New Year’s Eve…

Well. Well. Well.  Here we are.  The last day of 2017. It wasn’t a bad year – but at the same time, we are looking forward to a fresh new 2018.

So what happened this year?  Hmmmm….A German Shepherd dog won the Westminster Kennel Club show and an American Cocker Spaniel won Crufts.  The World dog show winners included 4 dogs – #1 was a  Great Dane, #2 was a Fox terrier, #3 a Beagle and #4 the American Cocker Spaniel.   No PON.  No Picard.  Maybe 2018 will be the year.

And speaking of dog shows, the FG made his debut in the beauty pageant ring and on his second weekend out (he only was in two weekends of shows) he got a Group 3 placement.  All I know is that is a good thing and the ribbon was on the Christmas tree.

The FG also met sheep this year – and put Einstein and I to shame, earning his Instinct certificate on the first try.

Einstein and I didn’t enter any obedience trials this year.  Probably because we are not obedient.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  My human had a busy year – for a number of reasons, and we just didn’t get out to compete.  Maybe in 2018.

This year I met my resolution from last year to NOT chase bunnies.  Probably because our bunny population seems to be down.  No matter.  I met my resolution.  I can’t say the same for my human and her resolution to take off those Halloween candies from 2016.  Actually, I looked back and it’s from 2015.  But who’s counting?

We had a new dog sitter this year.  And we didn’t scare her off.  At least she SAID she would watch us again.  We’ll see what happens when my human puts in a serious request for time.  Not that we are letting her go anywhere soon.

This year my human began to seriously contemplate retirement.  HOWEVER – she told us that IF she retires, she will be home with us more (which is  a HUGE plus), BUT we won’t necessarily be able to get special treats whenever we want them – as she would be on a “budget” (which is a BIG MINUS in my mind).  I admit it – I’m spoiled and I like special treats and great toys.  So one more year of work will be OK.  Maybe.

This year I managed to post to my blog every single day.  It still surprises me that I do this every day – and that people read it.  This year my human also got to spend time with people that she has met through my blog.  She LOVED that and she hopes to meet up with them again!  And she welcomes the chance to meet others who read about our crazy adventures in the future – if anyone is planning a trip to Nova Scotia in 2018, let us know – Viktor’s Adventure Tours is currently taking bookings!

Although 2018 was also a tough year in some ways, overall the good times outweighed the bad.  I think it was a glass half full kind of year.

Tonight as you welcome in 2018, if you manage to stay up that long (most likely my human will be asleep), be grateful for the glass half full.  And think about how you can make it even more full in 2018!

Have a good one. Peace and paws up!

A bone to pick…

I think that the FG is reading my blog. And he was embarrassed by his bad behavior.  So yesterday when my human took him on an EXTRA long walk on a trail in the woods, he was VERY well behaved.  No bolting on the leash at all.  Well – leashES.  You see my human attached one leash to the top of his harness and the other to the front of his harness.  Power steering.  And it worked.  They had a perfectly long walk which they both enjoyed!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, instead of allowing Einstein to bark incessantly while they were gone, my human gave the two of us knucklebones.  Real honest to goodness raw knucklebones.  Well – cut in half by the butcher.  So when the FG and my human walked out the door, we didn’t pay the least bit of attention. And when they came back in, we didn’t even look up.  We were in a bone trance.  We were suspended and couldn’t move.  My human had to trade yummy treats to get the bones from us.  And then we stumbled outside – we were bone drunk.  Einstein immediately threw himself on the lawn and began to roll – his drunken stupor made him crazy.  As you can see…

So I think we have found the perfect solution to our chewing craving.  Elk antlers, while we loved them, were too hard.  Marrow bones are good, but for very short periods at a time – or we are plagued with “poop” issues.  Knucklebones SEEM to be perfect.  No dietary issues, and not so hard as to break our teeth…Of course we MAY change our minds- but so far they are the bones of choice.  

Now excuse me while I go and stare at the freezer.  Willing them to come out…

Have a good one. Peace and paws up!

