Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Clarification of what I mean by "animal industry"

I made a post yesterday that touched on more controversial topics, which I don’t usually do, but in this case I thought it was necessary. I want to clarify something in my biography, when I mention the “animal industry” I am not referring to the industry of breeding animals or selling animals, but instead to the industry of products for animals. Animal nutrition has really become a major issue for pet owners, and I find that to be incredible. You can search through my previous posts and read about how I have been impacted by the choices available to consumers for animal nutrition. Other parts of the animal industry include products that help us owners give our dogs optimal care. Twenty or thirty years ago there was one style of dog training, and it was not nearly as positive as it is today. Pet owners are now in a place where they can explore all of the products produced by the animal industry like toys, beds, grooming tools, training aids (like the Halti), treats and much more that was not available to dog owners years ago. Today, the animal industry continues to grow, as a multi-billion dollar industry, as pet owners continue to spend more money on quality food and other pet merchandise than ever before.

I do not at all support the breeding of dogs for profit. I have blogged about my distaste of breeders who purposely breed mixed breed dogs for profit, as this goes against every parent breed club’s code of ethics. I in no way am saying that a “designer breed” like a Yorkipoo is a bad pet, or that you should not love your pet, but simply that I do not agree with the practice of breeding mixed breed dogs intentionally – especially when there are many mixed breed dogs and puppies in shelters. I support responsible breeding by hobby breeders. I have blogged numerous times about this. I am appalled at people who breed and sell puppies for outrageous prices – I see it all the time in classified ads, and encountered this numerous times. It is not fair to the consumer, and it does nothing but hurt the breed. Responsible breeding by hobby breeders is far different than people who breed for profit.

A responsible breeder will usually break even on a litter, but often times may even lose money by breeding – and by “break even” it only includes the breeding expenses, and does not include the costs associated with owning the dog until it is old enough to breed. To breed responsibly, you must have a true understanding of not only genetics and the breed which you are breeding, but also a desire to better the breed. First, you will need to prove your bitch or stud in an arena like obedience, conformation, hunting, rally, etc. to display that there are traits which should be passed on to future generations. This costs money in training classes for you and your dog, travel expenses, etc. Of course, there will be the regular dog owning expenses like food and veterinary care. At two years of age, you will need to have clearances done, for Golden Retrievers hips, elbows, heart, eyes and thyroid are standard. These are x-rays performed by an orthopedic vet, eye exams performed annually by a board certified ophthalmologist, and heart clearances performed by a cardiologist. Assuming your dog passes these clearances, you’ll then need to research genetics, and select a mate that has also proven him or herself in breed events, as well as passed all clearances. Also, clearances should be done for multiple generations on both the mother and father’s side before ever breeding. You’ll also need to put in time researching both pedigrees to see what positive aspects could come from the breeding, but most importantly research to try to avoid any negative flaws that might occur in breeding. There are costs associated with the actual mating, then there will be lots of vet bills during the pregnancy, then the puppies will be born. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the costs of things like a whelping box, and heaven forbid something goes wrong, you’ll need to be prepared for an emergency c-section. Then you have eight weeks of veterinary care and food for the puppies. You’ll also want to start socializing and training the puppies at 4-5 weeks of age. At around seven weeks you’ll want to consult with other breeders for temperament testing and evaluations. You’ll also need to invest in puppy packets to make and send home with potential families. Should a family who purchases a puppy from you ever not be able to keep it, you should include in your contract a clause stating you will at any time in the dog’s life take it back, and specify that this dog may never be given away or surrendered to a shelter.

There are risks associated with breeding, which I don’t believe the general pet owner is usually prepared for – like their beloved pet dying during the pregnancy or birth. I believe a bitch should have no more than 3 litters in a life time, and usually just 1 or 2 litters. After she is finished breeding, she absolutely must be spayed.

There are plenty of breeders who have tons and tons of dogs and bitches and breed numerous litters a year, and this is a practice I do not support. A responsible hobby breeder puts so much time into planning and caring for each litter that they only have time to breed one or two litters a year, and many times less than that.

I absolutely in no way support or condone the breeding of dogs for profit. I am very against the idea of making money on the backs, or in this case litters, of dogs. I do however, support completely responsible breeding that is done to better the breed. A responsible breeder will usually have every puppy spoken for long before the litter is born, and often times even before the litter is born. The puppies will be sold on spay and neuter contracts, and are never to be surrendered to a shelter or given away. While a puppy from proven parents with clearances may be more expensive than a puppy from a backyard breeder, they are still often cheaper than puppies from irresponsible high volume breeders and puppy mills, and responsibly bred puppies tend to be much, much, much healthier.

