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vendredi 8 décembre 2017


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.

vendredi 1 décembre 2017


Can dogs fall in love at first sight?

Of course, they can. Actually, they are hardwired to.
Just look at a puppy introduced to his new owner. Leapings, rollings, pawings and wagging tail are the foolproof signs that romance is in the air.

Even shelter dogs, who, for most of them, have gone through heart-breaking rough patches, are still ready to embark on a new sentimental journey.

Yes, dogs are real born romantics.

Don't get me wrong.It doesn't mean that they let their heart melt for any guy passing along. At least that's what I experienced with our very first dog, Jolux, the naughty cocker you have already heard about.

The first time he pawed into my heart,he didn't beat around the bush to make his declaration of love : his pounding heart,and the stars in his eyes immediately set the tone for a romance.
But, I was soon to find out that, even if Jolux had fallen head-over-heels in love with me ,I had to share his " love me tender " lyrics with some other paw-blessed happy few...

Dearhubby was among them, but quite normal. He was the one who had brought him back home, and thus , had been immediately promoted to the rank of Sugardaddy.
Nothing to be jealous of. Just a soft cloud on our love story.

Jolux was his momma's boy, and spared not effort to show how much he cared for me.
He never failed to read the mail before me, just in case of bad news, often spilled his water bowl to clean the kitchen floor, even if it meant, dying of thirst till I came back home, and , once, chewed himself sick to change brand new court shoes a bit too tight into comfy mules!

With all those daily proofs of true love, our honeymoon was going on swimmingly.
One year went by, and our clumsy puppy turned into a classy cocker, and what was to happen happened...

Cheeky daddy's girls started hanging around him, and, even worse, wooed him outrageously,and all that with their parents'approval!

Well, to be honest, some were so cute that not falling in love with them demanded a great self-control,or maybe ...too much self-esteem.

Anyway, Jolux accepted some dates, but always came back home with 
" no-father-to-be " expectations.

Then, it was Summer, and we headed off to the countryside with our dandy more blasé than ever.
Far away from his woofing court,Jolux spent his days sniffing each blade of grass to know a little bit about the local buddies.
Praiseworthy guys,busy all day long taking the cows to the meadows, watching them graze,and then leading them back to the cowshed!
Not much hope to have fun with them,let alone to find a soul mate.

And yet,that's where Cupid struck our furry baby!

You know I'm a dogaholic,but,jeez,his sweetheart was the ugliest pooch I had ever seen.
She was one-eyed and three-legged, and her saggy belly, and her moth-eaten coat let us guess that in her world of working dogs she was a kind of outsider.
But fortunately,love at first sight has nothing to do with good looks,and for Jolux, that doggy was just an eye candy.He spent the rest of his holidays swooming whenever she pawed along,and vocalizing near her kennel.
To declare his love, he even laid one of his favourite squeaky toys at her paws, but his " beauty " never gave him the least glance.
I guess she didn't want to get involved in any kind of Summer fling,which was actually love at first sight for Jolux.

That was the only time he suffered from the love-at-first-time syndrom, but he never forgot his youthful romance  and never married.

If that was not falling in love at first sight, what was it then?Tell me!

In the meantime, have a pawesome day!



vendredi 24 novembre 2017


Do dogs remember the past ?

Of course, they do! If they didn't, they wouldn't do a happy wiggle-worm dance, sing a woofing welcome song, weave in your legs and let you in, when you come back from work or an overnight trip.

Quite the contrary! They would take you for an intruder, bark threateningly, growl and fend you off.

Come on, I'm kididng. I'm just saying that to butter up all our so-called guard dogs, who wait eagerly for the pizza delivery guy, and just welcome him with open paws, drooling chops and no frills.

No, actually, our four-legged friends are much wiser than us. They don't waste their energy dwelling on the past, they just want to suck out all the marrow of life and ...of bones, as well, and live fully in the present.
Carpe Diem is their watchword.

