It only took about a week for me to feel nice and settled into our new temporary home, which I’ve started calling the Big Jungle House. Although it’s not as cozy as the Wee Blue House back in Venice, it’s sure got its perks! For one thing, I’m free to wander the BJH all day off leash. Here’s a peek at a day in the life of a jungle dog.
5:30 AM: Wake up to Maya wanting to go out to pee. Jason stumbles out the door to deal with the puppy, while I snuggle in closer to Victoria.
6:30 AM: I lose my snuggling companion when Victoria gets up, chase Maya around the house yelling at her for messing up my beauty sleep.
7:00 AM: Wander around the lawn, sniffing flowers and biting at the little flying bugs. Get lucky and chomp one down. Delicious.
7:15 – 10:15 AM: Find a sunny spot, lay in it. Find a different sunny spot. Lay in that one. When necessary, move to the couch. Growl at Maya for wanting to play so early.
10:30 AM: Eat from Maya’s giant doggie dish. She just sits there and watches. Sucker!
10:45 – 11:15 AM: Playtime. Maya may be bigger, but I’m smarter and quicker. Plus, her face is fun to chew on.
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lay in the sun with Victoria. Try to lick her sunscreen off. Dart away from the pool when Jason tries to lure me in. I may be cute, but I’m not stupid.
1:05 PM: Jockey for treats. Hope for one of the homemade frozen yogurt/peanut butter/banana/honey things but willing to settle for a beggin’ strip. Just don’t leave us hanging!
1:15 – 2:00 PM: Playtime. Eventually tell Maya off because she just… Won’t… Stop!
2:00 PM: Lunch time. I graze between my bowl and Maya’s, taking the choicest morsels. Maya doesn’t seem to notice.
2:00 – 3:00 PM: Nap time. If I’m in a good mood, Maya gets to share the couch with me.
3:00 – 5:00 PM: Wandering the jungle. Maya and I try to see how far we can get away from the patio before Victoria and Jason start screaming. Eat bugs, chase birds, paw at lizards and roll around the yard. Basically the best part of the day.
5:00 – 6:30 PM: Lounge on the patio while My Family watches the sunset. Wonder when they’re going to make dinner.
6:30 – 8:00 PM: My Family makes dinner. Maya and I remain close at hand, to snag anything that gets dropped and make cute eyes to insure a taste.
8:00 – 10:00 PM: Couch time. Growl at Maya when she tries to steal my spot on Victoria’s lap. Jump off the couch to periodically put her in her place. Hope for more treats.
10:00 PM: Bed time. Often preceded by wrestling with Maya. Curl up under the covers to snuggle by Jason. Dream of a mad dash through the jungle.
As you can tell, I’m pretty much living the best dog’s life you could imagine. Every day is pretty similar right now, but I’ve got no complaints. There have been some unique moments over the past couple of weeks, however, both good and bad.
Once I was dragged to the local doctor’s office just after Heather left. It’s amazing that no matter what country we might be in, THAT SMELL is always the same. I can sense the doctor’s office from like a mile away. But as always in these situations, I don’t get a vote. The man who took care of me was very nice, although he did some rather awkward things to my bum. He redeemed himself, however, by giving me the best pedicure ever! Not only did he cut my nails, but he buffed and shaped them too. I felt like I was back in Los Angeles!
One afternoon, Maya and I got to conspiring. She’s still only five months old, so even though she’s a lot of fun and getting much bigger, she’s not much of a conversationalist. I noticed that Jason was busy working and Victoria was inside cleaning the house, so I suggested we should go explore the jungle. Maya doesn’t know what explore means yet, but she was more than happy to bound after me as I tip-toed around the corner and off the patio. We sniffed our way down the driveway, and then stopped at the grassy edge. I looked back up the hill, but My Family was nowhere to be found. Success! We dashed off into the jungle.
