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

Posts tagged ‘Dog Poetry’

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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Woeful Wednesday…

Watching for Spring

Another bite of Dog Poetry: this experiment in free verse by Yours Truly, Stella the Great Newfenees and Bookshop Dog.

I love Winter.

I love the snow.

I love the cold.

I love everything about this season…

We were made for each other.

Great Newfenees Tracks


But everywhere I go now,

everywhere I turn,

I notice things are changing.

The river’s edge is softening.

Paws soak up shoreline slush.

Feels unpleasant.

Feels unsafe.


On Sunday,

it was Easter.

And Winter?

Just a whitecap

breaking on time’s strand.

Found some Spring

We Two Kings of Occident Are…

A couple of weeks ago, everyone here was celebrating Christmas. There was a lot of build-up to it among two-leggers (there always seems to be) – people decorating and putting up lights all along the big gravel path, people rushing into stores with lists of things to buy…. And this year, my blogging friend Rumpydog decided to make it more fun for us dogs, not to mention more accessible! He acted as go-between for dogs everywhere who wanted to contact the dog equivalent of St. Nick, Santa Paws!

Well, with all the furor in two-leggerdom, I decided maybe I should explore the idea of Santa Paws and the possibilities in writing to him as my pal Rumpy suggested. And Santa Paws got my letter! Not only that, but dogs everywhere added their voices to support my Christmas wish. You can go into Rumpydog’s blog and read it here if you haven’t seen it yet.

So, I had high expectations for Christmas. Last year was good, This year was going to be exceptional! I’m glad my letter didn’t get to Santa Paws any earlier, because if it had, I wouldn’t have been able to bear the suspense! (It was hard enough waiting to see if Santa Paws actually got it – I didn’t know until Rumpy told me he’d posted it on his blog, you see.)

Christmas morning. Elizabeth came out and took me for a walk. Nothing new there. She let me off my lead when we got to the big gravel path and I raced for home. Elizabeth. Took. Her. Time.

When we got in, everything seemed just as usual. No new scents. No sense of tension or excitement.

Elizabeth fixed me up a bowl of food: my usual kibble. But today she made it special by adding some chicken-ball stuff and some special gravy Kay made for me. It was reeeeally good – I pushed my dish all the way over to the food cooling box trying to get every last little morsel licked up. But it still wasn’t what I’d asked Santa Paws for.

After the two-leggers had also eaten, Elizabeth brought me my Christmas present. It isn’t that I didn’t appreciate it. I love pig ears and, since the vet told Elizabeth I’m not to have any rawhide or jerky, I haven’t had one. So this really was a special treat. And I treated it accordingly. And it was really good, too. But… it wasn’t what I’d asked Santa Paws for.

I’m afraid I moped a bit over the next few days. Elizabeth did her best to cheer me up. She explained to me that there are twelve days of Christmas. There’s even a song about it. I’m sure you know it; Elizabeth says it’s very famous:

On the fifth day of Christmas my two-legger gave me,
Five brocc’li stalks,
Bow wow bow wow wow,
Bow wow wow,
Bow wow bow wow wow,
And a Berryz cookie after my meal!

You know the one I mean.

She said that even the baby Jesus had to wait for his gifts from the Three Kings of Orient until Epiphany, which, she counted out for me, was the sixth of January, a.k.a. the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

That was Sunday.

I was lying on my Elizabeth’s bed while she worked on a project at her desk when I heard the rumble of a big growly beast outside. It was loud enough that I don’t think Elizabeth really needed me to tell her it was out there. We both ran to the door…

It was AL! And there, in the front seat of Al’s big red growly beast, was my dearest dog pal in all the world, Bud! Bud had come to see me for Christmas, all the way from Winnipeg, many, many dog miles away (I know ’cause I’ve been there). It’s a long trip for him ’cause he’s getting old, and sometimes he has trouble just getting into the growly beast for the ride now.

Al came to the door carrying a big heavy bag. If he’d had a beard, he would’ve looked just like St. Nick, I think. And in that big bag… Bud had brought me a Christmas present, too! More treats as well – I think they came from Joanne. I love my treats, and Joanne always has such yummy ones to share….

Even on Paper, Bud lights up my life...

Even on Paper, Bud lights up my life…

Getting down to business

Getting down to business

I'm trying hard to be tidy about this, but whatever is in there just isn't coming out!

I’m trying hard to be tidy about this, but whatever is in there just isn’t coming out!

The Aftermath of my exuberance!

The Aftermath of my exuberance!

And here’s what was inside:

Can I open this up, too? Please?

Can I open this up, too? Please?

Here's Bud's gift: A friend to remember him by. I'm calling him Justin (why is everybody laughing?) because he arrived just in time to make my Christmas. Thank you, Bud! You're the BEST!

Here’s Bud’s gift: A friend to remember him by. I’m calling him Justin because he arrived just in time to make my Christmas.
Thank you, Bud! You’re the BEST!

Thank you so much, Santa Paws. I knew in my heart I couldn’t have a full time dog-friend here. You did the next best thing by bringing Bud to visit and letting me know that he was still well and thinking about me, too. Thank you, Rumpy, for helping me get my message to Santa Paws and for instigating the Mutt ‘n Howl Telegraph. Christmas is wonderful!

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