2

Momma and the Muskie

Momma has been paddle boarding for close to twenty years now, and will tell anyone who cares to listen that she is the original boarder on our lake.  She has loved almost every minute of it.  She used to take her late dog, Ben, along and now usually takes me.  Ben and I have been good passengers, each of us only falling in only once.  (Momma:  “At least Ben knew to swim back to the board, Lina.  Just saying.”)  Neither of us has contributed any dog paddling for added power, though, as Momma thinks we should, and as some smart-aleck boaters occasionally suggest.

Speaking of boaters/fishers, Momma often calls out to them asking what they are fishing for.  Their usual answers (when they care to respond to the ditzy lady with the little Aussie) are Bass, Northerns, Crappies and Sunnies. Recently, when we were out for a spin, a fisherman teased Momma that there are lots of Muskies in the lake, and she better watch out so they don’t get her little doggie (me!).  Well that got Momma’s attention, and now her boater banter usually ends with “Have you ever seen a Muskie out here?”  Only last week, a fisherman answered in the affirmative, saying that he and his wife were out fishing and one swam right up to their boat with its mouth wide open.  Momma wished she hadn’t asked, but tried to put it out of her mind.

I bring all this up because Momma recently had an encounter with a Muskie that may change her boarding days forever.  She had gone boarding alone when Lori couldn’t join her and she knew it was too hot for me with my double fur coat to be out in the blazing sun.  She also knew that I would be disappointed, so she practically belly-crawled down to the lake so I couldn’t see her leaving.

The minute she got down to her board, she ran into a neighbor, Lisa, who was kayaking by (as I could see by looking out the window).  They joined up and cruised all over the lake, then Lisa peeled off to head to her house.  Just as Momma was crossing a channel close to home, something caught her eye off to the right and not more than ten feet away — a muskrat she thought.  But upon a closer look, she saw it was a gigantic fish that looked like a monster from the deep.

Immediately, she knew it was a Muskie and screamed at the top of her lungs (as though she had just seen a shark), “Muskie! Muskie!”  Lisa and a nearby boarder — and let’s face it — almost everyone on the lake — looked at her with great curiosity.  In fact, Momma’s voice was so loud that I could hear her all the way back in the living room (more proof that she had left me behind).  When she dared to look back at the creature, she saw it was still above water with its mouth open and looking right at her just before it dived under.  Momma saw it that it indeed was a humongous fish.

Shaken, she turned to the nearby boarder who said he had seen it, too.  In fact, he said when he was out on the lake last week, one tried to crawl on his board.  This was almost too much for Momma to bear.  Would she ever take me out on the board again?  Would she ever go on the board again?

That question was answered when she and Lori (strength in numbers she thought and fortified by champagne) did a little après July 4th boarding (once again leaving me behind — too hot and I might get eaten by a Muskie).  Amazingly, they ran into the same boarder who confirmed to Lori that a Muskie really had tried to climb on his board the previous week.

Next, they encountered a neighbor, Mark, working on his dock.  Momma, by now had ramped up her Muskie inquisition, and asked Mark if he had ever seen one.  Yes, he responded, and further informed her that a fisherman had caught a forty-four incher just the other day not far away.

Momma was horrified by that news, especially when Mark added that the fisherman threw the Muskie back in, explaining that most people just catch them for sport and that the DNR stocks the lake with Tiger Muskies!  Tiger Muskies?  Were they insane, she thought?  She did not pay taxes for the government to put attack fish in the lake to ruin her fun.  (And by now she had Googled “Muskies biting people on lakes in Minnesota,” and found at least two incidents cited, one of which required stitches!)

To be honest, I’m a little scared myself.  Here I am in my favorite scarf wondering if I’ll ever get to leave shore again.

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Lina, Muskie Munchie?

WOOFDA!

 

 

 

1

The 4th of July and a New Leash on Life

Dear Readers,

Happy 4th of July greetings from my outdoor satellite office where I will be bringing you today’s briefing!  Here I am in my (way too big but Momma tries) patriotic scarf.  Nice, no?

