The Life of Dogs

Living Your Best Life by Ransom

It’s been a while since I’ve taken over Mom’s blog, and about time if I do say so! Ransom, aka, Menace here, hopefully at least some of you remember me. Mom is busy doing more author stuff so I wanted to share some non-writer stuff with you because frankly, you all might enjoy something different for a change. Today’s topic is about living your best life.

I, Menace live my best life every day. It’s hard not to when you’ve roped your mom into treating you like the king.

I spend as much time as I want sleeping and Mom gets up when I say it’s time. This is important when living your best life because you don’t want to waste time waiting around on others.

Fetch is the most important thing in life, outside of human food and naps. If you want to make it a priority you must do whatever it takes. I like the bark, whine, and stare approach and it gives me my desired results.

The hardest thing to obtain, when living your best life is human food. They say lots of things like, “it’s not for dogs,” “it’s not safe to eat,” and simply “no.” Which is not a reason why I can’t have it. Your best option is to take your chin and push it on their lap, really let them know you’re there and need what they have. In addition, I go for sad eyes, but look distant too, like you’re pondering what life would be like if you ran away. This usually gets their attention, because they don’t want to lose you.

The best thing about living your best life is getting to do it with your human, snuggling with them, making them laugh, and hearing them call your name.

The Life of Dogs

Give Your Dog More Than a Treat

It’s easy and convenient to simply hand your dog a treat. I agree.

But what your dog needs and craves to have is his/her mind worked.

Over the years I have learned new skills with each dog, usually with grand amounts of trial and error.

I’ve been playing the FIND IT game for years, but often become lazy and resort back to “here just take the treat.”

All my dogs have loved this game and it’s easy as can be. I’ve done it a few different ways, sometimes with small boxes outside, but usually inside as a simpler set up.

FIND IT is simply putting treats in locations the dog can get to, but has to use their nose to find because he can’t see them. I place my dog in a command, PLACE, hide the treats, then release him with the command he has come to understand as game on, hence FIND IT! I repeat Find It until he has found all the treats, signaling that he has found them all, or he will keep looking for hours.

Book Reviews, Spotlight on Writing, The Life of Dogs

Best Picture Book of 2018 for Writers


I know you are thinking…what is that, a typo? No.

Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings (2018, Random House) is an amazing book about rejections. I mean about being rejected…

Let me start over…

Can I Be Your Dog is about a dog trying to find a home.

It’s also about rejections.

Arfy, the dog mails out letters asking those in his neighborhood if he can be their dog. One letter in particular was stolen from an agent. I’m most certain.

Okay, maybe not, but it sure seemed like it.

Can I Be Your Dog, an amazing picture book for all ages, especially writers.

Random Humor, The Life of Dogs

Top 5 Things Your Dog Hates (with pictures)

Dogs are like people, they have likes and dislikes. I thought it would be important to emphasize the five things dogs hate the most. This way new dog owners have a leg up with their next family pet. I’ve included photos so there is no confusion.

1. Dogs hate comfortable beds.

2. Dogs hate being close to people and especially don’t like napping on them.

3. Dogs hate peanut butter, so never let them lick the lid.

4. Dog hate fruits and vegetables, and run the other way when you have a carrot.

5. Dogs hate exercise, mostly walks and fetch, anything adventurous. So make sure never to take them anywhere they can do these things.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you learned something new about what dogs hate.

The Life of Dogs

Bayou’s Song

First time I heard this single I was passing by Bayou’s vet, a place far out, rarely on my way to anywhere. It was the first time driving by his vet since he passed. It was a sign, I believe in signs, sue me. Stapleton performed Broken Halos last night at the CMAs. I cry hearing it, pretty much every time. Enough said. (The CMAs tend to block all performances on You Tube so here it is from Today).

The Life of Dogs

Forever my Bayouzzzii 

Saying Bayou was the sweetest and most wonderful dog in the world is like calling the most delicious peach pie “good.” It just does not give it the justice it deserves.

Bayou and I had only been apart once, for three days. From the day he came home on January 22, 2010 until he passed on July 6th…only three days that we were ever apart. THREE DAYS! He was 4 months shy of his 8th birthday.

As I write this, in sections, between crying, I can’t leave my house. Physically stuck. The thought of getting in my car and driving sends me into panic. I shake.

