Lesson 1: Time Will Tell

This time I decided not to try and subvert their efforts to “train” me.  After all, I was pretty sure I would still come out on top and having to wear the lampshade really hampered my lifestyle…so no more injuries or feigned injuries.  I’d just power through whatever they tried.

Step 1:  When the trainers entered our house, Sammy and I put on a great display of fierce barking and teeth showing – at each other more than the trainers – figuring they’d just turn around and leave us to our selves and the order of the pack could remain in tact:  Failure…they stayed.

Step 2: Chew Sammy’s bed and blanket to show I could do whatever I liked.   All o f a sudden I was totally doing something else in the living room.  Not sure why chewing a blanket sounded like a good thing in the first place.

(editors note: the trainers brought out a toy called the “GameChanger”)

Step 3: Start pulling on my mothers sweatshirt sleeve.  This is when I got introduced to my new worst enemy and a word I have since heard a lot and do not like one bit:


The device above squirts a stream of water at me and usually gets me in the face.  VERY uncool.   Even worse, my parents have since gotten two more (and amazon is shipping even more)!  They have started walking around with them like concealed weapons that they try the “quick draw and shoot” method.  Not real fast though since they don’t have holsters…yet…and it takes them some time to get the handle untangled from their clothing.  In any case, I have had to do a lot more wet-dog-shakes the last few days due to their antics with the spray bottles.

The word they learned: BAH!   Every time I think I am on to something good I get the BAH with a loud clap or foot stamp. Very annoying. 

The only good thing about both of these new tactics to control me is that they are being utilized on Sammy as well…hehehe.  Old dog meet new tricks!

The interesting thing is after the first two hours with them my tail went down to a relaxed position (not between my legs scared-like, but calm).  I can’t remember a time when I was awake that my tail did this.  The guy said it was probably the first time I didn’t feel like I had to be the leader of the pack which turns out to be a pretty good feeling.  However, after they left – having established that they were leaders – I may have reverted back to some of my old ways.  The interesting part is we are still practicing all the little tricks and “games” we played while they were here and I am starting to think my parents might be able to lead this pack after all – which would be a great relief since Sammy is obviously too old (deaf, blind and gimpy) to do it himself.   He tells me he was able to whip Montana into shape in no time back when he was in his prime at age 8 or so.

We shall see how this whole process evolves.  As I understand it, my new friends will be back in a few weeks to see how we are doing and work on some additional things to work on.  As a great philosopher friend of my parents likes to say: “time will tell”.


Injury update:  My wound is healing pretty well and I get to go see the vets to get my staples removed on Monday – which likely means I get to lose my “bucket”!

My staples: flash, no flash

Dad took today off to run some errands and wear us out before our trip to Michigan this weekend.   Can’t say he is doing a very good job :).


My Master Plan

My plan worked like a charm!  Well, sort of…

On Friday, I heard my parents talking on speaker phone to a dog trainer…about me.  I couldn’t hear everything they were talking about since I had a disagreement with Sammy about…about…well I can’t recall exactly right now but suffice it to say that he did something totally disrespectful.  One of the things that I did hear though is that a date was set for her to visit us at home on this Sunday at 4 PM!  I had to think of something clever…and FAST!

In the meantime, we went to Michigan on Saturday morning and we hung out with my Aunt K and my Grandfather while my parents went to the game.  My Aunt was great!  She didn’t once let me knock over the old guy(s) and she distracted me on multiple occasions by playing with me in the backyard.  My Gandfather needed this protection as he has trouble standing up/walking without falling over in normal situations, without a dog pouncing on him.  For instance, last week when we saw him he was recovering from an injury he suffered tripping in a hole in the sidewalk at Walmart (ironically they were there to get him a walker).


This week he picked a new route for injuring himself – falling down on the top step of an escalator at a popular bookstore.  This time though he dragged my Grandmother along with him.  Or maybe she fell first?  Anyway, luckily for us there were some people there that helped them and kept them from getting seriously injured (stopped the escalator, helped them up, etc.).  You people can be so nice!

