Sunday, March 30, 2014

Maggie the Stinky Dog

Some of my very observant fans noticed that I was not wearing a collar the day I when I was hiding in a very thick bush in my yard.
This is me, Mabel, hiding deep within the bush in my backyard. You can see me if you look very, very closely.
Yes, I went for an entire day without my collar/ID. 
My super smart, but snotty, big sister got into something very stinky.
This is my sister, Maggie. Some people think she looks a lot like me and Harley. Personally, I don't see the resemblance.
Yes, Maggie (the Perfect) came home from our forced march the other day and wandered out into our backyard (after she finished her chewy bone treat).
FYI, we do share our backyard with our 3 cat sisters. You can see them hiding in the background in some of our pictures. (This doesn't really belong in this story, but I wanted to show this horrible picture to everyone).
The evil cat Millie, trying to steal the spotlight from your Diva.
Anyway, Maggie started to patrol our backyard. She looked for unusual things, out of place things, and anything that didn't belong in our yard.
Maggie walked the fence and sniffed. She spoke to the dogs next door, and asked the if they'd seen anything she needed to know.
Once she finished her rounds, Maggie sniffed around for any unusual smells. Well, she found one unusual smell and it was very, very stinky.
You may know that some uncivilized dogs like to roll around in stinky stuff they find. And sometimes, a well-civilized, well behaved dog finds something so wonderfully stinky that they cannot control themselves; they just have to roll in that stinky stuff over and over.
Maggie rolled. In the stinky stuff.
Maggie, right after she rolled in the stinky stuff.
Well, Maggie wasn't thinking straight after she rolled, because she went inside and walked right by Mama #1. 
Mama #1 smelled the stinky Maggie and promptly called Mama #2. 
Mama #2 certified Maggie as "one stinky dog."
Harley and I were having a great time laughing at Maggie, since she thinks she is so perfect and now she was caught doing something very, very wrong (and stinky!).
Maggie was escorted straight into the bathtub, soaked with water and rubbed with white/brown sudsy stuff. After massive amounts of water were poured over her, she was allowed back into the house. 
She did smell much nicer.
Suddenly, Harley was grabbed and shoved into the bathtub. I knew I had to do something about this.
So I, Mabel, did what I had to do.
I promptly took myself somewhere safe, far away from the water and sudsy stuff.
I crawled under a blanket on my favorite comfy couch. 
Harley emerged from the bathroom, smelling very nice.
I had just settled into a nice sleep, because I knew 
1) I, Mabel, did not stink
2) I am still recovering from a back injury. I might be re-injured if I were forced into a bathtub with water and sudsy stuff.
(There's no picture to insert here because I already destroyed all the pictures of myself in the bathtub--with sudsy stuff all over me)
Didn't matter. I was pulled out from under my warm (formerly safe) blanket and unceremoniously watered down.
As soon as I got out of that bathtub and escaped the Mamas, I ran into my safe backyard and hid in the very thick bush. I stayed there all afternoon. I was safe. I had sunshine. No one found me until my bratty older sister found me late in the day. 
Yes, the same older sister who rolled in the stinky stuff and started this entire mess.
I did come back inside the house and forgave my Mamas for pouring water all over me. 
Well, maybe I didn't forgive them completely....
So, that's my story.
Love Y'all,
Your Favorite Diva,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Finally! A cure for Harley's anxiety?!

Hi All, Mabel here.
I am so excited!
Mama #2 (aka Mama #1b---promotion!) was on her computer the other night, when, suddenly, she (finally) saw something useful.
She tried to show Mama #1 what was on her computer screen, and Mama #1 pretended to be interested for a few minutes. Then, Mama #2 played some music on her computer.
It was really, really nice music.
Harley stopped barking to listen.
Maggie listened.
Mama #1 listened.
I, of course, listened too.
Mama #2said she'd been reading that certain types of music can calm anxious dogs. She played another sample of the music and watched Harley closely. Harley quickly relaxed and fell asleep.
Harley listening to music.
Mama #1  was impressed and said Mama #2 should get the music for Harley.
I agreed, and so did Maggie.
Maggie liked the music too and said it was really, really peaceful sounding.
Harley just snored when I asked her how she liked it.
Soon, Mama #2 had soothing music playing from her computer. Harley slept the rest of the night, but did wake up for a few minutes to patrol the house and yard.
But she didn't bark!
Not one sound. Nothing.
I swear, this music is magic.
I counted. Harley barked 3 times after the music started. I don't mean 3 bark attack sessions, I mean 3 barks. Total.
This may be too good to be true.
Today, while the Mamas were gone, Harley was back to her normal self; patrolling the yard and barking at anything and everything. Then, Mama #2 came home. When she heard Harley barking, she picked her up and carried her to the couch.
Soon, the music started.
Harley calmed down.
you have to use the right music, mama #2.
For most of the evening, Harley sat or laid on the couch (except for a very, very long march --- I had Mama #1 all to myself for a very long time. After all, marching is bad for your back). When Harley got home, she watched TV or tried to eat Mama #2's computer. Harley's music played quietly from Mama #2's cell phone. Harley laid her head on the phone and listened.
Suddenly, the music changed and became faster and noisier. I didn't like it. Harley started barking and Maggie sat up and looked at Mama #52 (number drop!). It took her a minute, but she changed the music. I looked at Mama #2 and tried to tell her that not just any music will work; it has to be exactly the right music.

