High maintenance…

Well. I am annoyed.  It seems there is a post circulating the internet that lists the top 25 “high maintenance” breeds.  And get this – PONS are on the list.

First off, I DO question a site that lists those rare yorkdalpoosaintradors.  You know what I mean.  Those breeds that AREN’T really breeds.  Although there ARE people who would pay BIG money for one.  Humans.  If you want one of these make-believe breeds – who can be great companions- there are plenty in shelters – go and get one – for FREE!

Anyway, I decided to look at what they said about us PONs.  Here are two of  my FAVORITE lines – “The most common colors for Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are black, brown, gray, and white.”  That’s in contrast to the less common colors of purple, blue and magenta. 

“It needs regular exercise for apartment living and is best with a small to average-size yard.”  Yes.  We need a little or “averaged-size” yard.  Anything large and we will be very unhappy.  Very unhappy.  A large yard MIGHT cause us to do zoomies – and we do NOT do “best” when we have room to run.

Now I DID like some of the wonderful adjectives like lively, intelligent, independent, alert, friendly, loyal and my favorite – cheerful.  I think those DO sum me up – I am all of those.  For sure.  At certain times – and during certain phases of the moon.  And we ARE watchful, we can be active, and we don’t shed.  Much.

But I really dislike being called “high maintenance.”  It makes us sound snooty.  And like drama-kings.  Although, that DOES describe Frodo.  Still.  It’s such a negative connotation.  What about “Highly complex?”  Or  “Magnificently multifaceted?” Or “Intricately interesting?”  But HIGH MAINTENANCE?!  Come on.  It’s not like we are Kim Kardashian or something…

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

Faux snuggles.

Fake snuggles.  Admittedly, I am guilty.  But Frodo is the WORST.  And Paxton – well not toooooo bad.

Ad what are fake snuggles you ask?  Fake snuggles are when you get in really close to your human – and you might even attempt to get on her lap.  You LOOK like you are hoping for some petting and ear scratches.  But what you are REALLY trying to do is get close to her pocket – so you can DIG your nose in and get any kibble, treats or even treat crumbs that she might be carrying.  Frodo is NOTORIOUS.  He puts his front paws on my human’s lap and when she goes to pet him, he PUSHES as hard as he can into her pocket.  Of course when she realizes that he’s not actually there because he is demonstrating overwhelming adoration – she tells him to get down.  Which he won’t.  And a somewhat playful wrestling match ensues – all the time he is STILL trying to get into her pocket.  I do it too – and Paxton does it a bit – but not as bad as Frodo.

Heaven FORBID my human leaves a sweater or jacket out that has treats in a pocket.  Frodo will eat right through the pocket.  I just watch in awe.  He doesn’t share his bounty – that’s for sure.

I must confess, I’m all about the treats – but I really DO like the real snuggles too.  I think I’ll leave the fake kind to Frodo –and I’ll just continue to master my cute-onizing.  Because THAT I do really, really well….

© Linda Wozniak

The Oscars

So the other night my human watched something on TV called the Oscars.  Well – she watched PART of the Oscars – it goes on TV way too late to stay up for the whole thing.  It was past my bedtime – but I watched a few minutes with her.  I wasn’t all that excited about it – it’s not like there were ANY movies that starred a dog.  No Lassie.  No Rin Tin Tin.  No Marley.  No Dalmations.  No Shaggy DA – one of my favorites – for obvious reasons.  No Benji. No Beethoven. Just a bunch of humans.  With some Bird Guy thrown in for good measure.

And this whole “fashion” thing before the show even starts.  Seriously.  It’s OBVIOUS none of those people have dogs.  Their attire was DEFINITELY NOT dog friendly. We canines would be stepping all over those gowns.  And the materials they were made of – lace and silk and stuff with beads.  That stuff is NOT something you play fetch in – and it definitely would not stand up to Paxton’s slobber after he has a drink.  Nope.  Not at all dog friendly.

