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Embrace the New!

Many new events and happenings here. MJ and Grace had their first experience on leash at a public park- with (gasp) other dogs (I'm having a little sleep in problem so don't get to the park early enough). Gracie handled it with glee (she's Happy the Dog) however MJ wanted and thought by right the park belong to her exclusively (Hollywood Star syndrome), how dare someone else bring their mutt on her property and hey you in the tug boat, you are too close to shore and my park! (Bark, bark- I'm sure there was a few choice words I missed in translation as she did her "Doggy Dearest" impersonation- where's that wire hanger?)  Alas it was fun for both of them and they napped for the rest of the afternoon. Unfortunately I didn't get any snapshots- too busy with the scoop bags, leash de-tangling and snack/small dog (and yes those are interchangeable) look out. Better luck next time, although MaryJane may be attending some "finishing school" classes. Poor Zero, hasn't settled in yet to go to the park- he still thinks the mailman is a threat- but at least is no longer trying to bite the mail coming through the mail slot in our door, and that little boy down the street really sounds like a dog whistle to him (the pitch is high enough believe me!)
Rob and I have also have had a few firsts, starting with VegFest (vegan festival) which was a grazing event - yum! Oktoberfest at Belmont Station (the place of 1000 beers) and guess what? Six- count them six gluten free beers! Embarrassing to say 2 beers (I didn't get to sample each!) and well I was wishing I hadn't worn heels, or had to hear Rob's snickers. The staff was very kind. Luckily we live only a few blocks away.
Our first guests arrived! Whoo Hoo! Jeff and Janine stopped by on their way to visit family. Not only was this a first in our new nest, but I realized that it had been since November 4, 2004 since we've had visitors. (Another stigma of the Bush regime) Here's a photo of our first brave guests (on one of our only chairs):

Of course, they were sitting still and Zero wanted in on the action. All hugs must be cleared by him ;-)
We really enjoyed their visit and hope they didn't notice how rusty of hosts that we are. The babies out shined us by behaving really well. Only a few howls from Grace (I'm sure she was singing her joy) and MJ was gracious. They know good people when they meet them ;-) Thanks Jeff and Janine

A few other surprising firsts that we have stumbled upon: full buses of polite and respectful people, gluten-free bakeries, restaurants that have a gluten free menu and gasp- know what gluten is without explanation, libraries open on SUNDAYS (twilight zone!), neighbors who welcome you to the area and want to get to know you (they actually swap insurance and emergency information in case of accidents while you are away), blocks and blocks without Starbucks in a big city, Burgerville- a fast food chain with a conscience who only buys locally and where the majority of its waste is compostable or recyclable!, a main drag with only one corporate chain (yes I have driven and walked back and forth several times up and down to verify) and shock- a three week wait to put gas in the car. (Felix is feeling neglected)
Hope y'all are out there enjoying some firsts of your own. Would love to hear about them!


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