It’s important for big sisters to let little sisters know who rules. I’ll always remember this moment when the pecking order was made abundantly clear to a certain pesky little sister. Tallulah had just joined our family and she had the nerve to pull all of my toys out of my toy basket and act like they belonged to her. Seriously?
With one bark, I let Tallulah Bee know that I was still the Queen Bee in my house . . . and I got the toy.
That was a little more than two years ago. From time to time, I still have to remind Tallulah that I am the big sister and that being the big sister has its privileges. But for the most part, she understands: Big Sisters Rule!
Last Friday, my little sister and I received a very special delivery from our sweet little piggy friend Bacon. (If you already know Bacon, then you know what a special little pig he is. If you don’t know Bacon, click here to link to his blog. I promise you’ll fall in love.) To say that our box from Bacon sent both of us into a tizzy would be quite the understatement. It was packed full of everything a girl could ever want.
Tallulah and I were especially obsessed over the pink piggy toy. We spent quite a bit of time trying to dismember him, but he’s tough and managed to survive . . . at least for the first round.
As fabulously fun as the pink piggy toy and the fancy treats were, there was something even more special in that little box from Bacon. Meet Bashful, Bacon’s pet rock. As Bacon says, “He knows a lot of tricks like stay, sit, be quiet and dad taught him how to play dead. Bashful is a happening pebble. He actually has his very own segment called Field Trip with Bashful… the international rolling stone. It is about all of his adventures in field trips around the world. He goes to all kinds of different places and stays with host families for two weeks.” Bashful has been to France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hawaii, and so many more fun places.
I gave Bashful a little kiss and welcomed him to New Orleans, Louisiana. He’s going to be our houseguest through Thanksgiving, and my humans and my little sister Tallulah Bee and I are beyond excited about showing him a good time.
No sooner had Bashful rolled out of the box than he and my humans were off to the bus stop for his first big adventure . . .
. . . and his first “go cup,” which he enjoyed while waiting for the bus to arrive. Go cups are a very New Orleans thing. In most cities, you have to consume your adult beverages inside. Not in New Orleans. Here you’re free to poor that drink into a plastic cup and sip it while strolling down the street. Judging from that little smile on Bashful’s face, I think it’s safe to say that he was happy to embrace the go-cup tradition.
After a short bus ride to the Central Business District, Bashful plopped himself down on the bar at Borgne (pronounced “born”) restaurant for what my humans say is one of the best happy hours in the city of New Orleans.
After digging into the catfish sliders and the fried turkey necks, I think Bashful would have to agree with my humans.
Next stop was a quick photo-op outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome . . .
. . . and then another photo outside of the Smoothie King Center . . .
. . . before heading inside to watch the Phoenix Suns play our very own New Orleans Pelicans in what I am quite sure was Bashful’s first NBA basketball game.
My humans’ normally sit in the nosebleed section. But their ticket rep must have heard about their very special houseguest, because on this night they were upgraded to these sweet seats. They’re thinking of asking Bacon if Bashful can stay through the end of basketball season. 😉 Unfortunately, even the great Bashful wasn’t able to bring the Pelicans their first win of the season.
So it was time to jump back on the bus and head toward home.
I was so happy to see Bashful again and to hear about all of the fun he’d had on his first night in New Orleans. I’ll be honest with you, I think he was a bit tired, so we’ve let him catch up on his rest the last few days. Trust me, he’s going to need his energy to take on the Big Easy through Thanksgiving. We have quite the adventures planned for our new little friend.
This photo was taken in 2015 in front of my former home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My old neighborhood, fortunately, escaped the historic flooding that has devastated so many in Baton Rouge and throughout South Louisiana.
After a series of bright shiny days, the heavens opened above South Louisiana late last week. As bad as the rain was for us, it was much, much worse for the parishes (that’s what we call counties) around us. So many have lost so much. And, as I write this (or dictate it to my human mommy/blogging assistant), people and their pets are still being rescued from the flood waters. We wish our friends in neighboring parishes all the best as they begin the long and challenging recovery from unprecedented flooding. Water in your home is never a good thing.
While thankfully we escaped the flooding, the rain brought its own set of challenges to our home. My little sister, Tallulah, developed a serious case of cabin fever. On normal mornings, Mommy and Tallulah start the day with a very long, very brisk walk. (My daily leisurely stroll follows.) The goal of these walks is to exhaust Tallulah’s excessive energy levels. The constant rain meant that–at best–Mommy and Tallulah could only dash around the block . . . not nearly enough to tame the beast. And that’s when Tallulah’s cabin fever started to set in. My human mommy quickly determined that we would not be able to cure Tallulah’s condition. We could only hope to control it.
Mommy thought that occupying Tallulah’s mind might make her body forget that it was–essentially–caged. So she pulled out the puppy puzzles.
This puzzle was mine long before Tallulah ever saw it, which is the case with most of the doggy things in our house. Here’s how it works: A human puts a treat in each of the little holes and then covers the little hole with the sliding cover. The dog is then supposed to slide the cover open to get the treat. This puzzle was a no-brainer for me. (You can click here to read how I conquered this challenge years ago.)
Tallulah? Well, let’s just say that my little sister is pretty. Ok, that’s not quite fair. It took her a little longer than it took me, but she did ultimately figure out how to get to the treats . . . with one exception. There was something about those blue covers. She never once opened the blue covers. Mommy says an animal behaviorist would have a field day with that.
When Tallulah started grabbing the first puzzle by those little knob things on the sliders and running around the house with it, Mommy decided that is was time to switch to another puzzle. (Clearly, this cabin fever treatment was not working.) So she pulled out another of my old puzzles. Again, the treats are placed under those blue paw-print covers and the object is to lift the covers off and get the treats. That’s the object, anyway.
This one really threw poor pretty Tallulah for a loop. Perhaps it had something to do with the color blue again. Who knows? Although she wasn’t quite getting the hang of the puzzle, she was doing a fine impression of a Shar Pei.
I have to give my little sister some credit and say that Tallulah eventually solved this puzzle. Gee, you really don’t know how hard it is for a big sister to say that. And I also have to admit that when I first approached these puzzles, I was a good bit older and wiser than Tallulah is now. But let the record show that I am the puppy puzzle queen in our house.
Eventually we put the puzzles away and Tallulah and I got back to doing what we do best on a rainy day: driving Mommy crazy with our out-of-control wrestling. Uh oh, it looks like Tallulah’s strain of cabin fever just might be contagious.
You might recall a time, not so very long ago, when my toy baskets overflowed. (If you’d like to refresh your memory, click here. As for me, I can’t bear to look.)
And then my little sister, Tallulah Bee, arrived. Sure, she was cute back then . . . all comfy and adorable atop my fabulously full toy basket. But then she grew . . . and one by one, she destroyed almost every single one of my beloved toys.
We managed to salvage a few of my very favorites and hide them for safe-keeping in the Land of Forbidden Toys (also known as a cabinet).
Occasionally, when Tallulah is fast asleep in her crate, my toys and I are reunited.
Oh, Allie Gator, I so miss plucking your alligator eggs out one by one.
So my humans are on a major hunting expedition. Don’t worry. It’s not that kind of hunt. Daffy Duck and Bambi’s mother are perfectly safe. No, my humans are hunting for the indestructible toy. They’ve tried and tried to find something that can stand up to the intense “love” of Tallulah Bee. But so far no luck.
So we’re asking for your help: Can you suggest a Bee-proof toy?
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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.
Yesterday I officially joined the Instagram Snake Charmers Club, which from this point on will be referred to simply as #snakecharmers. Not familiar with the #snakecharmers? If you’re on Instagram, check out the hashtag. I think the photos will tell you all you need to know. If you’re not on Instagram, I’ll do my best to explain. The #snakecharmers are a group of Instagram dogs with snake toys. (As of this writing, there are only dogs in the club, but I’m sure membership would be open to pigs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, etc. It’s a fairly non-exclusive club.) Sounds pretty simple so far, right? Here’s where it gets more interesting. There are various chapters of the #snakecharmers. There’s an East Coast Chapter (rumor has it the #snakecharmers originated in Florida) and a West Coast Chapter, a New England Chapter and a Midwest Chapter, a Georgia Chapter and an Arizona Chapter. There’s even a Special Ops Team and an International Chapter. I’ve heard whispers about an Undercover Chapter, but I was sworn to secrecy so my lips are sealed.
But back to me. There’s nothing quite like that special moment when a girl meets her snake and the charming begins. It starts off slowly, quietly, and gently.
Then a little bit of crazy kicks in and it’s best just to stand back and watch . . . from a very safe distance.
And voila! The snake has been charmed. He’s so charmed that he now has a name–Sammy–and he’s slithered up beside me for a nice little nap. We all know that snakes are cold-blooded creatures, so I’m sure he appreciates a little Golden warmth.
Who knew snake charming could be so exhausting? Boy am I happy that the weekend is here and I’ll have a chance to catch up on my sleep. Many, many thanks to my sweet Instagram friend @johnanng and the 3 Crazy Retrievers for introducing me to the #snakecharmers. The club started just a week ago, and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. What do you say? Any interest from the blogging community?