A Dog Story: Purebred or not?

While trotting through the internet I read articles about rescuing versus purebred dogs something that I’ve been asked many times before. To be clear, I have experience with training and raising both rescued and purebreds.

So let’s start with some common ground. If you’re a dog lover you get me. I have loved dogs since I was a child. My aunt owned this great big beautiful mixed bred dog, named Nina, she and my uncle rescued her from the shelter when she was just a pup. I couldn’t wait to visit her and play with her. She was the size of a German Shepard with hair as white as a Samoyed and a beautiful face like some kind of terrier. She also must have had Collie in her too as she loved to herd my brother and I to protect us from Geronimo, the young German Shepherd who lived in the neighbour’s house. He was her nemesis after he let us ride him like a horse and she had to watch from behind the sliding glass door. She lived to the age of 18 and passed away peacefully in her sleep.

I rescued and adopted many dogs over the years and I can’t picture my life without one. I have had successes in Shutzhund (protection & security) training 2 Boxers, 1 I bought from a breeder and the other a rescue who was found deep in the northern bush close to an oil well.

My first time at a dog show I instantly fell in love. Every breed of dog you can think of under one roof. Handlers magically making their dogs look like they are gliding through the air. I entered my first dog show with my Boxer. I took a handling class and there was so much to learn. Long story short she loved working security way more than dog shows and she let everyone know by jumping around trying to get me to play. However, even though I looked foolish it was too late, I was already hooked with training a dog how to show.

I’m sure by now you’re still asking “ok so you’ve had different dogs, why purebreds?”

It comes to this.. my children. I need dogs that are temperamentally sound in my home. Being “sound” means a better chance of predicting their personality. I’ve had show dogs in my home I have done extensive research of breeds, breeders and clubs. I have picked out dogs from breeders who have many years of experience. Their litters are deliberate and my relationship with the breeders I choose is already established way before the pups are born, in some occasions.

I left the show ring a few years ago due to medical and family issues. I’ve missed it ever since and was getting back into it right before the pandemic hit. I am still conditioning myself and my dogs in hopes to get in the ring again.

I agree with ethical breeding, training and rescuing dogs. Maybe you could call me a walking contradiction, but I consider myself a dog enthusiast. Rescue or not I don’t regret any of the dogs who have shared their lives with me. Mixed or purebred dog, I’m taking a page out of my furry babies’ life lessons and live in the present.

My current indoor wolf pack consists of a one-eared hairless Chinese Crested dog who doesn’t know he’s supposed to have 2 ears and 2 poodles who think they’re human. Ahh, it’s a beautiful life.

Dog Nail Maintenance for Beginners

While the world is on pause I decided to share some tips on doing some 101 minimum puppy care for your new furbaby.

I have been grooming, training and showing dogs for over 25 years. Of course, I am a sucker for those little fluffy puppies but they are definitely a lot of work. Dog sales have sky rocketed over the last year, so fast that I have seen some frustration and confusion on basic puppy care.

Whatever the reason you have about bringing a puppy into your home; he/she is now staring right back at you while you’re trying to figure out your next move. There are some basic equipment that I’m sure you already have in place. Namely you will have: a food and water bowl; crate/kennel; bones & toys; blanket; leash & collar; brush and/or comb. Along with those listed, you will need a Veterinarian, a Groomer and contact information of your breeder. I know, it may seem like a lot but these are the secrets of owning a new puppy.

Once upon a time, there wasn’t a pandemic and we could easily book grooming and veterinarian appointments. Now, we are encouraged to independently take care of the beings within our home. For me, that includes haircuts for humans and dogs. Regardless of breed, our pups of all ages need their nails clipped. The clip clop of the nails on the hard surface floors is a sign that your dog needs a nail trim.

I use a scissor type pet nail clipper to take off extra length. I take off at least 3-5mm off of each nail. I found a clipper and nail file combination on Amazon. I especially like the guard it has that can limit the amount of nail to trim. When trimming puppy nails it can be a challenge. They squirm and sometimes cry. Stay calm and even if you get one nail done, call it a win for the day and try again the next day. I recommend tapping the clipper on each nail to desensitize your pup.

