Well, it all depends.  I was, but never mind that, that's another story, which I won't go into right now, Olivia, but my new owners, Charles and Brigitte call me Livia, well, that's not quite right.  I mean, he calls me Livia - sometimes - but mostly LIvie, and Brigitte?  Well, let me think.  Somebody (betch it vas Charly) said she's German.  That would explain why she called me Libby.  Her accent.  Well, maybe I should complain much.  I have a strange accent, too, I suppose.  Barking in Bow and Wow.  Well, that's not what I really wanna say. 

I do want to say somethin' about me, myself, me, Livia, Libby, or Livie or whatever you wanna call me.

Oh, that brings in another thing.  They brought me to their home, now my new home, and they expected me to show off my house breaking skills, which were, maybe, a bit questionable at best, but I have them, Bow & Wow, I do have them.  But that first day they had me locked in with no way to show off my pride and joyous training ... well, not even a chance to discover what is right or wrong.  So what was I supposed to do?  Needed to pee, I peeded, and needed to poop and I pooped.  Much to their dismay.  But the second day Brigitte (maybe it was the next next day, I'm not all that great on countin' mind you) ... well she showed me the "doggie door" (what a stupid name that is).  I was shown how it worked and that makes it so much easier to get around in and out of the house and to find my place, whatever that is!  I still get a little confused, of course.  But, heck, this is a new world to me, a new set of "commanders" (Brigitte & Charly).  But I'm slowly impressing them, I think.  They've discovered I know somethin' about a leash, and pretty much understand their "heeling" command and "OK" - as if I needed to be told I'm okay!  Well, okay, I know OK means I'm FREEEEEEEE to the extent of the expanding leash.

They've been working me on my name.  Well, I got that!  Believe me.  But they are just down right STUPID!  I'll be standing there near them and they'll say: "Livia" - or Brigitte's German "Libby" and expect, I don't know what!!!!  I'm right there in front of them.  They keep calling my name, as if I was deaf or somethin'!  Well, I'm not deaf...or somethin' - either!  I understand my name!  I just don't know what they are trying to have me do.

Oh, sure, now they're trying to be sophisticated about it.  Saying: Come.  GEEZE!  I'm right on top of them,  most of the time.  And they make such a fuss when I reluctantly go over to them and licky licky on the face.  (That's another strange thing. Charly says he don't want to become pregnant, as if my kissing his lips will do that to him!  Funny human man!)

But they are really pretty fine folk.  I mean, they had me in the garage the first couple of nights or so.  That last one I made a fuss and they made a HUGE BLOODY FUSS and even showed me the Garage Doggie Door, then fussed some more, and finally closed of the door.  Charly said:  "Okay, so we either lock her up in the garage or we let her sleep with us!"  GEEZE, BOW & WOW!  He won the day and now I can sleep with them at night.  It is somewhat of a struggle at times, though, cause I wanna slip under the covers with them, but they have some strange idea that I shouldn't do that.  It does get a bit cold, perhaps.  Ah, but it is so nice. 

They are really becoming a swell couple of masters!  I'm truly beginning to like them a lot.  I'll try to do my best in understanding their talky walky to me.  But most of all I want them to understand me, too.

Well all that in time. 

I'll put down some new notes later.  This is enough for this day - about a week or so since I joined their lives.



    ONE YEAR IN...
           “We’re going to the beach!”  Charles tells me.

“We’re going to the beach!”  Brigitte announces as if I haven’t already been told our destination!

“Livi! We’re going to the beach!”  Charles repeats as if I hadn’t heard them the first time.

“Wanna go to the beach, Livi?” Brigitte happily asks me. Then once more says: “We’re going to the beach!” 

BIG DEAL!  I mean, they must think I’m dumb or somethin’.  I’m not dumb.  Just because I can’t speak English, like they do, that doesn’t make me dumb.  I understood that right off.  I even wagged my tail a bit.  What do the want?  Me to wag my tail off?

Okay.  I’ll admit, they do sound excited.  Maybe it is a big deal to them.  I know that Charles was more anxious to drive me there.  In fact, he’s done that before.  Brigitte didn’t see the GREAT Santa Barbara Doggie Beach!

But we’ve been to the beach before.  Just a different one.  For some reason they were continually nervous about me.  I mean.  I feel pretty attached to them, now.  It has been a year that we’ve been a family.  Really nice, that.  They take me to the doggie park almost every day.  But that’s another story to tell all about. 
        They are very dear.  They really love me. I know that.

