Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where's the Love?

I am sure some of you remember when Daddy used to call me, "The One Who Loves Me" (meaning him).  I used to hold a place of honor in this house.  I was known as the wild child, the baby of the family, the sweet girl . . . but no longer.

I think Jenna has taken my place in Daddy's heart! 
  • Daddy says Jenna follows him around, but is polite enough to give him his space.  I, on the other paw, like to be where he is, but I like to place my head in his lap.  This allows him to know how much I love him and allows me to be rubbed behind the ears at the same time.   What could be wrong with that?  It's a win-win for both of us. 
  • Daddy says Jenna is more like him: stubborn, ambitious, free-spirited.  I am a bit more reserved, more polite like my Southern name (please note, I did NOT say more like Mommy!). 
  • When my parents eat at the coffee table (which they do frequently since they don't have to set a good example for any human children), I hang back and let them eat.  I sometimes even lounge on the love seat and watch them from afar.  Jenna, on the other paw, rests her head on Mommy's knee and waits eagerly for anything that may fall her way (it rarely does). 
  • When I take my rightful place on the love seat in the evenings (the one I have held for the past two years) and mind my own business, Jenna jumps right up on top of me and stretches out.  She has no sense of boundaries (as stated earlier by my brother).  What makes her think it's okay for her to stretch out on top me? 
I've been trying to give Jenna the evil eye, but it doesn't always work.  She likes to stare me down.  I think she's making a move on my toys, but my parents assure me she isn't.  To be on the safe side, I keep my toys as close as possible to me, often times in my mouth. 

Here comes Daddy now.  He just gave me a big hug and kiss.  He does love me!  But here comes Jenna . . . hmmpf!

Wags and Kisses,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Now I Get It . . .

This weekend marks the six month anniversary of Jenna's arrival to our house.   I think I have finally figured out why Jenna didn't make the cut for Canine Partners for Life.  Don't get me wrong, Jenna is a wonderful, beautiful, loveable dog, but she also . . .
  • licks the Windex when Mommy tries to clean the sliding door
  • eats the grape tomatoes right off the vine (green or red)
  • doesn't know her own strength and thinks she's a lap dog
  • sits under Mommy's feet while Mommy scrapbooks, waiting and hoping for a piece of paper to drop
  • eats the birdseed that is dropped on its way from its storage container to the bird feeder
  • eats the grapes growing on the grapevine in the backyard (Sensing a food theme??)
  • almost broke Mommy's nose
  • has no sense of personal space or boundaries
  • runs off with the toilet paper
  • eats the cardboard roll when all the toilet paper is gone
  • throws up the cardboard roll three days later

On the other hand, she is a good addition to our home because she is:
  • able to potty on command (unlike Dixie who takes forever)
  • a shadow to Mommy
  • a cuddle bug
  • a playmate to Dixie (since I can't keep up with either of them)
  • a distraction to Dixie which keeps Dixie from bothering me
  • smart enough to know she'd better defer to my authority as the oldest four legged member of the family
  • a sweet, loving puppy
Welcome Home, Sweet Jenna!

Love, Hunter

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire Extinguisher?

This morning we wanted to surprise our parents with breakfast.  They've been so good to us lately (Daddy's been trying to make it up to Hunter after this week's "forgotten" incident).  First, we thawed out sausage and fried up sausage patties; we don't like links because they look too much like little doggies.  We then retrieved the bread, milk, and eggs from the fridge to make one of their favorites: French toast!  Yum! 

Everything was going as planned until we kind of overcooked the sausage and the pan was a bit black.  The sausage was still edible and you can trust us on that one; we have a very discerning palate.  We've seen our parents de-glaze the pan with wine before, and it looked so easy when they did it.  When we poured the wine in, the pan must have been even hotter than usual or the wine was more potent than usual because chaos ensued!  The pan went up in flames!  It was ruff work putting the flames out and not burning down the house.  It was so smoky in the house that the smoke detector went off downstairs AND upstairs! 

We don't think we've ever heard the smoke detector in this house.   Hunter says he has experience with the smoke detector from the apartment in Delaware where he lived with Mommy and Daddy while shopping for this house.  That smoke detector was quite sensitive and went off at the drop of oil into the pan! 

