Back in Florida

Momma and I flew to Florida the day after Christmas.  Talla, Momma’s step-daughter, kindly took us to the airport which helped reduce our pre-travel stress.  Actually things went smoothly from there, but Momma had her wine and I had my calming tablets – just in case.  You can never be too prepared.

The Norgaards

Almost from the minute we got to Marco, we were busy.  Crazy busy.  Momma’s nephew, Chris, his wife Jenny, and kids, Adeline and Gunnar, arrived the next day.  By the way, here’s a fun fact:  Adeline’s nickname is Lina which was also Momma’s mother’s father’s nickname for her mother.  Following me so far?  And as one might expect, this led to no small amount of confusion during the Norgaard stay.  How did this come about, you might wonder.

It seems when Momma adopted me, she wanted to name me Lina, too, but thought she better get Jenny’s approval since Momma’s dog and Jenny’s daughter would be called the same name.  Kinda “begs” the question, doesn’t it?  Were there no names to pick from that weren’t already used by a family member?  Very “this is my brother, Darryl, and this is my other brother, Darryl” in my mind.  Maybe this should have been a sign of things to come with Momma.

I love having the Norgaards around, but there is something about them.  Not sure if it’s genetic or what, but they sure like to toy with this little Toy Aussie.  They often tease me by fake-throwing a ball or withholding treats after coaxing me to perform tricks.  They also tease Momma by pretending to give me chocolate or telling her I’ve just fallen off the balcony.  Needless to say, this is not a good idea because Momma is crazy enough as it is already.  Here I am having some “fun” with the other Lina and Gunnar ~


I  enjoy the Norgaards, though – they take me out to go potty and give me lots of attention.  Both Momma and I hated to see them go.

The Solar Plunge

Just before they left, Momma took part in the Veracruz “Solar Plunge.”   The img_5354Plunge (organized by my good buddy and fellow Dem, Rita) was a huge success this year with more people then ever participating.  Actually, though, how challenging could it be to jump in the 75 degree Gulf?  Momma’s on the far left, by the way.

I was left behind, of course, because dogs are still not allowed on the beach or in the Gulf here.  If this is not a blatant example of #doggiediscrimination, I don’t know what is.  (Momma:  “Maybe you should learn to swim before you lodge any complaints.  Just saying.”)


A few days after Momma and I arrived in Florida, I had another nice surprise – my BFF Gracie came back!  Her momma, Anne, invited us down and here we are enjoying our reunion!




No sooner had we settled in, than Momma was on another mission – this one up to Naples.  She had recently visited a cutesy gift shop, BR Uno (Uno for short), up there – right next to all the glitzy restaurants and overpriced clothing stores – and snow making machines on the streetlights.  I know, right?  I bet the place is crawling with Republicans.

Jenny and (her daughter) Lina had been with Momma on a previous trip to Uno and saw a doggie book sitting right on the counter called, Living with Humans.  Well, you can imagine Momma’s reaction.  Her dog’s book should be the one displayed on that counter!  Jenny, always the diplomat, gently suggested to Momma that she give Bruno, the guy behind the counter, one of my cards.  As it turned out, Bruno was the owner and Momma’s brain promptly went into overdrive.  She told him that her dog had also written a book and would it be okay to drop one off?  Bruno, feeling ambushed if not falsely imprisoned at this point, quickly agreed.

Knowing she should capitalize on this opportunity before Bruno forgot about us, a couple of days later she loaded me (her secret weapon) and a bunch of my books in the car, and we headed up to Uno.

And guess what, folks?  Bruno and the rest of the staff (Kathleen and Jerry) took an immediate liking to me and gave me water and treats!  Bruno agreed to carry the book and Jerry put them on the counter right by the other doggie book.


Jerry minding the store . . .

Momma was overjoyed!  This was the big time in her book (although, of course this wasn’t her book) – a prominent display of Lina Unleashed in an upscale shop on historic Third Street in Naples.  We had arrived.

Before leaving, Momma insisted we pawdograph the books.  Then she assured the staff that we would be back in a few days to “check on things.”  I’m sure they were pleased.

