Friday, February 28, 2014

The Mad Stampers- My favorite tags ever!

I may have talked about them before, but I just LOVE an Etsy store called The Mad Stampers.  Their tags are cute, they hold up (a few we have are going on 18 months old and still look great), they are about the same price as the machine at Petco but better and they make really small tags that are perfectly sized for my chis.  I just got a new tag for Nova's buddy belt (pictured above), a different style than I have tried before and I had to share how happy I was with it.  I love how easy to read it is and the unique shape!  This tag is one of their regular sized ones and too big for a chis neck, but it fits perfectly with her rabies and home again tag on the harness (I ordered a big one on purpose because I wanted it to look ok with the giant rabies tag she has).  Nova has a collar tag from the mad stampers too, here is a picture of her proudly displaying it after obedience class on Wednesday.  Just to give you an idea that tag is over a year old and still looks great.

Kerri and Copley have their tags too, here is a shot of Kerri and Nova's tags right after I got them.  I love the selection of charms and styles they have!  Kerri got a flower because she is our fragile little flower, and Nova got the double heart stamp because she has two little angel puppy hearts watching out for her.  The price is great too, Kerri's was $9 and Nova's was $10.

Finally here is Copley's tag.  I love how rustic and adorable it is!  Plus his is bigger and fits like 4 lines of text on the back of it, legibly!

So if you are looking for a tag, you should order from The Mad Stampers, they are amazing.  

P.S.- I was not compensated in any way for this review, I paid full price for everything I bought and they don't even know I am a blogger.  I just LOVE them.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Microchip Collar Tags

If you have ever gotten a dog microchipped (or adopted a recently chipped dog) you know that the chips always come with a collar tag saying the dogs chip number and the 1-800 number for the chip company.  Home Again (one of the two major chip companies in the US) also sells decorative tags in their shop that are a little nicer than the plastic ones they give with the chips- but have the same info- chip # and a 1-800 number.  I never really gave much thought to these, because if the person can read the collar tag I would just rather have them call me.  After all my cell phone number is also hanging off that collar, so if you find my dog feel free to cut out the middle man and go straight to me.  If the dog wasn't wearing a collar when they go out, or slipped their collar then of course scan the chip and call me.

Then it was pointed out to me that the chip is actually a theft deterrent.  A collar tag says to the would be dog napper "this dog is chipped and therefore easy to trace."  If someone picked up my dog that had just gotten away from me and was tempted to keep it, they might see the collar tag saying chipped and decide to do the right thing and return my dog.  This is bordering slightly on paranoid for my taste- but out of an abundance of caution I have started taking it seriously.  Now when I order tags if there is space I am putting the word "microchipped" (I am not replacing the word "Reward" something that is always on there to encourage swift return, I am just adding if there is space).

I just ordered Nova a Home Again tag and put it on her buddy belt with her rabies tag.  As you can see above I got a blue one to match her blue rabies tag.  The chis are too small to wear anything other than a small ID tag on their collars so I put their rabies tags and now for Nova a home again tag on their buddy belts.  Kerri actually just wears a small ID tag on her buddy belt when we go out, but she is not a flight hazard like Nova is.  I am still wondering if I should order Home Again tags for the other dogs.  After all they are the two that anyone might ever want to keep, if a dog napper got Nova into their car I imagine they would be begging me to take her back in about 10 seconds.  For Nova I just put every piece of ID I can think of on her because I am so worried about her bolting away from us (really Ben, she is never going to bolt while I am around alone).  The other dogs go naked for safety when they are home alone (Nova too is naked except for a breakaway collar), then wear collars with just an ID tag with my number the rest of the time.  When we take trips hiking or camping is the only time I put the rubit with their rabies tags on them (Copley's on the collar and Kerri's on the buddy belt) but maybe I should be ordering Home Again tags for these times too.  That also begs the question- is the word "microchipped" on a regular ID tag as effective as a tag from the actual chip company?  All things to ponder.

What do you guys think?

P.S. Microchip your pets, it's always a good idea.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Please Play With Me

This is a photo journey titled "Please play with me"

Nova and Kerrigan were peacefully sleeping in the sun.

Then Nova is all like "play with me!!!!"

Kerrigan is all like "Ugh, I am going back to sleep"

Nova is all like "How about you Annie?"

Then she is all "I am just sooooo cute, you for sure want to play with me."

Then finally I agree to play and she is like "Didn't mean it, I just want to stare at you now."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Basic Obedience Success

I am so incredibly happy with how Nova did at obedience class!  She was better than I expected and that is something.  She stood up straight, engaged with me, responded to the clicker, and showed curious interest in the world around her.  For most of the class I sat on the ground with her between my legs (it was our first class so there was a lot of talking).  Most people in class sit in a chair, but if I sat in a chair I know she was just going to hide under it.  In my lap she was forced to face the world a little bit but also was more comfortable because she was close to me.  That is a win-win I think.  I was pleasantly surprised when she at one point hopped out of my lap and went over to sniff around and look out the window.  What a brave little one right?  The best part was on our way home, she passed out in the crate and I looked over, she looked just like Kerri.  Totally worry-free and sleeping like a baby in there.  I wish I had a picture of that, but I was driving and it seemed a little unsafe to photograph and drive.

