December 27th 2010 1:11 pm
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Yesterday, the 26th, we went to see mom's brother and his family. Before, we went on a nice walk, though.
When we walked in the door, my real human uncle looked really awful! He was literally gray in his face. He had an accident a week or so back where he hurt his leg. The Dr sent him home with some ointment only. She said not to worry; all is going to be fine. Mom was a bit upset about this Dr's attitude. Usually when you got a sport injury and go the ER, they will examine your injury thoroughly. This Dr did not. Well, mom's brother was in a lot of pain. Dad wanted for him to go to the ER again and have them re-check. But my human uncle is like mom - stubborn with a hint of aversion toward hospitals. He refused. Ok. We spent the afternoon playing WII with my human nephews and later we went on a walk with one of he boys. He loves me. He took care of me the entire time. I told him to hold my leash, so we could run and have fun. Mom spent time with her sister in law and dad. The boy threw snowballs for me, too! We had a wonderful time.
Back home then the boy learned how to train a dog. I am very easy to train and enjoy this kind of attention tremendously. The boy taught me fun stuff! I think we spent a good hour or more working on things like stand and sit and down and back to sit and stand and circle and picking things up and retrieving a ball and what have you. You know, we SDs usually mainly respond and listen to our humans. For him being able to work with me this way was very special. I can do all those things, but don't necessarily do them for others. He is a special child, so that was an easy task for me. He was sad when we left. So was I. But we will see him and his brother again, soon!
Back home then we had dinner with dad's family. I got some huuuuuuuuuge shrimps after they were done with their feast. Boy was that great.
In the evening mom was very sick. She ate cookies that were supposed to be without milk. But somehow they missed to tell mom that there was loads of butter in the cookies! That was really bad. Our night was pretty tough. At some point late, early, she fell asleep. I was right next to her on one side and dad on the other. Perfect.
In the morning mom was ok, though.
Today, the 27th, we got up early, but left the house later than we were planning to. We got in the car and drove all the way back to auntie A. and uncle N.'s house. Remember? Their house was the first place we stayed at when we came. Mom loves being there and was very sad when we had to move. Coming back was really neat :o) I knew right away where I was and ran right to the door, pressed my nose against the door window and waited for someone to open up. They did. I walked right in the door and was 'home' :o) I was hoping we'd move in there again until we leave, but mom said that it was just a visit..
We had a really nice and relaxing time. The humans exchanged gifts and chatted and ate. Sure, they ate. They eat all the time around Christmas! My o my.
Unfortunately we had to leave at some point. Mom was sad and did a little bit of sobbing in the car. Dad and I were smart, though. We knew how to make mom happy :D We took her to a really cool animal equipment/animal sport outlet. I told mom that I really needed a new working vest. Guess what, dad and I decided that this was the perfect day to get one! I did. When I walked in the door, they immediately recognized me :D The nice lady, who helped us pick the sweater I got a few weeks back, helped us again. We bought a few nice things for some of our furry friends and got a really neat new vest for myself.
Then we drove by grandma's place, had some dinner and learned that mom's brother was admitted to the hospital a few hours earlier!
Mom, dad and I drove right over to the hospital. To our surprise, everyone welcomed me warmly. Mom's brother was happy to see us, too. The Dr, who had examined, or better, not examined his leg a week ago missed that he had a huge muscle tear. His entire calf muscle is ripped from top to bottom!! Bummer. This is crazy. He has to stay in the hospital now; the Drs are really upset with the Dr, who examined him initially. I think she is in big trouble. Mom's brother is in pain and has to go through all sorts of painful treatments now. He has to stay there for a week or more! They got to fix this tear.
He was happy to see me. I put my paws up on his bed so he could say hi to me better. Then the humans talked for quite a while. We will go back tomorrow. On the way out we met a lady from another floor. When she saw me walk toward her, I saw tears shoot into her eyes. I told mom to wait, because I needed to spend some time with this lady. She was very sick and had a dog herself but in a very far away city. The lady had to stay for a while and cried about not being around her dog. Mom likes sharing me as you know and offered for the lady to snuggle with me. She cried and smiled and let out happy squeals at the same time. She could not get enough. She told me that I made her day. Mom promised that when we come back to visit mom's brother, we would come by her room, too :o) I thought that was a fine idea. Don't you think? She said that she was feeling so much better now that she had spent some time with me. She left with a big smile on her face. No more sadness.. I think I got a magic healing-coat or something..
At the exit we met the nice front desk lady again. She is a nun. When she saw me, she got all excited about me and told mom that she loves dogs. She was very nice and funny. I promised her to stop by on the way tomorrow. I even showed off opening doors! This impresses people a lot, but for me it’s an easy task.
In the car mom was silent and not happy about her brother being in the hospital. Mom's sister in law is home alone with her kids now and has to take care of quite a bit until he is back.
I am sure it will work out..
More tomorrow, mom is exhausted and so am I.
Will keep you in the loop! Woofs to you all..
