Happy Dayz!

Oh, Happy Dayz; hope you had the same great weekend as I did! It started with a big bang black bear and ended with agility training. Sorry, no photos of the black bear. The humans were too slow. At first, they didn’t understand what I was telling them and by the time they did it was too late to take out their camera. The humans still aren’t fluent in doggie woof. I try to be patient but it is tiresome at times.  The bears must like the persimmons and palmetto fruits around headquarters. I don’t blame the bears as I often have my nose on them too. Unfortunately, the doggie police won’t let me touch them.

On Saturday we went for a loooong car drive to see boats. Don’t ask me why because we already have one sitting idle at headquarters. We could have just as well stared at that one instead of driving all day to see one. I just let ’em be. My dutch human granny tells me that you just have to skip the chapter if you don’t understand it. It seems sound advice.

In the evening I played with my fur-iend Adonis and watched the movie Megan Leavey with my CCI f(ur)iends. The movie is about a military combat dog Rex and his handler Megan. Together they completed more than 100 missions. Rex and his colleagues are amazing; they are my heroes and I hope that all military combat dogs are well-taken care off and get a relaxing retirement as they certainly deserve some serious pampering after all their risky work.

Sunday morning, Ms. Zulu and I had a photo shoot for a calendar at the coast with a professional photographer. We will let you know when it gets printed. To top of the weekend, I had agility training that same evening.   Pfff, I need some rest!

Work hard, play hard,

Benji 

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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

MP-11

IMG_2204c.jpgHi guys! Another update from the field. Yesterday I went on a new mission. This time I was asked to go to an adult day care center. Understandably, I was a bit nervous at first. I shouldn’t have worried because the people were super nice. They all sat in a circle and my buddy Dg. K and I worked the room from opposite ends. That way we made sure that everybody got the attention they needed. A sweet lady said that I reminded her of one of her doggies from long ago. She gave me two big kisses for it. Isn’t that nice?!

The visit was different from my other therapy visits. I thought I had seen and heard it all, but no sirree. In this place, there were lots of noises and commotions too. Wheelchairs and walkers that seem to have a mind of their own kept rolling towards me. Chairs scraped on the laminate floors, canes fell, and sensitive feet that I had to avoid popped up out of nowhere like mushrooms after a rainy day. At one point even a high pitched siren went off. My instinct told me to bark but I knew I shouldn’t so I gave the source “the eye” like a real Border Collie. It worked like a charm because the noise stopped. I sincerely thank my big Sis for showing me how to do this. She often practices it on me and I have to say, she knows her stuff. Her stare will stop you dead in your tracks and make you think twice about your next move.

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My Sis and I

As a reward for all my hard work,  I got to play with my buddies at the doggie center. Once home I got dinner, played some with my stuffed buddies, and then went to bed. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Have a great weekend, 

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-9

Another Mission Possible is behind us. This time I got the early Monday morning shift in the ER. It meant that I had to get up super early.  I was also the only Dogtor on duty. At first, we seemed to be off to a rough start as our usual parking spot was taken by a big truck. The truck was not only big but also made a lot of noise. Turned out that it was a mobile shredding truck. I guess secret missions require the shredding of lots of papers. Luckily, my magic harness, Dogtor bandana, in combination with frozen carrots hand delivered to me at the exact right time, gave me Popeye strength. This helped me to make it past the truck and into the building without further ado.

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Today, the waiting room was nearly empty and there were not that many patients in the ER. It made my job a lot easier and I was pretty much single-handedly able to keep everything under control. Those things that are not patient related are not always easy to circumnavigate though. For that reason, I’m always looking out for unusual things. This time there was a garbage cart out of control. All of a sudden it came flying towards me from around the corner at the nurse’s station. Its speed was dizzying and the human it had in tow was practically centrifuged into the air. Thankfully a handful of frozen carrots gave me another Popeye boost and imminent danger was easily averted.

Once we got the junk out of the way and the patients were taken care of, I had time for the nurses. I love the nurses as they always enjoy my reversed Reiki therapy so I tried my best to give them my all. After we completed my ninth undercover super-secret-mission, we had to make two more stops in town before we could drive home. At home, I almost immediately fell asleep and practiced Zuluism for inner balance and Zen.

Yours truly,     

Benji    

Cool Hot Summer Fun: 1

It’s getting really hot again here in Florida. It can get so hot that we can barely think when we are walking or exercising outside. I know it’s a good excuse to get out of obedience training… Of course, us canines still have to be exercised outdoors so we are always thinking of cool things that we can do without getting a heat stroke. And I’m not kidding here, heat strokes are a potential problem in the summer, see Pet MD.

We will try to think of 10+ things to stay cool this summer. Feel free to add your own ideas. Hey, we could even make a guest post out of it. The first one in the series has to do with???? Yes, you guessed it right, something EDIBLE: a cool snack for whenever the need is high. How cool is that?!

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Testing: Take 1

So what is a cool snack? Frozen veggies are one example. Just cut some carrots or other edible veggies and throw them uncooked in the freezer. Now that summer is in full swing, I will start taking them on my secret missions. Why? Well, for several reasons: 1) It doesn’t leave a mess on floors and human parts like some doggie treats do; 2) especially carrots always seem to be available in the fridge; 3) it’s dirt cheap (this should be listed as number one as this seems important to headquarters, not sure why because my treat account keeps growing); 4) it’s super easy to make, and I know this because I always supervise the cutting process to ensure that nothing gets wasted; 5) it’s literally and figuratively speaking a cool snack; 6) it’s crunchy; and, 7) Ms. Zulu and I love ’em and that should obviously be the most important reason!

Of course, we had to test the frozen treats before I can take them on an actual mission. Both Ms. Zulu and I happily volunteered. I am sad to report that the first take was successful, so no other experiments are to be expected. On another note, I was able to convince M that we should also take some of our fruit filled ice cubes* with us in the field. The cubes can sit in a cooler in the car while I’m busy so that I have a refreshing snack afterward. I’m hoping the ice cubes need more testing.

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Stay cool this summer, don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh water with plain ice cubes wherever you go, and please tell everyone not to leave any pets unattended in the car for any period of time,

Benji

* Fill an icecube tray with some edible stuff such as a bit of peanut butter, banana, or blueberries. Pour water on the goodies, let it freeze, and voila you got doggie ice cream. Again, always make sure you only use fruits and veggies that are safe for your pet to eat.