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".
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.
Well, apparently new seeds were growing last year. I would like to introduce my new little brother Luke Skywalker de Louisiana a.k.a. SKY. I gave him the Codename 0012.
Ain’t he something else?! His shelter name was Luke, we added Skywalker. SKY was moved from an overcrowded Louisiana shelter that was not suited for puppies to North Florida. Hence his last name. He is roughly 5 months old and our vet said that he was probably a mix between a Border Collie and Springer Spaniel. SKY has aspirations to become a Jedi Master. When my former agility trainer saw his photo she said, “The Force is strong in this one”. So maybe he’s on his way.
To be honest, I am hoping he can join me on my super-secret missions sometime in the future. With a name like SKY, he should be able to fly, don’t you think? That should come in handy on our Mission Impossibles.
SKY started his tactical training last Friday at headquarters. He has to wait at least a couple of months before he can start any offsite agility training but for now, he can start with the basics at headquarters. It’s a lot of chewing on a bone and sometimes there is a bone of contention but I’ve shown that it can be done. Anyhowls, in the meantime, SKY can prepare for his S.T.A.R. exam. More on all this prep work at a later time. For now, this puppy needs some rest.
Dg. B, a.k.a. 0011 Commander in Chief Headquarters
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,
Wake-up, Wake-up! It’s another beautiful morning and Earth Day! We had a nice walk in the woods. As you can see the Pinecone Forest in our neck of the woods is recovering nicely from a dangerous affair. Hope you get to enjoy the outdoors today too.
We are preparing for my first secret mission in the field: Code Name MI-1. The mission is planned for next week. That means that we had to 1) go out in the field, 2) scope the area, 3) do a test run, and 4) debrief.
Scoping the area
Ready to do a test run
Talking with people
Debriefing: looking back
I am happy to report that we were able to successfully scope the area (no we can’t show you the real site as I would have to k.ll-u). The test run had to be done off-site for various obvious reasons. Since we had to get some paint we thought we would go to the Home Depot, a home improvement store, and kill two birds with one stone. Yes, that is a figure of speech; we don’t really kill birds here either. After all, we are now dogtors! We talked with a lot of people at the test run site. Everybody seems to be interested in what I am doing these days.
Understandably, nerves are running a bit high at this point but the results of the test run during the debrief showed us that we are in tip-top shape. Just keep your paws, fingers, or other digits crossed for a successful mission next week and we should be good to go. Double-O-Eleven (a.k.a. Benji).
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 […]
It’s Arbor Day again, well at least in our state! Last year, when I was four months old, was my first year. I made sure that everyone left with a free tree. There were long lines. Some people even thought they could take me home. Mom made sure that didn’t happen and kept a close eye on me.
2016: Lots of legs
2016: I can sit pretty
This year I helped transport the trees from the nursery to the site where they are handed out on Arbor Day. These outings are always fun as I am bound to meet interesting new friends like Sunny.
We are digging into our archives this week, so here is another flashback. Ms. Zulu has had a food puzzle called Dogtwister (level 3) for a couple of years. She never really seemed to care for it. Benji however, was eager to solve the puzzle when he was only 7 weeks old. He is a fast learner, especially when food is involved. In the video, Benji shows two different puzzles: Dogtwister (Nina Ottosson) and Move-2-Win (Trixie Pet Products). Both puzzles are level 3, the highest level as far as we know. Don’t be fooled by Benji’s appearance; he was only 15 weeks old in the video. We would love to hear from you if there are any other more challenging puzzles for Benji to try.
Last Monday, Andy (A) and Dougy (D), two adorable and at times opinionated but also humorous cats, asked Benji (B) all sorts of questions including tough ones (see The Interview: Part I)*. It was only fair that Benji also got his turn to ask some questions. It took me a couple of days to transcribe the interview (my Catonese is a bit rusty and I am still learning Benjinese), but here it is:
[Andy is ready for the interview]
[Dougy is in charge of the computer]
*P.S.: Andy and Dougy employ Doug, the so-called “human”, to take care of them. This is pretty much a full-time job. In his spare time, Doug writes the blog Weggieboy’s blog. He was the one who set up the interviews. Thanks Doug!
B: I know we live far away from each other, but I am curious to know what you would do when you would meet me on the street.
D: Sniff your butt, of course! Cats do that, too, for the same reason as dogs.
A: Yeah, we like to stick our noses in your business. Hee! Hee!
D: Be nice, Andy!
B: My big sister Ms. Zulu tells me that cats like to scratch dogs on their noses and that it hurts. Would you do that to a doggy like me?
A: We have our claws, but we are mostly pretty mild kitties. We only occasionally scratch, but mostly to mark territory or get our human’s attention
D: Never! And we know you are a kitten so we tolerate a lot more from you than we would a dog.
A: [Brother, they are called “puppies”!]
D: [Oh! Thanks, Andy! I was unaware….]
B: I would love to play with cats, how should I approach them (I like to avoid the nose punctures Ms. Zulu is yapping about)?
D: You don’t want to jump up and down on them, for sure, because you are bigger or as big as us, and it might hurt us. We’ve heard “puppies” (as I understand you are called) sometimes get rambunctious. Kind of like kittens, actually.
