The Power of Pets in the Pandemic

Maggie Mae Pet Pandemic Artilce photo

Getting ready to watch a Cuomo Briefing with my mom.

I wrote about my pandemic experience. Now you can read how my owner Ronni Diamondstein experienced it with me. Her latest column in Inside Press magazines.  I wonder if Governor Cuomo’s dog Captain will like what she wrote.

Here’s the link:   The Power of Pets in the Pandemic

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Pandemic Pup Reporter

Life in the Pandemic From a Dog’s Eye View

Pandemic Pup
What’s a pup to do during a pandemic

One day in March 2020 everything changed at our house. My owner was home all the time. Of course, I liked that but things were different.  I kept hearing my owner say words I never heard before: “COVID, Corona Virus, Pandemic, Quarantine and Pause.

So many things were different. People were delivering food to our house. And lots of packages were coming to our house. My favorite was from Chewy.com because I could smell my food in them.

One day when I went outside I saw some people, but not very many, with their mouths covered. I asked my owner who was wearing something over her mouth too. “Who did those people bite?”  It looked like they were wearing muzzles.

One of the worst things was I couldn’t go over to my friend Isabella when I saw her outside with her owner Vicki. Vicki and my owner kept us apart, at least six feet away and all we could do was wag our tails. My owner said we had to “Social Distance.”

The Bark Bathe & Beyond van stopped coming. I didn’t see Andi anymore. She always gave me a bath and cut my hair. I didn’t really like what she did but I liked her.  My hair was getting long and I was getting more annoyed when my owner washed my face and paws and brushed me.

I had to go see Dr. Duffy and my friends at Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center for a check-up but that was different too. Instead of going in, my owner called and she told them that we were in the parking lot. I waited in the car and then my owner would hand me over to Donna and she didn’t come in with me. They were all wearing masks too. It just wasn’t the same.

In the middle of the day my owner would say “It’s Cuomo Time” and I knew that meant for me to jump up on the sofa with her and sit and watch the television. I heard this man on the television say, “New York Tough, New York Smart, Disciplined, United and Loving.” When I heard that I knew it was time for a walk.

When we took our walks and if my owner saw someone without something covering their mouth and nose, we had to walk on the other side of the street. I would hear her say, “Where’s your mask? I care about you, so I wear one.”

My owner talked on the phone a lot every day, in the morning, the afternoon and at night. There was a lot of noise in the kitchen and I could smell a lot of things but I never got any of what she cooked or baked.

I would hear my owner talk to people on her laptop and I could hear them. I even heard a dog barking once. “I am having a Zoom meeting,” she explained. I sat on her lap one night when she had a Library Board Zoom meeting.

The saddest thing was that no one came to visit me in my house anymore. One day, Danny the plumber came. I heard him say, “Where’s Maggie?” But I couldn’t greet him and bring him a toy to play fetch with me because I had been sent to my crate. My owner wore a mask and he did too.

Finally, the Bark, Bathe & Beyond truck came and I got a bath and my hair was trimmed. I was a new dog!

It’s been a long time now and even though I hear that people are doing more things my owner says we are staying in Phase One.

Stay safe and stay well everyone.

groomed in May

Groomed and enjoying the fresh air

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The Adventures of Maggie Mae: Baking With Love

Baking With Love

maggie january 2020 1

Maggie Mae was excited to see the snow falling outside.

“Can we go out to play?” she asked her mother.

“Later,” her mother said. “It’s a blizzard out there. It is too cold and a strong wind is blowing.”

“Can we bake cookies instead?” asked Maggie Mae. “That would be fun.”

“That’s a perfect thing to do on a snowy day like today,” said her mother. “Let’s go into the kitchen.”

“I can write about it for my newspaper when we are finished,” said Maggie Mae.

Her mother took out a big red mixing bowl and put it on the kitchen table.

Maggie Mae helped take out the tools she needed to bake: baking sheet, measuring cups and spoons. “And of course the spatula,” Maggie Mae said holding up a pretty pink one.

“Let’s get all the ingredients ready,” her mother said.

