How Dogs Smell

Beagle Smell

Beagle Smell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that dogs have practically miraculous smellers?  You did?  Okay, then, did you know that dogs can also smell the past and the future?  Aha, I thought not!  Neither did I.

During the process of getting back to my blog and at least finishing the multi-part series What to Do in Case of Pet Grief, I came across this fascinating post* with the following, compelling sub-title:

Two dogs smell each other on the street in Mil...

Two dogs smell each other on the street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did You Know That Your Dog’s Nose Can Smell The Past, The Future, And Even Things That Cannot Be Seen At All?

Naturally, I had to rush to read it…and I came away amazed.  I have always loved my dogs pretty much unreservedly just because they were, well, part of my family and because they were dogs.  In my mind, I accepted that they were in many ways less capable than humans at many tasks, while also vaguely acknowledging that they were superior at other tasks, like sense of smell, night vision, motor skills, and so on.

After watching this video, I sat for a moment, letting my brain digest the wonders I had just seen.  My respect for canines, already a respectable size, grew astronomically.  All the things these wonder-critters could do–tracking, diagnosing, giving therapy AND sympathy…the list goes on!

Watch this for yourself.  I would cherish any insights on how it affected you in the comments below.

* Video reblogged from the Freekibble site
Text portion copyright 2015 by Sandra Bell Kirchman
All rights reserved by respective copyright holders.


11 Small Happinesses Only Dog People Truly Know

I reblogged this article from Barkpost because I related to it so strongly and thought you might enjoy it too.  You will notice that not all the pictures are the same as the original post.  This is because I couldn’t get them to copy over, so I picked new ones.  Look at the original pics — they are superb.  Copyright belongs to the individuals named.


Source: Giphy

2. Watching your adopted pup grow from a pup who will eat anything as fast as possible into to a picky lil gal (seems like a bad thing – but feels good to know she isn’t scared and hungry anymore).


Source: @rebeevans

3. Seeing your pup make friends at the dog park, and feeling like it’s your own personal accomplishment.


Source: Four Paws Pet Ranch

4. Getting out of places early when you want (a.k.a a built-in excuse to leave lame social gatherings).:)


Source: Sarah Says Read

5. When they lock eyes with you like they are talking to you with their eyes.

“I GET you, Mommy.” (Photo credit: SOMMAI |

6. Inhaling that freshly groomed dog smell….

“I had my bath. Don’t I smell good?” (Photo credit: posterize |

7. Their sleepy eyes when you turn on the lights and they were sound asleep, and suddenly are like, “Whaaaaaa….?”

Tilly Tot:  “Whaaaa...?.”

Tilly Tot: “Whaaaa…?” (Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman)

8. When they groan because you shifted a little and interrupted their nap on your lap.

Mommy: Say goodnight, Oreo. Oreo: Good...*yawn*...night. (Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman)

Mommy: “Say goodnight, Oreo.”
Oreo: “Good…*yawn*…night.” (Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman)

9. When you get home from a weekend out of town and they actually trip over their own feet trying to get to the door as fast as possible.

Dog's absolute joy when

Dog’s absolute joy when “Daddy” came home from Afghanistan. (Photo credit: You Tube – watch video here).

10. How in the midst of playing they stop and look back, just to check you’re still there.


Source: Imgur

11. When you take shower they sit outside the bathroom to make sure you are ok.
When you come out, they lick the water off your feet, as if to say, “There there, you will be dry in no time.”


Featured Image via @dingoaday

What to do in case of pet grief – Part 2

Well, here we are, three months later…the worst thing a blogger can do is leave an unreasonable amount of time between posts, so if you are still with me, I am truly grateful and honored.

The original Angel of Grief in Rome.

The original Angel of Grief in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can get up to speed by reading my last post, “What to do in case of pet grief – Part 1.”

As suggested by one of dear Rumpydog’s followers, I located a grief counselor, named Crystal Bailey. She was not a pet grief counselor but a counselor re the death of humans and was connected to Bailey’s Funeral and Cremation Care in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Actually, she had been recommended to me by one of the provincial health therapists.

I was really nervous at our first Skype meeting — there sat a rather pretty, rather youngish (to me, anyhow) woman, with a gentle voice, who looked just as ill-at-ease as I felt. That’s when I started relaxing. So she wasn’t some tiger who was going to pounce on me and preach at me. I didn’t think she was going to judge me either.

Crystal Bailey, Grief Therapist and Celebrant (Photo credit via Bailey's Funeral )

Crystal Bailey, Grief Therapist and Celebrant (Photo credit via Bailey’s Funeral and Cremation Care, Yorkton)

We introduced ourselves, and I explained the situation.  “Are you okay with the fact that the deceased is a dog (just Oreo had passed on back then) and not a person?” I asked. It seemed a little unusual when I found out she was the grief counselor at Bailey’s. The service was no charge and provided primarily as a courtesy to aid Bailey’s clients.

