Santa

Today I got to go meet Santa!  I was a little bit surprised that he came to California to visit, especially with Christmas so close.  It does make me wonder about his work ethic.  Those poor elves are up there freezing and working around the clock while he’s sitting here in a park in California.  Still, I did want to meet him.

Mom told me he was here in the neighborhood, and it was my chance to go tell him what I wanted for Christmas.  Since Rico doesn’t like to leave the house, and Atlas doesn’t like to walk very far, I had to take their lists with me, too.

When we got there, I was the only furry kid there.  Tons of two-legged kids were there asking for dumb things, so I had to wait patiently in line to be able to ask for good stuff.  I made sure to cover the list in my head before I got my turn.

I think Santa liked that he didn’t have to give me a candy cane.  Mom told me to pose which I did, and Santa said I was very well-behaved, and I should get what I want for Christmas.  Of course, I knew that, but it was good for him to say it aloud.

I told him that Rico wants more chicken and apple jerky treats, just like he told me.  I told him Atlas wanted a full-time petter and unlimited pupaccinos from Dutch Brothers, and he said both were unlikely, but that Atlas could get lots of petting and lots of pupaccinos.  I gave him my list which included jumbo or monster-size bully sticks and lots of nosework practice and events to enter.  He said he was pretty sure those wishes would be granted.

On the walk home, Mom assured me that Santa was heading back to the North Pole to get back to work and that he was not a total slacker.  She reminded me that he would have to be sure that the bully sticks got on the sleigh.  That made me feel better.

-Moz

Exchange?

Atlas:  Did you hear Mom talking about exchanging one of us?

Mozzie:  She’s not going to exchange one of us.

Rico:  For sure Mozzie isn’t going anywhere.

Atlas:  I’m pretty sure I heard Mom talking about an exchange with other Berner people.

Mozzie:  That’s a gift exchange, not a dog exchange.

Rico:  It’s a secret Santa thing.

Atlas:  Santa’s not a secret, AND I heard her talking about puppy names.

Mozzie:  That’s a whole separate issue.

Rico:  She does have a gift for naming puppies.

Atlas:  That isn’t helping me feel better.

Mozzie:  She’s not exchanging any of us.  She loves us all.

Rico:  There’s no reason to exchange us.  She has the best.

Atlas:  So you’re sure she’s not going to trade us in?

Mozzie:  Have you ever heard her talk about this accounting thing called LIFO?  It means the last thing in is the first thing out.

Rico:  I was here first.

Atlas:  But….wait.  I’m the youngest.

Mozzie:  We are kidding short stack.  We love you, even if you are a petting hog.

Traditions

Atlas:  What’s a tradition?

Mozzie:  It’s something you do the same basic way over and over.

Rico:  Usually  it’s based on time.

Atlas:  So is eating a tradition?  We do that twice a day at about the same time each day.

Mozzie:  No.  That’s a routine.

Rico:  Good thing.  If eating were only a tradition, we’d starve.

Atlas:  So what’s the difference?

Mozzie:  A tradition is more like something parents pass on to their kids.

Rico:  Routines are things you do regularly, like daily.

Atlas:  Are they supposed to be fun?

Mozzie:  Usually.

Atlas:  So going to the vet isn’t a tradition?

Rico:  No.  That’s routine.

Atlas:  Now I’m really confused.

Mozzie:  My extra long walk with Mom every year on Thanksgiving is a tradition.

Rico:  Exactly!

Atlas:  But you said they were supposed to be fun.

Mozzie:  It was!

Atlas:  But you walked nearly 30 miles.

Rico:  They did not!

Atlas:  In dog miles, it was!

Mozzie:  We count it in human miles.

Atlas:  Is that part of the tradition?

Rico:  Yes.  It’s also just normal.

Atlas:  But that’s still not fun.

Mozzie:  It is for me and Mom.

Atlas:  This is still confusing.

Rico:  How about this — you know how you always get roasted carrots on Thanksgiving?

Atlas:  Yes.

Mozzie:  That’s a tradition.

Atlas:  But that’s a fun one!

Mozzie:  Not all traditions involve food.

Atlas:  The good ones do.

Rico:  You are so predictable.

 

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Atlas:  I really liked that In and Out Cheeseburger I got yesterday.

Mozzie:  They make the best burgers.  Once I even got a double-double when I finished one of my titles.

Rico:  And you can thank me for yesterday’s treat!

Atlas:  Why?

Mozzie:  Because yesterday was Rico’s 9.5 birthday.

Rico:  That’s right.  You both benefitted from my birthday.

Atlas:  How come you get stuff for your half-birthday?

Mozzie:  Because he’s a senior.

Rico:  I’m Dad’s age in dog years.

Atlas:  THAT old?!?!  Do you think we can celebrate my half-birthday?

Mozzie:  After you turn 9.

Rico:  Mom said we could celebrate my quarter-birthdays after I turn   10.

Atlas:  Do you think we can get “animal style” cheeseburgers next week for my fifth birthday?  And maybe some fries?

Mozzie:  Don’t push your luck, short stack.  Fries are reserved for earning a title or getting to double digits.

Rico:  “Animal style” is not good for us.  It has too many things we can’t eat, including onions.

Atlas:  It’s confusing that it’s called “animal style,” but we can’t have it.  Do you think if we played that song, “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” we could subliminally get Mom and Dad to go to In and Out more often?

Mozzie:  I like that song.

Rico:  And the singer’s name is Jimmy Buffett.  It’s like a double subliminal clue.

Atlas:  I’ll ask Alexa to play it on repeat.

Weak From Hunger

Atlas:  Why do you think Dad tries to starve us?

Mozzie:  He doesn’t try to starve us.

Rico:  At least Mom remembers to give us bully sticks in the morning so that we can avoid starvation before breakfast.

Atlas:  Do you think Dad can’t tell time?

Mozzie:  He can tell time.  Sometimes he just doesn’t think it’s time to feed us.

Rico:  He’s a human.  They do make mistakes.

Atlas:  Don’t you think when I’m collapsing from lack of food (like in the photo above) that should be enough?

Mozzie:  Hmmm.  How can we tell when you are lacking food and when you are in need of petting?

Rico:  He only needs food twice a day.  He needs petting if he’s awake.

Atlas:  Do you think I could train Dad to pet me while I eat?

Nose Work 1 Trial

After so much training for nose work, I knew I was ready for the big nose work 1 (NW1) trial yesterday.  Mom had some questions about my work with containers, but that was silly because I have my super sniffer.

Yesterday after Mom fed me, she made me get into the jail in her car so we could head up to Citrus Heights for the NW1 trial.  When we got to the trial site, it was a church and Catholic school.  Mom got a great parking spot with some chickens on the other side of the fence.  It was cool and foggy which is the perfect weather compromise (I prefer snow, and Mom prefers cool but sunny).

Mom got me out to stretch my legs, and she was watching me sniff.  I was thinking I had found the perfect place to post something, but Mom told me I wasn’t allowed to post or send pee-mail on a  cross.  She said that was disrespectful, so I didn’t post there.

After what seemed like forever, I got to go check out the exterior search.  It was super easy.  I crossed the line, sniffed the bench, and within 15 seconds, I had showed Mom where they hid the odor.  That was easy peasy!  Next we went to check the vehicles.  There were three of them, and Mom said the wind was swirling which meant the odor could be confusing and harder to source.  I checked the first car, and there was nothing.  I went to the second car, and I could definitely smell the odor, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, so I took Mom to the third car.  I went to the farthest side, and it wasn’t there, so I went to the side closest the the middle car, and sure enough, it was there, so Mom called it, and we were 2/2.  It took me a little over a minute to find it, but we had three minutes, so I was speedy enough.

We waited around for a L-O-N-G time before it was time for me to go sniff again.  My next search was in a classroom.  I love classrooms. They always smell like food.  I hate for Mom to get too confident, and I knew the classroom would be something I could do off-leash, so as soon as I started, I sauntered in, then ran across the room to the *opposite* side from the odor and then decided I should check out a basket with stuff in it.  I could tell Mom thought that maybe I was working on some odor, and I didn’t think she’d call it, but just in case, I decided I should move along to the actual odor.  I went back near where I started and showed Mom, and in under 90 seconds, we were 3/3.

Last were the containers that Mom hates.  There were three rows of them!  We went in, and I didn’t want Mom to be stressed, so I went up and a row, then skipped a row and went to the third row and showed Mom.  That took 24 seconds, and we had done it!  We were 4/4 which meant I got my NW1 title.  I did all four searches in a total of three minutes.  That’s pretty fast!

Mom was really excited, and I was, too, because I knew that meant I could keep using my super sniffer and getting to compete and now work to get ready for NW2.  She says it will take some time to be ready, but I did get to bring home a big ribbon, and I know my favorite nose work teacher, Barb, was proud of me.  She even posed for pictures with me!

Mom says if it weren’t for Barb, we’d never have been able to get our NW1 title because she’s the one who taught Mom what to do.  I guess that’s true.  I am pretty sure *I* could have gotten the title, but you are required to take a human with you, so Mom did have to learn what to do.  So thank you, Barb, for training my Mom!  I know she’s not as good at this as I am, but I think she’s getting the hang of it.

