Winnings

How was your weekend? We had a busy one. We traveled to an agility event in the pooch mobile. I won two first places in Novice Jumpers; M is very proud. Okay, I’ll admit, maybe I’m a bit too. The blue and green ribbons I won do look good on my chest, don’t you think? Since I had two qualifying runs, I could pick out a toy too. I choose one for Da Sky because he cheered me on. He likes balls and tug toys so I got the perfect toy, a combination of the two so that we can play together. After all, you gotta remember to play hard after you work hard. But, if possible skip the hard work and go straight to the play hard part.

Well, I better go. I got some Zuluism* to catch up on. I didn’t really have time for it over the weekend. And you know what they say if you don’t have time for that then you have to do more of it.

Hope you have a pawriffic week with loads of fun intermingled with Zuluism,

Benji

Training Da Sky

I always knew that I couldn’t influence da weather but do you know that you can train da Sky? It turns out to be pretty easy too. Who would have known?! Sky has had multiple lessons in an unofficial capacity as soon as our vet gave him a clean bill of health. On one of Sky’s trips, he went to agility training with me. He didn’t have to jump through hoops but he sure did get a lot of attention. Nobody took photos of me. I know, how come????! To even things out, I’m throwing in a photo of my first encounter with agility way back in 2016.

Sky even went shopping and came home with a new leash. Unfortunately, no treats whatsoever. I quadruple checked. Sky also had his first puppy pawty with my CCI buddies to welcome Kirby a new nine-week-and-counting CCI pup. I couldn’t go as I had to pawsonally dogtor Q , you know the second in command at headquarters, back to health. Sometimes you have to set your priorities. Stay out of trouble this weekend, I will try to do the same.

Benji

MP-23+

IMG_0346b.JPGHi guys and girls! Another update from the office. In between Sky’s lessons and my agility classes, I still try to go to the Mission Possibles. The Howlidays and Agility had interrupted my schedule a bit as well but I think I’m pretty much back on track. The last one was at the end of January. Several children R.E.A.D. some pawtastic stories to me.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

The above is not totally true as you can live many lives in your head, I know I do, but you get the drift. Wished I could get mine all on paper. It would make communication with da humans so much easier.

Benji

The Beast

Conquering the heart of The Beast has become part of our tactical training. Sky seemed ready for this so M took him to The Beast Park. The Beast looked older. There is some wear and tear on him. I think he needs some pampering from a real Dogtor.

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Is this the one?!

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He is purretty big!

To win your adversaries heart you say goodbye with a kiss. Sky didn’t have to do that yet; that’s for his next lesson.

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Moi in 2017: Till we meet again!

Benji

 

The Cave

The cave has been an integral part of the training curriculum at headquarters. The first photo shows Ms. Zulu when she was still a youngster, about three years old just like I am now.

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Ms. Zulu: 10-10-2008

I had to dig deep in the archives to find this old photo of myself when I was about 2 months old.

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Moi: 11-21-2015

The third photo shows Sky in his first week at headquarters, when he had just discovered the cave.

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Sky: 10-13-2019

The cave is very old; it dates back to many years B.Z. (Before Zulu). It looks like it’s part of a Stonehenge circle which could be true or not. The cave has been explored extensively by all four-legged beings, young and old, who resided at headquarters at some point in time.  Over the years each of us has put our own paw-stamp on it so it means a lot to all of us including the two-legged ones.

Benji

Sea Legs

To deter the post Holidays crash, we went sailing yesterday. For a moment I was worried that I had misplaced my sea legs. Luckily I remembered the guidance of my big Sis Ms. Zulu and I found them. Ms. Zulu always seemed to know what to do; no job was ever too big for her. I have some very big shoes to fill, even though Ms. Zulu’s paws were tiny.

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Ms. Zulu, January 2015

With Ms. Zulu shepherding the heavens, I’m now sole captain of the mighty ship in the here and now. Just as Ms. Zulu taught me, I let my nose lead the way.  My staff is good at adjusting the sails when needed. Wished we could do that so easily back on land. Life is different on the water. Everything is so quiet; just the wind, birds, the occasional dolphin, and fresh air. All that salt air makes you dead tired so once I got home, I ate dinner and took a mighty nap.

