Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How Do I Love Thee....

My Mom and Dad love me and DixieLee very, very much. We know that by lots of the things they do for us. Things like giving us good food and lots of toys and treats. They talk to us, pet us, give us tushie rubs and even give us kisses but the one thing they don’t do is give us hugs.

Humans like to hug one another. Human hug when they like someone very much. I don’t like to be hugged because when a human hugs you, they make moving away hard to do. In dog language, putting arms (or paws) around someone, it is a sign of dominance. The one doing the hugging is dominate over the one getting the hugs.

I love my Mom and Dad very much. After all, they are members of my pack and pack members love each other. Pack members also keep each other safe.  DixieLee and I make sure Mom and Dad are always safe. We follow them from room to room. If they go into a room and close the door, we guard the door for them.

We make sure they are safe when they sleep. DixieLee sleeps on the bed until Mom and Dad are asleep and then we trade places. I guard from the bed and DixieLee guards from the sofa in the living room. Sleeping is the bestest way that I let Mom know I love her. I sleep on her feet or stretch out and cuddle my whole body on hers.

Touching is the bestest way to let humans know you love them. When we are out walking and stop to talk with other people, I like to lean against Dad’s leg. When Mom sits on the couch and she puts her feet on the table, she makes a nice bridge to walk under. If I stop when walking under her legs, she will rub my tushie or behind my ears.

One of DixieLee’s favorite places to play fight is under Mom’s legs when she is sitting at her computer. She thinks I can’t get her but I can.  Mom laughs because our playing makes her chair roll across the room.

Playing shows love too. We love to get our humans to play with us. I just have to drop a ball at their feet and they will pick it throw it for me. DixieLee likes to play tug of war. I don’t know how she does it but she always manages to end a game of tug of war with Dad with a belly rub.

We miss Mom and Dad when they leave the house and make sure we give them a big welcome when they come home. We know the sounds of their cars and wait at the door for them. We make sure they get lots of wiggles and whines and kisses every time.

Love is a big thing and we have lots of it at our house. What do you do to let your humans know you love them lots?

Your loving friend,

Zeva


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's A Dog's Life

You may not think so but being a dog can be stressful. Humans think dogs have easy lives. After all, many of us have nice families to share our houses with. We get healthy food and treats and get to go for walks and rides in cars.

You see our happy smiles and wagging tails and think everything is just fine but do you notice when we pant or lick excessively. I bet you notice when we chew up the furniture or pee in the house. Those are some big signs that we are stressed.

Dogs need lots of physical and mental exercise otherwise we get bored and boredom causes stress.  It can be really stressful for working dogs.  Working dogs can’t spend their days sleeping in their crates. I like to relax but even I can’t sleep all day.

Not having enough physical or mental activity is only one thing that stresses us out. Loud noises are very stressful too. Things like thunderstorms and fireworks are very loud but they don’t happen all the time like some of the noise we deal with every day.

Dogs have extra good senses and our hearing is lots more sensitive than human’s hearing. Humans like to play music and although we like music, we don’t like it extra loud. In our house the television is on all the time but Mom keeps the sound low. I like to watch the peoples and animals on the screen but I don’t like to hear some of the loud noises that the television makes.

We live on a street with not many cars but DixieLee and I can hear the big trucks that travel along the highway not so far away. I bet the dogs who live in the houses near the highway find the noise from those big trucks very stressful.

Yelling is the worst noise ever! Mom and Dad are old and they don’t hear good so sometimes when they talk when they are in different rooms they get really loud. When that happens, DixieLee barks to remind them that they should be using indoor voices when they are in the house.

And you should never ever use loud voices when training. Learning new things is stressful enough and yelling makes it even harder.

I’m pretty easy going so I don’t get stressed out often but DixieLee stresses a lot so Mom tries to make it so we don’t get stressed too much. One way is to make things routine. When we know when things are supposed to happen we know what we need to do.

Dad gets awake every day at the same time and we know he will get our breakfast soon. We know when Mom goes to work we have to go into our crates but we know Dad will come home soon and we can be in the whole house or in our pen if we want.

Mom and Dad also spend lots of time with us.  They take us for walks and talk to us all the time to help us have stress free lives.

I like being a dog and I do have a good life but it does get stressful some times.  I'm glad I get to live in a house with peoples who understand and try to keep my life stress free.  Most of the time....

I have to stop now and rest because Mom used her loud voice today when the man came in the big brown truck and we wouldn't stop barking.

Your totally stressed friend,

Zeva

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eau de Stinky Stuff

Boy was Dad mad!  We were all out for a nice long walk.  We sometimes walk in a very old cemetery because there are no cars and I can walk off leash.   As I said, we were having a very nice walk when all of a sudden Dad started running toward me yelling “No, no, no”.

