Trials and Tribulations

Dear Readers,

My agility work continues, and Momma and I competed in our third trial last Sunday. And this one had a real twist to it. Read on.

Once again, the trial (and I’m beginning to realize why they are called trials) was in Rochester which made for a stressful beginning to our day. Once again, we had to get up in the middle of the night, wolf down breakfast, and race to our venue. Luckily, we arrived safely at Soccer World and got set up just in time for the 7:30 briefing.

Afterwards, Momma walked the course to figure out the best route for us. The game was called Standard, and it was our longest and most complex course of the day. We were only the second participant, and Momma did her best to rev me up (as Annelise had encouraged) with tricks and jumps and talking to me in an excited voice — not exactly her forte. It seemed to work, though, because we did great and earned another Q and a blue ribbon! Momma was thrilled. (I’m only surprised we’re not going to Disneyland.)

Luckily, Mark Herreid was on paw again to take photos, and he captured some of my best moments.

Momma had signed me up for four games (as opposed to three) this time, thinking that I should be able to handle it by now. Our second run was called Colors, a relatively easy and fun little course. We also earned a Q there, but I wasn’t quite as “revved up” for this run. In fact, I was starting to feel a little out of sorts.

Our third run was called Wildcard, and we usually do well on that one. Once again, Momma tried to get me hyped up with jumps and tricks and squeaky talk beforehand, but I just wasn’t feeling it. We did not qualify, and Momma was feeling a little down in the dumps (have I mentioned she’s competitive?), and wondering what was wrong with me. I was wondering what was wrong with me, too.

Nevertheless, we forged ahead with our day, and because we had a long break before our final run, Momma signed me up for a massage. (Is there ever any “extra” she misses at these things?) Here I am with Jim Mihalek of “Spot On Canine Massage.” He did a fantastic job, but take a look at my face — maybe a clue that I wasn’t in top form?

Shortly after my massage and before our final run of the day, Momma put me back in the crate to do her course walk. And that’s when it happened. This hound hurled! I just couldn’t help it. One might woof I was sick as a dog.

Unfortunately Momma did not see it, and we went through the motions of our final run. When she finally found the little mounds of vomit in my crate, she was horrified. What had caused me to be sick, she wondered. Did she get me up too early? Drive too crazy on the way down here? Did she run me too soon after breakfast? Get me too stressed with all the pep talks? Did we do too many runs? Should she have skipped the massage? Should she stop at the Mayo Clinic on the way home? (Okay, I made that one up, but the rest are true.)

After Momma made sure I was okay, she carried me to the car and went back for the rest of our stuff. Driving home, she reflected on our day. We did have a good first couple of runs. But she didn’t want to make me sick either. Maybe this was just an aberration and next time would be fine? Not knowing what the answer was, Momma decided she would think about it tomorrow, just like Scarlett O’Hara. We have another trial coming up August 1. I’ll keep you posted.

Lina, Resting Up



If at first you don’t succeed . . .

Dear Readers,

Last weekend, Momma and I traveled to Soccer World in Rochester, Minnesota, for our second Canine Performance Event agility trial. Although we didn’t do a trial run on Saturday to make sure we could find Rochester, Sunday began excruciatingly early (4:00 am — Momma was still a little worried about logistics) and it was a full day!

When we arrived at the arena, Momma couldn’t find a place for us to set up our crate and chair because all the obvious spots were already taken. In a bit of a panic, she approached the first man she saw and asked where we could set up. Later, Momma suspected it was — but desperately hoped it wasn’t — the actual judge, Mike Brownell, that she commandeered for help. (She claims to suffer from Facial Recognition Disorder, but I call it Momma is a Ditz Disorder.) Anyway, the man helped us find a remote corner spot and we settled in.

Since we knew absolutely no one at this event, Momma tried chatting up several doggie mommas and daddies with very little success. In fact, by the time we ran Standard, the first event of the day, we had no friends or supporters, and Momma was feeling unmoored and not just a little nervous. And to be honest, I felt the same. Here I am at the starting line of our first run. Can you woof, “help!”?

Photo by Mark Herreid

Not surprisingly, I was distracted and we went over time. I did complete all the obstacles on the course, however, since Momma did not know what to do when the horn blew and we kept going. Even though I was a tad embarrassed, I did appreciate the practice.

Our day got more interesting when Momma realized there was a professional photographer on site. She immediately corralled him and asked to see his photos of us, indicating she was sure she would buy a package because her dog, Lina, had her own blog. Pointedly not asking any followup questions, he showed us his shots. In addition to the one above, Momma chose the following. Kinda cool, huh?

