Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rivers News October 14, 2010

While it has been brilliantly sunny here, the temperatures are in the mid 20s and there is plenty of frost on the ground. Yesterday I was napping in the yard and the girls were keeping an eye on Mike who was at the bottom of the driveway cleaning up the debris from a tree that was blown down in the last wind storm we had. This tree had blocked the street, but the borough crew cut it up and moved it to the side of the street. Mike was moving the salvageable wood to our yard and cutting up the branches for kindling.

All of a sudden Stormy started to bark. She was facing the sliding door which leads to the dinning room. I thought Stormy was barking at Mary or maybe that nasty Raven I told you all about who killed that little finch a while back.. When I looked up, I saw a beautiful Willow Ptarmigan on the roof. The bird was pretty and regal looking down on Stormy, Sky, and Tundra as they were barking at it. I tried to get the girls to simmer down and just enjoy the beautiful day and this gorgeous bird. To me it was a real treat, to the girls the bird was an intruder in their yard.

After chow, Mike came outside with us. He let Tundra run in the front, but Tundra found the bird hiding under one of the vehicles in the front yard. The bird flew to the roof top again and assumed her looking at us at below. I overheard Mary tell Mike that she thinks there is a nest of them in our lower lot.

I hope it comes back. It sure was pretty to watch it strut back and forth on the roof. Mary took the pictures of the bird that I have included in this newsletter.
Mike's recovery from hip surgery is coming alone very well. We are walking down the driveway to get the morning paper. We actually go a bit further down the street each day. Sometimes we take a second walk around the yard at night, and he lets me munch on the wild grass that is still green and sweet.

Well, I have to go. The way the temperature is falling,we may have a snowy Halloween.!!

See ya,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rivers News August 25, 2010

Hi, Mike here, I gave Icy the night off since she was napping.

I just wanted to thank all of you who sent cards, prayers and e-mail to us while I was in the hospital last week. There were some complications that required a longer stay than envisioned. But all is well. Thank you.

My friend Jerry of Wiggy's will be at the Anchorage Wiggy's store (north of Dimond, south side of Old Seward just before the Pink Elephant Car wash) from 11 AM to probably closing on Saturday September 4th. If you are in the area and into outdoor adventures, you may want to chat with Jerry. Jerry personally tests all of the items his company manufactures such as sleeping bags, parkas, bibs and his famous Joe Redington boots. I may be there depending how much I can travel after the surgery. Why not take a look at Wiggy's web site at

The cover for Rivers' Book 2 was changed. Here is what the new cover looks like. Please do not mistake it for Book 4, which will not be released until 2011/12. We changed the cover due to the many comments we received that the covers for Book 1 and 2 were too similar. Our many thanks to Donna of Husky Production for the wonderful picture of Rivers that she allowed us to use.

Well the surgeon told me to take it easy so I better go.

See Ya

Mike Dillingham


Rivers Books

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rivers News July 10, 2010


 Hope you all had a nice 4th of July. Ours was nice and cool, but noisy with a lot of fireworks. We got to meet Claire, Mike and Mary's new granddaughter. We all gave her kisses but I think Sky was particularity fond of keeping her nose clean!

Oh, by the way, here is a picture of our new logo.  Let us know what you think. 

The great strawberry eating caper has be solved. It was Stormy. Mike caught her stashing one in her dog crate in the garage. That plus her "Strawberry Breath", was a dead give-a-way.

Mike will be signing books at Pandemonium Books and Cafe on July 24th from 11 to 4. If you are in the area, stop in, visit and
enjoy a great coffee drink or super desert at the Cafe.
Well I better keep this short so you can get back to you summer activities.

See ya

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rivers News April 13, 2010

I gave Icy the night off since she wanted to stay out in the rain. I guess it is her bath time!

Last Saturday, April 10, I did a book signing at the BX on Elemndorf. While there, I met an extraordinary young 10 year old name Sam Allred who wrote an illustrated children's book titled “Open Hearts”. His 13 year old sister, Emily, did the illustrations for him.

The book is Sam's own adventure of dealing with chronic illness that really prevents him from living the normal active life of a 10 year old. Sam writes about how others, including his peers, treat him, which in some cases is not too nice. The message of this short book is HOPE. The hope to find a cure, the hope to get well. Sam told me he wrote the book to share his hope with other kids who are facing disabling chronic illnesses.