“May I help?” asked her little brother Beau as he came into the kitchen.

“Sure,” said Maggie Mae.

Her mother placed the ingredients on the kitchen counter: flour, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla. “Love is the most important ingredient,” she said. “ We have to bake with lots of love.”

Maggie Mae helped measured the flour. She beat the butter and the sugar, stirring and stirring.

“Let’s add the eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla,” said her mother.

Maggie Mae stirred and stirred.

“I will fold in the flour,” said her mother.  “Then we can roll out the dough.”

Maggie Mae rolled out the dough with a rolling pin.  It was hard work.

“Let’s cut them into hearts since we are making them with love,” Maggie Mae said.

Beau stood on a stool and helped her cut out the cookies. They placed the cookies on the baking sheet.

Her mother put the cookies in the oven.

“What can we do while they are baking?” asked Maggie Mae.

“We will make the frosting,” said her mother. She took out powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

“I will stir that,” said Beau.

Maggie Mae started to write her story. She could smell the cookies baking. She even wrote the recipe in her story.

“Let’s give some of the cookies to our neighbors,” said Maggie Mae. “Sharing is caring.”

“That will be a nice surprise,” said her mother.

When the cookies had cooled, Beau and Maggie Mae decorated the cookies with red and white frosting. Then they packed them up to give to friends and neighbors.

“Baking cookies on a snowy day was a good idea,” Maggie Mae said to her mother. “And sharing them is even better.”

© 2020 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

Love cookies

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First Snow of 2020: Winter Safety Tips

The first Snow of 2020 on Saturday, January 18 was a quiet storm. I went to check it out. I love the snow. It is gentle on fluffy. Staying safe in the winter is very important for pups. I wrote about it in my Maggie Mae Pup Reporter in Inside Chappaqua magazine. You can read that here below.

Snowy Day 1_18 2020

About an inch or two of snow today.

Keeping your Dog Safe in the Winter

 When it’s cold outside I’m happy that my owner dresses me in one of my winter jackets. Being a small dog and close to the ground I really feel the cold. And she makes an extra special point of wiping off the salt on my feet when we come in from the ice and snow. It made me wonder if there were other things dogs needed to know about in the winter so I contacted a local veterinarian, Jeremy Tubbs, DVM of the Millwood Animal Hospital.

I love wearing my coats when I go out but I don’t always see other dogs wearing one on very cold days so I asked Dr. Tubbs if all dogs should wear a coat or sweater.  “I think every dog is different and has its own level of tolerance,” says Dr. Tubbs. “Of my two dogs, Solo and Jasper, one loves wearing a sweater or a coat outside, the other will try to take it off.   I feel that smaller dogs, and those with shorter hair coats would benefit from one, especially if they are going to be outdoors for a prolonged period of time.”

Sometimes when I’m out in the ice and snow I stop walking because my paw hurts. I lift it up and wait for my owner to make it feel better.   I asked Dr. Tubbs about that.  “With prolonged activity in the snow, snowballs can accumulate between the pads of a dog’s foot.  This may become uncomfortable, or simply make walking difficult,” says Dr. Tubbs.  “In this case boots may help, but like anything, a dog has to be trained to use them.” I tried them once but it was hard to walk in them. Dr. Tubbs said he has heard of people using PAM cooking spray on their feet to prevent snow accumulations. “The most important thing is to know your own dog and its limits.” And like my owner, he is all for washing paws when you come in the house. “Some ice melt products can also irritate a dog’s pads and inter-digital spaces.  I always recommend a quick wash of the feet after a walk to remove the snow melt and salt to prevent licking and further irritation.”

My friend Willie, a French Bulldog who is eight years old once slipped on the ice and sprained his rear leg. Dr. Tubbs said it very important to consider our older dogs in ice and snow. “By the time they are two years old, over 85% of dogs already have arthritic changes, and it may be more difficult for our geriatric dogs to step over high snow accumulation, or navigate icy sidewalks or areas.  In this case, booties may be a good idea for better traction and footing.” And puppies need to be careful too. “Puppies will have more of a challenge over all,” says Dr. Tubbs,  “Navigating through snow and ice, immature bones can be more prone to injury.  So using more caution with the youngsters is always important.”

