Dear Diary,

Holy Canine!! Has it really already been two weeks!? Dad has been barking at me, literally, for two days about me being a slacker and not working on my diary. Seriously, for real? Does this human not understand the work that has to be put into being this amazing? Did he not read the chapter in the book “How to Serve Your Developing Molosser Properly”? I mean, it says right there that we need lots of sleep, lots of water, lots of food, a lot more sleep, a lot more food, and an allowance for eating furniture and making the humans clean up after us? Could one of you humans out there please order that book for him? I mean… I would, but he won’t let me near his credit card, and he won’t tell me why.

Emma and I are almost three human years old now and- as Dad puts it – “growing like weeds,” which I assume is a compliment. It’s hard to tell with him sometimes, though, because he’s pretty good at playing tricks on me with all these fancy words he’s trying to teach me. I’m learning pretty fast just how important it is to give him my undivided attention when he’s talking to me because you never know when he will throw you a pop quiz. I hate those, and so does Emma; while we are busy roughhousing, he likes to intervene, worries we are getting a little out of control and throws us the scariest question a puppy can be asked. You know the one… It always starts with “What have I told you two about…,” and we can never seem to come up with the right answer. Does anyone else out there hate this as much as we do?

Emma and her Mom picked Dad and me up yesterday and took us on what Dad called a “Doggie Daycare field trip.” Dad told me I would meet some new people while he was picking up a small piece of the grass fertilizer I donate to the yard four or five times a day, like clockwork. The only reason I even noticed that the bag was different from the ones he usually uses is because he sealed it shut in a ziplock and put it in his pocket. I thought that was especially weird and honestly a little creepy, but I never gave it another thought once I saw Bubbles the Cat scampering across the back end of the yard and tried (and failed) to drag Dad up the hill to say hello to Bubbles.

I can’t remember, but if I haven’t already shown you a picture of him, here’s one of what I think is just about the most gorgeous non-dogs I’ve ever met mostly because he lets me bat him around and knock him over, and doesn’t even hiss at me like my bitchy cat sisters who still haven’t figured out that I’m freaking gorgeous and should be loved and adored. I know they’re playing hard to get, but honestly, I’m getting a little tired of going along with this charade for much longer. Bubbles and I are building the foundation of a great relationship. My cat sisters? Not so much… Not yet, at least.

Our appointment at the vet went fine; I’m 3 lb heavier than my sister, we are healthy, happy, well-behaved (mostly), and… Wait for it… Freaking gorgeous! Of course, we knew that, but it’s not like we’ll ever get sick of hearing it. Dad told me, after we got home, that the people I met today are going to be some of my best human friends because, if I’m healthy, they’ll give me treats and love on me, and if I’m sick, they’ll give me treats and love on me. Dad tells me you humans call that a “win-win,” and I was like, “Whatevs, Pops.”

When we were haggling over what the title of this entry should be, he was the one who suggested “Building Foundations” because he told me that is what I’m doing in my life right now. Emma too.

After I thought about it for a little while, I realized that this actually makes quite a bit of sense. Emma and I are strengthening our relationship with each other, but the two of us are building foundations with bubbles, with Maisiey (the stunningly gorgeous Saint Bernard next door), with the kids that walk by when we are outside, with the neighbors and dog walkers that come and go, and with our parents and Emma’s dogs and my cats.

Dad keeps telling me that building relationships is hard, but with Good Foundations, they can grow and become amazing, rewarding, and spiritually fulfilling. I have to admit… I had to look that last one up… But my human knows what he’s talking about and assures me the world will be better off – once we move past the puppy stage – for Emma and I being a part of it. I love my Dad with my whole heart, and I know he loves me with his whole heart, and the more I listen to him, the more I’m quite sure he is right. Please don’t tell him that, though, because it will go straight to his head, and he’ll never let me hear the end of it.

The two of us spend at least three hours a day before Emma gets to my house in the morning and after Emma goes home. We talk about anything and everything you can imagine. Well, technically, he talks, and I listen, but I use my canine telepathy (and my gorgeous black, soulfully expressive eyes) to acknowledge everything he says and share my thoughts with him in response. He has asked me more than once whether I have any clue at all what he’s talking about, and I try to assure him I do by looking him straight in the eyes since he tells me he could get lost in them. Because he’s a human, he hasn’t figured out yet that I just as easily get lost in his voice, but he’ll come around with a little more training and a little more practice at this spiritually uplifting Foundation Building we are currently working hard at.

We have two places we go to for these conversations, and I still haven’t decided which of them I like most. I love the front porch because of those amazing wind chimes but I also like laying out in the yard, looking up at the stars while we sit underneath that amazing tree a few feet away from our spot on the porch.

He told me about Daisy, about how badly she wanted a sister but didn’t live long enough to get one, and told me more than once that I would have loved her and she would have absolutely adored me. He doesn’t know that her scent is everywhere in our spot in the yard because it was their spot in the yard, and since he doesn’t know what I know about her, all I can do is look him in the eye and reassure him that I love our spot every bit as much as she did and will for our whole life together. Before I was born, it was their spot, and now that I’m here, it’s our spot, and it’s exactly where we were both meant to be. Truth be told, he’s got me wrapped around his little finger every bit as much as I have him wrapped around my dew claw, and we are both pretty okay with that arrangement.

PS: Don’t tell Dad I did this, please…

Dad wrote a story about those wind chimes a couple of years ago, not long after he started the Hermit Chronicles newsletter, and told me all about it, but he doesn’t think very many people actually saw it. If you are interested and want to understand why those wind chimes mean so much to us, you should give it a read– it explains everything about our spot on the porch and our spot in the yard and what makes those wind chimes so special. I can hear them at night, when I’m in bed, even though they are downstairs and outside… If I’m having a bad dream, or Dad wakes me up as he snorkels into his weird-looking face mask, they make me feel safe and help me fall back to sleep.


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