Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another day in the life...

As we anxiously await the RH's decision as to who the lucky gal will be who gets to go on a dream date with him, Abby and I have been amusing ourselves in the usual ways... hiking, walking, barking at things... the usual. As Jed and Abby (the other Abby, not my sister Abby...) sagely pointed out, we actually have had our dream date with Mango, so if he doesn't pick us, that's okay - we'll always have the bobsled! And we got the chance to meditate with the RH - how cool is that?!?

So, what have we been up to? Well, a couple of days ago, this deer decided to wander into our backyard. We were barking at crazy like her through the kitchen window, and I think she kept looking at us like, "What are you making so much noise about? Miserable beasts!" Or maybe that was Mom. It's hard to say. Anyway, I think she must have been a youngster, and not accustomed to being barked at from behind glass windows, because she hung around for a while... (The pictures look a little funny because Mom took them from inside the house - something about how Mom didn't want us to go play chase with the deer...)

Mom took us on a hike yesterday; our neighborhood has miles and miles and miles of single-track hiking paths, and there are access points all over the place - we've got 3 trail heads within a half mile of our house. Dad's still not allowed to go hiking where he could stumble over rocks, roots, dogs, etc, and fall, so this was our Quality Time With Mom. Abby thinks she's the alpha dog (she's not, I just let her think she is...), so she leads, even though she's not as intrepid a hiker as I am, and so she kept tugging at Mom while Mom was trying to snap some pictures (hence the quality - or lack thereof - of the next few pictures...)...

See.... What a doofus... I tried to guide her in spots, but she's a bit of a trail hog...

We love going on hikes in the mountains, and Mom assures us that we'll be doing more of this.

However, we also like going on walks with Dad, too. And we've been keeping Dad healthy by making him go on LOTS of walkies with us.

Abby and I both gave heartfelt sighs as we passed the Olympic Park. We'll never be able to walk by that again without thinking of Mango standing at the top of the 120K ski jump. Heehee!

All of our walk is on a MUT (multi-use trail), which crosses wetlands and borders neighborhoods. It makes for all kinds of interesting sights. We love this sign - these people speak our language!

(Okay, okay... we'll poop elsewhere... besides, Mom and Dad always carry baggies with them anyway...)

Anyhoo... we were walking along, minding our own business...

When we saw this family of herons!

Awww. Aren't the little ones so cute?!? I wanted to get a closer look...

But apparently Dad Heron was feeling rather protective of his family.

He squawked at us to leave him and his family alone, and once we got the hint, he joined up with his birdie family (although I think he was still keeping an eye on us...).

Pretty cool stuff, huh?

In addition to the birdies, this trail also has a little park, and I ALWAYS make sure Mom and Dad stop at the park for some tennis ball time!

And after the park, we cross more wetlands toward the smaller White Barn (there's another Big White Barn on another part of the trail, but it's miles and miles from where we are here...)

Once we get past the barn, there are a whole bunch of 'pot guts' (or prairie dogs, if you prefer). I always want to check them out, but Mom says I should leave them alone so they can sun themselves...

I just wanna say hi....

But no.... Dad and I keep walking...

Abby, on the other hand, is bit of a hot dog, and she gets thirsty quickly, so Mom has to stop and give the beastie some water...

It's a great walk, and you can see why this trail is one of our favorite places to walk!

Oh, and when we haven't been hiking and walking and chatting with wildlife, we've been hanging out.

Did I mention Abby thinks she the alpha dog? Yeah.... Apparently the Puppy Hat is the summer's hottest fashion accessory! Heehee.

Happy Sunday!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

PeeEss: Mom thought we should change our header photo, so people didn't think we still had tons of snow. The higher elevations have snow and the runoff is pretty strong right now, but we are totally snow-free! (For a month or so...)

PeePeeEss: Sorry if we've been slacking on visiting bloggies - it's all Mom's fault - something about being 'fried out' after the hiking, and taking care of Dad, and stuff. We're making the rounds, but slowly.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our Dream Date with Mango

As you may (or may not) know, Mango is running a kind of contest where a lucky gal (or pair of sisters) will get to go on a Dream Date with Mango! Truth be told, Abby and I have both harbored secret crushes on the Relentlessly Huge for AGES. I mean, the jowls, the drooling, the lipstick. What's not to love?

However, Abby and I have come to recognize that we may not be Mango's "type." I have a feeling he prefers his gals a little more mature (and I don't mean older, I mean less, goofy, er, exuberant) and more on the full-figured side. Mango weighs more than Dad. The two of us combined are barely one half of Mango. So, we were kind of thinking that we might not be the lucky gals who win their dream date with the Mango. Not pleased with that, we thought we'd be proactive, and fly the Mango out here. He said he was looking for a great adventure, and we figured that between the two of us, we could give Mango a Truly Great Adventure. We did our best to show Mango a good time! Note: the pictures should be biggified for best effect.

