Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the air and on the floor, as in dog prints across the living room and kitchen floors. Now that the weather is mild and some snow is melting, Oreo manages to cover his paws with mud and do some paw-painting on the floors. Yesterday I came downstairs to see a couple of dozen paw prints scattered about. There were too many for a cloth so I got the mop from the basement and did a quick wash of the offending area.

Usually I take the time to wipe Oreo's paws when I let him in from the backyard. But I have to admit that lately I've grown tired of this exercise. Instead, I now tend to let him walk around with wet feet and then clean up after him by moving a rag around with my foot.

I think Oreo has changed our cleaning standards. What's a bit of dirt on the rug anyway? Eventually it will all be a uniform grey, right?

Here's hoping summer is here soon and we can forget about cleaning the dog - at least most of the time. But to get to summer, we have to get through spring, the season of mud-filled dogs and dirty kitchens. Has anyone ever trained a dog to wipe his feet on the doormat? I didn't think so.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Oreo's On A Diet

Last weekend Oreo injured himself. We weren't quite sure what happened but he was favoring his back right leg, hobbling around and whimpering. Cheryl thought that he might have bruised his leg or pulled a muscle when he was playing with his pals at the dog run. Apparently one big dog ran at Oreo and just about knocked him over. In any event, our biggest fear was that this was the first sign of hip dysplasia, a condition that is not uncommon for Portuguese Water Dogs.

By Monday, Oreo seemed to be fine. He was running, walking and jumping without limping and there was no more whimpering. But since he was due for one of his many shots, Cheryl took him to the vet. Everything checked out fine, except his weight. Oreo now weighs well over 40 pounds and is a bit of a chunky boy.

The recommendation is to cut out his half meal at lunch time and to cut back a bit on his morning and evening meals. I'm not sure Oreo is thrilled about this but so far he's not complaining too much. Then again, he doesn't have a whole lot of choice. When I think of how great it would be to live a dog's life, this is one aspect I'm not so thrilled about. Imagine if your diet was restricted and limited by someone else and you couldn't just have that extra donut or piece of pie unless that member of another species let you. Maybe being a dog isn't that great after all.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It's Cold Out There

Here's another shot of Oreo against a nice, clean kitchen floor. Not that it's always clean these days given the accumulation of slush, mud and snow outside. Every time Oreo goes out for a walk or even a spell in the backyard, he inevitably ends up with dirty paws which leave their marks throughout the house.

For some time now, both the front and back doors have featured some old cloths which are to be used to wipe Oreo's paws. This is a chore that is honored more in the breach, as they say. It's usually easy to tell when the pup has had his walk from the paw prints that mark his path from one room to another.

The other day, I drove Sarah to school and saw something that was both laughable and reasonable. A woman was walking her dog who was wearing four booties. Two years ago, I would have laughed and called this a silly affectation. Now I'm beginning to think it's not a bad idea. Maybe I'll consider an upcoming birthday present for Oreo namely, two pairs of doggie boots. Then again, recalling the trouble I used to have with Sarah's boots when she was a toddler, I expect that trouble would be doubled with our four-legged friend. Perhaps I'd have better luck teaching Oreo how to wipe his paws on the doormat. Yeah, right.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The Pampered Pooch

Alas, Oreo is not about to change his ways. I got up in the middle of the night last night to again find him sleeping comfortably on top of the bed in the guest room. When I entered the room to rouse him, he slowly got down off the bed and took the time to stretch out his back legs as if to say "Dave, you and I both know that once you go back to sleep, I'll be up here in a flash. Do we really have to go through this charade?"

I know it's a losing battle but I feel that I am the only one keeping our household from descending into a canine apocalypse. If I left the matter to Sarah and Cheryl, Oreo would be sleeping wherever he pleased and our house would become a little slice of doggie heaven. Someone has to hang tough and keep at least some semblance of order. Otherwise, as foretold by a modern day doggie domino theory, surely we are doomed.

I suspect, however, that Oreo knows that all he need do is wait me out. In this "man versus beast" war of attrition, he has the upper hand or, in his case, the upper paw. It's a dog's world after all.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


A Recent Oreo Pic

It's been a while since I've posted to this blog. Not a whole lot to report so I thought I'd add a recent photo of the pup to show what an almost two-year old Portuguese Water Dog looks like. This photo doesn't quite do him justice since when he's out on his daily walks, he carries himself regally and does look a bit majestic.

No progress on the training front. In fact, if anything, Oreo has regressed a bit. When I woke up in the middle of the night last night, I happened to glance in the spare room. In the darkness, I made out a black lump on the bed.

Sure enough, it was Oreo. At least he had the good sense to climb down off the bed and make his way downstairs. However, I fully expect to catch him up there again. The battle of wits continues with me placing a distant second.

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