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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cheering on For Olympic Gold!

"Ebony" dressed for cheering on those last Olympic GOLD medals!

MA ... how many more outfits will she have? .... this is the BEST one

pic sent/taken by Marylou today


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have You Check Your Dog's Mouth Lately?

Where has February gone? The Olympics, maybe?

Did you know that since 2003 February has been called the Pet Dental Month? Most Vet Clinics have been offering a discount on dental cleaning in order to help you keep your dog healthy.

"Vision"senior's moment ruling - "Back off! He's mine!"

you can at least see those pearly whites!

If you haven't opened your dog's mouth this month and checked his/her teeth, then GO do so after reading this. And I mean look way into the back & sides of those big molars. Check for broken tips, slab fractures of those back molars; dogs with tight lip lines you need to gently pull down the lips by the bottom canines and check near the gums ... look at all the gum lines for redness & swelling, and bad breath, well something is wrong somewhere.

"Dental disease is not simply suffering from "bad breath" -- infections of the gums, teeth, and oral cavity can spread via the bloodstream to the heart and liver, possibly causing additional health problems."

Many vet offices at this time of year have a chart on their wall showing the direction dental disease/infection will travel to the organs. The one that I find it doesn't show, and some vets forget about this, is urinary tract infections (UTI), and bladder infections. Dog's naturally want to clean their 'private' parts, and if they have dental disease those bacteria just travel right up the urinary tract and cause havoc. So, if your dog has repeated, unexplained UTI's, then have a look at their mouth, you might be surprised what is lurking back there.

Now what if your dog doesn't like having its mouth handled? You need to take baby steps in getting your dog to accept this, and I like to reward with small soft treats after each session. Start 1st just by handling the muzzle, gently without any intent on lifting any lips and looking at their teeth. Once they accept this, then gently lift one lip side; then work to where you can place just place your finger in. Gradually work where you can reach down the side to the back molars, and then to where you can open the mouth fully and have a good look.

Shelties, at least the ones that don't grow way oversize, have a small mouth. I find the smaller the dog, the more likely it is that they will by 3 yrs of age develop tartar issues. Large breeds like Labs, Goldens, Standard Poodles have such a greater surface area with their larger teeth and mouth that food doesn't get caught in the upper back area of their jowls. Next time your sheltie eats a biscuit, or even their hard kibble dinner, reach in along their upper back jowls and you'll be surprised at what you find! Food, caught up there! And that's where several of their salivary glands are located. So with the food stuck up there, and remember Pavlov's law ? they continue to secrete, all the while causing more tartar to build up.

"Dental calculus (also called tartar) is composed of calcium salts, food particles, bacteria, and other organic material. It is yellow-brown and soft when first deposited. At the soft stage it is called plaque. The plaque quickly hardens into calculus. Calculus collects on all tooth surfaces, but is found in the greatest amounts on the cheek side of the upper premolars and molars."

So ... get checking, get on the bang wagon of brushing (at least 3-4x a week, daily would be even better), take heed from your groomer if you have good one ... and consult with your vet if action needs to be taken.

Keep your dog clean, from the outside in.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Rocky Wins Specialty Best Of Opposite @ 10+ yrs

This past weekend Mary Anne & I travelled down to Toronto to attend the 2010 CC&SSA Specialty, taking our 10+ yr old "Rocky" to have some fun & visit with fellow breeders.

"Rocky" was our 1st Best Puppy In Show winner, and our 1st American & Canadian Champion, and his mother, Shelamo's Party Pack ROMC, is our 1st ROMC winner.

How proud we were to be honoured, winning Best Of Opposite! from the Veterans Class.
We also won the 1st "Helen Lovett Memorial Trophy" Ronas Hill Perm Reg'd., which has been donated by daughter Heather Lovett. What is so special about this win, is my 1st sheltie was Ronas Hill Kraker-jak UD, and where my love of this breed began.
"Rocky" resting up in the hotel room
"Rocky", just loving the attention!

He made it a Special Valentine's Day, as the 14th is our Wedding Anniversary.