Which got me to thinking – maybe I could be a dog-friendly fashion designer.  Really…

Color wise, I would match people’s attire to their dogs – so you couldn’t see the dog hair.  But I wouldn’t use too much white – even IF their dog was white, because it shows paw prints too well.  And the material has to be sturdy so it can hold up to jumping dogs.  And it really shouldn’t collect dog hair – so velvet is OUT.  I’m thinking something in canvas would be nice.  Or Gor-Tex.  A grey Gor-Tex gown.  With canvas accents on the belt.  And deep pockets.  To hold treats. 

And when the stars would come down the Red Carpet, and they would be asked “and who are you wearing?” …They would say Viktor.  Viktor the PON.  Hmmm….I’m liking it... 
Although…I AM still leaning toward politics…

©  2015  Linda Wozniak

Rules were meant to be…thrown out

Just an update about life in the former DFZ (Dog Free Zone).  I call it “former” because I have decided that the DFZ is my absolute favorite place to be.  And I have officially claimed one of the wingback chairs as MINE.  Actually, I think the WHOLE DFZ should be mine. I go in there whenever the bungee cord is mistakenly left off.

Yesterday morning while my human was having breakfast, Frodo and I pushed the gate open and walked in.   We made ourselves comfortable.  VERY comfortable. But Frodo made a mistake.  He started digging in the sofa.  BIG mistake.  He was banished from the DFZ.  All the time I was calmly watching the proceedings from my comfy position on MY favorite wingback.  So innocent.  Next to the fire.  Yes… life IS good.  When it’s minus 146 degrees and your driveway could host the World Figure Skating Championships, what better place to be than on your favorite wingback.  In the former DFZ.  Canine 1.  Human 0.

Oh and the “no sleeping on the bed” rule?  Bwhahahahaha.  Priceless.  Another update.  Do you KNOW how my human TRIES to keep us off the bed?  I know you won’t believe this one – but it is true.  She puts a baby gate ON half the bed.  Really.  If someone saw our antics in a movie, they wouldn’t believe it.  So of course, the baby gate DOES keep Paxton off.  And Frodo pretty much stays off too.  And of course, my human has to squish to one side of the bed, so as not to hit the gate herself.  But as for me?  No problemo.  I have figured out how to wait until my human is sound asleep.  I then creep up on the foot of the bed – below the baby gate.  And viola.  Comfy . Cozy.  And all mine.  Canine 2.  Human 0.

I’m not only adorable.  I’m brilliant. 
But who’s keeping score?

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

My Inner Lassie

Some reading this may not remember the Lassie movies.  My human used to watch them as a kid.  Lassie was a collie who did all kinds of brilliant and remarkable things.  There wasn’t much that Lassie couldn’t do.  In a classic reference to the dog super-hero,  a line has circulated for years about Lassie’s ability to communicate with humans.  “What’s that Lassie?  Timmy fell down the well?”  It seems Lassie could communicate with humans and they could understand him – all the time.  And most importantly – Lassie could detect danger and rescue people…

In contrast, well, I’m not sure I could be put in the super-hero category.  Actually none of us could…

Yesterday morning, before daybreak, when my human went to take us out, she QUICKLY saw that the icy conditions had not miraculously disappeared over night – so our morning jaunt would be restricted to a quick “do your business and let’s get back in the house.”  I was the first to go.  My human slowly walked on the icy driveway– a turtle would be going MUCH, MUCH faster.  But after the broken wrist on the ice last winter, she is understandably cautious.  We climbed over a snow bank – which is now a rock solid pile of ice.  I quickly “did my thing” and headed back toward the house – because breakfast had not yet been served.  I was on a leash.  When my human got to the ice wall, she sat down to go over – because the driveway on the other side was shear ice.  And what did I do, seeing my human in this rather odd position trying to get over the ice?  Was I concerned?  Did I try to help. Nope.  I ran over to her and started rolling on the ice and snow next to her.  I was pushing her and rolling and having a truly joyful moment.  I was getting tangled in my leash.  Spraying ice everywhere.  My feet were in the air.  Despite my human’s NEW peril – a crazed dog – she had to laugh.   We then crept back to the house.

