Friday, July 31, 2009

Kennel Club Takes Action Against the Indefensible

I am not shy about beating The Kennel Club and the AKC around the head.

Nothing has been more destructive to the health of dogs than the Kennel Club promotion of bizarre breeds, fake histories, contrived standards, and extreme show ring exaggerations.

That said, following the showing of the BBC's Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the Kennel Club has taken some small steps forward, mostly of a remedial nature, and I applaud that.

Father-daughter and mother-son incest has finally been banned, and a few small changes were made to a few breeds standards, though the Kennel Club continues to allow breed judges to award top ribbons to dogs that are outside those breed standards.

So why this new round of applause?

Simple: The Kennel Club has taken an important step forward, this time to send a message to breeders of show-line German Shepherds that the animals they have been saluting in the ring -- canines best described as "half frog and half dog" -- will no longer cut the mustard.

German Shepherd at the Manchester Show, 2008

In a July 28th notice, the Kennel Club let it be known that it was no longer going to allocate Challenge Certificates to German Shepherd dogs until certain basic health matters were cleared up:

The Kennel Club has recently completed the overall allocation of Championship Status for 2012 (published in the August issue of the Kennel Gazette) but has declined for the time being to allocate Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for that year to German Shepherd Dogs (Alsatians) until it has resolved various matters with the GSD fraternity.

The Kennel Club has been in contact with representatives from the German Shepherd Dog Clubs and Council to discuss concerns raised by judges over the conformation of the breed as frequently seen in the show ring.

During the course of these discussions it has been stressed that the Kennel Club is aware of sensitivities within the breed, but is also acutely conscious that there is a clear need for the KC and breed clubs to work together to resolve health issues of all kinds and put an end to the practice of double handling.

The KC Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group is particularly keen to ensure both the proper application of the Kennel Club Breed Standard – and the avoidance of exaggeration – by judges and breeders alike. The Kennel Club notes the level of valid criticism from all quarters; not only within the world of dogs, but also from the veterinary profession and from the general public. The KC is aware of similar concerns in other parts of Europe.

GSD breed representatives were asked, in the discussions that have taken place, to help enhance the reputation of this well recognised breed. There was agreement that there were problems with the hindquarters of some dogs, and that dogs with hocks touching or almost touching were most unsatisfactory. It was felt by some that the tendency for this stemmed from the length of the second thigh. Concern has also been expressed over the potential adverse effect on health both of exaggerated toplines which seem in some cases to be almost roached, and of toplines which fall away in an exaggerated manner.

Breed representatives agreed that during their training, judges must be made aware of the need for overall soundness and, in particular, strength in the hindquarters.

Well there's progress!

It is almost the one-year anniversary of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, and still things are moving along.

Of course, things are only moving because of fear that unless The Kennel Club steps up and shows it is capable of implementing real change, that change will be imposed from without. As I have noted in the past, those who will not fence up for themselves, generally find themselves fenced in by others.

The real concern, I believe, is Patrick Bateson's report, which The Kennel Club itself has commissioned. That report is not expected before the end of the year, but if The Kennel Club is taking action now to deal with the poor movement and roached backs of German Shepherd's (not a new phenomenon!), it must mean they have real fear.

Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club continues along, with its fingers in it ears and its eyes shut, its own roached-back and nearly-lame showline German Shepherds the laughing stock of the dog world. The U.S. Secret Service will not even consider using an American German Shepherd. Look at the quality, and it's no wonder!

Happy Birthday to the Outdoor Pressroom

Happy Birthday to the Outdoor Pressroom which is celebrating 10 years online.

He's Supposed to Look Like That?

The ugliest dog in Britain is ... drum roll.... a Chinese Crested.

In short he's the same breed as just about every other "ugliest dog" winner in the world.

From The Daily Mail (which identifies the dog as a Mexican Hairless):

Dawn Fields, head kennel maid at the Hillside Kennels in Waltham Abbey, Essex, said: "When I first saw him I thought, 'Oh my God, what is that? What an ugly b****r'. I thought he had a flea allergy because it makes some dogs lose their fur. But then I found out he's suppose to look like that."

Despite being worth hundreds of pounds, [the dog named] ET has languished at the kennels for months and staff think his quirky looks - a fluffy white head and tail and a bald pink body with black spots - are putting people off.

