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.

BelenZB2

Photo credits: © Belén Soto 2017

Benji1.jpg

The first draft

BZ2.jpg

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

Joy is…

Jumping up

High in the air

With ears flapping

Wishing you a wagnificent weekend with lots of treats and cuddles,

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 9

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.

THE GAME

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.

The rules:

  1. 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.
  2. As my human kicks Mr. Crocodile, she says “get Crocodile” and then we both run after him.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Happy days, 

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 8

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.

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,

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 7

As you know, I love agility training. However, sometimes it’s raining or just too hot to do any agility training outside. That’s when the Ultra-Movable-Agility aka UMA set comes in handy. What you need? One human and one chair. You could even use a table. Really that’s all. How? Here it comes:

1. Under
under.JPG
Instructions: put the human on a chair, look at one or both leg(s) and think “extend”. Crawl under the leg(s). Done! It’s that easy. The same can be done with a chair and even a table. So you really don’t need the human but I think that it is way more fun with one. They are also good for yummies in the tummy.

2. Over 
over.JPG
Instructions: put the human on a chair, look at the leg(s) and think “extend”. Jump over the leg(s). Again, the same can be done with a chair or table. Whatever takes your fancy.

3. Up
armsc.jpgInstructions: Put the human in a stand. Make sure you grab a sturdy human and not a wobbly one. Pick an arm. Look at it and think “extend”. Jump up on said arm. This can also be done with a chair or even kitchen counter. Personally, I like the latter the best but I can’t even take a peek before the doggie police starts to bark.

Sorry for the not so clear illustration here. We experienced some technical difficulties. Something to do with not having enough arm to take the photograph. At least you can see how careful I’m about not digging any of my nails in the arm. After all, it’s very important to be gentle with your agility equipment. Sometimes I am “up in arms” too. That’s when I jump up high on my human and she wraps her arms around me. Oh, and before I forget, always get official approval with stamps and an inifinite number of carbon copies for any of these exercises. Especially if you want to be(come) a therapy dog.

Have fun,

Benji

A Wagging Day

Another pawbulous day today as I graduated from Agility Training I.  I successfully jumped through hoops and over many obstacles in the last two months. Not sure why humans complain so much about all the obstacles and hoops in their lifes. Just get on with it and over it. Next on my agenda is Advanced Agility Training. It should start in July. That’s when “the sparrows fall from the roof” as they say in Holland. Rest assured, we will be early birds to avoid the falling from the roof problem. I know, I know, every obstacle will be higher in Advanced Agility Training, but I’m sure I’m not gonna jump off the roof. No sirree.

You know what else we celebrated today? I seem to have attracted more than 300 followers with my woofanigans.  Not bad for an ex-shelter dog, heh?

IMG_2025b

Two wagnificent followers on my tail

IMG_2035b

The tire sure makes me tired 

IMG_2042cr

Crashed again once we got home

Try to stay out of trouble this week, I will try to do the same
Benji

Happiness is …

Going to your favorite place where you can play, and play, and play, and have fun with your buddies.

doggiedayz2

Guess what I did today!

I crashed after dinner at home.

doggiedayz

Crashed Subject

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 6

I’m so happy; finally, we made it to the dry matter!  No, not the dark matter, that’s a whole other ballgame. Dry matter is more my cup of tea. Although now I come to think of it, I have never had tea in my whole life. It’s probably not good for us canines anyways. Plus it’s wet…

Anyhowls, we are getting off track here. The question is what can you do as a dog besides getting wet on a hot summer day? Well, I love to go to Doggie Dayz. It is a daycare and training facility. I get to play pretty much the whole time when I’m there. It’s inside and that is absolutely pawbulous in a hot climate with lots of rain in the summer. Of course, we go outside for our walks, but other than that we are sheltered from the sun and rain. And I just love, love the staff. I could go there efury day.

Photo credits to Doggie Dayz Daycare and Training Facility

I’ve been going to the doggie facility on a regular basis since I was 12 weeks old. These kinds of facilities are nice for humans too. They can shop till they drop or work to get treats on the table without having to worry about us four-legged ones.

Happy Dayz, WOOFFF!

Benji

The Wedding

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

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 5

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.

beach3.jpg

I have been going to the beach since I was a youngster (12-17-15). Click on the photo to watch my video

sand

The sand is fun (1-1-16)

img_7068

I like to just sit and enjoy the scenery (11-23-16)

sailingh

And reminisce about the day (2-5-17)

Phew, I made it through the wet stuff alright; onwards to the dry matter,

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 4

I thought it was best to get all the wet stuff behind me, so here is the inevitable POOL note. If you ever do decide to go to the pool and in the sun, you can now take doggie sunscreen with you. Isn’t that something? And yes, we can get a sunburn too. I get one much more easily than Ms. Zulu with her thick undercoat. Be careful of the chlorine too, see Pet MD.

I don’t have a problem ingesting too much of the pool chemicals. As I’ve said before and I do want to reiterate this: I don’t like to swim! There you have it black on white. Let’s hope this will be remembered by those who need to be in the know.

pools4Do you remember this photo from October last year? There was a reason that I was not in the photo. 

pool2

No, still not in the water, even with a tennis ball, just saying

pool5.jpg

And nope, a small pool doesn’t change anything

Higher authorities finally gave up and our doggie pool now sits in Adonis’ yard. That’s a much better place, don’t you think?

zuls.jpg

Ms. Zulu found a more natural pool; still looks too wet to me

Better be safe than sorry and keep your fur away from the wet stuff, 

Benji 

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 3B

As promised an update on our wet affair. Rule number 1: avoid the wet affair at all cost. Rule number 2: if you can’t, make them pay with lots of yummies. All woofing aside, the wet affair turned out to be a lot cooler than anticipated. I may even like this game. But never tell anyone. The yummies may stop coming. And we don’t want that to happen, ever.

Love and woofs,

Ms. Zulu and Benji  

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 3A

OK, I tried to postpone this watery post as long as possible for reasons that you are probably well aware of by now.  However, higher authorities ruled differently and I was bound to get WET as part of the Cool Hot Summer Fun series. Yes, you read that right. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to DRINK water. However, do not soak me in the stuff. It’s wasteful you know. And it certainly isn’t fun.

There are many ways to get wet and all are bad: in the bathtub (not a good idea for the interior of your bathtub; I do have nails), a pool (are you nuts, I would drown!), on a wet towel (ok this one isn’t too bad), … Anyhowls, you get my drift. The other day headquarters decided that we had to try something else. Ms. Zulu and I both love to drink from a hose, so the thinking was that we would enjoy playing under a lawn sprinkler. Hmmm, in what kind of universe does that not totally soak you?

hose.JPG

This is not gonna work you guys

Of course Ms. Zulu and I are always a good sport so we did try this new game. The first attempt was with a spray nozzle attached to a water hose. The nozzle was quite rude. He was quick to point the finger, or whatever part it was, at us. I’m happy to report that the end score was: Spray Nozzle 00 – Benji 11. I even stayed dry and got all the treats. Ms. Zulu didn’t stay completely dry but she didn’t get wet to the bone either. Nor did she get any treats now I come to think of it. She can have some of my treats. Oh, I guess I inhaled them all. Well, I’m sure there are more wherever they came from. Look in the pantry.

hose2.JPG

Ms. Zulu got a bit wet and was still smiling 

Since both Ms. Zulu and I didn’t really seem to cool down from this game, some more serious looking equipment was pulled out of the shed-with-one-hundred-and- thousand-plus-tools and a real sprinkler was attached to the hose. I will give you an update on that later.

In the meantime stay dry,

Benji

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 2

Ms. Zulu and I have a doggie door and can go outside to our doggie yard pretty much whenever we want. But, like any canine, we were born ready for our daily exercise walks. As the summer gets into full swing we try to get our morning walk in as early as possible and we try to walk in shaded areas. Here in Florida, we have to watch out for biting bugs and use pet safe products to repel them.

We prefer to walk on cool and soft surfaces such as grass. If we have to walk on hot pavement or sand we check the temperature to make sure that it’s not too hot for our sensitive paws. You can even get dog booties if there is no way around that conundrum. In the evening we prefer to walk as late as possible.

We always bring water with some plain ice cubes wherever we go. And how could I forget?! The treats, we bring those too! OK, ok, it’s mostly dinner-kibble but there are treat-crumbs in there for sure. Above we are showing the water Rover water dispenser. What we like: we don’t waste any water as our assistant can easily pour the unused water back in the bottle. What we don’t like: it’s plastic. So we are looking for a sturdy durable stainless steel version. The H2O4K9-Water-Bottle is close to what we are looking for but doesn’t have the convenient top of the Rover. I heard that there is a curious Rover on Mars maybe we should ask him.

