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As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up

And here we meet a sleepy pup,

Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,

Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.

After all the walking around town he’s been doing lately, Doodle Dog decided today he was going to relax on the front porch and enjoy the view of the neighborhood from there. Better yet, though he knew snow would soon be coming, for now his floppy ears still felt the calming warm air. Ahhhh….  And for now there was no other place he’d rather be than right at home on his comfy mat surveying the hustle and bustle from afar. As he rested, Doodle Dog thought how grateful he was to be able to take a few moments to just be, to just watch the world go by from his perch, to just lie back with his paws toward the sky and his ears flopped out in both ways behind him. 

Trying to keep his eyes open with little luck, the floppy-eared puppy thought that for just one afternoon he would most certainly be energetic and ambitious and go on a wonderful new adventure… energetic and ambitious, that is, in his imagination. That way he didn’t have to leave his safe place on the porch! Quite thankful for this little quiet spot in the middle of it all, Doodle Dog didn’t have to go far in the wide reaches of the world in his mind or think much too hard at all to remember the fun activities he’d been able to do recently. Curling up a little tighter on his mat, he tried not to shiver in his sleepiness as he thought of the impending wintry days ahead of him. Sure, they could be fun too, if he didn’t have to dig himself out of a wet flurry mound again! Seeing all the beautiful ice sculptures glistening in the sliver of sunshine brave enough to peek out during the last season of the year was indeed quite fantastic. Doodle Dog wondered if the talented snow sculptors would make another one of him again this winter. It was nice to have something to count on year after year!

Of course, as much as Doodle Dog loves being able to look forward to favorite traditions, there is something great about having unexpected places to be too. The little floppy-eared puppy remembered how he had a different porch last year and, although it was a little bit scary at first to be somewhere unknown, his curiosity was quite enjoying the new view too! Indeed it took some time to settle in, and Doodle Dog thought how grateful he is that the shadows on the wall were not real spiders – he won’t be going up to the attic again anytime soon thank you very much! – but now that he knows the nooks and crannies and every hidey place (well, almost), it’s quite fun to explore the not-unusual-anymore space.

While he considered all the changes in his own world, Doodle Dog found himself grateful for all the exciting new aspects going on around him as well. He thought of the lovely bride and groom starting their lives together surrounded by family and friends – and a furry flower bearer or two – in a ceremony in the park. And though one of his favorite familiar places, the park itself was constantly changing whether it played host to a whirlwind romance, set the stage for zipping and zooming around a go-kart track (Doodle Dog thought he could still feel the rush of anticipation as he approached the finish line, or was that the breeze simply getting faster as it blew over the porch…), or served as a welcome spot for planting baby bulbs that would grow up to be beautiful buds for spring.

No matter how the park temporarily transformed, one part of the experience stayed the same and Doodle Dog was grateful he was always able to find something interesting and wonderful whenever he visited. Flopping to the other side of his mat so the wind could catch that bit of his fur, he remembered the extra-special bouquet he’d found all wrapped up in one little sparkling bundle of rainbow. It seemed as though he could hold all his imagination and every memory in one paw too that day! Just as the sun shone through the clouds and peeked onto the porch, the floppy-eared puppy opened one eye just slightly and caught sight of the stoop next door where he recalled the kind man delivering a real bouquet to the neighbor. Doodle Dog was happy he had been there at the right time to provide a helping bark! Then the floppy-eared puppy thought of how thankful he is for the animals and humans who are nice to him too. If he peered right through the front window he could just see the tiny clay sculpture that looked quite a bit like him made by the smiling street artist. And posing for that one was a lot warmer than the ice sculpture for sure!

Doodle Dog hoped he would always find a reason to smile too, even on the days when the sky was gloomy and gray. As the sun now felt toasty on his toes, the little puppy remembered the sweet little spot where he could go whenever he needed a bit of cheer and made a note in his mind to go there often throughout the year. Besides, it was easy enough to find the sun, not so easy to find his chewy toy as he certainly discovered not too long ago. To be fair, that one time when he wanted nothing more than to take a nap, the warm spot of sun shining through his window sure was a tricky little character! Doodle Dog was grateful it seemed to be staying put for now. Next time it moved, he would just have to find his favorite human with the little red wagon full of books. Diving in to a new story always made him smile from ear to floppy ear no matter where he was sitting. The sandy shore may not be the best place for books so perhaps the lake’s edge was better left for taking leaps of the splashy kind! Now that Doodle Dog thought of it, he really did successfully put in more than just a paw this year! The floppy-eared puppy started to smile as he thought of another successful adventure during his class at the cupcakery and the fun picnic with all the cats and dogs! He was grateful for all the pretty posies to smell and all the yummy doggie treats to eat. The colors of the cakes followed him long after, first for his pawdicure – there’s still a tiny spot on his toe! – then on the balloons bouncing along the breeze, then on the saddles of the carousel horses going round and round. (Doodle Dog now wondered if perhaps they would have liked their hooves painted. A hooficure?) It must be boring sometimes for those ponies riding up and down and nowhere in particular. On the porch, the little floppy-eared puppy turned around and around on his mat before plopping down again. Going round and round the neighborhood himself, sniffing out yummy biscuits for Trick or Treat wasn’t boring though. By now he’d become pretty good at searching with all his senses! Sunshine, chewy toys, biscuits, fairy princesses in distress and not-so-scary squishy toy noses… what could be next for the doggie detective? 

Without opening his eyes fully, he could feel the familiar mat under his back and thought of the sidewalk under his paws whenever he walks. He could still taste the flavor of the homemade pumpkin biscuit from the barkery and smell the crispness of almost-exiting autumn mixing with the fresh chill of nearly-entering winter air. Then his floppy ears picked up a sound he loves to hear: bong Bong BONG. A definitely wonderful part about the new office is that it is even closer to the town’s tall clock tower! And just as he coaxed his eyes open, a familiar sight greeted his gaze: the brilliant hue of his red leaf friend wafting on the wind. Doodle Dog was grateful for their next adventure – whatever and wherever it may be!

Growing a wee bit tired from all the pattering around town in the quest for yummy snacks, Doodle Dog was still having so much fun that he didn’t notice the sky around him was growing a wee bit darker. He knew he should get home soon and could hurry to make it back to the office before the stars came out to light the night, but for now the floppy-eared puppy figured it would be okay to meander just a wee bit longer since there were still plenty of children out and about scampering this way and that way too.

Waddling along in his cotton-candy cloud-sheep snowball-giant dust bunny-misty fog sort of getup, Doodle Dog’s floppy ears perked up at the sound of little feet racing behind him. A pint-sized fairy princess hurried along, her glittering wings flapping in the wind created by her dashing and her tiny toes trying unsuccessfully not to trip on the long hem of her silky dress. One misstep and her skirt caught on the tip of her foot and caused her to fall flat on her elbows, the dainty pail in her hand falling to the ground and most of the candy inside it flittering briefly in the air before skittering across the sidewalk. Oh no! Her petite crown followed the route of the candy, slipping off the top of her brown curls and flinging itself more than a few feet down the street. A nearby streetlamp starting to glow for evening glinted off the tiny tiara marking its silvery trail.

As the sky grew darker, the air around the pair grew thicker as though a cloud much bigger than Doodle Dog was settling over the town. The floppy-eared puppy didn’t want the little fairy princess to get lost in the fog, so he did his best to dart over – as well as a waddling whatever-he-was could dart – to her rescue. Even in the translucent cover of the misty surroundings, Doodle Dog could hear the very beginnings of a scared sniffle and just as tiny tears started to sparkle in the corners of her eyes, the floppy-eared puppy nudged the little fairy’s hand with his gentle nose, the cloud fur brushing up against her arm in comfort. Once the fluffy cotton candy-like dust bunny fuzz tickled her skin it made her giggle and Doodle Dog knew she would be just fine, so he went to track down her crown and nudged her candy back into her satin pouch piece by piece. As she stood up and brushed off her dress, the floppy-eared puppy nosed around her, circling once to check her ankles and again to check her knees until he was sure nothing was twisted or broken or otherwise unusual looking, at least from the little puppy’s level. The bumbling dust bunny bumped this way and that, encouraging the little fairy princess to walk along with him and together they would make it home.

It’s not TOO scary, Doodle Dog thought… though it was nearly twilight the two continued along quite happily enjoying a slow pace so there would be no more tumbles and only giggles as the fairy kept trying to pet the floppy-eared puppy’s fur and wound up with more fluffy fuzz in her hand every time. The wind had picked up a wee bit with the approaching nighttime and bits of the curious puppy’s costume constantly floated this way and that way down the sidewalk from where they had just been and up the street where they were about to be. No, not too scary at all… Doodle Dog even saw something colorful waving up ahead – a lot of somethings in fact! A bunch of balloons like the ones he saw from the carnival were floating in the wind like the tiny tufts of fluff from his cotton cloud cushion costume. They looked friendly enough, with their pretty purples and bright blues and yellows so cheerful they looked like a bouquet of tiny sunshines tied together. They looked friendly enough… but then the breeze blew the balloons to the side and revealed the person behind them. Eep!