B9D66A73-FFFA-4DCF-BECA-510F31AE41BCAs you can probably tell, this year I really am excited for America’s birthday.  Why you may ask?  I’m sure some of you remember how I have been forced in the past to stay at home with Momma and endure the mind-blowing 4th of July fireworks which are shot off practically from our own back yard?

Well things are different this year.  While Momma and her friends will be partying it up on the lake, having their hearing (and probably eyesight) destroyed by the fireworks, I’ll be relaxing in the lap of luxury at the ultra-quiet Camp Bow Wow in Eden Prairie (it even sounds like paradise).  How did this come about?

Well, Momma doesn’t know it yet, but Manager Scott has booked me into a luxury suite at the Camp over the Fourth this year.  In addition to the normal amenities one would expect in their regular cabins including a fleece blanket and a campfire treat before bed, I will be enjoying an extra large bed, lights which dim, an individual ventilation system to ensure the perfect temperature, and my own flat screen TV!  Can you stand it? I’ll probably be watching DogTV all night long!

I’ve also signed up for some of their Individual Enrichment extras including one-on-one play time, one-on-one snuggle time and one-on-one brain games (not that I need those, but why not?). I will even have a private 24 hour web cam, should Momma ever think to look in on me.  Then when I awake on the 5th, I’ll be served breakfast in the peace and quiet of my private suite.  Woo hoo!  If Momma finds out, I know she’ll want to stay here, too, but I’ll woof no!  I need a little “me” time.

Have I woofed how much I love Bow Wow?  Here I am relaxing on the bridge with some of my buddies and enjoying another Spaw Day last week at the Camp.  I wonder if they take full time residents.

But back to my greeting and America’s birthday — I hope you all have a wonderful time (remember those ear plugs!) and that your holiday is as relaxing and fun as mine!

Lina, Celebrating in the Lap of Luxury

WOOFDA!

2

The #IBPABens Judges Speak!

Dear Readers,

Last week Momma and I received the promised judges’ feedback on our Benjamin Franklin award-winning book, Sit Stay Pray.  We had been anxiously awaiting their comments because they “lift the curtain,” so to woof, on what the judges really thought of our effort.

There were three judges — one for design and two for editorial comment.  The design judge gave us a somewhat disappointing overall score of 6.7 out of a possible 10.  Here are a few of his/her comments:

I’d work to make the title bigger as well as the subtitle . . . Font choices for subtitle and author skew the book into self-published area, go with less “character.”  Author name aka is confusing . . . Fewer words in subtitle would help layout . . . Body font choice of a san-serif condensed font makes it harder to read main test.  Blah, blah, blah . . . 

Okay, Momma made me add the blah, blah, blah, but I agree, you’d read enough.  The judge was not really taken with the design work, and in some respects Momma and I agree.  Live and learn as they woof.

On the other paw, the editorial judges gave us fantastic scores.  They really “got” the book and gave us fab reviews.  First, from the one who ranked us number one(!) in the humor category and gave us an almost perfect score:

This title ranks one out of the top ten books reviewed . . . Lina certainly can tell a story . . . The reader does not necessarily need to be a dog lover or even an animal enthusiast to relate, appreciate and learn from Lina’s “tails” . . . Presented in a diary-memoir format, the stories flow nicely and allow comprehension and interest for the intended reader . . . Excellent work, excellent stories, excellent product.  This literary evaluator found Sit Stay Pray an inspired, charming, laugh-out-loud read.  Keep writing!

Does it get any better?  Momma and I are feeling so #validated!

And from the judge who ranked our book number two:

Cleverly written.  Dog’s point of view is genius.  The dog’s interaction with her owner is on-point and amusing.  There are many chuckles in these pages.

Momma and I are both over-the-moon with our editorial reviews.  In fact, they were so good that Momma (now all of a sudden a believer) is convinced we lost the gold because of the Russians.

I also recently received my “Silver Winner” book stickers in the mail.  Here I am in my office — bet you didn’t know I had one! — sporting my appropriately themed star scarf of the day, next to my stickered copy of SSP.