It was a great weekend! Great time with friends. The show committee put on an excellent show, sponsored by Purina, with many very nice win prizes, including embroidered towels!
Congrats also has to go to the BOB winner, also a Veteran.

Thank -you to all the people who passed such lovely comments on our boy!The afternoon saw the collie part of the Specialty; our friends Cheryl, Kim, Crystal and Sarah working hard to get their 'team' ready.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Fire Destroys our Local CJOH TV Station

(viewer's picture)

I couldn't believe it!! Hearing this morning that the TV station I grew up to know, CJOH, had a fire in the wee hours of the morning destroying everything.

They started to broadcast on March 12, 1961 @ noon.

It was located not but a few miles from where I lived from 1961 thru to just 13 yrs ago when we moved further out to the country; we watched the roads expand to where it was established; walking to the Dairy Queen across the street with my girl friend Valerie, my sheltie Kraker-jak and her Beagle Snoopy for a Sunday ice cream cone was a favourite trip in the summer; it's provided a mainstay for all kinds of local telethons; one of our neighbours started her career in television there; in the late 60's I participated doing a small sit/down demo, representing the 'young ones' that took dog obedience with the long standing Bytown Dog Obedience Club in one of their local programs called Uncle Willy & Floyd; a programe called Regional Contact was almost removed from the air several years ago but the uproar of the community brought it back ... that show goes around our Ottawa Valley highlighting all aspects of people which included a segment on one of our local sheltie breeders, Helen Latulippe, Nuhope Kennels and an artisan in glass blowing Chris VanZanten who I knew just after high school & is the one that made our solid cherry coffee table, birds-eye maple end table and hanging lamp to match - yes that was in his earlier days in learning different arts - like the early 80's!

Ironically, there was a program called Family Brown Country ... a family singing group ... and it just so happens that Mike now works with one of them. It was on "You Can't DO That On Television" that Alanis Morissette made her first television appearance ... who'd of thunk it!

Barry Brown today (xmas 2009) of 'The Family Brown'
Well known country singing family from the Ottawa Valley.

The news anchor Max Keeping, just months away from retirement and his co-host Carol-Anne Meehan still put on the 6:00pm news today.

WOW .... Scary .... memories ... gone in a flash!


So Who's Our "Head-Ache"?

I was asked ... so here goes .... SEARS ... is the company that we've been having the headache with for over 2 yrs on our new GE stove, and since the fall on our new Carrier furnace. In web searching I found these 2 sites where you can search on Sears and come up with others with the same old problems.

I found 2 sites where you can do searches using Sears and the list is endless of complaints. I even found a few public Blogs with entries on them.


I have found out the main call center has been moved, yet another company, off to an island in another 'world'. The techs are not allowed to carry the # of parts in the vans as before to possibly fix your problem on the spot, so you wait, weeks it may be, for the part to come in and another week for a tech to arrive. Of course living in the country only compounds the problem, since they only have a few techs that do the country areas and only on certain days. This we are finding with out especially with our furnace as there is only one guy who services propane operated ones and does runs to our area on certain days, at least if it's not an emergency.

Another thing we were told, is that if you place 3 calls in the 1st yr then they will consider replacing the item .... well we've placed more than 3 calls on our stove, however the 1st 3 weren't in the 1st yr.

Friday came and went, and no call back from the Snr Manager about what action is going to be taken to solve our furnace issue. TG it still works, it's still COLD out, although what we don't know is, is it working up to snuff?

Obviously not would say .... I think I'm going to put the special electronic filter back in, close that door and see if we get more system malfunctions on the thermostat.

After reading many of the complaints on these sites, I don't think people would be venting so much if they weren't given the run around, you could talk to someone knowledgeable, weren't sent back to the main call center answering system only for you to decide which #'s you should now push to get the 'right' department, and not have to get hot under the collar to be put up to a more senior level to get appropriate action.

I will say, in general the 2 techs that have come to the house have been frustrated themselves, know Sears has a BIG issue, and unfortunately are the ones that have to come face-to-face with the angry customer.