-Moz

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Sniffing in the Dark

I have a big trial coming up this Saturday.  It’s a Nose Work 1 (NW1) trial, and I have to be on my A-game.  To pass, I’ll have to find the odor hidden on a vehicle, in an interior room, in an exterior space, and in one of many containers.  That is four correct alerts in one day  (one per element).  Obviously I have a super sniffer and am completely capable of doing this, but I still practice.  Honestly, I think it’s so Mom can learn more about all of this stuff.

This past Saturday at my class with the best nose work instructor, my buddy, Barb, I’m not sure what was going on.  She made me wear a glow stick around my neck.  It was purple, and that is my favorite color, so I was okay with that, but it was still strange.  Next we went into a room for me to do a search, and Barb turned off the lights.  What in the world?  Clearly I don’t need to be able to see to use my sniffer, but it was a little disorienting to do that.  Besides, with the lights out, am I still as handsome?  How could Mom know?

I still managed to find the hides in the dark, so clearly I have some mad skills, and I think Mom was supposed to be listening for changes my breathing, but it makes me a little self-conscious to think she’s doing that.  I mean, really, admiring me in the light is normal, but stalking my breathing in the dark is a little like something out of that show “Criminal Minds.”

Still, it was a fun class, and I think Mom is a bit more prepared for the NW1 this weekend because of the fun class.  For the record, I’m not wearing a glow stick ever again.

-Moz

Torture in Motion?

Atlas:  Did you guys hear that Mom and Dad are thinking about buying a torture device for us?

Mozzie:  They would never torture us.

Rico:  Well, they did refuse to disable smoke detectors, and we know they beep sometimes, or worse, screech out “fire, fire, fire!”

Atlas:  That’s not really torture.

Rico:  Speak for yourself.

Mozzie:  Are you talking about that Roomba/Shark Ion thing?

Atlas: WHAT?!?  I hadn’t heard they were considering buying a shark.  That’s even worse than torture.

Rico:  It’s not that kind of shark.

Mozzie:  No, Roombas and Shark Ions are self-propelled vacuums.

Atlas:  So we aren’t getting a shark?

Mozzie:  We might.  But we might get a Roomba.

Rico:  I have to agree with Atlas on this one.  A vacuum cleaner that can run by itself would definitely be a torture device.

Atlas: See!  I told you!

Mozzie:  It would give them more time to pet you.

Atlas:  How fast can it get here?

Happy Birthday, Fur Mom, Kitty!

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to my fur mom, Kitty.  (In the picture above, she’s dressed up for her Halloween birthday as Wonder Woman).  Her birthday was a couple of days ago, and she turned 10!  I know that doesn’t sound very old, but only about 20% of Berners live to be that old, and my fur dad was one, and now my fur mom is another.

And, yes, people ask me why my fur mom’s name is Kitty.  It has NOTHING to do with Gunsmoke or cats (yuck!).  She lives with two Navy humans, and they are not crazy.  They just like planes and ships that carry planes, and stuff like that.  (Think Kitty Hawk and then check Wikipedia).

My Mom wanted to have me for a long, long, long time, so she searched to find just the right breeder who focused on longevity and who was willing to sell a puppy to my Mom who hadn’t even had a dog who competed in obedience, agility, nose work, Barn Hunt, etc.  That’s how she came across Elaine who had my fur dad, Tucker, and my fur mom, Kitty.

Mom tells me stories about watching me on a thing called puppy cam  and watching Kitty taking care of me and my siblings.  I get my super, duper energy from Kitty, so I’m really thankful for her.

Happy birthday, Kitty.  I hope you have many more years filled with good health.

-Moz

I Love Fall!

Fall is great here in California.  The best part is the cooler weather.  When it’s warm outside, I get too hot if I try to sleep on the bed with Mom.  Once it is cool, I can hop up on the bed with Mom and sleep there. . . at least until Dad comes to bed and tells me to move.

Just to be clear, I let Mom pet me for a few minutes, but then I scoot just out of range of her hand.  If I don’t, she will keep petting me, and I need my sleep to maintain my handsomeness.  Sometimes she is too persistent.  I’ll scoot out of range, and she’ll scoot closer and start petting me again.  I hate to hurt her feelings, so I’ll sigh really loudly and move AGAIN.  She understands what that means, and she usually says something like “Sleep well, Handsome.”

When it cools off even more and we get into winter, I do all of this, and I get off the bed when Dad tells me to, but then I can sneak back up and sleep at the foot of the bed where no one can pet me while I sleep in the comfort of my Sleep Number bed.

It’s perfect that the cooler weather coincides with the shorter days.  That’s ideal for sleeping!  I really like sleep.  Mom says she does, too, but because of her job, she doesn’t get to enjoy it as much as I do.  I’ll try to enjoy it enough for both of us.

-Moz

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