Monday, December 28, 2020

I saw a lot of people on our walk


Yesterday was a really sunny day, but it was cold. I didn't think Mom would want to go for much of a walk, but she surprised me! She bundled up in this long poofy coat with a hat and scarf and we headed out. We've been going back the old homestead lane lately. Mom likes it that she doesn't have to jump any creeks. She says if she'd slip off a rock, then her would be really cold. 

Mom took a few videos and then today she edited them and put them all together. Humans like to learn new things all the time. So do I if a snackie is involved, but Mom just drinks more coffee. Not my thing.

We saw a lot of people on our walk, too. It was Sunday so Mom wasn't too surprised. She had to put me on the leash three times, not because I'm bad, but because I'm sort of a big dog and people are afraid of big dogs they don't know. I get it, but I'm glad those people know I can protect Mom if necessary. 

I hoped we'd go on a long walk again today, but Mom wasted a lot of time at the computer instead. She knows I'm more fun, but what's a guy to do? We went out for a few shorter strolls to the mailbox and around, but it's not the same as a good long walk. 

The videos Mom took are down below. I think her shadow looked funny, but then she had on a funny hat!

Friday, December 25, 2020

I got a puppy for Christmas!

I got a puppy for Christmas! 

I was worried, too. When Mom said I was getting a puppy, I thought maybe she meant Sadie was coming to live with us. I don't think I'd like that. 

Sadie is too high energy, even for me! And she's so small. Mom and Dad tell me I used to be that size but I just don't remember that. Anyway...

I love my puppy! I've had teddy bears and rabbits and even a giraffe, but I don't remember having a puppy. Maybe I did. Mom might know but I don't know how to ask her.

This is better than a live puppy. Seriously. Sadie came with Cousin Dave to visit and it was ... not my finest hour. She grabbed my puppy and I did not like that. I growled a little bit - not much, I swear! But Mom noticed. 

I'm not sure I like my puppy as much as I did before SHE slobbered on it. Mom says I'll change my mind in a little while. 

Mom thinks I'll warm up to Sadie, too, when Cousins Dave and Sharon can bring Sadie along on a walk with me and Mom. We'll see. 

It's Christmas Day, and it's good our pack is together. There's going to be a ZOOM call soon with Dad's litter, and I have to remember not to bark. Mom has giblets cooking for me, too. I love giblets! I think I'd better go get ready for when Mom cuts them up. She might drop one and I'd better be there when that happens. 

So from our pack to your pack, we wish you a Merry Christmas! 

Oh, and here's a short video of Mom being silly. She knows I don't like to share my toys.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

That felt good!

It might be a cool 39F outside, but Dad cranked up the heat to a warm 75F inside. That should have been my first clue, but hey. I was napping. A guy needs naps to stay sharp. 

I should have been paying attention to Mom when she pulled Dad's chair out of the shower and put down a bunch of towels, but hey. I was still napping. Or maybe I was growling at the noise outside. I thought I heard something and needed to alert Dad. He shushed me. 

What gives, Dad? I was doing my job!

Anyway, when Mom called me I went to her only we weren't going to her office. Oh, no. She pointed into the bathroom and I knew what that meant. Puppy shampoo. 

I don't mind getting a bath even though it's not as much fun as the creek. Mom sprayed me, shampooed me, and rinsed me in about five minutes so it was pretty quick. Then she used a bunch of towels to get me dry and I like that! It feels like a massage and what's not to like about Mom giving me a rubdown? 

Well, I didn't like the part where she reamed out my dried my ears, but she had to do that. I'm pretty sure she's going to squirt that icky stuff in them, too. I'm waiting for it so I'm prepared. I've learned the quicker I sit and be still, the faster it's over and done with. I told you - I'm Deuce and I'm a good dog! 

So now I'm all clean and shiny again! And fluffy! I wonder why Mom hasn't told me I smell sweet? 

PS. That's a good picture of 'lil 'ol me. Look at my long legs! 

Monday, December 14, 2020

A long walk on December 13, 2020

dry creekbed

It was a bright, sunny day and Mom asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. 

Mom. For the record, you don't have to ask me that. I'm ALWAYS ready to go on a walk. 

Maybe I should reconsider that position. 

When Mom said "walk" I figured we'd go our usual route. I should have paid closer attention to what she and Dad were discussing instead of barking and prancing in front of the door. Bad me. Hindsight says she was explaining our route and timing to Dad in case he needed to call Cousin Dave to go look for us. 

Off we went and my first clue something was different was we turned right at the end of our lane instead of left. That was fine. I'd been down the road a few times before and I'd even been back the old homestead lane a couple of weeks ago. But Mom didn't turn off on the trail we took before. She kept going. 

We came to another trail and she kept going. Now I was looking over my shoulder at her and wondering where we were headed. We passed a third trail and came to an old, dry creek bed. Mom shook her head and told me that when she was a girl, her and a couple of friends used to have a little dam that you can sorta tell where it was, and a "swimming hole" in that creek. It wasn't very deep, but on a hot summer day it was a nice place to get wet and just hang out after riding their bikes back there. She said I would've really liked the old swimming hole. 

the old pond
After that we turned around and went back. I thought we were going home but nooooooo. Mom turned onto the last trail we'd passed and we headed up a big hill. Then she turned again and pointed to a big circle of weeds she called the old pond. 

Well, okay, it did have a tiny bit of water in it, but a pond? Nope. More like a mud puddle and when I headed for it, boy did I get hollered at! I guess that's off-limits for poor 'lil ole me. Mom did say she was surprised it had any water in it. It used to be a lot bigger and you could float a little boat on it. 

