Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sugar!

     Happy birthday to my grandpaw, Sugar!


Love,
Harp Seal, aka Dachshund Nola

Friday, October 25, 2013

Review Day

     Hey, everybody! I've got some reviews set up for you today, but before that something I wish I never had to hear. Last night our beloved friend Benny of Two French Bulldogs lost his battle with liver cancer and crossed his rainbow bridge. He was a great friend, and such an inspiration. Run free and fast, Benny. Say hi to Charlotte for us. Warm hugs and gentle Doxie snuggles to your family.



     First up is a review of a leather collar that has my name and Mom's number stamped on it from Grimm's Leather, an Etsy shop specializing in lovely classic looking leather products. I was sent a 1/2" wide leather collar with a silver strap buckle and type font.
I usually wear 3/4" to 1" wide collars, but this 1/2" is really nice when you're wearing a harness or even just around the house when you need ID without the bulk. And since your name and number are stamped into the collar itself, there's no need for the jingle of tags.





PROS:
Well made
Good price
Great service
Lots of options/very customizable
Fast shipping
Durable
USA made

CONS:
Nothing

     5/5 stars! If you'd like one for yourself, use the code DACHSHUNDNOLA15 for 15% off your order (valid until Dec. 31st).


     Next up is a paracord leash from Xtreme Paracord Gear. Here's a little about them:


Hi my name is Craig Gremillion and I am the founder, owner and developer for Xtreme Paracord Gear. I am a Christian, Father, business owner, boy scout of the past and outdoorsman.
I live in Walker, Louisiana. My Christian beliefs govern all of my life, including my business.
I want you to know that I am not one to think that I am or ever will be perfect in any way. My life is quite the contrary, but the one thing I know for sure is that I am a great sinner and I serve and love a great Savior. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that He is much more full of grace than I am of sin.
I believe in working with my customers to achieve satisfaction on both ends of the transaction. Please if you have a problem with our products or with our service let me know. I may not be able to fix the problem, but I will do my best to make the situation right.

A word about the quality of our products.

Xtreme Paracord Gear is proud to be: (1) American owned; (2) American managed; and (3) American crafted. We use only the highest quality materials for our entire line of paracord gear.

Our Dedication to Excellence

We hand craft every Xtreme Paracord product. Great pride is taken in each piece of gear to produce the finest quality, most advanced and most durable paracord gear we hope you will ever own.
Also, asking our customers for continued feedback on our products gives us the tools we need to keep pace with their increasingly varied demands, needs and requirements. Reach out to us, we want to hear from you, and we will listen!
We build gear that is tough, stylish, a blast to wear, and can help people when they really need help.  When you wear or use a piece of Xtreme Paracord Gear, you are making the statement that you believe in American production and doing what it takes to survive in the world we live in.
Of the many places you could have chosen to spend your money on paracord gear, I want to thankyou for choosing Xtreme Paracord Gear. Thankyou for trusting us to help you survive with gear you can trust to stand the test of time.
If you have questions or need customer service help please contact me: sales.xtremeparacordgear@gmail.com

     I was sent a leash and collar in several shades of purple to review, and since I am wonderful and generous I decided to give it to my Minion, Boston. Here's what Xtreame Paracord Gear says about their collars:


Tired of Cheap Made Dog Collars ? Have you been searching for a Dog Collar that will not rot,or mildew? Are you tired of the cheap, plastic buckles that break and put your dog, other dogs and possibly people at risk or in harm's way?

Don't just purchase another Dog Collar, purchase an Xtreme Triple Wide Paracord Dog Collar.
The Xtreme Classic Paracord Dog Collar is your total dog collar solution.
You need a Dog Collar that is:
  • Heavy duty
  • Safe
  • Stylish
  • Reflective Availability
  • Washable
  • Survival Useful
  • Rugged
  • Customizeable
  • Personal
The Xtreme Classic Paracord Dog Collar comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY





PROS:
Metal buckles
Lots of choices
Good service
USA made
Durable
Well made

CONS:
Too heavy for a dog my size (11lbs)
Leashes only go up to 4ft. I'm short. Mom is tall.

