Syndromes and stereotypes in the dog park

Stereotypes are a bad thing, even for us dogs. Say the words “Jack Russell” to humans and most of them will give you and eye roll and a big WOO-WEEE. Their mind starts playing a little movie of me jumping 6 ft. in the air, barking at nothing, playing ball non-stop and bouncing off all four corners of a room.

Well, who said there isn’t some truth to stereotypes?

The same holds true for the dog park, where you can see a lot of stereotypes and syndromes in action.

Here’s  just a sprinkling of what I’ve found:

*Deposit and return. You know this duo: The dog whose human apparently doesn’t know how to use a doggie poo disposal bag.  They make a deposit, and your human gets the return — all over the shoes. Then your human needs to repent for the bad words she said for totally messing up her brand new Nike’s.

*Walk small with a big leash. Here comes a  7-year-old walking an out-of-control,  150-pound boxer. Why are you looking at her like that? Her dog is wearing a cute pink collar.

*Big dog, little dog. Think bowling pins. This is what happens when a human unleashes his Great Dane who then comes barreling  into a park full of Chihuahuas and other tiny dogs.

*Landscape artists. These dogs are digging machines, planting small booby traps all over the dog park. Many a human has twisted an ankle or nearly done so after falling into one of these holes. They like to destroy flowers and fences, too.

*Philosophical dog? This dog is deep in thought. And the thought is, “Why am I here?”  His activity level is just as suited to a 10-by-10 ft. parcel of land as a dog park. He doesn’t do much but sit there and look at his owner like he can’t wait to go home.

*OCD toy fanatics. Wait a minute. Is there something wrong with having a human throw a ball, Frisbee or toy like a million times in a row? Does that mean I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?  It’s not like I can do this in the living room. Dog park –Hello!

What about you? What have you seen at the dog  park or while walking through your neighborhood?

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Now I’m royalty

My bloodlines are traced all the way back to England, so imagine my surprise when I recently learned I’m also a part of the Royal Family.

Well, sort of.  My picture set foot on royal grounds. Does that count?

Here’s how it happened. In June, my friend Amber and her HooMom, Louise,  were  in The Dashing Dog Show at Kensington Palace in London.  The show featured dogs and their HooMans dressed in beautiful Victorian-style costumes.  Amber and Louise even appeared in a story about the show in the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper.

So what did I have to do with all of this?  While Louise and Amber were at the show, they had artist Elinor Geller draw my picture. Working from a photograph of me, Elinor perfectly captured my goofy personality.

My picture arrived yesterday via Royal Mail.  I also got some programs from the show and a ribbon.  Sheesh, it’s nice to have friends in high places.  The best thing about being an online doggie is all the friends I’ve met from all over the world.

Now for a little history on The Dashing Dog Show. The event is held in honor of Queen Victoria, who lived as a child at Kensington Palace, according to the Daily Mail.  As a princess, she liked to dress up her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Dash, and show him off all over the grounds.

Well done, guys, all of you. The only thing royal I’ve ever been is a royal pain in the arse.

But thanks for a jolly good picture. smile emoticon

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Summertime (counter)surfing

It’s summertime, the perfect time for pool parties, picnics, barbecues — and counter surfing.  Get your sticky paws  ready to get all the goodies your humans will be cooking up this summer on the grill or in the kitchen. They probably aren’t going to give it to you, so you’ll have to just grab what you can get.

Use my tips and you’ll really make a lasting impression on any  family party or cook-out this summer. heehee

(Wipeout song plays in the background)

Stuff to get
Let’s say you can’t see the stuff on the counter. You might only get one crack at it, so make sure you know what you’re getting. Bowls are usually not good. They contain salads. Platters are a better bet. These usually have  cheeseburgers, hot dogs and lunch meat on them.

Techniques
The techniques you’ll use depend on a lot on your size and how well you can jump. Big dogs can use what I call the sneak approach. First, wait until your humans aren’t looking. Then very quietly lift your paws up on the counter and snoop around. When you see something you like, grab it.

