I Might Be Spoiled

Spoiled 1 thek9harperlee

This morning, my human mommy looked at me and she actually uttered the following words: “Miss Harper Lee, I think you might be spoiled.” Have you ever heard such nonsense in your whole life? I gave her a look that obviously said, “I have absolutely no idea what you mean.” And that’s when my mommy started to present her evidence. First she suggested that the fact that I have three beds proves that I am spoiled. Clearly she is wrong on this count. A dog needs a bed in multiple rooms because you just never know when the overwhelming desire for a nap is going to hit. So I have one bed in my humans’ bedroom and another bed in the den and another bed in the . . . den. Hmmmm. Well the den is a pretty big room so it makes sense to have one bed at one end and another bed at the other end, right? And I do spend time on each and every bed each and every day. I think I win on that point.

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So then Mommy brought up the whole subject of Bark Boxes. My new Bark Box arrived yesterday, and it joined my last two Bark Boxes that are still almost completely filled with unopened treats. And that’s in addition to the packages of opened treats that nearly fill one entire shelf in the refrigerator. My friends, I am completely and totally innocent on this count. Mommy is the one who subscribed to the Bark Boxes (honestly, I think my humans get every bit as excited about opening those monthly boxes as I get) and perhaps if Mommy wasn’t so darn stingy with the treats, we’d empty those boxes a little faster around here.

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Having lost on those first two points, Mommy pulled out my toy basket. You might recall that it wasn’t so very long ago that Mommy bought a new toy basket for me because my old one was overflowing. Yes, this is my new toy basket. And yes, it is overflowing. Now I could argue that if Mommy had simply purchased a larger replacement toy basket we wouldn’t have this problem today. Or I could once again point out that I am very gentle with my toys and so I still have toys from years and years and years ago.

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Let’s face facts, though: If a girl can lose her head in her toy basket, she probably has too many toys and she might–I said might–be ever so slightly spoiled. Point to Mommy on this one. And that’s when Mommy mentioned the number of collars and fancy collars I own. (You can click here and here and here and here to refresh your memory.) Enough, Mommy. You win.

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I will admit it. I am spoiled . . . totally and completely and utterly spoiled rotten. But isn’t that the way it should be? Shouldn’t all dogs and cats and rabbits and birds and guinea pigs and turtles and fish and pigs and horses and animal companions of all kinds everywhere be totally and completely and utterly spoiled rotten? Here’s my dream for all of my fellow animals who are not at this moment spoiled (and, I might add, loved) as much as I am: I dream of a day when you too will have too many beds, too many treats, too many toys, too many collars . . . and just the right amount of love.

Harper Lee from A to Z: P is for PURPLE

P1 thek9harperlee

Well, once again my blogging assistant/human mommy was stumped when we got to the letter P. Paw? No, too obvious, and you already saw my fuzzy feet when we did the letter F. Pet friendly? No, my entire world is pet friendly, so that post would have gone on and on and on and . . . . So we turned to our Instagram friend @johnanng of 3 Crazy Retrievers fame for suggestions. She thought of inches for our I post, so she had to have something for P, right? And she did: P is for purple. Brilliant!

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I really ought to fire my mommy for not thinking of this one on her own . . . but she works for free and feeds me, so I guess I’ll let her slide just this one time. Purple has been my color since I was just a tiny puppy. I have always had a purple collar. Now I have three: my purple and gold fleur-de-lis collar that my humans bought for me in the New Orleans French Quarter, my purple leather collar with metal LSU studs that I have had since my second birthday (when my humans decided that my neck had grown as much as it ever would), and my specially monogrammed purple and gold collar that my 3 Crazy Retriever friends sent to me for my fifth birthday last month. Are you seeing a theme here? Not yet, well . . .

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. . . I also have quite a collection of purple toys. There’s Long Dog, LSU Football, and Other LSU Football, which is a little deflated now but nevertheless a very special purple toy. Do you see the theme now? If you’re thinking that I love purple because I also love the LSU Tigers, you’re right! I will always love my Tigers and I will always love purple, because purple is my color. Now if only I could convince my humans to give me a big purple bed . . . .

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. See you tomorrow!

