Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Just call me a mountain dog (but don’t call me late for supper)

It’s really pretty up here mama!

Katie here!

Guess what? Yesterday I got to climb Smith Mountain with my mama! I told her it was about time cause she’s already been to the top of the mountain twice this trip and I haven’t been up there at all!

Come on with me, this is a cake walk!

Why last year at this time I’d already scaled that mountain three different ways! But mama says I’m slower this trip and besides it was sort of warm out and she worries about me you know.

I’ll wait for you right here mama

So we took it real slow and every time I looked at her she was offering me water. Which I took by the way, I am not a foolish sheltie, no siree.

Let’s get into the shade mama!

Still, I had a really good time and we spent a lot of the climb in the shade, hiding among the long leaf pines and the big rocks.

Mama just loves these big pine cones. I have no idea why. I thought they were sort of boring and not worthy of my time.

Do these look at all interesting to you guys?

We finally got to the top and there were lots of young people there, and a couple dogs too. All the dogs ran up and down the stairs; obviously they are not royalty. I made mama carry me.

They’re trying to get a selfie. The boy dog would rather look at me. Of course.

We found this place that used to be the picnic area when the mountaintop was a ranger station. Can’t you just imagine the rangers out here in the evening roasting something yummy for dinner? I checked out the fire pit area very carefully and unfortunately there were no leftovers.

What do you mean you forgot our picnic mama!!

I thought this rock was interesting too and mama asked if I’d sit on it, cause it (and I) was pretty. I said no way mama, and even when she put a treat up there I wouldn’t get on it. I have my limits you know.

I’ll smell it but I’m not getting on it. Nope, not happening.

Finally we got to the top and mama took the obligatory picture of me with the tower just so you all know I really went all the way up there. Not up the tower you understand, just up the mountain. Mama said no way no how was she carrying me up that tower. She said I wouldn’t have liked it up there anyway. She’s probably right.

People would believe me without proof, mama.

Then we started back down the mountain but I didn’t want to go! I liked it up there! So we sat around a bunch more and she took some pictures of pretty things that were not me. Like this orange rock.

Not getting on that rock either mama.

And this crowfoot violet. Mama says that her mom used to look for these all the time. Mama says she’s seen quite a few this year and they make her smile. Whatever mama.

Reminds mama of her mom.

Once I got her moving down the mountain we made pretty good time. Near the bottom I was even trotting. It was time for supper don’t you know and I have a rule: Never delay the supper of a Princess.

Get a move on mama!

Signing off for now, your mountaineering Princess Katie.

Next time let’s go in the morning when it’s cooler mama!




Katie here!

I am livid! And depressed. Oh man, I’m just all wound up because my mama cheated on me! Oh yes she did, and she can’t explain this one away either.

I looked up the definition of cheat, just to make sure I was accurate, and this is what the Urban Dictionary said: “Someone who is in a committed relationship and breaks the trust of his or her Katie-girl by getting physically or emotionally involved with another dog.”

OK, I edited the definition just a bit. But she still cheated.

Three boy dogs and a car – that’s just asking for trouble.

What you say? You don’t think mama would ever do something like that? That she loves me with all her heart and I’m the most important dog in her whole world?

Well. I have proof.

Yesterday, at approximately 11 hundred hours a car drove up to our house. A nice lady (I remember her from visiting her farm last year) got out of the car and petted me and she smelled good and I liked her right away. (She’s a regular treat dispenser, ya know what I mean?)

Well, I guess mama isn’t actually TOUCHING them.

I gave her a tour of my lake house and then she and mama went back outside and I wasn’t allowed to go with them. Huh! Something is up. But I didn’t see or hear anything so I waited expectantly. I figured I was due another treat.

Then mama came back inside and got her camera and I still didn’t get to go with her. That’s definitely a sign that something’s amiss. Usually I am the center of all her photography and if she’s not shooting beautiful me, then, I ask you, what is she taking pictures of?

This is my tower. Mama should only bring other dogs here if I give written permission.

But I heard the car drive away and my mama didn’t come back in the house, so I settled down to wait (not nap, people, wait!) by the door.

I’m not going up there!

Eventually she came back and do you know what? She smelled like boy dogs! More than one boy dog! I think my mama is cheating on me with more than one dog! And these aren’t the harmless neighborhood dogs either! I know all their smells and she’s usually with me when they come around.

