Bella and DiDi: We’re throwing a party!

Howl,

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: http://pawstotalk.com/bella-and-didis-puppy-bowl-tailgate/ Our blog assistant will send you more details over email as the day gets closer.

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Woof,

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!

Woof,

Bella and DiDi

Bella

DiDi

Kisses the Persian Cat: I know a secret. Do I spill?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I live with a dog named Terrance. We have always had a good friendship until a week ago. He showed our humans how I like to run and cling onto the screen door with my paws. I usually hang on the screen with my claws dug in for a while. It is fun. Apparently, this ruins the door. How was I supposed to know? The humans got angry at me and now make sure the screen door is off-limits. My spirits have been down.

The other day when I was making myself comfortable on the couch I noticed something under the cushion. There were 4 dinner rolls that Terrence stole. I watch him just before dinner time and he is fast. His face is in and out of that bread basket before I can say meow. He really likes bread. Our mommy is always upset when the bread goes missing before dinner is on the table. She suspects it is Terrence but thinks it could be a hungry little human. Horror of horrors she might think it is me.

I have dirt on Terrence. Maybe if I show the humans what he has done I will get my screen back? Should I spill this secret information?

-Kisses the Persian Cat

Howl Kisses,

I’m sorry you lost your screen and that Terrence told on you. You do have knowledge that might level things if you share it but spilling secrets can be tricky. Things don’t always play out the way you think they will.

Often, while no one was looking, DiDi used to relax on our human mommy’s favorite and flawlessly upholstered couch. I always knew this but one day when I was angry I decided put an end to DiDi’s leisure. I lured my mommy into the sitting room just in time to see DiDi in the act. She was furious at DiDi! I thought my mission was accomplished.

Except the next day, mommy took all the cushions on every couch and chair in the house and turned them on their sides so no one could lay on the furniture. That meant my favorite cushy chair in the corner was no longer available for lounging. I hurt both DiDi and myself.

You are upset but remember that you love Terrence. I recommend telling him how you feel instead of getting him in trouble with the humans. This will make you feel better and if Terrence is a good canine he will feel sorry he told on you.

You are a team. Secrets can lead you to a dark place.

If Terrence doesn’t show remorse after your talk then sit in his kibble bowl at dinner time and he’ll get the idea.

Woof,

Bella

DiDi: Who can confidently stand alone?

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

Howl,

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?

Woof,

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?

Woof,

Bella and DiDi

Bella

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Howl,

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.

Woof,

Toby

Moxie the Maltese: I indulged. Should I feel guilty?

Dear Paws to Talk,

The past couple of days, I have been wild. I gained access to my full treat box and ate the whole thing. Afterwards, my tummy didn’t hurt that much and my mouth still remembers the deliciousness.

Some of my other indulgences this week have included kissing my male neighbor dog, tasting a loaf of bread just out of the oven and lounging all over the humans fancy sofa.

I don’t typically do these kinds of things but I must admit it has been fun. However, my enjoyment was ruined when I saw my mommy scrubbing my muddy paw prints off of the fancy sofa. Also, I felt badly waking her in the middle of the night so I could take care of my business outside after eating the box of treats.

Should I feel guilty or embrace my new carefree attitude?

-Moxie the Maltese

Howl Moxie,

You have certainly been mischievous and busy! I am the daredevil in my family so I can relate to being tempted by various indulgences.

Bella likes to indulge too. However, she usual thinks of a plan on how to indulge and then relies on me to execute it. Why wasn’t I the first-born?

There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to something fun, tasty or flirty every once in while. If a human is pulling a roast or chicken out of the oven I have been known to stick my snout in it. Or when my Poodle nephew Toby comes to visit, I hoard his toys. His toys have smell better and are more interesting than most of mine.

I was reading your letter last night while relaxing inside my favorite shrub by the side of the house. I wondered if there is another reason why you are suddenly so rambunctious.

Did something in your life change recently? Are you unhappy? Do you need an extra serving of kibble each day to combat your growing appetite?

I am concerned that you are acting like a wild woman because of something else happening in your life. Head to your nearest shrub and really contemplate this.

Don’t worry about guilty feelings right now. Although, you should really give your mommy some extra hugs and kisses. Dig deep (not in the soil but in your heart) and see what is going on.

After all, how can you enjoy a tummy full of treats when your heart is malnourished?

Woof,

DiDi

DiDi