Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Costume Wrap-up

Well the year is done and overall I'd say it was a success.   Here are the majority of things I finished this year, minus the outfits  I made for other people and don't have pictures of yet.

There were also some other projects this year too: a suit of clothes for my boss, a skirt/bodice and petticoat for a coworker, a pair of bloomers and a corset for another coworker, and a variety of skirts for a friend.

For next year I have a few ideas already.
1. Garbaldi blouses in red, white, and black
2. a maroon skirt with blue wool trim
3. a blue wool bodice
4. a black striped bustle dress c. 1869
5. a green skirt with box pleated ruffle
6. the green striped dress with matching Swiss waist
7. redo the pink dress and add trim
8. fix the purple jacket

Happy New Year's!  I'm a little drunky right now on Moet et Chandon so apologies for any spelling errors that might have insued.  Cheers

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Busy times

What have I been up to lately?  Well....tons of things.  I broke a window so I had to replace it, that was fun.  The process of course required me to smash it further.

 I worked like crazy on a corset and bloomers for a co-worker
 I debated about wearing an old regency period dress I made for Halloween, opted not to though
Oh yeah this was my Halloween: me, a co-worker, and the boss.  It was a fun day though, normal routine but in undies.  Got a few fitting issues to finish working on though.

My to-do list:
1. Brenda's corset: finish the alterations
2. New fun skirts for Becky
3. Maroon wool bodice for me
4. Striped dress with matching Swiss waist for me

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dogs and sewing

how cute am I?

on patrol again to make sure the dumb neighbors don't make too much noise

this is my perch where I like to watch the leaves out the window
As you can see, Charlie is growing up.  He enjoys being a good watch dog and still frolicking around whenever he can.  Such a joy to have such a sweet dog.  Today he's helping me paint and will be helping with the sewing later.

Business has been slow, both at work and my little operation.  I have been working on a corset and bloomer combo for Brenda that we wore for Halloween.  It was more of a "dress rehearsal" for me to see what needs to be changed.  Got a lot of work to do on that little number.

The to-do list looks something like this now:
1. Brenda's bloomers: fix leg hems with nice seam finish; enclose raw edges on inside; re-gather the waist and attach a proper closure
2. Brenda's corset: take in bust by about 2" or so minimum; add some more boning; lining
3. Pattern for Jo's dress
4. Finish wool/taffeta jacketey thing for me
5. Make appropriate winter clothing for work and clean up scrap pile in process

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A quick glimpse

I've got some early shots of my new work ensemble. It's based on a pattern from The World of Fashion in winter of 1852 that I found in Patterns of Fashion. I added the skirting myself and left it much more open than the norm to give it some personal choices. I had it finished enough to wear today for a test drive and it went great! Everyone really loved my new outfit and I'm super pleased with the fit and general look of it compared to the standard around town. You can also see the beginnings of the living room remodel in these shots too. More to come later.

Friday, August 19, 2011

the war on bad history...

... that's what I think I will call it for now.  I figured I should first give everyone an update (for those of you that are following or care).  As you might have read previously, a packet of information was distributed to each concessionaire in Columbia State Park.  There were several glaring errors in the documentation of dates.  Now that I've had time to simmer down and think more clearly on the situation, I have some observations. 

1. It's a step in the right direction for the war I've started waging rather slowly, even if the information is currently being distributed with incorrect dates and geographical preferences.  At least the issue is being noted: the clothing is not only boring and unflattering, but also wrong by and large.  Women did not all wear the same dress.  The did not wear jeans or other pants under their dresses and they did not wear modern shoes.  This needs to be noted, changed, and enforced.
2. Hair is troublesome.  The packet largely focused on hair styles and bonnets, this is something that is lacking in the park.  I'm guilty of it as well.  Obviously there needs to be a reasonable attempt at both historical accuracy and functionality.  Modern hairstyles (most notably the short styles worn by a large percentage of women over the age of about 45 are not conducive to the styles of the mid-19th century).  I'm going to personally make a serious attempt to improve what I do with my hair.
3. Feet are ugly.  I tried to wear a pair of slip on ballet flats with a slight heel/wedge as a replacement for my other pair of flats that died and my tennis shoes.  The bottoms of my feet were so bruised mid way through the week that I went back to tennis shoes just to be able to get through an 8 hour shift.  Shoes need to be addressed or hemlines lowered significantly to try to disguise modern footwear if it is absolutely necessary for functionality, safety, or heath reasons that it be worn.