That’s a tall tower!

So…while she was sleeping last night I snuck on her laptop and found pictures! I have proof people! She went up the mountain without me (that part is just fine) and took the nice lady and her three boy dogs!

And then, the worst part is she brought them back to the house and they got to explore my back yard! And I didn’t even see them out there because I was waiting (not napping!) by the door on the other side of the house!

HEY! That’s MY lake!

What do you think I should do? Should I kick my mama out of the house? Or should I go find a new mama and a new lake house with my own special bed and special dinner bowl and my own special food and treats and toys?

I think this is the one I have to worry about the most. You know how mamas fall for younger guys.

I need advice and I know you guys are just the ones to tell me what to do. You can comment here, but do it quick cause mama will be awake soon and you know she’s always on her computer. I don’t want her to find out she’s been caught.


Not yet anyway.

PS: Mama woke up. She says to go to this blog to read about the other point of view.

Wordless Wednesday




A missing mom kind of day turns extraordinary

I started feeling melancholy last night, laying in bed staring at the ceiling in a house she and dad built a long time ago, surrounded by some of her special things.

All day today, as I ran errands in town, I felt a certain heaviness as I drove past stores we shopped in together, past the university where she worked.

Not much going on in the sky. Yet.

Heading back to the house late in the afternoon I noticed the redbud in bloom, the delicate purple-pink flowers shining against the still bare branches of the rest of the forest. She’d have liked that.

I thought I’d take Katie to a park, sort of a reward for patiently waiting for me all day. But she wasn’t in the mood, and to be honest, neither was I. I thought I’d settle for a nap. But I was restless and sleep wouldn’t come.

A gentle circle in the grey water.

So Katie and I headed out to the dock to sit and wait for the sunset. I wasn’t expecting very much, there were only a few clouds in the sky and the last few nights haven’t been very interesting.

Still. It was nice to be sitting on the end of the dock with my feet hanging down over the water and my Katie-girl laying tight up next to me. I was still feeling sad, but it was a peaceful sort of sad.

Circles within circles.

The water was still, reflecting the sky and clouds. I smiled, and watched the water move as small minnows just touched the surface, creating gentle circles that quickly moved outward.

I couldn’t see the actual fish, just the circles appearing like magic and spreading across the water. Soon there were circles intersecting other circles.

Expanding lines intersect.

I focused on capturing those gentle patterns. Katie fell asleep beside me.

I was so intent on trying to get those circles, trying to get the light right, the focus crisp. I almost forget to check the sky. But the sun waits for no photographer; the sky was beginning to show a bit of color. And I was starting to feel a bit better.

A little bit of pink turns up for the show.

But those little fish were still making circles and I wasn’t sure I had captured the exact perfect one. So I turned the camera back to the water.

And then I realized the circles were now pink. The water was pink. Which meant the sky must be…

The circles begin to glow

I looked up. And had to hold my breath.

Katie stirred and agreed to pose with the sky. She didn’t even ask for a treat. The sky was enough.

I can’t believe how beautiful this is mama!

It’s impossible to overstate how the sky this evening picked me up. I was laughing and running up and down the beach trying to capture it all.

Katie stood on the dock and watched me with a patient look on her face. She knows her mama and she was happy that I was happy.

No words can adequately describe this.

Thanks mom, for sending me the sunset tonight. I know you were there watching me watch it. It looked like something you might have painted.

For all I know you did.




A February boat ride

Leafless trees, evergreens, mountains and clouds. Breathtaking.

February and boats don’t generally mix up where I come from, unless you’re in an ice boat skimming over a frozen lake. I’m sure that’s fun, but when I’m in a boat I’d rather worry about sunscreen than frostbite.

Saturday morning, the sun bright in a blue sky filled with puffy white clouds, was perfect for a little boat exploration.

Let’s go mama!

The boat traveled under a few bridges and then up a creek, looking for the resident eagle. It was a beautiful day, and it turns out there was a fishing competition going on. We came across several father/son teams tucked in the backwaters of the lake. We slid by them as quietly as we could.

Spending time together.

The creek narrowed, and I moved to the front of the boat looking for the eagle. Katie kept a close eye on me from the other side of the wall.

Whatcha doing mama?

This was her second boat ride ever, but she wasn’t too concerned about the engine vibration or noise. She likes being outdoors, and she’s always up for an adventure.

