Boxed Out

So have I mentioned we are watching Michigan basketball lately?  Well, you might have come to that conclusion based on the title of this blog but you’d be wrong.

You can’t see it in this picture (since they had been moved) but this afternoon our front porch was covered in cardboard boxes.  This both excited me and angered me.  The anger part coming from the people approached our door to drop off the box.  I did tell you I wasn’t keen on such arrivals didn’t I?  The excited part is that there was all that cardboard just inches away from me awaiting some good dog to shred them in preparation for the recycling folks.


Here I am watching over them…like ALL afternoon.

And then my parents got home and the boxes were broken down (outside for the most part) and brought immediately to the recycle bin…without anyone doing the appropriate shredding – well, except for the one box they did bring in.  But even that one didn’t get my proper attention since I was temporarily distracted by this new elephant toy and Sammy was no help guarding the boxes.

So I was left with only this stupid elephant…


At least he’ll hang with me and watch for the next shipment of cardboard…


The Tempest

Anyone out there find a t-shirt that says: “My parents ordered all this cardboard, and all I got was this stupid elephant.”

Lost Almost, NM

Don’t misinterpret what I am about to tell you.  Being off leash in the mountains is one of our favorite things EVER.  However, after being in the car for two or three days where we are in a hotel room, on our leashes for a walk, or confined to our car, the dog run behind our Grandparent’s place in New Mexico it a huge bonus.  We get to run back and forth over the pine needles and get to sniff other dog scents to our hearts desire.  Of course, once we realize we are alone and the other parts of our pack are not with us (in this case that includes both our parents and grandparents – although at the time we had not seen them their odors abounded…even over the dogs who had been in the run).  This isn’t to say that we also didn’t recognize the surroundings but we are more nose oriented then you people…just saying.

Here is a short clip of us while our Dad was watching us…at first.

In the olden days…say 2005 by your calendar…Sammy assures me that this dog run did not exist.  In fact, when he and Montana first arrived in LA they spent a good 15-20 minutes playing chase in a nearby enclosed tennis court.

But even before that, he tells me that the mountains had a lot of snow and actual trees that were more than burnt out trunks.  I found this hard to believe until he found these pictures on our computer.   Now this was back in the time of Banshee who appears at the end of the above video clip…I think she and I would have gotten along grandly (or possibly fought vigorously – after all, I am not a big fan of other female dogs – except my buddy Snowy…oh there are some more Snowy stories I have yet to tell – so come to think of it, since Banshee would be a part of my pack maybe we would be buds).  Anyhow, Sam told me this story recently of the first time he and Banshee arrived in the mountains.  Again, remember they had been in some god forsaken gas propelled vehicle for days over interstate highways before being shoved in another one to be transported to another location over bumpy mountain roads.  So… when the car stopped – about a mile short of their final destination – and the doors were opened, he and The Shay (that was one of her nicknames) bolted out the door and ran down the road.  Once they cornered the bend in the road and were out of sight of our parents they (S and B) were bewildered that the rest of the pack wasn’t with them.  Sammy says in hindsight they should have known that there was no way those bipeds would have been able to keep up with them.  He then told me that according to family lore, our parents were like: “Oh, $#it!  We lost our dogs in Los Alamos!” (even though at the time they were actually no longer in that town).  Fortunately, they were not lost and they had a great time the rest of their stay in the mountains.  Unfortunately, it was back in the day when not everyone had iPhones or other mobile devices that allow us to now capture almost every instance of our lives.  However, there were a few exemplary photos of this trip (see below).  Where was all that snow this year?

Maybe when Sam and I visit next winter we’ll be able to play in snow like that!  Maybe Snowy can join us ;).

The Tempest


Before I get started on this story from December, I wanted to let you know that I have been talking a lot around the house lately since I haven’t been able to express myself in this forum for the last few weeks due to the inattention of my scribe.  This includes reprimanding my brother for sitting in spots that I want to make myself comfortable in or if he is chewing a bone that I think should be in my mouth.  Then there are all those dogs who dare to go for a walk in front of MY house.  Or those delivery people (mail, boxes, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.) who come to our front door.  For some reason when the latter shows up my Mom rolls off the couch and onto the floor and Dad dashes to be out of sight while Sammy and I team up and bark protectively at the door.  During our outbursts we take turns to go check on our parents in case they weren’t aware these people were at the door.  Not sure what is wrong with them.  Sam and I definitely relate more to the guys in the show we are currently binge watching on Netflix.  The characters in Sons of Anarchy answer the door with a loaded gun behind their backs – which seems totally reasonable to us…you never know what is on the other side of the door and what they might be packing.  I suppose hiding does accomplish the same thing in the end but it doesn’t suit our canine sensibilities.

Anyhow, today I managed to get some time on the old guys calendar and decided I’d tell you about a couple of instances where Sammy and I helped each other out of some jam or other we found ourselves in.

