Luna’s 2019 Resolutions

The Resolute Luna
The Resolute Luna

January brings frosty weather and those dreaded New Years resolutions. Google reports that only 9.2 percent of people are successful at sticking to their resolutions; Luna is going to prove that dogs can be 100 percent successful. Here are her resolutions:

1. Chase the wind, not George. When it blows, she goes…outside. Why don’t leaves have squeakers?

2. Barkdust is a perfect place for a poo. Luna is learning that the Pottery Barn rug is not the spot to make a spot, but leaving something in the leaves or an ass in the grass is just fine.

3. Learn to play with CoCo. The fence is still dividing Dog World from Catsville, CoCo goes nose to nose with the pup and lets Luna know she disapproves with an occasional hiss. (CoCo’s resolution: “Scratch the puppy’s eyes out!”)

4. Make friends with the Cockapoo in the fireplace glass. She’s pretty hot! Next year: make friends with the Cockapoo in the oven door.

5. Train dad to throw cheese more accurately. Luna will never get to 30 pounds without more string cheese bites. George: you snooze, you lose.

6. Make mom and dad exercise more: walks and evening ball throws. Wow, mom has big biceps; she should thank Luna for all those ball tosses. Dad could lose a pound or two anyway.

7. Conserve water: use the bowl water to wash the floor. And with all the muddy footprints, do it more! (Is there a way to attach a swiffer head to the bottom of the dish?)

8. Plan a garden: she’s already had lots of practice digging and has grand plans for moving day lilies and roses (she’s already tried.)

9. Eat all her food: every floor hockey kibble puck and bully stick remnant. Eat more cat food too (if CoCo will share.)

10. What do you think Luna’s last resolution should be? Email a suggestion, which I will post as an update.

The Babylonians began the custom of making year-beginning promises 4,000 years ago in order to get on the right side of their gods.

Thanks to Julius Caesar, we have the Julian calendar so we know when the year begins; Caesar declared January 1 the day to honor Janus, the god of new beginnings.

Luna would like to dedicate January second to all puppys’ new beginnings.

Silent Dog

The original version of Silent Night was written as the result of a broken organ and the local priest wanting to preserve the parish’s tradition of singing Christmas carols; Silent Night was a solution. Our inspiration? Luna sleeping on the couch in the evenings after a hard day at doggy daycare.
(Sung to Silent Night)

Silent Dog

Silent night, sleepy night
All is calm, all is right
On the sofa is Mom and the Pup
Close together they’re cuddled up
Sleep for an hour at least, ooh,
Sleep for an hour at least.

Silent night, sleepy night
Georgie quakes in the night
Lightbeams stream from the porch light outside
CoCo meows a cry from inside
When will the food fill my dish, hey
When will the food fill my dish

Silent night, sleepy night

Mom and the Pup

All is calm, all is right
Round the kitchen, doggies and cat
Cannot wait for our morning chat
Sleep thru the whole night, please! Ooh,
Sleep thru the whole night, please!

Luna the wet-nosed rain dog

With a nod to Bob Rivers, a former Seattle-area DJ who wrote and produced many Christmas song parodies (“Walkin’ ‘Round in Women’s Underwear” is one of my favorites), we present “Luna the wet-nosed rain dog.”

Ready to sing!

(Sung to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

Luna, the wet-nosed rain dog
Has a very spongy nose
And if you’ve never felt it
Try asking someone else who knows

All of her other dog friends
Like to bark and jump insane
When she comes to the Scoob Shack
To run around in the rain

On one stormy Weekday night
Scooby came to say
Luna with your nose so moist
All the dogs want you to play

Now she goes to shack up weekly
With Scooby and all her furry friends
Luna the wet-nosed rain dog
She hopes the good times never end

 

Jingle Dog Rock

I actually look forward to the 1950s Jingle Bell Rock on our all-Christmas music radio station, blaring out of the dashboard (forgive me Bobby Helms!)
Sung to Jingle Bell Rock)

Jingle toys, squeaky toys, soggy toys rock
Jingle cat meows and Georgie dog sings
Chasing and barking up toy tubs of fun
Now the ev’ning doggy romp has begun

Jingle treats, yummy treats, turkey treats rock
Single size treats with mystery meats
Runnin’ and jumpin’ ‘round the table and chairs
Without a single care!

