The Incredible Journey

Hi friends

I can’t believe it!!!!  I am home well actually I have been home for ages BUT Mum says I can get back on the computer and let you ll know what I am up to.  How about that … I am not sure why she stopped me in the first place just because I am not going to be an Epilepsy Assist Dog.  I still get car sick and I really hate having that coat on so best I just stay home, laze around and swim in the lake and river.

IMG_1960 Here I am back in the garden see all the mountains behind me well that’s Wanaka and this is where I truly belong.  We had a really good trip back in the plane and then my Mum took me straight to the Lake for a swim in Queenstown.  I decided to stay a bit grumpy with her for a day or two for sending me away in the first place.  I do have to say it was quite satisfying giving her the silent treatment for a few days but then I kind of had to stop cause I was actually so excited to be back.  Buddy was happy to see me and when I saw Nemo the cat he just looked at me like “oh so your back then” turned his nose up and lay down.  It wasn’t MY fault that I went …. I was sent.  I tried to tell him but you know what cats are like he just stuck his nose up in the air again and walked away. Phffft Cats!!!

So I have had lots of adventures since I have been home and even had snow – I am not sure I liked though it kinda gets stuck in little balls on my paws.

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And guess who has been to visit me …….. Aunty Mary!!  She was so pleased to see me and I her BUT when she first got here after the initial excitement I was a wee bit worried that she was going to take me back to Auckland but no she had just come for a visit.  It was so nice we spent time together just hanIMG_2687ging out. Sooooo cool.

Anyhooo here we are hanging out together.         So lots of things have happened and apparently lots of new things are coming up so as I said I am now allowed to tell you things as we go along.  Well that is if I can get to the computer to write to you.  Mum takes it to work all the time so I have to sneak on it at night when she has it home and isn’t using it.  I am sure you understand.  People are just SO selfish really, well not all of them, I suppose, but some are. Take my Aunty Dot and Uncle John I used to go have play dates with them quite often and we would go out for long walks, play in the lake and they let me chase the ducks even.  Nec Minute just out of the blue like, Mum tells me they are going away for ages and ages and ages. Huh I thought they loved me, they said so, but you know, would I or any dog for that matter, really just up and leave for ages if they loved someone.  I think NOT.  That’s what I mean selfish some of them.

Oh well I suppose they will come back I just may not talk to them though to make sure they learn the lesson.  What do you think??

Hey I guess I should go now it is so way past my bedtime.. Talk to you all again soon

Your faithful muttley

Baxter

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Rehoming

Hi Everybody,

Yippee I am coming home at last. I can’t wait to see you all once more, especially you Nemo. I see lots of cats here but I am not allowed to play with them, as they all just want to run away from me. They just don’t understand how much I love cats and miss you, my buddy.

I hope you are proud of me Mum for remembering all that you told me to do to be able to get back to you. I think I did a pretty good job of convincing everyone that I was really trying hard to succeed as an Assist dog, but I know Aunty Mary was on your side and I think Aunty Emily may have secretly been so too. I really was always destined to live my life with you and serve a different cause. So we all know I’m not really a failure, just needed to find my correct niche.

Here is a picture of me not liking the train that much actually!!!!

Thank you sooooo very much for giving me the best birthday present I could ever ask for and I am so excited I will be back home to enjoy my special day with you all. Aunty Mary says that my return will probably be a pretty special birthday present for you as well, soon after mine, so that’s really neat.

I have had a very interesting time while living with Aunty Mary. I have met sooooo many dog mates of all shapes and sizes. That’s been really cool fun and some of them I will especially miss. One was tiny like a large rat and another was a Leonburger called Chief and he was huge and a great playmate. Some little kids called him a lion puppy. Some people even thought he was as adorable as me.

We must have looked a sight being walked along the street, Aunty Mary walking up to 5 of us, 3 as large or larger than me and two as small or smaller than a spaniel.

