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!

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.

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!