Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The German Shepherd Dog

Max v. Stephanitz on Horand von Grafrath SZ1, the first registered German Shepherd Dog

"His character corresponded to his exterior qualities; marvellous in his insinuating fidelity to his master; towards all others the complete indifference of a master-mind, with a boundless and irrepressible zest for living. Although untrained in his puppyhood, nevertheless obedient to the slightest nod when at his master's side; but when left to himself, the maddest rascal, the wildest ruffian and an incorrigible provoker of strife. Never idle, always on the go; well-disposed to harmless people, but no cringer, mad on children and always ---in love. He suffered from a suppressed, or better, a superfluity of unemployed energy; for he was in heaven when someone was occupied with him, and he was then the most tractable of dogs. "
The photo is of my Mikey. He's changed a lot since that photo was taken shortly after we adopted him. The words that Max wrote about Horand could have been written about Mikey. Mikey is all GSD.... wants to work, has a passion for learning and trying to understand what I want. He's a trouble maker when left to his own devices... knocking over trash, barking at the turn of a blade of grass and antagonizing the horses. He also has a passion for women's panties. He has captured my heart as only a proper GSD can. I love all my dogs, don't get me wrong. It's just that I'm a GSD girl, have been since childhood. This breed can still captivate and astound me in ways no other breed can. Intuitive leaps in training, iron-clad loyalty, always up for whatever I want to do, and willing and able to provide serious protection should I need it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Turning Dog Hair into Cash

Look what I found while scouting around the Terrierman's Daily Dose blog! Love this: "Better a sweater from a dog you know and love than from a sheep that you'll never meet." Lovely sentiment.

But what to do if you don't have a dog? Or if your dog is just too small to produce enough hair for a sweater? I have the answer!

Turns out, I have a machine that will separate dog hair from loose dirt. I also have two german shepherds, one amstaff, and a very hairy border collie.... white with black spots, along with a few frequent visitors of the hairy kind.

For a one time fee of $10.00, I will supply the machine, the electricity to run it, and all the hair you can collect in two hours time. All I ask is that you remove any dirt collected from the premises, and state in writing that you understand the hair will required more cleaning.

That's it! Purchase this book, then contact me for your appointment.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Teak and Jonathan, napping after breakfast.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another day, another issue, another rant

'Kids' are baby goats. Fur grows on animals, and on some male humans. I like fur when it's on the creature that grew it. Dead fur creeps me out, but I would never stand in your way if you wish to own dead, dull, icky things. I might point and laugh, though.

"Fur-kids." Gag me. The hair {not fur!} on the back of my neck stands up every time I read, or hear, this doG-awful term. What the hell is a fur kid? Is it a human infant that must be shaved to find it's mouth? Because that's what *I* think of when I hear 'fur kid'. {Yes, I'm an odd little ducky, let's move on, shall we?} . Maybe it's a term meant for.... I'm reaching here... cashmere and angora goats? Well, they don't have fur, they have HAIR. Please believe me, I've known many, many members of the goat family up close and personal. Lovely, lovely creatures. All of them have hair.

Today, while reading a working line GSD forum, a woman that I know to compete in Schutzhund {a working dog event that has 3 phases: obedience, protection, tracking} referred to her serious, working line GSDs as 'fur-kids'. At first I gasped, as I'm familiar with her rep as a serious trainer of serious working dogs. FURKID????? REALLY??? Then I shook my head in disbelief. All this guardian/caretaker/fur-kid crap is percolating into serious dog circles. If this doesn't frighten you, you're not paying attention.
I am not, not, NOT the freakin' guardian of 'furkids'! I OWN DOGS. I love and adore dogs. Dogs have been my friends my entire life. I've been protected several times by dogs, for which I'm very grateful. The word 'dog' is very special to me, I have no need or desire to describe them as anything _but a dog.
What does the word 'dog' mean to you? Something stinky? Non-stop barking? A pain in your behindermost bits? Even more work for you to do? Shedding? Annoyance? Money pit? Something to occupy the kids?
A dog is the most loyal of creatures, always there with a wag of the tail, so forgiving of human frailities. Honest. Dependable. You can always count on a dog to be himself, day in, day out.... one of their finest qualities in my opinion.
When you bring home a dog, and especially when you put a collar and leash on him, you enter into a covenant.. One that says you will be patient, kind, and understanding. That you'll provide for ALL of his needs... training, exercise, medical care, quality food, clean water, fun and games, shelter, love and affection. A safe and comfy place to sleep. That you'll protect him should the occasion warrant. That you will love him unconditionally. And, finally, that you will be there for him at the end, humanely and gently releasing him from this life when his quality of life is low.
This, dear friends, is what good dog OWNERS do for their DOGS. I have no idea what one does with a 'fur-kid'. Dress them up as princesses? Put them in uniforms? NO! Wait! I remember!
The 'guardians' of 'fur-kids' shave their faces so they can find their mouths~! Ah, don't ya just LOVE a blog post that comes full circle?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Teaky's surgery! Warning: graphic photos

