Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ungus and the Giant Dog

Ungus and the Giant Dog

I have mentioned that there is a school across from, us. We often go there for walks and to play with kids and other dogs. But school was not in session, then. But, last week, school started up again, and during recess, there is lots of screaming and laughing from the playground. I don't think Ungus quite understood, at first, where the noise was coming from - that it was the same place we go for walks. But, it made him, for the first time, really look and listen down our lane for all the activity there. We never go there not on a leash, because of the busy road. So with school now on, Ungus started looking and listening down the lane, noticing all the people that walk by, the pick-ups with barking dogs in them and all the kids playing where he could sometimes see them. Eeeh - he'll get used to it,  but for now, it sort of became a new pastime for him. I was snoozing by the roses the other morning, and Ungus came dashing over squeaking his brains out, "SqueeksqueaksquaakSQUEEEK!"  "Huh, What - What is it?" I sputtered. I was thinking it at least had to be a Mongol Horde, with all the noise he was making. "Its a... its a... It's a... Its A GIGANTIC DOG!" he stammered out. He ran to the end of his leash down the lane and I followed. I had seen some big dogs in my day, but nothing that warranted this much fuss. I caught up to Ungus at the end of his leash pointing his nose at the end of the lane as good as any setter I had ever seen. "There! There there there!" OK, well Ungus had to be forgiven. He had never seen a horse before, and I don't think he quite believed me when I told him about horses. I can't wait to see it when Ungus finds a horse poop. That'll be good!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Great Poodle Scare!

Last night we were all snoozin' in our beds. Dad snores, Mom hums, Ungus smacks his lips (gee I wonder what HE's dreamin' about). And me - I make no noise at all. Of course not. I am a gentleman - er, gentledog - or -  whatever. Anyhow, last night, all of us were sound asleep, we were awakened by a terrible AUUUGH - NOOOO! yell! - Dad did his spring loaded leap out of bed. I was ready to bite burglars. Ungus jumped up on the bed and tried to hide in dad's blanket and Mom... Mom? Mom was the one who had made the terrible noise! She was still gasping when we all ran over to her - OK, Ungus wobbled - it's a waterbed. She was holding her head, going, "Oh, my gosh!" Dad asked, "What happened?" I nuzzled her hand and Ungus had that "What the heck's goin' on?" face on. "Oh, It was awful!" Mom answered. "I dreamed we took Ungus in to have his first 'big boy' haircut... and they trimmed him like a POODLE! Oh, it was terrible!" Dad just sighed and climbed back into bed. Ungus asked "What's a Poodle?" like it was a hair-do instead of a dog. Me? If it weren't for Dad telling us all to "...Zip it and go back to sleep, I'd still be rolling on the floor laughing - I mean, can you picture it - Ungus trimmed like a poodle!  HA HA HA hahahahahah!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Puppy and the Treat

Ungus has definitely lowered the bar for "treats." I believe I have mentioned that braunschwager is my favorite treat, and that I learned all my best tricks when Dad used braunschwager for a treat. But Ungus? He'll do anything for anything! At least on a temporary basis. But he is just as likely to forget what he did to get the treat as he is to forget that he just got a treat. He thinks life is just one big treat-fest. He hasn't quite made the "do a good thing" then "get a treat" connection. I complained to Dad that I thought Ungus was getting more treats than I was. Dad explained that Ungus was "In training". I explained to Dad that I was "In retirement!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Humans and Dogs and Smelling

I know dogs have better noses than people. Even people admit to that. We can smell stuff about a gazillion times better. But what I don't get is our respective attitude toward some smells. Skunks smell really strong, sometimes, but they don't really smell BAD. Not bad enough to keep a dog from chasing the skunk. And if we get sprayed - its the people that think we smell bad and try to give us a bath in lemonade or tomato juice (now there is some stinky stuff!) Say a skunk comes by. I smell that he is there, but Mom is gagging and slamming all the windows and threatening to pass out, over just a little stink. And the cat just lays there as the skunk goes by - just says "yo." Dead things smell, but not bad enough to forestall a good chewing (and sometime eating - now that will get Mom in a tizzy!) Mom and Dad both like the smell of coffee. They sniff and sniff and say how good it smells, but to me it just smells like burnt wood - nothing appetizing there. But sometimes our noses agree, and I really can't figure out why. Mom and Dad opened up something really, really stinky today. Gus and I thought it was a mutant skunk or a dead giant squirrel or something. The smell was  - well... WHEW!! WOOF!! Gus and I zoomed into the kitchen to see what was going on. Mom and Dad said we just went "poof" at their feet, 'cause we got there so fast. We wanted to know what the incredible stink was!! Dad and Mom had opened - and I quote, here - a. "... forty-year-old round of Cougar Gold Cheddar Cheese." Holy Moley was that stuff stinky! GOOD stinky, and, though I figured Mom would yell AUGH and try to throw it out cause it smelled, so, instead, she and Dad were both sighing and "ahhh"ing and saying how wonderful it was! Now I know cheese. I like all kinds of cheese - even limberburger. But this was way beyond that, and Mom and Dad were loving it. They had crackers out and bits of toast and some fruits and were just living it up eating something I figured they would have tried to bury! Gus and I begged and begged and finally Dad took some crumbles and sprinkled our dry food with it. WOW was that stuff great. Dad said we could only have a little bit, otherwise we, ..."wouldn't poop for a week," whatever that meant. Anyway, I have learned that our noses really can agree on SOME things, that I figure are so smelly that Mom will try to throw it in the garbage. Say, is there any more of that cheese left, Dad?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Poop Dance

