The vet, the Camp and Momma goes bilingual

Dear Readers,

Considering what we have gone through recently, the past couple of weeks has been almost Nirvana. We continue to do agility training, boarding and even visiting with some of my BFFs and their humans. However, as you might guess, life with Momma is never without its moments.

For example, the other day she saw that I had an irritated right eye and just knew I should go to the vet. However, she really didn’t want to give up her golf game, and was trying to decide if she could postpone bringing me in. Let’s see(!), what was more important — her game or me possibly going blind? Luckily Nanny Becky was available and brought me in to get the care I needed. Here I am getting my weekly exam.

Then there was the embarrassing moment at Camp Bow Wow. A couple of weeks ago Momma brought me to the Camp on the way to her golf game (I know, right?), and noticed a new digital display screen in the Camp’s lobby. She also noticed that many of Bow Wow’s dogs were prominently displayed in cute pictures on the screen. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. Whoops.

After watching the photo rotation about ten times and realizing there was no way I was included, Momma, the ultimate stage mother, took action. “Excuse me,” she crowed to the young receptionist, “but I’m just wondering why I don’t see any photos of Lina up there.” And of course the next time we came in (these folks know how to muzzle Momma), there I was with my name and face in lights. I just hope I have some friends left at Camp.

Okay, I do have to admit that, to ease her conscience when constantly dumping me off, she does purchase “One on One” time for me at Bow Wow. This includes snuggle and playtime and one of my favorite activities is the Camp’s “Sniff and Seek” game. Digging it!

And then there was yardgate.

Momma recently hired a company to help her care for our flower beds. The company we contracted with was wonderful and dispatched great employees to come out and do the job. The only hitch was that the employees were Hispanic and there was a bit of a language barrier. They spoke some English and Momma knew virtually no Spanish. (And I only know “woof.”) Undeterred, though, Momma used her vast Spanish vocabulary of four or five words — and sometimes pantomimed the words when that failed — to communicate.

For example, one day when it was really hot out she asked the crew if they would like “agua.” (Fortunately, she couldn’t find a way to work “cerveza” into the conversation.) And when trying to communicate about the time of day, Momma would say something like, “so you’ll be here until ‘dos’-thirty?” kind of acting out the hands of a clock with her arms. Then, showing off just a little, she would eagerly point at me and exclaim “perro!” (Oh, God, the humiliation.) Finally, when they were getting ready to leave, Momma would grandly say “gracias” about a hundred times, and cap it all off with “adios!” Luckily, I was able to smooth things over with my face licks and winning personality.

Lina, Perro



A ruff week with surgery & drama on the high seas

Dear Readers,

The trouble began when Momma took me in for what has become my annual teeth cleaning and extraction procedure. I’d been through this “drill” before, and wanted nothing to do with it (see photo right), but Momma held tight. Long story short, when all was woofed and done, the vet had removed four (more) teeth and I was one sick puppy. Here I am recovering the day of my surgery and with my vet tech during my recent re-check. Luckily I still have some teeth and my tongue is not hanging out of my mouth (yet).

Pirate of a Minnesota Lake

Then, just a couple days post surgery, we had more trauma. Shortly after turning in one night, Momma heard a helicopter overhead as I slept and she read a book. When she first heard the chopper, she did her best to ignore it, wanting to continue with her “beach read.” The whup-whup-whup noise did not stop, however, so Momma was finally forced to go out on our deck to see what was going on. Sure enough, there was a large chopper bristling with lights hovering right over our house. Amazingly, though, Momma still went back to reading her book, hoping it would soon be gone. (As you can imagine, I was no longer resting comfortably.)

When the noise continued unabated, curiosity finally got the best of her. What was going on? Then she had a brainstorm — she would see what she could find on the Internet! She quickly Googled MN CRIME (this was the same thing she Googled when she heard about the supposed alligator on Crystal Lake Beach two weeks ago). Bingo. The site reported a boat-jacking and an assault on or near Picnic Island on Crystal Lake. The perp (who was now being referred to online as a pirate) had apparently been in a kayak, then overtook a pontoon by knocking the driver over the head.

