I want to take you on a virtual walk with me, inspired by Restless Jo’s Monday Walk, with a little haibun (Japanese poetic prose,) haiku, park photography and a little down-to-earth information about our experience.
On Saturday, I walked with a new doggy client, Luce (pronounced Loochay,) a handsome dog, a Brittany spaniel and dachshund mix. We walked through Verona Park in Verona, New Jersey, and as it was a nice day, the park was busy with people doing everything possible to do in the park: fishing, cycling, walking dogs, playing tennis, paddleboating and using the playground and the exercise stations around the walking path.
We traipse along the paved path, Luce moving ahead of me, waving his tail like a feathery fan. We pull to the water’s edge where the sun glints against the smooth surface. The blurred reflection of the trees in the water resembles an impressionistic painting. A central fountain shoots its spray, creating a relaxing soundtrack, while distant swanboats glide through the pond.
Other swans dock at the shore, awaiting passengers, their beaks face to face, creating a heart in the negative space between them.
Intense pink dianthus greet us, lifting their frill-framed faces to the sun.
The shadows of the trees create lacy patterns on the wide stone path bordering the lake while a paddleboat floats under the arch of a stone bridge.
A cluster of irises grow at the water’s edge, their yellow teardrop petals drooping gracefully.
A weeping willow’s tendril-like branches sweep the water’s surface. They hang like a fairy maiden’s hair prepared for a wash. Its branches majestically arch and curl above the reflective water.
Luce, though placid, is drawn to the sight and smell of two ducks in the water.
Luce and I had some refreshment at the Snack Shack at the boathouse after our walk. I had forgotten to bring water or a dog bowl, and as I was too distracted to notice the signs forbidding dogs on the dock, I carried Luce over to the Snack Shack order window. I bought a drink for myself and a bottled water and asked if they could give me a bowl for the dog. The kind employee at the window alerted me to the "no dogs" rule but provided a bowl for me. I thought they might have a disposable one, but he gave me a melamine plastic one. We sat at a nearby lakeside bench to refresh ourselves, but I didn't break the rules again in order to return the bowl, so I hope that they were able to retrieve it from where I left it. I appreciate the kindness of that employee.
15 Different YouTube Channels to Enjoy for Cute and Funny Dogs, Cats, Birds, Hamsters and More.
Watching pets on Youtube can be relaxing and peaceful whether you are a pet owner or not. It’s one way to enjoy some very endearing animals. It wouldn’t be practical for most of us to own one of each of the animals featured below, but Youtube brings us closer to observing all of their funny antics.
These videos are good therapy if you need relaxation. I have used them to unwind when I have headache or have trouble sleeping. Some of these videos are real life adventures with pets and owners while others are pure fantasy — creative stories with animals doing “human” things. Others offer good information for pet owners. A few of these channels have varied content that don’t all fall into one of those categories, although the examples I selected are entertaining.
The videos are of varying length, some short and some a bit longer. You may want to save some to watch later or create a playlist.
Crusoe the Dachshund
Crusoe the Dachshund is involved in a lot of story episodes with his sidekicks, sister Daphne and cousin Oakley. Voice actors speak for the doggos as they go about some very human activities. In this episode, Oakley has a date with a Yorkie and gets a little dating advice from Crusoe and Daphne.
Other episodes include some parodies of movies like Home Alone, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters, police and crime adventures, hobby fun, obstacle courses, birthday celebrations and more creative content than I can name.
This channel combines miniature making and fun with hamsters. First, you watch as the Youtuber creates cardboard miniature sets and then enjoy as his hamster interacts with and has fun exploring the set. In this episode, the little hamster has fun on a cardboard playground equipped with seesaws, swings and motorized merry go round, with plenty of hamster snacks sprinkled here and there. In other episodes, the hamster visits a miniature hotel, Tom and Jerry style house, sushi bar and more.
Vlog After College (with Corgi Gatsby)
Gatsby the Corgi has more real life adventures with his owner Ryen. In fact, Ryen’s vlogs can contain all kinds of content like cooking and recipes, ukulele playing and fitness. Still, Gatsby is a big part of each vlog, and you can enjoy watching these two play in a park or at home, go on walking adventures, go shopping for dog toys, even cooking dog-friendly meals or enjoying a burger splurge.
