Archive for the ‘Field Guides’ Category


Field Guide: Doors

July 30, 2009

The humans like to be inside boxes (they call it a house) but if they want to go outside of the box they have to go out through a big square hole. But they do not like bugs or rain or other strange things coming inside their boxes, so they have big flat things that cover the holes – these are called doors! There are many kinds of doors – inside the human boxes are smaller boxes called rooms, and sometimes the smaller boxes have doors, too. The small box doors are thinner, and sometimes when the human goes into one of the smaller boxes and closes the door, you can get them to come back out by scratching at it with your paw. They do not like their doors to have scratches on them, so they will come and open the door.

The doors to the outside are thicker, and have metal pieces in them to make sure they stay closed. Most doors work by twisting a thing and then pushing on them, but some doors slide back and forth! I know how to open a pushing door, if it is not closed tight, by jumping at it with my paws. And I also know how to open a sliding door, by nudging it with my nose! The neighbor man was very surprised, but also laughed, when I did that to his door. Also most doors do not let you look out, but there are some doors made of something like clear water, and you can see out! That is very fun.

Another thing I learned about doors is this: most of them will hold you up if you jump up and put your paws on them, like the big clear door in the back of my human’s house. That is a fun thing to do, especially if there is something interesting in the yard to look at, like a squirrel or an evil chicken. But! There is another kind of door, and you can see out of it because it is made of a cloth with many tiny little holes in it, and it lets fresh air into the house, but it does not hold you up when you jump on it!

That is what happened to me! I saw an evil chicken in the yard, and I was so excited that I jumped up, but the door with the little tiny holes in it did not hold me up! Instead, there was a big “RIP” sound, and then all of the sudden there was no door anymore, just a big open space! I looked at my human, and she just laughed, and closed the big clear door so no bugs could get inside the house. She said she is going to take that door to the Store to have it fixed, and that I should be more careful next time.


Field Guide: Chickens

May 29, 2008

I like chickens! There are many kinds of chickens – some are small, some are big, some are noisy, some are tasty. I like to chase them all!

Tiny Brown Chicken
Gallus Minimus
I see this kind of chicken everywhere – they are little and brown, and sometimes make interesting noises. Usually I do not chase them, because it would not be worth the effort – they are so small, it would hardly make a mouthful.
Evil Chicken
Gallus Malum
I do not like evil chickens! They are shiny and black, and make loud cawing noises! And they are always staring at me. When I see an evil chicken, I bark at it, and chase it away!
great_horned_owl Swooping Chicken
Gallus Swoopus
I have only seen this kind of chicken once, although we heard them when we went camping. This chicken swoops back and forth looking for tiny things on the ground to eat. Sometimes he swoops so low, I can almost jump up and catch him!
Quacker Chicken
Gallus Waddulus
These birds make a noise just like one of my favorite toys! I like to watch them as they walk through the yard – then I chase them until they fly away.
Honker Chicken
Gallus Honkum
I see this kind of chicken in the pond at the private dog park, and I run right into the water to chase them! I also hear them sometimes way up in the sky, and then I stare at them as they fly by – but I do not chase them when they are flying, because even I can’t jump that high.
Gobbler Chicken
Gallus Gobbulus
This is the biggest chicken of them all! I have only seen this kind of chicken a few times, but when I do, I get very excited! They are fun to chase, but very hard to catch.
Tasty Chicken
Gallus Numnum
This is my favorite kind of chicken, because it is the kind that I do not have to chase – it just magically appears in my bowl!

Field Guide: Private Dog Park

May 23, 2008

The private dog park is my favorite place to play – there are so many fun things to see and smell and do! I see grandma and grandpa when I go there, I think they live there. They must have fun all the time! The best part about the private dog park is that I am free to run run run and do whatever I want!

  1. The Lodge – This is where the treats are! They also serve ice cream on the front porch.
  2. Observation Deck – I like to poke my head out through the posts, and then I can see the whole park at once! Sometimes grandma sits up here and watches me while I play fetch – she is the line judge.
  3. Watering Hole – This is where I get a drink when I am thirsty. Sometimes the ground next to the watering hole looks too dry, so I help by splashing water on it.
  4. Bucket of Balls – I have my own bucket of tennis balls to play with! Sometimes I tip it over and they all fall out – jackpot!
  5. Mole Hole – This hole must be monitored at all times!
  6. Critter Corner – I found a dead bird here once! I was very excited! My human was not as excited.
  7. Chippie Haven – I have never seen a chipmunk here, but I smell them! Maybe some day I will catch one!
  8. Hot Spot – Sometimes if I go to the lodge at night, there is a campfire here! I have to remember to keep my tail out of the fire, though.
  9. Mystery Shack – I do not know what is in this building. I do know that I am not supposed to sneak behind the building to get outside of the safe zone.
  10. Wildlife Sanctuary – This is where grandpa puts out food for the birds and squirrels, and it is a good place to stand quietly and think about the wonders of nature. Or chase a squirrel.
  11. Sticks! – A big pile of sticks! Yay!
  12. Salad Bar – Sometimes when I want a snack, I eat some grass here.
  13. Big Chicken Pond – There are many kinds of big chickens in the pond – the honker chicken, the quacker chicken, and the gobbler chicken. And I have chased them all!
  14. Pitcher’s Mound – This is where my human stands to play fetch.
  15. Shortstop – This is where I bring the ball back to.
  16. Long Ball Territory – Sometimes grandpa throws the ball for me, and then it goes all the way over here! He can throw very far.
  17. Elevated Water Bowl – It sure is hard to drink from a bowl that is three feet off the ground.
  18. Green Bush Boundary – Shakin’ the bushes, boss.
  19. Secret Passageway – This is one of the many secret passageways into the marsh.
  20. The Trail – This trail goes into the marsh – it is very fun! There are bushes to run through, and tall grass to jump in, and mud to splash in, and all kinds of smells! The best!

Field Guide: Rocket People!

April 15, 2008

On the streets there are usually big noisy metal monsters (my human calls them “cars”), and sometimes even bigger noisy metal monsters (my human calls them “trucks”), and once in a while a HUGE noisy metal monster (my human says this is the “garbage truck”). I do not understand how all these metal monsters move, because they do not have legs. Sometimes I can see a human trapped inside them – oh no!

But the rocket people are different! I like the rocket people, because even though they are noisy and metal, I can see the human on top. And the rocket people go really really fast! Brusca’s human is a rocket people, I bet he has a lot of fun! Every time I see rocket people, I stop and watch them. Before all the snow happened, I used to see rocket people all the time, and now they are back!


Field Guide: Human Panting

April 13, 2008

My human does not have fur like I do, so she has to put on pieces of cloth before she goes outside. She wears all kinds of different pieces of cloth for doing different things, and I have figured out the code to what they mean!

Goaway Pants
These are the kind of pants that she puts on when she goes away for the day and I cannot come with her. When I see her put on these pants, I lay on the bed with my head down, because she is going away. (But she always comes back!)
No Jumpers
My human does not wear this kind of cloth very often, but when she does, it means that she is going someplace fancy, and I definitely cannot come with. She also spends a lot of time playing with her hair and putting stuff on her face. I am not supposed to jump on her when she wears this.
Adventure Pants
When my human puts on these pants, it means that we are going on an adventure! It might be a walk, or a ride, or to go play at Brusca’s house, but it is always something fun! When I see her put these pants on, I run up to her and start wagging my tail!
Settling Pants
These pants mean that it is time to settle. My human sits in her chair and reads a book or watches the box with pictures, and I curl up with a good bone and relax.

Field Guide: A Well-Trained Human

March 14, 2008

Humans can be hard to train, but if you put the time and effort into it, you can get very good results. My human is pretty smart (for a human), so she learns things quickly.

These are some of the things I have trained my human to do:

  • Fetch is one of my favorite games in the whole world! I have trained my human to use a two-tennis-ball system, because it takes far too much time for me to drop one ball, and then wait for her to pick it up and throw it again. With two tennis balls, I can drop the first one at her feet and turn right around to chase the second one!
  • I like bones! They make fun crunching noises, and last a long time. Sometimes it’s hard to get just the right angle, so I have trained my human to hold it for me while I chew – I bring the bone over to her, drop it, and give it a push with my nose. Then she picks it up and holds it for me while I chew on it. I am very careful not to chew on her fingers, though, because she needs those to open the treat jar.
  • Sometimes my human sits and reads a book, or watches a box with pictures on it. This is undesirable behavior, because then she is not paying attention to ME. To correct that, I go to the window and bark once or twice, as if I see something. Sometimes she does not get up right away, so I go and look at her, and then go back to the window and bark again. Then she gets up to see what I’m barking at, and I win! Because now she is doing what she is supposed to do, which is pay attention to me.
  • I have also trained my human to give me a treat every time we come back from a walk – we come in the door, she unhooks my leash, and then we go directly to the treat station (the treats are kept on top of the refrigerator, where I cannot reach them. I need to do something about that.) Sometimes I get distracted and forget that I am supposed to get a treat after a walk, but I have trained my human so well that she goes to the treat station every time.
  • Of course, the most important thing that I have trained my human to do is to come home. Most days of the week, she puts on fancy clothes and goes away – she says this is “going to work”. But she comes home in the middle of the day so we can go for a walk, and then later she comes home again and puts on adventure pants (she calls them “jeans”), and then I know she is home for the night and will play with me! Then there are very special days, when she says “no work today!” When my human says this, I am very happy, because it means she’s going to play with me all day!