Doris Updates and Advises Her Shelter Mates



Hi Pooch Pals!

 So sorry I haven't been in touch sooner, but it's taken me a few weeks to train my owner and I haven't had a moment to myself. She is totally obsessed with me and as example; I have red smudges atop my head from the amount of times she kisses my noggin. We Jack Russell mixes are flexible, but there's no way I can lick that off in my personal daily wipe down. (Actually, when she leaves the house -- I am uncrated and can roam free -- I do manage to steal a few used wipes from the bathroom wastebasket. But still...)

Oh, I should tell you that she changed my name from Ziva to Doris. Can you imagine -- exotic to dull. But folks seem to get a kick out of it and I've noticed some of my new friends at the Dog Park (don't worry, they can never replace you) have old folks' names. In fact, my human sister, Jill, has a dog named Sheldon. We've never met, but I heard he's a cutie.

A suggestion: when you're choosing your human, consider an older Jewish woman. I admit that the constant kvelling over every feat can sometimes be annoying. But, the toys and treats she showers me with offset that. (Learn "Sit" quickly; adopters go nuts for this simple trick.)

My human mom (aka HM) is over 80, but surprisingly she's quick on her feet. I walk her several times a day so that her watch applauds her. (I know, stupid people stuff.) But if you do get one this old, be careful you don't tangle them in your leash. This age group is ballistic about falling!

I should warn you about one thing: get all your rolling in smelly stuff out of your system before your adoption. Man, did my HM get riled when I rolled! She actually used her smelly shampoo to wash out that delightful aroma that only others of our species appreciate.

Speaking of intimate matters, if you're adopted to the suburbs or countryside, with grass and plenty of spots for bathroom breaks, you can skip this part. But if you become a city dog like me, be prepared to poop on the sidewalk. Don't worry, your HM won't get mad at you; in fact, she'll be so thrilled that you "went potty," that she'll gladly whip out a doggie bag, kneel on the ground to scoop it up, while chanting, "Good Dog!"

Canines, remember how shy I was in the shelter? Well, I've parlayed that into avoiding large men, anything with wheels, cars, trucks, and trains, millennials with backpacks, construction workers -- basically anything you'll find in the crazy busy neighborhood we live in. Unfortunately, the trainer my HM hired for me believes in the immersion theory, so when he's on the other end of the leash, we confront all of those abominations. I am getting a little better at untucking my tail as we walk, but it's a challenge.

You'll be happy to learn that if you score an adopter like mine, she'll switch the food you've been getting to a pricier one. The secret is to ignore the old serving for a day or two and then the yummy grub will appear in your bowl.

To be honest, I was counting on getting some of my HM's food for myself. I use the "sit, stare, and look pathetic" technique we practiced, but damn if she doesn't ignore me. Every so often, though, I'll find a chunk of chicken or a smear of peanut butter in my bowl. So be patient, she'll cave eventually.

Remember that trick we used to get volunteers' attention: bark our little heads off? Well, since my HM learned (Google, get used to it.) she was supposed to ignore my barking, it sort of took the fun out of the whole exercise. I mean, if there's no audience, why strain our vocal cords?

But recently, when I was doing some impressive yelping at a Frisbee game, my HM tried a different theory. Without scolding, she placed her palm on my head. Surprisingly, I shut up. She should put that on Google!

Oh, one last thing: find a HM who is a widow. You'll get the bonus of sleeping with her in the bed. No cramped doggy crib for me! I even have my own pillow. I guess my 18-pound body snuggled next to her is enough to help soothe her to sleep. No matter, I have to confess I enjoy the cuddle, too.

Love, Doris