We don’t have a lot of sweat glands and panting is our major cooling method. The sweat glands that we do have are mostly located around the paw pads. That’s why it helps to stand in a pool or on a wet towel when we are too hot. I think I will err on the side of caution; I’m not gonna get wet, period. And that is one h_ll of a big period, period. As a refresher, here are the signs of  heat exhaustion and impending heat stroke in dogs according to Pet MD: “sluggishness, very heavy panting, bright red gums, hypersalivation (which can progress to the opposite: dry tacky gums), vomiting or diarrhea, and collapse. In the later stages, death can occur rapidly if not treated in an ER.”

Even though they haven’t officially arrived yet, we do hope that the Dog Days are over before we know it!

Not sure if running fast will help to stay cool. Well, maybe at Mach 2+ and some cooling liquid for the pawerful machine. And no, I’m not talking about some water with plain ice cubes here.

B Mach 3b

Stay cool my friends and please tell your friends not to leave live animals in a car, hot unshaded area, hot unventilated room,  or hot anything…, 

Benji

Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?

It’s Spotlight Thursday with a spotlight on Ms. Zulu! Go to Piglove (click here) to read all about it. To read last week’s interview with Benji click here.

sailingf

Ms. Zulu, January 2015

Wishing you a Pawbulous Thursday,

The ZAB team

 

 

What’s for Dinner?

It’s a holiday weekend, so last night we went out for dinner. When we walked in, there was quite a racket. The piano seemed to be upset. It was harping on the same string over and over again. I was glad when the human stroking the piano got it to relax so that it cooed like a baby. I even got some real food this time. Yum!

IMG_2022cr.jpg

Wishing you a Bon Chew Weekend

Benji

Piglove: Spotlight Thursday

As promised, here is the link to the interview I did with Bacon. Bacon is a cute miniature pot bellied pig at Hotel Thompson.  He writes Piglove.  His main goal “is to bring a smile to your face”. He sure brings it to us when we are reading his blog.  Next week it is Ms. Zulu’s turn.

Spotlight Thursday – Meet Benjamin Griz de Tiger

besilly

Smile!

Benji 

A Day of Rest

I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest but I’m taking one today. I had such a busy week. Sunday morning I had agility training, Monday I had a play date, Tuesday I went a whole day to the doggie entertainment center,  Wednesday I had to puppy sit Adonis, then went straight to a training session in the park…. on Thursday I could rest some, while on Friday we went to the river and supervised boat launches. Of course, we had my regular on-site SIS training sessions as well. I’m getting out of breath just thinking about it.

So, today I am practicing mindful body, mind, and soul. I read that resting for a day benefits all three. We call it Zuluism in our house.

I love sleeping on my bed. I now have a Molly Mutt headrest that I truly enjoy. My bed is a Brindle soft memory foam bed. I did not pick it because of its name. It just seemed like a good bed and I’m very happy with it. I still like Ms. Zulu’s bed the best, it’s a PetFusion bed with a headrest on three sides, but that’s hers so I don’t get to use it much.

Take a break and replenish your body, mind, and soul,

Benji

The Forbidden = Unforbidden

I have some good news to report on this exciting Monday. After gazillion years months of endless waiting, the forbidden fruit became unforbidden.  One apple just happened to fall down with its rosy cheeks up. I didn’t see it fall and no I didn’t touch it. I know, I know. In hindsight, I should have, could have waited at the bottom of the tree and gobbled it up right there as we all know that an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

We supposedly live in a democratic household so after we had looked at the apple on the kitchen countertop for ages days my kitchen staff split the apple into four equal parts. All seeds and the core were removed as those are very bad for us canines.

There is a second apple that keeps staring at me from the kitchen countertop. That one didn’t fall down but had to be harvested to save a fragile looking tree limb from breaking.  The limb had three apples on it and just couldn’t support those. I would have taken all three apples, but hey my opinion doesn’t seem to count most of the time sometimes. Calling headquarters a semi-democratic institution would probably be more accurate.  They are trying their best but some seem to be more equal than others. One can always hope though that one day we’ll all be the same.

If you’re wondering what else we canines can eat besides apples, here is a list of some of the human goodies that canines can eat.

Bon chew,

Benji