Friday, March 28, 2008

Minuteman National Park

Mom was talking to the vet. I'm going to have an important operation in about a week and a half, and the vet needed to get a blood test for the anesthesia. Now, we live in Braintree. The vet is in Arlington, which is about an hour away and on the other side of Boston. Mom also knew that the weather today was going to be pretty awful, so she wanted to be sure that I got good and tired. She decided that she would take me to Minuteman National Park, where our country basically started. We were there for close to three hours!

It was a great walk. Basically Minuteman National Park takes the places where the American Revolution started between Lexington and Concord and makes a trail out of them. There are old houses in various states of repair that were there during the fight. Some of them still look like someone could live in them, albeit without electricity. Others are nothing but the foundations. I loved going into the ruins of the houses that are just foundations. I could smell the traces of dogs and cats that were there hundreds of years ago. At least, I thought I could. The trail is long, and we didn't even go on all of it! There are informative signs to piddle upon. In case you forget and think that this was all put up for show, you can see all sorts of markers all along the trail that state that "Near This Spot Lies Buried a British Soldier." They have to say "near" because the graves were unmarked, but I didn't dig up any bones. I did meet some other dogs, to include a very nice hunting-breed dog from Virginia named Rusty. We played for a while. It was great fun, and historically interesting although as a dog my interest in history is kind of limited. Mom likes it though, and things that make her happy make me happy.

Then we went to the vet. I love the vet! The people there are so nice, and there are other dogs to play with. I didn't want to get on the scale, though. I wanted to jump on the nurse and play with her, so she had to get a guy to help her make me stand on the scale. I can't wait to go back! They gave me treats and everything!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The mean dog

Yesterday, Mom took me for a walk at the part of the Blue Hills that is near my house. It was nice to be out there. Neither of us had ever seen the place by sunlight before; it's always been gray and soggy. Anyway, we walked in the opposite direction from the way we walked last time, so that we could get the Scary Bridge out of the way early. Mom doesn't understand why I'm afraid of the Scary Bridge, since it isn't up high and it isn't wobbly, but I fear it just the same. Anyway, I caught the scent of plenty of things while I was there, but I didn't meet anyone. I tried the water in the St. Moritz Ponds from every possible access point, but it didn't taste any different at all. I was kind of disappointed.

When we were near the end of our walk we met a woman, her two-leg son (or other relative), and their big shepherd dog. The dog looked nice enough, and they had him off the leash, so Mom thought it would be okay if we sniffed each other. All of a sudden, he got very mean. His hackles rose, he growled and barked and he finally bit me hard on my neck. It hurt! I cried, and Mom jumped in. She strongly encouraged the people to control their dog, using language that I can't really re-print. It jumped them into action, although I'm not sure who they were more scared of. Mom was really mad, but they said their dog has never behaved this way before.

Anyway, he doesn't seem to have broken the skin, so I guess all's well that ends well. I was very happy to go home and sit in the house, though!

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's a good thing I'm cute

Yesterday started out being a very nice day. I got to snuggle Dad as he slept for a while, then Mom took me for a quick walk around the neighborhood. It wasn't that exciting a walk, but it was something. After that, though, Mom and Dad had to go somewhere. They weren't gone for all that long - I've certainly been left home alone for much longer without a problem - but I guess that I was so excited when Ruth and Troy got here that I forgot to lift my leg outside. So I did it in the kitchen, behind the table. Then I stole an entire bag of fresh clean grapes and ate them. I ate every single one of them and left the stems scattered about the floor. Mom and Dad were not happy when they got home! It's a good thing I'm cute, they said.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A surprise for me!

Yesterday, we went back to Wompatuck State Park, but there was a surprise for me before we left: my auntie Laura came with us! I was so happy to run around with Laura that I almost forgot to pick up sticks. She was quite impressed with me, if I do say so. She was amazed by my ability to mark the park, and by my strength. We also met a very sweet English Springer Spaniel named Iris, she was very pretty and sweet.

