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Tag Archives: balance and stability

Vacation: Part II

Hi Friends –

The plane touched down and we completed our flight. I got off the plane and was so happy I walked with a bounce in my step and a smile on my face. Dad asked why I was so happy. He thought I was scared on the plane or needed to go out. I said no way I just want to see the sandy eggos! I don’t know why Dad almost fell over laughing. He gathered himself and as kindly as he could, while still making fun explained that we were in San Diego a part of California to see my family; not in California to see sandy eggos, like some road-side attraction. I said it wasn’t MY fault, HE needs to annunciate better! With that Dad and I sat out of the way while Mom and the girls picked up our luggage.

After the luggage, we picked up the rental van. We soon learned why the name of the company was significant. Hertz, because it Hertz to have to drive in anything they rent you. This van made so many noises we prayed that the thing would keep running long enough to make it through the weekend. (I heard dad actually say a prayer that the car not die unti Monday; we’d be leaving on a Sunday!) The engine sounded like there was beach sand in the cylinders. The suspension bottomed out on anything steeper than a speed bump and to top it off the computerized displays were set to km/h. (Yes, the clock was even wrong.) To make this so much better we were on the I-5 in rush-hour traffic. This would be fine except for the fact that they needed to check into the hotel, find our room and unload the van, all before I add to the fact that I haven’t done my business in hours (about four) or had anything to eat all day. That list seems easy enough, but I haven’t mentioned that Dad’s parents were in the same hotel waiting for our arrival and they all needed to change clothes and meet Gramma and Grandpa, along with Aunt Carrie’s family for dinner reservations at a restaurant. I’m wasn’t sure how we would fit everything in. It turned out to be a race against time, but we made it all happen. Time may have, in fact turned wibbley wobbley to do it, but I even had time to meet Gramma and Grandpa before we followed them in the wrong direction to the restaurant. Don’t worry, Dad was smart and updated our GPS before we left and asked his sister for the name and address of the restaurant so we could find our way. We made the reservation and beat Gramma and Grandpa there. (Dinner smelled wonderful!)

The next day, after a great night’s sleep (for me, because I get to sleep in the kid’s bed when we stay in a hotel) we met Gramma and Grandpa at our room and we all piled in our van and went out for breakfast. The café was very welcoming and Dad said the had great food. (Again, I have to take his word for it.) Don’t worry, I had fun here too. I got to watch as Dad spilled coffee all over himself. He’s a bit jumpy, (to say it kindly) and this was timed perfectly! He turned to look out the open door to the patio at a few pedestrians while drinking coffee and holding a conversation with Grandpa. Just as the cup reached his lips, Alyssa drops Grandma’s phone on the metal covered table, causing a big crashing sound, and Dad to jump so big his butt actually left the seat! This caused coffee to come flowing from the cup all over his Brooks Brothers shirt and jeans. (It was a discounted shirt mom got huge discounts on while she was an employee, but she doesn’t work there anymore so he needs to be careful!) Dad doesn’t like to look a mess when it’s time to look presentable. He did a good job laughing it off within moments as he and Grandpa talked about “payback moments in parenting.” The rest of breakfast went smoothly and we left the café.

Once Dad and I made it to the sidewalk Mom alerted us that there were dogs approaching and since I can still be a bit reactive, especially if they bark at me, Mom talked to the guardian while dad and I made our plan to lessen the chances for an interaction. The other dogs were admitted barkers so their guardian made a wide swing around, but came in directly (within two feet) behind us. This caused what we tried to avoid. The dogs barked at me. I told them they were not being good boys and we ended up showing Grandma and Grandpa how I help Dad recover from a fall.

La Jolla Shore

La Jolla Shore

La Jolla

La Jolla

After I helped Dad recover we hopped in the rental and found, with the help of the GPS, the La Jolla shoreline. Here we enjoyed the coast and took some great pictures. The number of dogs out for walks and play dates was alarming for a week day so we opted to find a “no pets” activity. We loaded up again, and headed to the Birch Aquarium. We walked through and saw the exhibit while Grandpa chose to stay outside the gates and enjoy a cigar. After we finished and met back at the gate it was about lunch time. Grandma & Grandpa weren’t ready to eat yet so we dropped them back at their room and we found a place for the family to refuel. After lunch at a local deli (that Mom LOVED!!!) and a chance for me to “do my business” we also settled back to our rooms for a nap so we would be ready to go for the evening’s events… (to be continued in part 3 of our adventure)

View from the Birch Aquarium

View from the Birch Aquarium

Human Puppies at the Aquarium

Human Puppies at the Aquarium

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Being Awesome (as usual)

Hi friends –

I’m sure we’ve shared this somewhere along the way, so forgive me if I repeat myself. I’m a Dane of habit and I like my routine, well…any routine. This goes for just about everything from my meals to my butt scratches and back rubs while I sit on Dad’s lap. Yes, I get lap sits just like the cats. (Formerly “basement monsters”) I AM still a Widdle and I figure I can milk the puppy thing until I’m at least five or six. (You should see what the human puppies get away with!) This routine even extends to rides in the car. Now that Dad and I are starting to figure out our new environment the DPS (Dane Positioning System) is back in effect. For all of you who don’t know what this is; well, it’s where I decide I know where the car is supposed to be going and when I see we’ve taken the wrong road I pop up and get my face as close to the windshield as possible.

