Tea Time

To celebrate the start of the weekend, we went to the city on Friday. I have been there many times but every time I am stunned by how busy the city is. It’s so different from our Pinecone Forest. There are many different sounds and things. We saw a train, practiced how to patiently cross intersections (I got lots of treats out of both as I always try my best), and there was even an obstacle course that had been finished just in time for me. Surprisingly, we even saw wildlife: geese, and yes an otter, in the middle of the city! The otter was out of the water. That’s what I call a smart cookie. After all, everyone knows that without a floating device you can get in a lotta trouble in da water.

To be able to make it back to the car, we treated ourselves to some tea and pie halfway down. I almost didn’t get mine until FINALLY, our waiters discovered that nothing was ordered for me. Contrary to some others, I’m sure I don’t have to point out any names here, the waiters felt obliged to bring out a big treat for me. I didn’t complain and handed out kisses. Note to the café owner: the sign in front of your building is wrong. I’m a brindle dog, not a black dog. Can someone fix that sign?

Everything is easier with yummies in the tummy,

Benji

Sweet Goodbyes

Yesterday was Capone’s Goodbye Party after our bimonthly training session with my CCI and therapy buddies. Our bimonthly training group provides practice and socialization outings for service dogs, therapy dogs, and pups in training to be service dogs or therapy dogs. So far I am the only shelter dog with an unknown pedigree in that group but we are hoping to change that because shelter dogs do rock. *

The party after the training was a blast. Fortunately, we have one more week before we really have to say goodbye to Capone. Since we are best buddies I will get to play with Capone the evening before he travels south where he will start his professional service dog training.

We also welcomed a new CCI in training puppy. Isn’t he adorable? We call him the easter bunny as he arrived Good Friday and is just as fluffy. He is a Golden Retriever. All of the CCI dogs are either a purebred or mix between Labrador and Golden Retriever. Operation Delta Dog has decided to take service dog training to a whole other level and is solving two big problems with one great solution. ODD is helping shelter dogs by adopting them and training them to assist veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. Purple Heart Greyhounds is another organization that’s worth mentioning. This organization trains retired racing Greyhounds to become PTSD Service Dogs.

Saying goodbye is hard but it is like Winnie the Pooh said: “How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

Benji

* Notice that four of the six dogs are wearing a Gentle Leader. This leader is not a muzzle but helps provide stress-free walks.

Training with a Purpose

petsmartToday I got together with my CCI buddies. There was no time for play but we got to practice tons of stuff at Petsmart and Home Depot. Lots of maneuvering around garden items, toys,  FOOD!, and other distracting savory objects. We even had to crawl underneath tables and lie down in tight corners. It’s like agility training to me, and that I do love.  The reason why we practice this is because CCI dogs have to be able to make themselves as small as possible so that they can travel on an airplane with their person or accompany them into a restaurant.

Afterward, there was lots of socialization with people who wanted to know more about us and the difference between assistant and therapy dogs.  And then there were people who needed some loving for one reason or another. An elderly man approached us and said he had recently lost his longtime dog-buddy due to an injury. He seemed to want a listening ear and some consolation. I’m good at both, so we stayed with him for a bit. Another person wanted to pet me since she misses having a dog at home. Because of her husband’s preferences, they settled on cats. She loves all animals, she said and wouldn’t mind a house full of them. Now that’s my kind of woman.

I met three cute looking tuxedo cats too. They are up for adoption at Petsmart and fostered by a nice young lady. We forgot to take a picture of the kitties but they looked a bit like the ones M and Q took care of gazillion years ago. They were just older; 1.5 years instead of 2 months. I liked them and M almost took them home. I think M wouldn’t mind a house full of animals either.

Sunnydays are my favorite days, that’s when I will be going to agility training again. Wishing you a sunnyday tomorrow with lots of sunshine. Stay safe and I will try to do the same,

Benji

Oops

sunday.JPGSunday was an oopsy kind of day. What happened? Well, it started out with one of my favorite activities: agility training. I was happily running from one obstacle to the next with Mach 3+ speed until we got to the tunnel. That tunnel was waayyy too small for me. Treats were inside the tunnel but pretty much in the middle. So I ran from one side to the other to get to the treats all the while trying not to get stuck in that tiny obstacle. Next thing I know the trainer is teasing me to enter the tunnel by swinging a great looking furry feathery thing in front of me. The thing looked like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel. I decided to catch it and run away so I could check it out. Supposedly, that was not the idea and I was offered a tiny treat in exchange for the thing. That didn’t seem fair so I took the treat and swallowed the crossbreed as well. It turned out to be non-edible. Oops. You should have seen the look on the trainer’s and M’s face when they registered what had happened. All I can say is hey, I’m part retriever. I heard from my retriever fur-iends that you ain’t a retriever if you don’t have at least one foreign object in your stomach.

Anyhowls, out of thin air a brown bottle that said “hydrogen peroxide solution” showed up and before I could say “no sirree”, a tablespoon of said stuff was put in my throat. Yikes, that didn’t taste good. But like any good soldier, I swallowed that too.  M and the trainer were waiting for something, not sure what, but when it didn’t come the vet was consulted and I was spoonfed more of the stuff. I can tell you the second time was less fun and the third time it was just gross. And then all of a sudden I was down on my stomach and throwing up everything. Yes, that meant my breakfast, treats, and prize! M and the trainer were dancing and partying when that happened. And I was thinking “hey I am not having so much fun right here; can you pul-lease stop the racket”.

Once at home all was well; meaning no more liquidity stuff was put in my mouth. Ms. Zulu checked me out and we are now back to my regular meals and treat schedule. I even played some with my stuffed friends. This was after they had barely survived an unannounced security check. They all had to line up and were threatened with scissors or even the dump. This was not the first time either. Everyone that looks raggedy has to surrender in those instances. That’s just wrong. I thought it didn’t matter what my friends looked like but somehow it does. I like them all and care for them. Especially the shabby ones; I nibble passionately on their tattered parts. I don’t even hesitate to do heart surgery on them when needed. Lately, they have been quite healthy so there have not been any recent surgery attempts.

Have a great week, stay out of trouble and I will try to do the same,

Benji

Home Alone: Take 1

Friday afternoon I was home alone with Ms. Zulu, outside my crate for the first time. I have been left to my own devices before; just not for hours an hour while M was on one of her shopping sprees trips miles away.  I tried to tell her earlier that it was okay to leave me under the supervision of Ms. Zulu as we had worked our way up to this point slowly but surely, but M can be a bit hard headed so it took a while before my message arrived at its final destination. We definitely need faster delivery services.

greeting2.jpg

Welcome back!

Once M got home, there was a gigantic inspection with papers from here to the moon that all had to be signed and submitted in at least quadruplicate to authorities of suspicious origin and stature: 1) yes, all doors that were supposed to be closed were still closed, 2) no (additional) holes in the backyard,  3) all treats that were left on the kitchen counter are untouched (note to myself, for next time: “check kitchen counter for unattended edible items”), 4) plants are all in their pots, 5) no personal items M.I.A. or tormented, 6) no open-heart surgery performed on any of my stuffed friends (hmmm, that’s an idea…), and 6) didn’t we look sweet when we greeted you at the door!? Okay I admit, I added the last one. Anyhowls if you ask me, we are ready for Take 2!

treatso.JPG

Yummies left unattended

Hope you got some nice plans for the weekend. Ms. Zulu and I are going to help out in the yard. We are now both gardening experts as you will see soon enough on Resa’s blog. Resa invited us to talk about vegetables and growing a garden for Kid’s Month. She will show you some beautiful murals too. Gotta run, M needs help unloading the car and that could equate to yummies in the tummies.

Hugs,

Benji