Dog and Handler Newsletter, Aug 2015

Read the FREE August 2015 newsletter, Dog & Handler, Focus For Both Ends of the Leash.

This month we have 1 Agility Course with 11 International Style sequences. For the handler, information on sleep – how to stay sharp and increase YOUR agility performance! Enjoy!

dog & handler (1)


2015 Aug Intl Style Sequences


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Welcome to the “New” Website!

Thank-youI started writing my blog in 2008. Somewhere around 2010-ish I decided to go global and create a website geared toward everyone. It was my dream to create a resource to help everyone succeed and I had this dreamy notion that since I was in a good place, I wanted to do something to recognize those mentors and positive people who had helped me get there. You know, pay it forward.

By the time I hit 2013, I was burning the wick at both ends and surrounded by lots of sucky people (not all, but lots of users, abusers & negative people). I later realized that the higher you climbed, the larger the target on your back was. There are lots of small and petty people out there who not only perpetuate the negative, but they thrive on it.

After going through an unbelievable low, I’ve had a chance to rebuild and put things back into perspective. Here’s what I learned:

  • Life isn’t fair. End of story.
  • Forget trying to please everyone and definitely try to forget the notion of ‘correcting’ people when they’re on a drama-stint. It’s a waste of time and honestly, they WANT the drama, not the truth.
  • Focus on what is important to YOU. Ignore anything else and absolutely do NOT put ANY energy into any topic/thing/issue that is not important or worthy.
  • You do NOT have to accept everyone, or even 90% of the people into your life. They have their own journey & beliefs. Respect them, but do NOT hold them close – let them go!
  • No good deed goes unpunished :)
  • Be you. Be comfortable being you. Be comfortable letting others go. Keep your inner circle strong and smile but ignore everyone else.

So what does that have to do with blogging?

Well, I’m BACK! I’ve recreated my website, but this time my Mission Statement is very, very different. This time I’m not going to be everything to everyone. I won’t be revisiting that old mistake and honestly, I’m thrilled that there are people out there that are not for me and I’m not for them. It’s okay that we are different…I respect that and recognize that I am not for everyone. Thank goodness!

So going forward, if you have a great suggestion, please share. If you have criticism, go somewhere else – there are plenty of other people out there who want to engage (it’s not and won’t be me).

Most of the stuff on my website is free. It’s about the lessons I’ve lived, the thoughts I’ve had, the things I’ve learned. This is about MY journey and  good or for bad, I embrace it all. That said, if you don’t like it, then please exercise your choice to quietly move on or stay-tuned to see what lessons I learn.

Life is short and I’m choosing to focus on the good things around me – because there are a LOT of good things. I can’t wait to share them!

In the meantime, I wanted to THANK those positive and non-judgmental in my life who make me laugh, smile, teach me lessons, help me see the light and share their own journey’s with me so I can learn from them as well.

Thank you and lets enjoy our future together!


Me, Myself and I Syndrome


Today I reached my tolerance limit pertaining to those who want, want more, fail to appreciate the time and effort donated, tell you how it should have been done rather than admiring what was done (although they failed to show up when you were asking for their advice)  and overall, choose to criticize what they received for FREE because it isn’t perfect for them or done to their ideal.


I’m going to call it the Me, Myself and I Syndrome. And I’m certain it has reached epidemic proportions and unfortunately, has spilled over into Agility.


Rather than focus on the two incidents that got me started on this topic, I’m going to focus on a few guidelines to help people avoid the Me, Myself and I Syndrome. So here they are:


If You Didn’t Help Build It, Keep Your Opinions To Yourself!

  • This should be obvious, but if for whatever reason you weren’t a part of the project, the sharing of unsolicited opinions will more than likely come across as criticism.
  • This may come as a shock, but please consider that you may not know it all. For example;
  • Each project has a path of development and there are generally reasons why things are the way they are. If you weren’t a part of the project’s creation, you probably weren’t privy to the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’, which means your opinion may have some big holes in it. There’s nothing worse than a know-it-all who doesn’t actually, know it all.
  • Hindsight is revealing, so what may now seem obvious to you once the project is completed, may not have been so obvious during the project’s creation.
FREE Means You Get Whatever Comes Your Way
  • Contrary to popular opinion, criticizing FREE things (work, volunteers, materials, etc.) will NOT make for better or more FREE things to come your way.
  • In fact, it’s been proven that in the future you’ll receive less and will more than likely not even be aware that you inadvertently insulted your FREE resources.
  • If you want it done your way, either 1) do it yourself or 2) pay to have it done.
  • FREE does not create a contract of servitude.
  • FREE is not an indicator that it is appropriate to request more.
  • FREE should not trigger an invitation for unsolicited criticism.
  • FREE means it’s NOT about Me, Myself and I, but rather about Them, Those Guys and Everyone Else.
I’m sure there’s more to be said, but I’m feeling much better for having shared some thoughts on avoiding the Me, Myself and I Syndrome. But I do want to share some great advice.
I’d like to encourage each of you to see and THANK those around you who give even the smallest of efforts. Technically those folks owe you NOTHING, Nada, Zilt, Zilch and therefore anything they do is truly a blessing.

Heat Stroke In Dogs – Article


Heat stroke is an emergency that requires immediate recognition and prompt treatment. Dogs do not tolerate high temperatures as well as humans. They depend upon rapid breathing to exchange warm air for cool air. Accordingly when air temperature is close to body temperature, cooling by rapid breathing is not and efficient process. Dogs with airway disease also have difficulty with excess heat.

Common situations that predispose to overheating or heat stroke in dogs are:

1. Being left in a car in hot weather.

2. Being confined on concrete runs; chained without shade in hot weather.

3. Being of a short-nosed breed, especially a Bulldog or Pug.

4. Being muzzled while put under a dryer (this can happen in a grooming parlor).

5. Suffering from airway disease or any condition that impairs breathing.

Heat stroke begins with rapid, frantic, noisy breathing. The tongue and mucus membranes are bright red, the saliva is thick and tenacious and the dog frequently vomits. Its rectal temperature is high, sometimes over 106 degrees F. The cause of the problem usually is evident by the typical appearance of the dog; it can be confirmed by taking its temperature.

If the condition is allowed to go unchecked, the dog becomes unsteady and staggers, has diarrhea that often is bloody and becomes progressively weaker. Coma and death ensue.

Treatment: Emergency measures must begin at once. Mild cases respond to moving the dog to a cooler surrounding, such as an air-conditioned building or car. If the dog’s temperature is over 104 degrees F, or if unsteady on its feet, the dog should be cooled by immersion in a tub of cold water. If this is impossible, hose your dog down with a garden hose. For a temperature over 106 degrees F, or if the dog is near collapse, give a cold water enema. A more rapid temperature drop is imperative. Cool to a rectal temperature of 103 degrees F.

Heat stroke can be associated with swelling of the throat. This aggravates the problem. A cortisone injection by your veterinarian may be required to treat this.


1. Do not expose dogs with airway disease or impaired breathing to prolonged heat.

2. Restrict exercise during the heat of the day in summer.

3. Breed dogs in air-conditioned quarters.

4. Crate a dog only in an open wire cage.

5. Provide shade and cool water to dogs living in outdoor runs.

© Copyright 1998, Macmillan Publishing. All rights reserved.

Bioengineered Animals – Article

Bioengineered Animals is the latest advancement which could significantly effect our food source, our health and our medical testing. As with all items, there are pros and cons, but I think it’s time we started to educate ourselves on the terminology and potential effects (both good and bad) of the future of our food source.Below is an article on FDA Rules on Bioengeneered Animals. Animals are being used 1) for our food source and 2) medical purposes.

Dog Theft on the Rise – Article

Originally posted August 6, 2008:We’ve certainly noticed this in our area. Interesting that this is happening across the country.

FYI – From the SPCA
Dear Friends and Supporters,

We have heard some disturbing news related to the slowing economy and your pets’ safety. Reports of pet theft have dramatically increased this year – in fact, reports have quadrupled since 2007.

SPCA International cannot explain this rise, but we do recognize that people get desperate in hard times. It is extremely unfortunate that the victims in this case are our pets.

Thieves see our animals as helpless victims for their gain in a number of ways. Purebred dogs and cats can often sell for thousands of dollars. On Web sites like and the thief can remain relatively anonymous while selling your missing animal for a retail price. Thieves may also scheme to take advantage of your desperation by stealing your pet and waiting for you to post a reward. Returning your dog or cat a few days later as a hero and collecting profit with little suspicion.

Reports indicate that animals are stolen from backyards while parents are out, from cars while parents run a quick errand and from dog parks while old friends chat. I urge you to take extra precaution for your pets’ safety this year, especially if your best friend may be viewed as an expensive breed. You being aware of this rising problem may be just the protection your companion needs.

I hope you and your family have a safe and fun August. If you can spare a small donation, we greatly appreciate and need your continued support – click here. With these summer months and a tough economy, we need all the help we can get from each one of you to continue building our efforts and supporting our companion animals in all that we do. We thank you.


JD Winston
Executive Director
SPCA International

Is Your Pet Prepared for an Emergency – Article

Sent on July 10, 2008:Article on the SPCA Website:

Summer has proven to be a very busy season for natural and manmade disasters from wildland fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and the ever unpredictable earthquake. With the first official day of summer being Saturday, June 21st it is a good time to prepare yourself and your animals for the unexpected.

Animals depend on people for their survival during a disaster, but planning for your pet doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. There are two critical steps to ensure the safety of your animals if you must evacuate with them in the event of a disaster:

  1. Prepare – Have a safe way to transport your animals and have supplies gathered in one location that can be easily accessible.
  2. Plan – Know where you can take your animals if you had to be away from your house for any given amount of time. And appoint someone to evacuate your animals if you are not home when a disaster strikes.

To prepare for a disaster you should put together an animal disaster supply kit with everything you’d need to care for your animals for at least 72 hours. The contents will vary depending on the type and number of animals in your care, but every kit should include the following basic items:

  1. Food and Water. Keep a 3-day supply in an airtight container and be sure to rotate this supply periodically to ensure freshness.
  2. Containment and control supplies. Pack a leash, carrier or crate to safely control and confine your pet.
  3. Current photos of your animals. Include a photo of yourself with your animals if case you need to prove ownership.
  4. Collar and ID. Make sure you have a secure collar and up-to-date ID tag on your animals.
  5. Sanitation Items. Include litter, litter box, newspapers, plastic bags, disinfectant, and basic first aid supplies.
  6. Vet records and medications. Copy vaccination records and set aside a supply of daily medicines.

It takes less than a day’s effort to put together a plan for you and your animals in the event of a disaster, a day’s effort that could potentially save you and your animals’ lives. If you found this information helpful, please support SPCA International so that we can education more people about disaster preparedness for their pets and save more animals’ lives this disaster season.

Dog Food Info Video – Part 2 (How To Read The Label)

This is Part 2 of the Dog Food Video education post. We recommend you read and view Part 1 prior to jumping in to this post.

As I mentioned in Part 1, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker has put together two great educational videos focusing on Dog Food. Part 1reviewed the different types of foods that are available on the market for our agility dogs and Part 2 teaches us HOW to evaluate dog food options with easy tips that clarify the information from the dog food label.

By understanding the labels, as well as the terminology, we can choose the best foods for our agility partners.

Enjoy The Quality of Dog Food Ingredients, Reading the Label – Video