Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Graduate

In Going on walks, Learning commands, Puppy kindergarten, Training for treats on July 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I don’t think going on a walk with some long rope that limits my movements is fun. I have to wear this silly harness thing that rubs against my fur, and I can feel the pull of the leash as I try to move forward. I don’t want to go in a straight line. I don’t see the point when I can run around the backyard and don’t have to keep pace with slow mommy. I can stop and smell whatever I want to stop and smell.

The thing about going on walks is that I am expected to go straight and stay on the sidewalk and stop to sniff for a couple of minutes, not for five or 10 so that I can explore the depth of the smells, old ones on new ones. I want to figure out how popular the spot is for the dogs of our neighborhood, whether it’s a pole, bush or hydrant.

As for puppy kindergarten, I was the smallest dog in the room at four pounds and four months, so of course, I didn’t want to look at the other dogs. I wanted to go home. But mommy wasn’t reading my body language. She kept me there. I caught on to sitting and doing tricks for treats, but the spoken language was new to me. It was sounds without meaning until I saw the other dogs plop their butts on the floor and they got treats, so I decided I would do the same to collect something good.

“Sit” became an automatic response to me, because it was used more than the other commands, except for “no.” That one I learned right away, though I did not listen and follow through until it became clear I was in big trouble. I sit because I know good things will follow, like a treat, “good dog!” and pets, lots of them. Oh boy, I am a graduate.

Smart dogs don’t wear clothes

In Chasing smells, Clothes for dogs?, Discoveries, Let's be friends on July 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Why am I wearing a silly bow that matches my silly shirt?

The reason I do not wear clothes is I already have my fur that keeps me warm in the winter, and I pant off the heat. Clothes are not comfortable (itchy in the back where there is a square thing) and get in the way of playing. Besides, I’m a dog, not a person, though I am a very smart dog.

Smartness, however, does not prevent me from forgetting, especially when I am chasing smells or it’s been a long time. That’s why I don’t remember some things about my youth, but I do remember the bird sound. I was listening to the muted barking of dogs neighborhoods away, a growling hum from a thing called a lawnmower (I didn’t know that word back then) and voices coupled with the pant of a dog out on a lucky walk. And then this twittering, high pitched sound that deepened and rose again came to me, and I wondered, what could that be? I looked and looked and could not find the source of the strangest thing to touch my ears.

“That’s a bird,” my mommy said.

Okay. Whatever that is.

I kept trying to find the sound. I could not sniff for it, touch it, it just filled my ears.

And then I learned what birds were, things to chase and potential friends, if only I could catch them and introduce myself. At first, I barked to let them know I was coming, but they flew away. And so I learned that I should sneak up on them and wag my tail. I got closer this way, but they still departed, singing harshly to my ears. Give me a chance, I wanted to bark at the flapping of their wings.

Training, a matter of perspective

In Dog communication, No is a bad word, Training pains, Who's Alpha DOG? on July 12, 2010 at 3:06 am

As if I need training! I know what the word “no” means, like duh. It’s short and very clear. It means stop what you’re doing, but I don’t necessarily want to stop what I’m doing.

First off, the whole potty thing was silly. You just do it where you find the right spot and circle around to get into the right position. It doesn’t matter if it’s inside or out. It just is.

Plus, I got sick of hearing “no,” getting squirted with water and all of the other forms of punishment Mommy inflicted on me. She didn’t understand how it was. I did, though. I barked at the door, and then I got let out. I barked at the door, and I got let in. And then I did it all day long, in and out, the door opening and closing, and it was so cool because it was like I was in two places at once. I had my dog friends to bark with outside. And inside, I could watch the horses when I sat on the arm of the easy chair in the living room. Or I could grab a snack from my Kong or go for cuddles and pets.

But then I would hear a dog bark, and I wanted to go back outside to bark back, because I can’t text a bark. We dogs communicate from yard to yard, au natural, not via electronic devices that take away the free, outdoorsy feel of living.

We also chew. We are philosophical about it: I am a dog, therefore I chew. But when I was a puppy, I did not know what was chew appropriate and what wasn’t. It had to be pointed out to me with “no,” “no” and “no!” I liked chewing furniture because it’s really big and if I can alter the shape of something, I’ve proven my creative abilities, but I had to give up that habit. Those “no’s” really got to me. They are so negative, and I’m all about positive energy. I want to be petted and loved 24-7, so I let Mommy think she’s alpha dog, but I know I still am because I am the one who chooses to be good. She didn’t make me. I did it on my own.

Leaving Miss Zoey

In Holidays, My family, The importance of play, Why leave, Words I know on July 5, 2010 at 2:42 am

I don’t care what day it is. A day is a day, and today was not one of my favorites, at least for five hours of it. It started out so swell when my daddy, who is Shelley’s Dad, came over to see me. I saw his van and got so excited. He gave me a belly rub and off we were into playtime. And then he and mommy left me. I sat on my mommy’s Mom’s lap while she read a book, and all these bangs went off, but I didn’t bark at all of them, just the loud ones and at the other people and dogs I could see out the front window.

Shelley and daddy came back and played with me, and then my people left me for five long hours, but I slept, so it was all right, I guess. I hate being left in the house when I am part of the family. I could smell Sophie on daddy when he came home, and I felt jealous. Why wasn’t I included?

I don’t have much to say about what this day (Fourth of July, I think it is) means, because I don’t get the big deal about all the things people talk about. I know about 50 words, like “sit” and those types, along with “wave,” “bath,” “treat,” “good girl,” “come on up” and the best of all, “Isn’t she so cute?”

But then I heard, “Isn’t she bossy,” as my mommy’s Mom asked daddy. Daddy said I’m bossy after dinnertime. No, I am not that. I just want to play, and daddy should know that I like to play after I eat. I stay with daddy sometimes and with mommy other times, though daddy is Shelley’s Dad, so it is very confusing. That story will come later, because it’s part of our description of our being together. Now, it’s time for play, so “good-bye,” another word I know.