Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rub-a-dub-dub...Bishop in the tub!

I survived Christmas day. My foster home was so full of people and dogs that I considered placing myself up for a foster-foster home! Those two female dogs in this family are so prissy and annoying. They don't want to play with me. They just want to sit in someones lap and ignore me.

Thankfully Santa didn't ignore me. I had toys and chew bones in my stocking. But the most fun was the wrapping paper and ribbons...and boxes! So much to choose from! Making a mess is so much fun!

But Christmas is over. They tree is gone, the lights are no longer blinking everywhere, and (best of all) there is more room in my house for me to run around! My Aunt Bonni really thought I was cute, but I didn't impress Aunt Brooke at all. (But then, what doggie does?) All I know is that I am here in my foster house where my Mommy loves me very much and it is very peaceful and quiet.

Mommy did, however, make me question her love when she threw me in the bathtub for a good scrubbing! I thought the bubbles were quite interesting until I tasted one. Believe me. They are ONLY for looks! Mom had the hardest time getting me wet and said I was like a duck! When she finally got me soaked down, I decided to soak her down, too....and I did a very good job of it. Then I soaked the bathroom down. I also found out that I could shake real hard and make those bubbles stick to the wall! It became quite a game, and I am proud to say that I won!

Mommy finally made all the bubbles disappear (it seemed to take forever!) and she let me get out of the tub. I shook...and shook...and shook....and shook! Then came that very embarrassing moment. She wrapped me in a hooded towel! Who ever thought of putting a hat on top of a towel was nuts! I couldn't keep it on my head and spent half the time trying to see out from under it. Mommy laughed. I didn't. When the towel didn't work, she got out this gun that blows air (thankfully not bullets!) and started shooting at me. I tried to escape, but how far can you run in a bathroom with the door shut. No matter where I turned, she would shoot me with a blast of hot air on whatever was sticking out in her direction. She got me on my head, on my back, on my bottom, and even on my tummy. Slowly...very slowly....my hair dried.

But all is well now. I am clean, brushed, fluffy and very content to be laying on my sheepskin rug snuggled up in the living room eating a chewy treat while Mommy and Dad watch CSI Miami. I think I might ask one of those detectives to investigate why my mom gave me a bath tonight so that I can try to avoid one in the future! Maybe I liked it when I was a baby, but baths and little boys just don't go together.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the night before Christmas...

Dear Santa,
I have made a special effort today to be an extra good boy. I got up early to go with Mommy for one last time at ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. The people scurrying into Walmart were different this time. They mostly were men with frantic looks on their faces, acting like they were on a very serious mission. They didn't pay much attention to me going in...they were all staring straight ahead and walking in very fast. They were much calmer when they came out, carrying such things as crockpots, toaster ovens, coffee machines, electric blankets and other small appliances. They were usually pretty good about stopping and giving me a dollar or two. I'm glad Walmart is such a comforting place for them.
Mommy spent the afternoon trying to clean up the house and get some food cooked for a dinner tonight. I stayed out of her way and behaved very well. Did you notice that, Santa?
Now I am ready for you to come fill my stocking. I am keeping it very close to me so that you will know which one is mine. I know that you have been watching those other "princess dogs" very closely, and they have not been very good lately, so I want you to be sure and put the good gifts in my stocking, and the coal in theirs. Remember: mine says B-I-S-H-O-P.
Love, Bishop

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What is worse than living with Linni the Princess?

"Princess" Linni, my foster sister dog, is slowly getting used to me being around, even though she still pouts and ignores me. I can handle her snippy-ness. But this week, Zoe, my foster cousin, came for a Christmas visit. Zoe is a miniature pincher that belongs to Mommy's daughter, Bonni. What is worse than one princess in the house? Two princesses! Especially when one bites and growls at me! Zoe is pretty sure that SHE is the most welcomed guest and let's me know that I am the newest member of the family, giving her an undeserved status of seniority over me. She growls when I get too near to her, growls when I get too near Bonni, growls when I get too near Bonni's luggage...and growls, and growls. And if I get really close, she snaps at me. I am just a baby, so I don't know how to stand my ground yet, and even though I tower over her, she rules over me. All I want to do is play with her and be her friend.

