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Tag Archives: human puppies

Leaving Connecticut – Part Two

Hi Friends –

Getting ready to leave Connecticut was so exhausting, you guys, that I had to give it some time before I told the stories. This time I’ll give you a taste of what it was like to leave my first forever kennel. Dad says this was bitter-sweet for him because the condo was the first home that he bought when he moved from his family kennel. I really don’t see the big deal, but he says most twenty somethings rent their kennel and Dad was proud to be in a position to own his. (Yes, your human twenties is late to be on your own, but we all know Dad is let’s say…”special” Woof.) Let me say this,  it really was a nice home, it had just become too small for our family’s dreams and we needed to stretch out in a big  “Dane – S” sorta way!

This all started pretty much as soon as we decided we needed a change. If you knew the Dane size load of things that had to be thrown in a dumpster you’d be shocked. We didn’t even think we had that much stuff crammed into the kennel. Dad worked really hard getting everything sorted into piles of keep, toss, donate and sell. Dad would go down into the land of the basement monsters and come up with bin after bin that could go to the dumpster. He sorted for hours at a time. When he’d find an item he thought was in good condition and needed to have a new home he would put it on the Internet and hope it found a home for a reasonable price. As time passed many of the items in the keep pile got shifted to the donate and sell piles. Even more time passed and the family settled on moving out west to Oklahoma. Dad knew this meant that once again he’d need to sort; after all, when you move that far it is reasonable to move as little as possible. The cost to ship what you haven’t touched in years, but may use some day does not keep a Dane fed, or in stuffies for that matter. Dad kept saying that he wanted to be done, and if someone would take everything he’d give it all away. I really thought that as the move date came closer and closer my bowls might just end up in the dumpster too. Of course that didn’t happen. (My favorite stuffie did, but that has been atoned for.)

There was a while where I thought Mom had given up and was tired of the place being a constant mess from upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms. She left Dad and I and didn’t come back for DAYS! Dad kept telling me not to worry but I have to watch out for him. She has never been away overnight before!! It turned out he was right; she was just in Oklahoma looking for our new kennel. Mom looked at so many places to find just the right one, and she did find one they made an offer on, but it was already under contract and she didn’t know. She came home only to find our new kennel on the Internet. Lucky for us there is a great contractor in the family who looked at the home for us, this made Dad happy, and  he bought the house sight un-seen (except for Internet pics, and we know how sketchy those can be!).

Around the same time as starting the process of buying the Oklahoma kennel we put the Connecticut one on the market. Things started out amazingly well, and we received two offers to buy on the same day! Mom & Dad thought to themselves that they had perfectly manifested these offers and were very relieved! Of course I advised that they take the higher offer, which was well over their asking price, and wanted to close on the day before we planned to leave. Now, this sounds wonderful, right? Well, it could have been, if the buyer hadn’t wasted two weeks to find personal reasons to rescind. By that time the list offer was no longer interested, and we had to go back on the market.  We did get another offer rather quickly, but it meant we’d have to carry two kennels for a while. I really don’t know how Dad can lift kennels and carry them? They seemed to be pretty solidly attached to the ground, but that is what he kept saying.

Before we left for Oklahoma we had “professional” movers come and they took all of our stuff and put it in a big truck. I’m not real sure about this you guys, but Mom says it is the way to go when you take that much stuff across the country. My biggest concern was they loaded my bed and stuffies into the truck! I guess it’s fair for me to wait with the rest of the family but I don’t like the thought that maybe someone else is playing with MY toys! I wish I could say that the packing of the truck went smoothly, but I can’t. The problem was that we needed to shop price first and Realtor recommendations second. This outfit appears to have farmed out our contract to people who showed up late, understaffed, and apparently dog-gone tired. It took them several hours longer than it should have, even splitting the load-in to two days (Dad gave them his only key so they could finish before dawn and they locked him out by leaving the key inside rather than in under the mat.) and leaving items behind that they were told ahead of time were to be on the truck.

Dad tried very hard to stay on their “good side” by making a gentleman’s agreement with them. He gave them items in the house in trade for them taking a couch and chair out to a dumpster. This seems wonderful, except for the fact that they broke their word in the end, leaving everything right where it was. (This added to our costs by having to pay others to do the haul-away for us; we were already on the road!) I didn’t understand that the truck wouldn’t be there when we arrived almost four days later, but I guess it doesn’t work that way. As we’re writing this the truck still has not arrived (It should be here tomorrow) and the company  does a very bad job at communicating with it’s customer’s. If Dad and I worked this way we wouldn’t be allowed in public, ever! I’m sure I’m putting this much nicer than it needs be, but take my word, it has been a nightmare of an experience. (Editor’s Note: They arrived Monday, the day after this was written. The gentlemen unloading were much more professional. We will tell you all about that to come.)

I wouldn’t want to end on negatives so I’ll change the subject and jump around in time a bit to tell you a little of what it is like to drive 1300 miles, in two cars with human puppies, basement monsters, and Harry Potter movies all the way to our new home. I can’t lie, it was stressful and tiring for Mom & Dad but they have both made the trip before so they were prepared. Being that they’d be in separate cars they did some smart things like taking almost four days to drive rather than two, and they got GMRS radios to talk along the way. This really helped in traffic, or when one car needs a restroom. (It really was a safety item I was glad we had.) Mom did a great job of scheduling rooms to stay in along the way as well as stops to see family who live along the route. Dad says meeting family was great, but Winkie and I loved the hotel beds the most! There was even a day when I didn’t want to leave the bed they slept in, so Dad gave me breakfast in bed! He says it’ll never happen again, but he loves me so much that I would be surprised if one day, maybe on my next “gotcha day” he treats me.

