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

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

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.

Woof,

Bella

Bella

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.

Woof,

Bella

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 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.

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.

Bella and DiDi: Butt in! But out!

Howl,

Alright, we know, us dogs butt in a lot. It is how we say hello and make sure we know who has joined our pack.

However, a butt in is not the same as a but in. For starters, the smell is different. A but in smells like nothing where a butt in has a particular scent that teaches us so much such as what you ate for breakfast, how you are feeling and what type of species you are.

But ins rarely serve anyone well unless an emergency is involved. When have you ever felt happy in the midst of a but in?

The but in hurts feelings, creates anger and is fueled by speculation. The butt in is a useful tool.

Next time you think of pulling a but in, be sophisticated like us canines and go for the butt in.

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.