Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wrapping up 2016 - Hey! That's funny!

After celebrating Thanksgiving, Mommy and Daddy took a mini-break to Las Vegas.  The trip was planned and paid for well before we found out Mommy needed surgery, so they were determined to make it no matter what.  I think they used it as motivation for Mommy's recovery.

Even though she wasn't 100 percent, they went and had a marvelous time making some new memories.  Taking it a little easy and a few extra naps is good for everyone, right?  Some of their highlights were:  eating at fancy restaurant called "Prime" overlooking the famous Bellagio fountains.  They sat at George Clooney's favorite table!  He often ate there while filming "Ocean's 11."
While at the Venetian, they went on a relaxing gondola ride and saw a fantastic show called, "Human Nature Holiday."  The group did a wide variety of music from motown, the crooners to modern Bruno Mars', "Uptown Funk."  Yes, the audience did dance!

The room they stayed in had a fabulous view of the fountains and the Vegas strip skyline.  Daddy could have stared out the window for hours.

While the people were in Vegas, Ringo and I went to see our friend, Jennifer.  We had a great time. we played and slept with our human friends at night.  During the day, we played with our furry friends. We love going there!  One Sunday, Mommy and Daddy were asked to do the reading at church.  Daddy did part of it and Mommy did a part, too.  A couple of verses really spoke to her and went like this: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf, unstopped.  Then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy."  People said they did a good job.
On December 14 we had a Donate Life Holiday Lunch.  It was very nice with lots of delicious treats. The Donate Life group said it was to thank them for all their hard work this year.  It is a cause very close to our hearts.

I can't believe Ringo's birthday will be on December 22nd!  He has been with us almost 2.5 years! Wow!  He has added a lot of interesting fun and excitement to our family, you never know what to expect!
Book orders have slowed down slightly before the holidays, but that is normal.  We went to Washington State, New York, Texas, Kansas and Australia!

A couple more dates have been added to our calendar.  February 4th we have a community outreach and April 8 is our Donate Life Ambassador Recognition Brunch.

Soon it will be Christmas.  We are slowly getting ready for the holiday, even though the weather has not been accommodating.  23 below last weekend!  We hope everyone has a happy and joyful holiday season.  We send love and happiness to all of you.  Thank you for your support.  We appreciate it!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Monday, November 21, 2016

We're Back

The last time we wrote, the weather was in the mid-60's.  Wake up call for us - yesterday it didn't get above freezing all day.  We have definitely turned the corner towards winter!  I do like this time of year - my Frisbee flies nicely (when the wind isn't gusting) and there are great smells in the air.

Many of you know Mommy had surgery a few weeks ago.  She is recovering well, just a couple set backs.  That is normal for Mommy because Daddy says she pushes herself too hard.  Mommy said we were the best nurse pups ever and we really took good care of her.  When Mommy was being wheeled to the recovery room, a funny thing happened.  The surgeon told her the surgery had gone smoothly.  Mommy was still a bit sedated and responded, "Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy?"  The nurse laughed.  The surgeon chuckled, saying, "or Jif if you prefer."  We don't think he got the Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" reference, but that's all right.

Ringo and I are feeling great.  We get our playtime especially on weekends when we can play longer at lunch.  We also have plenty of snuggle time in a nice cozy house.

If you live in America, you've probably heard about the election.  Ringo thinks I should run for President next time.  A few people have agreed with him, so I will consider throwing my hat in the ring in 2020.  I wore one of Daddy's ties to see if I could pull off the diplomatic look and I think it works.  It's my power tie and it gives me power!

The last couple weeks, our book orders have really picked up.  That makes us both happy and excited!  We like helping others understand different subjects.

We have started adding a few dates to our calendar, but we always have room for more.  So far, we have a Donate Life event in December, a children's program/family picnic on January 6th, another children's program in mid January and one more children's program in June.  We tentatively have a school event scheduled in May, but no final date yet.  Yes, we are booking that far out!  Please keep us in mind, if you ever need a program or speaker.  We do both children and adults!

