From Mardi Gras to Massage

Dearest Readers,

At the risk of sounding repetitive, it’s been a ruff week.  It all started with Momma leaving a Mardi Gras necklace on the floor (don’t even ask) where I would be sure to chew it up.  When Momma came downstairs and found me looking at the little beads all over the floor, she almost cried.  (“Oh, Lina, please tell me that you didn’t eat any of those beads!”)  I actually couldn’t remember so I just gave her my “I’m pretty adorable look, aren’t I?” look.

Anxious to get on to her next task, and pretty sure I wouldn’t have eaten the beads (they wouldn’t taste that good, she reasoned), she scooped up the mess and threw it in the garbage.  Then she checked with my sitter and animal chiropractor, Dr. Becca, who advised her to watch me and look for signs of an intestinal blockage, which would include vomiting and diarrhea.

Two days later, I had diarrhea and the next morning I vomited.  Uh-oh.  Momma quickly went into full panic mode, and decided she better determine if any beads were actually missing from the necklace that was still in the garbage.  She fished out the beads (some still on a string) and counted seventy-nine.


Then she counted the number of beads on two intact necklaces for comparison purposes.  There were eighty-two on both.  After another more in-depth dumpster dive, Momma happily found three more beads, and concluded she hadn’t almost killed me after all.

But symptoms — including not being able to go poops when I tried — continued, and the next night she took me to the emergency vet clinic (the car almost drove there itself).  After checking me in, Momma took me out to try for potty once more — and I think you know what happened next — success!

Thinking it was a little late to back out, and wanting to have me checked over anyway, just in case there was such a thing as Mardi Gras bead poisoning, I was forced to go through a horrible battery of tests and the usual anal gland expression before we were sent on our way.  $594.41 poorer.  Although the tests all came out normal, I was given antibiotics and by the next morning I was fine.  In case you are a new reader to my blog, this routine goes on all the time at our house.

The Massage!

Last year for Christmas, Dr. Becca had given me a massage gift certificate with Jenny Gott of Animal Intuition (check her out at http://www.animal-intuition.com).  Realizing she had put me through vet hell again, Momma thought this would be the perfect time to treat me with the massage.  Plus, it is almost Christmas again, and she thought she had better use it up or it would seem like we didn’t appreciate the gift (or didn’t want another one).

The massage was beyond wonderful.  All the stress of the week fell away and I felt like a new dog.  Here I am with Jenny luxuriating in the experience, and getting my post-massage treat and gift!

As you can see, it was a slice of heaven.  For all of you humans reading this post, may I suggest a massage with Jenny for your pet this Christmas?

Lina, Persecuted and Pampered



We Have a Winner!

Dear Readers:  Thank you for your interest and entries in my “Inspawrational” notecard series, and for pawrticipating in the caption contest for what I’ll call the “give and take” photo!

Turns out, the best caption was pretty simple (as the best things usually are), and was submitted by someone who is an actual copywriter – Susan Blakely.  She took one look at it and said the card should say, “Thank You!”  And here it is – it’s pawsome if I woof so myself!

Image 9-10-19 at 10.12 AM

So there you are – Susan is our winner and will receive as her prize an assortment pack of selected notecards.  There is not an occasion that is missing in this group.  From get well, to dream big, to thank you, to cheer up, to a general quick note, to celebrate, note writers (and please don’t let this be a dying art) will have all of their bases covered.

Stay tuned as Momma and I will be offering the note cards and books for sale at upcoming events.  Don’t forget to check out the Events Page on this site.

Time for me to write out a “Thank You” note to Susan!

Lina, Judge



National Dog Day! Turning Five! Bonus Video!

In case you weren’t aware, dear readers, today (August 26) is National Dog Day.  This day was established to encourage dog adoption and rescuing of all breeds – from mutts to mixes to purebreds.  Now this is a holiday I can get behind.  Honoring dogs and celebrating dogversity!

