You haven’t heard from us for a while. Rest assured, we’re still here; well at least physically. For months we were busy with pawsonal affairs and such. Finally the humans had to slow down as we are officially locked-in in the new sea land. Today is day 10 of alert level 4. This means that we are only allowed outside to exercise and have to drag a human around. No more free roaming humans. Such a chore.
The humans were supposed to be in Auckland and us doggos in our own resort. Instead we are traveling virtually. We already watched a YouTube video of the train ride from Wellington to Auckland. Today we are “visiting” Waiheke island. Tomorrow we might pick our next boat. Please let it be a cat-maran and not one of those monohulls. It’s easier to chase cats in my sleep than to sleep on one of those wobbly monohulls.
Luckily, we don’t get virtual yummies for our tummies. We can comfortably alternate sleeping, eating, and exercising. The focus might be a tad bit more on the sleeping and eating part though. I guess we are practicing to travel to another galaxy just like the passengers of the Anxiom (Wall-E).
Anyhowls, never a boring day in The New Sea Land,
No way; yes way! Can you believe it? I’m all grown up now and am sooo ready to tackle the world. I still play, especially with Sky because he needs it. Bsides, it keeps me young at heart.
My birthday weekend was filled with agility fun. I did purr-etty well if I do say so myself. Da Sky had a bit of the zoomies. I guess he doesn’t know yet that he gets to play more if he goes snail pace with the human. A couple of weeks later Da Sky seemed to have morphed into an eye-on-the-ball Speedy Gonzales at our first ever flygility show. My little brother and I both won ribbons and kibble, so we can honestly say that we are earning our keep.
What else is new? Well, we are still house hunting. It’s not an easy task. For some reason, people seem to like big houses with tiny yards. We like a big yard with a not so big house. After all, we need to practice our agility and flygility moves. Apparently we can’t do it inside. Believe me, Sky has tried.
Keep moving and stay agile
Yahooooo, Da Sky is twoooo!!! This was his first B-day in the New Sea Land and meant that we all went on a Tour De Fun. This weekend our days were filled with beachcombing for treasures, playing with friends, a catch-the-frisbee contest, hide-and-seek, agility, flygility, and of course a delicious Da Sky Cake to top it off.
Sky can sit still too
Here I am!
When can we dig in?!
Yes, you can have the cake and eat it too. Have fun and celebrate efurry milestone!
Da Beach, Da Sky, Da Sun, it’s Da Good Life
Our First Fort
So much to explore
It’s wet, it’s delish
With best friends, every day is a sunny day
Our search for the One Ring continues. This time it took us to Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve. The Lords of the Rings know it as the Dimholt Road (aka The Paths to the Dead). We took the path along the streambed and had to cross the stream multiple times in order to get to the base of the Pinnacles. These pinnacles are also called hoodoos. It was my task to make sure that da humans did not get bewitched and stayed alive. I succeeded in the latter but am not sure if I succeeded in the former. Only time will tell.
Leading the way
Along the streambed
Find the puppy
The pinnacles or hoodoos
Crossing the stream was often tricky. I had to calculate with infinite precision which rocks I should step on to keep my feet dry and body unharmed. Sky approached the water as he approaches life: he plunged in headfirst and dealt with the consequences, good or bad, later. The One Ring was nowhere to be found. Luckily, we didn’t find the dead either.
May the Fellowship be with you,
A couple of weekends ago, Sky and I stumbled upon the Lord of the Rings trail. There is supposed to be a ring with special powers. It’s called the One Ring. We took a good sniff in Rivendell to see if the One Ring was there. After walking for ages through an ancient-looking forest we came upon a mighty river. In the distance, we saw something that was a vague resemblance to a bridge. Much narrower though than the ones we have seen in da city, and mostly made out of rope. It must have been a rush job getting that bridge built. It was good that Sky and I are skilled in agility because the bridge was one unpredictable creature. It could swing pretty darn high from side to side. Unfortunately, we had no luck in finding the One Ring so we have to keep sniffing.
Through the forest
Over the swing bridge
Crossing the river
Where is da Ring?
