Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not so fast, big guy.

Brogan, Brogan, Brogan.

First of all you don't need to try to hide your internet inadequacy by your defensiveness regarding blogging. You're just a big dumb wolfhound. Nobody expects too much out of you when it comes to computers. I shudder to think of where you'd be without spell-checking.

But, I have some bad news for you.

I have done some research, and my sources say you're not going to be happy with what is about to happen to you. Oh, my, the indignity that is going to be heaped upon you!

First, you are going to be taken for a ride to that place with the stainless steel tables where you get poked and prodded (and in my case, adored). And unlike the normal time, where my favorite human or my agent stay with you, they will leave you there.

Someone will probably come in and give you a few scratches to placate you and before you know it, something will be... different. You will find yourself missing all your hair in an area that, well, normally it would have hair and you really don't want to know where it went. Oh, and that's not the only thing you will be missing. I don't want to spoil it all for you, but... let's just say there won't be any more little Brogans running around (thank goodness!), shall we?

Trust me on this. I've heard stories. And if you don't believe me, just watch. You will not get your breakfast tomorrow morning. The starvation is all part of the process. I guess it softens you up so you can't fight back. My favorite human will get out the leash. You will be led to your impending doom.

Then when you get home, they may be nice to you for a while. Oh yes, you will be awfully sore, and if you proceed to lick back there they will put on one of those plastic contraptions that make it so you can't reach (or fit through the doorway, for that matter). They still won't give you any food that first day. You know, to keep you compliant. They won't let you play. They will, however, probably pet you extra and make sure nobody bothers you, stuff like that. But it's only to soothe you... to make you feel a little better because

You. Will. Never. Be. The. Same.

Still think you're the favorite? You just have to accept it, no other breed can ever be the favorite in a house with an Estrela Mountain Dog!

I'm getting a treat, I'm getting a treat!

Well, well, Mr. Bart. I just had to share this news and I thought I would post it here on your little bulletin board thingy (you can't spell "blog" without "blah" did you know that? Huh, smart guy?).

Something good is about to happen to me, I just know it. The humans are showing me all sorts of extra affection today. They are saying my name to each other a lot. I got brushed and petted and my butt cleaned of cling-ons. I think maybe -- just maybe -- they are going to give me something really good. Like maybe I'll get to sleep on the bed with She Who Must Be Worshipped. Yeah, I bet that's it. I'll get to have biscuits up there and stuff. I bet I am finally getting confirmation that I am in the position you have always coveted. Yes, I am her Favorite. I knew it already. But here's your proof.

So, nyah. Enjoy your outside kennel (I know you have a heavy fur coat and don't get cold, but... eww, it's dirty out there! and it rains and stuff) while I am lying in luxury tonight, getting scratches and stuff.

Your superior,

Friday, December 01, 2006

A new protege

Please meet the newest Estrela Mountain Dog resident of the USA. His name is Argus and he lives in Texas. He flew all the way from Portugal just like my parents. He is about 10 weeks old. Was I ever this small?

Despite his lack of beautiful brindling like mine, I still think he is a handsome boy.

These photos were at his new home. Note the lovely flower bed, ripe for digging. And the motion blur -- I think he is going to be fast, like me.

The yellow object in this picture is, I believe, a duck. I do not condone chewing on ducks. Even pretend ones. But, he can be forgiven, because it does look kind of like a nice fluffy "good towel," one with a beak. And feet. Or maybe that was just photoshopped in there. Hey Argus, there aren't any big dumb wolfhounds around, are there? Or toads?

I sent him a welcome package. As you can see, it has a picture of moi on it.

He is carefully guarding it from his soon-to-be subordinate, Maggie. I also think he is trying to emulate my expression from the photo. The boy has some skills already! The force is strong with him. But I can see that there is still much I will need to teach him. Like the difference between "good towels" and ducks. The best spots to dig to make the muddiest paws. How to cajole his new favorite human into making him spaghetti sauce. The dangers of toads. The temptation of baklava (read the rest of my blog if you are not familiar with any of that material). How to chew that lovely rug that is right in front of him. He just has so much more potential than big dumb wolfhound puppies. And look what I have done with them!

