Monday, August 29, 2011


Dear Gavin,

As you no doubt know, I do not have fleas, nor have I ever had fleas. I don't do fleas. Gramma doses me with special medicine so that I don't get fleas. I am not sure what fleas are, if you want to know the truth. Oscar told me that he has had them before, Emmy, too. They both told me that these fleas will bite you and make you itch like crazy. They told me that you can't stop scratching. They said it was as bad as when Gramma has poison ivy!

Well, last night, the puppy called Toni would not go to sleep. She was scratching and scratching and she was even biting herself! Oscar said that she was not actually biting her skin, but that she was trying to bite the fleas and kill them. You know, like when Gramma found that tick on me and she squeezed it until it popped. Poor Toni was miserable. So was Gramma. She kept telling Toni to be still. Finally we all got up and went outside to pee. When Gramma brought us back in I looked at her and begged with my eyes to be allowed to sleep in my kennel, cause Toni was keeping me awake. Oscar slept. Papa slept. But Gramma and Emmy could not sleep. When it was finally daylight, Gramma saw a flea on her arm .............. she woke everybody up!

She flipped the puppy called Toni over and told Papa that she was going to examine her under carriage (can't tell you what that is, cause I don't know). Toni tried to bite Gramma (never a good move) and Gramma spoke in her no-nonsense voice. Toni lay very still and Gramma announced that Toni had fleas! I was so scared! What would this mean for the puppy called Toni?? Why does the puppy called Toni have these fleas on her?

Gramma told Papa that it was just days away from our regular dose of Advantix and that the puppy called Toni had grown since she had been dosed. All of the fleas were around her tail and back legs, so she was pretty sure that she had not used the correct dose for the puppy called Toni. So, Papa said, why didn't she just put the right amount on her now. Papa is really silly if he thinks Gramma will miss an opportunity to give us dogs a bath! But, Gramma made Papa go get some special flea shampoo. We all got shampooed with the new shampoo and Gramma even shampooed her hair with it. Gramma really, really hates fleas!

But that is not the end of the flea cleaning. She washed all us dogs' blankets and pillows, too. I just had my kennel blanket smelling like sweaty feet again, too. Now it is April fresh, thanks to Toni for going out on an adventure and bringing home fleas. Emmy was quite happy to have a bath and Oscar says that you have to admit that it does make you feel better. I will tolerate these monthly washings of myself, but I really wish Gramma would leave my blankets alone!

I hope that the puppy called Toni has learned her lesson and will not escape on an adventure again! I hope you never get fleas on you! The fleas did not get on Papa, but they did get on Gramma. Papa said it was because Gramma was sweeter than him. I don't know about that; I have licked both of them and they both taste salty to me. Sometimes Gramma will put lotion on her hands and legs. Oscar likes to lick that, but I prefer just plain skin.

Be careful when you go exploring on adventures and look out for fleas!!!

Your flea-free dog, Wall-E

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Girls Are In Trouble

Dear Gavin,

Today is Sunday. Gramma closes early on Sunday and she is usually pretty tired. Today as she was locking up I noticed that the sky was clouding up. I was so excited! That meant rain and rain would mean that Gramma would want to sit on the couch with us dogs. I was pacing back and forth saying "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy" while I heard the locks click into place. Gramma told us dogs to go out and do our business cause she thought a storm was coming. She put some kind of meat in the oven and said we would relax until dinner was done.

This sounded like a good idea to me. Gramma sat on the couch and I jumped up next to her. She was petting me and talking to me. Gramma and I communicate, as you know. Gramma told me that she had missed me lately. I have been spending a lot of time trying to train the puppy called Toni and Gramma has been very busy with the campground. So there we were, having some time together, just me and Gramma. Then a man tried to get into the store. Gramma said that if he could read road signs he could follow the directions on the door and use the after hours registration. Gramma said that she was tired. I agreed. Only, the man kept coming back and Gramma finally got up and opened the store. Then when she sat back down, the puppy called Toni jumped slap dab in the middle of us. We gave up.

