Friday, July 31, 2015

Guard Dawg

I've acquired a new role around the house this summer: Official Guard Dawg.  You might think this entails staying up late at night, roaming around the house, barking to alert my parents of suspicious activity, but that isn't quite the same type of Guard Dawg to which I am referring.  There is a tiny bit of barking required for my job, but that is where the similarities end.

I have to guard my toys from Dixie!  As you know, she is obsessed with tennis balls.  I don't mind tennis balls as a fetch toy, but I prefer something in the Frisbee family.  The problem is that Dixie just wants whatever is mine!  Whenever I let my guard down, she swoops in and snatches up whatever I've been playing with as her own.  Then she carries my toy AND her tennis ball around in her mouth!

I'm going to have to put my paws down and tell Dixie to keep her paws and jaws to herself!

Official Guard Dawg

PS: Happy Birthday to Uncle J and Great Aunt S!  Hopefully no one will steal your toys.  Happy Anniversary to Aunt C and Uncle W!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Mommy, the Idiot!

Do you ever make stupid mistakes?  If you're like us, they are few and far between.  If you're like Mommy, they might happen a bit more frequently.  Daddy probably has a Top 10 List he can pull from to entertain you with Mommy's periodic stupidity.  (Don't worry, she has a list of his best moments too!)

Today was one of those times for Mommy.  She had a few errands to run.  She went to the bank, noticed she needed gas, and then her final stop of grocery shopping at Walmart.  While pumping gas, she looked down and noticed something horrible:

She had on two different sandals!!!!!  She was mortified.  She texted a couple friends and Daddy to get their opinions.  Should she go home (about 5 minutes away) or should she hold her head high and head on to Walmart?  Friend M immediately said to go for it.  Friend A wanted a picture before making a final decision.  Friend H said to go for it since Mommy was only heading to Walmart.  Then she mentioned a college kid spotted recently wearing two different shoes.  Was she trying to tell Mommy she was young and hip???  Daddy said not to worry about it since she'd fit right in with the rest of the Walmart shoppers.

Mommy had already decided to GO FOR IT by the time she received most responses.  Her other choice of coming back to the house was sure to just get the three of us all riled up.  She tried to hold her head high as she walked the aisles (when she wasn't trying to sneak peeks to see if others were trying to sneak peeks at her feet).

She made it!  She was stressed, but she made it.  Gee Mommy, don't you have anything better to worry about???

Hunter, Dix & Jen

PS: In slight defense of Mommy's stupidity, she was trying on shoes before leaving  the house to see what sandals might look good with a certain pair of shorts for an upcoming event.  At least that's what she's telling people.  We don't know for sure.  We haven't been allowed upstairs in a few months, so we can't swear to it . . .

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Cleaning 3

Mommy is still going strong with her summer cleaning tasks.  She SERIOUSLY needed to touch up the Adirondack chairs.  My parents feel like this might be the last year for this particular set.  They have definitely gotten their money's worth; at only $25 each, the chairs are 8-10 years old!  It's only a matter of time before they start to rot!

Dixie and Mommy washed the mold and mildew off the chairs earlier.  Daddy "volunteered" to bring out his air sander and help smooth out the old peeling paint.  Once he was finished, Mommy started painting the chairs.  This time I got to help!  Daddy had placed the chairs in the front yard, and as she moved, I could see Mommy from inside.  It was driving me crazy not to be outside with her.  I barked and barked until Mommy finally came to get me.  At my age, it's not like I was going to run off very far!

Daddy found a rubber band ball in the garage and tossed it for me.  As luck would have it, the ball rolled ALL THE WAY down the driveway.  I retrieved it like the good dawg I am, but then settled nearby to help Mommy.  I was exhausted from chasing the ball!

I supervised while Mommy painted.  You'll notice Daddy put cardboard down on the grass to save it from the paint (unlike Mommy's process).  Of course, this was the front yard and not the back, so that may have made a difference to Mommy.  Maybe.

The chairs turned out great.  Well, great may be exaggerating a bit.  They aren't perfect, but I think my parents are going for the lived-in, slightly weathered, nautical look!  At least they aren't green and black anymore from sitting outside all year.

I think we're pretty much finished with the big items on the summer to-do list.  I'm sure if given enough time, Mommy can think of something new to add to the list!

For now,

Friday, July 24, 2015

How Wheat It Is!

Normally the two biggest crops around here in the summer are corn and soy on an annual rotating basis.  This year's big crop for most of the surrounding farmers is WHEAT!  Mommy loves the look of the wheat growing in the fields.  All of the thunderstorms we've had this year have caused a few crop circles which are pretty cool to look at as well.  We assume the storms have caused the depressions in the fields.  It's either the storms or aliens!

