Things That Jump

Since we have had quite a bit of rain lately the grass is growing fast and high. I like to graze and have a little green nosh but every once in awhile when I put my nose in to smell or grab some grass something jumps out. This is not something I want or expect to happen and it sets me back on my haunches a bit.

Bugs (grasshoppers I think) are quick. I try to catch them but they are erratic jumpers with no apparent plan. Well, I have a plan and they are not included so if they could either get out of my salad, apologize or prepare to be eaten that would be great. I mean really who jumps in someones snack and thinks this is okay or that there will not be consequences. They will feel my wrath soon.

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Toads/frogs have been setting up home in my backyard without my permission. When you look like they do, one would think they would be a bit more polite and ask. They certainly are not going to win any beauty contests. I will say they are slower and probably easier to catch, but I am not sure I want to. I know my human doesn’t want me to eat them and for the most part I do trust her with my dietary restrictions as she has learned her lessons about not feeding me people food. Although these fellows are not on their dinner plates so maybe they are fair game. They are kind of brazen or stupid, maybe they think they are blending in and I won’t find them! I am a dog with a highly developed sense of smell and I am not blind. For now I will just observe them as they are relatively small and don’t really get in my way. Maybe we can co-exist?

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Butterflies and moths- Technically they don’t jump but they flit around with no purpose that I can tell. They will fly in front of me suddenly and I have the quick reaction to snap at them. I am not going to get them, obviously, so I just look foolish. I do not enjoy being laughed at, maybe this is their purpose. If this is their purpose then I think they are working with the squirrels and something needs to be done, but I digress.

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These jumping erratic things are part of my life and I will deal with them, but really sometimes I just want a quiet smell and a little salad, is that too much to ask.

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The Cool Room

I know I have mentioned that I do not do well in this heat and humidity, but we have this magic room in our home. This room makes it all worth while. My humans have ways to help with the heat, closing curtains(those things that make it hard to be vigilant about looking outside), fans ( they move the air around) I have found my favorite spots to lay down to make best use of them, she also closes doors and windows during the day to keep out the hot air; all of these help but there is no denying that 96 degrees is not my sweet spot.

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The room where we sleep at night has my other bed in it, near the humans bed so I can keep track of them during the night and it is usually pretty comfortable, but when it is hot like this they have this machine that makes a loud humming noise( I don’t like noise but overall this isn’t too bad), I think this does something to make the room cooler. It really only feels like this when it is making that noise. I will put up with that noise if it means that it is making it more comfortable. I have begun to look out for that noise and if I hear it I like to hang out by the closed door of the room. That is another sign that it is on, because they keep the door closed, don’t know why they can’t share the cool air with the rest of the house, maybe that is not the way it works. All I know is that I love it!

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My human seems to be around more this week which means she does not wake as early in the morning so we get to stay in that room longer. I am trying to convince her that we need to nap, or even eat in there, but I don’t think she is going for it. The only problem I see is that when you come out you feel like the heat is knocking you back and it feels worse.

Maybe you all have cool houses or just a room like me, try to stay cool and convince your humans to do the same, sometimes they do not seem to realize this, silly. Oh well they are only human.

Summer Slow Down

I know I haven’t written lately, but this weather is doing me in! I may have been born in the South , but boy am I glad I don’t have this humidity all the time. We have had a stretch of heat and humidity lately and I find it exhausting and I do believe it is mostly because it is humid.

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I know I should be pushing to keep my humans active but really it is just beyond me. We go for walks and she is walking faster than I am! I try to slow her down as I want to smell, sniff and pee, but she won’t always cooperate. She even gets a little annoyed; I thought maybe if I looked forlorn and tired she would take pity on me and slow down. Seriously, this can’t be good for either of us.

When my humans are gone for the day, they leave a ceiling fan on in the food room that I like. The floor is cool and the fan gives me a breeze, but they come home and I have to be on top of my game again! Frankly, after I go out to pee all I want is my dinner and a cool comfortable place to nap, but I put on the show, jumping around like a loony so we can go out for our walk. It is expected but, boy there are times when I just plain don’t want to. I will say that if it is extremely hot my human will just take me out to the back yard with the cool grass, shade and my little pool so I can get in some serious smelling, rolling in the grass and nibbling on some green plants. She is aware that I should not be on very hot pavement, so we spend some time outdoors without the trouble of a walk.

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Don’t get me wrong I do love my walks and I will always encourage my human to take me, but maybe just once or twice I could hope that she forgets all her training. I have been working with her for almost 3 years know and I consider her a success story as she is a quick learner and really cares, but maybe a star pupil is not always the best at reading clues. I guess that should be my next training chapter. If I can get her to read clues by my behavior I might really have something but it might be slow going, she is only a human after all.

Cleanliness

I am afraid I do not understand humans obsession with bathing. It has been very hot here lately and while our activity has been curtailed, we do get outside. The backyard is grassy and I have a little round pool to splash around in, although really I drink from it and stand in it. My humans seem to want me to lie down, splash or other nonsense. I appreciate their concern, but really I am not a water dog and I see no reason to “swim”. I am sure they can cool off this way but I don’t see them sitting down in the pool. I am doing pretty well staying cool, we have ceiling fans and I know how to situate myself so that the breeze hits me just so and at night they have the cool room where we sleep so I am good, a little tired maybe but otherwise just fine.

A few days ago, my human decided it was time for me to have a bath! I don’t know what gets into her. I was not dirty and my smell seemed just right. Well, she got a bucket of warm(not hot) water, a big blue bottle of shampoo(the one she uses as it is biodegradable), 2 large towels and her grooming mitts that have little nubbies on the palms and fingers. I was not happy about this, really I don’t think they would want a bath on the front lawn, this was embarrassing. The warm water was okay but it ran off my coat a bit so the big green snake(the hose) was put to use and then I was subjected to a full body massage with the shampoo. This wasn’t all that bad, but it was still very public. Now came the rinsing, I kept trying to shake but she wanted me to wait until she was finished, that was very hard to do. I mean it is instinct, when you are wet you shake, it would have been a help to her, but she was having none of it. She quickly employed the towels in a brisk rubdown after using the mitts in a water shedding as well as hair shedding tactic. I was then allowed to shake. I wasn’t nearly as dry as she would have liked, but she seemed pleased with the outcome. We came in the house and I rubbed on every available surface I could think of. My coat was a bit fluffy for a few days but I am back to normal now.

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I don’t hate the bath or the attention, but I do not see the reason for it. I was not dirty at least according to my standards ( really the only one that matters) and why does it have to be so public. Maybe next time she will take me back to the place where it is done inside. I won’t be as anxious the next time as I am sure of my place at home with my humans. I like them, I think I will keep them, they are mine.

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On The Road Again!

This past week I was able to hit the trails again with my human. I am getting better in the car and not whining so much. I know this makes her crazy but at times it is hard to contain my excitement and I just want her to know. Of course, I now know that the majority of times that we go somewhere in the car it is not too scary and I know I will always be coming home.

We started out the morning with our regular walk and then she got her car keys out and I knew we were going on an adventure! I jumped in the back seat on a new plaid blanket, windows down a little for air and we were off! I was excited and was doing my best to keep it together but as we got closer I whined a little but not too bad. We pulled into the parking lot and I was very patient and waited until I was allowed out of the car. I know my human feels a bit bad because we don’t go on these hikes very often and I didn’t want to make her feel bad so I was determined to be well behaved and cool.

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The smells were fantastic and there were so many! I had to poop right away, although my human picked it up in her little stash of bags, so not a lot of my scent was left, but I understand she can’t just leave it there. One of the many things I can count on her for. I was running, jumping and smelling it was great! There were trails that went in different directions and she gave me my head and let me choose the way, I will give her credit she kept up. I only had to stop a couple of times. I had a recent scent of another dog so I wanted to see if I could catch up, but no. I also got mixed up with the squirrels who seem incapable of running in a straight line, I mean seriously there was a path, what do they have to do off the path that is so important. They really seem to have an inflated sense of their own importance. Well we finished up at the same speed except now it was mostly up hill, but I was game. At the place where we parked our car my human brought out my traveling water container and let me drink my fill, then it was back in the car for the ride home. See, I knew I was going home, my human loves me and I have a real home now, it really is a wonderful feeling.