My own clothing business appears to be booming!  My boss has employed me to not only make her and her partner new outfits, but a dress for a coworker and a dress for our new employee.  This is fantastic news for me and word is spreading through town.  Not to mention, when I went to purchase fabric for the new employee's dress, a former concessionaire had already observed via her husband what I was doing and supported it.  I've stopped my personal war again the mumus that Pam makes and have refocused my attack on ill fitting clothing worn by the workers in Columbia.  Mumus are not period, but the dress they are based on is (even if I don't agree with the interpretation of the period).

My co-worker's new outfit is coming along very nicely.  It's a lovely blue print purchased from Timeless Calico in Sonora and based on the dress below.  Since it's for a more voluptuous woman, I'm making some slight changes to enhance the seam lines and create a more slender and longer profile.
1850 Dress from a google search that lead me to Defunct Fashion
My new outfit is coming along nicely.  I've been trimming the jacket and hope to finish that tomorrow.  After that's done, I just have to hem the skirt and make a nice little shirt to wear with it and I'm set.

And now, I'm going back to my bottle of Heavyweight Purple to enjoy the rest of my evening.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I work in Columbia State Park in California at the Mercantile (all visitors are welcome to stop by and say hi if you're in the area). I've been on a crusade to change the bad history that is worn by the women of that town. The state has now decided to step in and "educate" us all about what is appropriate attire for a woman living and working in a GOLD RUSH town in California circa 1852 or so. They printed a lovely helpful little packet of information including this cover page scanned from an unknown source with incorrect and incomplete dates.

Please note the obviously incorrect dates for the dresses.
Moving L to R stating with Row 1 at the top: 1799, 18--, 1840, 18--
Row 2: --, --, --, 1840
Row 3: 1850, 1858, 1864, 1868
Row 4: 1892, 1897, 1881, 1882

What the hell!?! When did the Regency period become 1840? Glad to see that the liaison for the state park has picked up a history book once in a while or ever bothered to look at paintings/photographs/fashion plates from the period before they distribute this crap. The packet's main source of information comes from the book "English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century" by C. Willett Cunnington and another book called "Everyday Dress 1650-1900" by Elizabeth Ewing. There are no citations for any of the info and none of the images are primary sources at all, but rather sketches of originals. Apparently this is what the state of California calls history.

Needless to say on my day off I will be scanning correct images and printing my own packet to redistribute at work by request of my boss. She decided to go by my authority on the subject rather than the state. Just comical if you ask me.

In other news, my 1850s basque jacket is coming along nicely. It's a purple striped cotton with satin ribbon trim. The skirt is a chocolate brown corduroy.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Knee deep in it

Whew!  It's been a heck of a month for me.  Let me recap before I get down to business...

Charlie my puppy was diagnosed with pancreatitus.  $800 later he's on a very restricted diet and I'm on the war path to take down a couple of very high class puppy mills here in Tuolumne County.  Learned a lot in the process.  Would like to especially thank Jeannine Dietz in Oregon who owns Charlie's great grand sire as well as Kim Townsend at  Seriously wonderful people that I hope to stay in contact with.

Work is going well.  The pink and poofy has made quite a sensation and I'm working on a few new projects as well.  Appear to have irritated a few people with my work, but I suppose that was bound to happen.

The house renovation is still happening.  I'm skipping the bathroom for the time being and have moved on to painting the hallway and living room.  Will also be doing the floors in the kitchen and new carpet this year hopefully.  It's amazing what a difference applying sealant to the windows makes too.

