We stink. Seriously.

OK.  So in her desperate quest to keep us flea and tick-free without the use of chemicals, my human has made us human-free. Well not really human-free – but just a bit unappealing to humans.  Our breath stinks.  And why?  She started us on these dog garlic tablets that are supposed to repel ticks and fleas. No wonder.  They would repel just about any living organism, except perhaps a skunk.  We just started them recently so we’ll let you know if they actually work on the insects.  Especially the dreaded ticks.  So far so good – but the season is early. 


I know she just wants us to be safe – but this stuff is potent.  Now I suppose she’ll be on the hunt for some organic dog breath mints. And if it’s not the garlic tablets, she sprays this all-natural stuff on us that makes us smell like walking citronella candlesHonestly.  The stuff we must endure…

Have a good one.  Said the stinky dog.

©   Linda Wozniak

Training humans. There is hope.

This is a shout out to all you canines who think that humans are not trainable.  I present my evidence that with careful planning, and consistence, you CAN train a human.

Case in point.  When I started my blog, I wrote about the DFZ (Dog Free Zone).  The ONE room in the house that is “technically” off limits to us canines.  It houses the “good” furniture and an assortment of antique rugs.  And other old, non-chewable items.  A dog gate rests against the entry and it is sometimes secured with bungee cords.  Now here comes my technique to train humans to allow you access into dog-free zones.  If you persist at bugging your human while she is in the DFZ – by pacing around other rooms, attempting to knock down the gate – or simply by incessantly squeaking, she will eventually let you in.  This is perfect.  She has now let down her guard.  This is your first step in training. Take advantage of this situation – and BEHAVE.  No roughhousing and NO attempting to get on the furniture.  For now.  And eventually, after that, she will let down her guard even MORE and not ONLY will you be carelessly waltzing in to the DFZ- but you will find that the dog-free furniture is VERY comfy.  As you see in my photo.

With persistence, you can teach your human OTHER things as well. Humans set up “rules” BUT by using a sad face, and simply DOING the canine-desired behavior when the human is not present,  your training will usually work.  Remember the “rule” about “no dogs” on the bed?  Here is the evidence that we have not only been able to train her to allow us on the bed – but this is doubly remarkable – as you will see -Frodo is on the bed and is WET too.  After a walk.  In the rain.  And we have trained our human not to react to this behavior.  A simple throwing up of her hands and shaking her head is a perfect response. We have trained her well – although it HAS taken repeated attempts and trials.  And now, she is a pleasure to live with.



I will probably be putting these and other training tips into a manual for dogs.  The moral of the story – never think of abandoning a good human – and running away from home.  With persistence and love, they CAN be trained.  Never give up hope.  If OURS could be trained, ANY one can be trained.  Happy training and good luck!

©  Linda Wozniak

Someone is on a diet. Someone is on a diet.

Well it appears that SOMEONE in this house is going on a diet.  My human thinks that Velcro dog could take off a pound or two.  NOT that he is obese – by any means – but she noted while lifting him into the tub the other day, that he seemed to be a BIT heavier than normal. And I think we know why.  As you may recall, during the last week or so that Paxton was sick, he didn’t have much of an appetite.  So my human was trying EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to get him to eat.  Our kitchen counter looked like a cross between a kitchen in a HUGE restaurant and a science lab – with a VARIETY of food items and supplements.  Not to mention that delicacy – the canned tripe.

Unfortunately, despite her best canine culinary skills, Paxton often refused her efforts.  So.  What to do with the leftovers?  Quite a bit was thrown out.  BUT – we PONs sometimes got a sample of the finished products.  I think that my metabolism must be higher than Frodo’s – because I didn’t gain weight – but he appears to be sporting just a BIT extra weight.  Kind of like my human – she’s still paying for the Halloween leftovers…But don’t say I mentioned it.

So how to get the weight off Velcro dog?  I think my human will try her old method – that worked brilliantly when she got her very first Bernese – and had to help him take off extra pounds.  Canned pumpkin.  NOT the pumpkin pie filling stuff.  Just PLAIN canned pumpkin.   By adding a few tablespoons to Frodo’s food, and reducing his other calories JUST a bit, he will still feel full but it will help to get that weight down.  Better him than me.

