Sunday, 26 May 2013

Yes, my dog does have a "poo" noise!

I've had my dog for almost 2 years now.  In these last 24 months, we've had our ups and downs..I've fed him/he's bitten me...I've walked him/he's attacked me...I've taken care of him/he's eaten all the cushions off every sofa...I've petted him/he's sneezed in my face!  Yes, we've had our ups and downs...and we've had a very complex relationship.

And, in these 24 months, I've gotten to really know him.  I know when he's happy, I know when he's hungry, I know when he's tired, and..most importantly...I know when he has to relieve himself.  I'm not just talking about when I get home from work and he runs outside to pee (or mark every single solitary tree, bush, fence, railing, fire hydrant, mailman) in sight.  Nooo.  I'm talking the big one.  The yucky one that I, as a conscientious owner, have to pick up..I'm talking about his poop.  I can always tell when he has to poop.

You see, my dog has several sounds that he makes.  He has this kinda yawning noise he makes when he's super excited.  When he sees his girlfriend (a golden doodle about 2 months older than him), he yawns loudly and runs to her.  They can play together for ever..and he doesn't like it one bit when it's time to go home.

He also makes his stretching noise.  This one makes me quite envious.  When he wakes up in the morning, he gets down on the floor, stretches out his front paws, butt in the air (he looks a lot like a cat doing this).  He actually sighs.  He loves this.  Then he gets up and stretches out his back legs one at a time.  My husband and I think he was a Nordic skier in his previous life.  He just keeps on sighing until he's all stretched out.  I sure wish I could be that flexible.

Unfortunately, we've also hear his "I just got hurt" yelp.  Poor baby..he has, a couple of times, gotten his paw stepped on, or, when he was a puppy, the occasional 170 lbs Bernese would sit on his back.  The yelp breaks my heart.

Then he's got the "can't you see I want to play?" bark.  PWD's don't really bark all that much.  When they do, it's usually to get your attention.  So, if I'm talking to someone, or if the other dogs at the soccer field aren't paying attention to them..he barks just to let everyone one know to drop everything they are doing, and play with him.

Which brings me to his "poo" noise.  My hubby and son think I'm nuts..but I know the truth.  Whenever my little portie has to go, he makes a very complicated sound.  It's a cross between a yawn, yelp, and swallow at the same time.  I swear this is true!  There are some evenings, after dinner, after his walk, after we've brushed our teeth-and his..where he makes this sound.  Immediately, I order my, oh so wonderfully willing :( , 16 year old son to take him to the back yard because of the poo noise.    My son, who'd rather text then get up, refuses to believe this noise.  "Mom!!  He doesn't have a poo noise!!".  So of course, I turn to the next person closest to me and say to my hubby, "Oh sweetie, our dog is making his poo noise.  Can you please take him out?".  Hubby, who wakes up every morning at 5am, and who is almost dead asleep by 9p, looks at me and simply says, "no".

Now if my family just believed me, I wouldn't have to get up, put on a jacket, put on shoes, turn on the lights in the backyard (gotta scare away the skunks and raccoons), and go out there with him.  If my family would just believe me, I wouldn't have to take out the flashlight and go the the spot the dog "went"  I wouldn't have to get that wonderful poo bag, pick up after him, and leave it by the side of the house (where I hope to remember to remove it in the morning).  Yep, if my family only believed me, I could lie on the couch and bark out my orders to them...yep..they know our dog has a poo noise...but they're just wise to me.

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Hockey Sock

I've had my little PWD for almost 17 months now.  In all that time, he has never lacked any toys.  He has a collection of balls, Kongs, antlers (!), stuffed toys, unstuffed toys, bones, the very occasional rawhide chew, and of course, his many, many other doggy buddies.

Because we walk our little guy 4 times a day, he knows absolutely every dog within a 5 km radius of our home.  Actually, just yesterday, one of the other dog owners rang our doorbell.  He was in the area and he asked us if our dogs could have a playdate.  He left his dog with us and off he went.  About a half-hour later, we walked her back to her house.  Yes, this is a very typical day in my doggy's life.  Plenty of toys, friends and love from everyone in my family.  Believe me when I say my dog lacks NOTHING in life.

Yes, he sure does love to play with toys, but, being a typical Porty, he gets bored rather easily.  He'll play with something for about 10 minutes and either completely destroy it, or leave it under the sofa and completely forget about it.  He does this with almost everything....except...THE SOCK!

