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Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 15

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:27 pm
by firleymj
Kona's Diary - Now at Month 15

Wow! Another whole month? OK. Slow down, pant a little, now circle three times and lie down. OK.

So much going on.

It started out when I was walking with Mark along the park land behind our kennel. Almost out of nowhere, two squirrels were chasing each other in front of us. One of the squirrels sure seemed eager to get at the other one, Mark says it because they were trying to make more squirrels. The girl squirrel ran up the tree behind us, but the boy squirrel stopped in its tracks right in front of me. When I play bowed to it, it ran right at me, as if were going for my muzzle. I wasn’t going to have any of that, and I grabbed it. It let out this really high pitched squeak. I found out I broke it, since it didn’t move anymore. Mark was really upset with me, because I didn’t want to let the broken squirrel go. After all, he ran at me first. I thought it would be fun to play with a squirrel, but it wasn’t at all.

The weather’s been crazy – first cold and rainy, now hot and wet, what Mark calls “muggy” I don’t know what a muggy is, but I don’t think I like it very much. The other day we went for our walk in the middle of the day. Well, we do every day, but this one was a little different. That’s one of my favorite walks, that’s our “smell walk” where Mark loosens my leash for a while, and I can go explore all the smells along the path by the pond. It was so hot and the air was so wet that I sat down and just wouldn’t go any further. Then Mark led us down by the creek, where we could cool off. The water was cool and good. I walked in up to my shoulders, but no more – I still don’t want to do that “swim” thing.

Max and I took a long ride in his owner’s car to go to another one of those “dog shows.” There were a lot of strange dogs there, including one that had almost no fur at all – it was purple and had only a crest of white hair. Strangest dog I’ve ever seen. There was a really cool looking girl husky that both Max and I liked. She had silver fur with a really white mask and tail. We slept in that same funny hotel place we stayed in last time. I think the word “hotel” means really stinky kennel. That same odd flower kind of smell was so heavy I was almost sick. This time Max and I shared the ribbon things, and I was proud of our pack, since we did really well, and Max did even better than I did. Some of the people called judges weren’t very nice, and one of them kept trying to pry my mouth open – nothing doing. And one got a little too friendly, touching me in a way I just don’t like. I snarled at him. So there.

Back at home, Mark is trying to teach me to “walk properly” he says. I know how to walk, but he has this funny idea that I should stay on his left and be close to his leg. I’m OK with it for the most part, but sometimes it’s just really boring.

We did have fun at the park though, one afternoon Max and I and Mark went together. It was fun being with my brother and trotting around the park. And we got to play with a lot of other dogs. That was fun.

I’m finding that I’m not as hungry as I was just a little while ago. I’m down to five cups of kibble, two cans of wet food, and a helping of chicken or beef a day. I just wish Max would eat more – I sometimes worry about him, but he is showing more of an appetite.

Gotta say goodbye now = I’m going to have a nap and dream of beef thigh bones. Yum!

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 15

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:39 pm
by firleymj
20140521_180606 Kona Breaks the Warp Barrier (small).jpg
Kona Breaks the Warp Barrier :lol:

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 15

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:46 am
by HiTenshi16
Would love to see more photos of Kona ;)

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 16

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:51 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary – Month 16

It’s been a busy month here. The days seem really long and we can get a lot of play time in, especially when we go to the park. The weather’s been cooler, even more around dark, and that makes me feel a whole lot better.

I found out there’s a way I can make Mark really happy. Sometimes, early in the morning, when he gets out of that place where he sleeps, I lie on the floor outside his door and thump my tail on the carpet to tell him I’m happy. Even if he’s really sleepy, he stops to smile and pet me and tell me I’m a good dog. It’s good to share being happy. Sometimes, Mark even tries to pretend he’s a dog and gets down on the floor and plays with me. It’s silly, but it makes me happy that he tries so hard.

It’s all the more important because Mark’ been smelling a little off lately, he says it’s because his work is an “insane asylum” whatever that is. I don’t think I like it, though because it makes him smell worried. I try to play with him sometimes when I can tell he’s getting upset. The other day, while he was barking on that “phone” thing, I came up and dropped one of my bones on what he calls a “keyboard” to let him know I would share with him. He wasn’t has happy as I thought he would be. He seemed to like my bringing the bone, but he scolded me for where I dropped it. He didn’t even want to chew on it. How can you NOT chew on a perfectly good bone?

Another thing I don’t understand about humans is the way they constantly seem to change their cloths. When it’s cold they put on cloth after cloth, and when it’s hot, they even let some of their pelt show. They don’t have proper fur, like we dogs do – we’re pretty OK in any weather. How can they ever be comfortable? And they have names for every one of those cloths. I mean, they’re just covers for bad fur, why do they call them “jackets” and “trousers” and other stuff like those barks mean anything?

With the weather this way, we meet a lot more people and dogs on our walks, and in the park. Most of them are really nice, but I did get really mad at one retriever mix – we were playing, but then the pushing and biting started to get too hard too fast. I curled my lips back and bared my teeth to tell the other dog to stop, and the next thing I know Mark took me by the back legs to pull me away, and the other dog’s owner did the same. Mark was very upset, and told me that I was a bad dog for fighting. The other dog was another breeder, and I just wanted him to know that even if he was older, he couldn’t push me around. I had to go out of the park, and when we got home, there was no dessert with dinner. Mark smelled mad almost until we went to bed.

Other than that, though, we’ve had a good time playing at the park. I haven’t seen Max much this month, and I miss my brother. Mark tells me I have two new sisters and one new brother after my mom had her last litter. One really cool thing was that Duchess and Candy both got to come back to the park after being away quite a while. Polar’s being playful as ever, and we love to wrestle. One of Polar’s humans did something that the other humans at the park all barked happy over – he put his sunglasses on Polar, and Polar ran around the park with them on. I’m not sure what was so funny, but the humans thought it was funny to the point that they were all panting when they were done laughing. It was good playing with Luke, and Bootsie, and both of the Rangers, and Addie, and Samantha and Penny.

Nina’s not been running well lately, and I’m a little worried about her – I know she’s really, really old (she’s ten years according to her human) but she’s fun to play with even so. I hope she feels better soon. My playmate Bentley, who I haven’t seen in a while was back and that makes me feel good. I haven’t seen Jack or Chelsea (the Malamutes) in a while. I thought it was because it was hot, but Mark says that their humans have a new people puppy in their family. I have to tell Jack and Chelsea to take good care of it when I see them next. Got to play a couple of times with Misty, too (the little tiny Yorkie) it’s so funny, she can fit in my mouth if I open it wide, and she runs in and out of it. Misty’s human laughs – you can tell she’s a good people.

One more thing – we had this really strange thing happen on one of our walks – I’m not sure this makes sense, but I’ll tell you and let you figure it out. Every time Mark tells about it to one of his pack, they all laugh, though I can’t really bark why. One day when we were on our “smell walk” around the lake, there’s a turn in the path where you can’t see ahead of you for the bushes. As we went walking, I was marking one of the bushes, when a man started to walk towards us. I could smell him before I saw him – he was tall, and looked more like a Labrador. He had on a really brightly colored cloth, and head cloth that Mark calls a “hat.” Except that he wore his hat backwards on his head. He had really strange looking head fur, all matted and twisted, like the ropes for a lot of leashes. He kind of smelled funny, like humans who eat burning sticks (Mark calls it “smoking”) but it didn’t smell like the other burning sticks I know. It had a heavier, sweeter smell than most of them. Anyway, when we got closer, the man could see us, and he looked down at me and began to look really odd. His eyes got big, like he was really afraid of me, and he barked something that made no sense to me, he said in a loud bark: ‘I’ll go to church on Sunday! I PROMISE!” and then he ran away like a frightened squirrel. I just don’t get it, but Mark thinks this is really, really funny, and so do the peoples he tells about it. Maybe you can make sense of it. I sometimes wonder if humans are as smart as they pretend.

Gotta say goodbye now – time for a nap!

20140718 Kona on the Park Bench.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 17

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:32 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary – Month 17

Mark’s been a little late getting this out, mostly because that thing he calls “work” has been really hard on him this last month. I nudge him about it, but I don’t want him to get more worried.

The weather’s been really good, we haven’t have had any more of those “muggies” in a while. Mark says it’s been cooler than normal. All I know is that it’s a lot nicer when we walk or play.

Speaking of playing, I’ve gotten to spend a little more time with my brother Max, and that’s fun. Sometimes he can get a little bossy but he’s a good big brother in the end. Once in a while, I have to make a point not to play with him when he gets too much for me, but that doesn’t last. He seems to be eating better now, and while he doesn’t eat quite as much as I do, it’s still good to see him with more of an appetite.

We had a real surprise one day, when Mark took me to my day care when he had to go somewhere else to work (he calls it a ‘business trip’). There was a Tamaskan puppy there! There was no doubt, I can smell he’s part of our family. His call name was Vargr, and he’s good at zooming around in circles. He’s only eight months old, and very bouncy. Of course, I sat down in a proper dignified way, and let the little guy run circles around me. Mark laughed and laughed. He said I did the same thing to Max when we first met, but I don’t quite remember it that way. I have to ask Max next time we’re together. But it’s good to have another one of our family here.

We got to meet new playmates in the neighborhood, including a nice spaniel just a little ways up the hill from us. Mark and his owner smelled a little funny when we met, like neither of them really trusted the other, but us dogs got along fine. We usually do.

We also got to visit with Mark’s friend, Steve, and his two dogs, Preacher and Erin. Steve seemed happy with me because I stayed inside with his dogs and didn’t get into trouble while he and Mark worked. I even howled when I had to go out. That seemed to make both humans happy. Preacher’s an older dog, and doesn’t like to play as rough as I do, and Erin, while she’s a very pretty setter, would rather chase things than play. I don’t know why, Mark says it has something to do with her being what he calls a “hunting dog.” I’m not really sure I understand that, since all dogs hunt. He says it means she hunts more than squirrels and chipmunks, though for the life of me, I don’t see why. The other animals are too fun to play with.

One night, we went to visit Duchess and Candy and their human, Miles. On the walk to their kennel, we came across one of those deers. It was a girl, which Mark called a “doe.” They’re a lot bigger than dogs, at least most of us. I play bowed to it, and it just stood there looking at us. I play bowed again, and it shook its ears at me. Finally I barked at her to get her attention. All she did was turn around and run away really, really quick. I think that was just rude.

