Monday with Melvin: I’m handsome.

A few days ago I was just a simple guy living a simple life.  I followed Her around, ate food that’s been pre-digested and I licked my parts. Then, fame happened.

Listen, She’s got mirrors all over this joint, I know I’m hot.  You put on the song “I’m Sexy and I Know it” and I’m the first one to set the dance floor ablaze.  I’m. A. Good. Looking. Guy.

Apparently, I’m in some calendar.  She’s keeps calling me Mr. Ides of March (She reads and I don’t so usually I just nod).  I’m pretty used to be photographed, I mean every time I try to have some private time with the fan, She gets her eyephone and starts filming it.  Can you say stalker?

I remember the day we did the photo shoot.  They put me on a long, loose leash and walked me all over a farm.  I would just smell and sniff and bark at the horses and every now and then the assistants would make a noise to make me look up and the camera would go clicky click.  This went on for two hours.  The camera lady was pretty cool, at one point, she laid in dirt to snap a shot of me.

The photo they choose for the calendar was one that Bev took while I was technically on a break. Clearly, I cannot take a break from adorableness.  I was sitting down, the sun was shining, I looked up to feel the warmth and shut my eyes.  Little did I know the camera caught it.  Now I know how Kim Kardashian must feel.

Anyway, She calls this one ‘Stevie Wonder’.  Apparently I do this a lot, close my eyes and look up and She is the only one who sees it.  Until now.

The calendar is for sale on Amazon!

Melvin’s a star. Well, doy!

The calendar came!  Breathe, Tracey, breathe.

Ever since we found out Melvin would be in the calendar, I’ve wondered what photo they’d choose.  Bev, the photographer, didn’t even know.  We also had no idea what day he’d be, although this concerned me much less (except that I hate Halloween).  Sure, I have my favorites from the photo shoot we did, but at the same time I love them all.

I opened the package to this adorable dog on the front:

As I was opening the package I realized that I had not accounted for something.  One of the photos taken was of Melvin’s body and legs only, no face (the photo below).  I love this photo, it’s framed on the wall in the main room of my house.  But suddenly I worried they may have picked a photo without Melvin’s face on it.  I somewhat likened this to a yearbook where it says ‘photo not available’.

I sat down and started flipping through dates.  I immediately noticed there were indeed photos included that didn’t show the dog’s face. And you know what, they were stunning.  I stopped worrying and started enjoying the views.

I flipped 74 times to find Melvin.  He’s on a Friday, my favorite of all the weekdays.  The calendar is a page a day, half the year is on one side then you flip it over and move through the other half of the year.  I flipped Melvin’s date over and found on the opposite side was my brother’s birthday.  Two of my favorite guys, one powerful piece of paper!

Our day at Tranquility Farm  for the photo shoot was a day I will never forget..  The photos are phenomenal.  Bev Hollis is a genius with the camera and the dogs.  Little did I know that on that day, Melvin would end up in a publication that has the potential for worldwide reach!

What?  You want to see the picture?  Melvin will post it Monday.  And yes, it shows his beautiful face!

Velcro has limits.

The day of snuggling was awesome.  Melvin wanted nothing more than to be next to me.  Some part of him touching some part of me.

A quick recap of some photos (two you saw, one you didn’t)…

This is Melvin wrapped around my arm.  I didn’t move for an hour:

This is him laying on me:

And this is Melvin once the impact of my betrayal (leaving him) hit.  He’s in the guest room, missing his dog sitter.  Ouch.

I’m baaacccckkkkk.

The last half hour of any trip, I get giddy to see Melvin.  It does not matter how exhausted I am or how much is to be done once I’m back home, seeing Melvin becomes the ultimate finish line of the getaway.

I don’t want him to miss me, ever.  When I come home from vacation I want him to be, him.  I want him to have had such a wonderful week that he barely noticed I was gone.  And when I walked in today, that is the boy I saw.  Relaxed, well fed, excited yes, but not to point that I might suspect he was ignored.  No, quite the opposite, for the past seven days, he was extremely well-loved.

Vacation was wonderfully awesome!  I love, love, love those people. There was a lot of gratitude this week for what we have,  especially in a week where news stories included the 300 dogs seized from Spindletop Refuge in Texas and then the shooting in Colorado.  Loved ones being safe is my primary prayer for any given day. Prayers answered.

And now starts the marathon day of snuggling.  Let the laziness commence, cause I did miss my boy!

Vacation update.

This is a picture of Melvin, suffering, with his dog sitter.  Look how incredibly miserable he looks to be laying in her lap, on the couch, snuggling.  Poor, poor guy. I bet she even MADE him eat extra treats.

And here is a photo of the youngest puppy here at the beach.  She. Is. Fashion.


I leave for our annual family vacation tomorrow.  I’m not sure I’ve ever posted just how much I love my family.  We seek time together, we vacation as a group twice a year and love every minute of it.  When people tell me they can only take so much of their family, I cannot understand the words they are speaking.  These are the people who I can lay around with all day and there is laughter and a sense of ‘these are the moments that matter’.

