Monday, January 13, 2014

Can We Talk?

I’ve read lots of articles and blogs about how humans can learn to understand dogs.  Our language is pretty simple and complex at the same time.  We can obviously talk.   My sister Dixie likes to tell long involved stories, which are mostly about me and of course are untrue.   She barks up a storm, going on and on, throwing in a growl or whine for emphasis.   I will tell a story now and then but prefer to use more subtle forms of communicating.

If I back into you, it means I would like you to scratch my back.  If I sit in front of the cookie jar or my bowl it means I would like you to get me a cookie or feed me.  I save my voice for more important things like alerting the family that the mailperson or the delivery person is coming or a squirrel is on our yard.

If humans just watch us dogs closely, they will notice that we use our ears and tails a lot when we communicate.  If they just listen with their eyes and they’d hear exactly what we are saying.

But I didn’t want to talk about how dogs communicate with humans.   Like I said there are lots of articles you can read about that.  I also didn’t want to talk about humans communicating with dogs during training.  Training requires special words and body language.  You can find lots of article about that too.

What I wanted to talk about was simply taking to us.  I love when Mom talks to me.  I’m her business partner so she talks to me a lot about stuff that’s going on with the business.  She asks my opinion about new gift basket designs she wants to add to the line.  Even those that aren’t for the Pet Division, which is my department but for ones she does holidays or is custom designing for a client.  When we ride in the car she tells me where we are going and what we are going to do.  When she is going in the car by herself, she tells me where she is going and when she is coming back.

When she started working from home, she talked to me lots more than when we were in the shop and people came and went all day long.  She doesn’t talk baby talk to me or talk in a sing-songy voice either.   She talks to me like an adult, which I am.  I’m a good listener and very good at keeping secrets.   She says I’m a good sounding board for ideas and the best therapist, whatever that is.  

I love to hear the sound of her voice, except when Dixie does something wrong, like tips over the trash and she talks really loud.  I like it much better when she talks in her regular voice.  I can sit quietly and listen to her for hours.  I really like when she tells me I’m her best girl or that she loves me a lot. When she talks to me I know that she cares about me and that I am safe and loved and am an important part of her life.  Those things are very important to me.  Even more important than even cookies.

I’d love to know what kind of stuff your human talks to you about.  Unless it’s a secret because I bet you’re a good secret keeper too.  We dogs know that it is better to way our tails, not our tongues.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  If you are listening to your dog, he or she is probably telling you that they would LOVE one of our Puppy Power Gift Baskets.  :)



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Of Mice and Dogs

I was checking up on some of my friends on Dogbook the other day and learned that one of my friends was very, very sick.  She found a dead mouse and, since it smelled really yummy, she ate it.  Luckily, her humans saw what happened and brought her to the vet right away.  She didn’t feel so good for a little while but she is going to be just fine.
Mice live just about everywhere and usually don’t have all that much contact with dogs but in the winter time, mice, like most creatures, like to live where it is warm.  They look for ways to get into nice barns or basements and attics or houses.  For lots of reasons, humans don’t like having mice living in their houses.  There are bunches of different ways for humans to get mice to not live in their houses and one of them is to use this bad stuff called poison.  Poison is bad because it makes the mice died.   I know, I don’t think poisoning animals is right, but humans worry about mice carrying diseases and stuff so they don’t want them in their houses.
When humans put out poison to get rid of mice, most of the time they put it where pets can’t get to it.  That’s a little easier if the pets are dogs cuz they can put it up high in rafters and such but cats are a different story cuz they can climb anywhere.
Some poison comes in packages that pets can’t get into so humans with pets who want to use poison should get this kind.  They also make bunches of things called “traps” to get rid of mice.  Some traps are nasty but there are some that are okay.   Personally, I think if humans don’t want mice to live in their houses, they can use the nice kind of trap that captures mice alive so they can be set free in another place, but that’s just me.
Anyway, my friend found one of the mice that ate some of the bad poison.  Because the mouse had the poison in its tummy, and my friend ate the mouse, my friend got sick.  I understand this doesn’t happen very often to pets, especially to dogs but it does happen. 
When a pet eats a mouse that ate poison and get sick, it’s called “secondary poisoning”.  How sick a pet gets from secondary poisoning depends on a lot of things like how big the pet is and if he or she got any of the real poison or just what the mouse already had in their tummy.  Sometimes, the poison can be the mouse’s mouth so it really strong.  If a pet eats the poison that hasn’t been in a mouse’s tummy where it gets made less harmful, it is called “primary poisoning” which is much worse.   If she had found the packet of poison and ate that, well, she would have primary poisoning and be much, much sicker and maybe even died.
Cats who live on farms and stray dogs are more likely to eat dead mice than dogs who have nice houses like we do.   Cats and dogs who live outdoors don’t have enough to eat so they will eat dead animals.  Pets who have nice homes get enough food so they aren’t hungry all the time. That’s what they tell me but you could have fooled me.  I’m always ready for another meal or treat.
Anyway, please be careful and never, never eat dead mice or any other dead animals.  First of all, it freaks out humans and second, it could make you very, very sick.
Stick to eating stuff your humans say is okay.
Your friends,

P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  Valentine’s Day is almost here so why not get your favorite pet a super Valentine’s Day gift like our Best In Show (dogs) or Cats Rule! gift basket.