Exploring the Possibilities

Explorer 1 thek9harperlee

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 Following Roy–In the last few weeks, this little Aussie has gone from sandy beaches to snowy mountains. Now that’s some exploring! And he never left his home continent. Who knew Australia had snowy mountains?
  • Ruby from Ruby the Airedale–Ruby is the funniest girl (or, as she would say, gurl) in all of blogdom, and she leaves the very best comments on everyone’s blogs. I would like to explore her mind, because I’ll bet that’s one fun place!
  • Sage from The (mis)Adventures of Sage–This award should probably be called The Sage Award, because every day is a great exploration for this girl, and she never met a mud puddle she didn’t like.

3. Answer the following questions:

What is your favorite place to explore? Link to it.

Explorer 3 thek9harperlee

This one is just a little bit tough because I actually have two favorite places. Sometimes I like to explore in the city, and my favorite city to visit is New Orleans, Louisiana. I have written several blog posts about my Crescent City trips, but you can click here to read about my most recent adventures this past April. Other times I like to explore in the country, and my favorite country getaway is Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast in St. Francisville, Louisiana. My last trip to Butler Greenwood was this past May and I had so much fun (you can click here to read more about it). I saw chipmunks and a peacock and baby birds and ducks and frogs and fireflies. And those were just the animals that I saw. You can only imagine all the things I heard and smelled early in the  morning and late in the evening. Wow! I’m getting excited just thinking about all the exploring I did. As you can see, my explorations came to a screeching halt after May. That’s because it’s just too hot where I live for puppy dogs to do much in the summer; but my humans promise me that when the cooler temperatures return in October, I’ll be hitting the road again. I’m holding them to that promise.

Have you ever found anything exciting/interesting whilst exploring?

The District thek9harperlee

One time while I was exploring in New Orleans, I found a bar. Does that sound bad? Let me explain. My hotel was just around the corner from a place called The District, and every time we walked past it I tugged on my leash to go through the door. Finally, my mommy went inside and asked the bartender if I could just step inside to get it out of my system. Well, turns out The District is a pet-friendly place (I was trying to tell my humans that) and I had a blast. It’s now a must-visit spot when I travel to New Orleans.

What do you like to explore more, beach or park?

Well, now you’ve hit a nerve. You see, I’ve never been to the beach. A beach trip is one of my goals, and it will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet. So, reluctantly, I must answer park on this one, because I have been to several parks and I have had fun. But I still want to go to the beach.

What is your favorite post you have written? Link to it.

“Visiting Hours at Squeaky Toy Hospital”–and, by the way, Hedgehog is still hanging in there!

The Country Girl: Part 2

Gazebo Girl thek9harperlee

My marvelous weekend at Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast continued bright and not-too-early Saturday morning when the baby birds outside of our cottage started demanding their breakfast. I joined my humans on the porch of Chase’s Cottage while they enjoyed their coffee and breakfast and we all eased into another relaxing day.

Front Lawn 1 thek9harperlee

We enjoyed a beautiful walk in front of the plantation house. As I’ve said before, this was my third stay at Butler Greenwood, but this was the first time my humans trusted me off-leash in front of the house. This was a very big deal.

Picnic thek9harperlee

Our fabulous picnic lunch was the highlight of the weekend for my mommy. My mommy loves a picnic, and this one was super special. We spread our picnic blanket (which is more of a tablecloth, but it’s what Mommy likes to use for picnics) in the shade of some beautiful trees outside of our cottage. My humans enjoyed chicken salad wraps (prepared by my mommy), grapes, and, of course, a little wine. I enjoyed exploring my surroundings.

Lounging thek9harperlee

After our picnic lunch, we all enjoyed relaxing on a beautiful early summer afternoon. My daddy found just the right spot to scratch me. Even my mommy relaxed, and that doesn’t happen very often.

Wine and Cheese thek9harperlee

The afternoon just flew by, and suddenly it was time for our dinner. I had my usual dog food, but my humans treated themselves to a  little wine and cheese. That’s when my mommy glanced out the window and saw Humphrey the peacock visiting our end of the pond.

Humphrey Close-up 2 thek9harperlee

Naturally my mommy heard the call of the wild and dashed out the door to become a wildlife photographer. My daddy and I chose to stay inside. Daddy wanted to remain close to the wine and cheese, and I was simply too exhausted from my day to get up off of the nice cool floor.

