Guard dogs

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Earlier this spring, our human found an old Labrador Retriever figure in the garage (from back in the days of Beamish the lab) and she decided to put it outside at the edge of the woods.  Well.  When Frodo, the supreme guard dog and barker extraordinaire, went outside, he went into full guard dog mode.  He HAD to get that dog off his property.  BUT, he WAS just a TINY bit scared of this vicious intruder.  This video is just a SHORT segment of Frodo’s initial meeting with the Scary Black Dog.  And you can hear Paxton barking in the house.  Me?  I went up to the dog, cautiously sniffed it and then promptly peed on it. 

I didn’t say too much to Frodo about it – as I think he was a bit embarrassed about his reaction once he realized what it was.  I mean seriously, it’s a flat wooden dog.  It’s not scary.  I mean, it’s not like it’s a lint brush or something.

©  2014  Linda Wozniak

Let’s eat.

Well my human has made a huge dent in the Halloween candy and of course, is now regretting every tiny little candy bar consumed.  All 4,000 of them.  Which means, once the last one is gone, there will be a steady diet of leafy green vegetables.  Yet another reason I am happy I am NOT a human.

I mean really – you humans worry and obsess way too much about what you eat.  You worry about fat content and calories and organic foods and processed foods.  We canines in this house will eat pretty much anything you give us – and we don’t think for one millisecond about dietary requirements.  Give us cheap kibble.  We’ll eat it.  Give us expensive kibble.  We’ll eat it.  Give us raw food. We’ll eat it.  Give us apples, carrots, green beans, bananas and watermelon. We’ll eat it.  Give us lettuce and spinach and welllllllll, some of us will chew it for a seconds and then spit it out.  Unless we see someone ELSE eating it – and then we’ll eat it. 

You humans spend hours cooking and baking and preparing wonderful meals for yourselves.  Sometimes you even do that for us.  And it takes us the same 15.8 seconds to empty our bowl whether you have slaved over our food – or have thrown in some kibble.  And in this house anyway, we are EXCITED to see the same kibble every day.  We’re not picky eaters in this house.  I’m sure there ARE many picky dogs out there – but here – we could forage through the cupboards and find SOMETHING to eat on any given day.  Heck. Paxton is happy to consume ANYTHING  at all– even things he shouldn’t eat.  Remember the story of the sling?

I suppose because we have such great appetites, we DO have to watch how MUCH we eat.  Honestly, if you left us a 40 lb bag of food, I think we would keep eating until we were just about ready to explode.  Overfeeding us can result in a roly-poly dog – which really isn’t all that good.  Our human’s first Bernese MANY years ago got rather roly-poly and she needed to take 20 lbs off him.  She did it – and he was the last fat dog she ever had.  Her secret to weight loss – canned pumpkin.  It works every time.  Just reduce your regular food and supplement it with canned pumpkin – and voila – the lbs come off.  But make sure it’s PLAIN canned pumpkin and not pie filling pumpkin –or you’ll end up with a REALLY roly-poly dog!

Once in awhile if my human is traveling, she’ll stop at a fancy dog bakery and buy us something as a treat.  Mind you – she hasn’t done that in a while.  She said there’s not much reward in paying $9 for a biscuit that disappears in a single gulp.

She used to make biscuits – and I’m hopeful with the holidays coming that she’ll make a few batches for us.  Or I’ll just have to get on-line and order some for myself.  Or….I can add them to my Christmas wish list.  The list is growing and growing. And trust me – there isn’t any scale on MY list!
©  2014  Linda Wozniak

Thanks. Again.

How cool is it that our human is a citizen of two countries – so we get to celebrate Thanksgiving Day twice!  There was Thanksgiving here in Canada on October 12 and today we get to celebrate US Thanksgiving – vicariously.   Well.  She doesn’t get the day off – but we will have turkey for supper.  Well not exactly a FULL turkey dinner.  Turkey burgers more like it. 

But it got me thinking that there is something that I am REALLY, REALLY thankful for.  You can look at my general list of what I’m thankful for in my October 12 blog– which includes the usual worldly things like food, and shelter and the wonder of the universe.  But this time I want to explain about why I am thankful that I am a dog.