The DPS was in effect earlier this week when we passed right by a turn for Lily’s school and went to a brand new building. I insisted that Dad took a wrong turn. I even left a puddle of drool on the center console. Nuthin’? Alright, I guess we’re doing something new… AGAIN! I asked what we were doing here. Dad said that we were at the dentist’s office. I didn’t think I needed to go in so I smiled big and asked if I had something in my teeth. He said I could relax; the visit was for him, not me.

We entered the office and were handed a packet of paperwork. Everyone at the office was really nice and respectful of our space. I think Momma might have tipped them off because she’d been there weeks before to get an ache fixed. Either way, good work. As we were called back we noticed Blue lady (the hygienist in her blue scrubs) looking back at us as we made our way down the hall like we may not make it under our own power, but figured it was just the fact that I make a service vest look amazing! As we entered, I noticed the chair prominently in the center of the space. The first assessment is, which side do I take to get us both around everything safely? I take the left side while Dad is busy deciding where to place my fluffy so that I can relax and be out of the way. He places my fluffy in the far right corner and is ready to ask me for a down-stay. Easy ‘nuff. While we are handling our business we can’t help but to be amused by the Blue Lady. The poor girl was so sweet, as they say in the South, Bless her heart. She was describing where the chair was in the room with relation to Dad. We quickly figured that she thought I was a sight dog and Dad has vision impairment. (Too funny to call her on and no need to embarrass our new friend, especially since she would soon have sharp things in Dad’s mouth. Pick your battles people, that’s all I’m sayin’.)

We both get settled down after a few minutes. I don’t drift off though; we are not on my couch with a stuffie. I had my eye on her. She opened up the box on the wall to pull out a robot arm (X-RAY machine). Then she put a big blanket on Dad’s lap and stuffed things in his mouth. I couldn’t help but think that Mom might like some of those to shut him up sometimes. Blue Lady then points it right at his face and repeats several times moving the mouth thing each time and talking to Dad. It seemed like some interrogation tactic to me, but Dad must have done OK because she put the robot away. Blue Lady calls in Blue Man and they both look at his mouth and Blue Man leaves. I got nervous again. She apparently didn’t know what to do. (I asked later, dad said that Blue Man was the dentist, and he said that once the deep cleaning was done Dad was in great shape otherwise. What a relief, not even a cavity.)  Blue Lady carried on, first with a needle to numb his gums and then with the tiny pressure washer, man was that annoying, it was a very high pitch. (Editor’s Note: This was a scaling so it was much more in depth than a regular cleaning.) I did get worried about him a few times, so I got up to check on him. When he could he would verbally assure me and request I return to my fluffy, which, of course, I did. There were a couple times though that he was “orally occupied” and overly reclined when I felt the need to get a closer look. When this happened dad put either his right or left hand out, depending on the side I chose for approach. Dad allowed me to gently touch his hand with my nose, so that I could make contact and really be sure he was alright. Then he would snap, point to my fluffy and then point his finger to the floor with purpose. Being a smart boy, I knew that meant for me to resume my down-stay.* (See, Miss Maria I always listen to him in public – when Mom isn’t there…) Finally we were done with the area she set out to clean. Blue Lady then asked if we wanted to continue or pick up later. Considering all the extra steps of a first visit, Dad asked if we could just go home. She agreed. I think she wanted to go home too since it was late afternoon.

We allowed those that asked early in our visit a chance to pet me in the waiting room so that I wouldn’t get confused between work and greeting time. On the drive home Dad apologized for the noise and said he didn’t know what to expect, but we’d bring my Mutt Muffs for future visits.

*Editor’s Note: This is long one so I am adding it way down here. We all know that Casper is amazing but sometimes he even amazes us. When Casper first came home with us we had an issue with down-stay at home. In public he was great, but while we ate dinner at home he wanted to get up and sniff what we had. We started emphatically pointing to the ground when we told him down and that worked. When he was being really stubborn we just added a point and Voila! Eventually we found that in public it worked to just point when we either couldn’t speak, like in this case, or are in an area where we shouldn’t speak, like church or a play. It works! Of course we still use a vocal command often because there are times when our hands are occupied. He has both down pat. 
I was worried about how he would handle Dan’s cleaning and thought he might end up having to come back home and stay with me next time. Nope. He was a pro as you can see. I was super impressed and I wasn’t even there to see it.