I was pretty active this month. Mommy and I did a few hikes and I took her on a couple of crazy long morning walks (see my previous entry about one of them). Mommy started taking something called Tai Chi again and I don't like it. I don't like anything that changes my routine. She plugged the nasty beepy thing back in the wall again too, which I didn't like so I got all nervous and whiny for a whole night. It didn't even beep, but just knowing that it was plugged into the wall and COULD beep is worrying enough.
I almost caught some squirrels this month too, which impressed Mommy and some strangers who saw one of my near misses. It's a good thing they weren't there for the day I tried to catch a squirrel at the squirrel park. I was walking with Mommy and I spotted a squirrel. I went after him and he ran up a tree right in front of me. I tried to brake, but I was standing on a whole bunch of acorns and they all were rolling under my feet! My feet slid around like a cartoon character running on ball bearings and I finally fell over and slid into a drainage ditch. I was very sore that night, but I didn't need any meds and I felt fine the next day. Those squirrels are evil.
Weird Kitty who Mommy says is an opossum has come back to visit us at night. He likes to see what Mommy has put in the compost heap and I like to go out and chase him up the trees. Mommy says he isn't the original Weird Kitty because he is smaller and whiter than Original Weird Kitty, but he is just as fun to chase and bark at.
I met the new neighbor dog. She is a HE!! His name is Cocoa and we thought he was a girl because he pees like a girl! He is a grown up boy dog, but he doesn't know how to lift his leg. Very sad that. He came to the fence to talk to me and I got all excited and barked at him and he decided he wanted to go back in the house. A couple days later he came back to the fence to talk to me again and this time I didn't bark at him right away so we got to talk a little bit, but then I got excited again and barked and he went in. Mommy says that my barking is scaring him and I need to stay a little calmer so he can get brave enough to play run along the fence with me.
I also went to the vet this month. I needed my rabies shot. Mommy told the vet how I was slowing down and not wanting to walk long distances anymore and she was worried that my back or joints might be hurting me more than they used to. The vet checked me out and said that I didn't seem to have anything major going on, but that I had lost some muscle in my hind legs. She told Mommy no more babying me. She said that Mommy should take me for 8 mile hikes even if I was getting grumpy at 4 miles. She said I should just stop and take breaks every mile or so if I want to. So Mommy has started doing that with me. On our last walk I got grumpy around mile 4 1/2 but we did 8 miles anyway. I was tired for the rest of that day, but not the day after, so Mommy says it is working.
I made some new friends this month. Mommy and I were walking home from the lake and we passed a house where some people were standing in the driveway talking. One of them said, "Oh look! It's the dog that I told you I saw the other day." I know when people say "dog" they mean me so I went up to him to say hello. He thought that was funny and he pet me and I smiled and he really liked that. The others pet me too so they could see me smile and we had a good long petting session. Finally Mommy said I had to go and we left. The next week when we were walking back from the lake we passed the same house and I slowed down so they could see I was there. One of them did and she came out to pet me. Her friends who had pet me the other day saw she was out petting me and came over to pet me too! Then some kids came by and pet me as well. Now when we walk by that house I make sure to slow down and look for people who want to pet me.
It is good I have some new petters because the girls who come out to pet me at night live on a block that is too dark for Mommy and me to safely walk down at night so we don't get to see them much anymore. This weekend Mommy and I took our evening walk earlier than normal so I made sure that we walked down the road where the girls live. When we got to their house they were not out. I stopped in their driveway and refused to move. Mommy said they were busy and weren't going to come out to pet me. She tried to get me to move, but I refused. She pulled on my leash so I sat down. She told me to stop being silly, the girls were not out and they weren't coming out and I needed to start walking. I lay down in the driveway and refused to move. Mommy pulled on my leash, but I still refused to get up and walk. We argued for about 10 minutes and then the girls' father came out of the backyard where he was raking leaves and started laughing at me. He went to the house and called inside, "Your friend is here. You need to come out and say hi." The girls said, "What friend?" and the dad said, "Merlin" and so the girls and their mom came out to pet me. After a good petting session Mommy said we needed to go and I agreed to leave. As we were walking away I made sure to give Mommy a very smug look. For some reason she thinks I am spoiled.
Oh! I almost forgot! Mommy FINALLY figured out that I say, "Yes". She had noticed a couple years ago that if she asked me if I wanted to go see the guys at the feed store I would lick the right side of my mouth. She thought that was funny because I was anticipating getting a treat and licking. Then one day she asked me if I wanted a treat and I licked the side of my mouth. Again she thought it was anticipating a treat. But this month she said, "Do you want to go for a car ride?" and I licked the side of my mouth. Mommy said, "Wait a minute! Do you want to go for a car ride?" and I licked. Mommy said, "Do you want to take a hike?" and I licked. She said, "Do you want to take a bath?" and I didn't lick. She said, "Do you want to take a car ride?" Lick. "Do you want a bath?" no lick. Mommy said, "Does licking mean yes?" and I licked and Mommy nearly fainted. She now asks me yes and no questions and I will answer yes with a lick. The feed store guys today said, "Do you want a treat?" and I licked and Mommy said, "He just said yes." She may be a little slow, but she finally caught on!