Phone calls and beauty pageants

So last weekend, my human participated in something called a “phone seminar.”  Basically, humans call a number and are able to listen to a presentation on a particular topic and they can ask questions.  And it is critical to keep your line on “mute” so the other participants can’t hear your dogs barking at you while you are just sitting around.  I was hoping the topic would be “Baking for your dogs,” or “How to build up your throwing arm.”  But no.  It was on “Grooming your Polish Lowland Sheepdog.”  Seriously.  It should have been called “How to torture defenseless animals without being arrested.” Of ALL the topics on dogs, it HAD to be grooming?!  So of COURSE, my human got new ideas and found out about new instruments of torture, so you KNOW she is going to be looking for them on-line, and trying them out on us.  And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, all that talk of fluff-ify-ing us inspired her to ENTER us in a BEAUTY PAGEANT in a few weeks.  Which is crazy.  Because the seminar included no information about how to make my self-trimmed back legs look good enough for a dog show.  Now THIS will be interesting.  I don’t know if my human ASSUMES my hair will grow in 3 weeks, but I don’t think hair extensions will really work.  Humans.

And if my human really plans to take us to a show, perhaps she should lay off the garlic tablets for a few days.  I mean if the judge gets a whiff of my breath, I don’t stand a CHANCE of getting any 25 cent ribbons.  And really what makes this whole pageant thing crazy – I will be competing against Velcro dog.  And we all know that it’s hard for me to beat him a beauty contest.  He wins for his coat alone.  Apparently there will ALSO be a girl dog there.  Now THAT will be interesting.  I’ll have to see if I can impress her with my rugged, outdoorsy look.  If there is a prize for congeniality, I’ll definitely get THAT.

Well today is Saturday, and we got my human up at 5.  No point in wasting the day.  We are just about to head out for our morning walk.  And then we will come home, have breakfast and multiple games of fetch.  I love weekends.  

Have a good one!

©  Linda Wozniak

A Norman Rockwell painting…

May 20.  On this day in 1916, the Saturday Evening Post paper featured it’s first cover by a man by the name of Norman Rockwell.  Mr. Rockwell’s art would eventually grace the cover 323 times.  His art depicted common, everyday life – and each painting could tell a story.  And the best part?  He had a HUGE affection for dogs – who frequently appeared in his paintings.  Some of my personal favorites include:

  • “Breaking Home Ties” – the heartfelt painting of a boy who appears to be leaving home for school – with his hard-working father, sitting and waiting for the train.  He sits with his suitcase, and his sad looking collie type dog, is mournfully resting his head on the boy’s knee…Awwwwww.
  •  “Good friends” – the happy scene of a Boy Scout feeding a treasury of puppies
  • “No Swimming” – the painting of three boys RACING from a spot that says “No swimming”with their trusty dog racing right along with them.
  • “The Veterinarian” – the scene of a little boy holding his dog while the Vet examines him.

Rockwell had dogs himself, and they were frequently found lying next to him in his studio while he worked.  My human says THAT is why she will never be a famous artist like Rockwell – we don’t lie next to her calmly – we HAVE to be on her lap.  It is difficult to paint that way… That’s HER excuse.  we know she’ll never be famous because she just can’t paint! 

I wish Norman Rockwell could have painted a picture of me and Velcro dog. Just THINK of the stories he could have depicted with US!  The title of one would be “The bunny chase…”

Have a good one – IT’S FRIDAY!!!

©  Linda Wozniak

TIME to SHOP!!!!!!!!

May 19.  Today in 1848 the first department store in the US opened in New York City. It was called the Marble Dry Goods Palace and it was the largest department store in the world at that time.  I wonder if it had a pet department…

Today there are all kinds of stores that sell pet supplies – some large chains and of course, smaller individually operated businesses.  Once upon a time it was very common to see puppies sold in pet stores.  Thankfully, that practice has largely disappeared – and people understand where pet shop puppies come from.  If you want a purebred puppy – get it from a reputable breeder.  Or, if you prefer to adopt a forever friend, you can go to a shelter. And don’t forget,  that most purebred dog clubs also have Rescue Committees – that help to re-home dogs.  But do NOT buy your puppy in a pet store.  Ever.  You might think you are helping that puppy – but you are just supporting puppy mills.  This is a topic I am passionate about!  

Back in 1848, if you wanted to buy something – you went to the store.  Today though, if you want to buy something, you can just sit down in front of your computer. And there is NO shortage of places to buy things for us dogs.  And my human has  sampled MANY of them.  Here are just a FEW of her favorites – and of course, MINE as well.  Except for the places where you get grooming supplies….

This place is in the US – but it ships anywhere.  It carries EVERYTHING.  Including the dreaded grooming supplies.

