This was an eventful month.
First off, I had my birthday. I turned 11. Mommy took me to the Tastee Freeze for a Pup Cup. Yum! Then a few days later Mommy was slicing bread for herself for a sandwich and when she turned around briefly to get something I jumped up on the counter and stole a slice and ran off to the porch and ate it. Yum again!
We had a nice cool day in the middle of the month and I wanted to walk to the forest preserve, but Mommy said no because it is too long a hike for me these days. I WAS NOT happy to have to go home, but then later that afternoon Mommy took me in the car to the forest preserve and we got to take a hike there. That was good and a little over 4 miles after a 3.5 mile morning walk did seem rather long to me after all, so maybe Mommy was right that I shouldn't do the 8 mile walk to and from the preserve. I guess that is a bad part of being 11.
Mommy has been busy a lot of weekends helping Grandma and Grandpa move to their new place (where I took the Dumbest Vacation Ever) so we haven't gotten to do a whole lot of hiking this summer. But Grandma and Grandpa are officially moved in now so Mommy says our weekends should be more free from now on and we can do our normal county hiking challenge. That is good because I'd hate to not earn my county hiking badge. I've gotten one each year that I have lived with Mommy.
The big thing this month though was that Mommy and I took a vacation up to Wisconsin and Pelles came too! We had a whole week in the woods at the lake which was great! About a week before we left one of my toes on my left front foot suddenly swelled up and the swelling didn't go down. Mommy called the vet to try to get an appointment for me, but she couldn't get one before we left, but the vet said not to worry and go anyway, but go see a vet if the swelling got worse. We were glad the vet said it was okay to go. I went swimming a bunch of times and Mommy took me for a lot of rides in the peddleboat. The first time we went out in the boat I got in fine, but had a real hard time getting out because the seats are so slippery and with my back end not working right I couldn't stand up to hop out. So after that Mommy had me wear my lifting harness and with her help I could get back up on my feet and out of the boat just fine.
There was lots of wildlife around. I saw deer and we heard something squealing in the woods one night and there were a bunch of birds, some of whom I barked at and some who went after me! The little humming birds did not like when Mommy and I were sitting out by their feeder one day and they kept buzzing us and chittering. We weren't trying to drink their nectar so I don't know why they were so mad. We also kept hearing a funny call and then saw that it was a baby pileated woodpecker calling for his mom to come feed him. He was as big as mom so it seems funny that he expected her to feed him. Mommy says that is what teenagers do.
I also chased chipmunks and squirrels and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I didn't have to wear my leash whenever I was outside. I think it was because I was such a good boy. Mommy said it was because I've slowed down enough that she can catch me now. She only made me wear the leash on walks and after dark. After the first couple of days I decided that I was done CHASING chipmunks and changed to STALKING chipmunks. I would see how close I could get to them before they ran away and when they did I'd take a couple steps towards them and then go do something else until they came back. One time I got right up to one! It was right under my mouth and I couldn't believe it. I tried to grab it, but the little stinker ran right between my legs and got away before I could bite him. I think that was cheating.
Silly Mommy set my camera wrong so I only took pictures for the first 40 minutes of the hike, which was a shame because there was some nice water we saw (and I swam in) after that. Oh well, humans, what can you do?
For our third hike we were doing the Bearskin Trail starting in Minocqua and as we were heading towards the trail a group of people stopped us and asked Mommy if they could take my picture. Mommy said yes and we posed for them and I got pet. Then, just as we were getting to the trailhead another group of people stopped us and asked Mommy if they could take my picture. We posed again and I got pets. As we were hiking I kept expecting people to want to take my picture and pet me, but nobody on the trail did. I don't know why, after all, I am quite the star and the paparazzi were wanting to take my picture in town. Anyway, after the hike Mommy and I decided to walk around the town a bit and I got stopped AGAIN and asked to pose. Of course we did and I got pet. Mommy said it wasn't the paparazzi and I shouldn't get a big head. It seems the people were in town for a wedding and were on something called a "scavenger hunt" and they needed to get a picture of a black and white dog with its owner. Mommy gave the last people my e-mail and asked them to send us the picture, but they didn't. Mean people. As we were heading back to our car we passed a group of people and heard one of them say, "No, it is just a solid black dog." Mommy said they were going to be kicking themselves when they got back to the gathering and discovered that I have a white blaze on my chest and what Mommy calls "headlights" on my ears.
A couple days before our vacation was over I started to really lick my toe again, and then I decided to chew off the toenail next to the bump and then I noticed that I had a skin tag on my shoulder so I tried to chew it off too, which REALLY made Mommy cringe. So, Mommy called our vet, but she was on vacation too, so Mommy made an appointment with a different vet and we came home a day early so I could go see him. He was kinda young and new for a vet, but he was nice until he took a needle and stuck it into my toe!! Then he went into the lab/surgery area and we could hear different vets talking about what he got from the needle. He came back and said he thought maybe it was a cancerous tumor and we could do two things, one was cut the lump off my foot and send it off for a diagnosis, but Mommy pointed out that I can't be knocked out so they'd have to do it just giving me Valium and using a local, which would be hard, and the other choice he gave was giving me a steroid ointment, but Mommy wanted to know what it would do to my tummy when I licked it off, which I was going to do. He couldn't answer that so Mommy said, no offense, but we were going to wait until my regular vet came back in town and get her opinion. Our regular vet called Mommy the next day and told her that she thought maybe it was a weird reaction to a bee sting or a spider bite and wanted me to take a low dose antibiotic/steroid pill and see what happened. So I'm taking pills for a week and will go see her next week so she can see my toe for myself and decide what to do from there. I'll keep you all updated on what happens with my owie toe.