Autumn Colors

corgiscarf

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Gizmo. He can be seen all over town walking with his elderly owner, Lloyd. They seem very happy together and I wasn’t consulted by Lloyd, but by Gizmo.

“I have a scarf! See it? I love it, I love it.”

Yes, your scarf is very nice I said and tried to walk past them.

“It looks like the fall, doesn’t it?”

I stopped and turned toward Gizmo. “Excuse me?”

“I didn’t say anything, Violet.” Lloyd said.

“No, of course not. I was talking to Gizmo,” I said.

“Now don’t start that again,” Lloyd said. “Gizmo doesn’t need you mucking around in his head.” Lloyd started to walk away but Gizmo refused to follow.

“I don’t muck around,” I said. And crossed my arms. And narrowed my eyes.  “I listen to what they’re saying and then tell the families what the pet needs.”

“Uh huh. What’s Gizmo saying, then?”

“Um, he wants me to look at his scarf,” I said.

“How can you not look at the scarf, it’s bigger than he is. I don’t know why he wants to wear it all the time.”

“You didn’t put it on him?”

“Of course I did!” Lloyd gestured at Gizmo. “Does he look like he can tie a knot? But he runs to the closet where I keep it and won’t go out without it.”

“Hmmm.”

“Hey, hey, talk to me! I want to tell you something,” Gizmo said.

I turned to Gizmo.

“I have a scarf! It’s awesome!” Gizmo hopped on his front legs.

Lloyd looked at me. “What does he want?”

“I don’t want to muck around in his head, but you might want to get him some more scarves.”

“Bah!” Lloyd stomped off, but Gizmo sat and planted his paws firmly on the sidewalk.

“Tell him! Tell him! More scarves!”

“I really think he wants more scarves, Lloyd.”

Lloyd looked down at Gizmo. Gizmo lolled his tongue and wiggled his stumpy tail.

Lloyd glanced at the sky the way Clyde always does. “Okay, lets go look in the closet for more scarves.”

I watched them walk away, Lloyd shaking his head, Gizmo hopping and looking up at his person with adoration.

Sibling Rivalry

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

I was asked to meet with Francesca again. You may remember her from this post. You can see from the photo that she was in a serious mood that day.

“I ‘ave asked you to return to my abode in the ‘opes you can ‘elp me. I do not believe in zees ‘pet psychic’ thing you claim. ‘owever, I am despereet.”

I asked her how I could help. (I had been warned that Francesca’s life has changed a bit since the family obtained more dogs – three to be exact.)

“I theenk you are aware of ze way things are around ‘ere. I am zee princess and I ‘ave my family very well organized. Zey buy me clothing and take me everywhere wiz zem. I even assist le daddy at ‘is work – ‘e relies on me so much.”

I urged her to get to the point as I could hear the pack of newcomers barking outside.

“Well, I ‘ave shared my lovely ‘ome wiz ozzer animals, wizzout difficulty.  As you can see ze ‘orse knows who is in charge.”

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But ze new ‘brozzers’ as my family likes to call zem, are ruffians of the worst sort. Just look at zem! Zey are despicable.”

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“Zey like to dig in la mama’s garden, and make such a ‘orrible noise whenever zey see a bird or a squirrel. But worst of all, zey say I am a spoiled princess and will not listen to my commands. Look at what zey did!”

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I mentioned that the new dogs were just puppies, and she certainly would be able to take charge of them once they calm down. And that their antics only serve to show how well behaved she is.

“Per ‘aps you are correct, pet psychic. In fact, I am feeling a bit better. I will put on my new lovely sweater and go outside to begin my training wiz zem. Zey need a lot of work.”

I encouraged her to assert her alpha status as the older, more experienced canine.

“Oui, oui. Zat is true, but mostly I am ze leader because I am still ze favoureet of le daddy. S’il vous plait,  don’t tell my girls – I don’t want zem to become jealous of me.”

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Thanks  to Patricia, Steve, Alexandra, Mackenzie, and Delaney for sharing their photos! ~de

Escape Artist

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Misty. She may look sweet, but she’s tough. She likes nothing more than to break out of her house and run around the neighborhood, preferably with her frantic family chasing after her. She’s very fast and almost impossible to catch. According to her family she takes advantage of any opportunity to shoot out the front door and down the street.

“Yeah, I know why you’re here. They don’t want me to have any fun, and somehow that’s my problem?”

I explained that it’s more of a safety issue.

“Give me a break. What could be unsafe about running free?”

I mentioned cars.

“They’ll never catch me – I’m super fast. Plus, let’s discuss the safety of the neighborhood if there are squirrels roaming loose in gangs. I’m protecting the humans from the worst threat there is!”

I started to tell her that squirrels weren’t that dangerous, but she interrupted.

“And another thing! Have you seen those brown trucks making ‘deliveries?’ I can hear those high-pitched sqeaky brakes five blocks away. Maybe I’m the only one who can see through that ruse but I don’t want them anywhere near my den, or my people. I think the trucks are in cahoots with the mailman – he’s pure evil allowed to walk among the innocent.”

I pointed out that the packages are ordered by the humans and they want them to arrive. And that the mailman is not evil.

She sniffed and turned away. I thought I heard her muttering about busy bodies and interfering old biddies but I could be wrong.

I may have to intervene with the family and work with them to keep Misty from escaping. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince her to stop “protecting” the neighborhood.

Thank you to Barbara and Junior for their picture! ~de

Fashion Sense

Olive scarfweb

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Olive, she’s been on the blog before, here. I met with her to follow up on the bone-hiding behavior. She had her own agenda.

