A Day in the Life of the Admiral - Guest Blog for Hugs

Updated: Jan 14

Hugs has a home with a very enthusiastic new friend. Jim sent us a series of notes over the past month chronicling his experiences in guiding Hugs as he grows into his new home.

AWE Border Collies

Note from Jim,

Apparently, I am the oldest member of the group that has adopted your first litter. From some of the pictures, maybe not by a long shot. My idea is to approach your Blog from a Senior’s perspective. People might wrestle with the idea of “am I too old to take on such a responsibility”? Negativism is not my style and never has been (after all, being in sales/marketing all my life was not for naysayers) and I am a realist. Stuff happens! But, that’s true at any age. I have back-up ... a daughter who LOVES dogs and has three of them. That was a big issue in my decision to get Hugs.

Here are some possible titles for the postings Postings, or maybe I'll just document things as they go...

Headline: Senior Pet Owner Overcomes Sleep Abnormalities

Subtitle: Border Collie Puppy Restores Health and Vitality

Headline: Never Get Old ... Get a Border Collie Puppy

Subtitle: It’s Not the Fountain of Youth, But Close to it

Headline: Been Disappointed in Relationships – The Cure is Here!

Subtitle: Get A Border Collie Puppy and Discover True Love

Headline: Tear Up Your AARP Gym Membership – Get a Border Collie Puppy

Subtitle: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Senior Exercise

Headline: Living Alone ... with a Border Collie Puppy

Subtitle: How to End Monotony Forever

Headline: How To Teach an “Old Dog” New Tricks

Subtitle: Get a Border Collie Puppy

Headline: Preparing Your Border Collie Puppy for Stardom

Subtitle: Tips on Training Your Puppy to be a Champion Flying Dog

Headline: Beach Etiquette For a Border Collie Puppy

Subtitle: How to Avoid Monikers Such as “Chick Magnet”

Apr 16, 2015 (Nine weeks old)

Good morning ... so this is what morning looks like!! After a business career consisting of many 4:00 AM wake-up calls and early flights to the next appointment, I swore when I retired that I would sleep in as long as I wanted.

Well, apparently, that lofty goal is over and done with ... thanks Admiral B.C. Hugs, esq.

So, here I am...uncharacteristically up at 6:00AM. We have finished breakfast and successfully visited the toilet area. It’s playtime with the new toys. That is, after a sneak attack on my pant leg and shoe – he crouched as if stalking a sheep, eyes fixed with an intensity only known to Border Collies...THEN a BIG LEAP onto the prey!! Fortunately, Hugs' attention span is measured in nanoseconds and he's off to something else with me in tow to watch his every unexpected move. The latest “caper” was attempting to remove the mesh covering from the bottom of the living room sofa. He is now “exploring”. He has a busy, purposeful stride ... most unnerving. I am going to write a new diet book I'll call The Hugs Diet.

Gotta go ... he just pulled my car keys off the coffee table and is chewing the strap.. More later. Have a great day. I know I will!!


April 16, 2015 (Nine weeks old)


I have four (4) driers and think I will try “both” approaches – one with boiled liver and one that is raw. The shelf life can be extended by using the kitchen vacuum sealer – the products are great and the customer support non-existent. On the bright side, the things seem to work forever. I wonder if beef roast would be just as good ... certainly chicken would be okay.

I caught the Admiral squatting on the bath mat and lifted him immediately. It’s amazing, how the pee shut-off instantly. (Damn, I can’t even do that!!!) We ran to his “spot” and he proceeded to complete his urination and then proceeded to the “Tootsie Roll” stage. He is, thankfully, taking a nap on the fenced-in porch now, and it's almost time for his lunch.

I have him sitting on command – a treat is used, of course. He has his Mother’s sense of smell and great hearing ... he absolutely knows, without looking, when I pick up the treat bag!! I’m NOT overdoing the treat thing. He puts his legs up on me and I point to the ground, so he sits and gets his treat and lots of praise. He likes to walk in my Square Foot garden. I fixed that today when I squirted a few drops of water his way and he made tracks OUT of the raised bed.