On one of our recent morning walks, we decided to stop and take a closer look.  I plowed right in head first.  It was so much fun to get lost in the field!  Okay, technically I wasn't lost since I was still attached to my leash and it was still attached to Mommy's hand.  But it felt like I was lost.

Dixie wasn't so sure about venturing into the wheat that was taller than we were.  She mostly hung out on the sidelines and waited for me to reappear.  

Until she couldn't stand it any longer without me.  Then she decided to leap her way through the field!

We had so much fun.  Too bad we had to be on the leash . . . [sigh]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Snack TIme

Just like humans, we dawgs LOVE to snack.  Any time someone's in the kitchen, we run to see what's going on.  Sometimes our efforts are rewarded with a snack of our own, but most of the time we're ignored.  [sigh]   I'm telling you if Mommy had to survive on two meals a day, she'd be as skinny as I am!

When we lived in Minnesota, I had a four-legged pal named Spippy who loved to snack on carrots.  He would do anything for a carrot.  At the time, I thought his love affair with carrots was strange.  I wanted nothing to do with fruits and veggies.  I guess old age has taught me a few things.  I need to take care of my health as much as I can.

I've begrudgingly developed a taste for carrots.  Maybe it's more of a tolerance for carrots.  Dixie and Jenna, like Spippy, love to snack on carrots.  In desperation to be included, I've had to give carrots a chance.  I eat the majority of the carrot, but not quite all of it.  (And we're talking mini, baby size carrots.)  I usually drop a few bites on the floor and my clean up crew takes care of my mess.

I'm embarrassed to admit that Mommy grabbed this picture before I realized what was going on.  I told her to delete it, but she never listens when it comes to blog material.  This picture is strange for two reasons: 1) How did I not notice the carrot?  2) How did Jenna not notice the carrot?

Shortly after the picture was taken, the carrot fell off and Jenna swooped in!  [sigh]  On the bright side, this close up shows that at age thirteen I still have very few gray hairs on my face compared to most dawgs my age.

Here's to snack time (and no pictures of me pigging out)!

PS: Happy birthday, Mommy!  Enjoy those gray hairs we've given you.  You know, the ones underneath all that dye!  And good luck trying to find a birthday treat for yourself with no eggs, soy, wheat, or dairy . . . you've developed quite a list of allergies in your old age!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer Cleaning 2

After Mommy and Dixie washed the deck furniture, Mommy had to paint it.  She started with the wrought iron pieces and carried them to a part of the yard she doesn't look at very much.  That way, when she painted the grass it wouldn't bother her as much.  She tries not to let the paint on the grass get to her too much; she knows it will be all gone when the grass is cut next week.

Right after she finished plopping the chairs down, Hunter took up residence in the middle.  Mommy brought one of the outdoor dawg beds from the deck to the area where she was working, but Hunter ignored it.

You have to wonder if Mommy was trying to turn Hunter into a black lab.  After all, she has two fantastic black labs already.  Well, I'm fantastic.  Dixie is fantastic by association; she has ME for a sister!  Hunter says the answer to my curiosity is NO since Mommy loves chocolate almost as much as she loves him.

Dixie ran around like a crazy dawg most of the time.  She wanted Mommy to take frequent breaks from painting to throw the ball for her.  When she wasn't trying to play, she took her breaks under the weigela.

Hunter eventually migrated to the shade (still ignoring that comfy dawg bed).

Where was I you ask?  I hung out in the shade of the maple tree the whole time.  I was out of the sun and out of the way!  Because I'm smart one!

We're off to find more to clean . . .

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Cleaning

Mommy does most of her BIG cleaning in the summer before our visitors start arriving.  This year she decided to enlist a higher power to help her.  She thought the perfect time to wash off the deck furniture was when it was raining.  That way, she could save herself the extra step of rinsing!  She's so smart, that Mommy of mine!

I guess "raining" sounds like harsh weather.  It was technically a steady sprinkle.  Mommy planned to leave the three of us inside in the hopes of avoiding that aromatic wet dawg smell, but we weren't having it!  Hunter came outside and promptly took up his place on one of the outdoor beds.

You have to understand the cleaning process around here.  Mommy CAN'T STAND the smell of bleach.  Daddy says it's the smell of clean, but Mommy thinks it's right up there with the smell of puke.  She favors vinegar instead for extreme cleaning purposes.  On the other paw, Daddy CAN'T STAND the smell of vinegar.  (Proof opposites attract.)  Mommy usually cleans with vinegar when Daddy isn't here and prays it airs out before his arrival.

While cleaning the deck furniture, Dixie proved she is indeed Mommy's girl.  Mommy mixed up a vinegar solution to help wipe down the deck furniture and Dixie loved it.  She thought it was a large water bowl just for her!  Ugh!!  My sister is one nasty girl sometimes.

The rain tapered off and Mommy had to pull out the hose in order to finish washing down the furniture.  Dixie really enjoyed drinking from the hose!

I did too!

If you need any help with your summer cleaning, just call us!  You provide the hose; we'll provide the fun!

PS: Happy 45th anniversary to Mimi and Grandaddy!  That's a whole lotta dawg years together.  Does it feel like 315 years or just a mere 45???

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Walking Queen

When summer arrives, we officially join the real dawg world (oh, the horror) and actually go for WALKS!  Our yard is large enough and we play hard enough that Mommy doesn't have to walk us on a daily basis during the school year.  Even though taking walks puts us in the ordinary dawg category, we really do like to go on these mini adventures with Mommy each morning.  This summer is no different; I am proving that once again I'm the Walking Queen!

I sit back and let Dixie take the lead.  Mommy knows this isn't good dawg-walking form, but it keeps our leashes from becoming tangled.  I don't mind it one bit because I get Mommy all to myself.  Mommy uses this opportunity to tell me what a good girl I am.  (Duh.)  Sometimes she even allows me to wear my crown so I can prove my superiority to all we pass!

So far our biggest adventure has been trying to chase a rabbit!  We saw one two days in a row in the exact same spot.  Apparently he didn't get the memo that two dawgs would be taking that route.  Silly rabbit.  If he values his life, he should probably try to find another direction to hop.  One day we're going to get lucky and Mommy won't be holding the leash as tightly as she has so far!

Sometimes, Dixie joins me at the back of the leash so she and I can whisper secrets to each other.  We also like to sniff out the same spots.  Any food that has fallen out of trash cans on garbage pick up day is always a good treat!

We hope you're having fun-filled adventures this summer too!

PS: Happy birthday to Cousin S.    May your next year be just as adventuresome as your first three!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pie Anyone?

Are you a cake or pie person??  I think most people have a preference for one or the other.  Mommy and Daddy prefer pies.  Daddy particularly prefers pecan pie (pronounced pee-can if you ask him and puh-khan if you ask Mommy).  I think she has dibs on the correct pronunciation since the majority of the educated world pronounces it like she does and she's the one baking them!  When Daddy starts baking the pies, he can pronounce it the way he wants.  But I digress . . .

I have a fondness for mud pies.  Mommy does too.  She remembers a diner in her college town that served Haw River Mud Pie.  She said it was fabulous and she hasn't tasted anything like it since.  I'm not sure if the mud pies I make are as good as what she is used to, but they are really good!

We do not have a picture of my mud pies to share with you since I eat them as quickly as I make them.  The proof of their yumminess is not in the pudding (or pie as the case may be), but in my teeth!

I'm quite proud of my mud pies.  I've only shared with Jenna so far.  Dixie doesn't seem too interested in mud pie.  I think she's trying to watch her figure.  Mommy hasn't tried my pies either.  She really should; after all, they're allergy free!

I think Mommy is about to add another ingredient to the pie mix: cayenne!  Doesn't she know too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the mud pies??

Until my next mud pie!

PS: Happy Birthday, Daddy!  If you're lucky, Mommy will make a mud pie (or pecan pie, your choice) for you.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Still Cuckoo for Cocoa

Our dear sweet canine cousin Cocoa has passed on to Glory.  She was sixteen years old and lived a great life.  We aren't sure about her first few years on earth, but she had a terrific life after being adopted by Grandma and Poppa.  Cocoa was Poppa's buddy and went everywhere he went, even to work some days (such a lucky dawg)!  Cocoa was truly one of the sweetest dawgs around, present company included!  She rarely raised her voice at anyone, loved to snuggle up to you, and had a passion for chasing tennis balls in her younger days.  Her only real drawback was her snoring . . . that girl could saw logs and keep the whole house awake!

Cocoa and I had a love-hate relationship at first.  I traveled to my grandparents' house with Mommy several times to visit my canine cousin.  Sometimes Cocoa and I got along great and other times we barely tolerated each other.  I was one of the few Cocoa raised her voice to; she liked to bark at me whenever I passed by, even if I was ten feet away!  Over the years, we became used to each other and times spent together became more pleasant.

The first time Cocoa met Dixie was quite a memorable experience.  Cocoa turned into Cujo and went after tiny little puppy Dixie with a vengeance.  It only lasted a few minutes, but it put Dixie in her place (in her own home).