Yet, all the good and bad things about the past are buried somewhere in their memory and can pop up years after. 
That's what we learned when we adopted Indy, an English Springer Spaniel , my son had brought back from a shelter in the South-West of France.

The only glimpse of her story we had was that after searching for pheasants, partridges, and waterfowls, her nose had gone on strike, and she had been fired!
Awfully shocking, but unfortunately true. Some people don't deserve a dog, but that's another story...

When the poor sweetheart arrived in our place, she was just skin and bone, but so scared of moving an inch to her bowl that we had to handfeed her for nearly two weeks, otherwise I guess she would have starved herself.
Then, little by little, she felt safer enough to turn into a hearty eater, and even sometimes into a cheeky stealer!

One month later, Indy had got used to her new life of ease, comfy basket, yummy meals, treats and cuddles, but there was still something puzzling in her behavior...

Whenever we came back home, she never failed to wag her tail, wriggle and grin, but never uttered a single welcoming woof.
Dearhubby, that mocking guy, said that it was a blessing, cause one chatterbox at home was enough! I still can't see who he was talking about!

Time went by, and Indy stayed woofless (for non-dog speaking readers, that means ' speechless').

When we introduced her to Ulysse, my mother-in-law's  new puppy, it was love at first sight. I mean, Ulysse immediately had a crush on our sweet Indy, and did all his pawssible silly antics to make friends with her.

His leaps, rolls, pawings, and yaps were so enthusiastic that Indy quickly joined his " catch-me-if-you-can " game.

But, Ulysse was a buoyant pupy, and Indy soon realized that she couldn't face the challenge.
What could she do, then, to teach that restless kid to respect ladies like her ?
You know what?
She spared no effort, rushed to him and ...barked in his ears.
Ulysse stopped dead, but our so-called dumb Indy, too.
Then, scared by the sound of her own voice, she sought refuge in the garden shed where we found her , shaking and looking at us with imploring eyes saying , " I promise, I won't do it again. I will be as silent as a grave ".

We comforted her, and told her that we were not angry at her, she could bark at that naughty puppy to show him who ruled the roost, but it took us quite a while to persuade her to get out of the shed.

That's when something just clicked with me.
In her early years, perhaps Indy had performed that kind of woofing exercises too often, and at any time of the day, and then been punished in a way I still refuse to imagine...After that kind of rough patches, she had decided that " Speech is silver, silence is gold "was a safer lifestyle.

Anyway, that 's the only time we heard her voice.

So now, what do you think ? Is that just my dogaholism that plays tricks on me, or do dogs remember the past ? Please, let me know.

In the meantime, happy tails to you!

vendredi 17 novembre 2017


Is it true that cats and dogs are harwired to hate each other, or is it just popular belief ?

Well, it seems my two dogs are quite conventional, and have decided to stick to stereotypes, each in his own way.

Canaille, the English Springer Spaniel, is anything but a risk-taker, and the smallest insect flying too close to him throws him onto Sugardaddy's lap for protection. So, whenever I take him out for a walk, if we bump into straycats, he stops dead, as if rooted to the ground, and looks at me with ' Nope, not going there! ' eyes.

The long-whiskered mewing creatures must have gossiped about the local scaredy-cat Springer, cause every morning the neighbour's tabby cat comes to play silly antics behind our kitchen glass door.

No need to say that those morning performances drive Canaille nuts, and telling him that Leon is a dog-friendly cat doesn't calm him down.
Why ? Maybe because the only difference between Leon and Lion is just a single vowel ...Who knows ?

With Ulysse, the Coton de Tuléar, that's another story. 
That cute little dog is anything but a coward, and whatever the size of his four-legged fellows, he never fails to rule the roost.
Since he was born, he has led a blood feud against cats!
He is an aboslutely fabulous runner, and he must have beaten the Sprint World Record dozens of times.

Fortunately he is a poor tree-climber. So, no teeth and claws duels, just barks and hisses concerts.

But that buoyant and clownish little guy has more than one trick up his sleeve, and when fighting like cats and dogs is out of question, he knows how to challenge them...

