On belly rubbing

You would think these days, when the internet knows everything that there would be some simple instruction so that humans can learn to rub a dog’s belly. The lucky human gets a dog and searches the internet for how to make them happy. The internet replies: “Rub their bellies!” Then all they have to do is look it up and they will see some YouTube videos or a website called “Everything you wanted to know about rubbing a dog’s belly but were afraid to ask!”

Unfortunately, none of this is true. Rubbing a belly is a bit like kneading dough when making bread. They cannot learn this from a book or a computer screen but must practise it or better still get first hand instructions from a more experienced baker.

Amber showing how to encourage a human to start rubbing her belly.

Thankfully most dogs are willing to put some time and energy into teaching their humans how to rub a belly. You really need to keep at this. If you are living with more than one human, start with the one who is most easily manipulated shows most promise. Make sure you offer them lots of encouragement. They like that and respond well to a doggy grin or a wagging tale. When there are several humans in the room make sure the belly rubbing novices see how much fun the expert belly rubber can get from this. With a small effort you should have them trained in no time.

You probably noticed that my last post was December 31st, 2015 and it is now January 1st, 2017. I don’t really have a good reason for not posting during 2016 but will try and make up for it this year.

Selfies for Puppies

Everything happens much faster in a dog’s life than a human’s. I am three years old and the mother of nine wonderful puppies, six of which are still living with us. Older dogs like older humans lose touch with the latest fashions. I like a nice atmospheric photograph that took someone time and energy to compose and get just right. The photographer should have to do some work to get the perfect picture.

Self-portrait by Alex

Self-portrait by Alex

The puppies on the other hand like selfies.

Like may be too weak a word. They love selfies! The idea that they can take a picture of themselves, share with everybody, talk about how good they look and then forgot they ever took the picture is something which really appeals to them.

Some puppies are not aware how easy it is to take a selfie so my kids have suggested I write about it in my blog.

Self-portrait by Amber

Self-portrait by Amber

The first thing to know about is the equipment. You need one of those smart phones which allows you to photograph yourself while at the same time look at what you are photographing. It is also extremely important to have a touch screen.

Next the puppy needs to get themselves positioned. A human is really useful for this. The puppy can sit on their lap as they position the phone. If the puppy is bored they can even give their minder a friendly nip.

Self-portrait by Aisha

Self-portrait by Aisha

It is also possible to take pictures with the phone on the ground and the puppy looking down at it.

By now you are wondering how exactly a puppy can take a selfie. Well wonder no more. When the puppy is ready for the photo they simply hit the screen with their nose and hey presto! A selfie! I hope you enjoy the selfies which my kids have done and illustrate this page.

Self-portrait by Aiden

Self-portrait by Aiden

The Puppy Diaries #3 – Big Bellies

When they turned up first they moved about with great difficulty and looked very fragile. One of my people used to help me make sure I was feeding them all. It was hard work looking after these little puppies. They seemed to just sleep and feed, or feed and sleep, all the time. Of course they did not neglect their toilet, but even then I had to encourage them. They knew the smell of the other pups and of me and that was their world.

Looking after the Puppies in the garden

Looking after the Puppies in the garden

Then they grew a bit. They got more hair. They seemed to move more and still they fed and slept, slept and fed.

When we all visited the Vet after two weeks he wanted me to start weaning the puppies. He suggested getting them some very nice steak and mincing it so it became puppy friendly food. Bonnie and I were perfectly willing to help them eat this but they seemed to get the hang of it immediately and started getting very fond of this food.

Puppies exploring

Puppies exploring

It is now five weeks since they were born they have started getting bigger bellies and doing lots more than sleep and feed. They sleep, they feed, they have a big play fight, they poop in the strangest of places. They usually like to show me, Bonnie or one of the people the poop and ask us to admire it. The people are not so good at showing their admiration here. They are getting bigger, they roll around, they play, they explore and they sleep and feed.

Puppy Diaries #1

I had been visiting this nice vet for a month or so now. He had taken a blood test when I first visited him and found my progesterone levels were low. This would have resulted in my puppies dying so I had to get injections every three days. He also used a special camera which looked inside of me. He had examined this carefully and said he thought there were five puppies. Another vet had also looked and reckoned there were four. Anyway I got on very well with this vet. He always gave Bonnie and I some treats during our visit. On this particular occasion my people handed me off to the vet. I thought he was taking me to get some extra treats which he wanted to give me and not also to Bonnie. I could see the sense in this. Anyway, I fell asleep.

