And yes, we are back in business in the animal therapy world as well. It took a while as M had surgery and was not supposed to do much of anything for way too long. It meant that I was super busy lending a helping paw. I followed her around like a puppy and lay down next to her to make sure she got enough rest. Man, let me tell you, you can get tired from lying down all day.
I also helped with chores. In the morning I had to make my own bed (yes, I do have a nice soft comfy blanket on my bed). I already put my toys away every day but now I had to pick up stuff M dropped on the floor as well. Yes, she can be quite messy. The good news is that I made a lot of treats for my treat account with all my extra helping. Maybe I should make this into a side business to keep the treats flowing.
In addition, I got recertified for animal therapy a couple of weeks ago; this has to be done every two years to make sure we can still dot our i’s and cross our t’s. As an official R.E.A.D. partner, this was, of course, no problemo. Since all was deemed in order, we were able to visit the library together this morning for the first time in what felt like ages. Children R.E.A.D. to me while they petted me. It’s a nice way to start the day. Hope y’all had a good start of the weekend too,
Finally, we are back in the game after a long break due to Hurricane Michael. We got our internet and landline back after two+ weeks. We lost it two days prior to the hurricane. Turned out that somebody who is building a house did not know what he was doing and cut the main telephone and internet wire. He should have asked me to dig, I have lots of experience. They say that I can dig to China. Anyhowls, now that we are back online we are happy to report that we are doing OK post-Hurricane Michael.
Michael turned out to be one tough cookie and brought lots of havoc. We heard and even saw trees fall down when we took shelter during the storm. There was a lot to organize before and a lot to clean up after Michael’s visit. I think it’s best for Michael not to visit us anymore. Ms. Zulu and I tried to help as best we could. I carried dead branches and pinecones; Ms. Zulu sniffed out trouble. Now I come to think of it, she seemed to sniff a lot at my butt too. How come?!
Be safe and stay out of trouble,
Big drumroll pul-ease: Next week, September 18, I will be 3 years old! I expect lots of yummy treats and an extra toy or two or three or plenty. Anyhowls, my big birthday seems to be a reason to dwell on my puppy photos and has led to my own Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/dogtor_benji/. I hope the humans know that there is only one account that really counts: it’s my treat account!
As a real pro, action photos were taken of my agility runs by a real photographer (T&C Pet Photography). Apparently, that is the thing to do, so we bought some. Next time we hope to get them for free, like a real pro.
We like the first one the best. It almost looks like I’m stepping into another dimension. Which photo do you like the most?
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.
See, I did jump high and mighty!
Ms. Zulu was able to observe from her own comfy bed.
A real dogtel!
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.
It’s all a blur, we were moving that fast!
Super dog charging station
You must be thinking by now, what’s up with Benji. Well, lots, just not enough time to write it all down yet. Last Wednesday, was probably the most exciting day of my career so far. I went to the famous MagLab! You know the one where they developed the world’s most powerful superconducting magnet!
I went to the MagLab to talk to 16 SciGirls. They were visiting the Lab to learn about a wide range of science disciplines. I was invited together with a cockatoo and four other dogs to show the girls what therapy animals can do for people. Below you can see a summary of my talk.
The equations I came up with for the occasion were well received. Before I knew it, my wisdom was spreading like wildfire among the scientists and being shared with the larger public. There is even talk that there might be a Nobel Treat prize in my future. Now I can’t stop thinking about how many yummies in the tummies that would equate to. Maybe I can ask for an advance payment.
Another month went by in the Life of Benji. It’s getting hot here. It’s not even Summer yet and we have seen a heat index of 105 °F. already. Therefore, higher authorities decided to try the blue wet stuff again. I have webbed feet and for some reason, that means I should like swimming. What kind of logic is that?!
A perfectly good A-frame (the humans called it a ramp) had been put in the blue liquid. I ask you, why would anyone want to do that?! The humans tried to lure me in with yummies and squeakies. I tried to be a good sport and walked down the ramp until I got my paws wet but that’s where I drew the line. I mean what’s the point? As soon as you hit the liquid, it feels like the brakes are on. There is no way to run fast. Besides, I didn’t see any fun jumps and tunnels. So my advice for next time: remove the wet stuff and add some exciting obstacles.