I also wondered if I still needed topical treatment of flea and tick medication during the winter and Dr. Tubbs agreed that it was a good idea. “All it takes is for the temperature to become a little mild for fleas and ticks to come out.”

Just like when it is very hot outside it’s not a good idea to leave your dog unattended in the car in the very cold weather. Dr. Tubbs says that dogs have a natural coat 365 days a year, though some are more dense and warm than others.  “Air between the skin and the coat acts as a natural insulator. But if a pet is inactive, its core body temperature will lower, and if a pet is not acclimated to cold temperatures, it can become uncomfortable very soon.”  Dr. Tubbs says that he would not leave his animals in his car for a prolonged period if the temperature is below 40 degrees. “But my dogs are used to the toasty confines of their dog beds and our home.”

I get excited when I see snow and love to be out and about in the winter, but I do get cold. Like Dr. Tubbs’s dogs nothing makes me happier than being cozy and warm in the house curled up with my owner or on my dog bed.

For more cold weather tips for pets you can go to the ASPCA website:http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/cold-weather-tips.aspx

Inside Chappaqua  Winter 2012/2013

© 2020 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

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Posted in A Day in the Life of Maggie Mae, Maggie Mae’s Scoop, Pet Health Information, The Adventures of Maggie Mae Pup Reporter

Happy Anniversary !

                  “My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” – Edith Wharton

NYE 2019

Today is the anniversary of my arriving in Chappaqua to live. That was twelve  years ago and who knew what an adventure it would be with Ronni. In the next few weeks I will be writing about the highlights of my life in Chappaqua. Stay tuned!

Maggie Mae and me 11308 S8000256

Here we are on Sunday, January 13, 2008. I was almost three months old

RD and MM july 2019

This is us at The Red Lion Inn in July 2019

           Here is the essay Ronni wrote in Inside Chappaqua Magazine in November 2018.

            A Dog to Love: Maggie Mae

I never thought I could love a dog as much as I love my Maggie Mae.  I was attracted to her outgoing personality and knew right away Maggie Mae was mine. But maybe it was the other way around and she chose me. She was three months old and weighed three pounds when she came to live with me nearly eleven years ago.

I can’t imagine my life without Maggie Mae. She is, without a doubt, my best friend and I suspect my biggest fan. She will follow me anywhere, is totally devoted to me—even whenI reprimand her.  Maggie Mae loves me unconditionally. She’s thejoyof my life.

As a perennial single person, I have lived alone for most of my adult life, and it is easy for a single person to become self-indulgent.Having to think about the well-being and care of another were welcome changes for me. And Maggie Mae keeps me active and gets me out of the house in all kinds of weather.  The company of my four- legged friend has enriched my life beyond compare.  Thanks to Maggie Mae’s outgoing personality, I feel so much more settled having met more people in my neighborhood and many more shopkeepers on our strolls into downtown Chappaqua.

I always say to her, “You’re the best girl I know,” and am rewarded with a kiss.
When they say dogs are man’s best friend they aren’t kidding. When a fly is buzzing around the house, she’s right there to alert me and to guard me. She alerts me when I accidentally have left the front door ajar and if there is something in the wrong place. And then there is the Maggie Mae neighborhood watchdog. She can spot a car blocks away and frequently knows who is in it.

I never loved an animal the way I love her. She’s a wonderful companion, and she makes me laugh. She can be sound asleep, but if the phone rings and I answer she is by my side in a minute with a toy so I will play with her.
As many of you readers know she is very a “personable” and friendly dog and well known by merchants in town. I always say she has very good “self-esteem” the way she carries herself and walks through he town like she owns it. I could not have been more proud when Sophie Mendelson included her in the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival mural in the center of town.

Why am I so grateful for Maggie Mae in my life? She keeps me healthy. No matter what the weather I am outside with Maggie Mae at least three times a day.  We take long walks that are good for both of us, physically and for my mental health. I often get a lot of good ideas on our walks, including her Maggie Mae Pup Reporter column that many of you read in this magazine for years.  I’m also grateful because she has made my life more interesting. I learned to write from a dog’s point of view.

