Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Talking With Animals and PET CRAZY

The doe’s eyes meet mine—
a silent conversation

When we lock eyes with an animal, for even just a second, we can sense what they are feeling.  I believe they can sense what we are feeling too. Without a single word, we can communicate and begin to understand each other.

My cat is very good at communicating what she wants.  When I'm in her favorite chair, she sits on the floor glaring up at me until I move. As soon as I do, she claims it as her own.

When I was teaching, I always enjoyed reading the poems my students wrote about their pets. Children love to write about animals.  I just wish I would have had the fabulous PET CRAZY by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong to share with them.  The poems are so relatable.  What child hasn't wished for a special pet or worried about a sick pet?  There is even a poem about communicating with a pet!  The activities in  PET CRAZY are fantastic because they invite young writers to create their own poems. What a timesaver to have the text and activities in one place!

If you are a parent and grandparent, winter break is not that far away.  PET CRAZY would be a wonderful way to encourage creativity and support your child's reading and writing skills over the break.  It's on my list of holiday gifts for seven year old granddaughter.  I know she'll love it.

A big thank you to Irene at Live Your Poem for gathering a bounty of poetry goodness this week.  


  1. Linda, I love the wordless conversation between animals and humans... I always get teary at animal shows, like at Sea World or the circus... so much TIME and LOVE goes into that kind of relationship. Thank you for sharing about PET CRAZY! xo

  2. When I used to be a children's librarian, I had to be very careful not to mention the word "pet" in story hour. Every last kid had a pet or stuffy they needed to talk about!

  3. I love the connection of "mother to mother" when you saw the deer, Linda. It's lovely. And, so many have mentioned Pet Crazy, and now you've given me an idea for a Christmas gift. I have the first two, must get Pet Crazy!

  4. I wish I would have had this book when I was teaching. I even want it now for my own enjoyment! There are so many ways to write about pets--both those tame at home and those wild ones that drift by. We have deer who visit our year every night, but they are not quite so welcome as they treat our garden as their salad bar!

  5. The photo is fantastic, Linda, as is the haiku. I love the intimacy of both. And, of course I love PET CRAZY too! :)

  6. There is something mesmerizing about looking into an animal's eyes. I have two of Janet and Sylvia's books, but not this one. I am sure your granddaughter will love it!

  7. Linda, your insightful opening poem and comments remind me of a cat I tried to stare down this week on one of my walks. She was a perfect stranger, but sure gave me a long and knowing look.

  8. I feel the same way about Pet Crazy! I have a copy and really should get it cataloged into my library. But, I'm not quite ready to let it leave my house yet. It's fun and allows me and the kids to think about how we really do connect with our animals. Guess where my cat is right now? Hint. I'm not moving.

  9. Pet Crazy is a great way of sparking a poetic conversation about our pets. Great post.