“September 11, 2001; We Will Not Forget.”
Though I had anticipated playtime, having seen my buddies gather at the same time as I outside the Nationals’ baseball stadium in Washington DC, the day proved to be so much more. At fifteen months old, I sensed many emotions in the air as more and more humans arrived on the morning of September 11, 2016.
Somber, exciting, exhilarating…the air held it all. This ceremony was to give pause and remember the fallen. This ceremony was to honor emergency service. This ceremony was for the young to learn. My buddies and I walked our humans proudly and calmly onto the field. What an honor it was. The beautiful ceremony, which included thousands of members of the United States Navy, Army, Air Force, and DC First Responders, concluded with a most impressive flyover of three jets in a striking V formation – just like birds!
Resilience: Everyone had a wonderful time on a beautiful day.
The icing on the cake: the Nationals defeated Philadelphia three to two.
On a gorgeous day with 31,229 humans gathered at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1. This game might very well have been my last baseball game of the season, and possibly my last game with my puppy raisers since the timeline dictates that I commence college in January. Although anticipating a bittersweet day, my puppy raisers know that my college career will be yet another fun adventure for me, and all the advanced training will be in preparation for a job yet to come.
By the by, have you observed that my two baseball teams, the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals, have won every baseball game that I, Louie, have attended?
This spectacular September produced a visit to one of America’s largest firehouse museums. I joined our friends from VeRUS under a white canopy, which was stationed under a large shade tree in the corner of the Lutherville Fire Museum of Maryland parking lot. Take it from me, VeRUS dog food is delicious! My shoulder’s angel and devil were in the midst of debate. I knew before during and after that it was not the big boy thing to do, but my pearly whites and nose conspired together. On this sweltering September day I scarfed the handful of the loose, dry dog food that was sitting atop the red cloth-covered table just waiting to be eaten.
Though the day was a scorcher, I had a ton of fun with my gorgeous young Hero Dogs girlfriend, Clara. We showed inquiring humans a few of our skills. My puppy raisers brought a camera that contained videos of me performing a few of my more complex skills in anticipation of inquiring humans’ curiosity. The visiting humans certainly were curious! Watching my videos caused many smiles and more questions.
At the end of the day Clara and I enjoyed touring the cool – and I mean cool in every sense of the word – museum which contained fire fighting history dating all the way back to 1806. Even a smaller Baltimore City Fire Department building was inside this fire museum, complete with frozen humans dressed in period clothing. We saw shiny antique fire trucks which were powered by several means including horses, but these horses were frozen as well, so these fire trucks were traveling nowhere. This museum even had working telegraph registers! It was a spectacular museum containing a plethora of history!
A second firehouse visit, this time in Germantown, Maryland. Several of my buddies were also in attendance but this visit was unlike any other. It was not the human dressed like a puppy – that did not fool this big boy. It was not that I walked around visiting everyone, observing everything – even a fire demonstration. It was not the many humans. It was that my leash traded hands! All of a sudden, my puppy raiser was no longer holding me but rather my buddy Scruggs, and Clara’s puppy raiser was holding me! I saw Clara leave with Bobby’s puppy raiser but I never saw Bobby!
I traveled to the parking lot with Scruggs where he remained in my transport vehicle. I ‘hupped’ into Clara’s transport vehicle but my puppy raiser did not follow! It was another Great Puppy Swap!! This time the transport occurred while the sun was still brightly lit. I went on holiday to Universe Clara for five moons.
During this time I attended grad school where I met several friendly classmates, and became an honorary Master’s student even though I slept through class. I shopped at Target and Marshalls department stores where I demonstrated patience and big boy behavior while visiting a greeting card section, Halloween section, and toy section. I walked the NCR trail where I had help ignoring other canines and practiced heel, and I impressed Clara’s puppy raiser with just how wonderful a cuddler I am! I was excellent…but…
Remember, I love challenges and I love to challenge. So, I also tested my limits. I sampled a delicious helping of a lonely quiche that was sitting on the kitchen counter. I was settled with everyone in the family room when the quiche’s scrumptious aroma captured my nose’s attention. I was mesmerized. My nose pulled my body over to the counter, cutting off my ear’s ability to hear, and my pearly whites satisfied my nose by helping itself to a sampling. Apparently this behavior is also inappropriate in this universe.
I loved my Great Puppy Swap to Universe Clara, and you know what? I think that Clara’s humans loved me. After all, I am Louie, and this universe was previously known as Ruby’s Universe. Remember, Ruby is my beautiful sister who made her home there before she set out to college. Yup, this pup blessed Ruby’s humans with a blast from the past. Thank you for having me.
This spectacular September, Row Boat gave me a ride! At ten feet long, Row folds liken to a business letter. I donned my bright red life jacket once again, and set out to accompany Row (our petite yacht) on its maiden voyage late one spectacular September afternoon.
As I patiently waited for my puppy raisers to unfold Row, I saw three large civilian canines which gave me ample opportunity to practice ‘look.’ Even though I was excited to see them I behaved like a big boy. With a little help restraining my happy feet because, frankly, I would have preferred swimming, Row turned us in a few circles before setting off on a straight path. Row’s circles were like the merry-go-round minus the vibrantly colorful frozen horses, which brought life and humor to this fifteen-minute river odyssey. With darkness looming, we went ashore so as to give Row enough time to fold before returning home.
I boarded a silver tube once again, this time from Owings Mills. It was one straight shot to downtown Baltimore so this transport did not involve a single transfer. I met family for lunch and visited my Billy at work before returning home via the silver tube.
This silver tube must have known that I was to be its guest that very morning. Upon entering the tube I noticed that I, Louie, was going to be tested. Clearly the plastic water bottle that rolled the length of the train and back was there for me to practice ‘leave it.’ The bottle purposefully tempted me several times by rolling itself past my face just one inch in front of my nose. When I thought that it was going to leave me for good it would reappear, rolling just a portion of the train’s length in the opposite direction, this time slowing as it passed my nose. It was dancing with the silver tube. After a couple more shortened, slow, tempting, teasing rolls the bottle decided that I was not going to bite, and left me for good, rolling all the way to the front of the train.
This was great practice for this debonair, handsome boy, and it was very thoughtful of the silver tube to have this clear plastic bottle ready just for me. I have to admit, to the bottle’s credit, it did tempt me but even better, to my credit, my nose kept its cool and I, Louie, did indeed, “leave it!” Are your buttons not bursting with pride?
In addition, this Spectacular September brought me to a Labor Day celebration in Pennsylvania and a birthday party in Gaithersburg. I impressed with impeccable manners at the Columbia mall, patience in Joann Fabrics, big boy behavior in Walmart, the grocery store, and Home Depot… and I made seven videos to share with you.
A Medley: Seven of Louie’s Spectacular Skills Made with Love Just for You
1. “Louie, Pull!” .07
2. “Louie, Take it… Take your Place” .14
3. “Louie, Put Your Toys Away” 1:06
4. “Louie, Under” .07
5. “Louie, Find It” .31
6. “Louie, Take your Kong…Drop in Sink” .06
7. “Louie, Paw” (Handicap Door) .06
.. / .- — / .-.. — ..- .. . / .- ..-. – . .-. / .- .-.. .-.. .-.-.-
translation: I am Louie, after all.