New Snow!

I know I have spoken about snow before, but since it is one of my favorite things I thought I would revisit the subject.

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Recently we had our first snow of the season, about 5 inches of the lovely, fluffy stuff. My human has no problem walking me in the snow and generally lets me out on a longer leash to play before the regular walk. The smells are clearer, more layered and just plain more interesting. I like to eat the snow, go diving head first into it and kind of tunnel through it with my nose. My human finds this very amusing and lets me have fun so it really works for both of us.

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Either during a snowstorm or right after it ends the world seems very still, so I can really hear what is going on. I am on high alert, what for I really could not say, but I am ready none the less. I can hear things that normally would be masked by the everyday sounds of life in my neighborhood. Humans do not seem to be out in their cars so that noise is absent so the bird sounds are clearer and of course the squirrels, but I can always hear them, they never shut up.

My human does like me to wear a coat while it is snowing or very cold. I do not really need it but it seems to make her happy so… I will say it does keep me dry while it is snowing and that is nice. I have a couple of different ones and I do look rather nice in them so I put up with it. It really is a small thing in the grand scheme of things.

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If you are in an area that gets snow and are able to get out and enjoy it, make the most of it. Listen, smell, run and play. You can then come home and appreciate your warm house with your humans who love you. Your food will taste better and your bed be more comfortable, enjoy life my friends and appreciate all the world and your humans have to offer.

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Two Years

Yesterday it has been two years since I came to live with this particular group of humans. It has had it’s ups and downs but overall they are a great bunch. I know there have been dogs here before me as they were relatively easy to train, so thank you to those that came before for doing most of the heavy lifting.

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The morning started out much the same but I got a nice long walk that included some on a trail close to our home. It seemed as though I was being allowed to smell to my heart’s content and move at my pace while on the trail. Back to business on the street but allowed more stops to sniff. Everyone was home which is always nice, can’t keep track of which day is which, they might have taken the day off in order to be with me. Snuggling on the couch was in order. I got a very special treat after dinner. A large cookie with Happy Birthday written on it and coated with something yummy. It tasted like liver and I loved it. I am sure they do not think it is my actual birthday but they wanted to celebrate and who am I to burst their bubble. Most of their celebrations involve some sort of food and I cannot have those treats so they wanted me to have something for just me. Pretty sweet really.

Looking back on these past two years it really has been pretty easy to get into the routine here. We started on a walking, feeding schedule right away, a priority for anyone really. My human has figured out which dogs that I come into contact frequently are ok with me and the others we just give a wide berth. They have figured out not to let me beg food at the table although we are still working on when they are in on the couch or chairs watching tv, I still try with one of them. He seems to be more willing to let me have a tidbit and I will always be there to clean the floor of anything edible. I think this will always be an issue. One human is a better snuggler than the other so I have almost stopped trying with the other…almost.

 

Overall, it is a great life. Two walks a day, two meals a day, two comfy beds of my own and some toys and fun everyday. Pretty good job if you can get it.

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There was one particular dog that came before me that I know my humans miss quite a bit. There are pictures around and I don’t begrudge them anything, as I said this dog took on a lot of the early training and it tells me that these humans have the capacity to love me as I do them. They will always be my first and last thoughts of everyday and the love is unconditional, even if they do seem a little slow at learning at times, they are doing their best and really you can’t ask for anymore. It has been two years, just the start of a lifetime, one that I intend to enjoy thoroughly.

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Thanks

My humans just had another holiday/celebration yesterday. These people have a celebration every other day! From what I can gather this one is about being glad/happy/thankful for things or people in their lives. Don’t know why this is just celebrated on one day, but they can be a bit weird at times. It can be exhausting trying to keep up.

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This holiday seemed to center around food so I am all for that, it certainly did smell good around here, to be sure. So I guess food is something they are celebrating, I can get behind that idea. I mean really who doesn’t like to eat, this one was a feast though, so maybe this holiday is different.