This gave me what I felt at the time was a brilliant idea.  If I got “injured” then there would be no way that I would have to be “trained” on Sunday afternoon.  The opportunity arose on Sunday morning before we left when I was going absolutely crazy as they were preparing breakfast (the crazy being part of my plan).  This led to me being constrained by a leash during breakfast which gave me the opportunity to get my leg stuck under the table resulting in a laceration – a bit deeper than I had anticipated.  I totally played up the issue by making this horrendous screeching noise.   This was a great acting job on my part until the table leg got pressed DOWN on my leg causing the aforementioned cut on the back of my leg which immediately started spraying blood across the kitchen and living room hardwood floors.  I must admit I got a bit woozy at the sight of all the blood and Sammy was a bit concerned as well – such the good big brother.

As a result of the more extensive injury than what I had planned – which was to scream out in pain and then limp the rest of the day so that they’d have to call off the appointment – we had to scurry off to the emergency vet down the street from my grandparents.   Once there, my Mom took me in and stayed with me while Dad went back to hang out with Sammy since we left him behind following all the chaos and he was very distraught.  My parents, afterwards, were wondering if he thought he lost a THIRD sister.  What does that old man do with all of them?  A thought for another day…

Anyway I am here!  After consulting with the vet it was decided that I needed to be knocked out and have staples inserted to fix the gash.  After this decision was made, the vet took me back to undergo the procedure.  Not so sure how much time elapsed but when we finally hit I94 to return home it seemed much later in the day than we normally leave.  I didn’t realize what being sedated was all about – or at least I forgot after my girl surgery.  but when we finally left the vet I was a bit loopy!  Mom had to carry me to the car where Sammy was waiting for me.  He seemed a bit odd / strangely out of sorts, as it were, but I really had a hard time concentrating…even when he sat on my head.

If any of these pics look a bit out of focus to you imagine how the scene looked to me!  I would not even take a treat.  Well, I took it and held it in my mouth while I fell over.  Resulting in my Mom immediately taking it out of my mouth…  I was compensated when I woke up.  Do not worry!

By the time we reached the charging stations in St. Joe’s I was starting to come out of it a bit but really was more interested in sitting around than going for a walk.  I still didn’t like putting pressure on the foot since the bandage made it feel weird (plus it was a good way to make my parents and Sammy feel pity for me).  The vet said sometimes a bandage can feel like a broken leg to a dog…maybe that was what happened?

Despite some pretty bad traffic on the way home the drive was relatively uneventful…well until the last 45 minutes when my sedatives wore off.  Strange how when you sleep during the drive it doesn’t seem so grueling.   I may have to do some more investigation into this phenomenon.

Anyhow, we got home, ate (during which my leg was SO painful I had to hold it up while eating – see below).


We then went for our evening stroll which had to be shortened due to doctor’s orders.  My Mom has been trying to jog with me in the morning (perhaps an embarrassing story for another day), but not this week now – no running for Tempi!  Anyway, somewhere along the route I seemed to forget to do the sympathy hop.   Once home Dad started to tell Mom that he had “cured” me during the walk which reminded me that my back leg really hurt and I started limping again and doing the 3-legged hop.  I then started plugging away at my bandage which caused the bucket-of-shame to come out.  Sammy was kind enough to don his as well so we made it a party of lamp-shades!  Good times.  It is good to be alive with my big bro!

The Tempest

P.S.  This is Mom.  Do not tell Tempi, but her first training session is now Wednesday evening…



Temp Treewalker

First off, my Dad started trying to talk in a real deep voice about a week ago.  He kept saying:

“Temp.  I am your Father.”


I ignored him and started paying attention to what my Mother was doing.  Have I told you I love Google!  This isn’t because the founders are UMich grads (not that I haven’t added that to my plus column), but really because you can find out pretty much anything in the world that you want to know…like proof that squirrels lay eggs!

Anyhow, this time my Mom typed in “shepherd, labrador, hound mix” and lo and behold check out what she found:



Or so I thought until I looked in the background and didn’t recognize the room or the people in the photo.  Then an even closer look revealed:

  1. white toe nails on the front paws (so passe) – mine are only on my back right (see below)
  2. the white on the chest does not run up the neck, and thus can only be described as a less than becoming look.
  3. the collar, although purple-ish, isn’t from the same fashion designer as mine – nor are the tags as complimentary to the whole look as mine.
  4. She is 62 pounds, and not 44.  Svelte is the new black.
  5. This one obviously needs the fashion police to step in!