Old friends

Well last night was the annual old-friends-drinking-wine-at-Christmas-time celebration.  My human has this old friend who she has known for 35+ years – since she first moved to Nova Scotia.  And although they no longer live near each other, they stay in touch, and when her friend visits our neck of the woods, they try to get together.  And every Christmas, they make it a point to meet up – usually at our house, and sit for hours, drinking wine, eating junk food and laughing at old stories.  Einstein has heard the stories told over and over again, and rolls his eyes – but they somehow manage to delight in the tales – and enjoy them as if they have never been told before.  Oftentimes, the stories relate to us canines.  And canines that have come before and are no longer with us.  And most of the tales are about canines behaving badly.  Which is QUITE ironic because you see, both of these humans are WELL VERSED and knowledgeable about behavioral training techniques.  I mean they BOTH know about positive reinforcement schedules and rewards and how to shape behavior.  So in THEORY, one would think that both of them would be owned by extremely well-behaved dogs.  Nope.  My human’s friend was once owned by an Australian shepherd who demonstrated flight risk behavior his entire life.  He even disappeared once in the middle of the night during a snowstorm when he got off his leash, leaving my human’s friend crying in the middle of a snowbank.  Luckily he returned and she managed to fling herself onto him as he reappeared out of nowhere racing by.  Sounds familiar.

And then there is the story of how a certain Bernese Mountain Dog named Guinness, managed to get into the DFZ during one of these Christmas gab-a-thons, when they were not watching, and grabbed an entire cheese log off the coffee table.  And then the story of when her friend accompanied my human on a final visit to the vet with another Bernese.  Tears for happy times and sad…

Last night the party nearly ended before it began, when my human’s friend bent over to pet me and the FG wanted to say hello and gave her a head butt in the process.  Thank goodness he didn’t knock her out – and thank goodness she is SUCH a good friend, because she just laughed as she staggered into the kitchen.  A trip to the emergency room with a concussion would have put a real damper on the evening.  She definitely deserved a glass of wine after that collision.  More than one glass..

Old friends are truly something to be cherished.  And while you may not be able to spend time with them often,  when you do, it is as if no time has passed.  I hope each of you has at least one special friend like this – and if for some reason you don’t, may you make a new treasured friend in 2018 and share in that unique bond.  Just like you do with us canines!  And nowadays, the internet also allows us to make new friends around the world.  Many we may never meet – but the virtual friendships that we have also provide a unique connection!  So cheers to friends – old, new, near and far! And let’s close with a quote that was shared with my human and written by C.S. Lewis:

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

I wonder if that quote was written with reference to being owned by bad dogs….

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

The hedgehog

Thanks for all the encouraging words about our resident runaway.  Nice to know that the FG’s flight risk status will probably improve within the next 5 years!

So I didn’t tell you about our other Christmas gift.  It was all wrapped up – and my human didn’t know who should unwrap it.  She gave it to me – and I did nothing with it.  It didn’t smell like food – so I didn’t care.  The FG just stared at it.  And then our old unwrapping pro did his thing – Einstein happily shredded the paper.  And what was inside?  A stuffed hedgehog.  That makes a weird pig-like noise when you squeeze him.  Well, Einstein figured he unwrapped it, so it was HIS gift.  My human had to trade for a treat so we could each get to play Find the Hedgehog.  Einstein actually got to go first and loved the new rodent-like thing.  And he consistently found him.  I found him – but did NOT want to give him up.  My human specifically chose THIS animal because his appendages are very small – and hard to rip off.  Not that I didn’t try.  REALLY hard.  My human ended up going around and around the dining room table with a tasty treat in hand – trying to get the hedgehog from me.  I don’t know what overcame me – I just felt this incredible overpowering urge to dissect the thing.  Mind you, I do that with the bunny too….Then it was the FG’s turn.  He found the hedgehog right away.  And at first, he just stood and stared at it.  Then he grabbed it and tossed it.  And then flung it again.  And again.  He didn’t want to destroy him – he just wanted to hurl the thing.  And then pounce on it.  Suffice to say, that gift was a hit.  But none of us can be left alone with him…   He needs a name…I like Spike. 