Papa came in and Gramma pulled the delicious smelling meat out of the oven. She sat down with Papa and they ate dinner. She gave me a taste. She called it pork chops. I do not know what these pork chops are, but they made me lick my chops! I made a joke. Oscar said it was a lame joke. What do you think?

So, while I was still licking my chops, Gramma was looking around. "Where is Toni Louise?" asked Gramma. Papa said he did not know. Gramma said that the meal had been way too peaceful and she wondered what Toni was into. Either Gramma or Papa let the girl dogs out and forgot about them. When I am ready to come back inside I bark to let Gramma kn ow I am waiting at the door. Oscar scratches the door and then barks. Emmy sort of whimpers and then gets louder and louder. The puppy called Toni is rarely out by herself. She usually goes where ever I go. I am her favorite, you know. Well, tonight Toni went outside with Emmy. Gramma went to let them in .......... only, they were not in the yard!

Gramma was not happy. She marched through the house and told Papa that the girls had escaped! Oscar suggested that we try to knock the plates down from the counter to see if any pork chops were left. He said that as long as the girl dogs were already in trouble that Gramma wouldn't pay that much attention to us boy dogs. Really, I thought it was a bad idea. But, those pork chops were quite tasty. And Gramma would have her hands full with the puppy called Toni .........

We tried. Even though I am quite a remarkable jumper, I could not reach the counter. Oscar said I was pretty much useless as far as he was concerned. He told me that he wished my legs were longer. I wonder if he has noticed just how short his legs are! I am kind of glad that we could not get the plates. Toni was the first one to be found, but nobody could find Emmy. Gramma always worries about Emmy. She is so little, you know. And now that she is old, her eyes don't work as well and she doesn't hear so good. Her back makes her walk pretty slow and stiff, too. Gramma really loves her and would be very upset if she couldn't find her.

Gramma found Emmy in the back yard. Emmy will usually come back and try to act like she had been there the entire time. Gramma knows better. She scolded Emmy and told her that she had scared her. She held her for a long time after she found her. Toni got scolded by Papa and by Gramma. She just wagged her tail, though. You would have thought they told her she did something good! She is just not taking this training seriously.

I am pretty tired now. So is Gramma. We are going to bed. I hope that you had a nice Sunday. I hope that you did not get into any trouble. Maybe all the boys every where had a good day today! I love you, my boy.

Your faithful dog, Wall-E

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photo Shoot and Fences

Dear Gavin,

We had an exciting weekend. Aunt Debbie came and spent the night with us and the fence keeps going up! Aunt Debbie did not bring Kiley with her. I was kind of bummed about that,but I got over it. She got to meet Toni Louise for the first time. I know you might be wondering if Toni behaved herself. She didn't. She peed in the floor, same as usual. Gramma scolded her, but really, Toni does not care! When Gramma scolds me, I feel bad and sometimes I even cry. I don't like it when Gramma is upset with me. Toni must think Gramma is just kidding.

But, that is not what I am writing about today. Gramma had to go into town and renew her driver's license. Oscar tells me that you must have one of these in order to drive a car. Gramma's had expired and she had to go take an eye test (I hope this did not hurt) and get a new picture. When she came home she told Papa that she had a regular photo shoot. This was scary. Why did they shoot her? She did not look like she had been shot! Emmy laughed at me and Toni. She told us that having a bunch of pictures taken was what you call a photo shoot. Well, if that is the case, then Gramma not only had a photo shoot, but she is a photo shooter!
As you can see in these pictures, I was sleeping peacefully in bed with Papa and the puppy called Toni. I like to take the cover that Gramma sleeps with and curve it around my body, just so, and then take a little nap while Papa sleeps in the morning. Papa and I do not care to get up as early as Gramma and Emmy. Oscar likes to sit with Gramma while she has coffee.

So, there we were, Toni on Gramma's pillow and me in her blanket. Suddenly there is a flash of light. I opened my eyes at first, then I shut them. There is really not much one can do to stop Gramma and her camera.

Gramma was whispering and telling the puppy called Toni to look at her. Toni would not look at her. She kept turning her head to one side. Gramma kept on and on, telling her she was just being shy.

Finally the puppy called Toni stuck her tongue out at Gramma! Can you believe that?

