vendredi 29 décembre 2017
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
. 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
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.
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...
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
vendredi 15 décembre 2017
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
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.
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 ".
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!
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
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.