We didn’t get to go for long walks yesterday as the winds were again VERY strong, and the temperatures very cold, so my delicate human didn’t want to venture too far.  Today should be better.  In fact, time to get my human moving.  She is getting just a little too used to this sleeping in thing.  Well, after she takes us out at 5AM…

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Why dogs end up in shelters around 18 months…

I read somewhere that the average age for dogs being left at shelters is 18 months.  Close enough to 19 months.  The age of the FG…

Now before you think he is going to a shelter – I assure you he is NOT.  BUT – I understand why people surrender dogs at this age.  I think it’s called the teen age stage.  Was I ever THAT bad?  OK – don’t answer that – I’m STILL bad – as evidenced by my reckless behavior on Christmas eve.  And let’s face it, if given the chance to chase a bunny….I still would do it.  But after my chase-a-thon, I come home.  And there is a PURPOSE in my running.  Not the FG.  He likes to run – just to run.

Yesterday was Boxing Day and of course my human is still off.  And sleeping on the couch.  I think she just likes to look at the Christmas tree.  At 5AM, I was squeaking to go out.  So she threw a coat over her pajamas and fuzzy robe and took me out.  And then she took Einstein out.  And the FG.  And then she fed us, marched back into the DFZ and stayed there until my pill alarm went off at 7AM. As soon as it was bright out, she figured she would take us for REAL walks – so she could then enjoy her breakfast.

The FG went first  And since there was no one up at the golf course, she figured they could have a good walk up there.  It was cold out, but the winds had died down from the day before.  As I understand it, we were lucky that our power was restored so quickly – some people are still without it.  Just as they got up to the club house, the FG unexpectedly bolted.  Now he was on a long leash and wearing his harness , but he surprised my human and she let go.  If his brain cells were pumping out power at that instant, he could have restored lights to many homes.  He KNEW he was free – and he QUICKLY grabbed the end of his leash.  My human watched in horror as he eyed the road (keeping in mind the golf course is at the end of the  dead end road – and there is NO real traffic at this time of year, except for residents – but she didn’t want to take ANY chances) – so she raced for the fairway.  And he raced behind, passed her like a rocket and was G.O.N.E.  She didn’t even bother to call him – she knew it was pointless.  He ran like an animal who was released into the wild after living in a zoo for 50 years.  And boy can he RUN.   He raced WIDE circles around my human.  And she kept running too – she wanted to keep him in the open fairways – and not off to the sides of the course – which border the woods.  She found a small group of trees between two fairways and hid.  When he came looking, she didn’t try to catch him, she just found a stick on the ground and started playing with it.  He showed some interest and walked toward her.  Then like lightning, those brain cells shouted “SHE IS GOING TO GRAB YOUR LEASH,”  so he turned and RACED away – this time WAY away.  At this point my human decided to call in reinforcements.  She figured Jackson’s humans might be awake and if Jackson came to the course, the FG would definitely go to him.  And Jackson is good at going to humans.  So she called but there was no answer – so she left a message to call her ASAP.  In the meantime, the FG reappeared – huffing and puffing from his run.  And wet.  Clearly he had been in one of the ponds – which are not yet frozen.  My human again hid behind some trees.  And he didn’t come.  Frankly, he didn’t care.  So she went to look for him and then spotted a miracle walking across the fairway.  Jackson and his human!  They had actually not heard her panicked message but had decided to come up for a walk too.  What luck! And sure enough, the FG raced over to them and within seconds was back in captivity.

Now my human was reluctant to tell this story – because she KNOWS people will shake their heads and say “that dog needs to learn a recall!”  And, trust me – she knows that and  they are working on it.  Daily.  But she isn’t even attempting to use the whistle outside yet – it would be pointless.  She won’t blow that thing outside until she is 99% certain he is going to return.  For those wondering – we DO have a fenced run outside our house.  Which is fine – but clearly not enough space for the FG to REALLY run.  We also have LOTS of property – but fencing all of it would be very costly.   We could fence the back lawn area – which would give good running room…perhaps we could put out a call for volunteers in the spring to help with the construction part!  In the meantime, my human figures no more long leashes.  Something about the physics of a long line versus a short line points to the fact that she has more control on a short line.  She also needs to find a good fenced area in the meantime where he could run.  She is not wild about dog parks.  Too much potential for problems – not to mention that we had a bad problem with leptospirosis at a couple of parks this fall – and although the bug has probably been killed off by the cold, my human doesn’t want to take any chances.

