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I am NOT a snack....Scooter's Adventures in South Korea

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It's been a good Friday....

March 21st 2008 6:18 am
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A big THANKS to Mr. Pippin (the Pug) for pawmailing Mom that we were a diary pick. Mom hadn't noticed.

Friday, March 21

Dad couldn't run Bretta because he has sorta sprained his ankle. He got up and went to work and for some reason Mom couldn't sleep so we lounged on the bed playing "Tickle the Boy" and "I've got your Beagle Brisket". Silly games where we wrestle on the bed and play with my stuffed toys. We had a blast before getting dressed to catch the bus to base.

We rode the bus to the end of the line then walked to the PX. Dad met us there and we walked over to the office where we saw someone about our shipment of "Unaccompanied Baggage". While we were walking, Dad's boss called and said that they had just called about all of Mom's guns. (Let's just say that Mom has a few...and no one left in the States who could watch over them while we were gone.) We get our first shipment of stuff on Tuesday afternoon. Mom will have most of her clothes and her other computers...and a TV. I miss the background noise of the TV. I know Bretta misses it when she's here alone. Mom has been putting the laptop on a Florida station for her to listen to, but it just isn't the same as Cartoon Network. Oh, and Mom's bike and my trailer will be in this shipment as well. I can RIDE.

We ran upstairs so Mom could get a packet for her SOFA stamp. I don't understand why she would want something that looks like a couch stamped into her passport. Then again, I thought a VISA was just a plastic card.

We ended up walking all the way to the commissary. It got warm out and I got TIRED. Mom ended up carrying me about half a mile so I could rest. She had on her backpack and put me on her shoulders. Dad said I looked "Unhappy". When she asked me to step off onto the ledge I refused (it was chest high on her so it wasn't a big step). Dad sometimes doesn't understand the difference between concentrating on the ride and Unhappy.

The ID checker at the commissary wasn't going to let us in, but the manager was standing there talking to someone and told her to leave us alone. We met him the other day. We grabbed some more meat for me. Ox tails and 4 Cornish Hens. Actually, only one of the hens is mine; one is Bretta's and the other two Mom is going to bake for her and Dad. There was a conversation about Bretta eating Easter dinner in the bathtub. Sounds like she's going 1/2 RAW fed too.

I power napped on the cab ride home. The taxi driver remembered us; specifically me. I've left a good impression on them, or at least tried to leave one. We haven't had to explain that I'm exempt from the "Pets must be in a carrier" rule lately. Since Medical Alert and Hearing Dogs are still a pretty new concept, Mom uses the guide dog analogy.

Dad got an e-mail from the Housing company. Seems they are under the impression that we "have acquired a pet". HUH? I don't think Mom's 4 jade Foo Dogs count as pets. I've yet to see one eat and they certainly don't smell like a dog. The only thing they are good for is guarding the door going into the hallway and holding open the bedroom door. Dad told them about Bretta when he told them about me. I suspect they don't understand why I'm soo small and Bretta is soo large. He said if they kept it up he was going to unleash Mom on them. I didn't know he had her on a leash. I haven't seen it.


Outta the mouthes of babes....from one kid on the compound- to another

March 18th 2008 5:05 am
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Tuesday, March 18th....later in the afternoon.

So I napped on the couch while Mom did laundry. When Dad came home we all went over to the grassy area so Bretta could run around. Dad held my leash while Mom started working Bretta. We soon had a couple of kids hanging around asking Dad a ton of questions and wanting to meet Bretta. They were polite. Mom explained that Bretta had to sit and be told she could "visit". She touched on the appropriate way to approach a strange dog, to let her sniff their hand first. Bretta was in her element. I was happy to let her be the center of it. Then Mom and Dad traded off so Dad could throw the kong for while. Dad had just started when another kid came up. He asked out loud, "Why do you get to have a dog?" One of the kids answered first, "They are working dogs, stupid." (Complete with the "Gees, what rock have you been hiding under" tone.) Mom and Dad just looked at each other and tried not to laugh.

Dad had bought a pair of the reflective vests that are required for jogging both on base and on the compound. He and Mom decided that they could snip the one at the shoulders and make one for each of us, though I really don't need one. Dad picked up some elastic and some Velcro to finish them out. They wanted to try Bretta's on her while she was running around to make sure that it wasn't going to come loose or get in her way. Mom will have to post pics on Bretta's page. Mom needs some thread to fix mine. I suspect she will make the two of us stand together for pictures since it will amuse her greatly.

So, for the woman who was nasty and used the "what about the kids" bs....the kids are handling it all quite nicely. They don't have hang-ups about whether or not Mom looks or acts sick and they seem to be able to relate well to Bretta since she looks like the military working dogs that they have seen on base. They think it's cool that she started out to be a police K-9 and a narcotics dog. Yes, they all talk about dogs that had to go live with relatives, but they understand that we (Bretta and I) have a job and that we do it well.


Mom has a bad day...Never fear Under Dog is here...