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Note that Momma couldn’t resist placing the Ronald Reagan book in the background.

In closing, I want to thank you all again for your loyal readership and hope that, as with the judges, we have given you a chuckle or two or maybe even a belly laugh over the years.  And after those reviews (and the judges order!), who would not continue to write!

Lina, Recognized Author

WOOFDA!

1

Scarves & Summer

Dear Readers,

As we recover from the disastrous events of this winter and spring, Momma and I continue to take steps to try get back to normal (and ours always tends to be a new normal).  We stay busy and my briefing today will give you a little update on #LinaScarves and a bit of summer fun!

First things first.  Many of you have expressed interest in my personalized line of #LinaScarves.  I am currently looking into vendors for making them and in the meantime, I continue to try out different looks.  Today I am featuring another paw-crafted beauty. This creation is meant to reflect the colors of nature:  green for trees and grass (and parsley!), blue for water, yellow for sun and orange for sunset.  So eco, so organic, so sustainable.  (Momma:  “Will it end global warming?”)

I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.  Can’t you just picture Fido’s name on the front?

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In another sign that summer is here, I had a surprise the other day when my step-sister once removed, Talla, her husband Ken, Momma and I went for an impromptu pontoon ride.  The whole thing started when Momma replaced the tattered American flag on the back of our boat, and noticed that the battery was dead (and she was pretty sure it wasn’t her fault this time).  Uncle Ken came over, fixed it, and off we went.  Here I am with our new “Old Glory” in the background.  #readyforsummer!

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Lina, Designer and Pontoon Pooch

WOOFDA!

1

Challenging Times Update

Good Evening Dear Readers,

Boy, you talk about your tough times.  First the COVID-19 pandemic and then the senseless killing of George Floyd.  Both events followed by disastrous repercussions, including the stop-the-spread lockdown with people losing jobs and businesses, and the violence and destruction consuming our country after Mr. Floyd’s tragic death.  Momma and I are both heartbroken about it all, and hope for a full recovery from COVID soon, and for peace and calm and justice to prevail in the Floyd case and aftermath.

Am I right to assume you might need a change of subject?  I hope so because my briefing today is going to be about how Momma and I are putting one foot and paw in front of the other and trying to move forward.

For example, yesterday Momma had some time on her hands so she went to the fabric store in Apple Valley to buy some scarf material for me to pursue my dream of starting my own #LinaScarves line.  And guess what, she even came home with a few colorful swatches of cloth that might work.  Here I am modeling my very first paw-crafted scarf (okay, Momma did help because she can handle the pinking shears better that I can)!  We chose this material because it nicely complements my red merle coloring, don’t you think?  Note the cute little hearts.  They might become my signature symbol – after all, love is so important, especially right now.

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I plan to offer the scarves in my favorite colors and themes and will personalize them for you and your pets.  And remember, they double as masks so they work for humans, too!  More to come.

On the same trip, Momma slipped over to Chuck and Don’s to pick up some supplies for me.  (Momma thought she was buying local — don’t burst her bubble by telling her C & D’s was purchased by a big NYC company last year.)  Anyway, she got some bones for me, poop bags (although she had very little to choose from — it’s as if there was a run on poop bags just like toilet paper!), and some treats for my agility training.

Speaking of my agility work, as I mentioned earlier, I am now doing some training in a well-equipped facility in the Twin Cities.  It’s fun (and I ❤️ the treats!), but it’s also difficult.  We even have homework!  Momma is still not sure what front and back crosses are, but I pretty much do them anyway no matter what signals she gives me as we practice in our back yard.  Who knew the training would be more about her than me!  Hopefully I will have a video for you soon.

So that’s about it for now.  What are you doing to stay busy and get by?  Please stay safe and pray for justice and peace.

What Momma and I wouldn’t do for an ordinary day.

Lina, Almost Unable to Speak

WOOFDA!

0

Memorial Day 2020

Dear Readers,

Momma and I are forever grateful to those who have given their lives for our country and the freedom we enjoy because of them.  With this year’s pandemic restrictions, we appreciate that freedom more than ever.  Humans and dogs alike are indeed lucky to live in this great country.

