Dogtor B and his brother Sky, both ex-shelter dogs, moved from Florida to New Zealand in 2020. Benji loves to talk about his endeavors and life in general as an American expat in New Zealand. His motto: "Eat, Snooze, Cuddle, Repeat".
Hi! I know it has been a while but we have been busy with sniffing and snuffing in the New Sea Land. Yesterday we read that as of midnight all of the New Sea Land would turn orange to protect the New Sealanders. To be honest, I haven’t noticed a difference. All I’ve seen today is green. No, no, that’s not green with envy. I’m usually not the jealous type. We didn’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight either. Maybe they didn’t have enough orange to paint the whole country?
I’m not complaining though as I love to roll in the green stuff. That’s what I did today too. There usually is something brown and smelly hiding in it. And no, I’m not talking about the brown easter eggs. I only like the real ones. The others are poison, well at least to us doggies. Anyhowls, I found meself some good brown stuff today. I smell sooo good! The two-legged critters don’t seem to like it but that’s their loss.
As promised, here is the new addition to my uniform. Ms. Zulu assisted me while I posed for the first time with the new scarf. So this time it was Dogtors with Borders. Yes, Ms. Zulu is at least 50% Border Collie as far as we can tell. If you would like to know more about my Dogtors without Borders work then go to my resume page. We updated it recently.
As you can see Ms. Zulu and I took our job very seriously and we were very focused throughout the photo session. This may or may not have anything to do with the treats in front of us. You be the judge.
OK, gotta run, I have a farewell party to attend to say goodbye to my best buddy Capone and hello to a new CCI friend in training. Yeah, Capone is leaving us in 1.5 weeks to start professional service dog training in South Florida. We will miss him for sure. I (well maybe one of my dedicated assistants) will try to capture some nice photos so you can see Capone one more time and to introduce the new CCI puppy. I’m sure you will get to see more of the newbie because when Capone is traveling to South Florida we get to babysit the new 9-week old pup for four days. That oughta be fun.
And remember, be dedicated and thou shall be rewarded,
SOF leader Da Phenny has an update on the Mach 2+ test, see: WEIM-WEDNESDAY. Stay tuned and make sure that you are in position with all your gear ready; there is bound to be a big bang and it may be over before you know it. The question is will any barriers be broken?
Hi, it’s 0011 here, reporting from HQ in the U.S. It has been speculated that I’m a super fast runner. Maybe even Mach 2+ according to Special Operations Force (SOF) leader Da Phenny (DP)* who resides in France. Of course, this theory has to be tested. What better way to do this than running on a runway? So last weekend, DP and his highly trained SOF team scouted an ole airport in France to find out if it can serve as a secret mission site. Via special secret channels, leader DP debriefed me yesterday. Based on this debrief, HQ and I will decide if the mission is a go or not. Here is the decoded debrief, it will self-destruct in 5-4-yes, you better start reading guys-3-2….:
1. What were some of the most interesting discoveries you made while you visited the ole airport?
DP: I saw a swimming pool there so we can cool off hot paws… and the old tanks are open now, but empty… no chance to feed our ride with some magic stuff :o)
0011: Good to know, we definitely need some cooling liquid for our special running equipment. We should bring some wire cutters to get to the pool.
2. How did you get in? What gear did you need? Did you encounter any obstacles?
DP: You only have to jump over some rocks and you are in. It’s open night and day, 7 days per week. We just should avoid this place on Sundays when a crazy bunch of self-appointed druids is there…
DP: Oh, and there is a tree on the ground, so we have to hire a lift boy…maybe my dad can get that job…
0011: HQ agrees, the lift-boy might be necessary so we will have to get funding for that. Maybe crowdfunding will work. Or we can tell him that it’s a gym workout. Q at HQ always goes for that line.
3. Did you do a test run on the runway? Did you reach Mach 2?
DP: I did a test… wow I was as fast as a lightning… but no Mach 2 because my dad had me on a walking string. 0011: I know those bipeds can be a drag. We will have to cut the cord for the actual secret mission, so sharpen those teeth.
