Category Archives: Mailbox Topics
Dear OwyheeStar Applicants
Communication is tricky–no matter whether you are writing, texting or having a discussion. The goal is communicating our idea or thought, or possibly trying to educate someone. I reply to a lot of emails. Then too, there are the application responses. Sometimes this involves a follow-up query to clarify the applicant’s answer or to fill in something left blank. A recent encounter left me feeling cold and licking more than a few wounds; however, I am sure my intent was misunderstood. Maybe I should have added some emojis–honestly, I am not too skilled at using those cute add-ins. That would set a tone rather than leaving the recipient to guess what I mean and the voice behind the ink.
Grammerly.com says, “If there’s controversy around emojis in business communication, then why do we feel compelled to use them? Why not forego them altogether? The simple answer: we want to be better understood. Email communication is notoriously problematic in that it lacks the emotional cues we rely on with face-to-face or phone conversations. Without tone of voice or facial expressions to guide us, there’s a lot of room for misunderstanding when we read an email. Messages meant to be positive are often interpreted as neutral, and neutral messages are interpreted as negative”.
Setting a Positive Tone
Well then, that leaves me being negative sounding a lot. Our application process is an area where I am positive more than a few persons have been miffed by the questions. In fact, someone said they were sick of my interrogation techniques–I was shocked because I was merely asking one question about a two-part question–the second part was left blank. I think the question is valid; they see my asking them as intrusive and are offended. In all honesty, I could have prefaced the question more tactfully–and the addition of emoji may have set a more friendly tone. Would that family have made a good puppy home? We will never know. Of course, I want to avoid these types of scenarios, but when it comes to matters of the heart a lot of things can go sideways. I was scolded and let know their money is good and their character the same. I am sure both things are true; however, that was not what was in question.
A delay may seem like I don’t value you or our application. It is in truth, nothing like that. Rather I am engaged with the must-do and the most pressing things. Some of these cannot wait. Each day I am amazed at the workload for both Cliff and I. At the same time, we give thanks for this opportunity to provide a service so many appreciate.
We Take This Process Serious
The importance of our application process cannot be understated. Asking clear and concise questions to get the information that will clue us about the pup’s future seems valid. Nevertheless, communication issues (being misunderstood) will probably always be an issue. There other factors behind the scene too!
1. Each inquiry has an agenda–sometimes these are hidden (you would be surprised).
2. Everyone has done research; however, no one can guess how deep you are going to be required to dig to get through the Weimaraner puppy phase.
3. Each person comes with experience–this is all too often not going to apply to the Weimaraner. It is hard for a diehard Labrador person to believe this breed is different.
4. Each candidate believes they are ideal. Implying anything less or inquiring about something is offensive. We understand.
5. Dog savvy persons fail with this breed–it happens for a myriad of reasons. Let’s not place blame; instead, let’s agree it happens too often.
6. First-time Weim folks sometimes succeed beyond our wildest expectations. A pattern seems apparent to us. Most of these listen to our advice on how to raise the Weimaraner and do their best to follow it.
7. Honestly, it takes patience and a measure of trust to work with us. We typically have a Wait List. We cannot guess exactly how things will unfold–whether a mating will result in a litter, how many pups will be born, what sex or what coat color they will be. Yes, we sometimes have an all blue litter or an all gray litter; however, most of our litters have mixed coat colors. Some litters will produce a few Longhairs–how many is always in question. There are statistics, but we have learned the hard way that it is an average. The same parents might only produce two Longhair (of eight) pups one year. The next they may yield six of eight. Therefore, when statistically it says you will get 50% or 25% depending on the situation, the percentage can vary more than we expected in a specific litter.
From our side of the Fence
We must consider the pup’s welfare first and foremost. If we don’t have peace about a situation, it might not reflect on you at all. It may mean that we are not the right breeder for you. Sometimes we dare to tell applicants that we feel another breed choice would better suit their needs. Should we ever say that? I think we should. It is our opinion. A person can take it or leave. They can buy the Weimaraner from someone else. If all else fails, they can get one online.
Despite Communication Hiccups
Over time we have forged some beautiful relationships with OwyheeStar clients. If we had passed on the street we might not have given each other more than a nod or a smile; however, our hearts are forever joined. It is amazing how a fur family member can impact our lives in ways we would never have imagined. So, when we delve into the ticky-tacky details we sincerely hope you understand our motive. We are not interested in how much money you have–just that you have enough to give adequate care. Yes, we realize having money means better food and unlimited veterinary care. Nevertheless, even when a person has plenty of money and the desire, it is not a rock-solid guarantee that things will not go sideways.
