Friday, November 18, 2011

Dog day afternoons

I don’t mind sharing. Mostly. Yet schnauzer space is sometimes too good to surrender. I mean, here I am after a hard day. 

I had to bark at numerous cyclists. I had to make a full circuit of the park. I eventually found that tennis ball I lost ages ago.

That is as well as keeping the humans entertained. They need me to look up balefully at them at regular intervals, just so they know that do, really, really do want a piece of their toast, or biscuit or burger or whatever. I’m not a fussy eater.

They also need me to tug on their trouser legs when they are going downstairs as otherwise the descent would be too rapid. They need me to hunt out discarded shoes, making sweeps of the area as often as I can as those shoes can hide very well and are quite sneaky about this.

So, I do all this and all I ask is to catch forty winks uninterrupted and what happens? They want to share the couch space. All of the floor space that’s empty, all of those tall chairs I never bother to sit on and they want to muscle in on my couch to watch the square thing in the corner. 

Well, paws off. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Return of the Schnauzer

Deep question to ask. Why is it when humans are busy, it’s the schnauzer who suffers? Well, suffer might be too strong a word. But losing my surfing time is a big deal. I have fans, you know!

So I have been unable to write for a while and it’s all because Mum has been hectic with work. So do I get a sniff of the laptop? No. 

And it’s not like I haven’t been busy. I have had birds to chase out of the garden, a long term that I remain utterly committed to. 

I have managed to demolish a dread enemy, a feat that brought great sobs from my grateful Dad. That running shoe must have been as much of a pain to him as it was to me, because after I had made smithereens of it, all he could say was “Isaac I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it”. Never underestimate the schnauzer, I thought.

I visited my neighbour a few times. I feel this is an important exercise. She has recently acquired a new friend, a fiesty little terrier names Sasha. I have to closely monitor this situation so that Sasha knows that the real love of her new owner’s life is me. Always was and always will be. She can just live there but I remain the king of hearts.

So, it’s been busy for me too and it’s good to be back!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is it a bird, is it a plane?

I have discovered something too good to keep to myself. I just have to get this out. I have the power of flight.

Yes, airborne, paws off the ground,  flight. I didn't have to grow feathers. And I don't have to live in trees like those pesky birds.

But I can fly. It's hard work, you have to be pretty fit and need a good clear run, no trees to get in the way or humans throwing frisbees or balls for you. Next thing you know it's up, up and away.

To date I haven't managed to soar to great heights but I am happy to report that I have mastered the basic principles.

The sky is the limit!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A boy's best friend

There are all kinds of friends out there. New friends I haven't met yet but have barked at by way of a preliminary introduction. Friends who are always good for a game of chase. Human friends who think the finest thing to do in the world (and correctly so) is to rub my coat, tickle my tummy or feed me treats.

Then there are the other kind of friends. The inanimate ones. They squeak, they never mind you chewing them, they roll around so you can chase them and they don't mind when the humans toss them because of course, I will always retrieve them.

Unlike human friends, these ones never want to go off and sleep, watch the square box, go to work and leave me waiting on them, yes there is a lot to be said for faithful friends.

Now if only they wouldn't fall apart just when you start to get used to them, they'd be downright perfect.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On the nose

Have you ever had a good idea that turned out to be not such a good idea when you put it into action?

Well, that is what happened to me this week. Inspiration struck and then something else struck and the upshot of it all is that I have a skinned nose that is quite stingy.

To make matters worse, Mum keeps dabbing cream on me which would be fine if I could lick it off but I can’t because it tastes awful. Also, I don’t know why she is so keen to put cream on the one place where I am sore. Rub my tummy, stroke my fur but leave the nose alone, please.

My misfortune began with a delicious aroma of basted meat and juicy gravy. I, of course followed this tempting scent to the source.

Which was a booby trap. Mum said it was an old tin can but I know better. It was a fanged monster that mauled and savaged my poor nose and disfigured my schnauzery good looks for who knows how long. I wouldn’t mind but I’ve just had my fur done.

I was lucky to get out of there alive. It grabbed on to me with its jaws of death, trying to suck me in whole, I am certain. You should have seen me pit my wits against the beast. It took all of my strength and cunning to emerge victorious.

I did not escape unscathed and have my battle scars to show for being a courageous warrior and defeating the metal brute.

I am a mighty schnauzer and I took it on the nose.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Catch me if you can

There is a lot to be said for keeping active. And I get around. If I’m not chasing a ball, I am running up and down the stairs to make sure that each of them are still where I left them.