Once home I took a bit of a nap and kept an eye on my human(it is my job after all). She still took me for my afternoon walk even if it was a little shorter than usual. Later that evening I realized that I might have overdone it a bit because I was a little stiff and sore, nothing bad I toughed it out and was fine but maybe I should pace myself a bit better. I have a bad leg although it doesn’t slow me down; I hope my human takes me out again soon and on a more regular basis so that I am in better shape. I mean I have good muscle tone, in a feminine way, but a more regular workout couldn’t hurt.

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These little trips are great and now that I feel more secure in my home with my humans I can appreciate them even more, because I know they are doing it for me. I hope they enjoy it too, she certainly seemed to be in a good mood all day with lots of extra pats and snuggles so let the good times roll. Humans need to get out of their rut too, they are only human after all.O

Wildlife

I have not written for awhile because my life has fallen into a nice routine with not a lot going on. Lately, because of the nice weather the windows in the house are open and I can smell quite a few different smells; some familiar some not.

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Two of my humans were in the food room (kitchen) doing something at the table and I was on the rug resting and keeping my eye on them. All of a sudden I got a whiff of something different and this put me at attention! I ran from window to door and back again, whining and attempting to get their attention, something was encroaching on our space and I was ready to take care of it for them. They did not smell it apparently and they did not take me seriously, but they checked the windows and door and then just shut the front door and told me to go lie down! You just can’t help some people, if they do not believe the threat.

I finally lay back down and then they looked out the front window to see a raccoon on the front porch chowing down on birdseed! Ok, so I guess I was right, but they did nothing about it. Talk about casual, they even sounded like they thought he was cute! I mean really people, you have a trash bandit on your front porch and you just watch him! The next day the birdfeeder was taken down.

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We don’t have a lot of wild animals in the neighborhood, just squirrels (the spawn of satan), chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, wild turkeys and some deer. That is all that I have seen. I will continue to warn my humans and be there for their protection if they need it, but they seem to not be worried. This is my home now and my humans and I am not about to let things get out of control without at least trying to maintain order.

Change

I can’t say I am really a big fan of change. I have had quite a bit of it in my life and I like the security of sameness. I love my humans and my new life here and this was a positive change.

I like when we change up our walks so that we see new places, but I like the fact that I am coming home to my home where my dish is waiting, have a couple of dog beds and a comfy couch for me to lounge. My humans, try to keep to a schedule and I appreciate that, it gives me the security that most of us crave.

My human decided to move things around in the house today, at least in the room that we are in most of the time. I am not at all sure why she felt the need to do this but she seems quite pleased with herself, odd. I thought it was fine the way it was why did she decide that the couch needed to be on another wall, oh wait I can look out the window this way! Do you think she did this for me? This might put this whole thing in a different light.

Change just to change doesn’t seem worth it, at least not to me, but I am not a human and she could have had a good reason. I am not going to pretend that I know what she was thinking, but I for one have started to think she might have some good ideas. I can now look out 2 different windows without having to move and that is an idea I can get behind. I might have changed my mind! Oh well, you have to give these humans credit sometimes they have good ideas.

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Cardio

I have tried running with my human to please her as this seems how she wants to work on her cardio, but really there are just too many smells, grass to eat, places to pee and leave messages, so it really didn’t work. I tried, but well I am a dog! She will have to do it on her own at her own pace, she will just have to suck it up.

I get my cardio my way. Some humans call it the “zoomies” mine call it having a “puppy crazy”. Neither of these terms are very complimentary and they find them amusing, it is serious business. I take my workouts very seriously and my cardio intervals are hard work.

There are times when I am just excited and it seems like a good time to run full tilt around the house. I have the problem of wood floors, they can be slippery and it is tough to make sharp turns but we do have area rugs so I go from one to the other as fast as possible, this takes some concentration so I don’t over shoot the rug and slide, that makes me look foolish and no one wants to look silly when they are working out.

