Einstein. On being neighborly. Not.

That Einstein is pretty smart.  I can really learn a lot from him.  My human was thinking about that yesterday morning when she went to take us out for our morning walk.  And while he may be smart, he’s not exactly neighborly…
It was about 5:30 and still dark, so armed with her trusty headlamp, she  went out with me and Einstein.  We have discovered that the FG is not REALLY a morning dog.  He is quite happy to lounge in his crate until it is his turn to go out. And  he is in no hurry.  Wednesdays are always interesting – it’s garbage day on our road.  Which means my human needs to constantly zig zag back and forth across the road – to keep us from peeing on all the neighbors’ garbage cans.  And on garbage day, Einstein is on HIGH alert -on the chance that some neighbor didn’t put the trash out the night before – and is doing it early in the morning.  Because it is Einstien’s role to bark at every neighbor he sees.  As if he would tear them limb from limb.  But as they know, he will not REALLY do anything – he’s all bark.   Still – my human is not impressed with this Tasmanian Devil behaviour. She’s constantly apologizing and saying “he’s just saying hello.”  Sure he is.  Anyway as we were wandering back and forth and being pulled away from every garbage can, my human heard a neighbor in his yard up ahead.  His garbage wasn’t out yet – so clearly he was going to be dragging it out to the road.  Einstein went on immediate supersonic-stiff-legged-ears-up- high alert.  He knew the neighbor would be coming out.  And he would need to let out the barking alarm.  So my human rushed past the driveway.  And Einstein slowed down and waited looking up the driveway.  My human pulled him along.  Einstein kept looking back over his shoulder.  And he wanted to wait.  He knew that neighbor would be coming.  And she kept walking.  And pulling.  And he kept looking back.  So how to stop the human’s forward movement?  Pee.  Humans will generally not pull you ahead while you are peeing.  Pretty clever Einstein.   Yup, pretty smart indeed.   And all the time he was peeing, he was looking back over his shoulder.  Grumbling.  He walked slowly after peeing, still looking over his shoulder as my human dragged us down the road and out of sight of the late-garbage neighbor’s house.
We went up the road to the start of the trail, sniffed around, did our business and headed back home.  We didn’t walk the trail because it rained the other day, and because it was still dark out Einstein wouldn’t be able to see the puddles on the trail.  Horrors.
By the time we headed back past the neighbor’s driveway, the garbage was already out and he had left for work.  Einstein was still intently looking at the driveway – but he realized he no longer needed to be on alert.  Party over.   No one to “sing” his joyful “good morning “ song to.  
It’s Thursday and we are painfully aware that my human’s staycation will be quickly coming to an end.  She didn’t accomplish much – but we did get a new roof, we played countless games of fetch, she has managed to paint SOME of the trim on the house , we  played countless games of fetch, the furnace was serviced,  we played countless games of fetch,  the doors to the DFZ have been measured and ordered, we played countless games of fetch and she has been able to spend a good deal of time with her mother – which we have also enjoyed.  But we plan to cram in a few more games of fetch before she heads back to the salt mines next week.  OK.  Not REALLY salt mines.  She works in a university.  Personally, I would be MUCH happier if she worked in butcher shop.
Oh and I THINK SOMETHING MAY be happening this weekend.  Yesterday she told Einstein that he is going to get a bath tonight.  I haven’t seen him since.  Wonder what she is planning NOW…
Anyway, have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Killer bunnies