“I LOVE this family and my kids. I would do anything for them. I hate school days when they go away ALL DAY LONG. I watch for them the whole time. But sometimes I have to do things I don’t like. Like this.”

I pointed out that lots of dogs wear scarves and sweaters and enjoy it.

“It’s not the clothing I object to, it’s the style. Look at me! Do I look like I can pull off a pink scarf?! I’m really more of a ‘winter’ based on my coloring. Maybe a nice red, or black and white checks. But pink? I’m not a ‘spring’ or ‘summer.’ It just doesn’t feel like it’s ‘me.’

The girl really likes pink, so I put up with it. I wish the boys would share their scarves. They have some lovely jewel-toned options that would complement my coloring and my personality. Maybe you could mention it to them?”

I asked about the bone-hiding behavior.

“Bone? I don’t know what you’re talking about. If they say I’m hiding my bone, it’s not me.”

Thanks to Kali and Troy for their picture! ~de

Valuable Valerian

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In which Crystal Haven’s characters share their expertise.

Hello! Jillian Andrews again. It seems there is still some need for a calming influence here in Crystal Haven. The frenzy from the release of Pall in the Family has died down, but tourism is steady and everyone is feeling a little frazzled. When I get anxious, the first sign is difficulty sleeping. That’s where valerian comes in.

Used for centuries, as a calming tonic, valerian is great for insomnia. It can also be used for anxiety, stress and stomach discomfort. I like to take mine in capsule form because the tea smells and tastes horrible. Unlike chamomile, there is very little chance you will convince anyone to drink it.

The valerian plant is pretty with white flowers, but it is the root that is most useful. The roots can be harvested in fall or spring and then need to be dried and crushed into a powder for use. The drying process can give off an odor of damp socks, so you will want a well ventilated room for this procedure. I often try to talk my son Tom into doing this for me. He has a great talent with herbs and doesn’t seem to mind the stench, or maybe he’s just being kind.

Some of my clients believe that valerian is good for dream magick – maybe I should mention this to Rose Fortune. Also, it can be used in sachets for protection, to settle arguments, and to calm emotions.

Have you ever tried Valerian?

Please remember to check with your own health care provider before experimenting with any herbs.

Uninvited

happydog

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Have you ever lived in a neighborhood where there is one kid who comes over all the time? He shows up at your door, asking for snacks, or just wandering in as if he lives there?

Rowdy claims there is a dog like that in his neighborhood. I went to see him for my routine visit after his surgery and bad grooming recovery. The family was shocked that he told me this story. They say every word is true, but can’t believe I heard it from Rowdy. I have to ask myself why they are paying me if they are surprised Rowdy tells me things, but that’s a whole other subject.

Rowdy said, “I was out for my usual walk with my girl. She likes to go around the park and even though there’s something wrong with my leg, I go with her. It seems to make her happy.”

“We were heading back home, when out of nowhere this dog shows up. My girl noticed he wasn’t wearing a collar and she talked to him and petted him. I didn’t care for that and I backed away. My collar came off because my neck is thinner since the grooming. Well, she freaked out and picked me up to take me home. I didn’t really mind because my leg was hurting by then.”

“The other dog asked me if I had had dinner yet and what kind of treats did I get after a walk and he followed us home! When we got there, the alpha human let us in and the other dog just trotted in the door like he owned the place! The humans laughed and called the dog to come back because he was all over the house. Sniffing my toys, checking out my food bowl, stepping on my bed. THEN, he picked up my chewy and came and stood in front of the door. Can you believe it? And THEN, the humans just let him out and walked him back home. They seemed to know where he lived and they let him keep my chewy! It’s an outrage! I had worked for a long time to get it just the way I like it and he comes into MY house and walks out the door with it.”

I could understand Rowdy’s frustration. Dogs are very territorial. We used to have a kid down the street who would just knock on the door, and come in and rummage through the pantry. I asked Rose if maybe his mother didn’t feed him, but I don’t think that was the problem. Some people are just overly familiar, just as some dogs don’t recognize their own or anyone else’s territory.

I told Rowdy I understood his indignation. He said his stomach felt fine, but there’s something wrong with his leg.

Thank you to Ellie for sharing this true story ~de

Know when to hold ’em

astridcards1

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

We met Astrid a few months ago, here. Her imagination is no less active. She’s moved on from pretending to be a cop, to an elaborate gambling fantasy. The pig is nowhere in evidence and I can only assume it is in prison.

I asked Astrid what she was playing with her friends.

“If you want to talk to me you’ll have to ante-up. We’re not running a charity around here.”

I asked her to deal me in.

“Okay, gang, we’ve got a live one! Triangles are wild, and if I catch that elephant counting cards again he’ll be sitting with the pig in the closet.”

I told her I’d never played this game before.

“You want to sit this one out? The duck’s about to double down and I don’t have time to deal with an amateur.”

I said maybe I should just watch.

“Yeah, suit yourself. The penguin’s a high-roller – might be too rich for you.”

After a couple of rounds of Astrid moving the cards around, I asked her who had won.

“This hand’s a bust. Why don’t you go help the pit boss get our snacks ready?”

I said I didn’t think pit bosses brought snacks.

“Well, mine does. Look here she comes now!”

Sure enough, the owner appeared with a bag of treats and started handing them out. Astrid ate them all.

Special thanks to Barb for sharing her picture!

Astrid has an etsy shop! Go here to check it out.