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.

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The Sand Between My Toes, Finally

HL Beach 1 thek9harperlee

It happened, friends. It really and truly finally happened. After driving 760 miles for 13 hours (we made a few stops), spending a relaxing night at the hotel, and a taking a leisurely morning stroll through historic downtown Melbourne, Florida, it finally happened. I made it to the beach. I put my toes in the sand, surveyed the waves, breathed in the ocean breeze, and glanced back at my humans as if to say, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

HL Beach 2 thek9harperlee

And then I headed straight for that water. For the first time in my life–after five years, eight months, and five days on this Earth–I was in the ocean. I think my human daddy was every bit as excited as I was.

HL Beach 3 thek9harperlee

We walked and walked and walked along dog-friendly Canova Beach Park. My humans kept telling each other how wonderful it was that I liked the beach and how great it was that I wanted to be in the water and how happy they were that the waves didn’t bother me. Seriously, humans? I’m a Golden Retriever. Of course I like the beach. I was just wondering why it took you so long to take me there.

HL Beach 4 thek9harperlee

And then, just like that, the humans told me that it was time to go. They were hungry and we needed to find a place to eat. What? They promised that we would return to the beach. My humans keep their promises, so I reluctantly agreed to join them for lunch.

HL Beach 7 thek9harperlee

So we headed back to downtown Melbourne and discovered dog-friendly La Crepe de France.

HL Beach 6 thek9harperlee

La Crepe is owned by Patrice Chaffaut from Brittany, France, and his lovely wife Celeste. Their sweet daughter Nadege was our waitress. You might be wondering why I look a little drunk in this photo.

HL Beach 5 thek9harperlee

Well, the very creative menu offers suggested craft beer and wine pairings for each crepe. Yum! I also had a bit of turkey from lovely Celeste, so it’s possible that the tryptophan tired me out (although I’ve heard that’s actually a myth). Mommy had the Parisian–smoked turkey, sliced apple, glazed walnuts, brie, and honey on a traditional white crepe–with La Chouffe Strong Pale Ale from Belgium. Are you drooling yet? Daddy enjoyed La Tarragon–chunks of chicken breast and organic mushrooms in a creamy tarragon sauce served on an organic buckwheat crepe–with another Belgian beer called Duvel. I know you’re drooling now. There’s a good chance that my humans would get back in the car and drive 760 miles to see Patrice, Celeste, and Nadege at La Crepe de France.

HL Beach 8 thek9harperlee

Thankfully my humans were able to roll themselves out of La Crepe so that we could go back to the beach.

HL Beach 9 thek9harperlee

Now I totally understand why my mommy is so crazy about the ocean.

HL Beach 11 thek9harperlee

Before we could leave the beach for the day, there was one last thing that we had to do. You might recall my dear, sweet Golden friend Bear. In August 2013, after Bear lost his battle to cancer, I wrote this about him in a post titled “Remembering Bear”:

Even though I live in South Louisiana and he lived in Southern California and more than 1,700 miles separated us and we never actually met, Bear was my friend . . . and he was special. Bear loved the beach. He called the ocean his, and it was. Last October, when Bear had tweeted several playful beach photos, I tweeted back that I loved the photos and I was with him in spirit, romping through the waves. I still love Bear’s response: “So glad! I’ll put you in my mind next time I go to the beach so you can come with me! BearHUG!!!”

This past May, Bear found out that he had cancer. His incredibly loving human mom and dad did everything they could to make him better. But perhaps more importantly they did everything they could to make Bear happy. Bear ate pizza. He swam in his ocean and he chased his tennis ball. Bear enjoyed dinner from Smashburger. He dressed up for opening day at Del Mar Racetrack. He visited his favorite park and he rolled in the grass. Saturday evening, my mommy read this tweet from Bear:

Woof bye anipals. I am going to see Fuzz & Oliver real soon. Thx for being my friends. #bearHUGs

My mommy hugged me, and she cried, and she cried, and she cried. And I knew that I had lost a friend. One day, Bear, I will visit the beach and I will put you in my mind so that you can come with me.

 I had finally made it to the beach, and my humans and I put Bear in our minds and our hearts, and he was there with us.

HL Beach 10 thek9harperlee

It was quite a day, friends. But the best was yet to come. Stay tuned!


Remembering Bear

Copied from Love always, Bear (http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Copied from Love always, Bear
(http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Even though I live in South Louisiana and he lived in Southern California and more than 1,700 miles separated us and we never actually met, Bear was my friend . . . and he was special. Bear loved the beach. He called the ocean his, and it was. Last October, when Bear had tweeted several playful beach photos, I tweeted back that I loved the photos and I was with him in spirit, romping through the waves. I still love Bear’s response: “So glad! I’ll put you in my mind next time I go to the beach so you can come with me! BearHUG!!!”

Copied from Love always, Bear (http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Copied from Love always, Bear
(http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Bear loved tennis balls, too. He was almost always pictured with one, either in his mouth or at his side. If you look closely at this photo, you’ll see Bear’s tennis ball sitting right next to him in front of his tail.

Copied from Love always, Bear (http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Copied from Love always, Bear
(http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

One of the few things that could make Bear drop his beloved tennis ball was a good slice of pizza. He liked Chicago-style-deep-dish pizza and he liked New York-style pizza from his favorite Del Mar Pizza.

Copied from Love always, Bear (http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Copied from Love always, Bear
(http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

When it came to dressing up, Bear was a very good sport (and a much better sport than I am!). He had an outfit for every holiday and special occasion, and he always looked dashing.

Copied from Love always, Bear (http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Copied from Love always, Bear
(http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Bear had two sisters, Rosy and Annie, and he adored them. He was the perfect big brother.

Copied from Love always, Bear (http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

Copied from Love always, Bear
(http://lovealwaysbear.blogspot.com/)

This past  May, Bear found out that he had cancer. His incredibly loving human mom and dad did everything they could to make him better. But perhaps more importantly they did everything they could to make Bear happy. Bear ate pizza. He swam in his ocean and he chased his tennis ball. Bear enjoyed dinner from Smashburger. He dressed up for opening day at Del Mar Racetrack. He visited his favorite park and he rolled in the grass. Saturday evening, my mommy read this tweet from Bear:

Woof bye anipals. I am going to see Fuzz & Oliver real soon. Thx for being my friends. #bearHUGs

My mommy hugged me, and she cried, and she cried, and she cried. And I knew that I had lost a friend. One day, Bear, I will visit the beach and I will put you in my mind so that you can come with me.

A Note from Harper Lee’s Mommy: If you knew Bear, I have no doubt that your heart is breaking also. If you didn’t, I hope that you will visit his blog Love always, Bear. His mom posted the most loving and moving letter to him yesterday. It is the letter that we all dread having to post one day. Bear truly was a very special boy.