Spring Break

22 Apr

Hi Friends -

Last week my pack and I were supposed to load up in the truck and take the human puppies on Spring Break down to Florida, with fun stops along the way, to see Dad’s parents. Mom has met them but the puppies and I haven’t been able to yet. Mom and Dad were getting everything all set up but we noticed that one of the basement monsters who is typically always hungry and always voicing her opinion about how cats, especially herself, should only be fed on fine platters and drink milk from silver goblets had taken her act to a strange new level. She was getting extremely thin but maintained the appetite and persona of a cougar. We gave it a few days but nothing changed, so Mom brought her to the V. E. T. and they found that she has a hypothyroid condition and needs medication. So on top of trying to plan a 2400 mile round trip they had to decide what to do about her. Along with input from the doctor they decided it was best to watch over her themselves and not put anyone in a position to medicate and feed cats multiple times a day. So, with that rather easy decision made we all agreed day trips would be the best way to have fun and watch over our family at the time. I have to say that it really makes me feel good to know that they’d completely give up a vacation to take care of a basement monster. I mean really, if they do that for them think what they’d do for me! With the plans changed Mom picked up a shift at her job on Saturday morning and the older puppy went to see her other family for an overnight. We kept the small puppy because she was getting over a fever and we didn’t want her to spread her nasty germs to them too. Mom got back early and the puppy was feeling better so we all went out for dinner and a movie.

The weather forecast suggested that Sunday and Monday were going to be nice so Mom found a friend to check in on the basement monsters and we headed to Massachusetts. Sunday started with a trip to the farm so that I could play with my Dane family and catch up with the SDP pack. When I had my fill of running around the farm and trying to convince everyone to give me treats that I can’t have, we loaded back up in the truck and headed to Boston. Dad knows that I need to know every detail of a plan so he shared it with me on the way. We were going to check into a kennel complex that lets you rent a kennel for the night with enough space for your pack and then we’d head downtown for a ghost tour. As it turns out Mom said she got mixed up and didn’t know she needed a reservation along with the ticket he had already purchased online. The later tour would have been too scary for my puppies and I wouldn’t let them go. It wasn’t her fault. It turned out to be OK though because our room was not ready for us and was several hours late. I’m going to help her write to the kennel and let them know that our time there was about as fun as getting vaccinations from the V. E. T.

The next day we woke up and checked out as soon as we could. Once we made it into Boston it was a great time. Oh, except the Dunkin’ we found didn’t make lattes and this made Mom grumble but the weather was so nice she took it well. The next stop was to see a man in a box. It looked like maybe he was selling sideshow tickets so I was skeptical. As it turns out, he gave us our CityView trolley passes and pointed us to our tour. We got on the trolley and Dad wanted me to work on my backing up so I backed down the entire isle like a pro. I know he knew I could do it; I think he was just showing off. We did the same thing each time we got on the trolley. The guide that we had for most of our trip was fun, he made a lot of jokes while telling us about the sites like the Old North Church, the USS Constitution, and the site of the Boston Massacre. That made me nervous but as it turned out only five people died and it was really a mistake that they were fired on at all. We got off the trolley at the next stop so we could see Central Burying ground. Soon after that we took a break at a Starbucks where Mom found her latte and I found a cup of water. I don’t know what the big deal is about Starbucks? The water tasted the same to m. Whatever, humans are strange. The best part about that stop was that I met a couple of really tiny human puppies that wanted to give me their peanut butter crackers. Dad stopped them no matter how many times I insisted they WANTED to share. Mom and Dad sat there temping me while they chatted away with some nice ladies who were involved in a service dog group. We told them about SDP and of course shared my card. Then it was off to Boston Common, that was really fun, there were all kinds of dogs there and I was super excited to meet all of them! I don’t know why I didn’t get to meet many? It’s OK though the one I did meet growled, so I barked. It seemed fair to me but Dad was NOT pleased with me. I forget sometimes, he doesn’t speak dog as his first language and I didn’t translate so I understand. Dad said the best part about the Common was that we met a mounted Park Ranger and her horse Mystic. I was really scared of her and kept my distance. I don’t know why everyone calls me a horse, I am not that big! She was gigantic, really pretty but gigantic, you guys. Dad really wanted a picture of us together to share with everyone but I made him keep his distance. The Ranger totally understood and admired me from a distance. I shared my card with them too, so maybe next time we’re there we’ll meet again and I can have some time to get used to having friends in high places.

We finished our trolley tour a couple stops up from where we got off and turned in out tickets for the harbor tour. It was part of the package and really fun, windy and fun. I don’t think we’ll ever forget that 75% of Boston is on man made land. The narrator of the trip told us about every two minutes so it made us laugh toward the end. Of course Dad wanted to correct her and say that man did not make the land, they just moved the earth into position and forced it to stay there. Our little puppy made us proud when she had a correction of her own when we were being told of Paul Revere’s ride and the misquote “the British are coming” she said, they wouldn’t have s”That’s Right,” with pride! (Editors Note: this puppy is very distracted most of the time so to know she had learned and retained something like that at school was very impressive!) As that tour ended I headed back up the pier and we decided it was about time to head out of the city so that we didn’t hit too much traffic. Before we made it back to the garage, though we spotted John, our first trolley driver. We stopped and chatted with him for several minutes so I could share yet another card and get some pets.

