Sad News

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Today we read sad news about Dougy, the kitty boy. Dougy’s human, wrote on July 15, 2020: 

I hadn’t seen Dougy yet this morning, so I looked for him. I found him on the sofa in the guest bedroom. He died sometime during the night…

We send condolences and strength to Doug and kitty boy Andy. For the full post go to Weggieboy’s Blog: https://phainopepla95.com/2020/07/15/15jul20-my-sad-news/

We fondly remember the wonderful interviews Ms. Zulu and Benji had with Dougy and his brother Andy. RIP Dougy, we will all miss you tremendously,

BASQ

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

Pooches in Charge

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Listen up: Commander in Chief barking 

I know, I know, I promised to stay apawlitical in this blog but just couldn’t help myself after yet another year seems to go down the drain. Someone, pul-ease plug that hole! When I heard that the government is still shut down, I said to Sky, “bro, they can’t do that man”. All those people without a treat-check, who is going to pay for their yummies? I certainly would not stand for that. It ain’t right.  So I’m thinking that we need some new blood [where is the bloodhound?] to steer our backyard back in the right, no make that a left, direction.

Ms. Zulu was supposed to run for president but since she got angel wings last year that won’t happen in our reality show. So I will have to take the lead. I’m good at running, I even ran Mach 2+. I know it’s hard to believe but you can read all about it on this blog. It’s in black and white so it has to be true. We even have photos, that’s double poof.

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Mach 2+ record

I’m always about facts anyhowls, contrary to the some-bodies currently in charge. It’s a fact that I love to sniff. It’s a fact that we doggies can analyze different smells way better than the two-legged ones.  It’s a fact that I can smell something fishy from far far away. You can say I’m a real fact tracker. I can sniff out the house – that’s supposed to be crystal clear white- to see if there is something fishy going on there that troubles the waters. If it is, I guarantee you that I will piss on it. And I think I can convince Sky to do the same.

If you vote for me I will guarantee you that I will personally dig some big tunnels under the wall that has been the talk of the backyard. The tunnels might also be helpful to bypass the pesky trade sanctions. I can get some chewers to work on the wall itself too.  I’m sure I can get all my fur-iends to help me with those tasks. Mark my words. Yes, it will be great, it will be Aa-mazing. And no, I won’t bark “I never barked that”.

I am nominating Sky as my running mate. He still has a lot to learn but at his rate, he will soon outrun the major golfers playing in the house that’s not so purely clean. And for those who don’t like imported stuff, they won’t have to be afraid of us. I personally guarantee that Sky and I are both registered as 100% All-American. Take my bark for it.

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Leave it to me; I’m no couch potato

If you vote for Sky and me in November 2020 we promise:

  • Less barking, more digging
  • No barking up the wrong tree
  • Yummies for e-furry body
  • Lots of tunnels
  • More sniffing
  • Plenty of chewing on a bone
  • Sky high jumping
  • Border Collie stamina & higher intelligence

Benji & running mate Sky

WOOOFFF!

 

A New Chapter

IMG_2093b.JPGIt’s the last day of the year; time to reminisce. The woods are a good place for it, especially on a foggy morning. There were some good parts but also tough parts this year especially towards the end with Ms. Zulu going to the rainbow bridge. IMG_2081b.JPGNew seeds are bound to sprout from that which no longer is. We hope that the new year will bring lots of happy new beginnings for all beings small and tall, young and old. Be kind towards one another as well as yourself.

B & A

 

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

 

Change

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October 2015

Life is a bit different without my Big Sis. Like a good Zen Master and inventor of Zuluism, she meditated a lot towards the end.  However, no matter how busy she was with her Zen practice, she always made time for her little brother. We rolled in the grass together, went for walks, protected the herd, and had lots of marvelous adventures together. If you want to learn more about those adventures, just follow this link: Ms. Zulu.

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May 2016

Ms. Zulu taught me a lot and I hope that I’m ready to take the lead from here on out. But first, we will take a break and celebrate Christmas. Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing time together with f(u)riends and f(ur)amily.