Little guys like me have to rely on jumping ability. I usually have to jump as high as I can and then tilt my head at just the right moment and grab what I want.  If that doesn’t work, just pull down the entire platter and let it hit the floor. Then pick up what you want. (Hint: Be fast because humans will try to take away your stuff). Grab the meat and go. They’ll be too worried about the mess you just made and won’t chase you.

Advanced techniques
This one is for  advanced counter surfers only. If you’re very sure-footed, jump up on the counter with all four paws and walk around, looking for what you want. Make sure you aren’t stepping on hot or sharp objects.

If you can get an invite to the cookout, be sure to scope out the picnic tables. THESE provide the finest counter surfing opps. Here you have to sit politely, like the food is the last thing on your mind, and wait for the right moment. Then make yourself a little “fast food” treat.

Grab it and run.

What else?
There you go! It’s summertime and the gettin’ is easy if you just use my tips.

How do you counter surf?

Note:  Do you have any idea how old that picture is? I didn’t have time to make one.

Wipeout music smile emoticon

http://youtu.be/T8__EwAT8VM

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Product review: Dog strollers

I’ve got legs and I know how to use them. So I really can’t understand the idea behind dog strollers.

I don’t mean to pick on the nice people  at justpetstrollers.com (pick, pick, pick). But  have you asked dogs about this lunacy you call a dog stroller? We aren’t the ones buying this stuff, but I think I speak for most dogs when I say we don’t want to ride around in it.

Do you really think these little paddy wagons could hold someone like me? Oh! Humans can attach a leash to the inside of the stroller. Really? Can you see me running through the park with that stroller crashing all around behind me after I jump out to chase a squirrel?

You’ve apparently never seen me bounce, either:

“The best strollers feature rugged netting or webbing that resists your dog’s chewing or clawing and a sturdy frame that keeps your dog safe when he gets excited and bounces inside his stroller,” says justpetstrollers.com

Bounce around? That  must mean when a dog is trying like hell to get out of his little prison on wheels.

People, we were born with four legs. How about letting us use them to walk around? Now I know some dogs might be elderly and others even have their own wheelies due to injuries or physical conditions. Those might actually be some reasonable exceptions.

But for the majority of us, we don’t want to be rushed into a granny scooter before our time.

I’m curious though, if anyone knows how many gears these things have and how fast they go. Maybe we could have races in the dog park.

Now there’s an idea…

Let me know if you want to race me in a  str0ller. (snickers)

Jasp


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Filed under Product reviews

Bandannas

Whose idea was this, anyway?

I’m not a cowboy, a farmer, a pirate or a railroad engineer. I’m a dog. So don’t put a bandanna on me. Not only that, it hides the naturally gorgeous lion’s mane on the back of my neck.

According to the website onlybandanas.com, you can wear bandannas tied on your head, on your (pony) tail or your wrist.  neutral ???

You can even tie one under your chin. confused Yeah, that’d look great on me.

The only cool bandanna I  ever got was on Myspace from my friend Dog Tick. He gave it to me for winnin’ a photo contest on his page. Not a bad guy for a parasite. The only reason I liked that bandanna is that I never had to wear it.

Later on, I  had a doo-rag bandanna I wore when I went through my gangster phase. That was really dumb.

Anyway, yesterday HOOmom finds a pet store bandanna in a drawer and starts coming over to me with it. WHAT? I’m not wearing that stuff.

But I tell you what. I made some bandannas of the paperwork you left on the computer. How about you wear those on your head? Hehehehe

What about you? Do you like wearin’ bandannas.

Later, Jasp
PS — did you know bandanna is spelled with both one n’s and two in the dictionary?
Um, yeah..who cares. Ok…

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Whadaya think about squirrels?

Whadaya think about squirrels?

My Jack Russell friend, Jack, came up with that brilliant opener.   For the past three years, I’ve watched him ask it over and over.

And I’ve never heard a dog give a squirrel a good review. The squirrels are everywhere; they even have the audacity to come into our dog parks and yards. Squirrels like to stand right where they know we can’t get ‘em. They run along our fences and screech at us while they’re up in the trees. They enjoy staying  just out of reach as we jump up and bark at them.