There was no breakfast surprise for our parents after that.  They ran around fanning the smoke detectors (our tails wouldn't reach that high) and opening windows.  It took a while to clear it all out.  We think the burn smell might still be lingering.  Either that, or our nose hairs were singed in the process!  You will probably be surprised to know that breakfast continued on smoothly after that.  The French toast still tasted yummy! 

Paws Script: No actual fire extinguishers were involved in the making of breakfast!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Outside Looking In

I have had quite an interesting day.  In my seventy human years, I have NEVER stayed outside all day without the presence of my parents.  I say seventy years in the hopes that maybe Daddy will feel guilty.  Yes, I know I am technically a dog, but seriously, am I expected to act like one too?  [Hummpf]

Daddy went to work today and left me OUTSIDE!!!!  O-U-T-S-I-D-E!!!!!!  All by myself!!!!!  Mommy was shocked when she drove up this evening, and I ran up to the fence to greet her.  She had recently gotten off the phone with Daddy, so she knew he wasn't home yet.  She couldn't believe her eyes!

At first I was traumatized by my predicament.  How could Daddy just drive off and leave me outside?  He didn't even call for me to come in.  Just drove off!  To say Daddy has been working long hours is the understatement of the century.  Mommy has barely seen him during the last three weeks.  I guess an overworked brain and lack of sleep can account for the mental lapse which resulted in my neglect.  I think my sisters were traumatized too.  From my unfortunate location I could see Jenna through the sliding door.  I was locked outside, and she was locked in her crate.  I thought for sure Jenna would discover a way to escape her crate and come to my rescue.  My hopes were a bit too high.  Instead, Jenna began to bark.  That set Dixie off inside of her crate around the corner.  Poor Dixie didn't have a clue what the real problem was, but she felt the need to support her sister's cry for help.  Too bad no one was around to hear . . .

Do you know what goes on outside of our house during the day?  I had no idea I lived in such a hot spot.  School buses came and went. The trash guys came and went. The mailman came and went. Not to mention UPS, Fed Ex, and several neighbors. They kept me busy running around and barking. I had to be a lean, mean, stay-away-from-my-house machine all day. It was exhausting.

Daddy is lucky I didn't take off for greener pastures.  How would he have explained that to Mommy?  Who am I kidding?  There is no greener pasture than my own back yard, and there is no way I could make it over the fence with my two bad knees!  There was also the possibility that someone may have seen a handsome chocolate lab and want me for their very own. 

When it became all too clear that I was OUTSIDE for the day, I decided to make the best of a bad situation.  I chased birds and squirrels as much as I wanted.  I enjoyed the great weather and temperature of a mild 75 degrees!  (Thankfully this mental lapse of Daddy's didn't happen two days ago when we had torrential rain all day!)  I thought about picking grapes so my parents could make more jelly, but that seems to be more Jenna's gig.  I also relaxed on the outdoor doggie bed without any interference from Dixie or Jenna.  Ahhh . . . what a great life I have!  Birds chirping, bees buzzing, nice cool breezes.  Maybe Daddy had an ulterior motive?  Maybe this was his way of treating me to a spa day with no girls allowed? 

Naaah . . . he FORGOT about me!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where's Grandaddy?

Dixie: Where's Grandaddy?

Jenna: Who's Grandaddy?

Dixie: You know him. He was here in April. Right after Mommy and Daddy brought YOU home. I'm amazed I can remember his last visit because I was still so traumatized by your arrival.

Hunter: I always remember Grandaddy. He is the one who taught me how to go up and down the stairs in our Minnesota house. He gave me CHEESE for encouragement.  He also fed me BACON from the table!  Mommy just about killed him!  I had no idea what table scraps were until that moment.  I had only been with Mommy and Daddy for a week at the time, and I was already learning bad manners.  Ahhh . . . those were the good 'ole days!

Dixie: He gave you CHEESE and BACON?  I don't think he's ever given me any food.

Jenna: Food?  What food?