I hope this post has clarified my standing on some issues, and helped you understand how I feel about the animal industry, where it relates to products that help us pet owners care for breeders. I in no way support dog breeding as an industry, because when done responsibly, the breeder will not make any profit. I would love to one day know enough about Golden Retriever breeders to be able to breed, but I know that I don't have that knowledge at this point in time, and it will probably be many, many, many years until I know enough about the breed, genetics, and breeding to produce a litter responsibly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Great Article

I encourage all of my readers to take a look at this article. I am linking it, but I will also copy and paste it. For a long time, I thought the Humane Society of the United States was an organization that ran animal shelters - that's what the name sounds like, and that's what their commercials make them out to be. I am extremely committed to ending homelessness of animals, and I care deeply about this cause. I believe in pet ownership, and through proper transportation and information dissemination that we can end the plight of so many animals in shelters. I do not believe, however, that the Humane Society of the United States shares my views on pet ownership. In fact, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle has spoken out AGAINST pet ownership. The Humane Society of the United States main goal seems to be lobbying for legislation that TAKES AWAY pet owner rights, and completely ends any animal agriculture, regulates meat and dairy consumption to the point of elimination, and creates a vegan society. I bet you didn't know that!

"Community Conversation: Donate to local animal shelters,"
by Mary Kistner is one of many articles I have read and come to appreciate as I learn more about the Humane Society of the United States. You can access it through this link. Or, below, I have copy and pasted the article. You can learn more about the true agenda of the Humane Society of the United States by visiting

*Please note, everything written below this line of text is by Mary Kistner.

Community Conversation: Donate to local animal shelters
By: Mary Kistner

The Humane Society of the the United States claims to be the largest animal protection organization in the country. Its website states that 11 million Americans, or one in every 289, donates to HSUS.

An examination of HSUS's 2008 tax return reveals that the group collected more than $86 million in contributions. The report from the Center for Consumer Freedom (www.consumer shows that of those funds, $24 million went to raise more money, in other words, 28 cents of every dollar HSUS collects goes to raising more funds.

Another $30.9 million went to employee salaries, with 41 HSUS employees making more than $100,000 annually. Based on Center for Consumer Freedom research, only $450,000 — just one half of 1 percent of its total budget — went to organizations that provide hands-on care to dogs and cats.

HSUS is a humane society in name only — it operates no pet shelters or adoption facilities. HSUS funds no research on farm animal care, despite the fact that they claim that this is a problem. HSUS is not your local shelter and does not support your local shelter in any way.

The true agenda of HSUS is to eliminate all animal agriculture, end all meat and milk consumption and create a vegan society. They also want to end hunting, fishing and pet ownership, believing that animals should be viewed from afar and left to go back to their wild state. They pursue this goal by pouring millions of your donated dollars into lobbying for laws the incrementally restrict farming methods, pet breeding and pet ownership. These laws are designed to make farming or animal ownership so expensive or restrictive that they eventually drive people out of business or give up on pet ownership or pet breeding.

Mandatory spay/neuter law proposals are flooding the country. Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS has stated "We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding ... one generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." If these laws are passed, where will the pets and service animals come from? Animal Rights groups such as HSUS, PETA, etc. don't really care as they don't believe that animals should be in servitude to humans. Please note that there is a vast difference between animal welfare and animal rights

We all support humane animal care , and there are already laws against cruel and inhumane animal treatment. Each state has such laws and doesn't need an outside organization such as HSUS coming in and telling farmers, hunters, dog breeders and others how to care for their animals.

efore you write out that check, please be aware of what will happen to your donation. If your intention is to help shelter animals directly, please donate to any one of Sheboygan County's shelters, or to the breed rescue of your choice.

And finally, a suggestion to animal welfare groups that really do care for the animals: Make sure the public understands that your primary goal is animal welfare and that you do not receive funds from HSUS, PETA, ASPCA or other such organizations and that you count on local donations to keep things going. A recent study showed that over 70 percent of people donating to HSUS did so thinking it would trickle down to their local shelters. The public is very confused over the similar Humane Society names.

For more information on HSUS, please go to

Friday, May 21, 2010

MY [hopefully] FUTURE PUPPY!!!

I have wanted to get a second dog since just a few months after adopting Milly in 2006. Yes, that's been four long years of denying myself the second dog I so desire! For someone who loves instant gratification, this has been a challenge.

