Monthly Archives: May 2014

Beautiful Dog Photos – Please Give Credit

I came across this blog post the other day on a site called Dogdose.com.  The post, 13 Jaw Droppingly Beautiful Photos for Dog Lovers does indeed have some absolutely stunning photos of dogs.  As someone who aspires to take pictures that tell a story like these do I was awed, as I’m sure many were.  I almost posted the link back to my Facebook to share until I realized something.  None of the images in the post are credited.  Not a single one.  At least it looks like none are credited.   It’s not until you scroll all the way to the bottom and see the small text called ‘source’ do you get to see who actually took them.

The ‘source’ post gets it almost right.  It lists a description of the photo (not the actual photo name) along with the name of the individual who took it directly below each image.  However, there’s no links to the photographer’s personal site or Flickr Album or other source.  I suppose this is fine for most folks as they just want to see an image and move on.  However, there’s richness to be found in each artist’s portfolio if you take the time to dig further.

For example, this image has been one of my all time favorites:

 

I cannot say enough about this amazing image.  If you give a direct link to the image (you can find it here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterprzybille/3915636451/ ) you’ll find a little more context for the image and the story around it:

Alaskan Husky Tex dreaming in the landscape of Northern Norway.

Dog days!

A typical day within the short and intensive period of “Indian Summer” in beginning of September. After the leaves have turned following an onset of frost but just before the first snowfall. I took along Alaskan Husky Tex on a day trip through the coloured scandinavian mountains.

While taking a break he immediately layed down to take a nap.

I could really feel his deep satisfaction resting in his northern territory.

When I took a look through his Flickr account I was blown away.  This image is just one of many.

My ultimate point here is that we need to make sure we give credit in a way that is easy to find, immediate and allows us to easily continue looking at the artist’s work.  In the day and age of everyone having a camera everyone suddenly thinks that they are a photographer and it’s easy to take images like this.  It’s not.

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Everything Tells a Story

I ordered some amazing vintage dog tags off Ebay last week and they arrived yesterday.  I ordered them to use for the leash holders for my new venture, “Bark Culture Boutique” (I’ll make further announcements once my Etsy shop is open but you can like us on Facebook in the meantime).

I love using up-cycled things like this and knew they would look really amazing on the leash holders giving them a unique flair with a little piece of history.  What I didn’t expect though was the questions I’d be left with after looking through them all.  Some of the tags dated back all the way to the 1930s.  As I started cleaning them up I wondered about the dogs they belonged to.  What type of dogs where they?  What was their name?  Who was the family that loved them?

These tags belonged to "Montana".

These tags belonged to “Montana”.

I had one question answered when I flipped over one of the tags and saw the name “Montana” printed in neat handwriting on the back.  As I ran my head over the tag and felt the groves and cold metal, I wondered further about “Montana” and the potential life he led.

Montana

Montana

Another tag really stuck out to me, not only because it was a bright red plastic tag among an entire lot of metal, but because of the imprint:  “City of Omaha Guide Dog”.

Who did this belong to?

Who did this belong to?

 

Again, I wondered about this dog who (likely) served someone in need faithfully and unconditionally.

Everything tells a story and these tags have a story behind them even if it’s only the ones we make up to fill the gaps.  If nothing else, they should serve as a reminder that dogs are our friends, our family and unconditional companions.  Make sure that the stories they leave are ones that live in your hearts.

Here are the tags I received.  I wish I knew the story for each one.

Lot 1 - Vintage Dog Tags

Lot 1 – Vintage Dog Tags

Lot 2 - Vintage Dog Tags

Lot 2 – Vintage Dog Tags

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Filed under Crafts

Amazing coat patterns on dogs

Check these coat patterns out.  Genetics are an amazing thing.

33 Dogs with Unique Coats

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Filed under General

WoofTrax

You’ll notice a new image on my sidebar.  I found this great app that allows you to help your local shelters just by walking your dog!

Intrigued?  Read on:

Don’t just Take your Dog for a Walk, Take your Walk for a Dog!

Walking your Dog just got a whole lot Better! Now you can Raise Money for your Local Shelter every time time you walk your dog.

Taking your dog for a walk is now not only good for you and your dog, it raises money to support all pets at your local animal shelter. The Take your Walk for a Dog program is a revolutionary Dog-powered fundraising tool for animal shelters that uses a free mobile App to promote healthy pets and healthy humans while raising money to support local shelters. Your Local Animal Shelter is partnering with WoofTrax, Inc., to introduce and promote the App in this area. “You walk your dog anyway,” says Mike Katz, Director of Community Relations for WoofTrax. “Now, for every mile you walk, we donate to to your local animal shelter.”

“There is no easier way to raise funds for our local shelter then using the app every time you grab for the leash!” says JoAnn Goldberger, Director of Development, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Center, Baltimore, MD. Whether you are walking with your dogs or by yourself, the App is a way to keep track of your walks, encouraging you to walk more every day. That’s good for your health and your dog’s health. Plus, you have the satisfaction of knowing that your walking directly benefits your local shelter.

