Toy Introductions Day 16: Off Limits

The Bird and The Bee . . .

Our human mommy has recently loosened our restricted access to the Land of Forbidden Toys. We’re allowed to play with pretty much any of the toys that haven’t seen the light of day in years. There are, however, two notable exceptions: Allie Gator and Puppy.

Harper Lee, Spring 2016

Allie Gator was one of Harper Lee’s all-time favorite toys. Our sister received Allie Gator when she was about three or four years old as part of a blogger Christmas gift exchange. Allie Gator’s tummy was stuffed with squeaky eggs and Harper Lee absolutely loved removing the eggs. She’d take them out, Mommy would put them back, and they’d repeat that over and over again. And then, years later, a certain toy-killing puppy came along (Tallulah Bee fessing up), and Allie Gator had to be hidden to save her life. She came out when that certain puppy (me, Tallulah, again) wasn’t around. Harper Lee always lit up when she saw Allie Gator. One day, during Harper Lee’s last week with us, Mommy took Allie Gator out for Harper Lee to play. Harper Lee didn’t want to play with Allie Gator. That’s when our human mommy knew that Harper Lee was ready to go.

Harper Lee, Spring 2016

Puppy was another special toy for Harper Lee. You might know about the “Chance” plush puppies that PetSmart sells each Christmas. Harper Lee received this one for her first Christmas in 2010. Puppy always sat out on a special chair. Harper Lee would pull Puppy from the chair for play sessions. That is, until a certain real-life puppy with a toy-destructive streak came along (yes, that was me, Tallulah). Puppy was hidden away with Allie Gator and only came out when Harper Lee could play with him safely one-on-one.

Although we’d love to be able to play with Allie Gator and Puppy, we understand why they’re off limits. Those toys were once very special to Harper Lee, so now they’re extra special to our mommy, and that’s ok.


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!

Pawing It Forward

Remember when I told you about all the stuff that filled our chariot on the road to BlogPaws 2017? Well, on the way home, we had to find a little additional room for these huge duffle bags overflowing with all kinds of fabulous swag. Everyone attending the BlogPaws conference received a swag bag of goodies specifically selected for dogs, cats, or both. Because both of my humans were officially registered, Tallulah and I came home with two bags . . . filled with dog items, of course.

Those two bags sat on top of the dryer in our laundry room for way too long several weeks, until Mommy finally let us dig in.

Wow, the haul was somewhat overwhelming. We’ve set aside a few things that we think you might like to know about. Look for more on that in the next couple of months . . .

. . . but Mommy and I delivered most of the items to our friends at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). ARNO is a nonprofit, grassroots, volunteer organization founded after Hurricane Katrina. ARNO operates a no-kill triage shelter and has found homes for more than 8,300 companion animals. We can’t think of a better place to paw the BlogPaws love forward.

We also delivered a bag of super yummy and healthy food from The Naked Dog. Here’s a little background info from The Naked Dog website:

In 2014, Marco and Bere Giannini started The Naked Dog with the mission of helping pet parents access only the healthiest products for their pets. Within the next three years, The Naked Dog family grew to 11 retail locations in Southern California and built a group of pet parents dedicated to their grain-free, gluten-free in-house pet food and treat brand, Naked. In 2017, The Naked Dog Box was founded to help broaden the reach of this healthy mission, allowing pet parents across the nation to get Naked with its bi-monthly pet food subscription service. Marco, Bere, and the whole Naked Dog family are proud to have kept their Naked Promise: higher quality pet food and fair prices, available to all.

My friend Emma from My GBGV Life wrote an excellent review of The Naked Dog food and subscription service. I hope you’ll click here to read more. As you can see from the picture above, Tallulah was a little unsure about parting with The Naked Dog food, but I explained to her that the dogs at ARNO would really, really appreciate the donation. I think she understood.

BlogPaws is all about sharing the love and improving the lives of animals. I’m so happy that I could paw it forward by delivering treats, toys, and food to the dogs at Animal Rescue New Orleans. Even with my new shades, I see a bright and shiny future for my shelter friends.

On the Third Day of Christmas: Rain, Rain, and More Rain

Third Day of Christmas 1 thek9harperlee

And on the third day of Christmas . . . it rained buckets. The weather humans said to expect more rain tomorrow and more of the same next weekend. So my human mommy decided that it was time for me to have my very first raincoat, and she set off for PetSmart to do some shopping.