Mrs Fields said: 'Normally it only takes a few weeks to find a dog a new home but no one wants ET. I think it's purely because of his looks - he's an ugly little fellow.
'We've put him in different kennels to see if that helps. We put him in the first one people see as they come in, but they hurry on past him. Then we put him in the last kennel, but nothing seems to help.

Anyone in the U.K. interesting in giving the dog a new home can contact Hillside Kennels on 01992 892881.

Frontline and Heartgard Maker Merial to Be Sold

Merck, which owns Merial, the maker of Frontline and Heartgard, says it is going to sell Merial to Sanofi-Aventis for $4 billion.

Merial, based in Duluth, Georgia., earned about $2.6 billion last year, and did $1 billion in sales of Frontline which protects dogs and cars against fleas and ticks.

Why did Merck sell Merial? Simple: Merck itself is being bought by Pfizer.

Want to know more about these companies? Here are a few headlines

Note, that these are frauds against Medicare and Medicaid alone. Additional recoveries have been made by private insurance companies trying to recover money stolen from them using similar schemes.

Think these big pharmaceutical companies are above defrauding U.S. consumers when it comes to veterinary medicines, where consumer laws are weak or non-existent, and where neither the U.S. Government nor private insurance companies limit kickbacks, price-gouging, billing for medically unnecessary services, and upcoding?

Don't be naive!

Can You Hear Me Now?

Jonathan sends this picture, above, from South Africa, where he notes, "We have cell phones, but not much sense of self preservation."

For those interested in the native genius of Africa (and there is quite a lot), I highly recommend the Afrigadget web site. For example, check out:

Or how about the terrific bicycle ambulance and general haul vehicle being built (and saving lives) in Zambia, below.

If America wants to change Africa and America, together, here's how you do it: Allow these bicycle creations to be imported into the U.S., duty-free.

Want to help Africa right now, and for very little money? Here's how: click and treat the folks who click and treat. The genius who will save the world is in Africa right now. Help Afrigadget find him.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coffee and Provocation

  • Scientists Discover The Most Obvious Thing About Dogs:
    Science Daily reports
    : "Dog breeds selected to work in visual contact with humans, such as sheep dogs and gun dogs, are better able to comprehend a pointing gesture than those breeds that usually work without direct supervision." Follow up research is expected to show that almost anyone can train a retriever.

  • Worst Veterinary Offer Not in a Godfather Movie:
    Back in February, Bayer was bribing gave out $20 "discount coupons" for "preventative" veterinary care to people who clicked on an online offer. Eh? A discount on what, you might wonder? Why, for whatever unnamed problem, test or disease the veterinarian could come up with on the spot. Oh, and don't worry: there would be no upcoding or price-gouging. Promise! It reminds me of the woman who spent $5 a day on lottery tickets. I would have told her she was a loser for only $3 a day.

  • NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg Try to Confiscate a Flintlock
    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department say a man needs to register his smoke-pole flintlock, despite a New York City law that says he most definitely does not have to register it. Terrierman wants to see Mayor Bloomberg's original birth certificate.

  • Idaho's Wide-Stance Consultant:
    Former Senator Larry Craig, of "dollar-tug-job" fame (allegedly) is back in business.

  • How the British See the Republican Party:
    From The Independent: "What leadership there is, so it seems to this ignorant observer across the ocean, comes from the grass roots ... the sort of God fearin', gun-totin', sister-shaggin' sweethearts who screeched 'terrorist' and 'kill him' when John McCain mentioned Obama on the stump."

  • The Continuing Crisis:
    Oral Sex Cause of Throat Cancer Rise.

  • The $64 Tomato:
    This looks like a book I might enjoy, but best of all, there's a
    free NPR summary with a nice audio interview of the author telling how he battled a groundhog which took 10,000 volts from an electric fence and kept on coming. Nice. Check it out.

  • Organic is Not Healthier for You:
    There is no evidence that organically-produced foods are nutritionally superior to conventionally produced foods, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
    Left unasked is whether dumping vast quantities of bug-damaged fruits and vegetables while employing large numbers of illegal alien to do the weeding, is better for the environment than pesticide and herbicides.

  • Got Farm Workers?
    Dairy farm jobs are as steady as a clock, but The Wall Street Journal reports that farms are hiring illegal aliens because most Americans find hard physical work in a rural setting for $11.38 an hour not all that appealing. Says dairy man Ray Souza: "I haven't had a non-Hispanic want to do this work in 10 years." Souza and his fellow dairy men are now lobbying Congress for more foreign workers. They claim year-round dairy work is "a job an American won't do." Meanwhile, agricultural economist Phil Martin at the University of California at Davis says if labor costs go up a little more (i.e. if we enforce our immigration laws a little better), higher wages might spur the kind of investments in dairy technology needed to attract American workers.