We know the FG is young and silly, but she wants him to be SAFE.  She was exhausted by the time she got home, but knew Einstein and I wanted to go out too.  She grabbed our leashes – but actually let us be free and we went down to the lake on our trail.  We practiced recalls, and gave the appearance of being well behaved.  We knew she had good treats in her pockets. Who KNEW Einstein and I could be so good.

If anyone in our area reads this and has a suggestion on where to allow the FG to go and run off some steam – safely, let us know.  In the meantime, he will be on a SHORT leash and will continue to work on that recall.  Just how long does this teen age stage last?

Have a good one. Peace and paws up!

Boxing Day. And Christmas drama.

December 26.  So it’s Boxing Day.  I think it’s named for the fights that break out at stores as people rush to get bargains the day after Christmas.  Or they want to return the gift of those pants that don’t fit so well because someone has been eating too many Christmas cookies for weeks.  Not to mention the Halloween candy from 2016.

Well as I understand it, most places have sales today – but not here in Nova Scotia.  Nothing much is open.  So we have Boxing Day the day AFTER Boxing Day.  But we still call it Boxing Day sales.  Seriously.  Anyway, we don’t need ANYTHING – so my human will not be venturing out to stand in lines or box with fellow shoppers.  Once upon a time in her MUCH younger years, she would have gone out for bargains.  Not now – she’s too old to do it.  And too broke being owned by us three canines!!!

So Christmas and Christmas Eve were good – although NOT without drama.  First off,  it’s really a miracle Santa left anything for me at all. You see…I was a bit naughty.  Remember how last year I was smuggled into my human’s mother’s dog-free apartment on Christmas eve? So I would be able to get my medication on time during dinner.  Well we attempted the same clandestine operation this year.  And remember how last year I behaved and settled down and got to stay for the whole evening?  Yeah.  Not so much this year…I was…in a word…bad.  I wouldn’t settle down.  I kept trying to get into gifts.  I kept trying to sample human food.  Er – steal human food.  When I was sequestered in a bathroom, where I could STILL see all the proceedings, I kept squeaking.  Honestly, I found the apartment too hot.  And I was bored.  So after about 1.5 hours of begging me to settle down, my human packed me in the car and brought me home.  And I RACED in to tell Einstein and the FG where I had been.  And my human went back to the party.  When we had left the party to come home, I thought we were coming to get the others – who knew she would go back without us!

Anyway, I guess Santa didn’t hear about my behavior in time to withhold the goods.  So the next morning, I STILL got presents.  This year, my human didn’t attempt to allow us to open them in the DFZ.  Last year, Einstein and I got into a squabble and it was a MIRACLE no ornaments on the tree were busted.  So this year it was a tear-a-thon outside the DFZ.

So what did the jolly guy bring us?  Well he brought us special treats.  Which we were not allowed to unwrap because we would have eaten them all. 

Then, we got wood.  No kidding.  Big hunks of heavy wood.  Check them out:
I’m not going to say much – but really –  we live surrounded by trees and my human goes out (or should I say “Santa”) goes out, and buys us heavy hunks of wood.  And I mean HEAVY.  If we drop one of those things on her toes, there will be much moaning and groaning.  Initially we all just looked at them after we tore off the paper.  Here she is trying to keep us from chewing things like table legs and chair rails.  And she gets us wood.  Good thing we love her.  And we DID start to chew them a bit – but since she got the size designed for a lion, it’s hard to even hold onto the things.  Oh well – they will probably get more use than those educational toys she bought one year.

We also did get some Nylabones.  Those we can actually pick up.

We also got one other gift we have to share.  Tell you about that  one tomorrow.  And NO clothes.

