At long last, my humans have returned to me. That’s right. We are together again. Home, sweet home.
Now don’t feel too sorry for me. While my humans were off trotting the globe, I was spending two glorious weeks with my friends The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai. This is a picture that Miss Gaye sent to my human mommy while she and my human daddy were who knows where doing who knows what. That’s Sunshine at the top and Maggie at the bottom with me in the middle. Kenai was off doing whatever it is that boy dogs do when they leave the girl dogs behind. It is quite possible that seeing this picture of me convinced Mommy to get on the plane and head for home.
Meanwhile, my humans were off seeing things like this . . .
. . . and this . . .
. . . and this. But enough about my humans and their gallivanting. The important thing is that we are all back home and back together. And things are getting back to normal.
That means early morning walks in my neighborhood. So many smells that I missed.
And offering my expert assistance as Mommy putters in the garden. So many weeds to pull.
And of course, catching up with all of you, my friends. But first, I think I’ll just put my head down on this shelf and take a little nap. It’s good to be home.
It’s time to get back to work. After the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, I decided that my blogging assistant/human mommy had earned a little time off. Who knew that blogging every day except Sundays for an entire month could be so hard? Our hats are off to those of you who manage to keep up that type of schedule. You are true blogging ironmen/women/animals. Mommy and I spent our off time doing . . . well, I’m not really sure what we did; however, I do know that it’s time to get back to work, but first . . .
. . . I have a few pictures to show you from our recent mini-vacation. I shared some photos in my “V is for VACATION” entry for the A to Z Challenge. Normally when my humans and I visit Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast, we spend all of our time just relaxing at the B&B; but this time we decided to venture into the little town of St. Francisville for an afternoon tour.
Our first stop was a little shop called Grandmother’s Buttons. My human daddy and I stayed outside while Mommy went in to shop. The talented people at Grandmother’s Buttons make beautiful jewelry out of vintage buttons. Their St. Francisville store and workshop are housed in a restored 1905 bank building, and their creations are sold online and in stores around the world.
From Grandmother’s Buttons, we made our way to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It was quite an uphill hike to reach the church site and the day was slightly warm, so I was somewhat tempted to jump into the beautiful fountain, but I managed to refrain.
We continued our tour with a leisurely stroll down one of St. Francisville’s historic tree-lined and, thankfully, shady streets.
Our next stop was Grace Church of West Feliciana Parish, the second oldest Episcopal church in Louisiana. Construction on the current building was completed in 1860. Just a few years later, at the height of the civil war, a Union warship captain who was delirious from fever took his own life near St. Francisville. His officers came ashore to request a Masonic burial ceremony for their captain. He was laid to rest in the Grace Church cemetery with full Masonic honors on what is now known as “The Day the War Stopped.”
Finally, we took a little walk around the West Feliciana Parish Court House, which was built in 1903, before heading back to the B&B for more R&R. So now the break is over and it’s back to blogging for my mommy and me. Looking forward to catching up with all of our friends and sharing photos and reflections from our adventures.
After this completely miserable winter, the first day of spring yesterday called for a serious Golden-style celebration with my friends The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai.
No doggy spring fling is complete without a pretty cake, so my human mommy and I headed to the kitchen and I supervised the baking of our pawty cake. (Many thanks to Wear.Wag.Repeat. for the spectacular cake inspiration, which was part of a recent Tasty Tuesday blog hop. Click here for the recipe.)
We cut the cake and waited for our guests to arrive.
I wish that I had photos of us actually eating the cake, but it was so absolutely fabulous that we inhaled it.
Hey, Maggie, I’m licking my lips back here. Did you leave a little crumb on your plate for me?
Looks like Sunshine was licking her lips too, and searching for crumbs on more than one plate. That’s ok, because Sunshine is the momma dog and she can do anything she wants to do.
Meanwhile Kenai, the only boy dog, found his special blue plate, ate every bit of his cake . . .
. . . and then wandered off for a little bit of boy exploration . . .
. . . while the girls made their way to the door in hopes that another cake would spring through the door. Here’s hoping that your first day of spring was super special and that you feel the gift of a fresh start from Mother Nature.
The oddest thing happened to me this past weekend. I was sound asleep on my bed and I was having the greatest dream . . . you know, the kind where your feet and mouth twitch and you make those little horsey sounds? I know you’ve had those dreams. Anyway, the next thing I knew, my human mommy was shaking me and saying, “Wake up, Miss Lee. We’re going to see The Big Dogs.” I’ve told you about The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai. I stay with The Big Dogs when my humans have the nerve to travel without me, and they helped me train for my daddy’s marathon earlier this year. So I woke up–I think–and I got in my chariot for the ride to The Big Dogs’ house.
