Viktor, was a Polish Lowland Sheepdog who shared his views on life and had a following of loyal readers from around the world . He sadly left all of us us way too soon. He left his PON brother, Frodo and his Berger Picard “brother”, Elroy to continue his “legacy.” We now welcome a new PON brother to our story- Wojtek- who in many ways, has the very same “bigger than life attitude” as Viktor. So we know Viktor’s spirit lives on, as does the spirit of Paxton, his Bernese Mountain Dog…
Frodo here. With a huge confession. I lied. And I will do my penance. One less biscuit today. Well, that’s probably a bit TOO MUCH penance. How about I give up a half biscuit.
I said the other day that there is not much new here. Well – there isn’t yet – BUT we do have a BIG event that is about to happen. It’s a secret. And it’s a secret that we’ve been keeping for….well since before the Great Pause. We decided not to talk about it because- it’s complicated. And it’s complicated because of the Great Pause.
Her highness feared that IF we talked about this secret, that we would somehow jinx things. And – well since the big event isn’t happening until later today, I still am not allowed to talk about it.
How’s THAT for a teaser? Let’s just say that this event will change our lives in a big way. And without a doubt, this event will make for some very interesting blog stories. And her highness says it won’t fill a hole that’s in her heart – but it is sure to make her heart bigger.
So think good thoughts for her today as she embarks on a big adventure. And stay tuned on Thursday to see what’s going on.
Today we are supposed to have a rainy day. According to her highness, and other two leggeds, this is a good thing. Because we haven’t really had much rain lately and all the plants need to be refreshed. Good for the green no-leggeds. They’ll be happy but I’ll be walking very quickly on my constitutional.
There just isn’t much new here. Although, my ESCP – Extra Sensory Canine Perception , tells me that something is brewing. My bet is company. Her highness has been cleaning a bit more than normal. Mind you, it could be that when we were in the depths of the Great Pause, and no one could visit, well, the sarcastic comment about growing tomatoes on the kitchen floor was not that far an exaggeration. And speaking of growing tomatoes, they appear to have been revived. The ones outside, of course. I keep looking to see if there are any tomatoes yet but alas, just flowers at this point. We do have lettuce, which neither the Beatnik nor I really like. We hear her highness making a salad – so we come to investigate. She gives us a piece, and as usual it ends up as a green blob on the kitchen floor. Not our thing.
So since no real news here – let’s share some other dog news. For your morning chuckle, if you haven’t already seen it – here’s a video making the rounds of a dog who stole…..check to see what:
Some dogs just love to steal things. Like the time our first dog sitter couldn’t find her little flip phone. Viktor followed her from room to room as she searched for it. And then she noticed that his cheeks were protruding rather oddly. She found the now-non-working-phone.
Here’s a good news story about an old dog. A REALLY old dog. A 20 year old Golden Retriever by the name of Augie. Can you imagine? So Augie is like 140 in people years. That’s crazy!
Yo ho ho. Elroy here. Holy moly I have to tell you about a super close call we had yesterday. It was so close, her highness’ heart was a-pounding.
We got up a little late yesterday. It was almost 6 AM! We’ve been getting up early lately to go for our walks before it gets too warm outside.
As we walked up the driveway, her highness appeared to be deep in thought. Probably thinking which side of the couch she would plant herself on when we got home. That’s my idea of a joke. I’m pretty funny.
Anyway, I was walking on her left side and the Boss was on her right. Her highness was looking down. Suddenly I stopped. And her highness finally woke up. There, not 8 feet away, right on the edge of the driveway was a porcupine. I mean you could look in his eyes! The Boss, for some reason hadn’t noticed him either – but once he did, the happy shouting began. OK maybe it wasn’t so happy. Her highness held on tightly to our leashes and prayed the fastest prayer ever as Mr. Needles turned, ran down the edge of the driveway and into the woods.
Her highness’ heart was pounding so hard I could hear it! Even over the Boss’ shouting. You can be sure her highness will be paying more attention now in the morning. And definitely at night!
We had another lazy day yesterday. It was too hot to go out on the deck, and even when evening came and her highness tried to get us to play a bit of fetch, the Boss brought the toy once and then headed back for the door. I actually brought the toy back FOUR times, and then I wanted to go in too. We prefer to situate ourselves in front of one of the many fans throughout the house. I haven’t been swimming yet. Maybe today….
Salutations readers. It is Frodo. Owner of the veterinary parking lot. Actually owner of any parking lot in which my car is parked…
Yesterday, my day began with a bath. I can’t think of a more horrible way to begin the day. Well perhaps the day could be worse if it was raining and we were out of dog food. Still – it was quite an unwelcome surprise and a definite clue that something was afoot. Yours truly had an appointment with the vet. I was feeling completely fine – but her highness wanted to get a “wellness” check for me. She also wanted to check about a lump I have been sporting on my side since probably pre pandemic. It hasn’t caused any problems, and has not grown – but she thought it best that it be checked.