The person wasn’t a person at all but someone who seemed ten feet tall with pasty blank powder where the face should be, neon pink discs for cheeks and crazy orange hair like the goop that comes out of the inside of a pumpkin. Decorated from head to feet in stiff ruffles and multi-colored stripes, the creature’s costume was as mismatched as could be. That was the scariest thing of all on the sidewalk! But then the not-person took off its bright red nose that made Doodle Dog think of Rudolph the Reindeer and gave it a quick squeeze to make it squeak just like one of the floppy-eared puppy’s favorite chewy toys! Without his glowing nose, Doodle Dog could imagine what the man looked like behind the red round spot, beyond the chalky white cheeks and beneath the unkempt pouf of hair. The not-so-scary clown-man stooped down with one hand still holding the balloons and the other hand in his pocket. Soon Doodle Dog could smell a whiff of pumpkin biscuit and an instant later he could see the doggie treat gently held between the clown-man’s fingers. The floppy-eared puppy gave it a curious sniff to make sure it really did smell okay to eat, and then he took a little nibble that was really a great big bite. Yum! While Doodle Dog enjoyed his snack, the man took his now-free hand and untangled a bright yellow balloon from the bunch, handing the tiny sun to the little girl standing cautiously next to the little puppy. And with that, the fairy princess and her guard dog made their way down the street, tugging the brilliant sunny bauble bouncing in the air behind them. Doodle Dog was definitely glad he hadn’t hurried home and was able to lend a helping paw on Halloween!

With the freshly made doggie biscuits out of the oven and cooling on top of the counter, Doodle Dog could smell the delicious flavors wafting from the trays, off the tippy top of the table and all the way down to puppy-sniffing level. He could see the steam rising from the still-warm treats as it swished and swirled above the cookie sheets, seemingly twisting and twirling with the yummy scents of the completed recipe. Weaving together on the wind, it appeared that not only were the smells dancing around the bakery kitchen but they were so excitedly looping from one spot to the next it looked as though they might just escape right out the window! Not only did the floppy-eared puppy’s gaze follow the silvery steam and his nose follow the airborne aroma as it circled around the cooking area, but as it went out the exit to the outside world, so did he, chasing it right into the garden behind the store. Still hot on the trail, Doodle Dog emerged from the back door of the bake shop to find that more wonderful whiffs awaited him.

Just beyond the bakery building, a patch of grass served as the perfect place for a picnic and several of the other culinary class participants were already settling in around a beautiful blanket spread over a section of the yard. The soft covering created a cozy space to land as Doodle Dog scampered toward his friends. But before he settled in he wanted to explore the assortment of odors mixing around him! He had been smelling the cookies for a while now, waiting patiently as they baked, and there was a plate near him ready for the picnic, but he couldn’t quite figure out the enticing scents mixing with those tasty treats. The floppy-eared puppy could still see the steam and smell the biscuits, and now his paws could feel the soft sod under him as he searched out this new flavor just tempting him to taste! But what was it and where was it hiding? He paused a moment to listen to the wind gently rustling in the leaves of the nearby trees hoping it would direct him but all he heard was the faint giggling of his friends getting comfortable on the colorful squares covering the ground. Hmmm…

Lush hedges bordered the yard, so high they were that the floppy-eared puppy couldn’t begin to look over them. He bet the taller humans wouldn’t even be able to try to see what was on the other side! Poking out of the thick foliage in its varying shades of green, tiny flowers peeked through as though they were bright polka-dots on someone’s shirt. Tucked into the leafy bushes, the buds seemed cozy and content, their colors calling out to the curious Doodle Dog who immediately snuck a sniff. There! The floppy-eared puppy eagerly bounced from one blossom to the next, promptly poking his nose into the center of each one and drawing in its delicious scent. All around the boundary of the backyard little flowers posed on display in their shrubbery frames and Doodle Dog was determined to smell them all. He was so excited in fact, as he scampered from petal to petal that he nearly forgot about the other source of his nose’s enthusiasm ~ the yummy treats he could actually eat! Distracted by the tempting scents and the eye-catching colors, the floppy-eared puppy didn’t hear his friends telling him the biscuits were ready for munching, nor did his tongue remind him how much he wanted to taste the peanut butter and pumpkin bites he’d made with his very own paws. Well, it probably did, but the floppy-eared puppy was doing a pretty good job ignoring it for the moment! But then, as the soft, silky petals tickled his nose, a leftover drop of dew, cold and wet, stuck to the top of Doodle Dog’s mouth and he instinctively licked it off. It reminded him of the icy treats they had put in the freezer and he suddenly remembered how much he had wanted to try them!

The floppy-eared puppy immediately bounded back to the blanket in search of those puppy popsicles and as soon as the picnic party was in sight he could see the display of everyone’s treats dotting the green grass like the flowers did in the wall of flattened trees. Doodle Dog was glad he could share the treats he helped make! And as everyone else brought their recipes to share too, the arrangement of edibles enticed even the most patient of pups.

Doodle Dog set about excitedly sampling each one, taking in their delicious smells and also the bakers’ gleeful smiles that came with them, each four-legged friend and human too gathered together to enjoy their handmade recipes just as wonderful as the unique posies nearby!

As the afternoon sky melted into its own evening blanket, Doodle Dog couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the summer as it melted into autumn.


From the edge of the red and white blanket, Doodle Dog watched his favorite kind of humans splashing in the slight surf at the edge of the shore. As much fun as he was having listening to stories and snacking on yummies, the floppy-eared puppy couldn’t very well spend all afternoon on the blanket, especially being that he was still in the middle of a goopy mess. A very tasty, frosty, creamy mess, but a sticky, slimy, icky mess all the same. It had been fun for a moment or two, but Doodle Dog did not quite wish to stay covered in this concoction that made him appear as though a vanilla volcano erupted all over his fur. Licking the tips of his paws only worked so well because soon his tongue became just as sticky as his toes and he found the more he tried to get clean, the more he was actually getting gooey! The melty ice cream drops started to turn a bit gummy as they mixed with the fuzzy flecks on his feet and, well, it was NOT what the floppy-eared puppy had in mind when he thought maybe he would try a new look for summer! This was definitely a fashion faux “paw” of puppy proportions! Doodle Dog certainly didn’t want to commit such a canine crime, even if it was of the yummy confectionary kind, so he wondered how he could get himself out of the – quite actual – sticky situation.

There! A very simple solution to his current condition shone in front of him by the form of the sprawling, shimmering lake where the little humans splashed and scampered. As their toes swished in the ripples, it appeared they had the right idea to get un-sticky! Splashing and scampering are what the floppy-eared puppy does best so not another moment went by before Doodle Dog decided to join in the fun. As his paws swished in the ripples, the spaces between his toes loosened and the clumps in his fur disappeared. Dozens of boys and girls were scampering, splashing, swimming and shrieking with delight as gentle waves washed over them. Skipping over the ripples, the little red wagon boy was now leading something other than a pile of books. Several children danced and pranced along beside and behind him as he made his way down the shore to the far end of the lake, his bare feet leaving a trail of toe prints in the sand as he went, toe prints which were soon joined by those of the other children and then the paw prints of one very curious – and now considerably cleaner! – floppy-eared puppy. At the curve of shore just up ahead, Doodle Dog could now see what everyone was excitedly approaching. A wide ladder, which really more resembled a series of steps, reached up from a solid, sturdier piece of ground off to the side of the sandy bank spread under their feet. And, at the tippy top of the staircase ladder, a length of colorful lumber stuck out like a long, flat limb jutting out of a tree. The little boy immediately scurried up the sturdy rungs and balanced on the protruding panel, his small feet light tan against the bright orange overhanging from the ladder. Doodle Dog couldn’t help but think the diving board resembled a flattened traffic cone that hadn’t jumped out of a bicycle’s way in time. He also couldn’t help thinking that he generally avoided objects that reminded him to take caution!

Despite the friendly child beginning to bounce up and down on it, that diving board did not appear very welcoming to the curious but cautious floppy-eared puppy. As the other children scrambled up the ladder to watch the boy take his leap into the liquidy lagoon below, Doodle Dog preferred the view from right where his paws were planted. He could see plenty from right there on the safe shore.

But as the brave little boy went to the very end of the diving board, wrapping his toes over the edge, and bounced once, then twice, the floppy-eared puppy watched first in fright, then in anticipation and awe when the boy’s toes left the platform, then excitement as he splashed in, and then finally in eager delight while waiting for the jumper to resurface. The onlookers cheered from their various positions on the platform, the ladder or on the ground waiting to climb up themselves. One by one the group thinned out as its members took turns scrambling, springing and splashing. Soon the floppy-eared puppy was the only one not swimming.

The children in the water called out to Doodle Dog, encouraging him to try the dive himself. Several pets dove with their humans: a Golden Lab had already taken the plunge and was now happily chasing a small ball as it bobbed up and down in the wrinkly waves and a very wet German Shepherd shook itself dry after returning to the shore right next to the floppy-eared puppy. Doodle Dog knew if he was going to try it, this was his chance. If he waited too long, everyone would be tired of splashing around and he’d be all by himself at the top of the ladder! Eep!

Taking a deep breath, he put one front paw on the bottom rung of the staircase ladder, then his next front paw and then finally his two back paws cautiously followed. Rung by rung, one at a time, one paw then the next and then the rest, the floppy-eared puppy climbed. When he reached the top, he didn’t bounce out to the board right away like the little wagon boy, but instead stopped to look out over the lake and the treetops surrounding it. Then he took a deeper breath and slowly scooted paw by paw, inch by inch along the traffic cone-colored beam. This must be what it’s like to walk the pirate plank! Doodle Dog imagined all the sea stories he read with sleek ships and salty air. A swift wind made him shiver as he went to the very end of the diving board and wrapped his paws over the edge, his claws digging in slightly while he convinced himself to take the path between holding on tightly and letting go to fly in the air. Taking his deepest breath of all, the floppy-eared puppy bounced once… then twice… and … SPLASH!

The onlookers cheered from their various spots in the surf and on the shore as Doodle Dog resurfaced and swam to the water’s edge. Doggie paddling? Now that’s something he can do quite well!


