Monday, January 22, 2018

FG training....

If at first you don't succeed....

OK. So we have been doing this gradual experiment to prepare the FG for sleeping out of his crate at night - and in the bedroom.  And to get him ready for this, we have all been sleeping free in the dining room and kitchen - while my human has been sleeping on the sofa in the DFZ.  We've been doing this for weeks - and we all are happy to sleep together and the FG settles down immediately when it is bedtime. So my human decided on Saturday night to go back to sleeping in her bed at about 11PM. Einstein and I quickly returned to our usual sleeping locations on the bed - me near the head of the bed, and Einstein at the foot of the bed.  When the FG realized what was about to happen, he RACED into the bedroom made a flying leap onto the bed and flailed himself onto the comforter.   Einstein and I just looked at each other.   My human managed to find a spot on the edge of the bed and for 58 seconds it appeared the new sleeping arrangements would work.  But the FG was SO excited about this, he couldn't settle down.  He spun around on the bed.  He started licking Einstein's ears.  He spun around again.  My human was looking at her iPad, so she observed the goings on without saying much.  He spun around again.  After about a half hour, Einstein jumped off the bed and went to his favourite corner of the room.  And I joined him.  The FG just watched us and sat up.  Where was everybody going?  Now he flailed himself on top of my human.  By now it was almost midnight, so my human turned off the light, thinking he would settle down. He sat up again, looking to see where Einstein and I were located.  He flailed himself again on top of my human.  Licking her face.  By this point, Einstein and I decided to get back on the bed.  The FG sat up again. And he spun around.  And around.  And it was at about 12:15 that my human conceded defeat.  She went into the kitchen, with the FG following her.  He raced onto the dog bed in the dining room.  She had a glass of water and went back to bed, putting a gate in the doorway to the bedroom.  It didn't matter - the FG didn't want in - he was quite comfortable on the dog bed. However at about 5AM he wanted in, so it was time for all of us to get up.

My human isn't convinced that this sleeping arrangement thing won't work - so we will try again.  

The good news - the whistle training is coming along quite well.  Not only will the FG grab the toy when he hears the whistle, but my human can actually tell him to wait in another room, she blows the whistle and he comes running.  BUT - this IS  inside with no distractions.  And to be honest, one time he was playing with the hedgehog after finding it, and she debated whether to blow the whistle.  She didn't think he was probably ready for that level of distraction, but she took a chance.  Blam.  Didn't work.  So he's not ready for distractions just yet.  But he certainly is associating the whistle with coming to play. So that is coming along - so Einstein and I think he IS trainable.... Ya gotta love him.

My human is off today - so lots of playing on the agenda.  At least on OUR agenda.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.

Seizure-free days: 10

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Toto. Or Terry.

January 21. And on this day in 1903, the musical, The Wizard of Oz premiered in New York City. Interestingly, Toto did not appear in that early stage version, but obviously had an important presence in the famous 1939 movie classic.  And here are some interesting facts about the dog who played in that movie role:

1.  Toto was a cairn terrier and was a female dog - not a male as most people believe.
2.  Toto's REAL name was Terry.  In the film credits, she was called Toto - and several years later her name was officially changed to Toto.
3.  Toto's owner was a dog trainer.  Someone had droppped Toto off for training - and never picked her up - so the trainer kept her. Wonder what her original human thought when she saw Toto's career!
4.  Toto actually starred in 15 films in her career - including one with Shirley Temple.
5.  Toto received a weekly salary of $125. Which was more than the people who played the Munchkins received...
6.  Judy Garland wanted to adopt Toto after the movie, but her human said no.
7.  Toto didn't like the basket on the bike, or the wind machine used to simulate the tornado.
8.  Toto actually appeared in more scenes than Judy Garland.
9.  Toto had a biography called "I Toto" which was published in 2001.
10. Toto lived to the age of 13 and was buried at the residence of her human.

So it was a rags to riches story for Toto - or really I should say Terry.  I'm not sure how I would feel about the whole Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tinman thing...and I know I definitely would not want to encounter the flying monkeys... 

And  one more interesting movie tidbit - you know the movie Marley and Me?  My human has never actually seen it.  She read the book - and figured she didn't want to make a spectacle of herself in the theatre so she never saw it on the big screen.  Anyway - how many dogs do you think play the role of Marley in the film?  Are ya ready - 18 different dogs!  Mind you, the film depicted Marley at various ages - but 18?! Still waiting for a movie to star a PON.  There WAS a movie starring a Picard - Because of Wynn Dixie.  Reportedly, two dogs by the names of Lyco and Scott shared that role...although another source said there were 4 Picards.  

So that's your movie trivia for today.  Now excuse me while I go and work on my screenplay.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Seizure-free days: 9

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The new poop on poop

Now here is some fasciniating research in the area of dogs.  Just don't read the following while you are eating.  The topic is about eating.  But about that wonderful canine habit that some dogs have of eating poop.  Remember, I warned you.

