Puppy Dog Treat Taste Test

Roxy, the soft-coated wheaten terrier puppy

I’ve been doing daily care visits for Roxy, the ball of fluff above, a soft-coated wheaten terrier puppy. Today, there were two bags of treats left out, and I decided to try a dog treat taste test to see if I could figure out which she preferred.

Here were the contenders …

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers, beef flavor

Crazy Dog Train-Me training reward treats, bacon flavor

I sat on the floor with Roxy and put one Instinct treat in one hand and one Crazy Dog treat in the other. I then presented my open hands to her with palms up and then waited to see which she would eat first.

My plan was to put my hands both at equal distance from her, but she somehow got to one side of me. She went to the Train Me treat first and ate that, but it was in the hand nearest her, so I think she was just doing what was most convenient.

I have no photos of the actual taste test but enjoy this photo of Roxy being cute.

Next, I switched treats to opposite hands. Roxy went first to the Instinct treat, but she was, again, to one side of me and chose the hand closest to her. I decided I needed to change my approach.

I put a treat in each hand once more, turned my body towards Roxy and presented two closed fists this time to her face. She sniffed at each hand but paid much more sniffing attention to the hand holding the Instinct treat and ate that one first.

Roxy’s cute little tushy. She is not tasting treats here but looking out for a deer in the neighbor’s yard.

I then switched the two kinds of treats to opposite hands and presented two closed fists to her face once more. Roxy began once more to sniff at and even lick and chew the hand that held the Instinct treat. Perhaps, that treat has a stronger smell, but it looks like we have a winner!

These treats are actually meant to be mixed in with plain Kibble and might entice a picky eater to eat.

Although it seems we have a winner, perhaps more testing is needed and Roxy probably wouldn’t mind that at all. She may have preferences, but she likes both and wouldn’t refuse either if given a chance.

Awkward Cuddles with Roxie, the English Springer Spaniel

I had the privilege to watch Roxie and some of her animal housemates, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Rory and two cats, over Labor Day weekend. Above is my perspective as she lay with her head on my chest, her doggy schnoz just under my chin.

So, this particular cuddle wasn’t awkward. In fact, it’s quite pleasant having a doggy head resting on your chest or even a doggy body comfortably laying across yours.

You can’t see it, but I am under those covers and under the doggy.

Roxie looks half asleep here, but here is anther cuddle moment. I am underneath that heap of covers.

However, we did have a few awkward moments like when she lay in the Sphinx position below completely on top of my body, with her pointy elbows poking into tender parts of me. Solution: Pull on her legs and adjust them so that we’re both comfortable.

It got even more awkward when she wanted to lay across my chest with her shoulder blade poking into my face. I somehow coaxed her out of this position.

Roxie is the most agile dog I’ve watched so far. She had the habit of walking a thin, tightrope line between me and the edge of the bed and seeing if she could lie down in the practically non-existing space. Although I have not mastered the “selfie with dog,” you can see here that it is a wonder she did not fall of the edge of the bed.

I think she must be part mountain goat … and part Tigger. One night, I could hear her on the floor by the opposite side of the bed from where I was. She must have been three or four feet away. I called her name and, a second later, she was not only on the bed but flopped up against me. My next thought was, “No wonder they call it a springer spaniel!”

Do you remember Tigger’s theme song? “Their tops are made out of rubber. Their bottoms are made out of springs.” A Tigger may be a completely different species, but I think Tigger’s theme song could be Roxie’s too.

But sweet Roxie has her merits, though she is sometimes, as her owner calls her, a “goon.” She is the only dog, so far, who has hugged me. She would stand on the bed, get up on her hind legs and place her front legs on my shoulders, wrap them around my back and put her face next to mine. That is pretty close to a human hug!

And, if her cuddles are sometimes awkward and a little uncomfortable, I can forgive her, because she is just trying to show me that she loves me and wants to be close to me.

Does your pet, dog or cat, cuddle with you awkwardly sometimes? Share your comments about their funny cuddle positions.

Happiness is Two Warm Golden Retrievers

It's a DoggyDog World

Charles Schulz said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” I agree with him. The happiness extends to full grown dogs … even two full-grown large Golden retrievers.


Casey, me, Amber, Photo by Linda Smith Pursley

I do some sitting for other people’s dogs, and for the past three days, it’s been with two six-year-old Golden retriever sisters named Casey and Amber. I don’t want to suggest by the title that I have a particular prejudice towards Golden retrievers. I watch other breeds and mixes of breeds, and I love all of the doggies in my life. Even so, there’s a lot to love about Goldens. They are gentle, even-tempered and loving, intelligent, loyal and playful.

From my very first meeting with them, they were eager to meet me and love me. It reminds me of Pixar’s Dug the Dog from the movie Up. (I’m pretty sure Dug is a Golden retriever.) Dug loves his master, Carl Fredricksen, from the moment he meets him.

Amber and Casey both nosed at each other in their eagerness to get to me and receive some attention, a theme that stayed through the three-day stay to come. Amber, the sister with the darker, deeper coat, pranced in place, her toenails clicking against the floor, and whined at me, while Casey mostly succeeded in pushing her sister to the side. Soon, I had Casey’s front paws on my torso. Some people would consider “jumping up” to be bad dog behavior, but I understood it as friendliness and love, mixed with a lot of enthusiasm.

In the foreground, a distracted Amber. Behind her, a distracted Casey and me. Photo by Linda Smith Pursley

Giving the dogs equal attention was a challenge. Casey had a habit of pushing her sister away in order to get undivided attention for petting and affection. Sometimes, I managed to sit in the recliner and pet a different dog with each hand. Casey often had a way of wriggling herself and pushing her sister to the side. Often, she did a full rotation and leaned her butt against me, and I would talk to them, saying, “I have Casey’s butt and Amber’s head,” as I petted each. Once situated this way, Casey liked to sit between my feet or even on them. I didn’t mind this foot warmer, and I supposed she wanted me to be able to pet her back and sides, which I did. Amber, pushed aside, would complain with her voice and, perhaps, giving up, lie down in another part of the room.

Casey, me, and Amber distracted with cuddles. Photo by Linda Smith Pursley.

I discovered one way to keep them both content was to sit on the floor between them. At one point, I had Amber’s head on my lap, and Casey lying with her full length against my right leg. I sat with them for quite a while, lavishing them with petting and affection. They were both quite happy and calm in this situation.

Casey, me, and a playful Amber who wants me to hold her paw. Photo by Linda Smith Pursley.

Both girls liked to give me their paws and let me hold them, and I sometimes serenaded them with a line or two of Beatles parody, “I want to hold your paw.” I’m not sure what they thought of my serenade, but they listened very seriously.

Casey, me, Amber, Photo by Linda Smith Pursley

Their owners had warned me that I would have Golden alarm clocks during my stay. That was another funny situation. Every so often, during the night, there were Golden noses on the edge of my bed until I whispered for them to go back to their own beds. In the early morning, bouncing and wriggly noses returned to the edge of the bed. As their patience for me to be up diminished, they were like children on Christmas morning. The noses were wriggling among my layers of covers — it was cold — to find my face and give me morning kisses. Later, front legs and paws joined noses on the edge of the bed.

So, I got up around 7:30 — as the owners predicted — and gave them breakfast and let them out. How could I be upset with all of that enthusiastic affection? Happiness is a warm puppy or a full-grown dog … or two.