I follow Sara Ferguson and Choppy’s blog, Travels With Choppy.  Every Friday, she has a  “Where’s Choppy” post with photos of her dog, Choppy, “hiding” in plain sight.  The challenge is to find her.  I enjoy these posts and was reminded of them when I seemed to have my own indoor version of “Where’s Tippy” recently.

The first time I couldn’t find her, we had just gotten back from a walk.  I had sat down at the computer for a few minutes when I decided to check on her.  I looked in all of her normal resting spots.

She wasn’t on the couch, in front of the couch, or on the fireplace hearth.

She wasn’t on the bed, beside of the bed, in the hallway leading to the master bathroom, or on the rug in front of the door leading to the garage.

Just when I was beginning to think that I had lost my mind and she hadn’t come inside with me, I decided to look at one last place, the half bath.  Sure enough, there she was.  It must have been the coolest place in the house that day.

Tippy in small bath
Found her.

A few days later, we had our second version of the game.  I was turning down the bed and realized I hadn’t seen her for a while.  I went searching in all of the above places, but no Tippy.  Then, I noticed that the door to my closet was open more than normal.  I turned the light on and, sure enough, there she was.

Tippy in closet
What are you doing in my closet?

I really have no idea why she was in there, but she seemed relaxed, so I just turned the light back off and left her.  She came out in a couple of hours.  Crazy girl.  Who knows what goes on in her head sometimes?



July 11th marked 4 years since I brought Tippy home from the local humane society.  It seems like it was yesterday, but also feels like she has always been here.  I can’t imagine my life without her.

The day started off with a continuation of the cow saga as I found them out again.  Tippy “defended” the house while I made sure they got back into the pasture field.  Later that day, my neighbor and dad were able to find out where they had gotten out and added some fencing.  So far, knock on wood, they have stayed where they belong.

Cow and bull in the garden
But, this grass is greener!

We took our normal 20 minute walk fairly early, before it got unbearably hot.  Tippy cooled off in the garage while I continued walking the driveway to get in 30 minutes of exercise. The fireplace hearth seemed to be the best place to finish cooling off before taking a much needed nap.

To celebrate her adoption day, I gave her a peanut butter/carob Puppy Sucker.

Puppy sucker
Puppy Sucker treat for Tippy.

She heard the cellophane crinkling – the universal signal that a treat is coming, and was very excited about whatever it was I had behind my back.

waiting for the sucker
I know you have something for me, mom.

When I first gave it to her, she wasn’t sure what it was.  However, it didn’t take her long to realize it was food and figure out how to eat it.  It was gone in 3…2…1, literally.  Once she got it in her mouth,  it was totally gone in 3 minutes.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To top off the day, she went with me to play tennis and made some new friends.

It was pretty much a perfect day.  One with a little excitement, some exercise, a good long nap, a special treat, and a car ride!  It doesn’t get much better than that for Tippy!


On Thursday, I was in the house and heard Tippy barking.  I went out to see what she had found.  I tried to follow her gaze down the hill, but didn’t see anything.  I did hear something big walking, so I went over to the edge of the woods to get a better look.  That’s when I saw it.  A big, black bull.  What in the world was it doing on that steep hill?

I got Tippy inside while I put my shoes on so I could chase it back to where it belonged.  Before I got back outside, it had disappeared.  I tried to get Tippy to help me find it, but she decided laying on the concrete was a better option.  I never did see it again, but did follow it’s tracks for a distance down through the woods.

Mom and dad later checked and all of the cows that were supposed to be in the field were there.  They put up a piece of wire where they thought it had probably gotten out.

Take two.  Today, I was sitting outside, reading, and Tippy started barking.  I looked up and this is what I saw.

Tippy and the bull
Mom. Look what’s up on the hill. He’s huge!

He was back and had brought a friend…..a cow.  Again, by the time I put my shoes on, they were gone.  But, this time, I followed their tracks and heard them smashing through the woods, back down the hill.  Where they went down was really steep and had some fallen trees, so I really don’t know how they managed to make the trek and not get hurt.  We still can’t figure out why they have decided to climb this big hill.  They have plenty of food and water where they are and there is nothing to eat in the woods.  Maybe they are just adventuresome and wanted to try out their mountaineering skills.

After all of the excitement was done and the cows were back where they belonged, it was time to relax and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Tippy and the bull2
Time for a little rest and relaxation.


