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October 2015

Life is a bit different without my Big Sis. Like a good Zen Master and inventor of Zuluism, she meditated a lot towards the end.  However, no matter how busy she was with her Zen practice, she always made time for her little brother. We rolled in the grass together, went for walks, protected the herd, and had lots of marvelous adventures together. If you want to learn more about those adventures, just follow this link: Ms. Zulu.

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May 2016

Ms. Zulu taught me a lot and I hope that I’m ready to take the lead from here on out. But first, we will take a break and celebrate Christmas. Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing time together with f(u)riends and f(ur)amily.

Benji

Angel Wings

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Today’s post is one we hoped we wouldn’t have to write for a while. With a heavy heart, I am writing that Ms. Zulu passed away on December 3.  She was 13 years and 3 months old. It was all very sudden as a very aggressive and inoperable cancerous tumor showed up on her doorstep. It rained two solid days until she died. Then, just moments before it was time to walk over the rainbow bridge, the sun broke through the clouds and a beautiful rainbow appeared.

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Ms. Zulu, aka Zoë, was an integral part of our family and everything you could hope for: a best friend, companion, nurse, Zen master, big sister, puppy raiser, playmate, dog rescuer, sailor, canoer, chaser, and so much more. Many beautiful memories were made on our adventures together. We will treasure them all fur-ever in our hearts. R.I.P. big girl; we are missing you big time. Thank you for everything.

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Till we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge,

B & A  

 

Recert and MP-21

And yes, we are back in business in the animal therapy world as well. It took a while as M had surgery and was not supposed to do much of anything for way too long. It meant that I was super busy lending a helping paw. I followed her around like a puppy and lay down next to her to make sure she got enough rest. Man, let me tell you, you can get tired from lying down all day.

I also helped with chores. In the morning I had to make my own bed (yes, I do have a nice soft comfy blanket on my bed). I already put my toys away every day but now I had to pick up stuff M dropped on the floor as well. Yes, she can be quite messy. The good news is that I made a lot of treats for my treat account with all my extra helping. Maybe I should make this into a side business to keep the treats flowing.

IMG_8999b dIn addition, I got recertified for animal therapy a couple of weeks ago; this has to be done every two years to make sure we can still dot our i’s and cross our t’s. As an official R.E.A.D. partner, this was, of course, no problemo. Since all was deemed in order, we were able to visit the library together this morning for the first time in what felt like ages. Children R.E.A.D. to me while they petted me. It’s a nice way to start the day.  Hope y’all had a good start of the weekend too,

Benji

Michael

Finally, we are back in the game after a long break due to Hurricane Michael. We got our internet and landline back after two+ weeks. We lost it two days prior to the hurricane. Turned out that somebody who is building a house did not know what he was doing and cut the main telephone and internet wire.  He should have asked me to dig, I have lots of experience. They say that I can dig to China. Anyhowls,  now that we are back online we are happy to report that we are doing OK post-Hurricane Michael.

Michael turned out to be one tough cookie and brought lots of havoc. We heard and even saw trees fall down when we took shelter during the storm. There was a lot to organize before and a lot to clean up after Michael’s visit. I think it’s best for Michael not to visit us anymore. Ms. Zulu and I tried to help as best we could. I carried dead branches and pinecones; Ms. Zulu sniffed out trouble. Now I come to think of it, she seemed to sniff a lot at my butt too. How come?!

Be safe and stay out of trouble,

Benji

 

Shrinking

Help, my big sister has shrunk! I think we need to give her some power bars. I could do with one or two myself as well, you know as an athlete and such. It should do wonders in combination with a long power nap.

Happy lazy weekend!

Benji

Reversible

Love to show you our new bandana. Well, actually this one is Ms. Zulu’s. Mine will have to wait until we get some fabric with my favorite colors.  It’s reversible so we can wear it on many occasions. Thank you Tails Around the Ranch for inspiring us to make one!

Benji

Almost 3

Big drumroll pul-ease: Next week, September 18, I will be 3 years old! I expect lots of yummy treats and an extra toy or two or three or plenty. Anyhowls, my big birthday seems to be a reason to dwell on my puppy photos and has led to my own Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/dogtor_benji/. I hope the humans know that there is only one account that really counts: it’s my treat account!

Benji

13 = Fabulous!

Ms. Zulu turned 13 today! This is cause for a big celebration with lots of good yummies and pie which Ms. Zulu shared with me. The pie was made with all our favorite ingredients: salmon, carrots, yogurt and, blueberries. Sweet potato was served on the side. I’m looking forward to my B-day. Not sure if I care for the B-day hat, but I do hope there will be more pie.  Zulu.png

Benji

More Fun!

Hi, you-all! Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday. I had another fun run today. I went flying with Mach 2+ over and through 18! obstacles. This included the BANG device. I think I got the BANG beast tamed now without ending up in an alternate universe. The tough part was that all of this had to happen with an empty tummy that couldn’t be refilled until I was off the agility field!

Photo credit: Zeil16

The first run was over with before I knew it, with 30 seconds to spare. That run was too easy peasy. On the second run, I decided to be smarter. I mean if I can’t have yummies while running I might as well take detours and greet people (tip: you never know what they might have in their pockets). I’ve also heard that you need to warm up before strenuous exercise so I gave myself enough playtime on the field before going all Mach 2+ and showing off my awesome jumps.

Benji

Fun Stuff

Yesterday M and I went to our first agility competition. It was loads of fun. Our agility trainer had organized it to raise money for VOCAL (Voices of Chance Animal League). Its mission is to improve the lives of dogs without a voice. They provide free fencing, shelter, and medical resources for dogs that are forced to live their lives at the end of a chain. We came totally prepared, ahum, and showed up with one small bag with all my necessities: yummies and water. This was in contrast to others who seemed to have hauled their entire house to the event. Maybe they like to lift weights. Fancy crates, chairs, and even tents showed up on the sidelines.

During my run, I had to conquer 20 obstacles. Since M had never watched or participated in an agility event, I took charge as soon as she unhooked my leash. I started with a Mach 2+ victory lap. I got a lotta of applause for that one. Why save the best for last, right?  Still, time was ticking and we had only 90 seconds to complete the whole thing.  Not a problem for me but M is always lagging behind, so I knew I had to come up with something good. Instead of jumping over obstacles in numerical order, I just skipped the first obstacle, the tire. The second obstacle was the weave. To save even more time I pretzeled around only 4 of the 6 poles. Onwards to number three: a jump. From there I went straight to number eight, the A-frame. I ran that thing twice; it’s too much fun to only run once.  At some point, after more jumps and the boardwalk, and of course thanks to my pawbulous ingenuity, we made it to number 20. I didn’t have time for another victory run, so my instinct to do that first was a good one.

There was a raffle at the end of the event. I saw some great dog toys displayed that I would have liked to get my paws on. Unfortunately, I didn’t win them. Maybe next time.  All in all, it was a grand day. I made a lotta new fur-iends and friends and got hugs from many people. I can’t wait to go again.

Always listen to your gut,

Benji

P.S. Tomorrow we are expecting a furry important package by super express delivery. Stay tuned.  

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Yes, I did it; I turned another Mission Impossible into a Mission Possible! Last Saturday, I read with the kids at the library and decided that it was a lotta fun. They stroked my ears, those are definitely my sweet spots, my back, and even my belly while they read to me. I had two incognito sessions at the library before I officially opened my office. Next time I will ask my photographer/ driver/ butler/ whatever-I-need-person to take a photo of my office. It has cute monkeys on the wall, even though we are not supposed to monkey around.

Here is a photo of my new outfit for the R.E.A.D. program.  I use it together with my favorite blanket that states: “In a perfect world every dog has a home”. Ain’t that the truth.

Benji

Back in the Saddle

And yesterday the power was back on, and off, and on, and….. But yes, later in the afternoon, we seemed to be sort of back in business at headquarters. We cleaned up debris, opened hurricane shutters, and tried to get our act together. Ms. Zulu’s and I are good at supervising so that is what we did most of the day. We especially looked for squirrels because they steal enjoy the nuts on the hickory tree that fell down.

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We are not supposed to chase squirrels but it’s hard to resist these guys. My excuse is that I could be a Treeing Tennessee Brindle. Thanks Amy for pointing out the breed. A DNA test didn’t mention this breed but I sure look like one!

I’m dead tired after all that hurricane stuff. So this Brindle is going to take a well-deserved nap with Bunny and Crab. IMG_2953cr.JPG

Zzzz, 

Benji

MOM!

Man O Man (MOM), look what I and my CCI buddies found during a training session the other day. Maybe all skeletons should be left in the closet instead of barking about them but who can resist such a thing?

Wishing you a wagging weekend without any skeletons,

Benji

MP-13

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/

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!

Let the sunshine in,

WOOFFF!

Benji

Yahooo!!!

Today is National Dog Day in the U.S. So, get out your best stuff and honor all pets! Or volunteer at a local shelter… or…. if you have space for another fur-iend you can adopt one like me or my sister! What we did on National Dog Day? M volunteered at the local library and enrolled us in the R.E.A.D. program. I told M that I’m not able to read yet. She said that didn’t matter as long as I know how to listen attentively. Come to think of it, I haven’t been to a library either. Let’s hope it doesn’t have any weird doors that take you to a whole nother dimension. I wonder how many treats I will get out of this gig. What Ms. Zulu and I did today? We ran around in circles and had fun doing it!

Enjoy,

Benji

The Visit

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.

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.

Keep your head cool and your feet dry,

Benji

Twelve and more!

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.

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Photo credits: © Belén Soto 2017

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The first draft

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Ms. Zulu

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.

 

Benji