Tag Archives: dogs

Terriers and Dachshunds, Oh My

21 Jan

For the past week, I’ve been pet-sitting a terrier mix named Arrow in my home. My dogs and I have been opening our home to her twice a year for the past four years as her people travel to art shows across the country.

Dachshunds and terriers may not seem as different as Chihuahuas and Newfies, but watching them both makes me wonder if they evolved from different ancestors. Take these examples:

Wiener dog:  Sniff every spot in the neighborhood for 10-15 minutes to make sure nothing new has happened to that spot since the last time you sniffed it for 10-15 minutes. Then slowly move on to the next spot.

Terrier: Take one quick sniff and move on. There’s nothing to see here.

Wiener dog: Eat immediately after food is put within reach, sooner if at all possible.

Terrier: Guard food bowl and wait for someone else to appear to want it. Growl a bit then eat as slowly as doggedly possible, all the while keeping your guard up.

Wiener dog: When on a walk, be sure to always walk 6-16 feet behind your human (depending on leash length).

Terrier: When on a walk, be sure to always walk 6-16 feet in front of your human. And never, ever, walk in a straight line. Serpentining burns so many more calories.

Wiener dog: Spends hours arranging pillows and blankets to achieve exactly the right combination of comfort and cover in order to take a 6-hour nap.

Terrier: Plop down on top of anything–sofa, chair, floor (Wiener dog says “Floor?”) and rest, making sure not to achieve too deep a sleep because someone may be nearing the spot on the floor where your food dish was until the human got tired of waiting for you to eat and put it up.

Wiener dog: Play “fetch” by running after stuffed animal down the hallway a few times. Never actually retrieve said animal because how else will human get her exercise?

Terrier: Play “fetch” by running up and down hallway hundreds of time whether anything is being thrown or now. Occasionally grow if anyone gets to close to your imaginary animal.

Wiener dog: When temperature are below freezing, go out, do your business, and hurry back as fast as your short legs will carry you. Lie in front of heating vent for several hours to recover.

Terrier: No matter the temps, go out and run across the yard yipping until human comes out in housecoat and slippers, picks you up, and brings you back inside. Run to where your food dish was and growl.

I think in many ways I am more like a terrier than a wiener dog, but perhaps the reason I’ve been under dachshund management for 28 years is that I aspire for a slower paced life in which I have time to sniff what needs sniffing and get really comfortable before taking a nap.

Fetch This Name

13 Jan

Gone are the days of Fido, Rover, Spot, and Fluffy. These days we name our dogs after celebrities, a memorable vacation spot, even our favorite comfort food (“Sit, Macaroni. Good girl!) We bring our new four-footed friend home, stare into his or her tiny face and try to think of just the right moniker. Especially with rescues who come poorly named. Cujo? Really?

It can be hard to find just the right name that isn’t also just the right name for millions of other dogs. We don’t want to be go to the dog park, call out, “Max, come!” and have twenty dogs come running, dropping slobbery tennis balls at our feet.

If you’re struggling with a good name, you’ve come to the right, uh, spot. After all, I named my first two dogs, Copper and Slate, after minerals, so I know a thing or two about avoiding the obvious. Plus, now whenever I see anything made of copper or slate, it brings back wonderful memories! This list may not yield the perfect name, but it should get you thinking about other options you hadn’t considered.

Rock and gem names – Agate, Clay, Crystal, Igny, Jade, Jasper, Lapis (great name for lap dogs), Lazuli, Malachite, Mica, Opal, Pearl, Pebbles (good for small dogs or really large dogs who think they’re tiny, Ruby, Topaz

Rock ‘n roll names — , AC, DC, Blondie, Doobie (works on many levels), Genesis, Journey (good for roamer), Kinks (good for poodles and poodle mixes), Santana, Skynrd, Zeppelin

In the kitchen names — Cinnamon, Cupcake, Gluten-Free (just so you can say your pup is gluten free), Honey, Peanut (make sure you’re not allergic), Pepper, Pilaf, Quinoa (practice saying this three times fast before you commit), Whisk (also good for cats), Vanilla

Car names — Alfa, Bentley, BMW (great for a black male wiener dog), Ford, Jetta, Lotus, Mercedes (save for a true princess of a dog), Prius (doesn’t get gassy),

Plant namesAgave, Aspen, Azalea, Bambo, Cedar, Clover, Daisy, Dogwood (I expect this one to take off), Freesia (great for dogs who despise walking on a leash), Hazelnut (good for dogs who love to sit on a lap while person drinks coffee), Johnny Jump-up (you know who needs this name), Magnolia (a great name for southern dogs), Redbud, Stargazer, Verbena, Yarrow.

Nutty names —  Cashew, Filbert, Macadamia, Peanut, Charlie Sheen

Latin and legal names — Ad Hoc, Bona Fide, Ergo, Ibid, Modus (for dogs who always get in trouble in the same way, Pro Bono (come on, you know you love this one), Quid, Quo, Vini

Pop Culture — Anderson, Blockbuster, Gaga (for dogs who enjoy dressing up), J Bow-Wow (oh, that’s good), Oprah (for thoughtful dogs), Ozzy (for dogs who are just goofy), Timberlake

Hi Tech — App (for dogs who can do anything), Apple, Atari, Blackberry, Crash, Google, Hacker (may be better for cats) iPad, iPod (for tiny dogs who love to sing), Linux, Mac, Pinterest, Yahoo

Just Plain Funny NamesBoogalou, Bumbum, Cheeky, Chimichanga, Doglet, Flapjack, Garbanzo, Gilligan, Hootenanny, Lilliput, Loofah, Malarky, Pickle, Polydog, Pumpernickel, Pupernickel, Snorkel, Tater, Whizbang, Wombat.

There, that ought to make things easier!


31 Dec


Human resolution                                                                                 Dog resolution

Enjoy each day                                                                                              Be a dog

Show everyone I love just how much                                                  Be a dog

Get plenty of sleep                                                                                       Be a dog

Be grateful for little things like heat and pillows                             Be a dog

Enjoy the ride                                                                                                Be a dog

Express gratitude                                                                                         Be a dog

Don’t keep my feelings to myself                                                            Be a dog

Work less, play more                                                                                   Be a dog

Spend less time online, more time in real life                                   Be a dog

Follow my dreams, no matter how impossible they seem          Be a dog

Seek out new adventures                                                                           Be a dog

Love more, forgive more, harbor resentments less                      Be a dog

Be a dog                                                                                                             Be a dog

Good Opening Lines for Dogs

30 Dec

1.  Who’s a big boy? Are you a big boy?
2.  Hey beautiful. Wanna share a stick?
3.  Do you dig holes here often?
4.  Your ID tag says “Penny.” Did you fall from heaven?
5.  Yes, I do have cookies in my pocket. Why do you ask?
6.  What’s your whine?
7.  Wanna come up to my place and see my squeak toys?
8.  All my shots are up to date, how about you?
9.  It’s much more fun to be disobedient together.
10.  You smell like an alpha dog to me.


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