30 December 2013

Costco's Off The Hook

One of Kinsey's followers over at "kinseyfineart" on Twitter suggested that she send a copy of the blog post "Costco Stole Christmas" to Costco Corporate and so she did. Within less than twenty four hours she got a reply advising that the information had been forwarded to Costco Kalispell. The next morning she received a call from the Costco store. From what I could hear they had a very cordial conversation and Kinsey got her money back, or she will the next time she gets down to Kalispell. So, the rib-eye may have been sub par but the Costco Customer Service was aces.

In the course of the conversation Kinsey also mentioned that she no longer bought the Costco ground beef because it didn't taste worth a damn (her language not mine). She got no argument on that subject. Kinsey doesn't care for any ground beef that's less that 85-15. Anything less and you might as well not eat it unless you have a hankering for tasteless sawdust. Costco's is 88-12.

What Kinsey found out, that was new to her, is that the way they get the fat content down is to use bull meat. No wonder the stuff tastes so awful.  It's really a riot if the bulls are older. People pay more to eat an inferior product. The bull meat may even be cheaper than steer meat but the vendors can charge more because the fat content is less. That three percent won't mean much to an individual diet, unless of course you eat a couple hundred pounds a day, but think how much that amounts to in the millions of pound sold everyday? What a racket.

Kinsey doesn't know the specifications of the bull meat Costco uses. There are many factors, age is a big one, to be considered but bull meat is generally full of testosterone which she wants no part of. And, bottom line, it just doesn't taste good. She's skipping it.

Me? I'm like Mikey. I'll eat anything! :)

You can follow the Old Girl on TWITTER. She's not on Facebook. Always the contrarian.  She doesn't like it.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

©Kinsey Barnard

26 December 2013


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We did with a notable exception.

Kinsey celebrates Christmas here in the forest with just her best friend. This year that would be me and in years past it was Koty. It turned out to be a really beautiful and sunny day. We hiked up the mountain and wandered around the ranch.

I got lots of toys and demolished them just as quickly as I could. I think I may be what they call and "aggressive" chewer. I got this edible, rawhide stick that was about 14 inches long and cost $9! It was gone in under an hour. I seriously doubt I'm getting another one of those. I also got a stuffed pheasant plush toy. That was missing a leg within about fifteen minutes. And, I got a plastic Frisbee that I know Kinsey thought would really last. I've already chewed big chunks of it off. My Christmas was great!

So, how did Costco steal Christmas? Well, Kinsey has a ritual Christmas dinner that she has been having since she bot this place nearly 12 years ago. She likes to BBQ a big ole rib-eye steak and have a couple of Beefeaters over the rocks. She says that's her perfect meal. A simple girl my Kinsey.

As usual she bot the steak a week in advance so that it could age in the refrigerator, as her father had taught her to do. The extra aging really makes a difference in flavor and tenderness. In years past she could cut that steak with a fork and savor every bite. Not this year. The meat was shot through with tough gristle and it had very little flavor. Even the Beefeater's couldn't make up for it. Kinsey has been a fan of Costco beef for over twenty years but I think this has about finished that love affair. It was none too cheap either at around ten dollar a pound.

Kinsey had already stopped buying the ground beef because it was totally lacking in flavor. She has found that the ground beef at Super 1 is really good and she knows the beef at Safeway is always top drawer. They are more expensive but better to eat no meat than meat of inferior quality. So, she says. I'm not quite so picky. It sounds to me as though that's the last beef she buys at Costco.

My take is that the bloom is off the lily between Kinsey & Costco. I am frequently hearing her grumble about items she had become attached to, that Costco carried for years, being dropped; Garden Burgers, Lighthouse Blue Cheese Dressing, Cafe D'Amore, to name a few. OK, she is a senior citizen (65 next month) and stuck in her ways, but still. She says the toilet paper is still a good buy. I don't use the stuff myself.

