Who We Are

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Rodeo Will Have To Wait ...

... because it's a VERY special day here at Ao4 Headquarters!!!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie, and I have a special announcement - IT'S MAGGIE'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!!!!  Yes, it's true - Polargold's Margaret Thatcher, AKA my little Peep - is 2 years old today!!!

"Please join me in wishing Mags a happy birthday!!!"
"Aw, shucks, everybody..."

We've already started the festivities!  We had an early breakfast, then after Mom had hers, we left on a long walk.  Mom and I let Maggie choose the route!

"Let's do a left on the Hudson Trail!"
"Oh, I love this part of the trail!"

We had a great time on the trail, then zig-zagging all over the neighborhoods!

After a nice, long drink and quick cool down ...

Maggie and me, waiting for Mom to get some water, too

... we headed out to the deck!

"There's a little breeze going!"
"It's not too bad here in the shade!"

Mags thought we were just going to chill on the deck, but Mom and I had planned something special - pool time!

"YAY!!!  Pool party!!!  I can dig it!!!"

It was great!  I jumped in, too!

"Ha roo, Cam!"
"Ha roo, birthday pup!"

It was so much fun!

After we got dried off, we came inside and showed Maggie one of her surprises.

"It's a giant box!!!  Oh, you GUYS!"

Mom said it was certainly long enough for both of us girls to get in, too.

"Umm... seriously?  OK, but just because it's her birthday."
"This.  Is.  So.  Awesome!"

I was willing -- but this was a trick box!  It was too tall and narrow for us to get in.  Ha!  Great joke, Mom!

"Ha roo roo roo!  Good one, Mom!"

Oh, don't feel bad for Maggie!  That was just a gag gift.  There was a real one waiting for her in the foyer!  Check it out!!!

"A box WITH crinkly paper?!?!  I'm getting choked up..."

Maggie said it was exactly what she wanted!  We even arranged so there is a bit of a sun-puddle there for her!

There is more celebrating to come - some special gifts AND I understand there is some watermelon waiting for us in the fridge!  We're doing Maggie's big day up right!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGGIE!!!!!!  We love you!!!!!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Riley County Fair!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  As you saw yesterday, the Kaw Valley Rodeo was in town!  It comes every year at this time, with the Riley County Fair!  Fortunately for us, the park closest to Ao4 Headquarters is also the county fairgrounds - so it all takes place within walking distance!  Maggie and I got to see both fair stuff and rodeo stuff; I'll tell you about some of what we saw on the fairgrounds today, and Mags will cover the rodeo part tomorrow!

Just the walk to the park itself was great fun, as it seemed to be the morning of the bunny.  Totally exciting!

"DINNER!  Oh... sorry, Mom.
I meant, 'Adorable little bun-bun!'"

Right.  That's what I meant to say.  (Insert innocent whistling sound here ...)

OK!  So, we got to the fairgrounds and it was really cool!  Dad was with us; Maggie was walking him and they went off one way to explore and I headed another way with Mom.  I found something really cool and called Mags over!

"GIANT BEARS!!!  Maggie, come quick!  It's GIANT BEARS!"

Maggie didn't exactly believe me at first.  I mean - giant bears?!?  But then ...

"Like I'm going to fall for ...Great Dane in the morning!  You weren't kidding, Cam!"
"They're behind a fence.  I think we're safe."

I know the fence looks fairly short, but they seemed to respect the boundaries set by it.

After a bit, I found the Ferris Wheel!

"This'll be great fun!  Come on, Mags!"

I met the height requirement ...

Me, by the measuring thingie

... though I would have had to ride with an adult.  That was OK, Mom would have gone with me - but for some reason, it wasn't up and running yet.  I'm not sure why they don't open at 7 in the morning, but they don't.

We walked around a bit more, then hit the concession area!

"Oooh!  Let's get some ice!!!"

After that, it was on to the rodeo! Mags will fill you in on that tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Some Good News And ...

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Today, I have some good news ... and some even BETTER news!

OK.  So even though Mom keeps our nails and snowshoes trimmed, and even though our tile floor has some texture to it, sometimes we slip.  Mom and Dad bought us a non-slip rug to put by the door so we won't slip going from the laundry room down the one step into the garage!

