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The Dog Days of Summer

By Robin Kaye

Summer with my family is busy. This summer—it’s downright crazy. Since Memorial Day weekend, we’ve had two birthdays--here is one of the presents.

A Puggle named Pepper. I know, we were crazy to get my 15 year-old a puppy, but you gotta admit, she's adorable! A handfull, but cute as can be. Especially when she's sleeping.

A few days after we came home with Pepper, I flew off to Florida for an amazing book signing (with ten other authors) for B & L Books, in Altamonte Springs for their 25th Anniversary celebration! 

Here's a picture of me and Dena Russ who is the absolute best bookseller ever! (Dena's the pretty one on the left.)

They even had a cake with all our pictures and book covers on it. How cool is that? It not only looked great, but it tasted pretty darn good too!

I got home and less than a week later, my son Tony graduated from high school. I told him we'd either have a wake or a graduation party. I'm thrilled he chose the latter. 

Graduations involve family visits (and much house cleaning as you can imagine). We took everyone on a trip to Longwood Gardens, and the next day was the graduation ceremony and a party.

I'd love to be able to show you one of those fabulous pictures outside on the grounds of the college where the graduation was held, unfortunately, this is the last picture I was able to snap as my dear graduate told me he was able to get a great parking place and wanted to leave before he was stuck in traffic.  He took off like a shot with his tassel on fire. 

A few days later, my incredible Stepfather, George Feiler, came to Washington DC on one of the World War II Honor Flights. My family, my mother (who was already here for Tony's graduation), and I all headed to the World War II Memorial to meet up with my him and 70 other World War II Veterans.

Here is George, AKA Pop, with my children. He's 85 years young and spending the time with him and the other vets is something all of us will remember forever.  

The weather was terrible, but not even constant rain could dampen our spirits or that of the other 70 vets who made the trip that day. 

If you're interested in the Honor Flight Network--an incredible organization whose goal is to make sure each and every World War II Veteran gets a trip to their Memorial, here's a link. They're always looking to register more WWII Vets, donations and volunteers. They are in their race against time. We're losing our WWII Vets faster and faster every day.

So that's what we've done in the first 12 days of June--I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer holds for us. I know it will involve a trip to Boise--both for research and to drop off my son at college at Boise State University. Go Broncos! I just hope we have some down-time too. I doubt it, but hope springs eternal.

So, how are you planning to spend the dog days of summer?


  1. I don't know what a puggle is but I want one!

    What a great mission to be involved in bringing WWII Veterans to see their memorial. I got a chance to visit it two years ago, it was impressive!

  2. Holy cow, you are busy! It's awesome that you and your family are doing so many meaningful things together. :-) We're going to the pound to pick up Layla, a five-year-old beagle today. I imagine she'll keep us busy for a while...

  3. Rest, relax, and run around like a Mom with three teenagers underfoot, family showing up in droves, and a new puppy who isn't sleeping all that much... You've packed more into your first two weeks of June than I generally accomplish in an entire summer.
    Wishing a peaceful rest of the summer, and I know you'll enjoy that trip to Boise!

  4. Cute puppy! I'm not fond of pugs as a rule, but the cross with beagles is adorable!
    My summer has also been pretty crazy so far. Maybe it'll calm down in August...

  5. @ Amanda - A puggle is a cross between a pug and a beagle. Pepper has more of a beagle face, which I prefer because puppies with more pug-like faces tend to have breathing problems. My youngest wanted a small dog she could handle with her disabilities and Pepper is small even for a puggle. Her breeder thinks she'll be between 12 - 15 pounds when they are normally around 20.

    @ Amanda~ Congratulations on Layla! That's great.

    @ Grace - I'm hoping things slow down before August but I'm not counting on it.

    @ Cheryl-I've never been a big fan of pugs either but the mix is awesome. Great personality, no small-dog syndrome which I can't tollerate and a small size. My smallest dog before Pepper is a 70 lb Pointer.

