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

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








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.



Cleveland the Bloodhound: Can you suggest New Year’s resolutions I will keep?

Dear Paws to Talk,

It is that time of year again. This is when I sit down, close, my eyes and think hard about my New Year’s resolutions.

My humans probably think I spend today and each January 1st sleeping off my New Year’s Eve celebration but in reality I am concentrating on my goals for the upcoming year.

In my experience, it has been so tough to complete my resolutions.This past year, I failed at seeking more adventure outside of my yard. The year before that I wasn’t successful in losing my extra vanity weight.

Can you suggest some New Year’s resolutions I can keep?

-Cleveland the Bloodhound

Howl Cleveland,

You are a very ambitious dog and we like that. Most humans have barely risen from their beds (they are still probably covered in shiny paper from midnight parties and too embarrassed to show their faces) and you are contemplating how to make the most out of this new year. Bravo!

We discussed your letter last night over our kibble and a little bubbly (we like to cheers to a new year) and decided that a resolution puts too much pressure on a being.

So many humans and animals make their resolutions too difficult to complete and they set themselves up for failure. This is no way to spend one’s days.

Instead, why not set 2-5 realistic goals or things to accomplish? If you get them done before the end of the year then make some new ones.

See our 5 suggestions for achievable resolutions below.

Get your blood flowing

Run 10 laps around your yard 4 times a week to burn off the vanity weight. You will be amazed how fantastic it feels to break a sweat and have that blood pumping through your fur.

Who can really give up bones or spit out delectable kibble? So burn it off.

Be friendly

Once a week, start a conversation with a neighbor or friend you don’t usually bark with. New friendships or relationships can begin anywhere.


You don’t need an airplane ticket to an exotic locale to add more adventure to your life. Have the humans walk you on a different path. Or spend some extra time in a part of the house you typically avoid.

Always be ready for a squirrel sighting. You never know what creature may enter your yard.

Limit bad habits

It takes a long time to give up a bad habit so why not start off by cutting back? If you are in the habit of sneaking food off the counter everyday then cut back to doing it 4 times a week.

This probably goes against every desire in your body but in the end your belly will feel better and the humans will trust you more.

Be open

Try new kibble if it is put in front of your nose. Play a new game if friends suggest it. Participate in a yoga or meditation class.

Happy New Year and good luck!


Bella and DiDi















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2013. 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.

Anonymous Human: Why is my dog reverting back to his old puppy habits?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I have a black, furry, dog beast. We recently moved to a new house and all of a sudden my housebroken dog is peeing inside every other day.

I know it’s probably because he wants to mark his place but he stopped peeing inside four months ago when he completed puppy training. Why is he going back?
What should I do to keep him from peeing?
And lastly, are you girls looking for a black, furry roommate? Thanks for your help.

-Anonymous Human

Howl Human,

We sense your frustration. Who wants to make progress and then go backwards? Although, sometimes it is fun to run backwards. It is a good thigh workout.

For a moment, forget about the frustration and put yourself in your dog’s fur. He is probably scared about being in a new place. The floors, yard and hiding places are all different.

We think that he is trying to make this new home his territory but he could also be acting out against the change. We hate to admit it but we act out sometimes when things aren’t how we like them.

For instance, our mommy bought us new beds because our old ones were “disgusting.” No one asked her to change our beds. We were comforted each night by the “disgusting” scents on the beds. When she took them away, we refused to sleep on the new beds. Instead we slept on the living room couches for a while before giving the new beds a chance.

During this time of transition, be sure the dog gets enough exercise. When tired, we have no energy for mischief. Also, when you go to work or run errands, leave him in a penned off area. He will not pee in his area. Trust us, we would rather cuddle with a squirrel than have a messy environment.

The most important thing is to just be patient and loving. Your dog can visit anytime but our inn is full. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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.

Libby the Human: My life is changing drastically. How do I deal with this?

DiDi drinking in change at the biggest water bowl she has ever seen.


Dear Paws to Talk,

I am undergoing a lot of change in my life. For starters, I am being laid off from the job that I have had for nearly three years. I gave my all to this job but I work in a finicky industry where especially in this difficult economy staff cuts are common. The people I work with are like family to me. I hope we will remain friends and some day work together again. However, I just don’t know.

On top of that, I am pursing another career path which is unchartered territory. Finally, after a traumatic end to a long-term relationship last year, I have gotten the courage to pursue someone who I truly like.

I am sad, nervous and excited about all of this change. It has been challenging to sleep through the night. I lie awake and feel anxious about all that is going on in my life.

How do I make it through this transition without so much emotion and stress?

-Libby the Human

Howl Libby,

I wish I could give you a hug. If you weren’t aware, I am known for my hugs. My paws are very therapeutic. Maybe there is a dog near you who will give you a hug?

You certainly have a lot going on but it sounds like there are some great opportunities on the horizon. In the meantime, you have to deal with the tension that is occurring with all of this change.

To begin with, cry it out. It is only normal to be sad about the ending of a work situation that became a place of comfort. You have a bond with these humans that doesn’t have to be lost.

Next, if you can afford it, go on a vacation. It sounds like you need it after all you have been through. Never compromise your health and well-being. I recommend going some place with a pool or ocean. Water seems to make everyone happy. Plus, you are never thirsty when staying by a pool or the ocean. It is like relaxing in a big water dish. Drink it in.

Lastly, know that often times change in life happens for a reason. When I was a puppy and still with my litter family, another set of humans was supposed to take me home. Something changed though and I ended up at my current home with Bella. It was all a huge adjustment. I cried a lot at night when the insomnia set in. I didn’t know where I belonged.

It turns out, the change was the best thing to happen. I love Bella, my home and my humans more than anything.

Ride this wave of change. I know it will all work out.











© 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.