Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Night in Pocatello

I wrote this last night, but Mom's been too lazy tired to post it. So just pretend that it is still Sunday night.

You are getting sleepy.... You think it is Sunday night...

Our final night in the House With Wheels for a while, so I'm savoring my moments on the couch, watching teevee:

(note from Fi's Mom: yes that is an IV bag - TaiChi gets fluids under the skin so she doesn't get dehydrated; with the couch there, the kitchen cabinet is the best place to hang it), harassing TaiChi and making sneak attempts at stealing cat food (note from Fi's Mom: somewhat unsuccessfully, but not entirely).

This weekend was Octoberfast (yes, I KNOW it's September; but you know humans - they don't ever seem to be quite on the ball); which is apparently a big rivaly autocross race between the Utah and Eastern Idaho regions. It is held every year at the Pocatello regional airport (which means that sometimes they have to stop the race so a plane can taxi on the side of tarmac) where the races are held.

Mom and Dad went two years ago when they were racing the Mini Cooper, and it snowed!!!! Mom and Dad were VERY happy that the Mini had a roof, and a windshield, and, best of all - says Mom - heated seats! (Note from Fi's Mom: Yep. The heated seats were HEAVENLY!!! It was COLD then!)

Mom in the Mini two years ago. For the record, this was the first time Mom ever spun a car. A front-wheel drive car, at that! Additionally for the record, this weekend Mom spun a front wheel drive car both days! Must be something about Idaho! Heehee!

This weekend, however, was nothing like that. Instead of snow, it was sunny and warm, and beautiful!

We arrived in Pocatato on Friday in the House With Wheels, and Uncle Charlie and his kids arrived shortly after we did with the Corvette in the trailer. Mom wasn't feeling well (she had a cold - she's getting better now), so she decided to hang out in the motorhome with us while Dad and Uncle Charlie did a practice session in the Corvette. Apparently the tires were a little more worn than they had thought, so after the practice session the tires were getting "thin".

Because this event is a BIG rivalry between Utah and Eastern Idaho, there were a lot of Utah people here, including a couple (Ed and Carolyn, for reference) who had offered on multiple occasions to let Mom drive the wife's car, a Chevy Cobalt SS (apparently is it "super-charged"- whatever that means). Wanting to help save the tires so that "the boys" (as Mom calls Dad and Uncle Charlie) could get as many runs out of them as possible, Mom asked Carolyn if the offer to drive her car was still open, and the answer was a resounding yes.

So on Saturday morning, Mom found herself driving the Cobalt. The last time we were up here in Pocatato, this summer (for, you guessed it.... Summerfast), when the Miata (aka The Grenade) broke, she drove another Cobalt. So it wasn't like this was the FIRST time she had been in a front-wheel drive car since the Mini, but her experience was limited.

Anyhoo, it turns out that Mom was the more experienced driver of the two women. Really. Seriously. Mom is actually more experienced than someone. Yeah, I can't believe it, either. So she ended doing stuff. Like checking tire pressures. And adjusting tire pressures when she didn't think they were right. You have to understand that in the past, Mom would sometime checks tire pressures, but she checked them to be whatever level she was told they were supposed to be. But this weekend? Mom actually made Her Own Decisions about tire pressures in an attempt to make a car run more to her liking. My. Mom. (!!!) This is just groundbreaking stuff for her!

And Mom clearly had a ball. She was giggling and smiling, and very obviously very happy.

So, after the first day, Mom was all excited about changes that she was going to make on Sunday to make the Cobalt run even better. It's a stock car, so there is only so much she could do. Besides, her knowledge is pretty much limited to tire pressures! But after the first day, Dad and Uncle Charlie had pretty much run the life out of the tires on the Corvette, and they weren't sure what they were going to do.

Ed, Carolyn's husband, has a new model Corvette, and had offered to let Dad drive his Corvette.

Dad in another Big Yellow Car. What is with these people and Big Yellow Cars?!? Oh. Yeah. Corvettes are SUPPOSED to be yellow. Porsches are red.