We walked past the mud puddle pond and finally headed downhill. We passed another trail and I realized where we were! We'd been up this trail a couple of weeks ago! Mom really did know where she was going!

I was getting tired by now but I knew our next stop was home. I couldn't wait to get there, get my vest off, and take a nap! 

It was a fun walk. Mom says we'll do it again when the weather is better. We can't go today because it's snowing now. Mom's right. Snow isn't the kind of wet I like. Wet paws aren't so bad, but I don't like to have a wet head. 

Unless I've ducked my head under the water in the creek. That's different. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

A trip to the vet and I think I'm insulted

Mom took me to the vet this morning at O-Dark-Thirty. I've learned that O-Dark-Thirty is really early. It comes any time before Mom's second cup of coffee. 

When Mom opened the door of my truck and said "stay," I thought she was joking at first. Turns out she wanted to get my attention so I didn't jump in before she had the door all the way open. I've done that a few times, being excited to go for a ride and all that, and it never works out well for me. Mom was right. I need to be patient and wait for her or Dad to say it's okay to jump. 


It seems that sticking my head underwater when I play in the creek is not a smart thing to do. I dived in so deep last weekend that my ear got infected. That's why Mom hauled my black arse to the vet. 

I didn't like it much, either. 

Mom couldn't go in with me and I really DID NOT LIKE THAT!!!! Then those girls picked me up and dropped me on the scales! Mom watched them through the glass door and she was not happy. They didn't even give me a chance to get myself centered and then step on the scales. 

AND THEN they said I'm fat!!! They said I need to lose two pounds! 

I don't think so. I walk every day and most days a couple of times a day. Dad takes me out every few hours and we go to the end of the lane and we play ball. Mom takes me on long walks all the time and while Mom might walk a mile and a half, or even two miles, I'm running ahead or into the woods and covering a lot more ground than her.  

My dog food says I can have up to 4.5 cups of chow a day and I don't get that much. Mom puts three cups in my bowl and I'm a good dog. I only eat when I'm hungry which means some days I don't eat much at all. Some days I don't eat any dog food. There is always food in the bowl for me when I want it (except right after I've chowed down, of course). I just know I should only eat when I'm hungry. 

I am not fat. I have MUSCLES. I'm not some pampered city dog. I run all the time. I think Dad should take those silly girls for a walk and see if they can keep up with his chair. I bet they can't, but I can. 

Mom took my picture when we got home and I'm still svelte! Okay, so it's not a great photo but look at those long legs! Look at that nipped waist! I'm simply taller and larger than the Lab breed standards, and therefore a tad heavier than the standards allow. It's not a bad thing I grew up to be a big, strong fellow. 

I'm Deuce and they insulted me. 

And to pile on another insult, Mom has to squirt smelly ointment into my ears for the next seven days. 

The moral to this story is, I'm never getting out of bed at O-Dark-Thirty on a Saturday morning again! Bad things happen if Mom doesn't get a second cup of coffee on Saturday morning. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

A long walk but Mom wasn't lost

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day. The turkey was wonderful! And the giblets were to die for! I wish Mom would give me all the giblets, but nooooo. She doles them out like they're precious or something. Why does she do that? 

We had a Zoom call with Dad's siblings and I forgot to use my inside voice. Yeah, I barked. In my defense, they sounded kind of strange with their voices coming out of Dad's phone. Mom just petted me and said it was okay I forgot. She understands. 

Today is something Mom and Dad call Black Friday. Hey! I'm black! Is today about me? What? No? Go figure. 

Mom was home today so we decided to take a walk. It started out normal, but then Mom said she wanted to show me an old trail she used to walk all the time as a girl. I was ready to go! 

It's a pretty cool trail. It goes along the side of the big hill and up toward the top. There's another trail that comes in from the top of the hill, but Mom said we'd have to do that one when mushroom season is in. Mom knew where she was so I didn't worry. Then it happened. The trail Mom wanted to take to go home was closed. Mom said, "not a problem."

And it wasn't. We were so far up the hill we could our house so we really did know where we were. We knew if we followed the "new" trail it would intersect with an old homestead lane. Then there was another sign saying THAT section of the trail was closed. Who are these people who manage the state park woods? I peed on the post just because I could. 

Onward we went until we finally came out on the old lane about a mile deeper in the woods than we would have gone if they hadn't moved the trail. It was all good, except for the horse manure incident and I don't want to talk about that, or what happened to me when I got home. I'll just say some soap and water were involved, I'm sort of shiny again, and let it go at that. 

I had a really good time, and so did Mom, but it's good to get back home and relax. My paws are tired little puppies!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

I guess I have to put up with him

Loki the cat

It's getting colder at night, and while I'm all warm and toasty in the big bed, that idiot Loki likes to sleep outside. In the cold. 

Okay, so he's on a nice chair inside the screened-in patio, but that chair is not as comfy as the bed. If it was, Mom would sleep in it and she doesn't. Mom's not stupid, you know. 

November is the time of year it starts to get cold here. There's less daylight and even less bright sunshine. Like today. I know the sun is up there because I can feel it on my black fur, but I can't see it because of the gray clouds. Those clouds won't stop me and Mom from going for a walk, though. 

Back to Loki, he slept inside all night the other night. And where did he want to sleep? On the bed with me, Mom, and Dad. I did not like this. He sleeps on Mom's feet and then she kicks ME to make me move so she has more room. I say NO FAIR. This should not be my problem. Loki needs to find another place to sleep. There are lots of other nice places, even another bed! 

Mom says if any little mouse snuck into the house it's "dead meat." Boy, that sounds nasty. I like meat but mouse? Nooooo. If that skanky cat nibbles it, that's one thing. I am a dog. I prefer BACON! 

