AND THOUGH SHE BE BUT LITTLE, SHE IS FIERCE! shakespeare

Some (turtles) are born great, some (turtles) achieve greatness, and some (turtles) have greatness thrust upon them (when I catch them and put the in my blog for perpetuity)! -Twelfth Night-apologies to The Bard

My mother has been terribly remiss keeping up with turtle inventory. Please note that I didn’t just say MY turtle inventory. And the reason is… there are now TWO turtle inventories which must be documented. Of course this means that each one must be properly numbered, photographed and of course attributed to the proper hunter.
Documentation is paramount! Two you question? Yes! My protege, Miss Sophie E. Peach, is now totally hunting on her own! I am so proud! In fact, she has become almost as powerful as I, which has caused Mom to only be able to take us out one at a time, unless Dad is present.
When Sophie came to live with us she was afraid of turtles! Seriously? (Yes, I have video proof) I thought, “GEEZE, how did we get stuck with this whimpy “pig dog?” (endearing word for bullterrier) Mom told me to be patient because I might be surprised if I’d give her a chance AND it wouldn’t hurt if I tried to teach her. I pondered this idea for some time. It might actually be fun to be a team. She is somewhat of a shrimp, terribly pigeoned toed and flat footed, ( I have beautiful, proper “cat” paws), but she does have my color, facial markings and well, the little scamp is quite endearing- that is when she isn’t trying to nip my legs!
I thought about that too, perhaps she is bored and some strenuous turtle hunting might be just the ticket! With that thought, my decision was made. I would teach “Sophie the Brat” to turtle hunt.
First she would need to get the scent down. I wondered if she would have drive, but I had a plan. It would of course be necessary for Sophie Peach to escort me on a few hunts, so that she could get down my technique and learn to pick up the scent of the turtle. Getting the scent down is paramount. If she hunts anything other than the acceptable quarry, in this case the Eastern Box Turtle, it’s called “riot” and that is NOT acceptable! Whether or not she’d be biddable would be questionable. 

Turtles are terribly fascinating! Please note that their backs and bottom plates have different patterns- much like a human fingerprint. They can also live a really, really long time. Below talks about “fortunate” box turtles. Just think, some my  turtles may have been born when Walker House  was built -92 years ago! I am taking particularly good care of them and my CRT PROGRAM (catch, release and tag ) is positively on the cutting edge of Caddo Parish Turtle Science.

  
At first Sophie just stood around and I had to find  the lines on her first two, but after that she got the scent down and her drive turned on, she nailed ’em ! I’m so proud!

  

 Since then we have broken records! We are hot! We are on fire! We are the dynamic turtle duo! We do have a bit of trouble with the term “hold hard”!   

   
Here are a few more of our “Catch and Release” trophies over the last weeks.

         
 Number 42 was so dark and little that it couldn’t be numbered, but we’ll know his pattern if he’s caught again!!!  

  

   

  
  
     
 
    
   
   

 THUS THE TOTAL TERRIFIC TURTLE TALLIES  are as follows:

Miss Sophie  – SIX

Mr. Kippers- FORTY FIVE

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOPHIE PEACH

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Our regular blog posts are being interrupted this week by the second birthday of

SOPHIE ELIZABETH PEACH!

    
Mom said that she could invite only two friends and both had to be small enough to sit in dining room chairs- properly. Evidently the stars were lined up because Sophie’s two best friends do sit in dining room chairs AND better than she does to boot! One was naturally “Moi” 

  
and the other was her first friend here and and her best pal, “Cousin Dudley”.

  


It was an awesome day, lots of preparation going on to decorate the dining room. Cousin Dudley even had a bath and his fur fluffed. He is quite dapper you know. 

I peeked into the dining room, as we were keeping the doors shut so that Sophie would be surprised, and it looked perfectly “partylicious”! There were balloons, hats, sumptuous wheat free dog boned shaped cookies (covered in pink icing on a silver tray), as well as paw print scarves tied around vibrantly colored stuffed dog bones for favors. Paw prints and dog bone shapes were most definitely the party theme! Positively everything was bedecked with either a paw print or a dog bone motif! 

  
At the appointed time the doorbell rang and it was Cousin Dudley. He and Sophie were so glad to see one another that they ran amok under Chippendale tables, past Louis the Fifteenth chests! (the ormolu was certainly getting buffed as they flew by!) 