Me, I had a terrific Christmas. Lotsa toys, lotsa play and lotsa love. The steak not withstanding, I think Kinsey had a terrific Christmas too because it was a glorious day, in a glorious place and she had me!

Betty Davis eyes?

Me and my new frisbee

The view on our hike.
You can follow the Old Girl on TWITTER. She's not on Facebook. Always the contrarian.  She doesn't like it.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

©Kinsey Barnard

21 December 2013


Merry Christmas everyone! This is my first Christmas with Kinsey. Last Christmas I was too little to know what was going on.

We've been down in the "big city", aka Kalispell , population barely 20k beautiful souls. It was a real nail biter when we left. The road off the mountain had turned to sheer ice and we slid down the hill and into a ditch. Imagine if you will, me in my crate looking through the rear window of the Expedition at a world that is almost spinning. And, me,  always looking at where I've been instead of where I'm going. Kinsey up front saying,  "Hang on Molly! Hang on!". Not comforting. Not comforting at all. But, we made it.

And so, we spent a few days down in the Flathead doing a little Christmas shopping. Kinsey was doing the shopping, I rather feel my existence is gift enough. :) We went to Petco and I'm pretty sure I'm getting some stuff. Golly, I love to go in that store. Everyone treats me like a star and the things my nose picks up? It's nirvana!

The trip back home was another nail biter. It was snowing and the road was just ice. But, we made it and I'm glad to be home where I can run with reckless abandon through the forest. That is all the gift a girl like me really needs.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope everyone can be as happy as me.

Kinsey has already posted her on line card.


You can follow the Old Girl on TWITTER. She's not on Facebook. Always the contrarian.  She doesn't like it.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

 ©Kinsey Barnard

13 December 2013


Well, the weather is finally warming up. We're in the low thirties right now and it feels like spring!

Kinsey looked like a cartoon character dashing back and forth to the wood pile. She burned through a lot of firewood in the cold snap. You see, like me, Kinsey was raised on the waste not want not axiom. So, she almost never takes a green tree. Instead she uses dead and diseased trees. The problem with that is the most prevalent dead and diseased trees are spruce which have the lowest BTU. They also burn up really fast. Rarely does a Douglas Fir fall and even more rarely does a Western Larch fall, wouldn't you know?

The biggest thing that's happened around here is that Kinsey's credit card got hacked. In all the decades she has had a credit card it's the first time that happened. But, State Farm Bank was right on top of it and noted the out of the norm charge and shut down the card right away. Way to go State Farm. For those of you who use State Farm Insurance and don't know about their credit card you might want to ask your agent about it. By using it you earn State Farm dollars which you can apply to your insurance premiums. Over the years, Kinsey has saved literally thousands of dollars on her insurance premiums.

Now that it's warmed up I'm hoping Kinsey will spend a little more time out side with me. She did take me for a walk yesterday. She promptly slipped on the ice and fell on her patookie.  No more going out without her micro-spikes.

Below is a beautiful buck that stopped by. The photo's not too good. It's hard to see what an elegant rack he had. Kinsey was talking on the phone at the time and took it without paying much attention. But, it's better than nothing?

Hard to see but this guy has lotsa points
Kinsey's latest post on her blog.

©Kinsey Barnard

08 December 2013


Wow! It has realy been cold this past week. Coldest I have experienced in my young life. Kinsey says that for her the coldest was two or three winters after she moved here, between 2003 and 2005. It was 20 below for five days running!  Now that's cold.

I don't know how she survived seeing as how she's too cheap to turn on the heaters. No kidding. She uses the wood stove exclusively. And, the wood she burns has all been cut and split by hand by her, around eight cords a year. For some strange reason she seems to revel in the spartan life. I'm OK with it because she feeds me good, but r-e-a-l-l-y? She even likes to brag that she spends less than $100/yr on electricity and the house is all electric! Sound to good to be true? Well, she also built a solar array which provides a big assist.