Time to Go thek9harperlee

Sunday morning arrived much too soon. My humans explained to me that our wonderful weekend had come to an end. I was super, super sad at first. My weekend had been beyond magical. I saw ducks, peacocks, all sorts of bids, chipmunks, and even fireflies. (Who knew a Golden Retriever could actually see a firefly? Trust me, I did; and to prove it my mommy has a nearly dislocated shoulder from the massive yank I gave to my leash.) I heard frogs, and frogs, and more frogs at the edge of the pond, and I smelled things that I can only imagine. As we packed up and headed home, my humans promised me that we will return to Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast very soon. I plan to hold my humans to that promise.

Wordless Wednesday: Dawg on a Porch

Dawg on a Porch 1 thek9harperlee


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The Country Girl: Part 1

Butler Greenwood thek9harperlee

Last Friday afternoon, my humans loaded my chariot (with, among other things, all that human food my mommy had prepared the day before, one of my beds and several toys that I would ignore for the next 48 hours, and a healthy supply of wine) and we headed to Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast for a little rest and a lot of relaxation. Butler Greenwood Plantation is located in St. Francisville, Louisiana. It’s less than 45 minutes from my house, but it feels like an entire world away. This was actually my third trip to the B&B. The photo on my very first blog post was taken at Butler Greenwood almost a year and a half ago when I made my second visit.

Chase's Cottage thek9harperlee

Butler Greenwood guests stay in eight cottages that are situated on the plantation’s beautiful grounds. On our previous visits, my humans and I have stayed in The Treehouse, which features a three-level deck on a beautiful wooded ravine, and The Cook’s Cottage, a 19th-century building that was home to the plantation’s cook. This time we checked into Chase’s Cottage, which is located on the edge of the pond and features a steep-pitched tin roof and a lovely porch that is perfect for a summer stay.

Walk in the Field 2 thrk9harperlee

My daddy unloaded my chariot, my mommy got everything settled, and then the three of us set out on our first walk through the big field behind the plantation home and cottages. I love to run through that field . . .

Exploring thek9harperlee

. . . and to check out all the wonderful smells. It is heavenly.

Porch thek9harperlee

After our first walk through the field, we settled down on the beautiful, breezy porch where we would spend most of our time during this visit. We watched the activities in, on, and around the pond. My humans read books and magazines. My daddy and I dozed, and–of course–my mommy took lots and lots of pictures with that crazy camera. I was simply mesmerized by all the sounds–birds and baby birds, frogs of all sorts, ducks, and even a peacock who would entertain us with a lovely show later in the day.

Baby Birds thek9harperlee

Some barn swallow babies, crammed into a nest that was safely tucked just beneath the porch’s ceiling, were our constant companions.

Barn Swallow thrk9harperlee

The adult barn swallows swooped from atop the porch lights, to the surface of the pond where they collected bugs, and then up to the little nest to feed those bugs to their babies. They rested briefly on the porch railing, and then started the process all over again.

Ducks thek9harperlee

I watched the ducks on the pond and something deep, deep, deep inside of me said, “Hey . . . Harper Lee. Did anyone ever tell you that you’re a bird dog? Did you know that somewhere way back in your past you had canine family members who actually retrieved those things?” I chose to ignore that crazy voice and just watched those pretty little ducks paddling from one end of their pond to the other and back again. In the evening, they really did settle into their floating duck house for the night.

Humphrey thek9harperlee

As my humans sat on the cottage porch enjoying a yummy early dinner pre-prepared by my mommy, they glanced across the pond and saw handsome Humphrey, the plantation peacock, performing his nightly show. He seemed quite pleased to have an appreciative audience.

Chipmunk Pair thek9harperlee

Our post-dinner wine stroll brought this cute surprise: two chipmunks peeking out of their little chipmunk home. If I used all four paws, I think I would run out toes to count all the different types of animals I saw and heard last weekend. It was magical.

Tired Pup thek9harperlee

It was also a little exhausting. Back at Chase’s Cottage, I quickly dozed off. Let’s face it: Human rest and relaxation can be overwhelming for a Golden Retriever, and my humans and I would need our rest for the next beautiful day at Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast.