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View From The Paw (Cont'd)

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Saturday April 2/11 (Post Late)
I have been expelled!
For something I did not do! In fact for nothing I did!

Where do I start? For a long time, one of my favorite places to go with my owner family is this place where there are lots of people, and outdoor restaurants, and a big bookstore with a fountain in the front.  I know it is called Bethesda, because my owner Mom will look at me and say-Tonka? Let’s go to Bethesda.

So, we get into the car and drive and park someplace outside. I am always so excited with stores that have treats in bowls out front. There is even a walking street that I really love. Lots of humans and children come up to me to say hello.

When I am with my owner Mom, we will usually find a place outside to sit, even if it’s cold and she’ll have something to drink or eat and let me sit and look at all the people.

Then, we go to the place with the fountain outside. Inside are lots and lots of tables and shelves. I know it is a bookstore. I walk around with my owner Mom while she stops to look at different books.  Then, we go to the back of the store and take an elevator. We get out and walk to where there are a lot of tables and chairs, people working and reading and a place for humans to buy drinks and--my Owner Mom’s favorite- red velvet cupcakes!  We usually find a table I can sit right next to, or under. Sometimes if it is really crowded we have to wait. But we do not mind.

When we finally sit down, my owner Mom takes out her work and I curl up Lots more people come up to me. If my owner Mom gets something to eat she shares with me. . Soon, I fall asleep while my owner Mom works on her computer or read.

I also come to this bookstore at night with my owner Mom and Dad after we have eaten someplace outside. And when my owner Boy comes home we all go.  So, in one way or another, I have been coming here often and for a long time.

Well, a few days ago, my owner Mom and I went to the bookstore. We sat down at a table. I curled up. My owner Mom took out her computer and started eating her cupcake when a man came up to the table.
Excuse me but I need to talk to you.
Yes? My owner Mom looked up.
Unfortunately, we’ve had a change of policy at the store, and dogs will no longer be allowed.
My owner Mom looked shocked.
Well, the man said, there was an incident at the check out counter.
What happened?
A dog started barking at another dog and when one of the owners tried to intervene (whatever that means) she got bitten by one of the dogs and had to go get rabies shots (whatever those are) so, now no more dogs are allowed.
But I have been bringing Tonka here forever! Said my Owner Mom
I know. Replied the man.  I recognize your dog and he always seems like a really nice dog.
I am really sorry. You can stay here now but you cannot bring him back anymore.

The man walked away. My owner Mom looked down at me.
I can’t believe this. I can’t bring you here anymore?  You’ve been expelled? (Whatever that means, although I could figure it out)
My owner Mom looked so sad.
I did not know what to do except lick her hand.

So we sat at our little table as we usually did. My owner Mom took an extra long time to drink her drink and eat her cupcake.  We finally got up and took the elevator back down to the first floor. There was a guard who looked at me but did not say anything. It seemed to me that we took another extra long time to walk out the door.  When we got outside, my owner Mom stood for a moment near the fountain. She bent down and patted my head.
This is the end of an era. I am so sorry, Tonka. She said. And my owner Mom started to cry.

We drove home. My owner Mom was still very sad. I heard her on the phone with my owner Dad saying—it’s so unfair. This was so wonderful for him.

Anyway, this whole idea of not being able to go someplace anymore is hard.  My owner Mom’s mother lived in New York City.  My owner Mom and I would drive to New York. When we stopped along the way, my owner Mom always got two hamburgers. One for her and one for me. Yummy! My owner Mom’s mother loved me. She was always so excited when I came. And I loved her. I loved Central Park. 

But then my owner Mom’s mother died. And all of a sudden I stopped going to New York. There was no place for me to stay anymore. My owner Mom was very sad back then.  But then later on my owner Mom said when the weather got better for me, she would take me back to New York and we wwould stay at this very famous hotel where I am allowed and where the Dog Show is held. I cannot wait. That will be fun.

So, all I am saying is that maybe there will be a new place I can go instead of the bookstore.  And as long as I can sit outside at an outdoor restaurant, I will be just fine.  I want my owner Mom to know I am not sad.  It will be okay.  I think….well, maybe I'll be a little sad…or confused when we walk by the bookstore and I cannot go in…that will be strange…

It is hard for humans to say good-bye. Dogs do not say good-bye. Things are there and then they are suddenly gone.  Like my owner Mom’s mother. Like my owner Boy who comes and goes, and I never know when.  Like the bookstore where I used to go and sit and make lots of friends…

But meanwhile the bigger thing will be to convince my owner Dad of the new policy in the bookstore. He’s not that great at following certain rules, so I have a feeling he is going to test them and march me right past the guard—perhaps saying he wants to buy me a that Nook thing I have heard about. (Whatever it is, can I fetch or chew it? )
Anyway, that will be an adventure!

Have a breaking the rules, not saying good-bye, red velvet cupcake weekend!

Friday April 1/11
I am not back yet!  And they will not let me borrow a computer where I am. So, I will post over the weekend.  I am sorry to be late!  Can I say another dog ate my homework? Just don't ask which one?  Anyway, they are shooing me out of the office-No Paws Allowed! And speaking of No Paw Allowed, that is what I will blog about-I was expelled!!! Yes, me! Expelled. Will explain,  Okay, okay, I'm leaving! No need to get testy! (humans can be very irritating!)

Previous View From The Paw Blogs

Friday March 25/11
When we all get together at the doggie park, oh boy is there a lot of whispered discussion, and some of it rather heated about owner families and some of the more annoying things that owner Moms and Dads do all the time!  Yesterday morning, I was asked, well, circled by my fellow canine friends then asked to use my space for the greater canine good since I am the only one in my group that has a blog. 
They said-Come on, Tonka, you need to write about this! Get the word out. We know humans read your blog. We do not want to have to riot and have a poop sit in!
A poop sit-in sounded so scary, that I promised them I would use my space to share their thoughts.

Therefore, in honor of my paw brethren, and the environment, I shall forgo my usual blog and post the following link.
Please read and share with any of your human friends who have or are thinking of getting one of us.
Have a less annoyed and annoying weekend-hopefully with no sit-in poop!
Friday March 18/11
Sitting With a Writer in the Sun!
Now this is a whole different story! When it is nice outside, my owner Mom takes lots of papers and me and we go and sit outside the same coffee shop where she runs in to get something when it rains.

We usually find a little table in the shade. I lie down against the wall and get ready to meet my public.  Yes, I must say I do get a lot of visitors-from very young children to senior citizens.  They are all very friendly and complimentary, and my owner Mom does not mind being interrupted and answering a lot of questions about me.

Sometimes, I get a little embarrassed when she talks about how I came to be.  She says I was the product of a tryst (I do not know this word but it is the one my owner Mom uses) on a Thanksgiving night between one of the doggie camp’s owner’s golden retrievers (my mother) and a boarding dog (my father). 

No one quite knows what breed my father was. He did not stick around.  I have heard of that happening with human Dads too! Well, my mother had 5 little pups.
When my owner Mom came to see us, she brought my owner Boy with her. He picked me.  My owner Mom’s friend picked two of my brothers. And so, off we went to our new homes.

I do not remember leaving my mother or the doggie camp. I do not remember being separated from my brothers. I do not remember sitting on my owner boy’s lap all the way home.  All I can remember is my owner family.  And I think how lucky I am. And I think some more...

I know there are children who live places without Moms or Dads. I have heard that they have to wait until someone comes and picks them out and takes them home.
I know there are dogs that live in place with no Moms or Dads. They have to wait until an owner Mom or Dad comes and picks them out and takes them home.
I know that there are dogs no one wants because they are too big. And there are children no one wants because they are too old.

I think it would be wonderful if big dogs and older children could keep each other company. Maybe someone should build a home where they could both live together. 

The next time I am with my owner Mom and she throws something in a fountain and she says she is going to make a wish—I will make a wish too!
A place for big dogs and older children where they can love each other and where there would be no such thing as loneliness.
Have a together, loving, wishful  weekend.

Friday March 11/11
Living with a Writer in the Rain
What am I supposed to do with rain?
Snow is fun.  I can play in snow.
Rain is not fun. I cannot play in the rain.
So I have to play in the house. Being in the house when it rains? And with an Owner Mom who writes?

We have stairs. My owner Mom throws a ball up the stairs. I catch it and push it back down the stairs. Fun for a while. Next?
There is no next. My Owner Mom sits down at her computer She wants to work, but I am restless. I haven’t played with my Kong. But my owner Mom has that look she gets when I have clearly lost the number one spot in her existence. She utters that sentence- Tonka, no more play! I have to work!
What does work mean? She sits down at her computer and hits it. She talks to herself. She talks to the computer. She gets angry. Finally I hear what is music to my ears- the ARGHHHHH!  It means she is getting up.
Tonka, let’s go to the pet store, we need food.
Yeah! The pet store. I run for my leash and put it at the door. It takes my Owner Mom forever to find her keys, and phone. Finally we are on our way.
At the pet store a cat comes nose to nose with me—a cat that close to me that doesn't arch its back in attack mode? I do not know how to react so I freeze. Are we done yet?

