Humans. Seriously sometimes I look at you and really wonder about you. You honestly do some very strange things. Take for example this thing called the Indianapolis 500. It’s a big auto race in the US. It was held this past weekend. And LOADS of people go to watch it. And watch in on TV too. They watch cars go around a track. Around. And around. 200 times. 200 times. I mean who thought of that: Let’s drive around and around – for 500 miles. Won’t that be interesting?! If I went around in circles 200 times, I would be taken to the Vet for medication.
And this thing called the Stanley Cup. The hockey championship. Does the hockey season EVER end? I mean, I THINK when hockey began 1000 years ago, it was a winter sport. WINTER. Well guess what? Humans are STILL playing – and it’s the end of MAY. This hockey season will end, they will take a break for a few weeks and the pre-season will begin. I don’t get it.
And the salaries that you pay professional athletes. Holy moly. The people who make some of the greatest salaries on earth get paid for playing games. Really. Yes we dogs can play sports too. But I’m thinking the biggest prizes are NOT in the multi-million dollar range. We generally win a 50 cent ribbon. Seriously. I wish I could get someone to pay me for retrieving a ball. Just THINK of all the biscuits I could buy….
So those are my observations for today. And humans think they are smarter than us canines. I’m not so sure….
© Linda Wozniak
It’s that time of the year. Summer is almost officially here. It’s the time of year when the temperatures get hot. And humans need to be reminded NOT to leave their dogs in cars. Really. Anyone who needs to be reminded probably shouldn’t even be owned by a dog.
Do you know that on a 78 degree day, the temperatures in a car can go to 100 – 120 degrees in less than 15 minutes?! A dog can quickly suffer heatstroke – or even worse – can die.
One of the large shopping malls in our area hires “Pet Patrol” staff. These people walk around the parking lots and check for pets in cars. I think it’s a BRILLIANT idea. Many areas are beginning to impose fines on owners if their dogs are left in a hot car – and owners can be charged with animal cruelty.
If you see a dog who appears to be in distress, you can call the police. If it looks like time is running out, you should probably attempt to break a window. The best bet is a side window – as the front window is made differently and is stronger. Look for a heavy object like a rock, or brick or piece of cement. Some videos on-line show how to break a window with a piece of ceramic from a spark plug – but my question is: Who has the hammer handy to break the spark plug? And if you DO have a hammer, why not use THAT on the window? The point is, you may have to break that window – and using your hands alone will be pretty impossible.
Another thing about summer heat – we dogs like to ride with our heads out a car window. While it may look cute and it will give us an interesting hairdo, keep in mind that we can get things in our eyes while riding like this. So it’s not really advisable. I SUPPOSE we can do it if we like to wear goggles…. Count me out.
And lastly, don’t allow us dogs to ride loose in the back of an open truck. In some areas, people can be issued a ticket for this dangerous practice. If Velcro dog is even in the back seat of the car, my human has to use the child locks on the automatic windows – as he figured out how to open them. Obviously, for long drives, we use a crate!
So those are my summer suggestions. It’s not quite summer on the calendar – but not to soon to consider these safety issues. Really -these suggestions are not for MY regular blog readers – as you are smart enough to know this stuff. But maybe you can pass it on to those people who are owned by dogs – but probably should have sea monkeys instead…
Have a good one!
© Linda Wozniak
So on Saturday morning around 4 AM, Frodo and I woke up. I jumped off the bed (where we dogs are not allowed to sleep) – and Frodo was standing on the alert in the bedroom doorway. We woke my human up – because when we move suddenly, it either signifies that someone is going to be sick – or we have heard something. My human looked at us and we showed no signs of making the dreaded urky-gurky sound (that telltale sound that someone is going to be sick) and she heard nothing else unusual. And we were not barking so it didn’t appear whatever we heard was particularly ominous like a rabbit – or rustling leaves. So she rolled over and went back to sleep. Only to be awakened about a half hour later by something she heard this time herself. Thunder.
