This year, we vacationed for one month on Cape Cod with our little dog, Winky, to fulfill a Bucket List for me. Here are his reactions…

July 22 – Today I am grateful for my doggy carriage. My family (Mom and Puppa) and I walked this sunny morning to Centerville Beach. It was very hot and several dogs stopped us along the way to touch noses with me. I tried to greet each one with quiet and cautious respect. I like to show my parents that I am a gentleman. 

Big Let Down: no dogs are allowed on the beach. Then, just as Puppa left us to dip his feet in the warmer-than-usual water, a huge trash truck pulled into the beach parking lot – they terrify me with their great size and loud wrenching noises and I lost my decorum. Mom recognized my panic and put me in the carriage and wheeled me quickly out of the lot and across the street to wait for Puppa. I was so glad I could sit in the carriage facing backwards and privately regain my composure.

I rode back about halfway and then I walked home the rest of the way. I intentionally put a bounce in my step and I guess I succeeded in looking jaunty because a smiling man working in the street called out to me, “Take her on a good walk, little Pup!”

Every dog should have a carriage; they are useful when you are hot and too tired to walk and they come in handy when you are in an awkward situation and need a place to hide.

And one more thing: every dog should have a chance to show their manners on a beach.  I mean have you seen how some humans behave at the shore??!!

July 29 – I am grateful for stairs. This house has a set of stairs leading to an office and a TV area. I have always been leery of stairs and reluctant to attempt an ascent – or a descent for that matter. The time was right for me to break through – I liked being around my peeps and I could go with them everywhere except upstairs. So I took myself aside and thought about how I don’t like being picked up and carried; it is not comfortable, it’s embarrassing. I don’t enjoy being left out when my parents go up there. Half the house is up there and I wanted to check it out.

So, on Tuesday when Mom went upstairs to her computer, I gave myself a pup talk and went for it. I casually sauntered into the room, and sniffed my nose a few times to let her know that I was in the room with her. When she turned around and saw me, the expression on her face made it all worth it! She was astonished! Ha! I loved surprising her!

Now, whenever I am in the mood for it, I perch myself right at the top of the stairs where I can see what’s going on downstairs. Yesterday, I added an extra twist: I took one of my toys in my mouth and carried it with me up the stairs. Mom fussed over me, as I knew she would, and I wagged my tail like crazy and let myself be petted. What fun this stair climbing and coming down thing is! Life is good on Cape Cod.

August 12, 2019 – I am grateful for rabbits. For the first week here, I didn’t know that there were living creatures who appeared in the back yard now and then. I just thought there was a lot of green grass that felt cool under my paws, and it was fun to lay on it and dream of my favorite foods.

Then Puppa set up a long running line that’s attached to an anchor in the lawn and lets me walk around on my own. I was just trying it out when I spied a small brown creature with a twitching nose who seemed to like eating some of the plants nearby. I heard them called “rabbits.”

At first I just couldn’t figure out what they were. Then I studied them every time one of them hopped out onto the lawn; they were pretty fascinating. I wanted to get closer to them, but the line wouldn’t let me. I could tell they were hiding from me, too, and so I had to watch even more closely.

Okay, I admit it: I got addicted to them. I tried to figure out where they were every day as soon as Mom and I went for a morning walk and came back to the house. I wanted to sit on the lawn and wait for them to appear, but that wasn’t allowed usually until it was evening and Mom could sit nearby at the umbrella table and I could sit staring at the shed. She was nice and let me stand on rabbit patrol almost every night. Sometimes I could smell them but not see them. Sometimes I would go into the bushes near the shed, and a rabbit would suddenly run out and that was exciting!

I am glad that I got to see rabbits while we were on vacation. They are quick, and I am quick, too, but I was never quick enough to get close to them. I sometimes dream of these fast little creatures who live under the shed. Some things are meant to be dreams, never to be caught in real life. Sigh…

August 24, 2019 – I am grateful to be home, and to play with my toys, and to do a happy dance around the couch. I know where things are in this house. I have my favorite places to hide (under the bed) and where to nap (on the warm blanket that’s in the bedroom) and where I can find water to drink and food to eat whenever I want to. 

I miss the grass at the other house, and being able to lie in wait for the rabbits to appear. That was fun! But I like this place the best because it is my forever home; I belong here and I am grateful to have my two special people to love and take care of, and they do fun stuff with me like throwing the ball and rubbing my belly. It feels really good at night when it’s time to sleep, and as Mom or Puppa turns out the light, I settle in, feeling safe and loved. Ah, home. It’s the best.