At first, Cam wasn't sure about it ...

"See?  Check out her ears.  Those are uncertain ears."
"I'm not sure about this.  It's new.  And I might still slip."

Mom let her take things at her own pace, stayed calm, gave rewards ...

"I'm starting to like this thing!"
"See?  Wait ... 'rewards'?  Is she getting treats?"

And before we knew it ...

"I LOVE this!  I'm not slipping!!!"

See?  Happy ears!  The good news is no more slipping!  Ah... but what of the even better news I mentioned?  Step right this way, dear readers!

"Right this way!"


"It came in a BOX!!!"

Mom apologizes for the poor photo of me getting into the box.  She actually - get this - didn't think I'd want to get into this one.  Does she even KNOW me?!!?  I mean - it's a BOX!!!

Yeah.  It's been a box-a-palooza around here!  What great times!  I'm happy about our good news, but am even happier about the even better news!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, July 27, 2015


Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  GREAT news here at Ao4 Headquarters recently -- Mom got me a new box!!!

"SCORE!!!  I love it, Mom!  Thanks!!!"

It was exactly the right size and everything!  Mom must have loved it, too, because she was walking all around it, "squee-ing" and taking tons of pictures.  I was just sitting there, enjoying my new box, when I heard Cam say something.

"What, Cam?!?"

"A new bag, Mags.  Mom got a new bag."

Umm... yeah, whatevs.  We ALL know it's all about the box!!!

"Hey, Mom, could you move your bag and wallet out of my shot, please?

I still think I scored better than Mom!  Anyone want to come over to box with me?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie, here with Serene Scenery Sunday.  I have some photos for you that Mom took yesterday out at Tuttle Creek State Park - and one on the way home - that will hopefully make you feel all kinds of wonderful inside.  It was a hot, hot, hot, humid day.  Mom and our friend Beth saw all kinds of cool birdies, and were delighted to see a couple Green Herons (not common!) and Kingfishers.  Unfortunately, those would be "the ones that got away".  Mom mumbled something about them not playing nice and other non-serene things ... so we'd better get right to what DID hold still for her.  Ready?

First up, a dragonfly:

Widow Skimmer

You know right away the birds are giving Mom a hard time if she's shooting dragonflies.  Just saying.  Moving right along ...

Here's a birdie who held still for a few seconds!

Eastern Kingbird

And shooting through the leaves ...

Female Baltimore Oriole

Here's a tiny Nuthatch, having a bad feathers day:

White Breasted Nuthatch

High in the branches of a dead tree, Mom spotted this guy:

Immature Redheaded Woodpecker

She only knew he was a baby Redheaded Woodpecker because before she could fire off another shot, he took off and joined his family:

Adult Redheaded Woodpecker on top of the utility pole, one juvenile climbing up the pole, and our friend off on the right

Here's another juvenile bird - this one is a bluebird:

Immature Eastern Bluebird

Aren't all of his speckles pretty?  Maybe that's why he wouldn't turn around and face the camera.  He was showing off his pretty markings.  I'll have to remember that excuse ...

The only semi-cooperative heron was this one Great Blue, up in a tree:

Great Blue Heron at Willow Lake

Here's another shot of him:

"It was my day to hold still for you; how did I do?"

He at least held still, but he was mighty far away, according to Mom.

On the way out of the park, Mom stopped to shoot some sunflowers:

Hairy Sunflowers

Mom said she had a great time seeing Beth and walking around the park with her, but the birds (especially the Kingfishers and Green Herons) frustrated her.  Perhaps that's part of why she really appreciated seeing this guy on the way home:

Immature Red Tailed Hawk

He held still and everything!  What a nice birdie!

As for me and Maggie - did we mention it was a hot, hot, hot, humid day?  This is what we did while Mom was out at Tuttle Creek:

"Have fun, Mom.  Don't forget your water.  We'll be here in the air-conditioned house if you need anything."
"I'll keep Maggie out of trouble. Don't forget to douse yourself in bug spray.  Tell Beth hello for me."

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

If you'd like to see any more photos from yesterday's shoot, please click here to visit the set on Flickr.

