Doggy Blog

Dogwalking 101: Why walk dogs?

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I come to you today to argue for the benefits of the out-of-the-blue career change and the many unadvertised merits of dogwalking as a gig. I worked a nondescript office job in downtown Chicago for several years that involved: meetings, sitting at a desk, talking about the weather and/or Chicago sports teams with what were essentially strangers, and more meetings. I’m sure this rings true for many of you reading this. Not to cast judgment; if you like the office setting and you find value and fulfillment in what you do, I fully support that. I didn’t really find either at my place of employment and I was looking around for something else. Luckily I had some connections with Home Treat Home and after crunching some numbers and drumming up some freelance work, I made it work. It ended up being a great decision. If you’re looking to change careers, dogwalking is a good choice. It grants you a series of virtues that are unique to the position. AND HERE THEY ARE:


  • Exercise. Who woulda thought that walking 5-10 miles a day would be good for the body? Certainly better than sitting in a lumpy office chair for 9 hours a day.

  • Flexibility of schedule. Typically the middle of the day is busy, but other than that you can mold your daily life in any way you’d like. This makes the job great for freelancers or creatives of any stripe.

  • Navigation. I know the north side of Chicago like the back of my damn hand at this point. I can tell you how to get anywhere. I know where construction is. I know where potholes are. Hell, I know where potholes WERE.

  • Enriches city life. If you walk and bike around the city for hours every day, you will talk to people of every kind. Some of these conversations are wonderful. Some of them are mildly frightening. All of them deepen and broaden the experience of living in one of the biggest cities in the world. You will also see: great architecture; wonderful parks; the seasons change; various flora and fauna; random weather events; etc.

  • Patience. Dogs are essentially babies that can’t talk and will eat chicken bones at every opportunity. Much like what I imagine dealing with children is like, dealing with canines demands patience and understanding. They will literally do things detrimental to their own wellbeing and FUCKING LOVE DOING IT. You will want to get mad at them but they are just dogs so you must patiently help them instead.

  • The affection of dogs. This dovetails with the last point: if you treat dogs with respect, patience, and understanding, they will give you undying love, affection, and loyalty in return. That’s a damn good (and rare) deal.

  • Time management. Walking 10-18 dogs a day creates some razor thin margins timewise. Basically, dogs are giant grenades full of pee and poop and the pin gets pulled out as soon as their owner leaves for work. Luckily the time to detonation is usually several hours, but you are ever aware of that loose pin on the ground as the time ticks by. Walking dogs grants you the ability to instantly change your schedule and/or route to manage these canine bags of effluvia.

  • Time to listen. I’m a big fan of music, podcasts, and audiobooks and I have listened to thousands of hours of content while walking dogs. If you also like listening to audio, you can do so unperturbed as a dogwalker.

  • Introversion/extroversion training. Dogwalking can be as solitary or as communal as you want. You can spend the whole day silently jogging with dogs or you can meander in the park and mingle with the hoi polloi. The best part is that it’s up to you!

  • Freedom. Working off that last point, the only thing you have to do is walk the dogs you have in their desired time range. This affords a delightful sense of freedom to the day, as you are not locked in an office from 8am to 6pm. Do you need to go grocery shopping? Bring a backpack and go nuts. Do you need to pick up a last minute gift for someone’s birthday? Stop in at any store you’d like and peruse the shelves. Oh check it out a farmer’s market, you should go. Oh look it’s the tamale guy, you should totally buy a tamale. IT’S THE DAMN AMERICAN WAY BABY!


There are undoubtedly many other benefits to walking dogs, but these are the main ones for me. If you are interested in checking it out please check out our Job Opportunities page! Enjoy your weekends!

—Sean

Hutson

As people who care for animals, you never want to make posts like these. But as every pet owner knows, this comes with the territory. Pets bring such amazing companionship, comfort, and fulfillment to peoples lives and they require so little in return for those amazing blessings; they are truly gifts to the world. I think one of the forgotten aspects of pet ownership is how your animal companion measures time passing in your life. Because they’re on a shorter schedule then we are, they serve as time capsules that visibly mark the days and years going by. Hutson was one of the first dogs I walked with Home Treat Home, and he’s always been a delight. He lived a long happy life full of belly rubs, long walks, fine food and drink (he loved semi frozen vegetable medleys), and a wonderful owner. Here’s to you buddy. Rest easy.