  • Hell Freezes Over at the U.S.-Mexico Border:
    The Center for Immigration Studies
    reports that "Our best estimate is that the illegal alien population declined 13.7 percent (1.7 million) from a peak of 12.5 million in the summer of 2007 to 10.8 million in the first quarter of 2009."

  • Small Signs of Hope:
    Nepal reports that they have 121 breeding tigers left -- more than many experts expected. In Cambodia, researchers have discovered that the extremely rare white-shouldered ibis does better with some human activity around, as these birds prefer to forage in open and accessible sites with low vegetation and bare soil.

Order your coffee mug with your breed.

Organic and Local Farming by the Numbers

About a weeks ago, I wrote a post noting that despite his essays and poems advocating non-mechanized, locally-grown, organically-grown food production, author Wendell Berry's might not be the best person to lead a sensible discussion about U.S. farm policy.

As I noted, Berry's own farm produces feed corn, small grains, and tobacco. No commercial fresh fruits and vegetables of any kind are grown.

As for tobacco, the nicotine that comes from that destructive plant is such a terrible insecticide it is banned from being sprayed on U.S. food crops.

The little "joker in the deck" with Wendell Berry is that if we were to try to "eat local and eat organic" from the commercial crops he grows, we would starve to death in short order.

What was amazing about the Wendell Berry post was how many responses it engendered from people who seemed to think America is full of farms growing organic fruits and vegetables. Just go down to your local road-side vegetable stand to pick up locally-grown produce.


What road-side stand?

Am I living in a different America from everyone else? I have been driving around this country for a long time, and outside of a few parts of California, I have not seen much land in fruit and vegetable production, nor have I seen too many road-side fruit and vegetable stands.

Am I missing something?

I didn't think so, but just to be sure, I decided to look at the numbers.

A quick glance at the CIA World Fact Book confirmed that American is still a very large country with approximately 2,427,000,000 acres of land.

Unfortunately, less than 19 percent of this land is arable, and only 0.21 percent is in permanent crops.

Of course, 0.21 percent of 2.4 billion acres is still a lot of land. In fact, it's about 500 million acres.

Of the approximately 500 million acres in permanent crop production in the U.S., we have about 72 million acres in corn, 72 million acres in soybeans, 60 million acres in hay, 53 million acres in wheat, 8 million acres in sorghum, and 3 million acres in rice.

In addition to these 367 millions acres of machine-harvested grains and feed, we also have machine-harvested barley, rye, peanuts, sugarcane, sugar beets, flax, and sunflowers to round things out.

Floating on top of all this, we have about 4 million acres in fruit and nut trees, and about 6.8 million acres in vegetables.

Of the 6.8 million acres in vegetables, only 1.7 million acres is grown for fresh vegetables -- the rest is cropped for machine-harvested potatoes (1.2 million acres), machine-harvested dried beans (2 million acres), or canned vegetables (1.3 million acres harvested by both machine and hand).

In addition, a significant portion of the fruit and nut acreage is also machine-harvested -- wine grapes are now picked by mechanical "fingers," while fruit and nut trees are routinely shake-harvested.

All in all, only about 0.0021 percent of all land in the U.S. is in fruit and vegetable production that is not being mechanically planted and harvested, and more than half of this is in California.

Why do I stress mechanical planting and harvesting?

Two reasons. The first, is that Wendell Berry and his adherents like to rail against "industrial agriculture" even as they say they respect farming.

Sorry, that doesn't work for me.

Farming is not some romantic and abstract notion. It's tractors, cultivators, electric fences, bailers, graders, post pounders, dryers, feed bunkers, and electronic monitors.

You cannot tell me you respect farmers while telling me you disrespect the tools and methods they use to make a living.

Second, there is the little matter of labor.

As I noted in an earlier post entitled The Problem Is Not in Our Fields,
If you have food crops that cannot be mechanized (and many crops cannot), then you need a massive labor force that will show up on call and without fail to work in the heat and bugs for 12 hour-days, and for as many days as it takes to bring in the crops.

And then, when the crops are in, you need those people to disappear until they are needed again at a moment's notice (i.e. during that magical three-day window when your fruits and vegetables are ready for harvest at maximum value).