December 26th 2010 3:10 am
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No kidding - it just does not want to stop snowing! Dad had been complaining about not being able to play in the snow. Since Jojo had her surgeries 2 years in a row, we could not go to Tahoe or elsewhere to enjoy the white. There is a fairy tale here in Germany, which says that a lady by the name Frau Holle is responsible for all the seasons and therefore she can make it snow. I suppose she overheard dad complain and gave us a white Christmas. Very white indeed.............
Frau Holle this is the German version. There is an English one. I think it's called Mother Hulda in English. There is an English version, but only animation and they translated it as Mother Holle instead of Mother Hulda..
Have fun :o)
Ah, I want to share this one with you, too. This is mom's, dad's, Jojo's and my favourite movie ever:
it is called Three Nuts for Cinderella and is a fairy tale also. It's the almost original version of Cinderella, written by the Grimm brothers and turned into a movie by the Czech filmmakers. They made the most amazing fairy tale movies ever and are very famous for it. In this youtbe version you can pick your own subtitles by clicking the CC button. I think I set it in English. Please, enjoy..
The only minus in these youtube clips is that they play the original Czech audio and added a Russian (I think) audio layer on top and show subtitles from whatever language you chose. Hope it works for you anyways..
Ok, here comes the update.
Still, no trams, no buses, chaos at the airports, etc.
However, I wrote an entry the other day, but it disappeared in dogster nirvana. Hopefully they will be able to recover it. In the mean time I will just simply write a new one.
Where to start?
I think the best place to start is on the 22nd of December.
That day we went on a snow hike in a forest close to where dad grew up. What a fine place to walk. We had a good time despite all the snow and my drowning in it constantly. I survived and managed to enjoy it :o)
After the hike we drove to grandpa and grandma to take them shopping. They don't drive in the snow, so we offered to give them a 'wheel'. We went to a store, which is part of the chain where we were treated rudely. But this time they treated us very well. Last year mom went there with me, too. We gave a talk for the management team educating about SDs in USA and here in Germany/Europe. You know what? They remembered and learned their lessons well. We learned that his store is a people's favourite for all sorts of reasons; mainly for kindness and helpfulness. I can see that. Mom complimented staff. What a relief. We drove around quite a bit until grandma got all she wanted. My legs were about 10 inches shorter after this errand-run. It seemed like grandma had some sort of a major plan for Christmas.
In the evening dad cooked for all of us. At first my grandparents were somewhat sceptical since the only type of cooking they know is the German/Jewish style. To our surprise they really enjoyed what dad made. So did I ;o)
Next day, which was the 23rd, we met up with friends of ours in the morning. Boy, what a surprise! They cam all the way from Berlin only to see me! We spend a wonderfule time together, even went to see the Christmas Market here in Duesseldorf. How cool. Mom got a Pretzel for me and herself *yummy* We took pictures - check it out!
more photos from Germany Still we can't upload all our videos - what a shame :o(
In the afternoon we had to wrap Christmas gifts and went on another walk to visit our horse friends. We took a video - you get to see it later. Promise.
In the evening we had a great dinner with dad's family. That was neat.
On the 24th, which is the actual Christmas day here in Germany, we went on a walk in the morning. It was snowing like crazy. Again, no trams, buses or trains. How to get to mom's parents? We managed to get there by car. The snow was nice and we had a good grip. The cities had no more salt to remove the snow, so we drove on a white carpet. How pretty. Even the highways were completely covered in snow. They only removed the snow from all the freeways, but that was it.
Mom was fairly nervous to go celebrate with her family. Long story short, it worked out well. We never really celerated Christmas. No one really knew how. Sounds strange, right? This time we just spent time together and ate a bunch, which was a great idea.
After we left, dad drove around in the city to check out the Christmas lights and to enjoy the silence. It was wonderful. The snow sparkled from all the pretty lights. That was probably the best part of Christmas and Chanukah, which we could not celebrate this year. We were so busy, and dad had to work at night, we just had no way to do it. We will celbrate in January with friends ;o) Being with dad, Jojo and mom is the best anyways.
I got so many presents. Grandma said that I have to share with Jojo *sigh* ok..
On the 25th mom and I went on a very early morning walk to let the 24th and all its tension and non tension go. That was great. It was dark, there was all this wonderful snow, and we were all by ourselves in the woods. What a beautiful impression and memory to take home.
For lunch we went to a horse ranch. We did not eat the horses, no. We went to say hi to our niece’s horse and some others, too. They have a very nice restaurant there. This is where we went for lunch. I think I mentioned this before.. They allow dogs in restaurants here. There is no reason not to, but somehow the States are the only ones who find dogs in restaurants unhygienic. Well, that's life.
There were five dogs in the restaurant, including me. All were very well behaved. One, who was the cutest, walked in the door and let out a very happy 'here I am' woof, which made everyone laugh. I slept through the whole lunch. It felt nice to have all these dogs around. Usually I am all alone, which is fairly boring.
Mom said the food was ok, but not good really. You can't compare German food with Californian. Food in California is unbeatable. Seriously.
After lunch dad, I and mom went on a nice walk through town. It was great. We met dogs and many people on their sleds. They were having the best time racing down the snowy hills :o) We had to be careful, they were everywhere.. All the dogs we met were happy, too! How nice.
Then we had coffee and cake, mom had meringues and tea. In the evening mom knitted with our nice and watched TV with everyone. Nice. I snored myself away with Luke.
Today, which is the 26th, we are still home. In the afternoon we will go visit mom's brother and his family. It snowed over night, which means there is more snow - again!
Then at night we will meet up with dad's family again for dinner. Seriously. These Germans eat all the time throughout the holidays - cool.
Mom and dad are not used to that so they don't eat that much.
They want to lose some weight anyways :o)
Hope you had a good time with us - we will keep you in the loop..
December 21st 2010 6:25 am
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Not that I don't like it, but I don't really ask for all the snow either.. We are talking several feet of snow. Streets are buried in snow, airports closed down in stretches, trains come late or not at all, buses, trams - chaos. It's cold and cold and cold, too. Seriously, I'd be perfectly happy without any snow. But at least I got a neat and warm coat and a really great car with a heated seat! Can you imagine? It keeps my butt warm :D
Yesterday was moving day. Meaning we moved from the really snowy area where auntie A. and uncle N. live to an area with a little less snow. Enough to be called very snowy, though *sigh*. We were very sad to move, becasue we really like the family a big bunch. Now we are with dad's brother and his family. We like them big bunch, too. They are different than uncle N's family, but at least as cool. The plus with them is their dog Luke. Luke is one cool Boxer. He is so in love with me. So much. Well, I have to admit, I am in love with him, too *blush* He brings me balls, but doesn't share, he offers me his bed and then takes it anyways, he is glued to me and follows me around e v e r y w h e r e...... He sounds like a steam train.
Before we moved in, though, mom, dad and I went on a super walk at a castle! What a beautiful place. Mom took photos and made videos but we could not upload them this morning. We will try again tonight.. Promise.
When we arived at Luke's house, he was so happy to see me. I was, too. We did some play bowing and goofing and running in he snow, which was nice. I have known him for several years and whenever we come, he is devoted to me :o) How nice.
Mom and dad took care of all the luggage and stuff and I caught up with Luke. He is like a newspaper and knows it all.
We had to leave again at some point. Mom and dad discovered that the bed had feather pillows. Mom is very allergic to pillows filled with feathers. Luckily IKEA is open til late so we got in the car and went pillow shopping!! Boy, that was awesome. You know how walking into stores with a dog is a challenge here in Germany.. Well, visiting IKEA was a smooth ride. Staff was welcoming and enjoyed my bell collar. Most customers smiled when they saw me, others made these typical whatisthisdogdoinghere faces. Two staff members said hi to me and were happy to see me. Apparently I was their first SD in this particular store - that, I like :o) IKEA has a worldwide SD friendly policy.
We found two really nice pillows for mom and dad. Not only that, we bought three soft balls for Luke and me to play with :o) I knew Luke would love them.
Then we had to go to ALDI, which is the same company as Trader Joe's. We actually have ALDI stores in the US, too! Unfortunately they are all in the East toward the middle of the States. But we got the word that they are coming West, too, very soon..
Visiting ALDI was a really interesting experience. Staff looked at us and did not really know how to respond. You could see confusion on their faces. People thought it was really cool to see me there and again enjoyed the collar and my jacket, too. You got to know that Germans are not so much into this jacket and shoe business. We almost never see a dog with a jacket or shoes. I will not, I repeat, will NOT leave the house without my jacket on! This snow business is very serious and I will not risk getting sick with my Calfur.
The grocery shopping ride was as smooth as the IKEA one. At the register, though, the lady told us in a very kind and inlovewithme voice that next time mom and dad had to leave me in the car or home. Dad explained to her that I am a Behindertenbegleithund, meaning Service Dog. She intelligently responded with the remark that when dad is with mom, she would not need a SD. Dad, in a very chariming and a little bit on the ironic side voice said - "I was just picturing us coming through the door with a Wheelchair and having to leave it outside, because I could technically carry my wife through the store." The lady giggled and mom showed her the law so she could educate customers or other staff members in case someone complained. She was glad we did and felt more secure understanding the law. Then she told mom about her three dogs, who died one after another throughout the year. They were all siblings and could not handle "staying behind". How sad :o(
Altogether we consider this day a very successful day in regards to store visits.
Back home then I got my dinner, did some more playing with Luke and our new ballls. These balls are the new hit at Luke's. The humans chatted and caught up. Mom was tired, though and went to bed earlier than usual. That was a great decision, because I got to sleep in my personal soft and oversized dog bed *sigh*
This morning we all got up for breakfast. Dad suggested to go on a walk and the bank. We took Luke with us. What a great idea! We did lots of playing in the woods. Luke brought one of his personal new balls and carried it the entire way.
We got really nice photos, but somehow we could not upload more than 2/3 of them. Hope you like them - more are coming, videos, too!
We just have to somehow connect our computer to our inlaws' network.
Right now we are at a German University waiting for dad to finish his talk and business stuff. The office we are in is nice and warm :o)
Tonight we will have a nice dinner with dad's family. Looking forward.
Woofs to you all and stay warm!
December 19th 2010 8:47 am
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No kidding, we got about 5 feet of snow, or 4, don't know and all is white. Like totally white! The buses don't even drive around anymore and the trains don't either in stretches *bummer*. I think the weather is just so happy to see us, it gives us all the snow it can find. We are close to being trapped at uncle N. and auntie A.'s place. Yesterday I ran after a snow ball and sunk in all the way to the neck! Can you imagine? The snow is soft like powdered sugar and it sounds so nice when we step on it, kind of like little snowflake babies sing a happy song :o)
Before today we did a lot. We went on many snow walks to show dad the area. We also had to go to stores and visited friends and family.
Yesterday was one of those days. Mom and dad went to see a good friend of theirs. Dad had to go to grandma and grandpa, though so mom and I spent the morning with our friend. It was lovely. The humans talked a whole lot and I discovered her home. So much great stuff and she had food, too! At some point we looked at photos, which was really nice. Mom and I love it when people show us their picture collection. We had a very good time.
Then dad came to join us at our friend's place. Later we had to go, though. That was ok, because we are going to see her again for a dinner soon :o)
After the nice morning we had to go to a grocery store to get a salmon and some veggies. We went to a place, which over the years had developed into a huuuuge mall! Apparently dogs are not allowed in this mall, because everything is accessible through everything. Awkward. It is supposed to be fancy but instead it's very confusing and chaotic. It has no charm and feels overwhelming. Also it has turned into a very busy place now. When we entered the grocery store, though, we were yelled at! No kidding. 4 (stupid) women, who happened to be "service center" employees, yelled at mom and dad, technically they yelled after us, because we kept moving and refused to respond. Both mom and dad do not respond to "Ey, you!" or "Ey woman!!" At some point, though mom turned around and looked into 4 very red and angry faces. Mom was surrounded by about 50 people staring at us. It seemed like they were as annoyed with and confused about these crazy women. Out of one mouth mom and dad said in a very calm voice "Service Dog - thank you for checking" and moved on. They kept yelling things like "we don't care shit, the dog has to go!" We moved on - these women were a poor representation for this supermarket.
Mom was not doing well after this incident. She is not used to rudeness and disrespect. She just followed dad and me around. She can't deal with situations like this. I mean, she can in the moment, but then the aftermath is not so hot. Standing up for herself confidently is tough sometimes.
It did not seem like mom and dad had a plan while they were cruising the veggie department. The scenario was still very present and upsetting for all of us. All of a sudden it seemed like everyone was scanning and watching us, which I think they were, but you know how it is when it seems like you are presented on a plate.....
At some point a very nice young man came along, approached mom, introduced himself as security - he was probably called by the crazy women. In a very friendly tone he told mom that dogs were not allowed in the store. Mom said - "thank you for checking, Jolanda is a Service Dog." The nice man said that all was ok and apologized for the inconvenience he might have caused. That was nice and very appropriate. After this interaction mom and dad both felt a little better and more at ease. We managed to finish our shopping spree without any more interruptions. Tomorrow we will write a letter to the management.
In the evening then we went to a celebration. Mom did not want to go, because the situation in the store still stuck and I was very tired.
Dad was very tired, too and fell asleep on the couch. We ended up going, though. It was "right around the corner" otherwise we would not have left the house. There was so much snow, driving was really tough. The place we went to was really nice. It was a very old Train station building. How fancy. There were many cool people, who liked me and cuddled with me. The place was warm and fun, the food was good, too. Mom had a hard time, took less pictures than she wanted to, because she was a little overwhelmed by all the events and conversations. At some point mom wanted to go home, which we did.
At home then mom, dad and I shoveled more snow and then went to bed. Mom had to take medication, because she was seizing :o| That was not cool.
Next morning, which is today, mom took it easy. Mom and I got up early as always, watched a most amazing documentary about a group of people from all over the world, who work with horses. They train them in the highest dressage possible. These people create a magical, fascinating and spiritual program. It's called the Zingaro Theater.. check it out on youtube:
Watching them feels like reading and feeling a beautiful poem.. So lovely.
Mom needs her alone time in the morning when the house is nice and quiet. She is not really a family type of person. Mom likes being with dad and us and she likes being here, but she is also a loner often times. Being around many people is challenging for mom. But she has me and Jojo and dad - that makes it easier. At some point dad came down and watched the horses with us :o) Nice.
In the afternoon mom, dad and I went on a walk. It was pretty cool. The snow was falling like a curtain. Nevertheless it was very nice and felt just right :o)
Dad made a really good dinner for all of us, mom finished her flyer after uncle N. did a lot of really cool editing and mom is typing my diary now.
We got pictures for you too! Not a lot, but a few..