WHY?? I wonder ... we've had a Kenmore washing maching & dryer that, gosh, must be 15+ yrs old and other than a few belt changes on the dryer, and maybe one timer switch (all of which we had a local applican guy do) they have worked wonderfully (he's always said fixing these older machines is better than buying new) .... why are we pulling our hair out now?

Customer service, poorer product manufacturing now, too much one-touch-button electronics ??? do things break down too soon? Are we becoming such a throw away society we don't care to fix things now?

OH WOW ... as I've been typing this, I get a call from the upper crust of Sears about the furnace!!!! Guess someone is now following the cookie trail, and staying on the Yellow Brick Road!

The TV we've had this power pack problem with, it was a ViewSonic 29" LCD.

Friday night we went out and, yes paid a bit extra for the name, bought a Sony 32" 1080p LCD. We found good reviews on it when searching the web. What we did find out tho, is that most companies will no longer be making the 1080pixels in the 32" as they find the clarity isn't that significant from the 720p. 1080p will eventually only be put into the larger size TV's. All I can say is the ladies Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling and the Super Bowl was awesome to watch!

More time will be needed to cook various meals to find out if the stove is working as we think it should ..... I'll keep you updated.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Westminster Kennel Dog Show

If you're a dog lover and have never watched the exhaling Kennel Dog Show (est. in 1877), it is a two evening event I highly recommend you watch. The commentary is excellent, and you'd be amazed at what you learn about the different breeds. Everything from what type of owner is best for them, to why they may have a cropped tail, why you can grab a West Highland White Terrier's tail by the base and it's OK, to special grooming tips, and why the breeds were bred like they are in the 1st place. Also, watch the handling, how the handler handles the lead, and the 'click' you'll see between dog and handler.

If you're a Dog Whisperer fan, you will have heard him talk over and over about the collar being high up behind the dog's ears, with a couple of his shows explaining why this technique is used in the show world.

The Herding group sees 3 new breeds that are now accepted. One is the Pyrenean Shepherd ... it comes in two different coat types; have a look as one of the coat types has a facial resemblance of our sheltie.

The dates are Monday Feb 15th (3 Groups + Herding Group) & 16th (3 Groups + Best in Show), both starting @ 8pm. If you're on the Bell Express Vu system, it's being televised on Animal Planet, 525.

You can view the individual Breed judging on-line @ the Westminster Kennel Club's website. Also we have 2 of our own Ottawa area judges that have been chosen to judge at this prestigious show ... Mr James Reynolds (he had the honours in 2006 to judge Best In Show -he put up a Bull Terrier - ironically just after our Ontario BSL came into effect) and Shirley Limoges.

Sit back with your pooch and enjoy a great evening of all things dog!


Venting Friday - Does Nothing Work Right Anymore?

I think we're going to BLOW here! It seems everything we've bought new in the last 3-4 yrs has had issues, some of which are still on-going, hummm all of them as I think of it. I'm not going to mention product names, nor service people, but is it just us that find one doesn't get the quality nor customer service anymore, unless you SCREAM at the person on the other end phone?

Last night we were settled in, dogs out, a nice fire going and watching our Favs the Ottawa Senators hockey team make a run for 11 straight game wins, when all of a sudden in the 3rd period our LCD HD tv starts to fade out to black along with the sound. Slowly, nothing. Dead. No light for on/off, nothing. The TV was bought new just over 3 yrs ago, June last yr we spent close to $250 to have the power pack replaced. The TV went the same way then, thus we suspect it's the same problem. 90 day warranty ain't any good now! So we're in a dilemma ... do we get it fixed, do without a TV probably till mid next wk and expect the same problem in another 6 mnths, or do we buy new? Buying new is what we checked out the reviews/prices etc on-line while we listened to the rest of the Sens winning game on the computer.

Next, our new, high end convection stove, bought when we moved here. 1st new one Mike & I have ever owned. Each home we've owned separately or together has come with a stove, working well, so have never invested in a new one. 1st it was a 25 lb turkey being done for xmas day that the FELL, grill and all to the bottom of the stove! The whole insides/racks & insulation had to be replaced. Fine, now that works OK, but the grilling rack STICKS ... not fun when one is trying to remove a hot sheet of hors d'oeuvres, with it finalling flying out on that last tug! Burn baby burn! We start to encounter another problem ... nothing seems to cook all the way thru? Temp doesn't seem to hold, or is 'out'. After a few cancelled service calls (all them, not us!) the tech says the oven is out by some 27 deg! The rack problem ... oh, a lot of people have that problem and unfortunately by the time they notice it, their warranty has run out. Luckily we added the extra yrs on. After several more cookings of various foods, still isn't working right. Last fall the service tech comes again (more cancellations - and as you know each time you've scheduled time off to be home), and decides to order a new inner box & electric control system. Another appt is scheduled for Nov, however that day the tech finds out that a door had been ordered instead of the inner box!!! The controls are in, did I still want him to come ... YES! we'd like a working oven for xmas/New Yrs PLS! He removes everything, only to open the box and find it BROKEN! Parts should be in Dec 25! HA! Fast forward to this past Wed, while after WEEKLY calls to the Company, having my calls routed to Corporate Services, as to why it's taking over 2 months to get the parts/service, he comes to replace everything this past Wed. We end up fiddling with the temperatures between bake & convection, and don't we find the temp is not only out by 25 deg, but it also seems that the temp will drop by 20deg before it kicks back on to keep the temp of the oven! He did some more fiddling; I had an appt and had to leave Mike with him when he got home from work. Mike went to change, came down and the service tech was driving away! SO?? did he fix the problem? did we see that it was working OK? nope! Did the tech see a way to 'sneak' out when no one was beside him .... hummmm .... do wonder??? And I ask, how easy is it going to be for us to determine if the 'problem' is fixed? we don't have a high tech heat meter, we just have to go by whether what goes in the oven comes out cooked with the temp & time it should. OH Boy! I can see some later dinners coming up again!

What we don't understand is the cost of rebuilding this stove runs close to $500 each time, just for parts, and they've been out some 4-5 times and put in over $1,200 worth of parts ... why not just give us a new stove??? Is that not cheaper? and OH, the sales person that sold us the stove in the beginning ... he says we're the 1st to call stating there is a problem! Not what the tech tells us who's dealing with all the service calls.

Next venting ... we bought a new furnace with a/c 1.5 yrs ago, through the same company that we bought our stove. Again high end name brand, high efficiency furnace. Installation went smooth and it's worked fine until a month after the annual service last fall. Then temp control panel with all it's techy readouts, says 'System Malfunction' call for service. The furnace is still working, what's UP? Same tech comes back (again a cancelled appt), only to tell us he suspected a problem a month ago but since there were no 'reports' on the control panel, he couldn't report his assumptions. SO, what is the problem? not enough cold air flow back to the furnace when it's on the high speed, thus it shuts off. Now what? well a report will get put in and his boss will have to decide what they are going to do. In the meantime, remove our special electronic filter and keep that panel off, keep the furnace area door open, all to allow for more air flow to the furnace.

Well ... I have called, AGAIN and AGAIN, every week since the beginning of January, each time a different dept, different person, different 'reason' as to why no one has gotten back to us. The last one a week ago ...'oh, repairs closed the case as it was no longer their problem, it should go to installation, I'll see that it's reopened and So-in-so is notified'. This week, no reply, I call again, another mssg will be sent and I should receive a call within 48 hrs. Well it is now 48 hrs, and nothing!

Guess, I'm back on the phone AGAIN today!

Blood pressure is rising, I'll try and keep my cool, but we are so darn tired of new things breaking down, service being the pits, no one careing and it seems you have to FIGHT to get any resolution.

It seems you just get one thing 'fixed' and you're on to another long line of repairs, service calls, and $$$'s. What happened to the good old days? Our TV upstairs is some 25 yrs old and works like a charm!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Games Dogs Will Play

Today was one of the nicer days we've had in awhile ... no rain, no major windchill and some sun finally peaking out ... I remembered today to take my camera with me when out with the dogs this morning. They were certainly bent on some good tug of war games with each other!

