May 31.  Today is Save your Hearing Day.   Which in our household, with Frodo, means that you should be wearing ear protection 24 hours a day.  OK. Maybe that’s an exaggeration.  He doesn’t bark when he sleeps.  Make that 16 hours a day for ear protection.

According to the Guinness Book of World records, the loudest dog bark recorded was 113 decibels.  To give you an idea how LOUD that is, the noise from an accelerating motorcycle is 110 dB and a chainsaw from about 3 feet away is 117 dB.  I think we need to record Frodo.  I bet he beats the record.

And you know, we each DO have our own barks.  And our human can definitely identify who is barking.  Of course it would be evident that Pax’s bark would be different and Frodo and I are also different.   My bark is “younger sounding” – and I say it’s because I AM younger.  But I CAN do a BIG dog bark if I see something ominous.  Like a rabbit.  THEN I sound mature.  And huge.

As for OUR hearing – we dogs can hear more octaves than humans. We move our ears toward the source of a sound – and we have 18 muscles that move our ears.  We can hear things that humans cannot hear.  My human has always wondered about dog whistles.   I mean humans blow them and can’t hear the sound.  But we are supposed to hear it.  The challenge – if we don’t respond, is it because we are just ignoring – or because the whistle doesn’t work….

Just like humans, our hearing range can deteriorate as we get older. And did you know, that dogs can even get hearing aids?  Apparently small dogs do better with them – but there are no guarantees.  And they are pricey.  Like thousands of dollars – just like good human hearing aids.  It’s not something that would ever likely happen in this house.  The dogs who get aids must be seriously trained and very compliant.  Need I say more?  We’ll rely on hand signals if our hearing starts to fail.  Or not.

We also know that in our house, we dogs have excellent “selective” hearing.  We can hear the fridge door being opened from anywhere in the house.  And if I even THINK I hear my human approaching the garage door – where the dog food is stored, I’m there.  On the OTHER hand, when I see something outdoors, and I am loose, I CANNOT hear my human calling my name.  I also cannot hear my human sometimes when she asks me to do something.  Like get off her bed.  Or give up the bunny.  I CAN hear her better if she has a treat in her hand.  Funny how hearing can be affected by treats.

Hearing is an important sense – and humans AND dogs should protect their hearing in noisy environments.  I checked on-line- and who KNEW you can even buy dog ear protection muffs?!  I must put those on my Christmas list.

Well – I must go – I think I just heard the treat jar opening!  Have a good one!

©  Linda Wozniak

Training novice humans

Find the bunny.  The game you play in the middle of winter when you can’t go outdoors because the snow is too deep. Or the game you play when it is raining.  OR the game that you play when the black flies are SO bad outside that they could carry away the bunny.

My human has been working crazy hours the past few weeks, but her friend is staying with us – and he takes GREAT care of us during the day.  He was even taking us for lovely afternoon strolls.  Until the black flies decided HE was THE best thing they had ever eaten.  If you Google black fly bites and “images” and look for THE worst picture you can find, that would be close to what his legs look like. And his arms.  I’m sure there is some kind of Guinness Record he could win for bug bites.  When my human takes us for our morning walk at 5 AM there are no bugs.  Apparently they like to sleep in.  But by mid day, they are out in full force.  They’ll be gone in a week or two – but for now, we are back to playing “find the bunny” indoors with her friend.

And we are training him well.  VERY well.  We know I am a “find the bunny” expert but that I DO NOT exactly spit the bunny out when I bring him back.  But my human tells me to “give it up”, and I do.  Not so much for my human’s friend.  It’s an ever-changing challenge to get the bunny back.  He has had to resort to the threat of the squirt gun to get me to release the bunny.  That and a treat.

And Frodo? The ever-obedient Frodo?  The guy who obediently drops the bunny at my human’s feet?  He has her friend’s number too.  Frodo won’t let go either.  Again, the threat of the squirt gun and the bribe with a treat is used and the bunny is released.

As for Pax?  Remember we always let him go last in the game because he slobbers the bunny.  Pax continues to hold the title as the “find the bunny” superstar.  He finds it. He brings it back.  He drops it.  The dog who had 6 hours of obedience training versus the 600 hours that Frodo and I had.  He’s amazing.