The product that most prompted me to do this post is a nail grinder I found also on Amazon. A nail grinder is an electric corded or cordless rotary tool. This grinder is cordless and rechargeable which makes it easier to get around each foot. It is very quiet and dogs of all ages in my household don’t argue with me at all. I felt it was important to share these tools because those long nails can cause hip and spine problems with your dog in the long term. I have been using this grinder for over a year without any problems. Using a combo of both the clippers and the grinder should make your nail trimming day a lot easier. I would also recommend grinding your dogs nails on a regular basis of once or more a week.

If anything doing the bare minimum of keeping your dog’s nails trimmed can lead to a stronger bond with them. A trust like that can also lead to having the courage to giving them a haircut…. but that will be another post. ☺️

Another Weekend but I just wanna Chill

I just wanna chill kind of weekend. With my recent dog napping event… Oh wait, I haven’t explain that one..

Yes.. This happened a few days ago. A very bold person tried to take my dog out of my yard. It’s incredible how the lockdown hasn’t deterred people to do horrible things. Instead of boxing myself in I decided to own my space. I have to admit to being more complacent lately.

My best friend posted this picture on Facebook to help find her

A new year means I am doing meaningful work. My energy has been improving more and more each day. Preserving my energy and using it in small doses of energy doesn’t really sit well with me and I’ve been learning how to cope. The anxiety that my home was violated makes me feel angry. Like who does this in one of the scariest time of our lives?

I guess this is my wakeup call and also a reason that I’m up late, shopping on Amazon. My hope is that I get a glimpse of this person. I want to catch them. That should be a really fun time!

Stay safe!

Stilletto

It’s Monday!

I’m trying to get to know my current relationship with Monday. I feel like over the many many Mondays of the past I have been conditioned to expect a different outcome with the same attitude and belief that said Monday would end up in any way other than shitty. I have found so many ways to distract myself from facing a Monday. Let us look at what and where Monday is located; who it represents: and how effective it is.

Here is the definition of ‘Monday’ :

mondandaeg – Despite being the dreaded start of the work and school week, Monday is actually the second day of the week. Monday gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon word “mondandaeg” which translates to “the moon’s day.” The second day of the week in Nordic cultures was devoted to worshipping the goddess of the moon.

I was today years old when I realized that I have hated the second day of the week by thinking it was the first day of the week but it was named after the Moon and I have always believed that Mondays smelled like ass and now this is all making sense. I digress.

Well, no wonder why I have been through some tumultuous times! I have been inadvertently disrespecting a whole day that was dedicated to the moon. Smh 🤦🏻‍♀️ Anyway, I also noticed that my disdain for Monday is shared by many. Like hordes and hordes of us really don’t like Monday. Now that there is no physical hustle and bustle of the world, does Monday still have that odour that I dislike so much?

Monday is the one that moved the door a half an inch closer to you and you bump into it, or the time when you stub your toe on your stairs that you’ve been up and down a billion times. That is who Monday is, it reminds you that you forgot to do that thing that was super important.

Monday has successfully managed to hold my ass accountable, dammit! It’s that one day that I have no choice but to follow the rules. It has highlighted my shortcomings and disorganization, ok fine, I admit it. Monday has proved the downfalls of my procrastination. So yes, kids, Monday is my To-Do checklist that I have completed 90% of. I’ve learned through self reflection that I am a master of self sabotage. Monday has taught me that.

I’ve decided to take this time to accept the inevitable. Monday represents the negative reactions of my inaction. I’m imperfect, I make mistakes, I misunderstand, I forget.. but I will no longer subject Monday as the target of my good ol’ simple humanity. I officially apologize to Monday and I thank you for keeping my proverbial ducks in a row.

In moving forward, I will no longer hate on the Moon day, I will no longer blame Monday for my shortcomings. I will praise myself for the 90% done and the 10% just needs more time to complete. Simple. That’s it, that’s all.

Happy Monday! 🌝 😊 🗓

Alright this Saturday Night

My children wanted to learn our traditional dish of Filipino Lumpia. In a short description, they are small egg rolls usually made as appetizers, snacks, sides etc. I had so much fun teaching them how every piece is made with care and love. It was a nice bonding moment shared with my young men. I hope they will pass this recipe and technique to my future grandchildren.

I remember helping my mom and aunties make hundreds of these egg rolls. I was responsible for carefully pulling each wrap away from the other making sure they didn’t rip.

Overall, I’m proud to say that, despite the efforts to cut corners, they did a wonderful job and it’s nice to have help to make these traditional treats. The delicious Homemade Lumpia was devoured.

Enjoy the video! There will be more recipes and adventures soon!

