5 things I learned from my dogs

I value the wisdom of my dogs. In spite of all our technological advances as humans, there are times when I truly wonder who is the species with the greater intellect.

5. Trust your gut (nose).

4. No matter what, I love you.

3. A daily walk is a must.

2. Make time to play and rest.

1. The present moment is everything.

Pet Picture

This is just super cute and, so true. i can just see a doberman acting goofy like this. If I ever were to buy that breed, I’m sure that’s the one I’d get; one that sticks out his tongue at me!

Thanks to Wicked Aww Pics for the picture!

Wicked Aww Pics

Pet Picture

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If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my dogs are nuts.

(credit: wikimedia)

(credit: wikimedia)

We’ve made them this specially constructed dog house complete with every thing from shingles to extra room, to special floor so that they’re warm and they insist on ignoring it. Instead, they lay on the snow, rolling around in the stuff until they’re covered with it.

We’ve bought them all sorts of doggie toys and placed them strategically around the yard, even going as far as to attach a doggie rope to the fence for easier chewing but do they use them? Nope. They’d much rather chew on our deck.

Finally, we insist on giving them good quality dog food, mixed with chicken broth and other treats to warm up their bellies in winter. But, in complete defiance to all reason and nutritional advice, they insist on eating dirt from our plants.

About this point in time, I’d probably realize you haven’t blinked it two minutes and try to change the subject to something more appropriate for coffee.

(credit: her campus)

(credit: her campus)

How are you? How are things with you and your delightful little pet bird? I bet he eats his seeds without issues.


(Weekend Coffee Share is a meme from Part Time Monster)

Dog fights

Akitas were originally bread in the cold mountains of Japan to fight bears. Our pets are a far cry from those tough ancestors of theirs. Instead of roughing it outdoors, they spend most of their waking ours inside a warm home getting many hugs and kisses, regular meals and tidbits. Looking at them, with their thick fur and curly tails, they look more like big teddy bears than anything threatening.

I was thinking something to this effect while I kissed River, who had already finished (aka inhale) his breakfast this morning, when I felt a soft wet nose touch my ear.

Ocean needed kisses.

I turned to pet her and reassure her that I love her just as much when River seized the opportunity and started eating Ocean’s abandoned food.

Ocean spotted the thief right away and the mother of all dog wars began.

Did I call these two fluffy teddy bears? Fighting, they were more like possessed demonic hounds from Dante’s Inferno than any natural creature. The sounds they made alone made me start screaming. Gone were the shy, gentle giants I knew. These wolf-like fiends moved with a speed that shocked me and had no compassion as they tore at each other.

We have had rottweilers and we have had bullmastiffs in our home, but none of them have ever fought with the insane, wild, fury of these two. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it possible.

(An aside note: if your dog is ever involved in a dog fight, a good idea to stop the fight is to turn a water hose on them. The water shocks them into stopping and you don’t get hurt in the process.)

Needless to say, our kitchen doesn’t have a water hose. So, I stared in horror while my beloved pets re-enacted the doggie version of the Exorcist.

Thankfully, the fight ended mere seconds after it started. The dogs shook their fur and walked around as if nothing had happened. I, shaking and crying, tried to remember my First Aid and rushed over to check them for injury while they gave me bored looks. They were gleefully playing in the snow moments later.

Maybe there’s something left from those ancestors after all.

(credit: kimballstock.com)

(credit: kimballstock.com)

Why dog groomers aren’t paid enough.

Today being Father’s Day, instead of resting, my hubby woke me up (at 7am no less) because we had an appointment to wash the dogs. At that hour of the morning, the only thing I can think of coherently is coffee. Anything else doesn’t even register. Incredibly, I woke up (without coffee) and, even more amazingly, I went with him, to wash our two mutts.

Washing two dogs is a two person job. (Well, ideally it would be a 20 person job but we only had two, so we made do.) We went to the kennel of a lady (Sammy) who lives really close to us and loves her job (she’s nuts). She sets you up with a tub and special hoses and then leaves you (maybe not that nuts). She has a special pump that throws sudsy water at the dogs and gets under that thick fur.

Part one, you clip the chosen dog’s collar to a holder on the wall (or the dog will be gone faster than you can say bye) and then water down the dog. While the hose hurls the soapy water at the mutt, you try and rub it in while the other person keeps the dog calm. This goes on for a bit or until the dog decides enough is enough and shakes his/her fur. Onto part two!

Part two is the rinse. Same hose, same idea, but clear water and off we go. By then both hubby and I were soaked from head to shoes.

Part three! The drying process. Sammy has this pump that now blows air through a hose and it comes out with so much strength it actually dries and shakes off dead, dog hair in one swoop. The problem is that dry dog hair fluffs (if it’s from long-haired dogs) and it goes floating into the air looking for a wet surface to adhere to…did I mention my hubby and I were soaked? Well, guess where that hair goes. To us. It stuck to hubby’s head, my face, his face, our hands, our clothes, everywhere.


Note to self: You have to close your eyes when you blow that hose because those dog hairs will also stick to your eyeballs and they are so soft, you’ll never ever get them out…especially with your fingers which have even more dog hairs!

Done, you think? Nope. Time for the second dog!! We did the entire process twice and emerged a complete mess. The dogs were clean, shiny white and dry. Hubby and I were soaked, matted with dirty dog hair and grumpy from our coffee-less state. We even had Ocean poop while we were dealing with River, to add to the fun of the entire experience.

Now we’re home and the dogs have shredded their baby pool in thanks for our excellent care….and then proceeded to dig up more spots on the yard and cover their newly washed fur with dirt.



A very clean Ocean

A very clean Ocean

Very clean--and grumpy--River

Very clean–and grumpy–River

What they do when we're not looking

Next pets we have are going to be penguins.

Pets and romance, the good, the bad and the furry

I love animals in a romance novel. If I find the heroine has a four-legged buddy that tugs along with her, it raises her from average to interesting in one little sentence. I do love dogs (cough, cough bullmastiffs, coughs, coughs) but I’m flexible. It doesn’t have to be a dog. A chameleon will do as long as it has personality.

In my humble opinion, pets can be great characters and they have the potential to be fantastic comedy reliefs. They’re also a part of real life. Most of us have some sort of little being in our life, even if it’s only a cactus. Adding a pet to a character gives them depth and vulnerability. What’s more attractive than a muscled firefighter? One that has a pet parrot he inherited from an elderly aunt with the personality of Attila the Hun. Already, I like him more. See?

My issue is when pets become…perfect. For example, when the new lab puppies the heroine just rescued from certain death at the shelter, fall magically asleep so she can have hot sex with her love interest. Or the kitten that appears at our hero’s door and waits without food or water for a week while the hero accepts that this is the cat for him. Hm. Right. When have my pets ever done that? Wait…Never!

Maybe I’ve had a run of odd luck but all our dogs had personalities and issues. Buddha, our rottweiler was living proof that dogs can get ADD, Merlin had an obvious eating disorder and would eat anything not nailed to the floor (rocks included), Lobo had multiple phobias and Ocean has OCD around waking up on the weekends. None were or are perfect. And, in my opinion, that’s what makes them interesting–especially in books but also in life.

I know, I know. I should remember that when I grumble and curse at 6 am on Saturday mornings