Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I let Frodo be the main picture today – since he looks so cute.  You can scroll down to see me.  Frodo did the photo under duress.  Well not REALLY duress – but with the promise of biscuits.  Humans love to dress up us canines for Halloween.  As if we care.  

Anyway, it’s here.  The day when we anxiously await the costume clad trick-or-treaters – who never arrive.  But not to worry  – we have PLENTY of treats JUST IN CASE someone does come.

So why don’t we get any treaters?  Well, it could be because we live on a dead end country road.  And our driveway is so long – you can’t see the house from the road.  So combine a long, dark driveway with our riotous barking – and well, our property is like something out of a scene from Hound of the Baskervilles.  Add to that two pumpkins which our human purchased too early in the season – and are now beginning to rot and have taken on a whole new shape – and you have a pretty scary house.  If I were a kid, I wouldn’t come here.

Occasionally we DO get kids whose parents drive them down our driveway to the house.  And then we have to be sequestered while our human doles out the treats.  We used to wear cute bandanas while we waited – but then Paxton and I tried to rip them off each other – so now our costume wearing is limited to a few obligatory photos before Halloween.

Our human continues to buy the treats – as I said – just in case.  Of course she buys things SHE likes.  I don’t see her buying dog treats.  Or candy she DOESN’T like.  Then she’ll complain that she has eaten them all – and her pants are fitting too tightly.  Humans.

Anyway, it IS a fun day for kids.  And there are no doubt some adults who also enjoy the day – either eating the leftover treats – or stealing from their kids.  We canines just observe the whole ritual and remind our humans that THEY always say it’s not polite to beg.  Tsk. Tsk.  Anyway.  Gotta go try on my mask.  This year, I’m actually dressing as a human. Pretty scary!

©  2014  Linda Wozniak

Goodboy. Not.

Well.  I hate to admit it…but I didn’t live up to my new name of “Goodboy” yesterday…

So.  My human got home and let us out for a quick pee before supper.  During that daily ritual, we all EXPLODE out the door – in a riotous FIT of barking.  Why?  We don’t know.  We just do it.

After peeing, we RACE back in the house because we know we will be fed. Yesterday, we relaxed for a bit after eating and then our human announced that we were all going to go for a run around the back perimeter of our property, which is a couple of acres.  Except Pax.  He had to stay on a leash because my human didn’t want him going in the lake.  No worries about Frodo and I doing that.

So off we all went.  Our human wanted us to get some exercise because she had to go to a “kennel club” meeting last night.  Don’t get me started about that.  What’s with this thing of having a KENNEL CLUB meeting – and dogs don’t attend?!  SERIOUSLY?  I want representation at these meetings.  Really.  Who do I see about this?

Anyway, back to the story.

So we all had a great run around and we were headed back to the house.  And, well…that’s when I decided to take a detour.  Into the woods. 

My human and Pax and Frodo continued back to the house.  My human called my name – and then, instead of one of my nicknames, called out other options:  “Treats!!!”   “Biscuits!!!”   I heard her – but I knew her pockets were empty.  Really humans – why do you try that one?  You can’t fool us.  So I continued to look for rabbits, foxes, and any kind of poop that any animals may have left behind.

When my human and the boys got back to the house, my human told Frodo to go and find me.  He just looked at her and said “Seriously?  You’re kidding, of course.  If he’s lost, it’s HIS problem – and our gain.  More food for us.”  Paxton just stood and looked into the woods. 

So there they are.  Frodo, Paxton and my human, waiting near the house.  Silently.  For my human it felt like 10 minutes, but in all honestly it was more like two. Suddenly they can hear crashing in the bushes.  And I come FLYING around the corner of the house.  At which point both Frodo AND Pax try to take me out – they were both giving me grief for taking my detour.  I did the “drop and roll” routine and then continued with zoomies all around the front yard of the house.  And Frodo and I had a couple of “good natured” rolls and some wrestling – I was trying to make up for getting him mad.  You can see that in the photo –he is leaning away – as he knows I am about to pounce on him again.

So I guess I may not be able to use that “Goodboy” name after all.  I guess it REALLY doesn’t suit me.  How about “Badboy?”.  More like it.  Actually, I kinda like the sound of that one my human used tonight – Biscuits.  Yeah.  That has a nice ring…. But what would the nicknames be?  Bis?  Bikkie?  Biscuit Man-is-kit.  Maybe I’ll just stick with Viktor.  For now. 

©  2014  Linda Wozniak


Thanks everybody for the birthday greetings.  The party (which had like 500 people and dogs) left just after midnight.  Not really.  But I did have cards and treats – that I shared with my brothers.  Good times.

In my blog yesterday I shared how I got my name, Viktor.  And I’d like to talk more about that today.  I mean, you humans are SO interesting.  You pick a name for us as puppies.  In fact you sometimes agonize about what to call us.  No more than two syllables is the “rule” my human uses.  Sometimes it is a “theme” name –my human named some of her dogs after beer – there was Guinness, Harp, and Beamish… Then when she met Frodo, our breeder had been calling him Frodo – and she figured he looked like Frodo  (whatever a Frodo looks like) and she kept it.  Paxton is supposed to mean “peaceful town” in Latin or something – so she thought that was cool.  Our house is anything BUT peaceful with Paxton in it. 

Picking a name IS important.  I’m mean, it’s something you will say probably 165 million times in our lifetime.  “Viktor here”.  “Viktor sit”. “Viktor stay”.  “Viktor – where are you?” “Viktor leave it.”   For the longest time I thought my name was “Viktorno” – since I heard “Viktor no” so often.

But then what do you humans do?  You start calling us OTHER names as well.  For example, besides Viktor, I also have a variety of nicknames including:  Vik (the obvious), Baby V (since I AM the youngest) , Viktorino (which sounds more Italian than Polish!), Trino (which is an nickname name for a nickname),  and one day when my human was in a rhyming mood she came up with Viktor Man-ik-tor.  WHAT the HECK is THAT?!!!   Note that many of these nicknames break the two syllable “rule!”

Oh and it’s not JUST me who has the litany of names.  Frodo goes by Fro, Frodee-o-doe;  and Frofee.  Frofee!!!!?  WHERE did THAT one come from??? Oh RIGHT.  It’s short for Frofee Minofee.

Paxton goes by Pax, Paxtonian, Poppie, Paw Paw (sometimes I think my human is losing it!) – and of course, the name that started years ago when he was in the Drill Team – Bucket Head.  Contrary to popular belief that it was a mean spirited nickname – it wasn’t!  It was simply a fact that his head was as BIG as a bucket.  And it IS!!!

So you WONDER why we don’t behave?  We don’t know WHO you are talking to!!!! Top that off with the following line that is always blurted out when I am in the middle of doing something bad:  “STOP!!! Frodo….Paxton…whatever your name is…STOP!!!!!”

I have decided today that I want to change my name – and I will go by one – and only one name:  Goodboy.  I like it.  Goodboy.  It has a catchy ring.  It was either that or Groucho.   Or maybe I WILL use both.  My human would. 

© 2014 Linda Wozniak

It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

That’s me as a puppy.  Because today is THE DAY!!!!  It should be a national holiday.  Because…..it’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

Yes indeed.  Three years ago today, with 9 other siblings in my TREASURY (remember I don’t like that “litter” word), I entered the world.

Frodo, who is older than me has the same parents that I do.  Although Frodo does have his barking “issue” my human thought that he was a great dog – and wanted to get another PON just like him.  So why not get a puppy from the same parents?  They will be the same, right?  WRONG.

We could NOT be more different.  Frodo:  calm, obedient, trustworthy (most of the time), EASY to train, independent, and smart.   That’s why she fell in love with PONs – Frodo was (is) an EASY dog.