Nearby Roan Mountain has the largest natural Catawba rhododendron garden in the world.  A couple of weekends ago, I heard on the news that the Rhododendron Festival was ongoing and that the flowers were near their peak.  I’ve been wanting to go see them for years, but always seem to miss when they bloom.  This was my chance. On Wednesday of last week, I loaded Tippy and my mom and dad in the car and we headed off for a day in the mountains.

We stopped at the Roan Mountain visitors center for a break and to get information on exactly where we needed to go to see the flowers.  The lady behind the desk gave us a map and then said words I wasn’t expecting to hear:  “The blooms are almost all gone.”  Really?!  That’s not what they had said on the news.  Later, we overheard some other visitors talking about this.  They said that a heavy storm had come through on Sunday night and knocked a lot of the flowers off.   I guess that explains it.

Tippy, mom, and dad at the welcome center
My mom and dad with Tippy at the Roan Mountain Welcome Center

Of course, since we were there, we drove on up to the top of the mountain to see what was left of the blooms.

Sign at the gardens
Sign at the entrance to the gardens.

The sign tells you that you are standing at an elevation of 6,286 feet (1.9km) and, therefore, will see a forest that typically grows in Canada.  I found that to be interesting.

We walked the short, concrete loop, stopping to admire the flowers and views along the way.  Even though they weren’t at their peak, we still found it to be very pretty and can only imagine what it would have looked like if all of the shrubs were completely covered in blooms.

There were other interesting things along the path, including trees, rotting logs, and patches of fern.


I was proud of how well Tippy behaved around the crowds of people and other dogs who were there.

We stopped at the bottom of the mountain for a picnic lunch.  When I got the ham out of the cooler for our ham and cheese sandwiches, I realized I had brought the container that was almost empty.  Dad got ham and cheese.  Mom and I got to have a cheese only sandwich.  LOL


After lunch, we explored the area around the mountain stream. It was very pretty and relaxing.  I just love the sound of water flowing over rocks.  After lots of trial and error, I got a decent picture of Tippy.  She still wouldn’t look at me though.

Tippy by the water
This is as good as it is going to get, mom.

Here are a few of the outtakes.  At first, she would walk away as I was snapping the picture.  Once she decided to do a sit/stay, she refused to look at the camera.

On the way home, we spotted this sign along the road.  We just had to turn around to investigate.

drive in church
Humm? Peaked our curiosity.

It wasn’t all all what we were expecting.  Just a two layered parking lot facing this small building with a sign that said to tune your radio to an FM station.  We do wonder if someone sits or stands here and preaches or if they are listening to the sermon that is being given in the traditional church, which sits just to the left of this picture.

drive in church 2
Drive-in church.

We all enjoyed our day in the mountains.  It wore Tippy out, as is evidenced by the fact that she was lagging way behind when we took our normal walk later in the evening.

a tired Tippy lagging behind
Wait on me. I’m a little slow when I’m tired.


On our walk last Sunday, I snapped this weather predicting picture of Tippy.

blackberry vine
I smell cold weather coming.

Those blossoms past her are on a blackberry vine.  We always have a cold snap whenever they are blooming.  Even though I know that, in my heart I was hoping it wasn’t true this year, as it was 85°F (29.4°C) and I wearing shorts.  I was not ready for cold weather again.

Trying to live in the moment, as dogs tend to teach us to do, I was enjoying the warm weather that we did have.  So, we walked on.  A little further back I heard a cow bawling.  For those who don’t live on a farm, cows usually only bawl if something is wrong or they are separated from their baby. As we got closer to her, I saw her coming from my right.  I looked up ahead and, there was her calf, calmly waiting on her.  Before I could snap a picture, they were together.  Calves are so cute, especially when they look so much like their mother.

We’re together. You can leave us alone now.

The next day was windy, but still warm.  I think this bull thought it was hot.  Either that, or he just wanted to go for a swim.

cows in pond
Cooling off in the pond.

The weather got progressively worse and we are now experiencing our annual blackberry winter.  Yesterday’s high was 48°F (9°C), and this morning it was only 38°F (3.3°C).  I’m hoping this one is short lived and we can get back to Spring soon.

Do you have an annual Spring cold snap?  If so, what is it called in your neck of the woods?