Thursday, June 1, 2023


Hilarious safety tips from the NPS, the world’s shortest dog, and ghosts!

I am going to start out with my weekly funny because I think we all need one:

Pearl is just a pip-squeak

The world has a new champion!

Guinness World Records

Pearl, the pint-sized Chihuahua, got big news this week when Guinness World Records (GWR) officially certified her as the world’s shortest dog. At about 3.6″ tall and 5″ long, she can fit comfortably in the palm of a child. To put it in perspective, she’s shorter than your cell phone, barely the height of a credit card, and about as tall as a toilet paper roll. The Chihuahua may be tiny in size, but she is large in character. According to her mom, Pearl is “a bit of a diva,” who counts chicken and salmon among her favorite foods and loves “dressing up nice.”

Eight over-the-top funny National Park Service tips

If you follow the National Park Service on any of its social media pages, you’ve likely gotten a laugh lately. It’s been offering some, well, hilariously helpful advice recently. Here are a few examples:

NPS Photo / Kim Acker
  • Don’t pet the fluffy cows. Bison can be dangerous!
  • Most squirrel bites originate at the front, or “bitey end,” of the squirrel.
NPS Photo / Jake Bortscheller
  • If you come across a bear, don’t push a slower friend down… even if you feel the friendship has run its course.

You cannot outrun a bear, so don’t try. The NPS recommends … If you do encounter a bear, stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Don’t we all? Identify yourself by making noise so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Help the bear recognize you as a human. We recommend using your voice. (Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear.) The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell.

  • Did you know if you hold an ermine up to your ear, you can hear what it’s like to be attacked by an ermine?
  • As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking.  

  • “Hello, my name is Inigo Monturkey. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Gobble, gobble. Your chances of being hunted by a turkey are low, but never zero. You’ve been warned. The wild turkey, it turns out, can reach 18 miles per hour on foot and “may respond aggressively to shiny objects, their own reflections, or those they seek revenge from.”

  • As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to stay at least 25 feet away from wildlife. A good method to use to ensure that you keep your distance is to stick out your thumb. If your thumb covers the animal from a distance, you’re a safe distance away. If your thumb does not cover the animal, you are too close!
  • Never catch snowflakes with your tongue until all the birds have flown south.

All tips courtesy of the National Park Service (really!).

Do dogs see ghosts?

Anyone who has a dog knows full well that she can hear, smell and see better than we do. We also know that dogs and other pets can sense an earthquake before we know it’s happening. So can they sense the supernatural? Can they see ghosts?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen my dogs (yes, I had dogs once upon a time) perk up, sit up and look into space as if they are seeing something. Something that I cannot see or hear. Ears alert, tails wagging, even a growl… they sense something is there. Are they seeing the spirit of my dear, departed grandmother, or are they hearing the neighbor putting out the trash cans?

Dogs hear at higher frequencies, they can see a wider range of light on the spectrum, and they can smell just about anything. Dogs can sense emotions, what you ate for breakfast and even pick up on illness with a brief sniff. Tracker dogs are used in police search work and cadaver dogs are routinely used to find bodies after a natural disaster.

Therapy dogs can sense when someone is about to have an epileptic seizure or a heart attack. Some dog behaviorists believe dogs have a “sixth sense”. Dr. Mary Burch, director of the AKC Family Dog Program and a certified animal behaviorist, describes this as a “gut” feeling when something doesn’t feel right. Dogs are more open to trusting what they feel and acting on those feelings accordingly, while most people’s minds analyze what’s going on and deny the possibility that auroras or spirits exist. “Dogs are remarkable creatures, with senses that far exceed a human’s,” explains Dr. Burch.

Are ghosts real? While there is no scientific evidence to prove the existence of ghosts, nearly half of Americans believe that they exist. There are many websites dedicated to identifying paranormal activity. I don’t know of any groups using dogs to sniff out ghosts, but why not?

Five signs you have a ghost in your RV, according to Allure Magazine:

  • Unexplained temperature changes. Could be the presence of a spook, or your propane tank is empty.
  • Strange technological glitches. OMG! Every single RV ever made is haunted!
  • Unusual scents. Besides your black tank’s fumes seeping up through your bad toilet seal, strange odors can be a sign of ghosts—perhaps the perfume of a long-since-passed camper is trying to reach you!
  • Object movement or unidentified sounds. This one is tricky because driving your Class A gas-powered F-53 chassis rig down any highway in Tennessee will move every single object not nailed down and even some that are. Creaking of your levelers could be a ghost, I suppose.
  • Finally, pets making contact. Does your dog bark at some unidentified presence in the middle of the night? This, my RV friends, is your best indicator that you have ghosts. Trust your dog — he is much smarter and savvier than you. Give him a treat and go back to bed.

Have you or your dog ever seen or sensed a ghost? Do you believe in ghosts? Please tell me all about it in the comments below.


Karel Carnohan DVM
Karel Carnohan DVM
After a long career in finance, Dr. Carnohan returned to school and graduated from the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine at the tender age of 50. She has worked in Canada and the United States in both small and large animal medicine. She retired in 2020 after selling her feline-exclusive veterinary practice in Asheville, NC. She currently lives in the Coachella Valley, CA and travels in her Newmar toy hauler with her multiple cats. Her interests include hockey (having played for many years), the brown bears of Katmai, cats and scooping litter boxes.


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1 month ago

I lived in a house where the previous owner commited suicide in it. One evening, very late, my yellow Lab was asleep on the livingroom floor when all of a sudden he sat up and was looking down the hallway then stood up and started growling. He was very unsettled for about 2 or 3 minutes. I had to get up off the couch and walk down the hall with the hair on the back of my neck standing on end…oh, my Lab didn’t follow me by the way…

1 month ago

I was fixing dinner in my new husband’s house. I looked up and saw a man in a trenchcoat and fedora leaning against the corner between the kitchen and living room looking at me. It was odd but did not scare me. I looked back and he was gone. A year later we were moving out and my friend asked me who the guy was in the shed. I asked what he looked like and she described the same guy. We looked in the shed and he was gone. I had never mentioned my encounter to her.

Karen L.
1 month ago

I am a fulltimer 7-1/2 years so far. About five years ago I saw a ghost, or more specifically an orb, in my camper. I didn’t watch TV much, and I had Halloween decorations up, including bat wings hanging over my TV screen. I was taking a photo of the bat wings using my cell phone and as I was about to push the button to take the pic, right before my eyes was a white orb in front of the TV. I was shocked and took the pic, my eyes wide in amazement. I wasn’t scared. I said “welcome!” to the orb. I felt it was my deceased father visiting me. He died the same month I bought my camper, 7-1/2 years ago in October.

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