Blog Archives

Bringing Freddy Home: Real Lessons in Being here Now

One month later our ‘Raiko vom Sonneneck’ was a nearly nine week old Bolonka baby and it was time for E. and her husband to pick up Freddy. Yes, in the meantime milady had to ‘fess up and tell all’. Surprisingly her Big Baritone was not at all displeased!  The first thing I whispered to puppy Freddy (while he was still a twinkle in Merlin’s eye) was that his main mission in life was to bond absolutely with needy Ms. Em. She had suffered enough dealing with me and my difficult daily lessons in being here now.

 

(Aside: In my lifetime I was in love with the man of the house. It was close to an embarrassing sort of hero worship for the Big International Baritone … but as I have intimated before … it was all for Ms. E’s good.  She needed to learn how to love unconditionally, even when she was not the object of love returned.  Read the book to get the real story on that.)

 

However, with this little pooch I am determined that Ms. Em’s story is going to be different. This pup (with my intense whisperings and on-the-scene guidance) will without a doubt be a momma’s boy.  I arranged the pickup trip, invited a family friend Rainer along to sit in the passenger’s seat along with his very own male Bolonka, Sammy. This was my genius idea to distract from Freddy’s sure fascination with E.s husband. I figured that then she could have the back seat to herself for the sole purpose of bonding; to become the Ersatzmutter to little frightened Freddy.  Frightened?  Yes.  How would you feel watching three of your siblings taken away by large baby-talking, cooing strangers? How would you feel if you were one of the last two puppies left to beloved but strict Momma Felice …  awaiting your fate?

 

I promise this is the last time I will steal a bit from E’s personal journal but she was closer to the situation than I. You’ll have to admit … it reads nicely ….

 

 “The day was bright and sunny as we drove off to the Nabinger home in Sonneneck where the same five lady-Bolonkas awaited our arrival. Again a glorious chorus of barking greeted us.  Halleluja!  Honestly, I was so nervous I could barely utter a word. It seemed to take forever until we got to see our darling (now five weeks older and more himself) at close range. Freddy was standing alone inside the large airy knee-high cage. He was looking up at us and was better than any photo. There he was!  Finally Freddy!

 freddynew

Freddy’s gaze told me he was a cute little bundle of love, full of spunk and fun, a handful to tame … with a dash of determined cleverness and skepticism thrown in for good measure.  The instant I saw him again I thought of Bel Mooney’s wonderful memoir: A Small Dog Saved my Life (www.belmooney.co.uk).  I wondered if Freddy might change my life. I surely don’t need saving but this snarky little critter might be exactly what I need to get back to myself … the self I lost along the way somewhere in the chaotic years after Fritz was no longer with us. The rush of loving feelings overcame all my rational thought processes as I scooped up my treasure.

 

I became one with this perfect moment. I was finally and once again here now with the tiny fellow I held in my (not so steady) hands. Everything to this innocent creature was brand new, exciting, interesting … alive and shining. This Freddy was an expert in living in this moment.  I was elevated to a new level of consciousness: Pure bliss.

 

Finally, after Simone Nabinger placed the spanking new halter (much to his chagrin and surprise) and leash on Freddy, we were off with our prize. One poignant moment did occur when Mama Felice seemed to be saying a uncomprehending sort of adieu to her penultimate offspring. As we led him off to our awaiting automobile  Felice followed Freddy for just a moment and then seemed to shake her head as she walked slowly back to her home.

 

Then Freddy was ours.  I sat in the backseat cuddling the trembling little fellow who kept trying to find a way to climb out of the speeding steel enclosure. He squeaked a bit here and there but all things considered; I had expected a much more dramatic first drive in a car.  I was determined that Freddy’s first experience in an automobile would not be anything like the one I produced for the twelve week old Fritz (Fritznote: See Chapter Five; Learning to Live with Fritz -page 26, paragraph 2 ).

 

Finally we had our baby at home.  He stepped out of his carrier acting just like he owned the place. And then we were once again … three!  After seven years without a dog in the house or accompanying us on trains, boats and trains around the world … in virtually every important opera house in the world … we were a triumvirate. Yes … as we were before … I could see it coming: three different military leaders, all claiming to be the sole leader … Oh! … but what FUN!”

 freddy2

Starting Your Puppy off Right! – Tips from Cesar Milan

Currently a bit too busy to help Freddy compose his “welcome” blog. Ms. Em is remembering how much work (and fun) a new puppy can be! I decided to do a little research, and luckily, I found some tips that might help her out from the great Cesar Milan. I’ve added them below in case you’re in need of a little guidance with your new furball, too. More Freddy updates to come!

-Fritz

Freddy at 10 weeks old.

Freddy at 10 weeks old.

 

People often ask me at what age they should start puppy training. The answer is immediately! Here are some quick tips on the steps to training and maintaining an obedient and balanced dog from the start.

