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



2021 — All in all, it’s been a good ride!

As I sit here today watching Momma make last minute preparations for Christmas, my thoughts turn to the past year, which is almost in our rear view mirror, something even Smart Car has. Actually, 2021 has been quite good to us with little or no drama, save maybe for that car.

I experienced no fires, alarms (well, only one), wild animal scares (well, only a couple), potential poisonings, dog attacks, near arrests, or falling into the lake. I enjoyed playtime with my BFFs (best furry friends) Winnie, CoCoa, and Gracie. I trained and competed, enjoyed an occasional massage, had a very restorative chiro treatment from Dr. Becca, watched Doggie TV, relaxed at Pine Lake with friends and relatives and vegged. I also went to the vet way too many times, but Momma means well. One time, I really did have to go because I had seven teeth pulled. Here I am with my big swollen mouth. Ouch!

Momma also went out of town a few times, and I enjoyed the loving care of Nanny Becky (loved her glamper – pictured below with me on the deck!) and Dr. Becca (with Winnie!). And in Florida, Janice and Natalie from Nanny Paws took me on walks and played with me when Momma golfed. A big woof out to all of you — and Momma — for the treats, fun and adventure.

I have put together a little photolog of some of the year’s highlights. Can you spot the little Aussie that is not me? We met him at the agility center — so cute!

And to cap things off, here’s a short video of our trainer, Annelise, expertly running me through the weaves at Agile Canines Training Center last week.

I should also report that, once again, Momma has sent off a nice check to Helping Paws Minnesota and Minnesota Animal Humane Society, based on proceeds from my award-winning books, Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray. Thanks to all of you who purchased them and made this donation possible. And just remember, we have more.

Well, time to sign off and pack for Florida. Momma and I hope you have wonderful holidays, and the new year is good to you. And if you see us on the road, remember to keep your ears peeled for the Santa music!

Lina, Holidog!



Taming the Tesla, part 3

Dear Readers,

I wasn’t going to woof about it again, but I can’t help it. It just continues to dog us. Momma actually did make some progress last week on what she thinks of as outsmarting the car. She religiously watched instructional videos, and, after a bit of a meltdown, even reached a Tesla rep by phone to work out a problem. She now knows how to turn on the interior lights, switch between low and high beams, turn on the windshield washer and charge Smart Car during non-peak hours.

In fact, Momma has been pretty proud of herself. Maybe she could be a cool Tesla owner after all. Part of the Tesla family as they say. Maybe she hadn’t bitten off more than she could chew.

And when her nephew and his family came over yesterday for Christmas, she couldn’t wait to take him for a ride. She was especially excited to show him Santa Mode where the car turns into a sleigh and plays Christmas music, and to demonstrate all the horn honking sounds. As a guy, he might even enjoy Fart Mode, she reasoned.

So after a few snacks and playtime with the kids, she led Charlie out to the car. (Happily I got to stay in the house and play with Lindsay and the kids!) Momma wanted this to go just right so Charlie could have the full experience of riding in such a high tech car. First, she just drove casually around side streets showing him some features and highlighting the world class sound system with a few Johnny Mathis Christmas tunes. Then she pulled back into her cul-de-sac, so she could cue Smart Car up for some of the special effects, like playing the Santa tune on the outside speaker of the car.

Just as she had (finally) found that feature on the computer screen, she noticed a car coming down the road in their direction. Oh good, thought Momma, maybe I can hurry up and punch in “Spread the Cheer” to show off how the car plays music on the outside! Before she got to that, though, the driver pulled up along side Smart Car and informed Momma that one of her taillights was out. Momma was almost a-pup-lectic. Was this some cruel joke? Apparently not because Charlie jumped out of the car and confirmed that the light was indeed not working.

Deflated, and despite the fact that her hero, Elon Musk, had been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, Momma was now a little disappointed in him. Was this car all it was cracked up to be? Was it just for people who really had all night and day to figure things out? And wouldn’t you think with all the electricity running through this car, an electric bulb would be the last thing to go?

Knowing she has little choice, Momma calmed down and resolved to remedy the situation. She made a service appointment (online, the only way possible). The only times they had available were after we leave for Florida. I just wonder how this is going to work out.

Meanwhile Smart Car is, once again, parked in our garage.

Lina, Trying to keep Momma grounded



Not giving up our land line yet . . .

Dear Readers,

I would not be exaggerating to woof that Momma is struggling a bit with what she now calls the smart car in our garage. And I emphasize in our garage because that’s where it usually stays. Momma still loves all the car’s cool features, but when she’s actually used it to drive her from point A to point B (the real point of a car, no?), she’s had some issues. In fact, she drives it so infrequently, she’s moved my car seat back into our “back up” car — the one she doesn’t dare give up. The one Momma’s friend, Lori, calls our “land-line.”

Why is Momma so freaked out by Smart Car? Well, it started out that she didn’t dare drive it at night because she doesn’t know if the brights or dims are on (there is no blue light on the dashboard to indicate this — in fact there is no dashboard). And now she’s had some trouble with it in the daytime, too.

First, she doesn’t really understand how the door locks work. She has gone into the computer that serves as a dashboard and clicked on a button that says “Walk-Away Door Lock.” But she doesn’t trust it will lock because, unlike Land-Line, it doesn’t immediately beep and flash. So now Momma — after walking away as instructed — stands looking at the car like someone who’s forgotten who she is, hoping she’ll get some signal that it’s locked. Usually the lights flash after about twenty seconds, but not always. (Especially after she tried to make some changes to the setup with her Tesla App.) She can’t even enjoy shopping, she’s so worried about it. At least a thief (very common in the Twin Cities these days she knows) couldn’t “hot wire” it, she comforts herself, because she’s pretty sure there are no wires. Or maybe there are? It is electrical after all.

And it’s even worse in Dog Mode. One day she drove it to Target with me along, smartly clicked on Dog Mode and exited the car. Then she shut the door and walked away. And then she stopped and looked at the car. For a long time. No light came on no matter how long she stood there. And she couldn’t just check to see if the little door lock buttons were up or down (like on Land-Line), because Smart Car did not have little buttons.

She knew people were starting to stare, so she thought she better move along. And really, she thought, Dog Mode wouldn’t be Dog Mode, would it, if the car was not locked? She really didn’t trust it though, and let’s just say it was a quick trip in and out of Target. In fact, I think I saw her looking out the window at me the whole time. Just woofin’.

And after another little shopping excursion she could not unlock the doors at all! She finally managed to get in using her App, but what if she couldn’t outfox the little smart aleck car next time? This is Minnesota! She could freeze to death!

Speaking of freezing to death, last week the temperature in Minneapolis dipped to -2. Then it snowed about six inches. Momma had heard tails that her new Smart Car was not good in low temps and in snow (especially if one did not have snow tires, which she did not). Therefore, we drove Land-Line to my agility training on Tuesday, during a blizzard. Smart Car was off the hook again.

Then on Thursday, Momma was going to drop off a urine sample of mine at the vet’s to check for a UTI (almost a weekly drill), and, mustering up all her courage, decided to drive Smart Car. However, just before she left, we got a freezing rain. She could barely take me outside to get a urine sample, much less drive a pretend car to the vet’s. Once again, the car stayed in the garage.

She was going to drive it to the dealership on Friday to get her new plates put on (really what choice did she have — she couldn’t very well put the new plates on Land-Line, could she?). Oh, and of course she did have to take Smart Car in for this because it takes an expert to attach the frame and plate to a front bumper when there is no front bumper. She didn’t have to worry about driving Smart Car that day, though; the plates didn’t arrive as promised, and it snowed seventeen inches. Here I am wondering what could happen next. And when we might take the car out again — at least to play Jingle Bells for the neighbors.

