We are celebrating King’s day. Actually: my humans are celebrating it, like all the other humans in Holland. They eat and drink orange stuff, there are Dutch flags everywhere and music and people selling things they don’t need anymore. It is kind of a party. For them, that is. I do not care much about it. I mean: I don’t mind if they are having fun, but they don’t have to include me. I especially do not like this dressing-up-part of this national party. But alas, there is nothing I can do about it. Not today.
In my last post I wrote about the benefits of having a tail. Some humans pointed out to me that I forgot to write about something that is typical for dogs and tails: wagging. Dogs wagging their tails are happy, those humans tell me.
I am sorry to spoil their idea, an idea that is shared by a lot of humans. It is a misconception. We are not always happy when we wag our tail. To be precise: tail wagging has nothing to do with happiness! When we wag our tails, it means we are agitated. Sometimes we are agitated because we sense something nice is going to happen (yummy food! squeaky ball!) and in a way you can say that we are happy then. But when we wag our tail it can also mean we are insecure, angry or even scared.
Is that confusing? Not to canines. We sense each others energy, we know what the other dog means. To humans it can be confusing, because they have not learned how to read our body language. I will give them a clue. Look at the position of our tail when we are wagging. Is the tail up high in the air and wagging fast, it means a dog is over exited. He is not happy, he can even become aggressive. One sees this often when dogs meet. His tail will be high, wagging fast and he will make his body look bigger, standing tense. Usually he will be very close to the other dog. Too close to my liking – when a dog approaches me like this I snap, because they do not respect my personal space. Usually snapping helps, especially with intrusive males.
If the tail is very low, wagging fast, it means a dog is over exited too. It is exited and a little scared, with a look on its face that means ‘ooooh I do love you and I know we will go and do something awesome but will you please tell me what it is because I am really insecure right now!’ Something like that. This dog is not truly happy and his wagging tail is showing exitement and insecurity.
Then there is the third position: a medium raised tail, wagging slowly. This means the dog is relaxed and yes, most of the time you can say she is happy. Usually you can see this with dogs that are walking leisurely, sniffing her and there, doing some quiet explorations.
In some ways humans are better off than canines. They can always walk off leash, for instance. But if one takes a holistic point of view, canines have the most benefits. We are the ones with the happy simple lives: we guard, play and eat when we want and sleep the rest of the time. Much better than humans, who seem to be in a hurry all the time doing… yes, what exactly? I don’t know. Working, M tells me. Working for what, when they already have a house and plenty of food?
When it comes to physical differences canines are much better off than humans, too. Humans seem to navigate on one sense only: eyesight. Canines have sharp eyes, but also extraordinary hearing and smelling capabilities. Not to mention our seventh sense, which enables us to feel trouble that is coming to us (like a bad mannered dog in the dog park). We have wonderful warm fur (no clothes needed), pretty ears and, best of all: a tail. Humans do not have a tail. And that is very sad for them. With a tail, you see, one can do so many things.
Like using it as a counterweight when something asks for thorough nose-investigation.
It is also a clear tool for communication, as you can see: my friend near the water signals me she is ready for playing and I answer her with my tail in the same position. The game is on, friend!
The tail high up means: I am stronger than you are, try me! It is also a signal of extreme alertness – I put my tail up high when I smell a burglar, or a cat. By the way: in the above picture my friends were not really fighting, they were just testing one another’s strength. The dog in the back thought it pretty silly, as you can see.
A tail is a real asset. It is sad humans do not have one.
I knew when I started blogging that I would become famous one day. I’m happy to see this became true – my blog has been read thousands of times and more than 100 humans and canines subscribe to The Bubbles Diaries. More than 100! That is an amazing figure, they won’t even fit into my house!
I think this is awesome. I always wanted to be a famous dog, you know. From the moment I left the shelter and knew Great Things were awaiting me. So I was rather pleased when we went to the beach yesterday and I saw that some very thoughtful fans had rolled out the red carpet for me. A red carpet onto my favorite beach! I don’t know who did it, but I’d like to say: thank you. You know what a celebrity needs!
I am a path-finder, a way-finder. No matter where we are, in Holland or in the mountains in a far away place: I always know the way back. Back home, or the way back to our campervan, which is home too. I do not know why I can do this – it is typically human to ask a thing like that. I just do it. It comes natural to me.
This skill is not always needed, because sometimes the paths are so obvious that even M can find them:
But sometimes we walk in the woods or the mountains or along the coast somewhere and the paths are pretty hard to find. Sometimes there are no proper paths, only tracks made by wild animals. I find these easily, too. I lead M along the way, so we will go safely back to wherever our home is.
As a dog I am rather surprised about all this happy new year stuff. Humans make a lot of fuss about it, as if today will be very different from tomorrow because it will be a ‘new year’. Typical. The sun goes down and comes up again, which in itself is pretty magical every time she does that. Drawing a line between two days with an ‘old’ and a ‘new’ year is kind of…. technical.
Anyway: humans share a lot of ‘looking back on 2016’ news and that I do like. It got me thinking. It was a good year, you know. So I thought I’ll share my biggest adventures of 2016 with you.
This is The List of 2016:
February: camping for the first time with our new campervan. I guard it even more ferociously than I did before, with our old campervan. We went camping a lot this year, which was awesome.
March: helping the police to catch some burglars – that is a police officer you see in the picture, the burglars escaped. But we did find their tools!
May: exploring the woods around our home and discovering a new path that is known only to us.
July: hiking in the hot hills of Italy.
August: chilling in the high mountains of France.
September: cruising along the beach boulevard with my boy-friend.
November: exploring the vast woods around our favorite campsite.
I also want to mention the numerous times I was on the beach. We go there almost every day, so I can not call all these beach strolls a big adventure. But I do love them. There might not be a big adventure waiting there (although sometimes there is, like the times I assisted the police), but one never knows what little surprises we will encounter. They count too, you know.
Happy new year!
I have no time for a long post, sorry about that…. you know what it is: end of the year, loads of things to do (dreaming about squirrels, to name one) and presents to buy for all my friends like the cat next door (ha, just kidding!). Anyway: I thought it might be nice to share some selfies with you. Being a modern and digital native dog, I make selfies. I like this one, I look kind of cool, don’t you think?
Or this one. It is not really a selfie because M made it, which makes it a wesie (I think that is the right word). It is pretty artistic:
I know some of my friends make selfies, too. Like Hester:
Do you make selfies? I’d like to see them (especially when you are a squirrel)!