Why should you follow this blog? What makes it unique? Well that is an excellent set of questions. We try to post some fun stuff on the blog and lots of pictures of Lucy (the title character of the blog) and an occasional video or two. We write about things that matter to dog lovers and especially boxer dog lovers. So, here are the details of who Lucy the White Boxer Dog is...

Lucy the white boxer dog has been in our family for a little over six years now. She is not truly white but rather what is referred to as a "check boxer" due to her spots. She is not an albino! She has brown eyes and splashes of black on her in addition to her spots. She is a full blooded boxer. She is also extremely healthy with the exception of having a sensitive stomach.

Want to learn more about Lucy and the things we write about her, follow her blog. Better yet, check out some of the older posts. There is a lot of information on the care of boxers and dogs in general... We look forward to see your comments on some of the posts... Happy blogging to all!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Why do Boxers eat grass?

Ever since Lucy was a pup, she has grazed like a cow at times on grass. Not just any grass, but rather, the long leafy variety. For a while I was puzzled by this behavior. Is she hungry? Am I not feeding her enough? Is there a vitamin or mineral that she is not getting in her diet? What is causing this behavior? These are all the things that went through my mind each time she performed the act of eating grass.

One day when we had Lucy in to visit the Vet for a check-up and recurring shots, I queried the Vet on Lucy’s lawn mower like behavior. Here’s the answer that I received…

Boxers will eat grass for a couple of different reasons. First reason they eat grass is an upset stomach. If a boxer is experiencing intestine irritation they will eat grass to neutralize the acids in their stomach. The grass also adds a bit of roughage to their diet. Second reason for the Boxer to eat grass is to induce vomiting. If they have something in there stomach that is not agreeing with them they’ll try to hack the item up to get out of their system. Lastly the Vet informed me that it is just a canine behavior and that I shouldn’t worry about the activity because is natural for a boxer or any dog to eat green leafy plants. Just be mindful of the plant materials she was attempting to eat because some can be harmful to dogs. “If she’s crazing on grass don’t worry about it.”

I guess the moral to the story is I’m an over-protect type when it comes to my white boxer dog Lucy. Now when she eats grass I just smile and think that dogs are amazing creatures to be able to find things in nature that help them through life and make them feel better. What a remarkable creature man’s best friend is!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boxer Dog Monotony and Variety

Monotony and variety are always inter-connected in case of dog misbehavior. Yes, this is true! Many a times, monotony can be managed with an assortment of materials that will distract the animals to a greater degree. Hence, the dog may not do the deviant or unwanted activity arising out of the monotony it experiences.

Boredom experienced dogs may have different types of behavioral patterns. For example, some dogs will be seen barking incessantly and some may engaged themselves with digging activities.

There are many ways to get your dog out of its boredom activities. Many toys are available which simulated ducks, dogs, rodents and many others. These toys may be kept inside the crate. Puppies absolutely love these items! A Buster Cube with multiple treats may be placed in the dog’s sanctuary and the animal soon understands on how to roll the buster cube to get the treats it prefers. A Buster Cube is an ingenious toy use for simulating and activating your dog during play and feed time. Instead of placing the food boringly in one place, change the place of feeding unexpectedly and your dog will relish searching out the new placement of its food.

Such actions will be helpful for removing the monotony like activity in your dog. Activities pertaining to monotony need to be redefined well by the dog owners. This will help them to a greater extent to drive away the unwanted behavior patterns in their pet dogs.

For example, some dogs may often have destructive biting behaviors and will be seen biting chairs, clothes, mats, and everything that can get into their mouths. After ruling out the teething problem if it is a puppy, provide it with some large sized balls, mineral mixture based bone materials, etc. Such diversity of materials help to reduce the boredom related activities.

By following these few simple suggestions you can turn your dogs dull and bored lifestyle into an assortment of fun filled activities that may save you a headache and perhaps money replacing the items a bored boxer can destroy... I trust this will help someone with their favorite critter!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A new picture...


Lucy and I on a walk through Shelby Farms Park two weeks ago. The picture was taken by Terri my wife... We had a great day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday...

Sunday was a beautiful day! Days like yesterday are why you put up with 3 months of hot humid summer in Memphis. Sunday's temp never got above 68 degrees with a very light breeze. The sun was shining and the shadows seemed longer than than they were a few short days ago.

Lucy followed the sun all over the house yesterday. We opened up the upper patio door with the screen remaining shut. I think she must have spent about 4 hours just moving from spot to spot at that door, following the warm rays of the sun and the sweet smells of fall. What a wonderful experience watching her move about communing with life.

We didn't do much in the way of special events yesterday, or did we? We did enjoy the day!!! I wish for more days like Sunday!!! I wish them for everyone!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Look at this dog's face...































'Dear Lord: Thank you for bringing me to Timmy's house and not to Michael Vick's!

AMEN!'


Of all the junk we get over the Internet, occasionally we get something like this. Too good not to pass on.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Updated comments on one of my posts...

I just updated or answered a comment on my post that discussed whether or not you should breed a white boxer. There seems to be some conflicting views. For more on the subject please go to that posting and read the comments section. If you have a thought on the subject please add them to the comment section of the post. Click here to go to that post.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shelby Farms Park

I just can’t say enough about how lucky I am to live the great city Memphis, TN. What makes Memphis so great are all the incredible venues for entertainment and relaxation. Memphis has one of the nicest city parks of any city in the United States. For a moderate size city to have a city park like Shelby Farms Park is incredible.

Shelby Farms is located in the eastern part of the city surrounded by urban living. The park itself is huge and offers a great deal of outdoor activity that you don’t normally find in an urban environment. You can do just about any outdoor activity short of camping and hunting. Terri and I take full advantage of Shelby Farms in our mountain bike activities.

The one area of the park that is especially of interest to this blog is the outstanding dog park. This is a place that we take Lucy on a regular basis. The dog park area consists of about twenty acres of well kempt land dedicated to outdoor fun with your dog. The dog park has two, several acre ponds for Lucy to play in as well as a couple of miles of single track trail for her to run and explore. Being able to take her off leash is priceless to us.

What really impressed me on trip yesterday was the socialization with other dogs that Lucy gets. What made it really great was there were other boxers at the park. Lucy struck up a friendship with a good looking brindle boxer fellow yesterday. By the time we were leaving the park you would have thought that the two dogs had been life-long companions. Lucy really had great fun in the sun with Storm the brindle boxer running in and out of the pond and through the tall fall grass. What a great sight to see!

What a great city Memphis is to live in…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One pictue, very few words...


I just had to load this picture onto the blog. It so much captures the spirit of a great dog. It looks as if she's posing for the picture! The picture was taken last fall on one of our many hikes together.

Lucy's day out... she went to work!


I took Lucy to work with me yesterday. Yip, my work place allows us to bring our dogs into work on occation. The only caviet to the having them at work is the dog must not interfere with anyone's work or be aggressive in any manner.

Lucy did great! What a great way to get some socialization for your critter. There are a lot of folks at work that bring in their dogs. Its a fun outing for both the dog and the master. Most of the folks at work even keep treats in their desks for the occation.

I'd like to hear about other folks that take their dogs to work. Programs? Drop us a line and tell your story.