The creek winds through beautiful country.

Eventually we were as far as we could go up the creek. We hadn’t found the eagle, but a bit further was a low waterfall making lovely splashing noises, and more fathers and sons were fishing from kayaks. We dropped anchor to listen to the water and enjoy a biscuit breakfast.

Water running over the rocks just up there made such nice background music.

Then we turned around and slid as quietly as we could back down the creek to the larger waters of the lake. The clouds were piling up in the blue sky.

Couldn’t have had a more perfect day!

Out in the open water Captain Carl throttled up and Katie and I enjoyed the wind in our hair.

Mama! We have the same stylist!

She’s a very brave little dog and enjoyed every bit of her boat ride adventure. I did too.

Can we do this again soon mama?



How to fill the days

This is the entrance to the park. Isn’t it pretty?

Katie here. Mama says she’s getting behind and asked me to please catch everybody up. I swear. She’s only got one responsibility, to keep my subjects advised on my activities, and she can’t handle it. But I guess you, my loyal fans, deserve to see what I’ve been up to so I’ll sacrifice my nap. This time.

Maybe I should be nicer to her, cause yesterday she did take me to a very beautiful park. We visited it last year and mama took time to remember the name of the park and look up an address. She gets points for that.

Notice how things are already getting green down here?

It’s called Town Creek Park and it’s in Auburn Alabama. It’s a little park, but really pretty. We liked it a lot last year, and we explored even more this year. There’s a trail that goes off through the woods and because it was sort of hot here yesterday mama took me on that first, so that I’d have shade.

We saw some squirrels and a beautiful red bird while we were back in the woods. I didn’t chase the squirrel but mama spent a long time taking pictures of the cardinal.

Getting pine needles to make a nest? Or getting something to eat? You decide.

Then we went out and walked around the pond. There were a lot of turtles, I remember them from last year. They still seem sort of lazy, just laying around in the sun and I’m not sure what they’re good for so I mostly ignored them. Mama thought they were interesting, but she loves turtles. I don’t know why.

It’s not like you can take these guys for a walk in the woods or anything.

We were walking around the pond and enjoying the pretty sights…

Quick mama! Take the picture, there are CHILDREN coming!

…when suddenly mama noticed this group of people, mostly little kids, headed our way.

Cropped until it’s almost abstract, but notice that little blond boy out front.


Mama hauled me off of the trail and we waited for them to go by. Of course the little kids noticed me and got to us way before the adults who were on their phones realized what was going on. Especially the little blond boy who ran at me with outstretched hands. Mama was debating about picking me up as we became surrounded by curious little people.

But miracles do happen. The adults told the kids to “FREEZE!” And they did! So with mama crouching down next to me I let each child come up and pet me. I stayed very still, and after a little bit I actually leaned into some of their little hands. They said I was soft. And pretty. I thought they were very well behaved for such short people. After they left mama said I deserved an extra treat. So it turned out to be a win/win.

By the time we got home I was very sleepy so I mostly slept through the beautiful sunset we had. Mama and my Uncle and I sat out on the deck and watched the sun go down.

Sunset on Lake Martin

It made the water all pink and purple, and then it turned apricot. Mama said it was one of the most interesting sunsets she’d seen in a long time.

Such a pretty color.

Today my Uncle noticed a heron out on the neighbor’s dock. It sure was big! I didn’t think we should go out to meet it so we stayed inside and mama took it’s picture from the living room.


And they took me to the local park where we got to explore the playground cause there weren’t any short people there yet. We went early on purpose.

This is cool mama!

After lunch they left me at the house while they hiked up the mountain and climbed the fire tower.

Such a beautiful day to be high above the lake.

I tried to make them feel bad, but in reality I didn’t especially want to hike up the mountain in 85 degree (29.4C) temperatures anyway. I took a nap in the air conditioning instead. You can decide who you think made the wiser decision.

Looking for the perfect fishing spot.

SO…now you’re caught up. Except that it’s almost time for another sunset. But I figure it will look a lot like yesterday’s and the day before. You can imagine it, right? So I don’t have to stay awake any longer editing this post?

I thought so.

—Your travel guide, Katie the Princess signing off.

On the climb up the mountain.



Something pretty

Barn in hilly Kentucky on a cloudy afternoon.

As you remember, Katie wouldn’t share her blog post with me, so I haven’t been able to show you all the pretty things we saw on our trip south.