Last time I visited an old neighbour of mine, who shares her cottage with Juju, a beautiful but a bit grumpy tomcat, first Ulysse behaved very smartly, and didn't lunge at Juju, who was lying on the sofa.
Of course, he gave it an old college try to command respect, but in spite of his warning growls, Juju didn't move an inch. Instead, she yawned, stretched just enough to show her claws, and then curled up again on her cushion.

After all, an Englishman's home is his castle, isn't it ?

Ulysse , who had expected a kind of eyeball-to-eyeball encounter, didn't know where to stand. He had to react quickly, cause otherwise he would be tarred with the same brush as Wimpy Canaille! What a shame! He was like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Then ,suddenly, before I could realize , he had rushed to the cat's bowl, swallowed down her dry food, and drunk down her water in one go.
Then he licked his chops and looked at Juju as if saying , " You see, there's more than one way to skin a cat! ".

Boy, my "Mr Three-Teeth-Left "    who couldn't munch kibbles,and kept turning up his nose at his bowl, had sacrificed his so-called delicate stomach for his cat-chasing reputation!
Cheeky Ulysse's good education to start from scratch again (sorry, no pun intended).

Of course, I apologized, and the day after I offered a nice scratch post to Juju on behalf of Ulysse.

Now I hope their next dog-cat introduction will get along swimmingly...
In the meantime, all your tips and tricks to turn Ulysse into a cat-friendly dog are welcomed.

mardi 7 novembre 2017


Today a feel-good story!

I have read on the Net that dogs mimic their owners.
Well, our two dogs are just like chalk and cheese : Ulysse is a kind of easy-going boy, and usually toes the rule, whereas Canaille's silly antics often drive him across the red line. Then, better not try to find out who mimics Dearhubby, and who mimics me...

Anyway, those two guys are eager and hard-working students, and there is no way to quench their thirst for knowledge.

As soon as we step into the kitchen, they immediately paw in, too, ready to learn how to open the fridge or the treats drawer.

When running a bath, quite sure to come across two pairs of eyes saying , " We know how to jump into that huge puddle, but could you show us how not to flood the whole bathroom ? ".

Lacing up our shoes usually triggers a woofing rumpus, cause of their tremendous efforts to do the same loops with their leashes.
When it comes to imitating us in the garden, they don't live yet up to their expectations ( and not to ours, either), and still confuse planting and digging (even though they give it the old college try...).

But, whatever their daily imitation performances, I think Ulysse and Canaille will never make me laugh as much as Indy, a she-Springer, who shared our lives for too few years.

My son had adopted her from a shelter in the South-West of France, but at the time he was working in a restaurant, and always on a tight schedule, so we decided to dogsit Indy ...furever!

When we homed her, the poor girl was just skin and bones, and her frightened eyes let us figure out the rough patches she had gone through, before my son rescued her.

She was so shy that when we were sitting on the sofa, watching TV, she used to curl up in a very small corner of the room, as if she thought she was an intruder. 
Quite sure that that sweetheart had had her fair share of rebukes.

So, one day, to make her feel at ease, Dearhubby decided to sit on the floor near her.That was a way to show her that all humans were not tough and heartless, and that now she could enjoy a carefree life.

As soon as he sat down close to her, she looked up at him shyly and quite puzzled, then slowly stood up, tippawed to the sofa where I was sitting, and after a last flabbergasted gaze at Dearhubby, she climbed onto the sofa, looked at me, uttered a deep sigh and went to sleep!

That was a living proof that dogs mimic their owners, wasn't it ?

Good bye, dear reader, and remember : behave yourself, just in case a dog should be watching you!

And don't forget : BE PERKY!

vendredi 3 novembre 2017


Hi everybody,

If you browse through my blog, you'll be soon surrounded by wet noses, wagging tails,and cheerful woofs, so no use hiding it : I am a genuine dogaholic.