The first near disaster occurred on Christmas Eve in Michigan.  On this occasion, my cousins daughter Eva was going to be coming over and since she is under 15 years of age there was concern Sammy wouldn’t behave himself in her presence.  For some reason my parents seem to think he doesn’t like kids and they don’t want him teaching me that they are actually little terrors.  I personally love the little ones as you may recall from my previous stories (Fan Club).  The decision was made to confine us to a room and force me to spend the evening in a brand new crate – apparently they did believe I would behave myself in this room if I was free to move about.  I begrudgingly got into the crate (or was tricked by the kong filled treat) and was left in the room with Sammy as people started to arrive for the party.  Trapped as we were, we could not be there at the door to greet people, which I have already discussed is not a part of our ethos…so we started barking in protest.  This got my Dad to come in to quiet us and it was evident to him that I was unhappy and a bit worked up (it being hot in the room despite it being December).


He gave us another treat – which we ate up with no complaints – and opened the window behind me to cool us down.   The he LEFT again.  Me still in the crate!  And the party in full swing!!!

There we sat.  Me getting more and more agitated which got Sammy to barking with his normal gruff voice.  Then he did something that almost brought a tear to my eye.  He barked with panic in his voice which alerted my parents that there may be something really wrong.  What a good big brother.  Dad came in and found me very distraught.

I had not only pulled the blanket they had left Sammy to lie on but I was panting and had started emitting my stressed smell.  Action had to be taken.  Dad got my leash on and took me outside for a walk to calm me down.  Being out of the crate helped and I always love a walk but when we returned to the house and it was clear that I was headed back to the dungeon I started wigging out again.  After a short discussion between my parents and the rest of the crowd it was decided that Sam and I could join the party if we stayed on our leashes, I had my buzz collar on, and Sammy was kept away from the little one.  WIN-WIN if you ask me.  Sammy had helped us break out of that prison and I got to hang with Eva.

While Sammy totally ignored her.

The only part that I didn’t like was when I was on a short leash and Eva was playing, laughing, and running about.  See I couldn’t ensure her safety while restrained.

Turns out she was safe and I was not derelict in my duties.  And, since we were out during the present exchange I got to help open some!

The second occasion was after we had arrived in the mountains of New Mexico.  While Dad slept and Mom was doing things on her computer Sammy and I were outside enjoying the mountain air.  Instead of sitting on the back porch or playing in the backyard where we could go in and out of the open back door something attracted our attention to the front of the house.  This requires us to walk on rather rocky terrain which doesn’t bother me so much but really irritates Sammy’s old paw pads.  So much so he sometimes refuses to walk back around the house to the open door.  Which is exactly what happened.  He did his bark thing to get the attention of either of our parents but to no avail.  I saw he needed help and after all I did owe him big time for Christmas Eve.  So I took it upon myself to alert someone to the fact that the front door needed opening for the old guy.

Unfortunately neither Sammy or I had our iPhones so there is no videos or photos of what I did next so I’ll just have to try and explain it and use an old photo as a prop.  Maybe, I should start with what my mother later related to my father when explaining what happened

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

OK.  This is really from The Raven by Mr. EA Poe but it is essentially what happened.  Well if your replace chamber door with kitchen window.  See I was outside with Sammy who was imprisoned on the front porch – well maybe more incapable (whether physically or emotionally I can only guess) of getting back to the back door and into the house where the food and water were stored.  Looking around for something to assist him I noticed the kitchen window.  Maybe I could throw a rock through it and then lift Sammy up and through it to thereby gaining access to the interior of the house.  I decided I better look in through the window first to ensure that this plan would work. Which is when I noticed that our mother was sitting there on the couch not 15 feet away.  Maybe I could get her attention somehow prior to implementing my original plan.  I reached up and with my long nails (yep – still not letting them clip my nails and only chew on them when they get too long) started tapping on the window.  Softly at first: tap, tap.  Then a little louder: TAP, TAP.  And as Sammy’s barking appeared more agitated I upped my game.  TAP, TAP, TAP…TAP, TAP, TAP!  I even tried using Morse Code (dot, dot, dot…dash, dash, dash…dot, dot, dot) to alert her to the fact that this was an emergency. I assume this worked as she finally looked up from her spot on the couch and saw me looking at her through the window and tapping on the window which motivated her to come and let Sammy in.  I got a “good girl” from Mom and a tip of the head from Sammy as he went in, letting me know I had repaid my debt.

Version 3

PROP LEGEND:  That is the window behind Sammy that I tapped on.  Good thing I have grown so tall since they brought me into the pack way back when.  Obviously, during Sammy’s ordeal he wasn’t chillin’ on the porch like he is in this photo, but hopefully it gives you a visual sense of what I described.

Afterwards, Sammy and I were talking about these two events and we determined that it isn’t a 1:1 debt that needs to be paid off but that it is important that we always have each other’s back when we are in a precarious situation.  It is a comforting thought that he is there for me.  I certainly hope that each of you have someone like Sammy in your life!

More soon…promise.

The Tempest

Stairs, Ladders and Escalators…

Tonight I am going to leave this as a simple VLOG.

But I will elaborate on the content of the video shortly…and the whole Oxford comma thing…and some other stories from our trip in the mountains of New Mexico – hopefully this weekend if The Scribe can stay focused.

Now, without further ado, the Von Temp family singers do a number without singing:

Hope you all have a great weekend,

The Tempest


Stairs, Ladders, and Escalators

Tonight I am going to leave this as a simple VLOG.

But I will elaborate on the content of the video shortly…and the whole Oxford comma thing…and some other stories from our trip in the mountains of New Mexico – hopefully this weekend if The Scribe can stay focused.

Now, without further ado, the Von Temp family singers do a number without singing:

Hope you all have a great weekend,

The Tempest


The Von Temp Family Singers

From the moment we hit the expressway on the way to Ann Arbor we (Sam and I) took up the spirit of the holiday season.  Although we wanted to sing the whole way, our parents convinced us – with some peanut butter filled bones – that maybe we should take some breaks between our songs.

So we did.

But that didn’t mean we didn’t sing again during our trip.  Nor did it mean that we didn’t take some time while in AA to sing some other tunes.  And on the way to NM.  But then on the return drive to Illinois we surprised The Scribe with what he thought was an impromptu chorus of Happy Birthday but in fact, it was something we’ve been practicing for months.

Although the show business is quite tiring, Sammy and I are waiting to hear from our agent about an upcoming tour.

So long.  Farewell. Auf wiedersehen, Goodbye.


The Tempest

Three Strange Days

Christmas, New Years, and beyond…

Of course, that duration of time was not a simple three day excursion but we did take 3 days to travel from Ann Arbor to Los Alamos.  Now this wasn’t our first trip to NM (in fact it is #3 for me…and some countless # for Sammy).  However, it was our first trip to NM directly from A2, and the first time in an electric car in freezing temps – which was significantly different from my other trips – oh, Sammy says it was quite different from his other road trips too!  Luckily, my parents brought along their new winter coats for the trip since at each of our charging stops – and our bathroom breaks – the temps were so cold (1-10 degrees Fahrenheit) that without their jackets they might have been frozen solid.  And they were thinking they’d need those coats up in the mountains where the temps were generally in the 40-50’s.  In fact, their last minute decision to bring their big coats was a blessing since they kept the cabin temp of our car low to save on the juice (this is one of the terms they use for electricity which I really don’t get ’cause whenever we stop I get nothing but H20).  The cool car temps works just fine for us dogs since we always wear our cold temperature coats!  I must say though that Sammy does go a bit overboard with his attire and packs on unnecessary layers – but I’ll give him a break since he is so old and maybe that is just the way they rolled back in the day.

Day 1:

30 minutes outside A2


Looking like it might be a long drive…and this was after our drive from Illinois to Michigan in which Sam and I started singing Christmas Carols – more on that later.

But then we went through Homer…This has got to be a good sign, right?



The travel conditions did not improve.  We put our heads down and powered on into Indiana, past Indianapolis (where we stopped again for some more juice) and on through southern Illinois until finally we stopped in Rolla, Missouri.  This scared the poop emoji out of me since this is basically in the Ozarks – which just so happens to be a TV series we recently watched which did not endear me to this community.   However, I know TV and movies often misrepresent and reinforce certain stereotypes but I decided to entrust my personal safety (and that of Sammy) to our parent’s better judgement.

DAY 2: 

On the second day, the snows had stopped but the cold temps persisted.   We continued on our way through the rest of Missouri, then powered through Oklahoma and finally came to rest in Shamrock Texas – which just so happens to be a town on the historical Route 66.  Let me tell you that without the interstate highway system I think this three day ordeal may have been a lot different – especially if we were doing this back in the day.

Sammy and I got some good rest so we would be focused on the home stretch and our arrival in LA and our reunion with our NM grandparents.

But this place was interesting.  Mom thought I had to poop when we got there, so she and I walked around.  What did we see?  Loufas tied to light posts.  Poop on the side walks (yum yum!).  Dogs in the distance and up close.  AND, when we went to our frunk to select a toy for me, people from NJ there charging and saying I was cute!

DAY 3:

But then we awoke to this scene in the morning…mind you, this is TEXAS!

Oh boy.  This frozen landscape is pretty but is not a good scene for putting the pedal to the medal and burning rubber.  Now in an EV, rather than an ICE mobile, you can’t say: “Hit the gas, bro!” – since putting your foot on the accelerator doesn’t actually increase gas consumption, since there is no gas anywhere in the car…with the exception of Sammy and my Dad :).

Finally, despite the cold temps, we arrived in NM but we had to wait a whole additional night before we got to see our Grandparents!   Sammy tried to convince our parents that if we just stayed at this hotel in Santa Fe that we could get up to LA first thing in the morning without having to stop again and again and walk around…of course he did this at every stop that had a hotel nearby the charging station…which was several of them.  That boy likes his hotels!

Come to think of it, I think he would have liked our three strange days to last a week or more.  Personally, I couldn’t wait to get up to the mountains.  But those are stories for another day.

The Tempest

-excuse me if this is a repeat but it never appeared on our other devices even though it said it had posted last night.   Guess the real puzzler was this entry not the previous one.