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
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.
Have a fun-tastic week,
Benji and team
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!
You have to wait on the table for 5-4-3-2-1
The BANG obstacle
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.
Guess what we got for Christmas; a DIY seesaw that works! When I saw it installed in the backyard, I had to try it. I approached the beast like you would any unfamiliar animal: with caution and one paw at a time. Once I knew I could trust the thing, I climbed on its back to the top of the world. I can tell you, the view is amazing. Experience has taught me that its great to try new things. It expands your mind and you always end up with lots of delicious yummies in your tummy. I think that’s how I solved the riddle of alternate realities. I discovered that when you climb the seesaw beast fast enough, you come down with a Big Bang. They say that without a Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, you and I wouldn’t be woofing to each other now. It’s now my theory that all new Big Bangs create new realities. Next time when I climb the seesaw mountain I need to set my mind on creating a new reality with an endless supply of yummies. That’s definitely food for thought.
The seesaw beast
Ready set go
Teaching Ms. Zulu the jump
Ms. Zulu hops the jump
We are wishing everyone from here to all the way around the world, happiness and full tummies fur-ever and ever. Hugs and a gazillion doggie kisses from the ZAB team.
It has been a whirlwind since LZ and LB showed up on our doorstep. It took them six weeks to travel from Vigo their birthplace in Spain to us. They left Vigo on November 8 and arrived in Madrid the next day where they had to stay for a while. We didn’t receive any updates until they showed up again in New York on December 10! Both Belén and we at headquarters were all worried when we didn’t hear from the little ones for four long weeks. We are still trying to get the gist of it but may never completely know what happened. At some point, there was even talk about LZ and LB being kidnapped. Luckily that was not the case. Customs did hold on to them a bit longer than what was needed but we can’t blame them because the little guy and girl are just too cute for their own good. The travel from New York to Florida took them another 11 days. They took this opportunity to sightsee. It was a bit chilly up north so it was a good thing that Belén had packed warm blankets in the suitcases. Now the little ones are soaking up the sun rays in Florida. LB and LZ have had their eyes on Benji’s agility equipment since the first second they stepped paw in the house. We had to tell them that that has to wait until everyone is well rested and full of new energy.
Checking out the agility equipment
A favorite lookout
There is lots to woof about
Our motto: play, rest, play into eternity
The ZAB team
Look who made it to our doorstep! We are so happy Little Ms. Zulu and Little Benji (LZ and LB) made it home just in time before Christmas! After traveling for almost six weeks from Spain, the little ones are a bit tired but unharmed and full of joy. Thank you Belén Soto for making it happen and ensuring that the pooches were safe throughout their travels. As you can imagine we are quite busy catching up on their travel stories so this is all for now. We will soon bring you more news and photos of the whole gang. Let the fun begin!
The ZAB team
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.
Checking out the competition
Soaking up those precious sunrays before the game
Me and my fur-iends
Puleasssee let me win the dog toy
The agility course in the background
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,
P.S. Tomorrow we are expecting a furry important package by super express delivery. Stay tuned.
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.
My new outfit
On my favorite blanket
I love to share
With my Big Sis
Lately, I have been reading a lot. Why, you ask? Well, I am enrolled in the R.E.A.D. program. The program helps young readers improve their literacy skills. Today we had a practice run at a library to show me the ropes and my office. Although now I come to think of it I didn’t see any ropes, just rows, and rows of books. And people sitting at long tables. They were reading quietly until I showed up, then all heads turned my way and people started to talk about my brindle stripes and such. I guess I was a bit of a distraction. Maybe that’s why I will have my own office. Gotta go, I haven’t finished my book yet and I want to know how it ends.
What a day today. We had our first trip on our new Follower. Ms. Zulu and I sniffed out the whole thing. No, we didn’t find any hidden treasures. And yes, that was a bit of a disappointment. Luckily our treat bag was brought onboard.
Yep, this works
I think we can get used to this
Can I have some privacy please?
Any day on the water is a good day!
