Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dogs I Have Known, Mostly

This spring and summer I've been pretty busy, not only going places, but also doing a lot of canine entertaining - and I thought I'd introduce you to some of the four-footed people I've been hanging out with. I really like four-footed people. With two-footed people you have to behave yourself. With four-footed people you have to behave yourself, too, but you can get away with a little more. Don't tell anybody I said that.

BUT FIRST... I took my people to a street fair a few weeks ago!

They'd been to street fairs before, but I hadn't, so I figured it was time they got me involved. A street fair is a chance for people to play in the street. Really. They close the streets off to traffic and walk around and talk to one another. And just to make it more fun, a lot of folks sell things, and there are super smells and some things on the sidewalk you're told "DON'T!" about.

We had to line up to get on the bus, which was new to me (the bus, not the line). It was bigger than my living room. The people sat on the seats, but they left the whole floor to me.

Am I doing it right? There wasn't much room to do a real "under" command.

Once we got there, we cruised around.

And one of the first sights was of someone who should obviously be a friend! We were only allowed to wag our tails at each other because we were WORKING dogs!

I didn't get to eat any of those tasty-smelling things, but I did get some nice cold water.

This is a cool boat. Why do people get scared in these? Oh, something about the water under them....

This kind of work I love to do.

There aren't just dogs here! What IS that?

When we got on the bus to go home, my dad let me sit on the seat. There were some great views out the window.

Supervising wore me out.

My mom got a fast shot of me going down the steps to get off the bus. Got that? STEPS? Maybe I'm over my step-phobia. My mom says she'd like to take me to the mall to test that out, but her wallet is highly allergic to the mall.


On to my four-footed friends! My Creator has blessed me by giving me lots of doggy friends.

Well, no, this isn't a doggy friend, but I couldn't resist. Leave it to MEE-YOWs to think it's fun to watch water drip.

These are my cousins, Loki and Odin. They're Norwegian Elkhounds, but they don't speak Norwegian - just dog. They came to see me last Christmas, and they came back to visit one afternoon not long ago with their mom. It was fun to play with them again.

This is Gus. He lives next door. He is a Vizsla. That's pronounced "veesh-lah" in people language
(and "ra-woof" in dog). He's looking at me through the window in our fence. Yes, we have a dog window in our fence. That's something you don't see every day. He doesn't jump through it (his yard is lower than mine), but sometimes he gets to come over here to play.

Gus was rescued from a puppy mill (I'm not even asking my mom what that is). He can't hear very well, if at all. But that doesn't stop him from looking cute... and having lots of fun.

He was afraid of the steps up our deck. I could have taught him a thing or two (ahem!). But I didn't want to embarrass a guest.

Now, this guy lives two houses down, but plays in Gus's back yard a lot. His name is Buddy. On the outside, he's the shape of a Welsh Corgi with the fur and eyes of an Australian Shepherd. On the inside, he's just another Lab in a funny-colored Corgi suit.

Maybe Gus doesn't come through the window, but Buddy does!

Sometimes he comes over when I'm not home. One afternoon he crashed a party my mom was having. He told me later that the raspberry sherbet punch tasted pretty good. Unfair.

My mom likes Buddy, but he's no taller than the MEE-YOWs, so when he's inside our house he sneaks into the laundry room through the little door...

...and gets into the kitty litter. Then she gets mad at him. (He only says, "Yum.")

My people are taking me to some foreign country called Indiana... so I'll blog again when I come back, if we don't run into trouble with immigration.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kelda the Journalist

I've been super-busy this week (befitting Kelda the Superdog)! But I wanted to share with you my (ahem) column that appeared in the Chaffee County Times last month. Remember when Gamay and I swapped homes? This is what came of it. Ms. Bensman is my ghost writer (because she has fingers and I don't). She took the pictures, too. Words in brackets [ ] are extra comments from me, Kelda.


(by Kelda - Guest Columnist)

Hi! I'm Kelda. I'm a CCI puppy like Gamay. I met Gamay at the birthday party in Colorado Springs. I live in the Springs, but I stayed with Mary Lee for a week while Gamay stayed with my puppy raisers.

In the city, we puppies swap around our raisers quite a bit because we live close to each other. Since Gamay doesn't get in on all the fun, we swapped our puppy raisers for a week.

Gamay and I are almost the same age (one year, at the time of writing) and we are both being turned in on the same day (August 22) at the same place (Oceanside, California). That's were we go for advanced training ("college").

Here are more ways that Gamay and I are alike: We wear the same clothes; we don't like our Gentle Leaders; we like to walk ahead of our handlers instead of beside them [oops]; we are both Labs (although I am yellow - almost white - and she is black); we are both writers; we both get really excited to meet other people and dogs; we are both party animals.

When Mary Lee picked me up at my house and left Gamay with my puppy raisers, we went shopping. We shopped til I dropped! Mary Lee said I did really well in the stores. Except the office supply store; I barfed in the office supply store. Mary Lee had given me a chance to "hurry" before we went in, but she never told me to barf. So I did it in the store. [You'll notice there are no pictures of this.]

She was really nice about it. She knelt on the floor with plastic bags and paper towels scattered about, and let me do what I had to do. Then she wiped it all up. It's kinda hard to be inconspicuous about something like that. But she said she would prefer that people watch me barf than hurry in a store! [For those of you who may not know, "hurry" does not mean, "Get a move on." It's a substitute for saying, "Go to the bathroom right now." "Hurry" is one of the commands we learn. When we're real service dogs we may not be able to run outside any old time we need to. We need to do our business when it is convenient for our person.]

She called me "perfect puppy" in the restaurant! I just lay down on the floor without even being told to, and stayed there until we left.

Lots of people talked to Mary Lee about me. "How is she doing?" they asked. She said, "I don't know. I've only had her a couple of hours!" Then she explained all about the puppy exchange. By the end of the day, she was just telling them I was doing great!

We went to the pet supply store and Mary Lee bought a dog chew ring for me to play with on the way home! Well, she got it for Gamay, but she let me play with it while I was here. She also bought a hard rubber bone, but as soon as I started eating it, she took it away. She's kinda picky about puppies eating toys.

When we got back to Buena Vista, I scarfed down dinner! Then I had fun sniffing all around the yard and the house. I went right in my (Gamay's) crate when Mary Lee told me to. I knew just where I was supposed to sleep.

We went on a hike on Sunday and played ball, but it got kinda hot.

One time, I was lying on Gamay's pillow in the living room, playing with the new dog chew ring. I rolled on my back and gave it a toss, and it landed right in the water dish! I couldn't do that again if I tried! I drank as much water as I could so that I could get it out, but I couldn't.

I loved playing with the firewood that was on the deck. I picked out the biggest ones.

Mary Lee calls me "Sweetie" when I'm not trying to bite her! [I wouldn't bite her! It's just that when my tail moves fast, my mouth moves, too. I think the puppy college teachers aren't gonna like that.] She's kinda picky about that, too!

By the time you read this, Gamay will be home.


If you want to know more about Gamay, go to I had a terrific time in Buena Vista. Everybody is friendly, the firewood sticks taste good, and Gamay has a really cool basketball!