This is a busy holiday season - we really didn't celebrate Halloween because of the surgery.  We always recognize Veteran's Day in honor of Daddy, and the other service people.  It will be Thanksgiving in a couple of days.  I like that holiday, it smells so good!  In another month, it will be Christmas - WOW!  Oh, that's right, little bro, Ringo's birthday is on December 22nd.  He will be 3!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Thursday, October 13, 2016

It's Hard When You Realize Life Isn't Fair

Recently I wrote about making lemon Meringue Pie out of life’s lemons.  Well, I’ve got another old saying for you.  The past is the past, the future isn’t guaranteed so live for today because it is a gift.  That is why they call it “the present.”

During this truly magnificent season, that is exactly what we have been doing.  Filling our days with activities, both inside and out has been a real gift.  Ringo is mastering the art of fetch with his ball.  He has watched me enough now to know… you have to bring the ball back to Daddy!  What a fun game!  We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, fun time with friends and a couple of play dates with Jennifer.

Mommy and Daddy took a nice relaxing trip up “North” (I don’t know where that is), to ride the 100 year old carousel, saw a great concert, celebrated Hmong New Year as VIP guests,  taken many walks, and done some household projects including landscaping.  I think it looks great, too!  We have made some wonderful memories we will always cherish.

This all leads to the title of this blog.  Life isn’t fair.  I learned this a few years ago.  I saw my brother, Rudy, living with kidney disease and then going to Heaven when he was way too young.  Around that same time, Mommy had some tough surgeries for something called cancer.  I heard that she has had other big surgeries called transplants before I was born.  It sounds like a lot and well, not fair.  When is enough, enough?

Little brother, Ringo, joined our family in July, 2014.  Since then, he has seen Mommy break her foot, be hospitalized for an obstruction, learned that her pancreas transplant no longer works and get Shingles.  He also witnessed Daddy rupturing his bicep and having surgery.  That seems like a lot and is a bit overwhelming for a little guy.  Recently, Mommy got some more tough news.  She needs surgery on October 25th and … it’s hard to say, kidney function took a hit.  Ringo doesn’t understand why.  Frankly, I don’t know what to tell him.  Life isn’t fair and sometimes you just have to play the cards you are dealt.  (No more clich├ęs, I promise!)

Even though we have had some tough news, we will keep enjoying this fabulous season and make incredible memories.  We will thoroughly enjoy the time we have and pray things remain stable.  We will love, laugh, dance and play.  We won’t waste a moment because each day is a gift.

I will try to keep you posted, but Ringo and I will be Mommy’s nurse pups – for a while.  Mommy also helps me write.  Until next time….

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Thursday, September 15, 2016

When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Meringue Pie!

I'm sure you have heard the old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  Well, our family has been given its share of lemons.  In fact, I think we have our own lemon tree!  We have tried to make lemonade every time.  Sometimes it's sweet, but once in a while it can be a bit sour!  For the most part, we are a positive family, finding positivity in everything can be be rather challenging!

Earlier this summer, I wrote about how Mommy had been hospitalized.  She lost a bunch of weight and all of her strength.  Before this set back, Mommy and Daddy used to walk along a great walking trail that went around the perimeter of our neighborhood...  When Mommy lost her strength, they couldn't even make it to the end of our block which was only two houses away.

Following the nice walking trail was no longer an option.  Walking has always been an important part of our plan to stay healthy.  So, what did Mommy and Daddy decide to do with our lemons?  The decided to take walks in front of our house, and gradually work their way down the block.  They stayed on our street, in case Mommy got tired.  As the summer went on, she got stronger.  Not only did she gain strength, but Mommy and Daddy started meeting all the neighbors!  It started out as waves, increased to saying, "Hello" and then...  people started coming down their driveways and introduced themselves!  Now we know just about everyone on our street!  We have a very nice, diverse group of neighbors!

Our family had lived on this street for several years and only knew the families on either side of us and the people across the street!

This outcome was more than just a glass of sweet lemonade - it was a big piece of lemon meringue pie!  Moral of the story, when life gives you lemons, make something out of them... and be creative!

