Archive for May, 2014

Yes, there IS still racism, and this is how I know:

May 30, 2014

As I have   written before, I am a court advocate for a nonprofit group that monitors how animal welfare is adjudicated in the courtroom.  Quite often, actual disgusting violence has occurred.  Recently, a man murdered his girlfriend’s puppy.  This is common all over the USA:  some asshole is angry that the dog pooped on the floor, and  throws the dog  against the wall, breaking his little body.  The ways our laws are written, it is a misdemeanor.  What happened next with this guy is he murdered the actual girlfriend. That’s how it goes. So, if you  think  crimes against animals are petty, guess again.

But  sometimes, when a crime has been committed, it is an accident.  Or rather, it is ignorance.  People mean well, they just don’t realize what they are doing is cruel.
This is the case of CS, who was charged this way: (neglect of owners duties & cruel treatment):

APRIL 28, 2014 (Monday)
**COURT: Branch 46, 555 W Harrison, 9:00am
-S&&&S, C&&&&n DOB 091992 (13124124201/HW503982)
charges: 1x owner duties (510ILCS70.0/3) 4 charges pending
2x cruel treatment (510ILCS70.0/3.01)
3x drug paraphernalia
arrest: Beat 0312, 63xx S St Lawrence Ave, basement, 23Oct13
arresting officer: CPD ACT, Unit 6559D
animal: 1 dog not signed over (A097200) – see note
history: branch court 23Oct13, 27Nov, 10Dec, 15Jan14, 14Feb, 27Mar
note: CCSAO looking into filing forfeiture petition; dog had allegedly also bitten
a neighbor; dangerous dog investigation; details requested

This is how I reported it to my group:
Judge V, Rm.303.  Court called 9:05 a.m  Finding:  Not Guilty
CS was there—a young single mother, very nice.  Bailiff asked me why I was there, & I told her for  Ms. S.  I know we don’t generally talk to defendants, but  let’s use some sense.  This  SHOULD HAVE GONE TO MEDIATION.    Waste of my tax dollars—& yours.
S had to hire a lawyer, pay for child care, move, and since she loves the dog and wants him back, will have to pay boarding fees. She told me she visited him several times at CACC and hoped he was walked and played with.

In fact, she also had a bitch pup, and had hoped to breed the dogs,  & I believe (in my own middle class white mind) I persuaded her to have (male dog) neutered, and told her it would  probably be done for free.  She told me her mother would pay for it.  I should have made a case for the bitch pup as well, but she knows the ‘breeder’ dumped a litter of 14 at CARE/Evanston.  I also, after the trial, told her it is illegal to tether dogs.

This  was a very sad case of two new tenants and an absentee landlord. One, CJ, trying to deflect attention from  herself (this is another court case, clearly), constantly calling the police about  S  harboring fighting  dogs. The best they—the police— could come up with were the neglect/cruel treatment. For what?  Having dogs tethered on leashes too short, and unattended….but there’s more.
Yes, the dogs  were tethered & unattended. Unfortunately, the prosecuting attorney does not know tethering is illegal.  However, you notice they wanted  her on drug paraphernalia. Charge was dropped as there was no evidence.  However,  prosecutor wanted to add  2 more charges, and because nothing had been produced at discovery,  Judge V denied prosecutor’s request.  What the police wanted was for her to finger  gang bangers/dealers in the ‘hood, and since  she was new to the  neighborhood, she knew none.

Several  officers showed up to testify as well as Dr. X from  animal control.  Although (male dog)had a scar from a past injury, it was healed & not an issue. What was an issue  for Judge V was that none of the officers had approached the dogs, they had all seen the dogs several times, but at no time did they ring the doorbell and inquire about the dogs or warn  S.    In fact, they  had visited the  property  at least three times, but did not take custody of the dogs the first time.  /dogsm plural…. :  the prosecutor kept referring to a black dog, as did the officers, which  was also tethered on the porch (probably the complaining neighbor’s dog), but  that was NOT S’ DOG.  Judge V  had the same  expression on his face that I am sure I had on mine.   They did not have photos of the tether leashes, and although they  had a search warrant for the home, did not  ‘see’ the  bitch pup (S told me the police told her to put her away).    Nor, apparently did they  have any evidence of ‘drug paraphernalia’.
Now, seriously…if you are citing someone for neglect/cruelty, why would you take  one dog and not the other?