 Hutson as a young buck, ready to take on the world.

Hutson as a young buck, ready to take on the world.


 A prodigious napper.

A prodigious napper.

 Not a huge fan of waking up though.

Not a huge fan of waking up though.


 Hutson was a founding member of the Carmen Crew

Hutson was a founding member of the Carmen Crew

 Surrounded by buds, always.

Surrounded by buds, always.

 And always going his own direction.

And always going his own direction.


Dogwalking 101: Stranger Things

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First off, as a nod to my incredibly clever title, I’d like to show you a picture of one of our all star former doggos Lou.

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And then a picture of Dustin from the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things.

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SEPARATED AT BIRTH, AMIRITE? It didn’t hit me until I came up with the pun for the title but Lou blindly smiling with just his lower teeth showing is extremely Dustin from Stranger Things. No offense to Dustin. It’s a very charming look and he is a brave dude that sticks up for his friends, which is more than I can say for Lou, whose main character trait was barking at every delivery person on the block. In fact, that peccadillo of Lou’s dovetails nicely with my ACTUAL topic for today’s Dogwalking 101: dealing with strangers on the street.

People love dogs. People love petting dogs. What people often do not like is asking to pet dogs. This is often fine, but with some dogs (like good ol’ Louboy), this unwanted petting stresses them out and can result in some cacophonous barking or worse. You need to ask the person with the dog if it’s okay to pet the dog AND THEN WAIT FOR AN ANSWER BEFORE PETTING. I cannot stress this enough. Here’s an example encounter:

Stranger: “OMG your dog is so cute can I pet him?”

Me: “First of all, how dare you gender my do–”

Stranger: BEGINS PETTING DOG

As I said, with most dogs the only issue will be aggressive licking and hugging/humping, but the worst case scenario is bad enough to require a grace period between asking and petting.


While we’re on the topic, here are some stranger archetypes that I’ve come across:

  • Person dressed like your wacky aunt or uncle that always has a big bag of mysterious dog treats that they want to give your dog

  • Person that asks a strangely aggressive question about the dog, eg: “IS THAT A FUCKIN’ SHAR PEI?” (real question I’ve been asked)

  • Person with dog that they say is nice but ends up freaking out and either nipping at or humping my dog

  • Person that sees you and dog from roughly half a block away and turns on their heel and walks the other way, even if it’s a puppy or pug

  • Person jogging down the sidewalk directly at you and dog who does not waver at all and gives you a dirty look

  • Normal person (exceedingly rare)


So in closing, always remember this rhyming couplet I just thought of:

When you see a dog you haven’t met

Ask before you give a pet

Thank you and have a wonderful dog-filled afternoon!

—Sean

Frankie Goes to Hollywood (Avenue)

Meet Frankie.

 WE ARE AT CUTE-CON 1. DEF-CUTE 1? EITHER WAY SHE’S SO CUTE.

WE ARE AT CUTE-CON 1. DEF-CUTE 1? EITHER WAY SHE’S SO CUTE.


Did you die after seeing that? Perhaps by SQUEEing so hard that you popped a vessel? Some people simply expire after looking upon Frankie’s adorable visage. In fact, I suspect that she is some type of dog medusa that melts peoples hearts instead of turning them to stone. Instead of snakes for hair she has fuzzy lil earflaps. Instead of a sword she has a swishy swooshy tail. I know, I know. It’s groundbreaking and controversial to say, IN PUBLIC ESPECIALLY, that puppies are cute—but Frankie really stands out amongst the hoi polloi.