I sent him a little letter with his cookies and rawh er, just cookies. This contained a bit of "getting started" advice. The boy is going to have to get e-mail so that we can communicate a bit more readily. If his favorite human sends me new photos I will post them too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election day...

... or "Everything I needed to know about government, I learned from dog clubs."

Well, yesterday was something called Election day and my human companions dutifully went to cast their "vote."

This is something I'm not really clear on. I guess the humans go and say who they want to represent them in their government. But I don't see the point. I thought that a few people were supposed to control everything -- at least, that's how I was brought up. If you have people in government who are not in that group, don't they just gum up the works? Don't they prevent progress? Don't they make it so that the country can't move forward? And what happens if they have someone in government who doesn't know enough about their breed? If you ask me, these "elections" should merely be a formality. If the wrong person gets chosen, just declare the whole thing invalid and go back to some arbitrary set of people you do want to be in office. All problems solved!

Oh, and the humans came home grumbling about how this Election day being in November is a problem because it gets dark so early and the weather is often bad and the parking lot where they went stinks. If it were earlier in the year, they could still go "vote" after "work" and still have some daylight... and a chance to avoid rain, cold, and/or snow. They were speculating on whether a "constitutional amendment" would be needed to alter this. Again I am confused. What's a big deal about that? Just change the constitution and be done with it! I know some people who can get that done, no problem! As long as they agree with it, that is.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First big snow of the season...

... and it was a good one. Last Friday night and during the day Saturday we got about 8 or 9 inches.

Now, you know that Estrelas like snow. It can get cold up there in the mountains! I have a very warm, fluffy coat. To me, an indentation in a pile of snow is maybe even better as a bed than a hole I dug myself in the dirt. It's a toss-up. I do like tracking the dirt inside to "bring the outside in." But the nice thing about snow is, you can make it yellow. And you can eat some if you get thirsty (not the yellow kind).

At any rate, the big dumb wolfhound puppies had never seen snow before. They were quite bewildered by it. Here is a picture of the floor-digger. She looks like she has no idea what to do!

On the other hand, here is one of me on Friday night:

You have to look close to make out my eyes in amongst the snowflakes. I was really running fast. Contrast that to the big floor-digging dummy, who just stood there for the longest time.

Oh, and here is a pretty picture of a tree the next morning.

So after things quieted down outside, the humans let me go out into my pen by the duck house (as if they had any choice in the matter). I would like to stay out there all the time, but the humans do not want me to, complaining that I will not go inside that cute little cabin they put in my pen for me. I can't help it -- I can't see out of that thing. So I humor them, for now. Anyway I quite enjoyed the piles of snow on Saturday and Sunday but by Monday, the floor inside the pen was all dry. And now, the snow is almost all gone. But I know there will be more on its way soon!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I think I am changing my mind on the topic of puppies.

Yes, we were all puppies at one time. Still this is no excuse for disrespect for one's elders. When the big dumb wolfhounds had their puppies (they were dumb but not big), they had absolutely no respect. It was shameful. One couldn't walk across the kitchen without them running after one and snapping at one's legs. They did not wait patiently for their elders to get any scraps offered. They did not honor "everything in the realm belongs to the Estrela" rule. I mean, come on. And there were ten of them for a while there.

When they started disappearing I thought they must be going to get their just desserts. Sent away maybe to the Estrela Mountains where they would be taught properly by lots of Estrelas. Maybe someplace with lots of toads. Sending them off one at a time was brilliant... don't let them communicate with each other, keep their anxiety up, make them wonder what their fate will be.

Well, unfortunately, I have found out that they have actually been sent off to lead lives of luxury. Take a look at this one! Her name was Sikozu when she was at my house and she was the tiniest of the puppies.

