Dog Trainer is Busted

“She’s training you,” said the vet. Imagine that in a speech bubble. Now add a thought bubble above a dog’s head: “Busted!”.

That happened twice during a recent visit I paid with Mochi to Dr. Craig Hopkins at Ferguson Animal Hospital in Providence. Once was when I told Craig that Mochi often insisted on going out in the middle of the night, and usually did some business while we were out. “She’s training you,” he said, adding that a healthy four-year old dog could hold it until morning.

I raised the question of her weight. She’s 57 pounds, up from her previous visit, and up from the 49-50 pounds she stayed at for a while. We agreed that this may be related to her habit of banging her food bowl on the floor when it’s empty, and our habit of putting food in it when she does so. So yes, she’s trained us to do that. On a related note, she would not get on the vet’s scale until bribed with a treat.

So Mochi is a dog trainer: a dog who trains. She’s also a service dog: a dog who likes to be served food. She’s a Portuguese Water Dog, curly rather than flat of hair.

We discussed this at the following day at the family breakfast table, as Mochi was hand-fed pieces of waffle with whipped cream.

Mochi was, as usual, very good at the vet’s. She is used to Ferguson, having been a patient there since before she was born. They were running a little late, but she was well-behaved, helped by three visits from staff: one to tell me that the wait was for a free treatment room, and the other two to tell her how good and cute she was.

We’ll try to make her more good. We don’t think she could be more cute. What do you think?

What a Long Strange Week It’s Been

The most important day of this week was Monday, the day of my mother’s funeral. Due to Covid and isolation rules, I was unable to return to England to be present at the ceremony. My sister, bless her, arranged a livestream.

So, at 9:45 on Monday (2:45pm in England), we watched the ceremony. It was strange not to be there. It was strangely comforting when Mochi started licking my face as I was watching. It was also comforting to walk her to the beach a little later.

Other strange aspects of the past week included the first Halloween we haven’t celebrated in many years. Some people in our neighborhood “did Halloween”, but we were wary of the Covid-risk to others and to ourselves. Our kids are old enough to understand (16 and 14 now). It was a lovely crisp Saturday afternoon, though.

Then there was the election. Or rather, there still is the election. The strangeness of that would take a post by itself…

How was your week been?

2018: It wasn’t all bad…

But it was one of the toughest years of my life. My father passed away just before Christmas. My own health wasn’t too good either.

There’s good news to report, though. Our family now includes a puppy. We named her Mochi. She’ll get her own post soon. In the meantime, here’s a photo of her telling us that her bowl is empty.

Other highlights of the year include some precious time back to England with parents and other family. The kids made good starts at their respective new schools (high and middle).

All in all, I’m not sorry to see the end of 2018. I’m hoping for a better 2019.