Our next event was Wildcard. I was still a little unnerved, but did better and earned a Q (qualifying score) and blue ribbon. Okay, full disclosure again, I was the only dog in the Level 2, 8″ class. Nevertheless, we savored our awards.

After that run, we had a long break between events and Momma moved her chair into the viewer portion of the arena to try to get more involved in the action. Truth be told, she was becoming a little disillusioned, and as she watched the other participants, she had a moment of doubt. Was she really cut out for this? Was I? Did she not fit in with the agility crowd? Did I need a doggie psychologist? Did she?

As Momma sat pawndoring, our future, she had a thought. Maybe if she brought me out to sit with her, I’d become more acclimated to the sights, sounds and smells of the arena, and be able to focus better for our final run. (I also think she didn’t want to sit alone anymore, but I’m not going to point any paws.)

And guess what — that was just the ticket. And not just because I became used to the frenetic activity of the arena, but also because I happen to be an expert at making friends. The minute we settled in, two nice ladies sitting next to us asked Momma if they could pet me. Momma, realizing a door had just opened, almost threw me into their arms.

Tara and Kerry

The ladies were Tara Post, a trainer from Paws Abilities down the road, and Kerry Todd who works at the Mayo Clinic. Thank you Tara and Kerry! I calmed right down and Tara even gave Momma tips on getting me jazzed up for our next run. Through them we also met Shirley Sax and her dog, Abbey, from Eagan. Abbey is just the cutest little thing. This was their first trial and they had already won several ribbons. Momma was thrilled to learn that Shirley and Abbey will be at the next trial in Rochester on June 20.

In Jumpers, our last run of the day, we were both more relaxed and confident, and did great. We earned another Q and a blue ribbon for first place — and yes, this time I was not the only dog in my class! Game on!

Lina, Staying the Course



First Trial, Two Qs, Two Ribbons!

Dear Readers,

Momma and I have just competed in our first agility trials. The Canine Performance Event we attended was sponsored by South Paws K9 Academy and held last weekend at On the Run Canine Center in Ham Lake, Minnesota.

We drove up to On the Run on Saturday to check out the location (Momma was nervous about finding the place, road closings, potential riots along the way, fog, traffic accidents, parking, setup, food, the people — everything really). Amazingly, against all odds, we “arrived at our destination” in one piece with time to spare.

Since we were early, we got good parking and set up my crate and Momma’s chair in a large room next to the arena. We also got me measured by the judge(!). I am officially 11.5 inches to the withers (shoulders), which confirmed that I would jump at 8 inches.

Even though I didn’t compete on Saturday, we hung out and Momma watched the trials just to “get the lay of the land” as she puts it. She’s such a farm girl. We also met many nice humans and dogs! In the evening, the organizers emailed course maps out for the next day. These left Momma a little unsettled, but our trainer, Annelise, talked her down from the ledge with some thoughts and tips.

Sunday we were up at 4:30a and motored back to Ham Lake — Momma was still a little worried about getting us there (just in case On the Run Canine Center had relocated since Saturday for example). We visited with others again and received our daily briefing from the organizers and the judge. Momma was especially happy when our friend, B.J. Bowden, showed up with her dog, Lacey Blue. B.J. helped Momma learn the ropes and checked us in with the starters (thankfully, because Momma wasn’t aware of that little detail). Whoops.

The first event of the day was called Wildcard and we were the last competitors out of seventy-one entrants. Finally, the timekeeper got to us and announced: “Lina, to the line!” It would have had such a nice ring to it, except that they called me Lena! (Momma kept mum pursuant to Annelise’s instructions.)

Anyway, we were both a little nervous, but strode forward to the jump at the beginning of the course. The arena was quiet and all eyes were on us. Most of the spectators knew it was my first competitive run ever. I could just tell they were curious to see what the little beginner would do.

Momma carefully took off my leash and halter, tossed them aside, and told me to sit and stay in position ready for the run. Unfortunately, at this point I couldn’t help but take a little trot over to the judge to say hello — it’s just what I do. And, frankly, I thought a little buttering up wouldn’t hurt. Luckily my little side trip didn’t disqualify us as the run hadn’t yet started. There was still hope!

Momma, her heart close to stopping, urgently called me back to the starting line. After she positioned me again and did a little lead out, she firmly commanded “Lina, jump!” and off we went! I hesitated only momentarily, and then it was off to the races.