In addition,  C J wanted an assault charge reinstated, which had been dismissed due to her not showing up for trial (she said she was confused by the date—easy enough, as none of the dates are  on our sheet, and this case has also been at another court location —but she had been right there when the  date was given!!!),   stating she was in court Feb.30! After telling her that was impossible, Judge V let the prosecutor  reinstate the assault charge against S.   S next court date is June 4 , 2014 on  a bs assault charge. The facts are that  CJ was not  touched.  Assault actually means threatened, which S admitted…but no matter.

So, after hearing from the police, and  veterinarian X  that  there was no evidence of  either neglect or cruelty, Judge V found S  not guilty, and denied the motion  for  forfeiture.  S was greatly relieved.

This case could have been over sooner had her attorney appeared at  2 previous of the hearings listed.  He  is now attempting to charge S  for those appearances he did not make. He wants $1500.  I tole her to make him take her to small claims court.

There are  serious thugs  and dog fighters out there.  I wish the police had not wasted so much time on this case…and I believe has S been white, and in a better neighborhood…there would have been no charges.
I see dogs with  prong collars on all the time, They are NOT being trained, Their owners  allowed them to get out of control, and now believe the only way they can control them is to hurt them with  a prong or pinch collar.Yet the police ignore this.   Go figure.


The agony of buying a car….(it wasn’t so bad…)

May 23, 2014

I’ve had a number of cars over the past  40 years. Some good, some not so much.   The Datsun 1200 was the worst. 50,000—huge leak in the pan gasket.   I had an American Motors Sportabout Wagon with a standard transmission, which I loved. It was getting to be time, at 125.000 miles.  A friend wanted to buy it, and he put another  50,000 on that clutch, so we got our use out of it.

I also had a Chevy Chevette (a junky car), and a Dodge neon (which also lasted about 50,000).  I did have  a Toyota Corolla that I bought for $1000 that I had for 2 years, that was a very good value until it needed a new generator.

After the Dodge Neon, my roommate sold me his  Honda Civic, because he wanted the same car with a standard transmission and a V-tech engine.  People sometimes asked us why we had the same car.  Well, it wasn’t exactly the same.  He made me a good deal on that Civic, and I loved it, but after about 150,000, stuff started happening.   Muffler, of course.   I need new breaks and rotors, then the ball joints  just disintegrated.  Then,  the transmission started to go, and I’ve get stuck in reverse or park.   Right before I went on vacation, I stopped at a stop sign, and when I gave it gas, a horrible noise. Turned out the pipe to the catalytic converter just rusted to dust.  But KN fixed it, and it passed the emissions test!  Then suddenly, the ‘check engine’ light went on.    KN thought it might be a dried out gasket on the gas cap.  & the car started leaking oil.

I had started looking at used car prices in the paper  last fall.  I wanted another Honda Civic, but  people hang onto them….forever….. So, GEICO  has a program where you can search  if you know the make and model, and I also looked on

Now, I really could not afford a new car, but KN felt that a new car was a better value than a used car.  I said, “You’re telling me that a new Ford Escort is better than a used Honda Civic.”  “Yes, that is what I am saying.”  “You are wrong, I am sure of it,”  I responded.  “You are living in the 20th century.  Cars are better engineered now,”  he said.

I finally narrowed it down to either a Toyota Yaris, a Nissan Versa, or a used Honda Civic.  I  really didn’t think a Versa  would be good, and I thought it would be too small.  But it was in my price range.  I  found several new Yaris’, also in my price range, but then I found a couple of used Honda Fit cars.  KN said “The Honda Fit is the new  Civic.  Honda  doesn’t even sell Civics in Japan or Europe anymore.  they only sell them in America.”  U was also interested in Subaru or Mazda, but people hang on to them forever, too.

Frankly, if I could have afforded a  new Civic, or even one that was  four years old,  that would have been my first choice.  However, a  Fiat dealer has a used Honda Fit, a 2012, with only 15,000 miles on it.  I always wonder why  people get a car like this and dump it after only  15,000 miles, but the Carfax report came up clean.  maybe she decided the insurance was too expensive (a lot of people int he city are  just using I-Go cars), or got a company car, or  public transit is convenient.