On another front, I am turning five years old tomorrow!  I know I shouldn’t woof this, but it does seem like I’ve been in Momma’s clutches, er, care for a lot longer.

Even though Momma wasn’t around for my birthday weekend (“I couldn’t help that it was the same weekend as the House Republican golf outing, Lina”), I got to spend quality time with Dr. Becca and Winnie!  We relaxed, played, kayaked and helped out at Dr. Becca’s office again.  It was so enjoyable, I almost didn’t mind wearing the dreaded Doggles for a little photo op.  Here we are enjoying our time together.  (Winnie does look a little Hells Angels, doesn’t she?)

I also want to share a video of me enjoying an e-birthday card from Nanny Becky on my second birthday!  This is a must see – DO NOT skip it!  I really think it’s going to go viral.  If only Momma could think of how to make that happen.

Lina, Celebrating!



Enter My Notecard Contest & Win a Prize!

Dear Loyal Readers,

Momma and I have exciting news!  We are busy designing photo cards for my new “Inspawrational” series.  We already have several in the works, and can’t wait for you to see them.  They are wonderful, and perfect for any occasion or sentiment.

There is one photo card, however, still in need of a caption — and that’s where you come in.  Momma and I have decided to hold a contest, and will be awarding a prize for the best message on the card below.  (There is no truth to the fake news that Momma and I are having trouble coming up with one.)  You can enter as many times as you want – just remember to keep it simple and meaningful.  We are so excited to see your ideas!


Send your entries to me at lina@linasdogblog.com or simply add a comment on this post.  So easy!  The deadline for entries is midnight (Central Time), Wednesday, August 21.  The winner will be featured on my blog (unless you’re shy), and the prize is an assortment package of my notecards.  It’s a win-win.  You get a prize and we all get another fabulous notecard from which to pick!  Enter today!

Lina, Creative Director and Judge





Lina to the Rescue

The other day, Momma, me and her friend, Lori, headed out on the lake for our morning paddleboard ride.  It was a beautiful day with little wind, and we were looking forward to a peaceful, relaxing ride.

Just a couple minutes out, though, we observed a man and a woman in a speed boat with the “hood” up, waving and yelling that they had boat trouble.  Momma, remembering that we had just passed another boater, paddled back and tried to get his attention.  After several shouts, the man, who was fishing ( and possibly deaf), finally looked up warily at Momma.  She yelled, “boat trouble” and pointed at the stranded couple.  Thinking she had solved the problem, Momma paddled away – only to find that the fisherman had pulled in his line and sped away to another fishing hole!   What was SUP with that we wondered?  Was he in some kind of fishing contest?  Scared of Momma?  Me (the fierce Toy Aussie)?

Fed up by now, Momma, who likes the story of a rescue on the high seas anyway, told the boaters we would help them ourselves.  We were now on an important mission in her mind.  With Lori in tow, we paddled to our dock, fired up the pontoon and zoomed off to lend our assistance.  Here I am helping Momma with the logistics.

And bonus — after we dropped the boat off at the public landing with minimal drama (“this is not my first rodeo, Lina, he does not have to tell me how to drive the pontoon”), we got to go for a long ride around the lake!  Here I am relaxing with Lori.


Kinda begs the question, doesn’t it?  Why do we have to ride on those boring paddleboards when we have a real boat?

Lina, Rescue Dog and First Mate




Trending Now

The word (woof) is out, folks.  According to a recent article on Vox Media, “When a dog breed becomes a trend – Mini Australian Shepherds are the dogs of the moment,” Mini Aussies are rapidly becoming one of the most popular dogs on the planet.  And Momma is almost out of her mind with joy and pride!   “I knew it was only a matter of time, Lina!” And I picked you, Lina.”  “It just proves how cute and smart and athletic you Aussies are, Lina.”  “We are trailblazers, Lina!”  And so on.

