Just too much…

I couldn’t resist posting these ridiculous products that I just came across in a pet catalog: Crate Bumpers

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People who buy this don’t realize they are just giving their puppy something else to chew.

Next, a Puppy Play Gym

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Right, and make sure that you play some puppy Mozart for them so they are properly enriched at the same time. Next product slated to be released by this company: Puppy Einstein DVDs.

And my personal favorite: The Doggy Bedroom.

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(I love the clothes and shoes in the little doggy wardrobe)

I mean, I know we hopelessly anthropomorphize our pets and make them our “fur babies”, but I think if you are about to spend $500+ on doggy furniture, you need to reconsider your household budget.

On the Radar: Giving the blog some love again

* ??Mark Glaser?? for ??PBS??: “Should Community-Edited News Sites Pay Top Editors?”:http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2006/07/digging_deepershould_community.html (via “Digg”:http://digg.com/tech_news/Kevin_Rose_Responds_to_Jason_Calacanis_Rant_from_Netscape → “Kevin”:http://krose.typepad.com/kevinrose/2006/07/calacanis.html → “Jason”:http://www.calacanis.com/2006/07/25/kevin-rose-cracks-or-how-to-know-when-youve-won-the-debate/). Aside from the Digg vs. Netscape drama that’s been erupting over the past couple of weeks, Calacanis raises some interesting questions about how people in the *attention economy* are compensated for their time and hard work. The next 18 months as these two players in community-driven news hash it out should be really interesting.
* ??John Gruber??: “Magic 8-Ball Answers Your Questions Regarding Microsoft’s ‘Zune’”:http://daringfireball.net/2006/07/magic_8ball_zune. That 8-ball. He sure knows a lot about the *digital music* industry.
* ??NPR??: “Avoiding the Housing Market ‘Dead Zone'”:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5565128 and “Location, Location: What to Buy, and Where”:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5565119. The nesting instinct kicks in: these interviews were pretty insightful about the state of the housing market right now. Of course, there are derivations for where you are, but the overall buyer’s recommendation is to wait until some of the *already-present market pressures* (housing surplus, higher interest rates, and exotic mortgages held by peers) bring prices down — perhaps even way down.
* ??Everything Newark??: “‘Newark is an Emerging Market””:http://blog.newarker.info/2006/07/19/newark-is-an-emerging-market/. The ??New York Post??, of all places, has a practically beaming article about Newark’s comeback. Booker’s enthusiasm, that Newark is a place of *untapped potential*, hangs on the very critical results of his stopping crime in the city.
* ??Washington Post??: “Religious Left Gears Up to Face Right Counterpart”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/25/AR2006072500437.html (“via Digg”:http://digg.com/politics/Religious_Left_Gears_Up_To_Face_Right_Counterpart). Favorite quote: ‘I’m an evangelical Christian who thinks that justice is a biblical imperative,’ said Wallis. ‘The *monologue of the religious right* is finally over and a new dialogue has just begun.’ I really hope Wallis is right.
* ??The Motley Fool??: “Opportunity Knocking for Citigroup”:http://www.fool.com/news/commentary/2006/commentary06072514.htm. Citigroup may (or may not) be on the rise if the Fed stops raising interest rates to counteract inflation, which would be nice for shareholders given the “latest anxiety”:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aWJ3CLLNPUp4&refer=us over rising costs. A thought for Mr. Prince: consumer banking is sucking wind because *the customer experience is just awful*. The ATMs are nice, and the marketing is fun, but customer service just pales in comparison to banks like Wachovia.
* ??37signals??: “Writing Words vs. Writing Software”:http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/writing_words_vs_writing_software.php. I love these guys: Everyone and his cousin is working on a web app. But how many are actually finishing? That’s why we argue for biting off less. Write a short story/small app instead of a novel/massive app. *Shrinking scope means you actually finish*. And finishing is huge. When you finish something, you show up. And, like Woody Allen said, ‘Eighty percent of success is showing up.’
* ??Rosecrans Baldwin?? for ??The Morning News??: “The Maine Attraction”:http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/the_nonexpert/the_maine_attraction.php. Never been, but this sure was funny: Crystal Meth is easier to obtain in rural Maine than it is back home. So are crystals, and posters of *wolves kissing dolphins* in outer space.
* ??Paul Ford?? for ??43folders??: “Are there ‘good’ distractions?”:http://www.43folders.com/2005/10/24/paul-ford-distractions/ Paul’s struggle between accomplishing something with his life vs. “swimming in a sea of data” really touched a chord. I’ll have more thoughts on this later, but, if you read only one of these linky-things, make it this one. When I’m not getting enough done I get unhappy and depressed and think about the billions of years I’ll be dead before the heat death of the universe erases everything. I want to feel like *I did something during my brief life* besides check my email.
* LAUNCHED: Sarah goes independent with “Side by Side Dog Training”:http://sidebysidetraining.com/. The quick-and-not-so-dirty site brought to you by the wonders of “WordPress”:http://wordpress.org, “Quilm”:http://oriol.f2o.org/qwilm-a-wordpress-theme/ theme, and the “DreamHost”:http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?63570 “1-click install”:http://wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/Goodies_Control_Panel#One-Click_Installs. Feel free to pass the site along to your friends with dogs — especially the ones that accessorize their dogs with *Louis Vuitton dog carriers and DKNY collars*.
* ??Jon Katz?? for ??Slate??: “The Loneliness of Rose”:http://www.slate.com/id/2146000/. Rose is not cute. She is a working dog, a farm dog. She herds sheep, keeps the donkeys apart from the other animals during graining, alerts me when lambs are born, watches my back when the ram is around. *She battles the donkeys*, the ewes who protect their lambs, and stray dogs who approach the farm. She and I take the sheep out to graze two or three times a day. On Sundays, we sometimes march the flock down to the Presbyterian Church to hear the organ music and present ourselves through the big windows. ‘Hey, Rose,’ the kids sometimes shout after the service is over. With Rose, we don’t need fences. As my friend Peter Hanks said, Rose is the fence.
* ??Washington Post??: “US waives sanctions on Saudi over religious rights”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/19/AR2006071901178.html (“via Angela”:http://hereisangela.com/2006/07/25/galatians-221-turbans-teaching-and-temperance/) The United States has extended a waiver that avoids imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia because it has made efforts to *improve religious tolerance* in the kingdom, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. The US ignores the religious freedoms of millions to suck up to one of its few allies in the Middle East.
* ??New York Times??: “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage”:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/fashion/25love.html (via Angela over IM). If you read _two_ of these linky-things, make this the other one. 🙂 It was only a matter of time before he was again tearing around the house searching for his keys, at which point I said nothing and kept at what I was doing. It took a lot of discipline to maintain my calm, but results were immediate and stunning. His temper fell far shy of its usual pitch and then waned like a fast-moving storm. I felt as if *I should throw him a mackerel*. Incidentally, this is how Sarah trains Dina (and maybe me).

