The day before Easter.  And it seems appropriate that a Polish Lowland Sheepdog 

should tell you about a Polish Easter tradition – at least one that my human practiced when she was growing up.  When my human was a kid, the day before Easter, the family would take a basket to church to be blessed – with food to be eaten on Easter Day. The food included Polish sausage, ham, bread, eggs and butter – in the shape of a lamb.  The butter lamb was a common thing in Buffalo where she grew up, and you could easily buy one at Easter time in any grocery store.  Which leads me to the story of our entertainment last night….

The priest at our church is Polish.  So my human mentioned to him the practice of blessing baskets – and he agreed he would happily do that for my human and her sister.  Great.  They can easily get the sausage, ham, eggs and bread at the market, but let’s just say that butter lambs are not exactly a common sight in Nova Scotia.  So last night, my human and her sister decided to make a butter lamb.  First, they sequestered us canines in the front hall – as the thought of dog hair flying around while they were sculpting butter was not all that appealing.  I’m not sure why.  But we watched through the French door, and noted that wine was used during the production.  AND there was a LOT of laughter.  They cut the butter and attached two pieces to form a head and body with a stick.   And then they began carving the lamb. The only problem was the fact that the lamb had a stick coming out of his head, which they could not remove.  They strategized ways to perform neurosurgery, and were finally successful at cutting the stick without decapitating the lamb. At the end they stepped back to look at their work.  Yup, it was an animal.  For sure.  BUT, he bears a striking resemblance to a Picard.  And more than one person mentioned that when they posted his photos on-line.  I think it’s the ears.  And you can’t blame my human – her sister was in charge of the ears. But they didn’t dare try to change him – or the ears would fall off.  

Next year, I vote that they make sausage too.  Now THAT I want to be involved with.  Would that not be a dog’s dream come true?  I also am curious to see if WE get to share in the basket this year too?   We better – we’re family and we believe in tradions too.  Especially if they involve food…
Have a good one! Peace and paws up.
Seizure-free days: 3

Van Gogh

March 30.  And on this day in 1987, Vincent van Gogh’s painting of “Sunflowers “ sold for a record breaking $37.9 million or 22.5 million pounds.  That’s a LOT of dog biscuits!!!! Vincent painted some amazing stuff, but like some artists, had a rather troubled life.  Like the cement bunny that the FG knocked over last year, Vincent lost an ear too.  But Vincent didn’t lose his because of a Picard. ( By the way, the ear repair that my human did last year still appears to be holding up.  The heavy hare wasn’t moved inside this winter- but his ear is still standing.  For now.)  Anyway, Vincent painted just a few dogs in his life but they didn’t really figure prominently in his art.  And some say if he had owned a dog, he might have been a happier guy.  I couldn’t actually find any evidence that Vincent owned a dog – yet I found the following quote which is attributed to him.  I’m a bit doubtful- but hey, I found it on the internet- so it must be true.  Just kidding!!! Still, the quote is good- and if someone else wrote it, I’ll make a correction.  Dogs can’t be sued for copyright infringement, can they?!  I’ll be starting a crowd funding page for bail money…

Today is Good Friday- and it is also the start of Passover.  Two important religious holidays.  Whether you celebrate one or the other – or something different- I believe that the message behind many religions is the same…there is someone who watches over us and who loves us  – and rather simply, we should BE GOOD to one another.  
And that includes NOT making canines wear rabbit ears.  Hint hint. 
Have a good one.  Peace, paws up… and be good.
Seizure-free days:2

Stuff and dog clubs

Time for some fun news for a change.  For those humans who use Google maps, you know how convenient it can be to find a place where you are going.  And the street views option can be extra helpful to see what a particular location looks like.  But did you know that in Japan, there is a dog’s eye level street view?  At least in one area -Odate City, in the prefecture of Akita.  Which is understandably the home of the Akita dog breed.  It seems they strapped some cameras on some Akitas – so they could provide a view of the city, from a dog’s perspective.  Here is a video showing what they did:

I want Nova Scotia Tourism to hire me to go around and give a dog’s eye view of famous landmarks here!  I’ll work for biscuits!