Haven’t seen Nina or Butch lately, Mark says they’re both healing up from problems they have running. Butch always limped a little, and while Nina’s fast, even she slowed down a bunch during the summer. We got to see Jack and Chelsea back for a bit. Their humans are really nice people, and I love running with Jack. A full grown Malamute, he’s one of the few dogs at the park that not only makes me feel small, but who can also keep up with me in a run. We got to walk a little more with Samantha, who’s smelling better. That makes me happy.

We’ve spent a lot of time playing with both of our Rangers, the black and tan coonhound, and the red tick coonhound, were back, and Addie and Penny, and Rigby and Polar and Luke. Little Sadie, a Chihuahua mix is fun. She’s a little dog who makes a lot of noise and isn’t afraid to play with dogs that are a LOT bigger than she is. I like her.

We got to meet two of Sadie’s playmates, Cody and Caine. Cody’s this huge black and white Great Dane, who’s maybe the biggest dog I’ve played with, even bigger than Gunnar. He’s kind of skittery, though, and for all his size, he’s very gentle and sometimes smells scared when smaller dogs play rough. I think he got scared with Polar and I were playing, but Polar’s just playing, for all his wrestling, he’s got a good heart.

One day we went on a really long walk, farther than we’ve been in a long while. We went all the way round the pond to the other side. There were a lot of really big people kennels there, and separated by grass in a way that kennels on our side aren’t. I have to ask Mark about that. But that’s for later.

Right now, it’s time to chew on one of my beef knuckles!
20140714 Kona at Day Care (small).jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 18

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:40 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary – Month 18

Another whole month gone by. It almost doesn’t seem like it. Some of those muggies came back. I was really miserable in all the heat and the wet air. Mark had to bring extra water when we walked – I don’t remember having to drink that much along the way for a long while.

The leaves are starting turning color, from greens to yellows and even browns, and the plants are starting to smell dry and used up. I remember a while ago this happened, but I wonder if it will happen again? It seems to happen when the weather starts to turn colder. I like colder.

Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever understand humans. Most of the time, yes. But they sometimes seem to make up their own rules. Like sometimes in the morning if Mark is sleeping on the couch and I want to go out, I push his top cloth up and push my nose onto the skin of the small of his back. Normally he likes it when I give him kisses, but then not so much. He wakes up with a start and sometimes I can smell he’s grumpy. But then he pets me and tells me I’m a good dog for letting him know I need to go out.

It was kind of a hard month on Mark, he had to go to what he called “funerals.” I’m not sure what they are, but I can smell they made him sad. He told me that’s how people show their pack mates into the next world. Do people really need to be shown how to get there? Even dogs know that much. I had to lick water off his face more than once. He seemed to like that a whole lot. He hugged me and told me I was a good dog to care for him like that. I know that my first playmate outside my litter passed over the rainbow bridge this month, and two of the older dachshund mixes in our neighborhood left within the last months. I wonder what humans think about passing over? We dogs miss our people and our pack-mates, but the way humans feel sad smells different to how we dogs deal with it. He’s also worried about one of his family, and he’s smelling like he’s upset about too many sick peoples in his life.

There was sad, but there was a lot of happy, too. Max and I got to play some more and we met two more Tamaskans, both of them really young puppies. Their call names are Emrys and Ember. Emrys was a little overwhelmed when we met them at the dog park, and Ember and I really got along. She wanted to follow me as we walked around the park. I like her a lot, even though she’s just a little puppy. Mark says I was that size not so long ago, but it seems a lot longer to me. And Max was there, and he was being silly. Whenever Polar and I tried to wrestle, Max kept trying to break us up, like he was some sort of “fun police” as Mark calls it.

Barking of playing with Max, we had a really good day with just us and Mark together. Max even let me play with his toys and one of his bones without getting all grumpy about it. If he doesn’t get grumpy, I don’t have to growl at him, and we can both have a better time. He really is a great older brother but don’t tell him I barked it, because I don’t want it to go to his head. We had fun walking together but it was hard for me because there were so many new smells to smell, and so many new things to mark. When Max and I walk together, we sometimes have a contest as to who can mark territory higher and longer. I’m not sure Mark likes that, but it’s just one way we play.

We spent some more time with Duchess and Candy, and their human, Miles. Mark’s friends Miles and Steve are silly like Mark is sometimes, getting down on the ground and rolling and playing with us like they could be dogs. Miles seems to have a really soft spot for dogs, and I like that in a human. Candy’s playing a lot better lately, like she’s finally learning to speak “dog” well. Miles tells us that she wasn’t treated well by her first humans, and it shows. I’m glad Miles and Duchess took her away from that and gave her a good home. Duchess can get a little grabby with toys, but she’s a good dog at heart, I feel. And Miles always has treats for us, that’s nice.

We’ve been at the dog park a lot – a bunch of new dogs and old friends returning. Nina was back at the dog park, and while she can’t run quite as hard, she’s better and it’s a lot of fun to play with her again. Nina’s human (her call name is Jill) says Butch will be back soon, too. We got to walk a little with Samantha and her people, Dan. She’s smelling better. Little Sadie is great - even though she’s very small, she gives the bigger dogs a good barking at – sometimes it’s funny, but it’s always good to see her spunk. And Penny’s been running hard lately – she’s fun! Sometimes I just like to stand on one of the tables like it was the roof of a proper den.

The other day we were on our walk around the lake when we almost came face to face with one of those deers. She didn’t seem real eager to see us so close, and ran away showing what Mark calls her “flag” He said it means her white tail. Why don’t humans ever bark things simply, making up all sorts of names for things? Sometimes I think they’re so smart, knowing what to call things, and others I feel they’re just making their barking too complicated. We just smell the differences, and know them right away, why can’t peoples?

And there was another surprise, a new kind of bird. It didn’t smell like any bird I’ve smelled so far. Mark says that it was called an “eagle.” He said they hunt squirrels and mice and chipmunks, the way dogs do. I hope that eagle bird doesn’t hunt too much, or us dogs won’t have anything left to chase in our neighborhood. I want to keep my nose out for that bird if I see it again.

But right now, I’m going to have a big drink and have a nap before lunch. Mark says I’m going to get chicken. Yum!

Bye, Kona
20140907 Feeding 4 Tamaskans.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 19

Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:06 pm
by firleymj
Kona's Diary - Now at Month 19

It was a very busy month. So much to tell. The world is turning color again, from so many greens to yellows and grays. Mark says some of those colors are called “reds” but I guess we just don’t see things the same way as humans. The plants smell so dried up and used, but it’s also a time when I smell other animals a lot easier. Around our lake, I can smell some animals that are almost like dogs but not quite. Mark calls them foxes. We got to see one when walking one night – they kind of look like skinny small sled dogs – but too small to be any use pulling things.

I tried to play with another squirrel. This one just stayed still as I approached, but when I put out my front paw to touch it, it squeaked and ran away. I don’t think they’re very nice.

Mark’s been having a hard time with his work. He’s spending a lot of time barking at a human that’s not here using a funny thing he calls a “phone.” You can hear people barking at the other end. A few of the barks I recognize from people I know by smell, most I don’t. Sometimes, he seems really upset. A couple of times he seemed so upset that I brought over one of my bones or toys for him to play with. He usually stops and smiles at gives me a nice belly rub, and he seems better. I just wish those peoples at the other end of that phone thing would stop making him so upset. As humans go, I think I got a good one – he’s not a perfect pack leader by any means, and could stand to learn more from us dogs, but of the humans I know, I feel I got a pretty good one.

Most of our days start the same, I go out to go potty, then back for a long nap before we take our smell walk. After that, lunch and I usually take a nap or play with my toys or bones. Most days we go to the dog park, where I can play with my friends and sometimes get up a good run. When we leave the park, we sometimes go to other friends, sometimes we do what Mark calls “running errands” but I’ve never seen one of those errand things myself, and I can’t figure out why you want to run them. I think Mark is trying to get me used to being around more peoples, since we walk inside these really big kennels filled with people and things that aren’t food. Some of them smell interesting, and there was a place called a “hardware store” that even had trees indoors. They were kind of funny trees that smelled odd and even had some kind of lights on them. Mark almost seemed scared when I lifted my leg to mark one of them, and told me not to, and he was really really happy when I didn’t. He slipped me a treat then. I wonder if I can get more treats for not marking more things.

We got to spend some time with Preacher and Erin, and their human, Steve. I like Steve. He’s silly like Mark is, the way he sometimes pretends to be a dog, but you can tell he really loves us dogs. We also got to play with Max for a while, but Max has been busy “breeding” I know I smell another dog at his kennel place. It’s a girl, and she smells like a Tamaskan somehow. After she left, Max and I played together, but he did seem a little distracted.

And there is one more thing – we took a long ride in the car back to one of those “dog show” things. It was really really awful weather – it was cold, and windy and rainy. But at the end of the day, Mark’s muzzle spread out (what he calls a “smile”) and his eyes wet up. We came home with lots and lots and lots of little cloth strips that said I was a good dog. Mark got all wet in the eyes, and said I was now something called a “champion.” I had to lick his cheeks dry, and he hugged me all the more.

Off to chew one of my bones! Bye!
20141022 Kona Remembers (small) .jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 20

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:04 pm
by firleymj
Kona's Diary
Month 20

I sometimes wonder about humans. Peoples do so much that’s just strange. I mean, they always mark their territory in the same places, then wash all that good smell away, or try to cover it up with other smells. What’s the point in that? They’re silly. And another thing, they have these wonderful magical boxes where it’s cold inside all the time, but they don’t even want to nap in one, just to get comfortable. And what’s even stranger is that the cold boxes have food in them. A good nap next to food? Yet they never ever seem to do something that simple.

Some of that food is good to eat, but why do they eat so much stuff that’s not tasty? Humans have a thing called “bread” that makes my stomach hurt, yet they eat it like there wasn’t going to be any left soon. But those same cold boxes they have good bits of meats and eggses, and fishes, and cheese, and all sorts of other stuff, like they’re burying it for later – except they don’t – they leave it in the cold box until they put in on a hot box and do something Mark calls “cooking” it. Way too much to do, just to eat.

Yes, I like it when Mark makes me dinner, but his food sometimes smells of other plants and stuff I don’t even know – he seems to like it, but I think it ruins the smell of a good bit of meat. And their kibble smells funny too – Mark calls his “cereal” and says that his kibble wouldn’t be good for me to eat – I won’t fight him there, because it doesn’t even smell like bison, or venison, or beef, or salmon, or any of my other favorite kibbles. It just smells like more of that bread thing, with some other stuff added. Boring!

