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Inspirational Quote of the Week

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

-Stephen Covey-

Simple.  For me, there are two main things: playing with toys and eating treats.  I have no trouble KEEPING them the main things.  In between naps and walks, I play and eat and play and eat and eat and play and eat. 

Mom says her main thing is having lots and LOTS of books published.  That’s why she works on stories and poems every day.  She feels sad for writers who are one-book-wonder authors.  Mom says, “Soon, one of my books will be in the right place at the right time.” and “Get that stuffed crocodile off my lap.  I’m busy, here!”

Really?  Well, I’m busy too.  Keeping the main thing the main thing….




Tonight, I’m working at the library.  It’s Read-to-a-Pet-Night and guess who the pet is… ME!  I know I’ll have a wonderful time, because I love the library.  Somehow, libraries manage to be peaceful, but exciting, and full of learning, but full of fun.

It’ll be great to meet all the kids and listen to all the stories they read to me.  I hope some of them pick books about dogs, but I also like books about princesses, teddy bears, frogs, and racing cars.  If anybody picks a book about cats or construction vehicles, I’ll listen politely because it’s my job, but I will NOT like it.

Mom will have a wonderful time, too.  She enjoys holding me on her lap and talking to kids at the library.  She likes listening to dog stories, just like me.  She also likes books about swans, friends, school, and ballerinas.  She doesn’t mind cat stories or books about construction vehicles, but she does not like history or math. 

Sometimes, Mom gets jealous at the library.  She thinks her unpublished books are just as good as the published books on the shelves.  She says, “There’s ten minutes I’ll never get back….” and “How did THAT ever get published?” It doesn’t make her sad; it makes her work harder at her writing.  Working hard is good for her (and even better for me!). She’ll get ideas, type on the computer, and then ROAD TRIP!  We’ll take a ride in the car to the mailbox.  I like when she works hard.

Now, all I have to do is decide which dress to wear to the library tonight….

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. 

The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

–Thomas Edison–

Thomas Edison was smart.  He invented a thousand things.  One of them was light bulbs, which I LOVE.  When the lights are on, it means: playing with toys, eating treats, stealing gum from Mom’s pocketbook, and jumping on and off the couch a hundred times to check if my friend, Lila is walking by outside.   Sometimes Mom says, “The lights are on, but nobody’s home,” about me.  I don’t know why she says that. 

When the lights are off, it means: bedtime – no treats, no gum, and no Lila.  I am allowed to bring one toy to bed, but Mom won’t throw it, and she won’t let me shake it till I get dizzy.  Totally missing the point of the toy! When the lights are off, she says, “Go to sleep.  Tomorrow you can play again.”  I LOVE tomorrow!

Thomas Edison never gave up.  Mom says she is persistant like that, too.  She hasn’t invented a thousand things, but she says she might have received a thousand rejection letters.  She stopped counting after 200.  Despite that, she writes and writes and never stops.  She says, “I’ll never give up.”  I’m not sure I believe her.  About a thousand times a day, when I am not being a good girl, Mom says, “Ugh. I GIVE UP!” 

She’s no Thomas Edison!


I hate the mailman.  He comes to my house almost every single day.  I bark and growl, and throw myself against the front door the minute I hear him.  I don’t like his bag or his ring of mailbox keys or the way he says, “Calm down in there, Cupcake.”  

Mom says, “What’s all the noise?” and “When will your tiny brain learn that the mailman is not your enemy?” 

She LOVES the mailman.  She says he might be bringing us “good news.”  Unless good news is code for a-toy-that-she-ordered-online, I don’t care about it.  She talks to the mailman in the hallway for a while, and then comes inside with a pile of stuff that is usually NOT a-toy-that-she-ordered-online.  She looks through the mailman things and says the words, “Bills. Ugh.”  and,  “Catalogues. Hmmm.” and once in a while, “Contract! Yay!”

Today, she finally agreed with me.  She looked through her mailman things and said, “Rejection. Bummer.  I HATE the mailman.”


St. Patrick’s Day!

Top o’ the mornin’ everybody.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  That means I have to wear my green dress and be in a parade.  I was waiting by the door, but Mom said, “No, silly.  You already walked in the parade on Sunday, with all your TheraPet friends.  No more parade for you!”  So, OK, why am I wearing the dress again?!

…I’m confused.

Mom is confused, too.  It’s about the poetry collection.  She picked some poems for the section called, “Out There” and some for the section called “In Here,” but then she got confused.  I know that because she started that mumbling thing that she does, and then said, “I need more coffee.”  I love when she says that.  It means I get to lick the spoon.  Mom says, “Not too much coffee for you.” and “You’re hyper enough already.”  I love coffee.

The coffee helped Mom think, ….I think.  She said, “Hmmm.  Lots of “Out There” stuff, but not enough “In Here” stuff. ”  I ran to the door again, because “Out There” is my FAVORITE place.  She’s in the dining room counting, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,” and then “1, 2, 3, 4.”  I’ll wait here till she finishes saying the numbers over and over.  Then, I’m pretty sure we’re going Out There.  Maybe she’ll change her mind and take me to the parade again!


Mom is working on a poetry collection.  AGAIN with the poetry! She has over 50 poems inside her computer.  I don’t know how they all fit into that tiny thing!  I wonder if that freaky Cat-in-a-Hat is in there, too.  Ugh.