So Dad took him up on the very generous offer, and Ed even offered his car to Uncle Charlie, as well. I guess there were some set-up issues with the Corvette, too, so Dad and Uncle Charlie worked with Ed to get his car running better. And at the end of the day? It sure seemed like everyone had a good time, and I know Mom was very excited about learning and being an "example" this weekend. And she still got to hit cones, so she was happy! *grin*

Me? I had a great time!!! Because we were at an airport that is (or maybe was) a military base of some sort, there are all these little streets with no houses, and Mom took me on lots of walks.

And there was lots of pee mail to check!

And we played tug-of-war with the leash. Mom said she had to take this picture specifically because she wanted to post it on the internet so all my friends could see that I look like a doofus. THANKS, Mom! (Don't be surprised if I leave a present for you some cold morning! Teehee!)

And I got to bark at cars, and people. This car (an A Mod, for those of you who might wonder) broke in the test and tune on Friday, but the owners were around all weekend, and I got to bark at them a few times, since they were parked right in my teevee.

And yes, we have a little trash can by our door. That's because we are "responsible". (That's what Mom says, at least...)

It was REALLY fun. I'm so glad we came.

And here is Mom, being all artistic like. The airport is also a military base (I think - there were a couple of Hueys that landed on the second day - Mom was working and didn't get pictures, but it was an impressive sight, if somewhat chilling for some of the racers who had seen similar helicopters in, ah, less congenial environments), hence the barbed wire.

But there were plenty of places for me to walk around, and I was Quite Happy.

And so now, rather than getting home in the dark, Mom and Dad decided to spend the night camped where we were all weekend, and we'll leave in the morning. Now I'm off to harass TaiChi!

*kissey face*
-Fiona, The Autocross Dog!

Pee Ess. We are home now, and TaiChi and Bufus and I are snoozling, as any hard traveling people should do. My stummy is much better - after I saw the vet on Wednesday, I took some pills (covered in peanut butter - thanks, Mom!), and I didn't throw up again after I saw Dr. McDonald. But thanks for all the comments. And so you know, TaiChi and Bufus are traveling pros; we are happy to be home, but we are all really happy that we get to go with Mom and Dad when they travel. There is nothing better!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mom's BACK!!!

Hi everyone!!! I'm BA-ACK!!!

And no, Mango, I'm not drinking "too much" coffee. Why would you think such a thing?!? (Did you forget that I'm half retriever? I can't help being a little, erm, excitable. Heehee!)

Mom made it back yesterday. Finally. She flew through North Carolina (and waved to The Herd - and she says she heard the 'woos' in response!) and then landed in Atlanta, Georgia. And then, well, you know what they say about "the best laid plans," right? Apparently, the plane she was supposed to take back home had, um, problems. I guess the "hi-drawl-icks" in the wing flaps had leaks or something. If she had taken AirFiona, she wouldn't have had these problems. (Given that AirFiona is strictly a 'fixed wing' based organization, and all.)

Mom had actually placed the call to the flight supervisor for AirFiona, and I had the rubber band wound up it all fueled up, and my flight plan almost filed when the air traffic controllers at Atlanta told me that it would be DAYS before I could get a scheduled landing time. Days! Can you believe that?!? I think that Delta is just trying to squash competition from us smaller, more nimble airlines. And, Mom called and told me that she'd be coming home on her "scheduled" flight. Scheduled, schmeduled. Did I mention that we at AirFiona are a proud airline? Yeah, I didn't think it needed to be said, either!

Anyhoo, after many hours delay, and the wings NOT falling off her plane, she made it home. FINALLY!!! Not that Dad didn't do a great job, because he did. But it was really nice to see Mom, since she was gone for SO LONG!!! And to make sure Mom knew how much I missed her, I tried to knock her down when she can up the stairs.

