Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas from Santa’s Reindog!

Santa uses Reindogs, not Reindeer to pull his sleigh. For hundreds of years, Reindeer have been getting the credit, and Reindogs have been doing the work. The reference in the poem “Twas the night before Christmas” to Santa and his eight tiny reindeer was an error; reindeer was easier for the writer to rhyme with than Reindogs. He knew that the eight members of Santa’s team were Reindogs, he just used poetic license. Talk about an inconvenient truth!

Who is it that pulls sleds and sleighs at the North Pole? It’s Dogs, not deer. Go look at the annual Iditarod race results and see how many teams of reindeer finished last year? There were over 50 teams with over 1,000 dogs and not a reindeer among them. How many Eskimos use reindeer to hunt walrus and seals? Just open your National Geographic magazine and see for yourself. They don’t show pictures of Eskimos hunting polar bears with reindeer. They use dogs!

Still not convinced? Santa’s last name is “Claus”, not Hoofs or Horns. They just misspelled Claws. It’s that poetic license thing again. So who has Claws? Not reindeer, but Reindogs do! Reindeer with their hooves could never keep their footing on the steep and slippery roofs that they have to land the sleigh on, but a dog’s paws with claws and pads grip the ice to keep their footing on the roof. At the end of the poem “He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,” finally the writer got it right. You don’t whistle at deer, you whistle at dogs!

“Dogs are man’s best friend”, but somehow you believe that reindeer bring your presents? That is the kind of logic that made Mr. Spock glad he was not human. Dogs are recognized as man’s best friend because we are responsible for bringing everyone their Christmas gifts, beginning at the manger, 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem when the very first Christmas presents were delivered and a dog helped guide the Wise Men, then stood watch over the gifts and the Christ child.

If you were Santa and it was your job to ‘Fetch” toys to children all over the world in one night, who would you turn to, reindeer or Reindogs? Not only are Reindogs the real heroes of Christmas, but Santa’s Reindogs are Golden Retrievers. Look at the pictures, are they golden colored? Are they long legged? Are they intelligent? Do they fetch toys to millions of boys and girls in one night? Go to any dog park and see how many reindeer bring tennis balls to little boys and girls. Golden Retrievers make children’s faces light up by fetching them toys and balls, doing every day what they do for millions of children on Christmas Eve. Proof the Reindogs are Golden Retrievers!

The Golden Retrievers of the world will be waiting for our apology from the press. We will expect the artists and movie producers to book Golden Retrievers for the publicity shots and movie rolls so that at long last Reindogs will get the credit due them.

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Mogley the Golden Reindog!

To help a homeless Golden Reindog, go to
Be a foster to a friend, put a homeless Golden Retriever under your tree!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Waiting for Christmas

Bella and I are excited waiting for Christmas. Our tree does not have as many ornaments on it as some other trees. I wonder where they all went? The shiny balls are sure fun to play with, and they make a nice noise when they break. I think I cut my foot on one of the broken ornaments and they had to wrap my foot up. The presents under the tree are empty boxes, they won't trust me with a real present, I unwrapped one already, it smelled good and I could not resist. The cat has unwrapped more presents than I have.

Bella and I made lists of presents we want. I made sure that Santa got an e-mail telling him that my human had called me "good dog" several times each day. If Santa wants to check up on me he can check with my human and find out that I am very well behaved, not like the dog I was when I first arrived. I used to run into the park every time I got a chance, but now I come right back home if I get out the front door. I always come when called. I always "drop" when they tell me to if I have a toy they don't want me to have. I sit on command and I am even getting good at "stay". I walk well off leash, and I don't pull when I am on leash. I even promise not to bark at Santa when he comes down the chimney. My human says I will probably sleep through the whole thing.

If I can persuade my human to bring home a homeless dog from doggie jail, we could make a lost and lonely dog happy for Christmas. Just a temporary foster for a few days would make a huge difference in another dogs life. Remember all the dogs in kennels during the Christmas season need love and a warm home.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dogs call humans home.

Dogs and humans still have a communications gap. Today when my human came home I was waiting for them with a picture from a magazine in my mouth. They were very upset, thinking that I had ripped up a magazine out of spite just because they left me alone.

Dogs don't destroy something out of spite, that is a human thing, dogs do it from love. We love you and you are not home. We have learned that when we do something bad, humans appear like magic out of nowhere to scold us. So when we want a human to come home, we pick something to chew on because that makes a human appear. It works most of the time, occasionally we have to chew on two items before they magically appear, but it works. By chewing on something we are not supposed to chew on, we can make our humans come home and that is what we love.

So next time you leave your puppy alone and find he has chewed on something while you were gone, remember that he was just trying to get you to come home quickly to show you he loves you. So give him a pet and a bone, show him that you love him too. After all, what is the value of a hole in an old hat or glove compared to the love of your best friend?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rules of the Game

Dog Soccer is played by very different rules than the humans use. The teams consist of only one dog on each team. First the Soccer ball has to be deflated, this is a simple task, and it only takes a few minutes of chewing to let the air out of it. Once it is properly deflated we can get a good grip on it. The game begins when one team tosses the ball into the play area; both teams grab the ball and pull, game on! No time outs are allowed, and no sissy referees to break up the game just when it gets going good. The winning team is the one that manages to keep the ball away from the opposing team for the longest time. The game goes on until the teams collapse on the ground and take their afternoon naps. If you are an only dog, you can try to get your human to play with you, but they never play as hard or for a long as a good dog play buddy will play. If you can take your ball to the dog park and maybe you can get a game going with someone there. Have fun playing, but be sure to follow the rules. Next week we will discuss the rules of the game of fetch and how to train your human to throw properly.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Understand your Human

Dog/human relations can become strained at times. I want to help you understand the human in your home. Many dogs feel it is a mystery as to why humans invite us to share their homes when they are so bad about sharing everything else.

  • Food: We have all seen signs of human food aggression. They store and hoard food in refrigerators, closets and cupboards. They seldom share well and they can become quite aggressive when you smell or taste their food. To help in dog/human relationships, you need to understand that humans are great at scratching ears and petting heads, but they have this strange need to hoard large amounts of food for themselves. If a dog tries to hide a bone under a sofa, or sniff in a refrigerator, you get yelled at. Very strange behavior, but as a dog you have to be willing to live with it, be supportive of their whims, no matter how strange they seem. That is what best friends are for.
  • Water: They seem to think that only certain water is to be played in; water inside the home in sinks, showers and bathtubs is out of bounds for dogs. Outside water in ponds, lakes and streams is ok for us to play in, but not inside water. Just when we think we have this figured out, they drag us into the shower and give us a bath. Erratic behavior is another human trait that we dogs simply have to learn to tolerate. You can not predict how a human will respond, so be prepared for unusual behavior at any moment.
  • Toys: Humans buy us toys, and then they get mad at us when the toy disintegrates under normal usage. The stuffing comes out too easily and the squeaky parts fall right out with just a small amount of chewing. If they don’t want us to play with the toy, why do they give it to us? Why don’t they buy us stronger toys? If we take matters into our own mouths and pick up a strong, long lasting toy they call it a shoe and take it away.
  • Feeding time: It is important for all dogs to understand that humans are “time challenged”. They seldom feed us on the correct schedule. Just when you think you know the schedule, they change the clocks around and confuse themselves. They call it daylight savings time, but we end up going for a walk in the dark.
  • Walks: Walks offer one of the great dog/human bonding opportunities. If you will take your human on regular walks you will find that dog/human relations improve greatly. Walks give us the opportunity to teach humans how to relax and let go of stress. They tell each other to “stop and smell the roses”, but when we stop to smell the roses or anything else, they get upset and pull on the leash.

    Humans are not perfect, but they are good at scratching ears and tummies, throwing tennis balls, giving treats and providing love, so don’t give up on them, keep working with your human and you will find a way to co-exist with them and their erratic behavior. Remember they are not dogs so you don’t expect them to be perfect.

    Till next time,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dog IQ

According to S. Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs”, the top four breeds of dog are 1) Border Collie, 2) Poodle, 3) German Shepherd and 4) Golden Retrievers. He rated 80 different breeds of dogs on a three part intelligence scale which included the speed with which different breeds learn new commands and their consistency in responding to the commands. Dobermans, Shetland Sheepdogs and Labs were the next three, in that order.

As a life-long Golden Retriever, the fix must have been in for Border Collies, Poodles and Shepherds to beat us out. The last time I read a blog that a Poodle had written it was full of misspelling and bad punctuation. They are not even smart enough to run spell check and grammar check before posting to the internet. There is a shepherd down the street and all he does is run up and down the fence barking, he thinks protecting his yard is a big deal. The Border Collie next door spends all of his time putting his toys into long straight rows and gathering the squirrels together in a herd. Neatness must have been one of the factors. Yes, the fix was in on the rating. They gave too much weight to ability to learn commands and how consistently we responded to them but not enough weight to typing skills, grammar and spelling. Doesn’t he know the importance of communication? On behalf of all of us blogging Golden Retrievers, we demand a recount! We learn commands just fine, thank you. Goldens just happen to be independent free thinkers. We want to know “why?” when we are told to go jump into freezing water to rescue a dead duck. Give us a motivation such as a dog treat, two treats if the water is really cold, then watch us move up to number one on the list. Why do ducks always die way out in the middle of a large, cold lake, how dumb is that? I never will understand why humans want dead ducks rescued anyway.

I think I will do a book on “How to train your Human”. I have trained my human to obey me, a much better approach than simply taking orders. It took me days to teach him to scratch my tummy when I roll over on my back, weeks before he figured out that he should take me for a walk when I bring him my leash. If they rated humans on the same scale, they would have placed 82, just behind ducks.


Monday, December 3, 2007

A Forever Home for Christmas

I bragged to Piper that we were both foster dogs, but I was going to be adopted and have a forever home as my Christmas present. Piper surprised me by telling me that her foster parents were going to adopt her also. They call us “Foster Failures” when a foster family takes in a temporary foster and adopts them permanently. We talked about why we had been accepted, loved and adopted in our new homes. Here are some tips to my fellow homeless dogs to help them find forever homes.

  1. Don’t let your human discover that you understand English better than he does, it makes them uncomfortable to have a woman or a dog who is smarter than they are. When I blog I always leave a mistake or two for the humans to find, it makes them fell good. You probably thought all those grammar errors were accidental!
  2. Humans are very food aggressive and they don’t like dogs that act greedy around food. When humans drop food on the floor, remember the 30 second rule, if they don’t grab it in 30 seconds, it’s yours!
  3. Humans can not resist a cute act, otherwise all cats would be homeless. Cats serve no purpose at all, and only cute explains why they are allowed in people’s laps. Act cute and offer humans heads to pat and ears to scratch, it works every time. I lie right beside the TV chair where they can reach down and pet my head or scratch an ear while they are watching TV. It makes them feel loved.
  4. Learn to fetch a ball; it is a skill no human can resist. Simply bring them a ball and they are putty in your paws. Why humans have this ball obsession I don't know, but it works every time.
  5. Bark at the door, even when there is no one there. It reminds them that you are a highly trained and skilled watch dog, without you they would be vulnerable to thieves, prowlers and wandering bears.
  6. Your human takes you for a walk to stay in shape and lose weight, pass it on by chasing the family cat regularly, it keeps them slim and trim as well.
  7. You need to perfect the look that Dave Barry points out to us in his quote: “You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!"

I hope the humans who read this will remember how cold and lonely a kennel can be when you are an abandoned dog during Christmas. Only you can be a foster parent to a lonely dog!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas is for Dogs!

If you have studied Dog History, you know that there was a dog in Bethlehem, standing guard beside the manger, protecting the Christ Child. On the hills, under the shining star, dogs were helping the shepherds by watching over the flocks that night, while wise men rode their camels down the long road to Bethlehem.

For thousands of years, dogs have been an important part of human life, helping mankind by herding flocks, protecting homes, hunting and fetching wild game, guiding the blind, but most of all, being loyal friends and trusted companions. That is why Christmas is for Dogs! It is the time of year that humans recognize the valuable contributions that dogs make to mankind. Yes, Christmas is a special time of year for humanity and for dogmanity.

When the snow gets deep on the back lawn and the cold makes it difficult to play in the sun, the humans bring in a huge tree and put it up in the living room for us to play around. As a male dog, I find the tree to be a very special gift; humans have heated toilets, now dogs do too. The lights twinkle and shine so we can see our presents under the tree, even after dark when the humans are asleep. I especially like the round shiny toys they hang on the tree. They make such a nice tinkley sound when they break. The cats play with the very low ones and they will get the blame when one is broken or missing. I have a nightly tradition of un-wrapping a Christmas present. The brightly colored, crinkly wrapping paper is so much fun on those long cold winter nights. The ribbon is fun to play with; the bows stick to the fur and add a festive touch to the house. This morning I greeted my human by bringing him a present from under the tree, I even unwrapped it for him. I can tell that Christmas is going to be lots of fun.