     3.5/5 stars.


     Now we have With Bug Love, an Etsy shop that makes collars, tags, stuff for humans and leashes. Here's a little about them:

We are the crazy dog people your mother warned you about!

Dog hair, coffee, a sewing machine, and a little black cocker spaniel nicknamed Bug got us started in this adventure, and we wanted to share that love with everyone else.

Parents aren't supposed to have favorites, but lets face it we all do. Biko (who was affectionately named Bug) was hands down the favorite dog of anyone he met. He was adorable, sweet, quirky, and his antics kept us laughing every day. He was found Thanksgiving weekend on the Texas country roads with his fur bleached out from the weather, covered in fleas and ticks, and a long list of ailments that made him gravely ill. Everyone he met fell in love and fought to keep him alive, and we were no exception. He lived a short but happy life with us and his canine brothers before being diagnosed with a deadly blood disorder in 2011. Once we lost our beloved little man we wanted to share with the rest of the world what he had given us: lots of love and pure joy. And so with bug love was created.

We work with different rescue groups across the US in both fostering and transporting dogs and donating collars and leashes for dogs looking for their forever homes. Every dog deserves a little bling in their life, and we want to make sure their new start in their new life is done in style.

To see updates on our current fosters or to see the stories of those who have found their forever homes, add us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website www.withbuglove.com

     They're also huge supporters of rescue, and their favorite one is DFW Pug Rescue.

     I picked their 3/4" wide "Blah Blah Blah" collar to review. I liked this collar overall!

Matches my teeth!


PROS:
Cute
Decent selection
Good price
Adjustable
Washable
USA made
Shop donates products to rescues
Custom sizes available

CONS:
All hardware except the D ring is plastic. I'd like to see metal buckles (or metal buckle upgrade) and metal slides.

     4/5 stars.


     Up next is Julius K9, specifically for their IDC harness. Julius K9 makes harnesses, collars, leashes, tugs and toys and much more.

It comes in lots of sizes, several colors, has removable patches, the larger sizes (Mini-Mini and up) have a handle on the back, and they're all reflective. It's an easy on/off style, albeit a little different than most. It has a buckle at the girth and the neck is adjustable with velcro.

     The sizes are a little wonky. Technically, I'd fit in both the Baby 2 and the Mini Mini. The Baby 2's neck size was near perfect, but since the girth was almost too tight it pushed the neck up too high. The Mini Mini's girth is perfect, but the neck is a little loose. (see below pictures)





Mostly fits

Mostly doesn't fit


PROS:
Reflective
Lots of sizes
Removable patches
Sturdy
Durable
Lots of colors



CONS:
Sizing is weird
Not very comfortable
Not super adjustable, so easy to slip

     So overall it's a nice harness, but I wouldn't recommend it for small (20lbs and under?) dogs. 3/5 stars. 
     


Kisses and Tail Wags,
Dachshund Nola

Monday, October 21, 2013

An Incredulous Mini Rant - Dachshund Mommy Is Genuinely Confused

     Hey, everyone! Hope y'all had a good weekend. :)
Today I wanted to post about something I encounter a lot, and each time I see it it baffles me more than the last. It may be a touchy subject for some people, and I want to clarify that I am in no way attacking or berating anyone. Y'all are great friends of mine, and I don't want to offend anyone with this topic. If it hits a nerve for you, feel free to leave now. I'm going to be blunt and honest in this post, and I might come across as a bitch. You've been warned.
What's got my panties in such a bunch, you ask? Dog obesity. Yup, I said it. Say those words on the internet and you've got an instant riot. People saying pet obesity is abuse, people saying food is love, people saying they're right and you're wrong, you saying you're right and they're wrong, and it's just an overall cluster fuck. This topic ranks right up there with positive training vs. dominance theory, kibble vs. raw, and let's not forget the fun topic of vaccines. I'm sharing my views on this topic, because the world needs another dog freak spouting their views all over the net. It's my civic duty, dontcha know?