As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up

And here we meet a sleepy pup,

Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,

Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.


The best place to find the sunshine and the best way to see it for sure is to go outside and today was as good a day as any for meandering through town. Doodle Dog ambled out the office door, his tail wagging excitedly as he hopped down the front step and dropped onto the sidewalk.

Not only was the sun right there where he expected it to be, a bright, bold yellow ball high in the sky above him, but that sky itself surrounding that sunny orb spread a brilliant, beautiful blue on top of, below and every which way around it. A few white clouds here and there dotted the atmosphere like fluffy versions of the smattering of stars scattered in patterns on the fabric flags hanging from patriotic poles and delicately draped over balconies bursting with the colorful pride of the season.

The floppy-eared puppy scampered past the shops along the main street of town, only stopping for a moment to admire a simple scene of summery selections carefully clustered together to create a lovely window display. A red and white checkered blanket cushioned a tiny inflatable pool with plastic walls clear and see-through so passersby could spot the family of rubber duckies lazily floating on the top of clean, sparkling water tinted blue for extra effect. Soft ripples bobbed each duckie up and then down, one by one, as Doodle Dog watched the gentle, peaceful motion, and he only slightly wanted to jump after the creatures and chase them! (But he managed to refrain.) However, causing him to pause for much longer than a moment, the storefront a few windows down caught the floppy-eared puppy’s attention entirely. The bake shop had been decorated with several yummy designs, strawberries, blueberries and vanilla icing serving as edible art supplies. Masterpieces made of assorted munchies lined up like soldiers on the shelves and petite pastries were arranged just so that they became one small part of what turned out to be a giant star if viewed just right. Mmmmm! Doodle Dog would have to remember to come back to nibble a puppy-friendly treat, but not now. No, he was too excited that the sun was still following him and wanted to make the most of the day. Stars and bites would just have to wait!

As soon as he returned to his path, Doodle Dog noticed a small boy tugged a little red wagon filled with something else quite wonderful. The brim of a blue baseball cap pulled way down low shielding his eyes from the sun way up high, the boy took great care with each step to make sure his cargo stayed in place. Filling the space behind him, stacks and stacks of prettily-bound books formed a sort of fortress in this child-size carriage. Doodle Dog wondered how long it would take for the little boy to read all those stories, or maybe he already had! And then, perched on the books and riding in the very center of the wagon, a white cat as fluffy as the clouds above politely meowed at the floppy-eared puppy as he padded past. It would be easy to read all those books with a buddy to hear the stories too! Before continuing on his way, Doodle Dog took a moment to nudge the back of the wagon a few squares on the concrete to make the load a little easier for the boy to pull. From under his baseball cap, he giggled gratefully as he let his temporary guard dog give him a helping paw.

Down the hill the little boy went, his wagon, his books and his cat in tow. The floppy-eared guard dog could see they would be just fine on their journey, but decided it would be a good idea to follow them at a short distance behind in case they needed him. Eep! Not quite. They may not need help, but the guard dog might! Doodle Dog ducked as a bright cherry red cardinal and a blue jay with markings the color of a muted blueberry zipped after one another in an airborne game of tag so intense that for a moment all the floppy-eared puppy saw was a blur of purple until the birds finally became separate streaks zooming around him. The not-so-guard dog dropped to the ground and hopped out of the way as the feathers flew above him. When all was clear he followed where the wagon, its passenger and its conductor had disappeared on the path, sniffing his way to find them. Soon his nose picked up the scent of pages, fur and metal warmed by the sun and he not only found his new friends, but the glistening blue lake behind them. Next to the lake, a giant blanket spread over the ground, its tiny red and white squares playing patterns that disappeared under a plate and reappeared on the other side of a mug. Seated around the blanket were various humans chattering happily while smaller humans splashed on the shore. A little girl ran up and down the sandy bank of the lake trailing a kite, a patch of red floating against the blue sky and white clouds. The little boy took out his books and shared them with the other humans sitting there, making sure to place one next to him for his cat too. Then he patted a spot for Doodle Dog as well! Along with the tales, which were definitely treats in themselves, an assortment of summery yummies were spread on the blanket. The little boy chose an ice cream cone, soon beginning to drip from the warm day. The goopy vanilla swirled on top just like the icing on the cupcake in the bake shop window. Mmmm! The little boy offered the floppy-eared puppy a bite, but as Doodle Dog took a lick he wound up with frosty, sugary drops dripping ALL over his nose! The drops went from his nose to his paws and down to the blanket making it covered in red, white and goo! Ew!


As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up

And here we meet a sleepy pup,

Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,

Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.


The silver bumblebee glittered at Doodle Dog from his bookshelf, glinting as though reflecting  an unseen source of light. Nestled among the stories sleeping there, the tiny insect reminded the floppy-eared puppy of all the wonderful things that could surround him when he immersed himself in the world. Doodle Dog thought how fun it might be to see if any real bumblebees were flittering about with their black stripes and white wings sailing them through the airy landscape, so he scampered outside hopeful of what he would find.

But when the floppy-eared puppy reached the other side of the office door, it was not a bright, dazzling day that greeted him. As his paws touched the sidewalk, gray and smooth, the clouds overhead mirrored the same subdued shade. The quiet puffs made it look like rain was coming or as if the sky was about to cry, though no tears had fallen yet. Doodle Dog continued  through the streets hoping to find something to brighten the day, but as he meandered by storefront after storefront, it became more elusive still. He paused for a moment at the window of the yummy bakeshop, the treats of which usually cheered him up. Today, instead of the brilliantly-hued icings on cakes and puppy-friendly pastel pastries that always caught his curiosity, the platters in the treat case were filled with teeny truffles shaped perfectly round like mini moons, full circles in the sky. A few were cut open to reveal the creamy cookie center and they did look quite tasty. Covered in the darkest of chocolate, Doodle Dog knew these delicacies were not for four-legged friends so he kept going to the next window on his route! But as the floppy-eared puppy continued along, every view was the same. Even the formalwear shop in town that usually had bright dresses in the front windows – the display there too was bare of color as prom season was over and now smart tuxedos stood by each other enticing potential groomsmen to stop on in for summer ceremonies.

Enough of this! Doodle Dog decided to go to the park where he knew there was always another world of vivid and vibrant creations. As the floppy-eared puppy went by the last shop on the street, a stack of newspapers piled in front of the stoop toppled over from the wind and slid right under his paws. Stepping gently on and then off the newspaper, Doodle Dog continued along… the newsprint leaving a grayscale trail of paw prints on the stone-colored cement sidewalk behind him. Turning down the path that he’d walked many times before, Doodle Dog expected to see the lush, sprawling lawn of the park any minute now. He DIDN’T expect a series of black tiles alternating with a series of white tiles to be covering the meadow as he approached! A giant chess board greeted him, the oversized horses guarding the gate to the park seeming quite a lot more enormous than they already were to the little floppy-eared puppy looking up at them. His petite paws pattered across the slick surface as Doodle Dog carefully avoided a tower that resembled a castle and made sure not to run smack into a cluster of similar-looking pieces making up an army advancing across various parts of the pale panels and their contrasting counterparts. With their limited color palette, the sights around him were all starting to resemble an old timey movie with the voiceless actors – Doodle Dog half expected lines of static to roll across the scene in front of him.

The floppy-eared puppy had yet to see a buzzing bumblebee, but another type of tiny winged creature the color of a starless sky at midnight circled over the treetops. The crow quietly looped in and out of the forest’s edge clearing the very tips of the branches. And, on the other side of the park, Doodle Dog noticed another bird floating above the land too – a dove the color of the ocean’s snowy surf peacefully dipped on the air currents over the meadow. As he watched the pair of flying friends soar across the sky, the clouds above them billowed from a steely gray to silver to slate to a smoky charcoal as Mother Nature seemed to be in quite the murky mood! Even the soil surrounding Doodle Dog’s flower garden was under a shadowy blanket as the baby bulbs slept soundly. But there, in the middle of the garden, poking just out of the dirt, was an itty-bitty blossom the neon color of a bumblebee’s other brighter stripes. A yellow tulip shone through the shadows like a miniature sun, gleefully glowing with all its might. The tough, tiny tulip seemed to smile at Doodle Dog as he gave it a friendly sniff. And with that the floppy-eared puppy knew that even though today was gloomy and gray, the sun was only sleeping, and there would be more sunny days around the corner. Just in case, he knew the spot where his own personal planted sunshine bloomed and he would be sure and visit any time he felt lonely or needed some extra cheer!


Author’s note: In honor of my feline furbaby, Alistair, who is the inspiration for many “Puppy Tails” adventures and never minded that I write stories about a dog. You will be my sunshine always.

Peeking around the corner of the office building, Doodle Dog leapt back before a hurried woman rushing past him stepped on his paws. That was close! What was all the excitement about? The curious floppy-eared puppy crept out again, certainly not nearly as quickly as the two-legged traveler dashing down the driveway in front of him. Even at his easygoing amble, Doodle Dog soon came upon the very center of the town which seemed unusually busy, busy even for it being the most popular place at the most popular time of day. Keeping an eye out so not to get squished, the little floppy-eared puppy made his way down the sidewalk, weaving around ankles of lampposts and between the legs of the iron benches parked at various helpful points along the main street for weary shoppers to sit and peruse a while. But there was no time to be a spectator today as there was too much to see and too much of a chance of getting swept up in the current of activity! Well, that is, of course, unless you are a little puppy who has a talent for blending into the scenery and quietly observing.

