Sunday, November 29, 2009

That's What I Call a Hero!

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are still enjoying leftovers! Our Thanksgiving was terRUFFic! We kept the road hot, saw lots of cousins, had our cheeks pinched and heard how cute we were more times than we could count! And of course, we ate! Our favorite part of the meal is the gravy. (The candied yams are hard to beat!) The great thing about the gravy is that Mom will let us put a little over our dry dog food to add some flavor. Chloe is convinced that gravy is her beauty secret. She claims it keeps her coat healthy and shiny looking. She has looked stunning this week!

We started our Thanksgiving week off with the best treat ever! We drove to Hopkinsville, KY to meet our friend Austin. Austin has been following the Woody stories in The Kentucky New Era. In fact, he knew tons of information about us! He even knew that Mom had a pet squirrel named Sammy when she was growing up! Anyway, Austin had asked if we were ever in the area if we could come see him. Austin, his family, and his teacher welcomed us into their home. It felt like Christmas! They had baked delicious treats for us, had gifts for all of us, and even made us a poster! Austin asked me several questions about our latest story, Dog Gone Wild. He even wanted me to play the harmonica for him. Since I have been practicing my Christmas music, I asked Mom if I could play some holiday tunes for Austin and his family. I hate to brag, but I do play a pretty mean rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Mom said it would take too long. She was right. Besides, I wanted to learn more about Austin. Here's what I learned:

Austin is 13 years old. He lives in Hopkinsville. He loves his family, his church, animals, and sports! He's a Wildcat Fan! (See his shirt!) He also loves the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators. The Predators are a hockey team. We don't know too much about hockey so Austin gave us the low-down. He should know since he has even been in the Predator's locker room!

In addition to all that, Austin could be on Broadway! He loves to dress up in constumes. In fact, he has a list of about 30 different costumes he likes to wear. I asked if he had a wiener dog costume. He didn't but was hoping to run across one. I told him we would keep our eyes open!

Austin is very much like any other 13 year old guy. He is funny, smart, and likes all the things that we all like - yet there is something extra special about Austin. At 13 years old, Austin has already had surgery 29 times! He has had 3 open heart surgeries, 25 heart catheterizations, and even has a pacemaker. We weren't familiar with all those procedures so Austin explained them. He said a heart catheterization, or heart cath as it is called, is a procedure where the doctor inserts a small plastic tube into a vessel of the heart to see how the heart is working. A pacemaker is a device that helps the heart beat regularly. Austin, being the entertaining guy he is, pulled up his UK shirt and said, "Look! I have a zipper in my chest!" He had undergone so many procedures that it looked as if he had been unzipped and zipped back up lots of times. We learned so much about Austin that day, but here is what was totally impressive. He never complained. Not once. He never said, "I wish..." or "I hate..." or "This stinks..." He didn't complain that because of his heart issues he has a teacher who comes to his house. (He said it had some advantages. If he wanted a longer lunch or recess, he could talk Ms. Andrews into it!) He didn't mind that his love of sports is fairly limited to be a spectator. (He has become an expert arm chair quarterback and hey, how many of us have been in the Predator's locker room?) Austin had a huge bright smile on his face and made us giggle the entire afternoon. He was an inspiration to our entire family and when we left, we felt like Austin was our new brother! Speaking of, Austin had some suggestions on what Chloe and I should do for the next story. He also gave me a little lecture on minding my manners and not wandering off in the rainy wilderness to find my harmonica. I listened and promised I would take his advice.

I also promised we would visit Austin the second week of December when we were back in his area. We may even have some surprises worked up for Austin. (By the way Austin, Mom has worn her MSU cap nearly every day this week, the snackes are delicious, and the poster is being framed.)

When we left, we hugged Austin, promised to return in a few weeks, and thanked him for all the treats. Most of all, we thanked Austin for being our hero and being an inspiration to us all! Stay tuned as we blog about our next visit with Austin in several weeks. I also have lots of other news and stories to tell you about so visit us here often!

I better go! I want to practice my harmonica before bed. I practiced last night before bed and Chloe said she dreamed about pipers piping, french hens, and turtle doves all night!

