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The following were written by Bill Thacker's dog Gunner

The Story of Howl-O-e'en
 
      by Gunner
 
 
A long, long time ago, hoomins and doggies weren't friends.  (I know this is
 hard to believe, but it's a fact!)  Doggies back then weren't as nice as
 they are now, and the hoomins were a lot stinkier (most of 'em, anyway).
 
This meant that neither doggies nor hoomins were furry happy.  The doggies
 were sad because they didn't get good skritches or belly- rubbings, and
 'specially cause they didn't get any T*R*E*A*T*S. Hoomins were sad
 onaccounta they couldn't see well in the dark and couldn't smell or hear
 much either, so nighttimes were scary for them - and they didn't have any
 warm doggies to cuddle up with and stay warm.
 
So the poor doggies would just stay out in the woods all night and howl
 their misery, and the howls would frighten the hoomins who were huddling in
 caves trying to stay warm.
 
Then one night there came a big thunder and frightening storm.  The
 frightening came down and started a fire, and the hoomins all
 gathered 'round to look at it.  They realized that it gave light and was
 warm, and they were furry happy and started singing songs.  Then a
 smarthoomin tried cooking some meat over the fire, and it smelled
 goodgoodgood!!!
 
The wild doggies heard these happy songs and smelled the goodgoodgood meat
 cooking, and came to 'vestigate.  As they arrived, the fire started to burn
 low.  The hoomins threw on more wood, but pretty soon they ran out - it was
 too dark to go far from the fire to look for more!  The fire got smaller and
 smaller, and the hoomins became cold and afraid and began to cry.  They
 sounded very sad.
 
The doggies saw what was going on, though, and took pity on the hoomins.  They sat down together and quietly woofed about the situation, until they came up with a plan.
 
The alpha leader of the doggies went into the dark woods and found the
 biggest stick he could lift.  He carried this stick to the edge of the light
 around the hoomins' fire, then dropped it and sat down behind it.  At first,
 the hoomins were frightened when they saw the wild doggie, but the wise
 alphadoggie just sat quietly until the hoomins calmed down.  Then he started
 communicating with the hoomins: sniffing at the air, then licking his chops,
 then nudging the stick.
 
Soon, the alphahoomin figured it out.  He got a piece of the meat cooking on
 the fire and threw it past the alphadoggie, who ran after it and gobbled it
 up.  When the doggie chased after the meat, the hoomin quickly grabbed the
 stick and added it to the fire.  This was the origin of what we now call
 Trick for T*R*E*A*T" - the doggie had taught hoomins to give T*R*E*A*T*S in
 exchange for useful tricks!
 
Then, another doggie went and got a stick and took it to the hoomins, and
 she got a T*R*E*A*T, too.  Soon, all the doggies were running for sticks and
 getting T*R*E*A*Ts, and the fire grew nice and big and toasty.
 
Before long all the doggies were tired from their fetching and had bellies
 full of warm T*R*E*A*T*S, and they wanted to be cozy.  By this time, the
 hoomins had lost some of their fear of the doggies and would allow them
 close enough to touch.  Finally, one hoomin got brave enough to touch one of
 the doggies, and felt how soft and warm her fur was.  The hoomin couldn't
 resist rubbing that nice fur, and it felt so good that the doggie rolled
 over on her back.  This was the first skritch, and the first belly-rubbing,
 too, and it cemented the friendship between doggies and hoomins forever.
 
Soon, all the hoomins had found a doggie to skritch and everyone and
 everydoggie was happy!  The hoomins began singing again, and the doggies
 joined in with their howls.  And that's why we remember the first night that
 doggies and hoomins spent together as Howl-O-e'en.
 
Of course, since doggies engineered the whole thing, hoomins
 remember it differently.  To them, Howl-O-e'en was pretty scary, at least at
 first, so when hoomins talk about it they think of scary stuff like wicked
 bitches and black cccccats.  But they also carve faces in punkins and put
 little fires inside them to remember that first fire, and they give
 T*R*E*A*T*S to hoominpups who come to their dens wearing scary outfits, just
 like they gave T*R*E*A*T*S to those first scary wilddoggies.)
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  THE STORY OF THE GREAT KISSMOOSE

By Miss Melanie Horne
 
Once upon a time there was a little dog without a name. He had no
 name because there was no hoomin around to love him and to give him
 a name. He wandered through woods and alleys looking for little
 scraps to eat. He never knew what t*r*e*a*t meant. Once in a great
 while he would find berries and gently nibble them off the vine for
 a special taste.
 Winter was coming and it was very cold. He heard howling in the
 distance.
 "Could it be?" he woofed quietly. "Does some doggie want
 to play and sing and dance with me?" asked the little dog.
 The little dog followed the sound into the woods but what he found
 was a strange group of animals that were not quite dogs and they
 growled and snarled and ganged up on him. They tried to bite him.
 The little dog was so astonished that he burst away with all his
 strength and ran away as fast as his four paws could carry him.
 Night was falling and the poor little pup was so cold. He looked for
 a place to rest his weary head, but was too weak to go any further
 and fell to the ground exhausted.
 He lay there shivering and trying to go to sleep but he kept hearing
 noises in the dark. He wanted to see what it was but felt his eyes
 closing. And just before he fell asleep, he saw a beautiful Moose
 lean over him and kiss him gently on the nose and cover him with
 leaves.
 When morning came, the little dog found himself on the doorstep of
 an old farmhouse. He could smell the Moose around the porch steps so
 he knew the Moose had brought him there. In just a moment, the door
 of the farmhouse opened and two hoomins came out and saw the little
 dog. They exclaimed in hoomin words the little dog couldn't
 understand but they hugged him and kissed him and brought him into
 the house. The house was warm and smelled of wonderful foods. The
 ladyhoomin put a bowl down full of good things to eat.
 That night, the little dog slept in a warm bed with toys and a full
 tummy. And the Kissmoose whispered quietly to the little dog from
 far away, "you're home now".
 Every year, the Kissmoose visits all the doggies everywhere and
 makes sure they have good things and when he finds a doggie in a
 cage, he whispers to a hoomin, "Go save the little dog from the
 cage". And he always gives each dog a gentle kiss on the nose.

'copyright
1996,2001 Melanie Horne. Permissions must be explicitly granted by author
for repost or publication'

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Gunner's Postulate of T*R*E*A*T*S:
 
In fact, I have a theory, which I humbly submit as Gunner's First
 Postulate of T*R*E*A*T*S.  The time it takes to time to eat a T*R*E*A*T
 t(E), is:
 
t(E) =   V * T * (D + 1) * g
         ----------------------  * C * G
          W * t(LT)
 
 
Where V is the volume of the T*R*E*A*T (in cubic centimeters)

T is the Toughness of the T*R*E*A*T, on a scale where air is
a zero and a beef bone is a one.

   (Reference values:  piggy earz = 0.82 to 0.86
   Beggin' Strips = 0.28

   Nylabone = 1066

   Cheese = 0.001)
D is the number of distractions, weighted by their interest
 level.  E.g., if Dad leaves the room, D = 1; if he opens the
 refrigerator, D = 4, etc.
 g is the gravitational constant, 980 cm/sec^2
 W is the weight of the doggy eating the T*R*E*A*T, in kilograms
 t(LT) is the time, in seconds, since the last T*R*E*A*T that
doggy enjoyed
C is the Chomp Factor, a measure of the doggy's chewing power,
ranked from zero (swallows everything whole) to 1 (toothless).
and   G is Gunner's constant, 1.80x10^5 kg/cm^3.
 (I'm a *German* shorthair, so all the units are metric.)
So, s'pose a 34 kg doggy is given a 20 cm^3 piggy ear (a fresh one,
T = 0.82).  There are no distractions, and this poor doggy hasn't had
a piggy ear for 24 hours.  From previous tests, we know his Chomp
Factor is 0.2.  Then you can calculate t(E) = 197 seconds,
just over 3 minutes.  But if a ccccccat comes into the room and sits
on top of the nonsmellybox (D = 2), then it takes t = 590 seconds,
nearly ten minutes.
 If that same doggy is given a block of cheese 2 cm on a side (8 cm^3)
and the ccccat is taken out and shot, the doggy will eat the cheese in
0.096 seconds.  A 100cm^3 nylabone, on the OTher paw, would take 14.8
days of solid chewing to disappear.
 
To use this formula, you need to get a test T*R*E*A*T, like a piggy
ear, and measure how long it takes to eat it without any
distractions.  (It may take years to get a distraction-free test,
depending how serious you are about your T*R*E*A*T*S.)  Values of T for

various treats can be found in the Canine Rover Company Handbook.  Use
this information to calculate your personal Chomp Factor.  From then
on, you can scientifically predict how fast you would destroy any
T*R*E*A*T

For Gretta, let's guess she weighs about ten kilos (such a petite
little girl!)   We'll assume an average T of 0.84,  and that it had
been twenty-four hours since her last T*R*E*A*T. Being in the car
counts as 1 distraction.
 
Then I calculate her Chomp Factor as 0.26 - pretty respectable for a
buppy!
 
But to refine this theory I need to do lots of experiments. 

Please,
send me all your T*R*E*A*T*S - it's for the future of science

Gunner

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The following was written by Chapawlain Blaze about the death of a puppy

Fur Bonnie, from Chapawlain Blaze Date: Thursday, May 04, 2000 12:47 PM All day, I have been ponderin' the meaning of liddle Bonnie's journey to the Brij. It is always furry trubblin' fur mememe when a buppy, whether hoomin or canine, gets called by the Master before they even gets a chance to chase a ball or splash in a good puddle or chase a flutterby on a sunny summer day. Sometimes these trubbles make me question my faith. Butts... maybe there is an answer... Ya see, I nose that in the sky there are things that hoomins call stars... I also nose that sometimes these stars burn out, after livin' a longlonglongelebentygazillionyear life. So what is the Master to do when one of His stars goes dark? I think what happens is He chooses a furry speshul buppy, either hoomin or canine, an' when they cross the Brij, they get an eggstraspeshulbright halo, an' get placed in the night sky, to light the way fur all of us on Earth who have doubts or who despair. Because these buppies have strong and pure spirits, and have not eggsperienced the dark side of life in dis whirl, they are not afraid of the dark. The buppies, hoomin an' canine, are the best an' the brightest of all the Master's creashun. So when you are in your Out toenight, look up, an' you will see Bonnie, frolickin' wif manymany buppies, sharing their light with the whirl, an guardin' us from the darkness..... Chapawlain Blaze


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