Well it’s Monday.  The start of a new week – and all new adventures.   And I hope yours is brilliant! And you don’t need to add pumpkin to your food.  Have a great one!

©  Linda Wozniak

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 8.  Today is a very special day in more than 75 countries around the world.  It is Mother’s Day.  A day to celebrate mothers and motherhood. 

Frodo and I have the same mother (and father too!).  Here’s a picture of our mother – doesn’t Frodo look like her?!

In Frodo’s treasury (remember I don’t like using the word “litter” to describe a bunch of puppies.  We are NOT garbage!  I prefer a treasury of puppies.) – there were 6 puppies.  Here they are at about 2 weeks old:

And in MY treasury….drum roll…there were 10 puppies!  CAN YOU IMAGINE 10 PON PUPPIES?! Imagine the stampede to get to the milk bar all the time.  My poor mother.  Here we are at 2 weeks:

Mother dogs usually look after us puppies VERY closely the first few weeks.  I bet MY mother was VERY anxious for us puppies to be eating solid food.  And when we do that, we become more independent.  Unlike humans. Some of them NEVER become independent!  My human STILL depends on her 87 year old mother! Her mother is a special lady and as we know, I’m her favorite grand dog.  Or I like to think I am.

Today is a day to pamper moms and to think of those moms who may no longer be with us.  If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here!  And all you dogs – don’t forget to give your “human mom” a big lick today too.

So Happy Mother’s Day to all moms – whether you are celebrating in your country today, or if you celebrate at another time. Thanks for ALL you do!

©  Linda Wozniak

Monkey see…

 So my human finds it fascinating how much we dogs learn from one another.  She was thinking about this a LOT in the past week, as we have been having a LOT of rain.  You see, when I was in my younger years (like when I was a year old), I didn’t care at ALL about the rain.  Paxton didn’t either – so I followed his lead.  But over the last two or so years, I have REALLY started to follow Frodo’s lead.  Case in point…it was raining yesterday morning at 5AM when my human took us out for our morning walk.  Once upon a time, I would not have cared about the weather.  At all.  Frodo, on the other hand, as we know, despises the rain.  And now I have decided to TOTALLY follow HIS lead.  I mean TOTALLY.  My human found herself walking down a dark road, in the rain, with TWO shaggy canines towing WELL behind her.  It was like walking TWO forty lb bags of potatoes.  She actually had to laugh at one point – the sight is SO pitiful.  Someone should video the death march.  

And then when she gets home from work, and we run down our trail to the lake, if there are ANY puddles, we BOTH plot our route so to avoid them.  Frodo started this circuitous water hopping – and now I do it too!

I have also started to run and hide if I think that I am about to be groomed.  Now I NEVER used to avoid grooming – I mean all you have to do is lie there and you get treats – it’s a pretty easy job.  But Mr. Grooming Drama King has taught me well – so now I hide when it’s my turn.

My human is praying that I don’t start Frodo’s incessant morning singing routine.  Or his less-than-hospitable barking when he sees a neighbor.  She WOULD like me to follow some of his obedience heel work, but she figures that is not likely.  He’s too slow for me.  And it is unlikely he will EVER follow ME in my bunny chasing routine – it would mean getting dirty and wet in the woods.  

So you humans – remember we dogs are NOT monkeys but we DO follow the adage – Monkey see, monkey do. And although we DO have our OWN personalities, we DO learn from one another.    Just IMAGINE what a new puppy would learn from me… It’s actually a bit scary, isn’t it?  But no – my human hasn’t even decided on a puppy yet – but when we DO get one – just THINK – it will be a CLONE of me- behavior-wise!!!  

Now.  I just need to get my human moving on this puppy thing…And I wonder if the puppy will have his own blog…

©  Linda Wozniak

 

Viktor’s Adventure Tours

May 6.  Today is National Tourist Appreciation Day.  And living in a place where we get LOTS of tourists – I can DEFINITELY send out thanks to all those people who come to visit Nova Scotia.  Here’s a small sample of what tourists see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTbJhNuCLR8
 And I invite others to come! I will be your tour guide.  Viktor’s Adventure Tours.  With a stop at the Viksonian.

So why come to Nova Scotia?  Well – we have Peggy’s Cove – a landmark fishing village with its iconic lighthouse, not a 30 minute drive from us!  Here I am at Peggy’s Cove:

Nova Scotia has so many lovely spots – from the farming area of the Valley, with its orchards and vineyards – to the ship building towns of the South Shore.  We also have the highest tides in the world.  And one of THE most picturesque drives in the world – the famous Cabot Trail.  Where mountains meet the sea. 

Nova Scotia means New Scotland in Latin – and we sure have lots of Scottish history and culture here.  Want to see some Highland Games?  We have them.  The games include something called the caber toss – which would be VERY hard for a dog to retrieve.  But still fun to watch!

Now if that isn’t enough reason to visit – we also have LOTS of dog shows and events.  Every month from February to November, there is a show going on somewhere in Nova Scotia!  http://www.canuckdogs.com/index.php?PageKey=b23395bf-4d4b-102d-aef9-80d29b930d88&RegionKey=e4c2e472-0b66-11df-b8b7-8ac0277f09ae

And of course, Nova Scotia has LOTS of beautiful parks and trails where you can walk your dog.  There are loads of dog friendly accommodations around the province too – you shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to stay. 

So have I convinced you to come and visit?  Remember, I’ll be here waiting.  And don’t forget to bring the treats!  And if you contact the tourism people, remember to tell them that Viktor sent you.  Viktor the PON!

Have a happy Friday!

©  Linda Wozniak

Opening soon: the Viksonian.

May 5.  Today is Museum Lover’s Day.  Now I’ve already talked about a museum that is on my human’s Bucket List – the American Museum of the Dog in St. Louis.  http://www.museumofthedog.org/   IMAGINE – a museum of ALL things dog.  She will get there some day.  And she better take us.
But in my search today, I found information about another dog related museum. This one is literally a work in progress.  It seems an artist by the name of Mark Barone, is painting 5500 portraits of shelter dogs – to raise awareness about the 5500 dogs who die daily in shelters in the US.  He sells prints of the portraits and the funds raised go to shelters and rescue organizations in 50 states.  His dream is to create a “Museum of Compassion” to house the portraits, which will also be a place of education about the amazing bond between humans and animals and to promote compassion for rescuing animals.  He has apparently even teamed up with Yale University on this project – and PBS has done a documentary on his work.  To read more about it, check the website:  http://anactofdog.org/
I also found ANOTHER dog museum – the Kennel Club Art gallery in London, England – which houses the largest collection of dog paintings in Europe.  http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/the-art-gallery/But the big question – do they have one of a PON?!  
And if you live in New England, you have just a bit more time to go to an Exhibit at the Springfield Museum in Massachusetts – Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs.  https://springfieldmuseums.org/exhibitions/wolf-to-woof/  I want our museum to bring in this one!  Watch for it in your city – if you are LUCKY! And if you can’t find it – here is a short video about what the exhibit is like:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PCogPvG2vo
And who KNEW there was a National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, Tennessee? Yup.  For all you sporting Dog enthusiasts:  http://www.birddogfoundation.com/national_bird_dog_museum.htm
My human has enough dog-related “stuff” in this house – we could start our own museum.  Although, apparently there is an exhibit in Waco, Texas of one couple’s collection of dog stuff and it has over 7,000 items.  So MAYBE they have my human beat.  But by just a few items.  Yup – I want us to open a museum, and the admission will be dog treats.  And of course, I’ll be collecting the fees.  And I can run the educational programs on how to train humans.  I’ll call it the Viksonian.  When do we start?  
 Have a great day!  As always, I will!

Prime Ministers and bunnies



May 4.  On this day in 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the UK.  Now I’m not a political kind of dog, so I won’t go into whether or not I liked Maggie’s politics, but this much I do know:  although she was dubbed the Iron Lady for her tough exterior and uncompromising leadership style – it seems she DID have a soft spot.  For dogs! I found that she had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – and maybe other dogs too.  In her later years, she would sit on a park bench and happily greet dogs as they came along.

Maggie was the longest serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century.  The current PM David Cameron has a cat.  Seems to me if you want the job for a long time, get a dog.  Just my observation.

