6 Keys to Successful Cheese Noming

Heard about an app that uses a top secret algorithm to calculate your “influence” and highlight your chief areas of knowledge. I guess this means it lets me know who likes what I’m barking about and the stuff I bark about most frequently.

Hmmmmm….I dunno about this. But it did get me thinking. What do I bark about most? My first guess is cheese. Apparently not… My top items of “knowledge” are Mom, barking, with waving paws rounding out my Top 3.

Really, not a bad Top 3, but I think I know more about cheese than the list indicates. So, I set out to highlight my knowledge about noming cheese. Not cheese itself per se - just keys to successfully achieving cheese so you can nom it. Hope these keys increase your cheese/nom success ratio.

6 Keys to Achieving Successful Cheese Noming

No. 1 - Master Your Surroundings
Know that cheese is most often stored in the fridge. Don’t waste your time or energy looking for cheese under the sofa, at the front door or in the bathroom. You will find other interesting things there but probably not cheese.

No. 2 - Be Alert to Details
Most cheese comes into the house via shopping bags. Inspect all bags entering house. This includes grocery store, purses, Nordstrom and Home Depot bags. While searching for cheese outside the fridge is often unrewarding, don’t let opportunities slip past. Cheese can make it into the fridge in many ways.

No. 3 - Distinguish Elements in Your World
Cheese is often stored in easy open bags. Don't be fooled by easy open lettuce bags. And for heavens sake, do not fall for the ziplock sound that the plastic bag humans store make-up, vitamins and craft items in.

No. 4 – Understand Relative Gravity
The easiest way to define gravity is that it’s a force that attracts an object (cheese) towards the center of the earth, or towards other physical body (Me). Make gravity your friend.

No. 5 –Nurture Persistence
Persistence is the hidden gem in our knowledge kit. You can paralyze resistance with persistence. It's true. If you don’t keep trying to get cheese at every opportune or inopportune moment, well, you won’t get cheese. Avert tragedy, remain persistent.

No. 6 - Recognize Success
Cheese happens - so enjoy your moment of glory when you and cheese become one. Revel in the joy of achieving your goals.

"In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden

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Every now and then Diana plays this song to keep our spirits high. Life with me - a high strung rescue dog full of anxiety, odd quirks and past scars - isn't always easy or fun. These words help to keep us focused on our what is important, our successes and the assurance of even more success in the future.

Sung by: Josh Groban
Songwrters: David Foster, Richard Page & Carole Bayer Sager

Some days we forget to look around us
Some days we can’t see the joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see

It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can do more
There’s so much to be thankful for

Look beyond ourselves, there’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say, “I’ll cry tomorrow”
Each of us must find our trust
We’re so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope
What we still can’t see

It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can do more
There’s so much to be thankful for

Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each others love

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope
What we still can’t see

It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can do more
There’s so much to be thankful for

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Party On!

I went to a dog party the other day. Ok, well, actually, the party was for humans to show off their new house and baby. But still…I got to go.

Diana rounded Michael and I up in the car, we made a few stops for flowers, cold drinks and dessert, and then off for the trip to Michael’s daughter’s house. Baby Miri lives there. I like her a lot. I got to meet her for the first time at Easter. Her dad let me kiss her head. He said I did a nice job.

When we got to the party – Big Surprise!!!!!

Stanley (with my superduper best human step-sib Katie)

 Two new friends!  We had the best time ever.

We sniffed in the kitchen... 

We sniffed on the deck...

We sniffed in the yard...

We even sniffed each other...
Hee Hee - Reading the Local News

I got a little overcome with all the excitement and settled on Diana's lap for a bit to re-organize my thoughts, restore my good humor and to watch Stanley's Mom and Dad open house warming presents.

Stanley's Mom and Dad are super nice to me. Stanley's awesome and beautiful Mom used to be a Marine (I hear once a Marine - always a Marine) but she has moved on to an even bigger job - being a Mom.  Stanley's Dad is a  no-nonsense, gentle and talented Navy Officer. Everyone is so happy that they are now stationed in Washington. 

*Paw Waves to Stanley's Mom and Dad*

 Stanley's Dad gave us a treat! We each got a raw hide bone.

Stanley is really enjoying his special treat!

Stanley's Dad had no way of knowing just how much I love rawhide bones.  I treasure them.  I will go all #destructogang on a stuffed toy or rope toy anytime.  For some reason rawhide bones are a different story. 

It is my firm belief that everyone wants my rawhide bone. So, with an eye towards safety, I savored it.  I carried it around the whole house and yard, searching for the best place to hide it from others. I buried it in the flowers, I hid it behind the hot tub, and I put it in Diana's purse. But here's a picture of my favorite hiding spot of the day:

Inside Stanley's Dad's closet - safe - next to his boots
Stanley's Dad was amazed that I do this.  He'd never seen a dog worry over and bury it's bones.  Diana suggested he look in the closet and, sure enough, he found it. I went back later and put it back in Diana's purse.  She hasn't found it yet - I hope...

This was one of the best days of my life.  I went to a party, met two wonderful new friends and wasn't the worst barker there.  Rico and I barked about the same amount.  With that many people to watch over in his house, Stanley did the most barking.  It was only right.  It is his house.

When everyone comes to my house for a party - I will be the head barker.

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I Bark - Therefore I Am

Part of why Diana and I blog is to highlight the difficulties I have in interacting with other dogs and humans because of my lack of socialization before she adopted me. If the struggles I have and how I am working on improving help other dogs or their humans, then my incessant barking is doing its job.

I’m learning now to be a better canine citizen, but I may never “get there”. I don’t know how to relax or focus. I don’t know how to interact socially without barking. I prefer to interact with people, especially Diana and I don’t mingle all that well with other dogs at social events and especially not at chance encounters.

I love to go for walks. Love it! I jump and jump and grab my harness and leash and drag them to Diana each night until we hit the pavement. I’m alert, active, happy and so excited to go. Diana would love to walk us about a mile to an elementary school with a big play field. Lots of dogs go there and run up and down the field. I’ve been there twice – when no other dogs have been there. I run full out with my ears back, probably the happiest I’ve ever been. Usually though, we take shorter walks where it is quiet and I am less likely to encounter other dogs.

Diana would also love to take me to a small dog meet up in our city. It is a wonderful twice monthly event where the dogs visit an assisted living/nursing home specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease. There are about half-dozen dogs that go every month to visit, hang out for a couple of hours, score tons of treats, petting and visit with our older friends. It’s a win-win in our community and in their lives.

One of the requirements to attend is to behave while on leash. I can’t go. I bark and show aggression towards other dogs when I’m on the leash. The second you clip off the leash I’m friendly to everyone and everything and very generous with hugs and kisses.

As you know, I’ve worked with Jeff Tinsley, the owner of Sound Animals, here in Seattle. He has helped Diana and Michael learn to handle their anxiety and me in group situations, how to engage me in activities and learning situations to make things easier and generally is an awesome guy. I’ve made great progress - just not enough.

If anyone reading my blog has any advice for us on helping me overcome leash aggression (if possible), I welcome your positive thoughts and ideas.

Today I ask only one thing from everyone. If you are planning on getting a dog or have a dog – do the right thing. Socialize them early, often and well to help them become the best they can be.


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