Clover (No. 4) wishes everyone a Happy Independence Day, and to our British friends, we are glad you got over your whooping and hope you enjoyed the day working..
Let’s me honest. When you own a puppy, stuff is going to happen. It’s just a matter of time - I don’t care how on the ball you are, an accident is going to happen. Aiding potty training is fully and properly cleaning where the accident happened. So how do you deal with it? Sprays are pretty much 100% ineffective on their own regardless of how fancy they claim to be. You gotta get up what got put down. Using a sponge or a stack of paper towels is much like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. Sure, you’ll feel like you did something, but really far too little to actually be effective. Your patient, er ah your carpet, is about to flatline (have an odor pretty much forever). You really need to invest in a carpet cleaner. If cash is tight, one of the handheld units is better than the old school paper towel routine you may be used to. At least these have the ability to suction stuff up, and then pull clean water and/or cleaning fluid through the carpet. However, I used one of these portable units for years because I didn’t want to invest in an upright cleaner, and I was sure it did a good job. What a mistake! About six years ago I saw the light. I bought a Bissell ProHeat Pet Pro Cleaner - the new ones are even better - and I now wonder how I ever thought the portable unit was even effective. What makes is so much better? Break out your best Tim Allen, or if you are a Top Gear fan, Jeremy Clarkson, impersonation. Raw Power. Lots and lots of power. You can pull the accident wetness out and make the carpet nearly dry, then set about cleaning it by cycling ample amounts of water and cleaner through the affected area. The final suction run will pull all the remaining wetness out of the carpet, even out of the padding. Most have a hand attachment, and most have much less power than the main cleaner, but still much more than a portable unit. Even once pup is potty trained, accidents happen, or they may get sick…who knows you may even have a major spill of your own. In the end your nose will always appreciate the purchase.
Cooler weather makes it excusable and fully justifiable to make dishes like this fantastic rendition of a Dutch Classic. Then again, why wait for fall or winter? I prefer to add a bit of garlic and onion powder to the mashed potatoes, and Trader Joe’s has the best “ready to go” curly kale your money can buy. If you can find it, enjoy with an Alfa Bok or Lentebok Bier. Otherwise, your go to Cab Sav will be just fine. You need this in your life.
List of Ingredients:
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (~4 pounds)
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided (plus more for seasoning)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup 2% milk (or whole milk)
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (plus more for seasoning)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced (1 tablespoon)
1 bunch of curly kale, stemmed and chopped into ½-inch pieces (about 12 ounces)
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 pound fully-cooked, smoked pork sausage such as Dutch Rookworst (or substitute
Spanish Chorizo or Polish Kielbasa), cut crosswise into thin slices
4-5 teaspoons olive oil, optional garnish
4 green onions, trimmed and chopped, optional garnish
Prep Time: 15 mins / Cook Time: 40 mins / Total Time: 55 mins
1. Put potatoes and 2 teaspoons salt in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Scoop out a cup of potato cooking-water and set aside. Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Add butter, milk, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mash potatoes with a potato-masher. For creamier potatoes add potato cooking-water, a little at a time, stirring, until you get the desired texture.
2. In a large heavy skillet or pot with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Raise heat to medium. Add kale, ¼ cup water, and ½ teaspoon vinegar. Cover pot and wait 2-3 minutes for the kale to wilt. Remove cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes longer or until the kale is tender. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add kale mixture to potatoes and mash until thoroughly combined.
3. In the same heavy skillet used for the kale, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the sausages for 4-5 minutes, until nicely browned on both sides and heated through.
4. Divide the kale-potato mash between 4 or 5 bowls. Arrange sausages on top. Drizzle on a teaspoon of olive oil per bowl and sprinkle with chopped scallions, if you like. Enjoy!
5. Time Saving Tip: Before you do any other prepping, peel and slice the potatoes and get them into the pot and onto the stove. It will take a while for that pot to get boiling so you should have plenty of time to get everything else sliced and diced while the potatoes cook.