4. Did you see a Concorde? If not, what other flying objects did you notice?
Sadly there was no Concorde… not even Eddie the Eagle… but I saw a bumble bee… 0011: That’s a bit disappointing then. It would have been some nice competition. Not a major setback though. Those things can be a bit noisy.
5. What’s the surface of the runway? Is it smooth, are there potholes, etc.? Anything that we should be concerned about in anticipation of the actual secret mission?
DP: The runway is covered with moss now… it is as slippery as ice, you get a lot of boost and you nearly can slide with Mach 2… maybe it makes sense to wear ski or ice skates? 0011: You’re on a roll DP. We could potentially get phenomenal speeds with ski or ice skates. I like your thinking.
6. What do you anticipate to be a major challenge for our sound barrier experiment? Why?
DP: The barrier they have there… it makes a great breaking point but it could in the way when you take a run-up…
0011: Hmmm, we may have to bring some additional gear. I am just thinking out loud here but we could ski as fast as we can up to it and then use it as a launching pad to reach Mach 2+.
7. Is there anything else that you feel is important to share?
DP: The HQ sadly broke down last winter. 0011: Yeah that is one sad looking thing. It morphed into a tree.
DP: That’s bad in case we will have a Mach 2-party after the mission. I suggest a tree house on this tree… it’s made for a tree house, right? …and no, cool boys don’t take the ladder, right?
0011: That is one good looking tree dude. But you’re right, ladders are a no-no. We will just jump right in the party special ops house.
*Go to the Easyweimaraner for more information on SOF leader Da Phenny.
It’s that time of the year again; foggy morning walks! At least we didn’t suffer from brain fog because we still remembered to ask for a treat once we were done posing for the photoshoot. After all, fair’s fair.
I am sad to announce that Operation Ducky I has failed. I tried to get to the heart* of it, but as of yesterday afternoon, around 2:05 p.m. EST, Ducky I, my ally and companion, succumbed. (* Every dog knows that the squeaker is the heart and essence of every playmate aka SA (Stuffed Animal)). Let’s start at the beginning though.
At some point earlier yesterday morning, Ducky I seemed to have stopped squeaking. All doggies instinctively know that you should always, always attempt CPR. So that is what I tried with all my might. SA CPR is tricky and a bit different from your regular CPR. To get to the heart of our playmates, you have to start at the seams. I even got my big sister involved but whatever we did nothing helped poor Ducky. Instead of getting better, he only seemed to get worse as the day wore on. I did find the heart though. However, I may have been a bit too hesitant as I didn’t know right away what to do with it. In the end, I decided to run away with it, and I believe that was the wrong move. To be fair, this was my first rescue mission. Anyway, when I got back to my quarters, poor Ducky lay lifeless on my bed. All may not be lost though as Ducky’s heart still continues to squeak. So, we are talking amongst ourselves how to use this piece of Ducky I once again in the near future. In the meantime, Ducky II has been trained intensively by Ducky I, Ms. Zulu, and me, and is now 100% ready to take over Ducky I’s duties. We must always remember though how Ducky I bravely has kept me company, all those dark lonely nights, in my forever home. R.I.P. Ducky I, I love you forever and will keep your heart close to me,
Ducky I, we will never forget the good times we had together
Mom has been sad for a couple of days now. Not sure what happened, but it seems to have something to do with an election of some sorts. Since I have been cleared to work as a therapy animal I thought I would make myself useful. So I gave her extra hugs and my favorite toy to chew on. It worked; I made her smile. Hope I can make you smile too, love, Benji.
I turned one year! Of course, we had to have cake. HM found a great recipe online for peanut butter cupcakes, see the blog The Scrumptious Pumpkin written by Jen. Both Ms. Zulu and I loved it. HM wanted to take a picture while we were eating it, but I was too fast for her and the cupcake was gone before she knew it.
This morning I made a poncho all by myself. It was really easy, you just chew a hole in a blanket and then you pull it over your head. I wish I had better material to stay warm and dry in the rain but this will have to do for now.
