Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

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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9-25-09 The Beagle Pup

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


I opened the door, and to my great surprise, a Beagle Pup was sniffing around our backyard. It turns our that our neighbors were taking care of the little tyke.

Beagle and Abby

Abby got rather enthused to see this new canine. She chased her like crazy! We were watching carefully, and the small Beagle kept egging on more “chase.” I thought she’d scurry off- back to our neighbor’s yard, but no! She would return, running fast toward Abby. This whole game was so quick that I have no more photos. The others I snapped were blurrier than these!

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9-24-09 Abby and the Pool

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Summer in September? I guess so! It is still warm and Abby Sunshine continues to play in her pool.

Abby and Pool

Lately, I’ve noticed Abby looking intently into her pool. She wags her tail all the while.

Abby and Pool2

Next she reaches her paw into the water and appears to be “pawing” at something.

Abby and Pool3

She dashes to the other side of the pool- as if to get a better look at whatever she sees. What is it? That’s what I wonder, too. It could be leaves that have begun to fall. . .There are some small leaves floating in her pool. Would that be what gets her so excited? I look and I look and my human senses just don’t tell me about all of this excitement.

Abby and Pool4

OK, she’s really after something. Her whole snout delves into the water while eyes are still looking carefully.

Abby and Pool5

Now she has a long drip of water coming out of her mouth. Gross, Abby.

Abby and Pool6

Again, Abby has just lifted her head out of the water and a new stream of water rushes out of her mouth. What a silly dog. She doesn’t mind a bit. Her attention is somewhere else.

Abby and Pool7

OK, more pawing, dunking and dripping. . .

Abby and Pool8

And more pawing and wagging. . .

Abby and Pool9

Now with good posture, she appears very proper in her silly little game.

What do you think it is? She has been doing this in the last few weeks. Her curiosity is “catchy” and makes me think there is something really great going on- is it a fun game? Is it something really fascinating that is in the water? What is it? Abby, you do make things seem fun. I wish you’d tell me what you are doing.

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9-23-09 Abby and the Cockle-Burrs

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Abby with Burrs

As you know, Abby Sunshine is an active dog, unafraid of nature and the outdoors. Well, if you look closely at the fur on her ears, you will see that she has gotten into some cockle-burrs! A cockle-burr is a weed with spiny “burrs” which stick onto anything. In fact, a nickname for the cockle-burr is “velcro weed.” That gives you an idea of how sticky they are!

We might think of the cockle-burr as a nuisance (we had to cut some of the fur on Abby’s ear because we could not brush it out). However, I bet that this weed may have contributed to the invention of velcro (Actually, I think it is called hook and loop, and “Velcro” is the name brand).

What other ideas do you have? What would be a cool invention inspired by the cockle-burr?

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9-22-09 Abby Sunshine at the Soccer Game

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Abby Watching Soccer

Abby Sunshine is sitting on the sidelines, watching her buddy, Renae. She is playing in a grueling soccer match. It appears that Abby is well aware of what is happening in the game, don’t you think? What do you think is happening in the game?

“Run, Renae, run. . . Get that ball!” Is that what Abby might be thinking? Maybe she is just hoping for a treat after the game- maybe she’s thinking that it feels sort of hot sitting there and a drink of water would be good. It’s so hard to know what a dog is really thinking!! What do you think?

Abby Watching Soccer 1

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9-12-09 Fall Harvest

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Fall Harvest

Believe it or not, some dogs really enjoy eating raw vegetables as well as some fresh fruit. Vegetables and fruit are a very excellent source of vitamins. Dogs are able to convert the vegetable oil and fat into the necessary nutrients in order to live. If you want to feed your dog vegetables, feed him vegetables that have just been cooked or steamed such as carrots, cabbage and potatoes. If your dog has a weight problem or if you are interested in him getting a vegetarian diet, make sure to consult with your veterinarian beforehand.

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9-9-09 Charlie, Alle Hunde Kommen in den himmel

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

September 2007

Charlie and Abby, September 2007

Abby’s good friend, Charlie, has gone to the next place. Charlie passed away this week. I was thinking about appropriate connections to make with regard to mourning Charlie, when I thought of the movie All Dogs go to Heaven. Then I found this German version that even has “Charlie” as the main title! Charlie Alle Hunde Kommen in den himmel. (Please know that the storyline of this movie has nothing to do with our friend Charlie.)

Good-bye Charlie. Thanks for all of the good times. We’ll remember forever those marvelous days.

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9-6-09 Guest Editorial by Cesar Millan

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

This Editorial is from the Cesar Speaks section of Cesar Millan’s website.

Cesar Millan

Canine Heroes

September 6, 2009

A kind and gentle seeing-eye dog guiding his blind caretaker across the street, the intense focus of a K9 police unit sniffing out a bomb, a search dog barking to let us know that she has found a missing child – these are the images that come to mind when you think of canine heroes. They use their animal “super powers” of smell, sight, and boundless loyalty to better our lives.

But these working dogs are not the only heroes in the canine community. We live with them every day. Our dogs strengthen our families, bring us back in touch with Mother Nature, and remind us to live every day to the fullest. They change our lives.

These tough times give us cause to appreciate our canine companions even more. Dogs don’t follow unstable pack leaders. Instead, they let us know when we have lost our way. We can get so caught up in the concerns over our material wealth that we overlook the real wealth we have. Take a moment to appreciate the riches that your family and friends bring you, and let your dog know you recognize his heroic capacity for love.

Stay calm and assertive!

Cesar Millan

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9-1-09 Back to School!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

It’s that time of year. . .Back to School! Yippee!

dog at desk

How was your first day at school?

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