Trash Day

This tradition of taking the garbage cans from the backyard out to the curb happens weekly.  As it turns out, where we live trash day is Tuesday morning so the cans go out on Monday.  This seems apropos as many people hate Mondays and think they should be tossed out with the trash.  I believe that this comes from the fact that a lot of people – my parents among them – (mostly) don’t work on Saturday and Sunday and then have to return on the day in question.   I for one understand this dislike…to a point.  True, I don’t get free reign of the backyard, nor do I get to play with Mom and Dad as much.  However, the current rule is that on “workdays” Zoe has to stay in her crate except when our friend from Paws stops by to take us for a walk and then again when my parents return home.  In other words, I get the run of the house, which includes defending our turf from such intruders as the postal delivery folks – or any delivery types for that matter – and chastising any dogs who dare walk in front of our house.  Sure Zoe chimes in with her own high pitched chatter on these occasions, but I am the only one who is able to get right up in the window.  So, in short, my feeling about Monday’s?  Eh.

But the whole thing about taking things we no longer have a use for out to the curb got me thinking…

Obviously, since Zoe was the one making the film, the story had a different ending than I had envisioned (I did manage to slip in a hint of a possible sequel though while she was off barking at something in the front yard thinking her video was uploading onto Youtube 😉 ).  I must say though, that it proved to be much more difficult getting her into the trash can than I had anticipated.  My parents make it look so simple when they toss in the bag from the kitchen.

The Tempest

P.S.  I guess my point is, despite the PS in my last blog, I still miss Parker.



Toe Nail Tempi

First BIG road trip with Zoe occurred a week ago or so.  Sure we took a weekend trip to Ann Arbor but that doesn’t even require a hotel stay.  Although Zoe did do some unusual  and unkindly things that trip, those are stories for a later date (spoiler alert: a furry black and white creature with potent anal glads may be a character in that saga).

Today’s story, though, is about our drive to New Mexico to visit my mother’s parents – in Danish that would be mor-mor and mor-far but we prefer calling them Grandmother and Grandfather.  And we love them no matter the name.  We can tell when we are in store for a road trip – well I can tell and I let Zoe know.  First off, there are a lot of trips by our parents in and out of the house.  Many – nay, most – excursions they are burdened with certain items that belong to us pups.  For instance: Zoe’s crate, our big barker beds, treats, dog food, piles and piles of bones, kongs, our regular favorite toys and brand new toys (something about hotel room etiquette), etc.  The more of these items that leave the house, I have determined, significantly correlate to the duration of our adventure/drive.  So, when cases of wet dog food (I was still on my hunger strike) got loaded in the car I was pretty sure the mountains of NM were in our future.   Good Times Ahead dear Zoe-bird!

But before I go on, let me remind you what happened on my first trip with Sammy to NM.  At one point during the first leg of our trip – Sammy and I were of course being perfect angels – our mother turned around to pet the old guy.  While petting him, Sammy smiled his previously perfect, heart warming grin, and in doing so, revealed the absence of one of his lower canines…well, not total absence but definitely not the full set of teeth that he left with.   He was totally nonplussed by the missing top of his tooth – no caterwauling,  no whimpering, in short, no signs that anything was amiss.  In this instance and future tooth shortening incidences, there was no sign of the missing tooth.  Thus Snagletooth Sam had arisen from the ashes – Phoenix like.

Back to the present…or rather recent past.

As you might know, we live in Illinois.  Not too far from one of the busiest airports in the world: ORD (aka O’Hare International).  This is basically in the city of Rosemont, which depending on traffic is either 15 minutes or 3 hours away from our domicile.  So not 20 minutes into this, the first big road trip that Zoidberg and I were embarking on together, we got in one of our big, all-out fights in the backseat of the car.  Something to do with a bone.  It was the only one on our trip, so don’t worry – we were actually really good overall in the car – so I am told.  Anyhoo, Dad was quick to break up our fisticuffs, dragging Zoe into the front seat, but the damage was done.  Tempi the Elder now had an addition to my title: “Toe Nails”.

This loss of a nail and exposure of the quick on this toe freaked my parents out – to say the least.  My Mom first noticed the blood – Mom!  Keep an eye on the road!  I played it cool.  Sure there was a little blood oozing from my toe for the next few days (or more), but I proceeded with the same stoic quality that my big brother had taught me.  Nothing from the backseat folks.  This might have changed when we got to the vet in Los Alamos but that story has a totally different aura so will have be a part of a future (or never told) blog entry.  At this point lets just say I was blamed for this incident due to my toenail sensitivity.

