Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Happy Town was abruptly canceled without the network even having the courtesy to show the last two episodes, but I still watch some TV. The other day, my human and I watched a movie called “Julie & Julia.” I was a little bit interested because a lot of it was about food. A woman in New York decided to cook all sorts of fancy French recipes, and that gave me an idea.

I really like canned food made by a company called Merrick. My kibble is delicious and nutritious but this stuff really has zing!

So, here’s my idea. I’d like to try every single unique Merrick product and let you know what I think about them. My human is already shaking her head, probably at the thought of tripe, but I’ll talk her into it!!

You can find my reviews on my new blog here !!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Town

I like TV. I really do. Doesn't have to have a dog in it. When I was a little puppy, I watched The Dick Van Dyke Show. But my human controls the remote and I'm not into CSI so, lately, I snooze through TV time.

But now we're both watching Happy Town. This is sooo cool!!! First, there was a sort of funny murder (the guy needed that like a hole in the head). And the whole town smells like baking flour. And we all want to explore "the third floor" aviary. And "You're So Vain" and have clouds in your coffee. And Friddle is such a great name. And what's up with that coven-like group of women?

Phrase of the week: "Soup's cold."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mind Your #@!! Manners!

I was almost run over tonight. Not by a car. By a bicyclist. It's about the 5th time that's happened. I appreciate you polite cyclists who ring your bells or shout out that you're coming up behind me. As for the rest of you, please remember that sidewalks and paths are not Tour de France speedways. You scare people and you scare dogs. Sometimes you scare dogs so much that they bite you. Guess who gets all the blame then? Right -- the dogs and their owners.

Sometimes we just bark at you. Then you curse at us.

And that's another thing. When did it become OK to curse in public? Yes, I use curse words (growling is cussing in Doginese). But not loudly on the cell phone. Not at the grocery store. Not at the park. Not everywhere people of all ages gather.

Most dogs are taught basic manners. Aren't humans?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

De Tour

Yeah, I did get one of those cheery postcards from the vet reminding me that it’s time for my annual exam. This is not good news. Who wants to go to see the vet? I’ve gotta get in shape for this. How’s my weight? Teeth clean? Is my hair OK?

Well, let me tell you, before you even step onto the scale, demand a tour of the facility. Force a technician to take you to into “the back.” Talk to the sick dogs. Examine every room and every piece of equipment. The ultrasound machine is really interesting.

You are not a patient -- you are a visiting practitioner!

(I got a rabies shot anyway, but with dignity.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Somewhere, Beyond the Steam

It’s great when our humans have a good laugh … until you realize they are laughing at you. You know what I mean, right? The human starts to chuckle, then laugh, then collapses in full-blown hysterics complete with reddened faces, pointing fingers and watering eyes. The most recent example came about after something from the internet (author unknown) was reprinted in a newspaper column. Supposedly, it was “found posted very low on a refrigerator door” addressed to “Dear Dogs and Cats,” and contained several admonishments about perfectly acceptable pet behavior. The one that sent my human into uncontrollable laughter (directed at me!!) was this:

“For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – canine/feline attendance is not required.”

Well, that is SO WRONG! First of all, attendance is required no matter what you are doing. I am a German shepherd. “To protect and serve” is written into my genetic code. I can’t help myself. Remember when I was 3 months old and attacked the vacuum cleaner? You see a handy household gadget, but I see a noisy monster that gobbles up everything in its path and just might turn on YOU someday! Did you ever think of that?

Then there’s the postal carrier, the most suspicious person ever born. Let’s examine the facts: they come to the door but never knock, deposit items in the box with a loud thump, then run away. They are clearly up to no good. Besides, I never get any mail unless you count the cheerful postcards from the vet reminding me that I need shots. Thanks a lot, buddy.

So, amidst all sorts of dubious goings on, it’s a pet’s job to keep an eye on their humans, which brings me back to the mysterious bathroom. I’m convinced there is a secret exit, I know where it is, and I’m gonna let you in on this discovery. The secret exit is somewhere inside the stall shower! Think about it -- a room within a room, designed for subterfuge, where people disappear for a long time. There’s frosted glass and clouds of steam to obstruct your vision, pounding water to impede your hearing, and soap to confuse your sense of smell. People can sneak out and sneak back in without you knowing a thing about it. I’m not sure where they go, but I bet it’s someplace good like a land of trees, squeaky toys and butcher shops for dogs, or that commercial where the cat jumps through a can of food into a magical world that looks like a weird kitty LSD trip.

The one thing I haven’t quite figured out is how to open the secret exit, but I’m working on it. I’ve slipped into the bathroom a few times and curled up in front of the shower door to block that way out. So far, that brilliant idea resulted in stern commands to “MOVE IT!!!!" from my annoyed, dripping human, and I complied because of the "serve" part wired into my DNA. Now she keeps the bathroom door firmly shut. Yeah, right -- she doesn’t know enough to take a hard look at that creepy person with the mail but she’s all over me! Sooner or later, though, I’ll get back in there, pass a towel over the top, block the door and stay put. She’ll have to use the hidden exit to escape and the secret will finally be revealed!

I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sister Act (part 1)

I was born with five brothers and sisters. They were fun to play with, and that was good. When I was 9 weeks old, I went to live with my human and became an only child and the center of attention. That was VERY good.