And peoples complain when us dogs drink out of a lake or puddle, while they drink all sorts of ugly smelling stuff - like a thing called “coffee” which really smells bad to me. Their milk is OK, but it’s not like the tasty milk I got from my mommy when I was little. There’s hardly any taste to it, and it looks kind of blue to me. Mark says that’s because humans get their milk from those big animals we saw once at the farm. I think they were called cowses. I wonder if peoples just can’t make enough for themselves on their own.

And why do they brush our coats and then throw the fur they get away? It’s not like they use it for themselves, even though they keep changing cloths to keep them warm. Barking of being warm, it’s gotten a lot colder the last couple of days, and I love it. Being colder seems to give me a lot more energy and I want to run and play a lot more. Sometimes Mark smiles and shakes his head, like he’s tired when we walk, but then he pets me and tells me I’m a good dog. I like that – sometimes I even lick his face when it’s not wet just to tell him I want him in my pack too.

For creatures with almost no fur, peoples are strange about getting wet every day to wash away what little smell they really have. I’ve noticed that girl peoples are really odd about that, they sometimes try to change their smells from day to day. Why? Don’t they want other peoples to be able to know who they are? I mean it’s bad enough with changing their cloths, but trying to mask their smells? It’s not like I see them going hunting for squirrels or mice every day. It makes me wonder if humans are as smart as they think they are.

And they’re careless, too. They don’t even circle their beds before lying down in them. How can they be sure that it’s going to be comfortable unless they do? And don’t they check for smells of other peoples before they sleep? How can they know they’re going to be safe and comfy? Come to think of it, I don’t even remember that they circle before they poop or mark their territory.

Yes, humans have nice dry kennels and a good stock of food. They know way more names for things than we do. But how in the world did they ever survive without us? I’ve tried barking with the bird about this, but he doesn’t understand it either. And the tortoises are no help at all – they never make a bark on their own, ever. Oh well.

Time for a nap. When I wake up, I think I’ll gnaw on one of my beef thighs until it’s time for our walk.


Kona on the floor.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 21

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:29 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary
Month 21

Dear Diary

It’s been a very exciting month here, with lots of stuff happening. There were other humans spending a lot of time in our kennel, doing something Mark calls “remodeling” our kennel. I know the place he calls a bathroom looks and smells a lot different. There were lots of noises and sometimes I had trouble taking my mid-day nap with all the loud sounds going on.

We were getting ready for one of special days humans call “holidays” – this one was called “Thanksgiving.” There were lots of really good food smells and I got to sample some of their food mixed in with mine while Mark said he was getting ready for that day. I really like the one called turkey – it’s a lot like the chicken I often get but it’s somehow different and tastier. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The night before the holiday, after Mark had gone to sleep, I smelled something wrong and it was a bad smell, like nothing I smelled before. It seemed to get stronger, not weaker. So I howled for him, as loud as I could. He was just getting up from his bed when a really, really loud and nasty noise started and I watched as he ran into the place where he goes to clean his cloths. When he opened the door, there was a kind of dark cloud and even more nasty stuff. He reached in there and shouted and did something to make the noise go away that I couldn’t see. He opened the hole in our kennel wall he calls a window and stopped what he called a “fire” I haven’t seen him this scared since I got sick once. He said a thing called a water heater got way too hot and could have really hurt our kennel.

For the next couple of days, we had to drink from the plastic jugs we carry to the dog park until a big round thing that smelled really bad was taken outside and a new big round thing that just smelled like the cold hard stuff Mark calls metal was put in its place. I know this wasn’t good because Mark was kind of grumpy until the new thing was hooked up.

The sad part of all this is that the day after the “fire” my friend the bird fell off his perch and passed over the rainbow bridge. Mark’s eyes were wet again, and try as I could, he didn’t seem to feel better. He seemed really, really upset. Then the bird (whose call name was Krol) wasn’t there anymore for me to talk to in the morning. I’d go over to where his cage was and howl for him, and that only seemed to make Mark sadder, so I stopped after the fourth or fifth day. Sometimes, he still looks over and his muzzle makes this funny sniffing sound. I think he misses Krol more than he lets on. I do too. Times like this I wish the tortoises talked. Mark tells me the male he’s had for almost forty years. I’m not really sure how long that is, but its sounds like a really, really long time. I sometimes wonder what secrets they keep by not talking.

We did have some fun though – I spent some time with my dog friends at what Mark calls “Day care” – and the peoples are nice there too. At the dog park, I got to see Penny, and Ranger the Black and Tan Coonhound, and little Ranger, the Red Tick Coonhound, and Polar and Roscoe, and Samantha and even Butch, the Rottweiler, and a lot of other dog friends. We went to visit Mark’s friend Steve a lot, and I got to play with Preacher and Erin, who are Steve’s pack. Well, mostly Preacher, Erin never seems interested in playing. And of course there’s Duchess and Candy. Candy’s manners seem to be getting better with time, and she’s getting good at play bowing. Duchess is a good dog at heart, but she can be kind of pushy, like she thinks she’s in charge of any pack she plays with. She even tries to boss her humans around. I just don’t pay attention until she settles down, and then we can have a good time together.

We got to play with my half-brother more this month and my other friend Roo. Roo has so much energy, we can run and play together all day. Sometimes I wonder if Max gets a little jealous, because Roo and I play together so much, and Max wants to be more serious. Max’s human, Dottie, sometimes calls Max “the Fun Police” cause he’ll stop other dogs playing if he thinks they’re getting too rough. I love my Max, but he can be a spoilsport. Still and all, it’s good to play with him too, and he really is the only other dog I know that’s truly family.

We’ve been doing a lot of time in the car lately, while Mark gets ready for another day he calls “Christmas” I know from last year that it’s a special day for humans, and I remember I got some really good treats and special food. I’m hoping it happens again. This year, when we were in one of those really big kennels with all sorts of food and stuff (Mark calls them “stores”) they had a human dressed in a really funny looking gray cloths with lots of white fur. The fur didn’t really belong on the human, even though a lot of the white fur was stuck to him to pretend he had the face fur some peoples do. What dog couldn’t figure that out? Are peoples so silly that they can’t? Anyway, Mark said for me to go over to the funny dressed male and sit with him while I got a thing called a picture taken. It made Mark happy, but I still can’t figure out why. Maybe you can:
20141221 Kona and Santa (small).jpg
Back to my nap – I’m hoping that Christmas things comes fast, because I can smell the treats from here. A happy tail wag to everybody,

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 22

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:20 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary Month 22

Dear Diary

I think I want more of Christmases! We had a lot of good fun and adventures. We did spend a lot of time in the car and the truck (more on that later), but Christmas smelled so good! Mark made a lot of food for himself and his human friends, but I got this really tasty bit of beef called a “steak” I ate it up real quick cause it was so good, and Mark smiled and smiled. He said I eat like a hungry wolf. That may be one of the nicest things he’s ever barked at me.

One of the things we did was to go on a long ride to visit some of what Mark said were his family. I hadn’t got to meet most of them before. One of his family didn’t like me very much, I think, because one of the males (I forget his call name right now) wouldn’t even walk on the same side of the street with me. He smelled scared of me for some reason. I can’t figure out why – I even play bowed to him to show him I was friendly, but he was having none of it. Most of Mark’s family were very nice to me, and gave me treats and smelled happy to be with me, so I like them too.

We even got to visit a place Mark said was his kennel when he was a human puppy. It had a big yard and the lady who lived there was so nice to us. She even gave us treats and let us walk around the place. There was a part of the yard that I found that smelled odd, and Mark started laughing when I pointed it out. That was where he said there was a dog-run many years ago, when he was a puppy and had dogs of his own. He seemed impressed that I could smell something, but I knew what was there.

It was funny – we got to stay in some of those odd smelling tiny kennels Mark calls “hotels” while we were away from our home. These ones didn’t smell as bad as the ones we stay at when we go to those dog shows things. And the peoples there were really nice to me. A few of them, who all wore cloths that looked alike, even petted me and asked if they could help walk me. Mark said no, but I think they were so friendly for asking that I even batted them with my tail to show I was happy. I could smell how good those peoples were feeling.

And we got the most wonderful treats for that Christmas thing too, including GIANT bones and rawhide canes so big even Mark could walk on one. I mean, how tasty is that? I got so many good bones and chews it will be a while before I can finish them all. And we got some really cool toys to play with, and even more food! Yay! There was really tasty meat, and cookies I could eat, and lots of good kibble. Mark even made up some fresh salmon for me. Wow! Was that good.

And while I was riding in the car or the truck, we got to see something I haven’t seen since the last Christmas, lots of kennels with tiny colored lights, all gray and green and some even blue and white. Mark says they’re one way humans have of feeing special about their holidays. As if all that good food and treats weren’t enough?

I guess there’s something extra special about those holidays things, because Mark said he was on a “vacation” and didn’t play so much with the odd black boxes with the funny windows doing what he calls “work.” I like it because we can spend more time together, but I think he likes it too because he smelled a lot happier and more relaxed. I think he needs to do more play and less work, but he says he has to work to make sure we both have food in our dishes.

I got to spend more time this month with my Max. It’s good having an older brother. Oh sometimes, we play growl when we meet, and I think it scares Mark and Max’s humans a little, but we don’t mean anything by it. Lately, Max will even sometimes let me go first when we run, even though I’m the younger brother in our pack. Max’s humans sometimes watch another dog, Roo, a big mixed breed who’s so full of energy and a lot of fun to play with. Sometimes Max gets all serious on us, like we’re too noisy or running too much. No wonder Max’s owner says he’s the “fun police.” I think my brother loves me and wants to watch out for me, but I’m a grown up dog now.

Maybe it’s because Max sired his first family this month. All our humans were happy for him, with eight healthy new Tamaskans in the world! I’m happy too, and wagged my tail extra big and hard to make sure all my humans know it too. More of our pack is good! Mark says that Tamaskans and their people are all tiospaye (he says it means something like a big pack – he called it an “extended family”). He says that holidays like Christmas and another one he called Hannukah remind people that they should be better to their pack.

I think they should know they’re all family, too, but people can be foolish, especially if there are no good dogs around to help them. I feel sorry for those peoples who don’t have a dog to help them out. Mark says he does too. And that’s enough for right now.

Hope you have a happy new Year!
20150131 Kona and one Christmas chew.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 23

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:20 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary
Month 23

Dear Diary

Quite a time since our last visit.

I started the month by hurting my back right paw. I was marking some territory when another dog who was playing ran into me. All of a sudden my paw hurt really bad. I could feel it wasn’t a big hurt, but it sure was annoying. Something Mark called a “broken toenail.” I hope it doesn’t happen again, because it sure hurt to walk on it. I tried to lick it better, but the next day we went to that veterinarians place instead. They wrapped up my paw in some cloth, and when I walked outside, it had to be in a kind of bag that Mark called “The Boot of Shame” to keep it dry. That really annoyed me, but it was over after a couple of days. The good news is that it healed up pretty good. It doesn’t hurt anymore. Maybe those veterinarians aren’t so bad after all.

I’ve been working through some of my Christmas food and chews and they’re still tasty – I really like the big big bones – I can chew on them for days and days and not get tired of them. There was a new chew I tried – Mark called it a beef hoof – it didn’t last too long but I liked it a lot. I still think my favorite hard chews are the beef thighs and buffalo horns. I never seem to get tired of them. I also got some toys for Christmas, and I like playing with the pull rope and the brown thing Mark calls my “gingerbread man” it has a crackly inside that makes a really good noise.

We’ve seen a lot of different weather lately. Of course I love the snow – when it snows somehow I can feel the blood inside me stir, and my energy just seems to be a lot more. And I love the really cold windy days, when you can smell so much farther and so much more. Sometimes, when we’re on our afternoon walk, poor Mark will turn away from the wind (he smells pretty miserable, he says it’s too cold). But I’ll put my muzzle into the wind and I love how all the smells just come to me in the air.

There’s a lot going on in our kennel, a lot of smells and loud noises and places I can’t go while Mark says he’s “remodeling” our kitchen. All I know is that the place where the soft ground he calls carpet meets the hard ground he calls flooring is gone, and I’m not always sure if I’m now allowed to go into the kitchen place or not. I so want to go there sometimes, to taste a lot of the good smelling things Mark makes there. I try to put my front paws over that spot and into the kitchen, but Mark barks that I’m still not supposed to go in. Spoilsport.

We’ve been spending a lot of time indoors too, going to every kind of big kennel that lets dogs in. I’m learning not to be afraid of those big moving things Mark calls “forklifts” and I can even put up with human puppies who run at me and howl without getting upset. I’m still not happy with them, but Mark is so nice when I stay calm.

Sometimes, at the end of a day, after I have my dinner, I like to lie down on Mark’s feet for a while before I go to curl up and sleep. He seems to like that a lot, and pets me and sometimes even gives me a belly rub for doing it. It’s a nice way to end our day.

I’ve seen even more of my brother this month, and I love playing with Max and his pack. His peoples are so nice to me, and even give me different yummy food than Mark does – I like the way Mark makes my food, but sometimes a change is good, too.

Just the other day, Mark told me we were going to visit a place called a “nursing home” there were a lot of peoples there, many of them smelled hurt and some had even marked their own territories. I didn’t know people did that – Mark and other peoples I’ve known always wasted their marking on that funny bowl of water. But these peoples were more sensible, and some of them even marked their beds. I sniffed a few of them, but Mark and the lady who was taking us around the place was so happy I didn’t mark over their territory. At the end of our walk, the nice lady said we could come back and visit with the peoples anytime. So many of the peoples seemed old and dried out, but they also seemed happy to see me. One of the human males said he liked to pet me because he didn’t have to reach down to do it! His hand was a little shaky, but you could tell he liked dogs a lot, and I always like that kind of human.

Well, that’s all for now.

20141022 Kona Stacked (edited).jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 24

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:05 pm
by firleymj
Kona's Diary - Month 24

Dear Diary

Mark tells me I’m two years old today – doesn’t feel like that, but he does keep track of these things, in ways we dogs don’t.

The month started off great. We were in one of those big kennels Mark calls “stores.” A man and his human puppy (a girl) came up and asked what kind of dog I was. Sometimes I wonder if people (for all their words) are as smart as they think. But anyway, Mark and the man and his girl had a long talk about me, and the girl let me give her kisses. They seemed really nice. At the end of it, the man told Mark that he had been having a really bad day, and that meeting me had made him and his girl feel better. Mark told me he was proud of me for that, and that made me feel good.

We got to play with some of our dog park friends, but I miss some of my pack buddies. We haven’t seen Jack or Chelsea (the Malamutes) or Polar (the Shepherd-Husky mix) in way too long. Penny’s been back a bit, and it’s good to see her. I miss Duchess and Candy, too, but Mark says that the older male that stays with Miles whose call name is Sesi, has been sick and they can’t come out to play as much anymore. Some days, it’s been so cold and wet or snowy that we have the park to ourselves, or with just a very few other dogs. I wonder what they do inside? I don’t think I’d like to be in a kennel all the time, even though I like mine, it’s not good for me to be in so long. I’m glad Mark gets that about me.

My half-brother Max and I went with our people on a long, long ride to a place called Michigan. There, we got to meet a lot of other dogs who live to pull sleds. I got to see my brother, whose call name is Dokken. It was fun to sniff each other again, (we hadn’t seen each other since we went to our people homes a long time ago) and I only had to growl at him once, when he wanted to eat from MY bowl. It was almost like when we were very little. There was another dog who smelled a LOT like us, and Mark tells me it was my daddy, Zephyr. I like Zephyr. He growls when he greets like I do, and he’s got a fine howl. Our humans kept saying how much we all looked alike. We even howled together with my brother. That was fun.

I don’t know how to say this, but sometimes my human is kind of an embarrassment. When we went to pull the sled, we got hooked up with real racers – on the team I had they were all girls and really, really fun to play with. It was cold and snowing on and off, just about perfect weather! I really liked pulling with the team, even though it was my first time with a real sled dog pack. It took me a couple of minutes to find my best running pace, but I loved to pull, and it was so much fun. It was like something deep inside me just knew what I needed to do. My problem was Mark – every time we got going really well, we’d come to a sharp turn and he’d fall off the back of the sled, then we’d have to stop and wait until he got back on. I almost felt sorry for him – humans just don’t work out when they try to keep up with us dogs.

I didn’t like the long time in the truck so much. During the long ride, we stopped for the night at a kind of kennel Mark calls a hotel. I liked that hotel place because Max and I were the only dogs on what they called the “pet floor,” and we got to run up and down the halls until we got some of our energy out of us. When we finally got to that big kennel, I did like pulling the sled (even if Mark held us back), and running with other dogs in the snow. I’m not so sure that Max liked it as much as Dokken and I did, but I think that’s the “fun police” in Max coming out.

I will admit I was very tired at the end of the day – I was so tired I had to have a nap before I ate dinner. I think that’s the first time that’s happened. When I woke up, I cleaned out my bowl really quickly – ‘cause I was really hungry. Both Mark and Max’s human, Dottie, found that funny. I don’t know why.

Birthdays are kind of like Christmases, I think, because I got some really special food – a kind of beef Mark called a “steak” which was really extra yummy and we did a double long smell walk that day. I like smell walks, where Mark lets me lead and follow my nose and find out all sorts of stuff about what’s going on and I got some toys and a big new bone and this incredible big rawhide roll. I smell some other treats, but those are the ones I remember right now. I hope we can have another one of these birthdays soon.

Gotta go, time for bed!

20150307 Kona in full race mode.jpg

Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 25

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:57 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries – Month 25

Dear Diary

What a month. It started out with Mark hurting one of his front paws kind of like I hurt mine a little while ago. Only he has to wear his “boot of shame” for a little longer. He was kind of ouchy about it, so while I want to lick it better, I can tell he’s not ready for that yet.

The weather’s been a little strange – some warmer days but some really cold, rainy ones, too. I don’t mind the cold, that’s kind of fun but I can do without the rain part. Snow doesn’t bother me but there’s just something about being wet from rain that I don’t like.

We got to go back to that kennel Mark calls a “nursing home” with all the humans in it. It was fun, and most of the peoples seemed happy to see us. Some of them petted me and rubbed me so nicely. It felt good – and I was happy because they were so happy. Mark says he was proud of me for that, but to tell the truth I’m not sure why. All I did was wag my tail and let the peoples love on me.

There’s still a lot going on in our kennel while Mark and one of his human friends work on what they call our kitchen. That’s the place where Mark makes our food, though his food isn’t as good as mine. Too many things he eats aren’t good kibble or even meat. Yuck! The big boxes where he keeps his supper bowls (why do humans have so many?) they went from being really dark to more white, and they smell different, like they were from different trees. Sometimes, I try to sneak past the place on the floor that is as far as I’m supposed to go (I’m not allowed in the kitchen place when Mark is making food or eating himself). I really wonder about the big cold box, I think it’s a shame, here’s a big cold box with lots of food in it. I dream about spending a night inside it, I mean how much better could it get? Ice and snow and cold and lots and lots of all the food you could want? I guess Mark can tell from the look in my eyes. He says I wouldn’t really like it that much and tells me I’m being silly. I don’t know. I guess he’s right – from the size of it, I don’t think I could really fit inside very well. But maybe someday we can have a bigger one?

Now that they days are getting longer, we can spend more time at the dog park playing with our friends, although Mark is a little stricter on me since he hurt his paw. He tells me to back off the other dogs a lot faster when our play gets a little excited, and sometimes he takes us out of the dog area to walk the trails if he sees a dog he’s not sure of. He says it’s because he only has one good hand for a while now to handle me and he wants me to be safe. Sometimes it’s kind of a pain, but I can tell he really cares about me, so I guess it’s OK. Sometimes I think he and Max worry too much.

And speaking of Max, one of the really fun things I got to do was play with him. My half-brother is awesome! Sometimes, he even lets me lead on our runs around his yard. That’s really nice of him. I’ve noticed that Max is finally putting on some weight, so I think he’s almost my size now. And we sometimes get to play with another dog there – I’ve told you about Roo – who’s just so much fun. Roo’s a little more like me – he loves to play and play and play – poor Max can be so serious sometimes – but then sometimes all three of us want to play and run and chase squirrels. Max’s humans and Mark and even Roo’s human all make this bark they call a laugh – we can tell they’re happy for us, and that makes me want to play all the more. One night we came home from a visit, and I ate two whole bowls of food. Mark shook his head and asked me a really silly question – he asked me if I had a hollow leg? How could I run with one and what good would that do me? Sometimes I just don’t understand him.

