Archive for the ‘Big dogs’ Category

A Dog’s Story Journey

In All About Me, Being Cute, Big dogs, Shelley Widhalm on May 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

I’ve figured out how to describe arc in storytelling.

Arc is something I need to know, because as the cutest dachshund this side of theMississippi, I’m writing a children’s story with me as the main character.

Arc is the path from the story’s beginning to the middle and to the end. The path has lots of nice smells along the way for me to stop, sniff and ponder.

In my story’s beginning, I plan to describe an incident that sets up the conflict. I can think of plenty, like all the big dogs that try to walk by without paying me any heed. I bark loud and long, just to let them know, “Here I am,” with an “Aren’t I cute?” thrown in for a conversation starter.

Conflict arises because they just look at me like, “Excuse me, Little Missy, but you are awfully small.” They don’t tell me I’m cute, but trot on ahead.

I don’t agree with their “awfully small” business. I’ve got a big dog bark to prove them wrong, so I say, “B-A-A-R-K!!”

The conflict escalates as I try to prove that I am a big dog (okay, I do weigh 9.5 pounds) as I wag my tail. I am trying to say, “Yes, I am tough, but I also want to be friends.”

I find it frustrating that they respond by putting their doggie noses in the air as if to say, “No thanks, you’re not one of us.”

“But I am,” I say with a smaller bark and more tail wags.

As they continue walking away, I know how this will end. I have to stay behind all sad and lonely, all because I forgot how to play nice when all I really wanted to do was say, “Hi.”

They don’t get it, those big dogs.

My story is not resolved because I have this penchant for barking, because as I’ve said before, I bark, therefore I am.

The end.

See Shelley my pet parent’s blog on arc at http://shelleywidhalm.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/a-storys-arc/


Kindergarten Puppy

In Big dogs, Learning commands, Puppy kindergarten, Training on August 28, 2011 at 7:00 am

I went through puppy kindergarten when I was six months old.

Shelley, my pet parent, didn’t cry, because she was with me the entire time.

I was the one who was anxious, not from separation anxiety but from not wanting to be in the training room at PetSmart. I wanted to go home. There were too many big dogs and little dogs. They were the unknown.

I turned my back and looked out the glass windows into the store, dreaming of being somewhere else, like the backyard, the park or anywhere where I could run and play.

When treats became involved, I would put on my game face and do whatever trick was required to get what I wanted: food! Of course, I had a learning curve to get over, but when I figured out what I was supposed to do, I would do it just for, well you know.

But then when the food wasn’t in the offering, I returned to window watching. And when we learned how to walk on a leash in the store, I headed for the door. Again, I wanted to go home. But no, the lesson wasn’t over.

I did eventually learn. And I got to wear a dog-sized graduation cap.

Yep, I’m a kindergarten graduate. And I passed intermediate training, so I have two certificates marking my achievements.

You can just call me Super Dog! Or say, You go girl!

Barking for My Boundaries

In Big dogs, Table top decor, Woof! Woof! on July 31, 2011 at 7:00 am

I definitely have boundaries to guard my property, which is the two feet of space around me, whether I’m on the patio or sitting atop a table at a coffee shop with my pet owner Shelley.

I guard my boundary against big dogs and small dogs, because I want to show that in my mind I am big.

Granted, I am a 9-pound miniature dachshund, but size doesn’t matter.

What matters is the strength of my loud, sharp bark.

As I bark, I wag my tail, but I don’t think the other dogs get that I’m being nice. I’m not telling them “no” and “go away.” What I’m saying is “hello” and “come here and play.”

For example, when I want Shelley to play with me, I stare at her and bark a loud snap into the air. She sometimes tells me, “I’m busy.” But if I keep at it, she’ll give in and play tug-of-war or fetch or just pet me. I think she does so because she wants me to be quiet.

What she doesn’t know is that I’ve figured her out. Even though I understand that three finger snaps and “No bark!” means I should stop, I don’t. The worse thing that happens is I go into timeout, and it’s not so bad napping in the bathroom.

Anyway, it’s great because even though Shelley tells me “no” about playing, she relents and I win.

Basically, I get to bark and play, too. Or put another way, I get my bone and get to eat it, too.



