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A Grape Day

Hello, readers! I realize it has been quite a long time. Please accept my sincerest apologies for my absence here.

Unfortunately, my secretary, also known as the Lady, spent the whole summer learning some new skills and then was job hunting (I’m not certain what that is, but perhaps a “job” is some sort of comestible?) all fall and winter. As a result, she neglected her secretarial duties with an alarming disregard for my responsibilities to my small yet devoted audience.

I thought about conducting a search for a secretarial replacement, but I found it surprisingly difficult to get any placement agencies to return my calls.

However, the Lady now has found a “job” and appeared somewhat chastened when I scolded her for abandoning her post with no warning. Guilt led her to attempt bribery.

Which worked out well for me, I must say.

Last spring, the Guy, the Lady, and I went on a beach and wine tasting trip with Discover Outdoors. My first trip to the beach was so exhilarating that the Lady decided to repeat the experience this past weekend.

We had a smaller group this time, but clear skies and plenty of sunshine.

Running on the sand is excellent exercise

Running on the sand is excellent exercise

I spent much of the day in the company of budding Instagram star Pippa (a/k/a “The Brooklyn Pipster“). As some of you know, I do not suffer the energies of young puppies kindly; at four months, Pippa is decidedly young and decidedly…energetic. Nevertheless, she shows great promise for a puppy, and I have no doubt that should we chance to meet again in a year or so, I will find her company most enjoyable.

Keeping an eye on the dunes

Keeping an eye on the dunes

After the beach, we visited a couple of wineries, where the humans enjoyed sampling some lively whites and smooth reds while I took in the scenery and the odors.

 

Drink all the Merlot you want

Drink all the Merlot you want

The wine humans were most welcoming to us dogs, so much so that I began to ponder what a charmed life it would be to spend the rest of my days as a resident vineyard dog. If my humans cannot be convinced to start their own enterprise, perhaps someone could put me in touch with a winemaker in search of a canine mascot?

Checking out the oak

Checking out the oak

Until such an opportunity arises, I’ll just have to savor my memories of that fine day.

Among the vines

Among the vines

P.S. I was very well-mannered (as always) and did not leave any my personal signature on any of the vines. Just in case you were wondering.

Albert the Dog toy
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A Visitor from Mars

Earlier this week, I had a very special visitor. My friend Ms. Jodi from Life in Between came all the way to New York just to see me!* Jodi comes from Mars, which is the fourth planet from the sun in Pennsylvania, a magical land where the woods are filled with delicious deer carcasses and the UPS man carries treats in his pocket.

As you can imagine, I was very eager to meet our esteemed visitor, so I was pulling on my leash as the Lady and I walked to her hotel. I recognized Ms. Jodi right away, and in my excitement, I’m afraid I may have forgotten my manners and jumped all over this pretty lady.

Jodi just happened to have a bag filled with chewy bacon treats when we met. To show my appreciation for this thoughtful gesture, I attempted to stick my entire face in the bag at once. But I was thwarted by the ever abstemious Lady, who insisted I get only one treat at a time. (Odd how Her abstemiousness seems to apply only to me and not to Her own diet. I am really growing a little weary of this constant diet-monitoring and am beginning to consider taking some sort of action. If any readers can offer me some legal advice, I would be most grateful.)

After showing our guest around the neighborhood, I retired for a brief nap, but not before Ms. Jodi surprised me with another lovely gift: a new toy staff member. I have found myself rather short-staffed in recent weeks, so this little orange fellow arrived just in time. As you can see, I put him through a rigorous training program:

You can see a picture of Jodi with me at her blog here. She has immediately jumped into my top favorite humans list, and is obviously my #1 favorite human in Pennsylvania. I am very much hoping to be able to pay a return visit to Mars someday.

I just have to start building my spaceship.

 

* The Lady says that Ms. Jodi actually came to the city for work and that I was just a side visit, but I really think She must be mistaken. After all, I am one of New York’s greatest attractions.

Albert the Dog baker
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How to Help Your Human Bake a Cake: A Guide for Dogs

I am an expert sous-chef, but I have little experience in the dessert realm. But what kind of chihuahua-terrier-Dalmatian-Pekingese hybrid would I be were I to quake in the presence of a few eggs, flour, and sugar?

When the Lady announced Her plan to participate in our friend Lili’s Tres Leches Challenge, I knew I would be a vital part of the cake-making team. It was quite a learning experience for me (I seem to be having a lot of new experiences lately), and I hope my newly acquired knowledge will demystify the baking process for any dogs who, like me, have little acquaintance with the pastry arts.  Continue reading

Albert the Dog at Pier 54
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Where in New York Am I?: Peering into the Past

As we strolled up the Hudson River Park the other day, the Lady and I passed a Department of Sanitation depot south of 14th Street. I would have loved to investigate the intriguing odors emanating from the garbage trucks, but the Lady insisted we hurry along (She does not share my fascination with garbage smells). Next door, we encountered this rusting steel arch fronting a disused pier.

This pier, strewn with debris and currently occupied by construction vehicles, is connected with two major ship disasters.  Continue reading