Tempest “Toe-Nail” the Elder

PS – Fortunately, the exposed quick never got infected and I am back to normal – including eating my kibble without being prompted by my parents in any way.  Maybe road trips, despite the inevitable drama(s) that may surface during the expedition, are a powerful uniting force for our pack.  Sure, Zoe still can get under my nails, but I understand now that she is a full fledged member of the pack and therefore not the worst companion for me.

Tempi the Elder and The Ref

I learned a lot from Sammy about what it takes to be the oldest dog in a pack.  For instance, eating much slower than the young one so they get disciplined when they try to encroach on your meal.  Then there is the closely related behavior of when a treat is tossed to you and you miss it you have to continue to look at the treat provider in dismay while the younger dog swoops in and eats it.   Then there is the backyard game of chase where you must stand relatively still, occasionally barking or snarling while the young one runs circles around the yard.  Then there is the tried and true favorite game which can be played in the yard, living room and even the car.  This activity requires two bones/antlers.  Part 1 consists of each dog getting one of these scrumptious items.  Part 2 is when the younger dog takes the prize from the older dog.  Part 3 requires the old dog to pout until the provider of said treat reprimands the younger dog with a statement such as: “you don’t need both of the bones.”  Subsequently one bone is returned to the elder pup for all of about one minute at which point the younger takes back what they believe is rightly theirs. This may be a game that lasts only a single round or could go on for hours – depending on how engaged the referees are in the game.

Since Zoe has shown up, and I’ve officially become Tempi the Elder, I have tried all of these but found them all very trying…and then some!

So in certain cases I’ve shed this role and joined the chase.  And as it turns out, this weekend Snowy was visiting so Zoe and I had a referee!  Maybe in a future post she can give her ground level perspective of her visit to our den.  But until then, in preparation for the new football season which is nearly upon us, here is a sample of her refereeing skills that Zoe put together in her latest film entitled “The Ref:”

I’m back from vacation folks and have lots of stories to tell :)!

The Tempest

The Next POTUS

From what I’ve seen on TV (or more precisely the internet projected onto the television via AppleTV) the current President of the United States has gotten himself into a bit of a quagmire.  So I thought it might be time – even though the midterm elections haven’t even taken place – to start campaigning for the next general election for the President of the United States (which will hopefully still be united at that time).


Sammy and Montana (not pictured above) have promised they’ll stop their collegiate studies to provide the nation their leadership if necessary.

Preliminary polls suggest (to Zoe) she might have a leg up on Tempi:


or is that a kiester?

Either way, all contestants for this season of the Apprentice vow that they will not be coerced, prodded, cajoled, bribed, blackmailed, influenced, tricked, or riled by anyone without a steak, pork chop, bone, treats, chicken, salmon, or who is willing to take them for a walk.

IT is now up to you, the readers of this blog, to pick the next POTUS (Puppy Only Treated  with Utmost Superiority).

The Pack


Found this stuff in the garage and logically deduced that it should be a particularly good repellent for Zoe since it says on the can “active” – and boy is she active:


Hmmm.   This stuff must be broken for she (like many of the mosquitoes in our yard) have fought through our layers of defense:

At least Mom was there to provide me comfort and moral support as our barriers succumbed to the forces of Ouzo:


Guess it’s time to look for something that can provide a little stronger border control.  I am considering building a wall around our table unless one of you have a better suggestion.

The Tempest

Something’s a bit off…

I expect many of you are thinking that with this title I am talking about my appetite.  And although I am still not my normal chow hound, I am eating somewhat regularly now.  However, the something that is a bit off is my new sister…and she may actually be quite a bit more off than I am letting on.  This is something for you to decide and may actually come out over time.  As a friend of ours once said: “Time will tell.”  We think he is a true philosopher.

Anyhow, here are a few examples:

1) One of the first days she was at our house she jumped on the kitchen counter.  And by on the counter I am not talking about counter surfing but she actually jumped all the way up and landed on the top of the counter next to the sink – all 4 paws at once.  At first I was appalled at the lack of respect for proper kitchen etiquette.  Then it dawned on me that this new one might be on to something – after all my legs are only so long so sometimes I can’t reach things they push to the way back of the counter or put on the window sill.  Jumping up like she did would solve this problem I’ve been having…if I was only able to shed my proper upbringing.   The thing that really surprised me is after one sound scolding and the command to get off the counter she not only complied that one time but hasn’t gotten up there since.   I guess she isn’t the trailer trash* I thought she was.

