Archive for the ‘Finding friends’ Category

Dog Playdates (or How I Just Want a Cat for a Friend)

In Finding friends, Play time, Shelley Widhalm on January 26, 2014 at 11:30 am

I am hanging out with Harry the Hedgehog. Who's cuter? That's what I thought!

I am hanging out with Harry the Hedgehog. Who’s cuter? That’s what I thought!

I don’t exactly date, because I’m a spayed (but very cute) female miniature long-haired dachshund.

But I do like playtime, play dates (as long as I’m the boss) and, on a limited basis, being around other dogs.

Sometimes, I will try at canine friendship, as long as the dogs are Beta or my size or smaller. They also need to realize that their toys and my toys are all mine. As for my food or water bowls, I can share, because that organic dog food stuff I get isn’t exactly something to yip about.

I have two dog friends, one I don’t see anymore for some reason and another one named Cricket, a terrier who, like me, loves the game of chase. I see Cricket when Shelley takes me to her business neighbor’s store to chat.

But I actually prefer cats.

This could be due to my size – 10 pounds, not very tall and extensively long – my cat-like, long, fluffy tail and my liking to have my way.

But I don’t have a cat to call a friend, even after I’ve put maximum effort into making a cat pal.

Take Kiara, Shelley’s brother’s girlfriend’s cat. She doesn’t like me, though I’m incredibly nice to her, wiggling my tail and all that. She looks down at me from her cat post, one paw hanging down, staring at me as if I’m invading her space. Once when she was on the ground, I barked several “hellos” and she just hunched her back, teeth exposed. Once she even scratched my nose.

To say the least, her behavior wasn’t very nice.

The same thing happens with Cheddar, Shelley’s neighbor’s cat. He stares at me, all hissy like, as I try to approach. I bark a greeting, and he glares at me. Once I even gave him a kiss, but all he did was ignore me. Come on, I was making the first move, something that should have flattered the old boy.

But no.

He rejected me, too.

I guess I’ll have to try to befriend the birds next.

(See my BFF Shelley’s blog at shelleywidhalm.wordress.com.)


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.

Dog Seeks Cat-Friend

In All About Me, Finding friends, Shelley Widhalm, Wanting to explore on April 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey the Cute Dachshund is sad that the neighbor cat doesn't want to be friends.

Zoey the Cute Dachshund is sad that the neighbor cat doesn’t want to be friends.

I don’t get rejected, well, except by cats.

Twice, I’ve tried to befriend cats, and though I’m their size as a 10-pound miniature dachshund, they aren’t interested in my offers.

The first time was with a group of feral cats who live underneath the shed at my BFF Shelley’s dad’s house. I peeked in the hole in the doorway (the shed’s kind of old) and sniffed out their presence, but they didn’t come out.

When I saw one of them, I was inside on the window ledge, so I barked a “hello” over and over, but Feral Cat would not look up at me. To make it worse, I never saw her again, because when I came back for another visit, word was the feral cats had moved on.

The second time was last weekend when Shelley and her family were doing some work in the garage and, though I was boxed in, literally, by a row of empty boxes, I played a Houdini and escaped through an opening.

“Zoey, get back here!” Shelley’s dad yelled as chairs tumbled and she and Shelley took after me.

I wasn’t interested in obeying, no way. I had a whole neighborhood to explore to identify where all of my dog friends actually lived, instead of just greeting them with barks from the backyard in an anonymous calling out to each other.

At the house next door, I saw a black-and-white cat and walked up to her, slowing a little when I noticed that she was hissing, back arched.

“I’m so sorry,” Shelley said over and over to the cat’s owner as she ran up to us.

The cat apparently did not want to be friends, even though I kept trying to show her, with my gentle approach, that I only wanted to say “hello.”

I got scooped up and taken away and was returned to the garage, boxed in again away from all the potential friend sources.

What a way to feel rejected.

The Overwhelming Need for Groups to Which Dogs Can Belong

In All About Me, Dog communication, Dog Writing, Finding friends, Shelley Widhalm on November 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

Please join Zoey’s dog group, so she doesn’t feel so sad. She says bow-thank-you.

I’ve searched the newspaper ads, Meetup.com and anywhere else I can think of, but there just aren’t any dog groups.

Sure, there are dog groups for owners of dogs, 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.

As the Cutest Dachshund this Side of the Mississippi, I would like to join the Dachshund Club of America.