Have a great night! Enjoy the rest of your gravy and Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dog Gone Wild Chapter 9

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! If you have been reading Dog Gone Wild, you will know that I was lost and scared but Chloe came along and saved my life! I asked Chloe what I could do for her in return. Many of you have sent in suggestions on what you think it is Chloe will want me to do. Here are responses from our faithful readers in Mrs. Lentz's class at Holiday:

I think Chloe would want Woody to give her his treats because Mom gives them treats every day. Josiah

I think Chloe wanted Woody to get some rest and stay healthy. Derik

Chloe probably wants Woody to do her chores, give her his treats, and take care of her. Talaisia

Chloe wants him to go find her some fish at the lake. B.J.

I don't know how I know it but she wants him to get better and make her some hot chocolate. Michaela

To be fun like he usually is, and be his sweet self. Faith

I think that Chloe will want him to sing the "puh-sketti" song. Annie

I think she will want Woody to be her servant. Jaxon

To play his harmonica for her. Claire

I think what Chloe wants Woody to do is have another challenge so she can win the whole competition. Katie

I think Chloe wants Woody to sing a song or play her a song. Makenzie

I think that Woody would make Chloe a present and thank her for saving his life. Madison

I think Chloe wants him to play a song for her. Cody

I think Chloe wants Woody to go with Mom and buy her a gift. Or maybe play a song for her. Or maybe ask Woody to play as Chloe's Prince and carry her away. Or does whatever she tells him to for a day. Katyvin

I think she wants him to sing to her. Brittney

I think Chloe wants him to find a big leaf and fan her and treat her like a pretty princess. Karson

I think Chloe wants Woody to serve her for a day. Kiara

I think she wants Woody to never leave again. Jack

I think she wants him to kill all the snakes. McCaela

I think Chloe will take her brother out to dinner. Wade

She wants him to sing. Dylan

Chloe wants Woody not to go missing again and to believe that she loves him and know that she will always look for him when he gets lost. Anneshia

I think what Chloe wants her brother to do is always tell them where he is going all the time. Also to never wander off somewhere. Logan

To get him to teach her how to be just like him (Woody). Jessie

The thing Chloe wants Woody to do is give her a big hug and say"I Love You!"

I think Chloe would ask him to do something fun with her. Keiona

Chloe might want Woody to stay with them and not leave. Cameron

I think that Chloe wants Woody to do favors for her for one day to repay Chloe for saving Woody's life. (Happy Face) Dominique

I think Chloe wants Woody to save her life someday. Kirsten

Something that Chloe wants Woody to do is play tag with her around the tent on any day she wants him to since Chloe saved Woody's life. Mary Catherine

The thing that Chloe wants Woody to do is to be her servant for one week, or maybe two weeks. Or just clean her room. Lataviya

I think Chloe wants her brother to never go hunt his instrument again, if he lost it again, since she saved his life. Koby

Chloe wants Woody to say he will let me play his woof system for two weeks when we get home. Hunter

The thing that Chloe wants Woody to do is give her pupsicles because Chloe was hungry. A.J.

I think Chloe is going to ask Woody to share the broth with her since she saved his life. Sydney

What Chloe wants Woody to do is to give her a pupcycle since she saved him. Emily

I think Chloe wants Woody to try to survive. Also they could turn it into a "survivor" game since she saved his life. Jakayia

These are all great suggestions! Stay tuned and Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

TAILS from Perryville

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! We hope this finds you in the beginning of a great week! Chloe and I just got home from Sunday school. We could hardly even sing because our voice was so horse, I mean, hoarse! We cheered so hard for our KY Wildcats yesterday. We won the basketball game and the football game! It was the first time in over 30 years that our CATS had beaten the Georgia Bulldogs in Georgia! It was a happy night for us CATS! We were sad for the Bulldogs however. They lost their beloved, real-life bulldog mascot, UGA. He passed away unexpectedly on Thursday. Our hearts go out to all UGA's fans and friends. We were sad when we heard the news.