Another reason squirrels stink is they’re the whole reason leashes were invented. If there was nothin’ to chase, we wouldn’t need to be on leashes now, would we? Stupid squirrels…

One time, a squirrel fell out of a tree right while I was standin’ there. This is what I call a squirrel with a death wish. He plopped right out of a gigantic maple tree. The fall didn’t kill the squirrel, but he was kinda stunned.

The squirrel just laid on the ground real still for a moment and my two-legger looked at me and I looked at her.

“JASPER!!!!”

Too late. I was already on it.

Not only did the squirrel fall, he fell inside a fence and he couldn’t get out. I chased him up and down the fence with my two-legger screaming in the background. She thought I was gonna get hurt because the squirrel was fighting back. When I got him in a corner and he stood up on his hind legs and tried to bite me.

Then he found a little hole in the fence and got out. But it wasn’t over yet.

After my two-legger was done screamin’ I decided to bring her over a little souvenir. I managed to yank off about one-half of the squirrel’s tail in the process.

So I brought it over and dropped in on her shoe. Then she started screamin’ again.

You know, some humans are a part of the whole squirrel conspiracy.

One dog told us his two-legger likes to say “Look there’s a squirrel!” Just to watch the whole pack go barreling out the doggie door. Then his humans laugh and laugh at him and his two siblings. The last thing we need is people conspiring with squirrels.

He couldn’t figure out his humans thought it was so funny.

One time, I came up with the idea to make Woodchuck Pot Pie. That was another hit and Jack and I still ask that a lot, too. My idea for woodchuck pie came up because they’re kinda grisly and they’re best taken in bite-sized amounts. Putting other stuff with it also kills the woodchuck aftertaste.     D :

Woodchucks are annoying in a different way from squirrels. Squirrels try to play games with you, but woodchucks are just fat and mean. They’re also hard to get ’cause unlike squirrels you can’t pick ’em up and shake ’em. They’re just too big.

Even if  ya get a woodchuck cornered, there isn’t much you  can do with it. You better just hope the woodchuck doesn’t try to sit on ya.

We’ve got some pretty overweight squirrels in my neighborhood, too.

I guess that means I need to chase ‘em more so they can lose a little weight.

So…anybody here ever caught a squirrel or some other annoying rodent?

Bark at ya soon…

Jasp

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Filed under Squirrels and other pests

Things that make you go rooooo

Sirens, pianos, humans singing and telephones ringing.

These are just some of the things that will get a howl out of  my friend Marshall Beans (another Jack Russell).

I guess howling at sirens is pretty popular among dogs. I think most dogs do this because they like to show humans they can sound just like the siren.

This is what my neighbors do. Right across the street from where I live, there’s a house with really big dog and a really little dog. Every time the emergency trucks go by, the big dog howls in a deep voice while the little uses his screechy, high-pitched voice.

Then other dogs in the neighborhood join in. Ahh—roooo—wooo—wooo, yip yip, awhoooooooo, arooooooo. It’s like a symphony of howling  – all up and down the street in stereo.

I don’t howl at the police sirens, but I get happy when the tornado siren in the neighborhood goes off. This means it’s time to play a game. Me and my human get to run around really fast and then go hide somewhere.

One time we had to hide in the bathtub. That’s an OK game, I guess, as long as I don’t have to take a bath while we’re in it.

Sometimes I howl at people when they’re sad. I did this with a friend who came to visit my human this week. The human-friend was really depressed and I just sat right there and went, “Arooo-OOOO—ooooo, Arooo-OOOOO-ooo-OOOOO at them.

Sometimes if I see another dog I want to play with, I howl. I do this with a little Chihuahua that lives in my neighborhood. I’m just trying to expand on my posse.

That’s what the experts say, anyhow.

They say we howl to to announce we’re part of a pack, or to call in our pack,  just like wolves  do. They also say we howl to let humans  know “we’re here.” Sometimes I howl just because it sounds spooky and kinda cool.

Greyhounds are expert howlers, although they call this “roo-ing.” They like to get a big group of themselves together and howl and howl in all different kinds of tones and ranges. I’m not sure of the meaning of this but I’m hoping some greyhounds can tell me.

What makes you howl and why do you do it? (This goes for everyone!)

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Filed under Communicating