So despite my less than admirable behavior, Christmas eve ended up fine.  And then we had Christmas day.  And more drama.  But this time, for a change, the drama had nothing to do with us canines.  You see, my human was up bright and early because we were hosting dinner for her mother and sister.  She put the turkey in the oven in the morning, got all the veggies ready to go (which we got to sample), set the table, and was all excited for the big day.  We were playing with/chewing our new bones and all was right with the world.  Except one thing.  The weather.  In the morning we had freezing rain, and by afternoon it began to pour rain.  Now that would not have been too bad – but as the afternoon wore on, the winds picked up.  They were blowing like a hurricane.  And although the rain stopped, the winds could practically carry you away.  Good thing we were on leashes when we went out for our walks.

Just before my human’s mother and sister were to arrive, my human took me out to pee.  And as we were walking back in the house, she noticed that the Christmas window lights were not on.  And her heart sank.  Power outage.  With the turkey still cooking.  And the veggies no where near being ready.  What to do?  What to do?  A call to the power company indicated it would be several HOURS before restoration.  Right about then, the family arrived.  My human and her sister tried desperately to light a fire in the charcoal BBQ grill.  No luck – it kept blowing out.  Our neighbors (who have a gas stove) kindly invited them to their place for dinner- but it would have been a bit hard for my human’s mother to manage and maneuver in the dark.  So they packed everything up.  The turkey, the veggies, the stuffing, the rolls, the dessert – and went back to my human’s mother’s place – because she thankfully still had power in the city.  We canines got our dinner in the dark before they left and I got my medication.  

The power was actually restored before the ice cream in the freezer melted.  I checked.  And they had their turkey dinner after all.  So it will always be a Christmas dinner to remember!

And isn’t that what Christmas is really about – making memories?

Anyway, if you head out bargain shopping today, don’t forget to take your boxing gloves.  And if you are NOT going shopping, enjoy your time at home.  Eating leftovers. 

Oh – and one other thing…my secret wish on my list to Santa?  Got it.  But I can’t tell you right now what it was.  Maybe some day…

Have a good one. Peace and paws up.

Merry Christmas

MERRY Christmas!!!!  OK – I don’t have time to write – because despite our less-than-perfect behavior this year, Santa STILL left gifts for us!  We were all sound asleep, so none of us even heard him arrive.  So much for watch dogs.  But presents were left under the tree for us – and they have our names on them – so I don’t think it was a mistake.   We have to go open them and I also need to help my human get the turkey in the oven.  Actually, I’m not REALLY helping – just praying that the whole thing is dropped on the floor or left unattended for a few minutes…

Anyway – gotta go.  Have a fabulous day – and I hope you are able to spend it with those you love.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Sleeping on the couch.

My human has been sleeping on the couch the past week. In the DFZ.  And no doubt when I tell this story, some of you will think she has lost her mind. And that is probably true, living with us…

So we know she tried to let the FG sleep free in the bedroom with us.  And it was anything but restful.  And then she let HIM stay free in the bedroom, without me and Einstein.  And he DID sleep – but we were upset.  So the ultimate goal is to have all of us SLEEPING together.  With HIM out of the crate.  So my human had this “bright” idea. She would let the FG free at night – with me and Einstein.  And SHE would sleep in the DFZ.   Really.  Anyway, she locks herself in the DFZ – where we can all see her, but we can’t get in.  So SHE gets to sleep.  And Einstein and I are getting used to sleeping with the FG out of his crate.  The first couple of nights – he was crazy.  He had never been free at night – so he tormented me and Einstein to no end.  And at 2 AM he decided to play bowl hockey with one of the metal food bowls.  Then he started crying.  I think that was the night my human took him out to pee and then put him in his crate.

But since then, it IS getting better.  We sleep wherever we want – in the kitchen or dining room – and everyone is content.  AND my human gets to sleep.  Now you may wonder why she didn’t just sleep in the bedroom – and sequester all of us together outside the bedroom.  The answer: she was worried that IF I had a seizure, she would not hear me.  And so when she sleeps in the DFZ, she can easily hear us – so that seemed like a good idea.  If you’re wondering – my seizures seem to be down to 1-2  a month – and they seem to occur within a 48 hour period.   So it’s  BETTER – but we are still working to get them down to one or LESS per month.

