What if…

You know, sometimes I look at my human’s newspaper and I just shake my head.  Seriously humans – you are SUPPOSED to be the smartest group on the planet.  But what do I see in the paper?  Terrorists.  (not to be confused with terrierists – those people who love Westies and Scotties and Airedales).  Pollution (the only pollution we dogs create is organic!)  Racism (we dogs generally like other dogs – well, at least we like the smell of them. And the places they have peed.).  Obesity (we canines have the same problem – but then WE don’t get the choice in what you feed us!). 

Sometimes I get some crazy ideas and I wonder “what if….”

What if… every human who is physically fit – for one day a month instead of going to the gym, or for a run – went to a local dog pound and walked a dog.  Or went to a nursing home and took a resident for a walk around the block in his wheelchair…

What if…every human who watched the Superbowl this weekend donated 50 cents to training a service dog…or to a rescue group…or to a Veterans’ group…or to helping fund research for some disease…THINK of the money that could be raised….

What if …humans could STOP thinking from their OWN point of view for ONE day and start thinking like dogs – who are happy for every sunrise, happy to simply go for a walk…happy to see their humans and well…just plain HAPPY in general….

My goodness.  Wouldn’t it be a very different world?  

Excuse me while I go and shred my human’s newspaper….and I continue to work on my political career. 

© 2015 Linda Wozniak

MISSION accommplished!!!

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you are familiar with the DFZ – the Dog Free Zone.  The ONE room in the house that has restricted access to us canines because, well, we would no doubt destroy it.  The room contains some things that my human would rather not see end up with our handiwork – like the hooked rug that took her 95 years to make.  So the baby gate has restricted our access – but as you will recall, nothing can REALLY restrict Frodo’s access.  He even figured out a way to STRETCH the bungee cord that was holding the gate during Christmas – when my human REALLY did not want us in the DFZ, sampling things from the Christmas tree. 

If the bungee cord is not holding the gate, Frodo simply pushes the gate aside, and yours truly follows.  If the bungee cord is not on, I have actually been known to go in by myself by pushing the gate – my brother taught me well. Yesterday morning as my human was getting ready to leave for work – she found me in there all by myself.  Quite comfy.

So now, if my human is in the DFZ, working on her laptop, Frodo and I routinely wander in.  And we make ourselves comfortable.  And this week – Paxton joined us.  He FINALLY figured out that IF the gate is open – he CAN walk in.  Of course he is not exactly subtle in his entry – he heads right for the couch.   

Last night my human looked around and REALIZED – the DFZ was not exactly a DFZ any more.  Frodo was lounging in front of the fireplace, I was relaxing on one of the wingback chairs and Paxton was sprawled out on the couch.  Mission accomplished.  I KNEW we could infiltrate the DFZ with some patience.  ALL three of us.

Ah yes.  We canines ARE good at training humans.  Canines -3. Human -0.  Life is good…..

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

The story of Frodo…

Another birthday – my other big brother – Frodo.  He is 5 years old today – two years older than me.  We have the same parents.  My human thinks that if I had been born first, the breeder would not have repeated the breeding. Ha. Ha.

Given this special occasion, I think this is a good opportunity to share the life story of Frodo…

My human has had Bernese Mountain Dogs for many years.  And she LOVES those big goofy tri-colored monsters.  She got her first Bernese before people knew what a Bernese was.  People used to ask her “what is THAT thing – a cross between a Saint Bernard and something else?”  Now almost everybody knows what a Bernese is…

Anyway, she had her third Bernese and he was a special boy.  He was VERY obedient – and loved JUST her.  They competed in obedience, rally, draft and even a bit of agility.  But one month after his 7thbirthday, he went to someplace called the Rainbow Bridge.  Now my human ALWAYS finds it hard when her dogs go to that place…but this time was very, very, VERY hard.  So although Paxton was already living here – and she LOVES him and still loves Bernese, she decided that she needed to think about a NEW breed.  She had seen PONs many years before at some dog show called Crufts in England.  And she thought they were very cool.  Smart.  Cute.  Mid-sized.  Fun.  Lots of great characteristics.  And since she has a Polish background, well, that put the icing on the cake. 

