Note:  If you’re new to this blog and want to start at the beginning of a pup’s journey, there are links on the right side of the page that will take you to the first blog for that pup. When you finish each block, click “Next” to move on.  (Also, sorry the blog is 2 weeks late.  BUSY!)

VACATION!!!  Time for a few relaxing days in Tennessee over Mother’s Day weekend.  And yes, I decided to take Ulysses with me along with my two girls.  Here they are before leaving on Wednesday morning.



The trip to TN was uneventful.  They all pretty much slept the entire way.  Ulysses settled in pretty quickly, though he found those hard floors difficult to negotiate.  Our first night there was the only real hurdle.  You see, Ulysses has never slept in my room; in fact, the only time he’s in there is if he gets in by accident.  So when I set his crate up, I put it in the 2nd bedroom downstairs; not in my room.  Lights out.  He starts whining; then he barks.  Finally he starts howling – full out, nose in the air howling!  I try to ignore him, then I go out to take the towel off the front of his crate so he can see.  Back to bed.  Rinse and repeat, complete with the howling.  Now, we had a long 9 hour drive, and I’m beat.  I have to get some sleep, so the crate is moved into my room.  The 3 canines then had a peaceful night’s sleep.


They’ve had enough rain in East TN that the rivers were running, so we went out so I could dust off the DSLR.  After a few stops for shooting, we stopped at The Y (where River road splits to go to Gatlinburg or to Cades Cove) so I could let Midget swim.  I was really hoping that Ulysses would follow her lead and swim, but as soon as his belly got wet, he backed up.


Those hard wood floors!  Thought it would be best to trim his paws to give him a fighting chance and also cut off his beard so we didn’t have so many water trails across the floor from the water bowls.


East Tennessee in the Springtime is typically lush and green.  We were not let down this year.  That blonde coat against the brilliant green made for some beautiful photos of the boy.


One thing I love about the little town in Tennessee where my folks live (population is just over 400) is their Heritage Center.  From late Spring until early Autumn, they have concerts on Friday nights.  Admission is $8, but you have to bring your own chairs.  You sit in the amphitheater, listening to live blue grass, country or a mix while being able to look out at the mountains surrounding you.  The Friday night of vacation, we went to listen to the “Tennessee Stiff Legs;”  it was one of the 2 public outings Ulysses had while on vacation.



Ulysses was great on the long drive, both to and from Townsend.  He had no problem spending that much time in the truck, even having to share the back with Diva.  He adapted to the new location, though he did have to have his crate in my room.  (Can’t blame him for that.)  No issues when allowed upstairs.  Without having to be told, he went to the door we came in to indicate he needed to go out.  All in all, it was a great training trip for him, as well as relaxation for his human.


Around the Interweb


Word on the street (internet street that is) is that the documentary Reinforcements will be available for viewing in June.  The video below is Joe, who is prominent in Reinforcements, talking about coming home from war along with Merrick’s commitment to K9s for Warriors.

Johnny O, from the May class of warriors, posted the following on Facebook.  John played guitar, and by his side is Anatole.  If you go back into some of Bella’s blogs, you’ll see puppy Anatole.  He came up through the program with her.

Day 16: Johnny O here and it’s my turn to take a crack at the daily post. Great Monday morning started out with a few requests for some famous K9sFW Iced Coffee, sadly we didn’t have any foo foo creamer. The gang gathered up outside to present the Moms with Mother’s Day flowers which made them melt. Big Momma also graced us with her presence this morning and saw us off on our day trip to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, we were all excited to face this challenge. So, along with all the exotic loud animals at the zoo, there were about a half-dozen school buses full of children that as always were captivated by us and the dogs. Our dogs seemed a little overwhelmed today; however, we did quite well with handling them. The sun beamed down on us and at times the scorching ground seemed like hell on our little warrior’s paws, but we kept them in the shade as much as possible. We had some lunch at the J-ville Zoo food court and topped it off with some pistachio ice cream. We were all pooped from the day and as usual, we had a fantastic dinner, got fat and rocked in our rocking chairs and Blaze rocked one of his songs. Today was a great experience. The great thing I find about our training is the boost in confidence that generates from being in a group, it’s been helpful with lowering my inhibitions and allowing my true self to come out. Drawing strength from each other is what has made this training smoother.


The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s photographer took this of Kristen and I at the first Friday night home game.  

Jumbo Shrimp & Sgt Scampi (2)



And look!  They used a pic of Melissa and Bella for their post on May 9th.  Bella, the ultimate Laprador Retriever.  




This Facebook post asked readers, “How would you describe Camp K9?”







Fallen veterans honored at Boots on the Ground Ride and Poker Run

Fallen veterans were honored Saturday at the annual Boots on the Ground Ride and Poker Run. The purpose of the event is to benefit the K9s For Warriors Foundation, the Florida Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund and the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.



From February, 2016….

Augusta veteran overcomes fears with service dog

But when she says, “Make a friend,” the dog will walk up to the stranger and greet him with a lick, a gesture Wylds said softens her a bit more.



So excited that this is finally here.  Have been waiting since last year when I had a prior commitment so I couldn’t bring Bella.

The 18th Annual Riding Into History Motorcycle Concours

All of the proceeds from Riding Into History will benefit the Ponte Vedra, FL-based charity, K9s for Warriors, With all the help and support from our partners, exhibitors, volunteers, and spectators, last year we were able to make a $40,000 donation to K9s For Warriors. To date, Riding Into History has raised almost $500,000 for charity.


Until then, be safe.
This blog, week 16, represents May 8th – 14th, 2017.