ANNOYING THE DOGS – THE HUMAN-CANINE COVENANT

I read an article the other day. It announced (with great solemnity and employing many big words and more than a few pie charts) that dogs — our dogs, your dogs, pet dogs — don’t like being hugged. Not merely do they not like being hugged and display measurable levels of stress when hugged, but they really totally hate being kissed and nuzzled.

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The article suggest a pat on the head … and a treat … would be much more appreciated.

Not by Garry or me.

I know they don’t like being hugged. It’s obvious. They stiffen and put their ears back when we hug them. They also don’t like it when I grab their tail and refuse to let it go. That’s what all the growling and head butting is about. You can almost hear them sigh, wondering when you’ll be through with this nonsense and get on to the important stuff, namely distributing cookies.

I told Garry about the study. He said: “Tough. They’ll just have to cope. Because I like it.”

My thoughts exactly.

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Our dogs are disrespectful. Messy. Flagrantly disobedient. They are masters and mistresses of selective hearing. Do I believe for a single moment when we tell them to go out and they stand there, in front of the doggy door, ignoring us, that it’s because they (a) don’t understand what we want from them, or (b) cannot hear us? That if I stand in the doorway calling them to come in that they can’t hear me or figure out that I want them to come inside? Of COURSE they hear me. They know. They’re just playing us.

If they can hear the click when we remove the top of the biscuit container from the other end of the yard, they hear us just fine. It’s a power play.

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Since they persist in disrespecting us, they will have to deal with our periodic compulsion to give them hugs, nuzzling, and the occasional (“Yuck! Stop that you stupid human!”) kiss on their big moist noses. It’s the price they pay for sofa lounging, high-quality treats and silly humans getting down on the floor to play with them.

We put up with them? They will have to put up with us, too. That’s our deal.

It’s a Human v Canine Covenant. I’ve got their paw prints on file.

THE ODDBALL SCOTTISH AGENT – A GIBBS UPDATE

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2016 WEEK 17


It’s been awhile since I did a “Gibbs” update. Time has passed very fast and it has now been slightly longer than five weeks since Special Agent Gibbs joined the family.

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There’s not all that much to report, really. He’s less wary of us than he was at first, though he still has a bit of “approach-avoidance” in his dealings with humans  … which are usually overcome by the anything we might give him to eat. He is a bit food driven.

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He had his first trip to the vet. Like us, she cannot believe that he’s 9-years-old. He’s the youngest-looking dog of that age any of us have seen. Even his teeth don’t show the amount of wear 9 years of use should produce.

Gibbs has started to (gently) throw his weight around. A little bit. Bonnie steals stuff from me and he steals it from her. They take it in stride. Apparently all is fair in love, cookie wrappers, and napkins.

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THE GIBBS UPDATE

How fast time flies! It’s a day short of two weeks since we brought Gibbs home. Amazing how he has become part of the family.

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He was a little scared when he first arrived; he’s not scared now. Suspicious of strangers (probably not because he’s a rescue, but because he’s a Scottie), he barks at everyone and everything. Otherwise, Gibbs is as close to fearless as any dog I’ve known. An incorrigible sock and slipper thief, he will happily snag the sandwich from your hand.

Gibbs discovers spring and sunshine

Gibbs discovers spring and sunshine

Brazen … and funny.

In the presence of roast chicken, watch your fingers. Gibbs thought one of mine was a bonus piece of white meat. Ouch! He has quite a pair of jaws on him. His excitement in the presence of dog biscuits is epic. He looks like he is going to explode. I am guessing his earlier life didn’t include a lot of treats.

He eats faster than any dog I’ve ever lived with. He inhales his meals. I’m assuming he’ll slow down. Eventually.

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He is also smart. Very. Smart. A single-correction learner. Assuming he agrees with you on the subject. If he doesn’t agree, he will do as he pleases because like all true Scotties, he’s sure he knows better than us.

He has the energy level of a puppy. It’s difficult to believe he’s nine.

So far (fingers crossed), this is the smoothest integration of a new dog into our household ever.

DOGS I’VE LOVED – ELLIN CURLEY

CANINE LOVES OF MY LIFE – Ellin Curley

I was 11 years old when I got my first dog, a dachshund named Schnitzel. He was my only sibling, human or canine. We grew up together and he was totally my dog.

