cuteness


Uno on doggie treadmill

It is very important that you know that Uno the beagle — who has won the hearts and minds of Americans with his message of hope and cuteness — is from SOUTH CAROLINA. Well, he is not really *from* South Carolina, but he lives there now. Shout out to my mom for cluing me in.

He hails from Columbia, Mo., which is also an awesome place (mystically linked to Columbia, SC, by name, affection and ladybug sisters). Uno now lives and trains in Lugoff, South Carolina.

And what does Uno do there in Lugoff, you wonder? Well, he works on his excellent physique. The State newspaper reports that Uno eats two cups of Purina Pro Plan a day and practices in a faux dog-show ring in his trainer’s backyard. He also spends 15 minutes a day on a jog-a-dog, a doggie treadmill, “to keep his muscle tone nice and hard and to keep him in great shape.”

If you are weary of walking your dog and would like a little doggie treadmill of your own, you can purchase one here for the low price of $1,000 to $3,000.

But here is the best morsel from the article in The State: Uno loves to play on a Little Tykes Playground set! He jumps through the holes, slides down the slide, and lies on top to bathe in the sun. This is why we love him: he is one of us.

Now to find a video of Uno on the slide…

Here are some delicious kittehs to send sweet Valentinicious greetings your way. Thanks to me lil’ sister for sharing this with me.

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moar humorous pics

Enough about politics. Let’s talk about puppies — yeaaaa! Uno the Beagle won the Westminster dog show last night! And  it’s no wonder, what with him being so ridiculously cute. He is the first beagle to win Best in Show. Way to go, Uno. You are uniting people and pooches, beagles and all breeds with your message of hope. And if you are met with cynicism and doubt and folks who tell you that you can’t, you will respond with those three simple words that sum up the spirit of dogs: ruff! bark! pant!

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The BIG news in my family this year is something very tiny: a new baby boy! My sister gave birth to this little guy, James Michael, on Saturday. He is the first grandchild and everyone is bursting with excitement.

He was 6 pounds 2 ounces and 18 inches at birth. He has big hands and feet — like a puppy! — so we think he will grow up to be a basketball player/swimmer/piano player, depending on who is talking about him.

I am headed westward for Christmas, so it was going to be mid-January before I had a chance to spend any time with the babe. I couldn’t wait that long to see him or his parents, so Ned and I took a day off work Tuesday to bring love and food to the new family. [Note: I would like to personally thank the farm bill for getting itself passed in the Senate last week, thereby making a day off work possible. God bless you, United States Senate.]

Ned and I spent about 9 hours in the car (so much for our carbon footprint) and 3 hours with little James. It was totally worth it. He is so sweet and tiny and … helpless. Heart-melting. My sister and her husband are great parents already.

I have never met a baby so closely related to me before, and it was surprising that even at such a tiny age, he looked familiar.

I must also note the excellent timing of the baby’s arrival (besides waiting until after the farm bill, way to go, Jimbo). Friday was my sister’s last day at school (baby was due on the 18th). She loves teaching and loves her students, so she wanted to stay with them as long as possible. Her labor actually started during school on Friday, but she taught the whole day and even went to the staff Christmas party after school (admittedly, she wasn’t sure she was in labor at that point; she just thought she felt weird).

**Can we just pause here for a moment to think about how awesome my sister is? Thank you. While we’re at it, I would like to salute all mothers. Thank you for your pains.**

Back to the story: it was at the party that she actually figured out what was going on and left abruptly. After a long and painful night, baby was born on the 15th, which is also my parents’ anniversary. Happy anniversary — a grandson! My parents are currently en-route to N.J. (via DC — yea!) to spend Christmas with the babe. I wish I could be there too — I know my dad is just going to be eating up the cuteness of this little guy.

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The Barney cam is up! (It has been up all day, I assume, but I am just getting around to it, as I have been engaged with the farm bill, which has entered my life again in our ongoing tumultuous relationship.)

In this year’s annual holiday video, Barney and Miss Beazley go on a quest to become Junior Park Rangers. It is fairly cute, especially the scenes where the pups dash through the corridors of the White House on their adorable stubby legs. But, hellooooo, where is the White House Prop Team? What is the point of becoming a Junior Park Ranger if there is no hat? Nary even a badge!? This is a stunning oversight and, indeed, an incredible disappointment. Just imagine, if you will, the cuteness of the pups beneath a cap like the one pictured below –now, that would be good theater!

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Here witness our favorite residents of the White House, Barney and Miss Beazley, playing in the snow last week. The amazing thing is there is an almost prophetic drawing of them playing in the snow — JUST LIKE THIS — at the end of this year’s Christmas decorations booklet.

But what I am really here to tell you is the following exciting news. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 12th, Barney and Miss Beazley will both be named honorary park rangers. I think it is going to be in Barney’s annual Christmas vid — I can’t wait. I really, really hope the White House does not miss this opportunity to put these two precious creatures in ranger hats.

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Following up on yesterday’s series on the holiday decor of the White House and the well-trained (interview) rescue dogs therein , I would just like to provide a wee bit more evidence, for your viewing pleasure, on the cuteness of a certain Miss Beazley. She’s a uniter, not a divider.

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