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Pawtumn is Here . . .

. . . and I’m digging it! Even in this ruff and tumble world, Momma and I have managed to stay busy with our activities. Here’s my short and sweet (like me) fall briefing —

Book Club @ Sandy’s

Sandy and her granddaughter, Morgan, at my Sit Stay Pray launch party last November!

First up — on September 10, Momma’s good friend, Sandy Becker, hosted a bookclub meeting featuring my acclaimed books, Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray. I was not there, but Momma assures me that the meeting included an intellectual discussion of the books, and was not just an excuse to drink wine. “I used to belong to this bookclub, Lina, and I was especially thrilled to be invited back. Several members said the books are laugh-out-loud funny,” gushed Momma. Music to my (big!) ears.

And please remember, we are still available to bring our dog and human show to bookclubs, complete with face licks and pawdographing! Or we can do a Zoom meeting, too. Just contact Momma at robink822@gmail.com.

Agility Training Update

Agility training has been a real highlight this year, and we faithfully attend the Agile Canine private sessions and often practice in our backyard. My hard work evidently paid off because Annelise recently invited us to join her Thursday intermediate class! Momma and I were ecstatic!

We had our first session last week with the other dogs and, after I settled in, I kinda killed it. In fact, on one run, Momma forgot to have me do jump #7, but I remembered and did it on my own. You should have heard the other dog mommas hoot and holler over that!

The only thing I didn’t like was being imprisoned in my crate when I wanted to go play with the other dogs. In fact, I was so disappointed that I couldn’t stop whining and crying. Here I am just dying to get out (try to ignore the embarrassing Lamb Chop toy), so I could spread the love.

Annelise suggested that I should practice being quiet in a crate at home. Woof what? Luckily Momma has a short memory.

Pawlitics

This being an election year and all, you won’t be surprised to hear that Momma is going great guns (one of her favorite words) to support her favorite right wing candidates. In fact, the only time I was forced to miss an agility session was when she went to see the Human Orange in Mankato.

Momma also held a funder for a local candidate. She planned to let me attend and wear my Biden scarf (shown at right) if I wanted to pawrticipate. As tempting as that was, I refused and took refuge at Nanny Becky’s house. TGFN (part of my new dog text coding system that means Thank Goodness for Nanny)!

Oh, and as I write, a professional cleaner is downstairs cleaning the red wine stains from our carpet. Which begs the question — what kind of “party” animals are these people anyway?

Pawtumn Pawrty!

On a brighter note, Winnie and Dr. Becca; Sammie and Lori; and Uncle Erik came over for a playdate last weekend. It was a blast! Although it was too windy to board or kayak, we did have a fire and played in the yard. And best of all — Erik treated all the dogs to chips and popcorn, and even let us lick the bottoms of some little dessert cups. Momma was fit to be tied (or even crated), but everyone pretty much ignored her. TGFF (Thank Goodness for Friends). Here are some photos of our little group.

As we continue into fall, I look forward to more time with Dr. Becca, who will be staying at our place with Winnie when Momma (foolishly, considering we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic) flies off to Williamsburg, Virginia and Florida later this month.

I also look forward to more sleepovers with my beloved Nanny. Just in case you’ve forgotten what she looks like, here’s a photo of us when I was just a baby!

Lina, Bring on the Treats for Tricks!

Woofda!

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Dog Texting Codes

Dear Readers,

My attorney, Uncle Chuck, recently sent me a list of dog “texting codes.”  I have included that list for your pawrusal.

Pretty cute, huh?  I agree, but have decided to add some of my own, including my more personal “codes.”

My favorite is the most famous code of all:  SOS.  In the context of Lina texting, it means Save Our (Australian) Shepherd.  See how it works?  Here are some other that I think should be added to the list.

CWN — Can’t Woof Now

BM — Bite Me!

BFF — Best Furry Friend

GF — Go Fetch!

WSFF — Will Speak for Food

XOXO — Facelicks!

