Saturday, August 31, 2013

Last of the Summer Babies

This weekend technically marks the end of summer.  In our family, it is also the last of the summer birthdays.  We want to wish Grandma and Cousin Caroline a very happy birthday!!!
Not a great picture, but a move taught to them both by Mommy!

Caroline celebrated with a birthday party this morning at Claire's accessory shop in the local mall where she and a dozen friends had their nails and make-up done, participated in a fashion show and enjoyed birthday cake in the shape of a bottle of nail polish! 

Grandma will celebrate tonight with a family dinner out on the town followed by carrot cake at the house.

We can't tell you how old they are because ladies never reveal their secrets!  We hope they both had a great day! 

We love you!
Hunter, Dixie, and Jenna

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Neighbor Mike

We love to run to the fence and harass anyone who walks or jogs by the house.  I'm sure we've scared a few people over the years with our enthusiasm.  We definitely live up to the adage that our bark's worse than our bite.  They probably think we're going to come right over the top of the fence to get to them, but that won't happen.  At least, Jenna hasn't tried to do so yet.  She sometimes gets pretty excited if she knows the person on the other side and jumps pretty darn high, but so far so good!  I secretly fear it's only a matter of time.  Cross your paws that never happens!

Jenna becomes super excited (as do the rest of us) when our neighbor Mike comes by the fence.  He calls himself the "crazy old man in the woods," but we know him as the wonderful guy who gives us treats!!!  Mike has two dawgs of his own, Buster and Cole.  Buster used to be able to jump over our fence and come in and play whenever he wanted.  Buster is about a month older than I am.  As we've aged, we've both slowed down, so there is no more fence jumping.  Cole was only adopted in the last couple of years, so he is still a bit shy around our gang (I'm sure the three of us can be a little intimidating sometimes). 

For the past few months (maybe longer), Mike has begun carrying treats in his shirt pocket.  When we greet him at the fence, he doles out a few to each of us.  Yummmmm!!!!!!   Mike has to have really good aim with his throws or Jenna scarfs them all up before Dixie and I even have a chance to enjoy ours.  We LOVE having Mike visit.  Hopefully he doesn't think we just use him and abuse him for his treats.  I'm sure that's what Jenna is doing, but not me.  Dixie also loves having another pair of hands around to throw the tennis ball for her.  I loved having Mike visit long before he gave me treats.  He's a great buddy to have around.

Check out all five of us sitting on command (for a treat of course!).

We all need a Mike in our neighborhood, don't you think?

Wags and Treats,

PS:  No, your eyes aren't going bad.  That first photo is an animated version of several others put together.  Let us know if you like it!

PS2:  Don't you like my parents' way of keeping the grass down at the fence: Round Up!  Looks icky, but works like a charm!  Oh, and these photos were taken with the iPhone . . . not the best looks for any of us!

Monday, August 26, 2013

National Dawg Day

It's National Dawg Day!!! 

This is a real  holiday, not one made up by me or Mommy.  Mommy says she definitely wouldn't have chosen the official first day of school as a day to celebrate her canine children.  I think we should start a petition to make this day a bank holiday so everyone can stay home and enjoy it with their dawgs.  If you follow our link to the official website celebrating National Dawg Day, you can find a list of fifty suggested ways to celebrate the day.  Some of the ways are a little out there, such as creating a Facebook page for your dawg so he can share pictures with family and friends.  Who ever heard of such craziness??   The thought of a dawg with a Facebook page makes me snicker. 

Other suggestions include buying a designer crate to match your home d├ęcor.  Mommy so wishes she could do this for us.  She would prefer to be rid of our crates totally, but we truly like to spend time in them.  They're our safe zone.  I'm sure Daddy would think she was crazy (-er) if she tried to camouflage the crates as furniture or started decorating them with designer fabric.   I don't think Mommy is going to follow the suggestion to buy herself and us matching tee shirts either, although the four of us sure would look cute.  Perhaps one of the best suggested ways to spend the holiday (besides throwing a party and inviting all of your doggie friends) is to donate time and/or supplies to your local animal shelters.  There are so many dawgs that don't have it nearly as good as we do.  And I would know since I went through a couple different places before finding my furever home. 

In honor of such a special day, we had a photo shoot to try to capture all three of us in one terrific shot . . . results are mixed and you must remember Mommy is not a professional (photographer or dawg trainer).  A photo shoot is actually on the list of ways to celebrate, along with having an artist paint your pet's portrait.  Grandma already had a sketch of us made for Mommy's birthday, so we can check off both of these suggested ideas.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Apparently I make funny faces at the camera. 
You can count on Hunter to do what is expected!  He hardly changes in these pictures.
This one is good, but it could be better if Mommy hadn't cut off Dixie's tail. 
Of course, Dixie should have cooperated and aligned herself with the rest of us!

Dixie will let you know when the photo shoot is over.  She's had enough! 
So how are you spending this wonderful holiday?  

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Hairy Situation

It's been a nice long summer around here, but of course it can never be long enough.  At the start of the summer I was shedding like crazy.  Mommy says I shed more than my brother and sister put together.  Unfortunately, she's right.  I have no idea why I'm so hairy, but I am.  Compared to me and Dixie, Hunter has hardly ever shed any hair.  He's not one to leave hairs behind on the furniture or clothing.  He generally only loses hair when Mommy brushes him.  When Dixie came into my parents' lives, her hair was a rude awakening to them.  Mommy feels like she is sucking up a tiny version of Dixie when she vacuums behind Dixie's crate.  When I came onto the scene, the quality of housekeeping became a hairy situation.  I don't leave my hairs behind my crate as much as Dixie; instead, I take them with me all over the house!

I swear Mommy could brush me every day and I could grow another fur coat overnight.  Here's what it looked like earlier in the summer from just one swipe of the brush:

Here's the pile Mommy had when she finished with all three of us.  I told you Hunter hardly lost any hair!  Pretty gross, huh?  (Perhaps not as gross as Mommy taking a picture of it, but she was amazed!)

Thankfully, my shedding has slowed down as the end of summer nears.  And something strange is going on . . . Hunter is shedding just as much hair as I was earlier.  This has never happened before. 

But Hunter has an excuse.  He's been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  They say it runs in families, so he must have caught his thyroid problem from Mommy.  I sure hope I don't catch it.  Hunter's been taking medication for just over a month now.  He's definitely improving in ways I never imagined.  I had no idea Hunter was actually sick.  I just thought the poor guy was getting old.  His medication has given him new life!  He's going up and down the stairs on his own now and doesn't even have to be sneaky about it like he was earlier.  (He doesn't move as fast as we girls do, but then who does?)  He has more energy and is running more in the yard.  He's doing great!

For all of his pain and suffering, I told him I would allow Mommy to use an embarrassing photo of me instead of posting one of him.  Even sisters can be nice sometimes.  Even when they're jealous.  Hunter has lost some weight in the last month and didn't really need to lose anything.  The doctor told Mommy that Hunter could have an additional CUP of food!  Seriously???  A whole cup?  I don't think I'll ever hear those glorious words!  [sigh]

To good health and more food,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Clear Winner?

Since Mommy has returned to work, it's already fall in her mind.  She loves fall, but doesn't love that her favorite season must coincide with the return of the school year.  Don't worry, pretty soon she'll be back in the swing of things and we won't have to hear her complaints.  She loves her job, but she loves staying home even more (hint, hint, Daddy!). 

Each year Mommy and Uncle Jeff have a contest to see who can give Grandma the first acorn of the season.  No one really knows why they do this, but it's been going on for years.  Uncle Jeff usually wins since he lives close to Grandma and has the advantage of mileage.  Mommy has even been known to pop an acorn into the mail and send it to Grandma in the hopes of beating him.  Lately when Uncle Jeff wins, he likes to send a picture of the winning acorn to Mommy via text to rub it in!  That's pretty smart if you ask me.  There's nothing like the feeling of rubbing something in your sibling's face (literally or figuratively).  And I would know.  I like to torture and tease Dixie and Hunter all the time.  What kind of sister would I be if I didn't?

This year, I think the winner is  . . . (drum roll please) . . . MOMMY!!  I'm not calling her the winner just because she's my mom.  I really think she deserves to win this year.  That is, if  you count these as acorns. 

Technically, they haven't fully opened yet for you to see the nuts inside.  But we all know they're there.  Mommy should receive bonus points because she and Daddy planted the sawtooth oaks that produced these little gems.  When the trees were planted, they were shorter than Mommy.  Now they're HUGE and at least 3-4 times as tall as Daddy.  At least that's my best guess.  I'm pretty close to the ground, so estimation of heights isn't exactly my thing.  Just so Uncle Jeff knows, Mommy did NOT pick the acorns off the tree.  They were on the ground, so she actually found them.  I also think bonus points could be awarded on originality.  Uncle Jeff doesn't have this kind of oak in his yard.  I think we can all agree, these acorns are weird looking!

