Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kids Learn to Sew with Brutus

Last week, both branches had a sewing program for kids. In Owosso, the kids sewed felt pincushions and, in Durand, mittens. Brutus has a great time learning to sew a running stitch around his apple pincushion, but found it difficult without opposable thumbs. If you'd like to read more about this event, The Argus Press featured it in Monday's paper. Great job to all of our budding sewing enthusiasts. If you'd like to learn more about sewing, the library has lots of books full of project ideas.
Brutus shows off his pincushion
Happy sewers in Owosso

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brutus Takes a Vacation

Brutus hitchhiked his way along the Blue Ridge Parkway and back to Michigan last week. He had a wonderful trip, and is seen here planning his route. Map reading was a new skill for Brutus to learn, but he quickly learned that the squiggly lines on the very large (and hard to handle) paper showed where the roads went. He has heard people in the library talking about GPS units, but he thinks that he'll stick to the old-fashioned map for the time being.

The food on the trip was delicious. Here he is ready to steal a couple of hot dogs off the grill. Now that he knows not only how good they smell, but also that they aren't made from dogs, he'll eat as many as he can get!

More photos from his trip, see the library's Facebook page.

Brutus would like to take some more trips--possibly next summer. Be thinking now of where you'd like to take him and watch for details this spring on how to enter your pictures.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brutus Enjoys the Great Fall Weather

Brutus escaped from the library on Monday afternoon to enjoy mid-Michigan's great fall weather. He sniffed out the bike trail along the Shiawassee River between Owosso and Corunna. These are a few of the sights he enjoyed. Lots of other dogs had been on the trail, but he didn't see any of them. He did see a few ducks in the river, but they flew away before he could really meet them.

He enjoyed himself so much that he is now pestering to be taken on a trip to see more of the beautiful fall leaves. Several staff members have been talking about trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Maybe if he whines enough and promises to be on his best behavior someone will take him on a trip. By the way, he wants to know what a mountain is why hasn't he ever seen one around here?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brutus Loves to Read

Brutus just finished the newest book in the Chet & Bernie Mystery Series--The Dog Who Knew Too Much. Spencer Quinn is one of Brutus' favorite authors; no one else is able to tell a story from a dog's point of view as well.

This book finds Chet and Bernie looking for a missing boy. Devon disappeared during the night while on a hike. Bernie suspects he was bullied by the other boys; his camp counselor insists that he just wandered off; but Chet's nose can't find evidence of either scenerio. The truth ends up being much more sinister, involving meth labs and murder. Bernie is also arrested for the counselor's murder leaving his girlfriend Suzie and Chet to decipher much of the puzzle. Will they find Devon before it is too late? A tail-wagging good read in Brutus' estimation. He gives it four wags out of a possible five.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to School

With the kids now back in school, it is also time for Brutus to return to (obedience) school. He is excited about returning, even to the point of bringing his leash up to the desk and wagging his tail. He has also picked out some books for his class--How to Train Your Hard to Train Dog and Marley and Me (as an example of how not to train a dog).

Now that he is past the chewing stage, staff is relieved to have him interested in learning. They want to him to learn some new tricks. However, Brutus wants to take a law class and see if he can be exempted from the city leash laws.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Brutus Prepares for the Reading Party

Brutus is trying to decide which book he should report on at the September 7th reading party. The staff has been trying to encourage him to broaden his interests beyond dog stories, but there's more than 400 fiction books about dogs in the library catalog! (And he knows that dogs are smarter than cats--their superior instincts have solved many mysteries from the Hound of the Baskervilles to Rita Mae Brown's A Nose for Justice. Sneaky Pie, Koko, and Yum Yum have nothing on his favorite dog sleuths).

