Friday, December 31, 2010

About the Menagerie

Ahh, the meat'n'potatoes of this blog.... THE ANIMALS! There are seven beautiful pets in this house, so this will be a big entry.

"RONIN"
6xBAIMBS ALCH Bruda Sense of Duty CGC TDI












Ronin is an 8 year old gem of a Doberman from Bruda Dobermans in Illinois. He was my first show dog, and though ultimately not overly successful in the AKC ring he taught me a lot about the show world and how to be a good handler. He's very sweet, but turns in to a monster when it comes to real-life situations that require him to protect. Even though he's officially a veteran, he is still shown in UKC as an altered dog. He was the first Doberman to earn the ALCH (Altered Champion) title and currently has 6 Best Altered in Show wins. He also has his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certification and his TDI (Therapy Dogs Inc) certification.


"KAYLEE"
BIS/RBIS U-CH Bruda Whip Up A Dream Debut


Kaylee is nearly 3 years old, and my first successful show dog. She has 8 AKC points, owner handled, including two Best of Breed wins over specials. She is also a UKC Best in Show winning champion and a consistent Group Winner. We enjoy showing in UKC, it's a more relaxed atmosphere and the people are great! All showing aside, Kaylee has a great personality and temperament. She's very sweet and intuitive, but I would not call her a "friendly" dog. She is aloof around strangers and generally takes awhile to warm up to new people. If Kaylee likes you, you should feel honored and blessed!



"REVY"
Foxshire Jewel Heist (unofficial WAC!)


Revy is a 1 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi... with a blue eye! While considered a serious fault, we love her eye and think she's more beautiful because of it - after all, it's completely cosmetic and does not affect her health or vision at all. Revy came from a great conformation/performance breeder in northern Illinois, and both her parents are Champions with performance titles. Revy is a talkative, bold, fearless, hilarious clown with a great work ethic and strong performance drives. She even "passed" the Doberman Working Aptitude Evaluation, including the last portion of the test where she had to square off with an angry human attacker! Revy is a joy to live with and train, she makes every day an adventure!



"ADA"
Ilsa's If It Makes You Happy


Ada is mostly my husband's dog. We got her from a working breeder so her temperament is a bit different than Revy's. She loves people, but isn't always happy to be around other dogs. She is our first corgi, and the beginning of a lifelong "love affair" with the breed!



"JACQUES"


Jacques Louis David - a.k.a Jacques - and his brother Pierre (below) were adopted from PALS in December 2009. Jacques was named after a famous painter - both cats have "art names," which is my way of paying homage to the long hours I spent studying for my Art History classes in college. Jacques is the sweet one, very tolerant of the dogs - he even lets Revy chew on his ears! Jacques and his brother eat a raw diet out of necessity, processed kibble and canned food wreak havoc on their digestive systems.



"Pierre"


Pierre is named after the famous artist and Illuminati member Pierre Eugene du Simitiere, and is the more devilish cat in the house. Pierre is fearless and bold, and the dogs give him a wide berth! He is also the only cat in the house that is crafty enough to figure out how to eat prey model raw.



"Sekai"


Sekai is a Zimbabwe name that means "laughter" - odd name for a snake, but we like it! Sekai was a rescue, his previous owner had no idea how to care for this beautiful African species and as a result he was in horrible shape when I got him. After several proper meals, a much-needed shed and a few months of living in a well maintained habitat, he started looking much better. Sekai is a Ball Python, a shy yet docile species of constrictor that is a popular exotic pet. He poses no threat to the other animals in the house - he may be more than 4 ft long, but the largest creature he can eat is a small rat.

And that's it, that's the whole menagerie! For now, at least... ;)

About the Author

I'm horrible at personal bios. Generally I gravitate towards those sophomoric questionnaires with various "This vs. That" and "What's Your Favorite..." questions that are fun to answer but ultimately tell you nothing about the individual. Other than that they like creamy peanut butter instead of chunky.

1. Were you named after anyone?
No, my parents named me Leah because they thought it was a unique name. I ended up having 6 other Leahs in my grade at school.

2. Do you like your handwriting?
No, it's horrible.

3. Do you still have your tonsils?
Actually, I was born without tonsils. I am an advanced life form!

See? Now you know my name is common, my handwriting sucks and I have no tonsils. Brilliant. You may also be interested to know that I'm in my mid-20's, have a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Religious Studies. I work for a wonderful insurance company and also design for three niche-market magazines. I'm married to a pit boss (who has a degree in Theology and was in the seminary) and currently have more pets than most people are comfortable with. We all live in a small yet beautiful 1940's brick house in a small town, right in the middle of the Iowa prairielands. There is a herd of free-range buffalo less than a mile away from our house.

4. What is your favorite ice cream?
Dove Unconditional Chocolate, with the choclate ganache on top of every pint... heaven!

5. What was the last thing you ate?
Gluten-free White Bean Chili, from American Spoon - a Christmas gift from my aunt and grandmother. Seriously amazing, American Spoon certainly knows how to do GF right!

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Burnt Sienna, because it's my favorite crayon color. It's always been my my favorite, even back in elementary school. It has a cool name and I like the color brown!

My husband and I both have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that - in a nutshell - makes coming into contact with gluten very, very bad. Gluten is in wheat, barley and rye and is present in many processed foods, medications, cosmetics etc. While there is a wide range of symptoms, I mainly only experience the neurological symptoms plus PAIN - if I ingest gluten, I lose my sense of balance, get very grouchy and it feels like I ate a box of thumbtacks... or a handful of broken glass.... you can only imagine what that must feel like. My husband gets slight stomach upset, plus the gastrointestinal problems closely associated with celiac disease. He also gets skin rashes if he uses soap, lotion or other cosmetic products that contain gluten.

We were both recently diagnosed, and it has brought about a complete lifestyle change. I was diagnosed before him, so I'm a bit more used to the 'GF lifestyle' - but we're both works in progress when it comes to Gluten Free!

7. What is your favorite book?
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.

8. What do you drive?
A bright red Chevrolet HHR 2LT... I love my jellybean-hearse to an almost unhealthy level!

9. Mac or PC?
Mac, because I'm a graphic designer and I learned my trade on a Mac.

10. What color is your shirt?
*looks down* ... grey.

That's about it on the "about the author" topic. Next post will be much more interesting... bios for the pets!

A New Year, A New Blog

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I usually end up making resolutions that I cannot realistically keep, and end up abandoning them by mid-February at the latest. Who knows, maybe this one will follow suit and march itself into the Resolution Graveyard to find its eternal resting place between "I will walk my dogs THREE times a day, rain or shine!" and "I will never drink Coca-Cola EVER again!"

So, why a blog? After much thought, I decided to make a list (because I adore lists!)
1. all the cool kids are doing it
2. facebook doesn't seem like the most appropriate place for my ramblings
3. my husband says he likes the way I write (but he may be biased)
4. A Prairie Dobe Companion is TOO cute of a blog title to leave alone!

I said to myself, "Self, what on earth are you going to talk about on a blog though, really?" As usual, I made a list.
1. my dogs, because that's mostly what I talk about anyway
2. my foster dog(s)
3. celiac disease, because my husband and I both have it. Imagine the odds of that!
4. All Other. (see, I threw in a joke for all my co-workers. Ha.)

So if you're reading, thanks. If you continue to read, double thanks. If you actually decide to follow this blog, triple thanks and a side of gluten-free brownies for you!