But these dog clubs and associations are for people who own dogs. The dog owners 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.

The dog owners go all crazy grooming us, even taking it so far to vacuum off our loose fur, put mascara on our graying whiskers and brush all body parts, including our teeth. This doesn’t allow us dogs to congregate and bark out a conversation; i.e. these clubs aren’t about us. They are about our owners who want us to look good for their sakes.

I would like to find a dog group that meets once a week, such as in a dog-friendly coffee shop, where we could sit at our own table and howl.

We’d have our dog-friendly cups of water and dog-licious treats to eat as we bark about politics – which for us concerns marking of territory, crossing territory boundaries and acting out of line, such as barking when the smelling of behinds is more appropriate.

We’d figure out whom to elect as president – of our group, not the country – and have a vote, counting paws. I would volunteer to serve as secretary, because I like to take notes and am quite literate, unlike some dogs that don’t blog.

And we would set an agenda about topics to discuss each week, such as issues of the neighborhood, where to find good food and how to be good for the sake of our owners, but not so good that we get bored. Being bad is part of being a dog, because we hear “bad dog” almost as much as “good dog,” or at least I do.

Shelley, my BFF, doesn’t want me to bark at the big dogs, but I do that because I’m inviting them to my new club.

It’s the Dachshund Club of Zoey’s Neighborhood.

Paws on Poetry

In Dog communication, Finding friends on June 5, 2011 at 8:44 am

I am Miss Greeter, Miss Cute Girl and Princess Zoey.

I have a wag that starts at the tip of my tail and consumes my body into waddling wiggles.

My big, brown eyes are like endless starlit skies, glittering with my joy

At you – man, woman, child, it doesn’t matter – my hope that we will

Connect, your hand rubbing my belly, my jaw, behind my ears.

I squirm away, crawl up your chest to reach your face to kiss, kiss

Your mouth, your nose, your cheek

Any place I can reach.

It’s a trade you see,

Pets for puppy breath,

Sweet like the look you give me,

The sound of your voice rising with the delight

In my being a panting bundle of free


Not the End

In Finding friends, What's important, Woof! Woof! on May 22, 2011 at 8:40 am

The world can’t end. I’m only two and haven’t lived a full life. It wouldn’t be fair to all the puppies, dogs, cats, birds and humans for that to happen. Yep, I like cats and birds.

I whine whenever I see a bird hop close by me, wanting very much to become friends.

For instance when I was at Shelley’s dad’s house, I tried to befriend a baby bird that fell out of its nest. The bird’s parents were squawking as they flew around and around the tree (I don’t know what kind it is, but it had droopy branches that made it look like an umbrella missing lots of its shiny cover).

I barked and danced around the little creature, throwing out my invitation to play.

“Zoey, get in here,” Shelley’s dad called to me.

I looked at him, pausing in my sound, but then continued to bark.

“Get. In. Here!”

Uh-oh. That means “come now.”

I ran to the door and inside the house, hearing “bad girl” in the distance. I kept running until I ran out of breathe.

Yep, see Zoey run.

But not see Zoey play with her new friend.

Oh well. That’s why the world can’t end. I need to find more friends, and when I have enough, I’ll still want more.

Friends are what make the world go around. At least that’s what I think.

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?

Barking Duties

In A keen barker, Dog communication, Finding friends on April 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

I am on dog-cation from blogging this week. Shelley said I can take some time off, and I decided this would be a good week to do that. Plus, I’ll be taking a week off in June when she does to go on her vacation without me. Without me! I don’t agree with that as will be evidenced by my sad, puppy eyes when she starts packing.

Anyway, even though I’m on vacation, I just want to say that, unlike Shelley, I do not need a shyness challenge.

Shelley would say I need a stop-barking-so-loud-and-so-often challenge, but I disagree. I’m just responding to noises, except to the boring trains and sirens that I am used to and don’t need to sit there and try to figure out. It’s when people are talking or I see a dog that I bark, saying, “Here I am! Come play with me.”

In fact, I am adding to my friends list. Shelley takes me to this coffee shop called the Mandolin Café. I kiss on the owner and get pets from him, plus this regular who plays the guitar and sings and now another man who is always using his laptop. I’ve just added him to my kiss-and-make-friends circle.

I guess I am blogging after all because I keep pawing in all these words. But really I’ve gotta to go. I just heard some noises and need to get back to barking.