Archive | March, 2013

10 Reasons Why Dog People are Like Pageant Moms

14 Mar


While our love of dogs and snark originally brought The Dog Snobs together, it quickly became apparent that we shared several other interests (read: morbid fascinations).  Namely, all three of us are regular “Toddlers & Tiaras” viewers and have spent many an hour dissecting episodes of that trash-tastic tv show.  Upon reflecting on “Toddlers & Tiaras”, we realized that there really isn’t much of a difference between pageant moms and dog moms (Completely ignoring the similarity between weave poles and other kind of poles…).  In fact, we find it hard to differentiate between the two in most cases. Much to our own shame, it’s not just with others that we see these similarities.  We have accepted the fact that we also routinely play the role of the Pageant Mom.  In this post we will highlight 10 Reasons why Dog People and Pageant Moms aren’t all that different.

1.  Motivational catch phrases: Like the battle cry of many a demented pageant mom (“sparkle, baby, sparkle”), we’ve found that most dog owners use specific motivational phrases to bring the best out of their dogs.  Within The Dog Snobs, we use phrases varying from “Up, Up”, “Hurry, Hurry”, to “Go, Go, Go”.   There have been several times while shrieking these words to our dogs that we’ve all realized how ridiculous we must sound to outsiders.  But does that stop us?  Of course not.  Much like the pageant mom, we have no shame in being the loudest person in the room.

“Work those weave poles!”

2. Regimented Diets:  Fang routinely refers to herself as a Texas Cheerleader mom when it comes to her dogs’ diets. Every calorie is accounted for on a daily basis and weights are managed extensively. The super-high performance kibble she feeds has an embarrassingly high price-bracket. The protein boosters to keep weight on her skinny dog, the bone and joint supplements, the fish oil… Their bowls look like something akin to a four star bistro in processed kibble form. Trial days? It all goes to hell. Hotdogs, Pupperoni, BillJac, whatever her little princess demands she gets and she gets it RIGHT NOW! Or rather she steals it out of her cooler because that’s how cattle dogs roll. BusyBee and Potnoodle are not immune from this diet obsession, as both of us feed raw diets and are incredibly aware of every morsel of food that passes their lips.   We have been known to keep journals containing meal plans, nutritional facts, and general feeding guidelines. Anyone who has ever watched “Toddlers & Tiaras” will instantly see the similarities. While she’s yet to funnel Mountain Dew and Redbull (Go Go Juice!) down their throats, Potnoodle’s dogs have been known to get an energy boosting powder on long trial weekends.

Z after gorging herself on stolen hot dogs.

3. The classes: Attending classes, assisting in classes, volunteering to get discounted classes–you name it, we’ve done it.  While pageant moms invest thousands of dollars in coaching, dog people spend just as much time and money finding suitable classes and trainers.  People involved in the dog world know that there each town has a hierarchy of trainers, and in case you wonder, going to the “best” trainer in the area is a badge of honor for many owners.  Similarly to those gossiping pageant moms, dog people are not immune to bragging about working with certain trainers, receiving extra help, or dropping the names of the amazing people they work with.

I wouldn't brag about that

I wouldn’t brag about that

4.  The Appearance Enhancing Products: Whereas pageant moms rely on hairspray, spray tans, and buckets of makeup, conformation dog owners use hairspray, chalk, dye, nose coloring and an incredibly disturbing product called a  “Wiggie”. All of these are, like blue eye shadow in a ‘natural’ pageant, illegal. That doesn’t stop dog show exhibitors, of course. They go right on spraying up those topknots and dying those mismarks like it’s their job… which it is, come to think of it.

They’re both toys

5. The Cash vs. Reward Paradigm: Much like pageants, dog shows are not a place of profit. One might invest three hundred dollars in a comparatively cheap weekend. National level or invitational level competitions (much like pageants) have costs that increase exponentially. With that much cash invested, the most you can hope to win is a bag of dog food you won’t feed (See above), a stuffed toy your dog will destroy on the car ride back home, or if you’ve gotten really lucky enough cash to cover maybe one of the classes you entered that day. This fact makes us a more than a  little jealous of the toddlers and their cash taped to paper plates.

Money Can’t Buy You Class… but it can buy a lot of glitter.

6. Maximizing Potential: This is one of the few ways where as dog owners, we have it made over those pageant moms–we can select our dogs. The moms are just kind of stuck with (really it’s the kids who are trapped, but keep with us here) whatever pops from their hoo-ha, slime and all. There are puppy tests from the earliest days to pick out the best prospects. Imagine trying to test for glitter affinity or most vacant expression in newborns.

Klasseigh.

Klasseigh.

7. Bribery and Begging: While we’ve yet to offer our dog a pony for a successful weekend, we aren’t above pointless begging. “Just one clean, fast run and I’ll buy you a hamburger on way home” has been uttered Potnoodle on many weekends. The dogs don’t get it, but that doesn’t stop her from trying. Fang has resorted to promising to buy a sheep for her herder if she’ll just maybe not sit with the judge and watch the heeling pattern rather than doing it. Upon further reflection, she realizes this is disturbingly close to a pony.  BusyBee just asks that Mr. T not embarrass her, which sadly, is often too much to ask.

We realize this is Dance Moms, but…

8. Judges: At least the dog’s judges aren’t creepy possible pedophiles, or so we hope. Anyone that has ever thumbed through an edition of ‘Dogs In Review’ or ‘The Dog Chronicle’ knows that the judges are a big deal and being well known to judges is the way to go. Every dog show ad has a “Thanks to Judge Fancy McSnootypants for a great weekend” shout-out. None of us are subscribed to ‘Prostitot Weekly’, but we’re pretty sure those ads are in there too.

