Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Key West Sun Halo

Last Tuesday was exciting cyber-paw pals. We saw a 22-degree solar halo. The picture below was taken by one of Dog Dad’s co-workers. It sure is neat. The halo is caused by light passing through ice crystals in high clouds, way up in the Sun.

22 degree Solar Halo
29 April 2008 - Key West, FL

When Dog Dad lived in North Dakota a pawzillion dog moons before we met him, he saw several sundogs, a moondog and even a few sun pillars. Sundogs occur when the Sun is low and commonly seen in blowing snow. North Dakota has plenty of blowing snow. The fancy term for sundog is a parhelion and a moondog is called a paraselene. If you want to read more about halos go to You can find out more about sundogs, moondogs and sun pillars there too. Sorry Mojo and Rosie, there are no suncats or mooncats.

Legend has it that a sundog is portends good luck when spotted on a long journey or before a hunt. Sundogs appear early in the movie “The Deer Hunter.” Robert De Niro’s character remarks that it is “A blessing on the hunter sent by the great wolf to his children.” Dog Dad refers to Essex as Moondog at times and Deacon as Sundog. We must be good luck.

Dog speed,

Essex & Deacon

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our Barks

Our cyber-paw pal, MTV, asked us if we sing all the time. His new brother Nicky (a male collie) sings constantly. MTV told us Nicholas has a high pitch bark for mom (a happy bark) and a deep bark for strangers (I'm keeping an eye bud). Nicholas sings every morning to wake up his hooman brothers and is the official "wake up puppy."

Well MTV, we are sorry to disappoint you, but neither of us sing very often. Dad has recognized several noises. Both of us have the low rumbling grrrrr, meaning “There is something going on that I don’t like.” Essex has a rapid repeating bark for fence patrol and home which means “There is something you need to check out” or “You belong inside my fence.” When we near the dog park she has a really excited and happy bark. Every once in a great while, Essex has a “Dad where are you bark.” You can just hear the question mark in that high pitched bark. We do not give Dad a high pitch welcome bark. He is a very calm person and we just come up to be petted and great him by going between his legs.

Deacon’s barks are harder to figure out. He has a “Come play bark.” Then he has one where he gives single woofs. Dad says he does that because he likes the sound of his own bark. Another noise is the "aroo roo roo" which is Deacon say "Pay attention to me."

Dad listens to Essex because she is a good watch dog. When she gives her alert bark at home it means a bicycle, skateboard or someone new going by our house. The funny thing is if we know a hooman we rarely bark at them. We identify our neighbors and don't bark at them.

So, what kinds of barks and noises do you make? Inquiring Collies would like to know.

Dog Speed

Essex & Deacon

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Accidental Training

Dad said he accidentally trained me, I think he was just helping me with my mission. Every dog should have a mission and mine is fence patrol. I chase off almost every dog that tries to interfere, though the times I tried to do that to two Great Danes and the other time with two St. Bernard’s defied common sense. I bounce Deacon if he gets out of line; I mean fence patrol is my job. I am focused at my job too. How many dogs do you know that have created mounds of dirt at the end of the fence or knocked themselves out by running into a signpost? That hurts just thinking about it.

I digress though, back to the training. Dad would see a bicycle, jogger or that pestilence to dog-kind, the golf cart and I would not be paying attention. He would say “Somebody is sleeping on the job.” I picked up on that real fast cyber-paw pals. Now, when ever he says that, my ears perk up, I look to both sides, find the target and I am off to the races. If we are home I jump up on my Doggie-San chair and look out the window to find out what needs a good barking. Dad is amazed because I picked up all on my own.

Oh, we loved the DWB 2nd Anniversary International Chat Pawty. When I typed my name, it came out ES***. By the Great Dane, I was censored. Deacon BOL when he thinks about it.

Dog Speed,

Es***, grrrr…. Es s e x.

Action shot of Essex
Essex getting up in her Doggie-San Chair
Okay, now where is the target?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bobby's Last Letter

Bobby - 2007

Dear Great Niece Essex and Great Great Nephew Deacon,

If you are getting this letter, I have crossed the rainbow bridge and could not be with you for my fourteenth barkday. I so wanted you to celebrate it with you. I know you will be thinking about me today. I asked Dog Mom and Dog Dad to e-bark this to you today.

First, I am proud you are my Great Niece and Great Great Nephew. You are a wonderful pair of Collies. Secondly, be kind to other animals and take care of your Dad. I know you chose and outstanding Dog Dad, just like Mac and I chose a pawtastic Dog Mom and Dad. Introduce your Dad to the good people in the world. We dogs are much better judge of character than hoomans. There are far more good people in the world than hoomans realize.

Lastly, do not feel sorry for me. I have lived a full life. I have been so tired lately and it has been so very, very hard to get around. I think of my best friend Mac a lot. We had a so much fun together. I think of the tails Honey told us about her Sam when Mac and I were just little puppies. I feel the Rainbow Bridge calling. I can see, hear and smell Mac, Honey, Sam and your(Great) Great Grand Pa Jason (my brother). In the distance I can sense Foxy and your Dad’s first dog Pudgy. I hope my Dog Mom and Dad can meet all of you someday, I know you would like each other. Thanks for being you.

Woof and Sniffs,

Great (Great) Uncle Bobby

= = = = =

Cyber Paw Pals,

We miss Great (Great) Uncle Bobby and wish this wasn’t his last letter. We are proud to have know him. Bobby has left paw prints in the snow. We are happy he is no longer in pain, that he lived a full life and had a wonderful Dog Mom and Dad. We feel for both of them. We told Dog Dad to tell them they are part of our extended family, and if they are down this way to stop by and spend some time with us.