We thank you for your patience and your understanding. We are honored to think of some many of you are friends. Some of you are more like family. We share things others would never understand.
~ Shela (and Cliff)
It is Day When we Remember
As much as we long for peace, war is always with us. We don’t have to look too far to find it. Nevertheless, each generation has their military conflict that its toll. Shela’s father served in WWII. Can you imagine being called to service like this generation of young men and women were? Even those who could not serve were called to sacrifice and to help with the effort on the home front. Cliff’s father was one who was stateside farming. A German POW from the Nyssa camp worked on this farm during the war. My mother followed dad around as much as she could and later while he was deployed she worked for the government in San Francisco to be closer to port.
It was Vietnam that changed so many lives. It left gaping wounds and racked up losses we never imagined possible a short time before. We were busy being young and the things that teens do. It was the sixties, and there was unrest on college campuses and protests against the war. We have those fleeing to Canada to escape the draft. Others waited and hoped their number wasn’t called, while some enlisted in the fight against Communism. To this day, this war is controversial. Regardless, those who served in Vietnam deserve our respect.
A Break From the Norm
This Blog focuses on the OwyheeStar Weimaraner and the Weimaraner in general. Today, we break from that for a moment to pay our respects to those who served and to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Let us not forget those who loved these soldiers and waited for their return. The paid the price too! These are life-changing situations. We cannot sit on this side and guess how it would have been different had the war not occurred. We have to frame the conflict within the historical moment and even then it is impossible to grasp the full extent of what thrust our country into taking action at such a huge cost. So, while you enjoy the good life, friends, and your family take a moment and just remember someone paid the price for your freedom. Thank you!
Yesterday I borrowed Wendy’s photo of her Rupert at the beach to create this sentiment. I hope you appreciated it and I hope the day at the beach, your picnic, or whatever you are doing is a lovely one too! Anyhow, we could not have the blog without the face of a Weimaraner, right!?!
What Can We Say?
~ Always the same question; rarely a definite answer.
We receive many inquiries regarding the Weimaraner puppies. Of course, people want us to answer a simple question. Sometimes they say, “when in your next litter.” Even if we know, which we most likely do not, we might not have a puppy available for placement from the litter. The vast majority of our pups are promised before the arrive. More often than not, people are willing to wait regardless of how long it takes.
The Waiting Game
We are waiting for the girls to come into season. It is like watching a pot boil. You understand though; we have less control over this process than a kettle on the stove. We know the heat cycle will happen. When it does, there are many factors to consider. It is far too complicated to put into a few short sentences. For example, some matings will only produce Longhair pups. If we are not looking for a litter (or partial litter) of Longhairs, then we need to wait for a different female.
We Thank You!
We appreciate the interest and the inquiry. We are particularly grateful for the return clients and the referrals. Then there are those that hold tight on the Wait List awaiting the arrival of a puppy. There again it is complicated. You might be high on the list, but if we don’t have the puppy born that correlates to your specific needs, then the waiting continues. Your patience and understanding are much appreciated. The trust our Weim folks bestow on us is not taken lightly. We know everyone is anxious when their timeframe arrives, but it might not always happen as planned.
Please enjoy the puppy photos taken from our archives. Have a beautiful day.
Giving Back to Those Who Serve
~ Gus Thrives as part of the pack
Melinda sent along this note with a photo of one of her charges. You might remember she lives with Winchester, Opus, and Stanley–all OwyheeStar Weims. She and her family have also taken in a retired K9 officer. Many of you have extended your household to include a rescue Weimaraner or other needy pet. Kudos to you! It if not something that everyone can do, or even should do. Adding a rescue to the household should be approached with great caution. Not everyone has the skill to manage their needs. Not every rescue will slide into your family. People sometimes complain that rescue organizations are too particular. The second chance home needs to be one that works. It is a great responsibility to place the displaced as well as to take one’s care upon yourself. Here (below) is what Melinda has to say.
