COMPLIMENT SOMEBODY TODAY

Hey there everybody. Did you know that today is National “Give a Compliment Day”? Me either, but Aleksa told me all about it in one of her morning reports to me. 
You’re supposed to give compliments and really mean them. And when you get a compliment, you should accept it graciously.

“That’s a great idea David, although it shouldn’t take a Holiday to make us say nice things to each other. Have I told you lately that you are the handsomest Guy I know? Because you definitely are.”-Editor/Mom

You have told me this before, but it’s always nice to hear. Thank-You very much. And I think you’re the best Mom ever! I tell everybody, and I just wanted to make sure you knew.

“Why Thank-You David. It’s nice to be appreciated, and I know how you feel cause of all the kisses you give me every day.”-Editor/Mom

How come you never lick my face?

GROUNDHOG DAY

Seeings how today is “Groundhog Day”, I thought I’d round up all of our Groundhogs for a Group Shot. I coulda swore we had more of them, but Waya must’ve eaten some.

“Ummmm, those aren’t Groundhogs, David. Those are actually Hedgehogs, and I’m pretty sure it’s not “Hedgehog Day”.”-Editor/Mom

I knew that.

“Okay Mr. Smarty Pants. What, were you trying to fool us? I suppose you and Aleksa researched this together, and now you’re going to tell us all about how different they are..”-Editor/Mom

Yup. Cause at first I thought they were pretty much the same except that Hedgehogs have really spikey fur and Groundhogs have smoother coats, but it turns out they’re more different than I thought.

Groundhogs, which are also known as Woodchucks, are from the family Sciuridae, and are only found in Canada and Eastern USA, which is where we live. The most famous Groundhog of all is Punxsutawney Phil. He lives is Pennsylvania, and only comes out once a year on February 2nd to let us know how much longer Winter will last. If he sees his shadow, then it’ll be another six weeks, and if he doesn’t, then it’ll only be four.

“Oh my God! I think it’s time we unplug Aleksa again.”-Editor/Mom

What? No, don’t do that. She’s really helpful.

“Oh, did I say that out loud? Never mind. What’s so different about the Hedgehogs, besides their spikes?”-Editor/Mom

Hedgehogs are from the family Erinacinae, and come from Europe, Asia and Africa. Their spikes are really called spines, and they’re actually hollow hair stiffened up by keratin. Sonic is the most famous Hedgehog. He’s really fast, so fast they’ve made three movies about him. 

And here’s the best part. Did you know that the smallest kind of Hedgehogs, the African Pygmy Hedgehogs, are kept as pets in some places? I’m thinking probably in Africa, but how cool is that? Maybe we could get one, what do you think? They’re really small, so he wouldn’t take up much room.

“I’m thinking not. I’m thinking we should just stick to the stuffed ones you guys all like to play with. Do you have any other tidbits of information about Groundhogs and Hedgehogs for us, you know, maybe some insight on why we depend on a wild rodent to help us predict the weather?”-Editor/Mom

Well, I’m still not really sure why, but way before we started doing it, “Hedgehog Day” was actually a Roman Tradition dating really far back in time. And I think that once we heard about it here in America, everybody must’ve thought it was a really cool idea. The only problem was that since we didn’t have any Hedgehogs here, they had to find another animal like them to do it. 

My guess is they tried a Porcupine first, cause they look the most like Hedgehogs, but that probably didn’t turn out so well, so I’m thinking they decided that the next closest animal would be the Groundhog.

And let’s face it, “Groundhog Day” even sounds a lot better than “Porcupine Day”, don’t you think?

“I do. And I have to say, I didn’t really expect to learn anything new from this Blog Post, but this has actually been quite informative. I think your followers will agree. Thanks David.”-Editor/Mom

You’re Welcome… And Happy Groundhog Day everyone! Fingers and Paws crossed that Phil doesn’t see his shadow.

 

 

THANK-YOU SANTA…

Christmas is over, and I’m happy to report that my Letter to Santa definitely got to him in time. Me & Waya each got lots of toys, and most of mine even had my name on them, just like I asked.