One of the key developers of the Take your Walk for a Dog program is the “WoofDriver,” a world famous dog-powered sporting lifestyle expert. WoofDriver focuses on new and exciting ways to exercise, train, and spend time with your dog. You can see videos of the WoofDriver in action at Wooftrax.com.

Our community can now support us simply by walking their dogs.  Proceeds directly benefit the many homeless animals that come to our local shelter each year and support the ongoing good work that our local shelter does in our community.

If you would like additional information about Walk for a Dog, or if you have any questions, visit wooftrax.com.

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Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

Mothers Day Card Front

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May 11, 2014 · 10:09 am

Purina sues Blue Buffalo

Even if you don’t feed Blue Buffalo this is worth a read!  I’ll be watching this case and curious over the outcome.

Purina has just filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo over false claims that Blue Buffalo makes in discussing their food.

Nestle Purina Sues Over Pet Food Competitor Claims

The suit claims that testing by an independent lab and funded by Purina showed that several Blue Buffalo products contained “significant” percentages of poultry byproduct meal and corn. The suit also says several products promoted as “grain-free” contain rice hulls.

I hope that Purina will release the actual report findings so the consumer can decide for themselves.

  • How many batches of food were tested?  Several could mean 2, 3 or 10.  Was there any time between batches or were current batches on the shelf tested?
  • What varieties were tested?  Blue Buffalo has well over 50 varieties of dry dog food alone.
  • Who conducted the testing; Purina or a separate chemical lab?

If what Purina is saying happens to be true this could have a massive ripple affect throughout the pet food industry.

“Despite Blue Buffalo’s massive marketing barrage, Purina has discovered that Blue Buffalo — and not the ‘big name’ pet food manufacturers Blue Buffalo routinely criticizes in its advertising — is concealing the truth about the ingredients in its products,” the lawsuit states.

Concealing the truth?!  This coming from the company that sells Beneful.  On the website they say this about Beneful:

We know that people want everything in their buddies’ lives to be playful and enjoyable, so we reinvented dog food, making it all about dog fun. Beneful brand dog food can help keep your dog happy and healthy with a perfect balance of real, wholesome ingredients, quality nutrition and great taste. 

Accents like carrots, barley, rice, and green beans

Love the double marketing speak ‘accents’… which in reality means just enough for us to be able to put it on the bag making you think your dog is getting a bunch of veggies from our food.  The truth is, Beneful’s main ingredients are Corn, Chicken-By Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Flour, and Animal Fat.  These are followed by beef, rice flour and soy flour.  To top it off the food contains artificial coloring (would you believe that owners actually want this in their food?), chelated minerals (making them more difficult to digest and absorb), and menadione which is a controverial form of Vitamin K.  Oh, and all those veggies in the food?  Buried low on the ingredients list (meaning there are trace amounts) is dried carrots and dried peas.

Doesn’t sound entirely wholesome or quality to me.  By using double marketing speak though they aren’t making false claims.  However, who decides what is ‘wholesome’ or ‘quality’?  Corn and Chicken-By Product aren’t exactly top of my list in terms of wholesome or quality for my dog.

Purina is asking Blue Buffalo to pay damages for the profit they made on their ‘unfair claims’:

“The lawsuit asks the court to force Blue Buffalo to run corrective advertising to show that its products contain chicken byproducts, and to pay damages to Nestle Purina “for all gains, profits, savings and advantages obtained by Blue Buffalo as a result of its false advertising and unfair competition.”

In my opinion, Purina is just feeling the pinch of pet owners trending towards high quality foods and wanting the best they can get for their pet.

Sales of more expensive brands rose 68 percent from 2002 to 2012, compared with 19 percent for mid-priced brands and 8 percent for economy brands, according to Euromonitor International.

They want a bigger piece of that 68% and since they aren’t going to start making an actual product to compete in this market, this is as close as they can get.  However, if Blue Buffalo is making false claims I’ll be interested to see what ends up happening to other dog food product claims.  Blue Buffalo of course is going to have to do their own damage control now as individuals who feed this have now been planted the seed of doubt.

 

 

 

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Filed under Nutrition, Product Reviews

“Do as I Do” Training Method

In the never ending quest for dog training best practices, a new training technique out of Budapest has emerged.  This new method called the “Do as I Do” method supposedly teaches your dog by showing them what you want.  Yes…you heard me right…showing.  

It’s called the “do as I do” approach, and rather than using reward-punishment or a clicker as training aids, it calls on the canine ability to imitate human actions.

Essentially, you simply show the dog what to do.  Seems simple enough.  The issue though is that you have to have a dog already trained to the point where they are giving you their undivided attention.  They have to focus on you and only you to get it.  I remember when I was training my first dog I’d spend hours each week just working on the ‘watch me’ command so that I had my dogs full attention.  I would image that before you could even attempt something like a “do as I do” method your dog already has to have a high level of training or just be that intuitive at training.

Kudos to the trainer in the video below.  It’s impressive stuff but I don’t know if I could even get Blizzard to sit long enough to watch what I was doing…

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Filed under Training