OK. I confess…

OK.  I confess.  I was bad.  I mean I might as well confess – because, after all, I was caught red handed – or should I say, red pawed.  My badness streak was actually on Tuesday.  I did SEVERAL naughty things.  Starting in the morning…

First off, I have decided that it is GREAT fun to stare out the window and bark – if the bunny is there – or even if I THINK he is out there somewhere.  So while my human was getting her breakfast, I stood and barked and growled.  At nothing.  Sending my brothers into an unnecessary frenzy.  Great fun. 

THEN, my human put her breakfast on the table, and stepped away for 4.6 seconds to get her coffee.  I assumed she had left it for me.  She turned around just in time to see me standing with two paws on a chair, and JUST starting to take a bite.  Ever hear a banshee scream?  That was my human as she raced across the room. OK.  OK.  I was just checking to be sure it was safe for her to eat.  Seriously – chill out.

While she went to work, I behaved – I had to rest up for more naughtiness when she got home.  And that’s when I did my grand finale for the day.  My human had left one of her favorite fleece jackets on the bed.  And she went in the bathroom.  Now we know we aren’t allowed on the bed.  In theory.  So when she stepped out of the bathroom and saw me on the bed, she didn’t get too stressed.  Until she noticed that I was DOING something.  “Hey” she said “WHAT are you doing?”  I think she thought I was chewing one of the pillows – another favorite activity.  Nope.  I was chewing a hole in the pocket of her fleece.  BECAUSE – there were TREATS in the pocket.  I mean WHAT do you expect?!  All of her clothes have treats in the pockets.  And treats are meant to be eaten!  But bad enough I chewed the inside of the pocket…I kind of put a hole right through the front of the fleece.  I created easy treat access.  I was doing her a favor.  Kind of.

My human was NOT impressed with my antics.  Good thing I’m cute.  Looks like I’ll have to be on my best behavior for the next few days to make up for my naughtiness.  Well – a few days might be a bit much to ask.  I’ll be good today.  One day at a time….

©  Linda Wozniak

The Grass is Always Browner…

March 30.  According to the crazy calendar, today is The Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day.  One might assume that this might have something to do with us dogs peeing on the fence.  But it doesn’t.  What this day emphasizes is that one should be grateful for what one HAS, and not be looking elsewhere – and assuming others are better off.   For example, I shouldn’t be coveting Frodo’s food bowl – or Paxton’s bowl.  I should be HAPPY that I even HAVE a food bowl!  My human was reading a story about a dog who lived outdoors all the time, chained to a post.  He had a horrible life.  Luckily some people rescued him, and he lived many years in a happy, healthy home with humans who loved him.  When I complain about the fact that I WANT another biscuit and I don’t have free access to food ALL the time, perhaps I should be thinking about how good I have it already!

Now mind you, Paxton was not all that happy yesterday in our pretty cushy home.  My human had to go to work yesterday – after four days off, and when she left us, she secluded Paxton in the front hall – so we PONs would not provide nursing services, licking his incision.  And if being in solitary wasn’t bad enough…he had to wear the infamous cone of shame.  Also known as the inverted lampshade.  My human debated whether he HAD to wear it – he hasn’t been all that interested in performing self-nursing care by licking his incision.  But she KNEW that she would be at work worrying all day about him licking himself to death.  So she had to decide – worry about death by licking or worry about being uncomfortable with the cone.  She opted for the cone. 

Well. Paxton was NOT impressed.  I mean he did sleep most of the day, but he was M-A-D when my human got home.  He wasn’t even going to eat – he was so annoyed with her.  But he begrudgingly accepted her apology – and realized she was only making him wear the lampshade for his own protection.  And he DID eat almost 2 cups of food.  Only because my human fed it to him by hand.  Seriously.  He really IS getting spoiled.