You might remember my first post, when I thought I was going to get a European style Golden Retriever. I'm actually so grateful I followed my gut, and didn't go down that path. The breeder, though kind, and better than many breeders of "European type" goldens seems somewhat in it for the wrong reasons. At $2,500 a puppy from this breeder would have been a big financial investment, and the puppy would not be the style or quality necessary to win at AKC conformation shows. While these dogs were pretty, they weren't up to the standards I've now come to expect, and thank heavens for living and learning! I've also started to notice some red flags, that when I started this blog, I didn't know about. For example, this breeder of European type goldens only uses her own stud, and regularly repeats breedings. While neither of these things is bad on its own, they are practices that are frowned upon, because a truly reputable breeder is continuously trying to better the breed. No litter will be perfect, and there will always be traits from a litter that the breeder wishes to approve upon. By simply repeating the same breedings over and over again, you are not improving the breed based on flaws of previous litters. By using your own stud for every breeding, you are not going to be solidifying any specific type in your kennel name. While this breeder was nice, and did all the clearances, I'm starting to realize just how grateful I am that I did not purchase a puppy from her. I'm sure the puppy would've been healthy and a fabulous pet, but it would not have been a show ring quality golden that I so desire. In fact, neither parents of the litter I was interested in way back then are AKC champions. It's been fun having this blog so I can look back at things I've learned, and see how my opinions grow and change as I gain more knowledge!

After that, I decided to take some time and find the right breeder, and I'm so glad I waited. You might remember back in March when I unveiled the plans about the litter I was hoping to get a puppy from in this post. Well, that breeding did take place, and at around 28 days an ultrasound was performed and the pregnancy was confirmed - they were able to see six puppies on the ultrasound. I've been trying hard not to post too much about my future puppy, because I don't want to jinx myself, but the pregnancy has been moving along smoothly, and the dam's due date is fast approaching! She is due June 4th!!!!

There are many things I've learned in my puppy search. Perhaps the most important, is cost does not equate to quality. I will be purchasing a puppy from incredible bloodlines, and will be paying less than half of what the puppies from the "European Golden" breeder cost. This litter has the potential to produce absolutely phenomenal show dogs (and of course, most importantly, amazing pets). I have found the breeder of my future puppy to now be a woman I consider both a mentor and dear friend. She has already taught me so much in our emails, Facebook chats, and phone conversations, and I haven't even met her in person yet!!!

I have really had my heart set on a bitch, but I'm open to a male. I just found out that I am number TWO on the list for a puppy (only behind the breeder herself!), and so long as there are two girls in the litter one of them will be mine! I actually have second pick, which is a huge deal. At around 7 weeks old, the litter will be evaluated by multiple golden retriever breeders, and their evaluations will be how show quality and pet quality puppies are determined. They will evaluate every inch of each puppy, temperment test them to see which homes each puppy is best suited for, and evaluate the puppies movements, as well. I really trust the breeder, and I will go on her advice for which puppy to get. I know she knows a whole lot more than I do about raising and showing Golden Retrievers! I am so excited about this litter, and my future puppy!

"Maybe," the dam of my future puppy is apparently getting very big, and looks pregnant, but she hasn't slowed down much. This weekend the breeder will be setting up the whelping box, and introduce the dam to it. Next week the dam will start sleeping in the whelping box. The next two weeks will go by very quickly, and the pregnancy will progress very rapidly. This is one of the many signs that this is a great breeder that really cares about her dogs and their well being. Allowing a mother dog to nest and get acclimated to her whelping box is a critical step in the pregnancy.

Also, since I last posted, my future puppy's grand dam has become a Golden Retriever Club of America Outstanding Dam - meaning four or more of her off spring have achieved champion titles. This is a huge honor, and I am thrilled to have these incredible genes in my future puppy's pedigree!

Enough about mama, now let's talk about papa! As you know from this post, the sire is a Champion in America (AKC) and Canada. Since that post, "Lance" has won a BISS (Best In Specialty Show). A Specialty show is a huge show of all one breed. This is a very prestigous win, as specialty's attract the best of the best of a particular breed. At a Specialty show, usually the judges are breeders of that particular breed, and truly have first hand knowledge and a love of the breed. Lance took his BISS at the White River Golden Retriever Club Specialty.

I've been wanting a puppy for so long, that now it kind of feels like the day will never come. I'm amazed that in just two short weeks my puppy will be born, and at the beginning of August I'll be bringing it home! I can't wait!!!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GIVEAWAY!!! Let the Celebrations Begin!!!

It's Time to Celebrate!!!