Suddenly we were surrounded by an amazing amount of smells that we had only sniffed from afar. There were flowers, fruits, trees, plants and dozens of animal smells. The howler monkeys were shouting in the trees somewhere down the mountain, but we were far more excited by what was right in front of us. Yes, right there in the grass… Something had died. I needed to get a closer look. Oh, man, I think it was a bird! I heard My Family yelling for us, but there was no stopping me and Maya from rolling around in that deliciousness. The yelling up the hill got more frantic, so finally I pulled myself together and darted back out onto the driveway. Victoria and Jason were pretty upset. They stormed over, and Maya and I dashed back up the hill and into the house. They grabbed us up for a timeout, and that’s when Jason got a whiff of what we were rolling in. I don’t know why that was such a big deal, but suddenly they were even more angry. We both got baths immediately, a punishment that definitely did not fit the crime in my mind. I don’t like making My Family worry, though. I tried to explain what had happened to Maya, but she was too busy licking the water off her fur to try and understand. I guess I’ll have to set a better example for Maya next time.
Maya really does follow my lead. Twice a week a nice man called Alvaro comes up to the Big Jungle House to play with the flowers. Even though I know his smell, I bark at him pretty much every time. Maya does too, although I don’t think she knows why she’s barking. Alvaro doesn’t seem to mind. Apparently he has seven dogs of his own! I would like to meet them someday. If they’re as nice as he is, I bet we’d have fun.
There’s just so much to bark at up here! We get huge storms, and the thunder rolls through the hills for ever and ever. Also, all sorts of animals come into my territory. Every time a huge toad, a colorful lizard, a long snake, or even a flittery hummingbird get too close I end up having to go inside. Stop cramping my style! One time a huge toad even came into our house. I didn’t know what was going on at first. I just heard Victoria open the front door and start screaming. Jason ran over, and so did me and Maya. Jason saw the toad before I did, and scrambled to get us out into the kitchen. The toad jumped at Victoria again, and she started screaming! Before I knew it I was overcome with a barking fit, and ran around the house. Maya started crying and wailing, scrambling around behind me. She was so scared she peed all over the floor. C’mon, puppy, get it together! Jason and Victoria were able to encourage the toad to leave after a bit more screaming and a lot of laughter. But Maya cowered by my side the rest of the night.
The power also goes out sometimes. It’s usually after a big storm, with the rain pouring and lightning flashing over the ocean. I don’t really mind, though. We’re always comfy, dry and warm, and the flashlights and candles remind me of our time out in the Camper. Thankfully, Maya’s not afraid of thunder. Yet when Victoria uses the blender it sends her scampering across the room. Really? Puppies are so weird.
One day saw a real break from the fun routine, but it turned out to be super special. My Family packed us into the Big Truck and we drove down the hill, south through the town of Palmar Norte. We bounced around on dirt roads and long trails through jungles of palm trees for what seemed like hours. I could smell Jason was getting frustrated. We were looking for something, and having very little luck. Finally, after backtracking half a dozen times we rolled into a parking lot next to a long, open field. A friend was waving to us. It was Lydia, here to visit us all the way from New York City! I hadn’t seen Lydia in years, but I remembered she was super duper nice, and really likes dogs. That makes her a keeper in my book!
Lydia stayed with us for almost a week, and I had some of the best times yet in the Big Jungle House. Lydia spent so much time with me. She let me snuggle up on her lap, or lounge by her feet at the pool. I sat on her lap while they played a people game called Uno, and danced around with Maya while she fed us treats. I even got to spend the night snuggled up with her once! What a cool visit! One day, two more friends came up the mountain, and it turned into a full on pool party! I obviously wasn’t that enthusiastic when they made me go swimming, but it seems to be growing on Maya a bit. Look, her paws are like three times as big as mine so of course she’s a better swimmer. Anyway, it was nice to have the house filled with people laughter, and good meals that I got to taste for the rest of the week. I even got a bone all to myself when My Family made carnitas. Are you kidding me? Amazing!! I was pretty sad when we dropped Lydia off at the airport again. We had a long goodbye, and I might have cried if I had tear ducts.
We’re not seeing as many new places these days, but staying put definitely has its perks. We get to have visitors, I’m allowed to play with Maya all the time without worrying about roads, people or other dogs, and I’ve got all the room in the world to run around in. In fact, I think I’ve lost a bit of weight. I’m looking pretty cute these days, don’t you think? My Family tells me that at some point we’ll be getting back in the camper and continuing on The Big Adventure, but right now, the jungle life is adventure enough!
PS: If you want to see more pictures of the house and Lydia, check them out on Facebook!