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My parents weren’t really “dog people” so they didn’t love him the way I did. Schnitzel and I were a team. He always knew when I was upset and was there for me. He lived to be 15, so I was 26 when he died. I left home at 22 to go to law school and then got married.

I never came back. I abandoned my buddy in his old age and to this day I feel guilty about it. At least I was with him at the end.

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I didn’t get another dog until my kids were 5 and 10 years old. We got a Golden retriever mix rescue dog who was one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever known, inside and out. He was one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs –- incredibly smart, uncannily sensitive, and intuitive. He was mellow, but bright and alert. And fun to be with.

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Everyone loved him. The year I lived in New York City, I had to leave extra time when I walked him because people always came up to me to ask about him and pet him. But Sam belonged to the whole family. We each had a special, close relationship with him. That was his super power.

I still think about him all the time and miss him terribly, but he wasn’t my dog.

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Just 6 years ago I got another dog who connected to me in that special, intimate way. Her name is Lexie. Part Rhodesian Ridgeback, part Pomeranian, entirely gorgeous. She has a beautiful caramel face with hazel eyes and what looks like a permanent smile.

But she’s a rescue — incredibly anxious, skittish, and neurotic. She is on anxiety medication. Calmer now, but she is still frequently and easily spooked. Because of her anxiety, Lexie is not great at first meeting with new people. Not everyone “gets” her the way I do, which makes me feel more protective of her. Maybe that’s part of why I relate to her so well. I also have anxiety issues, but we are both cuddlers and we seem to calm each other.

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Lexie follows me around and wants to do whatever I’m doing, even when that’s just sitting and reading or watching TV. She is wonderful with my husband and he adores her too, but our other dog, Lucky follows him around and is more HIS dog.

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My kids left home years ago, so it’s just me and Tom – and our two “shadows”. We each have our own special companion in addition to each other. Which is how it should be.

On “Grey’s Anatomy”, Meredith Grey refers to her BFF/soul mate as “My person”. Lexie is my canine “person” in my empty nest middle age years just as Schnitzel was while I was growing up.

TRAINING TIPS FROM A SMALL BLACK DOG

The correct training of your two-legs… ‘specially visiting two-legses…is critical to their well-being. I thought I’d share my ten favourite tips for the establishment of proper pack behaviour… 1. Use advanced surveillance techniques. Never let them arrive unexpectedly. This gives you a unfair unique advantage. You, of course, will know long before your two-legs that […]

via Notes from a small dog – 10 tips for training your two-legs — Daily Echo

INTREPID MR. GIBBS

FEARLESS SCOTTISH TERRIER BEGINS EXPLORATIONS AND FINDS A SLIPPER, A BLANKET, A WOOLEN SOCK AND SOMETHING UNRECOGNIZABLE — DATELINE, UXBRIDGE

Gibbs, the very special investigative Scottish Terrier, recently became a naturalized citizen of Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Overcoming a brief, early reluctance to explore, his inherently fearless temperament won out.

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Today, he pokes and paws his way through every nook and cranny of the household in a determined effort to collect the necessary physical evidence to make his case. Whatever it may be.

His collection grows daily. His first discovery was a cache of suspicious slippers, which he dragged to the middle of the room for further examination. He then added an old, somewhat ragged packing blanket, a knotted dish towel, and several individual socks … including the red wool one which had gone missing two winters past.

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No one is entirely sure to which case this evidence pertains, but we’re pretty sure warrants will shortly be issued.

A good detective always makes his case!

SHARING MY WORLD AS MARCH DRAWS TO AN END

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 12

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink?

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Coke. I know it’s wicked. Much too much sugar and who know what chemicals in it, but I cannot help myself. I love it. Nothing makes my dry mouth happier than an icy cold Coca Cola.

What made you feel good this past week?

The pictures I took of the sunrise on the equinox.

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How nicely Gibbs is fitting into the household, even though Bonnie is sulking now that she realizes he isn’t leaving.

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Sibling rivalry … even amongst the doggies!

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Socks. I have about 40 pairs in polka dots, stripes. Big fluffy ones, heavy woolly ones, little cotton footies. I have them in almost every color of the rainbow and you can tell my mood by the color of my socks.

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Unless it’s right before laundry day, in which case … it is whatever is not yet in the hamper waiting to be washed!

Would you rather live where it is always hot or always cold?

I’m Goldilocks on this one. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfection? Caribbean style. Warm sunny days.

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An hour of rain at noon. Balmy nights. And the smell of flowers in the salty air.