Archive for November, 2014|Monthly archive page

Doggie Playtime

In Shelley and Zoey, Shelley Widhalm on November 30, 2014 at 11:30 am

Zoey's got her toys to play with.

Zoey’s got her toys to play with.

As a very cute miniature dachshund, I need to explain a little about the importance of playtime.

Dogs need to play to learn, exercise, maintain health and experience the world around them. Genetically predisposed to be flexible and adaptable, they like novelty in their play. New toys and variety in games help stimulate their brains and keep them mentally active.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t need to force themselves to exercise, which for us is play. We naturally run, which is one of our favorite things to do and we don’t need any motivation to do so. We run from scent to scent if you let us off leash in a dog park or backyard, or even on our walks.

In the wild, we have to be good runners to chase our prey or to avoid being such. Running hasn’t been bred out of us through domestication, so that’s why a daily walk isn’t enough.

Exercise and play allow us to expend our pent-up energy, while also relieving stress and providing a mental break, just as it does for humans. It helps keep us healthy, agile and limber and makes us sleepy by bedtime, instead of restless. I’ve read that dogs that don’t get regular exercise will chew, dig and act destructively to seek attention (not that I’ve ever done that, not at all).

Some good games to get us to run include playing fetch, find it, hide-and-seek, and keep away, a game where we dodge away from you as we hold a toy (or sock, which I like) in our mouths.

Mental exercises also burn off energy, such as food puzzle toys, agility courses, obedience and trick training, and chew toys.

I’ve read that we need 20 to 30 minutes of running every day as a minimum. Note that I need all hours that I am awake to be told that I’m cute. Thank you.

Dog Blogger blogs about smells

In Shelley and Zoey, Shelley Widhalm on November 23, 2014 at 11:30 am

Zoey loves to use her sense of smell.

Zoey loves to use her sense of smell.

Dogs don’t journal but this dog blogs.

I blog about my very interesting life, about how cute I am and how everyone wants to pet me and adore me. I blog about dog behavior, dog communication and the best training practices to get dogs to behave and show good manners.

This week, I think I’ll blog about my favorite sense, that of smell, especially when food is involved. I experience my world first through smells of different types and intensities, tracking and exploring them to obtain my information.

When my BFF Shelley takes me on a walk, I have to stop at every brick wall, light pole, street sign and grassy area to check out the smells and find out how many other dogs stopped by. If I do encounter another dog (hopefully not big), we’ll engage in mutual sniffing to greet each other, as if shaking hands or exchanging business cards with our essential information, such as sex, breed and mood.

I can separate smells into distinct odors and don’t blend them, but I don’t do so well with sight, because, unlike humans who can distinguish the full color spectrum, I only see blues, yellows and grays; plus, I use vision as a secondary sense to confirm what I already know.

With sound, I am better than my human counterparts. I can hear higher-pitched sounds and am quicker at identifying a sound’s direction.

If you hear me (or other dogs) whimper or whine I might be telling you that I’m hurt or that I want something. If I yelp, I might be hurt or terrified. If I growl, it’s likely I’m fearful, angry or demonstrating threat to another animal or human. And when repeated barking occurs, I’m telling you I’m excited.

What gets me most excited is learning that someone read my blog and hit Like, the instant recognition that not only do I look cute, I sound cute.

Dog Days of Winter

In Dog Blogger, Shelley and Zoey, Shelley Widhalm on November 17, 2014 at 2:04 am

Zoey's cuteness factor is framed in this snow sculpture.

Zoey’s cuteness factor is framed in this snow sculpture.

If I were to journal about my life, I would, as the cutest dachshund ever, write about how I start each day cuddling with my BFF Shelley and then when she starts getting up, I zoom under the bed.

That’s because I don’t want her to take me on my morning walk. It doesn’t matter that I have to go potty. The point is I don’t want to leave my warm bubble of sleepy time, especially now with temperatures at 0 degrees. Plus, when it rains or snows, like it is now, I don’t want to get my paws wet.

For some reason and nearly every day, Shelley lures me out from under with treats that she puts in a three-part path that gets me every time, though I tell myself, “Stay.” I don’t, letting my hunger overcome my desire for comfort.

So, here’s what happens: I eat the treats and feel a hand come under my belly. I’m placed on the counter. My harness is put on and the leash snapped in place. I’m taken down the hall to the elevator and placed on the elevator floor. At the ground floor and outside, I walk two steps to a planter bed, go potty and run back to the door.

I am done. I want to go back upstairs to warm, coziness. And that’s just my morning.

Shelley goes to work, and I just hang out, sleeping and barking at noises. When Shelley comes home, she walks me again and takes me somewhere where people love on me, and then we go to bed.

It’s a good life, even if the morning routine I’m subjected to is not how I want to start my day.

Doggie Depression (regarding NaNoWriMo)

In NaNoWriMo, Sad Dogs, Writing on November 3, 2014 at 12:48 am

I am very sad right now.

I am very sad right now.

I am wary about my BFF Shelley participating in NaNoWriMo, where she just sits around and types all day. I think she should play with me at all hours, or give me food and then play with me.

I am very depressed write now (I mean right), and can’t blog this week.

Here’s what my BFF Shelley has to say about the silly month where all she’s going to do is write a novel: