Accepting Yourself: Your powdered sugar nose is just perfect.

We were really adorable when we were puppies (as all puppies are), and as we’ve grown up, we’ve just gotten better and better. We have the wisdom that time brings in our eyes and have earned our powdered sugar noses. We’re confident in who we are and don’t let the fact that we’re getting a day older dim that conviction. We still have a lot of room in our hearts for love. Plus, Mom tells us every day that we’re beautiful and handsome inside and out, no matter what. The Dog to Human Translation: Just because you have a little gray in your hair or a wrinkle by your eyes doesn’t mean you’re any less beautiful. Those things are just your surface and don’t define who you are or showcase your true beauty. Your beauty shines from within – from your spirit, from your personality, from your soul. Age brings wisdom and confidence and that’s one of the most beautiful things you can have. If there is something that you consider to be a flaw, take a good hard look in the mirror and recognize how those “flaws” combine to form your unique beauty. Embrace your “flaws” because you know what? They’re not flaws. They’re stepping stones on a beautiful path to accepting who you are as a complete...

Lessons from a K-9 Officer

Different types of service dogs fascinate me. Police and military dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, prison dogs. The relationships these dogs have with their humans are different and ones that I don’t know about from first-hand experience. As I continue to work on my Dogs Know Best journey, I knew I wanted to learn more about these amazing dogs and the different relationships they have with their humans. My hometown of Stow, Ohio, has three K-9 officers in the police department, so I thought it would be a great place to start my exploration. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with K-9 Officer Ted Bell, a 15-year K-9 officer in the department, and his partner, Mingo. Mingo is Officer Bell’s third K-9 partner, and as you can imagine, he had some amazing stories to share. Officer Bell was extremely generous with his time, spending nearly two hours with me, telling stories of his partners over the years, Bruno, Nero and now Mingo. He shared his scrapbooks that documented their life together, catching bad guys and keeping our city safe. Most importantly, he took the time to explain – at times as best he could – the unique relationship that a K-9 officer has with his four-legged partner. I added “as best he could” because at points there just weren’t the words to express the bond they share. More on that in a minute. Officer Bell took me through the process of how the department gets a K-9 officer, in fact explaining how their vendor, Von der Haus Gill German Shepherds in Wapakoneta, OH, get their dogs from...

Relocating with your Pet

After my last blog post I went on the longest car ride of my life and boy was it fun!  I traveled from Ohio to Florida with my Dad.  Of course I was wearing my seatbelt and it worked out really well because not only was I safe but the harness I wear my Dad could easily attach my leash and take me to potty on our trip.   There were tons of interesting smells and humans I met along the way! A couple of things that I noticed is it is a lot warmer in Florida and I drink a lot more water. Instead of chasing squirrels in my backyard like I used to in Ohio, I am now chasing lizards.  I haven’t caught one yet but I have gotten close. I get walks early in the morning and later in the evening to avoid the heat.  Sometimes I even get to go swimming in this water that is funny smelling and tasting.  It isn’t what I am used to but it is still fun. The Dog to Human Translation: I recently moved across the country with my dog Daisy and it was a 16 hr car ride.  I of course made sure she was secured in her seatbelt and also had food and water available for her throughout the ride.  I stopped every couple of hours along the way to make sure Daisy could get out stretch her legs and use the potty.  For the most part she slept which was great. Prior to moving to St. Pete Beach I did some research to make sure that I...

How Did Dogs Know Best Happen?

Where Did the Idea for Dogs Know Best Come From? A lot of you may be wondering how Dogs Know Best came about. It’s not your typical dog story book. Like many dog-related books, it is about a relationship with my dogs, but it’s more than that. Dogs Know Best is my love letter to my two senior German Shorthaired Pointers. It is a thank you to them for all the things they have taught me, and continue to teach me each and every day. I spend a LOT of time with my dogs, they are my constant companions. I knew there was a story in there somewhere, but honestly, there’s nothing fancy or unusual about our story. We live a quiet life somewhere between the city and the country, almost on the edge of a national park. We go to the store, we go for walks. They hang out while I work, they play. They are in a routine, with meal times and bedtime happening at just about the same point every day. So the story of Dogs Know Best just happened. It happened quietly, like our life. It didn’t come with a big bang, it didn’t come with a lot of ceremony. It was a simmering thought, the lessons coming to me as we would be out on our walks (which is when I do my best thinking and brainstorming). Pointers have a reputation for being energetic, nutty “handfulls.” Just ask anyone who has ever shared their life with a Pointer and they will quickly agree. Words like “stubborn,” “strong-willed,” “too smart for their own good,” “balls...

Simple Happiness: Warm Your Belly in the Sun

We both love laying outside on a warm day, basking in the sunshine. If it’s too cold to go outside, we’ll find a sun spot inside for our nap. Many years ago our Mom found a doggie door that we could use to go out on the deck by ourselves. It is in the big screen door, so it has to be a pretty nice day for us to be able to use it. If the door is closed because it’s too cold or too hot, we’ll ask Mom or Dad over and over again to go outside. We’ll lie in the sun until we get too hot, then go back inside to cool off before wanting to go out again (Mom says this is why she got us our own door, so we didn’t always have to ask). It’s a time for us to nap, smell the air around us, and listen to the birds and sounds of our neighborhood. In summer, I love going out and stalking and snapping at those big wood-boring bees, but Bimmer doesn’t like them because they make a loud buzzing sound and when he sees or hears me snap at one, he runs back inside to find a different sun spot to lay in. It’s almost like the bee and I are playing a game of chase, sometimes for an hour at a time. Unfortunately for the bee, at least a few times a year I actually catch one, but another one always shows up to continue the game. (You’ll learn about the bee another time.) When it’s cold outside, we’ll find a sun spot...

