Walking Rocks?

Query: When I was in Death Valley earlier this year, I saw some enormous 750-pound rocks that appear to travel across the desert on their own. I remembered your article about rock tortoises, and wondered if that’s what these rocks could be?

Corn of Plenty (Part 4 of 4): A Field Guide by Dr. Midas Welby

Corns of the Air: Air-corns utilize their horns for jousting, playing tic-tac-toe, and spearing food in mid-flight. Air-corns often lurk undetected in trees, wood piles, and rain gutters. When bored, they use their horns to ring the doorbells of unsuspecting humans. When the door begins to open, the air-corn flies away.


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Going On Hiatus

December 6, 2014: I am loving college, but I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed.

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Pine Cone Feeders

A Present For Imaginaries: When winter comes, I get concerned about providing extra shelter from the elements for Imaginaries. Recently, I read about people who build wildlife brush shelters out of branches and plants in their yards, and thought this was a great idea.

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Taking Care of My Pet

Things I’m Learning: My dog Dahu is totally amazing! She finally learned how to bring back a tennis ball when I throw it for her, and now that’s all she wants to do. Next, I’m going to teach her to fetch a bunch of things, like my shoes and my daypack. She gets into mischief sometimes, but Mom says that’s only because she’s so smart. Given the amount of trouble we’ve gotten into together over the past week – I’m grounded until Monday now - I think Dahu must be the smartest dog in the whole world.

But the more I learn about taking care of her, the more I realize there is to learn. There really is a lot to taking care of a dog.

I learned right away how to give her good, healthy food and not too many snacks, and that she needed fresh water and tons of exercise and attention, and she needs stuff to keep her busy if I don’t want her getting into more trouble. I also learned that she needs to be on a flea and tick prevention routine, and that needs regular vet check-ups, just the way I go to my own doctor once a year.

What I didn’t know is how many common household items can be harmful to a dog. For example, did you know you shouldn’t feed your pets chicken bones? I didn’t. The bones can splinter up and puncture the stomach or intestinal wall, which would be horrible. For the same reason, I now take away any sticks that Dahu wants to chew and give her a chew toy instead.

Another thing I didn’t know was that chocolate – my favorite food - and artificial sweeteners are toxic for dogs. Also, while Dahu can take aspirin if she needs it, ibuprofen is poisonous to her!

A bunch of different houseplants, like asparagus ferns and jade plants, are toxic to pets. We already didn’t have any of those around because Mom has cats, but how scary would it have been if Dahu chewed on the leaves of a pretty little houseplant and died from it?!! My mother also uses pet-friendly cleaning products around the house, so that the cats, and now Dahu, don’t get sick.

Dahu likes to stick her nose into everything, so my dad made sure that the antifreeze for his car was locked away, because that’s something else that can kill a dog.

There’s so much to taking care of a pet! I need to keep my eyes on Dahu at the dog park, to make sure she and the other dogs are playing nicely and nobody is bullying anybody else. When we’re out in the neighborhood, I also have to make sure she doesn’t get into any of the bins on trash day. Not only would that make a big mess and get me into trouble with the neighbors, she might get a hold of something that’s bad for her to eat.

Having to take care of Dahu makes me wonder how many things we have around the house that are harmful to Imaginaries, and we wouldn’t even know it because we know so little about them. Now I understand why Imaginaries are better off living in their natural habitats, and why it’s a bad idea to try and make a pet out of a wild creature.

Taking care of Dahu is a lot of responsibility, but I don’t care, because she’s my best friend, and I’m so very happy we found each other. - YARROW, an Iranigami fan


Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014 by Penelope Stowell. All rights reserved. This website is a work of fiction and does not depict any actual persons, creatures, places or events.