Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

5-30-09 Everybody’s Reading It


Eero can hardly believe his eyes as he is reading A Day with Abby Sunshine– hot off the press!


Piper is studying the vivid illustrations as she peruses the book.


Scott is obviously fascinated with the story line!


And quite shocking to me was when I noticed a mime reading the book. You just don’t see that every day.

I think a lot of peole will enjoy this story. On it’s first day out, I discovered many different people reading it. How about you? Go to the upper right corner of the screen and you’ll find the place where you can order your book!

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5-27-09 South Dakota Prairie


Memorial Day weekend was a pleasing time for one Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. She was in her glory with country roads and more ducks than you could shake a stick at! If you were to step into either of these photos and describe what it sounded like, what do you think you’d hear? This is what I heard while taking these photos– Birds, birds and more birds. There were ducks(many varieties), geese and goslings, and Meadowlarks; Pelicans (which are pretty quiet, I think), Yellow Headed Blackbirds and Red Winged Blackbirds; Hawks, Pheasants and Mourning Doves–just to name a few. All of this singing with a background of wind. Abby Sunshine ran and played nearly the whole weekend and was sweetly exhausted each evening.


Here Abby turns as if to say, what are you doing with that camera again? This is my dreamland! I don’t need to pose for any pictures. She swam in numerous sloughs (like this one), whether they were muddy or not didn’t seem to phase her.

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5-25-09 Memorial Day

Memorial Day 

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each gravesite at National Cemeteries. Many Americans also use Memorial Day to honor other family members who have died.

What are you doing today?

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5-21-09 Time for affection


Now Dori has chosen to stop and smell the lilacs. That means Abby can have her break to look around and sniff things!


Abby noticed a bird. You can see by her stance that she is very alert. What does your pet do when he or she sees another animal? Abby gets very excited about it.


They’ve had such a nice walk. Now Abby is getting positive feedback. She doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere too soon. She is basking in the backrub! How do you show affection to your pet?

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5-18-09 Walking Buddies Continued

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are like sponges when it comes to learning new things. Teaching Abby Sunshine to walk nicely has been a positive experience. As we can see in this picture, Abby Sunshine is walking nicely with Grandma Dori. In fact, they are able to enjoy the walk!


You can tell something positive is happening here. Gram is smiling! When walking with your dog, it’s important to keep them even with you and not ahead pulling. It’s like what Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, talks about in his books- he says to be a “pack leader” when you are on the walk. If the dog is leading you, they are the pack leader. This makes the dog more distracted and anxious. Dogs are more comfortable being a part of the pack, so give them that security!


Abby has chosen to stop. While walking, the dog really ought to be in a non-distracted zone, and should not be making the decisions of when to stop and sniff! That’s your decision as the leader.


Notice how Grandma Dori got Abby back on track?

What a great day for a walk! Have you been out walking today? Have you been practicing walking your dog? Walks can be relaxing and feel great! There’s no reason for your dog yank your arm forward! Be a pack leader and show how pleasant a good walk can feel! Your dog will be appreciative of your leadership!

How about the walking quiz from yesterday, did you take it?

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5-17-09 Walking Buddies


Grandma Dori was visiting, so naturally the little duck toller was on her best behavior. She loves it when Grandma is around! I don’t know if it’s Abby’s natural affection toward a good friend or the fact that Grandma often has some doggie snacks handy, but I do know that they get along swell. Here we see Gram putting on Abby’s leash.


Off they go, starting with a gentle incline. Abby walks nicely on the left side, just as she has been taught. While walking a dog, we’ve learned that it’s a good plan to consistently keep the dog on your left side. When walking on roads without sidewalks, this seems like a good plan since we walk on the left side of the road, toward on-coming traffic. Dogs are less visible to cars, so I think it feels safe. The dog also gets used to the routine of walking on the same side and feels comfortable. 


It looks like these two are well on their way to a pleasant journey. Grandma and Abby seem to be “passing” the basics for a good walking relationship. Check out how you would score on a “Master the Walk” quiz.

Click on this image to take the quiz!


to be continued. . .

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5-12-09 The Countdown has Begun!

A Day with Abby Sunshine is in the final stages of printing and will be done really soon! Check out the “Countdown” feature on the right side of the screen.


Abby Sunshine, a lovable, little puppy, shares her simple pleasures on a typical day. She doesn’t miss a beat- from waking up her buddy, Renae, to collecting pine cones and picking up sticks. The vivid illustration style, which combines photography and brightly colored artwork, brings the story to life and captures the joy in Abby’s daily routine. As we say goodnight to little “Pupper Wupper,” it’s easy to feel the bond between family and dog.

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5-11-09 Tulips and Mud


Look at the vibrant, red tulips. They are in full bloom. You may also notice the bright sunlight enhancing these beauties. What Spring flowers have you been noticing lately?

This morning, we walked to the bus stop. When we returned home, I let Abby into the backyard, promising that I would soon join her for a game of fetch. When I was ready to play, I didn’t see her. I wondered, where is Pupper Wupper on this lovely, sunny day?? Is she frolicking with some butterflies? Is she splashing in her pool? Could she be prancing around, looking for a squirrel to chase?

I was looking forward to finding her in any of these cheery, bright scenarios.


 A muddy dog! In fact, a muddy dog hunkered down in some shade is what I found! Just look at her paws?! These warm days that are so lovely to me, are hot for Abby. It’s only May, the summer heat is yet to come. I guess she is getting acclimated to warmer days. I think she was enjoying cool mud and shady relaxation. Kind of like her own spa. . . 

What do you do to escape from the heat?

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5-10-09 Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful women and mothers!

Women in Art

(Click on the image to watch)

“Women in Art” is a video devoted to showing the history of art through the image of women.

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5-9-09 April Showers Bring May Flowers


A friend (and avid gardner) told me, “Dogs are ALWAYS guilty.” He said this last summer as he darted Abby a stern look while she was sniffing around my garden. It was almost as if Abby heard what he was saying because at that moment she started digging a hole. . . I couldn’t believe it. She really doesn’t dig holes. Truly!! Anyway, she chose to do it right there in front of him! Sheesh! Of course, he said, “See?!?”

Look at Abby today! What could she possibly do to a garden? Wouldn’t you think of her as a little buddy to have around while gardening? What about your pet?


Abby admired the new spring smells. She sat by the daffodils and took in new scents.


Is this mischief? I think not. Abby Sunshine was so relaxed as we admired the spring bloom, she even yawned.


Notice the flowering crab apple tree behind Abby. It is in full bloom and looks gorgeous.


Perhaps we’re catching her here–up to no good. It looks to me like she’s simply turning her head. She looks innocent to me.


Well, I saw my friend last week. He said, “I have something for you.” He returned promptly with three filthy tennis balls that Abby had left in his garden. I will have to admit, when looking into her eyes in this last photo, I’m beginning to wonder if she might be a little sick of looking at the lovely flowers. She might want to mix it up with some chasing, digging, hiding. . . .

I don’t know. Gardening makes a lovely photo shoot with your canine, but I’m wondering if a “doggie playground” might just be a little less manicured. What do you think?

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