Crow Love

crowDoc just read me a story written by Katy Sewall about a little eight year old girl in Seattle that has made friends with the crows in her garden. It is fairly common for people to take care of the birds in their yards by filling birdbaths with fresh water and putting food in the birdfeeder. I have even seen Doc put out seeds this cold winter for the birds in our back yard, but it’s rare if the birds begin to show affection by reciprocating. In the case of this little girl, the birds began bringing her gifts.

As the story goes, the whole thing started accidently when the little girl was only four. She would drop food from her lap as she was getting out of the car and the crows would come over and get it. As all animals do, they learn quickly who and where the food sources are. Even I know who has treats for me at work.

As the little girl got older, she started to reward their attention by sharing some of her school lunches with them or giving them some peanuts or dog food on a daily basis. The crows got use to the routine and would call loudly when they would see her. It wasn’t long after the routine started that shiny gifts started showing up on the tray of the bird feeder; a polished rock, an earring, or any tiny object that would fit in the crows mouth. The little girl now has a storage container filled with all the treasured items the crows have brought her.

John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife sciences at the University of Washington found that crows and people can form a very personal relationship. ” There’s definitely a two-way communication going on there,” Marzluff says. ‘They understand each other’s signals.”

I agree with the professor, as I too have a personel relationhip with the crows in Doc’s yard and we understand each other’s signals.  For example, I hear the crows outside cawing, I go outside, they see me, call out a warning to the other crows and then I chase them until they fly away. This has happened every day since I was old enough to run after them, but the only present they have ever left me is trying to poop on my head as they make their escape. Not the kind of gift you really want, but it’s our routine and we’re sticking to it. Not every relationship in life is always going to be lovey dovey.




groverpic” Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.”

— Emily Dickenson

” Duke Don’t Puke”

agadog4Doc took me the Veterinarian the other day for a routine check up. While we were waiting, the door opened and a handsome looking dog named Duke walked into the waiting room along with his female human. I was surprised when I noticed that the poor dog was shaking all over and heading for the door. Curious, I went over to find out what was wrong and to try to calm him down. When I asked him why he was trying to get out the door, he replied “I’m agoraphobic.”

I had never heard of such a thing, so I tried to be as casual as possible when I asked him to explain. Duke said ” I am afraid of leaving the house. There are loud noises, scary people, strange things hiding behind doors, cars, sirens and things that go bump in the night.” Duke went on and on about all the things he was afraid of and told me he spends most of the day in his dog bed where he feels safe. When he finally finished reciting his list of fears he asked me, “Aren’t you afraid of anything Grover?” I thought for  a moment and replied, ” I don’t like it when the neighbor puts up his eight foot air filled OSU Brutus the Buckeye Mascot, but I just growl at it and it leaves me alone, other than that, I’m good.” Duke looked at me like he was concerned for my safety. Just then, the Veterinarian came out and they had to drag Duke back to the office. The poor guy looked like he was going to puke.

Doc was watching the whole thing and shaking her head. “That poor dog.” she said. She told me humans suffer from lots of fears as well, but it’s important not to let your fear control you. I thought about what Doc said and remembered that when I was afraid as a puppy, she would gently help me to face my fear by confronting it.  So, I decided that when Duke came back out to the waiting room I would talk to him about the importance of confronting his fears head on. While I was mulling all this over, the door to the exam room opened and Duke was being carried out by the doctor and his owner. The poor guy had fainted. So much for an intervention.

groverpic” The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”

— M.K. Canton

Is Anybody Out There?


My doggy world consists of the places Doc takes me, or where she allows me to go on my own. I was certainly surprised to find out that life exists beyond my safe haven to galaxies far, far away. Not only are there other planets, but astronomers have been trying to contact and listen for signals from alien civilizations since 1960. That is until recently.

Apparently there is a brouhaha between scientists concerning the risk to planet earth by shouting out to extraterrestrials. The researchers at the Search for Extraterrestrial Institute in California want to send signals from powerful radio telescopes. Critics like cosmologist Steven Hawking think sending signals into space is a bad idea as advanced ET’s might come to earth and take over. So, the debate goes on. What’s interesting to me, is some of the messages they have sent.  They have beamed messages into outer space that include; a plaque depicting a naked couple waving hello, an image of a stick man, the DNA double helix symbol, and the Beatles song “Across the Universe.” But, it gets better. Now the Seti Institute wants to broadcast the entire content of the Internet. Can you image some alien life form trying to understand The Kardashians and decipher Facebook?  I do not understand why they are surprised that no aliens have responded back. They probably think humans are some half baked society that is not worth bothering with.

From a dog’s perspective, I am always amazed that humans think that they are the only intelligent life form that can communicate, inhabit or run a planet. Consider this….It may be that the most intelligent form of life in the universe is an advanced group of canines. The reason that no one has answered the signals sent from earth is because we are already living among you and have been slowly taking over for years. Skeptical? Think about how a dog’s status has slowly advanced in the last few decades. We no longer live outside in pacs, but have manipulated humans into sleeping in your beds, eating your food, and even getting some of you to dress us up in clothing and push us around in strollers. You all go to work everyday to provide food and shelter for us while we stay home and sleep. Now, who do you think is the smarter life form? Well, just something for all of you to think about.



“I got a new dog. He’s a paranoid retriever. He brings back everything because he’s not sure what I threw him.”

— Steven Wright

The Door to Happiness

painted-front-doors_smallerMy daily horoscope read, ” If you come to a mysterious door and turn the lock, what would you be delighted to see? Your answer will point you to the direction of your happiness.”

Of course the first thing that came to mind was opening the mysterious door and seeing a big steak bone, but I knew that would only make me happy for the short term, so I decided to give my horoscope some more thought. Thinking that it might be a good idea to ask my canine and human friends to see what they thought as well, I posted the horoscope question on Facebook and received some very interesting responses.

My canine friends wanted to open the door and find squirrels and rabbits to chase, tons of stinky stuff to roll in, unlimited belly rubs, big fields to run in, 100 yellow fire hydrants to pee on, doggy friends to play with, and special snuggle time with their humans. The human responses were more thought provoking.  Some humans wanted to open the door and see nature, like a forest on a sunny day, their lake house or be outside on the water with all the dogs they have ever loved. Others wanted to see signs announcing the cure for cancer and other diseases. One person wanted to open the door and see chocolate cake, a published book with their name on it, and a farm they dreamed about living on some day. Many people responded that they would like to see deceased loved ones again, including OSU football coach Woody Hayes. Seeing Jesus Christ was one person’s wish. One of my co-workers felt that her sweet baby boy would point her in the direction of her happiness.

Concluding that the door to happiness is defined very differently for everyone, I decided to talk it over with Doc. She said she is not surprised that the answers were so different. Doc says that everyone defines their happiness in a very unique way based on their age and life experiences. She reminded me that what made me happy as a puppy is not the same thing that makes me happy as an adult dog. That made me curious, so I asked Doc what she would be delighted to see behind the mysterious door. She looked at me thoughtfully and closed her eyes. I waited patiently for a response when I noticed that she had fallen asleep. I guess Doc would open her door  and be delighted to find a quiet place to take a nap. Sometimes it’s the simple things that bring us the most joy.


groverpic“I’ve caught more ills from people sneezing over me and giving me virus infections than from kissing dogs.”

— Barbara Woodhouse