FOURTH of JULY ~ PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

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I’m not certain that there has ever been a time in recent history when this country has had more need to pull together than now. It appears that in our high-speed lives we have forgotten our National heritage, we have forgotten how blessed we are to be Americans!

 
 

Yes, we have our problems, but we still live in the greatest country in the world!

As a nation-the most important holiday to us should be the Fourth of July! Sadly, amid all the cookouts, parades, and fireworks, the true significance of this holiday is often overlooked.

  

Let’s face it, I love a good cookout and I am a natural when it comes to parades-

FIREWORKS NOT SO MUCH!

Have we forgotten why we celebrate with cookouts, parades and fireworks? Has it become just a time to vacation? All of these things are wonderful, but we need to make sure that we teach our children WHAT the 4th of July represents, remember WHY and THEN eat!

GINORMOUS PLAIN AND SIMPLE

I have heard of Christmas in July, but Christmas came in June this past Friday. Auntie Valerie searched all over Bossier and Shreveport to find these GINORMOUS turtles! 

(GINORMOUS =  3′.5″ x 2′.5″) 

Not only that, but she knew that it is virtually impossible for one to share one’s turtle, so she bought two- just for Sophie and me!

We are absolutely humbled by her generosity and as you can see from the photos, we have been having one “turtleicious” time. Sophie likes to sit on her’s, but my bum is a tad too wide and I’m having balancing difficulties. Naturally I put on my turtle tag helmet, so as not to crack my cranium when falling. (It is always important to wear proper equipment when playing one’s sport)

TWO, FOUR, SIX, EIGHT- who do we appreciate? 
Auntie Valerie! 
   
   
    

FULL CIRCLE

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The cosmic continuum between Massachusetts and Louisiana again has a story to tell.
If you have not read the April 13, 2015 blog post entitled, “The Easter Miracle in Dogdom or From Austin to Boston”, you might want to click on the link below before you read the rest of this post.

https://classickippers.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/easter-miracle-in-dogdom-or-from-austin-to-boston/

I am always on the look out for Big Brown, Fed Ex or USPS to make a delivery to my house. Last week I received not one, but two special packages from the mailman! One was a superb bag of dog biscuits from my handsome Sheltie friend Guinness, in Connecticut, who also sent the awesome “Shell Shakers” turtle mascot earlier in the year!
They are scrumptious yummies! (And yes, I shared the biscuits with “Sophie the Brat”)
The other was a very small brown envelope. I was elated, I was overjoyed, I was FREAKING OUT with delight!
Due to my being opposable thumb challenged and being too much of a gentleman to tear into the package, I had to wait until mom got home to assist.
I knew from the return address that it was from Bruno and his family in Massachusetts.
What I didn’t know was what a treasured gift lay inside the little brown package.

Mom and dad got home at the same time and I took my package to them for assistance.
Within the brown envelope was a letter addressed to moi!
Mom open the envelope and began to read. Truthfully, I thought someone had died because tears started to roll down her cheeks, then Dad got teary. Excuse me? It’s my letter! Would someone read it out loud to me please??
Actually, someone had died, but we already knew that and his memory lives on in our hearts and through the rescue of Bruno (Bully Boy). The letter was a gift in itself, but there was also a second gift – a very tiny turtle charm taped to the heartfelt note.

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The charm was very beautiful, but obviously an old piece.

As you are aware from my “…Easter Miracle in Dogdom…” post, the fabulous, stone deaf Sped left quite a paw print in this life. He overcame mountains to become a therapy dog, a search and rescue dog and a service dog despite living in a world of total silence.
What you do not know is that as a youngster, Sped had a modeling job wearing a $150K Cartier diamond pave collar and lead set and from that day on he was totally obsessed with bling!
One day he went to the co-op with his Mom and saw that little turtle charm…he was not to be denied: full on tantrum ’til he had it! Sort of like a certain turtle hunter from Shreveport! From that day on and for the rest of his life, the little turtle charm hung on Sped’s collar unless he was in the show ring.

It was so special to him and well worn. Those are the signs of being well loved.

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from the delightful children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit:
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

I know I speak for my mom and dad when I say that we are humbled by the generosity of Becca, Bic and Bruno.

Mom immediately attached Sped’s little turtle to my collar.
I closed my eyes and could feel Sped’s aura.

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As you can see, it makes me feel distinguished and regal because it was worn by very special bullterrier who was, in the words of the Velveteen Rabbit “Real”!

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DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE

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“Dedicated To The One I Love”
While I’m far away from you, Miss Nancy, I know it’s hard for you, Miss Nancy…. BUT… I did it!!!

I burst the glass bubble!   June 5th marked a momentous occasion. I captured TORTOISE #40!


I am certain by now you are wondering to whom I am dedicating #40.