And then there is me:  Wild, DISOBEDIENT, cuddly, friendly, not-so-easy to train, and VERY, VERY funny.   Well, what do you expect – my human picked me herself – and I WAS the feisty one in the treasury.  My human started to visit me when I was a tiny pup and she came every week to figure out who she would take home.  By week 5, I stood out as the “sometimes” bold one in the group.  BUT – I would also come to her when she called with treats – and I would lick her all over.   By week 6, I had won her over.  She was hooked.  She decided to name me Viktor – her grandafther’s name was Victor- so she changed my name to V-i-K-t-o-r – so as not to offend any relatives!

When I came home at 7.5 weeks, I was pretty confident in the car ride home.  I figured “I’m the man” – and I will totally train this human all by myself.  Little did I realize there were “other” canines at home.  When I came in the door, I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Paxton.  WHAT the HECK is THAT?????????  It’s HUGE!!!!  It smells like a dog – but seriously – did someone overfeed that thing that it got soooooo big?!  Paxton initially ignored me – he had been through the “new puppy thing” with Frodo – and thought that MAYBE I was just here for a day or two.  WRONG.

Frodo, on the other hand, thought I was FANTASTIC.  Maybe he realized I was his brother.  He barked at me, rolled around me – and thought I was a wonderful new  toy.  He was my buddy.

Within a few days, I took a look around me, and decided that although I WAS the smallest, I SHOULD be the KING.  I’m so CUTE.  And every now and then, I still DO try to show everyone that I AM THE BOSS.  Which is when my human steps in and quickly reminds me that SHE is the boss.  Right.  I’ll let her think so.

It’s a pretty cool household – and I’m glad my human picked me out of all those puppies in my treasury.  The last three years has given my human so much – both aggravation – AND joy.  Overall, it has been joy – and it if weren’t for the aggravation we wouldn’t have NEARLY enough material for this blog!!!  Happy birthday to me and all the puppies in my treasury!  Go and give all your canine kids a biscuit on me!  And you humans can have a drink on me – you probably need it!!!!

Find the bunny…

We have had a few days of rain in Nova Scotia.  And we all KNOW how much Frodo and I like rain.  We plod along miserably with our heads held low – walking slower than a drunken slug.   And we obviously have NO desire to go OUTSIDE and retrieve in the rain. So our exercise routine has been completely thrown off – but of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t STILL have energy.

So the other night, when our human could no longer bear our continual sad staring and arm nudging, she decided we should play an indoor game called “Find the Bunny.”  It is a FABULOUS game – which uses our brains – and we also get to burn off some energy.  The rules are simple.  We have this great stuffed bunny – which our human hides.  We then take turns “finding the bunny.”  Simple – right?  Nothing is simple in our house…

The first challenge is in sequestering two of us while the other dog plays.  Because let’s face it – I don’t willingly believe in taking turns.  So our human brings out the dreaded baby gate and corrals two of us into a room while the third dog plays.  The other night, she SOMEHOW tricked Frodo and I – so we were corralled first – and Paxton got to play first.

I must say, I was totally impressed with Paxton’s ability to play the other night.  Our human would tell him to sit and stay, while she would hide the bunny somewhere in another room.  Not only did he STAY, but he waited until he heard the magic words “Find the bunny.”  Of course when he hears those words, area carpets go flying and the table lamps shake.  But he consistently found the bunny AND brought the bunny back each time – to be traded for a treat.  He was a find-the-bunny-superstar.

Now our human had to corral Pax with one of us so we could take our turn.  THAT was no small fete.  Anyway, after much pulling and tugging on her part, she managed to get Frodo out of the holding area – and Paxton and I got to watch.

The problem with playing Find the Bunny AFTER Paxton has played, is that the bunny is now pretty soggy.  Honestly, that’s why we like HIM to play last.  Oh well. 

Frodo is a show off when it comes to this game.   Our human can hide the bunny in pretty obscure places, and he will keep trying to find it.  If he gets really stumped – he looks to our human – who can either give him “hot” and “cold” clues by saying
“yes” if he is going the right way or “no” if he is going the wrong direction.  She can also point – and he will go where she points.  Of course, he found the bunny EVERY time – and got lots of treats.