Then she lay her head down and Gramma took the last picture and said, "Who could not love that face?" Seriously? I can think of two dogs right away. Oscar and Emmy. They don't really care for the puppy called Toni. I have to admit that I really like playing with her. She can be annoying, but we have lots of fun together.

The fence is almost done. They put a see-through fence up in our yard while they are working on the privacy fence. Us dogs need our yard so that we can go out and do our business (that is what Gramma calls it) whenever we need to. Gramma told Papa that the whole "walking on a leash thing" was not going to work while the store was open. You saw what happened in my last letter.

So, us dogs have been watching the man called Charlie work on our fence. At first we got really excited when we saw the big gap under the privacy fence. Oscar was the one who saw it first. He told the rest of us dogs that with just a little digging we could all escape and go into the park! We all stood there looking. We could see under the fence! We saw people in the pool swimming and others walking around. This was going to be great! We decided that the puppy called Toni should do the digging. Emmy volunteered to be the look-out and Oscar said he would lead us. We had a bit of an argument over this issue. I can run a lot faster than Oscar and told him that I should be the leader. I am also taller than Oscar ..........

We planned for three whole days. We would run into the woods by the tent sites and then work our way through the park. We would return for food, of course. Emmy said that the hole should be inconspicuous (that means hard to find) so that Gramma wouldn't notice it right away. Toni disagreed and asked how we would find our way back in if the hole was hard to find. Oscar looked at her with disgust and told her that she was definitely lacking in the hound genes. He said that we should just follow our own scents back.

I must say that I had not thought that far ahead. I was too busy worrying about Gramma discovering the plot. If it worked and we were not found out I would have such feelings of guilt that I would not be able to hide my distress. If Gramma discovered us gone, then she would send out a search party and we would all be in trouble. This scenario was equally distressing to me. Then I started to think about Gramma worrying about us dogs and I felt bad even more. I wanted to back out of the escape, but I was worried about what the others might think of me. What if one of us were injured? My tummy stared to hurt and before I could stop myself, I ate a bunch of grass and threw up! Oscar knew what I had been thinking and he made fun of me and I started to cry brown tears. When I went inside and Gramma saw me, she knew that something was wrong. She washed my tears off my white fur and held me. I knew then that I could not go through with the escape plans.

You will be happy to know that before I had to tell the others that I would not be joining them on their adventure the man called Charlie covered the gap between the fence and the ground with some things called landscape timbers. Not only are they too heavy for us dogs to move, but he secured them to the fence with screws. Oscar said that he could read the writing on the wall and knew that this was an idea of Gramma's. I have no idea where this wall with writing is, but I could not find it. Emmy confided to me that she had no intention of participating in the great escape and I told her that I would have stayed right here with her while Oscar and Toni went without us. Emmy said that in her younger days she had enjoyed many adventures with Louise, the Saint Bernard. She even confessed that after Louise broke her elbow that she had been the designated hole digger! This was before my time. Emmy has always been such a goody-goody around me. I see her in a whole new light now. Emmy told me that I was like Sarge, the Collie. She said that he was a worrier, too. He would always try to talk Louise out of escaping, but she was stubborn and willful. I suppose this is why the puppy called Toni is the puppy called Toni Louise!

Gramma told me that you said you missed me while you were talking to her. Same here, my boy. I will always be missing you when you are not here with me. You are, after all, my boy! I know that you are busy getting ready to go back to school. Gramma says that you will be in the second grade this year. I am very proud to be the dog of a second grader!

Your loving dog, Wall-E

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Learning Experience

Dear Gavin,

I don't know what is going on around here. Our fence is down! So now when we have to go outside I have to wear this thing called a harness and Gramma attaches a leash to it. Oscar and I used to wear choke chains whenever Gramma took us somewhere, but we kept pulling too hard and Oscar would cough and cough. Gramma said that it was annoying, so she got us these harnesses. Oscar got the blue one. We wear the same size, me and Oscar. I wanted the green , cause it is your favorite color. Gramma knows that, so she had already saved it for me.

