Ollie Ate My Homework: Is the Old Excuse Still Valid?

James tells me that’s the oldest excuse in the book. Of course, I’m not sure what or where “the book” is, but suffice it to say, I – did – not – eat – anyone’s – homework. Besides, what is homework? Okay, so maybe I ate it since I have no idea what that is.

Oh, no! I do not like what James told me about homework. I hope you no longer have to hand in (I would have to paw in) research papers and the like, much less take mid-semester and year-end exams. I can’t think of anything worse – except I’m not even sure what exams are either.

Oh, no! Take two. Exams sound like torture. How dreadful. I have to say, I like being a dog.

(Ollie playing in fresh fallen snow. Thank goodness he has long hair to keep him warm.)

This is what should be done with all homework and exams – that is if they’re still being done. Drum roll please….

Give them to me.

That’s right. I’ll gnaw on them, slobber all over them, bite into them, rip them apart, and even eat some of them. That’s right. I love to play with paper.

James asked what kind of paper. Well, I never thought about that before. But now that I am, I have to say it doesn’t matter what kind. Leave it lying around or unguarded in the trash and it’s fair game. I’ll take it and make a mess of it – at least a mess of what James might find me with. The rest will most likely be in my stomach.

(It doesn’t matter the type of paper, Ollie loves them all.)

Now I have to confess. I love it when we have guests come stay. They always leave the bedroom and bathroom doors open. That means any tissues or papers or candy wrappers they leave behind are quickly mine with which to abscond.

For some reason I don’t usually go far. Most likely James will find me in the hallway leading to our bedroom – yes, I sleep in the bed with James and Ron. Back to the paper – I like to lie on the carpet and use my front paws and mouth to rip into the envelope, document, newspaper, wrapping paper, any kind of paper. It’s so much fun. And it tastes good too.

Which reminds me. James wrote a poem about my making off with paper – he finds me every time – nearly, that is. Here’s the poem he wrote for your reading pleasure:


the house is festively garlanded
inside a delightfully decorated tree
underneath there are many presents
covered in colored wrapping paper

family and guests come a calling
their visits enhance the holidays
entertainments add to the joyous spirit
of the gift giving season

yet not when they absently leave
their residue lying around
for a stealth thief roams among us
my seven-month English Sheepdog

the bandit is my enquiring Ollie
who I see hankering after
discarded gift wrapping
for you possibly feel left out

yet beside you patiently waiting
packages you choose to ignore
inside are many gifts for you
of brand new chew toys

any easily accessible paper
          left on the floor
          accidentally dropped
          in a wastepaper basket aptly named
is fair game for your enjoyment

while some documents have a sentimental value
          letters and postcards
others might be considered purposefully dropped
          bills and invoices due
for your and my ongoing amusement
          but no that won’t do

while I’m not pleased about the mess you make
a smile does cross my face when
I realize the excuse could be true
          my dog ate my homework

yet it is now the wrinkled book pages
I find unsettling when you place
your wet face in the crease
of a book on my lap

such a demonstrative fellow you are
my dear sweet loveable Ollie
such a small price to pay
I wouldn’t have you any other way

The other day when I was taking a nap, right before I fell asleep, a thought came to me. Paper is made from wood. That’s right. The twigs, sticks, and limbs I told you about earlier, are the very things used to make paper products. How do I know this? James told me. So it makes sense that I’d like paper as much as I do.

And like James said in the poem, he wouldn’t have me any other way. Well, I wouldn’t have him any other way either. (Score! A double treat fell into my mouth – excuse me for talking with my mouth full.) I didn’t say that so I could get a treat. I said it because it’s the truth.

So, when you eat something, it has to go somewhere, right? First it goes into my mouth, then my throat, then my stomach, then…. You get the picture. Why am I telling you this? Well, come back in two weeks and find out about bathrooms. That’s right, the room inside the house, not my business. I’m sure you’ve heard enough about that.

But then I don’t know if you have. You can let me know in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

PS: Have a wonderful, safe, happy, and merry holiday.


Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated

How to Have Fun in the … Snow: Ollie’s First Winter

What is it about snow that brings out the adventurous athlete in us? I prefer to run and jump and roll around in it. James chooses to snowshoe, ski, and sled. Okay, so his type of sledding isn’t exactly the type with Bob in front of it. Still, it gets him outside to have fun, and that means I get to go with him – except when he goes skiing.

Yes, the operative word here is FUN.

