Tag Archive: dogs



Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People ProblemsHelp Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems by Janet Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve fallen behind in my reading goal for this year so I decided to include a few picture books or other short books to catch up. Most of the books I’m reading lately are quite long. So these are a bit of a relief for my eyes and energies.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Jumped out at me when I visited the library last. I loved the cute dog on the cover and decided that would be a good one to try.

The idea of a dog answering letters for other dogs with people problems was delightful. I loved the sneaky letters after Mr. Mutt’s reply from Queen the cat were hilarious. I loved that Mr. Mutt was able to give charts to prove his answers (though I wonder at his fact finding abilities–seems rather fake news to me). Still, the dogs reading said letters would be grateful to see their desires as proven fact. A great introduction to charts and how they work!

And while I think this was all fun and games, I think a good pet owner would insert proper care for said pets when reading this book aloud to a child. After all, if a child were to read this to his or herself, he might think it okay to give pets people food or sugary foods, or follow other advice not so good for a dog or cat. Still, read with a sense of humor it could be a fun book for parent and child or teacher and students to share.

And did I mention the illustrations? They were awesome! Fun read!

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Kali and I took a walk today.  Well, we actually took two walks.

We went west nearly a block, there is a house with a big dog that isn’t tied up or fenced in. I’ve made friends with that dog on previous walks without Kali. I just didn’t want Kali’s walk to be scary. Then came back home. I offered her treats as I got to our driveway telling her this is “home”.

Neither of us was ready to go inside. It was not windy. There was enough sun to be wonderful outside. So we walked to the end of our dirt road and turned south.

Right there on that corner, our neighbor has three big dogs. They are in his fenced yard. But they bark at everything that passes. I walk Kali on a tight leash on the other side of the street. I tell her I’m afraid of those dogs and to stay close to me. She is getting it. She whines a little. I remember Cesar’s training of dogs and “sssss” or “shshshshsh” her while keeping the leash tight. Once past the dogs, we relax. I give her the length of her leash.

We walked to the end of that block. I’ve never walked in that direction. With no car, our walks have always been toward our little town. But now that there is a car in our household, though it is gone with my brother to work every day, we have no great need. He picks up the mail or groceries. So Adventure! new route to explore!

Then we walked back home. Past the barking-dog-corner and driveway, “home” + treat. Then we went in to rest. I realized I didn’t have the map or mileage of the walk.

It wasn’t that far so when Kali wanted to do the “outside” thing again we donned harness, vest, leash, sunglasses, sweatshirt, hat–I think you know who wore what–we took the same walk. This time I made sure I had the app turned on, on my phone.

Well, the walking west part was the same. The walking east was the same. But when we went south we explored more. We got to see the back of our property. We got to see the haybarn I can see from my kitchen window. So cool!

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Easy to see in this old winter picture. Now no snow and it is green sagebrush everywhere. It looks like a quick walk–if there were no fences between here and hay barn. But going around the block was much longer.

So it was a fun day with two walks. Saw things up close I had not seen that way before. Maybe next time I will make sure to take pictures. After all–the satellite for the GPS couldn’t track me so all I had at the end was that each walk was about 40 minutes long. I estimated about 2 miles or 4. Don’t know. Whatever, it was was good for Kali and me. She’s knocked out beside me. And not nearly as shaky as she has been.

So how do you all handle the other dogs issues on your walks? I trust Kali, just not so much those big dogs.


Desert Places: A Woman's Odyssey with the Wanderers of the Indian DesertDesert Places: A Woman’s Odyssey with the Wanderers of the Indian Desert by Robyn Davidson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew! I am glad to be finished reading this book. Not that the writing was poor or that I hated the author. Quite the opposite. Having just finished Robyn Davidson’s ‘Tracks’ about her trek across Australia, I wanted more. So when I saw this book was free with Kindle Unlimited I grabbed it. And as tortuous as the book was to read, I am glad I read it.

If someone were to ask me where I’d least like to go to visit, India would be at the top of the list. Too many people, too caste-set. But before you get on a high horse and tell me what for, I will allow that I never would have wanted to go to Alaska either. But I loved that trip so much! There isn’t a day I don’t think of the beauty and wonder of that cold world. So if the opportunity came, I think I would go to India. Just to see for myself if I could be won over.

But this book didn’t help my prejudices resolve. In fact, it all became worse. With each chapter, I was more and more depressed for the author. This was not her favorite trek. As a woman, a feminist, India isn’t a place to show your independence. Robyn is both and thereby found her way blocked at every turn.

Look, I wanted to give this book five stars. The writing is that good. But how can one rate highly a book that makes one miserable? The saving grace? Camels! I have learned to love these creatures through Ms. Davidson’s eyes. Okay, up from three to four stars. Let India’s rich, corrupted men see that lack of a star as a judgement of them. I challenge them to prove otherwise.

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TracksTracks by Robyn Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how I hated to see the end of this story. I absolutely loved it! I was lucky enough to pick it up on Kindle Unlimited. Then I saw that there was an Audible version. I bought that. I’m glad I did. I loved listening to Angie Milliken tell me the story. Even though the KU went back to Amazon, I still have the story to listen to again, later.

When I was a girl, at the zoo, I was talking to a camel and he spit at me. Yuck! I hated camels ever since. But between Robyn Davidson’s story and Angie Milliken’s voice I wish I could be around camels, make friends with them.

This is the first book in a long time that I didn’t try to fast forward. There’s no speed reading about a trek across Australia. It was a long hike. I wanted to relish every word of it. If I can’t do the trek myself I will absorb the experience vicariously.

Being alone, Robyn shared her inner conflicts along the track. These were worries about the world in general or psychological problems. Both were discussed with frankness. She alternately shared wonders of Australia’s splendor or the barren rottenness, left overs of the non-ecologically sound non-natives. All the while keeping up with her four camels and her dog.

Shoot! This review doesn’t go near the wonder I felt as I read and listened to it. If you get the chance, please pick of a copy for yourself. I look forward to seeing the movie!

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Review: Striking Mars


Striking Mars
Striking Mars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best sci-fi series I have ever read. Lots of space travel and well researched situations to keep the reader engaged. Check out my reviews on the previous four books to feel my glow. I am so excited that there is going to be yet one more book that I totally turned ‘Fan Girl’. As soon as I finished reading this book last night I wrote to the author to gush and beg for the next one. Gosh, I can’t wait to read six. It is supposed to be out this Spring, yet another reason I want Winter to LEAVE!

Once again, I am so impressed with the main character Jess and her autistic (?) hacker brother, Ethan. There is a lot of enjoying time on Mars through the family left there, time on Earth, and even time on the Moon. It was just so much fun!

Please do yourself a favor and grab the triology for $2.99 Then enjoy a great adventure. Then follow up with the science links that Ms. Swanson puts in the back of the book. It is worth every penny!

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