January 03, 2009

Dog stories

Our five-year old son has been hard to put to sleep lately. He talks and asks questions and fidgets and wants to go to the bathroom or drink some milk. The last couple of nights though we tried something new. After stories and a snack and brushing teeth he lies in his bed and I tell him three dog stories, and then he doesn't have to sleep, he just has to rest quietly and think. After 10 minutes of thinking he is fast asleep. The key is the dog stories. Here are plot summaries of the stores so far.

1. St. Bernard. Strong faithful dog with keen sense of smell digs out avalanche victims and gives them rum.

2. Snoopy. Five sons (my Karkula cousins) and a black and white spotted dog who likes to jump in the boat and go fishing, watch when the fish are cleaned and eat fish cubes straight from the frying pan.

3. Chow chow with black tongue is out for a walk with his master and they discover an American Indian camp and watch them clean a buffalo and use the fur for a blanket and make buffalo stew and use a tiny buffalo bone as a sewing needle and make a drinking cup out of a horn. The dog gets a big buffalo bone to chew on.

4. Loosely based on Jack London's White Fang/Call of the Wild. Nice family dog discovers his roots in the wilderness and becomes a wolf.

5. Huskie goes out in a kayak with his master who harpoons a whale. Whale gets mad and breaks the kayak in two. The master is knocked out and the huskie swims him into shore and drags him onto a sled and pulls him back to the igloo, saving his life. The husky is rewarded with his favorite food: frozen chunks of fish.

6. Police dog captures bad guys and sniffs out stolen goods.

7. My brother's black lab Nico likes going for walks with kids, fetching and digging holes in the back yard.

8. My family's spaniel Goggles is out grouse hunting with Dad and my brothers and he runs off and doesn't come back. They call to Goggles and finally must drive home. Dad goes back after a few days and ties one of his T-shirts onto a tree in the woods where they had parked the car. Dad goes back yet again and there is Goggles by the shirt with his master's scent. Goggles never runs off again.

9. The younger brother whippet begs his parents to let him go to the dog races to show that he is faster than any other dog. He eats his food, sleeps at night and goes running every day, and wins the race.

10. The pirate dog's crew is lost at sea and thinks of eating him. The pirate dog climbs to the top of the mast and stands guard for three days. Finally he sees land and guides his crew to safety.

11. Seeing eye dog helps his blind master get through life.

12. Firehouse dalmation rides on the fire truck and saves a fireman from a burning building.

That was four night's worth of dog stories. Got any ideas??


At January 03, 2009 4:34 PM , Blogger Slip said...

A Basset hound with ears so long he trips on them.

An Afghan with odd colored fur. Makes people laugh. Laff-ghan.

Have you seen how much a Mastiff can drool? Gotta be something in there to work with.

At January 03, 2009 8:45 PM , Blogger reverend dick said...

Dogs can see and smell ghosts.

At January 03, 2009 11:20 PM , Blogger annie said...

Blood Hounds are pretty interesting. Some trivia to work with - they can smell a person from a single cell, dead people don't shed cells so are harder to track, their testimony is accepted in courts, they have been known to track people up to 500 miles, one dog is credited with 60 convictions, their ears hang down around their nose to help concentrate smells, very old breed - dating back to the Assyrians, best smellers - 1/3 of their brain is dedicated to smell, so gentle you have to keep children from hurting them because they would allow it, very soft, but they do tend to drool.

At January 03, 2009 11:27 PM , Blogger annie said...

My brother L had a dog that used to like to play fetch. One day he threw a stick and the dog started running. He kept running and never came back. Sad but true.

Bull dogs are good at skateboarding. I saw one on TV yesterday who had a special track built for a parade. Just seems to come naturally to them - they push along with 2 legs them hop on and ride.

my husband had a dog who used to like to dive for white rocks in the river.

Some dogs can smell when a diabetics' blood sugar is off kilter. There are also dogs that can smell certain kinds of cancer.

At January 04, 2009 12:15 AM , Anonymous Joe Strahl said...

Dogs are color-blind as opposed to Homo sapiens. What happens if a special dog is born who sees colors but not exactly the same as humans see and tries to deal with this in relation to other dogs etc.

At January 04, 2009 3:49 AM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

These are all really good stories and make me realize what great characters dogs are.

Here are a few of my dog stories:

Ernie the Cairn Terrier who went to great lengths to steal food from us and hide it to eat later. He once hid pizza pieces behind pillows in our house. He did the same thing with chocolate other times.

We lost a Basset Hound we were dog sitting on a snowy day. I was sick, because we couldn't get him back. How do you explain that you lost someone's dog? Then I followed his paw prints in the snow. It led me to a bush about 100 feet from my house where I found him. The path of the paw prints looked like a bumble-bee path from overhead. His nose was his greatest enemy.

We used to make up our own Carl the Dog stories. Have you seen the series of Carl the Dog books?

At January 05, 2009 11:37 PM , Anonymous Tim McGuire said...

Daphne the golden-doodle comes to visit for 6 days over thanksgiving. She is told by mom and by all three kids to stay off the furniture.

Dad comes home, lies down on bed. Waps hand on thigh for dog to join him. Dog lies down on bed. Mom and kids walk in. Dog gives them the most human, "in yo face" kind of look. Next morning, Dog and kids are all under blankets on couch watching TV.

Dog goes home to owners for re-education.

At January 06, 2009 4:33 AM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

There was the time that me and two friends and three dogs took Laura's Honda Civic as far as it could go on washed out dirt roads in the San Bernadino mountains, then walked down the indistinguishable roads until we got to the trailhead. Then we went down into the canyon to the hot springs, hung out there til dark, and when we got back to the trail head, we had no idea where to go. We started walking the wrong way, and Lena my black shepherd whom you met, basically cut me off and pushed me. She was pretty pissed off. But I knew she knew the way back, so we followed her. It was a long hike, and Tony finally gave up on her a hundred yards before we got to the car. We called back to Tony. Lena took the direct route. Of course, she anticipated human stupidity and had peed every 50 or so feet on the way in.

At January 06, 2009 4:41 AM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Then there was that rainy day in Griffith Park when Hattie, our ten pound Jack Russell, stuck her head in a hole only to discover a rattle snake den ala Raiders of the Lost Ark. Isaac, three years-old at the time, and I hear a snap, and a second later, Hattie rolled off the hill, her eye already swollen shut. Isaac immediately freaked out. I had read a Times article earlier that year about rattle snake bites, and I knew I had half an hour to get her to a vet with the anti-venom. I picked up both Isaac and Hattie and ran for the car. I got Hattie to the vet in fifteen minutes. The vet didn't think she would live, but she's outside right now standing next to the composter growling at a possom.

At January 06, 2009 4:54 AM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Here's another one... Our dog Tipper, the large crazy bloodhound shephard mix, died suddenly one Summer. We had driven from LA to Rochester, and Tipper was dehydrated and had just chugged a lot of water. There were several deer in the backyard and Tipper was a major predator. He somehow got out, chased the deer and bloated. He died 12 hours later. Before he died, a deer came out of the woods. He barked and died. I kinda thought it was like those cartoons where the spirit runs right out of its body. But that wasn't the story that I set out to tell.

The next day, Hattie, the crazy ten pound Jack Russell, escaped through the same screen door and chased a huge buck into a ten foot high cornfield. Laura was freaked out by the sudden demise of Tipper, so she was panicking. I ran into the corn field with no idea which way they went. There were lots of deer tracks in the mud, but fortunately, a ten pound Jack Russell leaves very distinctive tracks, so I followed them through the cornfield and into a construction site. I asked the construction workers if they had seen a dog. They said that a huge buck had run through the construction site followed by a little cute white dog. They told me to jump in their truck. A mile down the road we caught up to Hattie. I think she caught the buck, and it punted her through the air, because her head needed to be stitched up. I've got more, but I'll spare you. Oh yeah, did I mention that Jack Russells are very aggressive dogs.

