KIKI’S TRIP TO BOSTON

Kiki had the Best time on her surprise weekend trip to Boston. When she got dropped off at Free Dog for what she thought was just another week of Boarding, there was a big, shiny, black, stretch limo waiting.

Her and David hopped right in and were whisked away to Fenway Park where they watched the Red Sox play from their seats high atop the Green Monster. Clearly, Dustin Pedroia is her favorite.

Dave had to go back to work after the game so Kiki checked into her room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.

The next day started with a Big Surprise. Her friends were all in on it. They came from near and far: Vienna all the way from Frisco Bay, Harvey from Santa Fe, Harley from Woodstock, Holly came up from Key Largo and David and Waya took the day off to join them all for some serious sightseeing around the city. Most of the day was spent chasing squirrels in the famed Boston Common and Public Gardens, where Kiki, Holly and Harley even went on a Swan Boat ride. They were hoping to go out on one of the Duck Boats, but weren’t allowed. Something to do with not having the right kind of life jackets. After her friends all left, she was ready to return to the hotel for some room service and a good night’s sleep.

She spent her last day in the City checking out some of the other “must see” attractions before heading back to Free Dog. The Bruins weren’t in town, but she got to see the Boston Garden and Pro Shop. She really liked the City’s two most iconic bridges: The Tobin Bridge (aka The Mystic River Bridge), and the Lenny P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, which she decided was indeed, the most spectacular view of the City.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…

So, as you all must know by now, we have a new puppy in our family. The addition of Waya has brought about our fourth configuration of Belgian Malinois/English Springer Spaniel teams. I’d like to start by saying it is never easy losing one of our family members, and getting a new dog never diminishes the memory of those that have come before them. It’s not easy at first going to all the old familiar, favorite places we like to go without missing the ones that have gone, and getting the new additions used to our routines.

You may also have noticed that we like to take a lot of pictures. Not only does this help us remember all of the fun we’ve had with all of our different dogs through the years, but it offers us challenges to build on the traditions we’ve started. These four pictures hold a lot of history for us, and are always worth a trip into Boston to get shortly after bringing home a new baby.

It all started with Jen’s Berrie-Girl and my new puppy Wesley in the Fall of 2001. This giant bear used to live outside the FAO Schwartz store on Boylston St, and we thought it would be cute to get a pic of them with it. Berrie was, of course happy to sit for the camera, and Wesley clearly had no idea why he was there.

After Berrie passed, Wesley became the Big Brother to little Jazzy-Girl in 2007. FAO had closed it’s doors, but the giant bear remained in Boston, relocating across the street from New England Medical Ctr, and The Children’s Hospital. Wes was now the pro responsible for teaching her the ropes during our little photo shoots. They were a great team right from the start, and I believe this is the best pic in our timeline.

When Wesley died in 2014, Jazzy reluctantly assumed the Big Sister role with Baby David. She loved the camera, but not the city, and not David right away either, so she couldn’t wait for this particular shoot to end.

Jazzy left us a couple of years too soon, so now here we are in 2017 with a still very young David and his brand new Little Sister, Sweet Waya, a.k.a: “The blind leading the blind”. Not the best photo, I know, but she’s growing fast and we had to get it while she’s still smaller than him. I think we’ll have this team for awhile though, so we’ll have plenty of time to work on their “sitting together” skills. 

DAVE & WAYA’S FIRST SMACKDOWN

“So, Dave had his next Blog post pretty much planned out, and we were just about ready to sit down and write it together, but I decided that this important development in David & Waya’s relationship should be told first. As you may or may not know, we haven’t let them actually play together yet. David likes puppies, but hasn’t been subjected to their sharp puppy fangs, and Waya is desperate to sink hers into anything, so we thought it best to proceed carefully if we want them to be friends for the long haul. I’ll tell the story, but feel free to chip in any time with your thoughts Dave.

Jen stayed in our room all weekend because Nana & Papa were visiting, so in the morning she brought Waya up in bed with us.”-Editor/Mom

I was thinking that Auntie Jen took up enough room in our bed. Did she really have to let Waya in, too?

“For awhile they kept a respectful distance from each other. Then, little Waya couldn’t help herself and squirmed her way closer to her Big Brother.”-Editor/Mom

She’s TOUCHING me!

