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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.

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Can you stand it?

Lina, Feeling Cared For!

WOOFDA!

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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

WOOFDA!

1

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?

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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,

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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

WOOFDA!  YOU BETCHA!

8

First Year Anniversary Video!

Yesterday, November 7, was the fourth anniversary of the day Momma kidnapped me (okay she bought me, but still) from my perfectly good home in Florida.  As I may have woofed before, she jetted down to Sarasota to check me out as though I were a piece of jewelry or an article of clothing.  She didn’t even think to bring along a doggie carrier, a collar or even a little treat.

Anyway, she decided she wanted me (I did look like a little accessory after all), wrote out a check, plopped me in the car, and high-tailed it out of town just like she knew what she was doing.  She didn’t.

Who had any idea of the wild ride I was in for!  In honor of the anniversary, I thought you might enjoy another look at a little video of our first year together.

Lina, Still Momma’s Sidekick

WOOFDA!

1

Setting the Bar High!

After a brief break, I have resumed my agility training.  And if I do woof so myself, I’m really killing it.  We continue to train with Sara who has started a new company called Adventure Is Barking!  Her focus is on training dogs outside the classroom environment.  Momma and I noticed on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/adventureisbarking, that there are even pictures of dogs paddleboarding!  Well, this really caught Momma’s attention – in her (not always rational) mind I practically invented doggie boarding.  She could already picture me as the star of the class and demonstrating how to hang twenty for the beginners.

Here I am waiting for Momma for one of our own barking adventures and with AIB founder, Sara ~

For the last two training sessions, we met Sara at Flying Cloud Dog Park in Eden Prairie.  One day was rainy and one was sunny, but both were bitterly cold.  In case you haven’t heard, we had a really crazy fall here in Minni with off-the-charts low temps, almost continual rain, some snow, and gale force winds – a textbook case of climate change if I’ve ever seen one.  (“Maybe you could get a job at CNN, Lina.”)

Despite the extreme conditions, the training went well and I enjoyed practicing the weave poles, the bar jump, and the training tunnel.  Because this park had equipment I hadn’t used before, we also tried some new stuff like sitting on the Paws Table and transversing the dog walk and frame, all of which were a bit of a yawn for a quick learner like me.  But whatever – I went along with it just to make Sara and Momma happy.  Here I am doing the circuit.

When we were about to leave, Sara informed us that next time we’d go to an indoor park.  She said it’d be more fun for me because that park has more equipment.  Then she added, “And it’s all for fun anyway isn’t it since we’re not training Lina to compete.”

Woof, what?   Momma and I stared at Sara in disbelief.  This was, in fact, exactly what we had in mind.  (I still had my heart set on that blue ribbon at Westminster, and Momma had hers set on the resultant dogfood endorsement – and maybe even a TV show.)

Sara immediately noticed the change in our moods.  She was already beginning to suspect that Momma did not have the tightest grip on reality and now she was beginning to wonder about me, too.  Realizing that she might have a “situation” on her hands, she quickly added, “Or I guess we could.”

Now we’re woofin’!  Westminster, here we come!

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Lina, Still Aiming High!

WOOFDA!

 

1

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Exciting news – our local paper, the Sun/ThisWeek, did a story on Momma and me last week!  It’s a nice puff piece about our relationship and the writing of linasdogblog.com and Lina Unleashed.

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As you can imagine, this didn’t happen by accident.  Momma had been trying, like forever, to get some ink about my Foreword INDIES 2017 Book of the Year award for Lina Unleashed, to no avail.  Never one to give up, though, she finally made a connection with Editor John Gessner and went to work on him.  (I won’t go into the back story on how this happened, but what is that old saying – “Everything in life is pawlitics?”)

After pestering him with numerous emails and attachments, Mr. Gessner finally cried uncle and called Momma for an interview.  Even though she was quite nervous, she managed to sound coherent and even uttered a quotable phrase or two.  When we actually saw the article in print – especially on the front page!! –  we were over the moon!  The only teensy-weensy “bone” I have to pick is that Momma takes a little too much credit for her role in the writing process of my blog and my book.  I’m just wondering, as the true author, why wasn’t interviewed?  Perhaps a little protest is in order?  (“Spoken like a true Democrat, Lina.”)

In case you’d like to take a look, here it is.  By the way, Momma forgot to mention in the interview that part of the proceeds from Lina Unleashed go to The Animal Humane Society!  (I’m always mopping up after her.)

 

Lina, #author #LinaUnleashed #linasdogblog

WOOFDA!

 

 

 

 

3

Paw Post!

As you may recall, I have had a sore paw and have been doctoring for about three weeks now (Momma:  “And thrown away about $500, Lina”).  It is getting better but still needs some TLC (Tender Lina Care).  Nobody seems to know what’s wrong.  Was it injured herding sheep?  Chasing my big orange ball?  Gripping the paddle board too hard while hanging 20?  Anyway, I have been taking it easy – no ruff-housing for me lately, although we can’t seem to forego the boarding.

Anyway, last weekend Momma went out of town (again) and left me in the very capable hands and paws of Dr. Becca and her dog, Winnie.  Becca administered my meds and Winnie and I played gently together.  By the time they left, I was feeling much better.

Here I am soaking the hurt paw in Epsom Salts (not to be confused with having a pawdicure – that would be SO Momma) with my support dog, Winnie.  And today Momma cancelled my re-check with the vet – something to do with the cost, I assume, so I can only hope and pray that I’m healed!

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Lina, Patient

WOOFDA!