My human was looking at one of those sites that lists all kinds of dog breeds according to their attributes.  Like “the 10 Quietest Dog breeds” (PONs did not make that list – Golden Retriver did.  My human has friends with Goldens – and trust me – it’s not silent when you pull up to their door); “10 breeds that don’t mind the snow” (we weren’t on that list either- but go figure, the Alaskan Malamute made the list- surprsie.);  “The smartest breeds” (another list we didn’t make- but of COURSE, the Border Collie did – and so did something called a Jindo.  I’m not on the smart list so I had to look it up.  It comes from South Korea);  “10 breeds with the longest life spans” (which included small breeds like Pomeranian, chihuahua, yorkie, toy poodle and the not so small Australian shepherd?),  “10 breeds hardest to train” ( we didn’t make this list -surprise, surprise! – but Bassett Hound, Chow-chow, Afghan,  Pekingese, Pug, Basenji, Bloodhound, Mastiff, Dalmation and Beagle did!),  and “10 breeds that don’t stink” (which included the Dalmation, the Basenji and the Beagle – so although they won’t listen to you, they smell good.  Phew).  But my favorite category – the “5 most dramatic dog breeds.”  I’m not kidding.  Now if anyone has seen Einstein on a grooming table, you would be CERTAIN that PONs could make this list.  But no – it was Dachshund, Pug, Beagle, Chihuaua, and Bassett Hound.   A dramatic Bassett Hound?  Who knew?

Personally, I think these lists are a bunch of hooey.  Who makes these things up anyway? 

I’m starting my own lists.

  • Breed most likely to crash through a door to get to food:  PON.
  • Breed most likely mistaken for a cross between a wolfhound and a coyote: Picard.
  • Breeds most likely to demonstrate hearing loss when they are running to their neighbor’s house in search of other dogs:  PON and Picard. 
  • Breed most likely to stare at his food dish like it is some kind of alien from outer space: Picard.
  • Breed most likely to stare at the Picard staring at his food dish – and wishing he could get in the room with him: PON 

As I said, these lists are far from scientific.  And SOMETIMES they MAY have some truth to them, but the novice dog owner may not know that these lists are sometimes pretty sketchy.  If you want to REALLY find out about the attributes of a particular breed, look on the web for a breed’s club.  I THINK there is at LEAST one club for each breed out there – and those sites usually have THE best info about a breed.  For example – here is a PON club:

And two Picard Clubs:

I’m not sure that an average pet owner would necessarily know that these clubs even exist.  And the clubs are NOT just designed for people who show their dogs.  If you care about your breed – and want to share info with others who have the breed – they are a great resource.

So that’s MY plug for today.  Now excuse me while I go and stare at a Picard. Who is staring at his food dish….

Have a good one. Pecae and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 1

A good day. Until the end.

Yesterday was a landmark day.  It was HUGE.  My human went back to work.  But that wasn’t the remarkable part.  She went to work….and left all three of us free in the house.  The FG was NOT left in his pony-sized crate.  My human has been leaving us free together for an hour or two here and there – but this is the first time she left us all free while she went to work.  

She was able to keep an eye on us via Big Brother – and at one point she replayed the tape and saw the FG adding some decorative touches to the carpet in the dining room.  You know the one- the carpet that she bought last year to replace the one with the holes, designed by the FG.  This carpet can also be used as an outdoor carpet.  Now before you have visions of that fake green indoor outdoor carpet stuff – let me remind you that this is more like sisal – with a pattern.  And it HAS survived for what must be over a year now.  Anyway, yesterday he did decide to chew the backside of it – which was rather thoughtful as you can’t see it from the right side.  But other than that, the household was peaceful and quiet.  We traded sleeping spots throughout the day, and rotated guard duties.  And when my human came home – well the sound of all three of us barking like mad would keep away any intruders. It actually sounds like a LOT more than three dogs.
I don’t think my human is quite ready to disassemble the pony sized crate just yet – although it will almost double the size of the room when she does take it down.  OK – it doesn’t take up half the room – but I’m not kidding when I say it is pony-sized.  It is so big, it does NOT fit through a doorway.  It has to be disassembled to move it to another room.  So my human WILL be happy to see it moved back to the garage – with the collection of other dog crates in various sizes.  We could outfit anything from a chihuahua to a Great Dane.  We could start our own zoo.  Actually, we already have a zoo,  don’t we?
It’s a short work week for my human – thank goodness.  It is an adjustment going back to work.  But just today and tomorrow and then she is off again.  And we will keep her busy.  But hopefully she has no plans for resurrecting those bunny ears….
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure-free days: 0. Back to square one.  Again.  Which happened right after I finished my blog…My human was so excited that we could all be together during the day and she was starting to feel a bit more confident about me and my seizure control.  Now she’s worried again – and not sure how the FG would react if I had a seizure when we were alone.  Einstein doesn’t pay any attention- but the FG barks and gets curious.  She doesn’t want to see either of us get hurt if I have a seizure.  So …maybe the FG will be sequestered in the hall.  For a while anyway.  Darn.  This is just not fair….

