Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

A Dog’s Recommendations for Reading

In Dog Books, Shelley Widhalm on September 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey the Cute Dachshund recommends dog-related books.

Zoey the Cute Dachshund recommends dog-related books.

I’ve been reading some nonfiction books about the dog life, which I recommend pet owners check out to learn about improving their relationship with us.

When you adopt us, I suggest you read about training dogs and training our particular breed, plus taking us to puppy kindergarten to teach us basic commands and household manners.

Beyond that, reading about dog intelligence, dog behavior and developing a human-canine relationship helps you understand why we act the way we do. To get a perspective on how our behavior plays out, I recommend nonfiction stories, particularly those about pet owners raising, training and loving their dogs.

Here are two I find particularly useful:

“Oogy: the dog only a family could love,” by Larry Levine, 2010, is about a Dogo abused in a dog-fighting ring that lost an ear and half his jaw and the family that loved him, Larry and Jennifer Levin and their twin sons, Dan and Noah. Oogy, dubbed the third twin, is a loyal companion despite his initial mistreatment as a puppy.

Dan walks Oogy every morning and, like me, Oogy wants to meet everyone he saw. At first because he looks like a bulldog, a few people were afraid of him, but they changed their minds when they experienced his gentle, affectionate nature.

Oogy serves as a source of inspiration, a resilient, survivor with a sweet demeanor despite his harrowing beginnings. He shows that happiness, love and hope are possible.

The second book I recommend is “Izzy & Lenore: Two dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me,” by Jon Katz, 2008, about Jon’s work on his New York Bedlam Farm and as a hospice volunteer with Izzy, a border collie rescue, and later, Lenore, a Labrador puppy he adopts midway through the book.

Katz describes how getting a new dog changed his outlook and that having a dog can take you new places.

My favorite part of the book is about breeders, rescuers and trainers using a term called “hitting the jackpot” to describe how a dog and human find each other and mesh perfectly. They complement each other and meet at the right time in their lives.

This, I believe, is the case with my BFF Shelley and me. We have the same colored fur (or hair), long noses and long, lean bodies. We love to play, run and relax – Shelley with a book and me with a rawhide.

And we get each other – she can read my eyes and body language and I can read hers in order to get what I want and need in love and life.

I’d say it’s an unexpected journey, one with lots of human-canine love.

A Dog’s Reflective Nature

In All About Me, Being Cute, Shelley Widhalm on September 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

I am cute as you can see on this sunny day.

I am cute as you can see on this sunny day.

The essential ingredients of being a cute dog are vast, of which I possess nearly most of them.

Take a basic dog – whether of a particular breed or a mix, or mutt – as your starting point.

Fold in markings on the fur, unless you prefer the solid colors of silky whites, luscious browns or shiny blacks.

The markings could be dappled, spots or random; they could highlight or hide the eyes, as if behind a fur mask; or they could give outline to the ears, put a stripe down the back or toss in a random sock.

Add a dash of personality to the tail, which could be short and stubby, long and thin, or a fan with floating wheat as excitement elicits rapid thumps.

Small ripples start tail end to measure a wary pause, first making sure the other – a person or a dog or cat – might be interested. The whip quickens with eagerness at your home arrival, a new smell or a startling sound, sudden and arresting.

Spend extra time with the eyes, stirring in the love they give back to you. Notice the small flickers of emotion, riddled with secret messages that take your heartbeat to interpret.

Take in the face – even when in repose with one ear twitching against air currents carrying tiny vibrations of possibility – this is where you know you are smitten. You see your dog as cute, darling, beautiful, a wonder that you are starting to understand one another.

You begin to see the world slightly different because of the fur, tail and eyes that do not need words to resonate with layered meanings.

Zoey’s Admirers

In All About Me, Being Cute, Cute Dogs, Shelley Widhalm on September 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

I'm posing for the camera dressed up for the day, bow and all.

I’m posing for the camera dressed up for the day, bow and all.

I may only weigh 10 pounds, but I got an image and reputation that is nearly infinite.

Call me Zoey. Ask for my paw print. And take my photograph.

I walk the green grass (my version of the Red Carpet).

A very cute miniature long-haired dachshund, I am known by name by strangers and dog lovers alike. If only there were “Dogs, Weekly,” or “Dogs” (instead of “Us, Weekly,” and “People”), then my mug shot would be worldwide, instead of just here on Fourth Street.

My BFF Shelley reported to me that while I waited outside her favorite coffee shop a couple of weeks ago, she meet a friend of a friend, and that friend said, “So, that’s the Zoey?”

“You’ve heard about her?” Shelley asked.

The friend of a friend said that he had and went outside to meet me.

The thing is I have an image.

People want to pet me, even to the point of lining up at my table. They know my name before they know Shelley’s. And they ask Shelley to take my photograph.

My image, in part, results from my own hard work. I’m full-time friendly and wag my tail, inviting passersby to stop to pet me. I search up and down the street, eyeing potential petters of me.

It helps that I have a very darling face (as reported by others, because I don’t look in a mirror very often, because I just know and don’t need reminders).

In fact, I have star quality and am the lead in a few videos and the subject of multiple photos.

Pondering Dog Treats

In All About Me, Shelley Widhalm, Treats on September 8, 2013 at 11:30 am

I am passionate about doggie treats and fearful of not getting attention.

As a lover of the good food, I will wait out eating my organic dog food in hope that something better will come along.

These better things include rawhides, human food, table food, good food and meaty, cheesy dog treats.

As for attention, I like it in all forms from being told I’m cute, pretty and darling, to getting petted, to playtime and run-around-the-backyard-while-people-watch-me time.

To demonstrate these two passions, here a few photos:

I particularly like to chew on rawhide.

I particularly like to chew on rawhide.

I am seeking pets and attention while sitting atop a coffee shop table.

I am seeking pets and attention while sitting atop a coffee shop table.

I'm telling you, "Come here and pet me! Now!"

I’m telling you, “Come here and pet me! Now!”

Dog Blogger

In Being Cute, Seeking attention, Shelley Widhalm, Uncategorized on September 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey the Lapdog is hard at work blogging on her borrowed laptop.

Zoey the Lapdog is hard at work blogging on her borrowed laptop.

I’ve got my paw on the secrets of blogging.

My name is Zoey, and as the CEO of Cuteness, I write as “Zoey’s Paw.” I am a cute, darling and pretty miniature long-haired dachshund with a big personality in life and on the page.

I started blogging in June 2008 as a co-blogger with my BFF Shelley, who writes as “Shell’s Ink.” She writes about the process of writing and the writer’s life, while I write about the dog’s life, anything from why I like and deserve treats to why dogs need attention, playtime, exercise and walks.

My blogs are based on research from books about dogs and some online stuff, too, plus personal experience. This, I believe, makes them interesting and insightful, while also providing material on dog behavior, personality and survival needs, plus plushy but just as necessary wants.

Blogging isn’t just for humans, but is beneficial for dogs (and maybe even cats) to do for several reasons, including:

• I learn new stuff, like what my different barks communicate to humans.
• I’m a better researcher, which adds to my skills of digging and smelling while running around outside or taking leash walks. I can better understand and put into words what I’m experiencing instead of just experiencing it; i.e. I’m smarter.
• I connect with other humans who love dogs and the few canines out there who do blog (we’re an elite bunch).
• I’m a better writer, because practice makes perfect.

And last but not least, I get to see my photos all over the web, plus expand my fan club so they can admire me and see just how cute I am. After all, I am the CEO of Cuteness.

See my BFF Shelley’s blog at shelleywidhalm.wordpress.com