There are some new dogs at the park too who are good players – including this way tall and really skinny dog Mark called an Afghan Hound. All I know is that he’s a good runner. And there are some new small dogs and even some puppies. Mark says I have to be extra gentle playing with them, but that’s not usually a problem. Though I wish I had more dogs that could keep up a good run with me. There’s a hound called Abner that really tries. I have to slow down and zig-zag to let him keep up, but we can get some good runs out of that. Mark says were going to have another one of those special human days coming up soon – he called it our “second anniversary” together. I have no idea what that’s about – but if it’s like those other “holidays” I know the food’s going to be extra special.

Gotta go, time for our walk!

20150426 Kona in the Park.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 26

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:29 am
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries – Month 26

Dear Diary

Geeses are strange things. Now they go and have puppies, which don’t look nearly as much like the grown up ones as our puppies do. And they can get so mean! I play bowed really deep to let them know I just wanted to sniff one of their puppies, and one of the big ones hisses and spits and runs at me! How rude! I just wanted to play, and he was all riled up about it. I turned away and Mark seemed to be real happy that I did, so I guess no playing with them again. They’re just mean.

Mark’s paw is better, though it’s not right yet. But it’s better enough that he’ll let me lick his hurt place, so at least I know I can help make it better.

And we got to go to a new veterinarian place to have one of those doctors look in my eyes. They had to put drops in which made me see kind of funny for a while - lights were way too bright and I couldn’t follow little movements like mice and squirrels for the rest of the day.

I don’t like that doctor very much – poking at me with bright lights when my eyes weren’t really working right. I told him, too, and growled at him. It made him slow down. But one of the nice human girls they call nurses hugged me and Mark rubbed my neck and I let them do what they had do, I guess. I got a good bacon treat at the end, so I guess they were all happy with me.

Mark was really happy with the paper the doctor gave him. I can’t read it myself, but Mark told me that since I passed the test with my eyes, I was going to be a breeding male. Silly, I knew that already. But Mark told me this makes me very special – he said that only nine Tamaskan boys in all of North America (wherever that is – but he made it sound a lot bigger than even our trip to go sledding) were able to say that – he rubbed my belly and gave me a great butt scratch and told me that I’m a very special dog. That made me happy too.

And barking of things that make me happy, I found out that a “second anniversary together” means a lot of really good food – we had a really tasty piece of salmon together – this is the first time I ever remember it being so thick and meaty – it’s usually just some pieces, but Mark said he was going to “celebrate” and even though he ruined his piece with funny plant smelling stuff, I got the good part. I think it was nice that he would make sure I got the good bits. He even cooked it some for me – I think I could like that more often.

We got to play a lot with Max and Roo and Penny and Amber and Abner, and Jovi and Sadie, and Mila and Basia, and little Sadie, and Caine and Cody and Ranger the Red Tick Coonhound, and Ranger the Black and Tan Coonhound, Mya, and even my old friend Nina and Butch the Rottie, and Samantha and Kaiba the Afghan Hound. There are fewer dogs in the park these days, Mark says it has something to do with a way into the park being closed for what he called “road construction.” OK, there aren’t as many dogs, but the ones that still come are really fun to play with. There’s a few new dogs, including a really fun little husky puppy.

And Mark finally learned to throw a ball I want to chase – if it’s low and on the ground (Mark called it a “grounder” I kind of like running after it – not like those other dogs who chase ones thrown high in the air). Mark barked something about signing me up for “shortstop training” but I’m not sure I want that (unless maybe there’s more salmon in the deal?)

Gotta go, time for our walk!
20150514 Kona waits for a playmate along the path.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 27

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:30 am
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries – Month 27

Dear Diary

Finally! I got to play with one of the small geese puppies. Mark tells me that the small geese puppies are called “ducklings” but I did get to sniff one up and down. The little thing smelled so scared, and its mommy just stood there while I sniffed at him. It turned out he wasn’t really interested in playing, but it’s the first time I got geeses of any kind to at least stand still and not run away. He may have been a poor player but he didn’t run away from me, so that’s better off, I feel. Still, I had hoped the little goose puppy would at least play a little. Maybe next time.

Mark’s excited about us finally getting those papers that said we were going to be a breeding kennel. I’m not quite sure why but I guess we’ll work on that. Mark told me we’re going to be on a thing called the Internet which means that peoples from all over will be able to see who I am and what I do. He called me “famous” I don’t really know what a famous is, but from how happy Mark seems, it must be a good thing. (http://www.anthracitetamaskan.comEd.)

Barking about being happy, I’m not sure about humans sometimes. When you think about it, they have to bark their happy because the poor things have no tails to wag! No decent fur, no tails, no teeth to speak of, and no working noses. It’s good they have these big back legs cause they can step over stuff and clear the way for us. And Mark’s paw is better, but he says it’s a long way from being all right- he has to go to his veterinarian to have it worked on some more. Yes, peoples seem to see things better than we can and have all sorts of names for things. They do know a lot, but they’re just not cut out to live without a lot of extra help. I can’t help feeling sorry for them from time to time. How ever did they get along without us dogs?

Those “muggies” things have come back – the weather’s been really hot and the air has been really wet. I don’t think I like that – cold and wet, OK, cold and snowy even better, but hot and wet air just make me so tired and to tell the truth, a little bored –I just can’t seem to get up the energy to really play well. Mark does his best, taking us on walks to make sure we’re under a lot of trees and in the shade, and he won’t let me walk on the dark hard thing he calls a street – just on the white hard thing he calls a sidewalk, or better yet on the grass which is a lot cooler on my paws. It’s the one time of the year where I don’t mind playing in the water Mark calls a “creek” behind our kennel – it’s cool and really good to stand in – but even though I’ve seen other dogs do it, I won’t let go of the bottom and do what’s called “swimming.”

Mark’s been spending too much time “working” – sometimes I have to remind him to stop and we spend time playing with one of my ropes or licking him while I get a good rub or scratch. He tries so hard to make sure I’m happy – I have to take care of him, too. Sometimes, just before we go out for a walk, I make a really big play bow to him and wag my tail. Just smelling him so happy is almost as good as a treat.

There are more dogs coming to the dog park again. Mark says it’s because the humans fixed the other way into the park – but we’re seeing a lot of players. Remy, who’s a Carolina Dog, is really fun. And there’s Abner and Penny and Amber and Cody and Cain and Sadie, and Bear and of course, Samantha. There’s a wonderful Husky pup called Zeus who could almost be family – he kind of reminds me a little of my brother Dokken. It’s hard to get a good play run going when it’s so warm, but we do try and have a lot of fun just sniffing the park and bouncing around.

We got to see a lot of Max and Roo, and also some new dogs, who are Max’s friends, It’s good having an older brother. Even though Max can be so serious sometimes, I know he’s watching out for me, and all the dogs he likes are good dogs to be with. Max even lets me eat from his bowl sometimes, and I think he’s a good dog for sharing with me. One of Max’s humans, whose call name is Dottie, tells me that Max can’t always eat my food because he sometimes has a touchy stomach. I think I’m the lucky one, because I can eat pretty much what I want.

Now it’s true that a lot of things peoples like just don’t appeal to me – sometimes if the grayish long things called “carrots” aren’t cooked enough I just won’t finish them. And Mark, who makes me such good food, ruins a lot of his dinners by adding all sorts of plants and smells to perfectly good pieces of meat. Oh well, I guess there’s no way to tell what dogs or people want to eat.

We just got back from our smell walk a little bit ago and I think it’s time for a nap!


20150620 Kona Waits for a Treat.jpg

Kona waiting on a treat. Mr. Eagerness.

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 27

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:28 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 28
Dear Diary

All sorts of things are happening.

Down by that big water Mark calls a pond, there are all kinds of big yellow metal things making big noises and tearing up grass and trees. Mark tells me they’re going to do a thing he calls “dredging the lake” because it’s not working right and the water is getting stopped up in the wrong places. I don’t think I like it very much, because they closed part of the path we’ve been walking almost every day since I came to live here. They even put up a fence to keep us off OUR path. How rude!

And the inside of our kennel is changing a lot – the floor that smells like trees (Mark calls it “wood flooring”) is being put in more and more of the middle level of our kennel. I’m not sure about it. I like the fact that it’s cooler than the cloth floor he calls “carpet”, so it’s real good to sit and lie down on, but it’s kind of slippery and hard to keep your paws from going out from under you if you move quickly. But even more of a problem is that it’s the same all over, so I’m not always sure if that means I’m allowed to go into the kitchen place or not. I have to work that out with Mark, I guess. I want to do the right thing, after all.

There were two nights when there was this really strange lightning and thunder. The lightning was strange because it came in colors I don’t remember, and the thunder was sharp and loud, like it was close by – Mark called them “fireworks” and said humans were celebrating another of those holidays called “Independence Day.” Can they really make lightning and thunder? Only there was no rain to go with it. I think the best part was the hot dog I got for a treat that night. Tasty! I remember waking up in the night when all the lights and noises started, and looking at Mark wondering what to do. He smelled happy, and didn’t seem to be disturbed, so after a couple of minutes, I went back to sleep. The next day Mark said he was really, really happy I did that and even gave me another bone to chew on. I do like those people holidays. I think it’s nice that Mark shares them with me, and the treats don’t hurt either.

I got to spend a lot of time playing in the dog park and the muggies only came to visit a couple of times – in fact there’s been a lot of rain lately. Sometimes, after a rain in the afternoon, we’ll go to the park in the evening, and we’ll be the only ones there – or maybe with just a few other dogs. Ranger, the red tick coonhound is almost always there with us. Penny, Cody, Cain, Sadie and Samantha are there most times too. I like playing with them. Once in a while, we’ll find a new dog or a puppy. I like some of the bigger puppies cause they want to run so much. There are times when I know I can outrun another dog and it’s not as much fun if I have to slow down to let them catch up all the time. Sometimes, if there’s no other dogs in the park with their people, Mark puts my leash back on and we walk the trails in the bigger park. I like that – there are always different smells to smell and lots of places where different animals told about themselves – what is it that Mark calls it? “Marking your territory.” I guess, but it’s so much more than that. Poor humans, they have to make do with so many things that just don’t work right. But most of them are real kind to us dogs, and that’s good.

