Dear Doodlebug is my favorite day of the week! It’s the day I get to exercise my giant doodle-brain and give you all of the advices you’ve ever wanted to hear! And this week I got a new picture-poster! Do you like it?
Anyhow, many important questionings in today’s post, so let’s get right to it!
Hi Doodlebug. On walks, I like to pick up and taste or eat almost everything. Flower petals, leaves, small sticks, berries, nuts. I also like to lick grass or bushes. Dad has given up on me. Mom is still quite a nag with constant, ‘leave it’ or ‘drop it’. She gets confused about the commands and I get confused too. Guess she doesn’t like cleaning up my yellow foamy puke when we get back home. Your brilliant help is much awaited. Cole, the short-legged poodle
Dear Dust Buster,
Firstly, have you found any especially scrumptious berries, sticks, flowers, or nuts that I should be looking out for on MY dog walks? I am still allergenic with berries and nuts, actually, so I am only looking for flower and stick recommendations right now. And grasses and bushes are ok, too.
My first advices to you are to ask your momma and dad whether they have ever really taught you what “leave it” and “drop it” mean. For a dog to really want to do that, they have to think it’s a good deal. Like, momma says “leave it” and if I do leave it, I get something even better. This is the way we were taught it. It turns out we don’t ALWAYS get something better, but pretty often we do, so it’s worth the gamblings (not that I recommend gamblings, which are illegal for dogs).
My second advices are that maybe you could learn the difference between a sniffing and salad bar kind of walking and an exercise-only kind of walking? When we go walking, we know that we are on a business trip (and by business I don’t mean business, I mean exercise). Mama tells us “free” when it’s time to sniff, pee, and snack, and that’s when we do those things. This keeps us pretty well out of trouble.
My final advices to you would be that maybe you could get a pair of stilts? I am not an overly tall dog, but I am taller than a short poodle, and I wonder if it’s easier for me to resist the ground-candy because my sniffer is higher off the ground. So maybe try stilts and let me know how it goes!
XO, the tallest Doodlebug you know
Dear Doodlebug, I like to chew things. I’ve destuffed all my soft toys, I’ve performed many a squeakerectomy, I’ve shredded my rope toys and I’ve even nibbled all my kongs down to little nubs. I’ve heard about these lovely things called antlers though and was curious what you knew about them? Do you think they could stand up to my serious chewings? Have you heard anything bads about them breaking off and getting all swallowed up? I’d love if you could give me some of your advices! Woofs and Kisses, Dottie Mae
Wow, you really are a most excellent chewer! I can do good chewings too, but I have never nubbed up a kong yet. I did manage to turn a Bob-A-Lot into an abstract yard art installation once, and I have also turned a football into four quarter-footballs. And as you may have read in a previous week, my brother also is a most wonderful chewer, but his art specializes in chewing holes in my mama’s pockets when they smell like treats. He is one clever Chicken!
Anyhow, yes, I am aware of the magic antler, and I do love it! In case you don’t believe me, I have illustrated my antler lovingness with the photo above. What I am chewing on these days is a split antler, which is better for beginners or those dogs who are a little less motivated to reallyreally work for their yummables. I am willing to work pretty hard, but this split antler keeps me plenty busy and I haven’t made much progress on it. The whole antlers, which are NOT split into halves, are even tougher!
There are some good things about antlers that are not shared by rawhides and other chewable yums. Antlers are all natural, they do not splinter or split, they do not smell offensively to the Humans, and they are delicious! Naturally, your mama will want to take your antler away and replace it with a new one when it gets to swallowing smallness, but that goes for any treat. I have heard of a dog or two in my day who can get to the very bottom of an antler, but let me tell you: that dog is not me. So I say, go for it, and let us know what you think!
Love, Your Semi-Chewer
Dear Dude-oodle-bug, I would like to know how you made your foster home turn into your forever home. Do you have a magic potion? If so, can I have the recipe for it? You see, I’m a foster dog, but I love my foster home and I would like to stay in my foster home forever and make it a forever home. BUT, if you can’t give me your secret to making a foster home a forever home, can you give me some of your advices on making sure I get a great forever home that’s just exactly like my foster home? Yours ever so truly, Sophie Sofa Snuggles, foster sister of the Corbin
I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I didn’t get to your question until after you cleverly figured out the answer for yourself — congrats on being adopted by a perfect home, just as perfect as Corbin’s!
Since I can no longer give you for-reals advices since you have brainiacked your way through this problem on your own, I will just tell you how *I* got myself adopted by my foster peoples. The first thing is to super-woo your foster siblings. Here is me working my magics on my Chicken after only a few days together. I got him to help me learn how to crate myself!
Now, this might be less of a big deal for some forever-family-elects, but as you probably know, my brother the Chick is quite grumpy, and although he tolerates many dogs, he does not *love* most dogs. The only other dog he has fostered who he really loved was Curious Georgia, and lucky for me and MY forever-home chances, they did not keep her because she lived with them just before they moved cross-country.
My people look for a few different things in dog-dog compatibility when deciding who is a good fit and who isn’t. They want us to get along swimmingly, of course, but they want us to get along calmly. They would not keep a foster, for example, who inspires my Chicken to run around like a crazydog doing zoomies, wrestling, and getting into troubles all the time. One key to their sanity, they say, is a calm dog-vibe in the house. So they prefer dog-dog matches where the two dogs are fine with each other’s company but can easily coexist without interacting all the time. Check and check.
The other big factor in my getting myself so adopted so quickly, of course, was that I gave them my big brown baby-eyes. Once I showed those to them, I knew it was all over — and so did they.
Admit it — you would keep me too, wouldn’t you?
Best of luck in your new home, Sophie!
XO, your fellow adopted-bull, Doodlebug
Dear Doodlebug, I am a Master of Trickery but I have a problem that hurts my brain. Momma says I am an Overly Social Butterfly. When Momma and Daddy get home, I let them ignore my adorable wiggly butt until I glue it to the floor to tell them I am ready for pettings. But when my human friends visit, Momma and Daddy ask them to not say hi or give me pettings until I stop talking and my wiggly butt hits the ground. As a fellow Master of Trickery, will you help me think of a plot to trickery my way out of this rule? -Gambit of the Couches
Well Mr. Couch Surfer, Here’s the thing. Human friends do love wiggly-butted greetings, but you know what impresses them even more? Calm, gentleman-like greetings! I know! I didn’t believe it either, until my brother taught me, and it turns out he is right!
You see, we did these exercises in class where I got posted to a tree and everybody would ignore me until I sat down and stayed calm. Then once I did, I got all the lovings I wanted! Every time I’d pop up, the lovings (and yummables) would disappear. And when I’d sit down, they’d return! It was like magic! We repeated this exercise everywhere — in our kitchen, in our front yard, and out on walks. Even now we sometimes do it when mama and dad are expecting human visitors (the Turkeyman came to visit last night and I had to show him my best behaviors in order to get lovings, like the photo above).
Eventually I figured out that my butt was actually a magic light switch that could turn ON the lovings from people by sticking to the ground, and would turn OFF the lovings from the people by lifting up.
I knew I already had many clevers, but I didn’t know that some of them were in my butt — wow!
Hope this helps you and your magic light switch Love, Doodlebutt