IAE — I’m All Ears

SIO — Shaking It Off

BOD — Beware of Dog

WMT — Wagging My Tail

INDT — I’m Not Digging This

NIMBY — Not in My Back Yard (This is totally a dog code!)

OTOP — On the Other Paw

And some that are particular to this bow wow:

WOB — Working on Blog

MLIA — Momma’s Losing It Again

GB — Gone Boarding

DID — Dog in Distress

S4S — Dog for Sale

CMA — Calling My Attorney (Uncle Chuck)

TLC — (As in Need Some) Tender Lina Care

WD — Woofda!

🐾 — Lina Pawdograph

So how about you, fellow canines and humane humans?  Do you have any dog codes you’d like to share?  LMK!

Lina, B4N!

WD!

1

I’m Six!

Dear Readers,

Last Thursday, I turned six — or as Momma likes to think of it, the “new four.”  I think of it as “I’m just happy to be above ground.”

My day started off with a gift from her.  Here are some pics of me with my gift bag and enjoying my third or forth Lamb Chop (Momma forgets).

Next I opened my gift from Nanny Becky.  As you can see it’s a darling card and a gift certificate for spa treatments at Camp Bow Wow.  I can’t wait!

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And speaking of Camp Bow Wow, that’s where I spent the bulk of my day (daycare provided free of charge for my birthday!).  As usual, it was terrific.  Momma, on her way to the golf course, dropped me off and asked Manager Jamie if she would take some photos for my sixth birthday.  Here I am with my buddies as we pawrtied the day away. Thanks, Jamie!

Have I woofed about how much I love @campbowwow?  The humans are all nice to me and I have tons of fun with my canine friends like Roma.  You should check them out at http://www.campbowwow.com/ep!   In addition to Eden Prairie, they have facilities at Plymouth and Burnsville.  They’ve got you covered!

Big time thanks to Nanny and Momma and everyone at Bow Wow who made my birthday special.

Lina, One Year Older & One Happy Camper!

WOOFDA!

Logo

2

Lina to the Rescue

Dear Readers,

What started out as a normal — as normal as we get — paddleboard ride last week ended up in another one of our circuses.  Here’s what happened:

Last Tuesday morning (the morning after Momma went to see Trump in Mankato — and, because of my latest blog post, she insists that I make it crystal clear that she supports him), Momma, Lori and I went out on one of our early morning board rides.  It was beautiful.  Cerulean blue skies, white puffy clouds and a light breeze.

I was just starting to relax into the ride, hoping this one might be uneventful, when Momma and Lori spotted smoke billowing up to the north of us.  As we paddled in that direction, we spotted the Burnsville Fire Department’s red raft leaving the public beach and a few firefighters chatting on shore.  (We were already familiar with the Fire Department, Momma and Lori having interrupted their rescue practice to chat up raft helmsman, Jaime, a few days earlier.)

Now, Jaime, immediately recognizing our little flotilla, motored up and asked us if we’d seen anyone near “the island” that morning.  It seems the picnic table on Picnic Island was on fire.

Well we hadn’t, but because Jaime had asked them about the possible perps, Momma and Lori — all excited — decided they were now part of the investigative/rescue team.  As we circled the Island looking for clues and evidence, they decided to call themselves “Bag and Tag.” And I decided to call myself “Detective Dog.”

After finding nothing more than a smoldering picnic table, Momma and Lori determined that their investigation was over.  Spotting the fire and rescue team again on Cherry Beach, they decided to head for home to get our pontoon and camera-phones for some action shots.

While Lori lowered the pontoon and Momma ran into the house for the key, inspiration struck.  Momma suddenly remembered that I have a little fire fighter outfit of my own (you can’t make this stuff up) and grabbed that and my red Doggles, too.  Armed now with everything we needed (and more), off we went, Lori snapping away, Momma driving the boat.

By now the crew was in the middle of their rescue drills.  As we approached, Helmsman Jaime remarked that we were now in a different vessel.  Momma, not missing a beat, said “Of course.  We brought our rescue vehicle.  We want to be part of the team, and have named ourselves ‘Bag and Tag.'”  I declined to participate in this charade.