I guess it's okay that Loki is sleeping in the house again. I don't want him to turn into a popsicle on the patio. That would make Mom sad. I guess I'll just have to put up with him sleeping on the bed. But I'm warning him - if Mom kicks ME, I'm going to knock him off the edge onto the floor whether Mom and Dad like it or not. 

I'm Deuce. I was here FIRST!

Friday, November 6, 2020

I'm a star! I did another book cover!

I'm a star! Mom always told me that and now she made me one - again! 

Okay, I think when she told me I was a star she really meant I was one of the lights in the night sky for her, but that was before I posed for book covers. Now lots and lots of people will see me! 

Why is Mom telling me to calm down? This is exciting! 

Okay, maybe not. Not everyone will like this book even though it has my picture on the front. But they'll like MY picture, right Mom? 

And the story is about a black lab - like me!

Wait...what? It's not? 

That's just not right. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

We match!

I love Saturdays! Mom is home with me and Dad and we get to go for walks together. Mom already had an orange sweatshirt that matches my vest and she told Dad he needed one - so he got one. Now we all match! It's a good thing. 

We had to wait to go on our walk today. First, it was too chilly for Dad to be outside, and then Mom had to finish making apple butter. I don't think I like apple butter but I overheard them talking about having apple butter with pork. Pork! I love, love, love pork! Pork is .... not what I was talking about. Oh, yeah...

It's hunting season and orange is the best color to wear if you go walking in the woods. Now that Dad has an orange hoodie, he really stands out when he's waiting for us. Mom and I could see him through the woods from a long, long way away. 

Matching is good. Be the pack! 

If Mom makes a pumpkin cheesecake this weekend, I KNOW I'll like that better than apple butter!

Friday, October 16, 2020

He's daring me again

 Loki is one weird cat. Sometimes he likes to play, and sometimes he's a nutter. The other day I was napping under Mom's desk while she was working and he strolled into the office and flopped down on the floor and just stared at me.  I mean, he just stared! 

I didn't know what he wanted. He looked like he died or something. I tried to ignore him because he hates that and he'll leave and go do Loki things, but not this time. 

Bet me he was hoping I'd ask Mom to let me out the door so he could pounce on me. He's tricky that way. Mom says he's just being a cat but I say he's being annoying. 

Really, Mom. I'd rather have a puppy to play with. What do you say? Can I have a brother? 


Note from Mom: NO!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Houston, we have a problem

It started out like any other Saturday morning. Mom and I got up around six, and I went out to do all my outside activities. Mom fixed a cup of coffee, and we trotted back to her office.

And that's when it happened. 

Mom sat in her chair and I sat right in front of her like the good dog I am and batted my eyelashes at her. Then I offered her my paw. This ALWAYS gets me snackies. 

Not today.

The jar was empty. 

That's right, folks. The jar was empty. Mom let the treat jar in the office get empty. 

I know I trained her better than that. And instead of immediately going to remedy the situation, she checked her email! I did not like this at all. So I stared at her and tried to send her a telepathic message, which she didn't get. Now she's writing my blog while I sit here starving. 

That right. STARVING. 

No, I'm not being melodramatic. I want my morning snackies. 

Houston, we have a problem...........

Saturday, October 3, 2020

It's October again

I've learned it's October again. That means it's hunting season again, and I have to wear my orange vest again. I don't really mind it, but I'm glad Mom ordered me a larger size. I'm no longer a pup, but a full-grown he-dog. I'm big, black, and bad. 

Well, not the bad kind of bad because I behave, but the cool kind of bad. Ask any dog on the mountain and they'll tell you. When I bark, they all shut up and listen! Anyway, I'm a big guy and my old vest is a bit snug. Mom says it's a good thing I'm a big guy, even if I am too tall for the breed standard. I'm still a handsome guy. 

Hey! Mom has an orange hoodie but Dad doesn't. Maybe Dad can put my old vest on his chair! He can use it like a flag! That way all the members of the pack can be safe!

Mom's a little stressed these days so we're walking a lot. She's ready to retire but she's worried about a lot of stuff I don't understand, like insurance. I'm a lucky dog because when I have to go to the vet, Mom and Dad just take care of it. Vets are cheaper than doctors. I don't know what an election is, either, because in the pack, Mom's the boss forever. Except when she's at work, then Dad's the boss. 

It'll be fun when she's home all the time because we'll get to walk a lot more. This is a good thing. 

Today we waited until almost noon to leave the house. Mom and I went outside early and it was a bit cold on my paws so I'm glad she waited. And Dad could come along for part of the way, too, once it warmed up. 

We didn't see anything special on our walk today, and that's okay. It's October again and just being outside makes it a good day. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

It's not green, it's see through

Humans are very confusing, even those in our pack. Mom and Dad did all this talking about a little greenhouse, and today they took it out of the box. Guess what? It's not green at all. It's clear. I can see straight through the sides. 

We had a sort of lazy morning. There were coffee and scones for breakfast - I got a bite from both Mom and Dad. I snoozed while they watched some videos on YouTube, and then we went outside to put the greenhouse up. 

It was pretty easy. I rested in the shade while Dad read the instructions and told Mom which piece went where to build the frame. Then Mom had to get the plastic shell put on over the frame. It looked hard to me, but Mom didn't seem to have any trouble with it. The instructions don't call for it, but Dad's going to add a few screws to make it come apart and go back together in bigger pieces. 

Mom says she's going to plant seeds inside the greenhouse. She sure is having fun with this gardening stuff. I don't know if I like that so much. It's time she could be spending with me, you know. 