Too Kill an American

A friend sent this to me. Since we just passed the eighth year anniversary of 911 and the hatrid never seems to stop, I thought this was appropriate to post on my blog. I offer this up for thought and comment...

Written by an Australian Dentist

You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is. So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)

'An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or on e of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion.... For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return........When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11,2001 Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan ...The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo , and Stalin , and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place, they are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

In the spirit of being an American I think this says it all, for all of us!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You can't breed a white boxer...


Occasionally I get messages from fans of Lucy and also asked questions about breeding our white boxer from friends. I'm sorry to say that although the white boxer is not a rare occurrence, breeding of the white boxer is not sanctioned by any kennel group.

In the past, most kennels and breeders would put down a white boxer because they do not comply with the standards of the boxer breed. Other reasons for not wanting to breed a white boxer are the associated physical problems that a white boxer may encounter. It is reported that the gene that produces the white flash in the boxer breed is associated with deafness. A white boxer is actually a fawn or brindle with a heavy flash. Nearly 18% of all white boxers have hearing loss in one or both ears which makes them a special needs dog. Luckily for us Lucy does not display any hearing problems at this time.

More health issues include increased chance of sunburn and skin cancer. When we take Lucy out on sunny days we have to mindful of this fact. They do make sunscreen for dogs and if you have a white short haired dog of any kind I'd recommend that you put sunscreen or sunblock on your dog. This will cut down on the chances of skin cancer tremendously.

Terri and I love the boxer breed. I don't think we will ever own any other type of dog. We are especially attracted to the white boxer, but to own one comes with some tough rules. Don't breed a white boxer is the number one rule! If you are lucky enough to acquire a white boxer from a litter of pups from a reputable breeder you will almost certainly have to sign a spay and neuter contract. I think the best way to acquire any dog is through adoption however...

Please do not let anything I've written here deter you from owning a white boxer. They make great family pets and therapy dogs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cycling Obession

I’ve been an avid cyclist for a long while. Terri and I like to ride on a regular basis. In the past, we mostly rode our performance bikes on the roads. We have two very nice road bikes that we have had for a while now. Recently we made an investment into two new mountain bikes. I must say that we have had a blast riding mountain bike lately!

Terri was never willing to ride much mountain bike with me for fear of my taking her down a mogul trail, much like I use to do when we snow skied together. Well times have changed and I’m not quite as crazy as I once was in my youth. Our time together on the bikes is some the best high quality time we can possibly spend together. We look forward to biking almost every day now. This has left us with one problem. How do we get our Lucy involved in the fun? We’ve been playing with the idea of letting her run with us on the back trails at state parks and such but are fearful of doing so because of leash laws and park rangers.

There are some dog parks in the local area that will allow us to do this but they are congested. I’d hate to run over someone or their dog on my bike! I wonder how many people actually take their dogs with them when they go mountain biking on back country treks?

One major concern is Lucy’s conditioning. I’m sure that she would run herself into the ground to keep up with us. We would have to do short trips at first just to build up her endurance I’m almost certain. We are going to give this idea a shot just as soon as we can find the right location. I’ll make future posts on how the outings go and how Lucy adjusted to them…

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking for answers...

This past weekend we were visiting family down in Texas and had a great time of it. We've always tried to include Lucy in on our trips whenever possible and she is a great traveller. The weekend was absolutely perfect until we arrived at our daughter Lauren's house on Monday before our scheduled return time. Lucy was in great spirits and doing fine, getting along with everything that came her way until we met up with her former family member Maddy the Boxer dog...

Maddy and Lucy grew up together in the same home for the most part. Actually, Lucy was about 6 months old when we first got her and Maddy helped Lucy join the family. They got along great until Lucy became taller than Maddy. One day they got into a dispute over by their feeding area. Neither of the two dogs backed down, and you guessed it, they got into a fight. Now this behavior has become a common occurrence when they get together.

My problem is, I don't understand why one dog is trying to dominate the other? They both have the same privileges, care and attention. Could their behavior be due to them both trying to establish the Alpha role? Other than keeping the dogs separated is there a technique that can be used to help them get through this behavior when they see each other? Or would it be best just to keep them permanently separated from one another? Help...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some thoughts...

O’ to be a dog like Lucy with not a care in the world…

A friend of mine sent me the following statistics. To some this is a reflection of the state of things in United States of America. Just thought I’d post these thoughts and see what comes of it…

It looks like "Change" equals more badly run government programs!

The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775 - they've had 234 years to get it right; it is broke, and even though heavily subsidized, it is not able to compete with private sector FedEx and UPS services.

Social Security was established in 1935 - they've had 74 years to get it right; it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938 - they've had 71 years to get it right; it is broke. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 - they've had 39 years to get it right; it is broke. Together Fannie and Freddie have now led the entire world into the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

The War on Poverty was started in 1964 - they've had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our hard earned money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor"; it hasn't worked.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 - they've had 44 years to get it right; they are both broke; and now our government dares to mention them as models for all US health care.

AMTRAK was established in 1970 - they've had 39 years to get it right; last year they bailed it out again, as it continues to run at a loss.

This year, a trillion dollars was committed in the massive political payoff called the Stimulus Bill of 2009; it shows NO sign of working; it's been used to increase the size of governments across America, and raise government salaries while the rest of us suffer from economic hardships. It has yet to create a single new private sector job. Our national debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400% in the last six months.

"Cash for Clunkers" was established in 2009 and went broke in 2009 - - after 80% of the cars purchased turned out to be produced by foreign companies, and dealers nationwide are buried under bureaucratic paperwork demanded by a government that is not yet paying them what was promised.

So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that each and every "service" shoved down our throats by an over-reaching government turns into disaster, how could any informed American trust our government to run or even set policies for America's health care system - - 17% of our economy?

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
-- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, August 7, 2009

Walking the dog...


I must relay something that happened to me the other day while walking Lucy with my wife Terri. Here’s what happens…

Terri and I were walking Lucy out in front of our housing area. There is a main street that has a lot of traffic passing by. Well, all of a sudden a Germantown Police Vehicle passes us and then proceeds up to the turn-around on the four lane avenue, then goes past us in the opposite direction and turns around and puts its lights on and stops about fifty feet in front of us on the street. The female police officer jumps out of her car and starts to approach us. Now, your thoughts are probably the same as mine at the time. What did I do to draw the attention of the police while out walking my dog?

It turns out that the police officer had just been talking to a friend of hers, about maybe finding a white boxer dog. Her friend has a fawn colored boxer and I guess the officer is in love with the dog. She said that she had never seen a white boxer before and would we mind if she took a picture with Lucy to send to her friend. We said yes to the picture and then talked with her for about twenty minutes about boxers and how the white boxer really isn’t that rare. Almost twenty percent of all boxers are considered to be white or check.

The officer was very interested in acquiring a white boxer and asked if we knew of anyone who may breed them. We told her our story of how we adopted Lucy and how you really aren’t suppose to breed for a white boxer. We also told her to check with a boxer adoption agency if she was truly interested in getting a white boxer. White boxers are the most put up for adoption of the breed. This is probably because a lot of the white boxers have some type of special need.

If you are considering a new dog, please consider a dog that needs a good home. Adoption is the purest method of acquiring a dog in my mind. Almost every dog that we have ever adopted has turned out to be a very special part of our family. Thanks!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Went to the dog park today...

