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!

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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

Adventure!

Today my human decided to take me on a new adventure. It involved a car ride and I get very excited, she really doesn’t understand that I am not nervous but just looking forward to whatever comes. I am hoping this will happen more often so that she is less apprehensive when she takes me anywhere.

We drove for a bit to this lovely wooded area with trails, birds and so many new smells! It was fantastic. The terrain was varied and involved hills, flat areas, rocky places and a stream. I was very interested in the stream but maybe another day. I will say that the hills on the way back were a little steep and I am ashamed that I am so out of shape. The inclement weather and my love of food have taken its toll. I think my human noticed this too, so maybe our walk will increase in length on a daily basis and these treks will happen more often. I tried to show my pleasure and willingness to go for as long as she wanted so that she would be more interested in doing it again. This really is hard to tell your human; that this is great for both of you but try because it will add more to your lives and your enjoyment in being together outside.

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When leaving we met up with another dog where the car was parked, we waited until it was okayed that we could say hello. It was alright until he jumped up on my human, did not like that and had to show him that this was not proper. I don’t think he was going to do her any harm but I was not about to take any chances, so that ended that! She was not happy but I was doing my job and gave him a few extra barks on my way out for good measure. He needed to be reminded of his manners and this was my human to protect.

Well, here’s hoping that I will get more adventures soon. Get your human out of their rut if possible and go on an adventure!!

Time to speak to the humans…

I have been helping your dogs train you in the correct way to have a dog in your life. I am now going to speak directly to you. Take a seat and get comfortable.

We dogs would like you to know that we are here for one thing and that is you. We live our lives to be with you, to love you, protect you and keep you healthy and exercised. We want you to live in the moment and enjoy life and all that it has to offer. We know you are busy with work and whatever else you do when we are not with us so you need to take a moment or two during the day and relax. Get on the floor with us, pet us, rub our belly, rub our ears or just lie with us. We are here for you. When we want to get up on the chair, couch or bed it is so we can be a comfort to you. It lowers your blood pressure and we need you to be calm and happy.

When we beg at mealtimes it is because we want you to remember that we can always be asked to taste your food if need be, we are willing to lay down our lives for you. We want you to realize that we appreciate our full stomachs and you should too. Our food is nourishment to help us take care of you and there are times when a treat or two really adds to our day and keeps us going.

When we have to go out to take care of our business it is also time to take stock of any intruders or any danger that might imperil your life, so if it is multiple times it is because we are trying to catch any danger that might be lurking. We may look like we are just randomly smelling the ground, be assured we are on the prowl and taking stock. It helps you to be aware also.

While on walks we may lunge at squirrels, random cats or other menacing creatures but we are protecting you. Some one has to, after all you have to admit you all can be a bit distracted, so put the phone away and take those headphones off and enjoy being with us outside in the fresh air. We need to get you out and exercised so you will be healthy. We take our job seriously it is true, but it doesn’t mean we are not up for a little fun, so join us. Change our walking routes every once in awhile or take us with you on a hike. Listen to the sounds of nature, look around you at the wonder of your surroundings and be in the moment.

We won’t be around forever so be with us, love us as we love you, unconditionally. You will never have another being care for you as much as we do. Look into our eyes and you will see the depth of our love, it is up to you. We will be gone before you know it and regrets are stupid.

love, Your Dog

Birds

The feathered, flying animals are an odd lot. I will admit to largely ignoring them as they really don’t stay around very long when I am in view. They usually appear in large numbers and have quite a bit to say. When I am out and about walking the neighborhood there is generally a large group of very boisterous crows. They sit in the trees talking (screaming really) and then fly off for no apparent reason. If a group of dogs met up like that all the humans would be up in arms. Don’t know why they allow this to go on, maybe because they are high up in the trees nothing can be done, well I can tell you it is getting old.

My human, puts seed in a small feeder hanging on our front porch. This is visible from our kitchen and the smaller, very pretty birds come to that to dine. They come in small groups, mixed varieties and speak sparingly. They are pleasant to look at and watch if I have nothing better to do, but they don’t bother me at all. I will say they are a bit casual with their seed, I always seem to find quite a bit on the porch floor, although my human won’t let me have it. Probably a good thing. Squirrels try to get the seed from the feeder, but when they get on it it closes so they can’t get at what is inside. They try all types of positions, hanging from their back feet, leaning over the edge etc. None of this is successful and they fall and go away unfed. I will say that is fun to watch. I wonder if my human has placed this feeder more for me than herself. There are days when I get a lot of entertainment from those stupid rodents! Thank you.

We have very large birds around here (at least I think they are birds, they fly) called wild turkeys. This is a scary bunch. They make weird noises, move funny and well they are ugly! My human, doesn’t want me anywhere near them. I don’t know who she is trying to protect, I am pretty sure I could take one of them down if given the opportunity and they were threatening me or my human. They look mean so I am sure they don’t want to be friends.

I know when the weather gets warmer around here, my human will open the windows and I will be able to hear all the bird sounds. I will remain vigilant for any danger, real or perceived. Birds are just part of my environment and I will have to find their place in it. I will admit to thinking that flying might be a fun skill to have. Birds don’t seem to take full advantage of it.

Attention

I have been talking about training your human for awhile now, but they need to start working on giving us attention now. It is time we are rewarded for all the hard work and attention that we give to them in order to make them better functioning humans. Now all of you have different requirements as far as the amount of attention you want or need so you can tailor these suggestions to fit your particular situation.

  1. The nose butt: this is classic but only works when they are seated and not paying you any mind. Bring them back to the present by pushing your nose under their hand or arm. Always wag your tail as this tells them you are happy and being cute(very important). Now this brings a few perils; be aware if they have anything in their hand that might be spilled, dropped or broken. I don’t want to make that mistake again! Hot coffee doesn’t feel good and they get upset with you and that is not what you were going for at all.
  2. The paw: you don’t want to scratch or hurt your human but if they are ignoring you this will work. Some humans think this is cute and will respond right away, mine does not and is adamant that I do not do it.I am working on this and have gotten better but when we are on the couch and her hand is not busy petting me I will still try.
  3. 3.The big eyes: this can be paired with the head on the lap if your human is seated, but otherwise it just means getting into their field of vision and not breaking eye contact, I find this works well when they are preoccupied. It helps them focus on what is really important…you.dscn0257
  4. Whining and or barking: You need to be careful and not overuse this tactic. Save this for when you need to go outside or your dinner is late. This does not always get you positive attention, so use sparingly.
  5. Pacing: This again should be used only when needed. I find that my humans note this action quickly and will ask me if I need to go out, so it has it’s use.
  6. Remember you have been working hard with your human and it is time for your reward. I want my human’s attention as much as possible and we are all different so choose your moments and enjoy. Humans are a fun bunch once they learn the basics and they will find showering you with as much attention as you want helps relax them and improves the quality of their lives too.