1. birthday buddies

    Today in Chicago it was mainly grey and chilly outside.  But on Monday, September 29th, we enjoyed sunshine and warmth - it was nearly 80 degrees out which was nearly perfect weather for a birthday celebration.  It was our dear friend and neighbor, Barbara’s, birthday and her wish was to spend a fun filled day with the puppies off-leash at the Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area.  We loaded up Subi Subi Su and headed out…

    Trond was in the way back seat.  Gracie cuddled up to Barbara and sweet little Lucky kinda tucked his way in between Barbara’s lap and the back of my seat.  Poor guy - he still isn’t too used to riding in a car.  Little did he know what big surprise was in store for him and his four-legged friends (and human friends)! 

    This was the best shot I could get of Lucky in the car.  We drove out to Prairie Wolf Exercise Area as quickly yet safely as we could so we could all run around and enjoy the sunshine.  We got out of the car, went through the two gates of the park and then unleashed the hounds!  As you can see, they had no qualms running off together!

    Thankfully, even though the three of them had never been off-leash all together, they were great at listening to us and returning when we called them.  Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area is this huge acreage that is fenced in so it is completely safe for dogs to be off leash, they can run for miles but not run away.  We called them to follow us to the water.  On the way to the water, Trond found a very fun mud pit.

    Good thing we were heading towards the water so we could wash the grey sludgy mud off of our sleek black hund!

    While we brought tennis balls out to the park with us, we left them in the car because… well, I don’t know.  But, usually this is not a problem because there are normally quite a few stray tennis balls throughout the area… except for Monday.  We did not see any!  So, our first stop to the water was not as long as I thought it would be.  There was nothing for the dogs to fetch and retrieve so we decided to keep walking down the trail to see if we could find anything to play with…

    The boys were happy to tromp off together, while sweet Gracie always kept an eye on both of them.  But she would go off and explore on her own, as well.

    All of us girls know how to have fun.

    It is nearly impossible NOT to have fun when it is this gorgeous everywhere you look! 

    Speaking of gorgeous! Our gorgeous girl Gracie had the right idea - as pretty as it was outside, it was pretty hot outside.  We headed back towards the water to a different beach and Gracie walked right in and plopped right down to cool off her sweet self.

    Pretty soon, the Best Bros. had to see what Gracie was up to.  They liked her idea of being in the water.  They LOVED the idea of Barbara throwing the ‘new’ tennis ball we found out into it!

    Look at these lovable ding-dongs; with their long pink tongues hanging out of their excited mouths, patiently awaiting the big throw!

    Now, it is no secret that Captain Trond Kildahl Ryder is a water hund.  That dog loves to splish and splash around.  But he seldom gets to do this with other dogs.  Now, in the nearly two years that Barbara has had Lucky, he has never been swimming, so we did not know how Lucky would respond to the water.  Well - he had no issue whatsoever swimming in after his Best Bro.  Trond was out of his hund mind that not only did he get to swim with another dog but his BEST BRO, NO LESS!!!!  IT WAS AMAZING!!!!  They could have done this all day!

    Both Barbara and Tim have way better throwing arms than me so they were chucking those tennis balls way out in the water and both boys were more than happy to swim out there and race to see who caught it and brought it back fastest.  Look how far out they were!

    I love how annoyed Gracie can get with these silly boys but, boy, does she love them.  Look at her watch them to make sure they both return safely to shore.  No way was she going to swim out there but no way would she let anyone not come back. 

    Yeah - at some point, we were given another ball so we had two balls to throw out for the two Best Bros to catch.  I think the happiest part of the day was watching how very much sweet little Lucky absolutely loved being out in the water. 

    That was the best gift anyone could give, the happiness that this sweet guy had in the water.  If you want to see joy personified (or canine-ified, to be more accurate…) watch this little blondie splash and retrieve for the first time.  What a sweetie!  It looks like he is smiling behind that ball!

    As fun as the water was the second time, we still had a huge part of the park to explore.  So we all rambled on. 

    We were able to convince Trond to stop for a just a few minutes to cool off and take some family photos.  It did not last too long, though - because he. had. to. keep. exploring!!!!

    We did go through some wooded paths into a huge green grass filled open field.  There were five other dogs playing in this huge field.  There were also two ladies enjoying a lovely picnic at a picnic table under a tree.  Three guesses where our hund bolted towards.  YUP - the picnic table.  He tried to eat everything they had.  We had to pull him off the table a few times so I had my hands full and was unable to take any pictures of that area.  We finally persuaded him to leave and check out another area of the park. 

    We were all getting hot and though maybe we should head towards the car.  But, unbeknownst to us, we were close to the mud pit again.  Both Trond AND Lucky took a dip in the mud pit so…

    back to the first beach to rinse off.  Can you see Lucky’s mud boots?

    They rinsed off.  We walked back on the path towards the entrance of the dog park.

    The thing was, was that we would have to walk by the mud pit again on the way back.  There was no way to avoid it.  How would we distract ol’ Steeltrap Trond and Follow Along Lucky from remembering that the mud pit was there, going though it again, and having to go back to wash off only to repeat the process?

    That Barbara - she’s not just a pretty face.  She has a smart brain and a giving heart, as well.  Unbeknownst to the pups, she had brought these dog treats in!  Leave it to Barbara to bring treats for the dogs on her own birthday!  She showed them these delicious goodies…

    Funny how they completely forgot about the existence of the amazing mud pit when a delicious distraction happens.  All eyes were on the hands holding the canine cookies.