Rotating badness

The day before yesterday, my human took the FG up to the baseball field for a run.  And he was well behaved – and responding pretty consistently to the whistle.  So yesterday, she decided she would take a chance.  She took him up to the golf course.  She put him on a long line.  And with bated breath, she let him run FREE.  She had taken the fetch toys with her – and she was shocked when he actually brought them back.  Well, within 5 feet of her.  And guess what?! She never even had to use the whistle!  He ran around, and repeatedly came back to her.  There was no disappearing act.  No running away in a “chase me”game.  He was, dare I say this, well behaved.  They came home, and my human was thrilled.  FINALLY.  She had three well behaved dogs.  She has been taking Einstein and me down to the lake each day off leash and we have been the picture of well behaved dogs.  And when we went to the course last week with Jackson, again we were good dogs. My human was smiling and thinking just how wonderful we all were.  It didn’t last long….
My human and her sister have been busy emptying her mother’s apartment.  Right now our house and her sister’s house look like a cross between a crowded furniture store and an episode of the TV show Hoarders.  I’m sure it will all be settled and organized.  Some day.  They have been at this for days.  So yesterday, after our walks and breakfast, she announced that she was again going to her mother’s place.  And she did something in her haste to get moving.  She let Einstein and me out for a quick pee – on our own.  Mind you, she was standing in the doorway.  I’m not exactly sure whose idea it was to take off, but suffice to say, she watched in dismay as BOTH of us took off up the driveway, and disappeared into the woods.  All the shouting of “TREATS” didn’t make a difference.  We were on a mission to go to the neighbor’s house and to visit with their Lab, Hudson.  Even though he wasn’t outside.  My human figured that was our destination – so she threw on her coat and raced up the driveway and down the road.  She started walking down the neighbor’s driveway and spotted us heading the opposite direction – back toward our house.  So she raced home in a panic because although we were headed for home, she had left the garage door open.  The garage.  Where the dog food is stored.  Sure enough, as she was running down the driveway, she could hear the banging of bins as someone was attempting to knock down the food storage container.  She shouted and Einstein raced out of the garage. He didn’t want to be caught.  In the meantime, I was jumping and throwing myself at the bin in an attempt to make it fall over – so I could feast on the food.   My human ran in, grabbed me by the collar, and marched me into the house.  Einstein snuck in behind me.  
So.  There you have it.  JUST when you THINK we might all be good – well, we prefer to keep things interesting.  I actually like to call it “rotating badness.” We are rarely ALL bad at the same time.  And to think we could ALL be good at the same time just doesn’t make sense.  Never a dull moment.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure-free days: 15

The moral of the story.

March 26. And on this day in 1484 ( just a few years before my human was born) William Caxton, the guy who is said to have introduced the printing press in England, is said to have printed the first English translation of Aesop’s Fables. Most of us are familiar with the fables, written by a storyteller in ancient  Greece, which have a moral at the end. The classic story is the Totrtoise and the Hare – which tells us that ” Slow but steady wins the race.”  There are a number of fables that include dogs – but one that comes to mind is the dog and his reflection.  The dog was carrying a bone or piece of meat and he saw his reflection in a river.  He thought the reflection was another dog, so in an ettempt to get the bone from that dog, he growled and snapped at the other dog.  As a result, he dropped his bone into the river – never to be seen.  And the moral?  It is very foolish to be greedy.  So really, I SJOULD share my food bowl with Einstein or the FG.  Hmmmm.  That’s a tough one.  I’m a PON.  And I’m ALWAYS starving.  Besides, they have their own bowls.   OK.  OK.  How about I share some of our chew toys.  Actually I DO share that.   So I’m not THAT greedy after all.