So after her Bernese went to the bridge, she thought back to seeing those PONs and she decided to visit a PON breeder, right here in Nova Scotia.  She wanted to “meet the breed” and learn more about them.  Little did she know, the breeder had some 10 week old puppies….

My human had no intention of getting another dog at that point.  She had just lost one – and she still had Pax, and a dear old Labrador, named Beamish.  But SERIOUSLY – one look at PON puppies – and you guessed it – after a whopping 24 hours of decision-making she called the breeder and the rest is history.
Baby Fro

Paxton LOVED him and still does!

Frodo loved old Beamish…

My human isn’t really a believer in reincarnation…but…she is fairly certain that her 3rd Bernese has come back – in the form of a PON – Frodo.  Seriously.  Just like that Bernese, Frodo is “psychic” when it comes to doing things with my human – and they have a crazy bond.  It’s almost spooky when my human looks in Frodo’s eyes.  They have this “connection.”  Frodo is fine with other people – but my human is his number one.  He barks – which I KNOW can be a PON thing – but he barks like her Bernese did.  He is protective of her – and will stand up against the most scary garbage can in the dark to be sure she is safe.   When it comes to training – despite his barking, it’s sometimes like he “knows” what she wants him to do – before she asks him to do it.  I know things too – but I don’t do them. I’m a BIT more naughty…

My human has shown Frodo herself in beauty pageants – and it was the first time she got something called a Championship on a dog.  When she and Frodo got their first group placement (whatever that is), everybody in the building knew it.  She was sooo excited.  They have competed in obedience and rally and he has a number of titles.  They even tried some herding.  She sometimes feels guilty – because he IS so easy to train.  Clearly I didn’t get THOSE genes.

So when my litter (or my treasury) came along 2 years later, my human thought she would get another Frodo. Wrongo.  Same gene pool – but different mutations.  I do have my OWN unique qualities…VERY unique.

While I AM sometimes jealous of my PON brother – I DO look up to him.  He really IS pretty cool. And we get along great – all three of us do!  And really, if it weren’t for him and his good behavior – I wouldn’t be here right now!  So a huge Happy Birthday to my shaggy brother!  And I MIGHT even share my biscuit with you today!

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

The holiday

So.  Yesterday was a day off for our human. And what a day it was… 

Our human got up at the normal time to get ready for work.  She checked her email and ta-da – her university was CLOSED.  Whoohooo.  We still went out for our morning walks although they WERE a bit shorter than normal because it WAS snowing and the winds WERE blowing at 1000 miles per hour.  Well maybe not THAT much. But is WAS pretty windy.

After all of our walks were finished,  my human had her breakfast like normal- including the obligatory sharing of the somewhat empty yogurt container. And then – much to our surprise – she did something that she NEVER, EVER does.  She said “boys – we are going back to bed!”  WHAT?!  BACK TO BED???  She actually attempted to watch TV first – but every channel was talking about SNOW.  How much snow.  How to shovel snow.  How to stay off the roads.  How the wind was blowing the snow.  How big the drifts were.  ENOUGH already!  It’s not like people have never seen the stuff before!  It’s not like a volcano erupted.  Or an earthquake.  It’s SNOW.  I guess my human isn’t all that impressed with snow because (and I have to be careful here – because this statement does give an indication about how OLD she is…) SHE survived the BLIZZARD of ’77 in Buffalo, New York.  Google THAT snow.  Now I DO admit that she DOESN’T like DRIVING in snow – but if you have lived through the Blizzard of ’77 – you can live through any snow.  Well.  Maybe not the snow in Antarctica.  But most snow.

