Device

I must admit I was very lazy this week. I felt a bit moody and not like doing anything. Of course I had to go out with M or P, they need their exercise. They even go out when it is raining – I don’t know why. I told them time and again we can stay indoors when it is pouring, like it did a lot this week, but they do not seem to understand. Maybe they like walking in the rain.

Today it is a sunny day and we just returned from the beach. M and I walked a long way and I drained all the laziness from my long limbs by running ultrafast. M brought this magical device with her:

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When she has this with her, her arms get tremendously strong and she throws the ball very very far! I like that. I wait for her to throw it and then I run like hell, looking up to the sky where the ball is going. Usually I catch it before it hits the ground. When I am doing this, I do not want to play or sniff the sand, I even run past little crabs (although I remember where they are, so I can eat them along the way when I run back to M).

So I had a good time on the beach. Besides from fetching the ball I met a friend, his name is Luca. I like playing with him, although sometimes he is a bit pushy. In that case I show my teeth and he backs off. I also met Lana, a former stray dog from Spain. We always measure forces when we meet. Today we found out we are both still strong. After this I ran some more.

Running

Now we are home again. I will rest in the sun and enjoy the feeling that my laziness left me.

 

 

 

Feast

Did you see the Oscars this weekend? We did and I am very happy a movie with a dog won one of these yellow statues. Of course we watched the trailer of this movie, called Feast. My oh my it is awesome.

There are several really cool things in this movie. First: the star is a dog, a very cute one, but can you see what kind of dog it is? It is a Pittbull! I am positive about this. I think it is great they chose this breed, since it is very wrongly known as a scary breed by ignorant humans. Now everyone can see they are not scary at all!

The second cool thing is the storyline. It is all about food. This dog eats all the time! And absolutely yummy things, too. I had to replay the trailer several times to note it all. It is so much. It gets tacos (with cheese!!!), pizza, spaghetti with meatballs… it is mouth watering to look at. I must admit I dreamt of it all night. I had delicious dreams about huge piles of pizza, all for me, and a swimming pool full of spaghetti with meatballs bubbling on the surface. I just had to plunge into the pool to eat them!

There is one major thing that can be improved in this movie, though. It is an animation. They should make a real movie, with a real dog. Then they will surely win an Oscar for Best Picture. I will gladly volunteer to be the actor. I am very fit for just such a part: I can eat loads and loads of stuff (without getting fat) and I look very cute. I am also very obedient, so I will do anything the director tells me (concerning eating, that is). So, Disney, when you start making plans for this picture: please cast me! I will be a star actor, I promise. Maybe we will even win an Oscar for Best Dog in a Leading Role!

Schutzhund

I just read a very interesting article about how to become a Schutzhund. That is a dog for policework, like chasing criminals! I think it is pretty cool if a dog does things like that, so I read the article carefully. It turns out you have to be very good at tracking, obedience and protection. That sounds promising! I am learning to become a tracker, I am already a very obedient dog and I am extremely good in protecting M and P. I might look sweet and skinny, but I can be very intimidating when I want to.

But, and this is the difficult part, I do not quite understand how these things relate to each other. I mean: when does one have to be obedient and when protective? I have some trouble with this, to be honest. I protect our house and M likes me doing this, she tells me that is what a dog should do. When there are friends visiting the house, M is relaxed and so am I, I do not have to protect her then. That I understand and find easy. But last week we had this situation: a man came into our house and M was friendly to him, but I sensed danger. So I growled at him , ready to chase him away. He got the point and backed off, but M told me to shut up and invited him in!

In our house this is a rare situation, because most of the time only friendly humans visit us.  But outside it gets more difficult. Especially when we sit somewhere to have a drink. M and P like doing this, so it happens often. I am sure it is my duty to protect them when we do this. These are high risk environments, with unknown humans and canines getting too close to us. I want to make all of them very clear they have to back off and if M let me, I would do exactly that. But, and this is the difficult part: most of the time M won’t allow me to.

I guess this is the obedience part in the Schutzhund training and I am sure it is the hardest part. I lie next to M or P on the floor, trying to suppress the urge to attack humans and dogs coming too close. It is very hard, I have to keep in control of my natural instincts all the time. Maybe I could handle it easily when we only sat down for a short while, just for M and P to have their coffee. But no, they do not only have coffee, but food too and then another drink. It takes them ages and all the time I am lying down, trying to be obedient.

