Sabrina the Human: I need 5 engery-boosting tips to finish this exhausting week.

Dear Paws to Talk,

I am in the middle of one of the busiest weeks of my life. I have so much to do before Sunday ends and am losing my energy.

Between my paying job, a looming deadline for the business I am starting, my family and keeping the house in order, I feel like I have nothing left to give. I am working 16 hour days and need some help to finish off the week.

There are 5 more days left of craziness. Can you give me 5 tips to help me boost my energy and accomplish everything?

-Sabrina the Human

Howl Sabrina,

Whatever you do in the midst of your busy week, don’t forget to feed your pets! Most of us aren’t as good as our ancestors were at hunting down dinner.

It seems like life has given you everyone else’s work to do this week. That doesn’t seem fair. We will try to see if we can file a grievance.

Here are your tips to make sure you survive the remainder of this week with grace and poise.

1. Take a short nap either after your lunch kibble or before your dinner kibble. Nap for no more that 30 minutes on the couch. If you go to bed and sleep longer than 30 minutes you probably won’t get up until morning.

2. Treat yourself to something special. You may think this is the wrong week to be doing this. However, a massage, facial or special meal is probably just the thing to rejuvenate your tired mind and body. The massage usually works for us every time when the humans stress us out.

3. Chase something. For us, this is easy because we have pesky squirrels invading our yard every morning. An invigorating run with a purpose in mind gets the blood flowing. If you don’t have a squirrel to chase then pick out a tree or building to run to.

4. When you are done for the day, be done! Sometimes we go to bed contemplating tomorrow’s blog or if the humans will remember to feed us the good kibble for breakfast. This is wasted time in which we could be getting our beauty sleep. Close your eyes and dream of something nice.

5. Bark it out! You have a lot going on. When it feels like you can’t do anymore, find a friend who understands and bark about the situation. You will feel much lighter, like someone removed your leash and collar.

Best of luck with the rest of the week!


Bella and DiDi



Murphy the American Quarter Horse: I want more freedom. How do I get it?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I live in a rural area with my humans, a mule and a cat. We have a nice pasture and plenty of food to eat. Overall, it is a good life.

Despite that, I feel a need for more independence. I stay in the pasture most days and feel restless. I love to run and use my powerful legs.

My human mother used to take me for rides every other day but lately this has stopped. Earlier in her life, she was thrown from a horse (not me) and I think her fear may be the reason behind my lack of rides. Last time I was out of the pasture, I got excited and started to run extra fast. She did not like that.

I want to run free and not be burdened by my human. How do gain my freedom?

-Murphy the American Quarter Horse

Howl Murphy the American Quarter Horse,

You are one of the few equines to write to us and we’re glad you did. We admire the beauty and athleticism of your species. When you think about it, horses possess a lot of the same qualities that Poodles do except we don’t eat hay.

We are frustrated that you are in this predicament. Clearly, there is something going on with your human (They are so high maintenance). Maybe she will get over it? Regardless, you deserve to use your natural abilities as much as possible.

We know you are hungry for independence, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to escape the pasture and live on your own permanently. This thought has probably gone through your mind a lot recently. However, it is important to cherish the wholesome supply of hay that you are given each day in your pasture and the animal family that surrounds you. It is a wild world out there.

Maybe you can take a day trip outside the pasture for an exhilarating run? Be sure to get back in time for dinner. Don’t waste that hay.

There are also ways for you to feel more free inside your pasture. If you feel like running, then do it. Run to the furthest boundary and back as many times as your heart desires. Do this for yourself. You have the ability to do whatever you want on this piece of land. Make it your place.

Your human will probably take a hint that you need to be taken out for a long ride. If this happens, don’t worry about her. Do your thing. Run with force, beauty and joy. If she doesn’t like it then maybe she needs to reconsider owning a horse or get someone else to take you on rides.

Use your gifts. Feel the wind blowing through your mane. Freedom from you stagnant lifestyle is yours for the taking. Good luck!