Then again, she gave me a bath after the greenhouse was erected. I needed it because I'm really shedding right now. It felt good to have all that fur wash out, and now Mom says I smell sweet again. That's important since I sleep on the bed with her. 

I'm going to hang around and watch what Mom does with this greenhouse because I heard the parents talk about growing food in there, and food is a really good thing. 

I'm Deuce, and that's my plan. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

It's vest time again

Deuce is well-dressed for fall

Did you know it's now officially autumn? Mom said something about it the other day. Autumn means hunting season and that means Mom and me will dress alike on our walks! Today was the first day since autumn began I got to go into the woods so I had to wear my orange vest. Mom put on her orange sweatshirt, too. People are NOT supposed to be hunting where we walk, but they sneak in anyway. 

We usually go for a long walk on the days Mom doesn't work. I sure hope she finalizes her retirement soon so we can go every day. Every day! I get all excited just thinking about it! 

What was I going to say?

Oh, yeah. I wasn't sure we'd get to go because it's sort of misty and drizzly outside. My first trip outside this morning, about six o'clock, it was sprinkling. Not a good sign for a guy who's eager to run through the woods. But by about ten-ish, there was only a bit of mist and we decided to go, but make it a quick, short walk so we wouldn't get too wet. 

Mom took a long video of our walk. She likes to do that for two reasons. One, she wants to always remember her time with me, and two, it makes us feel like we can bring Dad along. That's important to us. 

I don't mind wearing my vest because it keeps me safe. But I'm a big guy now, and I was just a lanky pup when Mom got me the vest. It's a little snug this year and I swear it's not because I'm eating too much. I'm still svelte! But I am all mature now. Maybe Mom will get me a slightly bigger vest, or at least redo the velcro on this one. 

What'ya say, Mom? How about doing a bit of tailoring for me? 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Me? Picky?

Sometimes it pays to be a picky eater. I know Labs like me are supposed to be canine garbage disposals, but I'm a very discerning pup.  It makes Mom a little crazy when I refuse to eat. The problem is I can't tell her if my tummy is upset or if I'm just being hard-headed. Here lately, she suspects the latter. 

The other day she found some old ground lamb burger in the freezer and cooked it off. I'd never smelled lamb before, but I was kinda interested. Then she mixed a big spoonful of the lamb in with my dog food and stirred and stirred and stirred until there was no way I could pick out the lamb and leave the chow. I had to eat the whole thing!

Mom's pretty smart. I wonder what I need to do to get lamb all the time?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

**Note from Mom: Dream on black dog. Dream on...

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Tractor Time With Deuce

Deuce helps service the John Deere 1023
Dad works hard to keep my yard looking good. It's not easy for him but he's a stubborn guy. He just keeps chipping away at a project until it's finally finished. Mom and I know he works so hard on our yard because he knows we love our yard. Even that skanky Loki likes our yard. 

Mom and Dad have a big John Deere tractor. They call it the 1023 but I'm not sure what that means. There's another smaller John Deere they call a 370 but it can only mow. I'm a smart dog so I know I don't have to know about the equipment, just keep out of its way when it's moving. 

This summer, Dad's been all hopped up about doing something called a two-hundred-hour service on the 1023. I'm not sure what it means, but I know it's had Mom snorting. She's had to crawl under the tractor and that's not her favorite thing to do. A couple of weeks ago they changed the coolant and the oil. Yesterday, they changed the hydraulic fluid. I learned that's what makes the bucket, backhoe, and snowblower go up and down. 

Or something like that. I'm Deuce. I'm a dog. Mom and Dad talk and I hear the words but sometimes it's pretty boring stuff. All this tractor talk has nothing to do with me getting snackies so it's not important. Show me the treats and I'll pay attention. 

Anyway, yesterday it was Dad's turn to get under the tractor. First, Mom set down the outriggers, lifted the back tires off the ground, and shoved blocks under the tires. It was safety first before Dad got out of his chair. 

Well, let me tell you. Dad out of his chair on the ground is not a good thing in my world. Dad on the ground anytime is not a good thing, and this time he did it on purpose. I did not like this. I came over and watched to see why he'd do this. I knew with me and Mom right there it must not be tooooo bad, but I still didn't like it. Once he's down he has to get back up. Not good. It worried me. 

Turns out, it was a good thing he was the one looking at the underside of the tractor. The people sent him the wrong filter (he was not happy) and Mom might not have known it was the wrong one. He put the old filter back on because, he said, the old fluid was still really clear, whatever that means. They take good care of the tractor so I bet that next year, we'll do this again with the correct filter even if we don't have four-hundred hours run time on the 1023. 

By the end of the day, the 1023 was back under the carport, the bucket of old fluid was loaded on the Silverado to go to the recycling place, and Mom was serving BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner. 

I wonder what's for dinner today? 

Monday, September 7, 2020

I tried to tell them, but noooooo

Last night while we were eating dinner...well, Mom and Dad were eating dinner. I was successfully bumming bites of grilled pork chop, so maybe I was having dinner, too. Anyway, I heard a noise so I did my job and barked. And what did they do? They shushed me!

I'm insulted. I knew a branch had fallen out of a tree. I know what that sounds like. I didn't know it had fallen across the lane but Mom and I discovered that when we went out for a stroll after dinner. 

Mom tried to apologize for shushing me but I wasn't ready to let her make up to me. She didn't have any snackies with her so I very smartly thought I'd wait until we were back inside and she could give me a Griller to officially accept her apology. 

I mean, really folks. Do not shush me for doing my job. Barking to alert you guys to something happening on the manor is what I do, and you know I do it very well. 

