Silly Things My Dog Does


Our six year old, 89 pound lapdog.

A constant joy and pain in the butt. Like a child.

Toys and tufts of fur cover our beige carpet, makes me think of the Tasmanian Devil in the Loony-Toons cartoons. He traveled in a whirlwind, leaving debris and damage behind. He was always my favorite character. In fact, I am starting to think that he has secretly moved in here. I cannot keep up with the clutter that is my home, so I have given up and just move it out of my way as I go.

She was so cute as a puppy! Her BMD coloring made it look like she had a mask over her eyes, making her face look like a bandit. She bit people, especially me. I would cry – not because it hurt so bad, but it hurt my feelings. How could my sweet baby bite me? We eventually came to an understanding, that I was the boss of her. This took a lot of training with a professional trainer, but I finally caught on.

Should have named her Bandit!

Ziva, now portrays a mature and dignified canine. She still loves people and will get all whiny and wiggly when she sees someone she knows, but once she is within petting distance she will sit down (with her behind anchoring their feet) and allow them to pet her. This is a genetic trait for BMD’s by the way.

The I’m at home with just my people Ziva, behaves much differently. She snoozes around the house, in the most uncomfortable looking positions.

In the past year, one of her puppy phases returned – Wild Ziva. Around 5:00 pm, a seriously urgent spurt of energy causes her to run full bore in circles around our family room, suddenly stopping in a crouched position to challenge me to play. If I’m busy making dinner, she will attack her toy box and grab one, wrestle with it, then fling it up and away from her. If I accept the challenge, she watches me like a hawk as I retrieve one of her toys and toss it to her. Her reaction? She sits still and lets it hit her. No attempt to catch it or even acknowledge it. She studies me like I am being ridiculous. She knows this is not the reaction I’m looking for. She is teasing me.

Why do I keep doing it? Because every now and then, when the stars are aligned just right, or something, she will play. There are no witnesses to this, so of course hubby does not believe it happened. But she and I know. It goes like this: I toss her one of her stuffed animals and to my surprise, she jumps up and snatches it out of the air. Then she throws it directly at me. If I miss, the game is over. If I catch it and toss it back, she does it again. This excites me to no end because BMD’s do not catch, fetch or interact like other dogs. We do not know why this is. Maybe in Switzerland where BMD’s originate from, they know.

I figured out the other day why playing with her is so heart rendering for me. It is because she does not like to play like dogs do. But every once in a while she will play with me – because I like to. I can see it in her eyes that she loves me.


Meet & Greet at Swiss Star Farms

1-year old female (crappy photographer)

Hope y’all had as happy of a weekend as I did!  (You probably didn’t though, because mine involved granddaughters and puppies, and unless you had those 2 things going for you, then you didn’t.)   Sorry.

I had a MAJOR ‘dog-fix’ visiting Bobbie at Swiss Star Farms in Grass Valley, CA.  I had three of her dogs fighting over me, each wanting to be first in line to be cuddled and get their ears rubbed. Each was more gorgeous than the next. I have to admit that I want my dog to be beautiful, way beyond the puppy stage. Does that make me a “dog-snob”?  I only had the camera on my phone, so these photos in no way do the happy trio any justice.

Young female & Mom Catching some shade and water.

The three dogs I met on Friday had a combined weight of 500 pounds, and yet, somehow, they believed they were lap-dogs. I’m not a dog-whisperer, but I have a lap, and those three ‘puppies’ were determined to use it. That’s a lot of love. A furry, lovable, herd of teddy bears who forget their mannerly ways when visitors arrive to see them.  I was enthralled. It had been a long time since I was near any large dogs, so of course I immediately forgot their names in all the excitement.  Once each one got some attention, they settled down next to our chairs to enjoy our doting over them, while we chatted with Bobbie about them, and their linage.

Bobbie sent us off with an 8-page questionnaire to fill out and return to her. I have filled out shorter forms applying for a security clearance. Breeders are very serious about who they entrust to adopt their puppies. I find this comforting, rather than annoying. (Security Clearance forms will always be annoying, however.)

Bernese Mountain Dogs (referred to as ‘BMDs’ from now on, cause I’m too tired to type ‘Bernese Mountain Dog’  constantly), are beautiful, smart and sweet dogs. They are a large and strong breed, a hearty ‘working dog’ class, originally from Bern, Switzerland. They are trained to herd livestock, pull carts, and wagons. They are also instinctively protective of their family members.

Once you adopt one, no other breed will do.

“500 pounds?” my dog-less friends ask. “That means dogs weighing 166 pounds each!”

I just smile in response.  They have no idea.