KN was disgusted with me, and didn’t want to give me any more input, but when I said  I was going to test drive the Yaris, he told me I’d be happier with the Fit, so I never went to test drive the Yaris.  The Fit was  about a mile from where I worked, so I test drove that car on a Saturday.
With  the taxes, it would have been $15,000.  Just over my budget, so I walked, still planning to test drive the Yaris, but the salesman called early Monday morning & told me thay’d sell it to me, all taxes and transfer charges, for $14,000.  I guess it had sat on the lot too long. present value of future cash flow.

The only thing I don’t like about the car is the  window configuration, and blind sports, but I’ll get used to them.  It rides really well.  Very good gas mileage (but even the 14 year old Civic was still getting great gas mileage.

So that wasn’t so bad…but now, from all the research I did online, I now get, on every social media site, ad placements for  Hondas and Toyotas.  I guess I have to erase my cookies.  & I’m getting emails from all the dealers who had cars I was interested in.

I decided to write about this because I know other people   also don’t know where to start looking for a car.  Try narrowing down your choices, and then go on  Don’t be intimidated.  have a budget.  Most important, know what goes wrong with a car.   Lots of people are interested in the new Ford cars.  I am sure they have a lot of zip…but will the engine still be ok at 50,000 miles?  The  Civic was solid right to the end.  What went on the car was NOT the engine, but all the  other stuff that happens to an old car in a cold climate.  But that’s why people never get rid of them.

In the end, you have to trust yourself to make a choice.

What is a Fair Per Centage for a Dog Groomer to Get Paid?

May 16, 2014
The trim is a 'Town and Country'.  I wanted to do a classic 'Dutch', but the owner was a retired groomer , herself, and this was what she wanted.  Note the balance, that her pants are not 'falling off'.

The trim is a ‘Town and Country’. I wanted to do a classic ‘Dutch’, but the owner was a retired groomer , herself, and this was what she wanted. Note the balance, that her pants are not ‘falling off’.

Huh?   Well, it was a question asked on the LinkedIn social media list for dog groomers.  I was hesitant to join, as  less than half the members are actually dog groomers.  No joke. Most of the  members are  people who want to make money off the labor of dog groomers.

Demoralizing, really.  Let’s start at the very beginning—a very good place to start.  Profits are a function of economics.  It doesn’t matter if you are a capitalist, a communist, or s socialist. The boss will decide what’s fair.

I am a Wobbly (I.W.W.) in arrears.   I am selling my labor. I want to be fair.  I respect that a business owner has the capital to open a business.  However, if she doesn’t know how to groom, why would  she  put capital into this kind of business?  What’s the plan?  How  would a non-gr0oomer  know the economics of this industry? Or,…. if a groomer  is doing a thorough job brushing out a dog?  Or not wasting shampoo, or using equipment in a dangerous manner?

Currently, there is a debate raging about raising the minimum wage from $7.50 (I think that’s what it is) to $10 an  hour ($15 an hour in some places).  What I do know, as I live in a major market (Chicago), is that, due to land rents/property taxes, let alone  heat, other utilities, and health insurance, you can not support two kids on less than $30 an hour.  The average dog groomer in these parts is not making $20 an hour.

When I started grooming dogs in the lat 1960s, bathers were paid minimum wage, but might get  some tips from the groomers.  When I left home in 1971, my first jobs paid  50%, but I rarely had even a 6 hour day (or groomed more than  4 dogs a day).  I eventually got a job at  a very busy shop, but was paid only 45%.  The advantage was that I was always busy, the  equipment was great, and I was mentored by a  great groomer.  I really learned the business of dog grooming from her.

I eventually worked for other  groomers who really needed a good groomer who could  groom  six to seven dogs a day, and I was paid 50 to 55%.  If I brought my own clients in, I was paid 60%.   Because groomers owned the businesses, they could help when things got crazy, and they  maintained  good prices.  I then spent some time out of the  grooming industry, and during the time I was doing other things (in school, economic development research,  managing a small business), and shops got sold to  non-groomers who had money, but no skills.

