Adopt

I have been contemplating my life lately and I must say I have it pretty good. I have trained my humans well, have a comfortable bed or two(plus the couch) 2 solid meals a day and plenty of exercise. As you know I was not raised from puppyhood by this particular set of humans and saw the inside of a couple of shelters. There are a lot of good dogs, yes cats too, in those shelters waiting for some humans to take them home with them.

There is a movement to clear the shelters and I know this is not entirely possible I think more humans should take part. There are puppies available to be sure but also more mature animals that would make a great addition to most families. Think about it, we have a little bit of training already and are ready to pass it along to the lucky human that chooses us. I knew that I needed to do my business outside, took me a little time to teach the humans the signs that I needed to go out but they really are an intelligent bunch for the most part so they caught on pretty quickly. We may be a little shy at first but given time and understanding the humans figure things out and our true personalities come shining through. I am not really a pack animal so another dog would not really make me all that happy, but some of you would love to have another dog or cat to pal around with when the humans are otherwise engaged.

This is really a plea to you to see that your humans read this and maybe consider adding a shelter animal to your family. Maybe they are not in the position to do so but if we can get the humans talking about it amoungst themselves it could go viral. They love causes and if they think it is their idea I for one will not tell them otherwise. So get the word out that shelter dogs and cats are the way to go. I came from a great place #baypathhumane but there are a ton of them all over the country and I am glad there are, so we can have a safe place to wait for our forever families.

#cleartheshelters is a great idea, just get your humans on board anyway you can, sometimes they need a little nudge. They are only human after all.

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Grabbing a little “me time”

By now a lot of you have gotten comfortable with your human family and training is just maintenance really. I do have time alone while they are at work and I use this time for a bit of grooming playing, eating and sleeping; basically recharging to be ready when they get home and I will be on duty for whatever they might need.

Me time is really just as important. The humans are home doing what they need to do, so you can find a quiet place and sleep, A spot away from everyone that is soft and warm or cool depending on your location should fit the bill. You have reached a point where you don’t have to be on 24/7, don’t feel guilty you have done your job so now you can reap the benefits of a well trained human. They may come looking for you and wondering if you are alright. Just open an eye, sigh possibly get a belly rub and then they will leave. Resist the urge to follow, they don’t need help, they will be fine not to worry.

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Lately I have been having to remind my humans to watch where they are going again and it takes a lot out of a dog; I mean really being at their side jumping in front of them so they will be reminded to watch where they are walking, especially when they are carrying food, the whole thing is exhausting! So when I know they are settled in at a task or watching tv I know I can grab a nap.

We all have different ways to enjoy ourselves but quiet time to reflect and rest is important, so try to grab some me time so you will be in a better place to serve our humans. They will always need us… they are only human after all.

Cars

I know I have mentioned car rides before but it takes on a different tone in the summer. They can be fun with the windows open enough to put your nose out wind in your ears etc, but in the summer this can mean longer rides if you are going on vacation with your humans so plan accordingly. You won’t know when or if you will be stopping for bathroom breaks so make sure you take care of business before you get in. They will wait.It is always advisable to be restrained while riding in the car and I know that doesn’t sound like fun but you can get knocked around pretty easily. There are seat belts for dogs just like people. You may have to make a pest of yourself to get your human to look into getting one for you. At least, they should have something that keeps you in one part of the car so you can’t roam around.

When you do stop make sure you are not left alone in the car. I know we all have a fear of being abandoned and losing track of our humans, but it is even more urgent in the summer. A car can get extremely hot very quickly even if they leave the window partially down. Do everything you can to get out of the car with them, bark, whine  just generally make yourself heard. It is dangerous and there are some pretty stupid humans out there that will think it is ok. I am not saying it is like that with your humans but lets not take any chances.

Vacation should be fun for us all, but there are times when humans have to be reminded about everyone’s safety and since you are in charge of their training it is up to you to remind them, they are only human after all. Happy vacation!

Fireworks!

Humans seem to really like these loud scary things. It can turn me and quite a few other animals into a quivering, shaking mess.

My humans have figured out that I have a couple of safe places where I can go to feel protected. It doesn’t change the fact that I am scared but I take comfort in the fact that they are not. At first they wanted to hold me and pet me and talk to me, but it felt like they were trying to reassure themselves, too. This only compounded the problem as now it was even more scary. I couldn’t protect them and that is my main job after all. We have been together for about a year and a half now and I think we have figured out each other.

If you are new to your human family or are a puppy remember find a safe place, a closet, under the bed, a small bathroom, etc and make it your own. This will pass. Every time you feel scared make this your safe place and they will get the idea that you need to be where you are and they are helping by letting you be. Don’t try to rush out of the house to get away from the noise it won’t help and then you will be scared and lost. Most humans will never totally understand why you are scared and that is okay as long as they understand your need to be in your safe place. Remember they are worried about you because they care and love you so that is a good thing. You have to train them will constant repetition and using the exact same place or places each time. Some are a little slower than others to catch on, they are only human after all.

Don’t get comfortable!