I thought I would join the party by telling you all what I have to be thankful/happy/ glad about and maybe you can let me know your thoughts. I am thankful for:

  • Finding my forever home
  • These humans have been relatively easy to train
  • Comfortable beds
  • Food twice a day and fresh water always
  • Rays of sunlight to nap in
  • People to snuggle with
  • Toys to play with
  • Being good at my job (at least I think so)
  • Daily walks
  • A warm comfortable home
  • My Beagle friend, Fender
  • Celebrations that involve food (got a few pieces of turkey with my dinner)

These humans may celebrate all the time, but they try to include me in a proper way and for that I am truly thankful. So for those of you that have a nice warm, comfortable home remember to thank your humans for they really are a good bunch.

Loss

Recently on a walk my human and I ran into someone we see often, but he was alone, not with his wife and dog. I got along well with this tiny little dog, at least once I determined it was not a squirrel. I was sure of it for awhile. Very non-threatening little ball of fur. Her name was Maggie.

My human asked where they were only to find out that Maggie was no longer alive. We were standing talking for quite sometime and I could tell that this human was upset. I usually don’t want to stand around so I whine or pull to leave, but I thought he might need me so I sidled up to him, sat down and leaned on his leg. He looked down at me and rubbed my ears and patted me and he seemed to relax a bit. I am not sure if I helped but it felt as though I did. These are very nice humans and he seemed a little lost.

Dogs do not live as long as humans and that is okay. We are there to watch over and comfort them and most humans will have many dogs in their life, not just one so we all have a job to do. Some humans do not ever get another dog after losing one. They feel as if they can no longer handle the loss that is inevitable, but they should try as there are so many dogs out there looking for employment as their walker, therapist, playmate and life coach, willing to work overtime to help their human through life.

Loss is tough and I will miss Maggie, but she had a 16 year stint as this family’s dog. I hope they will eventually get another dog but they are unsure right now, it may be too soon for that decision. If you come across a sad human see if you can spread a bit of calm and relaxation into their life if only for a few minutes. Now I have to go snuggle with my human, she looks like she needs it.

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Fall

I don’t know about you but there seems to be a lot going on in my neighborhood. My walks are filled with more sights, sounds and smells that ever. Maybe the cooler weather helps me be more alert, don’t know but it is exciting.

Just yesterday it was very windy so the scents were coming right at me, rustling up the leaves and in general just swirling around. I went head first in a pile of leaves on the roadside, nothing there but you just never know. Leave no leaf unchecked I always say. Squirrels are exceptionally busy gathering acorns and whatever else they store, furry little rodents, I will get one someday! They know I am on a leash and watching out for my human so they taunt me by staying very still then shoot away when I get within five feet, jerks!

My human has bird feeders outside the kitchen window and I am in the kitchen when they leave for the day and they are very active. They are fun to watch, I know I can’t do anything about them as they are out and I am in so it is really just a little distraction. I will woof at them every once in awhile just to let them know I am in charge, but no matter.

The cooler the weather the fewer people out walking so I have my humans undivided attention. This has it’s drawbacks though because she doesn’t want to hang around while I sniff everything, she is not built for the cooler weather I guess. They are really fragile creatures! She walks faster and that is good, just cuts my sniffing time down a bit. I don’t have as many meetings with other dogs either and for the most part that is fine. There are a few in our neighborhood that I can do without.

I hope you are enjoying this change in weather if you live somewhere where there are four seasons, get your human out there to enjoy it. The fresh air will do them good and they will enjoy their couch snuggling time even more. There are times when you may have to be insistent by making a pest out of yourself but it will be worth it in the long run. Humans have to take a break from their lives and day to day chores and it is your job to make them realize that being outside on a beautiful fall day will enhance their lives, some humans take a bit more convincing than others but they are only human after all.

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Picking up the pace

My human can’t seem to figure out the pace of our twice daily walks or the distance. There are times when it is more of a stroll and I am free to smell as I please (although she won’t let me linger too long), and there are others where we are almost running. I still want to stop and smell but that doesn’t go over well. There are also times when we do run then slow down and run again. I do not get it.

Today we had a nice long walk at a reasonably quick pace, nearing home I was feeling good, but a truck with some sort of loud trailer came towards us and I barked and lunged. I needed to warn my human about this and she was not happy! You never know when something like that can swerve and put you in danger. I was hit by a vehicle before I came to live here and there are times when it comes back to haunt me.

I know what I did also was a little dangerous by dragging my human in the street, but she is usually aware of me and I don’t walk too far away from her when we are on the street. When I first came to live here I did the same thing and the leash broke my humans finger, so she has been working hard at making sure we are not in areas where I get nervous.

I feel that when she picks up the pace on the street I get excited and am more apt to react to things like loud traffic, squirrels, cats and other dogs. Even after almost two years we are still figuring each other out, but I know she only has my welfare at heart and is really trying hard, so I guess I will have to try right along with her. It is a two way street and she is only human after all.

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Storms

Humans are not a real sensitive bunch when it comes to the weather. I know we have talked about thunderstorms and such, but when it comes to wind and the air pressure changing they do not seem to notice. Hurricanes notwithstanding humans think the house will stand and we will not even notice. C’mon has no one seen the Wizard of Oz?

I feel a storm coming a long time before it even comes and yes, there are times when it passes by but I am prepared. I start feeling really uneasy, don’t know if I should stay with my family or go to my safe place. If there is thunder even in the far distance I usually go to my safe place, they are not bothered so I am pretty sure I will be fine but I would rather not hang on in an open area, the closet is good.

Yesterday there was a lot of rain and I knew something big was coming, I had to go outside to go to the bathroom, BAD IDEA, I wanted to go right back in. The atmosphere outside was charged. My human was not giving in so after multiple attempts I finally went to the bathroom and went right back inside. So now I knew for certain that it was coming, the end of the world! I sat with them for a bit and tried to be brave but I was shaking and I had to keep checking on them to try to let them know we were in danger, seriously how can they just sit and read a book or watch a football game?! I used to think I had pretty smart humans. They started to get annoyed with my constant insistence so I gave up trying.

The wind started in earnest soon, air pressure really dropped and I wanted to go to my closet in the dark, but one of my humans was still up and I had to be there for her, why did she not get the message?  I mean I wasn’t even in the mood for snuggling on the couch, that should have told her something. We finally went upstairs to bed, I went in the closet in the back and tried to block out the wind. Not a good nights sleep I can tell you , but while it is still a little gusty out there today the worst appears over and I can nap today.

I will never stop trying to let these humans know when the weather is going to get bad, but I have the feeling I will be ignored as they are in their own world. They are only humans after all.

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Being Grateful

I know that I have spoken about training humans and what our job involves, but today I just want you to be honest about what you have and be grateful.

I was on my own for awhile before being brought up to the Northeast to a shelter for adoption, living in a cage with a lot of other dogs in their cages was not how I wanted to live. Do not get me wrong BayPath Humane Society in Massachusetts is a wonderful place with caring people who would take us for walks, play with us, feed us and clean us, but I wanted to live with humans again. I think I remember living with them before because house rules are not totally alien to me. I was not in the shelter that long(couple of weeks) I think. I do know that they would let me see lots of humans to play with and visit but until I met the humans I have now it was just an endless cycle of disappointment. I didn’t have a family, I didn’t belong.

Some of you may not have had the shelter experience, but you can still appreciate all you have and how it is possible to lose it. Show your family how much you love them, get excited when they come home, you have been waiting for them even if they were only gone five minutes it doesn’t matter.

Show them how much you appreciate your meals, sit happily when they are putting your dish in front of you and eat with gusto. There were times I didn’t know where I was going to get food and I can tell you it wasn’t in a nice warm kitchen with a clean bowl, and fresh water served to me.

I have 2 very comfortable beds one upstairs and one downstairs and I can always snuggle on the couch with a human, it is certainly better that being outside in all types of weather.

I get 2 walks a day and even when the weather isn’t the best I still go out. I have coats to keep me warm and dry and while this is not something I think I really need; I am grateful that I have a human that is looking out for my well being and lets me get out and smell and stretch my legs on a daily basis.

