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Dear Daisy Mae,

My dog Fergus pulls on his leash so hard when I walk him that he seems to choke himself. What is the best way to stop him from doing this?

Charlie Sherrill
Bradenton, FL

Dear Charlie,

Thanks for writing. I used to be just like Fergus, then I got trained!

At first dogs don’t like training but when we realize that it makes you humans happy we go along with it. Mostly because we love you. You could train Fergus yourself but that might not be a good idea for a lot of reasons. My humans took me to PetSmart for a dozen sessions followed by an exam. Then I got a Certificate and we moved on to the Intermediate class which, of course, I passed with flying colors and got another Certificate. One of the best things about the class is that other dogs were there, my classmates. We all wanted to be the best in class.

If you want to try training Fergus yourself, you might want to start by Googling “How to train a dog to heel”. You’ll find a lot of excellent videos. Watch a few of them and once you get the general idea, start working with Fergus. Remember that it’s a contest between the two of you to see who’s in charge. Fergus wants to be the leader but once he realizes that you are more than capable of being the leader and, more important, serious about it, he’ll let you take over.

Never give up though. You’re the boss. A nice boss, but the boss and Fergus needs to know that.

All the best, Daisy Mae

Welcome To Dear Daisy Mae


Definitely not a Doberman! Okay?

Dear Daisy Mae,

That’s me in the photo. I’m the one on the right, standing up – the one with four legs and no clothes.

As you can see, I look like a Doberman Pinscher. The problem is that but I’m not. Well, it’s not really a problem not being a Doberman Pinscher. The problem is that people think I’m a Doberman. I’m really a Beauceron – a sheepdog from the Beauce region of France (or the Beauce region of Quebec but I’ve never been 100% clear on that that – let’s say France, okay?)

So do I have a question for you? Not really, I just wanted to vent a bit, is that allowed?

All the best,
Ukie the Beauceron (not a Doberman Pinscher)

Dear Ukie,

Of course. Vent away. Allow me to ‘fess up that at first I thought you were a Doberman. I’m glad you’re not. I already have a Doberman friend and you’re bigger and just as handsome.

Daisy Mae


West of Where?!!!

Dear Daisy Mae,

This is a photo of me getting a treat from my wonderful human. That’s not
why I’m writing, though. (It’s the only photo of me I can find; there must
be hundreds more somewhere but where? I dunno.) Anyway, I’m writing because
something has always puzzled me. My name is Mister but everyone calls me
Westie. What’s up with that? West of what? If you can solve this one, I’d be
very grateful.

All the best,
Mister, not Westie
Miami, FL

Dear Mister,

First, I love the photo. It looks like you’re eating your human’s thumb.
Second, you’re a terrier, a terrier’s terrier, so you should be able to dig
up more photos. Third, Westie is your breed. You’re a West Highland Terrier
and Westie is a nickname, sort of. The Highlands are in a place called
Scotland. Besides you, I know four other Westies and I see dozens of other
Westies walking around Miami and Hollywood. But I know that the Highlands
and Scotland can’t be anywhere near here because the land is very, very low.
No hills. So, I assume you and the other Westies are visitors, so welcome.
Hope this helps.

Daisy Mae


Kai, The Mostly Hungarian Pointer

Dear Daisy Mae,

Have you ever met a Vizsla and, if you have, what’d you think?

Ignaz, the Vizsla
New York City

Dear Ignaz,

Thanks for writing, Ignaz. Very cool name.

I’ve met a lot of Vizslas, at least three, in our dog park. Now that I think about it, maybe they were all the same dog that I saw every couple of months and he was just getting bigger. Anyway, they’re red, sort of, golden red, maybe, and they basically seem to just run around pointing out various things that any dog would notice – making a point of it, if you get my drift. Understandable if you happen to know, as I do, that Vizsla is an old Hungarian word for Pointer. Amazing that I know that but have no idea what “Hungarian” means.

I do have a promising relationship with a Vizsla “Mix” whom I met just the other day. He’s 4 or 5 month old (nobody seems to know) named Kai. He’s very handsome but sticks his cold nose in other dogs’ business a little too quickly if you ask me. I’m much older than he is but I think we’ll get along anyway. What’s in the mix with the Vizsla? My guess is one of those goofy Labs. (I mean, I love them and all but let’s face it, Labs are goofy.)

All the best
Daisy Mae


My Mom collects dogs, dog figurines, that is. I’m her only real one.

The figurines she collects all say: “Made In Occupied Japan”on the bottoms. It means they were made when the Allies ran Japan from 1945 to about 1952.

It was quite an era for the fast-working Japanese artists who produced an astonishing number of miniature masterpieces while their country was rebuilding after the war. Most of the “Occupied” output came to the US and you will still see them in antique stores. Mom finds them irresistible and, somehow, has collected hundreds including dozens of little dog sculptures.
Read more…


A Greyhound named Tiger

If your Dog Park is anything like ours, there’s a mix of dogs from really small to really big with plain old small, medium and big between the extremes. The two most common sizes are small and really big.

I don’t worry about the small ones, even though some of them are nuts.

But when a really big dog wanders anywhere near my people, I go ballistic. That’s my job. Luckily, what almost always happens is that one of my peeps bends down and scritches the big lug on the head and runs a hand along its back. Most of the time, the dog loves it and I relax. The big dog is okay after that and we usually become friends.
Read more…


Mysterious New Dog

Dear Daisy Mae,

Did you meet young Lexie, the new dog at our dog park? She’s beautiful and a lot of fun but what the heck kind of dog is she?