After that, Uncle Troy and Aunt Ruth came over. I was very excited, but they weren't here to see me. They were here for Purim. Purim means baking cookies. They didn't have much time to play with me, although Dad did play tug with me for a while. I decided to help out by keeping the floors clean for them. I wouldn't want them to slip on some dropped dough or filling!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another gray day

Yesterday boded poorly. It was a gray and miserable day, like so many others in New England, and I usually dislike grayness and blusteriness. That said, I really was feeling the need to get out. Mom was busy, she had some errands to run, but I think she was feeling the same way. We wound up taking an abbreviated walk in that part of the Blue Hills that is near our house. It was great fun! We took some paths we hadn't taken before and I splashed a little in the pond. We also met a Black Lab puppy who was only a month older than I was. He and I had a lot of fun frolicking and playing. When we got home we were both pretty well soaked, but it was worth it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lost and Found

Yesterday Mom and I went back to Wompatuck State Park. We'd intended to go to Bare Cove, but Mom couldn't find the GPS to get us there. She would have found it easily, but she'd already had to go back into the house several times. Every time she would go back into the house, I got more and more excited. She decided that we would just go someplace easy to get to.

She brought her trail map with her, and it's pretty much a good thing that she did. I decided that we were going to go tearing off the paved path, and she figured that would be okay. Unfortunately, not all of the trails are marked, so the map was less useful than she thought it would be. That was fine. We were able to find our way back to a marked trail and we got to see some amazing sights while we were there. The park used to be inhabited, and we passed the remains of roads, and curbs, and buildings. It was pretty amazing and kind of eerie, to be all alone with just the two of us and only the ruined signs of human habitation however many years ago.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Back to Houghton's Pond

Yesterday, Mom was in a real rush as she had to take the cats somewhere, but she insisted that it was very important that we go somewhere. She loaded me up into the car and we went back to Houghton's Pond. It was a quick walk, not like the hikes we've been taking, but it was fun and I got to meet some new friends . One of them was a dog, who is also too exciteable to be allowed to go off-leash. We played for a while and then our leashes got badly tangled. We even tangled up Mom! We had a blast - even Mom couldn't stop laughing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Close to Home

Yesterday was a busy day for Mom. She had a lot of errands to run, but she promised me that as soon as she got back from the grocery store we would go for a little walk. The weather had been kind of lousy the day before so we didn't go anywhere. Since it was the weekend, and therefore a lot less busy on our busy street, Mom decided that we would stay close to home. It was great! We just went up, around the strip mall, through the high school and back. I didn't meet any new friends, but I haven't been around there in quite some time so there were plenty of new smells to be smelled. Plus, we got to see a swan building his nest. Mom stood there for a few minutes, and then we came home. Then I got to see my Uncle Troy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Old Park, New Trails?

As I mentioned during the week, Mom and I went on a Park Headquarters Adventure when we went to the Blue Hills. The point of this exercise wasn't to take me on new trails - not immediately - but to acquire a Trail Map. The Blue Hills Reservation is very large, with lots of trails, and it would be very easy to get lost in there. Having acquired said map, Mom was able to find some new trails for us to enjoy. Yesterday we took the first of them.

This other entrance to the park is much closer to our house and doesn't require us to get in I-93. Mom says that this is good because after 3:00 the highway becomes unpleasantly crowded and Mom gets nervous driving on it. We parked at the Shea Rink, which is also part of the reservation although there is nothing natural about a year-round skating rink. Still, the entrance to the trail was right there, and we went in.

Mom had figured out a path for us to take. She brought the trail map in with us. It was steep in a lot of places, and required us to cross a busy street twice (without a crosswalk too!) Still, it was an amazingly beautiful trail. We saw the St. Mortiz Ponds, and lots of grafitti exhorting us to "Embrace Islam" and directing us to an "Islamic Training Camp." Mom says that it was likely someone's idea of a joke, since real extremists wouldn't have signs pointing to a camp and would have written them in Arabic in any case. Either way, Islam is not a religion that prostletyzes amongst the canine population, so I piddled on the tree and we kept going. We passed tall rocks, and lots of brooks and streams and springs. We also passed a cemetary that is not part of the reservation but abutts it. I wanted to go in, but Mom wouldn't let me. There was a boat in the cemetary. Neither of us knew why.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A short trip to the park

Yesterday Mom was out for most of the time when we would have gone for a long walk. By the time that she got home she knew there would be a lot of traffic, but she wanted to make sure that we went somewhere. I'm glad. We were starting to get on each other's nerves, I think. Wednesday we had bad weather, and I got very excited and she got annoyed about the things that I got excited about and about how I got excited. But yesterday we went for a walk around Houghton's Pond, and it was good. It was just a little walk, but I got in and out of the car by myself, and we met some nice people, and it was good just to get out and smell what was there to be smelled. Then we came home and both fell asleep together. It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Park Headquarters Adventure

As you probably already know, Mom and I tend to spend a lot of time at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, MA. We usually just walk around Houghton's Pond, but the place is much bigger than that. Mom knew that there were more trails than just that - we even took one once - but she doesn't much care for the idea of getting lost. She knew that trail maps were for sale at Reservation Headquarters, but she didn't really know where that was exactly. Yesterday we set out to find out.