We go out a lot to play or walk with other dogs, so I am in the car every day. I can now travel up to 30-35 kms without even feeling sick, but have to admit that the two longer trips were just too far and I couldn’t cope. Aunty Mary and Aunty Emily were very impressed with how clean and tidy I was about it all though, as I kept myself and their cars as clean as possible.

Aunty Mary took me up to Matakawau and Pollock on the Awhitu Peninsula, That was just too far and really windy roads. We went to see a really lovely lady who tried to help me with my travel sickness but it can’t have worked that well as I wasn’t able to get right into the City with Aunty Emily and Uncle Tony for training last weekend without being sick. They got another dog to come with us for training as well. I enjoyed it’s company. It was quite at home with all the overwhelming stuff but all I wanted to was to get back to you, so I played out our plan and it has worked. We did have a good time in a neat park though and I raced into a delicious stinky pond against orders, so I just had to swim again in the right pond to wash myself off.

Aunty Mary had me groomed last Thursday so I have lost all my glorious long locks, but everyone still thinks I look great. Just be prepared for a slightly different looking me from when I left home on this adventure. The groomers were most impressed with my behaviour for them.

Aunty.Mary tells me I must hurry up and finish as she needs to go and let my best friend Mayer out of her Mum’s old house. Mayer is a beautiful Retriever puppy, the one I told you about who has lots of toys. Now she just prefers to chew on my ears.

Oh yeah, I look forward to telling my old mate Harvey that I met and played with his brother Hank and sister Halo one day. I saw Hank and their Mother Mombo again last night. They live across the road from A. Emily. Their trainer Margaret would love to meet or communicate with you some day Mum. She gets really excited when she hears all the amazing work you do in training dogs like me.

Okay Aunty Mary is beginning to nag so best go.

Can’t wait to see you all again next Thursday.

Lots of lovely sloppy licks and slurps to you all until then.

Baxter

Hi Baxter darling

So excited that you are returning to us though of course it is bit sad for an Epilepsy Assist Dog client who would have loved you I am sure.  That said we are all looking forward to you coming back and lots of people around here have expressed their excitement too.

You did very well following my instructions to get back here and when you get home I will do some training work and see if I think you have potential for another job that I have in mind for you!! No coat is required so don’t panic.  Can’t wait to take you to the lake for a swim or a walk along the stream and we will have a birthday celebration but I will be away for your birthday as I have to go away for work for a couple of days.  Aunty dot is back in NZ and she is so looking forward to having you stay so you can go there while I am away – you love it there don’t you?  Nemo the cat has gone crazy since I told him you were coming home running through the house and Buddy is pretending he doesn’t care but I think he did miss you.

You will miss all your friends you have made there and Aunty Mary I am sure but you will soon settle in I think as I just do think you are really a country dog at heart not a city slicker. Make sure to thank Aunty Mary and Emily for all their wonderful care of you.

So you have a city haircut now hmmm what do you think of that? I guess it had to happen as your hair was just getting longer and longer.

Anyway Baxi I need to go now as I am training a little Hungarian Vizler named Evie – you’d love her she very cute and is now walking very nicely on her lead. So but best I go but remember only 3 more big sleeps and I will be up to bring you home.

Love mum xx

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Writing Home

22 October 2014

Hi Mum,

Aunty Mary said I could write to you while the electrician is here and she can’t do some of the jobs she wanted to.

She said to say she is sorry that she hasn’t been in touch for a day or two but her life has been a bit hectic. That’s something I have to get used to, as we are always off walking dogs or doing something.

I have met so many new friends all over the place. Aunty Mary has 6 other dogs here today. 3 of them stayed with me last night. She took Harry and I down to her parents old place to play with a young golden retriever puppy Mayer at lunchtime. Mayer has heaps of toys which I enjoy playing with. However she wants them back and I’m not happy about that so I tell her to BACK off.