March 18th 2008 4:58 am
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Monday, March 17th

We went to Mom's Physical Medicine appointment. We were walking down the hospital hallway when this little kid yells, "KITTY!!". Mom started to laugh. When we got closer, it changed to "Not KITTY, It's a PUPPY!!!". Thankfully, they were on their Dad's shoulders, so there was no being tackled. We turned a corner and an American in civvies asked if he could pinch Mom. She just looked at him funny and then goes, "Is that today?" He said yes, so she told him that her eyes are green. She had on her glasses. It wasn't a lie, they are green/gray.

So we get there early (because Mom is determined to get use to the idea of taking the shuttle bus). The doctor was a Army Colonel. Based on his name and his accent, Mom is about 99.999% sure he was Korean. He did have a huge office/exam room and I was really happy that unlike most of the doctor offices we have been to, it didn't smell like the vet clinic. To say he was surprised to see me would be an under statement. The clerk explained to him on the phone that I was a working dog.

I laid down on my restaurant pad and everything was cool until he examined Mom. They were on the far side of the room which makes me nervous. I was toeing the line at staying on the pad, but I did do something very UN-service dog like. I started talking. I didn't bay, but I came very, very close. He was hurting Mom; I knew it and I sure as hell wasn't going to let it happen on my watch. She snapped her fingers at me and I hushed, but I paced the pad from side to side until he was done. When all was said and done, he didn't realize I was being a bad boy.

The big kicker (which IMHDO means he needs a hard sharp bite in the butt) was that he didn't look at Mom's pain diary or give her another scrip. He wants her to do more physical therapy and says she needs to go back to the primary care doc for a neurology appointment. Hello, you just prodded her shoulder enough to make her about start crying. You've felt it; it feels like steel. The notes say it has been this way for months. WTF are you thinking?

So Mom is understandably upset. She called Dad because she really wanted to cry and doesn't have anyone else to call given the time difference. We got about twenty yards from the door when Mom decided to go see the patient advocate. Once we got done there, we did manage to catch the bus home (big hurray for us) and I got Mom to the elevator (thank Dog the building doors were open). Mom was hurting pretty bad and I knew she needed to eat.

We got inside our apartment and I went over to the couch and hopped up so Mom could more easily undress me. Then I made her follow me into the kitchen and I got my point across. We then went to lay down and she ended up taking a "hard nap". One of those where the human has a hard time waking up and they end up feeling off for a little bit.

Mom then took Bretta out and thankfully remembered her sunglasses. (The woman gets a headache if she forgets them, so I try to remind her, without being able to touch them. She is a little OCD about where she lays them, so they are always out of my reach.) Bretta managed to get Mom back up to the apartment. We decided to sit on her until Dad came home. I plopped down in her lap and Bretta laid on her feet. It worked. I'm just glad that Bretta has stepped up and helped me out. I worry that she's not got enough selective disobedience in her to take care of Mom.

Tuesday, March 18

We walked over to the mini-PX to get liquid fabric softener. It isn't that far (still on the compound), but it gives me a chance to stretch my legs, plus the whole business of "being seen".

I've been taught to stop before stepping off of curbs and such, so any walk gives me a chance to practice those skills. We didn't have quite soo much to worry about before the move. Most of our exercise type walks were done where there wasn't traffic. Now, I have to be on my toes constantly. It means Mom talks to me more than ever. "Right", "Left", "Up", "Around" or my favorite "Vite". It's French for "quickly". To me, it means "Run". Mom uses it when we have to step up the pace when goign through cross walks. Since I trot to her walk, it generally means I need to actually break into a short run.

We were about to cross the road inside the main gate when a couple of MPs in one of the SUVs came through. We waited to cross and they waved at me (not Mom) which was cool. Mom just smiled at me and said, "Yeah Little Man, if they only knew how rotten you really are, they wouldn't think you are soo daen cute." Whatever Woman.

The guy who works in the mini-PX or as Dad calls it, the shopette, is funny. They sell some DVDs in there and have been playing Transformers since before we got here. One day while Dad was in there, the guy was saying the lines with the movie so Dad joined in since Mom had just left it on loop for Bretta. The first time Mom and I went in there with Dad, he asked Mom if I was a beagle. When she said "yes" he starts calling me "Under Dog". So, now when we walk in he says Hi to Mom and "Hello, Under Dog" to me. He's going to be in for a surprise come Halloween.



March 16th 2008 4:03 am
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Sunday, March 16th

We took the taxi to base to get Bretta some dog food. The big hippo eats too much. That is what I tell Mom all the time. Mom had to find a place to order our food from. The place across the river never would answer their phone. A boy had to protect his food source from his much larger sister. (I gotta rag on Bretta; she's not a beagle.)

We took a different taxi company home. Let's just say we got the scenic route. Kinda worried for a moment that he wouldn't be allowed on the compound and I was getting the feeling Dad was going to have to lug twenty pounds of food to the building, but all was well. I wasn't too happy with the scenic route part.

