Monthly Archives: May 2012

My Mom Went to America and…

she must have gone to Petsmart because she brought back shirts and DOGGLES!

“Lifedog on Duty”

 

The Hawaiian Shirt

I like the shirts, but feel rather ridiculous in the doggles.  Apparently they are supposed to protect my eyes from the strong Tanzanian sun, but I don’t see any other dogs wearing them here.  In fact, I don’t see any other dogs wearing clothes either.  Perhaps that’s why everyone laughs at me!

Chillin’ in my doggles

 

I think I’m ready to take them off now…

Anyhow, what do you think?  Are my doggles nerdy?  Or do they make me look super cool?

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Doggie Daycare

Since mom has come back from America and Farley Fleabag has arrived on the scene, I have been spending my days at Mr. Marcel’s house instead of sitting at home alone on the couch waiting for mom to get done with work.  This is best for everyone involved because I get to play, Farley gets to learn about how to be a dog from me, and mom doesn’t feel bad about me being alone.

Every morning, around 7:30 mom puts my halter and my leash on and we walk over to Mr. Marcel’s house.  I know the way perfectly since I have an acute sense of smell and once I’ve been somewhere I can always figure out how to get back.  So, I lead the way and mom follows.

Arriving at Daycare

Once I arrive, mom immediately removes my harness because if I leave it on, then Farley tries to use it as a carrying handle for me and I can’t have that since I’m his superior.

Our caretaker is named Damien and he is a jack of all trades.  Not only does he do the landscaping and the gardening, but he is also our Early Childhood Education Teacher, and he likes to read English literature too.  All the people in Mwanza want Damien as a gardener since he knows how to grow arugula (although I don’t understand the fascination with arugula since I think it’s quite disgusting) and other yummy vegetables.

Damien, working his magic

Most of my day is spent playing, running, and teaching Farley things he’ll need to know once he moves to Moshi and doesn’t have me as his trainer anymore.

This is what we do all day

Farley and I also like to drink coffee in the morning, so usually we’ll conspire to spill the human’s coffee somehow so that we can drink it to get energy for our day of playing.  Here we are whispering about our recent success in spilling mom’s coffee:

Shhhh!

By the end of the day, when mom arrives to pick me up around 5, I am totally beat from running and playing and having fun all day.  I sleep SO well in the night now because I’m so exhausted from my day at Daycare, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything since I have so much fun with Farley and Damien.  They’ll be my buds for life!

Three best buds

 

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Mom’s Back

A few weeks back, mom packed her bags, and my bag too so I was super excited because I figured we were going on a trip together and I love traveling, I have a blog called Tito Travels, after all.  But, I was in for a shocker.

Mom’s not going anywhere without me

We drove to the airport, and I still didn’t realize what was happening, but then mom got all teary-eyed and hugged and kissed me a bunch.  I then had the chilling realization that she was going one way, and I was going another.  And then, for 427 hours we were separated.  And let me tell you, that is a LOOOONG time in doggie’s life.

But now she’s back and life is good.  Me + Mom = Happy

Love

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Reason #2 I’m Becoming Tanzanian

I’ve officially lived in Tanzania for longer than I’ve lived in the US.  Just because I was born in the US doesn’t mean that I’m not Tanzanian, in fact I don’t really remember life in the States at all.  What I DO know is life in Africa, whether it’s eating mishkaki, driving through game parks, or having a house girl, all I really know is the Tanzanian way of life.  Therefore, I feel like it’s about time the Tanzanian Government issue me my very own Tanzanian passport.  I’ll be waiting…

My Tanzanian Passport

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Tito, Master Trainer

Some stuff that has been going on behind the scenes whilst my mom is away:

As the more knowledgable dog in these parts, I have decided to assist Mr. Marcel and take on his buddy Farley as my Padawan (which means “student”, if the force is with you).  AND, let me tell you that this is harder than I thought.

(BTW, Car-jumping is picking up as an extreme dog sport in East Africa since my debut!)

I really don’t remember being a pup, really, I don’t!  They’re so, like, inexperienced and stuff.  I am training Farley in the art of being DOG, which includes activities that require superior movement and agility.

Here I am at breakneck high speed during running training:

Running, full speed!

And this is Farley thinking about doing the same exercise:

Farley, not running

He just REFUSES to listen to me when I say that we need three to play rope skipping games:

Looking for a third…

This is me trying to show Farley how to point to the prey when hunting and stalking.  I don’t see how his tactic works, though, because I use the front left paw as dictated by hundreds of years of evolution.  I use my eyes and he sleeps using his back left paw, go figure!

Will he EVER get it?

The last lesson was playing dead, and …hold on…yes, that’s good Farley, good posture, hold the breathing a bit…DAMN IT, I think he’s sleeping already.  Cheater.

Hmmm, I think he’s too good at this

After that workout, there’s only one thing left to do and that’s to train the body to sleep.  Jedi dogs need their rest too!

