More daylight. And winter.

December 21.  It’s official.  The first day of winter.  So far, we have had VERY mild weather, but we awoke to a dusting of snow yesterday morning.  It was C-O-L-D and windy, but we still wanted our walks.  We allowed our human to sleep in until 6:30 and then insisted that she get up.  Frodo and I got the first walk.  The cold air TOTALLY invigorated me.  I was CRAZY.  I mean CRAZY.  It was all my human could do to hold onto the leash.  I was darting back and forth – running and stopping.  I LOVED the weather.  Frodo on the other hand could not WAIT to get home.  He found the snow too cold – so 2/3 of the way through our walk, he started limping.  He doesn’t like snow between his pads.  Seriously.  There wasn’t even much snow.  But he had quite enough so he wanted to go home.

Then it was Bucket Head’s turn for his walk.  Well.  If you think I liked the cold weather – Paxton was TOTALLY in his glory.  My human took a few photos of him.  But every time she would back up to take a shot, he would charge at her.  He LOVES the cold and snow.

Besides the beginning of winter – it is also an important day – because now the days will start getting longer.  I got up at 5AM to see if there was a difference, but it was still dark outside.  Hmmmmmmmm.

We are doing a splendid job of keeping our human busy now that she is on vacation.  If she even ATTEMPTS to sit down and read, it is my solemn duty to sit by her and stare at her.  I mean,  I’m just thinking about her health.  She needs exercise.  The effects of all that Halloween candy are still evident, but don’t tell her I mentioned it.  So besides our long walks in the morning, it is essential that she not sit and rest.  At all.  Even though she does things like vacuuming.  And washing the floor.  And doing the laundry…She must play with US too.  She must take US outside to fetch toys.  She must feed US extra treats.  Yesterday she took all of us with her when she went to go to the store.  It was just a quick trip – and we had to wait in the car.  She was hoping all the “excitement” of the car ride would wear us out.  Fat chance.  Yes, Pax and Frodo did take a nap when we got back – but not me.  I never rest. 

Well, time to go and bug my human.   Have a lovely ACTIVE day.  I am going to enjoy every extra second of daylight that I get!

©  Linda Wozniak

Go Caroling Day

An old photo of Frodo caroling…

December 20.  Today is Go Caroling Day.  Every day for Frodo is caroling day.  He sings.  Lots.

The first Christmas carols date back to the 4th century – but the first time carols were sung in churches was not until the 19th century.  Before that, carols were often sung at communal gatherings – and people used to go from house to house – wassailing.  According to some historians, somewhere around 500 Christmas carols have been discovered in museums.  That’s a LOT of singing.  And that doesn’t even include our modern Christmas songs!

Some carols are familiar world wide – like this well-loved German song.  There are many versions of it – it is hard to pick just one example of it. Here’s a version:

And one without music:

Then we have songs that are unique to countries, like this Canadian carol sung in Huron, French and English:

And of course, I MUST mention POLISH carols.  My human can sing along to many of these – because she heard them as a child.  She has no idea what she is singing – but she loves them just the same.  This is a great list:

BUT – it doesn’t include one of her very favorite songs:

And what would a blog about Christmas songs be without one of THE most famous renditions by dogs:

I went MAD when my human played that.  So did Paxton.  We were singing along.  And Frodo was silent for a change.  Clearly he prefers to be a soloist.

If you have a favorite song from your country – please feel free to share it to my Facebook page!  Happy singing!

©  Linda Wozniak

Super Saturday!

Today is Super Saturday.  Or it is also known as Panic Saturday – the last Saturday before Christmas.  Apparently some businesses do a huge amount of their holiday sales on this day.  My human does not want to even get NEAR any big stores today.  She THINKS she has most of her shopping done.  But she will no doubt think of SOMETHING she has forgotten and will have to venture out.
I’m calling it Super Saturday for another reason.  Yesterday was her last day of work until the NEW YEAR!!!!!!  So she will be home with us, playing with us, walking us, giving us treats, playing with us, feeding us, playing with us….And it all begins today!    Rumor has it though, that her time off MAY also include a Christmas BATH for each of us.  And that is NOT so super.  I say that she should give Frodo and Paxton their baths first – because maybe she’ll be so tired there won’t be time to give ME a bath.  Paws crossed.
I’ve been trying to convince my human to take us to one of those photo places where you can get your picture taken with Santa.  I think that would be awesome.  My human says it is OUT of the question.  Can you IMAGINE that scene?  The three of us with some big guy with a white beard wearing a red suit?  Frodo would DEFINITELY have NO part of it.  Paxton would be fine.  Until he realized there were photos involved.  And me?  Just TRY and get me to sit next to him.  Mind you, I was fine with the bagpipe player… I’m going to keep trying to convince her.  Although I’m not sure how I would explain the elf incident to Santa….
Well, since we have less than a week until the big day – time to share some dog Christmas videos – just to get you in the spirit!  Enjoy!!!
Have a super SUPER Saturday.  I know I WILL!!!!!!
©  Linda Wozniak

There’s no need to fear…Underdog is here.