Lots has happened since the interview with Dougy and Andy; it is hard to keep track. I think we can divide what has happened into three basic categories: PLAY, EAT, and SLEEP.
I went sailing a couple of weeks ago. This was the third time on the boat; I think I am getting the hang of it. There were dolphins, waterbirds, and more dolphins. It was tiresome, so I took a big nap. I learned that ducks swim, so once I got home I taught Ducky to swim. It didn’t seem to work well. I think he needs a bigger pool. I finished the day redecorating my bedroom. You know, moving the bed and food bowl to the other side etc. I do that about once or twice a day. Needless to say, I was tired as a dog in the end.
I also started puppy class; it is fun, all I have to do is look at Anarette and I will get FOOD! It could not get any easier. I love food games, especially the puzzles where food is hidden in toys that I can take apart, pull on or move so that food magically appears. Needless to say, I continue to grow and now weigh 24.6 lbs. Oh yeah, and I get to play with other doggies a lot. Ms. Zulu is still not allowed to play much, but we get to do our sit-ups together. I also came face to face with a cat. I have to say I like them. But then again, I like anyone who wants to play. Anarette tells me to wish everyone Happy Holidays. Not sure what that means, but I probably will find out sooner or later. Maybe it has something to do with all the lights that are on at night.
Last Monday, Andy (A) and Dougy (D), two adorable and at times opinionated but also humorous cats, asked Benji (B) all sorts of questions including tough ones (see The Interview: Part I)*. It was only fair that Benji also got his turn to ask some questions. It took me a couple of days to transcribe the interview (my Catonese is a bit rusty and I am still learning Benjinese), but here it is:
[Andy is ready for the interview]
[Dougy is in charge of the computer]
*P.S.: Andy and Dougy employ Doug, the so-called “human”, to take care of them. This is pretty much a full-time job. In his spare time, Doug writes the blog Weggieboy’s blog. He was the one who set up the interviews. Thanks Doug!
B: I know we live far away from each other, but I am curious to know what you would do when you would meet me on the street.
D: Sniff your butt, of course! Cats do that, too, for the same reason as dogs.
A: Yeah, we like to stick our noses in your business. Hee! Hee!
D: Be nice, Andy!
B: My big sister Ms. Zulu tells me that cats like to scratch dogs on their noses and that it hurts. Would you do that to a doggy like me?
A: We have our claws, but we are mostly pretty mild kitties. We only occasionally scratch, but mostly to mark territory or get our human’s attention
D: Never! And we know you are a kitten so we tolerate a lot more from you than we would a dog.
A: [Brother, they are called “puppies”!]
D: [Oh! Thanks, Andy! I was unaware….]
B: I would love to play with cats, how should I approach them (I like to avoid the nose punctures Ms. Zulu is yapping about)?
D: You don’t want to jump up and down on them, for sure, because you are bigger or as big as us, and it might hurt us. We’ve heard “puppies” (as I understand you are called) sometimes get rambunctious. Kind of like kittens, actually.
A: Aw, I was always the well-mannered one, Dougy. You were the one who always hopped off the examination table at the veterinarian’s so you could snoop around the office….!
D: You wanted to. Admit it!
B: Sounds like you two are quite a handful…
A: No, I am the nice one.
B: Just sayin’… Anyway, although I consider myself a big boy and walk like one, I was only 61/2 weeks old when I went from the shelter to my forever home. How old were you when you were adopted? Were you two crybabies?
A: I was nine weeks old. Dougy came along a week or so later when the lady who had our mother noticed Dougy and I played well together at the veterinarian’s, where we both were recovering from a parasite we picked up eating a grasshopper….! We never cried, though, except when that bulldog puppy made us nervous. Remember that bulldog puppy, Dougy?
D: Yeah, but I was cute when I whimpered! LOL!
A: Well. ornery anyway. Yeah, cute, too. We both were really cute, if I do say so myself!
B: As kitties did you play a lot and how does that compare to now? How old are you two by the way?I can still ask that question right?
