Toy Introductions Day 31: A Treat and a Trick

The Bird and The Bee . . .

Yesterday, while we were outside doing . . . well, we all know what dogs do outside, our human mommy was inside preparing the most amazing treat for us: every single one of our toys piled on our favorite bed. You probably recognize most of these toys, but there are a few that we didn’t get to introduce over the last month. So many toys, so few days. Of course, Puppy and Allie Gator were watching over the scene.

You can imagine the frenzy that ensued when we came back inside, turned the corner, and saw what could only be described as puppy dog paradise. (We interrupt this blog post to bring you an apology from our blogging assistant/photographer/Mommy: Please excuse the blurry images of Tallulah and Birdie from this point on. There was quite a bit of action occurring, and my photography skills need work. The photos you’re not seeing were even worse.)

We cannot thank you enough for joining us on this toy introduction journey. We’ve enjoyed more than we can say sharing all (well, almost all) of our toys and the precious memories attached to so many of them. We are thrilled that we’ve been able to free so many toys from the Land of Forbidden Toys, and we promise to do our very, very best not to send them to Squeaky Toy Hospital too quickly. This last month has been a real treat for us, and we hope it’s been a treat for you too.

And now about that trick. Every dog everywhere knows what today is. The day we all dread. The day the humans think it’s so much fun to see us in costumes, or with silly things on our heads, or being startled by creepy decorations. Yep, it’s Halloween, so here are our obligatory costume pics. These costumes were both worn previously by Harper Lee. We always suspected it but now we are sure: Harper Lee was a saint. We hope that your Halloween is filled with more treats than tricks. . . and if you have to wear a costume, we hope it fits better than these little numbers. Happy Halloween!

A note from Tallulah Bee and Birdie Blue’s mommy: Thank you for joining us for the daily toy introductions. We have a few tweaks planned for the blog, tweaks that will give Tallulah and Birdie more of a voice and presence but also continue to honor Harper Lee’s legacy. We won’t post daily (that was a lot), but we will have regular posts and regular categories of posts.

And speaking of the daily posts, many, many thanks to everyone who read daily and extra thanks to those of you who commented along the way. It was very special to reconnect with so many friends who followed Harper Lee’s adventures and to meet so many new friends throughout the month.

See you soon!

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Toy Introductions Day 29: The Busy Bee Honey Pot

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

Allow me to state the obvious: This toy brings out the crazy in me. It’s a honey pot with three squeaky bumble bees inside. There are openings on either side of the honey pot that are the perfect size for a Golden Retriever snout to reach in and, well, retrieve those bees. Oh my gosh, I’m getting excited again just thinking about it.

This toy is made by the super clever people at ZippyPaws and was a gift to me from my handsome friend Miles who’s in management at Geaux Fideaux Pet Accessories and Bandanas. Miles gave me this great gift because 1) I’m The Bee and 2) I’m his honey. That’s right, boys, I’ve been spoken for by a Golden guy in management.

Back to the toy. The little bees are somewhat delicate (or maybe I’m more than somewhat rough with them; that’s probably it; I’ll admit it; I said this toy brought out the crazy in me, ok?), so they’ve undergone several surgeries at Squeaky Toy Hospital. They always make it back into the honey pot, though, and that makes me very happy because I love this toy.


Toy Introductions Day 27: Pink Pig

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

My big sister Harper Lee had a lot of really nice friends through the years. Birdie and I have had such a good time this month meeting a lot of them, and I think I can say that they are becoming our friends too. One of Harper Lee’s dearest friends was a little blogging pig named Bacon. Bacon had a pet rock named Bashful who traveled all over the world to visit Bacon’s friends. In November 2016, Bashful came to visit us in New Orleans and he arrived with the most wonderfully appropriate gift: Pink Pig.

My humans brought Bashful to a basketball game . . .

. . . and a gumbo and brass band festival.

Bashful had a very New Orleans Monday making red beans and rice and doing the laundry with my human mommy . . .

. . . and he spent a special day with Harper Lee when she went to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge for her hip and elbow dysplasia rehab.

Harper Lee and I sent Bashful back to Bacon with some fun and tasty New Orleans souvenirs.

Miss Harper Lee with Bashful and Pink Pig, November 2016

I’m so happy that Birdie and I still have Pink Pig in our toy basket. He reminds me of Harper Lee’s sweet friend Bacon and a very special visit from Bashful. He also reminds me of Miss Harper Lee. We all miss her very much.


Toy Introductions Day 25: Polly Puppy

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

We had a rare overcast morning today. There was the slightest bit of drizzle. It was perfect for a couch nap, and I was happy to be joined by Polly Puppy. I received Polly from a Golden Retriever friend when I was a tiny pup more than seven years ago. I immediately ripped into her, and that’s why Polly was hidden from me. At least, that’s the story my human mommy would like for you to believe. I have another theory regarding Polly’s disappearance. You see, Polly has 11 . . . that’s right . . . 11 separate squeakers, and each squeaker has a different pitch. I suspect that Mommy couldn’t deal with me as a rambunctious puppy and Polly’s symphony of squeakers all at the same time. So, one of us had to be banished. I feel a little badly that Polly spent such a long time in the Land of Forbidden Toys, but if it had to be one of us . . . . I’ve obviously mellowed a bit over the years, and three of Polly’s 11 squeakers have been silenced, so I think we’ll both be able to coexist now without driving Mommy crazy.


