Jul 212013
 

We took a long drive, Mom and I, in her hot car. Once she stopped the car and we went to a store and she came out and fed me a bagel. I was shaking while I ate the pieces as she was handing them to me. Then she went inside and got me one more. Same thing. Best bagels in my life!

Soon we drove, and stopped again. This time she asked me to get out of the hot car, filled my water bowl and laid it on the ground by the car, and I drank, we rested, and then got back in the car. More driving. I was so hot and tired.

Then one more stop. It was a nice place, I could tell lots of animals were there, lots of dogs. It was a wonderful place. Friendly people. But soon I had a very new experience.  Mom says, “Dad just sent you a message, Joey. He says “Show ‘em you’re a man!”” What’s that supposed to me?  Soon, into a room Mom brought me – and right there in the room was a female dog! Oh my, the two people there let me smell her and boy was this an exciting experience.  Honestly – I hadn’t expected this!image_1_cropWell, it was a pretty  new feeling.

Things were happening so fast. I’m not really sure what was going on.  Then they separated me from my little female friend, though she seemed to be interested in playing with me:

image_2_cr

Pretty soon I was just being held by one of the people, it was very strange. I’m not sure what the point was. It seemed like a long time, and Mom was there too, but she wasn’t helping me very much.

image_3_crI can’t really say that I’d like a repeat of this experience, though everybody was very nice and Mom seemed to be very excited, saying we could have Joey puppies and all.

The drive back home seemed to be faster than the drive down. No stops, no bagels. Back home, I was just plain exhausted, and followed Mom’s instructions when she said, “Joey, drink.”

 Posted by at 12:58 am
Apr 302010
 


Here I am, a runner, sitting beneath a statue to one of the great runners of the Boston Marathon, John A. Kelly. And I would say I’m a pretty long-distance runner, for a dog of my age. After all, I’m going to be eleven years old and I’m back to running with my Dad, anything from 2.3 miles (such as when my mom runs with us, or when she runs me alone) or 4 or even 5 miles. The truth is the more often I run, the better off I am.

This statue shows John Kelly as a young runner and John Kelly as an older runner. That would be just like me. I too am “Young at Heart”. Some people still say I act like a puppy. In fact, my mom calls me a puppy all the time.

The Boston Marathon runs right outside our home. This year my mom walked me with her along the route. I was a little too excited for her. I pulled and pulled on the lead, and it was very difficult for her to control me. There were many dogs with their owners and I, of course, wanted to say hello to each one. I wanted to greet each dog to my neighborhood and welcome him and welcome her to the ‘hood.

My mom’s response was “Joey, come” and that was the end of my Boston Marathon experience. At least for this year.

My mom likes to remember that it was just one year ago that I was hit by the car, along this very road.

Who would have thought! Certainly not I! Although I have always had faith, and I have always been young at heart.

 Posted by at 10:29 am
Mar 162010
 

What could a chocolate Labrador Retriever dog have in common with the Underground Railroad?

along the route to FREEDOM

along the route to FREEDOM

I had a really nice walk today. I took a walk through history.  My mom took me to a place – well, the name doesn’t mean much to me but it meant a lot to my mom.

“Joey, this is the Jackson Homestead.  It was a stop along the Underground Railroad.”

I didn’t ask, “What’s the Underground Railroad?” but if I had, she would have been very surprised. And then she would have answered, “The Underground Railroad was the route that escaped slaves took on their road to freedom.  Many times people opened their homes to escaped slaves, and the William Jackson family, in our town, was one such family and one such place.”

Now that’s something I understand: FREEDOM.

Today this home is a museum that you can visit. But me?  I can stay outside, and that’s fine with me.

***

 Posted by at 9:11 pm
Dec 072009
 

A 2007 Gallup pole indicated that 44% of American families own a dog.  Wanting to have an at-home companion or a friend was the main reason why these families chose to own a dog.  A  much smaller number of people had a dog for protection, security, or practical reasons such as for hunting and exercise. But dogs are also useful. It’s helpful to know about your dog’s breed in order to understand what special qualities and characteristics your dog possesses innately. Then you can appreciate your dog all the more, and provide the resources that make your dog thrive and be happy.

