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. 

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

B-day

Wow, another busy week this week. Am sure happy that we got in some extra Zen over the weekend.  It started with M’s B-day. We celebrated this with, I’m sure you would have guessed it, pie! This time, Ms. Zulu and I had blueberry-banana-yoghurt-ice-cube pie.  It’s a mouthful, I know, and deliciously mouthwatering too. I could have eaten the whole thing… How you make ’em? Look here.

Because it was a B-day, we all went on a canoe trip together. Those canoes are a bit tricky especially with two people and two canines. Just try it sometime. You are not supposed to rock the boat, but what if it rocks you? I learned that headquarters only uses canoes that have an un-rocker. Not sure how exactly it works but it seems to be situated at the stern of the boat. So it doesn’t really matter when Ms. Zulu and I both lean to the right (or left) together, automatically a counterweight shifts to the opposite side. Isn’t that cool? It has come in handy on occasion; on this trip too. So far we have always kept our butts dry. And that is a good thing in my book as you know I don’t like to get wet.

There was lots of excitement on this canoe trip. It seemed like we were crossing a manatee highway. Manatees were showing up under, besides, in front, and behind the boat. They are very curious animals. Passive observation is the best according to FWC viewing guidelines. This means that Ms. Zulu and I have to sit quietly too.  M forgot yummies for our tummies so we got them after the trip for our “good boy and girl” behavior.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about my MP-8 trip. Oh, and before I forget, Thursday is Bacon’s interview with me! Next week will be Ms. Zulu’s interview. I will share the interviews as soon as they are published.  Gotta run, I have to write and mail a postcard to my anipal Kosmo in Finland, it’s long overdue.

Benji