Meeting and Making Friends at BlogPaws 2017

There are a whole lot of great things about a BlogPaws conference, but the greatest in my book has to be the people and pets you meet. They’re all so super nice. Way back in March, my human mommy started counting down the days until she’d meet my dear friend Bear’s mom. We fell in love with Bear when we discovered his Love always, Bear blog, and it shattered my mommy’s heart the day Bear crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When our mommies finally met last month, it was as if they’d been friends forever. I guess Goldens just have a way of connecting people. That’s Bear’s mom on the right holding his sister Rosy.

Rosy writes a blog called Rosy Reports and, as Rosy would say, it’s fab. So fab that she was a finalist for not one but two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards. Tallulah and I were honored to pose with her before the big awards dinner, and we were beyond thrilled that Mommy finally got to hug Bear’s mom and we finally got to meet his fabulous sister Rosy.

Photo from Rosy’s Twitter @PrincessRosyRue

We were crushed when another Golden friend, Sugar, crossed the Rainbow Bridge just a couple of months before the BlogPaws conference. How fitting that our friends Sugar and Bear were side-by-side when the 2017 conference Honor Flags were displayed.

Photo from Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever Blog

That’s Sugar’s mom holding stuffed Goldie at the conference. (Mommy and Sugar’s mom were so busy hugging every time they saw each other that silly Mommy didn’t think about getting a photo.) I’m so super happy to report that just as soon as Sugar’s mom and dad got home from BlogPaws 2017 they welcomed a new Golden Retriever into their home and into their hearts. His name is Koru Bear and you can click here to see how incredibly handsome he is.

Keeping with the Golden theme, meet Honey and her mom. Sweet doesn’t even begin to describe these two. They’re like the best cupcake ever piled high with the richest icing you’ve ever eaten and covered with sprinkles. Yep, that sweet. Honey’s mom blogs at Something Wagging This Way Comes and–get this–they live on a sailboat. It was such a thrill to meet them, and we cannot wait to follow their nautical adventures.

Now I don’t want you to think we only hung out with Golden Retrievers and their humans while we were at BlogPaws 2017. We also met Leroy from My Brown Newfies. Leroy’s mom probably thought my human mommy was a crazy stalker when she leapt from the car and dashed toward Leroy the minute we got to the conference hotel. But, I mean really, who doesn’t love a big handsome hairy guy who drools?

And mommy wasn’t the only one with a BlogPaws 2017 crush. My little sister Tallulah fell in love with Echo from A Girl & Her Husky. Yep, my little sister was that woman who goes to an out-of-town business conference and has a fling. You can’t really blame her. Echo was pretty sharp in his red carpet attire. I guess what happens at BlogPaws stays at BlogPaws . . . wink, wink.

Finally meet Lucy with the Underbite, an adorable Chihuahua-Pug mix who had the time of her life strutting her stuff on the red carpet with Rosy. Lucy and her mom work with DogWatch Hidden Fences, a conference exhibitor, and Lucy has the most adorable Instagram account. Check her out here. I could go on and on about all the amazing people and pets we met at BlogPaws 2017, but I have a better idea. Why don’t you make plans to attend BlogPaws 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri? I promise you’ll meet a whole lot of super nice people and pets.


Dinner and a Movie

Woo hoo! It’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty thrilled to see the weekend. Do you have plans yet? Might I suggest dinner and a movie? There’s a great new film called Megan Leavey opening this weekend. I saw a preview while I was at BlogPaws 2017, and it’s fabulous.

Megan Leavey is the true story of a Marine and her dog, Rex. Here’s a little more information from the studio:

MEGAN LEAVEY is based on the true life story of a young marine corporal (Kate Mara) whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. When she is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. Over the course of their service, Megan and Rex completed more than 100 missions until an IED explosion injures them, putting their fate in jeopardy.

You can click here to see a trailer for the film. It stars a really talented dog in the role of Rex . . . and some pretty noteworthy humans, too. Plus, it’s gotten some really great reviews.

