Archives for March 2012

Mixed Up Shepherd

I touched on this subject awhile back in my frequently asked questions post, but today I had a remarkably random encounter with a complete stranger and unfortunately 140 characters is far too limiting to express all my thoughts.

Having been one of those people that had no real knowledge of the GSD prior to my partnership with Yara I totally get it when people think that my girls are not shepherds but an entirely different breed or a mix of some sort. Given that I have the time, I’m always happy to enlighten people to the myriad of colors and patterns that German shepherds come in. That’s not what happened this afternoon at Price Chopper and so this particular interaction was simultaneously that much more hilarious and frustrating:

Stranger: *peering around my shopping cart to look at Uschi* That’s not a German shepherd.

Me: Yes, she’s a shepherd.

Stranger: A German shepherd? A purebred?

Me: Yes.

Stranger: No, that isn’t a German shepherd.

Me: Yes. She is.

Stranger: No. She’s a mix. *walks away muttering in another language*

Me: *dumbfounded* A mix of what?

At first I thought he just hadn’t gotten a good look at her given his odd vantage point, but this gentlemen didn’t offer any explanation as to why Uschi wasn’t a shepherd despite his firmness in stating that she wasn’t one.

As I stated above, the general public isn’t quite on the up-and-up with their GSD knowledge so I get a lot of questions about coloring and markings. And by “questions” I mean “thinly veiled accusations that I’ve somehow been duped into thinking my dog is a shepherd when she is obviously something else entirely.” I figure those people either take my word on the information or continue to think I’m a moron. Either way I don’t really care because there really is no harm being done and we both go our separate ways.

I find myself disgruntled by this random stranger only because he wasn’t merely alluding to my mistake but outright telling me Uschi couldn’t be a shepherd. He may as well have told me, a completely colorblind person, that the sky is purple because I’d have just as much ability to refute the allegation.

Mostly I’m amused by his obvious lack of knowledge on the breed juxtaposed with his staunch assertion on Uschi’s breeding. I can’t help but wonder where he sees the chain of information on my dog failed me and how a complete stranger’s comments trump my own sources.

Sadly, I’m pretty sure he’s from the same ilk that have no clue why a backyard breeder is to be avoided just as much as the mall pet store.

EDIT: I can’t believe I forgot about this, but I had another random stranger encounter earlier today that consisted of the person walking by me and stating to another person, “That isn’t a guide dog. It’s not wearing a jacket.” I was literally rendered speechless by that one.

Bulleted Update

Will post a proper update one of these days, but for now:

  • Still no conclusive answers on the pain issues I’m having. It’s the longest story ever and most of it sets my teeth on edge. But the good news is that I’m not in excruciating pain any more. Hopefully that will last and I wouldn’t complain if the pain disappeared completely.
  • Discovered two sores on Uschi’s right front paw. Not sure if they are related to her skinning her pads, but the one looks pretty alarming. We have a vet appointment today.
  • New job continues to be fun, though not without its own brand of stress. We have three sessions this weekend!
  • Registered for the fall semester. Supposedly the last classes I’ll have to take for my program. If history is anything to go by this will change 100 times before the semester starts and I’ll have anywhere from a single class to an entire year left.
  • Looking to have portraits done again. Bit up in the air as to when exactly what with the odd weather and my broken guide dog.

A Long, Long Day

Uschi ambushing me with a kiss as we pose for a quick photo at Crossings

I’m basically recovering from yesterday’s incredibly full and long day. And by “recovering” I mean, “desperately trying to wake up enough to function.” Uschi’s not even bothering and hasn’t stepped one paw out of her crate even.

Anyway, I’m sure once I’m able to string together more than one coherent thought I’ll have far more to say about The Hunger Games and I might actually poke through the photos I took while at Crossings and can give a proper update on the laundry list of owies me and Uschi have. As well as several other related stories. For now, you can have this cute photo of the two of us.

Broken

Close up of Uschi's skinned feet

One thing about Uschi that is both pathetic and hilarious is that she is absolutely a menace to herself. She consistently overdoes it when she plays and has wore herself out to the extreme on a couple of occasions. Yesterday at the park was no exception as you might be able to see in the above photo: she skinned pads on both her front feet.

We’ve got tons to do today including another trip to Crossings for work and a midnight showing of The Hunger Games, so unfortunately she isn’t going to be lounging around recovering. Instead she’s clomping around the house in her boots, which she’ll be wearing to protect her sore feet until she’s healed up a bit.

Bleu vs. Blue

The great debate of ’12 happened yesterday as I attempted to crowdsource a decision from several friends. This was a great failure in that I can’t count and asked an even number of people who were evenly split on either choice and so after becoming good friends with a bottle of Riesling I made the decision myself and well anyway, look what I have:

Website screenshot showcasing new layout

Isn’t it just so awesome and adorable? I was going to make it continue repeating a few more times but then I thought you all might get annoyed with that and honestly you sort of get the idea, don’t you?

Oh, and the header image is pretty cool, too. This incredible depiction of me and the girls is courtesy of the amazing and talented Jamie Marshall, otherwise known to the online world as Boots. I had a fabulous time working with her on this project and I’m terribly smitten with the end result. My “work” in this case was bombarding her with a bunch of rambling emails. My life is super hard, people.

If you’re into that sort of thing you can totally hire her! She mainly does graphic design and other artsy stuff, but she’s probably just as willing to take kindly donations in her efforts to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. Don’t quote me on that, though. Oh, also, she sells t-shirts.

Anyway, if you weren’t around for the actual debate, the tl;dr cliff notes has to do with an alternate version of this lovely header image that is blue. It was an epic argument on both sides, but before lives were lost in the start of WWIII I put a kibosh on the entire thing by getting inebriated and then falling asleep. You’re welcome, world.