Bella and DiDi: We’re throwing a party!


Please join us this Sunday February 3rd at 2pm EST on Google Hangout for a fantastic time. We will be there on camera with our human leader and blog assistant, Margot Ahlquist.

Before the real athletes take the field on Animal Planet, we will celebrate. Sign up here: Our blog assistant will send you more details over email as the day gets closer.



Bella and DiDi

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



DiDi: Who can confidently stand alone?

DiDi: Alone on a snowy day relying on myself even though I know a human let me outside.


It took me a few years on this planet and knowing that I could hunt for my dinner if needed to realize that I can rely on my own four paws. I stepped out of Bella’s shadow and discovered what I wanted out of my life. More play, nature and time in the kitchen cooking with mommy. Less double dates with Bella, shopping trips and romantic comedy movies.

The best part of standing on your own is finding those special people who appreciate you and want to stand with you.

   DiDi: Bella and Toby join me for some snowy fun. 12 legs are better than 4.

Can you proudly stand on all four of your paws?



Toby the Poodle: 3 ways to get over it!

       Toby: I got over it! Therefore, once I help you I am going to relax and watch TV.


Bella and DiDi (my aunts) have asked me to stand up on my treat box and give some advice today. I believe I have a very important message to deliver – get over it!

We all know life is not a large heaping bowlful of delicious bones. Humans and animals say, do and think negative things. When this happens to me, I feel like a St. Bernard has hitched a ride on my 25 pound body.

Thankfully, I have learned how to let go and move on. I used to live in a shelter so everything else besides that seems insignificant.

Here’s how you can get over it.

1. Define what it is. Could it be something you did to yourself? Is it a comment a friend made to you? Is it a behavior? Is it a feeling? Is it from the past? What is it?

2. Once you know what exactly it is, put it on a leash and take it for a long walk. You may think it is the only thing being exercised but soon you will see that you are working out your feelings. After it is exhausted, let go.

3. Find a healthy and friendly it to replace your bothersome it. This could take some time but be on the look out. How about a cooking it? A boyfriend or girlfriend it? A dog it? A peaceful it? There are many options.

An it can only bother you if you let it.



Frank the French Bulldog: How do I smile more?

Dear Paws to Talk,

At first glance, I may not look like the happiest dog on the planet. It is my loose jowls. They make it a bit more difficult for me to smile.

However, inside I am a jovial canine who loves others. Unfortunately, humans and other animals can be put off by my business-like appearance.

How do I smile more and let my inside personality show on the outside?

-Frank the French Bulldog

Howl Frank,

You have come to the right place! I love to smile and over my many years on this planet have perfected a winning grin.

                     Bella: Is this a smile or is this a smile?

On the other paw, DiDi is one of the happiest beings I know but doesn’t always flash her pearly whites. She likes to save her smiles for when they count. I think this is part of her guard dog instinct.

DiDi: I am smiling on the inside but working to protect my yard on the outside.

It is wonderful that you want to smile more because it will make others more comfortable around you and have an overall positive impact on your attitude.

Since you have some physical challenges that make it harder for you to smile, I suggest the following exercises.

1. Loosen up your jowls by shaking your head back and forth. Who cares if you get some drool on the humans’ floor? Shake it out!

2. Hop up on a chair in front of a mirror and smile. It is important to watch yourself do this because you want to show off an authentic smile. No one enjoys an awkward, half-smile.

3. Let you inner energy flow. The next time you are on a walk, smile at everyone. Soon you won’t even have to think about it. You will have a wide grin that everyone will adore.

Perfecting your smile is the easy part but having the desire to spread cheer is special.




Bella and DiDi: From our home to yours…

…Happy Holidays! Thank you for reading our blog. Sending you Poodle *kisses* and *hugs.*

                                                                 Bella (L) and DiDi (R)


Bella and DiDi

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.