Hug Holiday Day

June 29.  Today is Hug Holiday Day.  Now what I am about to say, may surprise some people – but the truth is….we dogs don’t REALLY love to be hugged. Really.  Yes – some dogs DO allow humans to hug them – and it is likely they were conditioned from the time they were VERY little puppies to be hugged and squeezed.  But MANY dogs see hugging as a sign of dominance – and they may find it uncomfortable. Some dogs are able to “sense” the positive feelings that the human feels when hugging – so the dogs like that.  But truth be known, many of us would prefer a good belly rub or a scratch behind our ears – rather than a hug.  That’s why it’s important to warn kids not to run up and hug strange dogs.  It could have bad results.

When it comes to affection in our house, Paxton is fine with hugging.  You could drape three kids over him and he would be in his glory.  Frodo is probably the most independent of us.  He likes a belly rub and some good ear scratches – but only for a few minutes.  And he WILL let you hug him.  For 23.6 seconds.  That’s enough for him.  And me?  I do like to cuddle and LOVE belly rubs.  And I’ll sneak up and snuggle with my human – when she’s asleep.  And I DO enjoy a hug – but probably not as much as Pax.  Keep in mind, that to hug- you need to stand still.  And that’s the tough part for me.  I’d rather retrieve.

Now I’m not saying to NEVER hug your dog.  Just do it when we’re relaxed and comfortable.  And if we ARE the huggable type – by all means – go ahead and hug away.  I think most of us would be happy for a hug today – since it IS the holiday.  And if your dog doesn’t want to be hugged – go find a human.  But preferably one you know.  It’s not a great idea to go up and randomly hug strangers.  Without asking.  I think I read that somewhere.

Have a good one!  And big hugs to all of you!!!!

©  Linda Wozniak

The art of "picnore"

Good heavens.  She’s at it again.  The human “joy” of taking photos of us dogs in ridiculous attire.  It started with the dreaded Halloween headbands with the pumpkins.  Then there were the dreaded Christmas antlers. And then the New Years stars.   And of course we had the headbands with the Valentine hearts too.  Once we had to wear the Easter rabbit ears, I thought we were in the clear for this year.  But no.  I forgot Canada Day.  And of course, I saw my human with a big bag from the Dollar Store the other day.  Sure enough.  A “wonderful” surprise for us canines. The obligatory photo shoot was yesterday.  4,760 shots taken.  The reason for the unusually HUGE number?  I refused to look at the camera.  TOTAL picnore.  For those who don’t recall that term – it’s a Viktionary term by yours truly – and it refers to that unique canine behavior of ignoring our humans when they try to take our photo.  As you may recall, Pax and I are PROS at it.  Frodo, the “model” dog always behaves for photos.  And as expected, Frodo behaved wonderfully and stared at the camera.  Pax and I looked at trees, birds, dust particles flying in the air…We counted blades of grass and looked for shapes in the clouds passing overhead. 

I have to hand it to my human – she’s as stubborn as I am!  So she DID get one or two good shots. You’ll see the best results of the 4000+ photos on Wednesday. 

PLEASE tell me there are no more “holidays” until the fall….

©  Linda Wozniak

Sunglasses Day

June 27.  Sunglasses day.  As you might imagine, it was a bit of a circus getting this photo.  Note that my feet are green.  That’s because I did a half hour of retrieving before the photo. My human figured I would then be calm enough to take the photo.  That plan didn’t work.  This was one of 1328 photos – none of which she was totally happy with.  Probably because in 1326 of the photos, I refused to look at the camera.  
These glasses are obviously human glasses.  But you know, you CAN get dog sunglasses.  Seriously.  They look like goggles.  I want a pair.  I’ll put them on the Christmas list.  I also found these mesh dog glasses that are also supposed to protect your eyes.  They look a bit like those sleep masks that humans wear.  You wouldn’t catch me wearing those.

But this whole sunglass topic got me looking into whether we long-haired dogs even NEED eye protection. I always thought that our hair protected us from dust, dirt and sun.  And that’s what I’ve read in books about PONs.  Imagine my surprise when I found that there is a HUGE amount of controversy about the topic – when it comes to Old English Sheepdogs.  Some claim that having hair over the eyes is detrimental to the OES – and can cause eye damage.  A number of sources say that Sheepdogs should wear their hair in a topknot, unless they are in a dog show. Those sources claim that dogs with hair over their eyes can’t see as well – their vision is occluded by the hair.

Now being the non-confrontational, somewhat democratic PON that I am (remember, I am still thinking about running for politics), I don’t want to stir the pot on this subject.  HOWEVER…I DO wonder how anyone REALLY knows the answer to the question about whether we dogs can see as well with hair covering our eyes. Has anyone done a scientific experiment looking at this?  If not, who do I see about having it done?  I mean I WILL wear my hair up – and I have some great bars to hold up my hair, but I also like the “au naturel” look too.  So who do I see about having this research funded?  When you look at some of the stuff that gets funded – well this is CLEARLY an important issue.  Or maybe the research has been done – but I just couldn’t find it.