*****

On a special day,  I got to have my photo taken with a group of firefighters from our town, Newton. Also in the photo were Senator John Kerry and our mayor-elect, Setti Warren.  This was a special photo because special and very nice people were in it and because I was in the photo, too! I was being useful by helping my candidate win. You can see me to the right, trying to make friends with one of the firefighters, who is petting me.

rally_firefighters_JK_SW_mod

When many people think of firefighters, they think of Dalmatians.  So we are back to the topic of dogs.  Dalmatians and I are dogs.  Also, Dalmatians and Retrievers (like I am) are strong and can run for long distances. Dalmatians were very useful to firefighters a long time ago, before firefighters drove those large trucks with engines that they drive now. In fact, our town of Newton was the first town to use motorized firetrucks in our country!  Before firefighters drove trucks with engines, they drove trucks that were pulled by horses.  Teams of horses.
So to get back to the topic of dogs:  Who protected the horses? Why, Dalmatians, of course!

What did Dalmatians protect the horses from?  From robbers and thieves who wanted to steal the horses and people’s belongings during the nighttime when the firemen were sleeping. They also protected the horses from wild dogs who would roam the streets and nip at the horses’ feet.

Why Dalmatians?  Dalmatians and horses make very good friends.  Dalmatians are strong (like me) and can run for long distances, maybe more than 30 miles, at a speed up to 30 mph! Dalmatians wanted to protect the horses.  The Dalmatians calmed the horses down when the horses got agitated, such as when there was a fire.  People also liked the way Dalmatians looked, with their spots!So firefighters have loved dogs for a long time because dogs have been their friends and have been very useful in people’s lives.  I am happy to know that in our town we have wonderful firefighters and that now they are my friends!

***
I have a lot of nice photographs of Dalmatians and horse-drawn firetrucks!  Look below!

A Dalmation with the men and horses of Company #3, Stamford Ct., around the turn of the century (19th to 20th).  Thanks to Lt. Palmer for allowing me to use the photo!You can see the company Dalmatian to the right, just under the wagon wheel.

Here you will see a video of horse-drawn firetrucks from a long time ago, long before you or I were born.

Finally, here is video and a photo of Blaze, the Dalmatian! He’s owned by Dave Humpert from the California State Firefighters’ Association! I think that Blaze and I would make really good friends!

Blaze! Dalmatian Fire Dog from San Diego!

Mr. Mitch Mendler, who took this photo of Blaze, gave my mom permission to use it.

 Posted by at 10:24 am
Nov 222009
 

Picture 007_cr_2

My mom has been taking me all over our town of Newton since I got better. I like riding in the car but many times we walk, which I really love.  Right before we reach the center of town, we pass the place where Samuel Francis Smith used to live*, and there is a stone there that marks the spot, something I know a lot about. Who is Samuel Francis Smith? He is the man who wrote the lyrics to the song America, also known as My Country Tis of Thee. And he lived in the home right on the spot where I am sitting!

My mom included the words to this song here:

1. My country,’ tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

4. Our fathers’ God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom’s holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

I like when he writes about the hills, and the rocks, and the breeze, and the trees, though I don’t know what a rill is. But this is an important place in our town!

*****

* 1181 Centre Street, Newton Centre

 Posted by at 2:28 pm
Nov 182009
 

me at Cold Spring Dog Park with Setti Warren, Mayor-elect

I don’t know exactly what a dog park or how they get to be there, but my mom has been taking me to this Cold Spring Dog Park place lately, and I love it. I’m not so sure my mom is happy there, she’s always yelling “Joey, come” or “Joey, sit” or “Joey, stay” but she must be since she keeps going back.

There are some rules at the dog park.

  • One rule at the dog park is that I have to listen to my parents.

  • The next rule at the dog park is that I have to play nicely.

  • The next rule is that when before we arrive at the dog park or before we leave the dog park, I have to be on-lead.

Lots of times when I’m with another dog, my mom says, “Joey, be nice” or “Joey, place nicely.” She breaks that word into pieces – NICE – LEE.  I look at her and leave the dog I was playing with.  I can go back to that dog later.

Sometimes the people don’t obey the rules.  I know what happens to me when I disobey the rules, but I’m not sure what happens to the people when they disobey.

*****

If you have any comments, please add them now!

Nov 032009
 

Many cities and towns are creating and maintaining dog parks.  This is an area where dogs can run and play together without a lead or leash.  It’s a wonderful way to give your dog exercise and an opportunity to socialize.  It relieves your dog of the frustration of always being on-lead or in an enclosed area, when your dog’s nature is to run and be free and to socialize with other dogs.  Does your town have a dog park? Different parks have different rules and regulations. Watch your dog run free in a dog park is a wonderful experience.

*****

I love every day – but I love days when I can discover the world and make new friends with dogs I’ve never met. I love days when I can be with my parents. And I love days when I can run and run and run and run and run. Today was such a day. I discovered the world. I made new friends with dogs I’d never met. My parents were there with me. And I ran and ran and ran and ran and ran.

dog reads sign at dog park

This is the first "dog park" I’ve ever been to.  The morning goes like this: At first, I’m on-lead and walking with Dad and Jane in this beautiful wooded area; Dad is holding the lead and of course I’m trying to lead the way and pull him toward where I smell other dogs, and Dad is holding me back from pulling too hard.  I am bursting with excitement.  We walk and walk.  The trail under our feet is soft and flooded with fallen leaves.

Then we turn down a little path and encounter a wide open field.  Dad, Mom and I go toward this field.  I’m going to explode with happiness – but this lead restrains me. We get closer.  We are almost there! But first, Dad stops me in front of this sign.  I don’t really want to stop; I want to continue on and play with the other dogs who are running around the field.  But my Dad is firm and I know he means business.  I obey my Dad.   I obey him because I want him to be happy with me. I want him to be happy with me because I love him.  So it all works out.

It is hard for me to control myself but somehow I manage to. I’ve learned at least a little bit of self-control in my ten years.

Then my parents take off the lead. This is a special moment. wagging my tail; I know this is getting better by the moment.  Then my parents say, "Joey, go!" and take a few steps to the other side of the sign.  I follow them.

On the other side of the sign, I am happy. I am getting happier and happier.  I see many many dogs and break away from my parents, like a rocket launching from its pad, and they don’t say anything or even try to stop me. Now it’s me and the other dogs.  The other dogs want to play with me.  This is great. I want to play with them. This is great.  There are many people hanging around but they are allowing us dogs to just run free. This is great. Being free from the lead is great.

Sometimes I make friends with another dog, and we both like to run and we run very far away, running as far far away as we can, toward the edge of the park where the woods are, and loving our ability to run, and playing. Then – I hear Jane call "Joey, come." I look toward Jane and leave the dog I was playing with and I run quickly toward Jane. She says "Good boy!" when I arrive.

Then I am free again, free to pick any direction, and start running or playing.  I make friends with another dog, and we run and play. This is a nice game! This happens again and again. I find a friend, we play, then we run off, far far away, then I hear the call of my mom and friend, saying "Joey, come." I stop whatever it is I’m doing, and run toward her. She says "Good boy!" and I take  a few breaths, and then go to play again.

To me it’s never time to stop playing.  I can be thirsty and hot and my tongue is hanging out – but no part of me wants to leave my new friends.

At one point, my Dad starts running around the field and, being his running partner, I start running with him. We run and run.  Then he stops and I stop and play with other dogs again. Soon I hear Jane say, "Joey, come" and then she says, "Joey, sit" and I do, and she attaches the lead to my harness, I know the fun is over for now. That’s okay.  I’m happy.  I’ve had a good time. I’ve run a lot and felt as light as a bird.  My parents are saying things like "He looks great when he’s running" and "I don’t see any limp".  And I – I am enjoying my life, playing nicely with the other dogs.

Then it’s back home. Nobody has to say "Joey, drink water" this time.  I know just what to do! I know to drink water!  Nice that my water bowl is filled with that drink of life to celebrate the great afternoon my parents have just given me!

*****

If you’d like to write about dog parks, please add your comment in the “Comment” box below!

*****

Oct 192009
 

There are many places in each city or town to take your dog. Some require the dog to be on the lead, and some allow off-lead.  Either one is a wonderful opportunity for your dog – and for you – to get fresh air, to walk, and to enjoy nature. Your dog will be happy and healthy, and you will too!

***

It was another one of those surprise days.  Jane gets me ready to go outside. I’m excited. It doesn’t matter where we’re going. It matters that we ARE going.

We ride and ride and then get out of the car.  I’m on the lead and I seem to know what direction to go in. It’s the direction where I smell dogs. This is a very large place. There are ducks in the water but I don’t care. I care about the smells in ground, and the dogs that pass by me, each one on a lead with his or her mom or dad.

looking out at the reservoir

Most parents are really nice and give us a chance to acknowledge each other and decide if we want to be friends or not.   This dog wanted to be friends with me.IMG_0006

Sometimes even when we decide we want to be friends, our parents say “okay, that’s enough” and we move on.

Some dogs aren’t feeling very well and my mom doesn’t let me play with them.

We walk for a long long time and we are going around and around this large body of water.  I’m getting thirsty but only my mom notices that my tongue is hanging out and that I am hot and thirsty. I don’t notice.  I want to keep on going.  Mom mom notices, however, and after a long long time she decides it’s time to get back in the car. We go to the car where she has a treat waiting for me.  Good boy. Good mom!

This is another wonderful place in the world, another place that I have discovered!  That my mom has helped me to discover!

*****

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