From MyPuppyClub to Astro’s Adventures, a Journey of Sunday Blog Posts

A lovely collaboration and friendship was born on Twitter. In July 2016 I met wonderful and talented Australian author Susan Day. Susan invited me to write a Guest Spot for her comprehensive blog Mypuppyclub  “all you need for a happy, healthy, well-trained dog!”

Patricia-Furstenberg for MyPuppyClub.net
Patricia-Furstenberg for MyPuppyClub.net

What started as one blog post soon turned into my Sunday Dog Tales column as I wrote a post each Sunday until the 29th of April! 86 posts 🙂

Starting with Sunday the 6th of May I will be moving over to Susan’s exciting blog Astro’s Adventures Book Club!

My very first post written for Mypuppyclub was Tara, From “Gone With the Wind” to “Happy Friends”. Here is my last post for Mypuppyclub:

Bailey the Sea Dog

(inspired by a bunch of dogs we saw during our holiday in Ballito, South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal North Coast)

 

In the little house with a brown gate, by the sea,

Lives Bailey the dog, his two brothers and one sister, Rea.

And two distant cousins, Scraps and Flea;

Six dogs and their owner – not me.

And if you think a home with six dogs is filled with glee,

Then you are… wrong. I know. Bailey told me.

In the house with a brown gate, by the sea,

Where six dogs live with their owner and nannie, Calliope,

Happy patter or paws, cheerful barks and… sticks from two trees

Are often seen and heard; as well as… balls; one, two, three.

For where six dogs live there ought to be some balls,

Some sticks to chew on and the rhythm of happy feet on wooden floors.

All day long Bailey, his sister and brothers, all six

Snooze in the sun, crawl to shade, bark and, occasionally, sneeze;

All along waiting for the hands of the clock to move past three:

The time when “daddy” comes home and they all go to swim in the sea.

All – meaning Bailey, the sea dog; the rest walk with dad, enjoying the view,

Run on the soft sand, fetch the ball and might, just might, jump a wave or two.

But Bailey! Every day he tries to become one with the sea.

White as the foam he is, restless like the waves he flees;

In and out of the swells Bailey jumps, spring, skips,

Although most of the time our brave dog swims licking his lips.

The cool waves, the blue sea, the pungent breeze

Is all he’s been dreaming of while snoozing at 30 Celsius degrees!

Bailey is in love, in love with the sea, the waves, the foam, and the winds

And all Bailey wants, is to swim in the blue deep, to surf the tides.

In and out he jumps; his tail is a flag, a rudder, a mast;

While his brothers chase the ball on the shore, Bailey is having a blast.

Only his sister, Rae, tries every now and then to bring him out of the waves;

You try to ask the swells to obey, the ocean to stand still and behave.

Bailey is one with the sea now; he is the jubilant spray atop the waves!

Thank you for reading!

You can find more poems like this one in my poetry books about dogs Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles and As Good As Gold, a dog’s life in poems both available through Amazon.

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Dog tales with tails. Take Three.

I always thought an animal’s ears were made for listening… and cooling, on some occasions.

Turns out I was wrong.

Ears give a dog his hair style

“Watch out! She’s going to shake herself!” was often heard whenever Tara, our German Short-haired Pointer pup, had finished eating. Her diet consisted of yummy, healthy treats cooked just for her.

A home cooked dog meal has advantages… and disadvantages. Advantages for the dog; disadvantages solely for the owner, since the food is wet. And a pup’s long ears have an obvious affinity for anything wet or sticky.

That’s how Tara’s NEW hairstyle was born.

Normally her broad, drooping ears would frame her face in a … long bob. She would shake them the way a maiden impatiently shakes her locks. And they would often fold outwards, our job mainly being to restore them to their initial feature.

During meal-time she would be transformed into a pony with a feathered head-piece. Her long ears would be tied together at the top of her head using soft hair elastic. No more mess.

We were careful not to keep her ears in a dog bun for longer than necessary, usually about 5 minutes, as it can interrupt the blood flow and cause damage.

Nevertheless, Tara would wear her new hair style with panache.

A dog’s strength lies in his ears. So does his hairstyle

It’s in the way he cocks his head. Not for paying attention, a dog’s hearing is four times as good as ours. Dogs simply know just how irresistible they are when doing it!

A German Sheppard, a Doberman or an Aussie, with their rose ears, would be wearing a quiff or a fringe up. Think Meg Ryan’s short, pixie style. Think Harry Styles from One Direction or James Dean.

A Corgi with his bat ears, a Dachshund or Bull Mastiff with their v-shaped ears would wear a pushed-back long hair style. Think Sandra Bullock with medium length hair. Think Cary Grant or Chris Pine.

The Hounds or the Spaniels with their long ears would definitely be on the groomed hippy side. Think Sarah Jessica Parker or Johnny Depp with long locks.

What hair-style is your dog wearing?

by Patricia Furstenberg

Written for mypuppyclub.net and published there on 4 September 2016 http://www.mypuppyclub.net/ears-give-dog-hair-style-patricia-furstenberg/

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Dog Tales with tails. Take Two.

The reproachful sigh

“I was watching my favorite show last night”, my mother once told me. She’s a NCIS fan. “I was caught up in the action, the next moment the blood froze in my veins.” I look at her; she’s been an ER Nurse all her life, she’s doesn’t scare easily. There are tears in her eyes. I touch her hand. “Mom?!” “Somebody sighed, just next to me. And I was alone in the room.”

My mind runs to and fro but I don’t have time for criminal investigations. My mother bursts into laughter. “It was Tara!”

Our dog’s bedtime ritual consisted of going to bed early, when my dad would retire. Then a couple of hours later she would wake up, find mom by the TV and WAIT for her to come to bed. Wait patiently then slowly becoming restless until she would sigh. A nasal, long sigh, all the time keeping her back at her. It was Tara’s reproachful, emphasized sigh: “how much longer will you keep ME awake?”

The grumpy sigh

My husband and I had a big yard and Gina, a mature Doberman crossed Rottweiler, when we decided to adopt a puppy of the same mix. That’s how Athos rolled into our lives, a compact mass of black fur. For a few months Gina had nothing to do with the curious intruder. At first she would get up and move as soon as he came near her, like he had the plague. Later on she would just switch on her siren. Puppy approaching? Grumpy sigh on and Athos would keep his distance.

The happy sigh

This is the full of expectations sigh, the “I can SEE into your eyes that you ARE going to play with me” sigh. Usually accompanied by a head pressed tight against you.  The sigh no dog should be without. It is my favorite sigh.

Gina and Athos, the golden years
Gina and Athos, the golden years

by Patricia Furstenberg

This article was written for mypuppyclub.net and posted on 28 August 2016 http://www.mypuppyclub.net/dog-tales-tails-take-two-patricia-furstenberg/

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Tales with tails. Take one.

“We’ve got a puppy!” is what you’re most likely to hear people exclaim, joyfully. No one will ever say: “We’ve got a tail!”

That tail’s a tell-tale!

Tara, my first dog, had a docked tail when I bought her.

This was long before docking and cropping became banned in Europe. Today, even without a federal law in place, most Veterinary’s throughout the world oppose these cosmetic practices.

But what Tara lacked in tail length she made up for in rear muscle strength! When she was happy, she was HAPPY, wagging her short tail, her rear-ends and sometimes even her back!

When happy, Tara wouldn’t wag, she would swing!

Love me, love my dog                     

Before Tara we sheltered a lost Blue Great Dane puppy, Honda, for a few weeks. Honda was a tall puppy, I thought… aged two, as her owners mentioned when they fetched her.

24 hours after we’d found her, our average-size apartment was already “tail-proofed”. Because Honda didn’t just have a tail, she had a secret weapon. Luckily for us it was winter, no explanations needed as to why our legs were bruised.

We soon learned that when Honda stands, the safest place would be near her head, away from her pounding end.

“Mom, where are my keys, I’ve put them on the coffee table!”

“Mom, where is my book, it was on the side of the sofa!”

“Oh, found them, the dog just wagged them off!”

Honda would lay and wag, hit the front door in the process and I could vouch someone was outside, knocking!

When happy, Honda wouldn’t wag, she would hammer!

Dog-tails come in many sizes and so do their four-legged owners. Thin or curly, crooked or straight, short or lengthy, I love a wagging tail.

It’s the sound and sight of a dog laughing.

by Patricia Furstenberg

This article was written for mypuppyclub.net and published on 21st August 2016 http://www.mypuppyclub.net/dog-tales-tails-take-one-patricia-furstenberg/

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Tara, from “Gone with the Wind” to “Happy Friends”

Do dogs grow up to mimic our appearances and personalities or do we, subconsciously, pick that one puppy who best resembles us?

When I selected Tara, my first house-dog and a German Short-haired Pointer, she looked like a seal. You know, the luscious, dark furred, round bottomed sea-creature with gleaming eyes and long whiskers. I was not round-bottomed nor did I have whiskers 25 years ago. But Tara did and she also had honey-colored eyes and long ears, framing her face like well-set curls.

It’s all in the… eyebrows

Have you noticed how much a dog can communicate by just looking at you? How they’re able to turn every situation in their favor?

So did Tara, just by using her eyebrows; bringing them together, creased low over her eyes, deep in thought.

“Doing a PhD thesis on this ball in front of me. Care to help?”

Or by lifting them, curving them over her eyes, suddenly so big and innocent, this movement often combined with a small drop of drool in the corner of her mouth. “I trust you unconditionally to take care of my every need”, they’d say.

“And I need to play right NOW!”

Or by just keeping her brows motionless, only her eyes rolling slowly underneath, left, right… watching me, studying me, persuading me…

“I know we did not play during the past hour. Do YOU?”

Unconditional love

We surely mimicked each other, Tara and I, my heart joyful after hers.

She was always giving and loving, un/knowingly fueling my love for animals; teaching me that unconditional love has no limits.

by Patricia Furstenberg

This article was initially written for mypuppuclub.net and posted on 16 August 2016 http://www.mypuppyclub.net/tara-from-gone-with-the-wind-to-happy-friends/

Our beloved Tara, German Shorthaired Pointer
Tara
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