Now it was Frodo’s turn.  Same routine.  Although he wasn’t on a leash.  He’s more trustworthy in the dark than I am.   He bounded over the ice wall after he did his thing, and raced, well….slid back to the house.  He turned back and just watched my human sitting on the wall, and slowly climbing down.  Maybe he WAS concerned, but he certainly didn’t go to see if there was a problem.  He barked at her to get moving and open the door – he wanted breakfast.

And last, but not least – Paxton.  He followed the same drill.  Human and dog over the wall.  He did his thing – and headed back toward the spot on the ice wall to get down to the driveway.  The same spot my human had been sitting on to climb over- twice before.  And what did Paxton do?  He peed on it.  So now my human had a choice.  Sit in pee or go further down the ice wall.  She chose the latter.

Now obviously my human was THANKFULLY not injured or in serious danger.  But none of us were particularly helpful or concerned.  I do like to THINK in an emergency situation I would be able to channel my inner Lassie and come to my human’s rescue.  Especially if she had treats in her pocket…

©  2015 Linda Wozniak


You know, we canines have a very special ability.  We are able to “cute-onize” our humans.  It’s that innate skill that we have to get our human’s attention when they are doing something else.  Like talking on the phone, working on the computer or watching TV.  The idea is to quietly sit near your human and simply stare, using every fiber in your being to look as absolutely cute as possible.  The key is NOT to be pushy, by jumping on their lap.  Just sit close and stare.  It’s helpful if you can even cock your head to one side.  And then you cute-onize them.  You get them to focus and you and drop everything they are doing.  It’s like you have them under your spell….

I am a MASTER at cute-onizing.  Like yesterday.  What a day for my poor human.  We had pouring  rain – after all of our snow the past 2 weeks – and it turned our driveway into a luge course.   On top of that – our roof was still covered with snow – and now it was HEAVY snow.  No – thankfully our roof did not collapse – BUT we had a water dripping around one of the ceiling lights.  Oh-uh.  It seems likely that there is a leak around one of the vents on the roof. And water was getting in with the pouring rain and frozen snow.  So WHAT to do? Well – the snow piles were so high around the house – that my human could stand on them – and using a rake get SOME of the snow off the roof.  The  rake worked for part of the roof– but wasn’t long enough – so – and keep this in mind if you ever need to get snow off your roof – a kayak paddle works wonders.  Tedious, SLOW wonders – but she did manage to get more of the snow off the roof.  Not all of the snow by any means – but snow where the dripping was happening.  And after she cleared the snow,  the dripping stopped.  Getting the snow off the roof was not the solution totally – but it worked for now.

When she came in after several hours of neck stretching, arm pushing, back breaking work she collapsed on the couch in the DFZ.  Frodo and I of course needed to push the gate open to check on her.  I mean if she was injured, or worse yet, dead – who was going to feed us our supper?  Just kidding – I’m not THAT bad!  But we DID want to see what she was doing.

As she was sitting there, I calmly went over to cute-onize her.  I wasn’t pushy.  I didn’t jump up.  I didn’t whine or bark.  I just cute-onized her.  So she forgot all her aches and pains and started petting me – and even gave me a big hug.  The cute-onizing worked – AND now you see – the benefits of cute-onizing can be NOT only for the canine – but the human as well…
Give it a try… and have a great day!

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

Find the bunny. Or not.

Oh my. Paxton is the subject of the blog again today.  But this time, it’s about his “attention” skills.   That’s what we’ll call it.  We WON’T say anything about his problem solving skills….or intelligence.  We’ll call it “attention skills.”  And lack thereof…

So we had a game of “find the bunny” last night.  We are all a little shack wacky with the snow – so my human figured it was a good way for us to work our brains a bit.  So of course, I went first while Frodo and Paxton watched from the other room – through the French door.

So here’s the game.  You sit and stay while our human hides the stuffed bunny in another room.  You get to SEE what room she is going in – but you don’t see where the bunny is placed.  In the past, I have been known to cheat and simply follow my human to wherever she is placing the bunny – I figure it saves time.  But as we know “it’s not in the rules” – and all dogs must STAY in the starting place. 