First, though, we did walk halfway around the pond. We passed a bunch of guys raking leaves and stuff. There was a big van there, and it said "Tria Court of the Commonwealth: Community Service Program." Apparently these guys had gotten into the garbage or stolen one of the cats' toys, because they had to rake leaves as punishment. They seemed like nice guys, though. At least a couple of them seemed very friendly towards dogs, and I really wanted to play with them (and their sticks) but Mom thought they would get in trouble for this.

We continued on. We followed a sign for Reservation Headquarters, but came to a fork in the road that had no sign. We decided that Headquarters was more likely to be uphill, because downhill led to a busy street. This was the wrong decision, but we had lots of fun anyway. We climbed the hill and romped through streams. Then we turned around, when Mom figured out that there was to be no Headquarters in this direction, and went down the hill.

Down the hill, and across the busy street, was the right direction. The busy street cuts right through the park. And do you know what else is at Reservation Headquarters? The stable for the State Police horses! That's right, lots and lots of horses! I've never met a horse, but I find their scent very exciting. Anyway, Mom bought the map and we went back up the hill and walked the rest of the way around the pond.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back to Wompatuck

Yesterday Mom and I went back to Wompatuck State Park in Hingham. I didn't get to play with any other dogs, because we didn't see any. We did get a little lost, though. Mom had said she didn't want to go back to the park while Dad was away because she wanted to be sure someone knew where we were going, in case we got really lost, but we couldn't use the little box that talks to us and tells us where to go so we had to go someplace she could find. Anyway, it was nice. Cold, but nice. I splashed in some puddles and in some streams, and I smelled all sorts of new things to smell. Mom made us stay on the paved paths so we couldn't get too horribly lost, and that was okay. I did get to meet a nice cyclist, though.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Mom and Dad have a garden. At least they say it's a garden. Right now it's a gigantic patch of the yard that is fenced off and I can't go inside. There were plants in it when it got cold out last year, so I guess it must be a garden. If the plants are in there I can't eat them and steal the flowerpots, which is disappointing. On the other hand, there may be time and opportunity for me to trip them going into or coming out of the garden, thus enabling me to steal vegetables.

Yesterday they broke ground in their garden for the first time this year. Mom made the first cut and then Dad turned the soil over. He had fun turning the soil over. Of course, turning the soil over translates as digging. I was on the other side of the fence, but I decided that I was going to help dig. I started in the exact same spot on the other side of the fence as Dad. He yelled at me, but he couldn't stop laughing so I don't think he meant it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Yesterday I gave my mom quite a scare. I threw up early in the evening. Then I threw up again, and again and again. I couldn't keep anything down, nothing at all! Mom couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. As near as she could tell, I hadn't eaten anything I shouldn't. There weren't any empty pill blisters on the floor, and there weren't any cleaning products that I could even get to. There was no chocolate out anywhere. There was no discernable reason for me to be so sick, but I couldn't even hold down an ice cube. I threw up a few times after we all went to bed, too.

At two o'clock in the morning, Mom called the nice people at the 24-hour emergency vet in Weymouth (which is near us.) The lady Mom spoke with was very nice and said that it was probably not an emergency yet. She told Mom to take away my food and water and give me nothing by mouth at all for 24 hours. If I was able to keep anything down after that, I would have passed whatever was causing the problem out of my system. If I still couldn't keep down water, there was an obstruction, and they couldn't do anything about it with anything in my stomach anyway. Keeping me thirsty and hungry would let them diagnose the obstruction right away and fix it.

So far, I'm doing okay for today. I threw up a big block of something that looked like a sponge even though all sponges were accounted for this morning, and I've been fine ever since. I'm not in any pain and I'm certainly not lethargic - quite the opposite right now. It's all I can do to type! But I'm not throwing up. Dad even sneaked me an ice cube, my favorite treat, and I've kept that down no problem. Mom still won't give me any real food until the full 24 hours are up, though. Oh well.