Merrick Pet Care, a leader in natural and organic pet food, sponsored the movie and recently announced the launch of Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet recipes, a new lineup of natural dog food and treats to raise awareness for K9s For Warriors’ work pairing service dogs with military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability (PTSD). (By the way, June is PTSD Awareness Month.) So grab some “pawp corn,” settle into that nice comfortable theatre seat to watch Rex star in the Megan Leavey movie, and purchase a little Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet dinner to help support the work of K9s For Warriors. Sounds like a perfect weekend plan to me. Cheers!


Countown to Christmas: Three More Days

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In the last few weeks, my human mommy has taken hundreds of photos (only a slight exaggeration) in hopes of getting that perfect picture for our Christmas cards. Tallulah Bee and I have humored her, mostly because she bribes us with treats. In fact, we purposefully look away from the camera, move slightly, or close our eyes just as she snaps so we can get more treats. Shhhh . . . don’t tell her that. It’s our little secret.

Anyway, Mommy managed to get a few favorites along the way and today we begin the countdown to Christmas. The Bee and I are modeling our gorgeous Geaux Fideaux monogrammed bandanas. If you’re interested in getting your very own Geaux Fideaux original (they’re working on Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day looks), just send an Instagram direct message to @geauxfideaux. 

We’re all smiles as we await Santa’s arrival!


Bashful Gets a Taste of Gumbo and Brass Bands

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It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on Bashful’s New Orleans adventures. Every time I turn around, that little fella is hopping into my human mommy’s purse and they’re headed out the door. I finally got those two to sit down long enough to tell me where they’ve been and to share a few photos. Wow. They’ve been busy. A couple of weekends ago, Bashful joined both of my humans at Armstrong Park for the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival–New Orleans’ Premier Brass Band Showcase, which is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. In New Orleans, we love a festival. There’s at least one every month–sometimes one each weekend of the month–and they usually revolve around tasty food and great music.

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This festival features gumbo of every sort you can imagine: creole gumbo, seafood gumbo, chicken and sausage gumbo, even vegan gumbo and smoked tofu and Portobello mushroom gumbo. (Just for the record, Mommy doesn’t recommend those last two.) Bashful had quite an appetite that day, so he also tasted some red beans and rice served with fried chicken and corn bread. (Mommy had a little bite of the fried chicken. She said it was one of the best things she’s ever eaten. She’s still talking about it.) Naturally, Bashful chose to chase down his festival food with a couple of local Abita Brewing Company Amber beers.

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With his taste buds satisfied (for the moment), it was time for Bashful to enjoy some brass band music. Brass bands are a new Orleans tradition. Rebirth Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, and the Original Pinettes Brass Band, an all-female group, are some of the more well-known groups. Bashful settled in and listened to a few songs by the Panorama Jazz Band. It was my humans’ first time to see them perform, and they had every bit as much fun as Bashful.

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Having spent the afternoon enjoying two of New Orleans’ greatest offerings–gumbo and brass bands–Bashful had one more stop to make before leaving the festival. He headed straight over to visit Miss Linda, the Ya-Ka-Mein Lady. If you don’t live in New Orleans, you probably haven’t heard of ya-ka-mein. Here’s how Miss Linda’s website describes this local delicacy:

Ya-Ka-Mein is one of New Orleans’ well-best-kept secrets. It is a soup. They call it Old Sober. Ms. Linda is world famous as the guardian of the secret juice recipe in her Ya-Ka-Mein. Taught how to make the broth by her mother Shirley Green, Ms. Linda keeps the tradition by lacing the broth with the perfect mixes of spices–not quite Asian, not quite Southern–adding noodles, green onions, a hard-boiled egg and hot sauce. It’s a sure-fire remedy for a New Orleans’ size headache, which is why it’s known as “Old Sober.”

If Bashful keeps drinking that Abita Amber beer, he just might need another helping of Miss Linda’s famous ya-ka-mein.


This Special Delivery Rocks

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Last Friday, my little sister and I received a very special delivery from our sweet little piggy friend Bacon. (If you already know Bacon, then you know what a special little pig he is. If you don’t know Bacon, click here to link to his blog. I promise you’ll fall in love.) To say that our box from Bacon sent both of us into a tizzy would be quite the understatement. It was packed full of everything a girl could ever want.

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Tallulah and I were especially obsessed over the pink piggy toy. We spent quite a bit of time trying to dismember him, but he’s tough and managed to survive . . . at least for the first round.

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As fabulously fun as the pink piggy toy and the fancy treats were, there was something even more special in that little box from Bacon. Meet Bashful, Bacon’s pet rock. As Bacon says, “He knows a lot of tricks like stay, sit, be quiet and dad taught him how to play dead. Bashful is a happening pebble. He actually has his very own segment called Field Trip with Bashful… the international rolling stone. It is about all of his adventures in field trips around the world. He goes to all kinds of different places and stays with host families for two weeks.” Bashful has been to France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hawaii, and so many more fun places.

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I gave Bashful a little kiss and welcomed him to New Orleans, Louisiana. He’s going to be our houseguest through Thanksgiving, and my humans and my little sister Tallulah Bee and I are beyond excited about showing him a good time.

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No sooner had Bashful rolled out of the box than he and my humans were off to the bus stop for his first big adventure . . .

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. . . and his first “go cup,” which he enjoyed while waiting for the bus to arrive. Go cups are a very New Orleans thing. In most cities, you have to consume your adult beverages inside. Not in New Orleans. Here you’re free to poor that drink into a plastic cup and sip it while strolling down the street. Judging from that little smile on Bashful’s face, I think it’s safe to say that he was happy to embrace the go-cup tradition.

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After a short bus ride to the Central Business District, Bashful plopped himself down on the bar at Borgne (pronounced “born”) restaurant for what my humans say is one of the best happy hours in the city of New Orleans.

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After digging into the catfish sliders and the fried turkey necks, I think Bashful would have to agree with my humans.

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Next stop was a quick photo-op outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome . . .

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 . . . and then another photo outside of the Smoothie King Center . . .

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 . . . before heading inside to watch the Phoenix Suns play our very own New Orleans Pelicans in what I am quite sure was Bashful’s first NBA basketball game.

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My humans’ normally sit in the nosebleed section. But their ticket rep must have heard about their very special houseguest, because on this night they were upgraded to these sweet seats. They’re thinking of asking Bacon if Bashful can stay through the end of basketball season. 😉 Unfortunately, even the great Bashful wasn’t able to bring the Pelicans their first win of the season.

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So it was time to jump back on the bus and head toward home.

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I was so happy to see Bashful again and to hear about all of the fun he’d had on his first night in New Orleans. I’ll be honest with you, I think he was a bit tired, so we’ve let him catch up on his rest the last few days. Trust me, he’s going to need his energy to take on the Big Easy through Thanksgiving. We have quite the adventures planned for our new little friend.


Quarantine

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It seems like just yesterday I was telling you about the arrival of my little sister, Tallulah Bee. And then I blinked my eyes, and we were celebrating her first birthday. Well, my friends, last week my baby sister . . . how can I put this delicately . . . became a woman. Yep, Tallulah Bee is in heat, and the quarantine has begun.

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We’re all new to this. My humans have always had a fabulous six-month birthday gift for their dogs: We either get spayed or neutered. Light the birthday cake candles; cue the confetti machine; and release the balloons. But Tallulah’s breeder requested that we allow her to go through one heat cycle. There are arguments for and against. We’re honoring the breeder’s wishes; after all, she knows more than a thing or two about Golden Retrievers. So here we go. The quarantine is on. I promise to be right by my sister’s side all the way . . . at least in spirit. A girl needs her sleep.

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We’ve loaded up on supplies to get us through the quarantine.

TOP PAW DISPOSABLE DIAPERS: My human mommy and I immediately went to the store to make this purchase. Tallulah is a big girl, but we never really saw her as an extra-large girl. Surprise! She weighs 63 pounds, so we had to go with the extra-large diapers that should fit 55 to 90 pounds. I say should because we tried putting these on once. Total disaster. They were beyond a tight fit. Turns out Miss Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only  pretty girl with some extra junk in her trunk. Fortunately, we haven’t needed the diapers . . . yet . . . but if we do, Mommy’s trying to think of a way to combine two for maximum Golden coverage. Stay tuned for that.

EARTHBATH GROOMING WIPES: When Tallulah was just a tiny puppy still living with her breeder, her name was Pink. They called her Stinky Pinky because she was always getting into trouble. Let’s just say that my little sister has morphed back into Stinky Pinky. She is not a rose-scented pink powder puff at the moment. That’s why my human mommy was overjoyed to discover the Earthbath Grooming Wipes in a blog post from our friends at Barking from the Bayou. Talk about perfect timing. She quickly made this purchase. (And then she too quickly cut the top off of the package to get to the wipes. Desperation makes humans do crazy things. If you purchase the grooming wipes, follow the handy “Open Here” instructions.) The Earthbath Grooming Wipes have made life with Tallulah Bee far more tolerable, although we look forward to saying goodbye to Stinky Pinky once and for all when the quarantine ends.

PEDIGREE DENTASTIX FRESH BITES: My sister–bless her heart, as we say in the South–has been very conscientious about trying to keep herself clean. Unfortunately, this has left her with less-than-minty-fresh breath. (I know. This is too much information. But honestly, what part of this blog post isn’t?) So we’re trying the Fresh Bites. She still has some pretty foul-smelling breath, but we’re afraid it would be even worse without the doggy breath mints . . .and that’s a chance we’re not willing to take.

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Oh, and my humans have stocked up on their quarantine supplies, too, which they are appropriately enough enjoying from their Golden Retriever wine glasses.

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We’re taking the quarantine one day at a time. We honestly have no idea what to expect. We’ve been reading back through the posts our friends at Marking Our Territory shared when Penny was under house arrest. Sharing is caring, as they say, and we cannot thank Mr. Will enough for his insights into surviving “the event.” Mostly, Tallulah Bee is pitiful. She sleeps more than usual, and she is super cuddly (which makes my humans extra thankful for those grooming wipes and doggy breath mints). I’m thankful that she isn’t as interested as usual in bothering playing with me. But I do kind of miss my rambunctious little sister, and I know she misses her long morning walks with Mommy. This too shall pass. The quarantine will be lifted and, when the vet says the time is right, Tallulah will get her belated six-month birthday gift from my humans. Until then, wish us luck. We’re on a pretty steep learning curve.


HL Does NOLA from A to Z: ZEPHYR FIELD

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Z is for Zephyr Field. While technically not located in New Orleans (it’s in Metairie, a suburb near New Orleans), the stadium is home to the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball team, a Triple A affiliate of the major league Miami Marlins . . . so I’ve decided that it counts on our tour of the Big Easy (and Z seems like an okay place to start breaking the rules 😉 ). The 10,000-seat baseball stadium opened in 1997 and until recently served only as a site for baseball, including Zephyrs games and some college match-ups. But earlier this month the band Mumford & Sons played a successful concert at the ballpark, so it seems that Zephyr Field might be expanding its horizons in the future. (I could have said that the park will be pinch-hitting as a concert venue . . . but I decided not to push my luck.)

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Zephyr Field is even dog friendly . . . at least one day out of the year. The Zephyrs hosted Bark in the Park at a mid-April game. The first 500 fans received dog bowls. Unfortunately, my humans had human commitments that day, so I didn’t get to attend. I really need to work on getting my driver’s licence so I don’t have to count on them to take me places.

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There’s a pretty good chance that the Zephyrs won’t be the Zephyrs this time next year and that the ballpark will have a new name too. The Zephyrs, who moved to New Orleans from Denver almost 25 years ago, were named for a train that connected Denver to Chicago. (It’s interesting that The Zephyr rollercoaster was one of the main attractions at the old Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park in New Orleans, but that is not the origin of the baseball team’s present name.) There’s currently a contest to rename the team. If you have a good idea, click here. You could win some lovely prizes!

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Speaking of prizes, this is the final day of my Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and I wish I had prizes for everyone who stuck with me throughout the journey . . . whether you stopped by just one day or checked in all 26. I hope you learned a little something about the city of New Orleans, my beautiful hometown.

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Photo from My GBGV Life

As far as I know, there isn’t a Reader of the Year Award associated with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but if there were my friend Emma would definitely go home with the trophy. Emma commented on every single post in my journey through the alphabet and throughout the Big Easy. Thank you oh so very much, Emma. I am so happy to count you as one of my truly amazing blogging friends. Please drop by Emma’s beautiful, informative, entertaining, and totally sweet blog by clicking here. You’ll love her . . . I promise.