He’s squawking. Gotta go get him off the porch and start his lunch.

More later ... if you can stand it


April 16, 2015 (Nine weeks old)

Hi ,

I got the new 42 inch crate assembled and put the cover on it. It’s at the foot of my bed and is much larger than I expected – but, that means Hugs will be able to use it as he gets bigger. He’s something else. He follows me around like he’s attached to me. The potty training is going well, a treat and lots of praise seem to be working. Actually, he barks and I take that as a signal that he has to go, and 90% of the time he does.

Well, I am thoroughly exhausted from my 100% vigilance program. He is definitely a “Hoover” ... stuff goes in that little mouth ... and then comes back out when I catch him. He's eaten leaves, small cones from the Cypress trees in the back, and anything else that looks good to him.

It’s only 9:50PM and I’m going to hit the hay. At 7 AM (I hope. Today it was 6:30AM), I will start all over. He is so smart and those beautiful little eyes don’t miss a thing. He is going to be easy to train ... just like the book said, “they understand you the “FIRST TIME” 95% of the time. He is also a bit “manipulative.” He will sit beautifully in front of me with those beautiful eyes expecting a treat. He's finding out that it doesn’t work.

Okay, good night.

Jim and “Hugs”

April 17, 2015 (Nine weeks and a day old)

The Look of Love Is in the Dog’s Eyes

Dogs who trained a long gaze on their owners had elevated levels of oxytocin, a hormone produced in the brain that is associated with nurturing and attachment. After receiving those long gazes, the owners’ levels of oxytocin increased, too. Click on the link and watch the video – interesting ... I think I have been “overdosed” on oxytocin ...

Hugs just had his lunch at precisely 12:00 Noon. He spent the night in his new “gigantic” cart and all went well. We start the day at roughly 7AM (sometimes earlier depending on ABCH’s schedule).

We are learning “not to bite so hard” ... My right arm has several puncture wounds that were inflicted by a small BC, all in good fun, of course!! I use some homeopathic stuff (Gingko Biloba and Vinpocetine – both of which tend to thin the blood. I found several references on how to deal with it ... the one I like is to mimic the dog’s cry of pain ... the next stage is to “squirt” him with lemon juice or whatever – I don’t like that idea and don’t plan to use it. He is such a quick learner that I'm sure he will figure it out.

Take care,

Jim & Hugs

April 17, 2015 (Nine weeks and a day old)


I visited your Facebook page and I saw the photo of Hugs and some “old man.” I didn’t recognize him, but Hugs was unmistakable.

Bonding. Is that what you call it??? My right arm looks like a pin cushion from mock battle engagements – I’m afraid that he is winning. I went on-line and found one suggestion – “cry like a dog” and they stop. Well, that may be true of lesser canines, but this one is a bit more determined to win the battle and looks at me with a “mocking muzzle” as if to say, “cry baby”. A friend said that a small water spray bottle will do the trick. I'll let him chew that.

Otherwise, the potty training is coming along so-so ... if I don’t watch him at strategic times, he will sneak into the bathroom or bedroom and urinate on the bathmat or carpet strip I have next to my bed. Thanks for Folex – the best carpet cleaner made. Regardless of what happens (i.e. I may be too late) I take him to his “spot” anyway. He gets a reward each time and he definitely knows the word “treat”. He assumes the position – sitting properly and waiting.

As per my daughter’s description of her three dogs (when they were puppies) Hugs is a super-powered Hoover vacuum cleaner. I can’t tell you how may small cypress pine cones I have removed from his little mouth ... not to mention the leaves, dirt, and whatever else he can suck up. He is the most friendly little guy. We were “doing our business” at 7AM this morning and the next door neighbor was walking to his car. Hugs went wild. Needless to say, he makes everyone feel good. He seems to like his new BIG crate and goes to bed without complaining – not a peep until around 7AM.

Then the fun begins, anew!! Well, it’s almost 10:30PM – my new Hugs-imposed bedtime ... no more nightowling for me.


