Time out

Yo. Happy Sunday everybody. Elroy here. I’m here to tell you about two new words I learned yesterday. Well…..I may have heard them before – but it’s been a while. The words? “Time” and “out”. Put together in a little phrase – time out.

It all started because I have, in the past few days, become obsessed with my favorite game – Poke-a- PON. That’s when you poke a PON with your nose from behind, or you poke him in the ear. Yup. In the ear. Now the PON in my case, will spin around and bark at me. Which causes me to spin and then attempt another poke.

Sometimes the PON will be quite content minding his own business, and I lie down practically on top of him. That usually results in a lick fest at first, and then when the PON is sufficiently soggy, or when her highness says to stop, I will then leap up and begin Poke-a-PON.

I have found that my favorite time to play is juuuuuuuust when her highness sits down for breakfast. Now keep in mind that my game playing causes a LOT of barking by then PON.

Yesterday, her highness finally said “enough.” But that didn’t deter me. Lick, bark, lick, bark, bark, spin, bark, poke, leap, spin, bark, spin, spin, bark, leap, spin, bark…. you get the picture. Even the threat of the squirt gun had no effect. None. Poke, bark, spin, bark, bark, spin, poke – and that was IT. Her highness got up, escorted yours truly out onto the deck and rather ceremoniously said “TIME OUT!!!!” She left me out there. I sat forlornly looking through the glass. I was out there for hours. OK. Just joshing. It was like two minutes. If that. Her highness feels sorry for my sad look- it works every time. She opened the deck door and let me back in. She’s such a spoil sport. Meanwhile the soggy PON looked rather smug that he got to stay in. Just because he’s the “older” one. I guess age has its advantages. Like the seniors’ discounts her highness can now get at some stores. She’s not too proud to ask – which is fine by me – more biscuit money in her pocket!

Today it supposed to rain for a bit. It did yesterday too – but we did manage to get out for our morning walk before the rain. We have this new routine where we have to go into the torture palace aka garage after our walk, and get our feet rinsed off before we go in the house. This is the result of JUST the PON rinse. Pretty cool how much soil he brings in – I think he’s planning to start his own indoor garden. For his tomatoes. Maybe he’ll have better luck….

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Tenzing Norgay day

Frodo here. Again. I honestly deserve overtime this week.

I’m here with some useless dog trivia. Then again, if you are ever a contestant on Jeopardy, or if you happen to own or breed Lhasa Apsos you may find this information helpful. Mind you, if you breed Lhasa Apsos you probably already know this story. Dog people often know interesting historical tidbits about their breeds. And then they discuss them at dog clubs….

Anyway, today we celebrate the birthday of Tenzing Norgay. I’m assuming you know who he is (but don’t worry if you don’t- I didn’t know either. But her highness did – so she said I ought to write about him. So I am. I’m doing it for a biscuit). Anyway, Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa who made the first successful climb and return from Mount Everest – with Edmund Hillary. After that famous climb, Tenzing became pretty famous. He was knighted for his accomplishment and was reportedly one of the first Sherpas to be recognized as a “full-fledged” climber and he was no longer considered a porter.

With his fame came a bigger house, several marriages, children AND he began breeding dogs. He was supposedly given two Lhasas by a Tibetan monk – and he founded a kennel. One source said that he gave dogs away, because Sherpas were superstitious about selling dogs. Now that’s an interesting tidbit.

When Tenzing passed away at the age of 71, he reportedly owned 25 dogs. I bet his dogs ate that those Himalayan Yak cheese dog chews you can get at pet stores. Ever try those things? They’re like rocks. We had them once and her highness thought I would break my already cracked teeth on them – so they somehow disappeared after a few minutes of chewing. She has this distraction technique where if we have something that could cause gastrointestinal issues if we chew them too long (like fresh marrow bones) or they have the potential to crack teeth, she gets yummy treats and distracts us so we leave the danger chew, and go for the treats. Then she runs and grabs the danger chew. We know what she’s doing – but we’ve usually been working at the danger chew for some time, so we’re ready for a break anyway. But we let her think she has tricked us.

