Leap Day!

February 29.  It’s Leap Day.  The day that occurs once every 4 years. Personally, I don’t get it.  It has something to so with the calendar and the fact that if they didn’t add this day every four years it would somehow mess up dates.  Adding a day keeps our calendar in sync with the earth’s revolutions around the sun.  I guess if they didn’t do it,  we could have Christmas in June.  I’m not really sure about that fact– I just made that part up.  But to us dogs, every day is like the next.  We don’t really LOOK at the calendar.  Mind you, if my birthday occurred every four years,  that would NOT make me happy.  Apparently the chances of being born on a Leap Day are 1 in 1500.  Poor buggers. And there is even a name for people born on Leap day.  They are called “leaplings” or “leapers.”  And NO – I did not make that up.

I read that in honor of Leap Day, the Associated Press did some research on Leaping Dogs.  And not “leaping” in a good way.  Leaping as in jumping so that they hurt themselves.  According to a Pet Insurance company, since the last Leap year,  there were 107,502 claims submitted for soft tissue trauma.  And that’s just the dogs whose humans have insurance!  They wrote about a Lab in California who in his over-exuberance, accidentally leaped over a balcony and down two stories onto a car.  Yikes!   Luckily for him, his only injury was a broken toenail.

Personally, I love to leap.  It’s my MO.  In this photo, you can see me leaping when I was a puppy:

You have seen video of me leaping when I want to go out.  I DO need to be careful as I could end up being on that list of injured dogs.  But it’s VERY hard for me.  I think I was a rabbit in another life.  Maybe THAT’S why I like them so much. 

Anyway – Hoppy Birthday to all leaplings today!  Enjoy your day – you won’t have another one for 4 years!

©  Linda Wozniak

Meet the Professor/Politician

So it’s Sunday.  The day AFTER my human and FRODO went to participate in Meet the Breed at the Halifax Kennel Club Show.  And of course, the professor was well behaved.  He and my human got there early – before their “shift” so while they were waiting, they practiced a bit of obedience.  REPORTEDLY, several people stopped to watch and told my human how well behaved he was.  Of course he was.  She had a pocket full of treats!  And then it was his turn to shake paws with the public and he REPORTEDLY did a great job.  Among the THRONG of visitors, they met a Beardie owner who had never met a PON before, lots of kids, and an Airedale owner who was so smitten with Frodo that she was SUPPOSEDLY thinking that she would like a PON.  Holy moly, he sure did a good sell job.  Maybe he is the one who should run for politics.

While my human and Frodo were at the show, I totally restyled Paxton’s hair.  He looks wonderful – like a tri-colored poodle.

Today my human has nothing major on the agenda – which means MULTIPLE walks, playing with us and giving us loads of treats.  She mentioned something about washing the kitchen floor, but I ask WHY?  I mean we will mess it up in less than 24 hours.  It’s a LOSING battle.  Concede defeat.  And just take us out again. 

˙Have a super Sunday!!!

˙©  Linda Wozniak

False Advertising

Well I am VERY disappointed.  This weekend, the Halifax Kennel Club is holding one of their dog shows.  And my human volunteered to bring a PON to the Meet the Breed booth today.  And GUESS who is getting to go AGAIN?!  Frodo!  It’s not fair.  It’s SUPPOSED to be MY turn.  I never get to do anything.   Now mind you, I am the one going to scent class….But I really think that taking Frodo to Meet the Breed is a bit of false advertising.  With Frodo, it should be called Meet the Well-Behaved-Somewhat-Obedient Example of the Breed.  Taking ME would give people a more realistic example of what the breed can be like.  And you KNOW, Frodo won’t even bark while he is there.  People will think we are quiet and that we are all obedient.  It’s false advertising I tell ya.

Paxton and I will have to pine away at home.  All by ourselves.  I’ll be sure to lick his ears over and over again.  He doesn’t mind.  My human on the other hand does not appreciate my hair salon services. 

The ONLY good thing about NOT going to the show – I didn’t have to endure the obligatory bath!  Ha. Ha. In FACT, as soon as my human finished the marathon wash-a-thon with Frodo, and she went in the bathroom and left us alone, I started my own styling on him.  My human came out and shouted “NO!”  – I had completely rearranged all the hair on his face and his ears.  He was ALL wet – after she had just spent an hour drying him.  I should also mention that SHE RUINED the asymmetrical look I had given him on his ears – by trimming the longer ear.  I was just working to give him that trendy look again.  She just doesn’t appreciate my creative abilities.

Well- excuse me while I go and bug Paxton.    And see what trouble we can cause while my human and the professor are out shaking paws with the public.

