Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sweet Dreams

Good Morning everyone!  There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to get you ready for a productive day.

I was barking with a friend the other day and he said he wasn’t allowed to sleep with his humans at night.  I know that some humans believe that allowing a pet to sleep on the bed with them is not a good thing.

They say that you can get sicknesses or that we are dirty.  Well, DixieLee and I have had all of our shots and Mom has a special cover she puts on the bed that is easy to wash so we don’t have to worry about getting the bed dirty.  She said she would like to have a pretty spread but you can either have nice stuff or pets.  Whatever that means.

They also say that if people sleep with their pets they can get ticks and fleas.  That is true but only if we have ticks or fleas and we don’t.  At least not so far.  We wear tick and flea stuff and we get buggy checked all the time.

People also say people shouldn’t sleep with pets because they can disrupt sleep.  That is probably true.  DixieLee kicks in her sleep and when she kicks me I wake up and jump off the bed.  I guess she wakes Mom up too because she usually tells me to stop pacing and go back to sleep.

If a people has big pets like me and DixieLee they might not be able to stretch out good.  DixieLee likes to sleep with her head on Mom’s shoulder and I like to sleep with my head on her feet.  Mom says she hates to turn over because she doesn’t want to wake us.

DixieLee is also a blanket hog.  She plops down and the blanket gets pulled away from Mom making her cold.

I think unless someone is allergic, sleeping with a pet is a good thing.  Pets like to cuddle.  Mom says she finds it peaceful when she hears DixieLee snoring away.  She says that the snoring is hypnotizing and helps her fall asleep.

Mom also says knowing that we are all safe and sound  makes her feel relaxed and since we have better hearing than her makes her feel safe.  Except when there is a false alarm and I wake her for no reason.  Not that t happens often, just sayin’.

Snuggling with a pet keeps people warm.  It’s really nice in the wintertime when it is cold and windy outside.

And the bestest reason for letting pets sleep with our humans is that we like it.  Mom and Dad are busy most of the day so we don’t get to spend much time with them.  It’s nice to cuddle up and just be with them.  I’m sure you feel the same way about your humans.

Sorry but all this writing has warn me out.  Time for a nap… on the big bed, of course.


Your sleepy friend,


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

No Bow Thank You

I watched some of the Westminster dog show a couple of weeks ago.  I liked watching the dogs run around the arena with their humans.  That looked like fun but why would any dog put up with the other stuff?  I mean hair dryers and nail buffing and smelly baths.  Not for me!

I know grooming is important and not just cuz it makes us look pretty.  Things like brushings are good for all dogs, not only the ones with super long coats.  Brushing helps keep us clean buy getting rid of dirt and dandruff and hair we shed.  Brushing also helps make oils spread over our fur making it look silky.

I don’t mind a little brushing but I’m sure glad I’m not an Afghan or Poodle.  They have to get brushed lots so they don’t get their fur matted.

Brushing also lets Mom check us for little hurts.  DixieLee and I play hard and sometimes we get little hurts so when Mom brushes us she can check us for scrapes, cuts, lumps, bumps and even fleas and ticks.

Brushing is a nice way for dogs and their humans to spend time together. I know lots of dogs like to get groomed but me, not so much and DixieLee hates it.   She thinks she is a tough dog.  She loves to roll in the dirt and grass and get muddy.  She thinks grooming is for sissies.  The groomers at the day care really earn their pay when she shows up.  Especially when she needs her nails clipped.

Before she came to live with us she spent most of her time outside running free.  She ran on rocks and roads and sidewalks so her nails stayed pretty short.  Now that she has a house to live in with carpets, nice grass in the yard and woodland trails to walk on her nails get pretty long.

Long nails are not good.  If they are too long they can make walking and running difficult.  They can split or break which hurts.  If a dog’s nails are too long they start to walk funny and that can cause their joints to hurt or even get arthritis.  Long nails can accidentally scratch too.  I know DixiLee scratched Dad’s hand one time and he needed a Band-Aid.

Lots of dogs get their teeth and ears checked when they get groomed.  You need good strong teeth for eating cookies so keeping them clean is important.  Ears need to be clean and working well too or else you can’t hear the potato chip bag open.

Even though I don’t like getting brushed and washed and clipped I admit I do look extra pretty when we are all done.  I always get a nice colorful kerchief to wear after a grooming but no hair dryers please and no one puts one of those little bows in my hair.

