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I established this blog ten years ago as I researched and wrote what would become Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co. – 2014). The late Captain Judy has been credited as “The Man Who Brought America to the Dogs”.  Judy believed that in caring for dogs, and other pets, young people developed strong character traits including being responsible for the care of others.

In these Shelter in Place days, our dogs remind us to live in the moment. My walks with our dog, Teddy, get me out and enjoy the day, and from the safe distance of an arm’s length and a leash, we find a way to connect with others.

I dedicate the following to the faculty and students (past and present) of Midstreams Elementary School in Brick Township, NJ. From the period of 2003 to just recently, I spent a great deal of time working as a Substitute Teacher (a.k.a. Guest Educator) including a long-term assignment as the art instructor in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

Dogs are creatures of habit – they sense when things “are different” and want to help their humans while coping with changes they can’t understand. Remember to stay safe and to take care of each other – your pets included!






By Lisa Begin-Kruysman and Teddy

I used to love spending time alone.

Squeaking toys and chewing my bone.

In empty rooms always space to zoom.

Look out for that table –  slip, slide – BOOM.

When I got bored I’d explore the trash.

The can would tip over – watch out! CRASH!!

In the flower pot I’d dig a huge hole.

Then wash my paws in the toilet bowl.

I crunched my snacks then licked crumbs off the rug.

Under a chair I found a dead bug!

At the window I’d bark at our cat.

She loved to nap on our Welcome Mat!

(Ill. Note: Cat is NOT happy, wants to come in. Dog smiles.)

But something has changed and I can’t believe it.

Now my humans stay home – they just won’t leave it.

At first our days are filled with fun.

More treats, belly rubs, naps in the sun.

But they’ll be staying home longer; I just got the news.

And this once carefree dog is singing the blues.

Hey! someone just let the cat back in.

I give up – I just can’t win!

She steals my toys and licks my dishes.

She purrs and mews and gets what she wishes.

Now my life is full of demands.

COME, SIT, HEEL – so many commands.


I spend most of my days slumped on the floor.

But something is wrong and it hurts my heart.

The humans are keeping so far apart.

No one hugs, or even shakes paw.

Is touching each other AGAINST THE LAW?

My humans aren’t happy, they’re lonely and blue.

I feel so helpless, what can I do?

Outside a bird tweets away in a tree.

“COME OUT, COME OUT, and play with me!”

I think my humans could use some fun, too.

And then I know just what to do.

I grab up my leash and stare outside.

Until my humans stand by my side.

They understand – dogs really can talk.

“Let’s all go out and take a long walk!”

From the end of my leash I touch a dog’s nose.

We stand still not moving – holding our pose.

From the ends of our leashes humans laugh and smile.

It’s the most fun they’ve had in awhile.

I wag my tail – I’m trying to say.

We can all be friends – from six feet way.

At the end of the day my humans rest.

I snuggle my head upon their chests.

Bump. Thump. Bump Thump; a gentle sound.

Once again I’m a happy hound.

Our house is still crowded – there’s NOWHERE to hide!

Scents and sounds all trapped inside.

Sometimes I dream of a quieter day.

But for now I’m just glad to COME, SIT and STAY.


PLEASE NOTE: Teachers and parents, I’d love to hear from you. Do your students have a favorite line from the story they’d like to illustrate? Do they have questions about writing? Would they like to leave a review or share a story about their own pets and how they’ve helped them cope as everyone shelters in place? With your permission, I’d love to share them in a subsequent blog post. For Press information and Permissions, also, please reach out at or leave a comment!

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