Monday, January 30, 2006

E-mail from Marley

Dear Lady,
I had a great vacation with Belle and her daughter, Grace. Grace's dad gives me meat, so you know I am happy. I take Grace out for a walk every chance I get. She is enjoying being home from her first year at college. Well, because it is Chinese New Year's, Belle's family has been eating special food. Grace is shopping for new clothes to wear. All my things were packed into my bag, so I knew I was leaving again.
Belle took me to Michael and Tom's house. I remember them from Saturday night ENglish Corner. They always like to play with me. Michael has been busy preparing for his senior middle school entrance exams. He is so happy to have me to play with during the holidays. He speaks English to me but little Tom speaks Chinese to me. It doesn't matter to me, as long as they give me treats!
They found out on Chinese New Year how much I hate the fire crackers and fire works. They scare me. They are so loud. I run as far as I can. They had to hold tight to my leash! We got to visit Michael's grandparents for New Year's. That is the tradition. Next, we went to his mother's family's home, as is also the tradition. So much food! They were good to give me some. I must have my long noodles for long life! I know you don't believe that, Lady, but I just like the meat! Tom got money in red envelopes from all his relatives. Michael did, too. Tom bought games for his Game Boy. Michael bought an electronic gadget.
Michael lets me sleep with him, so I am happy, but I do miss my Lady and my own bed. I miss my neighborhood. So, what are you up to, Lady, while I am gone?
When Michael returns to school after the holiday, he will bring me home. Will you be waiting for me? After all, I am just a little dog, and I miss my own bed and my Lady.

Monday, January 23, 2006


First, I couldn't find my Pooh Bear. Then I couldn't find my water dish that's usually in the bathroom. To top it all off, my Pooh blanket was missing. I finally found them all in a bag by the front door. Of, course, I unpacked the bag. I found my treats, my baby wipes for cleaning my feet, my chew toys, my dogfood, my sweater, and my coat. I pulled them all out on the floor so I could find what I wanted. Lady wasn't very happy with me, but she didn't scold me. She packed everything back up and picked me up. She just held me and talked to me. She told me how much she loved me, and something about being a good boy. I gave her face a good cleaning. She has a big bag, too. It's full of her stuff. Just as I was thinking of unpacking Lady's bag, someone buzzed the gate. I jumped out of Lady's arms and ran to the door to see who was coming to see me. Lady opened the door so they wouldn't ring our doorbell. It makes me crazy. Finally they arrived! It was Belle, her husband and her daughter, home from college! I met her last night. I really like her. Her name is Grace and she is tall, but not as tall as Lady. Belle picked up my bag. Now I get it. I am going for a sleep over again! I know Lady will miss me. Lots of humans are going places. It's that time of year, Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival as they call it. 2006 is the Year of the Dog!! I thought every year was the year of the dog! It is at my house. Who's going to take care of my Lady? Well, her bag is packed. Someone must be coming to pick her up, too. Most of our friends are going to their hometowns to be with their families. Chinese New Year's Eve is Saturday night. The humans will have a special meal. The kids will get red envelopes with money inside! They will also get a new set of clothes. Lady got me a new coat! I wonder if I will get any red envelopes?
My little friend Kaylee came over today to play with me. She brought her mom, Linda, and her friend, Kate. She threw my Piglet for me. While no one was paying attention to me, I pulled the music box and stuffing out of Piglet. Time for lunch! We went to one of my favorite places, but Linda didn't order any meat. I can usually count on her to give me meat, but they had vegetable hot pot! Well, after lunch we went into a neighborhood shop by our home. Lady needed batteries. While she did her shopping, I did mine. They had a big box of meat-stuffed buns conveniently located on the floor! Delicious. Linda paid for the bun. Lady tried to get the paper off the bun. Minor detail.
We walked past the beauty salon where the little white/dyed blonde puppy lives. SHe came out as usual chasing after me but Lady scooped me up and carried me. I don't mind. The puppy looks awful. All the fur is gone on her head and around her eyes. Lady talked kindly to her but wouldn't let her lick me. She has big pink sores on her. She looks worse every day. She finally gave up and went home. So, Lady put me down and I walked home. Kaylee stayed and played with me for a while longer. When she annoys me, I crawl under the tea table for a little peace.
Since the kids have been out of school, some have been practicing with fireworks. I hate the loud noises. It scares me. I hope Belle and Grace don't do fireworks! After all, I am just a little dog, with little ears.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dinner and Massage