Making new friends at puppy obedience school was a blast, especially because I was the tallest in the group and got to be the leader. My natural herding instinct kicked in around that time and the rules of our games were simple: I corralled all the girls in a big circle and the other boys had to stay on the outside.

Eventually my human made two decisions. One was to enroll me in sheep herding class, and the second was to get another dog.

I imagined a beautiful German shepherd sister, a little younger and a little smaller so I’d be the boss. My human had other ideas. She adopted Avalon, who was 8 years old, taller, outweighed me, and wasn’t even a German shepherd but a mostly Anatolian shepherd for goodness sake!

I knew I had to assert my leadership right away, but my attempts to chase and corral her were ignored. When I stole her chew treat, she calmly took it back. When I stood my ground and nipped her ear, did she even blink? Nooo! She knocked me down, leaned on me with 100 pounds of resolute force, and took it back again. And my human gave her just as much attention as she did me! This was not fair!

After pouting for a while, I noticed that as long as I wasn’t pushy, Avalon was sort of nice. She’d had a tough, knock-about life and had valuable lessons to share. She took over one toy, a stuffed rat I was never again permitted to touch, and I learned manners. Why be possessive over one toy when I had so many? She was a serious guardian of our human and our home but an example of keen evaluation skills when I was overly aggressive. Why get all mad over nothing? Avalon became my leader, and I didn’t mind at all.

Gradually, we settled into years of cheery companionship. We walked with our human, sharing our discoveries. We went to the country where Avalon taught me how to swim in fresh water ponds. She was a good wrestler and sometimes generously let me win. Avalon even decided to join in my singing, and we howled in harmony. Really LOUD harmony: our human said every moose up in Canada could probably hear us.

One day Avalon didn’t feel well, and after that she had to go to the vet’s a lot. I worried when she stayed there overnight, but she always came home a little bit stronger. It seemed like she was sick for a long time. I was overjoyed when she felt better at last and we started to play and walk together again. I could sense that Avalon wasn’t quite the same and remembered to be gentle and kind, just like she was.

Then Avalon started feeling bad again. She went back to the vet’s and didn’t come home, but I knew she’d be back just like always. A day passed, then another, and I started to worry and look for her. I found Avalon’s stuffed rat and carried it outside, biting down to make it squeak. That would bring her on the run! I squeaked and listened and waited, but Avalon never came home. Finally I sat down and howled once, sad and alone. My best friend was gone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Year, New Tricks

Every year, our human friends get all fired up about making New Year’s resolutions. By this time, they’ve usually broken most of them. I think they aim too high. Dogs know it’s the little things in life that are important. So, let’s give our friends some new resolutions. With our help, they can’t fail.

1. Stop to Think. When we walk together, most humans march along without stopping to appreciate a fallen leaf, a blade of grass, a puddle of rain or a puddle around a fire hydrant. It’s up to us to make them pause and reflect upon the simple things. The next time your human totes a load of laundry down the hall to the washing machine, walk slightly ahead and suddenly hit the brakes. When commanded to move, pretend to be lost in thought and unable to hear (all dogs are good at this). If you are large, they can’t get around you; if you are small, they're afraid you might get stepped on. Either way, they must stop to examine their surroundings. Is that an overlooked cobweb in the corner? Is that family portrait slightly askew? And when was the last time we gave Aunt Gertie and Uncle Hank a call? These moments of quiet contemplation can do wonders for the human spirit.

2. Reach out and Touch Someone. Humans often resolve to pay more attention to their loved ones. Dogs can lead the way. After you polish off your next meal, get close to your human and say thank you with a resounding burp. Give them a sloppy kiss, a quick snuggle or a soft touch with your paw several times a day. A little hair and mud on their clothes is a small price to pay for letting them know you care. The more you reach out, the more your human will remember that we all need a hug now and then.

3. Sing a Song. Whether we harmonize with a neighborhood pooch or a passing siren, dogs know there’s nothing like a good sing-a-long. It feels great to sing, so take center stage and, in the words of Mama Cass, make your own kind of music. Start out soft and low, then build to a crescendo that rattles the windows. If your human doesn’t raise their voice in song, at least they’ll raise their voice to be heard over all your noise!

4. Boogie Down. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times: humans want to get more exercise. What could be more fun than dancing? Promenade left and do-sa-do, wrap 'em in the leash and around they go! At home, grab your favorite toy and really shake its bootie. Your joyful leaping and spinning should set human toes to tappin’. If not, let your toy fly free in the direction of something breakable. Your human will get on their feet in no time!

5. Share the Joy. Lucky dogs like me get lots of goodies during the holidays from friends and family. Even though their heart’s in the right place, sometimes humans don’t make informed choices. Won’t they ever notice that I don’t like peanut butter treats, or the Yorki-sized pet bed with the pattern of cherubs and daisies just isn’t my style, or that a cat toy (ewwww!!) is not appropriate under any circumstances? Now’s your chance to help your human keep their resolution to "give more" and drag them by the leash to the local shelter. Your rejected gifts can make a homeless pet happy while they wait for their own special human. And on your way back, swing by the nearest store for a treat you’ll really love because, remember, charity begins at home!