Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Unlimited without Shrinkage (or on being a cute dog)

In All About Me, Being Cute, Shelley Widhalm on August 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

I'm all about cuteness quality.

I’m all about cuteness quality.

My cuteness is unlimited (as I pretty much explained in my last blog, “The process vs. the product of being cute”).

In that blog, I left out a few important details, like being cute is both a product of personality and of looking good.
It also is a process of making sure others know the fact.

Otherwise, my quality of cuteness could shrink in my eyes and in the eyes of potential admirers because nobody is noticing.

Think of the tree that falls in the forest and no one is there to listen … if I am not reminded of my cuteness, would I retain my position as CEO of Cuteness?

Good question.

The answer is of course, particularly because I’ve never been in a situation of being told I’m not so cute. In other words, I was wrong, my cuteness can’t shrink.

I’d like to explain. As the CEO of Cuteness, I am the cutest dachshund this side of the Mississippi. This is confirmed by how often I am told that I am cute, pretty, darling and beautiful. Yep, as I take walks, explore the pet stores and hang out at coffee shops, my admirers stop to adore and pet me, gorgeous me.

I know the word “pretty,” as evidenced by how I wag my tail whenever I hear it spoken, communicating to my admirers that I understand the word. I’ve heard it so often, like no!, down and good girl (okay, okay, and bad girl) that it’s become part of my working vocabulary.

As a result, I’ve become a bit addicted to being told that I am cute, plus I act cute by waving my paws when I want to be petted, cocking my head when I’m trying to figure out what humans are saying and turning quick, yelp-filled circles when I get excited.

In conclusion, I want to confirm that I am the CEO of being cute, acting cute and the word “cute.”

See Shelley’s blog at shelleywidhalm.wordpress.com

The Process vs. the Product of Being Cute

In All About Me, Being Cute, Cute Dogs, Shelley Widhalm on August 18, 2013 at 11:30 am


Being cute takes work.

As a long-haired miniature dachshund with pizzazz, I not only need to appear cute, but I have to act cute.

Granted when my BFF Shelley took me home at 9 weeks, I already was cute and adorable with my stubby rounded nose, floppy ears and large eyes, the typical softened features of the young.

Even porcupines and hippopotamuses are adorable in their fuzziness.

With me, I didn’t stop being cute as I grew into an adult, because I employed both the process of and the product of cuteness.

Here’s how I acted cute as a puppy:

• The first time I heard a bird sing, I cocked my head and looked around, wonderment in my eyes.
• During my first snowstorm, I was light enough to walk on top of the snow until it started melting, and then I fell in. My face showed shock and surprise. “Why had that changed?” I said with my eyes.
• I played hard until exhaustion, dropped for two minutes of sleeping, jumped back up and played some more.
• When it snowed, I liked standing on the snow piles and biting at the falling snow or pushing it off with my nose to watch it fall.
• I ran around the coffee table, barking, squealing and wagging my tail when Shelley came home from work, greeting her with all my love and enthusiasm.

As a cute adult dog:

• I stand on my hind legs and cross my paws when I want something.
• I run halfway up to the landing in our walk-up and peer down at Shelley, tilting my head as if saying, “Well, aren’t you coming?”
• I sit tall and proud on coffee shop tables, watching the passersby, wiggling my tail in hopes they’ll stop and pet me.

Now, here’s some physical evidence of my cuteness, or the product of my being cute. I’ve been told I’m pretty, have an adorable face, have dainty features and have beautiful fur. See for yourself.

Dog Clubs 101

In Dog Clubs, Shelley Widhalm on August 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

I want you to join my club!

I want you to join my club!

There’s book clubs, writing clubs, service clubs and clubs of special interests for humans, but there isn’t anything for dogs (or cats).

There are dog parks, doggie day camps and doggie play dates.

And there are breed specific clubs, such as the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, the Labrador Retriever Club and the National Greyhound Association, as well as the Dachshund Club of America (my favorite, by the way).

Though I would like to join the Dachshund Club of America and meet up with other dachshunds, the club is for breeders and dog owners. These humans want to show off how their dogs compete in agility courses, perform training tricks and compare in confirmation, or how closely an individual dog meets the ideal breed standard.

These clubs aren’t about us.

I would like to find (or even start) a dog club that meets once a week, such as in a dog-friendly coffee shop, where we could sit at our own table and bark, whine and howl.

I think a smelling or hearing club would be ideal, so we could trade tricks on how to improve our senses and find good sources of smells.

We’d discuss business over our dog-friendly cups of water and dog-licious treats. We might even select a club president, a role I don’t want because I prefer being the secretary. I like to take notes and am quite literate, unlike some dogs that don’t blog.

Once we got the formalities squared away, we would plan dog outings free of leashes (and humans), visit dog-friendly places and experience the great outdoors, running wild and free in our new pack.

This club is henceforth the Dachshund Club of a Particularly Smart Breed.

A Dog’s Play Skills

In Finding friends, Shelley Widhalm, The importance of play on August 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey plays with her golden retriever friend, Sophie.

Zoey plays with her golden retriever friend, Sophie.

Why I like playing with other dogs is actually a question I can’t answer.

You see, I don’t like playing with other dogs unless they are my size or smaller. And then the playtime is short in duration, because I’m not really that interested.

Despite how I feel, Shelley, my BFF, takes me to PetSmart’s doggie day care, which is nice of her and all, but I want to be hanging out with the people, not the dogs. Though doggie day camp is about dogs playing with each other, I desire that the staff people only pay attention to me.

When Shelley took me there late last month, I engaged in the butt sniffing, “hello” routine with a couple of small dogs, but then I went into the play slide structure where I could hide. It took me awhile to warm up, though I preferred following staff around and getting their attention to playing with other dogs.

My attitude is evident in the “Pawgress Reports” PetSmart provides at the end of each day care session. Typically, mine report that I hang back, act loving with the staff and do not eat (I don’t eat when my routine is interrupted).

Here are some examples of comments from my reports:

• Zoey loved playing with Oliver the Bichon and Cocoa the Morkie. We love this sweet princess.
• She loved hanging out with the smaller dogs, making good friends with Maggie, a schnauzer.
• She loved day care today. She made a new friend, Cricket the Papillion. She also loved the attention from our associates.
• She unfortunately didn’t have any buddies her size to play with today. She was curious about a larger beagle mix but didn’t want to play with him. She spent a lot of time hanging out with the associates getting a lot of attention.
• She loved all her little pals today. Her new best friend was a tiny Chihuahua named Paris. They stuck together like glue. And, of course, she loved getting attention from the staff.
• She loved getting attention from the staff. She is definitely a people dog.

Do you notice a pattern here? I love, just love getting attention, the people kind, not so much the dog kind.

But at the end of the day (hah, I’m achieving a double entendre in a cliché) when Shelley picks me up, I wiggle my tail, excited to see her but also to get back home. And every time she drops me off, I cling and lean into her.

Don’t make me go, but then I get used to my new place and make due.