Toy Introductions Day 23: Out on the Town

Tallulah’s Turn, again . . .

I’m grabbing the blog spotlight two days in a row. I’m the senior dog now, which means I can do that if I want to. It also means that I can leave Birdie at home with all of our toys so that I can enjoy an afternoon out on the town with my humans.

We stopped into Miel, one of our neighborhood breweries. They brew fabulous beer (or so I’m told) and they have an outdoor space that was just perfect for today’s beautiful weather. My daddy enjoyed a sip or two before the humans feasted on lobster rolls from Joel’s Lobster Rolls. I have a tiny confession to make: I am obsessed with butter. Maybe it’s my Mississippi roots, I’m not sure, but I can smell butter from 100 feet away. In fact, the humans call me Butter Butt. It’s ok because it’s true. Anyway, I definitely smelled the butter, but I was a super good girl.

On the walk home from Miel, we stepped into Pete’s Out in the Cold, our neighborhood speakeasy. You ring a little bell to get in, and there’s a great pet-friendly patio in the back. A couple of the other patrons looked like they had been there for a while and that lady behind the outside bar seemed slightly creepy, but we had a great time. I’ll let Birdie get back to the toy introductions tomorrow, but today was a perfect day to get out with my humans and enjoy a couple of fun neighborhood spots.


Toy Introductions Day 22: Olivia the Octopus

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

Very early in our month of toys, I introduced you to Ollie the Octopus. Now it’s my pleasure to introduce Olivia the Octopus. Olivia was a gift from some very nice people at a children’s hospital where I used to be a therapy dog, before I retired and settled into a life of leisure. Olivia is a bit more fragile than Ollie. I must confess that I immediately ripped a few of her arms. Thankfully, they were not completely severed, and she underwent successful surgery at Squeaky Toy Hospital. I promise to be gentler in the future. Well, I at least promise to try to be gentler in the future. Now, I’m not normally one to gossip, but word in the toy basket is that Ollie and Olivia have a little something going on. You might say they’re entwined. Get it? With all those arms? I’m happy for them. Cheers to more toy basket romances, and cheers to a happy Saturday!


Toy Introductions Day 20: Casper

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

Are things getting a little spooky where you live? Birdie and I are seeing lots of scary things on our walks lately: bats, witches, zombies, creepy pumpkin heads. Rex Skeleton has made his annual appearance at our courtyard table. He joins us for the month of October and sips on his beer day and night. He spends the rest of the year in a closet upstairs. So, yes, my humans do have at least one skeleton in their closet.

And this is Casper. Before you say, “What a basic name for a ghost toy. You couldn’t think of something more creative?” let me ask one question. What would you have named him? There are lots and lots of famous ghosts in history, literature, and movies, but only one friendly ghost–Casper. Look at the smile on this little guy’s face. He’s obviously friendly. Like most ghosts, he’s very quiet. (I resisted the urge to write, “He doesn’t say boo.” Haha. Get it?) He used to have some crinkly innards that ran the length of his body. Unfortunately, he went into the washing machine before a gaping rip on his side was repaired and his crinkly innards came out in the washer and disintegrated. At some point, someone also destroyed the squeaker in his head. Why are you looking at me? But Birdie and I sort of like the hauntingly silent type, so we’re happy to have Casper around to celebrate another Halloween with us.


Toy Introductions Day 18: Ricky Raccoon

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

This is Ricky Raccoon. Ricky is just a good dependable toy. He’s fun to play with. His squeakers all work. He’s been around for a while and survived a lot of tug-of-war sessions. And, most importantly, I think our eyes and noses look a lot alike.

Here are a few fun facts about raccoons:

  • Raccoons are not in the rodent family. We’re done with that rodent awareness foolishness.
  • The largest raccoon ever recorded weighed 63 pounds. Think about it. That’s the size of a Golden Retriever. Imagine walking outside and finding that trying to get into your trashcan.
  • Raccoons can run as fast as 15 miles per hour on the ground and up and down trees. Well, maybe not that 63-pound fella, but the more svelte members of the species.
  • Raccoons can make over 50 different noises. They hiss, purr, and growl. Baby raccoons crying for their mothers sound similar to human babies crying. Unlike most raccoons, Ricky only squeaks. That’s probably a good thing, because who wants a toy that growls?
  • U.S. President Calvin Coolidge had a pet raccoon named Rebecca. Rebecca was from Mississippi (like me). She was sent to the White House in 1926 to be served as part of the Thanksgiving feast. Coolidge spared Rebecca’s life. Before long, she had an embroidered collar and free range of the White House. Don’t tell Ricky about that. He’ll definitely be jealous.

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.


Toy Introductions Day 15: Tommy Turtle

Tallulah’s Turn . . .

Look at Tommy Turtle. Isn’t he fabulous? This photo doesn’t even begin to indicate the most fabulous thing about him, so I’m going to tell you what it is. Tommy have SEVEN squeakers. Isn’t that every dog owner’s dream? I mean, who doesn’t want to give their dog a toy with SEVEN squeakers? Do you have any idea how much squeaking that makes? Unfortunately, two of Tommy’s squeakers have died, but when I pull Tommy out of the toy basket and start squeaking those five remaining squeakers, my humans still get super excited. Happy Saturday!