Have a wonderfully serene Sunday!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

I Won!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  After our morning walk, Maggie and I like to do the usual - get a nice drink of water, do zoomies in the house, then head out onto the deck with Mom.  Sometimes, we play in the yard with her, sometimes we have a pool party, sometimes we do more zoomies ... and sometimes we combine two or more of those great activities!

The other day, we had a pool party, then decided to do stair zoomies.  It was great fun!

"First one to the top wins!"
"You're on!"

I had Maggie by a snooter, but was able to jump ahead at the finish line!

"I win!"
"Hang on - I've got your prize right here!"

Oooh!  A prize!  Wasn't that sweet of Maggie!  I had no idea there would be a ---


Well, OK.  There may have been a bit of the ol' Bitey Face game thrown in there, too!  All in good fun - and it helped cut down on how much toweling off Mom had to do before we went inside!

Do you have prizes when you play games?


Friday, July 24, 2015

American Journey

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Our friend Sydney at Chewy.com sent us a box full of their own "house brand" of products lately!  How exciting is that?!!?  We've been meaning to tell you all about it, but things have been even crazier than normal around here!

Mags, modeling the cool bandana
(This was before we got our new door!)

As you can see from the logo in the picture of Maggie (above), the line is called "American Journey". Each product in the line is made, sourced, and packaged in the US. They do not use any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. We appreciate ALL of those things!

"My turn to wear the pretty bandana!"
"Cam isn't getting a treat, is she?"

As with ALL brands, even the best of brands, every product is not suitable for all sizes of dogs, all levels of chewers, or all levels of play.  Mags and I are considered "medium" sized dogs, for example, so some products that may be fine for some of our smaller friends, would be a choking hazard for us. And some products that might be fine for dogs who don't chew like I do, or like Maggie (who even has to be monitored with black KONGs), wouldn't work for us.  Having said that, we LOVE what the American Journey brand stands for, but have your bipeds select products suitable for you, based on your size, chew power, and let's call it life stage.

Let's get to the fun part, shall we? Show everyone what we taste-tested, Mags!

"It's the all-new American Journey Just Turkey Jerky!!!"

We LOVE that they are 100% turkey meat - nothing else!  (And as mentioned earlier, made in the US!!!)  Let's take a look:

American Journey Just Turkey Jerky from Chewy.com

We were expecting strips, but they were chunks.  Mom knew full well that we'd try to swallow the whole chunk all at once (we can't help it... it's how we are), so she tore off a tiny piece to let us taste it.

"Can we have another bite, please?"
"May we?  Look at how nice I'm sitting!"
Please note really cool tote bag on the Sitzbank!

It was hard for Mom to break pieces off, as it was a bit slippery.  We thought that would translate into getting a BIG piece, but sadly ... no.  That jerky is taste-tee!!!

We give Chewy.com's American Journey Turkey Jerky 3 out of 5 stars.  We love that it's an all-natural product, made in the US!  We also liked the taste very much!  Unfortunately for us, the jerky comes in chunks that were hard to break into bite-sized pieces and it was rather messy.  Mom deemed the whole chunks a choking hazard for dogs our size and with our eating/chewing habits.

Many, many thanks to Sydney and the rest of the Chewy.com folks for letting us try their new product line!  We just love that you have your own "house brand" now, and that everything is made and sourced in the US - and wish you tons of success!

Please surf on over to Chewy.com and check out all of the new American Journey products and have your biped choose products that fit with how you play, chew, and eat!


DISCLAIMER: We received no payment for this post, but did receive the American Journey products free of charge from Chewy.com - in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. And mom's.  Please choose products keeping your dog's size and habits in mind!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Once More!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with a little more fun from our front door redo!  Frankly, this is when things really DID get fun - putting the foyer back together!

Mom rehung some stuff on the walls, then got ready to move the Sitzbank back into place.  Dad was  golfing  out doing important things, so Mom slipped one of those Super Slider thingies under each corner and started sliding the Sitzbank across the room.  That's when I sprang into action!

"YEAH!  Now this is fun!!! Once more around the living room!!!"

"Mom?  ... Mom?"

"... Mom?"

You know, it's not like it's was a big deal or anything - she HAD the Super Sliders!  Sheesh.

"Fine.  Could you at least open the front door?"

Being a Working Breed isn't always easy!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher