Monday, July 31, 2006

Heat Wave!

Wow, it's been hot lately. We've been veg'n inside in the AC mostly. Mom drags us out of bed at the crack of dawn... well, she really drags ME out of bed, cuz Opie's up by then... to walk. Something about it being too hot later.

There's not a whole lot new to report... since it's been so hot, we haven't gone on many adventures. So, I thought I'd dredge up an old one...

Did you know that when I was a year old or so, I grew an extra toe? Yup. It popped out of the big pad on my right front foot. It hurt and I started limping, so mom looked at it and took me into Dr. Burke's. (That's my favorite vet... but she's in Arizona.) Anyway, Dr. B wasn't there that day and Dr. Quist looked at it.

It was really funky-looking, that toenail growing out of the bottom of my foot like that. Dr. Q gave me a shot of that stuff that makes everything look funny... and then he tugged on the new toe and it came out. He said it probably split from one of my other toes before I was born and just worked its way out.

I've got lots of weird medical history... maybe I'll share more later.

Wuf ya!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Randi's Coming!

Mom said Randi's coming today. We like Randi. She's fun. She takes us for walks and gives us fresh water and plays with us sometimes while mom disappears during the day.

We try to behave when we're walking with her, but it's hard. There are two of us and one of her. We get soooooo excited it's hard to listen.

When Randi comes, we don't sleep all day. Opie stands guard in his bed and I watch the forest for animals. Usually, there aren't too many during the day. Once in a while there are people out in their yards. Or, Tessa runs around outside. But usually, it means nap time.

I think I'll go eat the treats mom left out for Randi...

Wuf ya!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What Happened to the Bunny?

Remember the other day when Opie and I spotted a tiny baby bunny while we were walking and mom was so proud of us for not chasing it?

I think we saw the same baby bunny today. We didn't chase it. It was sooo tiny. Only about 5" long. It had a pretty white tail and belly and was kind of gray and brown.

The baby bunny wasn't moving. Even when we walked by. Even when we tried to prod it with our noses. It still didn't move. I was very sad. I sat and looked up at my mom. Opie pawed at it and bumped it with his nose, too. It still didn't run away.

Mom said we should keep walking and go home to eat breakfast. We were all very sad.

We walked about four trees away and I looked back at the bunny. I got really excited and mom asked "Whazzup, Gomer?" She looked back, too.

The tiny bunny hopped away, back into the thick weeds and trees.

Weird, huh?
(According to the House Rabbit Society, www., How Rabbits Protect Themselves? This behavior is also seen in pet rabbits. If a car drives by or an airplane is heard the rabbit will flatten itself against the floor, with its ears laid back, its eyes wide open, and its body quivering. A wild rabbit, relying on the color of coat as camouflage, will crouch motionless in the grass until a dangerous bird of prey has flown past. A pet rabbit exhibits similar behavior. It does not "know" that its coat, which maybe white, is visible from a great distance, like a flare signal.

Wuf ya!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Gophers and Bunnies and Birds, Oh My!

(Gomer) I know I heard something in the wetlands behind our house. I just know I did. I know it. Something moved while I was tinkling. I know it did; I just know it. I've got an instinct for these things, being part labrador and all.

(Opie) Yeah, right, sure you do. You always think you hear things when you're tinkling. I think it was just the pee hitting the grass.

No, it wasn't, I swear.

You completely missed the two bunnies hopping around under the trees in the other direction. Mom saw 'em; she told me so. The difference between me and you is that when she tells ME to ignore something, I do. You get crazy and then we can't walk longer and we have to go back inside.

But I heard something. And then there was that bird that flew up out of nowhere.

Out of nowhere? More like out of its nest, goofball. Remember, we found the eggs a few days ago and mom made us leave them alone?

Yeah, right. You're the obedient one. You're the golden child. You're the best boy. Until you get off leash and don't come back when you're called.

That's just a test and you know it. This mom is the only one who WANTs me to come back! I have to keep checking that she still does.

Shhhhhhhhh. She's coming!

Wuf ya!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blue and Lilly

We were total vegetables this weekend, of the laying around and looking handsome kind. No long walks... no bark parks... no chasing bunnies... no nothin. Something about mom hurting her back and us pulling too hard when we walk. The wimp.