So, who do you think wins this year?  Bark once for Uncle Jeff (who is probably still hunting) and twice for Mommy.

Jenna Wiggles
Sibling Rivalry Club President

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paper Heaven!

I just couldn't help myself!  Apparently Jenna couldn't either, but I'll take the blame for giving her the idea.  Naturally, Dixie was a good girl and stayed out of trouble.  Phooey on her!  It all started with a roll of PAPER!  And it's not what you're thinking . . .

Recently, we had an electrician hard wire the generator to the house so there's no more dragging out extension cords every time the power goes out.  Daddy has had the generator since Hurricane Irene hit two years ago.  It has come in handy a few times since then, but it's a big job to get it up and going.  Now we can just flip a switch, crank the generator, and badda-bing, we'll have power! 

Being the professional that he is, the electrician rolled out the brown carpet for us!  He opened a huge roll of brown kraft paper to run from the garage to the basement door which meant across the kitchen tile and den carpet.   I'm sure I heard angels singing at that moment!  I was in paper heaven!  I immediately, without any thought for the consequences, began to grab the end of the paper and nibble on it!  Mommy was appalled, but surely my behavior couldn't have surprised her that much.  She knows I LOVE paper!  She gave the crate command to my sisters and sent me packing upstairs.  She put the baby gate at the top of the stairs so I couldn't get back down.  [sigh]

I stayed upstairs until the electrician and his assistant went to lunch.  Mommy then released all of us to go out and play.  Once we were ready to come in and cool off, Jenna decided she was ready for a little treat.  Actually, a big brown treat in the form of that paper on the floor.  (Jenna learned all her best tricks from me!)  She grabbed a section and ran to the landing in the middle of the stairs.  She likes to go there when she wants to keep something from me and Dixie.  At that point, Mommy gave the crate command again, and I had to go back upstairs.  Bummer!

Overall, it was a nice boring day for us.  The electrician was here the whole day, which meant the paper taunted me the WHOLE day.  Oh well.  Although I didn't get to enjoy the entire brown carpet, at least I had a taste of it! 

Thankful for paper,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To Good Friends and Safe Returns

Good grief, Charlie Brown (another famous and fabulous dawg owner)!  Will Mommy ever stay home??  After returning from Grandma and Poppa's house, Mommy turned right around and traveled halfway across the country to visit friends in my birthplace.  I hail from the great state of Minnesota.   I doubt Daddy would ever refer to it in that way, but Mommy enjoyed her time there.  For Daddy, the state only means one thing: SNOW!!  For Mommy, it means GREAT friends!

I can't believe Mommy didn't take me with . . . . . . her (inside prepositional joke for our Minnesotan friends).   I'm sure I could have fit into her suitcase.  Southwest allows passengers to check two bags for free, so she would still have had room for her clothes.  I really don't see the problem.  Just because I'm about 35 pounds over the baggage weight limit should mean nothing.  Just pay the fine and I'm there!!  It's cheaper than buying me a seat on the plane.  Or better yet, I could have been one of her two personal items carried onto the plane.  Have you seen how much some people carry on nowadays??  I definitely think doggie discrimination goes on with airlines.  If I were about a fifth of my size and could fit into a carrier under the seat, I could actually be a carry on.  Instead, big guys like me have to ride cargo.  How fair is that?   But I digress . . . I wanted to see Mommy's pals too (not to mention all of my four-legged furry buddies).  I'm sure everyone's missed me just as much as they've missed Mommy. 

It's been almost four years since Mommy's last visit and she had a few items on her to-do list:
  • eat at her favorite places
  • shop at her favorite scrapbook store
  • scrapbook with friends
  • have dinner with friends from school
  • enjoy lots and lots of laughs
  • look at cornfields and more cornfields (maybe that wasn't actually on her list, but it's kind of hard to avoid and they really are beautiful)

Mommy's Minnesota friends were happy to see her except for one tiny detail.  Before she left home, Daddy reminded Mommy of how tornadoes are prone to the area (as if she could forget).   Oddly enough, this was posted outside the airport restrooms:
Mommy didn't remember seeing those signs posted in the airport before.  Unfortunately for Minnesota, she apparently brought potentially bad weather with her.  Friends Mary and Amy said there had been no tornado threats all summer long . . . until Mommy arrived.  On the afternoon of her arrival, seriously high winds and golf ball sized hail swept right through the Twin Cities.  Thank goodness Mommy's plane arrived early that morning, and the weather skirted all around my former hometown.  [whew!]  Otherwise, Mommy might have had to work extra hard to avoid a house falling on top of her!  (You've seen that movie, right?)  I remember those storms and they can be really scary!   Not to mention the process of having to high tail it to the basement to seek shelter.  Why was it no one ever remembered to bring dawg toys to the basement for me?

Mommy's back home safe and sound and has no plans for trips any time soon . . . as least not that she's told me about.  I guess she could be planning something, but surely I would know, right???  The only unfortunate part of my immediate future is the upcoming school year.  [sigh]  I'll miss having her home during the day.

Enjoying the final dawg days of summer,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Visit with Grandma and Poppa

I had such a good time at my grandparents' house last week.  Grandma is always super nice to me, and she constantly tells me how beautiful I am.  How can you not like that??  I mean, she's correct of course, but it never hurts to hear it!  I think I got on Poppa's nerves sometimes because I liked to place my head on his knee so he could pet me.  Perhaps I did that too often?

My grandparents have an English Springer Spaniel named Coco.  Coco loaned me her crate a few years ago when I came to live with my parents.  Apparently she hadn't forgotten her crate . . . she hogged it the whole time I was there!!  Mommy had to sometimes coax Coco out of the crate so she could put me in it before leaving the house.  Mommy thinks I would have been fine in the house alone, but with Grandma's white sofa . . . you never know.  Only Hunter has lived to tell about sitting up there.  I have to admit, the temptation was there!

Mommy had lunch with several friends while visiting in her hometown.  She also traveled one day to visit with Great Aunt Frances.  Mommy's hometown is pretty small, but it's a mecca for her taste buds.  She had all of her favorites: barbecue, Mexican, fried popcorn shrimp, pimento cheese and SWEET tea with every meal!!!  Yummmm!!!!  She may have gained five pounds alone just from drinking the tea!

While at home, we celebrated Uncle Jeff's birthday.  I won't say how old he is, but he kept reminding Mommy that he's not as old as she is!!  We ate at the Mexican restaurant and followed it up with cake and presents at Uncle Jeff's house.  I say "we," but of course they didn't let me go eat with them.  I think the only reason I wasn't allowed to join them is because the cake was chocolate.  What a bummer.  I'm sure I would have enjoyed it.  On the other hand, the walls at the Mexican place had recently been painted a bright lime green and gave off a sickly tint to those in the pictures.  It's probably a good thing I wasn't there.  No one wants to see beautiful me looking sickly do they?

This last picture makes me feel old.  I remember when my human cousin was small enough she could look me in the eye.  Now she's reading, writing, and understanding jokes!  [sigh]  Why do they have to grow up?

In the words of the little old ladies who write in the local paper, "A good time was had by all!"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Road Trip!!!

Recently Mommy took a road trip to see Grandma and Poppa.  For this year's trip, I was the CHOSEN ONE!!  Last year Hunter made the trip, but Mommy has decided Hunter is getting too old to be drugged and tortured that way.  This was my first trip to my grandparents' house and no one was quite sure how I would do.  They need not have feared . . .   I was FABULOUS!!!!!

When Hunter travels, he is so big he has the cargo area all to himself.  Mommy knew I would never stay back there.  She had thoughts about putting me in my crate, but had mixed feelings about that situation.  If the worst happened, I might be trapped and not able to get out.  On the other hand, by traveling loose I could be all over the place and go flying if an accident occurred.  Mommy thinks the best option would be to strap me in with a doggie seatbelt, but she hasn't tried that since I was a puppy.  I hated it!  I'm not sure if I would like it any better now.  So . . . she took her chances and I rode in the front seat with her.  When I grew restless, I hopped into the middle row and stretched out for a nap.  I never once got in her way.   I was a dream travel companion (in Mommy's words). 

I did learn a few things while traveling:
  • Mommy can make a very loud sound come from that giant Frisbee she uses to steer.  A few deer jumped out into the road before we even left town and Mommy scared them off with her horn (a trick learned from Grandaddy).
  • If you watch the wipers go back and forth too many times, you might become a little dizzy.
  • Putting the windows down when you are stopped in traffic is terribly exciting.  You can see the truck drivers and others up close.  They even wave you at sometimes. 
  • There are LOTS of smells at gas stations.  Some good, some not so good! 
  • I need to be prepared to potty soon after arriving for a rest stop.  Mommy becomes a tiny bit frustrated waiting on me to do my business (especially when she needs to do hers!!).
  • As long as you don't beg, Mommy will hand you a French fry from time to time.
  • McDonalds is great at filling a cup half way with water (no ice) for a dawg.  We had a travel bowl, but the cup with the lid worked much better.  Next time, Mommy will remember to take our own cup. 

