Dogtor B and his brother Sky, both ex-shelter dogs, moved from Florida to New Zealand in 2020. Benji loves to talk about his endeavors and life in general as an American expat in New Zealand. His motto: "Eat, Snooze, Cuddle, Repeat".
You probably wondered if we’re still alive. I’m happy to report that is still the case. We are just a bit behind in the blogging world. My human got busy with other stuff so blogging was put on the back burner. I know, what could be more important than doggy adventures?!
Manatees hanging in a tree
Dolphins in the city
At the Homeless and At-Risk Veterands Stand Down event
Rest assured, I haven’t sat still. On April 19, I went to a CCI outing with my assistants-in-training buddies. We encountered lots of wildlife in the big city, seriously that is no joke. Manatees were hanging from trees and dolphins could be seen splashing in front of buildings. So WEIRD! The next day I had some Dogtoring to do at the Homeless and At-Risk Veterans Stand Down event. This is an annual event to help homeless and at-risk veterans. Several people asked if I was up for adoption. WOL, of course not! On Saturday I went to the library to help children read. That was my fifth time. I even had two repeat customers.
One of my fans asked me what I’ve been up to lately. Well, besides going to therapy events I’ve been practicing my agility jumps a lot since practice makes pur-fect. One of these days we’re hoping to be ready for a formal agility event. I’m now up to 23 inches. I’m supposed to jump 24. That’s only one more inch to go!
Ms. Zulu supervises
Jumps require my full attention
Jumping through holes
Jumping 23 inches
Ms. Zulu would like to practice too but the humans are afraid that she hurts herself. Unfortunately, her response time is not what it was. She seems to be happy to supervise so maybe it’s all for the best. Tonight we plan to join our CCI buddies on an outing. Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong again and the outing won’t be canceled due to rain.
Today we turned another Mission Impossible into a Mission Possible. It was the 13th visit so what could go wrong, eh? We went back to the adult care center. This time I was the only Dogtor so I was a busy bee and I don’t even have wings. Everyone was pleased to see us again. We chatted our heads off with the folks for about half an hour when I heard rumbling noises. It was faint at first, well not to me but those with shorter ears seem to be less sensitive to sound; it definitely got louder over time. I looked at M and we both figured that it was time to go home before it would catch up with us. It was good that we did. As soon as I jumped in the car it started raining cats and dogs. Lucky for us, we did not get a visit from that fellow Harvey that caused havoc way west of us. He is a bad, bad, guy from what I’ve heard. Lots of people and animals got themselves into a pickle. Some even died because of Harvey; so sad. Our thoughts are with everybody in that area. If you would like to help with the animal disaster relief efforts visit https://www.houstonpetset.org/hurricane-harvey-relief-fund/
Look at that
Lots of sunshine to sniff
No problems here
As we drove away from the adult care center, the sky got brighter the closer we got to headquarters. Maybe the noisy pickles got scared by Ms. Zulu’s Border Collie stare. I don’t blame them, she can be pretty intimidating at times. Maybe barking helps too. I wouldn’t mind taking the lead on that sometime. OK, gotta run. I have a playdate with my CCI friend. After the playdate we will go shopping and meet more CCI friends in the city!
Finally, we are getting to the visit of the prison puppy. I wasn’t always invited to the outings but I did get to play and hang out with him. A seven-month-old pup can be exhausting and I got tired already after only two days of fun. The pup was here for a week so you can imagine that I had to sleep and sleep after he was gone. I can tell you, those pups can play! I wonder if I played that much when I was a youngin. Hmm, someone nods yes; I just can’t imagine it.
At the firestation
So what did the puppy do when he was at our place? Well, he got to go shopping, he went to a fire station where he met real firefighters, and sniffed out firetrucks and ambulances. I showed him some of my favorite places near the water. Of course, I told him to always keep his feet dry. No dog should ever get wet.
I know, I know, we are way behind on updating you but I had a couple of busy weeks so thought I would chill on my sofa with live television before I got back on track. I’m happy to report that on Wednesday another Mission Impossible became possible. I went to a youth center where I met teenagers who are enrolled in a non-residential counseling program. It was a new place for me so I met lots of new people. I worked the crowd together with one of my colleagues, a Great Pyrenees. He is a great guy literally and figuratively speaking. We learned that he has been in the business for more than 4 years. That’s twice as long as I have been on this planet! The guy was very calm. I guess that’s what happens when you have done this a million times.
