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Elmbrook Humane Society, Different breeds, Airedales, Boxers

What attracts us to certain types of animals?  I suppose psychologists could write long papers on the whys and wherefores.  I see that one of the other volunteers really likes bulldogs and similar variations.  I'm very ordinary, I guess, because I'm crazy about labs.  My family never owned one.  We had cocker spaniels, a fox terrier, a vizsla, and two mutts.  Later my mom had a yorkie and an English bulldog.  My sister loves Airedales and works with their rescue group.  My brother thinks boxers are great dogs.  So, there is nothing that is bred in me toward wanting a certain type of dog.  But I like the way they look (even though the two I have are built and act quite differently).  I like their personalities.  I like their energy.  That doesn't mean I don't like other dogs or I could never own another.  In fact I think pit bulls are quite intelligent and I love interacting with them at the shelter.  I like Dobermans and shepherds and collies.  But with me and labs it is love at first sight.  In my world, there are people for each and every dog and just your type might be just down the road.  So what are you waiting for?  

Getting Fired Up!


With three strikes, we're on our way.

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crate training, Feeding in a crate, free feeding dogs

In my opinion, all dogs should be fed on a schedule (i.e., no open feeding) and if you crate, their meal should be in a crate. Feeding in a crate allows you to monitor their food, makes the crate a GREAT place to them, and prevents dogfights. I have fostered many dogs and I can't believe how many times I have been told that a dog who comes in for fostering is a picky eater…NOT AT MY HOUSE. We have no picky eaters. I also have had dogs leave my house that later "become picky eaters," usually because I find out they free-feed.

Now for those that say, "I only have one or two dogs and I want them to be able to have food whenever they want," I say WHY?? First of all, feeding on a schedule is a very easy way to have well-behaved dogs. The reason? In packs, the pack leader controls the feedings. When you free-feed you lose that easy alpha move. Next is the possibility of an overweight dog. Some say dogs know when to stop…I say they don't. I have seen many overweight free-fed dogs, and how many people do you know who at times overeat? Probably many...if we as people don't always have the sense to "stop," why should our dogs? Next, free-feeding IMO creates picky eaters...they’re thinking, “why should I eat THIS…I will wait to see what else comes along at the end of the day.” Last but not least, you are setting your pack up for a competitive environment where often one dog will eat or guard the bowl while the more submissive dogs are afraid or cautious about eating.

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Puppy sale, Pet Store, Elmbrook Humane Society, Puppymill

I love working at the humane society and I'm happy to make the 40-minute drive to work each day. Today, however, as I was listening to the radio, an ad came on for a well-known puppy store in the area. The announcer excitedly exclaimed that they were having a puppy sale - $200 off all puppies for the rest of the month! They followed by dropping names of breeds…they have boxers, terriers, pugs, and so many more!

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Emily Weiss, shelter adoptions, adoption success

 I wanted to share Dr. Emily Weiss's blog from a couple of weeks ago.  She talks about how she wouldn't have met the shelter's criteria for adoption when she was younger.

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Petsmart, Elmbrook Humane Society, Cat socializer

Hello my name is Bryan and I volunteer with EBHS (Elmbrook Humane Society) as a Cat Socializer at the PetSmart in Greenfield. I am one of a few EBHS volunteers who will be providing blogs on various topics related to EBHS, volunteering in general, and working with the different types of animals. I have been a volunteer at the Greenfield PetSmart for over 3 years and love working with the staff and EBHS volunteers.

EBHS likes to provide a volunteer for each night of the week between 5 and 9 pm to clean the cages and let the cats out for some much-needed play time. My night for volunteering is Monday, although I often stop by just to check on the cats or to fill in for a volunteer who cannot work their shift.

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You mean Times Square bomber wasn't a Tea Partier angry about ObamaCare?

Terrorism, The media, United States, Conservatives

The Left has really been trying to paint the Tea Party movement members as violent. Remember the accusations that rocks were thrown through a Congressman's home office window in Cincinnati on ObamaCare weekend? (The weekend ObamaCare passed back in March.) Trouble was the office was on the 30th floor! I bet the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals' scouts are still looking for that rock thrower. After all, anyone who can toss one that far would make a heck of a pitcher or quarterback! ;-)

The other hard to swallow accusation from ObamaCare weekend was that Tea Partiers hurled verbal assaults at Democrats. Pretty unusual that no one had their cell phone there to capture those epitaphs on video. Andrew Breitbart even offered a $10,000 reward to anyone providing incriminating video, but thus far, I don't think anyone collected it. (Video is of protesters shouting, Kill the bill!)

