Archive for May, 2015|Monthly archive page

Loving your pet releases endorphins

In All About Me, Cute Dogs, Loving Your Dog on May 31, 2015 at 11:30 am

I'm getting love from my BFF Shelley's dad. Don't I look happy and cute?

I’m getting love from my BFF Shelley’s dad. Don’t I look happy and cute?

Just so you know, more than half of American households have a pet, and in 2014, pet owners spent $58 billion on us.

I would like my BFF Shelley to spend more than a few hundred on me. And I would like more attention from her and everyone else I encounter, because I’m an attention hound. In fact, I’m a very cute miniature dachshund that seeks attention, love and pets from anyone she encounters. I like the contact, my way of communicating through letting human hands touch my fur.

I’ve learned that pet owners report they’re happier and having a pet gives their life more meaning through the interactions they have with us. In fact, researchers found that people who frequently kiss their dogs have higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin.

Dogs make good friends and companions. We’re sensitive to human behavior, and like humans, we vocalize our emotions and react to the emotional nuances of human speech. I make a large yawning, whining noise when I feel left out and want attention. I squeal when I know I’m about to feel human hands on my back. And I yip if I want people to come to me now.

In other words, I use my voice and my wiggly body scooting closer in to let people know that I need that social interaction bred into me.

Dog Journaler Loves to Write

In Cute Dogs, Dog Journaler, Dog Writer on May 24, 2015 at 11:30 am

Here I am with one of my journals. It has my picture on it!

Here I am with one of my journals. It has my picture on it!

I am a dog who likes to journal. I am a dog blogger, a dog writer and a journaler.

I have lots to say about being a dog, being a cute dog and how to treat your dog, so that she knows she is loved and cared for and safe and comfortable.

Here is an example from one week of my journals:

  • Monday: Go with my BFF Shelley, my pet parent, to the coffee shop where they allow dogs and sit with her, while she works on her writing. Go with Shelley to the gym in her apartment building, where I get a treat and she runs on the treadmill.
  • Tuesday: Nap while Shelley goes to work. Wag my tail and wiggle my whole body when she comes home. Pout when she has to leave again, though she gives me a treat and says she’s sorry but will be back soon, very soon.
    How long is “soon?”
  • Wednesday: Nap while Shelley goes to work. Bark when she comes home in response to some loud noises in the hall, but she says, “No bark.” No what?
  • Thursday: Wait for Shelley to come home from work. Grab at her papers to get her to play and squeal in delight when she does. Get out teddy bears for tug-of-war.
  • Friday: More of the same. Come on Shelley, stop going to work.
  • Saturday: Work again? Seriously!
  • Sunday: Shelley’s mine again. She has a day off. That means playtime.

Dog Journaler’s Advice for Journaling

In Dog Journaler, Dog Writer, Journaling on May 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

I am freeplaying before I do some freewriting in my dog journal.

I am freeplaying before I do some freewriting in my dog journal.

As a very cute dachshund, I have a lot to write about and reflect upon.

I, in particular, like to write about how everyone loves me. To do this, I keep a journal to write about a few important things, including, well, of course, how cute I am.

Here are a few ideas for keeping a journal (whether or not you are a dog or love dogs).

  • Freewriting: I like to write about myself, other dogs and cats, plus beautiful nature and the types of treats I like.
  • Daily diary writing: Mine would be I woke up, I hid under the bed while my BFF Shelley went to work, so I could pout, and I eagerly awaited her return home, so we could go on a walk, play and hang out together.
  • Collecting sketches and images: I would suggest of dogs, especially dachshunds, and cats.
  • Notes: I would suggest writing about me and my cuteness factor.
  • Ideas: I would suggest collecting ideas about how to spoil your dog (or cat).
  • Writing exercises: This is for those writer-ly types.

Canine Poet on Poetry

In Being Cute, Canine Poetry, Poetry on May 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

I really like what my BFF Shelley wrote this week about writing poems. Here is her blog:


Typically, I write poems on scraps of paper or on my laptop—but when I tried typing a poem on a typewriter, I felt halted and also inspired by the process.

I attended a People’s Market last month in downtown Loveland, an artisan fair of white tents and booths around the Foote Lagoon, a geese-filled pond with the city’s civic center as the backdrop.

One of the booths featured the Poets’ Stop with an open mic and games to spark poem creation. The games included a set of word tiles that can be arranged into a few words or one word to give a starting place to write, blank paper to leave or take a poem, and paper in the typewriter to manually type up the verses.

“You should write a poem,” one of the poets, who I know from poetry open mics, said to me as I was gathering material for a news photograph (i.e. for my day job). I figured I could sneak in a poem while on the clock, so I sat down at a foldout table in front of one of the two typewriters there.

My fingers felt stiff and awkward on the keys, unable to glide from letter to letter, because I had to press down each one. I had to think about the letters of the words I wrote, when normally there is little connection. I’m not conscious of the keyboard or placement of the letters, something that’s become automatic from practice.

This disconnection slowed my thinking and creation process as I thought about each line and each letter in the lines and what I wanted to type next.

As I typed, I had to move the bar to move the type to the next line, pulling me, for a few seconds, out of the poem and into the sounds of the geese and rumble of conversation. I entered and re-entered the poem, as if I was going over multiple speed bumps, chopping up the flow.

After I wrote the poem, the poet asked me if I would read it, and I did, finding it difficult to see the faded letters from not pressing hard enough on the keys. She said she liked it for showing how typing it made me reflective on the process of writing a poem.

Here is what I wrote:

I am unmoored by the

s tiff fore ign type writer

my thought s slowed by the mistakes of ke ys

that require pushing

hard like the book bind perfection in

grammar my fingers become insecure in the one hand

movement of this falling apart peom

the tool new but old in story

as I miss letters, slow paces,

no poem here. no. stop.

back to my comfort I returnn.

Canine Poet’s Congratulations

In Canine Poet, Canine Poetry on May 3, 2015 at 5:30 am

I am posing next to my journal (which has a picture of me on the cover). I write and read poetry, because I'm a really smart miniature dachshund.

I am posing next to my journal (which has a picture of me on the cover). I write and read poetry, because I’m a really smart miniature dachshund.

My BFF and writing partner, Shelley, entered the “Battle of the Bards” poetry contest hosted by the Poudre River Library District.

Her poem is called “Dad’s Swing Sets,” which was a finalist in the adult category. The finalists in all the categories read their poems at a poetry reading, Friday, April 24, at the Front Range Community College library (I wasn’t invited because I’m a dog).

The finalists’ poems will be printed in the 2015 Battle of the Bards poetry chapbook and a free library district e-book.

Here’s Shelley’s poem:

Dad’s Swing Sets

Shelley Widhalm


Under an oak tree

is where Dad built the swing,

two ropes and a board.

Dad’s hands on our backs,

feet touching the sky,

or seeming to,

matched with giggles

“More, more,”

Dorothy’s red shoes

lighten my feet.


At our next house

when we’re too big for pushing,

he gave us two swings,

cross bars, a rope, a trapeze.

Hours we laugh,

sunshine to our growing.


Dad digs all of it out,

four yellow grassy spots a reminder

of his building, fixing

swings wherever we live

to take us up to the sky

and back again to his hands,

long fingers, calloused,

strong, beautiful

to me.