Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

11-29-09 The Fetch

There was scarcely a ripple on Cable Lake. Look at the reflection . . .

Wisconsin Scenery - Cable Lake

Abby Sunshine found it ideal for doing a bit of fetching. Blaze orange was the color of choice for this Wisconsin weekend. You see, deer hunting was in full swing. Even though Abby was not out hunting, she wore orange. In fact, we all wore bright orange. Abby didn’t mind her orange jacket one bit. I guess it was made more “dog-friendly” than the ridiculous hot dog outfit she wore briefly on Halloween.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch

Of course, her perfect splash occurred while I was behind one of the poles on the dock. Nonetheless, look at the perfect little water droplets! The water was like glass.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch 2

Abby has quite a wake behind her as she paddles toward her “bird.”

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch3

Getting closer. . .

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch4

There she grabs it!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch 5

And turns toward shore. . .

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch 7

Made it!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch 8

Now she will climb a hill along the shore to find her way back to the dock.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - The Fetch 9

Shall we do it again??

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11-26-09 Thanksgiving Day


Was there a dog at the first Thanksgiving in 1621? It’s highly likely. Research confirms pilgrims weren’t the only passengers aboard the Mayflower.  Turns out “man’s best friend” made the transatlantic voyage from Southampton, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.

Two dogs – an English Springer Spaniel and a Mastiff – were brought along by John Goodman. The dogs were involved in the first explorations of discovery on Cape Cod during the first winter ashore.

The English Springer Spaniel and Mastiff who came to America, helped the Pilgrims begin their life in the new world. While both breeds helped the settlers find and retrieve game, today, they were also trusted companions.

spanielx-large English Springer Spaniel

mastiffx-wide-community Mastiff


What do you notice about this Thanksgiving table? What is missing? What sounds might you hear in the room? What smells might you smell? Do you suppose there will be a dog lurking under the table at this party?

Thanksgiving Table Setting

What did you do today, many years after the first Thanksgiving? 2009-1621=388 Wow! 388 years ago!!

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11-25-09 Happy Thanksgiving!

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

by Dav Pilkey

I couldn’t think of a better day for recommending this book. Obviously, this is the night before Thanksgiving 2009! With good humor, this story depicts our popular November holiday from a different perspective. Of course, the children are clever and the ending is a surprise!

Patterned as a parody of the celebrated Clement Moore poem, this story of eight baby turkeys unfolds with joyous abandon and crackling vitality, as eight children embark on a Thanksgiving field trip that will change their lives forever. They are breathless as they catch sight of Farmer Mack Nuggett for the first time: “He was dressed all in denim, / From his head to his toe, / With a pinch of polyester / And a dash of Velcro.” The exuberant turkeys–Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver and Groucho–catch the children up in raucous barnyard antics until the merriment is quelled by the sight of the ax. Deeply touched by the turkeys’ plight, the children–who have grown mysteriously fatter and have feathers sticking out from under their clothes–board the bus to go back to the city. The next night, family silhouettes can be seen–each with a grateful turkey guest–as “They feasted on veggies / With jelly and toast.” This humorous, lighthearted story is adorned with bold, bright illustrations that convey a sense of wacky high-spiritedness sometimes lacking in traditional holiday fare.

Check out Dav Pilkey’s website: title-books

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11-23-09 Abby Sunshine Limerick

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine Up Close

A little, red dog by the lake

jumped into the water- no fake!

Would she do it again?

You could count up to ten

and she’d pounce right back in- piece of cake!

If you’re looking for a good time, write a limerick!

What is a limerick?

Try this on “how to write a limerick!”

Send me your new limerick! I’d love to hear it!

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11-17-09 Audio Book

Hey, have you checked out the audio/video version of Abby’s book, A Day with Abby Sunshine? Well, do it now! Go to the right sidebar. The first new item you will see is the large paw print. Click on it! You will see the whole story, page by page, and if you want to print it, go for it! Be sure to adjust your printer to “landscape.” To return to, just choose the paw print that says “home.”

Next, on the website, you will also see a YouTube video where it says “Listen to the story!” Click on the arrow and you can hear it. If you’d like the images to be larger, there is a place on the lower right part of the video that will make it bigger. Also, it begins with an intro without imagery. . . it’s OK! The illustrations will soon appear!

We hope you enjoy it!

I wonder if this guy is listening to A Day with Abby Sunshine!! Maybe????

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11-16-09 Abby Sunshine at Dusk

Abby and Todd spend some time at the lake on this beautiful fall evening. You can hear the ducks and some other feathered creatures in the background. I think Abby can hear it, too, though she’s staying on task. . .

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11-14-09 What does Abby stand for?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine Tricks B & W

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11-12-09 Riding the Wave?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine Riding the Tide

Have you ever ridden a wave on its way into shore? It’s a much more efficient use of energy to ride with the wave, rather than try to fight it. In fact, I think that would be impossible. A wave has an incredible force of power, all bundled up into a beautiful, sparkling mass of water. Here Abby Sunshine is showing us her ability to make use of that wave and float to shore after her retrieve.

How can we learn from this in our life everyday? You say you don’t live on the shores of Lake Superior, the Atlantic, Pacific Oceans or any large body of water? Well, perhaps we must look more closely. “To ride with the tide” or “catch the wave.” Have you heard these idioms before?

If you are “to ride with the tide,” you accept the majority decision. I guess this is important sometimes. However, if you are “to catch the wave,” you are trying to get an advantage for yourself by becoming involved with something that is popular or fashionable. Hmmm. . .

Who are you? When do you ride with the tide? When do you catch the wave?

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11-10-09 Ball or Beef Tips

Tough decisions, never easy, right? I guess that’s why they call them tough decisions. . .

Well, dogs are known for enjoying food.

They will often beg for food, sniff around when food is nearby, etc. etc.

Some dogs are also known for loving to fetch balls. Abby is one of those dogs.

Recently Abby Sunshine was posed with a choice between two loves – a delectable beef tip, or running outside with a ball. What is your guess? Think about it for a moment.

Here are a couple of Abby’s habits. Whenever Abby hears someone go into the kitchen, she leaves wherever she is to join them. It is mostly for naught, as we discourage handouts, but she is always there, constantly optimistic about getting a snack or crumb. A second habit is that whenever Abby hears us going to a door, she runs to join us. She bounds with great energy as if to assume that we are taking her outside to play. Sometimes she even gives an excited bark. Again, she seems fully confident that she will get in on some sort of outdoor game (like maybe fetch).

Have you decided yet?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby and Ball


Well, I thought it was going going to be a “no brainer” that Abby would snarf down the beef tip. Even though I know she loves to fetch, I thought for sure that the beef tip would win. . .

Not Abby Sunshine. She was only briefly tempted by it. At the door, Todd had the tennis ball obvious, so she knew playing with the ball was clear. Abby dashed excitedly to the door without missing a beat in favor of the fetch game. She left that beef tip as quick as a flash.

So what is your pleasure? If given the choice of two great things, what would you choose? Why?


11-9-09 A lighthouse, a dog and a girl

Renae and Abby

What do you see in this picture? What is Abby Sunshine doing? What is Renae doing? Where are they? What is that out on the horizon? Where do you suppose they are? What kind of an adventure can you imagine???

Make up a story about their adventures! Send it to me. I’d love to hear it!!