Momma would never admit this, but I know how she felt for awhile after she got me.  Did she screw up (again) in selecting such an unusual dog?  Was I a true Aussie or a mix as some of her friends thought?  Would I stay small?  Was I healthy or did all that breeding down in size make me fragile?  Dim witted?  Two of her friends had gotten Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pups (such a pompous name – just woofin’) and that breed seemed to be the “dog of the moment.”  Even Uncle Chuck had one.

But now she felt vindicated.  She chose the dog that was becoming all the rage.  She was the actual trendsetter.

I am really not surprised about this news.   Momma and I (or one of my many caregivers and I) cannot go anywhere without people constantly stopping and asking us what kind of dog I am.  Momma, biting her tongue so she doesn’t say Democrat, patiently responds that I am a Toy Australian Shepherd.  Or Toy Aussie.  She used to say Tossie to be clever, but nobody knew what she was talking about so she quit.  Then more often than not (after I have given them a dose of my famous face licks), they proclaim that I might be the cutest dog they’ve ever seen.  So, at the risk of sounding like Momma, my only questions is, what took so long?  We already know of a man in our building in Florida who, after experiencing me, purchased two Toy Aussies from our breeder – http://www.bluehorizontinyaussies.com.

The Vox article is really quite informative.  The author, Eliza Brooke, explains that unlike some dogs, we little Aussies have not gained popularity by appearing in a movie like 101 Dalmatians, but rather based on factors such as our “winning personality and looks.”  Woofda!

One of the other factors in our rapid rise in popularity, explains Brooke, has to do with our size.  We are small enough for apartment dwellers and a good fit for people who travel a lot.  In fact, small dogs overtook medium and large dogs in popularity in 2008, according to the Washington Post.  Mini Aussies, who first appeared on the American Kennel Club’s “Most Popular Breeds” list in 2016, were number 34 in 2018.  Also, our popularity was bolstered when the AKC recognized the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA (founded in 1990) in 2015.

Another eyeopener in the article was that dogs like me are referred to interchangeably as Miniature (or Toy) American or Australian Shepherds, depending on the registry.  The AKC refers to the standard-sized dogs as Australian Shepherds and we smaller versions as “Miniature American Shepherds.”  Who knew – maybe I don’t have to worry about Trump’s draconian deportation policies after all.

You can read the entire article at (https://apple.news/ApzSSIQLtQLqFfeYJrQyT9w).

One final thing.  Momma, always looking for more exposure, saw a bunch of small Aussie Instagram photos in the article and realized just how influential that site is.  Although we already have an Instagram account – or two – she doesn’t really know how to use them.  As soon as she figures it out, though, she intends to get the word (images) out to Vox and others of the “original” popular Toy Aussie with the blog and the books!


Lina, Hoping to go viral!



Big News All Around

Dear Readers – I don’t think you’re going to believe this.  The Star Tribune has once again selected me as Reader Pet of the Week!  This is the photo we submitted (Momma is really starting to like the “enemy paper!”):


To view it online, go to: http://e.startribune.com/Olive/ODN/StarTribune/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=MST%2F2019%2F07%2F20&entity=Ar03706&sk=98B0CD98&mode=text

Can you stand it!  Thank you Strib!  By the way, the photo was taken by my trainer, Sara Spevacek, of Adventure is Barking.  Please check her out at https://www.adventureisbarking.com!

New Inspawrational Notecards!

Momma and I have other news, too.  Soon we will be unveiling my new Inspawrational notecards and postcards, and you will be able to buy them online.  You will see that they are perfect for all occasions.  A real breakthrough in the greeting card industry if I do woof so myself!  Stay tuned, but a little hint:  My “There’s light at the end of the tunnel … ” card is priceless.

My New Email

For those of you who wish to contact me personally and avoid the prying eyes of Momma, I now have my own email address.  I look forward to hearing from you at lina@linasdogblog.com!

My New Book

Finally, don’t forget Sit Stay Pray is due to be released in September.  You will love it.  More laughs than you can shake a stick at.  It will be available online and at select gift shops.

Lina, Panting With News!