And if that isn't bad enough, yesterday Mommy and I went for our regular neighborhood walk and the neighbor's chihuahua (Jerome) came out the door and charged after me and Mommy. I was quite frightened and tried to hide behind my Mommy but that crazy little dog kept biting at my back paws. I could SQUASH that dog if I wanted to!

One of these days I am going to learn to stand my ground and let those other dogs know who is really the boss...and definitely WHO is BIGGER!

Today, though, is off to a better start. Mommy and I got up really early to walk, but since it was very, very cold outside Mommy and I went "early-bird" shopping to finish up the Christmas shopping. Boy, they sure have slick floors in Penney's! I thought I was ice-skating! Somehow I managed to stay on my feet and make it around the store (getting plenty of attention, of course). Mommy said I was an angel and that I did very well. I have learned to sit when she is looking at clothes on the racks (I seem to do a lot of sitting...). The one thing that baffles me, though, are all these people who are standing around on little platforms being very, very still. I kept trying to "pick up their scent" but oddly they seem to not have one. Mommy told me I couldn't sniff them anymore...she said it looked tacky. Well, I think THEY are tacky because everyone else talks to me, but they just stare straight ahead and won't even acknowledge that I am trying to be their friend.

I hope my future home is NOT with their family!

Three days until Christmas! I am still being good, Santa. Don't forget me!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My visit with Santa

Today I met Santa for the very first time! I was very fascinated with his long, white beard, as well as the fact that he was passing out candy canes. He made an appearance at the Joni and Friends Christmas party at Farragut Church of Christ for all of their friends with disabilities
and their family members. Even though the weather was really wet and very cold, we had a great time with the ones that were able to weather the storm and join in the fun. There was a lot of food (thank you to all who dropped things under the table!) and lots of entertainment from all of those who sang karaoke. I got a ton of attention, especially from the children! The only "not so fun" thing is that my mommy made me wear my Santa hat again.

But the highlight was truly getting to meet Santa and sniff him. (I know this sounds silly, but he kinda smelled like a deer!!!) He scratched my ears with his gloves on, and I loved it! He's definitely a jolly ol' fellow. He asked what I wanted for Christmas and I told him that I was wishing for a very special family that will need me to help them when I get a little bit older. He promised to start the search really soon, and feels like he will be able to find the perfect match for me when I get ready to be a full-time service dog. He has some elves named Erin, Tiffany and Elaine that specialize in just those kind of special requests. Now I have an incentive to really be a good dog this year!
When I got home from the party I was exhausted and have now fallen asleep...with those sugarplums dancing in my head again. Life is good...and it's going to get better. Thanks, Santa!

Molly and Me!

This is Molly Marie. She is my foster parents grandaughter and the sister of Gavin. We call her Molly-pop. I am a little bit taller than her, but she is still able to stand up to me when I get pushy. In fact, she just giggles and pushes me back. She calls me "Arf". I am so lucky because Molly and Gavin come to see me almost every day. We have become very good friends.

Molly-pop is teaching me to share. She usually has these really cute pacifiers in her mouth and she will take it out of her mouth and pretend like she is giving it to me! When I start to take it from her, she puts it back in her mouth and laughs at me. She does this over and over and over again. So I have learned that after about three times, if I am very quick, and can run up to her and snatch it out of her mouth! She thinks that is funny, too, and she laughs at me and tries to snatch it back. I think it is so nice that she shares her "paci" with me. Why doesn't my foster family think so?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My very first Christmas party!