I don’t think those Yak chews are bad for everyone- but I quickly broke off chunks – and swallowing them can be dangerous. One site said you could microwave them to create “a cheesy puffed treat.” We didn’t try that. Ours became the Houdini treat.

So that’s your trivia for today. It’s Friday according to the calendar. Who knows – I just know it’s not garbage day.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Zoom and Doom

Greetings all. Frodo here. It is hump day for those in the working world. Also known here as garbage day. That special day of the week where we usually walk down the middle of the road – to discourage peeing on all the neighbors’ garbage cans.

Last night her highness had one of her many Zoom calls that are taking place quite regularly since the Great Pause began. I call them Doom calls because once they begin, we are unable to go out or do anything exciting. This particular meeting was a dog club meeting. The American Polish Lowland Sheepdog Association to be precise. For those who may be unaware – when humans are particularly dog crazy – they may join a dog club. Or two. Or three… Clubs can be All Breed Clubs – meaning just what the title says- a club for any breed of dog. Then you have specific breed clubs. Specific breed clubs can be regional, national, international…. Whichever type one belongs to – they all have the same thing in common- dogs. People with dogs love to talk to others about their dogs. They love to share adventures and experiences.

The irony is that prior to the Great Pause, we dogs were technically not allowed at club meetings – unless they were conference calls. Meetings like the local dog clubs did not allow dogs. But now, with the advent of these video conference meetings, we can easily attend the meetings. Last night, the Beatnik plopped himself right in front of the camera for a good part of the meeting. And any attempt her highness made to get him to lie down was met by a lick in her face.

Yours truly slept through the meeting, but of course at the END, she wanted to introduce me to the other members of the executive. I refused to move. Not until she said the magic word “biscuit” did I bother to wander over. And the nerve – she didn’t even HAVE a biscuit. I’ll remember that.

In other exciting news, we played fetch outside the other day. Here is a photo comparison of PON fetch vs Picard fetch.

Both do the pick up, turn toward the thrower and begin to return.

PON continues at a steady pace. Picard begins to slow.

PON continues with good grip on the toy. Picard begins to falter.

PON completes retrieval and sits to wait for treat.

Picard sinks to the ground…

And then the Picard completes his final moves…

I must confess, he IS rather entertaining.

Time for our walk Have a good one Peace and paws up. Stay safe!

Tomatoes. And quill pigs.

Greetings readers. Frodo here – filled with all kinds of gruesome news. Well – perhaps the word gruesome is a bit dramatic- but I do enjoy a good dramatic episode every now and again. Just watch me being groomed….

But our story is not about grooming. It’s about a funeral that will likely be happening today. For our tomato plants. Yes- we had a bit of a tragedy Saturday night. Her highness had planted her vegetable patches last week in the boxes where we are not allowed to pee. She had heard there could be frost so she carefully covered her plants Friday night. Saturday morning they looked happy and healthy. She repeated the covering on Saturday night. Unfortunately, the temperatures were more chilly and when she did the ceremonial unveiling on Sunday morning she was shocked to see that half her tomato plants had shriveled up. She tried in earnest to resuscitate them with some vitamin laced water- but even after a lovely afternoon of sunshine, the poor souls looked no better. Frankly I think she drowned them after they had hypothermia. She didn’t have the heart to remove them yesterday, but I think the funeral will be taking place today. I just hope we don’t need to dress up.

In other unhappy news, it appears that our neighborhood has been invaded not only by bunnies – but by the third largest rodents in North America. The nocturnal ones that weigh between 15 and 35 lbs. The ones that like to eat fruit trees, and appear to have little “benefit” to other forest friends. Perhaps because they have 30,000 quills that cover their body. Yes – I am referring to porcupines.

Allow me to dispel two porcupine myths. One – they do not shoot their quills. They will raise them in self defense, but they do not shoot them. And number two: if you, by horrible luck, happen to encounter one, and find yourself looking like a pin cushion – it is a myth that you should cut the ends off to somehow “deflate” them. Cutting the ends only makes them splinter – and makes the quills more difficult to remove.

So what are porcupines good for? Keeping animal emergency rooms busy – most frequently in the spring and fall.

Last night when we went for our evening constitutional, we saw FOUR porcupines. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. The beatnik and I saw three. He highness spotted the fourth one herself. One of the porcupines was on the other side of the ditch right along the road – not 15 feet away. The beatnik stopped and was silently looking at something and that’s when her highness spotted not one but two. A big one and a very little one. Probably a mother and baby. Of course when I saw what they were looking at, my greeting was not so silent. The porcupines ran into the woods.

Sources say that if your dog encounters a porcupine, you should take him to the vet ASAP. Long time readers may recall that Viktor had a run in one evening with a quill pig. That’s the Latin translation of porcupine. Her highness worried that by the time they got to the emergency clinic, the quills would have been further embedded. So, with her dear mother acting as surgical assistant (holding a box in which the quills were placed), her highness performed the removal. She also did so because there were none in his mouth or around his eyes. She would not have attempted removal otherwise. She did call the emergency after – and they said they would have done exactly what she did – and he needed no follow up if they were all removed. Luckily they were.

Needless to say, there will be no off leash moments at dawn or dusk around our place. Playing with porcupines is NOT recommended.

Well time to get ready to check the crops. Hopefully there will be no more fatalities today. How am I ever going to eat my tomatoes if this continues?! I think her highness needs to go back to the garden center. And although she had contemplated buying a fruit tree, with our recent influx of quill pigs, she had better not. She isn’t exactly excelling at the farming skills so far this year. That’s all we need is a porcupine magnet.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Oh – and by the way – that’s her highness’ sketch of a porcupine that she did in some nature drawing class last fall. She was trying to be funny. She tries…..

Our new schedule

Greetings readers. Frodo here. I trust you are all doing as well as can be expected during the plague. It appears that things are beginning to loosen up with regard to access. For example, here in Nova Scotia we can now go to parks and beaches – but humans must remain at least two Labradors apart. My golf course has reopened and while it is good for the economy, personally, I am less than thrilled. I call it “my” course because although I don’t technically own it, or even a part of it, I believe in PON virtual ownership. You see, I am a PON and I believe I own everything our road. Including the golf course. IMAGINE my shock when I saw golfers out on the course- after having complete, unrestricted access for many weeks. Frankly, I was rather annoyed when I spotted them wandering my course. My boisterous greeting was not exactly joyful. But of course, I was on a leash so I could not get close while shouting at them.

Their very presence has precipitated a new routine in our house. We awake by 6 AM in order to walk parts of the course before the golfers arrive AND, our afternoon walk has been bumped until just before sunset – so we can walk parts of the course while the golfers are finishing their games. Her highness prefers that we be inconspicuous during this walk – but not to worry – I am certain to shout out my greeting should I see anyone.

The other night, as we were walking one direction and the golfers were walking the opposite direction on a parallel fairway(with trees between us), guess what we saw? Thelma and Louise – those two deer we had seen the other day. Thelma and Louise were in the treed area between the two fairways, and they had to decide whether to face a golf cart with golfers – or a woman with two dogs. Much to her highness’ dismay, they chose our fairway to escape. Now the beatnik has seen them before when he was on his own and was not overly excited. BUT, this time he took a cue from yours truly and became a stark raving lunatic – barking and jumping up and down. And pulling her highness with all our might. So much for the inconspicuous walk.

Well. It’s about time to do our morning round. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any golfers and her highness will be sure to hold on tight. Her biceps are developing nicely. Perhaps that’s why her scale went up. Who am I kidding..

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Not much new. Except blackflies.