Yes, you humans DO all kinds of cool things – and certainly live longer than us canines – but there is one BIG thing that we canines have – that you wish you had.  The ability to live NOW.  In the moment.  And to be HAPPY about it.  We canines don’t wake up in the morning and think “Oh my, I hope I get everything done that I need to do today. I hope the weather will be nice.  I hope I have enough gas in the car.   I hope my project goes well at work.  I hope I finish chewing that bone.  I hope that tickle in my throat isn’t a cold.  I hope this raincoat doesn’t make me look too fat.  I hope I can get all my Christmas shopping done in time.  I hope all the dogs poop this morning….”

Nor do we stress or worry about what happened two weeks ago.   We MAY stress about something IN the moment – like when we see those nail clippers coming out – but we don’t give it a thought once the trauma is over – nor do we wonder or stress when it will happen again. 

We live NOW.  I am so thankful I am a dog and I have that ability.  To wake up in the morning – and just be happy that I DID wake up!  As we know, life goes by very quickly.   I’m thinking that maybe you humans could think about it – and try living more like us canines once in a while.  Even for a few minutes each day.  Stop and breathe.  Stick your head out the car window.  Run some zoomies.  Roll in the grass or snow.  Bark like nobody is listening.  Trust me – this is Viktor the PON speaking – you’ll be very thankful you did.

A VERY Happy Thanksgiving  – no matter where you live!

©  2014  Linda Wozniak

More human sayings.

Well we were back to our routine yesterday.  No poop rebellion.  For the time being.

It poured rain last night so we had another game of Find the Bunny.  I hate to admit it – but Paxton has Frodo and me beat.  Paws down.  When he is told to stay while our human hides the bunny, he is like a STATUE.  Frodo and I…wellllllll….more than once we had to go back to the starting point because we cheated and broke our stays.  So much for the two dogs who have had $4 million in obedience lessons…

Our human continues to amaze me with some of things she says. I thought I should share a few more that we regularly hear…

·      “Don’t pee on ___________.”    The blank can be completed with a number of responses ranging from “his head”, to the “neighbor’s garbage can”, to “the car” or to “that newly planted flower”.  Come on humans.  Don’t bother saying this.  When nature calls, ya gotta go.  And if my brother is foolish enough to walk under my leg when I am peeing – that’s HIS problem!

·      “Move along – it’s a work day.”  This is said on our walk early in the morning. Seriously.  I know what day it is.  We canines know the days and we know when you have to go to work.  We have a calendar.  It has PONs on it.  You don’t need to remind us – and think that we will somehow behave differently because YOU have to go to work.  If we’re not moving along fast enough – you should have gotten up earlier.  And we will be happy to arrange that for you.

·      “Everybody sit.”    This is said when we are in front of the biscuit jar and you have indicated “TREATS”.   You don’t have to include the word “everybody”.  It’s not like there are 36 of us. We KNOW we all should sit.  And it’s not like one of us would ever be allowed to stand. Or jump up.  Or dance. While the other two are sitting. Keep it short and simple.  Just “sit”.  We want more efficiency in treat distribution.

I must say, sometimes living with you humans is just exhausting.  But we do love you….despite the things you say.


©  2014  Linda Wozniak

The rebel and the routine

So today let’s talk about routines…

For the past few days our human has been gone – and there have been some changes in our routines.  Our sitter doesn’t KNOW our routines – like our human does and while it IS our job to teach her, and she HAS been here before,  it isn’t always the same as when our human is here.  It’s fine.  But it’s different.  And WE have to adapt.  Which makes me just a little bit annoyed.  Because frankly, when our human returns, SHE expects US to return to our routines. Well, yesterday I decided I wasn’t haven’t any of it.  I was going to be a rebel and break a routine.  And to tell the truth, I WAS just a little bit mad that we didn’t get to go on the trip.  But before I tell you about what I did, let me give you some examples of the routines in our day.

1.   WE wake up our human.  Usually around 6 AM, but with this time change thing, we were shooting for 5 AM for a few weeks.

2.   Frodo begins his morning barking.   Which, as I have described before, takes place whenever our human is not within squirt gun range.

3.  We sit obediently (sometimes) and wait while our human puts our food bowls down.

4.  We eat – during which Frodo is silent – and then we go for our morning walks.

5.  We pee and poop.  Every morning.  Even in the rain – although as we know – that IS a challenge…

6.  We yogibeg (v.  the act of longingly staring at our human in the hopes that she will allow us to lick her yoghurt container) while our human has her breakfast and then we allow her to finish her breakfast once she has complied with our request.