Breakfast in bed

I’m sure Mom (my editor) will fill in a few more details for you but I gotta get out to my new yard for zoomies!

(Editor’s Note: There will be a post all about family visits to come. Next post will be about traveling with animals.)

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SDP, Again! (Finally)

Hi Friends –

I have to take a few minutes and tell you all about yesterday. Mom & Dad got up and Dad asked what Mom wanted to do for the day. Mom said we could stay home since Dad’s back has been a bit stiff and she doesn’t like the way he’d been moving. Dad grinned and said: I’m fine. (Mom says Dad is the King of Fine.) Mom asked about the weather forecast; Dad said, mostly clear but only in the low 30’s. It only took a couple of minutes to decide that we were going to see our SDP family. I don’t know how long it has been since our last trip up. I do know that the last time we were there my friend Tony was probably weeks old and behind the puppy gates, now he is doing overnights as part of his social training. (…and it feels like forever.) I can tell you this for sure, nothing lights a fire under the human puppies like yelling, “Hey kids, come up and get dressed, we’re going to see the dogs!” Before we hit the highway we did stop and try to get the girls some foul weather boots because Dad says they are growing like a Dane and they seem to outgrow things weekly, especially the eldest. (She can fit in some of Momma’s shoes now!) We didn’t have any luck so we asked that they not aim for the puddles. I don’t know why. I think that is the best part! (huuhmf… humans).

We hit the road with the required stop at Dunkin’ for coffee. (Have I mentioned Dad runs on Dunkin’?) With the typical traffic caused by the questionable merging skills of most drivers, Dad getting frustrated, Mom pointing it out, and then calming him with a look (she has that effect on him, it’s kinda funny), we were off. The trip up was rather uneventful except for the fact that Dad unknowingly missed his exit and landing us in Boston for a trip past Fenway Park, through a couple of tunnels and over an amazing cable stayed bridge (the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge). Mom turned on the GPS to get us the fastest route and Dad took his mistake in stride and when questioned by the human puppies he told them that doing the same thing all the time was boring. (I was proud; what in the past would have turned him to ranting, he had fun with and enjoyed the detour.) Mom also mentioned that we should come back later in the spring and check out the Freedom Trail. Dad and I thought that this sounds like fun! Long walks outside and history, what’s not to like for a pack like mine?  Ghahh, geeks, whaddya gonna do?

We finally made it Ipswich and Dad rolled down my window so could throw my head out and sniff the way. Once we got to the farm I could hardly contain myself. I always feel like a puppy when I’m surrounded by my extended pack and can run free. It really was a chilly day so we found the humans all in the main house. Dad knew that there could be all sorts inside so we entered cautiously by asking if we could all come in. (There is always a possibility of conflict so Dad and I would have gladly stayed outside and played.) As it turned out, when Mom asked “Can Casper come in?” everyone was so happy to see me that I got so many pets and kind comments that I felt like a star.Carlene lit up and even gave me a hug! That was great! I’m sure my tail wagged for an hour straight. Dad went over and talked to Miss Carlene, and when she complimented both of us I could tell he was proud. Dad thinks very highly of her and her approval is important to him. (He told Mom on the way home that those two minutes made the entire drive worth it for him.) I knew he was doing just fine so I went on to play with my young brothers and sisters.  I didn’t know this, but we also got to celebrate Miss Maria’s Birthday! Of course, I gave my piece of cake to Dad; it was a fudge chocolate layer cake so I couldn’t have any but he did give me a sniff. (He’s cool like that.) Happy Birthday, Miss Maria!

When we felt like we had enough of the house we headed outside and down to the barn. I had to say hello to Clementine and meet Tangerine, the resident donkeys. Mom and Dad fed them apples and gave out pets. I was preoccupied with the training that was going on in the arena, so I was locked out until Dad could pay attention to me. We watched for a break in the session and I asked Dad if we could join. I felt like a couple of examples may help them. Dad said we could, but I needed to be on lead. I was happy to, so we leashed up and kept our distance by trying some of the agility setups. That was easy kibble. Soon after we approached the training group and I showed them some smooth moves like how not to pull on lead and how to stay attached to my handler on a slow walk. I also showed them how to stay still during moments when it is easier to be distracted and play. Dad made a joke and said I was so good I should be a service dog.

Not too long after this I went with Mom back up to the house to say our farewells while Dad visited the wash room and moved the truck up to the top of the hill. I was off lead and really listened well to Mom. If I saw someone I wanted to see she said to stay and I did! (Sometimes I don’t listen to her as well as I do to Dad.) As we came around the house I saw our truck and wanted to run down to see Dad, but he was still parking and someone else was in the driveway so I stayed with Mom until she told me to go get ‘em. I happily ran down the hill straight to him, gave him a once over to sure he was in good shape and we loaded up for the trip home. We did stop for some dinner at a local restaurant. As our server came to the table she told us how happy she was to be serving my family; she thought I was handsome.  Dad quickly shared our card and we told her how she could volunteer at SDP. She seemed real excited about the whole subject so I hope she does gift some of her time to the pups. I know the future recipients will appreciate it just the same as we do. After the family ate Dad fed me in the truck, holding my bowls of course. We hit the road soon after and everyone napped on the way home. (Except for Dad, I hope, since he drove) It was such a good day that the human puppies took their baths and asked to go to bed early! I don’t think there is a pack leader in the universe that would deny that request.