Goodbye 2016~New Rules for 2017

Finally. It’s the end of a long and difficult year for many of us pet loving pawrents. We lost far too many pawsome pups and kitties, not to mention a political campaign that never seemed to end, and experienced celebrity losses I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I for one am totally looking forward to the bright promise of a new slate, otherwise known as 2017. Can I get an “Amen, preacher?” So with a final adieu to 2016, let me just say…don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ok?!

With the new year ahead, and because there was a new addition to the Ranch, I thought it prudent to revisit the Dog Rules that I shared with the resident knucklehead Sam at the beginning of 2016, adding some specific rules and observations specifically for the newest addition…Ms. Elsa after a rebroadcast I wrote for Sam’s benefit since his reading skills seem to be a bit on the ‘lite’ side.

  1. Sure, I realize it’s cold out there but those chilly temps don’t require you to be so cotton-pickin’ frisky. Even though I’m retired now and don’t have to wake up at “oh-dark-thirty” to get in our morning constitution before going off to slay work dragons, I don’t particularly feel that same draw to being frisky, especially when I haven’t had my daily coffee ration. On the bright side, we have postponed those early and late night winter walks by adjusting the time when we go out. Waiting for a few extra degrees of sunshine makes a big difference on our aging joints, doesn’t it buddy?
  2. Your 4 legs manage to keep you reasonably balanced on icy sidewalks but alas I still only have 2 and don’t possess quite the same navigational stability that you do so PLEASE. please. walk. slowly.
  3. Zero to 60 in a nanosecond, makes for a real challenge for this 2-legged upright to stay in fact, upright. See above rule about the number of legs necessary to reinforce that steady but slow pace. Factor in clueless neighbors who think they don’t need to shovel walks and I hope you realize that quick starts will make Mommy crabbish. And trust me when I say I don’t fancy looking like a new-born colt with legs splayed out in multiple directions, or worse, landing bottom side up. The fall down…go boom factor is definitely unwelcome and not to mention, mom’s in a heap are very unattractive.
  4. Please don’t suddenly stop behind me while we are moving at a steady pace forcing me to yank on your leash and pull my thumb or shoulder out of their sockets. My joints and bones are cold in winter (ha…who am I kidding…they are cold all the time!) and again sudden movements get mommy’s balance out of torque. Besides, it jars my brain and we can’t have that, now can we? Think of shaken baby syndrome. For adults.
  5. Jack-rabbit loping is a definite no-no. We don’t live in Alaska (though some days I might dispute that when Siri tells me the outside ‘ambient’ temperature). Therefore, loping as if you in the Iditarod isn’t necessary or appreciated. May I remind you that we live in Central Denver and mushing is rarely necessary. Just saying.
  6. Finding the deepest snow at the farthest point from the end of the leash is completely frowned upon. Having my boots fill up because I’m fishing out little brown nuggets from deep snow is at the top of my short list for things to NOT do. Trying to corral both you and the squirrel hunter, maintaining my balance, trying to unfurl a duty bag in subzero temps, picking up after you while trying to hang on to the glove I had to remove to unfurl said bag…well it’s all just a little too much, ok?
  7.  And for dog’s sake, PLEASE DO NOT try to scamper around behind me, wrapping your leash around my legs or around your sister. This feeble attempt to ‘get out of the way’ falls flat on its face as will I once we resume our meanderings. Besides, your sister isn’t nicknamed the “Sniper Ninja” for nothing. She will punish you if you get in her face. Guaranteed.
  8. Most mornings the temperatures are in the low-teens or single digits during the winter and we’re out for a walk…walk being the operative speed, got it? Also this time isn’t referred to as the “hey, we’re going for a sniff.” Like a travel guide, I will be moving along at a reasonable pace, so keep up, pal! A moving pace assures a healthy walk for all of us. When you dally, it makes me irritated crazy. Please remember… we’re walking not sniffing or reading pee-mail every 27 inches and we’ll be golden and toasty warm without those aggravating delays.
  9. Oh, let me remind you, you’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger so it is not necessary to develop bodybuilder strength neck muscles every winter. See Rules 2 and 4 above for review and understand that pulling makes me crabbish and we wouldn’t want a crabbish mommy, now would we?
  10. It would be most appreciated if your back yard pee outings didn’t involve hovering over or near Ms. Elsa when she’s squatting, with your intent to pee over her pee. Your aim frankly sucks and she and I will be really cheesed off if I have to bathe her because of your mis-aim.
  11. Finally could you step it up when we’re on our walks to pee only a couple of times rather than the 87 stops now? Trust me…no one is interested in what you’re saying in those pee mails, you’ve said it 8700 times before. You’re just repeating yourself.