I don’t know what is meant by the expression, “it’s a dog’s life,” but I know my life is pretty wonderful. Tonight, our human friend, Joe, treated many of the adult Wednesday night English Corner crowd to dinner and a trip to the foot massage parlor. Both places are located in our neighborhood. The occasion? Joe, a high school English teacher, received a 32,400 yuan ($4,050) bonus because his students performed very well on their college entrance examinations last year. He invited us all out to dinner at a very nice, very famous restaurant in our neighborhood. It is three floors of private dining rooms and game rooms. Beautiful hostesses wearing red brocaded Chinese style dresses greeted us as we entered the restaurant and crossed the bridge over a tiny stream. Two of Joe’s former students, two of his colleagues, Claude, Jerry, Lady, and two other American teachers joined me at the dinner party. I was so hungry and anxious for meat that I left our dining room and went into other dining rooms. I got scolded because Lady said I was begging. I was simply visiting, waiting for them to drop meat on the floor, and looking adorable. I thought our dinner would never come. After the blessing, Lady gave me my own plate. I had breaded chicken cutlets, fried pork, ham and broad beans, potatoes, and sliced beef. When Lady stopped feeding me, I just went over to the other side of the table and looked up at Joe. I can always count on him to give me the good stuff! Lady ate spicy tofu, something like hash brown potatoes, little cabbages, egg and tomatoes, and other favorites. Last, we had meat-filled steamed buns, called bao zi’s. The humans did lots of toasting as is the custom. All of Lady’s Chinese friends were celebrating that we get to stay in China at least another year. Lady received her invitation to teach for the local university. We will also continue traveling to the countryside to different schools to train teachers and teach students. After Chinese New Year, we will begin going again. They also toasted Joe for hosting us. This is the last time we will see our friends for awhile because most are headed to their hometowns to be with family for the holidays.
After the delicious dinner, I took off before Lady could get my harness back on me. Just thought I’d check out the other dinner rooms, but Lady caught me eating out of the trash, and I got scolded again. I'm not worried. All I have to do is kiss her and she'll forget. I ate so much that Lady thought I would pop anyway, and I was still rooting through the leftovers. I got caught!
It was so chilly out that Lady and I rode the short distance to the foot massage parlor. I love going to the foot massage parlor. It is right near our gate. Whenever I walk Lady by the place, I climb the steps wanting to go in! They all know me and love me there, as we often chat with them when we walk by. Lady takes her visiting friends there, as well.
Only six of us went for a massage. I chose my big stuffed chair first, right by the heater! Lady made me get up for Jerry. Usually, I run around and play in the private room for awhile. But I was just too full. I was ready for my massage. The girls come in bringing steaming wooden tubs of herbal water. Lady sits on a bench with her feet in the hot water while Gwen, the masseuse, massages her head, neck, and back. I wait on the big chair. Then Lady swings around to sit in the big chair while Gwen massages her arms. I snuggle up beside Lady and nudge her hand to get started with my massage. I don’t like to get my feet wet, and I don’t like my paws rubbed. But oh how I love to be scratched just about everywhere! I get Lady to keep it up the whole time the girl is working on Lady’s feet. Sometimes we also watch TV, but mostly, Lady visits with her friends, and I just enjoy being scratched for more than an hour.
What a wonderful night! We said our thank-yous and good-byes before walking home. I need a little exercise after the huge dinner I ate! After all, I am just a little dog, so I can get a little bigger!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Lady and I often walk across the highway from our neighborhood and hike through a very poor and wooded area. The hills are dotted with more tombs like the ones I showed you yesterday. We used to talk with the people who lived there, many of who made their living going through trash cans to get recyclable materials. But all that has changed. Bulldozers have torn down the trees and buildings, making way for a fancy new housing development. We've been watching the progress for months. Only a few of the old buildings are left. We don't know where the people went. Workers have erected make-shift shacks to take their daily naps in, and to prepare meals. As we walk around, workers and bosses stare at us. Some laugh, and make comments about us. One of the bosses asked Lady how much she paid for me. She told him, "400 yuan," which is about $50 - a real bargain in her mind! The man wanted to buy me! Can you believe it? As if Lady would ever willingly part with me! Besides, his offer was much too low!
Everytime we walk through the area, a few more trees are gone, and more buildings in their place, but the old Buddhist temple remains. The huge, fat idol is plainted in gold leaf. Incense burns in front of it, along with offerings of fruit. As the new buildings go up, it is looking more and more like an oasis. I just water all the plants around it, and move on.
Our neighborhood is on the outskirts of the city, but it is expanding rapidly. It is an economic development zone. Across from our neighborhood is a car dealership! Many new condominiums are going up and replacing the countryside. Some of them are built by the factories for their workers. This is very common. Most humans live where they work, or in condominiums own by their company. So many changes in the last two years! I just enjoy taking the daily walks with Lady and exploring the area. After all, I am just a little dog, and I need my exercise.