One of the oddest things about Cocoa is that she hated her crate with a passion.  Poppa passed Cocoa's crate on to us when Dixie joined the family.  That same crate travels with Dixie when she visits our grandparents.  Apparently once the crate belonged to another dawg, Cocoa decided she liked it!  You could hardly budge her out of there to put Dixie in!

Cocoa - Christmas 2014

 Cocoa - Easter 2015

Cocoa will be greatly missed by the entire family.  We'll always be cuckoo for Cocoa!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mommy: The Storm Chaser

I LOVE summer time.  For thirteen years I've spent my summers with Mommy.  We do lots of fun things each summer.  We take walks, go swimming, and hang out together.  But as much as I love summer, there is one part of the season I do NOT like: THUNDERSTORMS!!!  I haven't always been a Fraidy Cat, but the older I get, the more storms terrify me.

We've had a LOT of storms so far this summer.  The most recent one wasn't that bad in retrospect, but I could not settle.  I woke Mommy up about 1:30AM with a sharp bark.  She took me out to potty, but then went back to bed.  I woke her again a long time later.  We went out again (yes, in the rain) at 2:00AM.  She could tell this was going to be a long night, so she brought her pillow down this time.

She did everything she could think of to calm me down.  She put the thundershirt on me (too late in my opinion), she lay on the floor with me, pet me, whispered soothing words to me, even tried to ignore me as she lay on the sofa.  It didn't help that the power kept going off.  There weren't many lights on in the house at that hour (just the one over the stove and on the fridge, a few clocks), but when they start flashing it's annoying.  There weren't any noises at that time either (except for my heavy breathing), but somehow the house makes a lot of noises when the power goes off and on.  Finally, Mommy did the unthinkable . . .

She helped me up on the leather sofa!!!  This is a serious no-no in our house (at least in Daddy's mind).  She did spread a blanket out first so that I would (hopefully) not ruin the leather.  Then she proceeded to lie down on top of me.  She even put her pillow on me so she could be comfy.  And we both, finally, fell asleep!  I don't think it was the best sleep Mommy has had, but she sure did make me feel safe and secure.  The last thing I heard as I fell asleep was her sigh when I stopped panting so loudly.

[sigh]  It's good to be loved!  Hopefully there won't be many more storms!  But thankfully Mommy will be here to chase them away if they arise.

Crossing my paws,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Epic Fail

Mommy experienced a cooking failure of massive proportions!  I don't think she's ever had something turn out this badly in my thirteen years.  Perhaps she had something worse in her first three years of marriage before I joined the family, but if so she's not telling me.

She has been dairy and wheat free for about ten weeks on doctor's orders to see if one of those foods could be the culprit for why she had one sinus infection after the other from Christmas through mid-April (when she started this elimination diet).  As soon as Mommy stopped eating dairy and then wheat two weeks later, she could tell a HUGE difference in her breathing abilities.  No more coughing or watery eyes.  Her food suspicions were confirmed last week when she went though allergy testing for the first time in at least twenty years.  It turns out Mommy is allergic to dairy, wheat, rye, soy, peanuts, almonds, and eggs!!  Good grief!  On the bright side, she isn't allergic to me or my sisters!  [major sigh of relief]  I guess she's not allergic to Daddy either.

It's been a long time since Mommy has been able to enjoy any baked treats, and with our family's birthday season approaching, she wanted to bake.  She decided she wanted brownies for the Fourth of July.  After looking at recipes online, she eventually decided to go with a gluten free brownie mix (by a major company she will not name) because who knows where to the buy xanthan gum listed in the recipes for weirdos that have endless allergies??  (Mommy, you do know you're one of those weirdos now, right?)

The mix required the addition of 1/4 cup butter and 2 eggs.  Mommy added her dairy free margarine.  She knows when baking it's best to use the real thing, but it was a box mix after all, so what was the harm, right?  She wanted to attempt to make the brownies egg free as well.  After researching all kinds of egg substitutes (did you know Egg Beaters still have eggs in them??), she went with one suggested for baking: 1 egg = 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 Tablespoon of vinegar.  Now, Mommy knows just enough science to know that mixture causes a mini volcano.  She was very careful and didn't make a mess.  When all of this was added together, it was a VERY dry mixture.  There was no way the mix could be spread in the pan.  So, Mommy decided she needed to add a touch of milk (the dairy free coconut variety) to the mix.  What could go wrong?

When mixed all together, she was quite pleased with the results.  She thought the batter tasted DELICIOUS!!!  And it didn't have raw eggs in it, so she could lick the bowl and beaters as much as she wanted!  (As if the threat of raw eggs as has ever stopped her before,)  She put the pan in the oven and set the timer for 28 minutes as directed.