We come back home and I know my owner Mom will go back to work., However, I am restless. I still haven’t played Kong. But again my owner Mom has that look and says-Tonka, you have to wait! I have to work!
I wait and wait and wait for the next break. I know it will come.
She sits down at her computer and hits it again. Soon she is talking to herself again. She is getting angry again I finally I hear her say ARGHHHHH! Again! Yes!
Tonka? I’ve had it! Let’s go for coffee!
That means the car. That means she is taking me with her. I jump up and go to the door. Again it takes her forever to find her car keys, and phone.
Finally, we are out the door. I hop in the car. This is my favorite time besides playing Kong. I get to lie down in the back seat. I am very comfy while my owner Mom parks and goes into this place where lots of humans are having coffee. She comes back out carrying something that must taste good because she looks happy.

We drive back to the house.  It is now raining very hard. We run inside. She sits back down at the computer with her coffee. I sit down too. She goes to work. Now I sleep. Until I am rudely awakened by another ARGHHHHHHHH and I jump up! Can’t a dog get a nap? Honestly!

By now it has stopped raining. I can go outside.  Okay. Where’s my Kong.
I hold it in my mouth and scratch at the door. But my owner Mom has that look yet again. I will have to wait until I hear another ARGHHHHHHHH!  But this time I do not mind waiting because I know at that point she’ll run out the door, and want to play tug of war with me-very, very hard!
Have a fun owner ARGHHHHHHH! Weekend!
Friday March 4/11
I am away because my owner Mom is on some sort of writers retreat. She wanted to take me with her, but dogs are not allowed. Anyway, I am having a lot of fun where I usually go. We sit around and talk about our owner families and then we talk about celebrity dogs. One of my friends-Butler-has an owner who writes history books. Butler always tells us something interesting that we didn't know. This time he told us that there was once a Dog King? Yup a Dog King!  I wrote all this information down so I wouldn't forget it, I also had to ask Butler how to spell the names for me.  This Dog King's name was Suening. It turns out that King Eystein ruled Norway (I have no idea where that is) between 1104 and 1123 (a long time ago!!!!) The King got angry with his people and as a punishment  decided that his dog, Suening would rule in his place! Can you imagine?
Suening ruled for three years! Do you know how he signed important papers? With paw prints!!!!!!!!!
Then i thought, maybe I can be Dog President one day. That rose garden looks so appealing! And ooh, those state dinners, not to mention the front lawn! Off to write my campaign speech..Going to practice my paw print! President Tonka has a nice bark to it, no? Need to put together, what do humans call it? An exploratory committee. Explore? Piece of cake! Literally!
Have a great pawprint and exploratory weekend!
Friday February 17/11
Personal Trainer At Your Service!
We all know that a lot of humans are obsessed with weight and physical fitness. Well, my owner Mom is no different. She is always talking about going on some sort of diet or getting more exercise. I keep thinking if she’d only play more with me, she wouldn’t have to worry.

We also know that most canines need a focus, an activity and a reason to get off the bed in the morning, or away from the table food. Dogs are always barking to play, or run or jump.

Well, my Owner Mom has found a way to get more exercise AND give me a cool role.  I am so excited! We are now partners!  My owner mom knows that in order to get into really good shape she needs to lift or pull something heavy.  So, I am very proud to announce that I, Tonka, have officially become the something she can pull. I am what she now calls her ‘resistance weight.’ although I prefer the title, personal trainer!

My owner Mom throws a Kong, I fetch it, and then she tries to take it away from me. I grab the rubber Kong and she grabs the string part with both hands. I am very strong, and can really pull, so my owner Mom has to work even harder to hold onto the string. We tug of war with each other.  It is so much fun and I have to say my owner Mom can hold on for a long time.  But I insist that she keep tugging until she gets too tired to hold on any longer--that's the personal trainer part!
So all you canines out there-you, too, can have a big role in your owner Moms exercise programs. You, too, can become personal trainers and/or resistance weights. Grab a Kong the next time you are in the pet store.  (Make sure your owner Mom or Dad puts an extra knot in the string so you can’t pull the Kong out). Then just play tug of war. And it is a win-win. You will get strong chest muscles that look terrific when you go out to walk and flirt. Your owner moms will get in great shape by summer
Did I say summer? Not my favorite holiday. We will have to take all physical training inside. This personal trainer does not work in heat! I have my standards!

Have a fun, personal trainer, resistance weight, tug of war, weekend!

Friday February 10/11
No Whining!
My Owner Mom takes me a lot of places—to the drugstore, the supermarket, the pet shop, the cleaners, and gas station. I either stay in the car, or sit outside until she is finished doing what she needs to do. Then she takes me for a walk and I get to sniff city smells, and have lots of people pay attention to me.

This month, because my owner Boy is home and we only have two cars, I get to go with her when she picks him up at the metro.  That is fun too!

I also sit outside and wait for my owner Dad. He comes home much later. Sometimes he doesn’t come back at all—not for one, or two or three days.  Sometimes he walks me in the morning and sometimes he can’t.  But when he is home, he always takes me out to the garbage with him. That is the most fun!

But, then there are times when my owner Mom, and Dad and Boy go out.  Like last night, they all left at the same time.  What did they mean that I couldn't go?  Why?  And why were they trying to get out the door before I ran ahead of them?   And why did it take hours for them to come back?
And what was I supposed to do with myself?  

This is where humans are much luckier. If humans are home alone they have lots to keep them busy.  They can watch television, listen to the radio, play CDs, go on their computers or talk on the phone. If canines are left home alone, they do not have a whole lot to keep them busy.  They have to wait until someone comes back.  I wonder what humans would do if they were left home alone without anything or anyone to keep them company. I do not think humans would survive.  Canines are definitely the stronger species!

I have decided that there should be no whining in the human world. There is absolutely no reason for humans to be lonely or bored.  They have so-o-o- many things they can do without us that we cannot do without them.

So, I hope my owner family stays home this weekend.
Have a no-whine, stay home, everyone together weekend!

Friday February 3/11
Scared Snowless!
I love snow.  I have always loved snow, but my relationship with snow has changed. It is in serious trouble!  NOT because it took four days to find my Kong. That happened in the last snowstorm. I know it is underneath somewhere. And my owner Mom plays ball with me until I can find it. And NOT because it was icy. I don’t mind slipping and sliding. My owner Mom does so we end up walking very slowly. No, it is because something happened that had never happened before.

My owner Mom and Dad and boy walked me into town on Sunday for breakfast.  I like to sit outside in a little corner near the door. My owner family went inside and I curled up in my usual spot. All of a sudden, without any warning, a whole bunch of snow came flying down on top of me. I jumped up, and started barking. My owner Mom came out and saw all the snow on me, and I could tell she was upset. She hugged me and then she moved me away from that spot to another spot that was underneath some sort of cover and stayed with me a while because-okay, okay, I’ll confess-I was scared and shaking. I finally calmed down and she went back inside.  I could not lie down again, I was too nervous, so I kept jumping up and moving around.  I ended up half underneath the cover and half outside of it and sure enough wind came along and snow fell on top of me again! Now I was really scared and barked a lot. My owner Mom and Dad and boy came out and we all walked home.

Once home, I like to sit outside in my front yard, especially in the snow but big clumps of snow kept falling down on me from trees. I moved to the front door but melting snow kept dripping down from these pointy things right above me.

Now when I look at the snow, I think-I loved you, I loved you so much and what did you do?  You attacked me for no reason! And you scared me!  What am I supposed to do with this new feeling? Humans are scared of snow! Humans think they cannot drive, will slip and fall, get stuck in their cars or houses.
But canines are not supposed to be scared of snow! We are supposed to romp and play and roll in it; we are supposed to catch and eat snowballs.
Oh dear. Am I becoming too human!
No, I refuse. Okay I need to get a grip.
Snow, you’ve fallen on top on me, and pelted me! But once I find my Kong, it’s playtime no matter what you throw at me!
I am dog. You are snow! It’s not as if we’re talking equality here!  You will melt! Need I say more?
Have a fearless weekend!

Friday January 28/11
A Tiger Mother with Two Dogs? What Does That Mean?
My Owner Mom wrote about a book by another owner Mom- A Tiger Owner Mother. What does that mean? Tiger Mother? A why would a Tiger Mother want to raise two humans to play piano and win prizes?  Very confusing.

