Friday, January 17, 2014

Microchipping Your Dog - FAQs

I came across this article yesterday and thought it was worth sharing.  Although my dogs always wear buckle or snap collars with tags, they are also microchipped since collars can become lost.  Please use both methods to protect your dogs!

Microchip FAQs

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Things To Do With Your Dalmatian - DCA Distance Log

Looking for an activity to share with your Dalmatian?  Why not check out the DCA Distance Log Program?    DCA Distance Log

As you undoubted know, Dalmatians love to walk and are great companions for hiking.  They have incredible stamina, endless enthusiasm, and are cheerful companions.  They won't argue about the route, never get caught up in political arguments, don't talk all the time, and never sulk or whine "I'm tired, can't we go home?"  If you want to walk, they want to walk, for as long as your feet hold up.

I've always been a walker, using it as a way to keep both me and dogs in shape.  Because I live in the city and have a small yard, the dogs NEED to walk.  When Argus retired from the show ring, after being extensively campaigned for several years, he needed an activity that we both enjoyed.  Nature hikes were just the thing and we started walking the river parks, dog parks, county and city walking trails.  So many interesting places to walk!

Last year because we were not showing very often, and because I had two enthusiastic young dogs in Max and Fern, they were added to the mix.  Normally just one dog at a time, but sometimes both Argus and Fern.  We did a lot of exploring, found interesting trails, and covered a lot of ground.  And I never kept a record of it.  How many miles did we walk last year?  Many, is all I know for sure.

This year I'm doing it differently, keeping track of the miles covered.  That's actually fun, and has added a new dimension to walking. Fit Bit offers a variety of mileage trackers that are lightweight, fun and easy to use.  What I really enjoy though is Motion X GPS which is available as an App for my iPhone.  It tracks mileage, average speed, current speed, and maps your path, while announcing every 5 minutes how far you've walked and your current speed.  Fun!  You can view maps of your tracks and save them.  I find that I tend to compete with myself from track to track which keeps me moving briskly.

Last night I walked the three dogs on snowy streets, listening to a book on my iPhone while the MotionX was working in the background, tracking my progress using GPS technology.  The Fitbit was clipped to my pocket tracking my steps, converting steps to miles and calculating calories burned.  Such fun.

We're off to a rather slow start this year as the weather has been difficult.  On the coldest nights the dogs only get about half a mile apiece, but when the weather is better we cover a lot more ground.  It's been fun keeping track of the distances, especially with such fun gadgets to play with.  My goal for the year is at least 1,000 miles, hopefully a lot more.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pup-Less, At Last

My first weekend without an extra dog. Nena has gone home, and the pups are all in their new homes.  Nope, that's not my current household - that would be too many dogs!  The picture was taken about 20 years ago and includes left to right Rob, his son Morris, Mo's mom Eloise, Rob's puppy grandson Sidney, Mo's son Edgrr, Rob's daughter Erin, and Rob's granddaughter Hilary. All but Hilary (who went to live in a pet home) were champions.  Rob, Mo, Eloise, and Sid lived their entire lives with me, and I miss them all.

The last pup departed on Friday, when the weather finally warmed up enough to ship her to Texas.  Summit/Abby was looking extremely good and it was tempting to keep her, but I'm really not ready for a puppy right now and my next pup has to be liver.  It was a very good litter, good structure with exceptionally nice dispositions.  Abby was such an easy puppy, quiet in a crate and riding in the car, super easy to housetrain, not a whiner and very self confident.  Hopefully the next pup I keep will have a personality like Abby's.

The basement is finally back to normal, whelping pen down, whelping box cleaned and put away, floor scrubbed, rugs back on the floor.  Max has his training area back and was thrilled when I put his tunnel down again - he ran back and forth through the tunnel chasing a tennis ball, and acting like a little kid at recess.

Laurie reports that Amery is currently in season.  Still don't know who I will breed her to next summer, but hopefully there will be a pup for me to keep.  She still needs to finish her health testing, hips, elbows, eyes and thyroid, but assuming she passes everything, she's next in line.  No pups in Paisleyland until then.

After weeks of incredibly cold weather that limited my dog walking, we finally had a warm up.  I've joined the DCA Distance Log Program, and am recording the miles the dogs and I walk each day.  Should have been doing that last year when we covered so much territory!  At the suggestion of a Dal owning friend, I downloaded MotionX GPS on my iPhone, and am getting the exact distances, average speed, and a map of the walk.  It would be fun to attach the phone to the dogs, who cover so much more territory than I do!  The program tells you every 5 minutes how far you have walked and what your speed is - which tends to make we walk faster.  It's like being in competition with yourself, and adds a dimension to walking.