Maggie Mae loves to ride in the car and is a great travelling companion who is always happy with whatever we do. She has been a regular guest at The Red Lion Inn since she was a puppy with many fans in Stockbridge and the Berkshires.

As much as Maggie Mae loves to snuggle up next to me especially when I am doing something else, like me, she is very independent she likes to be alone. She’ll go in her crate, on her bed or find a square of sunlight on the carpet just to chill.

My heart is bigger than I ever thought, and my love for Maggie Mae is matched by my gratitude by having her in my life. I love her little kisses, how she curls up at my feet to give me a hug. How she puts her head under my hand so I can pet her. I love her wagging tail and how she waits for me at the door.

So little can make her happy and that is a lesson we can all learn.

And as I’m writing this she came up to me, leaned in, pushed my pad and pen away, and  climbed on my lap. I can’t imagine my life without Maggie Mae. She’s my girl and I love her so.

Ronni Diamondstein, is a Chappaqua based freelance writer, PR consultant, award-winning photographer and Chappaqua Library Board Trustee.

© 2020 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

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Happy New Year 2020!

holiday card proof 2019 PHOTO

“What is beautiful is a joy for all seasons.” Oscar Wilde

Wishing you joy from season to season and peace in the new year.

Happy New Decade!

Love, Maggie Mae

© 2020 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

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The Adventures of Maggie Mae: Maggie Mae and the Lost Library Book

MM and the little red hen

Maggie Mae and the Lost Library Book

Maggie Mae loved to read. Everyday she would go to the library with her mother and borrow lots of books.

Today was a big day for Maggie Mae. Maggie Mae was going to library to get her very own library card. She was so excited that she was old enough to sign her own name and have a card of her very own.

“Hello, Maggie Mae,” said Ms. Birdie the librarian. “May I help you?”

“Today is a special day,” said Maggie Mae. “I can write my name so I can get my own Library Card.”

Ms. Birdie handed Maggie Mae a form. Her mother wrote her name and address and Maggie Mae proudly printed her name in all capital letters.

“Congratulations!” Ms. Birdie said. Maggie Mae had a big smile on her face.

“How many books may I borrow?” Maggie Mae.

“As many as you can carry,” said Ms. Birdie with a smile.

Her library card was her prized possession and she kept it safe and sound in a little red case in her little purple tote bag.

Maggie Mae sat in a cozy cushion with her mother and read together.  She took ten books home that day.

Maggie Mae loved to read. She would look at the pictures and tell herself the story even if she didn’t know the words.

“That’s a picture walk,” her mother said. “Good for you, Maggie Mae.” Her mother was a teacher so she knew those things.

Maggie Mae read to her little brother, Beau. Maggie Mae read to her stuffed bear Bogie. Maggie Mae read to her friend Mugsy. She brought a book to the dinner table and read a story to her mother and father. She always had a book with her.

That night after Maggie Mae brushed her teeth and got ready for bed, she put a stack of books on her nightstand.

She was reading Aesop’s Fables. She loved the stories of all the animals and how they tricked each other and solved problems.

“Good night, Maggie Mae,” said her mother as she came in the room. “Time to go to sleep.”

“Goodnight, Mommy,” said Maggie Mae as her mother kissed her on the forehead and turned out the light.

As soon as Maggie Mae heard her mother go down the stairs, she pulled a flashlight from under her pillow. Maggie Mae stuck her head under the covers and started reading again.

Maggie Mae’s mom came up to her room and saw a big tent of the covers and smiled. She didn’t say a word.

The next day Maggie Mae packed a bag with books and an apple. She walked to the park and sat on a bench.

Lots of kids were on the swings. It was hot so she just sat under a tree.

Maggie Mae read fables, fairy tales and her favorite mysteries.

“Maybe I will be a detective,” she said to her mother.

“Why not?” her mother said. “Girls can do anything.”

Maggie Mae liked hearing that and smiled.

