"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

Posts tagged “body language

RUFUS: a free download

Rufus cover 1

Until the end of the month, RUFUS will run free at Smashwords. Most of my books are half price during this period of time, but I decided to let RUFUS go for free. I want as many people as possible to enjoy this character, so enjoy.





Bed Time


artist unknown





 04 - Preface Illustration - Vampires and Witches

Sam has a special gift, but he often won’t talk about it.

He can see stuff that others can’t.

I’ve seen him stand at that open doorway and stare at it for a very long time.

When I ask him what he can see, he says, “Nothin’”

I know it’s something, but I have to respect his privacy.

His nose doesn’t twitch the way you would expect it to if he was picking up an aroma and his eyes don’t seem to be looking at any one thing in particular.

It’s as though he is seeing with his mind.

I’ve heard about that sort of thing.

My mistress was talking about it to some of her friends.

Whatever my mistress was talking about, I think Sam has it.



Polished floors and dog paws and you are bound to get a name like ‘Scamper’.

Names are not as important to dogs as they are to humans, but that does not mean that we don’t care about our name, we do, but if you change it, and we like you, we will still come when you call.

Scamper is sad most of the time, but he hides it very well.

If I come to visit, and he is not expecting me, I catch the sadness in his eyes — just for a moment. He quickly pulls himself together and puts on the face that he thinks we want to see.

Scamper underestimates me, just a bit.

I don’t expect my friends to be happy all the time and I’m pleased to hang out with them even when they are a bit down — assuming they want me to, of course.

Scamper is one of those dogs who likes to please everyone, which is an impossible task, but it doesn’t stop him from trying.

He likes almost everyone.

I don’t.

He wants to please everyone and I think that most people should bugger off, but that’s me.

I can be a grumpy bugger.

Scamper’s humans are nice enough, but they don’t understand what Scamper needs. They feed him and make sure that he has fresh water, but they rarely play with him or take him for a walk, “Scamper has a lovely big backyard to play in so he doesn’t need to go for a walk.”

Yes, he does you ignorant humans!

Scamper, of course, would never say anything to his humans.

He just sits there looking sad.

I’ve thought about intervening, but it is not my place — not my journey.

I wouldn’t want you to think that Scamper is unhappy all the time because he isn’t.

He a dog and dogs are famous for being in the moment and finding the fun wherever it may be.

So, don’t feel sorry for him.

There is always the chance that his owners will work it out.

Life isn’t over until it’s over.



I was lonely and I’d almost given up.

Dogs aren’t meant to live alone.

I remember being in the litter with my whole family, but now, there was just me.

My owner bought me to ‘protect the place’.

I don’t mind. I like protecting stuff, but as time went by I saw my owner less and less. Some days he forgot to bring me some food. I did my job. I barked every time someone got close to the yard. I could have done a better job if I hadn’t been chained up, but I did the best I could under the circumstances.

I had a little house to sleep in, but it did get very cold at night, but as my mum used to say to me, “If you are lucky enough to find an owner, find out what job he wants you to do and do it as well as you can.”

I tried very hard, but I was lonely and hungry most of the time. Sometimes my water bowl ran out of water. That was very unpleasant. In the winter, there were always puddles to drink out of but the summer could be brutal.

All that was before Sally moved in next door. I know her name is Sally because she told me so.

“Hi doggie, my name is Sally and there is nothing to be frightened about.”

I wasn’t frightened and my name wasn’t ‘doggie’ but there was something about this human that I liked. She smelled good.

I barked at her a bit because it was my job, but she knew my heart wasn’t in it.

She was very gentle and she seemed to understand my language. She approached me ‘side on’ just like dogs do when they want you to know that they mean no harm. I let her scratch behind my ears. No one had done that for a very long time.

Sometimes, after she finished her work, she would come and sit with me and tell me about her day.

Her boss was an arsehole, apparently, and he did not appreciate her.

She had a boyfriend and he was a lot better than the boyfriends she had had in the past. I was looking forward to meeting him, but she said he was afraid of dogs.

She said that he would come around; that he would learn to love and understand dogs.

She said that she hoped that he would ask her to marry him and if he did she would move in with him. This worried me a bit but then she said that if he did propose she would borrow his bolt cutters, jump the fence and cut me loose. I would become her dog. I liked the sound of that.

He might ask her to marry him and he might not, I will just have to wait and see. But, in the meantime, I’m here, eating my dinner in the rain, protected by Sally’s umbrella.

Dogs don’t hope, but if they did, they would hope for an owner like Sally.

Always watching.



We talk a lot but our dogs watch.

Body language means more them than words. In many ways it is their language.

You can tell a lot about how a dog is feeling and what his intentions are buy the way he holds himself.

Conversely they are watching us for clues. If we do not display leadership with our body our dogs will know, no matter what words we use.

Dogs want to please us but they also want to feel safe. Strong leadership makes them feel like they are part of a successful pack.

Remember, your dog is watching you.

Be the pack leader.



Fortunately, this little dog managed to get his point across although I’m not sure why this young man wanted to know.

I wonder if Little Tommy Tinker understands him just as well.

A while back we set out to learn our dogs language, which has been an interesting journey. So much of what our dogs tell us does not come in the form of ‘words’.

One of our dogs ‘talks’ a lot. He has a different bark for a variety of different wants and emotions, our other dogs relies a lot on body language and ‘looks’. She will stare at us in different ways according with her needs, unfortunately she uses the same look for ‘feed me’ and ‘walk me’ so we need to guess a bit sometimes.

We figure that they do their best to understand our language so the least we can do is try and learn theirs.

So far it has been a lot of fun and it helps to cement us as the pack leaders.

Photo credit:

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. – Peter F. Drucker

ImageOK, so it’s not the crispest shot I ever taken, but you try taking a photo in a vet’s office on a cloudy day with a very stressed fluff ball who just wants you to pick him up! Consequently, this is a one handed iPhone shot.

We have been trying very hard to learn our dogs language and we are getting pretty good at it but this is the first time I have seen it all in one place. It is amazing how much our dogs can tell us.

Zed also has quite a few verbal clues as well. He let the Vet know that he was not happy and having his Dew Claw removed (it was almost off anyway) made him yelp. He is pretty tough so it must have hurt, but in true doggie fashion he was happy again in about a minute and didn’t seem to hold a grudge.


I still dislike people from decades ago!

My dogs are heaps more Zen than I am……… I still have a lot to learn.