Trending Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lina, Hoping to go viral!



Big News All Around

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


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

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

New Inspawrational Notecards!

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

My New Email

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

My New Book

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

Lina, Panting With News!






Bow Wows on a Stick

On Sunday Momma and I hosted a doggie boarding class at our place led by Sara of https://www.AdventureIsBarking.com, and it was a huge hit.  Dogs and humans alike enjoyed riding on the boards — some of them for the first time — and socializing with each other.  We had a nice little (diverse!) group, and Sara said all the doggies did very well.

Dr. Becca (https://www.perpetualmotionanimalchiro.com) and my BFF, Winnie, were the first to arrive.  Winnie was new at boarding, so Becca asked me to go out with her for support.  As an experienced boarder,  I was totally comfortable and showed Winnie and the others there was nothing to be afraid of.  (Momma, who can’t seem to get over my one tiny shortcoming:  “Except perhaps for actually getting in the water.”)

Winnie turned out to be a real star, and here are some photos of us on Momma’s new kayak/paddleboard.

Also in our group were two gigantic (at least to me) German Shepherds who were no strangers to the water.  They were new to the boards, however, and the female, Camilia, was quite vocal about wanting to be on the same board as her brother!  They soon got the hanging 20 of it, and later had an absolute ball diving off the dock.

Another classmate was Arlo, a handsome pit bull and beagle mix who was also new to boarding.  Arlo was a natural, and I think he and his momma have been bitten by the board bug!  Here is our little flotilla in action.


Momma’s boarder friend, Lori, and her dog, Sam, also showed up.  Sammy does not like the water though (and Lori knows this – Momma suspects she came over just for the wine), and watched the action unfold from the shore.

F44CF12F-6470-4ECD-A9DF-337C8CB9E55ASara thought the class was a huge success and has plans to do more.  She and Momma are both big fans of Helping Paws MN (https://helpingpaws.org), and want to partner with them for an event later this summer.  As you can see, Sara’s Griff, Kayak, lived up to his water-vessel-inspired name!

Momma, who is universally known as an annoying helicopter mom, started out being a real pain in the butt.  From the moment others arrived, she would scoop me up and stare down the visiting dogs as if they were mass murderers.  She finally, reluctantly, set me down after Becca, Sara and Lori insisted, but was never far a-paw. As you’re all aware by now, I know her like a book, and she did not want to leave the wine party (which was how she viewed it) and make another trip to the vet (the expense!).  For the record, I had no trouble hanging out with the big dogs!

Speaking of helicopters, we also had a nice visit from Marine One Pilot Congressman KlineC2C3038E-015C-42B7-A42B-BBCC133B93CD, his wife Vicki and their dog, Lucy. Although they did not partake in the class, Lucy and I played for a bit, and Momma (always the publicity hound), snagged a picture with them.

Lina, Model Student


Pawscript:  Momma wants me to thank Jim, Lori’s friend, for his help after the party/class.  It seems like Momma and Jim like each other.  Just woofin’.






Wine and Canines!

Hello dog and wine lovers everywhere!  Momma and I have just wrapped up our first stint as a vendor at the Parley Lake annual “Bark into Summer – Canine in the Vines!”  And I have to woof, it was divine!

Momma and I got there early, and set up shop.  As usual we sold Lina Unleashed and assorted note cards.  We also offered as free gifts my famous “Aim High” postcards and bookmarks announcing the coming release of Sit Stay Pray.


Soon we were joined by Dr. Becca, my sitter and owner of PerPetual Motion Animal Chiropractic.  She brought along materials about her practice and also models showing dog and cat skeletal systems.  The kids especially liked those!

She also helped care for me, of course, adjusting my halter which was too loose and reminding Momma to take me along just as she was about to drive off without me at the end of the day.  Not making this up, folks.  Why do you think I write this blog?

Best of all, “Helping Paws” was there!  HP is a wonderful organization which (as stated on their website, https://helpingpaws.org) “breeds, trains, and places assistance dogs with people who have physical disabilities and veterans and first responders with PTSD.”  If there is a better cause, I don’t know what it is.  Momma and I hope you will consider making a donation.