I spend a lot of time stalking the neighbour’s cat. Even after she hisses at me and swats me with her paw. Mum says I never learn but watching that cat is an education. If the neighbour only knew what happened to that wren that used to avail of her bird bath, we’d see who’d be in favour then!

Yes, I’m busy busy, hardly time to catch my breath. You won’t catch me resting on my laurels. 

Hey what are you doing with the clicking thing?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Schnauzer Navigation

My poor humans have to go to a lot of effort to compensate for all the things they don’t have that we dogs take for granted.

It takes lots of words for them to communicate what we can get across with just one wag of the tail.

They have to pile on clothes in the winter just to keep warm, poor things, we just give our coats a shake and we’re ready for the snow!

However, the greatest lengths humans go to just to match our canine cleverness is in seeking directions. They go on a journey and they need books of maps. Many stops to ask directions from random strangers and of course the little speaking invisible woman in the car. 

She speaks to them from behind a screen, saying thing like take the next left and go straight for 10 kilometres. All gobbledegook to me. And to my humans too, it seems because that device has never yet brought us to where we intended to be.

All of these books and gadgets are to make up for the fact that the humans don’t know how to follow their noses. We have a built in guidance system that never fails.

Just follow me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Singing the blues

If you want Rock and Roll, I'm your schnauzer. I'll lift my leg on any rock you want me to, some you don't and I will always roll over if there is a tummy rub in the offering.

And being happy at even the thoughts of this, I sometimes break into song. This is primarily to remind the humans I'd be happier still if they did some tummy rubbing instead of leaving me to imagine it!

My humans however, sadly have no musical appreciation at all. They are tone deaf. Mum even had the cheek to say I was doing a schnauzer scream, when in fact I was tuning up nicely on a very harmonious ballad I call "Paws up Everybody".

It's not easy to hit all the right notes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trimming around the edges

It seems I need a haircut. this is not my view, I should point out but that of the humans in my life.

So let’s see. Should I have some trimmed off my moustache? Oh no, it’s fabulous! Or what about my ears? Definitely not, they give me my defining look.

Perhaps my eyebrows? No, I don’t think so, I like the sartorial me. hands off the paws, of course and while you’re at it, leave the tail alone too.

In fact, just put the blade away. Why mess with perfection?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Schnauzer sharps

It pays to be alert. I pride myself on my second to second, lightening fast responses. How do I do it? I’ll let you in on a little secret. I never take my eye off the ball. Not even for a moment. My concentration is second to none. I am male, hear me roar.

My focus never wavers. I am ready to pounce on any intruder, raise the alarm if anything unusual happens or someone falls down a well and needs rescuing, join any activity, run through the long grass, find missing blind orphans, chase my tail, put birds to flight, put the fear of God into the cat and any number of other good dog works.

Here we are, men of the house, your first line of defense.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hitting the jim

See, I can do amazing stuff. I surprise myself sometimes with my own genius. And do the humans ever love the stuff I can do!  (Mostly. Mum wasn't impressed with my boot legging activities recently. And when I got the neighbour's cat moving from that spot in the sun with one of my sharpest barks, that didn't exactly get a round of applause either).

However, by and large, I impress my audience more times than I do not. Such as with this latest thing. I can do furnastics. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment, drive, grit, determination, practice but finally I mastered it!

I can get my beard to twitch this way, at the same time lift my ear just so and the humans laugh and laugh. It's not easy successfully achieving furnastics like that, you have to be pretty focused. And sitting in the direction of the wind just right helps too.

So, it's not just Jims-nastics any more. I can do it too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting the boot!

Mission.... To recover mysterious human artefact. I chose to accept it at great peril to myself. There wouldn't be a doggy treat in sight for hours if I got caught on this one!

So, 7am. Human sleeping. Detected by snore check. Check.
7.10 am. Begin assault on wooden mountain. One step at a time. One creak and it's all over.
7.12am. Belly crawl along landing to spy out the lie of the wasteland that is known in human terms as the Bedroom Floor.
7.15am. All clear. Advance slowly. Target in sight. Lying at foot of bed. Path clear of human interference.
7.17am. Secure artefact by grasping firmly between teeth. Retreat speedily but silently.
7.20. Was sure the bumping on the steps of the stairs of this dratted boot would wake the human! Wish was taller!
7.30. Back at base. The treasure is mine. But just the same practice looking innocent.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Following my nose

There is something marvellous about being out of doors, something that reminds me that I am dog and hear me roar. Or at least bark.

There are so many exciting things to do that it is no wonder that I feel my inner wolf emerge every time I get into some grass or within sight of a tree trunk.

First, there is the most important job at hand. Scent everything in sight. One never knows when or where one is about to meet the love of one’s life, or at least day, so it is important to let her know you are in the area and never mind those other lesser dogs.

Then, there is the business of picking up a scent and identifying it. There are bird scents, squirrel scents, dog scents, human scents and all sorts of other ones, some filed in categories I call “Critters to be Avoided”.

Now there are times when Mum reckons that I have no sense. Well, she couldn’t be more wrong. 

I have nose scents.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The green green grass of home

I think one of the best things about being me is that I get to make up games of my own. I really like this and best of all, Mum is always happy enough to join in and that makes the game even better.

Of course, when I was a puppy, I had a great game called Chew the Shew but Mum got her part in this game all wrong. She thought she had to hide all her shews and she spoilt the game because I never could find where she put them when she wasn’t wearing them.

Here’s a game I played one sunny day when we went out in the fields for a walk. It’s called Schnauzer Troll. All I have to do is hide under a nice bit of stone or grassy step and wait to pounce on Mum when she catches up on me.

See, just under the next brow, there’s my eyes! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Philosopher's Schnauzer

Anyone with ears to hear will know that all schnauzers have a bark for every occasion. My own bark dictionary is generously endowed. There is “The Stranger at the Door” bark. The “Looks like the Postman is Going to Risk Calling Here Again” bark. The “I can’t Believe it, I see Another Dog on my Favourite Walk” bark. The “I Would Love Another Biscuit” bark. The “Why are You Looking at that Square Thing when You can Throw this Ball for Me” bark.

There are lots more too. No matter the event, the day or the occasion, there is a schnauzer sound to match. Humans of course don’t bark, they talk. That means they use words. Well, funny thing is, they seem to have hundreds of these and yet, they do like to repeat some over and over.

Recently, my humans have been saying some words a lot that remind me of my “I’m Not Going in There, That’s The Vet’s Place” bark. I don’t know what their words are but they don’t seem to like what they mean. They get many of them from the face in the box thing.

Here are some: “credit crunch” - some new dog treat, surely. And “negative equity” - a new agility sport, doubtless. “Rising unemployment” - a trick they will probably want me to learn. “Recession” - seems like a worm or tick or some other piece of nastiness as the humans make it sound rather awful and it is everywhere according to what I can hear from them.

However, they ought to learn from the way of the schnauzer. See, I know something that they never talk about from the square box. No matter about the treats you can’t afford or tricks that test you out, I’ll still be your schnauzer. I still think you are fabulous. My fur still feels soft and warm if you rub me down. I love your company. I’m never too tired or bored or busy to go for a walk with you.

And see that glint in my eye? It’s just because I’m happy to see you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sun, sea and schnauzer

The other day, Mum bundled me into the metal thing, the one with the magic doors. I get in, they close and my house is there. They open, I get out and instead of my house there is a nice wood to walk in or a beach to play on.

This time, it was a beach. I cannot emphasis enough what fun can be had on a beach. The top three activities are as follows; 3. Running after birds. This is in third place as the birds will always try to fly away and succeed. 2. Digging. There is so much lovely soft sand that just about any old spot on the beach is good for this. 1. Getting sand in your fur and freaking out the humans. This one is top of the list as it works every time. It also endures long after you have left the beach. Possibly even to the next day if you amass enough of it!

However, for the inexperienced out there, I can provide a few safety tips. First of all, never drink the water. There is an awful lot of it but it must be there a long time because it tastes dreadful. Clearly not out of a bottle.

It is easy to lose sight of the humans if you run of leash. This freaks them out more than the sand in the fur does and is a bit scary for us too.

And lastly, run on, dig in and roll over the sand but never, ever taste it. Once in the mouth and you are chewing for hours afterwards and not in a good way. You can drink lots of water and try to dislodge it by licking the humans but bits of it are staying on your tongue no matter what.

See, that's a grainless grin!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Imitation is the schnauzery-est form of flattery

I was in the woods the other day for a nice long walk. This was a fascinating place to be as I could smell rabbits and squirrels and birds. I could see and hear plenty of birds too but the squirrels and rabbits thought they could elude me by staying out of sight. This was a very successful strategy.