And finally, speaking of brown grass and plant life, my human decided on Monday to cut some trees on our property.  If one ever wanted to hear moaning and groaning and the odd bad word, one should have observed THAT circus.  Frodo and I watched the proceedings from the house, growling and barking – as if we didn’t recognize our human out in the woods.  There she was.  With a camping saw.  Cutting down 15 foot trees with trunks 8 inches in diameter.  While she was out in the woods, she found a whole area where the foliage was already cut down.  And by the evidence left behind, it appears the deer have been snacking on our property.  She just wishes they had cut down BIGGER trees.  Perhaps I need to remind her that she is lucky she even HAS trees.   We could be living in the desert.  Or the tundra.  Yup – this life in the woods isn’t all that bad.  I bet they don’t even have bunnies in the desert…

So today, take time to appreciate the life you have.  Even if you THINK you need more biscuits…

©  Linda Wozniak


Time to take a look at the news…

There was the tragedy in Brussels the other day – when some terrorists set off  explosives, killing 35 people and injuring over 300 more.  Humans.  Why can’t you just get along?  You know, I bet those terrorist humans don’t own dogs.  How could they?  

As a result of this recent attack, the demand for us canines is going up.  Well – certain canines.  They call them Vapor Dogs. These dogs are different from scent detection dogs who sniff out parcels or backpacks or other objects that contain explosives.  Vapor dogs can detect the scent of explosives in the air.  They can actually walk through a crowd – and determine if bomb components are in the area.  And they will follow the vapor until they are close to the source.  These dogs are in so much demand now – that the trainers of these dogs can’t even meet the demand.  

I’m a Vapor dog.  When it comes to wildlife.  And actually, Frodo is too.  Yesterday morning, my human took Frodo and I for a walk with our buddy Jackson.  She let the good dog, Frodo, off leash with Jackson, and for a few moments, also let me off leash.  And everything was going OK.  Until our vapor skills kicked in.  Frodo suddenly put his nose in the air – and stared toward the woods.  And then I smelled it.  And we both headed for the woods.  Frodo of course came back when called.  But not me.  The vapor was tooooooooo strong.  And all the shouting by my human and Jackson’s human could NOT convince me to come back.  My human wasn’t too stressed as I was wearing a collar with my tags and a bell.  And unfortunately, for me,  the bell scared off whatever it was I was vaporizing.  So within two minutes, I was running back to the group.  At which point, you guessed it, I was put back on a leash.  Vapor skills squashed.  Again.

And in a good news story, there is a guy in Denver, Colorado by the name of Steve Greig.  A couple of years ago, Steve was very sad when his dog went to the Rainbow Bridge.  So since then, he has decided to adopt old dogs – that no one else would want to adopt. He has 10 senior dogs, and even has a pig and a chicken.  And I know there are other humans like Steve out there.  It’s refreshing to hear stories about GOOD people – since the news is often full of stories about that small percentage of the population who are BAD.  Sometimes we need to keep that in mind…

And on the homefront news – Paxton is eating even more food.  Mind you, he INSISTS that my human feed him by hand.  He is TOTALLY milking this sick thing.  But my human doesn’t care – she would stand on her head if it would make him eat.  Well.  Maybe not exactly stand on her head.  Her acrobatic skills are NOT that good.  And then we would be nursing HER.

Excuse me while I go and see what my human is doing – I THINK I smell the vapor of dog food.  Have a great day!

©  Linda Wozniak

3 Reasons to celebrate

It’s Easter Monday.  Which means…it’s Dyngus Day! The end of lent and time for celebration.  It’s a holiday in Poland and in some US cities – Dyngus Day is a BIG party day.  My human’s hometown of Buffalo, New York calls itself the Dyngus Day Capitol of the World.   Everyone is Polish on Dyngus Day.  There is eating, and parades and dancing – and I am told people may even have the odd drink.  The custom says that on Dyngus Day,  boys are allowed to throw water at girls and “hit” them with pussy willows.  But not to worry – the next day the girls are supposed to do the same to the boys – and they can even throw dishes at them.  Yet another example of how humans are strange.  I mean what an “interesting” courtship ritual.  But hey – it’s a great reason to party!

And besides Dyngus Day, we have ANOTHER reason to celebrate today.  It’s my human’s mother’s BIRTHDAY.  It wouldn’t be appropriate to share her age, but let’s just say it’s somewhere between 86 and 88.  Because I am her favorite grand-dog – or I like to think I am, I want to wish her a super day – with extra licks and tail wags. I know she reads my blog, after she checks her email and Facebook every day.  Yes, she uses her computer – a LOT.  How cool is that?!  She’s quite the octogenarian!