Found a great article that I think is of extreme importance: Is It Really Important?  I think about 99.999% of the people working in Columbia with me (including myself) could benefit from reading this article and seriously taking it into consideration.

So, the new project that I'm knee deep in...a basque bodice based very closely off of the blue silk one at
Mine is purple striped fabric and will have purple striped trim too most likely.  I'm planning to do a double flounced skirt in chocolate colored courduroy after this next paycheck.  This way I can make other jackets to go with it or tie up the skirt and make a pair of bloomers and have a Turkish Outfit also.  Will also be looking for new shoes too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Already planning and scheming

Here I haven't even technically finished the 1852 summer day dress and I'm off to the races planning more outfits.  I had a rude awakening at work when I discovered I would have to wear at least one of those icky work dresses a couple of a days a week still.  Mostly this was out of the need to not be so poofy on delivery day and restock day.  I did it last week, and with the hem about an inch longer than I needed, and survived fine, but I fear for my dress.  Plus, I do not want to wear either of the two work dresses I claimed.

So to avoid further discomfort, I have decided to make another more "practical" outfit.  Naturally this can't be something frumpy since I have set a new standard.  Even before I started the day dress I thought it would be nice to do a two pieced outfit.  I've found two different bodices that I quite like and will eventually be recreating both of them, but in more simplified manner.  I'll be making a skirt to go with the bodice, but during winter I might take the route of a quilted petticoat in stead to mix it up.  I'm not sure that quilted petties were worn out and about for public display, but I can't see why a woman would go to such lengths to make a beautiful garment like that and not show it off.  More research perhaps.

But yes, the jacket...I like both of these a great deal:
1853-55 fringed bodice from
c.1850 blue taffeta bodice from
Sadly because of the nature of my job, I will not be able to do the wider sleeves.  However, since the jacket I'm making first will be for summer wear, I can make it short sleeved with sheer or muslin undersleeves to go with the chemisette that will be required.  Tit for tat I suppose.  This will also give me a chance to make a nice apron.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some nearly complete stuff

Well I finished the pink and poofy 1852 day dress enough to wear to work on Wednesday.  I was really happy with the fit and overall result.  I do need to raise the hem on the bottom flounce though to prevent it getting too dirty from all the dust in Columbia.  I also managed to spill down the front, which unfortunately for me did not wash out.  I guess I'll be tacking some of the bodice pleats down to cover it up.  It's not too noticeable though.

I gave up on the lace trim idea.  I'm going to go with white muslin ruching instead.  It's simple, clean, and would be reasonable for a woman working a job such as mine.  The dress definitely needs trim though to look complete and break up the monotony of all the pink.  I'll also be doing some smocking decoration on the bodice pleats.
sitting down to show some of the poof

Mark told me to hold my arms out...not like this though.  Good shot of the flounces here

almost profile shot

pretty in pink.  I'm so happy with the silhouette

farmer or shop girl?

a full length shot

So, I suppose I should get to doing the trimming now.  I've come up with a few other little projects to do already.  I want to make a corded/quilted corset that could possibly be worn at work.  I've also found a delightful gown that I'll be recreating for winter time.  Obviously mine won't be green silk, but I'm thinking a solid green of some type that has nothing to do with printed cottons.

A dress from Augusta Auctions

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Works Cited for 1852 Fan Front bodice

Primary Sources
"1840s Printed Challis Day Dress." Contentment Farm: Antique Textiles and Vintage Clothing. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"1850s Hand Sewn Cotton Print Dress." Contentment Farm: Antique Textiles and Vintage Clothing. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Blue Shot Silk Afternoon Dress, circa 1849." The Museum at FIT. Web. 10 Jul 2011.  

"BLUE & BROWN WOOL DRESS & PELERINE, 1840s ." Augusta Auctions. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Brown Silk Taffeta Day Dress, circa 1844." The Museum at FIT. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

c. 1852-56 Day Dress.  Victoria and Albert Museum from Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen's Dresses & Their Construction by Janet Arnold. 1977.