Don’t despair if you can’t find your sea legs right away in rough seas,

Let your nose take the lead and you will get there in the end,

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.  

MP-14

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

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

MP-12

I know, I know, we are way behind on updating you but I had a couple of busy weeks so thought I would chill on my sofa with live television before I got back on track. I’m happy to report that on Wednesday another Mission Impossible became possible. I went to a youth center where I met teenagers who are enrolled in a non-residential counseling program. It was a new place for me so I met lots of new people. I worked the crowd together with one of my colleagues, a Great Pyrenees. He is a great guy literally and figuratively speaking. We learned that he has been in the business for more than 4 years. That’s twice as long as I have been on this planet! The guy was very calm. I guess that’s what happens when you have done this a million times.

The kids at the youth center are a hoot. They wanted to know everything under the sun about me. Their greeting ritual is a bit different from mine as they wanted me to shake their hands over and over again. I got rewarded with treats so it was no problemo. I even put in a couple of spins for good measure. Afterwards, we stopped at a cafe to cool down. It’s hot here, 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so we ordered drinks on the rocks.

Stay cool and have a pawbulous weekend,

Benji

AWOL

We have a Canine Companion for Independence (CCI) visitor so we will be AWOL for a little while as we will be busy showing him around town. Our visitor is about seven months old and has an out of jail card for seven days.

The little guy who is actually quite a big guy already is a service dog in training and being trained by inmates at a correctional institute for women. He needs some real world experience such as shopping, riding in a car, going to the doctor etc., hence the out of jail card. The women who take care of these puppies are doing a fabulous job so it’s always a joy to have these guys around.

I promise to catch up with you later,
Benji

Joy is…

Jumping up

High in the air

With ears flapping

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

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?

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Two wagnificent followers on my tail

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The tire sure makes me tired 

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Crashed again once we got home

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

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

MP-8 and Mail

On Tuesday we had another Mission Possible made possible by Dogtors without Borders. Yeah, I know it’s a shame that Ms. Zulu can never join me on these trips, but she probably likes her naps at home better anyway.

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Waiting for the mail person to pick up the mail

There was lots of stuff going in and around the ER this time. Ambulances were driving up, people were wheeled in with all kind of devices, even on brancards. I hadn’t seen the brancards before. They were impressive I have to say. The nurses were quite busy and could use some of my reversed Reiki afterward. The carrots and other yummies kept me on my feet. I was thankful for the sweet teenager who kept feeding them to me.

Once I got home I got to take a nap. Next, I wrote two posts about my adventures for my blog, and a postcard for Kosmo my pal in faraway Finland. Kosmo’s mom always has interesting stories to tell about Finland. Can’t wait until the postcard gets delivered. Wondering how long it will take this time. I looked it up on Google Maps and it tells me that it takes about 16 hours to fly to Finland from here…  That’s a mighty long time!

Have a great week guys and girls, remember to take lots of naps,

Benji

MP-7

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I’m ready, are you?

Wow, what a day. After a walk and putting on my Dogtor uniform we went to a local college in town to do some dogtoring. It’s finals week so I was asked together with two of my furry Dogtor colleagues to show up at the student’s library to do some destressing. When we walked in we first had to go through a metal detector. It’s good that I left my S-SD device at home otherwise the guard would have confiscated it. But I have to say, the guard was a very nice lady who greeted me enthusiastically with open arms. Inside the library, there were rows and rows of tables with students who tried to study. I guess we were a bit of a distraction as lots of heads turned when we walked in.

Finally, way back in the building, we were able to sit down and students who needed some destressing could sit with us. Lots of hands touched me and supposedly I touched many hearts. I did what I call reversed Reiki. While the hands touched me, I gave the students positive energy so that they would be able to relax and focus better on their studies. They said it worked. I am sure showing them my tricks helped too. The destress event leader even had to do some crowd control. At some point, students had to wait for almost 15 minutes before they could touch me.

Many students remarked that I was a handsome looking one and wanted to take a picture of me. I’m glad their cameras didn’t flash otherwise I would have lost my eyesight. When we were done and tried to walk towards the door, we didn’t make much progress at first because there were more people who wanted my reversed Reiki touch. I felt like a celebrity. I think my scarf makes me look like one.

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Back in the car

Stay cool and have a relaxing afternoon,
Benji