Friday, December 31, 2010

RIP Mulder, CH Pebwin's XPDNC OS SDHF

I just learned of the passing of an incredible Golden Retriever, “Mulder”, CH Pebwin’s XPDNC OS SDHF, is Hush’s great grandfather. Mulder was incredibly influential to the Golden Retriever breed. His off spring can be found competing in a variety of venues, and he is in the pedigree of many winning show dogs today. Mulder embodied everything a Golden Retriever should in temperament, and was known for passing this on to his off spring.

RIP Mulder.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Belated Election Day!

As you all know, I work in politics, and I acquired Hush during the three busiest days of my political career. I am so slow posting these pictures from election night, but it is fun to look back and see how much she has grown. We had a wonderful office celebration with great food (BBQ, ribs, delicious sides, desserts, and plenty of beer and wine) while we watched the election results come in. We really put in insane hours leading up to the elections, and this celebration was a very special way to reconnect with one another, and our friends and loved ones (who were also included in our celebration). So without further ado, HAPPY belated ELECTION DAY!!!

She was such a tiny little cuddly ball of love when I got her. She is now much, much, much bigger!

My boss left me in charge of decorating for our party. Our firm is non-partisan, and he wanted me to decorate with both Democrat and Republican accessories. As you can tell, I decided to use my creative license and editorialize our decor a bit. Here I am with my Weepuplican!

Isn't this a great picture? I was inspired by this photo of Am-Can. CH Nitro's Boy Wonder carrying American flags in a parade.

But, trying to get Hush to hold an American Flag in a photo was a bit of a failure.

This is one of my favorite photos from the evening. When I bought my puppy supplies, I purposely bought a blue collar and red leash knowing that Hush would be spending her first three days with me in the office.

I know, I know, there is no dog in this photo, and this is a dog blog, but because politics are such a huge part of my life, I thought I'd share this photo of me watching the returns come in. I look so serious!

One very important trait in the the Golden Retriever breed standard is jet black pigment. I love this photo because it captures Hush's coal black nose, and the dark pigment around her eyes. Her eyes look black here, they are really a dark brown.

The first 3 months of a puppy's life are the make or break months for socialization. My goal was to introduce Hush to 100 different people before she turned 12 weeks. By bringing her to work, she was able to meet over 50 different people in only 3 days!

Hush was very interested in the receipt in my co-worker Leah's hand.

One of the great things about my office is it is all carpeted! The carpeted hallways are perfect for playing fetch with a puppy, because they provide plenty of traction during retrieves.

While I was between places to live, my dear friends Frank and Annie rented me (and my two dogs!) their guest bedroom. I look terrible in this photo, but I am so grateful to have two incredible friends in my life that I'll post it anyways.

That party was so much fun! Goodnight, readers!

Friday, December 24, 2010

T'was the Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the forum

Not a creature was sleeping, not even a Golden;

The stocking were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Santa Paws soon would be there;

The kitties were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of catnip danced in their heads;

With Arry in his headphones and I on the sofa,

Had just settled down for a TV marathona;

When out in the dining room there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the davenport to see what was the matter.

I sprung round the corner in a lightening flash,

Skidded across the floor and landed in a splash;

The lamp on the breast of the newly mopped floor,

Gave luster and shine to what was below;

When what to my wandering eyes should I see,

But eight disengrated bulbs looking back at me;

Next to them two Goldens so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment they had their favorite pick;

But then from above we hear a voice deep and jolly,

The voice rings out, It must be Santa Paws, by golly;

The Goldens they scrambled to the front door with glee,

Leaving Ma on the floor like a swatted down bee;

The doorbell it rang and a package heard dropped,

The Goldens they barked and they barked and they barked.

Santa Paws Santa Paws, yes he had finally came,

Then he whistled and shouted and called them by name;

Heal Beethoven, Heal Marley, Heal Benji and Buddy!

On Marmaduke, on Lassie, on Yellar and Snoopy!