Nicely done! Many, many thanks to Dr. Meiners and his wife.
I was so worried about this, but we couldn't have hoped for a better
outcome. We did a needle biopsy earlier, and all they got
was synovial fluid, so there was concern that a) the tendon was
involved, and b) that there wouldn't be enough skin to close well.
Now we wait until Thursday when we'll take the pressure bandage off
and see how the stitches are holding up. The pressure bandage is necessary to
keep the swelling down so the stitches don't pull out.
Finding a good horse vet isn't easy. My friend Kim uses Dr. Meiners for her
horses. I was caring for them one time when he came out to look at her older mare,
and I really like his calm, easy going demeanor. I can't say enough good
about this man.... and the horses like him!

With any luck, we'll be on the mountain in a month!

He shifted one hoof, one time during the whole procedure.
We did have to have a little chat about him expecting me
to hold his head up for him. :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

She's a Winnah!

Huge congrats to Enuwbe from etsy, as she's won my prehnite, peace stone jasper, and sterling silver necklace!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Goldendoodles, labradoodles, cutsiepoos, and other things that make my head hurt.

I have so many things I'd like to say about pups-fer-bucks schemes, but I'll spare you the venom.
Goldendoodles are not a breed. Labradoodles are not a breed. They don't have 'varieties' because they don't breed true. They aren't healthier than the purebreds that are used to make them, in fact, the pups now carry the genetics from BOTH breeds, good and bad. Hybrid vigor is NOT at work here. They aren't hypoallergenic. You can't accurately predict their temperament, talents, coat, or appearance... it takes a lot more than the F1 cross to make a breed. They are cutsie sounding mix breeds, or what's commonly known as a MUTT~
You know, the kinda dog that can be had any day, any time at the shelter nearest you. For $120.00 or less.
The people that breed these MUTTS are doing it for the money, nothing else. There's no reason to breed them... if you like poodles, get one! Want a Golden? Find a breeder, ask about health clearances. A responsible breeder will have done health screening. They will have references. They won't be BREEDING MUTTS!
Please, don't get sucked in by pups-for-bucks scammers. I am shocked at the number of people that fall for their lies.
This rant brought to you by ******, who just called me to announce that she's put a deposit {$500.00!} on a goldenxpoodle mixed breed litter. But of course she called them goldendoodles.
And at $1,200.00 a pup, she's really proud of her find.
Yeppers, $1,200.00 for a pup... a pup whose parents met the thin and only criteria of having working reproductive bits.
I might have to change my phone number after she reads this. ;-) Or maybe, hopefully, this was a prank? Hard to believe that anyone who has known me for more than 10 freakin' seconds would actually call me to brag about their purchase of an uber-expensive MUTT.

If you don't appreciate begging dogs...

don't feed them while you're eating!

Dogs are easier to train than husbands. *I* don't mind if they beg, and I've taught each of them a cute begging behavior. It amuses me, and I always share what I'm eating with them. Husband is mercurial... some days he doesn't mind and will feed them, the next he might want me to put them up, or put up the baby gate so he's left alone. I have no sympathy for him. Pick a path and stick to it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adorable Pic O' the Day

I'm not a huge fan of rats, but this is so cute!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Working Dogs part two

Dicey aka See Spots Run

See Dicey. See Dicey smile. Isn't she adorable?

She's a border collie, though she is not what I would consider a working dog. She's too soft, though she has great food drive, pack drive, and really wants to do stuff. And she will, she's trained through all levels of rally, and one day I'll break down and spend the money to enter her somewhere.