HOW CUTE BE SHE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS:

  • She is a Labrador puppy

    • Just a GREAT place to start in the cuteness department

  • Solid head tilt

    • Most important quality of a lab puppy IMHO

  • Teensy lil white socks on her paws

    • Not sure why a dog needs socks, but she’s got ‘em and they’re magnificent

  • Slightly brindled coat

    • Hard to see in this picture, but it adds a splendid mahogany

      contrast to her otherwise jet black “goth” look

  • Extremely soft nose

    • Guys, her nose is just so DAMN SOFT

  • She is very chill and independent

    • She is just as much at home sitting and cuddling on a landing as she is sniffing the trunk of a tree, and that’s just adorable

  • SO WELL BEHAVED

    • She loves to sit, she doesn’t bark, she scoots right back into her crate and criss-crosses her paws, she can almost sorta do “shake” if you consider “shake” to be licking my hand and then falling over


 Headshape 1: “Chill Ears”

Headshape 1: “Chill Ears”

 Headshape 2: “Earodynamic”

Headshape 2: “Earodynamic”


For me, that last category is really the big winner for Frankie. She is the most well behaved and chill puppy I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Most young doggos are absolute SPASTICS. They’re eating trash. They’re jumping up on strangers. They’re attempting to get in strollers and kick out the baby in an attempt to gain the love and food of an additional family. Ya know, just generally losing their shit at being ALIVE, BABY.

And I get it. The world is full of fun things like wind, squirrels, and food wrappers BUT CAN YOU ALL JUST CHILL FOR A SECOND THE LEASH IS WRAPPED AROUND MY LEGS AND NOW I’VE FALLEN. Frankie is not like this however. Frankie is a warm cup of tea on a rainy day. Frankie is a windchime slowly ringing in the breeze. Frankie is a muscle relaxer and a glass of wine. Frankie is CHILLLLLL. She goes with the flow and it’s frankly (get it?), very refreshing.

Upon meeting her for the first time, she was super loving and yet demure. Sort of like what I imagine Audrey Hepburn would have been like if she was a Labrador puppy. Also like Audrey Hepburn, she didn’t jump up on my legs and start gnawing on my kneecap but rather just gently licked my hand. Too weird? No matter.

Our first walk was swell, she kept up with me perfectly and with some light leash adjustments, we scampered along like two professionals. She’s also totally willing to stop and just hang out for a while. Perhaps most importantly, if you EVEN LIGHTLY start scritching her side she dutifully flops over and GOES IN for bellyrubs. In fact, if I hadn’t encouraged her to get back up on all fours, we’d probably still be there on the pavement. She’s great at going back home too. She doesn’t run ahead or freak out or anything, and once we’re back in her place she saunters over to her crate and jumps in without much provocation. It’s amazing. She deserves each and every treat she gets.

 Presented in diptych.

Presented in diptych.

 For maximum cuteness.

For maximum cuteness.


Frankie basically exhibits all characteristics of an old salty veteran doggo in the body of a spry youthful pupper. It’s amazing. Here’s to you Frankie!

—Sean

Adventures in Dogsitting: Oscar

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Oscar is the perfect dog to kick off the first Adventures in Dogsitting. Not only am I dogsitting him right now (he’s currently sitting on a chair staring intently at the wall), but he has a whole host of other positive characteristics. He’s FRIENDLY. He’s SOFT. He’s (fairly) WELL BEHAVED. And he’s a PUGGLE (which makes him adorable and hilarious in both appearance and mannerisms). Oscar and I have been hanging out for quite a while now, and I have to tell you: it’s been a delight. I know you probably think I say that about every dog. And in fact, I do. Because dogs are rad.

What we will be doing here today is GRADING Oscar’s performance as a dogsittee in several categories that I will be making up as I go. Without further ado, THE CATEGORIES:


FOODING AND DRINKING

GRADE: A

Oscar is OBSESSED with food. Some confluence of traits from his pug lineage and beagle lineage have led to an undying wish to consume all food and treats forever and always. If Oscar is hiding somewhere when I show up to walk him, all I have to do is place my hand lightly on the treat bag and he will bound down the stairs. If I have my hand closed when he sees me, he gets up on his hind legs and lunges. This is probably my fault. I encourage it due to the cuteness, you see. However, he has no time for his water dish. Part of this I get. I mean water takes up premium bellyspace that could be used to store more food. I have outsmarted him on this front, as I sneak water into his system by disguising it under…FOOOOOOOD. He now happily inhales his food like a teenager eating a bowl of cereal.

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WALKING AND TALKING

GRADE: A-

Oscar happily bounds along the sidewalk like a tiny, very hairy, child at the zoo. Just zooming along, not a care in the world, not really aware of where he’s going or how much space he takes up. It’s lovely to see such a carefree attitude in today’s world. The beagle in him requires that he stop to smell everything always, so we don’t really ever go too far on our walks, despite them taking a long time. And, related to the previous category, he will eat anything that resembles food that he comes across on our walks.

