. . . on a bluff in St. Francisville, Louisiana, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River, St. Francis of Assisi–the patron saint of animals–focused a ray of light on Tallulah Bee and me. Such a perfect end to this Christmas season.
. . . Tallulah and I welcomed Mr. Sunshine and Miss Blue Sky back into our lives. It seems we’ve had nothing but clouds, fog, and rain since Christmas, so you cannot begin to imagine how happy this day makes us.
Wishing you sunny skies and wide open fields. 🙂
. . . Tallulah and I celebrated our own little local holiday miracle: the completion of three nightmare traffic projects.
Months ago a small problem developed with the pipes beneath one of our neighborhood streets. Then it got worse, and then it became a major flood. For some odd reason, the humans in charge didn’t seem to have a solution. Just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get more frustrating, there was a natural gas leak in the middle of the night. And that’s when the humans in charge got serious about things. They tore out all the paving for an entire block, installed huge pipes beneath the ground, and covered it all with brand new pavement. The whole ordeal has been such a hassle that Tallulah and I really think the humans living on that block should close the street–just for the evening–and have a blowout celebration.
Our second little local miracle involved a street that has been under construction since before Tallulah was born. When Tallulah came into the world almost five years ago, the city of New Orleans was deep into a major drainage project designed to take water from areas near the Mississippi River, carry it through massive culverts, and eventually drain it into Lake Pontchartrain. Sounds great–and it is great and we’re very thankful and goodness knows the city needed some drainage improvements–but those massive culverts just happened to run beneath the neutral grounds of three very busy Uptown avenues. (New Orleanians call that grassy area between two sides of a street the neutral ground.) It was quite the ongoing nightmare. The one closest to us just happened to be the last to be completed; but days before Christmas, crews finished the striping, opened both lanes of traffic in both directions, and completely sodded the neutral ground for the entire length of the street. Tallulah and I are looking forward to long leisurely strolls on our beautiful new neutral ground.
And to complete the trifecta of traffic project miracles this holiday season, we finally witnessed the repair of the lights at a fairly busy intersection. The lights had been out for what seemed life eons, and reports of accidents and near misses circulated throughout the neighborhood. We were told that the city was waiting for a replacement part, which our human Mommy suspects was being delivered from Mars. And then one day, as she walked home from her errands, she saw the light . . . or rather the traffic lights actually working. She was so excited, she hugged the repairman who was there to do the work. Tallulah and I suspect that was the first hug he ever received for fixing a traffic light.
Tallulah and I are beyond thankful for these local holiday miracles, which are sure to add immeasurably to the safety and enjoyment of our daily walks. Here’s to no more detours in 2019!
. . . I went to the airport. I’ve been going to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at least once a week since May as a member of the newly formed MSY K9 KREWE. For two hours each Thursday, I walk through the airport terminal and its concourses (with my human mommy at the other end of my leash) greeting passengers, employees, flight crews, and people waiting for arriving loved ones.
Today was a day made for airport therapy dogs: post-Christmas and pre-New Year travelers were slowed by a line of storms through the middle of the country. Ticket and gate agents, flight attendants and pilots, TSA officials and hospitality workers sometimes became the objects of their frustration. So I did my thing: I let everyone who wanted to pet me. I let them talk to me about anything other than delayed flights and crowded gates. And one by one, I made people smile. I made them relax. I made their travel experience–at least for a moment–a little more Golden.
I love being an airport therapy dog. I’ll share more of my experiences soon, but for now I’m off to bed. Making an entire airport smile today made me pretty sleepy. 🙂
From my family to yours . . . Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in 2019.
It’s been far too long since I’ve updated you on my activities, and I’ve so missed connecting with all of my friends in the blogging world and following your adventures. Christmas night seems like a good time to get back at it, and I have a commitment from my human mommy/blogging assistant that she will devote herself full-time–well, as full-time as she can–to sharing my reflections on a Golden life with you once again.
Just to let you know, I’m well . . . still enjoying life as a big sister to Tallulah Bee, sharing comfort and love through a variety of therapy dog activities, and loving life in New Orleans. Get ready for the next 11 days of Christmas posts and updates, and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you. It’s been too long . . . and I’ve missed you.
Cheers and much love, Miss Harper Lee ❤
It’s been a minute . . . or two . . . since I’ve seen you. When last we visited, the new year had just begun and I shared those silly resolutions that my human mommy had for me. No worries; that foolishness didn’t last through the first week of 2018. So what in the world have I been doing for the past couple of months?
Baby New Year played a cruel trick on us in early January with an unusually cold blast of Arctic air. Our lows dipped into the 20s for several nights in a row and the highs didn’t get above freezing. I know that doesn’t sound too impressive to my friends in colder climates, but for a couple of southern Golden girls living in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was pretty chilly. We had ice on the sidewalks and broken water pipes throughout the city. On the positive side, Tallulah and I were cordially invited by the humans to join them in their bed. Turns out Golden Retrievers can be super heat generators and quite in demand during severe cold snaps.
Fortunately, that cold snap didn’t last very long and by late January Tallulah and I were out on the town. We joined the humans for a day in the French Quarter in honor of our city’s 300th birthday. Here in New Orleans we love a party, so we’ll be celebrating throughout the year.
By early February, the humans were deep into Mardi Gras madness. We didn’t see them much. It seems like every time Tallulah and I woke up from a nap, they were headed out the door to another parade. And when we did see them, we hardly recognized them. It was just a blur of wigs, sequins, and beads.
