Posted by: Kristin | January 19, 2012

new year, weird weather

Yes, Kona is still alive and well (despite attempting to devour an entire wrapping paper roll over the holidays).

And she’s been busy. Well, the entire family has been occupied with working, traveling, hosting visitors, volunteering and trying to figure out the local weather patterns.

As we start to get back into a routine, it seems Kona’s longing for the excitement of the past several weeks, which included many meet-and-greets with lots of old and new friends.

Alex has softened the blow of potential boredom by taking her to work with him more regularly. That’s always exciting for everyone involved. But this week the Seattle area was treated to the biggest boredom buster of all – SNOW!

Traditional winter weather is a rarity on the Puget Sound. So imagine our surprise when snow showed up the forecast a few days ago.

Everyone else in the region seemed equally surprised by, and largely unprepared for, the snow. Despite accumulations measured in inches, most people in the region are snowed in and I’ve been off work due to the weather for the past two days.

Not that I’m complaining. Neither is Kona. I think she would live outside in the snow if it was up to her. The ice that’s forecasted to come next, however, I could do without.

Ice around here is trouble.

It weighs down the branches on the giant Northwest trees, which sometimes break off and take power lines down with them. So while Kona dreams of more snow, I just hope the power stays on.

Then, hopefully soon, we can enjoy some more typical western Washington weather and get back to our usual walking schedule in the 40- to 50-degree (albeit sometimes rainy) weather. We’re ready to hit the boardwalk again!

Posted by: Kristin | November 13, 2011

harvest happenings

This is Kona’s please-don’t-go-back-to-work face.

I know. Tough to ignore. But I managed to overlook it on my first day of work a few weeks ago.

Because truth be told, I’m almost certain she usually doesn’t miss me at all when I leave the house.

Even when I am around, I usually find Kona settled into OUR bed for most of the day. Though she’s not always accompanied by her chipmunk friend, otherwise know as the rally rodent.

So, anyway, yes, you read that right. I’m employed! With an animal rescue organization. Pretty much my dream job. No big deal.

But back to “harvest happenings” … like dog sitting for the first time. Meet Tory. (post continues below)

I’m not sure I would call him Kona’s friend, as he’s 10 years old and not particularly fond of her flailing, still-puppy-like antics. He is a heck of a dog, about as calm and collected as they come, despite his 100-pound-plus frame.

Neither dog got much sleep during Tory’s stay. They were too busy keeping an eye on each other. But the encounter left them both exhausted for almost a week after they parted ways.

Now, meet Witchy. She was a gift – a PetSmart special, I’m told – from Kona’s grandma. And for a bargain buy, it’s a miracle she’s still with us two weeks later, especially after being treated like this. (post continues below)

Though Kona did let Witchy oversee the Halloween candy distribution. (post continues below)

After all the October excitement, everything settled down when I got into a workday routine and Alex headed overseas for a 10-day business trip. Kona seemed mostly oblivious to his absence, but there’s no doubt she was happy to have him home.

This snapshot says it all.

Posted by: Kristin | October 17, 2011

a plethora of pumpkin

It’s pumpkin season, much to Kona’s excitement. She inspected every one of the more than a dozen I brought home last week. (post continues below)

Big pumpkins. Little pumpkins. Orange pumpkins. White pumpkins. Even green-speckled pumpkins. (post continues below)


Kona licked each one at the stem. And gnawed a few for good measure. (post continues below)

That wasn’t even the highlight of her week, because I made pumpkin spice oatmeal pecan cookies. Okay, so she didn’t get to eat the finished product (or the dough, like I did), but there was plenty of leftover pumpkin for her to enjoy. An unexpected scoop in her food bowl pretty much makes her day.

She’s probably also relieved I haven’t forced her into any seasonal costumes … yet. After the lobster incident last year, I’ll probably let her off the Halloween hook entirely. Though I have seen some “bad dog” prisoner costumes that are quite irresistible.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before October 31 rolls around, the St. Louis Cardinals have a World Series to win! If Kona’s wearing anything this month, it’ll be a baseball jersey. Go Cards!

Posted by: Kristin | October 8, 2011

Rally rodents unite!

Have you heard about the St. Louis Cardinals rally squirrel? Well, he’s kind of a big deal. (Even Cardinals manager – and animal lover – Tony La Russa is talking about him.) Oh, and he has a Twitter account.