Anyway – back to the subject of sleeping.  We have a goal that before my human goes back to work, she will again be sleeping in her bed, and all of us will be free in the bedroom.  And you know – I THINK it may work.

Oh – and the FG is starting to respond pretty consistently to the whistle when playing with the new tug toy.  So it appears he IS trainable.  He and I are ALMOST buddies now.  And I must confess that although it has taken more than a year, I am really starting to like him.  It is not unusual to find the two of us curled up next to each other.  I won’t yet go so far as to PLAY with him, but I have no problems with him being in my personal space.  At ALL.

Well I had better finish my letter to Santa.  I am counting on the fact that he reads email requests.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up. 

Vacation. Day 1.

So her first day of vacation, and what does she decide to do?  Give us baths.  Great.   I went first.  I’m actually not too bad with all this grooming stuff.  But who knew she needed to brush me first.  And for some reason, I must be growing  a winter coat – because she brushed off enough hair to practically fill a garbage bag.  OK, maybe not that much – but still quite a bit. When she was done brushing I ASSUMED we were DONE.  Imagine my shock when she whisked me into the tub.  The best part for me was when I started to fuss when I was 3/4 dry and she didn’t pay attention to wear she was pointing the jet engine dryer nozzle – and she aimed it at the garbage can with all my hair in it.  Suddenly it was snowing PON hair all over the garage.  I thought it was pretty amusing – but my human – not so much.

Then it was time to do the drama king.  Einstein – who moans and groans throughout the process. Unless he is getting a treat.  So what I learned by watching, is that HE got more treats for MIS-behaving than I did for being good.  Not that I didn’t get an entire pocket full of treats – but I swear I counted and he got more than me.  Then after the fluff-a-thon, she decides to take photos.  Einstein and I stared at her.

 She also attempted to get ONE more holiday shot with Elroy too.  Let’s just say that these union employees voted to strike.  She got a grumpy looking photo or two – as you can see- and then we decided to really protest – and the FG and I began to shred the garland prop.  At that very instant, her phone died so she couldn’t get photographic evidence of the carnage.

Let’s see what adventures we can have today.  Making sure my human doesn’t get bored on her vacation….
Have a good one!  Peace and paws up!


Today is an extraordinarily wonderful day.  Why?  Because it’s December 21st – and the Winter Solstice!  Which MEANS – from here on in, the days will be starting to get LONGER. YAHOO.  I mean this walking in the dark in the morning AND at night is a bit much. And yesterday morning, we didn’t even get a morning walk at ALL.  We were restricted to a leash walk around the back of the house – because overnight there had been a temperature drop – after raining all day – and the driveway was like a skating rink.  And the part on the hill was like a luge run.  There was NO way my human was going to attempt a walk with us.  She drove up to the road to get the paper.  She probably could have walked up with Einstein as he CAN walk nicely under control – but taking me or the FG  would have been a death wish.  The FG was quite annoyed, but went bounding around the back of the house (on leash) and quickly did his business  And then he did this thing that drives my human bonkers in the morning.  In the dark.  He just stands and stares off into the woods.  Like for a LONG time.  It’s like he is hearing SOMETHING and he doesn’t move a muscle.   My human waited for him.  And waited.  And then she started to get kind of freaked out wondering what he was listening to, so she told him to come along.  He did – but he kept turning back to look toward the lake.  Spoooooooky.   He told me he does it just to get her going.  I told him he better watch out – you know who is watching.

And my bet was right – the FG was the first one to have a bath.   He doesn’t REALLY mind too much. and he really seems to enjoy the blow drying part.   And he looked exactly the same when the whole ordeal was over.  OK.  Maybe a BIT fluffier.  And he did smell nice.  But of course as SOON as he was finished he wanted to go out to pee.  I mean everybody needs to pee after being at the spa.  And of course, he wanted to pee in a muddy pile of wet leaves.  So much for Mr. Fluff.

Well my human is officially ON VACATION.  So I expect longer walks and LOTS of fetch from here on in.  Have to take advantage of that extra minute of daylight!

Have a good one! Peace and paws up!