If we get rid of all our corn and soy bean fields, and replace them with locally-grown truck gardens, who is going to pick the lettuce, cabbage, string beans, onions, tomatoes, pumpkins, and zucchini?

Of course, the traditional American answer has been slaves.

We tried indentured servants, but the ungrateful bastards ran away.

We brought in Africans who had a harder time escaping, but Lincoln freed them in 1863.

After that we had to go to the end of the earth to bring in the Chinese and Japanese, but that game ended with the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Asiatic Barred Zone, and the Gentleman's Agreement with Japan, so we brought in Mexicans until that flow was ended (at least for a time) by Edward R. Murrow's Harvest of Shame television documentary in 1964.

So now we have machines in our fields where we can, and illegal aliens where we can't.

There is not much in between: some recent legal immigrants, some refugees, a few college kids, and a few drunks. That about rounds it out.

Is there any wonder305 million to 500 million (and rising!) while we bring back peonage?

Harvest of shame: Foreign labor plants squash in North Carolina, 2005.

Of course, I have not even mentioned organic fruits and vegetables, have I?

Nor have I talked about buying locally-grown produce.

Let's look at the data there.

Across the U.S. we harvested less than 98,000 acres of certified organic fruits and nuts in 2005, the latest year for which there USDA-published data. Of these 98,000 certified organic acres, 57,000 acres were in California

You want to know how many acres of organic fruit were grown in Wendell Berry's home state of Kentucky?


Two acres in 2005! And that's for a state with a population of 4.1 million people.

Of course, much of the rest of the nation is doing too much better.

That same year, Ohio grew only 57 acres of organic fruit, Pennsylvania 42 acres, Louisiana 63 acres, Maryland 16 acres, Alabama 0 acres, New Jersey 50 acres, South Carolina 0 acres, West Virginia 0 acres, Illinois 5 acres, and Delaware 0 acres. Click here to see more state data (Excel spreadsheet).

How about organic vegetables?

Here too, we find rather paltry production, with just 98,000 acres across the U.S., of which 58,000 acres were grown in California.

You want to know how many acres of organic vegetables were grown in Kentucky?

Just 25 acres.

That same year, Ohio had only 581 acres in organic vegetables, Pennsylvania 869 acres, Louisiana 11 acres, Maryland 361 acres, Alabama 4 acres, New Jersey 237 acres, South Carolina 53 acres, West Virginia 63 acres, Illinois 357 acres, and Delaware just one 1 acre. Click here to see more state data (Excel File).

Bottom line: Anyone who thinks America can feed itself on locally-grown, non-mechanized, organically-grown fruits and vegetables is living a rich fantasy life.

To be clear: I am NOT against organic gardening.

As I noted in my very-positive review of Michael Pollan's book, Ominvore's Dilemma, I have been reading Organic Gardening since long before it was cool.

But gardening is not farming.

You do not farm with a trowel and bags of potting soil.

You do not farm by turning over a compost pile with a hoe, or by stirring coffee grounds and banana peels into "night soil" collected from the base of your composting toilet.

I am not against that, but it is not farming. It is gardening.

It is a question of scale.

In a world of 6.7 billion people, you do not put food on everyone's table by watering from a garden hose snaked from a tap.

In America, farming is done with machines, and there is no apology for doing so.

After all, it is only because of machines that the U.S. is able to feed itself.

It is only because of machines that we are a net food exporter.

As the U.S. Department of Commerce notes,
Foods, feeds, and beverages represented $108.4 billion of U.S. exports in 2008, and was the second largest export growth category (end-use) for the U.S., with exports rising $24.2 billion (or 28.7 percent) over 2007. The U.S. trade surplus in foods, feeds, and beverages rose $16.8 billion to reach $19.4 billion in 2008, up from a surplus of $2.6 billion in 2007.

Nothing said here is meant to discourage people from doing more backyard gardening.

And when you garden, please use fewer pesticides and more organic fertilizers.

If you can afford it (and many people can), try to buy foods that have a positive environmental and social agenda woven into their manufacture, whether that is local-grown, organic, or fair-trade.

Try to learn more about modern agricultural methods such as no-till, strip-till, and ridge-till practices, as well as winter cover-crop production, sewage-sludge fertilizer, drip irrigation systems, and mechanical harvesting innovations.

But do not turn your nose up at farm mechanization or overseas agricultural production.

Mechanization is what allows farmers to farm in the United States, and it is what allows old people and poor people to afford food.