Pretty things that were not Katie.

Light hits the barn.

I hope she’s napping so she doesn’t realize I’m blogging. She gets a tad upset when it’s not all about her. But in a way, this is about her, because we stopped a lot on the way South, more than I might have without her.

Lonely cow.

We drove through some pretty country but often I couldn’t get off the freeway in the places I wanted to take pictures. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, but when I was able to leave the highway and explore a bit of back road I almost always found something good.

Rain was on the way.

I was usually searching for barns, but sometimes I ran across something else. Like an octagon shaped house. I saw the signs for it and we traveled 15 miles out of our way just to check it out. I thought maybe we’d get out of the car and wander the grounds, but there were no trespassing signs everywhere.

Would have liked to see inside.

Thankfully there was also a marker that told a little bit about the history of the house. I shot two quick photos and got the heck out of there before anyone inside could get upset.

A bit of history.

Once we finally made it to the lake there were plenty of pretty things to notice too. Like this pair of bluebirds checking out the purple martin gourds.

“I don’t know honey, it seems a bit small.”

The sun was shining our first day here, and Mr. Bluebird’s feathers shone like sapphires.

Mr. Bluebird glows.

The local grocery store, here since forever, is gone, but I thought this faded mural on the side of the store was pretty. And nostolgic.

Piggly Wiggly fades into history.

Even tree bark here is pretty!

A many colored tree.

I guess it’s true that there’s beauty no matter where you go, no matter the season. And if you’re in the South in early spring you can almost always count on something catching your eye.

Sometimes it’s hard to look away.

The end of another pretty day.


Wordless Wednesday




Just call me Adventure Girl

Mama stopped at my park as we were leaving town so I could say goodbye.

Katie here!

Mama says this blog needs a little levity and I think I’m just the girl to provide it. Besides, you haven’t heard from me in a long time and I have been off adventuring! I knew you’d want to hear all about it.

So let’s begin at the beginning. With snow. Mama and I decided we needed to escape winter. This year we’ve had plenty of snow up in Michigan and the lake house in Alabama was calling our name. So Wednesday morning, bright and early, we hopped in the Katie-mobile and headed south.

It took us forever! We had to stay in a hotel for two nights! (Don’t tell mama but I sort of like that, all those new sounds and smells you know.)

Both times we were on the second floor so I got to do the elevator a bunch. I am very good at elevator, though I have to say I don’t really like it. I mean, who wants to get in a little windowless box and then stand there while the floor shakes and there are noises and then get back out of the box again? What’s the point people?

Our first hotel near Louisville KY

Sometimes we used the stairs. I have no trouble going down stairs now, if mama goes ahead of me to show me the way. But I refuse to go up them. I don’t see so well and I misjudge the distance and end up flopped on my tummy. That hurts (mostly hurts my ego) so now I don’t want to go up stairs at all. Mama carries me and says she’s glad I don’t weigh any more than 20 pounds.

On the drive I made mama stop a bunch. Just about every rest stop. I just love rest stops, all those dogs before me leave messages and I leave my messages for the dogs that will come after me. It’s a great communication system.

The rest stop in Tennessee had these big silent people in it!

The very last rest stop had the best dog walk ever! It wasn’t just some mowed pasture, it was a trail that went up and down a ravine. It was like being in the woods! There weren’t any big trucks nearby and no cars either.

This is the best rest stop mama!

Mama and I walked around in there for a long time. Some other dogs just walked along the top but my mama and I are adventurers and we went way down to the bottom and then up the other side even though it was really steep and mama is a wimp.

Our trip was a little longer than it needed to be because mama fell in love with a bunch of barns in Kentucky and she had to make a few side trips looking for more. She says it’s not fair that she sees all these great places when we’re on the freeway and there aren’t any exits. I let her have her way, but I’m not letting her post her barn pictures in my blog. No siree. She can post them later while I’m taking a nap.

We did stop and explore a little town when I decided I wanted to take a walk. We looked for a park and found one way down a big hill. We walked a bit along a flooded river, but it was pretty muddy and mama made me get back in the car.

Then we walked around the downtown area a bit. Mama saw this cool mural and wanted my picture with it. She tried to make me sit on that bench in front of the mural but that didn’t go so well so she settled for this picture of me with the mural in the background. Sometimes I win our little arguments.

