Busy weekend

We had a very busy weekend and as you know from the Bubbles guide to Happy Healthy Living: it is absolutely necessary to relax when one has been busy. So that is what we did on Sunday evening.

We did doga, M and I. As you can see in this picture. M is stretching her back and I am helping her. You think I am sleeping? Ha! No way.  I am putting some extra weight on M, so she can stretch deeper.

Foto 29-11-15 21 44 04

Knowing one’s place

We dogs are easy to understand, if you know what to look for. We live by a few simple rules. Hierarchy is one of them. To us hierarchy is very important. That makes sense, because we live in groups. In groups of dogs or humans, that doesn’t matter to us. In a group you need a  hierarchy to function. Wild dogs need this structure to hunt and get their food. Can you imagine what would happen if every member of the pack would do as he pleases, one chasing a squirrel, the other chasing a rabbit and the rest of them snoozing in the sun because they ‘don’t feel like doing anything today’? Right: they won’t get anything to eat and they will die.

A lot of modern dogs do not need to hunt anymore. We are city dogs and farm dogs: we get fed by humans. But still we need hierarchy. It gives clear rules, a structure for us to function in. Like humans, we like to know the boundaries, so we can feel safe and free inside them. No structure means uncertainty and we do not like that. When there is no structure, we will make one ourselves. It comes natural to us, as you can see when dogs meet for the first time. They will sort out the rules and the hierarchy pretty quick. I noticed that humans do the same: as soon as they meet, they start exploring each others position in order to sort out the hierarchy. Funny, hey? Humans and dogs do not differ that much, surprisingly.

Like I said: we dogs live in groups and it does not matter to us whether it is a group of dogs or humans. We call it our pack, either way. My pack consists of M and P and Chuck. Sometimes it gets enlarged with other temporary members, friends from M and P or me. But this is my core pack. We have a strict hierarchy. Chuck is way down this hierarchy. That is why I let him sleep on my bed, but he has to stay on the ground. And I sleep in the chair. Which is more cosy and soft and also higher. We dogs take things very literal: higher in the hierarchy also means higher in height. A dog that sleeps on the sofa, the bed, in a chair is higher than the ones that stay on the floor. Like Chuck. I can even remove him from the cushion on the floor if I feel like it and he won’t complain, ever. Chuck knows his place, our hierarchy is very clear.

IMG_20151119_101313814

 

Rude dogs, lazy humans

I find it amazing how silly humans can be. Some humans, I mean. Especially humans with bad mannered dogs. Where I live there are some areas where dogs are allowed to run off leash: the forest and the beach. In Holland everything is very orderly, there are designated areas and rules for everything. I don’t know why, but when you don’t comply you get a fine and that means less money to spend on dog cookies. Which, of course, is bad news. So M complies with these rules and I agree with her, concerning the cookie-consequence.

Anyway, we go to these dog-off-leash-zones a lot. And sometimes we meet bad mannered dogs there, running off leash too. When we are harassed by such a dog and our human tells the human with the bad mannered dog she doesn’t like that, she often gets the reply “this is an off leash zone, so my dog can do as he pleases”. Truly, that is the answer we get a lot. Amazing, isn’t it? As if an off-leash-zone means you can do anything you like! As if it is not their concern that other humans and dogs are being bothered by their dog.

I find this very strange. And very unwise, too, from the point of the bad mannered dog and his human. Humans usually end up in an argument when this happens, but we dogs don’t do arguments. We strike. Not the shy and polite dogs, they will hide behind their human. But dogs like me, we don’t accept it when another dog annoys us. Especially when I am with my friends, the bandidos. When a human is too lazy to discipline his mean dog, we will. We actually like doing it, so I hope we will meet one again soon.

Bubbles strand Nicoline

 

Beach

We just returned from the beach and it was awesome. It has been storming all night, so the sea was rough and the air was clean. I did not meet any friends, M and I were alone. So we played ball and I ran.

IMG_20151118_095108282

Every dog loves the beach. The space, the vastness… no matter rain or sunshine or storm, it is always very nice to be there. Running on the beach is a great way to start the day!

Bandidos

Lately M is looking a lot at the big luminous device in our living room. She is watching a new Netflix series, she tells me: Narcos. It is about drugs and a guy named Pablo Escobar. I doze next to her when she watches, hearing a lot of new words. M tells me it is Spanish. Great, I am learning some Spanish!

I like some of the words I learned. For instance: ‘bandidos’. That is what they say a lot in this series: ‘somos bandidos’. It means ‘we are bandits’. I like this word because it is exactly what we dogs are when we are together. Like when I am with my friends in the pack of Nicoline, my personal trainer. We are always up to some mischief. Humans and other dogs that meet us are beware of us, some are even a little frightened. They should be! We truly are a gang of rebels. Somos bandidos!

This is a pic Nicoline made from some of us. She caught them in the act of an undermining activity, as you can see.

Dig this

Feeling sad?

Here in Holland the days are getting darker. The trees are becoming more bare every day and the air smells of earth and the decay of leaves. I don’t mind but a lot of people do, I have noticed. They are becoming sad or even suffer from something that is called sad: seasonal affective disorder. Do you wonder how I know that long and difficult word? Well, I read a lot when I am home alone. That is how I got to know the definition of sad – the disease, I mean. Not the feeling. I like being alone now and then. That probably makes me a not so average dog but hey, that’s me!

People suffering from sad are a bit depressed. They are tired and irritated by small things. They are vulnerable to little annoying illnesses, like a cold. That is all too bad, because there are some easy and natural remedies to get over this sadness. I think that in this case, too, humans can learn a lot from us dogs. We are never really sad. You want to know why? Here are some simple cures for sadness:

1. Sleep more. Take notice of what we do when it is dark and raining outside. We curl up in a nice and cosy place and we sleep. When we wake up and it is still dark and raining, we sleep some more.

Foto 25-11-14 22 23 38 (1)

2. Go out and exercise. No, this is not contradictory to number 1. It is complementary! We go out and run and play and when we are tired we sleep. Being outdoor and exercising is combining two important remedies for sadness. You soak up whatever light and sunshine there is and you use your body. That makes you feel good. Even when it is cold and cloudy outside. Just try it, for at least one hour! You will feel much better afterwards.

Hike9

3. Do doga. Which is more exercise, but indoors so you can do it anytime, day or night. Doga is three things combined: moving your body, soothing your mind and having a good time with your canine. Don’t take it too seriously (you are not training for a doga contest, I hope), but laugh and have fun! It will melt your sadness away. Then, after doga, rest some more, if possible together.

Snoozing

Life is good, even when the days are getting darker.

 

 

 

 

 

Salty air

Yesterday AND the day before M was so busy that she did not have time to walk with me! She has been looking at this luminous device for hours on end. While outside the sun was shining! Jeez. What is it with humans that they can’t get their priorities right?

I tried to get her attention, of course. I ran around the rooms, dragging Chuck with me. I jumped up and down in front of M. I made special noises to emphasize the importance of Going Out. It did not work. Until today. I am glad to say that we just returned from the beach, both M and I.

20150629_134017

It was glorious, as usual. I ran and fetched balls and got my toes wet. M walked and breathed the healthy salty air. She told me we will go to the beach together again every day, from now on. I’ll remind her of that promise! Starting maybe… at seven in the morning, every morning? So she won’t forget.

By the way, this is what she was so busy with. M wrote a book, a thriller, for an organization. She is kind of proud about it, so I am too.

IMG_20151029_161436644