You see, when I was so very sick and had to have the third and most critical of my seven surgeries, Miss Nancy sent me a stuffed turtle via Big Brown. I was still very ill and had not had the opportunity to go turtle hunting for some time, it was also still questionable as to whether or not I would survive. I slept with “Cayman” my turtle for weeks! Even now he is my “go to” turtle when I’m having a gray day.

Two things happened the day that my turtle arrived. The beginning of my turtle collection and my introduction to the man who would become my new best buddy, Big Brown!


Because of this, I vowed then that I would do something special for Miss Nancy when the opportunity arose. What could be more special than having TORTOISE NUMBER 40 named in one’s honor?

Since that time, other wonderful people have started sending, and personally delivering, turtles to me. It brings joy and happiness to my piggy little heart.

It is also brings joy to the man in the “big brown” truck. When he brings a package addressed to me, he gets tickled because I’m front and center at the door when I hear his truck! Unfortunately, not all packages are addressed to me, but when they are he says, “this one’s for you Mr. K!”
Julia Child toasted her husband saying, “You are the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life.”
Today I toast Miss Nancy, whom I know misses me, as she is away for the summer.
So, with apologies to Julia Child….

Miss Nancy, you are the icing to my turtle, and the life blood to Big Brown.

Love,

Turtleman

NATIONAL SEERSUCKER DAY – It’s a Southern thing!

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Tonight Dad is representing me at a cocktail gathering honoring National Seersucker Day.

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This is THE SOUTH you know and I cannot think of a better person to wear one of my Classic Kippers ties, a Seersucker suit and white bucks. Dad and I had a little photo shoot before he left and let me tell you – Atticus Finch has nothing on us!

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There is only one more thing necessary to complete our ensembles – A Mint Julep!

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IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE!!

FATHER’S DAY is just around the corner. Please consider a Classic Kippers’ bow tie or tee. Remember, it’s like two gifts in one. The recipient gets a snappy bow tie and the profits go toward helping abused and abandoned animals.
My ties are exclusively sold:
in SHREVEPORT at
JOHN PICKENS’ CLOTHIER
6022 Line Avenue
and in HOUSTON at
OLIVINE’S
2405 Rice Blvd

And through my Face Book page: Classic Kippers

HOW TO SELL A HOUSE OR WHEN THE PROVERBIAL POOP HITS THE AC

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FOR L.H.

Most of you know that my mom and dad are selling our home. Can you believe it? I could end up homeless again. Mom keeps reassuring me, that I am NOW and will ALWAYS be, her number one bully! And that when this house sells, we will be getting another- just a smaller one. I can’t help but be nervous. After all, I have lived on the street and the thought of being homeless again scares me. That being said, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what it takes around here to show our house.
Naturally, we have a great real estate agent, but I don’t really think that she knows what it takes for us to get the house ready for a showing or how we suffer while she’s showing it. (Did I mention she’s very pretty? She thinks I’m cute too.) Of course the house has to be clean- a given. And it’s a big house so we all pulled together to make sure that we don’t have “dust bunnies”, excessive pet hair or nose prints on the windows or French doors of which there are a plethora! There are four of us contributing to what Mom calls “nose art”. It’s sort of like the Acadėmie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but we prefer to call it “Maison Walker des Nose Arts”! Biscuit, Felix, “Sophie the brat” and I are the resident artists! Boy can we can cover some territory! Felix and Biscuit cover the high glass panes, I get the mid level and “Sophie the brat” gets the low ones.

Each time the house has been scheduled to be shown everyone gets in high gear.
Let’s face it, there is a lot of square footage to vacuum, dust, mop and then there is that “nose art”. Everyone, gets into a frenzy and that’s where some of the trouble begins.
Today the whirlwind began early. People were moving at Mach speeds that had me very upset. I just knew I was going to be abandoned. I stayed right with my mom and in fact almost tripped her a half-dozen times. She’s not all that stable anyway, so I was put in the bedroom. She did give me a treat, but then the door closed and I was alone. Abject fear gripped my bully little heart! I knew in my heart they were preparing for the showing, but my mind said I was being left. How would I reach the cookies in the kitchen window, how would I get on the sofa without a “bum boost”, who would give me belly rubs and for that matter who would give me the eight medications I take each day to survive? Panic reached its zenith and then it happened…I threw up…just water…on the carpet…twice.

Fast forward–about two hours later –Mom came and got me, Dad put Felix in a cat carrier and we picked up “Sophie the brat” on the way out the door. You see, Biscuit stays in our dog park during showings because she likes it. The problem with the rest of us is that Mom is afraid we will get out while the house is being toured. Felix cannot be left in his carrier at the house because he does nothing but caterwaul, which ruins the beautiful ambience of our home. “Sophie the brat” has not yet earned the right to be trusted and I, well you know, my Mom doesn’t leave me in ANYONE’S care but Dad’s and he was leaving too!