The birds thought they could elude me by flying. Also a strategy with a high success rate. 100% clearance for the birds, actually. Not that I was counting or anything.

To be fair, though, I had a couple of disadvantages against me. First of all, there were loads of other dogs out walking too as Mum thinks pack walks are going to be good for me. This meant I was distracted from my hunting what with having to bark at all of those other dogs individually and collectively. Also some wanted to bark back, so the rabbits, birds and squirrels were probably tipped off something was up with all that racket.

However, my long tailed, bob tailed and feathered friends, I will be back. Us schnauzers have a saying. If I hunt and you run away, I can hunt you another day.

However, among those other dogs I met, there were some strange ones. Huge ones, with great big paws, small ones with little barks to match and even one in fancy dress. He wanted to look just like me.

He was almost my twin. I say almost as perfecting my look takes a lifetime. Mine!

"If you think my beard is long, you should see your own ears!"

"Hey, you're not bad looking. With a little more work, you could be as nice as me!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Schnauzer impressions

For those of you who can't tell from  my accent, I live in Ireland. Just to keep you up to date with second hand items I get to hear that have no interest for schnauzers whatsoever, it seems that we have had a fairly busy two weeks in Ireland.

First a woman called the Queen of England visited. Whatever Queen is or England, I don't know but there was a lot of excitement about it. Here's what I saw of it. Nice lady, chewable hat.

Then the President of the United States visited. Again, whatever President is or indeed United States, is a great unknown. Never mind. Here's what I saw of it. Tall man. Chewable looking shoes. Very shiny.

These two events had the humans stuck to the square thing, watching it for hours on end. So I decided to do some schnauzer impressions of famous people to get their attention back where it belongs. On me.

So here I am doing my impression of Dick Dastardly's famous cartoon dog Mutley. Khe-hee-heee!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Schnauzer sea shanty

I had the unexpected opportunity to go on a dogathon. At least it was unexpected by me. My own intention for the day was to take a nice stroll to the park and then home for a nap on the couch.

However, Mum had other plans. The dogathon, in case you are wondering, and I know you are, is a long walk for dogs. It was near the sea. The only thing I saw was lots of rain and salty flavoured mist that kept blowing into my beard. It came from this hu-mong-ous puddle. I mean, this was the biggest puddle you ever saw. If I told you you could sail a ship across it, you wouldn't believe me but it's true.

So I was inspired to put together a little schnauzer sea shanty for you. Tune up, it goes like this:

Why would I want to walk when there’s showers
Why would I want to walk when there’s showers
Why would I want to walk when there’s showers
I’ll only get my paws wet,

Hooray you’ve put my coat on
Hooray you’ve put my coat on
Hooray you’ve put my coat on
Now I feel like a daft one

What’s wrong with you can’t you see it’s raining
What’s wrong with you can’t you see it’s raining
What’s wrong with you can’t you see it’s raining
This is awful weather

Hooray you’ve put my coat on
Hooray you’ve put my coat on
Hooray you’ve put my coat on
Now I feel like a daft one

How could you do it coz I’m a good boy
How could you do it coz I’m a good boy
How could you do it coz I’m a good boy
You shouldn’t put the dog out

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lord of the Ring

Interesting fact here, there is not as much difference between us and the humans as we all might have thought.

Having said that, there are a few important things that set us apart. We can smell a sausage from the next street over. And we don't mind peeing in public, not at all. Apart from that, peas in a pod.

As I can illustrate with my story here. The other day, Mum took me to a dog show. I was wondering what it was they wanted to show us dogs and I'm sorry to say, I am still not clear on that and can provide no insight here.

Whatever they wanted to show us, we had to walk around in a big circle looking for it. The mystery deepened as not one of us found a darn thing.

However, it was not all a waste of time as I did discover that if we like chasing things, well, so do the humans. They were all really keen to get these round shiny things called medals. Mum got one and boy, was she ever pleased. Don't know why, it's not even good for chewing.

I might, on a day when I have the time, teach Mum to chase fun things. Like cats. And birds. And falling leaves.

Of course, there is another similarity between us and them. Mum often says she must be barking. She's not very good at it though, I've never heard it. She's never even managed to make the neighbour's cat look twice, poor thing.

Maybe it's best if the humans leave being a schnauzer to us who do it best.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sunny days and schnauzer tails

Well the sunny weather we've had lately is a treat. It has produced so many fun things to do that I didn't even know were possible.