After some nervous laughter, the crew continued with the drills and we continued to circle and snap pictures.

Momma, of course, had a plan all along for a very special photo.  During a little break in the action, she could restrain herself no longer and blurted out:  “I don’t suppose I could get one of you to take a photo with my dog, Lina, could I?  Look, she has her own firefighter outfit and everything, and it would be so cute.”

Seeing no easy way out, Jaime said, “Sure, I’ll just jump in the water and swim over to your pontoon.”  And just like that, he was on the back of our boat.  And just like that I smothered him with face licks (I have always liked a man in uniform) until we began posing for pics.

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Even I have to admit the day was kind of fun.  And I think the firefighters deserve a big woof-out and thanks for all the good work they do!

Lina, Honorary Fire Department Dog

WOOFDA!

Pawscript:  A Happy belated National Dog Day to all!  National Dog Day is celebrated August 26 every year and calls attention to dogs that need rescuing and thanks them for their work in helping bring safety and comfort to humans.  

 

 

 

2

This BowWow Backs Biden

Dear Readers,

Today I have exciting news to share.  Now that Joe Biden is the official candidate for the Democrat party, I have decided that I will back him for president in 2020!  As you can imagine, Momma’s not happy, but it’s a tough world out there and Uncle Joe has a reputation for looking after underdogs like me!  In fact, did you know that the current occupant of the White House does not even have a dog (and what’s that old saying about not trusting a man who doesn’t like a dog)?   (Momma:  “And what’s that old saying about not biting the hand that feeds you?”)

On the other paw, Uncle Joe has two German Shepherds — Major, who was recently adopted by Joe from the Humane Society and an older dog named Champ.  Now that’s the kind of guy a dog can trust!  Plus, I am just plain tired of worrying about the possibility of being deported to Australia.  Therefore, Joe’s got my vote!  (Momma:  “And I have no doubt your pawprint will be counted.”)

Anyway, here I am in my scarf of the day — “Joe 2020!”  Probably my favorite yet.  It’s actually quite fetching isn’t it?

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Speaking of fetching, I have decided that I am forming a new organization called #BowWows4Biden, and on election day, I will be herding my doggie friends to the polls.  Hope you can join us!  Free treats for everyone!

Lina, Chair, #BowWows4Biden

WOOFDA!

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What! a Good Dog

Dear Readers,

This will be a different kind of post than what you are used to.  Momma recently became reacquainted with a book written by a friend of hers, and I’m doing this entry at her request.  So no scarves this time, no pictures and no tails about about my latest misadventures with Momma.

About two months ago Tom Stumpf, age 66, of Waconia, Minnesota passed away.  Momma considered Tom to be a friend although she didn’t know him well.  She did know that Tom was a good writer and had a monthly column under the byline, Tom Stumpf, Cowboy Correspondent, in the Victoria Gazette.  He was also a talented musician and Momma had the pleasure of playing and singing with him on one occasion (although Momma soon realized he could play rings around her on the guitar!).  Tom also sang in his church choir, was an avid golfer, and — the part I like best — he loved dogs.

In fact Tom loved dogs so much he wrote a book about those that had been a part of his life.  It is called What! a Good Dog.  Tom explains that he named the book after a famous dog trainer, Barbara Woodhouse, who would often praise a dog by exclaiming “What!” in a high pitched, happy voice, then pause and finish in normal tones with “a good dog.”

The book is full of great stories and photos.  Tom dedicated it to his dad, Roman, and to dog lovers everywhere.  The part Momma liked best is that every chapter begins with a clever dog quote by a well-known human.  I thought you’d also enjoy these memorable quotes so am including them in my post.  Tom’s not here to give his approval, but I think he’d like that I’ve shared them.  Here goes:

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” — Andy Rooney

“If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” — Will Rogers

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” — Roger Caras

“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right!  I never would have thought of that!'” — Dave Barry

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” — Ann Landers

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principle difference between a dog and man.” — Mark Twain

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” — Josh Billings

“The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” — Anonymous

Pretty profound, huh?  I just wish I could have met Tom Stumpf.  What! a great and smart guy.

