The sky explodes with light that zig zags. It booms and the house shakes. I jump out of my bed and whimper. I hate storms. My upright claims, “They’re only storms. There’s no need to worry. That’s just lightning and thunder.”
But I think it’s really monsters moving across the sky. Their loud voices crack. Their feet pound into the clouds. I shudder with fear. This time, they sound so close that I pee just a little bit.
I huddle with my upright on her bed. She strokes my fur and tells me to close my eyes. But I can’t. The monsters sound too close. Joey isn’t scared, but he snuggles next to our upright too. He falls back asleep, while I keep guard. If the monsters break apart our roof, I’ll protect my upright! They can eat Joey.
As Joey and our Upright waken to a gray dawn, I cower in the corner. I’m embarrassed. Joey sniffs the area where I peed. I bow my head in shame. Only puppies pea in the house and I’m not a puppy. I’m a mature dog who knows better.
My upright scratches me behind the ears and says, “It’s okay. That’s easy to clean up.” Let’s go outside.
The yard is wet and muddy. The storm brought rain and wind, but the house still stands. No monster ate Joey. Unfortunately.
I timidly sniff the air, searching for monsters. I smell only fresh grass and pine needles.
Some dogs, dogs like me, are petrified of thunder storms. We will never get used to them. But there are some things you, our uprights, can do to make us feel better:
We’ve been traveling this summer to libraries in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The car coasts along the highway. My upright listens to Audio Books while Joey and I snooze in the air conditioned car. Fortunately, our upright stops often at rest areas. Joey and I enjoy discovering different smells.
I noticed the fragrance of wheat growing in Kansas fields. I watched cows munch on sweet grass. The wind never stopped blowing in Oklahoma. My nose quivered as I inhaled all the different smells and aromas.
Joey just sleeps and sleeps, and sleeps. The minute the car engine roars to life, he zonks out, which is fine by me. He’s not awake to annoy me. But he does like to stretch out and I don’t like him touching me. When I tire, I use Joey as a pillow. He’s quite soft! I can touch him, but I don’t like it when he touches me.
We really enjoyed the drive from Ada, Oklahoma to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Highway 49 from Ft. Smith to Fayetteville climbs through the Ozark Mountains. The stunning views made me want to run through the trees sniffing up stories! Joey fell asleep and didn’t notice a thing.
To make traveling easier on dogs, I recommend these things:
Hey Uprights, big and small,
My fun summer programs have begun. Joey, the puppy, has grown. He’s no longer small, but he’s still a little stinker. And HE FOLLOWS ME EVERYWHERE. Joey is also part of our show. I haven’t found a way to convince my Upright to leave him home. To demonstrate how much his presence upsets me, I refuse to smile during the programs. I glower at my Upright and at Joey.
In other news, My Upright stole one of my ideas for a book and published it on Amazon. But since the book stars me, I have forgiven her. It also stars Joey which is totally unfair. He hasn’t performed as long as I have, he doesn’t listen as well as I do, and he’s not as talented as me. Argh, life for a diva like me is so unfair when your furry younger brother takes over the spotlight. The book is titled Trash Land. My Upright illustrated it using pictures of me and Joey and some watercolor paintings she created. I am incredibly photogenic. Check out our book on Amazon. www.amazon.com/Trash-Land-Sienna-about-Recycling-ebook/dp/B071G49MFV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497823576&sr=8-1&keywords=Denise+Gard
I’m taking over my upright's holiday newsletter. She would have written a sappy one, so I just couldn’t allow that.
Reflecting upon last year makes my fur puff out. And just so you know, I’m fluffy, not chubby!!! I’ve been a very good girl. I’ve performed hundreds of programs for seniors and children at Assisted living and Memory Care facilities, libraries and preschools. I learned several new tricks this year such as walking backward and showing how embarrassed I am by Joey, our new puppy. I was special, but no more! Now, Joey follows us everywhere and performs with me. He steals the show! I’ve tried losing him, but he always comes when he’s called. I’ve tried ignoring him, but he steals my toys, plays with my blankie, and snuggles with my upright.
However, Joey does get into trouble, such as when he tried to pee on the toilet. Denise had just used the restroom when Joey ran in there. He lifted his leg and peed all over the toilet. He thought dogs should use it! Sometimes, he becomes so excited that he jumps all over everyone. Denise claims she’s trying to teach him not to do that, but she’s failing. I’ve stepped in as his trainer and nanny. I tell him what to do and when. If he’s playing tug of war with Craig Dayberry and growls, I make them stop playing. I tell Joey that he’s not allowed to growl at an upright. If he jumps on people, I smack him with my paw. I’ve started to enjoy being his nanny and trainer. Maybe we should get another puppy to train—NOT! It kills me to admit this, but Joey has learned a lot of tricks and is sweet to our audience. Remember, he may look like a little angel, but he’s really a little devil.
Denise is still dating Craig. Craig enjoys playing with Joey and holding him on his lap. Ugh! I would never do that; I only like my upright.
If you happen to see Santa, please let him know that all I want for Christmas are treats. Lots and lots of treats. Joey wants coal (not really, but that would be the perfect gift for him)! Ha, Ha!
May you receive a good bone in your stocking!
Sienna, the perfect diva…
and those others, such as Denise and Joey…
I cannot believe that Joey stole my blog. He is such a little stinker. He’s so adorable that he never gets into trouble—not even when he peed on the toilet. And he should have been put in Doggie Timeout after that little incident. But no, he’s cute. He smiles at my upright, wags his tail, and gives her kisses. UGH! I wouldn’t let that little stinker kiss me! You have no idea where his mouth’s been!
Joey and I watched the Olympics and loved the competitive sports. Even I was impressed by Usain Bolt’s speed. Could a two-legged upright beat a four-legged dog? I’m certain I could beat him as long as there was a prize of peanut butter waiting for me at the finish. Who needs a gold medal when there’s peanut butter?
--Woof, Joey, here. I could beat him! Sienna’s too chubby to run that fast, but I’m not!
--Joey, stop interrupting my blog! And I’ve told you before that I’m not chubby, I’m fluffy!
Anyway, Joey and I decided to hold our very own Doggie Olympics! And I won because I’m the best! I beat Joey at the ring jump, the roll over, and all of the other events. Our upright had us compete in several events. I am perfect at everything!
--Woof, Joey, here. No she’s not. I weaved through legs on command, I did the American Crawl across the floor, and I won the Frisbee toss. She lost. She’s too much of a diva to jump at a Frisbee!
In our competitive games, Joey sometimes tied with me, but that was only because the judges felt sorry for him. He’s younger than me, so they felt I had an advantage. I do have the advantage of experience, but I’m also better at sporting events than he is.
--Woof! Joey, here. She’s such a diva. The judges felt sorry for her! If they praised me or claimed I won an event, she pouted.
--Growl, I did not.
--Growl, did too.
--Upright here, Joey and Sienna stop growling. The point of the Doggie Olympics was that both of you are very bright and athletic. Joey and Sienna learned how to weave through my legs in one day. Joey can learn a trick a week if I had more time to train him. He craves the attention and loves learning new things. This also means he can learn naughty things too. Joey still jumps on uprights. He hasn’t learned the control yet, that Sienna has. He’s just so excited about seeing people, that he jumps. But this is an unwanted behavior and one that needs to be curbed before it becomes a habit. If your dog jumps on you, do not reward him even with a pat. Only pet him after he sits! When training a new trick to either a puppy or adult dog, I recommend practicing it for about five minutes twice a day until the new trick becomes a habit. Praise your dog, rewarding good behavior with belly rubs and sometimes even with treats.
--Sienna here, I agree, lots of treats help me learn new tricks!
--Joey here, I prefer belly rubs, ear scratches, and Sienna’s treats!
--Growl, not my treats!
--Joey here, Yep, I only like Sienna’s treats, her food, and her blankie!
My name is Joey—Joey, the Stinker. A name I earned and one I rather like. I’m nine months old and I love to run, chase everything, bark at absolutely nothing, sleep on my back, and kiss everyone!
I live with a diva named Sienna. This is really her blog, but I hijacked it. It appears that Sienna enjoys writing about me. She claims that I constantly annoy her. But isn’t that what younger brothers are supposed to do? I’m here to set the record straight.