Doodle Dog did just that, effectively disappearing into a crevice of wall between two shops. Melting into the impromptu mold, the puppy may very well have always been a fixture in that part of the structure rather than a momentary visitor to the architecture. From this vantage point, Doodle Dog was able to safely survey the scene on the sidewalk. At each section of every so many concrete squares, a table was set up with various merchandise and artistic wares. One table had wonderful smells wafting from it, scenting up the air with lilac one minute and fresh citrus fruits the next and chocolate chip cookies the next as a lady stirred a small pot filled with what appeared to be gelatinous, goopy crayons. Really yummy smelling gelatinous, goopy crayons! As she continued to swirl the little wand in the pot, the goo changed color and with it the scent in the air. Quite curious and magical indeed! Another table held similarly deliciously-smelling items, but these ones were not dissolving into a jar rather were being devoured by customers sampling the treats. Real edible ooey-gooeys like brownies and cinnamon buns, carefully crafted by a chef’s talented hands, were disappearing just as quickly as they appeared on an array of plates and platters arranged on the portable counter. On and on down both sides of the street the town’s delights were on display.

Meandering safely from his melted-in perch, the floppy-eared puppy’s nose found a particularly intriguing exhibit that did not include smelling sweets or tantalizing treats. Instead a stack of books next to a table caught his attention as he recognized the characters on the covers and the spines. He knew the legends were from an assortment, some written, some gathered, all collected by a pair of brothers who loved fairytales just as much as the little curious puppy and loved sharing the stories just as much as he did too. Sitting at the table next to the stack of books were two men busily hunched over their work. Though their facial features were similar enough that Doodle Dog figured they were brothers, that’s where the similarities ended. One had longish blonde hair that swished into his eyes as he peered over his glasses focusing on what was in his hands. Working quickly, he carved and etched something into a metal strip, fashioning it a bit here and then working the edge a bit there. Soon a set of stripes appeared and then a pair of giant eyes and some spindly legs and several wings. It reminded Doodle Dog of the shadowy shapes of the puppet show bugs. Ew! At least these ones wouldn’t bite! While the blonde brother worked, the other man concentrated on his own projects, just as varied from his cohort’s as their appearance. He had short dark hair which showed off a zealous expression in his eyes as he centered his attention on making tiny sculptures out of colorful clay. Soon a herd of miniature horses galloped in unison, the ponies prancing across the table in a dainty dance, some with wings, some with tiny spikes on their foreheads like a mythological unicorn in one of those fairytales, all with beautiful, unique markings on their multi-hued backs.

Doodle Dog stopped to indulge his curiosity for a while and as he watched the clay squishing between the artist’s fingers, soon they were not forming hooves and swishing tails, rather a paw suddenly appeared and then two floppy ears. Within moments it was no longer a ball of clay – it was a tiny Doodle Dog! The itty bitty floppy-eared puppy settled onto a clay fairytale book, the perfect perch for the petite pup! The artist gave Doodle Dog a kind smile as he gently placed Clay Doodle Dog into a small bag, tucking him into a cushion of plastic bubbles. And, just before offering the handle to the real floppy-eared puppy, the other artist dropped a tiny silver bumblebee into the bag too. It wasn’t as scary as the other kind of creepy crawly critters in the collection so Doodle Dog gave a grateful bark and continued on to explore the rest of what the fascinating setting had to offer!


On a pile of soft, cozy picnic blankets the floppy-eared puppy snoozed, very nearly to the point of snoring, in a slumber soothed by the calm breeze blowing through the nearby trees. The patches of grass newly filled with budding bulbs circled in their wavy lines around and around him, but he didn’t notice the patterned lands at all as he napped in complete relaxation on the colorful carpet. Doodle Dog contentedly curled and flexed his paws in drowsy oblivion, unaware of the goings-on near him but still safe, secure and blissful all the same. 

As he dozed, a dream took over his subconscious, directing his imagination in a fantastical dance while he slept. Nearly perfectly still in reality, Doodle Dog’s mind was anything but as it zipped and zoomed from one scene to the next almost as quickly as an inner tube soaring over the top of the lake or a go-kart going round and round the meadow. At a particular moment when it finally calmed, the sleeping Doodle Dog found himself in quite the strange world his thoughts had created.

While in reality the sky above Doodle Dog was a soft blue, misty in parts from a smattering of cottony clouds here and there, in his dream the natural ceiling swished and swirled with the melted rainbow from the racetrack, dashing across a cloudless canvas. The brilliant hues twisted and tangled over the treetops, reds and purples mixing with greens and blues. A radiant round sun shone through the shining shades, making the yellows even brighter. Within moments, a cluster of fluffy white wisps drifted onto the scene, the clouds poufy like a bunny’s puffy tail. One by one they floated through the curtain of color, dipping out to the other side and leaving a translucent trail. One by one each white puff entered the celestial crayon box, and then, unexpectedly, when they emerged each one was tinted a different color! Soon not only was the sky itself glittering with streaks of its own colors, but the beautiful backdrop was speckled with spots of painted clouds continuing to glide along, lazily wafting above the landscape below.

And it was to that landscape below that Doodle Dog’s imagination turned next without any particular reason or intent. His dream melted from one scene to the next almost as seamlessly as the clouds changing colors above him and soon he found himself watching the ribbons of the rainbow reach down to the ground, each separate shade aimed directly for the center of each earthly pothole that the floppy-eared puppy had helped dig not that long ago. While in reality the potholes were covered with their soft, cozy sod blankets, in his dream the little curious puppy saw the flowers sprout up from their beds, pushing through the earth and silently saying “good morning” to the spring. As he crept closer to the tiny baby buds, Doodle Dog did not see flower petals, silky and delicate, unfolding to feel the sun’s warmth. Instead, when the sun spotlighted on each previously-slumbering specimen, a shiny sparkle glinted from it! Carefully creeping even closer still, the floppy-eared puppy could now see that what had sprouted in front of him was not a tulip or a rose or a daisy or a snapdragon. Where a lavender-colored tulip should have been was a sparkling violet amethyst! And where a radiant red rose should have been was instead a ruby. Now every color of the ribbons from the rainbow connecting the earth to the sky were not only represented in the dipped clouds but were now being reflected, quite literally, in the colors of the gemstones growing up from the ground!

As the floppy-eared puppy continued down the winding rows of precious jewels, enjoying the view of emeralds the shade of evergreens and sapphires the deep blue of the ocean’s waves, he wondered if there had ever before been a bouquet of such bedazzling buds! The string of gemstones almost seemed as though Mother Nature was getting dressed up for a special occasion and the flowers-turned-sparkling rocks of a different sort served as just the perfect accessory. On and on they went, curving their colors up the hillside, the amethysts, rubies, emeralds and sapphires intertwining with unusual garnets and aquamarines as they too awoke newly sprouted. Then Doodle Dog, wanting to give each the attention it deserved, came upon the very last gem in the pattern. It had no color at all! Though it seemed at first glance to be an imperfection in the line of treasure, the perfectly clear, colorless crystal sparkled up at Doodle Dog, more unique and special than all the rest. He didn’t have a chance to find out its secret in his dream, however, as the warm sun in reality persuaded the floppy-eared puppy to wake up from his nap.

As he reluctantly coaxed his eyes open, the tree next to him caught Doodle Dog’s gaze. And there, nestled among its branches, was something that wasn’t wood or leaf or furry creature. As the sunlight glistened down on the earth, warming the sleeping buds in their earthy beds, it also shone on a speck that was rather familiar. Dangling from a nearby twig, a sparkling crystal-like object caught the light just so, and one by one the sun’s rays went in through the clear container and slipped out to the other side leaving a translucent trail. One by one each entered the colorless crystal, and then, unexpectedly, when they emerged each beam was a different color! The tiny crystal seemed to hold all the colors of the rainbow in one beautiful bundle. The floppy-eared puppy HAD found a gemstone bouquet in a very unique and special little package!


The wind still whistled through the curious puppy’s floppy ears, but Doodle Dog had so much fun at the park he decided to go back again today to see what more he could find. As he made his way down the sidewalk, his little legs tilted his body slightly to the side as if automatically remembering how to curve and sway as the go-kart zipped and swerved and whipped through the blurry lines of competition. Doodle Dog almost had to convince himself he was now safe on firm ground! But as his furry paws met the solid concrete, it wasn’t long before the floppy-eared puppy found his land legs and it wasn’t long after that he found them leading him to the grassy green carpet of the park.

It was time to go outside – Doodle Dog was tired of being cooped up indoors! Some furry rodent had supposedly predicted that winter would be camped out for quite a while longer, but some other furry rodent claimed that wasn’t true. Doodle Dog didn’t know who to believe so the only thing he could do was go and find out for himself and see what his own floppy ears told him!

Doodle Dog uncurled his little body and slowly stretched his legs so that they peeked out over the edge of his cozy bed, extending his paws so that they untucked from the soft blanket keeping the floppy-eared puppy, his legs and his paws quite warm and comfy. About to curl right back up again, Doodle Dog thought of all the woodland creatures who lived in the park, in the meadow and in the forest at the edge of the lake with the warm blankets of grass and flowers and leaves and thistles to keep them cozy. He wanted to keep exploring outside today, but one glance out the window (that he still thought was hung in the wrong place) and he could see the land still dressed in snowy white. Many of the other animals spent this time of year tucked in their warm homes and snoring away. They had the right idea – Doodle Dog thought hibernating sounded pretty good right about now!