On much happier note, this past week found us hopping all over the state. Tuesday we spent the day and evening at Perryville Elementary in Boyle County. We hadn't visted Perryville Elementary before. Within 15 minutes of walking in the school, we felt like PES was our home. There were signs in the building, hugs, kisses, letters, and dog treats! A big thanks to Ms. Best for suggesting we visit and to Ms. Mason for planning the perfect day and evening. I spent a good bit of time with the principal and I wasn't even in trouble!!! We had lots of things in common. He is a CAT fan too - so being the CAT fans and athletic individuals that we are, we talked football and basketball! Mr. Ronnie, the custodian, was also in the conversation. That school was sparkling clean! It was a terrific day we will never forget!

In fact, I better scoot for now. I have a box of goodies to get ready to mail to Perryville Elementary. I want to get it ready and take it to the Post Office first thing in the morning!

Have a great day! Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chloe Looks for Woody

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! It's Chloe again! If you are following Dog Gone Wild, you will know that Woody is lost and we are looking for him. Thankfully, we have had lots of suggestions on where to find my brother. I just received this email from Mrs. Upton's Second Grade Class at Eminence Elementary. These are great suggestions! Take a look:

Isaak-under a tree

Gracie-listening to his harmonica

Destiny-marking a trail to see if he can find his footprints

Matthew-maybe he is in the bushes

Shelbie-trying to climb a tree

Emily-maybe he is hiding

Kaleb-maybe he is shaking with fear

Dakadrian-to see if he can find his way to the tent or beside a bush

Stephen-maybe he is by a stream

Brianna-look in the bookbag

Micayla-down by the lake

Autumn-down the river

Mary-under a tree

Bryndan-by a stream drinking water

I never even thought about checking a book bag! Thanks Brianna! Knowing my brother, anything is a possibility! I will check it out and let you know! In the meantime, keep the faith, keep reading, and in the words of Woody, "Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!"


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cousin Alex

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! I have to brag on my Cousin Alex Furr. She is a mega star basketball player in Texas who has broken all kinds of records. Alex is smart, talented, unbelievably athletic, funny, and gorgeous. It's no surprise we are cousins! (My mom and Alex's dad are brother and sister.) Anyway, this article was in the Tyler Morning News (Tyler, TX) today:

Athens’ Furr Signs With Fresno State
Sports Editor

ATHENS - Alex Furr has rained 3s on East Texas basketball teams the last three years.

Now, she's going national.

The Athens High School senior signed a national letter of intent with Fresno State University Tuesday before family, friends and teammates at the AHS Gymnasium.

She picked Fresno State over Mississippi State, Houston, Southern Mississippi and Alabama-Birmingham.

"I really liked the coaches and players when I visited there," Furr said of picking FSU as her college. "It was an automatic fit."

Furr is a three-time All-East Texas member as well as a two-time all-state guard who averaged 30.1 points per game as a junior. She also led the state in 3-pointers made with 146 during the 2008-09 season. That total ranked fifth nationally. She has 324 career 3s.

"Alex is the best 3-point shooter in the state of Texas," Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins said in a press release. "She is a competitive guard. We expect her skills to fit into our system and for her to be an impact player in our program."

Furr should fit right in to the Bulldog program as Fresno State has ranked among the top three NCAA teams in 3-point shooting the past two years.

Wiggins has averaged 22 wins a season in his four years as head coach of the Fresno, Calif., school.

The Bulldogs have won two straight Western Athletic Conference championships and earned two consecutive NCAA berths.

Furr noted one of the attractions of playing in the WAC was the travel.

Other schools in the conference include Hawaii, Boise State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, Utah State, New Mexico State and San Jose State.

Furr is a four-year starter for the Lady Hornets who has scored 2,138 points in 94 games entering this season. She also has scored in double figures in 87 of the 94 games.

In the season opener against Rusk last week, Furr scored 42 points with 11 assists. She had seven 3-pointers in the 72-32 win.

Furr's career high is 51 points and 11 3-pointers in a game.