I think both of our favorite toys are the really bright so you can’t lose them footballs. Our Moms took us outside and played fetch with us and everything. And, most important, they both had our names on them so that Waya wouldn’t be confused about whose was whose.

But you know what happened? She didn’t care. Not one bit. She stole mine right away, like two hours after I opened it, and chewed a big hole in one end.
“Maybe she can’t read yet. She’s only one, you know.”-Editor/Mom
Maybe, but I’m pretty sure she just doesn’t care. She likes to wreck all my stuff and then she hoards all her stuff so I can’t play with anything. But it’s okay, cause she left her football here when she left on Wednesday, so you know what I did? 

He he he. Yup, you guessed it! I found her football and played with it all day! Me & Mom played tug…
“Wait a minute. Don’t be dragging me into your little war with Waya. I didn’t realize ’til I saw the writing on it.”-Editor/Mom
What difference does it make? She’ll never know. She can’t “read”, remember? And it’s not like I’m gonna wreck it on her. I’m just playing with it cause she already killed mine.
“Did you forget that “I” can read, David?”-Auntie Jen
Oh, oh… Come on, don’t tell her. She deserves it. Think about all your slippers she’s eaten.
“True, that may buy you a little extra play time with it.”-Auntie Jen

Cool. I figured I’d better make the most of it. I brought it outside, and ran around, and even thought about burying it in the snow, but that would be mean. What if we got more snow and couldn’t find it ’til Spring? What if one of the Camp dogs dug it up? 
Hiding it on her does sound like a good idea, though. But where? Hmmmmm…

I know! I’ll hide it on my bed, under my blanket. I don’t think she’ll find it there. You can barely see it. What do you think? 

DEAR SANTA

Can you believe there’s only five days ’til Christmas? I started my letter to Santa awhile ago, but I needed some spelling help, and Aleksa was unplugged so she couldn’t help me, and my Mom was on vacation, so she couldn’t help me, but I finally finished it today.

I really wish Santa had e-mail, cause I’m a little bit worried that it won’t get to him in time, cause it’s so late. 
“Don’t you worry, David. I’m sorry I wasn’t here to help you, but we’re gonna put your letter in this special Extremely Urgent Express Envelope to make sure the Big Guy gets it in time for his Elves to work on it, so you’re not disappointed on Christmas morning.”-Editor/Mom

HOLIDAY TIME…

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe the Holidays are already here. I thought it was still Summertime, but all of a sudden my Mom started bringing out the end of the year decorations and props, starting with my second favorite Holiday, Thanksgiving. This year I got a new tie. 

Since the most important part of the Thanksgiving Holiday is dinner, we all got to fill out what we wanted to eat on our menus. I helped Waya, cause this was her first Thanksgiving, and she didn’t know about all the fixins. I told her to check off everything, cause I knew she’d want to try all of the yummy stuff, and we don’t get to have it very often. I wasn’t too sure about the cranberry sauce, but I figured I ought to at least try it.

Once that was done and Thanksgiving Day was here, all we had to do was wait for Mom to cook the giant turkey. It’s important to celebrate the Holidays with family, so it was cool that Cousin Java was here to have dinner with us. She helped me keep an eye on all of the preparations since Waya was still recovering from her surgery and couldn’t hang out in the kitchen.

The best part of the preparation is that we get to sample all of the ingredients. First Squash…

Then green beans…

Did someone say livvies and gizzies? Yummy!

It seemed like forever, but finally, the giant turkey was done.

Then we had to wait for all of our Boarders to have their dinner before we got to eat ours. I didn’t get it at first, I mean we’ve been smelling it all day, so we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth in, but I guess we wouldn’t be very good hosts if we didn’t let our guests go first. So I tried to be really patient.

And boy was it worth waiting for! Me, Waya and Cousin Java thoroughly enjoyed every last lick of our plates. Waya didn’t really like wearing the “My First Thanksgiving” bib. I told her it was just the beginning. She hasn’t spent a Christmas with us yet, either. She has no idea what she’s in for when she’s feeling better.