But last weekend's Times Square bomber incident escalates the accusations regarding disgruntlement over ObamaCare to a new level. This time there was a real event that involved a potentially life threatening explosion, and Mayor Bloomberg guesses "twenty-five cents" it is "somebody with a political agenda who doesn't like the health care bill or something"?

Who would that be? Someone "homegrown" as the mayor suggested? Bloomberg wouldn't be insinuating the bomber was a Tea Partier, would he?

Today's big news is that the perpetrator, Faisal Shahzad, was taken off a plane heading to Dubai and arrested. And gasp, he wasn't homegrown; he was a Pakistani born, recently naturalized, U.S. Citizen.

There are unconfirmed reports that others were involved. On the news early this morning they mentioned Dubai reported 3 people were taken off the plane.

So maybe Bloomberg will be proven right? Maybe they will find a couple matching the description of Ma and Pa Kettle with tea bags stapled to their hats were involved too?

Maybe. But I don't think so.

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Oh Boy! Obey calls it quits!

Elections, WISCONSIN, United States, Politics

Yes, it is true. Long-time Congressman David Obey announced today that he is not going to run for reelection. All I can say is, Thanks, David Obey, I needed that shot in the arm.

Mr. Obey is not my Congressman--I am in Jim Sensenbrenner's district--but Obey's name is known to most Wisconsinites and since the Stimulus, by many Americans.

Congressman David Obey is Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and helped craft the Stimulus Bill. One of the few areas of spending I wasn't totally against was the increase for the National Parks. What made that stimulus spending suspect was that his son, Craig Obey worked for The National Parks Conservation Association. After seeing how much time, preparation, and personnel was devoted to preparing for President Obama's visit to Yellowstone National Park last summer, the park service probably needed the increase! (Lucky us, we were there last summer during his visit--what were the odds of that?)

Obey's retirement certainly helps Republican candidate Sean Duffy. "'This move clears the way for Duffy to be the next congressman from northwest Wisconsin. His campaign has gotten national attention and he’s running a very well-oiled grassroots machine,' said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tom Erickson."

It also frees up National and State monies to support another Republican candidate, such as Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson, should he decide to run against U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.

No one can say this election year has been boring!


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In memory of Irven C. Hoesly .....

In Memory of Irven Hoesly .....

Irven “Irv” Hoesly passed away on May 5, 2010 at the age of 87.  Irv had a long career as a teacher and served as the first principal of Pilgrim Park Middle School from 1958 until he retired in 1985.  

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Rise to Prominence


With ambition to rise higher,

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That was scary; stock market falls nearly 1,000 points--How about that recovery?

Musing, THE ECONOMY, World News, WISCONSIN, United States, President Obama

I had just come back from praying at City Hall Plaza and because I was wondering about the Greece debt ripple effect, I checked the stock market quote page. It was at -350. Ooh, that is not good.

Then I refreshed it: -468. Refresh: -800 something. -963 at 1:47pm, Central Time. Pretty surreal. Talk about Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!

Then it started recovering: -717. -697. -580. -472. At 2:10 back "up" to -338.95. In all, it fell 998.5 at about 2:45 pm Eastern Time, for its largest intraday drop ever, and recovered to close at -348.63. Who would ever think that number would look good?

Why? Blame it on bad news from Greece and maybe some China news too. After all, if China's economy crashes, who is going to buy our debt?

After the market rebounded back to the 300s, I checked Gold: $1,203.90 at 2:48pm ET, refresh, $1,204, refresh, $1207.10, refresh, $1,210.70 at 3:31pm ET

I don't believe gold has been in the $1,200 range since last December 2, 2009 when it hit $1,213. For metal market watchers, Mark Belling predicted during the summer of 2008 that gold would reach $1,200 by year end 2009. He then updated that prediction in Feb. of this year to be $1,325 by Labor Day 2010. (Silver to reach $19.75.) If the Greek debt problem expands to other downgraded countries of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, [Greece ] and Spain or PIIGS for short, Belling may need to make a new prediction.