Benji

Angel Wings

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Today’s post is one we hoped we wouldn’t have to write for a while. With a heavy heart, I am writing that Ms. Zulu passed away on December 3.  She was 13 years and 3 months old. It was all very sudden as a very aggressive and inoperable cancerous tumor showed up on her doorstep. It rained two solid days until she died. Then, just moments before it was time to walk over the rainbow bridge, the sun broke through the clouds and a beautiful rainbow appeared.

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Ms. Zulu, aka Zoë, was an integral part of our family and everything you could hope for: a best friend, companion, nurse, Zen master, big sister, puppy raiser, playmate, dog rescuer, sailor, canoer, chaser, and so much more. Many beautiful memories were made on our adventures together. We will treasure them all fur-ever in our hearts. R.I.P. big girl; we are missing you big time. Thank you for everything.

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Till we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge,

B & A  

 

13 = Fabulous!

Ms. Zulu turned 13 today! This is cause for a big celebration with lots of good yummies and pie which Ms. Zulu shared with me. The pie was made with all our favorite ingredients: salmon, carrots, yogurt and, blueberries. Sweet potato was served on the side. I’m looking forward to my B-day. Not sure if I care for the B-day hat, but I do hope there will be more pie.  Zulu.png

Benji

Tour d’Agility

Finally, we got around to the best part of my life: AGILITY! There were two big events. One far, far away in South Florida. The other one was just across the border in Georgia. We had our own chauffeur/ lift boy/ dog walker/ photographer/ support/ you-name-it guy for both occasions. Even Ms. Zulu went with us in our dog-mobile. The dog-mobile was a bit overloaded but we safely made it to the other end without a scratch.

The first event was a team effort in which teams that consisted of 9 dogs +9 handlers competed with other teams. There were over 450 dogs + their handlers competing so we can honestly say that it was a bit crowded! But we had loads of fun. We even stayed in a real Dogtel. That was a first for both Ms. Zulu and me.

In South Florida, I used my time efficiently. I started strong with running around in circles and greeting all the volunteers in the field. I know you’re not supposed to touch the obstacles so I made sure to stay WAY clear of them. M kept waving at me and I kept waving my tail back at her from a distance. I even barked at the judge, twice.  I learned later that that’s a no-no in agility land. OOPS. In my defense, the judge kept staring at me. That’s just rude man.

The second event was just a bit north of headquarters. It was a lot smaller than the one in South Florida. Probably around 50 dogs and their handlers were competing individually. By this time, I knew not to bark at the judge. My new Superdog collar seemed to give me superpower (unfortunately I was not allowed to take my S-SD so I had to make do). I flew over jumps and crawled through dark pesky tunnels. There were some out of control garbage cans while I was running my last run but I gave it the Superdog eye and got back on track. It was one satisfying happy day. Once at home Ms. Zulu and I were able to recharge without any problems.

 Benji

Practice, Practice, Practice

One of my fans asked me what I’ve been up to lately.  Well, besides going to therapy events I’ve been practicing my agility jumps a lot since practice makes pur-fect. One of these days we’re hoping to be ready for a formal agility event. I’m now up to 23 inches. I’m supposed to jump 24. That’s only one more inch to go!

Ms. Zulu would like to practice too but the humans are afraid that she hurts herself. Unfortunately, her response time is not what it was. She seems to be happy to supervise so maybe it’s all for the best. Tonight we plan to join our CCI buddies on an outing. Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong again and the outing won’t be canceled due to rain.

Have a fun-tastic week,

Benji and team

Hi!

Yep, we’re still alive. Although sometimes I wonder as my tummy always seems to be in need of more yummies. This time of the year is busier than ever with lots of trips and whatnot. Yesterday we went sailing again on the sailing Follower. The humans went too. They come in handy. After all, V.I.D.s shouldn’t have to lift a paw. I’m still waiting for the helicopter to haul us doggies on board. Even a lift-boy would do. I heard that’s what they do with the big V.I.P. sailors. Not sure why that hasn’t happened yet for us special agents.

