Alright, I’ll come out and admit I’m a big old ham whenever I read Yalu and the Puppy Room. There, it’s out the open for the world to see. The problem is that I just can’t stand before a group of people be they kids, adults, or a combination of both and ramble through my book with a bland voice—not when there’s a chance to show off.

Whenever I get the chance to read to a group of students, I would sit a child in front of my computer or the teacher’s computer that would have my PowerPoint pictures of the book at the ready. Just before starting, I would tell the person in the captain’s seat, “When you hear the word ‘Ding’, press the enter button.”

Usually, I’d get an odd look, nothing new there, and would start reading the story. At the right moment, I would say, “Ding!” because I needed a new slid and after all, that was the signal to press the enter button.

After a few dings, my audience would catch on and would start saying “ding”. There’s nothing better than a classroom full of five year olds saying “ding” at once. Even the older kids taking that all important powernap would raise their heads. Now I had to make sure my audience would say, “Ding” at the right moment—I didn’t want the “Ding” to come too early or too late. At the right moment, I’d cup a hand to my ear and do my Hulk Hogan impersonation for the upcoming “Ding”. Yep, that worked. When I ran out words, I’d slap the book shut, await my applause, and take my hammy bow ending the reading portion of the show.


Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, particularly the ones who pet dogs!

The Honey-Honey Alarm Clock


There were days when Yalu had a very important job. She made sure everyone was up and ready to pet her inside the Puppy Palace. In order to pet her, people had to be awake because it’s much easier to pet a cute brown dog when you are awake than when you are asleep—we’ve tried sleep petting, it doesn’t work unless you are a cute brown dog.

Making sure DiMamma and Daddy, Daddy, Daddy were up was easy because Yalu slept with the parents on their bed—rumor had it that a little brown dog, who shall remain cute, would wake up Daddy, Daddy, Daddy at three in the morning for special nighttime petties—but that’s a story for another time.

Usually, Yalu used her nose to open doors—since she didn’t have important people thumbs, a nose certainly did help. Sometimes, Yalu encountered closed doors that required doggy diplomacy to overcome. When a closed door blocked where she wanted to go, Yalu would knock with a scratch of her paw upon the frame and sometimes add a polite “I would like the door opened, please” bark. When that failed, the puppy diplomacy deepened.

I lived on the second floor so when Yalu would used her nose, knock, or give a polite bark, I heard her could open my door for her all important petties. The same was not the case for Honey-Honey. She lived another floor up in the loft and sometimes would not hear the puppy knocks or her polite barks. For Yalu, that could only mean problems—the biggest involved her not getting Honey-Honey petties.

When Yalu entered my room and jumped on my bed, we would discuss her concerns during her petting sessions. Her jumping off the bed, running to the door, looking at me, and then jumping back on my bed indicated that we needed to leave my bedroom and check on Honey-Honey.

Since I had thumbs, I could open the door to Honey-Honey’s room. On the way up to the loft, I would let Yalu know that the Honey-Honey might be asleep and that we might have to wake her up. Good thing I sent a puppy up there first because Honey-Honey without her morning coffee is well … not awake and what she needed was a cute brown dog substitute for her morning cup of Joe. Fortunately, we had one of those.

With everyone now awake and morning puppy petties completed, we could move on to more important issues such as mid morning petties, followed by the late morning puppy petties, then the noon petties, early afternoon petties, followed by the very important mid afternoon petties that led to the early evening petties because the best petties in the world were the ones that happen that instant.