She returns…

I

So she’s coming home today.  Which means poor Nicole will be able to return to her own home.  The big question is whether she will ever dog sit for us again.  I’ll be anxious to see what she tells my human.  I may have to pay her off.
In the meantime, my human apparently had a jolly old time in the City of Brotherly Love.  She SAYS conferences are hard work – but I understand there is also time for fun.  And for meeting friends – old and new.
For example, she got to meet Sue – a woman who is owned by a pretty PON named Meg!  Sue and my human had never met before – but Sue reads my blog and contacted my human about whether she was going to this Hearing and Speech conference.  Sue is into hearing and my human is into speech.  They apparently had a chance to get together and share stories about us wonderful canine kids! I think I should get to meet Meg.  When is the next conference?!
And then my human met with an OLD friend and they went to a dinner at a cool Italian restaurant. The food was amazing but what made the restaurant even more amazing – all of the waiters, waitresses, bar staff, etc are professionally trained classical singers – who sing opera!! Apparently throughout the evening they break into song and entertain the diners.  And the even MORE amazing thing – the name of the restaurant was Victor Café! I think she actually went there JUST because of the name.  
My human took time to go shopping for us and managed to find some pet stores.  She thought that these dog biscuits were funny.  I didn’t.  Because you KNOW which one I would get.

While my human was away, Nicole sent her regular texts and photos.  And in one text, Nicole mentioned that Elroy and I were playing.  My human thought she got the names wrong.  Did Nicole mean Elroy and FRODO?  Nope. It was me and Elroy. While my human was away…I decided I liked Elroy after all.  Go figure.  We’ll see if I still like him when my human gets home…
Well I had better get ready for her arrival.  And time to be extra nice to Nicole.  So she says good things about me.  Gotta get those guilt gifts….

She left us

Well it is about time I share something.  We were all abandoned several days ago.  OK.  That’s not exactly true.  But my human DID leave us – and she is coming home tomorrow. And since she left us,  we have been under the ever watchful eye of a new dog sitter – Nicole.
Nicole came to visit us several weeks ago and SOMEHOW we passed her interview. My human drugged us when she came.  JUST KIDDING!!!  But clearly we didn’t scare her off – and she agreed to come and stay with us. While my human went to a conference in someplace called Philadelphia.  I just don’t understand why we dogs can’t go to these things. 
As one might assume – looking after the likes of us Three Musketeers is not for the faint of heart.  Or someone NOT familiar with dog behaviour.  But Nicole is experienced.   And she was prepared.
My human will get ALL of the details about our behaviour when she gets home – although Nicole has been sending my human texts and photos of us. And rumour has it – my human is bringing home guilt gifts.  Having our human gone is always a BIT sad – but the guilt gifts quickly erase any bad feelings when she gets home.  I’m hoping the gifts include a kitten.  But some treats will also be OK.
Gotta go and hide those shoes I’ve been eating.  Just kidding.  Maybe…

Beaujolais Nouveau Day

November 17.  It’s a special day in France.  It’s the third Thursday in November – and it’s Beaujolais Nouveau DayAs I understand it, the day is all about wine.  It is a day to mark the arrival of the first wine of the year – the “New Beaujolias”.  While some wine aficionados would argue that the early vintage wine is not overly remarkable,  there are big festivals to celebrate the arrival of the wine – and even a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the stuff which attracts lots of media attention. Lots of the wine is exported to Japan, Germany and the US.

So all this hoopla about wine got me thinking about us canines and wine.  And while we shouldn’t drink human wine, leave it to somebody to come up with a wine just for dogs.  Yup.  The Apollo Peak winery in Colorado first developed a wine for cats.  It was said to contain ingredients similar to  catnip – to give Mr Kitty a bit of a buzz. So this year – they developed a wine for dogs.  Like the cat wine, it is non-alcoholic and contains all natural ingredients, like herbs and beets.  They have two varieties – CarDOGnay and ZinfanTAIL. http://www.apollopeak.com/

Then there is also Chateau La Paws.  Now THIS wine is for humans – BUT it supports dogs.  It’s a winery in California – and it supports no kill animal shelters.  In fact, the dogs on the bottle labels are shelter dogs!  Now that’s a cool idea.  https://www.chateaulapaws.com/

And lastly, we have books about all those dogs who hang out at wineries.  It seems that there are dogs all over the world who roam vineyards – and for many it is a job! The books are photo journals, telling the stories about these lucky dogs.  http://www.apollopeak.com/

Given that Elroy is  French breed, I think he should really be celebrating today.  And you know, we PONs never need a big reason to celebrate something.  Bring on the CharDOGnay!  Merci!

FREEEEEEEEEEEDOM

It’s official.  The Freedom Harness has almost passed the one month novelty test.  I talked about this harness in a previous blog, as THE tool to keep the FG from strangling himself – or pulling my human into the ditch.  And while my human was a bit skeptical as to whether the good behavior and the novelty would wear off – it has been so far so good.   AND it had the ultimate test the other night.

