Yesterday something happened and it got me thinking. Thinking about humans and dogs and that sometimes we really do not understand each other. Some humans, that is, not my human M, of course (hey, I still have to get my dinner and I know she is reading this)! Maybe this sounds familiar to you, I’ll explain what happened.
We were in the forest, M and I. I was sniffing around, there were two other dogs doing the same. A few minutes before we had met each other, sniffed each other and then got along with investigating the surroundings. Then this human came walking towards us, with her dog. Her dog was not happy to be there, we smelled that immediately. So we left her alone. That is what balanced dogs do, you know: if you want peace, we give you peace. Simple.
But the human of this dog did not like that. She kept on saying to her dog: ‘Oooh, here are some friends for you, go and play! Go on!” Her dog obviously did not feel like it. Her tail was between her legs, she was looking away from us, her tongue licking her mouth nervously. She wanted to get away, but she was on a leash so she couldn’t. Her human dragged her towards us, telling our humans that her dog was afraid and it would be good for the dog if she would play with friendly, well mannered dogs (I think she meant us). The humans started their usual chitchat about dogs and the weather. The poor nervous dog had to stand near us. The other dogs and I ignored her as much as we could, feeling a bit embarrassed for her.
In the end we did not play with her, of course not. You can not force dogs to play. And you know what? Not every dog wants to play with every other dog. Sometimes I don’t feel like playing at all. Sometimes a dog wants to play with me, but he is not my type. Or the other way around. That is absolutely fine. We dogs don’t care: we say hello and go our own way. It is the humans who make such an issue about this. That is what I was thinking about. Why do humans think we should play so much, even with dogs we do not know? Do humans play with every stranger they meet in the street? Of course not! Why do they think we want to?
I have not yet received a reply from mr. Cesar Millan on my note to him. He is a busy man of course, so I understand that. I will wait, we dogs have a lot of patience.
In the meantime I have been practicing a new special look. Because if he replies to me, I have to react in a fitting way. This is it, my special look of awe. What do you think, is it convincing enough?
Oh no. We haven’t been home for some weeks and M is already making plans for a new adventure. I don’t like it at all and since I am in it too, I have to do something about it. That is why I am writing this note, a very polite note to the famous Dog Whisperer himself. I do hope he will read it. This is it:
Dear mr. Cesar Millan,
I am writing to you as the humblest of dogs. My human M and I are huge fans of your work. We watch all your tv-shows and we think it is awesome that you show people all over the world how to give their dogs a good life. It is Education with a capital E.
This month you will visit Holland. M has plans to go to your show and that is the reason I have to write you. Because, you know, it would be a good idea if she would not go. A theater show is very different than what you do on tv, right? I mean: it could be a disappointment for her. She would have to sit in the back of the huge theater and not see everything right, for instance. Most importantly: she would learn a lot of things that are not useful to her, because I am already a very obedient dog. Can’t get more obedient than this, I swear. I already have my own personal trainer, a real Dutch dog whisperer, and that is enough for one dog to handle.
In other words: M doesn’t need this. It is way better if other people, people with bad mannered dogs, go to your show. Let’s leave room for them.
So can you please, please let her know that your show is booked? Sorry, full, no more tickets left? I will be forever thankful to you and pay even more attention when we watch your new show on tv.
A polite paw from your humble servant,
It happened again, this morning: someone commented to M about me being too skinny. These people act as if they ask a question (‘Oooh, your dog is beautiful but why is she so skinny?’) but actually they mean: ‘Your dog is too skinny, you should give her more food!’ You can’t fool dogs, you know: no matter how nice the words you choose, we can smell what you really think.
I never object to more food, of course. But seriously, these people start to annoy me very much. Because I am not too skinny, I am just right. This is the body shape that suits me. I know from experience, because if I do eat a lot I grow a nice little soft belly, but my ribs still stick out.
I also don’t like these people commenting, because M gets upset about it. This is something that puzzles me about humans: the way they open themselves up to other humans, even if they don’t know them. If a dog I don’t know barks to me in the street I am a no good Greek stray, I just bark back he is an asshole. I don’t care about that and I don’t think about it anymore (other than my friend Fred, but hey, he is a sensitive whippet). But if a total stranger tells M she is neglecting me, she is sad. Even if it is not true and the people telling her this are always too fat themselves, as are their dogs. Truly! Next time someone tells her this, I will bite them. And growl: ‘Yes I am hungry and you look fat and juicy so I’ll eat you and your obese dog!’ That will teach them and make M very happy.