If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can always try harder,
We try to sniff out something new and exciting each week in the New Land. The other day we went to Te Kopahou Reserve (The Red Rocks). We walked and walked until we stumbled upon some mighty beasts. Sky was especially impressed by their mighty smells. I knew better than to disturb them in their beauty sleep so we watched the smelly ones from a safe distance.
Te Kopahau Reserve
Lots of rocks
The mighty beasts
Start sniffing; you might stumble upon something mighty impressive,
Well, we figured it out; we’re in the New Sea Land. I’m told there is water all around the land. I have seen some of it but not all, so who knows. It’s hilly too, maybe I will become a Hilly Billy. My hindquarters are getting pretty strong. The humans are a bit slow here, we need to find them some skates and then we can pull them more easily up the hill. I bet it would be loads of fun on the downward leg too.
Oh, the possibilities once we’re “out”…
Dreaming of the trails we can hike
We managed to find a backyard with this specimen
By tomorrow we have been in lockdown for three weeks. It’s been pretty strict here; no outdoor activities other than some exercise in the hood and we can only get essential items. That reminds me, we need to order food for Da Sky and me. We are getting home-cooked meals too, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and build in some redundancy. Besides, we have started alternative backyard agility training so we need the extra calories. I was happy to see that treats are still on the menu. All that extra pulling of the slow humans uphill eats up our reserves too.
Alternative Backyard Agility
1. Start – bench
3. Stairs down
4. Around and up
6. Dog Walk
7. Over – finish
Stay safe, stay home,
Get this, just a couple of days after we got the key to our new headquarters, we were locked down. Have you ever heard of anything like that? That’s one weird key man. The container with our stuff didn’t get here before the lockdown so it will be delayed big time. We managed to buy some essentials before stores got closed for the lockdown but that’s it for now. On the bright side, this means that the house is pretty empty, so it’s basically one big playground for Da Sky and me. You can say that the humans are now in the dog house, WOL.
One big playhouse
A room with a view
Luckily, Q managed to fix the yard with some supplies he found before lockdown, so that we can roam around without too much bossy-vision. At first, we thought we would have to wait a long time before we could practice agility but then we got a bit creative and found a new hobby: alternative-backyard-agility. What it is? It’s agility with whatever you can find in your backyard. It can be steps, discarded wood, benches, humans, even your buddy that you use to jump on, over, or weave through. It’s fun and M says it will prevent our brains from getting all mushy.
Yawn, let’s do something fun instead
BTW, have you figured out where we are yet? Please tell me you as soon as you find out because I would like to know.
So you’re asking where we are. Well, let me tell you, they drive on the scary side of the road. Da Sky was also promised to see a lot of sheep but so far we have counted only five. Sky was especially disappointed as he was not allowed to
chase herd them. The cows here are something else too. They look a bit like Sky on steroids. Furthermore, it’s hilly and sometimes you can see the sea.
At an airbnb
We did manage to find new headquarters but it was not an easy nut to crack. Talk about COVID-19 and lockdown didn’t help either. We needed a place where Da Sky and I were allowed (yeah not sure what the problem was there) with a sizable yard for us, where we can walk a bit in the hood, and a place that’s decent enough to stay at for a while. It seemed that the first requirement was pretty much incompatible with the last. Cats were fine in most places and sometimes one tiny skinny dog, not more than a couple of inches of the ground. Sounded like unfair profiling to me. Then there were those places that the humans pretty much ran away from. One of them had a basement that looked like a scene out of a Stephen King novel. If you would poke around a bit you would expect to find a corpse lying somewhere in a dark yucky corner. YIKES!
Sky and I helped with house hunting
M wanted this in the backyard
House hunting was alternated with nature sniffing
At long last, after many days of driving and sniffing, we decided to sniff out places where pets were not allowed and threw my and Sky’s resume in the mix. My career as a Dogtor should count for something, right? And it did, together with the AKC CGC, trick, and jump titles, we found a place that we can call home for a year.
Hey guys and girls, here an update from Da Sky and myself; I know you all have been waiting like furever. You probably thought that we disappeared from the face of the earth just like Amelia Earhart way back but no we’re still here although it seems to be in an alternate reality. More on that later. After helping pack a gazillion boxes in February we finally got ready for the big trip and headed out west with M and a VIP chauffeur we hired for this furry special occasion. In about eight days, we drove 3200+ miles through eight states, learned that snow is wet and cold [YIKES!], sauntered in desolated deserts, visited friends, made new friends, and made sure that our drivers didn’t get lost in the big cities. All that helping makes you tired so Da Sky and I always hit the snooze button as soon as our dog-mobiel started moving. We arrived in LA just in time before COVID-19 entered the scene.
