Chalk’s Diaries

Chalk’s Diaries

October 2016

Dear Members and Guests,

While making my regular grounds and gardens patrols, I observed, to the relief of all animals and people, that our major construction projects are now completed. It is so quiet and pretty outside. There are many places for people to languish around in the cool shade. You won’t be able to walk around in the plants like my daughter Belle and I do, but there are plastic signs that have words about the plants. We don’t read what they say, but for us they are good for sniffing and other things of importance to us dogs.

Belle loves to chase the butterflies, something I used to do as a puppy. We both enjoy just watching all the hummingbirds, but they are too small for us bird dogs.

We had a big event here on the 10th of September. My Dad kept chasing around all over the place like me and Belle pursuing a ball. He did a lot of things, and I followed his every step while tents were being put up and chairs and tables arranged, which are good places for a quiet nap and out of the way of all those people carrying food and flowers.

Anyway, a lot of people came. I can’t count much past three, but I heard the word “hundreds,” and those people sure filled up the Conservatory. It had lots of beautiful-smelling flowers, and the dance floor was covered with tables.

That said, the word “gala” was heard over and over. I am not sure what that is, but the beef tenderloin was the best I have eaten in my past nine years. It was the first time I have eaten green chili grits. Belle got her picture taken with a person named Lyle, who made noise on a wooden box and who everybody wanted to be with. Everyone laughed a lot and seemed happy. I hope they do this again because it was a wonderful dogs’ day.

I want to thank all our volunteers who were present. I see them when I am at the Museum, and they are so wonderful to me and Belle. They pat us and give us treats. The guests follow them from room to room, and they keep saying things that the guests like. Everybody smiles and thanks them for all they do. We want them to get our special licks of appreciation.

The word’s out that new levels of membership are now available. Please pick one and join—we need to have y’all come! I so enjoy getting your tummy rubs, and Belle is learning how to greet you. We also love to play with the children.

Finally, I want to tell you about some special ladies that I visit who work here, Wardah and Melinda. They do something to see that you get my letters and make a website that everyone is saying is benefiting from all they are doing since they took over. Also, Wardah designs our printed cards and invitations. They laugh all the time, and I just like to lay around their office because it is such a happy place. I call them the “Laughing Warlindas.” My paws are too big for typing them notes but maybe you could.

Happy paws to you!


 January 2017

For those who may not know, I was not born to keep an eye on museums. I was raised and trained to flush and retrieve birds. This is my favorite time of the year because I get to do what I love most: hunt wild birds like ducks, pheasant, quail, and doves. So you may not see much of me around the Museum until the end of February. I must say this is my tenth year and both me and my Dad are slowing a bit, but for us, getting out in the field is still exciting stuff. We can’t always do what we did in the past, but we still have the memories of having done it.

I also noticed that there are fewer people here. I think maybe you all are also in the field chasing birds, but if not, you need to come here. The yard is still green, and there are some bright winter flowers here and there to enjoy. There are still plenty of birds around that do not interest us bird dogs, but my daughter Belle loves to chase after all the butterflies.

The winter days here are wonderful. Sometimes it can get cold, but mostly the weather is balmy and nice. The entire island seems quiet and not crowded. As always, everyone is friendly. At least all of them are nice to me and Belle.

There are some changes about to happen. You may ask how I know. That is because I spend a lot of my best sleeping moments on the rug by our curator, Nathan. I know about a hundred words, and he repeats a lot of the same words our previous curator, Andrew, used: “exhibit,” “put up,” “take down.” He also goes in the exhibit room and just stares like a bird dog on point. I think he is looking to take things out and put new things in their place. What is going on there I don’t know, but check our website. I bet I sniffed this one out.

Something else is different here than just the weather. We have put lights on the trees and bushes outside. There is even a tree inside that sparkles and has lots of lights. Somebody put boxes around it with pretty ribbons that Belle and I like to play with.

The visitors that are coming all say the same thing: it’s either “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Belle and I don’t know the difference. My dog dad, who could have advised me about these expressions, passed away two years ago so what I want to say to all of you to make sure I don’t leave anyone out is …

Happy Howling Days and A Big Barking Christmas!


April 2017

Spring Break finally arrived. This is my favorite time at the Museum. There are a lot of people and many children who love to pet me, which is one of the things I enjoy the most.

Also, the plants outside are starting to get things with color on them. They are called flowers, and some smell sweet. You can’t eat them, as I had to teach my daughter Belle, but they are good to stick your nose in.