The kids at the youth center are a hoot. They wanted to know everything under the sun about me. Their greeting ritual is a bit different from mine as they wanted me to shake their hands over and over again. I got rewarded with treats so it was no problemo. I even put in a couple of spins for good measure. Afterwards, we stopped at a cafe to cool down. It’s hot here, 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so we ordered drinks on the rocks.
Lots has happened these past few weeks, so it’s time for an update. Our CCI visitor is gone with the wind again, more on that subject later. We also celebrated Ms. Zulu’s 12th birthday. That’s a lot of years! We don’t know her exact birthday as she, just like me, was adopted from the shelter but we celebrate it around the beginning of August. And guess what we found in our mailbox yesterday: an email from Belén Soto with photos of the clay figurines of Ms. Zulu and me that she is working on.
This is based on the modeling work Ms. Zulu and I did last year. Belén said that she will show more photos on her website Arcilla Fuego soon. We are really excited about it and just couldn’t wait any longer to show you so we asked Belén for permission. Aren’t the figurines gorgeous?! You can see that Ms. Zulu and I are waiting for treats. On that note let’s walk to our doggie pantry to see if we can get some yummies in our real tummies.
We have a Canine Companion for Independence (CCI) visitor so we will be AWOL for a little while as we will be busy showing him around town. Our visitor is about seven months old and has an out of jail card for seven days.
The little guy who is actually quite a big guy already is a service dog in training and being trained by inmates at a correctional institute for women. He needs some real world experience such as shopping, riding in a car, going to the doctor etc., hence the out of jail card. The women who take care of these puppies are doing a fabulous job so it’s always a joy to have these guys around.
As promised, here is the new addition to my uniform. Ms. Zulu assisted me while I posed for the first time with the new scarf. So this time it was Dogtors with Borders. Yes, Ms. Zulu is at least 50% Border Collie as far as we can tell. If you would like to know more about my Dogtors without Borders work then go to my resume page. We updated it recently.
As you can see Ms. Zulu and I took our job very seriously and we were very focused throughout the photo session. This may or may not have anything to do with the treats in front of us. You be the judge.
OK, gotta run, I have a farewell party to attend to say goodbye to my best buddy Capone and hello to a new CCI friend in training. Yeah, Capone is leaving us in 1.5 weeks to start professional service dog training in South Florida. We will miss him for sure. I (well maybe one of my dedicated assistants) will try to capture some nice photos so you can see Capone one more time and to introduce the new CCI puppy. I’m sure you will get to see more of the newbie because when Capone is traveling to South Florida we get to babysit the new 9-week old pup for four days. That oughta be fun.
And remember, be dedicated and thou shall be rewarded,
I did it! I commandeered the big box yesterday! I learned that a little help from my friends makes a huge difference. I went with my buddy Capone and a new CCI friend. I think it was their magic capes that made it work. M forgot to bring my magic harness, she even forgot my leash…., but that was quickly resolved as I could borrow one of Capone’s.
We found the big box waaay back in a building. We had to walk through small corridors and a crowd of people to get there. But it worked, I stepped right in, sat down, and then wooshhh we went all the way up from the basement up into the sky. It was a spiffy big box as it hardly made a sound. The pic is a bit blurry; we were going that fast! Proof that warp speed travel is possible.
Warp speed traveling
Once we were high in the sky, the doors opened on the other side and a deliciously good aroma lured us out of the big box. Lots of people were dining and we were greeted by some very nice people who wanted hugs. And that my friend, I have plenty of.
While my CCI buddy and I studied hard in school, okay we did play some too, the wedding preparations for Drake and Sol have moved forward nicely. Here are the bridesmaids in their new outfits. Check out Belén Soto’s website Arcilla y fuego for an update. Belén is a very talented ceramist and we love her sculptures!
The ZAB team.
Preparativos de boda – Wedding preparations Las damas de honor – Bridesmaids Lúa y Mar Las chicas también han optado por el color rojo, creo que va a ser el color predominante en la boda, siguiendo las indicaciones de Mar, ambas han realizado sus primeras compras … Los preparativos de una boda son una enorme […]