Friendship comes from wagging your tush!

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Olivia,

Your mom and dad were talking about some grumpy people they saw when they were at the post office. It seems like a lot of humans are grumpy these days! Does being human automatically make people unhappy? Is it a tail thing? If it is you can tell me, I won’t mind, honest!

See, dogs use tail language, and dogs are happy people (well, happy dogs)—at least most of us are! Think about it: we meet someone new, preferably someone with bacon, and our tails wag super fast, Whap! Whap! Whap! It sounds loud, like when your mom is banging a jar against the counter to get it to open.

When I think you’re upset, I do a subtle wag that sounds more like thud, thud, thud! It sounds like a slower heartbeat and kind of like a reminder to you that you and your family are my heart.

If my tail stands straight up, it’s standing at attention! I am alert and ready for whatever is about to happen, whether it’s a tree kitten/squirrel trying to invade our yard or a garbage collector trying to steal our garbage!

And if my tail is down, well, you know, I might have done something a little naughty or cat-like. I don’t mean to knock stuff over, but my legs seem to split away from me sometimes! Seriously! My chest goes one way but my legs go the other, I can’t control it!

See, my tail tells everyone what’s going on, like whether I’m friendly or not. But humans don’t have tails. Tails never lie. Humans do sometimes.

Sometimes a person smiles at you, but says something that makes you cry. But other times a friend says something that sounds mean that makes you laugh. It’s confusing! There’s no tail language to warn you what’s coming!

Maybe humans should waggle their butts more. That would help! Try it!

The next time you go to school and you want to make a new friend, walk right up to him and then bark once, turn around, and swishy swishy your tushy in his face! He’ll love you for it and you’ll be best friends forever! No more grumpiness!

That’s the answer isn’t it? If more people wagged their butts in public there would be less grumpiness, I’m sure of it! For someone LuLu calls a “dumb dog”, I’m pretty smart, right?

I love you, now start wagging!



The dog has GOT to go!!!

Dear Ethan,

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon


Why is Jamie bow-wowsing and barking on about pirates in our neighborhood? Pirates are at the beach, everyone knows that! Jamie is digging up the back yard and running from window to window every time she hears a truck. This is madness!

All last night, during my play time, Jamie kept pacing around the house, sniffing at doors and windows over, and over, and over again. Trixie and I ALWAYS do our best play after midnight. Nothing beats the sound of fresh glasses being swatted off the counter, breaking up the quiet of the night.

And the tree, the tree! If you climb it just right, and put your weight against the top branches, it will tump right over. Those so-called shatterproof ornaments never survive!

The noises made by the ornaments are nothing compared to the sounds your parents make when they find our Christmas tree art installation scattered across the floor. It’s even better if they step on the pieces!

So anyway, I was so bothered by that stupid dog and her obnoxious nighttime patrols that I thought about getting a ride back to my foster home. Then I realized that if anyone should leave it should be Jamie! My stuff is here, she’s the one causing issues!

She should take Babbie, that other ridiculous dog, the Jack Russel terrorist, with her! How would you feel about a dog-free zone? Personally, I think it is a great idea! Let’s work on this together, shall we???

While you get rid of the dumbo-dogs, I am going to go fix myself a snack. Your mom got me some pouches of tuna that are easy to chomp through.

She put them in the regular kitchen cabinet instead of by my food bowl, but no worries! I can get that cabinet open any time I want!

You get rid of the dogs, I’ll get rid of the tuna!

About the tree…

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

I am a bit confused. I know that does not seem unusual, but seriously, you have GOT to help me out. When I go outside and lift my leg on a tree you call me a “good dog”. When I lift my leg on that new tree in the living room I hear your mom yell, “Jamie, NO!” in that super scary voice of hers.

WHAT IS THE DEAL??? Tree=toilet! Everyone knows that!

Usually when I grab a stuffed toy from my basket everyone laughs and plays with me. But when I chomped on one of those weird stuffed angel-dealy-bobs on the table, everyone freaked out! IT IS A TOY!!!

Wow–I never thought that I would get mean and shouty like LuLu, but I am upset! I want to be your best friend! I want to play with the new toys! I need a lap and a cuddle!

Why can’t I play with the new toys your mom put out? Why does she keep yelling Christmas? Those are SOCKS hanging on the mantle! Socks are for tug-of-war!

I think you need to take your mom to the vet. She seems really agitated. I mean, I get not wanting to share some toys, but why won’t she share the chocolate with me? She put out all that candy and passed it around to everyone at the table. Everyone but me. Sheesh.

Is Christmas an anti-dog holiday? If so, it needs to be cancelled. The way everyone is running around putting socks on the fireplace and hiding stuff in shopping bags, it does not seem like something with which anyone wants to be involved.

I am confused and concerned, but mostly just concerned. Maybe you could get your mom a de-worming pill? That’s what the doctor gave me to feel better, and it worked! OOOH! Maybe change her food! Dry kibble and plain chicken broth always helps! She’ll thank you for it!

I love you even though you won’t share your chocolate,