Dear Diary,
It is a beautiful and glorious day here in the Northeast, and me and my Dad pray this entry finds you and yours happy, healthy, and safe.
My goodness, I have soooooo much to tell you!!! Me and Dad went on our very first vacation together, and they were the best days of my whole life!!!! He had told me a few days before Miss Amber (Dad’s daughter-in-law and one of my favorite humans) came to pick us up that we were going on what he likes to call a Bilbo Baggins Adventure, but because he had his headphones on when he first told me, I was only half paying attention because I didn’t know whether he was talking to me or his computer. I have since learned that sometimes he likes to listen to music while he’s walking around the house, but he didn’t explain that to me until just now as he was watching over my shoulder, like he always does, as I am putting this entry together.

I watched him packing the backpack, watched him filling ziplock baggies with my food and my treats and a couple of cans of tuna – my favorite addition to my boring dry food – but still wasn’t paying close attention until he put my food bowl in the bag along with everything else. I was like “, Um, Dad? How am I going to eat if you put away my food bowl?” but I don’t think he heard me, and I was a little confused.

Dad tells me all the time that he’s not a very excitable guy, but since neither of us has left our house since he brought me home – except for visits to the vet or him going to the bank – he told me he was actually beside himself about the two of us leaving the state and going to stay with his son Jamie (another one of my favorite humans) but once I figured out what ” beside himself” actually meant, I realized that I was beside myself too. I ain’t going to lie… I started barking at him to hurry up and get ready because I was getting a little tired of having to wait. My belly was full, I had my sexy new red collar on, and my new matching red leash was swinging wildly, draped over the back of his neck while he was scrambling around to make sure he had everything packed, and I got tired of trying to grab it only to miss it or have him snatch it out of my amazingly beautiful fully grown in set of adult dog teeth. I was ready to go and was frankly put out by being told that I had to be patient and wait but all I kept asking was why the hell (Dad gave me a swear pass to say that) we weren’t already at Jamie’s house.

By the time Miss Amber got to the house and helped Dad load our stuff into the car, I had already long forgotten how much I hate car rides, but as soon as Dad opened her car door, having a flashback of the five-and-a-half hour drive me and Emma had to endure before moving into our forever homes, I realized what was happening and I wanted no part of it. And I let Dad know that I wanted no part of it. And, as the two of us were arguing about it, Miss Amber calmly walked up behind me, scooped me up, and gently put me in the way back of her SUV, smothering me with kisses(which she knows I’m a sucker for) before I even had a chance to start trying to explain to her that I wanted no part of that.

The good news is that the trip only takes about an hour and a half, but the bad news is that – about 30 minutes away from Jamie’s house, my stomach decided to part ways with my full belly of dinner. We pulled over at a rest area, and nobody was mad at me, feeling sorry for me instead, and telling me everything was okay and loving on me, but honestly? I felt amazing. Miss Amber had pulled up near the doggy walk spot so Dad could take me out of the car, wipe me down, and clean my face. As it turns out, we had apparently pulled up right next to the entire universe’s primary mosquito breeding ground, or so Dad said, because we were under the most incredible attack of mosquitoes in, as he said at the time, all of the course of the history of mankind. My Dad likes to exaggerate, but honestly, I don’t think he was far of…those things were vicious, brutal, unforgiving, and relentless.

The rest of the trip was fine and uneventful, but just as we hit town, a mile or so away from the house, the sky opened up, and we were under a deluge of heavy rain and, as far as this freaking gorgeous little pup is concerned, all of this rumbling and flashing light coming from the sky freaked me the heck out, and I tried to bolt. I hadn’t heard the word until that moment, but my Dad says it was total pandemonium; he was soaking wet, he had pinned me to the ground because he thought he had lost grip on my leash and halter, and he was freaking out as Amber was trying to close her car door and come help Dad get a hold of me, and get me up on the porch out of the rain. I heard him say he needed a minute to get his heart rate back down under 300, and he made all of us laugh, so I guess he was just as freaked out as I was.

Honestly? I was a little overwhelmed, trying to work through the emotions of being scared for my life but at the same time so incredibly excited about all the things Dad promised we were going to be doing when we got up in the morning. I fell asleep – out of sheer emotional exhaustion- while he was doing all that talking in that soothing, amazing voice of his, and the only bad dream I had 5 seconds later was of that boom of thunder and flash of light that had made me try to bolt, and then I was snoring. But when I woke up in the morning, and Dad took me outside to do my business and sit on the front porch (like we do every day at home), I knew exactly what he was talking about before I had fallen asleep the night before.

After the humans and the canines finished with breakfast, Miss Amber opened the back door and sent the kids – Willow and Jax – as well as her two dogs, Dixie (a 6-year-old chocolate brindle American Bully) and Oberon (a 5-month-old Cane Corso, and the most handsome man I’ve ever met and intend to love for my whole life) out into the yard. Dad had me on the leash like he always does, but when we got through the gate, and he stepped inside and closed it behind him, he took me off the leash and told me to go have the time of my life and see how it felt to be totally free. I ain’t gonna lie….. I thought he had lost his mind… but I was like, “You don’t have to ask me twice,” and in about five strides, I felt like I was going a hundred miles an hour around and around in circles as if I was the luckiest dog that had ever lived! Did I mention they had a sprinkler there!?

Oberon and I spent two solid days together; we ran, we got wet in the sprinkler, napped together while we waited to dry off, and, yes, we had a couple of squabbles along the way. I know he was just playing hard to get, pretending that I was just another pretty face in a crowd of pretty faces that adored him, but we all know he was just pretending. I mean, c’mon, my stunning gorgeousness can neither be denied nor avoided, and I guarantee you that even as he would try to deny his love for me if you ask him, we all know I have him wrapped around my little pinky dew claw. Am I right, ladies?

Even Dad and I had a lot of one-on-one time together, each of us enjoying all of the company around us as well as being able to spend time anywhere else but the same old boring backyard that it can sometimes be. He did make a feeble attempt to explain to me that as much as he loved Oberon, too, I needed to be careful about falling for the pretty ones… Something about “the prettier they are, the harder the Heartbreak,” and I was like, “Whatevs, Dad, I know everything there is to know about love,” right before he started laughing as he told me that I would find out soon enough just how little I really knew about love.

While we’re on the subject of love, I absolutely adore Jamie, Miss Amber, all the dogs, all the kids, and all the people who came and went during Father’s Day weekend. There were cookouts, bonfires, and bouncy houses(no dogs allowed to be inside, which was a good thing), and the humans ate – as Dad likes to say- like fat kids on Halloween night. There were adult beverages as well, and I was honestly a little surprised by how many my Dad “threw down,” but I was so happy to see him so happy that it filled my whole heart… He’s too serious sometimes, that Dad of mine, and I’m glad he was able to take the two of us away for our Bilbo Baggins Adventure. I tried to ask my little man Obie when he wanted me and my Dad to come back and whether he would miss me or not, but as you might imagine, he pretended not to hear me even as I heard him whisper under his breath that he wished I didn’t have to leave.

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