Swan or enemy?

I was travelling through the Lake District, North West England, with my bipeds and we decided to take a break and stretch our legs. We stopped by a lake and the male biped said he’d join us soon, but he wanted to rearrange some of the luggage in the car as something was making a noise. I was keen to investigate, so I set off with the female biped.

We made our way down to the shore and strolled along. I found some interesting smells to sniff, but my biped said I should leave it as it was only duck poop – as though I didn’t know what I was sniffing! After about fifteen minutes we began to wonder why the male biped hadn’t caught up with us and we turned back to find out. A strange sight met our eyes!

A swan trying to get food from a person

Crisps aren’t good for you!

The male biped was standing on a rock, keeping his crisps out of reach of a swan! The female biped laughed and took a photograph.

The male biped said, “It isn’t funny! He’s quite aggressive and it hurts when he pecks me!”

When I saw the swan move and peck the biped’s legs, I decided I should go and help. So the female biped decided she needed both hands free to make sure that I didn’t, which meant she couldn’t take any more photographs.

The male biped said, “The swan suddenly appeared and tried to snatch the crisps. I turned and started walking away and then he came at me making a hissing noise, with his wings flapping, so I hopped up here thinking he’d get bored and go away. But that doesn’t seem to be working!”

As he was speaking, another swan came waddling up and joined the first one. Things were getting serious! So I made another attempt to go to his aid, but the female biped told me to wait.

The male biped said, “I think it would be better if you took Clowie back up to the car.”

She said, “Okay, we don’t want a bad situation getting any worse, but what are you going to do?”

The male replied, “I’m thinking about a small distraction and then legging it as fast as I can!”

The female biped asked, “Distraction?”

The male biped waved the packet of crisps and said, “I didn’t want to give him any as he’ll think he can go around mugging people for food, but I can’t think of anything else to do.”

The female said, “He already knows he can mug people for food!”

I wanted to stay to help the male biped, but I walked back up to the road as requested. We saw the male biped make a show of dropping a few crisps on one side of the rock to get the attention of the swans. As soon as they bent over to get the crisps, he hopped down on the other side and started running towards us.

When he reached the steps he paused to look back. He should know that you never look back! Sure enough, the swans had eaten the crisps and were following him. I gave a warning woof and the male biped realised his mistake and ran up the steps, leaving the hissing and flapping swans behind.

Swan on water

Swans look much nicer in the water!
Attribution: By Mihael Grmek (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The usual reason for a swan to be aggressive is in defence of a nest, but the bipeds said that they weren’t planning to stay and explain to these swans that they shouldn’t be mugging people for food!

See you next Wednesday!

Advertisements

Crawling for beginners

Pippin, the cat, still keeps telling me that he isn’t speaking to me after the tale I told recently. I pointed out to him that every time he tells me that, he is in fact speaking to me – he wasn’t amused! He said that I should be doing some crawling if I want to get back into his good books.

I know he meant it in the sense of being extra nice to him and not literally, but it reminded me that I have found it very useful at times to be able to crawl. I’ve already told you about being able to crawl through the dog gates at the side of some stiles.

I’ve been meaning to explain how I learnt to crawl. I said it was quite easy, but when I thought about explaining it I realised that it was only easy once I had the idea that my biped wanted me to shuffle forwards without getting up. It was then a case of doing a tiny bit more each time for the treat, but getting started was a little harder.

My biped asked a trainer for tips on how to teach me to crawl when I was still a puppy. The advice was for her to sit on the floor with her knees raised while I was in the down position.

Stick figure seated on floor

Like this, but both knees raised

She was told to hold a treat under her knees just out of my reach. There were only two problems with this! I was already too large to wriggle under her knees without knocking her over. And it was still tricky to be on the floor with me because I didn’t yet have the good manners that I have now! My biped tried a couple of times, but it was a failure and she decided to wait a while.

We had lots of short training sessions and I learnt lots of new tricks. One of my favourites was taking a treat when told! We also fitted in all the things I found boring, such as the “down” position.

