Daddy loves animals, and a while ago he started buying sunflower seeds to feed our neighborhood bird and squirrel buddies. I help too and throw out seeds with Daddy in the mornings so that no one will go hungry.
We have lots of different birds of all colors that come around now, and we have a few squirrels that come every day too. One new squirrel buddy, though, seems to want to come inside to play (and eat my food). He puts his paws on the glass and looks back and forth. He is a curious little buddy, and I like to play with him because he does not run away when he sees me and puts his paws on my hands instead.
See him there? There he is while I am eating, looking in at me. I think he may have wanted his seeds and my pasta, too. I am learning all about sharing, little buddy, and I could let you in and give you pasta if Mama let me. Mama says that he would not really want to come in, though, because our doggie Django is a “rat terrier” and he is made to go after little creatures that move fast.
I guess his place is outside looking in, and that’s okay… after all, he is much different than me. I just watched The Fox and the Hound, so I understand that sometimes relationships have to be done a different way in order to make them work. You can still play with me, little fuzzy guy, at the window, and we can still be friends like Copper and Todd.
“And we’ll always be friends forever.” — Young Todd, The Fox and the Hound
Well, hello there, giraffe friend. I have a stuffed animal buddy that is one of you that I snuggle with at night. He came all the way from NYC, but I hear that your family is way, way far away all the way in a place called Africa. I saw it on our big family map in our eating room, and it is an awfully long way from where we are in the United States.
My buddy has a long neck, but he isn’t big at all like you, and your neck is way longer. Maybe he is a long lost cousin of yours.
When you let me pet you so gently (I was very careful because my Daddy told me to touch you softly), you rubbed against my face, and your fur was short and a little bit rough against my skin. When I gave you food your tongue went around my whole hand, but you were so, so gentle. When you looked at me, your eyes were soft and sparkly. I know that you aren’t in Africa, but you seemed peaceful when you looked at me.
One big thing that Mama and Daddy are teaching me is a love for all animals everywhere. We do our best not to hurt anything, so we don’t eat animals or wear animals or go places where animals aren’t happy. You seemed happy though in your home, the Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, and you gave happiness to me, too.
Thank you, giraffe buddy, for sharing the day with me. I hope that you loved me as much as I loved you.
A little while back, Mama and Daddy and me all got to go on a long car ride all the way up to a place called “Pittsburgh.” Pittsburgh is a really big city in a giant state called “Pennsylvania,” and we got to do lots of really fun things there. Mama and Daddy’s friends, Dave and Michelle, invited us to visit them and their son, Josh.
Josh is my friend now, too. Josh is older than me, and he’s a great snuggler and play buddy. He has something called “Cerebral Palsy,” so his movement is different than mine and he has a chair that helps him get from place to place. He doesn’t let that slow him down much though… he moves all around a lot and he likes to stay really busy, which is part of why I loved him so, so much, because I don’t like to slow down, either. We got to play and play and play and in the days that I was there.
They have a bird named Bo that talks to everyone and whistles too. I had no idea that birds could talk because the ones in the sky that I see all of the time chirp in their own language. Everyone kept telling me not to put my fingers in the cage because little fingers like mine end up looking like something that she should bite even though Bo is a really nice bird that likes belly rubs. That was really, really hard to do because I like to touch everything, especially pretty and soft things, but I had to listen because the word “no” was used in that serious and loud way that means that the big people mean business and that what they are saying is important. I stood in front of the cage instead and said “birdie” and watched her instead and dreamed about the day when my fingers would be big enough to rub her belly and her head like the big people.
They also have kitties, although they did not seem to be giant fans of me running fast, but they didn’t run away from me like my kitty Jenga at home does. My favorite though was their giant doggie named Bruno that is a Pit Bull Mastiff mix, and he is one of Josh’s big protectors in life. Bruno is the biggest doggie that I have ever seen, much bigger than our little Mr. Django puppy. He is older so I couldn’t climb all over him, but I got to rest my head on him and hug him all that I wanted to. He was so sweet and gentle, and there is just something about putting your arms around a big warm puppy that makes your heart happy. Mama tells me that a man named Charles Shultz said that “happiness is a warm puppy.” That man was a wise one, I think, and Mama agrees because she said she loves this kid named Charlie Brown and this puppy named Snoopy, and Charles Shultz created them.
Dave and Michelle and Josh took us to see the big city, too. We went on a “Duckie Boat” tour and I even got to drive the boat (I have a little sticker to prove it in my little travel book). We saw all of the water because it is a river city like Richmond, my city, is, and we got to see all of the giant buildings downtown and the inclines that go up, up, up.
It was Memorial Day weekend, so we got to cook out and remember everyone who has fought for our country. At the end of all of the eating part, we went outside and got to play with these things called “sparklers.” It was the first time I had seen those and held them, and they are shiny but hot. Mama and Daddy were very careful to let me know that I could not touch the pretty light at the top. I thought that shiny and hot things and food are what Memorial Day is all about, but Mama and Daddy say that it is an important holiday to remember and that it is all about honoring those that we have lost. I don’t really get it yet, but Mama and Daddy tell me that when I am bigger I will know much more about Memorial Day and what it means.
Josh’s got to play with some of them too, and his whole face lit up just like the sparklers because he was so happy. July 4th is apparently all about family and friends and happiness, too.
