Anipal Book Club - Pride & Prejudice - Post No. 1

We read a lot at our house. Michael cancelled the cable subscription last year because he was mad at them. Something about “down time” and “wonky menus”. That’s fine with me. We do other stuff and have a much better time than we would if we were watching the t.v.

I was excited to show Diana the news about the Anipal Book Club. Even more excited to show her they had picked on of her favs, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.

We dug out her pocket size copy, the pretty red linen one with the golden edges, and started reading it again. This small version has hand drawn pictures. Diana shows them to me. I wag my tail and pretend to enjoy the ones that don’t have a dog or horse in them. While she is reading out loud to me I wondered which of the people would play with me if they were real. Here’s what I think:

Elizabeth Bennett is a lovely lady. She is intelligent, beautiful, funny and loyal. But she is human so she has faults too. She is hasty in her judgments and will apply them harshly. Then she gets herself stuck. I bet she would play squeaky toy with me if I asked her nicely.

Mr. Darcy makes me growl...Grrrr….he is so proud it makes my teeth hurt. I think his voice would scare me and I probably wouldn’t do play bows to ask him to play. I think he has a right to his opinions but he shouldn’t share them so openly, especially when they are mean about others. I don’t think he meets his own standard of behavior when he is rude to Elizabeth at the dance. Oh, sure he’s a handsome devil but it’s going to take some time to realize that he is a victim of his own words - just like Elizabeth.

Mr. Bingley seems like a good guy. We’d like to play with him for sure. He’d throw the ball at the park. I do wonder why he settled into this small neighborhood though…

Mrs. Bennett is a bit weird by our standards today, until you realize that her educational opportunities were limited by the times and her only “job” in life is to make sure her daughters are secure. We don’t fault people now for being single minded in their pursuit of their career goals - so I guess we can’t be mad at her, even if we don’t really like her and would bark at her if she came to visit.

Jane Bennett is all that a girl of her age is supposed to be. Beautiful, loyal, smart but not educated. I would sit quietly beside her and let her pet me but I wouldn’t play with her the way I would Elizabeth or Mr. Bingley.

Can’t wait to see how things develop.


Freedom - Safety - Cheese

I have been feeling a bit blue (read whiney, if you wish) because all the holiday excitement is over and the rain has returned (I do live in Seattle…does the rain ever actually go away?).

Last night I could not escape hearing about all the animals that have been devastated by natural disasters all around the world and, through no fault of their own, find themselves in mortal danger and desperate for help. These brave animals cling to their dignity as best they can in the harshest of conditions.

I got mad at myself for being so selfish, sat myself down and reminded myself that I have successfully overcome misfortune and am leading a life of significant abundance now. I rule in a house that is full of love, fun, safety, despised vet visits, known and obvious rules and plenty of space for me to be me.

I have my own chair:

I have my own cheese:

I have my own toys:

I have my own beds (yes, plural. Hey, don’t judge me…):

I have my own computer for blogging and Twitter (don’t tell Diana - she thinks it’s hers):

I even have my own food and plenty of treats:

Allowing me to be a full fledged member of the pack - to roam freely in our house and be an active part of their lives - doesn’t cost Diana and Michael a single cent. The price is minimal but the value has so many zeros that Michael says it's calculated as "...to the 'Nth' power."

Everything else I have is just stuff that I will do tricks for when I’m in the mood. It is extra and unnecessary. Freedom, safety and respect are my rewards for overcoming and learning to trust again. I wish upon all the stars in the sky that these rewards could be normal, everyday occurances for all animals on this planet.

I have no complaints about my life. None at all.

How about you?  What are your wishes?

^ . . ^


New Year - New Way

Most of 2010 saw me working with Jeff Tinsley, owner of Sound Animals, on being nicer while on leash.  We had some good moments and some not so good moments.  See my posting from August 2010 - Skool Daze - Part II

I've been practicing on my own.  Jeff gave us some very sound advice on how to work with my insecurities and ideas on how to minimize my belief that, yes, I am as big as a standard Doberman.  

Diana has gotten much more relaxed when we encounter other dogs and I have realized that I have my own stuff to do and I don't need to get all up in their business...if we have enough cheese to remind me that seeing another dog is a good thing not a bad thing.

I've gotten so much better that Diana felt confident I could handle going to the dog park on Mercer Island.

Hank Bacon goes all the time to play with his flying ball.  I wanted to go and see what it was all about.

I made no promises and none were expected.  We went with open minds and hopeful attitudes.

The park is a lovely place.  Cold, but lovely.

Along the trail from the parking we found a rare patch of ice-shrooms

Hank Bacon's Mom brought along his flying ball launcher.

I did great!  I only barked at other dogs with about half my usual intensity and I didn't try to put the bitey on anyone.  

I stood near Mom when she seemed like she wanted me to.  When she was talking with Hank Bacon's Mom (her niece Kristina) and her Sister Lara - I bravely explored on my own.

*hee hee hee* This is my "Terrier-tory"
We had a great time.  I ran around forever.  Eventually, Diana said it was time to go.  I tried to convince her to stay.  I even used my best "Please" sit down and sweet doggie face.

It worked.  We stayed longer.

I still make the other dogs nervous with my "on leash" issues - but I was so much more relaxed that Diana says we will go much more often. 

** Ring Ring**  **Ring Ring**

Hello, Hank Bacon?  Dis is Miss PishPosh.  Can you go to the doggie park with me next weekend?

"You can!  Great!  See You There!