You see, although he's a Portuguese Water Dog, soccer balls are not really his favourite toy.  My little guy goes absolutely berserk for HOCKEY SOCKS!!!  It must be the Canadian climate we live in.  Last winter, one of the other dog owners brought a hockey sock to the park.  He tied it in a knot and through it up in the air.  My dog got one end and another little bulldog got the other.  This was about 10 months ago and I swear I still don't think either one has let go yet.  They pull and pull for hours.  No A.D.D. here.  My dog never loses interest.  He loves the sock.  He craves the sock.  When we go to the park, he runs past all the other dogs and goes straight to the dog-owner that brings the sock.  

The sock started out looking quick nice.  You could clearly see the stripes, and it's shape was intact.  Now, it's barely a shadow of itself.  It is raggedy and threadbare.  The knitting is all loose and you can barely make out what it use to be.  Many other socks have been brought to the park over the months...but the original HOCKEY SOCK, the one connecting my dog to the bulldog, that wonderful, smelly, torn up sock...well, that's my doggy's favourite toy in the entire world. and he just won't let go!!

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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Your Crotch or Mine?

I happen to think that dogs are brilliant.  They are totally in tune with themselves and their environment.  They pick up on silent cues and clues, and they seldom get themselves into dangerous situations..(with other dogs, I mean).  Oh yes, they get into all kinds of dangerous situations like trying desperately to run onto an oncoming car while I'm holding him back with all my might...but they seldom get themselves into trouble with other dogs.

As soon as I take my little 18 month old PWD to the park, he'll run to the other dogs and proceed to sniff them before playing with them.  When a new dog is introduced to the pack, the dogs will surround the newbie, sniff him from all angles..oh and of course, especially the crotch..and then decide how to play with him.

I really think this is brilliant.  By sniffing, they get a good sense of the type of dog they are dealing with.  They know when to be rough or submissive, they know if the other dog is too young to understand them, and, most importantly, they know when to STAY AWAY!!

I think that people have a lot to learn from doggies.  We spend our lives trying to impress people with our words, our athletic skills, our dance moves, and our money.  But, no matter what we do, there will always be that one person that you will never win over.  We'll try and try to do everything in our power..what a colossal waste of time!!! 

To illustrate my point, I've detailed below a typical first date scenario.  The first with people, the second with dogs..You decide which one makes the most sense:

Scenario #1:
Two humans getting ready for their first date.  Both shower excessively.  Woman frets over what to wear.  Man gets his car cleaned inside and out.  They meet.  Words ensue.  Man tries to make woman laugh.  Woman tries to act flirty.  Both order two completely different meals.  They try to pick up on each others cues.  "Hmm", the guy wonders.."does she really think my jokes are funny or is it just a nervous laugh"?  "Hmm.", the woman wonders.."should I really have worn these heels?  Now I'm 2 inches taller than him"  And so it goes.  They make plans for a second date..they want to keep learning about each this THE ONE?

Scenario #2:
Two dogs meet in the park.  They've been out all day so they are definitely emitting a few fumes.   The smellier the better!  They meet..nose to nose.  One goes over to the others crotch...They sniff, sniff, sniff.."Hey.. you're my type of dog..let's play!!"  A match made in heaven.  These dogs will play together well into their senior years.

How easy would it be for humans to do this.  Think of all the time and energy we'd save.  We'd go to a friend's party..sniff out men and women alike and then decide on the spot who would be our BFF and who we'd like to spend the rest of our lives with. much to learn from our doggies..

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

So...whatch guys doin?

 All my life, from the time I was about 3 years old, we always had a cat in the house.  These cats were always curious and always stared at us.  I use to feel that they could read my mind.  When I got a little older and first heard the saying, "curiosity killed the cat", I could totally relate and knew exactly what that meant.

Also, all my life, I had heard that cats were completely different from dogs.  In some aspects, I agreed (dogs eating everything, dogs needing to be walked, dogs wanting to please), but, I also disagreed on certain things. Not all dogs want to be pet 24/7, and like cats, when dogs have had enough, they will either walk away or nip at you...that's just the way it is.

But, in the year since becoming a Portuguese Water Dog owner, I've also learned that dogs can be just as curious as cats.  No matter what I'm doing, my little PWD will peak in just to see what's going on.  He wants to be a PART OF EVERYTHING!!  If my hubby and I walk from one room to the next, our little Portie will get up from his deep sleep, just so he can be in the same room with us and check out what's happening. If we decide to go into the home office and work on the computer, doggy is right there behind us..following our every move.  He'll be quite curious..and when we're doing something he can't quite understand, he'll tilt his head to the side and stare.  I did read once, that PWD's are notorious "starers"  They'll look at you almost human-like, trying to understand and take in your every move. 

