In search of ponies: Humans determined to harness time

Oh, so you think you’re a zeitgeber, well who the heck gave you the right to control the universe? After all, you may not get it, but every pet knows full well the world orbits that bowl on the floor in the kitchen — the rising, and setting, of the sun determined by it being […]

In search of ponies: Gadgets not limited to human

By Sharna Johnson: CMI columnist It was around the 14th century or so when some anonymous irreverent farmer took a highly prized religious implement and hung it from the neck of his best sheep — and thus the precious bell was transferred down from the upper echelons of the priesthood, literally to the herd. No […]

In search of ponies: Animals have own ways of dealing with wind

Since the dawn of man, spring has been celebrated, often because it’s a pleasant exit from winter and also because it is the season that represents life’s potential. In between the intermittent cold and warm spells, green shoots sprout from little dried up bits of plants that nature seemed to have discarded in the cold […]

In search of ponies: Dogs divided on candidates

There’s unrest around my place. My girl can do it on her own and would rather take it upon herself to get what she needs than rely on the household. If she’s hungry, she’s one to sort it out it out herself rather than wait for the dish to be filled and she would rather […]

In search of ponies: Rats capable of selflessness

Few in the animal world have obtained a reputation quite as bad as theirs. In fact, their name is so bad, it has become ingrained in clich

In search of ponies: Christmas gifts not for pets

Walking through the stores this holiday season, at first you may think,“that squeaky toy is so cute, Fido would love that!” But as you shop, you may start to get the feeling it’s not an accident the Christmas tree shaped dish full of frosted beef biscuits is at the end of the isle right where […]

In search of ponies: Hummingbirds need some sugar

Every now and then a neighbor needs to borrow a little sugar — and sometimes it could be a matter of life and death. No, not because of that batch of cookies they started only to realize they didn’t have enough in their canister. It turns out that perhaps because of the extreme weather we’ve […]

In search of ponies: Pet rentals great for commitment phobic

Commitment-phobe? Just not ready to take the plunge? Or maybe just looking for a temporary good time… Well, there’s a solution. Rental pets is a new rage sweeping through metropolitan communities and apparently it’s an idea that is really taking off and gaining popularity, particularly in the concrete jungles. I stumbled onto the concept while […]

In search of ponies: Animals capable of humanistic traits

The mare’s struggle quickly turned to quiet relief the moment she nuzzled her newborn foal on the ground beside her. In that one instant, she changed and the change was as real as the fragile creature next to her, her focus switching from centered on self, to being centered on her offspring. As I watched […]

In search of ponies: Success understood across species

We just didn’t speak the same language. And it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he didn’t have the ability to run over me like a Mac truck, a point which was driven home with every nervous or confused twitch he made. I can still see him standing there, nose to the fence, […]

In search of ponies: Rat had chip on her shoulder

While sitting in the dentist chair, my attention was suddenly drawn to an announcer on the softly playing radio. “Doritos inventor Arch West, dead at 97… to be buried in his beloved chips,” the voice said. It was apparently something the family wanted to do and they planned to toss handfuls of their loved one’s […]

In search of ponies: Human vending machine wants more from pets

Hair tousled, with grungy slobber on his shoulder, he approached me, held out his thumb and proceeded to tell me how the horse had bitten it and wouldn’t let go. “Were you giving them peppermints?” I asked my visiting family member. “No, I didn’t have any with me today. Why would he be so mean […]

In search of ponies: Picking up after hen egg-sasperating

Sharna Johnson Oh yeah, I’m sure the neighbors think I’m odd when they see me trudging around. Head down, eyes to the ground, I sweep my foot through the few patches of tall grass that have managed to grow — incidentally sprouted near spots on my multi-patched hose where the mends have given out. Some […]

In search of ponies: Growing up for the birds

So they just topple over the edge and then they’re gone, sailing into the sunset to go forth and do their thing, right? Wrong. Sure it happens that way sometimes. And then sometimes they wander too close to the edge and fall out before they’re ready or they jump out and then hang around. But […]

In search of ponies: Death part of owning animals

“What did you kill this week?” It’s the question I hear every week when I turn in my column for editing — asked in jest of course. In response I usually joke back that I’ve set a limit of one a month or some such thing. But it does highlight an often unspoken truth about […]

In search of ponies: Yankee makes home in Southwest

Sharna Johnson “Oh man, the flies are awful here!” my visiting family member exclaimed by way of a greeting when I arrived home from work. “Actually they haven’t been bad this year at all,” I replied, a little confused as he guided me to my kitchen counter, turned-killing fields and proudly showed me the carnage. […]

In search of ponies: Only the fish die young

Sharna Johnson The first one to go was the algae eater — initially construed as a bittersweet sign that at least the tank was clean. But by that night the second one flopped on its side, gills flaring for the last time. Then a third died — the one that lived under a rock, which […]

In search of ponies: Stowaway cats meet adventure

Sharna Johnson The dark pockets and crevices, nooks and crannies surely held a plethora of mystery and fun, or that’s how it must have looked to Kisten anyway. Several hours later, whatever fun might have hidden there was long gone as Kisten — wide-eyed and dropping thousands of stressed follicles by the minute — climbed […]

In search of ponies: Swallows keep pests away

Sharna Johnson I struggled with the thought of knocking it down, but they were working so hard I just didn’t have the heart. Instead, I sat in the front yard and photographed the swallows as they swooped in and out, fluttering under the eave with beaks full of mud. Over several days I watched as […]

In search of ponies: Critters offer children endless amusement

Sharna Johnson “Hello, do you sell feeder ants?” I asked the lady who answered at the pet store. “Put it back where you found it,” the voice on the other end of the line responded. “Excuse me? What do you mean?” “The horned toad. Take it back where you found it, you can’t keep it,” […]