And now for dear sweet Elsa.

All the above rules go for you too, sweetie. It’s vital you comprehend that. For yours and my safety. But additionally, please take note…

  • Even though your leash manners have dramatically improved over the past 3 1/2 months (thank you very much!), it is still extra critical to not fly out of the shoot at the sight of every single squirrel we encounter. Same goes for all those blowing leaves that you obviously ‘think’ are a squirrel. My shoulder would be ever so grateful. I could sue you for whiplash, you know?
  • And when you see a pup along our walk, it really isn’t necessary to bounce like a yoyo and then woof at them on top of your exuberance. Sometimes you flat scare little dogs and the big dogs don’t realize you just want to play. They think you might be questioning their male hood. As one female to another, I realize you could probably kick all their butts, though there just is no need to tempt fate. We’re above that. And more cerebral.
  • When we come back from a walk, trust me, it’s not necessary to freeze as soon as you get inside. I’m right behind you and I will walk in. But not when you’re in the way.
  • At night when we go to bed, would you not dig like a coal miner rearranging the new bed. Trust me, it doesn’t have any lumps (yet) and that scratching sound for several minutes is not conducive to my getting a good night’s sleep. This isn’t the Princess and the Pea story, ‘kay?

I know there are no doubt loads of other rules that will (or should apply to you, sweet Elsa). I just thought I’d kind of familiarize you with the more important ones since we kind of got off to a rough start with the seizures and all which have been our first focus. We are thrilled you’ve joined our merry little band of knuckleheads and hope you can maybe teach Sam a thing or two. Other than that eye-glass munching skill you have mastered so well. Ear scratches and belly rubs for you both!

a1b27de7-1488-4948-886e-1f0f4ad3e9b9Do you go over the rules with your pup each New Year?

Live, love, bark! <3


65 thoughts on “Goodbye 2016~New Rules for 2017

    1. Gosh, I’m humbled and honored to be included in this week’s edition. This is especially high praise coming from you, one of my all time favorite bloggers. Many thanks, Jodi. Thing 1 and Thing 2 indeed-boy can I identify with that! That reference actually made me snort coffee out my nose! Happy weekend.

  1. OH HOW I LAUGHED AT THIS POST. You know I did. So much of this is SO familiar, I can actually picture it! Thanks for sharing it and best of luck to you. Especially on a windy day with that leaf chaser….

  2. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.
    Can’t. BREATHE……

    Oh Monika this is one of the funniest most well written set of doggie rules I have EVER read & I’m as old as dirt & read a lot. OMD!! those rules wee written for my Husky/Malamute/Shepherd “Play It Again Sam” aka ‘Bogart Sam’…….
    All the rules applied to him……..
    And what is it about dogs AND a certain cat (who we will name that I am staring at?) stopping right inside the door when THEY get in & we are left outside freezing our little (OK maybe not so little in my case) tushies’ off???? What is THAT about????
    Can we sue our beloved 4 leggeds for whiplash??? Assault with a weapon (the lead!)???
    Thank you Monika for such an entertaining post! PURRFFECT way to start a New year!!!!
    ((((hugs)))) Sherri-Ellen

    Pee S: The offending cat mentioned is pretending to be asleep in his pedestal bed…..I read him the rules…hahahaha….