December 18. According to the Crazy Holiday calendar, today is Underdog Day.   An underdog, by definition, is someone who is competing and is thought to have little chance of winning the competition.  The term actually started in the late 19th century, referring to dogs who lost in fights. That’s a gloomy thought.

When my human was a kid, she used to watch a cartoon on Saturday mornings called Underdog.  He was a superhero of sorts.  Some of you MAY remember him:

TECHNICALLY, I SHOULD be the underdog in our household because I AM the youngest.  But I TRY my best to be TOP DOG , which as we all know, usually gets me in trouble.  But you know, people often root for an underdog. So really, being an underdog is not necessarily a BAD thing.  It’s all in how you look at things.  When underdogs win, everyone is happy.  Underdogs have to fight and work hard and they are often motivated.  As someone once said, “underdogs have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” 

So I GUESS maybe it’s OK if I AM the underdog.  So I will wear my title as underdog with pride, striving to be the best I can be…. I will behave.  And I will be kind.  I will be brave.  And I will share.  OK.  Maybe not share. But I will proudly use the words of that cartoon Underdog:  There’s no need to fear– Underdog is here!

Now the big question – where can I find a superhero cape?

©  Linda Wozniak

Siri is bad too

OK.  So I’m still in the “doghouse” for that elf incident.  Really – what’s the big deal?  You will note that I COULD have destroyed the stuffed Santa – but I didn’t.  I mean it’s not like I chewed the head off one of the shepherds in the manger.  Or I swallowed Baby Jesus.  It was an ELF.  A creepy, scary looking elf.  And we still have another one.  For now.  I think I’ll just call Santa and explain the situation.  I’m sure he’ll understand.

And speaking of calling people – my human is just about ready to kill that Siri person/thing.  Ever since my human bought a new “hands free” device for her cell phone, she is having BIG problems with Siri.  Here is a recent phone call:

My Human:  “Call Mom home.”

Siri:  “What number for Mom, home or mobile?”

My Human:  “Home.”

Siri:  “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you.  Home or mobile?”

My Human:  “Home.”

Siri:  “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you.  Home or mobile?”

My Human:  “HOME!!!!!”

Siri:  “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you.  Home or mobile?”

My Human: “HOME.  H-O-M-E.  HOME!!!!”

Siri:  “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you.  Home or mobile?”

My Human:  “Call 123-456-7890”

Siri:  “Calling 123-457-7890”

My Human:  “NO!!!!!!!!   STOP!!!!!!!!”  Click.

So she tries one more time…

My Human:  “Call Mom HOME.”

Siri:  “Calling John Doe.”

I’m thinking that Siri has some PON in her – she can sure be stubborn sometimes!

My human tried to get Siri to talk to us – and Frodo certainly barked out some instructions.  But no luck.   My human gets more frustrated with Siri than she does with me.  Which is hard to believe.  SERIously.  (Pun intended.)  I think it’s kind of funny.  But then, I also thought that destroying an elf was kind of funny…

Excuse me while I go and EMAIL Santa.

©  Linda Wozniak

Call 911. We have an elf down.

I am in SERIOUS trouble…

So we know that just after my human put up the “dog tree,”  there was the “incident” with SOMEONE breaking into the DFZ, and pulling some ornaments off the tree.  Because no one was actually “caught” IN the DFZ at the time, the culprit could not be identified.

So.  Since my human put up the “other” tree in the DFZ too – the one with all the GLASS ornaments, she has been QUITE diligent at making sure the DFZ is secure.   She did note, the other night, that I was ATTEMPTING to get in there – despite the fact that the gate was closed AND another gate was propped against it.  She scolded me and I left the gate alone.

Yesterday morning, just as my human was stepping into the shower, she heard Frodo bark.  Not the “there is someone at the door who I must kill” bark, the “hey this is fun” bark.  My human heard it, but figured Frodo was just “playing.”  Little did she know, it was a “you are in trouble, Viktor” bark.