It was so, so fun that time went by really fast, and before we knew it, we had to head back home. It hasn’t been long, but I miss them already, and I can’t wait to go back. I think that I might just be a big fan of Pittsburgh, and I know that I am a big, big fan of Dave and Michelle and Josh. 🙂
There are so many different types of creatures in the world, and I am busy learning them all. There are doggies, my very favorite, and kitties (who don’t seem to like me chasing them as much as doggies do), and turtles that swim around and crawl too.
I have been to an animal park too, so I have seen other animals too that come from all over, like giraffes, and little monkeys, and chimpanzees, and goats, and llamas, and reindeer (who I hear help Santa out during Christmas time).
Besides doggies, though, my very favorite is fishies. Mama says you just say “fish,” and she maybe knows because she teaches writing, but I prefer the word fishies because it is easier and more fun to say.
I love fishies because I adore water and always want to be in it as much as I can—puddles, baths, pools… any water at all. What fishies do is live in the water, and they can’t ever even get out because they breathe under there like we breathe out in the air. They just swim around and around in the water all day. I think that if I had to pick a creature that I got to be, I would pick them because I would get to swim around all day long every day.
I can’t really be a fishie, although I can pretend to be one when I am playing in the water. What I can do, though, is go places and watch the fishies, like at the big park called Maymont near our house or at lakes or even in big fishie tanks. There are lots of places with fishies around, and I can pretty much spot them from a mile away, making the big people come and look, too. I watch them and watch them until the big people tell me that it is time to go, and even then I never want to. I could sit and look at them all day.
Sometimes they look at me too, and I wonder if they want to be a Dorian like I want to be a fishie. It’s okay little buddies, you’ve got a pretty good deal there under the water, swimming and free.
Sometimes, when I am feeling very strong and brave, I become a dinosaur, roaring through the house tossing my toys and bearing my very sharp teeth. Other times I am a very gentle kitty, moving around the house quietly slinking around the corners meowing, waiting for Mama and Daddy to pet me or pick me up. I can also be my very favorite type of animal, a doggie, going around the house woofing and sticking out my tongue to pant. When I slide on my belly I look like a snake, slithering and slick.
Right now I am being a raccoon, and I even have the right face for it. Raccoons are very sneaky and they take snacks that they aren’t supposed to, and they can get into things that they shouldn’t be getting into too. Mama says that they are the troublemakers of the animal kingdom. Well, Mama and Daddy, if you think about it, I am always a little bit like a raccoon. I do all of the things that you told me that raccoons do, and sometimes I get into trouble spots too, like when I climb onto the dining room table but can’t get down or like when I balance on very little things on my tippy toes in order to try to get the things further back on the counters. I also put everything in my mouth, and I love lots of different foods like they do. If you just wait until I am a little bit bigger, I will be able to get into more and more and more things and will be more raccoon-like.
Why do you look a bit worried, Mama? Is it because I have frightened you with my raccoon ways? It’s okay, I know what I am doing, because I have become a sneaky, trouble-making expert, but I will be safe and sound… just as long as you guys keep watching out to rescue me over and over again.
Good morning, Mr. Django, my little puppy best friend. Do you want to play? I have your toy right here in my hand. We can wrestle and play the tug-of-war game that you love so much. You can pretend to growl and jump a bit, and I can squeal and run.
I have it behind my back now, see? You can’t get it right now, because I have it. It’s a puppy-baby stare down contest. I win though, Mr. Django, I win every time because I am a little girl and you know that you have to be very gentle with me. That’s what makes you such a good friend.
I still have it, Mr. Django. I’ll give it back in just a second, right when you are getting ready to jump behind my back to find it. Don’t worry, Mr. Django, I’m getting ready to tug-of-war you. In this war, though, remember, I am the clear winner, and my prize is the slobbery puppy toy. And kisses, you can also give me puppy kisses.
There you go, Django puppy. It’s right there and you can get it, but you have to give it right back to me to play again and again and again. Okay… and… go.
Today was a special day for me. Usually we wake up and I play in the morning with Mama, but today I got to get new shoes with Nana and Mama. We went back to Saxon’s Shoes just like last time, and they put that giant metal shoe fitter machine against my foot. Guess what? My feet got a whole size bigger than they used to be.
I had a wonderful lady with long hair that was very nice help me to fit my shoes so my feet would be all cozy. Then Betty, my favorite shoe lady that was with me last time, helped to make sure that they fit just right all the way around so that my feet can be as fast as I can make them and I can make my running speed even faster. Mama told me that this scares her a little because I am already very fast.
The best thing? Is that they are tennis shoes just like Mama and Daddy. Now I have shoes to run in and exercise just like them, only they are small and my size, so they don’t slip off when I try to go fast, and I don’t have to shuffle my feet.
See? I am just like Mama now, and even Mr. Django loves my new shoes. My kitty, Jenga, does not agree as she does not want me to be any faster than I already am. She is a bit afraid of me. I don’t know why– I meow at her and I try to make friends. I think that it is the hugs that scare her a little. I can be really into showing love, and I might hug just a bit too tightly sometimes.
There’s Jenga in the background. She doesn’t look too happy about my new go-fast shoes, but that’s okay. You can’t please everyone after all, and I love them. Thanks, Mama and Nana, for helping me get new shoes, and thanks Saxon’s, especially Betty, for making my making my getting new shoes time so, so special.