Nola Muffin Monday: I’m 3!

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since Mom let me write my own posts, mostly because I don’t have thumbs so she has to do all the typing. She also told me to apologize because she was a ‘slacker’ last week and didn’t post a single thing! I didn’t mind though, it meant that she was spending more time with me!DSC_0103

Anyway, last weekend I turned 3 and Mom and Dad had a party for me! I’m going to tell you all about it. Besides all the hats Mom made me wear, it was a good day!  DSC_0102 DSC_0097 DSC_0090 DSC_0070Mom didn’t go to work so she could spend all day with me! We went swimming in the morning at the lake. Mom brought my life jacket this time and I loved it. It makes me feel so much more confident and I just swim around exploring instead of always just swimming out and going right back in. I even swam out to the float and climbed up on it and sat in the sun with mom for a bit. When I was ready to swim some more, I jumped rihgt off and I didn’t go under! I love my life jacket.
IMG_4572Then, later in the day Memere, Pepere and my Uncle Derek and Aunt Liz came over for a barbeque. I love when my family eats dinner outside, they always give me yummy parts of what they’re eating. Mom always says it’s a bad habit, but her and Dad still give me some when I stare at them long enough.
DSC_0136 DSC_0135I also got a ton of presents, like a new collar and a hide-a-bird toy. These toys are my favorite, I also have a rabbit in a hat and a hide-a-squirrel I got for my 2nd birthday!

DSC_0134My favorite present was my bone. It took me an hour to eat, but it was yummy!
DSC_0141Oh, and the cookie, that was yummy too.
DSC_0149 DSC_0148Birthdays are so much fun! Toys, bones, cake and all my favorite people….can’t wait for next year!

Swimming and Hiking and Sunbathing…Oh My!

Last week I was on vacation from work, but had no real plans other than to spend some quality time with the pups. The Mr. was traveling for work, so it was just Nola, Sarge and I for three days. I wanted to use this time to do some things with Nola just the two of us. I have been very conscious of her behavior and feelings (yes, I think my dog has feelings, call me an anthropomorphizer if you must) since Sarge has been in the house, and I wanted to make sure she got some special time with just me.

After Sarge’s morning walk and breakfast Nola and I headed out for our adventures. The first day we went to a friend’s camp on Little Sebago Lake, about 20 minutes from our house. Since it was during the work week and early(ish) in the morning, we had the place to ourselves. It was the perfect spot, a private home with a big yard leading down to a sandy area with a dock to the lake. Nola does the best in this kind of environment, she doesn’t like going in the water when she can’t walk in gradually. And, she LOVES to run around with her toy after she retrieved it out of the water. That day was no different, she ran around, swam after her Kong Wubba, and just went all around crazy having fun.
IMG_4537 IMG_4538 IMG_4535We ended up going back a couple days later and since we had been there already, Nola was more familiar with the territory and she was less interested in sniffing around and more into swimming after her Wubba. I used this to my advantage and tried to get her to actually jump off the dock. I have tried the past two summers to entice her to jump in after a toy, but she just has no interest. Most of the time she’ll run to the end of the dock, see the toy, and then turn around and run into the water after it.
IMG_4524 IMG_4531 IMG_4533Or, she’ll just stand there and stare at the toy.

You want me to do what?

You want me to do what?

This time, I was able to get her to jump in  from the end by throwing the toy and then jumping in myself. The water was only about chest deep, so I could just plop in and coax her to come too. Of course, using this method I was unable to get any actual photos of her jumping, but she did it, and I was so proud! I think if we had a place like this to go consistently she would eventually feel more comfortable jumping in without me.

Nola and I also went on a hike at Bradbury Mountain. It’s called a mountain, but really it’s just a large hill. I chose a trail that was about 2 miles long to go up to the summit. It was warm, but not humid, and the tress provided a lot of shade, so Nola wasn’t too hot. It was such a nice walk and we made it to the top pretty easily. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy exploring new places and just hanging out with my dog.
IMG_4489 nola_bradbury1nola_hikingShe is such a good leash walker, she never pulled me even coming down. I had a long line just in case she wanted to go a bit further in front, but she stayed right by my side. We chose a shorter trail on the way down because it was getting closer to mid day and the sun was hot!
IMG_4503We practiced some recall, and also ‘up’ by getting onto a bench that was on the side of the trail. She was very attentive, but at this point was getting annoyed with all the posing for the camera I was making her do.
nola_bradbury2IMG_4510And of course, I spent some time with the Sarge man too. He is less interested in the active adventures and just likes to hang out. So, we sunbathed and napped on the deck.
IMG_4550 IMG_4543Although this vacation was more of a stay-cation, I really enjoyed the quality time I got to spend with the pups. I was a little embarrassed when people at work asked what I did while I was off and I said “hung out with the dogs” and they replied “that’s it?”. But really, they are ‘it’ for me. They spend so much of their time alone, waiting for the Mr. and I to come home from work or wherever we happen to be, that I wanted to spend every moment I could with them for the week. They are my life and my loves and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Old Dogs Can Be Disc Dogs Too!

One thing we discovered very quickly about Sarge is that he certainly does not have the energy level you would think a 14 year old dog should have. We started by only taking him for short walks around the block but when he was easily keeping up with Nola we decided to try walking them together. On weekends Nola usually gets at least an hour of off leash running time, either at the beach, the Eastern Trail, the disc golf course, or Fuller Farm. We weren’t sure Sarge could take that much, but we tried anyway figuring he would at least trot along with us while Nola ran her heart out.
IMG_4131What we discovered when we went to the disc golf course was that Sarge likes to chase discs too! He does this adorable run where he throws up both front paws and sorta hops. It’s like he gets a burst of puppy energy!
IMG_4124 IMG_4129He does not have a soft mouth like Nola, so we made sure to use a disc we didn’t care if he chomped on.
IMG_4125Although he can’t run with the speed or chase the disc the distance that Nola can, he had so much fun and looked so happy to be out playing. This guy is seriously amazing. I have looked over his paperwork multiple times since we picked him up from the shelter to make sure he was actually 14. Judging only on his disc chasing, I would say he wasn’t a day over age 6!
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Message in a Bottle

While we were at the beach last week during our time off for the 4th, the Mr. noticed something floating in the water not too far out. He tried to get Nola to swim and get it, but she just looked at him like “You want me to go where?” Nola loves to be in the water, but she doesn’t really swim unless someone goes in with her. So, I took off my shoes and rolled up my pants to try to coax her to go retrieve the mystery object. Once I got in to about mid-thigh she swam out, grabbed it, and swam back to shore. It was a message in a bottle!
IMG_4366 IMG_4364As Nola investigated the bottle, I couldn’t help but think of what the message would say. Would it be a love note from someone searching for their long lost love? Would it be an SOS message from someone on a deserted island? Would it be from somewhere far away? My mind was filled with romantic and whimsical possibilities.
IMG_4369 IMG_4370 IMG_4368We opened the bottle once we got home, and this is what it said:

Date: June 29, 2013
This bottle was dropped off near Prout’s Neck, Maine in the United States. If you find this bottle please send me a letter stating where and when this bottle was found. This is a science project that I came up with for school to study the ocean currents so that you for your help.

It certainly wasn’t any of my romantic fantasies, but instead was just a science project. Turns out, we found the bottle only one day after it was dropped off. Prout’s Neck is the name of a peninsula in Scarborough, Maine. We were at Ferry Beach on the left side of the map (where is says beach) when we discovered the bottle. So it seems it didn’t travel too far before we found it.
place-detail-map.phpIt was still a cool thing to find, and it made our day feel a little more adventurous. When I send a response back I am going to include a photo of Nola and a note letting him know that she was the one who discovered the bottle.
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Hanging Around

The Mr. has been wanting a hammock for a while now. I have had my eye on an L.L. Bean one, but when you add the stand and shipping costs, it had a price tag of over $400 and I just couldn’t pull the trigger. As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago when the Mr. took his mom to Christmas Tree Shoppe (not his favorite place to go, but he’s a good son!), he found one with a stand for only $99! After we set it up and tried it out, Nola decided she would like to test it too.
DSC_0918DSC_0944Turns out, it has now become her favorite place to lay. It takes a little bit of work to keep the hammock still when she gets up, but once she settles in, she falls right asleep!
DSC_0948I think she also likes that it is high off the ground, which means Sarge can only get so close.
DSC_0924 DSC_0912Of course, we only let her up on the hammock when we are around to supervise. We wouldn’t want her to get hurt jumping on or off!
DSC_0936I was never a big hammock person, but after sharing one with my favorite pup (shhh, don’t tell Sarge), I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a summer afternoon.
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