My humans spend a lot of time at home with me, and that’s great. But they’re also always trying to “keep busy”, which is, apparently, some human nonsense about constantly doing things. Sounds exhausting. And the things they do have a lot to do with typing and working on computers. Boring. This blog I’m adding to is an exception, of course.
Anyway, Kendra human and Ben human have their hands busy most of the time. That interferes with how much time they spend petting and paying attention to me. But I’m a female dog that knows I’m worth paying attention to, and if my needs aren’t being met, I try to let them know.
First I’ll whine some, but they usually don’t like me whining unless I need to go potty. Next, I sit on the floor in front of or beside them and stare, really stare, for a long time. Maybe I’ll even huff at them. That gets me noticed, and one of them might free a hand from “keep busy” and pet me around the ears.
But, when they stop petting me, I go for my secret move: a little whine combined with lying down by one of their hind paws, I mean, feet. And then I give them the Please Love Me look (shown above if you’re looking for pointers).
It works wonderfully because they use their free foot to give me belly rubs! I get what I want, and they get to keep working on whatever they’re doing.
I know how to make sure the important things, like showing love, get done.
A digital greeting sniff to all the humans (and secretly their pets) reading this.
I’ve got this habit of spinning. I don’t know where it came from. And I get different reactions from different humans when I do it. Kendra human tends to smile, but Ben human tries to stop me. Talk about confusing.
Why do I spin? Well, I do it without thinking when I get excited. Don’t you ever get that way? The excitement of something (like a scrumptious treat) just fills you up, and you just gotta do something with it? For me, the solution is spinning.
How fast I spin and how many times in a row I spin depends on how excited I am. More excitement = more spinning!
While my spinning is Happy Spinning, spinning can mean a number of things for us dogs.
Anxiety Spinning: Spinning because you have an icky, upsetting feeling inside.
Get Comfortable Spinning: Spinning before laying down to make sure the spot is a good spot to plop down on.
My Spot Spinning: Spinning that often goes with Get Comfortable Spinning. It’s a way of getting more of our scent into the area and letting others know we claim that spot.
Scout The Area Spinning: Spinning to verify the area around is safe.
Something’s Not Working Right Spinning: Spinning to try and deal with a health issue, like problems with seeing, hearing, or balance.
Happy Spinning: Spinning to let out all the happy excitement. The best spinning!
Humans are hopeless at understanding the barking language. (I’ve tried to teach Kendra human, but she still doesn’t understand usually.) So, hopefully this helps clarify our spinning behaviors.
And, in case you don’t believe I know what I’m talking about (even though I am a dog), here are some other websites that talk about dog spinning.
Annie dog here. Gee, have I had a rough week this week! And it all started with some roast beef.
Last Sunday afternoon, my Kendra human took me out for a potty break around the apartment complex. It was nice and sunny. As we walked around the back of the building that our den is located in, I had my nose to the ground like usual, and I came across a tantalizing scent: meat!
Some human from another apartment den had either dropped or threw a big chunk of roast beef on the ground. Well, I wasn’t going to pass that up, so I snapped it up in my mouth before Kendra human realized what I’d found.
Maybe Kendra human should have tried harder to get that roast beef away from me than she did because eating that was the beginning of a horrible ordeal.
I was fine the rest of Sunday and all of Monday, but when Tuesday came around….Well, I was needing a LOT of potty breaks as well as throwing up. My stomach was so upset that I didn’t even want to eat. I spent my time either sleeping in my bed or hurrying to get outside in time to potty. Then, Wednesday, there was a little blood in my runny poop.
Kendra human got really worried when I pooped almost straight blood Thursday morning though, and she called the vet (shudder) right away.
Apparently, that was some really bad roast beef.
Now I’m on some yucky medicine paste, but the vet did tell Kendra human to feed me boiled chicken and rice for my stomach. The rice I could care less about, but I love chicken. Maybe the vet is on my side after all?
I’m on the mend now, thank goodness. Maybe I’ll think twice before eating food I find outside again…but probably not. Guess I’ll have to count on Kendra human to stop me in the future.
Think I can convince her that feeding me chicken for my meals should be a regular thing?
Annie has an interesting habit, one I don’t know if any other dogs have….
She gives me what I like to call “love nibbles”.