Aaron’s Animals seems to be creative stories told with real animals but with the help of some special effects and animation. Videos feature cats, a pug dog, ducklings and a mouse. The stories are pretty varied from “A dog and cat road trip” to a cat cooking show and many more fun episodes.
Emma Massingale (With Mini Ponies)
Below is one of the more whimsical videos on Emma Massingale’s channel, where two dogs, a cat, a pig and a miniature pony get the spa treatment, including nail treatments, facial masks and hot stone massage. Emma has more content along this line but also features more down-to-earth adventures with her animals like hiking with her mini ponies or rafting while pulled by black stallions.
Topi the Corgi
Topi the Corgi does a variety of human activities on his channel. These might include acting as a lifeguard or a surgeon, working in construction or as a police officer. His occasional sidekicks are these two little long-haired chihuahuas who join him in the camping fun below.
This golden retriever’s videos are all captioned hilariously with the new dog lingo of the Internet. On this channel, you can watch as he tries new foods and treats, interacts with new toys or does quirky behavior (like trying to climb in the bath tub with his owner.) Reading his inner commentary is half the fun. In the episode below, I enjoyed seeing him interact with a mechanical toy roach where it seems he can’t decide whether he wants to attack it or run away from it.
The Secret Life of My Hamster
The “dangerous” hamster maze in the video below might look suspiciously like animal cruelty at first glance, but this contraption with all its traps is made from harmless cardboard. Other videos from this channel feature creative mazes, obstacle courses, races and even a parkour course for hamsters. A few of these have gaming themes like Minecraft and Super Mario Brothers.
Griffin the Frenchie
Griffin the Frenchie and his sister Haru have a variety of interesting experiences with their owners. They try out different snacks, show off how well trained they are as well as their behavior quirks, try out strange gadgets for dogs or explore a 24 hour dog grooming cafe, among other things. They also try intellectual puzzles and obstacle courses. In the video below, the two Frenchies enjoy a kiddie pool, some bubbles and watermelon.
Erin has a lot of adorable animals in her care including guinea pigs (about 11 of them,) skinny pigs, bunnies, gerbils, hamsters, a dog and a cat. That might sound like animal hoarding, but Erin lives on a farm, and all of her animals have quality hutches and homes, lots of space and plenty of tender loving care. Erin has some informative videos for owners of small animals, but I find it peaceful to watch her go about her routine with the animals, feeding all of them or making changes to their abodes.
There have been several parrots of different varieties on this channel, but the star seems to be Bowie, the Indian ringneck parakeet. He has a voice just like Elmo, and one of his favorite phrases is “Tickle, tickle,” because that’s what his owner tells him when she scratches his head. The doggy of the household, Pai Mei, has his own channel.
What About Bunny
This amazing sheepadoodle named Bunny has been trained to use buttons to communicate. The buttons are from Fluent Pet and pronounce words when they are pressed. They are arranged in interlocking tiles on the floor. There are other video examples that better introduce the system, but I thought this particular video below gives pretty good evidence that Bunny understands what she is communicating.
Major Hamster and Friends
Major Hamster and Friends is another channel that combines ingenious contraptions, story telling and animals. In this one, Major Hamster runs in his wheel, sending out marble missiles against the tank army of his frenemy, the cat. Videos show a variety of challenges for Major Hamster and his friends with mazes, obstacle courses, remote control cars and contraptions involving dominoes and marbles with adventures themed after dinosaurs, robots, zombies, volcanoes and more. Major Hamster’s friends include a cat, dog, chinchilla, rat and bunny.
Tiny Hamster Official
One of the major themes on this channel is tiny food. You can watch this hamster feasting on tiny burritos, tiny barbecue or in this video, tiny tiki party fare, and in fun, miniature settings. Although “hamster” is the only animal listed in the channel’s title, you will find a few others here including bunnies, a chameleon and a hedgehog.
Bini the Bunny
Bini the Bunny has been trained to do a number of cool tricks like paint, play basketball with a small ball and net, work a dustbuster style vacuum cleaner or a small vending machine that dispenses carrots. You can also watch the channel for helpful information on keeping a bunny as a pet.
I hope I have introduced you to some fun animal viewing on Youtube. Please, tell me which of these is your favorite.