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?

Woof,

Bella and DiDi

Bella

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Woof,

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.

Dan the Human: How can I thank my dog for saving my life?

Dear Paws to Talk,

Recently, my dog Ruby saved my life. I had a bad day and decided to drown my sorrows in whiskey. A couple of drinks into my pity party, I started to make dinner for myself. I put a frozen dinner in the oven without taking it out of the box. I continued to drink and drink until I eventually blacked out.

Hours later, I woke up thanks to Ruby barking at her highest pitch in my ear. The smoke alarm was going crazy and my dinner was on fire. I grabbed Ruby and we made our way out of the house. I live alone so I can’t imagine what would have happened had Ruby not sounded her own alarm.

The truth is that I had been struggling with alcohol abuse and that night made my realize that I needed help.

I don’t know where I would be without Ruby. Since that night, I have been in counseling and am putting my life back together.

Ruby continues to be my lifesaver and shining star. How do I thank her for everything she has done?

-Dan the Human

Howl Dan,

We’re glad you’re safe and improving your life. Ruby sounds like she is a true gem and not just because she is named after one.

There are many ways you can thank Ruby. For starters, a lifetime supply of treats and plush toys might be a good way. Don’t buy any cheap stuff. She deserves things that are top of the line.

Besides the gifts, the best way you can thank Ruby is to love her with all of your heart. Give her hugs, kisses, and belly rubs. Tell her that you love her. Just because she barks a different language doesn’t mean she can’t understand what you are saying. She will hear it. Many of us dogs are bilingual. Humans just don’t know it.

Is there an adventure that you have been meaning to do with Ruby? Now is the time. If you think she will love a hike or swim then go for it. Explore new things together.

It sounds like you learned a lot from that night. Ruby means a lot to you but you are also very important to her. Don’t spend all of your days trying to repay her (you should spend some though) just be there for her and that will be enough.

We wish you and Ruby all the best.

Woof,

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.

Byron the Boxer: I learned how to hold a conversation with ladies I like! My exclusive advice interview with Toby.

                                                     Byron the Boxer

Howl,

I am Toby, Bella and DiDi’s Poodle nephew. A couple of months ago, I answered the letter of Byron the Boxer who was having trouble conversing with the ladies. Clearly, Byron needed another guy’s help. As brilliant as I think Bella and DiDi are, this one was out of their yard.

I gave Byron some pick-up lines to use and I am proud to say they have helped. Earlier in the week, I interviewed Byron over the phone about his newfound social success. See it below.

Toby: So Byron did any of the pick-up lines work?

Byron: Yes!

Toby: Which ones?

Byron: “Did you just get a fur trim? Your coat has the perfect amount of fluffiness.”  That one was very flattering and appreciated.

Also..

“I know a great place where they give out treat samples. Would you like to join me there sometime?” This line was most helpful as it led to a date. Although, it was difficult to find a place that would give treat samples in my neighborhood.

Toby: Byron, I hope you didn’t promise a lady something and then not follow through?

Byron: No, I found a way to make sure we had a nice table with an assortment of treat samples.

Toby: Okay, I can breathe again. There is nothing worse than starting a great conversation and then having it end with no treats and a disappointed date.

Were there any pick-up lines that didn’t work?

Byron: Yes. “Your human(s) are very well-mannered. You did a good job training them.” Apparently, training humans is an ongoing process and they only act well sometimes in public. How was I supposed to know?

Toby: That is the risk with some conversation starters. You never know if you are stepping in poop or about to stride on the path to love. At least you made an effort.

So how have you changed your approach to speaking with ladies you like?

Byron: I feel more confident now that I have some ideas on how to start a discussion instead of standing there speechless acting like I have a giant chew toy in my mouth. Also, I have learned how to listen more to what the ladies are saying. The pressure doesn’t always have to be on me to speak.

Toby: That is right. You have large ears so why not use them?

Byron: Exactly, mine work really well too.

Toby: I am very happy that you are doing so well socializing with the females and getting back to dating. I wish you continued luck.

Byron: Thanks Toby.

Woof,

Toby

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 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.

Mason the Human: How can I get my work week off to the best start?

Dear Paws to Talk,

 I start my work week in complete chaos. Monday morning comes and I often didn’t relax or finish weekend projects around the house. Then, I go to the office and get swept up in a tidal wave of work and meetings.

I make it through the week somehow and get some reprieve from the weekend. However, by Monday morning, I am flustered and do all I can to ride the title wave.

I rarely enter the work week organized and relaxed. How can I make this happen?

-Mason the Human

Howl Mason,

Although we have never rode a tidal wave, Mondays make us anxious too. The humans scatter and go to different places which makes it so difficult to watch over them. Then we are usually taken off guard by a cleaning person, mailman or repairman showing up unannounced. Plus, the cuddling percentages almost always drop during the week.

Not to mention, it will be probably another year before we finish our weekend project of building a bone dispenser.

No matter what is happening in your life, clearly the work week likes to grab a hold of you and rarely let go until Friday evening. However, we think there are some ways to make the work week less grabby. See below.

Map out your week

Is there one specific area where you feel the work week is negatively effecting you? For instance, maybe you like to run and cook your own meals, but the week gets so crazy you don’t do these things.
Instead of mourning your missed runs and recipes, think about when and how you can incorporate these things into your week. Maybe Wednesdays are slower than Mondays and a good day for these activities?

Let your weekend be a weekend

This is a tricky one. Admittedly, we rarely relax on the weekend because we are preoccupied watching the humans take part in their extra activities. Plus,  lately we have spent a lot of time building the bone dispenser so our weekends aren’t as peaceful as they should be. Thankfully, we have Monday and Tuesday afternoons off to catch up on some much-needed rest.

Since you probably can’t nap at your desk on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, don’t let your side projects or even work take away the time you would spend with your pets, family and friends. Sometimes it is more important to watch TV than answer an email. Give your paws a rest.

Indulge during the week

Sometimes a sumptuous piece of treat and kibble cake (we can email you the recipe if you want) is needed after a long day. Be kind to yourself and you won’t find the work week ruling your life.

Perhaps, a nice spa treatment or watching a movie is just the thing to provide a pleasant escape.

Above all, remember this is your life. You can make it be as lovely or torturous as you want.

Woof,

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.

Louise the Human: How do I find my favorite place?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I have been living and working in the same city for a few years now. Until a few months ago, I liked city life. Although, now I am sick of it and feel out of place. I would move but I don’t know where I want to go.

I feel so lost. How do I find my favorite place?

-Louise the Human

Howl Louise,

Sometimes being lost can be a good thing. Once, I snuck out of the yard and walked down a street I had never been down. Along the way, I met this nice human who took me into her yard. It was lunchtime and I must have had my “hungry face” on so she shared her turkey sandwich with me.

Little did I know as I was drooling over the sandwich that she was calling my humans. My mom showed up with her “angry face” on and I knew I wouldn’t be getting any treats for the rest of the day

Even though I upset my mom, I had to explore a bit in my quest to find a favorite place. This excursion was part of the process. Plus, now I have a friend down the street who makes fabulous turkey sandwiches.

I believe in doing what your stomach area is telling you. It is a wise and smart place. How else would we know when it was time to eat kibble if the stomach area didn’t tell us? If it is suggesting you should leave the city then make plans to do that. Maybe you need to try a few places before you find your favorite place?

It took me some time but now I know that in the yard under the big tree in between the stone wall and rose bush is my favorite place. I just feel like I belong there.

While you are searching for your place, remember to do things that bring you comfort and improve your current environment. You would be amazed how much better one can feel after organizing their toy container or making their bed.

You won’t be lost forever so be sure to take in the landscape while on the way to your favorite place.

Woof,

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.

Andrew the Human: My dog acts like a human.

Dear Paws to Talk,

My dog Miles acts like a human. There is no better way to describe it. He knows when I am about to take him on a walk. He knows when I am about to leave for work. He knows when it is dinner time.

Sometimes when I look in his eyes, it is like another person is looking back at me.

Also, he has incredible human skills such as opening doors with his paw and taking things off the kitchen counter.

Dogs are smart creatures but why do they act like humans?

-Andrew the Human

Howl Andrew,

Don’t be fooled by our lack of thumbs or fur coats, we are part human. Whoever made us just decided we should be a different version of human.

We’re the kind that has the human smarts but gets to relax while you earn the kibble and do difficult things such as fighting forest fires. We are grateful for your evolution.

It sounds like Miles is using his human abilities perfectly. Besides the fact us dogs are part human, we are also naturally very intuitive. We sense when things are about to change. Why else would some of us hide before a thunderstorm has even crossed the county line?

While he may not be able to debate current events with you, don’t doubt Miles’ intelligence or awareness. If our human side was more evident to the masses then maybe canines would be taken more seriously in this world.

Enjoy your human/canine hybrid and all he can do. The next time you need some help unloading the groceries don’t forget how well Miles can use his paws.

Woof,

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.