Categotry Archives: Dogwart’s Puppy School of Magic


Dogwart’s: Of Kitty Litter and Talking Portraits


Small Poodle at Large | Harper B. | Dog Blog | Dogwart's HeaderIt was a perfect, sunny morning when Honey and I trotted along the dirt path to Dogsmeade. The trail was crowded with every size and shape of dog….Gryffindogs, Hufflepups, Ravenpaws, and Slytherhounds were all enjoying the off-leash time and the long prance into the village. As expected, Hairy Pawter and Chase ran up to us and tried to make small bark, but Honey and I didn’t want to give away our plan, so we told them to run on ahead. As soon as we arrived in Dogsmeade, we headed straight for Honeydog’s…Our plan was to buy a bag of Every-Flavor Bones, then replace it all with kitty litter flavor. We were sure Hairy and Chase would come begging for treats, and boy would they get a surprise!

Honeydogs 2Once we had the kitty litter Every-Flavor Bones disguised in the bag, Honey and I pranced along the main thoroughfare enjoying the smells, wagging our tails, and just waiting for Hairy and Chase to come along looking for a snack. It turns out they were in Bingo’s Joke Shop buying who knows what. We ran into them as they trotted out of the shop, a secretive glimmer in their eyes.

Just as Honey and I thought, as soon as the boys saw us they barked, “Hey, is that a bag of Every-Flavor Bones?”

“Yep,” I said. Honey casually took one in her paw.

“Can we have some?” Honey’s plan couldn’t have been going better. They were certainly falling for it.

“Nope,” said Honey. “We have no intention of sharing.”

That really made the boys mad. Chase grabbed our bag and ran off with it in his mouth, Hairy running closely behind him. When they turned the corner, we pulled the real Every-Flavor Bones out of our backpack, and had a good howl. But we laughed even harder when we saw Hairy and Chase gulping from the large water bowls on the edge of town.

Honey and I were really pleased with ourselves. It was our first great Dogwart’s prank. But if I had known what was coming next, I might have thought twice. That evening, after enjoying a great spread in the kennel dining hall, Honey and I returned to the Ravenpaw common room. I was dog tired from the field trip, and couldn’t wait to curl up in my bed. But when we got to the portrait to give the password, everything had changed. Inside the gilded gold frame, a picture of me in a rocking chair replaced the usual white bull terrier with the spotted eye.

“Oh my Bark!” I was horrified.

“I wonder what the password is?” Honey wanted to get to bed too, and now we were stuck in the hallway.  Pawtrait-me looked down on us with an amused half-smile. Finally, we figured the password out. (E-mail readers, to hear for yourself, make sure you’re in the blog, and click the play arrow.)

While Honey and I were stuck in the dark hallway, I bet Hairy Pawter and Chase were having a good laugh in front of the fire with the other Gryffindogs. And now I’ll have to be extra nice to them to get them to take my pawtrait down. Some days just don’t turn out how you expect.


Special thanks to Amy Neil for the Dogwart’s Pawtrait animation.


Dogwart’s: A Much Needed Diversion


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Harper B | Dogwart's | Small Poodle at LargeAfter fainting in front of Coach, the Auror, Isis, Chase, AND Hairy Pawter, I was feeling a bit bedraggled. Hairy escorted me to the Ravenpaw Common Kennel, where I curled up on my dog bed by the warm fireplace. I wasn’t sure I was up to the task of facing a Dementor Dog…and now I knew a secret I couldn’t share with Honey. I had a lot to think about. After tossing and turning for what seemed like hours, I finally fell asleep with my bone securely tucked beneath my front paw.

The next morning I woke to the sound of fresh kibble being poured into bowls. Honey was standing over me, her golden fur glowing in the morning sun. “Harper, get up!” she barked. “We’re going to Dogsmeade!”

Dogsmeade? With all of the trouble going on, I had completely forgotten.

“And I have a plan,” said Honey.

I wagged. Things were starting to feel normal again. Honey went into a sit, waiting for my full attention.

“We can finally get back at Hairy Pawter and Chase for taking midnight Hippogriff rides without us.” Honey licked her lips.

I was quiet. I couldn’t tell Honey about the Auror or the Dementor Dog, and how Chase and Hairy were helping with a secret mission. So I decided the best thing was to play along.