He’s pretty well behaved on our walks, though he does seem to have some…grudges? Vendettas? He barks and howls and bays at very specific dogs that we come across on our walks, specifically one white standard poodle. He absolutely loses his mind if we walk past this dog, even if we’re across the street. No idea what that dog did to Oscar, but it must have been badddd news. Poodles always look like they think they’re better than you anyways, so maybe Oscar is in the right here.


SLEEPING AND DREAMING

GRADE: A-

Oscar loves to sleep. Oscar loves to sleep on top of you. Oscar loves to sleep on top of your face and chest and barring that your legs and if that doesn’t work maybe just by your legs please. This is, of course, adorable BUT not always welcome. He is an incredibly soft dog, but he does have a certain HEFT to him, which isn’t nice when it is centered entirely on one’s sternum and neck. Also, due to him eating primarily freeze dried pellets of meat and meat ephemera, his breath stanks. And he’s always yawning or licking his own nose or licking my nose, so his mouth is OPEN all the time. Just wafting that fog.

And he definitely has wild dreams. He does that lil wee pseudo barking that most dogs do when they’re sleeping, but he also has a good amount of leg movement sometimes. To the point where he’s woken himself up before. Hilarious stuff.


HANGING AND CHILLING

GRADE: A+

This is Oscar’s strong suit. He loves to hang out on the couch and watch Ozark. He loves to sit at your feet and listen to Ozark. He loves to sit by you on the couch and lick his own foot. He loves to sit over in a chair and stair at the wall. As long as you’re around, he’s happy as hell. As I mentioned before, he’s extremely soft so he fits right in when you’re lounging on the couch. He’s sorta like a sentient armrest. I’m not sure if he took in the finer points of the money laundering/drug dealing noir of Ozark but he certainly didn’t complain. If you want a companion that will sit on and about your lap and just haaaaaaaaaaang for as long as you want, you should seek out a puggle.


 Oscar, presumably looking at a treat in my hand.

Oscar, presumably looking at a treat in my hand.


OVERALL GRADE: A

Was it ever in doubt?

—Sean

HTH is High on Denver.

HTH Chicago has hit the five year mark and we are shaking things up by expanding to the Mile High City. "What the woof! Why Denver?" you might be thinking. I chose Denver because of the boom that has reinvented my old hometown. Denver is not the sleepy, Rocky Mountain town it once was. It's waking up! It has been howling for me and all scents point West for the next wild adventure.

Some of you may have noticed that I have been traveling to Denver a lot and have seen posts on social media about being there. This has been in the making for about a year now and I am excited about my new venture. 

Its all about the altitude. The energy of a quickly growing city is the fuel I need to start the HTH expansion. After great success in Chicago, thank you everyone, I am ready for a new challenge. HTH Chicago will remain strong and will have the great customer service you have come to expect and appreciate. You all have help make my dreams come true. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for five successful years! It means everything to me. Please refer us to your friends and family in Denver and Chicago.

FINN the dog, and SEAN the human

Struggled a bit with the title on this one. There are somehow too many and too few puns with the name Finn, who just happens to be the pooch I'm focusing on today. In fact, I'll give you a glimpse into just how much work goes into writing one of these with a list of other considered titles:

  • First to FINNish, last to start
  • Nice dogs FINNish last
  • A fight to the FINNish
  • FINNishing touches
  • FINN de siècle
  • FINNcredible edible egg
  • FINNstagram

Yes, those are all amazing titles that would surely have elicited a chuckle (or a groan, we do not discriminate over here), but ultimately I decided on the Adventure Time–themed title you see above. This is partly because Adventure Time contains one of the only Finns in popular culture (other than a minor character in noted Birmingham crime drama Peaky Blinders) and also because Adventure Time is fantastic and you should be watching it.

 Actual photo of me (right) and every dog (left) after hanging out all afternoon.

Actual photo of me (right) and every dog (left) after hanging out all afternoon.

Full disclosure: in the show, FINN is the human with the white hat and JAKE is the yellow dog. I figured that since we're all friends here, I would be fine to take some creative liberties. 