August 30.  On  this day in 1979, then President Jimmy Carter was attacked.  By a rabbit.  My human vaguely remembers this event.  It seems Jimmy was out on a canoe trip, and was fishing and a crazed rabbit, who was probably being chased, started swimming for Jimmy’s boat.  Jimmy splashed his paddle in the water, the loony bunny swam the other direction, hit the shore and took off. Who knew bunnies can swim?!  It apparently was a big news item: Killer Bunny attacks President. Pretty scary news.
Each morning, we are pretty much guaranteed to see a bunny or two.  There are LOADS of them this year.  And they are getting more and more brazen.  Even the FG who was initially just mildly  interested in them, has now become rather excited when he sees one.  He even sniffs the ground where one has been – and if he was off leash, he would probably now try and chase one.  So now we have a houseful of bunny loving dogs!  My lucky human.
And speaking of the FG running, he gave my human a bit of a scare the other day.  We were all hanging out on the deck together.  My human’s mother was visiting and was sitting out on the deck as  well.   Suddenly, my human looked around and noticed that the FG was not on the deck. She began to panic.  How did he escape?  Did he jump OVER the railing?  That would be crazy as the deck is HiGH up.  And then she noticed something.  The gate on the deck, at the top of the stairs was partly open.  It must have been left open by one of the roofing guys.  She raced down the stairs to see if she could catch him.  Good luck.  He realized he was free and off he dashed into the woods and he headed down the trail to the lake.  And this time my human did something she hasn’t done before.  She didn’t chase him.  She waited.  And she said to her mother that if he wasn’t back in 15 minutes she would go to look for him.  But she didn’t need to look – in less than  3 minutes he was racing back through the woods and bolting through the front door when my human opened it.  She WAS heading out to look for him – so much for the 15 minute waiting period.  But he did come back, happy and out of breath.  Clearly he had a zoomie moment.  Hey MAYBE he DID chase a bunny!
Anyway – time to go back on bunny patrol.  Clearly some of those bunnies CAN be dangerous!  Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!


Well well well.  GUESS who passed his Herding Instinct Test?!  Yup.  The FG is interested in sheep.  
He and my human left the house EARLY yesterday morning and drove a bit over an hour to a farm near Lunenburg.  There were 20 dogs booked for the Instinct Test – 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon.  They were in the morning group.  Before the testing began, the evaluator instructed the participants that this was just single “snapshot” of how a dog would be with sheep. Remember my “snapshot”?   No action shot there.  It was more like a still life painting.  And that’s all my human could think about.  
My human kept the FG in his crate in Ludwig until just before it was their turn to go in.  The evaluator said she never saw a Picard with sheep before.  Great.  Even more pressure.  He was now representing the entire breed.  Before he even got IN the ring, he discovered my favourite part of Herding.  The snacks.  Those delectable morsels left all over the ground by the sheep.  Déjà vu my human thought.   Here we go again.
This test was a bit different from the one that Einstein and I did.  The evaluator took each dog by the lead and introduced the dog to the sheep.  Not really a formal introduction by names, but she walked to dog toward the sheep.  And the FG was very interested.  And pretty responsive  to feedback  – he didn’t pull the evaluator onto her knees.  It was the first time my human ever saw the FG stay interested in something for more than 3 seconds.  He really thought the sheep were cool.

After the session was over, the evaluator told my human that the FG has potential to become a real herding dog.  She really liked him. My human got so excited, she almost started crying.  I would hate to see what happens to her if she won something like an Academy Award!  Seriously.  And remember it was a “snapshot.”  The full length film could be a whole other story!   But for now we KNOW that the FG IS interested in sheep which is a great starting point and he DID pass the test!  So he GOT a certificate and everything.  Good job little brother.  Good job.
Now.  When are we getting some sheep?
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Big Brother


So we know that my human installed Big Brother quite a few months ago.  And she can check in to see what we are doing while she is out of the house. She gets alerts when there is movement in the room, and if she looks on her phone, she can see what is happening…
For the past week or so, I have become obsessed with styling Einstein’s hair. I always like to do it- but I just cannot stop myself lately.   My human is constantly telling me to stop, but if she turns her back, I’m back at it.  Part of the reason I am doing it is out of jealousy.  I heard through the grapevine that Einstein is entered is some kind of beauty pageant next weekend.  And frankly, I don’t think it is fair.  So I keep trying to trim his hair, in the hopes that he won’t be able to go.  OK.  I guess that’s not really very nice of me.  But I really cannot stop styling when I get started.
So yesterday morning, after we had our long walks and breakfast, my human went to visit her mother.  She was sitting and chatting at her mother’s place when Big Brother sent her an alert.  She took a look at her phone.  And there I was, styling away.  And she did something she has not done ever before.  She tried the microphone on her phone – to talk to us.  Well – as you might expect, we jumped up to see where the voice was coming from. Einstein started barking.  We ran to the window and then to the door.  After a minute or two,  we then settled back down.  And I  went back to my styling.  My human called my name.  And  she called Einstein.  Again we went to see where she was and when we couldn’t find her we again settled down.  And I went back to styling.  So my human called my name.  And just as I would do if she were actually in the room, I ignored the voice. Totally. She shouted “Stop that Viktor!”  I looked up for  second, and went back to work.  Then Einstein got up.  And he walked straight over to the camera and settled down right in front of it.  And I followed.  And went back to work. So now my human can watch the proceedings up close.  She tried to make funny noises.  And she even tried knocking on her phone.  Like THAT would work.  She finally had to shut off the camera – she couldn’t stand it any more.  Maybe Big Brother isn’t such a good idea after all…
Well today COULD be a VERY interesting day – if all goes according to plan.  Stay tuned tomorrow to see about the FG’s big adventure….
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Blue news