Now it was MY turn.  I was sooooooooo excited I could barely contain myself.  The first time my human told me to “stay” while she hid the bunny, well…I didn’t bother staying.  I mean, I might as well see where it is to save time – right?  No.  It’s not in the “rules.”  So back I went – and this time I stayed.  When I heard the magic words – I FLEW.  I mean my feet hardly touched the ground.  And I disappeared into the room where the bunny was hidden.  I should add at this point, that when each of us go to find the bunny on our FIRST try, our human has put it in some pretty obvious place  – so we will be successful.  So off I go.  And my human waits.  And waits.  And waits.  OK.  Something is wrong.  She goes into the room – and there I am – trying to rip the ears off the bunny. “NO!!!!!!” she shouts.  And takes my prey from me.  “THAT is NOT in the rules”.  Bloody rules.

So we try it again.  This time I got the bunny and ran back to my human.  And ran right past her.  Who cares about a treat?  I just want the BUNNY.  After much cajoling, I finally DID trade the bunny.  I had a few more turns,  and I DID get better at the game.  Although one time I couldn’t find the bunny so I just came back and searched around the starting point.  Frodo just rolled his eyes at me…

At the end of the game we were all tired and panting.  A good round of “Find the bunny” is a great game for a rainy day.  Now if I could just figure out where my human hid that bunny, so I could play a few rounds all by myself….

©  2014 Linda Wozniak

Baby gates

Many homes have them.  They are not one of my favorite things.   While we dogs DO rule this house, there is one thing that our human controls – which IS a bit of a challenge.  It’s called the baby gate.

We canines can go in every room in our house.  At times, our human will restrict our access to a room if she is not home – just for our own safety.  And the safety of some belongings.  For example,  Paxton and I have a bit of a bad habit – we like to chew pillows.  Just the ends.  A pillow to us is like a giant piece of gum – gotta chew it.  So if my human is not able to keep an eye on us, she will restrict our access to the bedrooms.  Or to keep us from chewing the pillows on the sofa in the rec room, she will place objects ON the sofa – like a broom – or a dog obedience jump – which deters us from stealing the pillows.  There is something ironic about using obedience equipment to keep us from being disobedient… But anyway.  She quickly gathers up the objects when company arrives.  And other than that, we can pretty much go where we please – with one exception.  There is one room that my human keeps off limits to dogs all the time and she refers to it as the “dog free zone.”  The living room.

The reason for the restriction is simple.  The living room contains a LARGE antique glass cupboard filled with glassware.  And my human knows, that should Paxton and I start our zoomies in the living room, and should he (or even his tail!) hit the cupboard – well it would not be a happy day in our household.  My human also has some hooked rugs in the living room– which Paxton and I find as appealing as pillows to chew on.  One of those rugs took our human something like 50 dog years to make.  So the dog free zone is OFF limits to all canines.  All the time.

To restrict our access to the dog free zone, my human puts a baby gate in the entrance.  We are not afraid of many things – but the idea of a baby gate falling on us is pretty scary – so we never even attempt to move it.  At least Pax and I don’t.  And then there is Frodo…

In the last couple of weeks, Frodo has decided that if our human is in the dog free zone, he MUST get in there.  So he basically pushes the gate aside and makes his way in.  The first time he did it, our human just looked at him.  And then she told him if he could lie down and stay out of trouble, he could remain in the dog free zone while she was in there working on her laptop.  BIG mistake.  Did you ever hear the phrase about “giving an inch…”

Frodo has now determined that the dog free zone is HIS room.  If our human is in there – he is INSISTENT on being in there.  And he has also gone one step further…

Yesterday morning our human was getting ready to leave for work and she was doing the “safety check” of the house…nothing to steal off the counters – check, water bowls full – check, and dog free zone was secured with chairs to hold the baby gate in place – check.  She even put an extra chair in place – to be sure that Frodo wouldn’t go in.  So the place was totally secure.  She got treats ready to give to us as she leaves, and she did a head count.  One, two….two dogs. OK, one dog missing.   WHERE is Frodo?  He’s always ready for his treat.  She looked around the dining room and the kitchen.  No Frodo.  WHERE the heck is he???  Froooooooooodo.  Where ARE you??????  Yup. You guessed it.  Safely secured IN the dog free zone.  When she moved the well-secured gate and insisted he come out, he just gave out a big sigh and ambled out slowly.

