Let me just start by saying that I am not a morning girl. Never have been. Never will be. There, now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to let you know how practically every single day of my life starts. My humans rise and shine at some absolutely obscene hour of the day. I’m not sure exactly what time it is. All I know is that it’s dark. And dark means sleep. So, naturally, I continue to sleep.
After my humans have been up and moving for a while–long enough to start the coffee maker, go outside to pick up the newspaper, come back inside to pour the coffee, and sit down to begin reading the paper–I finally make my first appearance of the day. (At this point I will admit that sometimes my humans actually have to return to the bedroom to wake me up. What can I say? A girl needs her beauty rest.)
And out I go to . . . well . . . you know. A little privacy, please.
Back inside, I make a beeline for the kitchen. While I’ve been outside exploring and . . . well . . . you know, one of my humans has been inside preparing my breakfast. At this point, I stop and wait for my kiss. I will not eat until I get a kiss on my head from the human who has prepared my breakfast. And then I start to devour every last little morsel.
Really, Mommy? Must we photograph every single second of my morning?
The minute I finish eating my breakfast, I run to the den and sit down next to the chair that my humans have named The Burp Chair. They call this special chair The Burp Chair because whatever human happens to be sitting in this chair after I have finished eating my breakfast gets a great big thank-you-for-the-wonderful-breakfast belch from me.
And then I lick my lips (and sometimes my nose) . . .
. . . and head straight to my blue bed in the den to go back to sleep.
What’s your morning routine?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My human mommy spent most of yesterday in the kitchen. (Unfortunately, she was not making treats for me; you’ll have to wait until next week to find out what she was doing.) So I spent most of yesterday in this position . . .
. . . and in this position. And then late in the afternoon I finally heard these magic words:
“Miss Harper Lee, are you ready to go for your walk?” I immediately sat at the door so that my mommy could attach my leash to my collar and we could get on our way. I love my walks. I walk at least once a day. On weekdays, I walk with my mommy, and on weekends sometimes I walk with both of my humans. Other times I go alone with my human daddy. That’s really fun, because we do a little jogging . . . and I get to act like I don’t know my commands.
A couple of years ago, the city and our parks department added a walking path through my neighborhood. It is wonderful. When it was completed, we immediately started seeing people and pets we had never seen before, and the pedestrian traffic has increased ever since. Pardon me for one moment while I stare at this squirrel.
The path includes pretty rest areas complete with pet waste stations.
We don’t always make a deposit, but yesterday was a special day! (Do you think that space aliens watching Earth humans feed their dogs, brush their dogs, chauffeur their dogs, and pick up their dogs’ poo think that dogs rule the Earth? Just a thought, but I digress.)
There are a lot of things I love about my daily walks. I love to greet people and dogs. I love to see kitty cats and squirrels. I love to get into a really good walking pace. But mostly I love to sniff . . .
. . . and sniff . . .
. . . and sniff. Sometimes I shove my head deep into the bushes and my mommy says to me, “Miss Harper Lee, one day something’s going to bite your nose.” I really can’t be too concerned with that possibility when there are so many special aromas to enjoy.
Yesterday’s walk was
a little warm really hot, and I was a bit fatigued and parched when we got home . . .
. . . so Mommy added a few ice cubes to my water bowl. Naturally, I had to stick my nose into that water bowl and retrieve one of those ice cubes.
Ah . . . super refreshing!
The most amazing and wonderful thing happened to me last week. My humans left the house (no, that wasn’t the amazing thing) and when they came home they had two new beds for me . . . plus a travel crate. That must mean that (1) they love me very much and want me to have a good night’s sleep (as if my very sound sleep could get any better) and (2) our trip to New Orleans to see my daddy run in his marathon is getting closer. Yippee!
The hotel where we are staying in New Orleans requires that their canine guests have a crate, and that they stay in their crate in their room when their humans are away. I am fine with that. I was crate trained as a puppy and I loved my crate. In fact, I still slept in my crate until a few months ago. I traveled to New Orleans once before with my humans. They brought my big, metal, somewhat awkward-to-manage crate and set it up in the hotel room. I heard much grumbling from my humans on that occasion, so I suspected that they would make alternate arrangements for this trip.
