Summer Time!

Talk to any Alaskan and it’s bound to come up: the amazing weather we’ve been experiencing.  We went from this on May 17th…37 degrees and SNOWING!

IMG_0010To this the past 3 weeks…record breaking heat!


And, I’m not complaining one bit!  Summer has gotten off to a busy but incredible start!

It’s kind of bittersweet though that I am writing about our splendid summer on Summer Solstice, which arrived at 9:04 PM (Alaska Daylight Time) today but here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to since my last blog on May 5th (gulp!):

Immediately after school let out, I headed down to Seattle for a week.  I met my parents there and like always, we had to keep them busy.  So we worked on a few house projects (installed a shower and re-did a front porch) at my in-laws’ house.  It wasn’t all work and no play though.  We took some time to explore the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit which was absolutely breathtaking!

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Steve then came down to Seattle for a day and a half to visit his family before we jetted off to Las Vegas.  He attended a conference, while I sat by the pool catching up on my leisurely reading.

IMG_0075All of this travel and transition was tough on Pongo but thankfully, he was in good hands as Miss Sue was staying with him.  He was one lucky boy as she sure knows how to comfort him and dish out the love!

IMG_0070 IMG_0080Since we’ve returned, we’ve been out enjoying the heat and sunshine.

Dock-Jumping At Big Lake




I think someone is finally pooped after an hour and a half of playing in the water!

IMG_0103Happy Summer Solstice!

The Tail That Lost Its Wag

I never suspected that a solo pool party, at the new doggie pool here in Anchorage: Alaska K9 Aquatics could end in a case of cold tail, also known as limber tail.  One minute, Pongo was a happy-go-lucky, loving life, dripping wet canine and the next, a restless, droopy-tailed miserable little guy.

When we got home from our swim session, I wasn’t too sure what was going on.  He wouldn’t settle despite being exhausted; he would lay down for a minute or two, get up and shift positions–never really finding a comfortable position.  I thought his tail looked kind of funny just hanging there but it took Steve noticing something was off, too before it really hit home that something was wrong.  That night quality sleep was beyond our reach as Pongo tried to settle into slumber but just couldn’t. Besides constantly moving around trying to get comfortable, he was up 4-5 times that night needing to go outside.

The poor guy was miserable and was in no shape to attend daycare the next day.  I called him in “sick” and Miss Peg thankfully gave us a lead of what might be afflicting Pongo: cold tail.  After a Google search, we realized that this indeed was what Pongo was suffering from.  One website recommended giving the dog Rimadyl to help with the inflammation and pain.  So, that’s exactly what we did and ended up with a boy who could finally settle and slept the whole day Friday.


We just hope he can find that elusive wag soon…

Portage Valley

I am loving this thing called Spring Break!  It’s been so nice to have some free time to get out and enjoy the sunshine and beautiful state we live in.  Pongo and I drove down along the Turnagain Arm to spend some time snowshoeing in Portage Valley today.

Turnagain Arm

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Portage Valley

The aftermath of an avalanche that swept across Portage Glacier Road.




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Snowshoe hare prints


I had one happy dog on my hands today!




DSC02909Someone didn’t want to cooperate in having his picture taken…


And at the end of the day, I had one pooped boy ready for a nap.


The Screaming Monkey

Pongo received his all-time favorite Christmas gift this week.  Something that I think may eventually drive us batty but as long as it keeps him entertained, we’re good.

Besides the screaming monkey, Grandma Bev sent this amazing Christmas ornament…how did she know I was looking for Red Cattle Dog ornament but just didn’t find one I liked?  This is perfect!



Christmas 2012

Christmas this year was pretty low-key, at least for the 2 legged folk. Pongo, on the other hand was out of his mind with present-opening excitement. It was so much fun watching him tearing into his presents.




As well as helping us open some of our presents.



The only one who wasn’t too keen on having Pongo help open her presents was Puna.


She actually channeled her inner-kitty, after partaking in some Matanuska Thunderstruck Catnip, and let Pongo have it when he tried to “help.” Go Puna!



Pongo loved all of his new toys.




And, was one happy boy at the end of the day.


And All The Stockings Were Hung

Well, sort of…

I was excited to hang Pongo’s new stocking this year that my Mom and I worked so diligently on over Thanksgiving.  It was a melding of three creative minds (Steve gave his input throughout the process) and one expert seamstress (that would be my mom, not me) that brought into fruition Pongo’s new stocking.  I am very proud of how it turned out and love looking at it hanging on the stocking shelf.



But, I really didn’t think about what it would be like decorating for Christmas this year until I actually started doing it.  As I pulled out the stockings to hang, I realized I am going to be hanging two less stockings this year.  I could feel the tears starting to weld up and a lump forming in my throat: Reid and Kona were not going to be here to celebrate Christmas with us this year.  In the span of a year, we went from six of us to just four of us.


I am trying not to dwell on our losses this past year, as I know Christmas brought Reid so much joy and I need to hold onto those good memories as we celebrate this year.  And while the stocking shelf is less two stockings, I know someone is awfully excited about Santa coming and what surprises he may bring!




Giving Thanks

I am so grateful that we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents this year. They flew all the way from 80 degree Brownsville, Texas to 5 degree Anchorage, Alaska to spend a frigid 10 days with us.

Mom and I spent 2 days preparing a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal (minus the orange salad that I just cannot seem to master-sorry Steve).

Even Pongo got to enjoy a small Thanksgiving meal of turkey and sweet potatoes.


Race To The Finish

I’ve really procrastinated on cleaning up the garden this year; I guess I was hoping that the longer I waited, the longer summer/fall would hang on.  I knew this weekend was it and I needed to get it done…but after a much needed afternoon nap.

When I woke up, ready to hit the yard work, I looked out the window and realized the clock was ticking.

I don’t think Steve nor I have ever moved as fast as we did to get the yard cleaned up and “winterized.”

A not-so-happy Steve having to rake wet, heavy leaves.

Pongo wasn’t much help.  His main objective for this afternoon was to play as much frisbee as possible.  He was intent on making sure that we knew that too as for each rake we made, we would find a frisbee in our way and a dog staring at us waiting…

Our last glimpse of summer past.

Workout Buddy

Well…at least in Pongo’s mind.  I’m trying to get this body ready for our cruise, by taking my sister’s recommendation of torturing myself with Beachbody’s Insanity Workout but there always seems to be a dog in my way!

Gotta love him though for wanting to be right by Mama and right in the middle of the action.