Dates To Remember

As I recently mentioned, this past week my grandparents in Michigan celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary…I was of course the star attraction at the festivities.  I also recently alluded to the fact that I had been at my new (and final) forever home about a year.  Well, as it turns out, it was exactly a year ago today that I made my first trip to the home of Sambuca.  Those of you who have been reading this blog since Montana started it might recall these pics of that day:

These cover those first instances of my ownership of this new family.  From crawling out from under the bench at Orphans (where I was adopted), to our drive home, to our first walk and finally my first steps into my new abode.

And over the course of these last 365 days or so, I have had a lot of adventures:

Oh, by the way, the above is not my work but Montana’s!  Gotcha!  I have heard some disparaging remarks about my behavior and all I have to say is I have a lot to live up to.   AND I have taken full advantage of my first year to show my aptitude and worthiness of joining this prestigious pack.  But, I still have a lot to learn…from Sammy and my sister MoTor.  Sammy and Banshee have the (dis?)advantage of living in the dark ages when cell phones didn’t have proper cameras so all their exploits were not captured.  Remember the entire banister being destroyed?  An entire kitchen table eaten?  The futon turned wrestling mat turned into unrecognizable bits?  The day the pet sitters came to witness a crate disaster and Banshee running around free?  I thought not.  Just because it is not in a blog does NOT mean it did not happen people :).  You must remember I am the princess.

But Montana…

well, she is my idol…and mentor from afar.


In fact, I have never actually met the walrus below (or any of the other XXXX? from this artist) because she was such the art critic that she modified these pieces as only she could do….not that I wouldn’t have my own take on the work if given the chance – just saying she was a special girl.


So, as sad is it was that she went to college at such a young age I am truly fortunate to be able to follow in her footsteps and have done my best over this past year to do her proud.  I hope she is having fun at school and is proud of what I have done to live up to her legacy.


The Tempest

P.S.  I know Sammy is proud of me…even when he rats me out I know in my heart of hearts he is really cheering me on as he tries to garner brownie points with my parents.  In fact…I am pretty sure he sometimes gives me ideas.

What a Waterfull Tradition

Recently, the scribe has been looking through old photos for a future post related to the Family Traditions theme.  Many of you may know that classical musicians often do variations on a theme – well this is similar but not really classic in any way.

In the meantime, I have a little story to tell from this evening.

See, I was once again minding my own business while walking along the seat wall arbor (which by the way, is a horrible name since it is such a good walking path) when I came along this plant saucer filled with water.  As it turns out, I was a bit parched and took the opportunity to take a lap or two of water, after which I realized it was in my way.  So I took matters into my own … well … mouth.  The outcome of this exchange is best captured in the following short video:

Funny thing – it was a very similar sequence of events that first captured my parent’s (maybe Dad more so) when they first met Montana.  This was before my time of course but they went to Orphans of the Storm (where they got me) and after a few failed introductions of other dogs with Sammy – a story for another time – they were directed to a puppy show at a local pet store.  These were all little guys and gals saved from kill shelters down south.  My parents were eyeing a black lab/pit bull mix when this little crackpot came marching through, grabbed the water bowl in her mouth and proceeded to dump the whole thing as she made off with the bowl…and their hearts.

Here she is on that historic day (after all, without her, I would not have a blog to add to!).

Turns out, us dogs aren’t the only ones interested in water.  Here are some pictures of Boomer drinking out of a glass.  Just like I did early this year (see:  Unfortunately, in that day and age, the iPhone cameras didn’t have slow-mo, and to be truthful I am surprised they even had an iPhone way back then.  And based on the amount of pictures of the cats and young Sammy and Banshee they didn’t have (or know how to use) one of these digital wonders back in the day.

Drinking out of glasses is apparently something else our family likes to do.  The following story is a part of the pre-dog era of my parent’s life so it stems more from our oral tradition as it has been handed down (not digitally but aurally) from generation to generation.  With that caveat out of the way, here is the story in its entirety.

Mom and Dad were in grad school back in Ann Arbor – I got to visit there this week and have so many stories to tell about my grandparents 64th wedding anniversary but I swore I wouldn’t get distracted so you’ll have to wait for those adventures (spoiler alert – there are skunks involved 😉 ).  Busy as they were, they did take time every night to catch some zzz’s.   But Dad has this habit of having a glass of water near him as he sleeps in case he wakes up parched – like I was earlier tonight!!!  Anyhow, there they were fast asleep when out of the darkness a solid object struck one and then the other in the head.  This alone would be a rude way to wake up, but along with the thud came a shower of ICE COLD water.  Here the story has a couple of different versions but suffice it to say, one of them sat up in bed and questioned why the other one did such a rude thing.  In fact, it may have been both simultaneously.  In any case, the lights were turned on and shivering together they looked around to figure out what might have transpired (or conspired?) to disrupt their sleep.  Sitting on the head board (where the glass of water had been) was perched the orange stripped feline: Boomhauer, aka Boomer – maybe with a smirk on his cute little furry face.  Looking across the bed, one of them found the glass that had bonked them awake and despite the skull-throb both were feeling the weapon was devoid of any blood.