That being said, Finn is a doggo that most embodies the frenetic enthusiasm typically present in a Saturday morning children's cartoon. When you walk in the door he is nowhere to be found, but that doesn't last long. Once you round the corner to the living room, he attempts to not only leap into your arms, but often times over your head. He then literally spins his way back towards the door and eagerly waits for his leash to be laid upon his scruffy dome. Often times he makes a face like this:

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This inimitable verve continues as we make our way outside, ready to take on the day and probably pee on some of it (him not me). Finn is not a large dog, but he has the core strength of a musk ox on amphetamine. Not to say he's a bad walker, I just think 90% of his brain is a kind of pulsing yellow glow of pure zeal for the outdoors and he just NEEDS to smell every blade of grass and try to EAT every leaf and then PEE on every blade of grass and leaf too. I do not blame him for this and in fact I am profoundly jealous.

This is not to say Finn does not have his quiet moments:

 Finn, contemplating the ineluctable modality of the visible. With a leaf in his beard.

Finn, contemplating the ineluctable modality of the visible. With a leaf in his beard.


Perhaps this is becoming a bit of a cliché at this point (it is DEFINITELY a cliché) but Finn LOVES to charge at squirrels. This is common to pretty much every canine I've walked, with the exception of some older dogs who just can't be bothered. However, I find that it is EXTREMELY prevalent amongst those doggos and puppers of the terrier variety. This makes sense, as terriers were bred to seek and destroy any and all rodentia. It is purely a human bias that allows us to see rats as horribly disgusting pests that carry plague and squirrels as friendly tree dwellers who just can't seem to remember where they hid that last walnut. Squirrels are tree rats with fluffy tails. Dogs see past the tails. Dogs know that they're the same. Dogs know that the only reason that squirrels haven't caused the modern black plague is because they just haven't gotten their grubby little hands on the right pathogen yet. Dogs know that the day will come when the squirrels turn. Dogs know,  man. And they're practicing, staying ever vigilant for that day. Finn is a proud member of this vanguard, and he knows that the only reason he hasn't caught one of those evil squirrels is because I'm holding him back. But someday that leash won't be there.

 "Those squirrels are walkin' on my grass"

"Those squirrels are walkin' on my grass"

 "SQUIRRELS. GET OFF MY GRASS."

"SQUIRRELS. GET OFF MY GRASS."


Once again, the Doggy Blog has gotten away from me.

We can boil this whole post down into 4 main points:

  • Dogs are great.
  • Finn is great.
  • Adventure Time is great.
  • Fuck squirrels.

—Sean

PUTTIN' ON THE FITZ

After a much too long hiatus, the Doggy Blog is back in action. We're not going to bore you with a long explanation about our absence, but rest assured it involved traveling to far-fetched and exotic locales to interview the local canine culture. We met Standard Poodles sipping mai-tais in Hawaii. We gazed intently at Shar-Peis modeling vintage leather jackets in Madrid. We tried to keep up with some Cocker Spaniels singing karaoke in Tokyo. And we chased after Dachshunds riding motorbikes in Morocco. It was chaos. And it was worth it. 


Okay. None of that happened. But we do have a BRAND NEW doggo to introduce to you from right here in plain ol' Chicago. Actually, in a bizarre twist, this lil guy resides in the same exact domicile as a previous member of the Home Treat Home pack: Sam

And that lil is Fitz the Pug. And he is just absolutely brain-meltingly delightful:

 Fitz, filling his innards with Vitamin D.

Fitz, filling his innards with Vitamin D.


Fitz is a recent addition to the Home Treat Home pack and he has been an absolute joy. And as you can probably tell from the look of mirror-shattering innocence in those mahogany pug eyes, Fitz is also a recent addition to this planet. This makes him very popular with...literally everyone and everything that we come across on our afternoon strolls. Women shriek and fall to the ground in front of him, begging to place even a hand upon Fitz's majestic coat. Since they are typically ungloved, Fitz politely refuses. Men bow before him, offering treats and often all the cash on them in an attempt to curry favor with the clear alpha on the street. Since the treats on offer are almost never wild caught Atlantic salmon, Fitz turns the other cheek. As for the cash...Fitz has been fully liquid in cryptocurrency since 2014. Children just EXPLODE into clouds of joyous confetti as he approaches.