Dad took a short nap and then we were off again. This time to go take pictures. I had a blast walking up the sidewalk with all of the traffic going by us. We had to take the stairs up about two flights so we could walk over the road and then go back down. I think there is a statue dealer either behind or under the Harley dealership. The place is covered in Foo Dogs and other neat stuff. There was this Dragon sitting on top of a bell. He looked fierce and was almost as big as I am. Unfortunately, Mom couldn't get up close enough to put me beside him. We took some pics at the local HOG chapter club house (next door to the dealership) too.

Mom sat down on the fence beside a bike so Dad could take pics with the dealership sign in the background. I wouldn't pay attention so some guy in an blacked out SUV got my attention. I wasn't on duty so it was cool. He then joked with Mom and Dad for a minute.

On the way home we passed the official residence for some big wig in the government; the minister of finance and trade. He has armed ROK marines guarding the place. I wanted to go get my picture made with them; they've got cool uniforms. Dad vetoed that idea really quickly. He said they wouldn't appreciate me wanting to use them as props. So, maybe I'll just have to keep an eye out when we are on base. (Mom just reminded me that she seriously doubts the Marines and the Army guys ever really hang together, but a little guy can hope.)


A trip to the commissary....a visit with the MPs

March 15th 2008 3:44 am
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Saturday evening...around 5PM

I went with Mom and Dad to the mini-commissary on base. Dad could have gone by himself, but Mom feels that it is best that we are seen. Otherwise, the message isn't getting out. Bretta and I are here, we are authorized, and we aren't going to sit in the apartment and hide. She's also trying to desensitize the workers at the commissary so they will stop "Heey, you cute puppy" at me every time I turn around.

We got several stares as we were walking toward the store. Mom didn't think anything of it. She knows it is going to happen. We go inside and the baggers say "Hello" to all three of us. (They are getting the idea; Mom realizes it will take time.) Mom and Dad are on the pasta aisle having a discussion about not having a strainer when here comes two American MPs.

"The dog can't be here." They addressed Dad, not Mom. Ok, yes, it is obvious, Dad is the one in the military, but still.
"He's a service dog." Dad has the answer down pat.

They look at me. Really look. Then they get this kinda confused, not quite sure of what to do look. That is when Mom says, "He's allowed everywhere I go; including the hospital."

"Thank you. Have a nice day."

Mom would really like to know who decided to step over to the guard shack. She found the e-mail address for the compound newsletter on our way back while we were waiting for the elevator. She's thinking about writing them a nice little piece and sending them the links to the Department of Justice information. If we are going to be stuck living around these people, they can get over themselves.

BTW, the pasta in a garlic tomato sauce with mushrooms was outstanding as was the piece of fig newton.


Down time, elevator rides, and Mom being stubborn

March 15th 2008 2:29 am
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Friday, March 14th

Mom still isn't feeling well and Dad has been having some sinus issues; maybe a cold. Mom and I snuggled up under the covers until nearly 11AM. They have some sort of crow/jay looking birds around here and those things are noisy. Mom would love to put out a hit on the ones right outside the window.

There was a LOUD siren that went off twice. We were all in the living room the first time. The second time, Mom and Bretta had gone outside. I was laying at the door waiting on Mom when they came back. Mom happened to be on her cell phone with Dad when it went off the second time. He told her it was the civil siren and that they test it quite often, though this is the first time we've heard it.

We went down to the place by the softball field so I could snoop around and Bretta could do some work and play a bit. Mom tethered me to a fence post since she's not sure what's on the other side of the area. There was some kid playing on the basketball court. He acted like he'd never seen a dog like Bretta. Mom does this thing where she has Bretta walking off lead at a heel, tosses the retrieving kong over her shoulder, tells Bretta to "mark" it as they continue (Bretta looks at where it landed, but keeps on walking), before she releases Bretta to retrieve it. Sometimes she even puts her in long down/stays and walks away (over to me or just plays around) before releasing her. Bretta enjoys it.

I don't like the old women who clean the inside of the building (doing the floors and stuff). They tend to stare at us really funny. Plus, from what Mom has learned of the culture, they are in the age bracket where they've probably tried my kind at least once. The good news is that Bretta intimidates them. We got stuck riding down in the elevator with them this afternoon. Bretta immediately just didn't like the situation so she stared them down the entire ride. Mom was trying really hard to keep a straight face. Bretta generally thinks, because of her police training, that she must go through the door first. She did a complete 180. She waited and I went first, then Mom, and she brought up the rear.

Dad brought me home a fifteen foot cable tie-out for our excursions. That will make things a bit more fun for me while Mom is working Bretta. Mom is hopeful to find out more info about my exact off-base status shortly. She found the website for a local guide dog school. Samsung sponsors them and a lot of contests for military working dogs over here. She's e-mailing them to see if they can point us in the right direction.

Dad has to go into work for a couple of hours tomorrow. Then they are talking about going across the river via the subway to see about getting us some more food. Mom says we must keep me in EVO. I'm missing my RAW. Mom hasn't been able to locate a butcher shop let alone one that deals in organic meats. She's not had Chicken since we got here and is actually craving it. The closest NV dealer doesn't carry the pre-made RAW. The next closest is in Japan. They don't have prices listed.No Orijen around here either. Mom is going to look at ordering it from the states; Bretta loves her Orijen 6 Fish.