Then in a flash with a wag of their tail,

The team went away with more to mail;

The Goldens ran back with stories to tell,

Eyes bright with joy but on deaf ears it fell;

I scolded and pointed to the fallen bulbs,

But the Goldens denied any action at all;

Must have been the fat man Mom with all of his dogs,

For we love all things Christmas, even the logs;

To my puter I headed with a story to tell,

With a log and a click I knew all was well;

To family and friends, and yes, furries on paw,

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas to All!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Road To The Breed Ring:

I am very excited to announce that on January 18th, Hush and I will be starting Beginning Conformation Class! Typically, the trainer of this class likes dogs to be at least 6-months, and Hush will only be 5-months, but because she will only be teaching the course this winter she is making an exception. I had the opportunity of meeting with the trainer last week after puppy kindergarten, and she is fantastic. She shows Chow Chow’s and is an AKC judge, who seems to be a wealth of knowledge!

So you ask, what is Beginning Conformation Class? Basically, this will serve as an introduction to conformation (dog showing, like what you see on TV when you watch Westminster) for both Hush and I. The class is geared towards anyone who is a novice and has never shown a dog in conformation, or has limited experience. To ensure all students receive individual attention, the class is capped at only 10 students.

The course covers:

  • Familiarity with breed standards and their importance
  • Canine anatomy terminology
  • Proper equipment use for exhibiting specific breeds
  • Show procedures and attitude
  • Movement patterns
  • Ring appearance
  • Good sportsmanship

The course is 6-weeks long, and will be the first step in preparing us for the show ring. After this class is over, another class will start on weekends, where each Saturday will be like a mock show to get dogs used to having dogs standing in front of and behind them while being shown.

I can begin showing Hush at 6-months in AKC puppy classes. I already have one show planned on our calendar in June, in Traverse City, Michigan, where as you know, Hush came from. Whether or not this show will be our debut, only time will tell!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Don't Kill Your Dog With Antifreeze!!!

With a cold front hitting much of the country, and snow blanketing many cities, it’s a great time to be outside with your favorite fur friends for play time in the fluffy white stuff! But, with the cold weather, one potentially lethal substance seems to be everywhere: antifreeze.

It’s in windshield wiper fluid and coolant, which I know I personally seem to be buying in droves these days. If your car is leaking coolant, it can be dripping on your sidewalk, or you may store your extra bottles in a corner in your garage. Please, be extremely careful. Do not let your dog lick your driveway, or anywhere antifreeze may have leaked from a car, and make sure to keep products containing antifreeze far from reach of pets (and children), and your garage locked. Should any spill, clean up every last drop.

Antifreeze has a very sweet taste, which makes it particularly attractive to dogs, who do not realize the substance is toxic. Ethylene Glycol is added to antifreeze to lower freezing points, and is the sweet smelling and tasting chemical making antifreeze lethal. Just a teaspoon of antifreeze can quickly cause a small dog to go into kidney failure and be lethal, and not much more is needed to kill a large dog.

I know when I think antifreeze, I automatically think of its uses in automobiles, but we can’t forget our holiday decorations that may contain it, too. Snow globes are very popular this time of year, and these tend to be manufactured in China. Like many products from China, snow globes are transported to this country on large cargo ships. To prevent the liquid inside of the globes from freezing (which would cause the glass globes to break), antifreeze is added during manufacturing. Keep your snow globes out of your pet’s reach this holiday season, and should one break, make sure to thoroughly clean up not just the broken glass, but the liquid as well.

Remember, with all of our decorations and holiday treats, dogs are tempted to counter surf or jump on tables this time of year. Because of this, it is extra important to never leave a dog unattended in a room, or within reach of a surface holding a snow globe. The sweet scent and flavor of antifreeze is just too good for many pets to pass up, and the results are almost always lethal.

Should your dog show signs like staggering and vomiting, immediately check out your veterinarian. For extra precaution, companies like Sierra produce less toxic propelyne-glycol-based antifreeze.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Neighbors

If you read my blog, you probably own dogs, or love dogs, or want a dog. Or, you are one of my few non-dog readers keeping tabs on me through my dog-related exploits and posts. If you are the latter, you probably know my name is Lydia, and I blog under the name Miss Muddy Paws, and knowing these facts puts you in the minority.

My new condo is filled with dogs, and the people on the end of their leashes seem incredibly friendly and welcoming. My neighbors (of the human variety) regularly walk dogs for one another, and swap dog sitting duties if someone is going out-of-town. I have gotten to know them quite well – on the first floor, we have Marley, on the second floor there are Jessica Simpson and Milly and Hush, the third floor is home to Gus, and a pitbull, whose name escapes me. I can also name eight of my neighbors in other buildings.