We have also convinced my human’s friend that it’s OK to beg at the table AND to get on the furniture.  He helped us empty the treat jar in a week.  Did I mention we love this guy?!  We continue to train him well.  My human just gives us the “look” when she hears about our exploits each day.  We’re thinking about writing a manual on how to train novice humans.  It would no doubt be a best seller.

 I always say – never a dull moment in our house. 

©  Linda Wozniak

Digestive Health…

May 28.  World Digestive Health Day.  Which is timely – because my human was thinking the other day about how different we dogs are in our eating and elimination habits.

When it comes to food going “in” – Frodo and I are a bit like vacuum cleaners. Give us a small treat and we inhale it.  And our meals are just about gone before you can say ‘Time to eat.”  Paxton on the other hand chews his food like crazy.  When he is eating, half of his food ends up on the floor first.  Then he chews it.  And give him a SINGLE treat and he chews it for several minutes.  I guess he savors the flavor.  Frodo and I just swallow.  Now there ARE some things that Frodo and I chew – like apples and carrots.  But most small treats – whoosh they are gone.  My human always laughs when she sees “special treats” that cost like $100 each at a dog bakery.  That would hardly be worth the investment.  I mean really.  We wouldn’t even taste them.

And as for the “food going out” – well I’ve talked about this somewhat before.  I like to walk along the side of the road.  I trot along and then I stop suddenly and poop.  That’s it.  Frodo likes to go in the MIDDLE of the road, the trail, the driveway.  Like he is proud of his production.  Pax?  He goes as far as he can OFF the road.  In the ditch.  In the woods.  He’s shy.   But he also is a bit miraculous.  You TELL him to go.  And he does.  We call him the “Super Pooper.”  Frodo and I are more “freestyle.”  We don’t go under pressure.

So that’s a brief summary of OUR digestive health.  We love to eat.  We’re good at it.  And we poop.  Every day.  I hope you eat well today.  And also….have a happy day!

©  Linda Wozniak

Welcome. Except slugs.

May 28.  The holiday today?  The “Slugs Return to Capistrano Day”.  It’s not real.  It’s a parody on the day that the SWALLOWS return to Capistrano.  Capistrano isn’t anywhere near here. It’s in California.  The return of the swallows used to be an annual event in the spring.  Rumor has it the swallows don’t come back any more.  But humans always love an opportunity to celebrate – so the celebration still happens each spring.

Now the slugs.  Those guys don’t migrate, so the whole “holiday” is a joke.  BUT – I can report – that the slugs HAVE returned to our house.  And they are gross.   Again, God must have been having a bad day when he made those things.  They are slimy worm-like creatures – and they like to eat plants.  Like my human’s hostas.  My human LOVES hostas – she has probably 30 varieties. She loves them because you plant them and they come back year after year.  They can even survive some dog pee.  And they take up space.  And you don’t have to do anything special with them. Except watch for the slugs.  Slugs like to eat some hostas.  And my human wouldn’t EVER use slug poison – as it is VERY toxic to animals.

Every morning, we have to watch where we walk on the driveway – the slugs are out in full force.  And they won’t HURT us – but they CAN get caught in our hair. Which is oh-so-gross.  The only good thing – we have little slugs – like the size of your little finger.  BUT apparently IN the city of Halifax, they have GIANT slugs.   Like the size of baseballs.  Well maybe not THAT big – but pretty darn huge.  We’re just hoping they don’t migrate outside the city where we live.

So make like a slug and move slowly today.  Admire the foliage.  And watch out for birds.  Have a good one!

©  Linda Wozniak


May 27.  Today is a horrible “holiday.”  It’s Cellophane Tape Day.

Nothing puts fear in the hearts of dogs in this house more than tape.  Seriously.  Show us the lint roller, and all three of us run for cover.  And before people start to jump to conclusions – NO – my human has never used it on us.  But she did show it to us when she was using it one day – and since then – after one sniff of the sticky substance, we are ALL afraid of the lint roller.  The same is true for packing tape, and plain old cellophane tape for wrapping gifts.  We don’t like sticky stuff!

If my human were smart, she would line the edges of the dining room table and the counters with packing tape.  It would be a perfect deterrent to keep us from stealing things.  Mind you, I’m not sure what kind of decorating statement it would make… But seriously –  I had better not give her any ideas.

