In search of ponies: Mother hen not needed

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico For the record, I wasn’t serious when I said I was contemplating chicken ownership. Yet somehow, a couple months later, I am the proud owner of two hens. “Somehow” may not be the most appropriate word, because I know how it happened. They were in jeopardy of being homeless […]

In search of ponies: The vain pain

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Oh he’s a pretty boy, a real stud. Well, actually he’s a stud-no-more since the Doc got a hold of him a couple years ago, but he is a gorgeous hunk of flesh nonetheless. And he knows it. He looks like royalty prancing around with his head high and […]

In search of ponies: Pets don’t leave nest

Sharna Johnson Finally it’s here — Graduation! For the last few months I’ve listened to the buzz from all the kids — as they try to figure out everything from picking a college to arranging the money, getting the prom dress and mailing those announcements — and now it’s here. As happy as I am […]

In search of ponies: Shock value

Sharna Johnson Editor’s note: Sharna Johnson is taking time off. The following is a a column she wrote in November 2007.

In search of ponies: Joining the rat race

Sharna Johnson I had a rat roaming around in my house. Before you get alarmed or too disgusted, he wasn’t the kind found in New York subways or unsavory restaurants, not that that minor detail entirely mitigates the situation, but it helps a little. To the contrary, he was a nutritionally well-balanced, plump, not-so-little morsel […]

In search of ponies: Passengers ride at own peril

Sharna Johnson Only the strong of heart ride with me nowadays. Even still, those brave enough get the disclaimers: • He could run up your leg, if so I’m sorry in advance • Close your purse tight — not that I would mind if he hitched a ride home with you • I can’t guarantee […]

In search of ponies: Residents share neighborhood with fox

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Somebody must have told him it was one of the prime neighborhoods in town. Or maybe he just saw the attributes for himself — after all, who can deny the tranquility of the rolling greens, the shade of wind wisped trees and duck filled ponds. But even in the beauty of the place, he stands […]

In search of ponies: A lot to chirp about

Sharna Johnson While I was waiting for my turn at the feed store counter, I couldn’t help but notice three large bins with heat lamps over top and the rabble of dozens of tweeting babies. Of course (as if there were any doubt) I stooped down to check the little fellows out and was amused […]

In search of ponies: Ooooh, that smell

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer I’ll admit, I was scared Tuesday morning when I saw the black fury mass clinging to a high branch in the tree along my fence-line. You might wonder why I would be afraid of a cornered animal hanging on for dear life in a tree above my antagonist and […]

In search of ponies: Pets natural de-stressors

“My dog saves me a fortune in therapy bills,” a man told me last week. He went on to explain his pup Genesis has heard enough of his problems to more than earn his keep in the year or more since they adopted him. And I have to say it’s got to be working, because […]

In search of ponies: Chickens on wheels merit research

Sharna Johnson Why didn’t the rooster cross the road? I don’t know the answer, but when the call went out over the police scanner this week, you can bet your bottom dollar I grabbed a camera and hurried for the scene. The call that went out came from a sheriff’s deputy who asked dispatch to […]

In Search of Ponies: The name game

I don’t know about anyone else, but after years of having pets it can get a little challenging to come up with original names for them. In fact, I think the names must have started running out when I was a kid. Aside from the brown dog named Brownie, we had a succession of shepherd-type […]

In search of ponies: Dogs have habit of running away

Sharna Johnson Why do they do it? I mean, come on. We’re nice to them, we give them treats, food, a warm spot to sleep and affection. So what is it that compels a dog to charge out the door like the devil’s after him? I found myself pondering this on the heels of learning […]

In Search of Ponies: ‘You go Gilligan’

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Yeah, he likes the turtle neck… and the cardigan too. And the brighter the color, the bouncier his step. Poor Gilligan, yes, I’m outing him. I’d like to think he just appreciates the extra warmth, but it’s pretty obvious it’s not that simple. And no, I don’t think it […]

In search of ponies: Big freeze brings pet care lessons

Sharna Johnson Earlier this week, while heading out the door for work, I noticed a frenzy of bird activity on my back porch. The flock was centered around the dogs’ bowls of half-eaten food, abandoned when they gladly traded their 20-below breakfast time for the warmth of their kennels inside. I noticed one of the […]

In search of ponies: Good to be in the middle of the penguin pack

Sharna Johnson “Did you know penguins push one of their own into the water to see if it’s safe?” I asked a teen. We were discussing social angst among teenagers and the evolutions he has been through in recent years. “No,” he answered, a smile forming on his face as if he knew where I […]

In search of ponies: Barn smells become comforting

Sharna Johnson It was a wafting, almost ambient kind of odor. Sniff sniff sniff… “Urine… stale urine,” I identified, looking around and dismissing it, figuring there was a dirty baby diaper somewhere in the restaurant. The next time we ate at that restaurant weeks later, we were seated in the same booth. It was faint […]

In search of ponies: Bin full of not-so-useful pet gadgets

Sharna Johnson There’s a plastic bin on the shelf over my washer and dryer that mocks me like some kind of impulse cemetery. Inside the bin is a mess of “What was I thinking?” pet accessories. A couple weeks ago I was hunting for the shock collar for a dog vs. horse issue and was […]

In Search of Ponies: Transferable protective disorder

I expected barking when I knocked. And I wasn’t surprised to see his nose help push the door open. What did catch me a little off guard was when the snarling continued, even after he saw it was me. “Hey Rusty,” I said, thinking perhaps he needed to hear my voice, but his lip still […]

In Search of Ponies: Allergies call for compromise

Sharna Johnson Sneezing, wheezing, struggling for air with itching and puffy red eyes, my son’s friend sat in the living room on the ottoman, his shoulders hunched, his physique conveying sheer misery. Not knowing what to do, I asked if he needed some Benadryl. “No,” he said, trying to tough it out. “Should I call […]