Friday, December 23, 2011

Err On The Side Of Caution

A friend from work gave me a large bag of dog treats that her dog could no longer eat because he is/was in kidney failure.  I was glad to accept them, knowing they would be much enjoyed.  Until I read the label on the bag of chicken jerky.  Waggin' Tails sounded familiar.  I checked the bag and saw that the treats were made in China, and quickly Googled the name.  Yep, my memory served me well (for a change).  The treats went into the trash and I explained to Ron why I was throwing them away.  Please check out the following link . . .

Because there are no regulations concerning the pet products industry in China, all imported food and treats carry a significant degree of risk.  You probably remember the contaminated pet foods from just a few years ago.  Dogs and cats died then and they are probably still dying now because owners are not paying attention to these issues.   Please read the labels on the edibles you purchase for your dogs, especially on the dog treats which are a hugely profitable business.  Rawhides too, can be risky.  Be sure they are MADE in the USA, not just packaged in the USA.   Many of them come from South American countries, and there have been many warnings about those too.

Many people scoff at these warnings and disregard them.  That's up to you.  I only know that my friend's 10 year old mixed breed dog ate these treats, as well as the inexpensive rawhides that are always imported, and is in advanced kidney failure.  Dogs that age should not die of kidney failure, and I will always wonder if the treats might not be involved.  I won't be taking that chance with my dogs. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Plenty Of Time To Worry

Got up early 'cause I couldn't sleep, even though I was tired.  One of those "worry nights" where the concerns that are manageable during the day seem overwhelming at night.  Mostly money concerns this time of the year, but also worries about what the new year will bring for senior members of my family

Why do I always spend too much at Christmas?  Why don't I budget and do a shopping list rather than depending on impulse buying, and why do I always find something I like better later on, but never return the original gift?  Why didn't I order one of Ron's gifts earlier?  It will not arrive in time for Christmas.  Why did I order other gifts so late that there is no time to get a replacement on an order that was filled incorrectly.  Who did I forget to send a card to?  Who did I forget to buy a gift for?  Why didn't I mail one of the gifts earlier so it would get there for Christmas?  What will all the Christmas lights do to my electric bill?  Do I have everything I need for Saturday's family get-together?   Why didn't I get the bathroom wall paper up last summer?  Will my mother be able to manage the stairs?

What if I can't find replacement filters for the humidifier?  Will I have to buy a new one?  Can I afford it?  What's the worrisome noise my car is making?  Will it be expensive to fix?   Where am I going to find the money to get whatever-it-is repaired?  And how much longer can I wait without getting that brake job done?  Now that the car is paid for, will it be nothing but trouble?  Was the bigger-than-average water bill worth it?  Will the trees and lawn survive the drought?   If we ever get snow will my back and shoulders survive shoveling, and will Ron insist on overdoing the shoveling?  How's his heart anyway?  Why doesn't he eat more carefully?

How many more years will we be able to do Christmas this way?  Will mom be able to stay in her apartment?  Is it time to think about assisted living?  How much vision has she really lost?  How much longer will she be able to walk with a cane or walker?  Will Ron still be able to house sit/dog sit next year?  How IS his heart?  What does the future hold for him?  Will I ever be able to sell this house or will I just have to walk away from it?   Where will I get the money to maintain it with no raises in sight, and everything going up, especially my house payment because of property taxes.  Why are the Republicans willing to let us suffer just to "get Obama"?  Why do people buy into that?  What's wrong with them?  How will my Agency, City, State, Country survive this economy?  Why can't politicians vote with their hearts rather than doing what their party tells them to do?

An hour later, after several cups of coffee, the rest of the cinnamon bread, numerous dog kisses, and being entertained by Letty's antics, I feel much better.  I can't change the past, or predict the future, so I'll enjoy the day, the holiday season, my friends & family & dogs.  We'll let the worries take care of themselves . . .

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Time

To Do -
  • Finish cards
  • Finish shopping
  • Finish wrapping
  • Finish putting up lights

Enjoy the Holidays!

Sure would be easier to do the latter, if there was more time to complete the former.  My life is currently a madhouse, primarily because I am so busy at work that I'm exhausted when I walk out of there each afternoon.  Finally told my supervisor that I could NOT continue trying to keep up both jobs, given the current volume of work going across my desk.  My own duties, those I inherited when JoAnn retired (I inherited her complete job), the extra work required to complete those duties in the new system, and the fact that the accounting system continues to run so much more slowly than the old one.  Just amazing that we would spend all that money on a system and all that time on training to be stuck with something that takes forever to complete the various processes.  ARGH.

The only blessing is that moral is very good, better than I can ever recall, in the agency, the office and our unit.  I attribute much of this to our Commissioner and our CFO who exemplify the concept of Servant Leaders.  Our CFO in particular has done a really good job with management, stressing teamwork, and the fact that we are all in this together.  No more looking over our shoulders, and a lot more working together.  I NEVER in the past would have requested help, but I've been told on several occasions that if I need help just ask.  I did.  If I could just pass off some of the time-consuming, repetitious duties that are part of every job, it would sure make a difference.  We'll see.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dog Shows On-Line

I enjoyed watching the Eukanuba (sponsored) dog show on streaming video on my computer Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Thought the quality of dogs was wonderful in most of the Groups, and the Group judging was uniformly good.  Loved 6 of the 7 Group winners and could have been happy if any of the 6 had gone Best in Show, but was absolutely thrilled to see the win go to my all time favorite Poodle, a gorgeous black Standard called "London", handled by one of the nicest professional handlers in the business.  Great fun! 

One of these years, IF they ever select a decent judge for Dalmatians, I'll go down and compete.  Generally have at least one dog qualify for the show (this year we had several) but the breed judges for Dals are such downers.  Breed results from this year confirmed my suspicions.  The BoB dog is a nice one, but some of the award winners were pretty marginal indeed, and there were no livers in the final lineup - despite the fact that the quality in livers was good.  Have to say there are very few foreign judges I would waste my money to show under.  The British judges generally come up with questionable selections and most of the Canadians are totally incompetent.  While there are certainly poor American judges (way too many, in fact) the percentage of poor Canadian judges seems to be much higher and they seem to be far more political.

Sparkle is now up in Canada, living with the Pella family for awhile.  She'll have a lot of fun for the next couple of weeks while Patti and kids are home on vacation.  She'll be back eventually, and looking for a home.  If you would be interested in co-owning a show dog, keep her in mind.  She's going to do well in the ring and I would love to show her, just don't need another dog body around here.

Letty was at loose ends yesterday, missing Sparkle, but enjoyed a trip to PetCo and a chance to run off leash for awhile.  Told her she had better be totally house-trained now, because everything got scrubbed yesterday, and all the rugs will be washed this week as we are expecting company on Saturday.  Tonight her cousin Meribel comes for an overnight, so Jess & Don can attend a Christmas party.  Because we got the backyard cross-fenced yesterday, it will be easier to keep the girls from tearing up the yard.  Good timing on the nice weather, and the ground being thawed enough for pounding stakes.

Still a lot to get done before Christmas, but no way to take any time off work.  My desk is buried in parcel files that need to be handled.  It used to be that the two weeks over Christmas and New Years were a bit slow - sure hope they are slow this year so I can get caught up, but I'm not expecting that to happen.  I can do the work required for my two jobs (inherited JoAnn's when she retired) but not the volume, primarily because the new accounting system continues to run so slowly.  I will be oh so ready for a couple of three-day weekends!