Happy Tape Day.  Not.
© Linda Wozniak


OK.  I wrote about it on April 16.  But it is official.  Frodo’s certificate for Top Rally PON for 2014 arrived.  My human feels a tad guilty because he is so easy to train.  Tell him what to do and he does it.   With me – well – I call my training style “flexible.”  Sometimes I do something brilliantly and sometimes I look at you like you are speaking another language.  I really DO understand what my human wants– but it’s called “intermittent reinforcement” – make my human work for good behavior.

Of course, my human made Frodo take an obligatory photo.  Which again is no challenge because you place him somewhere and he poses.  He is such a ham.

You KNOW that now my human wants to get us BOTH back in the rally ring.  I do have my Rally Novice title, by the way.   But Advanced will be more interesting – it’s all off leash.  I’m trying to convince my human to try an outdoor trial.  She just smirked when I suggested it.  The idea really IS kind of amusing.  Me?  Outdoors?  Off leash?  Lots of dogs around?  Grass?  Leaves blowing around?  Birds?  The possible smell of other critters?  I think it would be a blast. My human isn’t so sure.  She apparently has no sense of humor.

Anyway – congrats to my big bro.  I have big pawprints to fill!

Oh – and my human got a recognition in the mail as well – 20 years of Membership in the Canadian Kennel Club.  She said she started when she was 12.  But I know she’s telling a fib.  Just the same – she got a nice pin to recognize her membership.

So two doggy awards in our household this week.  Paxton and I are trying to figure out what our awards will be for…we’re still not sure.  But we’ll think of something!  Do they send awards for most biscuits eaten?  Or most items stolen?  If yes – our awards should be in the mail this week!

©  Linda Wozniak

Black Flies

They are back.  We were hoping they wouldn’t show up.  But they have.  The dreaded Black Flies.  I know that God created all creatures – and probably for some good reason.  But honestly, I think God was having a bad day when he made Black Flies. They are tiny creatures.  About the size of a pencil tip.  They have wings.  And teeth. Seriously.  They must have teeth.  Unlike mosquitoes, who sting you, Black Flies take hunks of flesh.  Like little flying piranhas.

They like to bite us dogs around our eyes and nose.  And the bites make us itch.  They do the same to humans- and they will bite humans ANYWHERE.

Yesterday they appeared – and were obviously REALLY hungry after a long winter.  My human and her friend were doing a futile human task – scraping the deck to prepare it for staining.  I say futile, because they will end up doing the same thing next year.  The job would have been done MUCH more quickly if my human had let Frodo help – he LOVES to dig at things.  But no – we got to watch the painstaking process from indoors.  My human didn’t want to subject us to the flies – that was nice of her.

The Black Flies stay around for a few weeks and then the mosquitoes come out.  Hey.  Maybe winter wasn’t so bad after all!  JUST JOKING!!!!!! I think I’ll take some pests over a luge run any day.

©  Linda Wozniak


Excitement here in the household the other night.  It looked like we had a ghost.  For real.  But he or she seems to be gone.  For now.  The good thing – he or she likes dogs!

Several nights ago, my human was sleeping – it was around midnight and she heard a noise in the kitchen.  She went to see what it was – and found that the metal lid from the glass dog treat jar had fallen off onto the counter.  And no – it was NOT one of us who did it.  We were asleep in the bedroom.  And we didn’t even pay any attention when it happened. 

Hmmmmm.  My human thought.  Maybe the lid wasn’t on tight enough – and it just fell off.

Two nights later at 4 AM, the same thing happened.  The lid came off the jar.  It was put back on and we all went back to bed.  For about 10 minutes when it happened AGAIN.   SPOOOOOOOOOOOOKY.

Now we don’t live in a house that is very old. And my human has been here for almost 10 years.  And she is just the second owner of the home.  And no – nobody died here.  So WHO the heck is this ghost?  And WHY come around NOW?  Honestly – I don’t care.  Whoever it is, opens the treat jar– so I’m good with that!!!  Obviously the ghost likes dogs!!!! Hey.  Maybe it’s a ghost dog!!!!!

My human, on the other hand, has been searching for some other explanation.  The ONLY thing she wondered was whether there could have been some “connection” between the laptop and the garage door opener – which were sitting right next to the jar.  As well, the cordless phone was also on the counter.  Despite numerous Google searches, she never found anyone having a similar problem – but that’s what she is blaming it on. Some weirdo electromagnetic radiation shortwave wifi thingy.  Obviously my human is NOT a physicist or electrical engineer.  But she’s also not crazy about the idea of a ghost. 

