Tag Archives: late night barking

The Species Gap – or Human – Snorkie Communications Failure

Hello Fellow Doggers,

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I did. I had kibble with rice AND turkey. It was delicious. I’m licking my chops just remembering it. I can’t wait for the next Holiday feast coming our way.

However, I’m not going to be talking about that in today’s blog post. Today I’d like to talk about the Species Gap and the problems of communication between Snorkie and Human.

Mom will tell you that it’s a matter of my “crying wolf”. First of all, I object to that politically incorrect term. It is offensive to wolves everywhere. As a direct descendant of that noble breed I am deeply offended. But I digress.

Here’s the issue.

Evidently, my late night barking and trying to go to the back yard between 3 and 5 AM in the morning has been interpreted as some pointless “baying” at the opossums and raccoons that traverse our yard at night. I am inexplicably not allowed to go out between those hours to show these trespassers who is top dog.

However, last night was an entirely different situation. Not only was there a trespasser in the yard, but… more importantly, fellow doggers, I had to empty my bladder.

So, at 4 AM as I barked and whined and scratched to go outside and I heard Mom and Dad mutter “critters in the yard, I guess” and then go back to snoring. I kept this whining and snuffling at the back door going for a good half hour, but then, I am ashamed to admit. I did what I had to do. Yes, fellow doggers. I peed in the laundry room in front of the back door. I knew it was wrong when I did it but what’s a Snorkie to do? I was about to explode. I had done my “dogful” best to communicate my need to Mom and Dad, but they completely misinterpreted my cries of urgency.

I put it to you fellow doggers. Was this my fault?

To be fair, mom was not mad at me in the morning. I think she was mad at Dad because he did not let me out before coming to bed that evening. Mom went to bed early – around 9PM and Dad didn’t come until much later. Very gently, she suggested that the last person to bed should make certain that a certain Snorkie has had a late night potty run. I couldn’t agree more.

However, the deeper problem is our Human-Snorkie Communication failure.

It worries me fellow doggers. How do I educate my mom on the various nuances of our doggy lingo?

How will she learn that snuffle whine, whine means “Dear Mater and/or Pater, please let me outside. There’s a possum that I need to behead with my teeth.”

And that snuffle, whine, whine, yip means, “My back teeth are floating. Kindly, allow me outside to urinate, please. ”

It’s a dilemma.

I urge all scientists out there to come up with a solution.

Clearly, technology can solve this grave problem.

(Can’t we have an “App” for this?)


Dear Brilliant Scientists,

Please Solve the Snorkie-Human communication gap.

The floor you save may be your own.

Peace Out,

Opie, The Misunderstood Snorkie


Day 2 — Letters from a Doggie inmate

Hi all,

It’s me prisoner, I mean, guest #007 at Doggie Central.

I passed a quiet night here at Doggie Central. Interestingly enough, I seem to have graduated from the super small dog size of the place to the medium sized dog side of the place.

I don’t really mind. I just hope Mama can find me when she goes on the webcam.

If she finds me, she might find me showing everyone who is boss.

She might even catch me getting my Bone tattoo on my belly. I’m getting a nice meaty looking one. I had to trade the Dachshund 2 greenies for it, but I think it will be a rockin’ cool tat! It makes me look tough. Not that I’m not tough! I am very, very tough!

This is the really good side of the place. We have a direct route outside. As you can see, some of my subjects are cavorting outside. I like being able to go in and out at will. Obviously, only the very best dogs can be trusted like this.

Unfortunately, the pug has been placed in solitary confinement. They found his tunnel. Poor mutt! It’s too bad. But if you do the crime, you have do the time! I can hear him whining about his innocence.

Dude, they caught you with your paws in the drywall! Enough already!

I have a new cell mate! You can see him in the picture – the beagle taking a nap on the yellow platform. He’s very cool. He howls all night! That’s why he’s sleeping now. I don’t mind too much. He doesn’t sound like Johnny Cash. He’s more of a Kurt Cobain type singer. He makes me feel a little home sick – my hu-brother Gregory is a Nirvana fan.

I asked one of the dogs about the place that Mom, Dad and the boys went to. He’s been. He says I’m not missing too much. It’s a national park and while dogs are allowed, he’s not keen on any place where he might have to wear a bear bell. I know what a bell is. But what’s a bear? I’ve asked all the dogs in here.None of us know.

