WORKING OUT

I don’t know if any of you have noticed what’s been going on lately. Take a look at these last few pictures my Mom has taken. What do you see? Don’t know what I’m talking about yet? It’s Waya. Look at her. She’s bigger than me! It happened overnite. 

She’s not even six months old yet. This is totally unfair! It took me two years to get as big as I am, how big will she be when she’s two?

“Hard to say. We’re not sure either, David.”-Editor/Mom

Seriously? Am I the only one who’s concerned about this? She already throws her weight around, and even though I still have a couple of pounds on her, at this rate how long will it be before I won’t stand a chance? Not very, that’s how long.
Well, I’m not waiting around for it to happen. If I’m gonna keep my butt from getting kicked around here I’ve gotta get going. That’s right, time to start working out. Bulking up is the best defense against getting rolled over. I’m pretty sure there’s some gym stuff kicking around. Maybe my Mom will help me get set up.

“Sure thing, David. I’ll help you dust off the gym and set you up with a little work-out room. Someone might as well be using it.”-Editor/Mom

Since I don’t know a lot about working out I had to do a little research. It’s really important to use the right equipment. Mom took care of that, check. Can’t wait to get started. Apparently, apparel is important, too. I’m not sure what the fitbit thing is all about. I mean is it considered equipment? Or apparel? Even though you’re wearing it, I’m thinking it’s equipment, because I guess it can keep track of your footsteps, and tell you your heart rate is, both good to know when you’re working out, cause you don’t want to overdue it. 

“Apparel is important, and I think you’ve nailed it with the tanktop and sweatbands. Looks like you’re ready to get started”-Editor/Mom

Well, the first thing I learned is it’s important to stretch out before working out, so’s you don’t blow out an acl or something. I’ve heard stories about how painful that can be.

“Not to mention, a long set-back to your work-out program, and that Waya’s not getting any smaller.”-Editor/Mom

I think starting out with a few reps on the light weights is a good idea… Up…Down…Up…Down…Up…and…Hold… Phew! I’m already working up a sweat.

“Ummmm, I’m no work-out expert, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to actually “lift” those.”-Editor/Mom

What? Lift them? That’s stupid. How am I supposed to do that? 

“You could use your mouth. I bet that would help strengthen up those neck muscles.”-Editor/Mom

Right, good idea. I’ll try that next time. Onto my next exercise, some serious weights. You’d better look out Waya!

“Did you say onto? Because again, pretty sure you’re supposed to “lift” these, too.”-Editor/Mom

Did I say onto? Cause I meant to say on to. But I’m gonna need a hand getting these weights onto the machine, cause I can’t get them off the floor with my mouth. You don’t think this is too much to start with, do you?

“Nah, I think you can handle it.”-Editor/Mom

 

It’s really important to wear a weight belt when lifting. Again, so you don’t hurt yourself. I’ve heard you can get a hernia, and that nobody likes those. It’s also good to have a spotter in case you drop something on yourself. 

“Don’t worry, I’m here for you David.”-Editor/Mom

Really feeling the burn now. I’m totally getting the hang of this. Am I getting a six-pack yet?

“Ummm, not yet, but you’re looking good, buddy. You might want to wrap up soon, it’s only your first day. You’re going to be a hurting puppy tomorrow.”-Editor/Mom/Spotter

Yup, I thought a mile on the bike would be a good finish to my work-out, but that proved to be a little harder than I expected. This isn’t as easy as it looks.

“Yeah, you might want to be careful there. That bike might be a little bit too big for you. We’ll have to find you something smaller. Meantime you could always go for a jog or a swim. Those are both great ways to get in shape.”-Editor/Mom

Did you say Swimming? I love swimming. 
Right now though, it’s time for the best part of the work-out. The protein shake. Where’s that fitbit? Wonder how many steps I took.

“Looks like 5,000 steps. Not bad, David.”-Editor/Mom

5,000. Is that a lot? Cause I’m thinking that since it’s really your fitbit, and you only have two legs, that my steps ought to be doubled. So that means I really did 10,000. Whew! No wonder I’m tired.

So, overall, how did you like your first workout?”-Editor/Mom

I think it went pretty well. Except for one thing. Even with my sweatband on, I felt like my ears were impeding my range of motion. Any ideas what I can do about that? 

“Oh yeah. I think we can come up with something.”-Editor/Mom

Thiis works, and apparently, the full “man bun” is quite a popular hairstyle with Hipsters.

A DECENT EXCUSE

I know I’m wicked late with my Blog Post, but I’m thinking I’ve got a pretty good excuse this time. A couple of them really. Not only is it school vacation week, which means we’ve all been really busy around here, but look at my paws! How am I supposed to type with these?

I don’t know what happened. I didn’t do anything different. I was out playing with my friends last Friday, like usual. Maybe I spent a little more time outside than on a regular Friday. I don’t know, but when I cam in, my paws were killing me. I could hardly stand on either of my front feet.

“Could be because you ran around a lot more than usual with your friends, and the rocks in the yard were wet, and they aggravated your pads. It’s strange, cause you’re not a puppy anymore, and you’re used to playing on our rocks. Your feet ought to be tougher than that, but yeah, they were looking pretty raw. You licking them didn’t help, either.”-Editor/Mom

Well, they were itchy and sore. But I didn’t have much choice after Auntie Jen and Uncle Aaron put all that goopy stuff on my feet and wrapped them all up with bandages, did I? Slippery bandages, I might add. I had a hard time walking on the floor without sliding around. 

“Yup, and that’s why we gave you a benadryl, so you’d be able to rest without them bothering you.”-Editor/Mom

And it worked, cause I took a really long nap on the couch before bed.

The only problem was, when I went to bed I had a really hard time chewing on my bone, but I figured it out. 

Saturday morning, my bandages started falling apart after I went outside to pee, and I was happy when Mom took them off. It was like magic, they didn’t hurt at all anymore! Briar Rose was there, and I was hoping to get to play with her, but everybody said I had to stay inside for the whole day to make sure they were all healed.

It was a long, boring day, but it worked! By Sunday, I was running around like nothing happened, and they’ve been fine ever since. 

“A little rest never hurt anybody, David. And maybe we’ll have to limit your rainy day outside play for awhile.”-Editor/Mom

 

 

 

 

FUN AT THE FAIRMONT

Boy, oh boy, did we have fun last weekend in Boston. We had the whole weekend off and stayed at the Copley Plaza Hotel. It’s really nice there, and everybody was super sweet to us. I’ve been there before, but it was Waya’s first time staying in a hotel. Our room was awesome, even though we all had to share one giant bed, which wasn’t too bad cause Waya slept in her crate. It wasn’t very nice outside at first, so our walks were kinda short, but we got to hang out in the lobby by the fireplace and play in our room.

We met all kinds of really nice people that stopped to say hello when they passed by us. There’s a dog that works there, her name is Carly, and some other dogs that were staying with their parents. It would’ve been fun if we all could’ve played in the big ballroom, but I guess dogs aren’t allowed in there. 
Finally, on Sunday it stopped raining and the sun came out. We got to go for a really long walk in the park. We hung out and showed off some of our Training skills.

But do you know what the best part about the park is? 

That’s right, the squirrels… 

“What about the birds, David? You’re a Springer Spaniel, remember? You’re supposed to like birds. There were tons of them to choose from. Little chirping birds, ducks and geese in the water, and even the first robins we’ve seen this Spring. What about them?”-Editor/Mom

They’re alright, I guess. But the squirrels are super fun to chase. They like to play hide and seek in the trees. Someday I’m gonna catch me one of them.

“You might want to be careful there. Those Boston Common squirrels are pretty tough. They “might” be able to take you. That might be embarasing.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, I wouldn’t like that at all. Maybe I’ll just stick to scaring them when they’re not looking.

“Well, I’m glad you had a good time, even though the weather wasn’t the best. At least we had one good day.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, weekends off are always fun, Mom. Cause even when they’re almost over, me & Waya get to have extra wrestling time at home.

GROWING PAINS

Can somebody tell me how much longer it’ll be before Waya’s puppy teeth fall out? Cause boy do they hurt, and I’ll be happy when they’re gone.

“Well, typically they’re pretty much gone when you reach five months old. Yours were, and we were all very happy.”-Editor/Mom

I don’t think mine were as sharp as hers. Have you noticed all of the little scabs I have from playing with her? I feel like a pin cushion.

“I have to agree with you, David. She’s got the biggest and sharpest puppy fangs I’ve ever seen.”-Auntie Jen

And is it me, or is she growing really fast? 

“Yeah, we’ve been noticing that, too.”-Editor/Mom

She’s already almost as big as me, and she’s still just a baby. How big is she gonna be when she’s my age?? I remember Jazzy was bigger than me, but not a whole lot heavier.