I overheard my human Owner Mom talking to my human Owner Dad. I learned also that this Tiger Mother got one of her human daughters a dog as a bribe/reward for playing piano well. Then the owner family got a second dog to keep the first dog company?  I also heard that the Tiger Mother was very, very strict with her two human daughters, but not at all with her two dogs. A Tiger Mother with two  daughters and two dogs? This gets even more confusing.  Is it a Tiger Mother thing not to be strict with canines?  Anyway, I am happy for her dogs. It would be terrible to have to go for doggie lessons all the time, then sit and practice tricks for 3 hours every day and not go poop or pee until all the tricks were performed perfectly.  And have no play dates? Unthinkable! On the other hand I don’t understand what is so wrong with the word ‘garbage’? I love that word!  Also, what is so great about sleepovers ? Been there! All they mean is you have to share!  

This Tiger Mother Owner loves her dogs very much and just wants them to be healthy and happy. My human Owner Mom loves me very much too and just wants me to be healthy and happy, too. Sometimes I have to play the ‘love’ angle a little more.  Like right now I am looking at my human Owner Mom with pleading eyes. There is a lot of snow. I love snow. I want my owner human Owner Mom to take me for a big romping walk in the park but first I have to convince her that icy tree limbs won’t fall on top of her head. She sees dead tree limbs.Do you think Tiger Mother Owners see dead tree limbs?
So I'm off to do my very best licky-lovey performance! But Please, NO puppy as a reward, though!
Have a great, lots of garbage, lots of snow playdates, NO sleepovers, NO doggie lessons, and definitely NO dead tree limbs, weekend!

Saturday January 15/11 (One day late!)
 The Winter of the Warm Mice…I get it!
The girlfriend came and stayed for 5 days.  She had my boy’s attic room. At 5 o’clock one morning, she called on her cell phone to my boy who slept on the couch in the family room to say she heard a noise in her bag. She thought it might be a mouse. He went up. I went up. No mouse. But, the little paper bag with a left over muffin from the plane ride had been chewed. The next morning the chocolate bar my owner Mom had given her had been dragged part way under the couch. She was absolutely sure there was a mouse. So, she took the couch in the family room.
After she left, my owner mom bought a box, put cheese in it and set it down on the rug in the attic. I could smell the cheese and wondered why it was in this little box.
The next morning, there was mouse in the box.
My owner Mom carried the box when we went for a walk. She opened up the top and let the mouse out. I saw it run away.
That night she put the box again on the floor.
The next morning there was another little mouse in the box.
We went for a walk and she let it out.
The third night there was a third mouse.
And we let it out on our walk the next morning.
The third morning, there were children walking to school.
They stopped to talk to me. My owner Mom told them that we were going to let a mouse out of the box.
I do not understand why she said –we? I had nothing to do with this decision.
Where is the mouse? They asked
In this box. My owner Mom replied.
Can we see him?
When I open the top, you will see him.
The kids gathered around. My owner Mom opened the box. The kids were very curious to know how the mouse got stuck in there, and why my owner Mom called it a friendly trap.
I was bored. Mice are not like fox, or raccoon or deer. To me they are like the micro dogs in new York City. I want nothing to do with them.
Anyway, my owner Mom opened the box and the little mouse ran off.
The kids watched and then they ran off to school.
But then one of the older girls turned around and called out-
Why didn’t you just kill him? That’s what my mother does!
I guess not all owner Moms are alike. My owner Mom does not like to kill mice.
Not all canines are alike. I do not like to catch mice.
My owner Mom has now put that box down every night.
I have heard that mice like to be where it is warm and it is warm in the attic.
I llike to be where it is cold. The colder the better.
Ahah!  I come inside the house in the summer to be near the air conditioner.
They come inside the house in the winter to be near the heater. Now I get it!
My owner Dad says with a laugh-so you are letting them back out to freeze!
My owner Boy says with a laugh-and they will find another house maybe where the Mom will kill them!
I look at my owner Mom. She looks upset and goes outside. I am about to follow her out when she comes right back in and tells my owner Dad that there is a frozen squirrel on the front lawn! She has had it!
My owner Dad and I go out. He walks over to this frozen, on its back, legs up thing on the ground and kicks it over.
I run after it and put it in my mouth.
My owner Mom cries-No! Take that out of your mouth!
I drop it.
My owner Dad starts to laugh. It is my stuffed animal. frozen stiff from the snow on the ground.
I look at my owner Mom. She starts to laugh. I am glad she is no longer upset.
I hear her say-let’s all go for hot chocolate! Yeah! That means doggie treats for me!

So, this is the winter of warm mice and frozen stuffed animals.
Have a mice-less, and frozen-less weekend! Don’t forget the doggie treats for us when you go for hot chocolate!
Friday December 24/10
This Thing Called a Resolution
My owner boy is home. There are lots of little lights around the house that stay on all night! My owner mom has put boxes on the floor-on purpose! And I smell treats in something that looks like a sock.  This is my favorite time of year. There is still snow on the ground for me to eat, and my owner mom has let me stay outside very late.
I overheard my owner Mom talking about something called a resolution--what she wants to do next year. She always says she wants to lose 15 pounds. She could fetch more with me and that would do it.  But, I got to thinking what I would want to do next year. I will be 9 years old in a month. I am told in human years that is 63. I look at puppies now and wonder if I ever had that kind of licky, pouncy energy? So I guess I already feel more grown up. Now do I need a grown-up resolution?

This resolution thing—Do I want to do something new, or something I could not do before? I could make a resolution to be less scared of thunderstorms and not sit on top of my owner Mom until the very last rumble has totally disappeared.  I could learn a new skill and eat my food indoors instead of outdoors.  I could be more sympathetic to my owner family and sleep longer on weekends.  Maybe I should talk to other canines and see what they think of these ideas for a resolution.

I do know that my owner Mom really wants to lose those 15 pounds. My owner Boy really wants to finish writing something called a dissertation. My owner Dad really wants to do more reading abd writing.
What do I really want to do? Hmm. Am still thinking.

Maybe we canines do not need to have a resolution. Maybe a resolution is only for humans. But, we canines live with humans. They are our family. And we are devoted to them. So...Wait!  Of course!  I love my owner family so much and I know they love me too! So what I want to do is just be the best owner family dog in the whole world! That’s my resolution! I bet that all my other canine friends will want to make the same resolution!
Phew, I was worried I would not have a resolution to share! Now I can say,
Have a “sock”full of treats Christmas,
And a best resolution ever, New Year!
Talk to you on January 7th

Friday December 17/10
My Very Bad Fur Day
Well, my owner Mom and Dad are back from wherever they went.  So I am back.
I was going to write about all the gossip I heard from my canine friends but something else happened.
It snowed yesterday and was really really cold!
I played in the snow yesterday and did something really really bad.

I haven’t seen my owner Mom that upset since I ran after a raccoon and sent her tumbling leash and all into the street just missing a fire hydrant!

Anyway, this time it wasn’t my fault. Really. There we were, in the front yard, in the snow, playing tug of war and fetch—I was romping and my owner Mom was laughing. She threw the Kong and it landed in the corner. When I went to retrieve it under what looked like some tall stick branches, my owner Mom stopped to say hello to a neighbor passing by. The stick branches looked like they would be really great to chew. So, I pulled them until they came out of the ground. Then I broke one off and was about to put it between my paws to chew, when I heard my owner Mom yell-
No! No eat! No, No! That’s not a stick, it is a plant!
Plant? What plant?  It didn’t have green leaves or flowers I could sniff! It was a bunch of stick branches!  Oh wait a minute. Was that the plant I remember my owner Mom taking out of the car sometime when the weather was still warm? I saw her carry this big green thing with very big red flowers and put it on the ground. Then some humans came, the same one who come and put great smelling stuff on the ground I love to dig holes in—anyway, these humans dug a very big hole to put this very big plant in. My owner Mom put water on it. She would touch the flowers and talk to them every morning. Oh no!  Was I eating that plant??? How was I supposed to know? It looked nothing like a plant!  And where did the flowers go?

I feel terrible. My owner Mom really liked that plant.  Maybe when the snow goes away, I can put the sticks back and they will turn into a plant again.

She doesn’t look like she is mad at me. I climbed up on the couch and she gave me a hug. I don’t know if that made me feel better or worse. I wonder if humans feel like that sometimes?
Anyway, I am going to stick to chewing things that are already on the ground!
Have a great stick to chewing what you know weekend!

Friday December 3/10
I am away!  Having a lot of fun with a lot of fellow canines.
Boy are there a lot of notes to compare! But, when it is all said and done,
you humans should know that we love you no matter what
and I will write all about the what next week!
Until then,
Have a wonderful loving you no matter what weekend

Friday November 26/10
My Two Favorite Happenings-- And At Time Same Time! Wow!
I know, I know I am very late in posting!
Well, I do have two excuses. My boy! And the food!
I did not know my owner Boy was coming. This is where dogs and humans are different. Humans have calendars. We have our senses.
We can sense when something is going to happen, but we don’t really know until it is close enough to sense. My owner Dad got up very, very early on Thanksgiving Day and left the house. My owner Mom was up and in the kitchen pulling out pots and pans. I knew something was happening, but I did not know what until my owner Mom finally looked at me and said-
Tonka! Do you know who is coming home today?
The minute she asked me that, I knew!
I ran to the door-she let me out, and I sat straight up watching the street until my owner Dad got back.
When I saw my owner Boy, I jumped around, I licked his face, and I buried my head between his legs. We sat together and hugged.  I was so, so happy. My best buddy was home.