      I'm going to cut right to the chase with this one. I don't understand dog obesity. Yes, I am fully aware that their are legitimate medical causes of obesity. I get that. BUT, anywhere from 60-80% of dogs are overweight or obese. Not that many dogs have medical problems warranting the weight gain. Excuse number one debunked.

     Perhaps I'm a little biased with my confusion. All 4 of my dogs are at a healthy weight. And by healthy weight I mean lean; I can feel their ribs, hips and spine, clearly see muscle definition and they all have a well defined tuck up of their bellies. I have never in my life had an overweight dog, and I'm by no means a novice owner. Not only that, I've never been even close to overweight in my life. I'm 5' 7 1/2" and 123lbs. The most I've ever weighted was 135lbs. So I have no experience with obesity, human or pet. But still.

     I also don't understand showing love with food. Nola doesn't need a treat to know I love her. I show my love by training her, petting her, playing with her, feeding her one grain free, home cooked meal a day with a few healthy snacks, photographing her, talking to her. She doesn't need a treat pitched her way to know that. Yes, dogs love food. We all know that! But they don't need constant feeding as a way to show affection. Your dog won't hate you or be upset if you don't feed them 24/7. Trust me, my dog is obsessed with me and I'm a Nazi when it comes to what she eats.

     I don't get using your dog's breed as an excuse. "Oh, I have a Lab, they're such chow hounds! A little extra pudge is normal for the breed." A breed isn't prone to obesity. That's the biggest load of horse shit I've ever heard.
What sparked this little spiel were two Dachshunds I met yesterday while going to yardsales. A chocolate dapple boy and a black and tan girl. The boy wasn't nearly as toned as my Doxie Mafia, and he could do with loosing a pound or three. The girl was so fat her belly was level with her chest, with rolls of fat hanging from her throat. The fat made a roll where her tail met her body, and if you looked at her from above she looked like a rectangular table. No curves what so ever. The owners didn't care, since Dachshunds are one of the many breeds labeled "prone to obesity". They aren't prone to obesity. They're prone to owners feeding them too much and not giving nearly enough exercise.

     I really don't get not exercising your dog. When the Mafia doesn't get exercised they are holy terrors. Barking, fighting with each other, bouncing off the walls and just being little shits. An exercised dog is a happy dog. To have a healthy dog they need daily exercise, and by that I mean more than just a short walk or a trip to the yard.


     There are so many benefits to keeping your dog fit, not the least of which is that it can extend their life up to two and a half YEARS! YEARS! Here's a digram of the different levels of body condition; where does your dog land?
Nola: is a 3. Ideal.
Boston: is a 2, and struggles to stay there. Girl can't keep weight on.
Auggie: bounces between a 3 and a 2.
Phoenix: is a 3.


     A healthy, lean Dachshund should look like this:


Nola and Boston are leggy for Dachshunds, but even Phee and Auggie look taller than normal since they're not being dragged down by fat.









     Aside from the Doxie Mafia, I've seen only 2 other Dachshunds in as good of condition. You put my crew next to most Dachshunds and they look like different breeds.

   And end rant!

Hugs,
Dachshund Mommy

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review Day

     Hey, y'all! I've got some reviews lined up for you today, so let's get right to it. First up is a review for Clean Run, a company that sells dog sports gear, on their ComfortFlex harness and the Julius K9 IDC harness. We'll do the ComfortFlex first.

    The ComfortFlex is an easy on/easy off harness made of lightly padded nylon. It's available in several colors and lots of sizes, so there's something for everyone. I picked "Berry" (a dark pink) for the color and I wear an XXS (15.5"-18.5" girth).

     Something really nice about the ComfortFlex that I've yet to see with similar style harnesses is that not only is the girth adjustable, the neck area is as well (please note this is only for the smaller sizes, since us little ones are more difficult to fit). As a whole, easy on/off styles aren't the most secure of harnesses since it's hard to get a good fit, but with the ComfortFlex's adjustability you get a nice snug fit. I can be a bit of a Houdini when it comes to collars and harnesses, but I don't think I could get out of this one!


The girth closes with both velcro and a buckle.






PROS:
8 sizes
Several colors
Very adjustable
Padded
Comfy
Easy to put on
Made in the USA
Machine washable (don't put it in the dryer though)
Reflective

CONS:
The D ring is quite large for as small as the harness is
A little pricey

     4/5 stars.


      Now for the Julius K9 harness. Here's what Clean Run says about it:

Made in Hungary by a company specializing in high-end Schutzhund products, the IDC (Innova Dog Comfort) Harness is Julius K-9's most recent harness design. It is a high-quality, rugged harness with an innovative, sporty design that is suitable for all dogs, from working dogs to pet dogs whose owners need more control over them. The IDC Harness has an angular profile whereas the sides of the Power Harness are parallel to the ground. The smallest size of the IDC Harness will fit smaller dogs than the smallest size of the Power Harness.
The IDC Harness is so easy to take on and off the dog that it can be used for taking your dog into the agility ring; just drop the harness over the dog's head and click in the buckle on the belly band. The harness is designed to allow a full range of motion so your dog can walk or run while wearing it.
The surface of the Power Harness is made from rugged, scratch-proof, and water-resistant polyester, which makes it an ideal harness for dogs that run in their harness when you're hiking in thickly wooded/shrubbed areas. The underside of the harness is padded with ├ľkotex, a breathable cotton that is gentle on the dog's coat and skin.
The chest and belly straps are made from pressure-tested seatbelt-type webbing and are infinitely adjustable, allowing you to achieve a perfect fit on any dog. 



     It comes in lots of sizes, several colors, has removable patches, the larger sizes (Mini-Mini and up) have a handle on the back, and they're all reflective. It's an easy on/off style, albeit a little different than most. It has a buckle at the girth and the neck is adjustable with velcro.

     The sizes are a little wonky. Technically, I'd fit in both the Baby 2 and the Mini Mini. The Baby 2's neck size was near perfect, but since the girth was almost too tight it pushed the neck up too high. The Mini Mini's girth is perfect, but the neck is a little loose.




PROS:
Reflective
Lots of sizes
Removable patches
Sturdy
Durable
Lots of colors
Good price


CONS:
Sizing is weird
Not very comfortable
Not super adjustable, so easy to slip

     3/5 stars.



     Next up are two lovely collars from the Etsy shop Wagologie (also on Facebook here). Here's a little about them:

I've always loved animals but most especially dogs! Big ones, small ones, mixes and purebreds, and everything in between!
After getting my standard poodle, Darla, I realized how difficult it was to find fun collars for large breed dogs. I have always loved to create and craft throughout my life so it's no surprise that I found myself creating dog collars! It started with just a few collars here and there; a little shop on Etsy, and now I have made over four thousand orders! I just love creating new designs and often find myself dreaming up new patterns. 
One of my favorite things about my dog collars is working with dog people. People that own dogs have to the friendliest group of people on earth! I love hearing all about their dogs and their unique personalities and life stories. It's truly amazing the love and compassion people have for their dogs and vice versa, of course!
I constantly donate dog collars to rescues and dog organizations all over the US! 
A big 'Thank You!" to everyone who has allowed me to live my dream and create dog collars and all who support hand made! 
XO, Lauren


     Lauren, the awesome shop owner, sent both ME and Boston collars! Mine is a pretty 3/4" Glittery Aqua and Boston has a the beautiful Magenta and Black Damask in 1". Both are quick release collars. In addition to quick release collars, Lauren also offers martingales, leashes, bows and flower accessories.

     Boston and I both really liked these collars. Even though mine is glittery, nothing flakes off, which is a huge plus! I've only worn my collar a few times, since I have so many I switch out every few and I'm usually in leather because of my sensitive skin, but Boston has worn hers 24/7 since the beginning of September and it still looks great.



Pretty wrapping makes the product.

