Georgie Speaks

Georgie Speaks

Well, it is January, and I, along with many other Irish-Viking Dachshund Americans are starting the new year with the idea of being healthier.  My promise to myself, and my Companions, was to spend 2016 trying to exercise more, eat more nutritiously, and generally take better care of myself.  Of course, my loyal Companions were eager to join me in this endeavor.

To this end, I began incorporating healthy habits in the Family Bed right away.  I’ve eliminated in between meal snacking by putting a retinal scanner on the Commissary door.  Since none of the Companions have actual retinas – it’s been working very effectively.  Of course, Bachmann has tried to outsmart the locking mechanism several times, but he’s only accomplished getting himself zapped by the alarm system.  It’s amusing, but growing tiresome.  I do hope he finds a better way to occupy himself soon.

Another health-conscious change to the Bed has been increased workouts for all Companions.  We are all benefiting from these expanded conditioning sessions.  In fact, I’ve already seen a huge difference in Candace’s balance and Je M’appelle Claude’s eye/claw coordination.  Even Ernst is looking more svelte and sleek.  I, myself, noticed a significant increase in my own haunch-flex ratio after just a few weeks of daily work.


Georgie Speaks

Naturally, diet is one of the most important components of good health.  Nutrition has always been a priority in the Family Bed, and now, more than ever, I am making decisions about food choices with that in mind.  I’ve added many more nuts and legumes to the menu plans – a change that most of the Companions are quite pleased over.  Of course, many of the aquatic creatures are disappointed with the lack of variety in the seafood department, but as I’ve explained many times, we just don’t have sufficient refrigerator space to keep seafood fresh for any length of time.  And no one wants old fish stinking up the place.  Except Bachmann, but he’s always the dissenter in any conversation.  I do try to bring in organically raised, sustainably-sourced wild-caught salmon when possible and Raoul likes to grill it with just a little lime juice and dill.  Very tasty.

Additionally, I’m regularly attending local farmer’s markets to obtain the freshest possible produce for my vegetarian Companions.  Well, and for myself, of course – who does’t love a fresh, crisp apple right out of Mama Dog’s hand?  Hmmm??  While I have been forced to outsource for some of our dietary needs – dairy in particular (Candace doesn’t like to talk about it, but she’s lactose intolerant, which is quite embarrassing for a cow, as you would imagine.) – most of the Companions don’t mind only having goats’ milk cheese or yogurt a few times a week.

We’ve been working to eliminate artificial food from our diets, as well, including sugar.  And believe me, that hasn’t been easy.  Dijon in particular has quite the sweet tooth.  I’ve been substituting stevia in my dessert recipes with good success.  Dijon has not seemed to notice any loss of sweetness or richness in his nightly dish of flan, for which I am grateful.  He becomes absolutely unbearable when he doesn’t have his nightly flan … breathing fire over the other Companions as they try to watch television in the Commons area, slashing his tail around the room, bellowing, and generally making a real scene.  It’s just better to avoid that sort of theatrics altogether whenever possible.

Overall, I believe the Companions are much more focused mentally with the addition of these changes in physical activity and nutrition.  I’ve kept careful notes in their behavior charts over the past few weeks and have seen an upswing in both their general happiness and gross motor function.  It’s very rewarding to see a plan achieve such success.

As we move forward, I will be increasing the number of discussion group sessions for the Companions, as well.  I think giving them more opportunity to work through their individual issues through group discourse will bring them closer together and create a real sense of community within the Bed.  As I have mentioned before, Family Bed harmony is often non-existent.  And I plan to incorporate even more options for physical training as the weather warms up and the Companions can work out of doors.  Tai Chi on the Lawn; Gopher Hole Digging 101; Voice Projection; Releasing Your W.O.I.D. (Wrath of Irish Dachshund); and Quiet Wandering are just a few of the new classes that will begin in the spring.  There is already considerable interest in this area.

