The Road to BlogPaws 2017

Last week my sister and I went over the river, through the woods, across four state lines, and approximately 825 miles on our way to BlogPaws 2017 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If you don’t know about BlogPaws, here’s a little something from the BlogPaws website to introduce you:

BlogPaws is an inclusive, global community of pet enthusiasts who write about and support pets via social media. We connect brands with pet parents and pet parents with each other, 24/7/365.

The nice people at BlogPaws also present an annual pet-friendly three-day conference offering blogging and social media education and connecting bloggers with brands. So that’s why we loaded the chariot with two portable dog crates, a dog bed, a small cooler, enough dog food to feed two dogs for six days, dog bowls, beach towels, dog toys, dog treats, fancy dog collars for the awards ceremony, a few bottles of wine, two computers, two suitcases filled with human clothes, two dogs, and two humans. Surprisingly no one had to ride in a rocking chair tied to the top of the chariot. (That’s a reference to the old Beverly Hillbillies show. Click here to refresh your memory.)

Our first state-line photo-op was in Mississippi. (You might recall from my trip to Florida a few years ago that my human mommy is obsessed with getting photos at every single state line, despite my human daddy’s reluctance to stop. Once again on this trip, Mommy won . . . most of the time.) Tallulah was looking mighty proud in front of that Mississippi sign because she was born in Mississippi. Daddy’s hand and our poo bag holders made a nice little cameo in this photo. You’ll notice this as a recurring theme along the way.

Our next state-line stop was Alabama. Now I have a little something to say about Alabama and its “welcome” centers. This beautiful “welcome” center was under constructions last time we drove through “sweet home” Alabama, so we visited a temporary center where a very welcoming lady invited me in with my humans and told us all about a beautiful dog-friendly Alabama beach. My how things have changed in the last few years. If you’re in the market for a “NO PETS ALLOWED” sign, forget about it. Alabama has bought every single one and installed them all over their “welcome” center grounds. We did find a small patch of grass on the other side of the semi-truck parking that allowed pets. Tallulah and I made our little stop, posed illegally in front of this sign, and then hit the road.

My feelings about Alabama softened somewhat when I spotted this sign. Monroeville is the hometown of the human Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and my namesake. Now if Mommy and I had been alone when I saw that sign, we would have made an immediate detour. But Daddy was behind the wheel and he had a schedule to keep, so Mommy barely captured this photo through the window. Maybe next time.

It’s a good thing that Mommy’s through-the-window-photo skills are so outstanding because by the time we reached the Georgia state line there was no stopping Daddy. He said that we were almost to Atlanta (where we would be spending the night) and we’d take pictures there. Daddy won that one.

So the next time our paws touched the ground we were in Atlanta and checking in to the dog-friendly W Atlanta – Midtown, where we were completely and totally spoiled rotten. Tallulah enjoyed the view out of the window . . .

. . . while I enjoyed the comfort of the bed.

Our hotel was just steps from beautiful Piedmont Park, where we went for a lovely walk before meeting Atlanta friends for dinner at Henry’s Midtown Tavern. After much food (for the humans at least), a fair amount of adult beverages (again, just for the humans), and lots and lots of water for everyone, we said goodnight to our good friends and walked back to our hotel to recharge before starting the final leg of our road to BlogPaws 2017.

It seemed as if Tallulah and I had barely gotten into the car the next day when our humans woke us up for the final state-line photo-op in South Carolina. Moment of truth: Tallulah and I slept for most of the trip. Occasionally we woke up, looked out the window, repositioned, and went back to sleep. It’s good to have chauffeurs. It’s also a good thing we got so much rest on the road, because our next stop would be Myrtle Beach and BlogPaws 2017 . . . where the action was nonstop . . . and I cannot wait to tell you all about it . . . after I catch up on my beauty rest.


Birthday Brunch for The Bee

Last Saturday my little sister, Tallulah Bee, celebrated her second birthday. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Getting to her first birthday was a bit of a challenge at times. But that second year flew by. We marked The Bee’s birthday in typical New Orleans fashion with a big blowout brunch.

Shhhh . . . don’t tell my sister this . . . BrunchFest NOLA was actually a fundraiser for the Louisiana SPCA, but Tallulah thinks the whole thing was just for her. Let’s just let her believe that. By the way, that little kitty behind us looks a little huge and terrifying. It’s not real, right?

Back to brunch. There were food and drink booths there for the humans and lots and lots of people to give us love and other dogs to give us kisses and sniffs.

Naturally we had to visit our friends at the Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue tent.

And then we headed to Crescent Park’s big lawn for a little entertainment, which just happened to include a show by Mother Tucker’s Drag Queen, Inc. Drag shows are an integral element to many a New Orleans brunch, and Tallulah seemed to enjoy her first experience.

Tallulah still had plenty of birthday energy on the way home from brunch, so we made a little stop at my favorite New Orleans watering hole: The District. I was just happy for the nice cool floor. I guess that’s the difference between being two years old and being eight years old.

Our friends at The District even had balloons in celebration of The Bee’s birthday. (Again, this was simply a happy coincidence, but let’s just allow Tallulah to believe it was all for her.)

Judging from Tallulah’s post-birthday-brunch-bash nap, I’d say that the day was quite a huge success. My first two years as a big sister have been some of the best years of my life. Here’s to celebrating many, many more birthdays with my sweet little sister, Tallulah Bee.


Wordless Wednesday: See Ya Later . . .

. . . alligator!

Thank you to our friends at BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Happy Eighth Birthday, Miss Harper Lee!

A note from Harper Lee’s mommy . . .

Today is Miss Harper Lee’s eighth birthday. She and I celebrated a little earlier this week–just the two of us–with a visit to the edge of the Mississippi River. We watched the barges travel up and down the river, she watched the squirrels travel up and down the trees, and we reflected on eight great years.

I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing dog. She’s sweet and smart and eager to please, and she’s been all of those things every day since the first day her human daddy and I met her.

She has an amazing ability to connect with people. Through the Visiting Pet Program, she goes to nursing homes, universities, summer camps for children with special needs, and shelters for people forced from their homes by natural disasters. She immediately brings smiles to people’s faces. When they pet her, they all say the same thing: “She’s so soft.” 

As much as I try to deny it, eight is sort of getting up there for a Golden Retriever. I have no idea how many more years we have ahead of us, but I do have a promise for my sweet girl: Your health and happiness will be my priority, and I will make every day an adventure filled with love.

Happy eighth birthday, Miss Harper Lee!

 

 


Wordless Wednesday: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Thank you to our friends at BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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A Work of Art in Progress

My neighborhood grocery store is pretty special. It’s real name is Breaux Mart, but my humans call it The Bro. Although I’ve never been inside, I have spent quite a bit of time outside–either waiting with one of my humans while the other runs in to pick something up or strolling around the outside on one of my daily walks. I’ve always loved this mural on the downtown side of the building. (I know that in most cities people give directions as east, west, north, and south. But in New Orleans we say downtown, uptown, river side, and lake side . . . mostly because nothing’s quite straight around here.) The mural was painted by Max Bernardi. You can click here to read more about Ms. Bernardi and to see video of her discussing the swamp-scene mural.

We were thrilled to discover that Ms. Bernardi is painting another mural on the opposite (or uptown) side of The Bro. I’m so excited to share photos of this new work of art in progress. There are six sections running along the wall. The top photo was taken the first week in January and the bottom photo is from the first week in March.

Don’t you just love seeing the progress?

I almost feel as if I’m on the street with those turkeys.

I also feel as if I have to tell you that it was much cooler when we took pictures in January than it was the day we took them in March; but I still think I look pretty good comparing my profile to that horse’s profile.

These last two sections have a bit more to be done.

We’ll follow the progress on our walks to and from The Bro, and I’ll be sure to show you the finished product.


Spring Tease

My sister, Tallulah Bee, and I went to New Orleans’ City Park last weekend. The last time we visited the park was a freezing cold blustery day in January, so you can imagine our surprise when we saw that spring had sprung while we were away. Now I know that for many of you the snow is just beginning to melt and spring blossoms are still a few weeks away. And I know that you’re thinking that the pretty flower pictures I’m about to share with you are a bit of a “spring tease.” You’re right. But just remember that when I’m seeing all of your fabulous fall photos–you know, the ones with the pretty colorful trees, the dogs romping through the foliage on the ground, and the humans sporting their cozy sweaters–it’s still 90-plus degrees where I live and our tongues are hanging halfway out of our mouths. So, without further ado, my sister and I present to you our spring tease.

 There was a pretty little patch of tulips growing by the big lake. Tulips are tricky in the deep south. We have to let the bulbs rest a bit in the refrigerator before planting because our ground temperatures don’t get cool enough to get them going. And then when they do bloom, it gets so hot so fast that they don’t last very long. So catching them on a beautiful day looking their best is a big deal. Tallulah and I lucked out. As an aside, I had to laugh when I saw that flimsy little rope that was intended to keep the tulips from being trampled. Did the park humans seriously think that little thing would stop Tallulah if she decided to make a mad dash for the ducks in the lake? Good thing Daddy had a tight grip on her.

Can you see our Golden hair blowing in this shot? Tallulah and I spent a lot of time with our noses in the air and our eyes closed, concentrating on every little yummy scent that wafted our way. Fun for us . . . not so fun for or official photographer/blogging assistant/Mommy. Fortunately, she’s persistent and managed to catch both of us sort of facing forward in front of the blooming azaleas. There are plenty of pictures of me posing in front of pretty azaleas, but this is Tallulah’s first, a right of spring passage for all southern girls.

Any idea what might have caused these silly faces?

It was the whistle from this little train that travels around City Park. Maybe next time Tallulah and I can hitch a ride. A girl can dream, right?

Tallulah and I thought Mr. Lion looked so stunning with his profile pose that we decided to copy it. Pretty good, huh? Well friends, this concludes our spring tease. My little sister and I will take a bow and exit the stage . . . but not without wishing you a speedy spring full of pretty flowers, and to our friends in the southern hemisphere a mild and quick winter.