Finally, Tallulah Does PetSmart

After two years, two months, and 10 days on this Earth, my little sister finally made her first visit to PetSmart last weekend. I know. Even my humans were surprised (and, frankly, appalled with themselves) when they realized that poor little Tallulah Bee had never set foot in a PetSmart store. By the time I was Tallulah’s age, I’d been to PetSmart hundreds of times. It’s where I attended obedience classes–beginner, intermediate, advanced, and post-graduate studies–and where I had my hair done before we moved to New Orleans. Tallulah went to obedience school at Camp Bow Wow and now we get our hair done at the groomer down the street. So this little adventure was a super big deal. Clearly, Tallulah had no idea what was about to happen when she walked through those magic doors.

It didn’t take her long to realize that PetSmart is quite possibly the happiest place on Earth when you’re a dog. Tallulah was a little blur as she raced up and down every single aisle.

She slowed a bit when she reached the toy aisle and stuck her nose in every single bin . . .

. . . literally every . . . single . . . bin.

And then Tallulah came to a screeching halt when she rounded a corner and found herself (almost) face-to-face with the hamsters, gerbils, and other furry creatures in the small animal cages.

She was especially enamored with the guinea pigs. She begged and begged our humans to get one for her–after all, they were on sale–but the humans wisely refused. (NOTE: No guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, or other small furry, feathered, finned, or scaled animals were injured in the course of Tallulah’s first PetSmart visit. My humans kept her at a safe distance and maintained a tight grip!)

While she didn’t come home with a guinea pig, Tallulah did return with a few special treasures. Remember last year when we were looking for a toy that Tallulah wouldn’t destroy? (Click here to read about our seemingly hopeless quest.) Well, we’ve finally discovered that she is less likely to “kill” the non-stuffy toys. With the addition of her new Dino the Dinosaur purchase, she is now up to three so far merely gently loved non-stuffy toys. Paws crossed that this success continues. Tallulah also picked up a free small bag of ProPlan salmon-and-rice-flavored food thanks to a pretty incredible PetSmart promotion: pick up a free bag of food and PetSmart gave a pet in need a free meal. Talk about a win-win situation.

Tallulah also did some personal shopping for me while she was at PetSmart. I asked her to pick up some kitty toys and doggy treats to send to some very special friends in Texas. Their kitten, Trixie, is new to the family so she needed some special welcome gifts. And I thought their two dogs, who are now forced to share their home with this new feline, deserved some special treats. Shoutout to JoJo and Tag: I’ve got your backs! Clearly, Tallulah’s long-overdue first PetSmart visit was a roaring success. Wishing you equally exciting and successful adventures this weekend. Cheers!


Two Blondes and a Beach

All work and no play can make Golden Retrievers a little stir crazy, so I cannot begin to tell you how excited Tallulah and I were the evening that we snuck away from the business of BlogPaws 2017 to feel the sand between our toes and frolic in the surf on Myrtle Beach.

It was my second time to visit the beach (you can read about my 2014 Florida beach trip and Great Golden Gathering here and here), but it was Tallulah’s first time. My little sister is definitely a beach girl. (It’s not surprising. Her Golden grandmother, Katie, is from Lakewood Golden Retrievers in Melbourne, Florida. My humans and I actually met Katie on our Florida beach visit almost three years ago. At the time, we had absolutely no idea that Tallulah would join our family one day. Life can be funny that way. But I digress.) My human mommy says that if we’d dropped Tallulah’s leash at Myrtle Beach, she would have swum to Cuba. Luckily Daddy kept a tight grip.

If you have four paws and a tail, there are a few of things that you need to know about visiting Myrtle Beach. Animals are not allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 1 to Labor Day. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and–I know all of my friends know this, but some people need to be reminded–please pick up after your pets. Humans go to the beach to feel the sand between their toes . . . not something else. 😉 And for the humans who will be joining their pets at Myrtle Beach, there is plenty of paid parking at little lots all along the beach. My humans learned the hard way, however, that the meters do not take American Express and they do not accept $20 bills, so Daddy had to run across the street to get change. Trust me . . . it was worth it.

Our beach visit was quick, but we’ll cherish the memory forever and ever. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the sea breeze blowing through my hair and my feet sinking into the soft sand. It was magical. Wishing you a magical weekend that creates moments and memories that last forever. Cheers!