Now thankfully, neither of us is really afraid of thunder. But apparently many dogs are. And some say that we can detect thunder even before it happens due to changes in barometric pressure. Perhaps that’s what happened with us the other night. For dogs who are afraid of thunder, there are a variety of ways that are supposed to relieve their fear including, desensitization training; playing competing sounds (like music) during a storm; allowing the dog to go to a safe, comfortable place, like a crate; or using something called a Thundershirt. The Thundershirt is a tight fitting wrap that is supposed to exert pressure on soft tissue, resulting in reduced anxiety. Even the famous professor of animal science, Dr. Temple Grandin has done some research on the effectiveness of the Thundershirt. There seems to be some evidence that use of the shirt combined with behavioral modification and use of medication, may reduce heart rate and anxiety. More detailed outcome studies need to be carried out.
We don’t have Thundershirts because we don’t really need them – but my human wondered if wearing our lycra bodysuits would work similarly to exert pressure and cause a calming effect. Unfortunately, I think those suits cause the OPPOSITE effect. We want them to come off – so we go EXTRA crazy.
All this talk of thunder made me think of a new name for myself. The God of Thunder was Thor. I like that name. I think I’ll now go by Thor from now on. It’s easier than Balthazar and I like it better than Cocoa. My human made me include this photo – she said it’s perfect because it looks like I was hit by lightning. Ha. Ha. Humans sometimes think they are funny. But remember, Thor always gets the last laugh…and the last rumble.
Have a good one – I hope your skies are sunny. And quiet.
© Linda Wozniak
So this week, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in the US. For the third year in a row it ended in a tie. Let me tell you – the kids who compete in this event are S-M-A-R-T. I wonder though, if they ever had to spell Xoloitzcuintli, the name of the Mexican hairless dog. Really. I bet that could be a tie-breaker word.
You know, we dogs can learn to spell. Really. Some people think we just learn patterns of sounds – but honestly, we DO learn words like T-R-E-A-T and W-A-L-K. I couldn’t find any scientific experiments showing that we can spell – so I want my human to start one. Because she has SO much time on her hands. If there IS a study going on, I want Velcro dog to be enrolled. He’s pretty smart – so he would be an excellent subject.
I’m not a great speller myself. See if you can figure out my dog breed spelling errors:
The CORRECT spellings are:
5. SHIH TZU
It’s the weekend and we are looking forward to lots of human time. A good friend of OURS arrived the other day – and he will be hanging out with us for the summer. My human thinks he comes to visit her – but we know he REALLY comes to visit us. And of course, I am his favorite. Or I think I am. It’s cool – we have him VERY well trained. We just stare at him and he gives us treats. All the time. ALL the time. Hmmmmm….. How do you spell the word M-A-N-I-P-U-L-A-T-E?
Have a great weekend!
© Linda Wozniak
So for a change – I have a GOOD news story. And it happened right here in Nova Scotia.
The other night, a Labrador Retriever by the name of Marley, disappeared from the backyard of her home. If having a lost dog isn’t bad enough – the family was extra distraught because Marley is the service dog for one very sick little boy. The boy has a rare brain disorder, and Marley helps to warn the family if he is having seizures or other medical emergencies.
When Marley went missing, the community went into full alert trying to find her. Even the police, who don’t generally search for lost dogs, were out looking for Marley – using thermal detection equipment to look for her at night.
The GREAT news – she was found the next day and was returned to her home!
My human warned me that the community response if I were to go missing would NOT be the same. She told me I had better NOT get any wild ideas. And let’s face it – if I saw the police coming after me, I would keep on running.
In other good news, the Drama King is doing FINE. F-I-N-E. Honestly, I think he just wanted to go for a drive. It was raining, and we couldn’t go for a walk – so his emergency clinic visit was a great way to get out of the house. I must remember that idea. Mind you – when I had my emergency with the porcupine encounter last fall, my human didn’t take me to the hospital. I allowed my human to remove them herself. And I was very tough and stoic. Hmmmmmmmm. Perhaps that backfired. Maybe it DOES pay to be a Drama King…..
Excuse me while I go and squeak. For no real reason…..
Have a good one! It’s FRIDAY!!!!!