As I continue to emphasize, we canines are pretty smart.  And we DON’T forget. ESPECIALLY us PONs.  Frodo figures he has been “in the zone” before – so why not do it again?  Give us an inch…

Now if Pax and I could just get up the courage to move that baby gate too…

©  2014  Linda Wozniak


Let’s talk about decorating today.  Humans decorate with their own personal style – and often like to surround themselves with things that are important to them – souvenirs from a place they visited, photos of family and friends (including us canine kids), art, and just general “decorations.”  And we canines – at least in our house – like to do the same.  But we decorate with toys.  And bones.

In our house we have a container that holds all of our toys and bones.  And every time my human vacuums – which has been quite often since Paxton began this “coat blowing” phase – she picks up all of our toys and bones, and puts them away.  And no sooner than she is done – in fact, often before she finishes vacuuming, I have removed most of them.  Can she NOT UNDERSTAND that this is MY decorating style?  Bones.  Everywhere.  So that our dining room looks like something out of an archeological dig site.  I LIKE this LOOK.  Yes, I DO agree that it CAN be a BIT dangerous as our human has more than once almost twisted an ankle on a bone that matches the color of the carpet.  But she just needs to be more careful.

And speaking of toys – I quite love it when my human has done some traveling – as she usually returns with a “gift” for each of us.  That’s just because she is feeling guilty.  We are FINE with our dogsitter – but we still GLADLY accept the gifts.  And our human is careful to get each of us the SAME toy.  It a “fairness” thing.  But every time, I ALWAYS think that Frodo or Pax has the better toy.  So I must have THEIR toy.  I will lie and stare at them – and sometimes even give out a little wimper – just for effect.  It works 99% of the time – they just give up their toy – and then they go and take the one I have abandoned.  OK.  I confess I CAN be a bit of a brat at times.  But they still love me.  Who doesn’t?

Gotta go.  My human just finished vacuuming.  I have decorating to do.

© 2014 Linda Wozniak

The scoop. On poop.

Our topic today is…poop.  OK.  What is it with you humans and your obsession with poop?  I mean, seriously – you take us out to poop, you make sure we poop, you look at our poop, you even PICK UP our poop.  Yet another indicator that we canines are smarter than humans.  You don’t see us doing that for YOU, do you?!

Pooping, like barking and retrieving is a very individual thing.  We live on a dead end country road.  When we go for a walk, we all have different pooping routines.  I walk along the side of the road.  Quickly.  And then, I will, without warning or slowing down, suddenly stop and poop.  Simple. 

Paxton likes to go down into the ditch – or off in the woods.  And he is what my human calls her “Power Pooper”.  All she has to do is say “Hurry up” and Paxton will go.  Immediately.  I can’t figure out how the guy does it.  That’s control.

And then we have Conrad, er Frodo.  Frodo does everything with flair and drama.  Frodo walks slowly….very slowly – in the middle of the road or a path – and poops right smack dab in the MIDDLE.  And if he is on a path – and there is a rock in the middle of the path, he is sure to go right on the rock. Right ON the rock.  He takes the concept of “leaving monuments” to a whole new level.

And then there is the whole poop bag thing.  You humans pick up our poop so it can go into a landfill site in plastic bags that won’t break down for like 1 million years.  If ya just left it there – it would disappear!  Oh – but my human gets those flimsy “biodegradable” bags.  We haven’t yet tried to see if they DO break down.  We can only hope so.  The challenge is that those bags come as “one size fits all” .  Bwhahahahahaha.  Did you ever see Paxton’s poop?  You need a GARBAGE bag to pick up that stuff.  A HEFTY garbage bag.