If this is a surprise to you, then I suggest going out this next weekend, with shovel in hand, to dig a five foot deep hole in the ground just to see what manual labor feels like. Digging by hand is farming without mechanization.

After you have dug your five-foot-deep hole, I suggest spending a little time with "the Google" so you can discover the average annual income, from all sources, for those age 65+. It is not quite what you think! After paying for rent, gasoline, prescription drugs, clothes, heat, and car maintenance, how is it that these people are supposed to afford $5 tomatoes?

And as for overseas production, it is the only logical alternative to a new slave trade in the United States for crops that cannot yet be mechanically planted and harvested.

Without a doubt, overseas production is the future of organic produce at your grocery store, as the differential cost of manual weed control in Mexico versus the U.S. is $50 per acre as compared to $500 per acre.

The bottom line is this: The idea that there are vast acres of locally-grown, organic, non-mechanically harvested fruits and vegetables in the U.S. is pure fantasy. So too is the notion that America's roadsides are littered with fruit and vegetable stands selling such produce. Yes, go ahead ahead and cultivate an organic garden. But gardening is not farming. If American agriculture is going to be saved, it will be with a tractor and not a hoe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beef casserole

It's cold outside, just right for a warming winter casserole. Ever since I read the wonderful Nourishing Traditions book, we've gone back to eating a bit of meat. That meat is always local, grass fed and free range - never grain fed or feed lot cattle. If that was the only meat we could buy, we wouldn't eat meat. We choose to eat meat on the bone and let the long slow cooking melt the

Thank you

A quick, but most sincere thank you, to all who have taken the time to comment on my postings. It warms the heart and renews my faith and hope in the kindness of strangers.


Sweet Jesus, Please Someone Shoot This Man

This is jaw dropping. This is Fox News.

Well, That Explains It

The Murphy''s Always Fight at Home

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Year Round Dosing for Big Veterinary Profits

The dog and I should take the poison to cure what we don't have?

Imagine a doctor telling you that "just to be safe," he was going to dose you every month with penicillin because "you never really know."

Also, since you do a lot of gardening and are around dirt and manure a lot, he was going to worm you every month as well.

Would you consider that outrageous health care?

Well, it's not outrageous in the world of dogs, where veterinarians routinely counsel every client that their dog should be on year-round poisons so they can avoid fleas, ticks, heart worms and roundworms, whether they have them or not.

Roundworms are uncommon in an adult dog, and dosing your dog on a monthly basis is not needed unless you are feeding your dog the raw flesh of wild animals.

Dose your dog once a year for worms (no vet visit is needed, no fecal test is needed, and no prescription medication is needed) and be done with it.

As for fleas and ticks, it really depends on how and where you live. If you have several dogs and are in field and forest several times a week, that is one thing. But if you only have one dog which rarely leaves the sidewalk (i.e. most dogs in America), your dog probably does not need to be on year-round flea and tick medication. Get a flea comb, and if you find fleas, bathe your dog in a cheap over-the-counter flea shampoo, and you should be fine.

As for heart worm, it can only be transmitted if the temperature stays above 57 degrees for at least 45 days straight, both day and night. If the temperature drops below 57 degrees even once during that 45-day period, the life cycle of the heart worm is broken. And if your dog is dosed with heart worm medication even once during any part of a heartworm's 90-day life cycle, all of the microfilaria larvae will be killed. In short, year-round monthly dosing for heart worm is never needed.

So why do vets routinely prescribe year-round medications toxins for dogs?

Simple: Money.

As Dr. Tai Federico, a Tennessee veterinarian recently confessed to the Veterinary Information Service: "Merial has paid for my house, basically, (through) the profit I’ve gotten on Frontline.”

Not only are there real profits to be made from the monthly application of flea, tick and heart worm medications, but simply getting clients to keep coming back for regular prescriptions means that more "well dog" visits can be scheduled during which unnecessary vaccine "booster" shots and dental cleanings can be sold. .

Ironically, while many dog owners have a misplaced obsession with the quality of food they are feeding their dog, these same pet owners often think nothing of dosing their canine companions with insecticides on a monthly basis.