I have long called our present recovery the falling in love with love recovery--something based on nothing more than a desire for a recovery--no real substance. Our unemployment rate is only under 10% because of all the government jobs created. The private sector still isn't really hiring.

Look at Europe with its PIIGS and huge debt. America isn't far behind--Moody's has threatened reducing our bond status. Investors look at what is happening in Europe and worry about what is happening here. In the meantime, our President, and you could add Governor Doyle and Mayor Barrett too, spend money like water. Even the CBO says our Fiscal policy is 'unsustainable'.

We cannot build a recovery on spending money we don't have. Economies at the state level aren't in much better shape. California and New York are near the brink; Wisconsin is not far behind. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs, yet we still push for High Speed Rail and a 3.8 mile trolley line to mention 2 foolish expenditures.

No real recovery? Roller-coaster stock and metal markets? I think we have to start saying it: It's the Spending, Stupid, both here and abroad.


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Mother's Day Specials


Mother's Day last year was a memory, delightful:

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My Favorite Boys

Elmbrook Humane Society

I have 4 favorite boys at the EBHS.  They are always happy to see me.  Sometimes they cry or have tantrums when I leave.  I'm only with them each about 10 minutes of the day but they seem to think the world of me.  Clem is the oldest.  He is happy as can be, walking down the street.  His manners are pretty good but work with him on a regular basis and it wouldn't take him long to understand what you want.  Next is Sox.  He is a puppy at heart, no manners, but he's so willing to learn.  I'm trying to keep him from jumping up and I can tell he's really trying.  He practically wiggles out of his skin.  Waldo's right behind.  He is speed personified (or doggified, I guess).  When he gets loose in the large runs he races around like crazy.  He also could use some work on his manners but wearing him out goes a long way towards better behavior on the end of the leash.  His face and ears are so soft; I love to rub them.  Last is Dexter.  He behaves nicely when we go for our walk but I can tell he'd love to run and play instead.  He is very gentle taking treats and thinks I'm not quick enough at giving them.  I'm starting to get very attached to them which means they have been here longer than I would like (a few weeks).  I'm sure there has to be someone out there who would love to give them a fresh start.  Come and see.

Ron Johnson enters U.S. Senate race against Feingold

Elections, Conservatives, Politics, WISCONSIN, United States

Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson formally entered the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate today, a fact that makes conservatives like me breathe a little easier.

I don't know Mr. Johnson personally, but I have spoken to him on the phone and emailed him a few times. I have found him to be thoughtful, measured, responsive, and conservative.

In some respects, he reminds me of our first President, George Washington. Like Washington, Johnson is not seeking to be a career politician. Instead he is answering a call to serve as a Citizen Legislator. Being a Citizen Legislator was one theme Johnson touched on in his speech at the Madison Tea Party in April.

One of the things I asked Ron when I called to encourage him to run against Russ Feingold was, did he have any skeletons in his closet? I believe Choir Boy was the term he used to describe himself. That made me smile. (I don't think I was the only one to ask that question.) Character is a very important element of a candidate to me.

I believe Ron Johnson has a very good chance of winning in November against Russ Feingold. He certainly has a lot going for him.

From the ISTHMUS, The Scons,

"He [Johnson] apparently has money, which unfortunately often translates into legitimacy in politics. The parties love a guy with money, not only because he can contribute to his own campaign, but because it relieves them from some fundraising duties, especially in a race against Feingold, who may be vulnerable but certainly is not worth the GOP attention that the governor's race or the two House races up North deserve. He's still the favorite by a long-shot."

Being able to self-fund a campaign is very helpful, especially since it is a bit late in the game to be running. (I blame Tommy Thompson for that.) But money alone doesn't guarantee success. Terrance Wall is wealthy and has contributed to his campaign, but he has some baggage in that he has avoided paying income taxes because of depreciation allowances. He is also not as conservative as Johnson. (In the Governor's race, Mark Neumann is self funding, but he is not an ideal conservative candidate either with his pro ethanol/ renewable energy stance. Neumann also seems to be hedging on answering some very simple questions lately.) So self-funding alone does not an ideal candidate make!

The following factors do matter to voters, as pointed out by Craver, "Last but not least, Johnson doesn't have any ideological question marks on his record. He has not served in a Democratic administration or headlined a fundraiser for Democratic candidates, and he has not made any contributions to Democrats in the past, unlike Terrence Wall. Johnson actually spoke at the Tea Party rally, unlike Wall or Westlake, and he can apparently give an OK speech. All you have to do is read a few conservative blogs [hey, that's me!] to discover that many conservatives feel the current primary field is neutered, and desperately in need of some right wing testosterone."

