WOOF! WOOF!I’ve heard from so many members of my fan club asking where I have been. Well, don’t blame me! I’ve wanted to talk to you for nearly 3 weeks but my dad has not cooperated. I finally put my feet down and growled at him when he made his 5th trip to the refrigerator in one hour. I think he got the message. He promised he would be passing on my thoughts to you at least 3 days a week from now on. I know he’s been busy biking with Tyler and walking with me but I told him my fans want to hear from me on a regular basis. So—-no more excuses.Last time, I told you about my early life and my first wonderful home with Mort and Donna and Ed and Marilyn. In the future, I will tell you about my life before our journey began. However, we are now 3 weeks into our journey, and I better catch you up on what has been happening with me. On January 27, I, along with mom, dad, Kelly and Tyler, went to San Diego high school for our big launch. There were so many people there. I was a little scared even though my dad had me on a leash and he was telling me exactly what to do. Even though I am big and have large teeth, Jimi calls me a “gentle giant”. I think that means I’m big but won’t hurt anyone. I will tell you a lot more about Jimi in the future. We went into a large auditorium for the ceremony, and I lay down next to where my dad was sitting. Dad told me this was a Naturalization Ceremony where immigrants are sworn in as new citizens of the United States of America. There was music by the students and speeches by a number of people, most importantly, my grandmother Gerda Klein. I love Gerda and I know she loves me.
I saw some of my friends from Phoenix at the ceremony like Noel and Dan, the parents of Baci. He is a German Shepherd who lives across the street from me in Phoenix and, until recently, always growled at me when he saw me walking with my dad on the street. I think he is protecting Noel, but I would never hurt her. Only recently have Baci and I become friends, and I can’t wait to play with him after I finish our journey. There were many other people who came to the ceremony from Phoenix and other places to help us launch our journey. We went outside and I heard Gerda, a very tall man named Bill Walton and my dad speak to the students and teachers at San Diego high school. It was so funny to see Bill Walton and Gerda together. He is so tall and she is so short, and I know they really love each other. Dad says Bill Walton was a famous basketball player but, more importantly, he is a very nice and good man. Bill Walton is taller then Gerda even when he is sitting and she is standing. It is so funny, and it makes me laugh. My dad says that Bill told him that when he read Gerda’s books, it changed his life. Maybe my mom or dad will read her books to me on the journey across the U.S.A.. After the ceremony, Tyler, Dad and Bill Walton got on their bicycles and took off. I stayed with Mom and Kelly until we went back to the RV park in the afternoon. All in all, it was a very exciting day and I know everyone was happy that our journey finally began.
My dad and Tyler returned from their first 50 mile bike ride, and I was so happy to see them. The next day, Dad and I took our first 15 mile walk along a river canal in Chula Vista. Whenever it was safe, Dad let me off the leash and I ran all over the place smelling the ground and bushes, chasing birds and rabbits, and having a wonderful time. At times, we ran into other people walking their dogs. Some would bark at me but Dad told me to heel and I obey him—most of the time. Two things happened on the walk that I remember and want to tell you. First, Dad was looking down so that he wouldn’t trip on the rocks, and he walked right into a tree that had partially fallen over the trail. It knocked him down, and he was bleeding from his nose. I ran back to him, licked his face, and I know he felt better. Second, there was this large puddle of muddy water on the river bank, and when I saw it, I couldn’t help but run back and through the water and mud as fast as I could . I got all dirty but it felt so good. Dad was laughing at me for some reason but I’m not sure why. All I know is when we got back to the RV park, Dad took me out to the the lawn and I had my first bath of the journey. When I get clean I have a beautiful black coat and everyone who sees me tells my parents how beautiful I am. I guess if I were human, I’d get a real big head because everyone admires me. Being a dog, I just want people to like me.
Well, I’m getting a little tired tonight (and so is Dad) and I better stop. We are now in Willcox, Arizona, and soon we will be on our way to a place called New Mexico. I promise I’ll be talking to you again real soon. So good night. And one more thing: I’m proud to be an American!