April 18, 2015 (Nine weeks and 2 days old)


I am being attacked relentlessly. The biting is getting a bit out of control. I may have a solution – distraction -- the red bone. We sit together in a chair and every time he tries to bite me I put the red bone in his mouth. It’s either that or a transfusion. Also, the newest wrinkle – I like plants. Apparently Hugs does too. The white under side of his muzzle is a house plant soil black. I won’t let him go into the front yard because I have a big Sago Palm – poisonous to puppies. He chews on just about everything.

Forgive my rambling ... my Mother said, “Jimmy was vaccinated with a phonograph needle.”

Hugs is “recharging his battery” under the couch, sound asleep. Though I eagerly await his awakening, he gives me a chance to do stuff without worrying about him.

By the way, 60 Minutes has had some incredible stuff on dogs and, in particular, Border Collies ...

The Smartest Dog in the World

There are several related stories that I found fascinating (like the MRI on a dog and the rersults) ...


April 19, 2015 (9 weeks and 3 days old)

A paper towel attack took place this morning.

This event was believed to be a puppy terrorist attack. Paper towels were maliciously pulled from the roll and scattered over the entire front porch. Authorities say that allowing rolls of paper towels to be reached by “PT’s” (Puppy Terrorists) is the primary cause for the current paper shortage. The suspect is approximately 1.5 feet tall with black and white hair, distinguished brown eyebrows and mutton-style side burns. Be on the look-out. Use extreme caution – the suspect has been known to bite. More later ...


Apr 20, 2015 (9 weeks and 4 days old)

Hugs Escape...Maybe.

Apr 20, 2015 (9 weeks and 4 days old)

In a surprising turn of events, on a trip to his “spot” on “business” this morning, Admiral B.C. Hugs (aka “Hugs”) demonstrated another native Border Collie trait – DIGGING. Yes, the Admiral spotted his owner pulling weeds at the base of a small Fig tree and decided that his assistance was needed. Approaching the task with the same energy and enthusiasm that characterizes this canine, he sent clouds of dirt between his legs and into the air. This sent “chills” up the spine of his owner as he surveyed his Square Foot Garden (a 128 square foot raised vegetable garden) and wondered how long it would remain safe from such “excavation”.

In other news, this morning, the “Admiral” discovered the “Miele Monster” – a canister-type vacuum cleaner with a “chewable” hose. Viewed with extreme suspicion, the Border Collie pup beat a hasty retreat to safety under the coffee table. Could it be that Hugs looked upon this device as a “competitor”? After all, it does the same thing that HE does. More on this, later.

And, finally, a health note on Border Collie pups ... a major threat to their health and well-being is BOREDOM. The symptoms are clear – head down on the carpet or floor and eyes focused on ANYTHING or ANYBODY who will initiate an anti-boredom action. This can be the squeaking of a toy; the throwing of same; the presentation of an old cloth oven mitt for the purpose of tug-of-war. WARNING: failure to react in a positive manner will result in negative behavior -- the chewing of the edge of a relatively expensive area rug; the gnawing on the leg of the coffee table; or the attempted destruction of an upholstered easy chair.


April 22, 2015 (Nine weeks 6 days old)

In an experiment, Hugs went to an unauthorized, therefore uncontaminated area (actually, the outfield of the little league field in a park not far from here). The violation of the “No Dogs Allowed” was exactly why we violated that rule – we haven’t had all of our vaccinations, yet. Besides, we didn’t have to “go” anyway. The entire effort proved fruitless since all Hugs wanted to do was “smell” the grass instead of frolicking and playing as I had hoped. He is not pleased with his halter and leash – we plan to work on this.

In other news, it was “Puppy-Pick-up-Day” – now that Hugs knows his spot it isn’t necessary to leave any identifying incentives laying around. We are still working on the other side of the equation inasmuch as it’s just us two guys living here, I went into the bathroom and, naturally, Hugs had to come along. When he saw what “I” was doing, he decided to join in ... Except his aim was the bathmat. I know that as his master I am supposed to set a good example – I’m working on that, too.