I don't see Johnson as being just right wing, to me he represents American values like hard work and living within your means.

Whatever happens in November, I have to say a big, thank you, Ron Johnson, for entering the U.S. Senate race. Our country and state need someone like you in Washington. I appreciate the huge sacrifice you and your family are making on our behalf.

One bit of trivia, Ron Johnson is brother to Home Time's Dean Johnson.


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Attention gardeners: Master Gardener Plant Sale, Sat. May 22

WISCONSIN, Special events, Living well on less $, Gardening

 The South East Wisconsin Master Gardener Perennial Plant Sale is this Saturday, May 22nd, 8am, at State Fair Park's DNR Area.

I had heard about these sales, but never attended until last year. My, oh, my, what an event! All I can say is GO EARLY!

A shark feeding frenzy comes to mind, but the Master Gardener's ran the sale like a well oiled machine. They have the plants organized by type and you can ask for directions.

Most plants are between $2 and $5 each. It was fun just to be witness to so much gardening enthusiasm, but of course I picked up a few things too. My treasures are pictured at the end of the slide show.

There is no charge for admission. I parked on the street, but remember you must carry all that you purchased to your car. Have fun.

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National Bite Prevention Week

National Bite Prevention Week, Elmbrook Humane Society

It's National Bite Prevention Week.

I heard a sad story on the radio last week.  Another child was bitten by a dog.  That is sad for the child and his family, sad for the family of the dog, another black mark against the breed, and the dog paid the ultimate price.  What is even worse is that education and training might have been able to prevent this.  Parents should keep small children under control and teach all children to never approach a strange dog.  If the dog is with the owner, ask first before approaching and touching someone's dog.  Teach them how to touch a dog.  Let the dog sniff their hand; don't pat it on top of the head.  People with dogs should socialize them with other dogs, other people, new situations, from the time they are a few months old.  Train them with obedience so that they bond with you and listen to your commands.  If you get a dog from a breeder, make sure that the breeder is responsible and checks for health and temperament issues before breeding as well as after the puppies arrive.  Dogs from shelters are temperament tested for adoptability.  Find one that fits well with your family and situation.  Always remember that these are dogs, not people, and don't think like we do.  What may be considered non-threatening or unprovoked to us, may be looked at quite differently by a dog.  Was the dog protecting the person on the end of the leash?  Some dogs are quite protective of family and the breed was developed with that quality in mind.  A toddler, while cute to us, may be some strange being to the dog who hasn't been around them and has one rushing up to it.  One of my dogs is well-trained and goes to nursing homes, adult day care, and schools for obedience training demonstrations and visits.  She has no trouble with the sights and sounds of these facilities.  All sorts of people touch her all over her body.  I have never seen her happier than in the middle of a group of elementary kids, having them shake her paw and giving kisses in return.  But I have also seen her hackles rise and heard her growl when a group of 3 pre-school ages girls were running around, squealing and playing.  That was something that she had never been exposed to but I was with her, she was on a leash, and we both learned something.  I have been bitten by dogs and have the scars to prove it.  Neither of the dogs that bit me were those breeds that come to mind which just confirms my own beliefs that breed specific restrictions are not fair to the breed or the owner.  I have read that small breeds are more likely to bite, generally out of fear.  The problem is that when big dogs bite, even if less often, they cause more damage.  Try not to blame the dog or the breed but promote smart dog ownership and education.  That would be best for all concerned.

Dog walking at Elmbrook Humane Society

dog walking, Elmbrook Humane Society

I'm a dog-walker, one of the many volunteers at EBHS.  I'll start by telling you why I enjoy volunteering here.  The people are wonderful.  The shelter is small enough that most of the employees remember your name.  It is always easy to find someone to answer a question or help you out.  Also, I love animals and I especially love dogs so this job is perfect for me.  I get to interact with many different dogs; different breeds, different shapes and sizes, different personalities.  One of my hobbies is dog-training so I get to try to use what I've learned to help the dogs as they wait to find a new home.  It is always exciting to meet a new dog and try to figure out what it needs most.  Some of them need to burn off some energy so there is always playing fetch in the outdoor runs.  Some of them could use some manners training so they get walked and we practice sit and down.  Others just need to be loved; a kind word and a tummy rub.  The animals at EBHS are lucky but I think I'm the luckiest of all. 