Geeezzzzz.  You would have thought the world was coming to an end when all I was doing was rolling in some nice fresh poop that I found.  I know that Mom and Dad, like most humans, think poop is yucky but it isn’t to us dogs.  Humans forget that a dog’s nose can smell a zillion times better than a human’s nose.   A human only smells one thing at a time while we smell lots of different things.  And a single pile of poop or rotting something has lots and lots of different smell and we can tell what each one is.

Dogs have been rolling in poop and other stinky stuff since forever ago.  Some humans say it is because our smelling is so good we can tell that some of the yucky stuff was actually food at one time.   That would be very useful for our ancestors to know if there was some kind of food nearby.

The smelling food theory is one that humans thought up to explain why we like to smell yucky stuff but that doesn’t tell them why we roll in it.  Maybe it is because dogs don’t have cell phones so we can’t call our friends and tell them where we have been.  We can’t take photos to share on Facebook either.  Rolling in stinky stuff tells my friends and animals I meet along the way where I have been.  Rolling in the stinky stuff also puts my own scent down and lets anyone who comes along later know I was there too.

If I were hunting for food, rolling in poop or other yucky stuff would mask my real scent so my prey wouldn’t know that I was sneaking up on them.  They would just think it was the yucky stuff they had been smelling all along.  If I were the one being hunted, covering myself with another scent would help me hide better.

DixieLee and I don’t have to take baths like some dogs.  When we’ve been at the groomer to get out nails clipped, I’ve smelled dogs who have just had a bath.  To tell you the truth, I think they are too stinky and I much prefer rotting vegetables to bath stuff.

Humans are always trying to figure out “why” we do things.  Want to know a secret?  Sometimes we do stuff just because it’s fun.

Your stinky friend,
Zeva

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Back To School

Now that nice weather is coming, Mom and Dad want to be able to take us to lots of fun places like Dog Mountain and hiking in the White Mountains. We love going places with our Mom and Dad but it is important that we are on our best behavior when we do.

You see, only good dogs, with excellent manners, should go to places where there are lots of people and other dogs. Good dogs are dogs who listen to their humans about things like coming when called and dropping things we shouldn’t have picked up in the first place. One of the most super duper important things a good dog knows is how to leash walk well.

I admit I am not an excellent leash walker. Once we leave our yard, there are lots and lots of different things to see and smell that I tend to want to sniff every tree and rock and fire hydrant I see. I am trying to be a better leash walker, but it isn’t easy so Mom is taking us back to school.

Well, I’m going “back” to school because I did have school when I was really little but for DixieLee, going to school is a new experience. She said that when she lived with Mama Mel, she had some training but never went to “real” school.

We don’t go to the school yet, the teacher comes to our house. We like her a lot cuz she brings really good treats when she comes. She teaches us new commands and then we practice with Mom during the week.

I’m a good learner and DixieLee is getting better every week. Mom is thrilled that she knows “leave it” now cuz it's lots easier getting Dad’s socks back. This morning Mom noticed that DixieLee was hiding in her crate, chewing on a pencil.  Mom called "DixieLee Come" and she came out of her crate right away and then dropped the chewed up pencil as soon as she was told to “leave it”. DixieLee was so proud that she did good at listening that she gave Mom a big smile.

She still has to learned that just because something falls on the floor, it doesn’t mean it is hers but one thing at a time.

One of the hardest things we are learning is how not to bark when someone comes up our street. We think it is important to let Mom and Dad know such things like when the mail person comes but they say it isn’t necessary.

School stuff is fun but if we had to choose what we like best about school, I’d say it is recess.

Learning new things is so fun.  Maybe some day we’ll take Agility Training. Then again, agility training takes lots and lots of energy and I prefer conserving my energy for important things like eating.

Your scholarly friend,

Zeva

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More About Fences

 Last week in my blog I talked about the different kinds of fences there were and why it is safer for a dog to have a fenced in yard than for them to run free around the town. One of the kinds I mentioned was an invisible fence. Our friend Beauregard reminded us that invisible fences can be very bad for dogs.

Some people like them because they can be lots less expensive than other kinds of fences and since you can’t see them, they let you see all of the outside. Some places make rules about what kinds of fences houses can have. Because you can’t see an invisible fence they fit the kind of fences those rules say are okay.

An invisible fence sounds nice but it is really an electric fence that gives a dog a shock and makes a screechy noise when he tries to go outside of the fence. Shocks hurt and I don’t think hurting is a good way to train a dog. I think there are already enough bad noises like fireworks and thunderstorms so who wants more ugly sounds in the world.

Also the dog needs to be wearing a special collar for the fence to work. That means that other dogs, other animals or even bad peoples can come in the yard and hurt the dog that lives there.

