Disney Presents: FRANKENWEENIE, A film by Tim Burton, IN THEATRES OCTOBER 5th!

Photo sent to me compliments of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

I know, I know, it’s only August, but before you know it October will be at our door!! Mom and I were excited when we were contacted by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. They wanted to tell us about their new film FRANKENWEENIE A Film By TIM BURTON of  (Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas) fame! They asked if we would tell you about this film and we are happy to oblige.

The movie is about Tim Burton’s OWN relationship with his childhood dog, (Sparky).

Photo sent to me compliments of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures


It is a heart-warming tale, which was filmed in all black & white  (that in itself is pretty cool!)  and it is animated. FRANKENWEENIE (yep, keep FRANKENSTEIN in your mind!) Follows “Victor” (Tim Burton as a child), and how he dealt with the unexpected loss of his beloved dog Sparky and how he tried to bring him back to life. Get ready for some “unintended, monstrous consequences!!!”

Check out the trailer below:

Mom is also going to be attending an advanced screening in our area and when she goes we will be sure to tell you all about it!! I sure wish that I could go!

Barks and licks and Walt Disney love,



We were not compensated for this post. However,  the advanced screening will be free. Mom is greatly looking forward to it!



Book Review: Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan

Hi everyone, this is Dakota’s Mom.  I fell in love this past weekend. I fell in love with a little black and white Miniature  Schnauzer  with a name and  bushy white  eyebrows reminiscent of a professor or lawyer, deeply knit in thought,  full of moxie, wiser than his years.

I fell in love with Atticus M. Finch as thousands of others have, for his wisdom, courage, love, devotion and willingness to defy the odds on many fronts.

Atticus and Tom Ryan

I also fell in love with author Tom Ryan who in many ways is a “dog whisperer”. He  didn’t believe in training methods that others would consider to be “normal”.   More than any other books that I have read about a man’s love for his dog and their ensuing  adventures, the title “Following Atticus” speaks volumes.  Ryan  is so keenly tied to the nuances of Atticus that he raised Atticus not to do what HE wanted him to do, (there is nobody who is hung up on who is the “Alpha” here), he raised him to be what Atticus wanted to be.

Tom Ryan, who knew little about owning a dog when he brought home Atticus based his entire upbringing on literally following Atticus’s  lead, which was also something he practiced when he and Atticus attempted the unthinkable,  exploring and conquering forty-eight peaks.

In other words, he observed, he listened, he sensed, he felt. This was a skill he was already adept at  using, being the founder of the Newburyport, Massachusetts, newspaper, The Undertoad where for a decade he was its editor, publisher and “roving reporter.”

From “Following Atticus”:

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell

The above quote sets the stage for what lies ahead in this heart-tugging,  adventurous, suspenseful, thought-provoking,  deliciously descriptive gem.

From the publisher:

“Middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan and miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. In a rare test of endurance, Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. . . .”

Ryan and Atticus,  two  unlikely partners conquering mountains both literally in reference to nature and figuratively of the mountainous challenges that life has a tendency to hurl our way as well as the  mountainous burdens of our past seeking to take over our present.

The book also features photos with incredible images taken by Tom and others that document his journey with Atticus.

Following Atticus is for all of us who dare to dream, who have dreams that we think may never become a reality, for dog lovers, those who are inspired and reap strength from nature, for those who set high expectations for themselves,  for those who seek to make sense of the past and how it relates to the present.

"Little Buddha"

For those who know what it feels like to sacrifice our own wants and needs for that of our pet, and for those who dare to admit that our pet just might be a lot wiser than we are and have faith that they will lead us, to give us exactly what we need, if only we are willing to follow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 2007  Tom Ryan sold The Undertoad and moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to write and to hike with Atticus. Over the last five years the pair has climbed more than 450 4,000 foot peaks. Tom writes the popular “The Adventures of Tom & Atticus” column in the NorthCountry News and Mountainside Guide and the blog:

“The Adventures of Tom and Atticus.” 