The  major  pet shop chains start their groomers at 50% commission against slightly better than minimum wage ( they hourly wage varies from $7.50 to  $12 an hour)–-but you have to make commission for the whole two week pay period, or you were not making 50%.  Most groomers find this impossible with the chains, as their business policies are to name a  grooming manager, who gets paid 60%, then hire too many people for anyone to make commission.  Or, the manager assigns dogs to her favorite  groomers, so some make commission, and  some don’t, and that’s why they are always  looking for groomers.   Corp0ortate also sets the prices. You have virtually no say unless you upsell a shampoo or service.  They also change your days off, so you can’t hold another  job.  They do not care if you are a good groomer. Their clients are looking for price.  As one of my former clients told me, they did a terrible job on her dog, but they charges half what I charged, so it was good enough.  In any case, you’d get health insurance and benefits after  six months, which was why many groomers with chronic health issued  sucked it up  and worked for the chains. Now  that we have the Affordable Care Act, I wonder how many  will stay.   As I pointed out in a recent  blog, it’s amazing how many woman  have children knowing the child’s father can’t or won’t support a kid, and they can’t support a kid on what they earn.

Some of the shops still owned by groomers, or large veterinary practices, will  pay 55% after the first month, and 60% after three years.  But what are we talking about?  Per cent of what? Some of these business owners who don’t  know  the grooming industry  have  tried to start new clients at 1/2 of what the competition chargers, and think they will raise the grooming fee  and double it. Stupid plan, and  virtually all go out of business.   I have worked for  several  businesses very close to  the central business district (downtown) and  our prices are  at least 20% higher than just five miles north.  So, when we are busy, I do ok, and average about $30 an hour because of the way I manage my time and the equipment.  If a dryer fails,  or the day is humid, or a dog gets diarrhea,  no way can I keep up the pace.

I  have tried out at various shops when I’ve been looking for work.  One thing I try to do is ask how many  dogs the shop  generally as a day, what is a ‘full day’ to them, and what is their average fee per dog. The busy shop  that really needs a groomer will tell me.  The ones that are not busy, and want a groomer to sit around and  make nothing (they are paying a  %  commission) won’t tell me, and  this is a waste of time.  One shop, which I knew to be busy, told  me, because none of their groomers wanted to work Saturday, that I might get 1 dog, or 3 or 5.  It varied. What I learned when I went to try it, was that she had a groomer who  took 13 dogs for herself, and I was expected to wait for any dogs she didn’t want.  Now, if it takes an average of about 1/2 hour to set up a dog…even with bathers….how was she going to get through all this and  DO A GOOD JOB?  But she was making over $1000 a day, and since the shop owner got no complaints,  that worked for her.  Not for me, and this is another problem.  If all things are equal, why would a shop owner allow  one groomer to take  eight dogs (who are not the groomer’s clients, but the shop’s clients) and give another experienced groomer  three?  Not fair, but shocking the number of shop owners who want to keep their MAIN GROOMER happy.  And they go our of business, because they can’t manage this.

Dog grooming shops that do not offer daycare or boarding are generally pretty marginal, grossing under $500,00 a year.  Many shops have nonworking equipment and won’t  maintain their equipment.  They skimp on  product. They claim they can’t raise prices because there are  five grooming shops within a mile of theirs that charge less.  Nobody is making any money.  Clients may or may not be getting a bargain.
Shop owners hire nongroomers to manage.  They are really office staff, but then these managers think they are bosses, and they argue with groomers over prices, dematting, equipment, record keeping (lots of forgetting to put a client ion the book, or asking the groomer what to charge).

What’s fair? When so many executives are  getting paid 1oo times more than labor on the floor, and still aren’t making a profit, and are given golden parachutes,  it’s not about what’s fair, is it?

It’s about respect and integrity.  You wouldn’t go into food service or the restaurant industry without apprenticing and gaining experience. Why would you go into a dog service business without knowing anything about  animal  husbandry or  animal behavior?

This is not a turn key industry.  I see people take inheritances and structured settlements or buyouts, buy or open a shop,  and disrespect their groomers, who quit…and the business fails.  People contact me all the time and tell me they want to groom dogs, but they don’t even groom their own dogs.  Why do you  want to have a dog business if you don’t want to be HANDS ON with dogs?