Though the insides of the new office were still slightly strange to Doodle Dog, the floppy-eared puppy figured the outsides would still be slightly familiar, so he slipped out the new door to the new porch stoop and onto a sidewalk that seemed a bit strange but indeed a bit familiar too. He remembered that the moving truck hadn’t gone that far at all and that he could still see the old building from where the new building lived. In fact, in all his explorations of the town, there was a good chance that he’d scampered by this very spot several times before this – it was just now a starting point instead of a middle one.

Doodle Dog was glad he had the chance to deliver pumpkins while the weather was still being mostly friendly because today the gentle breeze had turned into something that blew and blew and howled and howled and huffed and puffed against the windows on every side of the office. The floppy-eared puppy curled up and listened to the noisy mutant gusts and figured they probably just sounded a lot worse than they really were – at least he hoped so!

To distract himself and not let his imagination get away from him, Doodle Dog directed his imagination to think of good things instead. He immediately thought of the holidays coming up and how much he looked forward to helping out with the shiny decorations again. That little tree looked so pretty in the middle of the park and Doodle Dog was glad he had a paw in making it happy! Maybe that little snowflake still glistened on the tippy top of it. Doodle Dog felt like one of Santa’s elves designing Christmas magic for the little tree. And then the best part was wrapping presents to tuck under it and surprise his furry friends around the forest and in town. The glittering packages reminded Doodle Dog of the flecks of snow and ice making intricate patterns on the window when the weather was really, really cold. The floppy-eared puppy glanced up to see if the invisible ice skater had returned to his clear canvas, but not yet – right now the wind still blew and blew menacingly against the windowpane. Ahh!

All that hard work made Doodle Dog quite tired so he decided he wasn’t going to go too very far from home today, at least not for a little while. The impromptu detour had been fun and all, in its own way, but there is so much else to see and Doodle Dog didn’t want to be sidetracked for too long. That is, until something else interesting or intriguing happened to distract him along his path! Taking one step at a time, the floppy-eared puppy slowly made his way down the sidewalk, enjoying the light breeze fluttering over his nose, cooling his forehead and tickling his ears. He knew just where he could go to take several journeys and explore endlessly without moving his paws from one spot.

Soon Doodle Dog turned the corner to the library and slipped in the open door as a lady stepped outside. The little girl keeping pace beside her smiled brightly at the floppy-eared puppy from just over the tippy top of a stack of colorful books in her arms, so many piled up that she had to stretch a bit to peek out over the small slightly-wobbly tower. Following her mother, the little girl disappeared down the street as Doodle Dog quickly disappeared into the foyer of the library, a narrow hallway which soon opened up into an enormous cave of books. Seemingly endless rows of multihued bindings called out to the curious floppy-eared puppy, their pages protectively housing the everlasting stories between the covers. So many beautiful books to distract an explorer, but Doodle Dog knew exactly which one he wanted to find today.

There! Right near the bottom, perfectly kid-level and doggie-level too, the vibrant blue the color of the summer sky waved to him from the bookcase like an old friend gleeful at its visitor’s arrival. Doodle Dog gently nudged the soft book from its keeping-place and let it plop carefully to the carpet in front of him. The book opened to the first page and the story began, but Doodle Dog didn’t need the words to know what it said – he knew this tale by heart. Looking at the brilliant pictures, the floppy-eared puppy lightly pushed each page with his nose and listened in his mind as his memory told him the story:

“As the moon goes to bed, the sun wakes up And here we meet a sleepy pup  Looking forward to a bright fun day New places to see, new chances to play  Doodle Dog gets the morning news, Then sometimes takes an afternoon snooze  Lazily the clouds float by Fluffy white against blue sky  Hide and Seek count three-two-one Doodle Dog jumps and Doodle Dog runs  Until at the end of the sidewalk can be found Paw prints in the green, green grass and the dirt so brown  Doodle Dog loves to go for a walk And always makes sure to stop and talk  To the butterflies and the bees, To the flowers and all the trees  Then every night before it grows dark, Doodle Dog says a “goodnight” bark  As the sun goes to bed, the moon wakes up And tucks in safely a drowsy pup  Tomorrow is a bright new day With new places to see, new chances to play  This is the beginning, it’s not the end. Won’t you be Doodle Dog’s friend?”

The vivid sky blue of the back cover tucking the story closed, the floppy-eared puppy tilted the book upright and propped it against the bookcase. Perhaps he would leave it out for a bit in case someone else wanted to find it. There were more pictures to see and stories to read – Doodle Dog figured it would take his entire lifetime to explore even one section of the neverending collection. In fact, it was times like these that Doodle Dog nearly wished he was a cat… then he’d have nine lifetimes to read all those books!

But no matter how many other delicious choices his imagination would have a chance to happily devour, the floppy-eared puppy would always come back to his very favorite tale: the one about a curious floppy-eared puppy who loves to explore. And so, true to the legend set before him, Doodle Dog scampered off to the far reaches of the cavernous interior of the library, covered as distant as his eye, and imagination, could see with myths and fairytales and true stories, too, just waiting to whisk him away to another distant land and then another, all without ever leaving his cozy little spot!


As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up
And here we meet a sleepy pup,
Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,
Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.

Today is going to be a great day! Well, it BETTER be! Doodle Dog thought as he took a quick sip from his shiny silver water bowl and a quicker bite of kibble from his bright red dish, barely stopping to crunch it between his teeth before he zipped off to a corner of the office towering with boxes. There was a lot to do in that little corner and Doodle Dog was excited to check one more thing off his Doggie To-Do List!
The current project on his list was to clean up his area of the office, but over the last couple of years it seemed random objects had decided to make his home THEIR home too and had simply invited themselves into whatever spare space had once existed between Doodle Dog’s comfy, fuzzy blanket and basket of chewy toys and his neighbor: the bookcase overflowing with his favorite stories. Doodle Dog didn’t want to be unfriendly, but those uninvited objects were starting to overstay their welcome and he really needed his nice clean area back. Perhaps with a little nudge in the right direction, they would migrate back to wherever they had come from or, if not, then find a new place entirely!
With all the right intentions and his goal firmly in mind, Doodle Dog approached his mission at hand with all the gusto of somepuppy who knew exactly what he wanted and exactly how to get it, but as the little fluffy form that is Doodle Dog came nearer to the towering stacks of boxes, the little floppy-eared puppy realised just HOW big and menacing this project appeared! His early confidence quickly fading, Doodle Dog gulped and stopped right in his tracks, wrapping his tail around his front paws as he stared up at the mountain in front of him. A mountain that he was sure was growing and expanding into quite a scary kind of monster right in front of his eyes! Doodle Dog hadn’t bargained for this! But he knew there was a job to be done and he couldn’t back down now, so after he let himself be scared for a moment, the little floppy-eared puppy mustered his courage and imagined that the mound-of-mess-monster was no bigger than a molehill mouse (whether it was true or not!) and, just for good measure, he also imagined that he was not, in fact, a puppy of small size but was actually, for the time being at least, quite a bit braver, stronger and smarter than he seemed a moment ago.

As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up
And here we meet a sleepy pup,
Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,
Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.

Steam rose from the pavement covering the street outside the office window and little drops of dew that happened to plop on the sidewalk sizzled away within seconds. Summer was definitely here and it was definitely hot! Doodle Dog watched from inside his cool corner of the cozy couch, calmly guarding his little piece of air-conditioned earth. The floppy-eared puppy could see some of the townspeople walking very, very slowly so not to become too exhausted that they couldn’t make it home and some walking very, very quickly to find a cool place to relax as soon as possible. If Doodle Dog let his imagination get away from him, it might almost appear that some of the people were melting right into the concrete! First their shoes, then their socks, then the rest of them as they became shorter and shorter and shorter! His thoughts were so vivid that Doodle Dog almost began to think that HE was sinking too! But Doodle Dog shook his floppy ears and remembered where he was, on the comfy couch, simply sinking into the squishy cushions, and remembered that the people weren’t actually sinking into the street. Whew!
Doodle Dog looked at the left side of the couch cushion creeping up next to his front paw and at the right side of the couch cushion sneaking up by his tail. He knew he wasn’t really supposed to be up there in the first place, but the very middle of the couch was so very comfy that he decided he would let himself squish right down with it anyway, and sank a little bit deeper.

It had been quite a while since Doodle Dog found himself outside after dark. Though indeed quite curious most hours of the day, the little floppy-eared puppy always tried to make sure he was home, tucked safely in the office, before the sun went to bed and the street lamps lit up to take over its job for the evening. It was then, on this particular occasion, just a bit unusual that as the shade of the sky deepened into a blue so dark it was almost violet Doodle Dog was not, in fact, inside his warm blanket in his favorite corner of the office, but was actually still admiring nature’s morphing ceiling… under the earth’s soft covering that is the sky itself!

As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up

And here we meet a sleepy pup,

Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,

Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.


The rain had finally calmed to a slow drizzle and Doodle Dog decided he’d had enough of this hiding-inside-business. Wet or not, thundering or not, scary or not, the floppy-eared puppy was going to venture outside and face the stormy rain once and for all.

Well, maybe…

As Doodle Dog poked his nose out the front door of the office, a heavy stream from the gutter overhead gushed down suddenly, soaking the tiny buds peeking out of the mulch in the flower beds and painting the front steps dark with a fresh coat of water. Maybe the porch was far enough, Doodle Dog thought. And so he stretched out his front legs and settled onto the soft welcome mat safe under the sturdy roof of the porch. Getting comfortable on the mat that was just the size of the little floppy-eared puppy, Doodle Dog curiously peered out across the wood plank floor, over the low railings and through the open space between the two decorative pillars that were not only pretty but that served a very important purpose – holding up the roof! Doodle Dog’s gaze continued on past these very pretty, very important pillars to the street and the sidewalk that bordered it, and curiously watched the hustle and bustle that didn’t even halt one little bit despite the sort of gloomy, sort of drippy, sort of just plain yucky weather.

