Blackjack's Forever Home Update

January 18, 2005
Hi Auntie Jan and Uncle Bruce,
I want to thank you for taking good care of me and finding a nice home and a new Mom & Dad for me. I miss you and the other kids but I am very happy in my new home and with Mom and Dad. I have a big yard and love to go out and play in it. There are some squirrels in my yard and every time I run out to play with them they climb up the trees. I guess I'm too big for them to play with. There are also some cats that come into my yard. I really don't like to share my yard with them so I chase them out.
After I was in my new home for awhile Dad took me ( to Wag'n Tails) to get a haircut. He had them give me the same kind of haircut (Town and Country) that you got for me. A nice lady gave me my haircut. He said I looked pretty good but the longer hair was just a little too long. Six weeks later he took me again and explained to the person (this time a man was going to cut my hair) how he wanted my hair cut. I knew when the man was cutting my hair that it wasn't what Dad wanted. I tried to tell him but he couldn't understand me. When Dad picked me up he wasn't very happy. The man did not give me a Town and Country cut----he cut all my hair the same except he keep the hair on my legs a little longer. Dad told me that we weren't going back there again. Dad found another place in Lansing (Michigan School of Canine Cosmetology) that said they knew how to give me a Town and Country haircut. He took me last week. I had three nice ladies give me my haircut. When Dad picked me up he was very happy with my new haircut. I guess I'm a pretty good looking boy.
Just before my birthday (you know I am two now) I was scratching my ears a lot. Mom and Dad said that I should see the doctor. So Dad took me and the doctor said I had a slight ear infection and gave Dad some medicine to give to me. So both Mom and Dad gave me the medicine until it ran out----now I feel pretty good.
Mom brushes me more than I like but I lay there and let her do it. I want to keep Mom happy so I don't say a word. She also brushes my teeth every other day. You know, I really like that. As soon as I see Mom getting my toothbrush ready I jump on the bed and lay on my side so Mom can brush my teeth. You know--that stuff tastes pretty good.
Dad took some pictures to send to you. As you can see in one of the pictures I was laying in the chair trying to take a nap and Dad woke me up and told me to smile. What a drag--I was dreaming about playing with the squirrels. In another one I was laying on the floor trying to rest and here he was again with that camera. You can see my rope in two of the pictures. My rope and the toy you gave me when I left are my two favorites. When I'm playing with my toys I have to keep my eye on Mom and Dad as they like to try to take my toys from me. They chase me around and try to catch me, but you know I'm pretty fast. When they catch me we play tug of war with both of us trying to get the toy. But you know I'm pretty tough and usually win (sometimes I think Mom and Dad gives in to me).
Well I'm getting tired---time for another nap. Tell all the kids I said Hi and give Apollo a big hug for me.
Lots of Love,

September 23, 2005
Dear Jan,
We had our first obedience class on Monday and Blackjack behaved wonderfully. Some of the other dogs barked and acted up. He sat by my side and stayed quiet the whole time. We learned how to walk on the left side and sit this week......we need more practice (actually his to learn how to give better instructions), but he seemed to catch on quickly. Hopefully the next seven weeks will go just as well. Dick wanted me to be the primary trainer because Blackjack already listens to him better than me since his voice is so much deeper. After three or four weeks, Dick can also participate in the training.
Blackjack hasn't had any accidents in the house since the first couple of weeks; he is such a good boy. He has an appointment to be groomed the first week in October and doesn't mind having his teeth brushed at all now. The first couple of times he didn't like it, but now he lays quiet and lets me brush them without making a fuss.
Hope all is going well for you and Judy and the puppies. Have a good weekend.
-- Gloria

September 11, 2005
Dear Jan and Judy:
Blackjack had a very good week. His vet appointment went very well and the ladies in the office just loved him. Although Dick crated him Thursday before leaving for work at our church, Blackjack surprised him by greeting him at the door that evening......the little stinker found a way to unhook the clips at the top of the crate. He's very innovative. But luckily he never went potty in the house. Now we have to use twist ties for a little extra re-enforcement of the crate.
Yesterday, I took Blackjack to meet my Mom, sister and niece and he enjoyed walking around the campground at their place. My six-year old niece especially loved him.
We are signed up for obedience classes starting next week....they are Monday nights for eight weeks. Also, we have found a groomer. We were wondering about the last time Blackjack was long it has been. The groomer is recommending every six weeks. Does that sound about right to you?
We still haven't had an opportunity to have another picture taken, but will try to get that taken care of this week.
Take care.

September 4, 2005
Hello Jan & Judy,
Blackjack had his first boat ride this weekend in our dinghy and behaved very well. We think he really enjoyed being on the water....He put his front paws on the front of the dinghy so he could watch where he was going. We went for walks every day along the water and he enjoyed that as well.
We introduced him to our friends who keep their boat at our cottage and, of course, he had to give them puppy kisses.
We left Blackjack twice in his crate this weekend....less than an hour each time, and he did very well. We think he is getting used to his new surroundings.
We purchased a doggie seat belt (harness) and he didn't mind being confined in the back seat at all. He was a very good boy all the way to and from the cottage.
Blackjack has already found his way into our hearts and is such a pleasure to have in our home.
We hope you had a nice holiday and that all is going well.
Best wishes,
Dick and Gloria

August 31, 2005
Hi Jan,
Received your e-mail. Don't worry about the paperwork we all have those senior moments.
We felt bad that we had to leave Apollo behind. He is a very nice dog who needs a lot of tender loving care. We talked about him on the way home. Gloria said that with him being ten years old and and the thought that we may lose him in another three to five or more years she didn't think she could go through that again so soon. She also worked so hard to save Lilbit's (our last dog) teeth and it just brought back too many memories when she found out Apollo only had five teeth left.
Thank you very much for the candle. It is very nice.
Blackjack is doing fine. I don't think we will change his name. He had a good night. He slept with us. He woke up a couple of times and came up and licked both of our faces---naturally wanting some attention. He went right back to sleep. As I'm writing this he is laying right beside me. This morning I took him out and took some pictures. As you can see a couple of him on our new deck. I just finished the deck last week and finished putting stone around the base yesterday morning before we came over to see the dogs.
Hope you have a nice day and wish you success with your other visitors today.
Dick and Gloria

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