I mean, it is just shameful for a big dumb wolfhound to live a life like this. She acts like she gets belly rubs!

But here's where my feelings have changed. My agent likes to say that the best way to get "good" behavior out of your dog is to get a puppy. Your other dog will soon turn into an angel, which is just the humans' way of saying that it will not behave as a proper Estrela would. Now, I don't know why he would think this is true, because certainly there never was any dog in the household before moi... despite what the others in the house say about it.

But let me tell you... the puppies' bad behavior (bad by human desireability standards) really is a boon to the rest of us. We can still be "naughty" (by human standards) and the humans don't really care, because the puppies are more "naughty!" What a great thing! Make a little mark on the kitchen chair because it deserves some chewing? No problem, the puppies almost chewed it in half! Open the fridge to check out what is rightfully mine for the taking? Fine, because it will be the puppies who are gluttons and empty it out! A little peeing in the living room to mark my territory? Well, you would think that it would be eclipsed by the lakes in the kitchen, but alas not. Still, it only got me to spend more time outside where it's nice and cool. It's not like they tried to not feed me or stopped petting me or anything.

So, in effect, puppy behavior can be used to your advantage. Let it "lower the bar" of your humans' expectations of you, and you will be able to "get away with" much more of your natural, deserved behavior. Yes, they can be troublesome, but they can also be fun to play with (in small quantities).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A fine effort

Once again, one of the youngsters in the house has made me proud. This time it was the big dumb female wolfhound.

Observe below her handiwork:

This is the result of the hole she has dug in the kitchen floor. Brilliant! She has not only pulled up parts of the vinyl tile, she has actually dug up part of the plywood subfloor. I bet if she hadn't been so rudely interrupted, she'd have made it all the way through.

I was outside on guard duty at the time, but I noticed it when I came in to eat the other night.

I had not had much hope for any of the youngsters, since they are of course wolfhounds, but this proves that they at least have some proper instincts. Now, I know my favorite human really didn't care for that vinyl tile, so the big dumb wolfhound was really doing her a favor, though she didn't really seem to appreciate what has been done for her!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ask Bart!

For new visitors: Bart writes an advice column (for dogs or humans). I will be posting some of his past columns for him here. You can also ask him a question and he will try to answer it here!

Dear Bart,
Why can't I have more cookies? My Mom seems to be very stingy when doling out the cookies around here. I know there are quite a few of us, but she only let's us have one at a time. My teeth are already falling out!!! She says there are new ones coming though, and too many cookies will not be good for them. But the cookies are the BEST!!!! They're right up there on the counter in a big jar.....should I go for it?

Dear Drooling,

Isn't it funny how the humans always feel the need to control the food in the house? They put our dinner out when they want us to eat, they hand out treats when they think we "deserve" them, like we are some kind of peons, and they tend to get angry when we help ourselves to the contents of the fridge or the kitchen counter.

The fact is, we have the right to any food we want. But in order to keep the humans under control, we need to provide them with the illusion that it is they, in fact, who are the ones in control. The food thing is one small way we must give them that illusion.

I do understand that you have needs. Desiring food is a natural thing, and for many of us, resisting the urge to help ourselves to what is rightfully ours is difficult. I have been known to binge on occasion, after having knocked over the food bins, spilling their contents on the kitchen floor. So, with that in mind, you have a few options. You can either "go for it" (as you put it) now, and earn yourself a reputation that you will not be able to shake, or you can lie low for now. The latter has some great advantages. Basically if you have the reputation of being "well-behaved," you can lull the humans into complacency, and they will be lax about leaving the really good food where you can get it. And then, instead of cookies, you might find yourself in a position to feast on filet mignon or something.

On the other hand, er, paw, once you eat that filet, your goose is cooked, and the humans will probably be much more careful with your (they would say “their”) food. So you may find a third option a good compromise.