New puppy owners often make the mistake of endlessly worrying about finding the right accessories, puppy treats, or bed. They spend little or no time thinking about how or what they will teach their new puppy. Yes, a puppy needs nutritious food and a safe, warm place to live, but another equally powerful and important biological necessity is the need for a strong pack leader.

Be the Pack Leader

Puppies are naturally hard-wired to follow a pack leader. A pack leader is, by definition, strong, stable, and consistent; traits many new puppy owners forget. Many of my clients are strong leaders in their jobs, but when they come home, they turn to mush with their dogs. Then they come to me puzzled as to why their dog won’t behave.

Puppies sense our confidence levels and will take control if they perceive us as weak. When this happens, bad behaviors, such as excessive barking, chewing, leash-pulling, or anxiety, will develop.

The most important thing you can do is become your puppy’s pack leader. This role doesn’t begin when your dog is six months old or when he’s bad; it should be maintained throughout the entire dog training experience. For your new puppy to grow into a healthy, balanced dog, you must demonstrate leadership from day one!

Housebreaking

All dogs become conditioned never to eliminate in their dens. From two to four months of age, most pups pick up on the concept of housebreaking quite easily since it is part of their natural programming.

In the early days of housebreaking you want to make sure the puppy has a place to relieve herself where she feels safe; a place that seems and smells familiar. First thing every morning, bring your puppy outside to the same general area. It is important to remain consistent throughout the process so your puppy can learn the habit.

Once your new puppy has successfully gone outside, it is important to reward the good behavior. It doesn’t have to be a big, loud celebration, but a simple quiet approval or a treat can get the message across of a job well done.

And be sure not to punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with her bodily functions. Stay calm and assertive and quietly remove the puppy to the place where you want him to go.

Dog Walking

Please find SAFE ways to exercise your puppy too! As your puppy’s pack leader, you must help to expend their energy in a productive way. For all dogs, this means a daily walk.

Walking in front of your new puppy allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your puppy should be beside or behind you during the walk.

Also talk to your veterinarian about the risk of long-term bone development problems, parvovirus, and other health issues before implementing an exercise routine.

Visit to the Veterinarian

One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial that your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet. Refer to the following list of the veterinary or health related concerns that will come up during your puppy’s first year for more guidance.

Read more: http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/basics/starting-your-puppy-off-right#ixzz2PV4NCj3R

Be Here Now

Ruffff!  I am literally dancing up here!  I’m so happy to see the positive human response to my first DogBlog posting. It heartens me to see that there are Homo sapiens out there actually thinking about slowing down, smelling the violets and Being Here Now.  If I had one lesson to teach my recalcitrant mistress while I still inhabited the earth plane … that was it.  Yes. This was and is the lesson: Be Here Now, every letter capitalized. Be = I am. Here = located on this space I presently occupy. Now  = at this exact moment in time.  With all my disciplinary growls, barks  and (occasional but necessary) bites, even my outrageous temper tantrums … had but one distinct teaching goalLive this moment.  Concentrate, pay attention, be real, be authentic. Take this present moment as your only moment.basel

 None of us … even us dogs … have a guarantee on tomorrow or even the next ten minutes. There are no guarantees, period. You don’t see even one of my species Canis lupis familiaris participating in any of the following activities: ruining our thumbs (even if we had them) texting, bowing our heads to our PCs, ipads, Smartphones and/or spending 40% (uh-oh … or even more) of our waking hours on the Internet being discouraged and jealous about the exciting lives of our ‘friends’.  You will never see a dog missing WHAT IS because of getting distracted by what isn’t.

Sometimes it takes a wake up call to get humans to Be Here Now and to realize that there is just one life to live here on planet Earth. Sometimes it takes a frightening diagnosis, the loss of a job or an accident in traffic caused by lack of concentration to get a person to take the plunge back into the present moment. On the other hand and occasionally … a great teacher (could even be a Gurudog) enters to enlighten the human out of the artificial and back into what’s real.  This is, of course, the easiest (well, at least the most positive) road back to accepting reality.  The truth is that time waits for no one to catch up or make up. Lost time is lost.  You can’t redo the past even the past that occurred just five seconds ago. Many Quantum Physicists would disagree citing the Parallel Reality Theory, but until scientists can put that theory into practice (which might be a few light years hence) what  humans can do is to learn to value of the precious present.

It’s a fine thing when a dog can admire a human as much as I admired Andy Whitfield.  I  recommend an inspiring trailer for an especially moving documentary feature film:  Andy Whitfield’s story is entitled: “Be Here Now” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE_Y5brW-ZE  

After watching this you may be wondering if your own life is passing you by . If you get the message then I rest my case.