The second floor of the house is much better suited to this type of workout as it has wall to wall carpeting as does the stairs which add a different level to the cardio workout. My humans have learned to stay still and get out of my way as I need my space. They seem to enjoy watching me, which is strange, but they are only human after all.

I get a different type of stair work in when my human is getting ready to leave for the day as I follow her to the stairs, go part way down and she forgets something and goes back so I turn around to do the same, this happens more often then I would care to admit but it is a workout just the same.

Get your cardio work in whenever you can just make sure you have a clear path because you don’t want to fall or run into something which is a very real possibility. Then rest, take it easy and remember that your workout needs no equipment just your legs, a clear path and some rugs.

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Sharing

I like to share. I just am choosy with whom I want to share and what I want to share. I have trained my humans well not to share their food with me…a little too well trained. I will follow one particular human around if he has food, well, mainly because I feel he would be easy to sway and he drops stuff. My other human, well not so much. I mean I know I shouldn’t be eating their food, but I get weak, the stuff smells good!

I have toys and I do like to share these. I leave them out so they can find them to play with if they want. They seem to be annoyed if they find them in certain spots, but I am trying to make it easier for them. They will play with me at times with some of them, but they lose interest or just don’t get what I am trying to teach them about play. This is a point where quite a bit of work still needs to be done.

Couches, blankets and laps are always a big sharing opportunity for me. When one of my humans or anyone that is even visiting gets on the couch I am there! I will share immediately, lie right down and get as close to them as possible. I really have this down with one of my humans, she sits and I am there. I know when the weather gets warmer I won’t be as welcome to this type of sharing so I get it in as much as possible now.

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This is the time of year where I shed a lot of fur, well to be honest I shed year round, but now it is more prevalent. I have no problem sharing this with my humans, I am giving a little bit of myself to them. Somehow I don’t think they really appreciate this as much as I want them to. One of my humans takes me out to brush me frequently, while this is nice I hate to tell her that it really isn’t going to take care of it completely. When I get off the couch/my human’s lap I leave a bit of myself behind, kind of a gift. They can get out that awful sounding machine as much as they want(I stick close by to protect them while they use it, they do not seem to see the danger!)but my fur will come back.

I share my outlook on life with them, my love of the outdoors and my love for them. We share a home and love what more can you ask for.

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Happy Trails To You!

Back on the trails! The weather was very pleasant the other day so my human took me in the car to a trail to have a long walk. It is nice to go somewhere different.

I knew something was going to happen. We took our regular morning walk and when we came back she did not take off her jacket or shoes, this is a sign that she is leaving, but as she put my harness back on I realized we were going out again! I was excited and jumping around. She got her car keys out and I then knew adventure was waiting. I hopped into the back seat of the car and paced back and forth and whined. I think at first she thought I was anxious, but I was really just trying to show her how excited I was, I might have overdid that a little.

We drove into a small parking area off a busy road and she was very adamant about me not going anywhere near the road. It was hard to contain myself, but we started off down the trail and oh boy I was excited! So many smells and sights as well as sounds it was almost too much for me to take in at first. I wanted to go very fast but the leash and the human attached to it kept me at a trot. She let me smell to my heart’s content and did not rush me. I know when we are going on our regular walk we need to keep to a rough schedule but this was different and I was going to take full advantage.

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We didn’t meet anyone else, but I found a couple of snakes, this surprised me and I will say that my human was not going to allow me to investigate it any further. There were quite a few birds, but very few squirrels which I was glad. I see enough of those at my house.

I did slow down towards the end and I really didn’t want to get in the car at the end, but I have the feeling we will do it again as long as the weather is good. I have showed her that I liked it and she seemed more relaxed and enjoyed it also.

I will say that I am a little out of shape and was quite tired and a little stiff, but I am not going to admit that to her, she may feel bad. I just have to do it more often and I will be fine. So get out of your rut when you can. Let your human know that new places and new smells are great if they are with you sharing in the fun.