Friday, March 15, 2013

Blowin' In The Wind; Five Tips For Coping With Coat Blowing

"The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind"  or so  says Bob Dylan. Well, around ourhouse right now the answer isn't the only thing blowin' in the wind!

It's coat blowing season - you know, that time of year when  dogs shed their undercoat in a mass explosion of fur and dander.

We dogs tend to shed extra during Spring and Fall; or as you humans call it; coat blowing season. Dogs are double-coated, meaning we have undercoats. Somewhere I read this science - y sounding explanation of all of this; double coated means there are secondary hairs that occur around the primary hairs. Hence double coated. The secondary hairs  tend to be shorter and softer. Seasonal shedding occurs as a result of temperature change, thus the term "coat blowing season". When it starts warming up outside, we shed our old winter undercoats to make way for a new lighter summer undercoat. Works the same way in the fall -  when it begins to get cool again, we shed our lighter undercoats in order to grow a thicker, warmer coat for winter.  We duck dogs NEED that heavier winter undercoat since you humans keep sending us out in freezing water, snow and ice to haul back ducks and geese. ( you humans are such lazy bones sometimes!)  

The crazy lady I live with  is under the impression that yella dogs have a different coat blowing season than others; she's gone so far as to opine that it runs from January to December. Ahem. I think not. I say that is a mere myth. A total misconception.

I also think just by the looks of things swirling across the hardwood floor, my big pal Buddy is the absolute worst  coat blower on the planet. There are just big chunks of fur dropping off when he ambles by. Of course, Queen Dolly, Madam Perfect; she barely drops a wisp here and there. Naturally! It's because she's special. ACK.

I have no idea why there's so much caterwauling and wailing and gnashing of teeth around here. It's only a little dog hair, and it's easy enough to cope with! I'm just a dog, and one with questionable intellect if you ask my humans, and even I know how to handle it!

TIP 1: Brush me! Brush me often, brush me regularly, and try one of those fancy FURminator contraptions. The FURminator has done more to restore order and cheerfulness to this household than most anything. It feels good, it gets all that deep down stuff up and out. The more I get brushed, the more the hair stays outside, the happier the humans are.

TIP 2: Bathe me! Well trust me,  nobody has to convince the bath happy broad this is good thing. I swear she tosses me in the tub willy nilly at the slightest provocation. Please. I am a dog. I get muddy. I get stinky. That's what we do. However thankfully the bath obsessed broad always uses  great shampoo so my skin doesn't get dried out, I don't stink of blue mud, and I am such shiny coated fool I am surprised Clairol hasn't called me to be in a commercial. The two shampoos that stay on the bathtub shelf in our house are RFC Labs Hydrocept and Marsh Mutt. Both are terrific and I give them a five PAW rating.

The Hydrocept has been a real help for Queen Dolly - she's so special and so sensitive that every little thing makes her scratch and itch and oh goodness - we can't be having Dolly  uncomfortable now can we? The RFC Labs Hydrocept is Dolly 's favorite bath time treat. She says yep it's five paw winner!

TIP 3: Feed me well! For heaven's sake stomp scrimping on the dog food! Feed the best you can resonantly afford. Scout around for some of the formulas that address skin and coat needs. There's many good brands out there. . Put a fish oil capsule in with each feeding and your four footed friend will always have a  shiny silky coat. Toss a raw egg in once or twice week. I'm a Lab for God's sake - FEED ME!

TIP 4: Alrighty, this is just for you humans. You are the ones that get all buggy about the coat blowing to begin with. You know, we dogs would be happy to just go roll in the mud, scrape on tree and carry on. Alas, since you all seem to be such neatnics and fur-a phobes , I figured I should at least give you a heads up. Stop Sweeping. Brooms will only frustrate you and send the fur flying. You'll still be chasing fur next Friday. Now, I didn't say stop picking up fur now did I? Use a vacuum, one of those pad style swiffery things, or you can try my lazy humans trick - turn the ceiling fans on high - ALL OF THEM ; it blows the fur into neat piles that the vacuum can just suck right on up. Another product we like our house  is the Bounce Dryer Bar. Any hair that is still sticking to clothes that make it to the dryer somehow gets magically removed if a Bounce Bar is in there. Don't ask me how it works - I climbed into the dryer to fully investigate this new miracle, but all that spinning made me so dizzy I had to bail before I finished the investigation. And do I really have to explain that all the aforementioned brushing should be done OUTSIDE? Preferably wheen there's a swift breeze?