    1. Glad you and your ‘certain’ cat enjoyed the rules. I often wonder if those infractions are deliberate or just accidental. I suspect the former! Coming from a legal background, I like the idea of suing but then realize I’m my dogs sole source of income. *Sigh* 🙂 ღ

  3. Happy 2017! So happy to read about Elsa and that she is settling in! So glad you are all doing well. Wishing you all a fantastic New Year. Lots of luvs from all of us!
    Marty the Manx and Mom

  4. Happy New Year to all of you from all of us! We are looking forward to getting to know you better in the new year 🙂 We love your rules…we need to read them out to our pups! Walking in the snow (which we normally never get here in Vancouver, Canada!) is truly treacherous with a one year old poodle (Wilhelmina)! I feel as though I am taking my life into my hands as we make our way on the slippery sidewalks to the forest for her daily runs! I carry a lot of treats with me that I use for bribery to keep her by my side and not pulling! ;p

    the critters in the cottage xo

  5. That is so funny! I am always amazed watching dogs walking through the snow. Bentley and Pierre have only done it a couple of times and they are so short, I feel sorry for their bellies

  6. I couldn’t help but laugh at the girls vs. boys comment … yeah, we women COULD kick their butts if we so chose too, but we don’t feel the need to go peeing all over the place to mark our claims 😉
    Bear Cat doesn’t do the scratching in bed thing … but he’ll walk around in circles on me until he finds the perfect way to lay. In the meantime, I’m treated to lots of cat butt and plenty of being whacked in the face with his tail. Not to mention the little paws walking around feeling like my internal organs are being stabbed.

  7. When 70 pound Riley with the long legs was here, Lexi used to walk under him when he peed. She just loved the golden shower, but not the bath that always came after.

  8. Ahh we are very familiar with the need to improve our aim. Jack and Leo like to have “pee offs”: this is mine says Jack as he marks a tree. No it’s mine as Leo dutifully pees on the same spot. Nope it’s mine says Jack. This can go on for a very long time.

      1. I know that game too!! I sometimes have Leo trying to check out what Jack has marked while he’s still..ahem…mid-stream. I have to remind myself to wash his head a lot.

  9. Mr Bailey always wants to pee where the girls pee – fortunately he anxiously waits for them to be done. With the extreme cold right now and being 14 yrs old, he is having some issues and we actually help him find where the girls have gone – hoping he will get his business done in a hurry.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  10. Heehee – it sounds like winter walks might be a little challenging around there!! Most of our rules revolve around playing ball, since we do that daily. This all reminds me of the other day when I stepped in a big snowbank on the patio, and sunk way down in, going off balance. I managed to stay upright, until Cricket deposited the ball at my feet. I turned to throw the ball and promptly fell flat on my back. Well, this is what my caring dogs did – Luke got in my face and started licking me. Cricket started jumping all around me – TRYING TO FIND THE BALL! No concern for Momz, nope, just throw the ball, would you? LOL (luckily there was plenty of snow around so I had a soft landing anyway).
    Happy New Year….here’s to hoping we survive the winter uninjured! 🙂

  11. The rule about wrapping your mom in the leash is particularly important. I made the bad mistake of walking 3 dogs at once to the park and back. In the middle of the street, with a car coming, they wrapped me like a mummy, making it very difficult to get out of the way–the people in the car were probably laughing their heads off.
    Also the part about serial marking. We have a rule on our walks. Mommy is perfectly willing to let you stop and sniff, after all, you live by the nose. The rule is at least 10′ between stops, and if the consecutive stops get too frequent, I simply keep walking at a steady pace. Onyx and Nomad learned quickly that they either had to mark quickly, or stop and follow me. Of course, my biggest dig is 28 lbs, so there’s no question who wins.

  12. Do let us know if these rules sink in. I will copy them for my own knuckleheads. We seem to have mutual problems. I’m thinking maybe I’m not communicating well.

  13. Rule number one for the new puppies…do not believe implicitly all the adult dogs tell you…they are just using you to see if they can get away with a bit more than is permitted…

  14. Wow – that is quite an extensive list! Good luck sheriff Monika – you may need to enlist some additional upright deputies to help with enforcement. What’s up with number 10? If you are successful with only on of these rules I hope it’s that one. 🙂
    Happy New Year.

    1. It probably is a bit ambitious thinking either of my dogs can comprehend any of these. I expect I’ll be repeating them again next year! Though at some point, I do hope the #10 sinks in. Not holding my breath on that one. It’s rather like hoping the sun will rise in the west I suspect. 😉 Warm wishes to you, Holly, Kali and Kloe for a pawsome 2017!

  15. this made me LOL !!!!!! Much of this pertains to Dakota too. I have never asked HIM to make resolutions but you made me think that I need to start to! Happy Early New Year!!!! xoxo

    1. It’s always good to ‘review’ these sorts of things. Not that they pay any attention to their uprights mind you, but it makes us feel better…sort of. Sending warm wishes for a pawsome 2017 🙂

  16. I have cats. They don’t “get” rules. However, your post made me grateful that I don’t have to walk them in the winter. There would be no agreement on which direction. Someone would take off at the first sign of wildlife, any wildlife, even the ones that could eat them. Then they’d make me carry them home. So glad Ms. Elsa is healthy.

    1. LOL, now that made me chuckle out loud. Cats don’t ‘get’ rules. At times, it can be very unpleasant walking in winter, and yet, the solace of walking on a quiet snowy morning with few sounds beyond the warm breaths of a couple of dogs with their paws crunching on fresh snow is not only an adventure but also rather strangely comforting. At least till the gloves no longer block out the cold. But it’s always an adventure with these two whose life paths have been so different and yet now are cosmically intertwined. 😉

  17. I had another mid pair several years ago, thus it wasn’t a surprise but it sure is irritating when baths which are already such a chore with a big dog have to be increased because ‘somebody’ has a nature complex. Wishing you a single dog New Year soon with loads of belly rubs for sweet Benji.

  18. they should be printed out and plastered in kennels across America. Maybe in doglish, just so there is no misunderstandings.

  19. Well, I have only had Benji for a year. Yes he was here last New Year but we were sort of getting to know each other and since he was so calm and placid, rules were put aside for a while. This year, I don’t have one dog, I have three, Benji, the WaWa and Yogi. In ten days Yogi goes back home but we have no idea about the WaWa. I was interested in Rule 10. When it was Chienne ( Foxy Lady) and The Man,(Maltese Terrorist) the man would run over pee on the top of Chienne’s pee. Forgive this novice, but I didn’t know dogs did this and I found it amazing. I have only ever had one dog and that was the first time I had two dogs, one male one female and the peeing thing really amused me. I will be glad when 2016 ends for a number of reasons and look forward to a calmer 2017 – I hope, with only one dog – Benji – in the fullness of time.

  20. Our pup only has a few rules to go over this year as we just rescued her 2 months ago:
    STOP stopping on walks just because you don’t want to go forward (exercise is new)
    When we say “no” to the couch, your dog bed is, actually, sufficient.

    My daughter, however, needed several rule reminders when it comes to the dog, especially because she is a rescue who gets overwhelmed by some things. My daughter may be 7.5 and an animal lover, she may have grown up with kittens, puppies, horses, dogs, and cats, but because Callie doesn’t outright complain, she seems to forget all the rules. We had a family meeting and came up with 12 rules, including 4 or 5 from daughter herself. Some of the basics, good for all kids and dogs:
    No picking her up
    No laying on her, even for hugs
    No pulling her face to you for a kiss – or to play with her ears
    If she backs away, STOP!
    No touching her paws.
    When you are helping mama train Callie, you must LISTEN to all the directions and FOLLOW them or you will not be allowed to help.

    I love my daughter, she is great with animals and sweet with people, but at this age, kids often need reminders about everything, including basic politeness towards family members. 🙂

  21. Thanks very much, Monika. I had a good laugh at this while appreciating the more serious undertones. I think I wrote Bilbo and Lady some resolutions last year or the year before. I’ll have to revisit those.
    Happy New Year to you all and good luck with the goal setting. I need to get mine written down pronto.
    xx Rowena

    1. I remember your rule posts and think we have to revisit them for continued success. Well that and for a laugh because we all know dogs are smarter than us and will rework the rules to suit themselves. I’m convinced all dogs were lawyers in a previous life because they are so darn good at working on loopholes. 🙂 Happy 2017, Rowena!

      1. Lady is the Queen of loopholes. She’s just been lucky the loopholes didn’t grab her by the neck as she was leaping through ears flopping in the wind.
        Happy 2017 to you to, Monika!
        xx Rowena

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