Brave, but still tail tucked.

"I see you have treats over there, maybe I could have one????"

I am excited to see how she progresses.  I think that overall it was a good experience and she enjoyed herself, although she was a little worried the whole class.  I will update you next week too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's in your training bag?

I always see people (me included) lugging bags full of stuff to training class.  Some people even carry giant toolbox like bags around with them.  So it got me thinking, what does everyone have in those bags?  I am probably a bad example because I 1) loose bags all the time and leave stuff places, so my bags tended to be a bit of a mess and 2) Get  free stuff that is a little bit useful but I would never buy on my own if I didn't have a blog.  However I just got a new bag and packed it up for Nova (she is starting obedience class tomorrow!) and I wanted to share it's contents with the hopes that you guys would share too!  

This will be my third time sending a dog through basic obedience so I like to think I have a little bit of an idea of what I am doing.  My bag for agility or for Copley would be a little different but this is what I thought Nova will be needing.

For starters dog bigger than bag.  I think that is pretty normal, even for the border collie people.  Excuse the blurry picture, Nova is hard to photograph.  

Now here is the contents of the bag.  Nova has a lot of new stuff, mostly because I was so excited that she was finally starting class and I went a little overboard.  Kerri mostly went to class with free stuff out of referral barkboxes and hand me downs from Copley.  Funny how it worked out that I am blogging about the bag that is neat because I haven't used it yet and that I actually put time and money into putting together.  No one wants to see it once I am digging treats out of pockets and Copley has chewed a hole in the corner.  Er... I mean my training bag always looks JUST like this.  Well moving on, here are the contents of the bag...

  1. The bag.  A free bag Ben got with his gift membership to the Sierra club from my Mom.  They accidentally sent two so the dogs got one.
  2. A bowl.  Ya know, for water.
  3. Slip lead.
  4. Leash signs.  Probably wont need these for class, but I do use them walking.
  5. Folder with shot records and other paperwork.
  6. Yellow lanyard (that I made) and yellow ribbon on a leash clip- because Nova is a Yellow Dog!
  7. DAP calming pheromone spray.
  8. Moist towlettes.  I would just have baby wipes if I hadn't been sent these for free in a subscription box I reviewed.
  9. Clicker
  10. Treat pouch (I got a washable, silicone one and I am oh so happy about it)
  11. Extra collar, cause Nova wears a breakaway and harness.
  12. Treats.  Carnivore crunch (aka Dog Crack) and beef treats.
  13. Poop bags
  14. Licks calming goo stuff.
  15. An off brand thundershirt (she has a thundershirt too)
  16. A tube thing for the dispensing of liquid treats.  I will be filling it with baby food before we go in the morning.
Of course Nova will also wear some gear to class.  Her breakaway collar, buddy belt harness and a leash.  I got her a new leash to go with a collar she got for Christmas.  It says ""Judge me by my size, do you?" and has a picture of Yoda it.  I hope she channels a lot of Yoda energy at class.

 So what's in YOUR training bag???  Blog about it or just tell me in the comments!  I am actually really curious!

Friday, February 7, 2014

St. Thomas

The abandoned town in Lake Mead National Recreation AreaNot the US Virgin Island.  It is a pretty cool place, the government kicked everyone out so they could flood it when Lake Mead was made.  In the late 90's when Lake Mead's water level began to drop this area of the lake dried up and now you can visit what is left of the ghost town there.  Honestly ghost towns are not really my thing, but it was a nice walk and a friend took a bunch of pictures that turned out great so I will share them with you all.  Unlike other ghost towns it is covered with clam shells from when it was underwater.

Also it appeared to smell REALLY GOOD there.  Kerri was constantly trying to dig little holes and sniff the ground.

This engine block was obviously used to anchor a buoy when there was  water covering the place.

Kerri was doing tricks for pirate booty for a friend that came with us.  Usually she is not crazy about cheese puffs, but that day she was going crazy for them.

Kerri sniffing the air.  Lots to sniff at this place I noticed.

A shot of a little river at the end of the hike.

More sniffing.

That's all I've got for St. Thomas.  But I also wanted to remind you all to follow us on instagram @doginthedesert  If anyone knows of other cool people to follow please let me know!  I LOVE instagram and would love to follow others.  So leave a comment with your instagram and a few of your favorite other people to follow!  I am not just following dog owners either, I would love more outdoors stuff, feminist, people braking down gender stereotypes, cooks using local veggies, artists or really anything at all interesting.