Lina, The New Face of Naples




Letter to Santa & Momma’s Request


“Santa’s Little Yelper” scarf from Auntie Linda Rogers

Dear Readers,

Yappy Holidays to my human and furry friends!  Thank you for your faithful readership of my blog.  Each of my posts are paw-crafted with you in mind and it means the world to me when you enjoy them.

This year, for the first time, I wrote a letter to Santa Paws, I mean Claus.  As you will see, most of my requests are about Momma. As you can imagine – there is good reason.  Read on . . .

Mr. Santa Claus                                                                                                                                  The North Pole

Dear Santa,

Greetings from just south of you – Minnesota.  I’m sure you’ve heard of our state – one of our towns, International Falls, is known as the “Ice Box of the Nation,” so I bet it’s just as cold here as it is at the North Pole!  Lucky me, for part of the year I get to go potty in the ice and snow where I freeze my little paws – and tush – off.  Okay, admittedly, Momma and I go back to my home state of Florida for part of the winter, but still – you get the (snow) drift.

I am writing to let you know I have been very good this year.   I obey Momma – unless I know better.  I alert her when some governmental official is at the front door so we can hide.   I clean up the kitchen floor whenever a crumb drops.  I share my toys with others.  I rarely have a potty accident or throw up in the house – and when I do, it’s brought on by stress.  I don’t bark much, and I don’t bite or bully.  Like any good liberal, I treat all the dogs at Camp Bow Wow with respect and friendship, regardless of their breed or gender identification.

Santa, you will see that most of my list revolves around Momma and her issues.  She tries hard to be a good doggie parent, but, to be honest, she doesn’t really know how.  Plus, she seems a little unstable, and we are always on the brink of another embarrassing moment, if not all-out crisis.  I am hoping you can help.  Here are my wishes ~ 

  • For Momma not to make me attend any more Holiday Boutiques.  I know she likes to socialize, using me as a tool to make friends, and to try make some money on my products, but I’m not sure we come out ahead, and I hate these excursions.
  • For Momma to give up on trying to make me swim.  If God had wanted me to dog-paddle, he (or she) would have given me webbed paws.
  • For Momma not to hold any more Republican funders.  Unless Leader Kevin McCarthy brings his dog, Mac, next time – then it would be okay.  By the way, Santa, I hope you leave a nice present for @Leaderofthepack_mac!
  • For Momma not to help set off any fireworks at The Point next summer.  This is a great danger to all lake residents, and hurts my ears.
  • For Momma not to set off the house alarm on accident.  (This also hurts my ears.)
  • For Momma not to set the house on fire again – also apparently on accident.
  • For Momma not to say embarrassing things to me in front of the staff at Bow Wow when dropping me off, like:  “No flirting with the boy dogs today, Lina!” or when picking me up, like:  “Is Lina still here?”  Where, pray tell, does she think I would be?

So, as you can see, Santa, my requests are reasonable.  They won’t even take up any room in your sleigh.  Thank you for listening.

Hi to your reindeer!  I’ll leave some treats out for you on Christmas Eve.


Special Request

While I am busy writing my blog (I am all about the creativity and intellectual honesty of my craft), Momma is busy scheming to get more readers.  For example this year, she went to a marketing class, and now she’s throwing around terms like “strategic brand message” and “networking currency.”  She has no idea what they mean, but thinks they sound good.  She also says we need to “find our tribe,” and told me we must augment our reach on social media.

Ever since then, Momma has been “hounding” me to ask a favor of you.  So in the spirit of the Christmas and in an attempt to expand my pawprint – here goes.  If you like a post, would you please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and whatever social media you use?  Big time thanks!

Finally, I want to give a special woof out to the Animal Humane Society and thank them for all the work they do throughout the year.  Once again this year, we will be making a donation to them for Lina Unleashed proceeds.

May you have a pawsitively wonderful 2019!

Lina, Thankful & Hopeful




Holiday Boutique Wrap-Up

Well, the dog & pony show (also known as the Holiday Boutique) at Olympic Hills is over for another year.  Woofda.  Although Momma declared it a big success, I’m not so sure.  I’m no banker, but shouldn’t we come home with more money in our cash box than we started with?  And if things really went so well, why did Momma find it necessary to put up a little tent card offering “Lina Face Licks – 10 Cents”?  And are Momma’s wine purchases actually a legitimate business deduction for Little Big Ears, LLC?

