Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye Old! Hello New!

Behold I bring you tidings of great joy – the long-awaited, end-of-the year brag sheet.

After much internal strife over whether to produce our annual calendar, M&D opted to take a year off. This was an extremely tough decision because we know how much everyone loves them. However, there are only so many hours in a day and we've been quite busy.

You're probably thinking, "Those poor dogs finally got a break from having to wear all those ridiculous outfits!" Unfortunately not. In reality, since Roger and I have become certified pet therapists through Therapy Dog International (TDI), we probably have been dressed in costumes more during the past couple of months than if we would have had to pose for a year's worth of calendar photos.

The year started off a little "ruff" with the death of Pappy John in February. As personal witnesses to the joy that our visits brought him, M&D decided that Roger and I could make other end-of-life patients happy by visiting them, too. Last month, we became approved volunteers with Celtic Hospice and Home Health with official photo ID badges and everything. Roger’s first sanctioned visit as a representative from Celtic was to a local nursing facility on Veterans’ Day. Always trying to get a little leg up on me, Rog showed up for the event in typical Frenchie fashion wearing his Sgt. K-9 uniform and driving a blasted tank! He certainly turned quite a few heads as he rumbled through the halls handing out American flags and thanking veterans for their service.

Roger rumbles through Lewis Katz Hall

Our Dog Scout Troop once again participated in the Wreaths Across America project to honor our nation’s veterans by selling wreaths and placing them on gravesites of soldiers across the country. In addition to honoring a vet with a wreath, our troop receives $5 for every wreath sold. This year we raised almost $800 which will be donated to the Susquehanna Service Dogs with the stipulation that it be used for a service dog for a veteran. SSD is one of only a few service dog organizations that trains dogs for people with brain injuries and PTSD like many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have.

Arlington National Cemetery

Roger and I also are participating in an after school kids' reading program at the local YWCA. We just show up and the kids read to us for an hour. My favorite book is "Hop on Pop." Roger likes "Green Eggs and Ham" probably because he gets to explain to the kids all about his allergies to beef, liver, and venison – but not ham. Except for having to wear the outlandish costumes, therapy dog work is a lot of fun, plus it keeps us off the streets.

Thelma Lou hasn't had the opportunity to take the TDI therapy dog test so she can't participate in either of these programs. She did recently pass her Dog Scout test with flying colors and is registered to take the TDI exam early in 2015 so we are hopeful that she will be able to join us soon. Thelma’s service work did include helping to ring the bell for the Salvation Army. She really wowed the patrons at Keck’s Store and Archery by collecting dollar bills with her mouth while store owner Tammy Hammond and future heir of the Keck Dynasty Hennessey Strine rang the bell.

Thelma Lou & Hennessy with their Red Kettle

M&D insist on us participating in at least one extracurricular activity whether it involves community service, athletics, or the arts. Thelma Lou chose to register for an introductory nose work/scent detection class at Good Dog Rising. While a bloodhound she is not, I will hold judgment on her choice of sport since she can, I am ashamed to admit, lap me in a swimming pool.

Thelma Lou doing her morning laps

Roger and I spent five fun-filled days at Blue Ridge Mini Camp hosted by Dog Scout Troop 161 in Western Maryland last August. I earned my All Dog Band merit badge for learning how to play a banjo, and Roger earned his hiking merit badge for completing 6 miles of off-leash hiking. We also have both logged enough hours to earn our Service I and Therapy Dog I merit badges.

Dog tired at Dog Scout Camp

We spent three glorious weeks in the Outer Barks, NC. We kicked off summer with family and friends during the last week of May, and of course, we ended it with my birthday blowout during our traditional two week stay in September. Well, that’s 2014 in a nutshell. Wishing you health, wealth, and happiness in the coming year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Feel your Boobies

October 1 kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month. Thelma Lou is donning her pink to remind everyone to "Feel your Boobies" and get regular mammograms.