First of all, don't make fun of my "Happy Holidogs" hat. I do not like it, and I don't even pretend to like it. I think it is itchy, the elastic bothers my ears, and everyone is so "goo-goo" towards me when I wear it. First chance I get, it will be eaten!
The good part about it, however, is that I wore it to my very first Christmas party. This was held at First Baptist Concord Church with all of my new friends at Helping Hands. We sang Christmas carols, and everyone got presents. (Well, I didn't get a present but mommy had brought me new treats and a new toy to play with). We discovered that I am very calm around wheelchairs and walkers, and do great with very "over-affectionate" people. I just like everyone! And I thrive on attention.....and treats!
My nose really perked up when they brought in the pizza. I don't know what all goes on one of those things, but I was eager to find out! (Mommy shut that idea down very quickly).
After about an hour of partying I got pretty tired and slept through the rest of the party. I am really doing good riding in the car, too. Sure hope Santa is watching my very good behavior today (to counteract my behavior earlier this week!)
I have really started to settle into my new foster home. I am calm and relaxed, enjoy laying in the living room while my family watches TV, and have been on my very best doggy behavior. Mommy is proud of me! And she is especially happy that I have not had any accidents in the house! When she says "potty" and points to a spot (outside, of course!), I give it my best "shot" at peeing right where she is pointing! I have also quit throwing a little fit when I am kenneled for the night, and I am sleeping all night long without messing in my kennel or waking up my family! (Santa, are you hearing this????) No more "naughty" list for me! I have become quite the charmer! They say I am a "keeper", whatever that means!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa...I can explain!

Today I was feeling much better after whatever it was that happened to me yesterday. My head was more clear, I could walk a straight line, and I was back home with my foster family. I was feeling so good, in fact, that I thought this would be a very good time to look for some new adventures around the house.

My first adventure was checking to see just how well Mommy had hung my stocking on the fireplace. (Someday I want someone to explain to me why she puts everything else in the dryer but hangs up just one of our socks in the living area.) It only took a few pulls to get my sock down so that I could chew on it a little...."little" meaning that Mommy was right there at the first bite, along with the NO word. She told me some wild story about not eating a hole in my stocking because my gifts from some guy, who supposedly was coming right down our chimney, would fall out. (Down the chimney? Maybe my mommy has been sipping too much eggnog???)

The next thing I decided to explore was this tree she has growing in the corner of her house. She had put some really cute balls on it....much cuter than the ones in my toy box. Some of them jingle, and some sparkle very, very much. Without much effort they can be plucked from the tree, and I was having so much fun rolling them around the floor. I even got a sparkling nose from playing with them. I soon came to realize, however, that she seems to think there is a serious distinction between the balls on her tree, and the balls in my toy box. I always let Mommy play with me and my toys, but she won't share the fancy balls on her tree with me! I tried to reason with her and show her how cute I was with glitter on my nose, but she used the NO word (yet again) and hung my new-found toys up high on her tree. I still think I might be able to reach them if I jump from the couch.

Next I turned my attention on Molly-pop, the cute grandbaby. Unlike Mommy, Molly shares... primarily her pacifier and Sippy-cup (I got my first taste of milk!). Molly-pop plays this fun game with me. She acts like she is giving me her pacifier, then plops it back in her mouth. That's my cue to grab it out of her mouth with my teeth and run. We love this game. Mommy doesn't. In fact, she said if I kept this up I probably wouldn't be needing my stocking.

Off I went to find another interesting plaything and I found something that is so much fun! Mommy has these little paper things in all of the bathrooms. I found out that if you grab the end of the paper and run, you can make it follow you all over the place! If it breaks, you just go back and get some more. It doesn't take long to get a whole lot of this paper down on the floor to play with. I just wish Mommy would remember to leave the bathroom doors open! Mommy put a whole new thingy of paper up and then walked right out and shut the door! I tried all three bathrooms and all of the doors are shut. Mommy keeps mumbling something about how I am going to get "coal" for Christmas. Coal? All I want is a few of those paper things!

These rules are growing old really fast. I can't go up the stairs without Mommy. I can't potty and poop in the house. I can't get on the couch. I can't eat shoes. I can't drink out of the toilet. I can't chew on electric cords. I can't hold my own leash. I can't pull the ribbons off the boxes under Mommy's tree...all of these fun things are on something called a "naughty list" that gets checked twice by someone that is watching me even when I am asleep! I think that is creepy!