Third Day of Christmas 2 thek9harperlee

A little while later, Mommy came home with three possibilities. This was my favorite, but there was just one small problem: Turns out I’m not an extra-large girl. I’m an extra-extra-large girl. The horror! The sizing must be off, right? Or maybe I’m a little bloated from the holidays, right? Actually, I’m not so much big as I am long. I know, I know, I know . . . that’s what they all say. But really, I am kind of an extra-long girl . . . or make that extra-extra-long girl. Unfortunately, there’s slim pickings at the store when it comes to garments for extra-extra-large girls, so Mommy turned to those Amazon people, who seem to have everything in every size. My new coat should be here next week. Hopefully, it will fit. Until then, maybe I’ll cut down slightly on the treats.

Why I Love Fall

Fall leaves thek9harperlee

I absolutely and positively love fall. Cooler temperatures mean longer and more frequent walks. Crisp days are perfect for lounging on the lawn. Tiny sticks start to fall from the trees like manna from heaven. But do you know my favorite thing about fall?

Love fall 2 thek9harperlee

The arrival of autumn marks the end of the dreaded driveway bath. A couple of weeks ago, I endured what I hope will be my final humiliation . . . at least for several months to come.

Love fall 3 thek9harperlee

Yes, friends, I put on a brave face. I held my head high, drenched and dripping, as people and dogs walked by . . . and gawked.

Love fall 1 thek9harperlee

I’ll admit that I even fantasized, briefly, about subjecting my humans to such treatment. How would they like it if I paraded them on the driveway . . . wet and naked . . . for all the world to see?

Love fall 4 thek9harperlee

I suspect that my human mommy read my mind, and then she did this to me.

Love fall 6 thek9harperlee

But as I began to air dry, I realized that things were looking up for me. Fall was knocking on the door, ready to rescue me from the dreaded driveway bath and its accompanying humiliation.

Love fall 7 thek9harperlee

I hear that my next bath will be courtesy of the PetSmart groomers. We call that “going to the spa.” I think a spa bath is far more my speed, don’t you? Thank you, fall. I love you!

Harper Lee from A to Z: O is for OBEDIENT

O1 thek9harperlee

I am a very obedient girl. I ought to be. I’ve been attending training classes since I was six months old . . . that’s more than four and a half years of school. I started with the beginner class, completed the intermediate class, and graduated from the advanced class. Then some of the humans in our group decided that they wanted to continue with training. To be honest with you, we dogs really had all the commands mastered, but I guess the humans decided that they could use a little more work. Anyway, I’ve been doing what my human mommy likes to call “post-graduate work” ever since.

O2 thek9harperlee

Here’s a class picture from about two years ago. That’s me on the left with my classmates (from left to right) Lexi, Hazel, and Raven. Don’t we look like an obedient group? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. At the beginning of the class, our trainer teaches whatever new command we’re working on to all of the dogs. That takes about five minutes. Piece of cake. Then, for the next 55 minutes, our trainer works with the humans in hopes that they too can learn the command, which has led me to this conclusion: Humans tend to be slightly less obedient than dogs.

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

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Harper Lee from A to Z: F is for FUZZY

F thek9harperlee

My feet are a bit overly fuzzy at the moment. During summertime, my human mommy bathes me in the driveway. Why do humans think that it’s acceptable to bathe dogs in the driveway? Honestly humans, it’s humiliating. How would you like it if we dogs decided to bathe you right out there in the open for everyone to see? But I digress.

During the cold winter months, I get to go to PetSmart for my baths. We call it “going to the spa,” and I usually have mani-pedis when I visit the spa. The nice groomers trim my nails and clip the fuzzy hair from around my feet. I must say my feet are quite attractive when they’ve been groomed. But for some unknown reason, Mommy decided that I didn’t need a mani-pedi on my last spa visit. Just between you and me, I think Mommy might be a little jealous when it comes to my spa visits. I’m far more pampered than she is, and usually while I’m getting beautiful at the spa she’s at home cleaning the house.

So, thanks to the lack of a mani-pedi on my last spa visit, my feet look like this. Something tells me that I’ll get one more spa visit before my summertime driveway baths begin . . . and I have a feeling that I’ll get the mani-pedi package.