Here is another place in the US that carries everything.  They also ship to MANY countries.  But I’m not sure about Mongolia…

This place is in the UK.  For North Americans bored with the usual training dumbbells, they have some cool options.  My human has purchased from them before:

This place carries dog apparel.  Frodo has the 1970’s style Lycra bodysuit and I have the more stylish Gortex coat.

Here is the site of the ONLY dog bed we have NOT destroyed:

If you are into dog agility or obedience, here is a site in the US that has lots of good training information and equipment.

Want some games for us?  Here is the place in Sweden that my human…errr…Santa got us some toys:

This is a German company that has lots of cool things – including some LOVELY collars and leashes.  Guess who got one from Crufts!?  Purple.  Leather elk leather.  I love it.  It looks like you may not be able to buy from them directly but if you Google their product name, you will find other places that carry them.

As I said, this is just a TINY, TINY sampling of the sites that sell dog stuff.  Personally, I prefer to go in the pet stores myself, as I can grab something off the shelf and then my human HAS to buy it.  Mind you, being able to shop any time of the day or night using my human’s iPawd is also convenient.  As long as the place we are shopping has treats – I’m OK with whatever. Now.  If I could JUST get my own credit card….

Happy shopping!

James Taylor. You just call out my name…. and I’ll KEEP running….


So last night my human went to a concert.  By some guy named James Taylor.  She was all excited.  But it was funny – when she told her grad students that she was going to see James Taylor, they didn’t know who he was. It made my human feel old.  REALLY old.  And so it should.  She IS old.

Reportedly it was a great concert.  I wouldn’t know. We were not invited.

I understand James Taylor is a very famous singer and songwriter.  He has won loads of awards.  And it seems he is a nice guy too.  You may have heard about the awful wildfires out west in Canada.  Well it seems Mr Taylor is performing two concerts out west in June and 100% of the profits will go to the community ravaged by the fire.   Very nice.

Jim had an album called One Man Dog, so I’m assuming he likes dogs.  I know he had a pug named Ting – and maybe he still does.  I heard he sang LOTS of his famous hit songs last night- and one that was written by his friend Carole King.  I call it the canine theme song.  You’ve Got a Friend.  REALLY.  I think it is all about dogs.  Mind you the part about “You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running…”  well that’s true – unless I am chasing a bunny.

My human came home all happy and singing.  Of course we were happy to see her – but we could have done without the singing.  She certainly isn’t going to be joining a choir any time soon.  But don’t tell her I said so.

So the next time you listen to the words in that song – think of your dog.  And if don’t know the song – Google it.  I think you’ll like it!  And if you DO know the song, well…you’re not THAT old.

Have a great day.

Traumatized. By swimmers.

May 17.  THE day to celebrate my human.  Is it her birthday?  No.  Is she retiring?  No.  Fat chance.  It’s not Christmas.  Or World Pet Owner day.  It is….Pack Rat Day.   And she will be SO annoyed that I am saying this.  But let’s face it, she IS a pack rat.  Now don’t jump to conclusions that our house could be featured on the reality TV show “Hoarders” – it is NOT THAT bad.  But she does collect things.  I’ve talked about it before.  And I ALSO mentioned that she was on a Spring cleaning binge – and a selling spree.  And she HAS managed to get rid of some stuff.  The dog ramp for the car that none of us ever used, the automatic dog feeder – which would have been useless with me and Velcro dog if we ever managed to a hold of it, a leather carting harness…  Hey.  All of the stuff was dog stuff so far.  What’s with THAT?  How about I go in the mystery closet and pick some things to sell.  See how she likes that!

And speaking of not liking things.  I was traumatized last night.  It was THE first time I EVER had to stay in the house by myself.  For an HOUR and a HALF.  Velcro dog had an appointment at the Vet and my human didn’t want to take both of us.  So the question: would I be more happy waiting in the vehicle, or in the house?  She opted for the house.  You see, living in the three dog household has meant that no dog has ever been left behind.  Until last night – because we are no longer a three dog household.  Well I survived.  My human loaded three treat dispensing toys with food, and honestly, I didn’t even CARE that they were leaving me.  But when they got home, I acted all sheepish. My human thought it was because I was nervous being alone.  Nope.  I was sheepish because I pooped on the stairs.   One could argue that I was nervous on my own, but honestly, I was just mad because they left me.  

I have NO idea why Velcro dog went to the Vet.  I heard something about good swimmers.  Velcro dog doesn’t even LIKE the water so WHAT was going on?  All I know is that he came home with a smile on his face. And I was traumatized.  Or I pretended to be.

No Vet appointments for today.  THANK goodness.  I’m sure I’ll get over this traumatic experience.  Just give me 15 more biscuits, and I’ll forget it ever happened.  Maybe.

 Now.  When do I get to go swimming?

©  Linda Wozniak

Wanted. Dog sitter.

So.  I have a sore on my nose.  The question is – how did I get it?  Was it when I was roughhousing  with Velcro dog?  Or in my exuberance trying to chase the ball?  Or did I scrape it when I went on my short bunny chase?  It is kind of pink and raw – at least that’s what my human tells me – I didn’t look in the mirror.  And she can’t really put any cream on it – I’ll just lick it off.  It’s a dilemma.  Good thing I’m not booked for any beauty pageants in the near future.

And speaking of the future – we have had some sad news.  Our wonderful dog sitter will no longer be able to look after us.  She has some health problems – and she’s OK – but no more dog sitting for her.  My human hopes we didn’t drive her over the edge.  Nah.  She loved us.  She was very sad when she heard about Paxton.  Anyway, we have to start looking for a new sitter.  Which will be no easy task.  I mean if anyone reads this blog – let’s face it – they would not take the job! My human has no imminent trips planned – but we will have to start looking.  We have never been in a kennel.  Probably because my human fears that Pondini would be able to escape.  So for us – a sitter is REALLY the best option. I have my interview questions all written:
How do you feel about dogs sleeping on the bed with you?
Do you like bananas?  If yes, will you share them?
Do you allow dogs to lick your yogurt container?
How do you feel about going on 16 walks a day? ( OK, we don’t really do that, but how will they know?)
Do you have a good throwing arm?
Do you mind incessant barking just before meal time? (That one is for Velcro dog).
Are you willing to provide extra food and treats when requested?
If you prefer NOT to groom dogs, that will be considered an asset. 

So we’ll see who we can find.  My human says we will probably have to offer danger pay.  I say my human should just take us with her when she goes on trips.  Especially if she is going to a conference.  We could certainly provide entertainment during boring meetings.  Just another option.

Well excuse me while I start working on my ad for a sitter.  I just thought of another requirement – if they have a cat, they should bring it along….

Have a good one!

A horrid day. In my opinion.

We had a horrible Saturday.  OK – maybe in human terms it was far from horrible, but Velcro dog and I were NOT happy.  First off, it was RAINING when we went for our morning walk.  And we KNOW that we usually get an extra long walk on Saturdays – but no such luck in the rain.  And we are talking the dreaded raincoat rain.  My human had to haul Velcro dog out the door.

And then if THAT wasn’t bad enough, my human decided that the house really needed cleaning – the full vacuum/dust/scrub the floors cleaning.  Seriously.  What’s the point?   I say life is too short to vacuum – but humans are insistent. When a human goes on a cleaning binge, it is CRITICAL to follow her – actually walk in FRONT of her as she goes from room to room. Especially with the vacuum cleaner.  And stare at her mournfully.  
My human wondered when Paxton left us if cleaning would be different.  Let’s face it – Bernese are walking shedding machines.  And while our house does have less dog hair, as we PONs don’t shed – what she DID find yesterday was a whole assortment of “nature” souvenirs that Velcro dog and I brought inside.  Leaves, sticks, grass, mud, tiny stones – it’s our collection! Some people collect stamps – we collect “nature.”   And it’s really not new – it was just hidden by the Bernese hair in the past.
So besides the mournful vacuum march, I also have a new little habit – which drives my human crazy.   I have decided that I LOVE lint from the dryer.  And I KNOW that I can always find some in the garbage can in the laundry room.  And I go in there causally, if my human is folding laundry.  And I slowly walk in, simply sniffing the floor, trying not to look conspicuous as I make my way to the garbage can.  But my human is on to me.  She watches me and as I quicken my pace as I reach the can, she yells “no.”   I was caught yesterday.  
We DID play find the bunny indoors and we DID get lots of snuggles – so I guess in retrospect, the day wasn’t THAT horrible.  But after a long work week, I think we deserve more attention than the vacuum cleaner.  Maybe Velcro dog and I will have to cut down on our collecting.  Or just get a puppy who sheds a lot….now there’s an idea!   
Have a good one!

Ball vs bunny

So we know that I am OBSESSED with retrieving.  Balls, bumpers – anything that can be thrown.  I STARE at the garage door.  That’s where all the toys are.  And of course the dog food as well.  But if truth be known, I would probably pick a toy over food.  And we KNOW how much I love my food.  But I am absolutely CRAZY when it comes to retrieving.  Velcro dog likes to retrieve too – but he would definitely pick food first.  No question.

But the question – what would I pick if given the choice between retrieving and chasing a bunny….

The other night, my human took us out in the yard to do some retrieving.  I was madly jumping around her and barking as we went in the backyard to play.  I could not WAIT to start.  And as we came around the corner of the house, WHAT did we see but a BUNNY!  There he was.  On OUR lawn. Well, that was it – Velcro dog and I BOTH ran after him.   But of course Velcro dog didn’t want to crash through the woods, so he stopped.  But not me. I was barking like crazy, and running through the woods and my human figured that would be the END of the retrieving game.  She didn’t know when I would return.  BUT, miracle of miracles, I came RIGHT back.  I mean I was ready to start the retrieving game within 30 seconds.  I let Mr. Bunny go off on his terrified not-so-merry way.  Had I known that the game was only going to last 10 minutes because my human was being eaten alive by the dreaded black flies who have made their unwelcome spring appearance, I might have kept chasing the bunny.  But I guess the point is – I DID choose the ball over the bunny.

So ball wins over food.  Ball wins over bunny.  FINALLY my human has figured out that if she wants me to behave, all she has to do is carry the ball with her.  All the time.  24 hours a day.  Let’s see if I can train her to do that…

©  Linda Wozniak

The Chaos Room

So we are renaming one of the rooms in the house.  Some humans call it the bathroom, or the washroom, or the restroom or the loo!  I am renaming it the “chaos” room.  And not because chaos happens IN the room – but because it happens OUTSIDE the room when humans are in there.  At least in our house.

You see, when my human goes in there, to use the toilet (sorry for being blunt, but if you can talk about our daily peeing and pooping I think it’s only fair to address human behavior), or to shower or to wash her hands, we find that it is THE perfect opportunity to DO something undesirable.  Chaos.  And we simply do it so our human will come out.  Faster.

For example,  when my human is in the chaos room:  

  • It is the PERFECT time to lick and style Frodo’s hair.  And I will do it right outside the chaos room door – so my human can be sure to hear me.  She cannot STAND when I do that so she must come out to stop me.
  • Or – I will go in her walk-in closet.  The door doesn’t quite latch – and it creaks when it opens.  We are not supposed to go in the closet as it holds a treasure trove of items…shoes, slippers, purses and assorted other things that don’t fit in dresser drawers. Almost EVERY time my human is in the chaos room, I try to wander into the mystery closet.  And my human HEARS me go in, because of the creaky door.  At which point she shouts “Viktor get out of there.”  She doesn’t even need to see who it is.  She knows the “good dog” wouldn’t wander in.
  • It is also great fun to simply start barking when she is in the chaos room. For no reason.  It makes our human WONDER if someone is at the door.  The good dog is great at this.

And speaking of the good dog, he DID demonstrate some chaos the other night. Earlier in the evening we were playing with one of those incredibly expensive dog board games.  The ones my human…er…Santa brought for Christmas two years ago.   Dogs are supposed to figure out how to open little drawers to get  a treat.  We were playing – and I FINALLY figured out the two step version – you have to pull out a peg which THEN opens the treat drawer.  And of course you have to select the right drawer.  Frodo just scratches uncontrollably at the whole game board.  My human can’t leave the pegs in for him – he has no patience.  Anyway, I was wonderful the other night.  I played great.  And after we were done, my human put the game with the other boring…er…exciting games on a side table in the bedroom.  

So as my human was getting ready for bed, and she was in the chaos room brushing her teeth, she heard a loud crash in the bedroom.  She rushed out to see what the commotion was.  The “good dog” THOUGHT there MIGHT be treats left over in the game board, so he pulled it and all the games came crashing down.  Score one for Velcro dog.

So I think we have been successful in renaming most of the rooms in the house:  the living room or Dog Free Zone is now known as the Dog Comfort Zone, the kitchen is the Canine Buffet, the garage or grooming room is called the Torture chamber and the bathroom is the Chaos room.  

And who says humans are in charge?

Have a good one.  I know I will!   It’s Friday!

©  Linda Wozniak

Who needs sheep?!

So my human has decided that there is no point in getting sheep to graze our property.   Or goats.   Not that I could ever REALLY convince her to get them.  We are quite enough work.  Two PONs and my puppy.  Whoever he will be.  Can you tell I am not giving up on this puppy idea?  Anyway, back to the sheep.  The reason we don’t need grazing animals is because we have two.  Me.  And Velcro dog.  What is it with us and fresh green grass growing down near the lake?   I think we got the idea from Paxton.  He used to gorge himself on the tall grass by the water.  And now Frodo and I are at it.  Big time.  We never attempt to eat the grass on the lawn.  JUST the wild grass by the lake.  Here’s a shot of the two of us having some salad before dinner.  

My human calls us and calls us, and she finally just continues on the trail back to the house.  We wolf down (or should I say we sheep down) several mouthfuls and race back along the trail – to get our next course in the meal.  

Don’t you just LOVE spring?!

 ©  Linda Wozniak