What a bright time, it’s the right time
To chew the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To eat bullies in a one-dog crate

Giddy-up cockapoo, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and a-mingle the treats that you eat
That’s the jingle dog rock!

Deck the Luna

New Luna the Cockapoo lyrics set to a classic holiday song.

“Deck the Luna”

(Sung to “Deck the Halls”)

Deck the crate and chase a collie
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow
Barking at the fire is folly
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow
If you’re George you are in peril
Bow wow wow, wow wow wow, wow wow wow
It sometimes seems like the cat is feral
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow

Let’s jump upon the tree before us
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow
Accidents can cause a ruckus
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow
Follow me to find a treasure
Bow wow wow, wow wow wow, wow wow wow
To relieve myself is sure a pleasure
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow

Fast away the evening passes
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow
Hail for Rin-Tin and for Lassie
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow
Next to George we howl together
Bow wow wow, wow wow wow, wow wow wow
Heedless of the rainy weather
Bow wow wow wow, wow wow wow wow

Luna the Paper Tiger

The Shredder

Luna the Cockapoo is addicted to paper, actually, to chewing in general.

It’s a puppy phase, we are told.

She is not particular about her forest products: napkins, paper towels, receipts, band-aid wrappers, brown paper bags. We try to scan our major receipts and then shred them; maybe Luna could be our “green” shredder! She has a great future career as a professional label remover.

Great shredding results in quite the nest. Was she a bird or a wasp in a former life?

If our girls were still in school, we would have a real chance of sending to school some pictures of homework the dog destroyed (whether or not it was intentional.)

At a recent dinner party I watched from the kitchen as Luna quietly snuck up to a guest’s lap and oh-so gently pulled off that guest’s napkin without his even noticing. (Shredding was also quiet.)

When she plays “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” guess what? She always plays “paper” (although it can be hard to tell with her paw.)

Of course, her chew targets are much broader: she fixates on the throw rugs in front of the back door and has destroyed several. When the rains return, I hope she’ll appreciate the opportunity to dry her wet paws (and fly about the back yard with her new wings.) Probably not.

The Shredder – off

Puppy chewing has expanded to the handles on her toy box, which are at just the right height – no reaching or bending over, but oh so tasty.

Her fixation on forest products occasionally extends to a chair leg; I’ve recently caught her chewing on the edge of a piano bench. Fortunately she is easily distracted by a woody-looking bully.

As one online training site suggested, “Although it’s perfectly normal for a puppy to chew on furniture, shoes, shrubbery and such, these behaviors can be a problem for you…. As long as you keep the learning behavior from becoming a habit, your puppy should outgrow this chewing, too.”

Either Luna doesn’t know she should have out grown this two months ago or we’re screwed.

Luna’s thankful list

“Gratitude is the act of feeling and communicating appreciation for the people, circumstances and material possessions in our lives. The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, meaning ‘pleasing; welcome; agreeable.’”
(“Gratitude: the ultimate spiritual practice,” Forbes, November 22, 2017).

I don’t know if Luna the Cockapoo feels gratitude, or even thankfulness. But we do know that certain experiences in her life are certainly pleasing and agreeable, so we will just go with that. Luna’s thankful list includes:

1. Her water bowl. Not necessarily the water in it, just the bowl. Luna does not hesitate to let us know her dish is out of water: she often grabs it and brings it to us while we watch a movie in the evenings. We’re thankful it is a “spill-proof” or (let’s be real, here!) less-likely-to-spill-much-on-the-floor variety. It’s also a great source for her soggy, drippy snout.

Toys, toys, TOYS!

2. Toys. A whole toy box of them to scatter over the floor so that the people will step on squeakers. Soooo glad she doesn’t play with Legos.

3. Scooby Shack, the Doggy Daycare. Luna LOVES playing with the big dogs!! So much so, she often limps home and sleeps for a couple of days. What the heck! Maybe WE love The Shack more than Luna!

4.Our new(ish) Pottery Barn rug. While George the Old Man Bishon chooses to barf, squeeze and peez on the cheap doorway throw rugs, Luna prefers the lush life, that is using our lush Pottery Barn rug for those quick “bathroom breaks.” We are thankful we’ve found she needs to go (outside) between 8 and 9 pm, but the rug has been steam cleaned several times since her arrival.