Other news from our little world... we have a new page on our website.  It talks about Mommy's experience with Donate Life and the importance of organ donation.  Here is a link, so you can check it out.  Our books have gone to Canada twice and a few other cities in the U.S..  We are always grateful for our supporters.

Ringo and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing outside.  We hope for a nice long autumn season, but know snow is inevitable!

We  are currently booking programs for the Fall and Winter - we already have one planned in January.  That seems so far away, but it will be here before you know it!  Time goes by very quickly, so we can't waste it. Once it's gone, you can't get it back, so make memories now!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Boomer's Birthday and Our Young Friend, Logan

I celebrated my seventh birthday earlier this month.  It was a great day with lots of singing, dancing, a new Frisbee and a birthday treat!

My new Frisbee has a hole in the center.  I let my little bro, "Ringo" play with it because he loves it. He sticks his nose in the center and runs around.  The problem is... the Frisbee covers his eyes!  It's very funny and it doesn't seem to bother him at all.

Mommy talked to a group of nurses for their new hire orientation/training about the importance of organ donation.  The coordinator thought she did a good job.  She kept it short and sweet because they were running late, but it was still very impactful.  Since it has been a slow month for Rudy's Little World, we have had time to enjoy the weather.

Mommy and Daddy took a nice boat ride on the St. Croix River.  It was a beautiful sunny day!

We also worked on a landscaping project in the front yard.  We have been putting it off until everyone was healthy and strong because it is hard work!  I think Mommy and Daddy did a wonderful job - with a little help from a nice young boy named Logan.  He came over and asked if they needed some help.  His help saved them at least a half day of time!  He ran back and forth for Daddy and lifted rocks and took care of garbage.  He was GREAT!  We can't thank him enough for his kind offer to help.

Boomer, the Mellow Yellow Lab

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fireworks, Birthdays, Vacations.... Oh my!

Weather, storms, sun, hot, humid...  Such is the month of July.

As with many people and puppies, we celebrated the Fourth of July.  Mommy and Daddy went to see the fireworks - Daddy loves them!  Ringo and I stayed home in a quiet, cool house.  We prefer it that way!
The next day was Daddy's birthday.  We love to celebrate that event as much as we can, so we had Birthday Fun Week!  We sang "Happy Birthday" many times and gave him many kisses.  Daddy and Mommy went out to eat a few times and had great fun with loved ones.
So far this month, we have had a few nasty storms!  Lots of rain and wind... and then the heat and humidity!

Mommy and Daddy took a nice little vacation "up North" this year.  They hadn't done that before, so it was a new experience for them!  While they were gone, Ringo and I went to Jennifer's house.  We have such a good time there.  We play and take walks a lot.  I discovered something new and tasty to eat... Kleenex!  I heard it's not good for me, so I can't eat it any more.
Mommy and Daddy had a wonderful time during their getaway.  They walked a lot, ate some delicious food, danced a little and spent one whole day on a boat!  The weather was almost perfect, just a bit of drizzle once and a storm one morning.  The day on the boat was nice and sunny!

While on vacation, Mommy and Daddy celebrated the seventh anniversary of their kidney transplant! In case you didn't know, Daddy gave Mommy one of his kidneys.
We have had to limit our play time outside this week.  It has been too hot and humid to be outside for very long.  It's kind of a bummer because I love to play Frisbee, but it is very dangerous for dogs to be out in this extreme heat.  Dogs don't sweat, so we can get sick very easily.  Make sure your furry friends have a cool place to hang and lots of water to drink!

Rudy's Little World has had a few sales and Mommy will be speaking to a group of nurses in two weeks.

We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are!  In Minnesota, summers are short... much like this final paragraph!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Precious Momentos

I can't believe we are nearing the end of June already!  Time is flying by.  The weather has been typical for the beginning of summer - a little rain followed by a little heat.  Ringo and I have enjoyed our nice green big backyard.  Life is good for us puppies.

Mommy and Daddy celebrated another anniversary.  They are both recovering nicely.  Daddy's arm is getting stronger and healing with his PT (physical therapy). Mommy is regaining some strength after her hospital stays by taking many walks with Daddy and finally getting some of her appetite back.

