Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Coats of many colours

Foxy is a puppy from National Service Dogs (purple vest). Sometimes we get together with other puppy raisers and have public training/socialization sessions.

On this outing we also had a Lion's Foundation Canada Dog Guide puppy (in the green vest) and a working Canine Vision Canada Dog Guide (in her black harness), as well as a few puppies from Autism Dog Services (red vests).

Thanks to Karen for this group photo!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Always winter in Narnia

Well, at least the dogs like it.

Glory - work in progress

and a recent finished work of three German Shepherds in a field of Texas Bluebonnets:

Ben vom Hatzbachtal, SchH3, IPO3, FH

Hoppy Easter!

Yes, those really are Bullet's ears, au naturel!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Living with a Giant Schnauzer named Bully.


Nursing scratches, bruises and cuts to my hands that get in the way of his toy.

Purple body-slam bruises.

Taking the Schutzhund sleeve to the side of the head... to the shin bone... to the knee.

Getting the wind knocked out of me by punches to the gut caused by two front feet.

Experiencing a paw in the eye and a visit to the optometrist.

A bloody, swollen lip from my own teeth when our heads collide.

The pain of eighty pounds stepping, twisting and launching off my foot.

Flying through the air and landing flat on my back after being knocked off my feet from behind.

Puncture wounds to my thigh from a frantic snatch for a rogue ball.

Being thankful it was just my glasses that were broken and not my nose (as first thought) when a toy was torqued into my face.

I love my Bully!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Toronto Sportsman Show

Foxy and I will be helping to man the National Service Dog booth at the Toronto Sportsman Show.

If you are in the area come by and visit us tomorrow (Saturday March 15) from 10:00am-3:00pm, booth #9013/9015.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Love you forever

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."
~Robert Munsch

Bullet's version:

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as you're throwing
my red ball for me."

Dreaming of spring...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Foxy has stolen the spotlight lately. Sure she's a cute puppy, but there is much more to it than that. She's yellow! How novel for us.

Black dogs don't photograph well inside (by me), the flash doesn't do them justice, and out in the snow they become black, ungroomed blobs. Once this snow melts the "Perfect one" and his sidekick will have their moment again.

For now I will make do with awful pictures.

Spring is officially only 8 days away!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Aftermath: Population Zero

For those of you with American programming, the documentary "Aftermath: Population Zero" is airing tonight on the National Geographic Channel at 8:00pm.

If anyone manages to catch it let me know how it is!

Snow day!

Foxy loves the huge piles of snow, for once she's higher than the schnauzers!


The chase is on...

She still can't keep up but it won't be long now.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Foxy and her littermate, Fable, playing a game of rough & tumble.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The cost of responsible dog ownership.

Responsible dog ownership involves more than just love.
Food, water and shelter are essential. Vet care can't be avoided. You must provide mental and physical stimulation in the form of exercise and training, socialization and a good diet. It's up to you to keep your dog safe and teach it to become a good citizen.

Responsible dog ownership involves money.

In some cases a lot of money. If you can't afford a dog then it is not responsible for you to get one. You also must remember that generally bigger dogs cost more than smaller dogs in food and vet care, and two dogs cost twice as much as one.

How much money are you talking?
Let's look at the first year of one healthy puppies life. The numbers provided below are approximate, they could be less or much more depending on your location, the size of dog and how much you are willing to spend.

"Free"-$1,500+ First you have to buy the puppy which is the cost most people are concerned about, yet in reality is not the biggest equation to consider over the lifetime of a dog. Buying from a reputable breeder may save you thousands in vet bills over the dogs life, with animals there are no guarantees.

$30 Leash and Collar

$100+ Crate

$30 Dog bed

$20 Food and water bowls

$10+ Toys, each

$20-$100+ Food per month. Depends on size of dog and diet. Keep in mind that a more expensive but higher quality food can save you vet bills in the future.

$1-5 Training treats, per package

$30+ Basic grooming supplies (brush, nail clippers, shampoo)

$25-$100 Hiring a groomer, depends on breed

$20+ Boarding one dog per day

$15 City dog license

$90-$300 Training classes per 6-8 week session. This is not optional. One training class MINIMUM is what I recommend, if at all possible it's better take classes for the entire first year of your dogs life. The time and money spent at this stage will be rewarded in full by a well-trained, obedient and happy pet. The shelters are full of animals who were surrendered due to preventable behavior problems. Don't let your cute puppy be one of them, that is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Vet costs:

$45+ Each time you walk through the door for an exam

$20 Vaccinations, puppies usually get 3 sets

$25 Fecal analysis

$35 Heartworm test

$50 Microchip

$115 Blood test

$70 Flea, tick & heartworm prevention for 6 months

$200-$500+ Spay or neuter

After the first year.
So you've bought the essentials, the puppy has grown and is settling nicely into your family. Congratulations! The regular costs involved at this stage are for food and vet care, toys, boarding and grooming.

Saving for an emergency.
Emergencies happen. Emergencies are almost always VERY expensive and it is up to YOU to plan for them. Emergencies can range from broken bones to long-term health problems like allergies or epilepsy. As your dog ages the likelihood of a health problem cropping up increases. Don't find yourself in the situation of not being able to provide for your pet because of your financial situation. The unexpected should be expected and saved for. Add it to your budget! Another route some people choose to take is to get pet insurance. If you can't afford this you should not own a dog!

As an example of what emergencies can happen and how much it can cost I've included the Top 10 Claims Paid in January 2008 by PetCare Insurance:

$3,367.24 Neurological Problems
$3,354.68 Cruciate Ligaments
$3,980.46 Hip Dysplasia
$3,228.29 Anemia, Aplastic
$3,000.00 Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
$3,000.00 Gastro-Intestinal Problems
$2,923.88 Seizures
$2,916.95 Lameness and Cause Thereof
$2,898.10 Gastric Torsion
$2,898.45 Lymphoma

It's not a pretty picture, is it? So plan for it.

The cost of dog sports.
This subject will be covered in another post. There is a reason I called this blog K9-CRAZY!