Anyway, in the meantime, I will still be a half and half dog.  Half the time my hair is up – and half the time I have the shaggy look.  And I WILL keep those goggles on my Christmas list!

Hope your day is sunny – so you get to wear those sunglasses!

©  Linda Wozniak

Take your dog to work. Not.

June 26.  OK.  I must confess.  I am annoyed with my human.  Do you know what day it is?  It is “Take your Dog to Work Day”.  And she won’t take me. Or any of us for that matter.

Yes.  She HAS taken me to work in the past.  Usually when she has a day off and she has to run in the office for something.  The last time she did, I acted all shy when I was meeting people.  I didn’t LOVE the elevator, but I did go on it – and I was QUITE happy to get off.  I was quiet as a mouse in her office.  Unlike Frodo – who went in once and barked whenever anyone came to the office door.  That was HIS last visit.  And Paxton got to go once too – after one of his surgeries – and he was wearing the cone of shame.  My human didn’t trust him at home the first day after surgery – so she took him to the office with her.  He was a pretty imposing creature – 100+lbs of dog wearing a lampshade.  AND he gets incredibly excited when he sees people.  Picture THAT.  That was also HIS only visit.

Right now my human is very, very busy at work.  And the idea of taking any of us in to work is just too much to imagine.  She says that we could not double as therapy dogs – anyone who spends any time with us then NEEDS therapy.   She’s lucky today is Friday – she can make it up to us on the weekend.

Have fun all you dogs who go to work today.  I am so jealous…

©  Linda Wozniak

June 25

June 25.  You know what day this is?!  6 months until Christmas!!   Yipppppeeeeeee.  I have to start my list.  It will be here before you know it!  How many of you groaned when you read that?  We haven’t REALLY even started summer yet!  Someone pointed out that the temperature last December 25 was warmer than we had two days ago.  The weather is crazy.  Is it my imagination, or is there something about bad weather on the news EVERY night?  We had very bad rain the other night – so much that the next morning, Frodo was again in NO hurry to go out.  Even though it wasn’t even raining – puddle jumping was necessary.

So.  For that Christmas list….  GoPro camera.  GoPro camera.  GoPro camera.  I think if I keep saying it – it will happen.  And I want my human to get that Dog TV channel.   Really.  That or Animal Planet.  I keep trying to get my human to upgrade from Basic Cable.  We need more options to watch when she goes to work.  I will continue to add things to my list.  Although time is running out.  I only have 6 months left…..

Happy holidays!

©  Linda Wozniak


June 25.  Celebration of the Senses Day.  We dogs have great senses.  We can smell things better than humans, and hear more frequencies than humans. We don’t see quite as well.  But still well enough to spot those pesky squirrels! 

But besides the “regular” senses – we dogs also have some amazing “other” senses.   For example, we dogs know when our humans are sad, when you are angry and we know when you are scared.  We can also sense your “intentions” – like when you are planning to give us a bath. We even know when you are taking us to the Vet.  Seriously. 

We can sense all kinds of medical conditions – from predicting seizures, to identifying cancers – and we can even sense when a woman is pregnant.  

We know not to steal things when you are watching, and can sense when your back is turned.  Mind you, I will steal food right in front of you.  Why wait until you turn your back? 

We also know if you are being unfair!  Really.  I know if Frodo or Paxton got a reward, and I didn’t.  But researchers claim that we don’t pay attention to WHAT the reward is – so you could give them cheese and I could get a biscuit – and that would be fine.  Just don’t forget to reward one of us.  We dogs have a strong sense of fairness.  Mind you, personally I think it’s fine to give ME more treats because I’m the baby in the family.  I deserve more…

We dogs can also sense people who don’t like us – and we know who YOU don’t like. And we’ll let you know it.

So today we celebrate the sensitive creatures we dogs are!  We really ARE amazing – and aren’t you lucky we keep you?!

©  Linda Wozniak

More Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for different muscles.  That’s what we did yesterday.  Remember how I talked the other day about how we do adjustments to our human’s spine each morning when we bolt out the door for our walk?  We help her stretch her muscles EVERY morning – in her efforts to resist our pulling.  And in an effort to stay upright.  Well yesterday we decided to have her work on some different muscles.  The kind you use when dogs are walking 10 feet behind you instead of 10 feet in front of you.  Yes.  A morning of Polish Water Torture.  My human KNEW it was going to be great fun when Frodo didn’t get up – even when she put a leash on him.  He’s not stupid – he HEARD the rain.  He wasn’t going anywhere.  And because I have learned to do what HE does – well you can picture the somber procession up the long driveway and down the road.  It wasn’t REALLY raining ALL that hard – but you would think we were walking through fire. My human trudged forward – pulling probably close to 90 lbs of wet dogs behind her.  And to top it off, Frodo did the ultimate “refuse-a-poop”.    He was NOT happy out there – and to demonstrate his displeasure, he REFUSED to poop.  I went quickly as I figured we could go back.  But NO – I was stuck with “Mr. I-will-hold-it”.

After what seemed like 4 days, Frodo FINALLY made a deposit and we went home.  He remained rather cranky the rest of the morning.  But he got over it.  And the good news – my human had a different work out.  We really WERE just thinking of her…

Thank GOODNESS we have sun in the forecast for the rest of the week!  Have a good one!