It gets pretty cool in the house in winter. Especially when it's well below zero and Kinsey doesn't wake up in the middle of the night to put more wood on the fire. It gets so cold, when she hoists the coverings the windows are covered in ice. On the inside! I live in an ice house! Again, I don't mind, my coat keeps me warm and toasty but I do sometimes wonder about my guardian. Please, don't call child protective services. I'll be fine.

She likes to tell the story about that earlier cold spell. How, after five days in the -20's she was getting some serious cabin fever. She looked at the weather forecast and even though the thermometer showed -22 the forecast said it was going to be 25 above in the Flathead. She believed it. She packed Koty into the truck, put in the winter survival trunk and headed off down the mountain. By the time she got down to the valley floor it was -28. She pulled out on to 93 and headed south. It was very dark and gray. And, there wasn't a soul on the road. She kept going, longing to get to that 25 degree weather. About twenty miles down the road after seeing no other vehicles and no increase in temperature she got a little panicky. It scared the dickens out of her that there were no other cars on the road. An extremely lonely feeling. She figured if she had car trouble she'd be a crispy critter before help came along and 93 has long stretches of dead space so even calling for help was iffy. She turned the truck around and headed for the barn.

The low reading for this cold snap was 15 below. I'm pretty sure that's gonna be it. There seems to be a warming trend. This morning it's a balmy -2.

©Kinsey Barnard

Kinsey likes to do things like this to me. It's so silly. Like I need a blanket? Like I said, she feeds me well!

30 November 2013


Hoping everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.

The high for us was around 22F. Kinsey decided it was a good day to go hunting for photographs. What made things interesting, to her at least, was we had a hoar frost going on. That's when there is a lot of moisture in the air and the temps are low. The moisture turns to ice crystals and clings to everything. Kinsey says it's beautiful and reminds her of a scene in Dr. Zhivago.

I like to be out in just about any weather. I thought Kinsey was a little nuts to be slogging around in it. But, when she's on the hunt with her camera there is no stopping her. She may have gotten a little cold as I noticed she had a couple of shots of Bombay Sapphire with her T-bone steak which she BBQ'd on the deck. She was telling her friends who called that it was a "balmy" 22!

Without further ado, here's what our Thanksgiving looked like. Ok, so it's mostly me. I'm just as pretty as any hoar frost don't you agree?

This would be me.

This would also be me. The scenery looking rather frigid.
This would be our Walden Pond. It's hard to tell this is a color photograph but it is.
Kinsey actually did capture a scene she liked well enough to put in her  "The Beauty of Ice" collection. But, I don't see why she thought that was nicer than the one below with me in it. I think I dress up any scene. Just click on the link to see her idea. I mean if you want to waste your time.

Come on now. Admit it. I make the shot!

28 November 2013


Happy Thanks giving to all.

It's quite cold here in northwestern Montana. Can't seem to get above freezing and single digits are in the forecast.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Here's Looking at You!

23 November 2013


Well, we are no longer up to our butts in snow but it is colder than a well diggers behind. We have been down in the low teens for several nights now. The days never above freezing.

Personally, I don't really mind it. I jump in the ponds and the creeks without a care. I'm not jumping in the ponds at the moment because they are frozen solid. This is a new experience for me, the frozen ponds. Don't know quite what to make of it. Kinsey encourages me to stay off. She probably wouldn't want to rescue me if I got on a weak spot and fell through.

For now we are sticking close to home. Hunting season will be over in about a week and then we will take some walks up the mountain. I look forward to that. By then we probably won't have to worry about the bears. They should be getting cozy in their winter spots. Of course, now the mountain lions are really on the prowl. They pounce on the gut piles the hunters leave.

Kinsey got here first image for the 2013-14 winter season to put in her THE BEAUTY OF ICE collection it is called "WINTER NOSEGAY".  She was very excited about it. For her it's like bagging a bull elk. What the heck is a nosegay anyway?!

More importantly, she got some new shots of me!

I love this dumbbell but I have almost destroyed it. Wish I could find a new one.

That's me with my happy face.

This was taken before the pond got frozen.