Benji a.k.a. Mr. B or 0011

Homecoming

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Dear friends and fur-iends, we have more exciting news from headquarters!  We are in the process of bringing Little Benji (LB) and Little Ms. Zulu (LZ) home. You can see them enjoying Vigo’s view in the photo Belén took a couple of days ago. Don’t they look alive?! We can’t wait to meet them in person and show them our neck of the woods.

And you know what; you can take one (or more) of the little guys home as well! Belén said she will offer a special price to Life of Benji readers. Of course, you can also ask Belén if she can make you a sculpture of your own furry kid. Belén sells other ceramics too that would make a nice Christmas present for your special one. She can ship items with a tracking code and insurance to most countries. Isn’t that nice or what?! To shop around the clock right in time for Christmas click on this link: Ceramica Belen Soto.

The ZAB team

A New Phase

Look at this; Belén Soto has been working overtime. The figurines have landed in the decorative phase! 

Esmaltes cerámicos Tras un primer fuego en el horno, proceso al que llamamos bizcochado, Benji y Ms. Zulu han pasado a la fase de decoración con esmaltes cerámicos. Los esmaltes son mezclas de minerales y óxidos molidos muy finamente a los que añadimos agua para su aplicación, el aspecto actual no se corresponde con los […]

via Esmaltes cerámicos — Arcilla y fuego

Yahooo!!!

Today is National Dog Day in the U.S. So, get out your best stuff and honor all pets! Or volunteer at a local shelter… or…. if you have space for another fur-iend you can adopt one like me or my sister! What we did on National Dog Day? M volunteered at the local library and enrolled us in the R.E.A.D. program. I told M that I’m not able to read yet. She said that didn’t matter as long as I know how to listen attentively. Come to think of it, I haven’t been to a library either. Let’s hope it doesn’t have any weird doors that take you to a whole nother dimension. I wonder how many treats I will get out of this gig. What Ms. Zulu and I did today? We ran around in circles and had fun doing it!

Enjoy,

Benji

What? No? Yes!

Yesterday, Ms. Zulu and I were reading the postcard that we received from Kosmo and his mom when all of a sudden I heard something. I had heard it before and I knew it was something noteworthy. So I looked up and barked. As usual, I was told to be quiet. Since I thought it was something really, really noteworthy I didn’t immediately. Finally, after some additional barks, my staff saw what I had heard and seen. At about 25-30 meters away, a big black bear looked us straight in the eye. I stood at the ready to protect my family. M said that wasn’t necessary as black bears are usually not dangerous. Just let the bear know you’re there and give the bear space.

M hopes the bear is a she and that we will see some cubs this summer. That would be something else. Luckily, there won’t be a bear hunt this year. The hunt in 2015 was awful in so many ways. We don’t need that as there are many good ways to coexist with bears. For more information on Florida bears look at Stop the Hunt website. We don’t have a photo of the bear we saw yesterday, but we found a photo of a bear in the archives. These were taken by one of my staff during a trip to Alaska way before I was born.

Benji

You’ve Got Mail: 4

As a real retriever, I got the mail yesterday.  Ms. Zulu helped me as she herded me to the mailbox like a true herding dog. We forgot to empty the mailbox on Saturday. When we finally got around it on Sunday, we found this beautiful card from Kosmo and his mom in faraway Finland! If we would have known what was in the mailbox, we would have run with Mach 2+ speed.

Kosmo and mom wrote that the photo on the postcard is from their area. Isn’t that something? Can you imagine living in such a beautiful place? Kosmo and his mom are very lucky. If you want to read more about life in Finland, follow the blog Photofinland by Rantasalot.  Kosmo’s mom writes it and it’s wagnificent.

P.S. I hope to report tomorrow on what we saw when we admired the postcard. You won’t believe us.

Happy Tails,

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.

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Ms. Zulu, January 2015

Wishing you a Pawbulous Thursday,

The ZAB team

 

 

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

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. 

You’ve Got Mail

Yahoo, we got mail from Doug, Andy, and Dougy! The postcard shows Mona Lisa with a kitty; isn’t that cute?! We were all very excited to read the card. We have put our heads together to send them a reply via snail mail. Stay tuned for the update.

Thanks, Doug, Andy, and Dougy!

The ZAB team