Driving to the West…
Fontainebleau state park, Louisiana
Nope not getting out; snow is too cold and wet!
Picacho Peak State Park
LA, pre COVID-19
Malibu Creek State Park, CA
More coming soon,
I did not!
Hide the evidence Benji
Or shred the evidence..
Some exciting news from headquarters this Christmas. There is lots of movement, talk about moving, and moving parts to manage. Stuff is being donated or sold -yes, Da Sky and I are very closely guarding our stuff – and boxes are being filled. Da Sky and I even had to practise sitting in a big box for a
gazillion days couple of hours. No, no, we are not left behind since we are considered priceless. Pew, that’s a relief.
The word is that we will move overseas but we won’t travel by boat. Why not travel by boat over the sea? Yeah, that beats me too. Traveling by boat would have been my first choice since I got my captain’s license way back and Da Sky is a fine first mate. Instead, we will travel by car and then in an air-monster. The car will be easy peasy. We will even have a VIP chauffeur flown in for us from Europe Still, I’m not too sure about the air-monster. You-all know that Da Sky can fly and I’m famous for breaking the sound barrier but we are no rocket stars. I guess that’s about to change. Where we’re going? That seems to be all hush-hush and top-secret. All I know is that we haven’t been there yet, they have lots of sheep to
chase look at, and it’s far, far away.
While the moving parts are moving, Sky and I are trying to fit in a couple of things one more time. I finished my last secret mission and I got my AKC Novice JWW (Jumpers with Weaves) title (with three first places). My little brother got his first Q and a second-place at his first AKC agility event ever. Pretty good heh?! He had barely turned 15 months, the minimum age to enter. We also said our goodbyes to Apalachicola. We missed Miss Martha but were able to sail one more time on the big float a.k.a. The Follower. I was told that the big float won’t be able to follow us overseas. Yep, that’s another mystery to me. I would think that we can slow down soon but knowing headquarters that might be wishful thinking. If I don’t see you before the end of the year:
A bit of shopping
Sailing on the big float
Ms Martha MIA
Happy Howli-Days and Smooth Sailing from all of us!
P.S. Don’t eat all Santa’s cookies and if you do make sure you shred the evidence.
Yes, yes, the math is absolutamente correct: B = 4! That’s roughly 30+ years in human years! That means I have voting rights AND I will never ever have to go to school again, right?! OK, let’s vote for B-day cake with treats efury day AND play all day. How is this different from my current life? Hmm, hmm…Maybe I should plead the fifth.
Anyhowls, for the big occasion we took some pics. Why the long faces you ask? Well, I would like to see yours if you had to sit on an empty tummy in front of yummies for endless days! Luckily we didn’t pass out before we could scoop the barely visible yummies in our tummies. We do know that it’s healthier to exercise a bit after eating so we played some on the way to bed and then took a well deserved nap to dream of endless summer days with lots of squirrels to chase.
Pawlease, let us eat!
Hey brother I don’t think this fits anymore
There’s more space here
Make sure you get some zzz-s in before the end of the day,
Sky turned one this month! That was cause for a big celebration! He hasn’t been with us for that long but we can’t imagine life without him. He is certainly one bundle of joy! Of course, we had to make a slideshow of his monthly photos to show you how he has grown!
Jan 2019 – August 2019
Click here for Benji’s first year in pictures
Do you know what day it is? It’s National Mutt Day! We hope that means more shelter animals are getting adopted and more cake for Mutts like us!
READ-ing at the library
Have a fury fun kind of day!
Benji and Sky
How was your weekend? We had a busy one. We traveled to an agility event in the pooch mobile. I won two first places in Novice Jumpers; M is very proud. Okay, I’ll admit, maybe I’m a bit too. The blue and green ribbons I won do look good on my chest, don’t you think? Since I had two qualifying runs, I could pick out a toy too. I choose one for Da Sky because he cheered me on. He likes balls and tug toys so I got the perfect toy, a combination of the two so that we can play together. After all, you gotta remember to play hard after you work hard. But, if possible skip the hard work and go straight to the play hard part.
