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

Posts tagged ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’

Tail Thumper of the Week #20

Work, work, work! That’s all Elizabeth is doing this week. I think the only reason she’s helping me with my post today is because, well, it’s work!

Even so, she told me I’m going to have to make it snappy.  ~:o/=

Click on the picture to buy your copy and help a homeless dog in Kenora!

Click on the picture to buy your copy and help a homeless dog in Kenora!

So, I found something with both a dog AND an elastic on it! You can’t get much snappier than that!

This week’s Tail Thumper is for all you dog-lovers that also love to write. Each page of this medium-sized journal has a tiny picture of a dog in the bottom corner. You can stick your pen in an elastic holder right beside the pocket attached to the rear cover. You can use the book to plan your next dog-caper, take notes when you’re visiting the vet with your canine friend, you can write your next dog story in it… the possibilities are endless! And when you are finished writing, you put an elastic on the back cover around the front to keep the journal closed. Very clever!

And, like all my Tail Thumpers, if you buy the book through the link here, my sales commission will go to help the homeless dogs of Kenora through Kenora’s dog fostering network, It’s a Dog’s Life.

Happy Easter everybody!

Tail Thumper of the Week #19

Elizabeth tells me that Easter is coming up fast. When I asked her what Easter is, she said, “I think I have a dog book about it!”

We went downstairs to the Children’s book room and found it: Clifford’s Happy Easter by Norman Bridwell. It’s a book for little two-leggers!

As with all Tail Thumper books, I donate my commission on sales to help Kenora's homeless dogs. Click on the picture to buy your copy and help!

As with all Tail Thumper books, I donate my commission on sales to help Kenora’s homeless dogs. Click on the picture to buy your copy and help!

Clifford is a big red dog. When I say he’s big, I mean he’s really BIG. Just look at the cover photo… See the little girl hiding behind his ear? That’s REALLY REALLY BIG!

“I’ve never seen a dog that big,” I said to Elizabeth. “Is the illustrator using what you call artistic license?” Apparently that is nothing like a dog’s license, which I have rattling about on my collar with my rabies and name tags. Artistic license is where an artist fudges the facts to emphasize his or her point. I think….

“No, I think he’s real. He lives in Alaska. I thought it was just a story until I saw his footprint on the side of the highway going to Tok. It was huge… about twelve feet across!” I looked at her in disbelief. “I know, Stella. But it’s true! It could only have belonged to Clifford the Big Red Dog.” She says her brother didn’t stop so she could take a photograph.

I don’t believe her. Two-leggers see something in a book and they seem suddenly to become the most gullible creatures on the face of the planet.

Anyway… Clifford’s Happy Easter. It’s a silly book for little two-leggers up to about six years of age. It’s all about how, after a busy day painting Easter Eggs (What’s that all about? Eggs are for eating, not painting! Unless they’re peeping, like some I found on the shore one day. Then you leave them alone and very soon, little swimming flappers break out of them! It’s amazing!), Clifford’s very little two-legger (maybe she’s just so tiny that she makes Clifford look bigger), ends up dreaming about painting Clifford when she falls asleep that night.

Poor Clifford!

But the story will make your little two-leggers laugh.

And, if you buy the book through the links on this blog before March 31, it will make a homeless dog in Kenora happy, too! Remember, I’m giving my commission on this and all my previous Tail Thumper sales to It’s a Dog’s Life, Kenora’s dog fostering network to help look after all my homeless dog friends here. Get them while we still have stock at my Elizabeth’s bookshop!

Tail Thumper of the Week #17

I was supervising while Elizabeth did a bit of tidying in the Children’s section of the bookshop last week. We haven’t reviewed a children’s book for a while, so my sniffer was in gear. Somewhere in the thousands of children’s books Elizabeth has, there are some dog stories. I just know there are!

I knew this would be a great story when I saw the cover! Five huskies racing through the snow... What a life!

I knew this would be a great story when I saw the cover! Five huskies racing through the snow… What a life!
Click the photo to buy it and my commission on the sale will go to help Kenora’s homeless dogs through It’s a Dog’s Life!

“What about this one, Stella?” Elizabeth showed me the cover of the book and my tail began to thump. I had to use all the toes on one paw AND my dew claw to count the dogs there: Five. A Boy and Five Huskies! Wow!

Elizabeth tucked it in her backpack and we went home for the night. Before she took me out to my house, we had a cuddle and she began to read me the story of Eric. But something was wrong. Eric only had one husky, Inouk. And before long, he was giving Inouk away to a First Nations man they called Red Cousin! Using just one toe, I could see that meant that the story had become a tale of a boy and no huskies.

“What kind of story is that?” I whined.

“Oh, Stella…. Wait and see!” She showed me that there were still lots of pages left. Definitely not a one evening read, this book.

As we walked out to my house that evening, I asked Elizabeth some questions about the way they talked about Red Cousin in the story. It was clear that he was a good friend of Eric’s family. But the way he was presented and the way they called him Red Cousin…. I don’t know. It sounded a bit strange.

Elizabeth explained to me that the book was written almost sixty two-legger years ago (that’s 420 dog years!!), when an attitude called racism was more evident in some ways than it is today. Some two-leggers looked down their noses at people who were different, and it showed in the way they wrote about them, too. Sometimes what came across was unintentionally racist, but it still wasn’t anywhere near ‘politically correct’.

I found this racism idea rather curious – my poodle friends Nigel and Gilby don’t look down on me because I am a mixed breed. I don’t think any the less of Holly the Shih Tzu although her nose only touches my knees. Except when she jumps. She is a really good jumper!

But then I remembered some people who called me a scruffy mutt once, the breeder who said of me and my family, “They bred them on purpose?” and those books we’ve looked at that don’t talk about anything but purebred dogs…. I realized this racism thing must be a two-legger weakness.

“Should this book be read to little two-leggers if it reflects racist ideas?” I asked Elizabeth.

“Well, I think if parents who read it to their children talk to them about it like we’re talking now, it could be a valuable teaching tool. It helps to show how society’s views change over the years as people learn more about each other and how our differences make us stronger when we work and live together instead of using them as dividing lines. And the whole book isn’t bad. Most of it is just an exciting adventure for boys.”

We read on for several evenings, and she was right. The boy learns a lot about life from different people from different walks and stations in life, and he is pretty respectful of all of them. He learns some lessons about helping family members and friends when they are in need, even when it is difficult or painful. He learns a lesson in what happens when you don’t look after something essential to survival because you are distracted by something else. Eric learns how to survive in the wilderness and the importance of perseverance. That’s all good stuff to learn, I think.

And best of all? In the end, there are even more than five huskies that show up in the story!

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