©  Linda Wozniak


Well.   After all my talking about dogs and our wonderful ability to be trained for scent detection – I JUST heard about another animal who is trying to steal our jobs!  Are you ready for THIS one?  It’s rats!  I’m not joking.  Apparently, the African giant pouched rat has been trained to detect explosives inside buried land mines.  They wear little harnesses and leashes and when they detect TNT, they halt and scratch the ground.  They say they are cheaper to acquire and transport than us dogs, and unlike dogs, do not become attached to their handlers.  They are also too light to actually detonate pressure activated mines – although most dogs are trained to stay far enough away from the explosives they find.

OK.  But rats will NEVER be guides for the visually impaired.  And I just can’t see them herding sheep.  Or acting as guarding animals.  Mind you, if my human ever saw one, she would run the other direction.

And speaking of scent work, my human set up a “scent detection course” for me the other night.  She had a series of boxes and a shoe and a glove and a bowl.  She would hide the treats and I had to find them – just like we do in class.  When she first started – she had also placed a stuffed octopus on the course.  THAT was not a bright idea.  Much as I LOVE treats, the temptation of grabbing that octopus was too much.  The octopus was QUICKLY removed – and the game was PERFECT after that.  The hard part was waiting every time she put the treats under something new.  Frodo and Paxton watched my ace ability from the other room.  Frodo screamed bloody murder for quite a while and then settled down until it was his turn.  He and Paxton got to search for the octopus in various rooms.   A good time was had by all. 

Hey – and there is another things those rats can’t do – they wouldn’t be able to retrieve.  So duck hunting would be out.  And schutzhund would be out.  Although, it COULD be interesting to watch. 

I think my human will stick with us canines – because remember – those rats don’t bond with humans the way we dogs do.  We have a truly special bond.  We provide unconditional love, joy, and entertainment.  Mind you, sometimes when I have done something bad – my human shouts out “RATS!”   Or something along those lines.  I wonder if rats like to chase bunnies….

©  Linda Wozniak

In the money

 February 25.

On this day in 1862, my old buddy, Abraham Lincoln is said to have introduced paper currency – the greenback – in the US.  So out of curiosity, I decided to see if I could find paper currency that depicts dogs.  Well.   Good luck with THAT task.  I found coins that had dogs – for example, in Canada in 1997, a series of coins called the Best Friends series – was released.  Clever name.  It depicted Canadian breeds – the Labrador, Nova Scotia Duck Toller, Eskimo Dog, and Newfoundland.  Canada also had a dog coins in 2006 for the Year of the Dog.  I found Norwegian and Irish coins with the Elkhound and the Wolfhound.  And I bet there are other dog coins.  But finding dogs on paper money was tougher.  I’m SURE SOME country has dogs on their paper currency – but I wasn’t successful in finding them.  I mean the Queen is on lots of money – SURELY one of the pictures has her holding a corgi?!  There MUST be some out there somewhere!

Probably a bit more interesting though, and is quite timely given my current enrollment in my scent class, is the role of the CDD – or Currency Detection Dog.  They are trained to detect large amounts of hidden cash – like at border crossings or airports.  I’m thinking I would be a bit more interested in that line – rather than being an Explosive Detection Dog.  Not that I don’t admire the work that those dogs do – but well, I’m thinking the money hunting is probably a bit safer.  I’m going to check with my instructor next week how I go about doing that.  And where we get the huge stash of cash to practice with. 

We dogs have our own type of “currency.”  We like to be paid in things like treats and toys.  Paper currency isn’t nearly as interesting, although Paxton has been known to take a bite out of some.  The key is to NOT consume the serial number.  My human learned that with a FIFTY dollar bill one time.  Paxton was L-U-C-K-Y.

Anyway, time for me to “cash in” on the break in the rain – and go for a walk.  If I wait too long, it may start up again, and I’ll have to “pay for” my tardiness by wearing a raincoat.   Ugh.  You can “credit” my human for the bad puns.  Honestly, the things I put up with!

Have a great day – I’m banking on it!