Here is another nice video from Standing Stone Kennels and something you are likely to have to deal with if you do a lot of back country hiking, and/or upland bird hunting like us. Last year we spent over eighty three days afield hunting, and easily as many just out hiking. We had two Q-Pine incidents, just in 2018. Ethan does a pretty good job here and I'd like to add a couple of pointers to help you get your dog through this. First if it's a fairly minor incident like one one captured in the video, by all means, do your best to calm the dog and get those quills out. I keep a pair of spring loaded leatherman pliers on me additionally my hunting vest has a pair of hemostats on board just for the purpose of grabbing quills. You really cannot pull quills with your fingers, but you can use your teeth! I only advocate the use of your teeth if you are either crazy, or you dog is ultra-calm. If you have a helper, like in this video, have them help calm the dog - it will feed off of the anxiety - so breath deep and chill. Even more importantly, have your buddy do their best to keep quill impacted skin puller tight. As you remove quills the skin will be able to slide against the dogs body normally, this is the high-risk time when broken quills can and will pull through and go under the skin - this is a trip to the veterinarian. Ethan does a really nice job giving his dog an good exam, which is just perfect. If your dog has really been hammered by Ol' Porky - disregard all of this, and get him (or her) the the vet as sedation is most likely going to be necessary.
Getting a puppy is always an exciting time! Just like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. In this case I'm talking about making your home a place where pup can not just exist, but thrive. Whether this is your first puppy or its been a while since you have had a puppy, myself included, it's time to start thinking about and doing somethings around the house in preparation for Jr.'s arrival. Yes, that means prepping the house and yard.
Before I cover some of the more typical and mundane things, I need to stress that modern veterinary science has shown dysplasia of the hip and elbow are predominantly environmentally driven! So just what does that mean, and how does it apply to us as puppy stewards? Slick floors and stairs are not your puppy's friend! If you have them, It is time to head out to Costco or your favorite home goods retailer and buy some throw rugs. Because, we do not want pup skittering all over the place, and we really don't want to have pup chasing a ball on your hardwood/tile floors! The other high-risk area is your stairs. In particular, descending is very stressful on the elbow joint. If your stairs are hard and smooth they are really not your puppy's friend. Solve this by carrying pup up and down. Once they are too big for that use a leash to control the rate of their ascent and descent. Please be sure to prevent them from jumping off the last three steps! On this note, your puppy will need exercise, but please stay away from activities which include lots of jumping (intro to agility is the main offender here) or pushing pup too hard/much with becoming your running companion too early. Your pup's growth plates remain open until up to around 18 months of age. You will learn first hand the Drent growth rate, it is pretty impressive. Figure on doing more serious physical stuff with your Drent no sooner than 11 months, and just ease into it.
- Get your trash under wraps. Put it behind a door, or install a child safety device
- Cover/contain electrical cords. Your main strategy may just be aware of where you have them because you can't do much about them,,,
- Properly stow your backpacks and purses! All kinds of not dog-friendly things are hidden away in them e. g. gum w/ Xylitol, make up, you name it
- Secure your medications in a drawer. Drents will eat the damnedist things! Best case this will result in a very expensive trip to the emergency vet
- Do you have poisonous house plants/landscaping? If you can't answer that question in less than 2-seconds...you need to do some research
- Where is puppy's area going to be? Try setting it up now to see if it works the way it does in your head...you may have to go back to the drawing board
- It goes without saying, household cleaners need to be secured.
- Have you ever deployed a chemical mouse or some other bait trap(s)? Go find them, and dispose of them. Once you think you are good, check again!
- Your garage is a high-risk zone. Lawn chemicals, cleaners, and whatnot. Find a way to secure all of this, or just do like us - the garage is a no dog zone
- The puppy should never have unfettered unsupervised access to anything. As they learn and become better potty trained and learn what is and isn't theirs, you can expand this bubble...