“He gave her the “stink-eye” at first, and tried to move away, but she was persistent.”-Editor/Mom

She’s a pest, that’s what she is. She steals my toys and runs into her cage where I’m not allowed, so I figured this would be a good chance to tease her for a change. I jumped off the bed and started running around the house, cause I knew Auntie Jen wouldn’t let her follow me.

It worked! She was super jealous. But after a couple minutes, it got kinda boring, like it would be more fun if she was chasing me. I think she felt the same way, cause she started giving me the “play vibe”.

“So we thought What the Heck? Let’s give them a try.”-Editor/Mom

Auntie Jen asked me if I was ready, and I said: “Heck, yeah”, so she let her go.

“We kept a very close eye on them to make sure nobody was getting too fresh, but they did really great together. We knew they’d be buddies, but honestly, we weren’t expecting it this soon.”-Editor/Mom

“Yes, I was quite proud of both of them. They were fun to watch.”-Auntie Jen

It was wicked fun. We had a great time. She’s not so bad after all.

Yea! I finally got to play with my Big Brother! We ran and wrestled. He runs really fast! I got tired way before he did, and was ready for a nap.-Waya

Yeah, I was just getting warmed up when we had to take a break.

“They had so much fun and were so good that we let them have another round after Waya rested up.”-Editor/Mom

“You’d better enjoy this time you have that she can’t catch you David, cause it won’t be long before she’ll be right on your heels.”-Auntie Jen

 

 

THE GREAT GATOR WAR

My new puppy’s only been here for two weeks, and she’s already starting to think that all of the toys belong to her.

“Okay, I’m going to stop you right there for a minute, David. Three things for you to remember:
1) Waya’s not actually “your” puppy. She’s Auntie Jen’s puppy.
2) The toys don’t actually “belong” to you. They’re here for you to play with.
3) Part of being the “Best Big Brother Ever” involves sharing the toys that are here.”
-Editor/Mom

Oh man, nobody said anything about having to share the toys. I mean, Come On, we each have two Gators. I oughta be able to play with mine, and she can play with hers. I saw her eyeing my little Gator Guy right off the bat. And what did she do the first chance she got? She grabbed him and took him into her cage with all her other stuff.

“Yes, she did. And what did you do the first chance you got?”-Editor/Mom

I took him back. What was I supposed to do? They shouldn’t have left the gate open. You would’ve done the same thing if it were your favorite toy. You know how much I Love my Gators. I play with them all the time.

“Well, there’s no denying that, but in the interest of peace and harmony in our household, you two are going to both have to learn to share them, along with all of the other toys. Right now she’s in her X-Pen with a bunch of toys, and you’re outside with the rest of them. I think we’ll start swapping them back and forth ’til you guys catch on. That way, you’ll both get to enjoy all of the toys, and hopefully learn to share them and even play with them together when Waya’s big enough to be out and about with us. What do you think?”-Editor/Mom

I guess that would be okay, but in the meantime I’m gonna pick one (maybe two) and stay out of her reach while she’s playing with the other toys in her cage. I know, maybe we just need more Gators! That way there’d always be enough for both of us to play with.

“That’s a Great idea David. We couldn’t agree more. After all, you can’t have too many Gators, right? So, here’s two more to add to the collection. Now you’ll have six of them to share.”-Editor/Mom (and Auntie Jen)

Yippee! You guys are the Best Moms Ever!

SO FAR SO SWEET

“So, little Laying Low Sweet Waya arrived last Thursday and it’s been a busy five days. She truly is very sweet, and David has made me proud. He seemed to like her the minute she walked in, and so far he’s being the very good Big Brother he promised to be. I’m sure they’ll go through some horrible growing pains together, but for now, so far, so sweet.”-Editor/Mom

Well, what’d you expect? You know I like puppies, and I know how to act. Boy, you weren’t kidding when you said “little”. She’s really small. I knew it was her the second I smelled her when she got here. She does look a lot like Jazzy, but so far she doesn’t act much like her.

“Well, that’s because she has to grow up. She’s got a lot to learn, just like you did when you were eight weeks old. You didn’t become a good dog overnight, and look, you’re still learning.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, I’ve noticed all the extra training sessions we’ve been doing. It’s exhausting having a new puppy, working and doing extra training, too.

“Do you think?”-Jen

“Yeah, tell us about it. Trust me, it’ll all pay off in a few months. So, aside from all the extra hard work, what do you think about her?”-Editor/Mom

I like her so far. She’s kind of a spaz sometimes, like when she runs around the room and throws herself on the dog beds. And what’s up with the pool with all the empty water bottles in it? It’s wicked loud. Last night I was sleeping when she jumped in it and I almost fell off Auntie’s ottoman.

“Yeah, I wasn’t sure what you were going to think about that, but hey, she likes it, and it keeps her from launching herself at you, so I’m thinking it’s a win, win.”-Editor/Mom

You’re probably right. She seems to like following me around, and it was kinda fun playing tug with her. I even let her win a couple of times. I haven’t been able to play with my toys as much, and haven’t had as much snuggle time with Auntie Jen as usual, but me and Mom got to go and play Frisbee like we usually do, and it was super fun playing with the new toy that Auntie got for Waya.

“Yeah, and hopefully you two will be able to play with all the toys together soon. Think of all the fun you’ll have. I bet you’ll be best buddies in no time.”-Editor/Mom

I sure hope so, but I think for now I’ll just hang back a little and watch her from a safe spot while we get to know each other.

“That’s probably wise, and don’t worry, Auntie Jen’s got plenty of snuggle time for both of you.”-Editor/Mom

THE EVE OF A NEW ERA

Boy, was it nice out yesterday. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. We’ve all been working really hard on training stuff, just like we promised in our New Years Resolutions, but sometimes you’ve gotta take a break for some fun.

“You’re so right, David. And what’s more fun than a trip to the Beach?”-Editor/Mom

Nothing. I LOVE the Beach! You get to run all around along the water and up in the dunes. And there’s always tons of cool stuff that washes up. My Mom likes to use all the stuff for props and have me sit on them, but I just like smelling them and peeing on them.

“Well, we all have priorities.”-Editor/Mom

It was high tide and the waves were really, really big so I didn’t go in the water. They were taller than me. Can you imagine trying to swim in this surf? Yikes!

We also worked on some long distance ‘sits’ and ‘downs’, and I think I did pretty good.

“Yup, you did a great job listening and obeying commands, which is why we got to spend more time just having fun.”-Editor/Mom

I really liked the piece of driftwood we found, too. It was just the right size.

“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself David, because today is going to be the dawn of a new era around here.”-Editor/Mom

What’s that mean? Does it have something to do with you and Auntie Jen’s secret trips and puppy smells?? Are we getting our new puppy??? Is that it???? When????? What does she look like?????? What’s her name????? I need to know all of this stuff so I can be ready for her.

Whoa, one question at a time. It means that you’re not going to be an only child anymore. And yes, yes, yes, we’re getting our new puppy, today. She looks just like Jazzy, only a lot smaller, and her name is Waya. You’ll be meeting her real soon, and remember, you promised to be the Best Big Brother Ever… Here’s a couple of pics, so you’ll recognize her when she gets here.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Well, none of us stayed up ’til midnight to ring in the new year, which was okay with me, cause I don’t see what the big deal is anyway. All I know is it’s a holiday, which is kinda the same as a vacation day, and now everything ends in 17 instead of 16. It doesn’t make much difference to me.

“Well David, a good way to look at it is that it’s now a brand new year, and we can all have a fresh start to make it better than the last one. This is the time we make New Year’s Resolutions.”-Editor/Mom

Resolutions? Not sure what that means. I try to be good all the time.

“You are a good Boy, but it’s not just about being good, although that might be a good way to explain it to you. Remember how you promised to pick up your toys and make your bed? Well, making a Resolution is a lot like making a promise, only to yourself. You can make a Resolution to do things differently, to become more responsible, to fix old things or try new things, or maybe to help others.”-Editor/Mom

Do you make Resolutions all by yourself? How many can you make? Did “you” make any New Year’s Resolutions?

“Resolutions are all yours. You can choose to keep them to yourself or tell everybody. You can make as many as you want to, or none at all if you don’t want to. I suggest starting out slow. Remember you’re making promises to yourself, and then trying to keep them. The more you make, the harder it is, and you don’t want to let yourself down, because the whole idea is to make you feel better. I’ve made a Resolution to go back on the 21 Day Fix diet and lose the 15 pounds I’ve gained since the last time I tried it.”-Editor/Mom

So, I stayed up late thinking about it, and I’d like to make some Resolutions. I’d like to become a better frisbee player, so I think my 1st New Year’s Resolution will be to practice every day.

