Happy Easter to all who celebrate! Chunk here, sporting the costume of the season.
I never understood bunnies, and having to wear these ears has not helped with that. My cousin in Massachusetts has bunnies and I get to see them at Thanksgiving. They seem nice, but we are not all that close. Anyway, best to all.
I think the snow may be finally leaving, but like my mom says, winter is just a desperate season — clingy, whiny, and, well, ugh!
Reminder to all, especially with Easter baskets all about:
As much as we dogs like to sniff around and find things to eat, please keep those baskets out of our reach. My sister, Boo, can stand up on her back feet and reach just about anything. It is pretty amazing to watch. Her balance is awesome — and patience, wow, if you looked up “determined” in the dictionary, you would see a huge picture of her. She even opened the bread box once, I swear!
Here is a letter from my friend Marney in Newcastle:
I have been living with my family for a few years. I hail from Puerto Rico and, well, had a pretty rough life. I was found wandering the streets and had a bad injury to one of my legs. I was rescued and brought here to Maine, where I was eventually adopted by my wonderful family. They are amazing, and they really love me. I love them too, a lot — a whole lot! I worry about them and when anyone comes to the door I bark. I bark a lot, even though they tell me it is OK. I can’t seem to stop. I worry so much that someone will be mean to them. Do you have any advice for me?
I hear that you had a rough beginning, too, and that you were in a shelter like me. You found your forever home. How did you adjust? Was it difficult? Do you worry about your family, too?
Thank you, Chunk.
I am sorry to hear you had a rough start. Yes, I also had a not-so-nice beginning, but I was found, saved, and have been living with my family for eight years now. I love them very, very much, and they just love me to bits.
I understand your worry and I know how difficult it can be when you are trying to protect them. You might be still reacting to when you weren’t feeling safe and it seems bigger now that you have people to love who love you.
We dogs have super sharp hearing that humans don’t. Sometimes when I bark and my mom thinks I am barking at the wind, I wish she knew that I really am hearing something outside. When she yells from the other room, I feel even more alarmed because, well, she is yelling at something — is she scared? There must be something bad out there and I bark even more to scare it away. It is an endless cycle, my friend.
We bark to protect. Our people are like, “What are you barking at?”
We then think, “Something must be out there. I need to bark more to scare it away.” It can be worse when someone comes to the house.
My sister, Boo, gets very anxious and barks a lot! She doesn’t stop even when our mom says it’s OK. My mom uses a calming pheramone plug-in to help her feel better, but I don’t know if it works.
“Lots of love” is what my old vet from western Massachusetts used to say. Once you really believe your family is OK, hopefully you will feel better. When Boo stops barking, Mom gives her a treat. I make sure that I am right next to her to help, then I get a treat, too. Treats rule!
My mom has been doing some researching on this (I call it looking up stuff), and she found this pretty cool article, “Learning to Speak Dog: The Meaning of Your Dog’s Barks,” by Stephanie Gibeault. Maybe your mom and dad can check it out: akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/learn-speak-dog-meaning-dogs-barks.
Stay well, dear Marney. Your family is awesome and they love you very much.
Peace and love,