The puppy called Toni still has the collar that she came with and she even has a leash that is brown and pink. Emmy says this color combination is very stylish. "It's a leash," I said, "who cares?" Then she reminded me that I was very particular about the color of my harness. I suppose she has a point. Emmy has the harness and leash that Gramma made just for her. It is pink gingham (whatever that means) and it has little alphabet beads that spell out her name. She is such a girl.

Okay, when walking with a person with a leash attached to you, there are certain rules that must be obeyed. It is not a good idea to chase your own tail in circles. Even if you are the only dog being walked. You will end up with the leash wrapped around your own feet. Oh, and the number one rule when walking with Gramma ........... never run around Gramma, winding the leash around her legs. It will not end well. Gramma will not like it.

The leashes will look like this! And that is with only one dog not following the rules of walking on a leash!

Emmy chose to separate herself from the rest of us. I wish I had thought of that. Emmy did not want to get hurt or trampled by the puppy called Toni. Gramma finally just picked Emmy up and carried her. She said that I was too heavy. Oscar, too. I wish she had just carried Toni, since the rest of us know what to do. Gramma said this was a learning experience for the puppy called Toni. Oscar said he would like to teach her a lesson or two. He is not all that fond of the puppy called Toni. He will not tolerate any body else outside our family mistreating her, but he has nipped her quite a few times.

I thought learning was supposed to be fun. This learning experience for the puppy called Toni was not fun. I am glad it is over and I hope the fence is finished very soon. Come to think of it, do you suppose Toni's love of digging is why the fence is being repaired? I wish you were here, I could really use your help with this puppy called Toni!

Your learning dog, Wall-E

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Snakes Alive!

Dear Gavin.

No pictures of this adventure, my boy, but I will tell you what happened. Gramma killed a snake!!!! Yes she did! She was getting a bundle of wood for a camper and she picked up a piece of the wood and there it was ........ a snake, just laying there looking at her. Us dogs listened to the whole story while she told Papa about it. Papa was not here, that is why Gramma was getting the wood. I suppose Papa would have found the snake if he had been here; but only if he picked up the exact same piece of wood that Gramma picked up. What are the chances of that? That snake could still be there, waiting to .............

I have a confession. I don't even know what a snake is, or what it does. Why did Gramma kill the snake? It must be bad if Gramma wanted to kill it. I have heard her say, "Toni, I am going to kill you!" when the puppy called Toni chews on her shoes. Chewing up shoes and magazines is not a good thing. Gramma gets really mad at the puppy called Toni, but she doesn't really kill her. So, I wonder what this snake did to make Gramma actually kill it.

I listened to Gramma tell Papa that this snake coiled up and struck at her. By that time Oscar had informed me that a snake is a reptile that slithers on the ground because it has no arms or legs. So, now I am confused, how could this snake strike out at Gramma with no arms? Or legs? Papa asked how big the snake was and what kind. Gramma said it was small, no bigger around than a pencil and that she was pretty sure it was a moccasin. Oscar said that this was not good. I had already figured that much out! He said that this is a poisonous snake and that a bite from this snake could kill! Kill Gramma! Oh no, that can't happen. She takes care of us dogs. I know that Papa helps, but he is not as good at it as Gramma is.

Come to think of it Gramma takes care of Papa, too. Things would not go well if we lost Gramma. Papa takes short cuts on a lot of things. He never even rinses our water dish, much less wash it. He just adds water to what is already there. I don't know if you know this, but us dogs actually stick our tongues in the water to drink. Some times the puppy called Toni still has food on her tongue and it gets in the water. Gramma told me that humans call this backwash and that is why they don't like to drink after small children. I prefer to have Gramma fill our dish. She takes it to the sink and washes it out and then puts fresh cold water in it. Papa just grabs a cup or a glass or a bowl off the counter and puts water in it, then dumps it in our bowl. If he drops an ice cube he will toss that in, too. All the food particles in the bottom of the bowl swirl to the top .......... not very thirst quenching!

