MP-10

Wow, today was our 10th Mission Impossible that became Possible. It’s amazing how all these little steps add up towards a significant milestone. With ten visits under my belt, I can apply for the AKC Therapy Dog Novice title. It seems like yesterday when I got my training wheels, passed the prescreening exam, passed the real exam, and then several months later went on my first mission.

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My first training wheels (10 weeks)

And here are the numbers: During the animal therapy training sessions I have interacted with 72 people. And on my missions, I’ve interacted with 146 people. This brings the total of interactions with NEW people since I was adopted to 602! Yes, you read that right, that is 602 new people. That means meeting more than one new person per day. The total number of interactions with new plus familiar humans is much, much higher. That’s a lot of pawshaking and sitting on my behind, I can tell you that.

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One of my first animal therapy training sessions

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Practicing in the field 

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Training with my CCI buddies

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My first real mission

We celebrated today’s milestone with doggie ice cream and topped it off with some frozen carrots for another Popeye boost. Yummy!

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Let’s celebrate; we’re ready!

Hope you had a wagnificant Father’s day and all, 

Happy Monday,

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 1

It’s getting really hot again here in Florida. It can get so hot that we can barely think when we are walking or exercising outside. I know it’s a good excuse to get out of obedience training… Of course, us canines still have to be exercised outdoors so we are always thinking of cool things that we can do without getting a heat stroke. And I’m not kidding here, heat strokes are a potential problem in the summer, see Pet MD.

We will try to think of 10+ things to stay cool this summer. Feel free to add your own ideas. Hey, we could even make a guest post out of it. The first one in the series has to do with???? Yes, you guessed it right, something EDIBLE: a cool snack for whenever the need is high. How cool is that?!

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Testing: Take 1

So what is a cool snack? Frozen veggies are one example. Just cut some carrots or other edible veggies and throw them uncooked in the freezer. Now that summer is in full swing, I will start taking them on my secret missions. Why? Well, for several reasons: 1) It doesn’t leave a mess on floors and human parts like some doggie treats do; 2) especially carrots always seem to be available in the fridge; 3) it’s dirt cheap (this should be listed as number one as this seems important to headquarters, not sure why because my treat account keeps growing); 4) it’s super easy to make, and I know this because I always supervise the cutting process to ensure that nothing gets wasted; 5) it’s literally and figuratively speaking a cool snack; 6) it’s crunchy; and, 7) Ms. Zulu and I love ’em and that should obviously be the most important reason!

Of course, we had to test the frozen treats before I can take them on an actual mission. Both Ms. Zulu and I happily volunteered. I am sad to report that the first take was successful, so no other experiments are to be expected. On another note, I was able to convince M that we should also take some of our fruit filled ice cubes* with us in the field. The cubes can sit in a cooler in the car while I’m busy so that I have a refreshing snack afterward. I’m hoping the ice cubes need more testing.

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Stay cool this summer, don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh water with plain ice cubes wherever you go, and please tell everyone not to leave any pets unattended in the car for any period of time,

Benji

* Fill an icecube tray with some edible stuff such as a bit of peanut butter, banana, or blueberries. Pour water on the goodies, let it freeze, and voila you got doggie ice cream. Again, always make sure you only use fruits and veggies that are safe for your pet to eat. 

B-day

Wow, another busy week this week. Am sure happy that we got in some extra Zen over the weekend.  It started with M’s B-day. We celebrated this with, I’m sure you would have guessed it, pie! This time, Ms. Zulu and I had blueberry-banana-yoghurt-ice-cube pie.  It’s a mouthful, I know, and deliciously mouthwatering too. I could have eaten the whole thing… How you make ’em? Look here.

Because it was a B-day, we all went on a canoe trip together. Those canoes are a bit tricky especially with two people and two canines. Just try it sometime. You are not supposed to rock the boat, but what if it rocks you? I learned that headquarters only uses canoes that have an un-rocker. Not sure how exactly it works but it seems to be situated at the stern of the boat. So it doesn’t really matter when Ms. Zulu and I both lean to the right (or left) together, automatically a counterweight shifts to the opposite side. Isn’t that cool? It has come in handy on occasion; on this trip too. So far we have always kept our butts dry. And that is a good thing in my book as you know I don’t like to get wet.

There was lots of excitement on this canoe trip. It seemed like we were crossing a manatee highway. Manatees were showing up under, besides, in front, and behind the boat. They are very curious animals. Passive observation is the best according to FWC viewing guidelines. This means that Ms. Zulu and I have to sit quietly too.  M forgot yummies for our tummies so we got them after the trip for our “good boy and girl” behavior.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about my MP-8 trip. Oh, and before I forget, Thursday is Bacon’s interview with me! Next week will be Ms. Zulu’s interview. I will share the interviews as soon as they are published.  Gotta run, I have to write and mail a postcard to my anipal Kosmo in Finland, it’s long overdue.

Benji

Emergency (S)care

Boy oh Boy, what a week I had. On Tuesday I was brought to the ER. I was a bit suspicious because this time I was dressed in my regular outfit instead of my usual Dogtor attire. And we seemed to be more in a hurry. The ER also looked and smelled different from the one I normally visit as a Dogtor. There were other dogs, yet I could find not a single one in a Dogtor’s uniform.

As we approached the front door it became rapidly clear to me that this time I would be the one on the table. A vet assistant examined me and before I could woof anything they took an X-ray. A diagnosis was made and everything, and I mean everything! that I had acquired with quite some effort on my part that evening, was confiscated. Out came my newly acquired treasures: my treats, my dinner, and some chewy bones. Turned out that the bones on my twister food game were not edible! I ask you, who makes bones that are not edible?!  I definitely need some guidance here.

After a lot of waiting, we were finally allowed to leave the building. M and I went first. Q came out a bit later. He looked a lot lighter compared to when we first arrived. He walked straighter too. Maybe heavy wallets are just not good for you. Isn’t there a saying you humans use: “money doesn’t make you happy”? I would like to add: “and pets do”. First, because we are a lotta fun. And second, we know a thing or two to help you burn some of that inedible junk. I guess I was able to do some of my Dogtoring even without my magic uniform. Who knew?

I had to be watched for 48 hours to make sure that there were no remaining plastic pieces inside of me scratching or obstructing any passages. Initially, the ER vet thought that I could have some pelvic bone issues as well, but after checking with my own vet the next day this turned out to be a non-issue. We were happy to hear this news as headquarter staff had worried a bit that this would impact my secret mission work and agility fun. It’s now 48 hours later and there are no signs of lingering inedible matters either so we should be in the clear on both fronts. Phew, that was a close call.

Of course, to celebrate the great news and because certain people still feel guilty about the oops ordeal (yes, keep that up), we had doggie ice cream. According to my kitchen staff, it’s really easy to make: Fill an icecube tray with some edible*! stuff such as a bit of peanut butter, banana, or blueberries. Pour water on the goodies, let it freeze, and voila you got doggie ice cream. Ms. Zulu and I love it especially when we get a bit of yogurt (more is always nice) on top. The blueberry ice cream may leave a mess on your floors so we tend to eat that one outside. Yum!

Stay cool and remember “every cloud has a silver lining”,

Benji

*Here are some other recipes you can try. Make sure all ingredients are safe for your quadrupeds 🙂 .