© Linda Wozniak
Oh my gosh. I am rarely angry but I saw something on the Internet the other day that left me steaming. Again. As I recall, this isn’t the first time I have seen this. It was a list of the 25 Least Popular Dog Breeds. And get this – PONs ranked #21 – right between the Komondor and the Norwegian Buhund. Seriously. And the reasons why we are undesirable? We require too much grooming, we are hard to train and we require too much exercise for apartment living. OK. I get the grooming thing. But hello? Poodles never made the list. And as for training – show me what to do, and I will NOT forget. Especially if you give me treats. My human is embarrassed about how easy it is to train us. Well at least Velcro dog. She doesn’t have to do things over and over again. He gets it. And as for exercise and apartment living. First off, we are not exactly the size of a Mastiff. Who didn’t make the list by the way. And who says everyone in the world lives in an apartment anyway?!
I honestly think the reason we are not popular is because we are smarter than a the average human. And definitely smarter than the person who made up the list! And some humans just can’t take smart dogs. They like easy, simple, low-key dogs. And let’s face it – life with a PON is far from low-key. But that is what makes life with us so rewarding. And interesting. PON owners are a truly remarkable subset of the human race- and if you are owned by a PON- you know just how special you are! I bet the person who wrote that list was a goldfish owner. Seriously. Some humans…
© Linda Wozniak
Frodo is a Drama King. That’s his new title.
Sunday night my human was talking on the phone and she noticed Velcro dog scratching at his ear. A lot. And squeaking. So my human got off the phone, whisked him onto the grooming/ aka examination table. She checked his ear and it wasn’t goopy but it was really red. Perhaps from a bug bite. Or a big furry bug licking him.
She put some ointment on his ear and went to call back her friend. And Velcro dog started scratching again. And squeaking. My human hung up again and went back into the surgical ward to put more ointment on. But Velcro dog kept squeaking. So there was only one solution. Off to the emergency clinic. Or should I say the canine casino. You never know how long you’ll be there and the cost is truly a gamble. It takes about 20 minutes to drive there and it was pouring rain. Of course, Velcro dog never once scratched on the way there- which made my human wonder if the visit was really necessary. But she knew she didn’t have the best drops for a sore ear so she figured since they were on the way, they might as well go. Remember, Velcro dog is a Drama King when it comes to discomfort. I mean when he is brushed he sounds at times like he is having his teeth pulled out.
Once there, Velcro dog acted like a Drama King while waiting for the Vet. It’s not like he’s ever even been to the emergency clinic, but he squeaked and panted. For awhile. But he also managed to pose for photos, because my human had treats. They were finally seen after about an hour and a half wait- and the Vet said maybe it was from a bug bite. Because the inside of his ear was fine- it was just the outer part that was red. Perhaps it COULD be from a large bug. A furry one.
Velcro dog was VERY good for the Vet. She had treats. She instantly became his friend for life. So 5 minutes later they were on their way home. With a bill for just over $200. And the Drama King never scratched ONCE on the way home. And the drops hadn’t even been put in his ear yet…
I was happy to see them when they came home – and I wasn’t as traumatized as the last time they left me. But I was happy and to show my excitement for their return, I went to lick Velcro dogs ears…And for SOME reason, my human emphatically shouted “STOP!!!!” Talk about being dramatic. I know where Frodo gets it from…
© Linda Wozniak
May 24. On this day in 2001, Sherpa Temba Tsheri, at age 15 became the youngest person to ever scale Mount Everest. Which got me thinking…has a dog ever made it to the top?
It seems in 2013, there were news reports that a dog by the name of Rupee, made it to the top of the world’s highest summit. BUT – on closer study, it seems that Rupee, who was rescued from life as a stray in India, made it to the BASE camp of Everest. Not that climbing to the base camp isn’t remarkable, but let’s face it – it’s not the same as hitting the summit. Rupee’s owner took him to raise awareness about rescuing strays – and Rupee even had his own assistant in the event that he found the climb to base camp a bit too much.
There are reports of stray dogs reaching the base camp on their own – and also following climbers part way up to the summit. Those are pretty tough dogs. I am trying to convince my human that we should try it. JUST kidding. She cycled 50 KM the other day and the next day we never heard the END of her complaining about her aches and pains. So I’m thinking Everest is NOT on the Bucket List. Perhaps we could start with the highest mountain here in Nova Scotia – The Pinnacle which is 1533 ft in elevation. It ranks as the 9974th highest peak on Canada. A perfect place for us to start. And then Everest. With an elevation of 29, 029 ft. So that’s the plan. At least it’s MY plan. Dare to dream? Right? It’s all about the journey….
Have a good one!
© Linda Wozniak
My human is worried that something is wrong with me. Little does she know that my odd behavior is simply what one calls intermittent reinforcement.
Yesterday morning, we let her sleep in until 5:30. And that was enough sleep as far as we were concerned. Especially on a weekend. So just as we were getting ready to go out for our morning constitutional aka bunny hunt, my human got a text from our neighbor – Jackson’s human. Did we all want to go for a run/walk together? Sure! So off we went to meet Jackson.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Jackson behaves. Yes, he goes in EVERY puddle, pond, body of water he sees, but he’s a Lab, and otherwise he is very well behaved. So he gets to run free. And Velcro dog got to run free. But moi? Well my human was hesitant as we KNOW I DO have a tendency, ON OCCASION, to go off exploring. But my human decided to roll the dice and take a chance. And here is where the intermittent reinforcement comes into play. Not only did I NOT run off, I didn’t want to leave her side. It got to the point where she had to keep saying “Go – free – be free – go play.” In fact, I was SO well behaved that she started to wonder if something was wrong with me. But you see, it is all part of training. You behave on one walk, and not only do you get extra treats, but the next time you go for a run, you are assured that you will be allowed off leash again. Trust me- this is part of a bigger plan. Training humans is SUCH great fun.
Have a super Monday!
So Velcro dog and I have new names. Bird dogs.
The other night my human was in the house and Velcro dog had gone out on the deck. Suddenly my human heard him bark. And then he barked again. And again. Not the crazed, there is someone at the door bark but the bark that means he is drawing attention to something. Usually he uses it if I am doing something bad. It’s kind of his tattle tale bark. So my human went out on the deck to see what the commotion was. And there was Velcro dog, standing and staring at the deck. And barking. There was nothing ON the deck, so what was going on? And THEN my human remembered. Last summer she found yours truly at the exact same spot on the deck. Digging at the wood. Because just under the deck was a bird’s nest. My human never removed it. She figured the birds weren’t hurting anything, besides driving me crazy. Well clearly the family has returned to roost. Or maybe the location of our place has been has been passed around in the bird community. Anyway, Velcro dog has alerted my human to our guests. As long as we don’t have to give them any of our biscuits, I’m fine with them staying.
In other nature news…well I KNOW you must be sick of hearing my bunny tales, but I really outdid myself the other night. My human went to take us out for our pee before bedtime. She takes us out on leash – one at a time. I got to go first while Velcro dog waited impatiently and threw in a bark or two to remind us that is was HIS turn next. Well. My human no sooner opened the door, and I smelled and heard the bunny. I jerked the leash from my human’s hand and I was off into the woods. Unfortunately for me, the place I went into the woods was all evergreens. Densely growing evergreens. With tiny branches from bottom to top. Just the kind of branches that catch a leash. So I was stuck. But is was dark out and my human couldn’t see me. She was NOT happy. She went in the house for her trusty headlamp and a flashlight, and she let Vecdo dog out to see if he would help find me. He just looked at my human and basically said “You can’t be serious. You want ME to go in there and mess up MY coat? I vote we let him stay there until daybreak.” So since he was not being the least bit helpful, my human put him back in the house and came back out to look for me. She called me and called me. But I didn’t make a sound. I KNEW I was in trouble. After a few minutes of my human thrashing her way through the dense woods, she spotted the colour red on a tree limb. Yup. My leash . With me attached a few feet away. She released me from my bondage and untangled the leash. I sheepishly walked back to the house.
My human is not sure which is worse – bunny or fox obsession. It seems that we must have fewer foxes around this year, because the bunnies are out in full force. Not a day goes by that we don’t see one. Or two. But I must confess, I am starting to come to the conclusion that it is very difficult to catch one. And even if I did, what would I do with him? Mind you, life isn’t about the end result, is it? It’s all about the chase!
Signing off from Wild Kingdom. Have a great day!