Friday, February 29, 2008

More of an adventure than we intended

Yesterday, Mom took me back to Heaven - er, Bare Cove Park. It was amazingly cold and Mom forgot her gloves, but that was okay. We went earlier than we did last time because we wanted to explore more of the park. We went right instead of left, and then when we reached the park border we went back the other way. I met lots of new doggies. There was a Pug who liked Mom and gave her a kiss - I bet Dad will be jealous. There was a very nice German Shepherd, but she had a friend named Abby who looked part beagle and Abby didn't like me much. She liked Mom just fine, though, and seemed to want to defend Mom from me. That was kind of funny. Mom says she's a sweet dog. I respectfully disagree. I also made a friend who loves to be chased so much that she ran back and forth within reach of my leash!

We didn't take too many side paths, because that's what Abby and her people were doing and Mom didn't want to give her any extra stress. We did eventually take one side path. Now, Mom is pretty sure she read the signs right, but the path put us right outside the park! We were horribly lost in Hingham! She didn't want to go back into the park the way we'd come out in case we got even more lost. Fortunately, she had the GPS system in her pocket, and we were able to hike our way back to our car. This was kind of a lot of work - no sidewalks, so we were stomping through the snow - but we made it. This was definitely more of an adventure than we intended!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Small Adventure

Yesterday the weather was gray and dismal... not unlike today. The weather report didn't offer much hope, calling for a Winter Storm Watch with all sorts of exciting but vaguely ominous graphics that suggested an imminent end to life as we know it. Needless to say, we didn't go walking like we had intended. Still, Mom felt bad. She felt that I should at least go somewhere. So, around six o'clock, her phone rang. She got up, grabbed her keys and my leash, and we went into the car.

Now, I didn't know where she thought we were going to go in the dark and rain, especially since a Great Wave was sure to wash over everything east of I-495 at any moment. The park was almost certainly not an option. She began driving. We started off going the way we go to get to Bare Cove Park, but we stopped and turned into this huge complex. The complex made me nervous. It was big and scary. Was it an evacuation shelter? The news said there might be flooding.

Then Mom pulled the car in to a curb indoors. The door of the car opened. It was Dad! We had gone to get him from the T! They changed seats and we all came home. I was so happy to see Dad, and he was so happy (and surprised) to see me. It was a small adventure, but at least I got to go somewhere.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Doggie Heaven - this is a good thing I promise

Yesterday, Mom wanted to take me for a walk, because I had way too much energy and because the weather for the rest of the week is expected to be uncertain at best. She said she wanted to get me some "socialization," which I don't understand but I suspect means nationalizing my assets. The little purple elephant doesn't want to belong to the state. She'd heard of a "dog park" in Hingham, which is a couple of towns away, so she did an Internet search for "dog park" and Hingham. She found Bare Cove Park.

She'd expected to find a large expanse of grassy fenced-in space where dogs can run around off leash safely. This is not what she found. What she found is almost certainly Doggie Heaven.

It was late by the time we got there, and later still because it wasn't easy to find the parking lots. The park is enclosed by developments - businesses, townhomes, condos - so that someone passing by casually might never know it was there. Once we found the secret path, though it was pure bliss. There were many paths. We could see even more, but the park closes at sunset so we only took one. The site is a huge wildlife sanctuary and park located on a former ammunition dump. Some of the paths were plowed and weren't at all icy. There were so many new smells - new wildlife, flora, etc - and the smell of the sea.

Then there were the other doggies. They were everywhere. Pretty much all of them were friendly, and almost all of them were off-leash. This is because the park has two real rules about bringing dogs to the park: pick up after your dog (which my Mom, being a responsible Mom, always does, even though I can't remember where I've gone when she does that) and dogs must be on a leash OR well-behaved enough to stay relatively nearby and come when called. I am not that well behaved, since I'm still a baby, so I had to be on the leash. The other dogs laughed at me but in a good way. I met big dogs, hairy dogs, little dogs, girl dogs (!), boy dogs, old dogs, young dogs, and even another light-colored Golden Retriever with a red collar. His name was Checker and he was eleven months old. We liked each other very much. Their people were all very nice and friendly with Mom too. Even the park ranger was nice! He stopped to talk to all the dog people.

