Ladies Don’t Start Fights

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Thanks Disney – both for the great movie and for not suing me for using this! *knock on wood* You wouldn’t sue your own employee, right?

Ladies don’t start fights, but they can finish them. I’ve heard mom say that before (though I’ve seen her start fights, too).

I’m more like her than she cares to admit sometimes.

In fact, she calls me a brat. Sometimes I make mean faces when Desi and I are getting treats, because I want them all to myself. I don’t mean to, it just happens. But really, I don’t do anything! I will occasionally nibble on my sibling (or foster sibling), but it’s never hard. Because I want them to know how tough it is for me to share, but I still do it. Because that’s what sisters do. And because momma will not be pleased if I don’t share.

Do you know what else sisters do? They fight for their siblings.

That’s where I’m a really good sister.

 Sisters

Let’s start from the beginning of this story, shall we?

Last week, nana and papa (grandma and grandpa) took Desi and I out to go potty in the back yard. We’re both usually really good, so even though there’s no fence, we don’t normally have to wear leashes.
Apparently the neighbor has the same idea about her dogs. Except, well, they’re not so good.

Here we are, minding our own business when I hear a stampede of paws. Nana grabs my collar before I can move, which of course makes me even more anxious about what’s coming. I whip my head around to see what the noise was, and there’s this big black dog on top of Desi! Bless her heart (as momma would say), she just fell right over! She never saw or heard him coming.

He was all teeth. I swear I could hear nana’s heart skip a beat over the sounds of snarling and whimpering. She let go of me to run and help Desi, but she didn’t need to bother. That’s my job.

In a full-on sprint, I got to the jerk faster than nana could take a step. He was big, but I fought him all the way back to his yard. Honestly, it was all kind of a blur, but nana insists there wasn’t too much violence. She says ‘mostly baring teeth and shoving’, but I promise, if I needed to I would have taken him down.

Turns out his bark was bigger than his bite. But mine wasn’t.

I wanted to earn my stay with nana and papa while mom is away. And dang it, I am a girl, and we are tough! Desi may be too old to win in a fight, but that’s why she has me. She is my sister, and my best friend, and I will defend her against anything and anyone.

 Sisters

Mom has told me before that she and nana once defended Desi in a fight against another dog. She told me she’d do the same for me in a second – that no fear even entered her mind. She said that’s what it means to be family. I really am a lot like her.

My family and I are hopeful that because I not only fought off the neighbors’ dog, but I completely dominated his butt, he won’t try this crap again. But you know what? If he does, I’ll be ready.

While I may not always play nice with others, I always take care of my pack. Wouldn’t you?

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Dr. Lana’s Cure For The Weepies

Hey, all! It’s Lana! I know you’re very excited to hear from me, especially since I’m writing today to help each and every one of you.

You may not know this, but dogs give great advice. And it just so happens, I have lots to say about happiness. I’m a happy dog. (I’m the star of a blog, what’s there not to be happy about!) So I’d like to help you all feel happier, too.

Behold, Dr. Lana’s 10 easy cures for sadness (for people and their dogs):

Image1. Have a treat
If you’re not worried about your figure, snacks are great. I especially like cookies that taste like peanut butter. Oh, and apple! And cheese! Ice is good, too. And banana. Whatever momma has handy will do. (She says there are certain foods that boost humans’ moods, too – like chocolate.)

2. Go for a run
Not right after eating a treat, of course. Personally, I like to chase after things. Most recently I chased a big snake, but mom screamed bloody murder so I had to stop. I’ve also enjoyed chasing lizards, deer, and laser pointer dots. Though, if nothing interesting is around, I’ve been known to run in big circles, too. Anything to get the endorphins going! (That’s what mom says, at least.)

3. Take a nap
After eating treats, I think this one is mom’s favorite. I don’t blame her, since she doesn’t even go anywhere when she runs! What a weird moving floor these people have in their house…  Anyway, mom sets a blanket on her sheets so I can nap with her. It’s kind of comforting to have my person there when I’m sleeping. Definitely a mood booster when I wake up.

Image4. Play a game!
As I mentioned before, chasing lasers is super fun. Fetch works, too. And of course just about every dog loves tug o’ war. The fun we’re having will rub off on you, and we’ll enjoy the time, too!

5. Pet your pooch
I love to be pet. Petted? Pat? Whatever…
Belly rubs, ear scratches, and just plain old human contact are nice. Momma helped explain why, because I thought I was weird, but I guess not. She says petting dogs (and other mammals, too!) releases a hormone called “oxytocin” (and a couple of others). This hormone is released when human mothers interact with their children, and when dog owners interact with us! Even eye contact can release this feel good chemical! But guess what is even better: we dogs feel the release of this hormone, too! So you feel better, we feel better, and our bond grows stronger. (Mom loves learning about stuff like this, so she insisted I include a link to an article about it for anyone else who is interested!)

6. Go for a ride!
Car rides are the best. Especially when there is someone on a bike to bark at! Just a change in scenery can do wonders for you. Not to mention, driving (and for some of us, being a passenger), takes a lot of focus. And you can’t stress about your problems if you’re focused on something else! (Bonus: if you drive us around without taking us to the vet once in a while, we won’t associate car rides with that scary place!)

Image7. Watch television (just not too much!)
Kind of like the car ride, sometimes you just need to get out of your own head. Personally, I prefer something with animals. Like a nature documentary! Sometimes I even forget the animals aren’t really there and I’ll try to make friends with them. Mom says I’m halfway to becoming a “fangirl”. (Sing-a-longs are great, because singing also boosts humans’ moods – that’s why mom loves Disney movies when she’s sad.)

8. Hang out outside
We (dogs) love the outside. There are fascinating sights, sounds, and smells, as well as the wonderful feel of sunshine on our bellies. The sunshine is good for you, too! My human is a bad example, since she’s “pale as death”, but she explained that exposure to sunlight can actually increase a person’s serotonin levels. This can help them feel happier. Just remember, if we’re going to be outside for long, dogs and humans alike may need sun screen!

Image9. Listen to some music
Calming music seems to have positive effects on both people and dogs. Momma used to play soothing music for all of the dogs when she worked at a dog daycare, and everyone seemed quieter with the music playing. Some studies have even shown anxiety may be reduced by classical songs with a slow tempo in dogs in shelters. (Just remember heavy metal, baroque, and other harsh music won’t make you or your dog feel better!)

10. Try aromatherapy
Some scents are said to have mood boosting effects. Many believe this is true for people and dogs! Mom and I have never tried aromatherapy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked!

ImageSo, there you have it – straight from the dog’s mouth! If you and your pup want to feel better, just take Dr. Lana’s prescription for a better mood.

Happy Friday from momma, Desi, and of course ME!Image

Letters From Lana

Dear readers,

It’s me, Lana! You know, the star of Dream Big, Bark Loudly! Momma’s mad at me, so she said she didn’t want to blog about me today. Which really, I should be mad at her! So I’m going to just write today’s blog post myself.

Momma writes at a desk, but I'm smart. I write where I can watch the porch-lizards.

Momma writes at a desk, but I’m smart. I write where I can watch the porch-lizards.

Last night, Nana (momma’s momma) accidentally dropped a pill. Naturally, since I like to be helpful, I ate it for her. I think momma turned about as white as me. Papa asked why I won’t eat my heartworm pill, but I’ll eat Nana’s pills.

Duh. Because it was pink! (Just kidding, I don’t know what “pink” is, but momma insists it’s my favorite color.) I’ll admit it. I didn’t mean to eat medicine. It just looked like a crumb.

So after eating a gross crumb, I thought surely I’d paid enough for my ‘gluttony’, as momma calls it. I was wrong. It got worse. Momma and my grandparents spent a while trying to figure out which pill was missing. They decided it was a blood pressure/diuretic. Mom didn’t think it was very funny that her “incontinent dog” ate a “diuretic” pill. But I don’t know what either of those things are. I assume by ‘incontinent’ she meant ‘incredible’ and by ‘diuretic’ she meant ‘the world’s most disappointing food crumb’. Don’t be too hard on her – she hasn’t used big words in a long time.

That's because she spends more time on Pinterest than on WordPress.

That’s because she spends more time on Pinterest than on WordPress.

Anyway, she claimed she thought I’d be okay, but took me outside with a cup of some clear, bubbly liquid. She shot some of it down my throat with a syringe. Then she walked me around and rubbed my belly, complaining that something was taking too long.

She complains about stuff a lot, so I didn’t pay too much attention. Plus I got distracted by a big frog, so I wasn’t listening to exactly what was taking so long. My tummy hurt a little, but I didn’t throw up then. Momma always says “mind over matter”! Except last night. Last night she just complained that the liquid was too old and said she’d buy more soon.

In the middle of the night, my tummy started to hurt worse and I did end up puking on mom’s carpet. Oh and I peed on it early in the morning. Like, the moon was still out. Momma looked tired, (she’s scary in the morning) but she took me outside to pee again and then cleaned the floor before she went back to bed. I felt really bad, but she didn’t yell at me.

Too bad we're both tired today. It's weird, the grumpy old lady is more peppy than we are.

Too bad we’re both tired today. It’s weird, the grumpy old lady is more peppy than we are.

So, anyway, she didn’t feel much like writing today, so I gave it a shot. I gotta say, I think I’m pretty good. For a dog. (I think it helps that mom talks to me like a person.)

Anyway, I know most people do a Word-less Wednesday, but since this is the first time I got to write, I decided Wordy Wednesday was more fun. Mom says it’s Thursday now. She got mad because ‘some idiot wasn’t paying attention on the road’ and knocked out mom’s ‘link to the outside world’. She just kept mumbling no internet, no cable, nothing to do. Don’t worry, I entertained her until bed time. So much fetching!

Anyway, today momma’s happy again, so I guess I can post this now. It’s been fun! Maybe I’ll take over the blog more often!

Maybe I'll just make this my office.

Maybe I’ll just make this my office.

Love, Lana