Thursday, February 28, 2013

Whereabouts of squirrel who zapped Tampa’s drinking water supply

By Hobo Hudson

I would like to issue an update on the Tampa squirrel who played havoc with the drinking water in the Tampa Bay area in Florida. As I’ve suspected, the squirrel had no intention of causing harm. It inadvertently entered a pipe that served as a shield to a power line and got stuck. Frantically trying to find a way out of his or her predicament, the squirrel started to chew on the pipe to get unstuck. Unfortunately, his or her sharp teeth set a series of events in motion that ended up in fireworks, explosions and a blackout which led to a dangerous drop in water pressure at the water treatment plant.

Now, from here on, the reports lack clarity. A local newspaper said that the squirrel, or what everyone thought was a squirrel—officials admit it also could have been a rat— gnawed too deep into the pipe and cut into the power line and was electrocuted. I, on the other hand, heard a different story from a fellow dog. I’m in a precarious situation, though, because I have a personal relationship with the source of my news and therefore, I won’t reveal her name. She recently entered the Lassie Ford Clinic under yelps and protest, and I’m not so sure she is reliable and trustworthy in her account.  

The dog in question told me over the phone that she saw a squirrel sneaking into the clinic and trying to get admitted for beef beer addiction. The dog also said that the squirrel looked befuddled, had scorched ears and badly burnt teeth and his fur, covered with ashes, had large patches of hair missing. When the dog approached the squirrel, an orderly shooed her away and chased her back into the treatment room. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Drinking water in Tampa compromised by squirrel

By Hobo Hudson

The recent imprudent act of a squirrel in Tampa, Fla., caused people in several parts of the Tampa Bay area to experience what people in less developed countries have to go through every day: they have to disinfect their tap water to make it drinkable.

To set the record straight, it was one single squirrel who did the damage, nibbling on an electric wire and disconnecting the power to the water treatment plant. It would be rash to blame the whole squirrel population for this unfortunate incident. I have only good things to say about squirrels, and I consider myself an expert on their species since I’m employing numerous families of squirrels, and they are all reliable, diligent and nonviolent.

The only explanation I can come up with for the Tampa squirrel’s transgression is that he or she had lapped up too many Folitinis or beef beers. I’m not saying that getting intoxicated is a justification for doing such an appalling act as to chew on a power line, but if the guilty squirrel would come forward, he or she might be able to find help at the Lassie Ford Clinic, that is if they accept squirrels.

I know some of the squirrels do have problems with the lip smacking beef beer, but I sure can’t figure out how or where they find the bottles. I store them inside the house under lock and key so that my kitty sisters don’t get any ideas, and then I saw this the other day

Bozo, one of Charlene’s great-great-grandsons, must have sneaked away with the bottle when I had a drink on the sun deck and fell asleep and forgot about the beef beer after I woke up. I’ve never stumbled upon any bottles in our backyard, and I make my rounds through the backyard at least twice a day. Bozo must have buried the bottle before he dug it up to gulp down the mellow brew. I guess I have to keep a watchful eye on those young squirrels or better yet, on my bottles of beef beer. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dog training now and then

By Hobo Hudson

In my book The Richest Dog In Town, I have dedicated the chapter “DFP University” to the superiority and wisdom of us dogs, stressing how ridiculous it is for us to follow mundane orders given by humans. I also hinted several times in other chapters of my book to my fellow dogs that it’s more appropriate we teach stuff to humans than the other way around because we know how to make life easier and more efficient.

If it makes our human parents and care takers happy to teach us a few behavior rules they consider essential and which are important to them, and since we always like to accommodate the humans we love, let’s be good sports and, just for the fun of it, go along with their crazy ideas and read what they want us to do.

My mom just posted an article on about teaching a pup social grace and peaceful interaction with our fellow dogs during a walk. How times have changed! The article mentioned that dog trainers today suggest using a soft harness for their pups to practice a non-violent approach toward another dog. I say, using a harness to train a dog will not only support his or her whole body compared to putting undue stress on the neck by using a collar but will also restrain the dog in a much more civilized and less humiliating manner.