Song of the Pond

Just for fun!, Nature, , Brookfield

Late in the spring, when the weather is warm, listen for the song of the pond. Sometimes you don't have to listen all the carefully, because the unmistakable trill of the toads and frogs is deafening. That was the case when I snapped these pictures at Kinsey Park pond during those warm days in early May. Now that the weather is again warming, the singers should be out again.

I find their song rather appealing. It reminds me of when we had African Swimming Frogs as pets. They would trill at night, hoping to attract a mate. Alas, we only had guy frogs. But their song was pleasant just the same.

The young frogger who had captured the group in my photos had quite a collection in her tub. Her grandmother was hoping for catch and release. There are also large frog tadpoles in the pics.

I had been to the pond the day before and found the toads singing away, among other things. I will keep my eyes peeled for tiny black toad tadpoles. (They look like swimming raisins.)

My son and I raised toad tadpoles when he was little, and I have to admit it was great fun. We had the tank sitting on the kitchen table for weeks it seemed. We fed them cooked spinach and watched them mature. Tadpoles eat algae, so if you don't have algae rich water, you may use tap water. If it is city water, let it sit for a day to rid it of the chlorine. If you use pond water, strain it first. We had some pond water that had some weedy clumps in it. Unfortunately, it also had some dragonfly nymphs in it. Those nymphs devoured 3/4 of our tadpoles before we discovered their presence!

Once the tadpoles get their legs and lose their tails, be sure they have a rock to climb on. They will need to breathe oxygen from the air at this point. We released ours back into the "wild". Be sure to let toads go near a body of water. Frogs obviously need to be released into the water--preferably from the creek or pond you took them from. (We got our toad tadpoles from a ditch.)

For more information on keeping tadpoles, see Pets In a Jar--a great source of the care and feeding of little critters. Hope you enjoy 'em; we had a hoppin' good time with ours.

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Why does she do that?

Puppymill dogs, Elmbrook Humane Society

“why does she do that?”

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Do it yourself Tiramisu, really!

Good food / recipes

Tiramisu is one of those desserts that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. My first experience with this coffee infused, creamy delight was from a vendor at Italy, at Disney World's Epcot. Once tasted, I was hooked. It was heavenly.

But could I make it myself? Why not?

You will need a double boiler and approx. 3 quart size spring form pan or Trifle type glass bowl. You could also do it individually in pretty stemmed glasses.

Here is the recipe* I used, along with my comments in italics.

Classic Tiramisu ~ Serves 10 - 12

The Ingredients:
6 egg yolks (you may freeze and save the egg whites for future desserts such as Schaum Torte)
1 1/4 C sugar
1/1/4 C mascarpone cheese**
1 3/4 C heavy whipping cream - I used 2 Cups (1 pint) total of regular pasteurized, NOT ULTRA pasteurized, saving some for garnish.
2 packages of Lady Fingers - 6 oz total
1/3 C coffee liqueur - I used 1 T coffee liqueur + brewed espresso to make 1/2 cup total liquid
Sweetened whipped cream for garnish
Unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish
Chocolate curls for garnish

The Procedure:

  1. Place bowl you plan to whip the cream in, in the refrigerator. A chilled bowl and beaters (you will put those in later) are essential for whipping cream successfully!
  2. Combine the egg yolks and sugar and whip until thick and lemon colored, about 1 minute.
  3. Place sugar/egg mixture in the top of a double boiler over boiling water.
  4. Reduce the heat to low immediately and cook 8 - 10 minutes, while stirring constantly! I use a silicone rubber scraper to stir, that way you completely scrape the bottom of the pan with each swipe.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat well.
  7. Wash off beaters and place in refrigerator to chill a bit.
  8. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-whip or you will make butter. Having the cream, bowl and beaters very cold helps prevent this. Save about 1 1/4 Cups of the whipped cream for garnish.
  9. Fold the majority of the whipped cream into the cooled egg yolk mixture and set aside. I usually first put a little whipped cream into the yolks/cheese and fold to soften the mixture, then fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
  10. Add about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of confectioners sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla to the reserved whipped cream and whip just until mixed. Refrigerate and save this for the garnish.

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