- Puppies should stay on the ground unless you are directly supervising/handling them. A puppy rolling off a piece of furniture can be a significant and unpleasant event
- Batteries...yes, they will chew them and swallow them. Secure all batteries and monitor devices pup has access to which contain them. Swallowed batteries = emergency vet visit
- Any cooked bone is a serious high-risk to your puppy or dog, doesn't matter what animal it is from Cooked = Very Bad, raw = could be okay (large beef knuckles generally) if you really want your dog to chew a bone. I prefer Nyla bones. They make wonderful puppy chewers (which adults love even more and if you have Booker visit, they will last about 1 second - chomp and goneski)
- If you have nicknacks on a low shelf, it's time to move them up, or find a way to protect them. Puppies do not know the difference between your stuff and theirs
- If you have a cat, please plan on moving the litter box into an area your puppy cannot get to it. This is for a myriad of reasons, at best it has a high likelihood of becoming a snack bar - how about EEEEEeeewwwww
- Remember those rugs I told you to buy? Did they have a non-slip backing? If not invest in a roll of carpet tape and put it to use
- How about that fence? Is it secure? Is it stable? What can it keep in? What can it keep out?
- Once you have assessed your fence - do what you need to do?
- Get to know your landscaping. Some mulches and plants are poisonous to dogs. If you don't know off the top of your head and don't look into it, you will be making a trip to your veterinarian...maybe worse
- Does your yard have a place or places which have shade all or most of the day? If not, be aware of when you let pup spend time out back and limit direct sun exposure. Ambient temps can be reasonable but being stuck in direct sunlight can be quite brutal and unforgiving
- Pup's water bowl should be in one of those shaded areas
Well, it's feeding time - again!
So we have our sights on breeding Duck Creek's Two Gun Katmai, aka Mila (pronounced My-lah) the daughter of our Ember & Paxson. For now, Mila has passed all of her preliminary health screening, so we do not expect any surprises in that department. We have spent quite a bit of one on one time with her and she could pass a Public Access Test (PAT) used on Service Dogs. She really embodies her parents with equal parts of their personalities, temperaments and conformation. In the field, Mila is a diligent worker with strong pointing and retrieving instincts, and has a soft mouth as an added bonus. She lives in Cincinnati Ohio with her Guardian where she also enjoys regular trips to local hunting preserves, markets and hanging out in dog friendly public spaces where she regularly makes new friends.
Our intent is to take her to the Netherlands in the spring of 2020 after getting her full approval from the DPCNA to be bred to a stud listed with de Vereniging. We have set our critical eye on a couple amazing boys and will begin fleshing out those details and setting the arrangements in the near future. When we have set the arrangements and our plans are approved by the DPCNA we will then post a 2020 Litter page. As you should expect, we will be actively employing Raymond H. Oppenheimer's 20 Principles(+) when making our selections. The litter will be whelped and raised here in Spokane and we have been actively screening clients for this opportunity - if you are interested, don't delay in contacting us.
These x-rays give us something to try to count up. However, the the calendar is all about the count down! In the meantime try matching spines with skulls to help pass the time, good luck.
all I got was knocked up." X-Ray scheduled 28 May with puppies due 5 June.
A version of this recipe is in my book. I have made a few tweaks to it here. I hope you enjoy!
1. Preheat Oven to 350
2. Carefully measure and combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
3. Combine and mix well the sugar and softened butter. Then add and mix well the eggs and vanilla.
4. Pour the bourbon Into a medium sauce pan on low heat and add the chocolate morsels. Stir constantly, and do not allow to boil. Once the mixture is smooth, add milk and combine thoroughly.
5. Gently fold the dry ingredients and sugar mixtures, once well combined. Add the bourbon and chocolate mixture. This will result in a very stiff batter.
6. Use a spatula to transfer the batter to your 8x8 or 9x9 inch well coated baking pan, and bake. Use of the smaller pan will add approximately 12-20 minutes to the baking time or until toothpick comes out nearly clean.
*Note: The better the bourbon, the better your brownies will turn out. If using a 1/4 cup of a $60 bottle of bourbon is contrary to your sensibilities, consider using a cheap flavored bourbon. I haven't been disappointed yet and the combinations are nearly endless.