We reinforced AirFiona with heavy-duty cardboard, and flew the RH out to Park City for a Great Adventure the likes of which he had never experienced before! And may never want to experience again... But hey, it was a Great Adventure!

It was a little sketchy clearing the Rockies (I should have used an extra-heavy-duty rubber band, as AirFiona was pretty close to its payload limits...), but we made it safely to Park City.

While Park City is known as a ski town, there are lots of fun things to do in the summer, too. We know that the RH is not a big fan of long hikes or swimming, or other activities that require a lot of physical exertion, so we thought we'd find some activities that would be more suited to his, ah, gravitationally agreeable self.

In 2002, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics, and Park City was the site of many of the skiing/hurtling-down-mountains events. Not far from our house is the Utah Olympic Park, site of the ski jumping, bobsled, luge and skeleton events. Since all of these events involve getting from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the mountain (rather than going from the bottom to the top, which involves a lot of work), we thought the Mango would be interested.

Our first stop was the bobsled. The Olympic Park runs 'bobsled adventures' in both winter and summer, so non-professionals such as ourselves (and Mango) can experience flying down a track at a zillion miles an hour. It sounded good to us. And with an experienced driver at the wheel, what could go wrong?

Well.... once Mango got in the summer sled, it turned out there wasn't room for anyone else, like the driver or the brakeman. So, they gave him a push and told him to hold on...

Having discovered Mango's inner 'need for speed' we thought we'd head over to the ski jumps. While we weren't completely sure how aerodynamic Mango would be, we figured his Relentlessly Huge self would pick up enough momentum on the 120 meter jump that he'd fly when he hit the take-off.

With a little coaxing (and a big push), Mango went flying down the jump. Needless to say, Abby and I were extremely impressed with the athleticism displayed by the flying mastiff. I think someone should contact the Norwegian nordic ski team!

We considered signing Mango up for a skeleton lesson. Hey, we had Mom's magic plastic card - it's not like these adventures were costing us anything. We were certain skeleton would be the perfect sport for him, combining his gravitationally agreeable body with his desire to be in the prone position as much as possible. But for some reason, we couldn't convince him to give it a try.

After nixing a skeleton lesson for Mango, we thought he might enjoy something a little more, ah, relaxing. So, we convinced Mom to drive us to Snowbird, where we thought a nice tram ride up to the top of the mountain would allow Mango to take in the fresh mountain air, enjoy the scenery, and spend some quality time with us, without having to exert any effort on his part.

After a nice, calm, scenic ride on the tram, we thought we'd give Snowbird's alpine slide a try. I mean, what's the point of living in the mountains if you can't go flying down them?

After the alpine slide, Mom suggested that maybe we had terrorized tired out Mango enough for one day, and we should head home. Abby and I had a great time during our adventures with Mango. We're sporty girls, and we figured that if Mango was engaged in activities that allowed him to use his Relentlessly Huge self in combination with the forces of gravity, he'd have a good time. But apparently, Mango's idea of a dream date was a little more, ah, dreamy, if you know what I'm saying...


Still, we were really thrilled to be able to provide Mango with a Great Adventure. We were in the fresh air, we got to hang out with the world famous Mango, and we were able to avoid getting completely covered in drool. And he was a good sport - I don't think he expected to be hurtling down mountains, but he did really well for being the canine version of Howard Hughes (hey... Mango said himself he's a bit of a recluse...). I'm not sure if we were able to convince Mango that we'd be the perfect set of sisters to take on a date in MasterChewSits, but we sure hope that he'll be willing to consider squiring us around his hometown. Pretty please!

Thanks for the most excellent date, Mango!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Disclaimer from Mom: No mastiffs were hurt in the making of this post. Also, all of the pictures from the Olympic Park and Snowbird were downloaded from each site's official 'Press photos' page and are not my own, so please, no one sue me!

Friday, June 17, 2011



First, thanks for all the wonderful thoughts and comments about Dad! Dad is doing much better and Mom is no longer shooting him in the stomach (much to the relief of both Mom and Dad!). He's got to be super careful while he's on the rat poison, erm, blood thinners, so there will be lots of walkies, because he's not allowed to do dangerous things that might involve him bruising or lacerating himself. Which means more quality time with us! Yay! Well, yay for the quality time, not yay for Dad being a hemophiliac Russian prince.

As for the hospital picture of Dad? Mom and Dad have a long history of spending quality time together in emergency rooms. This is not the first picture Mom has taken in an ER.

Anyhoo. Dad is doing much better, so we've been doing lots of walkies.