She says for her collection she is just taking what she has and choosing her 15 favorites.  It’s hard to choose, because she loves all of them.  That happens to me sometimes, when I want to make a collection of toys on the couch.  I try to pick my favorites, but I love them all!  Mom says, “That’s enough toys.” and “This place is a MESS!”  That’s when I know I’ve done well with the collection.

Mom is choosing some poems that rhyme, some that don’t, some short ones, and some long ones.  She says a collection needs variety.  I know that – some that squeak, some that talk, some rubber ones, and some that are good to chew.  I love collections.


Gulp.  OMG.  It’s a cat!  I don’t like this one bit.  Mom came home with tons of these pictures the other day, and I’m not happy. 

OK.  I’m just going to say it.  I’m afraid of cats – and this one is wearing a HAT!  I’m a little afraid of hats, too.  When it’s hat time, Mom says, “Sit still.” and she balances a hat on my tiny head.  Then she takes my picture.  After that, I try to eat the hat, until she says, “Drop the hat and you can have a cookie.”

Mom got Cat in the Hat gifts after visiting some school kids and reading them a story and some poems.  She says Cat in the Hat is a poem.  She doesn’t fool me.  I know about cats.  They are not “a poem” – they are mean, scratchy creatures.  Come to think of it, hats are mean and scratchy, too. 

Who turned out the lights?

I don’t really know what a poem is.  Maybe Mom will show me., but first, I hope she gets rid of that scary cat in a hat.  She says she’s putting it in her scrapbook.  Good.  Scrap that cat in a hat.

A Poem by

Genevieve Petrillo

A hideous monster is under my bed.

His skin is pale purple. His eyes are bright red!

His nails are like pigs’ tails. His tongue is real thick.

I’m under the covers, but WHOA, I feel sick.

My mom heard me screaming.  She said not to shout.

I turned on the vacuum to suck the fiend out.

He’s gone for the moment from under my bed.

He’s inside the vacuum, I doubt if he’s dead.

The hideous vacuum – I won’t turn it on.

I can’t do my chores till the monster is gone.




A New Week

It’s the beginning of a new week of writing – except Mom says it won’t be a whole lot of actual writing for the next few days.  It’s because of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  I hid behind the big red chair, when I heard that!  I know about doctors!  Every time I go to the doctor, she looks in my ears, shines a bright light in my eyes, gives me a needle, and sometimes, she touches things that shouldn’t be touched…..  Yikes.  I don’t know this Dr. Seuss woman, but I’m hiding, just in case.

Mom says, “Get out of there before you get stuck.”  and “What goes on in your tiny brain?”  She says Dr. Seuss was a nice man who wrote funny stories and poems, kind of like she does, except he was super-famous.  Apparently, whenever it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday, grown-ups read stories to kids.  No ear checking, no needles, no bright lights, and no touching things that shouldn’t be touched.  Whew!

Soon, Mom will visit 3 different schools to celebrate Dr. Seuss.  She’ll read her book to 3 different bunches of kids and talk to them about being a writer.  This week, she will get ready by practicing what she will say to the kids.  I can watch her practice, but I am not allowed to go with her to the schools because she will be “busy working” and I “don’t know how to behave.”  I wonder if she’ll tell the bunches of kids about me.  Duh.  Of course she will! 

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, whoever you are!


Mom says it’s Writing Time.  I know what that means.  Be a good girl.  No barking, no stealing, no begging, and no being sneaky for one whole hour.  Mom writes for an hour a day.  She even wrote a story about it.  Isn’t that nuts?  Writing about writing?  It’s like thinking about thinking, or talking about talking.  Ouch!  I just gave myself a headache.

When mom writes, she sets the clock on her iPad and when time is up, it chimes.  I know what that means, too.  I run to the door and bark like the Poland Spring man is here.  Then Mom says, “It’s not the doorbell, silly!  Calm down.  Come here and have a cookie.”  It works every time. 

Mom stops writing after the chime – and the barking, and the cookie.  Exactly one hour.  That means we can play or go for a ride in the car.  Time can be tricky, but not for me.  A tiny lightning bolt inside my brain tells me when to start pushing and kissing Mom to wake her up for my breakfast.  Later it tells me to sit by the door with a sicky face, so she’ll take me out for a walk.  The brain lightning lets me know when it’s time for dinner, and when to stare out the window looking for my friend Lila. 

Time is a piece of cake.  Mom says “Time flies” and “Time’s up” and “Just in time” and “What a waste of time”.  I’m not sure about those, but Writing Time means coffee, computer, and good girl.  It’ll be over soon….

If you want to see what Mom says about time, read it here – What a Difference an Hour Makes


This weekend I worked with TheraPet at the soldiers’ home.  Boy, was I worn out after we were finished!  So many people petted me and talked to me and held me and gave me treats.  It’s hard work making people smile, but a whole lot of fun, too.

Mom says her job is a lot like mine.  She works hard trying to write stories to make kids smile and she has a lot of fun doing it.  She says the pressure is in submitting.  “Submitting” is taking a ride to the mailbox.  I’m not sure what she means.  I don’t feel any pressure when we submit.  For me submitting is simple.  Hop into the car, try not to get carsick, wait like a good girl while Mom throws papers into the mailbox, and then we go to Petco.  Submitting is a blast!