When I walk around the corner, Retrievers in-leash, I can hear people talking, “There’s Hush-Puppy, and the other one is Milly. They live on the second floor of X building.” I’ve quickly learned which dogs are ones that can play with mine, and which are a little less-social. In my interactions, I sometimes garner little tidbits about their owners. The hound Hush loves to play with has an owner that works most weekends; Jessica Simpson’s owner adores Colbert and disapproves of my “Warning: Dog Bites Democrats” magnet on my car; Gus’s owner is engaged; the husky-mix is owned by a man who drives a BMW; Marley’s owner recently re-did her hardwood floors; Nellie’s owner has top-secret clearance. If this sounds like LSAT prep, it’s not, it’s my life.

I’m sure at some point in time, we’ve exchanged human names, but the names we most frequently use are our dogs’. Most of the details about our lives come from exchanges about our dogs, and a conversation almost never leads with human-questions, unless it has to do with the weather.

Having dogs has afforded me the opportunity to get to know my neighbors, I know them much better than my non-dog-owning roommate, Sydney, but do I really know them? Or, do I simply know the canines of the condo complex? It’s one thing to know the names of the dogs at the local dog park, and not their human counterparts, but, has this been taken too far when the same holds true for my neighbors?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Award: Bad Blogger

I am the worst blogger ever! If there was an award for bad-bloggers, I would get it! So much has been going on.

First, I moved on Tuesday. I now live in a lovely little condo complex in Arlington, on 14-acres of beautifully manicured lawns, with well established trees, and a river… did I seriously just discuss the “well established trees”? No wonder I’m single.

The complex is extremely dog friendly, and I love it! Moving has really monopolized the majority of my time, and I will be very excited when everything is set up. I’ll post pictures as soon as my apartment no longer looks like a national disaster area. I have so much stuff, so I’m implementing a lot of down-sizing and space-saving tips I’ve learned on all of the blogs I follow, and am debating ordering the shoe rack DC Gop Girl blogged about.

Second, I am currently trying to get a new job. I know, controversial whether or not to put this out on the worldwide web, but my boss knows about my endeavors, and fully supports my career so I’m going to go out on a limb and own up to it, at least on the blogosphere.

Third, as you all know, I have a puppy. I really did not grasp exactly what I was getting myself into with getting Hush. Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the best decisions of my life, but I now really understand first hand why you should never get a puppy on a whim. I researched puppies, breeders, training, and just about everything dog related for over three years, and am still blown away by the amount of time and work involved in having a new puppy, especially if you care as much about training as I do.

I promise to return to blogging regularly, just as soon as possible.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Save Money With Homemade Training Treats

As you all know, I recently finished a basic obedience class with Milly at the Mt. Vernon Dog Training Club. Because MVDTC does not offer any puppy classes, I have enrolled Hush in puppy kindergarten through the Capital Dog Training Club in Silver Spring, MD (more on this to follow).

In puppy kindergarten, not only does Hush learn the basics: heal, sit, down, stay, recall, off, etc. But, she also gets vital socialization and exposure to a variety of distractions like clown masks, baby carriages, ladders, and loud noises.

The first few months of a puppy's life are the molding period. In this phase, you can essentially teach your puppy not to be fearful of things through positive associations. Already, Hush has learned to love being blow dried, baths, nail clippings, and yes, loud noises. At home, my food motivated puppy gets rewarded with regular puppy treats or pieces of kibble, but in class she needs more. Low fat string cheese is a great motivator - she only gets these high value treats in class, but I want her to have more options. Today, I picked up some all-natural, low fat, all beef, nitrate free hot dogs. I plan on cutting these into tiny pieces and dehydrating them. To do this, I will simply set the oven to 250, place my sliced hot dogs on a cookie sheet, and bake for 45 minutes, or until dry, but not burnt.

Voila! Months worth of high value training treats, for $3! To make them last even longer, I'll only dehydrate 1-3 hot dogs at a time, and store the rest in the freezer, thawing them and baking as needed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Here are some pictures of Hush. I apologize now for my appearance. These were taken the first day I had her, at work, with a cell phone camera. As you know, I was operating on absolutely no sleep. No, those are not black eyes, just dark circles.