Mom knows the question is going to come up at some point. It is only natural that other pups are going to want to know. Have we seen a dog market? So far (and Thank Dog) NO. We will let you know if we do.

Saturday, March 15th

They did it again. They left me. Not to go in search of Evo goodness. Unfortunately, that place never would answer their phone. Mom spent part of the morning looking up places that will ship to us. Instead, they went out walking. The plants that Mom had looked at last week were 4X as much this week. So, they stayed at the flower store. That is a bummer. I do think Mom learned her lesson about using Dad as a Service Human/Person.

She did say that if she got to feeling better we'd go take pictures in front of the Harley Davidson store. She wants to send them to a couple of people as well as post them for everyone here.


Ups and Downs...homesick, a new friend, and just getting out- of the apartment

March 11th 2008 10:16 pm
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Tuesday March 11th

Poor Mom is about fed up with this place. She'd throw a screaming fir it it would help. We have to share our glassed in porch with a set neighbors that just moved in. There is a partition, but it leave about a 3-4 inch gap at the bottom and at least 6 inches at the top. They are smokers. Mom is allergic to the stuff; asthma attack allergic, plus just a slight whiff is enough to give her a migraine. We can no longer open our door going out there and crack the window for fresh air. Dad had to show Mom how to turn on the AC unit (which sits out there, so if they have their door open, they get to listen to the loud hum). She's already pretty ticked that anytime we walk out into the hallway it reeks like an ashtray because the neighbors on the other side smoke like a 5 alarm fire. We didn't bargin for this crap.

Mom's also sorta in a "bad place" mentally and physically. She's trying to get off of some long term meds that are giving her a fit. Weaning and stopping cold turkey are about the same as far as the side effects go. She and Dad are pretty sure this medication has been making the left side of her head hurt. Plus, they have been talking about adding a two legged baby to the family, so Mom has to be off of this stuff. Plus, she is missing Florida and her friends. I've got my paws full. I'm not real fond of this place either, but just being with Mom makes me happy, so I'll do what I have to do.

Wednesday March 12th

Mom and I went to base to meet an e-mail friend at the Dragon. She and Mom started corresponding back in November when neither could get any information from a military spouses group about accompanied tours. She came over in December and has been keeping Mom informed on what stuff is like and places to go. She's nice. We are going to go to a big flower market with her next week or so.

After she left, we walked down to the thrift store to see what they had. Mom is always on the lookout for sheets to cover the borrowed couch or stuff to give Bretta as bedding. They didn't have anything like that. Just lots and lots of very unfashionable clothes that someone much, much older might be interested in wearing. While Mom is in no way a slave to fashion, she was surprised.

The nice gift shop/oriental store was open. We browsed for a bit. Mom found a couple of decorative plates that she really wants to go back and get. One has a Chinese style dragon and the other is a phoenix. That's my totem.

We made a quick stop at the shopette to grab a drink for Mom. She earned that one. She had to do some major blocking to keep this little kid off me; he didn't want to leave me alone. He had a coloring book in one hand that he was waving wildly about. His Dad wasn't watching him at all. Mom was very firm when she told him he could not pet me. He kept his hands to himself, but was still trying to invade my space (book still flapping about). I turned my butt to him and kept an ear cocked. I don't like being hit in the face with stuff. I don't like being hit period, but getting hit in the face is the worst. Mom had my back.

We actually caught the bus back to the compound. Mom was a little worried that the bus driver would refuse to pick us up. Some guy was there to catch it as well and he let us board first. Mom was very thankful. It is weird, you have to get off at the main gate to the compound to get your ID scanned. We got off, were scanned, Mom put up her card and put me down (the steps are too steep for me to climb). We were stopped by one of the guards we've seen before at the gate to the base. She's scanned our IDs several times.

Mom is unsure if she was trying to tell us "No Pets" or trying to ask about me. Big communication problem. Mom went with the "No Pets" and was trying to explain that I am allowed. The woman kept trying to get my attention. Mom really hates it when they just don't understand that I am not going to listen to them, follow their commands, ect. To make it worse, she bent over trying to get in my face. I gave her "the Butt". It is just what it sounds like. I stuck my butt in her face and ignored her. Mom said, "Let's go" and I fell in step.

It is warm out today. Mom has turned on the AC in the living room and the bedroom. We are going to take a nap; Mom and I both need one.


I'm a working dog; not a pet....Don't blame my parents for- your poor choices.

March 9th 2008 10:14 pm
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Monday, March 10th 1:13PM

Mom and Dad decided to take us out to PLAY. There is an area by the softball and basketball courts that is fenced in that they thought would work. With the gates shut, Bretta could be allowed off-lead and well, I'm not, but I can follow my nose (which is why Mom put my harness on instead of my work collar).