Overcoming my addiction and going to rehab ? 
Well, there are plenty of Dogaholics Anonymous meetings around here, and I've already attended quite a few, at the vet, at the groomer, at the local shelter, and you know what ?
I've come back home with more pawesome stories to share with Dearhubby, who suffers from dogaholism, too!

You see, actually I think that I don't feel like being cured, cause of the tremendous amount of love and fun my dogs bring into my life.

Come on, don't get me wrong! Having a dog is not just treats and cuddles. If you want to laugh at your pooches' silly antics furever, first thing is to keep them healthy.

My two dogs, Canaille, the English Springer Spaniel, and Uysse, the Coton de Tuléar, are just like chalk and cheese, so everyday cares turn either into some kind of chilling out, or some kind of workout. Different dogs, different strokes, and when you know those two breeds, not hard to guess who takes it easy, and who fools around...

Feeding Ulysse reminds me twice a day that I am a poor cook, cause, more often than not, he turns up his nose at my lovingly-prepared meals.
Yes,lovingly-prepared, and that's putting it mildly.
Actually, Ulysse is not a picky eater, but if I tell you that we nickname him " Sir Three Teeth Left ", you'll figure out easily my " kitchen nightmares ".

Easy-peasy with Canaille who is an eager eater, and swallows down whatever is in his bowl or drops from the chopping-board. That's how a while ago, he gulped down a clove of garlic, and then stared at me, as if saying " Hey naughty you, how can I find a girlfriend with such a smelly breath ? ".

When it comes to daily grooming, Ulysse is the perfect customer and the perfect tipper. A few licks on my hand to show he is satisfied with his fluffy cottony coat hairstyle. Fortunately my comb has more teeth than him, cause his hair gets matted in a wink, and frolicking in the dead leaves turns him into a worn-out mop!

Quite another story with Canaille, who is not a risk-taker, and has two great enemies at home : the roaring vacuum-cleaning monster, and the brushing " hedgehog ".
As soon as I take the brush out, he runs around the room like crazy, jumping and barking at it. The only trick I have found to help him make up with the brush, is to put the treats jar close to me. Then, I can deal with my panting and drooling customer.

Walking time is my favourite part of their daily cares. In Brittany there are plenty of country lanes where they can go off leash and sniff the latest news from " the Wild West ", and where I can meet ...other dogaholics!

Anyway, even if I master all that quite well, it doesn't make me the packleader...
Canaille is an English Springer Spaniel, which means a first-rate cuddle maker, a speedy ballboy, a heart-melting beggar, but a " let me have it my own crazy way " guy from time to time...
Ulysse, the Coton de Tuléar " was my mother-in-law's, and he came to our place when she died. I guess she brought up her boy pretty well, cause he toes the line. Did she bring up Dearhubby in the same way ?
Hnmm! ...Come on, I'm kidding, two dogaholics never criticize each other!

Now that I've told you everything about my dogs' daily routine, a special note for my regular readers and the new comers.

Any resemblance to reality is not pure coincidence, but just the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, from the early posts to the latest ones.

                                               Pawesomely yours.


vendredi 27 octobre 2017


Before getting my own dogs, I used to dogsit a lot, and let me tell you that it is no fun.
Come on, I'm kidding! I mean it's no fun when it comes to giving dogs back to their owners. 
I remember being on the verge of tears when saying good-bye to the doggy I had homed and already bonded with.
When it was a friend's dog, I always respected the deadline to give it back (a friend in need is a friend indeed), but when it was my daughter's, I often tended to procrastinate,... nudge, nudge, wink, wink...

Believe me, post-dogsitting blues is a rough patch to go through, and I experienced it after taking care of Jonasz, a kind of Korthal Griffon who stayed with us a couple of weeks.

And yet, that dog was a heavy load for us...

Yes guys, a heavy load for us, and that is putting it mildly.
Quite surprising, cause he had all the qualities you can expect from a four-legged companion.

He was a friendly and affectionate tail-wagger, a fabulous cuddle-maker, and a perfect guest.