Hunter: He probably hasn't given you any food because Mommy threatened him with his life.  She came close to carrying out her threat a few years ago. 

Jenna: Not my Mommy!  She is such a sweetie.

Hunter: You know that rubber tire you two like to play with up and down the hallway?  Mommy was trying to throw that for me one evening while Grandaddy and Mimi were visiting.  Poor Mommy.  She really can't throw.  She sailed that tire up into the air, over the deck umbrella, and right down onto Grandaddy's head!  Mommy just about died from embarrassment and horror!  Grandaddy has NOT forgotten this unfortunate incident. 

Jenna:  Mommy did THAT?  I'm sure she didn't mean to.

Dixie: Never mind the tire.  Where's Grandaddy?  I thought he was in town, but I haven't seen him.

Hunter: He was in town, but he's gone now.  He was here for a business meeting and had dinner with Mommy and Daddy last night. 

Jenna: Food?  He brought food with him, and he didn't see me?

Hunter: No, Jenna.  He took Mommy and Daddy out to eat.  Don't you remember you had a couple extra hours in the crate last night?  If you weren't in the crate, you might have found some of that food around the house you are always looking for.  You know, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues . . . maybe a bear skin rug!

Dixie: So why didn't Grandaddy come see us?

Hunter: He had some other men with him. 

Jenna: Did they have food?

Hunter: No, Jenna, they didn't have food either!  They were all here on a quick business trip.  The trip is over and they have all gone home now.

Jenna:  But I didn't get any cheese or bacon out of it!

Hunter: But you did have Daddy's doggie bag from dinner last night.  Don't you remember Mommy gave us a little extra treat in our dinner bowls tonight?  That bite of steak was thanks to Grandaddy.

Dixie: Oh.  Well, I might have to write him a thank you note.

Jenna:  Yummmmm!  Thanks Grandaddy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012




We're all dressed up and ready for the game.
Thanks, Aunt Holly, for our UGA collars!  Woof!  Woof!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Partners in Crime

It's official.  I have accepted Jenna into our home as a part of our family.  I know she has been with us for almost six months, but I have a new reason to like her.  She is now my partner in crime! 

To fully understand our new partnership, you need to have some background information.  I have always loved eating paper.  If my parents had human children and those children ever told their teachers their dog ate their homework, it would be TRUE!  I have snatched up napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper.  I have even nibbled on Mommy's students' papers.  Once Mommy come home to find toilet paper stretched from one end of the house to the other, but that was years ago when we lived in Minnesota.  My all-time favorite paper snack is facial tissue.  The snottier, the better!  I know that sounds gross, but it's true.  My great-grandmother used to say I must have some sort of vitamin deficiency since I am always racing to grab tissues when I hear noses blowing. 

My paper eating habit has fluctuated over the past few years.  In general, the older I became, the less paper I ate.  Mommy also made more of an effort to control my paper eating tendencies a couple years ago when my cousin Harley became impacted after eating an entire roll of toilet paper.  Thankfully, that hasn't happened to me . . . yet!  Once Dixie came onto the scene, I resumed my paper eating habit a tiny bit.  Paper has become even tastier and more important since Jenna's arrival.  You might think I am compensating for a lack of attention paid to me.  I don't think so.  I just know how much puppies like paper, and I don't want to be left out!

There is one more tiny detail you need to know in order to understand how Jenna finally became accepted into the family.  I am ashamed to admit that I have trouble forcing myself to walk across floors that aren't carpeted.  I don't like tile, linoleum, or hard wood flooring.  I will cross the great divide if I must, but I rarely find a sufficient reason to make the move.  Even the promise of food rarely inspires me to take such a risk.  This fear of mine presents a problem when it comes to toilet paper as none of our bathrooms are carpeted.  This blemish on my otherwise perfect record is why I have enlisted Jenna's help. 

Jenna has become my tag team partner in the battle of the toilet paper!  I allow Jenna to make her way into the master bathroom and attempt to pull the toilet paper straight from the roll hanging on the wall.  She has a hard time pulling it that far because of its location in the bathroom, but she does her best.  The pieces she brings into the bedroom are for us to share.  Jenna doesn't seem to eat as much paper as I do.  I think she is much more into the adventure than the outcome.  Although she normally eats anything coming or going past her mouth, she seems to like playing with the paper more than eating it.