Bella and DiDi

Zach the dog: How do I break up with my girlfriend?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I have been dating my girlfriend (who I prefer not to name) for 6 months. She is smart, funny and has a lovely fur coat. Overall, she is a wonderful canine, However, I don’t have romantic feelings for her anymore.

I know that I need to break up with her for both of our sakes but I don’t know how. Last week, I took her for premium chow outside of our yards figuring that over a nice meal I could end it. At least then, her tummy would be full even if her heart might be broken.

But I couldn’t do it. I knew it would be hard. How do I break up with her?

-Zach the dog

Howl Zach,

I am relieved that you care enough about your girlfriend to ask for advice on how to deal with this difficult situation. Some men can be such wild animals.

No matter how painful it may be, most of us just want to know the truth. Don’t waste our time or say you are too busy to take us out of the yard for date night because in reality you don’t care about the relationship anymore.

Before you do anything, make sure that you are ready for the relationship to end. Are you sure those romantic feelings have diminished? Can you live without seeing her gorgeous fur coat on a regular basis?

If breaking up is still the correct choice,then perk your ears up. Go to your girlfriend’s yard when she won’t be crowded by humans or other animals and tell her your feelings have changed.

Then just listen to what she has to say. When she is done crying, barking or reminiscing, tell her again how fabulous you think she is. Explain how you agonized over this. Be gentle and kind.

If you handle this sad situation with grace, it will help both of you to move on peacefully. Leave the gate to the yard open because you never know who may trot through it in the future.




Anonymous Human: My dog upset me. How do I feel better?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I am so mad at my dog! I took her on a walk this weekend and brought her to a field where I regularly let her run off-leash. The dog loves this activity.

She ran out to the middle of the field and then just kept running. I incessantly called her name to no avail. Next, I held up her beloved treats but that wasn’t enough to lure her back to my side.

I panicked! Then tried more “tricks” such as pretending I was leaving her, which always sends the dog in my direction. Not on this day!

Finally, after crossing a nearby road, she looked at me from the other side and sprinted back to me. I knelt down full of relief and anger as I hooked the leash to her collar.

As we walked home, I held the leash firmly and spoke firmly to the dog. We continued walking and my anger consumed me. Thoughts of what awful things could have happened filled my mind.

 I felt like an angry, sad failure. I pride myself on taking great care of my dog and making sure she is well-behaved Why did my dog do this? How do I feel better about this?

-Anonymous Human

Howl Human,

First of all, we’re animals. It’s that simple. You can train us and give us fabulous treats but sometimes we tap into our inner wolves (supposedly we were all once wolves) and follow the scent of a chipmunk, another dog or the concession cart that moved through the field a few days prior.

Just because you have trained your dog thoroughly, doesn’t mean she will always respond to you. Obviously, this is a scary thought given the fact that roads and cars were involved.

The dog didn’t run away to make you upset (although sometimes this is a tactic we use for attention) but she probably craved some extra adventure.

We really aim to make our humans happy and proud of us. There is a very good chance that your dog feels guilty about all of the worry and anger she caused you.

Now, is a good time to start anew. Buy some better treats (no dog will leave your side if you have some well-seasoned roast beef in your pocket) and practice your commands in a safe place.

Maybe you want to find another field for your dog to stretch her legs that isn’t close to a road? Or if you go back to your regular place then make sure both of you are ready. Bring some toys or a canine friend to distract your dog from sights across the road.

After a situation like this it can be tempting to never let the dog run free again. However, you can’t deny your dog’s love of galloping in an open field. Let her safely do what she is passionate about.

How would you feel if something you enjoyed was taken away?


Bella and DiDi








Julie the Chow Chow: How should I behave at a party?

Dear Paws to Talk,

Recently my humans had a party at my house. There was human food and drink everywhere. I usually am restricted to the upstairs during these parties but this time I was allowed to socialize. I pranced around the room greeting guests. Everyone adored me. I even got a taste of human food. How do you think dogs are supposed to act at parties? Did I pass the test?