I’d almost say it is not fair, but that is not true. Last weekend we went on a long walk and then they had a long lunch. I managed to stay calm and obedient during the entire lunch and as a reward I got this, when we were outside again:

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It is a Dutch herring. It is de-li-ci-ous. Salty and very juicy. P bought it for me in a special shop. I waited outside, still being very obedient, as you can see (that is not very hard, when you have the promise of the reward right in front of your nose):

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M wanted to make a picture of me eating this herring, but – as usual – I was a bit too quick. In this picture you only see its tail, well, a small part of it. Of course, I ate it all. Yummy.

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I do wonder what a Schutzhund eats. Will he get herring every day? Maybe I should make some inquiries into their diet, before I enlist. When you are a Schutzhund reading this, could you tell me more about your work and the food they give you?

Happy Valentine!

Today is Valentine’s day and M just explained to me what this means. It is a very romantic day, when you think about the ones you love. Humans make a fuss about sending cards, sometimes anonymous, and then start fussing about whether the one they love loves them too. We dogs do not have this problem. When we see a dog we like, we just jump on him/her. When the other dog does not appreciate this, he/she snaps. Straightforward and simple, we like that.

Since it is Valentine’s Day, I will write a post especially to the dogs I love. To Boss: I am really glad we got to know each other at Nicolines place, because you are an awesome dog. You are huge and strong and I love your smell. I also like your independent character, so whatever Nicoline and your human try to achieve in your training: stay exactly the way you are. Maybe we can go chase a burglar one day! I’d like that. I will run to the criminal and bite him in the leg to make him fall, than you can jump on him and pin him down. When the police is there we will hand him over to them and receive two big juicy bones as a reward! That would be an Adventure.

To Flynn: I love the colors of your fur and the way you look at me. It makes me go all wobbly in my long legs. I would like to spend more time with you! Just lying in the sun together, on the beach. That would be nice.

To Jack: you are my coolest friend, you make me feel shy when you pry at me with your dark eyes. I am sorry I snapped at you last time I saw you on the beach, I do not know what got into me (all right, I do: there was a little crab I wanted to eat), but I promise you I won’t do that again (as long as you leave the crabs to me). Hey, we understand each other, don’t we? You being a big mean looking Rottweiler from the shelter and me being a sweet looking, beautiful dog from a shelter too.

To Dange, formerly known as Danger: I miss you, because I haven’t seen you in a while. How are you? I remember very well that as a puppy I ran to you and put my little legs around your huge head and you started to snort because you were so happy to see me. I hope I will see you again soon!

To Fred: you are my gentleman friend and always will be. When we are out together, I marvel at the majestic way you walk and the polite things you say. I do hope that someday we will get the change to chase rabbits together. I am a bit younger so I am faster than you, but you are a whippet bred for the races, so I do expect some competition! Let’s dream about that race for the rabbits.

M just tells me one can’t write Valentine’s cards to different males. Why on earth not? Humans can make life very complicated. I do write these posts to all the males I love, because I love them all. I think that is fine and so do they, I am sure about that. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Tracking

We started a new training and it is awesome. I am learning to become a tracker! As I wrote before, hunting training did not turn out the way we expected. M wanted me to bring back dummies, but I did not see why I should. Had it been real ducks or partridges it would be different, those I would have brought to her (after eating the juicy bits).

So M, insisting to do some training together, went in search of something else and found this! Last week we had our first Official Training. We met in a forest near a lake, it is a place I do not know. It has lots of interesting smells! But there was one smell I had to focus on: that of the woman that was the missing person.  She hid herself and I tracked her. Simple! My nose is exceptional, so I did not find this difficult. There was only one spot where the training was hard, because there was a dead duck lying in the grass. After investigating the duck, I was back on track and found our missing woman. Then she hid herself again. Okay, that is a bit silly, because she is not really missing or lost, she is just pretending. M says that if I get really good at it, I could locate real missing persons. Like for instance when my boy friend gets lost, I can find him and bring him back home! That would be totally cool.

Tracking

This is a picture of our training. The missing woman took the picture, as you can see I was very near. M and the trainer are walking behind me, M is holding a very long leash so she won’t lose me. Because, you know, if that should happen I do not only have to find the missing person, but M and the trainer too! That is for advanced students. I guess in a training or two I will be ready for that.

Scary breeds?

Sometimes humans really puzzle me. They have these ideas, these conceptions, that are very odd and far from the truth. Most humans look at the world according to these conceptions. We dogs see the world as it is, because we live in the moment. Humans live inside their heads a lot, thinking and worrying too much, and therefore they often do not see things as they are. The result is that most humans notice most strongly things that confirm their ideas. Then they say: ‘I knew it was this way. I was right thinking it would be like this.’ When something happens or is that does not comply with their conceptions, they say it is an exception. Or they do not see it at all. This is a bad thing, because once they have an idea into their head, it is very hard to change it. They do not learn and, even more important, they miss most of the fun because they are thinking too much, not noticing a lot of things. With kids it is different, but from a certain age it starts getting bad.

I am telling you this, because there are some misconceptions humans have about dogs that are very annoying. Like the idea we should play all the time, or the odd ideas humans have about dominance. There is another major misconception that bothers us, I will call it ‘scary breeds’. Humans think some dog breeds are dangerous. Breeds like Rottweilers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Pittbulls and all other kinds of bullterriers, Mastiffs, Cane Corsos, Bordeauxdogs, Dobermanns, Malinois and German Shepherds. A lot, hey? And I am sure I did not mention all of them.

Like I said, humans have ideas and they behave according to these ideas. And that is a problem. Because whenever they see a dog of a so called scary breed, they are scared. They cross the street, they pull their own dog very close (most of the time almost choking the poor dog, especially if it is a little one) or they get very nervous when the dogs are both off leash and meeting each other. We dogs immediately sense human emotions, so when humans get nervous, we usually get nervous too. For instance: a Labrador and a ‘scary’ breed meet on the beach, both are off leash. The human of the Labrador reacts nervous. The Lab senses this emotion and thinks ‘my human is so stressed, there is something terribly wrong!’ and starts to behave differently to the ‘scary’ dog. It wants to get away and snaps at the ‘scary’ dog because he is not giving up sniffing the Lab’s behind. Now two things can happen:

1. The ‘scary’ dog snaps back and the Labrador yelps and runs to his human. The human will think: ‘I knew it, one can’t trust this breed. It is a disgrace they are off leash on the beach! It should be forbidden.’

2. The ‘scary’ dog leaves the Labrador alone and returns to his human. The human of the Lab will think: ‘That was close. We were lucky, this time. It is a disgrace breeds like that are off leash on the beach! It should be forbidden.’

You see what the problem is? Nothing changes. This human still has this idea about scary breeds and he will never get the real picture. Because, as you probably guessed by now (I am expecting my readers to be intelligent humans) there are no scary breeds. Yes, some dogs are scary. And yes, some of the dogs of the breeds I mentioned can be scary, too. They are all big, strong, energetic dogs and when they do damage, it will be a lot bigger than when – say- a chihuahua bites in your shoe. But the breed itself is not scary. Are all men scary, or all women? All Germans or all English? Of course not. They are as diverse as we dogs are.

Some of my best friends are German Shepherds and there is also a Rottweiler I am kind of fond of (I am sorry I do not have pictures of them, I tried to persuade them to look really mean so I could make a good picture for this post. But they refused, they are way too cool for that). I like to play with Staffordshire Bullterriers and Pittbulls, because they like playing it rough, like I do. They do not start to whine when I crash into them. I never have trouble with them. I do sometimes meet bad mannered dogs, but that does not depend on their breed. There is one especially nasty Rhodesian in this neighborhood, but in a street nearby there is a very sweet Rhodesian, too. Sometimes I meet a bad mannered Greyhound and there is also a Bichon you have to be beware of in the forest here. They are individuals, not all Bichons or Greyhounds are mean.

So next time, when you are on the beach or another place where there are a lot of dogs off leash, take a good look. A real look, I mean, try to really see what is happening. You will probably see a Pittbull relaxing in the sun (and not preparing some attack), a Rottweiler happily bringing a ball to his human (it is just a happy dog, not an especially good trained one), a Labrador running with a Setter and a German Shepherd. And no, the German Shepherd is not chasing them, he is playing with them. Welcome in the real world!

 

Happy blogger

When I started this weblog, it was mainly to share my opinions and tell you about my adventures. I thought it would be nice, but I never imagined it would be so much fun! It is wonderful to write, of course, to be able to create something. But it is even more wonderful to know you are reading it. To know humans and dogs (and maybe, although I hate the idea, some cats too) are enjoying my musings. Even in countries I have never visited, like Brazil, the United States and Angola!

Bubbles blogging

It adds an extra zest to my day, to have an adventure and think how I can write about it. Sometimes we meet humans who tell M they really like my blog, because it makes them smile. That is good! Happy humans are the best, because they are friendly and relaxed and more likely to give you yummy things than stressed humans.

So I am glad to have started this blog and I hope I will continue it for a long time. Thank you very much for reading it! You make me a happy blogger.