Lucy and I went over to the dog park at Shelby Farms Park today. It was warmer today than it has been and the humidity was up just a bit. Shelby Farms Park has a specific dog park area where you are allowed to unleash your dog. There is a pond for the dogs to swim in and just stay cool. This is so much fun for Lucy!

I can't believe how socialized Lucy has become. Even with all that was going on by the lake she never lost her focus on what the trip was about. Sure she was there to play, but she was also there to get good solid exercise.

Once we set off away from the other dogs she was on voice command and the time I've put in with her has paid off. Even with the distraction of other dogs she payed attention to what I commanded. I think she knows that I am commanding her for her own safety and she responds.

One example of good solid behavior occurred while we were on the hiking trail when we ran into some other folks with three dogs. Lucy introduced herself and then we started off again and one of the other folk's dog decided she wanted to follow Lucy.

Well Lucy had headed up the trail from me about fifty or so yards and the other dog went running after her. The other dog's owner was calling and calling for his dog to come back with no response. To remedy the situation I went into my call position and called for Lucy to come to me. She returned instantly and held in place until the other dog owner was able to retrieve his dog, standing next to Lucy! To say the least I very proud of my Lucy! The other owner looked at Lucy and I and said thank you. I released Lucy and we proceeded down the trail.

What a great outing...

Friday, July 24, 2009

A pleasant evening...

What a pleasant evening in Memphis last night. We have been experiencing some really great weather here in Memphis over the last week or so. We’ve been experiencing mild weather with temp in the daytime around 85 degrees and cool evenings in the 70s. What’s really nice is the fact that the humidity has been relatively low for this part of the country.

What made last evening especially nice was the way that Lucy and I spent our evening. Lucy and I spent most of the evening setting outside on the balcony. There were very few lights on in the neighborhood and the music of the crickets was playing very genteelly in the background. We were caught in a moment together just sitting there! It was one of those moments that only an animal lover can appreciate. We must have been out there for a couple of hours but I can’t say for sure. I lost all track of time! A perfect evening with a great friend… the only thing that was missing was conversation, or was it?

I’ve come to love my adopted city and the many great things that Memphis and the surrounding area has to offer. Last night was just one more gift that this great place where I live, with my wife and Lucy, has to offer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Comes a time...

videoTo our family! Thank you for the memories and good times!

How to travel with your favorite critter…

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. How many times have you seen people driving down the road with a dog in the back of a pickup truck or perhaps hanging out the window of a car? I get really irate when I see this!
The proper way to travel with a dog is with it securely inside the vehicle. If you have ever witnessed a dog falling out of the back of a pickup truck, and I have, it is not a pretty site. The damage is incredible!

When travelling, Lucy has her own spot in the car. If she isn’t in a create, she is securely placed in her own space in the rear of my vehicle. I don’t allow here to hang out the window or roam about the car, period, end of discussion. Allowing a dog to hang out the vehicle is asking for trouble. The potential for injury from flying debris or falling out is enormous. It’s okay to open the window a bit to allow the dog to take in all the great smells in this world but it is not okay to allow them outside the safety of the vehicle.

I would even make a case for car restraints for your dog. There are some really great systems on the market for restraining you pet. To find one, all a person has to do is look! Try this out, type in “dog vehicle restraint “ in your Google search window, I’m sure you’ll find one that will work in your car with your animal. End of rant!

Monday, July 20, 2009

No more about my travels...

After thinking about it for a bit, I'm not going to write about my trip to Europe any more. It doesn't fit this blog's theme and I've been critiqued by my wife that I should stay on topic in this blog. So, here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to put together a few articles on travel and post them to my website under the topic of "Travel". If you would like to read about The Netherlands you'll be able to access that information over on my website in a couple of weeks. I'll be back on topic with this blog in a couple of days. Thanks for putting up with my rants about my trip. video

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My trip to Holland and Germay


The beginning…

The trip began with a nine hour flight on North-Worst Airlines. Toons and I met up at the airport with the appropriate amount of time to check in for the flight, exchange some money at the airport and stop in at one of the many pubs to be found at Memphis International Airport.

Our flight to Amsterdam was uneventful, although I barely fit in the seat that I was assigned back in coach. The hardest part of the trip was the flight. Nine hours on an airplane in an uncomfortable seat with only three hours of darkness total is hard to take. Flying out of Memphis to Amsterdam you lose seven hours travelling east in the summer. Jet lagged at landing to say the least.

Okay, so we arrive in The Netherlands with plenty of time to spare to catch the train to Maastricht where we are to join up with the rest of our business group and then travel to Brunssum where we are to stay for the week. Confused by the train schedule, I almost started an international incident when I asked an attendant if this was the train to Utricht, the place we were to change trains. The attendant informed me that this was not the train I wanted and then asked me what time my train was suppose to leave the station? I told her 12:00 noon and she looked at me angrily and informed that it was not 12:00PM yet and turned around and walked off. This clued me in real fast that you don’t ask questions as to the time a train is to run. The trains run on time in Holland and Germany!

So, the train showed up on time and we began our trip. We met our connection in Utricht and began our journey to Maastricht. The train made an intermediate stop during our trip to Maastricht. The conductor came on the interphone and made an announcement in Dutch and started to countdown. Then the train continued its journey with Toons and I on it. We were suppose to arrive in Maastricht at 14:32 and I had learned to follow my watch and look for the station signs. Guess what, we didn’t arrive in Maastrict, we ended up in Heerlein, which is about 30 kilometers from where we wanted to be. You see, when the conductor made his announcement and started counting, he was identifying that the train was splitting in half with one half going to Maastricht and the other going to Heerlein. Luckily for us there was another train that arrived five minutes after we got off in Heerlein that was bound for Maastricht. This added about an hour total to our time traveling on the train to Maastricht.

To make a long story short, study the train schedule when traveling in Europe and don’t trust that you understand anything that is going on around you…

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Just got back...

Well I just got back from Europe. My business trip was successful and our customer is happy with the new course-ware that we delivered. The next couple of posts will be about some of the things that I did while over in Europe and not working. I trust that no one will mind if I write about something other than Lucy. Although I must tell you, since I've been back she has not left my side for a moment when I'm at home. I guess she missed me? I keep telling Terri that Lucy is her dog and I'm Lucy's dog. The hierarchy of the pack is well established!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Business Trip


I'm on a business trip to The Nederlands and I managed to find some time to go see some of the sites in Germany. Wouldn't you know it; anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

I awoke around 5:30am Saturday excited about the events of the day. I had planned for this event very carefully. I showed up about an hour early for breakfast at the hotel that I'm staying at. I am in The Nederlands with some folks that I work with. And two of us have to drop two other at the train station to go to the airport in Amsterdam. We meet them in the dining room and proceeded to the car to go to the Euro Rail. Yes, you guessed it; one of them left a bag in the breakfast area with their passport inside and their entire ID. Luckily this is a fairly safe and honest place; it was exactly where they left it.

A trip anywhere is an adventure here, especially if you don't speak Dutch. But following the GPS' instruction in the car gets you where you want to go eventually. You do follow the great circle route however!