If any of you need some coal, I think I am going to have enough to share.

Monday, December 14, 2009

In case I seem different to you....

It's been a very rough day for me. After spending a very fun weekend with my babysitter, Erin the Trainer (along with her zoo of other pets), I was dropped off at another location and told my mommy would be by this afternoon to pick me up. It wasn't long after that when I was put on a table and suddenly felt very, very sleepy.

When I woke up I felt very fuzzy in my little brain...and very wierd in the opposite part of my body...kind of like a part of me was missing. When I tried to talk, my voice had risen quite distinctively to a much higher pitch. (I thought I was supposed to be turning into a fine young gentleman doggie with a nice deep bark, but I just don't feel so masculine anymore.)

Mommy did come pick me up this afternoon and I, still feeling a little woozy, slept all the way home. Mommy sure has been babying me alot and would not let me play with Gavin and Molly (not that I felt like playing). I also have a terrible itch down under my tail and mommy gets on to me when I try to scratch it with my teeth. So I just cuddled up in my nice warm little sheepskin bed with a soft, warm blanket. I sure am hoping that tomorrow I feel more like myself...but something tells me I am just not the same dog I used to be.

P.S. What does the word "neuter" mean?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bishop the Bell Ringer....again!

Today was my very lucky day! It was time for Mommy, Daddy and I to ring the bell again for the Salvation Army....but it was cold and pouring down rain! We figured we were going to be very wet and cold before our shift was up, but when we got to the new Krogers in Farragut we found out that they were letting us stand inside the entrance! It was WARM....it was DRY....and (best of all) Mommy had my favorite treats with her in her pocket. Now all I had to do was look cute. (That was the easy part).

Because of the bad weather we didn't have a whole bunch of people come by, but the ones that did sure got a kick out of me. With those treats nearby, I used every opportunity to earn one! I shook hands, kissed and chased Mommy's bell when she tried to ring it. (Or was I trying to make her stop ringing it? They can sure get annoying!)

After awhile, though, I just got tuckered out from all of this "greeting" and looking cute. I gave a lot of thought about jumping up on that display couch behind us, but Mommy gave me one of her "looks" and I decided that she might hold out on the treats if I get on the furniture. Can't risk that.
So I just plopped right down in front of the bucket and went fast asleep. One man thought I was a stuffed animal. When he came to put money in the bucket and I stirred he about peed his pants! (Even I know better than to pee in the grocery store!!!!)

Our two hours were finally up and we packed up our bells and headed to Walmart for my first grocery shopping trip. I did really, really good (and got a lot of attention) until we went into the pet department to get Pickles the Cockateel some birdseed. I sniffed out some rawhide bones and had a little bit of trouble focusing on walking next to Mom after that.

Finally my day is over and I am sacked out with my toys on my sheepskin bed. My vest is hung up, my fur is dry, and my tummy is full. Life is good. By the way, did I mention that I now have my very own souvenir red bell?

Monday, December 7, 2009

I love those Helping Hands friends!

I've had such a fun, fun morning. After a very brisk walk with Mommy and Daddy early this morning, I had a few minutes to eat and rest before I went on a field trip to visit with my new friends at Helping Hands. These friends all meet three times a week at First Baptist Concord Church to work together to do special projects and activities together...mostly things that help others! All of my friends at Helping Hands are adults and each have special needs. It was a great opportunity for me to visit friends in wheelchairs, or those who have trouble with motor skills and other special situations. As you would expect, I was very well received! Everyone hugged on me, and I passed out a ton of kisses. They admired my very chic jacket, too.
I was so well loved that Mommy and I were invited to their Christmas Party next week! I heard something about someone bringing Christmas cookies!!!! Count me in! (But don't tell Mommy about the cookies!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Boundaries? What are Boundaries????