“Nothing’s wrong with a grown man ogling a little girl in cupcake dresses”

9. Disappointment: As in all competitive endeavors, disappointment arrives and it’s not always well received.  Tantrums thrown by children are not entirely different than dog tantrums.  Both involve flopping on the floor, whining, and generally just being a lousy sport. Owners are not necessarily immune to it either though they will more frequently resemble the child.

-2

10. SO. MUCH. GOSSIP.  You cannot get away from it. You just can’t. These are both ridiculously tiny communities and everyone knows, knows of, or knows someone who knows everyone. Conveniently, someone always manages to hate someone in the trial you’re attending and are not shy in letting anyone else know what’s going on, ringside. Preferably in front of as many people as they can gather in their corner. No single event is immune from this and bad-sportsmanship abounds. If TLC were interested in a reality show, getting involved may be worth the paycheck, but as they haven’t called any of us, it’s good practice to just nod, smile and walk away.

WTF Wednesday #2

14 Mar

The Dog Snobs are rarely struck dumb, but whatever is going on in this picture managed to do it.

We don’t know what’s happening… and honestly it scares us a little.

What your Dog’s Name Says About You

12 Mar

Dog naming is nearly as funny, if not funnier, as naming babies. Baby names are frequently tamed by both social convention and naming guidelines and laws . However, no such laws exist for dog naming, and as a result we’ve seen quite a few bizarre dog names that rival the oddness of their human counterparts and tend to be common to certain breeds and types of owners. See below for a list of what we think about certain categories of dog names:

The “Smarter than You” name: Choosing a name for your dog is not the time to show off your (self-declared) intellectual prowess. Having a dog named “Dostoyevsky” or “Nietzsche” is not going to make people think you’re blessed with a superior intellect or that you are particularly well-read and worldly. Nope. They’ll just think you’re a pretentious asshole, which is probably true. Either that, or you’re a hipster, which ultimately works out to be one in the same.

“My name is Mensa and I only listen to bands you’ve never heard of.”

The Ethnocentrist: Do you know the language your dog would speak if it were a human? These people do, and be damned if they won’t use a name or a word from it to prove they’re more worldly than you. This ethnic cherry-picking is especially common in breeds hailing from east Asia. The main issue that arises along with these names are two-fold. Firstly, as a non-native speaker, odds are good that word doesn’t mean what you think it does. Context is something you won’t find in an online translator, and in terms of names… it’s sort of important. Nouns and verbs are frequently interchangeable and often there is no direct translation that will get your point across. You may think you just named your new Shiba Inu “Blood-balls the Magnificent” and really you’ve named them something like “Tuesday Veins-Play Object of Magical”. Secondly, you’re probably not pronouncing it correctly. Pretentiousness drips off these names but they can be done reasonably with an ethnic coordinator to guide you through the process.

Bloodballs? What’s wrong with you?

The Penile Extension: We’ve all met those dogs with names like “Glock”, “Felony”, “Cujo” and the like. You know, names that just scream “I’m insecure and need a dog with a badass name”. These dogs usually belong to men and tend to be from breeds that already have a hard enough time dealing with breed stigma, such as pitbulls, American Bulldogs, and Mastiffs. It does not in fact make you look tough to give your dogs one of these names. It just makes you look like a sad little man with penis envy.

Those are less obvious than your name.

The Social Statement: Religion, sex, politics and crazy Uncle Gary– anything you were ever told to not discuss at the dinner table is on tap to some people as a name source. I’m sure you thought it was adorable to name your Black *teehee* Labrador “Obama” and I’m sure your neighbor appreciates how much of a feminist you are while calling your dog “Vulva” to come home for dinner. Not only are a lot of these names questionable in taste, they can also be amazingly offensive, so just back away.

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The Self-Appointed Nobility: You will find that announcing your dog to anyone with a title, usually of royal distinction ,will get you a look followed shortly thereafter by a non-committal noise. Anyone who’s worked with dogs will tell you a dog with a self-styled title is a dog and owner combo you don’t want to deal with. Prince Foxy, Lady Dingles, Princess Mary Molly, Sir Charles and so on. Aside from the fact that you’re naming a dog, not the heir of the Luxembourgish throne, these people are typically incredibly high maintenance. They make the dog snobs look like slobs and while that’s not all that hard to do, it’s an impressive feat in micromanagement.

883ca5cb0d_funny-crown-dog-fry-slave-french-fries

Toddler Tacky: While we understand the idea behind allowing kids to name dogs, one must consider if they are truly willing to accept whatever comes spewing of out their childrens’ mouths. A mutual friend of all three Dog Snobs made this mistake years back and ended up with a giant dog name “Mr. Pookiehead”. Seriously. (Our friend wanted us to note that the first name her kids suggested was “Mr. Boogerhead”, but that was vetoed). Although this may sound cute when spoken by your three year old, imagine the horror of yelling “Stop humping that Mr. Pookiehead!!!” in a public place.

Mr. Huggles, be nice!

Mr. Huggles, be nice!

Animated Atrocities: A source of particular loathing and likely a sub-class of ‘Toddler Tacky’ category, it can also be attributed to a particularly nostalgic (read: immature) adult. Sometimes the dog’s own age can be guessed at by the release date of the movie. Labs named Simba, Dalmatians named Pongo and one particularly memorable Shih-tzu named Sharpay have graced the grooming tables of many a Dog Snob.