We passed a place that I think would be a wonderful place to stop and visit.  If it's named after me, if has to be great, right?  Mommy said we didn't have time on this trip.  Maybe next time . . . I'm sure there will be another trip for me.  I was THAT good!

The only bad part about my trip was the welcome home I received when we got back.  Hunter was fine: sniff, sniff and it was over.  Jenna, on the other hand, was a TERROR!!  She must have thought I had moved out permanently since both my crate and I were absent.  Apparently, she thought she ruled the house now.  She ATTACKED me when she saw me!!!!  I am not even exaggerating.  Mommy had to pull her off of me several times.  I was terrified and hid out first behind the kitchen table and then later in the closet while Mommy was unpacking.  Mommy had a few choice words with Jenna about her unacceptable behavior.  Mommy felt so sorry for me.  I felt sorry for me too.  I didn't receive that kind of treatment at my grandparents' house even from their dawg Coco!   [Hmpf!]  Thankfully, we were back to normal the next day, but it was kind of scary for a while. 

I'll be back later with more of the furry details about my visit at Grandma and Poppa's house.
Dixie Doodle

PS:  Don't put too much thought into how all of those pictures were taken while traveling . . . surely it can't be any more distracting than the possibility of kids screaming and punching each other in the back seat, right?  That's what Mommy thought too. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

No! No! No!

I bet with the title of this blog post, you thought one of us was in trouble.  Which one of us did you suspect the most?  You don't have to say.  Just curious.  But, no, we are not what this post is about . . .

Can you hear the death march being played somewhere in the background?  Or some sobbing or screaming?  That's the sound of Mommy as she faces reality.  She has to report back to school two weeks from today!!!  AAGH!!!!!!!!
We've got to put our heads together and think of some way to fix this situation. 
Perhaps if we hide Mommy in the grass?   No, I guess that won't work. 
This has been happening for nineteen years and it never gets any easier for her. 
Reality is harsh sometimes. 
What to do?  What to do?  Hmmm . . . let's keep thinking . . .
I say, "Ppphhhlllbbbb!"  What?!?  Sticking my tongue out won't work? 
Then I guess we'll just have to put on our big dawg panties and deal with it!
Let's just grin and bear it!  Ten months from now, we won't even remember what this feels like . . .

Enjoy your last two weeks of freedom, Mommy. 
Hunter, Dixie, and Jenna

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chasing Fireflies

Recently we received a picture of our cousin Kate with a jarful of fireflies she had caught!  That made Daddy want to re-live his own childhood, so he thought we should all go out and try our paw at catching fireflies.  Doesn't he realize we only need our gigantic mouths and tongues to do that?   Apparently not. 

Mommy grabbed a jar and had Daddy punch holes in the lid so any fireflies caught could breathe.  Daddy grabbed a flashlight.  Since when do you use a flashlight to catch fireflies, Daddy?  He said he needed the flashlight because he couldn't see the little buggers.  (I think it's called growing old!)  For Daddy's sake, I'll admit it was late (after 9) and it was very dark at first.   Eventually the moon came out from behind a cloud and gave off lots of light. 

Together, the two of them caught ten fireflies.  They had a lot of fun while doing so.  We dawgs had fun too.  Jenna and I chased each other around while Hunter chose a spot in the middle of the yard to relax so he could watch all of the action. 

Once our parents decided they had caught enough, they tried to capture their loot on camera.  Cousin Kate's picture was full of firefly light . . . Mommy and Daddy's not so much!  Daddy wondered why they wouldn't glow for him; Mommy said it was because they knew they were being held captive!  Daddy really wanted to take a great picture so he could send it to Kate.  After several attempts at the perfect picture, the lid was removed and the fireflies were allowed to return to nature.  

It was a fun night.  You need to go out and try it for yourself before summer's gone.  And boy, is it going by fast!

Chasing fireflies (and Jenna),
Dixie Doodle

PS: No fireflies were harmed during this activity except for the shock of being in a jar!  You can read about the proper way to catch fireflies here.  Oddly enough, they suggest using a flashlight!  Daddy's not so old after all!