We were on our way over there when this car goes by, the window rolls down and this woman yells that we aren't allowed here. Mom calls back, "Service Dogs." We go on our way. Mom and Dad had taken turns throwing Bretta's retrieving kong and making her work for it. Off lead heeling exercises before being released to go get the kong. Recalls before being released, ect. We've been playing for almost 20 minutes when here comes the woman. Bretta was about pooped.

Her tone was aggressive and WAAAYYYY out of line. "This is no pets housing."
Mom> "These are service dogs; not pets. They are allowed to live here."
Her> "WHO do they service?" (yeah, her tone was quite frosty.)
Mom> "Me."
Her> "Both of them" (disbelieving statement)
Mom> "Yes."
Her> "What's wrong with you?" (She was eying Mom up and down)
Mom> "I have a medical condition that they alert to." (Mom was waiting for her to push the issue, Mom wasn't going going to provide her with a complete medical history. Dad had to suppress a smirk; he knew what Mom would say if the conversation went that way.)
Her> "That's not right. I had to give up my dogs." (PROBLEM PINPOINTED)
Mom>"These two are not considered pets. They are allowed by law to go everywhere I go, including to the hospital."
Her> "I don't care." (Fine, we get it. You are pissed that you had to give up your dogs. You could have chosen to live off base and keep them, but instead, you chose to give them up and now want to take it out on us.) Then she starts with "It isn't fair to the kids that live here. Who is going to explain to them why you are allowed to have pets." (Dad calls it the "Think of the children bullcrap")
Mom> "Under law, they are not considered pets. As far as explaining to the kids, the parents can do it or I have been when they ask."
Her> "I'm going to the housing managers."
Mom> "Why don't you do that. They are well aware the dogs are here."
Mom is then accused of interrupting the woman's rant. Dad then tells her that she's way out of line. She starts with it not being right that rules are being bent for us. Then she DEMANDS to know if Mom and Dad have been cleaning up behind us. Times like this it is good I can't talk.

The pawrents carry bags with them all the time. Dad keeps them in his jacket and Mom carries them in her jean's pocket. Mom also carries them in "our" bag along with baby wipes and disinfecting wipes. Mom bought a big package of them the other day since our boxes haven't arrived.

This crap is why Mom would rather they had given us a place on the main part of base (with all the brass). We aren't trying to get something over on the complex managers. Mom needs us; both of us. Bretta isn't done learning all of my skills and there are things she is doing for Mom that I can't (due to my size). As far as the kids go, Mom has let Bretta visit with several since we got here. She takes the time to explain that we have an important job (and aren't pets). These kids then sometimes ask questions, which Mom is happy to answer. The kids ask before they are allowed to pet Bretta and she has to be given the command to "visit". Mom also takes the time to explain to them that I am very fixated on work and not interested in visiting.

If the 3-year-olds at the bus stop can understand that I have a job, then why can't this woman?


I love my Stroller

March 9th 2008 9:37 pm
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Saturday, March 8th

Dad was a lazybones. I woke Mom up at 6:30. She took us out and fed us. I went back to bed, but she stayed up. I got up at 9. Dad didn't roll out of bed until after 10AM. We almost went in there and jumped on the bed to wake him up. Silly Daddy.

Mom is happy that the bedroom stays a bit darker than the one at the old apartment. We (she and I) think it is because all of our windows face North. That is good news for her headaches; especially since our curtains haven't gotten here yet.

The crazy woman left me! OK, I admit I'm sore from two days of distance walking. Mom is even sore. But she left me. She got dressed and they put B in the spare room. I went up to Mom and asked her "Hey, aren't you forgetting something?" I even walked over to my leash and work collar. Mom just picked me up and told me that I needed to stay home and rest; that we'd go do something when she and Dad got back. Then she took me into the bedroom and made sure my crate was in order before putting me on the bed and handing me my kong. I took it and just went to my crate. I was still in it when she came home.

I did the "You've been gone for too long" greeting with lots of light vocals and dancing. It gets her every time. I also gave her a lot of kisses. She was true to her word. She put my harness on me and loaded me into my stroller. I spent part of the excursion facing Mom and the other half facing forward watching the world go by. Yes, I could even keep tabs on Mom. A lot of that is just plain communication. She says I'm very straightforward with making myself clear; especially when I want to check her.

We started up the big hill; the one Mom thinks would be fun to street luge. Past the Thai embassy is the store Mom has been seeing. It is a vet clinic/grooming/supply store. They had some kitties that were up for adoption. One was huge; looked like he easily surpassed twenty pounds. Very big boned and Siamese-y.

When we left, we went downhill. Mom found a flower shop she wants to go back by and get a few things. Maybe on Monday. They had purple lilies...or maybe they were some sort of tulip. Bulb-based; so maybe Mom won't kill them. We passed several places that sell Sushi. Mom was amazed by how much food was on the 5,000won (roughly $5) plate. Dad and I may have to order a couple of plates. We also passed a restaurant with a big tank of live crabs. They didn't look like Maryland crab; more like short legged king crab. Mom let me watch them for a few minutes.