I did eat poop when I was younger which earned me the nickname of Stinker. It was winter time and the poop was like little popsicles. I would then kiss Sienna and she would shrink away and make her “Yucky—he’s touching me” face. I just wanted to share my delicious treat with her. But since, she’s a diva, she didn’t want to eat a poopsicle!
I have been accused of peeing on her. In my defense, we are on a joint leash and she takes a long time sniffing before she pees. If I find a good spot, I just lift my leg and squirt. Sienna has to sniff, sniff, sniff some more, than squat, than maybe sniff again. I can’t help it. I couldn’t wait for her highness to figure out where she wanted to pee. She was in the way. Besides, it’s really fun lifting your leg as high as possible and peeing. I recommend trying it. Uprights would probably enjoy peeing on bushes and trees. The other night I went into the bathroom after my upright came out. I sniffed around this white bowl thing, uprights call toilets. I could smell her pee, so I peed on it. For some reason my upright was not happy that I marked her toilet. But my upright doesn’t understand that I’m in a pee war with Sienna. I will mark everything as mine, mine, mine. I will even mark Sienna. I peed on her face yesterday. I hope to pee on my upright too! I want to make sure everyone knows that she’s mine.
I am the grand finale in our show. After Sienna, the Diva performs, I do my tricks. Sienna refuses to even watch me. Our upright says things like, “Sienna’s depressed,” or “Poor Sienna is so upset that Joey’s here.” IT’S AN ACT! When we’re home, she plays with me. We race around chasing one another. But in public she likes to act like she’s embarrassed by me and hurt that I’m along. She loves it when uprights feel sorry for her. She puts on her “mopey, depressed” face because she knows our upright will give her more treats. Sienna also does this to ensure she performs first, but just wait, my time is coming.
I’m not a diva like Sienna. I’m a cowboy! I’m going to herd things like sheep and cows, but if I can’t find sheep and cows, I’ll herd stuffed animals and Sienna. I’m a rough, tough cowboy who pees where he wants and sleeps where he wants. I love getting dirty and muddy, and I wouldn’t mind it if Sienna peed on me! But she’s a girl; she can’t lift her leg! Ha, Ha. The Pee War is won by strategic sprays when you least expect them. Just wait until I find something or someone new to pee on!
Sienna Scared of the Moon: The story of a dog with an over-active imagination
By Denise Gard, my upright!
I am a Border Collie, which is a dog, but not just any dog, a smart dog. My name is Sienna because my coat is a beautiful reddish-brown.
One crisp evening, my child named Gina, decided to walk me. I love walking with Gina. She doesn’t hold the leash tightly and allows me to sniff the grass and roam into our neighbor’s flower beds.
As we strolled, Gina explained that we were hunting monsters. My ears perked. Monsters? Are monsters food, perhaps, or giant hamburgers?
Gina yelled, “I’m not afraid of any monsters!”
As I watched her make a terrifying face, I noticed a strange light illuminate the ground. Shadows danced in the wind. I looked into the sky and saw a huge round cake! Cake? It seemed to hang in the dark sky. The wind moaned. I decided it wasn’t a birthday cake. Maybe it was one of those monsters that Gina was hunting. A deadly glow-in-the-dark monster! And this was her eye watching me from above.
I whimpered. Gina didn’t even look up. I pawed at her and then barked. She told me, “Sienna, No Bark. Shush.” I whined until Gina said, “Sienna, we’ll be going soon.”
Why, oh why can’t humans understand dog speech? The huge monster hovered over us as the wind tore at my fur.
Finally, Gina saw it. She pointed at the monster. She smiled and said, “OOOOOHHHH, pretty.”
I felt like playing dead. Pretty? Where was her terrifying face to scare it away? A glowing monster isn’t pretty! I strained against the leash. I had to escape from it. I tried to warn Gina, but no one ever listens to dogs. The wind whined, shadows waltzed across the grass, and I knew it was waiting to eat me. The question was, did it want me grilled like a steak or raw?
I lunged against my leash with all my strength. The leash spun out of Gina’s hand as I bolted down the path onto the road.
“Sienna come back!” She cried. I glanced back, but the monster was hanging over her. I trembled, dreading that the round glowing monster would scoop her up and steal her away to its lair.
