Possibilities on What Jake wants

Thanks to all of you who responded to my plea on ideas of what Jake, a pit mix rescue dog, wants when he sits in front of me and makes loud demands.  As you know, I tried food, treats, a walk, a retrieve-the-ball game and hugs.  None of this changed the cadence of his demands.


I liked this one – Cathy suggested he wanted me to go get his siblings and rescue them, too.  No can do, but it’s a nice idea.

Nikki suggested he was asking for Samantha who goes home at night with her mom.  He adores Sammi so maybe.

Lisa suggested he wanted to go to the doggie park and is demanding I pull the car out of the garage – at ten p.m? Now I should have taught Jake to tell time.

Speed says he is just trying to gain my full attention which is on a movie and not on him.  Now that could be – he is a demanding dog definitely.

Loraine says he is just a very verbal dog and won’t shut up!  Well, this is what I was trying to solve.  I believe dogs make requests, and I usually try to communicate with them to increase the bonding, but last night he was yowling again.

The vet says he is healthy so no concerns there.  Then we had another problem to add to Jake’s yowling.  Sally now barks sharply at him, wagging her tail, but saying “Shut up, brother!”  Pete stared at them both in disgust as he was watching an HBO movie. He went back to his computer.  Well, it was a lousy movie anyway, but who could hear it over these two?

I think I overdid trying to understand my dog here.  Because he came in as a tiny pup with initially an inability to connect, I forgot he is a healthy, active, loving and sweet dog nowadays.

“Be quiet” is my next step.  Time for Jake to learn his loud demands are not acceptable and although even a slight reprimand will send him sulking to his bed, his back turned to me, time for Jake to learn who is Alpha in this house.

For those of you who downloaded the Kindle version of AstroPups, and have questions, I will be happy to answer them either in comment in a post or by email (About Us, upper right).

Thanks for visiting my blog – until next post:)





What is this Dog Saying?

My daughter, Lisa, gave us a rescue pup for Christmas a year and a half ago.  Lisa told us that the pup was only four weeks old.  Well, he was very small, solemn and had zero interest in meeting us or making friends. The pup didn’t have an interest in accepting food, drinks or treats from us.  He stiffened when I petted him and turned away from me.

I introduced the pup to Sally, my Italian greyhound/Bichon Frise mix and Sally licked the pup.  He stared at her without interest and turned away.

I set up his bed, with a soft toy, a blanket, in a large plastic pen and we went to bed.  I thought about including Sally in the pen mix, but she hates being caged and throws up if I cage her to travel, so I threw out that idea. There was no crying, no whimpering, no sounds at all from the pen.  I kept waking up to listen, but the room was silent.  Pete, my husband, slept on, but this pup unnerved me.  At four o’clock, I got up and opened the door.  I sat in front of the pen and invited the pup to join me.  The pup was not lying down.  He was sitting up, staring out at me, but totally still.

Okay, I was a stranger, the house was strange, but this was a baby!  I guess his stillness unnerved me.  In all my experience with pups and dogs, I had not met a pup like this.  Maybe he had been caged all his four weeks and yelled at if he whimpered.  Maybe he had no human contact previously.  I tried to lure him out with a treat, plain water.  The pup had no interest in anything nor me.

I reached in and gently pulled him out.  I didn’t want to disturb my husband, so went into the spare room and lay on the bed there, cuddling the small pup.  I guess we both fell asleep, but I was awakened by a tentative lick on my face.  Yay, contact!

The next morning we had the vet check the pup out, who confirmed he was four weeks old and bought some cans of puppy formula for the pup we decided to name Jake.  The vet remarked upon his solemn behavior and tried to tease him to play, but Jake just stared at him, looking like a statue of a pup. Physically, Jake was healthy.  Mentally, the vet wasn’t sure.

I am a believer that love is the most powerful component in owning a dog.  I showered Jake with affection, ignoring his tentative responses, praising his small efforts, and always being light and gentle with him.Pit bull

It was not long before he chewed my new boots, ate a couch cushion, and decided the wood work at the top of the stairs needed a trim.  Guess Jake was home.

Jake is now puzzling me yet again.  He is always talking.  Okay, I understand he is demanding some meat when we are eating dinner, whimpering when Sally gets to go for a walk and he is left behind, happy chatter when I throw a ball for him to retrieve, but at times, he sits before me and goes into this loud conversation.  The first time, even though there was food in his bowl, I offered him a can of Sally’s Mighty Dog, which he ate.  It was not long before he was making so much noise, we couldn’t hear the TV.  I did everything I could think of.  A walk, a rawhide bone, a game of retrieve, and would you believe he was still asking me for something, urgently.  I tried a cuddle, got a big face lick, and then he started up again.  Right, you may be thinking he makes out big time when he does this, but there is a note in his voice, urgent and demanding, and I just don’t know what Jake wants.  He goes on doing this and I stopped trying to fix it.  Whatever I did, didn’t seem to be what he was asking for.

Any ideas?  I really would appreciate them!

By the way, Kings River Life Magazine asked me for a post on Westies, which I sent to them.  So many people love West Highland White Terriers, so if you want to know more about this wonderful, cheeky little dog, check it out.