Sam and his family did not stop with just a book, but also started a nonprofit called Kindness for Kids whose purpose is to bring some measure of comfort and hope to children with chronic illnesses. They have a web site: For more information about Sam's book and guest appearances, contact his mom at

During the book signing, a military K-9 unit did a routine patrol of the BX. The handler, with his dog, and I talked dogs. His dog was under constant hand command and was on alert while we talked. After we were done chatting, the handler visited with Sam. While talking across the table we used for book signing, the dog gentle put both front paws on the table as he faced Sam. The dog stared to whimper, indicating the dog knew Sam was not well and the dog was there for Sam. This was very apparent from the look on the dog's face. The handler knew exactly what the dog was doing.

The dog's display of concern is very indicative of the main purpose of our military; to defend and to protect the weak. Weak, not only in stature, but also those who need assistance in times of crisis. Protecting the weak through compassion, kindness and helping. Our military, both now and past, is a national treasure. Without which, there would be no personal freedom, our greatest nationality treasure.
Speaking of service and working dogs, I must remind you not to try to pet or touch a working service or military dog unless you have the owner's permission.

Yes, I am enjoying retirement and our dogs are getting spoiled with me being home.

Enough gabbing for now. I will be at Pandemonium Books in Wasilla this Saturday April 17 from 11 to 3. If you like hot chocolate, have one at Pandemonium. Take my word, you will find none finer.

Take care

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Rivers News April 1, 2010

Mike was thinking of doing an April fool gig on you, but I convinced him not to. Sometimes practical jokes don't go over well.

We had a Momma Moose and her babies visit the other day. Momma and I discussed how these kids today are really a bit different than when she and I were kids. Mary was a bit shocked to see Momma Moose and I were nose to nose through the chain link fence chatting.

Guess what, we got new wood floors in the house and it is a bit scary walking on it. But it is sure beautiful. Goes very nice with the paint job that was done. Of course Sky was the first one to explore the floors and the first to belly flop across them when she lost her pawing. Stormy and Tunny watch Sky's display of grace and decided to walk on the throw rugs to be safe. Sky, how many times were you told not to race in the house????

Mike told us that he sold a bunch of vacation time and he is using the cash to fix up the house. Next comes a new roof and seal-coating the driveway. Oh, and the gravel area next to the garage side entrance where we come in will be paved also. That will cut down on the dirt  our muddy paws bring into the garage.

If you are up for a movie then check out "Blind Side" excellent. We all enjoyed it as well as the new Celtic Woman concert "Songs from the Heart". Pass the popcorn please!!

Well, the girls are acting up again so I have to go. You know, a Momma's work is never done especially when it comes to her pups.

Happy Easter, and remember not to give your pup any of those chocolate Easter eggs. Not good for them, and you too if you eat too many.

See ya

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rivers News February 21, 2010


It has been great having Mike home. He spends a lot of time with us in the back yard, especially when it is sunny, and lately, warm. We are having our February freeze-thaw cycle. Temps during the day have been as high as 40. The snow is melting and would you believe, we had rain last week!

The small birds have been visiting the feeder Mary has in the back yard. I really enjoy watching them and don't scare them off. In fact, I bet I could nap by the feeder and the little birds would not mind. But my girls scare the little birds and it is annoying to the birds and to me. I think the girls want the bird food. You think those dogs were hungry or something. I can assure you they never miss a meal, a treat, or an ear rub either.

The other day while I was watching he birds, one fell out of a tree and before I could get to it to see if it was OK, a big raven swooped down and got it. I started to bark and chase after it , but I cannot jump as high as a raven can fly. He laughed at me and called me a fat old lady. Well Mr. Raven, don't make the mistake of perching in my yard. While it may be illegal for a human to eat  raven, it is isn't for a dog. Your time will come for snatching that little bird. The sea gulls are coming back soon as well as the geese and both don't like ravens. Eagles just tolerate ravens and will chase them off.

I guess Mary heard me bark and let the other dogs out from the garage. Sky asked me what I was barking at and I told her and her sisters about the raven and the little bird. Stormy told me that she noticed a raven hanging around the yard near the feeder. Now Mr. Raven better be very careful around our yard cause Stormy can jump, she is very fast, and not fat like her Mama.

By the way, do you know what I am doing in this picture? No? Well I am “Husky Snow Bathing”. Yep, I lay on the cool snow and the warm, suns lays om me. It sure feels good.

Remember Bugle Girl? Well she is in the Navy and doing very well. Her Mom says she is on the fast track for promotion. So if you wish to drop Niki a line here is her new address.


301 Surfside DR


Goose Creek, SC 29445

If you do write to her, please put a return address on the letter. The military does not think too highly of mail without a return address on the envelope. It may not be delivered and could jeopardize Niki's military career. Her Mom told Mike she is getting unsigned letters with no return addresses.

Niki's Mom also told Mike that her husband, Tom, is deployed back to Iraq. Here is his address if you wish to write. Tom played Santa Claus for us one year during a previous deployment when the Rivers Group (that is you guys) sent goody boxes to the troops in his unit.

Here is Tom's address.




APO AE 09342

Tom says there is a little coffee express called Green Beans Coffee. He has signed up to receive free cups of coffee that have been donated. According to the Green Beans site, Green Beans is a coffee shop chain with many outlets in the Western USA and also Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, “In our travels to see the Troops, many share with us their sense of loneliness, isolation and feelings of being forgotten. Their commanders tell us that some Soldiers never receive mail from home. In response, Green Beans Coffee has launched “Cup of Joe For A Joe” to let anyone, anywhere in the world, say thanks to our troops through the simple act of buying a cup of coffee and having it delivered along with their own personal note of encouragement into the hands of a deployed Soldier.”

Here is the web site.  Check it out and see how it works.

Mike told me that this is a cool idea since most of the time, the GI coffee is, well I cannot bark what Mike said about it, but take my bark, it leaves much to be desired. Now Tunny is a coffee drinker, better yet a coffee hog. She will drink anything Mike has in his coffee cup. But according to Mike, even Tunny would turn her snout up at this stuff. So if the military folks serving in the war zone can get a decent cup of free coffee (Joe), lets help them do that.

For you youngin's, a cup of Joe is an old term for a cup of coffee and at one time all GI s (soldiers especially) were called GI Joes. GI refers to “Government Issue”. I never knew Mike was tri-lingual. He can speak human, military and techspeak.

Iditarod time is coming up and that means many of our friends will be visiting Alaska for the big race. That is alway a fun time for us. While Mary will be busy with her visiting friends and helping Donna at Husky Productions, Mike has  book signings at Borders and Books Saturday (2/27) 1 to 4 and at the ITC HQ at the Millennium Hotel (3rd floor) Friday (3/5) 11:30 to 1.

Mike's last working day is Friday Feb. 26 and he is officially retired on March 1. He already celebrated by buying both Mary and himself new laptops!

Well it is TLC time.

Take care and keep in touch.

See ya, Icy

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Rivers News January 10, 2010

My name is Icy, Christmas in our books. Many of you have asked if the Rivers Newsletters would continue. We girls (Sky, Stormy, Tundra and I) felt it would be nice to do so since we know many of you from the stories our Uncle Rivers told us about you.

Speaking of Uncle Rivers, we want to thank all of you who sent your condolences. Just like us, many of you know he was a special dog. He many not of crossed the finish line first but he was a true champion in his spirit, his kindness, and his devotion to Mike. Many of you have told us stories of how Uncle Rivers helped you. Thank you. Your stories just made us more proud of him and of you for overcoming whatever challenge you faced.

For those that have asked, Mike and Mary are doing OK. They miss Uncle Rivers, but both know, especially Mike, that Uncle Rivers is in a place where he can see and be a young health dog. He is with our Uncle Lakota and Aunt Sandy. I think Mike summed it up best when he said that while his dogs are no longer with him, they are with him spiritually. He knows they are in a better place and free from what physical limitations they had here with us. He also told me it is very important to strive to do our best so we can all be in a better place when our time on earth is done.

In canine-ees that means take the good memories with you as you make the most of today as if it was your last day.

Some asked about a Rivers memorial or foundation. Mike said no to both of those ideas. Times are tough and many of our friends are having a hard time making ends meet. However, our good friend, Dr. Jim made Mike aware of ACVO, Vision for Animals Foundation. The foundation sole purpose is supporting animal eye disease research. Their web site is If you wish to make a donation in the name of Uncle Rivers or another sight challenged animal, I am sure that ACVO would greatly appreciated that.

We are in the process of contracting to rebuild the web site. Our web master will be CA Wetovich Design and we will be using a new web address at We do not have a time line as to when it will be completed. My daughter, Stormy, our techno-canine-geek is preparing the files to be use. This may take some time because her sisters, Sky and Tundra are undecided as to what pictures of them we should use. The new site will have an e-shop so you can buy our books on-line if you wish and a link to our blog so that you can keep up with what is happening in our neck of the woods.

Sky and Tunny asked me to remind you that one of their favorite TV shows, “Chuck”, is returning to TV on Sunday night Jan 10 on NBC.

We understand if you do not want to receive our news any longer. All we ask is that you let us know so Stormy can remove you from our newsletter.

Well I have to go and take care of my youngin's. You know how kids are when they are left unattended too long. A mother's work is never done!

Uncle Rivers ended his e-mails with “See Ya” his joke because he could not see. He told me that deep in side, he knew he would “See Ya” sometime. So, if you do not mind, 

See Ya