Friday, January 19, 2007


Oreo the Extrovert

I've definitely noticed that Oreo is an extrovert. He likes having people around and is not shy about letting us know. On the weekends, we'll eat dinner in front of the TV and so we bar Oreo from the rec room until we've finished eating. He spends the time spread out in front of the baby gate that bars his entrance looking depressed and occasionally making little sad sounds signalling his displeasure.

Even when it comes to Cheryl's bathtime, Oreo prefers not to be alone. Once Cheryl's in the tub, Oreo bumps open the bathroom door with his nose and proceeds to the tub where he helps himself to a drink. He then lies down by the tub to await Cheryl's eventual exit from her bath.

Given half a chance, Oreo would spend the night in our room or Sarah's room, preferably on top of the bed. And given half a chance, Cheryl and Sarah would let him. That's where I draw the line. Oreo has the rest of the house to choose from but, so far, no bedroom snoozing for him. Even extroverts have to be given limits.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Cut and Run

How do you cut a dog's nails and trim his hair when he absolutely, positively refuses to cooperate? Cheryl tried a few times in the past to trim Oreo's nails but he was adamant about not letting her do it. She even suggested that I hold him down while she cut but, having envisioned an ongoing wrestling match with an ever-growing dog, I respectfully declined.

The issue came up again yesterday since Oreo's nails and hair were looking a bit ratty. When Cheryl mentioned the pup's untrimmed state, I thought back to a time when Cheryl had smeared some cream cheese on the fridge to distract Oreo and carry out some long-forgotten chore.

"Why don't you smear some peanut butter on the fridge," I helpfully suggested. "And see if that works?"

So Cheryl dabbed a bunch of peanut butter (organic, of course) about two feet up on the fridge door and summoned Oreo to the kitchen. He immediately attacked the peanut butter-laden door and Cheryl was able to trim his nails and his hair without complaint. Actually, there was a minor disturbance when the peanut butter ran out. But another smear on the door provided plenty of time to complete the tasks at hand (or, in this case, the tasks at paw).

You have to wonder what Oreo would put up with if we spread some live paté on the fridge door. I'm guessing he'd be so distracted, we could give him a full haircut or maybe even minor surgery.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Feline Follies

This is one of those rare times when a posting from my political satire blog ends up on Oreo's blog, too.

"He [John Baird] is also a lover of felines. The Harpers are great cat lovers, too."
- The Globe and Mail - Jan. 5, 2007

Ruff-ruff. Woof, woof, woof.

Hi, I’m Oreo. I’m a Portuguese Water Dog and my so-called master has agreed to translate my remarks for this piece.

I’ve never written an op-ed essay before. Heck, I’ve never even written a letter to the editor. But this latest cabinet shuffle by the Tories has really got me steamed.

The other day I was lying in front of the TV licking myself when I heard that John Baird has been appointed Minister of Environment. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

But what got my tail tied in a knot was the report that Mr. Baird likes cats. And apparently his boss Mr. Harper and Mr. Harper’s wife Laureen are big cat lovers, too.

Now I’m the first one to say that this is a free country and that everyone has the right to their own opinion including, of course, the right to be wrong. But, honestly, do we really want a bunch of mealy-mouthed cat lovers running the government?

When was the last time a cat ever did anything useful? As far as I can tell, never.

These furball-filled felines do nothing but lie around all day eating their owners out of house and home. They barely even acknowledge anyone else’s presence, much less cater to their needs.

Ask yourself when’s the last time you saw a cat taking its owner for a nice walk? Or playing fetch with a ball or stick? Or rescuing some poor misbegotten child from the bottom of an abandoned well?

The world is divided into two types of people: those who like dogs and those who like cats. And when it comes to the latter, as far as I can see, they’re no better than cats themselves.

As for the few cats I know, all they want to do is cut and slash. And cat lovers appear to be the same. Whether it’s programs or taxes, it’s all cut, cut, cut.

Not like that nice Stéphane Dion. The guy owns a dog, a Siberian Husky named Kyoto. Now what could be friendlier than that?