It seems that if you are judicious in the food you "steal," the humans are much less concerned about it. Personally, while I enjoy cleaning out partially-empty pots and pans from the stovetop, it is much less stressful on the humans when I clean them out once they have been placed in the sink. You see, once they are in the sink, the humans really only intend for them to get washed out anyway, so really I am doing them a favor. Obviously if they were really concerned about me getting into the sink, they would not put any "dirty" dishes in there!

With a little thought you may be able to come up with an idea of your own which will not concern your Mom enough for her to stop you, which fits into your lifestyle and affords you good eating for years to come. Good luck!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I have a page on dogster now.... I think this goes directly to me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A new camera!

Hm. My agent and my favorite human have purchased a new camera. It seems that there was an unfortunate incident with the old one. I don't think my agent wants to talk about it. I kind of think it was not an accident. My humans always aspire to take better photos of me.

Naturally you would expect that I would be the first subject chosen for test shots from the new camera. I was quite indignant to find out that this is not the case at all... rather, the first chosen subject was one of the dumb wolfhound children! No photos were taken of me until maybe about the 17th picture. Here is one of the earlier ones (of someone other than me).

At first I was dumbfounded. Why not take photos of the most photogenic guy in the house? Why one of those gangly teenaged kids? Well, later, when I got on the computer and saw the pictures, I realized why. When you first get a camera you will have only spotty luck taking good photos while you learn the functions. So, you don't take pictures of your best subject until you know a little bit of what you're doing.

It was not for perhaps a week that my agent asked me to model and spent some serious time getting good pictures. Unfortunately he was still learning and did not use optimal settings on the camera. Still, I like this action shot (of me).

And he has taken a few other nice ones too. This one is kind of cool. Made me a little hungry.

There are more in here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's HOT!

For a breed whose ancestors lived in the moutains, I have to say I am not keen on the hot weather.

Today it was at least 96 degrees outside, but it felt like much hotter than that. With my thick double coat of fur, I was a bit uncomfortable. I was outside doing my guarding duty when I realized that I just needed a break and I needed it right then. I tried to open the gate to my kennel (have I mentioned I have my own kennel now?). Alas, the humans had it rigged so I could not get out. I am going to have to inspect that more because we must be prepared to escape the kennel on a moments notice should anything threaten my realm.

Anyway, back to my story. I decided to protest the kennel and I used my most pitiful bark. Well, it worked on my favorite human. Next thing I knew I was back in the house and I had plopped myself right in front of the big fan in the kitchen. I made sure to do a litttle extra panting to lull the human into thinking she made the right decision. Little does she know I made the decision for her.

OH! I have to tell you. I have a new house! Yes, I do. It is a log cabin. It's pretty neat. Do you know what I did when I saw it? I bet you can't guess. Why, I christened it, of course! I didn't want anyone else thinking it was theirs for the taking......for example Brogan that big stupid wolfhound.

You know, I have noticed some of the puppies look like him. I wonder if that is just a coincidence?

Well, back to plopping in front of the fan. I'm hoping for a snack since the humans haven't eaten dinner yet.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

A new chapter in the book of my life

Greeting faithful readers! It certainly has been some time since I have posted. I just don't have the time for blogging like I used to.

Let me update you on "my" life since February. First of all, I attended a show with my humans in North Carolina. I didn't get to show either one of them......but I did show a lovely lady in red and she beat out the other human in the ring that was being shown by Uncle Choupo. I got to keep the ribbons she won.

I think the judge called her "fat" (because he most certainly could not be referring to me) . My humans must have thought the judge meant me because they put me on something called a diet. This is where I am denied access to the food bins and other sources of nutrition around the kitchen.

Suffice to say, the last visit to the vet I was told that I was LOOKING GOOD. As if there was ever any doubt of that!!!

Did I tell you I had puppies? Yes! Well, not me personally, but Sabrina. I was very overjoyed at first. They were all cute and small and I loved guarding them. However, I have since discoverd a couple things. First, they aren't Estrelas. Nope. Instead they are wolfhounds. This is not good news and I was very disappointed. Second, there were ten of them! Oh my goodness, I didn't know what to do with all those puppies. They would not leave me alone! I was very put out. I will not tell you what I was doing to show my displeasure but suffice to say it made my favorite human quite unhappy.

The good news is that most of the puppies went to new homes. The bad news is that we are keeping three of them. That makes five wolfhounds in this home and only one Estrela. I am surrounded. If anyone reads this.....please send me a fellow Estrela to help out. I am pretty competent but this could be quite challenging.

We also had a tragedy in my family. I can't really talk about it. It was very sad.

There also have been some incidents that make me ashamed to be an Estrela. I don't really want to talk about those either right now. I am busy plotting.

Hope to have more time to write later, but between wolfhound duty and plotting I am mighty busy.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

KFC Snackers Rule!

The joy. The delight. It is unimaginable.

My humans left a special treat for me on the counter. It was a KFC Snacker. At first I did not realize that it was there.....but then ever so softly I heard it calling. It said in its seductive sandwich voice "Bartholomeu, I am for you." It was like the "That Which Survives" episode of the original Star Trek. Only this time the sandwich was not named Losira and it wasn't trying to kill me. Thank goodness my KFC snacker didn't end up to be a holographic projection either!

No, my snacker was very, very real. Then it slid down my throat so smoothly I didn't even have to chew.

Now, why did my favorite human check my breath when I was done? You just have to wonder what these humans are thinking sometimes.


Monday, February 13, 2006

He needed some exercise anyway.

I've been busy lately. As I have mentioned before, we're down one dog in our pack. A situation my agent needs to rememdy. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and maybe he'll bring a puppy for my favorite human.

The wolfhounds are such slackers that I am left to do all the work. Whether it is chasing the cat, cleaning the stove, sink, dishes, etc. Okay, so the hounds will stare at the cat over the gate. But, they won't go for her.

Which reminds me......I kind of like the cat. She's so very attractive. Did I mention she looks like me? Yes. Black with brindling.....though in cats I guess they call that tortoise shell. I have to wonder about that (and maybe ask Mytrle, as the tortoise is a cousin of hers, I believe).

So, while I am doing all the work around here (like a modern day Cinderella), I noticed a couple things. One is that Brogan was looking a little soft and out of shape. The other is my agent was deluded into thinking he had Bart-proofed the gate.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. The country landscape was covered in snow and it looked so inviting. There's no better time than the present. I nosed the gate and with a little brute force had it opened enough to SQUEEZE out. Oh, the sweet taste of freedom! Brogan was a willing participant in the escape. On the other hand, Sabrina was annoyed and barked her fool head off. TATTLE-TALE! If it hadn't been for her we might have gotten much farther away from the house before anyone noticed.

We were off! I ran around the house a few times to warm old Brogan up. Then down the road and across the bridge (so we didn't have to tramp through the creek). Next it was up the hill on the snowmobile trail.

Brogan was keeping up with me, which is pretty surprising since he's really a geezer in wolfhound years. I'm not sure how many miles we ran, but it was GREAT!

Now this story does have a down side. Apparently I stressed out my favorite human as she wasn't so confident that I could take care of myself and Brogan out in the "wild." I'm really sorry I did that. I never like to see her cry. I also didn't want her angry with my agent either.
She sort of blamed him for the gate thing. I don't know why she did that. When I want out, I get out. Next time I'll have to do it in such a way that my agent is held blameless.

The upside to the story is that my agent had to walk the snowmobile trail too!!! This was so good for him. It was as if I killed two birds with one stone. Brogan and my agent both got plenty of exercise.

My agent finally caught up with us. We were so happy to see him! Especially because we ended up getting a ride home. I could have run all the way home, but Brogan was looking spent.

Once home we spent the afternoon napping. Can you think of a better way to spend a day??