A Final Note from Harper Lee’s Mommy

March 17, 2009 ∼ August 27, 2022

When Harper Lee was just a tiny puppy, I held her in my arms, and I cried. “Why are you crying?” my husband, Doug, asked. “Because one day I’m going to have to tell her goodbye,” I said. That day was yesterday. She lived 13 years, five months, and 10 days. It was a long life, filled with friends, adventures, treats, toys, travel, and love. It was a good life, and I’m thankful for every second. It was longer than I ever thought it would be, but it wasn’t nearly long enough.

At nine months, Harper Lee was diagnosed with hip and elbow dysplasia. It was serious. She started physical therapy at the LSU vet school. I thought we might only have two years with her. We celebrated her second birthday, and then I set my sights on four years as a goal. I launched Miss Lee’s blog in 2012 when she was three years old. Fearing that my time with her would be limited, I wanted to make every day special. I knew that developing blog content would give me incentive to take Harper Lee to new places, try new things, bake lots and lots of treats. The blog would also give me a memory book of sorts when I had to let her go. I’ve spent the last few days revisiting her blog posts. They’ve made me cry sad and grateful tears, sad that our adventures have ended, grateful that we were so lucky to have had so many special moments together.

Instagram and Twitter accounts followed. Social media gets a bad rap. For Miss Harper Lee and her humans, it was nothing but good. We developed so many real and supportive friendships with people and animals we only knew virtually. Even better, we met so many followers IRL. (That’s “in real life” for anyone of a certain age.) We shared beach trips, football games, courtyard lunches, and a red carpet walk at a blogging convention. We supported each other through losses and illnesses, human and canine. I was happy beyond belief that I was able to share Harper Lee with so many people around the world. She was a special girl, and I thank everyone who loved her along the way.

We moved from Baton Rouge to New Orleans in 2015. Harper Lee was six years old. As her blogging assistant, I regret that our posts became more sporadic.  As her human mommy, I can assure you that her adventures continued. Harper Lee became a therapy dog. She visited nursing homes, hospitals, conventions, universities, and summer camps. She comforted families that were forced from their homes by flood waters and helped to establish the therapy dog program at the New Orleans airport. Harper Lee even earned two AKC titles, officially becoming Denham’s Harper Lee THD CGC. 

I am forever grateful to Harper Lee for welcoming two Golden Retriever puppies into our family. Tallulah Bee arrived in 2015 shortly after our move. Birdie Blue joined us in 2021. Miss Lee was the perfect role model, patient and kind even when I would have forgiven her completely for not being so. Almost daily I whispered into her ear, “You’re my favorite.” I meant it. I think Tallulah and Birdie forgave me for that bit of favoritism. I also think that they will miss their big sister every bit as much as Doug and I in the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Doug and I had our first Golden Retriever, Talbot, years and years ago when we lived in Galveston. One day, I was talking with a woman who was on her second Golden. (In case you didn’t know, Golden Retrievers are an addiction.) She looked down at her second Golden and said to me, “I love this dog so much it scares me.” I thought that was an odd thing to say. I really didn’t understand what she meant, until 13 years ago when I held tiny Harper Lee in my arms and cried. When I had to let Talbot go, my heart shattered into a million pieces. There were days I thought I’d never be happy again. I thought I’d never love another dog as much as I loved Talbot, and then Harper Lee came into my life. I knew almost immediately I would love Miss Lee even more. I would love her so much it would scare me.


Bashful is HOME!

Bashful made it back to Bacon and the Hotel Thompson! Check out all the souvenirs he brought back. More importantly, check out Lola from Nola . . . his newest girlfriend. Loved having you in New Orleans, Bashful, and I’m so happy you made a love connection while you were here. 🙂


Oh friends – I’m happy to say that Bashful made it back home over the weekend.  In fact, mom/dad went out Sunday morning.  When they got home, there was a special delivery on the porch – BASHFUL.  Remember he had been visiting Miss Harper Lee and her sister Tallulah Bee in New Orleans.    Of course, they couldn’t wait to get the box in and dig inside.  Boy were mom/dad happy – look at all of the awesome goodies.  There were marvelous hand pies from New Orleans from Haydel’s Bakery.  They had 4 different flavors – chocolate, lemon, cherry and apple.  The note from Miss Harper’s mom said to nuke a pie in the microwave for a mere 15 seconds and eat.  Well mom picked out the chocolate, nuked it and her and daddy then proceeded to make more aaww and oohh sounds in the kitchen than a porno –…

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On the Second Day of Christmas: A Quick Trip to New Orleans

Please pardon the reblog on this post. Apparently the WordPress elves are taking the day after Christmas off and this post didn’t go out to my email friends. Happy Second Day of Christmas!