Like stretching out on warm grass. This sounds boring but try it sometime. To do it right, you must find a patch nice and warm from the sunshine and preferably after you have chased a ball about for a bit.

Then there are the lovely walks Mum and I get to go on. I don't mind testing the depth of puddles with my paws but it seems to bother Mum when I do it, so I'm glad there are none about now that she has to steer me around.

And every so often, there is this paw-some smell in the air. Mum will say that someone is barbecueing and I don't wonder that they have to queue for something that smells that delicious. There are burger smells, sausage smells, steak smells, chicken smells...... Wait, what I was writing about when I started, sausage, no that wasn't it, must focus. Chicken smells, burger smells....

Oh. Oh yes, summer time fun things. That was it. Well, just as I am learning about all of the good things about sunny weather, I am learning some new things about me too. Get this, right, I'm a hunter. A beast of prey. A powerful prowler. A schnauzer king of the serengeti.

I discovered this by accident. I was practising my sunny grass pose when this massive great winged thing swooped. A monster, it was, with pointy eyes and all in ghostly white. Scientific name: Lepidoptera. Now wouldn't that scare the daylights out of you? Wouldn't you be glad to have a fearless schnauzer to hunt it down if it swooped at you?

But Mum, she just said leave the butterfly alone, Isaac.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Flower Power

The humans do get in your way sometimes. Schnauzer paws are busy and it's hard to have time to keep up with everything I have to do.

Here's a fine example. Just the other day, we were visiting Dad's Mum. So, I was having a good look around her big garden, sniffing the trees and gosh what a lot of them there were. Quite a bit of work involved there getting my scent on all of them.

My good work was interrupted just as I found some nice green things someone had kindly put in lovely clay for me to dig out. I had hardly started this enterprise when Mum decides to point the clicky thing at me again.

Not happy to have me stand still (how I managed to contain myself, I still don't know. Sometimes I surprise even myself), Mum decided that I needed further enhancement. And tried to add a flower badge on to my collar.

The clicky thing sounded pretty fast, just before I gave a good shake to launch the badge up over my head. Mum was fast with the clicky sound but not before I started thinking how daft this idea was.

Mum said it was for spring. So I sprung and the flower thing was gone. But not forgotten.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A step in the right direction

A schnauzer has his uses. I could list them all but it would be a long list! And anyway modesty bids me to keep it short. It seems I have helped some less fortunate dogs than me.

So, let me tell you about my weekend. I went for a walk. Nothing unusual about that except that this walk was a pack walk and Mum had to make a donation so we could join. I didn't like to tell her that I would walk for free! Mum said we were helping homeless dogs but I wasn't sure how. Maybe I was supposed to find them when we were walking or something.

It all happened at an animal shelter in a place called Kildare. (This could be just me but if it's called Kil-anything, I'm wary straight away....). However, it turned out to be a nice place, lots of grass to run about in. And so many dogs. Well, I bounded out of the car, eager to introduce myself... with long and loud barks in any and all directions. A German Shepherd dog growled at me. I blame the stupid yellow fluffy ribbon Mum put on my collar. I wish she hadn't. I'm certain that's what got the German Shepherd riled up.

Apart from that, it was great fun. Off we went, me and Mum and Dad and all these other dogs. As the only schnauzer in the pack, I felt that I was representing the breed. And threw in a good few barks along the way to keep the schnauzer flag flying.

And I met a new friend. He and I shared a drink of water. And a little sniff or two. I could tell he was an all round good guy. So I showed him how good I am at jumping. And he showed me his moves which were not bad. And we had a quick game of tug with an old rope toy. I let him win. No, he only won because I let him, I could have won but I didn't want to show off.

Funny thing, when the walk was finished, I headed off with Mum and Dad. His Mum or Dad were nowhere in sight.

When I was getting into our car, settling down on my blanket for a snooze after all that adventure I saw him one more time. He was being led into a pen by one of the shelter people and they were closing a big gate behind him. I gave a friendly yip in his direction and bounced to catch his eye.

He looked in my direction but I don't know if he saw me. Then we drove away. I never did find the homeless dogs but I sure hope things work out for them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

All the better to see you

Sometimes I like to pay careful heed to what is going on around me. Mum lifts the car keys and I am at the door faster than you can say "here boy". The dog next door lifts his leg outside and I have my aim ready next time I get out there.

My trusty nose and ears keep me up to date with all the latest developments and I am a schnauzer in the know. There is a drawer in our house and Mum keeps two things of interest in there. At least of interest to me. As it happens my favourite thing and my least favourite thing.

Care to guess what they are or will I tell you? Ok I'll make it easy. In there is my lead and when the drawer opens and it comes out I'm happy as a dog with two tails. However, sneakily enough, the drawer also hides the comb Mum uses to groom me.

I do not like this process at all. I am naturally fabulous and need no such enhancements in my own humble opinion. Not that Mum will listen. While I would like to be snoozing or playing with my toys, Mum wants to brush my fur. So I have to lie still. For ages. And for what? I feel precisely the same afterwards so it cannot have made any difference to me.

So I have to use all of my observation skills to determine what is coming out when Mum opens the drawer. Is it the lead and happy times ahead?  Or the comb and I should have moved faster to hide?

My schnauzer sense is getting good at this. If Mum has already produced the lead, then it's likely it's time for the comb. So I tell my paws, don't fail me now and get me to a place of safety sharpish.

So. drawer, your secrets are not so secret anymore.

I'm watching you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I say leave it to the cat

I know all there is to know about cats. Data that I will neatly summarise here into the following key points;
* Cats were meant to be chased. I mean, they sit there, staring at you until you do something about it. So bark. And get the best out of the cat.

*Care must be taken in the company of a cat at all times other than when they are streaking into the distance front of you. For some reason, they seem to think dogs are pin cushions and it is ok to sink their claws into our noses.

*Cats have brains of limited capacity and because of this are hindered from understanding why wet grass is a lot of fun to run in, why walking across a pit of mud is to be recommended and even encouraged and that there are far better uses of your time than spending it in a prolonged study and licking of muddy paws. Half the time there is no mud on their paws, anyway, just an imagined fleck but poor misguided creatures, they never can seem to grasp that this is not a reason to suspend all other activities.

And there you have it. The world of the cat and all you need to know about it. Now I am hoping that humans are reading this and learning a little something as they go along. Sometimes, you see, humans think that just because dogs are not cats, we must be compensated.

Take what happened to me the other day. While I know better than spend a minute of my time concerned with a bit of mud here or there, the humans think I need assistance in doing what the cats do all by themselves.

And so, they drop me in the bath and then comes the scrubbing of the paws and the ears. If I wanted this, I would do it myself. I have, however evolved past this and leave it to lesser beings like cats.

Try to keep up, humans.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Then I heard squeak

I love my toys. Some of them are just made to please a discerning schnauzer like me. Like all of the best inventions, simplicity is the key to the success of the really great ones.

I have this round thing, it's like a ball but it has little horns on it that are bloody great for chewing. This toy bounces and best of all it squeaks when I grab it. It's a sound I never tire of. Never mind all that rubbish on the tv, I can't be bothered with that. Not when I can make this round thing make that sound.

Amazingly, it sometimes disappears. Usually at the time the humans are especially engrossed watching that tv box thing. Which is a real nuisance as it would be really handy to have my favourite toy around when Mum is too busy watching tv to play with me. If I have to make my own fun, I would like having the correct props to hand.

Anyway, when the bouncy squeaker is available, it is such fun. Only I speak squeak and it cracks me up every time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Human behaviour

There is no making sense of the world sometimes. some things are just outside of a dog's understanding.

Take for example, St. Patrick's Day. Well, you can do the same for Christmas or lots of occasions. To a schnauzer, a day is a day is a day. You get up, you walk, you find a nice lamp post, you eat, you drink. Spare time is for cuddling with the humans.

The humans, on the other hand, they have all sorts of different days. Days for going shopping. Days for eating turkey. Days for wearing shamrock. Talk about complicating life.

Sometimes, a clever schnauzer knows to just play along. I have to say though, if anyone can tell me why oh why I need to look like this, I would take it as a kindness. I can tell you this much, there's no food to be had from it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Turning green

This is my second St. Patrick's Day but I don't remember last year as I was a schnauzer of very tender years. Well months.

Anyway, what I hear is that there is going to be a parade down our street. I can't wait. There will be loads of people right outside my door, just right there for me to bark at. I can bark at the musicians. Or the dancers. Or the marching bands. Or the comics. Or the spectators.

My mind boggles at the thoughts of all there is to it. Whoever thought of this is a genius. A schnauzer loving genius. This will be better than a treat. Better than going to the park. Better than tummy rubs. I really ought to be practising for a bark fest like this. I do the occasional little dry run when out on my walks lately. A little woof here, a little bow wow there.