These love nibbles usually occur after I have been sitting on the floor petting her for a while. It also helps if I am trying to get her excited at the same time by using a playful voice and having some pets be hard enough to basically become nudges.
In return, she’ll give me a happy whine, wag her tail, and grab a piece of the clothing I’m wearing between her teeth. She then nibbles on it (not hard enough to damage the material) with her snout pressed against me for a few seconds. It’s oddly cute!
It’s satisfying as a pet owner to see my dog display affection for me in a way that seems unique to her. It somehow makes it feel more genuine and therefore more satisfying.
I wonder if there are any other pets out there that give love nibbles?
In what special ways does your animal show their love?
I wanted to take a moment this Thanksgiving to write about how grateful I am for my Annie dog. If you read our origin story post, then you’ll know that Annie came into my life when I was really struggling. She’s one of the main reasons I was able to stop self-harming when I was at the lowest point I’ve ever been.
She’s sweet, friendly, and loves attention. If I lie down on the floor, she’ll come right up to me and snuggle in next to my neck.
She snores, she’s whiny, gets powerful gas, and I don’t know if all her fur will ever grow back. But, I love her.
I recently read a book called 12 Rules for Life. The author made an interesting comment that we love people because of their limitations. A person’s limitations are just as much of what makes individuals unique as their strengths. I thought that was a powerful thought, and I think it applies to our love for our pets too. Complete love means recognizing the other completely, including the things you like and the things you don’t like about them. Annie is such a great example of this. She loves me completely, and I feel that from her. I hope to learn how to incorporate this true love into the way I treat others.
Thanks, Annie dog, for coming into my life when you did.
Thank you to everyone who’s been reading about our experiences. Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s become a fairly normal thing to refer to your pet as a “fur baby”. While I don’t really use that term with my Annie dog, she certainly fits the title some days!
For instance, sometimes after she comes in from outside in the morning, she just wants to cuddle on my bed with me. (I kind of like the validation that she loves me, actually). She loves being petted and snuggled with. If I lie down on the floor, she’s quick to jog over and lie down next to me, her face next to mine. In fact, if I lie down on the floor and don’t show her affection (like if I’m exercising or stretching or playing a board game), she gets confused. Apparently, what else would I lie down on the floor for if not for her?
However, in addition to being the baby, Annie likes mothering babies.
One time I tried to save a stray kitten. We couldn’t find her mom for more than a day, and her little siblings had frozen in the cold. Unfortunately, the kitten, which I’d named Bella, died in the end, but while she was alive, Annie just wanted to whine and smother her with love. Her “affection” was strong enough that I had to keep the kitten out of her reach most of the time since the kitten was so small and fragile.
It doesn’t end with animal babies, either. Annie likes human babies. Every time a baby comes over to the house, she whines and wags her tail in excitement, following the baby carrier around. She just has to say “hello” to the baby.
Beagles are known for being friendly dogs and great for families. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s “no wonder that for years the Beagle has been the most popular hound dog among American pet owners” (https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/). I can attest that Annie fits the stereotype there. She’s a sweetheart, really. She may get spooked easily, but Annie is loving, trusting, and will let you do just about anything to her as long as you pet her.
Annie just loves love, whether she’s receiving it or giving it. Just like an innocent, furry baby.
It happens on a regular basis I’ll be working on something or in the middle of watching a show or even trying to fall asleep and….
The loud, throaty vibrating sound erupts from Annie.
I’ll look over to see her sleeping contently, oblivious to the noise she’s making.
Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s annoying. But I guess that’s the way things are in both pet-human and human-human relationships. The other being can’t be the perfect white horse, prince, princess, knight, or perfect whatever all the time. They’d have to be fake all the time to achieve that.
I prefer authenticity, and Annie sure as heck doesn’t care for pretending to be anything. She’s true to herself, snores and all.
But I did get to wondering if her loud snoring could be a health problem, like it can be in humans, and here’s what I found from some light research.
Know the nose- The flatter the dog’s face/shorter the nose, the more the dog’s breathing is naturally constricted, making them likely to snore. (Being a beagle, that’s not what’s causing Annie’s snoring.)
Weight- If the dog is overweight, they are more at risk for snoring. I don’t think Annie’s that fat, but others have described her as chubby so….