The other day, I had laid down his food and I walked into the living room to read the paper.  I could hear him munching happily away.  My 15 year old son then joined me and we began to talk.  I guess our little doggy could hear us through his crunching, because he didn't seem to mind that we were in a different room.  Well, let me tell you, as soon as son and I decided to move to the kitchen, doggy stopped everything he was doing and came by to watch us.  He just HAD to know where we were and what we were doing.

Sometimes in the evening, while hubby and son are watching football and I'm reading, my little doggy will come up and just plop down in the middle of the floor so he can see all 3 of us at the same time.  "Whatcha guys doin'?"  He'll ask.  "Mind if I tag along?"   

And so it goes.  My little PWD is the most curious of them all.  Curiosity may have killed the cat, but my little doggy won't rest until he knows every minute detail of our lives.

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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Usain Bolt

My little 17 month old Portuguese Water Dog is the fastest dog on earth.  well, actually, that's not entirely true.  What I mean, is that he's the fastest sprinter on earth.

Just like Usain Bolt, our doggy is built for speed in short bursts..he's not a long distance kinda dog.  When we take him out for his morning walk, he walks dutifully by our side for about 40 minutes.  Lunch time is a bit shorter as my time is limited.  However, he's good with the distance and the pace.  At about 330pm or so, he goes out for about an hour.  The pace is always a brisk walk..and once again, he's dutifully by our side.


In the evening, well, that's a whole different story.  Every evening, every dog in my neighbourhood gathers at our local soccer field.  This is the only place where our town allows us to run our doggies off-leash.  Let me get off track for a bit..  I live in an area where there are more dogs than people.  There are parks and green spaces every few blocks.  But, we are the only neighbourhood in the city that DOES NOT  have a dog park!!!  So, every night, a few of us would gather at the parks closest to our homes, and let our little guys run free and interact with other dogs.  We always cleaned up after our doggies and we made a few friends in the process.  Well, that came to a screeching halt when the home-owners next to the parks started complaining to the city.  We always found that incredible as most people living near the parks had dogs of their own...but hey, you can't fight city hall..and it was interesting that the Mayor was also one of the dog owners banned from the public parks!!

Anyway, to go on with my story, every evening, we all meet at the soccer field.  My doggy is brilliant by the way.  He knows that the evening walk is like no other.  He starts to get excited right after dinner because he know what's coming up.  So, once the garage door opens, my doggy starts pulling me down the street on the way to the field.  Every now and then, I remind him with a slight snap to the leash, that he's supposed to be walking by my side.  He slows down for about 15 seconds, and then starts to speed up again.  And so it goes...pull, snap, slow-down, speed-up..pull, snap, slow-down, speed-up..pull, snap, slow-down, speed-up..all the way to the soccer field.  Once there, he's like a car revving his engine.  He's ready to GO!!  His foot is on the accelerator, and he's just waiting for me to unhook his leash from his collar.  The minute he hears the click..HE"S OFF!!!  He sprints down the length of the soccer field.  My little Usain Bolt catches up with other dogs that are 50 feet ahead of him.  He runs circles around one can catch him.  He runs, he runs, he runs.  But, because he's not built for long distances, he just plops down on the grass when he's tired, and he DOESN'T MOVE!!!

All the other dogs run up beside him, they nudge him, they try to play..but my little PWD just sits there, panting.  Every now and then he'll get a second wind..but most of the time, he just sits on the coolness of the grass, watching all the other doggies play around him.

One last thing you should know.  The soccer field is about 20 minutes from my home (walking).  In the evenings, with my eager dog, it takes us about 10 minutes to get there because he's so eager to run.  However,  when it's time to leave the field, it can take up to a half hour or more.  Doggy just doesn't want to MOVE.  I have to drag him off the field, and then try to pry him off every lawn in the city as he runs onto other people's propety and just lies down on their grass!! 

Like I said, my little Usain Bolt is quite the sprinter...but when the race is's OVER!!

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Monday, 3 September 2012

You Must Pet Me!!!

My little 17 month old PWD is very demanding.

When he was just a little bitty puppy, he use to jump up on us an bite us.  Nothing we could do or say would ever discourage him from his task at hand.  As he got older, he would run to the end of his leash and pull and pull until he made choking noises.  But, once again, no amount of us snapping the leash or telling him to "sit" would work.  (By the way, for all you harness-loving fans...he "listened" even less to us while wearing his harness...he would still run to the end of the leash, only it was harder for us to stop him as he fought against us with every ounce of his strength).