As soon as the last piece of king cake was consumed and all the Mardi Gras decorations were safely stored, the humans packed their bags and flew south . . . all the way to Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica. They awoke to this magnificent view every day, spent hours on the beach, kayaked to the ocean, learned about macaw rescue and howler monkey habits, and generally fell in love with the country and its people. Mommy said the only thing that could possibly have made their trip better would have been a couple of Golden Retrievers. I’m assuming she meant Tallulah and me.
The humans returned from their getaway just in time to join me at the my Visiting Pet Program annual meeting and picnic. My fellow volunteers and I devote the year to bringing love and leaving smiles at nursing facilities, hospitals, summer camps, universities, and conventions. Tara’s Toast to Volunteers gives us an opportunity to celebrate the people and pets that make the program such a success. This year, we got to ham it up in a photo booth and visit with a pet psychic. She told my humans that I’ve lived many lives, which has helped to make me very wise. I think she nailed it.
So now you know what I’ve been doing. I’ve missed you, and I’m eager to catch up. What have you been doing?
Did you miss me? I sure missed you. First let me say thank you to everyone who joined me for the October Daily Photo Challenge, and thank you for all of your sweet comments. My human mommy/blogging assistant and I got a bit behind with our replies, but we read and enjoyed each and every single message you shared. After the challenges of daily posts in October, we took a little break in November. And what better place to recharge your blogging batteries than a beautiful beach.
Tallulah and I supervised the humans as they loaded the chariot and we all set out for Dauphin Island, Alabama. It’s slightly more than a two-hour drive from New Orleans, but when we arrived we felt as if we were a world away.
By the time we unloaded the chariot and settled into our home-away-from-home, Mother Nature was welcoming us with a breathtaking sunset.
I gazed out at the Gulf of Mexico and wondered what adventures the next day would bring . . .
. . . and then Tallulah and I crashed.
We were up with the sun the next morning.
Tallulah had her eye on the water . . .
. . . and before long her toes were in the sand. It was nearly impossible to keep Tallulah on dry land. She hopped over and through the waves, proved to us that she really can swim, ran along the beach, and then did it all over again and again.
As for me, I did my best Baywatch lifeguard impersonation and warned Tallulah and my human daddy to stay near the shore. Mommy says I was slightly obnoxious. I prefer to think of myself as a concerned and loving older sister.
Our second sunrise on Dauphin Island hinted at rougher weather to come. The island is no stranger to meteorological challenges. Just weeks before our getaway, Hurricane Nate made a little visit.
The storm’s winds and tidal surge covered the main road with about six feet of sand. The sand has since been plowed to the roadside and will eventually be sifted and returned to the beach, but for now it makes the road feel a bit like a tunnel.
The slightly rougher surf of our second beach day did little to deter Tallulah’s inner mermaid . . .
. . . but the cooler temperatures and overcast skies drove our humans to the beach house’s deck, where I caught up on some much-needed sleep after a busy October and Tallulah kept an eye to the sky as she tracked every single pelican and seagull that flew overhead. The poor girl might be slightly confused about exactly what it means to be a bird dog.
We watched the sun set on our last full Dauphin Island day with a determination to return as soon as possible. The little barrier island off the coast of Alabama was the perfect place to get away from it all and recharge before a busy holiday season . . . and it was the perfect springboard to bet back to blogging.
Tallulah and I would like to welcome you to our FAVORITE PLACE. There are a lot of places we love visiting, but our absolute favorite place to be is right at our very own gate. From this point, we can observe all of our neighborhood’s activities . . . and we have a pretty active neighborhood. Morning and afternoon we watch the school buses that bring eager little students to our neighborhood school, and we get some special love from the children who walk to and from the school. We observe the ‘hood cats out on their rounds to rid the area of various vermin. Mommy is especially appreciative of those cats. We greet humans and dogs on their daily walks. Sometimes Tallulah is a bit too “eager” with her greetings, but we’re working on that. We even make aerial observations from our gate. We keep an eye on the squirrels that visit the palm tree just beyond our gate . . . and, unfortunately, just beyond our reach. And we gaze at the fighter jets from the air base just across the Mississippi River as they practice maneuvers that we hope they never need to use. But mostly Tallulah and I rest our heads on that little bar at the base of our gate. And we may or may not spend most of our time dozing. 😉
Where is your favorite place, and what do you enjoy doing when you’re there?
Last night, Tallulah and I accompanied our humans on a little stroll to see Ghost Manor. Let me take just a moment to state the obvious: My family really, really needs to step up its SELFIE game. Can you believe that we took literally dozens of selfies and this is the best we have to offer? This selfie is, as the kids would say, definitely not on fleek. But it got just a little embarrassing to continue the attempts as the crowds milled about, so this is what you get. Selfie failure aside, Ghost Manor at night was even better than I’d imagined when we visited a couple of weeks ago in the daytime. (Click here to refresh your memory.) The skeleton quartet serenaded us from the porch. A beautiful lady danced in an upstairs room . . . before she was consumed by flames. And all the while giant eyeballs peered down on us from above. Creepy!
OK, friends, we really need your help. What are your best secrets to capturing the perfect selfie?
A couple of weeks ago, I had fun at my sister’s expense when the October Photo Challenge theme was MAKEUP. Well today’s challenge is NO MAKEUP, so I give you my little sister, Tallulah Bee, in all of her natural glory. It’s hard for a big sister to say this, but I think Tallulah is a very pretty girl. She’s sweet, too. But so far I have the slight edge when it comes to obedience. 🙂
I cannot wait to show you my weather tomorrow. Autumn finally made an appearance in New Orleans!