Ahhhhh! Spring is here, spring is here, spring is here! Doodle Dog thought as he bounded down the sidewalk through town. Spring is here, spring is here, spring is here! Doodle Dog thought as he dodged a row of melty puddles made by the dripping mounds of snow that, although they were still here, were no longer massive mountains of mush and were quickly melting into miniature versions of their previous selves. Despite the remaining evidence that winter was not yet willing to take its annual vacation, it was also obvious that spring was coming whether winter and all of its piles of snow and ice liked it or not. In fact, spring wasn’t just coming, spring was here!

As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up

And here we meet a sleepy pup,

Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,

Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.

Tucked cozily in his blanket, the warm fabric wrapped extra tightly around his toes, Doodle Dog peered out the window to the town streets where the fluffy snow was falling again. Spring would be here soon, at least that’s what he heard from the neighborhood groundhog, but for now the sidewalks were still covered in white flecks and the townspeople continued to hurry along about their business all bundled up in thick coats and fuzzy scarves. As much fun as it usually was to watch the world bustling about, the floppy-eared puppy was getting just a bit bored with being inside. His recent trip to the park was indeed very exciting, but Doodle Dog wasn’t about to go back out in that chilly air or the even chillier icy cold water. His toes were finally warming up again, thankyouverymuch!

Glancing around the office for something to entertain him, Doodle Dog saw his favorite bookcase with all the pretty drawings on the covers. The office was empty of humans, nice and quiet which would be perfect for reading, but it also meant there was no one to read Doodle Dog a story. He could go to the library and find a little boy or girl to read to him, but that would mean going outside. Brrrrr! Doodle Dog shivered just thinking about it. No… he would have to figure out something else.

As he looked at the painted images decorating each cover, Doodle Dog thought about the beautiful princess walking through the forest on the green book sitting on the top shelf and about the knight in his shining armor riding his horse down a dirt path on the cover of the blue book nestled right in the middle of the bookcase. Would their paths ever meet? What problems would try to stand in their way? The floppy-eared puppy didn’t have to open the book to figure out what happened – he decided he could make up his own tale!

Curling up even deeper in his blanket, Doodle Dog closed his eyes and imagined what it would be like to walk down the forest path next to the princess, her long dress the color of daffodils in sunshine floating in the gentle wind that blew through the trees. He could almost feel the soft grass and dirt under his paws as he padded along and hear the woodland creatures scurrying about from their lush hollows. Together the floppy-eared puppy and the princess greeted the friendly animals who lived among the vines and brush, and they had made their way nearly to the edge of the forest where the sunlight broke through the leafy canopy overhead, when a very loud rumble startled Doodle Dog and made him jump behind the princess’s skirt. Being brave was sometimes overrated. The princess didn’t look too worried, but she stopped walking and peered around the last tree bordering the forest. Doodle Dog decided it was safe enough to peer around the princess as she peered around the tree, and as he tried to figure out what was making such a noise, he heard it again! This time there was no mistaking it – the thundering sound was coming from a nearby cave just to the left of the forest’s path. Not only that, but coming from the entrance of the cave with the thunder were billowing clouds. No, not clouds… smoke!

After a few moments, the princess slowly unwrapped herself from the tree and, once the floppy-eared puppy unwrapped himself from her ankles, she began to cautiously approach the cave. Doodle Dog swallowed his fear and followed her brave example to find out what was causing the noise and the smoke. Inside the cave, among the puffs of cloudy smoke, the floppy-eared puppy saw a shining pile of brilliantly-colored jewels and other treasures. Pretty! And right behind the giant mound of shimmering objects was… NOT one of the friendly woodland creatures: a very large, very scaly, very grumpy dragon! The mean old dragon thrashed its tail, knocking a layer of jewels in an avalanche to the floor.

But why do dragons have to be so mean? Doodle Dog wondered. The floppy-eared puppy remembered this is HIS story and he didn’t want the dragon to be mean. So he thought of what might happen to make the dragon be not so mean and before he knew it, the princess marched right up to the large, scaly, grumpy dragon and wrapped her arms around it and gave it a big, squishy, friendly hug, sort of like she’d hugged the tree in the forest. As Doodle Dog watched, the cave stopped echoing thunder and spewing smoke that looked like clouds, and the large, scaly, not-so-grumpy dragon reached down to one of the jewels that had tumbled to the floor and nudged it toward the princess. The sunlight from outside the cave glinted off the heavy jewel and the dragon ducked its head into the sunlight itself, spread its wings and flew out of the cave and up over the trees. The princess and the floppy-eared puppy stepped outside to wave at the dragon and at that moment the sunlight glinted off a knight in his shining armor who was riding his horse down the dirt path. The knight took off his helmet and the princess could see he was a prince in disguise!

Before Doodle Dog’s imagination could get away from him again, the floppy-eared puppy decided he better give the prince and princess a happy ending and one for the curious guard puppy too! Safe at home in the office, he nuzzled his nose in his blankets and finished his story before anything else had a chance to slither out of the cave…


Snowflakes landed one by one outside the office window, each one adding to the smooth blanket of white covering the town like a new cozy comforter keeping the grass warm. But the weather was anything but warm as the snow continued to drift down, some icy flecks floating lazily on a gentle wind before landing on a small pile, while other more menacing tufts sped straight to the ground with a very purposeful thud. Well, with as much “thud” as a soft little snowflake could do, even if it was a tough, menacing one.

The beautiful gazebo was quiet now as all the little fairies, imps, nymphs and sprites who had gathered there to hear the princess’s tales went on their way and lived happily ever after. The giant once-white canvas with all the paint tracks – and tail smacks! – made by the floppy-eared puppy and all the other dogs was now hung up for display, the blips and blops of colorful blobs long since dried. And all the different shades of the evening sky, swiped above the earth with nature’s widest paint brush, had made way for a new work of art brought about by the morning’s refreshing light. For having been so busy, so bustling, so filled with the animals and their humans surrounded by so much creative power not so long ago, the little park was now relatively quiet and calm. But as Doodle Dog wandered past the empty gazebo, through what had been the painting area, and around the perching rock that had the best view of the sky, he knew there was still very much a joyful energy left behind. 

Doodle Dog scampered through the cool grass and wove in among unusual trees and out among usual trees. He let the green blades tickle the undersides of his round paws as he scampered and wandered and trotted and plodded along his way, not really paying much attention to all that scampering, wandering, trotting and plodding as he continued on because he still had the barking hum or humming bark of the canine choir barking and humming away in his head. In fact, Doodle Dog found himself scampering, wandering, trotting and plodding right along in step with the tune depending on if it was humming or barking or echoing in his mind like the different voices of the animals and their humans had echoed off the usual and unusual trees surrounding the curiously enchanted garden!

Doodle Dog would have loved to continue snoozing the day away, turning the quite pleasant, enchanted eve of quiet midsummer night’s dreams into a quite pleasant, enchanted afternoon of quiet midsummer day’s dreams, but as the wide eyes of the man in the moon closed sleepily and the bright-eyed gleam of the morning sun warmed the grassy knoll where a little floppy-eared puppy slept, drifting in and out on the lullabies of pixies and sprites, of fairies and nymphs, guarded by the soft, soothing glow of fireflies and nature’s night lights, he convinced his drowsy eyes to open and his relaxing paws to stretch out over the emerald carpet, squishy with the dawn dew.

The sky was clear as Doodle Dog padded along the sidewalk, no clouds or hot air balloons to be found today! He had somewhere on his mind – some place very special he hoped – and he was determined to sniff it out. When Doodle Dog had finally peered over the basket edge and spotted all the places he’d been and yet even more spaces to visit, one particularly curious meadow caught his eye from way up in the sky. So the floppy-eared puppy, now safely on the ground, set out to find this new place, hoping that it was just as curious and special on the land as it was from the air.
Doodle Dog knew where his favorite meadow was, and had even recognized it from way up above, but he remembered that the new meadow seemed quite far away from his usual places so he set off in the completely opposite direction from where he usually went. Through bushes and thickets, around tree trunks and flower beds, the floppy-eared puppy went this way and that, so sure that he was headed in the right direction. He didn’t know exactly how he knew that he knew it, but he certainly knew that he knew it! Sure enough, as Doodle Dog turned the corner around a particularly unusual-looking tree, he was also certain that he could hear the faintest gleeful sounds floating on the air toward him. He couldn’t see just who – or just what! – was making the excitement that echoed off the bushes and thickets and tree trunks and flowers surrounding the particularly unusual-looking tree, but as Doodle Dog crept ever closer he knew he would soon find out.
There, just past the bushes and thickets, and just past the tree trunks and flowers, and even just slightly past the unusual-looking tree, was the curious meadow the floppy-eared puppy had seen from way up high. Except it was down below and now so was he! Doodle Dog stood still for a moment, gazing in awe at the field in front of him. Rolling hills of grass spread with layers and layers of every kind of colorful flora and fauna imaginable served as a lush bed for pillows of the same bushes, thickets and flowers through which Doodle Dog had been scampering. It was indeed just as curious a meadow as Doodle Dog thought, but he still hadn’t figured out what was causing those sounds, like the laughter of fairies or the tinkling of bells.
The curious floppy-eared puppy in the curious meadow didn’t have to wait much longer to make that discovery, however, as the sound grew louder and louder and then it ran across the field carried by the quick little legs of three little children scampering through the thickets just as Doodle Dog had done! His favorite kind of humans! Doodle Dog could see a little boy carrying a long, skinny stick and wearing a pointy hat made of tin foil with a bright red plume stuck in the top. It looked like a feather from a crimson-colored cardinal that the boy must have found. A little girl, who very much reminded Doodle Dog of his sweet hot air balloon companion, danced along in a pretty sundress with a fluttery skirt. A crown of daisies draped over the top of her chestnut curls, gently bouncing with every lighthearted step. A garland made of nearby ivy decorating her dress matched the green in her eyes as they sparkled with excitement. The delighted squeals continued to fill the air as the darling damsel dashed daintily through the dandelions, as ladylike as possible, of course! Doodle Dog watched as a second little boy dropped down to his hands and knees in the grass. At first Doodle Dog thought he was pretending to be a puppy but then he started making noises like a horse and seemed to be ready to charge at the little princess!
The makeshift knight was too far away from the make-believe princess to stop the pretend horse from running into her, and Doodle Dog quickly thought of all the stories he’d heard about knights and their horses. Doodle Dog knew the knights in the tales were brave, loyal, and strong. He was definitely loyal and he could be a tough little floppy-eared puppy when he needed to be, but Doodle Dog wasn’t sure about the brave part…but then, just as he’d took a chance and opened his eyes to see the world from the balloon so high, Doodle Dog took a leap and jumped in front of the princess and gave a friendly growl to the “horse.” The princess, with her hair draped in daisies and her dress draped in ivy, draped her arms around Doodle Dog’s neck and gave him a big, wet kiss on his floppy ears. Ew!
After Doodle Dog shook his ears and the pretend horse laughed, the little princess took the knight’s skinny-stick sword and first touched Doodle Dog’s front shoulder and then the other. “Sir Doodle Dog” spent the afternoon prancing and dancing with the princess and her friends until the sun set its brilliant colors on their little kingdom.
As he curled in for a well-deserved nap on a rolling hill, he bet he might even be able to take on a dragon, should of course there be a damsel in need of rescuing! And as for the curious meadow, it was indeed just as special a place as Doodle Dog hoped.