Now the situation had Momma’s attention. She rushed out on the deck again — and saw that Picnic Island was awash in light from sheriff boats and search lights. She also kept an eye on helicopter overhead and peered out the window in our bedroom (being careful not to turn on the lights so the “pirate” could see her — even Momma knew that this was self protection 101), scoping out our shoreline.

Meanwhile, here I am watching the action and hoping that, as Momma’s swashbuckling guard dog, I wouldn’t have to save her from the pirate —especially without a full mouth of teeth.

Finally, after about an hour and a half, Momma read on MN CRIME that the suspect had been apprehended. Photos below are of the helicopter over our house and the searchlights and sheriff boats and zodiacs around Picnic Island.

Now, after all this, you might think that Momma would be hesitant to take her little Aussie out on the board again — particularly near what she is now calling Pirate Island, but she is refusing to be bullied. In fact, she’s ordered me a new outfit that will be sure to scare off any would-be villains.

Lina, Recovering and ready!



The trip, the training, the turtle(s) and a what??

Dear Readers,

I hope you don’t think I’ve been ignoring you. It’s just been a busy time trying to fit in all my activities and caring for Momma. After her numerous trips out of town, we are finally getting into our summer patterns again: a little bit of adventure, some embarrassment and a scary moment or two!

Up north to the lake

On Memorial Day weekend, Momma and I headed north to our cabin at Pine Lake. Momma wanted to take Sparky to show it off to her friends and family, but after suffering a panic attack in Duluth when she could not find a Tesla Supercharger and her charge bar had gone into the “orange,” she is understandably skittish about straying too far from home with it. So we took what she now calls “The Tank” and off we went!

Soon after we arrived, Momma’s nephew and family arrived and the fun, and the tormenting of me, started. We had a great time, even with the teasing from the Norgaard males. Here I am hiding under the glider to get a break.

The girls are nice, however, and here I am helping Jenny and Addie plant flowers, giving Jenny kisses and seeking refuge with Addie during a thunderstorm.

Agility update

Momma and I have also resumed our agility training this spring, and I continue to attend an intermediate class. One of the things Annelise and other class participants have finally driven home to Momma is that I need “high value” treats to entice me to engage. So the other day, Momma looked up recipes for dog training treats and found what she thought was the easiest one to make: Doggie Hotdogs. One ingredient. Perfect. How hard could it be?

Well, a little more difficult than one might think. Momma got through the first step okay — cutting the wieners into 1/8″ slices, then cutting them into halves or quarters (which she selected to keep the calories down) for training purposes. Then cooking them in the microwave on paper towels. Where she ran into trouble was that the instructions called for cooking them on high for five(!) minutes, then stirring them up for even cooking and continuing to microwave them for three(!) more minutes.

Now, I think that anyone who has ever used a microwave before knows that nuking the little tidbits of wieners for eight minutes (on high!) would annihilate them, but Momma didn’t seem to grasp that. So she proceeded on course until the little bits were like chunks of charcoal (see photo right). Very low value as treats, needless to say. Having no other choice, Momma made another batch and only slightly overcooking the wieners this time (“I don’t think three minutes is too much, do you, Lina?”), and I had my treats, which Momma proudly announced to the whole class.

By the way, later in class, Momma luckily avoided what might have been her most embarrassing moment ever. Annelise had spotted something near the dog walk and asked, “did someone have their nails done recently?” Momma, remembering that she had just had a mani-pedi that day (and wondering how Annelise knew), almost blurted out “I did,” before she came to her senses and realized Annelise was talking about a dog and a spot of blood from a nail trimming. Not sure we could have ever overcome that one.

A turtle and more

Early Friday morning, Momma took me out to the front yard to go potty, when I spotted a humongous snapping turtle. It was huge and scary and I put on the brakes. Momma looked over at me and asked impatiently, “now what, Lina?” Then she saw him/her/it (I want to be sensitive to the turtle’s preferred pronoun here), and actually screamed and whisked me off to the back yard. This morning we saw the giant turtle laying eggs outside our front door. Oh yippie, thought Momma, a herd of baby snappers!