And voila! My new travel crate appeared. It is light, easy to carry, and the humans marveled at what a breeze it is to set up. I think my humans are very happy with my new travel crate . . . maybe even as happy as I am. I cannot wait for my trip!
You know how humans can be. When they go to the store to buy just one thing, they usually come home with at least one other thing. Such was the case when my humans went to get my travel crate. They decided that I also needed to have new beds. Now, I have written before about my beds, so you know how near and dear the old ones were to me. I had my den bed, my bedroom bed, my $64 bed, and my princess-and-the-pea bed (which was just my den bed placed on top of my bedroom bed). Well, I still have my old $64 bed (it’s the one you see inside of my new travel crate), but now I have a new den bed and a new bedroom bed. I am in heaven.
At first, I wasn’t too sure what to do with my new beds. That wooly top reminded me of a stuffed toy, so I tried to find the squeaky inside. I was quickly informed that chewing on the new bed in search of the non-existent squeaky is unacceptable behavior. Gotcha.
Then I had a little trouble trying to get my whole body onto the new bed. Don’t ask me why, I just did.
But, as you can see, I quickly figured out how to get my entire body onto my new beds, and I have been sleeping like a baby ever since. It’s good to be loved. Sleep tight, friends.
Happy Golden Friday! This morning my human mommy pulled out the PetSmart flier and announced that we were heading out to catch all of the sales. Then she started laughing and assured me that neither of us would be going anywhere near a retail center today (although we may celebrate Small Business Saturday tomorrow). Instead, we are enjoying Golden Friday–a day when Golden Retrievers (like me) get lots and lots of love from their humans (shouldn’t every day be Golden Day?). We’re also going to watch our LSU Tigers (whose colors are purple and gold) play their last regular season game of the year against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Yesterday, my humans had Thanksgiving dinner at Tujague’s in New Orleans. It must have been really yummy, because they did not come home with a doggy bag. Oh well, maybe next time. Since the humans were away for most of the day, I had a lot of time to think about being thankful.
I am thankful for all of my toys. I really have far too many toys, but I love each and every one. I’ve started a collection of SEC mascot toys (the SEC, or Southeastern Conference, is where my beloved Tigers play). Here you can see Pink Pig (for the Arkansas Razorbacks), Gator (for the Florida Gators), and just a hint of Big Al (for the Alabama Crimson Tide–I have no idea why they have an elephant for their mascot).
I am also thankful for all of my beds. Again, I have too many, but I like to sleep on each one at different times of the day. My human daddy calls this bed The $64 Bed. He is hung up over the fact that this bed cost $64. It belonged to Talbot, the Golden Retriever who preceded me; so that means that it’s more than 10 years old–a little more than $6 per year. My human mommy thinks that perhaps it’s time for my human daddy to get over the cost of this bed.
This is The Blue Bed. I love this bed because it’s positioned right next to the den windows and doors. From this bed, I can look out at my patio and back yard without every getting up. That’s pretty wonderful.
This is The Brown Bed. It’s in the room where my humans sleep. When my sister Lexi was alive, this was her bed. I did not go near it then, but now I am allowed on this bed. I like to sleep here because it reminds me of Lexi and how much I loved (and respected) her.
And this is my Princess and the Pea Bed. As you can see, it’s just The Blue Bed on top of The Brown Bed. My humans do this for me at night, and I can assure you it makes for the world’s most comfortable sleep.
This is what I looked like Thanksgiving night. I’ll bet a lot of you looked like this by the end of the day. With my humans back home, I realized the one thing for which I am most thankful: I have been loved each and every single day of my life. Sadly, there too many people and animals that cannot say that, so I know that I am very, very fortunate. And because of all of the love that I have received, I plan to share that love every day of my life, everywhere I go, and with everyone I meet.