We did have some really sad news this month. My sister Curie passed over the rainbow bridge. Mark says that now she can run the sky road forever and look down on us. She was killed by a toad, and that little animal killed both of the dogs Curie’s human owned. When Mark found out, he seemed real sad. We howled together. He said she could run the Sky Road forever now. I had to lick his eyes dry for him. I was glad we could share our howl with each other. He may not be a dog, but if he could be, I’d want him in our pack, and I told him so when I mouthed his ear. It was the first time that day I saw him smile.

I got to spend a bunch of time with Max. It’s so much fun to be with him. Oh, sometimes we growl at each other, and our humans worry, but there’s nothing to it. We know.

We even made one of those long trips in a car to go to another one of those “dog show” things. Only this trip was to someplace toward the winter sun – (Mark calls it “south”) This time, the show was inside a big kennel instead of being outdoors. It was a lot cooler, and I like that. I’m not too sure about dog shows, though. There’s all this walking around and waiting, walking around and waiting. Couldn’t they make it so there’s less waiting and more walking? At one point, we went out in a field with a fence and tried to run off some energy from all that waiting around. When we were doing our walking inside, we were supposed to follow Max and one of his humans, Dottie in this tiny fenced in place they call a “show ring.” All I wanted to do was play with my brother, and Mark kept trying to pull me into line behind them. Mark seemed kind of annoyed that I kept trying to run in front and run with Max like we play at home, but he didn’t yell at me either. Anyway, when the day was done, Max came home with a bunch of those colored cloth strips that said other peoples thought he was a good dog. And Mark told me that I made history: the first Tamaskan ever to get what he called a “Double Championship.”[1] He explained to me that it meant some people called judges who claim they really know what makes a good dog found that I really was a great Tamaskan. Between us, Mark always treated me like that anyway, but he seemed to be really happy for me and when we got home, I was very hungry and very tired. He even tried to make that funny broken howl he calls “singing” he was so glad.

I wound up eating a double helping of dinner (I think that’s the most I’ve ever eaten at once) and had a long night’s sleep.

Gotta go, time for our smell walk.



20150712 The Champions at Play.jpg
20150712 The Champions at Rest (small).jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 29

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:21 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 29

Dear Diary

Another month gone by. Doesn’t seem like it.

The big yellow things are still down by the big water, and Mark says they’re going to be there a lot longer still. I’m not sure I like that – that big fence of theirs blocks our way when we want to walk by the lake. And something odd is happening, because people with big metal things keep coming to haul dirt away – the dirt has an odd smell, like it had wet, rotting things in it for a long time. Kind of interesting, really.

There are some new smells on our walks. Very different – markings of animals that smell like dogs but aren’t somehow. I tried to ask Mark, since he seems to know the names for all sorts of things. He said he wasn’t sure, it was either a coyote or a fox. But since his nose doesn’t work so well, he couldn’t tell me for sure. One day, while we were walking on the far part of one of our regular paths, we came across the remains of a goose. That same animal smell was all around the goose, even the bits that were left.
We also came on some more of those deers while we were out walking. I don’t quite get them – no matter how much I play bow, they just won’t run with me. One of them even play bowed back, and I thought we were finally going to get to play, but it just turned around, lifted its tail, and ran away. Spoilsport!

We’ve been spending some more time with my brother, Max. One of Max’s humans, Dottie, hurt her lower paw really badly – Mark called it a “broken leg” She had one of those hard things that smell kind of like some of the stuff Mark used to hold parts of the walls of our kennel together – what did he call it? Fiberglass? Anyway it’s not a natural smell, and you can tell she got hurt bad – she doesn’t even smell like herself. But from what I can tell, she’s smelling healthier. It means that Max and I get to walk a lot more together, sometimes we get to play so Max can have company. Max has two humans, and the human male called Tommy is always nice to me and likes to play with us. Once in a while, when Max or I get a little too worked up, he tells us we’re being silly and that we’re not good dogs. But I know better. It’s harder to see what humans mean sometimes, I mean they don’t even have a proper tail to wag, but you can tell from how Tommy smiles and how he smells that he cares about us too.

Sometimes, a big mix breed called Roo is there to play with Max and me. Roo’s a fun player, and always up for a good wrestle. He plays kind of like a Tamaskan, and that’s really, really good. And there’s a little small dog called Oscar I have trouble figuring out. He barks and barks and acts really crabby when you go to play with him, but when we ignore him, he barks more.

It was kind of hot a few days, but it wasn’t that bad except for a couple of them. We haven’t had a lot of rain, so we’ve been going to the dog park pretty much every night. Even if it’s hot it’s good to go. Ranger the Red Tick Coonhound has a new friend, a Treeing Walker Coonhound whose call name is Maggie. Maggie’s a really good player and can run really well, but she barks at everything! Mark said Ranger’s humans are “fostering” her. He tried to explain it, I think it means that they’re really good to her, but not her forever home. I’d be sad if I didn’t have a good forever home.

We’re seeing a lot of Cody, and Cain, and Penny and Amber. Haven’t seen as much of Abner lately, and I kind of miss him. There’s Gilligan and Thor and a couple of other new dogs that are fun too.

Sometimes when we go for our smell walk, Mark even lets me lead the pack and pick which way we go when a path will cross. I try to follow the interesting smell whenever I can. I think it’s kind of nice, since I know he can’t smell almost anything at all. It’s very kind to let me figure out all that stuff – though sometimes, as Mark says, “Thinking is hard work”

Oh well, I think it’s time for my nap.


20150812 Kona on the Lawn.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 29

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:55 am
by abnersmom
Abner has missed you, too, Kona! I promise he'll be at the park more often now. :)

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 30

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:19 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 30

Dear Diary

The days are changing again, getting shorter which is not so fun, and colder which is a lot better. It’s been very dry and a lot of the plants are turning gray and smelling all used up. Even some of the trees are dropping their leaves. It feels somehow early for all that. I asked Mark about it, and he said it was a thing he called “an early fall” and that I was right. That’s good to know.

I do like the colder weather – I seem to have a lot more energy. Sometimes, when I go outside at night, I don’t want to come back inside. I’ll lay down on the outside floor or the ground and just soak up the good cold air. Mark has to remind me to come inside again. Sometimes he doesn’t seem all that happy, but he always tells me I’m a good dog for coming back in.

We got to spend more time at that big kennel Mark calls “a nursing home.” I like going there – even though the people smell somehow drier and less healthy, so many of them are so nice to pet me and give me a lot of love, even if all I do is lick their hands. I think they’re more sensible than most humans I know, because they at least don’t waste it when they mark their territory. Mark knows one of those peoples there, whose call name is “Jim.” I like Jim, he’s always friendly to us, and gives a good pet when he’s able to reach me.

Another really good thing has been the extra time I’ve gotten to play with my brother Max. We make quite the pack just the two of us! Mark has taken us for walks together, and we even got to go to one of those “stores” one afternoon. It had a place where Max went to have his nails trimmed back. He didn’t seem to like it very much, because he was really slow to get inside the store kennel. I don’t know why – there were lots and lots of other dogs inside, and even a few of those cat things. It was fun meeting them and smelling them. Max’s paws are different I guess – I don’t think I’ve ever needed to have my nails trimmed, except for the time I broke one. Maybe if getting them trimmed feels like that, I can understand, but it’s just that Max’s nails grow so fast and so long. What’s fun is when Mark walks us both on leads – Max and I sometimes pull really hard, so we make Mark work a little more, but he seems to be OK with that, sometimes he even laughs at us and says we’re being silly.

We’ve been going to the dog park a little earlier so we can spend enough time for some good playing before it gets too dark. It’s fun – lots of our friends are there, and we even got to meet some new dogs. Most of them are a lot of fun. It seems with the weather getting cooler and the days getting shorter, there are a lot more dogs there. Abner’s back, and Kaiba, the Afghan hound, and Kaya, the Shepherd-Rottweiler mix. And there’s Cain and Cody and Amber and Penny. I like Penny – she plays really hard – I wonder if part of being a good player comes with being a sled dog. I know there are other good players, but it does seem to make it easier.

Oh well, it’s almost time for lunch – I like lunch, but I like dinners even more.

Hide your bones really well until we get back,

20150922 Walking Max and Kona.jpg

Max on the left and me on the right when we take Mark for a walk.

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 31

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:57 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 31
Dear Diary

It’s getting colder at last! Yay! I seem to have so much more energy when it’s colder. I even want to sleep outside, but even if Mark lets me out in our little yard, he makes me come in for the night. Sometimes I whine a little just to remind him, but to tell the truth, I’m OK with it, because the ground inside our kennel is softer. It would be nice, though if we could work out cold and soft together. Maybe we’ll have some of that snow stuff soon – just perfect for sleeping in.

We got to play with some of those deers the other night when we went to the park. They came close to where the fence is that marks the place where us dogs take our humans from the rest of the park. Then they started to run along the fence, so I joined in. They ran fast along the fence then off into the woods. I think that was the longest time I’d ever played with deers. They’re fun to run with, but they seem to get scared too quick, if you ask me.

I even got to play a little with one of the squirrels. Well, sort of. When we were out one day, I stayed really, really still and waited until one of them crossed right in front of me. I got a paw on it as it started up the tree but it yipped and ran up into the branches as fast as it could. I don’t know why they are so afraid all the time. I keep hoping I’ll find one that’s a little more interested in playing than running.

Now that it’s getting dark earlier, Mark’s being really nice about our smell walk. That’s the one we do in the middle of the day. Since our regular walk is still being messed up by the big yellow things down by the water we’ve been doing a lot of new and different routes. Mark says we’re going “exploring” whatever that is. I know there are a whole lot of new smells to learn, and new ways to get back to our kennel from different places. It’s fun, but it’s hard work trying remember all the new smells and all the new markings from animals I’ve never met before. Sometimes, I come home just as tired as when we goto the park and I get to run and run.

Barking of the park, for a while I was getting kind of bored because I found out I could run so much faster than most of the dogs, and I’d have to stop and wait for them to catch up a lot. That wasn’t so much fun. But the other day, I found that we could get some really good play going and keep it up if I tried to run in a circle and go back and forth between the dogs chasing me. I even figured out how to turn round and round so fast (Mark calls it “spinning”) that we could play that way too – the slower dogs can go round and try to get past me, but I can reach out and paw them or let them paw me and we can keep the play going a lot longer without everybody getting so tired so fast. Abner and Penny and Gilligan and even Cody joined in, and some other dogs depending on the day. We all get more time to play as a pack. That’s good.

We did some more trips to that nursing home place. I like being there, mostly. Except for going into a special crate box Mark calls a “elevator.” It’s a really strange thing – you go in the crate in one place and come out at another. Going higher to lower doesn’t bother me, but when the crate goes up there’s this really strange feeling I get – Mark says I’m being a chicken, but he knows better. I’m a dog. It still makes me a little scared and like my stomach isn’t quite right. But the peoples there treat me really well. Some of them I think I feel sorry for, since they don’t even seem to notice us come and go. Mark says that’s because they’re really sick, and I have to be extra careful I don’t scare them. The people who are awake and can pet me are very nice, though – they really do seem happy when I come. I guess they don’t have enough dogs to go around for all the people they have there, so they share dogs like me when we visit.

One night, we were walking around a place where they have a lot of those “stores” places. There was a place that smelled kind of like food. Mark said they sold a thing called yogurt. I like it, but I can only have a little at a time, because if I eat it too fast, I get a tummy ache. Anyway, coming out of the store was a girl human who smelled really, really sad. She almost bumped into me. I think she couldn’t see too well because her eyes were all watering. Anyway, she stopped to say she was sorry – though why she said it to Mark and not to me, I don’t know. Then she looked at me and asked if she could pet me- Mark said yes. They barked a bit about what kind of dog I was and what Tamaskans were like. As she kneeled down to pet me, she started to turn up the edges of her mouth – what Mark calls “smiling” just a little. She barked that she was having a really bad day, and that meeting me made her feel better. I guess she’s another one of those poor humans who don’t have a dog to take care of them. I know that when she left, Mark gave me a nice treat and gave me a good belly rub. He said he was happy at what a good dog I am. I was just being me, but I’m not going to fuss about a good belly rub AND a treat, either.

Well, that’s it for this time. Happy tail wag to everybody!

WP_20151010_12_40_05_2 Pro.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 32

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:41 pm
by firleymj
Kona’s Diary –
Month 32

Dear Diary

I finally got to play with a geese. It wasn’t as much fun as I thought it was going to be. (Mark called it a “big disappointment.”) We were out walking on our smell walk around the middle of the day, when we rounded a corner in the path and sitting there was a geese. For the first time I can remember, it didn’t run, it didn’t fly away, it just sat there. I pulled hard on my lead to make sure Mark knew I wanted to say hello to it. I stretched and play bowed, and it still just sat there. It moved its head around, up and down and back and forth, but it didn’t run away. So I got down real low, the way you do when you’re playing with a puppy, and wagged my tail to show it I was friendly. It just kept sitting. By this point, Mark let me have a little slack in my lead and I crawled over to it. It smelled very afraid, but unlike any other geese I’ve ever met, it didn’t run. I went to sniff it and it let me. I learned a lot from that sniffing, I’m not sure exactly what it had been eating, but I could smell different ponds we knew in the wet of its body. When I got my nose closer to its head, it started to move its neck back and forth like a snake and hissed at me. At that point, Mark gave me a tug on my harness and told me to back off. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to, but I did. I was kind of hoping the geese would tell me how to walk on the water or run in the air, or even just play a little, but all it did was sit there waving its head. Mark and I walked away, but I had my eye on it as we left. When we got maybe five or six dog lengths from it, it raised its head, hissed at us, then shook itself real hard and did that funny walk they do right back into the water.

The days are getting really short now, and it’s sometimes hard to make it to the dog park much before dark. Still I like to run, and there’s something about the early part of the night that seems to get me stirred up – that and the fact that you can smell all the animals in the woods around the park. We even had some squirrels that were so silly as to come into the dog park. They ran away real fast when we chased them! There are little striped squirrels (Mark tells me they’re called “chipmunks”) that run away too. I nearly caught one the other day, but it was through the fence too fast.

One night, for the second time, some of those deers came into the clearing next to the fence. Some of us dogs in the park ran over to them, and they ran along the outside of the fence while we ran inside. Some of the littler dogs couldn’t keep up, but I could. Mark says I’m a good runner, when I really want to be. The other peoples there said so too. That’s nice to know.

We’ve been spending as much time walking in the early night as we can. We can go into some of the store kennels – in some of them there’s lots of good food and even other dogs. I got to play with a couple at one of the places. The humans there are really nice and pet me and sometimes (after they ask Mark if it’s OK) give me a treat or two. I like that! Mark got me this little round thing that kind of lights up at night and when we walk where there will be a lot of peoples or near those road things, he makes it light up. Humans seem to be able to make light and dark, but it’s not the kind of light that fills the whole sky, just the parts around you. Still, it’s a pretty good trick. I wonder how many treats it takes them to learn how to do that?

One of the best parts lately is that we got some really great meat and bones from one of those deers. Mark calls it “venison” and even cooked some of the bones in a special way so they’d be safe for me to chew on and eat. I’ve had lots of tasty fun with them! Yum!

We’ve done some more visits to the nursing home place, and spent as much time with our pack at the park as we could. Max even showed up a few times, with one of his peoples, Dottie. I like Max’s peoples, Tommy likes to talk with me and Dottie gives me treats and lots of rubs. And it’s fun to be with my brother. Don’t tell Mark, but they let me do things when I visit them I can’t do at home – like get up on that soft thing peoples call a “couch.” It’s good to lie on, but even though we have one at home, Mark lets me know that’s his place. Well, he is my pack leader.

I’m slowly teaching Mark to speak “dog” – he does better than most peoples, but it’s kind of fun when he gets down on the floor and walks properly – not just with his hind legs – and head butts and shoulder rubs, and sniffs – that way I know he gets it. After doing that a while, he gives me great belly rubs and tail scratches and tells me I’m a good dog.

I know that, but it’s nice to hear.

Time to go back for a nap, Bye!
20151112 By the Side of the Path.jpg

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 32

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:51 am
by hannahmeansgrace
He's so handsome! I love his mask.

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 33

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:58 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 33

Dear Diary

It’s been a busy month – Mark is a little late getting this out, but there’s only so much nose butting I can do to keep him on track.

Mark’s been smelling a little off lately – it’s that work thing again. He’s tried to tell me some about it, but I’m not sure I get it all – the biggest part seems to be that the big kennel where he used to work is being torn down and it’s not being done very well, and it’s causing him all sorts of extra work and mess. He keeps barking about a thing called an “auditor” I haven’t ever seen one, but I don’t think I want to play with one either, since he tells me they’re kind of like ticks – they suck your blood and make you sick. I take medicine to stop that, but he tells me there’s no cure for those auditor ticks. Kind of sad that people found a way to make sure us dogs don’t get sick, but they can’t do anything for themselves.

The days keep getting shorter, and we’re spending more time walking at night outside the dog park – we often go to those big store kennels and sometimes we walk around the ground were they’re built – what Mark calls a “parking lot.” We also visit some of the stores kennels, and in some of them, they let us dogs go inside. I like those kinds of places. We go to a couple so often the peoples there know me, and when they see me, I get a nice rub and sometimes even treats. I think it’s nice of peoples to do that for me. Once we even got to go with my brother, Max. It was a lot of fun, though I think some of the peoples were a little scared when they saw the two of us together. Like they smelled afraid, maybe because they thought we’d mark our territory or wouldn’t behave inside. That’s just silly. OK, I know we can play rough in our own kennels, but Max’s humans and Mark have always taught us to be extra nice when we’re out in other people’s kennels.

There’s a new dog in the park these days, a breeding Rottweiler male who’s not very friendly. Mark takes me on long walks in the park so that we won’t get into trouble with him. I don’t really understand why we have to be the ones to make room for him, because we were there first, but Mark says that the difference is that I’m a good dog who listens and won’t fight first, and he’s pretty sure the other dog would start trouble. I guess he’s right, but I still think the other dog is a spoilsport.

Mark and I howled together when we learned that my friend Bandit, the beagle, passed over the rainbow bridge. I’m going to miss Bandit – he might have been really old and not up for a lot of hard playing, but when he bayed, you knew he had something important to say. I think he taught a lot of dogs in our neighborhood how to live together better. Sometimes, when we got too excited, he’d let out such a bark that everybody would get still and quiet for a bit just to take in what he barked.

But there’s good news, too. We had another one of those special days called “Thanksgiving” where all the peoples give themselves extra food and us dogs get some really tasty treats in our dinner bowls. Well, at least I know Max and I do. I hope all dogs have that much at least. I really like that meat humans call “turkey.” It tastes a lot like the chicken I get almost every day, but it’s different and really good. I still think peoples ruin their food by mixing in too much other stuff that’s not meat or kibble, but as long as it keeps their belly filled and them healthy I guess it’s OK for them. Just that I wouldn’t want all that smelly stuff myself – I’ll stick to my kibble and meat, thank you.

We’ve been spending more time than usual with Max and I love the time we can play together – yes, Max’s humans are so nice to me, but the truth is, it’s fun being part of a proper pack – sometimes Max even lets me lead going out the back door of their kennel when we race and chase deers and squirrels around their yard. When we pull together on lead with one of our peoples walking us it’s almost like we’re doing what we are born to do! Both Max and I like that – though I think I like to pull a little more than Max does.

Mark tells me that Christmas holiday is coming up soon, and know he’s right because I can smell all sorts of different food and treats he’s trying to hide from me in that closet place and in the kitchen. Just because I can’t see them doesn’t mean I can’t smell them! Still, I like the way he tries to make those people holidays special for me too.

Gotta go for now, I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and when we write next, I’ll tell you about our Christmas.

Happy tail wags to all,

20151117 They're not Lazy Boys, They're Bark-A-Loungers.jpg
They're not Lazy Boys, they're Bark-A-Loungers!

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 34

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:26 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 34

Dear Diary

It’s been another one of those months when I have to nose poke Mark to get our diary finished. Thanks for waiting.

There was so much going on – a lot of stuff about that Christmas day. I tell you I LIKE Christmases. I wish we could have them more often. For one thing, Mark got to take a few days away from work (that’s good, cause we have more time together). And the smells in the house! Wow! All that cooking!

Sometimes, though, I wonder about peoples. They get all that yummy meat and fish and then ruin it by burning it with a whole bunch of smelly plants that just don’t make it better, if you ask me. Still, Mark’s really kind about it. He makes sure that the food he shares with me is just the way I like it – plain and simple. I tried a new kind of fish – that Mark called “Whiting” – not quite as good as the dark grey one he calls “Salmon” but still pretty good. And the morning of that Christmas day I got one of those eggs things, and even a little bit of a tasty meat that’s almost like bacon but not quite – Mark called it “Ham.” It was GOOD! I think I could like that more often.

