Ozzie continues to live the good life with my brother and his wife. It really could not have turned out better for all involved and though I was heartbroken when British Air barred his crate from loading (20 minutes before the flight was leaving; Thom and I had already boarded the plane!), it really was divine intervention that he stayed in the U.S. (See this and this for the history of the situation.) Mitch and Terri have been married 25 years and never had children, so Ozzie promptly stepped in and became their (sometimes problem) child. (They say when they scold him, it usually includes a weak reference to being shipped to Africa if he doesn’t behave.)
Then he insisted that the only comfortable place to sleep in the WHOLE house while they were gone was on their king-size bed.
Though they bought him an extra-special, overly-priced temperpedic doggy bed, their cats claimed it so Ozzie kind of had a point. If the cats got a small temperpedic bed and they were a tenth his size, why couldn’t he use the big temperpedic bed? After all, it was going to waste during the day.
Then, Ozzie let them know that the Southern California pavement was burning his tootsies, so he got special shoes.
During the summer in Michigan, most people go up north to a family cottage. In Southern California, the place people go to is “the river,” meaning the Colorado River or more precisely, one of the lakes made from the Colorado River. When we were kids and went to the river, it was to Lake Mohave. Mitch and Terri carried on that tradition and have had a houseboat there for at least 20 years. Unlike their kitties, Ozzie insisted he could not be left at home, so almost every weekend he rides in style to the houseboat.
(Notice he snatched the temperpedic dog bed away from the kitties for his truck ride.)
Apparently, he’s right at home on the houseboat and dock.
And, he even likes riding on the motorboats. (Except for the one time Mitch stopped suddenly and Ozzie went flying head over heels into the water and Mitch had to haul him out before he drowned…poor Ozzie sputtered and coughed and looked at Terri his mommy and said, see? that’s why I don’t like swimming, so I hear Mommy’s going to get him a life jacket.)
The other people on the dock love him and at their annual lake picnic last weekend, Ozzie won the contest for best costume. The theme was Las Vegas so he went as a drag queen.
There’s nothing Ozzie likes more than getting dressed up. Seriously, he’d preen when we’d put on a new winter sweater or even a Christmas collar.
It turns out Ozzie’s a big-time mommy’s boy.
Terri takes him everywhere — work, on errands, to friends, Petco. Ozzie even baked a birthday cake as a surprise for her birthday this year.
The big news is that Ozzie is now a certified Service Therapy dog! Here’s the definition of a Service Therapy dog: Service Therapy Dogs are specially trained dogs to provide comfort to people in hospitals, special-needs programs, hospice and long-term care facilities. Research has shown that visits from Therapy Dogs help people recovery more quickly from surgery, and strokes; and can reduce feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety associated with an illness.The unconditional love of a Therapy Dog can also assist with prescribed therapy and lowering blood pressure.
Ozzie and his handler (Terri) had to go through special training and then be tested. Not only did he pass the certification test, he was the valedictorian! (ranked first in his class) And all this time we thought he had the brain the size of a peanut. Just goes to show that environment counts for a lot. Anyone want to send their children to Mitch and Terri?
My brother reports that Ozzie has one remaining bad habit. He shoplifts. Every time they go to Petco he steals doggy biscuits and bones from the open barrels. Terri usually catches him and makes him pay but it’s quite embarrassing. He acts remorseful, but you know, I’m just not buying it…
Mitch was pretty concerned about it so he installed a surveillance camera in their house so they could watch Ozzie remotely while they were at work. Mitch says feel free to take a peak at Ozzie yourself. He’s usually on the bed weekdays between 7 am – 10 am Pacific time. Click here. (Don’t worry, when Mitch and Terri are home they point the camera toward their valley view.)
p.s. I just wanted to mention how much I appreciate Mitch and Terri. You guys are the best – we love you!