A letter to God from Dog (as discovered by da-AL)

My doggie and I were at her vet’s office, waiting for her anal glands to be expressed (eeeewwww!!!! indeedy) when we saw this anonymous missive posted on the doctor’s wall:

Pug photo by Ryan McGuire altered by da-AL
Pug photo by Ryan McGuire altered by da-AL

Dear God,

Is it on purpose that our names are the same, only reversed?

When we Dogs get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it the same old story?

Why are cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit — yet not for a Dog? How often do you see cougars riding around? We Dogs love nice rides. Would it be so hard to rename the “Chrysler Eagle” to the Chrysler Beagle”?

If a Dog barks her or his head off in the forest and no human hears, are they still a bad Dog?

Detail of pug photo by Ryan McGuire
Detail of pug photo by Ryan McGuire

Things we Dogs can understand:
– Human verbal instructions
– Hand signals
– Whistles
– Horns
– Clickers
– Beepers
– Scent IDs
– Electromagnetic energy fields
– Frisbee flight paths
What do humans understand?

Please, more meatballs, less spaghetti.

Are there postal carriers in heaven? If so, will I have to apologize?

Why do humans smell flowers yet seldom if ever, smell one another?

Detail of pug photo by Ryan McGuire
Detail of pug photo by Ryan McGuire

It’s not easy being a Good Dog. Here are some of the things I must remember:
– I will not eat the cat’s food before they eat it or after they throw it up.
– I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, or other beautiful things just because I like the way they smell.
– The litter box is not a cookie jar.
– The sofa is not a face towel.
– The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.
– I will not play tug-of-war with Dad’s underwear while he sits on the toilet.
– Sticking my nose into someone’s crotch is an unacceptable way to say “hello.”
– I don’t need to suddenly stand straight up when I’m under the coffee table.
– I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house — not after.
– I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt.
– I will not sit in the middle of the living room and lick my crotch.
– The cat is not a squeaky toy. The noise it makes when I play with it is not a good thing.


P.S. When I go to heaven, may I have my testicles back?

Photo by Ryan McGuire
Photo by Ryan McGuire

Part 3: What Has Your Pet Taught You? by da-AL

Newborn Black Labrador Dog
Image courtesy of nixxphotography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Life with dogs…

The twin puppies we adopted ate and ate and ate. And pooed and pooed and pooed. Six months later, they’d grown to 50 and 50 pounds!

Plus, I’d learned nothing about training them.

One day…

As usual, for 10 deafening minutes, they barked at the mailman across the street. Later that day, they destroyed yet another throw rug.

“Bad dogs,” I snapped.

They were too busy chewing to hear me.

“Bad, bad, bad dogs!” I hollered, my voice shrill, my throat raw.

They sat. Four watery eyes gazed up at me.


Fear made them urinate on the carpet.

My thoughts reeled back. That was me! When I was only four years old!

Back then, I tried ever so hard to be good, yet I didn’t always succeed. My father would yell at me.

One time, he sounded as angry as I had when I’d hollered at my dogs. Same as with my two puppies, the big person’s anger blotted out my ability to think and hear. All I was able to do was to feel — that my father was furious at me — and that I was terrified.

All I knew was that he seemed angry enough to kill me. Out of terror, just like the dogs had, urine streamed down my legs.

Looking into my dogs’ upturned faces…

I saw how they trembled. The little dogs blinked their moist eyes hard.

Puppy Dog Eyes
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sobbing, I sank to my knees and hugged them. It had taken six long months for me to learn that, all along, they had been trying their best to please me. Despite my ineptitude as a trainer, they had refused to give up on me. They had given me the benefit of the doubt that like them, I was trying my best.

They never gave up hope on me…

They knew I would learn to love them. Through the example of my pets, I’ve learned that the more I gaze upon everyone in my life with the benefit of a doubt, the happier we all are. We’re all doing our best, even when we could do better.

Do dogs forgive?

Here’s part 1 of this and here’s part 2.

Do you have an interesting animal experience?…

Part 2: What Has Your Pet Taught You? by da-AL

Close Up Of Washing Five Puppy Dog
Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


My husband and I agreed to adopt a dog. This was followed by months of discussion. What type of dog would harmonize best with our two cats?