But last night, I behaved PERFECTLY and WAITED patiently for the command to “find the bunny.”  My human goes down the hall and hides the bunny in the bedroom.  I am given the command and off I race – while Frodo is barking madly in the other room.  I find the bunny and admittedly DO take a WIDE berth around my human when bringing him back, but I do give him up.  For a treat.  The same drill is done again.  Bunny hidden in room down the hall.  I find him.  Treats.  After three times in that room, my human goes downstairs and hides the bunny somewhere down there.  Each time, I wait until my human comes back upstairs and when given the command, off I go to find the ragged looking stuffed imitation mammal.  I get three more turns, and now it’s Frodo’s turn.

Frodo has been a BIT of a bunny cheater lately when it comes to waiting – but when my human made him go back to the start line and WAIT even longer…well…he was good after that.  Bunny down the hall.  Found and retrieved.  Same for the bunny downstairs. Numerous repetitions.

Now keep in mind –  dogs not playing get to WATCH everything. 

Now it’s Paxton’s turn.  My human hides the bunny in the room down the hall. He waits VERY patiently.  He actually wins for the waiting part.  He is THE best.  He finds the bunny returns it.  Three times.  Now my human goes downstairs.  He SEES her go down.  He waits for her.  She says “find the bunny.”  He RACES down the hall to the bedroom – where the bunny was the first THREE times.  He FRANTICALLY searches the bedroom.  My human calls him and directs him downstairs.  Off he races and finds and returns the bunny.  OK. Let’s try this again.  This time my human figures he will realize that the bunny is downstairs.  Remember he is WATCHING where she goes.  She comes back up and gives him the command.  And he RACES.  Down the hall to the bedroom.  Frodo and I just look at each other.  We are ready to break through the door to SHOW him where to go.  So AGAIN my human directs him downstairs and he brings back Mr. Rabbit.    So THIS time, my human makes a GRAND show of the fact that she is going DOWNSTAIRS.  She waves at him, walks VERY loudly down the stairs and then walks up the stairs loudly.  He watches her.  And hears her.  And she says “find the bunny.”  And you guessed it.  Down the hall he goes.  Past the stairs and into the bedroom..  Frodo and I nearly went out of our MINDS.

After she AGAIN called him and showed him where to go, our game of Find the Bunny was over for the night. 

I’m not sure HOW to train the Big Guy about the bunny thing.  He certainly knows how to find things on counters!  He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if I met a bear in the woods – I sure would want him next to me! And if I needed someone to pull me in a cart, or out of quicksand – he would be my guy.  I love my Bucket Head.  But I hate to admit,  I don’t want him on my chess team.  Just sayin’.

©  2015 Linda Wozniak

Busted again

Good thing the competition for favorite grand-dog is over –because Paxton would have REALLY knocked himself out.  Last night when my human got home from work, we were in our usual frenzy state when she got home.  She let us out of the house where we performed our barksplosion.  Then we RACED back in to be fed. But THEN, our human TRICKED us.  She went outside and opened the car door and we ALL raced in.  Yay!  We thought “we are going somewhere!”  Little did we know she had to drop something off at a neighbor’s place – .8 minutes from our house.  We drove there and waited in the car – and then went HOME.  Mind you, we WERE hungry for supper.   So out we came.

While we were dining, our human went to change and put on her comfy, dog fuzz/drool-friendly clothes.  When she came back in the room, Frodo and I were looking “funny.”  She looked at Paxton – and there he was on the dog bed.  Remember – he had some “intestinal” issues last week – so although he is now FINE and is back on his regular diet, my human has been giving him a scoop or two of pumpkin in his meals.   Well there was Paxton, on the dog bed, with a whole BIG open can of pumpkin.  Frodo and I were just in awe – how did he even carry the bloody thing?  My human had forgotten to put it away – and he stole it from the counter.  He sheepishly turned it over to my human.   Busted.