“I don’t know….What’s your plan, Honey?” I licked my front paw, trying to seem casual.

“Well, when we go to Honeydog’s, we can alter our bag of Every-Flavor Bones with the kitty litter flavor. Hairy and Chase are sure to come along and want some….”

I had to admit, this sounded fun. Very fun. “I’m in!” I barked. Feeling much better, I went to brush my pouf, straighten my collar, and get ready for the romp to Dogsmeade. The Dementor Dog was starting to feel like no more than a bad dream.

Dogwart’s: Trouble, trouble, trouble


Dogwarts headerSmall Poodle at Large | Harper B. | Dogwart'sI finally have time to tell you about what happened when coach pulled me into her office. I had just made an announcement over the microphone at Quidditch practice about Hairy Pawter and Chase taking midnight joyrides on the Hippogriff. Madam Pooch revealed their little secret while demonstrating a water bowl reading for me during detention. Honey and I felt betrayed, so I couldn’t wait to get back at Chase and Hairy. I guess I should have checked my facts and made sure I had all my bones in a row first.

After my rather public announcement during practice, Coach led me across the field. I followed, tail between my legs. To my surprise, instead of entering her hut, she continued prancing toward Dogwart’s castle, through a maze of stone hallways, and into a huge room with a ceiling so high it seemed the windows arched to the sky. The chamber was completely empty, save for five dog beds at the center, laid out in a circular formation.

Coach motioned for me to take a seat, so I sniffed a bed, dug a little bit, and circled three times before making myself comfortable. She sat directly across from me, looking more worried than angry. During this entire time, she hadn’t barked a word. I thought about making small talk, but just as I was deciding whether that was a good idea, a loud echo spread through the room as a door opened somewhere behind me, followed by the sound of three sets of paws coming toward us. To my surprise, Hairy Pawter and Chase each seated themselves on a bed, followed by a black dog with white facial markings that spread up her nose, then arched like a fountain over her eyebrows.

"Isis is the first Auror dog I've ever met. She is quite impressive."
“Isis is the first Auror dog I’ve ever met. She is quite impressive.”

“Harper, this is the Auror, Isis,” Coach barked matter of factly. My ears pricked up. If Coach didn’t have my attention before, she certainly did now. To tell you the truth, even though I know it’s rude, it was hard not to stare at Isis. The Auror licked her lips and began. “Hairy Pawter and Chase haven’t been taking Hippogriff joyrides, Harper, they were asked to help me monitor, well, a certain unpleasant situation that has arisen here at Dogwart’s.”

I looked over at Hairy Pawter and Chase, giving them each a tentative wag. Maybe they hadn’t left Honey and I out on purpose after all.

“We were trying to keep it all under wraps, but with Madam Pooch’s partially correct water bowl revelation, you have unfortunately become involved.”

Isis was looking at me intently. She walked slowly over to my dog bed, circled the perimeter, all the time sniffing slowly and vigorously. I felt as if she could smell my thoughts.

“But I like to be involved,” I tried to bark helpfully.

Isis let out a low growl, and Coach harrumphed.

“She does have the sight,” Isis said.

“But she’s just a poodle,” was Coach’s response. Well, that took me down a notch. “And she only weighs nine pounds. She’s a toy.”

Coach and the Auror continued debating back and forth.

“She’s got chutzpah.”

“She’s foolish and doesn’t think before she barks.”

“She can be trained. And no one would suspect her of working with us.”

Finally, Coach had no response. I puffed up a little.

Then they all turned to me, deadly serious expressions on their faces. “Harper, watch the center of the circle.” Isis cast a spell with her tail, and a holographic image of the most terrifying dog I’ve ever seen appeared before us. It had the eyes of a serpent, and it looked right at me. I couldn’t help it, I started to shake.

"The Dementor Dog was a poodle. It was almost too horrible to comprehend."
“The Dementor Dog was a poodle. It was almost too horrible to comprehend.”

“What is it?” I managed.

“That, Harper, is a Dementor-Dog.”

“Oh, my God, I said…It’s a poodle.” And then, I’m embarrassed to say, I fainted on the spot.