If a dog sees something he really wants to chase or if something scares him enough, he could run real fast right through the invisible fence. He would get a shock but he would already be on the outside. The problem gets worse when he can’t get back into the yard. He will walk up to the yard and get a shock and stay on the outside.

One of Mom’s friends tried an invisible fence at her house. Her dog got shocked a couple of times and refused to go out of the house. He didn’t understand that he could go outside, just not too far. Luckily he only thought it was the front door so they let him out the back door and stopped using the fence.

 Our friend Julee reminded me that collars can get caught on fences and could choke a dog so we need to always be careful when we are outside, even when we are fenced in. Caught collars are only one of the reasons I  reminded peoples that they need to watch their dogs even though they are in a fenced in area. 

I see Dad is ready to go outside to rake the big yard so DixieLee and I will relax in our pen and watch him work. Having a big chain link fenced in yard means we can be outside with Dad and pretty much keep out of trouble. Well, I can. I don’t know about DixieLee.

Love your outside friend,
Zeva

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Running Free, Not Me!

Did you know that a long time ago, when Mom was a girl, family dogs stayed outside all the time and ran free around town? I bet it would be fun to run around town and visit other dogs but it must have been very dangerous living back then.

Today most people let their dogs stay in the house and don’t let them run free when they are outside. I know that some adoption agencies won’t let a dog get adopted unless the house has a fenced yard. Fenced yards help keep pets safe. Fences keep dogs from running into the road where cars are and help to keep them from getting stolen. Today dogs that are running free around town can get picked up by the Police.


Pets that run free, especially cats and little dogs, are targets for undomesticated animals like foxes and coyotes. Porcupines and skunks many not eat you but they sure can make your life miserable. Even tangling with a squirrel or snake can mean a trip to the Vet. A neighborhood cat was almost taken by an eagle. Good thing her Mom heard her screaming and was able to rescue her. She is going to be okay but she did have to go to the emergency Vet to get stitches and shots.

Fences can be made from lots of things like wood or vinyl. There are even fences that are invisible!

DixieLee and I have a nice fenced in area. It is big enough for us to have good races and play fights in. It’s made out of chain link. DixieLee is a good jumper but the fence is high enough so she can’t jump over it and she’s not big on climbing over it like some dogs would be.

Dogs have been known to climb on top of dog houses or wood piles and jump over their fences from there. Some dogs prefer to go under their fences.

DixieLee almost dug her way out from under our fence. I don’t think she started out thinking of tunneling her way out, it’s just that she likes to dig holes and a couple of the holes happened to be near the fence. Some dog fences have a border of metal netting that helps keep a dog from digging their way out. Another way to keep a dog from digging under is to make sure that the fence goes at least 6 inches under the ground.

We get to go in our pen most any time we want but only when Mom or Dad is home. They don’t need to be outside with us but they want to be able to keep an eye on us. They know that DixieLee can get into trouble without even trying and escaping from the yard would be big trouble.

When we first got our new fence she tried to squeeze between the end of the fence and the house. Dad had to put an extra post in to fill the gap.  Like I said she doesn't look for trouble but it does seem to find her.

It’s a beautiful Spring day in Northern New Hampshire so I think I stop now and go outside in my pen and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air.

Love,

Zeva

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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Real Scoop About Poop

Spring is finally here and we are getting to spend more time outside. It was so fun going for a big walk yesterday except Mom got very upset when we walked by a house that had a yard filled with dog poop.

When it snowed all the time, the poop got hidden in the snow but when the snow melted, the mess appeared. She said a poop filled yard not only looks gross, it is very bad for the dog that lives in the house.

Some people think that dog poop is like cow poop. They are wrong. Cow poop is good fertilizer, dog poop is not. That’s because dogs and cows eat different food. A dog’s diet is high in protein filled with stuff like beef and chicken. A cow’s diet is vegetarian. 


Dog poop makes the grass brown which is bad but what is more bad is that dog poop can have diseases like Parvo, Giardiasis, Salmonellosis and bugs like hookworms and tapeworms.

Parvo is very contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Buggies like hoookworm are bad for dogs and people too. A yard full of dog poop is not a fun place for children to play and when grown ups step in a pile, it makes them say bad words.

We have a big pen and Mom cleans it twice a day, even when it snows. After the snow melted, our pen was nice and clean. When we go for walks, Mom has a pocket full of bags so if we have to poop, she can clean up after us. We think that cleaning up after dogs is so important, we put a box of biodegradable poop bags in of our dog gift baskets.

Unless we learn to use a shovel and rake like the doggie in the photo, we need to remind our humans that cleaning up poop is the right thing to do, even when no one is looking.

Your friend,

Zeva




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