I'll have my full range ready for the actual day though, I promise.

Of course, as far as anyone else is concerned, I am going to the parade and going to be adorable. I have my costume and everything.

So, keep it to yourself, yea?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The look

If there is one thing I have worked very hard on since I was a puppy it is this. Wait for it, you'll be really impressed with my knowledge and use of this phrase. Non verbal communication. See, doesn't that sound full of schnauzery importance?

Now I am fully prepared to admit that one of my favourite things to do is bark, whether or not my listeners appreciate my skill at it.

However, I also know that I can say a lot with just a look. It is not by accident that we schnauzers have big brown eyes and devilish good looks.

I have devoted a lot of time to perfecting "the look" and let me tell you, my success with it knows no bounds. I have successfully lobbied to be brought to Grandma's, out for walks, to have just one more treat or a taste of that chicken. It s fool proof.

You believe me, don't you?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tricks and trickery

The humans call it training but any dog worth his bark knows better. Bribery is what it is. We give them what they want in return for a little reward.

It's a system that usually works very well. As I have written here previously, I have been handsomely paid in dog biscuits for doing things I like but waiting for Mum to tell me to do it first.

As with so much in life, however, given enough ointment, there has to be a fly. Mum and I are going to try to be a Pets as Therapy team. This means I will be going to visit children and other people with Mum and they will (of course !!) be delighted to see me.

First, though, I have to do some training. Now I am well and truly puzzled at this. It is my experience that everyone is delighted to see me wherever I go, so why I suddenly have to learn things in order to meet people I'm sure I don't know.

I have to bark less. I have to stay and sit and not jump up. Oh yes and bark less. Mum is looking forward to taking me to school when I have learned all of this. I already know how to do all of these things but I have to prove it now. With generous treat bonuses.

I still like to bark though and I am prepared to throw in a few free barks fairly regularly without biscuit payment.

But here is the thing. I thought children went to school to learn things. Yet I am the one getting lessons and having to do all this work.

 It's a case of sitting up and paying attention. But I don't really mind. I'm the teacher's pet.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Training the humans

I have discovered how simple it is to relieve the humans of especially nice treats. It is so effortless, I almost feel guilty about it. Almost but not quite!

Listen to this. If I pretend to learn stuff I already know how to do, they make a big fuss of me and biscuits, chewys, all kinds of yummy stuff come my way.

I mean I have always known how to sit down. I'm very good at it too, especially if the couch is free. But if I make out that I have just learned the art of it just as Mum says "Sit", out comes the treats and she seems to think it's an amazing feat of genius.

I'm all for keeping them happy so I am delighted to oblige with as much of this as there are biscuits in the box. If I wish to part the human from some tasty morsel, all I have to do is pretend to have learned how to sit, how to lie down, how to run back to Mum in the park and every time, they are fooled! I have them almost completely trained.

Sometimes being a schnauzer is just too easy.

"Sit Isaac"..... like taking a chew toy from a puppy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Caught speeding

If there is anything better than feeling the wind in your fur, I can't think what it might be. Well, there is my favourite food, but other than that, nothing. Apart from those yummy treats I like. And having my tummy tickled. And chasing the cat. And chewing that little ball thing and hearing the squeaky noise.

Well, the point is wind in my fur is pretty cool too. It's on my list. There's a trick to it as well. But because I like you, I'll let you in on my secret.

If you run really really fast, the wind will whip up your fur and make it blow in your eyes and people will laugh at you a you flit by. Altogether a pleasant experience and I am happy to recommend it.

Just watch out for trees standing in unexpected places. Someone should tell them I only need them around when I need to go to the bathroom!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's all work with me

It's not easy being me. I mean, there is no end to the work. If it's not birds flying right over my bit of sky and needing to be barked at to remind them they are trespassing, it's my human family wanting me to bring back the ball for them.

Then there's my patented and world renowned fur therapy which means I am on call virtually 24 hours a day for anyone needing a cuddle.

Not many people know about my work as a plate cleaner as it is usually a covert operation but I am always on duty for this.

I tell you, anyone who thinks it's a doddle being a schnauzer should try it for themselves.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Singing in the rain

With Lassie gone home, life should be one big dog bone! Once more I am leader of the pack, top dog, hound of the Baskervilles, or whatever.

Now that it's back to being just me and the lost and found department in our house has closed, I was looking forward to a nice walk. Just me, mum and any birds that passed the way mine and mine alone to bark at.

