Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Marley Is Not ME!

If you haven't already seen it - there is a new movie out called "Marley and Me." I haven't seen it yet, but if there ever was a movie perfect for a dog friendly showing - this would be it.

But, I've had it. Everywhere we go-"There's Marley! Hey, look it's Marley!" Do I look like a trouble maker like Marley? Ok, I admit there is a slight resemblance. However, there are some significant differences.

First of all, I do not eat jewelry. Second, I do not eat couches. Third, I did not get kicked out of obedience school-I took a medical leave. Finally, and most importantly, I have not gone to the great dog run in the sky! I do admit, however, that if Stacy and Ryann took me to eat at the outdoor cafe, I probably would pull that "drag the table down the street" stunt.

Here's what I want to know: is this really the message we want to send young lab pups? The way to fame and fortune is misbehavior? I should think not.

So, I've decided to pen my own novel and screenplay in response: "Cletus and Us: The Story of the World's BEST Dog."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pet Holiday Gift Guide

During the busy holiday season, I feel it is my duty as a dog blogger to remind all humans of one important thing: Don't forget your pet on Christmas!

Here is my list of suggested gifts for your favorite canine companion:

1. Anything from JW Pet! I love these toys. Some of them are fun to retrieve (what isn't, really) and some of them are fun to play with on my own in the house - even after the squeaker is gone! I love all of them and my favorites are the Bowling Pin and the Fish!


2. Anything I can retrieve! Frisbees and balls that glow in the dark are tops on the list. My need to fetch knows no season or schedule and needs no daylight! Some favorites are from REI and L.L. Bean.




3. Nylabones! Sometimes I just want to sit on my pillow (or lean on Stacy) and gnaw on a bone. I might even keep one nearby when I sleep in case I wake up and need to crunch.


4. Stuffed animals! I love to pull all the stuffing and squeakers out. My favorites are the Milkbone animals from Walgreens (not shown below). Not only are they cheap - they last forever because I recycle the feet and use them as balls!




Finally, some of the best toys are ones I find on walks. You won't believe the great stuff people and dogs leave behind. Tennis balls, baseballs, all for me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Road Trips and Family Reunions

It's been over a year since I came to live with at my new house with Stacy and Ryann. I can hardly believe it. I have often wondered if I would ever see my birth family again - and this weekend I did!

It all started with an early morning car ride - that seemed to take FOREVER! We stopped a few times along the way and I was able to explore some great new places. Finally - we got to our destination - Grandma's house!!! I love Grandma! She always gives me new toys, feeds me yummy treats and she even stands up for me when I get in trouble! Now, that's something to be really thankful for!

Then, just as I was basking in the glow of my Grandma's love, and my human-biological parents walked right in! One sniff and I knew who they were. I ran around and around, showing them how great my new legs work. Later on, we went outside and I showed them how much my Frisbee fetching skills have improved!

My human-biological parents seem to be doing OK without me. I played with them as much as I could since I am sure they missed playing with me. I could tell my human-biological dad was related to The Enforcer because he kept giving me commands - but I couldn't understand what he wanted me to do! It's too bad that I didn't have more time with him to teach him a few things.


All in all - I had a great Thanksgiving! Seeing my biological human parents was nice - but my favorite part of the weekend was coming back home to our house.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who Is That Doggie in the Window

Being an only dog is a lonely life. I love my people - but my toys cost money, I know that. I also know it takes a lot of food to fuel my fetching fanaticism, so I understand that my people need to go to work to keep me supplied.
So, I look on the bright side. Having them gone gives me time to reflect on the past and ponder my purpose in life. When that's done, however, I could really use a friend to help me pass the rest of the time.

Don't get me wrong, Pinny is great! I've found, lately, that our conversations are mostly one-sided. I'd like to find someone a little more talkative. It's not like I haven't tried, either. Whenever anyone walks by, I invite them in. I don't think they hear me, so I invite louder and louder. I guess our windows must be really thick because no one ever accepts my invitations.

Then, one day, out of nowhere appeared my future BFF! He showed up right outside the window. I'm confident enough in my remaining masculinity to say that he is one handsome chap. But, I am concerned that he doesn't get enough to eat. I can practically see right through him!


He seems to be somewhat of a loner, too. Whenever I leap forward to initiate play, he usually disappears! Almost right before my very eyes!

I asked him to teach me the trick, but I guess he's shy because he doesn't talk much. In fact, he is kind of a tease...the way he keeps looking at me through the window like he wants to be my friend - but then disappears again without a word!

The nerve. Oh, well. I still think he's a good looking dog, anyway.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Working Like a Dog

Recently, I been making some new friends while spending a few weekends at camp. Unfortunately, now I wonder if my new friends are actually frienemies. They told me all about some of the fun things I should try around the house. Sitting on a people chair, helping myself to food from the counter, etc. They said my people wouldn't mind.


They were wrong.

Now, I've been sentenced to hard labor for my indiscretions. My people made me clean up all the leaves on the entire front yard! At first, the job was a bit overwhelming and I thought maybe we should just leave the leaves on the ground like nature intended.


Then I got into a rhythm. Check it out.

video

Soon, Stacy felt sorry for me and offered to help.

After a few dozen bags, Stacy needed a break. I was happy to oblige. I'm selfless that way.


Finally, I was finished. It was a hard day's work. I learned an important lesson. Really, I did.


Next time, I won't get caught.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bark the Vote

My fellow Canine-Americans, today is a day like no other in history. Don't let this monumental day pass by without letting your bark be heard!

I take my canine duties seriously and this morning I made my choice, as you can see in the video below.

video

At first it appears that I voted for the Republicans. However, my strategy was this: destroy the opponent. So I did.


Here is my vote (which may or may not reflect the vote of my humans).


My bark is my own.

Did you make your bark be heard?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

People are always asking me - how do you stay so calm in this crazy, mixed-up world? With the economy taking a dive (along with my precious 401D) it is important to stay calm and relaxed.

How do I do it?

Doga.

Allow me to demonstrate with a few of my favorite poses. Do not try these at home without a trained professional to assist you. As you will see, sometimes a partner or doga hammock are necessary to achieve the full relaxing affects of each pose.


CSI Crime Scene Corpse Dog


Pancake Dog


Circle Dog



Running Dog

Sitting Boy

Chicken Stretch

Of course, I can do the Downward Dog - but it's too predictable for this blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Bagels Are Back

Some of you regular readers may remember that a few months ago I had the ultimate Breakfast of Champions. It was an awesome day, one that would live on in infamy...

Until yesterday. Yesterday, we resumed patrols (finally I received my official "release" from kennel cough/Ebola induced house arrest) when to what should our wondering eyes appear - but a yard full of bagels! (Note the pumpkin in the picture for date authenticity!)

Again! Who would believe it? Not Ryann and Stacy, it seems, because once again they didn't think it was "an appropriate choice for the most important meal of the day." It didn't matter, though, because I have my own network of squirrel spies throughout the neighborhood.

Yes, you read that right. Squirrel spies. We keep up a facade of dislike that serves us both when we need unexpected allies.

So, while we returned from patrol, I signaled to the network to initiate Operation Bagel Rescue. From my observation post at the front windows of the house, I kept an eye on the progress. As squirrel squadron 1 worked to move bagels closer to the drop-off point (my mouth), we were almost forced to abort the mission.

Unexpectedly, Ryann went outside to move a car and spooked a rookie member of the squirrel force, causing him to drop the bagel from the tree right on to the sidewalk in front of her! Taken aback, she retreated inside to get her camera, which gave the rookie time to redeem himself by recapturing the bagel and hiding it in a safe spot in the rendezvous point - the neighbor's yard.

When Stacy and I went on patrol later that day, I was able to implement the final phase of the mission. Before Stacy could mount a defense, I swallowed the bagel in one mighty bite.

Mission OBR accomplished.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Quarantine

I've got the Ebola. I'm serious. E. Bo. La.


Okay, so maybe it's not Ebola. It might as well be. It all started last night when I cleared my throat to get my people's attention. It didn't work so I cleared it again and again. Soon, I was up every hour with a hacking cough! Aaack.

Really, it's not fun.

So Stacy and Ryann took me to see the White Coats. Ugh. This time we received special attention (finally, I say) and got a room right away. It might have had something to do with my Darth Vader impersonation that I began as soon as we entered the White Coat Building.

Then, in our private biolock suite, the White Coats gave us the bad news. I have become a victim of my own social life. So now, I'm in quarantine for two weeks.

No School.
No Walks.
No Fun.

What will become of me? How will I ever get a job with out my doggie school diploma?

Aaaackk
. Aaaackk.

Like I said--Ebola.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dog Spelled Backwards

Did you know that Dog spelled backwards is God? I only recently learned this amazing fact, and I decided I better find out with this "God" is all about. So, I set off to find the right church for me to learn about God and found it after a long, exhaustive search. How did I know this was the perfect church for me? Well, I knew I wanted someplace that was welcoming to all who would enter. The church I found not only had an open-door policy...

But an open-fence policy as well! I had a wonderful time exploring the grounds around the church, and I even helped make them a little more holey. I also had a short counseling session with the Pastor. He thought I was an amazing student and seemed to really enjoy our discussion.


Another clue that this church was the one for me was the fact that it offered a blended worship service. Can you believe it? A service that blends the spiritual needs of both people and canines!


Now, that IS a miracle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Teacher's Pet

Yesterday was my first day of school! I could hardly sleep all weekend while I was at "camp" just thinking about it! I was hoping to get to go school shopping - but, as usual, my people left me at home while they went to get my new duds.While I would never tell them this, I was glad they did because then I was wearing the latest fashions and fit right in with my new classmates.

I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty sure I'm the teacher's pet. She kept saying my name and pointing to me and she even brought me to the center of the class to show me off. I loved being the center of attention so I made most of my time by showing her some other tricks I know, even ones she didn't ask for!

I have to admit, school is harder than I thought it would be. We work the whole time and, unless I missed something, we didn't get recess! How am I supposed to get to know my classmates? I'm not the oldest in the class - but I'm certainly the biggest. There is another dog there who could be my little brother. Sniff, sniff. Wouldn't that be nice? Someone drop the hint to my people, please!

Can't type more - I have homework to do. Wish me luck with the rest of the semester!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Belated Treats

I love being two! Check out the yummy treat we went to get tonight from Bentley's Barkery. After Ryann and I went for a long walk (I was good - my doggie-sense told me something special was coming), we picked up Stacy and went over to our favorite barkery to get my birthday treat!


Doesn't it look delicious? I could hardly hold myself back from gobbling it down right away. I do have my manners, however, and I waited until Ryann could take a picture of me and my birthday doughnut.


I wanted to savor the experience, so I thought I would take my birthday doughnut to my special treat eating spot. However, luck was not with me and I dropped my treat - blue frosting side down!

Thank goodness Stacy and Ryann don't get mad very easily!


I can't wait until I'm three!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

So, they say it's my birthday! Today I turned two years old. How did I celebrate this momentous occasion? Well, my wonderful people gave me a surprise sleepover at a Pet Resort! It was awesome. I played games with other dogs, stayed up all night and ate whatever I wanted.

But, as with all good things, my wonderful birthday had to come to an end. I can hardly move tonight thanks to all that birthday fun. Never fear, dear reader, Stacy and Ryann said we could celebrate more tomorrow when my sleepover tummy ache goes away. (Don't cry for me, Argentina, it was worth it).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Games People Play by a Grumpy Monday Dog

I know what you think. You think I lead a pretty cushy life with my people. Well, think again. Stacy and Ryann are always playing mind games with me. While other dogs get to live the high life by having all the food, water, and love they want - I am being played like a second hand fiddle.

You don't believe me, do you? I didn't think you would - so I got some evidence to prove my case.

Here is a typical mealtime. I call this video "Will Work for Food." Come on, people! Can't you just put my kibble in a bowl like normal owners? No, of course not. You have to stick it inside this plastic thing and you make the dog, without thumbs, get his own food out. Thank you very much.

video

Now, here's me trying to get a drink of water. Don't these people know how important it is to stay hydrated?


This is the game that my people love to play the most. It's called - "Let's disappear and make the dog think he's abandoned." Seriously - they walk down these steps to some mysterious place that I am not allowed to go (of course) and then they disappear! It is very upsetting and I'm sure that some day they will not return.

video

It's hard being me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Dog Friendly World

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's hard being me. There are some places in this great big world where adorable dogs just like me are not welcome. I know, I know, it's hard to believe. Here is but one example of this close-minded philosophy.