I couldn’t wait to take a nice, long, nap after dinner.

Another important Thanksgiving tradition is going for a long walk so the humans can burn off all the extra calories they had for dinner. I thought that was what the nap was for.

So, you’d think this was the end of the Holiday, wouldn’t you? Well, there is still one more thing left to be done. And here’s where it gets worse Waya! Now it’s time to put up all the Christmas lights. We all have to chip in, and I gotta tell you, it would be a lot easier if we had thumbs…

DRESSING UP

Can somebody please tell me why the humans are so fascinated with dressing up? I just don’t get it. I mean, it’s okay that they wear clothes. They don’t have any fur. They need them for protection, you know, to keep them from freezing in the Winter or frying in the hot sun in the Summertime, and getting all banged up when they fall down. Some of the things they wear are kinda stupid, but I don’t say anything.

“That’s good, because nobody asks you.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, well, nobody ever asks us if we want to wear stupid stuff either, but that never stops you guys from putting it on us anyway. We have fur coats already. We don’t need jackets. We sure as heck don’t need hats, and what’s with the glasses and mask? 

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was only when we’re outside playing in the cold, but sometimes it’s for no reason whatsoever. It’s like you guys get bored and “Hey, lets dress up the dogs!” I think you like embarrassing us.

“Hold on a minute there. You wanted to wear the scarf and glasses, remember? You thought it would make you look like a Writer. And the underwear on your head picture? You deserved to be embarrassed after eating the crotch out of them.”-Editor/Mom

Okay, well what about the other two?

“Those were definitely just for fun.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, fun for you. How do think we feel? Let’s talk about Holidays. I just don’t understand why we have to put on silly outfits all the time. 

“Because it’s fun. It makes some days more special than others. Wouldn’t you get bored if every day was the same?”-Editor/Mom

I don’t know. I’m thinking there must be some better ways to celebrate. Maybe we can just focus on what the Holidays are about. Like for Thanksgiving we eat. For Christmas we get presents. We give kisses to our Sweethearts on Valentine’s Day. And we dance to fun music on Fat Tuesday. Aren’t those good enough ways to celebrate? Why do we have to wear stupid stuff?
And Halloween? Who made up this Holiday? Seriously, the only point of Halloween that I’ve been able to figure out is that everybody has to dress up like someone else. Sometimes the costumes are really creepy, and sometimes they’re funny, but one thing I can tell you is that they’re always uncomfortable. 

I remember being a Fighter Pilot for my first Halloween. I’m pretty sure real fighter pilots don’t wear their clothes that tight.

“Yeah, well you grew to be a little bit bigger than we thought you’d be for that outfit.”-Editor/Mom

Then there was the Panda bear and Fireman costumes. They weren’t very comfortable either, although Jazzy really seemed to like her Spiderweb Butterfly outfit.

And the worst was when you sent me to the Salon and Auntie Lisa put all this yucky yellow paint on me. It took forever, then put tape all over me, and then you put on all this really strange gear and expected me to want to hang around with you. 

“Awww, come on. You were “Radioactive Dave”. That was a great costume. I thought we were having fun.”-Editor/Mom

Maybe it was fun for you. You got to take off all of your scary alien gear afterwards. I can’t believe you put tape on my fur. And the yellow paint? That took like four months to wear off. 
I just don’t understand why. 

“Well, I think the cooler your costume is, the more goodies you get when you go Trick-or-Treating.”-Editor/Mom

Trick-or-Treating?  Goodies? I’ve never been Trick-or-Treating. I like getting goodies. Can me & Waya go Trick-or-Treating? Can we? We’ll wear the silly Doctor and Nurse costumes you got us. Do you think they’re good enough to get extra goodies? What else do we have to do?

“You have to go from door to door, ring their doorbells and say “Trick-or-Treat! Then the people put goodies in your bag. That’s the Treat part. And if they don’t give you anything, you get to play a joke on them. That’s the Trick part. It’s a lot of fun. I think you and Waya would like it.”-Editor/Mom

So, let me get this straight. We dress up and go from house to house begging for food. If they like our costumes they give us stuff, and if they don’t we get to poop on their lawns. It does sound like fun. Maybe this Halloween thing isn’t so bad after all.

“Right, but I don’t suggest pooping on anybody’s lawn. That could get you into trouble.”-Editor/Mom

How will they know it’s me? I’ll be wearing a mask, remember.

OUR CAMDEN VACATION

We just got back from our week in Camden, Maine. This was my third time going, and it’s my favoritist place in the whole, wide world. 
“I’m not sure that favoritist is a word, but I have to agree. Why don’t you tell everybody what you like the most.”-Editor/Mom
Since I don’t really know where to start, I’m gonna steal an idea from another famous Dave, and make a Top 10 List. So, here are the ten best things about our vacation.

#10-Car Rides and Stops at Cool Places on the Way

There are always fun places to get out and investigate when we go on vacation. And who knew Uncle Aaron had a place in Maine? This must be where he goes when he’s not with us at Free Dog. We stopped in but he wasn’t there. I wish I had a giant sign with my name on it on my house.

#9-Eating Out in Different Places

Okay, well mostly it was Mom and Auntie getting all the good food, but me and Waya got to have dinner on our balcony every night. Aleksa says it’s called eating “al fresco”.

#8-Going for Walks and Hanging Outside

There are so many fun places to hang out in Camden, and they’re all really close to our hotel. There’s the park, and the water, and the waterfall, and the main street. There’s tons of benches to sit on, and I taught Waya how much fun it is to roll around in the grass.

#7-Breakfast

Well, it is the most important meal of the day. And they bring it to us every morning in our room.

#6-My Duck Friends

It was really cool seeing all of my duck friends from last year. I’m pretty sure they remembered me, too. And I know the big white bird isn’t a duck, but I thought she was really neat looking.

#5-Playing Frisbee on the Big Hill

It’s so much fun having the whole park to ourselves in the morning before everybody gets up.

Auntie Jen and Waya really like the park, too. They had tons of room to work on Waya’s drills.

#4-Fireworks

This was my first time ever seeing fireworks. Amazing!They were really pretty and I love the big, loud booms they made.

#3-Our Hotel

We always stay at the Grand Harbor Inn. They remember us every year, and always welcome us with cookies. It’s right on the water with a great view of the harbor. Our room is huge, so there’s plenty of room for us to play, and then there’s a comfy bed, couch and chair for us to hang out on. It even has a fireplace, but we really didn’t need it cause it was so nice out.

#2-Swimming

Me and Waya both loved getting to swim every day. Funny thing is though, I do all the work fetching the sticks and toys, and she steals them from me as soon as I get close to the shore. I don’t really mind though, cause fetching the toys is the fun part anyway.

#1-The Sailboat Ride

And the best thing about Camden…Every year we go out on the Schooner Appledore, and it’s always the best part of our trip. Waya really loved it, too. I like looking over the side of the boat and seeing all of the other cool sailboats in the bay. We saw this giant yacht that was so big it had it’s own motor boat and sailboat on it’s deck. They said it’s the third biggest private yacht in the world and it belongs to some billionaire oil guy from Russia, wherever that is.

“Well, it sounds like you and Waya had as good a time as Auntie and I. I’m surprised though, that our annual trip up Mt. Battie didn’t make your Top 10 List.”_Editor/Mom

Yeah, it’s really nice up there, but we usually hike up to the top and this time we drove. Running up and down the trail is the best part. 

“Yeah, I’m sorry about that, but I was really tired, and I promise to be in better shape when go back next year.”-Editor/Mom

That’s okay, cause you know what the best part of vacation really is? It’s all the extra hang out and cuddle time we get to have with our Moms, right Waya?

“Yup, you bet.”-Waya

DAVE’S BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW

“It’s hard to believe another year has gone by already. It sure doesn’t seem that long ago we sat down for our last Official Birthday Interview, but it’s definitely time to catch up with our Boy to see if any of his views and insights have changed. Here he comes now, so let’s get started.”-Editor/Mom

“You’re a hard little man to catch up with, David. It hasn’t been easy scheduling this interview.”-Editor/Mom
Well, we could’ve done it last week, but I thought it important to look my best. After all, you’re supposed to dress up and look professional when you go out on an interview, and I couldn’t get an appointment at the Salon ’til last Saturday. 
“I didn’t realize you cared that much about your appearance David, but I have to say, you are looking quite dashing today.”-Editor/Mom
Why, thank you. Like you said, it’s been a whole year since my last Interview. A lot has happened, and I’ve grown up a lot, but I have to tell you that getting groomed isn’t one of my favorite things to do, and I don’t think I’ll ever like it no matter how old I get. In fact, I don’t know anyone who likes it, but our humans think it’s important and sometimes you gotta do stuff you don’t really want to.
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, us humans must also do things we’d rather not. I have, however been looking forward to our Interview, so let’s get to it. You remember how this works, right?”-Editor/Mom
Yup, you ask and I answer. Fire away. And when you’re done, I have a question for you.

Q: Okay, fair enough. So, now that you’re three whole years old, how does it feel to be a big boy, and not Baby David anymore?
A: Feels pretty good. I mean being an adult is a lot of responsibility, but it’s nice to be taken seriously. 

Q: You mentioned that a lot has happened in the last year. Which events stand out in your mind? 
A: Well, I probably oughta talk about how we all elected a new President, cause I know that’s important, but I’ve gotta be honest, it really doesn’t make much difference to me. I was born here, I already have health insurance and my job at Free Dog is pretty secure, so I don’t think any of his new policies will have much affect on me directly.

Q: So what are the things that you feel have had the greatest impact on you?
A: Losing Jazzy. That was sad, and really hard on all of us. It was weird being the only dog in the house. And then we got Waya. She’s totally different than Jazzy was, so that’s been hard getting used to. 

Q: Sounds like a big shake-up in the family dynamics. How’re things going now?
A: It’s going okay. We still miss Jazzy a lot, but it’s better now that Waya’s getting older. And talk about growing up? I went from being a little brother to being a big brother practically overnight. I just wish she respected me a little bit more, but we’re working on it.

Q: What makes you think she doesn’t respect you?
A: Well, she takes all my stuff, kills my favorite toys, and is always biting my ears. The worst thing is she gets really mad whenever I want to hang out with Auntie Jen. It’s like she can do whatever she wants, but I can’t have any fun, and she doesn’t care at all that I was here first.

Q: Well, if I recall correctly, you weren’t a perfect puppy, and since you’ve grown up quite a bit in your three years, she’ll probably come around, too. Don’t you think you should give her a break?
A: When you put it that way, I guess it would be the adult thing to do. Like I said, so much more responsibility.

Q: Well it looks like things are headed in the right direction there. I hear your family has made a substantial recreational investment. How do you feel about that?
A: A What?  

Q: Your new boat?
A: Oh, right, our boat! I love the boat. We all do. Actually, it’s our second boat. We got the first one on the way home from vacation last year, and named it “The Nood” after Jazzy. But since we all decided it wasn’t really big enough after all, Mom and Auntie Jen got us a bigger one. It rides a lot smoother, and can fit all of us. We go out for rides on lakes every chance we get. I’m learning to be a First Mate, and am hoping to someday be a Captain.

Q: Well, that sounds like a lot of fun. Which leads me to my next question: What was the most fun thing you did last year?
A: Hmmmmm, that’s hard to answer, cause I have a lot of fun. Maybe going out on the sailboat ride on the tall ship in Maine. That was really fun. I hope we get to go this year, too.