For now, my partner and I will settle for toilet paper.  Perhaps one day soon we'll make our move on the fridge . . .


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grape Expectations

Today was a GRAPE day!  I mean great day.  Daddy finally convinced Mommy to make an attempt at canning grape jelly from the Concord grapes growing along the fence (yep, the same ones I like to nibble/gorge on).  Mommy was a little (a lot) nervous about this canning business.   
Be sure to look closely at that tee shirt!
I still can't believe my parents didn't allow me or my siblings to go out to the grape vine with them.  We had to watch from inside as they cut the grapes off the vine.  I am sure I could have been a big help taking those grapes off the vine.  I'm not sure how many would have made it into the bucket, but I didn't even get a chance to try!  I guess it was probably for the best since Daddy had to fight off hornets in the process!  One day while I was helping myself to the grapes, I was stung by a bee.  It was no fun. 

By the way, Mommy has mentioned my love of grapes to the doctor since grapes are supposed to be toxic to dogs.  Doc Stoneback has decided they probably aren't as dangerous as store bought grapes since we grow them ourselves and use absolutely no chemicals on them, not even fertilizer (Daddy isn't sure if anything could kill this vine!).  Their "organic" quality seems to be fine for me so far . . . cross your paws.

Jelly making was quite a learning process for them both.  Mommy and Daddy picked seven pounds of grapes from the vine.  I hear they left quite a few grapes out there, but I haven't had the chance to taste for myself.  Seven pounds of grapes makes about TWELVE pints of jelly!  Those twelve pints are divided into many quarter pint and half pint jars.  Mommy doesn't even really care for grape jelly.  She is more of a strawberry jelly person.  (There was no chance of strawberry jelly being canned; I ate each and every individual strawberry that slowly popped up this summer.)  And in my five months here, I think my parents have eaten jelly on a biscuit once.  What are they going to do with all of that purple stuff?  

Lending a helping paw to Mommy as she stresses out over the directions.

She might be losing it . . . Hunter doesn't seem too concerned.
The first batch of jelly set very quickly and Mommy was thrilled with her efforts.  Daddy was quite an integral part of the process and did the heavy lifting since Mommy is still having trouble with tendonitis. 

Daddy strains the grapes.
The second batch was dubbed non-alcoholic wine for quite a few hours after it was made.  The "wine" finally decided it wanted to become jelly and starting setting.  Even if the second batch doesn't become as thick as Mommy wants it to be, I am sure there are a few mouths around here that would be happy to enjoy it no matter what!  Throw a biscuit in with it and we will have a little slice of heaven on earth!
The second batch before it goes into the water bath.
I know some of you out there have canned many goodies over the years, but this was a GRAPE accomplishment for Mommy today.  High paws, Mommy!

Love, Jenna

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Altitude vs. Attitude

Do you ever wish you were taller?  Boy, I sure do.  Mommy says there are many days when she wishes she was taller, but she comes from a long line of fellow shorties.  Actually, she says Poppa's parents were of average to tall height, so she isn't sure what happened to him.  That tall gene was lost somewhere along the line. 

Hunter stands about a foot taller than Dixie and I do.  Why is he so lucky?  Maybe it's because he is a Minnesota dog.  I hear they grow everything big and strong in the mid-west.  Our breeder Margaret strives to make sure her dogs fall within the AKC Labrador guidelines.  That is why Dixie and I aren't as tall as we might wish.  So that means Hunter is the one with the problem and not us, right?  Oh well.  No matter which of us is perfect (and I am super close), I could only improve if I grew a few inches taller. 

The first reason I would like to be taller is so I can reach all of those goodies Mommy keeps on the kitchen counter.  Have you seen the good food that sits up there?  And on top of the stove too?  My stomach aches just thinking about it.  Yummmmmm.  Mommy caught me three nights ago standing on my hind legs with my front paws up on the counter straining to reach a plate of nachos.  If she had just stayed in the laundry room ten seconds more those nachos would have been mine!  My tongue was just a fraction away from a cheesy heaven it has only imagined.  The worst part was trying to act remorseful as she fussed at me.  How could I be sorry when those smells were still teasing my nose?