Today was a day of learning for me. It was mostly fun because my family was home most of the day, and Gavin and Molly spent the night last night so they were with me, too. I had a great night of sleep and have settled well into my kennel. I love my toys, and Mommy brought home some new ones for me yesterday, so I have a lot to choose from. I have squeaky toys, fluffy toys, rubber toys, rope toys, chewy toys....and two balls! Lots and lots to choose from.

My problem is....I choose Gavin and Molly's toys. Whatever they have in their hand is what I want to play with. Mommy kept taking their toys from me (after I took them from Molly and Gavin) and would tell me that "NO" word and stuff one of MY toys in front of me. I have a pouty face that I can use, but it didn't work on Mommy. I think she has had other pups with this same "possession" problem because she is on to all my tricks...like pretending to not be interested in the toy until she walks away, then snatching it! She ALWAYS turns around and sees me. (I once heard that mommy's had eyes in the back of their heads. I think it's true).

So all day long I tried to figure out creative ways to play with the wrong toys, and all day she kept taking them away, saying NO, and giving me my own toy. Finally I just gave up and chewed up one of my own toys. (I really wanted to chew up Gavin's bat, but all I was able to do was get a couple of teeth marks in it before the "eyes" caught me).

Tonight I went to my toy box and one by one I brought every toy to my sheepskin bed. Then I crawled in and played with my toys. I heard my mommy say that I seemed to be learning about "boundaries". Heaven only knows what boundaries are!

I did get by with one thing today, for which I am very proud of myself. Mommy fell asleep on the couch watching a football game while everyone else was upstairs taking a nap. She thought I was asleep on my bed, too. But I was really watching her (with the eyes in the back of MY head). As soon as I saw that she was asleep, I snuck up on the couch with her and her fuzzy blanket and THEN I took my nap. Daddy found me there when he came downstairs about an hour later. So much for obeying that "no furniture" rule. It's all about timing!

Well, I'm very tired and ready to be kenneled for the night. It gets you really tired when you spend all day trying to learn about those boundary things.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm an Angel.....a Snow Angel!

Today has been the most exciting day! While I was sleeping someone outside spread all of this white stuff all over the ground in my yard! When Daddy opened up the door to let me out, I was so suprised to see that my green yard had turned white...and very cold. The first problem was trying to decide how to squat down in this cold stuff to potty. I wasn't too sure about the steps down off of the deck, so I decided that the deck would work just fine as a place to pee. Daddy doesn't like this idea, though. I guess it is time to learn how to hike my leg!

My next discovery was...the stuff tastes good! Yes, it's like taking a drink, only softer. I wandered on out into the yard to find a place for my next order of business, but everytime I tried to poop my little bum would touch the snow! It took me a moment to realize this stuff was not going to go away in time, so I "bit the bullet" and "hit the snow". Once business was taken care of I realized that I was made precisely to play in this stuff...I come with a fur coat! I had the best time running....and running....and running....and running. Princess Linni was standing out in the yard with one of her front paws tucked up (she isn't the type to get her paws even a little wet or messy), so I decided she was the perfect height to practice my running hurdles. Mommy thought I was so funny, but Princess Linni did not! So, just like any other brother would, I kept on doing it over and over. (My new favorite pass-time is to agrivate that prissy pup. I have even learned how to eat my treat very fast, then go after hers...right out of her mouth. Mommy said I had to quit doing that. Maybe I will...maybe I won't. She is so funny when she tucks her tail under her and tries to look pathetic).
The next thing I learned how to do was lay in the snow and make snow angels by spreading out my legs. I did this all over the yard, so there are little "doggie body shapes" all over the yard.

I played in the snow so long that it caked on my fur! Finally Mommy made me come in and she wrapped me in a towel. Whew! That took all the energy right out of me. Time to cuddle up with my toys and settle in for a long winter nap. (I stole that line from the story Mommy was reading Gavin and Molly last night).

I hope we have a long, long, snowy, snowy winter. Mommy said something about getting more of this white stuff so we could make a snowman. I am not sure what that is, but I am going to learn to hike my leg because it sounds like something I might want to pee on!

Time for my nap! I added a picture of me imitating Santa with a white beard, and one of me making doggie snow angels. (Mommy added the naptime picture because she thought it was cute how I cuddled up to my toys. I am going to have to chew that camera up. Do you know how hard it is to sleep with a flash in your face????)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Practice has NOT made it perfect!

I would like to know who put that staircase in my new home???? Mommy laughs at me everytime I go up the stairs because I drag my tummy, then she laughs when I go down the stairs because I get to going too fast and crash into the front door at the bottom of the staircase.
Even though I have practiced and practiced, I just don't navigate those stairs very well.

What I do like about my new house is the fun places I have found to sleep. I try to find a hole or cubby to take my naps in. Mom has found me laying in Linni's toybox (okay, I admit that I was hanging out over the sides) tucked in behind the toilet (even the flushing toilet doesn't wake me) and under the bird cage table (which the bird hates so it makes it even more fun to lay there!). My favorite place, though, is up against a wall with my feet straight up. I have also fallen in love with my sheepskin bed, which lays in front of the fireplace. I like to lay on it when Mommy and Daddy are watching TV. I have so many places to choose from!

Personally, I would like to sleep in bed with Mommy, but she always uses that tacky word "NO" which I have found out means that whatever I am doing or trying to do, it better stop. Oh, well. At least she loves on me when I obey!

Tomorrow is Friday! Gavin and Molly will be back to play! Hooray!

My big day as a community volunteer!

Today was a very exciting day! Mommy invited her office over for lunch and I got to meet some real "big time" dog lovers. I got so much attention. They said I was "adorable". I already knew that.
Not only did I get to go on two walks, but I got to serve as a community volunteer. Mommy and Daddy had signed up to ring the red bell for the Salvation Army and they took me along! I met so many new friends, and I feel that I am totally responsible for the generous givers that passed my way. They just could justify asking to pet me without making a donation.
Right off the bat I was very attracted to the red bells! I jumped up on Mommy several times to try to help her ring hers. (I was told to not jump, and made to sit down several times).
It was amazing how many people wanted to be my friend. Kids couldn't resist me! Mommy told people about me over and over and over. There were so many curious people! Everyone thought I looked pretty spiffy in my "sevice dog" jacket. I love being the center of attention and played my part well!
One man came up to mommy and said, "I think I should give this dollar to the cute dog". I agreed, so I took it in my mouth. Everyone thought that was so cute! When he came out again he decided to try it one more time and offered me another dollar. So I took that one, too. It reminded Mommy of the music grinder's monkey that takes money on street corners. I take money at Wal-mart!
Another man accused my Mommy of "playing dirty" by bringing me along. But he handed Mommy a $10 bill so I guess it was alright... Mommy seemed very pleased! Another man, after hearing my story, said he had an autistic grandson who could benefit from a dog just like me! (Hey! Who wouldn't benefit by owning me????) He also made a nice contribution.
I was so good that Mommy and Daddy decided I could accompany them to O'Charley's. The nice manager welcomed me in since I was wearing my jacket. After checking for crumbs I settled down on the floor under the table for a nice nap. Then it was home for some R&R and cozy time with Mommy before bed.
I loved being a "public servant" and I get to do it again next week. I will be adding a cute Santa hat to my wardrobe, so I should really rake in the money! Bet you can't wait for the picture!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I love Gavin and Molly!

It has been a great day! Mommy took me on my first walk to get acquainted with the neighborhood. There was so much to see out there, and I thought I would use the length of my leash to explore all that I could. Mommy wasn't too pleased with my behavior. Of course, she wasn't very pleased with Linni's behavior either. Linni is very insistent on walking at her chosen speed, which results in her choking on her collar. She gagged alot. She is a very slow learner.

When Mommy came home from work she played with me before putting me in the car for my first family outing and surprise. The big surprise turned out to be my new playmates, Gavin and Molly. Gavin is so excited to have me at his Nana's house to play with! He runs with me, plays tug of war, and gives me lots of hugs. Molly is just learning to walk so she heads in my direction and then falls on me when she gets near. I will have to definitely keep an eye on her.