*I actually don’t know what this really refers to, but I have heard it used when talking about individuals with less sophisticated upbringings compared to myself.

2) The other day we went on another round of visits to vets to see if they could figure out what was up with me.  The staff was great at this specialty clinic…and I say that not because the tech said I was the best dog EVER (with the possible exception of his own).  While telling my parents this fact, he lowered his voice so the other pet parents wouldn’t hear thus demonstrating he was no trailer trash.   Although they took great care of me it did take an awfully long time to get to see the doctor.  Granted they had to deal with some emergency cases and follow-up visits but you’d think they would have realized I was a princess and the best dog EVER and would have treated me with the appropriate urgency.

Aside from that they were really nice and even fed me some pretty tasty food.  In fact, when the vet finally got me to eat the food, I polished off everything on the paper plate and then stuck my head in the trash can where she had thrown away a chunk of the food.  However, I would not recommend them for a haircut.


So, in some respect, that preamble has nothing to do with why Zoe is a bit off.   The reason I contend that this statement is indeed a fact is that when we arrived home we found that Zoe had broken out of her crate.  Apparently dad didn’t get the bottom set properly so she was able to push at this security breach and escaped.  So what chaos did we find  in the house?  Surely there was a couch or chair destroyed!  Nope.  She must have gotten into the bathroom and shredded all the toilet paper!  Nope.   AHA!  The iPad was destroyed?  The Macbook dragged to the back door?  The flatscreen TV splattered across the living room?   The spybot disassembled?  No, no, no, and no!!! What is off with this dog?  Sure the spybot has been hidden since I took out his brethren but how could the house be totally as we left it except the fact that she was out (not in) her crate????

Well, I showed her a few days later when my parents were out for an hour or so what one could (and should) do in their absence.  Remember, I am still not 100% but I was able to drag the towels out of our shower stall and did this to an umbrella from the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Just saying it may be time to step up your game new one.

Or are you one of those kiss up types I’ve heard about that are all prim and proper around the powers that be (a hierarchy you learned once you jumped on the counter) but turn into the devil child when they aren’t looking?

But there is, I suppose, a possibility this new one is actually brilliant.  I have found with many beings who are seen as wacky there is truly something close to transcendent knowledge/insights that aren’t recognized by the general population until much later…but there is no way that this is possible with Zoe as she is like the fourth sharpest tool in our pack of 4.

I must admit, a bit begrudgingly, that she does have her moments when I think she may not be the worst little sister ever.


The Tempest

Nicknames 2018

Back when Montana first started this blog she had a few entries about nicknames…like these:

I realized I never provided my (her) readers with my many nicknames until Zoe joined the pack.  See, mom first gave Snowy the nickname SnowBird – which makes a certain amount of sense since there is actually a species of bird with this as their colloquial name…in some ways though, this is also just a nickname for them, given their true Linnaeusian binomial nomenclature categorization is Junco hyemalis.  Gotta admit that no matter what you call them they look awfully tasty:


And, I can see where my Mom was coming from given the snow covering the back and chest of this potentially tasty morsel…kind of like a piece truffle of that I am not allowed to eat because of the toxicity inherent in dark chocolate for my kind.

Anyhow, for some lame reason, this extension to Snowy’s name was incorporated into Zoe’s name giving her the new nickname of Zoebird.   Which, if you ask me, doesn’t have the same depth of significance (or appetizing) virtue of SnowBird.   But it does role off ones tongue pretty nicely (which the snowbird would never do as I’d be sure to swallow that one quickly before my parents would wrest my jaws open and shake it out like they do so many other treats I find on our walks).  In any case, whenever either of our parents call Zoe by this particular nickname, I can’t help but think of the Futurama character Zoidberg – which in some ways is much more Zoe like than anything else I can think of:


Of course, I too have many nicknames.  But the one I feel is most true to my nature is Tempranillo as I am totally unoaked.   Then when my parents brought home this bottle of wine with my pseudonym on the label AND my true title “El Jefe” (the boss) also on the label I knew they were on to something.

Here is a pic of three wine bottles with the matriarch lineage of our pack…with the obvious exception of our dear sister Montana – although we are always on the look out for a bottle to add to this shrine that would capture her essence as well.


The Tempest