Not only did I have my owner Boy, but also he was home for Thanksgiving --one of my favorite human holidays. I love the food! And my owner Mom lets me have almost all of it-the turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes, the pie-yum, yum, yum, and yum!
But after playing with my owner boy, and eating everything, I fell fast asleep.
So, there it is—why I am late.
Oh well.
Family is so important to us canines.  We love and need our families very much.
So when humans say thank you for “the joy of loved ones” we do too!
I have so much to be thankful for—and whenever I can see my owner Boy I am even more thankful!
I hope all my other canine friends had loving and yummy Thanksgiving.  Hint-stay really close to the leftovers!
And to all,
Have a loving, yummy Thanksgiving weekend.

Friday November 19/10
 My Owner Mom and The Nanny!
Remember when I thought it would be fun to be a gum paw and spy on nannies with my owner Mom? Well, it happened. It wasn’t as much fun as I thought and I have never seen my owner Mom so angry.
Maybe I should start at the beginning. My owner Mom likes to walk me to this little market. Every morning we walk through the park so I can go off leash. When we arrive at the little market, my owner Mom buys coffee and a scone, and I get some of the scone (yum!) and some dog biscuits.
The other morning we were walking back across the small baseball field when a very little girl started to follow us. My owner Mom turned around and smiled.
Hello! Would you like to say hello to Tonka? He is very gentle.
The little girl smiled and nodded and came a little closer to me.  My owner Mom told me to sit. The little girl came up and gave me a pet. My owner Mom then said good-bye and we continued to walk. The little girl skipped ahead of us and started climbing on the baseball bleachers. My owner Mom looked around. I looked around. There were no other humans we could see.
Are you with your mother? 
The little girl nodded no.
I am with my nanny.
My owner Mom looked around. 
Where is your Nanny?
The little girl pointed all the way over to the other side of the field at a woman seated on a bench with a stroller.
She is there with my baby brother.
That is pretty far away. I don’t think you should be climbing so high on the bleachers, sweetheart, let’s go back to where you nanny is.
So we all walked around the path back to the bench where the Nanny was sitting.
When we got there, the Nanny was talking on the phone.
Excuse me, is this little girl with you?
The Nanny nodded and continued talking on the phone, and in a language I did not understand.
Do you know she was pretty far away and climbing all the way up on the bleachers?
The Nanny nodded and continued talking on the phone.  The little girl started skipping off again 
Excuse me, you know she could have fallen or disappeared. Maybe she needs to stay closer to you.
The Nanny still did not look up and continued to talk on the phone.
Maybe you need to get off the phone and pay more attention to this little girl? 
Again, the Nanny continued talking on the phone. 
Then something happened to my owner Mom’s voice. It was the same voice she uses with me only once in a while or that she used to use when my owner boy was younger.  It was sort of like when I bark really loud to make a point.  In this voice my owner Mom said to this Nanny, 
You really need to get off the phone now, or I shall report you to this child’s mother!
Go ahead, not my problem, replied the Nanny!
And the Nanny still did not get off the phone!
I had never heard my owner Mom so angry!  
It most certainly will be your problem. I am going to report you to your employer!  And you will be fired!
I could tell something was happening because we walked back home very fast.  My owner Mom grabbed something in the house.
Come on Tonka, we’re going to do some gum pawing!
We got into the car. Then my owner Mom parked on the street along side the park and just sat there. We sat for a long time.
Well, Tonka, at least I got her to keep the little girl closer to her! Wait, she’s finally off the phone! 50 minutes on the phone!!! Unbelievable. Now she’s standing up and walking with the little girl and the stroller to the playground.
My owner Mom drove the car closer to the playground.
Okay, Tonka, the little girl is playing and the Nanny is sitting on a bench talking to other Nannies. I cannot believe I am sitting in a car spying on a Nanny! I wonder if anyone thinks I am stalking!  We will sit a little longer and see if she leaves. I want to see if she goes home.  It is getting late. If she doesn’t leave soon, we have to go home. I am so upset I cannot find out where this little girl lives! I am so sorry I did not ask the little girl where she llived or what her name was.
This gum pawing was not a lot of fun. My owner Mom was not happy. We did not get to walk around, and I did not get be stay off leash.
That night my owner Mom looked at me -
Tonka, should we become serious Nanny spies and report back to parents about what really goes on in parks and playgrounds?
What am I to say? I do not want to see my Owner Mom upset.  I like to see her smile and laugh like when she plays with me. But if she wants to take me with her, I will try to be a good gum paw.  After all, I am lucky.  I do not have to worry about a Nanny! When my Owner Mom goes away, I go away too, to camp!   And I know I am always talking about the difference between Humans and Canines, but there is one thing we both need the exact same amount of-and that is attention. Not only that, but Children and Puppies need the exact same amount of extra care and attention!  If I can help make sure that kids and pooches are safe and never ignored, then I shall proudly serve!
So, write me a message on my facebook page-View From the Paw of email me at: Tonka/View From the Pawif you live in or near DC Chevy Chase and want us to gum paw for you! I would like a break for fetch and biscuits, maybe a little nap in between…okay, okay, I’ll negotiate!
Until then have an attention-filled weekend!
For more View From The Paw clickView From The Paw Archive
Should Dogs Sleep in Beds With Owners? My Response!
Friday November 12
Our Love Life is Not Our Own!
Ok, ok, I have to admit it--humans have it better in their love life than we do.

 I think I am in love! I met the cutest Portuguese water dog at the dog park early yesterday morning.  We instantly (how do Humans say?) hit it off and started romping around-- unusual for me. I am usually more reserved.  . 

This very cute canine was with her owner boy.  We played until we heard the bell ring. That meant all the kids, including her owner boy, had to go inside a building.  Her owner boy walked her back down the hill to his mom who was sitting on a bench talking to another mom.

Since I was off-leash I tore down the hill after my cute new friend, scaring her owner mom who jumped up and was about to scream until my owner mom came running to say I was harmless and had just finished playing with her dog. The mom looked very relieved but I must say it was not a great way to make a first impression. 

When everyone left the park, I walked home wondering how or when I could see this cute dog again.  I thought about how hard it was going to be.
My owner mom would have to get up early enough to get to the park BEFORE school.  How was I going to make sure she got up early enough? 
My owner mom sometimes likes to walk me to the local market instead of the hill. How would I make sure she walked me to the park to play?
What if this cute dog’s owner boy was late for school and couldn’t come up to the hill? How could I make sure I'd see this cute dog again?

I couldn’t! I couldn’t because I had no control. And that’s when I knew Humans had it better. I cannot stop thinking about this dog and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it! Humans do not have to depend on other humans to be with some one they like.  They have phones, and emails and they can make plans with each other.
Our love life depends totally on our owner Moms or Dads--and the weather, no less!!!  Imagine if Humans had those problems!
So I do not want to hear about any Human having a hard time with Love! They have it so-o-o easy!  No owner Mom or Dad or puddle is stopping them!
I’m going to wake my owner Mom up very early, and cross my paws that we go to the hill and I can see this cute dog again. I really, really liked her…
Have a-
Make the call!
Send an email
Have a plan!
Friday November 5
Getting Up On The Wrong Side of the Bed and Proceeding to Have A Bad Hair Day!
Well, I have my yard back, leaves and all. Summer is really gone. I can sit outside forever...lots of time to think about my favorite subject-the difference between canines and humans.  

Canines can be angry, sad, or scared, but there is usually a real reason we want to growl, droop our eyes or put our tails between our legs. That uniform the mailman wears, our owner family leaving us home alone, or loud thunderstorms are perfectly ok reasons to get us going.  But Humans are different. Humans have what they call moods that can come out of nowhere!
They use these strange phrases like Got up on the wrong side of the bed or, Just having a bad hair day! What do they mean? Canines do not get up on the wrong side of the bed! Many of us don’t even sleep on a bed! And if we do we are creatures of habit, so we will get on and off a bed exactly the same way every time. There can never be a wrong side!

This bad hair day thing is really confusing! If it means that my owner Mom's hair might not look as good as usual why would she have a bad hair day if her hair looked fine! The only time we canines have bad hair day is when we are wet and muddy and our owner moms get all upset (which is their upset, not ours!) or when owners decide to shave us!