"CHAMPAGNE SATIN WEDDING DRESS, 1844 ." Augusta Auctions. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Dress, 1845-1850." The Henry Ford Costume Collection. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Dress, 1845-1850."  Victoria and Albert Museum.  Web.  10 Jul 2011.

"Dress, 1849-1852." The Henry Ford Costume Collection. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Dress, 1850-1855." The Henry Ford Costume Collection. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Dress, 1853-1856." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"Dress, 1858-60."  Victoria and Albert Museum.  Web.  10 Jul 2011.

"MADRAS DAY DRESS, 1840s ." Augusta Auctions. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"PRINTED FLORAL WOOL DRESS & PELERINE, 1848-1852 ." Augusta Auctions. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"SILK DAY DRESS, c. 1845." Augusta Auctions. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

"SILK TAFFETA DAY DRESS, 1840s ." Augusta Auctions. Web. 10 Jul 2011.

Williams, Carrie.  "No persuits in common between us any more" from So Much to Be Done: Women Settlers on the Mining and Ranching Frontier ed. by Ruth B. Moynhan, Susan Armitage, and Christiane Fischer Dichamp.  2nd ed.  University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
Secondary Sources
"Women's Clothing." (accessed July 10, 2011).

Arnold,Janet. Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen's Dresses & Their Construction [Paperback]. 1977.

Heileen. "1848's Revolution Flounced Day Dress." 2011. (accessed July 10, 2011). 

McNaughton, Heather. "Pre-Hoop Era, 1840-1855." (accessed July 10, 2011).

Oakes , Leimomi . "Portfolio: 1850s Raspberry Swirl Gown." November 29, 2009. (accessed July 10, 2011). 

Old Sacramento Business Association. "Women in Old Sacramento - A Solitary Life." 2008. (accessed July 10, 2011). 

Reeves-Brown, Jessamyn. "A Romantic-Era Summer Dress, circa 1840." Mar 28, 2005. (accessed July 10, 2011).

Sederquist, Betty. "Gold Rush Women." (accessed July 10, 2011).

Souter, Stormi. "Mid 19th Century Women's Clothing Guidelines." March 31, 2011.Mid19thCenturyWomensClothingGuidelines (accessed July 10, 2011).

Friday, July 8, 2011

a detailed view (if slightly blurry) of the pleating for the fan front.  I'm super happy with the results.

front view of hte bodice without trim

laundry day at my house hehehe
Apologies for the blurry progress pictures, but I had to share and had no photographer around when I was working on it.  All I have left now is to stitch the skirt to the bodice, do the center front seam of the skirt and add a ton of lace trim.  I'm so excited to wear this dress to work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

More bad history please...?

It really kills me and I hope I can be the change I hope to see.

Yes, I'm guilty of it, a lot lately.  I wear tennis shoes with my 1850s work attire so that I can get through the shift without having my feet amputated.  I'm eventually planning to get a pair of nice reproduction shoes that are more appropriate.  I even roll up my sleeves when I'm working and expose my bare arms (gasp!).  Small sacrifice to be made for the sake of doing one's job, however there are exceptions to every rule.

I discovered the source of the problems I have with the women's dresses in Columbia State Park.  They're all based off one example (of which there seems to be some discrepancy as to the age of the garment itself).  Something like this does not help to create a glimpse of how Gold Rush Columbia looked, it creates a town where every woman wears the exact same dress, but in different colors and with the same fitting problems.

The dress pattern is printed by a company called Chile n Cracker's.  It's not necessarily a bad pattern, it's simple, but for what it's supposed to be it does the job.  The pattern is based on a late 1850s work dress in the private collection of the company's owner.  It appears that the owner attempted to pull a Janet Arnold and make a pattern based off of the existing garment (which is great!).