Like I told you, we are on holiday in France and we see a lot of medieval places. In the old days, the nobility lived in these castles. They had dogs, for hunting and guarding and company. In one of these castles we saw a drawing of this medieval life, the lady of the castle is having dinner. There is a dog with her, too. Do you see her? The dog of the lady of the castle! Here is the proof of my noble roots. Because this dog looks a lot like me: the same long legs, long nose and tail. Even the same ears! And she walks just like me, a beautiful proud dog. I knew all along I had noble roots, now I can prove it. My predecessors were the castle dogs of the medieval nobility!
Yesterday I met… something. I am still wondering about it, because I don’t know what it is. It moved, although very slow, and did not seem to be bothered by me. First I thought it might be fun to play with, but it did not react to my invitation. So I canceled that option – you need two parties for a fun game, likewise for a good fight. Otherwise it isn’t worth while.
Then I thought it might be for eating. But it smelled strange and unfamiliar – of earth and water and something I never smelled before. A little bit acid. Not good. So I decided to skip that option, too. Here is a picture of my investigation:
Maybe you could help me out, here? Have you ever met something like this before? Should I have let it disappear into the bushes, like I did, or should I have intervened? Is it dangerous?
I am probably telling you no secret that we dogs are a master in creating different looks. We go from totally obedient to acting as if we don’t hear what you are shouting at us in a split second. As I explained earlier in my blog about the Method™, every dog can use this acting talent to get what he/she wants.
There is one look I use for special needs only. If there is something you really want, try this. In this case, it was the herring on the table (which I got, of course!). You have to practice on this one, mind you! It is especially important you get the ears right. So try it in front of the mirror before you test it on your boss.
Today I’d like to share with you something that is very close to me. As a dog, I put a lot of time and effort in it. I am proud to show you a fine specimen of this product, I made just a few hours ago:
But there is one thing that confuses me. M does not seem to appreciate the work I put into this. When I am busy marking the territory around it, to show other dogs where they can find my sublime creation, she is already putting a plastic bag over it. At first, I thought she wanted to keep it, or put it in a place where it gets more attention. But she walks to a garbage bin and throws it away!
I am so embarrassed by this. I mean: doesn’t she know how much effort it takes to make something this beautiful?
Sometimes I really do not understand humans.
M loves biking. It was new to me, in Greece we don’t bike so much, but in Holland everyone does. Old people, kids… everybody cycles. They even take babies with them on their bike! And, so it turned out, dogs.
When I was a puppy, I fitted in a crate. Like this:
By the way, this is M. It was winter, as you can see, and very cold. I got used to traveling like this easily, because I am a courageous dog. Ha, you don’t scare me by putting me in a crate!
Then, as I grew taller and taller, M thought of another solution. So this is how she took me, when we were on holiday:
As you can see, I was totally relaxed. This was about a year ago and I have grown since, but I still fit in this basket. If I fold my long legs, that is.
The best I saved for last. Because this is what I travel in in Holland. A real cargobike! I have lots of space in there, which sometimes I share with my friends. In this picture I am with Hester, who as a moviestar is posing for the photographer. Me myself, I am guarding the surroundings, in case another dog wants to get close to my cargobike. That, of course, I cannot allow.
My name is Bubbles and I am a dog. I arrived in Holland about a year ago, from Athens, Greece. I lived with a foster family in Holland for a while before my current human took me to my new home. I looked very cute at the time, a bit too cute to my opinion. People wanted to pat me all the time, saying “oh you are soooo cute”. Horrible. I am happy to say I grew up to be a big strong dog, the fastest on the beach.
Here is a picture of my cute younger self:
Oh, my human called me Bubbles because “everything in life is better with Bubbles”. I guess she is part joking and part serious – I wouldn’t know about that. But I am glad she is happy having me around, because my life here is better than back in Greece. I grew up in a shelter with caring people and a lot of rough friends, but it is not a place to stay for the rest of your life. Besides, I have Ambitions. That is what this blog is about.