Dogs and Dogs and More Dogs

This will be a little lengthy but you will need this schema for future posts. My oldest daughter along with her son, our only grandson, moved to St. Louis after living with us or within a few miles for Christian’s first five years of life.  He is now in the fifth grade. Do you think I was happy about this move? It has been several years since the move and as you can see, I still have unresolved issues. I will admit I have fallen in love with St. Louis. Many hours have been spent with Jennifer and Christian exploring the many nooks and crannies of the city.  

After my daughter’s  move my husband and I thought that Christian really needed a dog. Daughter in agreement. St. Louis is a dog loving city. Everyone has dogs. Doggie treats and water bowls are available at many restaurants. As they lived in a city apartment we thought a small dog would fit the bill. The search was on.  So enter a cute miniature long-haired dachshund. On our way to St. Louis for a Christmas visit, we stopped and selected a puppy for a surprise. The brown-eyed pup looked liked one of the many stuffed animals Christian had laying on his bed.  So we  snuggled her between the animals on his bed for him to find.  Surprise! At the time the Broadway show, Wicked, was playing in St. Louis and thus miniature dachshund was named Elphaba, nicknamed Ellie. Miss often accompanies her name. Her personality just demands the “Miss”. However Ellie is very much tomboy. She gets dirty as she keeps groundhogs at home in check.  Miss Ellie is a very people loving dog but she does not care for her own kind…at all. Snarling teeth and deep growls greet any dog that dares to get into her space. It doesn’t matter the size of the dog. Ellie is not intimidated by size.  This “dog intolerance”  was noticed quite early in Miss Ellie’s life. Jennifer and Christian took Ellie on daily walks and encountered the many dogs of St. Louis. Not a friendly scene. Jennifer made many calls to me and proclaimed that Ellie had NO dog social skills. True. She needed an intervention. The intervention never happened. What did happen though was joint custody. There were times that Jennifer and Christian were gone long hours from home for work and school. Ellie needed more interaction.  So now we now share joint custody of Ellie with Christian. Our house is her primary residence.

Flash forward to present day. Our youngest daughter, Sarah is between houses so she is temporarily living with us along with her two “children”.   These two “children” are two loving pit bull mixes that answer to the names Wriggly and Diva. Wriggly and Diva were “rescued” from the Elkhart County Humane Shelter by Sarah. Sarah works at the shelter. I think it’s quite dangerous for an animal lover to work at an animal shelter. Animals seem to spill over into her life. Anyways, words cannot the describe the chaos at our house. There are no words. You have to see and experience. At this point in her life, Sarah is not sure about having children. I hate to break the news to her but she already has two very rambunctious children…Diva and Wrigs. Real children wouldn’t require any more attention than these two. They wrestle, make messes, love you up, play bite on each other, run down the road, howl, destroy anything that they think is a toy, and the list goes on and on. Then, picture a little dachshund snarling,  showing her teeth, yipping and yes, even lunging at two pit bulls every time they get too close…yep, utter chaos. So what does this have to do with my Delivering Reading Passion blog? Real life reflects book life and book life reflects real life. Everyday experiences weave new stories as well as remind us stories we know. Reading passion is lit when we share those connections between experiences and books.  I have listed some of my favorite picture books that I thought of as the choas continues around me.

Elderly Ezra, who lives alone with five dogs, is often visited by his neighbor, Betty. He thinks she’s a busybody, but the dogs always welcome her, possibly because she brings them cookies. As winter approaches, the old woman worries about Ezra and takes him a blanket. He has no use for it because the colder it gets, the more dogs he takes to bed with him. Betty checks up on her neighbor one time too many, and he tells her to leave him alone. Come spring, he misses seeing her. He bakes cookies and walks the dogs down the hill only to find…”

This next selection is full of controversy. Some reviewers feel that the illustration of a robber holding a gun to mom is not in the best interest for a picture book. You can read the reviews at Amazon. Steven Kellogg has written several tales of the misbehaving Pinkerton which I personally find delightful. Be sure to visit Steven Kellogg’s website.

Anyone who loves literacy will love Martha. Martha is like every other dog except for the fact she can talk. There is a catch though. Martha has to eat alphabet soup. The letters travel to her brain which allows Martha to speak! Until recently, I wasn’t aware that PBS had made this a series. Check out their great kid friendly website for parent teacher information and games.

Happy Reading 🙂

SOLC 2011. 2 of 31

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8 Responses to Dogs and Dogs and More Dogs

  1. elsie says:

    You made me laugh with your descriptions of the dogs, their temperment and the comparison of dogs to children. Love the dog books you highlighted. As I think about my bookcase, I notice I have quite a few relating to dogs. One of my favorites is The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden.

    • Deb says:

      I’m going to have the check out your title suggestion. I’m not familiar with that one. Amazon, here I come.

      • Colette says:

        The book is read by an actor on the web site that I have saved on my favorites…and can’t remember the name of it!!
        The books the actors read, are great books such as Sophies Masterpiece, A Bad Case of Stripes, and Possum Magic to name a few! I’ll get back to you with the name of the site.

  2. Tam says:

    I love dogs and dog stories. My kids have dogs now, so we have dogs again when they visit!! I can hardly wait to hear more. I want to meet them, too. The Five-Dog Night sounds great and the picture on Pinkerton Behave is too good.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    You’ve described it exactly. We’ve had several grand-dog visitors through the years & chaos seems to reign more with them than with the grandchildren. Very interesting what we do with and about dogs. I loved the picture book ideas. Thanks.

  4. caroline524 says:

    Your story reminds me of a student I had 2 years ago who would only read and write stories about dogs. At the end of the school year her parents bought her a dog. Now when I see her, she tells me all about his adventures.

  5. MaryHelen says:

    Love your dog descriptions. So cute. I also like the book connections. Awesome.

  6. Ruth Ferris says:

    I love your description. I can so relate. We have 4 dogs – lots of chaos. Another book for older readers is My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

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