Well, I still remember when people used choke collars to teach dogs not to pull on their leashes. The collars would not only cut off the air supply and make the dogs gasp but would also cut into their throats leaving behind tooth marks, and the poor dogs had no way to sniff at something that called them or even say hello to the fellows dogs they met on the road.

At the same time, dogs learning to walk in an orderly fashion and interact with other dogs also had to worry about suffering from whiplashes when the people holding the leashes fastened to collars jerked their dogs away from other dogs over and over again. Today, dog trainers advise distracting dogs with treats as soon as they start to become agitated seeing another dog and also to keep their distance until their dogs have become more at ease with their fellow dogs. 

The most bizarre and outlandish rule of walking with humans, though, came from an anecdote I heard Mom tell Dad. When Mom was a little girl, dogs always had to walk on the left side of a human because it was a sign of respect to walk on the right side of someone. Even if all the bushes and trees containing all the other dogs’ messages were on the other side, dogs had to walk on the left side of any human. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because dogs growing up during that era had to walk like puppets and in sync with the person holding the leash instead of having a good time, sniffing, pulling, exploring and just being a dog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cleaning the grout

By Hobo Hudson

I came up again with a great idea. This time, it has nothing to do with my fellow dogs or cats but with cleaning. Well, I must correct myself. It has to do with cats because they are the ones who are making the mess on the floor that my mom needs to clean up constantly, and that’s what this post is about: Cleaning the grout between floor tiles.

The grout not only gets dirty from wear and tear, but it easily attracts stains, and they look ugly, especially if the grout is light-colored. When my kitty sisters throw up a hairball, it always lands right between the tiles and the grout turns greenish or brownish right away. I saw Mom scrubbing and scrubbing with whatever detergent she found in the house, but after the grout dried, it looked as if she hadn’t done anything to it.

Since I’m always eager to help Mom out, I racked my brains, and suddenly, the perfect solution popped into my head. I told Mom to use cat litter instead of water and detergent to scrub the grout and see what would happen. She did it, and whoa! Look at the photos of before and after:

Doesn’t it make a difference? It’s relatively easy to do, and Mom spot-cleans the floor every time someone makes a mess. She sprinkles a generous amount of white cat litter on the grout, and with two wadded-up paper towels, she scrubs the litter granules lengthwise across the grout until it looks clean. Then, she sweeps up the litter. That’s all there’s to it. And the best part is the litter makes a safe and nontoxic cleaner that will not harm my kitty sisters who spend a lot of time on the floor.

Plain white cat litter works the best, and the grout has to be dry. The results might depend, though, on the kind of grout used between the tiles. Applying two much elbow grease and also doing it too often might rub off some of the grout, so be careful. I will not be liable for any adverse effects. I’ve already told my attorney, Mrs. Foley Monster, to draw up a release form. On second thought, maybe I should let Mrs. Foley Monster file a patent instead.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Undergoing spay and neuter surgery is necessary and worthwhile

By Hobo Hudson

I know, I know. I can hear all the boos and shouts of displeasure, especially coming from my male fellow dog and tomcat readers. But it needs to be done, just read the headline. And look at our female canine and feline family members and friends how easily they agree to the unspoken surgery without making a big fuss about it. Some of them know about and recount the trouble with all the consequences they can get into if humans do not have them spayed or have forgotten to neuter the male dogs and cats.

Tell the truth, you’re all enjoying your lives after that dreaded surgery and don’t miss the parts that are missing. On the contrary, you are all well-behaved, good-natured, sociable and friendly, a long-term and welcomed side effect of the surgery which also prevents or diminishes certain diseases.

Another great benefit of spaying and neutering is that our natural mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends cannot become pregnant any longer and do not produce any offspring which helps cut down the overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats.

To read more about spaying and neutering, go to my mom’s article on


About Hobo

This was Hobo Hudson, my doggy brother, a little terrier mix with black fur. He became famous after his first attempt at writing stories, which was an article published in the newsletter of our local animal shelter, the same shelter in which I ended up years later before Hobo and his parents adopted me. Hobo’s fame quickly spread as he made a name for himself as a business dog and an adventurer. To keep his memory alive, my doggy sister, my three kitty siblings and I, Wylie Hudson, are continuing his blog. Our mom is the blog’s editor.

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