Nose

When I first saw Marsha, she looked pretty much like this:

My apologies to anyone with nosephobia.  Please bill me for therapy.

This was because she was on the other side of my fence sticking her little black snoot through the numerous knotholes.  This earned her the highly original moniker “Nose,” which I called her for many months.

As she transitioned from neglected guard dog to a member of my herd she was labeled Marsha(mellow) to complete the S’mores theme begun with Hershey and Graham.  However, her essential nose-ishness never really went away.

Many of my animals have a signature problem solving style.  Hershey’s is chewing, Morph’s is soul piercing yowling, Graham’s is whining.  Marsha’s, as has been true since I’ve known her, is using her nose.

Door to somewhere interesting slightly ajar?  Shove it open with nose!

Covers too flat to get under?  Nose around until she can get her whole body under!

The human of the house playing too much damned Fallout 4?  Bop him with nose until he pays attention to her!

Marsha’s nose is the swiss army knife of her universe.  Anyone have any unique ways their critters solve problems?

 

Nose

Pet Blogger Challenge

Join the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 9th, 10th and 11th

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

I have been blogging about my experiences with my dogs and cats for a grand total of seven days!

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I guess finally deciding to DO it after years of thinking about it,was the most important thing I did for this blog last year.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

My favorite is a post called The Mighty Bell which details an idea I had to keep the dogs from pestering me for food.  Sharing this tip, and the few others I’ve stumbled upon, were part of my motivation for blogging in the first place.  That, and the fame and fortune of course!

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

Well, I started it, which will get it infinitely more web traffic than if it was just a vague idea rattling around in my head.  My VERY limited experience so far shows me that it’s helpful to know other bloggers who will support you and let others know about what you’re doing.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

Again the answer is The Mighty Bell (I’ve written other posts, I swear!)  The reason it got the most traffic, the topic of the post being an astoundingly good idea aside, was the link another blogger who I’ve read for years gave me on her Facebook page.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

I read Oh My Dog! written by the lovely Maggie Marton on an astoundingly regular basis.  Maggie’s writing is very honest and engaging (even if the topic isn’t fun).  She’s been through a lot, she cares a lot, and that comes through in her posts and responses.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

Can I pass on this question?  I think I’m in the unknown unknowns stage of blogging at this point.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

I was kind of hoping you could tell me!  Um, just keep at it, I guess.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

I would like to have posts up three times a week, more would be great but dependent on the life sapping condition known as ‘working.’  I have a few ideas I’ve tried, and experiences I’ve had with my pets that I would like to share with others.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

I’m great at starting things, and also great at letting them just go by the wayside.  I’d love to hear any tips on staying motivated and sticking with it, even when it’s hard.

Pet Blogger Challenge

Thregger

img_5499
(Left to Right) Perch and the subject today, Morph.

Yes, the name of this blog is S’more Dogs and I am generally finding them easier to write about, but I am the senior staffer to four cats as well.  Since this is my first Saturday post, and I’ve heard something about this whole “Caturday,” thing I thought I’d give it a shot.

Sharing seniority with his litter mate Perch is the subject of today’s post:  Morph, full name Morpheus.  He’s not named for the Matrix Character but for Greek god of dreams from which that character takes his name.*

At first glance Morph is a brown mackerel tabby, a no-frills, ‘base model‘  cat, nothing terribly distinguishing about him.  But then, he gets up and stops hiding that right side…

Thregger
NOT War of the Worlds cosplay, just Morph’s daily reality.

He didn’t start life as a three-legger (which I started calling him and quickly shortened to “thregger.”) but lost his leg to a slow growing bone cancer in 2011.

He gets along amazingly well as a Tripawd.  He got to the top of my 8ft high cat climber, still full of stitches and looking like one of Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments the first week he was home!  My worries that his litter mates would start picking on him proved to be unfounded, and he’s been the same, overly sweet, often obnoxious self as he ever was!

Anyone have any three-legger stories or advice, I’d love to hear them!

 

*See, this is what I’ve done to myself.  All my cats have names with layers of meaning that require explanation.  I like to think that the dogs, being fairly obvious creatures, have fairly obvious names.  Mostly black Marsha(mellow) might have an issue with this however….

Thregger

Murderers

 

If the mailman doesn't get us, the kid walking by will.
“Can’t sleep, mailman will eat me…  Can’t sleep, mailman will eat me…”

As a cat person transitioning to a dog person I was very lucky to have Hershey come into my life first.  She is, on the whole, a very mellow soul, not much concerned with the goings on of the outside world, at least when she’s inside.  While she will run to the window to check what the neighbor dogs are barking at (this usually involves multiple, hourly trips) she’s generally not one to join in the festivities.

When Graham came into our lives a few years later I no longer had the luxury of having a laid back dog.  According to Graham there are murderers out there, and they’re all walking by our house!

Over the last three years we have worked on his reactivity to outside noises, with some limited success.  Through the process of ‘not yelling at him when he barks his fool head off,’ I think I’ve managed to tame some of the Little Dog aspects of his nature.  Don’t get me wrong, he still barks at things that don’t have the slightest bit to do with him, but I’m able get him to stop after a bark or two.  I usually say “enough,” and call him over and praise him for stopping.  I’m not sure if he thinks he’s being praised for alerting me to murderers or for not barking so much, but it’s the best I’ve been able to do with him.

I’d love any anti-barking tips anyone has!

 

 

Murderers

The Mighty Bell

About a year into living with Hershey I started losing sleep. Not due to worry, or stress, but to the application of a large, wet nose to the soles of my feet.

Hershey had, using her powers of observation, noticed two things:

1) As the only human in the house, I was responsible for feeding her.

2)  I usually fed her shortly after waking up. 

Using perfectly sound dog logic she came to the following conclusion:

If I was awake earlier, she would eat earlier. 

Thus began Operation Enduring Moistness.

The problem with dog logic is, as others have noted, that once a conclusion is reached, it will not be dislodged by inconvenient things like liberal applications of the word “NO,” being desperately ignored, or reality in general. So the negative correlation of “waking him up and getting yelled at isn’t the same as eating earlier,” didn’t seem to be sinking in.  It seemed the only way I was going to get any peace (and dry feet) was to take myself out of the Deciding When To Eat process.

I don’t remember if it was immediately after formulating this notion, or if it took a few weeks of mental percolation, but at some point my neurons fired in a helpful manner and came up with an idea, and I’ll share it with the world now in three easy steps:

  1.  Set an alarm on your phone for when you would like to feed your pet.  In my case it was 6 A.M. and 6 P.M.
  2. Select a tone for that alarm that you will never use for anything else.  If you have the option of using songs, I would suggest “Dinner Bell,” by They Might Be Giants, which is quite possibly sung from the point of view of Pavlov’s Dogs.
  3. Wait until the alarm goes off to feed your pet.

It took Hershey about two weeks to realize that I was no longer in control of when she was fed, the bell was.  I was as much its pawn as she was, so it was pointless to pester me.  When the Little Dogs wandered into my life they lived with this reality from the start and have never known anything different.

The nice thing about this is that if I’m not there at a designated feeding time The Mighty Bell (as it came to be called) can decide to go off at another time when the feeder is there to serve the feedee.  At least that’s what it seems from the dog’s point of view.  In reality I set the timer for a few minutes with the proper tone selected, walk away from the phone, and feed as usual when it goes off.  It has been such a success that several times I’ve been home late, ready to go to bed, and suddenly realized I hadn’t fed the dogs, and they didn’t bug me once.  They were patiently waiting for our master to make its wishes known.

I would love to know about any training or tricks that have worked for anyone else!

 

The Mighty Bell