Now, as he's older and calmer, he is still quite demanding, but in a different way.  He loves to get PET.  This is his favourite pastime.  While I'm reading..he nudges me to pet him.  If the family is watching TV, he goes from person to person all the while demanding attention.  He starts off with hubby.  You see, hubby is the head groomer.  Every night, my little PWD goes to hubby for his nightly brushing of his coat and his teeth.  Once the task is over, he lies down between hubby' s legs (as they are both on the floor) and stays there getting pet until he falls asleep.  Hubby is pretty good at this, but after about 30 minutes, hubby gets real TIRED!  So, he stops.  Once our little PWD gets wind of the fact that he is no longer being pet, he gets up and goes to our 15 year old son.  Son then sits on the floor and continues with the petting.  The PWD, turns this way and that, he needs to make sure that not an inch of him remains unpet.  Son does this for about 10 minutes, but, as with any 15 year old boy..the allure of his cell phone is stronger than the urge to pet the dog for hours on end.  As is the case every night, son makes up some excuse to leave the room so he can concentrate on the ever important texts coming his way.

Well, with hubby back on the couch and son nowhere in site, our little PWD turns his sights to me.  He starts to lick me...sending out a signal that his is not yet done with the petting.  I playfully ignore him to see how far this will go.  He licks my hands and forearms.  I pull them away.  He then starts licking my knees and shins.  The more I move away, the more excited he gets.  It becomes a game of "cat and mouse" to him.  He stands up and starts pawing at me.  I can read his thoughts..."what does a cute little doggy like me have to do to get pet around here??"  As I'm siting on the couch, he puts his head on my lap.  He looks at me with big brown eyes..."hey lady!!  Can't you see how darned cute I am??How can you resist me??"

Then I break down..the petting starts.  I can see the look of relief in my dog's face..."holy's been a full 3 minutes since I was last pet"  He plops down.  He rolls on his back.  His arms stretch over his head and his knees open up.  His favourite place for me to pet him is the inside of his knee. He can lie like that for hours.  I scratch his knee until he finally goes to sleep..

Now, as I'm writing this blog, I'm sitting in the office.  My doggy is right next to me..his head on my lap, and he's pawing at me...I see the look in his eyes..."Hey you see me here???  You MUST PET ME!!!"

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Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Licking...Oh the Licking!!!

For most of my life, I have had cats.  I am very well aware of their habits, and the way they express themselves.  Whenever I would pet a cat, their little gritty tongue would come out to lick my hand.  Then, after about 5 minutes, they'd flip over, stop licking, and either bite or scratch me!!  Good times!!

I always knew that dogs licked as a way of "kissing" us humans.  But, it wasn't until I got my very first dog 14 months ago, that I realized the extent of their licking.  Sure, they try to lick your face, but my PWD licks everything!!  He licks our hands and feet, he licks the carpet.  He licks the wall where it forms a corner.  When he's lying on the floor and I'm petting him, he turns his head to the side and starts licking the floor.

Just yesterday, my family and I were sitting in the basement/family room.  Hubby and son were watching a football game, and I was reading.  My doggy was sitting on the carpet between us.  He got up, walked over to hubby, and started licking his hands.  After a few minutes, as hubby saw that doggy wasn't about to stop, he pushed the dog away in the direction of our son.  The dog walked over to our son and started licking his head (son was sitting on the floor).  After fighting off the dog who was licking his head, neck, ear and hair, son got up and sat on the couch.

This left me!

Doggy came over and started staring at me.  I started petting his head and back until he plopped down on the floor and gave me his belly.  While on his back, he turned his head to the side and started licking the carpet.  At one point, he forgot I was petting him as he flipped over, and began to lick the carpet with a fierce intensity.  I kinda poked him to snap him out of his licking frenzy.  He then got up and started licking the seat of the couch that I was sitting on.  I redirected his focus by giving him one of his chew toys.  This listed for about 7 seconds as he dropped the chew toy and began to lick the leg of my pants.

So much licking???  What does he get out of this??  I've observed him in the park with other dogs and absolutely no licking goes on.  When I walk him, he may lick the sidewalk occasionally but really nothing of note.  He does tend to lick the grass in the morning, but that's only to lap up the morning moisture.

So, why the licking of humans, and everything humans own??  Only my little PWD knows the answer to that one!!

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