My new born puppy

My new born puppy

I woke up and I was lying on a table feeling very groggy. My people and Bonnie were there and so were three or four tiny puppies. I fell asleep again. This time when I woke up there six tiny puppies trying to feed on me. More sleep. I wake up. More puppies. By the time I was awake enough to walk a bit there were nine little puppies and apparently they were all mine.

It was a bit of a shock to discover I now had a family of nine pups to look after. At the beginning I was not sure what to do. My people would get me to sit in the box with the puppies. They would then get the puppies to try and feed from me. They also used warm wet cotton wool which was brushed against the puppies to help them to pee. The puppies had a lot of things which they had to learn how to do.

However, as soon as I fully woke up from the Caesarean section operation I got the hang of it. For the last two week I have been feeding and washing almost the time. Obviously I eat my own meals and these have become frequent. This is good as I have become hungrier. I sleep with my puppies and sometimes I snooze when they are feeding.

Me and my puppies

Me and my puppies

I have also got some back-up from my people. They help clean our box and one of them always sleeps near it in case of any problems. Everything is going well. The puppies seem very happy with the world and I am very happy with them.

In future posts I will introduce you to the individual pups.

Dog Shows

There are not many problems with being a dog but there are some. As a dog who is also a blogger I need a bit of help with getting my paws around the keyboard as I am sure you will understand. Anyway over the last few months a lot has happened. We all went travelling and Bonnie and I were in Dog Shows in Denmark and Germany. I wanted to tell you about everything. I was waiting at the computer. I had lots to write and guess what Peter wanted to go for a walk. Well, we are dogs and you don’t have to mention walks twice! We also can’t be expected to think about writing a blog when we get back. So that is why it has been so long between posts.

The Danish dog show was on the island of Bornholm. We had to get in the car and travel for ages and ages. Bonnie and I were put in a cage in the back of the car. It was a bit small. Anyway we drove through the night and arrived somewhere at the very top of Germany. From there we got a ferry to Bornholm. They, our people, had been talking about camping for a while but Bonnie and I had no idea what that meant. We found out that night it means sleeping in tents. This was really good and we tried to behave ourselves as best we could at the campsite. We did bark occasionally but not without good reason.

The dog show was the next day in the main town on Bornholm. We all, especially the people, expected great things. When we arrived at the show the owners of the local dogs all looked at us intensely. I think they may have been a bit scarred of us. They needn’t have worried. We did not do well at all. The judge was very expert. I believe he was an important dog breeder who bred corgis and was very influential in the Danish Kennel Club. Myself and another really nice cardigan who was from the local town were described as “very good”. The other cardigans belonged to important Danish breeders and they were all described as “excellent” by the judge. I guess he knew them better than us. Bonnie got an excellent certificate when she was shown which was very good.

Bonnie met her half-brother at the Bornholm Dog show

Bonnie met her half-brother, Mister Conrad Gaucho  at the Bornholm Dog show

The next day they had another dog show in the same place. I thought I might do better as there was a different judge. I was described as “excellent” and awarded second place in my class. Usually at dog shows you have to get first place in order to get a chance to get a CACIB (This is an award for beauty) or for a best of breed award. In Denmark they have a different rule where any dog which is described as excellent can go for this. The problem was that no-one had told us about this and they did not point out that we should be in the ring when the comparison was happening. Our people did not find out about this until they went to collect documents with the Judge’s description. There were told then that we were a no-show. This caused a lot of upset among our people who thought we were cheated.

This dog show ended on Sunday and the next dog show was on the following Saturday and Sunday. We spent the time in between traveling all over the place and camping. We were in Denmark, Sweden, Denmark again and then Germany. Finally we arrived in Leipzig where the second dog show was held.

The Dog show in Leipzig was big, very big. I think it is one of the most important dog shows in Germany. There were a lot of people there and an incredible amount of dogs. One of the things which Bonnie and like to do at these shows is just go around and sniff the butts of some of the other dogs. We did not expect to do so well in this show. We were wrong.

This is me getting ready to be shown at Leipzig

This is me getting ready to be shown at Leipzig

The first day was the international show. I did OK being described by the judge as excellent but Bonnie won “best of breed” for the Pembroke Corgis. Our people were also surprised by how well this show was run and how friendly everyone was. They were also remarking to each other about how ‘fair’ they thought it was.

We had a bit of a celebration in the town of Leipzig that night and the next day was the German show. Bonnie got excellent again, as I am sure you would expect. However, I got best of breed and was given an award which said I was a German champion. I was pleased as punch but I don’t even know how to bark in German.

Bonnie and I watching the final part of the Leipzig Dog Show

Bonnie and I watching the final part of the Leipzig Dog Show