Thursday, January 12, 2017

Auntie Rita's Minstrone Soup

I love going to work with Mommy.  She works in a synagogue that has a Gan (nursery school) and a lunch program for senior citizens.  All of the people there are always so happy to see me.  I am happy to see them, too, especially because I love to eat!  The little kids in the Gan like to feed me Cheerios and the senior citizens like to feed me crackers and cheese.  Since I can't talk, I always remember to say thank you with my tail!

Cheerios and cheese and crackers are delicious, but nothing compares to my Auntie Rita's minestrone soup!  Auntie Rita's name is just plain Rita,  but I love her like I love my aunties so I decided to call her Auntie Rita!  Mommy and I were upstairs in the mail room.  I got bored waiting for Mommy to finish getting the mail ready so I decided to walk around and visit people.  I am allowed to go by myself because everyone knows me and they know that I am a good girl.

As I was walking around, Auntie Rita came out of her office. When I started walking towards Auntie Rita, I got a whiff of something delicious.  My nose started twitching, my tail started wagging, and my drool started coming.  What was that wonderful aroma coming from Auntie Rita?  I ran over to her and I was sniffing so hard that I started sneezing.  Auntie Rita leaned over to greet me and I found out where that aroma was coming from.  It was coming from Auntie Rita's bowl.

I didn't have a name for the food in that bowl, but I knew I would like it if I could get Auntie Rita to share.  Mommy taught me that begging is not acceptable behavior so I had to come up with a plan that didn't include begging.  My nose helped me with a plan. I started following Auntie Rita. Everywhere she went, I went sniffing as hard as I could.  Auntie Rita turned left. Ethel Frances turned left.  Auntie Rita turned right. Ethel Frances turned right.  Auntie Rita didn't turn, neither did Ethel Frances.

All of a sudden, Auntie Rita started laughing right out loud.  She called out to Mommy and when Mommy came, she heard all about me and my nose.  Auntie Rita said to Mommy, "Can I please give the rest of my minestrone soup to Ethel Frances?"  I looked at Mommy with my "Please, Mommy?" look.  I made sure I didn't beg, but I couldn't keep the drool from coming!  That minestrone soup had the best smell ever.  I was hoping Mommy would say yes.  I started to cross my fingers, but then I remembered that I don't have fingers!

After a few seconds (which seemed like forever) Mommy patted my head and said yes!  Auntie Rita put her bowl down right in front of my twitching nose.  I lapped up that soup and guess what?  It tasted even better than it smelled!!  After I finished the soup, I followed Auntie Rita all over the place again, hoping she would give me more.

She looked at me and said, 'Ethel Frances, I am so happy you liked my minestrone soup.  It's all gone now, but maybe next time you come to work with your mommy I will have some more."

I thanked Auntie Rita by giving her wet kisses!  I sure am looking forward to my next visit!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Got Presents and It Wasn't Even My Birthday!

I thought last Thursday was going to be just another day, but I was wrong.  Mommy was getting ready to leave in the morning, but instead of saying she was going to work, she said she wasn't going to work.  LuLu, Izzy, and I were happy to hear that because when Mommy goes to work, she stays away for the entire day.

My happiness didn't last very long.  Mommy told us she was going to the Berman Hebrew Academy to share my book, "Tales from a Tail Wagging Dog," -- the book that I wrote -- with 3rd grade students.  She even had the nerve to let me know that she was happy!  I put my head down and stopped my tail from wagging to let Mommy know that I wasn't happy at all.  Even though I can't talk, I do know how to communicate!

Mommy knew I wasn't happy, but she didn't know the rest of how I felt.  As far as I am concerned, when it comes to sharing my book at schools, I do not think it's fair that I am not allowed to go.  After all, the stories are mine!  Mommy had a long talk with me the first time she went to a school.  She explained that some people are allergic to dogs and some people are afraid of dogs.  For those reasons, I get stuck at home with my little sisters.  I understand allergies because when I go outside in the spring, I sneeze and sneeze and sneeze!  I also understand fears.  I am afraid of Mommy's car.  I just have so much fun with people and I love making new friends.  I really, really wish I could go with Mommy.

Anyway, when Mommy got home last Thursday, she ran inside and took LuLu and Izzy out for a fast potty break.  She came in the house and grabbed my leash and we ran out the door -- right to Mommy's car.  "Oh no!" I thought.  I wasn't ready to deal with car fears, but I didn't have to.  Mommy reached in the car and took out a great big envelope.  It was the biggest envelope I had ever seen.  Mommy said, "Look, Ethel Frances!  All of Mrs. Goodman's students signed their names.  This is just for you!"  We sat in the grass and Mommy read ever person's name to me.  Then she opened the envelope.

"Look, Ethel Frances.  These are just for you from Mrs. Goodman's class!"  There was a Frisbee, a tennis ball, and a football.  "Ethel Frances, we are going to have so much fun playing with these toys. I am going to keep them in the car so your sisters won't know anything about them.  They are special toys and you don't have to share them with LuLu and Izzy."