Dicey will be a fun dog to trial, as long as I don't take it too seriously. She's our 'butterfly' dog, flitting here and there. She always has this smile on her face, and she's always up for a game. However, it's ALL a game to her, she has no real work ethic. If she makes it to her RE, we might just try obedience. Locally. :-) I'll not travel far with her, I want to stay where people know _me. As in, know I'm a decent trainer, and can be competitive. Our little butterfly dog won't do a lot for my rep as a trainer of working dogs, but I predict she'll be a helluva crowd pleaser! She's a lot of fun.

Dicey was dumped in a shelter at 14 months. The shelter called BC rescue, as she was melting in that environment. Luckily, my friend Shawna pulled her. I had just started fostering for BC rescue, and went to get her. After living with her for a week or two, we just couldn't imagine our home without her! Ah, rescue failure #1.
Many times, JQPublic wants a 'smart' dog, then they read *Cohen's book on the intelligence of dogs, and off they go in search of a border collie. This is one reason why BC rescue is always full. The typical pet home will be much, much happier with a not-so-smart dog. Smart dogs need to apply their minds and bodies to _something, and if you don't provide that something, they'll find an outlet all on their very own... and it's NEVER something their people will approve of.
I fostered one dog that landed in rescue because she was destructive. Award winning kinda destructive! When she was approximately 7 months old, her people bought a large sectional, all leather. Very expensive. In celebration of it's delivery, they went out to dinner. and left their working bred BC pup alone... with their lovely new sofa.
When they arrived home, they found a very happy, content dog. They also found a sofa that was ripped down to the springs, with bits of wood, leather, and stuffing all over the house. They decided that their pup was now an outside dog.
Two days later, the owners came home and found over $5,000.00 worth of damage to their landscaping and their underground sprinkler system. Let's just say that it was no longer underground. Their $250.00 pup was now an $8,000.00 pup. This is when BC rescue got the call to come and get her NOW.
more to come....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sterling Silver necklace giveaway!

Win this handmade sterling silver, prehnite, and peace stone necklace!
Good Luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Working Dogs, part one

Kira with the ball she stole from the horses, with Mikey and Winston looking on.
I think my first introduction to a true working dog was with the McNab pup that my grandfather gave me when I was 11 or 12. At the time, he had sheep and cattle on their place in Healdsburg CA. He was acquainted with 'old man McNab', who provided the pup he gave to me. She was a great dog... when she was three or four, I had my horse stabled at the fairgrounds, and also took care of horses for others.
I would turn the horses into the infield of the track as I cleaned stalls so they could get some grass. Once I was done with the stalls, I'd bring them in, one by one, until all horses were bedded down and fed.
One day I was sidetracked just before I went to get the first horse, talking to my trainer at the time. As we stood there, chins dropping to the ground, Lucky brought in the first horse, seeing her into her stall... standing with her head held low, almost daring that mare to try to come back out.
We were, well, flabbergasted to say the least.
That evening, Lucky brought in all the horses, one by one, seeing each to it's own stall. And she continued with her 'job', until we moved to Oregon.
Remarkable, no? Amazing, even? I'd say yes. Now take this in... I had never worked her at all, yet she knew the horses names, and could bring them with a simple: "Get Clover." Even more amazing, right? Now for the real magic! Two of the mares were identical twins, Holly and Mistletoe, and she knew which was which, and never put one into the other's stall.
Wow. I have another amazing dog story of Lucky, I'll save it for another post.
My point? Give working dogs work! While Lucky seemed happy at home on our small lot, she really shined when bringing the horses in, holding them in their stalls until I came to latch the door. She blossomed. Our relationship grew exponentially. I learned more about my little McNab working her, than I ever did living with her as a companion.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Unorthodox chef's blog

I've been following the unorthodox chefs' blog for a while,
and todays post is perfect for this time of year... eating fresh!
The blog may be found at

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Our soldiers, on drugs

just picked this up from terrierman's blog. Ugh. I promise this is the last depressing post for a long time. For one reason: I have to quit reading this shite.