Tomorrow will be moving day. We don't look forward to be honest, because we really like to be here *sigh*
Happy night and day you all..
December 15th 2010 8:31 am
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Yesterday mom had to work on the computer. She is putting the flyer with the German SD stuff together. She changes stuff left and right, over and over again. I don't know what the problem is. Mom doesn't know either. Doing research on something that has not been fully "discovered" is very challenging mom says. Well, I personally like checking out places I have never seen before ;o)
At some point mom decided she was done, which she wasn't, but we really wanted to go on a walk. The weather was lovely. The sun was out, there was snow everywhere! I have learned to love snow...... I can't believe I have but it's wonderful. We walked all the way to the train station, met several really nice dogs and one bratty one - this time it was a big one ;o)
The train was late due to all the snow. It took us a while to get to our destination. Mom needed a little bit of my help at one point. When she gets a little pushy with me, I stop and make her take a short break. Then all was cool and we walked to mom's parents' place. Whenever we are in Germany we walk so much.. Mom felt exhausted from all the time change and different food, from switching languages, walking, being on public transportation, organizing stuff and and and. Tomorrow dad will be here and then things will get much calmer and better.
At grandma's place we ate really yummy stuff and hung out in the living room doing some knitting and talking. That was good. Mom's relationship with her parents has not always been easy. This day was a really nice day in a very long time.
When we left, mom felt a little sad. I know that she would like to have more days like this with her parents. The past is over, so things can't be changed anymore. There is still room in the future ;o)
On the way back mom fell asleep on the train several times. I woke her up each time, which she appreciated. On the walk home mom cried. She was so exhausted, her bones hurt and so many memories came back. I bounced through the snow and goofed with mom. That made her feel better. We just walked a little more. At some point mom started singing, which is a good indicator of mom feeling better :o) Back home then we had a nice evening. We went to bed early, which was good.
I slept all the way through the night above mom's head. I woke her up for med and food time. We went back to bed and hung out there for a little longer. Mom hardly ever does that. It was a good choice - nice and warm :o)
After we got up, we went on a pretty long hike through the snowy forest. It was so beautifully sunny and then it started snowing, too!
I would like to share a few impressions with you - random pictures and videos:
Then back at home mom sat down and worked on the flyer again. She also talked to dad a few times. He is traveling now and will be with us tomorrow. Can't wait to say hi to dad. We miss him a lot.
Ok, no more computer for today. I told mom to go on a walk with me but first comes dinner!
Woofs to you all... thanks for coming along.
December 13th 2010 9:52 pm
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*phew* so much happening. Where to start?
Mh, I think I am going to start with the trip since this was a very eventful one.
OK - on the 10th mom and I got ready for a plane ride to Germany. The morning was wonderful. Dad, mom, Jojo and I went on several really long walks, spent time in the city, had a really nice breakfast and just spent time together. Jojo was very clingy and really did not want for mom and I to go anywhere. Mom has a hard time leaving Jojo behind. It's hard being separated from her. I always miss her a lot, too. She misses me a lot. It's this sister thing, you know?
Jojo and dad took us to the airport at some point and even got a gate pass to accompany us to the gate. The lady at the check in counter was absolutely nice. She knew how to handle the SD situation, asked the right questions and asked to see the rabies certificate, which is required for travel to Germany. Regardless of SD or not. She was already informed that I was coming, too, sent out a notice to the plane staff that we had arrived. She even informed us that unfortunately all the seats were booked. The plane was completely booked. Amazing..
At the gate then I was attacked by a little dog that was let out of it's bag. The lady did not even put a leash on him. What a shame. He could get lost. The dog charged right through the crowd, growling and barking and went right for my vest (luckily). I don't react to dogs that attack me, except they pin me down, that makes me scream and bark. Mom was so shocked and panicked, because she needs me and could not afford for me to get injured. I was so surprised, I tried to hide behind mom, which was smart. When the dog charged again, mom kicked him and he disappeared in the crowd. How awful. Mom had tears in her eyes for doing this, but it was a reflex. The lady went after her dog, phone attached to her ear, no apology or nothing. People were very angry at her. The dog had scared not only me, but children, too! The bystanders were very protective of me. When the dog came charging again, mom blocked him with her feet and pushed him away from me - what a pest. He bit mom's shoes even once. The lady eventually grabbed him, put him on her lap - still unleashed and like nothing happened. She even kept talking to whoever she was talking to. Unbelievable! During boarding, mom reported the incident. The crew was not happy about those news. They took the dog away from the lady and put him in a crate to transport him in cargo. The lady was agitated and almost lost her seat. Security and the flight attendant told her that if she lets the dog out illegally at the gate, on top of that unleashed without caring about what happened, they could not trust her with the dog on the plane. After all there was me and a Guide Dog by the name Paolo. The flight attendant asked whether I wanted to file a Police report, but I told mom not to, because the plane was already late due to this incident. On board then staff came to check in several times, were very helpful and kind. We really like flying with United. We went to visit Paolo at some point and chatted with his mom. He made himself comfortable on my butt - I think I told you several times that this seems to be a typical Guide Dog habit ;o)
The flight was really good. After the landing we had to find our way through the airport. Luckily we met nice personnel, who could help us. Our suitcase came out first, since United put a "priority/disability" sticker on it. That was so much help.
The guy at the customs was not familiar with the guidelines for my entering the country and wanted to send us to some veterinarian for some tests? Well, mom told him that there won't be any tests nor meeting some vet for whatever reason. The customs guy was surprised about mom's response. She also pulled the entering-the-country guidelines, the rabies certificate for me and showed him. He did not know what to say. Mom suggested for him to study it, so he would not get into a situation where he is not educated enough to make unreasonable and unnecessarily stressful decision. He did not really know what to think of mom, read the papers, though and blushed. He apologized and admitted that he was wrong. That was very nice I find. Mom thanked him and he made sure mom would get to the train station safely.
Finally we made it to Cologne and were picked up by two really cool people. You know how we stay with this really nice family, who really like me? Uncle N. and auntie A. The two of them wanted to come and get me, but then they got stuck in traffic really bad :o| So sorry.. Instead of them, one of their sons came. It was really nice to see him. Later his wife came too! We went to their place first to wait for u.N. and a.A. They came soon. How good to see them!
Finally we all went home. Mom and I had to unpack, do some other things and at the end of the day we went on a really nice night walk. You can not believe what I saw!! SNOW :o| oh my, I hate snow.......... I managed to not touch snow the entire way. Well, it required for me to walk in the middle of the street at times. I let the humans walk on the sidewalk :D Well, we are pretty much in a village so that is ok. I hopped over little snow hills and walked around patches, sometimes I refused to walk a particular way. On top it is soooooooo cold!!! You cannot imagine. Living in California makes me lack the cold gene.
We both felt uncomfortable for the first day. The cold felt overwhelming and the snow. Mom and I are not the winter type of beings. She is warm and likes it warm.
Next day, Sunday, we went into the city with a.A. and u.N. You know, here in Germany the stores are not open on Sundays. Also there are no 24 hour stores.. This day was a Sunday with stores open. They do this for Christmas business, I suppose.
I went with and mom said that we will see how everything goes with the SD policy this year. Prior to our trip dad had an exchange with the person in the Bundesregierung/government who takes care of all the laws and needs disabled people have in this country. They sent us really helpful information and legal stuff that tell us that SDs are legally allowed in wherever mom would go. pretty much like in the States. What a relief. He told dad to print out the papers and have mom carry them with her. Sure enough mom started to design a flyer, which she will send to the government man and some SD groups. They had contacted mom and asked her whether she could do this. That makes her happy. If only she could sit still long enough to work on it, though. Luckily it's almost done.
Believe it or not, the day was really good! We went into a drugstore, where we were approached but when mom told them that I am a SD, the lady was good about it. She even said hi :o) We also went grocery shopping. Again here, we were nicely approached about me not being allowed in the store. Again here, mom told the person about my being a SD. He was fine and kind. That was neat. All the other stores were completely easy going. What a change from last year!! How cool :o)
We met several dogs in the city and the malls. They were nice to play and chat with. What another great surprise. That was neat. So far all seems nice.
We took the rest of the day easy since we were still a little exhausted from the trip.
Mom is totally fine with the jet lag this year, whereas I am not. I wake up several times a night and come cuddle with mom, tell her that it is food time, or something. I was really confused about this night and day thing.
Yesterday morning we got up early to go visit my grandma and grandpa. It was so bitter cold, I shivered a lot. My grandma had the brilliant idea to get me a sweater! How cool is that? We went to two pet stores. I was fed so many treats, I almost exploded.. The first store had no sweaters unfortunately but the second had a really nice selection. We found a really cool sweater - it's knitted with a nice wool and has a bone applied to the back. I was so relieved when I had it on. Now I have my regular jacket for outdoors, which I really like and then the nice sweater for indoors. Also mom takes it as a pattern for another sweater she is knitting. Looks already nice.. :o)
Mom said that she will take photos when dad is here.
The day was nice.
We took the train back at night. All of a sudden it started snowing!! Like really totally snowing. The sky was full of stars, the night was wonderful, there was silence and this lovely layer of white all over. The snow was very soft, dry and gentle. I ran through the snow, bounced and had a really awesome time. I met really fun dogs on our walk back home. One I particularly liked. We played for a good half hour in the snow while the humans chatted. We all looked like Frosty at the end :o)
When we got home I was really exhausted and slept all through the night ;o) Boy was mom glad..
This morning we took it easy and took the time to write my diary. We miss dad and Jojo and the warmer climate of SF.
I will keep you up to date, woofs to you all..
December 12th 2010 1:00 am
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We did it, we are in Germany. I will tell you more about our travel and and and later..
It's freakin' cold here, there is snow, which I really dislike, but other than that it's very beautiful and I got an awesome bed, which unfortunately I have to share with mom. But well.. We already got dates to meet up with friends - it looks like the trip is packed again.