Right beside the expensive, new development a new train track is also being built. It will be a super fast train going to the capital of the province. We used to walk through a lot of trees to get here, but now... Posted by Picasa

The old Buddhist temple which looms over the new construction is still standing. The temple was located in the poorest area around, but now will be flanked by fancy, new dwellings. Posted by Picasa

This morning, I took Lady across the highway to where we used to could walk among many old buildings such as this one. They are all being torn down and replaced with a housing development. I'll show you what it looks like now. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The twins are in the big class in my kindergarten. They look alike, but don't act alike, except they both really like me! Posted by Picasa

Almost all the students at my kindergarten love me. These are little humans in the da ban (big class); that means they are five and six years old. Robin, the Chinese English teacher, lets me stay with her family sometimes. Last August I stayed with her when Lady went to America, but I came home with water buffalo mange. I don't think Lady will let me stay with her for Spring Festival. It took months to clear me up! Posted by Picasa

My kindergartens put on a two hour program Christmas Eve in the largest square in the city. These are some of my little human friends in their dance. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This is NOT my girlfriend. Yesterday this puppy was all white. Today she is a blonde from a bottle. She lives at the hair salon near our gate. She's always trying to kiss me. Yuck! Lady doesn't like it either because she doubts this puppy has had any of her shots. I like the puppies, but they usually die because they don't get stuck by the White Coats. Yes, it hurts, but Lady says it will keep me from getting sick and dying. I've outlasted all the puppies who live at the hair salon and the yogurt store. Posted by Picasa

We weren't the only ones headed home for lunch. These ladies have been selling their vegetables in the market. Posted by Picasa

I get scolded when I dig through the trash. This old human is looking for recyclable materials to turn in for money. This why Lady always sorts her trash and puts it beside the big bins, instead of in them. Sometimes, though, I try to help, and scatter it. Posted by Picasa

We live in Phase One of our residential area. This is Phase Three. Our fields and the old style buildings are disappearing.  Posted by Picasa

While exploring the area next to our neighborhood, we found these tombs. What will happen to them when they start building? Posted by Picasa

It's windy and sunny today so Lady made me wear my doggles. I still don't like them. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 16, 2006

Here I am in front of my tree with some of my Christmas gifts. Nice silk coat, huh? Posted by Picasa