I’ll have to ask Mama when she comes back.  Maybe it’s a new breed of squirrel.

If any of you guys can explain what a bear is, please let me know. I really like to be up on my squirrel knowledge.

Anyway, I’ve got to run fellow doggers. It’s chow time, and they always over feed me. Tee Hee!

Sniffs and Licks,


Inmate #007

Yeah, that Opie is one lucky hound- dog!

Hi All,

Opie’s Mom here. Currently, it is 5:30 in the morning. I’ve been up since 3:30 AM trying to get a certain little white Snorkie to go to sleep.

He caught a whiff of some creature outside and was making all kinds of racket. We tried calming him in the bed. Nope!

I took him into the other part of the house brought a blanket to sleep on the couch. Opie’s Dad has a 6 AM meeting and was trying desperately to get some sleep. As soon as I pulled my blanket up, Opie found every squeaky toy in the living room and proceeded to play with it.

This poem popped into my head as he started throwing his heavy elk bone across the hard wood floor.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child must work for a living,
But the child that’s born on the Sabbath day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.


Yep, that Opie is full of grace, because that’s what has certainly been protecting him this morning. Some of you may be asking why I don’t just throw his furry butt into the back yard to face the creature he so wants to confront?

Well, here’s a list of the possible creatures that could be out there to confront the 20 pound Snorkie.


Feral Cat






With the exception of the rat, all are bigger than Opie. They have teeth claws and nasty fleas, ticks and or West Nile. Yes, we have that here. Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago our local paper reported that few of the dead crows laying in the gutter had West Nile virus. So, confront one of these teeth and claw or disease bearing beasties… no. The burglar. Well, it’s too early in the morning for me to kill a burglar who kicks my dog ( Yes, I would do that!) Too much paper work! And heck!  I went to Church on Sunday! Definitely a commandment no-no. So, he’ll just have to traverse my yard unmolested. I trust the CCPD ( very big and very mean) to kick that larcenous booty. I’ve got friends in blue.

But what if he has just has to pee or poo? Well, I’ll clean it up in the morning or later this morning, or he can hold it. He had his last personal business run at 11 PM and that should be enough! Until 6:45AM!

So, bleary eyed, bad tempered and personally wrecked for the day. This dog is being protected for his own Danged Good!

Tuesday’s child is full of Grace.

Say good morning Gracie!

Have a good day fellow bloggers!

I’ll probably have to have a nap in the afternoon or the rest of Opie’s family will be wearing my tooth and claw marks.

Did I mention that my totem is the bear?

Take care,

Grumpy Opie’s Mom

Who Dat? Who Dare?!!!

“Good night Michael!”

“Good night Gregory!”

“Good night Mom!”

“Good night Dad!”

“Good night Boys! Sleep tight!”

“Good night Opie!”

“Yeah, Good night Opie!”

And all the lights are out. We sleep with the windows open. Yes, we live in the city, but the distant wail of sirens and the occasional person driving by with their music blasting is our lullaby. 

My husband is the first to drift off. Eventually, I have to shake him into a new position. His snores are drowning out the truck horn sounding in the distance.  Finally, it’s quiet and we drift off into that deep comfortable sleep, the kind you crave after a long and busy day — all muscles relaxed, deep in the cocoon of your warm bed, boneless relaxation.

I sleep , but the sound of Opie’s nails on the wood floor shift me to drowsy wakefulness.  What is he up to?  He’s fully house trained, but I have little boys who get up in the middle of  the night to pee. It’s hard for me to countenance that our 8 month old puppy can “hold it” until his 6:45 AM walk.  I look at the clock. It’s 4 AM. I wonder if the 2 hours and 45 minutes sleep is worth, the “clean up” if it turns out he’s picked up the boys’ late night  habits. 

It’s not.  I sit up in bed. Opie is standing at the window peering intently outside. His tail is up, not curved, but straight up like an exclamation point. We have french doors with window side panels in our room. He’s looking out of the open side panel.  There’s something out there.

