Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Dog communication, Going on walks, Inclusion, Looking for friends, The importance of play on November 28, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I’m not shy, of course, but I am in want of many friends; like today when I met a mixed breed named Sparky. We were both out on walks with our owners, and we both wanted to do our smell-each-other’s-butts greeting. We did our circle-about dance, and just as we were ready to get into the serious business of play, Sparky’s owner said, “Come on, let’s go, Sparky.”

I chased after Sparky, moving my legs faster than the leash would allow, but Shelley wouldn’t let me meet up with my new friend, no matter how hard I tried.

Fortunately, I saw my friend again when we were on another block, and Shelley and the guy with Sparky let us re-greet and play, but only for about five minutes.

The problem is I’m very social and do not get enough attention. I need it 24-7, minus the time I’m sleeping. What I do get is being left home alone for eight hours while Shelley’s at work. She stops in for her breaks, but that’s still four plus four hours of aloneness. And then when Shelley comes home, she has to make dinner and do all these things before she plays with me.

I need stimulation. I need friends. And I need to feel included and a part of things. I don’t need to be sitting around on my day bed, moping and waiting for the click of the key in the doorknob.

I am what you call hail-fellow-well-met, but put in princess for the “fellow” part.

With all of my social skills, I still can take a beaten-dog approach when I see the vacuum cleaner or don’t want a leash put on me. I want to run free. I want to be my own dog. I have an owner, and she’s making all the rules. It’s not fair. I can’t be myself, at least for eight hours when the only exciting thing to do is sleep or try to figure out the sources of all the noises. I like looking out the window here and there. But it’s calling out to the emptiness that my barking becomes, a meaningless banter when what I need is to play, play, play!

Miss Jealousy

In Center of attention, Dog communication, Left out, Why leave on November 21, 2010 at 8:34 am

I am too young to have my mother gone, my real mother, the one who gave birth to me. I consider Shelley to be my mother. But sometimes, she is gone, and I don’t like that. An hour or two is okay, but eight, no thanks. What’s she doing all day anyway?

I’m a bit concerned about the fact that Shelley is not talking about me in her – what is that word? It rhymes with frog and jog. She’s said that word, and it’s what we do once a week. Actually, it’s her translating my thoughts as I bark them to her, and I sit there next to her, telling her what to write.

Why is Shelley not talking about me? I am the center of attention, or should be. I want my people to be with me, talking to me and petting me and loving on me. That way I know everything is all right with the world. As long as I am on Shelley’s mind, and her mom’s, too, and her dad’s, plus her brother Brian’s, at least once in awhile, then I know that I am not just some wild animal trying to fit into a human world. I am, in fact, one of them.

Oh why, why, am I being left out?

Talk about me, Shelley, oh come on.


Rabble Rouser

In Back yard princess, Dog communication, Let's be friends, Woof! Woof! on November 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

 My mom Shelley and her mom call me a rabble rouser. What does that even mean? I don’t have a doggie dictionary to look up the word. I can’t bark out my question. What am I to do?

Sure, I want friends. What cute girl dachshund doesn’t want friends?

I have a friend across the fence at Shelley’s mom’s house. She’s a white mixed breed, and when I hear her bark, I bark and rush to the door to be let out back. I run to the fence and bark, and the girl dog and I run along the fence, saying hello, hello, how are you!!! The girl dog gets in trouble and a man yells her name, and she has to go inside.

I like to bark when I’m outside. I’m here, I’m saying. Come on over, and we can play, I add.

And I get barks back.

I run to the other side of the house, where there are three big dogs. I bark at them. Let’s play, I say.

When I’m inside the house or Shelley’s apartment, I bark when I hear unfamiliar noises, people talking or other dogs barking. I’m just responding to my environment, but Shelley says, “No!” or “Stop!” and being somewhat obedient, I stop for five seconds and restart my end of the conversation.

Oh no, it’s the water bottle. I am quiet now, a good girl trying to keep her bark inside. But barks need to be outside, out loud and in the world where they can be heard, a conversation without pause when we are all engaged.

Left Behind

In Alone, Don't leave me all day!, Looking for friends, Why leave on November 7, 2010 at 8:28 am

 I don’t want to be left all day. It’s kind of getting old how every morning Shelley, my mommy, eats and shares a bite with me, then leaves for eight whole hours. Half of the time she comes back for a short time, and then leaves me again.

I get really excited when she comes home at dinnertime, and I wag my tail and lie down on my back for a belly rub.

I need to be reassured that I am loved.

When she is gone, I spend my time sleeping in my doggie bed or on the couch. I like to sleep in the sunny spots on the floor, and when I’m tired of sleeping, I walk from room to room looking for Shelley. If I hear voices outside or something loud, I bark. “Here I am!” I say. Nobody comes. I am all alone.

Shelley’s dad came for a visit over Halloween weekend – I had to wear a silly mechanic’s shirt – and I gave him a so-so greeting. I don’t know why I did that. Maybe I’m getting attached to Shelley. But when he left two days later, I stayed at the door for a half-hour and whined and cried. I keep getting left behind. Why is that? I don’t know if and when he’ll come back. I’m just a dog after all.