However, this is not the problem I have with the dresses.  The problem I have is with the woman who makes them.  From what people tell me she's very "into" what she does and supposedly understands sewing and women's clothing from the 19th century.  I don't agree with this completely.  If she really did understand what she was doing, she wouldn't use the same unflattering work dress pattern for every dress she's ever made.  It's a bit like looking at a Ren Faire when you wander through the shops; every woman has the same frumpy calico dress that's too short with a bodice that doesn't fit.  What wasn't taken into account when the park decided to make everyone dress up was the pattern for this dress.  Would a woman really want to be seen in a dress that looked like that?  Would she want customers of her shop to see her dressed like that?  I don't think so.  That's where the bad history comes in.

What is not known about the dress that the whole mess is based off of, is who owned it.  What did that woman do for a living?  Was this the equivalent of her house dress or lounge pants?  Sure we all have frumpy clothes in our closet that we wear for comfort when we're home, but very rarely do we want people to see them.  If the pattern was created accurately from this dress and reflects the geometry of the original bodice, it seems that these work dresses all fit into this category.

As a friend of mine said when she saw me sewing on my new dress, I hope this will inspire people to dress better when they see the finished result.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sneak Peek

Pink and Poofy!  There's a lot of a fabric in this dress
Appologies for the poor quality of these next photos, but I really wantd to share.  This is the 1852 fan front dress I've been working on for my new work attire.  I still need to do the actual pleating and attach the skirt to the bodice, add some buttons, and trim the hell out of it.  I'm really happy with the results so far.  Oh yeah, and I should probably make the skirt close in front

The gathering for the fan front needs to be redone also, but this is a rough approximation of the final result.

Really blurry, but a profile view. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The corded petticoat and the horrible workdress

First, my brand new corded petticoat.  It's ~94 inches in circumference. 

 Made from cotton with cotton crochet cord.

Next, the work dress.  The lady who makes the dresses charges $150 for a dress with no back stitching anywhere on the whole thing.  My sleeve has come undone, but I really don't feel like fixing it.
 Complete with odd wrinkles in the back because it doesn't fit properly, not to mention the back is about two inches lower at the waistline than the front.
 The front, with really ugly darts to "shape" the bodice.
 The super flimsy skirt with no petticoats or anything
 The skirt with my new petticoat under it.
 And a third version with a flounced petticoat over the corded one

Below you can see the weird tilt of the waistline that makes the dress rather unflattering.  Just imagine it with the apron we're all required to wear.  Ugh.

Sacky looking I think.

And now you've all shared the horrors that are the dresses made for the state park.  The best part, the woman's little page on the the official park website states that they are "1870s Pioneer Dresses."  Last I checked the heyday of the "pioneer" age was more 18302-40s.  Fortunately I have started patterning my dress and and will be doing a bodice mock up soon.  Really makes me sad that this woman makes so much money making such shoddy examples of women's clothing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Finalized dress plan!

So excited right now, the dress design got approved by the boss ladies today.  I'll be making this dress found here but adding sleeves similar to this dress (minus the pagoda sleeves).  As of now the plan is to go with a white cotton with a small floral print.  More specifics when I get the actual fabric shopping done.

There will also be a new petticoat to go with it and a nice collar too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

History FAIL

I made one today and I felt horrible.  Since I do not have appropriate footwear for 1852 I've been wearing a pair of little ballet flats (hey better than tennis shoes, right?).  Well today I was in such a rush to get going at work that I didn't bother to roll up my pants, put on a petticoat, and I forgot my shoes.  I felt bad none-the-less though.  Mostly because last weekend when I was sitting on a rock reading I was snickering into my book about a few women that only half-assed their outfits. Fortunately I'm getting enough hours now that I can actually continue on with making an appropriate outfit for work.

Which brings me to the real point of writing this.  Has anyone ever seen photos of or heard of a work dress for 1850-52 that had short sleeves?  I'm trying to be as accurate as possible and still maintain the ease of being able to do my job.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Some thoughts from a disgruntled young person

Today's economy is horrible.  I know we all already knew that, but I felt the need to say it again.  It's like there is no hope for young recent college graduates to find jobs that will provide for them in the future.  I know for me personally, if I knew now what I didn't as a high school senior I would have done things very different.  It does not matter if you went to college and got a degree of any kind unless it's something you can use.  I got a BA in History with the intention of someday teaching.  Not going to happen since they're firing teachers, not hiring them.

