Atlas:  Hey, you guys, I think Mom might be a terrorist.

Rico:  Mom isn’t a terrorist.

Mozzie:  Mom is my favorite person.

Atlas:  Then why does she have have WMDs?

Rico:  Did you hit your head on something?

Mozzie:  I think we’d all know if Mom had WMDs.

Atlas:  She used them on us today.

Rico:  Again, did you hit your head or sniff paint or something.

Mozzie:  We went to my obedience class today.  When did you see WMDs?

Atlas:  At grooming time.  The Weapons of Mat Destruction.

Rico:  That’s not what WMD stands for.

Mozzie:  So Mom isn’t a terrorist.

Atlas:  I still think she might be.

Rico:  We’ve been through this.

Mozzie:  Mom buys us bully sticks.  Would a terrorist do that?

Atlas:  But she waterboarded all of us.

Rico:  We didn’t get waterboarded.

Mozzie:  Are you talking about the grooming table?

Atlas:  Is that what it’s called?

Rico:  Yes.

Mozzie:  Though I have to admit that getting groomed is a form of torture.

Atlas:  So I was right?  Mom is a terrorist?

Rico:  No.

Mozzie:  Let me get back with you once I’m dry.


Atlas Got Drafted


Atlas:  Mozzie, did you see that I got drafted?

Mozzie:  Are you talking about having to pull the cart?

Atlas:  Yes.  Did you see how cute I looked?

Mozzie:  That’s not being drafted.  That drafting.  Being drafted is something different.

Atlas:  Would I look as cute being drafted?

Mozzie:  You know that the only reason you are going to pull the cart is that I refuse to do that, right?

Atlas:  Why would you refuse?  It’s not too bad.

Mozzie:  The bars that come up near your shoulders are called shafts.  There’s a reason people call it “getting the shaft” when they talk about bad things.

Atlas:  I got Zuke’s peanut butter treats, and all I had to do what take a few steps.

Mozzie:  Those shafts might kill you.

Atlas:  Is that why you bark at me when I’m trying to pull the cart?

Mozzie:  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Atlas:  Mom wouldn’t let me do something dangerous.

Mozzie:  Don’t be so sure.  I’ll stick with agility, obedience, and Rally.

Atlas:  As long as I get treats, I don’t care what Mom asks me to do.

Mozzie:  It’s been nice knowing you.

Mom Has Eyes in the Back of Her Head


I’m pretty sure Mom wasn’t kidding about having eyes in the back of her head.  Today I went to my obedience and Rally class.  It’s a lot of fun because there are so many Berners there.  Harper isn’t my biggest fan, but I think maybe he’s just shy.  Then there’s Maia and Lola.  Did I mention they are GIRLS?  I can drool just thinking about them.

What was I saying?  Oh, right, about the class.  I had to do some strange thing where I had to back up.  Sure, it LOOKS easy, but let’s face it, I have two left feet.  Literally.  Anyway, we had a Rally course with lots of big challenges.  I had to go over a jump and then come back to Mom.  There was a tree I really wanted to go check out, but I went back to Mom anyway.

The course was designed by Carol, my teacher.  She obviously likes to torture dogs.  I kind of feel sorry for her Berner, Seger.  Who could live with someone who tortures dogs?  Here’s what I mean:

There was this thing called and “off-set figure 8.”  What that means is I have to walk around two cones like a regular figure 8 BUT then there are two plates with stuff set out that are there to distract me as I do the figure 8.  What did the torturer Carol put on those plates? Toys?  Yes.  Squeaky toys?  Yes.  Cheese?  YES.  HOT DOG?  YES!  Unwrapped.  Just there on a plate.  Waiting.  Calling me.  “Hey Mozzie, I’m here.  Want to come get me?”

Mom did have one of my favorite Stella and Chewy’s treats, Surf and Turf, so I completed that station, and we went to the next one.  Man, that was hard!  At the next station, I had to do a come front.  Easy.  Then I had to go around BEHIND Mom.  When I started around behind her, that HOT DOG was right there.  RIGHT. THERE.  WAITING.  FOR.  ME.  But I was behind, Mom, so it was my chance.  I was just about to go grab it, when Mom made that “uh-uh, Mozzie” sound.  How could she know that hot dog was calling me?  I’m pretty sure Mom could not hear it, so she had to have SEEN ME trying to go get it.  She really does have eyes in the back of her head!

So I didn’t get the hot dog, and I still had to do a bunch of other stations.  I guess it’s a good thing Mom had yummy treats for me, but I have to say that I’m pretty sure that tonight I’m going to dream about the hot dog that I didn’t get.


Jogging Test


I’m pretty sure Mom’s just trying to test me before we go to Monterey for the National Bernese Mountain Dog Specialty in March.  It’s a giant dog show where only Berners can participate.

Today when I went to practice with my friend Seamus, I had to heel off-leash right next to the field!  That is really, really hard because I’m pretty sure girls go through there,  and I MUST check it.  I occasionally just run over there as a little break, but Mom doesn’t like that.  We did compromise so that if I do my part, then she’ll take me over there to have a sniff session.

Anyway, today she made me heel off-leash right next to that field.  I still saw it out of my peripheral vision, but I kept my eyes on Mom.  I did all my usual great stuff like figure 8, stand for exam, and recall.  I’m AWESOME at recall.  I run as fast as I can, and then I stop right in front of Mom.  I even do something called “finish” where I walk next to her and then face the front like we are getting ready to heel some more.

All that stuff was kind of boring, but I did get to practice a few jumps.  There’s one where Mom just sort of points to the jump, and I go over it and then come back to her, and that is fun!

Then it was time for the boring stays.  When Seamus and I were doing our sit/stays, some little kids in a car came down the sidewalk towards us.  It was a little car, maybe a toy or something, but it made a lot of noise, and I just watched them.  Then they got out of the car, and I’m pretty sure they wanted to pet me because they started to walk over to me.  I looked at Mom and figured I’d better stay put even though kids usually taste like peanut butter.  I stayed the whole three minutes!

The next test was when we did a down/stay.  We had to stay there for five minutes.  I’m good at that, but today some guy came down the path and jogged right behind me and then turned around and jogged back.  I looked at him, but I didn’t move at all.  Mom laughed when the jogger said, “Good stay!” to me and Seamus.

I’m not sure what else Mom will do to try to test me before the Specialty, but I think I’m getting the hang of all of her tricks.  Besides, I got those yummy Surf and Turf Stella and Chewy’s treats.



Chuting Session

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Atlas:  Should I be afraid of you?

Mozzie:  Why?  Did you steal my toy dragon again?

Rico:  Or interrupt his time getting worshipped by Mom?

Atlas:  No.  Mom gave Mozzie a gun!

Rico:  Mom would NEVER give Mozzie a gun.

Mozzie:  Well, maybe a squirt gun, but not a real gun.

Atlas:  But last night when you came home from agility, I’m pretty sure I heard Mom telling Dad that you were practicing using a gun.

Rico:  I see where this is going.  I need to go now.

Mozzie:  There are no guns at agility.

Atlas:  But I *heard* Mom talking about it.  First, she said you practice hoop, “out tunnel,” over, scram, get it, “here tunnel,” and all kinds of things.

Mozzie:  That’s correct.  I’m really pretty awesome at agility, and I did race through those courses last night, but no guns.

Atlas:  If there are no guns, how come Mom said you learned to “go shoot?”

Mozzie:  It’s spelled c-h-u-t-e, not shoot.  It’s like a tunnel with a sheet at the end that’s all flat until I run through it like the wind!

Atlas:  Okay.  This agility thing may not be as dangerous as I thought.

Bonk Board


Atlas:  Mozzie, what is that thing you are doing with Mom?

Rico:  Obviously just trying to scare me.

Mozzie:  No, I’m not trying to scare you, Rico, even though that’s easy to do.

Atlas:  It is a little strange.

Mozzie:  You mean the bonk board?

Atlas:  Is that what you call that thing?

Mozzie:  Yes.

Atlas:  Why is it called a bonk board?

Mozzie:  Because when it hits the floor, it makes a “bonk” sound.

Atlas:  It looks like a mini teeter-totter.

Mozzie:  It is.  Mom’s encouraging me to put my feet on it.

Atlas:  You got COOKIES for putting your feet up there.

Mozzie:  Yes, I did.  At first, I got cookies just for putting my feet on the low end, but later I had to put my feet on the tall end and make it go “bonk” to get cookies.  I think it’s practice for agility or something to help so the teeter-totter can’t attack me anymore.

Atlas:  Why won’t Mom give me a cookie?

Mozzie:  Because you just walk around the bonk board.  No cookies for that, but you might get a cookie if you got close to it, touched it, or put one foot on it or something.

Atlas:  I might do that, but putting your feet up there looks tiring, so I just went to take a nap.

Mozzie:  More cookies for me!

Atlas:  Are they peanut butter?  I think I might be feeling like trying the bonk board after all.



Elephant Hunting


Rico:  Hey Atlas, you aren’t the best hunter anymore!

Mozzie:  That’s right, possum breath.

Atlas:  You’ve never killed a possum.

Rico:  Nope, but Mozzie got an elephant today.

Mozzie:  On my walk, Mom let me go off-leash on a trail , and I was sniffing a shrub when I saw an elephant.  Not only did I see it, I got it and brought it home!

Atlas:  No way!  I’ve never even heard of elephants in California.

Rico:  It was a very rare one, a purple one.

Mozzie:  I bet you’ve never even seen one before.

Atlas:  You got a purple elephant?

Rico:  Yep.  He brought it home.

Mozzie:  If you are extra nice, I’ll share, but NO STEALING.

Atlas:  Did you bring it inside?

Mozzie:  Yes, Mom said I could.

Rico:  Don’t even try to steal it.

Atlas:  Do you think I could find a purple possum?

Rico:  If you do, you cannot bring it inside.

Atlas:  That’s not fair!  How come Mozzie gets to bring in a purple elephant, and I can’t even bring in a possum?

Mozzie:  It’s good to be the favorite.

Today’s Rally and Obedience Class


Atlas:  Thanks for letting me come along with you to class today.

Mozzie:  You only got to go to the park, not actually participate in the class.  No crack bunnies are allowed.

Atlas:  I saw you sniffing a lot.  It’s not like you are perfect.

Mozzie:  There were girls there today.  Did you see them?

Atlas:  Yeah, I saw Maia and Lola.

Mozzie:  Yes, BERNER girls.  Did you see how cute they were?

Atlas:  Whatever.  It didn’t look like fun without any play time.

Mozzie:  We aren’t there to play.

Atlas:  But Harper looked like fun.  He’s another Berner, like me.

Mozzie:  Not exactly like you.  He knows how to heel and has a bunch of titles.  Oh, and he has a SISTER named Jasmine.

Atlas:  I didn’t see her there.

Mozzie:  She was at home, but I’m sure she would rather have been there with me.

Atlas:  I don’t know.  Walking in circles and sitting and having to stay doesn’t seem that interesting.

Mozzie:  It’s fun with Mom.  She has great treats.

Atlas:  Could I just do the jump and then rest?

Mozzie:  No.  You have to complete the whole course.

Atlas:  Maybe I’ll just go and watch you again.  I need my beauty rest.

Mozzie:  That’s fine.  I don’t want you interfering with my flirting with the girls.


Don’t Say, “No.”


Mozzie:  Hey, Atlas, did you hear that at my agility class, there’s one word that’s banned?

Atlas:  No.

Rico:  How did you know?

Mozzie:  That’s right.

Atlas:  What’s right?

Rico:  No.  What’s wrong.

Atlas:  Nothing is wrong.

Mozzie:  Yes, nothing is wrong.  Also what’s wrong.

Atlas:  I just said that nothing is wrong.

Rico:  Exactly.

Mozzie: I think you understand now, right Atlas?

Atlas:  No.

Rico:  Right.

Atlas:  No, really!

Mozzie:  Yes, you’ve got it.

Atlas:  No.  I’m confused

Rico:  No.  See, you are not confused.

Mozzie:  No.  You’ve got it now.

Atlas:  NO!

Rico:  Did you have more to share about agility class?

Mozzie:  It was fun like always, but they help keep it that way by not letting people use that word.  That way it is always fun without feeling like you did something wrong, even if you go off to sniff or something.

Atlas:  What word?

Rico:  We already went through this.

Mozzie:  You really should pay more attention.

Atlas:  Are you guys picking on me?  Just tell me what the word they don’t use is.  Please.

Mozzie:  No.

Atlas:  Please!

Rico:  No.

Atlas:  I’m so confused.




Atlas:  Did you guys make your revolutions this year?

Rico:  We covered this last year, Atlas.

Mozzie:  It’s RESOLUTIONS, not revolutions.

Atlas:  Oh, right, I remember.  I did a great job.  I didn’t bring in any more possums, just like I resolved.

Rico:  And I did do better at not barking incessantly when I heard the UPS or FedEx guys.

Mozzie:  And we all know that I did NOT leave the ring at shows, starting in August.

Atlas:  So that’s it, right?  We don’t have to do this anymore?

Rico:  Not exactly.  Normally you resolve new things each year.

Mozzie:  There are plenty of things to do better this year.  Atlas, why don’t you start?

Atlas:  Hmm.  What if I’m not sure I can do it?

Rico:  A resolution means you’ll work hard to change something.

Mozzie:  For example, you could resolve to stop acting like a bunny on crack when we go for a walk.

Atlas:  Mom read the obedience rules, and it doesn’t say I can’t hop during heeling.  I just have to stay in the right location.  Still, I guess I could work at doing less hopping.  What are you going to do, Rico?

Rico:  I’m going to try to be less cranky when you are annoying.  I’m not making any promises, because you can be annoying a LOT of the time.

Mozzie:  There’s no point in resolving to be handsome because I just can’t help that.  I guess I’ll resolve to limit my sniffing and distraction in the ring to a level that I can still finish my Rally Advanced title in 2015.  And MAYBE get my Companion Dog (CD) title in obedience.  I have to say, though, that all the heeling in obedience is super boring, so I can’t be 100% committed to that second item.

Atlas:  Alright, I think we are set.  I sure hope Mom and Dad resolved to pet me at least 6 hours each day this year.

Rico:  You aren’t even AWAKE 6 hours each day.

Atlas:  Hmmm.  In that case, I hope they just resolved to pet me any time I am awake.

Mozzie:  Dream on, fluffy butt.