Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 2

Meal #2...again, delicious.

One workout down (core synergistics). I'm already sore and I just finished 30 minutes ago...

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Sunday, April 26, 2009


This is my first meal from P90x and it is absolutely delicious. I didn't make the wild rice that was supposed to go along with it because I thought I'd be too full. I was right!
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kelsey must be in town

A headline from today's Calgary Herald: Vancouver police warn of potentially armed mentally ill woman
Yup, Kelsey must be in the lower mainland.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Puppy mills, backyard breeders and such

For quite some time I have encouraged those who are considering purchasing puppies, to rethink their decisions. This, of course, is based on my own personal experience with my pup, Barkley. Those of you who know me personally know that I have enough archived puppy horror stories to fill a national library.

But, this post isn't about those horror stories. It's about shedding light on pet stores, backyard breeders and puppy mills.

I know, I know, you'd never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, right? You know what to look for: The dingy, cramped, feces-covered crates and the skinny, malnourished, diseased puppies. Those are dead giveaways. I thought the same thing when we bought Barkley, even saying ro Brodie:"If this place isn't clean when we get there, there's no way I'm buying the dog." He agreed.

But, we got there and we heard a familiar story. The lady, who had three children, decided to breed her purebred basset hound with another basset hound in the Salmon Arm area because "her kids wanted to see what it was like to have puppies." That seemed pretty reasonable to me. She had the history of vet checks and vaccinations with her and "Bo" (later renamed Barkley), came with a leash, collar, and a puppy food brand recommendation. The environment was clean, Barkley's "mom" was at the house so we could make sure she looked healthy and had a good disposition. Nope, definitely no puppy mill here!

But, sometimes it's what you don't see that's most important. There was no agreement to sign saying that we wouldn't breed him. There was no health guarantee against common problems like hip dysplasia. And, the "seller" certainly didn't tell us to bring him back if, for some reason, we were unable to take care of him or felt we had to give him up. He was ours for the taking - and she even knocked off $100 from the $600 original asking price because he was the last one left of the litter.

We handed over the cash, packed our new pup into the car and drove away, none the wiser that we had just supported a backyard breeder--the single largest contributor to pet overpopulation.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have been apalled at what she was doing--especially since I'm sure that after we bought Barkley, I saw at least three more ads in the local paper for "tri-coloured bassets" from the same Salmon Arm phone number.

So, you're buying a puppy. What should you do to make sure you don't make the same mistake?

Do your research. ADOPT a puppy from a rescue organization or from the local SPCA. Do you have your heart set on a purebred? Keep your eyes open and don't rush. Purebreds regularly make it into the shelters. You will find a great puppy, trust me.

If you don't want to go the adoption route, make sure you work with a reputable breeder. And what does reputable breeder mean?

A reputable breeder will ALWAYS:
  • Be breeding dogs for the sole purpose of bettering the breed (temperament, physical features, etc.)

  • Screen potential purchasers to ensure their puppies are going into loving, comfortable homes

  • Guarantee the puppies from health defects

  • Always be willing to take a puppy (or even a full grown dog) back if, for any reason, you are unable to take care of them. They do not want to see their puppies turned into an SPCA

  • Have a waiting list for puppies (in most cases, at least)

A reputable breeder will NEVER:

  • Advertise in the local paper or on a free classified sites (see the last point in the above list).

  • Sell their dogs to pet stores for sale to the general public (again, the breeder wants to know where the pups are going)

  • Be in it for the money. Reputable breeders barely break even, and likely lose money, when they sell their puppies. They invest a ton of money into ensuring their breeding techniques are sound and for the right reasons.

  • Breed a dog under the age of two years old

  • Agree to ship a puppy to the owner without having met the new owners first.

  • Charge extra for providing registration papers

Don't be fooled by fancy websites and important terms like "CKC Registered". CKC registered only means that both of the "parents" are registered. If the breeder is willing to do ANY of the things under the "NEVER" list, then you do not want to support that breeder in anyway.

So, what does this mean for you?

In my opinion, it means you should never be shopping for a dog at a pet store (unless it's a rescue dog or an adoption dog), you should never look through your local paper or a classified ite for a dog.

What do you do if you've obtained a dog in one of these ways? Don't worry about it! You have saved your pup from a less-than-ideal environment and now have the opportunity to provide him with a loving, sound home. Do I feel good knowing that I inadvertently supported a backyard breeder? No, I don't. But, there's nothing I can do about it now except love my pup and make sure that if I ever get another dog, be sure that I'm adopting, or purchasing from a reputable breeder.

Do your Internet research, go to the Canadian Kennel Club website and look up registered breeders for the dog you want. Ask lots of questions.

Here are some great sites that highlight what you should look for in a breeder and how to recognize a backyard breeder:

Backyard breeder vs. reputable breeder

Where to buy a pet

Finding a reputable breeder

Friday, April 10, 2009

A hike with the pooch!

Cute huh?
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