How many shelties does it take to play tug?

The lab boarder decides he's a sheltie too!

While the others are off doing their business, Timber & boarder Shadow get into a good tug game. Got several other pictures as I watched and waited to see who would give in .... tough call ...

a bit of a stand-off

Timber (eventually) wins! Then sits and waits as if to say ... "Now which one of you shelties want to try that again?!!!"

We now get into a fetch game with the smaller rope .... of course Timber, the retrieving dog is better at this game, but the shelties do get into the act.

All the while I'm trying and capture pics at the same time.


Birthday's Bring Family Together

Our family always gets together a few weekes after Xmas to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. Well with our house here ... me, Mike & my mom .... all down with the norovirus it got postponed to this past Sunday. We had a great brunch, (think Mike got the receipt on that one!) I redid the ears on their new puppy ... hummm what breeding sheltie sisters are for :) ... enjoyed the fire & chit chat and headed home late afternoon in time to do the dogs.

Blow hard Al, you can do it!

l-r down in front, Connor & Alexander

l-r standing, my sister Karen, me, Michael, brother-in-law Al, mom & husband Wilf

middle of picture in Al's arms is Hudson


Monday, February 1, 2010

January 31, 2000 - "Rocky's" 10 Years Old

"Rocky" at 5 months of age.

Today, my 'Main Man' in our doggie word turns TEN years old. He is BPIS Am/Cdn Ch Shelamo's Prospector, "Rocky". His dam is our coveted Shelamo's Party Pack ROMC (Register of Merit Canadian), having produced 6 Canadian Champions. That litter of 6 really kick-started our life in dogs as we had just moved to the country about 3 years prior and were finally getting set-up to manage more than a couple of dogs.

He was a dream dog to show in the ring, starting when he was just over 6 months of age. Even at such a young age, he was up to show for anyone as long as he knew who was at the end of the lead.

pictured at the SD&G show in Aug 2000 going Winners Dog

In November of 2000 at the Ottawa Kennel show he blew all of us out of the water with his wins as a Senior Puppy. The OKC show in the fall hosts the prestigious Show Of Shows the evening of the Saturday show. What it means is that all dogs who have won a Best in Show in the previous year are there to compete, and have to be entered in the regular show on the Saturday. So, "Rocky" was up against some pretty stiff competition .... 3 Best in Show Winners, who were also American Champions. "Rocky" not only took Winners Dog to finish, but went on to win the Breed, Group 4th in the adult competition and then on to win Best Puppy In Show!

"Rocky" winning at the OKC show - one of my biggest thrills!
We also headed that year out to Winnipeg where he garnered another Best of Breed/Puppy Group and a Group 4th.

In 2001, Purina started a program for all their ProClub members. It was called Purina Champions. There were some 500 entries that year, which a group of people had to select 20 winners, and "Rocky" was one of them! We spent a weekend down in Mississauga for a photo shoot, along with being well looked after. A calendar was produced for 2002 and "Rocky" was featured for the month of April. If you ever attend a Purina Sponsored show where they have their large booth (like the Purina National CKC Charity Event), you'll be able to see him displayed on their walls.
"Rocky" was #7 Top Sheltie Puppy for 2000!

Sherry & "Rocky" on their way to achieving his American Championship

He also spent a winter down in Florida with our good friend Dr Sherry Lee where she showed him to his American Championship. He was in tough competition throughout Florida, and the Carolina's, finishing in just 13 shows. My fav pic of him as an adult. This was taken down by the water in Kingston, Ontario.

Now retired, he spends his time at my feet wherever I am. If he's on the couch for a cuddle with Mike, he's fast to jump and follow me should I get up. He mostly sleeps at the side of my bed where I always have to watch as I get up that I don't step on him, or he'll sometimes use the dog bed. He can go anywhere, and be a gentleman .... my Ambassador of our breed for sure.



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