Daisy Dukes, the squirrel hunting Jack Russell
Aventura, FL

Dear Daisy,

I met Lexie yesterday and at first I didn’t know what she was, maybe one of the new –doodle dogs. Turns out, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog. I used to think PWDs were all black like Bo in the White House but they can be black, white, brown or a combo and Lexie is definitely a combo. She seemed to be mixing well with all the other dogs don’t you think? Good thing she has a nice personality because she’s very athletic and might grow to 50 pounds or so. Wow. By the way, she mentioned that, unlike you and that beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback and Archie the little guy, she has no interest at all in squirrels. Fish are another matter.

All the best,
Daisy Mae, the Wonder Dog

P.S. How do you like my new title? I think it’s cool and now all I need is to do something wonderful.


Birds are cool

Mom and I were out for a walk on Sunday when we came across this soaking wet critter sunning himself and drying his wings, as happy as if he was in his right mind. Normally, birds, except pigeons, keep to themselves and avoid dogs. Maybe this one’s short sighted because he seemed to be unaware that there was a ferocious dog within feet who might attack at any minute (that would be me.) I didn’t attack because I suspected a trap.

Later we found out the bird is a cormorant, a bird that actually fishes. Over in Japan, people train cormorants to catch fish and hand them over. Amazing. My friends the pelicans would never do that, goofy as they are.

Daisy Mae


My new friend, Yuki the Giant

Dear Friends,

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

I just about had a fit in Dog Park the other day. I was walking along minding my own business, keeping one eye on my humans and the other on various dogs scampering about when out of the blue this giant Doberman Pinscher came galloping over.

Naturally, I told him off in no uncertain terms but he didn’t seem to care or even notice. He just grinned and leaned down, way down, thinking, I imagine, that we’d touch noses and say hello. Fat chance. I backed up between my male human’s legs and this dog whom I didn’t even know just stuck his nose down some more. Well!
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I Can See Clearly Now

Dear Daisy Mae,
I’m a poodle-bichon mix. As you noted on Twitter, I can’t actually see my
eyes. Grooming-wise, should I ask my human for shorter bangs? I just
didn’t want to be mistaken for Pink’s mohawk. Thanks,

Dear Dolce,
Thanks for writing.

The real answer to your question is that your Mom should ask the groomer about your bangs. I think it’s a no-brainer, though. I mean, have you ever seen an Old English sheepdog? How come they’re not bumping into things all the time? And I bet their sheep are always sneaking off.

The fun answer is that you can test clipping your bangs; try it on one eye first and see which way works better for you. (I’ll be amazed if my Mom doesn’t delete that last sentence.)

Let me know what happens. All the best,

Daisy Mae

P.S. You might look great in a Mohawk. I know I would but my Mom and Dad are sooooo uncool.


Frida the Skye

Dear Daisy Mae,

Other than your own breed, whatever that is, what’s your favorite kind of dog?

Aloysius, the Dachshund
Peoria, Illinois

Dear Al,

Thanks for writing. I’m half Maltese Terrier, half Poodle, so I’m a mutt, I guess. I like all other kinds of dogs but some breeds fascinate me, like Frida the Skye Terrier. I’d love to meet her someday.
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This is my new best friend at Dog Park.

If her name isn’t Whitey, it should be. I think she’s part Labrador or Golden Retriever, two breeds that are more or less the same to me. We got along great despite the fact that she’s three times my size, not as big as my Newfoundland friends but plenty big enough. Anyway, what other breed do you think she might be? And who’s prettier, Whitey or me?

Dog Sees Dad!

Welcome Home!


Daisy Mae’s good friend @SillyFrogger lives in Pennsylvania and he’s been trying to think of a good question to ask here.


Puzzling Critter

Dear Daisy Mae,

When my Mom brought this creature home, I let out a yelp. What is it, a giant bug?

Sven, the Swedish Lapphund

Dear Sven,

You’re close. It’s a bug-eyed kitten and there’s nothing crazier on planet Earth. Your life will never be the same. It will grow into a cat. We have one in our house and, while I like her a lot (she purrs when I lie down beside her), she is, oh, disconcerting – to say the least. There is no point resisting. By the way, the ears aren’t always down flat. They get like that only when they’re about to do something really nuts.

Daisy Mae


This is Ozzie.

This is Ozzie, my friend from Dog Park. He’s a tall, handsome Labradoodle (half Labrador Retriever and half French Poodle). Sometimes he looks like Bert Lahr (the lion in Wizard of Oz – maybe that’s where his name came from.) He’s quiet and intense, rarely barking but often charging around the park on a serious mission such as chasing a tennis ball. I know he’s always glad to see me because he immediately ignores me, and I ignore him, as we work our way casually around the usual pack of small dogs until we can sniff each other’s you-know-whats. His is a lot higher up than mine.

Hector’s Lament

Dear Daisy Mae,

I am an 8 month old Siamese cat who is rather finicky – which means I like things a certain way, my way. Both of my Pops think I’m complaining when I’m trying to tell them how to put out my food, serve treats, handle the litter box and select toys. I’m sending you a video in the hope that someone can translate my meows for my Pops. Thanks in advance.

Hector, the Siamese cat
Hollywood, FL

Read more…


Gimme A Little Kiss, Will Ya, huh?

Dear Daisy Mae,
I know that you almost never run letters from humans, but I thought I’d give it a try. You know my Cocker Spaniel, Brodie? He’s very friendly and loving but he never kisses (licks) anyone, including me. The best I can hope for is a wet nose. What can I do? Anything?

Audrey F
Brodie’s Mom

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Chinese Sunburn

Dear Daisy Mae,

I’m a Chinese Crested dog, cute as a button but with only a few wispy strands of hair that look like a bald guy’s comb over. Here’s my problem, I live In Florida, like you, where it is very sunny. Since nearly all my skin is exposed nearly all the time, I worry about getting sunburns. Anything I can do?

Tattoo, the Chinese Crested
South Florida
Read more…