TIP 5: Lastly, think of others. Goodness there's a so much fur flying there has to be good use for it. While I still haven't found anyone to spin it into yarn, I do make sure it gets recycled for all my bird and small creature friends. Toss it about the yard, hang it from the bushes, hide it under the bushes or if you are obsessively  neat and tidy, stuff it in  suet feeders for the birdies to have for their nests. THEY love shed fur.

Coat blwing season doesn't have to be a trial, just consider all the extra time you ge to spend with the furry creatures in your life. Brush, Bathe, Bond.

Later Gators... gotta run! The human is after me with a brush and bath towel!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

There's a Conspiracy Afoot.....

Pssst... Hey it's me Willie!

There's a conspiracy afoot  here. I am NOT  talking about gun grabs, political upheaval or civil wars. I'll leave all that to you crazy, foil hat wearing, humans.

But there is a conspiracy - THE BIG DOGS ARE OUT TO GET ME!

Oh sure it's all great when you are little and cute and full of puppy breath. But trust me, life at the bottom of the pack isn't so wonderful as time goes on.

Dangerous Dolly

Lordy that Dolly - you know - The Grand Dame - that rules the roost. She is getting to be one heck of crabby old broad. There I said it. Dolly is a crab ass. And furthernmore, Dolly is not thrilled with retirement and having me as her replacement. I think she misses going to all the cool places that I get to go with the crazy lady. But at least she gets to go and just be a dog. I have to WORK!

This where the conspiracy starts... Dolly is trying to make me look like a pillow gutting, destroying, destructive young man. She doesn't want me moving up the ladder...kennel politics I tell ya, they are tiresome.


Innocent I tell you!

Dolly is a known and recorded gutter.. she rips the stuffing out everything that crosses her path and leaves a wake  of fiber fill and feathers behind her. All I do is occasionally nap in what she leaves behind.

Please note: Buddy and I are ignoring the scene of the crime - because we are innocent!

Seriously - That darn Dolly goes on a gutting frenzy, leaves a piles of soft stuff and NO ONE sees it. Let me lay my head down for one minute in the soft fluff and instantly the whole world sees  it and accuses me!!! UNJUSTLY accuses me.

I'm on to you Dangerous Dolly - I'll not get caught in this trap again!

Please friends - ignore all those tirades by  my humans about my destructive habits - It's all that sneaky Dolly. I assure you..all Dolly's doings as part of her conspiracy to keep me forever at the bottom of the pack.

Well, Ms. Dangerous Dolly.. hang on to your sheepskin blankie sister.. I have few  tricks of my own !
Let the games begin! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm BAAACK!!!!

Psst.. it's me Willie...I'm Back!!!!
Where have I been you ask? 
(all over hell and back - remember who I live with? )

Oh, it was such an unfortunate turn of events, and just for the record, I was truly NOT GUILTY!

That crazy woman I live with banned me from the computers!
Can you belive it?
It truly was some great misunderstanding. Frankly, I blame HER!

SHE is the one who left  her e bay page and pay pal account open.
SHE should know better than that don't you think?

I really didn't mean to buy all that was a mere slip of a paw.
After all I was just browsing decoys, and wingers, and fancy schmacy leads and collars....I might have pressed the occasional "buy now" button. 
Hey you try typing with webbed, furry, paws. MISTAKES HAPPEN!

So, the end result? The Evil Queen banned me for YEAR! A YEAR!! Lordy, I have fans and friends, and followers and she bans me from the internet for a year? There went my career out the window.

But I have worked hard, done my job and taken care of her old raggedy fanny well. I have been pardoned and I'm back!!!

