Decorator Dog

Most people have heard of Feng Shui, the oriental art of spiritually-informed design. A our house we enjoy Feng-Shih, or perhaps it should be called Feng Schnitzel

HGTV designers and decorators eat your heart out; Animal Planet please take notice.

Schnitzel, our beloved Schnauzer-Shih Tsu mix canine companion daily reveals to us his Asian Shih-Tsu genetic roots in his commitment to arranging and rearranging his and our immediate environment.

I am not talking about his collection of toys and other play objects although, depending on how he chooses to amuse himself on any given day, he routinely distributes and redistributes them around our home.

Specifically, I refer to Schnitzel’s pet furniture, his dog beds which come in a number of colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. He has at least three or four of them and we never know from one day to the next where they will wind up.

For reasons known only to him and canine Feng Shui masters, he finds it essential to move his dog beds from room to room and or to a variety of locations within each room.

Sometimes we witness Schnitzel practicing the Oriental Art of Feng Shih-Tsu.  While watching one of our television programs we may spot him gripping one of his dog beds with his mouth and with clear intention drag it from one side of the living room to the other.

From time to time he will bring his dog bed of choice over to one of us, shoving it up and onto our laps, looking at us with canine expectation.

We think he may be asking for our take on his aesthetic opinion, but we cannot be sure. I fear that his is often disappointed with us.

What we do know, beyond the show of a doubt is that we have a dedicated and devoted decorator dog in our home.

HGTV or Animal Planet, we eagerly await your call….

Dogs a digging, writers a writing

It occurred to me this morning that I can no more stop expressing myself in writing than Schnitzel, my canine companion, can stop digging in the sand.

When we go to the shore I watch him dig, dig, digging away (see illustration) and wonder, “Why is he dogging there, Does he sense something beneath the sand I cannot? Is there a hidden treasure? Why is he so devotedly digging, apparently for no apparent reason?”

After digging at these questions for some time I uncover that Schnitzel’s reason is well, unreasonable. Schnitzel has no “reason” whatsoever, nor is there is any meaning to be made. There is little to no reasoning to Schnitzel’s capacity for living. Schnitzel chooses to dig because it is simply in his nature to dig.

He does not dig to entertain or inspire me (although he does). He will dig for as long and until he wishes to do something else: fetch a Frisbee, or bound down the beach cheerfully chasing after seagulls in the sand.

I note (perhaps you have as well) I literally and literately like to ponder and play with wisdom and words that alliterate in my writing. For me it is fun, appeals to my sense of whimsy, and it gives me pleasure.

And now I stop and reflect: How very different am I than my faithful playful canine companion? He digs, runs, chases seagulls because it is fun, gives him pleasure, and sheer joie de vivre. A snout full of sand is as much fun for Schnitzel as a peck of puns and plays on words is for me.

We are not so very different after all.

Do you dig it?

What do dogs dream?

It appears that, just as we humans are prone to sleep walk and talk; our canine companions are equally liable to sleep bark, growl, and dream.

Early this morning our sleep sentinel was overheard growling quietly as if he were issuing a warning, beware! I listened closely for any signs or sounds of a raccoon or other neighborhood denizen passing outside our door but was unable to identify anything alarming, at least to my human ears.

I checked to see if Schnitzel was alert and awake, dashing to our door as he has done on occasion in the middle of the night. I was ready to hush him and go back to sleep, but I could see he was still fast asleep at the foot of our bed.

Then he proceeded to make a repetitive, a kind of a whooping, sound unlike any other I had heard him make. Concerned, I listened and became aware that our faithful companion was growing and barking in his sleep! I also could see Schnitzel’s body twitching, and his legs waving as if he were running.

Our sleep sentinel was in the midst of a full blown vivid dream of what I can only begin to imagine; a squirrel perhaps?

As he became quiet I rolled over, returning to sleep with a new conundrum, riddle, and mystery; what do dogs dream?

Wonders: Paul@relationshipliteracy.com

A Paws-able moment


If only my eyes could take a snapshot to share.

We were sitting down to a quiet breakfast this morning when Schnitzel clambered upon the third seat at our table. He waited patiently (for a dog at least) for us to respond to his canine agenda.

After politely welcoming him into our company we returned to breakfast, eating, reading, and discussing amongst ourselves.

Then Schnitzel quietly lifted one paw onto the table, just onto the very edge of the table, no more. At first alarmed, then reassured he was not going to climb up onto our breakfast table, we returned to our human pursuits.

When he received no desired response from us, he raised his other front paw to the table laying it alongside his first, and continued to waiting for us to comply with his canine wishes.

And then I got it.

The two of us were sitting with our two human paws resting on the edge of the table – and now so was Schnitzel.

Now, we will never know whether he had he done it on purpose, but to my eyes he had clearly joined us in an entirely paws-able manner.

Offers: paul@relationshipliteracy.com

Mall walking the dog on a rainy afternoon

We took Schnitzel to Bellevue Square mall for a walk yesterday.

Yes, I know that Schnitzel was dis-welcomed by disheartening and discouraging signs at the mall entrance. Canine accompaniment is frowned upon for consumers spending their money pursuing matters of mall materialism.

But fortunately there was another solution that would provide us all a place to walk, a place out of the rain for our beloved Schnau-Tzu and ourselves – the parking structure! Three to four stories (count em’!) of dry concrete whose upper and rear sections stood nearly empty and offered Schnitzel acres of rain free room to roam.

So sad. Due to mall pet policy we could not spend any money in the mall in pursuit of matters materialistic.

But Schnitzel enjoyed a rainy Bellevue afternoon outside and out of the rain with us.

Joyfully offers: paul@relationshipliteracy.com