Saturday, May 05, 2012

Spring Cleaning & Sea Monsters

When I was a puppy, mommy walked in one day and looked down at me and announced, ‘Little boy, it’s time for a bit of spring cleaning!’  Just as I thought this might be a new word for “treat”, mommy reached down and airlifted my small, furry frame right in to the most horrifying place on earth: the evil bathtub.  Horrors!  

And to make matters worse, there was a sea monster in there, too!  Its face was this fizzing nozzle that sprayed water all over me…and it wasn’t by accident, either.  Nope.  Mom took aim, dousing me with one long spray of water after another and mistook my stunned reaction to this hideous ritual as enjoyment!  

Without hesitation, I broke free and scampered, my paws sliding every which way, to the edge of the tub in search of freedom.  With all my puppy might, I tried to pull myself up out of that evil tub away from that sea monster; I even folded back my ears to maximize my aerodynamic exit.  But, somehow mommy’s arm came out of nowhere and transported me right back to the middle of the torture chamber. 

I was then soaked from nose to nub with this icky watery lather.   Now, I will confess that at this point, there was a full body massage, which was kinda nice…I almost forgot how terrified I was until that dreaded sea monster returned!  After repeated blasts of spraying water, daddy finally came to my rescue; swooping me out and wrapping me in a warm towel.  This was the first time I realized that a towel existed for something more than to be chewed on!   

The good news was that I had managed to make it through that evil bathtub monster experience in tact (and believe me, I checked!).  But, the bad news was this would prove to be only the first of many recurring evil bath tub events to come.  

Let’s be reasonable.  Spring cleaning should not apply to dogs.  Does mommy have any clue how long it takes me to smell like a dog?  The process, I have found, involves searching out just the right combination of decaying lizards and other malodorous fragrances, which must then be rolled or frolicked in to achieve this aromatic feat.  And all it takes is one bath and I have to start all over again…trying to smell like a dog.

It’s just not right.

As seen in the Spring 2012
Edition of The New Barker

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Box Stopped Here

So, I was lounging in the front room, inspecting my physique and making minor grooming adjustments as needed, when I notice this big, brown truck hauling around the corner and stopping right in front of my house. Well, this is obviously a serious change to my scenery, so I quickly set off the EBS (Emergency Bark-casting System) alarm and Rosie came running in to join me. Then mom came over and peeked outside. Then she turned and told us that this situation was OK (Really? I’ll be the judge of that!), and that we needed to halt the EBS, post haste. So, Rosie and I run over and observe that, not only is that behemoth vehicle still out there, but now, some strange person has emerged from this brown monstrosity carrying a box…and heading right up to our front door!


This time, Rosie adds to the drama of the moment by spinning around in a circle while she is barking. Even I stop sounding off long enough to stare at her…impressive! There’s no denying the diva has mad multi-tasking skills! The doorbell rings…and, what does mommy do (after giving us the evil eye)? Run and hide? No. She opens the door and brings that mystery box in to our domain and sets it on the floor and leaves the room! At this point, the EBS is temporarily suspended whilst the diva dog and I approach said box and cautiously sniff. Hmmm…this is a canine-drom, for sure.

Rosie and I start pawndering on what was inside that box. Maybe there’s a bunch of lizards in there…or a duck! No sound of lizard toes scurrying about or flapping wings…then mom comes in and notices us staring at the box. “You’ll have to wait”, she says. WAIT? That’s a four letter word in dog vocabulary. Not cool, but at least that giant truck was gone now…super puppy powers prevail!

Then, without so much as a care, mommy goes over and starts tapping away on that keyboard she calls a “computer”. Seriously? What about that box??? How can she stand the suspense? So, I enlist my ‘go-to, never fail’ tactic; I pop my fluffy bum up on the loveseat behind her and assume the most irresistible look I can manage. And just stare at her. Pretty soon, mom spins around in her chair, gives me a scratch behind the ears and goes over to the box; I know my hypnotic laser focus has worked its magic.

At last…the contents will be revealed….our gazes are fixed as she pulls out the most amazing item…a squawking, rubber chicken! As she tosses the floppy bird in the air, Rosie and I vie for first chomp!

And to the big brown truck filled with boxes of dog toys, I say dogspeed, my friend…dogspeed!

As seen in the Holiday 2011
Edition of The New Barker

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Summertime Funny Bones!

People are funny to watch. They do silly stuff that would make any dog scratch his head in wonder. Like when mom will go in to the bathroom and shut the door and, of all things, leave me on the outside! Who knows what she’s doing in there. For all I know she’s trying to sneak out some secret door…or maybe she’s in there just laughing and laughing at her people joke. I have to find out! So, I’ll just shove my snout under the door and sniff around…sometimes, I’ll even lie down and just wedge my nose right in there and wait, so she knows I know she’s in there. My puppy superpowers will not be thwarted!

Then there’s this thing daddy does that has to be a joke. He puts a leash on my sister Rosie and me, and then announces that he’s ‘taking the kids for a walk’. Ha, ha!! Now, that really is funny. Everyone knows we’re the ones taking him for the walk! So, we just look at each other, crack a dog grin and go along with it. After all, daddy never has learned to fully enjoy the finer things in life. Someday we’ll convince him to pounce on lizards, chase squirrels, shove his face in to the tall grass and take a deep whiff or upon discovering a decomposing worm – just throw himself on top of it and roll around on his back…until then, he will paw through life completely unenlightened to the kind of bliss worth barking about!

Dog jokes are a whole other thing, though. Like when mom thinks she is going to be sleeping in and I give her a big lick with my dog tongue right across her eyelid…voila! The eyes open instantly…BOTH of them! Or when she’s on her computer and I want to play…I just go over and nose the blue light on the metal box that just happens to be in my line of sight. Next thing I know, I have her full attention! Okay, those are combo dog jokes and magic tricks, but it’s pretty doggone funny to watch her reactions!

Speaking of magic, I can make a really, really big treat disappear right before your eyes! Wanna see? Me, too! I keep begging dad to let me practice, but he just said, ‘that dog won’t hunt’...another people joke?

As seen in the Summer 2011 edition of
The New Barker Magazine

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Art of Pawsuasion

One of the top dog talents that all canines worth their whiskers will tell you is most essential to master, is how to get the most out of that treat jar, literally! It’s called the Art of Pawsuasion.

For example, when my little sister Rosie first arrived, she didn’t have a clue how to effectively work her dogness to her full advantage. Oh sure, she was cute and that counted for something; but what I’m barking about is developing a real, bone-afide technique that you can count on working every time, paws down.

My strategy is indirect and can be employed nearly every day with reliable results. For the small yummies, just rest your chin on their leg or arm and gaze at them longingly. This usually sends them directly to the treat jar and score! Simple, yet effective.

Now, for the king of dog of treats: the Kong™ filled with lip smacking frozen yumminess. You have to wait until you see mommy or daddy doing the most horrible thing imaginable, which is, of course, taking a bath and then immediately they start running about “getting ready”; which is code for: they are going to be leaving the house and it’s a prime moment to work a bit of guilt on them for that big treat before they leave.

This takes precision, but over time you learn to position yourself where they can’t miss you and just stare at them with the biggest eyes you can make. Once they see you, then really lay it on thick with a few long sighs, never taking your eyes off of them the entire time. At this point, they usually say something like, “awww...we won’t be gone for that long...”. To properly close the deal, just do something irresistibly cute like flip over on your back and twist around so you keep them in your line of sight and as they walk out of the room, race ahead of them and hop up on the sofa and wait...the sweet taste of success is on its way.

I also think they don’t stay away as long, but I’m usually sleeping off my peanut butter filled Kong™ so I really can’t be sure.

As seen in the Spring 2011 edition of
The New Barker Magazine

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hot Diggity Dog, It's Summertime!

I can’t help it. It’s an addiction that I find impawsible to ignore – it drains my puppy power packs and leaves me gasping for air with a giddy, tongue-hanging-out-smile from ear to ear. And I’ve tried to pretend that I don’t care, but just a glimpse of that crazy yellow tennis ball makes my heart race! And let me tell you, Rosie may be a half pint, but don’t underestimate her; she can run with (and sometimes under) the big dogs to secure that prize.

That power ball flies fast and taunts all with its irresistible bounce. I can find a cool patch of shade, plop down in the grass and declare a time out, but when that orb goes airborne, I have no choice; my dog body is compelled to follow. Even daddy is not immune to its charm; he throws it, then changes his mind and insists we give it back to him after we catch it! You’re not going to believe this, but then he throws it again! We are all in its grip!

But, it is summertime in Florida and dog, is it HOT outside! So, the first thing I do when I get in the house is slurp up loads of water, then throw my fur-clad condition on the cool, tile floor and breathe really hard until I am ready to fall asleep. At that point, I maximize my comfort by thrusting my short legs out for a big stretch, then roll on my back and drift off to doggy dreamland.

That’s when the RPMs (rapid paw movements) start. Or at least, that’s what mommy tells me. I’ve seen Rosie do this and boy is it funny to watch! Little white paws flying around and even her whiskers are twitching…ha! I’m sure my moves are way cooler.

Someday I may find out how to resist the power of the tennis ball; maybe it lies somewhere deep within my secret super puppy powers. Until then, I will continue to refine my technique to stay a nose ahead of Rosie…or at least in a dead heat!

As seen in the Summer 2010 edition of
The New Barker Magazine

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Scratch & Sniff Tour...of Spring

There are some really cool advantages to being height challenged. When food drops to the floor, my low-riding, high velocity, 4 paw drive shifts in to gear and I can appropriate the wayward nibble in a snap! I’m also just the right height for two year old toddler hands…that are usually holding yummies! It’s convenient for scoring a taste, too! I just go up and give them a big lick right on their face (if I’m lucky, sometimes they taste like peas or carrots - bonus!). If they have a cookie in hand, they seem more than happy to share that with me, too!

One thing I can’t do is reach that door handle. So, it’s a mystery what to expect until the door is opened. Some days, it’s rainy and wet and Rosie will race out the door looking for Mr. Squirrel until she gets wet, then she runs back in the house, shakes off and gives us all a confused look like, “what just happened?” Of course, I have to go over and give her a sniff…yep, wet dog.

Okay, so today the door opens and no cold rain! Immediately, it’s snouts to the ground and we were off! Finding flowers to smell this winter has been nearly impawsible! First there were all these blankets outside covering stuff up…like big ghost-plants which is just downright scary to behold. I barked at them so they knew I had special powers. There was one day I saw these big red flowers and ran up, my dog heart racing with anticipation, and to my amazement and shock…they were imposters! Some kind of people joke, I’m sure, sticking fake flowers in a yard with dead grass. Ha ha. So, I left my signature on one and walked away.

But on today’s Scratch and Sniff Tour, what we happened upon made us stop and stare in disbelief. Tall, green grass…everywhere! Without hesitation, I plopped myself down right in the middle of this jungle and looked back at the Roo who was pouncing after a rogue lizard. As I looked up, I saw a bunch of those feathered upstarts flying overhead…I would deal with them another time; for now, I had snagged the prime spot and I wasn’t about to move!

Ahhhh…spring time is finally here!

As seen in the Spring 2010 edition of
The New Barker Magazine

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Superbowl is Coming!

So, I was sniffing out my tree-mail and leaving my signature, as needed until I spotted Rosie getting all serious, shoving her delicate diva-snout in a patch of grass with purpose. Well, whatever was going on was obviously going to require my personal attention, so I went over to see what was so important. Rosie had discovered a nicely decomposing lizard that had the most intoxicating fragrance. Eau De Decay!

Just as I was about to assimilate the aroma of this claim for myself, Mom decided it was time to move on. Bummer. Later that day, I told Smokey, our new puppy pal next door about our cool find and he was quick to share a few of his own points of interest. After giving him a good sniff, I could tell even at his young age that he possessed a discerning puppy palette for the "good stuff". Smokey was kinda showing off, so I think he's sweet on Rosie, but don't tell him I said that. Growl of Honor.

Smokey wanted to learn how to play football like a big dog, so I showed him some moves and he used those long schnauzer puppy legs to his advantage, but he was still a noob! As the star running back, I was going in for the touchdown and here comes Smokey breaking through and trying to tackle me. Paw-leeeze. Score!! After my very excessive celebration in the end zone, I let Smokey have the football to work practice runs. Rosie was playing referee and gave me two paws up when I scored.

After taking turns slurping water, we each lay in the grass breathing really hard and wondering if another dead lizard might be close by.

Yesterday, Daddy told us there was a Superbowl coming up and Rosie and I are very interested to see just how big a "super" bowl can be! Will it be filled with all the yummy-munchies our Auntie Sheryl sends us? Or maybe even the most coveted treat...cheese or maybe even turkey?

Whatever the contents, we are anticipating that Superbowl Sunday may well be our favorite Howliday of the year...maybe even better than Growl-O-Ween!

As seen in the Winter 2010 edition of