The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Safari at the Zoo

From the Rainforest Café, we headed straight to the San Antonio Zoo. Parking was at a premium due to a bunch of ball games going on right next to the Zoo parking lot.


The San Antonio Zoo has a lot of more natural looking enclosures rather than cages but it does seem like some of them are kind of small for the animals they hold.

We started our in the Bear Corner. This is a Sun Bear and he sure was enjoying the sunshine. He was very relaxed.

The glass window behind the kids made it a little harder to get good pictures.

The Clouded Leopard had some really neat markings.

The Caracal has really long pointed ears that stand straight up.

If you are on a safari, you definitely don't want to miss Africa Live.

Can you see the hippos in the water?

Some of the fish were swimming in and out of their mouths when they opened them.

Only the heads were occasionally out of the water.

This big guy just sat there in the sun with his mouth open the whole time we were there.

These guys were much smaller but still plenty dangerous.

This is a really unique animal which looked like a cross between a zebra, a giraffe, and something else.

I can't remember what was in this window but it held everyone's attention.,

The elephant at the zoo is very old with worn out teeth so her food has to be ground up. I felt bad for her all alone. Last time we were at the zoo, there were two elephants.

The giraffes looked a lot happier.

And there is a new baby in town.

This guy looked really bored. He really needed more room to run.

I think these guys could get pretty aggressive in the wild with those sharp tusks.

The lions put on quite a show for us. Here is Dad slumbering away.

He came over to check on the kids.

And then he and Mom were getting it on. Have to say she looked really bored. He bit her to get her attention.

One of the kangaroos was really relaxing.

We were pretty close to the porcupines and those quills were really sharp.

After a busy day, we all gathered at my son and daughter-in-law's for dinner and the birthday cake. Morgan wanted a "King cake" for her birthday which is kind of unique but it was really good.

Here is the smiling birthday girl in her birthday hat.

We usually have family birthday parties here with the kids getting to choose what they would like to do on their "day" then they have parties with their school friends in Brownwood. Morgan's great uncle Jim was here visiting this weekend so he got to try "King cake" with her.

Happy Birthday are growing up way too quickly.

Wildlife in the Rainforest

It's been a couple weeks since I last posted because it was just hard to get in the mood. Those who have lost one of their furbabies will understand. Thanks so much for all the kind comments on the blog and Facebook. Gretchen will always be in our hearts. Willy and Harley both were a little lost too but are doing better now.

This is a busy month for birthdays in our family. We always celebrate them with the grandkids on the weekend they are here in San Antonio that is closest to the event. So we celebrated Morgan's 10th birthday on the third weekend in January. First up on the agenda was a trip to the Rainforest Café, a place she has wanted to visit for a while.

We tried to take them once before but the waiting time was just ridiculous. This time we arrived right at 1100 when they open. Our only wait was the time it took them to get it together at the hostess desk. Then we were ushered upstairs to the second floor. The first floor is a bar and gift shop and the two floors above are for dining. We tried to pin the kids down long enough to get the food ordered and then let them explore which is encouraged. This big guy was just a couple tables away from us.

There is jungle music playing and every few minutes the animals get very animated.

I'm not sure that Steve realized this snake was swaying just above his head.

Here we are chest pounding and vocals going on.

The elephants really roar.

Morgan was working on the booklet they gave each of the kids.....gave them lots of word games as well as a checklist of animals to find in the restaurant.

Steve got pretty interested in Cameron's booklet. He is a hands on Dad.

It was a really interesting experience. The food was pretty good. The prices for the kids were decent and included drinks. Our food was a little more expensive but was pretty good. Next animals!

Princess Gretchen Has Gone to the Rainbow Bridge

Sunday, January 3rd, was a terrible day for us. We had to say goodbye to our beautiful little dachshund princess Gretchen. She had one of those terrible accidents that you could never anticipate or even imagine happening. Diving off the patio to play, she dove right into a rod that used to hold a garden ornament and it went nearly through her. I hugged her in my arms until I had to let her go as much as it hurt to do so.
We met Gretchen when she was five weeks old and she came home with us in our motorhome when she was only 6 weeks old.

She came to live with us and two other female dachshunds. Dave thought they could teach her the ropes. Good thing they didn't have many bad habits as that is what they chose to teach her.

A little later in life, Willy came along and became her brother. Eventually, it was Willy and Gretchen and then Harley came along. Gretchen got over being shy when she had two brothers who were more than willing to hog the limelight. She learned to step right up to get hugs and pets before the boys got them all.  She loved to travel.

And had no trouble making any spot her own.

She could slip from being Mama's girl to Daddy's girl at a moments notice.

She was such a beautiful little princess  "Princess Pooky" to her family and friends.

She was always ready to share a secret or console someone who needed an extra hug.
 She was always up for a trip by car, truck, or RV.

Such a sweet girl........

She and Harley loved to cuddle and share some sunshine.

She was ready for whatever action came her way.

She had her Daddy wrapped around her little paw.

And her mama too. Nothing going on here Mom.

She will always travel along in our hearts and, even though they are broken for losing her right now, hopefully they will mend in time but she will never be forgotten.

We love you little girl. Heal and play while you wait for us by the Rainbow Bridge with Fritz, Ginger, Heidi, and your brother Owen. We will be along to join you further down the road.

Rest in Peace
Gretchen Phipps
16 April 2003 to 3 January 2016