Tag Archives: birthday

Helping Dad Over That Hill

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.

It’s my Birthday, Gonna party like it’s my Birthday!!!

Hi Friends –

As I often do, I wanted to share my weekend with all of you. This time our weekend started early mostly because Dad put off taking vacation time for a few reasons.  1. Mom doesn’t have as much time off as he does so he just goes to work. 2. He likes his job most days and forgets to take it. 3. He likes to save some days in case he gets sick. All of this makes me wonder what his problem is; humans are a strange breed. Take some advice from a working Dane: You should take more naps and play more! I’m only staying awake long enough to dictate this post. I’m tired! Why was I here? Ah yes, the weekend.

I have to say it started good. Dad rested in the morning before getting restless. If you know him this is an improvement because we don’t rest much. After we did get moving I helped him at the hardware store to pick up things he needed to fix a handrail that the human puppies helped to pull out from the wall. It took a couple trips because we didn’t check to see what was behind the drywall before we left so we bought anchors we didn’t need. (I know, I know an amazing amount about DIY work. That’s what happens when you are raised at SDP.) All is well though because we did get it right on the second trip and the rail is now safe again.  He says we need to make the handrail pretty now. I talked him down for the day and we just ran a few more errands and took it easy. The temporary rail and refinishing can wait. Dad seriously needs to learn to relax. We all spent a quiet evening at home

Saturday came and it was my birthday! (Mom made me wear the hat for the pupparazzi) I got a new toy and a new bag of food from my favorite store, Kibble-N-Stuff (It’s wonderful! We hit the door and the man inside smiles, puts a bag on his shoulder and gives me my food! He usually even carries it to the car, but this time mom didn’t let him because he had another customer.) after getting our morning fix of coffee (I only get sniffs, but I love me some coffee shop sniffs), of course (my family runs on Dunkin!). We just had to get out with such a clear beautiful fall day none of us felt chores were the priority. We talked it over in the truck with Mom and she was on board, so we decided to go for a short drive north and look at a piece of property that Mom & Dad fell in love with. To be clear, this is not something that we could decide is ours to move into tomorrow, but it is something that makes us feel good when we place ourselves there and imaging how it feels to live there. I feel good knowing that Dad can do this now. There was a time when he couldn’t allow himself to. It’s really good that he can be in the flow of the moment. This is something all your pets can teach you, by the way. If you don’t believe me, ask them two questions. 1. How much money do you have? 2. What time is it? If you tried it I bet they had no idea what money was or why people feel the need to accumulate it. (Dogs don’t worry our basic need can always be met) and as for time, their answer was simple: It’s now, the only time that matters. As you can see, I had to spend time training my person, it’s exhausting.

Looking back at it the next part of the day was just payback, a sort of train the trainer scenario. I didn’t see this coming. Mom said lets go for a walk. My tail wagged and Dad smiled so we did. Of all places we went to a cemetery. It was a beautiful 270 acre piece of land in the center of Hartford, called Cedar Hill Cemetery. I recommend it. If you’re not in the area you can see it online and from my Instagram feed.  As it turns out I was a little over anxious and pulled too much. This started Dad thinking, which is dangerous for sure. He thought: wait, no interruptions from admirers, plenty of space, this is a perfect place to work! I thought silly boy, there’s no wifi here…then we quickly started with the one step crawl. We one-stepped for the next half hour. Mom seemed to be so far away, and the only time we got close was when I walked with my ribs at his hip. I caught on quick and was happy when we loaded up in the truck. Oh great, Dad found a new place to train together. We were all tired after that but it was a satisfied tired.

Sunday came and I was convinced it was still my birthday, so I woke Dad for the morning walk and breakfast. I was so happy that he didn’t bother to correct me. We did get some of those chores done early that we put off but the fun was not over. The best part of the weekend was still to come. I love birthday surprises. What was to come was pretty amazing. We loaded up for another short ride, but this time it had nothing to with training and everything to do with FUN. You all remember my story that was on the news and blogs surrounding it? Well, as it turns out because of that Mom connected with Kristina, who read the blog. She has a Dane named Hiccup, from a breeder in Maine who donates some of her dogs to WALK and who is training with them to be a therapy dog. Dad drove us down to meet him. We could hardly contain ourselves from our cars. We were driving slowly on back roads so I convinced Dad to put the window down so we could track each other.  When we got to the park we exchanged barks to let each other know we’d protect our cars and people. As soon as we got out though the greeting was smooth and simple. We figured WALK and SDP are like family so maybe we are too. I can tell you this much,  when we were let off lead to play and run it surely was a happy time. We ran, jumped and played until we were exhausted. Hiccup is a little younger than me so I shared some service secrets, but we decided quickly it was time to play some more. We shared three or four long rounds of play.  Of course we kept checking back to ensure our people were getting along as well as we were.  I was so happy to find them bonding as well. There really should be no doubt, Dane people are Dane people, and we know how to pick good ones.  It’s still good to make sure. After we loaded up and napped (with doors & windows open) our people kept talking and promise to keep in touch. I’m really excited to have a new friend and can’t wait to play again soon. I slept all the way home. Another day of satisfied tired. I’m sure my humans are catching on to how abundant we all are. Let’s just call it another service this Dane provides for the small price of love and kibble.

written by DFS