Dog Speed Bobby, forever the hunter, we know you are chasing rabbits and deer on the other side of the rainbow bridge when you are not watching over us and your family. We never mentioned it before but
Great (Great) Grand Pa Jason passed away June 2006 from dog flu.

Essex & Deacon

Bobby and Mac taking it easy
Sam and Honey

Great (Great) Grand Paw Jason

Foxy - Our Guardian Dog AngelPudgy - Dog Dad's first dog

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To Those Brave Men

Dad was real quiet this morning on our walk. He looked to the northeast deep in thought. He does that every 15 April morning. When we got home, he brewed some Kona coffee, poured a cup, looked to the northeast and made a toast “To those brave men.” He gave us some cheese and we remembered those brave dogs. Maybe you are one of those that have forgotten what happened the on 14-15 April. We forgive you, not many remember. Dad thinks of them, even though his father was just a glimmer in his Grand Paw’s eye. Who are those brave men and the significance of 15 April? Let’s take a trip back in the WABAC machine. The year is 1912.

You are aboard a huge ship in the North Atlantic Ocean sailing south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. At 1140 PM on 14 April the ship’s bell sounds three times and you hear the lookout exclaim “Iceberg, right ahead!” You feel the ship shudder as it brushes the iceberg on the ship’s starboard side. At 1240 AM the first lifeboat is lowered. Among them is Margaret Hay’s Pomeranian. Two other dogs get on two different life boats. They are Elizabeth Rothchild’s pooch and Henry Sleeper Harper’s Pekinese, Sun Yat Sen. Six other dogs are left behind, among them champion bulldog, Gamon de Pycombe and a St. Bernard.

The stern of the great boat rises out of the water around 2:10 AM exposing the propellers. By 2:20 Am the last of the great ship disappears, sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Of the total of 2,223 people only 706 survive. Three out of nine dogs aboard survive. Roughly 20% of the men, 33% of the dogs, 55% of the children and 74% of the women survive. Most of the deaths were caused by hypothermia in the cold 28 F (-2 C) water.

The great ship was the RMS Titanic. Dad remembers those who sacrificed their lives on April 15. Those brave men were both rich and poor. Dad visited the Titanic Memorial in Washington D.C. many dog moons before we came to live with him. The Women of America erected that memorial in 1931. The inscription reads….
“To The Brave Men Who Perished In The Wreck of The Titanic, April 15, 1912. They Gave Their Lives That Women and Children Might Be Saved.”

We wonder how many remember those brave men. Dad please toast again and pass us another piece of cheese so we can toast along with you.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon

The RMS Titanic at dock at Southampton

The last lifeboat
The RMS Titanic Memorial in Washington D.C.

Saturday, April 12, 2008



My name is Husker and I have been meaning to e-bark you from Hawaii for quite some time. Dog Mom told me you two were a couple of very lucky Collies. I get to play on the Hawaiian beaches and in the Pacific surf. Let me tell you that Hawaii is pawtastic. Lots of sun, surf and water. If you are surfer dogs, we could get on a surfboard together and go surfing. I think you would look pawsome on a surfboard.

Aloha, my name is Husker.

Ah, there's the TV remote.

= = = = = = =


Sorry, we both dislike water and have no desire to become surfer dogs. We do think it is cool that you love the water and surfing. Here in Key West, we are lucky to see four foot waves, unless there is a Herricane. Personally, we wish Dad lived somewhere colder. However, we rather live be with Dad, that live in the most pawsome place in the world. Your Dog Mom told us what a grrrrreat dog you are and it sure looks like you enjoy Hawaii. She wasn't kidding, you are a very handsome.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Book Meme

We have a unique situation and a puzzle for you to solve. Charlie posted a book meme on Wednesday morning, 9 April and we are answering her on Chewsday night, 8 April. How can that be possible?

Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to Mickey once you have posted it.

Here is the book we got our paws on. It is by Dad's favorite author.

'Don't you know me?' he gasped, dropping into a chair, and he turned his drawn face, surmounted by a shock of grey hair, to the light.
I looked at him intently. Once before had I seen eyebrows that met over the nose in an inch-broad black band, but for the me I could not recall where.

The book Selected Stories, by Rudyard Kipling. The particular story on page 123 was "The Man Who Would Be King." Dad has tried to live his life by a Kipling poem.

We tag Gomer & Opie, Dakota, Jake & JH, Gunner and Maximillian the Valliant. We believe they will enjoy this meme the best.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Some Dogs Under the Rainbow

Deacon & Bodie standing tall


How are doing? I sure miss playing with you and the rest of the dogs and Angel Paws. Hopefully, I’ll see you next year. Is your Aunt Essex still doing fence patrol? I wanted make sure you had this picture of the two of together. We sure look pawtastic.

Your paw-pal,


= = = = =


It is sure good to hear from you. Angel Paws has been hopping. We had 13 dogs there two nights ago. Not one of them was a mean doggie. I’ve been playing a lot and even saw a double rainbow. If you look closely you see me, Roxie, Hooter, Mongo, Sasha and Izzy under the rainbow. I swear we could hear Toto barking. Boy that sure was grrrreat. Auntie Essex is getting restless, because all the snowbirds are leaving. There are not as many bicyclist, joggers and golf carts to protect the park from, thus fence patrol is slow. She even came over to a couple people to be petted! I am looking forward to seeing you again next year. Tell your Dog Dad that I miss him and for him to bring plenty of those pawtastic treats when he comes back next year.

Dog Speed,


Some Dogs Under The Rainbow
Folks, that was a double rainbow. Aroooo.