Disappearing Acts

Baffled.  That’s the only word to describe how we are feeling right now.

Pongo spent all day at the vet today.  Besides charming the pants off of them, he was also loaded up with barium for a barium contrast study.  The poor guy is seriously going to be glowing from all the x-rays he’s had over the past week; just today, he probably had a total of 10 x-rays because they were taking images every 30-60 minutes. They were trying to determine 1) if there is even a pit in him and 2) if there is, where the heck is it?

What did we learn from this 8 hour procedure?  That some how, that pit either slipped past us in our beyond diligent potty breaks on a leash and, with much disgust, bagging and squishing every bowel movement with the ever high hopes of feeling that annoyingly evasive nectarine pit.  Or, he’s miraculously digested the pit.  Or…and this is the one that is the most frustrating: maybe he never ate it.  I can’t tell you how many times I have run that dreadful scene through my head: pit drops, Pongo, in one fell swoop, scoops it up as I am yelling at him to leave it!  I swear.  I saw him eat it.  Our vet is pretty darn sure though that Pongo no longer has a nectarine pit bouncing around in his little body.

While we are breathing a small, tentative sigh of relief, we’re just wondering…where did it go?!?


It’s A Big One!

Has it really been five years?  I guess so…although it sure doesn’t feel like it!  Our sweet boy, Pongo turns 5 today!  As always, we made sure to celebrate his birthday in style.

The morning started out with some yoga to warm up and stretch things out.




Then, on to some serious ball playing.



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After a good game of ball and one tired pup, we headed home for a birthday breakfast surprise, which…

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…was gone in under 3 seconds.


And what is a birthday without donning the beloved (or not so beloved, in Pongo’s opinion) birthday hat?

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We ended the celebration with Pongo’s favorite birthday and Christmas job: unwrapping the gifts!




So Happy

This past week was a rough one for Pongo and me.  First, Steve left town to work out in the field and we all know how Pongo deals with Papa leaving: not very good at all.


On top of that, I was dealing with a nasty stomach bug and had little energy to do much of anything with Pongo.  He was one very bored pup this week.  But, I do have to commend him for handling it well and giving Mama the time to rest and recoup.

IMG_0789So today, with Papa back in town and me feeling so much better than I have the past 5 days, we took to the road for a little fun and exploration.  Pongo was beyond thrilled to be riding in the truck, off on an adventure to find some good snowshoeing.

We now have one tired and content boy.


A New Year

It’s always in the back of my mind: I need to blog!  But lately, life has gotten in the way and not always in a bad way.  Here’s a brief overview of what our little family has been up to the past 2 months.


In early November, Steve and I spent 6 relaxing days enjoying the sun, warmth and beach of Oahu, Hawaii.  It was heaven!

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IMG_0628While Mama and Papa were basking in the sun, Pongo enjoyed spending time with his beloved Miss Sue.

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November also brought with it the dreaded ice that we always seem to get every winter.  It is impossible to do anything outside because it’s slick as snot and deadly!  When cabin fever made us all crazy, we braved the ice for a few moments of play outside….Pongo, in the booties he loathes.



December finally brought some much needed snow but unfortunately, that did not protect Pongo from the ice it covered.  The cone of shame came out, once again, to keep the boy from licking a badly cut and infected paw pad.

IMG_0723We are finally on the mend from that wound but are now on the lookout for some booties that will cover-up all his pads, not irritate his dew claw and STAY ON (suggestions are always welcome).

December also means Christmas.  While Pongo does not understand the meaning of Christmas, he sure does understand that when the tree and stockings come out, presents are soon to follow!

DSC_0250 DSC_0256I have never seen a dog so excited when it comes time to open presents.  I would even call it manic!  He was all over the place: ripping open his presents, trying to sneak by Papa, the present gate-keeper, to grab at any present he could get his mouth on.  It’s often more fun to watch him in his frenzy than to open the gifts ourselves.

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Here’s Puna watching the madness from her safe place.


Pongo’s least favorite gift.


The Christmas photo-bomb.


And after it is all over, we have one pooped boy!



Each year when January comes around, resolutions are to be made; things I want to see happen and goals I want to accomplish.  One of my New Year’s resolutions is to post at least one blog a month.  And by saying this “out loud,” I am hoping it will keep me accountable.  I would love to and will try to post more but right now, I’m trying to keep an attainable goal.  Baby steps, right?!?

Happy New Year and wishing everyone a safe and wonderful 2014!



Why did he have to be right on this one?  I chose the shortest train ride available, on Saturday, to take my visiting parents on.  Steve was conflicted about leaving Pongo in the car, in Portage our departure depot to Grandview because “something could happen” that would delay us.  It was a four hour train ride out and back.  I assured him Pongo would be fine-in the hundred or so train rides I was on while serving and tour guiding for Princess Tours, we only were delayed a couple of times.  Everything was going to be fine.

We left Portage and made our way up to Spencer Glacier, our first stop.  The views were gorgeous despite the less than ideal weather.



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We dropped off about half the train load at Spencer Glacier and continued onward to Grandview.  All of a sudden we slowed to a crawl.  We overhear talk on the radio that there’s a black bear up ahead.  We plaster ourselves against the windows in hopes of catching a glimpse of the bear.  The train continues to creep around a corner and then stops.