Earth Day Advice: Clean Up Your Neighborhood

If you see a mess, clean it up! We do our part to keep our neighborhood clean. This is something we do every day, not just on Earth Day. Bertram is especially great at doing this, but I sometimes get involved. Here’s how it goes. When we’re out on a walk, Bertram will pick up and bring home empty water bottles or empty paper cups that other people threw away. She doesn’t like styrofoam or cans, but paper and plastic are ideal. She’s done this since she was a puppy. The first time she did it she was about six months old and we were out for a long walk in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on a Sunday morning. Right when we were starting out, Bertram found an empty plastic water bottle on the side of the trail. She picked it up and wouldn’t let go! Mom and Dad tried to make her give it up because we were just starting out for a long hike, but she refused. She ended up carrying it during the entire walk, even earning a compliment from a Park Ranger on her efforts to clean up the trail. Twelve years later, she’s still helping clean up her neighborhood and trails. We’ve both gotten smart, though. Now, we’ll only give up a treasure in exchange for a treat! The Dog to Human Translation: If you see garbage laying around when you’re out and about, pick it up and throw it out. It doesn’t matter if it’s not yours; we’re all stewards of our trails and neighborhoods. Enough said on that...

Dogs Know Best: Are Pets Our Greatest Teachers? New #1 International Bestseller Shares Lessons for Living a Happier Life… From the Perspective of Two Dogs

36-Time #1 International Bestseller Across 3 Continents Over 24,000 Downloads in Week #1 A massive hit among dog-lovers with well over 24,000 downloads in the first week, Dogs Know Best is an inspiring and lighthearted read that will make you even more appreciative of ‘man’s best friend.’ Critics have called the book “well-written, fun and inspiring” and “a delightful insight into dog psyche!” Mixed with stories and lessons, this book will bring pet owners to tears for numerous reasons, including those of joy and love for their very own. Sometimes we forget the simple things we can do in our everyday lives that will make us happier. That’s where two wise German Shorthaired Pointers come in. Follow along as Bimmer and Bertram take you on a journey towards greater happiness. As they describe it, “We’ve seen a lot, listened a lot, taught a lot, and learned a lot. We thought it was about time to share our philosophy and lessons on life with all of you humans so that you could have the same incredible life we do. Think of it as our legacy.” These are simple things that people can start doing immediately to live a happier life – a dog’s life! Along the way, you’ll learn lessons about: Accepting Yourself & Others, Persistence Leads to Happiness, Building Relationships, Simple Happiness, and Practical Living. You’ll even learn how you can share the life lessons you’ve learned from your favorite teacher! “This book is my love letter to my two senior companions. I so often found myself smiling, laughing, or tearing up as I wrote this book because of...

Pet Safety Tips

I love to go on car rides!  My Dad is always telling me to click or ticket it young lady, so I get to show off my stylish seatbelt harness. I wasn’t a big fan of it at first but after traveling across country numerous times in my life I got used to it.  So if you are going on a car ride ask your parent to make sure that you are secure and safe in the vehicle. The Dog to Human Translation: Our pets love to go on car rides and it is important that we do it safely.  At first Daisy didn’t enjoy her doggy seatbelt but after a couple of trips she got used to it. Only a small percentage of pet owners restrain their pets while they are in their vehicles.  By restraining your pets you aren’t only protecting your pet but you are also protecting yourself and other passengers in the vehicle. There are several ways to restrain your pets and they are as followed: travel carriers, crates or doggy seatbelts and harnesses. Please take the time and keep your pet safe while...

Don’t wear shoes that are uncomfortable.

We hate wearing boots. When we were younger Mom would try and make us wear them in winter when it was snowy or icy outside. We did not want any part of the boots and would wiggle and squirm and pull our paws away because they felt funny. Anything to not have them put on our feet. When she did manage to get one on, we’d either stand still and not move or try and shake them off by lifting our feet up really high. Eventually we won and she stopped trying to put them on. Now when it’s too cold or too icy (especially as we’re getting older), we get to stay inside and keep our paws safe. The Dog to Human Translation: If you have a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable, don’t wear them. If, when you put them on, you try and shake them off or just stand there because they hurt when you walk in them, don’t wear them. In fact, take a nice stroll around the store before you buy them. If they come to your house in a fun box (like the kind we always want to play with) delivered by a man in a brown outfit (who we always bark at until he gives us a treat), then wear them around the house for a while. Go up and down the stairs, do laundry in them, run up and down the hallway. Just don’t go outside with them ‘cause then you’re stuck with them. Try them on with your favorite outfit and make sure they get four paws up! Why is...

Notice something new and exciting in the routine of your life.

As part of our normal routine, twice a day, we go for a walk around our neighborhood. Mom likes to mix it up for us and take different routes (she often lets us decide when to turn or cross the street), but we’re still staying in our neighborhood. For us, though, every walk is exciting. We get to go out and see and smell what’s been happening since the last time we were there. We look for the birds, bunnies, chipmunks, and if we’re lucky, a groundhog or a flock of geese or turkeys (or even a deer!). We sniff around to learn which of our dog friends have been out and about. We run through the long grasses because it tickles our bellies. We’ll try and bring home an acorn or pinecone or some other fantastic treasure. We’re excited every time we get to go out because we know we’ll find something new. The Dog to Human Translation: All people have routines, whether you go to work every day or are home taking care of your kids (both 2-legged and 4-legged). Even if your daily schedule doesn’t vary much, it’s important to discover something new in each day. It goes back to that appreciation of the little things in life we talk about so often in Dogs Know Best. Each new day brings a new environment. If you really do think things never change in your day, we challenge you to look very closely and pay attention tomorrow and find what is different. Make it a game and stretch your frame of reference to observe and recognize the...