OK, so that’s my scoop on poop.  I think I have covered enough on the topic for today – especially if you are reading this at breakfast.  Have a good one!


Today I would like to talk about retrieving. And just like barking, we all have our own “individuality” when it comes to retrieving.  This is a skill that I am an EXPERT in.   I will retrieve until I am ready to collapse.  Or until my human’s arm is ready to fall off.  And my rate of recovery does not slow down – even after my human has thrown a bumper toy more than 30 times – with all her might – as far as she can throw.  It is ESSENTIAL that you have two identical bumpers to throw – because I will NOT let go of the first until the second is mid-air.  And I can grab a bumper in mid-air – or on a bounce – without slowing down.  Leaves and grass go flying – and sometimes I even do a roll myself.  And once I have the bumper, I race back to my human very quickly – often at lightning speed.  My feet turn green from the grass, my coat is full of leaves and my mouth is all muddy.  I LOVE this game. 

Frodo on the other hand, has a different retrieving technique.  He will race out to get the bumper, but is careful on the pick-up not to get any grass or leaves in his mouth.  Seriously.  And his return is more like a loppy loppy trot. And once he returns to our human, he spits out the bumper.   He will happily do this task about a dozen times and then will take the bumper and trot back to the house to signal that he is done.  Done.  He retrieves – but clearly he would rather be in the house.  Reading.

And then we have Paxton.  Good old Paxton.  When he sees that our human is about to throw the bumper, he races out and looks straight up in the air.  Hoping it will go in a flight path that he can see.  Then he bounds out and grabs the bumper – but must stop on the way back to pee.  Twice.  If he retrieves four times, my human is ecstatic.  Usually he will head out for the bumper and heaven help us if he hears something – because he will veer off into the woods.  Did I mention that he has the attention span of a gnat?  Retrieving is NOT his thing.  But he IS getting better – because I’ve been teaching him.  He does better if he gets a treat each time he comes back.  Frankly, I don’t WANT the treat – because that usually signals that my turn is over.  It’s the ONLY time I’m not happy about food.

Retrieving is a great way for us canines to get exercise. And you should see the biceps on my human!


© 2014 Linda Wozniak

Quote me.

Viktor:  So Frodo, what do you think about my blog so far?

Frodo:  It keeps you busy and keeps you out of my way – so it is excellent.

Viktor:  Thanks for helping with my Vik-tionary terms.  You’re very good with vocabulary.  Although I’m not so sure you could match that border collie….

Frodo:  I beg to differ.  Let’s just see how he and I would do in a Scrabble match.

Viktor:  We can’t.   Remember?   Paxton ate most of the vowels.

Frodo:   Drat.  I forgot.

Viktor:  I’ve been thinking of adding a new feature to my blog – my quote of the week. 

Frodo:  Seriously?  You realize -a quote should be profound.  It has to have meaning.  It should inspire.  Or inform.  Or it has to make someone smile.  I’m not so sure you have the ability to come up with a one-liner that will pack that kind of information. For example, there’s a quote that has been circulating on the internet lately – and some say it’s POLISH proverb.  I’m not certain of the origin, but  it IS very good – “Not my circus.  Not my monkeys.” Do you think YOU can come up with something like that?!

Vitkor:  Well for my first quote, I was going to base it on something YOU do.  It’s about taking chances.  It’s about the simple things in life.  Or it could be about cooling off if one has been a bit hot-headed.  You were the inspiration for this one.

Frodo:  OK.  I’m ready.  This should be good.

Viktor:  Here goes.  You can use it – just make SURE you attribute it to me…

Frodo:  All right already.

Viktor:   “Never pass up the opportunity to stick your head in the refrigerator.”  By Viktor.  The PON.

Frodo:  (eyes rolling)  They can only get better…

© 2014  Linda Wozniak