So, what ?

Jonasz was in his early youth, and needed frequent walks to burn his energy, and there was the rub!

Don't get me wrong. We were on a staycation,and we didn't mind cruising the neighborhood as long as he wanted to.
Unfortunately, we were living on the fifth floor, with no lift, and the first time we took Jonasz for a walk, we suddenly realized that he was living in a single storey house, and thus had never experienced the fear of standing on a ledge, looking into a black hole.
He was staring at the flight of stairs, as if about to skydive for the very first time.

He looked so wary and nervous that we quickly decided not to let him fly solo and ...carry him downstairs!

I know, any dog behaviourist would have told us that we were totally wrong, but you see, when you dogsit, you want your guest to feel comfortable.
Anyway, travelling five floors down with a Yorkie, a toy poodle, or even a cocker, is not that difficult, but with a Korthal Griffon, it meant lifting about 19 kilos! Fortunately my friend Maggy had kept him away from yummy table scraps, otherwise the downstairs trip would have been rather hazardous.

Well, actually, Dearhubby turned out to be the only one able to perform such a heavy weight workout four times a day.
As days went by, he got better and better at exercising his biceps.

Then came the time to give our guest back to his owner, and of course, the same old tune again : twinges of sorrow, vain efforts to hold back my tears, a last tummy rub, an ultimate  cuddle, and I handed Jonasz's leash to my friend Maggy who started walking downstairs with ...Jonasz on her heels!!

Scared of the stairs ? Not at all!
Midway to the fourth floor, he turned back, and was it my imagination, or did he really give us a " I played a good trick " wink ?
I don't know, but we had a good laugh, and Dearhubby said he would have to look for another coach to keep his muscle tone!

 Dogsitting a joker didn't dampen my dog addiction, and whenever asked to look after a dog, I have never refused, even though once I should have asked first about the breed, but that's another story...

vendredi 20 octobre 2017


Hello everybody,

Today a nice story about a dog whose life was not a always a walk in the park...

I'm a dogaholic and I don't want to be cured. I'm really crazy about dogs : I love their wet noses, their wagging tails, the story in their eyes, their antics and their eternal optimism.

A sign I am an overly obsessed dog-lover ?
Well, whenever I reach into my pocket, doggy treats remnants fall out in addition to my keys, some loose change, and tissues.

You see, the diagnosis is quite clear : I'm a dog addict in every respect, and it's no use trying to kick that addiction, cause it runs in the family!

My love for dogs is so deep that whenever I hear the phrase " It's a dog's life ", I can't help thinking about my sweet Charly.

That poor dog was not born under a lucky star, and before we met, he had gone through a lot of rough patches, and had experienced quite a few whammies...

A couple of months after his birth, Charly left his mum and his littermates, and settled down in his new home.
Puppies are always upbeat, meek and friendly, and Charly was ready to bond with his foster parents and enjoy the place.

Unfortunately his new owners were away all day long, and to make sure he wouldn't make a mess inside, guess what!
They tied him with a rope to a stake in the middle of a tiny yard!
The only thing he could do was to pull the short rope and walk in small circles!

Of course, the poor innocent dog thought there was a misunderstanding, and started barking all day long to ask for help.
In vain! Not a single dog-speaking soul around to understand his message. Just neighbours tired of his whining claims, and about to file a complaint.

So, what was to happen, happened . The too Noisy Charly was taken to a dog shelter and abandonned there among a pack of desesperate dogs, all in the same boat.
To get adopted the competition was fierce, and when there were visitors, everydoggy gave it their best shot.

That's how one day a couple of elderly people got a crush on Charly and took him to their place.

Charly was thrilled to bits and ready to love them to the moon and back.
Bye bye the gloomy shelter, the scary row of metallic cages, the deafening barking, bye bye a dog's life!
A future of cuddles and treats was ahead of him.
But once more, his happiness was short-lived.
Four days later, he was back to square one...