There must be something wrong with Ungus' nose. He doesn't seen to be able to smell his own poop! Dad plays with us in the back yard - fetch, tuggie wars, hide and seek - that kind of stuff. Ungus gets so excited that I swear  his nose stops working. Dad will throw a toy for him to retrieve and he takes off like a bullet. He is supposed to go to the "corner" to poop, and usually he does - he caught on to that pretty quick - but sometimes he is just so fired up, though, he has to poop right in the middle of his mad dash after the toy. He poops as fast as he can and then zooms on after the toy. He grabs it and heads back to Dad as hard as he can go - right through the poop he just left! He doesn't give Dad a chance to PoopScoop it - he doesn't give it a chance to dry out. It would seem the "poop dance", as it has come to be called, must be performed as soon as possible, and with complete disregard for the consequences. He just "zooms" - right through it. Now, Dad will be the first one to tell you that if there are poop tracks in the house, he would much rather they be paw prints than his shoe prints - he says that is for, "... his own safety sake." Because of this apparent sporadic failure of Ungus' sense of smell, Mom has instigated a new rule. All paws and shoes are to be checked at the gate. I know she says, "all paws..." just so Ungus' feelings won't be hurt. But gee - its humiligrating to have my paws checked just 'cause Ungus is a wind-up toy with his spring too tight. There is now an "emergency paw bath" set up at the gate so Ungus can get his feet washed, just in case he did the traditional Highland Fling in the poop. I keep telling him to slow down, that Dad will let him have a "corner break," but he just gets too "puppy-fied" as Mom calls it. Well, we're headed out to the yard for exercise with Dad. When we come back, if you smell anything, it's not me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dogs and your Carpets

We need to talk about rugs. Maybe you call them carpets, but they are all the same thing. Dogs think of them as an extension of grass, lawn, branches and weeds, and thereby need to be peed on, pooped on, chewed on, played on and slept on. People seem to have ideas about what rugs are, different than what dogs do. People think they are soft underfoot - yeah, well, OK, I get that. People think they are colorful. Huh? People thing they are nice looking. Well, anyhow, people think that rugs are lots of things, but none include peeing, chewing, pooping on or playing with. Sometimes they will go along with 'sleeping on' if you're lucky. Most of our house has floors made of wood, but that doesn't mean Mom and Dad don't like rugs. No, there are rugs all over the place. Mom calls them throw rugs, but really, I have never seen her throw one. There is a rug by the front door, there is a rug by the back door, there are rugs in front of every desk, there is a rug in front of all the fire places, there are rugs in front of the sinks, there is a rug by the bathtub [burrrrr - I hate the bathtub]. There are rugs all around the beds. There are rugs outside at the doors. There are even a couple hung on the wall. Mom says George Washington slept on one - I don't know what that means.

Dogs have another way of looking at rugs that people might not know about. Rugs can be signals. Signals to you about what dogs want. When I sit on the rug by the back door, Mom and Dad know that I need to go outside to pee. If I do that, and they don't notice, a "Woof" is permitted. Ungus can do the same thing, but he might not need to pee - he just might want to go outside to check that we haven't been invaded by aliens - but Mom and Dad really want him to sit on the rug by the back door only when he needs to pee - like I do. Sitting on the rug in front of the kitchen sink means, "My water dish is empty." Sitting on the rug on the patio means, "I want to chase a ball." Sitting on the rug by the TV means, "I would like a share of the peanut butter you are wolfing down." Sitting on the rug by the front door means,"The post has arrived." Sitting on the rug at the end of the bed means, "I need my g'night cookie and take a nap." The most important rug in the house, though, is the "feed me" rug. From this rug I can see the refrigerator, the pantry, the shelf with doggie treats on it, the stove, and the whole kitchen floor; I know when the fridge is opened, a treat jar is opened, the pantry is opened and I'm ready for the opportunity to zoom in on some accidentally (or in Moms case, sometimes intentional) tidbit that drops to the floor. Ungus sits on the "feed me" rug, too, but he hasn't quite figured out how important and powerful the "feed me" rug is. But he'll catch on. Check and see if your dog has a "feed me" rug, too. I'll bet he does. Ah Ha - Dad just dropped a piece of roast, ZOOM I got it! I'll let Ungus get the next one - if he's fast enough!

Monday, August 15, 2011

And how long is a Dog Year?

A short word about "Dog Years." They say that dogs age seven years for every year a human does. I really don't know that that means. Time is a strange thing in general, and even stranger from a dog's point of view. Sometimes Mom and Dad can go away and come back, and say, "I'm sorry we were gone so long." And another time Mom can step out to take something to the garbage can, and it seems like the same amount of time has passed. I am thrilled when they come back, no matter how long it seems to be. I am not worried about them not coming back, I just think it is great when they do and it requires lots of attention exchanges. When ever Mom and Dad go - no matter how long they seem to have been gone, their return requires much welcoming excitement! Ungus understands this completely. He gets ruffled when Dad goes into the bathroom. Ungus tries to get in to "rescue" him. I try to tell him that there is only the one door and that Dad is not able to climb out the window. We pretty much have him trapped in there, but Ungus still thinks we need to make sure, and waits. But about "Dog Years." To take the concept to the next level, just remember. When you say, "I'll take you out in just a minute, [insert your own dog's name here]. Or, "[insert your own dog's name here], I'll feed you in just a minute; It's really seven minutes to your dog, and thats a long time to wait to go pee or to wait to be fed.