Getting others on board

I want to thank everyone who commented yesterday on the washing powder post. Sharing our our experiences gives us all more knowledge and ways to tackle problems. So thank you for being involved in this community as well as for your information and knowledge.This post is an answer to another question posed last week. This one is from JoAnna who wrote: I know you've mentioned this before, but I

White Wednesday #3

In my home white is everywhere. It is:

In small shelves in sets of three

In jars inside cupboards

In florals on top of cupboards

In folk art faces

and wings and dresses

It is in wool and cotton and ivory, bisque, cafe au lait and cream

It is for tea

and favorite angels

And contemplative angels

It is for collections and for every day use. I have used many colors in many homes but I have never been as content with color as in this house of white.

I will be listing Primitive White on Etsy 7/29.

Please stop by the other White Wednesday Folks by clicking on the picture at left.

Pearly White Profits From Teeth Cleaning

This is how a Jack Russell Terrier smiles.

The cover of the February issue of Veterinary Economics features an article entitled Pearly White Profits in which veterinarians are advised that canine and feline dentistry are great profit centers.

Tips are given on how to get the receptionist to bill pad suggest new services such as teeth cleaning, and the article says every veterinary practice should have associates "devote two to five minutes of every 15- to 20-minute office visit to talking about dental care."

The article says everyone in the practice should "make a list of the top 10 things you can do to increase the number of dental procedures your practice performs."


But you know what this article never says or even suggests? That there is any scientific evidence to support the notion that there is any medical benefit to annual teeth cleaning.

Absolute silence there!

And you know why? Because no such evidence exists.

And, here's the kicker: that's not just true for dogs, it's true for humans too. As the Journal of Evidence-based Dentistry notes, there is "insufficient evidence to understand the effect of routine scaling and polishing".

And that's for humans. For dogs?

Well, do you really need to know which way the wind blows?

Think it through for a minute. What's the main difference between the teeth of a human and the teeth of dog?

That's right! The human can be expected to live 80 years with adult teeth, while the dog will generally be dead after 12 or 13 years.

But there's more.

You see, human teeth cleaning can be done with the human wide awake and sitting up in a chair, while canine dentistry has to be done with the dog completely knocked out under general anesthesia.

That's a big difference!

And the reason that's a big difference is that anesthesia is risky for both humans and dogs.

In fact, complete general anesthesia is so unsafe that today, when a human heart stent is put in, the patient is almost never put completely under. The sames is true for laser eye surgery, most small tumor removal, and carpal tunnel surgery.

In fact, veterinary anesthesia is so dangerous your vet will insist on doing a full run-up of blood tests before it is done, and even then anesthesia complications and fatalities are fairly common.

And yet, your vet cannot show you a single scientific study that shows that dental scaling and polishing on a dog or cat has the slightest medical benefit.

Not one.

Bottom line: Annual teeth cleaning is not about canine health care, it's about veterinary wealth care.

The entire field was invented, approximately 20 years ago as a way of bringing more money into veterinary practices to replace money disappearing because of changing vaccine protocols for dogs and cats.

Go ahead and brush your dog's teeth. Home-based prevention is good medicine. But when it comes to an annual dental cleaning at the vets, just say NO.

Does that mean there is no place for canine dentistry?  No, not at all.  I recommend taking in a dog when it's about five years old for a teeth cleaning, and then again when it's about 10.  The cost is high, and the benefits are not clear, but a good scaling of the teeth may make them look a little better and may reduce doggy breath a bit (but do not count on much change on either score).  


The Jab in the Pocket

Vaccines are an area where veterinarians have worked very hard to confuse things.

Those who have children know that after they become teenagers, they are pretty much done with vaccines. Are dogs different?


It turns out that after that first round of shots, completed in the first year of a dog's life, no other vaccines are necessary, except rabies.

Ronald D. Schultz, chairman of the University of Wisconsin's Department of Pathobiological Sciences, and the world's foremost expert on dog and cat vaccines, describes how he takes care of his own dogs and cats in the March 1998 issue of Veterinary Medicine:

"My own pets are vaccinated once or twice as pups and kittens, then never again except for rabies."

More recently, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) published Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature. This 2003 report notes:

"We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper and vaccinations last for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies, and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer."

Bottom Line: If your veterinarian is pushing annual Disptemper, Parvo, Corona and other shots for your adult dog, he or she is ripping you off and billing you for medically unnecessary services.

Change vets!.


Do You Feel .... Inadequate?

This is a real ad for a real pharmaceutical product.

Below, a little "Bonus Brooke" in which Ms. Shields explains the basics of Darwin, genetics, natural selection and even genetic drift.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Troubleshooting in the laundry

Just a quick post today because I'm going to work and I have a few things to do before I go. It will be a big day there as I'm presenting another Frugal Home workshop.Anonymous asked this question last week: I made some liquid laundry soap from Fel-Naptha soap, borax and washing soda... and my whites are so dingy I can't stand it! When I used the same ingredients but just grated the soap and

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wool moths!

