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This page last updated  July 16, 2004

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[Koira icon]   March 27, 2003 — Gigging

     Yesterday I went to my first puppet show gig. I was there as an observer this time, but it's clear that, as predicted, I am going to be a star. The day started with a 2-1/2 hour drive up to Hayward, WI. I began the ride in my portable kennel but soon convinced the folks that I'd be happier on Mom's lap. This was okay with them, as long as the harness that I was wearing was secured to Mom's seat belt. "A loose puppy is not a safe puppy," according to Mom. So that's what dental floss is for.

     Once we got to the Middle School in Hayward, I was put on my leash and tethered to a chair while Mom and Dad set up the puppet stage. Immediately I began to attract attention from passing teachers and students. "Oh, how cute!" was the standard comment. I was petted and held, licked a lot of noses, and was generally irresistible. What can I say? I'm a Love Magnet.

     I'll admit that I did whimper a little here and there. Mostly that's because I wanted to follow the kids into their classes. I could be a big help to them. I'm a graduate, you know; I finished Puppy Kindergarten several weeks back, so I'm thoroughly world-wise and educated... what's that, Mom? Obedience School? Oh. Never mind.

     During the puppet show, I stayed in my kennel. I couldn't see everything, but it sounded like that Punch fellow was causing quite a ruckus. He pranced around, made a lot of noise in an annoying voice, caused mischief — kind of like a puppy. Way to go, dude! The audience found Punch's antics hilarious. At one point Punch dangled his baby over the edge of the stage, and Judy told him to stop it. Everybody roared with laughter. (BTW, who is Michael Jackson?) Shortly after that, I fell asleep and Z'd through the rest of the show.

     After the performance I visited again with my admirers, then back in the car we dashed for the trip home. I offered to help Dad drive, but he said that would be dangerous. I think it was because I drive with one paw.

     On the way home, we stopped at a place called DQ. There I was given a tiny portion of a cold, gloppy substance that was way beyond delicious! (Why do they feed me that boring kibble at home, when I could be eating this — such foodstuff as dreams are made on?!) Mom and Dad said it was a reward for being so wonderful at my very first gig.

[Mr. Bottles and Me]
[Driving Miss Koira]

[Koira icon]   May 9, 2003 — Garden Dirt

     I had a rude awakening last week. I awoke in the Vet's office, and considering the circumstances, the experience was very rude! What happened was this: A few days ago Mom said something about me and a spade. I naturally assumed that we'd been invited to a garden party. Though I didn't see the need for the spade — (I can dig quite effectively with my own paws) — I accepted the invitation. Dad bundled me up in my portable plastic bedroom, which was odd because 1) Mom's the gardener in the family, and 2) one wouldn't expect much sleeping at a dig. But I really got suspicious when we ended up at that Vet place. I couldn't believe it when Dad actually left me there! People in white coats and smocks all scurried around me, then I got very groggy and fell asleep. When I woke up, I had a tummy ache like you wouldn't believe. Somehow I got the feeling that I was the target of that garden plot, and I'd just been deflowered!

      I spent another whole day and night at the Vet. Was I ever glad to see Mom when she came to take me home! I was under the weather for a few days but quickly recovered. Even so, I was not allowed to run around or romp with Lumi for a whole week. Now I'm back to normal (except for a strange feeling of neutrality on certain issues).

     My advice to you is: if you're ever invited to a garden party... be afraid! Be very afraid!

[Koira icon]   May 24, 2003 — That Was Then, This Is Now

     Parents. They're just so clueless. I'd been telling Mom for weeks that the photo which headed this blog page was inaccurate and outdated. I mean, hello, I'm not a baby anymore. I'm seven months old — a teenager, in human years. It was just, like, embarrassing to have that cutesy puppy picture splashed across the Internet for all of my fans to see. So finally I got through to Mom, and she updated the photo. However, I had to agree to let her post that photo of Mini-Me here in the blog. Whatever. And, Mommm, would you puhleeeze do something about your wardrobe? I know you, like, dress for the puppet stage, but really! All black is soooo turn of the 21st century!

[Baby Koira]

[Koira icon]   October 17, 2003 — Happy Birthday To Me!

     They say dogs can't fly, but it's not true. I have absolutely flown through the past twelve months, and here I am already, a full grown six-pound DOG! Yes, folks, I'm a year old today! The official birthday party, with presents and treats, is scheduled for tomorrow after a gig with Mr. Punch. But tonight Lumi and I played a round of our favorite board game (My Dog Can Do That) with Dad, and Mom made popcorn. It was a cozy little celebration.

     I know I haven't blogged for quite awhile (my secretary, aka Mom, has been overworked), and I have a lot to tell you. It was an interesting summer, filled with parties and play and squirrel wrangling, travels and visitors and gigging. But I'll fill you in on all that later. Right now I'm a sleepy pooch. I'll just say it was a great first year. Look out, world; I'm bound for Year Two!

[Bluegrass Fest]

[Koira icon]    February 22, 2004 — Le Début

     It's been almost a year since I first appeared before an adoring public. I've been around the block a few times since then (and around the backyard a whole lot of times.) I've worked hard at my Punch routine, learned my pees (being now fully housetrained) and cues, and practiced, practiced, practiced. Today, at the monthly meeting of the Teensy Puppet Ears, I gave my first real performance as Toby the Dog. Did they love me? Well, duh! I'll admit there was a little snag early in the performance. Dad distracted me briefly when he accidentally dropped a liver treat on the floor and didn't realize it. But, like the professional I am, I quickly recovered and won the audience's hearts. (I'd also like to think that I inspired them. With hard work and dedication, perhaps they too could have magnificent ears like mine. Well, no. That would take plastic surgery and fake fur. But I won't shake their dreams by the scruff of the neck like some delicious squirrel snack. No. Let them believe.)

     Mom says I should be proud today. She says the Toby Dog is a noble animal from an old and distinctive tradition. Well, I think pride is more a cat thing — lions and such. But dogs are good at stinky traditions. And any tradition that involves a generous supply of liver biscotti is alright by me.

[Toby Performance]
[Toby Plays Dead]

[Koira icon]    June 25, 2004 — Royalty

     Our admirers are legion. We are pleased. Our show at Buckham Library was spiffy, and our receiving line is long. Our tail wags and our little tongue slurps. We are the Mini-Monarch of Merriness. We are the Queen of Cute. Who are We? Why, my ears and I, of course! Who else?!

[Receiving line]

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