At January 07, 2009 4:12 AM , Anonymous Bick said...

In PNG, the "singing dogs" use their voices and pack hunting and team work skills to hunt in deep tropical mountain valleys. They drive forest wallabies and small marsupials like quolls out into valley bottoms, running them until they tire and converge. The forest is thick primary forest and you can still hear them hunting on many nights from kilometers and kilometers away.

At January 07, 2009 10:00 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Note on my Lena leads us out of the mountains story: I wrote that up and submitted it to our local pet store, and Lena won dog of the month. The story was published in their newsletter, and they gave us a free bag of dog food.

At January 07, 2009 10:03 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Since you asked...

Tony and I were driving in his truck. Tipper needed exercise, so we were making him run behind us on a dirt road in Wisconsin. Suddenly, Tipper accelerated past the truck. We looked up the road, and there was this bear. The bear took off into the woods, and Tipper cut off the road after the bar. Seconds later, Tipper was in the woods barking his head off. I went to get him. He had treed the bear who was three times his size. I put Tipper on a leash and dragged him away.

At January 08, 2009 9:33 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Thanks everyone for the great dog stories! I have been feeding them to A, and then he sleeps.

At January 09, 2009 7:50 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

I'm glad you're using the stories. I've been doing the same thing with Isaac. Here's another one:

So Bill and I were camping out at Silver Lake the night before a big hike up the Rush Creek Trail. We used to sleep at the trail head, and hit the trail between 5 and 6 am. Tipper was killing ground squirrels left and right, so I tied him to a tree using an 18 foot steel enforced tie out with a metal latch holding it around the tree. He then proceeded to kill another dozen or so ground squirrels while tied up. He basically would freeze on the downwind side of their hole and when they popped their cute little heads up, he'd grab them by the head, give them two shakes and throw them into the pile. Not only was this embarrassing for me (I removed them in poop bags, dumping them into a dumpster) but there were signs up at the campground warning that the fleas on the squirrels were found to carry Bubonic Plague. After every squirrel was killed with in an 18 foot radius of the tree, Tipper was quite pleased with himself, and I was relieved that I wouldn't have to pretend to throw anymore dog poop bags into the dumpster. My hiking partner, Bill, insisted that I leave Tipper out for the night, because Tipper was so happy tied to the tree. He said I didn't have to worry about him killing anymore squirrels because he had cleaned out the area. I usually would force Tipper to sleep in the tent, but against my better judgement, I left Tipper out that evening. In the middle of the night, I heard a muffled bark. Tipper had this way of starting to bark, but stopping it to prevent scaring away prey. Then I heard a whip like sound and a snap. I ran out of the tent. Tipper was gone. I looked at the side of the mountain, and Tipper was pulling 18 feet of steel reinforced wire behind him hot in pursuit of a large black bear. I screamed to him, probably waking up the entire campground, and finally got him to come back. He had broken the metal tie out, trying to get the bear. I still have it as proof of Tipper's uncontrollable desire to chase bears. Go figure that Tipper died suddenly and tragically. He was actually a very sweet and loving dog who was very good with kids and very bad with cats.

At January 22, 2009 10:37 PM , Anonymous Cindy said...

My G-pa Radel's dog saved him from the bull one time. Distracted the bull long enough for G-pa to get to the fence. Don't know what he was doing in there to begin with. When G-pa died on the field driveway from a heart attach (all three brothers dropped like rocks from heart attacks), the dog disappeared for 3 days and then returned.

At August 05, 2010 3:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're so creative! I couldn't think up dog stories on the spot.

Our childhood miniature poodle (NOT toy poodle), Boris, was named by Russian students renting our basement. His middle name was Mephistopheles. He had perfect pitch: I brought a glockenspiel home from church, and he only barked when I played the note that was the same pitch as our doorbell. When we went to Germany, we left him at some friends' house in a crate for the evening while we went out, because the friends had a female dachshund. Boris chewed a giant hole through his plywood crate and was out roaming around when we got home.


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