On Friday, Maggie Mae saw a big truck pull up on her street. It had a big sign on it: “Spring Lane Library.”

“That’s the book mobile,” said her mother.

“It’s a little library on wheels,” said Maggie Mae as she went inside.

“Hello Maggie Mae,” said Ms. Birdie. “Welcome! May I help you find some books?”

Maggie Mae picked up The Little Red Hen and her mother began to read to her. “No one wants to help her,” said Maggie Mae. “They are not being good friends.”

Maggie Mae knew that book, but she loved hearing it over and over. Her mother read it to her and she heard it at story hours.

“Where is The Story of Ferdinand?” Maggie Mae asked. She liked that book very much too. Sometimes she felt like Ferdinand the bull just sitting by herself under a tree and smelling the flowers.

“And Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present. I would like that, “she said. “Sometimes you don’t have to buy a present. Sometimes there are things right in front of you and you can be creative.”

Maggie Mae checked out those three books and a few more.

The next week on Friday when the book mobile was due on her street, Maggie Mae gathered her books to return them.

Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present went in the tote bag along with Ferdinand, Blueberries for Sal, another one of her favorite stories, Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Little Engine that Could. “One, two, three, four, five,” she said counting the books as she packed them in the bag.

“Where is The Little Red Hen?” she asked her mother when she realized one was missing.

“I don’t know,” Maggie Mae’s mother said. “Weren’t they all in your room?”

“I thought so,” said Maggie Mae.

Maggie Mae looked under her bed. No Little Red Hen.

Maggie Mae looked in her closet. No Little Red Hen.

She looked in her toy chest. No Little Red Hen.

“Where can it be?” asked Maggie Mae.

Maggie Mae looked under the sofa. No Little Red Hen.

Maggie Mae looked in the kitchen. No Little Red Hen.

Then they heard her little brother Beau in his room. “Not I!” he said.

Maggie Mae and her mother peeked into his room. And there was Beau turning the pages of The Little Red Hen, saying “Not I! Not I!”

© 2019 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maggie Mae Pup Reporter Story: Maggie Mae’s Valentine

Maggie Mae ValentineMaggie Mae’s Valentine

It was a cold snowy day in February and Maggie Mae wanted to warm herself up. She sat down at the kitchen table to drink a cup of hot cocoa.

Maggie Mae looked up at the calendar. February 14thwas circled with a big red heart.

“Valentine’s Day is coming,” she said to her mother.  “I want to make Valentines for people I love.”

Maggie Mae gathered her supplies. She found some red paper. “Perfect!” she said. “Red as a rose.”

She went to the cupboard for ribbon. “I like this frilly pink ribbon, “ she said curling it.

Then she went to her mother’s sewing box. She found something white with lots of pretty little holes. “Lace,” said her mother. “That would be lovely.”

She found glue and glitter in her desk drawer.

Maggie Mae cut out big red hearts. She trimmed each one with a ribbon bow and glued the lace and glitter on the edges.

In the center of each heart she wrote a little poem:

“Roses are red

Violets are blue.

It’s Valentine’s Day

Hope it’s a happy day for you!”

She made one for her mother, one for her father and one for her little brother Beau.  She made one for her best friend Mugsy.

“It’s always nice to surprise someone,” her mother said.

The next day was Valentine’s Day. Maggie Mae got up very early. She placed the Valentines for her mother and father at their seats at the kitchen table. She placed Beau’s there too.

“Wow!” Maggie Mae’s father said as he sat down for his breakfast.  “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“These are beautiful,” said Maggie Mae’s mother. “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“Thank you, Maggie Mae,” said her brother. “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Maggie Mae smiled and said, “And I love these heart-shaped pancakes! Thank you, Mama.”

After breakfast Maggie Mae dressed up in her snowsuit, put on her boots, and brought a Valentine next door.

“Hello Maggie Mae,” Mugsy’s mother said as she answered the door.  “Mugsy is not here.”

“Please give this to him,” Maggie Mae said as she handed her the Valentine.

Maggie Mae went back home.

“I am going to write a story about Valentine’s Day for my newspaper, The Daily Dog Dish,” she said to her mother.

