Hurricane season is our least favorite season. Autumn brings colorful leaves and cooling relief from summer’s oppressive heat and humidity. Spring marks an awakening from the dullness of winter, with beautiful blossoms and butterflies. Hurricane season just brings months of dread and anxiety. Generally at this point in the season, we’re starting to breathe a sigh of relief . . . but not this year. As I dictate this to my human mommy/blogging assistant, we’re watching Matthew approach our friends in Florida. We know a thing or two about hurricanes here in New Orleans and South Louisiana. During Hurricane Katrina, too many people were trapped in New Orleans with no means to evacuate. Today these Evacuspot sculptures dot the city.
Residents are encouraged to meet at these spots to be transported to safety. And they’re encouraged to bring their pets. Some people refused to leave before Katrina because they were not allowed to bring their pets with them. Lesson learned from that experience, thank goodness.
My humans have done their share of hurricane preparation. Plywood cut to fit our doors and windows rests in a storage unit. We hope we never ever have to use this plywood protection (Mommy says she hopes this is the biggest waste of money ever😉 ), but it’s there if we need it.
Throughout hurricane season, Mommy ensures that Tallulah and I are stocked with food, treats, supplements, and medicine. Good work on that, Mommy.
She also makes sure that the humans have plenty of water and nonperishable food on hand. When the threat of hurricanes passes, she donates the canned goods to our local food bank . . . except the pop tarts and deviled ham. Those she eats to celebrate the end of the awful season.
And we stock up on batteries, batteries, and more batteries. We keep the flashlights handy and pull out the portable radio. (Yes, our portable radio is practically an antique, but it works.) We even have a battery-operated fan, which I absolutely love. You might notice that a shower curtain is included in our hurricane supplies. Why, you might ask? Sometimes hurricane power outages mean that the water supply is cut. The shower curtain can be used to line the bathtub prior to the storm and then the tub can be filled with water. (The shower curtain keeps the water from leaking through the drain.) You need to have water to flush the toilet, and flushing the toilet is super important to my mommy. Trust me, you’ll thank my mommy for this tip.
So as we watch Matthew churning toward Florida, we’re keeping our storm supplies handy a little longer. Our thoughts are with all in the hurricane’s path, from Florida to North Carolina. A number of projections take Matthew on a loop de loop back into Florida and then who knows where. My message to Matthew: You can just loop de loop yourself right out to sea and then disappear forever.
Throughout October, I’m going to take you on a spooky tour of some of the most haunted spots in New Orleans. It’s fitting that we should begin our tour in front of a building that served as New Orleans’ city hall from the 1850s to the 1950s. Gallier Hall is named for its architect, James Gallier. The building’s construction began in 1846, but money ran out just after the basement was completed. A roof was placed over the basement and the police department occupied the unfinished building while additional funds were raised. The building was finally completed and dedicated in 1853. Today Gallier Hall opens its doors to special events like weddings, corporate meetings, and Mardi Gras festivities. It’s also said to host its share of ghosts.
During the Civil War occupation of New Orleans, Gallier Hall was used as a Federal headquarters. General Benjamin “The Beast” Butler, who commanded the force that captured New Orleans, served as the city’s administrator for the Union. He was one of the most disliked generals of the war, on both sides of the conflict. While commanding the city of New Orleans, he issued Order 28. The order, which drew criticism from the North and the South, stated that any New Orleans lady who showed contempt for a Union soldier would be treated as if she were a prostitute. Few women were arrested for violating the law (although one, accused of laughing when a Union soldier’s funeral procession passed her home, was confined to Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi for more than two months). Still, the law earned Butler the nickname “The Beast.” He was soon relieved of his New Orleans command, but some say that he still watches over the city from the front steps of Gallier Hall.
The ghost of “The Beast” isn’t alone at Gallier Hall. There are reports of another ghost who appears only during the annual Bacchus Mardi Gras parade. Parade goers in front of Gallier Hall have been known to run to police screaming that they have just witnessed a stabbing. When police investigate, they find no sign of a crime. Perhaps the frightened revelers have seen the ghost of a young man who was attacked and brutally stabbed in 1972 just steps from Gallier Hall. If you find yourself in front of Gallier Hall one day watching the Bacchus parade, remember . . . you’ve been warned.