I sincerely hope each of you is experiencing the success with your own goals for the new year that we in the Family Bed Education, Training and Rehabilitation Center are experiencing.  I just can’t express how rewarding it is to lead this group of Companions on a path to better health and well-being.  Oh, yes, a few are not really coming along willingly.  But you always have a few stragglers and late-bloomers in any educational setting, don’t you?  You just drag them along until they get tired of fighting you and then … well, everyone’s happy, aren’t they?  Indeed.

So.  Good luck to all of you, dear readers, in your New Year’s goals and objectives.  Good Day, and thank you for your support.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

The view from the Family Bed is rarely a peaceful one.  As is so often the case, Bachmann has made himself a nuisance in The Family Bed once again.

Over the past weeks, since before Thanksgiving, he’s been causing all sorts of trouble for the other Companions and for me.  His porky mouth and reckless beaver antics have crossed numerous lines of Family Bed etiquette and socially acceptable behavior.  At times, he’s been almost unseemly.

Now, I consider myself to be a very patient, loving, and understanding dachshund.  But that beaver is certainly creating a tense, and uncomfortable situation with his conduct.

At first, he was just shooting off his porky mouth.  He would taunt some the other Companions and make fun of their various and sundry deficiencies. For example, one afternoon, I heard him jeering at poor, sweet, harmless Ernst.

“Hey, Eggplant!” he was gibing.  “How’s about you and I mix it up with a game of Boggle?! You know what’s a four-letter word for stupid??  E-R-N-S-T!”

He was deliberately mocking poor Ernst’s lack of vocabularical prowess.  It was sickening.  I reprimanded him immediately, but he exhibited not a single shred of remorse.

Another time, I caught him following Candace down her narrow hallway, poking a piece of string cheese between her two feet, trying to trip her.  He was making mooing noises and ridiculing her awkward mobility.  Disgusting.  And even though I took away his electronics privileges and his dessert privileges for a week, the horrible comportment continued.

It all came to a head the other day, when Bachmann decided to make what I can only assume was his Bull Run stand by challenging me to a staring contest.  He’s always been so very dramatic.

Georgie vs. Bachmann

Now, at first, I didn’t realize what he was doing.  I was in the middle of a well-deserved and much-needed nap when the sound of him wheezing through his front teeth roused me.

“Bachmann,” I pleaded, “I’m exhausted.  Can’t you go pester someone else for a while?  Or better yet, go find something constructive to do – don’t you need to clean your room?”

But he continued to stare at me with those beady little beaver eyes, not saying a word.  Which was very unusual, because generally he can’t keep that porky mouth shut.

I became instantly alert.Georgie vs. Bachmann

“Bachmann,” I sighed.  “What are you playing at?  Can’t you see I’m busy and don’t have time for your shenanigans?”

Still, he continued to challenge me with his bore-like gaze.  I began to wonder if he was experiencing a medical situation that was preventing him from speaking or moving … or blinking.  Even so, his insubordination could not be tolerated.Georgie vs. Bachmann

“Bachmann,” I warned.  “Cut it out.  If you continue with this defiant and threatening provocation, you will be sorry.  And by sorry, I mean you’re going to end up crying like a little she-beaver.  You better knock it off and leave me to my nap.”

Honestly, I gave him every opportunity to retract his confrontation.  I offered him multiple activities and constructive ideas as alternatives to this hostility.  I entreated him to rethink his folly and each time he refused to back down.  He didn’t simply refuse to back down, he grew more and more belligerent.

And then this happened …The View From the Family Bed

This is me, setting out to open a can of Whoop-De-Do on Bachmann’s Beaver butt.  Note the terror his his expression as he tries to scramble out of the path of my wrath.  But his short little beaver feet couldn’t move fast enough to avoid me dealing him a heaping helping of comeuppance.

I worked him over pretty good.  I’ll grant him this much … he took the waling I gave him with dignity – for a short minute.  Then he started blubbering and crying and apologizing and begging for mercy.  It was most satisfying.  I even took him back inside the compound so the other Companions could watch.  And since Bachmann had been making their lives uncomfortable and difficult for weeks, they were very enthusiastic about the entire affair.

