Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Friday, January 28, 2011

Puppy Number Two!?!

Cleo is days away from being 17 months old. It's been quite a journey so far. Sometimes it feels just like yesterday when we first got her. I'll never forget the excitement of going to pick her up from the breeders house and being so scared when we brought her home. Until we got Cleo I had practically zero experience with dogs. My parents had dobermans when I was a child but the last one passed away when I was around 5. I never had the desire to have a dog. I have always had cats...Siamese cats and I love them.
Cleo romping in the fields behind our house at 8 weeks

After living with Jim for a few years I knew he wanted a dog. He had always had them. His most favorite being Rusty, a setter that he had when he was a kid. He hunted Rusty and always talked fondly of it. When I finally gave in to Jim wanting a dog I refused to get a dog that would just lay about. If we were going to have a dog it was going to have a purpose and do stuff....whatever stuff was. After a ton of research I talked Jim into getting a GSP. Once we found Bob Corsaro and Nobelles Kennel we knew we had the right place. Jim an avid hunter became sucked into the world of bird dog hunting and the rest is kind of history. Somehow in the process I have become a huge lover of dogs. Especially ones with sassy attitudes and spots.

Cleo at 8 weeks
Somehow I always knew we would get another dog. Cleo is just too in love with other dogs and so is Jim. We have a deposit on another Nobelles puppy. This time around we will be getting a male whom I have already named Otis. Jim and I talk about Otis like he'll be here any day now but in reality it will sometime around April of 2012 when he will be bred. Cleo and Otis will have the same mom - Nobelles Final Testament, call name Tessie but they will have different fathers. Otis's father will be KS Bellevue vom Hege Haus. Both dogs are proven in the field and in the water under actual hunting conditions as well as being tested within NADKC, NAVHDA and the AKC.

Here is a pic of Tessie:

Here is a pic Bellevue:

I can't wait to get Otis. I think he will be the perfect addition to our family. Both Jim and I look forward to the days training him, hunting him and loving him. And I'm pretty sure Cleo will love him dearly too. I just pray he eats less pairs of my shoes than Cleo did. Or maybe this time around I will get a little payback and Otis will eat Jim's shoes since Cleo has never touched a pair of his!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day!

We got a little over a foot of snow last night. So pretty much everything in this area is moving slow or shut down today. Lucky me I get to go into work at 11:00! Anyway, Jim threw on some snow shoes and cut some paths through the yard for Cleo. She LOVES the snow!

Go Cleo, Go!!   

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ham and Pineapple Quail Biscuits

Today I was having a conversation with one of my most favorite people on this earth (who also happens to be my sister in-law) Rebecca, regarding feeding people food to dogs. We both agreed that there is alot of information out there. Rebecca made the point that half the stuff you read tells you one thing is awful for your dog and the other half tell you its absolutely acceptable. So how is somebody to figure out what is okay to feed your dog?? I thought it was a great question.

I'm bringing this up because there is a common stigma that pork is awful for your dog. I don't necessarily believe that. The two biggest arguments against feeding your dog pork is that your dog can contract Trichinosis which is an intestinal roundworm. I'm going with the Alton Brown thought process on this which is in modern day America pork has for the most part been breed free of any Trichinosis along with any great flavor. Hence the heritage pork movement...but that's really for another blog. Besides if your pork is cooked thoroughly and or frozen for up to a month Trichinosis will not survive. Some people also claim that ham causes Pancreatitis. If your feeding your dog a balanced diet pork should not cause anymore issues than feeding your pup bison, chicken, beef or lamb. If you give your dog an awful fatty diet and never exercise it than yeah...its probably gonna have some issues. The same thing happens to people who eat awful fatty diets and never exercise, they tend to have health issues too. But in the end, ham and pineapple tastes yummy and doggies think so too. So here is a recipe for Ham and Pineapple Quail Biscuits. I found a base recipe on the internet and made some small changes to it but here it is:

Ham & Pineapple Quail Biscuits

What you need:
~1 Cup of grated or shredded ham steak
~20 oz. can of crushed pineapple with its own juices
~3 Cups of whole wheat flour
~1/2 stick of butter, softened
~1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour and cinnamon. In another bowl combine the pineapple with its juices, the ham and the butter. Then mix the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until a dough forms.

2. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a 1/2 inch thick. Use the quail cookie cutter to cut out biscuits and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then flip the quails and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the quails cool completely on a cooling rack and then keep in the fridge in an airtight container. 