So we all agreed begrudgingly to go back to bed for an hour.  And THEN, my human took a shower.  And THAT, I didn’t get.  Why shower?  It’s not like we were going to have company in the middle of a snowstorm.  And it’s not like she was going anywhere. So we ALL sat outside the bathroom door and WAITED while she took her shower.  And when she came out – we ALL acted so overjoyed, as if we had not seen her in a month. But that’s what we canines do.  We are eternal greeters.

Then our human made some phone calls to people who she KNEW would be at home – since we WERE having a “blizzard.”  We napped at this point, because if our human had gone to work, that’s what we would be doing.  After the calls were over – we wanted ATTENTION

So first it was my turn to play with the Snoop.  And I got almost every treat out.  And then Frodo was “trained” in that “new behavior” I alluded to the other day.  As usual, he barked throughout the training – but my human THINKS he is STARTING to get it.  And then Paxton got HIS time with the Pyramid – and he is expert with that toy.

Our human checked some stuff on the computer – but we STILL wanted attention.  So we all went outside for a run around the yard – as the snow had stopped.  Of course, could we JUST run around and have a grand time?  No.  Well we DID for a BIT – but then we had the obligatory photo shoot.  As if our human doesn’t have enough pictures of us in the snow…We obliged for a couple of shots and then took off.

Back we went in the house, panting and wet.  At which point my human decided to watch a movie that has been nominated for an Academy Award  in the category of Best Foreign film.  It’s a Polish film called Ida.  My human understands, “yes’, “no”, “sit down”, “thank you”, “”Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter” and some assorted words that cannot be written here – in Polish.  So she had to use the subtitles when watching the movie.  Frodo and I didn’t need the subtitles – for obvious reasons.  My human quite liked the movie.  I still preferred that Ape movie…

After that we all had supper, another run around outside – and the next thing you knew it – the day was over.  A fabulous, unplanned holiday.  But then with us dogs, every day is a holiday!   
Have a good one!

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

SNOW day!

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Which made me think -I have another new job possibility for me.  Weatherman.  Seriously.  I COULD do the job.  As I see it, you open the door, and look out.  If Frodo won’t go out, it’s raining.  If Paxton and I DASH out – it’s snowing.  If we ALL race out, it’s sunny.  No point in guessing what will happen the next day – you are never right.  Unless of course you deliver a forecast like this one:  Sunny with cloudy periods with a chance of rain or snow.  That about covers all the bases.  And really, who are the weather people accountable to?  It’s not like somebody is going to sue them because it rains on their picnic. 

Really.  I want that job.  Your roving rePONter weatherman.  Delivering Vik-advisories.  I like the sound of it…where do I sign up?

But first, I get to hang out with my human today!  And we’ll create our OWN storm – indoors!  Stay warm and dry and safe everyone – wherever you are!

©  2015 Linda Wozniak


OK.  I’m learning that I shouldn’t copy EVERYTHING that Frodo does…like arguing….

Yesterday my human had another one of her “great” ideas – she decided she was going to teach us a new skill.  I’ll save the details of the skill for a little while – she wants to see if she can teach us it, before she talks about our brilliance.  Or lack thereof.

So she started with me.  And a clicker.  And a pile of treats.  My head exploded.  I couldn’t calm down enough to do ANYTHING.  I JUST WANTED THOSE TREATS.  And I kept offering EVERY behavior I knew.  Without using my brain at ALL.  So my human decided to give me a break – and have me watch while she worked with Frodo.  Now Frodo is fairly easy to train.  He’s pretty smart.  But if he is NOT sure what to do – he argues – by barking.  Actually, he barks whenever he is asked to do anything.  “Sit” – he barks.  “Stay” – he barks.  He performs the behavior but he basically has a “comment” about everything.  At which point, my human tells him to “be quiet – and LISTEN.”  And then he WILL be quiet.  For about 30 seconds.  But despite his argumentative behavior, he still learned the new task.  Mission somewhat accomplished with Frodo.  At least Part 1 of the mission.