Culture Clash

This Saturday, I will be attending a seminar given by one of the leading dog trainers in the USA, Jean Donaldson. Very exciting. Jean is also the founder of the “San Francisco SPCA Dog Training Academy”:http://www.sfspca.org/academy/, which is an incredible training center that is world renowned for its programs and humane training theories. Recently, when I realized that animal behavior and training is a passion that I really want to pursue, I went to “Dogwise.com”:http://dogwise.com and happily blew a portion of my paycheck to start my dog training library. It took me just a few weeks to eat those books up cover to cover.

One of the books was “The Culture Clash”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=ourstory-20%26link_code=xm2%26camp=2025%26creative=165953%26path=http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html%253fASIN=1888047054%2526tag=ourstory-20%2526lcode=xm2%2526cID=2025%2526ccmID=165953%2526location=/o/ASIN/1888047054%25253FSubscriptionId=0EMV44A9A5YT1RVDGZ82, by Jean Donaldson. Every few pages, I found myself nodding my head in agreement, or enthusiatically interrupting my poor husband to read him some blurb about dog behavior. It was one of the most down to earth and approachable training books I have read. I really enjoyed how Jean unabashedly dispelled our cultural doggie myths while still maintaining a true love for the real dogs that we share our lives with. For example:

We are obviously fascinated by the idea that dogs might, just might, be really, really smart. When will we see there is so much that’s truly fascinating about about dogs, it makes intelligene a red herring? The discriminative ability of dogs in operant and classical conditioning, the awe inspiring power of their noses, their formidable ability to deal with a complex social environment, and their feelings and bonding are all mind-bogglingly vast topics, yet we keep harping on intelligence. It makes as much sense as evaluating humans on our ability to sniff for bombs or echo-locate. …

As soon as you bestow intelligence and morality, you bestow the respoinsibility that goes along with them. In other words, if the dog knows it’s wrong to destroy the furniture yet deliberatley and maliciously does it, remembers the wrong he did and feels guilt, it feels like he merits a punishment, doesn’t it? That’s just what dogs have been getting — a lot of punishment …

The myth gives problems to dogs they cannot solve and then punishes them for failing.

I see people falling prey to pre-concieved anthropomorphisms daily at my work as a vet-tech. I guess that’s one of the reasons this book resonated with me so much.

And now I can get it autographed. 🙂