Dogs know when a doghouse is theirs, especially if it has all the right things inside. A bed (a soft one), a chew toy (rubber is okay), and something used, like an old slipper or sock.
But some doghouses are just average and some dogs get bored. You go in, you go out. A doghouse can be better than that. What they need is some books.
What can dogs do with books?
Besides trying to read them, dogs can do a lot of things with books. Here are some:
Pretend to read. Look smarter than you are.
Chew the book cover and some of the pages. They’re your books, after all.
Dogs don’t like to stay inside all day, even at the Dog Library. So there was a big yard for them to play in and different-sized dog doors that let them go outside.
One time a big dog tried to fit through a little dog door. The little dogs growled. So did the big dog who got stuck.
Books that don’t look like books
The yard also had a water fountain for drinking, several fire hydrants that smelled strongly of dog pee, and best of all, books that Margaret the librarian let them bury outside. These were usually the more popular books that had been licked and chewed so often that they didn’t look like books anymore.
All that was left of the books were ripped pages. And some dogs liked to roll them into balls. They didn’t bounce like tennis balls, but they were fun to play with.
Margaret the librarian saved one section of the Dog Library for books that were written by dogs. They wrote the books by choosing different smells from a basket in Margaret’s office. She called it the Dog Writing Basket. Or sometimes the Basket of Smells.
When the dogs start writing
The dogs usually needed help to start writing their books, so Margaret gave them some ideas. One idea was to write a book called The Dog Park. The other was The Pet Store. The books had to include just the right smells so other dogs could understand them.
For example, Margaret thought The Dog Park book should at least include the smell of tennis balls, frisbees, dog poop, and a lot of different dogs. But certainly not the smell of grooming supplies or anything from the vet. That would confuse dogs when they tried to read the book. It wouldn’t smell like a dog park.
Most of the dogs in the Dog Library were serious about studying book smells. That’s why they were there – to understand the books. So Margaret the Dog Librarian started the Serious About Smells Book Group.
The dogs gathered in her office every afternoon and sniffed the books together. One book was called Washing by Splashing. The dogs thought the book was about a dog bath – or maybe a baby bath. They were almost the same. Wet hair, yes. Rubber ducky, yes. No-tears baby shampoo, yes.
But what about the bath water before the soap? What did that smell like? After more studying and comparing notes, the dogs agreed. The water smelled like mud and garbage, not spit-up and a dirty diaper. So that settled it. The book was about a dog bath rather than a baby bath.
Arthur the Delivery Dog
Every week Arthur the Delivery Dog uses his wagon to bring a new batch of books to the Dog Library. He’s stinky from all those smelly books, just like his wagon.
Arthur has a pretty good nose. He sniffs each book before he puts it in the wagon. If he can’t understand what the book is about, he gives it back to the Stinky Smells Shop so they can add better smells.
Margaret the Dog Librarian always meets Arthur at the library door when he gets back with his wagon. She sniffs all the books too. That way she knows which aisle to put them in.
Sometimes Arthur and Margaret don’t agree about what a book should smell like. One day Arthur brought a book back about a cat who couldn’t knock a bird’s nest out of a tree. Margaret thought the book should smell like twigs, feathers, and cat pee. But instead it smelled like fish and gasoline.
Arthur, the dog who delivers books to the Dog Library, thought it was time to have a party. Lately some of the dogs were so busy sniffing books that they forgot to take a nap. They needed a distraction.
Margaret the Dog Librarian agreed. She needed a break from organizing all the books.
Party food and decorations
My mother brought food to the party. Cheese puffs with extra cheese, peanut butter cookies made with chicken gravy, and banana cake with salmon frosting.
I couldn’t wait to get over there.
She also helped decorate the room with balloons and party hats. The littlest dogs got a small scarf instead of a hat.