Anyway, as lifelong Cardinals fan, I’m all about the rally squirrel. Kona, however, born just over 100 miles from Busch Stadium, seems to prefer a rally chipmunk. (post continues below)

Squirrel. Chipmunk. They’re all (rally) rodents, right?

The household humans are just happy to continue to fly our Cardinals flag well into October. Here’s to the resurfacing of rally rodents everywhere tomorrow afternoon!

Posted by: Kristin | September 16, 2011

enter the terrible twos

Kona’s two!

And she’s terrific … at posing for pictures! Yes, she’s actually wearing that party hat. I even have more than one picture to prove it.

But back to the celebration. It was short, sweet and involved a lot of treats. Alex and I held back a few gifts because she was so obsessed with the first one – Antlerz.

We found this brand of chew toys, cut from shed deer antlers, at an all-natural pet supply store in a nearby town. Kona has not let it out of her sight since we opened it!

Meanwhile, I spent some time looking through Kona’s “baby” photos, as she’s officially out of the puppy stage. (Fingers crossed!) In dog years, she’s a teenager. But I’m not sure which is more frightening, the teens or the terrible twos.

Which stage does this look like? (post continues below)

ditching the party hat in three ... two ... one ...

No matter what this “tantrum” looks like, Kona’s well on her way to becoming a great dog. Wouldn’t you protest if someone forced you into wearing an embarrassing birthday dunce cap? She’s still plenty excitable, but she’s a joy to have around. I’m just not sure how we ever managed to tame the little Kona Monster. (post continues below)

Sure, she looks calm, sweet and cuddly. But let’s be honest: She is a challenge. With a capital “c.”

Worth every frustrating minute, too.

Thank you, Kona.

Oh, and happy birthday!

Posted by: Kristin | September 14, 2011

camping with Kona

Kona loves exploring the outdoors. She’s conquered swimming, hiking and even fishing (well, boating, anyway). But camping over Labor Day weekend was something entirely new to her. And I’m not so sure she’s completely sold on the idea.

Of course, she loved hiking the trails at Dash Point State Park near Tacoma, Wash. And she relished her time at the park’s beach on the Puget Sound. But the concept of sleeping outside threw our shamelessly pampered pup for a loop. (post continues below)

Once the sun went down, Kona tirelessly guarded our campsite, standing at attention and staring down fellow campers as they walked by. We’re pretty sure she kept up her diligent watch through the tent window for most of our first night sleeping under the stars.

By the second night, she was too tired to play watchdog. Though she did muster enough energy to squeeze into an impossibly small space between her parents’ sleeping bags. (post continues below)

She was definitely ready to come home to “her” cushy couch and nice warm bed by the end of the weekend. But Alex and I are pretty sure she’ll be up for giving it another try (hopefully sometime soon).

In the meantime, please enjoy our camping slideshow!

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Posted by: Kristin | September 1, 2011

the answer is always yes …

When the nice girl at the Dairy Queen drive-through window asks if your pup wants a “doggie cone.” (post continues below)

Even though Alex and I knew the right answer, it took us a minute to respond. This was a first for us. An epic first. I mean, a doggie cone? I didn’t even know there was a such a thing (despite taking Kona to many drive-through windows in Nebraska)! Washington state rocks. So does the Nutter Butter Blizzard, by the way. (post continues below)

Kona licked the cone clean in no time, but she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it after that. Someone (read: Alex) treats her to vanilla ice cream often, but the cone was new to her. Naturally, she eventually tried to eat it and that was the end of the best treat ever.

Sigh. As if we needed another excuse to go out for ice cream.

Posted by: Kristin | August 24, 2011

sleeping beauty, fetching furball

This is probably nothing new, but since we moved to Washington I’ve been home a lot more during the day and I’ve noticed Kona spends a lot of time doing this (post continues below):

That’s our sleeping beauty. She even dreams in this position, complete with growling, yelping and twitching.

But if she’s not chasing bunnies in dreamland, she’s playing fetch in the house. All. Day. Long. She’s always loved playing fetch indoors, but the open floor plan of Kona’s new “castle” has taken her favorite game to a whole new level. Between the hardwood floors and the hallway that runs the length of the house, we have the perfect “fetching alley.” (post continues below)


While all this fetching can sometimes be quite tiresome, it is giving us a chance to practice the “drop” command. Kona now reliably drops whatever she’s fetching to keep the game going.