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And on the second day of Christmas . . . my humans and I jumped into my chariot and took a quick drive to New Orleans to meet my Instagram friend @goldenluver, also known as Erika, who’s visiting the Big Easy from her home in Indiana. Naturally, our tour of New Orleans had to begin at my favorite watering hole, The District. We then headed to Grand Isle for a bite to eat and a very nice visit. Miss Erika has three sweet Golden Retrievers back home–Bogey, Bear, and Bagus. She was having major Golden Retriever withdrawal, which means that I got lots and lots of love and attention. Perfect for me!

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Then we went on a short tour of New Orleans hotel lobbies. (My human mommy says that you absolutely must visit New Orleans for Christmas so that you can see the decorations in the hotel lobbies. They are…

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Mmm Mmm Meatballs!

Please pardon the reblog on this post. Some of my email friends didn’t receive it, and I certainly don’t want them to miss out on news of these yummy treats!


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My humans finally did it. After much persistent begging–yes, I’ll admit to it–they finally got a Bark Box subscription for me. When I received my first special package last month, I might have been a little over-enthusiastic. I might have eaten the bully stick a little too quickly. And I might have thrown up, leading my humans to change the name from Bark Box to Barf Box. Lesson learned: Moderation is the key to enjoying your Bark Box subscription. So when this month’s Bark Box arrived, I decided that I would slowly savor its contents.

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I carefully reached into the box, pulled out the Your Dog’s Diner Mutt Meatballs package, carried it to my bed (because that’s where I take all things I love), and started to play with it. That’s when my human mommy had to explain to me that it isn’t a toy; it’s a treat mix. Even better!

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So I…

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Exploring the Possibilities

My apologies if you are receiving this blog post twice. Some of my friends did not get it earlier today, and I simply cannot bear the thought of them not getting to know my Explorer Dog Award nominees! Have a fantastic weekend. 🙂


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A few weeks ago, my beautiful friend Misaki who writes The Misadventures of Misaki presented me with the Explorer Dog Award. This fun, new award was created just last month by Cat (a dog) from Camping & Exploring with Dogs.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person (or dog) who gave the award to you and display it on your bloggy. Check!

2. Nominate up to five friends. Here they are!

  • Bacon from Pig Love–Bacon is slowing but surely exploring the great outdoors, but his explorations within the Hotel Thompson are pretty exciting, too! Bacon isn’t a dog but, for the purposes of this award, I proclaim him an honorary dog.
  • Matilda from Matilda’s Journey–This sweet girl has explored cancer treatment, which isn’t a fun exploration at all. But the good news is that she is doing very well and getting out to explore the sidewalks of Brooklyn.
  • Roy from…

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Sick Puppy

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I’m a bit under the weather. My human mommy was alerted to that possibility when I woke up at 2 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and insisted that I be let out. I have never asked to go out in the middle of the night. Even when I was a tiny puppy, I slept the whole night through. In fact, most mornings my mommy has to come back into the bedroom to get me up. So she sensed that there might be a problem. Then on Wednesday afternoon when I went outside and squatted about 20 times in five minutes, my mommy knew that something just wasn’t right. So she called the vet.

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The vet suspected a bladder infection, but of course I was not willing to give a sample, so my mommy got to come home with this little kit and instructions to retrieve a sample in the morning and bring it back to the vet. Fortunately for my mommy (and for me), there are no photos of the actual retrieval moment. I will tell you, however, that my mommy is unusually proud of her new-found talent for collecting samples. That’s good, because she’ll get to do it in another two weeks.

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So it turns out that I have a very serious bladder infection . . . complete with lots of crystals. Crystals are lovely, unless of course they’re located in you bladder. I must admit that I am a bit pitiful.

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The good news is that I get to eat some special and really yummy food for the next two weeks. I also get to eat lots and lots of peanut butter, which my mommy uses to camouflage the not-so-yummy pills that I have to take for two weeks. After I have finished the pills and food, my mommy gets to collect another sample (woo hoo). Hopefully, that sample will show that I am cured.

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Meanwhile, my mommy is spoiling me rotten . . . even more than usual. Last night, she set my bed up (with a couple of my friends) in front of the television for an evening of Animal Planet. I dozed off before she could even change the channel. Rest, I think, will be my best medicine.