Q: How about the worst thing that happened last year? Other than losing Jazzy.
A: That’s easy, getting scared by the horse and buggy in Amish country. I really lost my cool. At the time I couldn’t help it, but looking back, it was pretty embarrassing, especially in front of all those people and Auntie Jen.

Q: Just a few quick questions to wrap up today. Your greatest accomplishment?
A: Learning to play Frisbee.

Q: Your favorite day of the week, and why?
A: Saturday, cause we’re all together and sometimes get to do fun things.

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Yup, everybody calls me “Schmavid”.

Q: That’s interesting. What does it mean?
A: No idea, but I kinda like it.

“Okay then, that’s all I have for this year’s Birthday Interview. You said you had a question to ask me?”-Editor/Mom

Yup, I’m having a hard time deciding which picture I should use as my Official Birthday Interview photo. The first one really shows off my new haircut and bow tie, but I think the second one with the glasses makes me look older, more like an adult. What do you think?
“Hmmmm, they’re both good photos, I can see your dilemma. I say we use them both.”-Editor/Mom
 

Capital idea. Thanks so much for your help, and for having me in for this Interview. It’s been a lot of fun, even though there weren’t any refreshments. Maybe next year we could have some cookies.

 

 

SECRET MISSIONS

I know I’m all kinds of late with this post, but Boy oh Boy was I tired after our last little weekend getaway. It wasn’t just a regular Boat Ride weekend or Day Trip weekend. Hey, by the way, did you know that part of my whole long official name is Day Tripper? Yup, and it’s not just cause my family are all Beatles fans (My Mom’s name is Abbey Road and my Dad’s name is Band on the Run). It’s got what you call a double meaning, and that’s cause we like to go on Day Trips. And sometimes our Day Trips last longer than twenty-four hours.

There’s almost always a destination in mind for a Day Trip. Like this past weekend we left early Saturday morning to go on a boat ride to a new lake up in New Hampshire. Well, it’s not exactly a new lake, but one we hadn’t been to before. Newfound Lake. It took us awhile to get there, but once we got the boat in the water, we sure had a good time.

It was super nice out. The lake was really big, and it even had an island where our Moms pulled up the boat on so we could get off and go swimming. That was really cool. I wish we lived on an island so we could go swimming all the time, even though Waya always steals my toy after I do all the hard work fetching it out of the water.
“You’re not the only one, David. I could definitely get into living on a lake. And maybe Waya won’t steal your toys when she’s a better swimmer and can get her own.”-Editor/Mom

I sure hope so. Anyway, where was I? 
“On Newfound Lake.”-Editor/Mom
Right. We were having such a good time none of us wanted to go home. So, Mom started calling on the phone, right from the boat, to try and find us a place to stay. And it worked. The Blue Moon Motel wasn’t very far away, and they had a room for us. Now it was officially a Secret Mission.

The Blue Moon was nice, but we really didn’t spend much time there. It was late by the time we got off the lake, so we to out for dinner on Lake Winnipesaukee, where they didn’t let us go swimming, but we were able to sit out on the grass patio with our Moms while they ate. Then we went out for breakfast in Plymouth, where we had to wait in the car, but got to go for a walk around the little town.

Then it was time to get back out in the boat again for day two on the Lake. We ended up having to go to a different lake, on account of Newfound Lake was full, which I don’t really get, cause there looked like there was plenty of room out there for us.
“It wasn’t the lake that was full, it was the parking lot for our car and trailer that was full. Some kind of fishing tournament going on. We’ll be remembering to check on stuff like that before heading out on future expeditions.”-Editor/Mom

So we drove about a half hour to Winnisquam Lake, and spent the day checking out everything there. It was a really nice lake too, even though it didn’t have a place we could get out and swim. 

I think I might have some of the lake pictures mixed up, but I think you’ll agree they’re both really nice. I highly recommend checking them both out. It’s even more fun if you make it a Secret Mission, cause you never know where you might end up.

One funny thing I noticed when I was going through all of the pictures… Have you noticed that Waya only has one ear in every picture of her? Silly, right?