Stiletto S

The Battle of the Platforms Part 1

I’m sure we have all been swirled in the mixing pot of updates and platforms it can be frustrating and confusing. I created my website around 10 years ago with my goal of doing reviews and self expression. I have always highly encouraged people to own their own websites then push it out to as many social media platforms as possible. Unfortunately, over time we got it backwards. I see more and more social media platforms take precedents over our voices. I see more and more users silenced and encouraged to become puppets and the social media platforms hold the strings. Giving up your data to apps is kind of like paying the piper with no real return. Through the years of observation I would guess that 90% of people don’t actually read the Terms and Conditions of their soon to be downloaded apps because most users are so excited to get the latest and greatest apps. I’ve watched people of all ages make themselves physically sick with worry about what they wrote, what others wrote and more and more I see good people crumble within themselves.

I’ve watched the steady decline of every “big” app and I experienced the rise and fall of the latest and greatest. I’ve produced and promoted my own shows and content which is, in itself, tough work. The best part is that I have the freedom to push my content to specific platforms. These platforms are designed to make money. They make money from paid promotions, audience size and use your data to justify their rankings in the stock market. Too much truth right? Let’s continue…

Let’s start with Facebook…

Ah yes the all powerful Facebook was designed with specific AI (Arificial Intelligence) from the time it was launched. I come from the background before internet, there were bulky monitors, green texts and symbols. We used our computers to look up products and place orders. I worked in an IT firm where we sold Microsoft licenses, hardware, software, dongles, Nikon cameras and more. We sourced for huge companies and I made really incredible contacts. Dial up Internet was the rage and Nokia cellphones were the main phone you could drop it you could easily replace its broken casing. Y2K was the biggest fear to companies but as IT specialists, we knew way in advance and it was a simple code to move our systems from 1999 to 2000. Crazy right? This was also a moment in time where Apple was not even a key player in business, we referred to Apple products as toys for kids, like a cute video game. Apple products didn’t fit in a Microsoft world of business. Moving forward, with our plastic Nokias and the business version, that you could only buy for business, was the Blackberry. I’ll get into phones in another post.

Back then, technology was getting faster and more advanced. The dial up was now in almost every household. We were getting more tech-savvy and we wanted a way to stay in touch because texting was still pricey per text. Gone were the days of ICQ and other online chats where we met people and yes people would troll each other in those rooms too. Think of these chat rooms like a bunch of mini apps where the administrators create the room and monitor them online dial up. Facebook was born and offered a way to keep in touch and share photos and such. It was an exciting way to catch up and communicate. It was especially important to families who were spread out around the world. We wrote posts updating our lives and main life events. Eventually, businesses were added and the rest is what you see today. Facebook became an obsession and a platform for adult and children bullying. Chain letter forwarding through private messages breeds more stealing of identity, unsatisfied customers making horrid reviews destroying businesses. What I see on Facebook now is so far from what it was meant to do it is sad. When Mark Zuckerburg got himself into some hot water over the AI and gathering of information he unknowingly unleashed a “beast” that is now impossible to undo. Facebook itself has a questionable future despite these so called ratings that favour Facebook by users alone. I’m watching Facebook crumble and despite these Facebook loyalists, I’ve been in the tech biz long enough to see the signs. My personal opinion is not in favour of the Facebook platform for my mentioned reasons and so much more. The AI and information gathering has transformed itself into an intrusive way for others to know about intimate details of your lives. This “safe space” has developed TV shows like Catfish and movies like Unfriended. It saddens me that a seemingly innocent app started off with such promise has now turned into a mixed bag of good and crazy.

Let’s move on to Twitter…

Twitter has been my go-to social media spot but I have observed their huge decline over the years as well. Twitter is like a huge chat room. Nothing like Facebook. I found Twitter to be filled with amazing writers, poets, comedians, business partners everything I love. There really isn’t anything to “get” about this platform. You basically write words, let off some steam, make people laugh and even make business connections which are an excellent way to network. It was freeing to be able to express myself and not be judged. You receive real time news and information which is excellent. Over the last few years I see where Twitter has been failing. It’s turning into a bad generic form of itself. Censorship is starting to run rampant as more and more people leave the platform. What was once a playground of expression is now turning into a long list of rules that don’t apply to anyone. For business and promotion it’s been growing it’s commerce flooding timelines with ads which is great but if Twitter keeps banning tweets reprimanding paying business accounts, they won’t have any users and business partners left to send these ads to.