[box ue-content=””]As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up. And here we meet a sleepy pup, Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day, Then saw The Villager and decided to stay.[/box]

Strrrrrrrrretch! Yaaaaaaaawn! Doodle Dog lazily rolled over onto his back and reached his furry paws up toward the bright blue sky before wrapping himself back into a fuzzy ball curled up at the base of the grassy knoll. The purple and orange and pink flowers surrounded him as he slept, but Doodle Dog paid no mind to them as he continued to snooze. As the warm sun rose over the knoll, glistening in the dew drops on the thousands of tiny soft blades making the green carpet, Doodle Dog flopped sideways and stretched again. He slowly opened one eye to peek at the morning, but immediately decided the morning would come whether he was awake enough to see it or not and closed his eye again. 

Doodle Dog woke up and went to the window, sleepily tugging on the bottom of the curtain to make the fabric push aside so he could see the beautiful day outside. What a surprise then to find not the sun streaming through the glass and winter birds singing in the new morning, but rather the floppy-eared puppy found himself greeted by nothing but a wall of white smushed up against the window! The ground was undoubtedly covered in a fluffy white blanket, but Doodle Dog couldn’t know for sure since snow was piled higher and even higher on the other side of the window, so high in fact that Doodle Dog couldn’t see anything on the other side, anything resembling the world he knew was out there. At this very moment, all that existed was the little puppy and the igloo-like inside of the office he called home.

The rain pitter-pattered on the windowpane as Doodle Dog looked out at the dewy, misty morning. With his paws up on the windowsill, he could see up the street this way and down the street that way, watching the people of the town on their morning routines. There was the lady in jogging shorts and a T-shirt, her hair pulled back against the wet drops falling from the clouds as the tiny speakers in her ears let her ignore the world. There was the man in a business suit holding a dark umbrella, pacing back and forth, nervously checking his watch as he seemed to be having a conversation with a curvy black object sticking out of his ear rather than making small talk about the weather with the other man sitting on a bench and quietly enjoying a morning cup of coffee. There were the shopkeepers opening their window shades and turning their signs to “OPEN” undoubtedly hoping today’s sales would be better than yesterday. Doodle Dog hoped the door would open soon for the delivery man carrying too many boxes and forced to stand in the rain until someone remembered to let him in.

Doodle Dog continued to watch as everyone went about their ordinary mornings. But today was not an ordinary morning and the little floppy-eared puppy waited patiently to see the reason why it wasn’t.
Soon enough, out of the front doors of most of the houses up the street this way and down the street that way, came the little children of the town. The gloomy gray of the morning brightened by their colorful backpacks, fresh and clean for a hopeful start of a brand new school year, as they carefully followed the pathway out of each of their houses, across each of their yards, and met on the main sidewalk that connected them all together. Just at that moment, the slow drizzle stopped and Doodle Dog knew this was his chance to venture out before the children would be off to school. Little kids were his favorite humans of all – they always had time to give him a pat or a hug and they were always more interested in swinging on swings or hanging from monkey bars or playing chase or fetch and catch with pets than they were in spending time with one of those stressful little robots that bigger humans seemed to love so much.

He excitedly made his way to the bus stop, carefully weaving in and out between all the little legs. All summer Doodle Dog remembered how his tiny human friends would wiggle their bare toes as they ran around in the cool, soft grass of the playground park. But now Doodle Dog could smell the fresh rubber of the bright new shoes that covered up the little feet and he knew that was a sign that summer was almost over. As he stepped through the small crowd, he happily wagged his tail to let the children know he was a friendly dog and wouldn’t bite. Not every dog on the sidewalk likes to be around kids, but Doodle Dog sure does! Many of the children he knew from the park and some patted him on the top of his head as he went by. One little girl looked quite nervous to be going to school, so Doodle Dog circled around her and gently nudged her hand with his nose to make her giggle.

Through the excited chatter of the older children, Doodle Dog could hear a loud noise coming down the street and growing louder as it came closer. The school bus reminded Doodle Dog of a giant bumblebee, with its bright yellow body and black markings. As it pulled to a stop near the group, the driver pulled a lever to open the door, and the little kids with their colorful backpacks and bright new shoes filed into a line and piled into the big yellow bus. Some of them leaned out the windows to wave at Doodle Dog and he wagged his tail to return the greeting. And then, as the little floppy-eared puppy watched from the sidewalk, the big yellow bus with all of his little summer friends drove up the street in the direction of the school. As it disappeared over the hill, Doodle Dog turned back in the direction of the office. He has lots of places to go and things to learn while his friends are in school, but no matter what, he’ll make sure to be there to greet them when they all come home!

Rows and rows of brilliantly colored flowers lined the sidewalk as Doodle Dog scampered through town, each stem straight and proud like vibrant guards standing at attention during a parade. Each blossom turned toward the sunlight, the painted petals brightening like a sea of miniature Easter hats. He bounded from one neighborhood to the next, weaving between houses, fields and gardens until he finally made it to his destination. There, just up ahead over the hill, Doodle Dog knew would be his favorite place on his walk.

The park at the edge of town was usually filled with people but somehow still remained a quiet and peaceful nook when Doodle Dog needed a spot to think the day away among the rush of everyday life. And when he needed a friend or two with lots of energy who could keep up with him, running around and around in circles until they were dizzy enough to fall to the ground, well, the park was also sure to be just right for that too. The perfect mix, in a little floppy-eared puppy’s humble opinion, of the best way to spend any normal day. But today it was not a normal day; it was very special, in fact.

Hearing the excited giggles of children and the matching yips and barks of their dogs, Doodle Dog grew more excited as he came to the top of the small hill. From his perch on the grassy knoll he could now see what he’d only known by sound before: in the very center of the park, on the flattest part of the meadow, had been placed a GIANT pole with a decorative ball on top. The topper looked to be about the size of a basketball from Doodle Dog’s distance so he knew it must be much bigger up close! Hanging from the glistening ball were dozens of long, colorful ribbons whipping cheerfully as a quick wind suddenly caught them up. As the gust settled, the streamers fluttered against each other, a blend of light shades and bright hues as varied as the petals on the flowers Doodle Dog had seen on his way.

In a large circle around the maypole, several children had gathered, patiently or not-so-patiently waiting for when they would be told it was time for the festivities to begin. Next to each child was a cat or a dog sitting obediently or not-so-obediently, one furry friend for each two-legged companion. Half of the bright, shiny streamers had a child in front of it; the other strips were meant for the pets. There was one ribbon with no one near – a beautiful bright green sliver of silk that sparkled as though it was covered in glitter. That one was meant for Doodle Dog! He made his way over and took his place, catching the end in his mouth as it flipped in the wind, and grasped it tightly in his teeth. He didn’t want it to fly away as the procession was about to begin! All the other children and their pets picked up their ribbons too, some with pink or purple, some with yellow and blue. A few even had green ones like Doodle Dog.

A tall woman with flowers in her hair swayed back and forth in a flowing dress that seemed to dance in the wind like the ribbons had done. She clapped her hands and a man standing next to her began to play a melody on a tiny flute. The tune wafted over the wind and seemed to float under the ribbons right along with the breeze. It was time for the dance!

Doodle Dog lifted his head up proudly and followed the steps he had practiced, weaving in and out, in and out between the children and their four-legged escorts. As the song continued on, its notes melting with the gentle whisperings of the wind, the children and the animals continued as well, their ribbons melting together into one beautiful pattern, their delighted shrieks and purrs and grrrs adding to the sweet sounds on the air. What a wonderful way to welcome in Spring!