You have to play the right music, Mama #2!
Soon, Harley was quietly chewing on her rawhide and Maggie got on the floor to play with her favorite toy.
It was another peaceful evening.
Not one single bark once Mama #2 found the right music.
This music stuff is magical.
Now, is Harley still Harley if she isn't anxious and barking?
Of course she'll still be Harley. And she'll be very, very happy. And quiet. And calm.
Way to go, Mama #1b! (See how Mama #2's number can go up or down depending on how I feel about her at the moment?)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Harley, the Attack(?) Dog.

Hi all, Mabel here. I'm finally getting back to my blog after an extended absence (due to my back injury).

This is me, Mabel. I'm still recovering from my back injury (and I shouldn't have to go on any forced marches!).
Here's my story:
Maggie, Harley and I were on a forced march. It was cold; it was dark.
I was marching in the Diva position; that is, I was marching directly beside Mama #2 with my shoulder aligned with her hip (exactly as I was taught as a pup). Maggie marched a pup's length ahead of me and Harley, well, Harley marches where ever Harley wants.
Suddenly, Maggie stopped dead in her tracks and held up her paw (Maggie wasn't really dead, it's just an expression). Maggie had a sticker in her paw. 
Mama #2 carefully tucked our leashes under her foot as she bent over to gently pull out the sticker.
Suddenly, we heard very loud barking. I spotted a Captive dog barking at us from behind a nearby barred gate (a captive dog is a dog trapped in a fenced yard. Their Mamas must have locked them out of their house for some reason). 
Harley immediately went on full alert. Her fur and tail stood up straight as she remembered her "Duty to Protect" contract. 
Harley takes her protection duties very seriously.
With Maggie injured, Mama #2 busy treating Maggie, and me, Mabel, still recovering from my back injury, Harley knew it was up to her to protect us from the horrible, barking captive dog.
Harley jerked her leash out from under Mama #2's foot. She ran full speed ahead towards the barred gate where the 100+ pound Captive Dog barked. Harley advanced, barking and snarling with her best fence fighting voice.
Just as she reached the gate, a second 100-pound Captive Dog appeared. He barked and snarled and rattled the gate.
Well, I could tell that Harley almost fainted in mid-stride when she saw the second monster dog. She continued to run full speed ahead, but only because she couldn't stop. When she reached the gate, she barked a couple of times in their big dog faces. Then, she moved about 10 feet away from the gate (putting a solid rock fence between her and the captive dogs) and told those giant dogs off. I mean, she really barked them a piece of her mind.
Harley the hero, poses for a picture.
Mama #2 had just started to march towards Harley when Harley decided her job was done; she'd told those dogs off and done her "Duty to Protect." 
Harley trotted back to meet Mama #2; her head and her tail held high.
Mama #2 made us finish our march, and reported everything Harley did to Mama #1.
Harley knows she is the biggest, baddest attack dog in this household. 
Mama #1 just held her tightly the rest of the evening and talked to her softly. Mama #1 knows how to pamper a pup and Harley didn't bark a single time the rest of the evening.
This is Mabel, signing off for now.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Life in the Crate

Hi all, Mabel here. I am recuperating from a painful back injury. You may have already heard about my injury; I visited my doctor yesterday and he quickly diagnosed my problem, then gave me a shot and some meds. He prescribed complete rest for 2 weeks. (No forced marches for me!).
Here I am, Mabel, resting on my comfy blanket by my laptop in my comfy crate.
He told the Mamas to restrict my movements. So, I am restricted to this dreaded  comfy crate (with my own laptop!) whenever they have to leave me alone.
I feel pretty good right now, but I don't like anyone touching my sides. I bow my back when someone touches my sides. I don't feel like moving much either. And I sleep a lot, too. 
The Mamas are carefully monitoring my condition, and, if I start to have any trouble with my back legs, I will be rushed to the ER. Of course, I plan to obey my medical instructions and do everything I can to recover quickly. (at least when anyone is watching me).
Aren't I a good Diva?
How did it happen? Who knows? These things happen sometimes. The Mamas weren't home, so no one saw anything. 
I'll tell what I saw for the right price -- Maggie
So now I spend my days in my comfy crate. I sleep. I write, and I play computer games. 
I am now an expert "Slots" player and have reached the upper levels of that popular candy crushing game.
I plan to finish my book, "The Diva's Wisdom," in a few days and I'll start contacting agents and publishers. I expect a bidding war on the movie rights.
Anyway, Mama #2 has faithfully been snooping through the wonderful get well wishes you've sent. Today, she brought home new marching harnesses---the ones that are comfy vests. She says that maybe we should wear marching harnesses like we used to instead of just collars.
I don't care; I don't have to go marching again for weeks! 
Now, here is my theory on how I hurt my back.
Remember that activity tracker Mama #2 made me wear? The one that told her how many pawsteps I took and when? I think that the tracker must be responsible for my injury. 
I instructed Harley to get rid of the tracker. 
And, being my wonderful twin sister, she took care of it.
My tracker. It doesn't work anymore.
Good Harley.
So, dear fans, here I lay in my cage comfy crate, trying to make the best of the situation. Soon, my Mamas will be home and I will be set free.

And, no marching for me tonight! 
It'll be just me and Mama #1 on our comfy couch. 
I'll get individual pampering and will have the magically warm blanket all to myself.
Thank you for all my get well wishes and prayers. 
I keep you up to date on how I'm doing.
Love y'all,
Your Diva