If I Won the Lottery (Golden Retriever Version)

A Word from The Bird

You might have noticed that my humans did not win the lottery. If they had, Tallulah and I would currently be with them in some beautiful remote location with absolutely no internet service. Alas, The Bee and I are still at home and left wondering what if. What if we, a couple of Golden Retrievers, had the only winning ticket for the $1.9 billion lottery? Tallulah gave me the assignment to write this post because I’m good at math. Let me show you:

the number of treats I want < the number of treats I get

So, let’s get started. After federal taxes (whatever that means), we would pocket a lump sum of $706,116,000. State taxes would also need to be taken out. That’s all kind of confusing, so let’s just round off to $706 million. I mean, what’s a few million among friends?

Obviously, we would want to buy some treats. Tallulah and I like Newman’s Own Peanut Butter Flavor treats. First of all, they’re yummy and 100% of the profits go to charity. They’re shaped like hearts and scored down the middle, so it’s easy for the humans to break them in half for us. A bag costs $5.29 (Chewy). If we spent all of our money on treats, we could buy more than 133 million bags of treats. We would share with our friends, of course.

We would also like to go to some obedience classes. Sounds crazy, but we have an ulterior motive. Do you have any idea how many treats you get during a one-hour obedience course? Ok, so it’s not 133 million bags worth, but it’s a lot. A package of classes at Petco costs about $150. That means that $706 million would buy more than 4 million obedience class packages. With that many classes, we might actually learn something.

If Tallulah and I were millionaires, we’d have to look good. Our grooming visits cost about $60, so $706 million would pay for 11,766,667 spa dates. I think that would make our groomer very happy.

We have a lot of toys, but toys are to dogs what shoes are to women: You can never have enough. A Google search told me that the average dog toy costs about $13.50. If Tallulah and I spent all of our lottery winnings on toys, we could buy 52,296,296 toys. We’d probably have to buy duplicates of some toys, because I doubt that there are that many different types of dog toys in all the world.

Tallulah and I would definitely need more beds. Between going to obedience classes and grooming appointments, playing with all of those toys, and eating all of those treats, we’d be exhausted. We really love our Best Friends by Sheri bed. It costs $84.99 (Chewy). (Let’s hope Mommy doesn’t read this because we’re pretty sure she forgot how much she spent on our bed, and she would lose her mind if she remembered.) We could buy 8,306,860 new beds with $706 million. That seems reasonable.

If Tallulah and I won the lottery, we would feel obligated to pay our own vet bills. According to the Internets, vet bills for dogs average $750 annually. Our $706 million would pay for 941,333 years of vet visits. That means that Tallulah and I would each be covered for another 470,667 years.

You know what? No one needs 133 million bags of treats, 4 million obedience class packages, 11,766,667 trips to the groomer, 52,296,296 toys, 8,306,860 beds, or 470,667 years of vet visits. Tallulah and I had a little talk, and we know exactly what we would have done if we won the lottery. We would have helped all the animals and all the humans all over the world who need so much help and who need to know that someone cares about them and wants them to have a better life. That’s exactly what Tallulah and I would have done with $706 million.


Toy Introductions Day 31: A Treat and a Trick

The Bird and The Bee . . .

Yesterday, while we were outside doing . . . well, we all know what dogs do outside, our human mommy was inside preparing the most amazing treat for us: every single one of our toys piled on our favorite bed. You probably recognize most of these toys, but there are a few that we didn’t get to introduce over the last month. So many toys, so few days. Of course, Puppy and Allie Gator were watching over the scene.

You can imagine the frenzy that ensued when we came back inside, turned the corner, and saw what could only be described as puppy dog paradise. (We interrupt this blog post to bring you an apology from our blogging assistant/photographer/Mommy: Please excuse the blurry images of Tallulah and Birdie from this point on. There was quite a bit of action occurring, and my photography skills need work. The photos you’re not seeing were even worse.)