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Creating the Perfect Canine Carnival Collar

MardiGras2014 1 thek9harperlee

While most of the world is deep into Valentine’s Day festivities, my thoughts have turned to carnival season. About this time last year, I wrote about South Louisiana’s obsession with Mardi Gras. (You can click here to refresh your memory.) The season begins on the evening of Epiphany (January 6) and runs right up until midnight on Mardi Gras, which isn’t until March 4 this year. For almost two solid months, humans will enjoy king cakes, balls (not the kind you chase and catch, but the kind where you dance), and parades. Fortunately, dogs get to have a little carnival fun, too. In Baton Rouge, we have our very own parade just for us this weekend. It’s called the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society (CAAWS) Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade, and attending this one has been on my bucket list for quite some time. But oh, the horror, I didn’t have anything to wear.

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Never fear. My human mommy had an idea. Several years ago, she saw a little tutu for sale and thought, “That sure would make a cute dog collar.” And then she thought, “I can make that.” Uh oh. That usually means that Mommy is going to spend way too much money and way too much time making something that she just should have bought in the first place. But in this case, the fancy children’s-tutu-turned-canine-collar project has worked out well. She made my pretty Christmas collar and a jeweled collar for me to wear to the occasional black-tie event. (True, I’ve only worn that one once, but I’m sure another special event will come along at some point.) So Mommy and I decided to make a fancy tulle collar for me to wear to the Mardi Gras parade. I sent Mommy to the store to buy fabric in the Mardi Gras colors–a half yard each in purple, gold, and green. Then I watched (well, I might have napped just a bit) while she cut the fabric into strips that measured about two inches wide and 12 inches long. (Honestly, I would have loved to help with cutting the fabric, but I won’t be five years old until next month, and so I’m not allowed to use sharp scissors.)

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Next, Mommy figured out how much three-quarter-inch elastic she would need to go around my neck slightly loosely with about an inch overlap. She says that this step is much easier if the dog actually wakes up and lifts his or her head off of the ground. Whatever.

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Then she sewed the elastic together at the overlap with a zig-zag stitch. You could easily do this step by hand or even safety pin the two ends of the elastic, but Mommy feels super creative when she gets the sewing machine out, so it’s best just to humor her.

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And then you start tying all those tulle strips in knots around the elastic. Trust me, this part is super boring, so you really should just let your human do this step. Mommy says this part only takes a little less than an hour, and the time just flies by if you have something like Olympic figure skating on the television. I’ll just have to take her word for that, because I found this to be the perfect time to nap. After all, I needed to look lovely and refreshed when it was time to model the finished product.

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And voila . . . the perfect canine carnival collar. I cannot wait to wear this to the Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade this weekend. I’m sure to collect gobs and gobs of beads to add to my collection. Throw me somethin’, Mister!

Haute Dog Couture: The Christmas Collection

2012 Christmas Card thek9harperlee

I am not a huge fan of “outfits.” For anyone who saw my Halloween pumpkin costume photos, this probably comes as absolutely no surprise. I do, however, love to don a feather boa-tiara combo, and I am bananas for bandanas.

But there is nothing better than a great collar. My human mommy saw those little tulle tutus, intended for the waists of small girls, and thought, “That would make a great festive dog collar. I could do that.” (She quite often thinks, “I could do that.”) And so she did. She simply sewed together the ends of some red elastic, cut out little strips of red and green tulle, and tied the strips of tulle around the elastic band. Voila! A Christmas collar. (Of course it seems very simple to me because I slept through the whole process.) This is the collar that I wore to visit Santa. You’ll get to read all about that next week.

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I also have this fabulous jingle bell collar, which was a gift from my Gran. It belonged to her Black Lab, Pontalba. (She was named for Micaela Leonarda Antonia Almonester, the Baroness de Pontalba, who designed the Pontalba Buildings in Jackson Square, which is the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. And you thought I only knew about treats and chasing squirrels!) My Gran truly loved Pontalba, so it is a very big deal that she thought I was worthy of this collar.

Merry Collar thek9harperlee

My Gran must think that I am something special, because she also gave me Pontalba’s needlepoint Merry Christmas collar. Isn’t it grand? I am so happy that I have almost a full month left to enjoy all of my Christmas collars. They really put me in quite the festive mood. I hope that they’ve helped to brighten your spirits, too!