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According to common stereotypes, cats are aloof. But dogs are everybody’s friend. Here’s a couple of videos that support that idea.

First, a yellow lab who swims with his friend in the town harbor.

And here we see sled dogs playing with polar bears. Notice at 1:33 that dogs don’t like to be hugged by polar bears any more than they like to be hugged by humans.

I’m most glad that dogs are my friend too.

Thanks to Eric Goebelbecker of Dog Spelled Forward for posting a link to the story behind the video. You know which one I mean: OK Go’s White Knuckles video, the one with all the amazing dogs (and goat).

Anyway, read all about the process here. And then watch the video again in amazement!

Stuffed Bear Dog Toy

Meet Schmoo Bear, the Plush Toy of Death

We call Honey’s favorite toy Schmoo Bear. It’s a fleece-covered bear that was nearly her size when she came home with us.

Schmoo Bear has served as a pillow, tug toy, and sex object (yup, Honey has been known to hump Schmoo Bear now that she’s a teenager). Our fleecy friend has accompanied us to the beach. To outdoor restaurants. And he has been taken camping.

So why, after all these months, has Schmoo Bear turned on us and tried to kill our sweet little Honey?

Our regular readers know all about Honey swallowing a squeaker from a toy and requiring emergency surgery. You can imagine how the sight of a loose squeaker could cause fear and trembling.

The other night I saw that Schmoo Bear was looking a bit worse for wear. And then I noticed that Honey was chewing something. This time, however, Honey knew the “give” command. And I was able to swap the mystery object for a toy. That mystery object? Schmoo Bear’s squeaker.

I guess he was just biding his time. Being pulled and tugged on. Left outside. Dragged through the garden. Schmoo Bear knew he just had to wait and eventually his squeaker would be free to wreck havoc on an unsuspecting dog.

I’m onto you, Schmoo Bear. Say goodbye. You won’t be threatening my puppy anymore.

Golden Retriever Puppy with Fleece Dog Toy

You had your chance, evil Schmoo Bear. You won't get me now!

Thanks to Kelly Dunbar over at Dogstar Daily for sharing that the band OK Go has a new video out. I’ve always been fond of their treadmill dance routine. And the University of Notre Dame marching band backing up This Too Shall Pass is pretty cool. But. This. Is. The. Best. Yet! A cool video with dogs doing tricks! Check it out!


I’m slow to react to the news. I don’t like to get caught up in the misinformation, rumors, and hysteria that often accompany breaking stories. So I’ve quietly watched the stories about Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring unfold over the past several years.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the behavior of Michael Vick and his dog fighting friends was egregious and inexcusable.

But I also understand that real people do stupid and vile things because they’re weak and fearful.

When we lived in Southwest Philadelphia, the teenagers in our neighborhood liked to keep pit bulls for “protection.” They’d tie them up, deny them food, and taunt them to make them “tough.” Of course when any one of these pitties was out on their chain and prong collar, they’d come up to me and my husband with stubby tails wagging and tongues hanging out with sheer joy for the attention we gave them. We kept telling the neighborhood kids that if you want  a protective dog, you feed him well, bond with him, and be the best person in the world to him. Did any of it get through to them? I don’t know.

So when I first heard about Michael Vick and his Bad Newz Kennels, I thought of those scared teenage boys who wanted to look tough. Who knew that if they didn’t hurt first, they would get hurt. And scared people can do a lot of damage. As Michael Vick did.

Jim Gorant, a senior editor at Sports Illustrated, has written a book entitled The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption. And the normally sedate comment section (at least by typical internet standards) at the NPR website is showing its crazy side. Evidently some people  hate to see so much time taken up on the care of animals as opposed to humans. And others resent a Sports Illustrated staffer wasting his time on dog fighting instead of important stuff like football and basketball.

And this is the wider world that those of us who are interested in the welfare of animals need to inhabit. Those of us who believe that humans benefit greatly when we care for animals need to participate in these conversations. So I’m planning my comment at the NPR webpage and maybe you want to chime in too.

Golden Retriever Puppy in a Yurt

A yurt, huh? Where's the yaks?

So the big birthday surprise that required me to bathe Honey? Staying in a yurt on the lake.

I’ve always wanted to stay in a yurt. An acquaintance recently sold his large, Victorian house to live in a yurt. I’m enchanted with the idea of selling off lots of stuff to (basically) live in one room. It was way cool!

Honey was unimpressed. However, she really liked that there were no doors. A curtain across the bathroom entrance meant Honey could wander in and out at will–privacy be damned!

So did the bath cut down on the shedding? I’ll let you know once I can see past the tiny golden hairs projecting off my fleece jacket.

Yurt

Honey's New Yurt

Update: My sister informs me that not everyone knows what a yurt is so I’ve added the link to wikipedia.

I’m a big Kids in the Hall fan. This is one of my favorite skits–the story of a boy falling for a stray he brings home one day.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/174085/kids-in-the-hall-can-i-keep-him

My husband is planning a big birthday weekend for me. He’s told me nothing except to prepare to be wet and cold and that I’d need to bathe the dog. My head spins to think of what this means.

But I kept my part of the bargain and gave Honey a bath.

Golden Retriever Puppy

Bathed and ready for duty, Sir!

Golden Retriever Puppy

Mmmm, silky!

Baby Raccoon

First rule of staying home alone? No visiting friends when the folks are away!

It’s been a busy week and it’s only Wednesday. In a phone conversation in my hotel room Monday night, I discovered that my husband also had to travel out of town for work (although not overnight). Then he revealed his plans for Honey!

He was going to take Honey with him to a day of meetings in a hotel. Honey, the wiggling love whore, was going to ride in the back of the car for over an hour with his very nice boss who usually wears black. (If you can’t guess, Golden Retriever and black clothing? A bad combination.)

I won’t go into any more details but that suggestion was quickly moved off the table.

The final decision? Honey would stay in the kitchen at home with the back door cracked open so she could visit the yard when necessary. She’d have plenty of toys and a big fat Kong to find after she finished her breakfast.

My biggest fear was of someone taking her out of the yard. But, since Honey’s not a barker, most people would walk by the house and never know she was there.

Of course, I knew my hostas were dead meat. Honey has started digging in them and I knew that with an entire day to fill and no one to supervise, they’d receive some rough, puppy treatment.

End result? All was well. My husband picked up Honey when he returned and brought her to my office when I returned so I could see with my very own eyes she was alive and well.

What about my hostas? Well, maybe they’ll come back next year.

Golden Retriever Puppy Resting

See, I told you I'd be ok home alone.

The bad part of taking your dog to work is that you can get addicted. Then, when you have to travel for work, you really suffer. I kept looking under the table in my conference room for a furry little dog.

So here I am in the business center of my hotel, while everyone else is frantically checking email, looking to get my cute puppy fix. Luckily, we have the Daily Puppy. And, on the day I write this, the daily puppy is a Golden Retriever.

Man,  I had it bad. Now I can get back to work without jonesing so bad.