Raccoon Dogs–Wild Dogs of Asia

Doesn’t this look like a raccoon? The animal in the photo isn’t even related to a raccoon.  It’s called–you guessed it–a raccoon dog.  It belongs to a species discovered in the cold regions of Asia more than two hundred years ago. In the 1800s, Chinese trappers realized the economic potential of raccoon dogs. Their lush […]

The Cockroach That Ran off with a Stick of Spaghetti

A friend recently told me that her aunt saw a cockroach run off with a stick of dry spaghetti.  I asked whether the aunt was in the habit of telling tall tales. My friend said no. Now I wonder whether cockroaches can really do this. If I knew the aunt was a fibber, I would […]

The Joy of Anger

I like to be right.  When I’m in a conflict with someone, I like to feel I’ve got the truth on my side and the other person is wrong.  What’s more, I want the other person to realize it. I’d like to lose my temper and have my adversary get all contrite and apologize. Anger […]

More on Blind Dogs

A few weeks ago, my 9-year-old beagle-chihuahua mix, Trudy, went blind from sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS)—(see my earlier blogs). Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time on internet message boards such as blinddogs.net and blinddog.info. Recently, a woman posted a message about her 5-year-old pug with SARDS.  She wrote: “He went from […]

Life of a Tick

The life of Mr. Tick (or Ms. Tick) starts as a single egg bunched up with thousands of others.  Once the mother has accomplished the Herculean task of giving birth, she dies. Mr. Tick hatches as a tiny larva with six legs.  This early in life, he can go without food for months, but eventually […]

Timex or Rolex?

Timex, hands down. Please understand, I don’t have a grudge against Rolex watches because I can’t afford one–although, at an average price of $8000, it would pinch a little.  I like the way the Timex looks–modest, practical, tasteful.  It doesn’t shout, “Look at me! I’M RICH!”  Also, a  Timex watch is not a fussy gadget. It’s […]

The Maned Wolf– Wild Dog of South America

The maned wolf of South America is not a wolf at all, but a wild dog–but  it looks like a cross between a wolf and a fox.  Maned wolves live in open grasslands, on the edges of forests or in the marshlands of Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Taller than any other wild dogs, maned […]

Paynes Prairie State Park

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Granny Buys an RV

A few years ago when I was in my mid-seventies, I bought an RV—a 32-foot Class C Dodge that had been driven all over the U.S. by missionaries for 35 years.  After having the vehicle repaired and restored to good working condition, I planned to camp in Florida state parks with my dog.  For my […]

The Wonderful Banana Spider

Walking on a pier recently in Cedar Key, Florida, my daughter Amy and I spotted a large spider web stretched over the handrails.  A banana spider the size of my hand sat in the middle.  I handed Amy my camera. Not until I transferred the photo to my computer at home did I appreciate the spider’s […]

My Pet Memorial Garden

A pet memorial garden sits among the trees in my yard.  A sculpture of three happy old women on a wooden fence overlooks the gravestones of pets who have lived with me over the last thirty years.  The “Grandmothers” were created by Kirsten Engstrom, an artist from Hawthorne, Florida. She also made the monk that […]

When Dogs Go Blind

The good life isn’t over for dogs who go blind.  If they don’t have eye pain—which most don’t—and the disease that caused the blindness is treatable, they can lead happy lives.  For example, my blind dog Trudy has underlying Cushing’s disease, which can be controlled with drugs, although she’ll never get her sight back.  She […]