Unfortunately, Melvin does not go.  That is the one part about this annual trip that I wish were different.  The one thing that keeps it from being absolutely perfect.  We fly to the beach but even if we drove, the main issue is that due to Melvin’s allergies (let me stress again that he can have NOTHING BUT HIS OWN FOOD), it’s just not logistically enjoyable for everyone.  The kids drop chips and Cherios, and that is a right of passage for them.  They should dump the Doritos bag upside down, into their mouths and let the crumbs fall where they may.  Melvin would of course eat up the snacks and then as a super fun family event we could all lay down trash bags to catch the blood from his itching.  Then would come the stomach upset, yippee!  After that, the local beach vet.

So he goes on other getaways, ones where controlled substances stay, controlled.  And for trips such as this one, Woofies and V and L take such good care of him.  V stays in the house with him so I doubt he even realizes I’m gone.

So while I won’t be going on vacation with this sweet boy…

I will be spending some quality time with this adorable puppy…

Happy week everyone!!!

Simple moments.

Last night, I got the suitcase (the black rolling box that Melvin loves so much) out.  After carrying it upstairs then going back down and sitting on the couch, Melvin did what he always does once he sees it: He climbed on top of me.  I suppose to keep me from going.

While he had me pinned, I told him about Lennox.  I explained the sadness and senselessness of it all.  Then I did what I’m guessing a lot of us did last night, I hugged my dog.  The type of hug that expresses how very grateful I am to be able to do so.


On workdays I get up at 6:30 (ok fine, sometimes 7:15).  On weekends, with no alarm set I’ll usually rise and slowly shine around 8am.  This past Sunday, I got up at ten.  I honestly cannot recall the last time I slept in past nine.  At first I thought the clock was wrong.

When I told my friend of the remarkably lazy unbelievable occurrence, the first question was “and Melvin let you sleep?”.  Yes.  He always does.  Aside from getting on the big bed once sunlight illuminates the room, Melvin will lay next to me without a single nudge, and only an occasional Chewbaca sounding yawn, until I get up.

Luckily for Melvin, I don’t abuse my power very often.  Otherwise, I’m pretty sure he’d figure out the meaning of mutiny.


She says we are really blessed.  Some crazy storm blew through here last week and left gazzilions without power.  I’m not sure what that means but apparently no power equals being hot and having to throw out all the food.  Those are my levels in hell.   Some still don’t have the cool machine blowing yet.  The only thing that happened at our house was that a tree She planted fell over.  She laughed when she saw it and said, based on her planting ability, a sneeze could have toppled it.

Luckily, our house stays pretty cool.  She put a fan in the bedroom and I was scared of unsure about it at first. Normally I don’t like blowing in my face and when it hit me , my ears would flinch and I’d get up and move.  Apparently it aussie lates (it’s from down under?), so no  matter where I move, it blows on me.  I spent the first few days in the bathroom, luckily the fan can’t walk.

But now, I sort of like it. A lot. In fact, the fan and I may be dating.  I carefully position myself (sometimes it takes a few minutes) so that it is blowing on all my parts, at all times. I guess it’s a pretty one-sided relationship, although as you can see,  I am staring at it really lovingly.

Yay freedom!

I am living proof that you can love freedom and yet hate fireworks.  Freedom, great!  Fireworks, yikes!.  Many of the blogs I read talk about how to protect your animal from the torture of fireworks. I read and nod, knowing that I will do all those things for Melvin simply by doing them for myself.

I am inside my house every 4th of July by 8pm.  All TVs are turned on to create a noise barrier from within.  Fans and noise machines, check-check.  My power bill on July 4th probably pays out bonuses for the year. Melvin does not react to the big firework display booms, although those are the ones I despise the most.  He is more alarmed by the street variety kind that go ‘crackety, crackle, crack, crack, kaboom, fizzle, fizzle, crack’.  The ones that make me look out the window to take note on who is doing it, so I can seek revenge later (Shane, Ginny and Zach…).

Again, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE freedom!  Especially the freedom to hate all things that go boom!

Me and my shadow.

Melvin loves men.  I don’t fully understand it but nine times out of ten he will b-line for a man over a woman.  I’m pretty sure he’d even opt for a male stranger over a female that he knows.  Don’t get me wrong, if there are only women around, he’ll b-line them instead.

I am of course the exception to this. Even if the world was full of only men and me (a girl can dream!), I know that Melvin would continue through this life, by my side.  And when I say ‘by my side’, I mean it.  He is rarely more than a foot away from me.  The only time he seems to part from me is for food, to bark at the UPS man or when forced (dog bed versus big bed).  In fact, if I can’t see him, I can assure you he is up to no good.

Here he is cutting off air supply to lay on my feet, under the desk.

Doing a modified back bend to lay near me.


Wait, what?

I would say that Melvin’s hair shows up on about 95% of my clothing.  I just don’t own a ton of tan items. I used to lint-roll but now I just don’t care.  I was getting a pedicure this weekend and the woman next to me looked at my shorts and proclaimed ‘you must have a dog’.  Before I could confirm this (or gush about how adorable he is), she told me she used to have a dog, but she gave it away because it’s hair was always all over her clothing.  She used her hands to do a universal sign language to reiterate ‘all over’.  The look on her face was expectant of some sort of empathy from me (I guess since I was covered, ALL OVER, in dog hair).

My response:  “I’m sure the dog is better off without you”.

I shed? No, impossible.