But, this is about snakes. Papa says that it sounded like a baby mocassin and Gramma said that is what she thought, too. I thought Gramma was very fond of babies, but I guess snakes don't qualify. Gramma told Papa that she wanted the wood pile cleaned up and restacked where there is no grass. She does not like the fact that there could be more babies waiting in the wood pile to strike out at her! Papa asked what she killed the snake with and she told him that she smashed the snake with another piece of firewood and that this was the very first snake she had ever killed! Usually when Gramma sees a snake she yells for Papa, but he wasn't here and she said she was afraid that the snake would slither under the fence and into our yard. Our yard? Where us dogs play? Oscar was alert at once and said he could kill a snake. Emmy told me if I ever see one I should just stay away from it. This is a good idea ..... except that I have no idea what a snake looks like. Emmy told me to just think about a worm on steroids. I did. I thought it was pretty funny, too. Emmy warned me to not make light of this issue, that even a very small snake could make me very, very sick and might even kill me.

So, promise me that you will never, ever pick up a snake, okay? I will leave them alone, too. I also told Oscar that he should leave the snake killing to Gramma and Papa. Gramma seemed quite proud of herself after killing this snake full of poison. Papa says that there are good snakes as well as bad snakes. Gramma told him that the only good snake was a dead snake. I think that she was making a joke, or maybe not. She didn't laugh.

Gramma said she wished she had her camera when she saw the snake, but that she probably would not have taken a picture until he was dead. Gramma is very careful, you know. I will be very careful, too, my boy. I must go now, Gramma wants me to go outside with the puppy called Toni. Toni likes to play and Gramma wants me to make her very tired for a nap. I can do that.

Your helpful dog, Wall-E

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dear Gavin,

Toni acts like nothing ever happened to her and things are back to normal around here. Toni gets into all kinds of trouble. She really likes to tear papers to shreds. I never did that, did I? Emmy reminded me that I chewed up two pairs of Gramma's shoes. That was a long time ago and I have matured nicely. Gramma told me so.

Did you see that I now have 25 followers!! Gramma says that I am a very popular dog. Gramma says that I should not get a big head about this. I do not know what that means. My head is as big as it will ever be. I am pretty sure that if my head starts to grow, it would mean that something is very wrong. Why does she say these things to me?

Gramma has been moving all of the food out of one freezer into another. Seems like a silly thing to do. She told Papa that she needed to defrost the big one. Papa left the house to work outside in the park. I wish I had gone with him, because Gramma is not happy about this defrosting thing. I don't know why, since it was her idea. She told Papa to move out of her way when he came in to get some ice. She said that there were some things that could not be saved and she has made several trips out to the dumpster. Us dogs were hoping she might drop something on her way out, but she didn't. We figured Toni could rip into the packaging and then we could all check it out. Gramma is too careful! Maybe Papa will come back in and help. He is sure to drop something.

I think that I will go find that kong that Gramma filled with peanut butter and hide it in my kennel. All the other dogs are sleeping now. I am very clever, don't you think?

Your clever dog, Wall-E

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toni Is Home

Dear Gavin,

Toni came home. Finally. She is right behind this door. I can smell her. I can hear her. I can hear Gramma talking to her. Gramma is talking very softly and telling her that everything will be alright. Everything will be alright?? What is she talking about? I have tried to jump high enough to touch that door knob, but even when I touch it, I find that I cannot turn it and open the door!

Toni stayed in the store with Gramma. Gramma said she was still goofy from the stuff they gave her at the vet. Gramma let me take a peek and I did not think she looked goofy .........

Okay, maybe just a little. She watched a fly crawl on her blankee for a long, long time. She did not even know we were there! Gramma read the instructions they sent home with her and it said that she had to stay away from us other dogs for a minimum of 10 days. Gramma laughed about that a lot.

Later when Toni came in the house she told us that she slept while she was gone and that when she woke up, Papa was there. She said she was really happy to see Papa, cause she thought that she was going to go live in another place. She said this had happened to her before. All of us dogs felt bad for her. Even Emmy was nicer to her.

Oscar told her not to worry because Gramma and Papa won't let anything like that happen. Oscar says that he has lived with Gramma and Papa for as long as he can remember. He said that he heard that he lived in a pet store when he was just a tiny little pup. Then he went home with Jill and she gave him to Gramma. He says that he is a one person dog and that Gramma is his person. He said that when he came to live with Papa and Gramma there were already other dogs and a cat in the family. Then he told us that one day he got into the car with Gramma and Papa and they drove to a place where this lady had lots and lots of puppies in her yard. He said that he stayed in Gramma's arms the whole time while Papa picked out a puppy. That puppy was Emmy. Oscar says that except for Zeke, the bloodhound that bit Gramma, all the dogs that come into this family stay in this family. That is just the way it is.

