So last night, I was once again minding my own business and waiting for my parents to return home from work.  This is when I heard the garage door opening which is my first clue they are home…Sammy usually snoozes through this part.  I make fun of him every time but he counters with some claim that back in the day the garage door opening was the final clue (aside from the door opening) because he heard the car coming down the street “days” in advance.  I think he must be smoking something or having old age hallucinations or something because I can’t hear the car – unless I am in the right spot and hear the tires on the driveway.  Anyhow, before I digress, let me just tell you that on this occasion only Mom came through the door leading from the garage into our house.   This happens every so often…if I were to guess it is about once a week…but us dogs don’t pay that close attention to your arbitrary divisions of time.  We like to base things on smells…like it smells like spring, or it smells like skunk season (I know, I owe you a skunk story), or it must be summer because steaks are sizzling on the grill at a much more frequent interval.   But now that I think of it, there is a smell that oscillates at a frequency of about 7 days – which if I understand it – is a week.  The smell usually ebbs and flows from this bin outside our backdoor that my parents throw crap in on some days and then intermittently move to the front yard, after which it comes back much less interesting odor wise.

So, back to yesterday – which turns out to be the high tide of smells just before my Mom let us out into the backyard.  It took me just a moment to realize this odor had vacated the premises along with the aforementioned bin. It was at this point I noticed my Dad’s abandoned backpack lying outside on the ground.  Immediately, panic stricken, I searched the yard for any trace of him.  Of course, I got a quick scent of his smell on the wind (and backpack) but other than that no signs of him.   Sammy eventually sauntered out after me and proceeded to void his bladder right there…in my odor path to locate my Dad.  What was he thinking?!?!  Dad is MIA and the old guy just goes about his business?!??

After giving him (Sammy) the old evil eye, I put my nose (and eyes) to work.   This is when I noticed a creeper lurking in the bushes by our back patio.  Instantly, I went on high alert, and acted to defend our territory.  Growling, barking (with hackles raised no doubt) I moved in on the intruder.   My Mom came up from behind me and questioned my deductive reasoning…Sammy laughing the whole time.   As you’ll see (or rather hear) from the attached “video,” I eventually caught on to the fact that the guy intruding on us WAS my Dad!  I sprinted to him and gave him lots of kisses as I scolded him for tricking me this way.  Then I turned my wrath on Sammy.  WHY did you not warn me about this so called “game.”  He just shrugged – as much as an old dog could shrug – and said if I had listened to him I would have known this could happen.  Then he made the almost inexcusable accusation that I did not pay complete attention to Montana’s blog!  He then referred to post she made a while back … which coincidentally he could not find any documentation of tonight (just saying).  I think it is him once again reporting Fake News.

Unfortunately, my search for Dad, which I didn’t even really know was for him, was supposedly being “videotaped” (this anachronism is something my parents can’t seem to let go of even if the iPhone does not have tape) but for some reason the only thing retained in the file was the audio – this is driving my parents nuts, but oh well.  Is what it is.  I put my best “face” on this clip that distinctly depicts my Mother telling me to relax and (less distinctly) the kisses I gave Dad once I found him.  I sure hope he can figure out what happened to the video because I’d love for you to see my defensive posture and rejoice that I didn’t need to defend our turf but just welcome my parents home after another long day at work!  A girl’s work is never done in this household…just saying.

The Tempest

-HEY!  HE said he’d put my best FACE forward!  What the…

That is total Garbage Dad!

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!