Anyway, mom got an email from a nice lady named Beth who sent in her dogs' stories. She saw us in the paper in Southwest Saturday a week or so ago and wrote in. Sounds like her dogs, "Make My Brown Eye Blue" and "Lilly", would be mine and Opie's best buds if we met them in real life.

Lilly is a beagle-mix just like me... and she got big, too, just like me. "Blue," as he likes to be called, is a handsome husky mix. They're both shelter dogs, just like us. They love to play king of the hill, just like us. They're glad they got adopted, just like us.

Mom said I can't tell you their story, 'cuz it's going to be in Southwest Saturday in Shakopee, Chaska and Jordan this weekend. If you read it, write in and tell us what you think. Or, better yet, write in and tell us your own story or email us at

Wuf ya!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Did I smell a puppy?

Gosh, I could swear that mom smelled like puppy when she got home yesterday. There sure was something different. Opie thought so, too. We must have tried to smell her for hours. Anyway, I'm sure she smelled like puppy. But I didn't see any puppy. And, I'm getting older, so maybe I didn't. I'm just not sure.

I remember one time when I was still little and she brought a whole boxful of puppies to live with us. That was in Arizona before Opie came. She said they came from Friends for Life, just like me. There was Teddy and Daisy and Winnie and Pooh and Winston and Thatcher. Teddy and Daisy were lab puppies; Winston, Pooh and Thatcher were mixed-mutt designer dogs and Winnie was bigger with some shepherd in her. I think she was older than the others, too.

Every few days, one of them left with mom and didn't come back. Mom said they went to live with their new family. I hope they liked their new family as well as I like mine.

Anyway, I'm not done with this puppy investigation. I think we should sniff it out a little more.

(Gomer and Opie are right. One of my co-workers got a new puppy yesterday -- a puggle -- and brought it into work to show her off. Bailey is adorable!)

Wuf ya!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New Toys! New Toys! New Toys! No toys!

We finally got to play with the new toys that uncle Matt and aunt Dawn got for us over the weekend. They were fun and cool and had lots of stuffing and a squeaker and rope attached. Mom tossed them around for a while, but of course the real objective is to kill it completely.

We work as a team. While mom and I are playing catch, Opie bites and bites and bites his until it stops squeaking. Then, I give him my toy to kill and I work on unstuffing his. That can take a long time, so sometimes he plays catch with mom until the first toy is all flat. When it is, I play tug-toy with mom (primarily to get the rope off) and Opie starts to unstuff his. Sometimes I have to help him and he tugs on the rope.

After about a half an hour, we're both exhausted and the toys are dead. Can't wait to get another one!

Wuf ya!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Training Command Translations

So, we thought we'd share what some of those words that people use to get us to do stuff really mean to us. This was prompted by Opie's tour of Chaska yesterday; if only mom would have used the right words, he would have come back sooner. Below, we say what the word means we're supposed to do, what goes through our head when you say it, and a better way to get your meaning across.

"Sit" - Do: Put your back end on the floor and look up at whoever said it. Means: You'll get some kind of attention or treat, so you, as a dog, have to determine in advance if you think it's worth it or not. Better: "Want food?"

"Down" - Lay on your tummy and look up at whoever said it. First, decide if you're tired or not, otherwise just keep sitting, or just walk away. Better: "Want food?" See how Gomer lies down?

"Leave it" - Don't eat that. It's a control thing, cuz usually humans only tell you to leave the best stuff. Better: "Want food?"

"Come" - Move your canine bod closer to your human. They're scared that you're so far away and need some reassurance. So you have to determine if you need to get so close that they can pet you, or whether just the fly-by breeze will satisfy their needs. Better: "Want food?" This is how Opie "comes" ---------------------------->

"That's yucky" - only reserved for the bestest, most yummiest stuff out in the yard or on the floor. Better: "Want food that's even better than that yucky stuff?"