I recently sent a Standing Stone Kennels YouTube channel video link to my current list of clients. In general, Ethan and Kat do a nice job of video production, and demonstrate effective methods of training. Just as important, their method would easily work on any Drent. Low stress conditioning equals more fun, which in turn generates more positive responses. Once a dog knows what the command is you can begin to apply consequences for non-compliance. As the dog improves, the consequences for non-compliance can be increased, but only if done with care and full knowledge that the dog clearly knew what it was supposed to do and chose to not do it. Their video for teaching a recall is a nice example of this, see below, and if you take the time to review the video, they do a nice job of only rewarding and acknowledging the pup’s correct behaviors to their desired action and more or less ignoring sloppiness and/or when she gets it wrong. This is a critical step in the development in a young pup! It teaches them to learn, explore, and to look to you – their boss – for leadership. The dog must want to look to you for leadership and guidance, otherwise you are likely in for a difficult time. This Old School "yard work" applied with modern training principles and techniques is your start to building the all important relationship of trust and respect with your pup.
Do I use a clicker like Ethan and Kat? No, I don’t. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it. When you are rewarding or correcting your dog you have 1/3 of a second to get that done in order to have the best chance for the dog to associate the reward/correction with the action. Using a clicker can help you to get the timing of reinforcing a “good job” within that small window of time. It can also be easier for the dog to discriminate as a positive stroke, in particular, if you are very conversational with your dog. Clicker use has a few down sides, and for me, remembering to have one with me is generally the one that gets me. There are lots of great resources out there, and if you are thinking to use a clicker in your training efforts, now is the time to start learning and practicing the technique – it does take some learning, but it may be well worth the investment of your time.
In the field I use a whistle. I love it and find the whistle to be a valuable and powerful tool. I dislike hollering a dog’s name anywhere, and in the field isn’t any different. Plus, it is very likely that conditions will seriously limit how far your voice carries. A whistle will save your vocal cords, keep you from looking like a raving lunatic, and generally the tweet of a whistle will carry further in more conditions than your voice ever will. The only trick is to not be the person who is constantly bleating their whistle like a maniac, like I said it is a powerful tool, and so it must be used with judgement. So, when to start with the whistle? We will begin tweeting a whistle at feeding time shortly after the pup’s ears have opened. They will soon associate that glorious tweet with meal time and this with a little reinforcement from you, will help cement this foundational Pavlovian conditioning as something as strong and irresistible as the Siren’s song is to a sailor.
Breeding Powder to a Dutch dog in the Netherlands was always the plan. However, for her first litter I chickened out. The commitment level for that litter was extremely high, but still much less than traveling internationally. It has been said, traveling to Europe for breeding is not a trivial matter. Despite this being my fifteenth occasion of flying a pet internationally, this was another level for a couple of reasons.
Months in advance I registered the stud I was approved to use with the AKC Foundation Stock Service and ordered the required DNA kit, then carefully setting all of this paperwork aside to be packed later. Naturally, Powder flew with me in-cabin as my Service Dog, which required a few extra forms to be completed by my veterinarian for the airline; this was easy, but a step to be taken never the less. Then we waited for Mother Nature to do her job. Once things got started, we scheduled her first progesterone test and all of the appointments to get her veterinary paperwork in order: State health certificate, European Union/USDA paperwork, official rabies certificate and of course full vaccination summary.
Purchasing plane tickets before it’s “go time” is pure folly and this occasion was no different. Powder pulled Tule into heat six weeks early, and Tule slowed Powder down by two weeks. The results of Powder’s progesterone tests confirm what we knew to be true. Ovulation will be right at her day fifteen and I had a few days to buy tickets, execute the veterinary paperwork, get a reservation at a B&B, hire a car, and so on. Flying a pet internationally is quite involved on its own accord, but now with a time sensitivity and no room for error.
Checking in was quite simple with all of Powder’s paperwork in order, with no small thanks to Jenna for this! Getting Powder through Security was an interesting process, and she endured her first TSA “pat down” with aplomb. With a Service Dog you train to pass the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) Public Access Test, amongst other oddities you expect your dog to encounter in addition to the actual service they provide for you. Still here in Spokane there just aren’t many places with escalators, crazy tram cars, giant voices and so on – so you just never quite know until you do. But you do hope the things you have worked on were close enough and that those training events would effectively generalize for the dog. Powder was a champ! She handled the crush of people, the whirring of service carts zipping by, riding escalators and tram cars, rotating doors, and crazy voices like a seasoned pro.