Armed Men On Powerful Drugs: MSNBC reports that: "In deploying an all-volunteer army to fight two ongoing wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has increasingly relied on prescription drugs to keep its warriors on the front lines. In recent years, the number of military prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills, and painkillers has risen as soldiers come home with battered bodies and troubled minds. And many of those service members are then sent back to war theaters in distant lands with bottles of medication to fortify them. According to data from a U. S. Army mental-health survey released last year, about 12 percent of soldiers in Iraq and 15 percent of those in Afghanistan reported taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or sleeping pills. Prescriptions for painkillers have also skyrocketed. Data from the Department of Defense last fall showed that as of September 2007, prescriptions for narcotics for active-duty troops had risen to almost 50,000 a month, compared with about 33,000 a month in October 2003, not long after the Iraq war began. In other words, thousands of American fighters armed with the latest killing technology are taking prescription drugs that the Federal Aviation Administration considers too dangerous for commercial pilots."

Way to go, ARMY! :-(

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wake up, Oregonians!

If you care about animals, and especially, if you OWN animals in Oregon, please read the recent posts in this blog:

Right now, I am too freakin' angry at what's happening, not only in Oregon, but across the nation, to write well.
It'll be a cold day in hell when this Oregonian gives in to the likes of peta and hsus.
Keep your freakin' laws off my body, my home, my animals. Radical animal rights agendas STOP at my property line. Guaranteed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My shop was featured at!

Here's the linky-dink:

Many, many thanks to the writer and the editor! And special thanks to Krystal of Spark-Creative in Las Vegas, also She did the branding for my shop. She's awesome, and so cool to work with. I'm proud to call her friend.

If I'm not careful, this jewelry thing could turn into a J.O.B. ;-)

The epitomy of laziness

Monday, June 1, 2009

My River

Well, I tell everyone it's _my river. I get a little pissy when I see someone mistreating her.

I stand on my deck every morning in good weather, just watching the water and the trees. Some people go to church for their religion, I step outside.
I have never loved a home the way I do this one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The New Pack

Awww, what a pair, eh? On the left is Kira, also known as Havoc vom Schroeder Haus RN. Probably won't be naming a dog 'havoc' again. ;-)

Mikey is on the right. I rarely take photos, other than of the items I make for my shop. However, I am sooooo certain that my Mikey is NEVER leaving here, that I took his PAL/ILP photos today.

AKC has a program where dogs that are obviously purebred can get a certificate that allows them to participate in AKC performance events, as long as they're spayed or neutered. I'm going to register him as River Camp Mikey.

My place has been known as 'river camp' to many dog people over the years.... I sometimes board performance dogs for friends. I think 'River Camp Mikey' has a nice sound to it.

I've planned to get a new pup every five years, figuring that would give me my main competition dog, one that's retired, and a new up and comer. When I was setting up Mikey's file today, I decided to get the other dog's birthdays on the calendar. I was shocked to see that Dice, our border collie, turned *7* on May 10th. I guess we've been saying she's 'five or six' for a couple of years now. :-) With Kira turning 8 on Sept. 9, and Winston turning 10 on Sept 9 {not a typo!}, Mikey has come at a good time.
Mikey stacks much better and looks nicer than the stand I caught him in, but I'm anxious to get his ILP over and done with. We're all just tickled pink with him, couldn't have found a better match. To me, the GSD is the ultimate companion. One of my friends once said "of course you love German Shepherds, you ARE a German Shepherd! Intensely loyal, honest to a fault, and not a bit afraid to use your teeth when the situation warrants.
Yep, that's me. Now, quit reading my blog, and take the dogs out. Give 'em a few scritches for from Auntie Deb.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mikey is home!

I've been waiting several years for my male GSD pup. Watching breeders websites, looking at pedigrees for upcoming litters. I knew his name was going to be Mikey.

I came across a post, somewhere, about a 14 month old bicolor needing a home. We went to meet him yesterday, and after playing with him for a bit, it was evident that I had found my Mikey!

He traveled well on the ride home, and was quite hungry for his dinner. I fed him and let him rest for a bit, then we started the introductions to our other dogs. They get along wonderfully, and my GSD bitch, Kira, seems to be enjoying having an attentive admirer.
Isn't my new boy beautiful?

Monday, April 20, 2009


There's never enough time to go around. I've been asking for 28 hour days for years, you can tell how successful *that* was.

We had a glorious day today here in Oregon... full sun, warmth, frisky horses and dogs. It's still too muddy to ride, though, since our mountain is steep, and we don't want to risk injuring the horses trying to travail long muddy slides. Soon. Soon riding will be a daily thing. Can't wait.

The above left photo is a shot of me with Sis, my girlfriend's mare, and the ears of Addi, her other mare. I must have been looking for a spot to... well, nevermind! :-) I'll just say that we usually take a few beers with us when we go up. Horses, sun, friend, mountain, beer. My idea of a perfect afternoon! The photo on the right is a view of our homestretch, coming down the mountain close to home.

Rain, rain, go away! We NEED to RIDE! YeeeeHawwww!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Meet Stella. Isn't she a beauty? Stella is an acoustic guitar, a Montana made in Romania. I love her.
I think I first became enamored with guitars, guitar music, and guitarists when I joined the Columbia House record club. I was probably... 13, maybe 14. My first glorious package of 13 albums included the original Woodstock, some Hendrix, Santana's Abraxas, and possibly something from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Who wouldn't love guitar growing up listening to those guys? And Mason Williams' Classical Gas?
I had an acoustic at the time, but no instruction, and please believe me when I say that the guitar is MUCH more difficult to learn than piano, flute, clarinet, and alto sax. I played all of those in school, took piano lessons for years, no problem. The guitar is an entirely different beast, folks. I put that first guitar away in frustration, and busied myself with dogs and horses.
Flash forward a decade or four. While I was an instructor for Agile Paws, an agility school, two nights of our classes were very close to an accomplished classical guitarist who gave lessons. Wahoo! I started the rather expensive lessons, committed to become a classical guitarist. I studied, I practiced, I borrowed from his collection of videos of all the greats. I marveled at Segovia's plump, stubby little fingers that could produce such beautiful music. I worked really hard trying to force my aged fingers to fly along the required scales. I filed my nails perfectly, as instructed. I really tried. I did.
I injured my back which proved to be an agility-ending event. You'd think that with months and months stuck in a chair, I'd have played my guitar many hours a day. Nope. I watched DVDs for the duration. And after I was well enough to travel to lessons, I had a hard time justifying the 3 hour round trip, and the expense, as I wasn't training dogs for clients anymore. Sure, I picked Stella up on rare occasions... became frustrated at how much I'd lost in my time off, and put her away again.
As I've aged, I find my musical taste to fall further away from arena and classic rock, to the blues. Actually, I'm a pretty hard core blues fan. Delta, Chicago, any type of blues. Electric guitar blues feeds my soul. Listening to some of the riffs from the old guys, I'd find myself thinkin' "I could play that". Heh. I ordered dvds from Netflix, and while I waited for them to arrive, I looked online and found, yippee! What a great site!
Guitar tricks has thousands of lessons, and you can start out at the very basic stuff... parts of the guitar, that sort of thing. If you're interested in playing the guitar, check it out. I've joined and I'm pleased with now being able to play a few blues/rock riffs. For me, holding a pick is the difficult part... I want to drop it and play with my fingers ala classical.
I'll never play like SRV, but I can make myself happy. Rock on! ~Debbie

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's snowing. In March.


What is with all the snow this season? Mid-winter I was snowed in for almost two weeks, couldn't get out in my van. Lucky for me, DH drives a heavy service van with traction devices, so he ran my errands for me.

My horses are doing their spring shed, and we have snowy goosefeathers coming down, and sticking. I don't think I've ever blanketed a horse in March before. Not that they care, mind you, as they're out in the snow playing with their jolly ball. The dogs are another matter entirely. Only Kira, my German Shepherd, wants out. Winston and Dice want nothing to do with it. As I type this, Winston is snuggled under the covers on my bed.

I shall turn on the tunes and work on some new items for my Etsy shop. It's productive, warm and dry. Maybe I'll join Winston later. :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


This morning, I was sent a link to a video of the winner of the dog dancing contest at Crufts. It was an awesome performance, only a couple of brief glitches, but fun to watch!

I miss competing. While I never got into heelwork to music, I've done my share of obedience and agility. My life has changed a lot from the days of driving to training, driving to teach class, and driving around the PacNW on weekends to compete. I don't miss the driving, but I very much miss traveling with dogs. It's a lot of fun to head down the road with the dogs, wondering how we'll do. And the drive home was always more fun when there was lots of ribbons with us.

These days, Winston protects us from evil cats, Kira is glued to my side, and Dicey is still the bouncing, floating little butterfly. I think we're all pretty content with how things have turned out for us.