What I hadn't counted on was rain. Here's a bit of wisdom for you. Nothing is more fun than wet grass. Nothing is less fun than going out when someone's left the hose in the sky on.

I got back home as fast as my four paws could carry me and pull mum along at the same time. But the damage was done. Wet fur. Woof to that.

I took a little comfort in depositing some of the accumulated water onto the couch. It's my attempt at conserving water. Now someone else will get to have it when they sit down as well.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taking on a tenant

It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to

If I could read, which I can't (canine literacy levels are dropping something awful) I might have read The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. If I did, I'd have read that quote. However, without ever having lost a bone chewing moment to the written word, I can still make use of that line in the telling of something that's just happened to me.

The other day, just after I stepped out of my door, I got quite a surprise. One of my dog brethren was walking by, no owner in sight. This put Mum in a state and the upshot of it all is that she asked this fellow if he'd like to move in with us for a while.

So I have spent the past two days training this newcomer to the ways of the schnauzer. As in, do not get up on my couch. And if I don't want you on my couch, how likely is that I am going to make room on the bed for you? See this ball, it's for chasing and see those dogs treats, they're for not.

He is a stray, Mum says, though I'd say he's of the terrier sort. See, a decent law abiding schnauzer can't mind his business in peace these days.

Here I am, enjoying my personal space.

And here is the one who invaded it. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Park it!

I thought that one of the greatest of life's sadnesses was that snow melts. I mean, one day, you step outside and there is this white stuff just made for jumping in and barking at. I even chewed some.

Then, another day, out you go and it's gone. Nobody tells you it's coming and nobody tells you it's going. So, just when I thought walks might never be as much fun again, I got to go to the park. It's been off limits (not by my choosing) for a while as the grass has been too wet. This is not a problem for schnauzers. I repeat for the record, wet grass is not a problem for schnauzers. Wet paws do seem to trouble the humans though. Woof to that!

Today, though, the humans found the grass paw friendly. Because it's springtime. Well I did spring and run and jump and leap and lots of other fun things.

However, here I am tummy testing the grass and giving my Wubba a rest.
They may have took away the snow but I'm staying on the grass!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby can I drive your car

I fall for this one every time. Lead on. Door opens and I'm thinking of nothing else but getting out there, off on another adventure. Maybe to the park (the best place in the world bar none) or around town and I can meet lots of people and count the ones who want to rub me down!

Usually this is what happens, anyway. But sometimes, instead the door of this metal box thing opens and I'm bundled inside. To be fair, Mum puts a nice rug in there for me and my favourite toy but I do not like getting into that thing.

For one thing it makes a strange noise. And Mum sits in front of me with her back to me. Woof to that.

But when the door opens again, it isn't home anymore. A few times there was a beach instead, which was just fine with me. Other times a nice forest walk. Also meeting my schnauzer approval.

What I haven't figured out is how how this metal box thing works. But I'm giving it a bit of thought.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keeping my ears open

There is an interesting thing about my human family. They want to tell me everything. And I mean everything. For example, I know that my Mum puts six eggs in the Christmas pudding. See, Isaac, she'll say, this recipe needs six eggs. Now I don't understand any of this and Lord don't ask me what a recipe is or why it needs so many eggs but I know that it does. Thankfully, it stopped at the eggs and there's been no mention of it needing any of my kibble.

Then there's Dad, now he tells me that the referee is completely useless. From this, I deduct that a referee is a type of cat and I keep a watching brief to ensure it doesn't get out of that glass box in the corner.

I also know that Mum's driving is hopeless (Dad tells me this a lot), that Dad is going to have no socks to wear  - ever! -  if he doesn't put them in the wash him bloody self (according to Mum). By the way, socks I know about and have an active interest in and I am glad Dad leaves them on the floor for me.  I know that Dad's boss is a bore and that Mum believes if Hugh Grant is in this film the phone better not ring.

I'm just glad I have lots of fur because they like to rub my coat and this seems to encourage them to start talking.  So I keep my ears open because one day, some of this stuff could come in useful.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thinking time

My name is Isaac. I've started up his blog (it rhymes with dog, has to be something I'd like to do right?) so the world can see how truly amazing I am.

Not that I want you to think I'm conceited or anything. I simply want you to fall madly in love with me just like everyone else I know has.

Anyway, seeing as I have decided to share my thoughts with you, I find myself thinking a lot about what to  write. Turns out, I'm deep.

And to prove it here I am, pondering....