December 28, 2009

Our First Camping Rachel

Last weekend we did something really different...Mom packed us up in the van with Momma and some of the big dogs and we went on a car ride. Now, last time we went on a car ride, it was just Mercedes and I and we went to somewhere Mom calls work....but it was fun!

This time when we stopped we got out of the van and into our room but it was in a weird place! Momma showed us how to dig in the dirt when she could move the pen without Mom catching her. Digging is FUN! Momma said there were goats and chickens too, but Mom didn't let us go play with them...maybe when we're bigger. Momma tried to bring some of the goats over to us, but Mom made her stop. I wonder if we're always going to have to listen to Mom when she bosses us?

When the sun was shining, we got to play in our room...but when it got cold, Mom put us in the van with Momma so we could keep warm. I think we kept her moving us back and forth from our room in the van to our room outside all weekend! And this mat thing? I guess we're not supposed to chew on it....but it was right there! What's a puppy to do?

That's me, Rachel. I tried this "please take me out of here" eyes on Mom, but she didn't fall for it once. I'm going to have to work on the look....I must be missing something. I'm going to keep working on it. I mean, really, how can you resist this look?

Kurt thought he could eat his way out of the room we were in. He's always trying to eat something...he's such a piglet.

Quinn found something called a Bully Stick that she chewed on when Momma stopped chewing on it. She said we'll like it better when we have bigger teeth....we're going to get bigger teeth? That's awesome!!! Imagine the things that'll fit in our mouth then!
It was an exhausting weekend. We played a lot, learned how to dig in the dirt and, of course, met new people who kept telling us how cute we we've never heard that before!
On the drive home Mom kept making this noise she calls "singing." I'm not going to tell her who started yelling every time she sang....but I tell ya, it's hard for a girl to get her beauty sleep with
that noise she makes! Good thing we don't need much!
We're going camping in a new place next weekend Mom says. I can't wait to see what we learn there!

December 15, 2009

Our first escapee from the whelping box

Our first escapee from the whelping box was this quiet looking young lady, Mercedes! I would have bet on Rachel.
Last night we had our first puppy nail triming sesson. Everyone handled it well, some of them even fell asleep during the process. I only quicked a couple of them and a few belly rubs later they forgot and let me continue on.
Surfaces puppies have "walked" on (walk being a relative term): vinyl, fleece (both high pile & blanket), tile and loose plastic. They've also spent quality time in the room with the vacuum cleaner...I can't wait until they're big enough to chase it! And, of course, since they're in the bedroom, they're learning to sleep through the scariest of noises, my snoring!!
In no particular order, here are the rest of the 19 day old photos of the Glees



December 07, 2009

Our first photo shoot

The puppies had their first individual photo shoots today. With Daddy and Grandma off doing trailer things (Grandma just bought a wonderful 2002 Chalet Aspen that she's going to let me use until sometime later) I got to be the puppy wrangler and photographer. Let me tell you, that was no easy task.

Taking a page from a friend's book, I picked up a puppy and just snuggled her until she settled down (I started with the girls, the boys are so much easier!) and then put her down for her picture, grabbed the camera and started clicking.

She just looks still and quiet. Satinka's girls are Satinka's girls! Thank goodness for the continuous setting on the camera, because there are about a million shots showing her trying to wander away from the camera... and she can't even walk much yet. Yes, that's just a hint of an opening eye there on the right.

This little girl is her Mother's Daughter! She announced her arrival at Kaos at the top of her lungs. She's the first to figure out how to stack up her brothers to use their heads to try and climb out of the whelping box (no mean feat considering she can't really walk yet nor can she see!) and she's the first to start to open her eyes. She's got trouble written ALL over her!

Yes, she looks like she's sleeping, but this little munchkin is just trying to decide which side the flash is coming from so that she can move her head away from me. I have several lovely pictures of the back of her head!!! More open faced than the first girl and lighter than the 2nd girl, it's going to be much easier to tell all three girls apart than it was with Emmy's litter.

As has become tradition with Satinka (does 2x make a tradition?) this little guy was born on my bed. Tinks was supposed to be sleeping in her whelping pen (a luxury suite that a mastiff would probably be comfortable in!). But she was restless and uncomfortable, which translates into me not sleeping either, so I let Tinks up on the bed for some belly rubs. I fell asleep...she had a puppy. At only 8 oz, this little guy has given me some concern, but I think he's going to make it. He's just so sweet and snuggly and such a little fighter! I recognize his "I'm hungry NOW" cry in my sleep. He's a little blurry because I didn't want him to start fussing. Maybe I'm babying him a little much, but we're trying not to over-stress he's fuzzy...get over it :-)

The boys are just quieter (with the exception of Mr. Hungry). This little guy woke up when I picked him up, snuggled for a few seconds and went back to sleep. At least I didn't have to chase him around the bed with the camera!! I always wondered if Blaze would pass on his quiet, laid back this point I'm guessing Yes. Again, the boys have helped me tell them apart by having different markings. Much more accommodating than Emmy's brothers. We could only tell two of them apart by the size of the white tip on his tail!