These are the nails that should be white…


So what I must conclude is this is my evil DOPPELGANGER!

I’ve heard of such things in novels and movies but this is my first real life experience with a near spitting image of myself (apart from the obvious dress code faux paws…hehe).

So, it turns out this nearly perfect canine specimen is a part German Shepherd, part Treewalker Coonhound.  This explains my desire to jump up and try and scale the oak and maple trees in our neighborhood that are harboring squirrels and the like (I figure, from a breeding point of view, raccoons and squirrels are synonymous).

Now I am suspecting you are questioning my assertion that there is a breed of dog that is “tree-climbing”.  Well until I saw the pictures – and heard the stories from my uncle S about his nephew dog Harry climbing the tree in their backyard – I too was skeptical of dogs with such abilities (as I have tried on more than one occasion).

Then the boys and girls at Google once again provided us with the “proof”:


So there it is.  I am a Teewalking Shephard Coonhound with an Akita tail.  Who needs a DNA test – twentythree and me!

So, you may still be confused by the whole thing about Dad talking in a deep voice.  Once again, mom helped me figure this puzzle out with guess what?   Yep.  GOOGLE.   It turns out that another Michigan alumna – who was also a guy called Darth Varder  in a movie(s) that is apparently pretty famous.   Here he is providing a voice over for the University:

FYI – Dad didn’t sound anything like him 🙂

Heading there again tomorrow!  After watching this I think I need to be a little more Cocky (I am pretty good at Sassy, so I can probably conquer this too), and learn this whole game of football.  Luckily Mom bought me my very own football tonight so I can practice.

The Tempest

Doctor Doctor

Once again we have so many stories to share but so little attention from the Scribe.  Before I complain too much I suppose I should pick one of the stories and run with it while he is listening to me.  So with that let me tell you about last Friday.

Sam and I were all set for another trip to Michigan Friday night and figured everything was set when our parents got home early from work.   The strange thing is although we headed south, it was on a road I had never been on before.  Even stranger is that after about 10 minutes, Sammy got all amped up – like he knew where we were going.  Turns out he was right.  We went to what I was to find out is our regular vet.  They were all very nice and so excited to meet me!  I can see I am going to like going to this place – and that isn’t just because of the treat jar that they have on the counter.

So you may be wondering why we were spending a Friday afternoon at the vets.  Turns out, Sammy has been chewing on his toes again…allergy season I guess:


He had told me that this happens once or twice a year and Montana always went along for the ride since she was a little shy and they would stop by Starbucks for a puppacino on the way home.   So I figured I was just went along to meet the people at the vets and get my puppy shot.  How wrong I was!  Turns out the GI issues I was having during the week was troublesome to my parents…not just because of the middle of the night cleanups by the back door but that they thought I wasn’t acting like myself (don’t fear though – my appetite was spot on!).  After getting weighed, they took me to the back to check if I had a temperature and then spent some more time checking under the tail – if you know what I mean.  Not saying I liked this but I soldiered on and let them do their work.  Then they started trimming my nails since I am not allowed to go to the groomers for taking care of such things.   The other cleaning things such as showers can take place in our room – as I found out not too long ago.

While I was off in the backroom, Sam just took it easy in the examination room with my parents.


This is about the time that some awful caterwauling could be heard throughout the office.  No doubt it was that little dog that came in after us and was ushered into the room down the hall.  Sammy told me that my parents were laughing at the noise and reminiscing about the time he and Banshee went to have their surgery when they were mere pups all those years ago (eons?).  Apparently, when my parents went to pick them up at the end of the day, Banshee was still out of it but there was a familiar noise coming from the back.  Mom asked the receptionist if that was her boy talking.  “\

“oh yeah.  That’s Sambuca alright.  He has been going all day.  We turned on the light.  He barked.  We turned off the light.  He barked.  We gave him a blanket.  He barked.  We took the blanket away.  He barked.  We almost called you to take him away from here but his sister was still recovering so didn’t think it was fair to make you come twice.”

That Sammy is quite the character.

Before long I was returned to the room and Sammy was getting ready to go to get his ear and feet checked out.  Before the exchange happened Mom asked the vet tech how I did.  She said I was great with the first part but screamed bloody murder when I was getting my nails clipped!  So it was me that was making those hideous noises – who knew?  “Let it Bleed” might be the best song title to describe the experience but not because of them getting into the quick of my nails – which would be reasonable given my black nail polish – but because of what happened to everyone’s ear drums!