She spent the first week with me at the office, and had a crate set up at work and everything. She has been such a delight to train! I've never seen such a food motivated dog!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Journey to Get Hush

I have been such a bad blogger! I can’t believe that I have not posted yet about my trip to get Hush, and my first weeks with my little bundle of joyous fuzz!

On Halloween, my only day off in months, I boarded a flight out of Washington Dulles, with a planned connection from Detroit to Traverse City, Michigan. All was set, my breeder, of Nitelite Goldens, would pick me up at the airport take me to her house to meet Hush’s ancestors, then we’d head to Hush’s home, a winery, where I would the litter, enjoy lunch, and a glass of wine before heading back to the airport to fly back to DC. It was a jam packed trip, which started with me up before 5am to primp, out the door by 5:30. My parents met at an airport; as a result, I always look my absolute best when I fly. Four inch stilettos, an adorable dress, curled hair, not an eyelash out of place.

All seemed well as I sat in my seat on that first plane, but soon, the trip from hell would unfold. First, my second carry on, the size medium Sherpa bag, did not fit in the overhead bin. I decided to plane side check it, knowing it would fit on the next flight, and I could rearrange my other carry on. However, Delta failed to give me a tag for it when I plane side checked it. The next thing I knew, my flight was pulling away from the gate, only to have to go back to the gate because of mechanical failures. The mechanic took his merry time fixing the plane, stopping half way through to go get a bagel and cup of coffee, yes; I watched this out of my window. Needless to say, we were delayed, very delayed.

When I arrived in Detroit, I raced off the plane, eagerly bounced up and down as the person unloaded plane side checked bags, waiting for my little Sherpa so I could grab it and race to my connection, praying under my breath my connection was also delayed, knowing if it was not, I had already missed it.

After all of the bags had been set beside the plane, I inquired about mine; he picked it up, and said, “Oh, this one?”

“Yes!” I squealed as he taunted me with the pet carrier.

“I need your ticket,” he responded in an authoritative way while examining the carrier very closely.

“Don’t worry; there isn’t a puppy in it, yet…” I said while digging through my cluttered purse for my boarding pass. By this point in the trip I was quite experienced at fielding inquiries about where the puppy in said puppy carrier was. I found my tattered boarding pass and thrust it at him. My heart was racing; my nails were digging into my palms as the dismal reality of missing my flight was setting in.

“No, the baggage ticket, you were given plane side in Washington,” he explained.

“I wasn’t given one; I checked it very last minute.”

Because of FDA requirements, he cannot give me back my bag. If I would like it back, I’m going to have to go to baggage claim in Detroit to retrieve it. I want to scream; I want to shout, “I’m not going to blow up a plane with a Sherpa bag!,” But realize, if I wind up in jail for attempted terrorism, my boss will probably fire me for missing work two days before the election.

I race towards the gate, hoping to find a kind Delta representative to give me my puppy carrier and get me on the next flight to Traverse City. I think to myself, I’m in the right state; it can’t be that hard to get me there. I’ll just be an hour or so late. Wrong, so wrong. The next flight to TC was schedule to depart in three hours. I called the breeder in a panic; she was waiting in baggage claim at Traverse City for me, and assured me that no matter what, I would have my puppy today, even if it meant Hush meeting me at the airport.

The rest of the trip was a blur. I literally ran miles through the Detroit airport – at one point Tweeting that I had a new found respect for “Workout Barbie,” as blisters began to blanket my feet. In the end, I was booked on a flight that would put me into Traverse City five minutes before I would have to board my flight back to Detroit, and then back to DC. Delta offered to put me up overnight, but they wouldn’t be able to get me to DC until 10am, with two days until the election, that would not work. Because technically, my flights from TC back to DC were a separate return trip, I could not check in and acquire those boarding passes until I landed in TC. My puppy carrier was now being checked through to Traverse City. I was a nervous wreck, but a nice Delta employee assured me Traverse City is a tiny airport staffed with very nice people. If I told them as I got off my plane that I had to run to baggage claim to get my checked bag and a puppy, and would be on that flight, the last flight out for the night, they would most likely be very accommodating.