You know the little girl down the road?  The one who went with the FG to his performance puppy classes?  Where he did NOT learn to play the piano?  Anyway, she had not seen the FG since his classes ended a few weeks ago.  And her mother called the other night to see if she could come over and visit him.  My human was just about ready to take him for a walk – so they agreed to meet  and they would go for the walk together.

Well.  Elroy’s brain exploded when he first saw her. He was SO excited.  My human had to hold him so that he wouldn’t knock her over.  Thankfully she is not the LEAST bit worried around him and his craziness didn’t bother her one bit.  Even as he tried to pull the gloves she was wearing off her hands.  So as they walked along, my human decided to take a chance – and let her walk the FG.  He was wearing the Freedom Harness.  I’m here to tell you, he walked like a perfectly trained dog.  Which we know he is not.  Not yet anyway.  He walked with her and although my human was ever-ready to grab the leash if he got a bad case of the zoomies, he never did.  They walked for probably 45 minutes – and no one ended up in the ditch or being dragged on their knees.

I think the FG could do commercials for this thing.  Mind you, you can be sure that as soon as the film crew arrives, the novelty would wear off!   But I have to say – so far so good!

Chew. Faster please.

So as I’ve mentioned before, Elroy has a number of Paxisms.   But the one that really impacts me is his chewing.  And chewing.  I’m not just talking about things like shoes and table legs.  I’m talking about edible things.

Paxton was notorious for slow chewing.  Which made training him a bit of a challenge. He would be given a treat reward, the size of a pea, and he would chew it for 30 seconds.  Unlike us PONs, who basically inhale treats and are quickly ready for the next exercise, so we can inhale another treat.  Paxton would also chew things like blueberries.  I guess he was savoring the flavor.

Anyway, yesterday we ran out of bananas.  We each get some banana after we have our breakfast.  And the distribution is always the same:  Frodo, Viktor, Elroy.  It’s the whole seniority thing.  Elroy has finally figured out how to eat bananas FAIRLY quickly – but he still doesn’t have the inhale method down just yet.  And then yesterday, because we were out of bananas, my human gave us pieces of apple.  Now THAT was entertaining. While Frodo and I DO chew apples a bit, we ARE quick.  But not the FG.  He has to take his small piece of apple and take it under the dining room table.  Where he studies it and then chews it.  And chews it.  And chews it.  All the while Frodo and I are getting more pieces of apple.  It got to the point that my human had to stop and wait for him – she felt badly because we were getting more than he was.  It was fine with me…but I guess it REALLY wasn’t fair.  So we waited.  While he finished each piece.  It was painful.

For a guy who is so busy and rarely sits still, he hasn’t coordinated that with his chewing. 
I really do have to work on training him…

Secret Service. And Full Moons

OK – so I didn’t run for DOTUS.  Just as well – too much drama for me.  BUT I found another way to get into the White House.  I can become a Secret Service Dog.  There are dogs who sniff out explosives and there are dogs who are called personal screening canines (PSC)- who discretely sniff out visitors to the White House.  But I think I want to be on the ERT -Emergency Response Team.  These dogs go after bad humans – and let’s just say, they don’t tap the person on the shoulder and say “excuse me – you don’t belong here.”  These dogs are fast as lightning and will take down an intruder.  The only problem for me – they are all Belgian Malinois.  Which seems to be a bit of discrimination if you ask me. Mind you, those dogs may take a beating by intruders.  Maybe I would be better as a PSC – they look friendly, but are ever vigilant.  

There’s a new book that just came out about Secret Service Dogs.  I think I’ll put it on my Christmas list.

Last night there was a huge full moon – supposedly the largest and brightest in the sky since 1948.  I don’t know about that since I wasn’t around in 1948, but I also found out the full moon in November has another name – the Beaver Moon. The Aboriginal people named it that because it was the time of the month to set beaver traps, before the swamps froze.  And speaking of the beaver, he sure is active down on the lake.  Now I understand that term “Busy Beaver”.  There are all kinds of branches floating along the shoreline.  We haven’t actually seen him and my human is just as happy about that.  She went down to see his work last night and shot this photo – just as the sun was going down.  None of us were with her.  That’s why she could take the shot.  

We were all rather naughty last night.  Well – just a bit more naughty than usual.  And it was great – we had THE perfect excuse.  That unusual full moon.  I don’t know what our excuse will be tonight – but I’m sure we’ll think of something!

Have a good one!

Good one Elroy

 Score one for Elroy.

Elroy and Frodo have become best buddies.  The photo may not LOOK like they are buddies – but this is their weird type of play. They bite and chew each other and wrestle like crazy.  With his new ear apparel, my human has had to break up the All Star Wrestling match more than once – for fear Frodo will definitely pull the tape off those ears.  They are already looking pretty beat.

But the best example of buddies working together was the other day while my human was grooming Frodo.  Elroy was in a run in the garage – watching the beauty routine unfolding.  He was fine and then started to squeak.  Like he needed to go out.  My human thought it odd – since he had just BEEN out, but after a minute or two of continual complaining, she figured she had better take him out.  Now Frodo is generally VERY good when it comes to grooming.  I mean he COMPLAINS and acts like he is being tortured, but he HAPPILY accepts the non-stop treat distribution that goes on throughout the process.  He is also PRETTY obedient when he is told to stay.  So my human told him to stay and went to quickly take Elroy out for a pee. 