If I were just a tid bit taller, I could REALLY reach my head into the dog food can and help myself!  We use a big aluminum trash can to store all of our food.  I am already at a decent height to do this, but I have to be quick.  Mommy generally gives me the command to sit and stay before she dishes up our breakfast and dinner.  For some reason, Hunter and Dixie are content to wait for their bowls at the "table" where Mommy places them.  Don't they get it?  If they would just join me in the laundry room, we could all band together and help ourselves to even MORE food!  I generally sit nicely while Mommy scoops out the food, but every once in a while I sense she is distracted.  That's when I make my move.  I rush head first into the can and and grab as much as my big mouth can handle.  Again, Mommy fusses and again, I try to look sorry, but I don't think I'm fooling her.  She gets even with me; she puts some of the food already in my bowl back into the can.  I guess I have to keep up with my supermodel figure no matter what!

I guess until I can grow taller, I'll just have to pretend I am Supergirl, Canine Goddess of the World.  After all, I can leap sofa arms in a single bound!  No, you don't need to remind me of that unfortunate nose incident.  Mommy practically looks like herself again and it doesn't hurt that bad anymore . . . that's what she tells me anyway!

Off to save the world!
Canine Goddess

Monday, September 3, 2012


Happy Labor Day!  We have spent most of the holiday weekend alone with Daddy!  Mommy flew to North Carolina to surprise Grandma Jane for her 65th birthday (that is seriously old in dawg years).  Only Uncle Jeff and Aunt Kelly knew about the surprise.  Uncle Jeff picked Mommy up from the airport, and she stayed with his family for the first night.  Cousin Caroline was excited to see Mommy because it meant that Mommy would be able to attend her birthday party for the first time!  (Grandma and Caroline share the same birthday!)   Mommy surprised Grandma the next morning at her office.  Grandma says she has never been so stunned before and that it was the best birthday EVER!

Mommy and Uncle Jeff had quite the surprise this weekend too!  Caroline received a trampoline for her sixth birthday and everyone (except Grandma Jane with her broken foot) enjoyed it.  But the one who enjoyed it the most was Poppa!!!!!  He kept asking Caroline if he could jump and she kept telling him no.  He finally pulled off his shoes and hopped on anyway.  Mommy said she and Uncle Jeff were shocked to see Poppa jumping up and down on the trampoline.  He had quite a few moves and said he used to be able to do flips in his younger days.  He also told the story of how the coach in college gave him the nickname FISH because of his daring flops on the trampoline in gym class!  I am terribly disappointed we missed this big event.  If he is still able to walk after all of that jumping, maybe he'll do a repeat performance for us at Christmas?

In the meantime, we were home with Daddy.  I am happy to report there were no accidents or incidents in or out of the house the whole weekend!  Both parents were quite relieved.  Daddy worked nights this weekend and will probably continue to do so for the next week or two.  Wawa (THE convenience store of choice here and the whole reason we live in this neck of the woods) has decided to let Daddy's company handle a new section of the business.  This is a major project and has had Daddy hopping (without the benefit of a trampoline) for the last few months.   Daddy's new schedule actually worked out quite well while Mommy was out of town.  He was home during the day when we were awake, and he worked at night while we were sleeping. 

Last night Daddy and the rest of the teammates went live with the new operation.  Poor thing, he worked sixteen hours straight!  We were surprised last night when the door opened and it was Mommy that appeared and not Daddy.  She even took us out to play last night in the dark.  She said she had an ulterior motive, to run off some of our energy, but I know it's really because she loves us so much and missed us!  We were able to snuggle up in bed last night with her.  Jenna took one side, and I took the other.  We offered a spot on the bed to Hunter, but he just grunted and ignored us.  I think he prefers it when he has Mommy to himself.  Oh well, that's more love for me!

We hope you have a safe and carefree Labor Day!
Dixie Doodle