When I landed in Traverse City my feet were bleeding, my once perfectly curled hair was disheveled, my side bangs clung to my sweaty brow, my dress was wrinkled, I had coffee stains on my purse, my eyes were dark and haunting from lack of sleep during an election and mascara tear stains. I walked off the plane, in a zombie like state. I began explaining my story to the woman working the counter at the gate.

I think Traverse City airport is in an alternate fairy tale universe.

“I’ve already checked you in. Here is your boarding pass.” The kind lady said at the gate, before I had time to finish explaining my sob story.

“Your puppy is waiting with that lady right over there,” the fairy godmother Delta employee comforted as she waved her magical wand in the direction of a woman sitting by the gate, holding a puppy carrier and waving at me.

I was confused. How did this woman with my puppy get through security? I ran up to the puppy woman, Marie, the lady who owns Hush’s mom. I had so many questions. She pulled Hush from a carrier. As I walked toward her, the gate attendant explained she was personally pulling my checked bag from the plane, so I would not have to go through security.

My little Hush popped her head out of her carrier. Marie was so kind, with a bag packed of everything I might possibly need on our journey. My flight was delayed, again, but I didn’t care.

I never did leave an airport that day, I spent 20 hours running from gate to gate, mastering the art of going through security, and going from pure elation over getting my puppy after 3 years of waiting, to total meltdown over lack of sleep, work related stress, and having all of my travel plans come tumbling down around me.

But, when I finally limped off the plane in DC, exhausted, a sense of calm came over me. This was the best Halloween of my life, and I buried my face into a warm fuzzy ball of fluff, and shed a tear of joy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Balls, of the tennis variey...

I know many of us have ball obsessed dogs. When you think of many dogs, especially retrievers, throwing a tennis ball with your faithful fur friend probably is one of the most common images to pop into your mind. But, did you know, the classic tennis ball is actually dangerous, and for reasons beyond choking hazards.

Tennis balls, a classic amongst us dog lovers, are coated in a yellow fuzzy coating that is actually quite abrasive. While for some dogs, this won't ever be a problem, for the truly tennis ball obsessed the abrasive coating can quickly wear down teeth, and wreak havoc on your dog's teeth and gums! Scary.

Of course, I would never say get rid of the tennis balls, because, after all, so many of our dogs love them, I know my Milly loves hers. Instead, I offer you an alternative. Kong is now producing "tennis balls" they are manufactured in the same factory as the balls made for tennis playing, but the yellow outer layer is softer and less abrasive, because it is made of felt. This truly will save your dogs teeth. But, at about 3x the cost of a tennis ball, these are not balls you want to lose.

For dogs like Milly, that enjoy squeaky things, they even make a tennis ball with a squeaker inside. Are you worried about the choking hazards associated with tennis balls? They make tennis ball material toys in all different shapes and sizes - I buy the over sized round tennis balls, with squeaker, for Milly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Incredible Article on Proposition B

The below article is from the Humane Watch, and I recommend everyone read it. This article proves that Missouri's Proposition B will weaken animal care laws currently in place in Missouri. The solution should be enforcing current laws, educating judges, educating the public and hiring more inspectors (currently there are 12, to inspect over 3,000 animal breeding facilities each year) - not re-writing the law!

Oct 14 2010

Putting on an Act in the “Show Me” State

As Election Day draws near, we're hearing a tremendous amount of emotional chatter (both here and on Facebook) about Missouri's "Proposition B" initiative, a ballot question financed almost single-handedly by the Humane Society of the United States and heavily promoted by HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle.

Farmers in the Show-Me State are paying attention, connecting the dots to HSUS’s larger goals. And this year's controversial political darlings in the “Tea Party” movement are also making noise.

The question of whether or not to crack down on "puppy mills" is a self-answering one. As with "factory farms," the term itself is designed to be pejorative. But while Prop B has generated a lot of debating "heat," not much light has emerged. And that's because most people (on both sides) are getting emotional instead of using their heads.

Emotional ballot campaigns like the one HSUS is waging seem designed to discourage people from actually reading what they're voting on. And it's unreasonable to expect the average voter to place a ballot initiative in a meaningful context (historical or otherwise).