So my human came out of the bathroom, ready for work and noted two dogs.  Frodo and Paxton.  Where was I?  She figured I wouldn’t go downstairs if everyone else was upstairs.  She looked around.  I wasn’t in the kitchen.  I wasn’t in the hall or the dining room.  She didn’t even THINK to look in the DFZ – as the gate was closed.  Or APPEARED to be closed.  Partly closed.  With a second gate propped against it…. After calling me repeatedly, she finally looked in the DFZ– and saw me calmly lying in front of the fireplace.  All comfy cozy.  And then she saw the carnage….

First she spotted the glass ornament that I had carefully removed from “the glass tree.”   Without breaking it I might add.  Actually, it fell off when I was removing several items that were UNDER the tree.  Lucky for me it didn’t break. 

You see, when my human put up the “glass tree”, she had placed, under the tree, some old toys.  A couple of dolls from when she was a kid – I think they call them antiques now – she’s THAT old.  A few old stuffed toys.  Some old books.  An old stuffed Santa.  And two creepy looking elves.  At least I thought they were creepy.

After spotting the ornament, she then saw the stuffed Santa.  He had been moved from under the tree.  And next to him were the remains of an elf.  One of those creepy looking elves.  He was completely decapitated and his straw innards were next to him.   It was a tragic scene.
 Not far away, close to the dog tree was the SAME stuffed ornament that had been taken off the tree during the previous DFZ infiltration.  AND the SAME stocking that says “good dog.”  Yes.  I could have chosen ANY ornaments on that tree – but I picked the same two from the last time.  Big mistake.  I didn’t realize I would actually be incriminating myself in the previous crime by doing so.  Uh-oh.

Of course my human uttered the predictable “what did you do?” words while surveying the damage.  I just stayed by the fireplace and didn’t move a muscle.  When she went to take me by the collar to evict me, I went completely limp.  Completely.  Which ALWAYS makes her laugh.  And of course it did – and  it cut the tension of being in the middle of a crime scene.  She practically had to pick me up to get me out of there. 

 Frodo gloated when I was evicted and Paxton just rolled his eyes.  The DFZ now has an EXTRA bungee cord on it, and it is barricaded by another gate and two chairs. 

So.  I guess I’m back on the naughty list.  What’s the jail time for killing a creepy looking elf?  I will NEVER get that goat at this rate….
©  Linda Wozniak

A Golden moment.

So the other night, my human went to a Christmas open house at the home of some of her “dog friends.”  These are people that she had the good fortune of meeting and sharing fun with over the years – because of their common love of dogs.  Dog people bond together.  In clubs.  At shows.  In parks.  It’s a crazy kind of cult.  Anyway, despite the fact that this was a party put on by dog people, we dogs were not invited.  Go figure.  Humans get together and talk about us, and show pictures and rave about our accomplishments – and WE don’t get to go!  Mind you, it WOULD BE a bit chaotic if we did.  Actually, more than a BIT.

The home that my human visited has very well behaved dogs.  No stealing food off the tables, no raucous behavior when people came in or went out – basically well- mannered.  Perhaps that is why WE didn’t go.  But I have to tell you, when my human came home, we were all over her.  She smelled like Golden Retrievers.  We sniffed and sniffed our human’s pants.  And of course, we were NOT happy that we didn’t get to go.  Maybe some OTHER time.

And speaking of Goldens, there was just a story on the news the other day about Goldens in Turkey.  Apparently, people in Turkey LOVE Golden puppies.  They LOVE them.  But when those puppies grow up – well they don’t love them so much any more.  So they “release them” to the wilds.  And while other strays can often fend for themselves, apparently Goldens are not quite so good at it.  So a kind woman has worked hard to place the Goldens with a rescue organization in the US. Check this out:

That woman is DEFINITELY a special person.  Really – all those folks who work to rescue dogs – no matter whether they are Goldens or Cocka-schnauza-laba-husky-doodles  are really earth angels. 

This story made me REALLY appreciate just how good I have it.  I have a roof over my head, food in my bowl, fresh water, toys to play with – pretty good if you ask me.  Not all dogs are as lucky.  So maybe I’ll take that goat off the Christmas list and ask Santa for homes for dogs who are in need of rescue.  And really, THAT would be a truly golden moment!

©  Linda Wozniak

Christmas lights.