Sweet friends.This is Gus-he is a retired k9 officer. He was stabbed in the face by a felon. (Unfortunately his handler was killed). He still has an open wound, so he lives his days out by napping on leather couches, eating as many treats as he can beg for, strolls in the neighborhood. The vet said he has thrived being part of a pack. He’s the first lab I’ve owned and GOSH the HAIR! But we love him and he’s a very good boy. I just have to keep an eye on playtime. ~ Melinda
Greetings From Far Eastern Oregon
~ it is looking good
Cliff said I should report that he has toured the entire farm and there is no snow left. Nevertheless, passing through town today we see piles of snow (that was removed) remains. The Middle School parking lot had substantial mounds of the dirty melting leftovers. The fields are drying and tractors and gearing up to go to work. The reservoirs are water-ready. Unlike recent history when farmers were wondering if they would get enough water.
We are looking forward to trips to the Three Cliff’s Sanctuary on the southeast corner of the property. We were there this week, and clearly, it is evident that there is a lot of cleanup to be done.
This Week on the Blog
Here are the week’s posts if you wish you may review or visit them today! This week the most popular post was regarding our friend’s ordeal. The second most visited and shared post was the one that featured Stackhouse and the two resident cats.
Sunday—March 12 — Jorga
Monday —March 13 — JuneAnn
Tuesday —March 14 — Walking Through the Fire
Wednesday —March 15 — What about Cats?
Thursday —March 16 — Not Long Ago
Friday — March 17 — Thoughts
On a very personal note
Cliff is laying tile in the utility bath. It is a pretty messy affair right now, but it will soon be a vast improvement. I am still battling the health crisis. I am getting better, but the six-month battle has taken its toll. I am trying acupuncture, and it seems to be providing some relief and a small spark. I am going to continue the treatment.
Spring and the improved weather is beneficial. We will have more to report come next week.
Greetings From Far Eastern Oregon
~ We still have snow
The snow is still with us, but it slowly makes a reluctant departure. The left-hand photo was taken yesterday morning. The other was from a week ago–the same that appeared on last Saturday’s blog. Around Ontario, there are piles of dirty, ugly snow here and there. Soon it will be only a memory.
We said goodbye to February and hello March. So far, it has been much as the adage would have us to believe–out with a Lion attitude and in with the Lamb. March has been kinder, and it reminds us of the hope of spring’s imminent arrival. First, we face the daylight savings spring forward event. Who is looking forward to it? March 12th is not that far off and might we suggest you be working to change the time a bit earlier. It will make the transition for the Weimaraner easier. Some of you know what I mean. Others have no clue that this fur family member is more reliable than some of the old time clocks.
This Week on the Blog
Here are the week’s posts if you wish you may review or visit them today! It is a fun week I think you will agree.
Sunday—February 26 — Weimar Games
Monday —February 27 — Stella Blue
Tuesday —February 28 — Our Winnie
Wednesday —March 1 — Gus
Thursday —March 2 — Happy Boy
Friday — March 3 — Progress
On a very personal note
We ordered a second area rug for our living room floor. The rug should work to preserve the hardwood flooring from our farm lifestyle. We don’t take off our shoes–we do try to be as clean as it is possible. Our effort is often not so evident. I am still working on getting things to feel right–if you understand. The house is long and narrow–the living room is the same. I want the atmosphere comfortable and livable–nothing elegant or that takes a lot to maintain. I guess I can be either considered practical or lazy.
My lungs appear to be the ongoing topic. There is new medication to control the radiation-induced inflammation. Another medical appointment today as well as acupuncture. I feel better tonight so either the medication is working, or I was getting better anyhow. I have a new physician, and I feel good about her. Don’t feel sorry for me. This illness is far harder on Cliff.
Thanks to You
There is no way we could ever thank you enough for your love and support. We are in need of a few stories to get through the December blogging. Several of you have promised; however, we understand how busy you might be–nevertheless if you can send along something we would greatly appreciate it. Without you, this would be impossible.
Too Beautiful to Use
When this arrived, I thought about using it to feed Cliff. It is simply too grand to share on the floor. Nonetheless, Stackhouse was more than glad to clean up a special treat. He thought it worked perfect and said it belonged only to him. Dusty has since felt it was blue and therefore meant to be used by him–a Blue Stud Dog.
Isn’t it just grand? Jorga’s Mama sent it to us from Belgium. She picked it up when she was in Poland. We are deeply touched by her generosity. She must have known I love pottery. She also purchased a lovely butter bell. It works better than any I have ever seen. We are truly blessed. Thank you, Eileen.