Well, Carol says it’s time for another blog, so I better start telling stories.

I can’t believe I’ve been living with Carol and Mr. John for 12 weeks now.  It was winter when I came and back then our walks were so cold, I wanted a sweater. Now spring is here and it’s so warm we can even wait until after dinner when the sun is low to take our second walk.  Carol told me we have walked over 200 miles together. Wow! That’s a lot of miles.  Early on, she bought me a backpack to wear. Carrying extra weight is supposed to wear me out. So… I carry a big can of soup in each side of my backpack – one for me and one for Carol.  That’s “my job.”  Funny thing is we NEVER eat the soup and it DOESN’T make me all that tired to wear the backpack. When we get back to the house, Carol lets me run and explore in the backyard and I always have plenty of energy for that.

Exploring in the yard is my favorite thing.  You see, on walks, I’m not supposed to run off after squirrels or track other critters I smell.  But in the yard I can find all kinds of smells, especially first thing in the morning.  I think there must be a bunch of critters roaming around at night, because the scents are really strong in the morning. I can wander around with my nose to the ground as long as I like. Boy is that fun!  And in the yard, when I see a squirrel I can creep up on it, until it sees me and goes scampering up the nearest tree. I haven’t had any luck catching those darn squirrels yet, but there’s always tomorrow.  There is this one spot in the yard where Mr. John puts out some feed for the deer.  There are always good smells by that spot, but I’m not supposed to eat the deer food. Sometimes the turkeys come to check out the deer food, but never when I’m outside.  I’m like a K9 scarecrow – I keep the birds from eating the corn!

There are lots and lots of sticks and tree branches in the yard.  Sometimes I help Carol pick up sticks and take them to the brush piles in the woods.  She said we have a lot of work to do before Mr. John can run the lawn mower this spring and that will be sometime soon.  I guess that means we’ll be spending lots of time in the yard. Yahoo!  Sometimes Carol will find the perfect stick for a game of fetch and she will throw it for me.  I love to run after the stick and pick it up, but I don’t always bring it back.  If I have lots of energy, I just run big circles around Carol with the stick in my mouth, and if I’m tired I just take it somewhere in the yard to chew on it.  I love to chew on sticks.

Since the weather is warmer we have also been spending time in a room Carol calls “the porch.”  It’s a very sunny space and it has a tile floor.  There are windows all around but they don’t have glass, they have screens. I’m not allowed to put my paws on the screens. (That’s another new rule I’m learning.) On the porch it smells just like being outside, but you can sit on the furniture like you’re inside.  You can either take a nap in the sun on a lounge chair or find a shady spot and lie on the cool tile floor – warm or cool, you get to pick.  Carol and Mr. John like to sit there and look at the yard with fancy glasses of something to drink.  One time they left me on the porch while they went in the giant outside bubbling bathtub right next to the porch.  I sure hope they don’t try giving me a bath in there, cause the bubbles scare me and I’d rather go to see Sarah, my pet stylist for my bath and grooming.

I spend most of my time with Carol, but the only place she ever takes me in the car is to see the grandkids, or to a park to walk, or to PetSmart. When Carol goes away without me, she leaves me behind with Mr. John. That’s when I get to go on trips in his van to all kinds of places.  One time Mr. John took me out on his “errands.”  We went to the dump, the store, the gas station and the drive up window at the bank.  My favorite store was the Habitat Restore because the nice lady that works there has dog biscuits for me and she said I was a handsome doggy.  When I ride with Mr. John I like to sit up front with him.  I guess I must look kind of funny because I’m so tall.  People at traffic lights will smile and wave when they see me.  One time two guys in a pick-up truck pulled up next to us and the driver did a double take when he looked over at me in the passenger seat. He nudged his buddy to check me out.  They were both smiling and shaking their heads.  Mr. John lowered my window and hollered over to them.  “He usually wants to drive but I wouldn’t let him this afternoon, he just had two beers with lunch!” They all laughed!  I think people just like to see me because they don’t see that many Dalmatians and I remind them of fire house dogs or that movie with all the puppies!

Being alone with Mr. John can be lots of fun when he’s not working on one of his remodel projects (and that’s a story for another blog). We spend time in his shop or in the basement work room.  He has tools and gadgets all over the place and I get to help him fix stuff.  If Carol is around, he wants her to be the one to sit by him on the couch or snuggle by him on the bed.  But when Carol’s not here, he lets ME sit in her spot on the couch and even nap with him on the bed.  I really like Mr. John.

Until next time – Happy Tails to You!

– Jasper, is currently fostered in Indiana
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