This is a poem I actually wrote last Halloween. I haven’t had a chance to write another one, but want to be sure to celebrate as I’m such a kid and love Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

What Creepy Doings are with us Tonight? A Bump or a Bang – a Scratch or a Bite!

Delicious darkness embraces this night! Witches and Kittens grin with delight! Ghostly waltzes send out such a freight!

Shadows of flickering candles on walls; their dance quickly rises, then suddenly falls.

Transforming shapes at the flick of a wick! Or are these forms a Spiritual Trick?

Pumpkins displayed in unrivaled boasts. Forewarning signs hang loosely on posts!

Demonic stars pierce night’s purple veil, dripping like diamonds over hill and dale.

Creepy, foreboding shadows glide past, on tree trunks and fences their silhouettes cast.

Oh my! What was That? Are things what the seem? I could’ve sworn I just heard a Scream!

Ghostly Boys in Mom’s finest sheets! Dancing with Fairies is Oh Such a Treat! Cackling Witches shatter the night on mythical broomsticks, they ready for flight.

Ghastly monsters with hatchets creep by. Bats are soaring ever so high!

Masks of Plastic and Hairy, Fiendish and Scary! Prickling of Ears and Twitching of whiskers, while tales of headless horsemen are told in low whispers!

Devilry sweeps through this night! Sharp and prickling like a watchman’s light!

The air is abounding with chatters and giggles; with added tones of snickers and sniggles.

Happy little goblins dig deep in their sacks, for much needed yummies and delicate snacks!

Little Beasts with treats, tired and worn, return to their homes before dawn is born!

Oh What a Bewitching… Mysterious Eve!

So Many Oddities! I Cannot Conceive!

Puppies in Hats! Bows on Black Cats!

What Could This Mean!

Oh Yes! Of Course! It’s Halloween!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Shepherds are one of the top 5 most popular dogs in the United States.

These dogs are one of the most recognizable breeds due to their striking markings. Although German Shepherds have a variety of colors, the most common are red, tan, brown, black, tan/black or red/black. These varieties have black masks and black body markings referred to as the classic “saddle” marking to the overall “blanket” marking.

Rarer colors for Shepherds are all black, white or sable. For show, the all black and sable are accepted, according to standards. The blue or liver are consider faulted and the white shepherds never qualify.

Intelligence:

German Shepherds are bred specifically for their high intelligence which they are famous for. They are considered the third most intelligent breed of dog, passed only by Border Collies and Poodles. Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs”, found they have the ability to learn simple tasks after only 5 repetitions and obey first commands 95% of the time.

This ability combined with their great strength, make this breed extremely desirable as guard dogs, police guards and search and rescue.

Temperament:

In the United States, one source suggests that German Shepherd dogs are responsible for more reported bitings than any other breed. While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states “There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, a consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite then others.”

These dogs bond well with children they are familiar with and are usually very protective. They are extremely loyal and bond with the people they know. They are highly active and self-assured. They have a great willingness to learn and need to have a purpose.

If they are not socialized properly, they can become overly protective of the family and territory. They do not warm up to strangers quickly but are very obedient when trained properly.

Health Issues:

The most common malady is through inbreeding causing hip and elbow dysplasia that can cause a great deal of pain later on in life. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 19.1% of Shepherds are affected by hip dysplasia. Also, due to their rather large, open ears, they are prone to ear infections. Like other large-bodied dogs, they are also prone to bloating.

Average Size and Life-Span:

Males:

Weigh between 66 – 88 pounds (30 – 40 kilograms). Their height is between 24 – 26 inches (60 – 65 centimeters)

Females:

Weigh between 49 – 71 pounds (22 – 32 kilograms). Their height is between 21 – 24 inches (53 – 60 centimeters).

Their most common color is Black and Tan and their litter sizes are between 5 to 10.

Their average life span is 9.7 years which is normal for a large breed dog. German Shepherds also have a higher than normal incident of Von Willebrand Disease, an inherited bleeding disorder.

This is an extremely versatile breed of dog, they excel as working dogs due to their strong sense of duty, their mental abilities, their fearlessness and attachment to their owners.

German Shepherds have been featured in many films and other medias over the years. Strongheart was one of the earliest canine film stars followed by Rin Tin Tin. Rin Tin Tin is considered to be the most famous German Shepherd of all time. Both these dogs are credited with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Although the tabby cat is not a breed, they do come in many colors.  There is a distinctive pattern that appears in many breeds of cats.  An orange color is usually  called an orange tabby.  Others refer to them as marmalade or ginger cats.