I cleaned out my work room on Saturday, a job that had been waiting for me since the wedding. With Tricia and I rummaging in the fabric stash for quilt fabric and thread, and the various other activities associated with the wedding, looking for ribbons and pins, it was quite evident it needed some order restored. I spend quite some time in my work room now that I'm writing the book every day. My

Naked Boys Singing

Friday evening Hannah and I went to see my "surrogate son" Ivan perform in Naked Boys Singing now playing at the Onyx Theatre in the Commercial Center.

Although I had some trepidation about seeing Ivan naked on stage, within minutes of the show's opening number I was laughing so hard and appreciating the talents of the cast, (out of the gutter people, I mean Singing talents) that all nervousness about the whole nudity issue disappeared.

The play is delightful and sweet and laugh till you're crying funny. We had heard stories for weeks from Ivan about rehearsals and a smattering of tunes from the show, and although I was prepared to be proud of Ivan, I was delighted by each new scene performed and the audience reaction to it. Favorites include "The Bliss of a Briss", "Window to Window", "Perky Little Porn Star", "Robert Mitchum", " The Entertainer " and "Members Only", but we really did enjoy every single number.

Hannah and I attend the Shakespeare Theater in Utah every year and have watched many a musical comedy. At none of those have we laughed as hard, and as long as we did Friday night. The only comic relief is three very sentimental scenes that were beautifully presented.

I cannot recommend enough to all of you to make the time to go see this play. Granted, the theater is in the rear of an adult store, but do not let that deter you, in fact some of you might have fun shopping? I actually found a cute pair of striped pants. Hannah thought that was hilarious.

Naked Boys Singing is currently running off Broadway so this is not some Vegas/Nudity play for titillation purposes only. It is only set to run through late August, but as word gets out, and the reviews have been very good maybe it will run a little longer.

This is a fabulous "Girls night out" event and if you are too nervous/shy/embarrassed to go, I would love to go again and plan to. The "boys" will be happy to autograph your program after the show. hehe

And Ivan...we love you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday viewing & reading - preserving food

I came across a very good series of You Tube videos on dehydrating foods recently. There are a few there and well worth taking some time for.Also, this site has some excellent advice on preserving/canning.I hope you're enjoying your weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where Bloggers Create

Welcome to oldgreymare's studio. This space is a tiny 9' x 9' loft. So small that I could not get a broad shot of the whole room. It certainly is cozy, and one of the few rooms in my home with color and I have been fortunate to create in this space for 16 years. I covet anything with cubbies and multiple drawers; I need them for storage and I seem able to always make room for just one more. Out of photo range is another set of cubbies and another primitive small white table. Outside the window is a big old lush ash tree always filled with chattering birds and a nice distraction for musing over the next project.

The studio stores my children's childhood teddy bears, treasures of my parents, cards and letters from my children and friends. I am surrounded by warm memories and good thoughts here, the perfect retreat for oldgreymare.

50 drawer apothecary and ancestors

Some of Hannah's black and whites

Old chicken coop filled with fabric

Favorite browns and spoon/fork chandelier

Found this pincushion with the hat pins in Orange, CA

One of my favorite pieces/drop door desk

Inside the desk

More cubbies and wonderful old cabinet filled with fabric

Everything within reach

Favorite ribbons and wool roving

Big comfy chair

Aw shucks, c'mon in

More storage

My work table

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The evolution of the dish cloth

A reader asked me to write more on dishcloths - she is having problems with the cloths she knitted because they're too thick and don't dry out properly. I had the same problem with some of my Lions cotton cloths. They're fine in summer, but in winter they don't dry out well. I also found some of the thick cloths aren't very good for cleaning delicate things like wine glasses or fine vases.My

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Living simply - how to start

Next in the series of readers questions is how to start living simply.Well, the answer to this is to know why you want to simplify your life. Is it because you feel stressed all the time? Are you concerned about the chemicals in your life? Are you moving to another house and want to change the way you live along with everything else? Are you trying to save money? Or are you tired of living

The gentle art of homemaking

Day three of readers questions and this subject seems to be a favourite one here - homemaking. I really enjoy writing about this because I think we don't have enough homemaking role models and, as a job, it's often devalued by people around us.And why is that? Why is homemaking as a career seen as such a dull and dead end thing to do? I think it has a lot to do with money. Homemakers aren't