Your well groomed friend,


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Back to School

I almost never get in trouble but I think I may have stepped on Mom's last nerve.

It's not really my fault. You see, she says I need to ALWAYS come to her when she calls my name. Well, there are times when I am really busy and sort of ignore her. Since she is the MOM, she says that is unacceptable. She said DixieLee and I need a training refresher course. I wasn't sure exactly what that means so I went on line to find out about dog training.

From what I read there are lots of ways to train a dog and it seems like nobody is sure which is the bestest way. From all the choices I read about, I like the one called “reward based training” or “conditioning”. Although some dogs respond well to praise or play, DixieLee and I love food or as the professionals say, we are food motivated so I hope Mom decides to use food in our training.

Some people think that using food in training is bribery and when the food stops coming, we will stop listening. There is a trick people use so that doesn't happen. Mom always tells us when we do good and pets us when she gives us our reward. After a while, getting told we are good and getting petted is almost as good as getting a treat.

Others think that we will be afraid that if we don't behave we won't get fed. Only a really horrible person would do that! We trust Mom and know that we will always get fed every day.

DixieLee and I love all kinds of food but some dogs are picky. They would do better with people food like peanut butter or cheese. Not that we wouldn't love getting some cheese or peanut butter! The thing about using people food for training is that dogs should only have tiny bits of it and there are lots of people foods that dogs should not eat so they have to choose the right foods.

We would love to have people food but the treats Mom uses are made special for training. They are small and even healthy but they are really yummy so we overlook the small and healthy part.

Some people don't like to use food in training because they think their dog will get fat. Well, that is a concern and that is why you only get a tiny bit for the reward. Some people use regular kibble for training. They measure out the daily amount and take part of that amount for training. That way the dog is getting his or her regular amount of food only spread out over the day.

Now that I know what a refresher training course is all about, I'm ready to start. I saw that Mom put a box of the special small and healthy treats in the cabinet so I know she is ready too. The next time she calls my name I'll respond the first time. I'd hate to miss out on any of the rewards.

See you after class,


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Everyone Should Know a Second Language

DixieLee and I were playing outside when she noticed the cat sitting in the window of the house across the street. There are two cats that live in that house with two dogs. We started to wonder if they all talked to each other.
I don't know much about cats so I asked our cat friend Fo how cats talk to each other and other animals and humans. (Fo lives in India so she speaks Hindi.  See her saying "Hello" in the picture)
Fo said that cats communicate lots of different ways. They use their voices, they use their bodies, and they use scents. Interesting, so do dogs.
Cats use their voices to let you know what they want. They purr when they are happy and they howl when they are scared or angry. A cat meowing while standing near their bowl probably means you are late with their dinner.
Cats use their eyes, ears and tails to let you know what they are thinking. If you see a cat puffing up her tail, baring her teeth, arching her back and bringing out her claws, it most likely means she is not happy and it's best to back away cuz she ready to fight.
Cats have a good sense of smell so their bestest way to communicate is by scent. They mark their territory with scent to let other cats know to stay way. When kittens are born, the can't see at all so the only way they know where their mama is is by smell. Cats have glands in their faces that release their scent. Lots of time you will see kittens kissing noses or rubbing heads with their mama. Grown cats will touch noses or rub their heads with cats they are friendly with.
Paws are another place where cats release scent. When you see a cat kneading, they are marking their territory.
Male cats spray to mark their territory which makes their humans very unhappy if they do it inside the house.
Fo couldn't tell us much about eye blinking or staring because she is blind but she said that her friend Alpha told her that she blinks or closes her eyes to Fo all the time because blinking and closing her eyes is a sign of trust.
The opposite of blinking is starting. Cats don't like eye contact so if a cat is staring it means they feel threatened so it is better to not go near them.
Cats use their tails to communicate too. A confident cat will walk with their tail held high. If you see a cat with their tail tucked between their legs, it means they are insecure or frightened.
It sounds like cats and dogs have a lot in common as far as how we communicate. Now if I see a cat showing her teeth and claws, I know to keep walking by and not stop to say hello.
It's good for people to understand how their pets communicate so they can make life less stressful for everyone. Like when you see your dog or cat sitting near the treat jar, it probably means they want a cookie and you should give them one so they don't get stressed.
Thanks for stopping by to say hi!
Your friend,

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