I didn’t find the bunny yesterday – but we did have a good romp outside in the afternoon.  And guess what?!  Paxton is starting to eat more!!!  Now he’s still not feeling 100%, but he is definitely feeling better.  So yet ANOTHER reason to celebrate!

Well time to put on some polka music and see if I can find some krupnik somewhere. Apparently there is a shortage of the 80-proof honey liqueur in Buffalo – but I’m SURE those Buffalonians will find a substitution!  Sto Lat!

Hoppy Easter

Hoppy Easter!  I was thinking that with all the attention on Paxton, my human would forget about the horrid bunny ears from the dreaded Dollar Store.  Who KNEW she stored them away from last year?!  Had I known, I would never have stepped into the garage aka grooming room aka torture photo studio.  There is a somewhat happier photo on my Facebook page – because she PROMISED that IF I smiled, I would get a treat.  AND it would be the LAST photo.

My human took Paxton to the Vet yesterday to get a shot – he couldn’t take some of his pills because they were to be taken on a full stomach – and he wasn’t quite full.  My human told the Vet he wasn’t eating much – at which point Paxton proceeded to eat about 8 biscuits that the Vet kept giving him.  He was even looking for more.  My human was shocked and rather embarrassed.  Way to go Pax.  The Vet says my human just needs to stay calm – and not stress so much.  Good advice Dr. Vet – can you add a bottle of vodka to Pax’s prescription?  Not for him, obviously.  After all, too much alcohol probably resulted in this liver problem in the first place – we had QUITE the party while my human was at Crufts.  But don’t tell her.

Yesterday morning when my human took Paxton outside in the morning – HE saw the Easter bunny. That white one that has been hanging around our yard.  Taunting me.  Clearly he was hiding eggs.  Or more likely, leaving a trail of “bunny balls.”  Paxton looked at the bunny, and looked at my human as if to say “Thank GOODNESS Viktor is not out here.”  

Since it IS Easter, I think it is VERY fitting that we play several rounds of Find the Bunny.  I’m not sure Paxton will want to play, but maybe.  He did eat a bit more food yesterday.  Those prayers and good wishes continue to work wonders.

Anyway, have a VERY happy Easter.  Don’t eat too many chocolate bunnies – especially if you are a canine.  In fact, if you are a canine – don’t eat ANY chocolate bunnies.  But I bet those Marshmallow Peeps are OK, though…And I’m warning my human to keep away from the bunnies too – she’s still paying the price for the Halloween candy.  Humans.  

Have a joyful day!

©  Linda Wozniak

New soap opera…

So here we are starting our very own medical soap opera.  Given the colours of two of the characters, I like the title, Grey’s Anatomy.  But my human tells me that has already been used.  How about Healing Hands – Healing Paws. Kind of tacky – but humans love that kind of stuff.  And here is the list of characters:

The handsome but sluggish, lacklustre patient who doesn’t have an appetite.  But who WILL eat some food in tiny pieces – IF and only if it is fed to him by hand.

The attending doctor who got her medical degree on the Internet. She is neurotic and obsessive – and tries ANYTHING she can do to get the patient to eat.  She is also a new gourmet chef – offering up a buffet of food options.   Most of which the patient snubs his nose at.  While the other two characters are going out of their minds.
The cheerleader nurse.  Who is either yelling to encourage the patient to eat – or to remind the “Doctor” that food must never go to waste. 
The custodian.  Who rushes into the room after the buffet has been removed – and vacuums up any miniscule particles that the patient may have dropped while eating.  
Although the patient does lack energy, while the doctor was taking her shower yesterday, she looked out the glass and saw the patient crawling onto HER bed.  Where he is generally discouraged from relaxing.  But in an attempt to accommodate the patient’s every need, the doctor not only let the patient STAY on the bed, she provided him with menu options.  So he essentially got his meal IN bed.
So that was how the story went yesterday – starting around 5 AM and lasting all day long.  The patient would sleep and then the doctor would try to get him to eat whenever he woke up.  While the cheerleader and custodian watched.  What made matters challenging was the fact that it rained all day – so the cheerleader and custodian didn’t even get to play much outside.  Thank GOODNESS the forecast is for better weather today. 
I’m not sure that this soap opera will win any awards – but one thing for sure – the characters are certainly interesting!  Now we just need a theme song…wasn’t there an old song by Willie Nelson called “Crazy?”   That seems apropos…