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Commemorating Memorial Day 2020

We also want to remember and honor all family and friends (including furry) who have gone before us.  You are loved and missed.

Lina, Humbled Hound

 

1

Briefly

Dear Readers,

Greetings again from my home office.  As you will see in the photo below, I am continuing to wear a scarf-mask for my briefings.  I think I am way ahead of the (flattening?) curve with my new concept and may just start my own #LinaScarves line!931C1A23-0B74-4FF8-8EFD-8AA57F7D8451I really don’t have much to report so this will be brief.  The Big Pawse goes on with some businesses, restaurants, and Momma’s beloved salon still closed.  In fact, many things haven’t changed much at all.  Momma continues to come and go as she pleases, even though Governor Walz just lifted his #StayHomeMN order last Monday!  (And based on her age group, she should still be confined to a . . . I mean our . . . home.)   Even her shopping hasn’t tapered off, and she is now a regular at Ace Hardware (who knew we needed WD-40?) and Home Depot.

When she does stay home, Momma continues with my agility training.  Here I am practicing on the (mini) agility course in our back yard.  Our neighbor, Bob, who often looks after me, shot this video the other day.  Such fun.

I have also started agility training this week at a facility here in the Twin Cities which has tons of equipment (some I’ve never even tried).  The first session went well, although I can tell it’s going to take the trainer a while to whip Momma into shape.  I, on the other paw, showed them “what for” with the weave poles.  Update on that coming soon, as we have two sessions scheduled for next week.  CAD609D7-5BF5-4D18-B037-6E6234BB6B26

The only other news I have is that Momma did some housecleaning the other day.  I know, right?  When I came upon her, I thought it was an apparition, and was a little scared to woof the least (as you can tell by the photo at right).  Apparently even Momma has to “dig deep” to get through these tough times!

Until my next report, #staysafe!

Lina, Bringing You the News

WOOFDA!

 

0

Another Briefing; Another Scarf; A New Camp Bow Wow!

Dear Readers,

Last Wednesday, Governor Walz informed us that he was “turning back the dial” on COVID-19 restrictions.  Some businesses will stay closed (Momma’s salon for example) and some businesses will start to reopen starting next week.  For now, though, the great pawse continues.

Before I begin my latest update, I want to mention that, like the very fashion forward Dr. Birx, I’ve decided to wear a different scarf for each of my briefings.  And (I wonder if even Dr. Birx has thought of this?) did you know that a scarf can actually be converted into a mask if need be?  Maybe I belong on that medical panel.  Anyway, here I am with today’s #linascarves selection.

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So here’s my update.  Momma continues to bemoan her fate that, based on Governor Walz’s most recent order, she cannot get her hair or nails or face or whatever other maintenance she requires done until at least June 1.  (As you can see, I’m still kind of glowing from mine, and this remains a big bone of contention with her.)

On the bright side, however, Walz announced that shops may now reopen! And as much as Momma is fond of saying there is nothing in the world she needs, the first word that popped into her mind upon hearing the news was — you guessed it — Nordstrom!   Unfortunately for her, the Mall of America cannot turn on a dime and will not reopen until at least June 1.

Finally, the biggest and best news of all — Camp Bow Wow has re-opened!  And get this — they have a brand new facility in Eden Prairie close to where Momma golfs, and she took me there yesterday.  Let me just woof this about that — it is fantastic!  Here I am with Counselor Maddie in front of the new Camp, with new friends in the small dog play area, and that’s my good friend, Roma, and me in the small dog yard.

IMG_1264I would highly recommend Camp Bow Wow to you if you’re looking for a safe and caring and fun place to take your furry friends.  In addition to doggie day care, they also do boarding, training and spa services!  Okay I shouldn’t mention this in front of Momma, but I’m thinking of asking for another one of their famous blueberry facials (see photo, right) next time I go!  You can check out the new Camp Bow Wow at https://www.campbowwow.com/eden-prairie/.  They also have facilities at Burnsville and Plymouth.

