Oh Tannenbaum

Howdy doody blogaroos. Squirmy here on December 8. The Warden keeps thinking that someone took days away from November. She says she is way behind in everything. Bla bla bla. So here’s the deal – SOMEHOW she got all her Christmas decorating and gift buying done when she was working full time. And now that she’s retired, she has no time for anything. Mind you – her tardiness does seem to coincide with my arrival in the world. Surely I can’t take more time than every dog that has ever lived in this house. Wait. Don’t answer that.

Anyway, today, according to the crazy calendar is National Christmas Tree Day. And I’m pleased to announce that we do have a large balsam buddy sitting in the DFZ waiting to be dressed. The Warden went to a tree lot yesterday and picked one out. She wandered around looking at all the trees standing there, waiting for a new home. We weren’t allowed to go along. Picture us (or at least the Coyote) leaving pee mail on every possible purchase. She wandered around the lot looking for the perfect specimen for our home. She didn’t want a big tree this year. She didn’t want a fat tree. She didn’t want a pine tree. Yawn. Bottom line – she’s a fussy tree shopper. On a tree farm she can wander for HOURS. Apparently some guy who worked there saw her wandering and zig zagging through the pop up forest. Poor guy – he asked her if she wanted help. Big mistake. She sorta knew what she wanted but not totally. He started untying trees and spinning them around like tops. When he started climbing up the pile of untied trees to find her the perfect tannenbaum, she started getting nervous that he might fall down. She figured that would be her luck – tree salesman injures himself climbing trees to assist picky shopper. When he pulled a tree out of the pile, jumped down from the tree mountain, untied it and spun it around, the Warden barely looked at it and said “I’ll take it.” She didn’t want to be responsible for a tree-mergency.

When she arrived home, she sequestered us on the deck while she brought it in. Let’s face it- dragging a tree with three curious canines would not be an easy task. We’re busy, inquisitive guys – what can I say? Once the tree was safe from us in the DFZ, she let us back in the house. I watched as the Warden wrangled the tree in the stand and after it was secure, she took fish line and tied it to the wall. Apparently there’s some story about a fallen tree many years ago – before my time. So now trees are extra-secured. I watched with great curiosity. The other two guys didn’t care at all. The Boss said this is the 13th tree he has seen – so the process is pretty routine. He’s waiting to sit in front of the finished product for the obligatory photo shoot – with treats, of course. You’ll note I DID get to take one photo with the new green guy, much to the consternation of the other guys. Hey- that’s what happens when you pay attention to the proceedings.

Yesterday the Warden just put on the lights. So today will be the day to fully deck the halls. But not until after my training session this morning. We can’t miss that!

I guess I had better start working on my letter to Santa. Surely in this day and age, an email should be good enough. Maybe I can even text him. Still – I need to come up with my wish list. I’ll do that while the Warden is decorating today.

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

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Howdy blogaroos! Happy St. Nicholas Day!!! It’s a day to celebrate a guy who was an all around good fella – who gave to the poor and did nice things. He was the model for the modern day Santa Claus and for many of my readers in Europe, today is a day you really do celebrate! Hopefully you put out your shoes last night and no canine chewed on them – and today you awoke to footwear full of goodies! Left by St. Nicholas of course.

The Warden didn’t leave her shoes out. She knows better. I MAY have told you the story of someone actually chewing on a boot that was in the closet. And it didn’t belong to the Warden. They were a nice, new pair of rather pricey boots, that somehow Joanie left here one day. Anyway….someone who has never been identified, decided to get a boot out of the closet, and leave a little artistic carving right along the edge – where the little tab was to help pull on the boot. Someone thought it looked like the tag didn’t belong there – and chewed it off. Along with a tiny bit of leather. The Warden bought Joanie a new pair- before she actually showed her what happened to her original pair. Yeah -St. Nicholas wouldn’t find any shoes or boots handy in this house.

