Tag Archives: Nicoline van Veldhuizen

Photo shoot

I just got home from a holiday with my personal trainer Nicoline and her pack of bandidos. It was good! It was a bit disappointing that M and P went on a holiday without me, again, but well. I have a positive attitude, I won’t hold it against them since they arranged a holiday for me as well. This time this was our pack, the core of it – it extends when Nicoline picks up some more bandidos. She is a dog walker too, you know. The gorgeous looking guy next to me is Boss, my favorite boyfriend.

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I did not mind posing for the picture, but I did mind that we were sitting on a very nice doggy bed – the one I had picked as mine during this particular holiday. So when the photo shoot was over, I claimed it once again.

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By the way: we did not travel in the usual dog walker van to the beach, but in a campervan, like I told you in my previous post. Of course I sat on the front seat, next to Nicoline, while all the rest of the pack had to sit behind us, on the floor. Nice.

Nightmare

As you probably know we have a campervan and it is my job to guard it. I do this with pleasure, like I guard our house and our cargobike and everything else that is mine. I do allow some dogs to sit next to me in my cargobike, like Hester and Zuid. But I do not like them to enter my house and certainly not my campervan. That is my territory.

Bubbles and bus

So it was quite a shock to me to see what Nicoline, my personal trainer, is doing to her campervan. When we go out with our pack she drives us in her van, a real dog walker van with loads of space for all of us. She also has a campervan of her own and apparently she is using that to get the pack to the beach too! She send me this picture. It is a real nightmare for me to imagine this happening to my campervanI sure do hope M won’t get any ideas when she sees this. I would never allow this to happen in my campervan!

Hondjes

 

My all-inclusive holiday

I am back! I had a wonderful holiday with Nicoline and her pack of bandidos. The holiday was all-inclusive: food, snacks, beverages, a cosy place to sleep, a full activity program and lots of friends – all arranged for me! Awesome.

We went to the beach for hours:

Bubbles holiday1

I made new friends:

Stitch

And settled old grudges with old friends:

Bubbles holiday2

No, I am not kidding, we are truly friends! We just needed to talk something through. Thoroughly.

Talking it through

After that, we had great fun together.

It was a very nice holiday. But I am glad to be back home with M and P. I have time to blog again! I hope you all had a good beginning of the new year as well. For me, this must become a wonderful year, starting this way.

 

 

 

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

No words needed

One of the big differences between humans and dogs is the meaning we give to words. Humans seem to have an agreement about what words mean, no matter what the circumstances. For example: ‘walking’ always means moving the legs to get somewhere. So when a human tells another human she had a nice walk, the other human understands what she means.

For dogs this is very different. We do not listen to the meaning of a word, for us it is the attached action or mood that counts. This means humans can use words in a different way when communicating with us. Take my friend Kiesja. She likes to do doggy dancing. When her humans says ‘strawberry’ she pivots. That is the way she learned it. Her human could have learned her to pivot on the word ‘turn’, but she thought it would be more fun to use another word. To Kiesja this is not important, because she reacts on the intention of her human. They trained this a thousand times, so the meaning of the word ‘strawberry’ is ‘pivot’ to her.

This knowledge about the difference in the use of words for humans and canines is important, because it explains a big misunderstanding. Humans seem to think that they can use words and we will understand what they mean, like other humans do. But that, as you can see by the example of Kiesja, is not true. We dogs connect a word (or a sound or a hand signal) to an action. When this is repeated, we will perform this action when the word is spoken. Like pivoting on the word ‘strawberry’. Or barking on the word ‘quiet!’. Because, you see: we don’t get the meaning of the word ‘quiet’, like humans do. When we bark and our human tells us again and again to be quiet while we bark, we will connect the word ‘quiet’ to barking. Get it?

I will give you another example. We have some new dogs on the block, a couple of golden retrievers. They aren’t too bad, but when they see another dog they start barking like mad and pull their leashes. Their human is not very strong, so he gets dragged over the street by his dogs. He is shouting ‘hey! hey!’ to his dogs when they are doing this. It is all very embarrassing, really.  My point is: these dogs probably think by now that ‘hey! hey!’ means ‘bark and drag me!’, because this happens all the time. I guess this human wants to make clear to his dogs that he does not like their behavior, that is why he is screaming. But his dogs obviously do not get his meaning. Mind you, I do not have a solution for his problem (why would I? It is not my problem), although I do think Nicoline, my personal trainer, will know what to do about it.

Nicoline and friends

Anyway, the point of my story (which needs a lot of words, sorry about that) is this: please know that humans and dogs understand words very differently. Once humans know this, they can start communicating with us in a different way. They can use fun words for actions they want us to perform. Or not use words at all, but sounds or hand signals. We react to those as well as to words. It gives humans a break, because they have to talk so much already, to other humans. With us they can be quiet, because we will understand them just as well. Or even better, because words tend to muddle intentions and energy. In the silence we can tune into each others energy and be together. No words needed.

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