Wuf ya!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Three-Hour Tour

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,a tale of a blissful jaunt.
That started from my Chaska house, so my dog mom I could taunt.
This mate was a mighty runnin’ dog, the master stern and sure.
I couldn’t help but run today, for a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

My mom, she started getting tough, and Gomer, he was caught.
If not for the slyness of the Opie mind,
I, too, could be bought; I, too, could be bought.

A cop, she came to help my mom to try to capture me
with treats in hand, and leashes too,
I jumped on her, and I sat,
the leash went on, now I was caught
no getting free, here on Gomer's Isle.

So this is the tale of the runaway, he’s back for a long, long time.
We’ll have to make the best of things, but it's an uphill climb.
The Opie dog and Gomer too, will do their very best,
to make the dog mom comfortable, in the Minnesota nest.

No bones, no treats, no motor cars, not a single luxury.
Like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be.
So join us here each week my friend, you're sure to get a smile.
From two un-stranded Castaways, here on Gomer’s Isle.

Wuf ya - Opie

Monday, July 17, 2006

Read All About It!

Did you see us in the papers? Mom wrote a column about us in Southwest Saturday, the new publication for Shakopee, Chaska and Jordan. Well, really it was about designer dogs... which we are, in a way!

It was a fun weekend! Auntie Dawn came to visit, and uncle Matt, and cousin Izzy. Izzy is a designer dog, too. I think she said she's got some doberman and some American bull terrier in her. She's really sweet, but a totally wild woman. She reminds me of Opie when he first came to live with us. He didn't listen either, very well.

On Sunday, we ate all mom's chocolate expresso beans while she was shopping with auntie Dawn. Boy, were we hyper! Mom wasn't too happy and made us swallow some of that pink yucky stuff. Then we went on a long walk. It was soooo hot outside. But man did we crash when we got back. I think I'll stay away from the kitchen counter today.

wuf ya!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Stormy Weather

Wow - did you see the storm last night? Opie and I watched it. Well, sort of. Opie basically fell asleep. I think it's weird the way he freaks out at fireworks because of the noise and the lights, but he sleeps through thunderstorms. And mom calls me the freakazoid.

I remember when I had to sleep outside during the storms. Only in Arizona for some reason they call them monsoons. They pretty much seem the same to me. Of course, I'm six years old, which is getting old for a dog, so maybe my memory just isn't so good.

My mom Trish was always amazed that I never freaked out during storms. Apparently, neither did her other dog Floppy. I never met him, but apparently he was deaf for a long time.

We're getting lots of company today. I used to get really scared when people came over. Most people are pretty much ok now. And, these are some of my favorite dog people. Randi comes to walk us this afternoon. Yippee! Then, mom said auntie Dawn is coming for the weekend. I think that means that she's here for a long time. Opie and I like auntie Dawn - she gives us treats and stuff that mom doesn't like us to have. Don't tell mom!

Wuf ya!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hot! Hot! Hot!

So, that big black box in the living room that has voices was talking this morning and I heard them mention that it's going to be 100 degrees on Saturday, and even hotter with the heat index. Gaawleeee, did that bring back a flashback memory!

See, I started life in Arizona in the late spring. By the time Jennifer and Trish at Friends for Life found me in the dumpster, it was already in the 90's. I remember it was really really hot a lot. It was frightening; the heat made me really paranoid sometimes.

Sometimes, one of the people in the store would spray me with water. For some reason I made them mad and they sprayed me even more. I didn't care; it tasted good and when I was wet I felt a lot better. I think they liked me, really, cuz they kept throwing a lot of food into the dumpster where I was living.

Once F4L, Keiko and then Trish took me to live at their house(s), it was like being on easy street. I think about all the other dogs that don't have it so good. That are either tied outside with a small bowl of water, or are running loose on the streets looking for somebody to take them home. Gawleee, am I glad I don't have to do that anymore. I wish I could spread the word how important it is to keep your dog hydrated when it's so hot outside.

Wuf ya!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Exhausted, but Happy!

Whew! We were exhausted yesterday after coming home from Dog Pad for the weekend. I'm glad sometimes that mom leaves all day. Not sure where she goes... she sure doesn't smell like dogs when she gets back. She says, "I'm going to work now," which is confusing cuz I always think she says we're going for a walk now. I've figured it out tho. She doesn't take the leashes to work and she does when we walk.

Hey dude - my turn. Opie here. Somethin' happened this last trip. We get chew bones again. There for quite a while we didn't get any. I don't get it. But now when we get them, mom keeps checking our mouths and teeth for some reason. She's weird.

Anyway... We went for a long walk last night. We love it! We both saw a baby bunny. It was soooo tiny; we didn't even try to chase it. Mom was really proud of us.

Randi's coming to take us for a walk today while mom's at work. We really like Randi, even when she makes us behave!

Wuf ya!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mom Came Back!

Woof. We must be doing something right, cuz Trish keeps coming back to get us when we stay at Tory's house. We tried really hard to be really good this time for Tory. There weren't as many dogs as last week, but there were enough that we had lots of play time and lots of distractions. Opie didn't try to escape this time. We even got baths and that makes mom really happy cuz she doesn't sneeze as much.

We get really tired at Dog Pad. There's so much going on; we hate to miss any of it. I fell asleep in the car on the way back home. Opie always watches out the front window of the car, like he's directing or navigating or something. And mom calls ME goofy.

Can't wait till mom comes home so we can take her for a walk around the neighborhood again. We like to show off when we're all clean and dolled up in our new bandanas.

Wuf ya...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We're Gonna Go to Tory's House!

We're gonna go to Tory's house! Yippee, we're gonna go to Tory's house!

It is SO cool there. We get to run around and play almost all day and there are lots of dogs there and Tory and Mike are soooo cool. They put up with our antics, (ok, to a degree) and it's all about us and fun.

We're glad mom found Tory's house! Really, it's called Dog Pad Bed'n'Biscuit in Jordan. It's out in the country. We love it most because Tory lets us be dogs - we don't have to pretend to be four-legged people.

Of course, we show off our personalities, too. I'm kind of skiddish around new people... but that just means more treats for me. Last time, I barked a bit too much, and Tory put a collar on me. I'm not falling for that - I know what those do - so I shut up for a while. Tory says I'm collar smart... I think I'm just smart in general.

Hey - my turn to talk! Dopey Opie here. Tory has passed all my tests... I get snarky when I'm tired sometimes. She lets me veg in a kennel for a while. When I need attention, I become an escape artist. That doesn't seem to work anymore; I think she's on to me. She ignores me -- but I see her and Mike watching but pretending not to. Mostly, I just miss my mom or want to be alone. Tory gets it; but she still keeps me safe.

Wuf ya!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm a Dopey Opie

Hi - I'm Opie.

Mom calls me her dopey Opie, mostly because I act silly. I'm really super smart, tho; smarter than Gomer even. It's just that I sometimes decide not to listen too well. You see, it's really all about ME!

I had a family in AZ before Trish & Gomer. But apparently they didn't want me too much. I probably should have played along and acted like I wanted to sit when they wanted me to and all that. But it was more fun to do what I wanted. So, one day they took me to the park. It was really fun.
That is, until they told me to stay and decided to leave without me. I thought it was a game. But they never came back.

Some really nice people named Johnnie and Brooks played with me and they said that my other people weren't coming back. They took me to their house, and to a place called Friends for Life Animal Sanctuary in Gilbert, AZ. There wasn't room for me there, so I lived with Brooks & Johnnie for a while. One day, I met Trish and Gomer at F4L. I really liked them. They seemed to like me, too. But Trish kept saying "No way, I don't want another dog!"

Gomer kept jumping out of the car and coming back to see me at the fence. He was my best friend in the whole world that day. (Don't tell him, but he still is.)

Trish took me home, and I tried to convince her that I was worth keeping. But it was hard to behave. See, I'm pretty mischievious and act more like a cat than a dog. I walked along the top of the fence, and laid on the window sill, and walked on the kitchen counters. I ate cookies that were on top of the fridge. You know, the important stuff.

Mom didn't seem to like it. I kept trying to amuse her and play tag and running games in the park, but she didn't seem to like that either. One day, after several weeks of trying to convince her that I didn't want to sit when she said to, I did it. She was sooooo excited. Gosh, doesn't take much to make your human happy, does it?

Wuf ya...