Archive for the ‘Cool Animals’ Category

Zoo Adventures

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Cool Animals

Some highlights from our latest adventure to the zoo…



Doggie Love Language!

Posted: July 23, 2011 in Cool Animals

Julie and I just relished in a week of dogsitting.  We were responsible for two charming labs–one yellow, one black.  While both being labs, they are distinctly different.  The yellow one (Oakley) is twice the size of the black one (Zoe), weighing in at 110 pounds compared to Zoe’s 55.  Oakley demands plenty of kibble, devouring bowl-fulls in a matter of seconds.  Zoe, on the other hand, nibbles at her food like a cat.

Oakley also poops approximately four times a day.  Zoe is more like once every four days.  They epitomize the big dog/little dog persona, and they also differ in personality.  Oakley is a big goof-ball.  He carries an elated doggie smile with him as he prances around the house, wagging his tail endlessly.  He’s also consistently seen chasing after moths, sniffing Zoe in inappropriate places, and getting overly excited upon hearing the word “cheese.”  Zoe is much more mellow, preferring to snuggle and absorb individualized attention.  She gets jealous when Oakley garners all attention–revealing this by pawing/clawing in between Oakley and his attention giver.

Our time with these pooches enabled me to enjoy animals–a love of mine.  I found myself critiquing the true love language of dogs.  Humans, according to Gary Chapman, delight in five love languages–touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service.  I’ve realized these apply to dogs as well.

Touch is an obvious one.  What dog doesn’t like to be scratched?  Some cherish this more than others, revealed through hypers paws moving up and down during a tummy rub; or that awkward leg twitch when the scratches “hurt so good!”  Dogs are undoubtedly spoiled in this regard, surely knowing how to take advantage of us by glaring at us with those innocent “puppy” eyes that beg another good belly rub.

You would think words of affirmation is inapplicable.  But this is certainly not the case.  Dogs savor what they hear, but it is not the words they hear, but the sound they hear.  It’s all how you say it.  What you say doesn’t matter at all.  I can pleasantly say, “Hey there you stupid dog, do you know how stupid you are?”  But if it is said cheerfully, it tickles their doggie ears!  Conversely, I could yell “Good dog!” angrily and receive that doggie look of guilt and concern.  Once again, it’s all how you say it.

Quality time is what strikes me as the chief love language of dogs.  If food were a category, it might rival it, but I believe what dogs want most is hours upon hours with their master.  This is perceived through their exuberance when the master pulls up at home, and exclaimed upon the master walking into the door.  Their excitement screams various joys all at once–“He’s home!”  “Let’s play!”  “Take me on a walk!”  “Treat?!”  “Oh I love you, master!!!”  This doggie love of quality time is also revealed upon the master leaving–when those doggies smiles are replaced by looks of gloom–“No, please no…”  “How long this time?”  “Oh I need you master, please don’t leave!”  Time spent, a craving and a true need of every dog…the prime way to fill up the doggie love tank.

A good bone, new toy, or unexpected treat is a great way to shower “gifts.”  They receive these things and run off with glee.  While they may be perceived as spoiled, they want us to know that this excitement is their “thank you.”  They truly mean it and want the gifts to keep-a-comin.

Lastly, we have acts of service, which is least meaningful love language on the doggie list.  This is because they don’t realize how much it stinks (literally) to pick up their poop, clean up their slobber, wipe their muddy paw prints off the floor, etc.  It’s just how life functions for them–have fun, make a mess, poop, eat, slobber, and let everyone else clean up the mess.  If only they knew how much work they can be.  But, we learn to do these things because of the joys that doggies bring.

So there it is…the doggie love language.  Perhaps Gary Chapman should write another book: “The 5 Love Languages of Your Dog.”  Or maybe I will.  Or maybe it’s simply time for me to get a dog!

Counterfeit Creatures

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Cool Animals

Friends in Florida

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Cool Animals