    

As for moi? I just stood quietly and politely away from the fray, in my perfectly proper Classic Kipper tie, waiting for a Chinese vase to meet it’s maker. FINALLY Mom and Auntie Susan corralled the exuberant two year olds and we proceeded to the dining room. I needed a bum boost to get into my chair, but once there, I behaved with my usual impeccable manners. I cannot however say the same for the birthday girl and her best friend. Mom worked so hard and I know that all she wanted was one party pic with all of us sitting at the table. 

Like THAT was going to happen! SHEESH! She had to settle for individual pics and a few of Sophie and me.

   
   
The food was delicious, the favors delightful, but the entertainment dubious…let’s just say that “The Demolition Duo” should probably look for another gig. 

THIS LITTLE “PIG DOG” WENT TO MARKET

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THIS little Pig Dog went to the St. Vincent’s Farmer’s Market,

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THIS little Pig Dog stayed home,

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THIS little Pig Dog had libations with his Daddy,

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THIS little Pig Dog had none.

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THIS little Pig Dog went on stage with the band 

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THIS little Pig Dog has no clue because her turn at the market was last week!

barbara beaird photography

barbara beaird photography

THIS little Pig Dog just chilled, enjoyed the music and the camaraderie.

Yep, LIFE is GOOD!

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SOPHIE NIGHTINGALE

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Most of you aware of my story and the fact that I have worked diligently for the last two years to become a Renaissance bully. Becoming “Renaissance certified “requires a bully to be well read and educated in a myriad of subjects. Also, one must have impeccable manners.
Because of this, as well as my personal knowledge of being abused and abandoned, my parents helped me begin my business – Classic Kippers.
The profits from the sale of my bowties and tees goes directly to helping others who have also been on the receiving end of abuse and abandonment. Naturally I have a reputation to uphold and must always be a model bully. After all, I am the face of Classic Kippers- literally!
Fast forward to now and in comes Miss Sophie Elizabeth Peach. I am trying to give her the benefit of the doubt because she is young, but at the moment, Mom, Dad are I are fighting a losing battle with her. I thought that Miss Sophie could help me represent Classic Kippers, but her propensity to masticate things which are not hers, poses a huge problem.
As most of you are aware, Miss Sophie recently had surgery to remove shards of plastic from sandbox toys which she ingested six months before we got her. I mean please…a sandbox shovel?? How very gauche!

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Because of this she is not allowed to roam in our house without supervision. Since her arrival, she has chewed up two new leashes that mom bought for her. (However, nothing was swallowed.) The little waif would eat electrical cords if given a chance. This is absolutely no way for a representative of Classic Kippers to behave.
Of late, I have given a great deal of though to this matter. Last night, bless my paws and whiskers, I had a scathingly brilliant idea. I was certain that everyone has an attribute – even Sophie Peach. All I had to do was figure out what that was.
I’ll give “Sophie the Brat” her due, she DOES possess the ability to be an incredible snuggler.
I know that she is too “puppy” to go through therapy dog training classes just yet and yes, there may be some poodles, labs and shelties who are ready to go to therapy certification classes at her age, but sitting and staying are still “try and make me” commands to Miss Sophie. So, while we wait for her to mature enough for real therapy school,(and praying it doesn’t take as long as a good single malt scotch from the Hebrides) she will occasionally visit those who are ill and in need of a snuggle.
Her first victim, I mean patient, was my friend Ms. Frances whom I personally visited the last time she had surgery. This time I thought Sophie should go in order to get “her feet wet” (so to speak) and because Ms. Frances wanted to meet her!!!!
I did inform Sophie that she was somewhat odoriferous and that cleanliness was paramount!
Mom totally agreed and got out her bath robe and oatmeal shampoo and we headed to the kitchen.
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Mom thought that she’d fit in the kitchen sink since she’s such a Lilliputian-WRONG! Good thing it was a double sink because there was a little Sophie in each sink.

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Once clean, dried, and properly coifed, Miss Sophie’s pearls were put on and off she went to visit Miss Frances.

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I wouldn’t exactly call her Florence Nightingale, but one must start somewhere. At least she did her job and gave Ms. Frances the “once over eye” to make sure she was OK!

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Truthfully, I’m proud of the little Munchkin, but let’s keep that between us old dogs!

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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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