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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Photo by anne sch on Pexels.com

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.

A day in the life

I have worked hard training my humans to have a schedule and stick to it. I mean there are variations but for the most part we are pretty well set into a routine. There are the days when my main human(the one that feeds me and takes me for walks) wakes up by an annoying beeping sound when it is still dark out, we go downstairs, she takes me outside and then feeds me. This is one of the routine days and for the most part it is pleasing.

This is a run down of my typical day when my human goes out to work or where ever she goes.

Wake up 5:30- annoying beeping sound still dark

Bathroom and breakfast 5:45

Upstairs nap 5:50 until 6:20-She is in the shower and then eats breakfast, I do not need to be involved.

Still relaxing 6:20 until 6:50- She turns on that loud machine that blows hot air, puts a lot of stuff on her face, does something else that makes noise in her mouth, sprays some smelly stuff on, and gets on socks and shoes. This is my signal to get up, rub against the bed, stretch, and show her that I am ready to go for our walk.

Walk 6:55 until 7:10- Morning walk, usually the same route. Get my morning smells in, leave a few messages along the route and usually poop.

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7:10 to 7:15-  Human gets her supplies together for her day and then fills a Kong for me and places it on kitchen floor before leaving.

7:18 to 7:30- Empty the Kong, doesn’t take long, get a drink of water, sniff my food bowl for things I might have missed(never find any), take a good sniff around the kitchen for anything edible, and have a good scratch.

7:30 until 12:00- Find a comfortable spot to nap, a few choices so at times I try them all. I particularly like the couch in the room that faces the driveway it is big and I can stretch out. I am also able to hear the comings and goings in the driveway so I can be alert.

 

12:00 to 12:45- Get up do my stretches, go into kitchen to get drink of water, roll and scratch on the rug (this one is particularly well suited) and take a short tour of the house to make sure there is nothing that I have to take care of. Lately there have been quite a few bugs inside and these need to be dispatched. Don’t taste great but it’s my job.

12:45 to 3:30ish- Decide whether or not to stay on the couch or get up on the chair so that I am better situated to see my human when she drives in. Decide on the chair.

3:30ish-My human is Home! Time to get excited. I greet her at the door, wagging my tail and she takes me out to pee immediately. When we come in she likes to go through her mail and go to the bathroom herself but I let her know in no uncertain terms that the afternoon walk needs to happen NOW!

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4:00- I get fed and then the walk commences. This happens without fail just as I have trained them, there are days when they are out and it might happen later but it always does. The length of the walk depends quite a bit on the weather but usually lasts at least 30 minutes.

4:30 to 6:00 My human reads or something else for a bit and then makes their dinner. It is important that I stay with her to clean up the floor and keep her on her toes by getting between her and the counter which helps with her agility and stretching.

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6:00 to 6:30-My humans eat in the kitchen(the food room) and I again need to stay close. One of them might drop something on the floor so I can help to clean up(one is a little more apt to do this than the other so I keep to his side of the table).

6:30 to 6:45- Humans clean up the kitchen. I really have little interest. I will occasionally let them know that I need to go outside again, breaks things up a bit.

6:45 to 11:00- Snuggle Time!- I wait for one of them to get on the large couch and turn on the tv as that is my signal to join them for a well deserved snuggle. I stretch out and make sure they are petting me and the evening is planned. One human goes to bed earlier, but I stay up with the last one. Go out for one last bathroom break and then upstairs to my bed for a well deserved rest! It has been a long day.

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So this is a typical day in my life, well, at least on my human’s workdays. The days where she is home, it is unpredictable but always fun.

Collars and Leashes

I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in an area of the country that has no humans, no fences and just wide open space. If you do this post is probably not for you.

Collars and leashes are part of everyday life here in the suburbs and it really is for your safety. We dogs are pretty self-sufficient but these items keep us safe from humans that don’t pay attention. I do not go out of my house if I am not on a leash. My human knows that if I get a good smell I will be off like a shot and will tune her out, which also means I tune out other things like cars, ( I was hit by a vehicle before I came here). Humans are in their own little world and are not thinking that a dog or for that matter a cat could come shooting into their path and their reaction times are not the best, so really they are for our protection.