Well time for some news from the world of dogs…

In the 1960’s, an American  artist by the name of George Rodrigue became famous for his paintings of an unusual subject – a Blue Dog.  Apparently the dog was based on a Cajun legend called the loup-garou – a mystical werewolf creature. While that may sound scary, Rodrigue’s Blue Dog was not all that scary looking – mind you he DID have staring yellow eyes.  Rodriguez died in 2013, and today, his Blue Dog paintings sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

So why the talk of the Blue Dog?  Well it seems there are some REAL blue dogs out there that were recently discovered.  And I’m not talking about Australian Cattle dogs which are also known as Blue Heelers.  Or Blue Merle Australian Shepherds or Shetland Sheepdogs.  That “blue” colour is more  mottled grey colour.  I’m talking  REALLY BLUE dogs.  Apparently, some stray dogs have been spotted in India – and these guys are REALLY BLUE.  Check them out:

They say that these dogs are healthy.  And they could wash off the blue colouring.  But still.  I’m not sure I would want to be them.  It CAN’T be good for them… And I’m not sure I would want to live the way that they do – no comfy bed, no roof over their heads, and not being sure where their next meal is coming from.  It sure makes me grateful for my home.  Even with required grooming.

The only thing that makes ME blue is when I have a seizure.  And yup.  I had another one.  Yesterday.  Back to the dosage drawing board….Five days since the last one…Needless to say, my human was feeling blue too… The one GOOD thing – the seizures are pretty quick and within an hour, I’m back to my crazy energetic self – and you wouldn’t know anything had ever happened to me.  Now if we can just get them to stop happening all together….

Well it’s Friday and blue skies are forecast. We’ll take that blue any day.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

At the movies..

My human is always  interested in how dogs are treated in other countries.  It seems that some countries are more dog-friendly than in North America.  For example, dogs are allowed on public transport, and there are more dog friendly outdoor cafes.  Now while Halifax DOES have a few cafes that allow pets, a recent bid to have dogs allowed on the local Halifax-Dartmouth ferry was denied.  And I was SO looking forward to taking that ride…

A good example of dog friendly comes from the UK – in London to be exact.  There is a movie theatre that is allowing humans to bring along their dogs for certain screenings.  Check it out:


Is that great or what?  Mind you, my human laughed uncontrollably at the thought of taking us.  First off, NONE of us could settle down to watch the movie.  Especially if it was crowded and we had someone seated right next to us.  And just IMAGINE me trying to steal popcorn from other patrons.  

And what movies do they show?  Any dog film that involved barking at ANY point would be enough to send Einstein over the edge.  Other dogs would no doubt join in as well.  Picture a theatre full of howling dogs as Lassie tries to warn people that Timmy has fallen down the well.  I would THINK the movie would have to be very carefully selected…

I can just see the FG standing with his two paws on the seat ahead of him, licking the head of the person seated there… 

So while the dog-friendly cinema IS a great idea…it’s probably not meant for us.

Now.  What WE need is a dog-friendly butcher shop…

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Did ya see that?

