Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dachshund Daddy's Cast

This is how I feel.

Things are wonky here in Switzerland. My dad is okay, but he had a serious bicycle accident.

You're going along, wagging your tail, and suddenly your dad comes home from the ER with a cast on his arm. It's not really a cast; it's called Fractomed.

Dad was passing a right-turning vehicle, and another car was making a left turn from a road on Dad's right. Bam. Dad flew through the air.

The poor driver of the left-turning car. Freaked out. Of course. Everyone got out of their cars and rushed to Dad. Dachshund Daddy jumped up, hopping around like a bunny.

We are very lucky.

Dachshund Daddy always wears his helmet. Thank goodness, because he hit right on top of his head. He heard a "pop". Is that the foam in the helmet squishing down?

And we're moving to a new place. This week. Did I mention that part?

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Letter from Yugi: Guest Post

Dear Tootsie,

Did you hear the story about how I fell in at the marina? My mom and your human uncle and cousins had flown to the Wotten Waven Wyoming Wedding of 2012, but I stayed behind. I am not able to fly "in-cabin" like you, and I don't much like flying cargo.

I am not cargo! I am Yugi!

I was walking on the dock with my caregivers, minding my own paws, and suddendly: a scuba diver pops up out of the water. I saw the diver pop up. Have you ever seen such a thing? It's weird. It looked neither human nor fish nor penguin. I didn't even know the creature was called a "scuba diver."

I backed up and backed up. Splash! I fell right into the water over the back of myself, off the dock.

Very funny, right?

I swam around frantically until my caregivers, Monique and Jakob, directed me back to the dock. Another guy helped them drag me out of the water.

I was very confused.

Then the scuba diver -- looking neither human nor fish nor penguin -- waved at me.

Freaked me out.

Remember that time you told me about when you fell into Lake Lugano while you were trying to make friends with Medieval ducks? I never asked, but how did you get out of the lake? Did a scuba diver help you?


P.s. Mom says I need a bath from all the salt water. I'm looking forward to the rub down.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Yugi, Tootsie, and Truffle at Antelope Valley Summer Camp 2012.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Located within a piece of Switzerland that wedges into a piece of Germany that in turn wedges into Switzerland, the town of Rheinau is a great destination for a day trip from Zurich.

Home to an abbey that turned into a major center of the Counter-Reformation, Rheinau offers lots of options for shoulder season walkies.

Madeline and Kirk, our special Idaho friends, loved the peace and quiet of this cute little town on the Rhein.

This time of year, Barbara often comes to Rheinau for her walkies.

Our trip to Rheinau finally gave me a chance to enter my ancestral home, Germany!

It was super-fun to walk over to Germany across the locks. Below, you can see the inclined plane to raise boats past the locks.

After a wotten waven hike on the German side of the Rhein, we re-entered Switzerland by way of this intriguing covered bridge.

In German, "Rheinau" is pronounced like the English "rye now". Is that why the walkies made me hungry?

Dear Madeline & Kirk: The whole schnaa of your visit was super fun. Thank you for the cuddles. Mom says she apologizes for feeding you so much Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate. Love, Tootsie

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Kid Cart Tale

"Mom! Let me out!"

Last summer, along the Hood Canal in Washington State,
Tootsie was placed inside an abandoned kid cart on the beach.
It was not her preference. 

Nevertheless, Tootsie was a very good dachshund.

She did not jump out until Mom said,

 "Okay, Tootsie. Good girl!"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Black and White Tootsie Paw

Dear Kindred Spirits and Gentle Readers:

A gentle memorial wag. November 11th in the United States is Veteran's Day. In Canada, it is called Remembrance Day. In Europe, Armistice Day. A very special wag out to all veterans and loved ones.

My mom's grandfather served in WWII (for Canada). Both Dachshund Daddy's grandfathers served in WWII (for Italy) and were prisoners of war (in Germany). My parent's grandfathers came home from the war. My parents remember their grandfathers with a great deal of fondness and love.

My mom also sends her very best to all her students who are veterans.

Thank you, all, for your service. Thank you, all, for your support of veterans around the world.

Let us never forget the cost of war.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sweden and Switzerland

I don't understand why people get Sweden and Switzerland mixed up. Sweden has moose. Switzerland has chocolate. There's no such thing as the Swedish Alps, and I've yet to see a Swiss Smörgåsbord.

Just to be in the clear, here is a picture of Swiss swans:

And here's one of Swedish swans:

While both Swedish swans and Swiss swans hiss, it is worth noting that hiss means elevator in Swedish. Does that mean I should avoid elevators?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fixing America?

Tootsie and Truffle are concerned about the state of the union.

Congratulations, President Obama!

Monday, November 5, 2012

From Lake Como into Switzerland - Part Two

At the end of Part One, Dad arrived at Rifugio Murelli, a former Italian border patrol station that has been turned into a mountain hut.

Until the 1970s, Italian smugglers would travel to Switzerland to buy goods that were heavily taxed in Italy (such as tobacco, coffee, and sugar), and walk across these mountains to carry them back to Italy. Italian customs authorities set up a dense network of border patrol stations in the mountains. Rifugio Murelli is one of them.

Rifugio Murelli sits on top of the ridge dividing Lake Como from its neighboring Swiss valley Valle di Muggio. This ridge offers fantastic views of the southwestern arm of Lake Como. On the other side of the lake, you can see the whole route of Mom and Dad's special hike from Torno to Brunate, which I highlighted in red.

You know you're crossing the Swiss border when you see one of the many boundary markers distributed along its full length. This one, at the top of Poncione di Cabbio, has been around since the year 1900.

After crossing back into Switzerland, Dad hiked down into Valle di Muggio to catch the last bus of the day in the peaceful hamlet of Cabbio...

where he was met by a wotten-waven welcoming committee!

Back in Idaho, I was just waking up when I received their donko-gram informing me of Dad's safe journey.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Felt by Heart: Personalized Felted Pets by Kim Grotle

My friend Kim is a felt artist! She makes one-of-a-kind creations in wool.

Kim hand-makes heartFelt creations of your favorite four-footed friends. Under the astute eye of her kitty Sneakers, Kim's creatures come to life in her studio in Metaline Falls, located in northeastern Washington State. My wotten waven special vet Dr. Ward introduced Mom to Kim's felt art.

What is inside Tootsie's Trunk? What is inside the little heart bag?

A little Felt Me! There are two of me!

Do you see my red cape?

Kim also made me a hula skirt that I can wear for special occasions.

And a beret for Mom's trip to Paris where Felt Me starred in a reading called "The Figurine Show," which my mom presented at a conference called &NOW.

Kim also made Mom a wool felt purse, featuring Felt Me. It's beautiful. There's a lucky paw charm on the side.

I love the interior of my purse: lots of doxies wearing sweaters. The envelope holds a sweet card Kim wrote to my mom.

I think Kim's felt creations make perfect gifts. Mom had Kim make a special Yugi doggy for Yugi's Mom. (But shhhhhh... Mom just mailed the gift to Yugi's Mom the other day.)

Here is Felt Yugi; he has a cape and a Frisbee. Can you see his ball, too? He also has a little felt trunk to carry his special things.

Felt Yugi has a little red heart, and so does Felt Me.

Please contact Kim Grotle directly to order a special felt creation. She works from photographs and has a wonderful sense of each pet. She captured my coy Tootsie smile. And this past summer Kim won a pink ribbon Judges' Choice Award at the Pend Oreille County Fair fair for her special humane society felt pet diorama. Wotten waven!

Felt by Heart / Kim Grotle Contact E-mail:

pinkykitty [at] att [dot] net

Thank you, Kim, for your heartFelt creations!

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