"It's nice to see a situation like this where a kid is rewarded," first-year Lady Hornets coach Austin Durrett said. "She puts in so much time. She is one of those kids who is the first one (to the gym) and the last one to leave. She deserves everything she gets."

Later on Tuesday, Furr hit 48 points in the Lady Hornets' 71-59 win over Mineral Wells. Among her buckets were five three-pointers.

WOW! We are already studying the map to see how far it is from Kentucky to California! We have never visited The Golden State but hopefully that will change in the next 4 years!

Cousin Alex definitely Works and Dreams like a BIG DOG!


TAILS from Picadome

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! It is early Wednesday morning and Chloe and I are up and at 'em as the old saying goes! We have been busy little pups lately with our travels. Friday, we spent the day and evening at one of our very favorite schools in the state - no wait - COUNTRY! We were at Picadome Elementary School in Lexington, KY. We had visited Picadome several years ago and couldn't wait to return. Our friends welcomed us with open paws, uh, arms!

Here are a few pictures! The first picture is of Ms.Pam Sims - the librarian. She is a great librarian! She loves books and children and animals. She held me so tightly that Mom said I smelled just like Ms. Sims for two whole days! Mom said that was a huge compliment! Maybe I should start wearing perfume. Wait - boys don't wear perfume.

The second photo is of Ms. Darla Simms - the principal. (Yes, same last name as the librarian but spelled differently.) Ms. Simms also loves animals - and books and kids too, of course! I love this picture of Principal Simms and me - but Helloooo can somebody please straighten my sunglasses???

The third photo is of me walking down the hall. I can't remember if I was going to the bathroom or trying to sniff my way to the cafeteria when Chloe snapped this shot.

The fourth photo shows Mom and me signing Ms. Sim's Author Chair. We signed next to our illustrator, Paul Brett Johnson. PBJ (as we affectionately call him) visited Picadome last year. Anyway, he wrote something on the chair that caught my eye. It said, "The difference between writing and good writing is RE-WRITING!" He's correct! No wonder we love his books so much - especially that spaghetti book. It's my favorite!

The last shot is a group picture. If you look real closely, you can see me in the back! I was surrounded by my buddies - the Dog Pound!

We had a great day and evening! For the Family Reading Night, we had almost 300 people! We couldn't believe it - especially since the CATS had a home game. I was almost late because I was over at Rupp Arena trying to catch a glimpse of Coach Cal. I didn't see him, but maybe next time! By the way, in case you didn't hear, the CATS won that night!

I better scoot. We returned home from Perryville last night and leaving again this evening for a school visit tomorrow. Destination: Glasgow! I will tell you all about Perryville and Glasgow soon. I will also tell you about the fun day we had in Somerset on Saturday!

Have a great day! Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Looking for Woody

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! It's Chloe! If you are following the story Dog Gone Wild, you will know my brother is lost and the family is looking for him. We asked our faithful readers to give us ideas on where we should look for Woody. Here were responses from our faithful readers in Mrs. Lentz's Class at Holiday Elementay in Hopkinsville:

To find Woody, I would suggest to Chloe to look under all of the bushes in the woods and look at the tree trunks on the ground. Emily

To find Woody, I would suggest to Chloe to look everywhere she thinks he would be and maybe call for Woody and see if he would answer and listen for where his voice is coming from. Mary Catherine

To find Woody I would suggest to Chloe to go by bushes and listen for Woody crying or playing his harmonica. Dominique

To find Woody I would suggest to Chloe to use her cell phone for like a GPS if she has one on it. Or she could use voice microphone that you can use if you are a director (like “Cut!”). Lataviya

That she should keep yelling his name until she finds him, or to try recalling the office when they open. Logan

Maybe if she had GPS on her phone she might be able to find him. Kirsten

Blow the whistle very loud! Donnie

Look under bushes and call his name.