Is that why you wanted me to live here with Gramma and Papa when I couldn't stay with you? Was it because you wanted me to be safe and you wanted to know where I was? I would say that you are one smart boy! Papa told me that until I came here to live, he had never had a dog that loved him more than Gramma. Papa says that I am special. Don't tell the other dogs, but sometimes Papa gives me extra treats. He thinks Gramma doesn't know ...... but she does. But, we have talked about this before ..... Gramma knows everything!

Your special dog, Wall-E

Where Is Toni ....... Update

Dear Gavin,

You will be as relieved as I am to know that even though Papa came back without the puppy called Toni, he is going to go back and get her at 3:00. Gramma asked how Toni did on the ride and Papa said she yakked in the truck. It is okay, I have seen the inside of Papa's truck. A little dog yak will fit right in. But ......... why did she throw up? Was she sick, does she have a puppy disease? Is that why Papa took her?

Gramma asked Papa what the puppy called Toni did when he handed her over. Handed her over??? To who? This is not sounding good to me. Papa said they put her in a cage. Wait, did I hear that right? A cage? I wanted to go get Oscar, but I could not leave the sofa in case I missed something. Oscar was eating. Gramma put all of our dog dishes up last night. I don't know why. Anyhow, Papa said that Toni kept looking at him from the cage with a sad face. Gramma was sad, too. She said that Toni probably thought that she was back at the pound. This just keeps getting worse.

Then Papa said that he would be going back to get her at 3:00. Then he went out to fix some plumbing and I ran to tell Oscar what I had heard. Oscar was appalled that they had put our puppy in a cage! He told me that if not for the fact that Papa was going back to get her, we would be planning a rescue! I did not point out the fact that we still did not know exactly where she was. I have learned that although Oscar is very brave and will stand up to anyone, he is also a big talker. Let's keep that between the two of us. I would not want him to know I said that. He is very strong, I think I could outrun him, but he can be very determined when you make him mad.

I will no doubt write another update when Toni comes home and I can get her side of this story. I think I heard Gramma say something about surgery, too. I don't want to talk about that ...... I might be sick if I do. I don't even like to have my nails cut!

Your reporter dog, Wall-E

Where Is Toni?

Dear Gavin,

Something is going on here. This morning Gramma put Toni's collar on and woke Papa. She said it was time to go. Go where? Are we going on a trip? Is Gramma going to make me wear a collar, too?

Papa did not got to the treat jar and give us dogs our treat! What is going on? He started to, because Oscar was making lots of noise about it. He really likes his morning treat. Emmy was just watching Gramma holding Toni while Papa got his wallet and keys. Oscar was getting pretty loud and Gramma told Papa that we could not have t r e a t s. She spelled it out. Us dogs know what she is spelling, but we let her think she is pulling one over on us. But why can't we have treats?

Papa took Toni and went out the door. I looked out the window and I saw them get in Papa's truck, and they left the park. Just like that. Toni is gone. What is this feeling I am having? Why do I feel bad? I should be happy. I did not like this puppy called Toni. Remember, I told you this.

Oscar does not seem to care. Gramma gave us our treats, but it just wasn't the same. It was wrong for Gramma to give us our treats. Papa is supposed to do this. Something is going on here at the park. Toni is gone and I am sad. I thought I would be glad. I miss her. Did Papa take her back? I know I said I wanted her to go back, but I sort of like having her around. She's not so bad, I guess. She really likes to run and play with me. I did not think that Papa would take her back!

I must go see what is going on here. I will report back later, my boy. I wish you were here to help me look for clues. I do not want Gramma to know how upset I am, so I can't ask her. I will let you know when I write the next letter. I will be sniffing out these clues. I did not ever think I would say this ............ but I hope Papa brings Toni back home!

Your detective dog, Wall-E