Dogwart’s: Herbology for Hounds


Small Poodle at Large | Harper B. | Dog Blog | Dogwart's HeaderSmall Poodle at Large | Harper B. | Dogwart'sDuggles! The new term at Dogwart’s has started. I was so busy with the holidays, I never told you about what happened with Hairy Pawter’s midnight Hippogriff joy rides or when coach called me into her office. I’ll get to all of that, but first I want to tell you about what happened this morning.

One of our new classes is Hounds and Herbology. We Ravenpaws get to take this class with the Hufflepups; I’m so relieved to have a break from the Slytherhounds. Well, when Professor Bark marched in, we all stared at her in amazement. She is green from her nose to the tip of her tail, even her fur, which is covered with a long cape that looks just like a lawn.

"Professor Bark's grass cape is so amazing...I just hope I don't get the urge to mark it."
“Professor Bark’s grass cape is so amazing…I just hope I don’t get the urge to mark it.”

“Welcome to Herbology for Hounds,” she announced. “Follow me to the planting area.” We all pranced along behind her to a large plot of fresh dirt. Honey and I sat beside each other while we waited for directions.

“I’d like you all to work in groups of three,” the Professor continued. A small apricot poodle pranced over to us. “I’m Jewel…from the Hufflepup house.” She smelled good, so we wagged and sniffed, and got to know each other.

“Today we are going to work with Horehound. This herb is a cleansing lung tonic, very good for chest colds and to help restore your bark should you lose it.” The Professor brought out a tray of small leafy green plant stems. “We will be planting these cuttings in the garden, then casting growing spells so they take root and grow immediately.” I glanced at Honey and wagged. With the holiday vacation, it had been a while since we were allowed to practice magic.

It turns out, we were all very good at digging holes. There was dirt flying everywhere, and in a matter of minutes, the whole area was ready for planting. A number of dogs, perhaps myself included, were pulling bones out of their back pockets to bury in the holes. “Pups! We’re not here to bury your loot. Remove those bones immediately, place a clipping into your hole, and dig the dirt back into place.” We all followed directions this time. Then came the good part.

“Now for the growing spell.” We all wagged. You might remember, at Dogwart’s we cast spells with our tails, because we’re all too tempted to chew the wands. Professor Bark demonstrated the proper flick of the tail for the growing spell. “First like this,” she barked, “and the roots take hold.” We saw the horehound she was working on begin to perk up. “Then, wind your tail up and point just so. If you cast correctly, your plant will grow.” As Professor Bark completed the spell, the Horehound stems widened and stretched, and the plant slowly bloomed with beautiful green leaves.

What happened next really wasn’t my fault. It was Honey’s. Our rooting spells had gone splendidly, but just as I was taking a turn with the growing spell, Honey barked, “Look, Harper, here comes Hairy Pawter and Chase!” I lost my concentration and started to wag just as I cast the spell. Unfortunately, the spell landed on Jewel. The next thing I knew, she had sprouted!

"I felt really bad about accidentally growing a plant on Jewel. At least the leaves were healthy and green."
“I felt really bad about accidentally growing a plant on Jewel. At least the leaves were healthy and green.”

When Professor Bark turned and saw Jewel, she howled, “And who did this?” Honey put her tail between her legs. “I suppose someone wagged while casting?” she continued.

“Yes, Professor,” I admitted.

“You’ll be fine, Jewel. Now off to the veterinary department of the hospital wing for you. They may need to use a muggle artifact to give you a good mowing, but it shouldn’t hurt at all. You’ll be back to yourself in no time.”

“Honey and I will go with you,” I volunteered.

Jewel looked at me like she didn’t know if that was a good idea. I really can’t blame her.

Dogwart’s: Give me the Microphone!


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Small Poodle at Large | Harper B. | Dogwart'sGood news! I talked Coach into letting me be the Quidditch game announcer this school year at Dogwart’s. At first I wanted to be on the team because I love zooming around on my Dogsweep 2000…but once I found out about bludgers, I changed my mind. I told you before, I only like to play games where dogs chase the balls, not the other way around.