So we all endured another morning of Einstein’s running commentary on how to replace a roof.  Someone wrote to me yesterday and said that when they had their roof replaced, the roofer paid to put their dogs in a kennel.  Smart roofer.  But the job was completed yesterday.  And as typical of my human’s decision making abilities, she is uncertain as to whether she likes the color.  Too late now.  Gotta live with this.  So NOW she wants to paint the trim and change the shutter color.  One of the canine advantages of having limited ability to see a huge range of colors.  Roof color, wall color – it’s all the same to us. 

And speaking of seeing things,  I am QUITE the observant guy when it comes to open doors.  Yesterday while my human was having her breakfast, the FG was obsessively bugging Einstein, and the noises from the roof sounded as if it was about to cave in, I noticed something.  The fridge door was somehow not completely closed.  My human had her back to the door.  She heard something behind her and turned around just in time to see me surveying the buffet. “Hey hey HEY,” she shouted as she lunged for my collar.  Not enough time to grab anything – but be careful if that door is left open.  I’m IN.

Oh and the other thing about seeing things – we all survived the eclipse the other day.  There was this photo from a pet store circulating on the web, warning humans not to let their dogs out during the eclipse so we wouldn’t hurt our eyes looking at the sun.  And, this is sad to say that many people believed it.  AS IF we dogs would be foolish enough to stare at the sun without protection.  Honestly, AS IF we would care to stare at the sun at all!  We clearly have much more important ways to spend OUR time.  Like barking at roofers…

Have a good one!  Peace and paws up.

Roofers and woofers.

Well let me tell you something – it is a GOOD thing my human was home with us yesterday with the roof work being done….

We got her up at 5:15 – and we all went for our walks.  No sooner did my human step into the shower at 7AM, when the roofers arrived.  They had said they would be there at 8…

As you might expect, we went into full blown protection mode.  We heard those trucks arriving and did NOT want them in OUR driveway. And you cannot BEGIN to imagine our reaction when we heard them ON the roof.  This was NOT Santa and his band of jolly reindeer.  Einstein was the worst.  He REPEATEDLY told them to get the heck away from his house.  He paced from window to window as we watched pieces of old roof raining down on our deck.  The deck had been covered with a HUGE tarp by some strange man who appeared out of nowhere.  It was VERY interesting to watch him…

After they were working for a while,  I started to ignore the racket, but Einstein was on continual alert.  

While the chaos was going on, the FG obsessively followed Einstein around.  I think the FG must be going through some “hormonal changes.”  In the past week or so, he has become totally and completely OBSESSED with Einstein and with me to a lesser extent.  He wants to lick us.  EVERYWHERE.  I just give him a look – so he pretty much leaves me alone.  But Einstein…he cannot leave him alone.  And he squeaks and moans.  Einstein growls at him.  He shows his teeth.  But the FG doesn’t care.  And every chance he gets – he licks Einstein.  It’s a BIT much.  My human is continually telling him to stop. Oh and he also likes to lick the floor where Einstein has been before.  Gross.  Surely this behavior will not go on forever?!  WE never did that.  Or – I don’t THINK we did…

Anyway, they didn’t finish the roof yesterday.  It was too hot.  So they are coming back today.  At one point, my human went to take each of us out for a pee – she had to carry us over the mess of old roofing shingles and nails that they had thrown off the roof.  I was the first to go out.  One of the roofers wanted to make friends with me – but he had no treats – so I just gave him a perfunctory glance.   The guy asked “How many dogs are IN there?”  “Three” my human replied.  “Geez, it sounds like 10!” he responded.  No wonder a neighbor down the road called to see what was going on…

 Well – time to get my human out walking, and to get ready for the roofers.  Again.  Another day of roofers and woofers.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Cannabis update. Medium news….