We celebrated Father's Day by giving Daddy a T-shirt and two of our favorite biscuits!  He is such a great Pup-Daddy, he said we were so good he let us eat the biscuits!  What a guy!

We received some very thoughtful thank you notes from the third graders we visited last month. Those kids are very creative and talented.

Mommy and Daddy were so impressed with the students.
They were attentive and responsive.  When they asked about Rudy, Mommy explained his passing (that's what we say in schools, etc. - at home we say he went to heaven), they showed empathy and shared their stories about losing a loved one.

One young boy asked for Mommy's autograph. So cute!  Another student asked us to come back every year until she was in 17th grade.  She figured we would be dead after that.  It was very sweet.

Mommy and Daddy still talk about the visit and the school has already asked them to return next year!

We hope you can see some of the adorable details in the students' notes!

I hope you are having a great June!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Can We Skip May Next Year?

Even though May has some wonderful qualities like warmer weather and our favorite fragrance of lilacs, it has not been kind to us the last two years.  As you may tell by the lack of activity in our blog, it was quite a month!

You may recall, Daddy had surgery on April 29 to repair his ruptured bicep.  Mommy took good care of him for a few days, but started feeling really sick.  She ended up having to go to the hospital on May 8 and stayed there for 8 whole days.  The doctors figured out she had a nasty virus called Shingles.  Since she is a transplant recipient, it didn't present itself in the normal way.  Mommy felt awful - nauseated, fatigued and in a lot of pain from the bumps all over her body.  She was not able to eat or drink anything, so she was very dehydrated.

Ringo and I tried very hard to take care of Daddy while Mommy was in the hospital.  She ended up having to go back in for a little tune-up because of the horrible medicine that hurt her stomach.

We also had some great fun with 5 health classes at Como Park High School - and delightful 3rd graders at Tanglen Elementary.  Mommy talked about the importance of organ donation to the health classes and she talked about Rudy's Little World and our lives with the elementary kids.  It was great fun, but very exhausting.  I think Mommy pushed herself a bit too hard, but that is Mommy - that is what she does.  She will never miss an opportunity to touch the lives of others.

Daddy's arm is healing, the surgeon did a great job.  It will be a few months before he can play Frisbee with his right hand, and even longer before he can ride his motorcycle.  It will be hard to stay patient with his progress.

Now you know why I would like to skip May next year.  I realize we can't skip the time, but maybe we can call it something else.  Perhaps April part two or the month formally known as May?

I included extra pictures this time, since we haven't written for a while.  Enjoy!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What a Week!

Have you ever noticed when someone asks you, "What's new?" or "What have you been up to lately?" it's hard to answer the question?  You know you've been busy.  Days are filled with activity and weeks start running together.  Once you sit back and think about it, things start to become clearer and you remember all the stuff you've done!

Well, we've had one of those stretches!  Mommy officially graduated from PT.  She will continue on her own and hopefully keep progressing with the nightly walks she takes with Daddy.  It's probably a good thing her PT is over because we found out Daddy's surgery will be on Friday, April 29.  It will fix his ruptured bicep, so he won't be able to use his right arm for a while.  That will be tough because he is right handed.  Ringo and I are going to have a sleep over at our friend, Jennifer's house for the first few days after the surgery.  The doctor said Daddy will have some discomfort, so he will have some "happy" pills to help.  Mommy will also take care of him.  When Ringo and I come home, we will help, too.

Last Friday, Mommy and Daddy went to a concert.  They saw Pat Benatar, Mommy's favorite female singer.  They had a great time.

The next morning, Mommy and Daddy went to a Donate Life Ambassador recognition brunch.  They met a very nice man who was an outstanding keynote speaker and kidney transplant recipient just like Mommy.  His name was Bruce King.  It was a beautiful day, so we spent some time outside when they got home.

We celebrated Rudy's Birthday on Sunday, April 24.  He would have been 12 years old.  We think of him often and really miss him, especially Mommy.  He was such a cool little guy with tons of energy (even more than little bro, Ringo!).  Without Rudy, there would be no Rudy's Little World (or Blog-spot)!

Along with all of the activities I just told you about, we have been doing stuff around the house to prepare for Daddy's surgery.  He has been working on a massive project for school.  We have also filled a few book orders and prepared for an event in May.  So, I guess we have been busy!  Now that I remember all of this, do you think anyone will ask me, "What's new?"

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Injuries, Surgery and Real Shoes, Oh My!

A couple months ago, I hurt Daddy.  I didn't mean to, but it happened.  We were playing tag on a nice sunny day.  Daddy reached out to tag me and I ran right through his arm.  All of a sudden the fun stopped.  Daddy was in pain!  Ringo and I ran over to him.  Ringo jumped up as if to say, "Daddy, Daddy are you okay?"  I looked down because I felt really bad, then looked up with my big brown eyes saying, "I'm so sorry Daddy, I didn't mean to hurt you.  We were playing, right?"  Daddy looked down at us and said, "Come on fellas, let's have dinner.  I'm okay."  His arm was dangling and looked really weird.

The pain was constant and his arm turned black, blue, purple and other colors!  Mommy asked him to go to the doctor many times.  He finally did this week.  He needs surgery!  Daddy has a ruptured bicep.  The doctor wanted him to have surgery next week, but Daddy wasn't ready.  He has a big project at work and wanted to do more research on the procedure.  He and Mommy are going in next week to talk to another doctor and ask questions.  Anybody know a really good orthopedic surgeon? We want this done right the first time.  Daddy will be out of work at least a week, not able to lift any thing for three weeks, weight limits for 4 - 6 months and a cast!  We will have to figure out how to do many things around the house without Daddy's strength to help us.  A few projects around the house will be put on hold.  The worst thing for Daddy - no motorcycle.

It's a good thing we are a great team!  That is our big news... on the lighter side, Mommy wore real shoes for the first time in over a year and a half!  She said it felt strange!  She was very careful and walked slowly for a short time.  She gave herself a mild concussion earlier this week, but at least she got to see many colors of stars in her head!

Ringo and I are great - someone needs to be healthy in this family.  We are excited about spring and the book orders we've been having lately.  A nice size order was sent to a hospital, a few books to our Canadian fans, one out East and six titles locally.  Not a bad ten days!  We hope it continues!  I think we are in for an unusual and exciting Spring!  Wish us luck!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Monday, March 14, 2016

Daddy Saves the Day, Mommy's Promotion and More Celebrating

We all know that Daddy is a super hero.  Well, recently he saved the day again.  Daddy works at a library system.  While doing some work at one of the branches, he noticed that the children's librarian was very stressed out.  When he asked what was up, he found out the performer scheduled for a children's program had not shown up.  Daddy offered to step in and read some Rudy stories.  The librarian was so relieved and Daddy was a hit.  The room full of children expected to hear an opera singer, but they got to hear awesome Rudy stories and Daddy even sang the "Rudy O'Tooty" song! The kids loved it!

Recently, Mommy was promoted to once a week for her foot physical therapy.  Everyone is very excited about her progress.  It has taken almost a year, but she has learned how to walk with a normal stride again and has gained a lot of strength back!  She gives much credit to the anti-gravity treadmill that allowed her to walk without bearing weight.

As I said in my last blog, we love to celebrate.  Last week we celebrated Mommy's birthday - and we celebrated all week!  She spent time with family and friends.  Of course, her favorite celebration was Ringo and me dancing to Birthday Bear's singing.  She loves that so much!  I don't know where that bear lives, but he shows up every birthday and then goes away!

On March 15, we light a candle for our older brother, Dexter.  He went to the Rainbow Bridge many years ago.  St. Patrick's Day is March 17th, so I think we will celebrate that day as well.  I think we should read "Rudy O'Tooty" and sing Rudy's favorite song.  What a great idea!

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Monday, February 22, 2016

Many Things to Celebrate

In our house, we like to celebrate... even the normal everyday stuff.  We celebrated Valentine's Day (kind of - Daddy was sick), President's Day (a day off!) and National Love Your Puppy Day (my favorite).

We celebrated the nice break from Winter this week with 40 degree temps and sunny days!  The snow melted, so we don't have the nice soft landings when playing Frisbee, but it is nice to soak in that sun!  We celebrate that Ringo is getting old enough to sit still so we can brush him!