I did all ten obstacles successfully, including a difficult tunnel entrance, and put on a little extra speed for the last couple of jumps as I got caught up in the excitement. After the last jump, the spectators erupted in clapping and cheers, and Momma threw up her hands in the air like we had just won at Westminster! That aside, it really was a moment.

Later, our new friend, Chris Mosley, showed Momma the Wildcard results which were posted on the wall. Momma was thrilled to see that we had earned a Q (a qualifying score to those of us in the agility world) and second place. Okay there were only two of us in our class, but still. Here we are with our ribbons in one of our proudest moments ever!

Our next event was called Jumpers, and although our run was not quite as clean, I successfully completed all the obstacles and earned another Q! (We also technically earned a first place finish even though we were the only participants in our class.) See below!

Much later, our next event, Jackpot, got underway. It was quite tricky, if I do woof so myself, and unfortunately we did not qualify. Momma was a little down after that, but tried not to show it. I rewarded her with a face lick as she carried me out of the ring.

After that, our day was over, so we headed home and started dreaming about next time.

Lina, Decorated Dog!



Celebrating National Pet Week, Lina Style

Dear Readers,

We are safely back in Minnesota and in high gear! So far, no major mishaps, but with Momma, you can never be too careful.

Being this is National Pet Week (celebrating pets enriching human lives), I thought I would do a nice photo spread — a photoblog — showing you what I’ve been up to. And, okay, you’re going to say I’m spoiled, but keep in mind the stress in my life just dealing with Momma.

Here I am on Sunday posing for photos for my American Kennel Club registration (necessary for trials):

Then, on Monday morning, I had a shampoo and blowout and nail trim with Josie of Pet Attitudes! Doggy divine!

And on Monday afternoon, I had a massage with Jenny Gott from Animal Intuition. I know this sounds especially high maintenance, but it is highly recommended for agility competitors such as myself. Just ask anyone. Plus, Momma was okay with it because the massage was a gift from Dr. Becca of Perpetual Motion.

On Tuesday I had agility training in one of Annelise’s (Agile Canines Training School) intermediate classes, and then tagged along with Momma (never one to be out-pampered) as she had her own cut, shampoo and blowout. Here I am with her stylist, Laura Lee (Laura Lee hair+love). I love Laura Lee, but unfortunately she and Momma like to talk pawlitics, so I couldn’t really relax as one would expect in a salon. Just woofin’.

On Wednesday, I spent the afternoon at Camp Bow Wow while Momma golfed. Here’s a stock photo of me with the crew at Bow Wow in Burnsville. Note that I was Camper of the Month at the time!

Then, on Thursday Momma actually remembered how to tune into Dog TV. (You may remember last year, her yelling “Dog TV” into every remote in the house except the one with the little blue microphone button on it.) Anyway, this was a jackpot day as we found programs on agility training and dogs on boards. As you can see, I was riveted! I still think I should have a job on one of their shows.

Afterwards, we hustled off to my private lesson with Annelise, where we did a mock up of an agility competition. That meant NO TREATS, no collar (which is called running naked), and making sure I was leashed up going in and out of the ring. Here I am being measured by Annelise, another competition requirement, so officials know the correct jump height (8 inches for me).

Then today, it’s off to Camp Bow Wow again. All-in-all a good way to spend National Pet Week. Thanks, Momma.

Lina, Pampered Pup



Challenges, Happy News, and An Agility Video You Won’t Want to Miss

Dear Readers,

It’s been a while, and you probably think I’ve dropped off the face of the internet. Not to worry — it’s just that Momma keeps me so busy that I have no time to write. Our days are jam packed with activities — some of them even above board — and winter is already over. We’ve hung out with old friends like Gracie, and made new ones like Debbie who drew my portrait. We’ve continued to work hard with Gigi and hardly ever miss an agility training session. Janice takes me for walks and gives me mini-spa days when Momma is off golfing. All in all, a good time. Oh, and only three visits to the vet this season — I think that’s a record. Read on.

Gym Followup and Lina Unleashed (But Don’t Tell Anyone)!

First, I just want to mention that nothing’s changed with the new no-sound-on-the-TV policy in the workout room in our building, and Momma continues to workout her way around it.