Look under the bushes next to the fishing sign with his harmonica. Cameron

Look at the fishing pond and listen for his harmonica. Emma

Go into the woods and be brave. Keiona

I would go back to where they went fishing and see if there was any paw prints and put Chloe’s foot on the right one and follow them. Hunter

Listen for Woody’s harmonica. Ryoya

Look for little doggy footprints and follow that trail. Kaci

Look for muddy footprints and to look in the driest areas. Emily

Listen to his harmonica and follow the noise. Hayden

Go down by the lake or where it is wet. Steven

Use her camp map to look at all the places and also at the Daniel Boone camp and look at all the trees and see if he’s behind one. Jakoyia

She should look at the bushes where Woody lost his instrument and look in the bushes close to that spot. Koby

Hey Chloe, I think you should look for Woody in bushes and caves because he might be sleeping in them. Also you should look by the location where he lost his harmonica. Michaela

Chloe could back track where she and Woody were earlier in the day. Chloe could find Woody when he plays his harmonica. Derik

I would tell her to look under every single bush and tree. B.J.

I would tell her that she could make smoke signals so Woody could see it, and to look by rivers because Woody might be there to get water. Faith

I would tell Chloe to think about what Woody might do, see, say and look at the clues around you to find Woody. Talaisia

If I could talk to Chloe, I would tell her to don’t worry and keep looking. She could look for Woody where he lost his harmonica. Josiah

One place she should look is the Daniel Boone Campground Office in case Woody went there looking for help. Another place is the lake in case Woody went there looking for Ranger Ralph. Katie

Chloe, look under bushes, trees, anything a wiener dog could or would hide. Blow your whistle and see if he hears you. Good luck! Claire

If I had to give Chloe advice to where to look for Woody, I would say to look under trees where rain doesn’t get. Jaxon

Chloe, you should look for Woody in a cave. That’s where I saw him last! Good luck! Annie

Chloe should look by the lake because Woody lost his harmonica while he was fishing. Makenzie

Chloe you need to look where Woody could eat something. For example, a berry bush. Also, look where you think Woody would make himself comfortable/relaxed. Look where Woody would get in trouble. P.s. I know me, and I know Woody! Ka’Tyvin

You could look around the lake or somewhere that Woody would eat. Brittney

Woody could be at the river and in bushes and look where he could get in trouble. Cody

Chloe could find Woody in a bush, or along the trail walking-alone. Chloe also can find him in the river or by the river. Karson

Hey Chloe, maybe you should look in the usual places he might be in. And maybe look in the unusual spots. Hope this helps! Madison

I would go on top of the tallest tree that you can find and yell out and see if you can see him. Wade

Hi Chloe. It’s one of Woody’s dearest friends. Maybe try looking in a cave or at the lake try looking for clues. Dylan

Well, Chloe, if I were you, I would check every cave in the area. Then I would check all around the area because I don’t think he’d go very far. Jack

I would tell her to think like him. McCaela

Chloe could look for him in bushes, trees, or even caves. Think like Woody and go where he would go. Kiara

These are all great answers! Dylan - that is so nice of you to be one of Woody's dearest friends! All of the suggestions are so helpful! Therefore, I better hop to it and get going to find my brother! Stay tuned to find out how the search goes!

Keep the faith and in the words of Woody, "Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!"


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Predictions for Chapter 8

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! It's Chloe! I am writing in Woody's diary for him. He can't come to the computer at the moment! We hope you are enjoying Dog Gone Wild. At the end of Chapter 7, Woody heard rustling in the woods. We asked our readers what they thought would happen next. Here are answers from our faithful readers in Mrs. Lentz's Class at Holiday Elementary:

I think Woody’s family has discovered that they couldn’t see him in the tent, so they went looking for him in the woods. Jakoyia

I think it’s his mom and dad getting closer. He just does not know it because it’s raining. Hunter

I think Ranger Ralph will come with Woody’s family and that’s what I think was rustling in the woods. Emma

I think Chloe and Woody’s parents are rustling around in the woods. Brandyn

I think Ranger Ralph is coming and Woody will say that I need help. Help! Help!! I need help please help! Keiona

I think that Woody hears a bear, or a cute chipmunk rustling in the woods and it might pop out and starting singing “I lost my meatball, toooo!”. Cameron

I think Woody hears his dad or a bear rustling in the woods. Donnie

I think what is coming closer and closer is Woody’s mom and dad, and Chloe. I think Woody wants to be safe and calm on the way home. Jessie

I think what will happen next is maybe a wild animal is coming up behind him. Kaci

I think an animal came and gave him food. Ryoya

At the end of the story I think Chloe or Ranger Ralph is coming. Hayden

I think Woody’s family or Ranger Ralf are coming to rescue him next. Emily W.