“Sienna, it’s just the moon.” She yelled, as she ran after me. “Sienna come back!” She cried again. But I jumped over curbs and bushes.
“Sienna come back!” She cried.
I ran toward the park, and heard a hissing sound behind me. I glimpsed a long black snake whipping its head in the wind! Not only was the monster after me, but also a twenty-foot snake! I charged down the path faster then I’d ever run in my life. And still, the monster floated in the sky over my head. It was following me!
“Sienna come back!” Gina’s voice sounded far, far away.
I slowed for a moment, then ran on. I charged past the playground. I trotted past the pond where ducks and salamanders lived.
“Sienna come back!” echoed faintly in my ears as I jumped over a fence.
I ran farther then I’d ever been before. I thought about stopping, but out of the boogying shadows, I saw a dragon. Now I had three monsters chasing me. I crawled under another fence. But, I glimpsed that huge glowing monster, the hissing snake, and the fire-breathing dragon.
I heard faintly in the wind, “Sienna come back!”
I entered a huge tunnel and tried to hide. I popped out of the other end because another monster was living in there. My legs burned. My tongue lolled out of my mouth.
I ran until I was completely exhausted. I played dead and waited for the huge monster to devour me. When nothing happened, I opened my eyes and noticed the black snake coiled next to me. I sniffed it, and then realized that it was just my leash. I gnawed through the cord until I was free from its cumbersome weight.
The glowing monster was hidden. I searched the sky. No monster sailed into view. I had outrun it. But what about the other monsters. I saw the dragon, but it just sat there. Carefully, I sniffed it, and discovered that it was just a tumbleweed. I glanced about for the other monsters, but they seemed to have disappeared.
I turned my attention to my surroundings. Where was I? I sniffed the wind, hoping to pick up Gina’s scent.
Was she still looking for me? She often smells like peanut-butter and French-Fries. I love French Fries and often dream of dipping them in peanut-butter. I sighed. No yummy scent drifted toward my nose. I missed her. Who would train me now? Gina enjoys training me to do tricks. Of course, I already knew how to shake, hi-five, roll-over, sit pretty, and play dead, but I like to let her think she’s teaching me new things.
I wandered away from the tree with my nose to the ground. I had to find her. The ground glowed again. I peeked into the sky and saw the monster emerge from behind a cloud. It seemed brighter, closer, and definitely bigger. I knew I couldn’t outrun it. I trembled with fear. What could I do?
Then I had an idea. I stuck my paw in the air to give it a high-five. I would show that monster I wasn’t afraid. I twirled then stood on my hind legs and danced. I chased my shadow and let the wind ruffle my fur.
The monster hid from me! We played a game of hide and seek. She would hide (and not very well, I might add), and then pop out from behind a cloud.
I sniffed the ground to find my way home. And the monster helped light the way.
I trotted toward the park where I often play with Gina. A child’s sad sobs tore through my heart. My ears pricked forward. Gina? Yes, it was definitely my Gina. She was crying great big sobs. Oh, my poor girl.
Gina saw me and cried, “Sienna, you came back!”
I knew I was in trouble, so I dove to the ground and rolled onto my back. I provided her with my tummy to rub.
She petted me and explained, “It’s just the moon, silly.”
I closed my eyes and sighed. Humans will never understand!
My work took me to the wild country of Oklahoma where the humidity made my fur curl and my tail droop. I soon figured out that air conditioning is the world's best invention. My upright isn't a fan of air conditioning because she's always cold. But I love resting right in front of the vent.
Joey tagged along. He kept cool by chomping on ice cubes and sleeping on me. I don't know why he always thinks he needs to sleep on me. It actually makes me hotter, but he likes to snuggle. And no matter how far I move away from him, he always finds me...
The car trip was long but full of fun rest areas, dog parks where balls were thrown, and picnics. I love picnics because it seems there's always food to be found. I'm more adept at finding food on the ground than Joey, but the little stinker's learning.
We performed in places like Okmulgee and Ada. The enthusiastic audiences clapped and cheered. I was the star, but Joey was the show stealer. And although, I'm not happy with that, I've come to terms with him being part of our show. I love it when the kids laugh and there was a lot of laughter in Oklahoma.
Joey finally learned how to roll over, but he rolls in the opposite direction of me. We'll never be able to roll over together. I guess he's a lefty and I'm a righty. I roll right, he rolls left. The trick finally clicked for him—it was as if a little light went off in his puppy brain.
Have you ever tried to train your dog to do a trick, but the dog refused to learn it or acted completely confused? Try breaking the trick down into smaller parts. Try teaching it a different way. If he still doesn't learn the trick, move on to something else. Return to the trick another day. My upright was trying to have Joey roll over in the same direction in which I rolled over, but Joey didn't like that. When she changed her arm motion to the opposite direction, he learned to roll over.
Every library had teen volunteers who helped us bring in our props and dog agility equipment. The volunteers played with Joey and then petted me. Joey adored the volunteers and gave them hugs and kisses. I only kiss my upright. The volunteers encouraged the children to form a line when it was time to pet me. I'm glad the libraries had volunteers. Have you thanked your library volunteers? They donate their time to help with programs and summer reading at libraries everywhere. Teen volunteers are wonderful, so if you see one, be sure to tell them "Thank You!" A simple thank you lets them know how much they are appreciated.
I love my job because I constantly travel to new places and meet new people. This week I stole a bookmobile. Not really, but I did jump in the seat and stare out the front glass. We were performing for the kids at a bookmobile stop in Arapahoe. I noticed the driver’s seat was empty. I wanted to drive the bookmobile to the next stop. If only I could reach the pedals! Maybe there is a reason to have Joey around. He could be the pedal man while I’m the driver. We could hit the road together!
If I worked on a bookmobile, I would deliver books to children and adults everywhere. We’d park the bookmobile at parks and at apartment complexes. The people would cheer as we arrived. They would chant: “We Love Books!” They would give me a milk bone and maybe give one to Joey too. Then I would let them check out all the books they wanted.
I visited two bookmobile stops this week. Our audiences were very enthusiastic and they loved the dog tricks. We even shared some dog training tips with them. We also visited some library branches in Arapahoe, some senior facilities in Colorado Springs, and a preschool. Even though it was a busy week, I still exercised, played with Joey, and kept an eye on our neighbors. Our neighbors look very suspicious.
This week, we all travel to Oklahoma for shows. I sure hope Joey doesn’t eat the car seat. It’s going to be a long, hot drive. Hopefully, he’ll sleep and not lean against me too much!!! I don’t like it when he touches me…
I am a working dog. I'm a Border Collie and Border Collies are working dogs. We love to be needed. Some Border Collies herd sheep, others herd children—but you are not supposed to herd the two-legged children. I love my job. Someone asked my upright when I plan on retiring. What? I will never retire!
Would you retire if you received treats, hikes, fun walks, road trips, car trips, and lots of petting from children? No? Me neither.
A typical day for me begins with either a run, or a walk, or just playing with Joey in our huge backyard. I will admit that I enjoy chasing him. I also love to patrol our fence line. I keep an eye on our neighbors; they look suspicious.
Then we travel to a show. I perform some tricks, I take a nap, I relish the attention and the petting. Next is usually a walk or playtime in a dog park--my reward for a great show. Then I perform again in the afternoon and I receive more treats and lots of love. I sleep in the car as we drive home. In the evening I chase Joey, eat my dinner, watch some TV (but not too much), then I bark at the moon to alert my upright that the moon is watching us. I usually go to bed around 9:30pm.
My days are busy, but also filled with lots of fun time. Sometimes people think I'm tired because I snooze before our show begins. I figure I might as well take a quick nap before I perform my tricks. Unlike humans I don't suffer from stage fright. And usually the libraries and Senior facilities are air conditioned. I love air conditioning!
This week we visited libraries and daycares. I loved performing even though Joey was there. I counted how many treats we each receive during the show and I'm happy to say that I receive more! As long as I continue to reap more treats, Joey can tag along.
Sienna, The Smartest Border Collie!
I'm a red and white Border Collie. I love performing with my upright, Denise Gard. I call all humans uprights, just so you know! This blog will detail all of my adventures and contain some useful dog tips for all dog lovers!