Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mango Momma Doggie Book Review

Our doggie pal, Bolo, got some bad news about his liver. He's holding his own, but could use some good thoughts. You can visit him here.

Today's book review is Show Dog by Josh Dean.

I loved this book. The writing is excellent and it was impossible not to get caught up in both the human and doggie drama of the show world.

I want to say up front that the author mentioned that MOST of the dogs and handlers you will encounter at a show are owner / handlers who only go to a handful of shows a year locally and stop once their dog earns his or her championship.

But Jack, the main character in the book, was destined for the highly competitive world of big dog shows. The book has lots of behind the scenes information. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad. Any competitive endeavor will have its share of nut jobs with more money than sense whose only goal is winning. Yes, even agility, obedience, canine freestyle, you name it. But as with those sports, most of the participants are in it for fun and because they love doing stuff with the canine pals.

I am fortunate to live in an area where on any given weekend there is usually one show or another within driving distance. I've purchased four dogs from breeders and become a much better judge of dogs (and breeders) over the years. I avoid big business breeders who arrive with crate after crate of dogs. The dogs from Dexter's kennel really stood out for me. They all seemed so happy! They clearly loved being in the ring (and the fact that her dogs also compete in retrieving helped convince me that they were good, well rounded animals). Little Dexter was available as pet quality due to an overbite. I have never regretted my decision to get him. He's a wonderful, well tempered chap.

Mango is actually show quality, but with two other show quality males in his litter, his breeder agreed to sell him as a pet. When one of Mango's brothers died suddenly from an aggressive infection I decided to try showing Mango.

We both loved handling class. I liked the thrill of the pretend show where all our dogs were put through their paces and everybody received a round of applause during the final run around the ring. Mango loved handling school because, well, there were hot bitches there. Oh baby!

I showed Mango exactly once. He placed second out of two, his only competition being his brother Floyd (who later went on to compete at Westminster and sire several litters). Mango's breeder offered to have her handler show Mango, but I insisted I wanted to do it myself. Oh man! As you can see in this video (where Floyd has a professional handler) I was a total spaz and Mango did not show well (but you will notice that I was so convinced of his magnificence that I thought I had won and had to be shooed back by the judge).

Mango was ten months old. Watch it here if you cannot view the embedded version.

Sorry about the bad video. It was made with a disposable camera.

 The next time I brought Mango to a show he refused to go into the building (let alone the ring). His breeder offered to be on hand for a third try to help out, but I was done. Why? Same reason I never pursued obedience with Angus (although he did very well in his one and only competition). I hate waiting around. Agility, obedience, freestyle, breed, whatever, dog shows are all about waiting and waiting and waiting. Ugh. Just not my thing.

But back to the book. In between the details of Jack's show career, the author discusses the history of dog shows, how judges judge, what handlers do, some breed histories, and some rather graphic discussions of how breeding works (even an interview with the lady running the frozen semen van who collects samples discreetly behind a curtain). There is also a short history of the evolution of dogs from wild creatures into distinct breeds.

While I'm no fan of perpetuating breeds so deformed that they cannot mate or give birth naturally and I abhor docking, cropping, and other alterations in the name of conformation, I am a fan of dog shows and responsible breeding. The good breeders that I have met are not in it for money, but for the love of the animal. They get every possible genetic test done on their breeding animals in an effort to eliminate devastating conditions. They only place their dogs in good homes, are always ready to take back a dog (no questions asked) and stay in touch with owners.

Two big thumbs up.

Mango Momma

P.S. Some notes about the various breeders I have dealt with. Angus was our first dog and a purebred Airedale. The only comment about his breeder is that we lucked out. We didn't know anything at all about breeders but he was a fine dog.

With Raja we learned a lot. Primarily that showing at Westminster is no guarantee that you are dealing with a good breeder. Raja was not sound of mind or body and her breeder was very dismissive of Raja's various maladies. In retrospect, my antenna should have gone up when the majority of her dogs had both sires and dams from her kennel (I was later to hear through ringside gossip that this was because many mastiff breeders did not want their dogs involved with her bloodlines).
Mango was a surprise purchase as we had already been interviewing Rottweiler breeders. But we met his breeder at a show, along with her wonderful dogs. She took us back to her RV to meet Floyd and when we heard there was one just like him available, well.... Even still we visited and vetted the owner of the breeding bitch but seeing little Mango stuck in a water bucket really sealed the deal.

I was even more cautious when it came time to get Dexter. I not only asked for references from the breeder (who uses our vet for her breeding and delivery) but I asked around at dog school. Turns out his breeder is quite well known and several dog people who have seen Dex have commented "Oh, that is one of Peggy's dogs! I can tell by his head! You are so lucky to have him." I am indeed. Here is a link to her web site (Mango's breeder seems to have let her web site go dormant, but you can see it here. I still see her kennel name pop up a lot in the dog show world, but haven't run into her in person at a show in several years).

We have had a handful of unsuccessful adoptions over the years. The most tragic was a little six year old Airedale gal who started out a bit bossy but over a period of months became increasingly aggressive towards both my husband and Mango to the point where my husband could not even shift position without her going after him and Mango was afraid to be in the same room with her. For us, the resident dog always comes first.

Our only successful adoption was our little basset / spaniel mix, Pi. Angus adored her from day one and they were the best of friends. She was one of a kind for sure and I miss her every day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

POTP for Lily the Beautiful Rottie (plus a photo of me)

Please send your good thoughts to my friend, Miss Lily.
She had her leggie amputated a while ago to fight the cancer monster.
Now she is suffering from the bladder infection and is also having motor control issues with her hiney.
Her humans are quite worried and looking for help from anydoggie who has gone through something similar.

Her latest post is here.

In other news, I've been working on creating a map of the galaxy in our back yard through strategic placement of my daily gallons of pee. Here I can be seen contemplating where to put the next deposit to complete  the aptly named Cassiopeia (ha! bet you thought I couldn't spell that, right? - the Mango is NOT a fool).

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

P.S. PeeWee has a new name.... Pollen Butt! Hehehe.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Three Videos (none of them about ME) As if!

It seems that whilst momma should have been walking me or helping me read bloggies she has instead been idling away watching videos on that pesky YouTube. Videos that not only don't have ME in them, but that actually have NO DOGGIES or other doggies who are still not ME. Can you imagine?

Check this out.

Movie #1 Humans Dancing with Frisbees. Seriously?

Movie #2 Dogs Dancing with Frisbees. In this one, please note the pod like structure in the background which was clearly used to transport that Border Collie dog from the planet agility. Hey momma! I could so do any of those tricks (that is of course if you could find a frisbee that did not succumb to jaws of doom in moments thereby losing it's aire-o-dynamics).


And finally, Movie #3 A most alarming doomsday featurette.


 I said "Hey Momma! Throw my fans a bone. At least put up a photo of my large and handsome self."

To which request she pulled out this alarming picture, heretofore unpublished, in which Pea looks totally GIGANTIC and I look like some tiny backup dog. Oh the humanity!

Well, at least now that we have seen the Chester look alike and jogging lady go by, looks like the coast is clear for my walkie. Let's get to it, lady!

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Surprise on Saturday!

Oh boy! Lookit what came in the mail yesterday! Do you see? An official Mango Minster 2012 blanket with a picture of ME on it!

Is that the coolest thing every or what? It came from Minna Krebs and was totally a surprise for my large and handsome self.

Don't you think the color looks wonderful with my furs? Thank you Minna Krebs!

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Friday, May 25, 2012


That's right, friends, today is Frankie Furter Day! Woo hoo! That means that today a bunch of us dogs that blog are taking a moment to celebrate our good buddy..... FRANKIE!

I thought, no better way to celebrate than with a BIG BOOM!

So I borrowed one of those official civil war canons from our village green.

Heck, I even got myself an real live Yankee hat just to get in the spirit of things. You know it!

Are you ready? Cover your ears.....

SURPRISE! Woo hoo! Look at that little dude go!

Whoops... face plant. Sorry, pal.

No worries, right? All's well that ends well.

So here's a Relentlessly Huge howdy do to Frankie (oh, and hey from PeeWee too)!

Frankie, my man, you totally rock. This is YOUR day, so live it up.

DammitMango Man! Oh yeah!

P.S. Hey! That picture that PeeWee posted on Wednesday had you all scratching your heads, didn't it? Apparently it was housework day at the kidney dialysis center down the street from us. Go figure.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Memories - The Baby Mango

Before I start my post for today, here are some important announcements from around blogland!

Hey! Guess what? Maxmom's way cool awesome book all about her life with MaxDog is now available to order online right here in the U.S.! You know it!

Click here to find out how to order and also how to enter a contest to win your own autographed copy.

You know what else? Remember Chrome who won first place Adventure Animal at Mango Minster 2012? Well, for his third birthday, he got all fancied up and his momma went for a ride on his back for the first time ever and it was totally way cool awesome! Let's here it for Chrome! You can see all the action here.

Miss Lily is home recuperating from really serious emergency back surgery.

Finally, my friend, Molly, who is the sissy of Most Cracker Critter winner Taffy, is having surgery today and could use your good thoughts. Visit her here.

Momma FINALLY got her photo scanner working again so I immediately asked her to scan in some pictures of, well, ME! 

But first check, out this photo of Grandpa Angus when he was a baby! Wow! He was tiny just like Miss Molly.

Can you believe that's my momma? No grey furs on her. Imagine. Hey! For all you nerds in the audience, go ahead and bigify. The photo in the background is a watchercall particle accelerator. Nerd art! Ish! 

Lookit! Here is Grandpa Angus and Baby Beautiful Raja. I never knew Beautiful Raja was that tiny! Even smaller than an Airedale.

But enough of that, because I know that you come here to see pictures of me. Go ahead, admit it, you just can't get enough of The Mango.

So here I am in all my puppy glory learning how to prune shrubberies right through the fence (something I practice to this day).

Momma sometimes tries to convince me that Raja didn't always like me very much. I know she is wrong. How could she not like such a handsome little dude. Damn! I can hardly stand looking at my own cuteness.

Can you believe that this used to be all we had for sun baking (as opposed to the observation deck that I have now). No worries, plenty of room for two. Grandpa Angus preferred to retreat to his hole in the ground during warm weather. Different strokes I suppose.

Obviously my exceptional handsomeness was clear from day one. Oh indeed.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

P.S. Just to complete the set, momma asked me to post this photo of little Pi (whom I never met) with Grandpa Angus. She says that Grandpa Angus was totally in love with Pi just like I loved my Beautiful Raja and that he was sad when she had to cross over the bridge before him. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Relentlessly Huge Trip to the Salon (with Video)

Woo hoo! I totally LOVE going to the beauty parlor!

Well, OK, I love it as long as we don't have to leave at some absurdly early hour of the morning. 

The Mango needs another cup of coffee

You know what? Most doggies have to go into stupid crates and stuff, but not ME! No sir! I have the run of the entire place. You know it!

Bye momma! Have fun at work.

So I had momma make a movie of my big day but because she had to go to the work place she didn't get to actually see me getting my whirlpool treatment and soothing massage. Whatever. It is still kind of a fun movie. You can watch it here.

Phew! A day of beauty is exhausting. 

Chase tennis ball? NO WAY!

 I am just going to lay here looking handsome.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wookie Wednesday (and Nicknames)

Wherein which I tell momma in no uncertain terms that it is Mango Fun Time!

Watch on YouTube here.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

P.S. I am playing the nickname game with my buddy Sarge so I am going to list the names that momma and master call me and Pea and then you can like totally say which ones you like the best. OK?

Mango - Bubba, Bubs, Fool, Move, Backup, and DammitMango
Dexter - PeeWee, Pea, Black Devil, and GETOFFMEYOUDAMNLAB

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stinky Saturday

 Oh no, not again!

Somebody open a window!

Dexter done!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Under Siege by Dexter

Over the weekend I decided to take a stroll down to the village green only to discover this!

At first I thought that those Occupy Wall Street humans had accidentally mistaken our quaint New England town for the home of a corrupt bad loan lending bank.

My alarm increased when I observed that large weapons had been wheeled out and were pointed towards the Unitarian Church.

Could it be that these were not Occupy people but religious zealots intent on causing historical building mayhem?

But on closer examination of the inhabitants, I discovered that they were actually soldiers.

When momma saw them she shouted "Oh, Dexter! Yankees! At Tara!"

I'm used to ignoring her babbling.

I set to making friends with the Yankees, one of whom was quite skilled at the art of ear scritches.

I inquired whom they might have mustered to do battle with and my attention was directed to this motley crew.

Friends, yours truly usually avoids profanity; being of the opinion that such speech is for feeble minded souls who lack a true grasp of the English language.

However, the picture below caused my black leathery lips to let loose a howl of anguish...


The threat of being overrun by Johnny Rebel forces suddenly became all too real once I learned that Miss Puddles was their commander in chief.

I hurried to the lounging tent to alert the Colonel that he must desist with his cigar smoking indulgences at once and take the threat at hand more seriously. I confess that the expert head rubbing and back massage administered by the Colonel and his second in command distracted me a somewhat from my mission.

So, after a quick snuffling about for foodables, I was away.

I did hear the canons booming later in the day and have advised momma to pack her pistol should we venture that way again.

Dexter done!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Soporific Sunday

I, Dexter, officially proclaim blogging break is over. 

It has been an exhausting couple of weeks.

Dexter done!

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's The Mango's Birthday (and momma doesn't care)

The Mango is still officially on blogging break because Momma is a total freak a zoid lazy thing. 

OK, so maybe last week Master had emergency eyeball surgery and all that but seriously, it's all about ME! Right?

Where is the love? Like she was all driving Master into Boston (couldn't she just drop him at the train station?) and then "Oh Master, what can I do? Do you want me to go shopping for you? Do you want me to read a book to you?" And all she does for me is take me to see evil vampire blood sucking voodoo zombie lady at the vet along with belt sander nail trimming witch. 

I am 7 years old today which is a Relentlessly Huge thing. 

But is there a party? A cake? A pat on the head? NOTHING! 

Look! I even have to recycle this happy party time photo from 3 years ago! That's so wrong.

Just wanted to let my pals know in case any of you wanted to send me some leftover pizza or something... anything really.... a used stuffie, a bag of dirt... The Mango is so neglected!

Momma says to be patient and her mentals will adjust back to normal levels of crazy soon.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

P.S. I am supposed to tell you that Master's surgery went well and he is recovering on schedule. Whatever.