A: Aw, I was always the well-mannered one, Dougy. You were the one who always hopped off the examination table at the veterinarian’s so you could snoop around the office….!
D: You wanted to. Admit it!
B: Sounds like you two are quite a handful…
A: No, I am the nice one.
B: Just sayin’… Anyway, although I consider myself a big boy and walk like one, I was only 61/2 weeks old when I went from the shelter to my forever home. How old were you when you were adopted? Were you two crybabies?
A: I was nine weeks old. Dougy came along a week or so later when the lady who had our mother noticed Dougy and I played well together at the veterinarian’s, where we both were recovering from a parasite we picked up eating a grasshopper….! We never cried, though, except when that bulldog puppy made us nervous. Remember that bulldog puppy, Dougy?
D: Yeah, but I was cute when I whimpered! LOL!
A: Well. ornery anyway. Yeah, cute, too. We both were really cute, if I do say so myself!
B: As kitties did you play a lot and how does that compare to now? How old are you two by the way?I can still ask that question right?
A: We used to chase each other. Our favorite toy was a little stuffed mouse. We’d play “keep away”. First, I’d run with it, then Dougy’d take it from me and run with it. We played that way for hours or until we took a nap. We napped a lot, of course. We also liked to chase each other when we didn’t have the mouse. We climbed all over the place, and got yelled out a time or two until we learned that climbing on people hurts them. We may have been little, but we had claws of death already! Hee! Hee! And used them!
D: And how! Of course, now that we are almost five years old (as of next July 1st), we are less active than we were as kittens, but we still like to play with our BirBug toys. (These are wand toys.) We still chase each other for fun, and running through the apartment is one of our favorite activities.
[Dougy on his favorite ottoman playing with the BirBug toy]
B: Wow, already the big five; it will take me ages to get there. Hey, do you have a treat? I always seem to be hungry; can you give me advice on how to solve this problem? A cute face certainly helps, but does not seem to work all the time.
A: Play the cuteness gambit for sure, Benji! No one can ignore that cute face!
D: Yeah, and we throw in purrs and rubbing against their legs to encourage giving us something yummy to eat! I don’t know if dogs do that, too.
[Andy is giving advice]
B: Hmmm, purrs, you have to teach me that. You seem pretty laid-back. Are you just plain lazy or is it a pose to get more treats from your human?
D: It isn’t lazy, it’s conservation of energy. Cats never waste energy. You never know when the next gazelle is coming through, so you don’t want to use all your energy up before you have more food!
A: Dougy’s being silly now, Benji! We don’t have gazelles here in Nebraska! I checked. Just bison, deer, squirrels, birds of various sizes….
Here, Andy’s eyes glazed over as he fantasized about the birds in the fir outside the back window. He and Dougy both love to watch birds!
B: As you know I like food games, do you like them too? Do you have food puzzles? Is there a trick you can teach me to solve them faster? Some food puzzles take way too long to finish and my belly is just protesting. I love belly scratches too. Do you like them?
A: We don’t play food games, though our human does give us kitty treats when we are good boys. (Like after I get my medicine!) I don’t know if we have the patience to solve them. We had a food game once that required too much work to get to the food. I trained the human to knock the game to dislodge the food to where I could get it. Hee! Hee! I don’t think he ever realized I trained him! You need to figure out how to get your human to feel sorry for you and just give you the food, too. That’s your homework assignment for tonight!
B: Good advice Andy, I will try it out tonight!
D: We both like to have our bellies rubbed, but what we like even better is to have that spot between our eyes scratched. It’s hard for us to get, but the human can get right in there!
A: Oh yeah, and we like it when he rubs the side of our mouths.
B: Do you go to the park to play? Do you like to ride in a car? I find them noisy and you can’t look out the window.
A: We are inside cats. I think we would like the grass, but out human grows some for us inside, as well as catnip. He says it’s a matter of safety since we live close to two major roads. We hate flea and tick medicine, so he says we can’t go outside since we won’t cooperate to let him put it on. I think it’s an excuse!
B: Your human is smart; better safe than sorry, and I bet it is better for the birdstoo :). I take lots of naps in my bed. How many naps do you take each day? Where do you sleep; do you sleep in a tree?
D: We both sleep 16-18 hours a day. I like to sleep on an ottoman next to where our human sits to watch television, and Andy likes to sleep on a side table next to the same place. That way we can keep track of him and each other, too!
B: Wow, 16-18 hours; you hardly have time for play. BTW, talking about naps makes me feel tired. I think I am ready to take one right now. Night, night.
A: And don’t let the bedbugs bite!
A: When did you learn to speak “Dog”?
D: Remember? Ms. Zulu spent a few hours with us, trying to get us to speak in “Dog”. All I could get out was “Vuff” because I found the accent hard to get. While you were napping, I practiced saying that till I got it right!!
A: I’m impressed, brother! You never strike me as being that serious!
B: Thanks for the interview Andy and Dougy; you two are funny critters. Now I really need that nap; maybe I will sleep in my new cave and dream of kitties.