Evidentially, we made for a funny sight. Some of the younger bunch walked by and giggled or pointed. What? No one has ever seen a beagle in a stroller? The gate guard had a hard time trying to keep a straight face. He asked Mom why I wasn't walking today. (He saw us come in the other day; when I was walking.) Mom told him I was sore. He just shook his head when he scanned her card. She asked him if it was fair to make a sore baby walk. He said "NO." So Mom told him that I was a hairy baby and I needed a break.

So, the pawrents have been giving me some light massage to help. Like I said earlier, Mom is sore too. Her left knee has been squishy. She can soak in the tub; I can't (and I don't think I want to try). I like the stroller. Mom has told me we can use it more, but only off base. Mom and Dad also discussed working Bretta into Mom's schedule. If Mom knows she will be doing a lot of walking, then maybe taking Bretta instead of me. I'm not sure how I feel about that.


The longest week ever

March 8th 2008 5:48 pm
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Monday, March 3rd.

I woke Mom up late. Well, late for me anyway. She got me brushed and dressed and got herself together. She, Dad, and I caught the bus. The bus seats are made for two on each side. Since both Mom and Dad have been carrying backpacks (with paperwork), and Mom has me, they sit across from each other. There were two women sitting behind Dad and they were talking about us instead of being polite enough to talk TO us. The one started with "There's a dog on the bus." Well, yeah. Then she starts (to the other one) about not wanting a dog around her baby. Mom was waiting for her to throw out the "A" word. (Allergic). Mom was going to have fun telling her that we have equal rights and that since we were sitting there first, maybe she should move. Fortunately, it didn't come to that.

We split up and it was soon apparent that Mom wasn't having the best of days. She had forgotten copies of Dad's orders. We had to stop what we were doing and catch a taxi to meet Dad (who happen to have extra copies on him).

She decided not to go back with the paperwork, but to go ahead and taxi to the vet's office so we'd be legal. It was like going up a mountain to get there. It is on the one corner of the base. Mom wasn't impressed with the front desk staff. Part of registration is so that if there is an evacuation they can account for the animals. Anything under 25# can evac out with their people. Mom made a point of letting them know that Bretta isn't a pet and that in an evac, she HAS to be allowed to go with us. He didn't get it. It wasn't like he was Korean and there was a language barrier. He also asked why Mom didn't bring the hard copies (file folders) of our records. At Ft. Meade, you had the option of keeping them so that you'd have them in cases of emergency. Mom prefers that. She did provide him with copies of our international health certificate, our regular health certificate and our rabies certificates.

Since she was feeling bad on top of it being one of those days, we headed home early and laid down until Dad got home. That was the best 3 hour nap.

Tuesday, March 4th.

We all woke up late (again). This jet lag is a pain. Mom had been up about 30 minutes and had gotten Bretta and I taken care of when Dad told her we had 12 minutes to catch the bus (or wait for the next one). Mom went into overdrive to get out the door in time. That is when I decided that I really needed to go poop.

Mom has a theory that deep down I sincerely believe that the fate of Western Civilization as we know it rests on where I decide to cop a squat. That is why I take my sweet time finding the perfect place. Dad told her that this morning it seemed my need to take my time was in direct proportion to how little time they had to get to the bus stop. Either way, it keeps them on their toes.

The bus driver did try to give Mom a hard time. She's beginning to wonder if we are going to have to go to the base commander and get them to issue a memo stating that there is now a SD team living in the compound and have it issued to the company that supplies the shuttle bus drivers and to the PX. The greeter keeps wanting us to wait for the manager to "approve" us. I don't think so. Mom is to the point she's going to complain to the PX company since the manager doesn't seem to want to do SD training for the 2 greeters.

We got off at the Hospital stop and managed to turn in the paperwork we had problems with yesterday. We then set off walking. Mom was miserable. I could tell she was about to cry so I tried to be a clown to make her laugh. It didn't work. She started telling me that she wants to go home. I don't think she meant the apartment. It got worse when we got to the "busy" sidewalk. (It is one that is off one of the really busy "main" roads.) I got her to stop at the Dragon for a rest and something to drink. (She always carries a cup and water for me.) It gave her a chance to regroup and let me rest. It was a really long walk.

Mom had to consult her map to double check where the building was at. When we walked back outside, it was starting to snow. So we stepped up the pace and finally wind up at these really, really steep stairs. Mom can see the building is at the bottom. She really got upset. See, Mom has bad knees and all of the walking had her hurting. She can walk up stairs pretty much ok, but going down the stairs really, really hurts. They were steep enough that I was having trouble. We took our time and made it inside, only to find out they had screwed something up when they put Mom and Dad into the system. No Ration card today. Mom was upset. She started crying after we walked out. We went back to the Dragon to meet Dad and have some lunch then caught a taxi to check the mail and go home. Our packages still haven't arrived.

While they were eating lunch, Mom came up with a new word. SNAIN. It was both snowing (huge flakes) and raining at the same time. It was strange looking. Then it went to raining hard, then back to snowing. All while they had lunch.