In short, my stance is still “Find your voice and own your space online”. Getting wrapped up with follower numbers and complaining to tech support is not going to get you far in your online adventure. Social media is an extension to bring people to your content. I often ask people who talk about their follower count, where are you taking your followers to? 98% of people cannot answer this simple question. I’m a strong believer in self empowerment and I believe that users need to understand that no app is forever. All content you upload belongs to that platform. Let me repeat every picture, every word, every account belongs to your favourite app. You’re a number and if you bring more people to their app you can fill their pockets and potentially lose your “followers” should they choose.

The Battle of the Platforms will be an ongoing battle as apps come and go, users come and go.

My questions to you is..

Who are you? What do you do? Where can people meet you? Why do you want to be online? How will your voice be heard?

Battle of the Platforms continue to Part 2..

To rerun or Not to rerun..?

With everything that is going on, I feel like almost every show I watch has serious problems and issues. I’ve been taking a break from all the visual noise and just let myself dive into a world of reruns. My favourite series is Three’s Company. I literally watch it all day. The physical comedy in this show is above anything I’ve ever seen. The talented John Ritter is so animated and seems to gracefully glide through each bump into a wall or a trip on a random object. Joyce DeWitt plays the lovely Janet Wood, the brains of the trio and the bit of Janet and Jack bounce off each other like a perfect dance. It’s refreshing to watch how simple things were.

I fight my insomnia with reruns and I will try to watch newer problematic shows. The Office is another go-to show I tend to watch when I need to hear some background noise. I guess it helps me to focus more on my art or when editing. I know I’m weird that way.

The guess in this crazy 2020, I find solace in watching the simplicity of the past. I hope sleep will come back into my life sometime soon

How to Make a Baby

I’ve had some questions about making reborn dolls by many who would like to start to learn a new art form. I’ve been making dolls for many years and I love sharing some tips that I’ve learned along the way.

I have a few dolls I’m working on so I will try to share as many basic tips as I can. I hope you do start a new art form or hobby. It’s nice to let it some creative steam.

You’ll find my finished dolls on my Instagram page under @punkiepiebabies

Creases & Wrinkles
Neutralize

I will be hand making dresses and will be adding some details for some special babies. I’m pouring all my creative skills into the next few dolls. I’ll record as much as I can to share with you.

My site has always been a mixed bag of my interests from trying new recipes, gardening, painting, sculpting, sewing.. I felt it is time to just show everything I can do and share when creating my special dolls of 2020. If you’re new to this, I create realistic looking baby dolls for medical, mental therapy and collecting purposes. All my dolls take weeks to months to complete and I only use top quality products and supplies. All hair is rooted into the dolls head and lashes one hair at a time. I also do something called micro directional hair rooting. This means I root the hair in a pattern of a swirl into the crown of the doll head one hair at a time. I practice and try different techniques all the time. I think that’s why I enjoy making these dolls so much. There is no one way to make these dolls. I urge anyone who is interested to try it. I’ll share more soon

Getting into a Zone

I took some time to really reflect on what I want to do with my artwork and what direction I wanted to take it. I remember my mentor and the encouragement of so many of my supporters. It is time to get out of my own head.

Once I picked my paintbrush up my whole world started to come to life. Like pieces of a puzzle falling easily into place. I was working on details today and I could feel good energy flowing through every stroke. Spending time chatting with friends or listening to music while I created felt so natural. Living in fear of anything is such an unnatural feeling. Like it’s not supposed to be in my head, like my body and mind rejects it right away. I’ve seen these same things in others. It’s so nice to be able to share things with someone who understands. I’m good at loving people, but I’ve been really terrible at loving myself and picking out every mistake I’ve ever made.

At this point in my life every single person I’ve let into my life has been the most incredible teachers. The invaluable lessons I’ve learned. Holy crap they were hard but if they weren’t so hurtful I would have continued to be around people who lie and are manipulative awful human beings. Whether it be for acceptance in a weird adult clique or out of habit these people were never good for anyone. People lie, people talk shit, but it’s probably because that’s what they are, great big steamy piles of shit. No one of any class wants to be around that.

With a new attitude and a different direction I think I can navigate through this better route on this journey. I’ve been planting, creating and trying new recipes. I’ve finally resigned to the fact that this whole world is different. It’s time to do what inspires you. It’s a great ride, you guys!

Much Love

Stiletto