Dad pulled his truck around and we loaded up!

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He had put lots of blankies in the back seat . I took the port side, “Sophie the brat” the starboard and Felix was in his carrier between us.

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BIG MISTAKE, BIG, BIG, BIG MISTAKE, B.I.G. M.I.S.T.A.K.E!

Sophie and I had a few moments of fresh air, peace and tranquility in the back seat. With the exception of Biscuit we were all together-it was just delightful.

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It was as if my fears over the last five hours had dissipated into thin air. A Camelot moment. Seriously…”For one brief shining moment…”

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And then it began- caterwauling of a cataclysmic nature. The caterwauling was followed by a noise which made me peer into the cat carrier. My stars! It was Friday Night Late Night Terror! A foaming furball! I alerted Mom and Dad that it was apparent that Felix was surely hydrophobic! I mean, look at the pic if you don’t believe me!

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Mom assured me that cats who do not travel well often get “frothy”. SHEESH! I personally prefer my froth on a good Cappuccino. And if that weren’t enough, the caterwauling started again followed by the cat carrier shaking violently-it was an EARTHQUAKE!!!!’ I’m certain on the Richter scale it was at least a 9.0 but I was wrong, it wasn’t an earthquake it was more like Mount Vesuvius! I kid you not, the cat erupted. The aftershocks in the form of feline tremors continued. It must have destroyed the feline’s septic system because the next thing we knew there was an eruption from the other end! There we were, sitting for an hour on a side street near our home waiting for the people to finish looking at our house. We were trapped. No where to go, windows down, A/C on high, eyes watering.

Please, if you know anyone who wants to buy a big, beautiful historic home, please have them call. Not only will you get to own a historical piece of Shreveport, but you’ll get a FREE cat!

PS Mom said that she’d take us turtle hunting when we got home. Sophie is a little confused by them, but I showed her my prowess! I hit a line within moments of diving under the Jasmine and within about a minute I nailed one! Mom put it in the grass for a photo shoot. Dad’s job was to “HOLD HARD”!

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Truthfully, I was afraid that what happened in the car might have damaged my acute sense of smell, but alas, there is no doubt….I am, and will always be …
THE TURTLEMAN!

NUMBER 39!

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MT. RUSHMORE? noooooo MT. BULLMORE!

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As many of you are already keenly aware, I am a bully bibliophile. One could actually interpret that in three ways. I am either a bully who loves books or a bully who loves bully books or a bully who loves both. If you chose the latter then you would be perfectly correct. I not only have and insatiable thirst for Mint Juleps, but an insatiable thirst for knowledge. My courses toward becoming a Renaissance bully have been quite well balanced thus far, with the exception of one area. I intended on correcting that oversight next semester. UNFORTUNATELY, this boo-boo in my course load has become particularly worrisome to my academic counselor. I was just informed that I have had virtually no bull terrier history -neither American nor English! Excuse me please? I am not the one who did my scheduling! And, to add insult to injury, my counselor also felt that I have been neglecting my studies since the opening of turtle season. Therefore, in order to keep up my GPA and stay on the Turtle Tag Team. I am being required to take a course in bully history this semester. SHEESH! Summer school??? Really?

And so it begins: EBTEH 101 (ENGLISH BULL TERRIER ENGLISH HISTORY)

First chapter- MT. BULLMORE!
Please do not confuse this with the human version which, as y’all know, is Mt. Rushmore.  Mt. Rushmore was completed in 1941 and has become an iconic symbol of the United States. It is carved into the granite face of what the Lakota Sioux called Six Grandfathers in the Black Hills- now Mt. Rushmore.

In England, there is Mt. Bullmore. Bull Terriers as you know, have long been considered an English gentleman’s companion. Legend has it that James Hinks, who founded the breed to be a Gentleman’s Companion, decided to immortalize the breed by having their likenesses carved into stone for perpetuity! The project was completed in 1847 and HM Queen Victoria was present for the unveiling. This grand group of statues is heart stopping in its magnificence.

I found out this morning, from Mom, that through my having been adopted, I am related to the handsome, stoic English Bull Terrier in the second from the left position and the one on the far right. It makes me proud! It took 14 years to carve Mt Rushmore with 400 people working on it. Some people worked a few days, others years! However, because bullies have opposable thumbs and the fact that gnawing on stone takes a toll on one’s canine teeth, it took 26 years to carve Mt. Bullmore and the labor of 347  bullies.

Some of you may wonder why Mt. Bullmore is whiter than Mt. Rushmore. Mt. Bullmore is carved into the same “rock” which makes up the White Cliffs of Dover. That “rock” is really a white chalk made from very finely grained pure limestone. And, as previously stated, Mt. Rushmore was carved out of gray granite.