So, the new tradition was not to bring water in a glass but something like a thermos so more spills would not occur.  Some say it wasn’t actually after this occasion but rather after a second (or third) repeat of water spillage during the night that the custom changed.  With that said, after the cats went off to college the nightly glass filled with water tradition has returned.  Which reminds me, I still own them an act of revenge…I am on it Tammy.  Give me time.

The Tempest

Family Traditions: Epilogue Part 2

Then there are traditions I would rather not partake in, but yet, as a dedicated family member, I power through them – or at I least try.

For instance, nail trimming.  I may have already told you about my dislike of this tradition but since my parents insisted that my dewclaws would not get worn during walks/runs I gracefully succumbed to this rite of passage (and I wasn’t even drugged!):


Sammy inspected the results.  I was actually kind of upset but hid it admirably:


until Sammy started laughing at me:


Then I may have had a bit of a fit.  Not because of adhering to stupid (yep stupid) family traditions, but that he made fun of me!


Then, there is this thing they just started doing to me (which Sammy says happened to him too back in the day) in which they totally dress me up.  Apparently it is an attempt to try to get me used to being “handled” and taught who is “boss”.  DUH!!!  I am the princess so therefore I should not be handled as I am the boss!  But, after consulting with Sammy (and mildly distracted by a chew toy), I let them play their little game:

But we all know…I WILL get them back for these crappy “traditions”.

The Tempest

Family Traditions: Epilogue, Part 1

So if you happen to have read (or rather looked) at the last blog you may have concluded:

  1. My parents aren’t very creative
  2. Routine is a part of our (their) life
  3. Yawn.  Boring!
  4. My dad always has his iPhone and currently has a humongous archive of dog pictures.

Well, if this is what you took from the last post then A+ for you!  4/4.  100%.  Gold Star! Etcetera, etcetera.

So that is why I decided every addition to a family should bring their own thing to the table and make it a part of the family tradition.  Montana brought the jumping and leg lifting.  Both of which I am currently working on, but can’t quite hit the heights she did – that is with the jumping.   Me being taller and all, gives me the advantage of marking higher on a tree or hydrant or what have you.

So, you may be asking yourself (aside from how many times is she going to start a paragraph with so) what have I decided to pony up for the family.  Well, first off, both “pony” and “up” are really not applicable in this case.  First off, I doubt a pony could get to where I go and second it is actually the opposite of up.  As you may recall, I am a tree climber – and couch climber and…- well, the point being is I DO like to get up to things.  But I don’t expect my brother is in the condition to do any climbing – dad has to carry him up the stairs for bed like every other night – so I don’t see him getting up any trees.  And, being the considerate one, I don’t think it is fair to expect any future siblings to have these abilities – much like the amount of air Montana could get when she was on a walk.

So, with no further ado, my tradition is crawling under things!  My favorite is decks but a bench or table is just as good, just not as challenging.  This should be no surprise to my parents as this was the first pic they got of me once they had signed the paper work:


Dad (who I didn’t realize was “dad” at the time) was too slow with the phone camera to actually get a pic of me laying underneath it.  Can you believe this was almost a year ago!  Time sure does fly.  The actual date of the photo was August 12, but that is close enough for me.

Since then, I have had many other adventures under things.

  1. My grandparents deck in Michigan:
  2. A deck up in the mountains of New Mexico near my grandparents house (don’t worry, these are friends of theirs – in other words, I am not trespassing – that would be bad):

    3.  And if you think this is easy work you are greatly mistaken – especially at 9000+ feet above sea level (sea level being about where we live).  Luckily I found this hammock to get under!


Which was much better than flat out on the deck – which may have happened when I was forced out from under the porch.



Version 2

So, there you have it.  My addition to the family tradition!  Now, there are plenty of more examples of the traditions we have all embraced.  Like helping putting down new sod after some devil gets into our yard in the spring and tears it all up!

The Tempest

ps- I just learned that sleeping under furniture is apparently something my uncle G brought to the Michigan family long ago, but as far as I know he never got under the deck  – nor did he have any role in my work…after all, I started it before I even knew who my mom and dad were!

A Family Tradition

So, this has been a long time coming.  And it was a big miss this weekend when my dad scribe did not take the opportunity to write the blog about family traditions since all his sisters and their dudes were here for a concert at Ravinia – which in a way has turned into one of their family traditions.  I of course was on my bestest behavior the entire weekend even when Sammy was misbehaving.  My aunt K and uncle S came in on Friday and they left us alone while they dined at Bluegrass.  Saturday the other two sisters and A and G came in – that afternoon was all spent getting everything together for going to the show which includes a lot of food, blankets, tarps (it had been raining), chairs and etc.   Us dogs once again were giving our assistance in the preparatory activities…totally being cool and only jumping in when an extra paw was needed.  So, in short, I get why there was no time for blogging.  However, the next morning, everyone was kind of just lounging around the front and back yards.  Aside from a HUGE breakfast my mother threw together (and we sat and provided everyone the space they needed to enjoy their meal out at the picnic table) they did NOTHING all morning.   Seemed like a perfect time for writing the Family Tradition (FT) blog…but no.  They packed up their cars around noon and took off with my parents in tow.  Thankfully, those two returned after an hour or two – hard to keep track of time during such a busy weekend – but rather than getting to work on the blog they laid down on the couch and fell asleep.  Granted, I am always – well almost always – ready for a nap (especially when it is raining) but I had just woken up from my nap with Sam while they were out and the next best thing to sleeping when it is raining is writing.  Boy were my juices flowing and my ideas and creativity bursting in beautiful, colorful arrays of words and imagery.   But alas, their snoring quickly put to rest any chance I had of getting my ideas on paper, so I just crossed my black painted toe nails and prayed I could remember what I wanted to say in this post.  And listened to the pouring rain and bent my head in…zzz…So, without further ado, I will begin testing my powers of recollection.  Ready?


Montana and Tempi “gardening”

Extended Break

OK folks.  We started this on Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday) and today it is Sunday.  Once again the old guy lost his focus and my storytelling was cut short.  The worst part about this delay in getting Family Traditions published is that so many other fascinating things have gone on in my life since.  Hopefully, I will be able to entertain you with these stories before long but I have come to realize that when it comes to this particular topic, I better strike quick – while the ol’ ion is hot (I am assuming this adage has something to do with radioactivity but not sure why you’d want to strike it).  So, rather than regaling my readers with little stories of each of the following photo montages, I will proceed with a simple caption.  IF, in time, I can capture my scribes attention long enough, I might provide a few amusing antidotes around the different sequences…

Dining Al Fresco:

Dog Doors:

In the Elephant with Sammy:

Backyard panoramas:

Backyard pano TBackyard Pano MBackyard Pano 2 T

Hotels (dad swears he has a great video of Montana jumping from bed to bed but his cataloging of photo skills lacks a bit)

Hurt Foot (aka – child abuse)

Fourth of July in grandfathers rocking chair in NM (shhhhh don’t let him know we were up there – we made sure we wiped up any fur that may have gotten on the chair 😉 )


What fence?

In the garden with Sam:

Saying goodbye to grandmother and grandfather:

(or maybe it was hello?)

Michigan T’s

This is a time honored tradition (just look at how the old guy – in the case Sammy – looks!):


The Snows of New Mexico:

And more snow:

Couches (maybe humankind’s best invention)

Peanut butter (a close second).  And by the way, note to parents, there is a message in the number of occurrences that each dog showed up in this sequence despite the fact that the photographic history actually has more instances of Mooner with PB jars)…

Sitting on the porch looking northeast-ish.  There are pics of Sam on the porch too but he tends not to look out this way.  Unfortunately, Banshee never got to sit on the porch but she was there when it was an actual pine forest.  I guess the take home here is enjoy what you’ve got! (?!?!)

(note: Sammy doesn’t have the feminine figure Montana and I share – despite what the vet says about my current 58.2 lbs of dog power!)

Helping with fall leaf clean up:

(note: there are only two pics of Montana and none of Sammy.  SO, who is the bigger helper!  THE TEMPEST!!!!)

Speaking of…supervising:

Taking a break (dad is the best at this 🙂 ):

And when he is not sleeping or taking a break, Sammy has been known to drink on the job…dad, does that remind you of anyone? And I don’t mean all the Coke Zero’s you currently drink :).  BTW – you might want to kick that habit as the powers that be at Coke headquarters just decided you’ll be cut off (see top story at the below link):

Looking into the never ending pit (or the well house):

The seat wall arbor (which I assume is like Ann Arbor only smaller):

Water art (Montana – left; Tempest – right).  Mooner had a certain flair that I am trying to adapt into my own work but I am also trying to incorporate my natural surroundings, eg – pigs, bones, water bowl pieces, fire pit…)

Sharing a blanket with our big brother…something we both enjoy(ed)!

Shredded dog bed.  Well that was Montana’s work (for proof see:, I certainly wouldn’t do anything like that!  I am a princess so unless there was a pea under my bed I would rest peacefully.

Shredded Bed M

Looking under the fence…and boy does Sam and Banshee look like pups in that pic (bottom left)!

Speaking of under, what kind of dog would we be if we didn’t spend some time under the dogwoods?

And, although we naturally have awesome tongues, who doesn’t like to exaggerate now and again?

…but seriously dad, pulling our tongues, even if they are fake is a pretty nasty thing to do!

Then there is our theater style seating…

…which reminds me, isn’t there a new episode of Game of Thrones tonight?!!?

Gotta go,

The Tempest


Tricked and Ticked

So, first off, I have not forgotten about my oath to you that I would relate some of our family traditions to you.  However, I have had a hard time getting my Scribe/Dad to focus lately.  Even with a drive to Michigan this past weekend (4+ hours each way) he was unable to pay attention to me long enough to write down my insights into a word document – even when Mom was driving…or Khaleesii!  Anyhow, the old guy was a bust (Dad not Sammy – Sammy’s leg was fine the vet determined but there is still something bugging his back paw so he limps and gimps around and breaks my parent’s heart as he grins like the boy he is).  On another note, during our trip to Michigan I got to see almost all my scribe’s family.  Unfortunately, none of them sat down with me to write my blog either.  I did jump up in bed with Farfar, but even though he giggled like a school boy I was told by Mom!! Dad and Farmor – with no room for alternative interpretations – that this activity was not condoned (P.S. – I did try it again when we said goodbye 🙂 ).

Anyhow, this is not the point of today’s blog and I better move quickly while Dad is paying attention…ahem, I meant The Scribe.  Today’s story is about the day we left for our cross country travel to New Mexico…and it is entitled Tricked and Ticked.

Although this is out of real time, chronological order, I will start with “Tricked”.  This section is in reference to my Dad, still groggy from a good night sleep (he is not a morning person) coming downstairs as Mom and I returned from a jog and tick-fest (more on this below), to feed Sammy and I.  This particular activity includes dosing Sammy with his BID gabapentin and a QD (WAIT A MINUTE – this is Dad trying to show off that he is learning his new trade…I said the gabapentin that he takes twice a day and the Zyrtec he takes once a day in the morning).  So anyhow, instead of grabbing the Zyrtec, Dad grabbed another small, round, white pill in a bottle with green on it…my toenail clipping sedative (which bombed for that, if you recall, my faithful fans).  Mom was asking about packing the medicine, and wondering why the sedative was on the counter instead of the Zyrtec.  After some confusion, concern set in.  This eventually caused quite a stir as we went for our morning walk and watched Sammy yawn and yawn… and this had ramifications throughout the rest of Day 1 on our trip.  The real sign was at our second (?) stop in Iowa when Sammy didn’t jump out of the car, or even hop down with the help of one of our parents, but rather he kind of…well…oozzed out of the car and flopped down on the grass near the charging station.  Thankfully, Mom had a thought and leashed Sammy to a tree which allowed us sober ones to walk freely through the parking lot and surrounding areas.

Then we just chilled with Dad while Mom went into the store (even though Dad was sober we just lounged in the grass – this laziness may be a part of my problem in getting him to finish my other stories!).  Hee hee hee.



Luckily, by the end of the day, Sammy was coming out of his stupor and getting back to his normal, surly self.  And it all happened in Ogallalallalalalalalllla, Nebraska!

So that is about it for the tricked part.  And although Sam was a bit ticked off at being slipped a roofie before we left, the 14+ hours on the road was pretty uneventful (no squabbles from the back seat – and no bitch slaps.  THAT is a good story for another time.).