©   Linda Wozniak

Making sense of scents

So my excellent behavior at scent class continues.  OK. Maybe “excellent” is stretching things a bit – but I have been pretty well behaved.  It was cool this week – because the instructor tried to TRICK us.  And it worked for a few minutes – and then we all figured out what he was doing.
So far, we have been searching for treats in big plastic boxes.  First the boxes were open, then the boxes had big holes in the lid, and then little holes.  But this week, he put the treats under some OTHER objects – like small purses.  He also had tin cans in the line up too.  My human could have told him that purses shouldn’t be a big problem for me – I’m ALWAYS trying to see if she has treats in her purse.  But I must confess, the first time he put treats under the purse, we all ignored it!  We were so used to finding treats in the boxes –  we went to the boxes first.  We couldn’t BELIEVE there were no treats in there.  THEN we figured out we really needed to USE our noses and we all caught on.  Because I have a good memory, I also tend to go to the last place I found a treat.  In that case I’m not really using my nose.  Just my brain.  I have to remember to use BOTH.  It makes sense that class is getting harder.  Pun intended.
We have one more week in this set of classes.  I hope there is no final exam.  I get stressed for tests.  Just kidding.  Nothing really stresses me.  Except when I lose the bunny’s scent on the trail…
©  Linda Wozniak

Rabbit -1. PON- 0.

OK.  I didn’t want to tell this story, but my human said I had to tell it.  So here goes.  This actually happened Sunday morning – but George Washington upstaged me yesterday so now you have my tale.

On Saturday night it POURED rain.  Except for the piles left by the plow guy, our snow is gone.  Pretty different from last winter – when I look back at my blog.  THANK goodness.  We know winter isn’t over – but the forecast for the next week looks OK, so every week without a blizzard is a week closer to Spring!  But I digress…

So Sunday morning, although the rain had stopped, it was VERY wet outside.  My human decided that instead of a walk up the road, we would all go for a quick run on our trail.  Frodo looked at her as if she had two heads because it meant he had to walk on some wet grass.  He begrudgingly trudged along.  Paxton was on a leash – he has not been allowed freedom since that late night trip to the emergency clinic last week.  Poor bugger.  That’s what he gets for eating dead grass.

So we all headed out and within 2 minutes, I had dashed off in the woods.  Followed by Frodo.  My human could hear me running around – I was the only one wearing a bell.  My human and Paxton came to a cross-path and waited for Frodo and me.  Frodo QUICKLY appeared – he realized it was extra wet in the woods, and he wanted NOTHING of my game.  So the three of them stood waiting for me.  They could hear where I was – my bell was ringing and ringing.  And as they stood there waiting, out of the woods and onto the path hopped a small white rabbit.  They watched him come out, slowly hop across the path and into the woods on the other side.  My human quickly said to Frodo “LEAVE it” – as she knew he had seen the bunny.  He took two steps forward and stopped.  He wasn’t going back into those wet woods.

My human fully expected me to come dashing out after the bunny.  Nope.  I was still following his round-about trail in the woods.  I finally emerged, wet, and with a coat full of sticks and dirt.  I had lost the scent – and my human quickly redirected me down the path – away from the bunny trail. 

Now keep in mind, I never SAW the bunny – so it’s the other three who are claiming this happened.   If I were telling the story, I would say he jumped into a deep hole, and I just decided to leave him there.  And maybe that DID happen.  Seriously – there COULD have been two bunnies.  As if I EVER would have left that hole.

Anyway.  The bunny won THIS time.  Of course, my human HAD to take a photo of wet me.  I sat for the photo and this was my only moment of gloating.  I sat for the photo and so did Paxton.  Frodo refused.  The grass was wet.  So only two of us got treats.  Mind you, Frodo got a whole handful when he DIDN’T go after the bunny. 

And speaking of bunnies…good heavens – it’s almost time for those horrid rabbit ears again.  Unless we can find them first…
Have a great day!

© Linda Wozniak

Happy birthday George!

February 22.  The birthday of George Washington, the first President of the United States.  Well. I thought Abraham Lincoln was a dog lover – but I’m afraid Washington has him beat.  According to several sources, during his life, Washington was believed to have owned dogs in every group –hounds, terriers, sporting dogs, working dogs, toy dogs, non-sporting dogs and herding dogs. Some estimate that he had 50 or more dogs in his lifetime.  He had Newfoundlands, Greyhounds, Briards, a Dalmation, and a Cavalier.  But probably his favorite breed was the foxhound.  He was said to be passionate about the breed.   He was a foxhunter who had a pack of hounds at his home. And he even bred them himself – starting a unique breed of foxhounds, which he called the “Virginia Hound.” Over the years he worked on selectively breeding his Virginia Hounds and he is reportedly credited with being the main breeder in creating the American Foxhound.

Washington had some very interesting names for his dogs – Sweet Lips, Venus, Truelove, Taster and Drunkard to name a few.  No comment of some of his choices…I didn’t see Viktor in the list.

And apparently, not all of his dogs were well-behaved.  There is the story of a hound named Vulcan, who stole a ham from the kitchen!  My kind of dog!

So happy birthday George.  Whether we liked your politics or not, we sure appreciate you good taste in owning dogs!

