Archive for April, 2008

How to properly groom a Pomeranian

Monday, April 14th, 2008

OK- here’s the problem I have – I have a Pomeranian and she needs be groomed every month. It costs me $45 bucks every time. Wow – who has that kind of money? And I thought, if they can do it, so can I. Boy, was I wrong. Apparently, professional training for dog grooming really does help!

pom1

Now, I know what you are thinking – that’s a lot of hair! You’re telling me. Since I love my Pomeranian as if she were my fur-kid, she needs this monthly maintenance. You may think that I am crazy and she doesn’t actually need to be groomed every month. But there are some fun facts to know before you think that this dog will be easy to take of.

First, Pomeranians have 2 coats – yep, that’s right! Two coats. The top coat is the long hair and the bottom coat is like cotton. Because the pom has been over-bred, they come with special features. For instance, dry skin. To alleviate your fur-baby’s dry skin, you must brush their hair daily and give them a bath once a month. Sounds easy. Or, so I thought.

I guess I started to go wrong when I used too much shampoo and she ended up looking like a sloppy wet sponge.
pom2
When we put her through her 5th rinse cycle and made sure we got all the shampoo out, we dried her. I don’t know if you have ever tried to dry a 2-year old’s hair, but think of it as the same thing when I tried to blow-dry my Pom’s hair. If you can’t get your dog to sit still longer than 2 minutes with a large blow dryer in their face – congratulations! You are several steps ahead of me when it comes to training.

I thought the problems were over – nope. In addition to washing and drying a dog, the services of groomer don’t stop there. I tried cutting her toe nails. Yikes – I gave up after one when I cut the wick and she started bleeding all over the place. I have to put to groomers who know where the nail stops and the wick starts. For those who don’t know – a wick is a dog’s cuticle and when it is cut, it bleeds. Not a pretty site, for sure.

So, I got the bath, drying and one toe nail cut and thought I was done. Right? Nope! Pomeranians have hair – and a ton of it. Of course I thought I could trim her hair and have it come out looking great! Again – how wrong was I? My darling girl now looks like she had her hair cut by a blind Edward Scissorhands.

Well I did end up taking her to get groomed and now she looks like a Pom!

pom3

But I know that I have either half to shell out the $45 bucks to get her groomed – or learn how to groom dogs professionally. I did find a website where I could learn how to groom a dog. There are some schools that offer online veterinary training, like Penn Foster Career School . They have an online program to learn all about grooming! I think that my Pomeranian would appreciate if I did learn some grooming skills for the next time.


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From Wild Blue Yonder to Storm Central

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Whether it is the roar of the jets screaming by overhead or a chance to see a plane up-close and personal, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to visit an air show. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people were at the Charlotte County Airport on Saturday to see the Florida International AirShow.

If you’re like me, watching planes fly overhead is thrilling enough. But a chance to see the aeronautic acrobatics of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds or the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team is breath-taking on another level.

As with most shows, it’s what’s in the skies that draws the crowd. For me, the real star of the show was the Lockheed-Martin WC-130J. Known as hurricane hunters,  these four prop-engine hulks actually fly into hurricanes. The crew can give weather trackers information on wind speeds and the location of the storm’s eye.

It takes a whole crew of aircraft mechanics to make sure the WC-130 is ready to head into hurricanes. They check the airplane from nose to tail, including the exit lights. The WC-130 is a workhorse of aviation. The ceiling is a bundle of wires, cables, and ductwork running the length of the aircraft. In short, it isn’t built for comfort.

Believe it or not, the aircraft wings are not specially reinforced for trips into hurricane winds. It makes sense, because a wing is designed to fly through the air, whether that’s at a slow speed or a very high one. The crew gradually turns the aircraft into the wind (a process called “crabbing”) until it punches through to the eye of a hurricane. Things get bumpy, but when you see the size of this thing in person, you’ll understand why it doesn’t get blown away.

The WC-130 has enough fuel to fly for about 14 hours. That’s enough for 4 center fixes of a hurricane. A single mission like that usually takes 11 hours!

The next time you visit an air show, take the opportunity to check out some of the planes sitting on the ground. While they might not be as flashy as all the stunts in the sky, the machines and the men and women who maintain them, are real heroes.

If this stuff fascinates you as well, be sure to check out one of our aviation training schools so you can become part of this interesting career field!

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