  6. It sounds like a great summer so far, Robin. That puppy is so cute!

    I'm planning to spend as much time with my kids as possible and catch up on a few home projects I haven't had time to do. ATM, I'm redecorating my husband's office. He took the dungeon office in the basement and let me have the nice one with a balcony. He's so sweet. :)

  7. Mercy, you have to make appointments to sleep and breathe with a schedule like that...but what great memories you are making. We've been to PA (for the in-law's family reunion) and back and now I'm working on a deadline and looking forward to the RWA trip in July.
    Awesome pictures! Looks like a really fun bunch of folks you have in your family!

  8. Robin, I had not heard of a Puggle before, so I had to Google it. A cross between a beagle and a pug--so cute! Now I want one!

    I am spending my summer working and looking for new ways to entertain Baby Galen. The pool is her favorite thing right now, followed by the library. It's really hot here, so we are always looking for anything to do inside.

  9. @ Samantha - Your husband sounds like a real keeper--mine decided to share my office with me. Sigh--when he's there, I go to Starbucks. I just can't work with him in the room, I find it impossible to ignore family, strangers, however, are no problem.

    @Carolyn - Where in PA? I've covered half the state in the last week too. We hit Philadelphia Shriner's Hospital on Monday stopped on South Street for the world's best Cheese Steak--Jim's Steaks, 4th and South, then drove through the Amish Country to Carlisle in Central PA near Harrisburg and then headed back down to Maryland. Tony and Twinkle Toes went to the Franklin Museum and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls while we were doing the annual check-up thing. They said it was amazing!

    @ Shana--Puggles are a designer breed and for a small dog, they don't tend to get small dog syndrome which I hate. I was never a fan of small dogs, but this one is just perfect for Mini-Me. She's 18 weeks old and she ways 8 pounds. The breeder doesn't think she'll go over 15--she's small for a Puggle. They are normally about 20 unless they get fat.

  10. Robin, our paths came close to crossing...MIL is 90 now and lives in Chambersburg, PA! I swear she'd be happy as a little monkey turned loose in a banana factory if she could just talk her son into realizing after 40+ years that she was right and he should have never married that rebel child from the south. LOL!!

  11. Lovely family post. I enjoyed it. My hat's off and my gratitude is deep for your step-fahter and all of our military heroes! God bless them!

  12. Ciao bella! Love the pics - got the warm fuzzies. Summer means tennis & reading (like the rest of the year lol).

  13. Too cute! Make sure you set your boundaries now...they can get incredibly stubborn (from both sides of the family tree undoubtedly). Thanks for sharing your special times with the different generations. Summer means the excuse of hiding out from the heat and reading, lol.

  14. Great post, Robin! Sorry, with work and deadlines, I missed your post! Adorable puppy, and I have a special place in my heart for WWII vets. I often went to my father's EX-POW veteran's group meetings with my mother and father. He's been gone now for over 10 years, and it's true that the group is dwindling to nothing. Super post, Robin!

  15. You certainly have been busy...But lots of great family time.. Which is important. I don't get to see a lot of my family, but what time I go get to spend with them is great...
    I have no real summer plans.. Might go to a friends summer home for a nice long weekend. Or spend some time at the pool at my oousins house. Other that that, what ever come up, I will just pack my suitcase..

  16. @ Carolyn - I wish I knew you were there, I would have driven up to say hi!

    @ Amelia - Thanks! My kids (and one of my neighbor's) spent the time thanking all the men and women for their service and listening to the stories. They're all history buffs and were amazed by the people they met. They had a contest to see who thanked the most veterans for their service. It was an incredible day!

    @ Mary~ I've missed you, my friend! I wish I could play tennis--I have no eye/hand coordination. It's almost scary! Love the reading though.

    @ Elf2060--I'm all about hiding from the heat--it's scorching here! Enjoy the reading and the air conditioning and I'll work on setting boundaries with Pepper. We're going to Puppy Class tonight.

    @ Terry - no worries, sweetie! Thanks!

    @ Kathleen - A summer house sounds lovely! Enjoy!

  17. Must. Have. Puggle. OMG, I am reduced to teenybopper squealiness by the adorability of that dog!

    Love the Honor Flight idea! Your stepdad is sure looking good for his age! It must be the grandkids that keep him young:)


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