Lina, Just Shaking My Head


Pawscript: Just as this was going to press, the new plates were delivered to our front door. Alleluia, thought Momma! “Now we’re cooking with gas … er, I mean electricity, Lina! Tomorrow we’ll go over to that dealership, and have the plates put on, and get some answers to my questions.” I bet they’ll be happy to see us.


It’s a Real Live Wire

Dear Readers,

Well, we’ve taken delivery of the Tesla. Up until about a week before, Momma was still deluding herself into thinking she could just click a button to cancel her order and only be out her “downpayment” of $100. Then she paw-rused her agreement with Tesla and found it was a little more complicated and expensive than that. Shocker, I know.

So that was that. She now had little choice but to finish getting ready for the delivery. She hurriedly hired another electrician (number three? she really couldn’t remember) to complete the wiring for the Tesla Wall Connector and for the meter box to be placed on the wall outside the house so Dakota Electric could come by and install the meter (after the inspection by the city, of course). Would she ever be able to save enough money by using electricity to re “coupe” her costs, she wondered?

In any case, it’s ours now. Two cool-looking Tesla guys delivered the car last week, and one of them helped Momma get set up and explained all the features to her. And I know Momma — she was enjoying these guys and tried to act like she was really “with it” and understanding everything they said. (Not.) We were also joined by Nanny Becky and Uncle Tom, our EV support team, in case there was a melt down — literally or figuratively.

But some things about the car did stick in Momma’s mind. Like Santa Mode. You won’t believe this, but when you go to Toybox and click on the Santa button, the car plays Christmas music and becomes a sleigh on the screen (see photo right) and the other cars on the road become reindeer! (Clever, but couldn’t Mr. Musk have been a little more mindful of the Holidays of others? Just a thought.) And when you click on “Spread the Cheer,” the music plays from a speaker on the outside of the car as you drive through the ‘hood.

Oh, and when you put the blinker on in Santa Mode, it plays bells jingling! Take a listen . . .

As you can imagine, Momma was all lit up over this feature! I don’t think she knows how it works, though, because she says bells were still jingling later that night (no comment) when she opened the door to see if the car was still running. (Momma just can’t get used to the idea that she doesn’t have to “turn it off.”)

There were other unique features, too, like Boombox, where you could choose different horn honking sounds (La Cucaracha anyone?), Fart Mode (which Momma thought was childish), Caraoke (which she liked and embarrassingly tried out with Tesla guy in the car), Camp Mode (apparently in case you want to live in the car), and the aforementioned Dog Mode – the reason for this impulse purchase.

After Tesla guys left, Momma loaded up Nanny and Uncle Tom and me, and off we went for a little joy ride (I just hoped we wouldn’t run into one of the reindeer!). Momma was excited about all the fun gadgets and treated our neighbors to a little Christmas cheer and La Cucaracha. She also happily turned the blinker on and off to hear the bells — sometimes even when we were not turning. As you can see by the photo, I did not approve.

After we miraculously arrived home safely, Momma thought she would put our new plaything in the garage. There was only one teensy weensy little problem. She had forgotten to ask cool Tesla guys how to program the garage door opener to the car. (Actually, I’m pretty sure cool Tesla guys skedaddled before she could ask them about this item which, it turns out, costs an additional $325.) Long story short, Momma is now opening the door the old fashioned way — with a garage door opener clipped to the visor. She just hopes nobody spots it in her new space-age car.

There was literally an owners’ manual (online of course) full of information that Momma still did not understand — or even know about — when cool Tesla guys left, but she decided she would worry about it later. She had Santa Mode and Honk Mode and Caraoke Mode and Dog Mode, and she was pretty sure she could even drive the car, so it was all good. Here’s a picture of my driver and me posing with our new sleigh, er . . . car. Just for the record, I think I’d rather be going into space.

Lina – Unplugged