Of course, in every sweet boy, a little bit of Satinka is going to come out....even in his sleep. That or he's making a comment on my photography skills that should have been kept to himself!!

November 30, 2009

Mondays aren't all that much fun.....

....under the best of circumstances. But the Monday after a holiday (I did have to work Friday) with a litter of 3 day old puppies who insist that midnight to 3am is their play time is even harder.

But they're so darn cute....more photos tonight!

November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a happy Thanksgiving here; Satinka whelped six darling puppies - 3 boys and 3 girls Thanksgiving morning. They're all gray again too! She had an easy time of it, with Daddy serving as her chief assistant. My job was to weigh puppies and hand them back....quickly.

The three boys came out quietly...the three girls came out screaming their heads off. If there are three "Satinka" girls in this litter, we're in BIG trouble.

September 26, 2009

Don’t mess with my pet.™

Protect responsible pet owners.

You love your pet. You take good care of your pet. How would you feel if the government tried to limit your ability to have pets in your life?...Angry?...Scared?...Betrayed?...Well, it’s happening.

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The answer is that, unfortunately, many government officials don’t understand how their bills might affect you, the responsible pet owner. Worse yet, some legislators may not care. Radical animal rights activists often spread misinformation among lawmakers and the general public, creating an atmosphere of poor decision-making. If they had their way, many of them would completely do away with pet ownership…period.

Help us protect responsible pet ownership by defending you and your pets against poorly written legislation.

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August 21, 2009

I'm almost a Recognized Breeder!

And I couldn't be more relieved.

Riverside County says Recognized Breeders collect and remit sales tax to the State. I now have my Board of Equalization number so I can collect and remit sales tax to the State. You know, from all of those litters I have (looking at the 18 mo old Emmy and wondering when there may be room for a little sister) and all that income selling puppies produces (really, it's right over there, I just haven't had a chance to deposit the thousands of dollars I made on that single breeding, it's under my mattress).

Now, to complete the "Recognized Breeder of Riverside County" challenge (premiering this fall on the ICan'tBelieveIt Reality Network), I have to remember to send in my Riverside County Business Registration for my home business. Yep, apparently if you show dogs and breed them and sell a puppy, it requires business registration. I know the County is going to make TONS of money on my income (see above).

Oh,'s not Responsible Breeders they're looking's "Recognized Breeders"

a. Recognized Cat or Dog Breeder: Any business or hobbyist (i.e. every individual, firm, co-partnership, joint venture, trust, business trust, syndicate, association or corporation) whose intact, licensed (dog only) and micro-chipped dog or cat, sires or gives birth to, at lest one litter of offspring consisting of at least two(2) live births, within the preceding five (5) years and who has on file with the Department of Animal Services all of the following:

i. A letter to the effect that the breeder is a member in good standing of a Department approved breed registry club or governing organization which has a code of ethics covering pet reproduction,

ii. A State of California seller's permit,

iii. A current Riverside County business license, and
iv. Kennel and/or cattery license, if applicable. If not required, then each dog 4 months and older, maintained at the property shall be licensed. No similar requirement exists for cats.

b. Department-approved Breed Registry Club or Governing Organization: Those clubs and organizations accepted by the Department of Animal Services as being acceptable to issue a letter of good standing for a Recognized Cat or Dog Breeder. editorial note: this list does not exist, making it very difficult to comply.

Don't you like how they make that retroactive for five years? That's pretty much going to eliminate everyone except the commercial breeders who already do all those things...I mean, they do, right?

I swear, jumping through these hoops is going to somehow make me a better breeder? And, really, a hobbyist has to have a business license (which, actually in Riverside County is a business registration, Riverside County doesn't have business licenses).

But them's the rules...and since I live here I have to follow them. Did I mention that the 5-8 year plan has us leaving California for anywhere else?

August 13, 2009


I have it on good authority, from my learned friend Kelly who found the info on some esteemed author's site, that five things make a blog entry. I also learned that from her that whining gets you which I can only reply "DUH."


#1 - Surgery on the foot is scheduled Oct 9, although I'm calling weekly to see if there are cancellations. My theory is that scheduling woman will get tired of hearing from me and schedule me so that I'll stop calling her. We've figured out how to get me and the dogs taken care of for the first couple of weeks, thanks to friends and furloughs.

