Friday, January 27, 2012

Auction On Saturday

Funny how determined everyone is to participate.  I'm trying to collect food survey responses via regular email, and everyone is determined to post them to my Facebook page and elsewhere.  Certainly no lack of responses!  May move the survey to Facebook & this blog next week, but really the Dal Lists cover most of  the people I am actually hoping to survey.  The results will be quite different than the last two surveys, although Pro Plan continues to lead the parade.  And I still have one person feeding Purina Dog Chow. . .

Tomorrow I'll spend much of my day at the  Fish Club Auction.  It will run from 10:00 'til 5:00 or 6:00 and there will be hundreds of bags of fish and plants to be auctioned off, plus hundreds of hard goods too - tanks, lights, stands, filters, gravel, rocks, plastic plants, driftwood, books.    I'll be taking three bags of fish, but that's about all I have to sell right now.   Am selling off the adult Haps that I've already spawned, plus young X. alverezi (wild swords) and extra L. tridens.   That will free up the 20L so I can move in some other fish who are currently in smaller tanks.  Seems as if I am always playing Musical Tanks.

The fish are a very relaxing hobby in the winter.  After a tough day at the office, I love to walk the dogs first, then spend the rest of the evening in the fishroom which is warm and bright.  The sound of pumps and filters is relaxing, and while I do water changes and clean filters I often stop just to watch the fish.   Several tanks have new babies now, and that's always entertaining.  I can add a couple more species right, then I'm maxed out.  I even have a couple of large tanks that I've never filled - but have more than enough tanks to keep me busy. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Food Survey

There's a new food survey posted to Show Dals as well as to the DCA Members List.  If you belong to either list, please take a moment to respond.  There are only three questions that need to be answered, although extra details are always welcomed.

The surveys have been done twice in the past and the results were quite interesting.  With so many new products on the market, and so much more positive information available on raw diets, I thought it was time for a new survey as I still get requests for the old ones.

You can access the previous surveys at:

2005 Dalmatian Food Survey

2008 Dalmatian Food Survey

My goal is to get at least 100 responses.  I started with the Dal lists again because people who breed and show (conformation and/or performance) are more likely to put some thought into feeding their dogs properly.  Too many pet owners buy the cheapest thing on the market, or the most heavily advertised, and are not aware of such things as good coat, proper body condition, or even appropriate stool volume.  (Better foods may require only 2 or 3 cups to keep your dog in good condition, while cheaper foods made with lower quality ingredients may take many more cups of food to provide sufficient nutrition to maintain an active dog.)  I'm asking for both Brand and Variety since many dog food companies manufacture both low end and high end products.

The survey may be posted to Facebook later, depending on the response.  If you are an enlightened and educated Dal owner but do not belong to either list or Facebook, you can still respond.  Just let me know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Absolutely Nothing In Mind

Although I normally have a topic in mind when I start a blog post, today I have absolutely nothing in mind.  Nothing I feel strongly enough to rant about - except perhaps how the cost of everything has gone up, but my salary has stayed the same.  Why is that?

There was a time when being a state employee was a good thing.  Adequate pay, good benefits, job security.  Pay has not kept pace with the cost of living (and in fact we have had only two very small raises in the past ten years), our benefits become a little "less good" with each new contract, and as we have discovered there really IS no job security.  Now "they" are talking about changing the way we do our sick leave.  Many people "tough it out" when they are sick, allowing their sick leave to accrue so they will have it for a real emergency, or so they can take away some cash (or add it to their health care savings account) when they retire.  Now that may be changed too, as it "costs the state money".  Well, Duh - it does cost the state money to have employees.  One gets tired of being the proverbial whipping boy.

On the other hand, I AM lucky to have a job, even though I do two jobs for the price of one - with no increase in salary, I might add.  But I am not alone in that.  It will be interesting to see how things go if anyone gets sick, or even if anyone takes a long vacation.

Oh, enough grousing.  I don't feel very strongly about that either.  Guess I'll just continue to do my job and keep my head down - and pray that I can afford to continue to live in my house for a few more years.   

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Most Successful Weekend

Gimme that cheeseburger!

A great weekend, just far too short.  Now it's snowing hard on top of ice - wish this was another holiday Monday!  It's going to be hard to work 5-day weeks after all the short ones.

Argus got to celebrate with a cheeseburger yesterday because his lovely daughters all did so well at the shows.  We started with a long off-leash run in Hidden Falls Park.  Very few people there yesterday, and the only dogs we saw were far down the beach or at the Dog Park across the river.  The Mississippi is trying to freeze over - finally.

We stopped at Burger King on the way home and bought a Whopper Junior With Cheese.  We tried a begging picture but Argus was a little frantic and this is the best shot we got, so we also used it for practicing a Down Stay.  Oh my, the looks he gave me while laying there looking longingly at the burger!  Dog abuse, he said.

Letty also got a nice off lead run in the big field behind St. Thomas.  So far no one has come out to yell at me for running my dog there, so we will continue to enjoy it on Sunday afternoons.  She's been very good off lead and traffic is light, so it's been a lot of fun for both of us.  She's discovered the joy of carrying sticks and actually chased a few, but will never be a natural retriever - what's the point, she says.  I got some excellent free standing shots of her too.   Absolutely love the way she looks, other than the way she carries her tail, but we'll see how it looks after she's been in season.  Still hoping for improvement, but . . .

Although I was disappointed that I could not be there to see it happen, Argus's daugher Nena finished her championship yesterday, handled the whole way by our friend Stephanie.  She and Nena have become an excellent team.  Nena is from the litter in Texas sired by Argus, and I was the one who suggested that Stephanie buy her, so am particularly pleased that they finished with a very nice record including a Specialty major.

Out in Oregon, Argie's daughter Tia finished her Grand Championship in a very few shows and mostly on Specialty weekends.  Her owner Jen had major surgery just two weeks ago, so that made it even more amazing!  Tia is from the repeat of the litter that I lost several years ago, so am particularly pleased to see her do so well.  She's an older sister to Baby Bella who recently finished her Championship from the Puppy Class with  4 majors.

Puppy Weather (Letty's sister) earned her first point on Sunday, and Pauli won two Bests Of Breed and a Group Two.  Altogether an excellent weekend, while WE stayed home.

On the fishy front I spent a lot of time working on my tanks.  Fish club auction next week and I need to have a couple of tanks ready for new fish, if I purchase any.  Hahaha. IF I purchase any.   I was delighted to see new babies in the tank with the Phallythys fairweatheri, handsome unusual wild livebearers.  This is the first time they have spawned, but with 2 males and 6 females, I hope to see more babies in there soon.  We shall see if the parents eat them, or if it's safe to leave the fry in with the adults.