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Friday, May 21, 2010
Helping me help her
She's been gone for a long time. Well, since Tuesday. Her dad is in the hospital because he had a stroke. A bad one. And so she flew away. Since I think of myself as Betty, MD (see previous posts), I will impress you with my medical jargon, but really I'm a good mockingbird, I overheard her say these words on the phone: he had a hemorrhagic stroke. So basically his brain has a pool of blood and it's causing pressure on his brain...she said some other words that sounded like he has a bloody spider alien pushing his brain. I wish she could have taken me, I'm also nurse Betty! I make rounds and I make others feel better by default, which is to say, just by looking at me. Although I don't sit in anyone else's lap but hers. I know she needs my therapy, so in her absence, my dad sends pics of me and the rest of the pack to keep her company. Today was a special treat for me. I got to go to work with him today.

It was a special treat for her too even though she wasn't with me. And I heard that her day was really awful. So my dad sent photos documenting my busy day in hopes to cheer her up. I hear it worked. There was the ride to the office in the truck, the ride to the third floor in the elevator, my morning nap in a sun spot, my lunch at the barbeque restaurant, my afternoon nap, and me conked out on the commute home. Turns out I went to a barbeque restaurant before she did, and she's in barbeque central right now, usually that's her first stop when she goes down to North Carolina. This time her first stop was the hospital to visit her dad. I appreciate mine for helping my mom during such a difficult time. Moms and dads help us all the time in really rough times, and sometimes—during the worst times—they really help each other.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010
Call me "the man"
I'm called all kinds of names..."boy man", "little man", "big man", "boo man foo"...but my favorite one is "gentle man". I'm a man and sometimes that word gets all kinds of making fun of, but I defy all the stereotype and fuss. I have to defend my gender just a little. We are tough. We're a little absent-minded at times. We need to be picked up after...and fed. Okay, I guess we need a little help at times from the girls. I know I do. But I know mom needs my help. So I oblige.

When mom leaves, Cali either gets put into the screened back porch where she jumps up on the porch couch and looks at birds, or she goes into her crate inside, whichever mom decides. Cookie goes into her crate. And if mom isn't taking Betty with her on a car ride, then she goes into her crate. I have a crate too, but I prefer Betty's crate, it's private with little windows. It's the perfect size for me and there's a cushy dog bed that fits perfectly inside, and I know Betty loves it in there. She keeps that crate open for me to go in throughout the day when I want some privacy. But I don't get put in my crate. Mom tells me to be zoo keeper and "man" the house while she's gone. All the crates are in a room and there's a small couch where I curl up and overlook my harem. I have a very important job. Sometimes I fall asleep on the job, because when mom comes home, I don't hear her open the door. She'll come into the room and look for me passed out on the couch. But other times I do hear her come in, and I don't go to greet her because I don't want her to forget that my girls are in those crates and they need to be let out! First she goes to Cali's crate because she makes the loudest noise, so I show mom where her crate is. It's important that she knows I think. Then I escort Cali to the door. But my job isn't done. I also try to show mom where Cookie's crate is so that she can let her out too. She lets everyone out one at a time. I think because she said she didn't want a stampede. I don't blame her because usually I get tossed around and stepped on. Then she lets little Betty out, and I have to show mom where her crate is too. She is very grateful for my help.

Also I think she really appreciates that I wait at the top of the steps for her while she does what she needs to do before she goes downstairs. Dad and the girls can go flying down the stairs, but I wait. I know that mom is coming soon whether she's changing her clothes or washing her hands or washing clothes in the machine. She needs me to keep her company so that we can go down the stairs together. Who wants to be left alone? I don't. So I wait. Patiently. When she walks down the hall to meet me at the top of the steps, she thanks me for being a gentle man. I think a hu man can learn a lot from me.

Waiting until next post,
Miles ^..^

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Betty, MD
I suppose I'll hog the blog today. I posted last time and it's probably not my turn to go again, but I saw this photo of me on the computer in a folder called "MD". It's impressive that my photo should be in a doctor's folder. Mom always says how smart I am. I'm not sure I want to ask her what "MD" means or this great image in my head of intelligence on a medical level might be deflated into a canine conundrum.

However, I'm not too sure what me in a hay field has to do with medicine. Could it be something related to hay fever? Not sure, because none of us suffer from that. Maybe I'm being too literal. Perhaps it has to do with the time I had pneumonia? Nah, this photo was taken a year after that. Oh wait, I know...maybe it has to do with the fact that she calls me Nurse Betty a lot because I like to make my rounds in the morning and look into every room to see where everyone sleeps. Miles sometimes sleeps in other rooms. If he finds something really soft at night like the chair or the couch or even a dog bed on the floor before bedtime, he tends to end up in that spot for the night. Cali always sleeps in the same room with mom (on the floor—but on a nice plush bed). Cookie sleeps on the couch downstairs, and I like to go jump on her and say "wake up"! She really doesn't like it when I do that.