Breaking headline: Hugs biting subsides with introduction of spray water bottle. Inasmuch as Border Collies are incredibly intelligent, it didn’t take more than one or two “mists” of water for him to get the message. The hard biting has completely stopped and an occasional “mouthing” happens when excitement overcomes him or in his “wild dog” run. A “wild dog” run is characterized by a high-speed run around the entire house with intricate maneuvers such as “figure 8’s.”

As I type, I look down and see that hugs is sound asleep -- between my feet -- his normal pre-lunch nap. When he wakes, the excitement starts anew. Never a dull moment.


April 24, 2015 (Ten weeks 1 days old)

Dateline: San Diego – Enthusiasm goes wrong. I made a LOT of dried treats from frozen beef, chicken and pork. I have four dryers and a meat slicer, so the process is less tedious. The Admiral was at my side watching every move. HIS enthusiasm is difficult to describe. I have been giving him an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie slice of dried beef as a reward for his performance at his “spot”. I guess I overdid it ... He did his “business” as usual before bedtime and I put him in his palatial crate. During the night he, uncharacteristically, made some whimpering noises. A friend told me that this was to be expected and that I should ignore it so as not to create a bad habit. So, I ignored him. Well, that was a mistake because he had to go ... again!

So, we had an incident in the cart ... now all cleaned up as though it never happened. He went outside with me to his “spot” and did his business and a little later he had a loose movement ... obviously, too many treats. So, I have learned my lesson and will use far more discretion on the frequency and quantity of treats dispensed. He didn’t eat his breakfast, at first, but later in the morning he went back to his bowl and ate most of it.

Hugs is back to normal and is currently taking a nap after a morning of exhausting play. A plain old rope found in my garage is ideal for “tug-of-war” as is a parachute cord tied to his favorite toy – Mr. Carrot.

Jim & Hugs

Apr 24, 2015 (Ten weeks 1 days old)

Dateline: San Diego – A fence over a fence. Realizing that Hugs had no trouble slipping between the fence bars surrounding the back yard, it became a matter of some concern. The side and back fences border the driveway and the street across from the elementary school. The traffic to and from the school is periodic – mainly morning drop off of the kids and afternoon pick-up - often heavy enough to pose a threat to an unsuspecting puppy interesting in “meeting” the kids. So, this afternoon, I obtained two rolls of 16 gauge 28” x 50’ garden fence. I “wire-tied” it to the existing fence and it’s just the right height. By the time he grows enough to go over it, he will be too big to get through the original fence.

In other precautionary areas, for those owning puppies in regions that are sub-tropical like California and Florida, the popular and elegant Sago Palms are a real threat. They are members of the Cycad family (I have both a big Sago and a Cycad in the front yard.) I am blocking access to my front yard because these plants are poisonous -- As a further precaution, I am raking up any and all seeds or nuts that may be present. Another line of defense is that I never take my eyes off him when he is outside. Nevertheless, he can disappear in a split-second, so constant vigilance is necessary at all times.

Here is what I found:

All parts of sago palm are considered poisonous, with the seeds (nuts) being the most toxic part of the plant. Sago palm contains cycasin, which is the primary active toxic agent resulting in severe liver failure in dogs. Ingestion results in acute gastrointestinal signs (e.g., drooling, inappetance, vomiting, diarrhea) within 15 minutes to several hours after ingestion. Central nervous system signs (e.g., weakness, ataxia, seizures, tremors, etc.) and severe liver failure can be seen within 2-3 days post-ingestion. Clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, inappetance, abnormal fluid accumulation in the abdomen, abdominal pain, jaundice, and black-tarry stool. Aggressive decontamination and treatment should be initiated. Even with aggressive treatment, the survival is about 50%.

If you suspect your dog or cat ate sago palm, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment recommendations.

Jim & Hugs

Apr 25, 2015 (Ten weeks 2 days old)

Dateline: San Diego - Following a brief, much needed, evening rain shower, all is well in Hugsland. With the withdrawal of all treats, “things” have returned to normal. Our morning trip to the “spot” is much more comfortable now that the extra fence is in place. It’s actually 36 inches high, so he isn’t going anywhere. Today is the day I put the barricades to the front yard in place. There’s no end in sight – I must do a search on house plants which are under attack as I type.

BC – Considered the Smartest Dog in the World: For those that are experiencing, as I am, a kind of “smart aleck” demeanor in your B.C. puppy, I have found that saying things like “oh, you think you are so smart” ... seems to work well.

Hugs is 13.3 lbs as of this morning (unofficial bathroom scale method). I think that includes a pound of dirt, sticks and other delectable morsels sucked up from the backyard.

In Other News: The “biting” is, somewhat, under control – ruling out the impromptu “sneak attacks” that have rendered two pair of nice sweat pants “holy”. However, on the bright side, the loss of blood is now minimal.

Best regards to all ...

Jim & Hugs

April 26, 2015 (Ten weeks 3 days old)

Dateline San Diego - Hugs gets up full of p*** and vinegar and he just got more supercharged as the day progessed. He was wound up and determined to do what HE wanted to do, regardless of any attempt on my part to protect him from himself. Like eating dirt. I thought that “Hugs” didn’t fit him, today – perhaps “Dirt Dog” would be better. He is “on to me.” He gets a piece of dirt in his mouth and RUNS from me. He knows that I will “pry it out of his little mouth” and that’s not what HE wants.

Reading the book “Chaser - Unlocking the Genius of a Dog that Knows a Thousand Words” is a bit of a downer – but, then, again, I’m not a Psychologist with 40 years experience. I am going to have to reassess my approach to training Hugs. Not that I have done anything harmful ... more like what I haven’t done.

I start, anew, tomorrow. He is going to be a challenge if his behavior, today, was an example. He peed on his bed in the living room – a bunch of toys were on the bed, so they got wet, too. No big deal – into the washer and dryer. But the fact that he did that was a little off the wall. He had been so good about going to his “spot.” Maybe I’m expecting too much from a 10-1/2 week old ... do ya think???

Thank God I’m a Taurus with a long time reputation of never giving up. I can see that I have met my match. It’s truly going to be a match of wits. This guy is really, really smart ... damn ... maybe too smart for me!!! LOL He loves kids and met several on the other side of the new fence this afternoon. He also watches TV. Yeah, some kids were on TV and he was definitely watching. If you telephone here, don’t be surprised if he answers.

Jim and Hugs

April 26, 2015 (Ten weeks 3 days old)

Dateline: San Diego - Breaking News: “Nose to Tail in 40 Minutes” is an inexactitude. Today started with a “mistake” and a “misunderstanding”. Right out of his Cart, Hugs made his “IMMEDIATE” trip to his “SPOT” and did his business, or so I thought. We then proceed to his favorite part of the morning – BREAKFAST. He makes short work of the 1/4 cup of nibbles and is supposed to have a “digestion” period of 20-40 minutes. Not so this morning as he made unnoticed tracks for the bedroom and a three tootsie roll deposit. I immediately told him “NO” and then went outside and immediately transported him outside to his spot. Of course this was for instructional purposes, only, since the deed had already been done. Since Border Collies are reputed to be so smart, I thought I’d try to appeal to his intellectual side by saying, “we don’t do our ‘business’ in the house,” to which he said, “you do.” Not wanting to continue further I decided that it would be best to play “tug of war” and be more vigilant, next time.

More B.C. Info to Digest: Amazon delivered three books yesterday:

1. Chaser by John W. Pilley – “Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words” I can only say, move over, Chaser, Hugs is on the way!!

2. Border Collies, A Complete Owner’s Manual with a Special Chapter: “Living with a Border Collie” – this is a 98 page primer that, initially, tries to discourage you in your selection of a Border Collie based upon the incredible challenge involved. There’s no doubt that there ARE any number of challenges. I can attest to that in only a week into our journey to stardom.

3. And for “recreational reading”, “Ottolenghi ... The Cookbook” (discovered by eating at a bistro in Santa Fe, NM’s art community). This place is a gourmet's paradise, not that I am a “gourmet” but the food was great.

With Hugs around the only time to read will be after he goes to bed ... and, under my new BC-Imposed Lifestyle, that’s only a matter of a few hours before my mandatory bedtime –because 6:30-7:00AM is our “starting time”. Our newest interest is the “laundry basket” and dirty socks.

Craig’s List: Under SHEEP ... Sheep rental. Local sheepherder is offering his flock for Border Collie training. By the hour or by the day. Do-it-yourself or Trainers available at extra charge. The Sheep are experienced and willing to help train your B.C. in the finer points of sheep herding. No nippers or biters allowed.

Jim & Hugs

April 29, 2015 (Ten weeks 6 days old)


One thing is for sure, Hugs is “strong willed.” I think, in the long run, that is great. In the short run it is frustrating. I think I am expecting too much from ME. Afterall, he’s a puppy and in the book “Chaser” he says, “let them BE puppies.”

Hugs loves people and gets all “wacked out” when I have my neighbor and other friends in. Everybody loves him and that goes double for me. I remember Mom saying, “this, too, shall pass.” I can add, "but not fast enough!"

He has the “lay of the land.” You should see him run in the backyard – a “maniacal” run in circles and figure 8’s. I should have such energy!!! I have everything secured, I think. But with this little Houdini, I’m never sure. I came up with a “creative” idea for his “chewing.” I went to the pet store and bought a long rawhide/whatever thing. I used my “lopers” – a tree branch cutting tool – the only thing strong enough to cut this into smaller pieces. I slipped one piece in each end of the red bone and another into the “tire” and it worked like magic – what a refill. He loves both.

Jim & Hugs

April 30, 2015 (Eleven weeks old)

I think I may have a solution to the flea problem. I have used, successfully, a non-toxic natural insecticide called CedarCide. It kills fleas and other bugs on contact but is advertised to be safe for puppys, dogs, cats, etc. The company is out of Texas and they distill the unique sap of the red cedar tree, native to Texas. My buddy has a “bunch” of dogs and uses it. His complaints were that he had to reapply it frequently for it to be effective and that it’s pricy – $29.00/bottle. This is because he is in a heavy flea infested area.

I used it on my last dog, Buster and, I, too, got tired of reapplying it two or three times a day and went for the Comfortis. BUT, with a puppy, that’s not an issue. I’m going to try it. I have two bottles left out of a case I bought,so it will be convenient to try.

He’s having a good day and not being too cantankerous – I am practicing the art of distraction in too many ways to list here.

Jim & Hugs

May 2, 2015 (Eleven Weeks 2 days old)

Dateline San Diego: Border Collie Source of Orthopedic Problem in Seniors – Hip Connection Syndrome

As Hugs settles in and takes over, he does so with “stealth.” - One never knows exactly where Hugs may be, but rest assured, HE knows where YOU are. If I make a move toward the backdoor, front door, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen – miraculously, the “invisible” dog appears and attaches himself to my hip. Several “step-on’s” have resulted in a sharp outcry as small feet get under big feet. In fact, I never knew he was there!

Pack Leader? Alpha Dog? Major Controversy Erupts - In a pitched battle for supremacy, an on-going struggle for Pack Leader is in full bloom. To say that Hugs is “strong willed” is to push the limits of “understatement." I view this in a self-serving optimistic manner. I think of his future athletic performance and know that he will never give up ... no matter what the odds. In the meantime, I have stocked up on band-aids and Neosporin. How long before we see evidence that Border Collies want to please their masters?

The Rawhide Revolution - The “red bone” with the open holes in the end for messy peanut butter and the round “tire-like” treat holder can be modified. I went to the local pet store and purchased a 10-12” rawhide bone. These “bones” are hard ... very hard. A garden tool used to cut large branches (a loper?) is the only way to cut these “bones” into smaller pieces for insertion into the red bone and black tire. Careful measurement is necessary to get the right size so that they cannot be removed. This has been a BIG hit in the life of “Mr. Chew-it-Up" Hugs. Countless “vulnerable” items have been spared the “Wrath of Hugs.” So far I’m doing better than my son-in-law who lost a fine pair of very expensive designer sunglasses among other valuables to his “pack.”. I have found that vigilance and innovative distraction to be the most effective damage control method.