We settled on these dog requirements:

  1. It should be a puppy, so that it would learn early on to respect cats.
  2. It shouldn’t mature to larger than thirty pounds, so as not to overwhelm the cats.
  3. For the sake of our newly planted organic veggie garden, a female, a dog who squats rather than lifts its leg to urinate, would be best.


The list at the forefront of our minds, we rushed to the nearest pound.

After an hour of walking up and down aisles and aisles of sad eyes, we selected a pair!

The two Labrador mix puppies, a sister and a brother, were too adorable to split up.

What were we thinking?! Labrador-mix-anything is bound to grow at least fifty pounds! And two of them?! Even the shelter employee said we were crazy…


Cute, cute, cute! What puppy isn’t cuteness incarnate?!

Within a week, their heart-melting charm, was frozen over by their unbounded annoying-ness.

They trampled the garden, gnawed carpets, ate towels, and slobbered over everything.

They pounced the cats and barked at the people.

They chased away domestic bliss.

Enraged, the kitties soiled our bed and sofa multiple times. Our home stank of impossible to wash out angry-cat pee.

Crafty Cat Lying On Floor black and white
Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Payoff…

They made my husband laugh.

Gentleman dog taught himself to pee while squatting.

*** Here’s part one and part three to this post. ***

Have you ever had a pet?…

Part 1: What Has Your Pet Taught You? by da-AL

Smiling Cat
Image courtesy of Gidion Lubbe at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happiness was mine…

My loved ones were all content and healthy, I lived in a beautiful home, and I had just married an incredible man.

Little did I know…

I could be even happier! Moreover, my happiness teachers would be furry!

The cats were my idea…

My husband has every reason to loathe cats.

  1. They make his eyes run.
  2. His throat gets scratchy whenever they’re too close.
  3. If he pets one, his nose itches and worse.

Wonderfulness that he is, he agreed to adopt some. He even quickly fell in love with our felines!

Back then, while all animals charmed me, but…

I was an avowed cat lover. Cats are gorgeous, and better yet, they require minimal attention.

Dogs, I thought, were cute, but didn’t merit all the bother that owning one comes with. They need to be walked daily. They chew valuables and slobber. If you don’t train them, they’ll jump passersby and bark way too much. Some are biters!

Black Kittens
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cat hater?…

In my experience, cats are terrific!!! They’re lovely, low-maintenance, and fun! Sure, one out of a million is neurotic, but those are in the minority.

My husband loves dogs best!

Given that he had agreed to our two cats, perhaps it was only right to get a dog.

*** Here’s part two and part three to this post. ***

What, dear reader, has your pet taught you?…

Guest Blog Post: The Little Guy Who Stole Our Hearts by Debbie Centeno

Live long enough, and we’re bound to encounter challenges. With the help of a friend, Debbie Centeno (who runs this blog and this blog) uses her grief to help others…


I never knew how much a person could grow to love their pet. I wasn’t raised with pets, other than fish in a tank. And, there’s no way you can take them out of the tank to play, pet or cuddle. I just loved my aquarium but in a materialistic way. As an adult, I didn’t think about getting a pet since I was quite busy with three children. But, after my oldest son passed away, and my two other children were no longer small kids, my daughter convinced me to get a dog. So we opted for a rescue.

Chewy as a puppy

I made a few calls to see what dogs were available to adopt. We found a place that had a mama dog who had recently given birth to seven puppies – six female and one male. The male was the runt and was rejected by his mama, but I wanted a female. That was until we met the little guy, of course. All puppies were side by side sleeping on their tummies, except the little runt who was sleeping on his back almost on top of his sisters. He was much smaller than the others. When I saw him – well, I don’t know what I felt, but I just had to have him, so the volunteer picked him up and placed him in my arms, and that was it. I was in love. I handed him to my husband, and he felt the same way. So off we were with a 5-week old 2-pound Chihuahua/Dachshund mix. We named him Chewy, and it suits him well.

Chewy buckled up in a car

Chewy is now 6-years old and 20 lbs. I can’t imagine life without him and don’t regret having followed my daughter’s advice. He is the most loving, spoiled brat ever who stole our hearts. I know he’s not human, but for me, he’s my baby.

