We gotta new friend.  Her name’s Perdita.  Wren says it means “little lost one,” but I dunno if that’s true.  I mean, if she’s here, she’s found, ain’t she?  So she ain’t lost no more.  But I guess a name’s a name, an’ it ain’t gonna change who you are now no matter what it meant before.


Anyhow, Perdita’s pretty an’ blue, an’ she’s gotta bell, so it’s hard to lose her now.  Grammy Happy sent her to our house.  I think she’s gonna go help with Dolli Lane an’ alla Littles too, but she’s gotta work up some nerve first (she ain’t worked with Littles before).  She helps me walk Riley inna morning so she gets to know what’s round here.  She said she came from a group of bears called “Adventure Bears,” an’ now we’re parta her adventure.  That’s pretty cool, cuz I do like adventures.

So Perdita an’ me were walkin’ Riley inna mornin’, an’ we found somethin’ inna ground.  A hole. A couple holes, actually, sorta together in an area.  An’, yeah, there’s lotsa different holes what might be inna ground:  golf holes, sink holes, man holes, drain holes, pot holes, snake holes, worm holes, fox holes, mole holes…  But it wasn’t none of those holes.  Since Perdita’s an adventure bear, I asked her if she’d seen ’em before.


“Hmm…” Perdita said, in her slow, thinkin’ voice.  Most everythin’ she does is kinda slow.  But that’s ok, cuz she’s careful too.  “No,” she said. “I haven’t seen those.”

I hadn’t either.  We stood, starin’ atta holes for a bit, thinkin’ bout what mighta maybe made ’em.  Maybe a baby giant playin’ onna pogo stick?  Or maybe they’re tent pegs for a giant’s pup tent?  Maybe there’s giants inna woods!  I started lookin’ round a bit through the trees, wonderin’ if giants come out at sunrise or at sunset.

Riley had different ideas, though.  She wanted to know more bout the hole too.  So she got closer…an’ closer…

Then, alla sudden, yank! snap! Riley pulled the leash outta my hand and popped herself inna hole!


“Riley!” I cried.  An’ I was all sortsa panicked.  What if she went inna hole but never came back out?  What if she came back out an’ ran off? What if whatever made the hole was down in the hole wasn’t a silly giant but a mean monster an’ it ate her?  Then Riley’s li’l feet disappeared inna dirt, an’ all I could see was her leash rope.  Then it too slid away.  I wanna grab it tight, but if Riley was gettin’ pulled, pullin’ back might get her choked or somethin’.


Perdita put her paw on my arm an’ said I hadda calm down.  Riley was gonna be ok.  Even if there was somethin’ down inna dirt, she was strong an’ a good fighter an’ she’d be ok.  At least, I think Perdita said alla that.  It was in my head, at least.  I kept callin’ for Riley, askin’ her to come back.

Then the ground moved, an’ I held my breath.  Somethin’ black was wrigglin’ outta dirt.


Oh, my gumdrops! It was Riley’s nose!  I grabbed Riley up an’ held her close.  No more holes.  No more holes, please.


Perdita used a stick to try an’ find out more bout the hole, like maybe how deep it was or whether there was somethin’ down in there.


But she didn’t find much.  I was too worried after Riley’s disappearin’ act to explore holes more, so we headed back home.  We’ll go walkin’ other places where there aren’t holes tomorrow.  An’ maybe Perdita’n’me’ll come back sometime without Riley to learn more bout the holes.  But not today.  That was enough for today.


Riley: Thanks, Smidge!

Smidge did an awful fine job, keep in’ Riley safe for me. I still dunno how I ain’t seen her jump outta bag. Good thing I gotta great cuzzin!

I think Smidge really liked havin’ a pet. She kept askin Grammy Happy if she could maybe have a pet. An’ Grammy Happy said “Hmm…” an’ “Not yet…” an’ even “No.” Cuz Grammy Happy’s smart. Even tho I kept sayin’ Smidge could do it, seein’ how she grew up her flamingoes from feet an’ took care of her bay tree. Pets are different. They need ya alla time, not just when it’s easy.

But Smidge did mighty good for bout a week. Then alla weather round here got hot. I mean, hot like dragon fire’s goin’ in when you breathe an’ hot like did someone dump a bucket on your head when you walk out your door cuz you start sweatin’ an’ can’t stop. Smidge looked outside an’ realized she didn’t wanna walk a dog inna heat like that. Gumdrops, I almost didn’t wanna do it either! But I love Riley. When Smidge called to say she was done havin’ fun with  keepin’ a puppy, I hurried over an’ brung her home. Thanked Smidge over an’ over for keepin’ her safe.


But gettin’ Riley back, an huggin’ on her soft, wiggly body…yea. I don’t mind walkin’ in alla heat, or out when it’s rainin’ or anytime it’s bad weather. As long as Riley’s safe an’ happy, I am too.

Love ya, pup!


Riley: Stowaway

Cooper!  Stop worryin’!  I know where Riley’s gone.

I was gonna show Pip my camera so we could get some pictures taken.  But when I unzipped m’backpack, guess who popped out?  Riley!  I dunno if she just sorta knew I was goin’ away or if she wanted a snack (cuz that’s where I put alla li’l bones for Pip’s Bean’s puppy…at least Riley ain’t been hungry!  I think she gone an’ ate ’em all.)

I know you felt bad cuz you weren’t able to find her, an’ you thought maybe you’d lost her, but it’s ok.  She’s safe.  Pip’n’me are gonna ask Auntie Glenda if it’s ok that she stays.  Since she’s got puppies too, it’ll be ok for food an’ all.  An’ Riley’s a good girl now (mostly!), so she won’t be makin’ messes or whinin’ or nothin’.  I just hope Auntie Glenda’s not too upset.  An’ Pip too.  I think Pip thought ’twas all funny.  Hope havin’ her ’round won’t cause too much mess with things Pip wanna do.

I kept wonderin’ why my bag was makin’ noises an’ movin’ some.  I thought Vega’d dropped somethin’ funny in there afore I left, just bein’ silly.  Or else I was imaginin’ it an’ the movin’ was just from whatever the plane was doin’.  Oh, the plane!  That’s a whole other story!


So glad Riley’s safe!  Thanks for lookin’ for her.  Such a silly, sneaky pup, tho.



What? Riley’s gone? But…I kissed her an’ hugged her an’ she was there. I was gonna hug her again right when I was goin’ out the door, but…oh. Uh oh. I couldn’t find her anywhere. We was in such a rush, I didn’t worry bout it much, but now…

Ok. Take her food bowl. Shake it round the house. Sometimes kibble sounds bring her out when she’s poutin’. An’ ask Sparrow if she’d make more treats? Makin’ puppy treats brings Riley runnin’, even if she’s dead asleep. An’ there’s an old dead tree down by the river. She got stuck in it once when we was playin’ hide’n seek. Her collar got stuck on a broken edge.

I hope you find her. Please lemme know, k? I’m all sortsa worried now. Thanks for writin’ tho. I dunno Pip’s number yet. I’ll send it soon as I can.

~Kestrel, who suddenly feels too far away

Cooper’s eyes: Missing

Kestrel, this is Cooper. I am uncertain how to reach you. After you left, Riley was nowhere to be found. I don’t want to worry you, but we’ve searched many places. All her favorite haunts: down by the stream, out near the cave, through the tall grass, even all the way out near Dolli Lane where Nim keeps her chickens (Riley does so love watching them get all crazy). But no pup. Meikiko even checked beneath the bed and in the basement, in case she was hiding there again. Please, when you read this, let me know anywhere you think Riley might have gone. Or any ideas you might have about enticing her back.

We will find her. I promise.



Riley Training: Treat Testing

Riley sure hadda lotta interest inna treats Sparrow made, so I hoped they’d help her focus onna walkin’ like a good pup instead of pullin’ way.  Fingers crossed, right?

So, here’s a picture of me tryin’ get Riley to listen when I ain’t got no treats or nothin’:


It weren’t good.  She ain’t listen none, she pulled ‘way onna leash, she ain’t got no interest inna walkin’ with me.  She wanna go one way, an’ she think I better run ‘long with she, or it weren’t gonna work.  An’ maybe that’d work if Riley was boss, or if I ain’t supposed to be trainin’ her up to be a good pup.  But lettin’ Riley be boss weren’t what Wren mean.

But then I pull a secret weapon outta me pocket an’ unwrap it an’ just hold it.  I was hopin’ Riley’d smell the treat an do again what she done when Sparrow was makin’ em:  focus.  I was hopin’ maybe she’d follow treat, an’ that’d make her follow me, an it’d work for teachin’ her to listen what I say and learn for be a good dog.

An’, sure enough, she immediately lookit me.  She given a little whimper-bark an’ come close an’ sit atta my feet.


I given her a little bit, so she’d know it tasted good an’ realize maybe she wanna get some more.  Then I put the rest inna pocket.  She tried a li’l jump-up, cuz she wanna more treat, but she listen when I say no!

This is good, right?  It seemed good.  When I backed up li’l bit, Riley come right with me.  So then I walked forward, an’ Riley walk right with me!! I was so so excited!  Riley trainin’ was alla sudden a success, an’ all cuz we gots a treat.  I didn’ wanna trust it too much, in case maybe it’d stop after a li’l bit, but it looked good so far.


So I figured we’d take it for a test walk.  We went down lane, an inna grass, an’ wander bout a bit.  I kept tellin’ Riley she’s a good girl, an’ feedin’ her li’l bits of bone treat, an’ she kept trottin’ along with me, lookin’ hopeful bout what was inna pocket.

An’ Riley done her doggy things, too, like sniffin’ stuff an’ scratchin’ li’l bit atta dirt.  We even went out inna forest, walkin’ through trees. An’ it was nice, havin’ a pup that listen an’ follow an’ stuff.  I ain’t gotta worry bout her yankin’ round onna leash.  Though, when she seen a squirrel, she sure try’n’ chase it!  I told her no no, an’ after she come back an’ follow again for a li’l bit, I given her last bitta she treat.  Figured that was a good time for headin’ home.


When bone run out, she kept on bein’ good girl, I guess cuz she ain’t known it was gone, or maybe she could still smell crumbs inna pocket an’ hoped maybe she’d get a li’l more.  However it work inna she mind, when we gotten home, I straight went to the stash Sparrow made up an’ taken out a li’l brown circle treat an’ given it to Riley, cuz she sure been a good good girl!

I wonder how much good Wren want.  Is walkin’ onna leash enough?  Or does she gotta learn stuff too like no an’ sit an’ stay?

We’ll figger it out tomorrow.  Today, we done good!!


Training Riley: Research Phase

O, Riley, Riley, Riley…what’re we gonna do?


Cuz I dunno what to do for trainin’, I hadda go check the internets for ideas.  I made Riley come with me an’ sit onna bench.  An’ she was good. Mostly.


But I wasn’t havin’ much luck.  There’s a buncha sites bout trainin’ courses, an’ some guys what say I outta use a clicker thing or figger out what my puppy’s best sense is (is she a sniffer? a taster? a pig? a listener?) an’ somehow use it for trainin’ her.  So I was sittin’ there, readin’ over this stuff, tryin’ figger out what it really mean an’ how’m I ever gonna use it.  I done forgotten bout my own pup, but she been good an’ quiet, waitin’ for me to learn how I outta train her.


Oh, Riley!