I would like to ask whoever is interested to send us your postal addresses in a paw or email: email@example.com so we can send you a nice Christmas Card from snowy and cold Germany?
I already got several addresses but forgot the paper at home *dang* So even if you think I still have it, I don't!! Except for Daisy and Lucy and Howard - I got yours here..
We will mail them on the 20th and are already excited :o)
I will send my address in an e-or pawmail for you, if you would like, love, Jolanda and sonja
December 8th 2010 9:23 pm
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I think I have to clear my name - I told mom to sit and write what happened.
That thing with the bird was really unfair. Dad told mom that she was not nice accusing and shunting me. I don't hurt animals in any shape or form.
Mom had put the bird in the shoe for a moment to get a pillow to sit on since it was cold and we were sitting on the stairs. We both went inside. Mom also brought out stuff to practice retrieving from different spots with me. We started doing our tricks to kill waiting time. At some point we did the "get me this and that" game. It's my absolute favorite and I just bring whatever I can find, including the water hose! One of the items I grabbed was the shoe.. The bird was not visible and the tail feathers ended up in my mouth. Once I realized that there was the bird, I dropped the shoe and spit the feathers and froze. I did not expect for the bird to be in there. It hopped a few hops and let mom pick it up again.
Mom was upset - about herself, because she forgot about the bird. It was an accident and mom could not believe how dumb she was letting me do that game with the shoe standing around. She placed the bird in the Jasmine after that, where she stayed until she flew off. Mom and I sat next to her the entire time. I tried to make mom play with me again, but she just sat there annoyed about her not thinking about the little bird.
Today was one awesome day.. We were out all day. First Jojo and I took mom to the Fort Funston. It was raining but that was cool. We did not walk far, but far enough to make mom happy ;o)
Then we got in the car and home. We dropped off Jojo and took off again. A very short time later we picked up our Godmother from her house. That was cool. I even howled for her :o)
I learned that we were doing a mall trip. We are not friends of malls, but needed to go to Target and JC Penny. They had really good sales. Mom needed pants and my godmother needed clothes, too. Mom found her pants and some string tops, the ones you wear under a blouse. The fitting room was great! It was big and warm. I took a nap :o)
In the mall then we developed a strategy for the rest of the day. Mom needed some help at some point, because she and our Godmother started going in circles, because they did not know where the store was they were looking for *sigh* humans..... I stopped mom by sitting down. Mom was glad I was so focused and did my task. We all took a much needed short break. Then we started over. I took all of us down to the Old Navy store. They got all their mannequins out. Mom had the idea to pretend we were mannequins, too and take pictures. Not only we did, but others did take pictures of us, too - after asking. The store staff said that this was a fun idea. We will send them the photos.. I even got really awesome pets :o)
We all found what we needed. It looks like all is set for the trip now.
Then we got home, where Jojo was really really happy to see our Godmother. About 30 minutes after we got home, the postman came to drop off a package!! Guess what? It was for Jojo and me! We opened the package together :o) It came from Dora! That was absolutely cool :o)
Mom took photos but we can't get them off the camera and don't know why :o( Well, dad will bring a USB stick and then we can get it off, hopefully. Maybe not. We will see. Not only this, the battery for the camera was empty all of a sudden. In the middle of the photo series it gave up on us *huff*.
Hope you all have a good and warm time - woofs to you and a happy dance..
December 7th 2010 7:59 pm
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I am sorry for being more on the inactive side on dogster right now. We have to do so much before going to Germany. We don't even find "a moment" to sit and read our pals' diaries. I just saw that we got really nice gifts by some of you. I thank you all so much and apologize for being so slow or not responding. I will get new zealies around Christmas and have probably more time in Germany..
I am going to write this entry in a compressed format.
One morning we heard a "ploing" at the window. Mom jumped up and ran to where it made this sound. She saw a little bird laying on her back, twitching. We all ran out, mom picked up the bird to check. She was fine, only had a dizzy head from the collision with the stupid window. This window is a bird trap. We check this spot every day twice to make sure all is ok. Mom, Jojo and I we sat outside with the little bird and her friends and kept her warm and comfortable. She totally trusted us. Mom petted her carefully and kept her safe in her hands. After about an hour she was ok and took off with her pals. Boy were we glad.
Next morning, when we got up, the little bird girl sat there and waited for us. We knew it was our bird, because the day before her tail got stuck in my mouth at some point, which made her lose a few feathers. Don't even mention it - I got in big, big, ultrabig trouble and was shunted for the rest of the morning. It was purely an accident. Really. Mom knows, but well. However. Next morning she sat on the fence, I saw her and said hi :o) She did not take off. Once mom was there, she started circling us and "took" us to our cabbage. She had brought all her friends, who were busy eating the little caterpillars!! How cool is that? I watched them for a little with mom. They seemed to say thank you by helping us getting rid of these little critters naturally. The little girl and her gang come to visit us every day now to eat the critters off the cabbage :o) Cool.