So then my human decided to try with me again – because I had been watching the proceedings though the French doors in the other room.  Well.  I saw that Frodo argues – so I tried it too.  I would spin and bark and sit and bark and lie down and bark and do EVERYTHING BUT the requested behavior.  And the addition of the barking – well – let’s just put it this way – our training session ended up being rather shortened. 

By the time my human finished with me – she was too exhausted to even ATTEMPT to train Pax.  She went over to the treat jar, pulled out a handful, and just GAVE ALL of them to him just for sitting on command!  Lucky guy.  I want to be last in line next time!!

Perhaps the “O” in PON REALLY stands for obstinate?  : )  Nah – “Prodigy” Of “Nonconformity”.  That’s me.  Viktor – the PON.

©  2015  Linda Wozniak

We WON the lottery!

We won the lottery!!!  Really  – we did!!

My human doesn’t buy lottery tickets very often.  A couple times a year.  She’ll buy one when the jackpot has grown to some INCREDIBLE size – and the chances of winning are like one in 62 gazillion. 

Anyway, when my human buys a ticket, the cashier will ask a whole bunch of questions about what she wants.  There are so many extras you have to decide that it’s like purchasing a car.  Do you want this add-on?  That add-on?  My human doesn’t know what they all mean so she just says “yes” and the ticket ends up costing something like $82.  Well – maybe not THAT much – but somehow what starts out as a $1 chance increases significantly by the end of the purchase.

Then, my human sticks the ticket in her purse, or wallet and usually forgets about it.  Sometimes she will go to check it – and find out that it expired last year.  Very smart move.

Anyway, it seems my human bought a ticket at the beginning of December. 2014.  And she actually went to check it on-line.  If you get all 7 numbers – you win like 100 million.  As my human looked at the numbers, she saw she had 1 number.  2 numbers.  3 numbers.  4…FOUR numbers.  Holy moly. 4 out of 7 MUST be worth something.  I pictured another new dog bed.  More toys.  Some special treats…

Yes.  We won the lottery.  $20.  Whooo-hooo.  Big deal.  Now don’t get me wrong.  Something IS better than nothing.  But something tells me that if you subtract the cost of the ticket, and the other odd tickets my human bought in 2014… Well what have I said about humans not being so smart? More evidence!

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

Another Vik-Advisor

The 10 minute dog sitter.  How much would most humans pay to have someone or SOMETHING, entertain their dog for 10 minutes?  $18.  That’s what my human paid for the Orbee-Tuff Snoop Interactive toy made by Planet Dog   http://www.planetdog.com

I believe I mentioned before that my human bought this for us as a guilt gift while she was away last week.  And I talked about how each of us has a different method for getting out the treats.  But today I want to seriously talk about the Snoop in a Vik-Advisor review.

I LOVE it.  It keeps Frodo and I entertained for at LEAST 10 minutes.  Each.  My human can’t let us BOTH use it at the same time in the house because she DOES value her furniture and walls.  With both of us vying for the treats in the Snoop…well…it might not be pretty.  So we EACH do it separately.  We take turns.  And while one plays with it – the other one barks….

The Snoop is made of soft rubber – so it would NOT be good to leave us alone with it.  We would, no doubt, figure out a way to destroy it.  But if a human monitors – it is a PERFCT toy to entertain.  Frodo has somehow figured out how to get out EVERY last piece of kibble.   I’m not THAT patient.  But I do OK.

The only downside – is for BIG dogs like Paxton.  He WOULD destroy it in NO time – even with someone watching – and he has figured out how to stick his tongue in the hole where the treats go in – and he can get them out that way.  So he is not allowed to use the Snoop – he uses the Pyramid for entertainment.

Because the Snoop is made of soft rubber, it DOES pick up every piece of dog hair it rolls over – so in our house if you have not vacuumed for 2 minutes before you use it, it will be covered in dog hair.  We don’t care – but our human is kind of grossed out by it.

