Mom and dad packed the car for an afternoon trip to Grandma Bev and Grandpa Frank's cabin on the 4th of July weekend. I watched them pack my food bowl so I knew I was going along too and jumped into the car as soon as they opened the back. No way was I going to stay behind! It was really hot in the city and they weren't sure if they should bring me, but the weather maps showed it was much cooler by the lake. So off we went and drove for a long time. I met Dad's Uncle Darrel and greeted Bev and Frank very politely. They hadn't seen me for a long time and were quite impressed with my manners. The cabin/trailers all have decks. They tied me to the porch and after sniffing everything pretty much settled and watched all the people. There was a great Dane on the porch next door and a chocolate lab puppy across the street. I figured out it was not a social dog situation and dogs were expected to stay on their families' decks. All the people drove around in golf carts. Soon crowds of people set up picnic tables and chairs right in the road. The roasting station was across the road and the food line at the cabin next door. When it was my families' turn to get food, Mom told me to stay on the porch. I whined a little, but I could see them the whole time and was quite relieved when they came back. Mom fed me while they were eating and then I got a special chew! I loved watching the people and didn't jump on anyone in the yard or startle when someone stepped over me. After dinner, the kids and Grandpa got in their golf cart and drove to the lake. I walked with mom as it was only a block or so, but I wanted her to hurry to keep up with little sis. We walked out on a creaky old dock and I was pretty nervous. They asked me to step on a pontoon so I did, mostly because it was less scary than the docks. Little sis noticed my tail was tucked under, but as soon as they got the pontoon going I went to the front to watch the loons and boaters. Mom fed me some yummy treats while we were boating and several more when we returned to the marina dock. My family was very proud of me and are excited to bring me again this fall!
Mom and Dad think I am the best dog ever. They were so impressed with my manners on Thanksgiving. Mom smiled as I went to my rug every time she opened the oven door. She cooked most of the food the day before the holiday and I got to sample some broth from the cooked turkey bones and savor fresh cooked sweet potato. On Thanksgiving morning, mom put everything into crockpots and then took me to the dog park. I ran and played for over an hour with lots and lots of dogs. When the family starting arriving, mom tossed kibble on the floor as they entered and I didn't jump on anyone! I took a nap on the couch for most of the noon meal.  When I woke up they were serving pie, so I went and parked under mom's feet like we do when we go to food courts. The new kittens were locked in a room because they would not stay away from the buffet table. I am so grown up I didn't touch anything. I just turned two, but I do remember that last year I was tethered to a brick in the porch to keep me away from the food. Mom had me show off some tricks, like having people drop their napkin and allowing me to get it for them. And she made a sneezing sound so I would get her a tissue.  Grandma likes how I oblige mom a kiss before she gives me a treat. They gave me chews all afternoon, practically every time I asked! Wow! However, the next day, they went back to saying no. Sigh. I wish everyday was a holiday!
My family picked me even though I wasn't wasn't free, 
and there is no where else I'd rather be,
I'm with my forever family! 

A year ago today I came here to stay,
I've learned so many things along the way,
Today we celebrate my Gotcha Day!

Yea, extra treats for me? And a belly rub? Please don't hug me, I don't really like that, but you can scratch me under my chin. Oh yea, right there, that feels great.  :)
Rocky the Wonderdog gets a belly rub
They put the stuff in the crate so I can look out the window.
I saw the suitcases and knew something was up. Mom clipped me to my outside cable and I watched as they put my travel crate and pillow in the car. I wasn't worried while they loaded the rest because if my stuff is in the car I get to come too! Soon everyone got in and off we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa. I'm a pretty good traveler now and take turns watching out the window and napping. When they stopped for a break I did my biz right away. When we got there, they put me out on a 20-foot cable so they could unload the car. I barked and wagged every time they walked past. Soon mom put me on a leash and brought me inside. She and grandma had already decided by closing the doors to the bedrooms and office I could be off-leash after my initial excitement calmed down because I don't eat rugs or magazines anymore. I did a super job! Grandma has all sorts of decorations but I only sniffed at the things on the floor and didn't even mess with the Christmas tree. They put the stuffed snowmen and Santa's up on benches and then I left them alone. The rest of the relatives came and after they greeted me I kept my four on the floor almost all the time! Mom made sure someone was watching me every minute; even big sis took a turn following me around while they got ready for pie. Later, we went for a walk and I got to play on my 50-foot rope at a park. There was another dog behind a fence and we ran back and forth to play. Back at the house, little sis read me some stories and gave me hugs. Soon everyone left and it was time for bed. Mom had put my crate in the living room but I started to whine when they left me there. It was very bright because it was snowing out and nothing felt right. So dad moved my crate to their room and I settled right down. I even let mom and dad sleep till they woke up at 8:00!  Grandma gave me lots of pats and even let me lay on a bed while she showed mom her quilting projects.  After lunch they loaded the car again and we came home. Everyone was super impressed with what a good boy I was and how I've grown calmer since Thanksgiving. 
Little sis drew this picture for me. She said she used brown instead of black because the black pencil was broken. Notice the nice bells on my collar.  Happy Holiday to all my friends!
Mom was cooking all sorts of yummy smelling food, but I was a very good dog and stayed on my rug every time she opened the oven door. Soon, all the relatives I met last summer came! They tied me to this brick on the porch while people arrived and brought in their stuff, then everyone came to greet me one at a time. They stayed just outside of reach and had me sit, sniff them and then they gave me a treat. After I'd met everyone and calmed down from the excitement, mom put me on a leash and I got to walk around the house. I only jumped a little, mostly when someone went outside and came back in. 
Rocky confined on the porch
Dad put me back on the porch leash when mom started putting food out. I was right next to the dining room and could see everyone so didn't feel left out. Trainer lady had suggested filling a kong with stuffing and gravy and freezing it. What a great idea! One kong lasted about 20 minutes and then I took a nap. When I woke up I they were having pie and all the main dishes were put away. I got to walk around again and put my head on their laps for a pet.  Mom had me show off some of my tricks - pushing the ball, ringing the bell and carrying the basket. Later, mom and grandma took me out to play. She holds out two toys and I get to pick. Grandma smiled because I wanted her to throw the toy. When uncle came out, I gave him some turns to throw it. Everyone thinks I'm a very good dog.
Yum! A kong stuffed with stuffing! Thanks, trainer lady!
Little sis put this rock star shirt on me and got dressed up as a princess who likes bunnies. We went out after dark for a walk around the neighborhood. She and big sis were laughing and having lots of fun collecting treats in their pumpkin basket. I like going out with them, but why didn't they give me any treats?!
Happy Halloween!