Mom takes me to the nine-acre park most mornings for a 30 - 40 minute run. Usually there are some dogs that like to play, but the weather turned cold and there are not as many dogs. I was able to run with a few dogs who were chasing balls and mom took me to the gated pond where I jumped in and out hoping to engage the ducks. Dang, they kept swimming away! On our way out, mom was walking towards the gate when a family with a boxer and an older dog was walking by. I wanted to play and danced around doing  my "ready" bow and "play with me" bark. The boxer didn't appreciate my invitation and pounced on me.  Mom thinks I need to learn better dog language when the other dog doesn't agree to play because I just kept jumping and asking. The boxer got upset and the parents had to pull us apart. The boxer was mad and answered me with bites and growls.  I quickly resorted to "I'm submissive" body language but the boxer was so mad it kept attacking me. I was so scared I was frozen while mom grabbed my collar and lead me to the gate. There was bloody saliva on me so mom checked me all over, but there were no apparent bites. Mom waited for the other parents to come out and asked if everything was ok since she had seen blood. They appreciated mom asking but retorted that I need better park manners. Many dogs there just want to walk with their owners while I want to run and engage play. Mom is concerned and says if I don't behave we may not be able to go there anymore. What? Chase that squirrel! Mail-carrier with treats! Street walking dog to engage! Chase that chipmunk! Send the black birds flying! Woo hoo! Oh, remind me, what did you say?
 
Last summer, I dug holes all over the yard. Mom couldn't even put flower pots on the step because I loved digging all the dirt out. But now that I am older (18 months), I'm not interested in digging holes anymore. Except to bury a chew, but I have a special place by a tree that that mom says is OK. She put bones in the mulch for me to find and I'm happy with that spot. So mom filled all the holes in the yard and put sod and garden hoops on top.  She put her flower pots out and I haven't messed with them at all! And she keeps raving about her gardens to the neighbors, because since they got my wireless fence and I can go all around the house, the deer have not visited her gardens. She gives me treats and says I'm the best deer repellent ever! 
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No more digging holes
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Rocky and the flower pots
 
Mom doesn't seem to appreciate it when I eat her sponges, cleaning brushes and dishrags, but I think they are tons of fun! Mr. Marbles the cat likes to sleep in the closet and he leaves the door open a bit...just enough for me to get to the good stuff. And the dishrag sits right there on the counter.
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Yea! Sponges are so much fun!
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I'm a good dog, yes?
However, mom did foil me from eating toilet paper. First, she tried putting it in an ice cream pail. Ha! That didn't stop Rocky the Wonderdog.  I popped the lid off and ate the bucket! After that, she put it in a pretty pot on top of the tank. I haven't touched it since. 
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Mom tried an ice cream bucket first.
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I'm not really sure what is in that pot as it is above my view.
Mom also found a way to keep me from eating soggy mittens. She hung a magnet with a rope on the metal fire door. 
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Awe, no more mittens for me!
Now this one was not all my fault. See Mr. Waffles sitting up there behind the curtain? He started it! During the construction project last October the cat scratch post was moved from the corner of the couch. The cats ripped up the fabric...and I simply helped remove the foam stuffing. They put the cat scratch post back in that corner and no one really notices. Goes with the territory... pet induced collateral damage.
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Yummy couch stuffing
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See, no worries! Can't even see the damage.
So, the dance continues. I will do some yoga and think of something new to chew on!  Bwaa haa haa!
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Scratch my belly? Please?
 
Look at all these leaves! They smell like squirrels and crinkle when I walk on them. I like to chase them when they blow around too. Here is little sis and I playing in a big pile she raked. Yea!
 
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Rocky the Wonderdog
I am one year old today! Little sis says she is going to make some special peanut butter cracker treats and sing to me when she gets home from school. Oh boy, I can't wait! I even got a new toy.

A BIRTHDAY POEM FROM THE DOG (Author Unknown)
You feed me when I'm hungry,
You keep water in my dish,
You let me sleep on anything, 
Or in any place I wish.

You sometimes let me lick your hands,
Or even lick your face,
Despite the fact I've licked myself,
In every private place.

You taught me how to come when called,
You taught me how to sit,
You always let me go outside,
So I can take a ....stroll.

I've been with you through oh, so much,
Through laughter and through tears,
I hope you live to be a hundred...
(That's 700 in doggie years.)
 
Mom has had some trouble lifting me into the car, especially now that I weigh 60 pounds. She asked  Trainer lady about a ramp, but she said she could teach me how to jump into the car. Mom was very happy as ramps cost about $100.00! All week we have been practicing. Mom asks me to step up and put my paws on the tailgate and then she gives me a treat. 
Next, mom throws a treat into the car and picks up my back legs to boost me in. Mom smiles and says it is easy and so much lighter for her. 
Trainer lady said soon I will learn how to do this all by myself! Yea! I'm a good dog. (wag wag)
 
I'm kinda getting used to people banging around outside the house. While I'm not all that happy, I'm not barking a warning to my people about the banging and strangers as much. Like this guy - a man in a hazmat suit making a big hissing sound right outside the window! I barked a bit, but mom said it was OK so I stopped. This morning the roofers started at 7:00 a.m.  At least since everyone was up I got my walk and breakfast early! :)
 
It is official. I've spent more than half my life with little girl's family. My first birthday is coming up on November 16. Mom is amazed at all the things we have learned together. When I first came here I was jumping on everyone and chewing on the furniture. Now, they all think I have nice house manners, although I still get very excited and jump on new people. I even get to go into the living room after dinner and watch TV with mom and dad! On the couch! If I start to chew or chase the cats they make me leave, so I try really hard to relax. Mom still puts a leash on me to visit the playroom or little girl's room. I have learned how to bop with my nose to ask for things and show them with my eyes what I want (like treats, the door or a specific toy).  I've learned many tricks with trainer lady's help. Look at this list! I can sit, lay down, come, leave things, play fetch, twirl, go through hoops, play a piano, figure 8 through mom's legs, tap a target,  push a ball and wait/stay. Oh, and I'm an expert at stealing erasers at homework time, although I give them back when asked. ;)
 
Last night the whole family got busy and ready to go out. They let me come too! There was a concert and mini-festival at a local shopping center. The stores had tables with food, merchandise, balloons and coupons. Enticing smells filled the air. Music blared from under a tent covered stage and people sat at tables by the food wagons. Little girl and I stayed on the sidewalk with mom so the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band show wasn't so loud on our ears. My family greeted neighbors and friends from school and they said I was a perfect pup. Little girl even shook hands with people in costumes: a Tyson Chicken, A Keebler elf and a Lucky Charms leprechaun.  We only stayed about 20 minutes, but it sure was exciting!
 
Mom took me out in the yard with a 16 foot leash tied around her waist. She clicked and treated me when I walked right beside her and looked up at her. This worked great in the front yard. However, when she went into the back yard, I saw some squirrels and pretty much dragged her into the buckthorn thicket. Ooops. I forget how strong I am sometimes. Mom didn't yell at me, but she had a hard time getting me out of the back yard. She finished on a high note by walking around the driveway for a few more reinforcing clicks.  Whew. That was a work-out.  For mom!  :)