Afterwards, Bachmann slunk off to his room to lick his wounds, while the rest of the Family Bed enjoyed cake and punch courtesy of the Festivity Committee.  Overall, it was a lovely end to the day.

It’s been just a few days since what is being referred to around the Bed as ‘The incident’.  Bachmann resurfaced just this morning, took his toast and coffee alone in the Commissary and then retreated again to his room.  He hasn’t spoken to anyone since his beatdown, but many Companions have reported receiving letters and notes of apology via Inter-Family-Bed mail.  So it would seem Bachmann has possibly learned a lesson.  Or not.  Only time will  tell this beaver tale …

A Little Known Fact

A Little Known Fact

During the Second World War, a lesser known but equally important war was being fought:  The Great Fabric War.  Irish textile manufacturer, Finnegan O’Fergus set out to create a synthetic fabric that would be more durable, flexible and cost-effective than cotton.  He determined that the common Irish potato was a perfect medium through which to develop this wonder fabric.  Through extensive experimentation with potato starches and their natural polyesters, he finally came up with a material which he called “Potaterylene.”  This miracle fiber was lightweight, durable, stain and water resistant and flexible. Knowing the value of his invention, O’Fergus set out for England and the patent office in London.  He was certain that his fortune was about to be made.  Until …

O’Fergus arrived at the Patent Office only a few minutes before closing.  He hurriedly handed over his application and corresponding notes, research and formulas for Potaterylene to Patent Clerk (and frustrated chemist) John Rex Whinfield.  Whinfield assured him the paperwork would be filed before the office closed on this Friday afternoon and O’Fergus left to find a quiet pub in which to celebrate his imminent success.

Whinfield, meanwhile, read over O’Fergus’s research and plotted to claim the discovery for himself.  He took the notes and formulas home for the weekend and, using them as a model, created his own fiber.  He substituted other plant cuticles for the potato polyesters and renamed the fabric “Terylene.”  Whinfield filed his own patent application the following Monday morning and *accidentally* mis-laid the application proffered by O’Fergus.

Terylene was hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century and Whinfleld became famous.  The DuPont Corporation purchased the formula for Terylene and the revolutionary fabric, renamed Dacron became a worldwide sensation.

O’Fergus petitioned the patent commission for many years afterward trying to prove that he had come up with the fiber first, but it was no use.  Thus, another opportunity for Irish notoriety was lost.

A Public Service Announcement From Georgie

A Public Service Announcement From Georgie

It is raining and cool in my portion of the world again today.  This time of year generally brings warm sunbeams in which I can bask, but this year, I’m experiencing a decided lack of bask-worthy options.  Because of this unseasonably cool, wet weather, I am in great need of a Nook.  In this old photo, I am warming myself in front of a lovely Nook.

This picture was taken a few years ago … when my Daddy and Mama Dog cared about me.  About the time new furniture started appearing in my family room, my precious Nook disappeared.  I heard Daddy Dog tell Mama Dog that the “heating element” had “gone out” on my Nook and was a “fire hazard.”  Pffft.  What nonsense!  What followed were two or three years of frigid winters – without a Nook.  I say two or three because I can’t tell exactly.  When you’re so terribly cold, it’s hard to keep track of linear time.  Anyway, I was without a Nook and it was dreadful.

Then, one day, after one of their extended shopping trips in the “City,” I saw Daddy Dog carry a box boasting a picture of a Nook into the house, then disappear into the basement.  It never materialized in the family room.

Now.  I’ve been to the basement.  The Big Kid carried me down one chilly afternoon to snuggle in his chair and watch television. (I believe it was a dachshund-mentary on the American Revolutionary War, on which subject I have a tremendous amount of knowledge.)  I realized the basement was not, in fact, a repository for cats (despite noises emanating from there which would indicate otherwise).   It was actually pretty plush:  The Big Kid and Little Blonde Girl have bedrooms down there and they have clearly nested.  There are comfy chairs with pillows and blankets, twinkle lights (which really make me look fabulous), and … an enormous Nook!  Big Kid was quick to point out that this wasn’t an actual Nook, but a furnace that heated the entire house.  But it certainly looked like a Nook.  Anyway, I determined the basement was a safe zone for a small dachshund and have returned many times to explore on my own.