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

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“Doggy Style”

computer girl thek9harperlee

Dear Animal Planet Network Executive Person:

I am writing to you today to pitch an idea for a reality television show that I think would be the pawfect (get it?) addition to your network’s lineup. The title of my proposed show is “Doggy Style.” Now I will readily admit that my idea is absolutely in no way original. In fact, it is a direct rip-off of Lifetime’s “Project Runway.” If you’re not familiar with that show, you should be. I mean, you’re a big-time television executive. But maybe you’ve just been too busy producing “Hillbilly Handfishin'” or “It’s Me or the Dog” (is that really even a question?), so let me help you out. On “Project Runway,” talented (and some not-so-talented) humans design and sew outfits for other humans. The outfits have to fit into some sort of weekly challenge theme. Each week the designer of the worst outfit is eliminated, and eventually you have a winner. I’ve probably oversimplified, but you get the idea. For “Doggy Style,” we could get about a dozen dogs and their humans and make the humans design doggy outfits based on weekly challenge themes. I’ve even thought of a few challenge themes for you:

The Resort Challenge

Island Dog 1 thek9harperlee

For this challenge, the human would have to design an outfit that would be suitable for his or her dog to wear at a resort. The outfit could be something for a ski lodge or, as I am modeling here, the perfect ensemble for that island getaway.

The Collegiate Challenge

LSU GameDay--Geaux Tigers!

Are you ready for some football? In this challenge, the humans design something that would be appropriate for game day on a college campus. Here I am modeling the perfect look for LSU Tiger tailgating. My tiger-striped bandana is understated yet stylish.

The Holiday Challenge

Halloween Costume 2 thek9harperlee

Here I offer an example of what would easily and quite quickly get a not-so-talented human eliminated. Is this not the most dreadful holiday look you have ever seen? I was mortified.

Fourth 2 thek9harperlee

This, on the other hand, is what we are going for in the holiday challenge. Fourth of July fireworks if I do say so myself.

The Red Carpet Challenge

Fur Ball 8 thek9harperlee

Television audiences love glamour, so we’ll give them what we want with our Red Carpet Challenge. What dog doesn’t love sequins, lace, and feathers? Ok, to be honest, unless those feathers are on a bird I suppose most dogs couldn’t care less about feathers, but we’re doing this episode for the ratings. Trust me on this one.

 The PetSmart Challenge

PetSmart thek9harperlee

I feel the need to tell you that my final challenge idea is brilliant. (It’s not being conceited if it’s true.) There is a chance that “Doggy Style” could be a bit pricy to produce, so we are going to need a little corporate sponsorship, and that’s where our friends at PetSmart come in. The humans will use those cute little bandanas from the grooming salon–as many as they want–to design couture looks for their pooches. I cannot wait to see our four-legged models strut their stuff in these creations. This episode is sure to be an Animal Planet ratings bonanza!

So there you have it, Animal Planet Network Executive Person. I feel fairly certain that you are going to want to greenlight “Doggy Style” immediately–it’s just what your fall lineup needs–so I will be waiting by the phone for your call.


Miss Harper Lee

Retail Therapy

Retail 1 thek9harperlee

Earlier this week, I had a bit of a Big Dog hangover. I know exactly what you’re thinking and, after my post on hitting the bottle, I don’t blame you; but it wasn’t that kind of hangover.

NOLA 1 thek9harperlee

Last weekend, my humans went to New Orleans without me. I was initially slightly miffed that they would go to one of my very favorite cities and leave me at home. Then they gave me the excellent news: While they were running around the French Quarter taking pictures of beautiful buildings, eating fantastic food, listening to excellent music, and indulging in the occasional cocktail, I would be staying with my friends The Big Dogs (Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai) and their humans (Miss Gaye and Mr. Frank). Well, I could hardly contain my excitement because I love, love, love staying with The Big Dogs. There is always something fun happening at their house, and I had the very best time. Then I came home–boring, boring, boring–and that’s when The Big Dog hangover hit. After three mopey days, Mommy decided it was time to do what girls do when they need to lift their spirits: retail therapy. But not just any retail therapy. Retail therapy at PetSmart.

PetSmart 2 thek9harperlee

I spent some time looking at clothes, but there just aren’t a lot of choices for “large” girls like me.

PetSmart 1 thek9harperlee

I looked at toys, and some of the toys looked right back at me. That was a little intimidating.

Retail 2 thek9harperlee

I think I made some excellent choices (just FYI, the poo poo bags were Mommy’s choice) and I was much, much happier when we got home.

Retail 4 thek9harperlee

This morning I spent a little time playing with my new Frisbee. It’s my very first one, and I love it.

Retail 5 thek9harperlee

I could have chased and retrieved that Frisbee all day, but my humans got a little tired.

Retail 6 thek9harperlee

To be perfectly honest with you, I was also getting a little tired. So I curled up on my bed with Parrot. The weather humans are predicting a rainy weekend (I think they may actually be right this time), so Parrot and I plan on spending lot of time in this position. I am extremely happy to report that my Big Dog hangover is a thing of the past. I am also happy to say that retail therapy can be a very successful remedy for the puppy dog blues.