Friday, November 27, 2009

Dandelion Litzen | A Dog Named Christmas

Hallmark is having a canine photo contest, and if you want to vote for our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Dandelion, here is the link: Dandelion Litzen A Dog Named Christmas. Oh yeah, ignore the other cute doggies and just vote for her. Ha ha.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Birthday Girl!

Last year for Penelope's birthday party, we went to River City Cheer with all the cousins and a few friends too. She loved it so much, she wanted to go again this year! All the cousins were hoping for that too, so we booked it early and could hardly wait for her big day.

It was SOOOO much fun. They have a huge room with wall-to-wall mats, a big foam pit, a huge swing to swing over the pit and jump in, an extra long trampoline, rings, poles, balls, and more! It's definitely a place where a kid can be a kid (and a few adults can too!)

After all the crazy play, we went to the party room. Penelope wanted a tropical party, so we had fruity Starburst candies, water bottles with colorful fish stickers, a HUGE monkey balloon, and coconut icecream! It made me want to go to the islands...

Penelope got some new riding boots from us, and she was pretty excited about that..and has big plans for them! We also got her the traditional stuffed animal she loves, this year it was a BIG Beagle which she named Emmerson. Her sister even bought him a collar, and he had birthday charms on it too, for a sweet extra touch.

It was just a really fun party. I still cannot believe that she turned 11 though!

After the party, we had to hustle up and head right out. It was the 4-H Awards Day too, and Chena was one of the announcers. It was an extra special day for Penelope too, because she received her Northwind Riders Horse Club riding jacket! It takes a year to earn it, and she did a great job and was so excited and eager to get the coat with her name on it.

Looking at her name!

Happy Birthday sweet girl of mine. You really are a "Penny From Heaven" as your birth announcements proclaimed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squishy Face Meets the Black Beauty

Duvall: "Come a little closer, I want to kiss you.."

Charlotte: "Bring that thing over here, I want to bite it. I'm not afraid of anything fifteen times bigger that I am. I could chew its mane off, and that bridle looks like a nice chew toy too.."

Us: "Uh, okay, that's probably enough of a meeting for now, you think?"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Surprise! Its a New Puppy!

Incredibly, we added two new family members to our household on the same weekend. I was up in Fairbanks, visiting friends and buying a new horse, and Michael and the girls were plotting to sneak a puppy into our lives.

Meet Charlotte!!!!!!!
She is an eight week old yellow Labrador Retriever, and just about the most precious girl you can imagine.
Mike was thinking about getting a Lab puppy, but was not sure it would be this year, he thought he might like to wait for next year. He asked me to just check around, see what litters were available, etc.
I made one call, to Dandelion's puppy instructor, who is a Lab breeder. She got back to me recently, and said she had a litter, up in Willow. I thanked her, but didn't give it much thought.
While I was up in Fairbanks, she called me on my blackberry and told me she was driving to Willow, to evaluate the pups for show, and would I like her to bring a pup back with her? I told her no, we were not ready, and didn't want a female (all that she had left), and etc. I gave her our home phone, and didn't think about it much again.
Turns out, she was quite the salesman! She called him, told him about the pups, and directed him to her website. He said he didn't want a female, and she told him to check out her program, look at her gallery of photos of her females, and call her back. He did, and was intrigued. You might even say hooked. He wanted to go and see the pups. They were located over four hours away. That is, by car. So he and the girls jumped in the airplane and flew into Willow. The breeder who had collaborated with her, who owned the mother Lab, turned out to be Dee Dee Jonroe, a well-known musher and Iditarod contender. They were picked up at her private airstrip and wisked away to see the "babies". The girls played with the puppies. Michael talked about bloodlines, genetics, size, weight, temperament, etc. The girls didn't worry about any of that, they were already in LOVE. Together, they all decided on a little girl puppy. The deal was made, and they climbed back in the airplane, with a new precious addition, and flew home.
All this was unbeknownst to me, and it was decided to keep her a secret and surprise me when I got back home.
And so it was that when I pulled into the yard, after a long two-day horse hauling adventure, there sat my big tough husband on a hay bale...holding his newest love in his arms...little "Sharlie" girl.
I was SHOCKED. He just doesn't do things on a wim, and it was a pretty major decision to become a three-dog family, just like that. I jumped out of the car and ran to him, not sure if I wanted to kiss him first or the sweet golden baby with the huge dark eyes and floppy ears! She was the cutest thing.
Well, they wanted to wait and let me help them name her, because I'm good with naming animals (lots of practice!) but they all got tired of calling her "Baby" and waiting for me to finally get home. So they brainstormed a bit, and came up with Charlotte. The girl we bought our new horse from is named Charlotte, and the girls really liked her name. Plus, Michael's favorite movie of all time is Charlotte's Web, he used to watch it almost every day when Lex was a toddler, and he has the whole thing memorized.
So Charlotte it was, and it really fits her perfectly.

Charlotte with her feather:

A face just about anyone could love!

Who? Me?

More Charlotte stories to come! (and yes, I know we are spoiled rotten..that's not lost on me right now.......