And Mom got a Jr. Chuck-it to carry in our walking pack so we could have some quality tennis ball time.

Mom may still throw like a girl, but at least we got in some good tennis ball time!

And then yesterday, Dad got out the stitches from the surgery (which caused the clot, which caused the hospitalization, which swallowed the spider to catch the fly), and Dad has been cleared for tennis ball chucking. Apparently, Mom and Dad both think this Chuck-it thingy is the greatest thing since canned dog food, because they don't have to pick up "goobery balls" (Mom's words). Hey, as long as there are tennis balls a-flying, I don't care how it happens.

Good times at the park! And it seemed to slow Abby down (for a while...).


*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Busy week!

Hi everyone! Sorry we haven't been around much, but Mom and Dad have had a bit of a crazy week, and Mom is finally 'unwinding' (whatever that means).

Before we get into the excitement, here's a picture of Mom's little grass seedlings. They are starting to pop up (along with about a zillion weeds, but Mom says anything that is green and not a dandelion stays...) and Mom is most excited. We're a little less excited, as Mom says this means No Zoomies In The Yard for a while. Huh? I thought she was planting this lawn for us....

Apparently, these little green things have a ways to go before I can give Abby the smackdown on them. Okay.... We'll be patient. Oh, and that picture was taken a couple of days ago - there are even more little green non-weed things sprouting. (There are lots of green weeds sprouting, too, but Mom is thrilled about the things growing that she actually planted.)

Anyhoo, we haven't been around all week because Dad got the major sickies. He wasn't feeling good Monday night/early Tuesday morning, so in the morning, Mom dropped us off at daycare and took Dad to the Emergency Room.

Dad, with Serious Sickies.

After much sticking of needles and drawing of blood, Mom had to take Dad down to Salt Lake where he was hospitalized for 4 days. While Dad was in the hospital, Mom would take us to daycare, and then go down to the hospital, spend 5-7 hours there, and then come get us from daycare. Going to daycare every day this week was pretty cool. Well, except for the first day, when Mom dropped us off, and she Never Came Back. Well, okay. She did come back, but when 4pm came and went and Mom didn't show up, we were a little worried. Then, when the daycare people fed us at 5pm, they told us Mom was 'delayed'. Mom didn't get there until 6:59 (they close at 7pm, although they knew Mom was coming, and were waiting for her). The daycare people did play with us until Mom got there, but that was A Long Time to be at daycare. It was less fun to come home from daycare, and Dad not be there. But, finally, on Friday, the hospital decided they had stuck Dad with enough needles, and he could come home, so Mom could stick him with needles.

At night, when Dad was in the hospital, we were pretty worn out from daycare, and after a few minutes of post-daycare indoor bitey-face,

we hung out with Mom to keep her company.

This picture isn't the greatest quality because Mom took it with her phone so she could send Dad pictures of us, so he wouldn't miss us too much.

Anyhoo, Dad is doing much better now, and today we went on our first 'real' walk of the summer. With our tons of snow, there has been a lot of melting and runoff, and many of the streams and creeks are full to overflowing. Our walking trail goes through a wetland area, and it was living up to its name today.

We stopped at The Little Park on the way back, but since Dad couldn't throw tennis balls, Mom had to throw the tennis ball. Oy...

Mom, we love you, but throwing tennis balls is not one of your strong suits.... Just saying...

However, Mom did manage to throw them far enough that we could get some zoomies in...

It "warm" (I think today's high was 75 - which is warm, not the blistering heat most of you are getting), so we got some water when we were done chasing tennis balls. (Mom throws like a girl, but it was better than not getting any tennis ball action...)


It's great to get out on our walkies again, and we're really glad to have Dad back home with us (there was a chance he might have had to stay in the hospital until Monday - we're really glad he didn't have to!).

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Note from Mom: Gary had a pulmonary embolism (which is as scary as it sounds), and standard procedure is to hospitalize someone for anywhere from a couple of days to seven (or more) days to ensure he didn't have any further issues. They think it was related to a minor surgery he had last week to remove a malignant melanoma, and he'll be as good as new in time. Conveniently, his 'physical therapy' includes walking the dogs! We were very lucky to a very diligent ER doctor in Park City, and great follow-up by the staff at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. And if you ever have to be hospitalized, the HCI hospital is the The Place to be... Private rooms, a fold-out couch I could have slept on if I wanted to stay overnight (with the dogs, I didn't), I could have brought the dogs in to visit - I wasn't feeling brave enough, besides, I didn't think the girls would do well being there for several hours - and a fantastic staff. Scary stuff, but he couldn't have been in better hands. Thanks for all the moral support from all of our friends and family. -Dr. Liz