Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

4-22-12 Abby Finds an Open Window

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

Helen Keller

Does this apply to windows?

No Comments »

4-7-12 Abby and the Babbling Brook

While walking, or hunting as Abby sometimes thinks of it, an invigorating dip makes everything better. Watch as Abby exits her water break in this 9 second video.

No Comments »

Daffodils 4-6-12

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,

She wore her greenest gown;

She turned to the south wind

And curtsied up and down.

She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbour:

“Winter is dead.”

1 Comment »

8-1-11 Hot Dog in the Summer

The heat is severe and Abby Sunshine is doing what she can to stay refreshed.

First of all, Abby always has fresh water available at her “luxury” pool. She often cools herself in the water, takes a few sips, then comes out asking for another game of fetch.

What happens next?

Shaking off the water, what did you expect?

No Comments »

7-11-11 Happy Birthday, Abby!

Wow, five years old. Time flies when you’re chasing a ball.

Now, what’s all this fuss about birthdays? A big, blue ball that I can’t even fetch and a silly hat. . . Humans have the strangest ideas about a good time.

Time to ditch the hat. . .

And let the REAL party begin!

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes! I’m a lucky dog- I’ve gotten wishes from around the world.

No Comments »

7-8-11 Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

Is it a summer breeze or a cool refreshing dip in the pool that makes Abby feel fine? I can tell you what I think. . .

How do you refresh yourself on a hot sunny day?

No Comments »

6-20-11 Abby and the Ducks

Abby Sunshine made new friends in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She was doing her usual fetch game (minding her own business) when a group of mallards couldn’t help themselves, but join in on the fun. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever acquired its name through this intrinsic quality- ducks are attracted to the dog. For some reason that we humans may not understand, ducks become curious and swim in closer.

Abby dashes into the water. The birds watch attentively as she goes after the ball. Abby is focused on the ball and has no trouble ignoring the ducks. She is on a mission and will not be distracted.

She continues to fetch the ball, near the waterfowl. They stay out of her path yet remain close.


Sometimes Abby takes a moment to study the birds. She know she has her ball, so if she looks at them, I guess it’s OK.

When Abby approaches, the mama duck quacks at her ducklings.  What is Abby thinking about as she swims by this noisy family?

Who cares! Let’s keep moving.

Abby is focused on her priorities. The ducks are busily attending to their needs. They don’t seem to be phased that a highly talented retriever is hanging around with them. Shouldn’t they be a little bit worried?

Well, Abby is not giving them any fears today. She comes in peace.

Good times with good ducks. . .

Did you say squirrel? Now that’s a different story.


No Comments »

4-17-11 A Spring Fetch

Abby Sunshine waits patiently at the bottom of a hill with water behind her, fresh air all around, and someone willing to throw a ball for her. A dog’s paradise- well, at least a paradise for Abby Sunshine. She stays in place, urging another throw or maybe suggesting we go to her?? Perhaps she won’t have to make her way up the steep, rocky incline.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Railroad Tracks, April 2011

No such luck, Pupper Wupper. You need to come back here if you want another toss.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Railroad Tracks 2, April 2011

No problem. Abby doesn’t hesitate. . .Come on, Abby. Bring back the ball.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Railroad Tracks 3, April 2011

Good dog. You are almost here.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Railroad Tracks 4, April 2011

At last. . .now what, more walking?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Railroad Tracks 5, April 2011

I think not. Bark, Abby, bark. Demand another throw!

No Comments »

2-9-11 Book Recommendation

Hachiko Waits

by Leslea Newman

Illustrations by Machiyo Kodaira

After reading about a loyal dog in Brazil (post from January 17), I came across this story about another faithful canine. Based on a true story from the 1920s in Japan, Hachiko, the dog and main character, epitomizes a “good dog.”

Hachiko Waits


“What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi, you are the best dog in all of Japan.” Professor Ueno speaks these words to his faithful dog before boarding the train to work every morning. And every afternoon, just before three o’clock, Hachi is at the train station to greet his beloved master. One day, the train arrives at the station without the professor. Hachi waits.For ten years, Hachi waits for his master to return. Not even Yasuo, the young boy who takes care of Hachi, can persuade him to leave his post.Hachiko Waits, a novel inspired by a true story, brings to life the legendary Akita who became a national symbol for loyalty and devotion. This is a must-read for dog lovers of all ages.

Hachiko Statue

There is a a statue honoring Hachiko in Shibuya (a part of Tokyo), Japan.

As with any good story, books are written and movies are made. Here is a video clip from a 1987 Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari.

Another movie, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, was made in 2009.

No Comments »

2-6-11 Renae and Gus Skijoring Loppet 2011

The big day has arrived- Chuck and Don’s Skijoring race in Minneapolis! As a part of the City of Lakes Loppet series of events, this one captures quite a crowd. As you can see, Gus (Renae’s reliable Labrador skijor partner) and Renae are getting ready for the start of the race. Dog handlers Jordan and Todd are supporting Gus in all of the excitement.


Todd is talking to Gus and petting him calmly amid loud barking coming from all directions. Renae is beginning to feel a chill. They need to get moving to warm up!


Time to go!


Here’s a closeup of their start. They were fast out of the gate- ready to hit the trail.


Gus is still pulling strong after having gone almost 4K. I can hear Renae talking with Gus- “Come on, Gus!” Renae told me after the race that Gus seemed to know where to go. He was attentive to the trail.


Here they make their way to another bridge- passing another skijor team on their left!


One last turn, and they are nearing the finish line, much faster than last year.


Though I could not keep up, I found them at the finish area, dog handlers (Cousins Gretchen and Jordan) greeting this dynamic duo.


Who else is at the finish line? Who is standing so quietly by Auntie Anne?

Skijoring9 - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - February 2011

Well, if it isn’t Pupper Wupper herself. Is she here in support of Renae and Gus? Or does she have something else on mind? Hmmm, I wonder what Todd is holding in his hand.

Skijoring10 - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - February 2011

Here is the skijor pair- back at the car. Gus and Renae share a moment of endearment after finishing the race.


1 Comment »