But the results?  I shall let you judge for yourselves!

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TEAM SHELL SHAKERS!

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I want to thank y’all for your incredible name suggestions for my newly formed turtle tag team. After much deliberation, I have decided on SHELL SHAKERS!
To explain my reasoning for the formation of my team, one must understand that the stars aligned in such a way that I had no choice. A bully’s got to do what a bully’s got to do.
First, I live in a turtle sanctuary. True! A plethora of tortoises are at my “beck and call” or “sniff and seek”, if one prefers. Everything pointed to this moment. Secondly, I became terribly efficient in catching these hard-shelled and somewhat prehistoric creatures.
In addition, my Mom made me a helmet, SHEESH, she’s a stickler about helmets for every sport–turtle tag is no exception! True that the stars were aligning for all of this to come to fruition, but then we hit a meteor, so to speak. Neither locally nor online could Mom find a helmet which would fit my head without impairing my vision and then there is my particularly precious proboscis to consider. So, being rather crafty, she ran to Target (yes they have a bull terrier advertising their brand, so it was most appropriate) and bought a soccer ball. A snazzy one I might add, as it is bright green and black!
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It took her about an hour to cut it up and transform it into the magnum opus of the helmet world! I stood right there as she worked on it. I was totally intrigued and wanted to be readily available for fittings.
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As you are all well aware, I have been blessed as the recipient of a multitude of decorative and toy turtles, which have arrived from friends around the country via Big Brown. Some are tiny pretties, which mom calls objets d’art, others are what my pal Alex calls “lovies”. Of course I get to sleep and carry the stuffed “lovies” everywhere!
However, I was quite unaware that my friends, Guinness and Miss Sue in Connecticut, had created a masterpiece of turtle power just for me! A tour de force if you will! THANK YOU GUINNESS AND MISS SUE!

Mom was privy to photos as this piece de resistance was being created and later told me that upon seeing it, that there was no doubt it would become THE SHELL SHAKERS mascot!
So, I had my helmet, a team name and now a mascot! For days I sat with my helmet on and waited for Big Brown.

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Finally, the big day arrived and the delivery man came with a humongous box. Bingo! It was addressed to yours truly!
As soon as the box was opened, I told Mom that we needed to immediately photograph this momentous occasion!

TURTLEMAN MEETS MASCOT!

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HE WILL GUARD MY FLANK AND I WILL GUARD HIS!
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WE POSED FOR A FEW MORE PHOTOS!
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WE ARE, UNEQUIVOCALLY, GOING TO SHAKE SOME SHELLS TOGETHER!
IT WAS A CARPE DIEM MOMENT!

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TURTLE-MAN BREAKS PERSONAL RECORD!

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Stand up and cheer,
Stand up and cheer,
I have big news for all to hear!
I was truckin’ round the yard,
Keeping up my guard,
when a whiff of turtle assailed- yours truly-the other “Bard”!
I pounced in the Vinca,
I put a strain on my lead,
I knew it was him, #36 indeed!

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THREE DOZEN- thank you very much!

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the turtle crown!”- NOT!

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“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown!”
King Henry IV, part II
(Shakespeare)

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the helmet.”
Turtle season 2015
(Mr. Kippers)

Naturally that is because turtle season opened yesterday morning and by noon I was drawing blank! I had not even caught a whiff of eau de turtle all morning. I was covered in Virginia Creeper vines!
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Mom’s friend, who has a turtle sanctuary, told mom that yesterday was the first day that her turtles had emerged from hibernation. Do tell… I’m flipping my vines back and giving y’all my best turtle grin because…finally…that very afternoon, wearing my official new team helmet (team name to be announced shortly), I trotted into the back yard and immediately caught the whiff of number #35! It was just a matter of moments before I nailed him.
imageimage I was sorry that I almost pulled my mom down and all because she just wasn’t prepared for my strike! Yep, she was texting on her cell. Now do you see why one shouldn’t text while driving OR turtle hunting??? SHEESH!
Well she’s on full ready now!
Saturday morning Mom had to basically “drag”, alright , cajole me to even go outside for my second morning constitutional. Now, since the capture of # 35, I’ve made her go out repeatedly.
For those of you who are new to my blog, in the last two seasons, I have caught and released 34 turtles which my Mom has numbered with an indelible marker. Two of them were caught twice and appropriately numbered with both “catch” numbers.
Today I barked at her every time she sat down on the sofa between 4 and 7:30. We went for one walk every hour but I failed to cease and desist in between.
And now it is my supreme pleasure to present-
NUMBER THIRTY FIVE!
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I am only one turtle away from a three dozen record!

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