Dear Stupid Dogs,

I realized recently that one of the reasons why you are both so dense is that Mama L. has been too busy to tell you what’s happening around the world. She used to stay current with global news because she knows how important it is to think beyond the little worlds we all exist in.

In an effort to expand your dim little horizons, I have decided to be magnanimous and share with you the important news that has been circulating the last few weeks. I know Mama L. has a lot on her plate right now, so it’s the least I can do.

Let’s see now. Where to begin.

Well, this is relatively old news, but I can’t just shake the image out of my head, so it’s best to share. Sometimes in the beginning of June, a gigantic sinkhole appeared in Guatemala City. It’s over 300 feet deep (they say), although I can’t see the bottom – which leads me to think, what if there is no bottom? The people surmise that it might have been caused by flood waters from tropical storm Agatha, but just look at that hole! It is perfectly round! I think it was a meteor!

Speaking of tropical storms, there have been a bunch of hurricanes, and the latest one was called Earl. They thought it was going to flatten Long Island, but it turned out to be a dud.

What turned out to be quite devastating was the flooding in Pakistan, which resulted from the annual monsoon rains they have been experiencing since July. This is the worst they have seen in the past 80 years. At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was under water. The United Nations estimated that more than 21 MILLION people are injured or homeless. Damages to infrastructure and crops are estimated to be at least $43 BILLION dollars.

At about the same time, Russia experienced a series of hundreds of wildfires due to record high temperatures and severe drought primarily in the western region of Russia. Their president also declared a state of emergency. Damages are estimated at about $15 BILLION dollars.

Isn’t it odd that one country had so much rain water and another one close by had none?

Speaking of fire, some freakish fire tornadoes hit Brazil in an arid area that hadn’t seen rain in three months. Fortunately, the whirlwind of fire disappeared quickly so there wasn’t much damage done. But can you imagine how terrifying it must be to witness that?

There’s more, but I suppose this is all very depressing. Hey, at least they are natural disasters and not something caused by man. Did you know that on any given day, there are, on average, 30 wars around the world? (I believe they prefer to call them “conflicts”.)  Some of these conflicts have lasted over 60 years, like the insurgency in Burma. Others we remain in even though we know we can’t win, like the war in Afghanistan. It’s always the native people who suffer most, not the military folks who actually do the fighting. The aftermath, if there is an “after” math, is always ugly and messy – no matter who wins.

Slavery is a system in which people are the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages. The organization Anti-Slavery International defines slavery as “forced labour.” By this definition there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history and more than twice as many as all African slaves who survived being taken to the Americas in the Atlantic slave trade.

Anyhoo, there is a bit of good news. Mama L. finally found my favorite mouse and was letting me play catch with it. I thought of your tender sensitive little noses as I swatted and clawed and chomped down on the little mouse. I bet your noses are twitching right now, aren’t they? That makes me very happy.

See? I told you there’s a bit of good news.


Dear Diary,

The Mamas have been praising me for being such a good watch dog lately. It’s mostly because I found my inner beagle. Or maybe it’s my inner dachshund. Whatever it is, I have this irrepressible (I know! Another big word!) need to bark at anything that makes a strange noise. I also bark at people I don’t like. Here’s a picture of me practicing on the couch! I thought I heard a strange noise at the front door. It turned out to be nothing at all, but Mama M. said it’s better to be safe than sorry. I think she meant “bark all the time”! That’s why I practice.

Last week, Mama L. came home with a really pretty present from her friend Amy.It looked really yummy, just like candy, but it didn’t have any taste whatsoever.  Mama L. said that it is a Jade from Big Sur! I don’t know who Big Sur is, but why couldn’t he make Jade that tastes like candy? What’s the point of making something really pretty if it doesn’t taste good? Then Mama L. explained that it’s a rock, not food, and that I should leave it alone because it’s supposed to be for the office. I gave it another lick, just to be sure, but that make the Rock even shinier! But it still didn’t taste any better, so I went off to find something I know is good.