Or, even worse, dogs are discriminated against! Why do horses get such special privileges? They need someone to RIDE them. I can walk on my own, thank you very much.


Even in the face of such unwelcoming signs - I still have hope. There are a few places where dogs are not only allowed - they are welcome. Here's a play area in Nebraska that not only is just for dogs, it comes complete with a fire hydrant!




I thought this would be the best dog play area I would ever see, until Grandma took me on a special trip to a place I like to call DoggyWorld. It is the most amazing place ever. First of all, I like the fact that this place really knows who is boss.

For your information, "You" refers to humans not canines. Genius.

DoggyWorld was not very busy the day we went. There were a few other dogs there and I was involved in a brief Frisbee competition. It was brief because once I started the other dog gave up (even though it was her person throwing her Frisbee)! In case you missed the recap on PetCenter - here's a video clip. Look closely to watch me leave the others in the dust (literally!).

video

After all this fun, I was sure glad there was a dog water fountain installed at DoggyWorld. I hoping Stacy will build one for me someday since our house is the most dog friendly place I know (next to DoggyWorld, of course).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On the Road Again

I love road trips - especially when I get to go, too! Last week, my people started putting all their favorite things into their traveling boxes and I watched with anxious anticipation to see if they would pack a bag for me - or if I would get another punch on the Alcatraz Frequent Visitor card. Then I heard the magic words - "Hop in, Clete. We're going to Grandma's house!"

I LOVE Grandma's house. Grandma always puts in special doors so I can stay in the house (instead of the garage like when I was a puppy) and she gets me toys that I always play with right away, being the polite dog that I am. For this visit, she went a step further by putting brand new carpet in - just for me! She picked out the most wonderful, thick carpeting just for her favorite grand-puppy because she knows how much I love a cushy spot to take a short dog-nap.

Usually, we spend a few days at Grandma's house - but this time we packed up to come home after only a couple of days, and Grandma and Aunt Wendy came with us! I wasn't sure what it would be like to travel with four humans, but thankfully I have a barrier to give me my own special place.

It turned out that the people were very well-behaved. They hardly whined at all and always hopped right back in when it was time to go. (Grandma could have shared her popcorn with me, although I won't hold that against her. I usually don't share mine, either.) Although my trip was short - I visited the most wonderful place in the world...stay tuned to find out more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Troublesome Days

I've had a rough few days. It all started early one day when some cute little girls came to play with me and when they left I realized Ryann was gone! I didn't worry too much at first since Stacy and I have so much fun when The Enforcer is gone.

However, this time, Stacy decided he needed to paint my fence. Why? It looks just fine! Frankly, it's a waste of a perfectly good fence if he is going to spend so much time painting it instead of playing fetch.


Then trouble hit - well, actually, it was me that hit the closed screen door. It really, really looked open! I didn't mean to run into it full speed and break it - I just thought Stacy was going to throw me something. A bone, a toy, anything! I was so bored!

That's when I really knew Ryann as gone. Stacy and I don't do well with punishment on our own. He said some things, I said some things. It wasn't pretty.

We eventually made up but we were both happy when Ryann returned. I wasn't sure where she had gone until she showed this picture to Stacy when they thought I was napping (I was just resting my eyes).


I think Ryann was shopping for another pet! Really, this house is not big enough for both me and a cow. So, if it is me or the cow - here's why I am the better choice:

1. Cows can't patrol the neighborhood - they'd stop and eat grass every 2 seconds.
2. Cows aren't house trained. Yuck.
3. Dogs are cute, especially the yellow Labrador types.
4. Cows would not fit into the car when we go on field trips.
5. Cows can't do tricks - they just chew their cud and moo. Borrrring.

and, finally,

6. Cows can't play fetch. Stacy really needs someone to play fetch with and I'm the dog for him.

Enough said. I think I'm safe.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

READ On

Reading is very important, boys and girls. Not that I need to, of course, since Ryann reads to me all the time. Sometimes we read the paper together in the mornings. Well, she reads it and then I lay down on the sections she's finished with.

She even brings me dog books from the library! I like to take them off to read by myself since they smell so good (like me, heh heh). I only read them for the articles, of course.

I'm told due to "this economy" our paper is now delivered to the end of our driveway instead of to our door. Everytime we come home from our morning patrol my people both strongly hint that I should retrieve the paper for them.

