Tasmanian Devils and Bad Breeders

I love feeding my dogs a raw diet. I truly and honestly believe that it is the best, most biologically appropriate diet for dogs, and that many digestive and skin issues can be cleared up with a raw diet.

What I don’t believe, however, is that raw is a magic bullet. This puts me into direct conflict with certain segments of the raw feeding population, who will tell you that raw fed dogs won’t ever get rabies, can’t contract parvo and don’t get cancer.

I take issue with all of this (mainly because it flies in the face of logic), but I actually get fairly pissed about the cancer claim.

Read more

Walking Dogs in My Backyard

Away we go...

I spent the afternoon walking the dogs. Lucky for me, our house backs on to 4 kilometers of walking trails – well, walking trails now, but originally it was an old farm road, made redundant when the path of the new road changed.

The road winds uphill from our house, through a path of arched trees and between heavy woods. It crosses our stream, which runs downhill and becomes, for one moment, a small waterfall. At night, when it’s quiet, I can hear the water rushing over the rocks from our bedroom window. From our deck, or from the pool, it sounds like a real waterfall, not the trickle it actually is.

The dogs love this walk – they are never happier than when they are barreling up that hill in front of me, stopping to investigate interesting smells, intriguing puddles, stray patches of tall grass, bugs on rotten logs. They will only go as far as my sight line, even Delilah now, who in her not so very long ago youth would have been three counties away and not looking back once. Her mother, Sailor, was the queen of the runaways in her youth. She once led us on a chase that lasted three blocks, over roads and through yards and into heart stopping moments where I wasn’t sure if she was going to be killed, or if I was going to kill her. Now, Sailor doesn’t stray more than two feet away from me. Old age apparently has its advantages.

It’s entirely possible that walking dogs through what is, essentially, my backyard is a fairly boring way to spend a Saturday afternoon. There’s not much I’d trade it for, even so.

Photos after the cut.

Read more

Friday Zen – You’ve Gotta Have Hope!

I’ve seen a few debates rage lately about just what, exactly, is a ‘reasonable’ adoption fee.

Some people believe that there’s no justification in asking more than a few hundred dollars for a healthy rescue dog. They say that anything excess is just gouging by rescue groups.

In some cases, such the new influx of ‘fake’ rescues that are little more than fronts for puppy mill clear out merchadise, this is probably true. Those ‘rescues’ (which are really just companies that re sell older puppy mill breeding stock and unhealthier puppies that the large brokers either won’t touch, or have returned), this is true, and their high adoption fees are how they turn a profit.

For the majority of rescues, however (legitimate groups like French Bulldog Village, Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, and FBRN), adoption fees on healthy dogs work more like insurance policies. The fees which adopters give for the healthy dogs help to offset the thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars which rescues must put towards the care of the older, the unhealthy and the special needs dogs which make up the bulk of rescues.

Take Hope, for example. Hope is the very definition of a ‘special needs’ rescue. A former puppy mill dog, Hope came to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue lame, emaciated and close to death. After months of physical therapy, water therapy and tender loving care, Hope is on the mend.

Donations to rescue, and the adoptions fees of younger, healthier, in demand dogs help to pay for Hope’s care. It’s the very essence of what makes an empathetic society – the more fortunate carry the burden of the less.

And after all, you’ve gotta have Hope, right?

If nothing else, just watching her swim will give you a moment of pure zen.

A Great Weekend in MI!

French Bulldogs at Kalamazoo dog show - Bullmarket Absolut Darkly Dexter and Bullmarket NewHope at SpiritDragon

Dexter and Luke shooting "I het you" looks at each other

Congrats to Luke and Dexter on a great weekend in Kalamazoo!

Dex, his son Luke and his other son Manny each took a turn winning the dog points at the Kalamazoo, Michigan show. Unfortunately, the major broke, but it was still a great turn out! Sue managed to get some photos of Luke and Dexter together, but it wasn’t easy. There’s apparently no love lost between them, what with boys (and their hormones) being boys.

Sue’s other big news is that she won the bitch points with her little girl, Cindi. Way to go, Sue and Cindi!

Still waiting to hear back from Kristina and Amanda on how the other Dexter kids, Leah and Finnlee (Delilah’s daughter out of Dex) did over on the east coast. I hope it was another great weekend for them, as well!

This was Finnlee’s first weekend in the ring, so let’s hope she didn’t ‘pull a Delilah‘ on Amanda (that’s my nickname for anytime a dog makes a fool out of you – and especially if it seems intentional).

I am making plans to attend the Hamilton Kennel Club Dog Show, on Saturday June 26th.  I’ll be showing Delilah, because apparently I am a glutton for punishment.  I am fully expecting her to do something horrid to me in the ring – either she’ll fall asleep on the grooming table, or she’ll simply refuse to move on the down and back. Either of which would be a nice tribute to her grandmother, Tessa, who at one point or another in her show career did both of those things, with a spectacular flying leap off of the grooming table added in for good measure.

Details on the show can be found here – http://www.canineshowservices.com/hamilton/hamiltonpl2010.pdf

If you’d like to come out and meet with us to ‘talk Frenchies’, please drop me a line. Video cameras will be strictly banned from ringside – the last thing I need is video of Delilah winding the lead around my feet until I fall flat on my face going viral on YouTube.