Doodle Dog was enjoying working together with his neighborhood pals, as it was certainly taking all of them to complete the design. Each of them had a role to play, and Doodle Dog was excited to be a part of it! He danced along and pranced under this streamer and over that one, humming along to the song as he went. But suddenly he could go no further! Uh oh! Had he run out of ribbon? He tugged on his strip to see… No, he still had plenty left to go around the pole a few more times… He looked behind him to find a little girl had gone over when she should have gone under and had managed to wrap her streamer around his tail! That’s why he couldn’t move. Oops! The little girl giggled sweetly as Doodle Dog unwound and unwound himself, around and around himself he went, her ribbon untangling with each turn. No worries, let the fun continue! Doodle Dog thought. And so, with the tiniest of hiccups behind them, it very much did!


The bustle and rush of the holidays were done and Doodle Dog was excited for the brand new year full of days to enjoy, chances to play, people to meet, and adventures to be had. He knew the children would be going back to school soon and downtown was growing quieter and not as crowded since the hurrying holiday shoppers were now in their homes, surely resting after the flurry of the season!

Snow still covered the ground, and Doodle Dog’s paws left little prints behind him as he walked down the street. He could see the tracks from all the other animals that had gone that way already. Doodle Dog followed the trail, looking at each print the different creatures made. There were skinny V-shaped ones where a bird had walked, long thin oval ones in pairs where a rabbit had hopped along, square indents from hooves that must have been from Santa’s Reindeer, and ones that looked just like his own but much, much bigger. He wouldn’t want to run into the owner of those giant paw prints! Mixed in with all of them were also human tracks, each one as different as the many animal ones: some were heavy and solid, probably from thick winter boots, some were tiny and pointy from a woman’s high heels, and some were made by smaller feet with pretty designs left in the fluffy white dust from the tread of a child’s sneaker.

As Doodle Dog roamed, he took the time to smell the freshness of the air, clean and cold from the recent snowfall. He could hear the rustle of the bare branches in the trees, swaying without their usual leaves, and the tinkling of the frozen icicles hanging from a nearby roof. The more they glistened in the sun, the more they seemed to ping like tiny bells. Blending with the quiet sounds, excited voices floated on the air. Doodle Dog’s ears perked up to listen to what they were: he was nearing a playground and could see children running and jumping. He watched from a distance until a little boy who was swinging alone on the monkey bars caught sight of the cute puppy with floppy ears sitting at the edge of the park.

The boy slowly approached Doodle Dog so as not to frighten him, and Doodle Dog happily wagged his tail as the boy made his way over. The little dog ran around the little boy’s legs, curiously sniffing the air around this new friend. The boy laughed and tugged gently on Doodle Dog’s tail to get him to slow down! Doodle Dog stopped his circling and gently tugged on the boy’s long, colorful scarf in return. The boy turned around and around trying to get loose and Doodle Dog playfully followed him, which only made the boy’s smile even wider.

Finally, Doodle Dog let go and the little boy dropped down, landing on the soft powder. He plopped flat on his back and started moving his arms and legs to make a circle on the ground. When he stood up there was a beautiful pattern where he had been. A snow angel! That looked like fun ~ Doodle Dog wanted to try, too! So he dropped down and rolled in the snow like the little boy was doing. He jumped up and looked back at his work. It was a perfectly crafted snow…ball? He tried again. This time his tail made an imprint that looked like a Christmas bell with its clapper. Or a snow…pancake? Snow….dog? Hmmm…

Doodle Dog’s usually brown coat was now white with the snowflakes from the ground. As he stood up and shook his fur, he noticed the little boy gathering snow in his hands. It looked like he was making sand castles on the chilly white beach that was the playground. Not a castle ~ it was a little doghouse! And next to the house was a long, thin snow log with two snowballs at one end and two snowballs at the other. Doodle Dog scampered over to the snowbone the little boy had made for him and took a big bite. His teeth went right through the lightly packed fluff and it was COLD! Brrrrr!

At that moment a man with a kind smile appeared from the other side of the park. He had the same nose and eyes as the little boy and softly called out to them. The little boy brushed off his pants, waved to Doodle Dog, and hurried to meet the man. It was time for Doodle Dog to find his way home, too.

Once in the office door he wound up tracking in wet snow prints across the floor. They would dry before anyone could step in them! When Doodle Dog reached the fireplace, he found a real chewy bone waiting for him on the hearth. As he curled up in his bed, Doodle Dog thought of his new friend from the park. He hoped to see him again!

A beautiful morning awaited Doodle Dog as he wandered down the main street of town. Chasing leaves had been so much fun, but now he wanted to take his time and see everything there was to see. The crisp air turned just a bit colder which meant winter would soon be here! As Doodle Dog turned the corner from the office, a fluff of icy snow landed on his nose. It melted instantly, but there was more where that came from ~ soon dozens of snowflakes dotted wet spots all over his coat! Doodle Dog jumped after a few that floated down from the sky and scampered after some that managed to escape his paws. The frosty finds were refreshing and soon Doodle Dog was wide awake. Shaking briskly to get dry, he showered water droplets all over the sidewalk and a few nearby trees.

Just up ahead, Doodle Dog noticed several people enjoying the day as well. Many had big, bright packages in their arms, but others were simply strolling along, peering in at the shops every so often. Holiday decorations lined the streets and the storefronts, and it was cloudy enough that the streetlamps and strings of colored lights shone a little brighter. What a perfect day to do some window shopping!

A little girl and her mother were standing in front of a quaint store, looking at the charming window display. The woman had her hand to her ear and was speaking loudly to a tiny little person Doodle Dog couldn’t see, and held her daughter’s hand tightly as she spoke. The woman was too tall for Doodle Dog, and too busy to notice him, but the little girl was just the right height and she smiled sweetly when he came over and gently nudged her free hand with his nose. The little girl giggled and waved as Doodle Dog continued on up the path, making sure not to get under the feet of all the other shoppers. He paused at another store, brightly lit from the inside and smelling of gingerbread, and put his front paws up on the ledge to see a little better. A few of Santa’s elves posed in front of a small house covered in shreds of snow that didn’t melt, with a tiny sleigh full of presents bigger than it was! Doodle Dog looked at the pretty scene in the window and then down the street at all the people hurrying to get home with the giant packages from their Christmas lists. Doodle Dog thought about what HE might want for Christmas and immediately he knew:

Doodle Dog hurried home to the office and asked me to help him write a letter to the North Pole. Not to the Big Guy in Red, though. No, Santa was surely busy getting all the toys for all the little girls and boys ready. Doodle Dog thought of someone even better:

Dear Santa’s Reindeers, he began.

All the reindeer are very smart, especially Rudolph ~ he’s the brightest of them all! Doodle Dog knew if anyone could help him with his wish, it would be them. He has everything he needs ~ a warm place to sleep, yummy snacks, and a family who loves him ~ but Doodle Dog thought of all his four-legged friends around the world that may not have the same.

Dear Santa’s Reindeers,

My one wish this Christmas is that all the cats and dogs and other animals will be able to find a warm home and a family to hug them forever, and that they may know, wherever they are, that they are loved. I know it’s a big job, but if anyone can help me, you can!


Doodle Dog

He signed it with an inky paw print and sent it right away ~ Christmas will be here sooner than you think and he needs all the help he can get!

Several months ago, a little floppy-eared puppy found his way to the office of The Weekly Villager. The editors immediately fell in love with him and didn’t want him to leave. Turns out the puppy didn’t want to leave, either! When I started working for the paper, Doodle Dog decided he liked me best and wanted to tell me his story. He’s a bit shy, so he’s been content to live by our warm fireplace, happily serving as comic relief, guard dog, and occasionally even as proofreader ~ nobody knows how to sniff out the news better than Doodle Dog! ~ but now he’d like to make some more friends. There’s a whole world out there ready to explore!

So, the staff, writers, and editors would like to introduce Doodle Dog, The Villager’s pet pooch, to our readers, young and old, and invite you to come along with our four-legged friend on what is sure to be intriguing insights from a very different point of view. He’s shared his story with me, and I know he can’t wait to share it with you, too!

For Doodle Dog’s debut adventure, he wanted to stay close to home because there are so many wonderful things to see and do right here in Garrettsville! Where do you think he will go this week?

Well, as Doodle Dog padded out the office door, he didn’t quite know where he wanted to go, but a particularly crunchy leaf immediately caught his attention. So many colors and sounds! Do you think he jumped on it to hear it crunch under his four paws? Or do you think he gave a big puff of breath to see it float through the air? Whoooosh! Doodle Dog would have loved to hear the crunch or see it twirl, but he was curious to see what the leaf would do on its own, so he watched it carefully as it spun and dipped lazily on the wind at first and then faster, faster, as it picked up speed. Doodle Dog ran after the leaf, keeping his eye on the bright red spot as it flew nearly out of sight.

He chased the leaf down the boardwalk where it looked like it might float right over the railing and into the water. Oh no! Doodle Dog watched as it teetered on the edge, holding his breath so not to push it over. And then the wind caught it up again, blowing the leaf along the railing, balancing like a gymnast on tiptoe or a tightrope walker. As it went behind all the stores, Doodle Dog followed the leaf through the alley by the bookstore and across the street, eventually finding his way to the clock tower. Bong bong bong! A freshly raked mound at the base of the tower made him stop suddenly. There it was, the bright red leaf right on top! He scampered after it and landed SMACK right in the middle, scattering leaves and twigs EVERYWHERE! The loud chimes rang again. BONG! It would be dark soon, Doodle Dog thought. He should probably get home. But first, a nap in these nice comfy leaves…

Next time you walk by that giant pile of leaves, you might just find Doodle Dog leaping out at you! Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite!