Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Secret Identities

Good evening. This is The Daily Bone and I'm your dashing doggie reporter Special Agent 
Chester L. W. Spaniel. 

I didn't dress up as anything for Halloween. But that doesn't mean I did absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, I had lots of dire responsibilities that required me to make use of my ability to instantly morph into a totally different doggie!

I was on duty the whole evening protecting our house from all kinds of ghosts and goblins that were running around the neighborhood and ringing our doorbell and shouting "trick-or-treat!" For this, I used my big boy bark technique that makes alien invaders think I'm really a crazy old junk yard watch doggie. 

My other job this evening was to assume my secret alias: Mr. Underfoot. You see Dad came home from the hospital this afternoon after getting a new knee. Yes, just like my ghostwriter did a year ago, Dad got a total knee replacement yesterday. Of course I simply HAD to stick close to him wherever he went. It's my duty as a cocker spaniel to always be as close to my humans as possible, especially if my human is groaning and moaning and using a clunky walker thing to  get around! 

Don't worry. He'll be all right. Ghostwriter changed into her own secret identity: Battle Axe Nurse. (She calls herself that because she's been a nurse since 1981.) Anyway, she'll get him shaped up in no time! 

In the meantime, some of my other family members had fun changing into their secret identities. 

Fire fighter Ryan

Busy bee Lily

Handsome devil Jason

Elvira Jessy

Scary raven Joanna

We had some excellent looking pumpkins out by the front steps.

We had a scary ghosty boo and a tombstone! Oh, and Mr. Bones Daily had to work this evening by changing into his role as a spooky Halloween skeleton. 

As you can see, it looks like he was sitting down on the job for the entire evening! He's always been kind of a lazy bones! The rest of the year, he just hangs around and keeps an eye on Dad's workshop.

Well, it's getting late now and everything has quieted down. Time for me to assume my third and final secret identity: 

Sleepy time Chester

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Greetings friends and fiends. This is The Daily Bone and I'm your bone-chilling doggie reporter 
Chester L. W. Spaniel.

Did you know The Daily Bone has been on line since 2013? Well, I thought I'd take a look at some of my older posts, and found one that's perfect for Halloween. Here it is, word for word. Please note: it features my late colleague Joseph (Joey dog) Spaniel, who, by the way, is not a zombie.


Hello. This is The Daily Bone and I'm your undead doggie host Chester L. W. Spaniel.

Welcome to my nightmare.

So what is the deal with zombies anyway? Neither my erudite colleague Joseph (Joey dog) Spaniel nor I can understand why the humans keep coming up with zombies as a form of entertainment in TV shows and movies. We all know it's chemically impossible to reanimate something that is dead, especially if it's been dead for a long time. The usual scenario is that there is some kind of virus, disease, parasite, an alien, or even a curse or an evil spirit that takes over a dead body and reanimates it. Sometimes, it only takes a bite from a zombie to pass the zombie disorder illness syndrome malady to people who are alive. 

Zombies only eat brains. If they're dead, why do they need to eat? And why brains? They all want to kill the living for some reason, after they terrorize them, of course. There are a few other things zombies have in common. First, they cannot comprehend glass windows, and reliably smash into them, usually with a full body thump and/or splat. (Hey, maybe Crazy Bird is a zombie considering the number of times he's bashed himself against the windows of our house!) They all walk funny, and don't seem to know where they're going. They all have skin discoloration, scabs or open wounds, blood stains, rotten or missing teeth, messy hair, torn up clothes, and weird eyeballs. They all make funny gurgling and/or moaning noises, and sometimes their body parts fall off. And, little kids love to dress up and pretend to be zombies. 


Yesterday, there was an editorial column in the local newspaper about zombies, that said liberals love zombies. The doggie logic machine threw up a clinker on that one! What do zombies have to do with politics? Why would only liberals like zombies? The only thing we doggies could come up with is that perhaps a zombie is the only thing left that is politically correct to kill. In fact, it's PC to kill them in any way, be it an arrow to the head, a bullet to the head, a grenade to the head, a tree limb to the head, a bazooka shot to the head, a motorized vehicle to the head, a sword swipe to the head, a tire iron to the head, a rock to the head, a pea shooter to the head, a flame thrower to the head, a baseball bat to the head, a hockey stick to the head … well, you get the idea. Personally I would have Ironing Board Man drive over their heads and flatten them. The fact that they're already dead doesn't seem to matter. 

I imagine one day zombie-ism will be an accepted medical diagnosis, or an alternative life-style choice, and research will be done with government grants to understand and cure it. There will be a zombie awareness week, an anti-hate campaign with a fund raiser raffle ticket zombie bake sale, zombie support groups, a zombie pride march, and a bill in congress to give zombies the same rights and privileges as all other US citizens. That would be the American way.


Well, was I right about some of those predictions? Check out this video if you dare:

Disney Zombies Movie Trailer


I think I'll stick with Mr. Bumpy Night of the Living Bread! Yum! Oh, and those Epic Mealtime zombie guys! Yipes!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

TDB Creepy Crawlies Edition

Hello brave readers. This is The Daily Bone and I'm your valiant doggie reporter 
Chester L. W. Spaniel. 