More importantly, we celebrated a huge milestone for Daddy.  He was recently recognized for 25 years of service at the Dakota County Library System.  25 years is a lot!  I don't even have enough toes to count that high!  We are so proud of him!

Mommy had a couple of Donate Life Ambassador events.  One was meeting fellow ambassadors at the regional office and hearing their stories.  The other was going to a high school and talking to two health classes.  She was very excited about it when she came home.  Both Mommy and Daddy were impressed with the students and how engaged they were.  We look forward to doing more of those talks in the future.

Our tribute to Ali fund raiser is still going, so it's not too late, if you would still like to donate.  We have received some very nice emails from people who knew Ali.  They thanked us for doing this project.  Here's a link, if you are interested.

Daddy has started his Spring semester in school.  He will have one more class after this one - then we will celebrate his graduation!  He has worked very hard!

Hoping for green grass soon!
Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Update on Big Project, Remembering Rudy

We had the little tease last blog about our big project...  due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to postpone the launch of our project.  We received a call about a production issue - we could have the product with a mark on it OR wait, which lead to the delay.  This project is too important, so we want it to be perfect!

We hope to launch in a few days, so here are a few details.  We have created a new version of our first book, Rudy Gets a Transplant.  The new book has 32 pages and is hard cover.  We included a tribute to our dear friend and illustrator, Ali, who passed away in September.  We have seen the finished book and it is beautiful!  With this book, we hope to raise some serious money for a charity close to Ali's heart.  We also hope to continue sharing the importance of organ donation.

During the launch we will tell you more about the charity, "Wishes and More" and it's fabulous work for chronically ill children and their families.  This book has been a labor of love.

We remembered our dear angel, Rudy, yesterday.  Three years ago, he crossed the rainbow bridge. We think about him every day, he is truly loved and missed.  3 years, wow!

Last weekend we had a sleepover at our house.  A little guy named Bump came over.  He was cute and small.  Only 10 pounds and a bundle of soft fur!  In some ways he reminded us of Rudy - mainly the size and the little tongue kisses.  He was very smart and quickly learned our routine.

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Year News

2016 started out with a bang - literally.  While driving on New Year's Eve afternoon, we ran over something looking like a pile of snow.  Well, it wasn't!  Bang!  Our tire blew and the rim got crushed.  Daddy managed to get the "Rudy Mobile" over to the side of the road and a guy came over and helped put on our spare.

Now for some good news!  After a lengthy process, Mommy found out she is an official Donate Life Ambassador.  She had to fill out several forms, write an essay, do a background check and an in-depth interview.  We are very excited!

She will be doing some of the same things we already do at our programs plus speak to high school driver's ed. classes, nurses, organizations and businesses, training, official events and possibly parades!  We are looking forward to this new adventure and hope to expand our outreach.

I have been feeling great since I started my new thyroid meds 3 months ago.  I feel like a new puppy!

We had a bit of a scare with little bro, Ringo recently.  Last week, he woke up at midnight making a strange noise.  It sounded really weird.  He wasn't exactly choking, but it sounded like there might be something lodged in his throat.  Off we went to the ER.  Daddy took Ringo to the hospital, while I stayed home with Mommy.  The vet figured out that Ringo's epiglottis wasn't in the right place and the noise was called a "reverse sneeze."  Puppies do that to try getting the epiglottis back into place.  It wasn't working this time, so Ringo was getting a bit stressed.  The doctor gave him a shot to clam him down and it really helped a lot!  They finally got home at 2am.  We didn't get much sleep that night!  Ringo is back to normal now, but this could happen again.  At least we will know what it is next time!

Already so much excitement and we are only two weeks into the new year!

Right now, we are experiencing a very cold spell.  That means single digits for highs.  Ouch!  It's hard to play outside in that kind of weather.  Just like most things, it shouldn't last long.

We are also working on another big project, but I am not ready to share the details - yet.  Soon!  We hope in a week or two... how's that for a teaser?

Boomer the Mellow Yellow Lab