But that is what I mean.  We always have a actual cause for getting upset. And we never wake up in a bad mood! If humans can get out of bed on the wrong side, and have a bad hair day for no other reason than they just woke up feeling that way, what are we canines supposed to do with them?

This is what I was thinking about sitting in my yard full of leaves. Then I came to this conclusion: Since we canines are of a higher order, we must be sensitive and patient with Humans. We need to sit at their feet, give them love and licks until these moods pass.  After all, it is not their fault that they do not have our simple hearts. 
We can calm any human who gets up on the wrong side of the bed and proceeds to have a bad hair day! If only every Human had one of us, what a better world it would be! 
Have a Right Side, Good Hair Weekend!

Friday October 29 2010
What a Nightmare!
Well, it’s that strange holiday again White stringy stuff gets spread across plants and trees. My paws get stuck in it. Lots of strange plastic people with scary faces sit on porches, or in chairs. Lots of lots of round orange balls appear near everyone’s doors. I do not understand the orange balls.  I once picked one up by the little stick on top and my owner mom said-no touch! What good is a round anything, if you can’t play with it?

The other part of this strange holiday has to do with my owner Mom. She gets very busy. First, she spends a lot of time in stores. She takes me with her in the car. Then she spends a lot of time in my yard. I sit outside and watch her moving those orange balls around. Then she spends a lot of time in the house carrying boxes up the stairs into a room that becomes very messy. That is no fun so I stay outside. My owner Mom has a lot of the same plastic people I see in front of other humans’ houses.  She puts different clothes and faces on them and then takes them outside. I absolutely know this holiday is coming when she puts a big sign up on the fence. People come by and look at it and smile.

The only good thing about this strange holiday is that my owner mom  spends most of the day with me outside and she lets me stay in my yard for an extra long time at night.

The worst part of this holiday is  when the truck comes. I always bark a lot at this truck. Humans get out and my Owner Mom has to tell them that I will not bite (Hmmm) Anyway, they take out tables and chairs and place them in my yard. All of a sudden I have no yard!  This is my yard! It gets filled with human stuff that has nothing to do with me!  Why is it all in my yard!  That’s it! I want out of there.  My owner mom knows.

So very soon after that, I am in a car on my way to where I go every time this strange holiday comes. I cannot wait. I will see my friends. We will play and we will not have to worry about our yards filling up with human stuff! We will share stories and let me tell you, I have already heard some nightmare tales about this holiday.  Little children stepping all over paws! Scary humans and very loud noises! Lots of human treats my friends can smell and see on the ground but are never, ever allowed to eat!  This is definitely not our idea of a fun time!!!!
Canines would never have a holiday that meant our yards were invaded by monster sized stuff!
Canines would never have a holiday with orange balls we couldn’t play with!
Canines would never have a holiday full of treats little humans dropped all over the place but we were never allowed to touch!
So, I will come back when this strange holiday is all over. The orange balls will still be near the door. They stay for a long time, but at least that white stringy stuff will be gone, and my yard will be empty again.
Hope your weekend is not a total nightmare!

Friday October 15 2010
Sometimes I Think We All Want the Same Thing
My Owner Mom is fixing our porch. I have come to understand that Owner Moms are always fixing something. Anyway,  I like to lie down on that floor when my Owner Mom writes. but there was water coming in from outside so right now, I am not allowed. There is this big cover over the door and two humans are banging and painting.  But, there is a second reason the humans are banging and painting.

One day my owner Mom and I came back from a walk. When she opened the door, she heard a noise from the porch. I heard the noise too. My owner Mom stopped and pulled on my leash. I could tell something was wrong, and so I barked at the noise. My owner mom stayed near the door. Then we both heard a crash! I barked very loud and pulled very hard on my leash and my owner Mom let me go. I ran to the porch. More things fell, and suddenly my owner Mom saw it—a squirrel!

It ran out of the porch into the living room! I ran after it barking.  It ran towards the kitchen, I ran after it into the kitchen. It jumped on the kitchen table; I did not jump on the kitchen table! I just barked! It jumped off and ran back into the living room. My owner Mom ran out onto the porch and opened one of the windows. I chased the squirrel  back into the kitchen. My owner Mom opened the kitchen back door but the squirrel ran back onto the porch. Once it saw one of the open windows it jumped out. I am too big to jump out of those windows, so I just continued to bark until I knew it was gone. Phew! My owner Mom and I had done a lot of running and chasing! The squirrel had scratched the wood around one of the windows trying to get out. That was the other reason the humans ere banging and painting. They were also fixing the wood.

 This made me think that when I am on a walk with my owner Mom and a squirrel runs right in front of me, I pay no attention. (I do not kill or eat squirrels-or any animals for that matter)But was I the same when it was in my house where it did not belong? No I  became quite territorial. When my owner Mom and I are at the park and a squirrel runs after another squirrel right in front of her, my owner Mom laughs and pays no attention.  But was she the same with a squirrel running wild in her house? No!  she was quite upset!

Then I thought: This squirrel must have felt the same way!  In the park, he chases other squirrels and pays no attention to us canines or humans, but in a strange human house? No trees, no grass, no fellow squirrels!  Lost! Trapped! In a panic! Help!

And Now I understand:  My owner Mom, the squirrel and I all wanted the same thing. I wanted that squirrel out of my space. My owner Mom wanted that squirrel out of her space and the squirrel wanted out of our space!  So. I kept the squirrel moving, my owner Mom gave him ways to get out, and he finally saw the chance to escape and took it!  A win-win-win!!!!
Hmmm.  If a canine, a human and a squirrel can all want the same thing and see a means to an end, well....way to go, rest of the world! 
Have a fun, we-all-want-the-same-thing,(that is if you don't want to eat the squirrel) weekend! 

Friday October 8 2010
My Letter to First Dog, Bo:
Dear Bo,
This human,Cesar Millan, the TV Dog Whisperer doesn’t like the way you walk your owner Dad.who happens to be President of the United States!
Read More
Anyway, this human, Mr. Millan says that you should not walk ahead of your owner Dad. He should be ahead of you! And NOT because he is the President but because he is a human! Well Bo, you should know that I always walk ahead of my owner Mom and Dad. Their former Bernese Mountain dog always walked ahead, and his cousin always walked ahead.  Maybe we need to feel as if we are guiding. I do not pull, I lead!  But, if my owner Mom says stay close, I know there is a good reason and I stay close. Otherwise, my owner Mom and Dad let the leash all the way out and I happily trot ahead leading and guiding! 

This human, Mr. Millan also says that if you don’t learn how to follow, you'll never be a disciplined pet. Bo, listen to me. I am much older and more experienced than you. I am here to tell you that I am a very disciplined dog. And you can be too! I play off leash, and I come when asked. I do not pounce on pedestrians, or attack other dogs! I do bark to let my owner Mom know if anything or anyone comes too close to the fence. I have never been wild in the house, even when I was a puppy and that is because my Owner Mom did NOT keep me cooped up or alone. She can take me anywhere. I’ve walked the streets of New York! and been out to dinner! That is because my owner Mom took me as many places as she could when I was a puppy. My owner Mom (who I think is also a dog whisperer!) raised me exactly the way she raised my owner Boy and it worked—except for the potty training. I was puppy trained in two weeks! (leave me a comment my facebook, View From the Paw, and I will tell you how) It took my owner Boy a lot longer! Puppies are not as complicated as toddlers!
Tell your owner Dad that just because you run down the Air Force One steps, or lead on your leash. that it does NOT mean you are undisciplined. My owner Mom thinks we canines get frustrated and wild when we cannot do what we naturally need to do-sniff and explore. Maybe you need more time sniffing and exploring around the White House lawn. We pull less when we get to stop and smell the roses more often.

Tell your owner Dad also to talk to you with his hands. We like hand gestures a lot. When my owner Mom wants me to stay and not move, she just raises her forefinger right at my face and says No, stay. And I do.
When she tells me to sit, her finger goes up again and she says sit!  And I sit.
When she wants me to stop begging for treats, she opens her palms and says all gone! and I stop begging.
And when she wants ne to keep close to her, she just says-No, stay close, and I do,
If you keep hearing commands, they will become automatic to you. 
You are stil a puppy, Bo, but here is a life lesson for you. It will not matter if we canines lead or follow. As long as we trust our owner Families and know they love us and will spend time playing and talking with us, we will cock our ears and listen, we will understand what they want, and we will try to please and do the right thing whether we walk in front, along side or behind the people we unconditionally love.
But wait, doesn’t the same hold true for human families too?
Have a very disciplined, guiding and leading, sniffing and exploring weekend!!!!!
Sending you a lot of paw, (I love Portuguese Water Dogs!)
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Friday October 1, 2010
My owner Mom took me to the pet store to buy a new brush. I love going to the pet store. There is a cat there who really likes me. I can tell because she doesn’t arch her back and look like she is about to throw a paw. She follows me around while I sniff all the treats. When I get too close, she moves away, but not too far.  I am careful not to be too aggressive. If she moves back, I stop moving forward and go on to sniff around until she begins to follow me again. 