Other animals seem to be the only creatures that excite our Fitz. This can be both positive and negative. Birds and squirrels bear the brunt of the negative attention, and are summarily charged at when sighted. As befits creatures of such low birth. One time, we even came across a particularly sluggish rabbit that Fitz nearly caught up to, but at the last moment engaged some last ditch leg muscle and rocketed to the top of a small tree. I convinced Fitz no one saw it and we both moved on.

Other dogs tend to be the recipients of Fitz's positive attention, which as you might guess, can be a bit intense at times. He's a growing pup after all! There is a sniffing out period of course, both front and rear. If the approaching dog passes the olfactory test, it is on to some light horseplay. Feints, light dressage, and high-stepping are all common here. After this, some are even lucky enough to enjoy a few moments of play with the Boy Who Will Be Pug King. The majesty is almost too much to bear.

After that, it's back to the castle for drinks and a nap. For Fitz, of course.

 Fitz, surveying his lands.

Fitz, surveying his lands.


We will be back here regularly for some more of these intimate (semi-fictional) profiles of the Home Treat Home roster, so tell your friends to join the pack for their dog to be featured! We will also have more Dogwalking 101s and a new feature (still in beta-testing) called: Adventures in Dogsitting.

Sean

Dogwalking 101: Old Tricks for New Dogs

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Today on the Doggy Blog, a ranking of the best tricks/commands that dogs can do!

  1. SIT. The command that starts it all. Without this, you don't really have a dog, just a hairy beast that lives in your house that you feed and take outside to use the bathroom. SIT is both the calming spell that you can cast on a overactive puppy AND the old wizened dog who wants a treat a lil too bad. 9/10.
  2. SHAKE. SHAKE is a bit of a novelty, but it has always been the next logical step after SIT in my mind. If you meet a dog for the first time and it can SIT and SHAKE, you have a dog smarter than some humans. Plus, nothing feels cooler than shakin' paws with a dog. 8/10
  3. HIGH FIVE. Some may consider this an elevated form of SHAKE because it's a "cooler" move than a handshake but I disagree thoroughly. The HIGH FIVE is essentially just a paw-to-hand tap that lasts a second while the SHAKE maneuver involves keeping the paw connected to the hand and then going vigorously up and down. An obvious hierarchy there. 6/10.
  4. DOWN. The evolved form of SIT. The SIT command can branch off into either SHAKE or DOWN depending on what kinda day you want to have. Feeling fun? Go with SHAKE. Want to have a more chill afternoon? Give DOWN a try. Plus DOWN allows you to go to the grand poobah of commands: ROLL OVER. 7/10.
  5. ROLL OVER. I dare you to watch a dog execute a crisp ROLL OVER and not smile. It's impossible. In fact you'll probably start merrily laughing and clapping your knee. Bonus points if your dog has a good amount of floof to him or her, because that just accents the glorious movement. And I have a strong feeling the pup likes it too, given the expression plastered on said pup's face post ROLL OVER. 10/10.
  6. WALTZ. This is what I've taken to calling the move where your pup of choice hops up and you snatch its paws out of the air and then you both do a little dance. Whenever I do this, it resembles a poor man's WALTZ. Couple steps that way, couple steps this way, all while humming in 3/4 time. It's a grand move, but ultimately not really a command and maybe not good for doglegs if performed for significant lengths of time. 4/10.
  7. FETCH. Perhaps the only command more canonical than SIT in a dog's repertoire. FETCH, SIT, naming dogs Rover, dogs enjoying bow tie shaped bones, and dogs hating cats are the top 5 dog stereotypes for sure. FETCH is a portal to hours of fun with your dog. You just pick up pretty much anything and throw it as far as you can and your pup dutifully runs and gets it and brings it back to you and drops it. Then you just repeat that for as long as you want. It's a blast. 10/10.
  8. SPEAK. Not a great command, dogs bark all the time anyways! Or they don't. Either way, avoid this one. 1/10.
  9. PLAY DEAD. The backwards reverse DOWN. This is where your dog slumps over on its side, or if you have a flexible pupper, on its back and PLAYS DEAD. Sometimes their legs stick up or out and that' cute (if not a little morbid). A cute little display to be sure, but we don't want to be pretending our dogs are deceased now do we? 5/10.
  10. KISS. A great command! In all likelihood, your dog already slobbers all over you all the time (if you're lucky) so you probably don't need it. But if you do, definitely try this one out, dog kisses are the best. 11/10.