But that's what is needed most, especially because Prop B isn't really very different from the animal welfare laws and breeding regulations that are already on the books in Missouri.

The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) has posted a helpful document comparing, section by section, the text of Prop B with current Missouri laws and regulations. It’s one of several versions of this exercise that we’ve seen, which indicates at least that there's someone with his or her eye on the ball. (The Columbia Missourian actually printed, in article form, a line-by-line comparison last week too.)

One section of the MVMA's document caught our eye in particular. "Prop B" would require dog breeders to provide:

  • Sufficient food and clean water;
  • Necessary veterinary care;
  • Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements;
  • Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs;
  • Regular exercise; and
  • Adequate rest between breeding cycles.

Sounds good, right? But Missouri already requires:

  • Wholesome food and clean water.
  • Must have an attending veterinarian; adequate veterinary care, health and husbandry; and provide socialization of animals.
  • Addresses aspects of housing (primary, temporary, indoor, outdoor and mobile housing) and animal transportation including: type of structure, building materials, surfaces; maintenance, cleaning, pest control; employee training; shelter from extremes in temperature and weather; ventilation, humidity, lighting; water supplies, drainage, electric; and storage areas.
  • Sufficient space to allow each animal to turn about freely, to stand, sit, and lie in a comfortable, normal position and to walk in a normal manner.
  • Each animal must be given opportunity for regular exercise with an exercise plan approved and signed by attending veterinarian.

There are really only three major differences between current law and Prop B. The first one is the above-mentioned requirement for “adequate rest between breeding cycles.” (Who defines "adequate," anyway?) Number two is making sure dogs can stretch (as opposed to being able to turn and lie down).

These could easily be implemented by a simple bill (or a much shorter ballot initiative). Instead, HSUS is using things like food-and-water requirements as its main talking points to play hide-the-ball with the real meat of its proposal.

Here's Wayne Pacelle last week, speaking to KFVS-TV12 in Cape Girardeau:

We're just talking about giving them vet care once a year, giving them a little bit more space, giving them clean water, good food. These are the basics. Any responsible pet owner would think that these are the most elemental obligations of keeping animals.

Absolutely, Wayne. Everyone agrees. That's why it's been state law since 1992.

But what many Missourians might not agree with is the third difference between Prop B and the Missouri "Animal Care Facilities Act." The way we read it, the biggest "new" ground HSUS is trying to cover is the portion of Prop B that says breeders can't own more than 50 dogs. (To be precise, that's dogs over 6 months of age that aren't spayed or neutered.)

A few modest questions:

  1. Who's going to enforce this law? Is the Missouri Department of Agriculture planning to outfit hundreds of inspectors with sonogram machines and train them to determine whether or not a dog is sterile?
  2. What if two breeders decide, in the interest of efficiency and economic common sense, that they want to merge their operations. Will they be permitted to keep all of their animals?
  3. And, for that matter, what's to stop a larger breeder—there are those who do things right, we're told—from splitting into two, three, four, or even more separate legal entities in order to escape the "cap"?
  4. HSUS is fond of calling Missouri the "puppy mill capital of America." If this is true, and that distinction developed while the Missouri Animal Care Facilities Act was in force, why should anyone believe that conditions will improve just by passing another law?
  5. One last thought: the Missouri "Animal Care Facilities Act" requires dog breeders to feed their animals "at suitable intervals of not more than twelve hours." Prop B, on the other hand, says dogs must have access to “appropriate, nutritious food at least once a day.” Why on earth would you want to weaken the feeding law from twice, to just once per day?

The bottom line is that HSUS is trying to establish the precedent of setting limits on the number of animals a businessman or woman can own. That shouldn’t comfort Missouri farmers and ranchers who are in the business of producing egg, beef, pork, cheese, milk, or chicken.

Meanwhile, the animal rights group is building up its name recognition and political credibility with a mostly redundant ballot initiative. (In at least one case, the new law would be weaker than the existing one.)

This is all a pretty neat trick, like lobbying for a bill that would ban child molestation if the victim is a redhead.

“There ought to be a law!” Oops. There already is.