Wednesday March 5th.

Mom has been sick all day with a left side headache. I've been snuggled up with her. The phone company came by to install our phone service and then another phone company man came by to install our internet service. Dad hooked up our wireless stuff (that Mom had packed in her Mom). So we now have access.

About 10PM, Bretta really made Mom laugh. She and Dad were taking us out for the night. Dad had B; Mom had me. Bretta barked (once) at this guy standing around talking on his phone. Mom just looked at her and Bretta dropped her head; she knew she shouldn't have done it, but I guess he startled her. Mom told her that she wasn't being ladylike.

Thursday, March 6th.

I got my first excursion off base. We rode the bus there and got done early. The pawrents didn't want lunch, so they decided to walk home. The base is divided into two sections. Normally to get from one side to the other, you go over this bridge. This time, we walked down a short little hill to a guard shack. There was this weird metal-bar revolving door that had a really small space to stand inside. I wanted to try it like a big boy. I don't see how Bretta will do it walking beside Mom. She's going to have to get in it behind Mom or something. Then they had to walk through two heavy metal doors and pass through part of the guard shack.

It was a long walk home. Mom wants to get a pedometer so she can measure it off. We passed at least half a dozen of the "Riot Squad" as Mom calls them. They walk around the outside perimeter with these canes that they have been known to use on protesters. Mom hasn't seen any protesters, but Dad says they come out every so often and these guys keep them in check. Mom wants to get my picture taken with them. They have cool uniforms.

We got up to about the half way point and we had to cross the road. Like 8 lanes total of heavy traffic. Thankfully there are places where it is safe to do it. That is about the half way point. I was doing fine, except I didn't like being close to the traffic while we waited to cross. I've never been in that kind of congestion before.

We got closer to the house and the sidewalk started getting really crowded. Vendors (interested in attracting as much American business as possible) have stuff overflowing onto the sidewalks and souvenir vendors set up at the edge of the street. It gets constricted. We got to this corner and a guy on a scooter (IRONY) scared me by coming up on the side walk. Scared me bad enough that Mom had to pick me up. I'm VERY wary of anything motorized with tires being very close while the motor is running. It is one thing if it is the Pawrents' vehicles, but this was totally different. As soon as he got off the sidewalk, I was fine and Mom put me back down.

Men kept trying to get my attention. I ignored most of it. Occasionally one would use a new sound - stuff that Mom's never heard - that made me turn my head. Mom told me to "Ignore it" so I did. I'm not real fond of some of the metal stuff on the sidewalk. Mom is fine with that since she knows in the summer it will get hot. She's pretty good about stuff like that and making sure I don't have to step on it. I'm learning to hop the 9-12" wide grating that is found in places on base and sometimes on the street.

My impression of Itaewon (the street/area name) is that it is sorta dirty, but has lots of interesting smells. I had to have my feet completely, washed when we got home. Mom was really careful of where I walked too. We have to watch out for pigeon poop. Mom and Dad took turns carrying me down some of the steeper hills. I was getting tired and I just wanted to go home. Mom also had to pick me up when we saw this loose dog. He was, by Mom's standards, cute. Some sort of terrier. He was about 10" tall and was rust, black, and white with his face having one eye with a large black patch (and the other rust). His hair looked like he was a cross between one of the wiry coated terriers and a yorkie. I didn't get to greet him and he went on his way without bothering us. Mom looked at Dad and he was all "NO. I'm sure he'll be fine." Sometimes I wonder what goes on in her head.

Dad made supper. He pan fried a couple of T-bones. Now Bretta knows the rules. If she's a good girl, she will get something. I guess she got antsy because Mom had already given me some veggies. Dad took her out to potty because Mom was going to give her a bath (then if she was good, she was going to get her treat). She took off for the kitchen as soon as Dad unhooked her leash. She grabbed part of Mom's steak off the counter. Dad caught her before she could eat it, but no one wants Malinois chewed steak since she slobbered on it. At least she was wise enough to "Drop it" when ordered. I thought about grabbing it for myself, but Mom saw me and told me to forget about it. Bretta won't be getting any people food treats for awhile. Mom is back to square one about her counter surfing. (We know WHY she does it. She was taught to do it for narcotics training. That doesn't mean she can do it now.) She's less stinky now. Mom gave her a good bath and said I get one tomorrow (Friday).

I had alerted Mom to a headache while she and I were in the bedroom. She decided to see what Bretta would do, so she stopped by her before going into the kitchen to take something. Bretta alerted. She's not real subtle, but she's very clear. She put her feet on Mom (sorta hugging her, but not quite; it kept Mom from really moving without making B get down). She then took her time sniffing both sides of Mom's head before whining (loud), licking, and gently nosing. Mom gave her a hug and Bretta got down and tried to herd Mom towards the couch. Mom gave her a lot of praise then went and took her meds. It was a rough night. Mom was up and down alot. The headache wasn't completely stopped by the meds and Mom's neck was still bothering her alot which means the left side of her head was thumping. I got up with her to keep her company; even if it is just curling up beside her in a chair.

