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vendredi 19 janvier 2018

WHY MY DOG LOVES BIRDS







Canaille, my English Springer Spaniel, has been to the groomer, and guess what was hiding under his furry coat?

A sneaky roll of fat, you know that kind of flabby stuff which pops out only in Summer when you want to slip into last year swimming costume!

For Canaille, that brand-new spare tire is not that surprising, cause that poor guy suffers from a chronic disease : food-obsession!
His pesky cravings don't leave him a moment's rest. They strike unexpectedly and keep waking him up in the middle of his countless power naps. Then, no way to get back to sleep again.
The urge to eat is so strong that he has to get out of his comfy basket and make a beeline to the kitchen, just in case the treat drawer or the fridge door would have been left open.
Unfortunately, most of the time, he gets out of the place , empty-pawed (for non-dog-speaking readers, that means empty-handed).
That's when his inner Dyson suggests a fallback solution which leads him under the table in search of crumbs. Believe me, he works much better than my hoover!




But fake hunger pangs can't be content with crumbs, of course!
That's why Canaille has mastered the finer art of begging, and that's why Christmas and New Year parties have played havoc on his waistline, too!




So, to avoid the vet's scales' rude figures, I have decided to put our food-obsessed buddy on a strict diet.

No more treats, no more food scraps, just two meals a day, period!

Well, I should have remembered that early year diets are doomed to fail...

Resisting our dieter's imploring eyes quickly turned into a constant ordeal, and to crown it all and to make me feel uber-guilty, last Sunday our poor doggy spent quite a while drooling in front of the oven where a chicken was spit-roasting!


As suggested on a website, and to help him ignore the sassy poultry, I offered him some long sticks of raw carrots.
That triggered a total misunderstanding!
Canaille thought he had to replace the food processor, chewed the carrots till he turned them into grated ones, left them on the tiles, and went out of the kitchen looking rather bummed out.

Anyway, in spite of all his attempts to move me, I didn't give him an inch for a whole week, but what was to happen happened...

We are used to keeping pet food in a kind of storeroom in the basement, and two days ago I got sidetracked and left the door ajar.

Then  guess what!

Hey, come on, I agree with you, Canaille is quite smart, but yet not smart enough to open his canned food!
But, after all, maybe he tried to, and as he couldn't, he made the decision to calm down his tastebuds with one of the seed balls we had just bought for the wild birds nestling in our garden!




Well, apparently Canaille has a strong stomach, but I don't, so since I discovered his theft, I keep an eye on him for fear he would...fly away!

I'll keep you informed, but remember that dieting doesn't mean eating like a bird!













vendredi 12 janvier 2018

ARE FRENCH PEOPLE DOG-FRIENDLY?





Are French people dog-friendly?

Well, even though I'm French, I find it a bit difficult to give you an unbiased answer, cause I come from a family of dogaholics who, whenever they meet a dog, first greet him, talk to him, play with him, and, then, at last, realize that there's somebody at the other end of the leash!

Anyway, I tend to think that in my country everybody has an inner 
dog-lover ready to make friends with any dog pawing around.
Let me give you an example.

The very first time we took the train with Jolux (the cocker who turned my fear of dogs into a dog-devotion), he was just a three-month-old puppy, and our journey to the countryside went swimmingly.
We had booked his own ticket (quite cheap for a dog weighing less than 6 kilos), and bought a bag where he could curl up and feel comfy.
When the ticket inspector asked for our three tickets, he looked at our dog, muttered a vague "ok ", and went away.

Our holidays in Auvergne were fabulous. The hotel was dog-friendly, of course, but still now I wonder if the hotel manager was not an anonymous dogaholic, cause whenever we came across him, he never failed to greet our dog with a " Hi, good boy, how are you today? ", and often spoiled him with a biscuit.
The people we met, while walking through the breathtaking places of that region, often made a beeline towards us to say hello to...our dog!



Unfortunately, one month later when we got on the train back home, we had to face the facts ...
Thanks to the hotel manager's treats, and the chef's table scraps, as well, Jolux, the tiny puppy, had turned into a plump cocker and couldn't fit into his bag!
Well, we thought that if he laid still at our feet, everything would be ok, but the ticket collector would have none of it, and asked us to put our pet into his bag.
The passengers nearby told him that Jolux was as good as gold, and didn't disturb them, but the inspector was uncompromising, and said that pets must travel  in a bag, that was the rule!

After vain efforts to put our dog's four paws into his bag, it appeared quite clearly that he had made the most of his holidays, and had gone a bit too far on the chubby side.
That was the only excuse we could find to coax the hard-nosed inspector.
He gave us a stern frown, came close to our dog, squatted near him as if ready to squeeze him into the damned bag.
We were holding our breath, expecting Jolux wouldn't bark, or even worse, start peeing cause of that scary stranger facing him!