We have been out to walk another dog yesterday. She lives near where your friends used to live. We walked down the road to see all the brood mares. They wanted to talk to me but they are big and scary, so I hid behind Aunty Mary. On Monday we went out to a farm where Aunty Mary has to clean 2 little donkeys’ feet each week. She introduced me to some funny things that went oink oink. They were very strange, so I barked at them.

I have had a few short trips in the car and haven’t been sick at all. We haven’t gone any further than about 10kms at a stretch so Aunty Mary doesn’t know if I am doing okay or we just haven’t traveled far enough yet. She put a cat door magnet onto my collar and hopes that might help. She said to say sorry to you, if this actually works for me, but I don’t mind if it does as I hate being sick, and never liked messing up your car. Aunty Mary has a station wagon so I ride in the back of it. I had to be in there with the big fat Labrador she told you about. There was no room left for anybody else so Charlie rode on the back seat instead.

This morning 5 of us went for a walk on the Golf Course with Aunty Mary. It was lots of fun as 3 of us were allowed to run free. I finally got to have a swim in a pond. Aunty Mary said this is the only one we are allowed to swim in as the water is clean enough. However we may not be allowed later in Summer if it starts to go green in case there is any algal bloom, as that could make us VERY sick. That pond also dries right up if the summer gets hot and dry. Hopefully she will let me swim in the sea instead. I do miss my lovely fresh lake.

I am sad to hear that you are so sad that I had to grow up and leave home. I do miss you and will never forget you, but I feel happy enough living at Aunty Mary’s. Aunty Mary said to tell you, you can come and stay and visit me if you think you can bear it. You just have to put up with her messy but dog friendly house.

Well the electrician has gone so I have to let Aunty Mary get back to those other jobs.

Love you lots, sending you heaps of sloppy slurps/kisses

Your ever faithful

Baxter

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26 October 2014

Dearest Baxter

Thank you for your lovely email it was so good to hear from you.  Sounds like you are having a lovely time with all the walks and playing with the other dogs.  I hope you are behaving like I taught you.

I have included a couple of pictures of you when you were small to show Aunty Mary and remind you of how much you have grown an so you can remember Nemo – he sends his love.

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I am pleased to hear you have not been sick in Aunty Mary’s car but just remember once she goes over 10kms you need to be sick so that you can eventually come back here and enjoy just being a pet dog though I do have a little job in mind for you.  ( Now remember DO NOT tell Aunty Mary or Aunty Emily about this though it is just between us and I know it will work but if you cannot stand being sick then when you go into town do a lot of lip smacking and panting to show you are very stressed that will also work.)

Buddy has missed you and today I found some white hair of yours so I let him sniff it.  He looked a bit sad and turned away I think he was disgusted that I would give you away.  Nemo the cat wondered where you had gone and for the first few days he ran through the house , like he used to, hoping to get you to chase him and play and then he looked all surprised that you still were not there.  So he has stopped doing it now and spends his day sleeping on our bed!

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Dad is still taking Buddy out for a run around the subdivision as he rides the bike but it does not look right to not have the blonde bombshell (as Aunty Penny used to call you), running alongside.  I miss your little nose on the bed each morning and your greeting to wake me up and when I go to bed at night it feels very lonely so the sooner you come home the better. I have to say the house just seems quieter though it is not as if you were rowdy.

I saw Beth the vet yesterday at the pet parade in town for Wanakafest and she misses you too.  You could have gone into the parade I am sure you would have won something!!

Well my dear wee boy I must go and do some work I would love to come visit but it would only upset us both. Maybe in a few weeks (if you are not home already) we can skype each other.  We’ll see.

You must remember to thank Aunty Mary for taking such good care of you and I am sure she loves you so much already.

Be good

Love and kisses

Mum xxxxx

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New Home

As Baxter is sending me emails from time to time about his new adventures he has asked me to update his blog for you all to read.  He apologises for not being able to write in his diary himself.