Friday, September 19, 2014

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Buccaneer Beulah

Ahoy mateys, did you know that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day? I threw together this list of classic pirate pickup lines for our fellow buccaneers trying to get some booty. 
  • Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
  • You’re drinking a Salty Dog. How’d you like to try the real thing?
  • Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
  • How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
  • Let's get together and haul some keel.
  • That’s some treasure chest you’ve got there!
  • Pardon me, but would ya mind if I fired me cannon through your porthole?
  • Wanna shiver me timbers?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Adult Entertainment

When Uncle Dave isn't providing games for us to play around the pool, he does his best to provide entertainment for the humans. Having lost most of his hair at an early age, Uncle Dave is completely comfortable with his baldness. However, that fact doesn't alleviate his yearning for a full head of hair like Dad's. Being a thoughtful nephew, I thought that it would be cool to surprise him with a gift of hair in a can -- aka Good Looking Hair -- to give him a little confidence boost as he approaches his 65th birthday. I think you'll agree that he looks about 25 years younger with the hair transplant.

Applying the base coat

Perfecting the window-blind bangs 

 A sneak peak

Exuding a sense of confidence he hasn't had in 25 years

 Unbelievable that he's old enough to collect Social Security

Davey "the Destroyer" Knowlton

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chillin' and Grillin' in the OBX

After thanking my Uncle Denny and Uncle Craig for their service to our country, we spent the day chillin' on the beach and around the pool and grillin' burgers and dogs with Dad and Uncle Mike. Not a bad day and one that I wouldn't mind repeating the rest of the week.

Come on! I hear the beach calling me.

I'm not sure if it's Thelma Lou's good looks or Roger's crab chasing that makes us so memorable, but we've become celebrities in the OBX with many vacationers and permanent residents stopping by our campsite to catch up on our latest adventures. 

Chillin' by the Pool

While hanging by the pool we often play some impromptu game that my Uncle Dave leads. This afternoon we practiced our "leave it" commands and bobbed for bite-size Red Barn treats placed on the first step of the pool. The first one brave enough to find and retrieve the treat was the winner. Thelma Lou easily took the Gold.

A quick paw check before the nose dive

Now for the nose dive

Practicing our "Leave its" 

Tantalizing Tempting

Land shark invades pool party

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Have you thanked a Vet today?

Memorial Day Weekend is considered by many as "the official kick-off of summer," often celebrated by family gatherings, cookouts, and vacations. No matter what things you are celebrating this weekend, we beg of you to remember the true spirit of the holiday and remember those service men and women who have lost their lives to preserve our freedom.

Remember. Honor. Teach.

Celebrated on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is a time to honor service men and women who have paid the ultimate price to give the rest of us the freedom to have our cookouts and spend time with those we love.

May is also National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM). Designated by Congress, NMAM gives the nation a time and place to appreciate and recognize our armed services and to remember and learn about our American military history. Thank you to all the service men and women who are currently serving.

Remember and Honor the Fallen

Once again this year, Roger, Thelma Lou and I have joined the Wreaths Across America project as a way of honoring our nation's veterans and their families by placing wreaths on fallen veterans' graves. Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to Remember the Fallen, Honor those who serve, and Teach future generations about the cost of freedom.

Each December, Wreaths Across America holds remembrance wreath laying ceremonies at participating cemeteries to honor both living and fallen veterans. This is an awesome way to let more people know why you care about our veterans and all they have sacrificed for our freedoms. Together we can show our veterans and their families that we will never forget!

Thank a Veteran today and join us by sponsoring a wreath! If you'd like to acknowledge our support of this program, please choose Dog Scouts Troop 161 (PA0026P) when sponsoring a wreath.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Rare land hippo sighted in Brushtown

Although once believed to be extinct, the Pennsylvania land hippo was recently caught on film while wallowing in the wild at a local watering hole in Brushtown. While typically not dangerous, the Brushtown area land hippos do have a propensity to charge anything in their path when provoked.

As the water level in the low-lying regions begins to recede, the central Pennsylvania land hippos often migrate south often showing up in the OBX, North Carolina around Memorial Day Weekend. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pack in the Box

With Roger and Thelma being zero help in the idea department for a Mother's Day present, I had just about given up on finding a unique gift for Mom when much to my delight FedEx pulled in the driveway. The thought occurred to me as soon as Dad opened the box — instead of a Jack in the Box we decided to surprise her with a Pack in the Box.
Pack in the Box

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers in the world! Make sure you let yours know just how much you love them.

King of the Couch

Remember the old game King of the Hill? Because the object is to remove the player or "king" who is at the top of a hill, the game is frowned upon by many for being aggressive and mean. Thankfully, M&D don't share that view and find that a little bullying for the position as top dog helps build character and strength.

Roger assumes top dog position

Here in the Knowlton household we like to play a slightly modified version called King of the Couch. Basically, the rules are the same but the mound of dirt or hill is replaced by Mom and the couch. The game begins when she lies down, assumes the fetal position, and covers up to take a nap. While none of us has ever gotten hurt vying for the position as top dog, repeated playing of game will most definitely take its toll on the integrity of your couch so play at your own risk. With Mother's Day being this weekend, I'm pretty sure that there is a game of King of the Couch in store for us.

I spy Mom

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A "Ruff" Day

It was a rather "ruff" day here in the Knowlton household. Besides looking after my brother and sister, one of my primary household duties is keeping a vigilant watch out for the UPS and FedEx delivery trucks. With all the stuff that Mom orders online, I'm on a first name basis with the UPS and FedEx drivers. Mr. FedEx even allows me to get into his delivery truck to help him find our packages.

On Duty

Today, however, I was thrown monkey wrench when a Penske moving truck pulled in the driveway. Being the helpful hound that I am, I went out to see if I could lend a paw by giving the guy some directions. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mr. Penske was at the correct address and was delivering Dad's metal pegboard that we ordered him for Father's Day.

Metal Pegboard by Wall

In addition to the Penske delivery, I also had two other deliveries to log. I don't know about you, but I always feel better after I blow off a little steam after a "ruff" day. And there's nothing like doing a couple of full bore zoomies around the backyard to clear the air.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pontiff Pup Roger Paul I

During his Easter address today, Pontiff Pup Roger Paw I prayed for peace and an end to world hunger.

Pontiff Pup Roger Paw I

Friday, April 4, 2014

Me, my selfie and I

I'm not sure what all the buzz is about selfies and posting them to Facebook. The selfie has been around for centuries. Typically taken at arm's length (or in a mirror) with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone, the selfie usually includes only the photographer often making duck face or peace sign.

In 1839 American pioneer in photography Robert Cornelius produced the first photographic image of a human being — a head and shoulder portrait of himself — or a selfie.

Robert Cornelius

Maybe my lack of interest is because Mom goes crazy taking pictures of Roger, Thelma Lou and me, so we see enough of ourselves. In any event, I thought I'd give this selfie phenomena a try. I'm going to let the Facebook "like" button at the bottom of this post be my gauge as to whether I should try to perfect my self portrait taking skills or just stick with Mom taking photos of me.

Ears lookin' at ya

Lip Face

 Eye see you!

Say Ah!

Me, my selfie, and I

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring sprung and so did we!

Taking a Break

This past weekend Mom, Dad, Roger and I took advantage of the nice weather and went for our first hike of the season. We are very fortunate to live in the heart of Michaux State Forest which the Appalachian Trail crosses. With barely breaking a sweat, we logged 4.6 miles. Roger thinks that's 9.2 in Frenchie miles because of his legs are only half the length of mine. I tried to explain to him that it doesn't work that way, but reasoning with a bull head is like talking to a brick wall. 

With our first trip to the OBX just around the corner, Thelma Lou needs to start getting into shape (besides round) so that she can fit into her itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini. However, a hike of that length would've killed her. As soon as we get some nice weather during the week, we'll help Thelma Lou work off her extra winter weight by taking short walks around Carlisle while practicing our street smart skills. 

TL in her itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini

After our walk, we hopped in Mini Pearl, Mom's Scion iQ and headed to our kissin' cousin Carly's house and had a grand time racing around her backyard. 

Illustrating the generous amount of room in the Scion iQ 

Roger calls shotgun for the ride

Cousin Carly

Monday, March 17, 2014

Erin go bragh!

Who's your Paddy?

Who needs luck when you're as cute as I am?

Cabbage Head Jaxxon

Atticus begs Thelma Lou for a kiss

Safira quashes any idea of a kiss

Beulah Ruth poses as an Irish Woof-hound

Eat your heart out Pierce Brosnan