©  Linda Wozniak

International Mother Language Day

February 21.  According to the Crazy Calendar, today is International Mother Language Day.  I am assuming it refers to someone’s mother tongue or first language and not the vocabulary of mothers.  If that were the case, they would mean saying things like: get dressed for school; pick up your clothes; set the table; do your homework.  But instead, I think the holiday is about the first language you used growing up.
Now while the language we use in our house is English, I often have problems comprehending it.  Like when I don’t want to do something.  In those cases, I HEAR the word, but do not understand it.  It’s kind of like a foreign language to me.  I actually think if my human spoke to me in POLISH, which would have been the language of my ancestors, I would understand her better.  For all you humans who are owned by PONs, here are a few words in Polish that you may want to try out.  My human found these on the internet and she also found what they would sound like.  For some she was not able to find a good example of the pronunciation – so your PON may not understand you.  PLEASE keep in mind that these are written by an English speaking human – so apologies to my Polish speaking friends – we are probably way off with some of the pronunciations!
The “typical” human vocabulary used with us canines:
Sit – Siad   (which sounds kind of like she-et)
Heel – Noga  (sounds like it looks)
Stay – Zostac  (This one is particularly hard for me to understand in English – especially when photos are being taken – it sounds like zostach)
Down – Waruj  (sounds kind of like vad-we)
This one I LOVE:
Fetch – Aport (another one sounds like it looks)
Love this one also:
Go outside – Na dwor (couldn’t find a good translator for this pronunciation)
I only like this one when I know we are going to be fed:
Go inside – Do srodka (another one we could not find)
I’m 50-50 on this one – my ability to comprehend this one depends on whether or not my human has treats:
Come here – Do mnie ( although various pages listed this, there was again no good pronunciation translator)
There is really no point in learning the Polish word in our house– as we never have to use this English word.  Especially with Frodo:
Speak – Glos  (sounds like gwus)
SOMETIMES I hear this:
Good dog!Dobry Pies  (dobri pee-es)
But the most common words I hear:
No – Fe (sounds like it looks)
Leave it – Zostaw to  (sounds like zostesto)

My human decided that she is going to use the Polish word for “sniff” when I am doing my scent work – wachac – which sounds kind of like Vo-hutch. 
So there you have my words to celebrate International Mother Language Day.  I suppose since I live in Canada, I should also provide some unique Canadian words that people may not know – although they are not dog terminology:
Toque:  a knitted hat worn in the winter
Runners:  athletic footwear like sneakers or tennis shoes
Parkade:  a parking garage
Donair:  a pita containing spiced meat in –  a creamy sweet garlic sauce – A famous Nova Scotian treat!
Keener:  a person who is overly enthusiastic; a brown-noser
Two-four:  a case of 24 cans or bottles of beer
All dressed:  a type of potato chip with a variety of seasonings
Double-double:  Canada has a coffee restaurant chain called Tim Hortons – and a double-double is a coffee with two creams and two sugars
Toonie/loonie – a one or two dollar coin
So there you have some Canadian lingo too!  I had better sign off because my human is about to put on her toque and her runners,  and take us out for another walk.  Great fun, eh?!
Miłego dnia.  Have a nice day!
©  Linda Wozniak

Technology problems…

Well, my human’s mother has gone back home.  And I must say, we were incredibly well behaved during her visit.  She even came to watch me when I went to my scent class the other night. So far, I am still 100% accurate in finding those treats.  This week the instructor switched the treats – he was using turkey bacon instead of hot dogs.  Well you know me and food – if it’s edible, I’ll find it.  My human’s mother was quite surprised that I could be so well behaved.  I’m pretty sure I’m her favorite grand-dog, although she still does give each of us an equal amount of bananas and treats.  We hated to see her go.

You know how I become obsessed sometimes and maybe just a little bit stubborn about things?  Like when I don’t feel like sitting.  Or I obsess about getting into the garage EVERY time my human heads for that door – because that’s where the dog toys and dog food are stored?  Well.  My human is not exactly a great role model for non-obsessive behaviors.  For example, yesterday when she went to help me post my blog, the photo would not show up.  If you EVER wanted to see a human go crazy – watch my human when technology is not working.  Oooooooo-eeeeee.. 

This video of a puppy using an iPad reminds what my human looks like when she cannot get her technology to work.

The video is actually supposed to be the puppy using an App designed for dogs.  Who KNEW there are dog apps?  Not a CHANCE my human will let me do that to her iPad.  Imagine if Paxton tried that?  Bye bye iPad.

Today is Saturday or Satisfy Viktor Day.  My human is off – time to take us for walks.  Many walks.  And time to play fetch.  Many times.  I must go and remind her.  Have a great one!

© Linda Wozniak