You can use any kind of cookie cutter for these biscuits but I use the quails because Cleo is a bird dog. I found the super cool cookie cutter here: under the bird category.  They also have all kinds of doggie cookie cutters like bones, paw prints, fire hydrants and of course quails.  :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Upstate Pennsey Grouse Hunting

Friday night Jim and Cleo left for the weekend to go on a grouse hunting trip with our good friend Paul and his GSP Molly. Cleo and Molly are sisters and litter mates. We have been getting them together for playtime and training since they have been about 4 months old. When Cleo and Molly are together they can't get enough of each other. Every second they spend together is play time unless they are in the field.
Jim, Paul and the pups stayed at Paul's father in-laws cabin in upstate Pa by the New York border. They got to go out a couple of times but unfortunately didn't find any birds. It had snowed the day before they left for the cabin and when they arrived there was about a foot of snow on the ground. It was also negative 1 degrees Saturday morning when they got up to go hunting. So the trip didn't produce any birds but it sounds like the guys and the pups had a really good time despite the lack of bird action.

It was really nice of Paul and his father in-law Ron to invite Jim and Cleo up. Hopefully they will get to go again when its a bit more warmer. I also found it hilarious that Molly has the same sweet orange fleece as Cleo. Apparently Molly doesn't despise hers like our pup. Anyway, below is a pic of the two of them in their matching vests. I apologize that the picture is so blurry....the dogs are in constant motion when they are together.

While Jim was away hunting I stayed at home to train for my upcoming fight. I was surprised at how lonely I was without Cleo. She must have missed me too because all she wanted the second she got home was to curl up on my lap and be loved. I was more than happy to give her lovies.

What a snuggler. :)  I'm glad their both home.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hunting Couture

Cleo's orange fleece hunting vest came today from Ugly Dog Hunting!! First I have to say it is such a nice quality. Much nicer than I had expected. The fleece is thick and soft. It zippers onto her and then has a really nice Velcro flap that covers the zipper to protect it and make it look more finished. I was so excited to put it on her and see how it fit her and looked. Cleo on the other hand was not so excited. It was like trying to dress an octopus! But once it was on it fit her great. We went with a size large because of how big her chest is....29"!

Once it was on she just stood there staring at me like I was a complete jerk. I got her to do a few laps around the kitchen and then took her to the door to let her out into the yard. She just stood there!! She didn't want to go the neighborhood dogs were going to make fun of her for having a sweater.  I laughed right at her and pushed her out into the yard and after a few minutes she forgot it was on. The whole thing was hilarious. At least next time she goes to daycare and its 10 degrees outside she can rock her hunting couture and be hottest dressed pup there. Lol.

So as promised paparazzi pics: Please note the completely dejected look on her face.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

So I finally broke down and....

So I finally broke down and purchased a bright orange fleece vest for Cleo. I know...I know...she's a dog and she doesn't need clothing. BUT Jim and I both discussed it and we feel she needs it. I feel I put up a pretty argument as to why it will be beneficial to her.

Cleo loves people but what Cleo really LOVES is other dogs. She waits impatiently every morning for the German Shepard named Natasha who lives up the street to come and visit her first thing every morning just so they can get their early morning play in and sniff butts. Her favorite dog people in the world are my brothers basset hound Fisher and her sister and litter mate Molly. Unfortunately, Cleo doesn't get to spend as much time with them as we would like. So twice a week she goes to Mill Pond Vet in Quakertown to their doggie daycare. They have a huge fenced in area where the dogs can run freely, they have some agility equipment and barrels they can play on and most importantly there are at least 10 dogs for her there to play with. She knows the days she goes to daycare and sits in the front seat of my truck bursting with anticipation. But lately its been so cold. Some mornings its been 17 degrees with a wind a chill of 5 degrees and Cleo has little to no fur. She spends hours outside playing and I would just feel better knowing she had some additional protection from the harsh cold and wind. Mill Pond does a great job monitoring the dogs and periodically bringing them to warm them up but Jim and I both feel on certain days its not enough.

My second reason is we live in the sticks and everyone and their brother owns a gun...or two...or three. When we take Cleo to the fields and run her out for her daily exercise both Jim and I dress in orange so we don't get shot but all Cleo has is her orange collar. On opening day of shotgun for deer hunting this season in our town a local hunter was shot and killed while dragging his 9 point 200lb deer out of the woods to gut. The man...David Manilla who shot the hunter was illegally hunting with a high powered rifle. Needless to say since that happened both Jim and I want Cleo as visible as possible.  You can read more about that here:

So the fleece vest she is getting is coming from Ugly Dog Hunting. It's pretty fly. Check out the picture of it below:

  river's west dog vest

The fleece cost $44.00 dollars but in reality the piece of mind it will bring on the few days she will wear it is priceless. As soon as it comes I will get a paparazzi pic of her and post it. Lol.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homemade Doggie Snacks: Peanut Butter Biscuits

Aside from bird dogs and mixed martial arts some of my other passions are cooking and baking. So Cleo is pretty lucky and gets a lot of homemade dog food and dog treats. I prefer making her dog treats as opposed to purchasing them because it gives me the benefit of knowing exactly what she's eating. I also never have to worry about treat or biscuit recalls due to salmonella or other contaminants. We do buy some of her treats but most of them are homemade. 

I also like giving her homemade food in addition to her dry food because I can't help but feel she is eating healthier. Both Jim and I are competitive athletes and I know when I am training for a fight I can't eat crappy food. My body is being used like a machine and it needs good fuel to run it otherwise it just doesn't reach its peak performance. You would never put 87 octane fuel in a Ferrari and expect it to run efficiently. You give a Ferrari race fuel. Peoples bodies and dogs bodies work the same way. If Jim and I expect Cleo to go out and run her hardest and work a field efficiently we better supply her with the right fuel for the job. So Cleo gets alot of good healthy food and homemade treats.

One of Cleo's favorite treats are Peanut Butter Biscuits. I've listed the recipe below:

What you need:
1 Cup of rolled old fashioned oats
2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 Cup peanut butter
1 Cup water
1/4 Cup canola oil
1 Egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Flour a flat clean surface and roll the mixture out to 3/4 of an inch thick. Use a dog bone cookie cutter to cut out the biscuits and then place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

2. Bake for 20 minutes and then flip the biscuits over and continue baking for another 20 minutes. When the biscuits are finished place them on a cooling rack to cool and dry out. Never give your pup a hot biscuit! Store the biscuits in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Cleo loves these biscuits and they keep up for 2 weeks in the fridge....not that they ever last that long. You can also see the bits of oats and goodness in them as oppossed to the processed look of Milkbones. I also like that they only have 6 ingredients unlike Milkbones which has a long list of stuff in them. I actually listed the ingredients to Milkbones below as a comparison. Check it out and come to your own conclusion.

Milkbone Ingredients: Wheat flour, beef meal and beef bone meal, milk, wheat bran, beef fat preserved with tocopherols, salt, dicalcium phosphate, wheat germ, natural flavor, calcium carbonate, brewers dried yeast, malted barley flour, vitamins (choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopheryl ecetate [vitamin e], vitamin a acetate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, vitamin b12 supplement, d-activated animal sterol [source of vitamin d3]), sodium metabisulfite (dough conditioner), minerals (zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide [source of iodine]).

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year - New Blog - Great Hunting!!

I've decided to start keeping an online blog of our adventures with Cleo our 16 month old German Shorthaired Pointer. The first adventure for the new year was a hunting trip this morning at Powderborne Pheasant Preserve which is located about 20 minutes from of our house in Bucks County Pennsylvania. It was a pretty big commitment on our part because that meant we couldn't get too out of control with our New Year's celebrations last night. Who wants to be hung over and hunting?? Anyway, it was an absolutely beautiful day for January 1st. The sky was a tad bit cloudy but it was a nice and balmy 45 degrees. 
Jimmy watching Cleo work the field

Cleo knew this morning before we left the house that she was going hunting. As soon as she sees her electric collar and her gear bag getting packed she's full of enthusiasm. She's always a ball of energy but when she knows she's hunting or training that energy has direction. As soon as we hit the field she was down to business. Within about 3 minutes she had pointed her first bird and a puff of feathers later we had our first confimred bird of the day. As soon as she had that first bird locked down she couldn't be stopped. We even commented at the end of the day that even when Jim and I are ready to pack it in she's still working hard. I'm pretty sure she would search for birds until her last breath. She even seems annoyed when you make her stop to water her. She really is her happiest when she's in the field.  

So at the end of the day we bagged 5 Pheasants. We had an opportunity to shoot 3 more - one I accidently flushed. Another one flushed right up into the trees and the other one flushed as soon as Cleo found it and we just weren't ready. Some of the birds were real runners today so it made it challenging. But it was a ton of fun and Cleo did a phenominal job. I'm always amazed at her natural instincts.
One of the best parts about today was Jim spoke to the owner of the Pheasant Preserve and gave them our number to use Cleo as a guide dog. Hopefully Jim will get to take her there at least once a week and work her in the field. He won't be shooting but it will give him an opportunity to work her in real hunting situations. 

We had a great time today. I'm looking forward to making homemade Pennsylvania Dutch Pheasant Pot Pie with those Pheasants. Mmmmm good eats. And Cleo rode home in a ball on my lap. I'm pretty sure she is the only hunting dog who rides to hunts and tests on heated seats and on my lap in the front seat. But we don't care she's spoiled....we love her and appreciate how hard she works. Besides she's a pretty good dog when she's not destroying shoes and rolls of toilet paper.

Proud Pappa