We arrived early for our appointment, and had to wait in Ludwig as the vet office still does not offer waiting room space since the Great Pause. Which is fine with her highness as she prefers to leave me in the vehicle at the best of times. We’ve discussed zombies in the waiting room before- and of course, I always feel I own the waiting room which can be a bit disruptive depending on seating arrangements – so it’s just easier to wait in Ludwig.
Thankfully Ludwig is air conditioned- so I was able to relax in cool comfort. I suppose the word “relax “ is a bit of a stretch. I do tend to pant and worry about being at the vet – the whole Orb Ordeal has left a lasting impression.
Her highness was probably equally stressed because although she knows I am always well mannered – she does like to see everything that is going on. And of course, she believes it is critical to bore our very patient vets with insignificant observations about everything that I do. They are VERY patient with her.
While waiting my turn, I was sure to warn every other dog who arrived that I was there FIRST. As I said, I own the waiting room and the parking lot.
As predicted, I was very well mannered with the vet – and saints be praised, got a clean bill of health. My lump goes by an ominous sounding, but completely benign, name called a lipoma. Her highness was thrilled to hear that. I’m good for another 10,000 km. Or 6124 miles in the US.
Today will be another day where I situate myself in front of the fan. We had a few days of respite from the heat but it is back again. I am fairly certain the Beatnik will be going for a swim with his new long line. Her highness will be sure to take photos. Of course. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Yo readers. Guess who? Yup – it’s Elroy. Hope you had a good weekend.
Today I would like to talk to you about my experience as a follower.
What do I mean by “follower?” I am talking about canine following and how I have learned to follow the Boss’ lead. That’s why you see his picture – he’s the leader or the teacher. As I get older, I get more and more like him. Because I have learned from him. Well – at least in some things. I mean we DO have our individual differences- and although I’ve watched him retrieve a toy loads of times, I still prefer to do what I call “freestyle retrieving.” Sure – I go out to get the fetch toy when it’s thrown- but then I stop half way back and make her highness come to get it. I’m just trying to help her with those extra pandemic pounds. So the Boss and I DO differ in that regard.
But there are other things that I DO imitate and follow. For example, one thing that I have started to do is the reverse back up beep alert. You know how big trucks beep when they back up? Well, whenever the Boss hears that beep, he starts barking. For him it signals that we are getting an oil or propane delivery – so he must warn the drivers that there are “dangerous” dogs in the household. The Boss can even hear the beep at the neighbors’ house- which isn’t super close, and he’ll still bark out his warning. And I have recently started to bark along. “So what?” you might say – “you’re barking because he’s barking.” Nope – not entirely. Because last night her highness was watching some video on Waste Book (I call it that because she often wastes too much time on it) – and suddenly there was a truck in the video. And it started backing up – so it started beeping. And yours truly starred boofing. Yup. I thought it was the real thing. The Boss, on the other hand, was not fooled. But the point is, I learned the beep alert from him.
Another example: The Boss doesn’t like wearing a harness when he walks. He prefers to strangle himself. I do too – but frankly, I have never minded the harness. The Boss sees it coming and runs around the dining room table with her highness in pursuit. She always wins. Anyway, I watched him do the chase me routine – so now I do it too. So her highness has to go after both of us before our walks. Good times.
I never was one to mind grooming – but after watching the Boss run when he’s called into the Torture Palace, I now do the same thing. It’s really interesting to see how we learn from one another. I’m still not sure what he’s learned from me, though….Maybe to eat more slowly? Nah.
Anyway, if you are interested in learning a bit more about dogs learning from dog teachers, here’s an article about it:
Greetings readers and happy Summer Solstice. It’s Frodo here – welcoming the official start to those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. Someone ought to write a song about it.
Here in Canada’s Ocean Playground, we are currently experiencing above normal temperatures. And as a result, everyone in this household is experiencing hearing loss. From all of the fans we have going in almost every room of the house. Once upon a time, there didn’t seem to be a need for air conditioning in our corner of the world. I mean we had nice summer temperatures, but we weren’t like the southern states in the US where air conditioning there is as necessary as heat is here in the winter. But it appears that these days we are “feeling the heat” more in the summer so if you don’t have air conditioning, you have a heat pump to make your home more comfortable. Or in our case, you have multiple jet engine fans. I must confess it even affects out guard dog duties because we don’t hear intruders until they are right at the door. Which makes it appear that we are sleeping on the job. The good news is that temperatures cool down at night – so we can easily hear any night time intruders. And we can shout out appropriate bunny warnings at 2 AM.