Oh, and to also let her know how much I've missed her, I threw up at 4am. And then again at 8am. (And to make the point clear, I have thrown up the last couple of days, so Dad would KNOW how much I missed Mom.) But Mom was a little worried, so she took me to the vet this morning after I threw up the second time. But the vet isn't worried; he thinks I maybe just ate something and once my stummy was upset, it just sort of stayed upset. So he gave me a shot than stung, and some pills that I'm supposed to take so that I won't throw up. Because while I REALLY missed Mom, I am not sure that cleaning the carpets is exactly what Mom thinks of as a sign of my love for her.

I made Mom sit down today and tell me all about her trip. And apparently, I have some cousins.

Here's my cousin Galen. She's a labradoodle, but Mom says she's smaller than me by quite a bit, but apparently at least as goofy. So she was the surrogate me, because Mom was going through "adoodle withdrawals".

Which I can totally understand. Because how could you NOT miss me?!?

And here's my cousin Tango. She's an older cousin, and apparently knows a good steak when she smells one.

Especially when my uncle is grilling it.

And in that same picture is my other cousin, Meringue, the cat. Mom says she didn't really get to meet her because she's a pretty aloof kitteh.

I guess I've got some human cousins, too, but, well, no offense, human cousins, but I was more interested in my furry cousins. But Mom's got some pictures of them, too, that she'll send out to the humans.

Oh! Yeah! And one other thing! We are going in The House With Wheels this weekend! There is a car race up in Idaho that Mom and Dad have had planned for a couple of months (pretty much since we raced up there last time). So, we are going to head up on Friday, and Mom and Dad will race The Big Yellow Car. Of course, I'll see if I can get some pictures of Mom and Dad while we are up there. But.... (say it with me) House. With. Wheels.!!!! Yay!!!

I'll try to get Mom to catch up on bloggies, but she is going to be busy packing for Idaho, so I'll do the best I can.

*kissey face*

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Brief Update: All is Well! (But still Out of the Office!)

Thanks to everyone for all your comments/concerns about me getting fed. All is well; Mom has just been busy staying up all night talking to Granny and getting no sleep doing Family Stuff, and I have been busy taking care of things at home, so I haven't flown out to visit her.

Oh, and for the record? Mom wasn't able to take AirFiona when she went out to North Carolina, because when I was doing the pre-flight check I noticed that we were Completely Out of dry roasted peanuts (and dog biscuits), and as EVERYONE knows, no plane is allowed to take off without its required allotment of dry roasted peanuts. So... Mom had to fly Delta. And she said something about being in steerage, surrounded by pigs and chickens. Or something. Anyhoo, I am hoping that I can have AirFiona up and running to pick her up tomorrow. Otherwise she will be subjected to Purgatory the Atlanta airport. Again. So I've got to make this quick and go back to working on the plane. (Maybe I should just get a new sheet of paper and start over...)

But to put your mind at ease, Dad has been Very Good about following his day-by-day instructions, and there have been No Issues with me getting fed (and I haven't even had to work on my pathetic "Feed Me" face!), and TaiChi and Bufus are being well taken care of, too. So all is Very Well on this front.

Mom has called regularly, and apparently she misses us quite a bit, because she's been spending time with my cousin Galen, a small labradoodle gal. Somehow she's been bred to be small; she's only like 35 lbs. Teeny!

And I'm not in the least bit jealous, because I know Mom is just using Galen as a surrogate me! There will be more pictures when she gets home!

But I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm not wasting away, and that Dad is doing a Great Job taking care of us all. Although he's ready to have Mom take the 2am TaiChi shift... *grin.

But thanks for all the invites and offers of food. When I get AirFiona up and running, I will see about visiting people - because I'd really like to visit Pawsylvania! Although Mom says she'll wave to the Thundering Herd when she flies by (again, maybe we can come back for a visit!)

More later!

Oh, and in the meantime, we'll follow Mango's suggestion of the Out of Office sign...

*kissey face*

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Firing up the Rubber Band on AirFiona Again

Mom has been Very Busy the last couple of days. Washing clothes and buying dog food, and all sorts of tasks that have kept her Very Busy.

