammill-1203.asp

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/Shadowlands Canine Training/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center.   All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012