In November of 2008 Tom & Atticus were honored as co-recipients of the MSPCA’s Human Hero of the Year award given at their annual Hall of Fame dinner at the JFK Presidential Library.

Heroes Of The Year 2008

FOLLOWING ATTICUS: FORTY-EIGHT PEAKS, ONE LITTLE DOG, AND AN EXTRAORDINARY FRIENDSHIP  published by  William Morrow Hardcover/September 20, 2011/ $25.99/ 9780061997105 E-Book/September 20, 2011/$12.99/ 9780062101303

Update On “Barney The Escape Artist”

Hi everyone!

Remember when I wrote a week or so ago about my doggie buddy Barney who miraculously escaped from his apartment and ended up over at my house?

If you missed that post you can read about it here



Barney’s Mommy Lynne discovered the screen door on her balcony had a hole in it. Yeah, yeah, I know,  how did she not notice this? Well for whatever reason she didn’t.

I guess a neighbor had heard Barney go PLOP off the balcony. Luckily he landed in the bushes or he could have been quite hurt.

The neighbor tried to get him but he got away from her and to make matters worse, Barney doesn’t like to be picked up.

Lynne has had her screen fixed and Barney hasn’t made any appearances here without his Mommy and thankfully he is safe and sound.

Guess he REALLY wanted to come and visit me, didn’t he?


Smart doggie.

Barks and licks and love, Dakota





A little background…Part II

Ok so yesterday I gave you a little background as to where my Mom’s obsession with Shelties started.  Since she met “Dandy” when she was a little girl she ALWAYS wanted a Sheltie. Well…that wasn’t to be until I came along!

Mom had a cat for many years. His name was Bobo. Since Bobo was the “only” pet Mom couldn’t get a dog, and Mom for quite a long time lived in apartments where she was only allowed to have cats.


Bobo passed away in 2007 and that broke Mom’s heart. My Dad wanted to help make her sadness go away so he started a MONTHS long quest to find a Sheltie for Mom.

He searched rescues for months but there were none in our area. Then, one day Mom’s bonus daughter, Marla called saying she knew of someone who was selling a Sheltie! Mom and Dad were so excited! They called about him but the woman wouldn’t sell him because Mom and Dad live in a condo. Mom was heartbroken. The woman said she knew of someone else who was selling a Sheltie that she couldn’t “show” and would they be interested?


Of course they were! It was ME!!!

Dad bought me for my Mom for her birthday in 2007 ! She really wanted a dryer since hers had just broken but she got me instead! I think I am a zillion times better than a dryer, don’t you?

So that is how I came to meet my Mom and Dad (and of course my kitty brother Cody who was adopted a few months before me!)

Barks and licks, Dakota

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Comments (6)  
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A little background…Part I

I bet you are wondering how I met my Mom and Dad, if you’re not, you should be!!

“It was a dark and stormy night….” WAIT!!! Wrong dog!! That would be the beginning of Snoopy’s story, not mine!

Ok here is the story as my Mom told me. Well maybe not exactly as she told me cause she talks too much so I will try to condense it for you.

When my Mom was a little girl she was obsessed with Lassie (yep Lassie was a COLLIE, NOT a Sheltie, but stay with me on this one). She LOVED LASSIE! So much so in fact that when she used to watch the show you know how at the end Lassie raises his paw? Well, my Mom used to do the SAME THING right back at Lassie! (she was kinda nuts even then. She was only 5 yrs old so we will cut her some slack.)

Mom used to play with some kids across the street who had what Mom thought in her non-developed 5 yr old mind was a Collie because it looked JUST LIKE LASSIE! She admitted that she really only played with the kids cause she loved their dog (and because their family used to buy her ice cream when the ice cream man came, but that’s a story for a  third blog (bite your tongue!) another day.

Their dog was actually a SHELTIE!!  He was small but he was a Lassie look-alike , his  name was “Dandy”….and in my Mom’s world, he WAS!

To be continued….

I have some noise to make.

Barks and licks, Dakota

Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm  Comments (4)  
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