The “Helping Paws” Goldens did demonstrations on center stage of tasks they do for their owners including bracing to help them get on their feet and retrieving a dropped cell phone!  I even made friends with two of them, Paladin and Ripley.  So sweet and so smart.  Here are a few photos.

We were also happy to see familiar faces and businesses there including “Top Dog Country Club,” where I herded sheep last summer, NutriSource, a dog food company based in Perham, Minnesota, and Chuck and Don’s Pet Food and Supply Store.  Here is a picture of Nicci and me from Chuck and Don’s.  B412F8B3-6576-472A-B36D-1BA0E12B7C6FShe remembered me from “Yappy Hour” at Momma’s golf club a couple of years ago.

As the day wore on, we visited nearby vendors and did a little shopping.  Momma was in an uncommonly generous mood, and even bought me a new lake-themed collar and one for the 4th of July in my favorite color – Democrat Blue.


Last but not least, we spent lots of time at Sara’s “Adventure is Barking” area.  Sara offered expert training tips and conducted a doggie yoga class with her Griff, Kayak. Also, for $5.00, dogs and their humans could try out Sara’s agility training course.  Suffice it to say, Momma made the most of it and likely wore out our welcome.  Here I am in one of my countless trips around the course.

Sara also brought her paddleboard along.  0541827B-510A-44A8-B6DA-951D17D70DC2Not only is it Kayak’s safe space, but she also wanted to advertise AIB, which offers outdoor training and adventures, and the boarding event we are having at The Point next Sunday!  Stay tuned for details.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we were treated to music by “The Flannel Shirts.”  We also enjoyed the sculptures dotted around the grounds, the food trucks and, of course, Momma and Dr. Becca tucked into the Parley Lake Winery wine.

All in all, Canines in the Vines was “pawsome” and we are so glad we participated!  Here are a few more pictures.

Lina, Making the Circuit






Dear readers, I have startling news.  The other day, I was bitten on my paw and nose by another dog while at doggie daycare.  Can you believe it?  If there ever was a dog who deserved this less, I don’t know who it would be.  Like most Democrats, I am an avowed pacifist and did absolutely nothing to provoke this unwarranted attack.  In fact, this is so unexpected that it just begs the questions — would the bullying have taken place if it wasn’t for the bully-in-chief in the White House setting a bad example?  By the way, I hear he doesn’t even have a dog — who can trust a guy like that?

Momma was in the middle of a round of golf when she got the call from daycare, and, despite the news, secretly hoped she could finish her game.  For once, she was playing well and plus she was trying out a new driver.  But alas, the manager told her that even though I seemed okay, she should have me checked over, and she reluctantly set out to get me. 

When Momma arrived, the manager passed me over to her and she was mortified to see that my little paw was covered in dried blood (the wound to the nose was superficial).  By now, Momma was more than a little angry and upset over the attack.  Would she ever dare leave me there again?  Would she have to hire a body guard?

Trying to calm down, she held and petted me as the manager explained what had happened.  The other dog had, in a split second — and for no reason — hauled off and bitten me on the paw and nose.  He further explained that the daycare has a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior and that the dog had been forever banned from the facility.  Yippie — take that you little bully, I was thinking!  Although I am a big believer in world peace and think we should all be able to get along, I really didn’t want to be looking over my shoulder all the time.  And Momma was thinking Yippie — I don’t have to miss any more golf!

Luckily the vet (another hunk — I don’t know how she does it) IMG_6954saw us right away and determined that my injury was limited to a split pad on my left front paw.  (Momma:  “Thank God it was not your pawdographing paw, Lina!”).

He said that we mainly had to be concerned about infection at this point, but that I should heal in a couple of weeks.  The doc also told Momma that the bandage should be removed the next day, and she could either bring me back or remove it herself.  Pretty cute, isn’t it?


By the next day, Momma had determined she would remove the bandage herself (what if the vet charged extra?).  Reading her mind, as I always do, I started whining.  This was code for “please take me to the vet and let them do it,” but Momma was having none of it.  Here I am enduring another Momma-klutz moment.

After much tugging and pulling of fur and heart-stopping slicing of tape and gauze, she finally got the bandage off.   Unfortunately, she still had to cover the paw with a little baby sock that the vet recommended to prevent my licking the wound.