So remember this next time.  Just say to yourself, "do not shush Deuce when he's correct." Then repeat it. 

One more thing to remember - don't leave the house without treats in your pockets. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Where's the frog at today?

Where's the frog today?
I'm a pretty smart dog. Ask Mom. She'll tell you I'm not fibbing. I learn new stuff all the time, and one of the things I've learned is that frogs are sneaky little things. It's true! Let me tell you the facts.

There is a ditch that runs along the lane so that when it rains, the water coming down from the top of the big hill doesn't make ruts Mom's car can't drive over. There's a spot where the water makes a tiny pool and a frog lives in it. Mom says a frog in that spot is a good thing because it eats bug eggs which, sounds really nasty, but I'm not a frog.

Oh, and Mom says not to worry about the frog. It's just a couple of hops over to the spring branch or the creek, so if his little pool dries up, he'll be fine. 

Anyway...I know about the frog. When Mom and Dad take me down to the creek to play in the water, I look for him. I know how to stand really still, too. Mom says I have really good focus when I want. The funny thing is, I know he's there and I still jump every time he moves! How silly is that? 

I'm Deuce! I'm a big, bad, black Labrador Retriever, for heaven's sake. I'm descended from the St. John's Dog! He's an itty bitty frog. It's not like he's bigger than me. The deer are bigger than me and I'm not jumpy over them. 

Some days the frog isn't around. Maybe he's back inside the culvert or under the water where I can't spot him. I get a little disappointed when that happens. It's a lot more fun to sneak up on him and make HIM jump.

I'll try again tomorrow. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

How can you resist this face?

It's really good to be me. I'm a lucky dog. Mom and Dad feed me, play with me, take me on walks, take me along for rides in the big truck, and they let me sleep on the bed. Not every pup has it so good. One of the things Mom does for me is to fill my hex toy with dog chow. 

Now, that may not seem like much but it is to me. I don't have thumbs so I can't do it for myself. Mom knows that if I give her the hex, I'm feeling sort of nibbly. 

The hex holds about a cup of chow and Mom keeps track of how many cups I get in one day. If we go for a long walk, I get a little extra. If we don't do much of anything, I might get a little less and then need a snack. 

Once my hex is filled, I can roll it around so a few pieces fall out. If I'm just feeling snacky, I might play with the hex for a long time before every piece of chow falls out. Sometimes I eat a few pieces and realize I'm hungry and that's when I roll it around fast. 

That was me the other night. I thought I was feeling nibbly so I gave the hex to Mom. She finished reading her chapter (I didn't like that because I wanted her to fill my hex NOW) and then did what I asked her so politely to do. I had the first couple bites and then I wolfed it all down. When I gave the hex to Mom a second time, she took my picture. 

And you know what? It worked! She filled it again!

Seriously, though. Who can resist this face? 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sleeping on the bed makes me famous!

According to Mom, I forgot myself this morning. I'm not sure what that means. How can I forget myself when I am myself? One of us is confused and I think it's Mom. 

Here's the backstory.  I love, love, love to sleep on the big bed with Mom and Dad. It's a good thing. We're a pack and the pack should sleep together. I mean, you never know when a bear or a moose or even some big old deer will sneak up on you when you sleep. Am I right? 

Of course, I'm right! I'm Deuce! 

So I sleep with Mom and Dad. Loki was outside last night so it was just the three of us. Mom got up first thing this morning, and I figured she wasn't coming back, so I used her pillow. What did Mom do? She didn't say a word, just snatched up her camera and took a picture. Then she said I was "blog fodder," whatever that means. 

Well, I knew she meant it would go on my blog, but there's more. I bet she even puts this picture on Twitter and Pinterest. Maybe even Instagram. Does that mean I'm famous, or infamous? 

***Note from Mom***
He sounds soooo contrite for sliding into my spot, doesn't he?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Another overcast day made my walk muggy

Deuce with the old reservoir in background
I love, love, love my walks with Mom. We take the same route most of the time because it's the safest
one for me. The old road is gated closed so there are no cars or trucks and I can be off-leash and hop in the creek every time we cross over it. 

Mom took a couple of pictures, but it was cloudy so she's not happy with them. 

We always spend a few minutes at the old reservoir. The water there comes up from the ground in a spring. It's cold and clean and really good to drink. Before the road was gated, lots of people in our community, Mom included, used to come to the reservoir and fill jugs of water for drinking and making ice tea. A long, 
long time ago, some people used this spring 
water for making something called Apple Jack. 
I never met my great-granddad but Mom says 
he would have loved me a lot! 
overflow pipe at old reservoir

I'm Deuce! What's not to love??

The overflow pipe at the reservoir is pretty cool. The water comes out and creates a deep hole that I can play in on really hot and muggy days like today. I don't stay in for long because the water is really cold! I'm a Labrador Retriever and we like water, but I like it to be a little warmer to stay in for a longer time. I have learned that if I step under the pipe, I get very wet so I try to remember to not do that. Besides, Mom laughs at me when the water hits me on the head. 

When we got home, Mom said we walked almost two miles. I think that was enough walking for me for today. Dad's puttering in the shed and Mom is blogging for me, so I think I'll hop up on the bed and take a well-deserved nap. It's a good way to while away a hot afternoon. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

My yard is my playground

I have a big yard to play in. Mom took a video so I can show you everything. It was a really, really, really hot day, so we didn't play ball or anything. We just strolled around.

Mom started standing at the patio and looking at the shed. Then she panned to the back yard and the picnic table and campfire ring. Do you hear the cicadas? They are loud! The windchimes are softer except when the wind blows hard. 