I hope you all have a great weekend and please remember to #staysafe and practice your #socialdistancing, even for your #furryfriends.

Lina, Blogger & Briefer!

WOOFDA!

 

5

The “Big Pawse” Continues

Dear Readers,

Well, this pandemic thing is really dragging on.  Although Momma and I aren’t doing much, I’m thinking of starting a daily briefing like Trump.  After all, if he can think of something to say every day, undoubtedly, so can I.  At least I won’t venture to give you off-the-cuff medical advice.  And I really do like that Dr. Birx; maybe I could get her to weigh in on doggie health during one of my briefings.

So here is my update.  As I may have mentioned before, Momma is just beside herself FAA2476C-7B7F-43A1-B6F9-311AB8FF1C1Ethat I can get a salon-spa appointment, and she can’t.  (“It’s a violation of my Constitutional, rights, Lina!”)  You know, I actually agree with her on this one.  Maybe if Governor Walz saw this picture, he’d agree that her salon services, like mine, are essential.  Just woofin’.  In the meantime, I’ve counseled her to just Sit, Stay & Pray.

I probably shouldn’t even say this, but my treatments were heavenly.  My fur is all clean and fresh and fluffy, the blow out was fabulous, and the pawdicure was divine!  In fact, I feel like a new dog.  Here I am all rested and relaxed and glowing after my luxurious services.  And, just like Dr. Birx, I’ve chosen to accent my look with an eye-catching scarf!623AF245-F6D4-4F7B-AC96-2A8E1A3C7752So that’s about it for today.  I’m sure many of you, like the reporters and viewers at Trump’s briefings, have many questions and may even want advice about #stayinghome during this “Big Pawse.”  Unfortunately, I cannot take live questions, but if you have any, please leave a comment on my site, and I’ll (nicely) respond to each and every one.  And please don’t forget to “follow” me — that way you won’t miss out on any of the action!

I look forward to keeping you updated with my briefings.  Until then, #staysafe.

Lina, Presser Pup

WOOFDA!

 

 

7

No Gold, But SSP Still a Winner!

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Dear Readers,

Last night, Momma and I gathered around the iPad in a state of high anticipation to watch the 32nd Annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin award show.  That’s Ben with the mask in the photo above, in front of all of the book entrants (1700 of them!).  Sadly, we did not win the gold in the Humor Category, but I do have to woof that I’m pretty proud of a silver Bennie!  (Momma, wearily:  “I know — a pawrticipation award would have been fine with you, Lina.”)  As you can probably tell, Momma, always in extreme competitive mode, is a bit disappointed over our loss.50B5A65C-C456-4F9D-BA58-FEA11C28DE52

She started out the evening in an excited and hopeful state.  The IBPA group had suggested all finalists send a social media post or two for their potential “red carpet” walk and Momma couldn’t fire them off fast enough.  One of the posts even made it onto the Bennie program, causing a presenter to remark, “Oh, and that’s one of our co-authors, I think.”  I was over the moon — she recognized me!  Here’s that post:

Momma’s mood tanked rapidly, though, after another finalist was named the winner of the humor award.  Here’s the presenter (Momma, not happy that he mispronounced my name, has now taken to calling him that nut with the red nose) announcing the winner:

Momma was devastated.  She perked up a bit though when the producers ran her acceptance speech for our Bennie.  (Finalists were instructed to send a in a short generic-award acceptance video, so the speech could be used no matter what happened.)  Our clip was videoed last March in Florida by our buddy, Roy, all around good guy and husband of my political sister, Rita!  Thanks again, Roy!  Here it is!

Since I wasn’t asked to speak, I’m going to give a big woof out right now to the IBPA program.  As Momma said in the video, we couldn’t be more honored or thankful to be a part of it and to have won an award.  And finally, we want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the Bennie winners.  (Momma, not able to help herself, does plan to buy To Squeeze a Prairie Dog, though, so she can be the judge if it’s funnier than SSP!)

And so, as you can see, Lina’s life with a difficult Momma goes on — could another book be in the works?

Lina, Bow-Wow with a Bennie!

WOOFDA!