Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 23 - National Puppy Day

Oooh, let's go adopt a puppy today! No? Are you sure? *sigh* okay.



Amelia wants a dog, needs a dog, and believes she simply cannot live without a small brown dog with a wet pink nose. Her parents think she can.
Rather than begging or pleading, Amelia adopts an imaginary dog named Bones. But when Amelia's make-believe pup runs away, her parents are in for a real surprise!

This book is hilarious, and this child is brilliant. Are you sure we can't adopt a puppy?


It's a dog's life!
Every dog has a tail to wag . . . and a tale to tell. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest asked a collection of canines to speak up—and so they do, in words, barks, and yips. Captured here are accounts of happy days filled with squeaky toys, good smells, plenty of naps, and the very important jobs they do for the people they love to love.

Extension: Do you have a dog? Know a dog? If a dog you know were to have his own entry in this books, what would it look like?


“Sit! Stay! Be quiet!” Why won't this bad dog behave? When the little boy says “sit!” he jumps. When the boy yells “stay!” he leaps off after a squirrel. And when the boy tosses a stick to “fetch!” the little brown dog rolls over. Will this dog with a mind of his own ever pay attention to the little boy? If only the boy could think of just the right command....

With minimal text and picture clues, this is a great book for beginning readers.

Language Arts

Be Brown is full of opposites. Start a word wall of opposite pairs, and see how many you can add to the list throughout the week. Will your list end up being LONG, or SHORT?


Opposites are also called antonyms. There is a great song on this CD about synonyms and antonyms, which Sheridan is constantly asking me to sing to her (she almost has it memorized herself). I used this same CD back when it came in a cassette format, and I was teaching second grade - great songs that stick in your head, but maybe won't make you want to poke your eye out on the eighteenth hearing! I usually only put free resource links on here, but I really think this one is worth the $8.

Three classic songs every child should know:

How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?

Do Your Ears Hang Low?



So, let's say we DID go adopt a puppy. Would we need to buy anything else? Make a list of items you would need - food, bowls, collars and leashes, dog beds, kennels, immunizations, spay or neuter, licenses, etc., and total it all up.

Cautionary tale: When I was in first grade, I begged for my own puppy. My mother told me dogs were expensive, and I pestered her to tell me how much they cost, until she finally in exasperation tossed out "$50". I'm sure she did not think I would manage to save up any such amount, especially since I didn't get an allowance of any sort. 

On St. Patrick's Day we brought home my little grey puppy, Fiona.

Social Studies

Do you know any dogs with jobs? Providing companionship or letting you know when someone comes to the door are important jobs. I have a dog who lets us know when bears or mountain lions come into our yard...and another who lets us know whenever she sees a tree. What other jobs can animals have?

- herding 
- search and rescue
- cancer detection
- service to individuals with disabilities
- comfort for accident or crime victims
- detection (drugs, weapons, food, etc.)
- hunting and tracking
- military
- entertainment
- therapy
- sled-pulling

Can you think of more?

Let's look more closely at service animals (commonly called guide dogs, although they do more than just help the visually impaired.) There are many misconceptions about what is required and allowed for service animals! This is what the ADA (federal law) says, in a nutshell:

- only dogs and miniature horses are covered under the law.
- emotional support/comfort/therapy dogs are not covered under the law, even with a doctor's note.
- service animals do NOT require a special license, vest, or identification. They can be trained by an agency or by the individual who uses them.
- service animals must be vaccinated, housebroken, and under the control (physical or voice) of the handler. If a service animal becomes a direct threat or disruption to others in a business establishment, it may be asked to leave (allergies and fear of animals do NOT qualify as a threat or disruption).
- any public establishment may not refuse access to a service animal for any other reason. Personnel may ask if the animal is required because of a disability, and what task the animal has been trained to perform (IF it is not readily obvious), but they may NOT ask about the person's disability. They may not ask for any documentation or charge any extra fees.

How should you respond if you are in a public place, and you see someone with an animal that you think might be a service animal?


Is a dog's mouth really cleaner than a human's?

For this experiment you will need at least two petri dishes. Sometimes you can get them from a local medical lab or hospital, but you can also get them pretty cheap off Amazon (look for pre-poured agar plates). You will also need sterile cotton swabs and human and canine volunteers!

1. Label a petri dish for each subject. Try to get a variety of humans in age, before and after brushing teeth or eating. Note all the variances in your science notebook. Try also for a variety of dog breeds, inside and outside pets, etc.

2. Using a different sterile swab each time, swipe all around inside the subject's mouth, around the gums and over the tongue. Then stir the swab around the corresponding petri dish.

3. Close up each petri dish and put in a warm, dry place for 24 hours. Record what you see in each at the end of 24 and 48 hours. Take or draw pictures of what each looks like.

What differences do you see? What do you think caused those differences?


Let's cook for the dogs today! This is a basic recipe for healthy dog treats that you can change around depending on what you have available.

2 1/2 cups flour (regular, wheat, whatever)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup beef or chicken broth

Add any of the following:
more eggs
wheat germ
peanut butter
cooked vegetables

Knead together - add more broth if it is too dry, or flour if it is too sticky.

Roll out to about 1/4" thick and cut into rectangles or use a cookie cutter. Bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes and 350 degrees.


Seriously, while puppies are fun, too many impulse-adoptions end up abandoned (or worse) six months down the road. Have a fund raiser - lemonade stand, read-a-thon, yard sale - and raise money for the local homeless shelter or rescue. If you want to make sure you are donating to a reputable rescue, Forever Homes Animal Rescue is my absolute favorite - and it is a registered 501c3!

Other Web Sites to Explore

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