“Hard to say. Jazzy only weighed about 8 lbs. more than you do, but at this rate, Waya could be a lot bigger than her.”-Editor/Mom

Great, I can barely knock her down anymore as it is. At least I can still outrun her. 

“Well, I wouldn’t count on that for much longer if I were you. She’s been closing that gap on you the last couple of weeks.”-Editor/Mom

“Yeah, you’re screwed, Buddy.”-Auntie Jen

So you’re all saying that she’s gonna be bigger “and” faster than me? Boy, I better start working out. The good thing is I’ll always be older and wiser. And maybe she’ll learn to put some of her energy towards other things that don’t involve chewing on me all the time. 

“We can hope, but she really does seem to enjoy picking on you.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, no kidding. And have any of you noticed that black pitchfork shaped mark on her forehead? What the Hell, I mean Heck, is that all about?

“You might have been right the first time. She “does” seem to have a little bit of the Devil in her, doesn’t she?”-Editor/Mom

“Yes, and speaking of scabs, I can’t help but notice that scar you gave her under her right eye. You’re gonna pay for that later, David.”-Auntie Jen

I didn’t mean it, but I had to defend myself. It’s already almost gone, so I think she’ll probably forget about it.

LANGUAGE BARRIERS

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t know what people are talking about. I know what you’re thinking though, and you can go ahead and laugh, but it’s not because I’m stupid. 

“Nobody said you were stupid. Language can sometimes be difficult to understand, even for us humans. Not to mention, you live in America, which means you speak English, and English is the hardest language to learn.”-Editor/Mom

I agree. I’ve been doing a little research, and the Oxford English Dictionary says there are 171,476 words, and that doesn’t even count old words nobody uses anymore, or slang words, or contractions, whatever they are. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says there are 1 Million words! 1 Million? Do you people really need that many?? I also learned that the average dog only knows 165. How’re we supposed to keep up? 

 “Actually, it’s believed some dogs can learn up to 1,000 words. I think what also makes it even harder for dogs in breaking the language barrier, is that us people use whole sentences to get our points across, and you dogs communicate using single words at a time.”-Editor/Mom

You’re right! I mean I can pick words out of a sentence, but half the time it’s all gibberish. For example, you might say: “I’m gonna go out and start the car so we can take a ride to the beach.” All I hear is: “Bla blah bla OUT bla blah bla bla bla bla bla blah bla RIDE bla bla BEACH!” I get the gist. You really only needed to say 3 words. I don’t know why you gotta make everything so difficult. 

“Maybe we don’t want you to know everything we’re saying, unless we’re actually talking “to” you.”-Editor/Mom

Okay, that’s fine, but what I’ve had a hard time with is why Waya doesn’t listen when I tell her stuff. Like “NO” when she’s biting my ears. Everybody knows NO, it’s the first word we learn. I thought she was just being fresh and ignoring me. Then I realized that Mom and Auntie don’t use the word NO with her. They say NAY. What the Heck is that all about? Is NAY even a word?? 

“Actually, I think it’s one of those slang words you mentioned before, or maybe just one that nobody uses anymore. Doesn’t matter which, the reason we’re using different words with Waya than you is because she’s going to have a different job around here than you do, and we might want you to do different things at the same time.”-Editor/Mom

So, what difference does that make? A command is a command, isn’t it?

“It is, but if the commands are the same for both of you, what happens if we want you to “Sit”, and Waya hears it and sits when we might be wanting her to do something else? That’s why Auntie chose to have her learn some different commands than yours.”-Editor/Mom

“She didn’t want to just use random English words, so she thought the French words they use to train dogs would be perfect. That’s why we say “Sit” for you, and “Assis” (ah-si) for her. “Down” for you, and “Coucher” (coo-shay) for her. We don’t want the two of you to be confused about who’s supposed to be doing what, although I think Auntie sometimes gets confused herself.”-Editor/Mom

French? What’s French?? 

“French is a whole different language. And if you ask Aleksa, she’ll tell you that there are 6,500 different languages. Think about it David, if there are 171,476 words in every language, that would be, ummmm, 1,114,594,000 words to choose from.”-Editor/Mom

What? My head hurts. And who’s Aleksa? Can I ask her stuff, too??

“Well, you can try, but we speak the same language, and she never understands me.”-Editor/Mom

SMACKDOWNS 101

“So David, how’s about a little update on how things are going between you and your new puppy?”-Editor/Mom

Puppy? You mean Waya? She’s not a puppy, she’s a piranha! Have you seen the fangs on her? She’s not afraid to use them, either. 