And another thing: I got a LOT of treats and chews and food that day too, even from Mark’s pack. I think it’s nice when people packs remember to be good to us dogs. I got this really great circle of a chew from Kat. I want to stretch out using it up – it’s tasty and the way it’s made lets me chew on it for a LONG while. I don’t know if it will last as long as my buffalo horn, but I’m glad to have something that I can play with and chew on for a while. I got this really cool duck toy from Max’s humans. It’s just like the one he has, but this one’s for me. And I got a new blanket, too. Well, I don’t really need to be so warm, so what I do is bunch it up and use it for a pillow. That way when I go to sleep, I’m more comfy. It’s almost as good as tucking yourself into a ball and sleeping outside in the cold. For some reason, Mark wants me to sleep inside even when it’s nice and chilly outside. Someday I have to bark with him about that.

After that Christmas Day, I got to visit with Max and his humans while Mark went off to see some of his family pack. It took him a while to get back, and I almost think people were worried about him. But he came back, and it was really good to smell him again. I gave him lots of tail wags and kisses when he got back. I know he was glad to see me too, just from the way he hugged me and petted me.

Just after he came back, he had some trouble with his muzzle again – humans seem to have a lot of trouble with getting their tiny little muzzles stuffed up with sick smelling stuff. But he got over that and soon it was back to work for him. He says he has to do that to make sure we have a kennel and food for us, but I wish he could do a lot less of it – he just smells more at peace when we have time together just for us.

The auditor ticks were at him again – I don’t think they’re very nice, making him stay up for days on end, and making him so tired and miserable. He seems scared of them somehow, even though I can’t smell them, I can smell the change in him and it’s not good. Why are they so mean to him? Are they just bad pack leaders? Or are they just not trained right? Maybe they didn’t have a good pack leader teaching them how to lead. Anyway, I’m glad for the nights he actually sleeps a little (even if he does sometimes wake me making that odd barking while he sleeps – what does he call it? Oh yes, “snoring”)

Well, it’s time for our smell walk!

I’ll write again soon, I hope
20160114 Kona and his Christmas Presents.jpg
A meal, a great pillow, new toys and treats! Time for a nap!

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 35

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:14 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 35

Dear Diary

Sometimes, try as I might, I just can’t get Mark to finish editing my diary. But here it is at last.

Wow! Just last month, I was wondering where all the snow was. Well, we got to find out. Did we get snow! It was so nice and cold and fresh – and there was so much of it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen our kennel with that much snow around it. It was piled up so much we couldn’t even get out our front door for almost a day. When we did get out, we couldn’t have a proper walk for a few days because snow blocked the paths. We had to walk the same paths over and over to get a decent walk in. We couldn’t even get around the lake behind our kennel. I was so glad when we finally got out to the dog park again. I missed my Max – it took us a while to be able to get together but it was fun when we did.

When Max and I get together, sometimes our humans scold us because we growl when we greet each other. I want Max to know that even though I’m younger, I’m still a grown dog. And Max wants me to know that it’s his territory and he’s still in charge. I’m not grumbling, I’m just making sure Max and I are clear about the rules. Why our people fret about that I just can’t figure out.

There were some good parts, though. It was fun when Mark let me nap in the snow outside – it felt SO good! And I did have some fun chasing some of my toys underneath the snow. I’d pounce on them and they’d run off underneath the snow, and I could try to chase them under the snow by smell and pounce on them again. I found one really great thing to do in the deeper parts of the snow, though – I’d run along the top of the snow, then dig in and underneath it, and then pop my head up and go on top again. Mark called it “porpoising.” It was a lot of fun! The only really bad part was that so few dogs were out – and there was almost nobody to play with for what seemed forever.

When we did get out, one of the best things was seeing some of my friends at the dog park. It was great that Penny was the first of our pack back – she and I do get along. And there was a new dog, a black white husky called Kai who’s just so much fun – he loves to run like I do, and we could run and run for hours. And there’s Bruno, who’s a great Malamute pup! He’s going to be a really big dog when he grows up, I’m guessing about the size of Jack – but he’s so much fun to wrestle with.

I’m still eating my way through all the treats and food I got for that Christmas Day. It’s so good, though Mark won’t let me have all of them at once. I guess that’s OK, but there are times when they’re just so good. I really like the salmon treats and the bones are just so tasty!

Mark’s been smelling a little better lately, though there are times he does get really upset at that work thing. Sometimes he stays up all night in front of those funny black boxes. He said that his work kennel is being torn down – it seems he lived there a lot of years. From some of what he barked, they’re not doing a good job of it, and it’s making him do more work instead of less. I’m not sure I’d like it if someone tore down my kennel – especially if I’d been there a long time. But even with all that going on, he always makes time to play and tell me I’m a good dog.

Sometimes, when he’s working late, I like to curl up on his feet or next to him. That seems to make him smell better, and I like to know I can do something for him.

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 36

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:41 pm
by firleymj
The Kona Diaries
Month 36

Dear Diary

What a month! There’s so much to tell, I’m not sure I can fit it all in.

We finally dug out from all the snow. Mark barked that it seemed to take forever, but I was kind of sad to see it go. It was so much fun to play in, even when just about all that was left were the piles at the edge of the street or the walking path.

We did something really different this month. Max and his human, Dottie and Mark and I took a long, long ride to meet up with other Tamaskans at what Mark called a “Sled Dog Gathering.” [Officially, the 2nd Annual Tamaskan Sled Dog Gathering – ed.] It seemed we were in that truck forever. We even had to stop in one of those odd smelling kennels Mark calls a “hotel” just to break up getting there.

On the way, while Max’s human was driving, right around dark but just before, she stopped our truck in the road, while what we first thought was a big dog started to cross the road. Max and I knew better right away – it sort of smelled like dog, but it wasn’t quite. Then Mark and Dottie barked at each other, and said it was a timberwolf. Sometimes our people aren’t so quick as they’d like to think. It was kind of fun to think we met one of our (what did Mark call them?) “Ancestors” out there. I think I’d like to go back to that again. I’m not sure our humans think it’s such a good idea for Max and me to, though.

But when we got there, what a time we had! I got to meet my daddy, Zephyr, again, as well as Noque and Luna, and some of the other dogs I smelled from last time. And we got to meet some other Tamaskans who might be relatives: Arak and Tallulah. They were fun, but they bark more in an hour than Max and I do all day. Max and I tried to show them how to be more “respectable” as Mark barked, but I don’t think they were interested. Still and all, they were great fun to play with and their humans are really nice, and made me feel part of their pack, too. Their call names were Scott and Lynne.

The first day, we all met at the place we raced last year, and headed out to what our humans called a “mountain.” I was so excited, I jumped around a lot on the way up. I think Mark wasn’t too happy with that – he kept telling me to settle down. It was fun at the top – our people all stopped and played with a thing they call a “camera” to help them remember what being on the top of the mountain was like. Looking down on the big water (Mark called it Lake Superior) it really was quite a place – a lot to look at and so many good smells, a lot of which I’d never smelled before. Coming down the mountain, I had to go first, while Mark spent a lot of time crawling down on all four paws because it was so icy.

Then we went back to that hotel kennel – I smelled that we’d stayed there before, quite a long while back- and the next morning we visited the big dog kennel with all the sled dogs. [Evergreen Kennel, ed.] We got hooked onto different kinds of leashes in teams of dogs and went trying to pull our humans around a course. Mark did a lot better this time, he only fell off the sled once, and he got back on right away. Even Max, who really got worn out last year, managed to finish without a fuss. I got yelled at because I didn’t want to start with the other dogs. I kept turning around to look at Mark to see if it was OK. But I got a big push from my daddy Zephyr’s human, and we were off. It was so much fun once we got going. The other sled dogs were smaller than I am, but wow could they pull! I had to run to keep up with them. It was different, but somehow I felt so right pulling the sled, like it was a part of me deep inside.

I finished with a really happy panting, and got some good treats at the end. Then all our humans got together around us and did some really silly stuff, all happy that all the dogs had good runs. I was so proud of Mark and Max, too, cause they did so much better than last time.

The next morning, we went out to a place where there was a thing called an “ice cave.” It was quite a hike! A lot of time up and down mountain trails that were so narrow at points that Mark and I had to walk in line to keep either one of us from falling off the side of the hill. We even used old broken trees to cross streams of really cold water. At one point, Mark slipped on the ice going up part of a hill, and couldn’t get up again because it was so slippery. Even with my paw pads and claws, it was hard. I was really worried for him. I think he must have known that – and he and Max and Dottie and me all went extra slow from that point on. But we made it to the caves and back. I’m not sure what the humans made all the fuss about – it was just a big rock kennel filled with these giant icicles, and not much to smell. But they seemed to bark about it like it was a big deal, and were really barking on and on about how cool the place looked. I asked Max and he couldn’t figure it out either but he was so good being there for Dottie when she needed help walking the icy trails.

On the ride back, we got to stop and see some of Mark’s extended pack – his goddaughter and her parents in a place called “Ohio.” I remember them from when I was just a puppy, but they smelled of different dogs now. Mark told me it was because the dogs I played with when we stayed there crossed the Rainbow Bridge. But I specially remembered the people whose call name was “Megan” – and we all had a long talk about meeting me and Max and how much I’d grown. The humans called John and Tori were extra nice to me, and even to my big brother. That was fun!

After we’d been home a few days, Mark told me it was my birthday. He’s really good about keeping track of things like that. I’m not really all that sure what a having a birthday means to people, but I know I got a LOT of really special favorite foods. I had a BIG hunk of one of those salmon fish things for lunch, and some beef and venison mix for dinner. I can’t really think of a day when I liked my food more.

For all his worrying, Mark does take good care of me, and I know it. I made sure to give him extra big happy tail wags. I like it when he smiles and pants with me! I know that when I’m happy, it’s easier for him to be happy, too.

Travelling was fun, but I want to get back to my regular day, too.

Hope to write again soon,

2016 2nd Annual Tamaskan Sled Dog Gathering.jpg
Image (c) 2016, Tod Poirer, Photo-Synthesis, Marquette, MI

Re: Kona's Diary [Hawthorne James Watson] Now at Month 36

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:43 pm
by Buckeye
Gotta love the internet. So awesome that I can find pictures of Bucky's dad. (Lakota Stoney Creek)
I hope all is well with him. Best wishes.