Coffee Shop Dog

In A keen barker, Big dogs, Coffee Shops, Finding friends, Table top decor on May 8, 2011 at 8:01 am

I have a new strategy for meeting people. I know that Shelley wants me to be a lapdog, but I’d rather not. The reason, in part, is it’s harder to get noticed. The other reason is I have things to do.

Sometimes when Shelley gets off of work, she takes me to Mandolin Café, a coffee and sandwich shop with a sidewalk patio. She plops me on one of the wire-mesh tables, having learned that I won’t stay on her lap.

Shelley pulls out her book or some writing stuff, and I sit tall and proud, watching up and downFourth St. I’m looking for people to stop by for a pet. I stare them down, wiggle my tail and pant. If they stop, I edge in closer for a bigger hello.

“She’s so cute? Is she a puppy? She’s so soft?” I hear over and over.

You betcha! I am a cute, cute long-haired Miniature Dachshund, 2.33 years old and 9 pounds.

I bark at the passerby dogs, especially the larger ones, such as the black-and-white Great Dane that stands four-feet plus tall. I believe myself to be big sitting on a tabletop because I can see above the heads of these dogs.

What happens is I bark, and Shelley says, “No.” That usually doesn’t work, so she pulls me tight against her to quiet me down as I wiggle to get away, telling me, “You’re a little dog.”

As if!

I am a big dog in my head, and that’s what counts. It’s all about not being shy about your size, right?

Big Bark-Little Dog

In Big dogs, Lap dog, Loud barks, Who's Alpha DOG? on April 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

One day last week, Shelley and I were at the Mandolin Cafe, the coffee shop we go to sometimes after she gets off work. I was a bit squirmy in Shelley’s lap, wanting to greet the people there who could pet me.

I obviously wasn’t interested in being a lapdog. What’s the point of that, just sitting there when there are balls to chase, smells to explore and people to meet?

So, we were sitting, or I was squirming and Shelley was trying to work on her laptop (by the way, how does Shelley figure her lap’s big enough for me and a computer?), when a Great Dane walked by followed by a medium, then a small-sized dog. I barked at the Dane, ready to take him or her on. I’ve got a big-dog bark, even though I weigh nine pounds and should have a yappy bark, right?

I’m brave as long as I’m sitting on Shelley’s lap, but if I were to meet the Dane on the street, I would stop in my tracks and cower.

But that’s beside the point.

So when I was barking at the Dane, everyone started laughing, apparently at the scene I had just made with my jumping, barking and growling. I don’t see why.

I can take any dog on, just by being, well you know.                         

To further prove my point, I do not share my toys, my rawhide or my balls, as you can be sure to ask my big-dog friends, Sophie, a Golden Retriever, and Sienna, a mix-breed. I’ve snapped at both of them, and they backed down.

That’s because I am one tough (and cute) Miniature Dachshund.

Big Bark, Little Dog

In Big dogs, Looking for friends, Loud barks, Training on January 30, 2011 at 8:19 am

I am not shy and don’t need some silly challenge to meet people. I, in fact, am ready and eager for new friends. As you can hear by my loud bark, I am inviting all dogs and people in the neighborhood to come over to play. I used to bark at the trains, but they never stop in their tracks. I quit, but once when a train blasted its horn, I howled to cancel out the sound drumming in my ears.

But when it comes to big dogs, I’m a little scared. If we’re on walks, Shelley has to pull me by my leash or pick me up, because I dig in my paws and won’t go forward. I don’t consider this not wanting to meet big dogs a matter of being shy. It’s self preservation.

In doggie training class on Saturday, what apparently is graduation day, someone said, “Zoey has a big bark for such a little dog.”

I had made lots of noise when a big dog had rolled on her back and scooted up to me in submission. I wanted her to go away. Even with my extra large bark, I do realize I am on the small end.

In the class, we did a race to use all of the new skills we’ve learned over the last seven weeks. I came in last place. Next came the proud parent photos. I overheard Shelley ask if I could still get my photo taken with this dog-size graduation cap even though we’re retaking the class.

We’re retaking the class? I have to go through all of this torture again? I’m always heading to the door or looking out the window, wanting to be in a better place. I don’t want to learn how to be a good dog. I want to just be me. Super Cute Zoey!