Aug 312013

Phoenix Closeup

This is dedicated to my friend Sarah for her birthday. No, not Zachary’s Sarah. A different one. Keep up, will ya? Oh, I write all of my music to a song on a loop and to one person. The person is obviously Sarah for her birthday and the song is Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds”…the only song of his that I absolutely love. Sorry Dad.

I went through the Academy with her husband, Wade, 24 years ago. Life has an amazing way of circling back around. It’s called serendipity. My next post will share about that. It’s good stuff! But, she absolutely loves Phoenix. And anyone who takes a keen, genuine interest in Phoenix will spin my head around any second of any day. She wanted a birthday post. It happened by accident. Again, serendipity….which has been my lifelong word I’ve carried forever from my long since passed mother that she passed onto me.

My new, very expensive,Canon macro lens arrived the other day. I bought it for food photography. I was absolutely going crazy to try it out tonight. Little did I know what trouble lurked. And it was all my fault.

Like an obnoxious child (that I can often be)  went tip-toe’ing into the other room and got down on the floor and set my position. Then I woke up Phoenix. *FLASH*!!

Phoenix, moaning with a low growl deep within him at me, calmly said, “You have two options. The first option, you have three seconds to get that out of my face. Your second option, press the button a second time that makes that bright flash go off in my face at 5 o’clock in morning. Choose wisely.”

I stared at him through the camera view finder. Contemplating. For those who know me. If there is a class on Go Against The Grain 101 I’m the first to sign up. Path of most resistance. I pressed the shutter button again. Huge mistake….

Phoenix calmly, “You chose poorly.”

72 pounds of Golden Retriever lurched up and lunged at me. He was not happy. I covered the brand new lens front for dear life with my right hand and ducked. I heard a growl and ZIPPPP off of the top of my head. He stole my ball cap! AGAIN!!

If you’ve followed me that is his grand prize in this lifetime. He loathes my ball caps. I’ve never figured out why to this day despite every dog “psychologist” (friends) input. I do not wear them to upset him. I just like my ball caps and for 10 years I refuse to give them up. Best answer – it’s his way to get me to come out and play with him.

He snatched it, leaped over me and went flying out into the backyard with his prized position. I had to stop and think. Very expensive camera equipment vs ball cap. Ok, camera. So I quickly got the lens cap and secured it on and set the camera down safely on the counter. I wanted my ball cap back.

I went bolting to the open sliding glass door and flipped on the porch light with no consideration for my neighbors. Phoenix was flipping the ball cap up in the air, moaning and growling.

We made eye contact and we sneered and glared at each other. A stare down.

Me quietly, through gritted teeth, “You’re mine….I want my ball cap.”
Phoenix, “I warned you. Bring it.”

I clenched my jaw and through gritted teeth said quietly, “Phoenix, C’MER!”
He placed my ball cap at his feet. Slapped his front paws repeatedly, his hiney in the air, tail waggin’ a mile a minute and then…


I freaked out. I’m always very cognizant to be very quiet. I had, had it now, and through a clenched jaw, I attempted to quietly say, “Phoenix, NO!!!”
Him, quietly, “Oooooo….did that bark tweak you? It’s all fun and games until the dog has the upper hand, isn’t it?”


Him, “How about…??”…..and he BARKED AGAIN!!! I hate him!

I was done with negotiations. I charged. Just what he wanted. It was like a video game in slow motion. Which way will the opponent move? He stayed put until the last second. It would be on ESPN’s highlight reel of best snags ever by a Daddy! I leapt to his left with overwhelming confidence. He dodged to his right at the last second with the ball cap securely in his mouth.

I ate lawn.

After a couple of minutes I gave up and just laid down on the lawn on my back staring up at the…hey, I see stars! No, for real, no smoke from the Rim Fire for at least for a bit!

Phoenix came trotting over and set the ball cap on my chest, “Say you’re sorry.”
Me, “I’m sorry.”

Life of an insomniac…

Happy Birthday, Sarah!


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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  42 Responses to “Phoenix, My Golden Retriever, Stealing My Ball Cap Again”

  1. HAHAHAHAHA Phoenix 111….Mike 0. Sorry my friend, but it sounds so fun and you did get to enjoy the stars! ROTF Thank you Mike, you are a dear and what a wonderful birthday gift! But I will admit the diamond stud eating rings from Wade take first place!! LOL xox now get some sleep my friend!

    • I think that means you’re welcome, Sarah.

      Phoenix to me, “Diamond earrings?!
      Me, “Oh, don’t you even start….”