This turned out to be a really fun couple of days and even though I’m not much of a city dog I’d be happy to do it again soon, just not too soon. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our spring break brings. I’m sure whatever it is I will share it with you, so don’t go too far.

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Helping Dad Over That Hill

7 Apr

Hi Friends –

This past week was a good one. Dad had what many consider a milestone in his life, he turned 40 years old. Mom told just about everyone we met about it and everyone seemed shocked that he is that old. Dad thinks Mom just told everyone ahead of time so they could all act shocked at the news to make him feel good. (Shhh, Dad’s kinda haggard you guys. Why else would he need me? (Barking out loud!))  Since we all had to work on Friday, the day of his birth, Mom and I decided that Dad should have a “birthday weekend.” We started on Friday night by waiting for Mom to come home and then going out to a special dinner. We drove almost an hour to get down to Stonington, CT but it was worth it you guys. The food smelled delicious and Dad even knew the owners, and of course they loved me! Zack and Lynn are the best you guys. If you are ever close by you HAVE TO go to Zack’s Bar & Grille and tell them that Casper the Dane sent you. You will not be disappointed.

Dad’s nerves were a bit tested by the drive home because it seemed like a long drive back considering that it was raining just enough to make the roads slick. There was also the combination of either no street lights or old lights that are just bright enough to throw up a glare off wet asphalt and hide all the new spring potholes then provide no aid to driving at all. Add on other drivers who went to the extremes of either forgetting they were in driver’s seat of a moving modern vehicle on a major highway, driving like they had a Stanley Steam car or thinking that they had a Porsche 924 Carrera GTR at Lime Rock Park and you get some idea of how much fun that was.

We didn’t go right to bed when we got home though because Mom had a gift for Dad. The gift really surprised him because it was something that he mentioned in passing a couple times but only recently began giving it any thought. On top of that he said it was only really on his mind because Mom said one of the human puppies might be interested. Mom bought him his very own acoustic/electric guitar! It is a very handsome Washburn and he’s quite excited about it! He had told her before how when he was about the age of the human puppies his parents bought him a ¾ acoustic but he got frustrated and never went back to it for his own reasons. In recent years Dad has adopted this “point of view” you may have picked up on this blog when we say that nothing is impossible and the word “can’t” has been stricken from the acceptable vocabulary of our kennel. With this view in mind, it will take some practice but Dad will be able to play the guitar. I can tell you this with confidence because Dad bought a road recumbent tadpole bike a few years ago just because he always wanted to ride and couldn’t balance a traditional 2-wheel bike. (For the record, he did learn to ride and had a blast. If anyone is in the market it’s for sale now and really nice.) Mom bought him a few extra’s too, one of them being a book to start with. He read several pages but with Lucy (the very old basement monster) on his lap he left the guitar in its case. The next day he picked up the guitar and started a lesson. I’m not sure what he learned about the guitar but what he did learn is that I’m skeptical. I backed away as if it had sharp teeth and a dominant presence. I sat halfway up the stairs just peeking around the wall at that thing. Mom and Dad both laughed, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to this thing.

Let me move on to Sunday; this is the day that I had the most fun. The sun came out and the breezes fell off a bit so we joked how we should stay inside, clean and do chores. My pack is really funny, ya know? So we loaded up, went out to breakfast and then talked about what to do for the day. We have priorities people and that is caffeine. After a good breakfast at our favorite place we decided on a drive up to the Berkshires. It’s a really nice area that we’d like to investigate more. By the time we got there Dad was hungry so we stopped at Sullivan Station Restaurant in Lee, MA. It is a really nice converted train station with good food. Mom and Dad kept a close eye when a guitar player came out to entertain us. When I didn’t react at all Mom concluded that I was OK with the sound of GOOD playing and Dad’s playing was the problem. She couldn’t wait to tip the guitarist and share the story.  From there we went to October Mountain State Forest, where we found an open area where I could run really fast and play in a small brook. Dad was really happy to see my puppy smile; it was great fun and I’m sure Mom posted the pictures the puparazzi took for you to see on-line. We loaded up again and took a trip over to the Lee Outlets find to Brooks Brothers and get some sweet deals. I know it’s a pricey, and well worth it, label but being at an outlet and adding in Mom’s employee discount  my pack can now look as sharp as a Dane.

The weekend was really fun and Dad was happy that I had a chance to run and play. I slept really well and everyone told me that I’m a good boy. I know that, but it’s always nice to hear.

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