All in all,  I would still give this toy 4 PAWS.  The main reason it doesn’t get 5 is ultimate durability and the hair factor.  The cool thing, my tail NEVER stops wagging while I am using it!  But then…my tail is USUALLY wagging – I’m just a happy-go-licky kind of guy!

Enjoy your Saturday!  I will!

©  2015  Linda Wozniak

Planet of the Apes…

My human doesn’t watch much TV.  Every now and then, she will go into the Rec room (which is really short for WRECK room if we boys are there), she will remove the furniture that is ON the sofa, (which is piled on to keep us from dragging the cushions off and destroying them) and she will attempt to make herself comfortable. Attempt is the key word.  First off, I will try to get on the sofa – which I usually do.  Then, it’s Paxton’s turn and he attempts to lay RIGHT ON TOP of our human.  Picture that one.  Frodo doesn’t usually go on the sofa – he would rather wedge himself behind or under some other furniture and pretend he is hiding. 
We MAY allow our human to watch something for a LITTLE while – but we DO remind her that she SHOULD be petting us at the same time.  Or we will stare at her.  Or bark.  No wonder she doesn’t watch much TV…
A little while ago, my human had a good friend visiting – and they decided to rent a movie – Planet of the Apes.  They moved the necessary furniture and got as comfortable as they could be with a 100 lb. Bernese sharing the sofa.  Frodo hid himself in the corner.  And I decided to practice some curtouflage  (n.  the method of attempting to avoid detection by hiding behind curtains.  Despite the fact that our humans can still see us…..we like to THINK we are invisible…). We were all set.  And THEN the movie began.  We boys generally do not pay attention to the TV – unless of course there is a dog barking on the screen.  Otherwise, we couldn’t care less. But this movie – well I have to tell you, I was ENTRANCED.  SERIOUSLY entranced.  And not for like 15 seconds – we are talking MINUTES.  Which is like hours in dog time.  Those monkeys fascinated me.  I watched and watched.  My human even took a picture of me watching – it’s a bit fuzzy – but you get the idea. 

The other boys didn’t even watch for one second – but me – well I have no idea why that movie was not nominated for an Academy Award.  It was amazing what they trained those monkeys to do.
After a while, my attention wandered and I had a snooze.  But every now and then, I would wake up and watch.  I want my human to rent it again – but she’s not interested.  She told me she doesn’t want me to watch it again and get any crazy ideas about animals taking over the world.  Doesn’t she realize – we already HAVE in our house?!
©  2015  Linda Wozniak

FRODO gets busted

The truth comes out.  Remember how I mentioned that our good behavior record, while our human was away, was tarnished by the screen door – with the hole in it?  And remember how I admitted guilt in the crime?  Well.  Guess what?  It WASN’T me – and the criminal was CAUGHT!

You see, Frodo did it – but convinced me to act as the scapegoat, because, well I usually AM the one who does something bad!  He promised me some kibble and I fell for it.  BUT – he was exposed as the culprit when my human went to groom us when she got back from her trip…

Grooming me is generally not a difficult task.  But Frodo?  Mr. “Good Behavior”?  Not so much when it comes to grooming.  It’s like a scene out of a wrestling match at the Olympics.  With all of the grunting and groaning included – most of which is done by my human.  Anyway – as my human was brushing Frodo, she came across what she THOUGHT was a mat.  She carefully pulled it out of Frodo’s back leg and then took a closer look.  The MAT was made of metal.  Hmmmmmmm.  She looked at it more closely.  Velcro?  No.  A scrub brush?  No.  It was screening  from the door!!!!  And not only did she find ONE piece stuck in his coat – she found TWO!  Busted.

Haha big brother.  Guess you’re not such a big deal after all.  But.  Can I still have that kibble?

©  2015 Linda Wozniak