“Okay, I can help you with that, and that can also be a Resolution for me. Anything else?”-Editor/Mom

You said Resolutions can be about trying new things, right? I would like my 2nd Resolution to be to try some new foods. The humans are always eating good smelling stuff that I would really like to try.

“Well, unfortunately, dogs have different digestive systems than humans, and a lot of the foods we eat would make you sick. There “are” a few different protein sources available from your food provider though, so we can get you some different things to try in the new year. Anything else, maybe on the idea of becoming a better dog in general? Like not making me tell you things twice? We spent a lot of money and time on your education.”-Editor/Mom

Cool, thanks about the new food, Mom. And I thought Resolutions were supposed to be my idea, but okay, I guess my 3rd Resolution could be responding a little quicker when you tell me to do stuff, even when it’s not what I want to do.

“That’s my Boy. Very commendable, David, and since I’m just as much to blame for your slacking obedience, I’m going to make it my third Resolution to help you. I’ve already called Uncle Khaled to schedule us a refresher class or two to get us back on track.”-Editor/Mom

Oh, man. More Training? That wasn’t what I had in mind. Can’t I just do it on my own?

“Becoming a better being isn’t always easy, you know. Do you think I want to go on a diet when you’ll be getting to have new food? Being a well trained dog is important. Not only will it make us both proud, but it might even save your life someday. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you because you weren’t listening. Not to mention, someday, when Auntie Jen gets another dog, you’re going to have to be like a big brother and help train her. You want to set a good example, don’t you?”-Editor/Mom

New dog? Did you say new dog?? Is that the surprise you guys have been talking about??? I “knew” something was going on. You and Auntie Jen have gone out without me twice and come home smelling like a pack of puppies. I’m no dummy. That’s it, right? We’re getting a puppy, aren’t we?? Yippee!!! I Love puppies. Don’t get me wrong, I like being an only dog, but it was a lot more fun when Jazzy was here. It’ll be great having a puppy to play with. I’ll be a great Big Brother, I promise. In fact, I’m gonna make it my 4th New Year’s Resolution to be the Best Big Brother Ever!

“Yes, we’re getting a puppy. We would’ve told you sooner, but we didn’t think you’d be this happy about it. We thought you might be a little jealous, so Auntie Jen & I have made a joint Resolution to make sure we still have our “David time”, even after your little sister arrives.”-Editor/Mom

“Yeah, don’t worry Buddy, we’ll always have our “David time.”-Jen

Cool, cause I would be sad if we didn’t. I can’t wait to meet her, but can I tell you about my last New Year’s Resolution first?

“Sure, we’ve got plenty of time to talk about all of that. What is this, your fifth Resolution?”-Editor/Mom

Yup, for my 5th, and final Resolution of the new year, I would like to learn how to play the guitar. We already have one and I could practice in my spare time.

“Well, I’ve gotta say, I didn’t see that one coming. I don’t know how much spare time you’re going to have, but sure, I’m all for it… Happy New Year!!!”-Editor/Mom

 

DAVE’S CHRISTMAS JOURNAL

Saturday, December 24th.
Finally, it’s here… Christmas Eve… The night before the big day. The Christmas Mouse is down to 1 on the countdown calendar. I heard them say that Santa was already on his rounds, but it’s still light out, so I know he wouldn’t be here for awhile. You can tell when it’s Christmas Eve, cause that’s when the humans are wrapping all the presents and running around getting all the last minute stuff they forgot before the stores all close. Then my Mom always takes silly pictures of us wearing Santa hats around the tree.

“David might be boycotting Black & White this year, but I’m certainly not, and who can resist wearing Santa Claus whiskers?”-Editor/Mom

Finally, it was time for bed. That’s when Mom always reads “The Night Before Dogmas”. It’s a story about how St. Bernard comes and saves all of the sad, lonely dogs at the pound on Christmas Eve and they live happily ever after. I tried to stay awake and wait for Santa, but I fell right to sleep. And he must be really quiet, cause I didn’t hear him at all.

Sunday, December 25th
Christmas morning, Yippee! I usually wait for my Mom to get up before I get out of bed, but I just couldn’t wait to see if Santa had come yet.