Dad built those terraces to help when it rains. Living on the side of a mountain is tricky business when the water run-off comes through. It has to rain pretty hard before that happens - maybe once a year. Those two windows are the office windows. I spend a lot of time in there when Mom's working. It's my job to keep her company. 

The woods at the west end of the house are called, "The West 40." It's not really forty acres but my parents call it that. They get strange notions sometimes. We burn out there which is why we keep our fires small and a water hose handy. My woods go all the way down over the hill, but I don't go down there. I don't like briars because they can hurt my paws.  

Walking on around, there are the flowers at Mom's sunporch. It's outside her office. The orange stuff is called Tiger Lily and the red is Bee Balm. The little hummingbirds like that stuff. Right now, there's the top of a tall tree on the ground. Half of it broke out about two months ago, and now the rest of it fell to the ground. Dad's going to pick it up with the pallet forks and move it over to be burned later in the year. 

So you can see I have a big playground. I love to sniff around and see who's been in my yard. The main road is far away and I don't have to be scared of cars or be on a leash when we go outside. Even though it's safe, I almost never go outside by myself. 

Mom videoed all the way around and back to the shed. So that's it! That's MY yard. I'm really happy I have room to run around and be a country dog. And it's good we have room to be the pack, and being the pack is everything. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

It was hot today - I got a patio bath, and Bambi was in my front yard

July 18, 2020

Oh, my paws it was hot today! I thought I might melt when we went outside this morning. Mom and Dad wanted to put the pallet forks on the John Deere 1023 and I went along to watch. Thank heavens they worked in the shade, and that they didn't work for long. I don't think we were out more than about an hour.

Mom said it was 95F. That's hot! I plopped down over the air conditioning vent. The cold air felt soooo good on my belly, at least at first. I had to move because, um, well, pinky started to get a bit chilly. Next time I need to make sure he's not over the register. 

I was panting so Mom filled a big bucket with lukewarm water and took me out on the patio for a quick shampoo. It felt sooooo good to be wet! Mom made sure the water got all the way to my skin. It felt so good I stood really still when she rinsed me out. Oh, my! If it's hot tomorrow, maybe she'll get me wet again. And the bonus was I shed and shed and shed! Mom brushes me but this was like a big-time shed! Now I'm cool and fluffy. Mom and Dad know just what to do to make me feel really good. 

We stayed inside all afternoon after my patio bath. After dinner, Mom looked out the window and saw the doe with the two Bambis in the front yard. She didn't tell me they were there until after they were gone. Seriously, Mom? I know I'm not supposed to chase a Bambi. Heck, I'm bigger than they are! It wouldn't be fair for me to scare them like that. 

What Mom did do was take a video of them walking into the woods and over the stone fence on their way down to the creek to drink water. The video is uploading as we work on this blog. I hope it finishes soon or today might become tomorrow and that might get confusing because Mom and I wrote this blog today. See what I mean? 

Today DID turn into tomorrow before Mom could upload the video! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dad went along on our walk

I got a surprise treat a few days ago when Dad went along on our walk. He could only go as far as the old reservoir because his fancy chair can't cross the creek, but it was pretty cool he went that far. And not just because his saddlebag has a pocket full of treats for lil' ole me, although I admit that is a big plus. A guy gets snacky on a walk, you know. 

Mom and I went almost as far as the lake. It was really quiet in the woods yesterday. And hot. I didn't even see a squirrel, which is odd. There were plenty of the little rodents in my yard. They have no respect for my boundaries. Did I mention it was hot?

On the way back, I got a surprise. Dad waited for us! We came around the last bend before the reservoir and I couldn't believe my eyes! Seriously!

I looked and looked and looked at Dad, thinking the entire time my eyes were playing tricks on me. Was that really him? Mom said it was so I picked up the pace and went to him even though that left Mom alone. I guess that was okay since she could see us, but my job is to walk with Mom and keep her safe. 

Mom and I talked about it and decided Dad must have enjoyed being out in the woods or else he'd have gone home without us. We're going to ask him to walk with us again. Maybe we can load up his scooter and go down to the towpath one day. That would be fun! 

It's not a surprise that Mom made of video of my almost faux pas. She's got more of them uploaded, too. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

That thing is ugly

Our pack lives in the country and that means we have a lot of critters around. We have deer, foxes - I don't like foxes. They pee in my yard and I'm not happy about that. Plus, they have a weird bark that wakes me up at night. Someone said there's even been a bear spotted around here but I've not seen him.

We have squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, all sorts of birds including wild turkeys, snakes, frogs, fish, salamanders, and we have toads. 

Toads. Toads are sort of ugly and they sing. At least singing is what Mom calls it. I call it noise. 

Last night, when Mom and I went out for my last trip before bedtime, there was a huge toad on my patio. I did not like this. Where was Loki? Loki likes to chase little critters off the patio. He was falling down on the job. 

So today, the toad was in the flower bed beside the patio and it was making a warbling, high pitched noise. It wasn't singing, it was making noise. 

And all Mom did was smile. 

No, Mom. We really don't want to keep the toad. Let it go....

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I like it when Mom puts food in my hex. It gives me a chance to go chill out in a quiet spot and have a snack. I was feeling a bit grumpy this morning so when Mom fill my hex, I went behind her chair - and of course she took a picture. 

Seriously, Mom? Some mornings a guy just needs a few extra minutes to wake up and feel sociable. 

Hey, Mom! Next time why don't you slip a couple of Grillers in with my chow? That would get my attention and help me wake up. It'd kinda be like YOUR second cup of coffee. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

It was really hard for Mom to do - but she did it

Deuce at the beginning of the wall

I hate it when Mom tells me no. It hurts my feelings. She usually has a really good reason, like she knows it will hurt my leg or maybe make me throw up. Being told no for no reason at all is confusing. 