And then there was this. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, Momma got this screenshot of a MN CRIME Tweet from a friend who lives on Crystal Lake. The posting declared that a 3-5′ alligator had been spotted in our lake by the swimming beach.

Well, there goes our summer.

Lina, Housebound



Doggie Disruptor

Dear Readers,

Momma and I agree on one thing in life — we are intrigued by @elonmusk. He’s everywhere and has done a lot of good for the environment with his electric cars and so on. My only reservation is his proposed takeover of Twitter because really wasn’t Twitter okay with its policies of canceling some offensive people like Donald Trump? (Momma: except remember when you yourself were a free speech advocate who was upset about being temporarily cancelled by Twitter?) Details, Momma. And, either way, we have plans and are increasing our presence on Twitter.

But first back to Elon, the original disruptor. I love him because of Dog Mode in our new Tesla, and Momma does because she now believes he’s a conservative and she also thinks he’s kinda cute. And now she’s pawsitively thrilled with our new Tesla (which she has nicknamed Sparky)! She has finally figured out a few of its features, and the Tesla also makes her feel superior because of the money she saves not buying gas (the high price for which she unfairly blames on President Biden). Plus, she really hates stopping at those annoying gas stations with all the fumes and out-of-order signs.

But I dogress. I have come around to Momma’s way of thinking about how we might hitch our wagon to Elon’s SpaceX, er … star. Why not, I woof — it might be fun to become the spokes-dog for Tesla’s Dog Mode, and the space trip as Momma’s support dog sounds like a real hoot. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure I have the right stuff. (After all, I have survived all these years with Momma.) If the Russian dog, Laika, who went up in Sputnik 2 can do it, so can Lina. We even sound alike, no? Laika in Sputnik; Lina in Starship. Also, just think of the yummy treats I might get for my bravery!

Tweeting with @elonmusk

The other day, Momma and I saw the following meme –

and it got us thinking. Why don’t we reach out to @elonmusk via Twitter directly and make a pitch. He is an outside-of-the-box thinker, is he not? Everyone loves dogs and my winning persona might even increase his bottom line. Here are some screen shots of my Tweets to @elonmusk. The first includes my response to him putting Amazon in his shopping cart ~

I hope he gets the joke. And here I am responding to Elon’s Easter greeting and shamelessly begging to be his Dog Mode spokes-dog ~

And here are Elon and me both rocking the shades!

So, what do you think? Worth a (moon) shot?

Finally, here are Momma and me at Tesla this week when we stopped by to get a little help downloading a software update. (Yes, some things are still a little over her head.) Come to think of it, I’m going to Tweet that picture to @elonmusk right now! Paws and fingers crossed!

@LinaDogBlogger, Entrepreneur & futuristic thinker



In my safe space & Momma hits turbulence

Dear Readers,

Momma and I came back to Minni the day before Easter, just in time for a little Christmas-like snowfall. Despite the conditions, we were happy to be home again — Momma because she had to regroup for a girlfriends’ weekend in Atlanta, and me because I got to stay with Nanny and Uncle Tom and family. Here are pics of me enjoying time with their granddaughter, Delaney, and waiting for Tom to come home. As you can tell, I really am in my safe space at Nanny’s house — no drama or unnecessary vet visits there!

With me safely placed in Nanny’s hands, Momma headed off to the airport the next morning. And not surprisingly, she ran into a couple pockets of ruff air.

Upon arrival at MSP, she observed a long line of pilots marching around carrying protest signs. She was riveted — number one because she was curious about the protest, and number two, because she couldn’t tear her eyes off the (mostly) men in uniform.

Momma decided a picture was in order, but as soon as she pulled out her phone, she was approached by a reporter and cameraman from KARE 11 TV who wanted to interview her about the pilots’ protesting work schedules and safety. Before she could extricate herself, they asked a couple of leading questions, like, you want to have your pilots get enough rest to fly safely, don’t you? Momma, not a fan of the mainstream media anyway and not wanting to answer their inane question — who wouldn’t want to fly safely? — simply blurted out “safety first,” and high-tailed it into the terminal. God, she hoped that ridiculous comment would not be on the evening news.

Once she was safely ensconced at the Delta SkyClub, Momma had some bubbly to calm her nerves and surreptitiously packed a lunch for the flight. As she was leaving, hurrying by now to catch her flight, a man driving a special needs cart asked her if she would like a ride to the gate. Say what? Momma was incredulous that he would think she needed a ride. Okay she wasn’t a spring chicken anymore, but wasn’t she practically prancercising down the concourse? Struggling to maintain her composure and dignity, she responded crisply, “thanks, but I’m just fine walking.” Nevertheless, the accommodating driver agreed to pose for a picture for “my dog’s blog” when she circled back to ask. I’m sure he meets all kinds.

Unfortunately, this incident triggered Momma’s memory of her insurance provider recently suggesting that they do a “wellness visit” at our house to see if she still had all her marbles. Was this intrusiveness to be her new normal? Well, one might wonder, considering her big whoops at the Booth Museum in Georgia. Take a read.

Would someone with all their marbles really ask a sculpture where the Kenny Rogers’ photography exhibit is? See Momma and the “guide” at right. Also, when the person asking an inanimate piece of art realizes the guide is not real, would a competent person continue, “Oh, you’re not real, are you?” Just woofin’.

Maybe I’ll have to circle back (thank you, Jen!) to the insurance company and get them out for an evaluation.

Lina, A new role?



What’s good for the goose . . .

Dear Readers,

It seems we just can’t make it through a season on Marco without Momma bringing me to the vet for something real or imagined. This time she thought I had a urinary tract infection based on a few flimsy observations on her part: I went tinkle frequently (I’m a dog!), my morning toilette included private grooming (I’m a dog!), and I had a UTI one time in Minnesota last summer. (Momma: “Don’t forget to mention that you peed on my rug in the living room recently.”) Okay, but does that all add up to another horrific trip to the vet?

Trying to become invisible after my little potty accident

Apparently, it does, because Momma started off the morning by sliding a tray under my little tush trying to capture a sample of pee. Try putting up with that when one is standing on three paws (Momma: “If you didn’t identify as a boy, you’d be standing on four.”) Then off we went, urine and credit card in hand. And unfortunately, the vet’s office is so busy that you can’t get an appointment, and I was forced to spend most of the day there. Here we are waiting our turn to be checked in.

That afternoon the vet called Momma to share the unsurprising news that I have no UTI. In fact, the vet pointedly told Momma that my urine sample was pretty boring. So after another unnecessary trip — and $144.88 later — Momma picked me up. As you can see, I’m not happy. And I got even unhappier when Momma discovered that I have gained .6 pounds and put me on a strict diet.

Momma’s Turn

On the other paw, Momma is refusing to cooperate with her own health care provider. The same day as my grueling day at the vet’s, they called her and left a message stating she should schedule her annual wellness appointment. At first Momma was quite excited because she thought it was a free physical, and called the scheduling department back promptly. When the nice lady on the line told Momma that a nurse would be coming to her house, however, Momma balked. “Coming to my house?” she asked incredulously. “Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to come in so all the equipment and instruments are available for my exam?” Well, no it wouldn’t, said the lady because it wasn’t really an exam, but more of a chance to sit down with Momma and go over her meds and family history and do a health risk screening and create a five year plan to “help her stay healthy.”

Realizing that this was all doublespeak meant for a visit to check on the elderly and infirm (and they would likely ask her who the president was — and by God, she unfortunately knew the answer to that, and to draw the big and little hands on a clock to indicate that it was ten to eleven), she was almost apoplectic. She was definitely not in that category and told the nice lady on the phone in no uncertain terms that she would not be scheduling such a visit.

In the meantime, I’ll just continue to watch Momma try to remember people’s names and hunt for her keys. At least her symptoms are real.

Lina, Once again on the wrong end of the leash



The camp and the “grocery store”

Dear Readers,

The other day Momma had to travel to Fort Myers for “meetings.” Not able to find someone to stay with me, and apparently unable to bring me along, she dropped me off at Camp Bow Wow in Naples. It was actually quite a nice stay for me as Momma also scheduled a much needed shampoo, FURminator blowout, clipping of the matted fur under my ears (for which they charged extra and Momma was not happy and now I’m scared she will do it herself), nail trim, and “enrichment” cuddle and playtime. I was placed in Toyland with size-appropriate dogs, and had my own private cabin for the night! Here I am wearing my new Camp Bow Wow scarf during our walk this morning!

Pretty snazzy, huh?

I got plenty of exercise in CBW’s climate-controlled play yard and and loved the snuggle time with the camp counselors. Here’s a sampling of our activities –

And I think I’ll be back because I have seen Momma studying the brochure (and the prices) for additional offerings. In the end, I was very glad not to have been with Momma on her little trip.

After dropping me off, along with my blanket, toys, water dish, snacks and dinners (cringe), Momma motored up to see her friend, Rachel and my friend, CoCoa. They had lunch and saw Rachel and CoCoa’s new digs. From there Momma snuck off and did a little shopping, and later she had dinner with a friend. The next morning she actually did have a meeting with Bemidji colleagues which she reports was quite productive. After lunch she headed home.

Momma was scheduled to pick me up at about 3:00 that afternoon, but the pick up had to be pushed back due to all the of services I was receiving (truth be told I’m thinking Momma was a little jealous). So that left her with time to kill in Naples — always a dangerous proposition.

This time, however, she couldn’t think of any clothes or shoes she needed, so she really was “digging deep” to come up with something. And then her answer appeared in her windshield like a mirage in the desert: Oakes Farms Seed to Table Market!

The reason this was so exciting to Momma is that she had been to this grocery store before and knew that it leaned Republican (and it sounded so wholesome!). This visit did not disappoint.

At the front entrance, Momma was happy to find a man selling paraphernalia of our esteemed former president, Donald J. Trump (trust me, this is difficult for me to woof). Then in a corner of the store itself, she came upon a giant picture of the “My Pillow” guy hawking his wares. (Amazingly she was able to forego his exciting new (patented) slippers and pajamas and Giza Dreams bed sheets.) And last but not least, Momma found the wine department featuring a huge display of — you guessed it — Trump wine. This, Momma was not able to forego. And for once she didn’t mind being overcharged. Just woofin’.

Well, as you can tell, this was more of a political rally than a “grocery store.” She even ran into a couple of radical friends there! And, although Momma also saw a couple of dogs in the store, I can tell you one thing. That is one place that I’m never setting paw in!

Lina, Drawing a line in the sand



(R) Visitors, book news, let’s dish

Dear Readers,

Well, February might be the shortest month, but we’ve managed to cram a lot in. (By the way, that’s me taking a paws in the cute Valentine photo to your right.)

First, we had visitors. John and Vicky are friends, neighbors in Minni, and most importantly, they have a beautiful English Lab named Lucy. They are also Republicans. Whoops. I’m willing to overlook that, however, because Vicky may be my favorite R ever. She and I had so much fun together, especially when John and Momma were off playing golf. We walked, we played ball, she took me out to go potty and gave me treats. Here we are on the sofa. I am trying to ignore Fox News blaring in the background.

Mike and I at “Keep in Touch!”

Momma has also stepped up our book promotion efforts. The other day, she stopped at a cute little shop on Marco Island called Keep in Touch. It has the coolest stuff — cards, lotions, t-shirts, jewelry, puzzles, Marco Island Honey, Marco Island Candles, Beeswax food wrap, and a postoffice! While there she also discovered that the owner, Mike, is a real dog lover and has several dog items for sale. Which of course led Momma to pounce. Long story short, she brought me over to meet Mike and Keep in Touch is now carrying LU and SSP!

Then, the other day, we slipped into BrUNO’s on 3rd Street in Old Naples to add some award labels to my books (see photo left). The books were not exactly flying off the front counter, and Momma explained to Bruno that she thought the labels would “do the trick.” As you may recall, Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray have collectively garnered three national book awards, and all proceeds go to animal charities. Momma and I are currently in talks/woofs about another book!

Then, probably the most exciting news of all — while at BrUNO’s, Momma found a must have, and amazingly it was for me! Check out my new fashion forward CHEWY VUITON food and water dishes and place mat. (I’m sure Bruno was thinking it was about time Momma bought something from him, instead of the other way around.) I do have to woof, this is one of my favorite gifts ever — they are darling and I’m sure no animals were harmed in their making. I just hope they are eco friendly and sustainable, too. Here I am in the stay position and then wolfing down my dinner.

Lina, Rocking those dog dishes!



Orchidgate, Frisbeegate and a special gift

Dear Readers,

So far 2022 has been no different than any other year with Momma — it’s one thing after another.


Shortly after arriving in Florida this winter, Momma received a beautiful Christmas gift from Nanny (see photo right). It was a spectacular double-stemmed orchid from a nice shop called Marco Island Florist Home & Gifts. Momma who was known to overwater or underwater or otherwise destroy orchids, was determined to keep this one alive. It was from Nanny, after all.

Unfortunately, one week later it was dead. She had assumed its soil was properly moist upon delivery and she planned to wait seven days to water it. After only day five, though, Momma noticed that blossoms were drooping and the buds were falling off. Panicking, she gave it a good splash. The orchid, however, stayed dead.

The next day, Momma brought it back to the florist shop and they gave her another, almost exactly the same, except this one was purple and even prettier. Momma was relieved and excited — she would study the directions and do exactly as they said and give it tender loving care. Four days later, this orchid was also dead. (See photo left.)

Momma was crazed. The florist would never believe this story. Neither would Nanny, she feared. But she had to face the music, so later that day we made a stop at Marco Island Florist. She left me (briefly) in the car and ran in to explain her dilemma. After a couple of minutes she could tell that this “transaction” was not going well, and knew it was time to bring out her secret weapon — me. (“I need to run out to my car and get my dog; this is taking longer than I expected.”) Momma quickly deployed me into the shop and soon all was well. Here I am with the Marco Island Florist team ~

Nancy, the owner, told Momma to go home and get the orchid and they would replace it with a new one (Momma balked at this, fearing she was just not orchid owner material) or give her a credit. Even I was praying for a credit.

So off we went and Momma returned shortly with the wilted orchid and (almost needless to woof), copies of Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray to give to Nancy “just in case you’d like to carry Lina’s books in your store!” By now, I think Nancy had had it with the orchid bit (really — who can kill an orchid a week?), yet graciously accepted the books and gave Momma a credit.


A few days later, Momma and I had another small crisis. This is what happened. After a little playtime outside, Momma was leading me back into the building and I was carrying a Frisbee in my mouth (upon advice of counsel, I will neither confirm nor deny if I had actually had been chasing it). The photo at right is a file copy for illustrative purposes only.

Passing through the garage, we walked into the lobby and waited for the elevator. Then the strangest thing happened. I entered the elevator with the Frisbee in my mouth and all of a sudden it disappeared. Momma couldn’t find it anywhere and quickly realized that I must have dropped it down the shaft between the elevator and the lobby floors. And, okay, for the first time ever, I might have been a tiny bit at fault.

Momma was horrified. Now what?, she thought. She feared she should immediately report it to the building manager in case the errant Frisbee caused a problem with the elevator. But how could she tell Kelly what had happened without him suspecting that I had been chasing the Frisbee off-leash outside — in violation of a new BOD rule? (A rule that Momma had fought against quite vocally.) And wasn’t this just the bite, thought Momma, that we would be the ones practically forced to turn ourselves in?

Nevertheless, once again, she knew she had to face the (elevator) music. So she dragged me to Kelly’s office and nervously explained that we might have a “little issue.” Trying to keep the facts to a minimum, Momma told him that she was bringing me up to our condo and I dropped my Frisbee down the elevator shaft. Really, Momma? Talk about throwing me under the bus. Do you see why I keep Uncle Chuck, Esq. on retainer?

Luckily, Kelly was busy running a high rise and didn’t ask for an explanation. Momma and I quickly turned tail and left the room.