Anyway, the new brush my owner Mom bought is supposed to be terrific for undercoat.  And yesterday she sat with me on the floor and brushed and brushed and brushed, and exclaimed that a whole pound of fur came off!  I saw it in a big plastic bag. Wow. It felt good, especially when she gave me a treat afterwards and told me I looked thinner!  So I am off my diet! (See last week’s blog)

But back to the cat in the pet store. I overheard my owner Mom laughing with a friend and saying that I would make a very good role model for how to behave with a girl. I have said this before, I know but think humans need a lot of help in the boy/girl department. I mean they have all these ways of meeting and talking and they still have problems!  The Internet? Definitely NOT a canine’s first choice-nothing to sniff! A bar? Thank goodness those stools are too high and uncomfortable for a decent size canine! The office? No respectable canine would just STAND around a water cooler! No, our ways of meeting each other are during a morning or evening walk, while playing in the park and sometimes at a pet store.

We have it so much easier.  We do not worry about whether our fur looks all right or what we should say? We just wag our tails, greet and sniff.  Poor humans. They have such a complicated existence. Maybe they need to do away with the Internet, stay away from bars, and give up the water cooler.
Maybe humans just need to come play more often with us!  We’ll do the matchmaking!  After all for every dog, there is an owner!

Have an uncomplicated, e-harmony.paw weekend!

Friday September 24 2010
The Diet Patrol!!!
I have been put on a diet! Me!
My owner Mom thinks I need to lose a little weight. I think she wants company while SHE tries to lose weight!  I do not know why I have to keep her company?
I do not eat sugar? . She does.
I do not eat starch. She does.
I do not eat chocolate, she does!
So, you tell me.  Which one of us has to go on a diet!
I might need more exercise, and if certain people would play fetch with me more often, I could eat as much as I wanted!
The weather is getting cooler. I feel more active in cold weather. I have a lot more energy.  So, my owner Mom and Dad should just take me on longer walks, and let me run longer distances. But this diet idea is for the birds, not me!
I know that humans raid a refrigerator at night! I do not raid a refrigerator. I am too busy watching for raccoon, and deer and fox
I know that humans eat snacks.  I do not eat snacks. I eat treats.  Do you know the big difference? Humans can get their own snacks. And they can have all the snacks they want. Is it my fault if they cannot control themselves?
Dogs cannot get their own treats. They have to beg! And owner Moms or Dads decide how many we get.   Not only that, we have to perform to get a treat!  Humans don’t have to perform anything! And to make it worse, humans always know where their snacks are. Our treats are usually hidden away in a jar, or some human's pocket!
I guess what I am saying is this is one of the few areas where humans do have it better. They are in total control of what and how much they eat.  We are not. 
Wait! Does this mean we are luckier after all! Hmmm...Never mind, have a treatful weekend!
September 17 2010
Asking Paw-Giveness
I overheard my Owner Mom explaining Yom Kippur--that it is a time for atonement-I had no idea what that word meant, good thing she went on to say, when some people fast (what does that mean?)  and we ask forgiveness from God for the things we might have done that were selfish or hurtful. That I understood!
Hmm. I began to think about what my owner Mom might say she was sorry for. Not letting me stay outside past midnight? Not playing fetch a lot more? Forgetting to save a portion of the roast chicken or steak for me?  I guess those things are not really important enough to ask God's forgiveness for. I mean, I think that it has to be something more serious. I cannot think of anything my owner mom has done or my owner Dad, and certainly not my owner Boy other than growing up and leaving home which was not his fault.
Ok. What would I say I was sorry for? Bugging my owner Mom to play when she needed to work? Waking her up in the middle of the night because I just had to go out? Sitting on top of her in the middle of a thunderstorm, in 90 percent humidity? And tracking my muddy paws up the stairs before she had a chance to wipe them?
No. Not really serious enough.
I thought and thought and thought and then I knew.
A lot of dogs have come to greet me, all tails and wags, eager to get acquainted and play. They lick, and nudge, and play bark in an attempt to get my attention, and I have often just turned my back and ignored them. I want to play fetch more. Maybe that was selfish
Humans do not greet each other the way we canines do. They do not come at a total stranger with complete openness the way we do. I am very lucky I am not human. But I have behaved like some do.
I need to go back to behaving like most dogs. Like yesterday when I really romped and tumbled with another dog I had never met before. I saw my owner Mom smile. I heard her say-look at that! He usually doesn’t play like that!”
So on this holiday called Yom Kippur, I will ask forgiveness from all the really friendly dogs I totally ignored. I am sorry. Such human behavior is not paw-like.
I will try very hard to be a better paw this coming year.
Have a paw-giveness weekend! (and then, according to my Owner Mom, you can eat a lot!!!!)
September 10 2010 (sorry I am a little late! Site was down-whatever that means!)
Humans in The Headlights!
My owner Mom went to New York.  When she came back, I overheard her on the phone, talking about a cab drive and the wonderful cab driver she had.
They were driving down Fifth Avenue, and lots and lots of people were crossing the street, paying no any attention to the cars or the lights. Her cab driver, throws up his hands and cries-
I do not understand these people! I come from Africa. I hate to make this comparison but we lived around a lot of animals. When animal saw anything coming, they would move faster! Even birds trying to pick food would fly away until the bus or the cart went by.  But, these people here do not run! They do not look. They do not care!  What is wrong with them???!!!
I know what is wrong. Humans have lost their senses. Another sign that we, canines, are a higher order of species. We get around by sight, and smell and sound and we are never NOT aware of what’s going on around us, no matter how house-trained we might be or how friendly the mail person might seem!
I am glad I still have all my senses. That is because my owner Mom takes me on lots of walks and allows me to sniff around. Sometimes I feel sorry for dogs who have owners who think that walks are only for exercise, pee or poop.
I know that humans are afraid of losing their memories, but they should be more concerned about losing their senses--what car? I didn’t see that light!  I never heard hear the police whistle, I was busy talking on my cell phone! Phew! We do not have cell phones!
In the fall, my owner Mom plans to take me to New York. Hmm. Guide dogs are not just for the blind! They could moonlight during rush hour in New York saving humans in the headlights!  Sign me up!!!!
Until then, have a very sense-ful weekend- seeing, smelling, touching and hearing with your owner families. (Hint: take a v-e-r-y long time to pee and poop)

September 3 2010 (This posting marks ONE YEAR!!!
Thanks Everyone! Hope I have many more!)
Doggie Shyness vs. Human Shyness
The other day, I did something. And what happened afterwards  made me realize that there is another big difference between humans and canines. How humans react to shyness in other humans, vs how humans react to shyness in us.

I have seen lots of toddlers get shy. They bury their faces in a parent’s neck. They hid behind someone’ legs. Or, they turn their heads all the way to the side of a stroller.   I have seen very few puppies get shy.  Usually, puppies are wiggly and waggly, frolicky and licky.  They want to crawl all over me. Puppies are naturally open, friendly and unafraid unless they have been abused.  They want so much to connect with other dogs.

But what happens when humans and dogs grow up?
I do not know any grown shy humans, but I absolutely know that other humans would not respond to them the way they respond to a grown shy dog-like myself-like the other day-like in front of a grocery store-like when my owner Mom stopped to talk to a friend who was with another friend and her two children-like when they all started to talk to me and pet me  and like when it became a little overwhelming and I went and buried my head between my owner Mom’s legs.

The response was immediate. from everyone! Oh, he’s shy! That is so-o-o cute!

I walked away thinking that this is yet another example of why we canines have it better. We get to be ‘Oh boy, oh boy, let’s play even though I’ve never met you! when we are little, and ‘Oh dear, I cannot take all this attention! when we are older and humans still think we are cute!

Have an ‘Oh boy, oh boy let’s play!’  Labor Day weekend, and when it becomes 'Oh dear, I cannot take all this attention' head for the legs! Either way, it’s a win-win!

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August 27 2010
Better than Helicopter Parents!
My owner Boy has gone back to California. I went with everyone to the big place with lots of people and suitcases and big lines.  Last time I was there, it was to welcome my owner boy home.  This time it was to say good-bye. My owner Boy gave me a big hug. I used to be able to watch him get in one of those big lines and wave all the way until I couldn’t see him any more. Now, he has to go somewhere down a stairs so I do not get to watch him for very long.

When we got back home I walked onto the porch where all his books and stuff had been all summer.  It was empty. I looked at my owner Mom. She tried to cheer me up. It didn’t help.
My best buddy is gone. I decide to go outside and curl up behind a bush and wait. Maybe he will come back, if I wait long enough. Usually, my owner Mom smiles and says--don’t worry, he’ll be back soon.  This time she doesn’t say anything, so I know.