Christmas Lights.  Isn’t it interesting that humans have gone from candles on the tree– to full out musical light shows?   Here’s a sampling of a home in the US.  It is CRAZY what some humans will do.
And then we have some photos from around the world:
We have our own amazing light displays here in Halifax, Nova Scotia too.  There are the homes of the “duelling doctors,” the Giacomantonio brothers – who try to outdo each other each year.  Now they don’t do the whole musical choreography thing – but the houses are AMAZING.  And they ask that people who stop by, give a donation to the Food Bank.  Here is one of their homes that was featured in the Halifax paper:
As for lights at our house….the outdoor light display ended the year my human painstakingly spent hours putting lights in bushes, lights in trees, lights along the roof- while she was freezing her fingers…only to plug in the numerous extension cords and find out that the plug wasn’t working.  And she didn’t know what to do.  Everything came down.  It was about a month later that she had an electrician in for another reason and she found that she had tripped the circuit – and all she needed to do was reset it.  Since then we have been limited to candle lights in the windows – and of course, the lights on the trees indoors.  Yesterday she DID put a tree that she cut in the woods in a big metal can next to the front door outside.  She put a few lights on the tree – which are battery operated.    THAT’S a brilliant idea – I’m sure those lights will last long. And you KNOW that it is only a matter of time before one of us pees on it.   We have a little contest going to see who will be first.
I looked on-line to see if I could find a lighted dog display to go in the yard.  I mean they have lighted deer.  And moose.  So why not a dog?  I did find a 9 ft tall inflatable husky dog that lights up.  Wonder how fast he would DEFLATE if we got ahold of him?  And I found a lighted dachshund.  But no PON or Berner. So no dogs lights for us.
Anyway, the Christmas preparations continue.  Thanks to those of you who supported my goat idea.  It is at the TOP of my Santa list.
After World Peace, of course.
©  Linda Wozniak

Dear Santa. I want a goat.

OK.  I have decided what is going to the TOP of my list for Santa.  A goat.  Yes.  I WANT a goat.  I’ve been watching some videos on-line with baby goats – and those things are crazier than me.  So I REALLY want one.  Check out this video.  

Aren’t they cute?  And they jump around JUST LIKE ME!!!!  I think a goat would be great fun – AND my human wouldn’t have to mow the lawn in the summer.  So really, this is a win-win idea.  I get a playmate who is more fun than Frodo or Paxton and the gardening is done.   Actually, if we got MORE than one, I could herd them.  OK – that argument may be stretching things a bit – we remember what happened when I met sheep.   Still – the lawn care argument is good.  Mind you, I’m not sure who would pick up those “goat balls…”  

In some Scandinavian countries, the Yule Goat is actually a Christmas symbol and tradition.  While the Yule Goat’s origins date WAY back to early Christian times,   from the 17th to early 20thcenturies, people would even dress up like Yule Goats and go visiting from house to house, often playing pranks.  At some point, the Yule Goat became the bearer of gifts – and he was later replaced by Father Christmas.  Santa came along later – and he would ride on the Yule Goat.  There are still images of the Yule Goat today – often seen as ornaments made of straw.  In some towns in Sweden, a giant straw Yule Goat is erected during the holidays.

And just when I thought I was the only one who wanted a goat for Christmas – what do I find but an ALBUM that has just come out with goats singing Christmas carols.  I am NOT kidding (pun intended).  Check this out:

 After listening to the songs, I think I MAY have a hard time convincing my human about this goat idea.  Mind you – it’s not REALLY up to her – it’s SANTA I’m asking.  So we’ll see….

©  Linda Wozniak

Dear Santa. I want a bigger bed. For my human.

Score one for research.  A new study has just come out saying that humans who want a good night’s sleep SHOULD sleep with their pets!  So I pointed this out to my human and here was the conversation:

Me:  The Mayo Clinic surveyed 150 people about their sleep habits and they say we can sleep on the bed.

Human:  How many people in the study allowed a pet on the bed?

Me:  56% of those surveyed allowed a pet on the bed or in the bedroom.

Human:  “or in the bedroom.”  You already sleep in the bedroom.

Me:    OK.  But 41% of people who shared their bed with a dog or cat felt more secure and safe sleeping with their pet. 

Human: What about the other 59%?

Me:  OK. I don’t know.  But only 20% of people reported being woken up by their pets.

Human:  And the other 80% couldn’t even fall asleep.

Me:   I’m asking Santa to get you a bigger bed for Christmas.

Human:  Go ahead.  But you’re STILL not getting on it…

Me:  Guess again…

So I have to continue to sneak up there at night.  And my human will continue to sleep with the gate on the other half of the bed, thinking it is deterring me.   Not a chance.  If I want something, I DO get it.  I’m a PON after all!

© Linda Wozniak