Tag Archives: stranger anxiety


A Snorkie’s Rant!

Hi Fellow Doggers,

I have a bone to pick with my family! I don’t know what happened, but suddenly they’ve decided to embark on all these “home improvements.”

I know, you’re thinking, “Home improvements? What’s wrong with that?”

Well, keep reading and I’ll tell you.

Every one of these home improvements has led to some discomfort for me. AND I DON’T LIKE DISCOMFORT OF ANY SORT!

Let’s take home improvement #1 – The new roof

Back in September, my mom and dad decided that we needed a new roof on the house. Personally, I thought it was neat to find little pieces of wood shingles in the grass after a mild wind storm. More sticks for me to bury.

Mom figured that I might object to guys tramping around on the roof, tearing it off, hammering and climbing on ladders.

She thought I might not take well to that. So, off I went to the kennel.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know that that was not a good thing for me.

My Bordadella shot didn’t work as well as it should have and I caught “Kennel Cough.” That was such a drag!

I had this nagging cough and I didn’t feel so hot. The up side was that I did have a lot of “Magic Cheese” for about 14 days. I also was “unenrolled” from my Obedience classes due to my contagious state.

I was really looking forward to getting my diploma.

I also picked up a rather itchy rash. Mom doesn’t think I got it at the kennel, but I’m pushing for a complete moratorium on doggy day cares so I’ll swear on a stack of “Dog Whisperers” that I caught it there. The rash necessitated another 14 days of “Magic Cheese”.

As you can see fellow doggers, if Mom and Dad had not fixed the roof, I would not have gone to doggy day care and ergo would not have contracted Kennel Cough! This in and of itself is sufficient evidence that home improvement is bad news for this Snorkie.

But there is more evidence to support my contention!

Home Improvement #2 – Painting the House

With the new roof it seemed only natural for mom and Dad to want to paint the house. Now personally, I thought the house was a becoming shade of “beigeish,” pinkish, grayish color. (Mom is reminding me that I’m color blind and should stop complaining.)

Well, fellow doggers, I thought that I had dodged the proverbial doggy day care bullet because I had such a short bout of wellness after my kennel cough. Remember after my kennel cough I got sick AGAIN. I had some mysterious stomach upset. I had hoped that Mom would have taken my illness into account and postponed the painting of the house, but no.

She muttered some folderol about getting the house painted by Thanksgiving. Anyway, there I was recuperating from the last bout of illness and here come these guys. They were scraping at the walls, the windows, sanding.

Worst of all, I was not allowed outside to bite them, and fellow doggers, they needed biting – especially the guy who was scraping paint off the front window – MY WINDOW!

Now I know you are as outraged as I am about the assault on MY WINDOW! However, this home improvement was even more horrific.

Just because I was running from room to room, barking my head off, scratching the shutters, trying to jump out the back door – generally showing those TRESPASSING PAINTERS WHO IS BOSS – I got….


Now you must understand, I know how to “go to crate” Mama trained me with duck sticks and other tasty treats to go there whenever she says to go. (Crate Training Blog Posts.)But guys, she hardly ever tells me to go to crate! I can stay at home alone uncrated. I use my crate primarily as a goodie stash! I don’t stay inside very long. I might have a nap in there if the boys are playing a loud video game but generally, I don’t hang out there.

I prefer a nice soft lap.

Mama moved my crate AWAY from MY Window and pulled it in the middle of the room behind the chair and covered up the side that faced the window with my doggy blanket. Occasionally, she let me out when the painters were working on other side of the house, but when they were on MY SIDE OF THE HOUSE. I got CRATED!!!

Do you now see why home improvements are NOT
a friend to dogs? I couldn’t care less that the house is now a deep golden color or that the old paint peeled double hung windows are now all crisp and white!


Home improvement is not my friend and certainly not a friend to any dog that I can think of!

So let’s sum up.

Home improvements caused me to contract kennel cough, a rash and be crated IN MY OWN HOUSE!!!

I appeal to you fellow doggers

Tell your Mamas and Daddys to eschew Home Improvement!

Be content with your dilapidated roof, your ugly house color, your squeaky floor boards, your leaky bathtubs!

Keep doggies in the house!

Keep workmen OUT!!!

If that doesn’t work, point out that vet bills totally blow!

