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…
Howdy blogaroos. Squirmy here. With some yucky – but NOT earth shattering news…
Well we managed to avoid COVID in this house….but not the canine plague. Kennel cough. Cough. Cough.
There’s a catchy case going around and if you are a dog who is ever in contact with dogs from outside your own household – there’s a risk of catching it. It can circulate at daycares, dog shows and dog parks. And even dogs who go to training facilities can catch it – whether or not they have been vaccinated. And sometimes dogs can be asymptomatic, but they’ve been exposed to it – so they can pass it on. It turned out one of my good training buddies got it and he didn’t know it. So unfortunately, yours truly also caught the bug. The good news? I don’t have a bad case. Just a couple of snorts to let the Warden know I had it. I feel fine. Certainly hasn’t affected my appetite. In fact – I think I’ve read somewhere that if you want a quick recovery from Kennel Cough, you just get extra treats. Lots of extra treats.
Now we just hope my brothers don’t get it. Just like any kind of bug, because one gets it doesn’t mean everyone will. Paws crossed.
Unfortunately, though, whether or not the Boss gets it, he won’t be going to the trials this weekend- because even if he’s asymptomatic, we don’t want to pass it on.
So that’s the news here. Keith comes back tonight for Round 2 of his visit. Then they’ll be staying for a few more days. I hope he’s read the info about extra treats for dogs with Kennel Cough. I’ll let him know if he’s not informed.
Howdy blogaroos! Squirmy here. Happy Sunday! Hope you’re having a terrific weekend with good weather, with family or friends and without any runaway dogs. We’re scoring 2/3 here…
FOR A CHANGE it wasn’t yours truly in the doghouse this weekend. So if it wasn’t me who played escapee- that leaves two possible suspects. Anyone care to guess? Here’s a hint – his middle name is flight risk – and he’s the biggest dog in the house – so he’s not easy to miss. Yup – the Coyote went AWOL. It’s been a while ….
The Warden had let me and the Boss out to pee, and she stepped away from the open door for 12 seconds. And she FORGOT to close the door to the front hall. She and Aunt Sue were getting ready to go out for a drive- and she went to get some biscuits for us as guilt treats before they went out. (I forgot to mention that Keith has returned to Newfoundland for a quick trip – but he’ll be back in a few days. So he plays no role in the Coyote caper.)
Anyway, the Boss and I peed and raced back in the house for our biscuits. The Warden shut the door- and went to get the Coyote to take him for a pee. But he was nowhere to be found. She asked Aunt Sue if she had seen him – and although she had also been within feet of the front door, she never saw him sneak out. They threw open the door and yelled his name. They may as well have yelled “Merry Christmas and to all a good night” because they couldn’t even see him – and we KNOW he has intermittent recall. Or possible namenesia. We have to change that guy’s name.
Anyway – Aunt Sue ran up the driveway while the Warden ran for a leash. As Aunt Sue was futilely yelling his name, a voice called out “Are you looking for a shaggy dog?” As Aunt Sue turned the corner to the neighbors’ house – she saw a man who was doing some repair work on their driveway. He said there was a big dog up there – and sure enough, it was the runaway. He took one look at Aunt Sue and raced to greet her like he hadn’t seen her in days. Then he spotted the Warden coming up the driveway and bolted toward her like a freight train, dodging around her as he got close. Thankfully he didn’t decide to go for round two – and happily marched into the house. Smart move on his part.
It’s been quite a while since he did his escaped convict routine. And he seemed quite proud of himself when he got back. The Boss and I were too busy eating guilt treats to care.
Today the Boss is going to a rally practice. Probably not a bad idea – since he is entered in a real Rally trial next weekend. Yup. Another try for Masters. But he and the Warden are kinda rusty – so good thing they’re going to a practice. They need it. I’m not entered in the trial next weekend. The Warden feels she needs to concentrate on the old fella – so I’ll stay home with the Coyote. That will be interesting…just the two of us…
So acccording to this – yours truly wins as being THE most playful in this household- and therefore I proclaim myself as being the most brilliant. The Boss pointed out that HE is known as Einstein- and while he doesn’t do 30 laps around the dining room table with a toy in his mouth, he is clearly THE most clever as an escape artist. He also likes to retrieve almost as much as I do – but he is also very clear in communicating when he’s had enough by walking to the door with the fetch toy. Yours truly would keep fetching until I collapse. OK. Maybe that’s not so brilliant after all.
The Coyote argues that fetching is a futile ridiculous game – far beneath his level of intellect. He doesn’t believe that playfulness signals intellect. He likes to play – but not routinely. Sure- he’s often up for a game of chase and hump – but then he can go for a week or two when his level of playfulness involves jumping onto the raised dog bed – and going to sleep. Maybe he’s playful in his dreams.
The Warden sometimes finds yours truly a challenge to play with. It could possibly have to do with the fact that the more playful I become, the more likely I am to use my teeth in play. I’ve improved greatly since my baby days, but my version of elevated play still turns into a scene from Shark week.
Now some might argue that attempting to roll on a dead frog in the middle of the road as not being the sign of an overly brilliant being- but I beg to differ. I didn’t actually roll ON the frog the other morning while out for our walk. I actually did the drop and roll about three feet beyond the actual carcass. Pretty clever I think. No frog bits on me. Yup. I’m one smart biscuit.
No class today or next Friday – it was rescheduled . What’s a brilliant guy to do with all his smarts and no class? The Boss just said “homework.” Right. Maybe I can get Aunt Sue to play with me. All for the sake of helping me to become even more brilliant. Look out you Border Collies- here I come!
Hey blogaroos. Squirmy here on a wonderful Wednesday. We continue to enjoy having our guests here- good walks, good treats, good times. I am used to Keith with hats now – although I did have a mini meltdown when he and Sue came back from a paddle the other night….
I am NOT used to seeing ANYONE on the lake – and I didn’t have a CLUE what these aliens were that were approaching from the water. I nearly pulled the Warden’s arm out of the socket trying to run away. But as soon as I heard Sue’s voice, I calmed down. I’m learning lots during this visit.
In other news, when the humans go out for a few hours, we sleep and as soon as we hear them returning we shout out our joyous welcomes. And we cry. Don’t believe me? Research says we do:
Howdy blogaroos. Another manic Monday after a weekend of birthday celebrations. Cake and ice cream and fireworks. OK- we didn’t really have fireworks. And the cake and ice cream was for humans. But we still got to watch. And got some treats too.
The Warden was overwhelmed by the birthday greetings she received from folks all over the world. I reminded her that she has us canines to thank. Nobody would know her if it weren’t for us. We’re infamous. Or something.
Yesterday the humans went out to do some touristy stuff – a place where dogs weren’t allowed. Must have been boring.
Then they came back home and I got weird. Keith walked in and was wearing a hat. I’d never seen him with a hat on – so for about a minute I ran away from him, barking. The Boss and Coyote looked at me like I lost my marbles, the Warden said “It’s Keith!”, and Keith just ignored me. I thought it was pretty brave for some dude to just walk in the house. After the minute, I finally realized it was him. The Boss just rolled his eyes at me. Hey – he could have been a burglar. Or not.
When the humans came home, they went to lounge on the deck. But yours truly decided they shouldn’t just sit around. They had removed their socks and shoes and were sitting and reading . Without anyone watching, I slyly meandered past Keith and nonchalantly stole his socks. The Warden happened to glance up as I was trotting by- with something sticking out of my mouth. “What have you got?”she asked – as if she expected me to say “Why I happen to have Keith’s socks. Both of them in fact.” She told me to bring them over. I came within one foot of her chair and circled away. This happened three times. FINALLY she stood up and came toward me. Game on! I raced down the deck stairs and across the lawn. She kept unsuccessfully demanding the socks- and I kept running. But then I got cocky- flipping the socks in the air. Of course I missed one- and it hit the ground – so she grabbed for it. She was close enough to grab for the second one – still in my mouth, so I tried the drop and roll move. Didn’t work. Sock game over. It was fun while it lasted.
The Coyote and I are continuing our excavation projects in the backyard while the humans lounge. We have dug a pretty good hole by one of the gates. The Coyote’s goal is to dig a deep hole to cool off. Me? I’m a bit more interested in how a hole might help improve gate clearance…..But I think the Warden might be on to me…she’s watching the work site with interest….
Not sure what’s on the agenda for today. The Boss wants Keith to go out and come in with a different hat. I’m not going to fall for that trick again! I don’t think….
Hey blogaroos! Happy Saturday! And we are celebrating a big day in our house – it’s the Warden’s You Day. Yup. The one day of the year when we are on our best behavior. OK – that and Christmas Eve. On Christmas, though, it’s more of the good-behavior-for-fear-of-missing-treats thing. On the Warden’s You Day, we just try to be good because it’s her day.
Now how old is she? I’m not supposed to say….but let’s just say her age is the atomic number for Terbium. Or was it Neodymium? Wait – maybe it was Caesium? Beats me. But she beats the record for the longest living dog by more than two times. She’s been around a looooonnnnnnggggggg time.
In her life as an adult, she’s been owned by 10 dogs including me. She counts herself as lucky in being able to work with her dogs and get titles with them in conformation, obedience, rally, agility, draft and a working certificate for retrieving breeds. She’s attempted Barn Hunt ( with a dog – not by herself) and a bit of Herding. Of course there are also the unofficial counter surfing, bunny chasing and incessant barking awards too. I think it’s suffice to say that we canines have been a huge part of her life. And she says she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s a Crazy Dog Lady. And she wears the badge proudly. Well…proudly when we’re not barking our heads off at a stranger or a neighbor on the road. Then she’d like trade her badge for one that says Crazy Cat Lady. Just joking. I can’t believe I said that….