Me with my favorite dumbbell again. If anyone knows where I can get a new one please let me know.

Lakota Sunrise passed away in February 2013. Molly Montana is now looking after me so I have turned this blog over to her good keeping
©Kinsey Barnard

09 November 2013


Well, well, well. Winter has come early. By last Monday morning we had a foot of snow on the ground. This is way early for there to be so much snow. Funny thing is, down in town they hardly had a flake.

Kinsey was caught with her pants down so to speak. She didn't have the studded snow tires on yet nor the snowplow on Mr. Toad. She wrestled around with the plow for about two hours before she threw in the towel and asked the neighbors for a hand.

Whilst Kinsey was battling the plow I was trying to drum up a game of chase with a mule deer that was out on the salt block. I crept up on her, thinking I would surprise her. Apparently, she has little or no sense of humor because she took right out after me and nearly got me with those sharp hooves of hers.  Whew! I made it back to the house just in the nick of time. I'm fast but my legs are short, the snow deep and it was a real nip and tucker. I probably should get a little more respectful. That probably won't happen until I get nicked. Gee Whiz. All I wanned to do was play.

©Kinsey Barnard

You almost can't see the deer for the snow but she's there pretending not to notice me. I thought I was fooling her but it turned out she was fooling me.

01 November 2013


Wow! The other day we had a really big wind storm. The trees were whipping around like nothing I have ever seen. Kinsey says it's the second worst she has experienced here. All over the area trees were toppling.

In September Kinsey had a tree faller come in and cut down about twenty weak and dead trees. It was her hope that this would get around some of the mess you have when the trees come down in their own way. Sometimes the trees just tip over and pull up huge fans of earth that your kind of stuck with unless you want to bring in heavy equipment to deal with it. Other trees get snapped off like match sticks. She has been working like a madwoman trying to get those trees cleaned up.

Best laid plans as they say. This old storm came along just as she was finishing up her work in her two favorite spots and then boom ten more trees get knocked down. Wouldn't you know it the two biggest and messiest trees were smack dab in those areas she had just cleaned up. Sometimes Mother nature can be such a meany.

Ever the optimist Kinsey said "Yeah, but think how much bigger the mess would have been if we hadn't gotten those other trees down." Below are some photos of the damage.

©Kinsey Barnard

You can see this old spruce just got snapped off about about 12 ft from the ground.
It is seriously impressive to see how powerful nature is.
Checking things out. Maybe you can see why this is a favorite spot. There is a lovely little brook running right through it.
A pretty good sized tree.
Me, I like walking logs. I'm kind of hoping she leaves this one here. She could still cut up either end and leave a nice log for me to walk. I think I'll mention that.
As you can see this is not a very big tree and yet the earth fan is really big. You can also see how shallow a spruce's root system is allowing for these tip overs.
Here you can really see how shallow the roots are. Now we have a little wading pool. BTW this happened in Kinsey's other favorite spot.

26 October 2013


This week I had one of the best times of my life. Kinsey took me to the dog park in Whitefish.

This is the first time I have ever been to a dog park so I wasn't really sure what to do. It didn't take me long to figure it out. This is also the first time since I left my birth family (Out West Aussies) that I had the chance to go wild with a bunch of other dogs, many of them high energy kids like me. I ran and chased and was chased until I actually got kind of tired.

It was a beautiful sunny, autumn afternoon and I think Kinsey enjoyed visiting with the other dog owners as much as I enjoyed mingling with my canine friends. I kind of liked the humans too because nearly everyone commented on how "beautiful" I am. I think Kinsey enjoyed that too.

I also demonstrated that I'm not just pretty but a smart little cookie too. The park had agility stuff. I ran up and down the ramp, back and forth through the tunnels, and jumped over the fences like I'd been doing it all my life. I also instinctively knew not to chase other people's toys. I love to chase balls and Frisbees but unless I was specifically invited to do so I left them alone. I think this impressed Kinsey more than anything.