    They hungry hounds enjoyed their cookies by the fountain so they could get a drink of water after eating and playing in the heat.

    But after a few hours of running, exploring, mudding, swimming, fetching, sniffing, walking, and playing in the sun - it was time to put the leashes back on and head to the car to return to the city.

    Hope you had as much fun as Tim, Trond and I did, Lucky, Gracie and Barbara!  Happy Birthday, friend!  We are so very glad you were born!

  2. I’m so very happy to be back home with my hund! I miss my puppy when I can’t see him for a week. But I had a great time while I was away and Trond had a great time, too…

    In fact, maybe he had a little too much fun. Notice the small patch of fur missing between his eyes (and a few other places on his legs, too.) Ruff Ruff and tumble… Huh, buddy?

  3. This photo is courtesy of Facebook, courtesy of Larry, with the report from Monday saying, “Trond is finally tuckered out.”

    Way to go, pal - it only took you seven days at Playful Pets to wear down.

    We will come get you soon, silly hund!

  4. Too busy jamming, having family fun and enjoying Texas sun…

  5. Such a dumb (or brilliant?) play on words, I had to get a pic. Sorry? You’re welcome? You take your pick.

  6. Even when I’m about to go on a super fun trip and be able to see people I love the most, I still get kinda saddie to leave my sweet hund. I’ll be gone for a week. This morning, I packed Trond a weeks worth of food - one sandwich Baggie filled with 1.5 cups of food per meal - so he would have what he needs for one of his favorite places: Playful Pets.

    As you can see, Trond made sure to check and see that I packed proper shoes and underthings for my trip.

    I asked the hund if he was ready to spend a week at Playful Pets. He stayed serious and kept his head straight. But when I asked him if he would be a good boy and a gentleman while listening to Larry (the owner) his little hund head perked up.

    I’m happy Trond loves it there even though I’m sad to not be around him. But when Tim and I saw who some of his new friends will be (these bulldogs on the trampoline) we were VERY happy to know Trond will be in adorable and hilarious company.


    It also made me happy to meet a white haired gentleman flying with his Shiatsu - even though he is a tall gentleman, he told me when he flies with his dog, he sits in the middle seat because that’s what his dog prefers but when he flies without the dog, he prefers an aisle seat. Very sweet. Also - I was happy to not have to take my shoes off or take any liquids out of my bag whilst going through airport security! I didn’t realize I had traveled back to the year 2000! It’s magnificent!

  7. I just cannot stand that the beginning of October means Christmas to retailers - please note the Halloween stuff on the right is up BECAUSE HALLOWEEN HASN’T EVEN HAPPENED YET!!! Target - you gotsta calm the hell down.

    End of rant …

    … for now …

  8. I must admit that I am quite happy right now. What you see before you is the makings of a perfect Friday night when it is only you and your hund IN THE ENTIRE BUILDING!!! We are the only ones here tonight, hence, we are therefore, jamming to ‘A Picture of Nectar’ on vinyl at full blast because we are the ONLY ONES IN THE ENTIRE BUILDING!!!

    The downstairs neighbors moved away today!  And I am very thankful. To say the very least.  So - I’m making the very most out of tonight.  YEEE HEEE HAW HAW HAW!!!


  9. bruce + patti


    Chicago is an amazing city in which to not just live but create.  Every Saturday, anyone can go to the historic Green Mill at 3:00pm and enjoy the live magazine show that is The Paper Machete.  FOR FREE!!!  This amazing event is absolutely free to attend.  Every week the line-up, guests and topics are different.  It gets recorded and parts of it go into their podcast.  While it is cool to listen to their podcast - there is nothing quite like being there live.  Every time I go to the Paper Machete - whether I am performing or not, I always feel inspired by everyone, edified by the topics, and way cooler than I actually am.  Part of it is the ambiance of The Green Mill (sh*t has gone down in that place, you can feel all the lovely shadiness of Chicago’s rich history) but mostly it is the fact that everyone is there to listen, learn and laugh - it is quite an array of opinions and subjects covered.  It makes me proud to be a Chicagoan.


    It is also fun to have a drink in the afternoon…

    But - I digress.

    While Tim and I have each participated in the Paper Machete before - Tim wrote and performed a piece a few months ago and I sang with a group called ‘The Dryels’ a few years ago - we had never done anything together for the Machete… until SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2014.  The very gracious and talented host and producer of The Paper Machete contacted us and asked if Tim and I would be interested in writing and performing a character piece for that particular Saturday.  And, my oh my, did we want to!  We had fun writing this and performing this.  The audience is such a joy at The Paper Machete.  You can listen to the podcast if you click right here.  Yes, there are some swears throughout the show, just a minor few in our piece - so if you are at work, turn it down.  I suggest you listen to Christopher introduce the whole show at the top.  If you like music, please listen to the jazz musician, Ben Sidran, at about the 8:17 mark, then Christopher introduces Bruce and Patti Buttrick at the 9:07 mark.  Enjoy what Tim and I —- uh, Bruce and Patti have to share.  

  10. Trond is trying to listen to this Midwestern cornstalk fence. The hund doesn’t realize that ears of corn don’t talk, they listen…