Sphinx of Hetepheres

A sphinx demonstrating the classic “down” position
Attribution: By Jon Bodsworth [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

She would often bend over me and touch my shoulders or my back. If I kept still I would get extra treats, but if I tried to turn it into a game by grabbing her sleeve she would take her arm away and ask me to do something else.

A few months later she did start getting on the floor with me again when I was in the “down” position. She would offer me a treat but it would be just out of reach!

Cartoon dog and bone

Down with a treat just out of reach

My first reaction was to get up to get it, but that wasn’t what she wanted – I didn’t get the treat. She would put her hand on me when she saw me about to get up. We had a number of sessions where I was trying to understand. It can be quite frustrating as a dog when you want that treat and can’t figure out what to do to get it! My biped must have been watching my body language quite carefully because as soon as I started to get frustrated she would ask me to do some easy and fun things – guaranteed treats!

The day I decided to shuffle forwards a fraction to get the treat, I hit the jackpot! After I’d eaten the treat I was given a few more. She told me how clever I was and we had a game of football – that’s my favourite game!

From then on I was keen to shuffle forwards. She gradually expected me to move a little bit farther and added the word “crawl”. It wasn’t long before I could crawl a few feet. She would stand close to me when I was crawling to encourage me. Some dogs may find it intimidating to have someone standing over them and may need to practise together to feel relaxed before trying to learn to crawl.

It isn’t difficult to crawl – the hard part is understanding what the bipeds want, but that is so often the case!

See you next Wednesday!

Protecting my bipeds

I really enjoyed World Smile Day last week. You all know that I was so excited about it that I couldn’t wait until the actual day to start the smiling. I was pleased to make new friends – I haven’t visited all of you yet, but I will soon! It was lovely to see so many happy, smiling faces!

Clowie, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees

I love meeting people and making them smile when I’m out and about with my bipeds. I’m always careful to sit politely and wait for the people I meet to show they want to make a fuss of me. This is because I know some people feel nervous of me as I’m large. I also enjoy making my bipeds laugh and smile at home by doing funny things, but there is something that’s even more important to me – that is to protect my bipeds.

It’s hardly surprising that protecting them is so important to me when you consider that my ancestors have honed their protective abilities for generations by looking after livestock in the mountains. Although I’m always on the alert for potential danger, I’m pleased that there have been less than a pawful of occasions when I’ve found it necessary to do anything more than give a warning woof. I’d like to tell you about one of those today.

It was late on a summer evening and it was getting dark. I was at home with the female biped. The doorbell rang and I went with her to answer the door. The hall was wide and there was a space to the side of the door where I sat. I could see clearly, but whoever was at the door would have to look sideways to see me.

My biped opened the door and there was a man there. He said he was selling manure for the garden. My biped told him that she wasn’t interested, but the man continued to talk. My biped kept repeating that she wasn’t interested, but the man just kept on talking. After a minute or two he began to move closer and closer to the front door.

My biped spoke louder than she had been, “I have said NO”, and at the same time she began closing the door.

The man placed a hand on the door and moved one of his feet onto the step, stopping my biped from closing the door. Before she could react, I gave a slight growl and stood up. My biped moved the hand closest to me slightly away from her side with the palm facing me, our silent signal for “wait” – so I stood still.

The man noticed me for the first time and a look of horror crossed his face. He leapt backwards as suddenly as a frog jumps! He landed awkwardly on the path about four feet away. His legs seemed to be a bit wobbly as he hurried away, calling back over his shoulder, “I have to go!”

Frog

I’d never seen a biped jump like a frog before!

My biped put a hand on my neck and we watched him go out of the gate before she closed the front door. Then my biped bent over and made a huge fuss of me. She told me how clever and good I am. The strange thing is that she praised me more for taking notice of her signal to “wait” than she did for scaring the nasty man away! But biped logic can be very difficult to follow – I try not to worry about it. I’m always pleased to accept praise and treats!

Even though it was funny to see a biped jump like a frog, I’m glad that I can be friends with most of the bipeds I meet!