It is hard to believe that it was over a year ago that I sat at my desk reading blogs. I had discovered a few friends with fabulous fashion blogs, and I was quickly addicted to the wonderful world of blogging! I followed a couple of blogs for two months, and contemplated starting my own... but, I wanted to have a focus for my blog... and quickly decided on dogs! So, on February 3, 2009, I dove head first into the blogosphere, and The Wet Nose was born.

For over a year, I've dreamed of reaching 100+ followers, and now that time has come! I currently have 112 followers, and I am ecstatic! To thank you, my wonderful readers, for sticking by my side, I want us all to celebrate with a fabulous GIVEAWAY!!! Let the games begin!
I've thought long and hard about the perfect giveaway, and after re-reading some posts, and your comments, consulting with friends, and knowing we all love dogs, I decided a copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain, Gourmet dog treats from Dogma Dog Bakery, and a beautiful leash rack would all suit the occasion perfectly!

I love this leash rack, and as you know, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my favorite books!

Here's a close up look at the leash rack! Isn't it precious, and practical, too?!?!

Dogma makes all of their treats in-house, and Milly loves them! The winner of this giveaway will get a variety of fresh treats like Carob Brownies (safe for dogs), Carrot Muffins, and Peanut Butter bars. Unlike most dog bakeries, Dogma's treats are almost all soft and chewy just like a homemade cookie or muffin should be!

Milly is very excited to package up the giveaway with me, and she's hoping you'll enjoy The Art of Racing in the Rain as much as she enjoyed getting photographed with it!

Here are the rules: To enter you MUST leave a comment on THIS post. You MUST be a follower! The giveaway begins NOW and will end 10pm EST on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010. In order to be eligible to win, your comment MUST include a suggestion for a future post - is there something you are dying to read about on The Wet Nose? Do you have a good idea for a topic you'd like covered? If you blog or tweet about this giveaway you can receive a second entry. Be sure to leave a SEPARATE comment stating you did this (with a link to your blog or Twitter feed). This giveaway contains fresh baked goods, and therefore, is only open to residents of the United States of America.

Thank you for following my blog! My readers mean so much to me!


Miss Muddy Paws

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Tomorrow I will be posting my 100+ FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY, and I wanted to give you a sneak peak! Make sure to check out the blog tomorrow to enter the contest!!!

I decided Milly would make a great Vanna White, and thought she'd be happy to help out with displaying what's up for grabs for one lucky winner. What do you think of her poses? She refused to take her plush squeaky elephant out of her mouth; she carries toys around all day long like the bird dog she is.

Here, she is proudly displaying a copy of
The Art of Racing in the Rain, a preview of the items being given away tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Recently, I found out one of my favorite companies, Kate's Equine, is now making custom bracelets out of dog hair! I know, if you didn't read the first post, you are probably thinking this sounds creepy and gross. But, you'll be surprised out how fabulous these bracelets really are. I did a post quite some time ago about making fashions out of fur, and have spiffed it up for you all! If you missed the original post be sure to check it out, as there are many more ways to make items out of your pet's fur - from purses to sweaters there's something for everyone!

A dear friend of mine over at Kate’s Equine has been creating bracelets from horse’s tail hair, and now she's making ornaments and key chains, too. No animals are harmed in the creation of this fashionable jewelry. I am actually wearing one of her bracelets as I write this. My bracelet is made from a horse I rode and showed in high school and college named Crabby. Crabby was recently retired, and donated to a young woman with Williams Syndrome, and is currently being used as a therapeutic riding horse. He’s the type of horse that loves having a job, but in his old age needed to step down from competition. He is miserable when he is not being ridden, groomed and loved and this is the perfect retirement situation for him. His new “mother” is hoping to compete in the Special Olympics this summer, and I am so proud of both her and Crabby!

I love this bracelet so much, and wear it all the time. Kate knows this, and for Christmas she gave me a beautiful ornament made out of another very special horse's tail. My ornament is like this, but with black hair.

Between my bracelet and ornament you'd think I'd be set, but now there's another item I'm dying for! A bracelet made from Milly's hair... I could easily collect it while grooming her, and that way it would be clean. Isn't this bracelet lovely? The fixtures and charms are all sterling silver, and 3-4 pencil sized amounts of hair are needed to make one. Check out the detail work on this dog hair bracelet!

I think the heart charm is a perfect tribute to your special heart dog. I don't think anyone would ever guess this bracelet is made of dog hair, do you? It looks beautiful, and really neat and unique, too. I am now absolutely dying for one! You can order one on her website,

I'm also thinking about getting a horse hair key chain made. What do you think of this? I love the crystal detailing, don't you?