Sometimes they talk to me as if they understand I know everything they are saying.  They tell me secrets about themselves, too, I understand that. But when we all go out together on a trip or somethin’ they suddenly treat me like I’m a dumb dog!  Sometimes that’s annoying.  Sometimes, well, it’s okay.  After all they’re only human.  They don’t even speak Dog Bark.  Well.  That’s a way we dogs can keep them on their tippy toes.  Kinda fun to sometimes “not” understanding what they say.  Especially when we're at the doggie park and they want me to submit to being re-leashed so we can go back to the car to drive home.  I mean, sometimes I don’t wanna go home…yet.  Well, that’s another story, too.

Right now I want to talk about the beach.

First they took me to a place where I had to be on the leash.  I can’t quite understand these rules and regulations humans make up. But. Well. Humans are what they are.  And us dogs have a mind of our own.  I’d like to be free all the time to run like wild.  But they seem to think it is necessary to restrict my actions. Like taking me for a walk.  It is either the short leash or the longer one.  And they keep telling me “no pulling! Livi, No PULLING!” when I tug on the leash, wanting to see something, smell some delicious … well, they have their ideas and I have mine. 

Actually.  I have heard Charles – by the way I don’t know if I should call him that or Master Charles or Charly (what Brigitte calls him!).  Anyway, he says, many times, that he likes having me off-leash to have the freedom to run like wild.  Hmmmm…his idea of runnin’ like wild is within the confines of a walled space, like the Doggie Park they take me to all the time, where I get to meet my friends.  Or the back yard, at home.


Charles and Brigitte are always concerned about my safety; as if I were such a dumb dog I didn’t know how to take care of myself!  Hmmm…well, they care for me.  And.  I admit.  Some of the rules I don’t know much about.  And.  Of course, I do get excited at times and just rush off for a fun destination.  Once, early on, they opened the front door and I dashed out across the front yard and across the street to the place they call Gale’s house, where my dog friend sometimes visits.  Anyway they got all excited and kinda angry at me.  I think I understand, now.  Don’t go out of the house without being told to do so.

To be truthful it has been quite a learning experience.  I mean, learning the rules of the house.  I think I’m a fast learner.  But, to be honest, sometimes I simply don’t wanna follow directions. That makes Charles angry, and Brigitte all upset, too.  I don’t want to make them like that. But, sometimes I do get the urge to do something fun and silly or wild – like rushing out of the house at night, and barking at all the things in the backyard that come out to “play” when I’m not there to monitor what is considered my private territory.  Charles says its my personal domain, the back yard.  I agree. 


Back to the beach. 

It is a strange place.  Sand sand sand.   I like the sand.  Fun to dig into it at times, or roll in it.  The water, what Charles called “the ocean” just keeps rolling and splashing up on the beach, making some of it wet.  I don’t mind walking on the wet sand, well, don’t mind too much.  But I simply don’t like those waves.  I’m not quite certain what they are trying to do.  But they seem crazy, and out of control.   They just keep coming in, washin’ up on the sand, making it wet.  Big deal!  I can make things wet, too, but I don't rage and rant and...well I can do more things than make things wet!  GEEZE!  The ocean is strange, mysterious and very dangerous.  At least to me! Some of the waves are just shallow areas and others deeper and are more powerful. Now! That can be scary.  But I do enjoy the beach, as long as I can keep away from those dangerous watery waves. Arms reaching out to swallow me up!

The first experience I had when Charles had me on a lease and was backing into the water.  He's so brave! Turning his back on that dangerous and angry ocean. Well, suddenly a wave came splashing at us.  I tugged on the leash, desperately trying to get away.  But he just kept going backwards into the water.  I don’t think he realized what was happening until I was splashed with water.  I was really kinda upset and wet and don’t like that salty water splashing at me.  Charles wanted to get me to walk in the water, I think.  But he’s kinda given that up.

So.  We have gone to the beach a number of times.  And the rules do change a little.  I mean.  We went to a different beach, which had a huge, and I mean, very huge, sandy area before the crazy ocean took over, stretching off to forever into the sky.  The first time they took me there they keep me on the leash.  But the last time we went to that beach Charles released me so run on my own.  I guess he figured I could be managed.  I mean.  That I wouldn’t run off.  The streets where cars run along seem to be a no no place for me to run in. He's fanatic about that! Well, anyway, that day at the beach he let me run free.  Probably because the sandy area was so large.  I mean really large. 

That was a nice experience.  That first time.  But, just wait.  There’s plenty more.

I mean the Santa Barbara Doggie Beach.  That’s really something.

But I think I’ll write about that later.  I’m kinda tried, right now.  And, I note that Charles wants to take me for a walk.  Big deal!  Well.  Better than just hangin’ around home all day. Actually I enjoy those walks with him. 





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