So the Christmas explosion has happened here. More Santas than I can even count. The last thing to complete the explosion is “the tree.” Last year the Warden went to some tree farm to cut a tree – and she nearly collapsed trying to cut the thing down with her little hand saw. Thankfully some family came along and they had a chainsaw, so the Warden was saved. Yesterday she went looking for tree lots close by – and the closest one was out of trees. How can a tree lot in Nova Scotia – home to Lunenburg County – the self-proclaimed Christmas tree capital of the world, be out of trees on December 5? Anyway – there ARE plenty of tree lots and farms around – but the Warden was too lazy to drive around. She was exhausted from hauling 589 Santas out of hiding.

She figured she would put the tree up today – since we are sequestered- and she can’t go anywhere. Ludwig is in the shop – getting new footwear (snow tires). So the Warden is car-less. She may resort to cutting down a Charlie Brown tree on our property. I hope we get to go along to pick it out. Then again, she probably doesn’t want a tree that’s been peed on. I think she could just consider that part of the selection process.

Hey. What do you think of my photo taken at the match on the weekend?! I look like I know what I’m doing! Remember – this was BEFORE the stay exercise where I went to visit my Borzoi babe. So I CAN be good sometimes. Now if I could just get the Warden to take smaller steps. What does she think I am – a Great Dane? I’m flying to keep up!

Well, time to go celebrate St Nick’s Day. Thank goodness the Warden couldn’t find any bishop hats for us to wear. Because you KNOW what would have happened. We’re waiting for the antlers to come out any day now. The Coyote is already planning his escape….

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

Matches

Howdy blogaroos! Squirmy here on a sunny Sunday.

Well. We had a day yesterday. The Boss and I were in a FUN match. He was in Rally and yours truly was in Obedience.

So. The Boss did well. Some minor bobbles – but no major problems- which is remarkable given that he hasn’t t been to a match or a trial or a class in like…10 months. Tell him what to do and he says “how fast.” So he did a great job – even though the match wasn’t scored.

And then we have yours truly…..Now I keep reminding tbe Warden that she cannot compare me to the Boss because he’s 10 years older. So let’s start on that note…

So I was in Novice Obedience. Which, for non-obedience people means a bunch of things or “exercises” that your dog must do – when asked to do so. Without a lot of praise. Or treats. Or coaxing., You tell your dog- and he does it. Or not. Like heeling closely on leash and sitting when you stop. You heel at different paces like normal, slow and fast. And then you get to do it around two people in what’s called a Figure 8. And you can’t sniff, or stop to say hello or pee on them. And then you also heel OFF leash. And then in another “exercise “ you have to stand like a statue and not move when a stranger comes over and pets you. Finally you have to come when called and sit in front of your person after they leave you in a sit at the other end of the universe. Phew. How intense is THAT?’ And that’s just the basic intro level.

Well. Yours truly did pretty OK. Just like I do in class. No fireworks. But I did the job. In a real trial, your performance is based on points and you have to score a minimum number of points to “pass” or “qualify “. I MIGHT have qualified in the first part which included the heeling and recall parts- but then we had the the last part – the dreaded “sits and downs.” At the junior level (like me) all the dogs in the class, line up next to each other and have to sit and stay for one minute while our person stands and stares at us from across the room. Then we have lie down and stay for three minutes.

Here’s the deal…if a human is told they have one minute do something, they freak because it’s not enough time. But leave your dog alone in a line up of other dogs and one minute feels like a year. And the three minute down stay? It feels like a decade.

Now I’ve been PRETTY good on my stays in class. So in the line up when the Warden said “stay” she thought I might behave. But here’s my side….

So I sit. She leaves. I look at her. And then I glance to my left and notice Chloe- my Borzoi bestie from class. Well. What can I say? She’s pretty. I like her. I know her. So I just HAD to go over and say hello. Big no no.

Holy moly. I have never seen the Warden move so fast in all her life. She raced over to me and promptly told me to leave my girlfriend alone. Who KNEW you weren’t supposed to be sociable?!

I sat for the remainder of my minute, and when it was time to do the down stay, I plopped my head on the ground in total exasperation. And I never moved for the required three minutes.