I almost forgot. Dad's boss called. Seems that there has been a communication problem between the compound managers (who sit in an office somewhere - probably on base; Mom isn't sure) and the compound manager who actually sits in an office here on the compound. He's been getting all of these calls that we have 2 dogs. The boss gave the guy Dad's cell number and told him that the we aren't pets. The guy hasn't called. I think this is stressing Mom out a bit. They gave Dad a bit of a run around when he told them initially that we would be accompanying Mom. At one point, they had thought about putting us on the base. Mom isn't holding her breath, but she really wishes that is what they would do. Right now, it would be an easy move because we don't have much here. Our furniture won't be here until the end of April.

Dad also found out they have a job assignment for him until they get his Clearances squared away. That was supposed to have been done last year, but someone, somewhere else dropped the ball. Dad took his polygraph last week. So until the get done with the rest of it, he's going to work in the motor pool.

Friday, March 7th

We got to talk to some of our Snoop friends! Yeah! Mom has been trying to figure the best time to do that with the time difference. We even got to talk to my Snoop Big Brother, Bernie. He's the best Big Brother a little beagle could ask for.

Bretta made a big point of checking Mom out again. Then I got in trouble. Mom went to take Bretta out to potty and I misunderstood what she was doing. I thought she was leaving (since she had put on her trench coat). I stood at the door and whined and carried on loud enough she could hear me in the elevator. Mom sent me to my crate for a time out.

Yes, it is a form of separation anxiety. Mom thinks most medical alert and PSDs tend to have it to a certain degree due to the types of bonds needed for the job.

I'm a little peeved that I got the time out, even it she doesn't shut the crate door.

Bretta got to listen to the radio through Mom's laptop while we were gone. Another doctor appointment. Mom talked to a Marine wife at the bus stop. Mom hopes they can become friends. Mom also addressed the "White Elephant" once we got on the bus and the whispers started. Sometimes I don't know what gets into her, but it was worth it.

She announced, "Yes, there is a dog on the bus. He's a service dog; not a pet. This means that under Federal law he is allowed to go everywhere I go, except into a sterile surgical area. This also means he is allowed to live in No-Pets housing. The other dog I have is also a service dog." She got a few questions and everyone stopped whispering.

I was Awesome at the doctor appointment. The doctor didn't even know I was there until Mom picked up her purse and I came out from under the chair. Then Mom had to sit through an additional 15 minutes of questions because we were the first SD team this Korean doctor had ever seen. She was interested in HOW I detect. Mom directed her to the UF study from several years ago. No one is sure how we (migraine and seizure dogs), but there are a few theories.

Then we walked. The furniture store is almost to the Dragon. Mom has been wanting to see what they have to offer. They had rugs. Room size (12X15) carpet rugs. Unfortunately, the one that she really liked was the most expensive. The ones that were on sale were in teal and mauve. Not colors Mom wants. She found a smaller one that she liked and decided she wanted a foot stool/ottoman for me to use to get on and off the bed. She called Dad and since he was getting off work, he headed our way. While we were waiting, they unloaded some new rugs (6X9) and Mom found several she liked.

Dad informed her the shop next door was open. It is run by the Spouses' club. They have all sorts of Asian furniture, clothing, pottery and other cool stuff. Mom has been wanting to do the guest room in Asian inspired stuff. She found some furniture she really likes. She told Dad she needed a job so she can do up the house. He said there is a place that tries to find jobs for the spouses if they want one. Mom's seriously thinking about it.

So we came home with 3 big rugs, a smaller one, and my ottoman. The taxi ride home was fun. The big rugs were too large for the trunk, so they laid down the passenger seat and they took up one side of the back seat as well. We squeezed in. I took a nap. All the walking has me tired out.

I love carpeting. No more sliding on the floor. Now I have to convince them to buy enough to span from the bedroom to the living room. Mom has mentioned that she wants to go back and get another big one for the spare room. She said they had one that will go with the comforter and valances she has for the room.

I got a bath. I have to say, the tub is narrower than what I'm use to; and a whole lot deeper. Mom could fill it up and I'd have to swim. I do like the shower head. It's on a hose. Neither Mom nor I have to contort to get me completely rinsed. Mom had also washed all of the bedding and the linnens on the borrowed couch. So everything in clean. I love the smell of freshly laundered sheets. I like to roll on the freshly made bed. Mom has gotten use to it, so she just laughs at me.

Mom's head was pretty bad by 8PM. The left side was throbbing. She put off taking something until it was almost too bad. Dad finally convinced her to lay down. I went to bed with her. We had the one bedroom window (towards the foot of the bed) open. We kept hearing this dog barking. At first Mom thought it was coming from down the hall, but we finally figured out it was outside the compound walls. Mom told Dad we need to keep track of when we hear it because she's worried someone will try to say it was Bretta. Mom was up and down again for a little bit last night. I finally snuggled up against her chest and got her to go to sleep

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