I have a good life with my humans and I try to show them every way I can that I love them and appreciate all they do for me even though they know I am really in charge because well I am the dog!

Show them everyday they need lots of reassurance.

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Needy

I know there are some dogs out there that appear needy for attention and it can be viewed differently by some. Velcro dog is another term that applies. I will say right now that I am neither I am just super vigilant at my job!

My job is to watch over, guide and care for my humans and I am good at it. Not a minute goes by when I am with them that I don’t know what is going on or where they are.  It is easier when only one is at home, but she moves around a lot and I am constantly on the move, just when I think I can take a little rest she gets up and goes somewhere else to do whatever she has to do. Frankly, there are days when it is absolutely exhausting! When she sits on the couch with the television on I am pretty secure in the knowledge that she will be there for an hour. This is the time when I need to be on the couch with her snuggling ON her or at the very least touching her. This is really for her own good, she needs to slow down and there have been studies that by petting/ stroking a pet dog or even a cat if that’s all you have can lower the blood pressure. I am not sure what that is exactly but being lower sounds important. It is calming.

When the humans are moving around doing things I need to be there to keep them out of trouble and aware of their surroundings. They get distracted easily and there are times I need to guide them either by walking in front of them so they are forced to watch where they are going or behind them to herd them in the right direction. They can get annoyed at times but that is the price I have to pay for being good at my job. I don’t know if there are too many dogs that will go to the lengths I will to keep track of these fragile beings.

So my advice to you is to stick to your human, make sure they are getting their snuggle time at least once a day and be aware of where they are and what they are doing. This takes extra vigilance but this is your job remember they are only human after all.

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Busy couple of days

Yesterday, I was surprised after my morning walk. We were getting in the car! I have gotten less anxious about getting in the car and strive to show my willingness and excitement about all the possibilities it has to offer. I jumped in willingly, ready for another adventure.

Well, we arrived at the vet. Okay, so not really what I was hoping for but trying to remain positive about the whole thing. I jumped out when asked and took in as many smells as possible on the short walk to the door. There were quite a few people and dogs there so it looked like it was going to be exciting. There was a puppy sitting on it’s humans lap, paid no attention to it, a kitty in a carrier that I could smell but not see and a human sitting on the bench next to me that was okay with me asking for a pat. I am very friendly. My human checked us in and after a very short time a lovely human came out to get me and my human stayed behind! This was new and I was a bit nervous but they took me into a room and took some blood and I was off to my human again. By this time a few more dogs had joined us and I really needed to talk. My human thinks it is rude for  me to bark and whine but the other dogs understood that I was just conveying information about what goes on in the other room. Trying to reassure my canine friends and well, maybe the cat. My human had to talk to the other humans behind the counter and we were out the door, didn’t take long at all; very efficient. I wasn’t thrilled about getting back in the car, I mean there was quite a bit to smell, sometimes she just doesn’t get me.

Today, the weather has been a bit warm and after our morning walk my human brought me out to the back yard to put me on my tie out for a bit. I do like to be out there when she is out there also. She never puts me there alone. I ran around sniffing and found some great smelling areas to roll in, all in all a great morning. Well, that came to a halt. I guess the rolling around I did gave me a smell that my human did not appreciate as much as I did. First she took off my collar to wash it and then took some wipes to run over me , but that didn’t do enough I guess because now she wanted to bathe me! I do not like it when she takes off my collar, it identifies me as part of the family and I am very attached to it. A bucket of warm water was produced and some soap, towels and scrubby mitts( these give a great massage) check on my installment of shedding tools. Outside on the lawn she wet me down, tried getting away but she gave me treats and kept me on a really short leash. I was all soaped up, scrubbed and rinsed, she let me shake and then toweled me off for quite a bit. Not my favorite experience but if she will snuggle with me because I smell more to her liking then I will have to put up with it. I am a bit fluffy and not the way I like to smell but if you want to live with and love humans you have to put up with their strange ideas about hygiene. They are only human after all.

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