Her interest in all things dog has resulted in many many friendships- around the world. Heck – if you’re reading this, it’s a good chance you are her friend because of dogs. We dogs have a special way of bringing people together. It’s one of our many super powers.
So we sat for a group shot for her day. We only had two birthday hats – so Elroy got to wear the Happy New Year hat. I managed to convince him that it’s the Warden’s new year. He bought it.
Time to get the birthday girl up and moving! We don’t want her to waste a second of her day!
Hey blogaroos! It’s me- Squirmy. I figured I had better introduce myself as you might not recognize me since I started my newest untrained hobby. Music aficionado and quasi dancer. Yup. I have taken up the 6-step – that’s 4 paws and 2 human feet. And my wonderful dance partner is none other than Aunt Susie. Yup. Who knew how much I enjoyed hitting the dance floor?
It all started when the Warden went to shower after breakfast. Keith was downstairs reading and Aunt Sue was upstairs with me and the other guys. At first, I tried to chew her hands when she tried to pet me. But then she would ignore me. She would attempt to pet me again, and much as I enjoyed it, I would get so excited, my shark personality would come out. So she ignored me again. After a third futile attempt to pet me without me gnawing at her hands, she tried a different approach. She started singing the melody to the song “Save the Last Dance” using a repetitive “do do do” instead of the actual words. I loved it. It was like I was hypnotized. She was able to massage me all over while she was singing. I would slowly spin around. At one point I was flat on my back with my feet in the air as she scratched my belly. She was shocked . It was like I was a different dog. So she kept do do doing and I kept begging for more. We almost had a slow motion cha cha going on. This went on for several minutes. Of course as soon as she stopped, I tried to bite her… but a few musical notes and I was again silly putty in her hands. She then demonstrated the routine for the Warden, who jokingly asked “Did you drug him?” Yup the old quote that “music soothes the savage beast” really is true! We’ll see how I do today with a different song…
Meanwhile, in other news, I got in a bit of hot water because of three “friends” I brought in the house yesterday. GROSSNESS WARNING: Skip the next paragraph if you are easily grossed out. Like the Warden.
We had rain yesterday – a lot of rain – so our walks were pretty quick. At one point during the day though, I went outside – and broke the supreme rule of the Kong – I took one out and left it on the lawn. Yesterday evening, the Warden went to stuff Kongs and realized one was missing. She looked around and told me that if there was one outside, I had better get it. So I dashed out onto the deck, down the stairs and returned with a Kong. I was rewarded for my good retrieving ability. Anyway – remember how I did this once before – and I brought in the Kong with a slug inside? Well this time there wasn’t a slug. There were THREE!!!!! The Warden screamed “Ewwww” when the first one came out. Imagine her joy when buddy was followed by two more friends. The Warden just glared at me. Hey – I was just asked to bring in the Kong – which I did. I didn’t know there were freeloaders.
Well, time to take the guests for a walk. Plus Aunt Sue and I need to try a new song today. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Hey everybody! Squirmy here on a terrific Tuesday! And terrific describes how we’ve been doing the last two days. Sue and Keith arrived Sunday afternoon- and we’re loving our time with them!
We got pretty over-the-top excited when they arrived- which was kinda expected. In fact, the Warden kept me and the Coyote sequestered on the deck while they came in with their bags. She knew we would be crazy – whereas the Boss shouted out his welcome, and then just watched the proceedings. As soon as they had all their stuff in, we were allowed in – and I promptly ricocheted off both of them. Good times.
Yesterday the Warden and Sue sequestered themselves in the garage – and finally put together that new charcoal barbecue that the Warden bought last year. The Boss was allowed to come in to supervise- but his job quickly ended when he kept walking through the assorted parts – including many small bolts, washers and nuts. Yup- lots of nuts – including the two who were doing the assembly. Keith was smart enough to stay clear of the ranting women who assembled and disassembled some pieces several times. We could hear the whole thing. And this was a simple charcoal BBQ.
Once they had it assembled, they moved it onto the deck and attempted to start a fire. Now I understand why people have propane barbecues. Between the assembly, the fire building and the cooking of hamburgers they could have ordered takeout from a restaurant an hour away. But in the end, the burgers were yummy ( we canines got to sample one). Now the big challenge will be in keeping the Coyote from peeing on it. He’s already been giving it the eye.