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18 October 2014

Hi Mum and Dad,

I have finally arrived at Aunty Mary’s and am settling in to my new temporary home. It has been an exciting few hours on the plane and out to here. Aunty Emily, my new trainer, said I was sooooooooo very good on the plane and I haven’t been sick at all even tho I did want to be.

I think I can be pretty happy at Aunty Mary’s. She has two other dogs here at present and they were very nice to me when I arrived. We got on really well right from the start. Aunty Mary has put them in our bedroom for now and I am allowed in the lounge as long as I lie on the towel as I have got wet in the rain. I have had my tea and a drink. Now Aunty Mary is about to cook her own tea and once she has eaten that, the others can come back in as long as they are good.

Aunty Mary and Emily think I am VERY handsome and oh so special, so I already have them wrapped around my little paw. I won’t ever forget you and thank you for giving me the VERY BEST start in my working life. Thank you for teaching me all the special life skills you have. I hope Aunty Mary can give me consistent reminders of all I have learnt so I earn all my special treats. Perhaps she will learn lots from me. She said to say thanks for all the useful information and equipment you have put in my bag.

Aunty Mary says lots of her friends are really looking forward to meeting me, so I will put my best paw forward and honour all you have taught me.

I promise I will write to you as often as Aunty Mary lets me have access to her computer. ( She has warned me thBaxter with Spoodleough that I am not allowed to chew cables or I will not be forgiven.)

Lots of love, licks and slurps to you, Dad, Buddy and Nemo.

I miss you already but I promise I will try to remain good and true to all that you taught me.

Your everloving son,

Baxter

   Playing with Kara the Spoodle

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Growing Up

Dear Diary
Well it has been so long since I wrote here but thought I should do a catch up. I have grown up a lot since my last entry in every way and am now rather big. I hardly fit into the little bed I had by mum’s bed but I just stretch out beside her on the floor. I have discovered though that I make a nice little whiney noise I do get to have a quick cuddle in bed or if she is in the lounge a cuddle on hers or dad knee! In the day time if I am tired I have a great bed in the crate and I just go there for a lie down. I find the whiney noise works for most things like – Have you forgotton my dinner? Or I need to go out! Mum just seems to know what I am saying now though it took a bit of training!.

   IMG_1589Mum got a job and so now I am a bit lonely some days and so I just sit and watch the world go by or let Dad know if someone walks past. I usually get a walk and Dad takes me and Buddy for a run beside him on the bike every day and we get to go swimming in the stream. I love the water and even on frosty mornings and snowy days I still swim every day.

My training has been slower over the last months due to me being sick in the car but I am getting better now and can go about 10 minutes away.
Lately I have been going with mum to give lots of talks – it is a bit boring really I’d rather be swimming and I hate that jacket I have to wear it is just not my colour.
I do have a lot of fun too though, swimming every day and Dad takes me and Buddy along the track byt the strSSN_074_Whateam and up the subdivision – he rides the bike and we run alongside – so much fun!! And buddy plays with me now too cool huh.
There is a great stream at the back of my home which I think I told you and there is this great mud puddle to one side under the trees where all the smells are so I pop along to that every now and then. I do change colour though as you can see so then I go into the stream and change back again.

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So there you go. I’ve had being a puppy and growing up here but now apparently I have to go off to big dog school and see if the city is a place I can be happy in and later work in. It will be another adventure in my life – and if I really hate it I can always come back here and if not I will make a new life with someone I can be with everyday and help them to live a wonderful independent life.

I will miss Mum and Dad and Buddy and Nemo and they said they will miss me too.
Here are some photos of me having fun.

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Out the front

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Thanks for the fun times Nemo

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At Lake Wanaka with training Guide Dog Harvey

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BAXTER

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Crash Zone

Dear Diary

Well I just know that I should have written in my diary again before now but so much happens in a busy puppy’s life you know. Anyway like I said last time, lots has happened and I have sooo much to tell you.