5. Our fireplace glass doors. We didn’t think she had much of a bark until she discovered “the other” Lunapoo in the window, that is the fireplace doors, as well as the oven door and the wine refrigerator door. Thankfully the one in the window doesn’t bark back.

6. Bark dust under the plum tree. As long as there’s nice bark dust below her favorite sheltering tree, Luna opts for this privy instead of the expensive carpet from Pottery Barn; guess a Home Depot purchase is in the near future.

7. Bullies. We know what bullies are made from, but does Luna? Makes no difference as she happily chews bull privates. Need we say more??!

8. Apples. In contrast, every morning there is a patient, apricot-colored face looking up while I cut apples for lunches; she takes a sliver with a shy dog smile. Makes my day!

9. George, her favorite toy. The Old Man has so many things he could teach her, but we would rather she not learn anything from him (read the aforementioned cleanup issues.) But George is a loyal associate, always ready to eat leftover kibble and be the squeeky ball for Luna’s game of tackle football. Go Packers! Go Bichons!

Luna loves Mom loves Luna

10. Lastly, we, her people, are so very thankful to have Luna in our lives. She makes us laugh. She makes us roll our eyes. Even after all those times she has chewed on the backdoor blinds, blown out her crate, shredded paper, stained that expensive PB carpet, we LOVE her. She is the Best Dog Ever.

Our dear friends: We hope you remember the many things for which you are thankful this Thanksgiving. HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE WOLFF FAMILY!!

The Rain of Luna

How did our “water dog” become disinterested in, no, reluctant to venture out in the rain?

Bad news, Luna: it’s fall in the Pacific Northwest and the rain hath cometh. It’s raining as I write this.

And it’s beginning to rain indoors. Luna the Cockapoo has decided she doesn’t want to get her paws wet when she squeezes and peezes. We are having more indoor accidents.

We expect reluctance from George the Old Man Bischon. Peeing and pooping indoors when it rains has been his M. O. for most of his 14 years. But even he is charging out into the wet grass to find his squat spots. Except last night.

It’s gonna to rain all fall, Luna. Your favorite place for poopaloopas is covered in soggy leaves. We’ll see if she can be lured there with fresh bark dust.

Luna on Fountain Rock

There’s great irony in Luna’s new-found willingnesss to piddle on the wet grass in the the front yard. And this comes after standing on our Fountain Rock where she ALWAYS stops for a drink and where her paws always get wet.

It’s gonna rain most of the winter, Luna, except for a week in January when there are clear blue skies and temps below freezing. Luna, your moist nose could freeze; careful when you squat in the frozen grass (if you ever do) or stand on Frozen Rock. Snow is rare here; you’d likely be buried in snow back in Wisconsin.

Googling “my puppy won’t pee in the rain” returns all sorts of solutions, clearly some written by content hacks who don’t have dogs, advising, “just stand there in the rain until the dog gets the idea.” Like it’s an issue of confusion!

It’s gonna rain all spring, Luna, except for late May right before the start of the Rose Festival, then rain for a week, turning the fun center midway into the mud-way and making parade-goers soggy.

Maybe Luna will rock the fashion world with a purple rain slicker.

Then summer will return July 5th and Luna will want to lie (hopefully not pee!) in her wading pool.

How did you train your dog to do its duty outside in the rain? Send me an email and I will add everyone’s story as an update to this blog.

Luna and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad tummy

Clean up on the dog aisle.

When our daughters started daycare and later during the fall in elementary school, little feet and nose both ran. And they were so generous, so sharing! In just a day or two mom and/or dad would also be sick.

The no longer horrible very bad dog crate.

Hard to know about Luna’s playmates at doggy daycare. Like toddlers, Luna the Cockapoo and her doggy friends probably don’t wash their paws. They probably share bowls, toys and water. And who knows what they step in out on the playground. Was it the Sharpei puppy, the bouncy border collie or perhaps a pug?

She played Tuesday with the big dogs, so it should have been no surprise that Luna might pick up a bug, a virus or some kind of general dog tummy upset. But I was sure surprised to get home that Friday and NOT find either Luna or her wire crate. Our housekeepers had been at the house earlier that day; maybe they had moved her to the entry. Not there. In the kitchen at the other end of the island? No. Now I was panicking.

To quote George Takei (“Sulu” on Star Trek), “Oh my.”