Admittedly, we did have some fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones – especially those who gave me pets and tummy rubs.  And the Lina Notecards did go over pretty well, but I’m sure we have enough left for Christmas gifts.  Actually, if you’re a family member, count on it.

Once again, I have Nanny Becky to thank for my sanity.  As usual, she was my saving grace – petting me and giving me treats and taking me out to go potty while Momma worked the room and socialized.  Here I am with Nanny and one of my new friends, Adele.

The night did seem to drag on forever, however, and I was thrilled when we got to leave early.  In fact, we left right after the drawing for the “Unleashed” Chardonnay.  I know I shouldn’t be telling “tails” out of school here, but after giving two bottles away, Momma decided she would keep the third one for herself (“too hard to track these people down, Lina”).  So we packed up the wine and everything else and went home.

As you can see, I was dog tired ~IMG_4915 Just in case you still need some stocking stuffers, we have a few copies of the award-winning Lina Unleashed and some boxes of my note cards still on paw.  They come in variety packs, each box containing three of four different cards – one box is “fun” and one is “thoughtful.”  Here are a couple of examples:IMG_4929Momma wants me to tell you that they are perfect for any occasion from birthdays to graduations to new jobs to encouragement to just plain “thinking of you.”  She also wants me to tell you if you wish to order some, you can contact her at robink822@gmail.com.  She says we will honor the Holiday Boutique prices of $15 for one box or $25 for two.  Tax included.  Free shipping.  Play your cards right, and I just might include the dog.

Lina, Dealmaker




Don’t Forget – Holiday Boutique

I hope you can join us tomorrow night at Olympic Hills Golf Club in Eden Prairie for our Holiday Boutique.  As I mentioned earlier, Momma and I will be selling my award winning book, Lina Unleashed, and also my new Lina Notecards!  You will love them.  We will have special package deals for notecards and the book.  Also, register and be one of the lucky winners of “Unleashed” Chardonnay!

You will not want to miss this special night of shopping, sipping wine, catching up with friends and maybe even a face lick from me!


holidayboutique 2


Keeping the Homefires Burning

Just in case you are wondering, I am doing just fine with Momma out of the country.  In fact, I am already planning on pretending I didn’t even know she was gone when she finally makes her way home.

So we have been busy!  Dr. Becca frequently takes us to the office where Winnie and I actually have little jobs.  Don’t laugh.  I am the Patient Greeter, and Winnie is Dr. Becca’s Assistant.  Generally, though we wear many collars – supervising lunch (which can be hard work looking for all those crumbs), helping put up the Christmas tree and making pets and their humans feel welcome!  Usually we are paid in treats, and it’s not minimum wage like when Momma is around.

After work, we all go home together where we rest up and sometimes enjoy some quiet time before the fire.  Sometimes Winnie and I even switch beds.


And I don’t know how Dr. Becca does it, but she even helped me make this card for Momma.


Can you stand it?

Lina, Feeling Cared For!



Yappy Thanksgiving

Greetings to my furry friends and loyal human readers.  I hope you all have a great day with loved ones.  Sadly, Momma has abandoned me this Thanksgiving (take note Uncle Chuck, Esq.) for another trip with her friend, Rachel.  Luckily, though, Dr. Becca and Winnie are staying with me and we are having a great time.  I bet I will even get some turkey this year!  Okay, full disclosure here – Momma does check on me everyday and sends hugs to both Winnie and me.

Winnie has become a good friend, and we often assist Dr. Becca (as a reminder, she is an animal chiropractor and her clinic is aptly named PerPETual Motion) at her office.  We work very hard and only take breaks for treats and potty.  (By the way, there is almost no truth to Momma’s assertion to Becca that I plan to unionize Winnie.)  Here we are heading home and relaxing after a long day!

Once again this year, I want to woof out a big thanks to everyone for reading my blog and book!