Cue bear…


DSC_0189 DSC_0186 DSC_0225We sit for quite awhile watching the bear and snapping pictures.  I thought, “How nice of them to give us so much time to bear watch.”  Steve then made the comment, “Something’s wrong.”  I retorted with, “No, nothing’s wrong.  They are just giving the tourists the ultimate Alaska experience.”

Cue conductor…

“Well, folks I’m going to be completely honest with you, and this has never happened before…we’ve run out of fuel.”

WHAT?!?  How can you run out of fuel? Ooohhhh…someone is going to be in big trouble for not doing his/her job!

We sit for awhile, continuing to watch the bear who is giving us quite the show while the railroad figures out what to do.  Their first idea was to drop one of the cars so our car could be pulled up to Grandview but they decided they didn’t have enough power with just one engine to do that.  So, back to Spencer Glacier we coasted.

Once we returned to Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, we were told we had a couple hours to walk around while the railroad sent an engine from Anchorage.  Our directive was to be back by 5:00 PM.  I really hoped that they could get an engine to us quickly-our boy was sitting in the car, waiting for us!

We unloaded and began the 1.3 mile hike to Spencer Lake.  As we were walking we all realized that it felt good to get out, stretch our legs and walk to an absolutely gorgeous lake with front seat views of Spencer Glacier.



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Fortunately, the railroad was able to get an engine to us quickly and we were on our way to Portage.  We ended up being only an hour late and Pongo was just fine.  And even though we didn’t make it to our final destination, we all agreed that things worked out for the best as we were able to experience an amazing piece of Alaska.

A Quiltmaker’s Gift

“Is there anything you want?” my Mom asks, as we walk through a quilt shop during our Seattle visit in May.

That is a dangerous question to be asking as we are surrounded by hundreds of beautiful fabrics.  Ideas start racing through my head and there it is…a quilt for the camper!

We’ve been using an alternative down comforter with a duvet the past two seasons.  I’ve come to realize what a pain-in-the-you-know-what it is to have to wash it every time we return from a trip because we have a very hairy dog, who insists he has to sleep on the 48×78 bed with Mama and Papa.  Having something easy to throw in the wash and place back on the bed would be heavenly!

Mom asks what kind of pattern I might like and what kind of color palettes I’m interested in. Now, the Libra comes out in me: I’m overwhelmed with all the decisions and the hundreds of fabrics to choose from.  I know I want to stick with oranges to match the pillow covers we already have but besides that, I have NO idea.  After looking around, it hit me that I knew exactly what I wanted.  I pulled up a picture on my phone and showed Mom; she laughed out loud but didn’t seem too surprised.  It was a picture of the quilt she had made for the upcoming Friends of Pets Quilt Auction in October.

IMG_0200This pattern was perfect!  Now, I only needed to find material in the color scheme I wanted for the trailer.  After spending several hours in the quilt shop, I think I had found material that would come together to make a fun and visually interesting quilt for the trailer.

I love that my Mom was willing to put the pedal to the metal in order to get the quilt done before Steve and I head out for our next trip to Haines.  She completed it in record time and when I opened the box that arrived yesterday, my heart filled with love and joy.  I knew a lot of love and hard work was put into this beautiful quilt.

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                                  Many, many thanks to my creative and generous Mom                                    because every Airstream needs a Cattle Dog quilt!

Belated Birthday Celebration

I admit it: Pongo is one spoiled dog.  Who in their right mind throws their dog a belated birthday celebration because Mama and Papa were out of town on his 4th birthday last Sunday?  We do.

Here’s Pongo doing what he loves to do when he sees presents–ripping into them!


As you can tell, this was not his favorite present.


A new bobble-ball to replace the beat-up, chewed-to-pieces old one.


And, a new bully-stick.



I think the best part of the celebration though was Grandma Bev’s present, which I had never heard of before…Frosty Paws.


Oh boy, was Pongo in doggie heaven!

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And 30 seconds later–it’s gone!  I wonder if dogs get brain-freeze?


Pongo was one happy boy after his birthday treat and celebration!


Off The Bed!

When it comes to Pongo following directions, I am usually pretty firm.  He does it or goes to time out.  I just couldn’t bring myself to pick him up and carry him to time out when he wasn’t listening to a word I was saying, as I was trying to make the bed.  He was totally cracking me up and being an overly-tired goofball!

Happy Belated Birthday, Sweet Boy!

Our now more adult looking, more mature (at times) Cattle Dog turned 4 yesterday.  It was the first birthday Steve and I were not with him to celebrate.  Instead, we were up in Fairbanks for Steve’s high school reunion, enjoying the Fairbanks’ midnight sun.  This picture was taken around 10:30 PM.


This year, there was no crazy dog lady baking cookies or cupcakes for his daycare class. Instead, he spent a quiet birthday with the other love of his life, Miss Sue.  On the agenda for the birthday boy’s day:

1) Sleep in since the day before he had to get up at the ungodly hour of 6:00 AM; he was not happy about that at all!


2) Take a nap because he had been up only a couple hours and it was needed.  I honestly think there are times when he is the laziest Cattle Dog around (not complaining though)!


3) Take a walk with Miss Sue.


4) Play a little frisbee.

Overall, I think he had a very good birthday despite Mama and Papa’s absence.

Happy Belated Birthday To Our Crazy Boy, Pongo!