Actually, when put on leash for a walk, the poor dog had done what he had been used to, when tied with a short rope to the stake in the tiny yard : he had walked in small circles, then, of course, tangled his leash around the lady's legs and nearly knocked her over.

After  risky journeys to the park, his new owners had realized they were too old to teach him how to walk nicely on leash, and had driven him back to the shelter.
They were heart-broken, but so was Charly!

After those two failed adoptions, he lost his zest of life, and got sick with sadness.
He spent days facing the grey wall of his cage, and didn't even beg for potential adopters' attention any longer till...Mother's Day 1996.

On that day, I was feeling ready to fill the void my first dog had left when he had passed away ten years before. At the time I had cried my eyes out, and sworn I would never have another dog, but...never say never!

That's how I met Charly. He looked so depressed that , first I was a bit reluctant to adopt him, but once taken out of his cage, I couldn't resist his hopeful dark eyes, and that was the beginning of a long love story!

So you see, in a dog's life, every dog has its day, so never give up hope, and don't forget :

                                            BE PERKY

vendredi 13 octobre 2017



Hello everybody,

Have you heard about the legend that on Christmas, at midnight, all animals are given the Power of Speech for one hour ?

I don't know its origin, but it doesn't really matter, cause at the stroke of midnight on Christmas, I'm usually busy serving the traditional Yule log* and checking the fun meter is running smoothly, so I have no time to listen to my dogs.

Anyway, even if at that time they wanted to speak, with all the hustle and bustle around, I'm afraid they wouldn't be able to get a word in.

Fortunately I am one of those blessed with dogs in their lives, and I don't have to wait until Christmas for the magic to happen.
Whatever the time of the day, there is always one of my two furry babies ready to make small talks.

Canaille's hangout to have a chat with me is the kitchen.
I'm an early riser, but even in the wee hours of the morning, when I step into the kitchen, I'm quite sure to come across him.
Sometimes I wonder if he was not about to raid the fridge, but I have never caught him red-handed (and red-pawed, either).
Anyway, my suspicions are quickly swept away by his innocent eyes looking down at his bowl, up at me, down at his bowl again, as if saying :

   " Good morning, Sleeping Beauty! I thought you would never wake   up! You know, I've been fasting since last night, and I really need to fuel up. Can't you hear my tummy rumbling ? So, if you don't mind, we'll have a real talk later ".

OK, then! While I am sipping my first cup of tea, he swallows down his morning bowl, and once done with it, he gives me a big ' Hope you'll repeat the invitation ' thank you.

At lunch and dinner time, that good guest is back in the kitchen, ready to help and chat.

" You're taking the chopping board out ? Well, don't worry, Mum, if you drop one of those mouth-watering things you're cutting, I'll clean up the floor ".

" What are you stirring ? It smells delicious!".

You see, that guy always finds the right word to cheer up the lousy cook I am.

Don't misunderstand me. Canaille doesn't open his mouth just to play the food critic.
When I am brooding or worrying, he is quick at noticing it, and never fails to put his paw on my lap and say :

  " Come on, Mum, let's go outside and play a good ' Fetch the ball ' game. Sure, you'll realize all is not gloom and doom today! ".

As for Ulysse, things are quite different. He is nearly 15 and then much quieter than the 10-year-old buoyant Canaille.
Does older mean wiser ? Well, Ulysse is the living proof that it does.
This cute little doggy is born smart, and even though he has gone through some rough patches *, he has always managed not to lose his zest of life and his cool side.

So, when I'm in my study, looking desesperately for inspiration, after a while he yawns, stretches himself, and I can hear him whisper :

  " Stop racking your brain, nothing good will come out of it today. Let's have a good cuddle session. Believe me, it's a lovely way to meditate and drain your stress ".

Most of the time he is right!

You see, dogs (and actually all pets) don't wait the magic of Christmas to speak, what you need is just to lend a caring ear.

So, prick up your ears, and don't forget :

                                        BE PERKY 

Here is a link for the traditional Christmas Yule log :