Everyone who met Bayou loved him, even those who hated dogs. He was blessed with nicknames and love from anyone he met. I’ve been overwhelmingly blessed, as has Bayou’s memory to receive such amazing comments from family and friends since his passing. However, some of the most heartfelt comments have been from complete strangers. It goes to show that the dog community is strong. And how wonderful Bayou was to impress so many.

Bayou was the most calm dog ever; his sole was an 80 year old from day one. He loved naps and just a little bit of play or walks was all he needed. When he was a puppy I would leave the cartoon network on and he would stare at it from his playpen.

Bayou loved people more than other dogs. When I first started taking him to the dog park he would go up to the people and could care less about other dogs. He also never left my side at the dog park. If I didn’t walk around he would sit there and do nothing! Once or twice he ran off from me at the dog park, only to realize that I was not near him. This sent him into a panic as his head and eyes darted around looking for me, finding me, and dashing over.

The most notable thing Bayou did was forget he was on the couch. He would get halfway off, then stop. He could be there for 10 minutes, half off, half on before he finally slid off the rest of the way.

It was not his fault he was bombarded with health issues. It was unfair to say the least, from allergies to bladder stones. Bayou had a major surgery and several biopsies over the last 3 years. He kept the vet’s office in good financial standing. And made a point to bark until someone came in to give him the once over. Everyone remembered his name and thought of him enough to ask how he was even when I brought my other dog in.

There is not doubt he was a big boy. He loved to lay next the the toilet in the bathroom, but the bathrooms have always been small. Thus whenever he wanted to leave he could never turn around. So he backed up like a bus…beep beep beep. Every time, it was hilarious. Sometimes I think he could turn around, but he knew it caused laughter.

He had an excellent sloppy sit. He loved to smell people’s lips and ears. He couldn’t jump on people (or even put his paws up on the counter). So he bounced near people when he was excited. His is how he got the nickname Bouncer.

Bayou hated the heat, and he loved the snow. He loved his crate. He loved clean blankets. After washing them I would say, look Bayou it’s all clean, and he would immediately lay on it. He loved the vacuum, as long as it was vacuuming him.

Ransom aka The Menace is wandering the house, sniffing around for Bayou. He sits in Bayou’s bed and stares at me. There is nothing I can say to help him understand his brother is not coming back. He lays down, then paces, then lays again. After a bit, he comes to me and nibbles my arm. I know what he is asking, but there is nothing I can do.

As many of you know, Bayou was on bladder stone specific food, and Apoquel. I hated to give him either. Is this what caused his life to end short? Hard to say. I have continuous reasons to think it was this crap. Regardless…please watch your dog for the following. Suddenly becoming picky about foods, waking at night to potty suddenly, and wanting only cold water to drink. Bayou had these signs, outside of that he was acting and using the restroom like normal. His April well check with the vet was “perfect health.”

I hope Bayou’s heaven is a buffet of pizza crusts, berries, broccoli and carrots. I hope they know to throw the ball at you, verses for you to fetch. I hope it snows year around for you to hop in. I hope there is an endless toss of popcorn into your mouth. I hope you have fresh bedding every night at 9pm. I hope you know I miss you and I was never going to be ready for you to go. If I could have saved you, I would have.

The Life of Dogs

Lab parents need a support group 

wp-image-843608295jpg.jpgWhere should I even start…I took my lab off Apoquel. He was doing great the first few days and then went back to baseline. As I write this he has another ear infection and my other lab spent the day draining my bank account at the vet’s office, which I’m certain last year’s building lease was paid completely by my two dogs.
Why is it that, essential the best breed in the world, has so many health issues. My 1 year old lab even had a Barium Swallow test done. I thought only people had that! He has been having regurgitation of food, mostly at night for several months. Prior to testing all signs pointed at Megaesophageal, tests were negative. Or what I refer to as ‘all experiences paid for my vet’s next vacation.’

Thus, he went home with an ear infection (yep, both dogs), acid reducer, antibiotics (he has a growth on his winky area, oh yes again), and another reducer of sorts.

I’m pretty sure I’ll cry again about all of this, if not for the dogs, for myself. It’s stressful. There needs to be a support group for us lab parents to cry over wine, and our dogs to fight over ear cleaner and antibiotics.