First mums computer crashed ! What a pain I couldn’t get back on it for years -well it felt like years and to make matters worse naturally I got the blame. I mean really how could I have done anything just because I chewed up the cord for the smartphone how does that mean I crashed the computer. Hideous!

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Anyway mum has to get a new computer soon so maybe I will be allowed back on the new one and I can get more entries in my diary.

I’ve made a startling discovery in my life journey you know…………. mum’s a MORNING PERSON. Oh my god she gets up so early I try yawning and yawning but it makes no difference she still does it every day. Not only that but she goes to this place where there is water in a big drinking bowl and her and some other people all get in it.  Personally I don’t get it if they want to play in the water there is a perfectly good stream out the back and it’s no where near as hot as the one she goes in. And I never saw any sticks either  so it looks really boring to me.  To make matters worse I have to go too when I’d rather go back to bed. I’ve tried hiding and running back to bed but no I think mum is a bit thick like that cause she just doesn’t seem to get it.  So I have to go in  the car which I hate and go to the swim place.  The neighbor understood  as you can see here she is comforting me. She understands she’s my friend.

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So mum had to fly off to Auckland and I got to go stay with Aunty Dot. You remember her she’s the one who bought me the special treats. Now that’s was fun we did all sorts of things. We went shopping and to the school for an epilepsy day so everyone could see me and pat me. It was great. And she has a cool car called ‘ the little red number’ and though I don’t like cars as you know I have to say I do look great in it. Don’t you think.?

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Training

Well I am learning about crossing the road I have to sit and wait until I am told to cross and also about waiting waiting waiting at classes and the pools. At home mum is giving me these super good treats every time I come back when she calls or whistles.  Even when I am playing with the cat or barking at those people that keep walking down by my stream I run back to get those treats …so yummy.

Well I’m off to bed now might have to get up early AGAIN.

Baxter

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Busy busy busy

Dear Diary

Whew so sorry I haven’t been able to write up a blog post lately and soooo much has happened I hardly know where to start.

I went to the Upper Clutha A & P Show (I think that stand for Animals and People) and that was fun.  Aunty Dot, my friend, met me there and she took me around a bit.  So coIMG_1654ol everyone loved me and patted me. and well, I do get that I am quite cute actually.  Anyway we saw lots of things and other dog breeds like goats and calves and there was a huge breed called a horse – I kept out of their way – very scary though they did ignore me.  Aunty Dot took me to a great place whereIMG_1662 there was a food sample for me on a plate on the ground especially baked for dogs.  One was DISGUSTING rabbit and rosemary or thyme or something YUK. But there was a venison liver treat DELICIOUS and so she bought me a bag for treats when I am good.  Well the next thing I knew they had put me in this boat to take a picture of me  – now I don’t mind my picture being taken but they tried to put a captains hat on my head and that was just ridiculous. What do they think I am,  a dress up doll???

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But afterwards as a special treat the Lions stall gave me a delicious piece of steak.  BESTEST thing I have ever tasted.   Anyway there were all sorts of things and people and I saw a merry go round thing with kids on – I love kids but I never got to go on that.  Actually I didn’t quite see the point it goes round and round and not much else – personally I would rather run round and round the merry go round.

Then came my favourite part we went down to the lake. It is so much fun what with ducks and birds to chase and for some reason mum keeps throwing a stick into the water. Of course it is ME that has to retrieve it.  She never goes and gets it- I just don’t get it really but oh well I suppose that’s just what I have to do.

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Training

Well just the usual stuff really going to cafes, going in the car still makes me sick though, practising crossing the road and sitting and leaving food and when I go to Tai Chi I am so good  – actually it just sends me to sleep but afterward I do Waving Hands in the Clouds just like they do in class. Maybe one day I will learn to Embrace the Tiger or Push the Mountain!!!!!  Weird stuff  huh!!

Next time I will tell you a bit more about why we haven’t done the blog lately .

Bye for now

Baxter

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