Mom watches a lot of doctor shows on TV, could it be that? Or is she secretly learning how to be a doctor and we don't know it? She has a lot of medical books and uses words like "diagnosis", "atrial fibrillation", and "recovery" lately, but then I'll hear the word "dad" in the same sentence meaning her dad. I just don't have an idea why my photo is in that folder. There's other photos in there too...some sheep, some horses, that dog who tried to chase me once. I got it! It's veterinary medicine. She's studying to become a vet?

Then she said something to me and the canine conundrum was deflated even more to a simple case of "duh".  MD stands for Maryland. We visited her cousin there last year on a huge farm mom refers to as Southfork. Oh well, I like my initial idea better. Just call me Betty, MD.

Visiting hours are about to end, time for a nap.
Betty em dee

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Thursday, May 06, 2010
Pick me up

Last week Miles was playing around in the backyard chasing Cali with a usual...and then mom got an idea. She's seen on youtube several videos of frenchies playing with gargantuan beach balls, the fancy name being yoga ball. Mom has two of them—wink—she has a huge one and a smaller one, and so she thought of getting the smaller one out of the basement. She told Cali and me that she just wanted to play with Miles alone with the ball to see how he'd react on his own without us distracting him. He went ape poo over that ball! He. just. loved. it. When the ball would bounce, he jumped up. When it landed, he tried to stop it so that he could grab it. He's got a big mouth, but not big enough to wrap his lips around that ball. But then he'd just use his big mouth to bark at it when it stopped moving. He wasn't making much sense, his words were all jumbled.

We watched from the porch. Cali was doing her whistling routine to join him, and I was yelling that sentiment too. Finally she let us out to play ball too. Cali wasn't interested in that big ball, she would grab a toy and run around wanting Miles to chase her. But he was too preoccupied with that ball. That left me to chase after Miles' hind legs which really bugs him because he cannot possibly do anything with me slowing him down trying to grab his legs in my mouth.

Then mom decided that the backyard had too many obstacles—flower beds, trees, rocks, and besides, it just wasn't aesthetically pleasing what with pee marks burned in the grass and all. So later that day when the sun wasn't right overhead, she took Miles and me to a big, beautiful park at the Town Hall. The grass is like infinite plush carpet, and she could throw that ball anywhere and the background would be green. She took the video camera with her to document the excitement already storyboarded in her mind. I didn't much care to chase Miles chasing the ball and stealing his show. I stood back and watched and wanted to be close to my mommy, and actually I ended up stealing the show. It was an unplanned video, and mom decided it would be a perfect tribute to moms of 4- (and yes 2-) legged kids everywhere. Enjoy.

Happy Mother's Day,

p.s. Miles' video is coming soon.

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Monday, May 03, 2010
Remembering Earth Day
Oh geez, mom was doing a way back moment a minute ago. She was on the phone talking to one of her college girlfriends and they were reminiscing about the day when they attended Earth Day on the National Mall in DC one warm Saturday back in April 1990. Mom had heard about a get together planned for Earth Day to celebrate ways to help conserve and protect the planet. The key phrase being "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle". Her college friend visited that weekend not really knowing she'd be visiting during a huge event so it was quite convenient that planning a great weekend was already in the bag. Checking out the festivities was the plan for that Saturday. Little did they know that day would be quite the historical event. More than 800,000 people flooded the Mall. Everybody was there: Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, Michael Stipe, 10,000 Maniacs, mom, and her friend. We chuckle when she tells the story like she and her friend were part of the headlining acts. One of the results from that year's Earth Day? The H.J. Heinz Company announced on Earth Day that it would stop purchasing tuna caught using techniques that kill dolphins. Bumble Bee Seafoods and the Van Camp Seafood Company did the same thing.

Turning the clock forward 20 years, we all think nothing of doing the things that seemed so pioneer back then like throwing the plastic, glass, and some metals into a special recycling bin. Taking reusable bags to the grocery store that hold way more than those plastic bags that live forever in landfills. Wearing the same thing everyday and not taking a bath for almost a week—oh wait, we weren't supposed to say that. Recycling isn't easy, but we make a conscious effort everyday to help out and be green. Cali is pretty talented at retrieving things, putting something in the bin is a little tricky because she sometimes misses, and Miles, well, he's still working on picking up things on cue. It's funny, mom sits at her computer all day with images of dolphins, fish, and the coral reef on her screen working on educational materials for a big foundation whose purpose is creating awareness about our oceans and sea life. So she contributes in other ways besides recycling and being careful not to waste energy.

And while we know Earth Day may have been on the calendar a few weeks ago, we think it's everyday, but thought we'd post on the subject anyway. But somehow, no matter how many little things we do at home, something big happens that seems to take us backward like that oil spill in the Gulf. It's time to really consider other sources of energy like wind power for example. They look a lot cooler out on the horizon than an oil rig, and besides, an air spill probably wouldn't hurt anybody.

Until next post,
Cali and Miles

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is a site dedicated to the memory of a special chocolate lab whose nickname was "chocolate peanut"...and now we (2 frenchies and 2 shorthairs) carry on her spirit of grabbing life by the paws...check in on us often as we have a lot to say

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