And now for a little footnote on my human daddy’s company Pet Supermodel Contest. My sister and I finished fourth and sixth, just out of medal contention. I had a firm grip on third place going into the final hours, but out of nowhere a cute little black lab blew right past me. We didn’t even win for best bling. My little sister, Tallulah Bee, and I cannot begin to thank each and every one of you enough for your support throughout the contest. You voted (and voted and voted again and again and again) and shared the fun through tweets and Facebook posts. Most importantly, you gave us so many words of encouragement. We may not have won the contest, but Tallulah Bee and I have the best friends in the world . . . and that’s way better than being a supermodel.
You’re right. It’s me. Again. Begging. One last time. The 2016 Impact Advisors Pet Supermodel Contest ends in less than 24 hours, and it’s oh so close. Well, maybe not the top two spots. Those cats are still way out in the lead and a pretty cute dog is about a hundred points behind them. Then in third place we have Bruce. Sure. He’s cute. But he’s not me. So it’s time to make my case one last time for why I should end up in the top three of the Pet Supermodel Contest.
Honestly, can Bruce top this bathing suit look? Sure, that was three years ago, but I’ve still got it.
And every supermodel needs to do formal occasions, right? Got that one covered.
Plus I’m sporty. Hey, bowling’s a sport. I’ve seen it on ESPN. So please, please, please . . . could I have your vote just one more time? (Remember, if you’ve voted before you can vote again. Unlike that silly human election, you get one vote per pet every 24 hours.) You have until Friday, September 30, at 5 p.m. EST to cast your ballot.
This is my photo submission for the Pet Supermodel Contest. You can click here for a link to the ballot box to cast your vote for me.
And I guess I should be a good sister and ask you to vote for Tallulah Bee too. She’s currently in fifth place with another cute dog hot on her heels. Here’s Tallulah’s submission. You can click here for a link to the ballot box to cast your vote for her.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. The winners (well, we’re all winners, but the top vote getters) will be announced Monday, October 3, and I’ll share the results with you. And I promise . . . after today, no more begging from me. I mean no more begging for votes. I’ll still beg for food.😉
Audubon Park Willow Tree // September 25, 2016
Each month this year, Tallulah Bee and I have joined our humans for a photo session in New Orleans’ Audubon Park. We pose on about the same weekend each month (the third or fourth weekend), at about the same time of day (early morning), and at the same spot (in front of a little willow tree that stands next to a pond). When we finished our August photo shoot, we really thought we were saying goodbye to the miserable hot days of summer. Wrong. A few days ago, with tongues hanging out, Tallulah and I did our best to look cool for our sizzling September entry. The weather humans have confirmed that this summer has been unusually
warm hotter than blazes: 43 nights during which the temperature did not drop below 80 degrees, shattering the previous record of 13 set in 2010. Enough, Mother Nature. We’re ready for a cool, crisp photo shoot in October.
And a little more about our monthly photo sessions in the park. Mommy never ever gets “the shot” on the first try. Tallulah is easily distracted, so it takes a little time and effort. Thank goodness for digital photography!
Just a quick reminder that voting in my human daddy’s company Pet Supermodel Contest continues. Thank you so very much for all your votes so far. As I dictate this blog post to my human mommy/blogging assistant/typist, I’m in fourth place (with 156 votes) and Tallulah is in fifth place (with 147 votes). Our chances of catching the leaders are pretty slim. (A couple of cats are hanging on to first place with 555 votes and two dogs are in second and third, one with 546 votes and the other with 241 votes.) I’d cry foul and ask for an inquiry into voter fraud, but they’re all pretty cute, so I’m sure the vote count is legit. Anyway, we have a couple of dogs in an inflatable boat who are gaining on us, so remember to vote early and often . . . totally legal in this case.
Remember: One vote per pet every 24 hours and voting closes at 5 p.m. central time Friday, September 30. Thank you!
P.S. Please feel free to share!
No worries, friends. I wouldn’t dare stick my paw into the mess that is our nation’s current election. The humans created that ordeal, and I’ll leave it to them.
I’m asking for your support in a far kinder, much gentler, and decidedly more fun election. My human daddy’s company is having its Impact Advisors 2016 Pet Supermodel Contest. This is the sixth year for the contest, but the first year that Tallulah Bee and I are participating. (By the way, the Pet Supermodel Contest is conducted by the company’s “chief happiness officer” and he calls the employees “winners.” How fun is that?) The competition is pretty stiff, so we really could use your help. Unlike most elections, this one allows you to vote more than once. (Yes, I’ve heard tales of certain voting irregularities in the regular human elections, but we’re not going to get into that.) You can cast one vote per pet every 24 hours and the voting runs through September 30.