So let’s just say I’m not entered in any REAL trials any time soon. There actually is one next weekend- but I’m not QUITE ready. Maybe next Spring. Or Summer. Or Fall. Or in 10 more years…

Good thing I’m cute…..

Oh. And so maybe I’ll eventually learn some basic heeling and stuff. But not sure I’ll ever be able to do this, which happened at a competition earlier this year. It’s called Dancing with Dogs.

https://youtu.be/TtjY_YgZEzo

Yeah- I’m not ready to try that. Not to mention the Warden isn’t that coordinated either….

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

W

Me and the mops

Yo. Blog people. Elroy here on this the first day of December. The countdown to Christmas craziness has begun. I’m not big into writing a list for the guy in red because there’s not much I want. Toys? Nah. I get bored after 5 minutes. Food? Nah. Necessary evil. My tastes change. Like I was into blueberries for a week or so and then yesterday I said “no thanks. I’ll pass.” The mops get all shakey and excited about anything edible. I’d rather have a piece of bread. Some days anyway.

About the only thing I’d want for Christmas is sheep. And the likelihood of that? Slim to negative 85. But I DO enjoy them. It’s one thing I’m better at than the mops. We just found this cool video showing Picards herding. Check it out:

https://youtu.be/1ZRliuij5Sk

Yup. That’s for me. We’ll see if Santa delivers.

What else is new? Oh yeah. Today is December 1st and it’s something called Eat an Apple Day. The mops are really into the the yogurt stuffed frozen apples. Pass me the sour dough instead. They love those billiard-ball like frozen orbs – and geez they can eat one before Her Highness even sits down to eat breakfast. Kongs last longer – but I guess there are good reasons not to chew on rubber every day. May that explains why the Imp is so crazy. Rubber overdose.

Last night we had crazy wind and rain. The Imp kept barking at every noise. The Boss and I just rolled our eyes at him.

Her Highness posted the above photo of me on Facebook and someone said it looks like I’m meditating. More like trying to think of a way to escape the Imp. That guy is still crazy – he races around for no good reason in the morning with the Boss shouting out instructions about how quickly he’d like breakfast. It’s crazy. It’s morning mania – every single day. Thank GOODNESS they have me as the Zen Master – to keep things cool and calm. Unless I get off leash…

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

Stuff

Howdy blogaroos. Squirmy here on another terrific Tuesday.

So did you watch that TV show the other night? The one where a wolf nearly bit Anderson Cooper? It was pretty interesting. Who knew that scientists were learning so much about human illness through research with us dogs. And it was fun to learn about our canine evolution. Survival of the friendliest – instead of the fittest. If you didn’t get to see it, you can probably find a rerun. I liked it when the wolves howled. No wonder the Boss barks so much – he’s letting loose his inner wolf.

After the show was over, the Warden decided she would give me the option of sleeping out of my crate for a change. The Coyote prefers his “den” so he hunkered down in his pony sized crate and didn’t seem to care that yours truly was loose all night. The Boss was on the bed- and when I eyed a spot up there next to him, he just gave me the eye and let out a low grumble. I decided I was just as comfy on the floor. Several times throughout the night, I put two paws on the bed and checked to see if the Warden was awake. She kept mumbling “go to sleep.” So I did. Until about 6:45 when I decided everybody should Carpe Diem. The warden tried to put the pillow over her head – but it was no use. I was ready to rock and roll.

Meanwhile, the Coyote who didn’t SEEM to care the night before, was now kinda miffed that he had not been free all night too. Or so it appeared. He’s very temperamental. He kinda ignored me the next morning and trudged along on our walk – and then put his nose up at breakfast. He DID eat blueberries and his slice of bread though, so he wasn’t TOTALLY cranky. He was over it quickly enough, because he wanted to play after breakfast and by supper he ate everything.