“I’ve never done it before–that is, counsel someone because of a deceased animal–but grief is grief. We can try it and see,” she answered with a kindly smile. I couldn’t help smiling back.

“Where do I start?” I asked.  We only had an hour and I didn’t want to waste her time, but the butterflies were getting restless again.

“I think we already started,” she said. “Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself.”

That seemed like a pretty good idea. Like most people, I enjoy talking about myself. After an hour of describing how close Oreo and I were and the things we did together and how cute he had been, I realized I had hardly talked about myself at all.

Oreo, putting his paw down on Ling Ling (Photo credit: Sandra Kirchman)

Oreo, putting his paw down on Ling Ling (Photo credit: Sandra Kirchman)

I apologized for straying and tried to bring the conversation back on track. She smiled and told me to talk about whatever I wanted to, that I seemed to be dealing with the healing very well on my own. That heartened me, and pretty soon I was babbling away a mile a minute about how Oreo was such a gentle being but could put his paw down with “the girls” when he thought it necessary. Most of the time he let Ling Ling be top dog because he loved her, but he wouldn’t let her get away with EVERYthing, especially not a brand-new chew stick.

Time was up.

I was amazed at how quickly it had gone. And I still hadn’t talked a whole lot about me but did talk a whole lot about the three dogs and especially Oreo. It was the first time since Oreo had passed that I had been able to talk about him so extensively, and I told Crystal so.

“That’s good,” she said, “but you have to remember to take care of yourself.”

I paused, then nodded thoughtfully.

“If you want to, we’ll continue this next week, same time,” Crystal said. “In the meantime, you might want to practice being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself.  There’s not too much anyone can do about preventing someone’s death, but we can choose how we deal with it.  You could start thinking about how you want to deal with Oreo’s passing, and we’ll talk about it next time.  Also, why don’t you write a letter to Oreo telling him all the things you didn’t have a chance to say when he was here?”

That was a new thought for me.  Actually the whole thing was a new thought for me.  Crystal sat there smiling, and I waved until the screen went blank, and I was alone, except for Ling Ling snoring in her basket behind my desk.

We’ll continue Part 3 next week (or as soon as I can get to it). If I can, I will also fill you in on what has happened this last three months.  See you then!

Go here for comments attached to the last picture.

    Copyright © 2015 by
    Sandra Bell Kirchman.
    All rights reserved.

There’s A Dog on the Bus!

Seattle Great Wheel (Photo Credit:

Seattle Great Wheel with the Seattle Space Needle and the downtown waterfront in the background.  (Photo Credit:

Seattle, Washington is known for many interesting and fun sites and sights. Counted among its popular attractions are the elegant Space Needle, the venerable, year-round, farmer’s market at Pike Place Market, the downtown waterfront encompassing the Seattle Great Wheel (ferris wheel ride) and the Seattle Aquarium.

The splendors in this city are too numerous to mention here, which actually isn’t a post about Seattle. Instead, we’re showcasing one of the city’s lesser known mobile landmarks, an unusual but regular passenger on the Seattle Downtown Center bus. She travels sometimes alone and sometimes with her owner. Before you get the idea that we’re talking slavery here, relax and gaze upon the local sweetheart of downtown Seattle. We’re talking about Eclipse, a bus-riding dog, who has won the hearts of the transit vehicle’s passengers

The black, two-year-old, lab-bull mastiff mix hops onto the bus at the stop outside her home, travels three stops and gets off at the dog park. She even knows which is her stop and waits at the door of the bus for the driver to let her off. Most times, she is accompanied by her owner, Jeff Young, who calls Eclipse “an urbanized dog…a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking” pooch. Sometimes, if Jeff has not finished his cigarette by the time the bus comes, Eclipse boards the bus without him, ambles amiably to an unoccupied seat, and scrambles into it. The passengers love her, and even the bus drivers have a fond spot in their hearts for her.

Arriving at her stop, she gets off the bus, trots down to the dog park, and passes the time in some easy-going, tree-trunk sniffing until Jeff catches up with her. With such devotion from passengers and her other fans, Eclipse is fast becoming another wonder landmark of the Seattle downtown scene.

(Image courtesy of KOMO News Facebook via Associated Press YouTube)

Caution:  Many cities do not allow dogs on buses unless they are service dogs. Even if they are allowed, it’s neither safe nor advisable, to let your dog ride a bus alone; each pet should be on-leash and accompanied by an owner. Apparently, Eclipse is special.

