The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Words on the Street

The other day a lady came into the shop. She seemed to know Elizabeth quite well, even though I had never seen her before (and I’ve been bookshop dog for a long time now). They greeted each other like long lost friends.

And it turns out that that is kind of what they were! Apparently, this new woman, who we’ll call Mathilda, used to work for Elizabeth a long time ago (at least several dog generations…), before she became a poet for hire. That’s right. And now that she has become a poet for hire, she has returned to the great Northwest from Savannah, Georgia.

Mathilda set up on our national holiday, July 1st. Some holiday. Everyone around here seemed to be working! Or shopping. Or sightseeing. But I digress….

Mathilda and Walter hard at work on a poem… for me!

Mathilda set up a little table in front of the shop, and whenever someone came walking down the sidewalk, she would start clacking away on Walter. Walter, Elizabeth informs me, is a pre-computer writing machine. Funny to see it being used to do something as cutting edge as busking poetry!

Writing poetry on the spur of the moment for hire is so cutting edge that most people don’t seem to get what Mathilda is doing. Things were pretty slow that first day. Mathilda sat with Walter and her stack of index cards waiting for requests. I felt a bit sorry for her, roasting under the afternoon sun, waiting, waiting.

Elizabeth came over to where I was lying. “Would you like a poem from Mathilda, Stella?”

I blinked, which is my way of telling her YES.

“What would you like her to write about?”

It wasn’t a question I could give my yes or no answer to, so I waited a minute for her to think.

“What about cookies?”

I just stared at her, which is my way of saying NO.

“What about rides?”

I stared back.

She got a wicked grin on her face and asked, “What about wood ticks?”

I blinked. A dog can only stare so long, you know. And Elizabeth ran outside.

I could hear the conversation through the window.

“Stella says, ‘Wood ticks.'”

Mathilda shifted uneasily in her chair. “There are wood ticks here? Downtown?”

“No. Stella says, wood ticks.”

Well, Mathilda is pretty quick on the uptake. You need to be when you are a typewriter poet for hire. “Oh, I get it. Oookaaay. Wood ticks it is!”

Elizabeth came back inside. I walked over to my treat bag and nudged it, then looked up at Elizabeth.

“That’s okay, Stella. I’ll give her some money. I don’t think she can use those.” She pulled out a five dollar bill and put it in her pocket. I could hear Walter rushing to write exactly what Mathilda told him to. In a few minutes, he was quiet again.

I went out to pay for my poem, but it wasn’t ready yet. I watched as Mathilda and Walter went back to work. Another couple of minutes, and Mathilda pulled the index card from Walter’s mouth, and she turned to me. “Shall I read it to you, Stella?”

She did.

I found my poem very amusing!

It was pretty good. And it made me laugh, too. Elizabeth was laughing, but she laughed at different places, which was odd, but then…

What do you think? Want to get one of your own? Contact us!

I decided I would share it with you folks, in hopes that you will drop by or send us a message asking for a poem. Mathilda is a story writer and is trying to earn some extra money writing these while she waits for her stories to go into books and then into bookshops like ours. It takes a long time for that to happen.

Elizabeth says that Walter can work on post cards, too, so if you are far away and can’t come to the shop, we can have them do up a poem on one of our post cards for you and pop it in the mail. Just add $3.00 to your donation to Mathilda to pay the postage and for the card! And Elizabeth says to be sure and email her with your address so she can  send it. Watch the the Walt & Mattie Shedule on the bookshop site so you know when Mathilda and Walter are here to take your orders in person.

Hope to see/hear from you soon!

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Catching Up!

The scribe and I have been very busy over the last month or so, so we haven’t been able to fill you in on all that’s been happening for a while. And there has been a lot happening around here! So, since this is a holiday weekend in Canada, we decided to take a little time to catch you up on our lives through a series of posts…

First we’ll catch you up on Walter’s news.
Walter, Lil the Egg Lady informs us, is getting less sticky with every day. He gets very excited when the flock of rehabilitated pigeons come to visit Lil’s house for food and to cheer Walter up. He hops around and calls out to them and then they all spend time telling him the neighbourhood news. Last we heard, Lil was hoping to send Walter to a halfway house a bit closer to his old downtown haunts (still in the country, but closer to town than Lil) run by one of the local librarians. This means that Walter is almost all better now. We’ll let you know when we hear more!

Second…
Remember I had a birthday in August? We celebrated by having a flash sale at the bookshop. Anyone who wished me Happy Birthday got a 5% discount. If they sang Happy Birthday to me, they got 10% off. If they got their picture taken with me and their purchase, they got a whopping 15% knocked off their book buy! Elizabeth has tried this before without much success so, we were really surprised by the number of people who went for the full deal.
Here is my photo album of Birthday Song! (click on the first photo to enter the Gallery)

FLASH SALE!

Today is my Birthday! I’m eight years old now. That makes me the oldest member of staff at the bookshop in two-legger years. Kay is still has me beat, though…

First Day in my New Home - Big Bed all to Myself!

First Day in my New Home (seven weeks old) – Big Bed all to Myself!

Elizabeth and I want to celebrate the day by doing something special. We can’t have a traditional party at the shop because it’s too full, and the crowds of people would probably overwhelm us. The usual bottlenecks would get all jammed up and two-leggers would get stuck and I’d need to hide because, much as I love my fans, sometimes I just need to take a wee break and be alone for a while, and cake and drinks in a bookshop really aren’t such a great idea and… well, you get the picture. What to do?

I thought up a grrrreat idea! It only works for my local fans, but then, so would a party, so this is what we’re going to do:

  1. Come in and see me at the bookshop today. Wish me happy birthday and I’ll give you half my usual cut (5%) off your book purchase!
  2. Sing me Happy Birthday and I’ll give you my whole commission on your purchase (10%).
  3. If you sing and hold up your book purchase and let the scribe take you picture with me for the blog and a poster of the celebration for the shop, Elizabeth will give you another 5% off your book purchase! Then I’ll have something to remember the day. That’s important to me because I’m getting old now and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.

My most recent portrait. Not as cute as I once was, but I’m still very cuddlable! (Note the soft focus. We used that option to hide my wrinkles.)

I hope all my Kenora friends and visitors will drop in and wish me a Happy Birthday today. I’m really excited to see you all!

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