May the force be with you, Farley

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I Met a Girl, and I Liked It

As you all know, I’m not a baby anymore, but I’m not yet an adult either, so this girl-dog stuff is new for me.  A few weeks back, something happened.  I met a girl dog named Rani who is a German Spitz.  My mom is friends with Rani’s mom, Sina, who is from Germany.

As you might imagine, I was completely lost at this first meeting since no one told me she was coming.  I didn’t even have a shirt on and the dog bowl was completely empty!

AGH! There’s a girl here!

(Mental Note: Dear Mom, Please brief me when girls are visiting!)

Soon, though, I managed to calm myself down enough to say hello to Rani.  She’s a bilingual dog (she speaks German and Bark) and she’s very pretty too.

The downside is that I have to stand on a cushion to reach her height 😦

I’m just like Tom Cruise!

I whispered and then we went for a walk away from the humans because we couldn’t handle the ooooohs and aaaahs and the “Pretty puppies” anymore.  Some space, please, so a dog can have a private moment.

Whispering to Sweet Rani

You know what? I think Rani and I might become good friends….or maybe even more 😉

Showing my new (girl)friend around

 

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Living in Tanzania: What It’s Really Like

In honor of my mom being in the United States right now, I decided to create my own picture-guide (in the style of the one about Epidemiologists) about my life in Tanzania.

I think this is an important step in clearing up some misconceptions about my African life, so to my friends, my mom, society, and my grandparents, this is what it’s REALLY like:

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Farley Fleabag

On Monday, Mr. Marcel showed up at my house with this tiny, fluffy, ridiculous dog.  He was quite young, probably about 8 weeks old by my estimation and he was crawling with insects.  I took one look at him and knew that he was a Tanzanian dog and not an American dog like me.  It turns out, Mr. Marcel adopted this dog so I guess I have to become friends with him.  I suppose he is pretty cute for a Tanzanian dog, but I guess I’ll let you all be the judge of that.

Meeting Farley

When Farley showed up on Monday, he didn’t actually have a name yet, so mom just called him Fleabag because of the fleas crawling all over him.  Mom immediately took me and Fleabag into the shower and she hosed him down and lathered him up with my puppy flea shampoo and washed the crap out of him for at least 30 minutes, but his hair was super thick (the opposite of my sleek hair) and he was so infested with fleas that some still remained.  Mom also said she found some things attached to his skin, called ticks.  YUCK!

After washing Farley Fleabag, under my supervision of course, she took us outside so we could get to know each other better.  I chased him around to see what his playing skill-level was, and unsurprisingly, he was super uncoordinated.  He was seriously falling over every other second, LAME!

Farley falling, AGAIN

But over time, this Farley Fleabag started to grow on me because he was a lot of fun to chase and he just kept playing and didn’t get tired like mom usually does.  We played and played and played in the yard.

Me n’ Farley

The only thing this Fleabag had to learn was that mom was MY mom and no one else’s.  Period.  And I made sure that was very clear.

HEY! Get off my mom

You know how Fleabag eventually became Farley?  Well, mom and Mr. Marcel were talking about how Fleabag was kind of fat, and dopey, but in a funny way like a comedian.  Mom mentioned that he reminded her of Chris Farley and Mr. Marcel said that he really liked Chris Farley and then mom said that Farley would actually be a great name for a dog and that they could call Mr. Marcel’s new dog Farley Fleabag, genius!  I love my mom 🙂

Farley Fleabag

Chris Farley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know what else I think of when I see Farley Fleabag?  The Honey Badger, because like Farley Fleabag, he just doesn’t give a sh*t, watch for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg.

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Aunt Amanda’s Birthday

Aunt Amanda is getting old!  Yesterday she turned 24 YEARS old, and I’m only 8 MONTHS old.  I can’t imagine someone living that long, and you know what?  My mom is even OLDER than Amanda!  She better not die before me.

To celebrate Aunt Amanda’s birthday, we planned a birthday party for her on Saturday at our house.  We had all the necessary equipment for a proper birthday party, such as beer, Konyagi, lots of cups, and ping pong balls.  As a special surprise, Mr. Marcel made me a fancy outfit for the occasion.  He dressed me up like our Maasai guard so that I could help keep the order at the party.

Mom in her Africa dress and me in my Maasai outfit

Towards the middle of the party, mom and Catherine disappeared to prepare a surprise for Aunt Amanda, which was a cake with candles and making everyone wear a birthday crown while singing Happy Birthday, even I was included in the surprise.

Happy Birthday Amanda!

The night went on and on, these people stayed FOREVER, so eventually I just put myself to bed.  I guess, since I’m still just a puppy, that I’m not old enough to stay up that late at night.

In the morning, when mom and I got up, I was shocked at the state of our house.  There were cups and bottles EVERYWHERE.  But, since I’m a good little puppy, I helped to clean up by licking all the sticky stuff off the floor.

Licking up the aftermath

Then mom reminded me that we have Anna and that she would help to clean everything up.  This is why we love Tanzania!

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