“Good idea,” her mother said.

Maggie Mae went to her room to write.

A little while later her mother knocked at her door.

“Someone is here to see you,” said her mother.

There was Mugsy holding a long stem red rose.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Maggie Mae,” he said. ““I liked your poem.”

“Thank you, Mugsy. What a nice surprise!” said Maggie Mae.

“Let’s have some hot cocoa,” Maggie Mae said. “Would you like to stay and help me write a Valentine’s Day story for our newspaper?”

“Sure,” said Mugsy. “If I can have marshmallows with mine.”

“Absolutely,” said Maggie Mae. “It’s nice to share Valentine’s Day and a cup of cocoa with a friend.”

© 2019 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Our Anniversary

Eleven years ago, on January 13, I came to live with my owner and could not be happier!

1_13_2008 rd and mm

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Introducing “The Adventures of Maggie Mae Pup Reporter” Stories

 

maggie stories photoStarting a new series of short stories written by my owner Ronni Diamondstein. Here’s the first one:

Maggie Mae Pup Reporter Has A Nose for News

One summer day Maggie Mae, a black and white Toy Poodle said to her mother, “I am going to write a newspaper for our neighborhood.”

“You have a nose for news,” her mother said, “You are my pup reporter.”

“That’s it,” said Maggie Mae. “I am Maggie Mae Pup Reporter.”

“Do you have a name for your newspaper?” her mother asked.

“I will call it the Daily Dog Dish.”

With notebook in hand Maggie Mae went next door to see her friend Mugsy, a French Bulldog. It was a very hot day so Mugsy was lying under a big shady tree.

“I am starting a newspaper,” Maggie Mae announced. “Want to help me?”

“Sure, what do I have to do?” he asked. “What do we do first?”

“First we have to think of things to write about,” she said. “Let’s brainstorm.”

“Rain Storm! We better get inside!” said Mugsy.

“No, no.” said Maggie Mae. “BRAIN storm! That’s when we say whatever idea comes to our minds and make a list.”

“Phew,” said Mugsy. “Sounds like work. I think I need a treat.”

Maggie Mae and Mugsy went into the house. Mugsy’s mother had just taken some biscuits out of the oven. She gave them each one.

“What are you two doing?” she asked when she saw Maggie Mae’s notebook.

“We are going to brainstorm so we need a treat.” There was a jingling noise in the kitchen.

“What’s that sound?” Mugsy asked.

“My name tag,” said Maggie Mae. “And my dog license tag from the Town.”

“Does every dog have one?” asked Mugsy. “I don’t have one.”

“You need one, “ said Maggie Mae. “Let’s go to Town Hall. We can write about it. It can be our first story.”

When Maggie Mae and Mugsy got to the Town Hall they went to see the Tallie the Town Clerk who was a toy poodle who looked just like Maggie Mae.

“Mugsy needs a license,” said Maggie Mae.  “And we are writing a newspaper. Can you please tell us why we need a tag?”

“You wear your dog tag proudly, Maggie Mae,” said Tallie. “If you get lost we can find you by the number on it.”

“I have a microchip too,” said Maggie Mae.

“Good idea,” said Tallie. “If your collar comes off that’s another way to find out where you live.”

“We are writing about this,” said Mugsy. “So now we have our first story.”

“We need a picture for it,” Maggie Mae said as she took out her camera.

“Good idea,” said Mugsy who was always happy to pose for a photo.

“Thank you, Tallie,” said Maggie Mae.

“Let’s go back to your house to brainstorm some more, ” said Mugsy.

“We have to write the story before we start on the next one,” Maggie Mae said to Mugsy.

When they got home and had a snack, Maggie said, “Let’s get busy.”

“What do I write first?” asked Mugsy.

“When you write news, people want to know the four “W’s” and “H”, said Maggie.

“Who, What, When, Where and How.”

“That makes sense,” said Mugsy. So the two friends sat down and wrote their first story. “Why I Wear My Dog Tag Proudly.”

The first edition of the Daily Dog Dish was ready to go to press.

© 2019 Ronni Diamondstein, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

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