Lina, Blessed



The Lefse Fest

Once again this year, Momma and I kicked off the winter season at our home with the annual Crystal Lake Loons (& Lina) Lefse Fest.  At its inception, the Fest was nothing more than an attempt to crank out a batch of pretty good lefse.  Now it has gotten a little out of paw and has become quite the “doing.”  (For those of you humans not from northern Minnesota, and therefore not in the know, a “doing” is another way of saying party or event, but without sounding so fancy!)

The first Lefse Fest was in 2011.  Having baked lefse a few times with her own momma, Vi, Momma knew that it was as difficult as an Olympic event.  In fact, it reminded her of one.

First, the participants must have just the right equipment – the griddle, the rolling pin, the pastry board and cloth, the lefse stick, the cooling towels and the potato ricer for starters.  Then the lefse maker must prepare.  This involves reading the instructions (many times), studying the pictures (and maybe even watching a YouTube video or two), buying the ingredients and prepping the dough.

Then there’s the actual making of the lefse itself – a herculean task that requires all the grace and timing of a champion figure skater.  And just like any other Olympic sport – to get “good at it,” requires years of practice.

The dough must have the perfect consistency (and be formed into balls, a little larger than golf ball size the recipe instructs), the grill heated to the exact right temperature, the pastry cloth sprinkled with just the right amount of flour, the rolling pin covered by its own special little sleeve to prevent sticking, the griddle frequently dusted off (kind of like sweeping the ice in the curling event), and finally the large circle of paper-thin lefse lifted delicately off the griddle with a narrow stick and place on a cloth to cool.  I have only one thing to woof – only a human being would be stupid enough to try this.

So, anyway, back to the Lefse Fest, where all the fun takes place.  That first day, it was just Momma and her stepdaughter, Talla.  Oh, and Momma’s Brittany Spaniel, Ben.  Like me, Ben was excited about the lefse making, what with the delicious smells and scraps that fall to the floor and all.  Here’s Ben, by the way.  Wasn’t he handsome?  And he was no dummy either as you will soon find out.


Momma and Talla had studied and shopped and prepped (under Ben’s watchful eye) and were finally ready to rock and “roll.”  And after many grueling hours of trial and error, they finally got the hang of it.  In fact, they ended up with a pretty good batch – maybe even podium worthy, Momma thought!  Satisfied, they left the lefse cooling on the kitchen counter while they went upstairs to relax and look at some old photos.

The only itsy-bitsy problem was that Ben (wisely) stayed in the kitchen, and when the humans came back, he had dragged almost all of the lefse off the counter with his paws and eaten it.  You talk about your woofdas!!!  Momma was literally sick – days of working like a dog (ahem!) all for nothing.  In fact, she almost cried.  To this day, she says she can still remember the glazed look in Ben’s eyes and the saliva running down his chin as he licked his chops.  To this day, say, “Score!”

*Okay, editors note here – I might not be perfect, but I have never done that (I can’t reach the counter, but that’s beside the point).  Anyway, you would think that Momma would appreciate me a little more, wouldn’t you?

So that was the ignominious beginning of the Fest.  Amazingly, it nevertheless survived.  In fact, the group soon expanded to include Talla’s sister, Tammy, and their daughters, Hannah and Tarra (not pictured).  It also soon expanded to include champagne.  And most importantly, it expanded to include me!  Here is a picture of all of us this year – including me with my “trapper hat.”  Cute, right?


The ladies have become so confident about the lefse making these days, that is has become almost an afterthought (especially after the champagne).  Now they usually incorporate a photo into the festivities for posting on Facebook so all their friends can see how talented they are and how much fun they’re having, like last year’s SKOL, seen here,


or do a video like this year’s “The Lefse Song.”  #soembarrassing!  (You can find and like it on Facebook.  I refuse to put it on my Blog.)

And next year they are planning on making a “movie” of the Fest.  Really.  With a director and staging and a plot and characters and everything.  In the meantime, here are some pics from behind the scenes, including outtakes that will never make the cut!


Stay tuned for next year’s Fest post.  I am thinking of calling it “As The Rolling Pin Turns.”

Lina, Chief Lefse Taste Tester