He was wagging his tail over this pile of dog stories. Plenty to choose from and only two more weeks to to decide and read his book! He is supposed to choose the best book he read this summer or his favorite, but how can a little dog make such a big decision? He wonders if anyone will notice if he watches the movie Where the Red Fern Grows instead of reading the book. (He's heard of kids doing this with their school assignments). It's much easier to operate a DVD player with his nose than turn pages in a book.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Improvements to Owosso 's Adult Department

Brutus is enjoying some of the new items in Owosso's Adult Department. He likes the new computers and has been using them to look up information of canine health. Today he found which has a lot of materials about keeping your dog healthy. There was even a section on asking a vet a question! Best of all, he found a recipe for dog treats; now he just has to convince someone to make them for him.

Brutus has also been using the reading lights and outlets on some of the tables. Today he was skimming What Your Dog is Trying to Tell You for hints on communicating his desire for treats to the staff. He has also seen a number of people with laptop computers using the new electrical outlets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Novel Destinations

Brutus is enjoying this year's teen and adult summer reading program. He has been traveling all over the world by reading about other countries (and the dogs who live there). Never having gone past obedience school, he also needs an atlas to show him where these countries are. Right now he is looking for a book about a European dog, and planning to stowaway on Margaret's upcoming trip to China. If he can't go again this year, he may just have to clean off her desk while she's gone! (Margaret's note: If Brutus knows what is good for him, he will leave my desk alone. Chewed up folders, papers, etc. is not the same as cleaning. If he wants my desk cleaner, he needs to help with the work instead of creating a bigger mess).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Brutus Learns about Downloadable Books

Brutus was thrilled to hear about the library's new subscription to Overdrive which provides downloadable audio and e-books. It is so difficult to turn pages and change CDs without a thumb! (Now if he could just master the computer keyboard). There is still time to sign up for the 7 p.m. Wednesday evening program on how this works. It is available to anyone with a valid resident or fee-based non-resident card, but you do need to contact the library to set up a PIN and learn how to access your account.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Get Caught Reading Month

Brutus just learned that May is Get Caught Reading Month when staff caught him reading in the library this afternoon. He invites you to send him your photos of being caught reading, and he'll ask the staff to post them on the Library's Facebook page. He'd especially like to see you with one or more of your favorite books--his are all about dogs! (Photos should be sent as jpg images to

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

Brutus was caught tiptoeing through the tulips in the library's flower bed this afternoon. He was enjoying the sunshine and flowers after a very wet week which included some minor flooding in the library. Harriet reminded him of the NO DIGGING rule. There would be dire consequences if so much as one tulip bulb or plant was disturbed! The only exception was dandelions; they could be dug up. There are just too many rules for a small dog to remember!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Edible Book Contest

The entries are beginning to arrive, and, as usual, Brutus wants a share of the spotlight. The camel club doesn't allow elephants to attend their meetings so Brutus stopped by to see if dogs are allowed. Unfortunately, he could not tolerate the desert conditions and lack of water the camels have to endure so we'll never know if he could have joined the club or not.

The Dr. Suess entry, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish looked interesting, but Brutus wasn't so sure about the water. It didn't smell like something he would drink--too fishy.

The children's entries are some of his favorites. The fruit on the Rachel's Rainbow entry looks good enough to eat! (One of Brutus' favorite activities). And rumor has it that there will be watermelon cake and clove cookies at tonight's program, too.

Be sure to come by the library between 4 & 7 p.m. to vote for your favorites. Awards will be announced after the Massie's presentation "Woodsmoke & Elbow Grease" which should be interesting for the entire family. Brutus hopes to see you there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Spine Poetry

To celebrate April is National Poetry Month, Brutus has been working on a book spine poem. Book spine poetry is created by stacking books so the titles on the spines make a poem when read from top to bottom. It's obvious from his poem that Brutus doesn't like cats very much. Anyone is welcome stop by either the Owosso Children's Department or the Durand branch to create their own book spine poem. The poetry will be displayed through April.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Edible Book Contest

