Archive for November, 2008

Pepperoni Pups


Dog food … in the presence of distracted humans.

Spunky and Jazz (aka Hoover and Electrolux) shed light on table etiquette … from a dog’s perspective. It can pretty much be summed up like this:

  1. Finders keepers.
  2. I’m fast. Don’t even think about trying to beat me to the target.
  3. I can swallow the food in question a WHOLE faster than you can gasp, furrow your brow and say, “no!” or “bad dog!”

If food of any sort – human or canine, packaged or unpackaged, cooked or raw, leftover or fresh – drops on the floor, falls in your lap or is left unattended on a table … it belongs to the dogs. For the Ages.

You and/or your food are – metaphorically speaking – toast.

Even if it’s tightly wrapped in foil, do not even try to beat the dogs to the food. You’ll lose. They’re faster than you. And smart. If they’re Shelties, they’ll distract you with their sheer cuteness. But their nose can detect edibles … their teeth can puncture packaging … their drool can render it forever marked as “Mine! Mine! Mine! … faster than you can say, “I wasn’t so hungry for (whatever it was) after all.”

Unattended pizza is especially vulnerable.

Case in point: Spunky. His pawns, err, I mean, masters, were busy lining up things like plates, napkins and tall, ice-filled glasses of Pepsi while, unbeknownst to them, Spunky was making an impromptu “fast-food” dinner out of approximately half of the pepperonis on their pizza.

(Helpful hint:  A hungry pup can make short work of cardboard pizza box lids.)

Scary thing is, it was not immediately obvious that there was anything inherently wrong with the pizza.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Pup-tastrophes – Spunky

yellow post-it notes on blue

Perilous Post-its (from a Puppy’s Perspective)

On one puppy-sitting occasion, I went downstairs, accustomed to having Spunky close behind, shadowing me.

Not this time.

I heard his whimper from a distance, only to realize that he had not yet mastered the concept of  “stairs.” He was parked, anxiously, at the top of the stairway. I carried him down, deciding that he would decipher the whole stair-descending concept soon enough.

He happily set about exploring the lower level of his new home. It wasn’t long before I heard a persistent, loud and distressed whimpering noise coming from another room. I followed the sound only to find the little Sheltie pup traumatized by his inability to shake a large yellow Post-it note from his paw. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spunky, unleashed

pawprinttalkdogSpunky is a feisty little Sheltie who intruded – slowly but surely – upon his step-sibling pup’s territory. Jasmine, the elder, had been QOH (Queen of the Household) before an adorable little perky-eared puppy showed up and charmed his way into the pack.

Spunky’s name suited his energetic disposition. He was friendly, curious and prone to animated “barking back” when spoken to.  Jasmine was a teenager in doggie years when Spunky invaded her domain and stole the hearts of her humans. But the dogs soon learned (grudgingly) to “sit,” “stay” and be friends, although they never did learn to “share” their food.

Although she’d never admit it, the consensus was that Jasmine really did enjoy having a little canine company around, especially when her humans left her home alone.

Spunky Ditches Leash, Catches Free Ride … and a Snooze

I remember puppy-sitting newbie Spunky one winter day (he and Jazz had been dropped off earlier via a heated car ride) and trying to walk him home with a leash. He’d wouldn’t budge. We were only about 6 blocks from home. But it was a long chilly 6 blocks. On this cold, icy and windy January day, a freezing mist was blowing around, not quite yet snow.

Jasmine, knowledgeable teen and former QOH, was unfazed by weather and familiar with the whole leash-thing. She was ready to speed-walk, visibly impatient with the insolent new puppy. But Spunky held his ground, morphing from Cute Amiable Puppy to Mule-in-Chief and Sit-in Leash-Protester. He resisted all manner of cheerleading, coaxing, firm tugs or stern commands.

The little leash-wearing dog stood in the cold rain and held his ground, refusing to budge.

As the wind blew colder, I resigned myself to picking him up with my one free hand, with Jasmine tugging on her leash on the other. I carried the content little puppy as Jazz pulled at her leash, preferring to run. Jasmine and I walked home facing into an icy cold and windy wintertime rain.

leashes_closeup_250Spunky, meanwhile, was toasty warm, totally relaxed and content to have won the battle of wills. He settled into the folds of the down-feathered jacket and promptly fell asleep, becoming distinctly heavier as we walked.

He snoozed away the rest of the trip home and likely dreamed of using leashes for what he considers a far more logical purpose: chew toys.

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The dog blog: An unauthorized autobidography by Michleen Collins

Michleen Collins Dog Blog:

Spunky & Jasmine

Spunky & Jasmine

Jasmine – the one on the right – was the first addition to my sister’s household. Her sidekick, Spunky, would tag along later.   Read the rest of this entry »

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