What else….Oh – did you see THIS article:

https://people.com/pets/dog-who-paints-sells-art-for-charity-and-has-raised-thousands/

The Warden said NOBODY in this household could be trained to use a brush. It would immediately become a chew toy. We’ve seen stories about dogs using paint on their feet- but even that sounds pretty dicey. Yeah – no doggie Degas in this house.

The Christmas explosion still hasn’t happened. The Warden has been busy with who knows what. Hopefully helping Santa with his Christmas gifts for us.

Oh – and speaking of Christmas decor – GUESS who tried to pee on the Christmas greenery thing by the front door? Three guesses. And I bet you’ll get it on the first try. Yup. The Coyote. He ALMOST watered the foliage, before they Warden shouted “NOOOOOO!” He even tried to pee on the car when it was parked in the driveway the other day. Another no-no. Because let’s face it – one of us pees on something and then you have the proverbial peeing match. So we ALL have to pee on that spot. Boys will be boys!

OK – almost time for morning mania.

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

TV shows….

Greetings blog aficionados. The Boss here today for your reading pleasure. I thought it was about time that yours truly contribute some content of substance as opposed to Christmas shopping lists. Mind you – I do enjoy treats – so I will go along with the “Santa“ guise if the end result provides edibles. I’m no fool.

Today I’d like to present a short excerpt from a TV show recorded in 2014 about Chaser, the world’s smartest dog. Even if you have seen this show, it is worth a repeat:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/the-smartest-dog-in-the-world-60-minutes-archive/#x

Sadly, in 2018, John Pilley passed away – and one year later, Chaser joined his best friend. But their story will live on. And each time Her Highness watches a story about them, she inevitably decides she must “tutor” us to learn more vocabulary words. Yawn. As long as treats are involved, I can appear interested.

Interestingly, the Imp does know a number of toys by name. Without any training. I must confess, he is rather spooky that way.

I, on the other hand, am more directionally inclined. For example, Her Highness can instruct me to “go up” on varied surfaces- logs, hills, benches – and I quite willingly do so if I am certain her pockets are laden with treats. She never “formally” taught me to “go up” but I understand gestures very well.

And then we have the FG – who doesn’t even respond consistently to his own name, let alone retrieve an object that is requested. And directions are in the same category. If you tell him to sit, he will either stand and stare at you or will lie down. Depending on the phase of the moon, the wind direction and day of the week. He is different, that one…

But I digress. I didn’t just want to review an old TV show, but wanted to make you aware that Her Highness’s favorite broadcaster, Anderson Cooper will be doing another story on dogs TONIGHT. Here is a trailer for that show:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/survival-of-the-friendliest-sunday-on-60-minutes/

It looks to be quite interesting. We must watch. I’d rather that than Hallmark Christmas shows which seem to be on automatic replay all day long. Has anyone noticed that they all have the same plot? Two people meet by accident. They fall in love. There is a misunderstanding. Feelings are hurt. Then either a snow storm or an avalanche or plague happens. With some Christmas tree decorating and cookie baking thrown in the plot. One person saves the other – and voila – the whole town rejoices. Bells ring. Carols sing. Oh – and the guy in red also makes an appearance. Occasionally a dog is thrown in the story, but we rarely get top billing. Yawn. I think I’ll stick with Cooper’s story tonight.

Off to have my constitutional. Cheers!

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

Black Friday

Howdy blogaroos. Squirmy here on infamous Black Friday. The “bargain” day for shoppers in the US – because the Christmas season is now OFFICIALLY here. Yee haw!

We checked bargains for us dogs and found lots of sites advertising “good deals.” Here are a few:

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/amphtml/shop-best-black-friday-pet-142839666.html

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/cnn-underscored/deals/black-friday-pet-deals-2022

You’ll note those sites included a variety of things from apparel (ugh) to treats and beds and toys.

And then we have Consumer Reports…

https://www.consumerreports.org/money/sales-promotions/best-black-friday-deals-on-pet-products-a8392571434/

GPS systems (for the Coyote), cameras and best of all – vacuum cleaners. That’s the Warden’s favorite list. As for us canines – no thanks.