Now some canines – some hum drum canines I know – don’t like the snow. They fly south for the winter like the birds. Sure, they don’t have a choice since their families are the ones doing the driving (their paws won’t reach the peddles), but because they spend the winter months in places like Florida, the Islands, and the Keys, they’ve never grown to appreciate the benefits of the winter months in a cold clime. I’m here to tell you that there is nothing – and I mean nothing – that compares to the enjoyment I have in the snow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know sun rhymes with fun, but it’s the snow that I love.

Maybe it’s because I have long hair – at least most of the time – that I don’t mind the cold weather. Maybe it’s because I was born in a cold clime and spent my first year in one. Or just maybe it’s because I know how to have fun – there’s that word again – in the snow.

(Ollie having fun in the snow.)

It is interesting that I was frightened of some things when I was but a wee lad. Considering that one would assume I might have been frightened of the snow the first time I saw it. But, no. It was nothing like the white rock that seemed odd to me. It was nothing like the yellow pipe that stuck out of the ground and confused me. And sure, it was nothing like the clear, wet rain that fell from the sky. To me it was more like the leaves that fell from the trees. The flakes were things to be chased and, like the leaves, caught, and then forgotten once they melted in my mouth.

Then again, James kept telling me not to eat the snow. I couldn’t figure out why since it was like drinking frozen water. But it was the yellow snow he didn’t want me to eat. Now, that I can understand.

(Ollie kindly posing during a leisurely walk on the plowed road.)

The thing about snow in Vermont is that it lasts from November until April. It’s even been known to snow in May, but not since I’ve been here. Now six months of white – the roadsides are quickly gray – takes a toll. Every time we venture out I get small snowballs between the pads of my paws. Now imagine having an extra large marble stuck between your fingers and toes while trying to walk, much less run and jump. Yeah – that’s what it’s like.

Thank goodness for James. When I collapse and stick my paws in my mouth trying to remove those spheroids, who do you think comes to my rescue? Yes – James. (A treat! I wasn’t even trying for one, simply stating a fact.) He’ll bend over and inspect my paw. He’ll then take his gloves off, even in frigid cold, and work the snowy orbs from between my pads. I’m then able to continue in comfort for a while. As we continue on, still more snowballs collect between my pads. Believe me, it can be frustrating.

But here we are at the beginning of the snowy season, so I shouldn’t be complaining. I should be rejoicing. And I am by sharing one of James’ poems that he wrote about me and snow. Here it is for your reading pleasure:


I’m proud of you at six months
puffing out your chest as you
move onto the snow covered grass
your excitement shows
in a solo tango you perform
and the gurgling laughter
we can ever so slightly hear

prancing as if Rudolf through the snow
in an abundance of excitement and joy
the fluffy snow flies around you
as if you were truly a reindeer
about to take flight

running back on the driveway
the crystals settle behind you
leaving random patterns
as in a crazy quilt

your long Old English Sheepdog hair
that covers your feet
releases the clinging snow
and leaves powdered paw prints
like the tops of cupcakes
the icing on our outing

multiple mini snowballs
append to the hair on your legs
and between your pads
you nibble away at each
as if they are flavored slushy’s

this was the first of many yet to come
and it’s a good thing you favor it
since there will be more
and I will find great pleasure
in hiking and snowshoeing
through the depths with you

my fun
your fun
our fun
has begun

If you’ve been following me along every two weeks, you would have seen an earlier poem about the impressions I’m leaving in James and Ron’s lives. This poem has another example of the impressions my paws make in the snow, and it reminded me of that poem. If you missed it, you’ll be able to find Impressions here.

Which reminds me that the fun we are having is not something we experience alone. It is to be shared. Otherwise it’s only having a good time. Truly pleasurable times are shared with the ones you love. Yes, I love James and Ron. (Score! A double treat for me.) BTW – James says he loves me too.

So, I have to admit, I would never trade anything in the world for the time I spend with my two daddies. I do believe I’m one of, if not the, luckiest canines in the whole wide world. [Time for some hugs and kisses.]

Return, if you will, in two weeks and find out how such a simple thing as paper could draw my attention. You might think it’s the crinkly or crackly aspect that makes me interested in it. You might even think it’s the texture that has my taste buds salivating. Come back and find out.

Speaking of finding out, we’d love to know if you’re enjoying reading about my first year and the different poems James wrote. If so, let us know in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)


Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated