Sky = 1!

Sky turned one this month! That was cause for a big celebration! He hasn’t been with us for that long but we can’t imagine life without him. He is certainly one bundle of joy! Of course, we had to make a slideshow of his monthly photos to show you how he has grown!

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Jan 2019 – August 2019

Click here for Benji’s first year in pictures

 

Gone with the Wind: 2

After the yummies-out-of-the-tummy affair earlier in the week we now seem to be back on track. High Ten to the staff at the ER and my own vet! So finally I can show you more of the stuff we did when Adonis was here. Of course, we had to have a slumber party. We put our lounge beds close together and discovered that with a new friend there is lots to woof about. I was especially curious to find out if puppies interests nowadays are different from the ones I had as a pup. There doesn’t seem to be much to report on that front yet.

I assume my generation is still pretty up to snuff. Like many of my peers, I have attended school and still do. I also have play dates, doggie TV & music, sailing & canoeing outings, agility fun, secret missionseducational toys, as well as pie and ice cream. And now you know we even have slumber parties. This is a bit different from when Ms. Zulu was growing up. Her puppy years are way behind her so it isn’t odd that she can’t remember everything. I do know that she has been around quite a bit; she has told me some unbelievable stories of her outings long gone. Still, Ms. Zulu is pretty sure that she didn’t have slumber parties with doggie music and TV.

We tried to watch Capone’s graduation ceremony on the day it was aired but unfortunately, the link was not working. We checked the link today and now it is up and running. It can be found here. BTW, do you remember Keane? He was the first CCI puppy who stayed at headquarters. He graduated the same day as Capone and you can also see him on TV. Two famous dogs who crossed my path; pretty amazing isn’t it?!

Happy Weekend; be sure to make time for play and slumber parties,

Benji. 

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the wind are my best buddy Capone and my new CCI friend Adonis. We took care of Adonis for only two days but when he left it felt like he was already part of the fur-amily.

Lots happened in the last three days. The evening before Capone had to drive south for his graduation, we had one last playdate. You can find the video of Capone’s graduation here. Adonis stayed with us for two days since both his puppy raisers went with Capone to the graduation ceremony.

Someone at my house, you can guess who, loves taking pictures especially puppy pictures. So there are now a gazillion plus pictures in addition to the ones we already have that have to be sorted. Here is a photo showing Adonis on my red bed. OK, ok, it is Ms. Zulu’s bed too.

Adonis is only 10 weeks old. Just as a comparison there is one photo of me when I was 3 weeks younger than Adonis is now. At that age, I didn’t have a magic cape like Adonis. Remember, I had just escaped been adopted from the shelter. Nonetheless, I had my football and an angel on my chest. Since we didn’t have a photo of me when I was 10 weeks old on the red bed (how come???!!!) we threw in the one that shows me when I went sailing for the second time in my life.

Enjoy your Sunny Day and wishing you smooth sailing this week,

Benji

We are currently unavailable

We are currently unavailable… because we are puppy sitting a CCI puppy! It’s quite a job. There is lots of going for a walk, business # ones and twos, playing, making sure nobody gets into trouble, and what not. Never knew puppy sitting was this busy.  It’s loads of fun but am wondering when I can catch up on my sleep…

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Hi, nice to meet you!

More later, gotta run,

Benji

Rocking the Boat

In the aftermath of the elections and the chaos that has caused in our household, I totally forgot to report on our canoeing trip. How could I forget?! I just love canoeing although I have to admit it is hard work. This time we even saw a manatee. It was the first time that I saw one that close. The water was a bit murky, so the photos are not that great, but at least it will give you an idea of one of the amazing blue lagoon creatures in Florida.  I had two duties. The first one being to alert my devoted paddlers of any imminent danger in the front or bow of the boat. Ms. Zulu kept an eye on the back of the boat, this is the stern I learned. I am happy to report that we did escape danger, due in no small part to Ms. Zulu and me.  We didn’t even have to bark. I strongly believe that our presence was enough to avert danger.  Our second task was to keep the boat balanced. Our initial approach was to both lean to the same side of the boat. After all, the first rule of standing guard is to look where everyone else’s nose is pointed towards. For some reason, that didn’t seem to work so well.  Canoes are rocky things, especially for rookies. But, you know as well as I do that you can hardly call Ms. Zulu and me rookies, so we decided to change tack and to lean to opposite sides, okay I admit under some direction of some higher authority. The end result was that we did rock the boat, after all, Shelties* do Rock, but never went under.  So, don’t forget, keep your nose pointed in the right direction and you will do well.

Yours Truly, 

El Capitan Benji

* A Sheltie is a dog that has been adopted from a shelter, not to to be confused with Shetland Sheepdogs.   

R.I.P. Ducky I

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Rest in Pieces, Ducky I

I am sad to announce that Operation Ducky I has failed. I tried to get to the heart* of it, but as of yesterday afternoon, around 2:05 p.m. EST, Ducky I, my ally and companion, succumbed. (* Every dog knows that the squeaker is the heart and essence of every playmate aka SA (Stuffed Animal)). Let’s start at the beginning though.

At some point earlier yesterday morning, Ducky I seemed to have stopped squeaking. All doggies instinctively know that you should always, always attempt CPR.  So that is what I tried with all my might. SA CPR is tricky and a bit different from your regular CPR. To get to the heart of our playmates, you have to start at the seams. I even got my big sister involved but whatever we did nothing helped poor Ducky. Instead of getting better, he only seemed to get worse as the day wore on. I did find the heart though. However, I may have been a bit too hesitant as I didn’t know right away what to do with it. In the end, I decided to run away with it, and I believe that was the wrong move. To be fair, this was my first rescue mission. Anyway, when I got back to my quarters,  poor Ducky lay lifeless on my bed. All may not be lost though as Ducky’s heart still continues to squeak. So, we are talking amongst ourselves how to use this piece of Ducky I once again in the near future.  In the meantime, Ducky II has been trained intensively by Ducky I, Ms. Zulu, and me, and is now 100% ready to take over Ducky I’s duties.  We must always remember though how Ducky I bravely has kept me company, all those dark lonely nights, in my forever home. R.I.P. Ducky I, I love you forever and will keep your heart close to me,

Benji.  

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Ducky I, we will never forget the good times we had together 

Chew Therapy

Mom has been sad for a couple of days now. Not sure what happened, but it seems to have something to do with an election of some sorts. Since I have been cleared to work as a therapy animal I thought I would make myself useful. So I gave her extra hugs and my favorite toy to chew on. It worked; I made her smile. Hope I can make you smile too, love, Benji.  

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The Deal

After putting our heads together, Ms. Zulu and I found a way to get lots of treats and make mom happy at the same time. This is the deal: for every “like” we get on this post, mom will donate $1.00 to the shelter we came from. AND, here is the kicker, my big sister and I will get one treat per dog for every 10 likes! For this purpose, we both put our best paw forward in front of the camera. So hit like and get as many people and animals involved as you can because we want to give back to the shelter we came from and uhhmmm… well, end up with lots of treats in our treat account too. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! 

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Attention, please!!

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Are you listening?

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We need lots of li(c)k(e)s.

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To get yummies in the tummies!

Puppy kisses from Ms. Zulu and me,

Benji

 

40 : 4

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Trusted sources tell me that my blog “Life of Benji” has now [update: more than] 40 followers. This makes me stand tall! These same sources tell me that it is quite a milestone as we started the blog just a little over 4 weeks ago when I had just turned the big ONE.  So, a big THANK YOU would be in order to all of you. I asked my sources if this means that I get 40 x 4 treats, or maybe 40 – 4, but I was told that I shouldn’t count on it. I said that I would share with Ms. Zulu, but that didn’t change the answer. Oh, well, I’ll have to find another way. Maybe I should have gone as low as 40:4…  Anyway, hope you get lots of treats thrown your way, sending you puppy kisses and wagging tails, 

Yours truly,

Benji.

I passed!

Saturday morning, I took THE animal therapy exam and I passed!  My tail is wagging! HM was a bit nervous but I liked it. There were lots of people waiting in line to pet me. I had to perform  20 different tasks ranging from basic commands to walking through a crowd with obstacles. And again, there was food on the floor that I was supposed to ignore.  Such a waste. At least at the end, I got a big treat. AND I now have my own badge saying that I am a therapy animal. Me Benji, the shelter dog!  They said that I was the youngest in my group who passed the test. BTW, I chose to wear my Ruffwear harness; it seems to be my lucky charm. Since I wore it during the exam, I will wear it on every visit, so it will be my new uniform. 

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After the test, we celebrated the occasion with, you guessed it, more treats. Now it is up to HM to do some shadow visits to test the waters and see what sort of facility works best for us as a team. We can choose from a long list of assisted living facilities, senior centers, youth centers, a hospital, libraries, and even a courthouse. Once we know what type of setting we like, we can try a short visit to one of these facilities together.  But first, I will take a well-deserved nap. 

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A bit Sad

For a moment, I thought nobody liked me anymore as almost no one responded to my most recent posts. That can’t be right, my assistants assured me. After all, I am Benji, the social butterfly. Then we looked at the WordPress reader and my most recent posts are just not showing up. Either my assistants don’t know what they are doing (and that shouldn’t be true) or WordPress is the one to blame.  Let’s keep all paws crossed and hope this post shows up in the reader. 

sad.JPGWhat’s up with the new eardo you ask? Well, I will tell you all about it later; once we get this thing working again.  P.S. Of course, my ears are still in one piece. 

 

I Mock You Not

This week, we had a mock exam to practice for the real animal therapy exam. I tried my new Sense-ation harness (photo on the right). The jury is still out on whether I will use my Ruffwear front range harness or the new one during the real exam. I always feel proud when I wear the Ruffwear harness. It’s very comfortable and I have worn it since I was first allowed to go on big trips. Besides, the trainer told me that I look smart with the Ruffwear harness. On the other hand, the new harness is supposed to help me be more responsive. To be honest, I did not know that there was a problem. OK, sometimes I am a tad bit enthusiastic. But hey, there are so many fun things to explore in the real world. 

For the first part of the exam, I had to stand still to be petted and examined. That was tough, especially when HM made the mistake of dangling a treat in front of me. I thought we could play, but not this time, she said. The exercise “leave it” was easy. All I had to do was walk past a bowl with food, without touching it. Just in case, I was keeping an eye on the food (you would too).  The exam also included a part where I was petted by a crowd of people. All I saw were legs and lots of hands reaching down for me. That was a bit confusing; I looked up but could not figure out which hands and legs belonged to who. They need to number those things. In the end, the mock exam was rewarding; I got lots of treats and even applause. Maybe I will bow next time. 

Hey, Listen…

st-francisI wanted to write a post about St. Francis on St. Francis day (October 4). Obviously, that didn’t happen. Who is St. Francis? Glad you asked. St. Francis lived many dog lives ago, but he is still remembered for his compassion towards animals and nature. I am not sure about you, but I think it should be St. Francis day every day. So, here it is, Happy St. Francis.

Animal Therapy Training

Yes, the big animal therapy exam is showing up on the horizon. I only have a couple more weeks to prepare. I take my training very seriously (well there has to be food or something, you don’t work for free either). The photo of me in front of my school shows how serious I can be. I only have one more animal therapy training session and then I should be ready. Yesterday, we learned how to maneuver around wheelchairs, people with walkers, and small children who were running back and forth. I was very interested in the stuffed toys the children brought. At home, I play with stuffed animals and at school, I was told not to. It is a confusing world. Oh yeah, and they throw treats on the floor that you are not supposed to eat. What a waste, wouldn’t you say? But the trainers are saying that it could be a pill on the floor and that would be bad for me. I guess they do have a point. 

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THE POOL

I went to THE POOL. It is a once-a-year event, where only doggies can be in the pool. Obviously, it was my first time.  M tried to get me in the water, but as you can see clearly in the second photo, it was a no entry zone. I am a stickler for the rules, so I stayed out of that big wet tub. Besides, I am really not a water dog. I know, I am supposed to be part retriever, but still I don’t see the fun in getting wet. I did have fun with the tennis balls, but did not really understand why they were all in the water where you couldn’t get to them. Humans, they are weird sometimes.    

First Year in Pictures

My assistants and I pulled together all monthly photos of me in one slideshow.  Watch how the soccer ball is getting smaller and smaller.  

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Me, Benji, growing up

November 2015 – September 2016

Benji turned One

CCI Visitor

I am so excited! We are having a visitor at our house for four days. Meet Keane, he is a CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) puppy in training. He will ride the elevator and go shopping later today. Wished I could go too. Keane even gets to wear a special cape, like superman. Keane’s cape shows people that he is being socialized and in training. One of my friends came over to say hi to Keane.     

 

Eleven

11 months

This month, my sister Ms. Zulu turned 11 years and I turned 11 months. One more month to go and I will be ONE!