Yesterday the Boss had a ZOOM call with a PON in Poland. OK. It wasn’t really HIS call. He just started barking while the Warden was having a call with her friend Iza, in Poland. The Boss likes to bark when she’s on ZOOM or even on the phone. Especially if it’s getting close to supper time. He feels it’s his duty to remind the Warden about the time. He does it at bedtime too. Or if he needs a snack. Or just because. Anyway, one of Iza’s dogs, Watson heard the Boss and barked back. They had a brief PONversation. I just listened. And the Coyote rolled over on the bed.

I have class today and my plan is to be slightly above my normal, average self. In fact, I MAY be really good. Or not. It’s called intermittent reinforcement. We dogs know ALL about it.

OK. Almost time for morning mania.

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

Pre-thanks

Howdy blogaroos! Squirmy here on Wednesday- the day before Thursday – and the day before one of the biggest holidays in the US- Thanksgiving. We had our Thanksgiving back in October here in Canada – but given that the Warden is a dual citizen, she can actually celebrate twice. Which is great because there are lots of things to be grateful for. Things like well-behaved canines!

For our US canine buddies, we do have some warnings about this big-eating holiday. Watch what you eat! Here’s a good article about what we can and cannot have:

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/thanksgiving-foods-to-share-with-your-dog-or-avoid/

So hold off on the fatty foods like gravy and load up on the veggies. With a little turkey on the side.

The other big event besides the food-fest on Thanksgiving, is the National Dog Show. Lots of canines strutting their stuff in conformation, and in agility as well. Check out some facts about this year”s show:

https://people.com/pets/what-to-watch-2022-national-dog-show-on-thanksgiving-day/

We’ll be watching and cheering on the PONs and Picards. Hopefully they aren’t preempted for a commercial break.

You can also spend some time watching the Macy’s parade. I checked out the giant balloon line-up and I see at least three dogs featured – including of course, our old favorite Snoopy. I didn’t count the number of cat balloons. I’m not quite sure what the dogs in this house would do if they saw those giant things. I think the Coyote”s brain would explode. His eyeballs bug out when he sees a bird. Imagine giant Snoopy….

https://www.macys.com/social/parade/lineup/

Anyway, whether you are in the US or not tomorrow, it doesn’t hurt to take a moment and think of the many things you have to be thankful for. Sometimes life can seem heavy and kinda crazy – but there is always something to be grateful for. A hot cup of coffee, a dog treat, a sunny day, a dog treat, a message from a friend, a dog who sits when asked, oh and a dog treat…..you don’t have to win a lotto to be thankful. Although it would buy lots of treats….Nope – you’ve already won the lotto- it’s called life. And if you are owned by or ever have been owned by a dog – you know exactly what I mean.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

The list

Howdy blogaroos. Squirmy here on another manic Monday. I like to start off the week right – complete with mania and mayhem. That’s my MO.

Not too much new since Sue left. The Warden is slowly beginning to prepare for the Christmas decorating explosion. I would expect it should be full-on elf mode any day now.

And speaking of Christmas, if you’re owned by a dog, you are no doubt wondering what your canine kid might put on the list for Santa. Well – we found some sites with the “best gift ideas for 2022.” Here are some examples:

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/gifts/best-gifts-for-dogs/

https://www.marieclaire.com/home/g24851290/best-dog-gifts/

I must say, there wasn’t much there to thrill me. Dog beds? Meh. We have them and have had them. We prefer to use any that have stuffing as a huge stuffed toy. To be dissected. The ONLY dog bed that has survived in this house is the Kuranda. Metal legs. No cushion. We all like it and use it at various times. Our motto – stuffing is made to spread. So we’ll stick with our Kuranda.

https://kuranda.com/dog-beds

Sure- the stuff that has our photo on it – like socks and phone covers and sweaters are cute – but that’s not a gift for US. Maybe somebody should create dog coats and sweaters that we can wear with YOUR human picture on it. Then again, skip the clothing – no dog in this house is looking for apparel for Christmas.

Those monthly surprise box things look like fun – but they often contain destructible toys. Waste of money in this house.

The toy with a silent squeaker? What’s the point in THAT? The joy that we get from annoying you…I mean entertaining you….with a squeak toy would be completely lost. Forget that.

We have “enrichment” toys like those lick mats. As I recall, we each had one, and it didn’t take 10 minutes before one of us had chewed off a corner. We were trying to be extra enriched. Not sure where those things are now.

Reflective collars are smart. We actually have complete light up body things – like runners wear. Safety first is always a good idea.

https://www.noxgear.com/lighthound

As for water bowls with our name on it…cute if you’re owned by one dog. Sure you COULD get one for each dog – but I’m betting we wouldn’t care to read the label. Sometimes all three of us are drinking from the same bowl at the same time. We also prefer metal bowls. More fun to smash around.

Any of the edible gift ideas work for me. Or that treat maker looks pretty nice. Edible is good.

A getaway vacation with Fido seems like a super idea. Mind you, I think sometimes when the Warden gets away – it’s to get away from us. But she always misses us. I think.

Spy cameras we have. Leashes and collars – we also have lots. Not that a dog doesn’t enjoy a new necklace every now and then. But really – it’s the humans that want them. For me – it’s all about the edibles.

As for grooming supplies and shampoos- you KNOW our thoughts on that stuff. A necessary evil. But hardly a gift idea. Plus sometimes I just love my rugged non-groomed look like in the photo. How cute am I with my wild look?

I could go over every item- but bottom line – edible works best in this house. No doubt the Warden, I mean Santa will TRY to find some toys that can withstand the terror trio – but chances are they’ll end up in the garage in some drawer. Save your bucks. Buy treats.

OK. Time to get rolling. I’ll keep watching for gift ideas – and if I find great ones, I’ll share. But did I mention, edible works?

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

Post Sue sad

Howdy blogaroos. Sad Squirmy here on Saturday. Sue has gone home. And we all miss her. The Coyote misses her because she gives him pats and hugs. The Boss misses her because he can get her to give him biscuits. He barks at the garage door (like there is someone in there) but he really just wants is to wander around looking for a stray kibble because that’s where our food is stored. She fell for his sad barking one day – not knowing why he was doing it. She let him in- and when she realized all he wanted to do was look for food – she enticed him back into the house with a biscuit. Bingo. He scored.

I miss her as a ricochet target. She also gives awesome ear scratches if you stare at her long enough.

As one of their last projects, she and the Warden put down a new dining room carpet. It was time. We go through area carpets in the dining room every few years . This one had some minor Coyote craft work on the corners – and also had seen lots of overall wear. Like from me running laps. So a new carpet was purchased and unfurled with great pageantry while we dogs watched from on the deck. Then the Warden doused each corner in toxic pepper spray. She and Sue ended up coughing up a storm – despite the fact that they had windows open. When we were finally let back in, we examined the new racetrack and smelled the corners- deciding that they were not exactly edible.

If a new carpet wasn’t change enough, Sue and the Warden decided to disassemble the pony-sized crate in the dining room as well. The crate was put there when yours truly arrived – so I would stay out of trouble when I was little and the Warden went out. I haven’t been left in the crate for AGES- so it wasn’t really worth the real estate it was taking up in the dining room. Now mind you, the Boss DID like to go in the crate, scratch and bash around on the metal floor and then squish his head against the uncomfortable wire walls to sleep. It was funny because he is not a fan of crates – but for some reason he found the giant enclosure a great spot.

So yesterday, after the crate was taken down, we he didn’t know where to go to lie down during the day. He eventually propped his head against a chair and fell asleep. He sure liked that crate. Unless you locked him in it. Then he would scream bloody murder. Go figure.

I had class yesterday and was my usual OK self. Not exactly the class star – but not awful either. The Warden had some good new treats – so that always keeps my attention.

Must almost be time to walk the Warden. No more group walks until Christmas holidays – when we’re thinking we might have company again. Rumor has it. We hope the rumor is true….

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