Later Gators..I have a lot of Facebook pals to catch up with!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Life's Short- Play In the Mud!

Just popping in for moment - nothing profound today.. because well I'm busy zoom, zoom, zooming around. .
Swiped the keys, the phone and the tablet.. will be picking up pals soon..for a little fun, fun, fun 'til Chief Jason takes the T Bird away...
Oh stop fussing..we will wear our seat belts!

So my message today - Life is short! Have Fun! Go Outside!, Get Muddy! Splash  In  Puddles!.. it's good for your soul!

Go on..get muddy today! I double dog dare you!

Run and play hard- it's good for the heart!

Splash..just cause you can!

GO Play!

Later gators ... got zooming to do before Chief Jason catches us! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Safety First Humans! Safety First!

Psst hey.. it's me Willie...

I know.. I know.. I've been a slacker about blogging, but hey that crazy human chick has been dragging my fanny all over hill and dale - hither and yon. Just exhausts a poor fellow,  all that aimless wandering that she she does.

I was all set to tell you about our wandering  and shed hunting adventures, (cause lord knows she is still insisting that antlers are dropping already pffft.. they are not.) when our friend Ms. Gigi from Rainforest Coastal Labs sent this photo of a horror she stumbled upon:
Oh Holy Milk Bones! My heart stopped, my stomach hurt, my eyes burned, and I was as woozy as the poor dog that had to ride there with exhaust, rocks and dust  billowing up his snout. Could that be real? Humans - I know you guys can be foolish, but this?

Oh my.... for the love canine creatures...I have to say WTF???.  Okay, that's gonna get my mouth washed out with soap, but really..that's all I could think.

Thinking of my  humans less than stellar driving abilities - seriously she drives like a mad woman, turned loose on a Nascar track - I got even more woozy.

Thinking back to when she got rear ended  at the stoplight (yeah yeah  - disclaimer -  not her fault) I got a whole lot more woozy from that mental picture. Traumatized is good word to use. What if I had been in a crate like that  just hanging on the back bumper? Oh the horror that thought brought to mind. Frankly, makes me queasy just writing that.

So I'm on a mission now to spread the word - SAFETY FIRST! Please humans - transport us safely!

Like any good writer I decided I'd better do some research about this dog transport business. My pals at the hunt tests have all manner of nifty boxes, crates, trailers,  you name it.  My hero Mighty Timaeus - well his human even crawled in his dog trailer to make sure it was fit for him! Now that's my kind of gal!  Then again, she might have done it to make sure he would fit because they don't call him Big Ass for nothing.  But  I digress - let's look at some safe ways to transport us courageous canines. After all we're riding with YOU HUMANS and that alone makes us courageous!

I always thought this trailer looks like it could withstand an atomic blast..

First I checked at GunDog - I always like their information, and trust it. Of course they had a great article about the different styles of trailers and how to transport;  you can read all about trailers  here  . As usual there was more at Gun Dog magazine that I can't resist sharing - they do know dogs over there! Here's another good article about traveling with gun dogs.

We're seat belt fans here at our place, for humans and dogs. Here's a good look at why  leaving me loose during all my travels would NOT be the best idea. The human says it's because I keep trying to drive, but if you had to ride with  her you'd want to drive too.  I keep hoping the nice folks at Ruff Rider will send me one of their newest models to try out.  I hear from my dog colleagues that they are pretty much the be all and end all of doggie seat belt systems.

Whether you choose a trailer, a box, a crate or a seat belt restraint system - above all, make sure it's safely secured. I really don't think any of my four footed pals or I want to experience flying out of a truck bed (in or out of a crate). Contrary to popular belief - that does not make us better behaved truck bed just makes us bruised and battered.

So humans,  take us along..takes us everywhere.. but take us safely!

Later Gators..gotta go beg Ruff Rider for a new harness! Think this face will work?
PLEASE transport all dogs safely! I'm begging you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Pet Door Debacle

Psst..hey - it's me Willie;

Well friends, I'm in deep you know what again..all over that silly pet door.

