If I Won the Lottery (Golden Retriever Version)

A Word from The Bird

You might have noticed that my humans did not win the lottery. If they had, Tallulah and I would currently be with them in some beautiful remote location with absolutely no internet service. Alas, The Bee and I are still at home and left wondering what if. What if we, a couple of Golden Retrievers, had the only winning ticket for the $1.9 billion lottery? Tallulah gave me the assignment to write this post because I’m good at math. Let me show you:

the number of treats I want < the number of treats I get

So, let’s get started. After federal taxes (whatever that means), we would pocket a lump sum of $706,116,000. State taxes would also need to be taken out. That’s all kind of confusing, so let’s just round off to $706 million. I mean, what’s a few million among friends?

Obviously, we would want to buy some treats. Tallulah and I like Newman’s Own Peanut Butter Flavor treats. First of all, they’re yummy and 100% of the profits go to charity. They’re shaped like hearts and scored down the middle, so it’s easy for the humans to break them in half for us. A bag costs $5.29 (Chewy). If we spent all of our money on treats, we could buy more than 133 million bags of treats. We would share with our friends, of course.

We would also like to go to some obedience classes. Sounds crazy, but we have an ulterior motive. Do you have any idea how many treats you get during a one-hour obedience course? Ok, so it’s not 133 million bags worth, but it’s a lot. A package of classes at Petco costs about $150. That means that $706 million would buy more than 4 million obedience class packages. With that many classes, we might actually learn something.

If Tallulah and I were millionaires, we’d have to look good. Our grooming visits cost about $60, so $706 million would pay for 11,766,667 spa dates. I think that would make our groomer very happy.

We have a lot of toys, but toys are to dogs what shoes are to women: You can never have enough. A Google search told me that the average dog toy costs about $13.50. If Tallulah and I spent all of our lottery winnings on toys, we could buy 52,296,296 toys. We’d probably have to buy duplicates of some toys, because I doubt that there are that many different types of dog toys in all the world.

Tallulah and I would definitely need more beds. Between going to obedience classes and grooming appointments, playing with all of those toys, and eating all of those treats, we’d be exhausted. We really love our Best Friends by Sheri bed. It costs $84.99 (Chewy). (Let’s hope Mommy doesn’t read this because we’re pretty sure she forgot how much she spent on our bed, and she would lose her mind if she remembered.) We could buy 8,306,860 new beds with $706 million. That seems reasonable.

If Tallulah and I won the lottery, we would feel obligated to pay our own vet bills. According to the Internets, vet bills for dogs average $750 annually. Our $706 million would pay for 941,333 years of vet visits. That means that Tallulah and I would each be covered for another 470,667 years.

You know what? No one needs 133 million bags of treats, 4 million obedience class packages, 11,766,667 trips to the groomer, 52,296,296 toys, 8,306,860 beds, or 470,667 years of vet visits. Tallulah and I had a little talk, and we know exactly what we would have done if we won the lottery. We would have helped all the animals and all the humans all over the world who need so much help and who need to know that someone cares about them and wants them to have a better life. That’s exactly what Tallulah and I would have done with $706 million.


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!

Toy Introductions Day 30: The Ladybug Leaf

Birdie’s Back . . .

Yesterday Tallulah introduced you to her Busy Bee Honey Pot. Today I get to introduce the Ladybug Leaf. Do I look a little perplexed in this photo? I can explain that. The Ladybug Leaf was Harper Lee’s toy. It was a gift from her beau, whose name just happens to be Beau. Beau works with Miles at Geaux Fideaux Pet Accessories and Bandanas. Beau chose the Ladybug Leaf for Harper Lee because Miss Lee was always a lady. Until today, only Harper Lee was allowed to play with the Ladybug Leaf.

My human mommy had to explain how this works. I watched as she stuffed three little ladybugs into the leaf. She showed me the holes on either side of the leaf. Can you see how hard I was concentrating? Then she looked at me and said, “Get it, Birdie!”

Well, she didn’t have to tell me twice. As I pulled that first ladybug from the leaf, I was a little more cautious, slightly slower, and immensely gentler than Tallulah with her honey pot bumble bees. I’m pretty excited about having more opportunities to play with the Ladybug Leaf. I promise to take very good care of this very special toy because it was a gift to Harper Lee, and Harper Lee was very special too.

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 28: Rip

Birdie’s Back . . .

This is Rip. Rip is a Tearribles interactive dog toy. He was a gift from our Golden friend Clarence and his humans. Rip’s arms, legs, ears, and tail attach to his body with Velcro. He’s actually designed to be torn apart over and over and over again and again and again. You might say Rip is Tallulah’s dream toy.

The first time I ever ripped one of Rip’s limbs from his body, I thought for sure I had killed him. He was brand spanking new and look what I’d done. Sure, everyone expects that sort of thing from Tallulah, but definitely not from sweet little me. I looked at my humans, preparing for the inevitable disappointment that comes when a toy lasts less than five minutes in our house. But my humans were laughing. What the . . .? Tallulah and I quickly figured out that the whole point of this toy is to rip Rip, and no one’s getting in trouble. Happy Friday!

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 26: Cathy the Caterpillar

Birdie’s Back . . .

I love spending time outside. I’m obsessed with lizards. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m better at the hunt than the actual catch. In fact, I have yet to catch a single lizard, but that doesn’t deter my enthusiasm. Maybe if the lizards were as big and slow as Cathy the Caterpillar, I’d stand a better chance. I’ve had Cathy since I was just a tiny puppy. Cathy came to our home with two speakers–one in her head and one all the way at the very opposite end–and some sort of internal crinkly stuff running the length of her body. The squeakers are now dead, and the crinkly stuff has somehow disappeared. Cathy has also been admitted to Squeaky Toy Hospital multiple times to have various injuries repaired. Most toy injuries can be blamed on Tallulah, but I think I may be at fault when it comes to Cathy. Mommy thinks it’s a miracle that Cathy still has her antennae. She should know that caterpillars have weak eyes, and the antennae are essential for guidance. I would never ever want to rip Cathy’s antennae off. Then she’d run into walls and stuff . . . if she ever decided to move on her own. Sometimes I wonder what Cathy would look like if she became a butterfly, but then I’m thankful that she’s never formed a chrysalis so she could spread her wings and fly away. She’s just stayed my Cathy the Caterpillar.

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 24: Daffy Duck

Birdie’s Back . . .

Did you miss me yesterday? Not only did Tallulah get an afternoon out on the town, but she also preempted my turn in the blogging rotation. That’s ok. I got to have some special one-on-one time with Daffy Duck. Until earlier this month, I didn’t even know Daffy Duck existed. He’d spent years in the Land of Forbidden Toys, thanks to Tallulah’s less-than-gentle way with toys in her younger days. Daffy’s out now, and I am completely obsessed with him.

Daffy is kind of a tall and skinny guy. I like to carry him around the house. Sometimes I step on him, which completely messes up my forward momentum. The humans are quite entertained by this. I’m just confused. Today, I got to carry Daffy outside. Mommy explained that this was very special and just for a photo shoot and that there are inside toys and outside toys and that Daffy is an inside toy. Whatever. I took advantage of the situation and convinced a lady walking on the sidewalk to play tug-of-war through the gate. I am so good at roping total strangers into playing with me as they walk by.

Carrying Daffy around and playing with him are both fun activities, but sometimes just snuggling with Daffy is the best. I’m so happy Daffy escaped from the Land of Forbidden Toys, and I plan on protecting him from Tallulah.

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.