How the dog sleeps affects how they snore- Apparently, if the dog sleeps on its back or with its head lower than the rest of its body, it increases its probability of snoring. That’s why those dog beds with raised sides are good. Being able to sleep with their head lifted up opens up their airways, making snoring less likely. Annie, well, as you can see in the picture above, she has some interesting ways she likes to sleep.
Air Dryness-How humid the place you and your dog live is also influences their snoring. The drier the air, the more at risk you are for hearing your dog “enjoying” their sleep. This is because dry air dries out the nose and throat. Since Annie and I live in a very dry climate, using a diffuser or humidifier could help diminish her snoring.
As you can see, I have a couple of things to try to decrease those loud snores of Annie’s.
There is a chance that a dog’s snoring can be caused by sleep apnea or an infection in the nose, mouth, or throat. However, since Annie recently had a vet appointment and came out with a clean bill of health (and clean teeth), I don’t think anything serious is causing her to snore.
I’ll try experimenting to see if any of the above methods work, especially since they seem to be good for Annie and not just for my benefit. But, if she continues to snore like a rhino, I’ll still love her, noise and all.
Also, don’t forget that we have a YouTube channel you can visit for funny and cute videos of Annie!
We’re back! It’s been a while since the last post. Annie and I are doing good: Annie’s paw is all healed up now, and my fibromyalgia symptoms haven’t been as bad lately.
Though I’m not by any means over-scheduled, I have been
busier lately, and Annie’s demeanor shows she’s feeling a bit left out. She
jumps up on my bed every night now and wants to cuddle every time I sit on the
floor, even if that means messing up whatever I was doing on the floor in the
Despite this behavior, she’s still come a far way from the
terrible separation anxiety she had when I first adopted her. And she’s gotten
used enough to my parents’ house that she doesn’t constantly whine when I’m not
home (I’m sure my parents appreciate that).
I guess I’m reflecting on how pets are like four year-olds,
sensitive to the amount of direct attention you give them.
Annie developed this “push the bowl” habit not too
long after I adopted her. She knows her water goes in her blue bowl, and you
should know that she drinks a LOT of water. So, it’s not unusual for me to
glance over and see that her water bowl is empty. However, if I’m preoccupied
and fail to notice that she needs a drink, Annie will start pushing her blue
bowl around. It makes a scraping noise on the plastic mat or kitchen floor, and
the sound is Annie’s way of getting my attention to let me know she’s thirsty.
While I’m glad she has developed methods of letting me know
when she needs something, I wonder how often Annie feels the need to “push
the bowl” in other areas in order for me to give her the proper attention.
I try to make sure she feels loved and is cared for, but what is the proper
balance between loving and caring for your dog and overdoing it? I don’t want
to be neglectful in any way, but I also don’t want to be that crazy chick who
overindulges her dog, treating it like a royal baby.
Maybe I’m overthinking it (That seems to be a habit of
mine.), but if I’m going to care for an animal, then I want to do it right. And
Annie’s been through enough in her past. She should feel secure with me.
What do you think is a good balance between owner and pet?
Hello from Annie and me! Now that we’ve got the serious part of our story out of the way, I’m going to focus on more light-hearted parts from here on out.
The Annie tale (Get it? Tale/tail?) this week is shorter, but it’s about one of Annie’s behaviors that’s always confused me.
When I got Annie, I was a bit flummoxed about what type of toys to get her. My previous dog never took to dog toys, instead choosing to claim someone’s stuffed animal as her own every once in a while.
I ended up going with a stuffed bunny toy with a squeaker and a ball. Because dogs like to play with balls, right?
To my surprise, it took Annie at least a month before she would really play with toys at all. I think part of it was due to her still not being fully recovered from mange, but it was also almost as if she didn’t know how to play with toys and people.
But once she did start playing, I discovered something: she couldn’t care less about the ball.
She’d play with the bunny just fine, chase after it and everything. But the ball? Nope. When I tried to get her to play with it, I was lucky if she even gave it a sniff.
And if I threw it?
She’d watch it go before looking back at me as if to say, “A ball? Really? Wow, what a stereotype. You get it.”
To this day, Annie refuses to play with a ball. I have no clue why. Maybe it’s too “mainstream dog” for her.