"What gives," You ask? I asked that same question:

Well. Apparently, Mom is going to North Carolina to visit Granny and Grandpa, and my uncles and their families.

She is, of course, taking AirFiona. Note: this is an artist's rendition, as Mom hasn't actually gotten on the plane yet. But she insisted on driving the plane. (Little does she know that the steering wheel is just for show!)

Needless to say, TaiChi and Bufus and I are a Little Concerned about being left with just Dad to take care of us. (No offense, Dad, but, uh, Mom is the one who has been feeding us.) However, Mom has left Copious Notes, as well as a day-by-day instruction list for Dad (which does, I saw, when I was checking her work, include "Feed Dogs"). So I have faith that if Dad reads Mom's detailed, day-by-day instructions, All Will Be Fine. *paws crossed*

Because I have AirFiona, I will be popping back to North Carolina from time to time while she is gone (she leaves Very Late Tonight - or Very Very Early Tomorrow Morning, depending on your perpsective) so that I can keep you updated. And to make sure that I get fed! Kidding, Dad!

More later, as I must start my pre-flight check.

*kissey face*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rainy weather, and a vet visit

Alas, no hike today. It rained really hard yesterday afternoon and then again last night, so while it was only partly cloudy this morning, Mom said the trail would be really muddy. I didn’t see a problem with that, but apparently Mom said something about how she would have to remove the mud from my feet with a hose, and that didn’t sound too appealing.

Rain, rain, go AWAY!

Also, she and Dad had a business meeting, and by the time that was done, big dark clouds had started to move in. And besides, Mom had to take TaiChi to the eye doctor to do a check up.

So, on to TaiChi for a minute. She’s doing Really Well. She won’t ever see out of her right eye again, but since her cataracts (waterfalls? I didn’t know you could have waterfalls in your eyes, but apparently when you get old you get these waterfalls. Maybe your brain starts to leak? I didn’t think to ask) were so bad that she probably couldn’t see much more than shadows anyway. But her snooter works really well! She can smell a steak from a mile away! Heehee!


Okay, back to the doctor’s report. Her good eye is very good. She has more of these waterfall thingys in that eye, but it’s not horrible, and all of the other measurements they do on her eyes are Really Good in that eye. They also took her blood pressure because she had really high blood pressure when she first went to see the eye doctor, so they put her on blood pressure medicine. I guess TaiChi’s life is just super stressful! You know; sleeping, eating, sleeping some more – that can all be VERY stressful! Heehee. Note from Fi’s Mom: her high blood pressure is/was just a combination of old age and her chronic kidney issues; if you’ve got an OLD dog, it’s worth having your vet check his/her blood pressure, if they don’t already do it. It doesn’t take very long to do it, and can help prevent some pretty serious issues. In short, her blood pressure went from Super High a month ago to being almost normal; she was 190 a month ago and was 120 today. 100 is normal for dogs, and since she always gets stressed out at the vet’s office, her blood pressure is probably at least 10 points lower at home. She will stay on blood pressure medicine for the rest of her life, but since it gets delivered in a big dollop of peanut butter, she doesn’t mind! And since I get to lick Mom’s fingers after TaiChi gets her pill, I don’t mind, either!

So, TaiChi is doing Really Well and Mom and Dad are Very Happy about that. So is TaiChi. She clearly feels much better. Which is good, because I love my little big sister and she’s much more fun when she feels better!

Heh. We are such buddies. And she's just squinting because of the flashy thing - it's not a permanent thing.

Even if she steals my toys....

Because we had Fall-like weather today (rainy, and cold), Mom broke out TaiChi’s jacket. TaiChi gets cold fairly easily, and so she has a couple of jackets. Granny and Grandpa made her a really cool fleece jacket (that Mom can’t find a picture of at the moment…), and then she also has a heavier jacket with a hood.

I think she's quite sharp looking in her coat!

And because it was kind of dark out when Mom was taking the pictures, I got to display my Super Dog powers!

I can haz laser eyes!

And now, I must get back to catching up on bloggies. Because Mom has been slacking.