7.  We allow her to shower – although as we have discussed, Frodo does, at times, continue his morning bark-a-long.

8.  We prepare to begin our duties as guard dogs – which really means we get ready to sleep!

We have other routines – like Frodo INSISTING on springboarding off our human’s stomach whenever she is carrying our food dishes.  He and our human have this dance routine – she steps back when he is about to launch himself, and tells him no.  He steps back and then steps forward to launch himself.  It’s a wonder we ever eat at all.  Oh, and he succeeds 75% of the time. At springing off her stomach.

And we still have MANY other routines – but these give you a picture of how our day begins.  Well yesterday, our human took us out for our morning walk.  But what she didn’t know, is that I had convinced the guys to break the poop routine – kind of as a statement and protest about our human not taking us to the conference.  We ALL agreed we would NOT do our morning poop.  So our human took Frodo and me first for our walk.  We walked ALL the way down the road.  And ALL the way back home.  Frodo kept looking at me, as if to indicate that this REALLY wasn’t such a good idea.  But I gave him the stare.  So we walked ALL the way back down the road again.  And ALL the way back home.  At this point, our human must have said “hurry up” about 4 million times.  But I think she was on to us.  I figured we would get another long walk – but she pulled our bluff and headed for the house.  And at the LAST minute, Frodo bailed on the plan – and gave in.  Or out.  Anyway, he pooped.  And got LOTS of treats.

She put us in the house, and took Paxton out, who IMMEDIATELY bailed on the plan.  Which left yours truly as the last dog standing. 

I finally DID poop in the afternoon and in retrospect, I’m not sure that this was  the best radical plan for breaking routines and making a statement.  I mean, my stomach was a bit queasy by the afternoon.  But I held my poop, er my ground, and I made my point.  Which I’m not really sure what the point was any more. But anyway, I made it.  Literally. And figuratively.  And today, well…I’m thinking that I won’t do that again. I think that going back to our regular routine is a good idea.   And while I WAS annoyed with our human for going away, I really am glad that she is home.  Very glad.  But don’t tell her.  It will be our little secret. Gotta go – Frodo is barking. Time for some breakfast!

©  2014  Linda Wozniak

She’s baaaaaack

She’s back.  Our human has returned.  When she arrived home at almost 1AM, there was much rejoicing.  Paxton jumped on her and put two paws on her shoulders and did a “rouw, rouw” right her face as if to say “welcome home.”  Frodo barked incessantly, scolding her for going away.  Me?  I just did the rocket leap straight up in the air.  Repeatedly.

My human confessed to the sitter that she was bit anxious to hear how things went.  The truth?  SURPRISE -WE WERE GOOD!!! Well except for one SMALL incident…

The oil delivery man arrived.  And our sitter could see he was coming to the door with the bill.  So because she knows us well, she put her bagel and coffee in the microwave – just for safe keeping while she went to answer the door.  Which took all of 20 seconds.  But PLENTY of time for Paxton to grab the jar of peanut butter and attempt to bury his face in it.

But other than the loss of one peanut butter jar, we were all good as gold.  Seriously.  We know Christmas is coming.

Our human was excited to see us too – and she told us some stories about her travels.  I guess whenever she goes away, we somehow always end up as a topic in her conversations with people.  And people like to share stories about their canine kids too.  My human heard stories from her friends and colleagues and even strangers.  Our human DOES like to talk a lot – no wonder Frodo is such a barker – we see where he gets it. 

She heard a sad story abut a Cavalier who passed.  I have no idea what that means – but Frodo said it had nothing to do with gas or playing cards.  Our human heard about a BIG Newfoundland dog (who also passed) who used to run like CRAZY up to strangers, terrifying them – and then would promptly sit on their feet.  Kind of like Bucket Head.  She heard about a neurotic poodle who loves to bark at the front window at people passing by and who likes to pull on the drapes too when in this crazy state.  His human hates to stop him because it’s something “he really enjoys doing”.  Get me the address of THAT place.  I’m moving there.  He has his human VERY well trained. 

Our human heard about a Saint Bernard who likes to smell flowers.  Really.  No joke.  She saw pictures to prove it.  To that one I say “watch out buddy, with that BIG nose, you might end up sucking up a bee!”

And then there is the dachshund who likes to steal empty cat food cans and put them in his bed.  Now THAT one I like.  In fact, I think I am going to ask for a cat for Christmas.  I’m putting it on the list.  It’s six pages now.

And one more – the colleague whose husband retired YEARS ago – but who has now decided that they should get a puppy.  They are getting him soon – and they haven’t had a dog in like 100 years. Her husband has dreams that the dog will become a therapy dog – which is a SUPER cool job.  But let’s face it – not all dogs can do it.  My human NEEDS therapy because she lives with us.

So we heard all the stories and of course our human had shared a few as well.  Most people didn’t know what the heck a PON is – so she had to educate (and warn) them about us.  We ARE one of a kind.  And while she heard lots of stories, NOBODY she talked to this week had a dog who wrote a blog!  But then again, she didn’t meet anyone who had a PON…a PON named Viktor…

©  2014  Linda Wozniak


Uh-oh.  Just heard the dogsitter on the phone.  It was my human.  She’s on her way home.  I could hear my human asking the sitter if everything was OK. The sitter said “yeeeeeeeees” – with a hesitant tone in her voice.  Then my human asked if anyone stole anything or destroyed anything.  The sitter said “well…I wouldn’t go that far.” Busted.

OK.  I had better behave for the rest of the day.  Maybe her flights will be delayed so I have some time to make up for the past few days…Wish me luck.

©  2014 Linda Wozniak 

See ya later!

OK.  The day has arrived.  I see the suitcase.  Our human always packs behind closed doors – so we won’t see the suitcase until she is just about ready to go.  Seriously.  We heard her on the phone days ago talking about going.  And remember – we have EXCELLENT hearing – so we also heard the telltale sounds of the zipper on the suitcase.  We figured it out days ago.  But we’ll look all surprised and sad – just for effect.  Remember…the dogsitter is coming…

And while all of that IS exciting – something equally exciting happened yesterday.  A box arrived.  A BIG box.  Annnnnnnnnnnnd Frodo read something on the side of it – it said “Sweden” AND it had the word “DOG.”  I thought it might be a PUPPY – but Frodo pointed out that it is a cardboard box – and puppies don’t come in those kind of boxes.  He just rolled his eyes in typical Frodo fashion. So I started thinking – and I realized – it MIGHT be those interactive dog toys that my human saw on-line!  I am soooo excited.  But I think she is keeping them until Christmas.  I bet that’s what they are.  In fact, I would bet two treats that’s what they are.  IMAGINE the Vik-Advisor review I will get to do after we get those things! 

Well, since my human is taking her laptop with her to this “conference” thing, and I don’t have my own iPawd, I’ll be blogless for a few days.  I’ll be sure to share what kind of trouble I get in, oops I mean – how good I have been, when my human returns.   In the meantime, all you canines out there– continue to “Bark like nobody is listening.”  You can quote me on that one.  And if anyone complains, tell them Viktor said you could. Viktor.  The PON.

©  2014  Linda Wozniak

Vik-Advisor #2

Well.  I have another Vik-Advisor blog!  My human thought that we should write this AFTER the first snowfall – as she is kind of in denial that winter is around the corner. We haven’t had any snow yet.  And then she started thinking that maybe people MIGHT want to get THIS product before the snow comes.

It all started several years ago with a snowy day and a walk with Frodo…I wasn’t even around yet.  My human had a friend come over, with her two Shelties.  The humans decided they should go for a walk on the golf course.  Well.  It was pretty snow – but wet snow – perfect for making snowmen…The story goes that they only walked for about 15 minutes, and Frodo could no longer walk.  His legs and his belly were covered with giant snowballs.  He sat down and couldn’t move.  Our human tried to break up the snowballs – and so did her friend – to no avail.  And Frodo wouldn’t move.  So our human tried to carry him home.  Here she is – trudging through the snow, carrying a 50 lb dog who now weighs 75 lbs with the additional weight of the snowballs.  It was walk.  Put Frodo down.  Walk.  Put Frodo down.  When she finally got him home, she proceeded to make matters worse.  She put him in a tub of warm water.  Now the snowballs turned to ICE balls.  Then she tried to blow them off with the dryer.  Suffice to say, what started as a fun winter walk ended with a soggy, mad PON and a tired, achy human.  So she needed a plan – because she couldn’t see him staying indoors all winter.   

As usual, our human turned to the internet for answers.  Which brings me to our product – the K9 Top Coat.

This company makes a variety of coats.  And on the home page you can click what you want the coat for – for warmth, rain, snow, etc. 

Admittedly, Frodo DOES look like some kind of an alien with his lycra bodysuit.  And figuring out how to get the thing on the FIRST time was a bit of an acrobatic act.  BUT – it REALLY, REALLY works to keep those snowballs off! 

Then along came moi – and our human needed another coat.  Just because she likes variety, our human ordered another type from the same company –the K9 Comfort coat.  It’s more like a gortex material – and the legs are shorter.  But we like this product too.  Either product I would give a rating of 5 PAWS!!!!  And it LOOKS like they ship EVERYWHERE!!!!!  And these coats can be used not JUST for snow – but for dog shows too!!!  One time Frodo was entered in a conformation show (aka beauty pageant) and it was POURING rain.  My human didn’t want him to get all wet going from the car into the show site – so she got out his trusty lycra bodysuit and voila – he was dry as a pin.  OK.  Some of the other dogs DID laugh at him.  But he got over it.  Sort of.

I’ll write about boots in another blog – as they are excellent accessories.

In this video from last winter, you can see Frodo and I romping in our suits.  We love them.  Well.  I love MINE.  I think Frodo needs a Comfort Coat too.  The lycra works perfectly…but he does feel like something out of a 70’s exercise video.  But the bottom line – it WORKS!!!  And it beats snowballs!

©  2014  Linda Wozniak

The dogsitter

OK.  Something is going on.  I heard my human.  She said to someone on the phone something about a “conference.” And something about a flight.   I haven’t seen the suitcases yet – but if it’s true and my human is going away – that means two things:  DOGSITTER and PARTEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Now don’t get me wrong – we ARE sad when our human goes away – but while she is gone we have THE BEST dogsitter who comes and lives in our house.  She is a SUPER nice lady – and we have her very well trained.  We go through that treat jar in no time.  The first time she came here…well, it’s a MIRACLE she came back.  Our human must pay her well…That first visit – well, we got away with MURDER.  All of our manners went out the window…

First off, we decided that having a screen in the patio door was just silly.  And since we couldn’t open it ourselves – we made our own entrance while our dogsitter was taking a shower.  Canines – 1.  Dogsitter -0.

Then Paxton stole some mail off the counter and did some shredding.  Canines -2.  Dogsitter -0.

We decided that sleeping in until 7 was ridiculous – so we kept trying to get her up earlier and earlier by squeaking like we needed to go out.  We had her getting up at 6, 5, 4AM….  Canines – 3. Dogsitter – 0.

And if she went to watch TV in the rec room, we would stand upstairs and bark like there was someone at the front door.  Which of course there wasn’t.  We just didn’t want her watching TV.  Canines – 4.  Dogsitter -0.

But the best – or worst depending on your point of view, was when she came out of the bathroom and couldn’t find her cell phone.  She kept walking around the house, trying to find it.  And I followed her everywhere, wagging my stubby little tail as I went.  Then she happened to notice that my shaggy cheeks were bulging out.  Yup.  I was carrying her phone around.  Canines – 5.  Dogsitter -0.

Now one might think that our behavior would send most people running.  But she’s a very resilient human.  And after a number of visits – she is now used to us.  She never lets down her guard.  After one visit, she actually made out a report card to give our human.  Paxton got an “A”, Frodo got an “A+” (of course) and well….I got an “F.”   I like to keep things interesting!!!!!

But lately, I HAVE been behaving – and we ALL have been better.  In fact, the last time she was here, she told our human that she ran into one of the neighbors and asked the neighbor what our human had done to the dogs – we were so good!  She thinks it’s maturity.  Nah.  It’s actually a ploy so that she’ll let down her guard! 

We don’t want our human to go away…but we WILL make the best of it! Besides – she will probably bring us presents when she comes home!!!!  Gotta love dog guilt.  And extra nice dogsitters.

©  2014 Linda Wozniak