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My human was reading a book called Merle’s Door about a dog that lived in Wyoming and very rarely wore a collar let alone used a leash. He lived in a wide open area and could be gone for the whole day and just come home through his dog door to be fed and to hang out with his human whom he adored, but most of us are not in that position. I think my human felt guilty after reading that especially because the writer of the book made it very clear that he thought that was the way dogs are meant to live. I mean that would be nice but it is not possible. I love running around outside, smelling, herding and tracking, but I love my human and our life together so I use a collar and a leash. I also have a license, my rabies tag, and I am micro chipped so that if I was found by someone I could be returned to my home. Let me talk about the various collar and leash choices.

All my tags are on the collar I wear all the time which is a martingale collar, it tightens when I pull and I really can’t slip out of it. It is loose fitting on me and really doesn’t bother me.

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For walking I wear a harness where the leash attaches in the front so I really can’t pull and lean into it. This is very comfortable and when I have it on I know we are going for a walk. There are harnesses that have the leash attaching on the top between the shoulders and I think these work for small dogs not big ones as this could become the equivalent of pulling a cart or sled.

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Leashes-My human uses three different kinds; a short one for just going out to do my business or a quick trip to the mailbox, a longer one for my regular walks and a really long one for when we go to an open area or the woods for a trail hike, this allow me to roam a little farther but my human can still get me back.

I have seen people with those retractable leashes and while I think they can be fine, I have seen them snap and the leash allows you to just walk as far as you want depending on the mood of your human, this is not consistent and you end up not knowing what to expect. You are supposed to be walking with your human most of the time, they are aware of cars coming along. You could just go into the road and that leash would not bring you back. This is an accident waiting to happen.

I do have a fancy collar that I wear occasionally and it is fine but not good for being out and about. I personally do not like it when my human takes my collar off as it is mine and signifies that I have a home with humans that love and care for me, but sometimes it gets dirty and she likes to wash it. I humor her. I also wear a grey flea and tick collar that really seems to help with creepy, crawly critters so for that I am grateful because I don’t want to itch and have ticks, if I didn’t wear that collar, my time in the outdoors would be limited or my human would want to put smelly stuff on me and while there are some good things out there I don’t want any smell but one I have chosen for myself. I smell pretty good.

So try not to resent collars and leashes they work to protect us and keep us safe from unthinking humans. You want to be there for your humans to help guide them so if a collar and leash help you then so be it.

Cross Training

The weather is not cooperating as far as getting out for long walks or maybe woodland hikes so I have started a little cross training. I find that humans do things automatically and need a little shaking up. Your muscles and mind get into a rut. Here are a few little moves I throw into the everyday just to make things interesting.

  • Down ward dog- When your human is about to take you out or attach a leash to your collar go into a low bow with the front legs just as they bend down to you, they have to bend a bit further, so they stretch their leg muscles and loosen up their back. Continue to stretch your back end, this will force them to hang there a little longer. This takes some practice to get the timing just right. My human is pretty used to this so she waits for me to finish, well then I just do it again!
  • Counter Block- I like to place myself in between my human and the kitchen counter so she has to reach over me and do side steps to move around. This helps with agility and a little bit with stretching, and added bonus is if any food matter drops to the floor your are right there to help with the cleaning.
  • Trot and Weave- I walk next to and in front of the human while they are carrying food so they are forced to either walk into me and fall or learn to weave and step around or with me. Kind of like a little dance, again food might drop.
  • Toy/Bone Obstacle course-This requires some planning. It is important to recognize their normal path to certain well used rooms and place/drop soft as well as hard toys and/or bones in the way. In our kitchen there is a highly patterned dark rug so I try to leave the darker objects there and not on the light tile flooring. If you can make a whole trail all the better. The human will be forced to weave around the items so as not to step on or trip over them. Again this works on agility.
  • Couch Weight Resistance-This is an opportunistic exercise. When you are all snuggled up and sleeping on the couch(but on your human) and they want to rise and get off the couch, don’t move or give way as a matter of fact use your body weight to press down on them so they need to use their muscles to push back. This can be a core workout if your position is correct.

I am sure you can probably come up with some of your own, have fun with it. Humans get bored with the same routine and they can always use a new challenge, after all they are only human.