Lacuna

The anxious one

Pyrrha, dear.

Just a friendly note to say that I may be taking some time off from Doggerel. Nothing is wrong; the dogs are still alive; I am not depressed. I just feel like I need to take a breather — and I feel like I’m running out of original, thoughtful content, which is never a great feeling.

So, this is just to say: Hello, I am thankful for all of you. We are not dead; we are grateful for you and your sweet comments and wise advice.

Expectant

That ring of mud on her nose, from illicit digging.

We’ll still be online via Instagram and Twitter.

Happy 2015! Love to you and your pups. Let’s talk again soon.

Review: Dogswell Chicken Breast Jerky

The girls were REALLY excited to sample these chicken jerky treats by Dogswell.

Doggerel | Dogswell Chicken Breast Jerky

Check out the tongue action and the tail blur!

Doggerel | Dogswell Chicken Breast Jerky

Doggerel | Dogswell Chicken Breast Jerky

These are great “special occasion” treats, but they are also easy to divide, if you want to make them last longer.

Doggerel | Dogswell Chicken Breast Jerky

The ingredients list, as you can see, is pleasingly minimal:

Chicken Breast, Vitamin E Supplement, Flaxseed, Vitamin A Acetate

A 5-oz. bag currently sells for $5.75 at Chewy.com, and there is also a 15-oz. and 32-oz. option.We will certainly be checking out more products like this from Dogswell. This is a high-quality product for high-quality pups!

Does your dog like jerky? Any particular brands you’re fond of?

Disclosure: We were provided with a bag of these treats from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.

December dog expenses

Christmas puppy is all pooped out #carolinachristmas #gsdlife
Things we bought for the dogs this month:

  • 2 December 2014 / Eden’s spay / Vet / $420
  • 5 December 2014 / Fish oil for Eden / Amazon / $20
  • 6 December 2014 / Vet visit for Eden (ear issues) / Vet / $65
  • 15 December 2014 / Kibble / Tractor Supply / $51
  • 18 December 2014 / Antibiotics for Eden / CVS / $15
  • 23 December 2014 / Christmas presents, toys / Pet boutique in North Carolina / $25

December total: $596

Ugh. Obviously, the spay threw this entire month out of order… and then Eden had to go in to the vet to get evaluated for an aural hematoma (which, thankfully, it wasn’t, but the vet said had the potential to be; so we’ve been treating it and we kept the cone on for a longer time frame). Awesome. The month that we have to buy Christmas presents, too… thanks, dogs.

Previous month’s expenses: $112.09

Oh, and happy new year to everyone! Let’s hope that 2015 is kinder on the budget…

Seeking indestructible dog toys

We live with two very heavy chewers, and I’m always on the hunt for indestructible dog toys.

Hard at work

Things that have held up to the shepherd chompers:

  • The black (extreme) Kong products
  • The Planet Dog ball
  • A version of the Kong Wubba that looked like a rabbit (has since died after the head was removed with near-surgical precision)
  • Nylabones

Things we’ve tried and failed with:

  • Rawhides (upset stomachs)
  • Deer antlers (upsets Pyrrha’s stomach)
  • Marrow bones (splinter so easily; also dogs lose interest quickly)
  • Anything remotely stuffed
  • Rope toys (Eden thinks the game is to rip out the threads of the rope and swallow them)

I’d like to try some more products from Planet Dog; I’ve been impressed with the strength of that ball. But I’m always looking for other suggestions!

Do you have heavy-duty chewers in your house? What products have you liked for them?

Dog Days

Source: Flickr user nickweinrauch, PhotoPin, Creative Commons license.

Source: Flickr user nickweinrauch, PhotoPin, Creative Commons license.

Dog Days

Michael Klein

Franz Schubert, in this life, is six weeks old in the body
of a chocolate-brown labrador who reminds me that risk
is extra life when he takes my hand easily in his
mouth and leads me through new teeth and a snowfall blanking town.
I think this snow must be able to lift two children, who
are fighting, out of their argumentative skins and make

a day so bright, it winces. What is ever this willing?
This vibrant dog with me, loving my hand as if it could
delay his life a little, makes me want to be him and
his newborn smile: play-ferocious on the way to heartbreak.
Reaching it back to the perfect wet arc of young bone
that forces itself into the roof of Franz’s mouth, my hand

follows my body and enters him. It is summer
again in the canoes. The man I come to when he calls,
approaches, first on a wrinkle of water, then as
himself, and we are ready to go. Franz, good dog, inside
me this is life I did not choose and you have yours, ready.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Happy holidays and merry Christmas from our pack to yours! We hope that your winter holiday season is merry and bright.

The happiest pup

Two photos of my in-laws’ dog, Georgia, from the Thanksgiving holiday. She is just the most cheerful little thing. She might also be the perfect dog; she has practically no vices whatsoever.

Thanksgiving in the Pines

Getting some pets.

Thanksgiving in the Pines

Me and G.

Happy Christmas Eve to all!

The irony of the champion bred vs. backyard bred

I hesitate to write this post, lest anyone think I’m championing lackadaisical backyard breeders or puppy mills. Not at ALL. This is just a weird, little personal observation…

When it comes to purebred dogs, sometimes the haphazardly bred turn out healthier than the ones from ribbon-winning breeders.

Our dogs are a case in point.

Ready to rumble

Pyrrha, February 2013.

Pyrrha came from a terrible place — this neglectful man who had a dozen shepherds in tiny cages outdoors — but she is the picture of health. She’s never had a serious health concern (knock on wood), her skin and coat are shiny and robust, and she has a better, stronger build (no exaggerated back lines or hocks). Plus, her teeth look much better than Eden’s, despite the fact that they are on the same diet and that Pyrrha is a full two years her senior.

Dogs in May

Eden, May 2014.

Eden, on the other hand, was a very expensive puppy from West German lines. (Her papers are completely in German.) Her parents are both titled schutzhund champions. And health wise, she’s been a huge pain. Thankfully, there’s nothing seriously wrong with her (yet), but she is the reason we spend a small fortune at the vet on a regular basis. Her skin is bad and she’s constantly itchy. Her teeth are already showing signs of wear and tear. Her back hocks are sadly sloped.

I mentioned this little observation to one of the vet techs, when we were back in with Eden, and she laughed and said she had the same experience. She rescues Boston terriers, and her terriers from puppy mills and backyard breeders have been quite healthy. But her most recent acquisition, an expensive puppy from a supposedly good breeder, has been a complete genetic disaster.

So. Conclusion? If you want a purebred, do your research and find a really excellent, thoughtful breeder. But also acknowledge that purebreds are just a gamble. Don’t give money to the horrible human beings who churn out puppies in miserable conditions, but also don’t think that a well-bred purebred is going to be perfectly healthy. The odds are somewhat against them.

Wednesday afternoon

We love our ladies, regardless of their issues. But my big conclusion is: Get a mixed-breed dog. This would definitely be my next move, as much as I love our purebred ladies.

What do you think? Am I totally insane? Anyone else have a similar experience with purebreds from disparate backgrounds?