We have discussed our various duties as the family dog and there are times when you get into a routine and forget that you have a job and while cuddling with your human is part of it; it is surely not the only part.

I am not a good candidate for being off leash as it is partly in my breed makeup to follow a scent. When my humans want to work outside in the yard, watering plants, pulling up weeds cleaning the car, etc (boy, they do seem to have quite a few things to do) I want, no need, to be out there with them protecting them. I have to make sure they don’t wander off, hurt themselves in someway or forget that I am here! They use loud machines which frankly I want no part of like the lawnmower, vacuum cleaner, snow blower, leaf blower etc. It is a wonder they can hear at all anymore. My house has a glass front door, during the warm weather I can look out and see them but not always clearly and I could not get to them if there was a problem. They seem to be annoyed that I whine and bark to come out, but I have a job after all and they are thwarting me at every turn. If my humans are going to be out in the yard for an extended amount of time they  will gate me on the porch or put me on my tie out and this helps but is limiting.

There are days when my human is up and about all day going from one thing to another, upstairs and downstairs. I do have to follow her to keep an eye on her because if she is out of sight she is not out of mind! I think she has learned to watch out for me and at times will even tell me where she is going just to help  me out. The other human stays in one place for longer period of times when he is home so he is easier to watch. The kitchen is an area you need to be vigilant about. You never know what they are doing in there! There are times food falls on the floor and you will need to take care of it, they could slip and fall or eat something that wouldn’t be good for them. You have to sacrifice for them, don’t worry it will pass.

Now while I cannot watch out for them when they get in their cars and leave for extended periods but when they come home I am on the job! Take little naps so you are rested enough to jump into action when you are called to do so! Just remember if you take care of them, they will take care of you and seriously who doesn’t want more snuggle time. We love them unconditionally and they gives us love in return. Humans are a pretty good bunch but they need constant watching; they are only human after all.dscn0256

Always alert!

Lazing by the pool

Ok, well I don’t laze anywhere near a pool, but recently we had very hot weather and it really knocks me out. My human doesn’t take me for long walks as she doesn’t want my paws to burn on the pavement so I like to be outside in the cool grass. We are not anywhere near a lake or body of water for me to swim in, not sure I would anyway, but she did get me this small plastic pool and fills it slightly with water. Last summer season, I was not too sure about it but warmed to the idea by the end of the warm weather. I am not going to lay down it it but cooling off my feet, taking a drink and splashing are quite enjoyable and it really seems to make her happy to see me in it and since it is my job to make her happy I will oblige.

Last week it came out and I seemed to remember it from last year and it took very little coaxing to get me in it. I splashed, tried digging and ran through it for quite awhile and it was very refreshing. I may get to the point where I can lie down and relax in it, but I really am not a water dog so we will see.

If you don’t have access to water to swim or play in see if you can get your human to get one of these for you. I think she got the idea one day when we came back from a walk and I put my paws in the water dish to cool them. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do after all, little messy but effective. Maybe you can try the same or the toilet? Be creative, it all depends on how quick your human is to get the hint. Be patient they are only human after all.

Strangers

I find that humans invite quite a few people into our home, some of these people are ones we see all the time and others come and go. I happen to see one human all the time and get very excited when he comes in as he always showers me with attention, sometimes I have to remind him but not often, so naturally he is a favorite. Some humans come and spend multiple days with us and they are very nice also, new snuggle partners! There are other humans that I am very familiar seeing outside the house and there are times they come in to visit. I have to make sure they notice me and spend time petting me, scratching my ears, belly rubs or otherwise just giving me the attention I have grown to expect. My humans usually shower me with attention so their guests are not that different.

The other types of strangers are the one off type. They come in do something inside, deliver something or otherwise just stop by. I find these humans a little difficult to handle. I love people and there are some that come in and don’t even acknowledge my presence! What is that all about? I am pretty adorable if I do say so myself and these humans seem immune to my big pleading eyes and wagging tail, so I guess it is okay that they don’t come around often.

I had that type visiting today, it was disturbing because they were doing things and making noises in other parts of the house, I kept my human with me so I knew she was alright, but it was disturbing all the same. They did not stay long and my human was very happy that they came but I was glad to see them and their big loud truck leave. They did not seem at all threatening or I would have leapt into action to protect what is mine! They were very lucky, I might have had to get tough with them.

Humans are a peculiar sort, they just let people into their home without even a sniff, so it is always wise to be on guard in case you have to take action. Make sure your presence is noted, be friendly but wary. These humans need our help sorting out life’s little challenges, they are only human after all

Getting sick…ugh

We all feel ill from time to time and I am no exception. My stomach has been upset a couple of times in the past few days, no big deal. I throw up and then feel better or more myself, I should say. My humans become instantly concerned; I don’t want to worry them over a little upset stomach but since this is not the norm for me I can see the problem. My humans happen to be in tune with my habits and moods now that I have been with them for awhile, but that may not be the case with all of you. You may be new to your family or they are just a little less aware of what is going on with you. I won’t say that they are clueless, it is just that they are busy with all their stuff and boy do they have lots of it!

