Billie’s snow day!

A snow day for Billie!
A snow day for Billie!

We’ve had nothing but snow and more snow here for the last few days, which is SO unusual for Portland, Oregon and SO fun!  It’s not so much fun for our dogs, however, who’ve been stuck inside most of the time feeling housebound.

So I decided to invent a game. Snow soccer! Take one exercise ball, add two Shetland sheepdogs (Billie and Bonnie), toss everyone outside, and away we go. It was a HUGE hit, as you can see! Billie is convinced that the blue ball is a sheep, and happily herded it all over the yard for ages. I’m going to try and figure out how to upload a video in a few days so that you all can see the three of us at play…

Summer ritual

Billie at DQ 2013

Yep, it’s that time of year again!

Every summer, I stop by Dairy Queen now and then with our dogs. They LOVE DQ — and we love our local DQ for providing tiny vanilla doggie cones.  They’re free of charge, with a purchase by a human, which isn’t a hardship since I love a good DQ Twist now and then…

As for that green streak on Billie’s muzzle, just in case you spotted it and were wondering, that was a leftover from lunch. She helped me finish off my kale smoothie.  Uh, yeah.  Sounds gross, doesn’t it?  Mrs. Wong would so approve!  One of my favorite light lunches, though, believe it or  not.

I’m coming down the home stretch on my new novel!  Hope to be able to share a few tidbits with you all soon!




Doggie B&B

I ask you, could this dog be any more comfortable?

Spoiled Dog
Billie, catching some zzz’s

There are days I’m convinced that I’m running a dog hotel. Wake up in the morning, walk the dogs. Feed the dogs. Walk them again. Try and write. Play with dogs. Snack time for dogs! Throw the ball for dogs. Write some more. Afternoon walk! Suppertime! Evening walk!

Where did my day go?


Operation Secret Puppy

It’s not often that I manage to hoodwink my husband.

I do not have a poker face.  I have a “boy oh boy do I have a secret I betcha can’t guess what it is!” kind of face.  Somehow, though, last week I managed to pull it off.

My husband with his “surprise” puppy

For a while now, we’ve been discussing the possibility of getting another dog — a sibling for Bonnie, our Shetland Sheepdog.  My husband loves tri-color Shelties, and said that if we were ever to get another dog, that’s the one that would win his vote.  He liked the idea of having two little bookends — one with a sable coat, one with a tri-color coat.  But in the end we pretty much tabled the whole idea, and decided to revisit it after our own “puppies” graduated from college.  Besides, we thought, how could we possibly ever find a dog as wonderful as our beloved Bonnie?

My Bonnie Valentine

Bonnie was a surprise present from my husband five years ago.  Sheltie purists might not appove of her one-ear-up-one-ear-down look (show dogs of this breed sport folded ears), but we think it gives her personality and sass and wouldn’t change it for the world.  In fact, we’re convinced Bonnie is an angel in a fur suit.  She keeps me company while I write, takes me on walks when I need a break, and lights up our home life in ways none of us could ever have imagined.  We adore her.

So here we were, content with our “only” dog, when lo and behold what should appear on Facebook a few weeks ago but baby pictures — and not just any baby pictures, but charming shots of two tri-color pups from Kensil’s Shelties. Sylvia and David Calderwood raised Bonnie, and all their dogs are amazingly beautiful and smart, with sweet temperaments. These pups were EXACTLY the kind we WOULD have been looking for, IF we were looking for another puppy.  Which we WEREN’T, remember?


Last week, egged on by my 19-year-old son, I decided to surprise my husband (turnabout being fair play and all that), and Billie came to join our family.  The look on Steve’s face was worth every second I’d spent agonizing over whether I had made the right decision.  Wouldn’t you have melted, too?

Billie Holliday Frederick

As for Bonnie, she took one look at her new “little sister” and tore around the yard for several minutes doing happy laps. She’s since taken Billie under her wing, showing her the ropes…

Bonnie & Billie exploring the backyard

and sharing her toys…

“May I please play with this now?”
“Thank you!”

and even sharing her favorite bed (along with another toy).

Billie catching some zzz’s

Of course, being a big sister does have some perks.   Twice as many dogs means twice as many new toys, after all!

Bonnie with one of Billie’s toys