This has been another Snorkie rant!

Peace Out!



My Obedience School Evaluation – How I did!

Hi All,

You know that Mama was completely committed to sending me to Obedience School after all my bad behavior. Well, I went for my school evaluation on Wednesday. The trainers had to determine whether I’d be better in a group class or in private lessons.

Mama was keeping her fingers crossed for a group class. The prices were listed on the website for group classes but not for the private lessons. Mama says that if a site won’t say how much it is over the internet, then it’s probably a scary price. She gave me a little walk before we went to calm me down. She wanted me to be at my best. I don’t know what she was so nervous about. I ACED the evaluation.

Chris greeted us when we got to the school. He was kind of nice. I was a little bit scared of him so I barked at him a little bit. He backed off and went into a big room ahead of me. We went in there and he threw me a treat. Hmmm! Tasty! He kept throwing them near me and eventually I got a little closer and took them from his hand. He was steady talking to Mama the whole time, not paying me much attention. The room was really interesting.

This school had all kinds of neat stuff for a dog to sniff. There was this big roof thing that I could climb on. Once I got to the top I was nose to nose with Mama. I liked that a lot. Mama says they do something called “agility training” at the school too.

Obviously, this isn’t me, but it could be.

She said that if I get my good doggy citizen certificate that she might spring for some agility training.

I don’t really know what that is, but if it involves getting to climb on that roof and other cool stuff, then I might like it.

I am visualizing my success.

Eventually, Kris started having me do things for my treat. I had to touch his hand with my nose while he gave me a treat in the other hand. He did this a lot. He told Mama that it was to get me accustomed to seeing a hand coming toward me and not to be scared. He seems to think that most of my barking has to do with fear.

Yeah, I agree – I’m trying to put a good SCARE into people so they don’t eat me my mom.

Remember I’m a security dog!

The treats were really good, and I started doing all sorts of things for him. I sat every time he asked me to. Mama decided to show me off. I settled and rolled over for her and she didn’t give me anything other than love!

This Kris dude is pretty smart! He immediately suggested that I might need to be in Obedience II class, the more advanced class, rather than Obedience I.

See how smart I look!

Well, of course I’m advanced. And he’s very bright to notice! I think we’ll get along just fine!

Mama wants me to be in the first basic class, though. She thinks I might have gaps in my knowledge.

So, as you can see I passed my evaluation with flying colors!

I am going to the group class.

Yippee! Well, Yippee for passing, I’m still not so sure I’ll like this class, but if it involves lots of treats and climbing on the roof thing then I might be able to stand it. Mama says we start October 15 so you’ll be seeing a lot of blog posts about my training during October and November.

My eye lids are so, so heavy! I have to go take a nap now fellow bloggers. I’m all tuckered out from my visit to school.

Mama seems very pleased with me and I know that’s a good thing. My belly is nice and full of treats too. This could be a win-win for all of us.

My eyes are closing now…

Smell you later,

Your Pal,


I’m in the “Dog House” or How I Really Stuck my Nose in it!

Hi All,


Opie here! I have to take a bit of a low profile around the house. Mama’s a little annoyed with me. Michael and Gregory aren’t too thrilled with me either and I even managed to get on the wrong side of Dad.

What did I do?

Well… uh! It’s not really my fault. Somebody forgot to latch the screen. That’s the first thing that I’ll say about the incident.

This is me trying to keep a low profile


Additionally, in my defense it was NOT the usual person or the usual time.

And… (Oh… Mom says I should just get on with it.)

Well fellow doggers, I was being a vigilant Snorkie. I was on my bed minding my own business when that trespasser entered MY territory. He had the temerity to climb MY steps and come on to MY porch and try to slip things into MY mail slot. You know who I mean fellow doggers – the bane of all forthright canines – The Mail Carrier.

I warned him. I barked and barked out the window and then I ran to the front door. I gave him ample warning. He did not respect my position!

See! They even got me a uniform!

It’s not my fault that someone forgot to latch the screen.

I threw my 16 pound body at the screen door and it…. opened. Suddenly, I was staring at the intruder and there was nothing between him and me. I was just about to do what comes naturally when Gregory burst through the door commanding me to SIT! He startled me so much that I –well, I’m ashamed to say it – I ran. I ran down the driveway. But then Mama yelled my name and even though I only come when she calls about 60% of the time, this time I came right back to her. I was still a little scared. Gregory was still yelling at me to SIT. When I got to the porch steps I did just that, but did I get praise? … No, fellow doggers. I did not. I got picked up and given a time out in the back yard. Where is the fairness in that?