You need to make your humans aware of you. If you do feel like you need to throw up and they are home, get very near them and make a production of it. They might seem mad but it is just that you are surprising them and giving them something to clean up. For your sake try to go for a tile or wood floor instead of carpet. Things get taken care of quicker and then they can address you. It is fine to look forlorn and play on their sympathy for a bit, just don’t overplay your hand as you will find yourself on the way to the vets office.

If your humans are not home at the time try to be in a spot where they will notice it the minute they get home. Right by the door is a great spot if you can do it. There will be a time factor here so if you can get it all done at once all the better. Now your human will feel bad that they were not home to take care of you during this dark time so expect some serious cuddling. Unfortunately, they will probably cut back on your food, but these are the concessions we have to make from time to time.

I personally like to chew on grass, while some of you may only partake when you are trying to settle your stomach. I don’t know where humans got the idea that we only eat grass when our stomach is upset, but I know I am not allowed to partake as much as I would like. Most of the time I have a problem is when I eat something I shouldn’t but there you go, they need to pay closer attention, we have gone over this in the early training.

Well, these are just a few hints if you are mildly sick, if it is more serious let your human know immediately, because you will need medical attention. Remember you have to leave them with no doubt as to the fact that you are sick; after all they are only human.

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Grass

Now that spring is really here where I live, I can really enjoy grass. It is beautiful, soft, fragrant, lush in places and tasty! I enjoy eating it much to the consternation of my human, I believe she thinks that I am not feeling well and am eating it to make my stomach feel better. I know this may be the case for some of you but not for me. When I was on my own in the world I had to eat anything I could for my survival and I developed a liking for grass and when I can get new grass as in the spring and summer instead of tough old grass in fall and winter; I like to partake as often as I can. I grab it on my walks and when I am out in my own yard I enjoy it quite often. I think it bothers her on our walks because I swerve, lunge and stop to eat it whenever the mood strikes, which is often. I don’t know if it is the ingestion of it or the fact that I am not walking “properly” bothers her more. She is concerned about me ingesting chemicals that people put on their lawns so that is part of it I am sure.

Grass feels good on the paws, cool in comparison to asphalt and dirt. In the heat of the summer walking on a nice cool lawn is bliss. Rolling in the grass is great especially if there is another animal smell there also. You can come up with some grass stains or other dirt but really who cares?!

I will say though there are a lot of nasty bugs hiding in the grass waiting to crawl onto your body. I have some sort of flea and tick collar that offers protection to some degree, but that too is not perfect as I have come away with ticks. I am able to feel them when they arrive and bite them off. My human also will treat me to a pleasant smelling(to her) gel that she spreads on my legs and stomach when we go out for a hike or walk in the woods. It does help because the ticks stay on the surface and since I am light in color you can see them and remove them before they can attach. (Nasty little things!)

So if you take the proper precautions; enjoy the grass! Munch, sleep on and roll away in the grass. Maybe if you show your human how lovely it is they will join you and enjoy a little getaway from the stress of their lives. Sometimes they have to be shown how much fun life can be-after all they are only human.DSCN0195

Treats

We all have certain things that we love more than others, but I will address the edible kind right now. My human brings small treats in her pocket for “training purposes”, glad to know that she has picked up on this part of her training quickly. When she wants me to do something or work on a skill they come out. She also lets me know before our walks/hikes that she has them in her pocket by giving me one to start. This gives me an inkling as to our walk and what type it will be. A quick walk in the morning doesn’t usually bring out the treats that I hold in high value, not going to refuse them mind you it is just that they don’t grab my attention as much. Any treats she brings with her are small so as not to add to my weight, they are a treat not my main meal.

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Above are a few in the current rotation. She does get different ones from time to time, I guess she thinks I would like some variety and while that is true I do have my favorites that I will do almost anything for! The Walkies Fit Bites are great!

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They are shaped like a little human foot and are chewy I have tried to let her know that these are a favorite so she can get more. They have healthy things in them I guess but really I don’t care they just taste good! As you may have noticed this bag is just about empty.

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The ones above are very tasty and have a lot in the bag so I will have an assortment for a while. These also are put in my Kong when she leaves the house so they keep me busy trying to get them out and I don’t notice her leaving (well, I let her think that at least, I am not totally oblivious) She doesn’t stuff the entire thing, but just a few. The other item I get occsionally is a pig’s ear. This is a real treat so I don’t get them very often, they are not treated or bleached like the rawhide chews that really are not very good for dogs, I am surprised they are still out there being sold. Some people may not like the idea of a pig’s ear because that is exactly what it is and what it looks like, but it is a treat in it’s completely natural form. Sometimes they come individually wrapped either way they come they are tasty.

Now there are other types of treats and all of you have favorites, even if they are not edible. It is a treat for me to go for a hike to a new place with my human, a car ride and a snuggle on the couch. All of these count as treats in my world, what about yours? Remember we are all different as are our humans, so let them know what makes you happy so they can continue to live with you happily. You may have to repeat yourselves or act a bit goofy to get them to realize what it is that makes you happy, but try to be patient; after all they are only human