Dear Grizz | Dear Willow: Letter Two

Posted on Mar 6, 2017
Dear Grizz | Dear Willow: Letter Two

Our Willow the Wild has struck a delightful pen-pal friendship with Brindleberry Acres’s handsome Grizz. They don’t know we are publishing their letters to each other (shhhh… don’t tell them).

Letter 2.

Dear Grizz,

I loved your last letter so much, my mom kept whistling at me and making me blush!

I like your mom already, she sounds like a really fun lady and I hope to get to meet her someday. My mom likes to be home too, I do as well most days. I have two cat siblings and a big dog brother that I love to play with. We don’t have a very big house to run and play in, or a yard for that matter unfortunately, but I find the stairs a fun place to run up and down to tease my mom into play. I love doing this when she’s been sitting in that chair in front of her computer for too long. If I do it long and loud enough or if I come and put my chin on her arm and make my ears and eyes extra big, she gets the message and she takes me out on a hike.
If not home, I love to be outside, and since we don’t have much of a yard, we depend on our hikes and walks to get our fresh air.
I love the feeling of running as wild and free and as fast as my legs can carry me. It feels extra good when it is early in the morning and the grass is still wet with dew. I run with my mouth open so wide, my tongue has trouble staying in! It makes my mom laugh, especially when she calls me back to her.

Being alone is something my mom really enjoys, or at least, alone together with me. I love our hikes and walks, and especially when there are no other people around. I do love seeing and playing with my dog friends and their humans (I call them aunties and uncles… I have many more aunties than uncles. I tend to be a little picky about uncles.) My best friend’s name is Poppy, she’s an introvert too, and she loves to run. I especially love it when she chases me 🙂 .

We do have many beaches here, oh you would love it Grizz! Sand is sorta like snow, except it is not cold and it doesn’t melt, it’s gritty and very easy to get in your mouth while playing, which can be interesting. Running on sand feels so nice and squishy. Our moms (and dads) take us to the beach often. Poppy’s a great swimmer and she loves to play with a ball. I’m not very good at swimming, but I love splashing in the waves. Corbin doesn’t swim, but he loves to walk (and run!) along the water, he always gets me to chase him in and I end up getting way more wet than I wanted to.

You would love Dillon Beach, the one we go to with my friend Poppy. It is Corbin’s favorite place on earth. We go there every year especially for his birthday. They waves can get a little big, so swimming is not always possible there, but splashing in the waves is so fun, they chase you! Don’t drink the water there, it is really salty. Bleh.
Sometimes we see these funny looking dogs that dive in and out of the water, I don’t know where they hide their ears, but they have big whiskers, make funny noises and they swim so fast and can hold their breath under water for a long time! My mom calls them sea lions, I don’t know why, they don’t look anything like lions to me. I’ve never gotten a chance to get close to one, but I do see them dancing in the surf now and then.

Sometimes we run into other dogs at the beach, and I don’t mind them, I really like other dogs, especially if they are nice to me! But Poppy prefers to hang out with my brother Corbin and me and doesn’t really care about socializing with strangers. Other dogs really want to meet her though, and she feels nervous about it, so I do my best to protect her, and I try and get in the middle and distract other dogs to pay attention to me instead so Poppy can keep chasing her ball. The funny thing is, she does the same for me when human strangers want to say hi to me and I don’t want them to come near me. She loves humans of all kinds and sizes, and she goes to greet them while my mom and I move away. Sometimes though, Poppy lets me know that a particular human is one that I would like, and she makes me feel safe enough to approach and make a new human friend. That is how I have met most new humans in my life, with a little help from my dog friends 🙂

Sorry, that was a lot of writing about me… Do you have any dog friends or human friends that are really special to you? How wonderful to have a place you can be both on your own and have friends come visit. And, purple is my favorite color nowadays, so I really loved the photo of you on your purple chair!

Your mom has a health-food store?? Is it one of those magical places where everything smells amazing and everything looks so fun to play with? You are so lucky! My mom loves those stores, and that’s where she gets all our food and treats from. What are some of your favorite foods and treats?

Oh my gosh Grizz! My brother Corbin has the same Ruffwear Web Master harness you are wearing! Red looks so good on you by the way! I have the same harness in grey, it attaches to a backpack that I use when we go on super long hikes where we get to actually spend the night in the woods and sleep under that stars! Corbin is getting a little slow now, and I think his back legs and hips hurt often, so my mom got him this thing that attaches to his harness, and she uses it to help him in and out of our car. Those harnesses are so comfortable, aren’t they? Mine has a ton of patches now. Maybe I’ll send you one to put on yours? So you can remember me when you are out playing in that beautiful snow.