Dad says to tell you that dog food smells better on the way in than on the way out.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Yesterday we went to Houghton's Pond, but we did something unusual. Mom wanted to make sure that I was good and tired, because today's weather was supposed to involve flooding and we weren't likely to be able to go anywhere today, so we went around the pond twice. I only realized that because she told me, though. Otherwise I would never have realized, because there was always something (or someone) new to sniff. I made friends with a little beagle about my age, and I met a couple of other dogs and a small child who was terrified of me despite insisting to his grandma that I was his brother. Two-leg children are weird. Oh well. I'm weird too.

Anyway, the people and the dogs and the kids aren't what I wanted to tell you about. There was this one spot on the trail where you can get right down to the pond. It was fabulous. I splashed around, and I drank the water, but do you know what really caught my attention? Balls. They'd been frozen in the snow and the pond for a while. There must have been about six tennis balls floating in that one spot, but Mom wouldn't let me have them. She said that they belong to Reggie. She did let me have the giant, sodden, waterlogged soccer ball. We kicked it around for a few minutes, in and out of the water. It didn't go very far, but it was such a wonderful and surprising find!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hingham Must be Dog Heaven

The town of Hingham, MA must be dog heaven, because Mom took me to a different park there yesterday! We went to Wompatuck State Park, which has campgrounds and a spring where you can bottle your own water for free (dogs aren't allowed in that park) and lots of running water and streams and everything! It's huge. I ran amok, I frolicked in the streams (and drank some of the water - yum!). I sniffed new things to smell. I was a very good boy when confronted with mountain bikes, which I've never seen before, and I got to play with a little terrier named Lucky. I had fun with Lucky. Mom liked Lucky, she gave him a treat. Fortunately I don't get jealous when she gives other dogs treats. Unfortunately, the park is huge and the trails aren't well labeled. Mom says that we have to wait to go back there until Dad is in town, so he can call the police if we get horribly disoriented and can't find our way back to the car.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More Friends to Play With

Yesterday Mom and I went to the Bare Cove park. It was fun. We took a couple of different side tracks just to make the walk longer, since the weather is supposed to be pretty bad for the rest of the week and I don't like to be out in the rain. The weather yesterday was fabulous, so it was a good idea on her part.

We met lots of new friends. There was a Springer Spaniel. She was very timid, but her mom says she's afraid of everyone. She was therefore very brave when she walked up to Mom and gave her a little snuggle! She even let me play with her a little bit. There was a big black Lab who was feeling frolicsome too. I also encountered Abbie, the beagle who didn't like me from last week. She was a little friendlier this time. She actually played with me. The problem came when she decided she really liked Mom and that Mom was part of her pack now. I don't mind sharing Mom, because Mom likes anything on four legs, but Abbie didn't feel like sharing. I also encountered a very... affectionate Yorkie. That was... different.

We also met a friend named Lexi. That was great! We ran around and around. Lexi also unhooked my leash, allowing me to run around even more. This caused Mom some consternation, but I didn't run far. I even came back when called... eventually.

Mom says that whatever the weather may do, Spring is officially here. There were some vines that flower in the Spring. I don't know what they're called. Anyway, they've been brown all winter, and when we saw them yesterday they were green. Mom says that this is important, but I don't understand it. I'm only 7 months old. I don't know what Spring is. I know Fall. That's when I came to live with Mom and Dad. I know Winter. It's been Winter for about a million years. I was born in Summer, but I don't remember much of it. So we'll see what this Spring is all about. I hope it involves frisbees.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Friends in the Old Park

Yesterday Mom and I went to the usual park, the Blue Hills. It was a clear blue day, cold but not as cold as Thursday, and we had a great time. There is something in the park, on the wooded side of the pond as you come around toward the end of the path and the parking lot. Mom doesn't know what it is either, since its tracks were so smudged as to be unrecognizable. Whatever it was, though, the smell really excited me.

The best part of the trip was that I made two new dog friends, in the same place. One was a beautiful, smiling, happy Pit Bull named Cody. Cody wasn't very playful, he just wanted to play with his ball, but that's okay. He was friendly with me and we sniffed each other. Cody's mom probably loves him almost as much as my mom loves me. After we met Cody we walked around the park and when we got back to the field near the parking lot there was another dog, playing with a different kind of ball, in his place! This one was a Boxer and he was there with his dad. He was a little more playful and we ran around and around. I was so tuckered out when I got home that I just went flop right on the bed!