What’s fair?  How long have you been in business?  Who are your clientele?  What is your average fee per dog?  How many groomers do you have working for you now? Why do you think you need another groomer rather than raise your rates? What kind of equipment do you have?  How do you schedule?   One dog at a time, or do you  have several dogs come in  in the morning, so I’m not sitting around in case somebody doesn’t show up? What do you expect of me?

When I started grooming dogs, the average middle class family  could afford to have a dog groomed every  six to eight weeks.  That’s not true anymore, and that’s why we  have so many Labrador Retrievers, Pit Bulls, Bulldogs, Frenchies, and Boston Terriers coming in for baths, and I haven’t seen a Cocker Spaniel in several years.  But the other day, I had  three submissive urinators, and a couple of dogs with  no bite inhibition, and  I’ve about had it.  I want 70% for THOSE DOGS.


We are losing the war…in spite of the new bans on puppy mills: Have you Googled Your Breed?

May 9, 2014
Ch. Scenario's Razzle Dazzle, JC (Dazzle) Saluki,  on the left, Bebop Whippet, on the right.

Ch. Scenario’s Razzle Dazzle, JC (Dazzle) Saluki, on the left, Bebop Whippet, on the right.

I wrote this article in 2008, and it was published originally in a Sighthound magazine.  I am not a dog breeder. I am a dog groomer, and I groom mostly pet dogs. In fact, if you (dog breeders) have not got a waiting list for your puppies, I may have helped you sell your pet dogs. I have referred puppy seekers to you. I have bought your pet dogs and turned several of them into champions and obedience title holders.
Unless you operate a boarding kennel and/or groom dogs, you don’t know what’s going on outside the fancy.  I had ‘Googled’ several breeds ( to find links to parent clubs) and the first site that came up was

I recently was grooming dogs at a major pet shop chain—in an upscale demographic area, and I realized the issue I am going to tell you about is a little more serious than I originally though.

To give you some perspective on this, I want to site an article published in April, 2008 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities[1]. Briefly, it states that since the late 1980’s households with incomes over $148,000 have increased their incomes by over 80%. Those with household incomes in the $100,000 range have increased incomes by about 30%, and those like me, with household incomes under $50,000 have remained relatively flat. I urge you to check out the report for your state.

What does that mean to YOU—a hobby breeder? Who buys your puppies? Have you been to a specialty show recently? What would you guess is the average (mode) age of most of your exhibitors? Where do you think new fanciers come from? Are there enough to maintain a gene pool in your breed?

One problem that fanciers have is that humane activists are painting all breeders, hobby or commercial, with the same broad brush. Admit it. You know in your own clubs that there are fellow ‘hobby’ breeders who always have a litter, offer stud service to any bitch owner, and pooh-pooh the idea of testing for genetic defects. They don’t ask people who come to buy a puppy if they own their own homes (rescues often ask for a mortgage document), if they can meet everyone in the household to make sure they all want a dog, if they can afford grooming and veterinary care, when they will find time for training, or who will be the primary care giver. As long as we tolerate that lack of interest in our dogs and the puppies we breed (breeding out of love for the breed—or so we say), we are not going to change the hearts & minds of the humane activists. It matters not a bit if your bloodlines are excellent and your dogs are free of all known genetic defects if you don’t screen homes carefully and put contracts for neutering on your pups sold as pets, and ask that they be returned to you if they are not wanted.

A foundation Portuguese Water Dog breeder told me that the breed was started in the U.S, with less than 50 dogs. Hardly a gene pool. Yet, with careful breeding practices, and agreement on the ethics of what was being bred and sold, the breed is no longer in danger. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America has one of the strictest codes of ethics of any parent club. They mandate that if you want to participate in breeder referral, you have to adhere to their guidelines. This includes taking back an unwanted dog you’ve bred within weeks of the dog becoming unwanted or the club fines you. How do they enforce this? The culture of the club is that they all want to protect the breed. Breeders ask people tough screening questions, and screen homes to make sure they can afford to care for a PWD, and let pet buyers know why puppies come with neutering contracts, or are being sold neutered.

We fanciers  have to market better, and more responsibly. There are very few good homes for pet Afghan Hounds. The late Fred Alderman of Dynasty Afghans used to make potential puppy buyers come out and spend a day grooming with him. He rarely made a bad sale. Do YOU do that?
Do you offer a rebate to a puppy buyer once they show you proof of spay/neuter, or proof of graduation from a novice obedience class? Would you consider refunding ½ the purchase price if they titled the dog? Do you invite pet owners to your picnics and fun events? Do you support your breed’s rescue? Do you know if the veterinarian you have such a great relationship with is on your side?