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beneficial plants and insects - companion planting

This is the second in the series of readers questions. Today, companion planting and natural insect control, and another lady wanted anything to do with gardening; so two birds, one stone. ;- )I have to be honest and tell you that I'm not a real believer in the repellent kind of companion planting. I think that a few plants benefit being planted together, but in my experience it's not many.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

White Wednesday #2

A bit of Outdoor WHITE at oldgreymare

Front Door Greeting

Nearby pond and lovely residents

Found this artist studio in TN, tucked behind an enormous
home out in the country. It took my breath away.

Oh, you've noticed it is not Wednesday? I can't get anything by you.
It's a busy week with clients and working in my studio, so I figured I had better get White Wednesday posted ASAP or it would not happen. I also will be posting a White Primitive on Etsy on the 22nd, and I haven't created it yet. YIKES! Then please come back on the 24th for studio blog party. Hannah has promised to help me with photos. Right now the studio looks like someone turned an industrial fan on at full blast, then walked away. It'll be back to pretty? OK, maybe primitive, aka junk pretty by Friday.

40th anniversary of Moon Walk. I turned 16 the same day way back then.....

The simple life in retirement

This week I'll be answering the questions asked by readers last week. The first is on retirement.I guess we fell into retirement without thinking too much about it. Well, maybe I did that, Hanno probably didn't, he's very careful and always plans, especially when finances are involved. Nevertheless, we both found ourselves "retired" - he is well and truly over retirement age (65 years) and gets

Saturday, July 18, 2009


As in "Thank God it's Over". I haven't talked to Suzi this evening but I imagine she must be as stiff and sore as I am. I can barely move.

It was simply blistering out there today but we sold off carloads of stuff and we all were thrilled with our profits..if you can call selling things for 1/100th of their original price profits. But my garage and Suzi's studio area will be much improved with less stuff so all in all a successful day. One big carload to Goodwill tomorrow and it is all a distant memory.

Thank you to all who stopped by and a bigger thank you :-) to those who left their money!

Sunday viewing - Trouble in Amish Paradise

I watch Compass every week and saw this BBC program last week. It's a very interesting look at two Amish families in Lancaster County. You can watch it from the Compass site.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Garage Sale Preview Night

We are off to a great start! Tonight was preview night from 6-8 and quite a few ladies came by to get dibs on their favorite stuff. Thank you ladies for stopping by and for your patience as I tried to get you all totaled up and bagged up and on your way. There are still many great bargains waiting to be discovered tomorrow at 7am. It is only going to be 117 degrees. We're not crazy? We will be closing by noon, no ifs, no ands, and certainly no buts.

I always do preview nights before garage sales so if you wish to be included send me your email by clicking on that little letter symbol at the bottom of this post, and you will be notified of all the latest happenings on OGM.

Etsy is on vacation mode because I am selling my Etsy items at the sale. Many have already found new homes tonight but there are a few left.

Enjoy your weekend and stop back for White Wednesday here and on Etsy and the 24th my studio pics are joining another group of bloggers and their studios. See the left column for link

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What has the recession taught you?

Although it started off slowly, the world wide recession seems to have hit many countries pretty hard. Unemployment has taken a toll, so have marriages - I read recently that financial problems have pushed many couples to breaking point.There is no doubt about it, this recession has destroyed the dreams of many and made a lot of people reassess how they live. However, I believe we can learn a

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fairy cakes

It's been quite a while since I posted about making fairy cakes. I promised to give you the recipe, so better late than never, here it is.

1 1/2 cups sifted self raising flour+ 1 teaspoon baking powder for extra lift
1 cup sifted plain flour
1 cup white sugar
150g (5½ oz) soft butter
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
Finely grated zest one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I made mine in a gem scone

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

White Wednesday #1

A few white vignettes in my home. It's hard to choose which to showcase on my introductory offering, since a few have been on prior blog postings, and well, because my entire house is done in Primitive White. Also, I need to save some for future White Wednesdays. So here is a petite selection, and I hope you'll come back for more next Wednesday. New Primitive White listings Wednesdays HERE starting 7/22/09

*** I had to come back in to do a little edit here, because this morning has been such a delight of comments and emails to me all because of White Wednesday. Thank you Kathleen! It's only a few hours into WW today, and I'm already planning next week's pics.***