Round Rose Garden: Raised Garden Boxes Turned into Race Track - Hugs has a kind of “manic” state that comes out of nowhere. While in the backyard, he suddenly changes into “Speed Dog”. He runs high-speed laps around the rose garden and shoots out after several revolutions to run right down the middle of my raised vegetable garden boxes and then back to complete a few more laps. A discussion with my Vet has produced no significant findings as to the cause of this behavior. Initial tests indicate a strong connection to “puppyhood”. More on this breaking story, later ...

Dealing with the Know-it-Alls on Dogs – A friend observed, yesterday, that Hugs has BIG PAWS. He then waxes eloquent on the fact that this is an indication that Hugs will grow into a BIG dog, much bigger than I expected. After he left I consulted my friends at Google. This is not true. This is just another puppy urban-myth. To the contrary, the overall growth of a Border Collie will be “proportional.” In other words, the rest of him will “catch up” to his paws

Border Collies: Sheep Dogs or Miner’s Dogs? - Hugs “excavated” the entire base of my Cheriamoya tree in the backyard. His digging intensity indicated a “native, instinctive” ability. The tree needed “cultivation” anyway and the “black on white” aftermath (Hugs “had” four white legs prior to this project) justifies a BATH later today.

I must close, now, it’s time to take a trip to our “spot” followed by His Majesty’s morning nap – best regards to all.

Jim & Hugs

May 4, 2015 (Eleven Weeks 4 days old)

Dateline San Diego:

Bionic BC Discovered in San Diego - It all begins with the “presentation” of a toy, a red toy, a pink toy or a knotted rope known as a “floss-toss.” Any toy will do. There is a low, sinister “growl” coming from behind the toy. One is expected to drop one’s hand into which this toy is inserted in anticipation of a “tug-of-war”. This behavior takes on “bionic” proportions since it seems to be never ending. Failure to comply often leads to OB (and that’s not Ocean Beach) that’s “owner biting.” For whatever reason, there are periods of “mock attack” that aren’t so mock. A sharp “no” is of little value, but a fenced-in “front porch time out” is. When a “cooler head” prevails he is allowed admission to “polite society” once again.

New Scientific Breakthrough – Dirt has the nutritional benefits of the popular dog food brands. San Diego, a center for medical research and medical instrument development has contracted with Admiral B. C. Hugs for a new scientific, double blind study to prove the nutritional efficacy of plain old garden dirt. The Admiral was selected from a large field of canine dirt-eaters and found to be capable of consuming large quantities of the all natural substance. Researchers believe that the results of this study may impact even human food.

Gardening Dog “Assists” Owner – In an effort to do some standard gardening chores, Hugs proved that even canines can have a green paw. As I pulled weeds from the garden, Hugs grabbed hold of them and ran, only to return to repeat his form of assistance. He pitched right in when I took a garden spade in hand and started digging a hole into which I wanted to transplant a tomato plant. Taking the cue, Hugs started digging his own hole – the purpose for which is still undetermined. His method is unique – dirt flies between his legs onto the brick garden path requiring later clean-up. We have had inquiries from the local Garden Club for an appearance of Hugs at their monthly meeting.

Treats Prove Unsatisfactory - I spend a lot of time converting some “out-of-date” frozen meat into chemical-free, homemade “jerkey treats” for Hugs. They are made from beef, chicken and pork. Sliced very thin using a big meat slicer and dried over night, they come out perfect – but much, much too rich for Hugs. As for the “taste test,” they passed with flying colors. On the other end of the spectrum, they passed, but that wasn't so good. So, I vacuum packed these treats in air-tight Food Saver bags and put them away for future use – when someone’s tummy matures a bit.