My owner tells me there’s likely going to be an election soon. I don’t know much about elections but I do know a thing or two about cats and dogs. And if my experience is anything to go by, I’d steer clear of the cat lovers.

Most dogs I know will run and play and even let me sniff their butts. But when it comes to cats, it’s just me, me, me and an open paw to the face. And I’ve got the scars to prove it.

So take a tip from a dog who’s been around the block. Before casting your vote for anyone, check out their pet preference. Otherwise, the next thing you know you’ll be governed by a bunch of yarn chasers and bird eaters. Just a word to the wise.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Oreo Ends Christmas

The twelve days of Christmas officially ended on Saturday. Thanks to the mild weather, I was able to disconnect the outdoor Christmas lights and bring in the extension cord. And yesterday Cheryl and Sarah dismantled our new artifical tree and put away the lights and decorations. A far as I was concerned, that marked the official end of our Christmas.

But I forgot that there is a new member of our family, the one and only Oreo. And it turns out that he, not us, determines the official end of the Christmas season in our house.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I helped Sarah and our neighbor's little girl Danielle construct a gingerbread house from one of those packaged kits. Even though I managed to crack one of the walls in half, I was able to salvage the structure with the strong-as-mortar icing.

The completed gingerbread house spent the next two weeks as the centerpiece of the dining room table. When Christmas arrived, we moved it to a safer location atop the stereo which sits on the table near the front door in the living room. And there it stayed - until this morning.

Cheryl was out this morning and returned to find Oreo in the kitchen munching away on what she assumed was a bone. 'How cute' she thought as she approached her ever-adorable pup. On closer inspection, however, she discovered that Oreo had one of the walls of the gingerbread house in his mouth. His whiskers were coated in icing and the rest of the edible edifice was nearby on the floor.

It's hard to know how or why Oreo got his paws on the gingerbread house. He would have had to get up on the table and drag the house down from on top of the stereo. Given that it's been around for about a month, the 'why' of its destruction is also a bit mysterious. Cheryl suspects that because today was the first day that we were all back to our usual routines, Oreo was not pleased and decided to show his displeasure by helping himself to the nearest gingerbread display he could find.

My theory is that Oreo has decided that Christmas isn't over until he says it's over. And with the demise of the gingerbread house, it's now official - the holiday season is done.


The Doggie Resort

For those interested in checking out Oreo's doggie resort, it's the Ottawa Valley Dog and Cat Resort and the web site can be found at Please note, however, that the resort policy has recently changed and the resort is closed on Wednesdays.

Oreo's vet mentioned that she uses a similar place to board her dog. I don't have the particulars for that resort although I believe it, too, is east of Ottawa.

If you're lucky enough to find a good doggie resort, I'm sure your dog will thank you. When we drop Oreo off at his resort, he can't wait to get in so he can play with the other dogs. We haven't yet had to use a standard kennel but I'm guessing they're not nearly as much fun for dogs.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Playing With Oreo

You'd think playing with your dog would be an easy, risk-free experience. But when it comes to dogs, nothing is easy or, for that matter, risk-free. Earlier this week, Sarah was playing with Oreo and he licked her face. Just an innocent doggie lick on the cheek. But that little lick turned into a rash which lasted for the rest of the day. Apparently Sarah is allergic to Oreo's saliva. I think she'll be less inclined now to let him slobber all over her.

I discovered a similar reaction tonight when I was playing with the fierce overgrown pup. We were wrestling, boxing and otherwise fighting. Since Oreo had a tennis ball in his mouth the whole time, there was minimal risk of an inadvertent bite. But he did manage to jump on my arm from time to time and lightly scratched it. I didn't think much of it at the time but about ten minutes after our battle, I noticed the scratched area on my arm had gotten quite red and sore. Within the hour it had subsided but I suspect that there was again some kind of allergic reaction at play.

Given this recent history, maybe we'll have to take a new approach to playtime with Oreo. I don't think we'll need head to toe armor but maybe a long sleeved shirt and a pair of gloves are in order.

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