Yesterday was also the inaugural gathering of the blueberries- from the one bush we own. It was planted a couple of years ago, but every time the berries were almost ripe – the birds beat us to them. So this year, the Warden bought some netting to protect the bush and keep the birds off. And it worked! The Boss got to supervise the harvest and got a few samples. He was not impressed though, having to sit with the small bounty – as he would have rather eaten the whole thing. We all like blueberries- but he LOVES them. You’ll note his serious look…
Today is Tell a Joke day, and so I found a bunch of dog jokes for you. Most of them are pretty bad. But remember I didn’t write them:
Howdy blogaroos. Squirmy here on a super Sunday! Guests have not yet arrived- but cleaning continues in full swing. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m holding a vacuum attachment in the photo. I stole it. And I was pretty proud of myself doing laps around the dining room table as the Warden repeatedly instructed me to “drop it.” I wouldn’t. I ran and ran. Then she firmly (in her totally exasperated voice) said “SIT!” So I did. And she grabbed the brushy thing immediately after she snapped the photo. Honestly- I was just trying to help!
Not much new around here other than vacuuming and lawn mowing. Yawn. I did go to class on Friday and I was positively mediocre. Again. Now I wasn’t BAD with my recalls and my heelwork. But I now have decided that during sit or down stay practice, that I really should try to get to know the other dogs in my class. I mean up until now, I stayed in my place. Like I’m apparently supposed to. But on Friday, I was feeling a bit bored, so I got up and wandered over to see my buddy Ranger. Ever want to see the Warden move quickly? Break your stay. It’s not like I was mean or growly or pushy – I simply wanted to say “hey – what’s waggin?” But noooooo. Socializing is not in the “rules.” I get it. Maybe. Ranger didn’t care. He’s a well behaved dog. A VERY well behaved dog. He stayed in place. I think he rolled his eyes at me and continued to look at his human. He couldn’t be tempted by the shaggy distraction next to him. He stayed. But I was quickly returned to my spot. I think we need to look at my whole breaking stays thing as a way to HELP my classmates. Distraction dog. That will be my new role. Up until now, I’ve been PRETTY good with my stays. WELL- at least I stayed in place – I may not have always stayed in the desired position (like doing a down when you’re supposed to sit), but I never went wandering. The Warden says just when you THINK I’ve learned one thing, another thing she THOUGHT I knew, goes to pot. Hello? It’s called intermittent reinforcement. HOW many times do I have to tell her that?’ Talk about a challenge to train!
Here’s a funny story I found in the news. TOTALLY sounds like something that could happen in our house:
Imagine if the ticket had been for like a million dollars. And imagine if they couldn’t put it all back together. That would happen in our house. For sure. That’s why the Warden doesn’t buy tickets.
OK. Time for walks. I’m going to look at the sunflower on our road. It’s at the end of a neighbor’s driveway. All by itself. Looking perky and sunny and happy. The Warden and I saw it yesterday. She thought it was fake- but it’s not. I wasn’t allowed to get too close – for fear I would attempt to “water” it. Wouldn’t THAT just ruin the scenario?’
Anyway – I hope your day is full of sunny moments!
Hey blogaroos! It’s Squirmy here on yet another Fantastic Friday. The end of the week for working humans (as opposed to leisure humans like the Warden) and the beginning of the weekend. And it APPEARS we are going to be having a goooood weekend. We have company arriving!
I’m not sure exactly when. Judging by the lack of obsessive dusting and vacuuming, I’m thinking it’s not tomorrow. When you are owned by dogs, there is no point in dusting or vacuuming until minutes before guests arrive. Even when you do finish the final preparations, it’s inevitable that as you open the door to guests, a fur ball will roll by.
And in our house, no doubt just before the car is heard in the driveway, someone will be out peeing on the plastic chairs on the deck. We’re not SUPPOSED to pee on the deck – but all it takes is one of us to break the rule (and it’s usually the Coyote) and we ALL must march by and follow suit. It’s kinda mandatory canine behavior. Pee mail. Drives the Warden bonkers. She comes rushing out with her giant spray bottle which is mixed with water, detergent and vinegar. So then the deck smells like a clean French fry. Or something.
Anyway – Sue and Keith are coming for a visit. They are coming from their island on the Titanic. Wait. The Boss said it’s not the Titanic. He said it’s a fairy. No wait. A ferry. Anyway – it’s a boat. Wonder if they’ll do any fishing?
Hey – with three people here you know what that means?! Three dogs going for a walk at once!!! Total chaos. I CANNOT WAIT.
The Warden keeps threatening to tie Swiffer cloths to our feet to help clean the floors. And she said no ripping out each other’s coats for 24 hours. What the heck are we supposed to do to entertain ourselves while she’s busy cleaning?! Just lounge in front of the fan? Watching our fur balls fly by?
Well I had better go and get my fetch toys all ready. Two willing victims will soon be here. I mean pitchers…