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!