#2 - I hate furloughs. The State of California has instituted furloughs to assist in balancing their budget. Now I need to notify the mortgage holder, the gas companies, the electric company, etc that due to the State of California balancing their budget from my wallet that I'll be passing the furlough effects onto them. They can e-mail Arnold at and let him know what they think. At least Sean's not getting paid with IOUs.

#3 - where are those great homes for Tipton and Sage? We've civilized them, they're now wonderful, sweet house dogs. I'm actually going to miss them...but can't wait to find them their new homes.

#4 - I'm pretty much done with summer. (Those of you who've known me for a while better be sitting down). I can't wait until it cools off enough to go camping with the dogs. Of course, the aforementioned foot surgery could make that less than enjoyable...but at least it won't be 100 degrees and humid!

Well, if I count the learning things from Kelly, that makes five things and a blog entry, right? I sure hope so! I'm going to go watch my DVR'd Hell's Kitchen.

Oh, I thought of #5....Philadelphia Eagles should be ashamed of themselves. Absolutely ashamed. Yeah, he's done his time, been rehabilitated, blah blah blah.....paid his debt to society. And now he's back to making millions. Ain't America great.

June 10, 2009

Life before dogs

Before I had dogs, I had another life. I was an artist. My mediums were rubber stamps, bookmaking, beads and then glass. A dear friend and I traveled down this addictive path together and she became an amazing jewelry designer. Her website and while I love my dogs, I'm somewhat envious that she's still actively engaged in her artistic outlet while raising an absolutely wonderful son as a single mom.

And why am I writing this? Because she's having a contest to get rid of her extra stash of beads and I want them....because, you know, someday I might return to the craft room....someday. Shameless, aren't I?

June 09, 2009

When it's quiet...worry.

Those of you who are parents know that rule. Those of us with Siberian Huskies have a similar rule.

Last time it was quiet, the dogs were outside with Daddy's Blackberry (for the 2nd time). That's Dogs: 3 - Smartphones (and people) - 0 for those of you keeping score.

Remember when the Satinklette's got my new glasses? Yep, another quiet time that should have been investigated.

I got new glasses yesterday. Then, while I sit over here at the computer, I hear the sound of hard plastic....what on earth could that be? You guessed it. Robin thought my new, purple bifocals would be cool.

Luckily for her, she didn't past the "sneaking them out of the house" stage of destruction.

One of these days we're going to be smarter than the dogs.

May 20, 2009

Where H$U$ Donations Really Go

This story was originally posted at

Where Humane Society Donations Really Go Posted: 4:03 pm EDT May 14, 2009
Updated: 6:50 pm EDT May 14, 2009 ATLANTA --

A Channel 2 investigation is looking into millions of dollars in donations given to the Humane Society of the United States. A national consumer organization says the society solicits pet-lovers for money, but little to none of that money ever goes to help local shelters.

Critics tell Channel 2 Action News reporter Amanda Rosseter that this isn't just consumers misunderstanding who they are giving to -- but an organization actively misleading donors to get money. “They do their marketing very well, that's for sure,” said Trey Burley of PAWS Atlanta.

Critics say the national organization takes advantage of people who think they are giving to local shelters. DeKalb's "PAWS" shelter says there is no regular funding help from the $100 million HSUS budget. “I think that some of the folks who donate to the national organization may be under the false pretense that that money is going to a local cause,” said Burley.

While the HSUS does work to stop puppy mills, it also gets media coverage and donations doing it. But the puppies then go to local shelters who have to pay and care for them. “They may initialize the resources for a rescue, but again the animals go to a shelter somewhere in the country,” said Richard Rice, VP of the Atlanta Humane Society.

Critics said HSUS also takes advantage of high-profile events. After hurricane Katrina, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle promised on national TV to reunite pets with their owners -- and raised $34 million for the cause. But public disclosures of where that money went add up to less than $7 million. The Louisiana attorney general launched an 18-month-long investigation, and then ended it, when HSUS offered to build the state a new shelter.

The HSUS annual report for 2007 showed $120 million in revenue, including $5.4 million just from online donors. Then there's $112 million in expenses -- most of which appears to have gone to legislation for animal rights bills. The list includes raccoons, mice, wild horses, burros and primates.

The center for consumer freedom says all worthy causes, but HSUS shouldn't mislead to get money. So where does all the money go? “It goes to lobbying, it goes to political contributions, it goes to pay huge staff salaries and benefits," said David Martosko with Center for Consumer Freedom.

Channel 2 Action News went to a local HSUS meeting to find out. The two hour discussion was about activist plans and lobbying. The Georgia director for the HSUS agrees that's mostly what she does. “I think that in all of our literature, it is very explicit as to what our campaigns are and what we are doing,” said Cheryl McAuliffe, Georgia Director for HSUS. “We help where we can and focus on our programs, which are national and international.” McAuliffe said there are just too many local shelters to help.

“I always tell people, contribute to your local shelter first,” said McAuliffe. When asked how much her budget is for the state of Georgia, McAuliffe said she didn't have a budget and neither did other states. McAuliffe said all money is controlled from headquarters in Washington, D.C.

HSUS later contacted Channel 2 about their work during hurricane Katrina. They say all of the money they collected has been spent since the initial crisis on helping Katrina families and pets.

April 06, 2009

Making excuses...

I love dog shows. It's my hobby, it's what I do on weekends. But sometimes it's frustrating.

We all know our dogs aren't perfect. At least we all know that's what we're supposed to say...there is no perfect dog. And, at the end of the day, we each love the dogs we take home, win or lose.

But when people lose, why can't they be honest? "It's all political" Ever heard that one? It's what you say when you don't win. I can't imagine any judge takes delight in putting up a dog with super visible faults for political reasons. "She/he only puts up handlers" Yeah, that's another good one. Last I checked, everyone in the ring was a handler. Do the pros do it better? Heck, they'd better if they want to eat next week! "That judge hasn't read the standard" Right...they got to where they are by faking it. I may not agree with the judge, and I may never show under them again if I really didn't like what they put up....but to think that they don't know the standard? Now "I don't like how the judge appears to interpret the standard based on their placements" that's honest enough. Or "based on what the judge put up today with these dogs here, I probably won't bring this style of dog to the judge again." That's honest and fair.

This weekend was especially fun because it was a specialty. The 2nd show's judge was someone who's been in the breed for eons...and while I won't always enter under a breeder judge for one reason or another, this time I did. And then I heard someone say "well, I'll never enter under this person again...they don't know Siberians." I about fell out of my chair on that...asked the person "Do you know who this is?" Nope, they didn't. How can you show Siberians (or any breed) and not take some time to learn about the history of the breed and the kennels that have been influential? Whether you like a breeder's style of dog or not.....they've paid their dues.

How about honesty? My dog has (insert fault here) and the judge didn't like him/her as much as someone else. Dang, almost never hear that one. No one likes to lose. But admit that the dogs who win may have virtues that you don't see or feel and that the judge found and likes them. Doesn't mean that you have to enter under that judge again...but they probably had reasons. If you get a chance, without being pushy, ask them what they liked about their Winners. Every now and then one of them is so thrilled to hear the question phrased positively that they'll forget themselves and answer!

We lost this weekend...the judge liked another dog better. There's nothing wrong with admitting that. Don't have to like it....but I can admit it!

Besides, there's always another dog show!

March 13, 2009

It's been one week since you looked at me...

Cocked your head to the side and said....Ok, so maybe the BareNaked Ladied are owed an apology.
She didn't exactly "say" anything except "get me the heck out of here!" We picked Miss Screechlette, up last week at the Orange County Airport at 11pm at night. We heard her from across the baggage claim area and rushed over to get her out of the crate before somone called the authorities. Satinklette #3 (actually #1, she was the first born) is back at Kaos for a while. A sweeter, more adorable puppy from this litter I've yet to meet (knock on wood, I think the other two are staying in their current homes!). After spending some growing up time at her Mom's old stomping grounds at Apache Run in Texas, Miss Sage is a California girl again. After a few adjustment (in other words after Satinka told her exactly how life at Kaos was going to be for Miss Sage) she's settling in like she never left. Banish the thought!Emmy's not exactly thrilled to have competition for Mom's attention, and she lets Sage know at every opportunity that she's the one who really lives here and is Momma's sweet darling baby girl (as opposed to Satinka, Momma's darling girl and Robin, Momma's Sweet Sweet darling girl). But Sage shakes it off and continues on her merry way.
I'm having fantasies of living somewhere that I can keep the entire litter when I want to....someone, quick, Pinch Me.

February 16, 2009

To the tune of "Daddy sings Bass"

Now that you've got that stuck in your's how it goes at Kaos...

Emmy runs lead, Robin runs with her....

and I'm too tired to come up with the rest of the Kaos Lyrics, so you'll just have to live with it. This weekend we went camping with a group of friends who are also bording on the edge of sanity...or is that teetering on the edge? Camping, dogs, below 40 degrees, freezing wind and a front coming in that is going to mean rain, and lots of it .... I think teetering is probably a better call.

After our midnight arrival (courtesy of Robin, the fence jumper...but that's another story) and set up, we woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning at Red Mountain. Friends started arriving Saturday morning and after breakfast, we hooked up the dogs for our first run of the weekend. With my hand on injured reserve (yet another dog story) we hooked up Ice & Frosty in lead, Emmy & Robin, Satinka "I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it" and her son "Needs a good home of his own" Tipton, and Blaze and Ryder at wheel.

Of course, the first part of every run is a white knuckle, e-ticket adventure (we don't have that much control yet) but they soon settled down, allowing us to watch them work and move. It didn't take long before we stopped and started swapping dogs around. Ryder moved up to lead with Robin, Emmy came back to wheel with Ice and Blaze moved up with Frosty. And we were off again. Of course, that may have been our third swap around...but that's what we ended up with. The dogs ran great and we finished the five miles with Robin & Ryder in lead, starting to follow directions (always a plus).

After that run, we went back to camp and sat around complaining about the cold and I finally tucked in for nap. After waking up, feeding the dogs and having dinner, I went to bed in my toasty warm, Iditarod proven sleeping bag (Thank you Karen!)

Sunday dawned (Sean even took pictures to prove it) and once again it was time to crawl out of the toasty warm sleeping bag and face the day. We started the run with the same arrangment we ended with Saturday, but stopped to move Emmy up into lead with Robin and Ryder back to wheel with Ice.

There's just something about watching the dogs do what they love that sends shivers up your spine. And then, when you get them situated on the team to where they're working at 100% (or in Blaze's case, as close to 100% as he's willing to put out) it's just perfect. Of course, the best part is that when they need corrected, Sean's the one who jumps off the cart and runs up and down the line.

I couldn't be more proud of my Emmy. Of course, since she's out of my first litter, she's always going to have a special place in my heart, but watching her dig in and work in harness all I can think is "wow, she's amazing." And she's so calm on the line waiting to run too...

January 26, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe....

We've got 6' concrete block walls around our yard. We've never thought twice about throwing the dogs outside. Even after moving 8 yards of gravel, we never thought twice. Well, that front fence section is about 4'10"....WAY too short for a Siberian to be contained in!

Last night, the dogs went racing outside...something was up! There was a dog outside our fence jumping up and we tried bringing dogs in to keep them from jumping at the fence.

Imagine my surprise when Sean said that Emmy and Robin were out in the front yard racing around. Thankfully they ran in the house when he opened the door.

We'll be raising the height of the fences...but for now have moved some kennel panels into strategic locations so that the dogs can't get to the lower areas.

January 19, 2009

When it's time, you know.

And it's not even Abby. Abby's doing great! With the black humor that someone with a terminal dog understands, the Crippled, Old, Dying Girl is still bouncing through her days. She's got a special ride when we go camping (I've got to get the pictures up on the picturetrail page...when I do, I'll post the link) and well, if you couldn't see the tumor on her tongue, you wouldn't know she was sick.

My heart is sad over Lacy. One of the few dogs who are still with the families who got them in NorSled's "Woodland 12" rescue effort (her sister Cheyenne is still here too), Lacy has just been a fixture here at Kaos. When the doorbell rings, it's Lacy's Big Dog WOO that answers it. You'd think we had a Rottweiler answering the door! But no, it's that petite little red girl announcing the door...just in case we've missed the sound of the bell.

Lacy's light went out late last week. I noticed she wasn't coming upstairs to sleep anymore...and figured that she's getting stiff and sore...understandable. Then Saturday, it happened. The doorbell rang and Lacy didn't. My heart froze in fear....and I'm sure that the color drained from my face. I went looking for Lacy...not sure where I'd find her or what I'd find. There she was, lying in a crate, just looking at me. "I'm done, Mom...I'm just done." That's what her eyes told me. "I'm not ready, Lacy; give me some more time" was my response. She'll give me all the time I need, I know. But it's not doing her any good....and no matter how much time I have, I won't be ready.

I rang the bell multiple times all weekend, just waiting to hear a hint of Lacy's response.....and I'm still waiting. There's no bobble-head dance on the way to the door to go potty after being inside all day. In fact, she waits for me to go over to her crate and escort her outside for a potty trip.

Selfishly, I want to delay long enough that she just goes to sleep and doesn't wake up. I want her to take that decision away from me. But that's not the promise I made to any of the dogs. When it's their time, I'll let them go with dignity, love and tears. The tears are already here....

The dogs know. They walk quietly past her, sometimes sticking a nose in the crate to say hi other times just walking by without looking. I think, for them, she's already gone. Her spirit certainly is. And later this week, I'll help her body follow...I still won't be ready though.