Nothing of that kind!

Our well-bred and well-fed dog turned the wagging tail button on, then pawed at the inspector gently, and that's when the French railway employee's inner dog popped out and said :

" You're really a cute boy, a bit podgy, for sure, but I was born in Auvergne, and I know there's no way to resist all the regional yummy specialties. Have a nice journey, and tell your owners to buy a stretchier bag next time you travel by train ".

So, if you ask me if French people are dog-friendly, I think I can answer :

" Yes, we are! ".

Don't believe me? Have a look at the link below!








vendredi 5 janvier 2018

DO LOVE AND TRUST GO TOGETHER?






I'm a dogaholic, and I have built such a strong bond with my two dogs,
Ulysse and Canaille, that I would do anything for them, and they would do anything for me.





Well, that's what I used to think, but after what happened last week, things are no longer that clear, and I guess I shouldn't take their devotion for granted...

Let me walk you through, and then you will tell me if my disquiet is right or wrong.

Some time ago I told you about my driving licence, and how I couldn't take it, because of a scared stiff instructor threatening to resign if I was to have one more lesson.
Whenever I stepped into the driving-school, the poor guy got  as white as a sheet, as if he was about to be sent to the scaffold.
I didn't want to be his executioner, so I bade farewell to my licence, and to my pipe-dream of going on a road trip with Ulysse and Canaille, and writing a travelogue in the style of " Travels with Charley " by John Steinbeck (come on, I'm joking, I'm not that big-headed).




As years go by, I've got used to being the front seat passenger, but my craving for being the girl version of James Dean in a remake of
" Rebel without a Cause " is still brewing...








Then, last week as I was decluttering the car, I couldn't help sitting down at the steering wheel, you know just to see what it is like.
So, there I was, holding the wheel in a casual " road trip " way, when Ulysse, who had been sleeping in his control tower, I mean the parcel shelf, woke up, caught sight of me behind the wheel, and ...sprang out of the car as if he had seen a ghost!

I was a bit puzzled, but I thought he just wanted to enjoy a break in his basket, so I took him back home and got back to my cleaning mission.
Alone? Of course, not!

My dogs think that wherever I am, they need to secure the place, and stick to me whatever I do, so Canaille took over from Ulysse.
He jumped onto the back seat, eager to go on a new blissful adventure with Dearhubby, but as his favourite chauffeur was not turning up, he got bored and indulged in forty winks.
One minute later he was snoring!

Sound asleep? That's what I thought, but as I was putting my hands on the steering wheel , that time for an ultimate wipe and not for a daydream, Canaille woke up with a start, stared at me, then barked out of fear, jumped out and rushed back home (to warn Dearhubby that Mum, aka the backseat driver, was about to play the road-hog?).

That's when I realized what my two doggies were driving at.

Actually, they put a total blind faith in me as a walker, a cook, a groomer, a playing partner, a cuddle-maker, but as a chauffeur, there's still a long way to go (on foot, of course!).

You see, while typing the last words of this post, I suddenly wonder if it is not their way to tell me that I should keep far from the steering wheel, and devote my drive to their sanity...

What do you think?











vendredi 29 décembre 2017

JUST THREE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2018









Some years ago, on December 31st when the clock struck midnight, I used to feel excited to make a fresh start, a new year, a new life, good resolutions, and so on...
Most of the time the day after I used to wake up with a hangover and silly resolutions that, of course, had gone with the wind by the end of January!

Things now are different. I guess I am like a fine wine, I get better with age (self-compliments are a good way to kick off your day with a grin), so no more pressure, no urge to start drawing up lists of good intentions, just go with the flow, and enjoy silver linings.





Anyway, with two dogs at home, trying to get everything in shipshape in 2018 is just wishful thinking, so better forget about cloud-cuckoo land.

Yet, between you and me, to be honest, there are still three little things I would like to achieve.


. Find the perfect lint roller to remove my dogs' hair off my clothes. You
  know I am not fussy, but a thin layer of pet hair  on my coat or on my 
  jacket gives me a fur ball look which doesn't really suit me.



. Master the art of opening a packet of cookies or candies silently. I 
  mean, not seeing my two dogs rush to me whenever I indulge my 
  sweet tooth to a yummy crunchy delight.
  Why on earth are those wrapping papers so noisy?
  Should I complain to the customer service, or should I put ear-plugs
  into Canaille's and Uysse's ears?
  The only thing I know is that the least rustle of paper triggers their 
  begging  eyes and drooling chops, and ruin my little treats.