A gift from Tierney

Now the good news! Last week I received a new toy (an aardvark!) from Nanny’s granddaughter, Tierney. Tierney, only nine years old, loves dogs and volunteers at Warrior Dog Rescue in Prior Lake, Minnesota, and she and I are special friends. Kudos and big time thanks, Tierney!

(The orchid behind me is fake in case in case you’re wondering.)

Lina, Anxiously awaiting my new Frisbee from Amazon



The dog puzzle, Rye, and the hardware store

Momma and I are back in Florida, and have already covered a lot of (snow-free) ground. I thought you might enjoy a little update from the Sunshine State, now that all the holiday festivities are over.

Let’s start with the dog puzzle — mainly because I’m pretty proud of my prowess in the puzzle department. The puzzle, a surprise from Momma, is called Dog Block, and I love it because it involves treats. The dog must pull off bones to uncover treats and flip open or slide blocks for treats in more hidden compartments! Here I am with a photo of my new puzzle. The string was for Momma to show me how to remove a block. Puh-lease.

And here I am on my first try to get to the treats. You should note that Momma mistakenly got me an intermediate rather than a beginner version, but not to worry. (Okay, I did have a little prodding from Momma, but still.) I just wonder if the Dog Block company might need a spokesdog.

My next surprise of the season was when Momma and I walked into Ruffgers for agility training last week. To our amazement, my half bro, Rye was there. You may remember that I’ve mentioned him before — he’s the one who is on a lot of Ruffgers’ promo materials, much to Momma’s annoyance because she thinks it should be me, of course. Rye was born at the same breeders’ in the same month and year, but on a different date. So he is apparently my brother from another mother. Here we are with Rye’s momma, Mary. Can you believe we are seven already!

But perhaps the biggest shocker of all is that Momma has become quite the Ace Hardware customer here on the Island. (“Don’t forget to mention that I am even a member of the Ace Reward’s Club, Lina.”) Eye roll. Anyway, the other day she visited her favorite store to buy a box cutter for her Amazon deliveries.

Before she even shopped though (they have clothing, too, she’s discovered), she used the restroom. Then the most puzzling thing happened. When Momma walked back into the main store, a woman stopped Momma and asked her if she knew where the mailboxes were. Mailboxes? thought Momma. Did the lady want to mail a letter? After further explanation, Momma realized the lady wanted to buy a mailbox and thought Momma would know where to find them. Now in your wildest dreams, could you ever mistake Momma for an Ace Hardware employee? Where she would actually tell you where to find a crescent wrench for example? When she was wearing a purple blouse and white shorts? No, I didn’t think so. Anyway, I guess she fits in even better that I thought she would.

So back to the box cutter. Momma bought what looked like a good sturdy one and easy to operate. However, upon opening the package, Momma found that the thing was not even loaded with a blade. She knew installing one was way over her head, and luckily brought it back before she hurt herself. There she got a young (real) employee to help her, but Momma had him so flustered with her explanations that he couldn’t get the blades loaded either. So to “cut” to the chase here, a more seasoned employee finally came along, and sold Momma one that was foolproof.

But the story doesn’t end there. When checking out, Momma noticed that there were all kinds of dog photos tacked to the protective plexiglass enclosure between her and the cashier. Upon inquiry, she learned that she, too, could have her dog’s picture displayed if she just brought her dog in for a photo op. Now Momma was even more sold on Ace. It really had become her go-to place.

So early this morning Momma loaded me in the car all excited about getting my picture taken at Ace Hardware. I was leery at first, but calmed down when Momma told me it was not a full blown photo shoot, my least favorite thing in the world. We had to do some pretend shopping first, of course, and get the lay of the land. In other words, find an employee willing to drop what she was doing and take my picture. After finding some envelopes for $2.99, Momma approached a friendly looking lady who, mercifully, agreed to take my picture so we could be on our way. Here I am being photographed by Cheryl. I am nominating her for Employee of the Month!

And here is the wall where my picture will eventually be posted. I can just about bet you Momma will be back there on Monday to check it out.

Lina, Rovering Reporter