Yo readers. Elroy here. Not much new here on the ranch. We’ve had some sunny days, which is great but it brings the vampires out. Like I know there is this whole symbiotic thing in the world where different species support one another – and are good for something. Like the dandelions on our lawn. While some might think they are ugly, they do help bees. And bees help pollinate flowers. So even weeds can be helpful. But really – I started thinking – what good are blackflies?! So I looked up some stuff about blackflies. I found that they are food for birds. Or bats. And I also read that fish eat their larvae. Who knew they have looked at the anticoagulants that blackflies carry – and have applied that information in heart attack research. Blackflies also reportedly do pollinate some plants too. Maybe it’s a good idea to focus on their attributes – because just looking at their painful, bloodsucking behaviors isn’t really great. From now on – I’ll think of them as “friends.” Tiny, pesky friends.

And my tiny friends drove her highness crazy yesterday. She was doing the yearly paint touch-ups on the deck. The Boss and I were sequestered in the house. I’m not sure why. We could have been helpful. Imagine the paw print art we could have made! Anyway, her highness started the chore. Ten minutes later she came in, went in the garage and came back smelling like insecticide. Out she went. Ten minutes later she was back. She went into the garage and this time emerged with a bug jacket. She had her face covered and could barely see where she was going. Back out she went. The Boss just rolled his eyes.

After that project, she decided to install a new printer she had bought for the computer. After trying for HOURS the other day to fix our old one, she finally conceded defeat and got a new one. She despises setting up new equipment- because she thinks the instruction diagrams are sometimes drawn by abstract artists. Her blood pressure goes up as soon as she opens the box. Yesterday, the Boss wandered in the room to see what she was doing. She looked at him and said “I don’t think you want to watch what is about to unfold.” He took one look at the box, turned around and left. Despite the initial apprehension, the techno-gods were smiling down and she somehow managed to get all devices communicating with the printer. It was a miracle! There was much dancing and joy. Biscuits all around.

That’s the biggest news around here. Her highness still hasn’t planted the crops. We’ve still had a threat of frost. She’ll probably do it next week. The Boss is anxious for the tomatoes. I think he had better be patient. Very patient.

So if you encounter any blackflies today – remember they DO serve a purpose. Try to be nice to them. As you’re wiping them off your bloody forehead.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.


Yo everybody. Elroy here. Happy Tuesday. Although not so happy in this house. First we were sequestered by the pandemic. Now it’s the blackflies. Her highness has lots to do in the yard – so she prays for wind. On a still day, one becomes a victim for the flying vampires. They’ll even bite us canines if we’re left outside. Not that we ever are. We have the option to use the self-designed “dog door” through the screen door to the deck. It has been open all day for the past couple of days, but we’re not crazy enough to stay out there. We know there are vampires.

The other bad news – her highness got in the scale for the first time in about 2 months. We watched and we grimaced as she stepped up. We watched her step off and remove her glasses. Like that was adding a lb or two. Then she mumbled something about her hair being longer. She immediately wanted to take us for a walk. Again. But this was mid afternoon and the vampires were literally bouncing off the windows – trying to get in. OK. Maybe not that bad. But she knew she would have to wear a bug suit, so she said “later.” She can’t wear those giant fluffy sweat pants all summer…

On a better note, I decided to share some Pan-dogs with you today. Pan-dogs is short for Pandemic dogs. They are basically dogs who have become famous during this whole COVID thing – because their humans had nothing better to do. There’s also a few “good news” dog stories too – like this one about Zelda:


Here’s a very nice dog story about a very kind nurse:


Brody is a Golden – known for interrupting his human’s on-air weather forecasts. Here are a few of his cameos:


One of her highness’ favorite duos is Mabel and Olive – two Labs. What makes these two great is their human who is a sports commentator. Because there are no sports going on – well Olive and Mabel provide the action. This is the second episode – there are others- but it’s one of our favorites:


Now EVERYONE probably has heard of Pluto – the Schnauzer from Montreal who has LOTS to say. This is when he first became popular:


And NOW he has his own You Tube channel, Facebook page, AND you can even buy stuff with Pluto’s face on it. I want a mug. Her highness said no. Here’s the You Tube link:


And finally – there is Bronn. Now we had seen the video of Bronn jumping at his own video on TV. But what we HADN’T seen was Bronn with his tiny human. If you don’t laugh watching that – you’ve been in quarantine too long. Then again, maybe you’re just having a normal cranky day. Anyway – be sure to watch both videos in the article.


OK. It’s extra early. The golf course is now open so we need to get out before the golfers. And before the blackflies wake up. Wish us luck!

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Dangerous sport

Frodo here again. I am writing today about a sport and an online purchase. Neither of which are particularly exciting to me – but since one involves the Beatnik, I was designated as the author for today. More biscuits for working overtime on a weekend.

Many of you have no doubt heard of a rather unusual “sporting event” – the Running of the Bulls which takes place in Pamplona, Spain each year. Like every other event in the world – it is cancelled, of course. Personally, I’m not so sure that this one is a great loss. I mean you set bulls loose in an alley and watch people in some strange attempt to outrun them? On average 50-100 people are injured each year and since they started keeping records in 1910, five people have been killed. Sounds like a great time. Oh – and incidentally, most participants are male. Her highness wanted me to make a further statement about that statistic, but I refused.

Anyway, that sport is dangerous. And we also have a dangerous sport in our household. It’s called the daily Hurling of the Toys. Personally, while I am sure other dogs do this – I think Picards are masters at this sport. So I will refer to the Picard in the description.

After our morning walks, our breakfast, our yoghurt container licking, our blueberries and bananas, her highness tries to eat her breakfast. And that signals the opening of the Hurling of the Toys. Well, it’s either that or a lick fest, but we’ve already talked about that cough-inducing pasttime in a previous blog.

Back to the Hurling. The Picard will begin by bringing a toy to her highness. He pokes her with it in an attempt to get her to throw it. There are then two possible options for the game. A. She can refuse to do so – which means that hurling is initiated. B. She throws it, and he doesn’t retrieve it – but hurling is also initiated. Either way, with or without two-legged participation- the end result is hurling. The first step is to stare at the toy. For at least several seconds. And then, the Picard grabs the toy and hurls it in the air. This is where the dangerous part begins. IF the Picard has selected a rubber toy, the danger is minimized. However, if he cannot find the rubber toy, he will grab the giant sized heavy, dense, Nylabone. The kind that if dropped on one’s toe will precipitate an outpouring of rather crude language. So imagine if that same Nylabone is whipped into the air and hits one on the shin bone. Or worse, if it has had an unusual trajectory and hits one in the head. At least one knows that the Pamplona bulls are coming. In hurling, one is never sure if one is reading the morning paper while eating breakfast.

Hurling toys have also been known to threaten knickknacks. Hurling is NEVER allowed in the DFZ.

Her highness tried to video the Hurling of the Toys after a recent shin bone incident . Unfortunately, Picards are camera shy – especially when playing the game- so in our case, he immediately stops. It’s as if it is some kind of “secret” game. We will try to get footage. Clearly it is a sport unaffected by COVID. I guess because it is played independently. With unwilling spectators.

In other “news” – her highness made another online purchase- so we will be on alert for the delivery man. She has dreamed of this invention for all her life. Well- her life since she became owned by dogs. Clearly it doesn’t take much to excite her. It’s a thing that you put in your washer and dryer that SUPPOSEDLY removes dog hair from clothing, blankets, towels…. The reviews appeared good. All 6 of them. Yes – she knows this will likely not work – but it was under $15 – with free shipping. I wish you could see me rolling my eyes. She could have bought several lint rollers for the same price. I’ll do a product review. When/if it ever arrives. Good thing we love her….

Time for our morning walk. The golf course has finally reopened- so we must arise earlier now. Works for me.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Endangered Species rant

Greetings blog readers. Frodo here. It appears whenever there is a serious subject, yours truly becomes the author of the blog. I’m not sure why that is. Then again….if I didn’t do it the Beatnik would. Need I say more…he’s not exactly the serious type.