A: We used to chase each other. Our favorite toy was a little stuffed mouse. We’d play “keep away”. First, I’d run with it, then Dougy’d take it from me and run with it. We played that way for hours or until we took a nap. We napped a lot, of course. We also liked to chase each other when we didn’t have the mouse. We climbed all over the place, and got yelled out a time or two until we learned that climbing on people hurts them. We may have been little, but we had claws of death already! Hee! Hee! And used them!
D: And how! Of course, now that we are almost five years old (as of next July 1st), we are less active than we were as kittens, but we still like to play with our BirBug toys. (These are wand toys.) We still chase each other for fun, and running through the apartment is one of our favorite activities.
[Dougy on his favorite ottoman playing with the BirBug toy]
B: Wow, already the big five; it will take me ages to get there. Hey, do you have a treat? I always seem to be hungry; can you give me advice on how to solve this problem? A cute face certainly helps, but does not seem to work all the time.
A: Play the cuteness gambit for sure, Benji! No one can ignore that cute face!
D: Yeah, and we throw in purrs and rubbing against their legs to encourage giving us something yummy to eat! I don’t know if dogs do that, too.
[Andy is giving advice]
B: Hmmm, purrs, you have to teach me that. You seem pretty laid-back. Are you just plain lazy or is it a pose to get more treats from your human?
D: It isn’t lazy, it’s conservation of energy. Cats never waste energy. You never know when the next gazelle is coming through, so you don’t want to use all your energy up before you have more food!
A: Dougy’s being silly now, Benji! We don’t have gazelles here in Nebraska! I checked. Just bison, deer, squirrels, birds of various sizes….
Here, Andy’s eyes glazed over as he fantasized about the birds in the fir outside the back window. He and Dougy both love to watch birds!
B: As you know I like food games, do you like them too? Do you have food puzzles? Is there a trick you can teach me to solve them faster? Some food puzzles take way too long to finish and my belly is just protesting. I love belly scratches too. Do you like them?
A: We don’t play food games, though our human does give us kitty treats when we are good boys. (Like after I get my medicine!) I don’t know if we have the patience to solve them. We had a food game once that required too much work to get to the food. I trained the human to knock the game to dislodge the food to where I could get it. Hee! Hee! I don’t think he ever realized I trained him! You need to figure out how to get your human to feel sorry for you and just give you the food, too. That’s your homework assignment for tonight!
B: Good advice Andy, I will try it out tonight!
D: We both like to have our bellies rubbed, but what we like even better is to have that spot between our eyes scratched. It’s hard for us to get, but the human can get right in there!
A: Oh yeah, and we like it when he rubs the side of our mouths.
B: Do you go to the park to play? Do you like to ride in a car? I find them noisy and you can’t look out the window.
A: We are inside cats. I think we would like the grass, but out human grows some for us inside, as well as catnip. He says it’s a matter of safety since we live close to two major roads. We hate flea and tick medicine, so he says we can’t go outside since we won’t cooperate to let him put it on. I think it’s an excuse!
B: Your human is smart; better safe than sorry, and I bet it is better for the birdstoo :). I take lots of naps in my bed. How many naps do you take each day? Where do you sleep; do you sleep in a tree?
D: We both sleep 16-18 hours a day. I like to sleep on an ottoman next to where our human sits to watch television, and Andy likes to sleep on a side table next to the same place. That way we can keep track of him and each other, too!
B: Wow, 16-18 hours; you hardly have time for play. BTW, talking about naps makes me feel tired. I think I am ready to take one right now. Night, night.
A: And don’t let the bedbugs bite!
A: When did you learn to speak “Dog”?
D: Remember? Ms. Zulu spent a few hours with us, trying to get us to speak in “Dog”. All I could get out was “Vuff” because I found the accent hard to get. While you were napping, I practiced saying that till I got it right!!
A: I’m impressed, brother! You never strike me as being that serious!
B: Thanks for the interview Andy and Dougy; you two are funny critters. Now I really need that nap; maybe I will sleep in my new cave and dream of kitties.
On November 3, we adopted a little guy from the local animal shelter and named him Benji as he is the Benjamin of the family. He is quite a character and dreams of being a famous soccer player one day. He will introduce himself soon.