Hurry up mama. This is embarrassing.

Well, as you know, we eventually got to the lake house. We immediately explored the back yard and I marked it as mine. Mama wanted me to sit on the dock so she could get me and the clouds that were reflected in the still water. But just as she set me up a boat came roaring down the shoreline. She tried to get the picture quick before the water was disturbed, but I wouldn’t look at her. So this is what we got. Mama gets aggravated sometimes, but never with me.

Mama! Here comes a boat!

So far mama and I have been mostly napping. One time I was taking a great nap on my deck when suddenly a boat showed up! I thought that was very interesting and I watched intently as these guys kept throwing something out into the water. I swear, people are crazy. They didn’t even have a dog with them to fetch all that stuff back!

Silly people out there on the water.

Our first day here was sunny but it rained last night and made my driveway all green. Mama thought it was pretty so I had to sit there and let her take more pictures. Sheesh. But I made her pay for that one by taking me to Keebler park in town.

Lots of green down here, especially after it rains!

It’s a pretty little park with a paved trail. I only walked half of it because, after all, I am a princess and a princess does what she wants to do. Even though I made my mama drive me all the way there I soon let her know that it was time to head back to the house for another nap.

Thanks for bringing me to this great park mama, now can we go home?

I’m sure we’ll go on more adventures down here, at least to visit my Uncle on his lake and my Aunt at her house. We might even get some visitors here, you never know. I’m just very happy to be here where things are blooming and it isn’t snowing!

In my own backyard!

Stay tuned, if I do anything exciting I’ll let you know!

Sunshine and no snow!



It’s a winter wonderland!

Katie here!

It’s a perfect day to play!

HEY! Mama’s been complaining about the snow and I had to point out that some shelties never even get to see snow! In fact we were just reading over at Arron and Arthur’s site, that they were playing in something called sea snow! Go see, it’s really cool, and it’s nothing like my snow here in Michigan! It jiggles!

This is one of my trees.

I’d sure like to see it, I’m a traveling kind of girl you know, always up for an adventure. I have to say it’s been kind of boring around here. I go outside and do my business and sometimes mama takes me for a walk through the neighborhood. But geeze.

Mama needs to stop taking so many pictures.

Oh wait. I did have some excitement last week, but not the kind I like. Mama took me really early Friday morning on a car ride and we ended up at my vet! MAMA!! We were just at my vet a couple weeks ago and I got a clean bill of health, so why were we there again!

And even worse? Mama left me there!

Now things get a little fuzzy in my recollection at this point. I know a nice girl picked me up and took me in the back. She had to pick me up because I refused to come out from behind mama’s legs. This made my mama tear up for some reason. I don’t know. Mama is weird like that.

Mama and Daddy planted these trees for me before I was even born!

Anyway, next thing I know I’m in a crate and all woozy and my leg is shaved and they have an IV in and I’m really really hungry and then I take another nap. After a million years they take me out of the crate and I pull on my leash looking for a way out of there and they open a door and there’s mama!

She’s trying to pick me up and hug me and I’m pulling for the front door. No time for kisses mama! We’ve got to blow this pop stand before they find out I’ve escaped!

Hey! Wait for me mama!

I have no idea what that adventure was all about, but mama says my toothies look nice and shiny. Whatever mama.

So now she owes me. BIG time. Yesterday I was still sort of sleepy and pretty quiet, but I’m BACK NOW MAMA! I spent today asking to go out and play in the snow. We’ve been out several times.

Tastes good!

I make mama throw snowballs for me to catch. And then we chase each other around the trees in the backyard. And mama is letting me sniff stuff out there as much as I want even while she’s getting super cold and wet. I make sure to spend extra time with my nose in the snow just to aggravate her. I think it’s working.

It’s still snowing here, I think we’ll get about 5 inches today. That’s a perfect amount, not to deep for me to run around in, but deep enough to get inside mama’s boots.

What’s that over there??

Yep, today was perfect. I expect tomorrow will be too; I plan on asking to go out four or five times, and I know she feels bad enough about the vet that she’ll stop what she’s doing and go out to play with me.

I just love snow!

We have an agreement, mama and me, if she takes me somewhere bad one day, she has to do fun stuff with me for about 5 or 6 days after to make up for it. It’s taken her awhile to come around, but I think she gets it now.

Mama. I think I’ll keep her.

Guess I’ll take a nap now.