A VERY Good Friday

I am excited to be writing this blog today.  My big bro is HOME!!!!!  Thanks to all of you for sending prayers, good thoughts and best wishes.  All of those positive vibes – from all around the world – worked.  Now he is not without problems – and some testing still has to come back.  But contrary to what the Vet was thinking before his surgery- he was not full of cancer.   He DOES have an enlarged liver and the doctors have to find out why – and they did something called a biopsy – but he had no visible tumors or masses. Anywhere.

When the Vet called my human at work, the first thing he said was “ok I have to just say this first – you ARE taking him home today.” And then he laughed.  And my human cried. You see, my human had a Bernese who went to the Rainbow Bridge when he was he was just 3 1/2 years old and another one who went when he was 7.  They both were full of cancer.  And the Vet admitted that he had expected to see cancer again – and was surprised to find just the enlarged liver. Not to say that the liver problem isn’t a problem – but there should be some options for treatment.  We’ll know better when all of the tests results come back.  But in the meantime, we give thanks because the news could have been MUCH more grim.  

When he came home, Frodo and I had to smell him. All over.  He was pretty sleepy.  He wasn’t wearing the cone of shame yet – although I saw that my human brought one out of the garage.  When they asked her at the Vet if she needed a cone, my human laughed and said she had lots.  All Paxton sized.  Wonder why.
My human’s big concern is whether he will eat today.   As we know, he’s been fussy about food – and yet some of his medication needs to be taken with food. Now THIS should be interesting.  A neurotic human desperately trying to get food into a stubborn Bernese.  I can’t wait to watch. And scream that he MUST eat. 
Today is Good Friday.  Which is interesting. You know – given that my human and my big bro are home today,  it really IS a GOOD Friday.
Have a great day.  I know we will!   And thank you again!

Another day of prayers….please…

Today is the day that Paxton goes to the Vet again.  This time they will take a look around and see if they can figure out why he isn’t feeling well.  He wasn’t allowed to have anything to eat or drink after midnight last night.  Talk about torture.  No breakfast.  A PON’s worst nightmare.  Actually ANY skipped meal is a PON’s worst nightmare.

My human is dropping him off on her way to work.  Not that she will get much work done – waiting by the phone.  And Frodo and I will be anxiously awaiting news at home.  Chances are good he will be wearing the cone of shame when he gets home.  

It’s a good thing my human is off for the next four days.  She can baby him – and of course play multiple games with Frodo and I while Pax sleeps.  Yesterday morning we all played the “let’s get up at 4AM game” – just because.  My human woke up because Pax was standing and breathing in her face – so she thought he needed to go out.  She quickly got dressed, and yet by the time she did, he was fast asleep.  She took him out anyway.  He didn’t REALLY need to go.  But then Frodo and I wanted to go.  First Frodo and then me.  UNFORTUNATELY, I had a rather awkward accident – the horrible cling-ons.  I didn’t even want to walk home.  I was walking like a cowboy who just got off a LONG trail ride.  So at 4:25 yesterday morning, I was getting a rather unwelcome half-bath.  With the back half of me being scrubbed.  After THAT was done, my human realized she had forgotten to put out the garbage the night before – so she loaded cans into the vehicle and drove them up to the road.  All before 4:50AM.  Of course Frodo and I then wanted breakfast – but she said “NO WAY” – and she went back to bed for a half hour.  The woman has no stamina.

So today we await news on our big brother.  Please say a prayer to Saint Roch – the patron saint of dogs – or Saint Francis – patron saint of animals.   I think those guys have an “in” with the BIG guy.  Paws crossed we have some good news tomorrow….

©  Linda Wozniak

National Puppy Day

March 23.
Today is National Puppy Day.  A day to celebrate the cutest things on the planet.  At least I think so.
So let’s do some puppy trivia.  Good luck!
1.   Puppies can’t see, hear or smell when they are born.  True or False
2.   When a puppy is born, 60% of his time is spent sleeping and 40% is spent eating.  True or False
3.   Puppies are delivered about how many days after conception?  
     A) 22
B) 36
C) 63
D)  94

4.   A puppy’s first sense of smell begins at:
A)  1 week
B)  3 weeks
C)  6 weeks
D)  9 weeks
5.   Puppies can begin learning commands:
A) at 8 weeks
B) at 12 weeks
C) at 6 months
D) whenever they feel like learning
6.   Most Dalmation puppies are born solid white, and their spots develop at around 10 days old.  True or False
7.   Puppies have 28 puppy teeth and adult dogs have 42 teeth.  True or False
8.   What does socializing your puppy mean?
A) Teaching your puppy to greet people nicely
B) Making sure your puppy can tolerate large groups of people
         C) Letting your puppy play with other dogs
         D) Exposing your puppy to as many new people, animals and     
             experiences as possible
9.   What is the primary reason why socializing is very important?
A) Preventing fears in adult dogs
 B) Teaching a puppy how to greet people nicely
C)  Preventing a puppy from nipping and mouthing
      D) Making the adult dog more intelligent
10. When do responsible breeders start socializing their puppies?
A) As soon as the puppies’ eyes open
 B) At birth
 C) As soon as the puppies start to walk
D)  As soon as the puppies are weaned
11. At what age do many dog experts believe is the optimal age for a socialization program?
A)  2-8 weeks
 B) 24-32 weeks
 C) 16-24 weeks
 D) 7-16 weeks
12.        According to dog behaviorist Dr. Ian Dunbar, how many different people should a puppy meet between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks?
A)  At least 100
B)  At least 50
C)  At least 1000
D)  At least 25

Aren’t we puppies amazing?   Let’s see what you know about us:
1.    True
2.    False – we actually sleep 90% of the time and eat 10% of the time.  But I doubt that is true for PONs…we ALWAYS like to eat…
3.    C
4.    B
5.    A
6.    True
7.    True
8.    D
9.    A
10.        B
11.        D
12.        A
So celebrate us puppies today – because even when we are old enough to be called “dogs” we are all still puppies at heart!
Oh – and as a post-script – Paxton is still doing the same.  Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming. We appreciate them more than you can ever know.  In fact, even more than we appreciate tripe.  Whatever it is.





What’s tripe?

The Paxton story continues…

So my human was up before dawn because we had a bad weather forecast for yesterday- and there was NO WAY she would miss Paxton’s appointment.  He wasn’t hungry in the morning at all, and as usual, Frodo and I screamed at him for not eating.   We have become accustomed to being sequestered while he eats – or he doesn’t eat.  If one could literally translate what we are saying it would be something like ” FOR THE LOVE OF HEAVEN, WHY are you not eating?  PLEASE, PLEASE let us show you how it’s done!!!!!!!!!”

They left the house about an hour early – at which point snow had turned to freezing rain.  Old Pax bounded into the vehicle – he was just relieved to get away from us screaming PONs.  He had his ultrasound.  And the good news?  The Vets saw no big tumors.  The bad news?  They still don’t know why he is sick.  So he will be having something called exploratory surgery on Thursday.  I hope when they go exploring that they find something he might have eaten.  Probably not likely – but let’s face it, Pax HAS been known to ingest things that most dogs wouldn’t even consider eating.

And speaking of eating,  on the way home from the Vet, my human stopped at the Pet Food place to see if she could find SOMETHING he would like.  The girls there know us, and they filled a bag with a bunch of samples for Pax to try.  And my human bought something called “canned tripe.”  I have no idea WHAT that stuff is – but ooooooo-eeeee, it smells like it would be good to roll in.  And from Paxton’s reaction, the stuff tastes yummy too!!  He QUICKLY ate a half of a can.  Without stopping.  It’s the best his appetite has been in a few days.  What IS that tripe stuff? Frodo said I probably don’t want to know.

So we are back to the waiting game with Paxton.  And as we know, waiting is not something I like to do – and neither does my human.  But for now, Paxton will get WHATEVER he wants to eat, and Frodo and I will continue our mournful serenade.  And we will enjoy every minute we have with our big bro, and keep praying that the doctors can make him better.

Now I just need to figure out how to use a can opener to get into that tripe stuff …