I'm not entirely sure what we achieved here, but I had a great time. Hope you enjoyed this little bit of canine mirth! Enjoy your Wednesday!

Sean

Big Mack

Today is a banner day for all you Doggy Blog readers out there. Today is the day that you get to meet the radiant beam of French sunshine that is Mack. I mean, look at that damn face:

 I was holding a treat.

I was holding a treat.


Mack is but a wee boy, around 8 months old, but he OWNS his block like an old grizzled junkyard dog. Think Hercules from The Sandlot but 1/32nd the size. Someone once said that some people walk shoulders first into rooms and some people walk legs first; Mack is absolutely a shoulders first kinda dude. He PPPPPROWLS. He probably weighs 16 pounds, but he pulls on the leash like a damn ATV. It's truly a spectacle to witness his unbridled confidence on the streets. He runs into a bit of trouble around other dogs, but in that overly aggressive playful way. I think he sees other dogs as trampolines that he needs to pounce on, which is adorable but not always welcome. In true Mack fashion, it doesn't matter whether his target is a myostatin inhibited Great Dane or an anemic miniature Schnauzer, Mack wants to roughhouse either way.

In that vein, Mack also tends to get distracted by squirrels. Very distracted. We can walk by hordes of pigeons or sparrows or elderly women's ankles and Mack won't bat a wrinkly little eyelid but the SECOND a fuzzy tailed tree rat enters his vision he spazzes out completely. After a bit (and I mean A BIT) of research on the French Bulldog, this makes sense. Apparently, the French Bulldog is a mix of the English Bulldog (DUH) and "local ratters in Paris" which I take to mean terriers—although we should definitely call terriers "ratters" from now on because then they sound like punk bands (Jack Russell Ratter, Pit Bull Ratter, Yorkshire Ratter, etc). And since the squirrel is just a tree rat with a delightfully loud tail OF COURSE Mack wants to chase and dismember the thing. So far he hasn't caught one, but I can tell his hopes are high.


 Mack, after I swatted a street almond out of his mouth.

Mack, after I swatted a street almond out of his mouth.


The above picture illustrates another of Mack's traits: he likes to eat things. He is a growing boy and needs his calories. I've thwarted all of his attempts to consume street snacks, the closest call being the street almond from the picture. Thiiiiiiiiings Mack has tried to eat:

  • The aforementioned almond. I can almost forgive him for this one because almonds are packed with healthy fats, but I fear that his belly woulda been rumbly after swallowing an entire almond without chewing.
  • A dead rat. He didn't really try to EAT this so much as SMELL it. However, with his dangly jowls obscuring his mandibular intentions it's always hard to tell. As soon as I noticed what he was fixating on, I jumped up on a chair and pulled my housedress up above my knees.
  • A god damn chicken wing bone. PEOPLE. Please stop throwing these bones on the street. Dogs love them and they will absolutely ruin their wee tummies. Mack didn't get anywhere near the deep fried remnant, but he certainly wanted to.
  • A McDonalds wrapper. There was no "food" left on this per se but it was likely covered in a fine sheen of grease and meat molecules that Mack was eager to mop up with his tongue. Can't really blame him, as I said, the boy is in dire need of precious calories.
  • A yellow Starburst. A bit of a weird one. I feel like dogs like savory things almost to a fault. Typically the funkier the food item the better. A yellow Starburst seems like it would almost be inert to a dog's foodfinding senses; no gristle? no salt? no oily fat globs? But, he sniffed the hell out of it until I pulled him away.

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Overall, Mack is a ray of sunshine to walk. He also does this cute thing where, upon returning to his homestead, he scampers towards the gate separating the kitchen from the rest of the house and gently headbutts it open. Melts ma damn heart. Here's to you Mack, Lord of Squirrels, Starburst Enthusiast, Font of Eternal Optimism!

Happy Friday y'all!

Sean