. Teach Canaille that when I put on one shoe, he mustn't take the other 
  one and hide it.
  How to tell him that, if walking bare paw is normal, walking bare foot
  can seem slightly kooky, especially in Winter.

You see, just three good resolutions for 2018, that's all! No need to be too self-demanding, and try to stop writing about dogs during the year to come. That would be a pipe dream and, actually, I don't feel like it.

Any tips or tricks ? Feel free to post your comments or send a mail on 


In the meantime , let the new year bring warmth in your home, love in your heart, peace in your soul and joy in your life. And never give up, cause every dog has its day, and in the Chinese calendar, 2018 marks the Year of the Dog!



                 

  



jeudi 21 décembre 2017

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR EVERYDOGGY






Now, Christmas is really round the corner, and I don't have much time to spare for a long post, so I have thought that a sneak peek of my two dogs' Christmas wishlists could be a good way to kick off the fun season.
I hope you will enjoy your reading.

                          


Dear Santa,

My name is Ulysse.The Greek hero was famous for his adventures off shore, and I hope that, thanks to Mum's blog, some day I'll be famous for my adventures on shore. Time will tell...
I'm nearly 15, but still hale and hearty.
Quite difficult for me to make a Christmas wishlist, cause, you know, I'm a spoiled dog.
Every day invigorating walks along the country lanes where I can sniff the headlines and the news in brief about my nearby buddies,  every day so many cuddles that sometimes I can hardly breathe, every day powerful naps in a comfy basket,and cherry on the cake, a huge garden where I can nosetrain, and run after any cheeky trespassing cats!
A charmed life, isn't it? So, what else could I ask you for?

Well, there is just one gift I'd be thrilled to bits to get.
You know, my nickname is " Mr Three-Teeth-Left ", which means no more dried meat treats, no more chewy bones. Mushy food is now my lot in life.
So, this year, dear Santa, could you bring me ...a denture? 
I'd really give my eyeteeth for it!!

Have a pawesome journey.
I'll leave a snack for you, and some carrots for your reindeers, near the Christmas Tree (once greedy Canaille is soundly asleep, otherwise he will gulp all that down!).

I'm getting a little bit long in the tooth to write you such a letter, but I've still got a puppy's soul, and I keep my zest for life and hope, so...





Dear Santa,

My name is Canaille. I'm a ten-year-old English Springer Spaniel, and Mum says I do justice to my breed, cause I behave as if I was still a puppy.
I hope I am not on your " naughty list ", cause every day, to make up for all my silly antics, I help Mum and Dad with household  chores.



Anyway, this year I won't be demanding like some of my buddies who have asked you for an I-Bone!
I don't need any smart-bone and Woof-Fi to be wouappy!
No, really, dear Santa, the only gift I'd like you to bring me is a magical key to open the treats drawer.
I've tried telekinesis, but that damned drawer hasn't moved an inch! I guess I'm hopeless at it.
What's more, just a key shouldn't be too heavy for you and your eight flying reindeers.
I promise I will use it in moderation, English Springer Spaniels'honour.

The excitement of  unwrapping Christmas gifts really keys me up,and I hope you will achieve my dream.

               Plenty of cuddles from Canaille, the wannabe key holder.

PS : In our garden you will be able to park your sleigh easily, and while 
        you are delivering our gifts, your eight reindeers may have the 
        opportunity to meet the roedeers who rent our garden.





         MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!


                       










vendredi 15 décembre 2017

CHRISTMAS DIET ?










Holiday season will soon be in full swing, and sticking to a balanced diet will be rather challenging during that festive period.

But, after all, who cares about putting a few extra pounds on over Christmas?
Personally, I don't, but unfortunately, Canaille, my English Springer  Spaniel, doesn't,either,and that's the snag...

Canaille is anything but a night owl, and all around the year, every evening, after dinner, he tries to rule the roost, and put us to bed as soon as possible, which means pawing up and down the living-room with a lot of deep sighs and noisy yawnings, then dragging his basket onto Dearhubby's feet, slumping into it heavily, and turning the snore button on. 



Well, we are used to this little game, and we ignore it.

But, every year on Christmas's Eve, that sleepy head turns into a merry maker ready to party the night away.
He wants to share everything with our guests!

First, the Christmas tree. Catching one of the glittering balls, or pulling on a tinsel garland is a good way to start a " Catch me if you can " game with them, isn't it?





My sharp " Stop it! " have not won him over, so this year the Christmas tree is safe on a sidetable, but when passing along it, Canaille never fails to look at me, as if saying " What a killjoy you are! ".
But, even if he goes misty-eyed about all those Christmas decorations, I won't give in!

Anyway, that playful fellow is not resentful, and on Christmas's Eve when it comes to sharing fun, he is second to none, and always joins his loud woofs to our laughters.
Is he adding a witty remark, or just asking us to stop all that hubbub, cause he can't take forty winks quietly?  
I really don't know, cause that sweetheart has the know-how not to miss the least bite of Christmas cheer, I mean, the least bite of food, of course!

He forgets good table manners, turns into a heartbreaking beggar, and persuade our guests to share food with him.
He is so good at doing  that on the sly, that two years ago, when the party came to an end, he was as stuffed as the turkey we had eaten!

So, last year, when our guests arrived, I told them that Canaille had gained a lot of weight, and had to go cold turkey on any snacks or scraps. They looked at him compassionately, but respected his new dietary rules.


After some vain attempted bribery, Canaille gave up, and curled up in his basket where he sulked till coffee time.




That's when his dreaded sweet tooth struck him again, and he couldn't help begging for a tiny piece of sugar!
There were only Stevia cubes on the table, you know that kind of sweetener we use to ease our conscience.
To show Canaille that beggars can't be choosers, I let one of my friends give him half a cube.
Then, guess what?
Canaille sniffed it, and then stared at my friend, as if saying " You know I'm cold turkey, but that stuff won't sugar the pill. It's just good for suckers! ".
Then, he went back to his basket, and before curling up, he gave us a last look, which clearly meant :

" By the way, did you know that DIET stands for Doing Idiotic Eating Tricks ? ".

One more proof that dogs are wiser than humans!!





vendredi 8 décembre 2017

A DOG'S NOSE KNOWS...












You don't need to be a dogaholic to know that , when it comes to sniffing,dogs are second to none. They can smell 100,000 times better than humans.

Difficult to imagine for me, cause Canaille, my English Spaniel Springer, is somehow the exception that proves the rule.



Don't get me wrong, that sweet guy has a flair for searching, but, to give you an insight of his sniffing behavior, let's say that his world of smells comes down to treats,yummy scraps,and fluffy comforters.




As for the " find it ! " game rules, better forget about them. He just ignores them,or, at least, turns them on its ear, follows his nose and...rushes to the fridge!




I guess he must take after me,cause,even though my nose is blocked nearly all year long, I can still smell cookies and chcocolate for miles around! Like owner,like dog ? Maybe...

Anyway, I've never had a dog whose nose knows. Except once, and even then, it was not mine.

It was a dog I had found running loose in my district, and as it was late in the evening, I had taken him back home.
A nice collar, but no medal to know where that lovely Chow-Chow was coming from and who he was living with.




Not with abusive owners, for sure, cause his lionlike coat was well-groomed,and a gentle roll of flat round his neck let me guess that he had not fled from his home because he was starving. So what ?

Well, I thought that a last walk before going to bed could give me a clue. Right on the nose!
As soon as we were out, the easy-going Chow-Chow turned into an imperious Husky, and I couldn't do anything but try to keep pace.
After a ten minutes'race, he stopped dead in front of a building,sat down and started whining.



Jeez, that dog had really a gift for sniff. Sure, his owners were living there. Unfortunately, there was a digicode, and I had to tell my sweet tramp we would come back the morning after for a heartwarming reunion.
No need to tell you that I had to drag him back home, and that I spent a sleepless night, cause that guy had a nose, but a voice, as well,if you see what I mean...

The morning after we raced back to the building, and fortunately that time the door was open. The caretaker was cleaning the hall,and when I asked her if there were people with a dog there, she answered yes and that they were waiting for me.

Waiting for me?? No time to dwell on that weird answer, cause a strong pull on the leash sent me right up to the second floor where my vagabond immediately burst into his " Coming Back Home " song.

I rang at the door, but the lady who opened it, looked at me, stared at Mr Chow-Chow, and said in a disappointed voice :

   " There must be a misunderstanding. My poodle is in heat, and I've           made an appointment here with the owner of a male to see if those         two can get along, and more if they hit it off ".

I apologized, dragged my jilted lover downstairs, and went to the vet to see what could be done.

Well, I guess Romeo the Chow-Chow was born under a lucky star,cause his owners had already phoned to know if by chance their dog had been found. They were having a party the day before, someone had left the door ajar, and Scout had taken a French leave to go in search of romance.

The vet called them back immediately, and when they arrived, Scout immediately pawed up for forgiveness, and, of course,his owners couldn't resist his " white flag ",and gave him lots of affectionate ear scratches.

When I told them what had happened the night before, they said that Scout had a real gift for sniff (and for love,as well).

Well,maybe I'll call my next dog " Scout ", cause, after all, the meaning of that name is " First Explorer ".
Could be a good way to blow away the curse of " No Nose Dogs ".

Now, don't be nosy, I won't tell you more about Canaille's quirks.