Note: The “Overcoming Grief” article is being postponed again. I’m sorry about that…I seem to need a little longer before I can write about it. I will let you know when I have finished the article, or part of it before I publish it. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep to a more regular schedule with interesting stories of dogs and other pets around the world. If there is something you would like to hear about, let me know, and I’ll do my best to oblige. 

There’s a Dog on the Roof!

"Not another animal abuse story!" (Photo credit:

“Not another animal abuse story!” (Photo credit: FrameAngel |

All too often we animal lovers are bombarded with stories and images of animal cruelty and abuse. Sometimes I find it heart-breaking to wade through this stuff. I know it’s necessary to keep informed and aware of what’s going on in our communities, but there are times when it’s all just too much.  That’s why finding a story like this resonates with a happy heart.

Apparently, Isis, a rottweiler-doberman mix, was inadvertently abandoned in a house, with the owner claiming he thought she had either run away or been stolen by the people who broke into his home in Yorkton, Ohio. The dog had made her way to the attic and thence through a weak part of the ceiling to land on the roof. There she cowered for three days, without food and water, before someone happened to look up and discover her. What happened next was wonderful.

(Reported on YouTube by KHON2 news, Hawaii.  First published on 11/9/14 by WKBN/CNN.)

I loved this story. However, I do wonder why she didn’t bark. Any ideas? (The news story didn’t say.)

NOTE:  I am hoping to have the Overcoming Grief story next week. We’ll see. In the meantime, HAPPY NEW YEAR for a furry wonderful 2015.

UPDATE to the above story:  The dog has been renamed “Roofie” and adopted by one of the firefighters who rescued her. Click here for the full story from WKBN.

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays

English: A neatly decorated Christmas cake.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to wish every reader a wonderful Christmas and/or happy holiday at this season of love and peace.  I also want to thank you all for your patience and support.  I did want so very much to share my little stories with you, and you let me.  For that I will always be grateful.  Here on this blessed day I offer to you the Kirchman Christmas card to visually present our goodwill and happy wishes for you.


Note:  I haven’t been able yet to write the full story of the grieving process, but the good news is that I have started it.  I hope it will be ready for Dec. 30, but I have a feeling it won’t be until January 6, 2015.  We’ll see.  Thanks for being patient.

Victories in the Animal World (and other stuff)

Researching bonding between pets and their pet parents.

Researching bonding between pets and their pet parents.

I’m sorry to let you know that I have still been unable to write a real Puppy Dog Tales story about the three Holy Terrors, or even one about the Adorable Dogly Duo.  I know it is coming, but the grieving isn’t finished yet.  I don’t want to write a lot of tear-jerking articles.  Those get old pretty fast.

I do want to write an article about the grieving process, because I have been quite surprised by mine and have done some research about it to find out why I have responded to Oreo’s passing the way I have.  Pet parents who have gone through a similar experience might find this interesting.

Also coming down the blogging trail in the new, not necessarily improved, but always (I hope) interesting, Puppy Dog Tales will  be articles about other pets, broadening PDT’s horizon to include all animals, although the focus will remain on dogs.

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...

American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new book of interest to pet parents, actually probably of interest to all animal lovers, is the story of Galunker, a zany pit bull, who came to the painful realization that he was judged for what people thought he was (vicious and mean) instead of what he really was (sweet and loveable).  The authors, Douglas Anthony Cooper and Dula Yavne, have shown the truth about pit bulls in this charming children’s book, which will be released this month.  In an exclusive interview, co-author Douglas Anthony Cooper tells about the writing of Galunker, why it was necessary and how the story unfolded.

English: East Grand Forks, MN, 04/01/1997 -- D...

East Grand Forks, MN, 04/01/1997 — Dave Pauli of the Humane Society of the United States proudly shows off a rescued pet. Animal rescue operations in the Grand Forks area continued for several days. Photo by: DAVID SAVILLE/FEMA News Photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rescue stories will also play a part in future Puppy Dog Tales editions.  In keeping with this direction and in order to give you something enjoyable to watch in this edition, I am including below a video from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  Watching the narrator recount The HSUS’s victories for animals in 2014 and its plans for more applause-worthy efforts in 2015 brought tears to my eyes.  Trite as that sounds, it really happened.  Let’s see if you can get through this video without any eye moisture whatsoever.  As long as they are tears of joy, it’s okay.  I hope you enjoy this.

(Please note that publishing day for Puppy Dog Tales has been changed from Sunday to Tuesday.)

If you have any pet stories you
would like to share, please either
leave your comment below, or
EMAIL me at raya at fantasyfic dot com.

Text copyrighted © 2014 by Sandra
Bell Kirchman. All rights RESERVED.
(Vol. 14.12-1, Dec. 8, 2014)