Obviously my memory is a little blurry on all of this–and that’s why I think that maybe I was still dreaming–but when we got to The Big Dogs’ house, there was this extra Golden Retriever there . . . I think. The humans called her Little Sunshine, which was very confusing, and she seemed to be one of Sunshine’s puppies and a sister to Maggie and Kenai. You think you’re confused, just imagine how I was feeling at this point. So we all ran around like we had lost our minds and the next thing I knew we were in the back yard.
And then this lady appeared–she may have been my mommy, but really who could tell at that point. She said something about treats, and that really got our attention. Do you see five Golden Retrievers there? I’m just asking because this whole thing was very dreamlike to me.
What about now? Are there still five Golden Retrievers? I thought so. And then the next thing I knew, we were inside. And that’s when I really tried to focus and look around me to assess the situation.
I saw Sunshine, the momma dog . . .
. . . I saw Maggie, her girl puppy . . .
. . . and I saw Kenai, Sunshine’s boy puppy. At this point, I was thinking that maybe I wasn’t in a dream. I was surrounded by Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai–The Big Dogs. Things were starting to make sense again.
But wait. On the other side of the room, behind a table, apparently hiding from me, I saw that extra Golden Retriever, the one they called Little Sunshine. Just then, my mommy said that it was time to go, so we got back into my chariot and drove away. The next thing I knew, I was back home, on my bed, and drifting in and out of sleep. That entire episode must have been a dream, don’t you think?
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.
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.
I spent some time looking at clothes, but there just aren’t a lot of choices for “large” girls like me.
I looked at toys, and some of the toys looked right back at me. That was a little intimidating.
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.
This morning I spent a little time playing with my new Frisbee. It’s my very first one, and I love it.
I could have chased and retrieved that Frisbee all day, but my humans got a little tired.
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.
Last week, my humans spent a little time in the Caribbean. Although I had the perfect outfit selected for the trip, I was not allowed to join them. But don’t feel too sorry for me. I had a very eventful stay with The Big Dogs. We played and played and played, and I spent a lot of time sneaking onto their very fancy beds for nap time. I was so busy playing and sleeping that I had very little time to keep up with my blog reading. I promise to spend a little time this week in front of the computer catching up on all of my blog friends’ posts.
Meanwhile, I want to share a few tropical photos in hopes that they will lift your spirits, even on the dreariest of winter days. Just remember that somewhere out there light from the warm sun shimmers on clear blue water.
Tropical showers pass quickly . . .
. . . and the soft, white sand slips between your toes.
Beautiful boats travel in and out of happy harbors . . .
. . . and each sunrise brings the promise of another glorious day. Enjoy the photos. I hope that they transport you to fantasy island . . . even if just for a few moments.
The Big Dogs were so nice to help me with my marathon spectator training, so I decided to treat them to a post-marathon pawty. We waited patiently (sort of) while the humans picked up all of their marathon-watching paraphernalia–chairs, coffee cups, jackets, cameras, etc., etc., etc. That’s Kenai on the left, me in the middle, and Maggie on the right. I’m not really sure where Sunshine was; I was too busy keeping tabs on the humans. It was time to get the pawty started.
My human mommy had purchased some ready-to-bake pawty treats: savory scones with cheese and herbs. Sounds fancy and yummy!
We approved of the treats. Four puppy dog noses up from (left to right) Sunshine, me, Maggie, and Kenai.
My mommy placed the scone treats on a baking sheet and popped them into the oven . . .
. . . and we prepared for our much-deserved nap.
It seemed that we had closed our eyes for just a second, and the scones were ready. They smelled fantastic!
My mommy arranged the treats very nicely on a little plate. I hated to tell her that we really could not have cared less about the presentation . . .
. . . we were just ready to sample (left to right, that’s Kenai, Sunshine, me, and Maggie).
We were licking our lips in anticipation of our first taste of the scones. Look at how intense our eyes are. That’s Kenai on the left, me in the middle, and Sunshine on the right. I have absolutely no idea where Maggie was. Who could be worried about her when that scone was just dangling above us?
After our very special treats, Kenai, Maggie, and I set out to explore the back yard. Sunshine, being older and wiser, found a cool, shady spot and got a little rest.
I had such fun at my post-marathon pawty. It’s so nice to have really special friends like Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai, and it was great to spend such a fun day with them.