Meeting and Making Friends at BlogPaws 2017

There are a whole lot of great things about a BlogPaws conference, but the greatest in my book has to be the people and pets you meet. They’re all so super nice. Way back in March, my human mommy started counting down the days until she’d meet my dear friend Bear’s mom. We fell in love with Bear when we discovered his Love always, Bear blog, and it shattered my mommy’s heart the day Bear crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When our mommies finally met last month, it was as if they’d been friends forever. I guess Goldens just have a way of connecting people. That’s Bear’s mom on the right holding his sister Rosy.

Rosy writes a blog called Rosy Reports and, as Rosy would say, it’s fab. So fab that she was a finalist for not one but two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards. Tallulah and I were honored to pose with her before the big awards dinner, and we were beyond thrilled that Mommy finally got to hug Bear’s mom and we finally got to meet his fabulous sister Rosy.

Photo from Rosy’s Twitter @PrincessRosyRue

We were crushed when another Golden friend, Sugar, crossed the Rainbow Bridge just a couple of months before the BlogPaws conference. How fitting that our friends Sugar and Bear were side-by-side when the 2017 conference Honor Flags were displayed.

Photo from Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever Blog

That’s Sugar’s mom holding stuffed Goldie at the conference. (Mommy and Sugar’s mom were so busy hugging every time they saw each other that silly Mommy didn’t think about getting a photo.) I’m so super happy to report that just as soon as Sugar’s mom and dad got home from BlogPaws 2017 they welcomed a new Golden Retriever into their home and into their hearts. His name is Koru Bear and you can click here to see how incredibly handsome he is.

Keeping with the Golden theme, meet Honey and her mom. Sweet doesn’t even begin to describe these two. They’re like the best cupcake ever piled high with the richest icing you’ve ever eaten and covered with sprinkles. Yep, that sweet. Honey’s mom blogs at Something Wagging This Way Comes and–get this–they live on a sailboat. It was such a thrill to meet them, and we cannot wait to follow their nautical adventures.

Now I don’t want you to think we only hung out with Golden Retrievers and their humans while we were at BlogPaws 2017. We also met Leroy from My Brown Newfies. Leroy’s mom probably thought my human mommy was a crazy stalker when she leapt from the car and dashed toward Leroy the minute we got to the conference hotel. But, I mean really, who doesn’t love a big handsome hairy guy who drools?

And mommy wasn’t the only one with a BlogPaws 2017 crush. My little sister Tallulah fell in love with Echo from A Girl & Her Husky. Yep, my little sister was that woman who goes to an out-of-town business conference and has a fling. You can’t really blame her. Echo was pretty sharp in his red carpet attire. I guess what happens at BlogPaws stays at BlogPaws . . . wink, wink.

Finally meet Lucy with the Underbite, an adorable Chihuahua-Pug mix who had the time of her life strutting her stuff on the red carpet with Rosy. Lucy and her mom work with DogWatch Hidden Fences, a conference exhibitor, and Lucy has the most adorable Instagram account. Check her out here. I could go on and on about all the amazing people and pets we met at BlogPaws 2017, but I have a better idea. Why don’t you make plans to attend BlogPaws 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri? I promise you’ll meet a whole lot of super nice people and pets.


BlogPaws 2017: There and Back

After 825 miles, four state lines, and a night in Atlanta, we finally reached our destination: BlogPaws 2017 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was so ready for four nights and three days of nonstop learning and networking . . . unlike my little sister, who was one big yawn.

The Bee managed to perk up, however, when we got into our hotel room and she realized that we had another floor-to-ceiling window. That girl loves a floor-to-ceiling window. (Check out my last post to see how much she loved the window at the W Atlanta – Midtown.)

It’s hard for me to describe to you just how wonderful a BlogPaws conference is. There are dinners and lunches with keynote speakers. Yep, that’s my little sister, Tallulah, on the big screen as everyone is arriving for lunch. And by everyone, I mean everyone: humans, dogs (on leashes and in strollers), cats (mostly in strollers), at least one bearded lizard, a ferret, and a therapy rat.

Animals even attended the fancy awards ceremony dinner . . . after walking the red carpet, of course. That’s a photo of my little family.

There were educational sessions all day long, and pets were welcome to attend. I got to assist Dr. Julie Buzby at her session, “All Hands on Dog: Ten Touches that Could Save Your Dog’s Life.” (That’s Dr. Buzby on the left and my human daddy on the right. I’ll be doing a blog post on the ten touches later this week so you humans can keep my dog friends healthy.) I look pretty alert in this photo, but mostly Tallulah and I just slept through the sessions while my humans did a lot of note-taking. We definitely perked up for our visits to the exhibit hall, where more than 50 exhibitors shared information about pet products, pet health, pet food, pet toys, pet training, and pet treats. More importantly–to Tallulah and me, at least–they also handed out samples. We’re pretty sure that heaven will be a lot like that exhibit hall. I’ll share some of my favorite products in the next couple of weeks . . . just as soon as my human mommy finishes unpacking the two huge duffle bags of goodies that we brought back home.

BlogPaws 2017 was a whole lot of activity . . . maybe just a bit too much activity for my little sister.

Alright, I’ll admit it. Between the meals and the educational sessions and the happy hours and the visits to the exhibit hall and meeting new friends, even I needed a little nap or two.

What? A girl can’t sneak away from a conference for a little beach time? It’s been almost three years since the first and only other time that I felt the sand between my toes. But when I set foot on Myrtle Beach, the pure joy came rushing back. It was Tallulah’s first trip to the beach. To say that she’s a beach girl, too, would be perhaps the biggest understatement ever. Tallulah loved, loved, loved the beach. Be assured that I will be sharing more pictures and stories from our beach afternoon in the next few weeks.

And just like that, BlogPaws 2017 was over and we were back in Atlanta and checking into another W Hotel.

Unfortunately for Tallulah, the W Atlanta – Buckhead does not have floor-to-ceiling windows . . .

. . . but it does have floor-to-ceiling mirrors, which she enjoyed almost as much. Really, little sisters can be so silly.

After dinner at pet-friendly Seven Lamps restaurant and a restful evening, we reloaded the chariot and started the long drive home to the Big Easy. Our excellent adventure had come to an end, but our wonderful memories will last forever. We saw so many sites, met so many nice people and their pets, learned so many new things, and had so much fun. Thank you, BlogPaws, for making it all possible. My humans are already talking about the next road trip the four of us will take. Stay tuned!


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.


Play Ball!

Last Thursday, my little sister and I joined our humans at the Shrine on Airline to watch the New Orleans Baby Cakes minor-league baseball team take on the Iowa Cubs, an affiliate of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. The Baby Cakes host Dog Day at each of their Thursday-evening games. Every Thursday also happens to be Thirsty Thursday with $2 12-ounce domestic drafts, which comes in very handy for all the humans who are stressed about ensuring that their four-legged family members behave themselves for nine innings.

Technically, this wasn’t my first time at the ballpark. I concluded last year’s A to Z Challenge with a trip to Zephyr Field, as it was known them, but I only got to see the outside that day. (You can click here to read that post.) And back then, our Triple A Miami Marlins affiliate team was called the Zephyrs. Then they had a big contest to change the name and, in a bit of a controversial move, they became the Baby Cakes. It’s a play on our Mardi Gras tradition of placing a little plastic baby in our king cakes, but it’s a little odd because no one ever says “baby cakes” around here. Nevertheless, the new name has grown on us and the logo is pretty fabulous, so we’ll give our hometown team a pass. But I digress. Back to the game.

Humans and their canines have the option of enjoying the game from two different locations. Most of us sat beyond the outfield in an area of the ballpark called the levee. The nice people with the Baby Cakes set up water bowls and kiddy pools for the pups to enjoy, and there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs . . . all four of them.

Dogs are also invited to join their humans in certain sections of the stands along the first base side of the ballpark. We decided that Tallulah probably wasn’t quite ready for that level of sophistication, but we did stop by to enjoy the view.

And speaking of Tallulah, her mind tended to wander during the game. She was far more interested in the dogs around us and the hotdogs and Cracker Jacks their humans were enjoying than she was in the action on the diamond.

My big round eyes, on the other hand, were glued to the game . . .

. . . except for when I dosed off briefly. Turns out baseball is pretty conducive to napping.

My humans, Tallulah, and I say cheers to the Baby Cakes. We had a fantastic time and our hometown team won the evening we were there. We definitely plan on attending another Thursday evening Dog Day game this season. Here’s hoping we catch a homerun ball or at least have a little taste of a hot dog on our next visit.

Have you ever gotten to join your humans at a sporting event in your hometown?