Hakuna Matata, asshole.

Hakuna Matata, asshole.

The Long Lost Relative: Recently lose a great-aunt Myrtle? Have I got the best dog name for you! Yeah, we didn’t think it was a good idea either. Naming pets after dead relatives is weird and we’re pretty sure those relatives wouldn’t appreciate it.

Great Uncle Horace loves a nice hat

Great Uncle Horace loves a nice hat

The Gender-Bender: Got a Dog named Sue? So does this guy and will he ever be offended if you dare assume ‘Sue’ is a bitch. Spencer, Shelby, Muffin, Cupcake (and any other baked goods for that matter) along with numerous others have unfortunately confusing monikers as well as owners misguided enough to get upset about it.

dog-about-to-pee-on-girl

The Mismatch: I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all met a large dog named “Tiny” or a small dog named “Tank”. Opposites are so clever. Oh wait. They’re not. So the next time you meet a black dog named “Snowflake” be sure to congratulate the owner on being an intellectual giant.

Is

Is that you Fluffy?

Food Names: Naming your dog after foods (think Quinoa, Asparagus, or Sushi) is a quick way to have people think either that you were on a diet when you named your dog or that you simply ran out of ideas so you looked to your fridge for inspiration. Calling out the name “Yogurt” at the dog park will not in fact have people applauding your creativity. Instead, they are far more likely to snicker behind your back and wonder what exactly you were eating (or smoking) when you decided to name your dog after a nutritious dairy treat.

Borscht?!? Really??!!!?

The Luxury: If you name your dog “Mercedes”, “Porsche”, or “Coco Chanel” (or any other luxury brand name) people will immediately assume you have shitty credit and most likely a hovel of a home. Naming a dog after name brands makes you look tacky and pretty much guarantees you will never actually have nice things. You may as well call the dog ‘Things I can’t afford’ and leave it at that.

“Please meet ‘Manolo Blahnik von Furstenburg’ ”

The Aspiring Namer : The Aspiring Namer has high hopes for their dog. Unfortunately. Angel often ends up closer to demon, Sweetie is a total asshole, Cutie looks like she was beaten with the ugly stick, and Darling would gladly remove a finger. When naming your dog, remember that a name won’t do what training can… make your dog less of an asshole.

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Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to naming dogs? What are the worst dog names you’ve ever heard? Share below!

KENNEL CLUB SHOW, MARCH 2013

12 Mar

Dog Show Recap  by BusyBee

commentary from Fang and Potnoodle

Every year I look forward to the local AKC dog show.  I’ve been going to shows as an observer since i was a kid and have always enjoyed them.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I derive joy not just from meeting and interacting with all the different breeds, but also from the inevitable awkwardness that pervades these types of events.  I’ve gone alone to the show the past few years, but this year one of my friends, whom we’ll call Newf (she own a lovely Newfie who is best friends with Mr. T), wanted to go with me.  Having never been to one before (and yet somehow she had gone to several cat shows as a child, but that is a different post entirely),  I couldn’t wait to see her reaction to the spectacle that is “the dog show”.  Mind you, she had never watched “Best in Show” until I forced her to last year.  She loved it, thank goodness, or that may have very well been the end of our friendship.

Upon arriving at the event center where the show was held, it was obvious that we were in for a treat.  Handlers and their dogs milled around outside to get some fresh air, take a bathroom break, or just escape the madness inside.  Immediately upon entering the arena, we were bombarded by the “meet the breed” tables.  At these booths, breed clubs allowed the public to interact with their beloved breed and were there to answer any questions.  And as Newf quickly learned, they would give you more information than you asked for, or ever thought possible.  I’ve learned it’s often best to avoid eye contact with the people at these breed tables unless you want to learn everything ranging from the history of the breed, to a particular dog’s lineage, to the bathroom habits of adolescent males.  My goal for this portion of the show is generally to interact with the dogs and meet some breeds you don’t commonly see out and about. After all, it’s not often you see a flock of Spinone Italianos or Berger Picards lounging around.

One of the most amusing aspects of the “meet the breed” area were the booth decorations that the individual clubs set up.  Most tables were fairly sedate with images of their dogs in action, information pamphlets, etc.  However, a few breed clubs go all out every year and choose epic themes around which to decorate their booths.  A few stood out to me this year–the corgi booth with an emphasis on dog butts and the Cairn Terrier booth, fully equipped with all things “The Wizard of Oz”, including a yellow brick road.

Corgi people have a weird obsession with the fluffy end of their dogs. In Potnoodle's experience it's the pointy end you have to watch.

Corgi people have a weird obsession with the fluffy end of their dogs. In Potnoodle’s experience it’s the pointy end you have to watch.

Fact: Toto was a Cairn not a Scottie. Other Fact: Most people don’t care. Last Fact: We care.

Fact: Toto was a Cairn not a Scottie. Other Fact: Most people don’t care. Last Fact: We care.

Once we had a chance to meet the breeds, we descended down to the main show floor with hopes of catching a few breed competitions in action.  Within minutes of being surrounded by the hubbub of the event, Newf gave me a quizzical look and asked “Are they seriously wearing that?!”   Clearly my friend is new to the dog show world, as she was surprised at just how homely most of the female handlers looked.  I, for one, was just glad I didn’t see as many sequins as you frequently do at large shows like Westminster or Crufts.  I will say that the pastel palette that dominated this particular show was rather reminiscent of the house lived in by the “Golden Girls” Every year I left to wonder where exactly these women dig up these suits and why no one tells them that they look like pastel grannies.  Since word simply can’t do it justice, I took a few photos of the worst fashions I saw among handlers.  Enjoy.

ladiesinsuits

Potnoodle: Handlers need comfortable clothes they can move out in, that complement their dogs and that are decently dressy. We here at The Dog Snobs get that. What we don’t get is the need for shoulder pads and brassy eighties colors. At least the power suits cover their important bits, and for that I thank the flying spaghetti monster, but why the broad shoulders, ladies? I’m pretty sure it does nothing for the dog’s anatomy and honestly… most of the time the dogs just look embarrassed.

Fang: Let’s be honest, most of the outfits you will see in the show ring are straight out of Utah. Think ‘Straight out of Compton’ but with sister wives and a whole heck of a lot of hyphenated names. The braids and orthopaedic shoes just bring the outfits together.

Not be left out, we also saw some glorious dog fashions, ranging from tutus, pajamas, overalls with diapers, and even a few party dresses.  If you can imagine it, we saw a dog wearing it.  I’m pretty sure Mr. T would kill me in my sleep if I attempted any of this, so either the dogs are incredibly patient or have just plain given up trying. And yes, although technically not dog attire, the cow-print costume on that one woman can only mean one thing:  canine freestyle.   Newf was in awe that these people even existed and spent quite a bit of time staring at the bedazzled and costumed ladies in disbelief and asking me if it was for real.  Yes Newf, sadly it is.

dogs in drag collage

Fang: My dogs’ wardrobe for impromptu fashion statements (usually for my own amusement) is virtually non-existent, unless you count their Halloween costumes which usually consist of headgear and some offensively bright ‘Craft STD’ aka glitter but these pictures have me amazed. That’s a whole lot of costume on not a lot of dog.

Potnoodle: I try not to judge dogs in clothes, I really do. I rarely dress my own dogs beside the occasional coat and annual Halloween costumes. They’re poodles… they are already close enough to something out of RuPaul’s Drag Race without me adding any sequins or tutus. However, when you have a dog in suspenders… we need to talk about your life choices. Even if it is to keep a diaper on the dog.

Not all of our time was spent gawking at unfortunate fashion choices, however.  We did spend quite a bit of time watching various breeds in the rings and even caught a few obedience and agility competitors.  Watching the dogs strut their stuff in the ring is always fun, as is trying to guess which one would win its class.  For the record, I have about a 50% hit rate.  I need to work on that.

I can’t end this blog without acknowledging how much I actually enjoyed the show from a purely breed enthusiast perspective.  Snarking is fun (obviously), but I really do love being able to interact with breeds that I usually only get to see on TV and in dog books.   Although the people behind the dogs may have unfortunate fashion sense, there is also something quite nice about being in a giant arena full of other people who love dogs just as much, or more, than you do.   Basically, it’s a nice to not be the craziest dog person in the room for a change!

Check out some of my favorite dogs below!

We’d explain the bib… but the shoe strings are doing that job for us.

We’re having Magic Mike flashbacks… in the worst way possible.

Berger Picard

Spinone Italiano

Do you want to smoosh it? We sort of want to smoosh it… -Dogue De Bordeaux

Confessions: I’m in an abusive relationship with my dog

11 Mar


Lest you think The Dog Snobs are perfect, we will occasionally be confessing sad truths about our own dogs.  In today’s first installment, we tackle the touchy subject of dog abuse…as in, how our own dogs abuse us.

BusyBee:

In the four years that I’ve had Mr. T, not one, but two physicians have asked me in all seriousness during an exam if there is anything I needed to tell them about the bruises and cuts on my legs and arms.   At first I was confused by their questioning, but upon seeing their concerned expressions, I quickly realized they thought I was either self-harming myself or being abused.  When I laughed and told the first doctor that I just have a large exuberant dog who likes to be on top of me at all times, she smiled and said she that she had a Great Dane and totally understood.  The second doctor however, was not convinced.   He assured me that if I needed to talk, he was there for me.  Clearly this man was a) either not a dog owner or b) owned civilized dogs.

If anyone has ever owned a bully breed, you know exactly what I mean when I say these goofy, big-headed beasts love with exuberance.   Mr. T approaches everything in life with gusto, and loving me is no different.  Between flying leaps (with running starts, of course) onto my lap when I am on the couch, trying to sleep on top of me, crawling into my lap at every possible moment, and generally just being a bull in a china shop, it’s no wonder that my body bears constant reminders of his affection.  In addition to countless bruises and scrapes, Mr. T has concussed me at least once (that’s been confirmed), given me a bloody nose several times, and knocked me silly on multiple other occasions.  When you have a 75 pound dog who thinks he is a lap dog and throws his GIGANTIC head around in unbridled glee, bad things are bound to happen.   But honestly, I  don’t think I would change it.  His enthusiastic affection is part of his charm, and after four years of living with Mr. T, I’ve accepted that sometimes love is pain.

“Even when trying to sleep, I can’t avoid his gigantic head!”