Only when I glanced outside did I find the crate and in it a very forlorn doggy who was sitting amidst a whole lot of “doggy accidents.” After nearly an hour of dog bathing and crate scrubbing I found a note saying the cleaning crew had discovered first a noxious odor and then the messy dog and crate. They moved her outside (fortunately on a sunny, warm afternoon) so they could clean the house and the dog aisle.

To say we have practice cleaning out crates is an understatement. George the Old Man Bichon has never understood that dogs don’t soil their beds. From puppyhood until this day, George has had many excuses for pooping and peeing in his crate. “It’s too wet out.” Or “it’s too cold out.” And then there’s “It’s too wet and cold out.” Of course he has never shied away from making yellow snow.

The End

Our favorite vet suggested the dog explosion was a one-time event triggered by stress or some change. I wanted to believe; we were leaving her in our daughter’s care that weekend while we frolicked at an out-of-town retreat. There was one smaller accident later that night and nothing else that weekend, so we were in the clear…Or at least we THOUGHT we were in the clear…!

Alas, Luna (and our floor) were “Color me Brown” again on Monday. Like all little ones, after more clean up and a vet visit (and a round of anti- and pro-biotics (this is the year 2019 after all!), Luna has returned to her jolly self. But Luna is so kind, so sharing, with her food dish, water bowl and virus…

Cleanup in the Old Man Bichon aisle!

Luna’s Toy Box

Ah, the holidays. They bring so many fun things, including an endless array of holiday TV shows. One of our favorite films is Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. I mean, what child could forget The Island of Misfit Toys?? Our beloved Luna has certainly rescued most of those toys as they have found their way to our house!

Luna’s Toy Box

According to PAWS, “Many behavior problems in dogs are the result of boredom or excess energy. Toys offer mental and physical stimulation and enrichment. Directing your dog’s energy into play with toys can prevent or help resolve such problems as digging and chewing on furniture, shoes or shrubbery.” Dog psychologists take note – Luna the Cockapoo is 4 for 4 with these problems — she’s done them all.

Chris the Trainer tells us that a favorite toy can also be incorporated into training to get a dog’s attention. Many shopping excursions later…we’re on it! First off, dogs (well at least Luna) live to chase. We started with an Interactive Toy: the traditional tennis ball, but having found Bark Box, we (and our money) have moved on to monthly themed squeakers. Strange characters (two bats named Frank and Dean), an evil pumpkin and a replica of french fries (“fetch fries”) in a cardboard basket. I’m guessing next month will bring a stuffed squeaking turkey and possibly a large turkey leg (Can’t wait to see what “The Box” will do for Monsieur Stuffing or Grandma Gravy!!)

And then there are so-called Distraction Toys that make it possible to cook dinner while Luna is racing around the kitchen. These include her Bullies (“pizzle,” aka bull privates) and pig ears.

Dogs are said to love cognitive toys. The thinking process can be just as tiring as a romp, as we’ve witnessed after many sessions with Chris the Trainer. We haven’t invested any of these but could sacrifice a dictionary for Luna to chew on — does that count?

Squeaky toys are a distraction. The squeak mimics the sound of prey dying, so a squeaky toy inspires a dog’s instinct to hunt. I could see Luna retreiving a downed foul, only to run around the yard playing keep-away-from-the-human.

And lastly, there are Comfort Toys, which may or may not include my hand for chewing or leg for humping. These include plush toys, which also can be connected with the hunting instinct, or in Luna’s case, the sleeping instinct – she usually sleeps on three or four.

Of course, Luna has a hybrid toy: George the Old Man Bishon, who both squeaks and is plush. The way Luna stalks and then attacks George is far closer to the hunt than picking up her polyester bunny replica. George requies no batteries, no hand to initiate the squeek and even moves on his own vs. being thrown, making the hunt that much more satisfying. Mom’s slippers are also plush, and, while not a normal toy, Luna takes great delight grabbing one and playing keep-away-from-the human around the kitchen island.

Luna with Fries

And lest we forget: every toy deserves a Toy Box. Luna’s is a plastic tub about as tall as Luna’s shoulders, making it tough for the unloved babe to get to anything but a top-layer toy. This will soon be replaced by a small dumpster, if our orders from Bark Box continue.

Please be on the look out for a plush replica of Aaron Rogers: Luna will get a thrill chewing on her favorite football player during games. Even better (for her, not us!) if it smells like Aaron after a game.