Dear readers, I have startling news.  The other day, I was bitten on my paw and nose by another dog while at doggie daycare.  Can you believe it?  If there ever was a dog who deserved this less, I don’t know who it would be.  Like most Democrats, I am an avowed pacifist and did absolutely nothing to provoke this unwarranted attack.  In fact, this is so unexpected that it just begs the questions — would the bullying have taken place if it wasn’t for the bully-in-chief in the White House setting a bad example?  By the way, I hear he doesn’t even have a dog — who can trust a guy like that?

Momma was in the middle of a round of golf when she got the call from daycare, and, despite the news, secretly hoped she could finish her game.  For once, she was playing well and plus she was trying out a new driver.  But alas, the manager told her that even though I seemed okay, she should have me checked over, and she reluctantly set out to get me. 

When Momma arrived, the manager passed me over to her and she was mortified to see that my little paw was covered in dried blood (the wound to the nose was superficial).  By now, Momma was more than a little angry and upset over the attack.  Would she ever dare leave me there again?  Would she have to stay with me as a body guard?

Trying to calm down, she held and petted me as the manager explained what had happened.  The other dog had, in a split second — and for no reason — hauled off and bitten me on the paw and nose.  He further explained that the daycare has a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior and that the dog had been forever banned from the facility.  Yippie — take that you little bully, I was thinking!  Although I am a big believer in world peace and think we should all be able to get along, I really didn’t want to be looking over my shoulder all the time.  And Momma was thinking Yippie — I don’t have to miss any more golf!

Luckily the vet (another hunk — I don’t know how she does it) IMG_6954saw us right away and determined that my injury was limited to a split pad on my left front paw.  (Momma:  “Thank God it was not your pawdographing paw, Lina!”).

He said that we mainly had to be concerned about infection at this point, but that I should heal in a couple of weeks.  The doc also told Momma that the bandage should be removed the next day, and she could either bring me back or remove it herself.  Pretty cute, isn’t it?


By the next day, Momma had determined she would remove the bandage herself (what if the vet charged extra?).  Reading her mind, as I always do, I started whining.  This was code for “please take me to the vet and let them do it,” but Momma was having none of it.  Here I am enduring another Momma-klutz moment.

After much tugging and pulling of fur and heart-stopping slicing of tape and gauze, she finally got the bandage off.   Unfortunately, she still had to cover the paw with a little baby sock that the vet recommended to prevent my licking the wound.

Attaching the sock to my tiny paw was another mind boggling task for Momma.  In the end, she found a way to keep it on by holding the sock up with one hand and wrapping the adhesive tape tightly around the top with the other.  The result was a bulky mess with a tourniquet top and the sock itself so bunched up I could hardly walk.  I can tell it is going to be a long couple of weeks.


This will work well …

No problem, I decided — it would give me time to get going on my new cause.

Lina, Founder – #antidoggiebullying Movement




Coming Soon — Sit Stay Pray!


Lina speaks again . . .

Momma and I have exciting news to share with you.  My new book will be released this September.  After much agonizing and paw-wringing, I have decided to call it Sit Stay Pray.  I think it’s perfect!  Sit and Stay are pretty easy to understand — I want you to sit down with my new book, stay for awhile and enjoy.  And, last but not least, I’m asking you to pray for the little Aussie.  With all of my fur-raising dilemma-adventure-dramas with Momma, my life has not gotten any easier, and I can use all the help I can get.

I am pretty excited about Sit Stay Pray for a number of reasons.  First, like my award-winning Lina Unleashed, it’s tail-wagging good!  If you love dogs and/or struggle with over-shopping, political lunacy, modern-day technology, caring for an adorable dog like me, or just someone who enjoys a good laugh — this book is for you!  But don’t take my woof for it.  Early reviews describe SSP as “delicious,” “pitch perfect,” “clever” and “hilarious!”

Oh, and the best reason of all?  We will be making a big donation to  Minnesota’s Animal Humane Society from the proceeds for Sit Stay Pray.  So you get a great read and help thousands of animals find homes.  It just doesn’t get any better!

Momma has big plans for the book, including a launch (did someone say launch?) pawrty, and several other book events and pawdographings.  I’m sure wine will be included.  Details will follow and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Lina, Author and Puplanthropist




Just Shoot Me Now

Momma and I continue our frenzied preparations for my sequel to Lina Unleashed.  I think I’ve settled on a title, but want to “chew” it over for awhile before making a final decision.  (Actually, “Just Shoot Me Now” sounds perfect at the moment.)

Along with our other new book tasks — submitting the manuscript to our publisher, hiring a publicist and a reviewer, and begging for endorsements (see Pawscript) — there was the dreaded photo shoot.  (For a refresher on my past disastrous photo shoots, check out https://wordpress.com/post/linasdogblog.com/4328 and https://wordpress.com/post/linasdogblog.com/6202.)

This time it was not the shoot itself, but the preparation that was the problem.  Momma had decided that the best place for our photos would be on the beach.  Yes, the beach.  Where dogs are not allowed.  As this sign clearly states.