I then patiently waited in the exam room for Sammy to return from his various treatments:



After this was all done, and the Vet gave my parents a load of drugs for us to take and the lengthy explanations on what they were for and how to administer them (frequency, duration, etc), we were able to leave.   Not that I was upset by the visit (I am looking forward to seeing all my new friends again in the future) but I was so looking forward to the good kind of puppy shots!

When we arrived home I looked to Sammy to figure out how we ended up back at the old homestead without any of the delectable treats he had promised me.  He just shrugged in that way of his which basically means “they’re people, who knows how they really work.”


I am not trying to imply the following photograph was some sort of vengeful act for not getting my Starbucks after the vet visit, but rather than a reminder that the old man needs to go visit his doctor as his vision continues to deteriorate which I am aware of based on the number of times he has to look over the top of his frames when looking at me 🙂




String Theory

As you may remember, my sister Montana not only was good at completing her homework assignments (maybe too good from my pack’s point of view since it probably led to her early admittance into college) but she was also very artistic.




Anyhow, I have REALLY gotten the hang of homework – taking after Sammy in running the mail into the dining room and shredding it or just dropping it in the hallway and heading toward the treat jar before delivering it to Mom…no wonder Sammy keeps getting rejection letters from colleges!

Even though I might still need work on being book smart I did take inspiration from Montana’s Jackson Pollock work.  That and my careful observations of the inspiring natural world (plus I do stop and smell the rose-of-sharon now and again 🙂 – especially if there is a bee in the flower).


So you may now be asking yourself what is so artistic about me?  This would be a reasonable question as I have done nothing so far but show you cute photos of me smelling a flower and, well, some intricate spider webs.  Well… it turns out that this is one of those stories from my first trip to Michigan that I forgot to tell you about.   During the football game I was a great grand-dog.  Focused on the game and letting my Far-Far know what happened if he happened to doze off for a bit.   Well… then something happened.  My parents came home and then went out to the store to get food stuffs and recharge the car.  For some reason I decided this was a good time to find my creative energy – this may be because I knew the truly artistic part of the pack (Uncle S and Aunt K) were coming back to watch the rest of Young Frakenstein – to be honest I didn’t know it was such an epic film that it had two parts.  Oops! Sammy tells me it wasn’t originally intended to be a double feature – we just started it so late because of that darn traffic I told you about. Anywho, back to the point; here are a few pics of my original piece of work that I have not yet named (and fortunate for me there is photographic evidence since my Dad ended up “cleaning up” after me!).  Lucky for me Far-Mor already loves me more than her knitting.  The funny thing about the bottom photos, other than my great artwork and Sammy laughing, is the collapsible downspout.  This is a story for another day, but was the answer of my parents to my brother and first sister’s adventure with a chipmunk.  Ha!  And they say I am mischievous!

Little did I know that I was also following in the footsteps of some famous artists!  Among them Sebastian Preschoux.  I guess this is a form of convergent evolution – or artistic vision!


I’ll let you know the next time I get some inspiration…

The Tempest


update: here is an example of an artistic that actually used yarn like I did!  Thanks Aunt K!



I see I’ll have to work on my lines a bit to establish this kind of perspective.

I Want to Go Back to Michigan…

…to dear Ann Arbor town.  La-ta-di-da-la-la.

Or something like that.  Anyhow, this week we did not go to Michigan even though there was a home game.  Sammy told me we go to ALL the home games but something seems to have gone wrong with this dogma…something about 5 straight home games to start the year.

So I don’t have any good stories of another trip but I figured that is OK since I haven’t really told you about our first trip – the Scribe being distracted this past week trying to deal with both Sammy and I by himself while Mom is in Germany…especially trying on our walks.

So here are a few notes from my first trip to Ann Arbor:

This is Sammy and I in the original conformation of the backseat dog realm:


This seemed like it was going to be fine and we would behave for the 4 hour drive.  Unfortunately, the traffic was dreadful despite us planning for success by leaving at 1 PM on Friday.  It may have had something to do with the holiday weekend, but more likely is the result of the second season in Chicago…that being construction season (not winter season). Whatever the reason, the trip turned from 4 hours to 7 hours and for a girl on her very first long drive these delays were a bit too much.  What does too much mean on a drive you ask?  Well, my focus on being a good passenger may have waned and I got into it with Sammy.  So… what is the solution when on the road and such bad behavior emerges?  Since pulling over really wasn’t an option it was time for Dad to come to the backseat to separate the two of us.  This left an opening in the front seat which I took advantage of :).


This left Dad and Sammy in the back (a “selfie” to prove their situation):


Although I was comfortable in the front seat, their complaints and backseat driving bored me to no end.

Eventually we go to Ann Arbor and to my surprise my Aunts and Uncle S who I met a few weeks back were there!  Not only that, but I got to meet one set of my grandparents!  And if that were not enough, Uncle S made a wonderful meal of pork and potatoes!  For some reason (auntie E?) they had already eaten their share before we got there.  That may had to do somewhat with the highly inaccurate ETA that Dad gave them.  In any case, we still got our portions when we arrived (despite Sammy and I getting our meals at a rest stop when I again lost it and completely crazed out in the car – I ate my meal right up but Sam was not interested at that time…what kind of dog is he that he doesn’t always gobble down what is put in front of him – or left on the counter?  My parents keep talking about this age thing… apparently he never used to be this way).  After dinner was over, we all settled down to watch a movie I had never seen before (Young Frankenstein) to commemorate the passing of Gene Wilder.

On the way back to Illinois we made pretty good time so we didn’t have as many issues – although I did have some attention difficulties.  We tried a different seat arrangement which may have helped as well.

However, for some reason it made me really really small!?!


But don’t worry.  By the time we got to the charging station in St. Joe’s I was back to normal and Sammy and I were once again good buddies!

I feel there may be another story or two from last weekend but as you may have seen from some of these pictures I do tend to get tired from time to time and this is one of those times so until next time…

Adios amigos,


start at 1:18 of the clip…unless you really like Glee Clubs

Sammy’s Sense of Smell

Some may say the old boy is deaf.  Some may say he is now mute.  Some others may have a sense of snow.  But one thing is for sure…Sammy can still sniff out a good set of treats even hidden in a cardboard box.

So this may not sound like the travel log I promised you.  If you thought this you would be correct.  As it turns out daily life with dogs intervened and I felt this current event should be the basis of today’s blog.  You may now be asking yourself what the h…what I am rambling on about.  Well I’ll tell you – and in fact it is related to our adventures this weekend which I’ll only touch on briefly as a background for this story.

Turns out during the trip I had a few fits of inattention to proper car behavior.  Until this trip I have been a stellar car companion but they were shorter trips not requiring me to maintain my focus for more than 30 minutes – tops.  This weekend, the time spent in the car was much longer…and it wasn’t in the Honda Elephant that I have taken most of my other trips in.  Therefore, my parents placed an order with those fine people at Amazon for Starmark dog treats:


Sammy assures me these are tasty treats but I have yet to have one.  Suffice it to say they smell really good.  So today there were two packages from Amazon awaiting Dad when he got home from work.  He also had a deep dish pizza in his hand which he was more focused on then the packages.  As he dealt with his dinner in the kitchen, Sammy identified the box with the Starmarks and started working on freeing them from their confines.  I joined in – being the good sister.   As an aside, I have been learning how to help my mom prep dinner and help both my parents with the gardening so I now have a pretty good idea of how I can be the helpful assistant.

As evidence to support these claims, here are a few shots of me gardening:

And a couple of pics of me being the Sous Chef on a few different occasions:

Today I assisted my big bro in a completely different way.  Unpacking!  Boy do I have a large skill set and I am not even a year old!


You may notice a few scraps of cardboard on the floor.  Trust me there were more down there as we were working but after Dad interrupted our team work, we quickly “picked” up some of the scraps and disposed of them the best way we know how – you guessed it, down the hatch!

Dad ended up taking over from us (and taking credit for) the unpacking of the Amazon shipment.

So, as I was saying to start this blog, Sammy might have lost the majority of his voice after his surgery last year, and his hearing is fading – which is why I am hear to help (pun intended) – but he can still smell out the good stuff like the old pro he is!