All Things of Dogs

For unconditional love, there's nothing like a dog! Think dog things here…

Dream A Little Dream…

My little dreamer, Cee-Cee, is all tuckered out, and replaying her peanut butter adventure. View the entire story at Horses and Animals Are Talkin.


Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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If We Could Be Like Dogs


If we could be like dogs — lovers unconditional — the world would be a better place. A dog uses God’s credo — love all others first.

Although massive in stature, the Newfoundland breed (ABOVE), nicknamed Newfie, is one of the kindest and most gentle of dogs. Their need to bond with humans is astounding. Water dogs by nature, they are taught to help their humans in water-related tasks, as well as to rescue humans in peril in the water, but their instinct to rescue is way ahead of any instructor.

And the unconditional love a dog expresses toward his “owner” is way ahead of many expressions from the human race.

Lord Byron (George Noel Gordon, 1788-1824), the British poet, said of the dog “…he has all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices”. That was part of the tombstone eulogy for his deceased Newfie, Boatswain, whom he also said had “Beauty without Vanity” and was a better friend to him than any man he’d known.

Photo (Ebony, the author’s female Newfie, 1998-2009) from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Gandhi Had A Point


Mohandras K. Gandhi (1869-1948) had a great thought when he expressed the idea that a society would be judged, ultimately, by the way it treated its animals. That statement can be taken to maximum expression in these world times of turmoil.

In our newspapers we read of acts of cruelty toward animals. How, then, are we treating each other?

Animal cruelty is the forerunner of human cruelty, which is the deeper meaning of Gandhi’s words of warning.

Too many times we ignore the brotherhood we share as humans, and too many times, we don’t appreciate the loyal, unconditional love a dog exemplifies when he is treated well by a human.

We need to look at one another the way our dogs look at us.

Photo of a family dog, Smokey, from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Giving – Losing – and Loving

My cutie-pie, loving pal Cee-Cee at a happier time

Cee-Cee (October 13, 2010-October 19, 2017):

You brought me joy in a time of illness and need, ultimate companionship, and love beyond a human’s capacity to understand.

I rescued you, and you rescued me.

If I love again a rescued pal, I love you not the less: alas, it is because of you that I choose giving again — to another. RIP

Breezi – I rescued you, and you rescued me!

And now the world is right again!

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

See also:

My Forever Home Part Three — Conclusion


Story from Heaven, by Ebony
Part Three — Conclusion…The Last Swim

“After a good scrubbing bath at the local pet and groom parlor, I always was adorned with a new handkerchief. (That’s one of them, ABOVE!) And that bath meant a kiss on the head from Barbara, my favorite human in the world because she adopted me from a life as a stray. I never knew exactly how I became a stray, but I woke up with pain in my right hind leg, and that leg remained a bit gamey throughout the rest of my life.

“What I do know is that I found “forever” with Barbara, and she looked out for me and played fetch with me to the end.

“Water was fun, but so was snow. Barbara like to take me for snow walks, too, during which we played snowball catch. After snow play, we’d go inside and cuddle to get warm again.

“But it was in the Summer time, when the heat made the water feel so good, that we played the most outdoors. Barbara loved the outdoors, and when she was home during the daytime, we were outside most of the day. And she always took me for a swim at the boat docks on days before leaving for what she called “work”.

“My last swim came at the old lime quarry in Marblehead, Ohio, one of our Lake Erie hangouts. East Harbor, Port Clinton, and the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park were other favorite places where I could swim in that cold, refreshing lake water.

“Our fetch game took precedence at the lime quarry, though, because the water there was still and easy to navigate, especially when my eyesight began to fade. This last day, after our fetch game, Barbara and I sat on the grass and rock ledges that overlook Lake Erie on the opposite side of the road from the quarry. I know my glances toward the lake and back to Barbara told her how much I appreciated the last laborious climb into that old rusty van, the two-hour, one-stop, trip to the lake, and the last swim I’d be able to manage.

“I miss Barbara a bunch, and I know she misses me…from Forever to Heaven.”

Last look at Lake Erie, together

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(Find more animal stories from BA Helberg at: )

My Forever Home Part Two


Story from Heaven, by Ebony
Part Two…Buckeyes and Swimming and Ice Cream 

“My forever home was awesome! It included visits from Barbara’s sweet little granddaughter, and then ‘game-day’ romps at Natasha’s house. I would wear that red Buckeyes shirt. Wow! I never figured out what all the fuss was about over those Buckeyes, but I do remember Barbara did more screaming and arm flapping when she watched those things on TV than at any other time I ever was with her!

“Tash was my best friend in the neighborhood, and granddaughter loved on me almost as much as Barbara. So game-day always was fun despite the noise Barbara and her friends created.

“There were trips to the lake, where Barbara taught me the most fun game ever — fetch! It wasn’t played on land, because I wasn’t a sprinter. It was in the water, where I could swim like a champion all day long, bringing those stick things back to shore for Barbara to toss into the water over and over again! Even later, when I lost most of my eyesight, I could find that thing in the water by hearing where it splashed down. So much fun!

“We took easy, long walks, too, in the riverbank woods at home. Usually after a short swim at the boat docks, Barbara would take me for ice cream at the Dairy Queen across the street. Hmmm… Ice Cream; I can taste it now!

“When Barbara wanted to read, or write, quietly outside, she’d let me lay on the little apartment patio next to her, and I’d keep watch over her so the neighborhood’s activities wouldn’t disturb her studies.

“What good times and a wonderful friendship we had together!”

Lake Erie, Port Clinton, Ohio

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

My Forever Home Part One


Story from Heaven, by Ebony
Part One…Learning the Ropes

“You’ve seen my picture, here, a couple times now. I’m Ebony, Barbara’s Newfoundland from some years ago…

“That first day ‘home’ with Barbara wasn’t going home. She took me to the veterinary’s office for something called a ‘spaying’.