Today is also the longest day of the year – and we will take advantage of the extra daylight. Because we have another hot day in the forecast, we are up extra early to go on our morning constitutional – in order to beat the heat. Odd that there are so few neighbors up at 5:30. Perhaps I shall give them a shout out today as we walk down the road – to invite them to enjoy the coolest part of the day.
I wonder if the Beatnik might go for his first swim of the year? Count me out. I’m content to watch.
I found a quote by Jenny Han that says: “Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” After the world experienced a pretty challenging first half of 2020, I think we’re all ready for a little magic. Enjoy these long days – and may they be sunny and full of good things!
Yo readers. Elroy the herder here. OK – so my recent lesson wasn’t my most brilliant. I still TRIED. Just wait until next time.
Meanwhile, here at home, we no longer want to be around her highness. For several reasons. #1 She is going to make our well run dry. #2 She has bugs.
Let’s start with #1. Since we are getting warmer weather, and the grass is growing more, she seems to be forever mowing. OK. That’s a lie. She’s not mowing grass. She’s mowing weeds. Most of our lawn is weeds because she refuses to put any chemicals on it – because of us. She feels those things are dangerous. So we grow weeds. BUT, if you mow weeds, they are green and can almost look like grass. The key is in keeping it short. So she announces she is going to mow (like someone announcing they are about to travel across the frozen tundra in a blizzard). The chore takes 2-3 hours depending if she does all in one shot, or she breaks it into two days. Either way, she comes in and needs a shower. Big time. I mean I don’t mind the aroma of sheep poo – in fact, I’ll roll in it. But when she comes in from mowing – make room. So she has to shower – sometimes twice in one day!!!! Our well has never had a problem with water – but if she keeps this up, she could end up having to bathe in the lake. These multiple showers must stop.
As for #2. Well. The other day she decided to weed whack our path to the lake. She was wearing long pants and rubber boots- so as not to pick up any vagabond ticks. Not that we have spotted any on our property – but you never know. When she came in the house , she took off all her clothes and threw them immediately in the wash. Which is another water user. She actually looked herself over to be sure she had no ticks on her. Not that she has ever brought one in before – but one cannot be too careful. She got dressed and had to run a quick errand. She came home and made her supper. While she was eating, a friend called and they were chatting. Suddenly, her highness looked down and ewwww- a TICK was crawling on her arm near her wrist!!! She grabbed a piece of paper towel and picked him off. She went into the garage to get a closer look. Yup. A wood tick or dog tick. Mr. Tick’s life then ended.
Just the THOUGHT of having a tick on her was enough to drive her crazy. She immediately inspected me and the Boss to see if we had any relatives of the now deceased tick. Nope. We were clear.
We don’t know how the tick got on her arm. She had not been just petting us – as she was having supper. She hadn’t been in the woods for hours. She was wearing completely different clothing. HOW did he get there?! She was dreaming of ticks that night.
So that’s why we’re steering clear of her highness. Who am I kidding – we’re not REALLY staying away. We don’t care if she has ticks. Or she causes us to have no water. Neither is REALLY a serious issue. Not yet anyway.
Besides- it’s all because of US that both issues arise. I mean she keeps the weeds mowed so as not to attract ticks. Which causes the water use. And she probably got a tick in trying to keep ticks away. So all of this is really a tick problem. Not a problem with her highness.
Greetings readers. Frodo here. I am here to report about the Beatnik’s return to herding. If one would call it that. It appears he has suffered from his lack of sheep exposure….to the point where this was SOMEWHAT similar to his first exposure to the wooly wonders. Except this was probably a tad….worse.
But instead of reporting a completely dismal outing, let’s look at the bright points. First, it didn’t rain. Second. It didn’t rain. Third. It wasn’t too hot. Fourth. It didn’t rain….
In reviewing the short video footage taken by her highness, and after hearing her observations, it does appear that each time they go, his excellent instructor does make it more challenging for him. For example- the first time they were in a small pen. The next time the pen was larger and she used the big flag to direct him. The third class, she didn’t use the flag. This time, she added a series of fences within the enclosure- to teach him to be more aware of where he was going and to keep him moving outward around the pen.
Her highness would like to emphasize that their instructor has the patience of Job. I mean she is REALLY, REALLY patient. She waits for the Beatnik to THINK – rather than completely pushing him to do something. And her highness was fascinated to watch his wheels turning when he had to figure out how to go AROUND the fencing – and how to NOT cut across the pen and go right at the sheep. He also needed to be reminded about proper manners with sheep – especially now since they aren’t wearing their fluffy wool coats.
Yes- watching the wheels turn ever so slowly is very interesting . Very interesting. And VERY slow. But they ARE turning- and despite the fact that progress was just slightly faster than a slug crossing through molasses, he never quit trying. And even after one rather raucous attempt to chase sheep recklessly, when the instructor had to firmly but fairly admonish him, he bounced right back, wagged his tail and said “OK, now what?!”
So we don’t have any exciting video to share – probably because her highness spend most of the time with her hand covering her eyes – and just peeking through her fingers.
But the instructor did say that he IS interested, and he does have drive. He doesn’t have much self-awareness of body position- and he did have one crazy run which left both a fence on the ground and the instructor on her knees. Yup – it was the typical Beatnik-in-a-china shop move.
While the Beatnik was taking down fences, the instructor’s Border Collie was squeaking to get in the pen to show the Beatnik how it’s done. She ended up being sequestered in the barn – but she just HAD to see what the strange looking beast was doing with her sheep….
I should also mention that he DID sample some sheep morsels on this outing too. And while during a decompression break, when they went for a short walk in the field, he also attempted a good old fashioned roll in the sheep poo. “Attempted” being the operative word.
So it was a very eventful morning and he he clearly still has LOTS of work ahead of him. But as long as the instructor is hopeful, they’ll keep on trying. The great news – no two or four leggeds were injured. AND the Beatnik was treated to a nice bath when he got home. Better him than me!
Salutations readers. Frodo here. Lonely Frodo. Fair enough- I’m not lonely just yet – but I will be shortly. Her highness and the Beatnik are abandoning me. I must perform solo guard duty for a few hours. I believe that, as a result, I SHOULD be getting isolation pay. I must lobby for that…
It appears that the Beatnik’s sheeping adventures are resuming today. He has not seen a moving lamb chop since before the Great Pause. The big question is whether he will recall what to do with them. Remember, he’s not allowed to “sample” the wooly wonders – although he attempted that the last time and got a mouthful of fluff. And he had “ the stick” shaken at him and it hit the ground repeatedly.
Her highnesses is also a bit concerned that since he has recently developed a taste for bunny poo – that he might now be distracted by the sheep poo. And he is a guy who debates whether or not to eat the food in his bowl. So unusual. Many of us canines enjoy the taste of “critter morsels” . I’m surprised that some clever dog food marketing company hasn’t capitalized on that fact. I can see it now “Our food tastes like poo – it’s delectable according to 9/10 canines.” Poo food. Better than lettuce.
Well, we’ll let you know if his enthusiasm for sheep remains. I’ll be able to tell by her highness’ face when she walks in the door.
Excuse me while I get her to load me up with treats before they go. And of course more when they get back. I’m going to milk this for everything I can..
Yo readers. Elroy here. Ya know how we always think the Boss is so smart? Yeah – well maybe not so much. Mind you, we have always known he has a hearty appetite- and he’ll eat almost anything…
The day before yesterday, her highness was in the DFZ. Which since this pandemic began, has become CDA. Completely Dog Accessible. Since her highness still manages to spend time on the sofa reading or rug hooking, when she isn’t walking us, playing with us, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, doing laundry, walking us, feeding us…she simply gave up keeping the DFZ gate closed. The Boss would just stand and bark at her. Or he would rattle the gate. She quit fighting with him – and opened the border to canine travel. She DID roll up the hooked rugs in there though, because yours truly enjoys picking at them. So it’s basically hardwood or a bit of area carpet on which to relax. Restricted border controls do NOT include relaxing on furniture.
Anyway, her highness was in the Former DFZ, I was sleeping on her bed, and the Boss was in the dining room, next to the screen dog door. All was quiet, when her highness heard a strange sound coming from the dining room. It didn’t sound like one of us chewing a Nylabone. Or those giant hunks of hardwood which we got one Christmas. We actually never DO chew those things. As Viktor always said – money well spent. Not.
No- this chewing sounded like crinkly paper. Like a wrapper from something. So she sprang off the indented sofa to see who had what. She came around the corner, looked at the Boss and said “What are you doing?!” He turned to look at her and that’s when she spotted what he obviously had attempted to chew. It was between his paws. Lying on its back. A JUNE BUG!!!! Her highness called the Boss over, and the flying grape was left behind. Clearly it couldn’t have been all that tasty – although her highness did read an article saying they are edible. Ewwww. She ran to get the June Bug broom and kinda picked him up and tossed him out the deck door. It wasn’t even dark out – so I don’t know why he was out. We’ll never know….
We can now say there are two things the Boss won’t eat . June Bugs and lettuce. He went out with her highness to harvest the “crops” the other day, and right now the only things growing well are green onions, herbs and lettuce. She picked some lettuce for her salad, and gave him a piece. It ended up as a soggy green blob on the kitchen floor. No need to even bother asking if I was interested in eating any.