Can We Talk?

I don’t know about you, but my humans talk a lot and from what I gather some of it is aimed at me! They talk to each other all the time and I have learned to ignore this as it really isn’t any of my business, but if they make eye contact with me and say something, well I am up and on the job.

For the most part I have trained my humans to use short words or phrases to get their meaning across, but there are times when they get chatty. It is all just noise to me so I tune out, but if they say “OUT” and look at me I know they understand that I have been trying to teach them the non-verbal signs for needing to go outside, sometimes they don’t get it right away but they get distracted easily so it is a constant work in progress.

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When we are relaxing around the house if they look at me (yes, I am in the same room as always) and start talking I get up and come over to them thinking they want or need me or maybe they just desire my company. Maybe they want my head in their lap to make it easier for them to pet me and scratch my ears. They really seem to enjoy that. I am trying to make it clear that whenever they do this I will get up and join them. Kind of slow on the uptake at times.

Sometimes they just talk for awhile while I am with them and I really have no idea if they are talking to me so I just go with it. They seem to need to speak and who am I to stop them. Just hearing them talk to me when really I am the only one around makes me think that this comforts them in some way. I am pretty sure they are not expecting me to respond, but I do my best to pay attention, you know big eyes and wagging tail? I think they just need company so I consider it part of my job to provide them with a sounding board.

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One of my humans just chats with me most of the time and I must say that I like the fact that she feels comfortable enough with me to talk about whatever is on her mind. She at least knows the short commands I have taught her and uses them correctly so really anything else is just chit chat.

So if your human likes to talk don’t discourage it, as long as they know how to communicate with you about the important things just listen to them they seem to really need and appreciate the attention. They are a chatty bunch.

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Maturity

If your human is looking to add another furry friend to your family try to convince them that a more mature animal is the way to go. Older animals in shelters are frequently overlooked because they have lost some of that cuteness factor. Everyone wants a puppy or a kitten, which frankly confuses me. Older animals are usually trained and require less work. Puppies, well let’s face it while they are cute they can be a bit needy and out of control. They are always getting in your face, nipping, pawing and invading your personal space. Humans think they are cute and well they are, but wouldn’t you rather deal with a sedate mature dog that just wants some love and a comfortable home with regular meals? They are willing to give unconditional love and cause very few problems once they are settled in.

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I was about 3-4 years old when my current family brought me home, I had only 1 or 2 accidents, while the humans and I were attempting to get on the same page and read each others signals. I showed them how much I loved them, the wonderful home and good food I was given, by keeping them in my sights at all times, snuggling whenever possible, getting them outside twice daily for exercise, making sure they were aware of possible dangers and just overall taking care of them as they were taking care of me.

Mature dogs and cats(I suppose) accept what is given them and are grateful, yes we won’t be around as long as a kitten or puppy but we love our humans right away and do not require as much in they way of training. So if your humans are extending your family, have them go to a shelter and meet a few older, more mature friends. I am sure you can connect with at least one that will fit in with your family just fine and will get a lifelong friend.

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A Few Of My Favorite Things

I have been with my current humans for a little over three years and their training has come around very well. They still need reminders and nudges to do the right thing but on a whole they are very well trained. They have provided me with the opportunity to have a loving forever home and really what else could I wish for? Well, I thought I would let you in on a few of my favorite things, and how I was able to make them a part of my life.

  • Snow- I have told you plenty of times how much I love running and burrowing in the cold, fluffy stuff. I am able to enjoy this because I now live in the area of the country where we enjoy 4 seasons as opposed to the south where I was from originally.20190304_102257
  • Snuggles- I have trained my humans to snuggle with me almost every time I ask. I love lying on the couch with them and have to keep reminding them by pawing them to keep petting me. One is a little better than the other but they have really come along. When they sit down they automatically prepare for me to join them.IMG_20190317_225418_929
  • Hikes- I don’t get to do this alot, but when I do I make the most of it. I make it abundantly clear that I enjoy these trips, so my humans try to do it more often. You have to make it really clear to your humans what you enjoy so they can join you in the fun.DSCN0308
  • Food- My humans feed me twice a day and I always have fresh water. I have trained them not to give me human food as I can’t really digest it as well as they can. I patrol the food room (kitchen) so they don’t leave anything out that I could eat and get sick. This has enabled them to be much cleaner and more orderly, so that is a benefit for them, too.
  • Toys- My human makes toys and she will give me a new one when the old one is no longer good enough to play with. I am not really a toy type of dog but when I want to play they are there always willing to join in with the fun. This seems to make them happy so I try it frequently as making them happy really is one of my favorite things.DSCN0349
  • Warmth- I don’t mean heat really, though a warm comfortable place to lay my head is great and I know that not all dogs get this so I am grateful, but I feel the warmth from a loving family is probably the most important thing ever. It is my favorite thing of all and I would wish it for every dog and even cats to feel.IMG_20170327_085554_588

You too can have your favorites , you just need to train your human to provide these to you. Everyone’s list will be different, but we all have it within ourselves to get them. Humans might need a little help in understanding you and your wishes so think about all that you want and the best way to convey the message and get to it.