We tested everything inside and out and can honestly say that the Follower is a keeper. Ms. Zulu found the trampoline quite comfortable for lounging. I have to try that next time. The rigging is solid and the sailing is smooth. This means that I should be able to keep my feet dry so what is there not to like!
Have a great week,
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!
Let the sunshine in,
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.
Keep your head cool and your feet dry,
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.
Photo credits: © Belén Soto 2017
The first draft
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.
High in the air
With ears flapping
Wishing you a wagnificent weekend with lots of treats and cuddles,
Remember I told you that I love to play indoor soccer with my stuffed buddies? Well, today I played it to celebrate that my dear friend Octopus finally made it out of the ICU. He went AWOL for a very long time after I had chewed off more than I could handle. When I saw him again he was called Septopus. After a successful surgery and speedy recovery, Octopus is back in the game, up and running on all his legs.
Prerequisites: First, I had to learn the names of my stuffed animals. This sounds more complicated than it is. Every single time a new fellow joins my herd, I’m taught his/ her name.
Octopus in the ICU
You have to be fast
- My human kicks one of my stuffed friends. This really sounds worse than it is. My friends sometimes squeak but I’m sure this is from delight. Let’s say it is Mr. Crocodile that gets the boot. And yes, boots can hurt us canines so we only play this game barefoot.
- As my human kicks Mr. Crocodile, she says “get Crocodile” and then we both run after him.
- If my human gets to my friend first, she kicks it again. If I’m first, I grab my friend and we go to step 4. I make sure that I run very fast. I don’t want my friends to be kicked in the butt twice in a row.
- Next, my human says the name of another friend and kicks it. We then run as fast as we can after that fellow. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as you like. You can include all your friends in this game or just one or two, it’s up to you and your friends. I can now hold up to three stuffed fellows in my mouth. That’s why we play the game with more than three friends. My favorite friend right now is Mr. Crocodile. He has an ultrasonic squeaker. I hear it but humans cannot! It’s a win-win for all.
What to do on one of those lazy Sunny Days? Make new friends! This one was technically speaking not a new one as he had been hiding in our doggie pantry since November 2016. Yes, you read that right. That’s when a V.I.P. stayed with us and we did the coastal tour. Oh, those were the days. Cool temps, excellent company, what else could one want.
I love Mr. Crocodile
He fits in well with my other friends
From l. to r.: Ducky, Crab, Moose, Rabbit, Rhino, Rope, Wallie, and Mr. Crocodile
I’m glad we found Mr. Crocodile. We hope he can stay and play with us for a long time to come. It all depends on his heart a.k.a. squeaker. Sometimes I have to do CPR on my friends. In the past, I have experienced some losses (see R.I.P. Ducky I). I guess I have to practice more. I also hope that Mr. Crocodile is a good soccer player. I love to play that game. More about that later; it’s getting pretty close to dinner time!
Wishing you a happy 4th of July weekend,
please keep your furry and not-so-furry ones safe,
Going to your favorite place where you can play, and play, and play, and have fun with your buddies.
Guess what I did today!
I crashed after dinner at home.
Remember Drake and Sol? After lots of preparations, Benji and Ms. Zulu attended their wedding. It was their first and they can’t stop woofing about it. You can read all about it here:
via Here Comes the Bride — Graffiti Lux and Murals
You thought all the wet stuff was behind us, right? Well, so did I. Apparently, we forgot about the beach. The beach is actually fun as long as you don’t get saturated with the wet stuff. We go to the beach a lot in the winter and fall, but we hardly go in the summer. It’s Florida you know. If we go in the summer, we go at night when the sand is cool and still a bit wet. I love to play in the sand and look at sunsets.
I have been going to the beach since I was a youngster (12-17-15). Click on the photo to watch my video
The sand is fun (1-1-16)
I like to just sit and enjoy the scenery (11-23-16)
And reminisce about the day (2-5-17)
Phew, I made it through the wet stuff alright; onwards to the dry matter,