Well…it’s about time for a cannabis update. Good news.  Bad news.  Medium news.  So I started on my hemp terpene oil and was all excited about the prospect of no seizures.  Within two days, I had one.  I couldn’t even write about it – my human was SO disappointed.  BUT we learned that for a normal starting dose, I should  be taking 1 mg for every kg I weigh.  I’m not exactly a heavyweight – I’m only around 18 kg.  But the first two days, I was only taking 4 mg.  So my human upped my dosage to 12 mg per day.  One week went by.  No seizures.  Two weeks.  No seizures.  Three weeks.  No seizures.  Now keep in mind that before this, I was having one or two seizures every two weeks.  So when we got to the three week mark, my human was ALL excited.  We planned to write an update ( and have a party ) if I made it to one month seizure-free.  On Saturday I was just 4 days short of a month – and I had one.  So it’s not really good news.  But it’s not really bad news either.  I guess it’s medium news.  We have now increased my dosage to 16 mg.  Hopefully this will be the answer…but IF it doesn’t work – we CAN continue to go up a fair bit from this starting point.  Paws crossed.
 In GOOD news – my human was overwhelmed with all the birthday greetings she got yesterday.  The world is really not such a big place!  All the more reason to be nice to one another… Thanks to each and every one who sent her best wishes.  She tried to thank everyone – but if she missed someone, she apologizes.  And we boys were good yesterday.  We let her sleep in until 5:30…
And in other news – today we plan to be so bad we will blow off the roof.  Just kidding – but we ARE getting a new roof.  My human says it’s one of those things that costs  a lot of money but you don’t  REALLY appreciate it – like you would new flooring, or a new kitchen or a new bathroom or a marrow bone. But I guess a roof IS kind of important.  My human will be home with us – so Einstein doesn’t bark out instructions for the roofers all day.  Woofers and roofers may not mix well.  We shall see.  This could be interesting….
Anyway, have a good one!  Peace and paws up!

A birthday…

Well, she survived another year with us.  Sometimes she didn’t think she would make it because of some of our antics – but she did.  And so my human is celebrating another birthday.  And she’s well over 400 in dog years.  The photo you see is of her and her sister, with a neighbor’s dog.  They wore kerchiefs when they were in style.  THAT’S how old she is.  I bet if you asked a millennial what a kerchief was, they might not even know.

My human is now at that age where, when you need to add your year of birth on a form on the internet, you need to scroll.  And scroll.  And SCROLL. She remembers when cell phones weighed 10 lbs.  And her family had something called a rotary phone with a party line.

She remembers  feeding chocolate kisses to her grandmother’s dachshund and it was no big deal.  Cleo ate table scraps and chocolate kisses, and whatever the grandkids gave her and she lived to like 20 years old.  Dogs just seemed to live longer back in the day…

My human remembers something called record players with and 33’s and 78’s.  She entered into the techno age when she got her first Texas Instruments calculator.  It did things that she never, ever understood.

She hates to admit this one – but she remembers when a guy named Amstrong walked on the moon – and she has vague recollections of the day President Kennedy was assassinated.  She was super excited when she got her first transistor radio.

She entered her first dog show with their Irish Setter, Mickey at the Erie County Fair in Western New York.  They entered obedience.  She recalls they didn’t do everything correctly, but somehow they still got a ribbon.  Maybe it was a consolation prize.

And as she gets older, she thinks of every dog she has been owned by in her “adulthood.”  Elroy is number 9.  She is grateful for each and every one and each one holds a special place in her heart…

She is also grateful more and more each year, for family and friends.  Both are precious gifts, that one should never forget or take for granted.

And she is also amazed and grateful for her new circle of friends around the world, that the internet has provided.  Once upon a time, when my human was a girl, she would have a penpal in another land, and she would wait for weeks for a piece of mail from a gal she never met.  Today, she has “penpals” that answer her messages almost instantaneously.  And she has had the pleasure of actually meeting some of them!

And when my human was a girl, she had something called a diary.  She would write her thoughts and feelings and it would be a record of what she had done.  And no one really read it except her.  Today we call it a blog.  And it’s out there for all the world to read.  My how times have changed… Now mind you, she doesn’t write the blog – I do.  But occasionally I ask for her input.

So today, in honor of my human’s birthday, I am going to ask each of you to give her a gift.  A perfect gift.  For her birthday, go out and do ONE random act of kindness.  Heaven knows the world could do with more kindness these days!  Hold a door open for someone.  Let someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  Play an extra game of fetch with your dog.  Give your dog an extra treat.  Call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time.  Or send them a message.  Pay someone a compliment.  Do ONE thing that you hadn’t planned to do today – and that would be a great gift.  And trust me – the gift will be good for you too!

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.