After dropping our coworkers off Bob Hartoon and I set out for Koln, Germany. Following the route on the GPS once again we made it to our route A4, which is part of the autobahn, arriving about 10AM. Well as soon as we arrived I was excited about shooting some photos of the Cathedral of Koln. This is a church that dates back to the 4th century. Anyway, I got out my D-40 and wouldn't you know it, the battery is dead. It was fully charged the night before but I had left it on over night after downloading some pictures to my laptop computer. Ok I think, I'll just use my cell phone camera and there is no need to get upset. You guessed it again; my cell phone is dead as a brick. Apparently I had left it on as well. So, with no charger to charge my camera or my phone I was stuck using the old portable Kodak disposable with 5 shots left. We took a total of 3 pictures.

After travelling all that way to get only 3 pictures of a structure that I think I could spend a week shooting and not get everything I wanted was a total tragedy! Needless to say I went shopping in Koln and found two different types of chargers. One for my phone in the car with and then one that I can use universally to charge just about any lithium battery made! Moral of the story, don't leave home without you battery charger, it'll set you back about 40 Euros to fix the problem...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Inside every Boxer beats the heart of a clown...

Lucy went to the park today. She ran like she's never run before. Hopping and skipping through the grass with the greatest of ease. Although we were there for less than a half an hour I can honestly say she had a great time.

Boxers in general require a great deal of physical activity to be healthy and happy. They are great athletes and require a good deal physical training. You can train a boxer to do just about anything if you can break through the inner clown that is in every Boxer. This requires patients.

Boxers have the ability to be a guard dog, herder,hunter, the best of family pets and even a retriever if necessary. They are incredibly intelligent dogs. All a person has to do is introduce the activity to the dog in a positive manner and praise them when they get it right. Once they understand that it pleases you to see them do the activity, they'll gladly perform for you over and over again. This is part of their Psyche, they want to make you happy! This is probably true for most dogs, but especially true for the Boxer!

The one thing you must do to get your Boxer to perform for you is have patients and provide them with the training they need to be successful. Training will require time on your part however! If you have a dog that just doesn't seem to be catching on, you will have to do one of two things, either spend more time on training or find someone well versed in the type of activity you are looking for and have them train the dog.

One thing I will caution you on is the trainer. Make sure you examine the training methods used by the trainer. You want to find someone who trains through positive reinforcement versus someone who uses more stern methods. People to ask about training will include your Vet or maybe the folks at a quality boarding house such as Pet Smart or Pet Co. They usually have the inside track on quality trainers...

Yes Lucy is a big clown but I like to consider her a big well trained clown that loves people and wants to please all.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cruelty to Animals

My daughter Whitney, who lives down in Abilene, TX sent me an article to read about a person who was being charged with cruelty to animals. It seems that the person in question abandoned her two dogs and the house she was living in. The two dogs in question were locked in the home for almost two months with limited food and water.

The two dogs were finally rescued when the home was to be inspected by the company trying to sell the abandoned home. Both dogs were on the verge of starvation. It seems that they had been living off of whatever they could find in the home and their own fecees. Now this is cruelty at its hight!

In these days of homes for unwanted animals and shelters, why would anyone just lock an animal in a house and walk away? What kind of reasoning goes on in the mind of an individual that would do something like this? It would almost be kinder just to take the critter out and shoot it? Of course I'm not advocating shootting a dog that you don't want but I think you get my meaning. There are a lot of options for caring for an animal that you don't want or can't afford to take care of!!!

In my way of thinking, I trust that the individual responsible for this has the book thrown at her! There is just no excuse for this type thing happening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ear Infections


Wow, has it been a whole week sense I've written in this blog. Well I've been busy to say the least! The spousal unit had surgery,work is piling up, and Lucy has an ear infection. How's that for a start?

Today's topic is ear infections and Boxers. Lucy is on her second ear infection in the last 3 months. I found out recently that Boxers are very prone to yeast infections in their ears, especially "White Boxers" with their light colored skin (pink to be exact).

The spousal unit, my wife Terri, was discussing this topic with my daughter who happens to be an ex-Vet Tech about the recurrence of the ear infections. What we found out was White Boxers, who usually have some type of difficulty with either their earring or their eye site, are very susceptible to yeast infections in their ears. Most Vets recommend that you wash their ears out every other week or so to prevent infections. This was a total surprise to me! After years of dog ownership, mostly Golden Retrievers, I felt totally stupid!!! I had no idea, and the Vet never told me that I needed to clean my dogs ears that frequently.

There is a solution that that you can buy from your dog's Vet that will totally prevent the occurrence of ear yeast infection. If I had only known that I needed to perform this action on a frequently recurring basis, I would have fulfilled my obligation! Now I'm having to treat her problem, which occurs mostly in the right ear with "Remicin Ointment". "Remicin" can only be obtained from a Vet. It contains gentamicin sulfate which is a sulfa drug. It's amazing how it keeps Lucy from scratching at her ears and it works really fast. The next step is to take her back into the Vet for a proper ear cleaning.

So what's the story here, I'm not sure? All I know now is my favorite critter in the whole world needs to have her ears cleaned every other week! A lesson learned and one that I would like to pass on to other fans of the Boxer Dog, especially the White Boxer. Best of luck to you with your favorite critter...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What a crazy couple of weeks…

What do you do with a dog that is highly active and someone gets ill in the family? Well here’s our story on the topic.

About 10 days ago Terri, my wife, gives me a call and asks me to meet her up at the emergency room at the hospital. She was having some pain in her right side and thought it might be an appendicitis problem? Well it turns out that the problem is something else but it will require surgery to correct.

It took a few days to get the surgery scheduled, so Terri sat me down and worked out a schedule where I could be supportive to her and also take care of our critter Lucy. Terri and I are kind of on an island, dependent upon one another due to the fact that our family is spread out all over the United States and no one but “us” in Memphis. The schedule was arranged to allow me to support her needs as well as Lucy’s schedule of events.

We began our morning of the surgery by getting up early in order to take care of Lucy. She and I even made our morning walk together while Terri put the last minute items together to go to the hospital. Our show time at the hospital was scheduled for 10:30AM with the actual surgery to take place at 12:00PM. The operation actually took about 45 minutes with the recovery room time of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once Terri came into the room that she would be spending the night, I ensured that she was ok and comfortable then she directed me to go home and take care of Lucy. Lucy met me at the back door with gratitude. She was bit behind in her daily schedule and needed some outdoor time and a treat. Which I accommodated! Then we spent a little time together and I was back off to the hospital to take care of Terri again.

Upon my arrival back at the hospital I found Terri to be ok but heavily sedated with pain medication. I was going to spend the night at the hospital with her but she insisted that go home and take care of things there and let her get some rest. Besides she said, “What are you going to do here, watch me sleep”? So I spent about 3hours with her and then I went back home and did the rest of the items she had scheduled for me to do and spent some time with Lucy.

Ok, so what’s the moral of the story Bob? I guess it goes something like this! Responsibility can be met with the proper schedule. Lucy is part of our family and our responsibility, if I had not been able to perform the tasks required to meet all the needs of our family (Lucy included), I would have to have come up with a different plan, one that would have required us to board Lucy in order for her to get the care and attention that she needs. Bottom line, take care of your responsibilities…

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why would someone get a dog that they don't really want?

