"For every end there is a beginning"

It feels like the World is Ending ... See next week, Eric, Elsie and Max are going on vacation with their Pack Leaders to a Dog Friendly Holiday House. Which is actually really a good thing for their Pack Leaders, because they need a break, seriously!

Not only do they have to put up with me letting them know any time anything's happening at my place, but as you all know, they have to put up with me on Purple Bag Day too. PBD is actually Wednesday, and is so called because She is often home late from work that day and so She makes her lunch ( I get to help with Quality Control!) and takes it in The Purple Bag. The moment I see the Purple Bag, I SO know I'm going next door to play so that I don't get lonely all by myself. It's very good of them to have me...

Luckily for me, on PBD, I go to Eric, Elsie and Max's house at 6:45 and get picked up about 10 hours later, much to their relief. I eat and go straight to sleep until the next morning! Its a Big Day for all concerned. She keeps offering to trade me for Elsie, but no bites yet...

So Anyway, now that Eric, Elsie and Max and their Pack Leaders will be gone for a few PBD's, life looks pretty bleak. Ho Hum.

But that's where there is a beginning! Being a cup half full sort of a dog, I've managed to wangle a sleepover with some of my mates from Westie Walkers! She tells me not to get too excited about it becoming a regular event, because noone in their right mind would put up with my barking if they didn't have to, no matter how cute I am. See, my Pack Leaders are going to see the All Blacks play while Eric, Elsie and Max are away, and so They have to put me somewhere. For an out of town event like that, I usually sleepover next door, but because they're away, Plan B came into being...

Indy (in blue) and Scarlett (in pink) said I could stay at them. Indy's been coming to Westie Walkers since it started out, even when he had to be pushed in a pushchair because he hurt his leg, and Scarlett got added to the Pack at last year's Year End Fundraiser when she was just a puppy looking for a home. They are great fun!

We all 3 got together at the Dog Park the other weekend.

In between having a great time running around and playing, well, me and Scarlett anyway, we found a lost dog. He was a lot bigger than us, but we kept him interested with our charm, personality and barking, until his pack leader came along after we called the number on his name tag.

Unfortunately, Indy strained his leg, so we stopped playing. It was actually a relief because I still had to walk all the way home... I'm a bit worried about how I'm going to keep up with Scarlett when I go over there! She's not even a year old yet, but I'm lucky I'm so fit for my age (Almost 4!) because I reckon I'll be worn out by the time They get back to pick me up!


My Carbon Trading Schemes (of sorts)

OK, as you know, I've been in trouble lately for barking. Well, I've settled down a bit now and They have been pretty sure to keep the sliding doors on the deck closed when I'm at my chirpiest.

Two things are responsible for the improvement. Don't laugh, there are more than 2 bottles

The FIRST thing accounting for my improved behavior is my concern to contribute to Saving the Planet, in particular, water, which as you know, is a scarce resource from time to time. See that blip up in June? It corresponds with my failure to acquire any stars (see below) in my bad week!!!! The thing is, They got this idea, that before resorting to a (Heaven Forbid) bark collar, They would try the water thing! Now I'm not a fan of getting wet, so He bought these bottles and they are strategically placed all over the house; and I might add, now at Eric, Elsie and Max's house too, so that not only do I get squirted if I don't respond to the Quiet command, I don't get a gold star either. And of course, if They aren't home, Eric, Elsie and Max's Pack Leader can squirt me from their house! Which might be a problem when I have to pay the Calendar people and the fine for exceeding water consumption!

Which brings me right up to the SECOND thing accounting for my improved behaviour is, as you know, the fact that I am raising money for the Aspen Animal Shelter Calendar and supporting my Search and Rescue friends from the Snowmass Snow Patrol at the same time. The way it works is I pay to have my photo and my friends' photos in the calendar. The money goes to the Shelter, and my friends get the recognition they deserve for all their hard work and training.

I got my photo taken professionally, because you've all seen first hand what a pathetic photographer She can be. And of course, if my image was going to be distributed widely, I wanted to look my best. So Stephanie came one day and took some photos indoors...

... and chased me round the garden to get me in my natural surroundings, hunting lizards! Of course, I submitted this one for publication... I have insisted on having my photo opposite my birthday in the calendar (for those who want to send me birthday greetings, food or presents, it's on 20 October and I'm going to be 4), so that costs extra. But not as much as if I was going to be on the cover. But I digress...

She said I would NEVER raise enough money to be on the cover because you see, how I raise the money is that whenever I am Quiet on command while barking, I get a gold star, and each gold star is worth 50c. Each star is faithfully recorded in my Behaviour Diary, which was a present from Eric, Elsie and Max's Pack Leader at Christmas.

Some weeks I have good weeks....

And some weeks I have really bad weeks.... So because the Quiet thing is really rather a challenge for me, She instituted the Poo thing. She says since She has to get up in the dark and cold and early mornings to let me out to Poo, someone may as well benefit, because it sure isn't Her. So if I Poo on command during my allotted time in the rush to feed me, play with me, give me fresh water, make Her lunch (and share it with me), brush Her teeth (while playing with me), clothe Herself, hide my Kongs, take the Rubbish out (and that's NOT me, although I sometimes have to remind Her...) and get to work on time in the mornings, I get a silver star, which is also worth 50c.

So while on the subject of accounting, and it being the end of the financial year and all, for the record, for the 6 months to June 2008, I have earned 213 stars, which is $106.50. Hmmm, I had better do better for the next 6, otherwise I might be a bit short... any sponsors out there?