Wow!  Mommy has never said that to me!  Even though I didn't get to go to school, I guess Mommy did a good job of sharing my book with the kids.  I guess that is why they sent me presents on a day that wasn't even my birthday!

Big thanks and love and wet kisses to Mrs. Goodman's students -- and to Mrs. Goodman, too!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Finally Went to School! Three Cheers for Whetstone Elementary!

Today was one of the best days I have ever had in my whole life!  Mommy has been going to schools, sharing my book with children.  Today, was the very first time that I was allowed to go with her.  I felt very important.  The teacher at Whetstone Elementary School, Mrs. Volat, had to get special permission from the principal and from the parents of all of the kids in her class because dogs aren't usually allowed in school.

Mommy was a little worried about that.  She knew Ryan's mommy and daddy would say yes because Ryan is my cousin, but she didn't know what the other parents would say.  Guess what?  They all said yes.  Ryan's mommy and grandmother came with us, too.

I didn't know schools were so big.  When I went to obedience school, we were all in just one room. Whetstone Elementary has so many rooms!   First we stopped at the office and got stickers that said we were visitors. Then we went to the classroom.When we got to Mrs. Volat's room, I was a little nervous.  Do you ever get nervous when you do something new?  Well, I do.  I looked in and saw lots of children sitting on the floor. They were all sitting there waiting to meet me.  I was excited to meet them, too.  They came to meet me one at a time.  They were very kind and gentle.    Before I knew it, I wasn't nervous at all.  I was really enjoying meeting so many new people.  The grown ups were nice to me, too!

Mrs. Volat had already finished reading "Tales from a Tail Wagging Dog" (my first book) with the class, so I wrote a story just for them.  Mommy read it out loud.  I think they liked it.  After Mommy finished reading, we all had animal crackers.  I love them.

While I was waiting for my turn to have some, I couldn't stop thinking about how good they taste.  All of a sudden, drool started pouring out of my mouth.  Mommy tried to catch it before it hit the floor, but there was just too much.  Everyone started laughing and saying ewww.  I laughed, too!  Of course the drool stopped as soon as I had cookies in my mouth.

The children asked Mommy lots of questions.  I wanted to answer, but I still can't talk.  I listened carefully to make sure Mommy knew the right answers.  She did okay until the kids started talking about blogs I wrote. She hasn't read them in a long time and forgot what was in them.  But the children all knew!  They like my blogs so much that they inspired to write this one -- the first one I've written since last October!

I want to thank all of the students in Mrs. Volat's class, Mrs. Volat, the principal, and the parents for letting me visit their classroom.  Mommy and I had a great time, but I sure am tired from being on my best behavior for such a long time!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ethel Frances at a Fashion Show

Last Saturday night, Mommy put on nice clothes and make up.  "Ethel Frances," she said, "Let's get your leash.  We're going bye-bye."  I was surprised.  Usually when Mommy takes me places she is wearing old clothes and no make-up.  I ran to the door before she changed her mind.

After I was in the car, I started trying to figure out where we were going.  Sometimes Mommy seems to know what I am thinking even though I can't talk.  She said, "Ethel Frances, do you want to know where we're going?  We are going to Boots' gallery, Huckleberry Fine Arts gallery, to a fahion show.  Boots and Marcy will both be there. Doesn't that sound like fun?"

Since I had never been in the gallery and I never heard of a fashion show, how would I know if it sounded like fun?  It didn't really matter, though, because I always have fun with Mommy, especially when my sisters are stuck at home.  We went in the gallery and I saw lots of dogs -- dogs wearing clothes!  What was that about?  I thought only people wear clothes!  The only time I saw dog clothes was when Mommy tried to put a sweater on my little sister Izzy.  I guess Izzy knew that dogs aren't supposed to wear clothes because she grabbed it out of Mommy's hands and tried to rip it up.

There was a long, raised white aisled down the middle of the gallery.  Mommy pointed and told me that's where the models in the fashion show were going to walk.  I still didn't understand.  We watched the dogs walk down the aisle, which I learned is called a runway, and then we saw tall, beautiful women wearing beautiful clothes walk down the runway.  Mommy could see that I was confused.  She explained that in a fashion show, models walk down the runway so people can see new styles of clothes.

Boots came over to us, tapped Mommy on the shoulder, and told her that people wanted me to walk down the runway.  Me?  Wow!  I was excited.  I love getting attention and I was pretty sure all the people there would watch me.  Mommy does not love getting attention so she asked Marcy to walk with me.  People agreed that Marcy and I are beautiful!  Since I am neither tall nor thin like the models, I was surprised.

The fashion show was to raise money for MC PAW, a Montgomer County place that will keep and take care of animals while they are waiting for new homes.  I wish my sister LuLu had a place like that when she was little.  Maybe she would not have been hurt.

I am glad Mommy found her and adopted her into our family.  We gave her a safe and loving home.  She gives us lots of love, every single day.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Do Dogs Really Love Us?

Do dogs really love us? Mommy told me that the New York Times published an article by Gregory Burns, the author of a new book:“How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain.”  Here is an excerpt:

 With the help of my friend Mark Spivak, a dog trainer, we started teaching Callie to go into an M.R.I. simulator that I built in my living room. She learned to walk up steps into a tube, place her head in a custom-fitted chin rest, and hold rock-still for periods of up to 30 seconds. Oh, and she had to learn to wear earmuffs to protect her sensitive hearing from the 95 decibels of noise the scanner makes.

After months of training and some trial-and-error at the real M.R.I. scanner, we were rewarded with the first maps of brain activity. For our first tests, we measured Callie’s brain response to two hand signals in the scanner. In later experiments, not yet published, we determined which parts of her brain distinguished the scents of familiar and unfamiliar dogs and humans.

Soon, the local dog community learned of our quest to determine what dogs are thinking. Within a year, we had assembled a team of a dozen dogs who were all “M.R.I.-certified.”

Although we are just beginning to answer basic questions about the canine brain, we cannot ignore the striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus.
I can't wait for Mommy to read me the book. She says it might be hard for me to understand, but that’s OK.  When I don’t understand something, I just draw my eyebrows together and tilt my head to the side.  Mommy knows that she needs to give me an explanation. 

If Mr. Burns asked, I would have happily told him exactly what I feel and think. Yes, dogs love humans, and yes, we miss them when they leave the room, (unless we're too busy eating!) Perhaps he'll read my book too, 
Tales from a Tail Wagging Dog, and then he'll really know how deeply dogs love humans.​

Monday, September 16, 2013

How Old is Too Old

I love my mommy, but she sure does confuse me sometimes.  We were out walking so I could go potty.  LuLu and Izzy had already had their walk.  Mommy always cleans up after us, so she was carrying the bag with their poop, waiting for mine.  While we were walking, we passed some people.  They waved at us.

Mommy had my leash in her left hand so she waved with her right, which had the bag in it.  She said, "I sure am glad that bag didn't break when I waved to those people.  I'm telling you, Ethel Frances, I think I am getting too old to walk around carrying a bag of poop!"

I wondered what she meant, but I can't talk.  I couldn't ask the question, so I didn't get an answer. I just figured that however old she is and however long she has dogs, she will have to carry around bags of poop.

After we got home, I was resting and all of a sudden I heard Mommy yell, "Izzy!  What did you do?  What is wrong with you?  You don't have to answer.  I will tell you what you did.  You peed on the floor and I just stepped in it!  Why aren't you housebroken like your sisters?  You are too old to be peeing in the house!"

There was that "too old" saying again.  Mommy is too old to carry bags of poop and Izzy is too old to pee in the house.  I know Mommy is older than Izzy because Mommy was a grown up when she adopted Izzy and Izzy was just a baby.  So how can Izzy be too old, especially since she is the youngest in the house?

I wonder what I am too old to do?  I guess I will find out one day when Mommy thinks I am old enough to understand!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ethel Frances Wants to Know How Mommy Colors her Hair

I already wrote about haircuts, but before I got any answers to my questions about haircuts, I have another question.  How in the world can Mommy color her hair?

Mommy was standing in front of the mirror for a long time.  She was looking through her hair the way she looks through mine when she thinks I might have fleas.  She looks through my hair from the tip of my tail to the end of my nose.  She talks while she looks.  "Oh, Ethel Frances, please tell me you don't have fleas!  I can't cope with them right now.  If you have them, LuLu and Izzy probably do, too.  Please, please don't have fleas!"

Of course I can't answer Mommy because I don't speak English and she doesn't understand Dog Language. It would be so much easier if we were both bilingual.  I could just say, "I don't have fleas, Mommy."  When she finally finishes going through every hair on me, she says, "No fleas, Ethel Frances!  What a relief!"

These are not the words Mommy used when she was looking through her hair.  Instead of looking for fleas, she was looking for gray hair.  From the look on her face, I think she found a whole bunch.   She looked at me and said, "Ethel Frances, my gray roots are showing.  I have to color my hair tonight.  I have to get rid of all that gray."

I had no idea how she was going to fix her hair with crayons!  I know all about crayons because my cousins Ryan and Allison have an art room in their house.  They showed me their crayons -- I bet they have a thousand -- and they showed me how they draw pictures and color them with their crayons.  Their pictures are always colorful and happy.

As I was thinking about crayons, I was trying to figure out how Mommy could use them.  In my mind, I pictured Mommy putting her head on the counter.  Then I pictured her taking a brownish reddish crayon. That was as far as my mind would go.  I just could not figure out how Mommy could color every hair on her head.

 Mommy picked up a box and she saw me watching her.  "Ethel Frances, this is the hair dye I use to get rid of my gray hairs.  See."  She took out everything in the box and mixed them together in a bottle.  The mixture was gloppy and smelled kind of bad.  Mommy put it all over her hair, waited for a while, and rinsed it out.

Sure enough, her gray hair was gone.  I don't know who invented hair dye, but I know my mommy would like to thank that person for making her life easier.  I am sure putting glop on her hair and rinsing it out takes way less time then using crayons on each and every hair.

That means Mommy has more time to spend with my sisters and me.  I would like to thank that person, too!

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