We have other options for exercise, too. The weather has been outstanding the past few weeks, with sunshine and temperatures around 75 degrees almost every day, so we’ve been taking LOTS of walks (including plenty of steep hills). But the extra effort is worth the views. (post continues below)

This photo pretty well sums things up – trees, mountains and even a view of the bay where it meets a cute little downtown area. What more could we ask for?

I just think I’ll need to keep this picture handy when the rainy season starts in a couple months.

Posted by: Kristin | August 2, 2011

whirlwind to Washington


That pretty much sums up the past six weeks for our family.

Let me explain.

It started in mid-June. Alex interviewed over the phone for two jobs – one near Seattle, Wash., one in Bozeman, Mont. Both went well. Several days later we traveled to Washington for Alex’s in-person interview. Stayed an extra day to explore the area. Ate the best clam chowder ever. (post continues below)

from the ferry in Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Headed back to western Nebraska. Took two days to catch up on life at home. We caught a flight to Montana for another follow-up interview. Saw enough prairie dogs to keep Kona occupied for a lifetime. Found a great dog boutique. Bought the furball a new toy. (post continues below)

from Gallatin Field Airport, Bozeman, Mont.

Tried to focus on work in Nebraska. Within a week Alex received a job offer from Washington. We agonized. He accepted. We celebrated. Turned in our two weeks (read: one week). Put our house up for sale in July. Added an “under contract” sign less than 48 hours later. (post continues below)

Thought about packing. Talked about moving. Dropped Kona off for her final stay at the Fort Collins, Colo., PetsHotel. Traveled to Washington to hunt for housing. Found a house. (post continues below)

home sweet home

Vacationed in Southern California. Spent some time with our friends and their basset hounds. Relaxed on the beach. Missed Kona. Booked a U-Haul truck. Headed back to western Nebraska. (For the last time ever?) Picked up Kona. Everyone there said they’re going to miss her. I might have teared up a little. … Bought moving boxes. Packed the house in five days. Kona sulked. (post continues below)


We loaded the truck. Cleaned the house. Slept on the floor. Hit the road (later than expected, of course). Drove 500 miles. Spent the night in Utah. Logged another 600 miles. Kona traveled to two new states: Oregon and Washington. Checked into a hotel where were were greeted with dog biscuits. Kona claimed her very own bed. (post continues below)

from the Best Western in Kennewick, Wash.

Survived driving 300 more miles. Made it across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to our new home on the Kitsap Peninsula! Aaannnddd we’re spent. To be continued.

Posted by: Kristin | June 18, 2011

they really like us

Well, it’s June. And it’s stormy in western Nebraska. What’s new?

For one, Kona’s “aunt” Sarah is married! Last week Alex and I traveled to St. Louis for her wedding, which meant Kona had the privilege of going to the PetSmart PetsHotel for FIVE DAYS. While I bet she would have had a great time at the wedding, I’m certain she wasn’t broken up about going to one of her favorite places … where everybody knows her name.

The proof is in her “Pawgress Report .” (post continues below)

As usual, while we were missing her for several days, Kona made at least one new friend. But we had a canine companion for a few days in my parents’ dog, Lily. Though we’re pretty sure she was relieved Kona didn’t join us.

Anyway, at the wedding I found out that people actually read The Kona Breeze! Okay, they’re all members of my family, but that’s why I put this site together in the first place. I’m glad I can keep in touch with extended family and long-distance friends through tales of raising our rambunctious golden retriever.

So, family, you all should know Kona has a new plush toy that has lasted weeks. I know, I can’t believe it either. It’s a lizard from the Ty Bow Wow Beanies collection, which has proved tougher than most dog toy lines we’ve tested out on the beast. Now “Lizzy” is Kona’s best friend. (post continues below)

Yes, it had a red fabric tongue when we bought it, but we immediately cut it off to avoid any doggie temptation.

Don’t be surprised if this photo looks familiar. Kona has a habit of snuggling with Bow Wow Beanies on the couch. She’s usually in her favorite lounging position, too. (post continues below)

Ridiculous, right?

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