It seems some researchers in California decided to try and figure out why we dogs eat poop.  No offense, but I wonder how much funding they got to do this research.  And who funded it - the poop bag companies?  Anyway, seems that they surveyed 3,000 dog owners.  And they found no evidence to suggest any coorelations with age, specific diet, or obsessive behaviors like tail-chasing.  But here's the interesting part.  We poop aficionados won't eat stale poop.  We like our poop less than 2 days old.  They say it goes back to our wolf-ancestors - who would essentially clean-up poop that was left too close to the den, to avoid the infection of parasites that hatch on poop after a few days.  I'm not kidding.  This is what they said. They also found that most poop eaters tend to be greedy eaters.  So it might suggest some dietary motivation.  Given that not all of our food may be fully digested, we see the poop as a secondary food source.  I call it recycling.   And we poop eaters also like to eat dirt.  And cat poop.  Personally I'm not a BIG fan of dirt, but if given the chance to sample some feline products, I'm thinking I would give it a shot.  I certainly liked sheep poop.

Oh and you know those "solutions" like putting pepper or chilis on the poop to discourage us from eating it?  And those products that are supposed to make our poop taste bad?  I hate to tell you - but the success rate is pretty poopy at less than 2%.

But the good news, the next phase of the research will be looking at solutions.   Thank goodness.   In the big scheme of world problems, this IS a big one.

So that's the poop on poop.  And lest you shake you heads and think that we dogs have some disgusting habits, perhaps I should remind you that on this day in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne, the heavy metal musician, ate the head off a bat on stage in Iowa.  Really.  And you are disgusted by a little poop eating...

Have a good one!  Peace a paws up!

Seizure -free days: 8

Friday, January 19, 2018

Human attire

Well we finally have had the opportunity to assess the the skills of our new plow driver.  He needed to come last week - for the first time this winter, and Wednesday night as well.  Wednesday was a typical Halifax area winter day.  Snow all day. Followed by freezing rain, then some rain and then some freezing again.  Which made the snow crusty and hard on the top and wet and soft underneath.  And where Russell had plowed (I'll call him Russell since that's his name...) the driveway was icy.  Needless to say we didn't get to go for suer long walks on Thursday morning, and we were less than thrilled with the whole walking-on-crusty-and-falling-through thing on the lawn.  At least we PONs didn't care for it.  We went out, did our business, watched our poop roll along on the crusty surface and wanted to go right back in the house - to eat.  The FG on the other hand had a "leaping technique" were he basically bounced his way around the lawn, breaking through the crust and burying his nose in the snow.  He thought it was great fun. The photo you see is the pre-crusty stage.

Given the current state of winter weather, I would like to share several essential pieces  of human dog-walking attire.  If you live in a warm climate without snow (lucky you!) you can ignore the next few paragraphs...

First we have the boots with the cleats that are removable - they flip around back into the sole of the boot.  They work great in icy conditions - although if the surface is really hard and sheer ice, they could actually be slippery. But in crusty ice, they are PERFECT.

Next we have the mittens with  string. Now most people probably associate these with kids - but if you are owned by a dog, they are indispensable.  Because when you have to remove your mitten to get the poop bag out of your pocket, and you still have to hold onto two leashes and balance on the ice, you don't need to worry about dropping your mitts!  

Then of course, we have the trusty headlamp.  Because it gets dark at supper time and doesn't get light out until breakfast.  Don't leave home without it.

My human could do commercials for dog walking attire.

It's FRIDAY and it's also January 19 - and according to the crazy calendar, it's Good Memory Day.  And let me tell you something, we PONs have EXCELLENT memories..  And really, so does Picky Picard.  For example, we remember where treats are stored (and for that matter, if they have been left on the counter).   When we play the "find it" games, we often go to places that the hedgehog or bunny have been hidden in the past - before we start using our noses.  Some studies argue that we dogs don't have a a short term memory that lasts more than 2-5 minutes - because we live in the here and now.  Our long term memory  is obviously longer - because we can recall commands and places we have been in the past.   They say our long term memory depends on our associative memory.  For example, we hear the treat jar being opened so we associate the sound with getting something yummy.  

One thing I know for sure, unlike my human who goes into a room and can't remember why she went in, I NEVER forget.  Because I'm always going in for the same reason - to hunt for food.  And trust me, I NEVER forget where I found it before...

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up!

Seizure-free days: 7

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winnie the Pooh. Again!


January 18 and it's officially National Winnie the Pooh Day.  Last time, I think we celebrated the day that Winnie the Pooh was released and today is A.A. Milne's birthday.  So let's look at more famous Pooh quotes!

Have a Pooh-tastic day!  Peace and paws up.

Seizure-free days: 6

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dog Clubs. A rant.

OK, what I am about to write will no doubt not sit well with some people.  But heck, I'm a dog, and honestly, we dogs don't really worry what other people think.  We just want to be happy.  And we usually are!  And THAT'S why humans could take a lesson from us...