Potnoodle:

Dog ownership isn’t always cupcakes and rainbows. When you own a dog that acts before he thinks… bleeding is just part of the job description. Before I came into my life, not once had I ever been made to bleed by one of my dogs. L isn’t mouthy at all and my cattle dog mix before her would never lay teeth on a human (dogs were a whole other story, of course.) When I brought I home at a year old, I sort of knew what I was getting in to. I had seen his grandmother and mother run in agility and I had seen both of them jump up to bite his breeder’s hands at the end of their runs. Since I’ve had I, he has broken my thumb, left several puncture wounds and I can’t even begin to count the bruises. He isn’t aggressive, of course. His bites are never ill intentioned, really they can’t even be called bites. He just dances around with his mouth wide open, swinging his teeth and usually catching flesh. It isn’t just the mouth you have to watch though, he also enjoys using me as a springboard. You really can’t fault his enthusiasm, but I do wish there was a little less damage done by it. His enthusiasm isn’t just limited to play though, he honestly can’t go anywhere at a walk. He dashes about, paying no attention to what he is doing. He has knocked me down our front steps, not once but twice. He’s that dog everyone hates, bouncing off knees like a pinball . Of course, training him out of it is an option and I have settled him down quite a bit. He no  longer takes flying leaps at my face, for instance. Really though, the flying around with his mouth open is just part of his personality. I just ask that he does it with at least three feet between us.

Now replace that ball with my arm and you understand my day to day life.

Fang (Unacceptably delayed but still awesome): I have bitey dogs. You can call it what you like–mouthy, nippy, whatever, but they view the world through their usually open mouths and they interact with everything teeth first. Both M and Z‘s favorite activites are extremely physical and involve a lot of flying incisors. Luckily,  I’ve avoided major damage beyond some pinches in the midst of play and a long puncture wound from a “Don’t eat that!” hand reach into a mouth. My dogs however aren’t prone to being as careful with my own friends, who incidentally have to be careful playing tug in their placement or they get what could only be described as a ‘purple nurple’.

Blissed-out on boobs. Surprising, but true.

Do any of you want to confess as well?  Be sure to leave a comment!

Sex Toy or Dog Toy?: You Be The Judge

10 Mar


Ready for another rousing (arousing? We sure hope not…)  round of “which is the dog toy?”

Option A

Option B

If you guessed option A as the dog toy, you are correct!  If you guessed Option B, well…we’re sorry. Option A is Kong’s Safestix and option B is a set of anal beads, dug up by BusyBee from the bowels of google image search. Don’t worry, she immediately cleared her browsing history. Kong claims that the Safestix are “bendable and flexible”, a quality that seems to be useful in both the dog and sex toy worlds. When the Safestix first debuted, a mutual friend of all three Dog Snobs had gotten one for her dogs and posted photos on Facebook. Upon seeing the photos, we all turned to each other (virtually, of course) with concern. Can you blame us?! When we realized that the toy was indeed a dog toy and not something the dogs had found in our friend’s bedroom, the amusement set in. Until recently, none of us had bought the toy even though we are all big fans of the Kong Company. However, last week on a whim, Potnoodle picked up one. I is her dog that enjoys fetch and he seemed to enjoy the toy. Fetch was played, damning photos were taken, and great fun was had by all… until she threw it up on her roof. Now she has what looks to the rest of the world to be a particularly large set of anal beads on her roof for the foreseeable future… or at least until the gutter cleaner comes to clean the gutters out and is able to reach it.

Owner Profile #2: The Faux Avid Sportsman

9 Mar

Next up in our rampant profiling we have…. *trumpets blare*

Taa Daa

The Faux Avid Sportsman

Description: The Faux Avid Sportsman is that dog owner who talks a big game, but when it comes down to it, they’re just as lazy, if not lazier, than the rest of us. Filled with grand ideas, seemingly endless funds, and a gift of blarney, the F.A.S, has all the best intentions and none of the follow-through. Notable in their ability to bluff their way through any conversation about their chosen non-venue, initial contact will be surprisingly pleasant. They seem knowledgeable and they will certainly be dressed the part. To their credit,  the F.A.S. usually has impeccable, if rather overpriced taste. Seynaeve, Ruffwear, Vibram (which is a whole other post) or custom–only the best will do. As time passes however, and you yourself develop the same knowledge, you begin to notice that the F.A.S. is unusually silent about their actual accomplishments. As practical training issues arise you and you seek out their help (since they have after all, sold themselves as experts), it is nearly impossible to not find their superficial, generally unhelpful, and condescending tone rather grating. After realizing they can no longer coast on a Google search or partial chapters of books, the F.A.S. begins to make excuses as to why their dog “can’t”. In reality, they just can’t be bothered to actually attend or even sign-up for the classes they profess to know all about. Even the simplest of tasks becomes too difficult to the point that even walking their under-exercised pooch is inconvenient and too difficult. They will however remain undeterred in their belief that they would be the best ‘If only <insert excuse> wasn’t <insert faux obstacle>”. Active dog sport enthusiasts and anyone who’d ever helped in an obedience class typically find these types infuriating in their laziness. In their case a little knowledge is a dangerous and extraordinarily irritating thing.

At least the dog finished the whole book.

Common Locations: The F.A.S. can be frequently found trolling the internet dog forums informing everyone and anyone who will listen about all the marvelous things they intend to do with their dogs. In reality however, good luck finding this elusive beast. They are home-dwellers rarely straying from the safety of their custom built kennels.  You will occasionally find them meandering through specialty pet stores or even the large chains, dressed in full pet regalia. Their premier location however, and where you can view them in their natural habitat, is at specialty dog events.  From festivals, Pet Days, local kennel-club events, to large-scale adoption events, the F.A.S. thrives in these environments. They like nothing better than amazing the public with their faux-experience.

“That’s not how you train 2x2s, MACH8!”

Breeds Owned: German Shepherds, Border Collies, or any other breed that is commonly found in the dog sport and performance world. These dogs are often from top-notch breeders but don’t be fooled– a good performance breeder rarely sells an actual performance dog to someone with no previous experience.

HerdingYou-re-doing-it-wrong-dogs-11954498-450-342

Skill Level:  Moderate. Although these owners have the best of intentions and a reasonable amount of dog knowledge, it is difficult to assess their true skill level since they rarely follow through with their plans.

“Follow the yellow brick… Oooh! Pony!”

Catch Phrases:  “We’re totally going to sign up for that next!”, “Oh yeah, I’m waiting for my new bite sleeve”, “We’ve done novice obedience” (read: they took a class once)

Anecdotal evidence:

BusyBee:   In one of the first puppy classes I attended with Mr. T, we met an older woman with a Newfoundland puppy.  Within minutes of meeting her, the woman spouted off all sorts of plans to get the puppy involved in water rescue.  She claimed to have done water rescue with her previous Newfie and was certain that her newest pup would be an amazing candidate.  When she asked me what my goals were for Mr. T, and I said “to not be an asshole”, she scoffed and told me that I had to find some sort of sport to do with him to give his life purpose.  Every week at our puppy class, the woman bragged about her plans for her puppy, her contact with the local Newfie club, and the latest gear she had gotten (ranging from life-vests, long-lines, a bevy of bumpers, life-rings, and so on) while shaming me for not finding a suitable sport for Mr. T.  Over the next year, we ended being in several more obedience classes together, and each time, I was bombarded with the same information as before, but realized that no progress had actually been made toward this goal other than having a closet full of gear. Eventually we took a break from classes and didn’t see the woman and her dog regularly anymore.  That is until, about a year later (our dogs were now 2 years old), I saw her at a local dog park with beach access.  Curiously, her dog wouldn’t go anywhere near the water, which seemed odd given surely he was well on his way to becoming a water rescue dog by now.  Upon catching up and asking how her dog was doing, I found out that she never actually enrolled him in any water rescue training because she got too busy,  and now at age 2, he refused to swim.   While Mr. T paddled around merrily in the water, I had to chuckle that somewhere in this woman’s basement, stashed along with her dreams of water rescue, was a whole lot of gear, most likely still with price-tags on it.

“I’m more of a water rescue dog than you’ll ever be.”

Fang: These are the dog owners who frustrate me endlessly. Several months ago work clients showed up in our obedience classes with an active herding breed puppy. Weeks of obedience and working with this puppy had the owners excited and interested in the possibilities of dog sports with him… or so they said. They struggled with basic boundaries at home and despite his near-perfect class manners he was in their opinion a different dog at home. Hours were put into this dog and his owners on the best way to solve simple puppy/jerky teenager issues in a way they felt comfortable. Suddenly they stopped attending classes all-together and less than a month later show up with a second puppy. The lone requirement for the new puppy was a specific coat color. Initial puppy is now an adolescent menace who they can barely manage due to a lack of boundaries and being underexercised. The new puppy is actually a fantastic sport prospect and it kills me to see him wasted on people who talk a good game but have zero intention of putting in the grunt work achievement takes.

Potnoodle: My experience with the F.A.S.began when I started my first agility class, there was someone in my class that fit the profile perfectly. Of course, at the time, I didn’t recognize the Faux Avid Sportsman. She had a fairly impressive breed that she intended to show in conformation. She was in my agility class, which was intended for people that wanted to compete. She was also in an AKC obedience class and a member of an IPO (then Schutzund) club. In fact, she was a member of every available dog club in the area. She also had all sorts of stories about what she had done with her childhood dogs. Her first dog turned up as a monorchid (one balled, for those not in the know) and instead of neutering and pursuing the interests she could with an altered dog, she bought another dog from the same breeder. When that dog was deemed too shy for bite work, she bought yet another dog from the same breeder. At this point, she dropped out of my agility class. When I next saw her, she had euthanized one of the dogs for behavior issues and had yet another puppy that she and her then fiance had gotten from the same breeder. That’s five dogs, if you’re keeping count. None of them with a title. At what point do you figure out that maybe the dog isn’t the problem? Eight years later, she still does nothing with her dogs, and when I last saw her she was telling me all about the miniature horses she had and how she was going to enter them in driving competitions. Perhaps she’s a big name in the miniature horse world now, but somehow I doubt it.

Types of People that Frequent The Groomer

8 Mar

Here are The Dog Snobs, very little gets us laughing as much or as rage filled as discussing bad customer stories, and very few animal businesses have as many neuroses or insane requests as grooming. Potnoodle, our resident groomer, and Fang, an apprentice groomer, have both experienced and witnessed a fair number of customer meltdowns and general patterns which we broke down for our own (and now your) amusement. BusyBee is more of a ‘wash and go’ type dog owner and has never actually stepped foot into a grooming salon and not-so-secretly hopes she never has to.

 

The Co-Dependent

If a suitable in-home groomer can not be located, you will find these people first in for appointments and sitting by the phone or in the grooming lobby until their poofykins can be retrieved post-haste. From entry to exit, this person is a bundle of nerves and projects their nerves to their dog in a high-pitched attempt at comforting (i.e. “It’s okay baby! It’ll be fine!”) that sounds more like a fire alarm. Most dogs remain unaffected by this aural hostage-taking, but those who are promptly turn to mush. These people will film their dogs’ first appointments with groomers, lightly brushing away their hysterical tears insisting that their dog is sensitive.

 

Make it the groomer, and you've got the same idea.

Make it the groomer, and you’ve got the same idea.