When Mommy opened the door of the oven 28 minutes later, she started screaming.  The brownies had pretty much exploded in the pan and were dripping all over the bottom of the oven. Mommy threw another pan down below to quickly catch what she could.  Of course, the mix hitting the oven started burning and became quite pungent to the nose.  The batter was no where near baked and was sloshing all over as the rack was moved.  Mommy finally just turned off the oven and left the pan inside since it was too hot and messy to pick up.

It's too bad we don't have a picture of the "brownies" when Mommy finally removed them from the oven.  They were black on top, only a maximum of a half inch deep, and not fully cooked!  I can just hear Gordon Ramsey yelling, "THEY'RE RAW!"   Mommy took a spoon, scooped out as much as she could into the trash and then left the pan filled with water to soak.  Later, she had to turn the pan over and sit it down into another pan of water so the rim could soak as well.  If she had just let me take care of the pan, I could have saved her a few clean up steps.  Too bad it was a chocolate brownie mix!

I thought Mommy was going to cry.  She REALLY wanted those brownies!  It didn't help that Daddy was laughing a bit.  Mommy didn't let her epic fail get her down for long.  She went to the store and purchased this treat for herself instead!  It's not baked, but it is free of all her allergens!  And YUMMY too!  Or so she tells me.  At almost $6 for a pint, she's NOT sharing . . . with anyone!  (She eats only a tablespoon at a time to make it last!)
This fiasco was a lesson learned for Mommy . . . just go to the store and BUY something!  Or add real eggs!  Either way, let's hope she gets her act together before Daddy's birthday next week.

Crossing my paws,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Our Country's Future is in the Paws of . . .


As our country turns 239 years old (that's 1,673 in dawg years!!!), I thought it would be good to think about where we've come from and reflect on where we as a country are headed.  For a conservative family like ours, this can be a scary thought . . .

When you envision our country's future, what do you think of?  I'm betting you don't think of my sister Jenna!  Mommy and Daddy have decided Jenna definitely has a future as a government employee.  (I don't think they say this with pleasure, either!)  There are several departments in which she could easily be a good fit:

FAA: Food A-holics Anonymous

FCC: Food Control Council

DEA: Dead Edible Animals

NCIS: No Chance I'm Sharing

ATF: All The Food

What do all of these deapartments have in common?  You may previously have thought these government agencies had to do with aviation, communication, drugs, alcohol, tobacco,
or firearms, but you would be wrong!  Instead, they all deal with JENNA and her obsession with food!

So sit back America and hold onto your food!  We could be in for a bumpy road (possibly Rocky Road??) if Jenna's in charge!

Happy Fourth of July!
Dixie Doodle

The flag is about the only thing Jenna doesn't eat!  God bless America and God bless our troops!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

T-I-M-B-E-R !!!!!

We told you Mommy deserted us in our hour of need last week.  While she was out of town, we had a MAJOR SCARY storm.  We were without power for about twenty-four hours and phones and internet for even longer!  It's ruff being without the internet; hopefully our public didn't suffer too much without us!

During the storm we lost part of a maple tree.  Daddy wonders if it was struck by lightning or if really strong winds took it down.  He's not sure because the storm hit while he was at work.  Poor Hunter.  He was really stressed out during the storm and didn't have the advantage of wearing his thunder shirt that day.

Because of the power outages, Daddy had to work extra long hours and didn't have time to cut up the tree before the yard people arrived a few days later.  They removed the huge section from the trunk in a way Daddy would NOT have: tugging, pulling, hopping, and stomping on it.  Literally!  That caused the broken section to pull more of the bark away than was needed.  I guess we can't complain since they saved Daddy some time.  He still has to cut it up for firewood.

In the mean time, I'll do my best to help him out!  I LOVE to chew on sticks, and this is a BIG ONE!

Once the yard men left, Mommy came out to begin the repair on the tree.  She sprayed it with a nasty, thick, black, gooey gunk so that bugs and other parasites can't get into the tree and do more damage.  I'm not sure what this black stuff is called, but I do know it doesn't taste good!

With the exception of getting a bit of that black stuff in my mouth and on my nose, I had such a good time chewing on the tree and playing in its branches.

Dixie doesn't seem to share my love for the taste of bark, but she definitely had fun exploring too!

Hopefully we won't have any more big storms blow our way.  If we do, we hope Mommy is home to hold our paws.   Or at worst, the storm produces BIG sticks for me to gnaw on!


PS: Happy birthday tomorrow to Cousin K, and happy birthday to Cousin A on Friday!