I could hear Mama asking the mail carrier if he was alright. I guess Gregory and I startled him a little bit. Mama apologized to him profusely — much to my disgust! Mama offered him water, ice water, juice or something stronger. (I don’t know what she meant by that.) She felt really sorry for him.

He wouldn’t take anything that Mama offered him. He said he was fine. Of course, he was fine – I never got to sink my teeth into him. Mama picked his bag up for him and handed it to him apologizing and offering him calming drinks all the while. He never really said anything to her, and then he continued to deliver the mail as if nothing had happened. When she came into the back yard she said that I was a very lucky dog. I don’t know why I’m so lucky. I think the mail carrier was lucky.

This is me being vigilant in my new uniform. I am so tough!


Now, I know how my friend Fergus felt when he bit that caterer setting up for his Mom and Dad’s wedding. Heinously unfair! Here we are doing our jobs – protecting our loved ones and we get into huge trouble!

I think my tail is now permanently tucked behind my legs. Gregory was so mad at me. Mama explained to me that little dogs like me with bad behavior can get a bad reputation and the postman might get mad and not deliver our mail anymore.

And that’s a bad thing? He doesn’t bring that much good stuff. Daddy gets grumpy when he gets mail, and Mom throws most of it into the recycling. It’s the UPS guy  who always brings stuff that people want. Oh sorry, Mom wants me to shut up about that!

You’d think that was enough right – that mail carrier incident, but I seemed to be kind of Accident Prone that day!

Another Incident

I really put my nose in it…

As the evening went on, Mama and Daddy forgave me. Daddy said I was just being a dog and protecting the house. Gregory forgave me as well. Unfortunately, I put my foot or rather my nose in it again later in the evening.

It was 11PM and Dad suggested that I could go outside one more time before lights out. I went out did my usual run, but I don’t know why I did it. I decided to rub my face in some of my old poop. When Mama let me back in, she didn’t notice. She was sitting on the bed and I jumped up and got a head scratch. I walked around a little, and I might have rolled around a bit on Mama’s bed.

They let me roll around in the bed because I’m so darn cute!


Then I went to see Daddy who was trying to find a good movie to watch. He’s the one that spotted it.

I had a bunch of poop
stuck on my snout hair. It was stuck well too!

Mama had to give me face shampoo. She was not happy. She was even more unhappy while checking the covers for any little poop crumbs I might have left. When I did my puppy rolls in the bed. Oopsy!

Evidently, this was not a good end to the day for Mama.

It wasn’t so hot for me either.

Now of course I’m in the “dog house.”

They all watch me like a hawk now. And Mama’s trying to find me an earlier scheduled obedience class.

Now this picture is posted over my bed! (Yeah, like I can read it! )


Well Fellow Doggers! I have really put my nose in it this time.

Mama is fully committed to this school thing, and I’m on lock down in the backyard during the hours that the mail carriers come.

Mama said something about making them forget we even have a dog!

Wish me luck as this new regime starts up.

Sniffs and Licks,


Prisoner #5

What do you mean I’m going to school?


Hey Fellow Doggers,

It looks like I’m really going to do it. Mama is going to sign me up for school. She’s trying to decide right now if we’ll go Saturdays or take an evening class during the week. She hasn’t called the school yet, but she’s read all of their reviews on YELP and they have more good reviews than bad! So, we’re going to Zoom Room!

Frankly, I think the big draw is that they are right next to Doggy Central, my doggy day care and boarding place. Mama has high hopes for me. She says I’m kind of an advanced student. Unlike the other dogs, I’m firmly on the right track. I just wander off it from time to time. Tee Hee!

You see. I can sit 80% of the time and stay about 75% of the time. Ever since Mama saw Santa and her buddies from I am Santa a Miniature Schnauzer rolling over, she’s been teaching me to roll over as well. I can roll on my back for a tummy rub, but I stop half way. Mama’s a terrible teacher. She gives in when I give her the “Puppy Dog” look (You know the one I mean fellow doggers!) She gives me a tummy rub AND my treat. She’s such a push over.

