Dear Doodlebug: on Hawaiian shirts, the Big Lebowski, and being spoiled.

Hello friends,Dear Doodlebug

Here we are again on Dear Doodlebug Day! I am most very excited about today’s post! Do you want to know why? Not only because there are some extremely handsome photos of me included, but also because I finally get to talk to you about things that are not dog behavior! I had the most funs ever writing the answer to the first question below, so if you have other Important Advices needs that are not related to serious issues of dog behaviors, send ’em my way!

Here we go:

Dear Doodlebug, You and your brother always look so dapper laying on your Hawaiian print sofa. Does it make you feel like you are on the beach, digging for sand crabs and rolling in dead fish? How can I convince my dad to get one like that for me? I would like to look as handsome as you two and have such wonderful daydreams! XO, Dreaming of the Tropics


Dear Tropical Dreamer,

Thank you as always for the complements. However, I must clarify a few things about our The Dude Sofa. First of all, I don’t think that this is technically a Hawaiian print, as Hawaiian prints should have Hawaiian flowers on them, right? I am not sure because I am not a Hawaiian Shirt Museum Curator, but it seems to be so. And second of all, mama thinks it is important that I tell you that this sofa is our outside sofa, not our inside sofa. You may remember the Dora, which is our inside sofa. Mama says she would never be caught dead putting a non-Hawaiian print sofa inside the house (although I hope she never gets caught dead at all, personally). I don’t know why it’s important that I tell you this, but apparently it is. And third of all (this is the most important one of my points about the sofa), I want to point out that this sofa is the same as the sofa that my namesake, The Dude, had in his apartment in the Big Lebowski. How cool is that? Enthusiasts might recognize it, but for those of you who have not seen the Big Lebowski enough times to understand why I am named after it, there is a tiny corner of my sofa visible in this screenshot here. Pretty neat, eh?

But I digress. Our particular outside sofa was a special find on Craigslist, and as far as we can tell, the cushion covers were handmade by somebody and not The Dude Sofa manufacturer. So in order to get your own, you will have to learn how to sew very well with pipings and zippers, and I have to admit I do believe this would be pretty challenging without any supposable thumbs. As a second-best option, why not go for a Hawaiian shirt? Sometimes I wear my dad’s Hawaiian shirts since mama does not allow dad to wear them himself (although to be honest I do not prefer them because they are too long and loose around my middle, and sometimes I pee on them — don’t tell dad). Also, I have even seen a tutorial while surfing the Youtubes about converting a men’s shirt into a dog shirt. Wouldn’t that be neat? Or if –again– you’re not such a seamster or seamstress, maybe you could settle for one of these handsome dog Hawaiian shirts from the Amazon. I bet you’ll look just as dapper in one of those as I do on my The Dude Sofa!

XOXO, The Dude (who Abides)

PS – We are no longer allowed on our inside sofa the Dora (even though it is named after a dog), so if you have any ideas for how to get our mama to let us back up there, please tell them to us!


Dear Doodlebug, I started working from home in October, and now that I am with my dogs all day every day, I am noticing they seem a little bored.  While they snooze happily for much of the day, my girl, Victoria, wakes up between naps and barks at me.  Mostly she is barking for treats, but I think it’s coming from boredom.  I’ve tried a couple food puzzles which seemed to interest her for a couple weeks, but she is pretty finicky about what she will actually work for.  One other thing to keep in mind – the vet told us her x-rays show that some of her tooth roots seem to be weakening.  I need something gentle on the teeth, but satisfying to the nose. XOXO, Old Dog, New Trick

Dear Tricksy, 

Victoria really is clever, figuring out how to bully you into giving her more puzzles, more variety, more activity, more, more, more! There are a few advices I have for you, as a canine friend to the humans. First, it sounds to me like Victoria is barking at you to demand things from you, and sometimes, her pushy behavior gets her exactly what she wants!  So stop paying attention when she barks. Put in your interior ear muffs and pretend you do not hear her at all. Wait until she settles back down, and only then — and only if you really want to — give her some attention or some treats. Just because she is an eldergal like my brother, doesn’t mean she can be pushy with you!

Second, on the puzzles. Will she eat out of kongs? You can mix some dry food and wet food and stuff it into one of those puppy/elderdog kongs, and let her work on that — you don’t even have to freeze it, which makes it harder. If you get a really big size, it will take her a while to get to the bottom of it, especially if you put something extra stinky and yummy (like litter-encrusted cat poo) at the bottom. You can also try putting canned food inside her bones, or cutting a little hole in a tennis ball and jamming some kibbles in there (only you have to watch to make sure she doesn’t eat the ball pieces as she gets the kibble out). 

I am not quite sure, but I have heard that older dogs can sometime start to not smell things quite as well as younger dogs, which can make them less interested in holy, delicious noms. Try buying some extra stinky food, and see if she is more interested. Fish-based formulas are nice and stinky, as is the Holy Grail of all yums, Green Tripe.

Good luck! Your omnivorous Bug

Dear ‘Bug, I mean this in the nicest and most admiring of ways, but you and your Chick seem pretty spoiled. Do you have any tips for how to get my people to spoil me better? Yours in admiration, Stella the Hungarian Vizsla Princess

doodlebug w tulips

Dear Hercegnő (I believe that is how you say “princess” in your motherland),

Let me ask you this: do you bring your mama her favorite flowers (tulips) and her favorite chocolates (any)? Maybe THIS is why we are treated so well!

But more serious-like. We have a very good life, yes. We get to go to work with our mama. We have our very own dog hammock in the back of the car. We eat the finest of kibbles and get treats of organic roast beefs, chicken skins, and other delicacies. We bask in the sunshine and snuggle under the covers. I get to go do agilidogging every week with my favorite teacher, Miss Patti. We have the most beautiful of dog collars, and a rotation of seasonal outfits that we don when the weather and mood are appropriate. We have nine dog beds in our house, and at least four blankets of our own. When mama and dad go away, we get to go to doggie camp where we are treated like kings. We have our very own blog, and sometimes people recognize us out on the street and come say hello. So yes, our life is good.

But are we spoiled? Not really. You see, Miss Princess, we have to work for everything. We never get anything by being pushy or demanding. We have strict house rules, and if we break them, we lose our privileges. Mama and dad expect a lot from us, you see. We get to go for walks, but only if we walk politely and follow the rules. We eat delicious kibbles, but only if we sit patiently until we are released. We get yummy snacks, but only out of puzzles that make our little brains hurt. We get plenty of pettings and cuddles, but only when we are relaxed and being polite. We get hand fed roast beefs, but only when we are in a very challenging situation, like teaching reactive dogs how to not be scared (Chick), or mastering agility weave poles (me), or learning to not stare rudely at tiny fluffballs (me again), or learning how to have our nails filed (my brother). If we break the “no barking at the door” rule, we go to time out. If we act funny and protective of a toy or a bed, that toy or bed disappears. If we act pushy and demanding, we get stone cold ignored — or worse — put in our room to calm down. If we act wild on our leashs, we go right back in the house and lose our walk.

In fact, when grandma comes to visit, she actually feels sorry for us and how non-spoiled we are. For example, she is always wanting to give us a scrap of food from the counter while she is helping with the human-cookings, or let us up on the Dora (which is Off Limits) to snuggle with her, and she gets very frowny and sad for us when mama says NO! We would get frowny and sad too, but Mama says the rules are important, and we trust her. After all — our life is pretty sweet!

Best of luck with your Princessness,

Prince Doodlebug the American Pit-mix

10 responses

  1. I just wanted to comment on the Hawaiian print shirt link you shared. Casual Canine makes great products but unfortunately they aren’t geared towards dogs built like pit bulls (larger necks, broader chests), and even x-large doesn’t fit bigger boys and girls like Mr B. Unless anyone ordering these clothes owns a smaller dog I’d advise them to make sure the company has a reasonable return or exchange policy. Just my .02 as a mom of 4 dog kids 😉

  2. Thanks for the advices, ‘Bug! I am going to have to make my Victoria work much harder for her rewards. She is a pushy little thing, and because she is so cute and feisty, I do spoil her rotten. I must take a page out of your mama’s book and make sure I enforce the rules! P.S. Victoria’s vet gave her a Kong this week for a nail trimming and she went crazy over it! I feel she was less interested in them as a young girl, but I may have to reintroduce it to her. P.P.S. You look super cute in Hawaiian shirts.

  3. “The Dude Abides!” So awesome. “Yeah? Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man!” Doodle or Chick could absolutely do an entire post that is Big Lebowski quotes… love the couch! Good work by Mama 🙂

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