What got me even more is this.  I thought long and hard about what I could do to remedy the situation that I had no career.  I was working at the same job I was in high school and for the same wages.  Then I got a new job (which I still love) but am earning even less per week there than I did at the one I did in high school.  So I thought, hey, I'll go back and get an AA in business admin or an accounting certificate or something useful.  Nope.

Thwarted at every turn.  Come to find out there is no financial aid available to students seeking such a degree as I wanted to if you have already earned the illusive BA in (insert useless subject here) that provides you with no career/job prospects.  Isn't that cheerful?  I could possibly take out loans, but that doesn't help my current situation.  I'd have to pay out of pocket to take classes to get another piece of paper to possibly have a snowball's chance in hell for a career that might pay the bills.  The whole reason I wanted to go back to school was so I could get a job that did pay money since I am lacking that.  Come to find out you have to have money to do that, which is a self perpetuating cycle of fail for me.

I'm stuck.  I try to do something to better my chances in life and I'm blocked.  I'm not allowed to because I'm a broke college graduate with no career and no real chance of using the BA in History that I worked so hard for and paid so much for.  Maybe the FAFSA website should have a disclaimer to new college students: BE VERY SELECTIVE ABOUT WHAT SUBJECT YOU STUDY.  You will only get one chance and if you screw up then nobody cares.

Wish somebody had told me that.  It seems to me that we're setting some of the brightest young minds in the country up for failure because they chose to educate themselves about a subject they were interested in rather than one that would make them money.  So if everyone stops doing that will we forget our history?

Nice to know that education has become so restricted.

Friday, May 13, 2011

List of house things. lots of work ahead

Long-term plans
- Add yellow and white ceramic tile to counter tops and a back-splash to replace cheap OSH from 1990s remodel
- Embroider white linen curtains in yellow thread as a keepsake
- Redo the tile on the floor in either black or white.   completed April 2013
- New refrigerator in a vintage style that actually matches
- Acquire 1950s cooking implements (all Foley brand if possible with red wooden handles)
- Add Drawer pulls for cabinets and drawers       completed May 2011

- Replace windows so they're not broken
- carpet
- new closet doors and organization system for closet

- Remove plastic shower insert and retile in ceramic tile
- Redo flooring
- Remove counters and replace with pedestal sink, shelves, and tall cabinet piece
- Remove door to "closet" and replace with wall like it originally was
- Install a ventilation system
- Replace the window so it won't be rotten

- Remove the wardrobe that was added in 1990s remodel
- Knock down the wall to gain access to the original closet

- Recarpet
- Remove WalMart particle board bookshelves and replace with permanent wood ones that are attached to the wall (floor to ceiling)
- Arrange Mark's stereo stuff on the other wall
- Replace the window with better glass and weather stripping
- Replace door with a  new one so you can't see daylight around the perimeter

Sunday, April 24, 2011

1852 dress decision

Very exciting news, I've picked a dress design finally.  I opted for a fashion plate (and I was bad and didn't get the site it was from :( so if you know, please share with me so I can properly credit that).  My hope is that it will start a sensation first at the Mercantile and then throughout the entire female employee mass at Columbia State Park to get away from cookie cutter dresses with pinned on aprons.

Thanks to one little facebook comment from  my friend Jenna, I'll be making the gold dress.  As of now the plan is to do the chemisette and false  undersleeves along with a new petticoat.  I'm going to do all the scalloping on the flounces, but edge them in a solid colored fabric.  I'm not sure on the overall dress color yet.  I still like the idea of using a white calico with little purple flowers; it's light and summery and still fits in with the whole "women in gold rush California all wore calico gowns because the fabric was cheap."  I'm just hoping that I won't have to make an apron for it to cover the front of the dress up.  We shall see though.  The boss ladies didn't have a problem with me not originally wearing one,  it was just a co-worker that did.