I think what will happen next is Chloe will pop out on him and scare him and then Chloe and he will get lost. Emily H.

I think it will be his sister and his dad wrestling in the woods after hearing Woody singing. Sydney

I think the rustling in the woods can be Woody’s mom and dad and Chloe coming to rescue him. A.J.

I think that the rustling in the woods are his family coming closer and closer. Koby

Another dog like Woody will come out walking in the woods whistling and start talking to Woody. Mary Catherine

I think the rustling in the woods are Woody’s mom, dad, and Chloe searching for him. Dominique

I think that Woody hears his mom, Dad and Chloe. Then I think Woody will get in trouble but he will be safe in the tent. Logan

I think the reason why Woody hears rustling is because there could be another dog coming to see if he needs help. Lataviya

I think it is Ranger Ralph coming through the woods. I think this because I think Woody’s parents sent him to find Woody. Hannah

I think it will be Chloe, mom and dad rustling in the woods and they will save Woody. Kirsten

I think that Woody hears a bear then the bear wants to eat him. After all he is a “wiener” dog! Katie

His parents and Chloe will come and rescue him. Claire

I think it might be the Ranger Ralph, but that’s not going to help much. Annie

Chloe and Woody’s parent out. Faith

I think Woody will get brave and stand up for himself. Stay strong, Woody! B.J.

One thing it could e is a wild animal. Secondly, it could be his family or Ranger Ralph. Derik

Woody was probably just getting scared and no one is there because it happens to me all the time when I am alone. Josiah

It will probably be his parents and Chloe. Talaisia

Someone comes looking for him. They find him because he is singing. Dylan

Either his parents will find him or the Ranger will help him. Jack

I think that he will find Chloe. Wade

I think it will be Chloe, mom and dad trying to find him or someone that works there. McCaela

What I think will happen next is Ranger Ralph will find Woody in the bushes singing. Kiara

I think that it’s a big bear. Or a raccoon. Or a squirrel. Or Chloe. Or a snake. Who knows? Madison

I think it is Chloe or maybe it is a snake, or a bear, or the park ranger or his parents. Karson

I think it is Chloe, Park Ranger Ralph, a bear, a snake or his parents. Cody

I think it is Chloe. Also, I think it could be a snake, or even a bear, or his parents. The world will never know until the next chapter! Katyvin

A bear will come out and eat his leg off. Jaxon

I think that the family will come looking for him and will take him home and it stops raining so they sit around the campfire and sing songs. Anneshia

I think that a bear cub is walking out from a blueberry bush to share some berries with Woody. Michaela

Mrs. Lentz and her wonderful two reading classes!

Whew! Just reading those answers gave me goosebumps - scary, scary goosebumps - especially the comment about a bear eating my brother's leg off! I hope I don't dream about snakes, bears, or raccoons!

Thanks for reading the story! Keep in touch and in the words of my brother, Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!


TAILS from Arnett Elementary

Kentucky Greetings, WoodyWatchers! We hope this finds you having a great day! We spent so much time at outside today! The weather was gorgeous! We didn't need our coats, rainboots, gloves, scarves, or anything. PURR-fect - as our sister Dolly the Cat says!

Last week, we spent the day and evening at Arnett Elementary. Arnett is in Northern KY - Erlanger to be exact. We were at Arnett several years ago and it was so much fun to go back and see our friends! During the day, Dad took hundreds of photos. We thought we would show you a few! You know what they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Well here are six thousand words for you!

Our day at Arnett was terrific! We laughed and barked and played - and of course we studied too!

I better scoot. It is 6:35 and that means time for a bath and then a bedtime snack! I think tonight's snack is some PUPcorn!

Have a great week, enjoy the weather, and Work and Dream like a BIG DOG!