Coach also let me keep my Quidditch uniform and team member portrait, since I’m the announcer. I’ve been putting my time on the microphone to good use. When the teams practice, I get to practice announcing. Unfortunately, maybe the power of the microphone did go to my head this morning. I decided to yank Chase and Hairy Pawter’s tails a bit, since they hid their little midnight Hippogriff joy rides from Honey and me. So I’ll tell you what I did: The Gryffindog and Hufflepup teams were out at practice. Chase is the seeker, so he was zooming all over the field with his golden doodle curls blowing in the wind. Hairy Pawter was given the position of beater; he was tailing Chase, trying to keep the bludgers at a distance. That’s when Chase saw the snitch and made a quick maneuver straight into the sky.

“Look at Chase go! He’s got his eyes on the snitch, and isn’t he cute?” I barked into the microphone.

“Harper, keep it professional,” Honey growled softly, “or you’ll get fired.”

“And there is Hairy Pawter, riding his Dogsweep and batting those bludgers away right and left….with his little terrier self!” I added. Honey gave me a look.

And then came the moment I was really waiting for. Chase and Hairy Pawter were screaming across the field. The snitch was flapping its small golden wings, teasing Chase with the promise of a practice victory. “Wow, look at Chase go, and Hairy Pawter right behind him. All of those midnight Hippogriff rides must really be taking their flying speed and dexterity to new levels.”

Well that did it. You’d have thought a dementor-dog had entered the playing field. Chase sputtered and his broom went into a nosedive, Hairy Pawter got distracted and flew right into a Hufflepup, and Coach started blowing her whistle like crazy. It was chaos.

“You’ve done it now,” Honey said to me. I backed away from the microphone. Maybe I had gone a little too far. It wasn’t long before Coach appeared in the announcer’s stands. “Harper, come with me.” And so I followed Coach, but I wasn’t happy about it. I wondered if maybe she was going to confiscate my red cape and broom. Thinking about that possibility made my tail droop between my legs. “Good luck,” barked Honey as she watched me head down the stairs and into the unknown.

A Revelation to be Remedied


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Hippogriffs and Poodles: Friends or Foes?
Hippogriffs and Poodles: Friends or Foes?

Duggles, even with the time turner Headmistress Hermione gave me, I still seem to have trouble keeping up with my California life, all of the Dogwart’s classes and adventures, and the dog blog. Poodle Day in Carmel was exciting, but nothing compared to what’s been happening at Dogwart’s!

Detention with Madam Pooch turned out to be a goldmine. I didn’t really appreciate it when she revealed my double-crush on Chase and Hairy Pawter, but luckily I was the only one there at the time. It makes me shake in my paws to think about what would happen if she did that reading in front of the class. I’m going to try my best to hide behind the big dogs when she looks for a volunteer for class demonstrations.

Anyway, Madam revealed that Chase and Hairy Pawter have been sneaking out at night to take the Hippogriff for a joy ride. And they haven’t told me or Honey a thing about it. I ran back to the Ravenpaw common kennel as fast as I could. I found Honey lying comfortably on a rug in front of the fire, chewing her bone enthusiastically.

“Honey, I’ve got news,” I barked.

Honey looked at me as if trying to decide whether I had something interesting enough to give up her prime bone chewing spot…and perhaps because I’ve been known to steal a bone or two, she may have been assessing whether I was pulling an evasive maneuver. In the end, she must have smelled my excitement, because she followed me to the dog couch.

I licked my nose nervously. “Chase and Hairy Pawter have been sneaking out without us!”

“What?” asked Honey, incredulous. Ever since Hairy Pawter came to Dogwart’s, we four have been practically inseparable. The other Duggles started calling us the Four Dogateers.

“Uh-huh. And you’ll never guess what they’re doing!”

Honey looked at me patiently. “Should I do a water bowl reading to find out?” she asked calmly.

I wasn’t sure if she was being ironic; sometimes it’s hard to tell. So I blurted it out: “They’ve been taking the Hippogriff for a joy ride at midnight!”

Honey looked defeated. “But why wouldn’t they tell us? Do they think we couldn’t handle a Hippogriff?”

I didn’t know how to answer Honey. I wasn’t sure exactly what Chase and Hairy Pawter were up to. But I did know one thing…Honey and I needed to make a plan, and soon. If Chase and Hairy Pawter could have secrets, so could we. And ours was definitely going to involve a Hippogriff, a joy ride, and a little extra surprise for the boys. Don’t tell.

Dogwart’s: Detention with Madam Pooch


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Dogwart's Dogs and Divination professor, Madam Pooch, loves teaching her craft. "All pups have the sixth sense, but in Dogs and Divination class I am able to hone and mold their skills. The sight is a finely tuned instrument."
Dogwart’s Dogs and Divination professor, Madam Pooch, loves teaching her craft. “All pups have the sixth sense, but in Dogs and Divination class I am able to hone and mold their skills. The sight is a finely tuned instrument.”

Duggles, I have been so busy I haven’t been able to keep you posted on Dogwart’s. The latest trouble started when I used a dog fortune cookie in Dogs and Divination class, instead of following instructions to do a water bowl reading. Madam Pooch took it upon herself to give me “extra help” every evening last week. She barked something about escorting me through my clouds of resistance. I don’t know what she was woofing about. I’m just glad I have a time turner, or I would have missed park time with my friends in California.

When I arrived at Madam Pooch’s office for our first session together, I had to adjust my eyes; the light was dim, and it seemed like colored objects were throbbing from every direction. When my vision cleared, I was amazed to see the room was filled with every size, shape and color of water bowl a dog could imagine. All the bowls were lined up on layers of shelves stretching from floor to ceiling, and across three of the four walls. Between each bowl was a carefully placed crystal. Wow and woof, all of the crystals were pulsating lights of varying colors– blues and lavenders, pinks and purples, whites and pastels. It felt like I was stepping inside of a jelly fish, and I began to feel a bit dizzy. Divination seems to have that effect on me. In this light, I could see Madam Pooch’s aura, which was the color of the greenest grass.

The professor gave me a nod and began her lesson. “This evening, I will provide another demonstration of a proper water bowl reading,” announced Madam Pooch as I settled on the woven rug in front of her chair. “I will just stir the bowl for a moment with my muzzle, and see what rises to the surface.” I watched as Madam stirred the water and gazed deeply into the dish. “Well, well, isn’t this interesting?” she commented.

My ears pricked up.

“I see Chase and Hairy Pawter on the field. Harper, you are looking back and forth between them, and there are little red hearts swirling around your head. You seem to have some confusion about your feelings.”

Lucky I have fur, because at this point I’m sure my skin blushed a bright pink.

Madam continued. “Hmmm…breaking the rules I see.”

“Woof?” I asked.

“Don’t break my concentration, dear,” Madam replied sternly. She continued watching the water, then took a gentle sip and looked up. “By the way, it’s fine to drink from the water bowl after you’ve finished a reading. Reconnoitering in the other world makes one thirsty.”

By now, I really wanted to know who was breaking the rules. “That seemed like a most excellent reading, Professor,” I encouraged. I even managed a gentle wag. “Can you explain what you saw?”

“Thank you for noticing my high level of skill, dear. Very astute you are. It seems your friends, Chase and Hairy Pawter, have been sneaking into the Hippogriff’s pen after hours, and taking her for a joyride.”

Hippogriffs and Poodles: Friends or Foes?
Hippogriffs and Poodles: Friends or Foes?

Well, this was a revelation. I imagined Chase and Hairy Pawter soaring through the night sky on the back of the majestic Hippogriff. How could they leave Honey and I out of an adventure like that? This is a situation that will definitely have to be remedied. If any poodle wants to ride a Hippogriff, it’s me. “Yes, that is very interesting. Thank you, Professor,” I said politely. Boy, Chase and Hairy Pawter have some explaining to do. I can’t wait to tell Honey.

Dogwarts: Brooms and Bludgers, Oh My!


Dogwarts header


quidditch coachWe finally had our next Quidditch practice this week with Coach. Us Duggles were practicing sprints on our Dogsweeps when coach strode onto the field with a ball in her mouth. We gathered excitedly, watching closely as she dropped the ball on the ground near her generously sized front paws.

“This is a bludger, pups,” Coach announced. Before we could bark, she continued, “Have respect for the bludger. Know the bludger. Beware the bludger.” She gave off an ominous growl.

Honey tapped my paw to get my attention. As interesting as the coach’s introduction was, I was busy looking back and forth between Chase and Hairy Pawter, who had become best friends. Whenever I was near either of them, I just wanted to wag…so I was holding my tail still by sitting on it.

