Looking for the sun


I normally bounce out of bed every day a little after 5 a.m. I have to get up that early for work, but even on the weekends it’s just hard for me to sleep in. My body clock says it’s time to get up and there’s also that unmistakable rustling from two dogs who hear breakfast calling.

But this morning we all hunkered down and stayed inside for a while. The forecast here calls for rainy and dreariness for just about ever. Not even a sliver of sunshine.

That’s why, when there was a glimmer of sun yesterday afternoon, I hopped away from my keyboard just for a second and we all ran outside.

Brodie did his usual sniffing and racing and patrolling the yard, but Pax had to soak in the rays. This boy loves the sun. He turned his head to the sky and just took in what he could.

Of course I had to snap a photo. What a regal profile.

Now maybe we’ll go back under the covers.

–Mary Jo


Brainy boy


Border collies are smart. OK, they’re brilliant. Plus, they like to learn.

When Pax got here, he didn’t know how to sit or stay or wait, but he quickly figured out that if he wanted treats or pets, he had to do what Brodie did. He rapidly learned to sit for treats and wait before careening out the door to go outside. He even waits (relatively) patiently before he gets the OK to dive into his food bowl. He loves to shake and has figured out down. He doesn’t like it, but he certainly knows “no.”

Yesterday, I realized I hadn’t taught him “leave it.” That’s when you don’t want your pup to touch something. It can be something that dropped on the floor that you don’t want him to eat or something you encounter in the backyard or on a walk.

Brodie and I practice it with treats, so we did it side by side with Pax. I put treats in front of each of them and said “leave it” with an extra “no” just so Pax got the idea. His nose just sniffed closer and closer but he could tell by my voice that it probably wasn’t a good idea. He looked over at Brodie, taking his cue from his bud.

When they got the OK, they both dove in. Pax figured it out immediately. Wherever this boy goes, I hope they keep up with training. He’s so smart…plus border collies get bored and find their own fun if you don’t keep them challenged!

–Mary Jo


Mud and rain


Because it poured all night, I delayed the inevitable. But eventually, the dogs had to go outside. Could they just delicately dodge the puddles, head to the pine straw, do their business and head back in? Of course not.

It was as if they were running some sort of obstacle course. They went tearing around the backyard, racing each other through the muddiest terrain, splashing through puddles and vaulting on and off the deck, deciding they were having way too much fun to possibly come inside.

Above, you can see the lovely art they created on the screened-in porch with their muddy paws. Two towels later, I realized it was fruitless to even try to clean them off. So one by one, I carried them to the bathtub and hosed down the lower halves of their bodies. A steady ruddy brown stream rushed down the drain. (Thanks, Georgia clay.)

I’m thinking the rest of the day we’re going out to the front yard…on leashes.

Hope it’s dry where you are!

–Mary Jo




Pax can run and play now. The vet’s “take it easy for two weeks” marching orders are over. So this morning the leash was off and the boys got to play.

They raced around the yard for a few minutes with Brodie barking and happy that his buddy isn’t glued to my side anymore.

And now, because they are sorry excuses for border collies, they are sleeping upsidedown in the office. No high drive in either of these handsome, sweet boys. Those 10 minutes really wore them out!

–Mary Jo

Rainy day


We woke up to a downpour this morning, so no one really wanted to go outside. Eventually, nature called and armed with rainboots (me) and an umbrella (also me) we tromped around in the puddles. Then we came inside to some serious towel drying (all of us).

The best way to deal with the nasty weather is to play, of course. Pax and Brodie got out nearly all their toys and engaged in some serious tug of war. Brodie always wins because he takes it very seriously. They growl and tug and then Brodie yanks really hard. After a few rounds, Pax just goes and gets one of his other favorite squeakies and Brodie is hurt that his buddy doesn’t want to play anymore.


Looks like a good day for Netflix. And maybe the Puppy Bowl!

Hope it’s sunny where you are.

–Mary Jo

Out in the real world


Whoohoo. Pax made it through heartworm recovery with flying colors. Two months of taking it easy and relaxing. No playing, running or having fun. The heartworms lost this battle and Pax came through like a champ.

The vet said he can’t have free rein to go crazy quite yet and has to gradually work up to normal life. So after a mild wrestling match after breakfast, Brodie and Pax and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood.

Excuse the photo because it was still early and overcast, but the adventure was spectacular. They trotted along happily, sniffing and marking and enjoying the great outdoors.

We were only out about 15 minutes, but when we came back they collapsed on the living room floor, worn out from their escapade.

Pax enjoys his newfound freedom in the house, but still prefers to stick close by in case he’ll miss something.

Have I mentioned lately how great this dog is?

–Mary Jo

Sunny days (and the countdown begins)


Sunshine. There was so much of it this weekend that it was almost overwhelming. Because the deck was in the shade, we just dragged chairs in the middle of the lawn and sat there, soaking up some natural vitamin D. It was seriously 60 degrees here in metro Atlanta after being 16 only a few days ago.

Winter is weird.

Pax and Brodie were so happy. They rolled in the grass and then Brodie ran all over the place, sniffing and checking out every corner of the yard. Pax was content to just lie next to me, his eyes closed, basking in the warmth.

Pax only has a few more days of taking it easy. His heartworm rehab ends Friday and then on to a normal life. His recovery has been spectacular. He’s had no issues, other than frustration that he hasn’t been allowed to run and play. He should lead a long and healthy life. Look at how short his “chill chain” is now. That’s the countdown until he can play.


I’m sorting through applications as they come in. I know the perfect home is out there for him: someone who will let him snuggle and give him tons of affection, who will be kind and sweet to him, who will give him toys and teach him new things and spend tons of time with him. Also, treats. Lots of treats.

If you, or someone you know, is up to the task, please fill out an application. I’m only looking for “perfect” and “awesome.” Pax doesn’t deserve any less.

Have a great week!

–Mary Jo