The Last Minute Squeeze

In an appointment-based grooming shop, this person is enough to send the whole schedule reeling. The Last Minute Squeeze *always* needs to get in right away. Family pictures, friends visiting, a major holiday perhaps? This person needs an appointment RIGHT NOW and “Could you please, please, pretty please, groom Snickers two hours ago so he’ll be pretty for my mother-in-law?” While less self-important than the Indignant Procrastinator, the constant begging soon becomes irritating. It also seems to set in their mind a precedent for rewarding poor-planning. Conversely, these are also the people you can charge out the nose for the privilege of being annoying.

 

Still More Dignified than the Owner

The Indignant Procrastinator

The bossy older brother of the ‘Last Minute Squeeze’, this client will never ever book an appointment in the recommended time frame. Ever. When they finally call two days before their desired appointment time, how dare there not be a spot for them reserved, ready and waiting. There are angry recriminations and passive-aggressive commentary on how maybe they’ll just need to find someone else to groom their dog. They will usually however settle for an appointment with the promise (*snort*) of calling them with any cancellations. Pro Tip: You’ll never actually be called.

 

You want to leave?  We've never been so lucky.

You want to leave? We’ve never been so lucky.

The Late Bloomer

This is among the most frustrating of clients. This person is the ideal client when they’re leaving with their dog. Everything is “perfect” and exactly how they requested until six to eight weeks later, where the list of what was done wrong has gone from zero to ten thousand. Their litany of complaints range outside of the plausible and jump right to the bizarre: ‘You took away his character’ or ‘His left ear was 2/13ths of a millimeter shorter’. In some extreme cases they’ll return months later demanding refunds for their grooms. No matter what means are taken to appease these complaints, they will keep coming back with even more vague complaints from out of the blue. This is a battle that cannot be won.

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The Perfectionist

As implied by the name…everything must be perfect. From bow placement to the precise circumference of an ass-ball (Which Potnoodle says are called rosettes. but I like our version better) the perfectionist has an opinion on everything and what exactly can be done to “fix it” and how, despite never having groomed a dog in their life. The Perfectionist is also occasionally ready with the scissors to “correct” what they find in error which can earn them the secondary title of ‘The Butcher’.

funny_poodle

The Telepath

The unfortunate love-child between ‘The Perfectionist’ and “The Late Bloomer”, the Telepath expects you to know what they want and to execute it without real instruction. Not to be confused with ‘The Clueless Spouse’, the Telepath has very precise ideas on how their dog should look, and you should be able to decipher it with only the vaguest of clues. Simple questions on length or style are met with blank stares, shrugs, or detailed surrealist visions of melting clocks and “feeling like the ocean”. Inevitably, when the groomer fails (And they will fail), they will move along to another groomer, incensed at the lack of psychic ability.

 

“I foresee a ‘Pain in the Ass’ Charge in your future”

The Forrest Gump

Perhaps the most reviled of the types, The Forrest Gump client has the bolded and underlined quality of never knowing which sensory horror you’re going to get. Their dog will always retain an odor or a stain that is rarely explained, yet repeatedly resurfaces with the problem. This type of owner is usually divided into two subcategories; ‘The Owner with Children’ or ‘The College Student’. Not unlike an untended fridge, this dog should be handled in a hazmat suit, because there is no way of knowing the precise origin of the problem and the owner never seems to be aware of the issue.

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The Owner in Denial

It starts off easily enough, the owner drops the dog off and asks you to “do the same as always”. The dog appears to be unmatted, if perhaps a little frizzy. Upon digging in to the coat, an armor of matts is discovered. When the owner returns to find a shaved dog, they are furious. “I brush him every day!” they exclaim, full of righteous fury. Upon further investigation, it is discovered that the owner runs a slicker brush over the dog once or twice a year and gives up. This type of owner never seems to learn and the dog will come back in the same shape next time to repeat the process until a price increase for stupidity drives them out.

 

I thought Afghans came corded?

I thought Afghans came corded?

The Google Image Search

This owner has never actually seen an adult representative of their own breed. They do, however, have basic internet access and a rough ability to spell the breed. They bring in photos of a show groomed breed profile that their own dog could not fill even if it was liquified and poured into a mold. Sometimes, the dog is not even of the breed represented in the photo. Potnoodle was once asked to turn a maltese into a bichon. When she explained the hair texture difference, they said (and I quote) “Well, can’t you just tease it?” Sorry  Owners, no amount of aquanet is going to turn your shitty maltese into JR.

That’s a hella lot of hairspray…

WTF Wednesday

7 Mar

We here at The Dog Snobs often come across things in our daily lives that make us wonder where exactly humanity took the wrong turn. When confronted with these evolutionary dead-ends, we are often inspired to whip out our cell-phone and take a picture. The result will be presented to you here, on Wednesdays.   As always, we appreciate your comments and if you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet, we’re judging you.  
Image

This image was captured by BusyBee on a recent trip. We aren’t sure what part concerns us most. The tiny dogs stuffed in his leather vest? The leather vest itself?  The dude’s frickin’ HUGE hands, perhaps?  Whichever it is, we truly appreciate the artistic framing with the words “Bitch 1” and “Bitch 2” visible in the background.

Owner Profile #1: The Weekend Warrior

6 Mar

This is Part One of a series we’re calling ‘Owner Profiling’. What better way to make large sweeping judgments on people than by classifying them into easy compartments. It also keeps our brains neater.

It’s like a Bento Box for assholes.

First up we have The Weekend Warrior

Description: The Weekend Warrior is the dog owner that only manages to get their dogs out when it is convenient for them. Their dogs have very little training and are so pent up from being trapped inside during the week that they can’t contain themselves. These are the “oh, he’s friendly dogs”. The ones that are all up in a calm dog’s face, pushing even the calmest dog to the edge.