See you next Wednesday!

Smile!

This Friday, 3rd October, is World Smile Day. The theme is, “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile!”

Smiley

That sounds like a lovely idea to me! It would be wonderful if every day could be like that.

It’s something that is easy to get involved in as most of us animals enjoy making people smile. There will be a smile blog hop on Friday, you can find the details on Sugar’s blog.

I thought about what I could do to make all of you smile. I decided that many of my blogging friends have lovely smiles, so I would share a few pictures of them. I’m hoping you’ll smile with them! Enjoy their smiles in the gallery of photos and then I will introduce them to you and tell you where to find them.

Aqua paw print
They all have interesting blogs. I’ve kept my introduction to a few sentences each. Just click on the small image at the side to visit them!

Aqua paw print

Dakota of Dakota’s Den

Dakota, Sheltie, smiling Dakota is a Sheltie, or Shetland Sheepdog. He finds great books to review. He also gives his opinion on useful items and sometimes gives them away to his readers. He is fearless when it comes to tasting new treats! He has a knack for sniffing out interesting news. And he still finds time to have fun and make us laugh!

Aqua paw print

Misaki of The Misadventures of Misaki

Misaki, a Malamute, smiling

I’ve seen Misaki grow from a cute and mischievous pup into a beautiful adult Alaskan Malamute. She entertains us with her adventures and experiences. She still indulges in the occasional spot of mischief! She was feeling a little unwell yesterday, so stop by to cheer her up!

Aqua paw print

Love Is Being Owned by a Husky

Husky from owned by a husky There are three Siberian Huskies – Mika, Lexus and Koda. They live with three cats. Visit them to follow their adventures, read product reviews, get general training tips, see beautiful images, handmade jewellery – and all things Husky!

Aqua paw print

Emma of My GBGV Life

Emma, Bailie and Katie at the lake, dogs Emma, on the right, and Bailie are French scent hounds (Grand Bassett Griffon Vendéen). Katie is a Kuvasz. They are probably the busiest dogs I know! Sometimes they are cooking treats that make me drool on my keyboard! But you don’t have to worry about them putting on weight – they take lots of exercise and they are often out and about on their adventures.
Aqua paw print

Cupcake of Cupcake Speaks

Cupcake, smiling dog Cupcake is a very sweet dog who lives with an author of books for children. She hopes to be the star in a best seller one day and shares her insights into the writing process. Cupcake has a fun job – she visits the library, where children read stories to her. She looks very cute when she dresses up and does tricks.

Aqua paw print

Living the Squeak Life

guinea pig close up This is the newest of the blogs I’m bringing to you today, it was started in February. They are very cute guinea pigs. Hop on over to see photographs of them – you’ll also find out what guinea pigs get up to every day and the sort of things they think about!

Aqua paw print

Aspen of Tylersat99

Aspen, a Landseer puppy Aspen is the newest member of the family at Tylersat99. He was nine weeks old when this picture was taken. He’s grown a lot since then – he will be five months old tomorrow and weighs more than 70 pounds. He still has some growing to do to catch up with Mica, the adult Newfoundland, who keeps a watchful eye on him. You’ll find lots of great photos on their blog and don’t miss following along on one of the walks – you’ll wish you could be there with them!

Aqua paw print

Other News

Savannah’s Paw Tracks

Savannah's Paw Tracks teaser for Oct 1 Today is the big day! Don’t forget to visit Savannah and find out what she is up to!

Aqua paw print

“His Name was Ben” by Paulette Mahurin

Cover of His Name Was Ben by Paulette Mahurin “His Name was Ben” by Paulette Mahurin has recently been published. I haven’t read it yet, but the early reviews are fantastic! Clicking on the image at the side will take you to the book on Amazon. Profits from the book will help rescue dogs.

Many of you will remember Paulette from the interview she did with me – Spotlight on Paulette Mahurin.

You can visit her blog – The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap.
Aqua paw print

I hope you’re all smiling.

Don’t forget to smile on Friday!

Aqua paw print