Back when I was wee little ball of fluff - a very cute ball of yellow fluff I might add - the fuzzy human worked hard all one Sunday to put in a giant pet door for Dolly, Buddy, and I. Of course it had to be a giant one.. you guys have seen Buddy right?

Well, since we have had no ducks, and the crazy woman has been a little lax in keeping me occupied, I had to create some of my own fun this weekend.

Did you know those flappy things on the pet door stretch? WOOOHEEE great fun.. grab the bottom of the flappy thing and PUUUUUULLLL boy does it snap back and bounce!

Maybe..just maybe, I pulled a little too hard, a little too much and welllll....the whole works came flying off and landed on the deck..


I think I would have gotten by wth it if the fuzzy human wasn't so darned cold natured.. and the wind and rain hadn't started.

I thought perhaps my best course of action would be to hide the evidence, and hope that moose dog Buddy got blamed for being too big to get through and subsequently wrecking it, but just as I was busy stuffing the faulty (Yes I say faulty! The manufacturer should have allowed for this kind of fun!) flap into the  shrubs I heard the fuzzy human shriek "WILLIE You little pissant!"

I hate when he calls me a pissant - really I'm a better creature than those annoying  little black bugs. I also hate it because it's usually followed up with a boot in my behind and I was pretty sure this was going to be one of those boot in the behind deals.

I fetched that faulty flap right into his lap. He was not amused nor pleased with my outstanding retrieving abilities.  Sheesh he is a crab.

There was wailing and gnashing of teeth, lots of expletives that I will spare your delicate ears - seriously things I shouldn't have heard; I am still in my formative years!

When all was said and done, and I had been duly chastised, the faulty flap was restored with about half a roll of gorilla tape.

See there - problem solved. No need for that boot in the behind business.

Later Gators..I've got to go perform some "testing" of the stretchiness and durability of Gorilla tape!

~Just for the record though - I'm staying mum about who ate  the roll of gorilla tape that was casually left on the floor by the pet door. Just remember friends..Buddy is the one with food issues ;) ~

Saturday, January 14, 2012

No Birds

Psst.... hey it's me Willie......
No,  contrary to belief I haven't been on some electronic lockdown. In fact surprisingly enough I haven't really been in much trouble lately.
I have a confession - I think I have been depressed.
At least overwhelmingly melacholy, and little confused  on top of it.
This was supposed to be my first duck hunting season - oh I was going to impress the socks off all those fellas..
I know they think I'm a big galoot,  but I retrieve like a champion!

Sadly - I made no big impressions this season. 

First off we had delayed start.. that crazy human got all sliced and diced and whined and carried on like she was going to croak or something. My pal Piper..she was out there snatching up ducks and even geese.. but oh no.. I was stuck inside playing nursemaid.

Finally the human drags her carcass to the blind and all I heard  was no bird.. no bird..  ( seems to me there sure were a lot of shotgun shells wasted) no bird, my paw. Piper got birds.

Frankly I've heard no bird until I don't care if I ever hear it again.

The human and I have burned up a thousand miles and all I hear is no birds.. no birds..
She kept saying no birds...
Her friends kept saying  - no birds...
Hell the internet birds.
What is this no birds business?

I read all the predictions, the hatch reports, all the news that  is the news in the duck world. ( I am a prepared duck dog you know!)  and everything said there would be millions of ducks.
Our esteemed DNR Director championed for season date changes and zone boundary changes, that all pointed to an even better season ahead. I was excited!
But there were no birds.


Some say it was a freakishly warm winter that kept all of them up north ( I think that means in Wisconsin and Minnesota) some are trying to blame the season and zone changes, but I don't think that mattered. Even we'd had the same as last year, THERE WERE NO BIRDS!

So here I sit... duck season is over in my zone..the human is sucking up herbal tea and nyquil, and I have no birds to my credit. NO freaking birds.

I think it was a conspiracy.

Later Gators.....
I'm going to see if I can find a sky carp; surely they are out there.