And speaking of chewing, my human heard about this “stuff” that can keep us dogs from chewing furniture, rugs, etc.  It’s SUPER potent and is actually made for horses to keep them from chewing things and themselves.  The main ingredient is pepper.  So she got this stuff.  Just to have on hand.  None of us have been chewing a LOT, but every now and then, a table leg looks tasty.  And I also do like to pick at the carpet in the hall – where the FG gets his meals.  You see, he sometimes drops food on the floor, and minuscule, microscopic pieces are left in the carpet.  You literally cannot see them,  but I pick at it JUST in case.  So yesterday, my human sprayed that carpet.  The stuff is so strong she had to open the front door and air out the room.  She was coughing and everything.  It is VERY peppery.  So she waits a while until the stuff is out of the air, and let’s me in the room.  She quickly hears the rip rip sound.  She looks at me and I’m making a funny face and licking my lips.  “Great” she thinks “it works.”  She’s all proud of herself for finding a solution to my picking.  But 10 minutes later, I’m back in there, picking away.   More money well spent.  I bet I would like Mexican cuisine.  The moral of the story?  Never underestimate the appetite of a PON.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure-free days: 14

Good things come….

Yesterday, my human came out of her bedroom and was met with a “wonderful sight” – in her eyes anyway.  She opened the door and there were the three of us, waiting for her to come out.  That wasn’t all that interesting,  What WAS interesting, was the fact that I was all comfy cozy – practically resting right on top of the FG.  Moments like this are remarkable, because there was a point that my human never thought she would see us relaxing so closely together.  As you may recall, when the FG arrived, I was less than overjoyed to see him.  And really, it was shortly after his arrival that my seizures began. My human started thinking that the change in routine and the stress I was feeling was just the catalyst that triggered the neurological patterns in my brain to begin misfiring. 

It has taken over a year for me to truly accept the FG – and the fact that he is not going back where he came from! I am totally tolerant of him – even at 4AM when he begins squeaking and barking at me, doing play bows in an attempt to get me to play with him.  Remember how we even shared a stick last week when we went to the baseball field together?  Now admittedly, I don’t TRY and play with him – but then, I really don’t try to play with Einstein either.  When we went for our walk with Jackson the other day, it was Einstein who chased Jack around – I was much happier following the humans – because they had treats.  And I guess I’ve probably always been this way – it’s not that I dislike other dogs – I’m happy to see them and greet them, but that’s enough for me. So getting used to Mr Sociable – the FG – has been a long process. But I dare say we are “good” – and I’ll even sleep in his crate if the door is open – and he’s not in there.  I draw the line at overly comfy cozy.  That would really be a bit much.
So seeing us like we were yesterday, really makes my human happy.  And she has begun leaving us alone – all three of us – with the FG out of his crate, more and more often.  She was concerned about me having a seizure- and not knowing what the FG would do – and it still is a consideration.  But given that I don’t typically have seizures ( when I have them) in the middle of the day, she is feeling more comfortable in leaving us all together.  And so far – so good.  
So I guess that old saying, used by a ketchup company is true – “good things come to those who wait.”  And in our household, this is very good indeed!
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 13

Dog news.

So what’s new in the world of dogs? Here’s an interesting story.  We know that we canines have amazing olfactory abilities.  We can sniff out drugs, bombs, cadavers and even cancers.  But the latest use of our nasal sense has to do with our ability to sniff out antiquities!  Yes, dogs are being trained to detect artefacts – which may be illegally traded.  Check this out:

Meanwhile, here in Canada, a couple is involved in a legal battle over the  custody of their dog – and have taken it to the highest court in the province of Newfoundland.  In previous legal battles, dogs have been labelled as “property” – to be divided like one would do with personal belongings. And two judges in an appeal agreed with this ruling.  However, one judge disagreed and says that ownership of a dog is much more complicated than say a piece of furniture. The bond that people have with dogs, and the feeling of loss when one loses a dog is much more different than one would feel with some inanimate object.  Yay for that judge! It will be interesting to see how this case plays out.
And lastly, United Airlines is saying they got it wrong when a flight attendant told a family to put their dog in an overhead compartment on the plane, sadly resulting in the dog’s death.  OK.  So the airline was at fault.  But hello?  Who puts their dog in an overhead compartment?   I think my human would be walking off the plane before she one put one of us up there!  Mind you, we wouldn’t actually fit.  But still – it seems to me the owners have SOME responsibility as well.  Just my opinion.  
Time to go for our walks.  And the FG can go goose hunting.  There have been two geese who arrived at the golf course last week.  I have to tell you that geese and golf courses don’t REALLY go together.  Those big birds can make a BIG mess.  But it looks like the course could hire the FG to keep the geese off the course.  When they see him coming – even from a distance, they take off. It’s not like he has been up close and personal with them – but they seem to detect that he would like VERY much to herd them.  Or do something with them.  Einstein and I haven’t seen them yet – because we go out after the FG, and he has already scared them away.  Maybe we can go first today…mind you, I would rather eat the goose poop than chase them.  Almost as good as dryer lint.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 12

Lint. And snow.

Well who knew that the dogs in this household are not the only dogs in the world who find dryer lint delectable.   SEVERAL blog readers indicated that their PONs are closet lint lovers.  I didn’t hear from any Picard owners or other breeds for that matter, but I can’t imagine that JUST PONs are fuzz aficionados.  I DO recall that Paxton was a dog hair and dust bunny fan, but, come to think of it, I don’t recall him munching on the dryer lint.

Now while this may seem humorous, there is a darker side to our fabric fondness.  Too much of a fuzzy feast COULD lead to an obstruction- which would NOT be fun.  In addition, if you use dryer sheets or fabric softener, the chemicals in those products can be toxic – so they are no laughing matter.  My human doesn’t use those products – so we enjoy organic, an naturel lint.  We also do not (luckily) swallow the wad whole, but rather we chew and enjoy our lint – so we have been lucky NOT to have an obstruction.  Admittedly, we do have some rather stringy, colourful poop. 
So, did you hear about the assault case?   Somebody beat up the groundhog.  Yesterday we had, what my human predicts, hopefully will be the LAST snow for the season.  Her sister was over, and could not drive her car up our luge run driveway.  A first for this year. The problem was that we had snow, which turned to freezing rain.  And then rain.  If you ever wanted to see two pathetic looking PONs, take them out in WET heavy, slushy snow.  Einstein trudged along to the lake, and only moved quickly as we were headed for home. The FG didn’t care about the wet snow dropping off the branches.  He doesn’t mind any kind of weather. He’s tough.  
Time to get my human moving.  She hasn’t had nearly enough exercise in the past few months- so we are setting her up with a new fitness routine. And it happens to involve even MORE walks for us!  Aren’t we thoughtful?
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 11

Perfect behaviour. Almost.

Yesterday we let my human sleep in until 6:15.  She has a few days off from work as part of her leave time.  She got up and we suggested we go for a good long walk.  She took the FG first and got a text from Jackson’s human asking if we wanted to join him for a walk. It’s been a long time since we have had walks with our Labrador buddy from down the road.  My human agreed – and off Einstein and I went to the golf course to meet our bud.  There was much butt sniffing and wagging of tails.  We were let off leash – and GUESS WHAT?!  We behaved.  Yup.  We didn’t take off, stayed within a good proximity, didn’t follow any scent trails into the woods.  There were a few moments when my human thought I might be eating goose poop (as they have been spotted in the area), but besides that, we were GOOD.  My human chuckled that it only took us 6 and 8 years respectively to reach this good behaviour state.  We even posed for a few photos.

So the moral of the story? Good things come to those who wait. Now we just need to wait another 5 years with the FG… Mind  you, we were good on the walk, but then we DID have a little incident with SOMEONE opening the door to the laundry room, knocking over a garbage can and again eating a HUGE fistful sized wad of dryer lint.  OK.  So maybe our prefect behaviour isn’t all that perfect after all.  But isn’t that what keeps things interesting? 
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 10