Thanks to a friend's advice, Lady was able to post some photos for me. I've had many requests, so I will try to add more later. I told you about Lady's birthday party, so I posted two photos from that event. Lady had so much cake leftover, but she said I'd had enough!
I also included a photo from Christmas, showing my tree and some of my favorite gifts. Of course, I am wearing my handsome red silk coat. When I wear it, I get so many compliments! I am not allowed to wear it to the market, or if it is muddy out; I get very dirty.
I took Lady to the market this morning.She is making a salad to take to a friend's home tonight. Our friend is a teacher at the local university. I don't know why, but Lady said I am not invited. It is a beautiful, sunny but cold day! Lady dragged me past the meat section to find the vegetables she wanted. A fuzzy little yappy dog tried hard to get my attention. I was aloof. Lady really irritated me this morning. I kept trying to mark my territory, but Lady would yank on my leash so I'd lose my balance. What's a guy to do? I know I am not supposed to teetee on the merchandise, but sometimes I try to get away with it. Lady scolds me. On the way home, we ran into the little white dog that lives at the beauty parlor near us. We were so surprised to see that she is now a blonde! Only the area around her eyes is still white! I hope Lady doesn't get any ideas about dying my beautiful black coat another color. That little dog drives me crazy. She allows follows me and bites on my mouth! She used to be small enough to run under me, but now she is taller than I am! I had another little admirer that lived in the same shop, but she went the way of most puppies here. Their humans don't take them to the white coats and get them stuck. Yes, it hurts, and maybe I yell a bit, but it keeps me from getting sick and dying. We wonder how long this one will last.
My dear friend, Jennifer is coming over to see me before she takes Lady to the dinner party. Jenny comes over every week to chat and improve her English. Sometimes we go to the foot massage parlor on Mondays. I hope we go tonight. If we do, I will get Lady to post a photo. Jennifer is a police officer. She tries hard to keep me (and Lady) out of trouble. She is a good friend and we love her very much. She doesn't have a little dog, but she has a little boy who is a little younger than me. After Spring Festival, he will come to play with me. Spring Festival is right around the corner! The students are finishing up their end of term exams, and some are headed home. Many senior middle school students live in dormitories at the school and only go home on holidays. They may have six or eight students sharing one room. Even the ones who live in the city stay at school, because they have so many night classes. It will take some of them many hours by bus or train to get to their home. Daisy Mae and a couple of others said good bye to us at English Corner, because next Saturday, they will take the bus home. Do you wonder why all the Chinese have English names? They don't. Their English teachers give them a name, or sometimes they ask Lady to name them. She can't remember their Chinese names as well, so even if they don't speak English, she will refer to them with an English name. Another friend, Doris, already called and was headed home for the holidays. Many students call us and tell us good-bye before they go home for the holidays. Our friend Jade is a senior. She came over yesterday to visit with us. She has final exams this week, then will go home next Sunday. We don't expect many people at our Saturday English Corner. It will be our last until after Spring Festival. I'll be going to stay with my friends for my vacation. I don't know what Lady will do without me. After all, I am just a little dog, but my Lady needs me.

Okay, so not only the humans got icing on their face! Posted by Picasa

Me eating Lady's birthday cake! Yum! Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 13, 2006

My TV Appearance

This morning, the reporter called to say that we would be on TV today. Lady and I cuddled up on the sofa by the heater and watched the show. Lady did some talking in the studio interview portion, but I was clearly featured in the rest of the show. They showed me in my home on my WIinie the Pooh blanket, and playing with my toys. They did a close up of a wall hanging Lady has that has a verse, " I am the vine, you are the branches..." in Chinese. They showed me helping Lady buy fruit and vegetables in our market. They followed us as I walked Lady around our neighborhood, and greeted my friends. They even interviewed our friends, the street sweepers. They showed Lady blowing out the candles on her cake, and interviewed Margaret, Claude, Nancy, and Kaylee. Kaylee spoke in English and did a very good job! Of course, I was the star, but they said nice things about Lady. We're hoping Lady will be invited to stay in China longer. I certainly hope so because I have never lived anywhere else. This was the first of two peograms they will do on me. They want to follow us to the countryside when we go to teach and play with the students. I love trips! Lady said it will be after Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).
My little human friends came to visit me last night. They have been away for six months. I missed them. Boy likes to play tug-o-war with me. Little Girl scratches me on the tummy, and Bigger Girl throws toys for me. I showed them how I could dance, so that they would give me my favorite toy. Later, I took them on a tour of our neighborhood to show them the changes since they have been gone. They were quite appreciative. After all, I am just a little dog, but I am also very friendly.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More Birthday Celebrations