Then we had a post Turkeyday gathering with friends and had lots of good food. Mom and dad spent a big chunk of the evening playing pool. They had a good time :o)
Then mom made new flyers for me. We ran out of the recent bunch. Seriously - within the last 2 months, we gave out more than 150 flyers!! That is a lot. We have been contacted by several people and mom has made referrals to places for them to apply for a SD or to get more information specific for their needs. Nice.
Then we have been running errands like crazy. It seems like we are done for now, though.
Today we spent most of our day with our friends. First we went to the dog park to meet even more friends, who we grew up with. Everyone was in a cheerful mood. We all found someone to talk to and play with. After several hours of walking, talking, playing and hanging out, we left to go to mom's Dr. I went with her. Mom's Dr always gets the Jolanda fix when I come it. He likes me and I like him. The office is very nice and they take good care of mom.
After the Dr visit we met up with our friends again and went to do some more shopping. Not for us, but for our friend. Mom did not, I repeat, did not stop at the dog store for us!! That was outrageous. The humans, though, they did gift exchange. That was even more outrageous. We got nothing. Nothing. Our pal was really surprised, too. Just like we were. But well, we had to hang in and swallow it. We went for dinner then, Ethiopian food. Then we drove home. After we crossed the bridge, we stopped to give one of the homeless fellows a few dollars. Mom does that. She says that if we can afford to drive across the bridge, spent time there, buy things and eat, we can afford to spare a few dollars for someone who has probably less than we have. Sometimes it's just a few coins but sometimes, like today, it's more.
This particular homeless man was very kind and gentle. Jojo, who never ever does that with strangers, stuck her head out the window and let the man cuddle her and kiss her! That is unusual. He wished us a good and safe holiday season, blessed us and told us that even if the season can bring up sad memories, they will pass. He said that spring always comes after winter. What a wise man. Mom told him to make sure to sleep in a shelter at night and not on the street. It's cold here at the moment - 30 - 45 degrees. Today was warm, about 50, but still when, you live on the street it's a different story. Homeless people die each year, because they are too "low functioning" to be welcomed in shelters! or they just can't handle being there. Sometimes the shelters are just simply too full and can't take more homeless people in. We had a homeless guy come to our place in Berkeley and let him sleep over under the patio and gave him a little breakfast in the morning. That's all he wanted and needed. He came maybe twice, when it was really cold. That was it. If you can, let them sleep in the yard or shed or garage or doorway or anywhere warmer than outside..
Also we continued building out coop :o) Here are some new photos:
more coop photos
enjoy - thanks for joining us today :o)
December 2nd 2010 6:47 pm
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ground control to major tom
yeah, today was one of those days.
I have been throwing up on and off for the last few days. Not a whole lot, only a little at a time, but well.. Mom and dad decided to have me checked out. We contacted our nice vet yesterday, the one who did the surgery on Jojo. He offered for us to come in today since Jojo had to get her last x-ray for her leg. We got there at about 8:30am. Then I was checked and poked with needles and checked and squeezed and squashed and poked again and x-rays were taken, too..
Jojo and I were in one of these vet cages forever since an emergency got in and they had to do surgery. Mom and dad left for an hour, came back, took Jojo and left me there for more exams by another Dr. But then at some point mom came and made the vet people get me out and go home with her. Mom said that we are not going to do any more testing and checking with yet another Dr. Too much. Mom was fairly short with the other Dr, because she was tired and stressed over my potentially being sick. She needs me, you know, we are going to Germany soon.
The Dr cleared me and said that there was absolutely nothing wrong as far as all the test told him. The simple food is our safest bet. If I am still having problems after the weekend, we will go see them again.
All those tests came back absolutely top nudge perfect. Well, I could have told them before. My blood was even totally awesome. That is all good, right?
Dad said that it might be the food and my stomach might have a bit too much acid in it. He has that, too. I might have his genes.. We all agreed that we will get us back on the cooked diet. We did best on it.
That sounded very good to me. We were back on it for Jojo's weight loss program, which made her lose 5 lbs. That is more than good. After that we went back on kibbles. Well, now I am having trouble. That means back to bases. That is cool, because we like the cooked food most anyways.
Well, the visit had some good too, the vet said that my skeleton look mighty good. I have no arthritis and no problems with elbows or hips or anything. That was great news :o)
Here are s a few super cool pictures of me:
the inside me
It was very stressful for all of us. The trip is long, the wait was long, dad had to go to work at some point, so mom had to do the long trip twice..
Now we are home and all tired. We even missed the lighting of the 2nd Chanukah candle :o( When dad gets home we will catch up with the Chanukah. We still have no Menorah - how terrible. But we will come up with something ;o)
I will get the rest of the week off and take it easy. We will see where it goes.
Jojo is cleared and all looks wonderfully:
Jojo's last x-ray
She is ready for work and beach and everything. Jojo is so happy. You won't believe it :D
Ok now, helmet on and protein pill taken :o)
Be good you all, we will keep you in the loop.
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