Debbie Centaro

Debbie Centeno is a wife, a grieving mom, an accountant, and a travel blogger. Learn more about her here and here.

Guest Blog Post: “7 Summer Tips for Furry Companions” by Jenny Perkins

How do you keep your pets cool during the dog days of summer? And do dogs pray to Saint Roch who aids dogs, falsely accused folk, bachelors, and more?

Animal Behavior Specialist/writer Jenny Perkins provides canine nutrition, health, and care tips on her blog. Here Pup helps dog owners become great pet parents…

Dog with sunglasses at the beach
Photo: Unsplash.com

Summers are here in the U.S. which means it is the time for some outside fun. While our dogs love to hit the beach with us, play outside and walk around the block, the soaring temperatures can make it difficult for our dogs to keep themselves cool. Since our furry companions can’t sweat like their humans to regulate their body temperature, we need to take the essential steps to keep our pups safe during the hot weather. Here are seven tips for dog-parents to keep their pooches healthy and happy this summer

Provide Fresh and Cool Water to Your Dog

Our dogs can get dehydrated in the summer which puts them at the risk of heatstroke.  Be sure to provide your furry companion with cold water which is replaced at least every day. If he plays outside, then keep a water bowl in a shaded area and add ice cubes to it whenever you can. 

Don’t Leave Your Dog in a Closed Space 

Leaving your dog in a car is a bad idea even when you feel that you will be back in a few minutes or the temperature isn’t that hot. Just a couple of minutes in a suffocated car can lead to your dog developing heatstroke, so it is best to leave your pooch at home when you head out. 

Prevent Against Fleas and Ticks

Warmer weather is an indication of pesky pests being on the rise which can be dangerous for your pup. Parasites such as ticks and fleas carry the risk of various illnesses so protect your dog against ticks using topical solutions or collars.

Protect Your Dog against the Sun

You may not believe it, but even dogs can get sunburns particularly those with light-colored or short coats; therefore, it is crucial to provide some extra protection in the sun. Consult your veterinarian regarding non-toxic sunscreens that are safe for dogs and apply them before going outside. 

Take Steps to Keep Your Dog Shaded

If your dog lives outside the home, then make sure he has shady spots under trees where he can rest or set up a tent or umbrella. Keep his house in a grassy area as concrete retains heat and add a fan to provide fresh air. 

Keep the Paws Cool

We may not realize it, but the asphalt pavements outside can get hot during summers; our feet are insulated by shoes whereas our pups have to walk without their paws having any protection. To prevent your pup’s paws from getting burned, try keeping your pet off the asphalt pavements. Also, avoid metal surfaces such as the bed of a truck.  

Limit Your Dog’s Exposure to the Sun

Don’t risk your dog by taking him out for walks during the time of the day when the temperature is on the rise. Instead, consider exercising him in the early hours of the morning or the evening when it is cooler outside. 

Guest Blog Post: “How to Care for a Dog with Separation Anxiety,” in Alica’s exact words

Dogs are pack animals. They aren’t equipped to spend long periods alone. As our pets, however, sometimes this is hard to avoid. Fellow blogger Alica describes what works for her…

Closeup photo of sad faced brown boxer dog.
Photo courtesy of Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

The Separation anxiety in dogs has been one of the most dreadful problems. This will also confuse you as the owner or parent of the pet. Every time you are leaving, your dogs begin to cry, bark, and sometimes scratch the door, showing that they are panic or anxious.

Every time you pick up your coat and keys, your dogs will start becoming bad behaving. While you are gone, your dogs will poop on your bed, pee on your sofa, chew on your wooden furniture pieces, tear your sheets, dig holes in the backyard, and other naughty things.

Not only that these are the signs of the separation anxiety in dogs, but it will also affect your overall life. You may not be able to go for a long time or go for a vacation. You won’t have peace of mind when you leave your dog. But you don’t have to worry. It is reversible.

You can handle this independently. But first, you will need to understand the behaviors of your puppies. The Separation anxiety in dogs can be divided into anxiousness and the insecurity. You could research the characteristics of these conditions from the free resources out there. Then the next step is to fix the Separation anxiety in dogs.

What makes the dog anxious is mostly the owners. The fatal mistake that you do is to consider the dog as your best friends so that you share your bed with them. It is totally wrong. Here are few things that you can do to handle the Separation anxiety in dogs:

  • Don’t let your dog sleep with you at night or day.
  • Don’t greet your dog or feed it with the treats once you get home. Give some time and space.
  • Correct the wrongs immediately. Don’t pamper your dog.
  • Exercise your dog for at least 20 minutes on a daily basis.

About the author: Alica owns the site, hellowdog. The mother of two beautiful children, she loves to travel, socialize, fish, garden, read, and her two dogs. She says, “In short, I am just like you a woman, who is passionate about the care of her dogs and wishes to share that with all of you.”

Guest Blog Post: “Adopting a Pet: Do These Things First,” by Crystal

Love animals? Crystal loves them so much that both of her blogs, WELCOME TO CRYSTAL’S SITE(ORIGINALLY COUNTRY LIVING) and CRYSTAL AND DAISY MAE’S PHOTO-BLOGGING SITE, are dedicated to them.

Here’s Crystal’s advice for soon-to-be pet owners…

Deciding whether to get a pet? Some things to consider first…

  1. Will you adopt, rescue, or buy it from a pet shop?
  2. How will you get your new friend spayed/neutered?
  3. What is the background of the pet you’re looking to get?
  4. If you have children, will the pet get along with them?
  5. Is the pet trained? Or will it need to attend obedience school?
  6. Will your pet live indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both?
  7. If you rent, does your landlord allow pets?
  8. If you’re getting a dog, what size can you reasonably handle?

Once you decide to get a pet, here are a few things you need to do before bringing them home…

  1. Be sure to take it to the vet to make sure everything is alright.
  2. Make a pet emergency kit for each one.
  3. If you’re getting a cat, for every cat there should be two litter boxes. For example, for one cat, there should be two litter boxes. For three cats there should be four litter boxes, and so on.
  4. Set aside extra money for in case of unexpected vet trips.
  5. If you’re getting a dog, make sure it has someplace to exercise, and that your home is big enough.

These are only a few things you need to do when looking for a pet. I suggest that you either adopt or rescue one, rather than buy one from a pet shop!

For more of Crystal’s pet tips, visit her at WELCOME TO CRYSTAL’S SITE(ORIGINALLY Country Living) and Crystal and Daisy Mae’s Photo-Blogging Site.


Guest Blog Post: “CONVERSATION WITH…A Kitten…Wondering If He Will Be Someone’s Last Pet,” in Cathi’s exact words

Tabby cat begging for attention
Ryan McGuire is an amazing photographer!

Yearn for a pet but worry you’re not qualified? In this post, guest blogger Cathi addresses just about every possible apprehension.

  • Can you think of more reasons?

Intro written by Cathi to her post below: “Cathi writes a blog about growing older with silliness, high spirits and a lot of heart. It’s a series of conversations with anything and everything in the universe. She believes we’re all still evolving and are part of something bigger. Here’s a conversation with a kitten who is wondering if he will be someone’s last pet:”

Guest Blog Post: “It’s a Girl,” in Eliza Waters’ exact words

Monarch_butterfly_migrationLWhat’s it like to foster parent butterflies? Eliza Waters fills us in colorfully …

Eliza Waters

IMG_8836The first of the monarchs (Danaus plexippus) I have been fostering on my kitchen counter this past month hatched today and it’s a female. Like any proud parent, I think she is perfect and beautiful! I feel hopeful for her future, but it will be a long road for her, fraught with obstacles. After fattening up on coneflower, Joe Pye weed, zinnias and other favorite flower nectars, she sails 2,500 miles to the Michoacan Mountains in Mexico.

Overcoming human activity such as speeding autos, loss of nectar feeding habitats, as well as excessive cold, drought and predation will be daunting. If she reaches her winter roost site in the few remaining acres of oyamel pine trees (which are cut for their valuable timber by the local people), she must safely survive possible severe cold or snowstorms, predatory birds and mice that take advantage of the bounty of millions of clustered…

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