If this sort of idiocy had more proponents, we might see New York City passing the “Taxi Fare-Jumping Prevention Act” to stop tourists from bailing out on their cabs without paying. Maybe Washington, DC could enact an “Anti-Lock-Picking Referendum” to stop home-invasion robberies. Floridians could vote on a “Magic Kingdom Mascot Protection Act”—you know, to stop Disney visitors from kicking Mickey in the Jimmies.

You get the picture.

Ironically, we noticed this on the Prob B campaign website:

There are over 200 rescue organizations in Missouri ready and willing to take surrendered breeding dogs and find them loving homes.

That's good to know. But just don’t expect HSUS to fund those shelters. It has future ballot initiatives to save up for.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Flight is Booked

I bought my plane ticket today to go pick-up Hush. I work in politics, as you know, and I've been putting in 12-16 hour days for the past 6 weeks, 7-days a week! It's been brutal to say the least, but on Sunday, October 31st, I have the day off. If my boss decides to change that, it's too late now, because I've already booked a flight to go to Michigan and pick up Montague's Don't Tell Daddy aka "Hush"! In the meantime, the breeder is taking Hush to the vet to get an up-to-date Health Certificate, it has to be within, I believe 10-days, of flying, and includes info like our flight numbers, as well as proof that she is in good health.

I am ecstatic, to say the least! Hush is getting pretty big, so it is imperative that I fly out immediately to pick her up, otherwise she won't be able to fly in the cabin. The breeder helped me select a good airline to fly, based on her personal experience flying numerous show dogs all over the country, and we are going to be flying Delta. In order to fly in the cabin, I had to purchase a Sherpa bag, in size Medium, and it will be a tight fit for Hush, as she is now 9, almost 10 weeks. Sherpa brand bags are airline approved, and the medium is the largest that is allowed under the seat in front of you for transporting an animal on a flight. Did you know only a certain number of pets can fly on each flight? Because of this, it was important to call the airline and book a flight that had not already met the animal quota before purchasing my ticket.

As a back up plan, we have a small airline crate, and should she not fit in the Sherpa, she will have to fly in cargo in the crate. The weather is perfect right now for a puppy to fly in cargo, and at such a young age, this shouldn't be a traumatizing experience, if we end up needing to.

I will be bringing a leash and collar, so she can stretch her legs on our layover. I'll also bring a pee pad, though she will not have had any food or water prior to the flight. I'll bring some food in case of an emergency, and bowls, too. I'll have to find out whether or not I should give her water on our layover, or withhold that until we land in DC Sunday night.

This is the best Halloween of my life, and it hasn't even happened yet!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Political Pup!

As many of you know, I work in politics for a non-partisan research firm. I like to think of myself as a very politically involved person - I devote a lot of time to researching legislation, analyzing political media, and trying to reach informed decisions on a variety of issues. But, sometimes politics is a bit too serious for me. I think it's important to be able to laugh, or at the very least smile, so I like to incorporate Milly into my campaigning. No matter your politics, when you see a Golden Retriever sporting a campaign sign on a walk, you are bound to smile!

This photo was taken last November during the Virginia Gubernatorial campaign cycle. As a Sporting Dog Owner, animal legislation is incredibly important to me. I am very careful to research animal legislation to ensure there is no hidden language in bills that might hinder my rights as a dog owner, especially of a pure bred sporting dog. I support hunting and the second amendment, as I am planning to compete in hunting trials one day with Hush. I support the rights of dog owners to make decisions on their pet's welfare independently. I support the right to breed, though I acknowledge by supporting this education of the general public is key to eliminate irresponsible breeders. Political issues that apply to pet ownership are simply fascinating!

If you aren't already registered to vote, I encourage you to register. This year is going to be a fascinating and historical election year. Every citizen should embrace their right to vote no matter what your beliefs and views are!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Here's Hush

I know that you are all just dying to meet Hush, I know I am. While I haven't met her yet, there is now an actual real live puppy named Hush. She was pick of the litter when the litter was evaluated, and the breeder says she looks exactly like her grandmother, CH Birnam Wood's, did at that age.

Isn't she just the most amazing puppy ever? We're currently arranging a time for me to go to Michigan and pick her up! I am just ecstatic!

Of course, here are some more puppy butts. I'm not sure which butt is Hush's, but she's in there somewhere!