Kinsey often talks about how she cannot believe no one chose me before she could. When she got me I was already three months old and all but one of my litter mates were long gone. I was a discount puppy. All we can figure is some how other people just weren't able to see me so I wouldn't get picked. We truly believe we were meant to be together and some higher power arranged it so we could be. There is no other explanation.

Anywayz, this was a super fun day for both of us. Now that we've discovered this dog park I know we will be going back lots and lots. If anyone reading my blog ever travels to Whitefish, and brings their dog, be sure and visit this dog park. Your dog will love you for it and you will get to meet some great local people. Scroll down for some photos of my great day!

©Kinsey Barnard

Ramp? Really? Why does it say "No Diving?"

Me with one of my play pals

Zooming in and out of the tunnels was fun. Get a load of that tongue!

My particular style of carrying the Frisbee makes navigation a little challenging.

Trying to catch a ball using a little body English.
My new pal Harley playing chase.

Time out. I'm thirsty!

15 October 2013


I turned 11 months on the 12th. Pretty close to being a year old. Much to Kinsey's chagrin I'm not getting puppyhood behind me very fast. She keeps telling me that Koty was pretty much out of the mischief stage by now whilst I'm still in there pretty solid.

I have not experienced a Fall in Montana or anywhere else for that matter.  By gosh, by golly it is beautiful. Here at the ranch we have aspen, cottonwood, tamarack, birch and mountain maple interspersed with the evergreen trees. It's starting to get real pretty now. In fact last night we got a good hard frost and you can see the colors appear to have burst out over night. Very cool! (No pun intended)

I'm told soon it will be hunting seasons and the mountain will be alive with the sound of gun fire. Not sure how I am going to react to that. The other day we went out and put up the no hunting signs in hopes of keeping the hunters off our property. We don't have any problem with hunters per se but they are not all respectful of other people's property and we don't want to get our heads shot off whilst we're working out there. Well, whilst Kinsey is working. I mostly play.

Kinsey is still sawing and chopping and says she soon will be burning. Yesterday she had to go to the chiropractor to get her back fixed so she could keep on at it. The woman is obsessed I tell you. Maybe I can get her to stop long enough to take some photos of me in the pretty Fall forest.

I did something today that I think scored me a whole bunch of points. Kinsey was cutting the limbs off a downed tree with the chainsaw. I guess she was tired because she was straddling the tree trunk and scooting forward on her butt. I jumped up on the log, walked up behind her and lay my head on her shoulder. Kinsey says; life is all about moments.

©Kinsey Barnard

09 October 2013


Fall is clearly in the air. The aspens and cottonwoods are showing color. I am full of mischief! Must be the cool air.

Kinsey continues to work like a madwoman. Saw, saw, saw. Chop, chop, chop! She's busier than any beaver. I continue my supervisory duties. When not supervising I busy myself chasing squirrels which I have no chance of catching. But, they chirp and I chase.

Speaking of squirrels, they may be busier than Kinsey. If the amount of pine cone workings I see is any indication this is going to be a bigger than normal winter.

Kinsey continues to wonder if I will ever leave puppy hood behind, personally, I have my doubts. It's just too much fun to steal things I shouldn't and chew things I know aren't meant to be chewed. In three days I will be eleven months old so one year is right around the corner. Some days I drive her to distraction and she can be heard mumbling "I'm going to give you to someone who lives in an apartment and works all day. See how you like that!" It does give me a wee moment of pause. But, I know this is an idle threat, she loves me too much. Could you imagine?!

In order to keep her off balance I do things every now and again that make her so proud. For example; the other day a friend came to lunch. We were just coming in from working in the woods as the guest arrived. We both jumped out of Mr. Toad to go and greet her. Naturally, I go there first. Then Kinsey ask me to go back and get the Frisbee. We take a Frisbee along when we work so Kinsey can toss it whilst she works. You'd think I would be plenty occupied by the woods but no I still like to chase my Frisbee.

