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Howdy do, dear readers! Thank you for tuning in to a thrilling new installment of Ruff Tails. (Did you notice that I changed my cover photo? The former pic looked a little stoic for me. I smile much more than that.) When I left you last, I was recovering from ACL surgery on my left hind leg – a process that has proved kinda crappy, but has had a silver lining.

The crappy part was the first two weeks. Mom and Dad had to carry me EVERYWHERE. The park where I pee is 2.5 blocks away, so it was not much fun for me, especially when Mom was carrying me. She has little stick arms, so I could feel them shaking beneath my stomach every time we had to go outside. She would swear a lot under her breath, too. I know she doesn’t think I could hear her, but I could. Dad, on the other hand, has He-Man arms, so it was nice and comfy when he took me to the park. No squeezing, but I did hear him swear a few times.

Things were much better when we didn't have to woof it to the park.

Things were much better when we stayed in the house.

About a week after surgery, I got my very first letter in the mail. It couldn’t have come at a better time because I’d just gotten that ugly pink thing off my leg and Mom had put a cone around my neck. I mean, WTF. Cones and me don’t exactly get along. So, I was in no mood for chit chat when Mom came over and told me about the letter. I perked up and listened to the message. It was from Sassy and Vanna, my cousins in Ohio.

Sassy (left) and Vanna (right) have the most amazing hairdos. I am beyond jealous.

Sassy (left) and Vanna (right) have the most amazing hair-dos. I am beyond jealous.

I refuse to make eye contact until the cone is removed.

I refuse to acknowledge the camera while wearing this piece of plastic. It is simply not aligned with my image.

I had to contain my excitement because I wanted Mom to think I was still pissed at her about the cone (well, I was, but it was waning). Mom propped up the card on the wine cabinet, and I thought I’d hit the peak of my card-receiving destiny.

I was wrong. Apparently, EVERYONE loves me! I have become the most popular dog on the planet. Well, maybe in my apartment building. Hmm, actually Focker (from Meet the Fockers) down the hall is pretty nice, as is his friend Mo. Ok, I’m the most popular dog in my apartment. The day after Vanna and Sassy wrote me, I got another card from Daisy, my cousin from Alabama. I also received a card from my feline friend, Malcolm, who lives a few blocks away and who is truly the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen (Mom has never let us meet because she thinks I’ll try to eat him, so I’ve only been able to admire him from afar, on Facebook. Those eyes!).

Then, I got a care package from Jamie, my hiking buddy. Inside was my new friend Frankie, a bear wearing a sweatshirt with my face on it!

Frankie can't get enough of me.

Frankie can’t get enough of me. I’m irresistible.

These letters and gifts really took my mind off my leg. When I wasn’t sleeping or begging for my next pain pill, I would wander over to Frankie for some introspective discussions focused an self-discovery. We covered a lot of ground.

And then a weird thing happened. Dad started getting jealous. Apparently, he wanted Frankie to be his friend, too. He told me, just before I went to bed one night (I was dozing off), that he was going to take Frankie to his office the next day and put him on his desk. At that, I woke up with a start and delivered some choice words to my parental unit. Needless to say, Frankie is still home.

Later that week, the biggest gift of all showed up. It was a box, addressed to me (!) that had in it a monkey, a card and a box of Milk Bones. Like, wowsers. I may or may not have had a hyper-hypo attack when I saw all of these items. Mom gave me a bone and it was as if I’d never tasted a bone before. I was floating! There were rainbows! I was on a cloud!

Boxes formerly containing treats smell delicious. Even though Mom said there weren't any more bones in this box, I was determined to find them.

I will find more treats in this box! Treat-smelling cardboard is delicious!

I calmed down after Mom gave me a few (5) more bones. I was soon fast asleep. Total food coma, man. I wasn’t able to read the card until the next day and was touched when I realized it was from Evvie, my long lost pen pal from Indianapolis, and her family. Monkey Friend (that is his name) and I are now tight as thieves. Frankie is still in the mix; I try to divide my time evenly between the members of my posse.

Monkey Friend holds watch over the living room while during hour 11 of my daily 14-hour snooze.

Monkey Friend holds watch over the living room during hour 11 of my daily, 14-hour snooze.

The infusion of gifts and cards has helped make the last few weeks fly by. Today marks 31 days since my accident and I am feeling mighty fine. Yesterday, Mom even took me to CVS–an 8 block walk, roundtrip–and I handled it like the champion that I am. I am walking about 65% of the time (hopping the rest of the time) and my parents seem very proud of me. Best of all, I am surrounded by a ton of new friends.

Me and my gaggle of friends and cards. I'm mid-laugh here, thanks to an inside joke I'm sharing with Schnoz, the donkey on the left. He kills me every time!

Me and my gaggle of friends and cards. I’m mid-laugh here, thanks to an inside joke I’m sharing with Schnoz, the donkey on the left who snuck into the photo. He kills me every time!

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