“Yup, 5:45AM on our day off. Thanks, David.”-Editor/Mom

I think she was a little mad, cause she made me wait ’til after they had hot chocolate before letting me open my presents. It took, like, forever.

“Actually, this is our usual Christmas morning routine, we just usually like to start it after it gets light out.”-Editor/Mom

Finally, it was time to open the presents. I was worried that Santa might not get my letter in time, or that maybe I hadn’t been good enough, but there were a lot of them under the tree that had my name on them. It was so much fun ripping off all of the paper to see what was inside. I could hardly believe it! He definitely got my letter, cause I got two frisbees, some yummy cookies, and my Mom was right, he even brought me a squeaky hedgehog and a bone to chew on.

My Mom, Auntie Jen and some of our friends gave me some cool stuff, too. I got a neat football and a giant gator, just like the one I have only bigger.

I didn’t know what to play with first, so I put all of my presents together and hung out with them all at the same time.

Monday, December 26th
Some people think that the day after Christmas is kind of a letdown, but it’s really the best part. This is when you get to play with all of your new toys. Mom brought me out to the big field and threw my new frisbee for me. It was lots of fun.
 

While we were out in the field I sniffed the scent of something new. I followed it to the edge of the woods and then it just disappeared! Mom wouldn’t let me investigate it, but I’m pretty sure I was on the trail of Santa’s reindeer. Next year I’ll know which direction to look out for him.

As soon as I’m finished posting this, I think I’m gonna hang out with my new Gator, then maybe chew on my bone for awhile before bed. I’m a pretty lucky Boy, and I hope everybody had as good a Christmas as I did.

We wait all year for it to come and then it seems to go by pretty fast. But then I heard Mom and Auntie Jen say that I had another surprise coming, so maybe it’s not all over yet. I Love surprises! I wonder what it could be?

“I don’t think you’ll have to wonder for very long, David. Stay tuned…”-Editor/Mom

MY LETTER TO SANTA

Can you believe it? Only 7 days left to go before Christmas! Have you written your letter to Santa Claus yet? I just finished mine yesterday. It took a long time, cause you have to write it by hand and that means there’s no spell-check, and it’s kinda messy, cause my handwriting’s not that great yet. I wasn’t really sure what to say to him either, so I went through quite a few drafts, but I think I covered all of the important things.

“I tried to tell him it didn’t have to be perfect, but he insisted on getting it just right… And on doing it all by himself.”-Editor/Mom

I know it’s not perfect, but I think I did a pretty good job. I’m glad that my Mom Googled the address and helped me with the envelope though, cause she said that if the Mailman can’t read it, or the numbers aren’t just right, it won’t ever get there, and the North Pole is really far away as it is. That took a long time, cause we had to make sure I wrote all of the letters and numbers the way they’re supposed to be.

Then we put the letter in the envelope, pasted some stamps on the envelope and brought it out to the mail box so that Ed, our Mailman, could pick it up and deliver it for me. I hope it gets there in time.

“You did a really good job David, and I’m sure it’ll get there in time. I have to say I’m surprised your list wasn’t a lot longer.”-Editor/Mom

Well, I already have a lot of toys, and I really don’t care what’s inside the shiny paper, as long as it makes noise when I bite it. Oh NO! I didn’t write that I like squeaky toys! Or bones! Can I add stuff to my letter? Is it too late? Did the Mailman already come? Can I write another letter?

“Ummm, hold on there. Your letter is definitely on it’s way already, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it if I were you. Santa knows that all dogs love bones and squeaky toys, and you ‘have’ been a very good boy, so I’m sure he’ll bring you everything you want for Christmas.”-Editor/Mom

Jeez, I sure hope so. Thanks Mom.

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

Christmas is Coming! Every morning we move the Christmas Mouse one day closer on the Christmas Countdown Calendar. There’s only one problem. There were 17 days left yesterday. My Mom is out of town (again) and I’m not allowed to move it myself.

 

Auntie Kristine is working today, and I’m thinking that maybe if I sit and wait here by the Calendar she’ll catch on and move it for me, cause I don’t want to lose track. It’s bad enough that I haven’t even started working on my Christmas List for Santa yet. I wouldn’t want to have my letter all ready and not mail it in time.

That’s what I’ll do. Just stay right here. I hope she catches on quickly so I don’t fall asleep.