My owner Boy is gone. We canines do not have the same sense of time as humans. They have this thing they can hang on a wall, and write on. I see my owner Mom looking at it all the time. I overhear her say things like-only 2 more weeks, or tomorrow. I am very smart, but I do not know what two more weeks means. Nor do I know when my owner Boy is coming back?

My owner Mom gives me a lot of attention. And she tells me she is going to take me to play with other dogs. Is that so I will not miss my special afternoon walks and tug time with my best buddy?

My owner Boy was home for three whole months! And, we had a routine. I studied with him. He played with me. We both took a break and a walk. Now what do I do? I look at my owner Mom. She smiles and says—do not worry, he will be back in December. The only part of that sentence I understand is -He will be back.  Then, she closes the front door—which means--not any time soon.

I miss my owner Boy. Missing someone you love is hard.  Wouldn’t it be nice if canines and owner Boys could go to college together? Imagine me on a college campus? Frisbee parties! Tug of war competitions! Long naps in the library!  Yummy junk food!  And girls!!!! Lots and lots of girls to rub my tummy and tell me how cute I am!
Ok. I feel better. I have a project to focus on. The College Paw Movement! Canines ought to be able to go to college with their owner Boys! and Girls! No offense to owner Moms and Dads but wouldn’t we be an improvement over helicopter parents!  Need to go talk to other canines about this. 
Have a helicopter owner boy or girl weekend!
You can leave me a message and/or follow me on Facebook: View From the Paw 
August 20 2010
My Owner Mom’s Play Date!
My Owner Mom’s childhood friend came to stay with us for the weekend.  She was very, very nice.  But, I got to see a whole other side of my owner Mom.  She laughed a lot, and talked a lot, and whispered a lot. Usually, my owner Dad goes to bed first, and my owner Mom and my owner Boy watch something on television. Then my owner Boy goes up to bed, my owner Mom writes on the computer, then reads, then lets me go out one more time and then it’s upstairs for both of us.
When her friend was here, her friend slept on the living room couch so my owner Mom stayed up with her, curled up at the end of the couch until very, very late. I wish I knew what they talked about.  One minute my Owner Mom was giggling, the next minute she looked very serious. But, I could tell my owner Mom was really happy.
I understand.  I have my owner Boy this summer.  He is my best buddy. But I think my owner Mom has been a little lonely. Her best buddies live far away. I know she loves me, and she spends a lot of time with me but we cannot go shopping and  see two movies, gossip, and share problems, or work on some secret project together.
Just like she cannot not go sniffing, bury bones, tumble play and chase. I do not have a secret project except for where I intend to bury my bones.  But, if my owner Mom were to ask me, I would tell her.
The thing is, she takes me to a place where I can doggie play.  But I cannot take her to a place where she can human play.  Besides, she doesn’t have a lot of time. So, this past weekend was special. She got to human play a lot—she told my owner Dad and Boy it was the best pre-birthday gift.
Sunday is her real birthday, and I am still thinking about what to give her.  Maybe a very long nap for the two of us?  I have heard that is what all owner Moms want!
Have a very human play date weekend, nap included!
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August 13 2010
Friday Night in the Neighborhood with Humans
Our family has a tradition. Every Friday, once the weather gets warm, we go out for dinner-we sit outside, so I can be there too.
I love Friday night in the neighborhood with humans. 
First of all, I am with my family, and this summer my owner boy has been home so it is even better.
Second, I a-l-w-a-y-s get bread.  My owner Mom and I have an agreement.  She cuts off a piece of bread and feeds me around four little pieces.  When she gets the fourth one, she says-this is the last piece.  And after I eat it, she puts her palms out and says ‘all gone!'  I am satisfied that I have been included.  I lie down and start to people watch which brings me to the third reason I love Friday nights.
My public comes calling.  There are couples and teenagers, singles and dog walkers. I could do without the little micro dogs wagging tails that look more like a metronomes, and I do get protective of my herd when a large dog passes by.  But, I love puppies of all sizes and am very patient with them.  However, by far the best are the teenage girls who surround me and squeal and rub my belly and think I am just the most beautiful and sweetest dog they have ever seen! They actually sit down on the sidewalk! Wow. All that is missing from this scenario is my being invited to their slumber party!
Then there are the other patrons.  Most love having me there. Once in a while there is an exception.  Like last Friday.  There was a couple sitting and having dinner very near us.  When my family sat down and I sat right next to them, this couple did not look happy. They were out for dinner and the last thing they wanted to be near was the ‘family’ dog!
My owner mom noticed.  She laughed and said it reminded her of when my owner boy was very young and my owner Mom and Dad took him out to dinner with them to an upscale Chinese restaurant.  My owner boy was the only child there. He became fascinated with the tablecloth.  So much so that, without my owner Mom seeing, he grabbed the part that hung over the side and pulled! And then kept pulling!  Before anyone could stop him, all four dishes and extra bowls of rice were on the floor!
My owner Mom looked at my now grown up owner Boy and said, what could top that????
Obviously, nothing Sir Tonka would do!  But I did think-if I had been in the family when my owner Boy was a toddler, I would have ended up with a lot more than four pieces of bread! My owner Mom is always hearing stories of what dogs end up eating around toddlers! But then I think--we wouldn’t have eaten outside as much,certainly not late on a Friday night, and then I wouldn’t have had my groupies. So, I am much happier that I arrived when my owner Boy was in 9th grade and now we are all grown and can be out late together.

This Friday, my owner Mom’s childhood friend is coming to stay. Another person at the table. She doesn’t know the bread routine. Hmm—going for another 4 pieces!  Wish me luck!
Have a wonderful Friday in the neighborhood with Humans!
I have a link to Great Dog Parks you can tell your owners about!
You can leave me a message and/or follow me on Facebook: View From the Paw 

August 6 2010
Boy's Day-In With My Best Buddy!
My owner Mom had to go to New York.   Usually when she goes away, she takes me to doggie camp, but this time, because my owner boy was home, he babysat!
Wow! Just the two of us!  All day!  How cool! He worked at his desk on the porch.  I sat by his feet. He ate all sorts of boy food that my owner Mom would never eat, and he shared it with me, which my owner Mom would never do!  When he took me for a walk, I was appreciative enough to poop in an appropriate spot, just for him!
But, the greatest thing was the way he played with me! Real boy play! It was too hot outside so he threw a ball up the stairs! I caught it and tossed it back down with my nose. He chased me around the house. Then we played tug of war with my Kong and he pulled so much harder than my owner Mom or Dad! 
I was really happy to see my owner Mom when she returned.  My owner boy told her we had a lot of fun.  He did not tell her all the food I ate! Then my owner Dad came home and my owner Mom told my owner Dad all about my day.
We went out to a neighborhood place where we could eat outside and I could sit along side the table. As my owner family were eating, and laughing, I was thinking that I had had the best day ever! 
I love my owner boy so much.  Now that he is all grown up and away from home, I do not get to see him that often.  I understand what my owner Mom means when she says she wants to have a girl’s day out with her best friend.  I had a boy’s day-in with my best buddy!   I also understand what my owner Mom means when she says children need Daddy play! I had boy play! And I guess I really needed it!
In my whole growing up, I never had the chance to be alone with my owner boy for an entire day! And the best part was that I had my owner boy all to myself! I didn’t have to share him with anyone--especially, a girlfriend!!! See Woody & Me!

Have a boy play weekend!
If you want to bark or leave me a comment,
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July 30 2010
Reading Faces
 I am getting used to the new fence. I am not getting used to the weather-especially thunderstorms-especially thunderstorms that knock out power!  We lost ours. All of a sudden it went dark, got quiet, and most of all, felt really hot!!!  I have lived with air-conditioning my whole big, black furry life. To be without it was a new. very unpleasant experience.

My owner Mom saw me panting.  She made the decision to send me to where I was born and where I stay when everyone goes away.  When we got there I heard my owner Mom talk about the weather.  I heard her say that she and my owner Dad and owner Boy could handle the humidity and high temperatures, but not me. I felt bad. I love being with my owner family. But, it’s true that I do not do well in the heat. And my owner Mom knew.

My owner Dad says I am very lucky to have my owner Mom.  He says that she really loves and understands me.  She can tell exactly what is going on with me by just looking at my face.

I have heard my owner Mom say there is no real difference between reading the face of a canine and the face of a human. She says love, sadness, joy and fear come through the eyes and the mouth. My owner boy says he can tell when I am laughing!

My owner Mom saw me looking sad because of the fence, the heat, and having to stay indoors. She saw me scared because of the thunderstorms. But, she also got to see me very happy. When we arrived at my home away from home, I bounded out of the car. I went running to the entrance. I could not wait to see my friends and hang out all day together!

I can read faces too! I could see my owner Mom really smiling.  She gave me a big hug good-bye. Then, I went, tail wagging, to play with my friends in air-conditioning! And the best part? I knew whenever the power came back on, my owner Mom would come back for me. I knew I would come bounding out, tail wagging, to greet her. And she would have arms wide open and be really smiling again!

I hope that is what happens to owner Moms’ children when they go off to camp. I hope they know they can miss their families but still have fun away from them.
Maybe one day I can go to a human camp.  It would be so-o-o much fun to stay in a cabin ,on a bunk bed--but, only if there is air-conditioning and the counselors smile a lot!
Have a ‘cool’ weekend

July 23 2010
My Room is Gone!
I had nothing to do with the coming of my white picket fence.  It was put up for my predecessor who was a Bernese Mountain Dog and a natural babysitter and wouldn’t hurt a fly-so my owner Mom liked to say. But he weighed 120 pounds, with thick black fur, and a full white chest, and huge paws, and the mail people were terrified of him!  So, according to legend, they not only refused to deliver mail to my owner mom, they refused to deliver mail to the home on the left and right of her. 
She complained to the post office.  She spoke to a manager.  She offered to give dog safety seminars to the neighborhood mail carriers who came bearing horror stories about us canines, and were hopeless in telling the difference between an attack dog and a wuss!
In the end,  she had to put up a fence--the first and only one on our block.
It was a short white picket.  It was there when I was brought home.
Humans have asked ever since whether my owner Mom was concerned that I would jump over it. I am clearly able to. No, she would reply wisely.  It has always been there. He likes and respects it.
My owner mom really knows me.
My white picket fence became very well known. It identified our home and me.
I would run up to it to bark at things that went bump in the night. 
I would run along it to greet other canines.
I would put my nose between the pickets to watch my owner Mom go off in the car
and I would jump on it to let children pet me.
I will not lie.  I would also jump up on it and bark at other dogs or strangers just to let them now this was my territory not to be crossed unless my owner Mom said it was ok.
But, I pushed up against it a lot.  It also started to rot. The pickets came out, and the snow very nearly destroyed it.
I heard my owner Mom talk about a new fence.
They came today.
I had to stay inside and watch.
This is a totally different fence.  Taller. Thinner slates, and thicker posts.
I miss my white picket fence. No one asked me what I thought about throwing it away, then replacing it.
The front lawn is like my room.  That fence was like my walls and door.
It was familiar.  It made me feel cozy and safe and not closed in.
I do not know what to think of this new one.
I saw them take apart my white picket fence and throw big sections of it into a truck.
Then they drove away. They will come back tomorrow to finish.
But my room has disappeared. All my familiar smells gone.
My white picket fence is gone forever.
My owner Mom knows I am very sad and confused. She says it will all be all right. I hope so.
Have a cozy weekend,

July 16 2010
Chick Magnet & Matchmaker!
Last night my owner Mom saw how sad I looked since it has been too hot to sit or play outside so she suggested we all go for gelato and walk around. Oh boy, as soon as I heard I was going in the car with everyone, I knew where we were headed! I got very excited!

We parked the car on one of the main streets.  There were lots and lots of people walking around.  We started to walk towards the gelato place and it started-Oh, he’s so cute, can I pet him?  Oh, he’s beautiful, what’s his name?

We sat outside on benches and my owner Mom let me have some vanilla in a cup-yum!!! Well, that attracted even more attention. Oh, look at him eating ice cream, that’s great! Does he come here a lot?

Then we went to the bookstore and while everyone looked at books, I stretched out on the cool floor. It wasn’t long before more girls came up and asked my owner Mom-Is he friendly? Oh, he looks so sweet! Can I pet him? I got so many tummy rubs!

Some of the girls were really cute and some of the women were really pretty! All of them were really nice and friendly! But,
my owner boy has a serious girlfriend in California and my owner Dad and owner Mom are happily married! So I thought, what a waste!

If I gave up being a gumpaw and spying on nannies in the park, I could become a matchmaker!!! Now that would be fun! All I would have to do is sit some place central, and let singles know they could come and pet me and meet each other at the same time!  Much healthier than mall or bar hopping! (I overhear all about this hopping from my owner Mom). And forget, and E-Harmony!!! (I have seen those commercials on television!) If two people like dogs, what more is there to worry about!  One question! Do you like dogs!
Humans over complicate relationships. They should let us canines set the standards! And then they should follow our lead!
Good Humans need so much help finding each other that this idea of being match-maker is really growing on me!
I would be more than happy to donate my time, and my tummy for such a good cause!!!

Rolling over backwards in the dog days of summer to bring humans together!
July 2 2010
Oh my goodness! I was so excited!  Not only did we have a day without humidity, but I got invited out to dinner with my family and a friend who was going off to live in a place called San Francisco.
We had a terrific corner table outside where I could curl up and watch the goings on.
It was a beautiful night!  I was not panting at all!
This friend said she and her dad were driving across country.
(I don’t really know what that means except it sounds very, very far, and takes a lot more than a few days and nights)
My owner Mom said she would love to do that with me, but she didn’t want to do it alone.  My owner dad could never take the time, and my owner son is in graduate school. So, she would need a friend.  Maybe a friend with a dog!
Wait a minute!
Driving across country sounds like fun and I know I would get to sniff a new places.  I love new adventures!
But going with another dog I don’t know very well?
What is this with my owner Mom with other dogs?
She rescues and brings total canine strangers into our house and expects me to behave politely (see former blog) and now she’s thinking of taking one along on a long trip????!!!
What if we don’t get along?
What if our habits are totally different he/she got a second wind when I was ready to take my afternoon nap!
What if I have to share? Treats, Food, Water, the car space?
But most important
What if my owner mom pays less attention to me because she has a friend and  I have company?
She hugs and pets me a lot.  I nuzzle and lick her back.  I Love my owner Mom and Dad and Boy with all my doggie heart.
Do I really want to share my owner Mom for a long trip?
It would be nice to go sniffing around with a buddy.
After all, there are some things humans just do not appreciate about the canine world.
I might be willing to do it, as long as I could still get all the attention I wanted from my owner Mom.
I realize that there is one trait all canines share.
We can have play dates, go to doggie day care, stay home or roam around outside, but when it is all said and done,
We want our people. We love our people. And, truth be known, if we had our way, we’d be with our people 24/7 forever!!!!
Have a great July 4th weekend, but please do not make us go anywhere near cracks or booms or pops!
Come to think of it, that will be my interview question for a long trip mate:
How do you feel about fireworks? There is only one acceptable answer to that!
June 25 2010
The Rescue, Humph!
Well how am I supposed to respond? There I am, resting peacefully on the porch with my owner Boy-who has taken it over as a study center for the summer--- and in walks my owner Mom with another dog!  Right through my front door!  Out of nowhere!
Of course I am going to growl! I am not one of those dogs that simply wags his tail at total canine strangers!
So, my owner boy holds me back, while I hear my owner Mom explain that on her way back from a mentoring lunch in the neighborhood, she notices a dog wondering  about.  She looks in her rear view mirror to see if there is an owner nearby.  No owner.  So, she circles the block and comes back to the dog.  She gets out, knocks on several doors, no one answers. It is a record 100 degrees in Washington DC, this dog looks very hot, so she puts him in her car, calls the cell phone number on his collar and brings him home.
My owner Mom has rescued wayward canines before.  But, they always stayed outside in the yard. This one starts roaming all over my house!
I growl even more loudly, and my owner Mom gives me a stern NO!  I am not used to my owner Mom raising her voice to me.  I do not like it at all.
She tells my owner Boy to go get doggie treats.  She tells him that this is an introduction to sharing.  Let me tell you, toddlers have it right! Sharing is way over rated! She makes us both sit.  At least this canine shows manners! My owner Boy takes turns giving each of us a treat. First to him, then to me.
My owner Mom then leads us both onto the porch.   This other canine goes over to the porch door and sits down.  My owner Mom has me sit all the way on the other side.  I am keeping a very careful eye out to see that he doesn’t go anywhere else.
He settles down, and so do I.  My owner Mom sits between us.
Finally I hear the phone ring.  I hear her talking to someone.  Does this mean the canine intruder is leaving? 
Some time later, a human arrives at the door.  She is very happy to see her dog,
Not as happy as I am to see her! 
My owner Mom and this other owner Mom talk and finally they leave.  Then my owner Mom sits down with me.  I can always tell when she is going to give me some kind of life lesson.  She pets me, looks right into my eyes and talks very softly.
If I were lost, she would want someone to do the same for me.  If I were very hot and thirsty, she would want someone to offer me shelter and water.  That is what she did for this dog. 
But, I am never going to just wag my tail at canine strangers.  Nor, am I going to let them have the run of my house!  What kind of protector would I be, if I allowed that to happen?
Anyway, this weather is awful! I cannot sit outside my house, and now I have to worry that more dogs are going to end up sitting inside my house!!??
Have a rescue free weekend!