©  Linda Wozniak

Fathers and suns

June 21.  The longest day of the year.  The Summer solstice. And it’s Father’s Day.  Lots to celebrate!

Since it’s the longest day, there is more time to play, more time for walks and more time for eating.  I understand that in Sweden, it is a tradition to eat your way through the day – with lots of feasts.  My kind of place!!

We’ll be sure to get our human up as soon as the sun begins to rise and we will keep her up until sunset.  Might as well enjoy every moment of sunlight.  It sure beats December 21 – when we have lots of hours of darkness.

I didn’t send a card to my canine father – but I’ll pass on my licks and hugs in this blog.  He no doubt reads this.

My human’s father is at the Rainbow Bridge – with a bunch of canine pals – Mickey, the Irish Setter, Midas, the Golden Retriever,  Barney, the wild dog, Schubert, Guinness and Harper, the Bernese, and Beamish the Lab.  No doubt, Guinness is chewing his arm, and he is smiling as he watches our antics.  He would have loved us – he liked all dogs – and he would have especially loved us Polish boys – given that he was Polish himself!  I bet he would have even shared some kielbasa with us. He was a VERY artistic man – he could draw, and paint and carve things. He carved many things – beautiful ducks and birds – and LOTS of special Santas for my human and her sister.  Here was one he carved the year Guinness was born.  The other is a dog that he just made one day – and it bears some resemblance to a PON – although neither Frodo or I were even alive yet!  We know he was a great man – who is sadly missed but lovingly remembered…

 So today we celebrate Fathers and suns!  I wish all Fathers – either here or no longer with us – a very special greeting, and I hope everyone is able to get out today and enjoy the daylight hours!  Happy official beginning to summer!!!!

© Linda Wozniak

New breeds.

I was reading in the paper that the AKC has just recognized three new breeds.  I don’t get that word “recognized”.  Could the AKC not see them before?  Did the AKC have amnesia before? 

Anyway, the Berger Picard comes from France.  So it’s in the Herding Group.  More competition for us PONS.  They were actually in three movies: Because of Winn Dixie, Daniel and the Superdogs and Are We Done Yet?  They have pointy ears and look kind of scruffy.  They are supposed to be smart – but then most herding breeds are.  Of course, I am biased.  They supposedly don’t require a lot of grooming.  I think I want one.

The Miniature American Shepherd is another herding dog.  MORE competition.  To me, they look like little Australian Shepherds.   But I will no doubt get in trouble for saying that – no humans want anyone to mistake THEIR breed for another.  When my human first got Bernese Mountain Dogs, and they were not yet popular, people thought her dogs were Saint Bernards.  Seriously. My human would just roll her eyes and explain that they were very different.  So maybe the people who own these Miniature American Shepherds will roll THEIR eyes if people think they are little Australians.  Kind of like Miniature Pinschers and Dobermans.  They are NOT the same.  And then you have the confusing Poodles.  They have big ones – standard, smaller ones- miniature and the micro-mini ones – the toys.  It is all so confusing.  But it IS interesting that the home of Australian Shepherds is America. Clever name.  You humans.  You do such strange things.

The last breed is the Lagotto Romagnolo – from Italy. This breed is a sporting breed.  They look KIND of like Portuguese Water Dogs. (I’m sure I’ll get in trouble for THAT comparison too.  But remember – I’m just a dog – what do I know?)  And their sport? They hunt truffles.  Not foxes.  Truffles.  Seems like a pretty easy prey.  Although apparently truffles are not ALL that easy to find.  They are basically mushrooms.  That grow underground.  And they are a bit of a delicacy. They usually cost anywhere from $95-$165 an OUNCE.  In 2014, what was supposed to be the worlds’s largest white truffle at 4.16 lbs sold to someone in China for over $61,000!  Seriously?  I think I have found a new job!!! IMAGINE all the treats I could buy with THAT money.

So welcome to the new breeds. And now excuse me while I go mushroom hunting.  I was sure I saw some in the back yard…

© Linda Wozniak


June 19. Today is World Sauntering Day.  Suantering is walking in a slow, unhurried manner.  That is NOT a word that would be used to describe me.  I do NOT saunter.  EVER.  The best word to describe MY walking would be frenetic.  I am FAST.  Energetic.  I am the opposite of a saunterer.  And the COMPLETE opposite of Frodo.  Frodo is the KING of Sauntering.  He has this easy, lovely way of walking – our neighbor described him as “gliding”.  He ambles and strolls along.  Me?  The Hurricane Kid.  Sniff here.  Race there.  Chase birds.  Retrieve 1000 times and never stop.  Frodo?  He glides along peacefully.  When he retrieves, he runs out to get the toy and casually lops along as he comes back. 

Paxton is neither frenetic nor saunterer.  He is somewhere in between.  Kind of like freight train meets molasses.  With legs flying every which way.  I love the big guy, but graceful is NOT his middle name.

So today is Frodo’s Day.  King Saunter.  

I hope you all have time to try some sauntering of your own today!  Have a good one!

©  Linda Wozniak