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May 27, 2009

Beginners.

Well, it's time for a new dog. For the past year, we have been a one dog family. But, you know, our dog, Rosie, is a wildly social lady. She goes crazy any time she meets another dog, a cat, a mouse, or a bird, let alone a human. But, the trouble is, she's a pack animal like all dogs. They like to have company. During the day, when my husband is at work, the kids are at school, and I am out and about running errands, she is alone. She gets plenty of attention when we are back together, however. So, one of my sons nagged me into going to the pound for a visit. The whole family ended up going. After looking in the various rooms where dogs are kept, we concluded that there wasn't much to pick from. Most of the dogs were large, old, and of the type of breeds that have bad reputations. The poor creatures. I didn't want to imagine their fate; people usually want puppies, or at least a breed that looks cute. Anyway, just as we were leaving, one of the volunteer teenagers brought in a dog. They had just been outside going for a walk. I looked at her, and then looked again because she was a beautiful mix of colors, and looked very healthy and clean. My husband said, "That's the one. It's a Blue Heeler." Needless to say, after a walk together and a play with the family, we made our decision.

Grammar notes.

 Vocabulary: creature, to have company, breed, reputation.

Exs:

The tiger is such a magnificent creature. It is beautiful and powerful!

It's time that you had some company. It's not good to be alone.

That breed of dog is too violent. I want one that is quiet and gentle.

Advanced.

If, when you are learning English, you are lucky enough to visit an English speaking nation, one of the things you will notice is that people in those countries are crazy about dogs. "A dog is a man's best friend," is the saying. And you will see them everywhere. It has become an obsession with a lot of people. Even in this town where I live, there are doggy grooming salons and a doggy hotel! Perhaps it shows the trend in an affluent society of having less children and more money to spend on entertainment. Dogs have always been valued in farming communities because of the work that they can do, and, to a certain extent, the protection they can provide for their owners. Intruders are warned off by barking, as are predatory animals like cougars and bears. But, dogs nowadays are certainly pampered in ways that are quite unnatural. Having a hair cut is one thing, but beauty pageants? Having their nails clipped is necessary, but a manicure? Or should I call it a pawicure? Well, anyway, if people want to spend all their money pampering and spoiling an animal, that is their business. I was just happy to find a suitable playmate for Rosie. We ended up calling her Foxy because she looks like a cross between a fox and a wolf. She is very intelligent, and has beautiful markings. And her coat is soooo soft!

Grammar notes.

Vocabulary: doggy hotel, to groom, trend, intruder.

Exs:

We are going on vacation next month, so we will leave our dog in a doggy hotel.

That man is poorly groomed. His hair is messy, his clothes are dirty, and he needs to brush his teeth.

The trend nowadays is to buy the largest house possible even if you can barely afford it. It is such a risk.

There was an intruder in the neighborhood last night. A police dog caught him!