After a long day of teaching at the two kindergartens, Lady and I went to one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants to meet her adult English Corner friends. A TV camera man and a reported came with us. All of the EC members were there, including Linda's human daughter, Kaylee. Kaylee, a third grader, loves to play with me. She loves Lady. I've stayed with her before, but she wouldn't go to sleep for watching me, so I can't sleep over with her unless she is out of school.
Lady ordered all her favorites at this restaurant including granny potatoes (like mashed potatoes with chili peppers), fish sauce eggplant, french fries, spinach and egg, fried pumpkin cakes, and chili and cucumbers. Jenny ordered the good stuff for the rest of us. Belle and her husband (with whom I vacation sometimes), can always be counted on to give me meat. I had my own plate, even though it was on the floor. We were in our own dining room, so I could move about freely without my leash. I had fatty pork, ground beef and rice, and white meat pork with leeks. Lady gave me some pumpkin cakes which I love. They are so sticky that it takes a while to chew. SHe always wants me to eat veggies.
The TV reporters interviewed some of the guests about EC and how they met Lady. They said some very kind things about my Lady. They filmed me, of course, but I didn't speak. They left after they saw her blow out the fire her friends set on her cake. It's a good thing because things got a little crazy after that. It was the largest cake I have ever seen. They could have hidden me inside! It had more icing flowers on it than a garden! Lady cut pieces for all of our guests. It seems they were more interested in smearing icing on each others' faces than on eating it. It must be a Chinese thing, but they got icing all over Lady's face! They chased each other around the room and out the door, smearing icing on their faces and even clothes! The floor was full of icing! Lady didn't want me licking it off the floor, so I had my own piece of cake at the table. When I figure out how to add photos, will add oen for you. Okay, I got icing all over my face all by myself.
It was time for little dogs to go home to bed. Lady and her friends went to some hot springs near here to go swimming. All of her human friends went as well. She didn't get home until midnight, but I still wanted to go out. It was cold but clear with a sky full of stars. I didn't keep her out too long, because I was ready to go back to bed with my Lady. After all, I am just a little dog, but I must take care of my Lady.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Lady's Birthday

It's Lady's birthday today! We celebrated by staying in the warm bed. That is, until my human grandparents called at 7:30 this morning! Lady had to leave the warm bed and go into the cold livingroom to answer the phone, but I stayed in bed! Later, her big brother called. He has a little black dog, too, only his dog has really long hair. He has to get groomed. I have no idea what that means.
After Lady talked with God, and read her favorite Book, we watched a movie. We had breakfast and a movie in bed! Lady received many text messages on her cell phone, phone calls, and e-mails wishing her a happy birthday. The kindergarten teachers took us out for lunch her in our neighborhood. Sometimes I go on vacation at Robin's, a Chinese English teacher. My other favorite, Angela, also came. They can be counted on to give me good stuff to eat. Lady was thrilled to have her favorite vegetable dishes, such as hot ans spicy tofu, pumpkin, spicy fried potatoes, and egg and tomato soup. I was thrilled to get fried pork and rice. I caused a bit of a scene when a long-haired white dog came into our area of the restaurant and tried to eat MY food. I let him (and everyone else in the restaurant) know in no uncertain terms that he was not welcome. He got kicked out because he was not with a human. He was not invited.
The teachers also gave Lady gifts and a birthday cake. One gift I think really must be for me. It is two little ceramic dogs vying for the same bone. I kept trying to pull it off the table, but Lady said it was hers. She usually shares her stuff, so maybe I will get it eventually. They all came back to our house for coffee and pictures. I only let Robin and Angela pick me up. I let the others who tried to pick me up know that I didn't know them well enough. They gave Lady some house slippers with red lips on them. In China, it is the custom for people to take off their shoes upon entering a home, and put on slippers. Since I don't wear any shoes, Lady carefully cleans my feet with baby wipes after coming inside before I can jump on the furniture, or get on the bed.
Lady's American friends took her out for dinner, but I didn't get to go. She had pizza and a coke float. She was very excited that our good friends have returned from the states just last night. Yesterday, we went to their apartment to get it ready for them. I had to wait on the mat while Lady dropped off groceries. I can't wait to see my little human friends, Little Girl, Bigger Girl, and Boy. They can't wait ot see me either! Lady was so happy to have a homemade chocolate cake. One of our friends made it. Of course, I am not allowed to have chocolate, so I will help myself to the Chinese birthday cake.
Tomorrow night, I get to go to dinner with Lady and her Chinese friends from English Corner. Afterwards, they will go to the nearby hot springs to swim. I'll go home and wait for Lady. On cold days, she leaves a heater (a safe one) on for me, because after all, I am just a little dog, and I get cold.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

