Ice cream and obedience. Life is good.

Well what a day we had yesterday.  We had our obedience lesson. And as always, our life is far from boring…

My human got up and took us for good walk. We KNEW when we got home that something was up when she started filling our backpack with assorted leashes, toys and TREATS.  Actually I didn’t know, but Velcro dog figured it out and since he was getting all excited, I followed his lead.  My human had the hatch open in Harold and we blasted right in.  When she tired to get us out to pee before we left, we basically ran in circles barking.  So no pre-drive pee.  
Our obedience coach lives a little over an hour from us.  Her name is Tracy, and she is THE most patient soul in the universe.  And since she has a background in education, she is an excellent trainer.  When we arrived at her place, we both knew where we were – and we were QUITE pleased to be there.
First it was Frodo’s turn.  Tracy had set up a rally course for us to start with.  Frodo was good, but he barked throughout the entire course, and he REALLY barked when my human did something wrong.  He was telling her how to do it.  Frodo and I have come to the conclusion that left to our own devices, we could probably figure out the signs on our own, and do the whole thing better WITHOUT our human.  Not that we don’t love her – but honestly, this dog obedience thing is 5% dog and 95% human behavior.  At least that’s the way WE see it. When humans get it wrong, which THEY often do – then WE get it wrong.  Simple as that.
So after Frodo’s turn, it was MY turn.  And here the problem again lies with my human.  She is simply TOO slow for me.  I want FAST rally.  And FAST obedience.  This is WORK.  Speed it up human.  And whatever you do, DO NOT speak to me in that upbeat happy voice.  It just makes me go even FASTER. And you have to peel me off the ceiling.  I do what’s called rapid freestyle obedience.  It’s a joy to watch.  If you are a spectator- and not a judge.
We had an awesome lesson with Tracy- and truth be told, I think I was better than Frodo.  Not that it is a competition.   Now  to practice all this stuff at home. Thank goodness Tracy writes it all down – my human would never remember what to do. 
So overall things went well – so on the way home, my human decided she needed a milkshake at an Ice cream chain.  And she pulled into the drive through to place her order.  And in a moment of weakness, felt guilty because she was JUST ordering something for herself.  SO she ordered ice cream cones for me and Frodo.  Tiny kid sized cones.  The person who took the order probably thought she was nuts “Can I have two small kid sized cones, filled only half- way with ice cream?”  The person who took the order said “sure,”.  but with that weird tone that indicates a human is agreeing but questioning at the same time.  We pulled up to the window and Velcro dog barked at the person handing my human the stash.  My human paid and pulled into a parking spot.  At this point, Frodo and I figured that something was about to happen.  My human who wanted to get a photo of the event, turned around and leaned on the car horn and nearly scared herself to death.  Frodo and I immediately ripped into those cones.  We were ice cream piranhas.  All the time while my human was holding the cones in one hand and her cell phone in the other – she was trying to get a photo.  We started licking and then Frodo realized the cone was edible – so he ripped the top off, ice cream and cone.  My human, in her contorted struggle to give us the cones and stay off the horn, tried desperately to keep things “neat.”  Seriously.  At this point Frodo was ripping into cone and ice cream and the stuff was flying everywhere.  So much for his freshly groomed coat.  All while I was patiently licking my ice cream.  Go figure – me the calm one! 
My human also did not want us to eat the paper that is around the base of the cone.  So she was struggling to take the cones back while we were trying to get at them.  If anyone was watching this mayhem, I am SURE they got a good laugh.  My human somehow managed to get the paper off Frodo’s cone and he ate it.  At this point she was covered in ice cream on her hands and arms, the car had drips everywhere, and she realized she had to throw out the paper.  She got out of the car, and smartly took her own milkshake with her as the ice cream piranhas would have finished that off too.  She fed me the base of my cone through the open rear window, threw out the paper from the cones and composed herself to get back in the vehicle.
So we drove home, hoping to stop at another ice cream store. When we got home, my human sat down on the couch, and promptly fell asleep.  For about two hours. The woman has no stamina – seriously – it was US doing all the work in class.  WE were the ones training her.  I have no idea why she was so exhausted – must have been the drive.  
Anyway, I can’t wait for our next lesson.  AND the stop for ice cream on the way home.

Frogs and Vets…

April 30.  The last day of April.  And today is Save the Frogs Day.  A day to recognize and appreciate hoppy amphibians.  Here in Nova Scotia, the peepers have arrived.  Peepers are tiny little frogs whose chirping heralds the arrival of spring.   They sound a bit like crickets.  They are a welcome sound at this time of year.

Today is also World Veterinary Day.  A day to celebrate the veterinary profession.  So I pulled out our trusty Merck Veterinary manual (because yes, we DO have one) and also looked on-line found some veterinary terms to quiz you on.  So let’s go – try and match these terms and definitions!

1.     A disorder in which animals bite the fur of subordinate animals                                        a. steroid                                          
        as a method of establishing dominance.(and WHO would that be?!)                                b. orchidectomy
2.     A medical condition in which bone and bone marrow becomes inflamed                         c. breathy

3.     The process of delivering canine young; the birthing of canines  (puppies!!)                   d. encephalopathy

4.     The return of food into the oral cavity after it has been swallowed (a technical 
        word for puke)                                                                                                                    e. allergy

5.     The removal of the testes through surgical means  (ouch)                                                f.  barbering

6.     A condition in which the body reacts to a particular item or product; may also                  g. regurgitation

be referred to as hypersensitivity.                                                                                      h. aural

7.     A disease of the brain of any type                                                                                      i.  headstrong

8.     The term for a disease of the skin caused by certain mites                                               j. osteomyelitis

9.     The term for a type of medication that impacts immunity, metabolism, sexual                   k. mange

characteristics, and other such elements of a living thing                                                  l. whelping

10.    Referring to the ear.                                                                                                           m. gastropexy

11.    The term for an animal with stubborn tendencies  (aka Viktorism)                                    n. anticonvulsant

12.    Turning in of the eyelids                                                                                                     o. entropion

13.    The fixation of the stomach to the wall of the abdomen through surgery

14.    Term used to refer to any substance or drug that stops seizures.

15.    A term used to describe any animal that can pass through a fence (like Frodo – who knew this was a term?)  
OK.  Some of those were challenging.  Here are your answers:

1.    f

2.    j

3.    l

4.    g

5.    b

6.    e

7.    d

8.    k

9.    a

10. h

11. i

12. o

13. m

14. n
15. c
So how did you do? Ready to apply to Veterinary School?  I must confess – when I looked some of them
up – I was QUITE shocked!  I mean WHO KNEW that my hair styling on Frodo had a name?!  And
orchidectomy?  I thought it had to do with throwing out exotic flowers when they died! 
Anyway, we love our Veterinarians – and all of the staff at our clinic. Dr. Eric and all the Vets are super
nice…and they were especially wonderful to my human…and Paxton…in the past few weeks…We thank
everyone at the clinic for their kindness and support.  They often have a very tough job…

So think of your Veterinary clinic staff today.  And maybe hop on down and say thanks!

Have a good one.

©  Linda Wozniak


Paw-ternity leave.

So my human heard this interesting story on the radio on her way in to work the other day.  Velcro dog and I heard it too – we were listening at home.  It seems that a few companies in the UK have started a new practice – they provide “paw-ternity” leave to new pet owners. It allows new pet owners anywhere from 10 hours up to 3 weeks to help a new pet settle in at home.  So far it looks like all the companies who provide this paid time off are businesses in the pet industry.

In the US, not everyone even gets human maternity leave – so this pet leave idea may be hard to argue.  In Canada, the benefits for humans seem to be better – so I think I need to start the paw-ternity campaign here.  Especially when I get my new puppy.  Whenever and whatever that may be.  There have been LOADS of suggestions for my new puppy.  My human is afraid that if any breeder of ANY dogs, reads my blog, we will never get a puppy.  She said I had better start behaving – a lot of breeders would think our home is too crazy.  I think that’s nonsense – I would be an excellent big brother to a puppy.  OK.  Maybe Frodo would be excellent.  I would be an entertaining, adventurous big brother.  Now I’m not so sure any CAT breeder would place a kitten here though…  with good reason…And bunny breeders….fat chance on that one.  Which makes me wonder – is the paw-ternity leave ONLY for dogs?  Do cats count?  I think they should.  But I’m not so sure about pet lizards.  Or pet tarantulas.  Or fish… I’ll have to figure out the rules for this leave thing.  But if we exclude certain pets, is that being prejudiced?  Oh maybe this is going to be more challenging than I thought…

Anyway – it’s Friday – so two days of freedom with our human.
ALTHOUGH…there IS that obedience lesson…

©  Linda Wozniak

Pay it Forward Day!!

April 28.  The last Thursday in April.  And today is Pay It Forward Day.  A day to do some random act of kindness.  Like pay for a stranger’s coffee.  Donate to a charity.  Provide something to a homeless person – whether it’s a bit of change or a sandwich.  Drop off some supplies for pets at a shelter.  Give a PON a treat for no reason.  It’s kind of sad that humans need to be reminded to be nice, but hey, if it works, I say go for it.  Remember- your act need not include money – it can be as easy as letting another car in a traffic lane – or saying good day to a stranger.  And do you know what?  When you do the act, it not only helps others, but you will feel good too!  According to the Pay it Forward website, over 75 countries  will be taking part – and they are hoping for 10 million acts of kindness.

And what will I do?   Hmmmmmm.  Maybe I’ll let Velcro dog have a bone.  Or I’ll share a treat.  Now THAT would REALLY be something. Or I won’t chase the bunny.  Nah.  Scrap that one.  
Anyway – be nice today.  Show unconditional love for others.  Or at least unconditional like.  Basically – act like a dog!

Mundane news: Banana racing, hair "matters" and bunny trading.

Besides wild squirrels, what’s new around here….well first off, with the warmer weather and daybreak getting earlier every day, Velcro dog has decided that our normal walk is JUST not long enough.  I think he figures that since my human ONLY needs to take one walk in the morning instead of two now, the one should be longer.  So he won’t poop unless it’s an extra long walk.  He is basically making her get up earlier and earlier.  Wish I had thought of it.

He has also in the past two weeks, started a new routine – the banana race.  He has always loved bananas- but now he started this thing where he wolfs down his breakfast- even faster than normal – which is hard to believe is possible- and then he RACES to the cupboard for a banana.  Whether my human is there or not.  He just races there and stares at the bananas.  Now bananas are a good source of Vitamins C and B6 and potassium and other good stuff – but because of the sugar content, some sources say we dogs should only eat them in moderation.  Tell that to Velcro dog! One banana is shared between me, Velcro dog and my human. When that one is gone, he still keeps staring.  Until my human says “give it up.” His new nickname is KK.  Short for King Kong.

The title for best Find-the-Bunny finder is at a tie right now.  I think I’m better than KK, but I must admit, he IS getting better. And my human is hiding the bunny in more obscure places. But we find him.  Every time.  However, I suppose KK IS better at giving the bunny up once he finds him.  Me? Not so much.  And if my human attempts to trade some treats for the bunny, well she has to throw them at me-  I get so excited I nearly take off her fingers. 

Rumor has it our obedience lesson is this weekend. Which will of course mean some extra grooming.  As if you have to look nice to act nice. Which reminds me of one last thing – and one bit of trouble I was in.  Again.   My human was scratching Velcro dog’s ears and horrors – she discovered….are you ready…a mat.  The word “mat” is like a swear word in this house.  So she whisked him into the torture chamber and combed out that horrid mat.  She realized it was because yours truly had been doing some hair styling.  BUT – what made “matters” worse- Velcro dog had a sore IN his ear too.  Yup, I had been licking the inside of his ear in between styling.  Velcro dog had some special cream put on his ear and yours truly got “the face” again.  Do you THINK I can go for 48 hours without getting in SOME trouble?!  Nah.  

Anyway, that’s our mundane news from here.  Hope YOUR day is anything BUT mundane!

A squirrel named Nutso.

Honestly.  There is never a dull moment in this house.  So. Remember the squirrel-proof bird feeder that is not squirrel proof?  Here is a picture of the feeder.   
And here we are, looking very somber under the feeder.   
In theory, fat squirrels cannot get between the fencing.  BUT our squirrels are skinny.  So.  My human looked out the window the other day and saw the squirrel having a banquet on all the seed she had put in the feeder the day before.  She is having to fill the thing every second day.  Honestly, there is more bird feed being eaten in this house than dog food.  Mind you, if I had MY way that would not be the case.  Anyway, my human spotted the squirrel and ran outside to scare him away.  For the sake of this story, I’ll call the squirrel Nutso.  So Nutso USUALLY jumps down and races away.  But not THIS time.  He crawled up into the feeder.  And went INTO the tube where the food is stored.  Who KNEW he could fit up there?  So my human shook the feeder.  With a stick.  And Nutso screamed bloody murder.  All while two PONs were watching from in the house.  Also screaming bloody murder.  But now my human, who 2 minutes earlier was ready to kill Nutso, suddenly had a change of heart.  And she felt sorry for him. But she didn’t want to touch the feeder for fear that Nutso would somehow jump out and attack her.  I am not joking.  So.  She got a LONG board, to try and lift the thing on the top where the seed is poured in.  All while Nutso screamed.  And two PONs screamed.  She FINALLY managed to lift the top and jumped back waiting for Nutso to come out.  But he didn’t.  So she pushed the feeder with the board.  While Nutso screamed. And two PONs screamed.  I SUPPOSE Nutso would have figured out how to climb out – but by now my human was fearing she had traumatized him.  I am not joking.  So NOW, she took the long board, and lifted the feeder off the branch and onto the ground.  And she TIPPED the feeder.  At which point Nutso jumped out and RACED off into the woods.  Faster than the bunny.  While we watched in amazement.  My human REFILLED the feeder and came in the house.  All happy that she had saved a squirrel that is driving her crazy. 
And you WONDER why I am the way I am?  Humans.  What else can I say?  Oh. Yes.  And guess who was back emptying the feeder – the VERY next day?! And my human says I am food driven.  I think I have met my match!

A colorful subject.

April 25. National Crayola Day.  Yup.  A day to celebrate crayons.  Last year it was on a different day – I guess it’s a floating holiday.  Anyway, last year I took crayon colors, and suggested some that could make good names for dogs.  Knowing how you humans agonize over dog names, I thought I could help out.  AND I’m thinking of names for my new puppy.  Can you tell I am not going to give up on this idea? Clearly I am not one to take no for an answer.
Just like last year, I’ll list the colors as “boy names” or “girl names” or gender neutral names.  I realize I SHOULDN’T label names as male or female, but remember, I’m a dog – so political correctness is not my forte?  If you want to see my choices for last year, the date was March 30- they are different from this year.
So here we go:
Girl names:
Celestial Blue (Celeste for short!)
Madder (or Maddie)
Blue bell
Razzle Dazzle Rose (Razzie or Dazzie or Rose)
Misty Moss (Misty)
Pixie Powder (Pixie)
Boy names:
Laser Lemon (Laser for short)
Rust (Rusty)
Cosmic Cobalt (Cosmo for short)
Gender neutral names:
Indigo (Indie for short)
Granite Gray  (Either Granite or Gray are cool)
Smokey Topaz (either Smokey or Topaz)
Lumber (I’m thinking this would be good for a Bassett Hound!)
Lemon Lime Zing  (I like Zing – or Zinger)
Sonic Silver (Sonic is very cool)
Sahara Dessert (Sahara)
Magic Potion (Magic OR Potion- although Potion is a bit weird)
I have tried to stick to the one or two syllable “rule” again – except for Sahara.  As we know, three syllables or more are hard to call when we are running off into the woods. That’s why my human wouldn’t allow me to change my name to Balthazar. 
My two favorite crayon names are Twister (from last year) and I like Sonic too.  Can you believe Crayola once made colors called “Pet Shop” and “Wash the Dog?”  They were brown and yellow.  No further comment is needed.
So that’s it for today.  I hope you have a colorful day!
©  Linda Wozniak

I want a puppy…

You know, I’m pretty lucky that my human doesn’t return me for a refund.  Honestly, I CAN be a bit much at times…  Like the other morning…we were just ready to go out the door for our morning walk, and while my human was jumbling keys and leashes and poop bags – Velcro dog and I spotted THE BUNNY in the yard. OMG.  We pushed open the  screen door – and we were OFF.  Of course the good dog didn’t go in the woods- his feet would have gotten wet and dirty.  But seriously, who cares?!  I went.  BUT I was attached to a leash which quickly got entangled in some branches.  So I was stuck, barking at the now long gone bunny.  My human had to struggle through the dense brush to get me and release me from my self-imposed bondage.  Ooooooo-eeeeeee.  She gave me a very mad look. I call it “giving me the face.” And she shook her head. I was just being helpful – did she really want bunny balls left on our lawn?

We went for a long walk with Jackson and one of his humans yesterday.  Velcro dog was able to run off leash.  But for SOME reason I had to stay ON a leash.  Go figure.  This time I was the one giving my human “the face.”

A friend asked my human if we will get a puppy any time soon – because this household has had three dogs FORVEVER.  I vote yes – then I won’t have to be the baby any more.  Mind you- I do enjoy being the baby because I think the baby CAN get away with things…   But I sure would like to have a puppy.  I would like a Bernese… but I’m not so sure my human can be convinced.  She loves Bernese and it’s been more than 20 years since this home has not had a Bernese. But they don’t live very long….and it’s hard on a human’s heart.  NOT that she regrets ever having been owned by any of her Bernese – but I don’t know if she can live with the constant worrying about their health.  I think having one go to the Rainbow Bridge at just 3.5 because of cancer was extra hard… My human lived in constant fear with every Bernese – and I’m not sure she’s up for the gamble again.  But if it’s not a Bernese …what would we get?   Maybe another PON?!   Or an entirely new breed!  But WHAT would it be?  I’m open to ideas.  I want one NOW.  My human says MAYBE  SOME day… As long as she’s not thinking of trading me in!!!!!  Hmmmmm…..I hadn’t considered that.  I guess I had better behave.  At least for a day or two… Anyway, if you have suggestions about what puppy I should get, let me know.  Because this will be MY  puppy- and I will be SURE to train him ALL my tricks….can you IMAGINE?!!!!

Have a great day!!!!

If you get lost…

April 23.  Today is National Lost Dog Awareness Day.  This is the first annual awareness day -and it started in the US.  It is a day to recognize organizations like Lost of Dogs of America – who work with many volunteers to reunite lost dogs with their owners.  With the power of the internet, it is possible to organize and mobilize volunteers to help in finding a dog – quickly.   And we know that when a dog goes missing, time is critical.  My human actually thought for ONE of my social jaunts, that she was going to have to contact the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network to help in finding me.  But of course, she didn’t need to, because when she came home after looking for me for almost an hour, I was waiting on the doorstep.  She hopes she never has to use their help – but it is great to know the assistance and support is available.

There are all kinds of wonderful stories about dogs and their humans being reunited.  In the news recently was the story of a family who lost their dog during a move in South Carolina. They looked for him and couldn’t find him and eventually gave up hope. Get this – they found Buddy 2 years later at a mall where pet adoptions were going on by an animal care Center.    Buddy even remembered his family.

Another story is of a Lab who went missing during the California wildfires in 2007.  He was found – 7 years later, and identified by his microchip.  But get this – this dog was named Buddy too!!! I am not joking.  The moral of the story, watch out if you name your dog Buddy…

Today is also English Language Day.  English is a VERY tricky language.  Pronunciation and spelling can be SO strange.  For example, these words SHOULD rhyme, but they don’t: bead/dead; flood/food; how/low; tomb/comb; some/home.  And then these SOUND the same – but sure don’t look the same – or mean the same thing: beet/beat; ate/eight; cell/sell; bare/bear; peace/piece.  And if that’s not confusing enough, then we have these dog terms – which can mean different things:

Dog term                                                                   Other meaning
Weedy -lacking sufficient bone and muscle             A lawn filled with weeds – like ours!
Mops – lots of hair on paws                                      Something to clean the floor!
Flag – long fringe on a dog’s tail                               Something every country has!
Bitch – a female dog                                                 A not-so-nice thing to call someone!

Honestly – this is just a TINY example of how confusing the English language can be.  No wonder I don’t behave – I can’t understand what my human is saying!

Well, it is thyme to go and take my human for another wok.  The weatherman is calling for son with no reign in the forecast. Have a grate day!!  I no I will!

The box….


My human had been waiting for the phone call.  From the Vet.  Letting her know a box was ready to be picked up…

It’s very hard to go and pick up that box.  It’s a very sad reminder….   But the box also contains so many wonderful memories.  In fact,  no one could ever fit all of those memories in a box.  The box would be bigger than a football field…

We are adjusting to our new life…adjusting to being a two-dog household.  Velcro dog and I have worked out the new rules and honestly, we are doing OK.  I even let him sleep on my human’s bed with me…

And speaking of the bed…my human found me there the other morning.  I looked all comfy, cozy, lying with my head on her pillow when she emerged from the bathroom after her shower.  But when my human went to make the bed…she found a surprise.  SOMEONE had torn a large HOLE in the pillow cover.  Velcro dog was at the end of the bed – and since yours truly WAS closest to the scene of the crime – you can guess who was blamed.  I suggested a DNA test…

Anyway, spring is really here.  You can feel it in the air.  Although signs of change are all around us –  things are feeling more “settled.”  The grass is getting green, and the weeds are emerging.  The trees are budding.  The birds are singing loudly in the morning.  The loons have returned.  And very importantly, Paxton is once again home….