S = 2!

Yahooooo, Da Sky is twoooo!!!  This was his first B-day in the New Sea Land and meant that we all went on a Tour De Fun. This weekend our days were filled with beachcombing for treasures, playing with friends, a catch-the-frisbee contest, hide-and-seek, agility, flygility, and of course a delicious Da Sky Cake to top it off.

Yes, you can have the cake and eat it too. Have fun and celebrate efurry milestone!

Benji

Da Beach

Da Beach, Da Sky, Da Sun, it’s Da Good Life

With best friends, every day is a sunny day

Benji

Lord of the Rings: 2

Our search for the One Ring continues. This time it took us to Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve. The Lords of the Rings know it as the Dimholt Road (aka The Paths to the Dead). We took the path along the streambed and had to cross the stream multiple times in order to get to the base of the Pinnacles. These pinnacles are also called hoodoos. It was my task to make sure that da humans did not get bewitched and stayed alive. I succeeded in the latter but am not sure if I succeeded in the former. Time will tell.

Crossing the stream was often tricky. I had to calculate with infinite precision which rocks I should step on to keep my feet dry and body unharmed. Sky approached the water as he approaches life: he plunged in headfirst and dealt with the consequences, good or bad, later. The One Ring was nowhere to be found.  Luckily, we didn’t find the dead either.

May the Fellowship be with you,

Benji

 

Lord of the Rings: 1

A couple of weekends ago, Sky and I stumbled upon the Lord of the Rings trail. There is supposed to be a ring with special powers. It’s called the One Ring. We took a good sniff in Rivendell to see if the One Ring was there. After walking for ages through an ancient-looking forest we came upon a mighty river.  In the distance, we saw something that was a vague resemblance to a bridge. Much narrower though than the ones we have seen in da city, and mostly made out of rope. It must have been a rush job getting that bridge built. It was good that Sky and I are skilled in agility because the bridge was one unpredictable creature. It could swing pretty darn high from side to side. Unfortunately, we had no luck in finding the One Ring so we have to keep sniffing.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can always try harder,

Benji

 

Te Kopahou

We try to sniff out something new and exciting each week in the New Land. The other day we went to Te Kopahou Reserve (The Red Rocks). We walked and walked until we stumbled upon some mighty beasts. Sky was especially impressed by their mighty smells. I knew better than to disturb them in their beauty sleep so we watched the smelly ones from a safe distance.

Start sniffing; you might stumble upon something mighty impressive,

Benji

Explorations

Finally, we managed to set aside a bit of time to update you all of what is going on in this part of the world. We got out of lockdown in New Sea Land after nearly seven weeks. This means that we can freely move around again. Parks, retail and restaurants are all open, people are back at work and children in school. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 has remained the same since May 28. It’s so different from what is going on in Florida. We really hope that the US will get on top of the barfy things soon too. I, as a real Dogtor, am of the opinion that they should listen to Dr. Fauci.  Anyhowls, you probably don’t want to hear more about the illnesses in the world, so onwards to fun stuff.

What we’ve been up to since we got out of jail? Sky and I joined a dog training group and are back on track with our special training. Sky even won the Best Beginner’s trophy in agility for this month. We also got addicted to a new hobby named flygility. Flygility is a combination of flyball and agility. You have to jump over obstacles and run through tunnels in order to get to a machine that shoots tennis balls in the air. Once you get to the machine you have to hit it, retrieve the ball and bring it back to your human teammate after you jump over or run through the same set of obstacles. You get tired quickly but it is so much fun so we don’t mind. Sky is super busy as he started Rally obedience training as well. I’m lucky to have escaped that predicament although I have to say that I miss the amount of yummies that you get there. The ratio number of yummies to performance is far better in (rally) obedience training than in agility or even flygility. On the weekends we try to explore the New Sea Land. One of our first trips was to the beach to do some beachcombing. We haven’t found the famous penguins yet, but we did manage to find something way bigger. More on that later.

Keep honing your skills and you are bound to find what you’re looking for,
Benji

 

The Big Escape: 5

Well, we figured it out; we’re in the New Sea Land. I’m told there is water all around the land. I have seen some of it but not all, so who knows. It’s hilly too, maybe I will become a Hilly Billy. My hindquarters are getting pretty strong. The humans are a bit slow here, we need to find them some skates and then we can pull them more easily up the hill. I bet it would be loads of fun on the downward leg too.

By tomorrow we have been in lockdown for three weeks. It’s been pretty strict here; no outdoor activities other than some exercise in the hood and we can only get essential items. That reminds me, we need to order food for Da Sky and me. We are getting home-cooked meals too, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and build in some redundancy. Besides, we have started alternative backyard agility training so we need the extra calories. I was happy to see that treats are still on the menu. All that extra pulling of the slow humans uphill eats up our reserves too.

Alternative Backyard Agility

Stay safe, stay home,

Benji

The Big Escape: 4

Get this, just a couple of days after we got the key to our new headquarters, we were locked down. Have you ever heard of anything like that? That’s one weird key man. The container with our stuff didn’t get here before the lockdown so it will be delayed big time. We managed to buy some essentials before stores got closed for the lockdown but that’s it for now. On the bright side, this means that the house is pretty empty, so it’s basically one big playground for Da Sky and me. You can say that the humans are now in the dog house, WOL.

Luckily, Q managed to fix the yard with some supplies he found before lockdown, so that we can roam around without too much bossy-vision. At first, we thought we would have to wait a long time before we could practice agility but then we got a bit creative and found a new hobby: alternative-backyard-agility. What it is? It’s agility with whatever you can find in your backyard. It can be steps, discarded wood, benches, humans, even your buddy that you use to jump on, over, or weave through. It’s fun and M says it will prevent our brains from getting all mushy.

BTW, have you figured out where we are yet? Please tell me you as soon as you find out because I would like to know.

Benji 

 

The Big Escape: 3

So you’re asking where we are. Well, let me tell you, they drive on the scary side of the road. Da Sky was also promised to see a lot of sheep but so far we have counted only five. Sky was especially disappointed as he was not allowed to chase herd them. The cows here are something else too. They look a bit like Sky on steroids. Furthermore, it’s hilly and sometimes you can see the sea.

We did manage to find new headquarters but it was not an easy nut to crack. Talk about COVID-19 and lockdown didn’t help either. We needed a place where Da Sky and I were allowed (yeah not sure what the problem was there) with a sizable yard for us, where we can walk a bit in the hood, and a place that’s decent enough to stay at for a while. It seemed that the first requirement was pretty much incompatible with the last. Cats were fine in most places and sometimes one tiny skinny dog, not more than a couple of inches of the ground. Sounded like unfair profiling to me. Then there were those places that the humans pretty much ran away from. One of them had a basement that looked like a scene out of a Stephen King novel. If you would poke around a bit you would expect to find a corpse lying somewhere in a dark yucky corner. YIKES!

At long last, after many days of driving and sniffing, we decided to sniff out places where pets were not allowed and threw my and Sky’s resume in the mix. My career as a Dogtor should count for something, right? And it did, together with the AKC CGC, trick, and jump titles, we found a place that we can call home for a year.

Benji

The Big Escape: 2

The road trip from Crawfordville, Florida to LA in California was just the beginning of the big escape. After spending two nights in LA, we had to face the big air-monster.  Luckily we had practised months in advance for that big step. We had listened to the growling sounds from the monster on the computer -with comfort food and chew toys- while we got in and out of what turned out to be our sleeping quarters in the big monster.  Da Sky saw it all as one big game, but I knew that we were heading towards something fishy.  Of course, I was right; the ocean on the west coast does smell fishy.  Always trust your instinct guys and girls.

For the trip across the Big Blue, our sleeping quarters were lined with M’s sweaters and our own bedding. Da Sky’s kennel even had his name on it. I think M should have taken one of my blankets with her because it turned out that she was more nervous in the big air-monster than Da Sky and me. Especially when we all got in the plane and there was a 1.5-hour delay because of a mechanical issue… M hardly slept while we did manage to get some Zen in. Maybe she should have taken her own sleeping quarters and practised sleeping in it too.

When Da Sky’s and my sleeping quarters got opened and we got out it was like we stepped in an alternate reality. Instead of being nighttime, it was morning, and instead of winter, it was summer. My sense of orientation was off too, I didn’t seem to know where south or north was anymore. So weird! As if the world stood on its head. We didn’t see M nor Q on the other side. Luckily the people in the kennel were we stayed for 10 days were super nice and they sent messages back and forth between us and headquarters.  While we were getting pampered, M and Q were trying hard to find new temp headquarters in this new strange world. And then finally, after 10 days, we all got reunited. Even Puffy, our mascot, was waiting for us on the other end.

Benji

The Big Escape: 1

Hey guys and girls, here an update from Da Sky and myself; I know you all have been waiting like furever.  You probably thought that we disappeared from the face of the earth just like Amelia Earhart way back but no we’re still here although it seems to be in an alternate reality. More on that later. After helping pack a gazillion boxes in February we finally got ready for the big trip and headed out west with M and a VIP chauffeur we hired for this furry special occasion. In about eight days, we drove 3200+ miles through eight states, learned that snow is wet and cold [YIKES!], sauntered in desolated deserts, visited friends, made new friends, and made sure that our drivers didn’t get lost in the big cities.  All that helping makes you tired so Da Sky and I always hit the snooze button as soon as our dog-mobiel started moving. We arrived in LA just in time before COVID-19 entered the scene.

More coming soon,

Benji