Today is Saturday – and we are looking forward to a fun-filled day with our human.  She thinks she is going to do housework – and run errands.  I think we can convince her otherwise.

Have a good one!

©  2015  Linda Wozniak

Westminster. Postscript.

My deliberate Donald impersonation

 So Miss P, the Westminster pageant winner had QUITE the day after the show.  She had steak at some fancy restaurant, she went on lots of TV shows, she went to the top of the Empire State building and get this – she had a walk-on part in a Broadway musical.  Kinky Boots was the name of the show.  Sounds like what my human’s footware looks like after Paxton gets ahold of it.  And she had a meeting with Donald Trump.   Seems to me Donald should have met with the other dogs in the Best in Show line-up  – and said “you’re fired.”  All of Miss P’s adventures sounded pretty good.  Although if I had won, I’m thinking I would have changed things a bit….
I would CERTAINLY eat the steak, but I’m really more of a fish lover.  The TV part would be fine – I was actually on a TV show once with my human when the news was interviewing her and several others about an upcoming dog show.  My human took me – and when she was in the car on the way to the studio, she wondered if she was taking the right dog.  I mean let’s face it – Frodo IS more obedient.  But once those cameras started rolling, I was an ANGEL.  Actually I had a terrible case of stage fright so I looked super obedient but I was afraid to move.  But I’m SURE I would be fine now.

Going up all those floors in an elevator to the top of the Empire State building would NOT be my first choice.  Going up the 5 floors to my human’s office is QUITE enough for me.  So we could skip the site seeing thing.  Although, I think I would like Central Park.  That’s what I would request.  As for the Broadway show, I think I would enjoy Lion Kingbetter. More animals in that one.   And as for meeting with the Donald – does he even LIKE dogs?  Well, sometimes my hair looks like his – after I have been rolling around on my bed – so I guess we do have something in common.   

I guess I don’t have to worry about all this stuff for now.  The show is over for this year.  No point in worrying what I would do with all the prize winnings.   For now.  I don’t know that I would ever WIN the beauty pageant – but don’t they have a congeniality prize?  Now THAT would be for ME!!!  Who do I talk to about starting one?  Maybe Donald….

©  2015  Linda Wozniak

Fifteen shades of grey


OK. So we PONs could be called chameleons.  Seriously.  When you see us as puppies, we are one color.  But don’t assume that we will be that color in the future.  We change coat color more than Lady Gaga changes hair color.  But we do it naturally.

When Frodo was a baby, he was mostly grey in color.  And then, he turned mostly cream color, with grey highlights.  And NOW he has gone almost BACK to his original color – with lots more grey.

And me?  As a little pup,  I was an adorable dark charcoal color, with creamy legs.  THEN I turned a light grey color – still with those creamy legs.  I’m STILL a light/medium grey with those creamy legs – but I THINK I’m starting to get darker again.  Which is good.  I’ll be harder to find in the dark.  My human is jealous.   Her hair is definitely NOT getting darker.  Unless it is with chemical assistance.

There ARE other breeds of dogs who change coat colors.  Like Dalmations.  Did you know they are born WHITE?!   And their spots come out around three weeks.  Cool.

Sometimes people see me and think I’m Frodo and vice versa.  These are the non-observant humans.  Besides the difference in color, Frodo has a medium tail and I have a nubby little tail.  I was born with this little tail.  Frodo says that’s not the only thing I’m missing.  Very funny.

Anyway, after watching the PONs at Westminster, one does tend to look closely at oneself in the mirror.  Oh and by the way – the Beagle who won the Grand Prize – yeah, he’s from Canada.  Apparently he was a surprise winner.  I don’t know why it was a surprise – I mean aren’t these things judged fairly?  Isn’t it ANYBODY’S game?  I’m not a huge fan of Beagles.  I mean they’re nice to look at – but they howl.  Or that’s what I’ve heard.  But kudos to Miss P.  And if a PON didn’t win it, I guess a Canadian dog is a good second best.

Oh and by the way – I bet my title caught your attention – but I bet the subject is not exactly what you thought!

Have a good one!

©  2015 Linda Wozniak