Shiny!

DM: Nola spoils me. You have NO idea how many pictures I had to take of Boston before this halfway decent one came out.
Oh, and Boston's only a few months older than Nola. The grey around her face is partially from her being a dapple, partially for how worried she always is. ;)

Versus Nola. One shot, and we're done.

A miracle photo! Nola and Boston aren't exactly best buds, and it's next to impossible to get them together for a photo, especially given what a camera hog Miss Diva Nola is. After this was taken, she had no problem putting her lowly Minion back in her place.



PROS:
Huge selection
Every size
Durable
Pretty
Good prices
Great service
USA made
Fast shipping

CONS:
No metal buckles/metal buckle upgrade

     5/5 stars!




     And lastly we have a cool martingale leash from Jan's Martingale Collars and Walking Leads. Here's a bit on them:

My company, Jan's Martingales, isn't really much of a company at all.  I have no factory, no employees; it's just me.  (Well, hubby helps.)  I make a few leads everyday and sell a few everyday.  All of my advertising is word of mouth.  Most of my customers are folks who have been with me for years.  My "company" will never get any bigger than this, which is great.  This is just about the right size for me to continue enjoying  what I do and take care of my customers properly.  I've got 100% positive feedback from Ebay, Etsy and Artfire. That's something I'm proud of and plan to keep.

  It all started 20 years ago when we became involved in St Louis REGAP, greyhound rescue.  Back then, the concept of x-racing dogs as pets was very new, so the special martingale collars and leads were hard to find and expensive.  (keep in mind, the internet and it's search capabilities were also new, so it wasn't much help back then).   The logical solution was to make our own.  I found some webbing and D-rings at a tent and awning shop in St Louis,  and started making all the collars for the new dogs we brought in.  The walking lead design evolved a short time later as an efficient way to move our dogs around.  You never knew how an individual greyhound would behave when they came off the hauler.  Some were confident, well behaved and easy to handle.  Many others had been abused, were terrified, and would try to escape.  We put these leads on the dogs before we even tried to unload them from the hauler.  There was no fumbling with extra collars, leashes and clasps, easy on, easy off.   These really did the trick..we never had a dog escape, and some tried pretty hard to do so. 
  
These original walking leads were simple, plain black, unlined, undecorated, and strictly utilitarian;  I made hundreds of them for our group and our adopting families.   One day, I got the bright idea of decorating, and selling them.  I made a few and put them up on Ebay.  They sold right away so I made and sold some  more.  In a few weeks I made enough money to buy another roll of webbing and a whole box of D-rings!  So beganJan's Martingales.  Eventually,  I stared making them in other sizes, colors and weights and they started to become popular with more than just sighthound owners.  Now  I sell my leads to people all over the world for every breed of dog...very exciting, and totally satisfying...love it!

REGAP was one of the first rescue organizations in the country.  Many of the REGAP's are still alive and doing well, but our St Louis REGAP is now almost gone.  Old age, ill-health and death have taken their toll on our group  (20 years is a long time)  We're no longer actively in the adoption business, and I no longer make collars and leads for St Louis REGAP.  But I still enjoy making and selling  my leads  and will continue doing so for as long as I'm capable.

     I'm reviewing one of her Italian Greyhound/Small Dog sized martingale leashes. It's 1 1/2" wide, with a 6ft leash that is 3/4" wide. A heads up though: the sizing can be a little confusing, so if you're interested in getting one I suggest contacting Jan first so you can make sure you're getting the correct size.

 I love a martingale leashes because it keeps the connivence of a slip lead but the safety and comfort of a martingale. Simply open it up, put it on your dog, adjust it to fit and you're ready to go!



The purple and gold is perfect for me. After all, I AM named after New Orleans.

   

PROS:
Huge selection of colors and patterns
Good price
Easy to use
Convient
Good service
Durable
Very comfortable
Padded
Sturdy and well made

CONS:
Not a thing!

     5/5 stars.

Kisses and Tail Wags,
Dachshund Nola