Saturday, January 07, 2006

Year Of The Dog Is Every Year

I don’t pay a lot of attention to the noisy box. Sometimes my human companions watch the screen and laugh, or become very sad. Other times they talk or even shout at the box. It is very strange. The other day I was lying and resting and someone on the noisy box kept saying ‘dog’. That got my attention.  Posted by Picasa

This talker on the noisy box was saying that this is the Year of the Dog. My first thought was “you mean that some are not?” I’m still working that idea through. I don’t think that I would be happy to hear about a Year of the Cat. I have to confess that I am not positive what the human sound ‘year’ actually means. The lady voice went on to say that when someone is born during Year of the Dog they share certain traits. Once she started listing them, I realized that she was talking about me!

Honesty, dependability, and loyalty would describe those of the Year of the Dog. I may not be perfect but if I violate a rule of the pack den, I own up to it. Sometimes before my companions even know that I did something wrong. I can’t help myself there.

If the little box by the bed makes a ringing sound and a human companion doesn’t wake up, you can depend on me to lick their hands or feet, even jump on the bed to help them. If I receive a treat every night around six chimes you can depend on me to remind anyone and everyone if they forget.

It is just part of my nature to be faithful and devoted. I’ll stand by any member of my pack den if they are sick or sad. If I sense that someone or something might harm them I put myself between them and the threat in less than a heartbeat. I protect those I care about, no doubt about that.

I am a good listener and keep secrets pretty well. I listen carefully when a human is talking to me. I learn a lot by how they look and move when they speak, and I understand the meaning of a lot of their sounds. I hate to brag but I am sure that I understand them better than they follow what I am saying sometimes.

I do not hold a grudge; do not understand those that cannot move on from trouble or disagreement. Open-minded—yes I do not judge anyone by the way they walk or talk or the scent of their shoes until I have a chance to know them a little better.

The talker in the noisy box pointed out some qualities that are not favorites of my companions. I can be very nosy. I like to sniff out pockets, bags, and boxes as soon as they are brought into the den. I do not like the idea of missing something good that a forager has brought us.

When everyone in my den seems upset, I become very anxious. Or if someone doesn’t come home at the same time, they do on most days it makes me nervous and I tend to pace back and forth.

I’ll be keeping my ears open to learn more about the Year of the Dog. As best I can tell it means that there will be more creatures like me on the planet. I like that idea. It’s time to declare celebratory treats for everyone! Happy Year of the Dog to you!

Time of Great Scents

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It seems we have ended that time of year that I think of as The Time Of Great Scents. It is a time when the pack's den is filled with fun and adventure. The hot box with the door in the kitchen seems to have great aromas coming from it all of the time. I walk by and breathe out to clear the nostrils then take a big gulp of air. Then I can taste meat, cake, or cookie. If I hang back and stay quiet, I can usually swoop in and get something that drops on the floor while humans are moving it around. We have had plenty of ham and beef and chicken. Heaps of the cookies humans like to eat. It is cold and the days are dark most of the time. However, I have felt happy and satisfied with a good full belly.

More people seem to come in and out visiting our pack den. I can lie down by the front door and inhale the smell from everyone’s boots. Some of them reek of strong people scent or horse-droppings. Others are a mystery to unravel with whiffs of one place and traces of another. A few of the boots smell of other animals. Sometimes I recognize the scent of a dog friend. Other times they reek of cat. I keep busy for hours trying to picture the starting point and details behind the smells.

Many packages with crackly paper are lying around. I enjoy opening those, but I have learned that I am not supposed to do that unless it is handed to me. I place the package between my paws, find an end, and then rip the paper off with my teeth. Sometimes it is hard; especially when a human overdoes it with that sticky stuff they call tape.

Once I learn what it is (food or play toy) I jump up and shake it in my mouth then prance around so everyone can see my treasure. If I think I am not getting enough attention I set it in someone’s lap or hand.

My packages had bones of all sizes; some were shaped in circles or covered with ridges. One tasted like chicken another like ham. There were treats with a savory tang of bacon, and other ones with a yummy liver flavor. I also got a fluffy doll to tear apart and a new pull toy rope with a ball in the middle.

Humans give each other these packages too but I seldom find them interesting. Well except for the one with different kinds of cheese. It seemed like that should have been one of mine. I could dream for hours just about the smells inside. I was in big trouble when I enjoyed that one without asking.

I get lots of attention too. Just about any human that visits can be coaxed into giving me a belly rub or butt scratch. If I play it right, they might slip me a bit of their food too. The absolute best was the human male (I will not tell you who) that slipped me a whole hamburger. I gulped it all even the buns.

Our days are quieter now. I know that is a sign that this happy season is over for a while. It was great while it lasted.