We cannot thank you enough for joining us on this toy introduction journey. We’ve enjoyed more than we can say sharing all (well, almost all) of our toys and the precious memories attached to so many of them. We are thrilled that we’ve been able to free so many toys from the Land of Forbidden Toys, and we promise to do our very, very best not to send them to Squeaky Toy Hospital too quickly. This last month has been a real treat for us, and we hope it’s been a treat for you too.

And now about that trick. Every dog everywhere knows what today is. The day we all dread. The day the humans think it’s so much fun to see us in costumes, or with silly things on our heads, or being startled by creepy decorations. Yep, it’s Halloween, so here are our obligatory costume pics. These costumes were both worn previously by Harper Lee. We always suspected it but now we are sure: Harper Lee was a saint. We hope that your Halloween is filled with more treats than tricks. . . and if you have to wear a costume, we hope it fits better than these little numbers. Happy Halloween!

A note from Tallulah Bee and Birdie Blue’s mommy: Thank you for joining us for the daily toy introductions. We have a few tweaks planned for the blog, tweaks that will give Tallulah and Birdie more of a voice and presence but also continue to honor Harper Lee’s legacy. We won’t post daily (that was a lot), but we will have regular posts and regular categories of posts.

And speaking of the daily posts, many, many thanks to everyone who read daily and extra thanks to those of you who commented along the way. It was very special to reconnect with so many friends who followed Harper Lee’s adventures and to meet so many new friends throughout the month.

See you soon!

Toy Introductions Day 30: The Ladybug Leaf

Birdie’s Back . . .

Yesterday Tallulah introduced you to her Busy Bee Honey Pot. Today I get to introduce the Ladybug Leaf. Do I look a little perplexed in this photo? I can explain that. The Ladybug Leaf was Harper Lee’s toy. It was a gift from her beau, whose name just happens to be Beau. Beau works with Miles at Geaux Fideaux Pet Accessories and Bandanas. Beau chose the Ladybug Leaf for Harper Lee because Miss Lee was always a lady. Until today, only Harper Lee was allowed to play with the Ladybug Leaf.

My human mommy had to explain how this works. I watched as she stuffed three little ladybugs into the leaf. She showed me the holes on either side of the leaf. Can you see how hard I was concentrating? Then she looked at me and said, “Get it, Birdie!”

Well, she didn’t have to tell me twice. As I pulled that first ladybug from the leaf, I was a little more cautious, slightly slower, and immensely gentler than Tallulah with her honey pot bumble bees. I’m pretty excited about having more opportunities to play with the Ladybug Leaf. I promise to take very good care of this very special toy because it was a gift to Harper Lee, and Harper Lee was very special too.

Toy Introductions Day 28: Rip

Birdie’s Back . . .

This is Rip. Rip is a Tearribles interactive dog toy. He was a gift from our Golden friend Clarence and his humans. Rip’s arms, legs, ears, and tail attach to his body with Velcro. He’s actually designed to be torn apart over and over and over again and again and again. You might say Rip is Tallulah’s dream toy.

The first time I ever ripped one of Rip’s limbs from his body, I thought for sure I had killed him. He was brand spanking new and look what I’d done. Sure, everyone expects that sort of thing from Tallulah, but definitely not from sweet little me. I looked at my humans, preparing for the inevitable disappointment that comes when a toy lasts less than five minutes in our house. But my humans were laughing. What the . . .? Tallulah and I quickly figured out that the whole point of this toy is to rip Rip, and no one’s getting in trouble. Happy Friday!

Toy Introductions Day 26: Cathy the Caterpillar

Birdie’s Back . . .

I love spending time outside. I’m obsessed with lizards. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m better at the hunt than the actual catch. In fact, I have yet to catch a single lizard, but that doesn’t deter my enthusiasm. Maybe if the lizards were as big and slow as Cathy the Caterpillar, I’d stand a better chance. I’ve had Cathy since I was just a tiny puppy. Cathy came to our home with two speakers–one in her head and one all the way at the very opposite end–and some sort of internal crinkly stuff running the length of her body. The squeakers are now dead, and the crinkly stuff has somehow disappeared. Cathy has also been admitted to Squeaky Toy Hospital multiple times to have various injuries repaired. Most toy injuries can be blamed on Tallulah, but I think I may be at fault when it comes to Cathy. Mommy thinks it’s a miracle that Cathy still has her antennae. She should know that caterpillars have weak eyes, and the antennae are essential for guidance. I would never ever want to rip Cathy’s antennae off. Then she’d run into walls and stuff . . . if she ever decided to move on her own. Sometimes I wonder what Cathy would look like if she became a butterfly, but then I’m thankful that she’s never formed a chrysalis so she could spread her wings and fly away. She’s just stayed my Cathy the Caterpillar.

Toy Introductions Day 24: Daffy Duck

Birdie’s Back . . .

Did you miss me yesterday? Not only did Tallulah get an afternoon out on the town, but she also preempted my turn in the blogging rotation. That’s ok. I got to have some special one-on-one time with Daffy Duck. Until earlier this month, I didn’t even know Daffy Duck existed. He’d spent years in the Land of Forbidden Toys, thanks to Tallulah’s less-than-gentle way with toys in her younger days. Daffy’s out now, and I am completely obsessed with him.

Daffy is kind of a tall and skinny guy. I like to carry him around the house. Sometimes I step on him, which completely messes up my forward momentum. The humans are quite entertained by this. I’m just confused. Today, I got to carry Daffy outside. Mommy explained that this was very special and just for a photo shoot and that there are inside toys and outside toys and that Daffy is an inside toy. Whatever. I took advantage of the situation and convinced a lady walking on the sidewalk to play tug-of-war through the gate. I am so good at roping total strangers into playing with me as they walk by.

Carrying Daffy around and playing with him are both fun activities, but sometimes just snuggling with Daffy is the best. I’m so happy Daffy escaped from the Land of Forbidden Toys, and I plan on protecting him from Tallulah.

Toy Introductions Day 21: Carrot

Birdie’s Back . . .

Meet the biggest toy in our toy basket. Carrot has been with us since Easter 2021, but he almost didn’t get tossed into this crazy salad that I call “my family.” My human mommy went to PetSmart one day to pick up some necessities. She passed a huge display with a bunch of carrots. She was intrigued and looked closely at the carrots. The material was a little flimsy. I was only about four months old, and Tallulah was more of a toy ripper back then than she is now. Mommy decided that one of those carrots wouldn’t last more than a day in our house and she couldn’t justify the expense. Mommy’s cheap frugal and no fun sensible, so she picked up the necessities and walked out of PetSmart without a carrot. And then she just couldn’t forget about that carrot. Several days later, she returned to PetSmart to buy a carrot for us, but the huge display was gone. She was devastated. She wanted so badly for us to have a carrot. As she turned to walk out the door, she looked to her right. There, in a bin by the checkout, she saw them . . .

. . . and that’s how I ended up with Carrot on my first Easter. And, you know what? A year and a half later, Carrot’s still with us. He’s had some trips to Squeaky Toy Hospital, but he’s hanging in there. The Carrot experience taught Mommy a lesson: When you see a toy you think your dogs would really, really like, get it, because your dogs’ happiness is priceless.

P.S. When our mommy finally bought Carrot, she said to herself, “They’ll destroy this toy in a day, but they’re going to have so much fun . . . and it will be the best $5 I ever spent.” Yep, she hesitated to spend $5 on a dog toy. Told you she’s cheap frugal and no fun sensible. 😉

Toy Introductions Day 19: Jughead and His Himalayan Yak Cheese Insert

Birdie’s Back . . .