Lina, Aussie in Awe

WOOFDA!

 

 

5

My New Logo

Dear Readers,

I wanted you to be the first to see my new logo.  Momma and I have been working with Momma’s friend, Susan Blakely, to get just the right look.  Here it is!

Logo

What do you think — does it capture me?  Note that it is a combination of red because I have a good heart, pink because I’m a girl, and blue to reflect the bodies of water on which we live and to which I’m subject on an almost daily basis (and, okay, blue for my political leanings, too).

I have also included my blog tagline, WOOFDA!, which expresses my playful nature and is a nod to Momma and my home state of Minnesota where almost every human says uff da! at one time or another.  (Momma, a “seasoned” Minnesotan, says uff da originated in Norway, and can mean “drat,” “oops” or “oh no!”)

Look for the logo in the future on blog posts and upcoming Lina products including my new scarf line!  And please feel free to leave a comment on my blog site!

Lina, Entrepreneur

WOOFDA!

Logo

 

 

3

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Summertime

Just so you don’t think I’ve run away (although that’s never far from my mind), I’ve decided to give you a little briefing on my summer with Momma.  Here I am with my latest scarf creation.  Just like my life, it has a nautical theme.

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So my summer has been a mix of play and work. As you will see in the photos that follow — and this is more of a photoblog than a blog post — Momma and I continue to go about our lives despite (or in Momma’s case, as a challenge to) the COVID restrictions.  We traveled to our cabin in northern Minnesota in July, where I got to see the Norgaard relatives who seem to like nothing better than to torment-tease me.  Nevertheless, I did enjoy my time up there and here are few photos from our stay.  You may notice that I am not in any of the lake photos because someone forgot to pack my life jacket.

I have had some lake fun at home, though.  Momma has lifted her emergency executive order keeping me #safeathome from the Muskies and we’ve had a fantastic time boarding and boating.  Here we are with relatives and friends Talla, Ken, Cheryl, Erik, Jim, Lori U., the ubiquitous Lori Mac and her dog, Sam.  Oh, and the eagle who always keeps a sharp eye out for me!

 

My Agility Training Continues

My summer has included some work, too, and I am making good progress training with Annelise at Agile Canines in St. Louis Park.  Annelise has a great facility and is a master at training promising dogs such as myself.  My goal now is to make it into the Intermediate Class, and can do so as soon as I’m comfortable on the A-Frame and Dog Walk contact obstacles.  Let me rephrase that:  I am already totally comfortable on them; my real obstacle is Momma who needs to stop freaking out about me on them.  I just wish she was trainable.

As you might guess, Momma still has grandiose plans for me to do agility competitions (and embarrassingly calls me “Champ” in front of Annelise).  She takes me to train with her every week without fail — and she often makes me practice at home.  Here is my latest video doing some jumps and the weave poles in our backyard.

 

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, please stop by and I’ll give you a little demonstration.  Just remember:  this dog works for treats!

Lina, Not Letting Any Grass Grow Under My Paws

WOOFDA!

 

 

6

Sit Stay Pray a Winner Again!

Dear Readers,

Last week Momma and I got another pawsome surprise!  We were notified that my second book, Sit Stay Pray, was named a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA) competition.  NIEA also named the winners in the same communication, and unfortunately, SSP was not among them.  (Is this where I woof that human expression, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride?”) Perhaps, but we were nevertheless thrilled to be finalists, and will be adding more “award” stickers to our books!

This Excellence Award is especially meaningful for Momma and me because it is the second award we have garnered for SSP  — the first being the Benjamin Franklin Award for Humor.  This competition had over 1,000 entrants, and we were finalists in the Animals & Pets category.

Rather than try to explain the background and import of NIEA, I am attaching its press release about their 14th Annual Awards.  You can click on Finalists to see my book in that group.  You can also click on Winners to look for SSP (like Momma did about ten times in case there was some mistake) but will not find it.  Read on please.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

14th ANNUAL NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE® AWARDS ANNOUNCED

The 14th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) recognize the Winners and Finalists from this year’s robust competition of entries originating from all across the United States of America.

​A leader and veteran of publishing award contests, The National Indie Excellence® Awards are open to recent English language books in print from self and independent publishers. Judging is now completed for the 14th year of this competition and the results commend a wide range of truly exceptional titles.

​The National Indie Excellence® Awards celebrate independent publishing as a strong and vital sector of our industry. Recognizing excellence in all aspects of the final presentation, NIEA champions self-publishers and the independent presses who produce the highest quality books across a spectrum of metrics. Established in 2005, NIEA’s entrants are meticulously judged by experts from various facets of the book industry profession including publishers, writers, editors, and designers.

​Winners and Finalists are determined on the basis of superior written matter coupled with excellent presentation in every facet of the final published product. Jurors value the synergy of both content and form as they review entries spanning multiple genres. Sponsorship awards and monetary prize awards are selected from the overall group of Winners and Finalists.

​”This year’s entries continue an upward trend in high-quality publishing, even among first time or newer authors. The competition is intense. Indie Excellence® proudly celebrates the talent, dedication and love they put into the book product.”

– Doug Fogelson, President National Indie Excellence® Awards

To view the 14th Annual NIEA Winners and Finalists click here: Winners, Finalist

https://www.indieexcellence.com/

Because this is such a special occasion, I wanted to wear one of my designer scarves, but Momma had a “better” idea.  I can barely hold my head up.

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Lina, Humbled Hound Wearing Heavy Medal!

WOOFDA!

Pawscript:  Please don’t forget we have copies of SSP (and Lina Unleashed) on hand, so if you’d like to buy a copy (or two or three), I would be happy to pawdograph them for you, and Momma will make sure you receive your copy/copies.  So much better than ordering the book from another source because it will bear my priceless paw print, plus there will be more proceeds to pass along to the Animal Humane Society and Helping Paws Minnesota.

Also, don’t forget Momma and I still have some openings for bookclub meetings.  (You can tell your friends that my first book, Lina Unleashed, won an award in the Humor category and Sit Stay Pray won awards in both the Humor and Animals & Pets categories!)  In fact, we will be appearing at one in September for Momma’s good friend, Sandy Becker (see the Events page on my website).  We are even up for Zoom or outdoor meetings to ensure that we are following appropriate distancing protocols.

2

Muskie Madness & July 4th Wrap Up

Dear Readers,

Well, I guess this was not just another fish story.  I was hoping the Muskie crisis (how many more can we stand in one summer?) was over, but if anything it has gotten worse.  Momma has curtailed her boarding, and when she goes (she has me self-isolating in the house) she keeps a sharp eye out for another Muskie rearing its ugly head.  In fact, I often see her gazing out at the lake from our living room as though she were looking for the Crystal Lake version of the Loch Ness monster.

Momma is being extra careful because we now have more proof that we are in the middle of a Muskie pandemic.  The other day we received two photos of our neighbor, Dave (he lives a mere six doors away), holding humongous Muskies he recently caught (and released!) According to his wife, Kelly, Dave caught the first one right in back of their house, and the second in another part of lake (Momma sure wishes she knew where because, as we all know, fish always stay in the same spot.  Momma also wishes she knew why Dave is missing a shoe.)

On another front, our 4th of July celebration is over, and I’m told the fireworks were the best ever.  Momma had Talla and Tammy’s families over for boarding and kayaking and pontooning in the afternoon (she wisely did not bring up the Muskie tail with the little children).  Then a group of friends came over to partake in some Fourth Fun including the fearsome fireworks!  The fab photos below were taken by Tammy’s husband, Paul.  (You may have seen them before on Facebook, but I want to save them for pawsterity on my blog!)

Meanwhile I was safely ensconced in my private suite at Camp Bow Wow.  Here I am watching my very own flat screen TV.  Don’t tell Momma (or she won’t let me come back), but I was watching CNN to find out what is actually happening in the world.

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Just lapping it up!

Lina, Staying Safe & Informed!

WOOFDA!