Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

2-8-10 Pole Wrapping Evidence

More action packed footage from the race! Just for clarification, Gus is Abby’s “cousin.” He is an energetic and loving Black Lab that has visited us on occasion. He has a friendly disposition and warm personality.


Here you can see that Gus and Renae got off to a fast start. It’s a good thing, too, as Gus had to make up time for when he took his little stops along the trail. . .


Here come the racers under the bridge. Look at all of the spectators.


You can get a feel for the conditions- great temperature and perfect snow for skiing.

renae and gus4

OK, here’s the photographic evidence. Notice that Gus has wrapped their line around a pole? He is not coming back to get untangled either, so Renae has to carefully climb around this embankment. I don’t know if you can see it, but the snowbank is a little more challenging than at first glance.

renae and gus5

Ah, yes, almost home free! You can see the snow sculptures ahead, which line the trail near the finish line.

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2-6-10 City of Lakes Loppet- Skijoring

When skijoring, the first step is to clip on the belt, very important, or you won’t be connected to your canine.

Clipping Renae into Skijor belt

Here Anita is assisting Renae with her belt. Shortly after this photo, the race began. There were about 130 skiers with dogs. It’s quite a sight- poodles, dalmations, huskies (of course) and many more types of dogs. The mushers ages were wide ranging, too. I think Renae was the youngest participant.

Here Gus pulls Renae on the final stretch to the finish line!

Renae and Gus on the final stretch

Go Gus! Go Renae!

Renae and Gus at the Finish

A forced smile after a grueling race!

Renae, Anita, Natalie and Leash

Truth be told, apparently on the trail, Gus took it upon himself to make a few stops. Perhaps he thought the spectators were calling to him- Renae was recounting her experience of Gus stopping to greet the people that were cheering. She’d have to get him back on course to run more. He also departed the trail to sniff and got them tangled around a pole, which Renae had to go around with her skis to get free. Notice the three of them looking at Gus, and Gus looking up trying to look innocent??

Petting Gus after the race

We’ll try it again next year. Good dog, Gus!

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10-4-09 Red Balloon Bookshop

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby at Red Balloon

Upon arrival at this charming St. Paul book shop, Abby Sunshine took a moment to look around. It seemed that she was mostly looking up! Much of what she was interested appeared high on shelves, or up stairways! Have you ever felt this way yourself, when entering a store with many things for sale?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby at Red Balloon2

Abby looks on, always watching, while sitting in front of the check-out area. Her story was a featured event today, so you can see that there were some books displayed on the counter. Abby doesn’t really care. She’s more interested in ACTION. She notices the children. They are looking at books and wandering around.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby at Red Balloon3

Here we placed Abby’s books near her- Why should her books be so high? Up where Abby herself can barely see them? Have you ever faced that? A book is on such a high shelf that you can’t even get to it? The only difference is that once again, this isn’t important to Abby Sunshine. She, being a dog, could take or leave the book. She likes interaction- she wants fun. Perhaps a game of fetch or a chance to do some tricks. Her story is for kids or dog lovers, not so much for dogs!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby at Red Balloon4

Ah, finally! One of Abby’s very best play buddies has arrived! Abby was so happy to see Todd. Here I think she is hoping he will take her outside where they can run, run – fast and faster! OK, she will smile for one last photo.

By the way, the Red Balloon Bookshop focuses on children’s books and is located in a wonderful area of St. Paul, near many quaint shops and eateries. I recommend stopping by to look at the books, or attend one of their many events.

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9-27-09 Birchbark Books

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Abby at Bookstore2

Abby Sunshine basked in the ambience of a bookstore. She found every nook and cranny, smelled every smell and enjoyed dashing out the front door on occasion. You see, the weather outside was lovely and the entrance was wide open. She quickly learned, under guidance of some quick-handed dog handlers, that the goal for this event was to hang out inside the store!

See her sitting nicely while a youngster plays nearby. What do we truly see here? I could be way off, but I wonder if she feels like sprinting out the door again.

Lisa and Maren2

Maren and I were pleased to visit with the folks and sign books! It was a good day! I recommend a visit to the Birchbark Bookstore if you’re in the area. It’s nestled in a beautiful neighborhood- rather near the “Mary Tyler Moore” house. Upon entering the store, you can hear gentle music playing in the background. The decor nicely blends outdoors of Minnesota with a classy collection of books. Stop by sometime!

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8-19-09 Gillespie Center

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Lisa 1

The Gillespie Center is a beautiful building, surrounded by neatly kept gardens. This back window had a wonderful view. The Gillespie Center is a Community Center and Senior Center where everyone is welcome!   Kids & people of all ages. It is a place where you can remain visible and involved in the community. The aim of Gillespie Center is to present a wide range of programs that will appeal to everyone in the community.

After arriving, I took a few moments to enjoy the room, and review the book.

Lisa 2

Abby didn’t hesitate to make herself right at home. As you can see, she appears comfortable in front of the room! In this photo, we are starting our Abby Sunshine presentation.

Lisa 3

I briefly spoke, then read  A Day with Abby Sunshine. I talked with folks in a question/answer format. It was a really nice group- with some grandmas bringing in their grandchildren to meet Abby and hear the story!

Lisa 6

Some of the kids came up for a photo with Abby!

Lisa 7

Now Abby’s thinking, “what next?”


Book Signing

Title: Book Signing
Location: Gillespie Center
Link out: Click here
Start Time: 10:45
Date: 2009-08-19

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Book Signing

Title: Book Signing
Location: Birchbark Books

Birchbark Books Storefront
Link out: Click here
Description: Lisa and Abby Sunshine will visit this charming Kenwood bookstore, sign books and talk with folks!
Start Time: 01:00
Date: 2009-09-26

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11-7-08 Kenwood Days at Birchbark


Lisa Reading - Kenwood Days at Birchbark

Lisa Reading - Kenwood Days at Birchbark

The bookstore and deli were bustling with people–children excitedly eating their after school snacks. Chatter filled the room; still some children were drawn to the book readers! I had the good fortune of some kids recognizing me (or the book cover with Abby Sunshine) and they greeted me warmly. I had been a reader in some of their classrooms. One particularly enthusiastic student, brought me to his mother and very properly introduced us! This was fun-even though he has diligently been trying to get this website to work (and be able to see the video clips).  I hope it works better now.  Please attempt to contact me if you aren’t able to see what you desire.  I’ll try to make it work. I also saw another familiar face who was willing to take some photos of me. Thanks, Caroline!

It was a rainy day at Birch Bark.  Everyone hunkered down inside!  

The bookstore looked great, as usual, such natural surroundings, an atmosphere full of peace and tranquility–it makes me want to read!  It was fun to meet Louise Erdrich again.  I hadn’t seen her for many years.  She has some good books available at the store.  In fact, I know in Hopkins Schools, the 4th graders are reading one of her novels in their school curriculum; a component of their Minnesota history unit. One of the last times I had visited Birch Bark for an event was when the final Harry Potter book (#7) went on sale at midnight!  This was an exciting atmosphere for that big debut.

Check it out!

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11-6-08 Birch Bark Books

Come listen to A Day With Abby Sunshine tomorrow!  We’d love to see you there!

Check out the events page for more details.

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