Today according to some special holiday calendar, we mark the day as Endangered Species Day. A day to recognize call those unique species – whose populations have shrunk in numbers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, examples include the Amur Leopard, the Black Rhino, the Sumatran Elephant, the Sunda Tiger, the Blue Whale, the Chimpanzee, the Giant Panda, the Arctic Wolf and the Pygmy Sloth. There are numerous others on the list – which you can find here…


Many of these will come as no surprise to most of you. But what is not included in this list is dog breeds. And in fact, many breeds, due to their low numbers, are actually on the verge of extinction. For example, according to the AKC, there are more Giant Pandas in the world than Skye Terriers!

Sometimes breed numbers decrease because the function for which they were originally bred is no longer popular. An example is the Otterhound. Otter hunting was banned in the 1970s – so Otterhounds were no longer deemed “useful.” So their numbers decreased.

Sometimes things like war can actually affect breeds. For example, we PONs were nearly wiped out during the Second World War. If it were not for the work if Dr. Danuta Hryniewicz, and her dog Smok, the breed would probably have vanished. Smok sired ten liters of PONs in the 1950’s – and he is said to be the ancestor of all PONs in the world today.

Interestingly, the Picard also was in trouble after WWII. Again, committed breeders saw to it that the Picard would not disappear.

That being said, both PONs and Picards are still relatively rare breeds. Her highness likes rare. Rare steaks and rare breeds. One time our vet said to her “Do you use rare breed books as bedtime reading?!”

Humans have long bred dogs to help them and to serve a purpose – whether it was hunting, herding, tracking, guarding, or as companions. We KNOW that there are breeds that are in trouble. The world does not need NEW “breeds” – we have plenty – to go around – and we need to protect those that are currently endangered. SOMETIMES, when a breed has problems genetically, due to low numbers, a careful “out cross breeding” is done. But it is done carefully. And cautiously. It isn’t done because a malti-poo-oodle-errier is cute to look at and it would be fun to see what you get. It’s done to preserve a longstanding breed.

So on the day to recognize Endangered Species – don’t forget that there are dog breeds in the category too. And those dogs need to be recognized and heritage breeders need to be supported! Remember that list of “popularity” rankings we talked about the other day? Go back and look at those dogs nearest the bottom. Then compare it to this list from the UK – and you’ll get an idea about which dogs are really in trouble in at least two countries.


Finally – while finding loving homes for multi breed dogs is not a bad thing – because all dogs deserve loving homes – please think twice before you or someone you know spends large amounts of money on non-purebred flavors of the hypoallergenic, non-shedding month….Do your homework. Please.

I believe I just said something rather sassy…and it felt rather good.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

Some Canadian Literary History

Greetings readers. It is soggy, cranky Frodo here. I shall tell you my tales of woe some other time – suffice to say it was a miserable day yesterday- involving foot licking drama and rain. The only thing that got me through the day was treats. Lots of treats.

But today I wanted to share some Canadian literary history. Because it involves canines AND Nova Scotia.

You see, on this day in 1861, a woman by the name of Margaret Marshalls Saunders was born in Milton, Nova Scotia. Now – did you know that Margaret wrote the first Canadian book to sell over a million copies?! She did. AND the book was about a dog – and written from the dog’s perspective. The book was called Beautiful Joe- and was based on the true story of a poor dog who suffered abuse at the hands of a wicked human. It was, in fact, one of the first books that brought attention to animal cruelty- and animal rescue. The original Joe was in Ontario – but Margaret changed the setting to Maine. Who knew we had such a famous canine author who came from our very province?! She reportedly always had a houseful of animals – and according to Wikipedia, would name them after the location where they were found. She supposedly had a dog named Johnny Doorstep. I hope she never found any animals in a farmer’s field after he fertilized it….. Anyway, there is a park named after Joe in Ontario, and a plaque dedicated to Margaret, here in Nova Scotia near her birthplace. Incidentally, she was the author of many other books and she was also very socially involved in organizations advocating human and animal rights. Sounds like quite the woman.

That’s my contribution for today. Birthday wishes to Margaret. Although she did die in 1947. Still. We celebrate her and I believe we should do so with biscuits. Copious amounts of biscuits.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.