Brutus invites everyone to join him for a great time with the Edible Book Contest. He has chosen White Fang for his book (because it is about a dog) and created a large tooth from a marshmallow. If he can do this with paws and teeth, even a child can create something for the contest. Brutus probably won't win either; he has all ready eaten half a bag of marshmallows so his "white fang" certainly won't last until the judging on the 14th. Complete rules and application blanks are now available at the library or online. Brutus is particularly anxious to try some of the old recipes from the Massie's book Walnut Pickles & Watermelon Cake at the Awards Program.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brutus & the Ice

While most of the staff is complaining about the return of winter and the cold, Brutus is toasty warm in his thick fur coat. This morning he went outdoors to see the icicles in the back of the library. He wanted to taste them, but Margaret wouldn't let him. Oh, well, he'll just have to sneak outside when she isn't looking!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

National Puppy Day

Brutus and his friends wish to remind his readers that March 23rd is National Puppy Day. According to Chase's Calendar this is a day to celebrate the puppies in your life or adopt a puppy which needs a home. Brutus will be celebrating his status as library mascot and hopes that you (and your dogs) will also take advantage of this day. Staff, can you bake some cookies for me or at least give me an extra milkbone?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brutus Learns about Money

One, two, three, seven, ten. . . Brutus needs help learning how to count, but he knows where to find information on investments--the library! There will be a series of financial programs in Owosso during the months of February and March.

On Thursday night (February 10) at 7 p.m., Cynthia Edwards from the Social Security Administration will present "Social Security: What You Need to Know". As well as providing information on this popular retirement program and Medicare, there will also be time to ask questions.

Then on Monday, February 14th at 6:30 p.m. the first in a series of six investment programs provided by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation will be held in Owosso. "Ten Steps to Protect Your Money" will show attendees how to avoid common investment mistakes, present a 7-step process for making better investment decisions, and include 3 steps to avoid scams and investment fraud. In Brutus' opinion, the best part is that no one will be trying to sell him anything! He has a new fascination with money, but staff still won't let him help collect fines or make change--he needs to learn to count better first.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brutus has a Snow Day

Brutus enjoyed playing in the snow. He didn't know that snow days could be so much fun! He missed everyone yesterday and is enjoying being back to work again today. (Although he is not the one answering the phone about tax forms and hours). From the tales being told, he had more fun than most of the staff who spent nearly all day cleaning out driveways, shoveling sidewalks, and waiting for snowplows so that they could shovel some more. Much to Steve's and Margaret's dismay, he would even like another blizzard this winter. They are threatening to send him to upstate New York or New England if he likes snow so much. He was also nice and warm with his soft, fur coat.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brutus Learns about Quilting

Brutus enjoyed last night's quilt program. The pictures and ideas presented on the quilts were very interesting. Has anyone made a quilt featuring dogs (and no cats)? If he can learn to sew with paws instead of fingers, he may try to make one himself. All the rules he had to obey were very limiting though for a little dog--no dog hair on the quilts, no chewing on the quilts, no taking a nap on a quilt, and no eating of the cookies-- although it looks like he may have helped himself to one or two or those.

The next program in Owosso will be on Thursday, February 10th at 7 p.m. Brutus hopes to see you there to learn about Social Security even though the staff keep telling him that dogs don't get Social Security; they must rely upon their owners for their food and housing. Maybe he should push for equal rights for dogs (but then he might also have to work). On second thought, a dog's life isn't too bad.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brutus Prepares for the Reading Party

Brutus has sniffed out a book for the Reading Party on Tuesday, January 18th at 7 p.m. in Owosso. He has chosen a new one about one of his favorite dogs, Chet. Chet can always solve the mystery before the humans usually even pick up the scent; and while he is fond of his owner Bernie, Chet is much smarter. (Aren't most dogs?) Quinn tells the story from Chet's perspective which is another reason why he is one of Brutus's favorite authors; no other author understands a dog's thoughts as well.

Another plus, Brutus has heard rumors that there will be cookies (maybe homemade?) at the party, too. He hopes to see lots of you there.