"He just loves other dogs!" "Apparently"

“He just loves other dogs!”
“Apparently”

Common Locations: These owners are often seen at the dog park on sunny Saturday afternoons, and only on sunny Saturday afternoons when it is convenient for them to be there. They can also occasionally be seen at Pet Superstores, their dog straining on the end of a flexi lead, dashing around corners well ahead of their owners.

Like my flip-flops, my dog is only a weekend accessory.

Like my flip-flops, my dog is only a weekend accessory.

Breeds Owned: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and various ‘doodling (from a diddling by a poodle or another doodle) of the aforementioned breeds. The weekend warrior gets these breeds because they are described as “easy”, but totally ignores the fact that they are meant to be active dogs, not “active when I feel like it” dogs.column_04_funny-dog-meme

Skill Level: Moderate to Low. Personal physical fitness can make or break this owner. Those willing to manhandle their dogs into compliance frequently find some success with this methodology but most cannot be bothered.

"I'd be bench pressing my dog, but it's Tuesday."

“I’d be bench pressing my dog, but it’s Tuesday.”

Catch Phrases: “My Dog is Friendly!” , “Awww, he’s trying to play!” , “He pulls on the leash too much, so we just let him off to run off his energy.”, “He’s a purebred goldendoodle”

"Aww. Jingles wants to play!!!"

“Aww. Jingles wants to play!!!”

Anecdotal Evidence

Potnoodle: I had always assumed that this type of dog owner had not managed to infiltrate the dog sport world. That was until I started to go to Dock Diving events last summer. At our third Dock Diving event, I was unlucky enough to be situated behind a Weekend Warrior in the line for the wave we were entered in. Dock Dogs, the organization we compete with, has a Four Foot Rule. Each dog, must be four feet apart in line. As the owner of a dog-selective (And by selective I mean she hated your dog so go away) in the past, I truly appreciate this rule. Luckily, my poodles are unflappable so I was not bothered by the Weekend Warrior who was allowing his lab full use of the six foot lead he had her on. She was alternating between lunging and fighting to back out of her collar. The owner was trying to corral his two children, not really paying any attention to the dog. She backed out of her collar not once, not twice, but three times just while we were standing in line. Eventually, another competitor brought him a slip lead and told him he had to keep the dog under control or he would have to leave. The man was, of course, offended by this and failed to see the harm in his dog running amok. It is worth mentioning that his children were also running around, drive by petting every dog they could get their hands on. Apparently, he took a similar approach to dog owning and parenting.

And yet still somehow the dog was better.

And yet still somehow the child was better.

Fang: My boss owns a private dog park. Every day is amateur hour  from open to close. It’s never any different. After a recent bout of cold weather we’ve had an upswing in clients and that has of course led to an upswing in stupid. A current Goldendoodle we shall call Satan has returned to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting masses while the owners claim loudly that’s “He’s just trying to play!”. It’s migraine inducing. Every day I hope they just decide the embarrassment that is their lack of commitment to their stupid, yet very high energy dog is too much and they’ll change, but as they still haven’t even tried to quell his efforts to pull them back to hell, I won’t hold my breath.

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BusyBee:  Living in a city where the sun rarely makes an appearance, I can fully testify to the existence of the weekend warrior, or as I like to call them “the nice weather newbs”.  I am literally out, every day, rain or shine (ok, fine, mostly rain) with my dog either going on long walks, organizing play-dates with other doggy friends, or attending some sort of training class.  I’ve accepted that owning a dog means hours spent out in the rain when I would much rather be inside staying warm and dry.  When I first moved to this rainy city, it was in the summer and it was amazing how many people had dogs and seemed active.  I thought I had found “my people”–a land full of dog devotees.   However, come fall, it was literally only me trekking through the rain and mud  to make sure that my dog got his exercise and stimulation.  All sorts of things ran through my head… “Where did everyone go?!  Do their dogs just not need exercise?  Do they know something I don’t? Am I seriously the only one out in this mess walking my dog?”.  Well, a few months later on a rare sunny day, I got my answer.  These “nice weather newbs” had not in fact fled to warmer ground all winter, and their dogs were not some sort of super species that didn’t require exercise or fresh air.  No, it was immediately evident that these poor dogs had been inside all winter with very little stimulation and attention. It was complete mayhem attending the same Sunday Farmer’s Market I had attended every rainy weekend for the past few months.  Tons of out of control and pent-up dogs flooded the market with their owners, who were just so grateful the sun was out and they could finally take out their dogs that they had forgotten, or neglected to realize, that their dogs had not been properly socialized or exercised in months.  In that one day, I saw more dog grumbling, rude dog behavior, and just general idiocy than I had seen in the past few months combined.  I learned a valuable lesson from that sunny day:  don’t bother going to public places when it’s nice out, the idiots come out from the woodwork and it’s just not worth it.    Side Anecdote:  Mr. T was attacked last summer (yes, by a breed commonly owned by the weekend warrior), and when visiting the vet for a follow-up visit to have his staples checked, I saw two other dogs leaving with staples and drains and was informed they were also the victims of dog attacks.  I inquired about how common this was, and the vet quickly informed me that every spring they see a rise in dog-on-dog altercations, presumably because people come out of hiding once the weather gets nice and fail to realize that letting loose a dog who has not been exercised or socialized in months is probably a bad idea.

Today's weather? Cloudy with a 0% chance of assholes.

Today’s weather? Cloudy with a 0% chance of assholes.