Look around you.  What do you see?  Can you still see anything at all without a digital screen lighting the way to your comprehension of what you are seeing?  It is my personal opinion (and particularly from my vantage point) that most humans are living in an altered (manipulated) state of reality that is spoiling real experience and one-on-one communication.  Ask yourself:  Have I forgotten (or never even learned) how to talk to someone without using my fingers?  Have I forgotten (or never even learned) how to express real emotions face to face with another of my species? Think about this.Symbiotic Meditation

What would your life look like if someone took all your toys (and that is what all those electronic devices from the simplest to the most sophisticated are … don’t delude yourself) away from you?  What would you do without just one of those toys? I ask you … the bigger question to ponder … what if there was no electricity to run the devices that control your happiness?  What if?  What on earth would you do? How would you cope?

So, for today this is the end of my lecture from beyond the Beyond. Straight from Whispering Fritz to those of you who might be reading this for comfort, for entertainment or for a new (or quite ancient) view of how to perceive what is going on all around you.  Look to and learn from the dogs, cats and other animals on your planet. Watch and listen to them.  They will teach you how to live in the moment … in real time. The clock is ticking.  No kidding. You only have this moment. Never forget it.

5 Surprising Maltese Facts

From Animal Planet’s Pets 101:

A Maltese may be small, but he’s not all fluff. These little dogs only weigh between 4 and 7 pounds (1.8 to 3.2 kilograms), but their sprightly prance, keen attention to their surroundings, affectionate personalities and devotion to their humans will make them a huge part of their owners’ lives. A wonderful companion dog, Maltese can live in a variety of homes, including city apartments, since they don’t require a lot of exercise. For over 28 centuries the Maltese has had an impassioned following around the globe, and that certainly still applies today. Famous Maltese owners include Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand.

How cute am I?

How cute am I?

1: Maltese May Not Make You Sneeze

There’s no doubt that part of the Maltese’s allure is its beautiful white hair – not to be confused with fur. Like human hair, the Maltese’s white locks grow and occasionally fall out — they don’t shed like most dogs. According to the AKC, no breed is guaranteed to be hypoallergenic, but the Maltese won’t bother some allergy sufferers.

Unless their Maltese is a show dog, today’s owners often opt for a “puppy” cut — which is shorter than the traditional show cut — since it takes less time to brush and care for. Although the modern AKC breed standard requires that Maltese have white hair, early Maltese were sometimes golden or tan, and others had black ears. The Maltese and its soft, silky locks took part in the first Westminster Dog Show in 1877, and was called a Maltese Lion Dog.

Fans of these small dogs are in good company with people across the ages, and it’s not hard to see why!

2: The Maltese Has Royal History

Throughout history, Maltese dogs have been companions to royalty, rulers and monarchs. Even a Roman emperor, Claudius, kept one as a pet. Perhaps because of their long silky hair, steady companionship and fabled ability to restore health — for which it is rumored that they earned the nickname “The Comforter” — the Maltese’s popularity continued rising in the upper classes. The Maltese hit British shores under the reign of King Henry VIII and were welcomed immediately. Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria each owned Maltese, and in France, Empress Josephine Bonaparte and Queen Marie Antoinette also kept them as pets. More recently, a different sort of King owned a Maltese — Elvis Presley.

3: Maltese Were Featured in Ancient Writings

It’s no wonder the Maltese was a darling dog of history — it played a starring role in early writings.

According to the AKC, in the middle of the 1st century A.D., Publius, the governor of Malta, had a Maltese named Issa that he loved. A poet of the times, Marcus Valerius Martialis, wrote lavishly about Issa:

“Issa is more frolicsome than Catulla’s sparrow. Issa is purer than a dove’s kiss. Issa is gentler than a maiden. Issa is more precious than Indian gems… Lest the last days that she see light should snatch her from him forever, Publius has had her picture painted.”

4: The Maltese Was in a Class by Itself

There has been some debate over the past few centuries about whether the Maltese should be classified as a terrier (since it was such a good ratter and had a terrier-like temperament) or a spaniel (since it was a good hunter and physically resembled a spaniel). In 1907, Lillian C. Raymond-Mallock, an English spaniel breeder and author of the reference book “Toy Dogs,” wrote that the Maltese should be classified as neither spaniel nor terrier, but suggested that the Maltese and spaniel probably owed their similar good looks to a shared source. The AKC currently classifies the Maltese simply as a toy dog.

5: The Maltese Breed Is Thousands of Years Old

The Maltese is the oldest of the toy breeds from Europe. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Egyptian artifacts of Maltese (or Maltese-like) dogs have been found, which means ancient Egyptians may have worshipped the breed. Greek pottery dating from 5 A.D. shows  images of  small, long-haired dogs like the Maltese, and according to the 18th century religious scholar Carolus Maria DuVeil, ancient Greek writings by historians like Strabo mention small, pretty dogs known as “Catelli