Then I hear it. A low almost inaudible growl. Opie is not happy about whatever is skulking about in the ivy. He hasn’t even noticed that I’ve swung my legs out of the bed and am standing next to him.  He’s intent  on the darkness. Of course, I can’t see anything. Whatever is out there hasn’t crossed the motion sensitive backyard light yet.  When or if it does,  Opie will wake the entire neighborhood with his doggy outrage.

“Opie, go to bed!” He looks at me, clearly contemplating ignoring me. He looks back out the window and gives a soft “Woof!”

I close the  window panel. ” Go to bed, Opie!” 

Opie turns and goes back to his bed.  So do I.

I crack the window panel  near my head and just then catch a strong whiff of the scent that must have woken Opie! 


I close and latch the window.

I make certain the latch is set on both windows.

Through the window I can hear Wednesday, the little terrier next door. Obviously, she’s caught the scent as well. 

For now, we’ve dodged the skunk.

Opie’s Many Names


O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.. 

                                                  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Opie has more than one name in our house. This is not surprising. We all have many names.  For example, I am Mom, Mama, Mommy, Josette, Honey, sweetie, and of course,  WOMAN!!!  As you can imagine, each of these names is evoked in a  different situation. The person using the name is usually in a distinct emotional state when using it.  Opie has different names as well. What follows is a list of his names and the situations which warrant each use.

Opie — Default name. He is referred to in casual conversation by this name. 

OPIE! – He’s being called for some reason.  Here are some  possible reasons:

  •  He’s on the couch trying to bury his bully stick
  •  He’s got  Dad’s cargo shorts in his mouth and Dad isn’t in them.
  •  He’s barking at a critter in the backyard after midnight.
  •  He’s knocked out the screen to get at the critter and bolted into the dark backyard after it.
  • He’s pulled the leash out of my hand in an effort to “climb” a tree to get at a squirrel.

DICKENS DAWG! –  My husband calls him this when he’s being a little Dickens and a rascally little fellow.

I’ve always wondered how that term evolved.  Charles Dickens is the only Dickens I can think of, but it seems odd to call evoke his name when calling someone a rascally mischievous character.  He certainly has some rascally characters in his novels.  The “Artful Dodger” comes to mind as well as Fagan from Oliver Twist and  Uriah Heep, the disgustingly “‘umble” character in Great Expectations.  Somehow, the use of the term “Dickens” to denote a rascally type fellow does not connect that well for me.   Wouldn’t it  be more logical to have developed specific references to the characters in our popular culture rather than  to their author?  I can easily see calling Opie, you little “Dodger,” and saying, ” Don’t give me those “Uriah Heep” eyes!

 If I make a reference to Cujo, you will immediately know I m referring to the vicious  dog in a Stephen King novel of the same name. If I say a dog sounded like the “Hound of the Baskervilles,”  you may not have read that  particular Sherlock Holmes story, but it sounds creepy and mysterious, right?  You don’t refer to a vicious dog as a little Stephen King or as a scary sounding dog as an Arthur Conan Doyle dog. We refer to them by their character names.  Cujo and The Hound!  It just doesn’t make sense. Okay, I digressed.

Honey Dawg — obviously, this is when he’s being sweet, nuzzling in for a pet, flipping over for a belly rub and showing his puppy adoration.  We call him this because it just feels right!

Crazy Nut Dog!  — This name is invoked when his squirrel frenzy will not make him mind!

Moron Dog — He’s usually done something stupid which has exasperated us — tied himself up in his leash, stepped in his water bowl and caused it to spill all over the kitchen floor, or worse yet stepped in another dog’s poo at the dog park, or gotten himself “marked” when he was smelling some dog’s underbelly while said dog was marking a pole. He got “baptised” today by Poppy, one of his little buddies.

Stink Dog — Well, I don’t really have to explain that do I?

Mama’s baby — When he’s the only sweet child in the house. He hasn’t forgotten his homework, had a tantrum, hit his brother, refused to do his chores or complained about the laundry not being done and not noticed that you are wearing a new outfit and feel a little fragile. Mama’s Baby always knows just when to come and sit  on your foot and look up at you and lick your knee. Mama’s baby knows just when a little doggy adoration is just what is needed.

And so those are the many names of Opie! He’s clearly a multi faceted dog.

I'm an onion. I have layers!