Blame the Dog

They were an odd pair; a little white dog whose legs looked even shorter than they actually were because of his fat, round body and a little white dog with tan markings that looked somewhat like a Jack Russell Terrier.  I saw them both running across my yard as I was returning from a trip to the drug store to buy more cold medicine.  I parked the car in the garage and stepped outside to see where they were going but when they saw me, they changed direction and ran over to me. Continue reading

How I Became a Restroom Warrior

I didn’t set out to become a restroom vigilante.  No, I was forced into it bit by bit through the actions of a woman who treated the women’s room in our office building as her private office. Continue reading

Snow Geese

I awoke yesterday morning to the sound of hundreds of snow geese in the farmer’s fields behind our home.  They show up every year to rest and to glean the leftover corn to fill their bellies before moving further north.  Ultimately, they will arrive at their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra.  I look forward to their annual visit because they’re the only Arctic animal I get so see living here in Pennsylvania and because I’m amazed at the length of the journey they take every year, flying from the Arctic to the southern United States to winter in warm marshes, and then back to the far north every spring.  They arrived a month early this year.  Most years they show up in the middle of March, but spring arrived early here in Pennsylvania, and I knew that the geese, true harbingers of spring, would not be far behind. Continue reading

The Racing Pigeon

I was heading into the house on a summer day in 1999 when I found a pigeon sitting on the stoop in front of the back door.  As I approached the back door, the pigeon did not fly off and even when I stood in front of it, it did not move.  I sat down on the stoop next to it and was able to pet its head and as I did, I noticed a band on its leg.  It was a racing pigeon.  Up close, its colors were gorgeous.  Not just gray feathers, but emerald green and purple and black adorned its head and chest.  I had no idea a pigeon could be so pretty. Continue reading

Get Your New Year’s Eve Weird on in PA

A million people are expected to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square to watch the famous ball, crafted out of Waterford Crystal, slowly descend to welcome in 2017. Millions more from around the world will watch the event unfold on their televisions.  But New York City isn’t the only place to be that evening.  Many cities and small towns in Pennsylvania also have New Year’s Eve celebrations where things are dropped.  Weird things.  Pennsylvania has taken the art of dropping things, or in some cases, raising things, to a whole new level as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Continue reading

The Lab and the Basset Hound

Several years ago my husband Steve and I were huddled downstairs during a snow storm the week after Christmas.  At some point that evening, we went out to the garage to get more drinks and check the snowfall.  I turned on the outside light to see how much snow had already fallen and saw two dogs, a Black Labrador and a Basset Hound, standing in the yard. Continue reading

Duke’s Last Hurrah

At first, she denied the dog was hers.  But my husband Steve was sure it was her dog because the other Golden Retriever that had been at our house, a young pup, was right there in her yard.  She finally admitted that the dog lying in our garage was her dog when Steve told her that the dog had not caused any trouble and we just wanted to help him get home.   Showing Steve her arm, which was in a sling, she told him she was not allowed to drive and that her husband wasn’t home.  Steve told her that wasn’t a problem, that he’d drive the dog to her house now that he knew whose dog it was. Continue reading

The Good-Looking Goat

I saw the goat first.  It was walking along the woods at the edge of the field heading towards the road.  When I pointed it out to my husband Steve, he went into the garage and came back with some dog food in an old metal coffee can.  Standing in the driveway, he began shaking the can.  The goat turned and headed in our direction. Continue reading

The Chipmunk, the Washer and My Ass

Three years ago when I arrived home from work I head a scratching noise coming from behind the dryer and I immediately knew that there was some type of critter in the flexible dryer duct that leads from the dryer to the vent mounted on the outside wall of our home. I knew without a doubt that there was an animal in the dryer duct because it had happened before. Continue reading

Lucy and Ginger

My husband Steve and I have had at least one Saint Bernard at any given time for the past 16 years.  To accommodate them, we have a kennel, that is actually a 12 foot by 20 foot building that is insulated and fully equipped with water and electricity.  Surrounding the dog kennel is a large fenced in area that allows our dogs to run and play all day without direct supervision. This has worked out well for us and for the Saints.  Saint Bernards, which were originally bred in the Swiss Alps, love being outside and they love the cold and snow .  Although their kennel is insulated, and although we have wall heaters for it….we’ve never had to turn on the heat; the dogs have a very natural ability to keep themselves warm. Continue reading