English Corners

English Corner is a designated time and place for the Chinese people to come together to practice their spoken English. Over a year and a half ago, Lady started one in a beautiful local park. I helped her start it. Our first night two friends came with us to help us get it started. We only had four people come. Many more than that gathered around us just to stare at me becuase I am so unusual here. They are also very curious about Lady because she is unusual here, too. The next week, we had six come from the local teacher's college. They adored me! So many people came to stare and listen to the strange language that we had to move to another location. Each week after that we had more students come. Some were from different local junior (grades 7-9) and senior (grades 10-12) middle schools, and some were from the local college. Other adults also came. We had a taxi driver, a banker, a police officer, and a store clerk. Week after week we went to the park and waited to see who would come and visit with us. Other people continued to just stand and stare at us, but if Lady spoke English to them, they would say, "ting bu dong" -don't understand -and leave!
Rain or shine, cold or hot, Lady goes to the park. Some weeks she has a topic they discuss. Sometimes they will talk about the nearest holiday, or learn a special song. Sometimes they discuss current events. I sit in different laps, and get different teens to walk with me. I've trained some of the students to give me treats. Sometimes there are more than 50 people at English Corner, but other weeks there are only three or four. But, every week Lady goes. I had to quit going for a while because the Public Security Bureau decided that animals in public places were a health hazard. If they saw a dog they would snatch it from its human and it would never be seen again! Lady was very upset about this, so I had to stay home. After forever, I got to go again, but Lady takes me in and out the back way. We quickly hop into a taxi to head home. Last night, it wasn't as cold as we thought it would be. About 30 students and adults came. The TV camera crew also came, and took some shots of me with my students. I guess they shot some of Lady as well.
A few months after beginning the first one, Lady began another English Corner for adults only. These folks can speak well! We meet in a local tea house. I almost always get to go. If not, I sleep the entire time Lady is away. When she comes in late and wants to go to bed, I am ready to play and take her for a walk! Sometimes she doesn't get home until 10:00 PM so she likes to take me. It's a long day for her because she teaches at two kindergartens on the same day. This English Corner group is smaller and made up of mostly all professionals. They love me, and take turns holding me on their laps, or shelling nuts for me. If we have dinner, I can always convince them to give me meat! At this English Corner, the humans talk about current events, their lives, and play games. They have become very close friends with Lady, and often visit us in our home. Sometimes only two or three come, and sometimes nine or ten. They are all busy people. Some are doctors, teachers, journalists, transportation workers, and government workers. They teach Lady about Chinese culture, and are quick to help her when she needs it. They are quick to help me, as well!
This week, Lady says I can't go because her friends are giving her a birthday party. After dinner, they are taking her to the hot springs to go swimming. I am not invited because I can't go swimming. The camera crew from the TV station wants to tag along and take more pictures of Lady, and learn about her life. Why, I don't know. The program is about me, isn't it?
After all, I am just a little dog, who is very clever and unsual!

Friday, January 06, 2006

TV Star

I'm going to be on local television! The producers are doing a feature on me and my life in China! The researcher and camerman visited my home yesterday and today. They filmed me showing how well trained Lady is when I get her to give me treats. They followed me to the market today to buy vegetables. It was so cold and rainy that I had to wear a sweater and my new quilted coat. I got so muddy! I took them through my market past the large bags of rice where I once got in trouble for teeteeing on one of the bags. The seller chased after Lady and made her pay money. The commotion quickly drew a large crowd. Lady just wanted to pay the money and get out of there. She apologized for me, and they accepted (the money). Once I lifted my leg on a brand new bucket but I didn't get caught. Lady scolded me though.
I showed them where we buy flour, and where we don't buy meat. I always scrounge around trying to find scraps the butchers drop, but lady snatches me away before I can succeed. Huge chunks of fat, and pork hang on hooks and lay on plywood boards. Each time we pass through the meat section,Lady says she is glad she is vegetarian. I lead them past the chicken cages, and tubs of fish, baskets of fresh eggs, bags of chili peppers and other dried things. We pass the meat grinder, and find the vegetables Lady wants to buy for soup. Around the corner from the meat section are the fruit vendors. Lady chooses some tangerines, and I check out the ground for dropped snack foods sold on the same street. They fry potatos and add chili and onions. Other vendors fry rice, and corn cakes.
I led the camera crew around my neighborhood and demonstrated how I water and fertilize the trees, and check out all the interesting odors. I stopped by my favorite restaurants, and shops where I sometimes do my own shopping. I know which stores keep their sausages down low where I can choose my own before Lady can do anything about it. I show them my kindergarten, and the foot massage and tea house. I love to go there, but we didn't go today.
Lady is going to be in the show, too. They followed her this morning to the mountain top. She loves to climb up there early in the mornings and enjoy the fresh air and God's creation. I stayed home in my warm fuzzy blanket. It was too cold for me!
They asked Lady all kinds of questions as I tried to get their attention back on me. I dragged Lady's fuzzy blanket off her bed and down the hall to where they were. Lady was not impressed. I carried my Pooh bear in the living room and pulled fuzz out all over the floor, but they kept talking to Lady. So, I got my noisiest toys that sing a silly song when I bite it. That didn't work either, so I jumped up in the camerman's lap. That got his attention! This show is about me, isn't it?
Tomorrow night they will go with me to my English Corner in the park. But, I don't think many humans will come since it is so cold. Still, they want to see my life. After all, I am just a little dog who is very clever and very loved.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I love going to kindergarten! We have one in our neighborhood. Lady goes there every week. Some days I get to go. In Chinese kindergartens, children begin coming at about age 2 1/2, and stay until age 6 or 7. They eat two meals, and two snacks, and take a long afternoon nap. Sometimes, when Lady is away, I stay with the English teacher there. I get to have snacks and take a nap! The teachers there all love me, and want me to sleep with them, but I stick with the one Lady entrusted me with.
I don't usually go in the classroom with Lady. I hang out with the bus drivers. They like me, too. Lady teaches 4 classes in the morning. There are anywhere from 30 to 55 children in her classes. After two classes, the children go outside for morning exercises. I love to watch them move to the music. Each class has a special place to stand. They exercise to several songs, then some run around. When it is rainy or too cold outside, they play indoors. How I wish Lady would let me in the ball pool! I try to climb the colorful wall, but I can't reach the foot pegs.
Someitmes the drivers and I wait in the bus. They sleep. I like that! But I don't like it when they smoke. Lady will say I stink!
I can understand both Chinese and English, but the children are learning to actually speak both languages. They learn English songs and games. They are not afraid of Lady. They are not afraid to try to speak. When they see us walking in the neighborhood, they will say "hello." Lady likes it when they say hello instead of calling her a "lao wai" (foreigner). Maybe they will grow up not being afraid to try to speak a foreign language, or make friends with a foreigner. Maybe they feel God's love for them. I try to lick them, but they don't like this kind of love.
In the afternoon, the kindergarten bus picks up Lady and takes her to another kindergarten in the countryside. She only teaches 3 classes there. I don't usually go there. I am still napping when Lady leaves. When she returns, I get my snack!
After dinner, Lady and I will go to another English Corner for adults. I enjoy the children at the kindergarten, but the adults of English Corner give me better treats! After all, I am just a little dog, and I love my treats!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year!

On the last day of 2005, Lady and I tried to do as little as possible. I succeeded, but she worked. I do my part though. She makes the bed, I unmake it. She sweeps the floor,and I unstuff Pooh all over it. She picks up my new toys, and I spread them all out again. She puts my favorite Pooh blanket on the end of the bed, and I drag it all over, leaving fuzz everywhere. So, for a little dog, I stay busy.
Saturday night, Lady went to meet the middle school students at English Corner in the park. Sometimes I get to go, but this night, I stayed home and rested. I love to go and play with the teens and some adults who come each week to practice their spoken English. There are so many good smells and places to explore. When Lady returned, I took her out for a long walk. The stars were bright in the clear sky. Many people had begun their celebration, but this isn't a very big celebration. The big New Year's celebration will be for Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year's later this month. After I finished watering all the light poles and bushes, Lady and I returned home to watch movies and eat treats. I curled up under the warm fuzzy blanket, and fell asleep. The noise of the firecrackers at midnight woke me up! I climbed on Lady's chest and licked her good. I am sure she appreciated it!
I had many adventures in 2005. Lady took me on trips to the countryside several times. We stayed in hotels and ate very well. Her hosts always give me delicious meats! Lady gives me dry dog food and vegetables. We saw so many interesting places and things! While Lady taught middle school students, I waited somewhat patiently on my mat and chewed my toys. These students had never seen anyone like Lady, and they certainly hadn't seen anything like me! They all wanted to have their photo made with me. I am very particular about who I let pick me up, and I let them know that. I did, however, let Lady hold me and we posed for the countless photos. Lady said I must be on my best behavior or I will not be invited on anymore outings!
Lady bought me some "doggles" for my eyes so that the dirt won't get in them when I stick my head out of the vehicle. They also protect my eyes from the sun. I don't like them, but I wear them in the car. Humans think I look very special.
2006 came early, as Lady wanted to go to church. So I took her out for a quick walk before she left. I went back to bed. Lady wanted to spend the first day of the new year with the Chinese Christians at the local church. Taking part in the Lord's Supper is very special. It helps them to remember that Christ died for all. When Lady came home, I took her out for a longer walk around our neighborhood. I have introduced her to many new friends. I am quite unusual you know. There are no other little dogs just like me in our city. It takes us a while to greet all my friends, and water everything that needs it.
I was excited when the twins, Skye and Frannie came to visit. Another teen, Jerry, also came. I can always count on them to shell sunflower seeds and peanuts for me! Skye will play tug of war with me, too! When they left, I walked them to the bus stop.
I'm looking forward to new adventures in 2006, and more holidays! I've had a busy day entertaining my guests, and keeping Lady warm on the sofa. After all, I am just a little dog, and I love my Lady.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My Christmas 2005

I love holidays! Lady, my human, always cooks a lot which means she also drops a lot on the floor. I do my best to help her clean up! Even though she is vegetarian, she will eat turkey at Christmas if she can get it. Well, since she had five hungry university students from the states visiting for Christmas, she ordered a turkey! Her oven is so small, she had the shop cook it for her. All she had to do was warm it up in the rice cooker. Yum! For brunch we all had pancakes! I love pancakes, especially with peanut butter. I had to wait until everyone had their fill before I had my pancakes. After my nap and the humans came back from somewhere, I helped clean up the floor from dinner preparations. I am thankful she is so messy. Others were watching Polar Express, but not me! I was helping! Lady gave me mashed potatoes, raw carrots with ranch dressing (my favorite), turkey, and a biscuit. I don't like green bean casserole, cranberries, or corn casserole. She also gave me a special dinner of Pedigree Beef Stew on top of my dry food. What a day! Some Chinese teens came over to see me so they stayed for dinner. They ate the traditional dinner with chopsticks! It was their first time to have such food! They left and my friends the twins came over. While they were doing e-mail, we all got to open our stockings! I knew which one was mine because it had my picture on it! I didn't get swords, tea, candy, and magnets as the visiting students did. I got good stuff! Beef sticks, people shaped dog treats, Snoopy squeaky toy, rawhide chews, doggie cookies, a new harness, and a musical Piglet! I love to pounce on it and make it sing! I also got a new stuffed Winnie the Pooh Bear. I really like it. I have already chewed one ear and the nose off, and pulled out a lot of the stuffing, but there's lots more to go! I also got a new blue and red quilted coat. It was cold on Christmas day, but now it has warmed up! Lady still makes me wear a sweater in the early mornings and evenings.
We had so much fun! The students got these wheels they strap on their shoes and they gave Lady a pair! They also gave her a helmet in case she falls. She's kind of old and clumsy. She said she needed a pillow to wear somewhere else! I took the visitors for a walk wearing my Christmas bell and my beautiful red silk coat. Lady got many gifts from her family and friends. I was tired from unwrapping my gifts and playing with all my new toys. Entertaining all my guests is exhausting! They kept coming and going so I have to greet everybody, and see them off. While they sang Christmas songs and prayed, I snuggled up and rested.
They didn't take me to church with them that night, but a bunch of my Chinese friends came back with them! I really like Claude and Jenny. Joe came, too, plus two American friends. Wow! We really had a house full and they all came to see me! Lady served them homemade pumpkin pie and apple pie. I saw her eating fudge, but she doesn't let me eat it. She gave me pie crust, and more treats. It was pretty late when everybody left. I always see my guests off, and take Lady for an evening walk. It was a cool, clear night. We could see the stars. Lady told me about the star that led the wise men to see the baby Jesus. I know all about the true meaning of Christmas. Lady has nativity scenes in the living room. When my guests come to see me, they always look at her scenes, and all her Christmas cards. They act like they have never heard of Jesus before, or seen such cards. But, they like coming to see me, and seeing our tree, Christmas decorations, and eating Lady's Christmas cookies and treats! Lady stayed up for hours cleaning up and doing stuff, but I went on to bed where it was warm. After all, I am just a little dog, and I need my sleep!