Last night I regained my title as Find the Bunny C-H-A-M-P.  We played indoors but my human continues to make the hiding spots more and more difficult.  Velcro dog got to play first. And truth be told, he was a BIT cheeky with my human.  He would wait while she hid the bunny, and once he was instructed to find him – he would bark like CRAZY.  But that wasn’t the cheeky part.  He would bring the bunny back and exchange him for a treat. At which point my human would instruct him to sit and wait while she hid the bunny again.  But Velcro dog was B-A-D.  When my human said “sit,” he would either bark OR click his teeth at her.  And then he would just stand there.  He’s been in a “sitting protest mode” lately.  So she would say “sit” again.  And he would stare at her like she had just said something in Swahili.  At which point she would “give him the mad face” and he would sit.  This went on EVERY time he brought the bunny back.  His game went on for 3 hours.  OK.  Maybe not that long, but it felt like it.

Then it was my turn.  And I, on the other hand, sat INSTANTLY.  And I QUICKLY found every bunny hiding place.  EVERY one.  However…how do I say this…the bunny has some new surgical incisions.  Compliments of moi.  I DON’T like to give him up. So although I am faster than lightning at finding him…well I had better be careful or Mr. Bunny will be requiring some major suturing.  Maybe my human will have to travel back to England to find another bunny. And hey – maybe she could visit with the Prime Minister while she’s there.  Nah.  He has a cat.

Have a good one.


Lumps….

May 3.  According to the Crazy Calendar, today is National Lumpy Rug Day.  I guess it is supposed to be a day to appreciate nice non-lumpy rugs.  Who comes up with these ideas?  Anyway, I THOUGHT it was a day all about Velcro dog.  The KING of lumpy rugs.  Frodo LOVES to ball up rugs.  And we have this raised bed – the ONLY bed we have YET to destroy.  And the fleece cover of the bed is attached on four corners to the legs of the bed.  Frodo tries with ALL his might to make that bed lumpy.  He scratches and digs until my human yells “STOP.” She KNOWS he will eventually rip one of those corners, and then it’s all over.  But that’s not the really weird part about this lumpy rug/bed thing.  He digs that same way at the tile floor.  Like he could make IT lumpy.  And my human thinks HE is the smart one?!

Today is also National Specially-abled Pets Day.  A day to celebrate those pets who may not have the exact skills that all of us do, but who still live active, happy lives.  I searched for the perfect videos to illustrate this – and here are two that I really like.  I hope you will too!

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/tearjerker-video-shows-incredible-bond-5959134

In this video – but you MAY want to turn down the sound…if you don’t want your dogs to go crazy!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1105962/Disabled-dogs-wheelchairs-play-fetch.html

So a day to celebrate lumps.  Rug lumps and overcoming life’s lumps!  I hope YOUR day is far from lumpy!

© Linda Wozniak

We ARE trainable….

Who knew?  We ARE trainable…

Lately our morning routine has become even more chaotic than usual.  I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  You see every morning when we are about to go out on our morning walk, Velcro dog barks while my human is getting ready. He barks.  And barks.  And barks some more.  And my human says “QUIET Frodo.”  And he is silent for 8.3 seconds and he starts again.  And because she is in such a hurry to get us out, she has basically ignored the morning soloist.  But in the past several weeks, I have decided that I should join in.  He barks. I bark.  He barks.  I bark.  And we also bark together.  Saturday morning, my human had enough.  And she was pretty darn clever about her approach.  It wasn’t until later that Frodo and I figured it out.  Instead of saying a WORD to us, she simply walked away.  And we continued our chorus.  But gradually the chorus slowed down.  And as soon as it stopped, my human came back.  So of course we started again.  And what did SHE do?  She walked away.  Frodo and I just looked at each other.  This back and forth happened about 4 times.  But it wasn’t 3 minutes before you had two PONs sitting silently by the front door.  And we were silent while she put on our leashes.  And the next day, she only had to walk away once.  So.  Score one for the human.  Now. Getting us to not chase bunnies is probably going to require a BIT more training.

And SPEAKING of bunnies – do you know what we did yesterday?!  We played FIND THE BUNNY – OUTSIDE.  And I HATE to admit this – but VELCRO DOG was faster than me!!!!  I’m blaming it on the fact that I thought we were supposed to find the REAL bunny.  I kept circling and  zig zagging around the front lawn. But this game is VERY cool – I hope we play it again.

It’s Monday – the beginning of the WORK week.  Work is a horrible four letter word in OUR vocabulary.  But we will survive – and look forward to some Find the Bunny when my human gets home.  Happy Monday all!

©  Linda Wozniak