The puppy mill breeders have slick websites, and have learned how to market on the Internet. A novice fancier will have a hard time finding you on the Web.

The three main issues we fanciers have are:
1. How to compete with the puppy mills for buyers;
2. How puppy mills get your blood lines, and
3. Educated elites (in that $200.000+ household income range) are choosing hybrids….’deisgner’ dogs, being told by veterinarians that they are healthier.

I’ll address the puppy mill issue first. Some breeds, we know, are genetically vulnerable. There are fewer than 1,000 of the breed registered with kennel clubs providing studbook services every year. While I understand that the fanciers want to turn this around, breeding more dogs is not going to solve the problem if you don’t have the fanciers who want the dogs.

The top 20 breeds are always available at the Petland stores, including scent hounds. How do you think the puppy mills got their original breeding stock? If they didn’t but a dog from you directly, you sold a pet, didn’t mention neutering, the people decided the dog wasn’t for them. They didn’t call you (or maybe they did and you were too busy or didn’t have room for this pet dog you put out into the world), so they either put an ad in the paper or on Craigslist and some very nice people who happen to run a puppy mill got the dog—with AKC papers! The nice puppy mill folks might have even come to your house and bought the dog directly from you, but you didn’t want to be nosy and ask what their plans were for the dog, or they answered all the questions perfectly. Now, your blood lines are being sold to whomever has the cash. Last time I checked, the 2 Basset Hound Rescues in Illinois had over 80 dogs. Ask them where the dogs came from.

Now, if you think withholding AKC papers until the dog is neutered will stem this irresponsible breeding—guess again. As I said, the corporate chain pet supply store I worked at is in an upscale area, where household incomes are well above the $250,000 category. This is often correlated with advanced education. In the first two weeks I worked in the store, every new puppy client (over 20) was a hybrid designer mix:
A ‘Shnorkie’. ‘Goldendoodle’, ‘Shihpoo’, ‘Maltipom’. For every one of these designer hybrids, that’s a purebred dog that did not get placed. Don’t be smug, Deerhound Fanciers: all it will take is some marketing genius to breed a Deerhound to a Goldendoodle to make ‘doodles’ calmer. None of us are immune, especially not if a dog appears on TV or in a movie, and a person who breeds dogs as livestock gets a hold of our breeds. The AKC is out of the picture on this. Maybe in another demographic, people are demanding AKC papers at the pet shops, but not in my ‘hood. Why did these people make these choices? I know for a fact that many owned purebred dogs with genetic issues, and they spent a lot of money with veterinarians. When that purebred dog died, the veterinarians suggested that purebreds were too inbred and not genetically healthy, and that mixed breeds have hybrid vigor (never mind that your vet might have had a mere five minutes of genetics. DO YOU KNOW HOW YOUR VETERINARIAN FEELS ABOUT PUREBRED DOGS?

For all those who say that those people who are so unscrupulous aren’t breeders, I hate to tell you this, but if you own the bitch at the time of whelping, that makes you (them) the breeder. The only thing you’ve got going for you is your integrity. That’s the only difference.

So what do we do now?

In Chicago, aldermen recently  the notion of mandatory spay neuter. Bob Barker, came to talk. We had no celebrities (someone mentioned Bill Cosby) on our side. Fortunately, a few informed people were able to make the case that we would not stem the tide of dog bites or unwanted animals because the people breeding the most don’t even take their dogs to veterinarians, and many others are bred outside the city.  It took us almost  eight years to get the law banning sales of commercially bred  pets  passed.
Whew! That was close! What would make tremendous sense is for you to start micro chipping every dog you have & every puppy you sell—-, and then demand that when dogs enter shelters, they be scanned & the breeder given the opportunity to redeem the dog for a small fine, or pay a larger fine for having the shelter adopt out (or euthanize) the dog. I am sure the puppy mill industry will jump right on this—because they are also convinced that their dogs don’t wind up in shelters. Since chipping is less expensive than neutering, who wouldn’t think this practical and a good compromise?

Another thing you have to do is check with your specialty clubs and find out how visible your websites are. You will have to pay for a ‘pay per click’ service, to get your contact info above . If you have money for a trophy fund, you have money for this. I am aghast at the number of clubs that have money for all sorts of frivolities, and not for marketing—lest you fight over who sells a puppy. Right now, it’s none of you!

Have you insisted that your rep to the AKC address the realities of what’s happening? That they provide more services to puppy mills than hobby breeders?
I am just a dog groomer. By an accident of fate, I got a graduate degree in urban planning and policy. You need to know, that due to land rents and the cost of energy, never mind the complications of a financial market that was allowed to flimflam people unfettered, it is going to be harder for middle class people to be able to afford to properly take care of a dog. It will get worse before it gets better. I choose to groom dogs because of integrity issues. I choose purebred dogs because I wanted dogs of a certain structure and temperament. I didn’t want a surprise. Will you try to address this so I will continue to be able to afford a purebred dog?

[1] Pulling Apart: A State by State Analysis of Income Trends, by J.Bernstein, E. McNichol, & A. Nichols, April 2008, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, available online.



It’s not a secret—paying minimum wage IS PART OF THE BUSINESS PLAN!

May 2, 2014

This information is not a secret.  You can go to any store  to see  the prices. You can ask any mother how many diapers a kid goes through in a day.  Quick—how much does a package d of disposable diapers cost and how many days will it last?  So how many packs do you need in a month?  What will the diapers cost?

It seems. because our educational system in the USA is generally  so poor, and our primary school teachers major in EDUCATION and not in the subject they want to teach…and because  in the  careers requiring  mathematics and science, you get paid more than most teachers make….our primary school   students are not learning math or science—or even how to do research. That ism unless they grow up in a wealthy area, like I did, and their teachers are paid very well. Kids are still being fed the myth, as though it were  a fact, that if you work hard and really study, you will be successful and be able to make a living,  Two different things,  actually.Also, a lie.

First of all, in America,  getting a good job and making a living are based on two  things:  developing scarce skills…and who you know.  This is why students clamor to get into Ivy League Schools.  You  may be a piss poor student, but you will get a social network that will float you along.  Are you really sure you don’t like any aspect of mathematics or science?  Because it is the jobs in those  fields that pay living wages.  You don’t need a college education to become a  plumber or electrician, but   you do need to understand both math and  physics, and you will be learning for as long as you would spend in college.  More important, you will be able to make a living wherever you go.  Lots of mobility.

This is economics,  Profits are a function of economics,.It’s how those profits are divided that  is the issue.

Over  40 years ago, my parents really pushed me to get a college education (which  I ultimately did, as an adult).  They were  horrified, or, rather, bemused I should say, that I chose to learn to groom dogs.  They really assumed I’d get married and  have a husband to support me.
That’s how things were  before the big oil shock of the early 1970s, and before minorities had civil rights, and you  could  discriminate and not hire ‘them’.  Since that time….for over 40 years, there have been too many  people chasing too few jobs.

The reason I address this now is that I saw a story about a single mother   trying to support four kids  by working at McDonald’s!  And—she had a college education!  My gut reaction was that  she over paid for a college education if she could not get a job to support her kids based on that education—and where was the daddy?  I mean, gosh…how long do you have to be married to a guy,  or with him, and how many kids do you  have to have before you realize he can’t or won’t support the children he sired?

Why does this keep happening?  I want I want I want…so I am entitled to have…kids I can’t support.   I really don’t get  it.  I was raised to  not even consider bearing children until I was sure I could support them. so, I didn’t have them.  I saw too many  poor single moms.  I remember meeting one, when I was in  my  twenties, and  she was in a group with us, and the group  VOTED to pay her baby sitter so she could attend out meetings!  Then, she went on public aid because, due to the pregnancy, she developed heart issues.  Many of our friends commiserated with her over her poverty.  But she wanted to bear a child!  Not work with kids, not adopt or foster.  She wanted  the child to be of her own blood.

I guess I seem  like a horrible right winger.  I just don’t think I should be penalized for making  appropriate life choices.  I think we need to point this out to  kids before they start having sex:  you  are choosing to be poor if you  aren’t making a living and  securing your economic future before bearing children.