-Julie the Chow Chow

Howl Julie,

I am happy to answer your letter because I attend many parties. DiDi wishes she could answer. However, she is always banned from our human’s parties and ends up pouting in her bed. She gets too excited and ends up with her paw in an appetizer. Last year, while the humans weren’t looking, she pulled the whole tablecloth off the table trying to steal a stick of butter and basket of bread. Foolish girl.

Being invited to a party is a privilege, so you must be grateful and act politely. Always greet each guest with a tail wag even if they are not your favorite. It is a party. A time for fun. There are other times to growl at someone you don’t like.

Once everyone has arrived do laps around the room (don’t run) and collect love and pets on the nose from everyone. If you don’t put yourself out there than no one can ever love you or pet your nose.

Enjoy the food and drink but don’t pull a DiDi. You don’t want to be the laughing stalk of the party. There is nothing worse than waking up the next day and being ashamed to show your face.

It sounds like you did well at your first party. Keep it up and maybe next time they’ll give you your own lamb chop to chew on. Yum.









© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bruno the Pug: Help! I need 3 wonderful holiday gift suggestions.

Dear Paws to Talk,

I am starting to panic! I have three humans to but gifts for before our annual holiday party next week. My mind is not in gift-buying mode but instead is preoccupied with the plush toy I lost in my yard a few days ago.

I love giving gifts to my humans but am afraid I might disappoint them this year. Help! Can you suggest some wonderful gifts I could get them?

-Bruno the Pug

Howl Bruno,

It is refreshing to meet a being who enjoys giving gifts. So many others only focus on what they are getting. We have even seen some even write out paper lists of things they want. What a waste of paper which would make a lovely snack or impromptu toy.

We have different ideas on what to give the humans so we usually go to mall together but purchase separate gifts. So we will each give you our top three ideas.

Also, don’t forget how special homemade gifts can be. Plus the cost less bones.

See our suggestions below.


-Fuzzy gloves to keep your humans’ hands warm and stylish this winter. They can’t pet you if their hands have turned into ice blocks.

-A food processor. This gift will encourage your humans to cook more at home and hopefully create some sumptuous meals for you.

-Home decor. Take a non-stinky, inedible item from the trash and fashion it into a pretty design. If this is too complicated then just leave your paw prints on the item you selected. Your humans will appreciate the originality and effort you put into this gift.


-A large smoked ham. Who wants to cook during the holidays? Be sure to sit up straight at the table and put on your “hungry face” when the ham is being served. This will increase your chances of getting a piece and being able to chew the bone after the ham is finished.

-A flower or plant from your yard. Uproot it and bring inside so your humans can enjoy their garden when it is too cold to go outside.

-A  bundle of sticks.This one may only work if your humans have a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Gather as many sticks as possible and lay them in a nice pile. Your humans will barely have to lift a paw next time they want to make a fire because you have done all the hard work for them.

Good luck!


Bella and DiDi














© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tessa the Black Lab: Am I old?

Dear Paws to Talk,

My daddy said something to me the other day that caught me off-guard. He called me an “old girl.” Usually, he just refers to me as “girl.” I admit that my bones get a little sore after walks and I find some of the antics young canines do a bit annoying. However, I don’t feel old. My mind and sense of smell are still very sharp.  Am I old?

-Tessa the Black Lab

Howl Tessa,

*Big Sigh* This is another example of humans saying something silly. When will they learn that we hear everything they say and their words affect us? Maybe your human feels older so he is dragging you down with him?

I believe that you are the age that you act. I am 6-years old but I like feel the way I did when I was 1-year-old so I do things I did when I was that age. For example, I run around the neighborhood while everyone chases me, dig holes and sometimes steal Bella’s kibble. If you buy into being an “old girl” then you will be one.

Of course, we are all getting older and with that comes experience which can be a great asset. For instance, I now know that I will never eat my daddy’s cycling glove ever again. Also, I know how to prevent Bella from pushing my buttons. I’m sure you have many things that you have learned over the years that made you a better dog.

Take your life experiences and act what ever age you want. The next time your daddy calls you an “old girl” make a grumbling sound. Don’t let him off the hook. Soon you’ll just be “girl” again.









© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.