It is true that the majority of orange tabbies are males, females in this color are quite rare with a ratio of 80 males to 20 females.

Tabbies come in four patterns:  Mackerel, Classic, Striped and Ticked. These patterns are also called swirled, striped, swirled and striped as one pattern and spotted.

Often orange tabbies will develop black freckles on their noses while others will retain a soft pink nose.

One very distinct marking that belongs to tabbies is the “M” marking on their foreheads.  The story goes that when baby Jesus could not sleep, an orange tabby curled up with him and purred.  This let Jesus sleep, Mary in turn, kissed the orange tabby on his forehead and blessed him – ergo an “M”.

Although orange tabbies are not considered a breed of cat, owners would strongly disagree.  Winston Churchill’s cat Jock was a ginger tabby and attended wartime cabinet meetings and no one commenced eating until Jock was at the table.  Everyone knows the 9-Lives cat Morris and the cartoon character Garfield.

Owners who are the proud parents of orange tabbies pretty much all agree that they do have striking personalities ranging from strong in opinions to just sweet as angels!

On a personal note:  I know a very special orange tabby named Osca, not Oscar — but Osca!  He’s the most playful fun loving kitty sharing my home with 4 other kitties.  Not paying attention one night, I opened the freezer door not realizing he was sleeping on top of the fridge! I immediately caught him when he lost his balance, but he never once ejected his claws, he just let me catch him.

I grabbed this latest news from the ASPCA – I applaud everyone whose efforts brought theses people to justice.  It took 2 years but the guilty will now pay. Here is a quick scenario:


On July 22, five more defendants were convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to time behind bars in connection with a massive dog fighting raid that the ASPCA helped carry out in July 2009. The operation spanned eight states—Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi—and resulted in the rescue of more than 500 Pit Bulls.
“Even two years after the bust, we are still working hard to see that the guilty are convicted,” says ASPCA Animal Fighting Specialist Terry Mills. In total, 103 arrests have been made in conjunction with the raid—40 on federal charges and 63 on state charges.  Click Here to read more…

If there is one thing Goldens like to do, it’s chew!  They will chew on anything and everything they can get their paws on.  Rawhide bones and chew toys will help your Golden Retriever satisfy his or her need to chew.  Unfortunately, Goldens have very strong teeth and jaws and will go through bones in a very short period of time.  So if this is your choice for keeping your dog away from your furniture, shoes and anything else you own, be sure and stock up.

Another idea is to get a large, thick sock, fill it with ice cubes, tie several tight knots and place it in the freezer.  When your friend starts to chew on non-acceptable items, pull the sock out and let him enjoy!  Keep an eye out when the sock is in use, because your dog could chew through it and get sock lodged in his throat.  Never leave him unattended.

Golden Retrievers also love to run, so start off early teaching him activities like fetch.  It’s a great form of exercise and can be a great deal of fun for both of you.  Running, fetching and other physical activities will help him use up some of that energy and help him to concentrate on objects.

Helping him concentrate on objects goes to the root of the breed.  Goldens, by nature, are active in hunting, herding and search and rescue, you could say this is their niche.

Signing your dog up for training classes is the best thing anyone can do for their dog’s obedience, social skills and basic commands.  These classes will teach your dog correct behavior and how to break bad behavior.  There are trainers that can help you with your particular breed if you wish your dog to herd, search, rescue or hunt.

I have several posts that go into the various levels of dog training, you should read .  There’s a great deal of information on the various levels from Puppies to Basic to Intermediate to Advanced.

Some Goldens like to dig and could make quite a mess of your yard.  Get creative and find a place that is just for him to dig in.  One cleaver idea is a sand box or a small children’s pool filled with sand.  Then take a favorite toy or a bone and bury it in the sand.  He will spend a good amount of time retrieving your hidden object!  At some point, he will automatically go to his sandbox or pool, as this is acceptable to do.

Golden Retrievers are extremely intelligent dogs and possess a gentle disposition.  They are great with children and posses a very sweet personality.  Yet, like all dogs, they do need to learn right from wrong.  The earlier in their lives that you can get them into a good training class, the better.

As puppies, Golden Retrievers and Labs can bring your patience to the breaking point.  Don’t let that happen!  They are very inquisitive, energetic puppies, allow them to learn through training courses, or if you are good at training then start him off as soon as possible.

You will never regret it because as they age they truly are loyal, noble dogs!

If you are interested in reading up on the levels of Dog Training, I have them listed below for your convenience:

Puppy Pre-School
Basic Dog Training
Intermediate Training
Good Citizen Training

Books:

Dog Years: A Memory
Merle’s Door
In Dog We Trust

 

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