Then about six weeks ago, another issue reared its ugly head for Momma and me down here. The residents in our complex got an email reminding us of the rule that all dogs must be on leashes at all times. NO EXCEPTIONS!, the email screamed. This got Momma’s attention — did someone report us outside playing ball? Just how many rules were we breaking, I wondered? Nevertheless, Momma viewed this as part of the #cancelculture (no fun allowed, Lina!), and ordered me a new frisbee. We were all set to use it when we were informed last week that violators could be fined — and dogs could even be removed from the property!! Woof what? Why is it always the dog’s fault (trespassing with Momma in Naples and a warning from Animal Control comes to mind)?

Just for the record, if management sees me out there, I am innocent. No dog can possibly resist running after a ball or frisbee, and, as Uncle Chuck would agree, that is an absolute defense to any wrongdoing whatsoever.

The Muse

The other day, Momma ended up playing golf with a special lady named Debbie Hopkins. After Momma told her about me and gave her my card (no later than the second hole, I’m sure), Debbie informed Momma that she is an artist and likes to draw and paint dogs. Well, you can just imagine the excitement in that cart! Check out Debbie’s scary-good pencil drawing of yours truly! And, best of all, Debbie donates her proceeds to charity. Also, Debbie bought Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray, the proceeds of which go to the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota and Helping Paws Minnesota, as many of you know. A win-win day for all!

Book Presentation

And there’s more! Momma and I will be doing a presentation about my blog and books to the Women’s Cultural Alliance of Southwest Florida on April 5. It will be a Zoom meeting so I will not be able to give any face licks or get belly rubs, but I do get to make a cameo appearance on the call (but not as that stupid cat). Momma has been working tirelessly on putting this program together and was especially thrilled when she found a way to erase some years by blurring her image on Zoom (and is now wondering how she can apply this to the rest of her life).

This appearance is due to the kindness and generosity of Momma’s friend, Cathy Lone-Dawson, who is co-chair of the WCA South (another one of Momma’s golf buddies!). Click here to check it out.

Our First Trials & A Must See Video

Then last, but not least, Momma has signed us up for Canine Performance Events (CPE) trials in Ham Lake, MN in May and in Rochester, MN in June. I’m not sure we’re quite ready yet, though. As Gigi correctly (and loudly) notes during this run, Momma freaks out for no reason and I am left doing the weaves on my own. You will even see me looking for her (my handler) when I am finished. How is this going to work?

Please, just shoot me now.

Lina, Still Rolling With The Punches



The Dog in the Arena?

Dear Readers,

Tongue-Out Tuesday Photo by Trainer, Gigi

Momma and I continue to train at Ruffgers Dog University in Naples. Momma, growing weary of the twice-weekly trips up there, has begun to question when graduation might be. I totally ignore her, though, because I know she is committed to “entering the arena!” And let’s face it, she still has her heart set on a blue ribbon or first place trophy. I have my heart set on running and getting more treats.

To learn more about competitions, Momma took a four-hour(!) Zoom seminar the other night called “Ready to Trial.” The seminar was given by Chris Mosley of Prior Lake, Minnesota. She is a long-time agility trainer and director of the Agility Training Department for Twin Cities Obedience Training Club (TCOTC). During her introduction, Chris talked about her dogs. She said Winn had been her “heart” dog, and Maggie, her “wallet” dog. She did not know yet what Pitch and Grammy were.

Next, Chris invited the participants to tell a little about themselves. When it was Momma’s turn, she refrained from saying I am her wallet dog, but she couldn’t stop herself from holding me up and introducing me to the group. She also said (twice) during her remarks how smart I am and have great potential and that it is just a joy to watch me train. By this time I was hiding so she could not hold me up to the camera again.

Chris continued by explaining that there are eight organizations in which we can compete, and it was a real alphabet soup. Of the choices, Momma quickly zeroed in on CPE, Canine Performance Events, because they are known as being handler friendly and have become very popular. I, too, am excited about CPE because they have cool-sounding competitions like Jumpers, Colors, Full House, Wildcard, Jackpot and Snooker. I just hope I get dealt an easy course.

As Chris got into the nuts and bolts about events, and Momma became disconcerted to learn there is more to competing than showing up with a dog and a treat. Owners must register, pay entry fees, and we dogs must be measured pre-competition for jump heights. There are also a bazillion rules about collars and leashes and buddies and “training in the ring.” Momma was rapidly becoming overwhelmed and knew she was in over her head (“I may have to circle back to you on this, Lina”). She did remember though that no squeaky toys or treats are allowed in the arena, and that if I go potty, we’re done. She also remembers that “dogs running naked” means I must compete with no collar.

Chris was super friendly and understanding. She knew we were all competition beginners so she fielded questions patiently and said (perhaps unwisely) “interrupt as many times as you want!” Momma, taking that literally, went to town on questions including: “How does one get a title?” and “It sounds like titles are not important to some people?” There were countless others, but I try to forget them.

Chris explained that some people do not care about titles and that some organizations give qualifying ribbons for just, well, putting in the runs. This was a little “pawrticipation trophy” for Momma, but she held her tongue. I would like to point out here that Momma herself was thrilled when she learned that some organizations give handlers 60 years of age and older extra time to complete a course (a leg up, so to speak). A little too “pawrticipation trophy” for me, but whatever.

All in all, Momma thought the seminar was terrific and is more determined that ever to have us compete. I’ll keep you “posted” on our progress. In the meantime, here is a short clip of our “back to school” run at Ruffgers.

Lina, Aspiring Aussie!



Getting a Leg Up on 2021

Dear Readers,

I don’t mean literally lifting a leg on 2021, of course. I just meant that Momma and I are hoping to get a good start to the year. And, other than a few first-world problems, things are going pretty well.

We had a non-eventful flight back to Florida. No trained seals as support animals on the plane. Our condo is still standing, but more on that below. Momma is a fixture on the golf course, and I’m back training at Ruffger’s Dog University with Gigi (see photo, right). We have run into several old friends in our condo building, most of them wearing masks where required. Momma kind of likes that since she now has a built-in excuse for not recognizing people.

My dog sitters, Janice and Natalie, are looking after me almost on a daily basis. Here are a few photos of me playing and going on walks with them, and one with Natalie giving me a belly rub. Yay!

This is not to woof, of course, that there haven’t been a few issues. This is life with Momma, after all. First, I am not allowed on the balcony/deck because of the buzzards circling our building (it seems they may be looking for dead fish washed on shore because of the red tide in the Gulf — and one can never be too careful). Second, I am not allowed to walk around the Cape — also because of the red tide (possible lung irritation). The beach is no problem because, as you all know, I’m not allowed on it anyway due to doggie discrimination. I just might write a letter to our new president about that. He has dogs named Champ and Major, so I think he’d be on my side.

Then there’s the condo itself: Our ice maker is not working. Momma did her best to fix it — i.e., she turned it on and off a few times — but, shockingly, that didn’t work. She quit monkeying with it when a puddle of water formed on the floor and our water alarm went off. Now what was she supposed to do? Go to the gas station every time she needed ice? Luckily, a friend told her about a new invention called ice cube trays.

Then last week Momma was having dinner in Naples when the mind shattering alarm in our building went off (just how many alarms can my little big ears take in one lifetime?) as it often does. Luckily, my dog sitter, Janice, was just leaving the building and ran back up to rescue me.

In other news, Momma is having a bit of a spat with her building. A couple of weeks ago, management sent around an email saying that the volume on the TVs in the workout room could no longer be turned up. The notice further stated that the only way to listen would be to download the AudioFetch app — has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? — onto ones phone. Momma, who was used to watching and listening to Fox News in the workout room unabated, was furious — her association dues had just gone up and she was not about to spend any money on ear pods. Actually they’re called air pods, but I don’t want to confuse her. Stay tuned (but only if you’re plugged in).

Speaking of working out, Momma decided it was time to join the 21st century and buy some “yoga” pants. The problem is that the young perky clerk (as Momma still calls them) insisted that she buy a smaller size than what was comfortable, and now she can barely work out — or move for that matter. (“Lina – I can hardly breath — should these pants really feel like I’m wearing a tourniquet?”) All I can say is nama-stay.

Lina, Life Coach



Santa Visit & End of Season Agility Video

Dear Readers,

The other day, I had a chance to cozy up to Santa and tell him what a good girl I’ve been. I think it went without woofing, however, because he kept saying, “good girl.” This year the only thing I asked Santa for was a safe trip to Florida (without any support peacocks or snakes sitting next to us), that I get to continue my agility training and that Momma doesn’t make me go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Pretty simple, right? Will take up no room in the sleigh at all.

Santa made his visit to Camp Bow Wow last Saturday. Donations for the photo sessions will go to the Bow Wow Foundation and Second Hand Hounds. ‘Tis the season!

Momma and I had a fantastic time training at Agile Canines this season. We worked hard and took both private and group lessons. Some of my favorite parts of the course are the dog walk, tunnel and teeter! Here is a short video of us, produced by our trainer, Annelise, running the course in our last session of the year. Pay no attention to the fact that Momma almost sent me through the wrong tunnel.