(The puppy dog look– I can get away with anything with this look!

BOL! )

I’m going to school because mama wants me to be a good doggy citizen. She wants me to be able to go with the family on trips and hang out at outdoor cafes. I’m certainly all for that. I don’t much like getting left home alone. Additionally, as much as I like the all dog partying at Doggy Central, I prefer to hang with my regular pack. If I can learn to get along with folks that aren’t MY humans, not bark too much, and not rumble at men with beards, then that would be just great! We’re shooting for a Good Doggy Citizen certificate!

Mama says I should VISUALIZE my success! Mine will be a little less messy, but you get the idea!

Once my classes start, I’ll be sharing my experiences with all of you.

I plan on being an A student at this school. It’s how the boys in this family roll. Oops, did I accidently brag about my hu-brothers. Oh well! What did you expect? They’re my pack mates – my fur challenged homies!

Do you think I should bring a bully stick or an apple for the teacher?


I’m a little conflicted!

Anyway, have a great week fellow doggers.

I’ll be doing some last minute partying at Doggy Central while Mom and the boys head off for one last little vacation.

Keep visiting my blog. Check out some of my old articles in the archives.

Sniffs and Licks,

Your pal,


Oh My Dog! An Embarrassment of Riches

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Oh My Dog – I have a lot of blog buddies to thank. This month been full of wonderful surprises for Opie’s Mom’s Blog! We owe so many thanks to some very special bloggers. So we thought we’d say thank you and give a shout out to all of them at once! First of all, many wonderful thanks to Carrie Lea at All Things Dog Blog. We won her contest and received wonderful gifts from the Mankind Dog store. I got a wonderful Mug and Opie’s styling in his new kerchief. Here is our belated, but sincere thank you!

Now if that weren’t enough we’ve won the Stylish Dog Blog Award AGAIN!

Thank you so much Debby and Kirby at Kirby the Dorkie.
We are just as tickled to win it now as we were the first time. Debby and Kirby run a beautiful blog! And you all should check it out. Opie is wiggling with excitement that he’s won this award again.

The way this award works is to tell 7 random things that the bloggers don’t know about you and then nominate 15 other blogs to the award. Thinking of 7 random things is easy, but narrowing our list of great blogs down to 15 other blogs is really, really, hard. There are so many great blogs out there! However, we are quite happy to be able to name 15 more great blogs out there for everyone to visit. Their links will be at the end of this posting.

And there’s more….

We said that we had an embarrassment of riches! We do. We won a wonderful handmade doggy necklace from
Roxie the Traveling Dog
. If you get a chance go to her blog and check out the wonderful necklaces and handmade items. Opie’s necklace is custom made to his cute little neck. We got to choose our color and design.

Here is ours on Opie! He’s wanted to show it to full advantage so he’s facing away from the camera.

Here it is straight out of the mailing envelope.

Isn’t it lovely! We just got it TODAY!

Here are some other necklaces that are custom made. Check these out!

I think they are lovely. You can find these necklaces and even more beautiful handmade items at their other website. Desert Raven Art.( http://www.desertravenart.com ). Believe me; I’m making a wish list!

We said we had an embarrassment of riches didn’t we?

So many things to be thankful for!

So many generous pet bloggers on the Internet!

So here is our really big


for all the wonderful prizes and awards!
We really appreciate all of you so much for taking the trouble to acknowledge our little blog.

Oh and Opie says –

“Lick, lick, lick, lick, lick!”

Oh, before we forget – here are 7 random things about us for the Stylish Blogger Award!

  1. I think I missed the dog park more than Opie did! It’s a great place to meet people who think like I do. We had a “morning crew going” We drank our coffee and watched our dogs wrestle and had a great time chatting about life. It was the best grown up human “play date” place! You could pick up tips about great vets, bad vets, good food, bad food, great groomers, bad groomers and even dog training tips with live show and tell action!
  2. Opie sleeps for about ¼ of the night in his basket at the foot of our bed and then at some point manages to work his way onto the bed and get his head on either my pillow or Daddy’s pillow. His breath is horrible.
  3. Opie leaves at one point during the night because his parents snore very loudly. I won’t say who’s louder, but it isn’t me!
  4. The exterior of the car is very clean, but the passenger window is filled with nose prints.
  5. Opie listens to Grandma talk to him over the phone and licks the phone.
  6. My best day ever is when I am covered in boys – at the bottom of a dog pile with my sons draped over me and my Opie trying to wiggle his way into the pile too!
  7. I was happy when Opie lunged menacingly at the guy trying to sell me a $30,000 new roof! Opie hates solicitors! I gave Opie a big strip of chicken jerky for cutting the hard sell routine short with his incessant barking. Good barking Opie!


Here are 15 Fantastic Blogs that you should definitely check out!

They are in no particular order.


Once again, a big thank you to Kirby the Dorkie, All things Dog and Roxy the Travelling Dog!



You Guys Rock!



Opie and Opie’s Mom

Meeting the folks – Grandma and Grandpa

Hi All,

Opie Here!

Except for the impromptu bath on Thanksgiving Day, I’d say that this Thanksgiving holiday stuff has been a blast! I got this fabulous dinner! I have a new favorite food! TURKEY!

Thanksgiving also has an added benefit.

More people to ADORE ME!

Grandma and Grandpa came for dinner. I met grandma before when she came out for a “Girls Weekend” with Mama (Whatever a “Girls Weekend” is). She’s great. She looks and sounds a lot like mom. I could tell she really LOVED me! So I quickly loved her right back!

This Thanksgiving I met Grandpa Joe. He’s a little scary. He’s bigger than my Dad! He’s really tall. He also likes to wear a baseball cap. I don’t really like baseball caps. I think I’m going to chew his when he leaves it on the floor again. It hides his eyes, and I can’t tell what he’s thinking about me. He does give good treats. He pets me really nicely. I overheard Grandpa say that I’m really smart.

Well, I think Grandpa is smart too for realizing this right off the bat. He thinks he has to keep giving me treats so I won’t bark at him. I bark and they tell me to hush, and when I hush then they give me a treat. They think they’re teaching me to be nice, but we all know who’s coming out ahead on this deal. Grandpa Joe says he’s got my number. I don’t know what that means but he always has some chicken jerky for me and he gave me EXTRA TURKEY on Thanksgiving Day. To my mind, that makes him A-OK!

I may even let him wear that baseball cap inside the house. Tee Hee!

All in all, it’s been a great weekend. Mom, Dad and the boys and Grandma and Grandpa are home ALL of the time. Grandpa has even taken me with Michael on a big walk!

I love holidays – and I love meeting the folks!

Well, gotta run!

Smell you later,

Your Pal,



School — I guess, I’ll tolerate it

Hi all,

Opie here.  My boys Gregory and Michael go to school ALL THE TIME!  When they first adopted me in July, they were with me all the time but near the beginning of September they started going away early in the morning and not coming back until later in the afternoon. Then they didn’t really have time to play with me. They were sitting at the table doing things with those funny sticks that no one will let me chew and Gregory, my big brother was on the computer and NOT looking at my Blog.

Mom explained to me that they were going to school.  I don’t like it.  I really didn’t like  that idea.  I want them home with me all the time.

Mom has been taking me along in the van when she takes the boys in the morning.  Dad bought me a new seat belt harness and I sit in the middle seat of the van. Michael sits next to me and Gregory sits in the front with Mom. I I love riding in the car.   She let’s a window down and I love the  interesting  street smells as we drive by.

We Get To School

I love the ride, but I hate it when we finally get to the school. These strangers are waiting at the curb to take MY boys out of the car.  The Van is MY TERRITORY and those are MY BOYS.  KEEP AWAY FROM MY BOYS!   I bark at them and you know what?

They ignore me!  The boys get out of the car and take all there stuff and disappear into this big building.  This makes me sad and my bark turns into a little crying.  I miss them and I am a little scared of these teacher people. What are they doing to my boys?   They are STRANGERS!

Gregory and Michael walking away!

Mom, always talks to me in a calm voice as pull away from the curb and takes me directly to the dog park.  Seeing my buddies, Poppy, Isabella, Chase or Woody or Drake or my new friend Rocky usually makes me feel a lot better.   We wrestle and race around for a while and I feel lots better.

This is me having a good time at the Dog park with Poppy! I'm the one jumping over his head!

Mom says I’ll get used to it.  I do love riding in the car with them. Mom takes me other places too.

The best part of the day is when she takes me with her to pick them up!  I  bark at the principle, because he’s kind of scary, but I am too happy to see the boys to bark at the teachers.  They are so glad to see me!  I get lots of pets and scratches behind my ears and if I turn around in the seat I can get a tummy rub too!

I miss my boys, but if they keep coming home I guess I can tolerate the school thing.

Opie the Misanthrope

No, I did not sleep in this bed. Why am I on it? Uh..uh…

Opie’s not too fond of men.  We are not sure why this is, but we are working on it.

We don’t know much about Opie’s past.  We only have a copy of his Kennel Card and what the Rescue people told us. 

Near the first of June, his original owners surrendered 8 month old Opie  to a shelter.  We don’t know why.  The Lhasa Happy Home Rescue picked him up from the shelter about a week later.  He was with them for a bit, and then they placed him with a foster family.   About a week later, we adopted him.  From June to now, he’s been in five different locations —   His original owners, the shelter, the rescue home, the foster parents and finally us.    We don’t know what kind of movement he had with his original owners.  They probably got him from somewhere.   With so many placements you’d think he would have been a nervous wreck when we first met him. However, he was great. That’s why his misanthropy was such a surprise.

As you know we found Opie through Petfinders.com.  We met Opie at the home of the organization’s founder and owner.  Randi had decided to take him on little walk before we arrived.  We were early and met Opie on the sidewalk in front of her home.  He behaved well. No barking or growling.  Randi picked him up and all of us held him including my husband.  I stuck my face in his fur and inhaled deeply to determine if he was truly hypoallergenic. If I started sneezing, we might as well have gotten back into the car and saved everyone some time.   But, there was no sneezing or itchiness or anything. He was quiet and affectionate as all of us took turns holding him.

Then, we went inside of Randi’s home. She had several Lhasa type dogs running around her living room. Opie was the biggest guy in the room. He was totally calm and placid. He wasn’t nippy or demanding of attention.  My husband approved and so did I. The boys wanted him. Unfortunately, I had no idea that we would actually get Opie that day.  My check book was sitting at home in a cupboard.  My husband had a meeting so we went home and got the check book and he went to his meeting. The boys and I picked up Opie and took him to the pet store and loaded up on his supplies.

Later, that same evening, my husband came home.  Opie barked and growled at him.    We didn’t know quite what to do. We figured it had something to do with him entering the house. Perhaps Opie viewed  hubby as an intruder or a non pack member.  We surfed the web, read Cesar Milan’s book in one night and sought advice. We finally got some that seems to have helped a great deal.

Part of Opies problem seems to be that he’s turned himself into my devoted body-guard/furry son. He has a bit of an Oedipal complex regarding my husband. The behaviorist suggested that my husband take a much more active role in Opies care.  Opie is already devoted and well bonded with me and the boys.  He needs to build a bond with my husband. What does that look like?  Well, hubby walks Opie twice a day, prepares his breakfast, lunch and dinner and hand feeds him a portion of it.  He’s opened his home office door so that Opie can wander in and get petted. Is it working?  I’d say yes.  Opie now sleeps on a pillow on the floor on my husbands side of the room.  Daddy is the first person he sees awake in the morning and the last person he sees at night time.

The other part of his treatment is a weekly visit to the dog park.  Opie’s been twice now — Saturday and Sunday.  He’ll probably go again this weekend.  However, I am a little suspicious of the park. Opie developed his second bout of tummy troubles after visiting the park. I think I’ll bring him his own water bowl and not let him share the communal bowl. I suspect some creepy parasite is reeking havoc with his guts.

We’ve had two male visitors since we started his behavior training. Opie barked and growled crazily at both of them, but eventually settled down.  Last night our good friend Peter visited. Peter has a huge Ridgeback of his own named Fergus.  Fergus stayed home, but his lingering essence was probably all over Peter. Opie of course growled and barked, but eventually settled down enough to fall asleep during Peter’s visit. 

Clearly, this will be a slow process.  Opie gets along wonderfully with every human in the dog park – male and female.  It must have something to do with his natural territorial nature.  We’ll know more soon. We have an appointment this weekend with the behavior guy. He’ll probably give us some more homework and more insight into our little misanthrope.