*kissey face*

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enough of this car stuff, let's get back to me

So yesterday Mom FINALLY took me on the hike promised as we were driving back through the oh-so-exciting states of Nebraska and Wyoming. I will say this just one more time – until next year, that is – OMD; could those states be any more boring? And I can’t even IMAGINE what it’s got to be like there in winter. Although the big barriers they’ve got to help create snowdrifts and stop (some) snow from blowing across the highway gives a pretty good indication of how miserable it must be. All I can say is that I’m one lucky doggie to live someplace that actually has, erm, something other than cornfields and cows.

We started off on a trail that we hike a lot, and then took a new turn, and ended up hiking over 4 miles. Which was most fun. I just wanna know when we are going to start going on LONG hikes! Heehee! Mom, however, didn’t bring the real camera, and had to take pictures with her phone. Which was a real shame, because the trees are starting to change colors, and there are some really bright reds out right now. So…. Mom is going to have to take me on another (possibly longer? C’mon Mom… There are MILES of trails out there for us to explore!) hike where she’ll have the camera and we can get some good scenery pictures. Because it is really pretty right now.

And perfect for hiking! Did I ever mention that I’m subtle? No? There’s probably a reason for that…

Anyhoo, last night I got in some quality snoozling with my little big sister.

Because Mom promised me another hike today, we went hiking, despite the weather forecast that there could be thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mom looked out the window (her own personal weather forecasting) and deemed it fine. And a chance to get some pictures of the “fall colors”.

So off we went.
Um. Mom? So far this looks like the regular trail. Where are the colors?

Oh. Okay. Got it. Biggify to actually see the colors...

We did the same hike as yesterday - which is our usual hike but with an extra mile loop in there. And lots of hills. And trees and stuff.

This is steeper than it looks. Trust me. In person it goes straight up!

And if you notice, for a while it looked pretty darn sunny.

Are we there yet? You mean we keep going UP? Wow.

We finally made it to the top of the climb, and from there, you could see all the way to the Olympic Park where they held the ski jumping and luge and bobsled events during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

And the hillside to the right was starting to turn all sorts of colors. In another week the colors will really be out.

And if you must know, yes, I am a Happy Dog! I love hiking!

But as we stopped for water, something on the horizon caught my attention:

Uh, Mom. Would you look over there. Please?!?

I think we'd better GO. Because we're only halfway through the hike!

So we dashed off, Mom taking only one more picture before we were all the way home.

By the time we got home the skies were totally black, and literally 5 minutes after we walked in the door it started raining. About 5 minutes later we lost power for about 30 minutes! I'm glad I hustled Mom along when we saw that first dark cloud! But we didn't get wet, and it was a great hike.

So, Mom, whaddya think about tomorrow, huh? Huh? Pretty please?!?


And on other stuff. Thanks to Dennis the Vizsla Dog who gave me this award:

Even if it is a little mis-spelled, I’m a class act! Woo-hoo!!! Heehee. Proof that I can fake people out when I really try!

The award is, of course, made by the The Purple Hatter, and the requirements is that I pass this along to six class act doggies. I know so many. But I’ll pick six class acts.

Martha and Bailey, who are legal masterminds and who get to go on walkies in some of the prettiest places ever.

Clive. Because he actually works for a living. And Mom thinks that he looks like a big Irish sweater! And, of course, because he is a goldendoodle (and rather handsome, if I say so myself).

Doby and Lola. Because they are seriously classy.

Lorenza. Because she is just the classiest dresser I know. Not to mention a sweetheart.

The 4 Bs. Because poodles and a schnoodle? How can they be anything BUT classy?

Sierra Rose. Because she’s classy in the making!

And this isn’t to say that all of my other friends aren’t classy, but I was forced to pick six…

And now, I must nap if I am to be ready for tomorrow hike. And for the record? The little thingy that Mom wears on her wrist to give distance and heart rate and stuff says that we climbed over 1300 feet today. In 4 miles. Not shabby!

*kissey face*
-Fiona, The Intrepid Hiker