We suggested the Westie for Gemini in AstroPups, available on Amazon Books in paperback or Kindle.

Until next post 🙂

OMG, my dog is a lunatic!

I got a phone call recently from a friend, Kelly. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. Finally, through sobs, I heard, “OMG, my dog is a lunatic. I don’t have a couch to stretch out on and watch TV. Now he is eating the carpet! Wasn’t the couch enough for him? I should never have got this dog!”

People have said that kind of thing to me a lot. Kelly’s dog was frustrated in his new home, missing his owners, and taking it out on the furniture. However, some people do make the wrong choice when picking a dog, and that’s what some of my blog is about.

One of the most important tips I can give you is how to get the right dog for your personality and lifestyle. Not all dogs fit as you well know, but I will introduce you to an amazing idea I had some years back on helping you to know yourself as a dog owner and the breed of dog who will be just right for you. There is more than one way, of course, but I have fully explored the concepts and will chat to you about how you can check yourself out as an owner. I am confident in my knowledge of the breed you may be thinking about.

If I can save one dog from being euthanized, I would be so grateful. Getting the wrong dog can and does lead to this sad outcome. Tears in our vet’s eyes when he put down a healthy Rottweiler because the owner couldn’t handle him prompted years of work of matching. He said, sadly, “I wish there was a way we could match breeds with people.” I set about finding ways.

One of the methods of matching personalities with breeds is by using sun sign (Zodiac) personality guides. A gifted astrologer, Jacqueline Chapple, helped me with this as I knew little about astrology except for checking out my horoscope. We know that a person is not just their suggested sun sign personality, but it is an established personality guide I could use to match breeds of dogs. I wrote a book about this and for those interested in this method, it is available on Amazon, or can be ordered through Barnes & Noble.

AstroPupsThe book is called AstroPups and is a fountain of information on sun sign personality traits as they apply to owning a dog. We thoroughly researched 85 breeds of dogs and suggested several breeds for each sign. The book is beautifully illustrated by an award winning artist. In addition, we offer helpful training tips.

Click on this link if you want to check it out:

Some astrology buffs think you should pick a dog by its sign. Could be that this might influence its personality, but breed traits are the way to define a dog.

If you are interested in other ways to choose the right pup for you, I will be giving ideas and tips on every post to this blog. I will also share friends’ and family’s stories about their pets and their adventures with them.

First, though, I would like to tell you a little about myself and my dogs.

I absolutely adore animals. They are a part of my life just as my children are. Right now, I have three dogs, Sally, Jake and Samantha.

tiny black dogSally is a toy breed, a cross between an Italian greyhound and a Bichon Frise.

When I was browsing in a pet store , this tiny black dog wouldn’t stop whimpering and looking sad. She was housed in an open playpen, so I picked her up to comfort her. She snuggled into me and absolutely refused to go back into her playpen.

I was looking for a Labrador pup, The pet shop was a center for local breeders, and you could see the breeders’ pups via video.

Maybe it was her bright little black eyes, full of trust, peering up at me that pushed the sale. I handed over my credit card and took Sally home. When I got home, my husband, Pete, took one look at the tiny pup nestled in my arms and said, in disbelief,, “What is it? I thought you were getting a Labrador. You’ve got a cartoon dog!”

Whoops, the lab pup was supposed to be my husband’s Christmas present and instead he got jeans and a sweatshirt. How many times have you bought something you liked for somebody else? That’s definitely what I did. Toy breeds suggested for my own sun sign (Libra) are an Italian Greyhound and a Bichon Frise. Merry Christmas to me!

Pit bullMy challenge dog Jake is a pit bull mix. One of my daughters brought him home to us as a rescue. At four weeks old, he was a solemn, small pup who was hesitant to receive affection. When I crated him with a soft toy and a blanket to cuddle into, he didn’t make a sound. True, our home was a new place, he had lost his mom and his siblings way too early, but it was odd that he was so very quiet. When I unlatched his crate in the morning, he just stared out at me and showed no interest in getting to know me. I advise people to get the friendly pup, eager to be friends.

Still, a rescue dog is a totally different story. That’s where the rescuers’ love for dogs is the only thing that’s important. People who rescue dogs often save their lives. Jake’s future would have been short and miserable had he not been rescued.

How that pup has changed. At over a year old now, and about 72 lbs., he is truly testing all my skills as a trainer. Those of you who have pit bulls may identify with this. Super affectionate and so much energy, he is like a speeding train when he goes on a runabout.

SammiJake has two best friends that he absolutely adores – little Sally and Samantha. Sammi is a purebred Boxer we bought ten years ago. From the start, she was perfect. Sammi was eager to learn, quick to obey, and soon won everyone’s hearts. Sammi loves her family and certain friends, but she is not eager to receive the affection offered by strangers.

To see Sammi as an adult, she is on the cover of AstroPups.

So many dogs, cats, rabbits, doves and even a parrot have been and are a part of our lives.  They have taught me as much as I have taught them. God bless them, they have made me laugh until my sides ached and cry a river.  Mostly, they have enhanced my life beyond measure.

Until next post -thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