Today we’re celebrating sweet Miss Harper Lee’s 11th birthday. Seven years ago (with a little help from her human mommy/blogging assistant), Harper Lee posted her first ever birthday blog. More birthday blogs followed in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Life got busy, as it sometimes does, and Harper Lee’s blogging assistant failed to share our celebration of Miss Lee’s 10th birthday in 2019. Rest assured, we had a fabulous time . . . including a weekend in the New Orleans French Quarter complete with a stay at the Ritz Carlton, where Miss Lee was quite the sensation.
While most ladies of a certain age might choose to slow down a bit, Harper Lee hit the road to her 11th birthday with a busy Visiting Pet Program (VPP) assisted therapy dog schedule. As a member of the MSY K9 KREWE, she brought smiles to travelers, employees, and flight crews at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
Through VPP’s Reading to Rover program, Harper Lee helped children at a local library learn to love books and reading and Golden Retrievers.
And once a month she shared her love with residents and staff at an area nursing home and patients, families, and staff at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. In June 2019, Harper Lee earned her AKC Therapy Dog and Canine Good Citizen titles and officially became Denham’s Harper Lee THD CGC.
Miss Lee even made an appearance on the Smoothie King Center big screen (lower right) before a New Orleans Pelicans basketball game. It was a busy year for our girl, so on December 31, 2019, she officially retired from therapy dog life. She’s spent the last few months enjoying her Golden years with leisurely neighborhood strolls, long naps on the lovely bed that the airport gave her as a retirement gift, and basically doing what she wants to so when she wants to do it.
With all of the ups, Harper Lee’s road to her 11th birthday also came with a few bumps. She’s battled some skin allergies and, much to her disgust, has had to endure fairly routine baths. On the bright side, she now gets to eat alligator kibble. Miss Lee highly recommends alligator kibble. She’s also had some pretty challenging UTI and bladder issues, but a battery of tests at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine indicates that little Miss Harper Lee is, overall, in fairly tremendous shape.
So today we celebrate the past 11 years of life with Harper Lee and we set out on the road to her 12th birthday celebration. The events around the world over the last few months have reinforced one certainty: Nothing is ever certain. We’ll cherish each and every moment along the way, and we will be forever grateful to all of you for joining.
Miss Harper Lee’s Family
. . . 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. 🙂
. . . I took a little couch snooze. Getting to sleep on the couch is sort of a big deal. I know I can’t get on the couch until my blanket is spread out. And then I have to wait for a human to lift me up. For some odd reason I’m under the impression that I’m incapable of jumping up on my own. Don’t ask me to explain, because I can’t. But once on the couch, I’m in heaven. My body sinks into the cushion, I put my head on the pillow, and I’m out like a light. Couch snoozes are the best. I’m hoping for a lot of them in 2019.
What special indulgence are you looking forward to enjoying in 2019?
. . . 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 made sure my humans have everything they need for a wealthy, healthy, and happy 2019. Wishing you the same. ❤
Happy New Year!
. . . Tallulah and I took a moment to reflect on 2018. It’s been a great ride, and we cannot wait to see where the road takes us in 2019. 😉
Wishing our friends a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and best wishes for a fabulous New Year!
. . . I reflected on my 2018 Instagram highlights. My human mommy/blogging assistant used an app called Top Nine to generate the IG posts that received the most likes over the past year. Here’s a little tour of the photos, left to right from the top:
- “When pure love and perfect patience meet . . . and fall asleep.” March 22
- “Bad news: I had a bath yesterday. Good news: The suds were super yummy. Happy #tongueouttuesday!” June 22
- “The Big Easy was the Big Freezy for most of last week. It was miserable. But today was beautiful and spring-like, so Tallulah and I did a little French Quarter/Warehouse District day. We ended with bottomless mimosas (for the humans) at Flamingo A-Go-Go’s dog-friendly patio. Oh, and we had our very own chicken and black bean dish from the puppy menu. Perfection!” January 21
- “Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and happy birthday to me! Today I’m celebrating nine wonderful years, and my New Orleans Irish Channel neighborhood is having a huge party and parade just for me. So “kissmeimirish and it’s my birthday!” March 17
- “Tonight I brought Golden love to the children, families, and staff at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. My wish for everyone I met: a night of sweet dreams as sweet as mine.” September 17
- “Today we celebrated Tallulah Bee’s third birthday at Dat Dog. Looks like Tallulah might have celebrated a little too much. Cheers to many more celebrations through the years!” April 22
- “I’ll be looking for you at the game today, Miss Susan. May the better Tigers win!” (This one probably needs a little explanation: It was posted for a very sweet young lady who is a freshman at Auburn. Her Auburn Tigers were playing my LSU Tigers in a football game. My Tiger’s won. 😉 ) September 15
- ” Yesterday at the Golden Retriever National, Mommy reconnected with these two Florida sweeties and their humans . . . almost four years since we all met in real life during my fabulous Florida adventure. Golden friendships are the best!” October 7
- “I’ll give you three guesses who won’t be the official Easter bunny ear model tomorrow. Hint: her initials are T.B.” March 31
If you’re on Instagram, I highly recommend generating your Top 9 posts for 2018. It’s a fun way to review the old year as it draws to a close. And if you are on IG, let me know where I can follow you. You’ll find me @thek9harperlee!
. . . Tallulah and Mommy curled up with a good book. What is it about a 62-pound Golden Retriever that makes her think she’s the perfect lap dog? 😉
. . . I had half a banana. Now that might not sound like such a big deal; but for the last several months, I’ve been on a food trial. I don’t want to go all old-lady-talking-about-her-ailments on you, so here’s the short version: I started having some skin issues a while back. We tried to treat them with topical and oral antibiotics, but the issues just kept coming back. So my team of veterinarians determined that I might have a food allergy. I’ll go into more detail later (because what I’ve gone through might be helpful for others), but I’ve been on a super-restricted diet . . . until this week. Yippee!
Yesterday, we got the green light to introduce a non-restricted item to my diet. And my human mommy chose bananas, because she knows that nanners are my all-time favorite treat . . . ever! I’ll have half a banana for three days and then I’ll go back to my special food for two weeks so we can make sure that I don’t have a reaction. Like I said, more details on all of this stuff to come later, but let me just say this:
Nanners are the best Christmas treat EVER! I just want to thank Santa Claus for my amazing Christmas gift. I know that my veterinarian team and my human mommy had a lot to do with adding bananas to my diet, but only Santa could have made it happen at this special time of year. 😉