The Mystery Dog

While the girls from Pittsburgh were visiting, Trudy and Allie decided to go to the park and have a picnic.  The two girls really hit it off because of their mutual love of fashion and thought it would be nice to enjoy the gorgeous weather as well as take Allie’s dog Aspen somewhere to get some exercise.

“Such a pretty day, and the temperature is just right.  I’m so glad it’s not humid out anymore,” said Allie.  “I’m not used to this, in Arizona it was hot, but not humid.”

“I agree!” replied Trudy.  “I am amazed at how well behaved Aspen is, especially since you haven’t lived here this long.  Most dogs would be all over the place.”

Trudy had barely gotten the sentence finished when Aspen ran off.  Then they saw why–there was a loose dog running through the park.

They touched noses, then Aspen ran back over to hide behind Allie.

“Aren’t you cute?” Trudy said to the strange dog.  “Come here so I can see if you have a tag on.”

“I think he likes you!” Allie said excitedly.  “Yeah, let’s see if he’ll let me read his tag.  There’s a phone number on it, perhaps we should take him home and call.  He is probably someone’s pet.”  The girls quickly gathered everything up and headed back to the house.

After they got home and called, things got very interesting.  It turned out that the dog’s name was Teddy and he’d belonged to an older lady who passed away.  A member of her family had taken Teddy in, but he didn’t seem very happy and used every opportunity he could to run off.  They thought it was because they worked full time and Teddy wasn’t getting the kind of attention he needed, so they were considering finding him a new home.

“I’ll take him!” replied Trudy.  “I would love to have a dog like him, he is so nice and cuddly.”  After some discussion, everyone agreed it sounded like a great idea.

“Wow, this worked out so well!” said Allie.  “Yeah, I never expected to be going home with a miniature schnauzer when I came here to visit!” Trudy replied.

The girls decided to pose together with their dogs.

“Well Teddy, I guess it was a lucky day for both of us!”

Teddy is a vintage Steiff dog that belonged to our aunt.  When she passed away, someone almost threw him out!  Luckily Evil Twin realized what he was and rescued him.  Looks like he’s been rescued again! 😉

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Doll Sized Finds: It’s All About the Pets, About the Pets (no hotel)

Hey guys!  How do you like the title of the post?  Now that I’ve got the tune running through your head, I’ll explain.  Lately I’ve been showing you stuff I’ve found for the hotel project, and I’ve got several more yet to show.  But instead of boring you with that, I figured I’d show you some of the other things I found.  And it just so happened, there seems to be a theme going on here this time around.  No thrift store finds, but I still did well.

First up is this cute little dog who is now named Aspen and belongs to Allie and Christine.  I got this dog at a store near my home and he was all of $9.99.  He looks an awful lot like Tenney’s dog, but a whole lot cheaper! He is made by a company called Nat and Jules.

At the same store, I found this:


An aquarium! And only $1.99. This is one of those things where you add water and the fish get bigger as they absorb the water, but I’m going to skip that. We don’t need any giant fish around the dollhouse. 😉

And lastly, a trip to a toy store in Pittsburgh yielded this darling little creature:


Doesn’t everyone need a racoon? Actually they don’t, as pets they are horrible (and illegal in some states), but since doll land is a fantasy land, it doesn’t matter! I couldn’t pass it up for $8.99, it’s a finger puppet, but it’s the perfect size as a doll pet. I just have to figure out a good way to work it into a story line.

That’s it for this time. Have you found anything awesome? It’s yard sale season, keep those eyes peeled!

New releases–what did you buy?

What did everyone think of the new American Girl releases?  I thought there was some cute stuff this time around, but several things were rehashes of previous sets.  Gabriella’s bed looks a bit way too similar to McKenna’s bed to think it was an accident!  At least they changed the color. And a lot of plastic throughout the releases.  😦  However, one item that fits in both of these categories made this gal (and plenty of others I suspect) very, very happy.  What was that?  The Class Pet Hamster set!

I loved this set when it was issued with McKenna’s bedroom set, and it is regularly on Ebay, but at an over-inflated price.  I’ve seen this set go for as much as $100!  In the words of Gru–“I don’t think so.”  That’s just ridiculous.  Apparently someone at American Girl has been paying attention (finally) and gave the fans a set that not only did they want, but they improved upon it.  And for $24, I have a feeling these sets have been flying out the door.  Luckily for me, I had a $20 rewards coupon that I’d been hanging on to in anticipation of the new releases.

Here it is!

I have mixed feelings about these new boxes. I do like the idea of seeing the photo of what it is on the box, but I don’t care for how hard some of the boxes are to get open. I didn’t do so well with this one:

It just didn’t seem to want to pull open after I got the seal off. I don’t save the boxes for most things like some people do. I also bought the boots from the new releases and the box on that…it was totally trashed as the tab to pull out didn’t want to come out at all. Oh well.

Here are all the pieces out of the box, so cute! And the improvements over the prior set? We have faux “bedding” in the bottom of the cage and food in the bowl! The set for McKenna didn’t have anything for bedding and an empty bowl. I do have one complaint about the bedding though, it is very uneven and makes it difficult to keep the wheel in place. I need to get a piece of sticky tack to put on the stand to help it.

Let’s look at the pieces individually. First, the cage itself. Very simple, and I love the little water bottle. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it will be until they make an accessory set that turns this into a hamster Habitrail, and includes one of those balls you can use to exercise your hamster? In the meantime, you can bet I’ll be watching the candy/toy machines at the different stores!

The food bowl is very cute and nice and full, so your hamster won’t go hungry.

The wheel is adorable, it even spins like a real one!

And the star of the show:
   
I was a bit disappointed that the flocking dulled his eyes a bit. I’m tempted to take either a fine point black Sharpie or a dot of paint to make them stand out a little better. Otherwise I think he’s so cute!!!

They even give you a booklet to help you care for your new friend:
 

Here it is all assembled:

I’m so pleased that AG decided to make this an item available for individual sale, long overdue. I’m sure all of those people who paid a ridiculous price for it on the secondary market are kicking themselves! This set is not only cute for all of us doll folks, but I think it would be a great toy for a child who perhaps wants a hamster, or even already has one. I see tons of sales potential for this set–little brothers who have been taken to an American Girl store against their will, hamster enthusiasts, etc. Plus at this price point, it makes a great gift item. I’m hoping this also means we might see more expansion in the pet category, I mean, seriously, not everyone has dogs, cats or horses!

So who is going to get this set out of my crew? That’s a good question! It’s one of the few times I’ve bought something like this without a game plan in place. I do know what his name is going to be–Chum! Anyone who is a fan of the “Mouse and the Motorcycle” series by Beverly Cleary knows where the name is from, and as a child, I had a hamster named Chum as I loved those books. In fact, it wasn’t all that long ago that I re-read the first book with a friend, I still have an old 1970’s era copy and she had a new one, it was fun to compare the illustrations. If you’ve never read the series, I highly recommend it, such a cute story and it’s probably what sparked my thoughts of “what is going through a pet’s mind”.

Did you buy anything from the new releases?  I mentioned I got the boots and I also got the turquoise sweater.  Not so sure about those dots on it, but I did like the preppy vibe.  And I am in LOVE with #67, she is gorgeous and I’m seeing so many awesome photos of her on Instagram that make me like her even more!  I’m anxious to see a review on her where someone quits gushing long enough to really give a good evaluation on her hair before I make the jump.  Plus I’m waiting for Permapanties to disappear…  😉