Tallulah and I have only had one fight. It was a doozy, and it was over this guy, Jughead, and his Himalayan yak cheese insert. It happened this past Christmas. Santa brought three presents: some salmon treats for Harper Lee, Drago the Dragon for me, and Jughead for Tallulah. Obviously, in the spirit of Christmas, all the gifts were meant to be shared, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I walked over to Tallulah, and I stared at her. I was ready to share. She wasn’t. She stopped playing with Jughead, and she stared back. Our human mommy could see what was about to happen, but before she could stop us, it was on. Tallulah and I went after each other like, well, like sisters. If you’ve had a sister or you’ve been the parent of sisters, I think you know what I mean. Mommy grabbed Tallulah. Daddy grabbed me, and it was all they could do to separate us. When the dust settled, they noticed blood on Tallulah’s mouth where I’d bitten her. Fortunately, it wasn’t too bad, because no one wants to go to the emergency vet on Christmas morning.

That’s when Jughead disappeared . . . until today. I could barely contain my excitement as I posed for the photo shoot. While Tallulah was inside, I finally got to play with Jughead. He really is an excellent toy. He’s sturdy enough to stand up to an overachieving chewer like me, and that Himalayan yak cheese insert just might be the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Mommy has decided that Tallulah and I will get to have one-on-one playdates with Jughead. She’s even considering getting a second Jughead so we’ll each have our own, although she’s still not completely convinced that will work. What do you think? Could I play nicely with my Jughead while Tallulah plays nicely with her Jughead, avoiding another sister skirmish and bloody lip?

Toy Introductions Day 17: Mousey

Birdie’s Back . . .

Happy Rodent Awareness Week! Yep, that really is a thing. Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? You mean to tell me that Golden Retrievers only get one day per year, but rodent awareness gets a full week? That’s just not right. (By the way, National Golden Retriever Day is February 3, if you’d like to send gifts.)

Anyway, given all this silly attention that rodents are receiving this week, today seems like a good day to introduce you to Mousey. Mousey spent an exceptionally long time in Squeaky Toy Hospital. All four of his squeakers were in fine shape, but he had a horrible wound to one of his front legs. (Tallulah and I tried to convince our human mommy that he got caught in a trap, but I don’t think she bought it.) Mousey’s insurance approval finally came through, the surgery was a success, and Mousey’s back in the toy basket. Hopefully he’s the only rodent we ever see in our house.

Toy Introductions Day 16: Off Limits

The Bird and The Bee . . .

Our human mommy has recently loosened our restricted access to the Land of Forbidden Toys. We’re allowed to play with pretty much any of the toys that haven’t seen the light of day in years. There are, however, two notable exceptions: Allie Gator and Puppy.

Harper Lee, Spring 2016

Allie Gator was one of Harper Lee’s all-time favorite toys. Our sister received Allie Gator when she was about three or four years old as part of a blogger Christmas gift exchange. Allie Gator’s tummy was stuffed with squeaky eggs and Harper Lee absolutely loved removing the eggs. She’d take them out, Mommy would put them back, and they’d repeat that over and over again. And then, years later, a certain toy-killing puppy came along (Tallulah Bee fessing up), and Allie Gator had to be hidden to save her life. She came out when that certain puppy (me, Tallulah, again) wasn’t around. Harper Lee always lit up when she saw Allie Gator. One day, during Harper Lee’s last week with us, Mommy took Allie Gator out for Harper Lee to play. Harper Lee didn’t want to play with Allie Gator. That’s when our human mommy knew that Harper Lee was ready to go.

Harper Lee, Spring 2016

Puppy was another special toy for Harper Lee. You might know about the “Chance” plush puppies that PetSmart sells each Christmas. Harper Lee received this one for her first Christmas in 2010. Puppy always sat out on a special chair. Harper Lee would pull Puppy from the chair for play sessions. That is, until a certain real-life puppy with a toy-destructive streak came along (yes, that was me, Tallulah). Puppy was hidden away with Allie Gator and only came out when Harper Lee could play with him safely one-on-one.

Although we’d love to be able to play with Allie Gator and Puppy, we understand why they’re off limits. Those toys were once very special to Harper Lee, so now they’re extra special to our mommy, and that’s ok.