On one such exploration, I discovered the mysterious vanishing Nook … in its box, hidden away in a dark corner of the storage room.  Why on Earth was it not upstairs where I could have access to its comforting, healing warmth??  I immediately questioned the Mama Dog, but her response was most unsatisfactory.  She gave me some gobbledy-gook about there not being space in the family room for a Nook, and that maybe when the house was remodeled the Nook would be installed.  Pffftt.  She tried to appease me by making a new soft blanket for the Family Bed.  But I’m not that easy.  Then she tried to further explain that she had only purchased a new Nook because it was on sale and she got such a great deal on it that she couldn’t possibly pass it by.  She was saving it for later, she said.  PFFFTT!  She hates me and wants me to die.

So here I am today, during one of the coldest spring seasons in history … freezing, shivering, suffering because “there’s not space for the Nook at this time.”  Ridiculous.   Hateful.  Mean.  I have tried in vain, with plaintive, baleful looks and general snubbery, to express my extreme displeasure over this untenable Nook situation.  But Mama Dog is standing firm – no Nook until the house is remodeled.  Pfft.

In conclusion, let me warn each and every one of you that if there’s a Nook in your home, appreciate it.  Lie in front of it as often as possible, even though the threat of over plush-ing looms near.  Do not, even for a moment, take it for granted for a Nook is a precious thing and fleeting in its warmth.  If you do not have access to a Nook, seek out a hot blanket, a powerful sunbeam or even one of those furnace-thingies.  I do not know how much longer I will be able to survive to tell my tale of woe in this Dachshund Spring.  But until I am silenced forever by the cold, I will continue to promote Nook Neutrality.  Stay warm and thank you for your support.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

When I opened The Family Bed Education, Rehabilitation and Training Center, it was with the particular goal of providing a nurturing, enriching environment in which to instruct my Companions.  Over the years, I have trained countless Companions – shaping them into upstanding, productive members of society.  Many of them have gone on to careers in the Arts, Politics, Finance, and Sports Medicine.  A few have moved into the arena of Community Organizing and Activism, but one has to expect a certain number of failures in any educational setting, I suppose.   Still, overall, I enjoy my work and feel the FBERTC is a successful institution.

Probably the most rewarding part of my day, however, is the work I do with the more disadvantaged members of the Family Bed.  Some of my companions suffer from developmental challenges.  Some are behaviorally dysfunctional.  And some are just porky-mouthed. (You know of whom I speak – Bachmann.)


One of my toughest cases is Ernst …  He’s an Eggplant.  And though he’s very sweet, there are clearly many problems which I must help him overcome. For example,  I’m constantly reminding Ernst to use his words because when he gets overly excited he just grunts and points.  I believe his issue stems from being left on the vine over-long … I’ve consulted many experts and they agree with my diagnosis.

I work with Ernst on a bi-weekly basis but we often nap together.  I have found, through my work in the Family Bed, that napping is a great way to build trust and promote inter-companion communication.  I do nap with other Companions, both within and without the confines of the Family Bed, as each individual case may demand.  In this photo, Ernst and I are napping on the couch in the family room.  The elevated position gives Ernst a feeling of empowerment, and also serves to protect him from the prying eyes and often cruel taunts of some of the other Companions. Notice his serene countenance.  Plus, Ernst is quite cuddly and I look especially lovely next to his plush purple exterior.

In many ways, Ernst is my biggest success story.  Since I first began to train Ernst, his vocabulary has expanded by over 12 words.  Additionally, he no longer spits as a greeting.  And while there are numerous issues yet to be resolved – his need to announce bodily functions, for example – I firmly believe that I can help Ernst become the Eggplant he has always longed to be.