“So, apparently you’ve forgotten what you were like when you were four months old. We couldn’t even let you near Jazzy, because all you wanted to do was jump on her and bite her. She wanted nothing to do with you.”-Editor/Mom

I don’t remember that. And hey, I like it when we get to run and wrestle together. Nobody likes a good Smackdown more than me, but boy oh boy, do those teeth hurt when she chews on my head. I figured out the best way to stop her, though. I just grab one of her legs and hold on ’til she lets go. Then I start running so she can’t catch me.

It’s fun when we have toys or sticks to play with, except that she always wants the one I have. We’re learning to share, but it’s better when we each have our own to run with. 

“So, all in all, it sounds like things are going well. We’re glad that you two are getting along, and that we’re able to leave you alone outside together, even if it’s only for short periods at a time.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, it’s fun taking turns knocking each other down. I just wish she’d learn what it means when I say “Uncle”, and let me go. And have you noticed that she’s getting bigger? Just look at the difference in the first four pictures from the beginning of the week, and these last ones from today. She’s almost as big as me. She’s getting faster, too. I’ve really gotta turn on the turbo to stay ahead of her now.

The most important question of all is: When are her puppy teeth going to fall out? 

“Not soon enough, David. Not soon enough.”-Editor/Mom

BUILDING BUDDIES

Me and Waya have been spending a lot more time together lately. We’ve been out playing in the snow, and going on walks, and just hanging around in the house. It’s fun being out and about, cause we get to investigate new things. 

Being off-leash is always the best, cause we get to run and run and run. I run, and Waya chases me. We can only do that when we’re in our yards though, cause Waya doesn’t know how to come when she’s called yet. She’s learning stuff really fast though, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to run together other places too, cause she gets really mad when I get to run and she can’t chase me. 

It’s not quite as much fun playing in the house, cause it’s harder to get away, and all she wants to do is bite my ears. It’s kinda fun at first, but boy, does she have sharp teeth. And then she cries when I bite her back and “I” get in trouble. 

“You forgot to tell them about her new favorite game to play with you, David: “Spaniel Surfing”. It’s tons of fun and can be played indoors or outdoors.”-Editor/Mom

Right… I didn’t know it had a name.

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. 

FEBRUARY FUN

Man, this has been the BEST WEEK EVER! I LOVE the snow!! 

“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed all of our recent blizzards, David. I can’t say that I share your enthusiasm, though.”-Mom/Editor

Why not? It’s so much fun to play in. You get to run and jump in it. 

It’s super fun digging in all the giant snowbanks.

“I’m glad you like them, but you do realize who builds all those giant snowbanks don’t you? The humans find that snow is a lot of work. We’re all exhausted after this week.”-Editor/Mom/Snow Removal Expert

Really? Cause I never get tired of of it. Sometimes you find toys that the other dogs have lost. My favorite thing is playing “King of the Hill”, then jumping off the top. 

“That ‘is’ a fun game, and I love watching you play it, but by the time I’m done fixing all of your piles of snow, I’d really just rather go inside and have a cup of hot chocolate.”-Editor/Mom

“How’d you like being “King of the Patio?”-Editor/Mom

It’s not a bad view from the tall chairs. And you know what else is really cool? Getting to go out side when it’s snowing at night. You get to make fresh tracks, and sometimes you find new ones that some other critter has made. I always follow them and try to find them, but they must be really good at hiding. 

“Yes, there’s nothing I like more than shoveling at 11:00 at night. And those tracks? Probably that bunny that we saw hanging around in the Fall. He must be living nearby.”-Editor/Mom

Do you know what the Best thing has been this week? Playing in the snow with Waya. She loves the snow as much as me. We can’t wait to go outside and run and wrestle in the snow. I run and she chases me. It’s the most fun we’ve had together since she came.

“That I can agree with. The snow has really helped the two of you bond, and it’s fun for us watching the two of you play together.”-Editor/Mom

“It’s fun now, but what are you gonna do next year when she’ll be bigger and faster than you?”-Auntie Jen

Hmmmm, maybe I’ll learn how to hide like the bunny does. Meantime, I have a question: How come it hardly ever snows here? It’s so much fun, I wish it would snow ALL the time. 

“Are you kidding me? You know there are probably a lot of families in Montana who would love a handsome Springer Spaniel like yourself. It snows a lot there, you’d be very happy.”-Editor/Mom

What? You wouldn’t! You’d miss me. Come on, you had fun in the snow, too.

“You’re right, I would miss you.”-Editor/Mom

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