Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

A Dog’s Pace

In Being Cute, Play time, Shelley Widhalm on February 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

Zoey takes a nap anyway she can.

As a miniature dachshund, I find pacing to be a silly concept.

There are two types of pacing: napping and playing.

In my napping pace, I curl into a loose ball atop the couch pillows or next to the edge of my doggie bed. I don’t go anywhere, so if you were watching me, you would see how cute I am with my eyes closed.

I bet you could watch me for a long, long time, because I sigh, I switch positions and I snap open my eyes when I hear noises, then return to dreamland.

Oh, is that too slow for you?

Well, join me for a run as I shoot out the door, stop to sniff at the feral cat area by the shed and bark as I hurry along the fence to return to the porch. I lift my snout and sniff. I better run another lap, and so I do.

That’s the fast pace.

So is playing when I engage in tug-of-war, a game of chase or go after my balls and toys that are thrown to the end of the hall.

A medium pace is for going on walks, when I mosey along, stopping at all fire hydrants, light poles, trees and flower beds to sniff and sniff. I become investigative as I slow down and then annoyed when I get pulled away from my dreamy wondering about which dogs had come by this or that spot.

“Come on, Zoey,” I hear as I’m lifted by my harness as if I’m flying through the air. I quicken my pace with paws circling until I land. I dig in, wanting to stay.

You see, I don’t want to keep pace with humans when I’ve got my own path to follow.

Cute Dog to the 100th Power

In All About Me, Being Cute, Shelley Widhalm on February 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Though a picture may be worth a thousand words, that number is too small to describe me.

One picture won’t due either.

I am Zoey, an amazingly, exceedingly, excessively cute miniature dachshund. I am so cute that people stop me, even in PetSmart where shoppers already have dogs, to ooh and ah.

They tell Shelley, my pet parent, that I am adorable, cute and beautiful, plus a whole bunch of other adjectives that make me want to lift my snout.

Though I could go on and on, I know that description should be concrete, concise and careful, while evoking the senses.

My favorite sense is smell, especially when snow blankets the ground. I like lifting my face when it falls, letting it wet my whiskers and clump to my fur as I begin to climb.

At nine pounds, I can stand on top of snow once the wind blows it into piles, using my snout to push it over the edge. I like watching it fall like shavings from a white crayon, sticking to the white already there.

In the summer, the grass is like little fans that wave, lifting the sweat of the heat into a sweet smell, edged with bitter lemon.

Best of all is running when all these smells come at me, the grass, a neighbor’s grill, human sweat, the markings of other dogs on the fence and my own panting breath.

I stop.

I could have been describing myself, but instead I described my surroundings. I guess I’ll have to let my picture speak for itself. Aren’t I cute? How cute? Cute to the 100th power, times Pi, or 3.14, divided by one.

That would be me, the number one cute dog in the world.

A Dog’s Voice

In A keen barker, Being Cute, Shelley Widhalm on February 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

Though smaller, Zoey the Super Dog has a big bark.

A dog’s voice is, at the surface, a matter of his or her bark.

But it’s more than that.

The quality of the bark – shrill and yippy, low and rumbling, or quick repetitive snaps like clapping – is based, in part, on breed. But how that bark is executed differs according to the individual dog.

Take me, a nine-pound miniature dachshund. Looking at my cute face, you would think my bark would be kind of small and quiet, but it’s big and deep and has a lot of growl – at least at times when I need to show you who’s the big dog of us two.

Voice is how I tell my story.

I have a certain bark for treats.

And one for the noises I don’t like.

And a bark for the trains.

If I am outside, I howl at their rumble on tracks and the scream of the whistle, long, short, short, repeating as if we don’t know there’s something speeding through town.

I bark from the patio to tell the world here I am.

Zoey, super dog.

I bark, therefore I am.

Dog Talk

In Shelley and Zoey, Shelley Widhalm on February 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

This is how it should be, Shelley and I together, not separated by 100 miles!

Animal communication doesn’t require dialogue, as such, but it does take being able to communicate through the heart, the eyes and the mind.

Shelley, my pet parent, dropped me off at her dad’s house for three weeks, though I don’t know what three weeks is or three hours either. I just know she’s gone, gone, gone, and I want her back.

I am sending her a message to come get me.

Right now, her dad is seeing me pout, only perking up to go outside and run around the back yard. I like barking at the noises from other dogs and the trucks driving by on to the next town.

I get left here twice a year, once during winter so Shelley can work on her writing, and once in the summer during her vacation.

Shelley’s dad likes that I come, so he can spend lots of time with me, playing our games of chase, tug-of-war and keep away. He likes letting me sit on his lap when he works at the computer or when I cuddle next to him when he reads or does puzzles.

Sure, I think he’s a great guy and all, but he’s not my person.

I snuggled tight smack against Shelley when we visited her dad last weekend before she abandoned me. I kept track of her, continually on the lookout for any signs of packing.

On the third day of the visit, her stuff got put in its bags.

Mine didn’t.


After she left, Shelley made it clear that she’s missing me. I can feel it in my heart, a message from hers that she doesn’t like coming home without my tail-thumping greeting. She doesn’t like leaving for work in the morning, when she gives me treats and says, “I’m going to work. Be a good girl.”

She doesn’t like the quiet.

Oh wait, I hear a noise. I start barking and scratch at the door. I gotta go. There’s sounds for me to investigate, I realize as I take off running around and around the back yard. I’m barking as I forget, at least for a few minutes, that I’m missing Mom.