The last few nights, she left nothing next to the jar.  And nothing happened.  So the ghost is gone.  We think….

I’m just happy that someone ELSE is getting blamed for mischief for a change!!!  Spooooooooooky……….

© Linda Wozniak

Doodle Dilemma

My human had a dog dilemma the other day and for a change, it didn’t involve us…

A few weeks ago, her very best friend lost her Australian Shepherd  – he went to the Rainbow Bridge after almost 13 years.  She was very sad.  Very sad.  And my human was sad for her.

Yesterday, her friend contacted her about getting a new puppy.  A Doodle.  And my human didn’t know what to say.  First off, you need to understand that my human LOVES dogs.  All dogs.  Although I suppose there ARE moments when she doesn’t love me.  Like when I take off after rabbits.  But that’s different.   But as I said, she loves ALL dogs – mixed breeds, purebreds – in fact her very first dog as an adult was a mixed breed rescue from a shelter.  She loved old Barney for 17 ½ years.  She was VERY sad when he went to the Bridge.

Anyway – this was a Doodle Dilemma.  How do you tell someone that paying a huge price for a mixed breed dog might not be the best idea?   A dog whose parents likely have no health clearances …. There are PLENTY of mixed breed dogs who are in shelters – who would make WONDERFUL pets.  And they don’t cost an arm and a leg!

If you are going to pay money, why not get a purebred?  Yes – we know that LOTS of purebreds also have issues.  And yes, there are many poor purebred breeders. 

But think of purebred dogs and  breeders like this.   The world is full of restaurants.  Some good.  Some not so good. You have to search for a good one.  Look at restaurant reviews.  See if people were happy.  Read the menu.  And yes, I must admit, that even when you DO find a good restaurant, you CAN get a crummy meal.  But at least you made an educated choice about where to eat.  And it’s likely the good restaurant will give you your money back – or at least will give you another meal!

So what do you say about Doodles?  Let’s use another analogy.   You want to get a car.  There is a guy who makes cars out of a variety of parts in his garage.  Some old. Some new.  No car he makes is ever exactly the same.  The cars can look very nice, and they run, but they come with no warranty.  And honestly, you really don’t know WHAT you are getting.  But because he has called his cars “Special Cars” – he charges BIG prices for them.   Alternatively, you can buy your car from an established well-known car maker.   And it comes with a warranty.  Yes, you CAN get a lemon – but there is some degree of consistency in the cars from the big name manufacturers.  And the big name companies WILL stand behind their product.

Doodles have managed to get a good marketing team.  But the guy who actually started the Doodle craze in Australia, years ago – as a way to “create” a non-shedding obedient service dog, now regrets his decision to do so.   
ANY dog can be a wonderful pet.   And there is NO total guarantee with any dog or any breed.  But if you do your homework and search for a reputable breeder,  it will be worth the money you pay.  To pay the same price for a mixed breed dog just doesn’t make sense.  And it’s not fair to those other mixed breed dogs in shelters, who are longing for a good home.

Phew.  That’s my story for today.  It’s NOT that I don’t like Doodles.  But please humans – don’t pay for one!!!  You want a mixed breed -get one at a shelter.  And if you want a purebred, do your homework.  No doubt there will be many who disagree.   But what do I know?  I’m just a dog.  But then again.  I AM a PON….

©  Linda Wozniak

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day

May 20.  Today is Turn Beauty Inside Out Day.  I’m not exactly sure what that means.  So I’ll make my own definition. 

I think it means throwing away all grooming tools.  All brushes.  Combs. Nail clippers.  And other instruments of torture.  No shampoo.  No foo foo sprays to make us smell like some kind of a flower or tropical fruit.   We get to go au naturel.  No elastics or clips in our hair.  Just wild and wooly.

In all fairness, that wouldn’t be SUCH a big deal for PONs or Berners.    But think about the poor Poodles.  What would those guys even LOOK like without grooming?  Does anyone even know?  I mean you see them at a show – and well….the first time I spotted one I thought is was some kind of alien.  Seriously.  Those pom pom tails – and big balls on their legs.  That is DEFINITELY NOT au naturel.  But you know, I bet they would enjoy a day without grooming.  For them it could be called Turn Beauty Inside out, Upside Down, Sideways Backwards and Over the Top. 

And tell them Viktor thought of the name.  Viktor.  The PON.

©  Linda Wozniak