Saturday, January 31, 2009
Why do Italian Greyts need clothes?
1) They are a toy breed. They were bred for nothing but being an inside, companion dog. They were not meant to be in the Alaskan wilderness pulling sleds in below zero weather!
2) They don't have a lot of fur and their fur is fine. Melinda calls it "eyelash fur" because it's so short. Without a coat designed for the outdoors, they get cold easily. There are Toy Breeds like the Pomeranian and the Pekingnese that have double, dense coats because they were bred in cold climates to be bed warmers and foot warmers. I.G.'s were bred in more southern climes.
3) They don't carry much weight (or shouldn't). These are miniatures of the larger running hunters like the big Greyhound. Greyts are called Sight or Gaze Hounds because they hunt by sight (vs. smell) and run the game down. The miniatures were not meant to be real hunters but to look like them. They have the long thin legs with no meat on them and, miniaturized, this makes those legs the size of pencils and easily broken. They shouldn't carry much weight on those long, thin legs. Without the fat, they get cold.
4) Their body makeup is long, tall, sleek (aerodynamic). So they can't curl up as tight in a ball like a Malamute can. The big Malamutes were designed for the arctic weather and they have the double water resistant coat, the right amount of fat and they can burrow down in the snow and curl up in a tight ball so that feet and legs are covered (because they have the less fur and meat for protection). Their nose is tucked next so their warm breath warms the feet/legs. The tail curls around last so that the plume can further protect the face, feet, and legs. An Iggy has such long legs and skinny tail and they can't wrap into that sort of ball.
5) Of my 3 Iggies, 2 have had broken legs repaired with metal plates and screws. Since their legs and feet get cold faster you can imagine the ache they would have if their legs get cold and the metal plate gets cold.
6) Even in the summer, we live in an air conditioned house and they are floor level (heat rises) so they get cold. With such little fur, they can also get sun burned. So I use t-shirts in the summer to help them stay warm. They like to stay on the bed because it's higher off the floor and, therefore, warmer. They still burrow under the comforter to stay warm.
But in the Winter, they wear the fleece, quilted coats that Melinda makes for them. Here is Persephone in her lightest winter coat. Notice the Poddle applique Melinda put on!
Here is Spunky Monkey in his fleece monkey coat.
Here is Capo in his fleece "dogs in space" coat
Here is Dresden in his baby blues!
Here is Little Miss MoneyPenny in her fleece pink poodle coat with lace trimming.
Here is Little Miss MoneyPenny in her dazzling silver evening coat!
Melinda made this snuggle sack.
And here are some of her latest designs.
One of her Min Pins is little Winnie Pooh-Pooh. Melinda made her a chic satin kimono!
This is for those biker dogs!
Here is one of Melinda's Miniature Pinschers named BeeBee in his Micky Mouse coat.
This is Cinnamon and she likes coffee with LOTS of cream and sugar (caffeine is bad for dogs). So Melinda found this coffee flannel and made Cinnamon a coat!
Here is Winnie Pooh-Pooh in her latest lace ensemble!
I've also bought some overcoats from Puttin On The Dog. She does excellent quality work too.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Keep 2 or 3 tennis balls in the dryer - it increases efficiency by 25-30%
Grind up rice (about the same amount as the coffee beans you use) - it cleans the grinder AND sharpens the blades.
Fill an old sock with baking soda, tie off the end and place in the shoe. The sock can be reused several times.
Don't toss empty wipe containers. These plastic boxes are useful for storing all sorts of items. And the rectangular ones are stackable to boot! Wash the containers and let them dry, then fill them with everything from sewing supplies, recipe cards, coupons, and craft and office supplies to old floppy disks, small tools, photos, receipts, and bills. Label the contents with a marker.
Did you know that my Russian friend actually filled her suitcase with plastic grocery bags when she went home after a visit to America. She said they come in so handy. We are so used to them that we forget that they can be used. I do recycle my leftover plastic bags. Here are some other wasy to use them:
* as small trash can liners (in bathroom or bedroom)
* as pooper scooper when you walk your dog
* as packing in shipping packages
* fill an outdoor pillow with plastic bags which don't mildew
* keep some in a diaper bag to hold soiled clothing
* use to hold wet bathing suits until you get home
* if you don't have a garbage disposal, then keep a small bowl or bucket and line with a plastic bag to put all your scraps and leavings in, then go put it on your compost pile
* use plastic bags over your socks before putting your feet in your snow boots, might keep them drier
* when you walk your neighborhood, take a plastic bag and pick up trash as you go
* use as a trash bag in your car
* use for picking berries, greens, cukes, and other fruits and veggies
* store used paint brushes in them and stick them in the freezer
* line paint trays with plastic bags before pouring the paint in
* donate them to your local thrift store
I really enjoyed this book. It's about a MGB investigator in Russia. Leo Demidov was a good looking, young war hero now working for Russia's MGB in 1953. He is married to a beautiful woman and has a nice apartment (considering Russia). He has it all, until it all seems to go South on him when a young boy's body is found. Four yr old Arkady is the son of one of the men under him. The child is found brutally murdered and eviscerated on the train tracks close to their apartment. But to admit a crime, murder especially, is to admit that the Communist government isn't working. Everyone is equal, therefore everyone is happy and content. Because everyone is equal, happy and content, there is no crime. Only capitalist countries have crime. It's so ridiculous that it's laughable, but it really is the way Russia was ruled for 70 years of Communism. So the Russian government covers it up and says that the child was hit by a train as he played on the tracks. And Leo is sent to his co-worker to make him understand that this is how it has to be. Any more talk of murder will end in his family's arrest and sentencing to hard labor, exile, prison, or execution. Up to now, Leo has believed the Communist Party propaganda. He grew up under it and has been successful under it. But it's beginning to crack and then shatters into a million pieces as he is the target of revenge from one of his co-workers. Accusations are made about his wife and he is ordered to find evidence of her traitorship. He doesn't find any so they accuse him of collaborating with her. He is demoted and sent to a remote industrial town to work with the local police (who, supposedly, don't have anything to do since there is no crime). Now that he is not in a powerful job, his wife doesn't have to be afraid of him and lets him know how much she has hated him. He is rejected and abandoned by his country, his beliefs, his wife and sees how hollow it all was. And, then another body is found just like little Arkady's but this time in the town he has been exiled to.