Oh, don’t be silly. I’m not actually going to run a marathon (only crazy humans would do such a thing), I’m going to watch a marathon. Next month, my human daddy will run in his ninth marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon. This will be my first opportunity to watch my daddy run a marathon, so I thought I needed to do a little spectator training.
Fortunately for me, the Louisiana Marathon route passed right in front of my house a few days ago, so I had a perfect training opportunity. This was actually my second Louisiana Marathon–I also watched the runners pass by my house last year–but this year, I was in training to be an excellent spectator for my daddy.
The first thing I learned is that marathons start very early. I might have told you before that I am not a morning girl. My daddy has taught me, though, that marathon training sometimes requires very early wake-up calls, so I made the big effort and got out to wait for the lead runners to appear.
I have also learned that it helps to train with some friends, so I invited The Big Dogs to join me for the day. I must say that having their company definitely made my marathon spectator training a lot more enjoyable. We were quite a hit with the runners. You should have seen their eyes when they glanced over and saw four Golden Retrievers cheering them on. I suspect that many of them thought they might have been hallucinating! Some asked if we could pull them to the finish line (don’t they know that would be cheating?) and a few (not the leaders, of course) even stopped to take our picture. That was fun.
My daddy has spoken often about the marathon water stations. I decided that The Big Dogs and I really should practice that aspect of the race, so we gathered around a big water bowl. That’s me at the top, then Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai. Then I learned that the water stations are actually for the runners, not the spectators, so I guess I won’t have to use this skill when I watch my daddy run next month.
It was great fun to watch the Louisiana Marathon runners pass by my house. They had all trained very hard for the day, and they were doing their best. Even those who were struggling a bit managed a smile or a wave. A lot of them even thanked us for coming out to watch them. Can you believe that? They’re running 26.2 miles and we’re just standing around cheering, and they make the effort to thank us. Each and every runner was an inspiration. I am so ready to cheer my daddy on next month at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon!
I am so excited to introduce you to The Girls and The Boy, also known as The Big Dogs. That’s Sunshine in the middle with two of her puppies, Maggie on the left and Kenai on the right. They are my second family, and I love, love, love them. When my humans go out of town (and can’t take me with them), I often get to stay with The Big Dogs. What a treat for me!
Sunshine is 12 years old, and she is the sweetest dog you could ever meet. Her favorite toy is her Minky (that’s Monkey in Sunshine speak), and she adores her Minky. Every night, she finds her Minky–wherever he may be–and carries him to her bed. Sometimes I have a little lapse in judgement and decide to play with Minky. I hope that doesn’t upset Sunshine too much.
My human mommy is constantly begging me to leave Sunshine alone. She tells me that Sunshine is old and that she has already put up with puppies so I need to stop bothering her . . . but I just can’t help myself. I love Sunshine, and I always want to be right next to her.
When Sunshine had her puppies, her humans made little prints of each of their paws and had the paw prints framed. The beautiful work of art hangs in The Big Dogs’ humans’ kitchen. My human mommy thinks this is the sweetest thing.
Maggie is one of Sunshine’s puppies, and she has been with her humans since the day she was born eight years ago. Maggie runs the show. She decides when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to walk. On the walks, Maggie insists on being the lead dog. When I get to walk with The Big Dogs, I like to catch up to Maggie and take the lead by a nose; but Maggie quickly regains her position (sometimes at the expense of the human who is holding her leash).
Maggie is the most masterful lizard chaser ever. You should see her technique: She goes into the flowerbed and starts tapping her foot to flush out Mr. Lizard. She is quite obsessed with this activity, and I have to say I love to watch her. If I pay close enough attention to Maggie, maybe one day I too will be a masterful lizard chaser.
And this is Maggie’s littermate Kenai, sometimes known simply as Boy. When Sunshine’s puppies went to their new homes, her humans told each new family that if, for any reason ever, they found that they could not keep one of the puppies, Sunshine’s humans would take the puppy back. About three years ago, Sunshine’s humans got a difficult call from Kenai’s family. Sadly, they had to say goodbye to Kenai; so The Boy was reunited with The Girls.
Kenai is, simply put, regal. He stares out upon his garden as if he is king of all. Sometimes he seems very aloof, but then he shows his super affectionate side when he snuggles with his humans. He is special, and I am quite thankful that he has rejoined the clan.
So now you know The Big Dogs (Maggie at the top, Sunshine in the middle, and Kenai at the bottom). They are truly special and I am so very thankful to know them.