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Shiloh’s resolutions. January 2, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in pets, wit and wisdom.
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                         My New Year’s Resolutions

                                     by Shiloh

Hi, I’m Pioneer Hawk’s Haven Shiloh von Shiloh Special, our friend Ben and Silence Dogood’s black German shepherd puppy. I just learned that people have an odd custom of drawing up New Year’s resolutions, and since this is my very first new year, I thought I’d draw up a few as well and see what I came up with. Let’s see…

* I resolve to chase the living squeak toys (Silence refers to them as “cats”) as often as possible. They like to play hide-and-seek with me, but since there are three of them, I can usually find at least one to chase through the house at top speed. If I catch one, I pin it to the ground with one paw and vigorously lick the back of its neck until it starts squeaking loudly. Silence enoys this game, too, since once she hears the squeaking she rushes into the room waving her arms and speaking very loudly. I’m always happy to brighten her day.

* I resolve to eat more rugs. I’ve only eaten six so far, and sadly, Silence and our friend Ben haven’t been replacing them lately. I actually enjoy the bare wood floors, since my feet make a very loud clacking noise when I run over them, and I think Silence and OFB enjoy this too, since they always start talking very animatedly after about half an hour of loud clacking. But I think they must miss rug-shopping, so I’ll try to see if I’ve missed any rugs just to give them an excuse to go out and buy something new.

* I resolve to get our friend Ben out of bed no fewer than twice a night to take me outside. He needs the exercise, and the fresh air is good for him.

* I resolve to play Silence’s favorite game more often. I love how much Silence enjoys this game. While she’s cooking or washing dishes with her back to me, I creep up very quietly behind her with my largest bone, then drop it on the floor, where it sounds just like a gun going off! Silence jumps straight up in the air, making an amusing high-pitched sound, then spins around with one hand clutching her chest and the other waving vigorously around. I try not to play this game more than a couple of times a week, since I want to make sure she forgets about it and enjoys the surprise every time. The game is also effective if she’s sitting down reading, but I don’t think she enjoys it so much, since she can’t jump as high when she’s sitting down.

This reminds me, I should tell you about my morning routine. What a lot of work! I get right to it at 6 a.m. every morning, gnawing loudly on my bone and dropping it with a thump onto the rug about every five minutes. Yes, it’s still dark, but hey, we’ve all been lying down for a long time by then and it’s boring! Time to get up. Not to mention that it keeps my teeth clean and sharp. After a half-hour of this, our friend Ben gets up, muttering furiously because he’s so happy to be starting his day. He takes me outside, we get the paper, then we come back in and he makes coffee. While he tries to read the sports section, I bring all the toys I can find and drop them on his feet. I know he’d rather be playing with me than reading some old paper, so I keep dropping toys on his feet, occasionally adding a gentle nip on his thigh if he seems to be forgetting.

For some reason, Silence doesn’t join us right away. But after about half an hour of fun and games, I start feeling really hungry, and then it’s time to wake her up. I sit outside the bedroom door and whine loudly, following this with a loud burst of piteous crying. Then I stand on my hind legs and pound on the door with my front paws. You’re right, this is a lot of work, but it only takes a couple of minutes and produces excellent results. Silence comes running to the door, and then she comes out and makes my breakfast and gives me my morning treats. Speaking of which…

* I resolve to beg for even more people-food treats at every meal. To get them, I apply separate techniques. In the case of our friend Ben, I sidle up as close to him as possible while he’s eating, giving him The Look. If this proves ineffective, I place my head on his thigh, still applying The Look. If even this tactic fails, I stand up with my paws on his thigh and my head at his eye level, all the while giving him The Look and drooling as necessary to drive my point home. With Silence, I use an entirely different tactic. I sit quietly a nice distance from her and tilt my head with the quizzical expression she seems to find irresistible. Hey, I say, whatever works. I also play another of Silence’s favorite games during mealtimes, chasing one or more of the living squeak toys under the table while Silence and our friend Ben are trying to eat. Silence especially enjoys this if I manage to bump the table so that everything on it bounces up and down. I know she appreciates it because she starts shrieking with delight. It was extra-fun when there were lit candles on the table, but recently I’ve noticed that Silence and OFB have stopped lighting the candles when they eat. No doubt they’re trying to economize.

* I resolve to escape as often as possible while our friend Ben and I are out feeding the chickens and OFB is a bit distracted. I can run over to the neighbors’ yard and furiously chase their little cockapoo Ollie around and around the yard. Ollie could use the exercise, and not only does he love this, the neighbors do, too: They always come running out of the house right away so they can watch us. Or I can run over to the neighbor’s on the other side, and, if he’s left the deck door ajar, run into his house to say hello to his old golden retriever, Jackson. For some reason, Jackson doesn’t seem to appreciate this—I clearly need to work on his social skills!—but the neighbor loves it. I can tell because he always comes rushing up, waving his arms and talking. Our friend Ben enjoys it, too: Whenever he comes to get me, he’s waving his arms and talking nonstop in a very loud, excited voice. Even Silence gets in on the act: When OFB comes back with me to our house, Silence starts waving her arms and speaking to him in that same loud, excited voice. For some reason, he doesn’t seem to be having quite as much fun at that point.

* I resolve to continue eviscerating my toys. This is actually a public service for Silence. After I’ve finished shredding the stuffing from each toy and spreading it all over the living room, I amble into her home office with just enough stuffing hanging out of my mouth to give her the hint that instant action is called for. I know that it’s my duty to give her something useful to do, like picking up the endless shreds of stuffing for the next half-hour, rather than sitting too long in front of her computer. I’ve heard that it’s bad for your eyes.  

* I resolve to keep biting off my leashes. This is a new trick I just learned last week. Using my ultra-sharp teeth, I make a single surgically precise cut straight across the leash just beyond the spot where it forms a loop. First, I bit off my baby leash. Then Silence put on a quite snazzy leash that she told our friend Ben was very expensive. The three of us took a trip into town, and when we came home and OFB opened the door to let me out, he saw that I’d bitten off this leash as well. He was quite proud of my skill—he couldn’t stop talking about it—and Silence started talking about getting me a new metal leash.  I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds like it could be quite noisy, so I’m sure we’ll all love it, especially once I figure out how to thrash it around so it makes an incredible racket. 

* I resolve to bark as loudly as possible when I see another dog, since it would be very rude not to say hello. I especially resolve to bark at top volume in an enclosed space, such as the car or house, since otherwise the dog might not realize that I’m there. Our friend Ben and Silence really enjoy this when we’re in the car: They put their hands over their ears and turn around, making all sorts of funny noises and looking totally ridiculous. But much as I appreciate their attempts to amuse me, unfortunately, this distracts me from my greetings, so I have to ignore them and bark louder than ever to let the dog in question know that I’m not ignoring him or her.

* I resolve to help Silence play with her toys. Silence has a collection of very small toys that she keeps on the top tier of the three-tiered structure where the living squeak toys like to sleep. I know that she puts them up there as a sort of hide-and-seek game so that I’ll enjoy finding them, but unfortunately, I do tend to forget them now and then when they’re up there. Once I remember them, of course, I take them all down and scatter them throughout the house so Silence can enjoy finding them. Occasionally one of the living squeak toys tries to play with them, but I immediately remove them, since they’re Silence’s toys and I know she’d be most distressed if she thought they were being abused. I know she’ll soon replace them on the top tier of the structure and we can begin the game again. It’s not my favorite game, but I love Silence, and it’s really the least I can do.

Well, I guess that’s about it. Looks like another busy, productive, happy year coming up!

           Your friend,




1. Kashif Shahzada - January 2, 2010

Interesting thoughts on the new year! Given your experiences, would you please also share your comments on an alternate view of change below?


2. Jen - January 3, 2010

Shiloh, you have plenty of personality. I really wish you were my neighbor so you could come over and play with my little poodle. She loves to be chased. You could also teach her your dropping-the-bone-on -the- floor trick since she can always use another way to wake us up. Just keep the leash and the rug-eating tricks to yourself if you don’t mind 😉

Ha, well, we’ll see about that!

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