This is my photo submission for the Pet Supermodel Contest. You can click here for a link to the ballot box to cast your vote for me.
And here’s my sister’s submission. You can click here for a link to the ballot box to cast your vote for her.
Remember, you can vote one time for each of us every 24 hours now through September 30. (Don’t worry. I promise to remind you at least once before the voting ends . . . just like those annoying human campaign commercials on the television.😉 ) Tallulah Bee and I really, really, really, really, really appreciate your support . . . and we’ll keep all of our campaign promises.
P.S. Feel free to share this with friends and family!
Many of our friends across America celebrated the end of summer a couple of weekends ago. Here in South Louisiana, we’ll still be looking for ways to beat the heat and humidity for at least another month. That means my little sister will have a few more opportunities to perfect her watermelon-eating skills.
When we first introduced Tallulah to a watermelon, she was a bit confused.
It was as if she thought the little spot where the stem used to be was some sort of wondrous watermelon key that would magically unlock this mysterious green thing. Goodness knows she tried and tried that approach, but to no avail.
It was time for the seasoned watermelon eater to step in and show her silly little sister a thing or two about this summer delicacy.
“First of all,” I told Tallulah, “you don’t just bite into the watermelon. You let the humans cut it into nice little slices for us. The humans love preparing our food and serving it to us. We mustn’t deny them this great pleasure.”
Obviously, one of us has a better grasp on patience and manners than the other. It becomes more and more clear every single day that I have many, many lessons to teach Tallulah. But back to the watermelon-eating tutorial.
I tried to show Tallulah the proper watermelon-eating style: dainty little lady-like bites.
Tallulah had something completely different in mind: putting the entire slice into her mouth all at once. And by entire slice I really mean entire slice. Tallulah devoured that watermelon slice . . . rind and all.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that my little sister is part pig. Check out that nose–and that full mouth–and tell me what you think.
Tallulah has a lot to learn about eating watermelons, but under my watchful eye I think there’s a chance she’ll catch on. I guess it’s a good thing we have a little bit of time before summer’s end.
On the silver screen, Miss Marilyn Monroe proclaimed that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Clearly Miss Monroe did not live with a couple of Golden Retrievers. If the did, she would have known that vacuums are a girl’s best friend. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to my human mommy’s favorite appliance . . . pictured here with the reason she needs it.
There is no end to the amount of Golden hair that collects on every surface, in every corner, everywhere in our house. It was manageable when I was an only dog. And then along came Tallulah Bee, also known as The Shedding Machine. Mommy’s friend sent her this cute little saying to try to make her feel better. (Any wonder that something about shedding includes a picture of a Golden Retriever?) It sounded nice, but Mommy wasn’t buying it. What she did end up buying was the Hoover Commercial PortaPower vacuum. You’ve never seen anyone get so excited about an appliance.
Mommy whipped that thing out of the box and started vacuuming everything–floors, furniture, shutters, lampshades, tabletops. Tallulah looked at me and said, “Oh my goodness, Harper Lee. Is Mommy going to vacuum us, too?” “There’s no telling,” I told her. “Just keep moving.” Thus began Mommy’s daily ritual of vacuuming. Occasionally, I’ll hear Mommy sing out, “This thing really sucks.” I think in this case, that’s a good thing.
At first the daily ritual was a bit unnerving, mostly due to Mommy’s unnatural and unbridled joy as she practically danced with Mr. Hoover from one end of the house to the other. Honestly, friends, it was borderline frightening. But after a couple of days, my little sister and I learned to accept Mommy’s obsession, and now she has to wake us up so she can get every inch of the floor . . . or she just works around us.
Mommy even vacuums our beds, which tends to disturb a girl’s sun puddle naps.
The other day, as Mommy waltzed through the room with Mr. Hoover, I caught Tallulah making this cheeky face behind her back. “Hahaha! Try as you might, Mommy, you’ll never ever get rid of all the Golden hair,” Tallulah teased.
“That’s ok,” I told Tallulah. “I found this little saying on Mommy’s computer the other day. I think she’s secretly thankful for all of our hair. Maybe she’s just using Mr. Hoover to collect it and put it in a special place because she love us so much.”