  2. LOL! Funny stuff Mikey and Phoenix!
    Love to hear when you guys do battle!

  3. Happy birthday Sarah. Great story Mike. I am glad you let him win, thats very nice of you. He’ll appreciate it later.

  4. hahaha Brilliant!! You need to admit it, you deserved it 🙂

  5. Ahh, a little playful chase is good, except for the barking in the wee hours of the night. Oh well, it happens. What’s a few barks? I love how Phoenix steals your baseball caps! Sadly all my pet does is demand food and sleep, the life of a cat. But I guess you wouldn’t mind the sleeping part!

    Isn’t it wonderful that after 2 weeks you can see stars!?! The little things.

    Though I don’t know you, happy birthday Sarah!

    • The sleeping part would be/is very appealling, Jennifer! Yes, it was wonderful to see the stars if even only for a little bit. I liked what you said re: little things 🙂

  6. I love your writing style, this was definitely a very interesting read. I am glad you commented on my blog I am excited to start reading your posts!

  7. Frankly, I don’t blame Phoenix, if someone flashed a camera at me when I was sound asleep I’d do a lot more than steal a hat! :o)

  8. Phoenix, I would like to commend you on your restraint! If someone was flashed a camera at me in the middle of the night, that someone would be trying to fish said ball cap out of a major orifice for the next several hours, not looking at the stars!

    • Phoenix isn’t logged on right now at home apparently or he would have no doubt responded to you personally, Kelli! But, you made me LAUGH so hard! Ok….so the stunt was a precarious one on my part 🙂

  9. **Me quietly, through gritted teeth, “You’re mine….I want my ball cap.”
    Phoenix, “I warned you. Bring it.”**

    Hilarious. I dig that dog 🙂 Xx

  10. Well done, Phoenix!

  11. Did the lawn taste good?
    5 in the morning and I’d steal the hat and bury it.

    • Ha, ha Connie! Yes, it was refreshing blast of green grass! I got what I deserved with him, I always do 🙂

  12. Thank you all for the extra birthday wishes! And again I thank you Mike for your writing and humor and the love you share with Phoenix!! Such a wonderful thing you have between you and your skill my friend!! xox <3

    • You are most definitely welcome and we love that we can bring a smile to a few faces here and there, Sarah 🙂

  13. Ha! I’m smiling away picturing this altercation with Phoenix. Too funny, he knows how important that hat is to you 🙂

    • Lisa, yes does know on the hat! We have so much fun. And I truly do try to avoid him getting it. But, I always drop my guard because I’m loving on him all the time and BAM! ….he’s got it 🙂

  14. A fun story, Mike! Enjoyed it. Poor Phoenix. How many more flashes will wake him up… 🙂
    Happy belated birthday, Sarah!

    • I’m sure I will do that again because of our late hours. I take photos of him all the time. I only get a brief, short window of life with him. But, next flash photo will be a safer distance! 🙂

  15. I fall more in love with Phoenix every time I read about him. Your stories make me miss my childhood dog, Brandon (named after the Golden on “Punky Brewster” – you know, the ’80s show)! Anyway, I never tire of your Phoenix stories, and I can’t wait until my husband and I buy a house so that we can invest in another Golden (or two) so that they have lots of room to run and play. Have you ever thought that maybe Phoenix just doesn’t like you wearing ball caps in the house…?? 😉

    • What an awesome comment and thank you for the compliment, Dana! I absolutely remember Brandon from Punky Brewster! Wow, what a blast from the past. Thank you for sharing with me about your childhood memory your own Brandon. That will be awesome when you two finally get your Golden(s) of your very own. Thank you again 🙂

  16. love it! but I found myself reading so fast. I was afraid that Lucy the cat would get some ideas from Phoenix – she is getting mighty tired of me always snatching her picture!

    • That is funny that Lucy gets annoyed too, Hilary! Sometimes they say enough is enough, don’t they? ha, ha 🙂

  17. Your insomniac activities are more dramatic and exciting than mine. Well done, Mike. Well done, Phoenix.

  18. haha Phoenix is priceless, so cute. Yes dogs love to play 🙂
    Happy belated birthday to Sarah

    • Hi Freya, he is always full of play and being mischievous! 🙂 Thank you for the wishes to my FB friend Sarah.

  19. That Phoenix is one smart cookie!
    Glad you were able to protect your new lens, Mike.

    • As the photography has become more frequent with him with the new camera I’ve gotten pretty good at being careful, Marcia! (knock on wood) 🙂

  20. Can’t wait to see pictures of food!

  21. I can just imagine him playing Keep Away with you. I wish we had a video!

    • Me too on the video, Chris! One of these days I’ll figure out something that can’t get knocked over.

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