Gavin is just my size, for now! I think I will be growing faster than him, though, since we are both the same size when we sit down and I am only 14 weeks old...252 weeks less than him!
We played and played, then I had to rest on my new sheepskin bed. I figured that by now, after that spin cycle on the washer, it had to be safe to lay on! All of my bedding and toys are now clean! I have fallen in love with the pink ostrich!

Whew, it was an exciting day! The good news is: I didn't make a single mess in the house today! Mommy is so proud of me! I think I have figured out that when she says the word "potty" she means "pee". Atleast that is what I do when she says it, and she gives me a treat when I do it.

Can't wait for tomorrow. I hear Mommy and Daddy are taking me on a very special outing! I will just cry for a little while when they put me in my crate...just enough to make them feel "needed".

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hi! I'm Bishop the Foster Dog!

I have just arrived at my new foster home. Sadly, I had to leave my first foster home due to a family emergency, which was very sad. However, another couple have agreed to take me into their home, so my temporary name is Bishop Standefer...and my new foster parents are Grant and Rhoni.

Trainer Erin brought me to my new home, where we met my Wilderwood friend, Elaine, who immediately commented on my growth! Pretty much I am all legs...and hair. But my best feature is my cute little face.

Foster Mommy met me at the door, and right behind her was my new foster sister, Linni. I could tell right away that Linni was not one bit happy about giving up her status of being an only child. After the usual sniffing in places humans don't sniff, Linni pretty much just gave me the cold shoulder and walked away. (Mommy later explained that Linni thinks she is a princess).

I decided to get right down to business and mark my territory...first by pee-ing on the rug, then by making a deposit near the front door. That is when I was invited to explore my new yard. Luckily I had enough left in me to mark that area, too.

After my trainer answered my Mommy's questions and told her all about my eating habits, toys, snacks and Service Dog jacket, I was left to explore my new home. Although I am used to a kennel, Mommy made me a cozy little space in the laundry area, blocked off by a new gate. I had much more room to move around than in my kennel, and there was a new food bowl, a new water bowl, and a tub of toys just for me! There was also a sheepskin bed in the corner, which I am just not sure about. I have tried to decide if it is still a sheep or not...but even with coaxing I have decided to wait on making it my new bed.I figure that if it goes 2 hours without moving, it is probably dead and safe for me to lay down on.

The day had been exciting for me so Mommy and my new Daddy Grant decided I could have a little "down" time to get used to my new area. They headed out for a couple of hours, and I was left there alone. I threw some toys around, ate a little food...and then I felt that urge to poop. So I did. Then I played....in it.

When Mommy and Daddy came in the door I heard Mommy say, "Oh, yuck." I knew immediately that they smelled something they didn't like. Actually, I had been quite creative with what I had deposited in the floor. I had "paw painted" the laundry doors, bathroom door and back door a nice, gooey brown. All of my new toys were decorated as well, and my new sheepskin bed was no longer white. Best of all, I had gotten tired and laid down in what was left on the floor.

Mommy started gathering things up and throwing them in the laundry AFTER she put me outside. Some of my toys went in the bathroom sink, and everything else went into the garage. I couldn't believe how long it took her to get all those walls and doors washed off!

But that wasn't the end of it! Next was ME! She scooped me up and headed to the bathtub for my very first bath, which was really a lot of fun. I actually didn't want to get out when it was time! Then came the hairdryer to get me dry! I just laid right down and let her blow my tummy first. Mommy thought I would be scard, but I like the hairdryer too.

Well, the evening ended with Mommy getting the kennel out of the garage and assembling it for me. I didn't get to enjoy my new bed or toys because they were still in the washer, but Mommy made me a comfy bed of towels and (don't tell Linni!) put some of Linni's toys in with me. I howled a little but decided that when Mom said NO in her tough voice, I better not push it. After all, I've had a busy day of moving, marking and painting. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!