Stay Frosty

Time flies! We had a great snow storm last week and it was great! The snow was deep and it made traversing the back yard a little difficult, but I gave it my best. My human knows how much I love running through it so she gamely joined me. It was nice to just let loose (even though I was still on a leash) and run and smell. I am pretty sure she thinks that snow covers up all the smells. I burrow my head in it and the smells are sharp and faint at the same time. Walking on the street is not as much fun as she doesn’t like me eating the salt or the snow o the side of the road because she says it’s dirty, she does know I was a stray before I came home with her. I ate all manner of things. I will admit clean snow is better and a lot more fun than a plain walk.

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I know this won’t last as it is already melting and getting warmer so got to have fun while I can. Stay frosty my friends.

Add A Little Salt

My walks lately seem to be a source of frustration for my human and as a result me. The cold weather is so up and down with cold then warm, ice forming on the street requiring road salt is a particular problem. The people in charge of treating the roads around here are very generous with the sand and salt. I find the chunks of salt , in particular, very appetizing. My human does not like me to eat it and I do drop it when asked but I still pick them up for a little salty crunch. I believe my human thinks it will make me sick, but I really don’t think so.

I have vomited up my food a few times but personally don’t see the connection. I just think I had a bad day or two. I must say that if at all possible when vomiting try to aim for non-carpeted areas, humans get really bent out of shape when they have to clean carpet. I can’t say I blame them, it is a bit messy. I know that certain things will make me feel unwell, and I try to avoid them, but they are tasty and salt is one of them, just a little added spice.

I am hoping that the weather settles down so my walks can continue without so much stress. Looking forward to warm spring days when my walks are longer and filled with great smells will get me through the next month or so of bad weather. My human will feel more relaxed and we will be able to go more places then just the streets and sidewalks, so we will just have to wait it out. The weather really has not been conducive to enjoying the outdoors.

 

Are 4 Legs Better Than 2

We have been having extreme weather here for the past week or so, which has curtailed my outside activitie. It got me thinking how much I love my little human family and how they take care of me and welcomed me into their midst. I have multiple beds, comfy couches, fresh water, food and treats and even clothes to protect me. Now I have said before that I am not keen on wearing “outfits”, thank goodness my humans don’t try dressing me up in silly things. I am above that and I have dignity after all, but I do have a few warm and or waterproof jackets that I deign to wear.

As I mentioned, we have some weather extremes where it was well below freezing and on my abbreviated outside activities I was grateful for an extra layer to keep me warm and dry, then the weather changes again and we got snow! I love snow, boy, was I surprised to find it quite a bit more slippery than usual. It was coated with ICE, not easy to traverse. We could actually walk on it and not sink into the snow. This made certain tasks extremely difficult if not embarrassing. My legs would slide out in different directions, I would think I was all settled only to find my other leg going elsewhere. My human really could not help me and she was really just trying to remain upright herself.

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My question is: Are 4 legs better than 2 when it comes to ice? My human also has the problem of being taller so she has more of her to keep upright and only 2 legs to help. I on the other paw have 4 legs so it is more to keep track of and they can go in 4 different directions at once. I have not seen her fall but she has slipped and corrected her stance could that be why she is built more upright?

Ice is all gone now as the weather got quite a bit warmer and it rained solidly for over a day. I got my walks with something on to keep me dry so she wouldn’t have to completely dry me off. Today is cool and sunny and I can go out without my coat but the weather apparently changes with very little warning. I am hoping for snow, but not this slippery ice situation, that is not fun.

New Year, Less Sleep

Well, the dead tree is gone and the house looks normal again. Of course this means the other humans left too. That was sad, I watched them go, thinking they might come back, but no. I will admit that I was a bit down for awhile. I bounce back fast so it worried my humans for a day and then I let them off the hook. With the exit of the others, the good food went too. I mean the humans always seem to eat some good smelling stuff, but now it is a lot less. I was vigilant in my job of cleaning the floor and offering to clean plates before they put them in that somewhat quiet machine to clean, but the main human would have none of it, so I have to just be aware of who is around. When she cooks there are times when things fall to the floor, but when my other human eats things fall to the floor on a regular basis, so I am always with him, very close.

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There have been other changes that I am working through. My human that woke by that annoying beeping thing is no longer using it. I get to sleep a bit later which is a good thing, but she only leaves the house for short bits if at all. This means I should be aware of her and where she is and what she is doing and this seriously cuts into my sleep time. I used that time during the day to recharge and get ready for the evening, now I have to power nap. This is not the optimum way for me to work, but I do what I can.

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My human rarely stays still for any extended time, she is all over the place. She goes from room to room doing things that she deems important. I really don’t understand it, but this appears to be our new normal so I will try to adapt. I am hoping this will mean we have more adventures together because she has more time at home.

It looks as if this New Year is going to be full of changes.

I am Confused

There has been a lot of activity around here lately. Great smelling things in the food room(kitchen) of which I am keeping a close eye on and jumping in whenever needed to clean the floor. There has been more coming and going and bringing in large bags. My human barely sits down for a minute except at night when I can pin her to the couch for some much needed snuggling, she forgets about it so I need to remind her that downtime is my job and one I take very seriously.

I will follow her from room to room in order to make sure that she is careful, I mean she forgets things and is constantly retracing her steps, also there has been quite a bit of work with sharp objects although she seems to have a good handle on this it is always best to be cautious. Boxes have been opened and odd things have come out and placed in what I can only describe as random places throughout the house. Also there are lights involved, I thought we could see fine and would not need more lights, but not only are they additional the humans turn down the others in some places. I do not get it at all.

Yesterday they brought a TREE into the house, I mean who does that? I think I remember this last year also, so it might be some sort of tradition? They lit that up with a lot of little lights and hung objects on the branches. This must be some sort of ritual and they seem very aware whenever I am near it. It smells great so maybe they are trying to connect with me and work on their sense of smell, I don’t want to tell them that you really can’t improve your sense of smell, you are just born with a good one or not. Maybe they are trying to make me more comfortable bringing the outside in? Lets face it, the tree is dead and isn’t going to last forever, but I do appreciate their concern.

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I am pretty sure we will have other humans come to visit for awhile as we do when they bring the dead tree inside, so I am figuring this is their yearly present to me. Visitors that like to snuggle and a dead tree. Odd presents but I can go along with it as it appears to make them happy, they really ask for little and I am willing to go along with the ritual.

Special Days

We just had a special day, humans call it Thanksgiving, I don’t know what it is all about but food seemed to play a BIG role in the day. My human got up really early and beside feeding me, she seemed to be doing a lot in the food room(the kitchen), there was a really large item in the hot box(the oven) and the smells were quite something. I was going to have to be on my toes all day if this was going to continue!

We had new humans arrive, 4 at once! They were all really friendly but they all came at once and I was crazy trying to keep track of them all. I checked them all in and they brought food, so I had to be quick to make sure the food was ok and be there to help clean up if necessary. This was going to be a busy day!

The humans sat down at the big table and there was food everywhere! There was so much that they had to put the overflow on another smaller table on wheels that was warm. I kept an eagle eye out for anything that dropped to the floor. I was willing to help my humans in anyway possible as they had been working pretty hard all day and they didn’t need the extra work of cleaning the floor.

Well, after some intense cleaning up and packing away the extra food all the extra humans left and I was exhausted. It really is tiring to be on call like that for 7 hours at a stretch. I sure hope this is once a year because if this is going to become a regular thing I may not make it. I am enclosing a little key of sorts for the words humans use on a daily basis.

Food Room: Kitchen

Hot Box: Stove/Oven

Cold Box: Refrigerator

Moving Box: Car

Loud Moving Machine: Vacuum

Flat Box with Pictures and Sounds: Television

Small annoying Flat Rectangle: Cell Phone

These are just a few, I am working on a larger one that I will share with you soon.

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The Layers of Fall

The layers of fall are intoxicating. Leaves, rain and even a little snow all add to the smells. Everyday when out for a walk the scents assault me and I have to obey and bury my nose and inhale the glorious scents.

Squirrels are running around more and they seem to have a problem doing anything in a straight line. They seem to enjoy messing up any scent trail. I am still working on my plan to do away with their food source even though I get in trouble for it. We have a flock of wild turkeys around here and they leave some varied scents. Since the weather is cooler, dogs are able to go carousing around the woods more often and they leave little notes to tell everyone they were there. Fallen leaves trap scents and you get multiple layers everywhere. Smelling and sniffing are my way of exploring my surroundings.

My human seems incapable of realizing that this is very important to me and my job. She is always trying to drag me away after just a quick sniff, like I can get all the information involved in such a short sniff. I mean really there is a lot to take in and it is constantly changing.

I owe some of my heredity to the hounds and I feel that this is part of my job to keep abreast of local information left for me to sniff out and act upon if that is what I need to do. I take this all very seriously, although my human seems to think I am just being disobedient, since I will pull back when there is a lot of information to take in. After some rain or snow the scents are heightened and made crisper.

Humans do not have the intense nose that we dogs do and maybe that is why they have us, they need help, really in so many ways. We have to watch out for them and take all the local information that we get from the local dog grapevine and use it to protect them. We dogs have a close community and we pass on information the only way we can so just keep your nose to the ground and do what you need to do.

Humans are really not well equipped for this world so we have to do what we can to keep them safe and well cared for and I for one will continue to keep my nose to the ground.

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