Anyway, Kinsey says, in off hand way, "Go get the Frisbee out of the car" and returns to greeting her friend. I trot off to the Toad way over in the shed, retrieve it and bring it back to her. Now see, it's things like this that keep me out of that apartment. I'm no dummy. I give her just enough to keep her in love with me. The rest of the time I delight in driving her nuts!

©Kinsey Barnard

Me in Shadow, our little tow car. Noticed how the thing I'm resting on is crooked. I chewed the string that holds it up off so I could stick my head out. Aren't I clever?!

See, even when I'm bad Kinsey can't resist me! Cuz I'm just so cute!

Up periscope. I always like to keep an ear out so as not to miss anything.

30 September 2013


As I mentioned last time, I have been very reluctant to ride in Mr. Toad. I think it's because I fell out of it when I was a puppy. I plopped in the snow but it still scared me. Mr. Toad is a Polaris Ranger 6x6. It is a true six wheel drive and it will go just about anywhere which is good because those darned trees never seem to fall near the road.

Kinsey calls the Polaris Mr. Toad because when visitors come for the first time she takes them on a tour of the ranch in it. The track is just wide enough for Mr. Toad and it is a pretty rough ride. Kinsey says it reminds her of the Mr. Toad ride at Disneyland. I don't know what it is with her naming the vehicles but she seems to name them all.

Anyway, I finally got her to take a few photos of me in the thing so you could see I really am doing it.

See you in October.

©Kinsey Barnard

I just HAD to include this photo. Aren't I just the best looking little gal?

Me and Mr. Toad

Aren't I just so darned cute? Sometimes I just go sit in there without being asked. I feel very important.

Everyone should be so lucky to have a co-pilot like moi.

Riding shotgun is tough work!

26 September 2013


Wowie zowie, where does the time go? One minute it was summer hot and in a blink of an eye it's gone cold here in northwest Montana. There is already snow on the high peaks.

Hard to believe I have not written on my blog for almost a month. This summer was hot, hot, hot but now it's cold and rainy. Actually, I prefer the cooler weather. We have been working hard getting the firewood, cut, split and in the shed. Mostly, I have been supervising.

I really got Kinsey a good one the other day. We were out working in the woods. Kinsey was occupied with the chain saw and not paying attention to me. Whilst she wasn't looking I slipped into Mr. Toad and stole her peanut butter sandwich. Yum! She was hopping mad. I am a food thief let there be no doubt about that. Other favorite teases are stealing her gloves and her hat.

For the longest time I was leery of riding in Mr. Toad but now I'm getting the hang of the thing and run and jump in when called. I actually look forward to it now.

My latest nickname is Buddha Baby. I've now got many. Kinsey tells me that when she first saw me, the thing that struck her was how I sat like a little Buddha and calmly observed all the chaos around me. Then, the other day, a tree faller came to cut down trees and brought his border collie mix puppy along. Her name was Oakley, for Annie Oakley. Anyway this gal was a pistol, pardon the pun, and knocked me all over the place. I put up no resistance. She chased me and knocked me down until she wore herself out. She wore us both out.  Oakley is 8 months old and I'm 10. I out weigh her by 2. Kinsey says I'm built like a brick poop house. I suppose some would say that makes me the submissive or omega type dog. But, Kinsey sees it as being the wise dog and that's why she calls me her Buddha Baby.

Another new nickname. You're gonna love this one. Ling Ling. She calls me that because she thinks I look like a panda especially when I run. I bunch up just like a bear and my white shawl and black coat makes me look like a panda racing through the grass. Well that's what she says. But, she has quite an imagination that gal!

Another Kinsey favorite is Pond Scum Puppy. I got this one from jumping in the ponds this summer. The ponds are beautiful and pristine but honestly, the water has a bit of a pond scum aroma which I carry with me after my plunge. A rather insulting nickname but I get it.

The mule deer have returned. That's a real sign fall has arrived. I'll have to be teaching them who rules the roost around here. I think they are going to be a lot more fun than the whitetail. The whitetail are really skittish but the mulies like to play. Kinsey likes the mule deer better too. She says they are more elegant both in their looks and their demeanor.