How do you like your boots? I remember wearing some when we hiked across the coast. I felt silly wearing them at first, but they kept my feet protected from the hot sand and rocky terrain. I um… did end up losing a couple of them along the way. Now my mom packs extras in my pack.
I like how yours are worn higher up. Maybe I’ll ask my mom to get me some like yours next time!

Wow… I never thought the weather could give humans headaches. Chinooks sound fascinating though, they almost sound like a typical spring day here in California! Yesterday alone we had a very chilly morning with overcast skies, then bright sun and breeze, then rain, then hail and then sun again! I think snow is way more fun than rain, at least for playing in. Normally, my mom just laughs and lets me splash around rain puddles. She calls me a tomboy because I love mud so much. But lately we have been avoiding puddles sadly, there seems to be something in them that is making a lot of dogs in my area sick. Such a shame, I love puddle jumping.

Your photos look so fun, I wish I could be there running with you. Catching mice?? That sounds like fun! Do you shove your head and nose deep in the snow? I do that with gophers here, I’ve never caught one though, you must be fast! Your sister Pebbles eats them??? Wow! I like her already 🙂 How many dog siblings do you have?

I would LOVE to come visit and have you show me around Banff National Park, I am so excited to know we are allowed there! I bet my mom would love it there too!
So sorry to hear about your experience in the car. I completely understand. I used to be terrified of it too, especially when my mom first brought me home. Then again, I was so afraid of everything. The first time I saw the stairs (the same ones I now run up and down on), my mom had Corbin next to me and she put a little piece of boiled chicken on each step. It was a fun game, I got so much chicken!
She did a similar thing with the car.
Before I came home, I thought a car only meant scary things, loud noises, dark places, strangers… But my mom put all my favorite things in there, my dog brother, a cozy bed, a blanket that smelled like home and it made me feel calm. She put soft music on and most of the time we would not go anywhere, we would just sit there with my brother and she would feed us our breakfast, lunch or dinner there. Then we would take short trips, but it was always to fun places, like my favorite hiking trail or the beach. I’m not afraid of it anymore, but I’ll never know how some dogs can feel safe sticking their heads out the window!

Would there be anything that would help you feel safe and secure in a car? I’d love to explore Banff with you, but just as happy to go somewhere nearby that you like, and just play or explore together 🙂

How lucky to have known your siblings, even if just for a little while. I am even more glad that your mom made that lady mad and kept you, so that I could meet you someday.
What is Brindleberry Acres like? Are Brindleberries like blueberries? It sounds like a beautiful place, I am glad you are there to keep it safe.

This is me the day I came home. I had never slept so soundly in my life.


The first shelter I was brought to was a really scary place. I didn’t get to stay there long, because some  people from Sonoma Humane Society came to get me and 9 other dogs and brought us to their shelter. It smelled clean and it was light with lots of windows and flowers. There were lots of other dogs and people there. I was so scared there though. I was not in one of the big rooms where people come to take you home, I was in the back which was a little more private without scary windows people could look into and stare at me. Dogs in the other kennels were constantly barking and it made me feel more afraid.
One day, this nice lady who smelled of dogs and cookies came to get me and took me to “her office” as I heard her call it. That’s where I met my first dog friends, especially AJ, he was a big Malinois and he would play with me. I spent less time in the scary kennel then, and instead spent most of the day with AJ and other shelter dogs in the lady’s office or out playing in the yard. I felt safer when other dogs were around. I was only 6 months old. That lady introduced me to my mom, who came to get me from the scary kennel one day. I was so afraid at first, but she sat on the floor with me for a while and she had something that smelled amazing, I couldn’t help come come over to investigate. It was chicken! She was supposed to give me a temporary home and teach me some skills and manners while the shelter looked for a permanent home. But I have a feeling that lady knew she had already found a home for me with my mom. That lady and my friend AJ have since moved somewhere called Oregon, but I got to see them before they moved. She will always be my “auntie Sue”.

This is me on my adoption day. I was around 8 months old then and my ears made a vertical career change. My brother Corbin was always close by.

I’ll have to save my Sunday story for you for my next letter, since I’ve dragged on and on in this one 🙂 but I feel so lucky to have someone thinking of me on a Sunday, what a nice feeling. I spent most of my Sunday writing to you, so there you have it!

P.S. YES! I do have a black stripe down my back, how crazy that you have one too! My coat is a little darker than yours, and it is most obvious in the spring, where my sides go a little more brown and grey, but it is there, the black stripe is there! I would love to see a photo and I’ll see if my mom can take on of mine too.

your friend,



Stay tuned for Grizzy’s response on Monday and in the meantime, make sure you follow their shenanigrams and adventures on Instagram at @willowthewildandco and @brindleberrybunch !