In my last letter, I told you I was pretty certain our curator, Nathan, was putting up a new exhibit. I was correct in sniffing this one out, though it was more my keen sight that put me in the know. I am not sure exactly how to explain the exhibits, but the visitors spend a lot of time looking and talking about all that’s on display. It has something to do with mosquitoes. They are not here anymore, but these nasty fellows gave you something called yellow fever. It made you sick, but I stopped worrying because no one has ever heard of dogs getting it. Also, part of the exhibit is about all the people who immigrated to Galveston. I think that means they came here on a boat or train, and from the pictures there must have been many of them–old people, young people, and kids. All had on funny clothes, which I have never seen any of you Museum visitors wearing. Maybe they bought new beach outfits once they got here.

I had a nice winter. I went on the train with my Dad to the Gage Hotel. The train ride is nice, but the way it rattles makes me nervous, although Dad did not seem to mind. I got to hunt birds, and that is what I was born to do. I got back here in February and went to a lot of nice events, one for UTMB. They thank people that help them get bigger and better.

Many of our visitors in the winter are called snowbirds. I can’t figure out that name. There is no snow here in Galveston, and I have not seen or smelled any birds in the Museum. There are a lot of nice older people that visit us in the winter, but if they were carrying birds with them, I would know.

We have wine outside on the first Thursday of every month, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a good way to get a cracker or two, even a piece of cheese if you sit and stare long enough. Also, La Sirena, our wine bar inside, is now open and serves coffee, beer, and wine.

The room where ladies used to put those sacks they all seem to carry to the Museum is now a visiting parlor with a nice library of books, a soft rug to lay on, and smelly leather chairs to rest in.

There are always new things happening at The Bryan. Please come by and ask for me.

I hope to smell you soon!


July 2017

I have been spending much time lately watching how they are removing bushes and putting in new plants. They say this is for the summer season and they will add a lot of color, but this most certainly makes my life, and that of my daughter, Belle, far more difficult. Those plants that I regularly approach on my daily visits are suddenly disappearing. They are replaced by some that smell good, but they are too small to use for our outdoor excursions.

There are many events here and, almost every weekend, what they say is a wedding. I do not know what that is for sure, but we are having more of them all the time and they are fun to watch. The people all look and smell nice, especially the ladies; a few even cover up in fancy white towels, bigger than those they use to dry me and Belle after we play on the beach. Most people just sit in chairs as nice music begins and a few young girls and boys walk up to the beautiful gazebo, where someone tells them how to talk to each other. Then everyone claps as they run out, I guess to be the first to get over to our Conservatory and eat. Also, we just had a big show in the Conservatory, which had something to do with the wedding thing.

They put a lot of tables in the place with things on top that you use for weddings. Many people and lots of pretty ladies were there talking about getting married. Neither Belle nor I know what that is, but it must have something to do with flowers and food. Peter and Richard kept running back and forth, talking to what they called future brides, about how many of them loved the grounds and the Conservatory. We do also, but we never said a thing. We just got a lot of pets and smiled at all the pretty guests.

We have some new things for the kids, which makes me happy because I love the kids and they like me. We are having two camps for them this summer, and Belle’s mom, Jamie, is addressing a new exhibit just for the kids. I am not sure, but Belle said her mom was talking about a boat with a pirate named Jean and a lady named Jane. I will continue sniffing this one out.

We know there is a lot said about the hot weather in Texas in the summer, but you know Galveston is cooler than many locations. There is always a nice breeze, and you just need to stay in the shade, like I do. The Museum is really cool inside, and there is a lot of shade in the gardens. Please come for a summer visit. The Museum is one of the coolest places in Texas, both inside and out.

I hope to smell you soon!



October 2017

This has been a stressful time for all of us animals on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I hope no one ever names their dog Harvey.

I have a concern to share with you. Many pets are suffering in Houston and the surrounding communities. Owners have had to leave thousands of them behind.

I told my dad we had to help. He said that the Bryan Museum will sponsor a Pet Rescue Mission in the name of the Museum’s mascots (Beatrice, Belle, and me) that will direct aid to organizations doing exemplary work on behalf of distraught pets.

My dad and family will match up to $25,000 in donations. Anyone giving $500 or more will get their pet’s name placed on a plaque in the Bryan Museum Garden. Any gift, regardless of size, will be acknowledged in our quarterly publication for a year.

I am barking for your generous and compassionate support.


January 2018

I hope you all had a Christmas that permitted you many snacks and treats. It’s good to have a lot of people around. The best part is when they give their treats to me!

I had a great time at our Holiday Delights. Lots of nice little children and ladies said I was a handsome dog. The men wanted to know if I was a bird dog, well let’s be certain I am no cow dog. Everyone took lots of photos with me, I think almost as many as they took with Santa Claus.

We now are having a farmer’s market. Lots of people brought their dogs and I showed them around the Museum grounds. We exchanged many up-close sniffs and had a good time.

This is a good time to visit the Museum. There are not as many guests and you can take a lot of time learning about all the wonderful history and the kids can play around on the ground floor.

I think there will be many great things to enjoy at the Museum next year. Until then, I hope you all have a dog-friend to snuggle close on these cold winter days.