When she came back, she found that not only did Frodo NOT stay – he ate all the treats that were piled on the chair next to the grooming table.  And he was looking pretty darn proud of himself.  Thanks to Elroy.

I have finally started to like Elroy.  I even gave him a SPLIT SECOND play bow the other day – and THOUGHT about playing with him indoors.  I HAVE been chasing him outside but the indoor playing has not really started. But I DO tolerate him and it’s even OK with me if he wants to lie down close to me.  We’re getting there.  Perhaps some humans could learn a lesson about tolerance and acceptance from me…

Well, it’s Sunday – time to stare at the throw toys.  Have a great one!

A new dog

We have a new dog in the house.  A very odd looking dog…  He looks kind of like a goat.  With horns.  Oh wait – it’s ELROY!

I talked before about the fact that he has been sporting the Flying Nun ears for a few weeks.  He had witch ears for a bit and then his ears returned to the nun look.  So.  He will soon be 6 months old.  And in order for those witch ears to reappear, he needs a little help.  In the form of sticks and tape.  Little did Frodo and I know that when he went off to the Vet the other day, that he would return with popsicle stick ears.  And not to worry for those who may read this and not understand the process – he did NOT have any kind of surgery to fix those ears.  They are basically braced up. 

He reportedly was well behaved while the Vet put them up but then understandably began to shake his head when he was done.  My human had visions of them being taken off before they got home – but he quickly adjusted to the weird feeling.  Not to mention the fact that on the way home, she stopped at the PET STORE and bought a special throw toy AND THEN took him to a baseball field near our house to play.  She felt badly for him.  Hey – I’ll tape my ears up for that opportunity!  Can you imagine what THAT would look like?!

Those ears will be like this for a bit.  Unless Frodo can remove them first….He goes back to the Vet next week and depending on how they look, he may or may not need them taped again.  Oh the things we dogs put up with.  

Now.  Where is that toy….don’t worry – I played with it later…

Someone has been chewing. And it isn’t Elroy…

Ahhhhh.  Life in the country.  Or should I say, life in the wild kingdom.

So we know that we sometimes get field mice who decide to visit our abode in the fall.  So far we have not had much action in that area.  Thankfully – as it drives my human crazy.  And then of course, I had that run-in with the porcupine once.  Which put an end to any off leash late night pee breaks.  And then there was the killer duck this summer.  That was entertaining.  And along with the squirrels and chipmunks we have our resident moles – who have made our back lawn into a construction zone.  And if we didn’t have enough chewing by Jaws – now known as the FG, we have a NEW chewer in town.

In the past week or two, we noticed when we went down to the lake, that there were lots of wood chips around.  The first time my human noticed them, she saw Elroy chewing on one – and she panicked – as she thought he was eating a mushroom.  She pried it out of his mouth and realized it was wood.  Hmmmmm.  And then she spotted something odd.  Two trees.  That had been chewed down.  And all that was left were stumps.  What could THAT be?!



Well we have also noticed small trees floating in the water near the shore.  That could only mean one thing.  Beavers. The beaver – which is a symbol of Canada, was a popular commodity for the early explorers.  Those beaver pelts which were made into fur hats, were very profitable.  By the mid-19th century, all those fashionable hats nearly resulted in the demise of the flat-tailed rodent.  But with conservation efforts, and a change in fashion, the beaver is far from endangered.   And we obviously have at least one in the neighborhood.

If you go to the webpage for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources you can find a page labelled “Nuisance Beavers”.  According to that site, beavers become active in the early fall, storing branches in underwater food piles near their “lodges” for use in the winter.  While beavers can create ponds as they build their dams,  they can also take down a lot of trees.  And they CAN make a mess.  We don’t really NEED a pond.  We have a lake.  And while beavers may LOOK kinda cute – they can be very nasty if provoked.  There have actually been incidents where dogs have been KILLED by beavers!  So now my human doesn’t want any of us off leash when we go down to the lake.  Great.  Time to call in the trappers.  Hopefully they take care of moles too!

Ahhhh.  Life in the country…. I think Elroy has actually met his match in the chewing department!

Have a good one!

It’s OVER.

Well. It’s over.  The world’s longest (and probably most contentious) election is FINALLY over. And I must say, like so many waking up today, I am feeling shocked.  And this is one time I don’t feel braggadocious about the fact that  dogs were right in their prediction…

Clearly the voters were tired of political rhetoric and were looking for a change.  And boy, they sure got a change…

For those who are feeling disappointed, don’t give up.  America MUST come together.  It is a shattered land.  And because your candidate did not win, does not mean you give up on your country.  And it does not mean you have lost your voice. In the words of Gandi – “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” 

I sure am glad that I’m a dog.  And that is my LAST comment about politics.  For now.  I must go and help my human as she prepares for the influx of visitors.  Before the wall is built…