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.

Good Housekeeping

“We’ve been having a couple of small housekeeping issues as of late. Not “housebreaking” issues. We’ve been all set there since David was a young boy. Seems like I’m always picking up after him.”-Editor/Mom

Picking up? I’m not sure what that means. What am I supposed to be picking up?

“Well, let’s start with your bed. What is this? This isn’t how your bed is supposed to look when you’re done using it, and honestly, I’d like to know how it gets this way to begin with. You don’t even sleep in your own bed.”-Editor/Mom

“See, I make my bed every day when I get up. I know you don’t have thumbs, but you could at least straighten it out a little bit.”-Editor/Mom

You know how much I like to play in my bed. You never told me I was supposed to fix it afterwards. I’ll give it a try.

There. Is that better?

“Much better. Good job.”-Editor/Mom

Anything else you need me to do?

“Well, since you asked, how about putting your toys back in the toy box I gave you when you’re done playing with them? I’m always tripping over your stuff. I know you can do it, because you always put your outside toys in the box when you leave the yard.”-Editor/Mom

All you had to do was ask. What about all my other stuff, like my collars, jackets and blankets? Shouldn’t they all be in one place where I can find them?

“You’re so right, David. And that’s why I’ve been working on a little surprise for you. This is your very own armoire. It’s even got your name on it. We’ll put all of your belongings in there, and you can decorate it any way you want.

Wow! I Love it! Thanks Mom. Can we get some pictures to hang inside? You know, like of my friends and family? That would be really cool.

“I don’t see why not. I’m glad you like it. And now none of your things will get misplaced.”-Editor/Mom

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already? I didn’t really want Summer to be over, but since it is, might as well enjoy the Holiday Season. Thanksgiving is my third most favoritest Holiday, right after Christmas and my Birthday, which, in case you didn’t know, is the 3rd of July, which is kinda like having two Holidays in one since it’s right before the 4th of July..

“Okay David, you’re rambling. Where are we going with this?”-Editor/Mom

Oh, right. Okay, so you’re probably wondering what I’m doing with this pen. And no, I’m not writing my Christmas Wish List, although that’ll be happening soon enough. You’ve gotta get your requests in early, cause all the best toys are in high demand. I’m pretty sure Santa plans his route on a First Come, First Serve basis, and you don’t want him to run out of the funnest toys before he gets to your house.

“You’re rambling again, David. And shouldn’t we get through this Holiday before we start talking about the next one?”-Editor/Mom

Alright, alright. Where was I? Every year we put on a really fancy Thanksgiving Dinner at Free Dog for everybody that’s staying with us while their families are away, cause it’s important to make everyone feel at home. This year my Mom made up menus so all of the dogs could pre-order what they want for dinner. It’s like a check-list. What a great idea!
So I figured I ought to order my meal ahead of time too, cause what if they feed all of the Boarders before me, and all the good stuff is gone? Imagine Thanksgiving with no turkey, no gravy, no carrots, no green beans or no squash…

I could hardly wait to lie down and fill out my order form. First on the list is Turkey. Yummy, I’ll have two, maybe three helpings of that. Potatoes? Hmmmm, I don’t care that much about them, but I like Carrots and Green Beans, so I’m thinking two servings of those, after all, veggies are good for you, right? I don’t know what Cranberry Sauce is. What if I don’t like it? I’m thinking if I put a question mark there my Mom might let me try it first. Finally, the best part, Gravy! I Love Gravy. I want tons of Gravy, smothered all over everything on my plate.
This is going to be delicious, I can hardly wait. But wait, there’s something missing. What about Squash? I didn’t think you were allowed to have Thanksgiving without Squash. It’s the best thing next to Gravy and the Turkey. Aren’t we having any Squash?

“Yes, we’re having Squash! Don’t panic, I just forgot to put it on the menu. But don’t worry, I’ve already contacted everyone and told them to write it in if they want it.”-Editor/Mom

Phew! This is going to be the best Thanksgiving Ever! 

“You know that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food, don’t you David? It’s about taking the time with your loved ones to be thankful for everything you have. This would be a good time to tell us what you’re thankful for, and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.”-Editor/Mom

I’m thankful for my Mom and Auntie Jen, my Gator, all my Friends at Camp, and Holidays with Turkey Dinners with all the Fixin’s, cause they’re way better than the same old dry food I get every other day.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

TURF WAR

“If you’ve been following David’s Blog Posts, Weekend Updates and Daily Reports, you’ve likely seen a number of pics of him sleeping and hanging out on his ottoman. This is his favorite spot in the office, and I even moved it closer to my desk so we could hang together when we’re both inside working. I say when we’re “both” working, but he’s usually sleeping while “I’m” working. Either way, it’s basically his designated spot. Honestly, since Jazzy passed, he thinks every place and toy is his. So you can imagine his shock and surprise when our new Staff dog, Axel decided to make himself at home on his ottoman while Dave was outside playing with his Camp friends.”-Editor/Mom

“I saw him first, and had a feeling David wasn’t going to take it well.”-Editor/Mom

Well, what would you think? How would you feel if you came home and found someone sitting in your favorite chair? It was his first day here. I just met him. I wasn’t mean to him or anything, but I thought he should have to at least wait ’til I offer him my stuff.

“I did understand his confusion, so I explained that he would have to share some space with him in the office for the few hours a week that he’ll be here while his Mom is working, just like he does with his Auntie Vida. Not to mention Axel is a lot older, and might need a comfy place to rest.”-Editor/Mom

And I thought that maybe he should have his own bed, cause there’ll be times we’re both in the office together.

“I thought that was a good point, even though I’d like to see him have a little bit more respect for his elders, so we came up with a solution that mutually benefits everybody.

“See, that wasn’t so hard now, was it? I think we’ve got to work on your Sharing skills. Sharing is Caring, David. What I don’t understand though, is why you only seem to covet things inside. When you’re outside playing, you don’t seem to care who plays with what, or hangs out where.”-Editor/Mom

Well, I’m the only dog living here. Since there’s nobody else around to claim anything, I’m thinking possession being nine-tenths of the law, my house my rules.

“Ah, I believe we’ve found the root of your problem David. You see, it’s not actually “your” house. Houses belong to humans. Everything in the house, including you and the toys you think are all yours belong to us. Maybe it’ll be easier if we use the Transitive Property of Equality. If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.”-Editor/Mom

What the Heck does that mean?

“We’ll use your possessions as an example. It means that if your things belong to you, and you belong to me, then your things also belong to me. And If things belong to me, I get to decide how they’re used.

What about the toys you give me for Christmas, and my Birthday, and presents when you go away? What about all my collars, and jackets, and tags, and bandanas? And my bones? And my beds, and blankets? Aren’t those all mine?

“Okay, I see how this can be confusing, but again, Sharing is Caring. The collars, jackets and tags are definitely all yours, but bandanas, bones, beds, blankets and toys can all be shared.”-Editor/Mom

ALL my toys? What if someone wrecks my Gator, or my Bunny, or my Cow?

“Step back from the ledge for a minute and think about it. Don’t I always protect your special toys from visiting dogs? It’ll be harder when someday there’s a new dog living with us again, but remember how we protected Jazzy’s Teddy Bears from you? We promise to do the same for you, but you’re going to have to learn to give and take a little bit.”-Editor/Mom

A new dog? Are we getting a new dog?

“Did you think you were going to be an only child forever? We’ll definitely be getting a new addition to the family someday. And she might not be as nice to you as Jazzy was, so you’d better start working on improving those Sharing skills now.

“I fear there may be a rude awakening coming your way, David.”-Auntie Jen

Yeah, but won’t our new dog have to learn to respect my stuff, too?

“Oh yeah, this is going to be fun.”-Auntie Jen