So the chemisette....I'm going to use style G from Janet Arnold (page 51) and do my own crochet pattern whne I get a chance.  The only difference is that I'll be adding little buttons  up the front.

And now I'm off to the garage to root through my fabric tubs to find enough white muslin to get this thing going.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A sure fire way

Just thought I'd share this little thought with everyone out there, specifically my fellow cavalier owners.

Recently I thought it'd be fun to get a second pup and possible get into showing them and one day breeding them.  Having toyed around with the idea for a few months, I was surprised to learn that the breeder I got Charlie from had taken her latest litter to the pet shop (also where I bought Charlie).  Our local pet shop is really nice and despite the hubbub about not buying dogs at petshops I still think they're okay.  They only sell local dogs so that they do meet the breeder and see the parents of the dogs, I know that's not stopping puppy mills though and well on withe point...

When I bought Charlie there I knew what I was getting into and I knew the stigmas.  To my surprise though, the pedigree I received when I bought Charlie (though not AKC) was surprisingly thorough and contained a number of respectable kennel names.  Most people that get a dog at a pet shop would probably put the pedigree away and never think of it again.  I had to keep picking though.  I wanted to know more.

Then once the idea of breeding popped up again, I needed to know more.  3/4 of Charlie's grandparents are AKC dogs.  They have numbers and all that checks out (granted I have not talked to those breeders).  Charlie's parents, however, are not AKC dogs.  I was confused.  In the instance of his father, how could two AKC dogs produce a dog that is not AKC?  I'm sure there are a number of ways, the most reasonable being that the littler that Charlie's sire (Tango of the Sierras) was in was never registered.  But again, why?  If he's eligable to be registered, why not do it?  Then I started thinking...what if the grandparents were sold as limited registration and never supposed to have been bred?  That would explain the problem about why the grandparents are AKC and the parents are not.

So I emailed the breeder that sold Charlie and his litter to the pet shop.  No response.  It's been several days now, and she's a local person.  My fiance has seen her driving around town.  In the email I had posed the same questions to her: why are his parents not registered?

The fact that she had not responded seems odd to me.  As a breeder that supposidly loves her dogs, shouldn't she be interested in the offspring?  Shouldn't she also be receptive to questions?  We even ran into her on one trip to the pet shop when we had Charlie with us.  We introduced ourselves and she seemed very disinterested, almost to the point of wanting to get away as quickly as possible.  It just seems odd.

Needless to say, I'm going to assume my assumptions about the pedigree are correct since she has chosen not to answer my questions.  I've also decided that I will be buying my next puppy from a breeder that is affiliated with the AKC.  It does not mean that Charlie is a bad dog or a waste of money though.  I won't be breeding him, but that means he's exactly what I bought him for: a lovable pet and good friend.

So I guess, breeders beware.  If you do not want to appear as though you have done something unscrupulous, perhaps there should be transparency of actions and an active dialogue between yourself and those who purchase puppies from you.  There comes a point where information such as lineage ceases to be private and can also be considered the property of those who buy from you since they too own a piece of that lineage.

Charlie Adventures

Hi Mom, whatcha doin?

Ooh look leaves and stuff

Maybe I can find something hidden in the pine needles that I'm not supposed to eat

Still lookin, but I'm not finding it

Hmm this looks promising

Oooh pretty flower, it's so tasty looking


Aww man I lost the point part in the grass

Oh well I'll play with this clump of grass instead

Mmm I love grass

It's just so tasty, um why am I eating this again

Snooping for something else

Hey look!  My tail is long enough to cover my face if I turn around

Maybe I'll just sit by this tree and be nice for a while

Okay I'm done with that, plus the wind is cold

I could just stand here looking pretty

Or make dopey faces at the camera

Ah yes, this antique rocking chair that my mom loves is the perfect chair for me to sleep on