©Kinsey Barnard

Me in the tall grass near a felled larch
Me racing down the hillside. I think I heard the dinner bell!
This would have been a great picture if you know who hadn't cut my butt off!
Kinsey has been chopping wood like a madwoman. The shed is full and then some!
Recently returned mule deer doe.

30 August 2013


Kinsey has been working in the woods like a mad woman. It's that time of year when she makes a push to get the firewood sheds filled for the coming winter. Poor dear, she is finding that it takes longer every year.

Anyway, she has been doing a lot of work with the chainsaw. I am a naturally curious creature so I have had to learn to keep my distance when the saw fires up.

I've been having trouble getting used to Mr. Toad. That's Kinsey's name for the Polaris Ranger 6x6 she uses to haul wood and tools around the ranch. I think my problem began when I fell out of the thing when I was still a puppy. Whatever the reason, I generally want no part of that Polaris.

Because Kinsey worries she might run over me she has been leaving me in the run when she goes out. I don't like that at all. She's been trying to explain that either I ride in the Ranger or get left behind, my choice. Yesterday, I finally made the connection. I'm still not crazy about the thing but I will get in it a lie on the floor. Apparently, my desire to go with her is greater than my dislike for the contraption.

Why Kinsey does this dangerous work I cannot tell you but she seems to enjoy it. Hardly the sort of thing most girls would care to do. I've got a real stranger here. At least I'll be warm and toasty when winter comes.

It didn't take me long to get the message about the saw. At first she had to tell me to "get over there" when she started up the saw. Now, I just know to keep my distance when she fires it up. The next thing she has to figure out is how to keep me safe when she's felling a tree. One of those trees could fall on my pointy little head and I wouldn't even see it coming. Hope she figures out something good.

It's going to be taking her even longer to get her work done now that I'm here to "help" as I steal her gloves every times she puts them down or her hat or anything thing I can grab. It's a rotten job but somebody has to do it.

©Kinsey Barnard

12 August 2013


WOW! This morning, on the occasion of my 9 month birthday, I swam for the first time. I have been playing around the edges of the pond but only today did I finally take the plunge.

Every morning Kinsey and I play with my Chuckit Ball. I really love that thing. With the launcher thingy Kinsey can throw the ball a mile. I could chase that ball until I dropped. I take breaks by running down to the house pond and cooling off. I always take the ball with me because I don't trust Kinsey. She might hide it from me before I get back. Usually, she blows her whistle for my return. We both know I would come back anyway. It's just for good practice. And I do fly when I hear that whistle.

So, today we are playing our Chuckit games and I run down to the pond to cool off. I come running back up the hill to Kinsey without my ball. "Where's the ball?' Kinsey asks. I communicate she needs to come with me down to the pond. How do I do this? I pretend to be looking for the ball all around me as I move back down to the pond. One of my favorite tricks I play on Kinsey, I pretend I can't find the ball so she'll walk all the way to where I am. Course as soon as she arrives I miraculously find the ball. So, I started toward the pond pretending to look for the ball. When we got there it was pretty plain to see where the ball was. Out in the middle of the pond.

Kinsey kept trying to get me to "swim" and I wanted to but it was so scary to take those first few strokes. But, finally I could resist no longer and took the plunge. I wasn't to elegant in my first few strokes and I wasn't able to get the ball as all my splashing around just sent it further away but I swam. I really swam. That same little girl who was afraid to stick her toe in a stream just a few months ago. I know I'll be doing a lot more swimming in future. I'm gonna a be a real little water dog.

What a great way to commemorate my 9 month birthday. I was exited. Kinsey was excited for me. It was just all around great!

Racing through the grass with my Chuckit Ball

I want that ball.

But,.But. It's so scary

My First not so elegant strokes

Please I want that ball.

I'm doing it! I'm really doing it.
©Kinsey Barnard