Discerning a real Service Dog from a “service dog” can generally be accomplished by observing the handler and how the dog carries itself. For example, if the dog is being carried or in a cart (there may be a couple of exceptions here), not on a leash or some form of bridging handle (the leash is used to protect the dog), the dog is pulling on the leash (although it should be like the leash isn’t needed), the dog may be barking and/or whining (unless it is prompting their boss to do something), it is sniffing everything (dogs are going to sniff, but a dog without a focus on his boss will have his mind elsewhere), having potty accidents (speaks for itself), stealing food (or snatching stuff off the ground – it’s all about self-control and focus), seeking attention (be focused on the job at hand), looking nervous or being aggressive (they should be alert but not reactive). The absolute Number One sign is, the owner probably has a cleverly designed identification card from one of at least twenty different companies easily found on the internet – those are all just scams, each and every one of them.
In the U.S. there is no formally recognized certification for Service Dogs. The ADI is the standard we are moving towards, and it is likely there will be a codified certification process and licensing process in the near future. But fake Service Dogs are illegal. The dog should be required due to a disability (you can’t legally ask) and the dog has to be specifically trained to mitigate a disability (you can ask the animals purpose e.g. Medial Alert). Powder’s vest has a pair of pockets, and inside one is the documentation which covers my disabilities in a Privacy Act compliant way. A service dog’s training is always in the works and being finetuned. The flight process from check-in to ground transport was Powder’s biggest “on duty” shift times two. She really did an impressive job of staying focused and she surprised her fellow passengers as well as the aircrews based off of the comments we got from everyone before, during and after both flights. I am very proud of her.
Bastiaan and Sandra den Haan are the owners of Joeri, the handsome stud used for this litter, and they were amazingly helpful in addition to being incredibly kind, friendly and generous hosts! Sandra made a delightful Dutch specialty for dinner one evening, white asparagus with all of the traditional fixings – oh, buddy that is good living right there! She also helped nail down a dog friendly B&B for Powder and me. As it turns out “De Wijnberg” is owned and operated by a fellow Drent enthusiast Inez de Baar-Le Grand. Sadly, despite several invitations, I didn’t get to go walking with Inez, but I was able to enjoy the lovely surroundings of the Hazerwoude-Dorp area. During the short and quickly paced visit, Joeri made three successful covers, and the two dogs got along like peas and carrots as I had hoped. Joeri is handsome to behold, a real gentleman and a really sweet boy. He is a Drent I could add to my own household without a second thought. It was a real pleasure to make his acquaintance. Moreover, it was fantastic making new friends with Bas & Sandra. I can’t thank them enough for opening their home to me and being so accommodating and helpful.
Now we wait…
There are, I suppose, three primary ways to breed a female. 1) Put a female in heat and a male together and just let Mother Nature run it's course. This works pretty well for strays, I am assuming here, and many "backyard breeders". 2) The Old School way: put them together on days 10, 12, and 14. This too has worked for many breeders for many years, but not all females ovulate at this point in their cycle and using this method can result in small litters or missed breedings all together. 3) Use progesterone testing. This is the only method which scientifically quantifies when and what is actually happening in the female's body, which tells the breeder what to expect and when to expect it. As you may have guessed, we use option three: Progesterone Testing.
Why is this important? We have two main factors involved. Egg and Sperm viability. Some females "run fast" and ovulate before day 10. Some "run slow" and ovulate well after day 10. The canine egg takes forty-eight to sixty hours after ovulation to be ready for conception, and remains viable for up to three days. In total from ovulation you have about five days to get the job done. So knowing when the window of opportunity is open is absolutely key. In particular, when you know it takes Sperm time to capacitate and they too have a finite window of viability. Generally, sperm can be expected to be viable in the female up to seven days for a live mating. For chilled and frozen semen the timeline is much tighter with sperm viability being around 24 hours for chilled and only 12 hours for frozen.
Like two ships at sea wishing to exchange passengers while remaining in motion, there is an optimal time for this to happen, the further we get away from the optimal window of opportunity the lower the odds of success. As you might imagine, just like the passenger exchange. Too early, not all of them will make it, too late you get the same effect, but for different reasons. In the sweet spot as many that could make it will. So having everything in place at the right time really matters.
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some odd years later this is what you get.