IMG_6260Despite the sign (and the law), Momma led me down to the beach for a few “preliminary” photos.  (“I don’t think anyone will mind us taking a few cheesecake shots for your next book, Lina.”)  Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I have never heard of the cheesecake photo exception and sensed that this was not going to end well.  Here I am, wondering where Uncle Chuck, Esq. is when I need him.

I was right to be concerned.  When Momma finally gathered me up to go home, a very angry man marched over to us and demanded to know if Momma was aware that dogs are not allowed on the beach.  Momma allowed that she did know that, and Angry Man retorted, “Oh, and I suppose the law doesn’t apply to you?”  (I wisely offered no comment.)

Knowing she had been busted, Momma tried to keep her cool and explained that she was just taking some pictures of me.  This did not placate Angry Man at all, and he followed up with, “Well I have grandchildren that I need to protect.”

Momma was by now furious and snarled, “well, thank you very much for policing the area.”

“That’s my job!”  countered Angry Man, whose anger, even I thought, was all out of proportion with our crime.  (Momma:  “Alleged crime, Lina.”)

Despite our little fracas, Momma decided she had found the perfect setting for our photos.

The shoot itself went well, and we weren’t arrested or even yelled at.  Turns out our photographer, Frank Steiger, is a retired Marco Island police officer who kept us in line (and my paws off the sand).

Frank did a terrific job and was gentle and kind and gave me treats.  Here’s a sneak peek of his photos for my book.



Lina, Still Dodging Bullets


Pawscript:  By the way, Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain), was a little “overwhelmed” at the moment and had to decline writing a testimonial about my book.  Won’t he be sorry when it’s a runaway best seller.  Just woofin’.





Happy National Puppy Day & Preview of Things to Come

Greetings dog lovers and dogs everywhere!  To be honest I had to look up National Puppy Day to find out what it is all about.  Here’s the scoop:  It was founded in 2006 by dog lover and pet lifestyle expert, Colleen Paige.  The focus for the Day, as the motto — Love, Rescue, Adopt — suggests is finding forever homes for puppies.  I hope all puppies out there find just the right home — and human to care for!

On another note, I apologize for not keeping you, my loyal readers, up to date on my crazy life.  It’s not that nothing is happening — it’s just that Momma and I have a lot of balls in the air (especially me) these days.

First there’s the book — my sequel to Lina Unleashed.  I am working like a dog, trying to get it out by summer and doing all the marketing stuff our publicist suggests.  Yes, we have a publicist.  Can you stand it?

Then there’s the DNA and relative thing.  As I mentioned earlier, I have a close relative named Bandit.  We have been in contact and there are exciting developments on that front.

Finally, Momma is doing her own DNA/ancestry testing.  She always says she is 100% Norwegian.  I am bracing myself in case she finds out she is a mutt.

More on all this later.  Must go eat my dinner and go potty.  (Momma:  “Yes, Lina, apparently the other twelve potties today were not enough.”)

Oh, and one more thing — what do you think of my new hoodie?  I wonder if Dogs of MSP (the merchant) needs a model, considering they are using my signature sign off and all.  Just woofin’.


Lina, Future Model?



Aussie Or Mutt? The Results Are In!

Yesterday, we received the results of my DNA test from Embark.  Momma and I were both quivering with excitement and curiosity.  Although the results also covered health and ancestry, we were mostly curious about my breed.  Would I be a purebred or a hybrid?  She was hoping I was all Aussie, but I didn’t care.  As with humans, I am a big proponent of doggie diversity.  (Momma:  “Whatever.”)   Anyway, here goes!

My Health

The health section of the report covered diseases for which I may be at risk, a carrier or clear.  First, I am thrilled to report that I did not test positive for any of the “at risk” diseases screened for.

Next, I learned I am a “carrier” for only one, a recessive genetic trait called progressive retinol atrophy.  Luckily, I will not suffer any symptoms, but must be mindful of the gene if I “should have children,” as Embark refers to my possible puppies.

Finally, I tested “clear” for eight diseases common to my breed, and “clear” of the 163 others included in the test.

Yay!  All great news!  Doesn’t this just “beg” the question, though – why am I always at the vet?

My Breed

And now, the result we’d been waiting for.  What am I really?  This may come as no surprise, with my sheep herding skills and all, but I am 100% Miniature Australian Shepherd!  (Apparently Embark’s test results do not differentiate between minis and toys.)  And this is their description of my breed:

“Miniature Australian Shepherds have the trainability, intelligence and energy of the larger Aussie cousins, and excel at outdoors activities and agility competitions.”

Well, I couldn’t woofed it better myself.  So far I’d have to give Embark an A+ on their work.

My maternal ancestors can be traced back to South Asia (looks like China according to the map) and Europe.  Dogs with which I have genetic commonality include English Setters, English Bulldogs and American Eskimo Dogs.

My paternal ancestors cannot be traced because I do not have the Y chromosome (girls have XX makeup) necessary for that research.  And speaking of chromosomes, did you know dogs have 38, while humans have only 23.  Sounds to me like we might be a tad superior to our human companions, after all.  Just woofin’.

And here’s the most interesting thing of all about my genetics.  My makeup includes 1.8% “wolfiness.”  This is considered high as most dogs score 1% or less on the wolfy scale!  This does not mean that my recent ancestors are wolves, but that I carry ancient wolf genes that go back thousands of years.  Embark ends its summary by saying the genes “are bits of a wild past that survive in your dog.”  Maybe I really am my Momma’s daughter.

Here I am with my Valentines Day gift from her.  Look a little wolfy, don’t you think?


My genetic results also predicted that my adult weight will be 25 pounds, and that I am currently 39 years old (one of Momma’s past fake ages).  Excuse me.  First, I weigh 11 1/2 pounds, and Momma will NEVER let me get to 25 — even if she has to limit me to one morsel of food per day for the rest of my life.  And second, I know I have the maturity of a 39 year-old, but if that age is accurate chronologically, I’ll be older than Moses when I die.  May have to lower that grade to an A-!

My Relatives/Ancestry

This was a bit of a disappointment as I expected a family tree showing my greats, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Instead, all I found out was that (in addition to some more distant relatives) I share 39% of my DNA makeup with an Aussie named Bandit.  Frankly, this Bandit is kind of cute.  The site says he has been a member of Embark since February 15, 2018.  Actually, now that I think about it – this is a bit like on-line dating.  I’m going to drop him a line.  Momma, are you paying attention?

In closing, I’m going to share a couple of doggie fun facts that Embark passed on:  Compared to humans, we have twice the amount of muscles in their ears, hearing that goes four times the distance, but only one-fifth of the taste buds.

Lina, Pure Aussie










This Doggie DNA Testing Thing Has Legs!

Dear Readers,

While I await my DNA test results, I thought I’d share two articles with you about the fast growing practice of genetic testing for dogs.  You really should take a look.  You never know what you’re going to find when you start digging!


Thank you to Auntie Rita and Uncle Roy for the articles.  And, by the way, feel free to share any you find.  You can include them in a comment on this post, or you can email Momma at robink822@gmail.com.  Then I’ll post them.  This will be fun.  Kind of a Pinterest for doggie DNA.

In the meantime, I invite you all to guess what kind of dog I am (other than adorable).

Lina, Archivist



Guess the breed!



The DNA Test

So the other day Momma decided that she was finally going to get my DNA tested.  She had wanted to do this ever since some folks questioned whether I was a full blooded Australian Shepherd.  In fact, one friend had suggested that – because of my huge ears – maybe I was part Pomeranian or Papillon.  Momma rejected the notion that she had paid a king’s ransom for a dog that wasn’t a purebred, and she hoped to prove them wrong.

After some in-depth research (translation:  she ran across an article in People magazine), Momma decided on a testing kit made by Embark.  It seemed legit and the website stated that the product would provide insight on breed, health, ancestry and more – with a simple cheek swab (a bit of exaggeration if I do woof so myself).  Anyway, that was all Momma needed to know and promptly placed her order.

img_5600The very next day we received our little testing kit in the mail!  Momma was excited and read the instructions over and over again.  She also watched a couple of online tutorials.  She really wanted to get this right.

I, on the other paw, was skeptical and dreading what was to come.  In fact, it would not be an overstatement to say that I was terrified.  I tend to know how these things go down for me when Momma gets some new gadget or product.  Remember the dog tweeting device, for example?


Here I am wondering what’s in store for me this time

Thankfully, Momma didn’t perform the test right on the spot because she was busy packing for a weekend getaway with the girls.  She didn’t want to rush into things and make mistakes.  She also knew she might need some help.  There is a God.

Luckily, Momma’s good friend, Lori, came over and stayed with me while Momma was away.  By the way, Lori and I had our own girlfriends’ weekend.  We kicked back, played fetch, took fun walks and had plenty of treats.  Lori even came up with a great new nickname for me:  Lina Bean!

When Momma got home from her shopping and wining and dining extravaganza, she asked Lori if she would stick around for my DNA test, in case she needed some help.  Lori graciously agreed and took some pictures while Momma gave it a go.   Knowing that I wouldn’t put up with too much poking and prodding, Momma quickly and clumsily plunged right in.

As you can see, it didn’t take long for me to panic (especially knowing that these Republicans aren’t opposed to a little torture) and make a run for it.


After Lori had calmed me down and provided some distraction, Momma was able to get animg_5785 adequate sample.  She hopes.  Desperately.  After all, the test set her back almost $200.00.  Here I am clinging to Lori after the ordeal.

The next day Momma took my kit to the local post office for mailing.  There she might not have been exactly truthful when asked if there was any liquid or anything potentially hazardous in the package.  After all, she really didn’t know if that mysterious blue fluid in the test tube was technically a liquid – or if it might be hazardous – did she??  So, suffice it to woof, the package is now somewhere in the U.S. postal system.

Meanwhile, we are anxiously awaiting our results.  Stay tuned – you’ll be among the first to know!

Lina, Hopefully Still An Australian Shepherd