Now.  Back to the morning of our departure.  As I alluded to earlier, Dad and Sam are sleeping in the bedroom.  Us girls, being the industrious types, are up and on the move!  First stop, the supercharger around the corner from us so Khaleesii is in tip top shape for the road trip.   Well, actually, that was the only stop.  But while we were there we went for a jog/walk along the bike path that runs along side the Tesla shop.  Boy was this a fun time!   Not only did I get to spend some quality morning minutes (a whole hour!) with Mom, but I got to tromp through reeds, plow through water and overall have a blast investigating the natural world around me.   The sight of the water and reeds got Mom a bit concerned that I may have picked up some ticks but after a quick once over before we re-boarded our transportation she was satisfied I was clean.  ALL GOOD.  That is until we were an hour or two into our trip.  At this point, Mom felt something itchy on her scalp.  So when we are itchy (and this goes for both dogs and people) we scratch it.  To my Mom’s surprise (not because she was driving but what she came up with) the scratching produced a small squirmy insect (yep a tick) between her finger tips.  Since she is so calm, cool and collected we did not crash.  Instead, the affronting insect was relegated to an empty water bottle.  Then later in this segment of the trip, Dad had a creepy crawly itchy feeling on his neck.  No surprise here folks.  It was a tick.  This was not the same one but a new one who shortly joined the first one in the water bottle.  These events prompted a re-evaluation of the surface area of The Tempest. Lo and behold there were two more on my front legs!  YUCK!  My Dad and Mom (or whoever wasn’t actually letting Khaleesii drive them, was picking and plucking at me and Sam in a matter of seconds.  I was not amused.  “People,” I said, “I have got this covered!”  But they continued to nitpick me until all four little vampires were stowed in that one plastic water bottle.  THEN, at the next rest stop, I was given another thorough once over to ensure I was clean.  Sammy too – although he is a bit tougher since he insists on wearing that long coat all summer!  I still say it was that old boy that was harboring the bloodsuckers and unleashed them on us – whenever he decided he was bored.  I think this is true since not long afterward, he was stoned out of his gourd and couldn’t release any more even if he wanted to.  This didn’t stop both of my parents from freaking out whenever they had the sensation of something on them (this continues to this day, btw, as Mom took me back on that path before going to Michigan last weekend).  Good thing it wasn’t until the second day that we hung out in front of one of those “recreational” places they now have in Colorado – imagine the paranoia if they had actually gone into one of those places!  My Mom was just thinking of shade for the old man Sam, and boy did my Dad laugh at us resting in the shade all pathetic in front of the place.  he he he.

The Tempest


(in case you can’t see, the option checked on my shirt is INSANE!)

PS- It was great to spend time in Michigan but it was exhausting for me to behave that long!  And, yes, if you ask me and no one else I did behave for certain!  If you ask anyone else, well, you get the answer you deserve.  Sammy and Farfar also found it draining but at least my Grandfather and I could keep our eyes open!  Too bad my bed my FarMor got my shrunk since she bought it for me…I love that bed!



Said no dog EVER!!!!

Well actually, today Sam only went out to the grasses in the front yard on his walk with the pet sitter and then asked to come home to sit on his comfy Big Barker bed.  And then there was the time up on the land when my Mom, Dad and I went for a walk in the New Mexico mountains with me while Sammy stayed back at the house with Grandfather.  The plan was for him (Sam) to eventually go for a walk up to the well house and water the new Sequoia tree but by the time they got to the shed (about half way to the well house), Sam protested, turned around, and returned back to the house.  So you may be thinking that this means he would rather watch TV then go for a walk.  Well you’d be wrong.  Sam so wanted to go on the walk and was quite indignant that he did not go with us…and if that isn’t enough proof, they don’t have a TV – so there you go.

The same scenario played out a couple of other times while we were in New Mexico.  Each time Sammy wanted to go with us but had to stay behind.  We think he eventually got it that he was better off staying behind, especially when Grandfather had to go in the car to rescue…as I recall it was Grandmother (not me the princess hiding in the shade – no way) – but that is a story for another time.  Never mind that my Mom had to hoof it up the mountain really fast to get the car.  I guess Grandfather decided she was red faced enough he would come get us.  Wish she could run that fast with me in the am!


Tonight, Sammy is resting his sore back paw on his big bed outside.  Tomorrow we get to go to the vet to see what is up with his old bones.


Now, getting back to the original emphasis of this post, it is truly inconceivable that one would ever suggest one of us pups wouldn’t want to go for a walk.  And, just in case you are a fan of The Princess Bride, I DO know what that word means.  My Dad is a great teacher!

And it so happens, I was recently alerted to the below phrase by our good friend at Bluegrass, which has now become my Mothers mantra :).   She wants the t-shirt! And thinks watches should be added to shoes.  Just sayin’.  Me?  I think it should say Teslas and Big Barker Beds and steaks and salmon and treats and my menagerie and… (again, no product placement support.  Just things I love.).


The Tempest

P.S. – I am still working on the main text (aka photos, TJ) for Family traditions – just thought I’d pass along this particular insight I had while my scribe was listening!