A long time ago, before I was born, Mom wanted a little wall built. She asked three different men to do it for her because men are stronger than women. They can pick up rocks with ease. Their hands are bigger and stronger, too. 

Mom waited a long time for her wall. Twenty-five years is over two of my lifetimes. That's long! 

Well, it so happens that there are a couple of other projects Mom is expected to do this summer for other people. Yesterday, she put her foot down. She was done doing things for other people when she didn't have her wall. Until the wall was done, Mom was done. I don't think it went over too well.  It sure didn't for Mom. She was not happy.

With everything she does around here, a wall is a little thing to ask for. Like really. It's not even a big wall. 

Mom got started on it and I didn't think she'd be able to do it. Rocks are heavy. She had to get the John Deere 1023 out because she couldn't lift the rocks much less carry them to the job site. And then there was the little garter snake she almost grabbed. I don't like snakes!  

finished wall
It took her two days, but she did it. But last night, when the wall was half-finished, Mom cried after we went to bed. She was really, really tired and her back really hurt. It didn't matter how she tried to rest, it hurt. I'm glad I was there for her. 

Now that the wall is done, Mom told me something I just don't understand. She said sometimes it's true having is not as pleasing as wanting. I don't get that. When I want a Griller, getting IS better! Getting a Griller never makes me think that I wanted something so bad and no one would get it for me. That's what Mom says the wall is now. It's a reminder of how so many people didn't care enough to lend her their strength and how bad it made her hurt to physically do it. 

I might only be a dog, but I get it. Being the pack means we don't let each other down, and Mom's pack left her down - and for a long time, too. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Tending the fire and a strange dog in my yard

Yesterday was another fun day. A couple of weeks ago, at least I think it was weeks because you know dogs don't tell time very well, some big limbs fell out of some trees. The wind blew so hard they snapped off and came down. I don't like the wind. It makes weird sounds in the night and I bark. That gets me fussed for waking Mom.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah! Yesterday. Yesterday Mom and Dad finished burning the brush from when those branches came down. I like it when we can all be outside around a fire. A campfire makes me remember things I've never done. Mom says that's okay, that it's a sort of primal memory. I don't know what that is, I just know I like to watch the fire with Mom and Dad.

The fire burned for a long time. Dad said it was because the wood was still green. Really, Dad? It didn't look green to me. I know dogs don't see all the colors but I'd swear on my treat jar that wood was brown, tan, and gray. 

We did have a couple minutes of excitement. A strange black dog with a red collar came into my yard. The hair stood up on my back and I went after him! He turned and ran away - fast! This is MY yard and I'll defend it! I'll keep an eye out for him, yes, I will, even though Mom says he probably won't ever come back and risk my ire. 

First thing this morning, Mom and I walked out to check the burn pile. It's an ash pile now. But I know my parents. They'll keep gathering all the big sticks and limbs that fall out of the trees and make another brush pile. Then we'll have another day where we can relax and watch the fire. It's just the way things work in my yard. 

Friday, May 8, 2020

I'm the most popular dog for a record 29th year!

Well, not me exactly, but my breed! I'm a Labrador Retriever and the American Kennel Club (where I'm registered), says Labs have been the most popular breed since 1991. Mom says she's not surprised by that. 

We can hunt, we're companions, and we serve. We're smart and adaptable. Heck, we like people! We're easy-going and supposedly energetic, but I don't mind being a couch potato. Being a shining example of my breed is a lot to live up to. 

Mom says we Labs have a great ancestry that traces way back to Newfoundland. We share ancestry with the Newfies but somewhere along the line we got shorter hair and became the St. John's Dog. Then we were taken to England (that's the United Kingdom now) and became Labradors, and stayed Labradors. Black was our original color but now we come in yellow and chocolate. I'm glad I'm black. I'm Deuce! I'm an original!!

But there's one thing I'm really curious about. How come no Lab has ever won the best in show at the big show in Madison Square Garden? Huh? Can someone explain that to me? Mom doesn't know and that's sort of scary because Mom is smart. 

I get it. The fix is in. The judges like little lap dogs. Well, I can sit on their laps if that's what it takes. I might squish them, but hey. Sounds like they need some squishing to get a good look at us Labs.  We're pretty special!

Well, at least I am...  

Sunday, May 3, 2020

A what? What's a frittata? Huh?

Sometimes I worry about Mom. It's only fair because she worries about me all the time. She watches everything I do and everything I eat. And sometimes I don't eat my dogfood because she's baked cookies and cookies are BETTER!! 

I wasn't surprised when she said she was making me a dogfood frittata. I have no idea why she called it that when it was an omelet. It was a cup and a half of my dry dogwood with two eggs scrambled over it. Maybe she wanted to see how I'd react to a new word. She didn't have to guess what I'd do when she put that concoction in my dish.

I ATE IT!!  Yum! Eggs! What's not to like about eggs?

Now Mom's all happy she tricked me into loading up on some protein. I'm on to her tricks but seriously. EGGS!! 

Part of the problem seems to be that Mom always read where Labrador Retrievers (that's me!) will eat anything at any time in any condition. But that's not me. I'm sort of picky about my food. See? Generalizations don't always work. 

Seriously though, Mom. Next time you fix me a dogfood omelet, why don't you add a little cheese on top?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Why is it a DOGwood?

Mom and Dad and me live way out in the country (yeah, Loki is here, too). It's a great place to be a dog! I don't need to be on a leash and I can pee wherever I feel like. Well, not on Mom's car tires, but just about anywhere else. I know how lucky I am to have so much freedom. A lot of dogs can't run free. 

Mom and  Dad both walk with me a couple of times a day. Mom would like to go on one long walk, but she knows my leg can't take that much stress all at once. I have a torn cruciate, you know. It doesn't bother me unless I run too much or run too hard. Mom and Dad make me behave. Anyway, we go for several shorter walks a day and my leg is fine.

I remind Mom to stop and enjoy life. One of the things she really likes is the wild dogwood tree that grows on the bank. It is pretty right now, but I don't get it. DOGwood? I don't see any other dogs. Lots of white flowers, sure. But dogs? Nope. 

I was curious so I asked Mom to look it up on that computer she has. Her computer knows all sorts of stuff. I know because she reads the articles to me. I do my best to look interested - and I am. All sorts of words I know are in those articles. They don't make a lot of sense, but I know it for sure when I hear "dog," "good," "food," and a bunch of other words. 

So Mom looked it up and it turns out there doesn't seem to be a definitive reason the dogwood tree is called a dogwood tree. One possibility is that it may have been a Celtic word, "dag," or "dagga," and become "dog" over the years. That's like a lot of human stuff that just doesn't make sense to lil' ol' me.

That's okay. I'm Deuce and Mom says I'm a good dog just the way I am. Even if I don't have anything to do with a tree. 

Except to pee on it. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

I made Mom laugh

Okay. What does "dorky" mean? Mom said I looked a little dorky this afternoon. All I was doing was taking a little snooze in front of her chair. Apparently, that's all it takes for her to snap a picture. 

She said, "Puppy, you look like you have flippers instead of paws." 

I love it when she calls me "Puppy!" Being called Puppy is a good thing! It's one of those pack things for just us. 

It's a good thing that I made Mom smile, but honestly, I do not have flippers. I'm not a dolphin. I know what they are because I saw them on the television. 

Next time I want to take a little snooze, I'll do it behind Mom's chair where she can't see me. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Spring changes in the air

It's been a little strange around the manor the past two weeks. Something weird is going on because Mom has been home a lot lately. Like, seriously a lot. I like it, but it hasn't been all the fun you'd think it would be. Mom and Dad keep talking about getting or not getting "COVID-19." I don't know what that is, but it better not be another skanky cat. Loki is enough!

Our pack is fine the size it is, even with Loki. I guess he's not really much trouble. I even allow him to sleep with me some nights as long as he doesn't get between me and Mom.

Mom does something called "telecommuting." I think all that means is she does stuff for her job from home. That's nothing new, though. She's always done that. She says she can do more and do it better from home since Dad and I keep quiet and let her work. That doesn't happen at her office in town. I give telecommuting my paw print of approval, especially if it will keep Mom and Dad from getting COVID-19. 

One thing I don't get is why Mom isn't bowling. Bowling is her thing. She even gave me one of her old bowling balls to play with! I love to bowl, too! It's a lot of fun. Maybe Mom will get the ball out for me today. That would be so cool! 

Yesterday, Mom sprinkled grass seed all over the front yard. The day before yesterday, Mom and Dad took the John Deere 1023 around the yard and cut off a bunch of low-hanging branches. They burned a little brush pile that was really on cousin Dave's property so Dad can mow that spot. I got to help them once the fire was going, but I wasn't allowed to help them prune branches. It seems I'm not real good at watching what's happening over my head. 

There's more to do. I heard Mom say she wants Dad to take the backhoe and scrape out a shallow trench along the back stone fence so she can separate daffodils and have more bloom next year. I don't get it. We have a lot of daffodils already. Why does Mom need more? 

It's worrisome. If Mom likes to have more of what she loves, does that mean she wants another puppy? Or another cat? 

Or worse, does she want a frog??? The peeper frogs were finally singing last night and Mom told me she loves to hear them because it means the cold weather is really over until next winter. I'm saying no to frogs. No, no, no. 

I'd better pay closer attention to what's really going on around here! I need to head Mom off at the pass! 

* * * * *
Note from Mom: Deuce is only four and he doesn't need to know everything about the COVID-19 epidemic. We don't want to worry him. If the worst happens, we'll explain to him he might have to go live with cousin Dave, but until that becomes a possibility, we want him to be a happy four-year-old. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

I'm bushed!

What a day we had! I'm bushed. All I want to do is go to bed but Mom says we should blog first. I guess I can stay awake for another ten minutes. I mean, I don't really tell time but Mom said ten minutes so I'm going go with that. 

The day started out a little slow. We didn't get up until almost eight o'clock this morning. That's late for me and Mom. So we went outside so I could do all my outside activities, and then Mom and Dad had coffee and we had breakfast. I love, love, love sausage casserole! I mean - sausage! What's not to love?

So Dad checked the weather and we decided it was a good day to burn the brush pile. This can be sort of boring for me. Mom and Dad are really busy to get the fire going, and once it is, they just sit on the John Deere 1023E and the JD 370 and watch it burn. Boring. 

But not today! Mom got one of my squeaky balls out of the basket and let me take it outside! I never get to take toys outside, so this was really cool. I made that ball squeal! Then Dad played ball with me for a little while. Heck, I rolled in the leaves and then rolled some more. Then played ball again. 

And then we had Sloppy Joe's for supper! Hamburger! What's not to love??

What a day! Now it's time to go to bed and I don't know if I have the energy to jump up onto the bed. I'm really knackered. Maybe I can convince Mom to set the ramp up for me tonight. It's a little wimpy of me, but I don't care.

So how about it, Mom? I was a good dog today. Help me up onto the bed?