I don't think so. They could use the exercise.

Plus, I think I earn my keep around here. I'm always putting up with all the hugs and tummy rubs. It's hard work, I tell you. But, somebody's got to do it.

http://www.ala.org/ala/productsandpublications/READ_Mini_Posters.cfm

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shop Til You Drop

Stuff. It's all over our house. Everytime Stacy and Ryann come home they bring more stuff. Sure, sometimes they bring me stuff, I admit it. But sometimes I think they buy stuff to replace the other stuff they can't find. Why do I think this? They are always asking ME to find stuff for them.

"Clete, where'd I put my keys?" What do I need with keys? I have no thumbs.

"Clete, have you seen my shoes?" Sure, blame it on the dog when you can't find your shoes. Nice.
But my favorite is when they ask me to find my own stuff. "Clete where's your bone? Where's it at? Go get it." Hey, Einsteins, yes, I do know where my bone is - dogs are known for their sense of smell, remember? Geesh. It's like they don't know me at all.

Sometimes, though, they do take me with them to go when they get their stuff. Just this weekend Stacy and I went to the place that smelled like Ryann's pointy shoe outfits. Lots of other people must take their stuff there, too, because lots of clothes hung everywhere. I was very good and waited for Stacy by the door, until my new friend Linda gave us a treat. Well, it turned out it wasn't a treat - just a piece of paper. Bleck. Not my kind of stuff.


Other places, though, make me wait outside. Well, at least I get to window shop.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Breakfast of a Champion

Whew, it's good to be home. I spent the weekend at a doggie resort and spa. My adventure there was packed full of deep muscle massages, gourmet food, and private fetching sessions.

Or, at least that's what my people tell themselves when they drop me off at Alcatraz.

I think Ryann must have felt bad about leaving me behind because the morning they left, she arranged a very special breakfast surprise for me. We had just taken a long patrol (I should have seen the writing on the hydrant), when what before my wondering eyes should appear - but a yard full of bagels! In assorted flavors!

Ryann acted like she hadn't planned it and tried to convince me that I wouldn't like them. Too many carbs, she said. I could smell right through her act and showed her how much I loved her special surprise for me by stuffing two bagels into my mouth at once. It was awesome.

This week bagels, next week waffles. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Veggie Tales

I just never know what my people are up to and sometimes it is best not to worry about it too much. For instance, earlier this summer I noticed Ryann playing in the dirt quite a bit. While I thought it a bit odd, I myself, enjoy a good dig every now and then so I gaver her the benefit of the doubt.

Good thing I did, because now I see what she was doing. She was planting food for me! Now everytime we go outside and she walks along the fence she finds food for me. It's like the green version of a drive-thru restaurant! So far, I've very much enjoyed some crunchy green snacks as well as these little red balls that are not only fun to play with but they are very juicy when you eat them!

One of my favorite foods in the whole world is popcorn, but I never realized that I could eat it fresh. It is the best chew toy I've ever had! Ryann didn't grow this in our yard, but we brought some home when we visited one of her nice library friends. I can only hope that next year she will grow some in the yard for me...I could help weed, I promise!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Cletus on the Green

Two amazing things happened the other night. First, my people and I had started our patrol when a car screamed to a stop near us. I gave a big sniff and I realized the guy hollering at us was one of the neighborhood guys that always says hello when we go by. He told us once that he used to have a dog, and I think that's why he likes to pet me.

On this day, however, he seemed even more excited than usual. Finally, I figured out what he was shouting about. Microchips! Microchips are little things that white coats give us to help us keep track of our people. They are not tiny potato chips, which was a great disappointment to me when I finally got mine. Anyway, this guy got lost two years ago and thanks to the microchip his dog had finally found him!

But that wasn't the end of my amazing day. Next, we jumped into the car and went to a great big park. Instead of playing, we watched a bunch of other people with shiny instruments just like Stacy and Ryann! We had lots of fun and I met lots of new people and even a few dogs. I even got to play fetch, when a little boy near us missed the ball thrown from his mom. I'm sure they didn't mind me retrieving the the ball for them. We had a great time!

Also, I don't mean to brag, but some people said I was the star of the show. I'm glad somebody has finally figured this out! There is one thing I really need to know - why do people keep calling me Marley????