I was reading an interesting article the other day in a Charles Schwab newsletter and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The article was stating that "35% of all investors said that emotions influenced their investment decisions. But recent brain scanning reveals that emotions are actively triggered in decisions involving risk and reward, indicating a lack of self-awareness that may prevent investors from reaching their investment goals." My ah-ha moment came to me when I was up on the local adopt a pet site and saw so many homeless animals. People are buying dogs and cats based on emotion without thinking the process through!

Here's how it works- The human brain can be broken down into two parts when it comes to acquiring new things or taking a risk such as a new puppy or kitten. The two parts of the psyche are referred to as the "Reflexive" and "Reflective" brains. Our inner brain (Reflexive) reacts instinctively and emotionally while our outer brain (Reflective) manages our reasoning and our ability to comprehend what we are truly doing. Have you ever gotten scared and reacted to some stimulus? If you did, what happened was emotional and reactive I'm sure. This is your survival mode (Reflexive brain) which is also the part of the brain that addictive behaviors are stored. We achieve great gratification by satisfying the Reflexive brain.

I believe this is why people get animals that they really don't want or need. They get caught up in the emotion of the moment and don't take the time to reflect on what dog or cat ownership is really about or requires. I'd like to take a survey on how many folks have acquired an animal that they ended up cutting loose or turning over to a shelter because they didn't think through the process.

I guess the bottom line of this post is, if you are thinking about getting a new animal, you should really think through the process. Is this animal going to be an inside or outside critter? Who is going to be the primary care giver to the animal? What are the costs associated with owning this animal? Is this animal going to be an integral part of your family or is someone else going to manage it for you? If you don't think through the process before you get your new pet, I'll bet that there will be another homeless animal awaiting adoption in your area.

Please, think before you buy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Some Reflection Time...

It's another rainy day in Memphis! Most of Tennessee is under about a foot of water today. It always rains here in Memphis during the "Memphis in May Festival." That's why a lot of the locals refer to it as the "Memphis in Mud Festival." For those of you who are not familiar with this event, it is a week long music fest that is put on once a year here in Memphis. A lot of great stuff goes on in the downtown area including many concerts from great acts from all over the globe and some of the best barbecue in world is cooked. But this is not what I wanted to write about today.

Last weekend was beautiful weather! The temp got into the 80's and Terri and I decided to take the Mini to the "British Car" gathering up on the north side of town in Millington area. We didn't take Lucy on the trip because we had just cleaned the Mini up for the show. But I wish we had.

At the show we viewed many great old British sports cars. A couple were models that Terri and I had once owned. My favorite two cars in the entire world were there- the 72' Triumph TR-6 and a 68' MGB. I've owned models of both of these cars in my youth. What a great day it was to see these cars again! Anyway, this is not what I wanted to write about either.

What I want to write about is something that I observed at the car show. I saw people there enjoying their day out in the sunshine. They brought their kids and some brought their dogs. One dog in particular made an impression on me. He was a "Bernese Mountain Dog" (I hope I spelled that right?), a cancer survivor and an adopted pet. His mate was also there, also of the same breed and also adopted.

What impressed me about the male,we'll call him "Sam", was that Sam had a leg amputated due to cancer! Now this is one big dog, and to be running around like he was, was most impressive! The missing leg did not slow him down one bit! He was happy and very approachable. Both he and his mate were two of the best behaved dogs I have seen in a long time. Great pets, that had been adopted and are happy and well.

Two cute boxer puppies were also at the show. Sam and his mate greeted them like they were long lost family members. Sam was so gentle with the young dogs. I couldn't help but be please with the nurturing behavior that I observed.

To wrap this up, I would just like to put in a plug for adoption of pets. Even though some animals may appear to have a handicap, with love and patience on your part they can live happy and healthy and provide you with the companionship that only a survivor like Sam can offer. It was truly a great experience for both Terri and I to meet this brave dog and his wonderful owner...

If you are thinking about a new pet, check out the adoption centers in your area. There many more great examples of wonderful dogs to be found.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Combination Approach To Feeding Your Boxer!


Most commercial foods will offer your Boxer great sources of protein and vitamins, although fresh food contains far more essential sources. Chicken and meat for instance, have far more protein and minerals than any type of commercial dog food. Fish is anotsher great choice, as it contains a lot of the protein your dog needs to maintain a healthy body and brain.

Although you can get commercial food for your Boxer, the ideal way to feed is to use a combination approach of both commercial food and fresh people foods. Most commercial food is good for your Boxer, although it lacks nutrients and vitamins that fresh food has. Vets will tell you that fresh food is good, providing you don’t overdo it. Boxers love fresh food as well, as tshey can smell it a mile away. If it smells good to them - they’ll want it!

All dogs are well within the capacity of staying healthy, although you need to provide them with the minerals they need. Each dog is an individual, meaning that you can’t continue to feed her the same food on a daily basis. Boxers love people food, and they also love variety. What they need one day may vary tshe next, so you should always mix it up a bit and give them something different each day.

To be on the safe side, you should give your Boxer a little bit of everything. This way, she will get everything she needs with her diet. When you design the diet for your growing Boxer, you should always make sure to include animal protein. This is very important for your Boxer, as she has to have it. Without animal protein, your dog will find herself literally struggling to stay healthy.

To keep your Boxer healthy, it is very important that she gets quality nutrition. Although quality nutrition is very important, you should never let her eat so much that she gains weight too fast. If you monitor her diet and know exactly what you are feeding her, she should remain in her weight class. Sometimes this can be hard to help though, especially if your Boxer starts to develop allergies to a certain type of food.

If you ever have any questions regarding the diet of your Boxer, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your vet. Your vet could make some recommendations for you, even tell you the best type of commercial food for your dog. Depending on her individual needs, what she requires may be totally different than what another dog needs. As long as you keep your dog on a healthy diet and make sure she gets the food she needs - she should grow to be a healthy dog with plenty of energy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Socializing Your Boxer!


Let's start from the begining with your Boxer. Socializing your Boxer is very important and it should be started at a very young age. As you may already know, all dog breeds behave different in front of strangers, with some dogs choosing to ignore people altogether. They may choose to glance at someone, then go on to pay no attention to him. On the other hand, some dogs are the total opposite and love to meet everyone they can. These types of dogs love attention, and will take any attention they can get.

Some Boxers are happy with those they have come to know in their own family, or those they have selected to be friends. Others on the other hand, may feel comfortable just around those of the same sex. Most Boxers like children, although there are a few rare cases in which certain types of Boxers like adults but not children. This is extremely rare, and is normally due to the way they were bred or raised.

When your puppy is between the ages of 8 weeks and 8 months, socializing him is extremely important. During this time, you should always do everything you can to ensure that your Boxer meets other people. Although he may be shy at first and not have much interaction, he will eventually come around. You will need to be patient with him during these times, as he will need quite a bit of reassurance from you.

Your dog’s parents also contribute to socialization. If the parents of your Boxer were good with people and other dogs, the gene could very well be passed on to your dog. On the other hand, if the parents were shy or aggressive dogs, those genes could be passed on as well. Pups inherit the traits of their parents ,which is why it is very important to make sure that the dogs being bred are compatible with each other - and share a passive temperament.