The blue ribbons
The new toy
Trying it out
Well, I better go. I got some Zuluism* to catch up on. I didn’t really have time for it over the weekend. And you know what they say if you don’t have time for that then you have to do more of it.
Hope you have a pawriffic week with loads of fun intermingled with Zuluism,
Sky for sure is getting around. The other week I showed him da big city Apalachicola. I had been there before but it was all new for Da Sky. Sky was a rock star; he got to greet people left and right and kept wagging his tail. He even walked as if he owned the city. That’s pretty good for a newbie.
The coffee shop
Forrest Gump’s boat
I decided to show Sky my favorite nooks and crannies in da city. Forrest Gumps’ shrimp boat was still there but my other hangout, Oysterbones, was gone! Therefore no additional yummies for us pooches. Luckily we had packed plenty of supplies for this trip so we didn’t go hungry. We found out later that Oysterbones had only moved a couple of blocks further down the road. Oh well, we will have to go back soon then. Our next stop was the Chocolate & Coffee Company shop. This was just for the humans. There was lot’s of chocolate we couldn’t eat but hey sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit for the sake of something greater. A visit to Margaritaville seemed to fit the bill.
The new doggles
All you need is sand, sand, sand!
Of course, no coastal road trip is complete without a stop at the beach so that’s what we did before we went home. It turned out that Sky, just like me, doesn’t like water. Good boy, Sky! The humans were a tad disappointed; they love the water. I never understood the attraction. It’s wet, it moves, you get cold, what’s the point?! On the other hand, the beach itself is a super sandbox. Sky got some goggles as his blue eye is a bit light sensitive. I think he needs to order a visor because those goggles kept falling off his face. You can’t dig like that.
Come visit the forgotten coast
Port St. Joe Marina
A stranded boat
We saw a lot of debris from Hurricane Michael (October 2018) that hasn’t been dealt with yet due to a lack of funds. And we didn’t even go to the places that were hit worst of all such as Mexico Beach (FL). We are wondering if this means that the forgotten coast really has been forgotten. We hope not because it is a wonderful place to visit!
Hey look at that!
Wishing you a pawtastic Valentine’s Day
Lots of hugs from all of us
Benji & Sky
The cave has been an integral part of the training curriculum at headquarters. The first photo shows Ms. Zulu when she was still a youngster, about three years old just like I am now.
Ms. Zulu: 10-10-2008
I had to dig deep in the archives to find this old photo of myself when I was about 2 months old.
The third photo shows Sky in his first week at headquarters, when he had just discovered the cave.
The cave is very old; it dates back to many years B.Z. (Before Zulu). It looks like it’s part of a Stonehenge circle which could be true or not. The cave has been explored extensively by all four-legged beings, young and old, who resided at headquarters at some point in time. Over the years each of us has put our own paw-stamp on it so it means a lot to all of us including the two-legged ones.
Yesterday we turned another Mission Impossible into a Mission Possible. We organized our first ever Arbor-Gility event. A little over a month ago, I was asked to show my Dogtoring, R.E.A.D.ing, and agility skills by the organizer of Arbor Day in my neck of the woods. I’m pretty experienced with Arbor Day as I started handing out trees for the first time when I was only 4 months old but organizing and competing in Arbor-gility was a first for me and maybe a first in the whole wide kingdom.
Arbor Day 2016
Arbor Day 2017
Instead of me running around like crazy and doing it all by myself, I thought it would be way more fun to invite my Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) and Animal Therapy furriends. As it turned out, 26 agility dogs, 5 Dogtors, and 2 service dogs in training showed up. Isn’t that amazing?! With the Arbor-gility event, we raised lots of 🍪🍪🍪 for a local non-profit animal rescue group.
Therapy Furriend Sharon
CCI furriend Flint
Agility Furriend Lacie
Counting the stash
Sky had to stay home to practice Zuluism. He will be able to join us on one of our Mission Possibles as soon as he has received all his booster vaccines.
I had fun and can’t wait till the next event,