But Coach doesn’t miss a thing. “Harper, since you seem to be familiar with the bludger, maybe you can tell the class what it does.” Now everyone was looking at me.

“It bounces and we chase it?” I asked hopefully.

“This isn’t the Duggle world! This is Dogwart’s,” Coach woofed. The wrinkles around her muzzle were shaking side to side, accentuating her resemblance to a manatee. “The regulation bludger is made of iron…two bludgers in every match…bewitched to knock Quidditch players off their brooms.” Hairy Pawter looked at Chase. It looked like they were smiling! I wasn’t…I was shaking. That bludger was almost as big as my entire body.

“Who wants to get up on their brooms first, and give us some evasive maneuvers?” Chase raised his paw and hopped onto his Dogsweep 2000. “Keep your eyes out pup!” Coach woofed as Chase began to circle higher above us. Without warning the bludgers took off and began closing in on Chase, one on each side. Chase was flying so fast his golden-doodle ears were blowing like flags in the wind, and he was using his tail for balance. Suddenly the bludgers surrounded him, one on the left, one on the right.

“Evasive maneuver! Lose altitude,” shouted Coach. But before Chase could descend, one of the bludgers knocked him right off his broom. As Chase plummeted, Coach began an incantation which must have worked because Chase’s body was righted and he came to a feather-light landing on all four paws. Everyone was barking and howling and giving the high-five paw.

I’m not ready to play games with bewitched balls, so I might have to have to re-think whether I want to be on the Quidditch team. I’ve always believed the dog should chase the ball, not the other way around. Maybe I’d be happier in the stands…or I could be the announcer! Give me a microphone!


Dogwart’s: Busted by Madam Pooch


Small Poodle at Large | Harper B. | Dog Blog | Dogwart's Header

Dogwart's Dogs and Divination professor, Madam Pooch, gazes into the water bowl as she demonstrates a reading.
Dogwart’s Dogs and Divination professor, Madam Pooch, gazes into the water bowl as she demonstrates a reading.

Dogs, I thought I had come up with a foolproof plan to get out of Dogs and Divination class, but it backfired. D&D takes my attention away from learning to fly and going to Quidditch practice with the other Duggles, plus I don’t like to go digging around in other dogs’ futures. So I made a plan to pretend I don’t have the canine sixth sense, hoping they’d dismiss me from the class.

Anyway, when I discovered the dog fortune cookies I blogged about earlier in the week, I hatched a plan: The next Dogs and Divination class with Madam Pooch, I would pull out a dog fortune cookie instead of doing the assigned water bowl reading. I was sure that kind of dogfoolery would get me kicked out of class. She’s pretty strict.

Having such a great plan, I was excited to go to class. When I arrived in the Divination Room, Madam Pooch was beginning her water bowl reading demonstration. “Remember to soften your gaze, pups…soften…the…gaze.” The Duggles were paired up in front of large blue water bowls watching the professor with interest. Behind Madam Pooch, a small copper pot filled with lavender simmered away in the fireplace. The whole room was becoming thick with steam. My eyelids started drooping, and the next thing I remember the demonstration was over and Madam Pooch barked, “Now get to work, Duggles. Prance into your partner’s future and bring them back something to chew on!”

My partner was Honey. She was surprised when, instead of gazing into the bowl, I handed her a fortune cookie. “Go on,” I barked, “eat it. Your future’s inside.” Honey gulped down the cookie, then spit out the piece of paper. It said, “You would be wise to keep all four paws to the ground for the next three months.” Honey let out a loud yelp, as if a Slytherhound had just nipped her tail. “This is horrible! I won’t be able to fly for the entire term.”

Madam Pooch came running over. “Fur ladies? I heard your distress. You must be on to something!” She couldn’t wait to hear the bad news. When Honey told her about the fortune cookie, Madam looked at me. This was the moment I was hoping for. I would soon be free from Dogs and Divination. Boy was I surprised when Madam Pooch barked, “Harper, you need not be afraid of the water bowl. I think you need some extra training so you can become comfortable dog-paddling in the other world….Please meet me in my office every evening this week after dinner.”

So not only do I still have Dogs and Divination class, but now I have extra sessions with the professor in my future. Doggon’it.

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