I'm going to say up-front that today I will be talking about spiders and other creepy crawlies. Long time readers will know that I live with a family of science geeks who think spiders and bugs are really interesting and not frightening at all. In fact, my Joanna human once had a terrarium that was home to a millipede! She would feed it dead leaves.

I'll start out with a picture of something not so scary. In the middle of summer, we had lots of box elder bugs. Wherever there were piles of seeds from our silver maple tree, we'd find masses of these bugs! This went on for several weeks until all the maple tree seeds were devoured. 

We saw this lone box elder bug the other day. I'm pretty sure the rest of his family is hibernating somewhere, perhaps underneath the aluminum siding.

There have also been lots of stinkbugs trying to get in the house.

As you may know, I've had numerous epic battles with stinkbugs over the years.

Yup. There's one! Grrrrrrrr …

Doggies and kitties be warned: they're called stinkbugs for a reason!


One rainy night after driving home from work, ghostwriter noticed a veritable pill bug convention on the railing by the front door! These creepy crawlies are actually crustaceans and have been around since before the dinosaurs. We found a scholarly treatise on these creatures. Please check out the link at the end of this post. 

Some people think mousies are scary creepy crawlies. Not us! But still, we'd rather not have them living in our garage eating up the birdie seeds and pooping all over. I always know when there's a mousie in the garage. That's when I go rummaging around under Dad's tools and fishing poles, and knock things over and squish myself into the tightest corners sniffing and snuffling. My humans never believe me. But sooner or later the mousie shows up in the mouse trap on the shelf! You see? Here's one that got trapped last week!

Check out those big eyes!

I wanted to eat that mousie, but ghostwriter wouldn't let me. She let me sniff it, though, before she tossed it into the big garbage can outside.

Moving on, here's a beautiful woolly bear caterpillar. Did you know that these guys can survive being frozen solid all winter, and then be perfectly OK when spring comes?


You're not afraid of Lucas the Spider on youtube, are you? He's as cute as can be! To see his latest video click here:
scary stories by lucas

Now, without further ado, I'd like to introduce our favorite creepy crawlie lady of the night, who lived in her own funnel shaped home by the front door all summer: Mirabella. She grew very quickly, partly because ghostwriter was always throwing box elder bugs into her web. In fact Mirabella became quite fond of ghostwriter. Whenever ghostwriter was by the front door watching a sunset or something, Mirabela would come out of her funnel and say hello. 


One day the wind blew a big frond from the neighbor's smoke tree into Mirabella's web. If you look very closely at this, you can see the daddy-long-legs spider hiding within it, almost perfectly camouflaged. Do you see him? You have to look very carefully.

Meanwhile, by the back door, we saw this buxom lady, who told us her name was Drucilla, and that she was on the move because someone had wrecked her home web. (Gee, maybe I should be more careful when I go stomping through the plants in ghostwriter's garden.) Hopefully she was able to build a new web before it got too cold out.

One night, we saw that Mirabella had a couple boyfriends waiting near her funnel home. We were able to photograph only one of them. This is the male funnel spider who is much thinner than the females. Little does he know, he's probably on a suicide mission. While Mirabella might accept his advances, she may decide afterward to have him for a midnight snack! 

We haven't seen Mirabella in a few weeks now. Ghostwriter thinks, with the cooler weather coming, Mirabella has done the Charlotte's Web thing and has died and left behind an egg sac somewhere. Hey, nobody's ever scared of Charlotte!

For some reason there were hardly any orb weaver garden spiders this summer. (We think maybe the birdies have been eating them, or else people are using too much pesticides on their lawns.) We finally saw a nice one on the side of the house feasting on the abundance of stinkbugs.

For our last spider, here's a lovely daddy-long-legs spider ghostwriter found on the side of the shed. Contrary to popular belief, these spiders are totally harmless, and beneficial to your garden.

That's it for spiders.

If you made it through all of this post without dying of fright, then congratulations! Now here's the link to a site with information about pill bugs. While you're there, check out the links at the bottom and sides on that site and you'll find lots and lots of more pages of information about all kinds of animals. It's a veritable treasure trove of scientific facts! Wow! Warning: you might get stuck there all day long.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hardly Any Flowers

Hello. This is The Daily Bone and I'm your diligent doggie reporter Chester L. W. Spaniel.

We had a big change in the weather this week. In fact, yesterday we woke up to find snow on the ground! Well, it wasn't exactly snow. If you want to get technical, it was sleet that kind of fused together on the ground.

All day long it was cold and windy. The sky had a definite wintry look. 

My ghostwriter, who is now in her annual winter-denial mode, says it will surely be 80ยบ by next week!  

Anyway, considering the weather, I can only show you a couple flowers. All the rest have died or gone to seed. 

Here's a little cabbage butterfly resting on the hosta leaves. 

We do, however, have several beautiful autumn leaves to show you.

There are still a lot more leaves on the trees. I will be sure to keep you posted on the changes. 

(Don't tell ghostwriter. But the weatherman is predicting snow again on Sunday.)