If your puppy was separated from his mother before he reached the age of seven weeks, he won’t learn many of the social signals taught to him by his mom and his siblings. Boxer pups that are brought to a new home earlier than seven weeks will normally tend to end up somewhat aggressive around people. Although they may be aggressive towards people, they may be shy or fearful around other dogs, as they lack the social skills needed to be themselves. Or you could have a reversal where the Boxer is shy or fearful around people and aggressive toward other dogs.

Sometimes, if a puppy was injured or frightened during his early years, he can end up with a state of trauma. This type of thing leaves a huge scar in the mind of a puppy, making it very hard for him to get past it. Most Boxer pups that have been injured or frightened by an individual never get past it. They may end up fearing humans in general, or being very aggressive towards them when they feel frightened. When you take your puppy home for the first time, you should always make him feel welcomed, and never let anyone or anything harm him.

To better socialize your Boxer, you should always make sure that he gets plenty of interaction with other people and other dogs in his breed. This way, your Boxer will learn how to socialize at any early age. When he gets older in life, he will carry these skills with him. Boxers that are sheltered or not given the proper amount of interaction will turn out shy towards people and other dogs. With your Boxer being your companion for life - you should always ensure that he gets the socialization he needs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A great image!

I found this picture on the Internet and had to share it with all those who live with a white boxer. This picture so typifies our white boxer Lucy! I'm interested in acquiring pictures of other dogs to post on this blog or links to other photos. If you have some great shots of dogs doing crazy or cute things, please pass them to me and I'll post them or link to them.
thanks, :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A thought on basic command training for your Boxer!


My friends over at "Dogs Deserve Freedom (their address is in the Links section of this blog)", brought up a training issues that I thought I would address on this site. "Yelling at your dog is not very good for many corrections."

In my day job I sometimes teach a Communication Course. One of the stats that we through out there is that words have the least amount of meaning in any conversation due to the filter involved in the Communication Loop! The stats break down something like this:

Words = 7% of meaning
Tone = 35% of meaning
Body Language = 58% of meaning

Guess what, your dog actually understands about 6-10 words total and I'm talking about a truly intelligent dog here! This is a big filter to get through. You may as well be speaking French to your dog! What they do understand is tone, body language, and association of meaning. They reach this association of meaning through training, repetition, and socialization.

So, yelling at your dog to get him to sit, hold, come to you, or whatever you are trying to achieve is the least effective method of training your dog! What follows are some tips for training that I've found to be very effective in dealing with our Boxer- Lucy.

When we were training Lucy we found that if we used the formula of:

Name it!
Praise it!
Click it!
Feed it!

You need to start off by buying yourself a clicker, some dog treats, a leash, and some time. Don't expect your dog to get it right the first couple of times you do this training. Association of meaning may take longer for some dogs. Pavlov didn't get his dogs to salivate on the first attempt either!

For the sit command, start off with a treat in your hand raise it above your dog's head. This will induce him to look up and bring his rear end down, sometimes in the position that you want him in. Once he achieves the sitting position, click your clicker and give him the treat. Every time you have a positive behavior that you are trying to teach, click the clicker and reinforce with something the dog likes such as a treat, a favorite toy, or praise. Lucy likes treats so we use treats. Yelling won't be necessary if association and reinforcement methods of training are used.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What makes a good dog owner?


I've been doing a lot of reading and reflecting on this subject lately and here's what I've found!

To be a good owner? First of all, you can't own a dog! You can be a member of their pack and they can be a member of your family, but you just can't own a dog. You own things not dogs! So let's change the subject to- How do you become the good alpha member of your dog's pack and they a trusted member of your family? It works both ways.

First of all, you must be willing to put in the time to train them on how to behave. This means providing them with the tools to be good family members. You must supply them with the basics first- A clean, dry and inviting environment that they can call their own. Just like with a child, you need to do a bit of dog proofing around the house as well as setting the boundaries of good behavior. You must supply them with exercise time and toys that are theirs. And most of all you must be consistent in what you do with them and for them.

Yesterday I wrote about Lucy's routine. Dogs love a routine! They like to be able to predict what the next event of the day is going to be. Lucy's routine is on a schedule and she let's us know when that schedule is out of whack! Her behavior will tell us every time that we've messed up her schedule. A typical event that would indicate a problem is when she gets on the counter in the kitchen or perhaps has an accident in the house. These types of behaviors indicate to us that we've obviously messed up her routine. Yes, I'm saying that it's not necessarily the dog's problem, maybe the alpha person has done something to throw the dogs behavior out of whack!

Hey, the phone just rang and I have to run! I'll continue this thread tomorrow when I have more time. Let me know what you think of the ideas presented. Later!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stay on Schedule...


Wow, I didn't realize the schedule that Lucy keeps! It's been unchanged ever since Lucy came to live with us! Our day begin at 6:30am when Lucy jumps into bed with us. Imagine 65 lbs. of dog jumping into bed with you every morning! She always manages to push me out of bed to get to the most comfortable and warm spot she can find. She sleeps for the 30 minutes it takes us to get ready for work.

At 7:30, she's ready for her morning walk. If I'm not ready, she sits there and woo-woos at me until I am! Every morning when I open the garage door she's looking for the neighborhood squirrels to "mock" chase. Yes, she's on a leash! I go flying out of the garage to the park area behind our house in the tow of "Lucy the eager boxer/hunter."

By 7:45 we are back into the house. Actually I drop her off the leash and she runs to the back door of the house. She knows that Terri has her breakfast already in her bowl and she's excited to get to it!

In order to accommodate Lucy's needs, I leave from work to go to lunch around 11am. When she was a pup I'd go home mid-morning and then again at noon. But now that she's more mature, she can handle things until about 11:15am when I get home to walk her. During the lunch walk we repeat the morning adventure of hunting the local critters and do our business. We then spend some quality time together at lunch playing, training and eating.

The afternoon break is no longer necessary but when she was a pup, Terri or I would break out of the office to go let her out for a potty break. But now the schedule is to wait for me to get home around 5:15pm. This is when we spend more time outside exploring the neighborhood and taking longer walks. One thing I can say about Lucy is she never tires of taking walks... most boxers don't!

Terri and I keep different schedules. She gets home later than I do, therefore we have that event to look forward to. Lucy knows when she should be home and her behavior reflects the fact that when either of us aren't on schedule she let's us know about it. Anyway, Lucy greets Terri with the classic boxer dance when she gets home and then strategically places herself between Terri and I. Yes, she likes to rule the pack...she's an alpha, which means I have to be an alpha+!

Lucy's next big event is after dinner when we go out one more time for our evening walk. This is the walk where she has to ensure everything is secure for the evening and a last chance to check for the squirrels again! This usually happen around 9pm in the evening.

Now you may be asking yourself right about now, why is this guy writing about a schedule for his dog? Because, in order to have a dog as a member of your family you have to make a commitment to do the right things. Raising a well socialize and behaved dog requires a lot of dedication on the owner's behalf. It's a commitment to the care of another one of God's creatures. What you sign up for when you have a dog is much like what you sign up for when you decide to raise children. It requires you to be caregiver and schedule keeper. I'll talk more about this in my next post.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Memphis Tigers

If you've been following the news on sports at all lately, you'll know that all good things come to an end. The University of Memphis has lost their head basketball coach to the University of Kentucy. I guess they just had to much money for him to say no too! Well the entire basketball program is up in the air at the moment. The grade "A" recrutes that were coming to Memphis are now headed elsewhere. As a matter of a fact, we no longer even have a basketball coaching staff at U of Memphis. Hard times are here again! The bright spotlight on Memphis has extinguished itself, maybe to never relight again. We'll just have to wait and see! A short tradition of great basketball in the City of Memphis has come and gone... This is a mystery wrapped in an enigma!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Congrats to the Memphis Tigers

Anyone who follows college basketball has heard of the University of Memphis. I just wanted to note how proud the City of Memphis is of their local university. For a city that takes a lot of bad press at times, it is good to see a positive light shown on the city. Yes, the Tigers lost in the round of the Sweet 16 last evening but they had a fantastic year and the town is proud of their University of Memphis Tigers! Memphis is truly one of the great cities of the south! Birthplace of Rock and Roll, Home to the Blues, and the mighty Memphis Tigers!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What a great day!



If you have been following this block at all, you know that we just recently moved into a new house. Not a new house but a new house to us in a different area of Memphis. Well I've got to tell you, the area is great! We now live in Germantown which is a suburb of Memphis but still part of the Metro area. The reason I'm actually writing is to tell you about the hike that Lucy and I went on today! The wife had to work and I had "spring fever" as well as Lucy needing some exercise.

Lucy and I headed out on a walk of the neighborhood and came across a really great find. You see, about 2 blocks from our house is an area called "Forrest River Trail" just off of Wolf River Road here in Germantown. The trail is a nature trail in the middle of a Metropolis. The trail follows the Wolf River, which flows into the Mississippi River. The Mississippi is about 20 miles west of us here in Germantown.

What made the day so incredible is the fact that we have a nice wilderness area to play in two blocks from the house. Lucy actually got to get off the leash and played like the Boxer she is...she had a great time and so did I!

It's been wet in Memphis this week and the park service took the time to build a couple of really nice foot bridges on the trail that has become very muddy and hard to get through. Lucy couldn't resist the temptation to play in the mud. As a matter of fact "Lucy the White Boxer" became Lucy the "Very Muddy Black Boxer!" I wish I had thought to bring along the camera today, there were some things worth shooting... Maybe next time. I've included some shots of Lucy in the field from some other trips that we have taken together.

To sum this up, if you ever find yourself in Memphis and you just need a walk, look up the local area hiking trails, especially in east Memphis and Germantown. I'm sure that you won't be disappointed. I found out that there are some other trails near by and I'll write up a review as I tour them with Lucy and the wife!

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Digital Camara


As many of you have probably guessed, I love to take pictures, and my favorite characters are my pet Lucy and my family. In the old days I use to shoot a lot of film in my old Nikon F1 SLR. I mostly shot black and white film and then would have it converted to digital media in order to send the pictures to friends and family or post them to a blog or website. Well over the past year I decided to bite the bullet and buy a digital SLR. This saves me time and money on developing film and gas for the Mini.

When I first started researching digital SLRs I was stunned at the variety of camera's on the market. And believe me,today, there are varieties of digital cameras to choose from! Whether you shop either at the department store or online stores, you will see lots of them. I caution you, different digital cameras offer different features and capabilities. This is the reason why choosing one is getting more and more difficult. Once you see what each have to offer, you will obviously have a hard time deciding which one to buy. This happened to me!

One of the usual mistakes that people commit when buying their own digital SLR camera is to be enticed by what the advertising mediums have to say about them. By the time they own that camera, they will realize that they are not as good as they first thought. At this point it is too late to return it and opt for another kind.

Keep in mind that getting a digital SLR camera should take a lot of consideration. Just like buying a car, you have to consider all aspects since this is one thing that you want to work well and would want to have for a long time.

Below are some of the things that will aid you in your decision making process before buying a digital photography camera of any kind?

1. The cost.

Ok, so you want the latest Canon digital camera out in the market (I prefer Nikon, but it's your choice). But are you ready to shed the needed amount of money for it?

Cost is a big factor when buying a digital SLR camera. It is obvious that the best camera comes with a price. And your budget may not exactly encompass its high cost. The entry level Canon Rebel Digital SLR will set you back somewhere around $600+.

This is not saying that cheap ones are not as good. There are those that you can get for a reasonable price and still works just as well as an expensive one. You need to shop around for the best deal first before you decide on one. Better yet, maybe you can save up on that expensive camera that you wanted all along. This also gives you the opportunity to research the software features the various digital cameras offer. The software package can make a lot of difference in you satisfaction with the camera.

2. The purpose.

Will you be using the camera to shot your family members? Or are you planning to shoot some good photos worthy of a professional?

By knowing what use your digital camera will have, it will be easier to determine the type of digital camera to buy. If you buy a simple one that can be used at home, you will not get the capabilities that you need if you plan on taking really good photographic pictures. On the other hand, it would be a waste of your money if you have the latest digital camera only to be used for personal photos at home.

3. The durability.

Since digital cameras are more expensive than the conventional film cameras, you definitely would want something that will stay durable for a long time. You want something that will last even through rough handling and seasons. (My old Nikon F1 has been in my family for over 25 years. I hope my new digital SLR lasts that long?)

If you happen to purchase a typical digital camera you may want to buy some accessories to protect it from scratches and damage. It is best however to get one that is known to have a good quality and durability. Nikon and Canon are both known as rock solid cameras. But they are two very different SLRs. My Nikon has the auto-focus feature in the lens where the Canons are body driven focused camera. The one draw back to having a body focused camera is when the auto-focus fails, you either have to have the whole camera fixed or repaired as opposed to just replacing the AF lens on the Nikon.

Get the best value out of the money that you will pay for a digital photography camera. Think hard about these important factors first so you will get it right the first time.

Ok, now it's time to tell you which camera I bought and why? I ended up buying the Nikon D-40 complete kit. The reasons are simple, my last Nikon has lasted me most of my adult life. The Nikon D-40 met my budget and has a superior camera body along with a super software package. It also handles much like my old Nikon and I can shoot the camera with all of my old lenses I have bought over the year, in manual mode on the camera of course! I also did a lot of research on the camera. The only negative about the Nikon compared the Canon is the pixels count. The Nikon only has 6.1 mega pixels compared to the Canons 10.0. But I'm not shooting professionally and I trust Nikon! The Nikon, in my opinion has a better software package and comes with everything you need to integrate with you computer. Any questions?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tips For Training Your Boxer


Although there are many training tips for Boxers, chewing is the most common. Boxer puppies love to chew, and will chew anything they can get (Lucy chewed the bottom cushion of two very expensive wing-backed chairs as a pup-ripped them to shreds as a matter of fact!). Although chew toys are preferred, there is a way that you can help your Boxer fulfill her natural instinct to chew, and help her to ease the pain of teething as well. This is what we did to help out with Lucy's problem...

To start, simply fill an old sock you have with several ice cubes. Next, put a knot in the sock and place the sock with the cubes in the freezer. When your puppy starts to chew on things, simply give her the sock. You can keep several socks with ice in it in your freezer if you want, so your puppy will always have a chew toy. Although this is great to use, you should never leave your dog alone with the sock. She could end up chewing the sock and swallowing pieces of it, which could lead to very serious health problems.

Leashes
During leash training, a lot of people prefer to attach the leash to the Boxer then drag him in the direction they want him to go. This isn’t the best way to train, as it often sends the wrong signal to the puppy. Instead, you should first get your Boxer puppy used to the collar and the leash. You can do this by putting his collar and leash on inside the house or outside in a fenced in area, so that she can walk around and move about freely with the leash on, dragging it alongside her. I actually prefer a harness to a collar, but use what you have available.

Once you have given her some time, pick the leash up, then start calling her to you. Once she comes over to you, start praising her for it, so she knows that she is on the right track. Always be patient when leash training, as it will take some time for her to get used to it. If you continue to praise her when he is doing it right and continue giving her time to get used to the leash, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Digging around
Digging is something that Boxers love, as it is essential to their nature. Digging can be somewhat frustrating if you don’t give your Boxer an area to herself, as she will dig holes in your yard. If you keep your Boxer indoors, she may try to dig in the floor, on the couch, or on the bed. Digging is part of their nature, and you should never punish a Boxer for digging. I think this was also part of Lucy's ordeal with the wing-back chairs!

To help her fill this need, you should give her an area to dig in. You can get her a kiddie pool or sandbox, filling it with either soil or sand. Then, try burying a treat or toy in inside, so your Boxer will dig to get it out. Once she learns this is where she should dig, she will more than likely head to that area when she has the need to dig. Later on, when she becomes a bit older, you should invest in obedience training classes that will help her to get her digging habits under control.

The above tips can help a great deal when training your Boxer puppy. Boxer’s are great dogs, although you’ll need to have a bit of patience with them. I'd actually say that Boxer's require an Alpha type owner. Even though they are very smart dogs, it may take them time to learn. Once they start learning however - they will become an integral part of your family that you couldn’t begin to live without. I just don't know what we would do without our Lucy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eye and Heart Disease


Eye disease is very common with Boxers. Most Boxer’s will generally have hereditary cataracts, which is a common eye problem. At an early age, with affected Boxer’s, one type of hereditary cataract will appear. Even though it may not cause interference with the vision of the Boxer, some dogs will progress into total and quite possibly severe loss of vision. White Boxers are especially sensitive to eye and ear deceases. It is said that approximately 18% of all White Boxers are born deaf or have some type of eye problems.

Sometimes, Boxers can get affected by non hereditary cataracts, although an examination by a board certified veterinarian can determine just how bad the cataracts really are. If cataracts are indeed suspected with a Boxer, then breeding won’t be recommended. Breeding a Boxer who has this condition can lead to serious problems, such as passing it on to the pups. Under no circumstance should you breed two White Boxers. It is probably best that you have any White Boxer spayed or neutered as a pup.

The White or Check Boxer breeds have been known to carry genes for CPRA (Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy), which affects the retina, and can result in permanent blindness for Boxer’s at a young age. There are other types of eye defects as well, such as retinal dysplasia, which prevents a Boxer from breeding.

Trouble with both the eyelid and eyelashes are also a possibility with Boxers, with some being the result of hereditary factors. The eyelids rotating in or out or the eyelashes rubbing on or in the eye are both common problems with the breed. Even though surgery can help to fix these types of problems, dogs that are experiencing this type of problem shouldn’t be allowed to breed nor compete in shows under any type of AKC rules.

You should always have your Boxer checked annually for eye disease, as it can develop during any age. When you take your Boxer to have her examined for eye disease, you should have a veterinary ophthalmologist do the exam. He has all of the necessary equipment, and the proper training needed to make sure that your dog gets the best examination possible.

Heart disease
SAS (Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis) is the most common and widespread form of heart disease within the entire Boxer species. Before you breed your Boxer, you should always have him examined for heart disease by a certified veterinary cardiologist. If the cardiologist detects a heart murmur, he will recommend additional tests for your dog.

In the event that the results prove negative, it doesn’t necessarily rule heart disease out, as some milder forms may still be present, although undetectable. If a Boxer is diagnosed to have any type of heart disease, he should not breed. Breeding Boxers who have heart disease can lead to serious and sometimes fatal results. To be on the safe side, you should always have your Boxer tested for heart disease before you plan on breeding.

Another safe guard for all dogs, not just Boxers, is to maintain regular checkups with the vet and have your dog examined and treated for heartworm. This is a totally preventable condition with regular treatment of heartworm medication. Don’t let your best friend fall victim to this preventable condition!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just had to show off this picture...



Hey everyone, I know this blog is about Lucy, our boxer dog but I just had to show off a picture of one of Lucy's best friends. Our grand daughter Sophie just got a new bow and she thinks it's real cool! Here are a couple pictures of her discovering how cool it is to be a little girl...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crazy times...


Wow, what busy times these are for us! It looks like Lucy will be getting a new doghouse. Yes, we are moving and we are getting close to our move date. Once we get settled into our new place, I'll get busy updating this blog on our new adventures. We are looking forward to this move for several reasons but I won't bore anyone with the details. Just note the lack of postings is largely due to our pending move. Happy blogging to all!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Consider Adopting An Older Boxer!


Those of you who want a Boxer but aren’t ready to go through the trials and tribulations of a puppy, should look into adopting an older Boxer. Older Boxers are mature, and prove to be great in homes where they need to spend a quality amount of time by themselves. They are a very adjustable breed, being good tempered. No matter how old the Boxer may be, he will quickly become a valued member of your family in little to no time at all.

Many times, breeders will have older dogs for sale. There are several reasons for this, which include show dogs that have lost their potential, studs that have been used for breeding, female Boxer’s that have been bred a few times then retired, or other types of special conditions where a breeder is helping a friend get rid of his Boxer. There are other reasons as well, although whatever they may be - the adult Boxer will be available for anyone who wants him.

Most older Boxers are already housebroken, and known a lot of behavior patterns and how to adapt to a new and loving family. Although it will be a little hard on your new dog at first, if you give him plenty of love, attention, and patience, he’ll be just fine. You need to keep reassuring your new Boxer on a regular basis, and let him know that you are his new owner and that you love him and you are glad he’s a member of your family.

If you have been thinking of adopting an older Boxer, you should make sure that you learn everything you can about him. You should also determine his temperament, and whether or not it’s compatible with your family. You should also learn important things as well, such as his diet, likes, dislikes, daily routine, and his habits. Before you decide to take him, you should always make sure that the members of your family meet him as well, so you can talk it over and decide whether or not everyone wants the dog to be a member of your family.

With an older dog, you need to take care of him for the first days, and let him know where everything in your home is. You’ll need to show him where he sleeps, where he should use the bathroom, and where his food is. Take your time and be patient with him, as it will normally take him a few days to learn how things in your home work.

You should always give your new Boxer at least a month or so to get used to his new environment, before you start his new obedience training. Even though your new dog may have some prior obedience training, you should still enroll him in a new class. This way, he can brush up on training and you can work with him to help him understand. Once you have finished training, he’ll understand your commands better and you and him will get along just fine.

All Boxers, regardless of their age, love attention. Older Boxer’s on the other hand, may have medical problems that you aren’t aware of. You shouldn’t let this stop you from getting one though, simply because the rewards that you’ll find are far greater than any cons that may come to mind. Although many people don’t give a lot of thought to getting an older Boxer- they are perfect for families who don’t want to put up the time and troubles of raising a puppy.