Attaching the sock to my tiny paw was another mind boggling task for Momma.  In the end, she found a way to keep it on by holding the sock up with one hand and wrapping the adhesive tape tightly around the top with the other.  The result was a bulky mess with a tourniquet top and the sock itself so bunched up I could hardly walk.  I can tell it is going to be a long couple of weeks.


This will work well …

No problem, I decided — it would give me time to get going on my new cause.

Lina, Founder – #antidoggiebullying Movement




Coming Soon — Sit Stay Pray!


Lina speaks again . . .

Momma and I have exciting news to share with you.  My new book will be released this September.  After much agonizing and paw-wringing, I have decided to call it Sit Stay Pray.  I think it’s perfect!  Sit and Stay are pretty easy to understand — I want you to sit down with my new book, stay for awhile and enjoy.  And, last but not least, I’m asking you to pray for the little Aussie.  With all of my fur-raising dilemma-adventure-dramas with Momma, my life has not gotten any easier, and I can use all the help I can get.

I am pretty excited about Sit Stay Pray for a number of reasons.  First, like my award-winning Lina Unleashed, it’s tail-wagging good!  If you love dogs and/or struggle with over-shopping, political lunacy, modern-day technology, caring for an adorable dog like me, or just someone who enjoys a good laugh — this book is for you!  But don’t take my woof for it.  Early reviews describe SSP as “delicious,” “pitch perfect,” “clever” and “hilarious!”

Oh, and the best reason of all?  We will be making a big donation to  Minnesota’s Animal Humane Society from the proceeds for Sit Stay Pray.  So you get a great read and help thousands of animals find homes.  It just doesn’t get any better!

Momma has big plans for the book, including a launch (did someone say launch?) pawrty, and several other book events and pawdographings.  I’m sure wine will be included.  Details will follow and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Lina, Author and Puplanthropist




Just Shoot Me Now

Momma and I continue our frenzied preparations for my sequel to Lina Unleashed.  I think I’ve settled on a title, but want to “chew” it over for awhile before making a final decision.  (Actually, “Just Shoot Me Now” sounds perfect at the moment.)

Along with our other new book tasks — submitting the manuscript to our publisher, hiring a publicist and a reviewer, and begging for endorsements (see Pawscript) — there was the dreaded photo shoot.  (For a refresher on my past disastrous photo shoots, check out https://wordpress.com/post/linasdogblog.com/4328 and https://wordpress.com/post/linasdogblog.com/6202.)

This time it was not the shoot itself, but the preparation that was the problem.  Momma had decided that the best place for our photos would be on the beach.  Yes, the beach.  Where dogs are not allowed.  As this sign clearly states.


IMG_6260Despite the sign (and the law), Momma led me down to the beach for a few “preliminary” photos.  (“I don’t think anyone will mind us taking a few cheesecake shots for your next book, Lina.”)  Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I have never heard of the cheesecake photo exception and sensed that this was not going to end well.  Here I am, wondering where Uncle Chuck, Esq. is when I need him.

I was right to be concerned.  When Momma finally gathered me up to go home, a very angry man marched over to us and demanded to know if Momma was aware that dogs are not allowed on the beach.  Momma allowed that she did know that, and Angry Man retorted, “Oh, and I suppose the law doesn’t apply to you?”  (I wisely offered no comment.)

Knowing she had been busted, Momma tried to keep her cool and explained that she was just taking some pictures of me.  This did not placate Angry Man at all, and he followed up with, “Well I have grandchildren that I need to protect.”

Momma was by now furious and snarled, “well, thank you very much for policing the area.”

“That’s my job!”  countered Angry Man, whose anger, even I thought, was all out of proportion with our crime.  (Momma:  “Alleged crime, Lina.”)

Despite our little fracas, Momma decided she had found the perfect setting for our photos.

The shoot itself went well, and we weren’t arrested or even yelled at.  Turns out our photographer, Frank Steiger, is a retired Marco Island police officer who kept us in line (and my paws off the sand).

Frank did a terrific job and was gentle and kind and gave me treats.  Here’s a sneak peek of his photos for my book.



Lina, Still Dodging Bullets


Pawscript:  By the way, Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain), was a little “overwhelmed” at the moment and had to decline writing a testimonial about my book.  Won’t he be sorry when it’s a runaway best seller.  Just woofin’.