“Eeeeh… The next day, Barbara came to get me from the vet’s office, and I felt kind of a sting in my underbelly. But they showed off my belly to Barbara, and she seemed pleased, and she gave me my forever name, ‘Ebony’, while the girl filled out our paperwork. I liked the name. Ebony. Like my coat.

“Well, I had to climb-jump up into that big blue, rusty van of Barbara’s again, and that hurt my slightly lame right back leg a bit, but we managed, and off we went to lunch.

“Barbara drove through MickeyD’s and got us a sack lunch, and I just knew we were going on a picnic together.

“But, first, Barbara slung the lunch bag up onto the dash board and drove over to the nearby Family Dollar store, where Barbara hopped out, saying, ‘I’ll be right back, then we’ll have something to eat.’ Then she smiled and jumped out and went into the store.

“I figured that was permission enough for me to try what was in the lunch bag, and she wouldn’t mind if I got in there first. So I ravished the bag, and left it torn open on the van floor. Once started, I hadn’t been able to stop…

“Barbara returned, stared at the shredded lunch bag, looked at me, then wordlessly turned the key in the van ignition. I had been right, I thought. That lunch actually had been mine, and she didn’t care if I ate first, and now we were on the way to get her some food, and then for a run in the picnic park!”

…All grown up

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


Ten Smartest Dogs — 2017


Strange — it didn’t seem to me as though my Ebony (the Newfoundland pictured above) got less smart as Time took her physical attributes to new lows.

But, according to the list of Top Ten Smartest Dogs for 2017, which came to the forefront in January, the Newfoundland dropped from No. 6 in 2013 to off the list in 2017!

Here’s a further comparison from the 2013 to 2017 lists:

2017 Top Ten Smartest Dogs:
No. 1 —- Border Collie
No. 2 —- Poodle
No. 3 —- German Shepherd Dog
No. 4 —- Golden Retriever
No. 5 —- Doberman Pinscher
No. 6 —- Shetland Sheepdog
No. 7 —- Labrador Retriever
No. 8 —- Papillon
No. 9 —- Rottweiller
No. 10 — Australian Sherpherd

Only the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd retained their respective scores from 2013 to 2017.

2013 Top Ten Smartest Dogs:
No. 1 —- Border Collie
No. 2 —- German Shepherd Dog
No. 3 —- Beagle
No. 4 —- Bloodhound
No. 5 —- Labrador Retriever
No. 6 —- Newfoundland
No. 7 —- Belgian Melinois
No. 8 —- Golden Retriever
No. 9 —- Siberian Husky
No. 10 — Australian Sherpherd

Complaints? Comparisons? Thoughts?

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Nicknames for Our Dogs


Why do we take such care to name our dogs, then call them by every cute nickname we can conjure? It’s laughable!

When I adopted Cee-Cee (pictured above) from foster parents who were acting for a rescue facility, she was called Gigi. Because I didn’t know if I wanted to say “Gee-Gee”, or its French-sounding version that puts more emphasis on the soft “g”, I decided, instead, to rename her. Not wanting a name that to her would change too much, I settled on “Cee-Cee”, a compromise in sound that would make the name transition easy for her.

And, on any given day from the start of our relationship, I’ve called her “Sweetie-Cakes”, “Bratsker”, “Sweet-Pea”, “Cee-sar”, “Cee-Girl”, “Snooks”, “Susie-Q”, “Little Small”, “Sweetie-Pie”, or “Pumpkin”!

Does your dog have a nickname, or five?

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Celebrity Quotes on Dogs


Peek-a-boo! Let’s take a look at quotes from celebrity dog owners.

No.1 = “The more I see of men the more I love dogs.” — Attributed to Madame de Sevigne (1626-1696) and to Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786)

No.2 = “To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.” — Aldous Huxley (1894-1964)

No.3 = “Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.” — Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936); from “The Power of a Dog”

No.4 = “I am called a dog because I fawn on those/who give me anything/I yelp at those who refuse/and I set my teeth in rascals.” — Diogenes (c.412-323 BC)

No.5 = “The pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” — Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

Dogs aren’t new as faithful companions. They’ve been doing their heart-wrenching loyalty thing for quite some time!

Many of you as dog owners may have your own little quotes that beg to be repeated. Care to share?

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Retrievers Retrieve Anywhere

AKC-registered Retrievers, Pointers, and Setters compete as show dogs in the Sporting Group, as well as perform their appointed duties in the field.

Golden Retrievers (pictured above) and Labrador Retrievers are sent out into field and stream to retrieve game already killed, or wounded, by their human hunting partners. The specialty of these hunting dogs is their “soft” mouth, a term used to refer to the ability of these animals to retrieve and carry game without puncturing it, or further damaging it.

Labs and Goldens also are among the most popular of family dogs in the United States. Goldens have various shades of wavy, golden coats, from light to quite dark. Labs, among the very shorthaired dog breeds, can be yellow, chocolate, or black.

Likely origins:
Goldens = Scotland, as early as 1853
Labs = the country of Newfoundland in Canada; records of their breed began in 1830

Photo courtesy of

Pointers Are for Pointing


Pointers, such as German ShortHaired Pointers and German Wirehaired Pointers, are specifically trained to smell out game, then stand on point, with their tails indicating for their hunting humans places where game is hiding.

The German Shorthaired, as indicated in the (ABOVE) illustration, have coats of very short hair featuring various speckles and patches of liver and white. Wirehaired pointers have longer, wiry coats of liver and white, with beards and whiskers on their heads.

Shorthaired = Germany, official stud book dating to the 1870s
Wirehaired = Dutch/German ancestors from the middle 1800s

Illustration courtesy of

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