How Leo comes to terms with his life AND finds this serial killer makes for a good story. It's different. You also learn how bad things were in Soviet Russia. I love to get involved in a story, get on the edge of my seat AND find I've learned some things or seen a different perspective. I recommend this read.
The only thing I found was a mistake. On pg 200, the victim is listed as having been" raped before or after death". But the author makes a point several other times to say the bodies weren't raped. This is a mistake that should have been found in editing. But it doesn't take away from the story or action.
Here is a Lab doing what a Lab was made to do!
2) Yorkshire Terriers (in the Toy Dog Group)
3) German Shepherds (in the Herding Dog Group)
4) Golden Retrievers (in the Sporting Dog Group)
5) Beagles (in the Hound Dog Group)
6) Boxers (in the Working Dog Group)
7) Dachshunds (in the Hound Dog Group)
8) English Bulldogs (in the Non-Sporting Dog Group)
9) Poodles (in the Non-Sporting Dog Group)
10) Shih Tzus (in the Toy Dog Group)
I can see why these dogs are popular just by these photos. So beautiful! But, please, read up on the dog breed you think you want, to make sure you know what you will be getting. Each dog breed was bred with particular things in mind. If you are a very energetic, athletic person you probably wouldn't want a Shih Tzu since 'Tzus are made to be companion dogs. They are made to be lazy lap dogs. If you have a boisterous, young family you would want a Lab or Golden Retriever because they are big boned and aren't going to normally be hurt by rough housing with toddlers or school age children. How many times have I seen toddlers pull up on a big ole Lab and use them like a walker. Or pull on their tails. Labs are friendly and loving dogs that get along well with children. Knowing that Beagles are built to hunt and to bay loudly to let the hunter know they're on the chase may let you know whether a Beagle is good for you. It might be a little loud to have in a close neighborhood and it needs exercise. Long walks are very good for them. It's these kind of things that you need to be aware of and see if that breed will work in your lifestyle. Just do a Google search for the dog breed you are interested in and read up.
Also, don't make a spontaneous decision about getting a dog just because you see a cute puppy. Think long and hard and make sure that you are ready for the commitment. A dog is a living, breathing, feeling entity that totally relies on you for it's care. They need personal attention every day, they need good food, fresh water, potty breaks, regular vetting and grooming. If you can't give a dog the attention, protection and provision that it needs, DON'T GET A DOG! At least not for now. A dog is not a porcelain figurine that you place on a shelf and take it out and look at it every once in awhile.
Lastly, if you do have a dog and it's not working out. Please don't be cruel. Be responsible. Do some searching and find a rescue for the dog. Especially if you have a purebred dog, look for a breed specific rescue in your area. Do a Google search. Keep in mind that a lot of dog rescuers haves seen the worst in people so try not to get your feelings hurt if they treat you a little brusquely for giving up your dog. They don't know you from Adam and don't know that you are making a heartwrenching decision and trying to do what is best for your dog. As far as they are concerned you just don't want a perfectly wonderful dog and are expecting them to take over your problem and solve it for you. If you find a good rescue and make the decision...it would really help if you made a donation to them. But, please, do what is best and right for your dog even if you have to swallow a little. If you are really trying to do the right thing, then you know it in your heart and will feel so much better about it than if you left the dog on the side of the road or took it to a kill shelter or gave it away to a stranger that hasn't been checked out and could be using your dog for baiting in training fight dogs.
Dog's are wonderful! I hope I never have to live without a dog again. There is nothing more special and the love they give is amazing. They teach us so much and can be wonderful in teaching your children responsibility, unconditional love, and about the things of life like how to take care of a baby, how babies are made, how babies are born, how important commitment is, etc. But they do require some work and expense. So be prepared. And adopt a dog! There are so many that need homes.
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