Happily, we are already set up for training with Gigi at Ruffgers in Naples, beginning in January. I think she will be surprised with our progress. #tongueouttuesday and #throwbackthursday photos here we come!

One final note on our year. Momma and I have just sent off checks to the Animal Humane Society and Helping Paws Minnesota based on annual sales of Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray. We are thrilled to support the noble work of these fantastic organizations.

And now it’s time to woof goodbye to 2020 and wish you all Yappy Holidays. May your days in 2021 be filled with fun and treats.

Lina, Good Girl



SantaPaws Special!

Dear Readers,

Because this has been such a challenging year and because Momma and I care about helping other canines and humans, and because my books are great escapes for when you are imprisoned in your house — we have a fantastic deal to offer you! It’s perfect for these ruff times! You don’t even have to venture out to shop.

Here’s how it works: buy both of my award-winning books, Lina Unleashed and Sit Stay Pray (normally $16.95 each) ~

and receive a box of my ins-paw-rational note cards free (see sampling below)!

This is a $45.90 value, but I am offering all of these goodies to you this season for only $30.00. And as a special bonus, I will pawdograph the books, and Momma and I will personally deliver them if you live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. If that doesn’t work, we will ship for free.

Please keep in mind that book proceeds will go to the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota and Helping Paws Minnesota. AHS helps care for and place about 23,000 animals each year, and HPM trains and places service dogs with disabled individuals and veterans/first responders with PTSD. This will make a much yappier holiday season for the doggies and humans helped by these organizations.

I hope you will “treat” yourself or a friend to my fun books and the all-occasion greeting cards, and lend a helping paw to others at the same time.

Please contact Momma at robink822@gmail.com for questions or to place your order directly with us. You can also order the books online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Lina, Spreading the Cheer and the Support!



A Couple of Bumps in the Road (but at least I didn’t get bumped)

Dear Readers,

The other day we got word that the U.S. Department of Transportation has passed new restrictions on airplane travel for animals. Naturally, this caught Momma’s and my attention as we have a flight coming up later this month.

It seems DOT was clamping down on (sometimes “fake”) emotional support animals riding in the cabin, and from now on, they would be relegated to cargo. And if I do woof so myself, I get it. Often times these days, they are not even dogs! Really, who wants to be sitting next to an (uncrated) pig, peacock, monkey, snake, squirrel, comfort turkey, or miniature horse? And while the new rules allow bone-a-fide service animals to be in the cabin, it was not clear — were all others (even normally paying customers/animals like myself) now also banned from the cabin?

This would never do, so Momma called the airline. As expected, the representative was just not sure about the new rules, but she thought paying pets (in carriers and under the seat) would be just fine in the cabin. And she assured us, since the rules are not implemented until 2021, I would not be “bumped” from our December flight. Thrilled, Momma dragged out my little carrier so I could get used to it again.

Here I am practicing for our flight!

Then last week Momma and I had another little road bump which caused a quite a bit of consternation at our house. Momma had accidentally dropped a minuscule tube of lip salve on the floor as she hurried upstairs to change clothes. Well, as you might imagine, I was practically duty bound to check it out. Who knows — it might be a new kind of treat!

I had probably only been chewing on the tube for about five minutes, when Momma found me and snatched it away. Actually, to be honest, it didn’t taste that good and the tube was virtually empty, so I really didn’t care. Although Momma could also see that the tube was totally used up, she saw one teensy-tiny little puncture mark and went into her usual panic mode. What if I, against all odds, I had gotten a molecule of it in my mouth? Was it poisonous to dogs (even though she put it on her own lips)? Who would be her (real) support animal on the plane if something happened to me?

After doing her usual fruitless search for the answers on Google, Momma rang up our vet. The receptionist listened patiently to our latest tail of woe and advised us to call the Pet Poison hotline.

After a brief hold, Momma was connected to the hotline nurse, who also listened to our story and asked a few questions. After she had obtained all the pertinent information, she asked Momma if she could put her on hold so the nurse could “analyze the data” (kinda like my favorite Governor Walz would say — I felt better already!). I don’t think there was much data to analyze though, and the nurse was back on the line in almost no time at all. She informed Momma that I would probably be fine and that the charge for the advice would be $59.00 (up from the $50.00 they charged for our last “emergency,” Momma noticed with irritation). Nevertheless, she shook it off and gave me a big hug of relief. I went off to scrounge the floor for more treats.

Here’s hoping the rest of 2020 will be bump-free for all of us!

Lina, Ready for Wheels Up!