My human just joined another dog club.  She's a member of several.  That's one of the things some humans do - they join a particular breed club, like the Pogopogo Setter Club of Canada (there is no such thing as a Pogopogo Setter - at least not that I know of!) or they join what is called an all-breed club like the Halifax Kennel Club.  Now the purpose of these clubs, as I understand it, is to promote and share information about purebred dogs.  And ideally to promote good breeding practices.  The clubs may put on dog shows, or be involved in community projects - like the Halifax Kennel Club did - raising funds to buy animal sized oxygen masks for use by our local firefighters.  Certain clubs may form to focus on one type of dog activity - like obedience or herding or draft or agility.  In some of the more perfomance based clubs - dogs who participate need not be purebred. 

But the problem with "dog" clubs is that humans run them.  And humans come with their own set of agendas, their own ideas, and their own goals.  In THEORY, dog clubs SHOULD be happy places because they represent a venue where people come together because they ALL have the same interest. Dogs.  But somehow, humans act like humans - and not like dogs - who basically live for today, and rarely have an agenda.  And egos become involved and words get thrown around and people get mad and then they quit.  Or they have a mutiny.  And the next thing you know, the happy dog club is the cranky dog club.  Or in the worst scenario, the club folds.

It seems my human has stepped into a club like that right now.  And honestly, she is just NEW - so she holds no alliances, to anyone.  And she doesn't know the "history".  I suppose she could be voted off the island for even discussing this whole thing - but heck, I'm writing this - not her.   And you'll note, I haven't mentioned what club it is.  Or where it is.  In this day and age with the internet, one can easily become a member of a club in a different area or another country for that matter.

The one thing, as a newbie to this club, that my human recognized is that it is no wonder purebred dogs are in such a mess.   Humans are the problem when it comes to dogs.  Something brought all of these people together - an activity or a breed - and that's what people need to keep in mind... And if they want to see their breed or their sport or purebred dogs in general, continue to grow and develop and be AROUND for a long time - they had better work together.   Unfortunately, with humans that is often easier said than done...What a shame...

OK.  I'm stepping off my soapbox, and instead, stepping up to countersurf.  And I'm going to form my OWN dog club - and no humans allowed...OK, just my human can come.  She has to type the minutes...

Have a good one.  PEACE and paws up! And be happy.

Seizure-free days: 5

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Yesterday my human had the day off.  So of course, we wanted to make the most of it.  By getting her up early.  Like at 3AM.  This has actually become a bit of a "thing" now.  I wander around at 3 AM, and she figures I need to pee because of my medication.  So I get to go out.  And then everyone gets to go out.  Then we get a treat and are told to go back to sleep.  And she sequesters herself back on the sofa in the DFZ.  Yup - she's still sleeping there.  She realizes it's about time she heads back to her bed - because we are all sleeping FINE together - with the FG out of his crate.  But I think she's gotten used to sleeping on the sofa - and I THINK she is actually enjoying not having any of us sleeping on the bed and pushing her off.  But she has decided that THIS WEEKEND we are going to try and all share the bed.  Now THIS should be interesting.  In the meantime, I wander in the middle of the night and we all get to go out.

So yesterday she took us all out and then announced that she would be sleeping in.  She had her alarm set, for the VERY late hour of 7 AM.  She HAS to get up at that time no matter what, because I need my medication at 7.  Anyway, after the 3 AM walk-about she fell SOUND asleep.  But before she went back to sleep, she gave each of us a treat.  But not just ANY treat.  She gave each of us a piece of Honey Beefer.  I think I have talked about this locally made canine delicacy before.  It's dried beef.  Mixed with honey.  And there is not a dog on this PLANET who wouldn't like Honey Beefers.  I guarantee it.  Even Picky Picard scarfs it down...

So we went back to sleep at 3 AM,  but  we woke up PROMPTLY at our usual time of 5:45.  However, my human was still sleeping.  But we were hungry.  And it seems, in my human's half sleeping state at 3 AM, she left the Honey Beefers on the counter...

When my human got up at 7, she wandered into the kitchen and then noticed the FG flinging something in the dining room.  Tiny pieces of plastic.  Now what on earth could THAT be, she wondered.  She went and pried a piece out of his mouth and could partly read the label on the plastic. "Hon...".  And she immediately recognized the color of the label.  She ran to the counter and sure enough, the BRAND NEW FULL PACKAGE of Honey Beefers was GONE.  We all looked at her with innocent eyes.  "Who did this?" she asked as if one of us would miraculously have the ability to speak and shout out "It was ME."

But unfortunately, unlike the other day after the power outage, this time, Big Brother was working.  She attempted to roll back the video footage.  It was tricky, because, of course, this happened while it was still dark out.  BUT, she had left a light on in the dining room.  She kept scrolling and scrolling though the footage.  And suddenly she saw no one on the screen.  No one was in the dining room.  And although she couldn't SEE what was happening in the dark kitchen, she could hear the rustling of paper or plastic.  And then, out of the darkness and into the light of the dining room a figure emerged.  Carrying a package of Honey Beefers.  It  BUSTED.  I proceeded to rip open the package with the assistance of Einstein, and eat all the Honey Beefers.  I think the FG was in the kitchen, checking to see if there were any more packages of treats.

My human was NOT impressed and she worried that I might have some dietary issues - but as of last night, no problems.  We'll see what today holds.  While she is at work.

Good thing I'm cute....

Have a good one! Peace and paws up!!

Seizure-free days: 5