Mom says that we will go there again the next time that the weather is tolerable, but earlier in the day so that we can explore more. This would be very nice. Bare Cove Park is clearly Doggie Heaven. I didn't even have to bring the purple elephant, although I'm going to keep a close eye on that situation and see how it develops.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Things I eat

Mom and Dad had a party this past weekend - or rather, they didn't have a party this past weekend. They were going to have a party, but Mother Nature intervened at the last minute. They made a lot of food, and while they did their best they couldn't eat enough turkey, sides and appetizers for ten people by their lonesomes.

This is where I come in.

The turkey they ate, and put in the refrigerator so that they can eat it again (and again and probably again by the looks of it.) The fennel salad they didn't bother making. The beets Dad insisted on keeping, although Mom says she will not eat them. They taste too much like beets. The chickpeas they didn't make, the cheese-and-crackers will keep. Mom says that she can certainly eat a whole tray of baklava all by herself and actually likes it that way. She was in the middle of making one set of phyllo triangles for appetizers; the other one she skipped. When cleanup began, however, it was late, and there wasn't enough room in the dishrack for all the dirty dishes.... and forgot that there was still a plate full of little phyllo parcels filled with stuff. Stuff that included fish. They were gone all day Saturday, and when they left on Sunday the plate was still there.

The dish didn't smell that interesting on Friday. On Saturday, despite being alone with it all day, I was able to withstand the temptation. On Sunday, the stuff started to smell really, really good. Mom and Dad were out furniture shopping. There was no one around.... so I got up on the counter, knocked the plate to the ground, and ate every single last one of them.

They didn't realize what had happened until they found the plate on the floor after they'd gotten home. Ceramic apparently breaks into very sharp sherds, because Mom cut another finger on one. However, when I eat phyllo triangles filled with fish and tomatoes and capers and olives and garlic, I become.... fragrant. I wasn't sick or anything, I was feeling great. Just fragrant. This didn't thrill Mom and Dad, who accused me of being a skunk and made me go outside.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My new toy

On Thursday, Mom bought me a new toy. Well, she bought me three toys, actually. The snow and ice had melted enough that she could see that none of my outside toys survived the winter, which led to my using the cushion from a patio chair as a chew toy. I don't know if I'm going to hear the end of that one. Anyway, while she was in the toy aisle she saw something so cute that it had to come home, and now I am the proud owner of a rubber purple elephant.

I love my new purple elephant. I haven't managed to get my mouth all the way around him yet, but he doesn't mind if I carry him around by his ear or his trunk. When his squeaker is activated it makes a very different sound than my squeaky olive toy (far and away my favorite), or my Wesley bear (whose squeaker seems to have gone away), or my puppy (the kind you see in the commercials with the Dachshund.) If the squeaker is activated in a particularly forceful way - say, by my dad stepping on the elly at two AM on his way to the bathroom - it emits the most mournful, distressing sound and frightens the two-legs right out of their wits!

I love my new elly toy. Because he's made of rubber, I'm less likely to be able to destroy him quickly and he will be with me for a long time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A good day at school

Yesterday I had a wonderful day at school! I didn't have any problems. I did everything that I was supposed to. I sat and stayed. I came when I was called. I lay down and stayed. I heeled. I gave Mom my paw without trying to chew on it. I did not jump on anyone. Then, we practiced in the front of the store, with lots of people (even strangers!), a new canine friend, and my good friend Linda who smelled like bacon. I came through it all! I am the MAN!

I do have a new way of asserting my manhood - well, doggyhood. I refuse to get in the car. I enjoy my car rides, and I always like wherever it is that we go. Granted, I like everything. Anyway, yesterday Mom tricked me when we got ready to go, but when we were coming back I was on to her!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My newest game

I have a new game. Mom walks into the kitchen. I wriggle my way and stand in between her knees. She takes a step. I move with her. She takes another step. I stay right between her knees. We walk all around the kitchen this way. She does the things she needs to do, and I stick with her like glue every step of the way. It's great fun!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

School vacation week in Braintree

It is school vacation week here in Braintree, and even though there've only been two days of it I can see that this is going to cause some Issues for me and Mom. See, I love people. I love kids most of all. I don't even tend to jump up on them, probably because I don't have to go as far to lick their faces and get kisses in return. I'm generally really good with kids. The problem is that every time I see a new person or kid, I want to go meet them and play with them. Everything else goes out of my head. Mom seems to think that this is a problem, possibly because I don't listen to her. I'm not sure how this is going to play out during school vacation week, but it did make our walk at the Blue Hills yesterday a little less enjoyable.

Speaking of which, I made a new friend named Buddy at Houghton's Pond. I'm not sure what kind of dog he was, but he sure was friendly!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A gift, and some ice

Sometimes I think my Mom just doesn't get it. Yesterday started off like such a good day. I was outside and she was asleep. When she got up I wanted to come inside and hang out with her. I was feeling pretty good, because Sunday was such a good day, and I wanted to give her a present. So I brought one to the door and I sat there, looking all hopeful. I won't say what the present was, but let's just say I would certainly eat it, if I hadn't already. It was hanging out of my mouth. Mom was not amused. She was not pleased. She didn't even tell me I was a good dog. She squealed, and yelled "Gross!" She wouldn't even let me come into the house with it! She made me drop it outside and wouldn't even let me get in the bed afterward. Or lick her.

I think she did eventually realize the error of her ways, because later on we played ball outside and went down to the lake. Large swathes of the lake were still semi-frozen. I walked on it and made a lot of noise, breaking up the ice. I didn't mind sinking in - Mom still had me on the leash and anyway, she didn't let me get all that far. But when it was time for me to get out of the lake, I kept trying to walk on top of the ice. Hey, don't laugh. It was a flat surface. Just not a stable one!

Monday, February 18, 2008

More friends to visit

Yesterday the weather was pretty lousy. It was soggy, and soggy days are usually pretty dull for a puppy. Especially when that puppy - like me - dislikes being rained upon. Hey, I might melt! I'm obviously made of sugar. Still, it wasn't as dull as it could have been. My good friends Dwayne and Judith came by to visit me! Then, they went away with my parents. When they came back only Dwayne was there. It was good to see Dwayne. He likes animals, and animals like him. Even my big sister Minette doesn't completely hate him, and Mom is the only two-legged person she likes!

Do you want to know what Dwayne did? He played Tug with me! And he didn't even tell me that my Sheepy tug toy is gross. Can you believe it? He played tug with me for a while. I tried to make him stay but he wouldn't. Oh well, better luck next time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Visit from Grandma and Grandpa

Yesterday was a very special day in the Yogiverse, because my Grandma and Grandpa came to visit. They are Dad's mom and dad. They live in New Jersey, near my friend Dozor. I went down there once. I didn't think that Grandma much liked me then. She seemed very nervous around me. Yesterday, though, we got along famously. She gave me what must have been 20 ice cubes! And she patted me and gave me scritches. I brought her my olive, which is probably my favorite toy.

It was kind of a confusing day, though. The whole house was in a bustle. Mom did a lot of cooking, especially the night before! She had a bad cooking accident, and I'm not sure if she coughed or if I nudged her to set it off. It's not my fault, though, and she told me that if she hadn't have been a bonehead it wouldn't have been a problem in the first place. She looks funny with the big bandage on her finger. I keep trying to lick it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A world made new....

Yesterday I had school. It went better than last week, although I suppose that's not hard. My friend Stephanie was having car trouble, so class started with my new friend DJ. Stephanie came about halfway through class, and I was very glad to get to see her.

After school, Mom took me to the park because I've been cooped up in the house because of the weather. Tuesday brought a lot of snow to Boston, and Wednesday brought a lot of rain. When I say a lot of rain, I mean Dad started talking about building a boat and finding two of each kind of animal. I wonder where he would find a girl Golden Retriever? I'd like that very much, I think. Anyway, a lot of the streets in Braintree were washed out. Thursday, though, the worst of it had receeded so we could go to the park. It was still pretty muddy, but it was like a whole new park! There was a lot of water - deep puddles, full gutters, and even a nice little stream that wasn't there when we were last there on Saturday! It was so much fun! I ran around and around, and I splashed in the water until my whole self was all wet. I wagged my whole body. I love the park, especially when it's all wet!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A new little friend

The weather here in Braintree is awful. It snowed yesterday, and was so cold that Mom couldn't take me for a walk. Today it's raining, and it's raining so hard that you can't see the lake from the back window.

This doesn't have to mean that I don't get to see much, though. Yesterday Mom had lunch with her friend Patricia. Patricia is my good friend Wesley's mom. She stopped in yesterday because Mom wanted to give her some tart to take away. Wes wasn't with her, but she brought someone else in. When she walked into the house she was carrying something big and plastic that she put very carefully on some chairs. Mom was very concerned about me getting near the plastic thing. I could smell that the plastic thing contained something human, something that kind of smelled like Patricia and Wes. When she put it down, I could see that it was a very small person! I was amazed. I saw a very small person during my Monday walk, but from a distance. This very small person mostly slept while they were there, but Patricia was very nice and gave me hugs and scritches.

I jumped up once or twice, even though Mom really didn't want me to. I am taller than Patricia when I stand on my hind legs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New friends in Braintree

Yesterday Mom and I walked around Braintree. There's an area she likes to walk, because there are lots of nice quiet side streets for us to meander down and she doesn't have to keep me on as short a leash. It was nice, but boy was it cold! It was even cold for me, and I have a nice fur coat to keep me warm.

We met some new friends. We met a nice woman. She had a baby in a little carrier. I thought at first that it might be a good child for me to play with - I love kids - but it was way too small. It was smaller than my forearm! She gave me scritches, though, and told me that if her older son were there he'd be absolutely ecstatic. She rubbed under my chin. We also met a very nice gentleman who smoked a pipe. I really liked him. He knew just where to scritch me to get the most smiles!

I think that my favorite friend we met was a very nice older gentleman (well, older than me anyway) who called himself Jackie. Jackie gave me lots of pats and scritches, and he seemed very happy to see me. Seeing me out walking with Mom brought back happy memories of his dog Mickey, who he had when he was a very small child. Mickey was a German Shepherd and sounds like he was a very good dog. In some ways I think Jackie was sad, because Mickey passed away many years ago. On the other hand, he relived a lot of very happy memories and it sounds like Mickey had a good life. So even though we made him miss Mickey all over again, I'm glad we met him!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Seeing an old friend

Yesterday morning the sun was out. I think that it was the first time that it hadn't actively precipitated since last week. It was cold, but Mom decided that we had both had enough of being inside and that she was taking me to Houghton's Pond, in the Blue Hills Reservation. By the time that she'd had enough coffee to be allowed to drive, the sky was no longer sunny but gray. Mom said that we were going anyway, and we did.

The woods were so pretty, all covered in snow as they were. Mom says that snow is never, ever pretty, but honestly, it looked like something from a postcard. We walked the usual route, counterclockwise around the pond, and do you know what happened? We met my buddy Reggie! It was so good to see him! We were so happy to see each other, we ran around and barked. Reggie is a barker. This is normal for Springer Spaniels.

Regggie and I played for a while, while Reggie's person gave Mom some ideas on where she could take me to practice being off-leash safely. Unfortunately they were all in Easton. Mom isn't entirely sure where Easton is, but she's very excited to find out.

After that we finished our walks and came home. Do you know what happened after that? We went down to the lake! The lake is behind our house. I can see it from inside, but there's a fence between the top part of the yard and the bottom, which goes down to the lake. I broke up some of the ice down there, and I splashed in the water, and then I came back up on land. Mom wouldn't let me off the leash; she says that the ice is too thin and that the people we see out on the ice will only get what they deserve. Anyway, Dad came down to the lake too, and I ran around his knees until my leash wrapped around them twice. Then I ran away, pulling the leash very tight. It was fun! He cursed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A bad day at school

Yesterday I went to school, and it was not a good day. I expected it to be a good day - I was very excited to get in the car with Mom, and when we got there she bought me a toy to use for one of the training exercises - it had to be an unfamiliar toy or a forbidden object, and she didn't feel comfortable bringing her dirty laundry to Petco. My friend Stephanie was there and on time. Everything should have gone well!

I think that there were two reasons that it didn't go well. First, there were lots of people in the store, many more than there are on most Thursday mornings. This was very exciting to me, because as you know I just loooove people. However, it was not conducive to class. This is especially true because some of the people were there cleaning... with brooms. Brooms are just big sticks. My favorite outside toy is the remains of an old broom. Mom kept telling me that the nice men weren't there to play with me, but I didn't believe her.

The second reason has something to do with the men with brooms. Once they got me into the training area and somewhat calmed down, the men started up these big machines to clean the floors. These were loud machines and they were very scary to me! We were supposed to be working on coming when called. This required me to stay when Mom backed away. There was no way I was letting Mom go more than two steps away from me, not with those big machines running around. Ultimately, they just gave up, and Mom and I came home. I thought she was kind of disappointed in me, but she gave me the toy she'd bought earlier. It is now my favorite toy. I bring it in the bed and sometimes I leave it for Mom, so she knows I love her.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Scared in Braintree!

Tonight has been so scary here in Braintree! We're having some pretty wild weather here. We're getting thunder and lightning. I've never seen lightning before. I've never heard thunder before either, and I don't mind telling you I don't like it one bit! It's so loud that it feels like the whole house is shaking. It's not so bad in the basement, I can't hear it down there, but when I have to come upstairs it is not a nice feeling.

Then there's the rain. It's not just rain. I mean, I've heard rain before. I don't like it, but I'm mostly used to it. Tonight it's just coming down so hard! It sounds like a thousand little feet stomping on the roof - especially in the sunroom, where it's all coming down on glass. Sometimes it doesn't come down as rain, either. Sometimes it comes down as ice. I asked to go out in it for just a second, which was a major mistake. It was like having a thousand pebbles dropped on my back!

I'm not really sure what to do about it. On the one hand, I'm very scared, especially when the ice comes down. My fur stands all up, and I bark and bark at the ice to scare it away but it just keeps coming. So I want to hide in my crate, where I know I'm nice and safe. On the other hand, Mom and Dad seem oblivious to the danger and are just kind of hanging out, doing their things. Who will protect them if I'm in my crate? I've tried coming out and trying to herd them into the crate with me, but they don't seem to be particularly keen on the idea. They think quarters might be a little close, especially since I'm overdue for a bath.

I think I'll hide in the crate for a while. Mom and Dad are probably okay for now. If I think they're in danger again, though, look out!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No more football

Well, things are finally getting back to normal here in the Yogi-dome. Mom and Dad decided to have a Super Bowl party on Sunday. This resulted in a flurry of preparation on Saturday and Sunday before the game. Mom has gotten wise to me and now makes me go outside when she empties the dish washer, but there was plenty of other stuff for me to lick.

So all sorts of friends came over, all people I already knew so it was wonderful to see them again. My people made me stay outside for the duration of the game. This was disappointing, because I love to watch football and with all those people to bring my toys to I could have spun myself like a little top. Still, Mom didn't think that it would be easy for me to resist the temptation of the buffet, especially if I've already spun myself into a little golden top from all the people, and she's probably right. Besides, they wound up disappointed too, except for their friend who was rooting for the other team.

So things are finally getting back to normal, slowly but surely. Mom is excavating us from the mountain of debris left over from the party, and all will soon be right with the world. Now if we could just get the stupid rain to stop....

Monday, February 4, 2008


I was a pretty good dog on Friday, for most of the day. This is particularly remarkable because the weather was so bad I couldn't spend much time outside! But I was patient and I was good, and I hung out with Mom. This couldn't last - I'm a puppy, for crying out loud! A mere baby! Mom and Dad were busy for most of the evening, and I decided that I wanted attention. I started barking at ten PM and didn't stop until noon on Saturday. This is fourteen straight hours of barking. I barked to be let into my crate. I barked to be let back out of my crate. I barked to go outside. I barked to come back inside. Mom checked. I wasn't sick, I didn't need to relieve myself or anything like that, I just had this sudden burst of energy that I couldn't contain.

Fortunately Mom and Dad love me so much that this little episode has done little to damage our relationship.....