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Montenegro – Day 2

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Excited faces and voices crowded the foyer of the Montenegrin elementary school and then suddenly it was time! This is what we’ve been preparing and waiting for! Originally we had 16 and as if by magic, we now had 26 eager 3rd/4th graders.  The classroom was smaller than my own classroom back home and we literally could not squeeze another desk or chair. Despite the large sized group, the students behaved so well and we had no behavior issues. It was a productive and fun-filled day! They were all still smiling at the end of the day, so this was definitely a successful first day! I loved every minute of it! More about the kids later.

Later in the afternoon, we hit the beach. The beaches in this area have funny names. This one was called Copacabana! The sand was a dark gray color and very soft. The water looked a brilliant blue (more pictures coming soon), and the sun was hot — until the clouds started getting darker and we finally made a run for a beach cafe when a sandstorm practically threw us at it.  More on the food another time.

Here are some observations and things I’ve learned about the culture and community, so far:

  • Montenegrins don’t buy coffee on the go.  On our walk to the school, I stopped for a quick breakfast bite and wanted my coffee in a “to-go” cup. They laughed at me and amongst each other for a minute before handing me a tiny cup with the coffee, which was delicious, by the way).  I guess they don’t believe in Starbucks here and are not upset about it.
  • Cows roam free on the streets. I saw at least 4 cows on this same morning walk. So cool. They didn’t bother us at all as we basically walked around them on the path. I love cows!
  • The kids in our class are VERY SIMILAR to the kids back home. They love many things and especially SOCCER (they say football) and DOGS! They loved EVERYTHING we did with them and especially anything with music, dancing, singing, movement,  and interactions with partners or in small groups.
  • The kids here do the FLOSS dance too!! If you’re not a teacher or a parent, you may not be familiar with it — omg! Youtube is most likely behind this! Ditto with FLIPPING water bottles — well, only one kid was doing this, but it’s a fad I’m glad is mostly over in the U.S.

My jet-lagged brain needs a break…more tomorrow! And yes, more pictures too…

 

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Shih Tzu Antics


Guess who’s turning NINE?  Our littlest family member, Max!  His spunky yet calm personality keeps us smiling every day and I can’t imagine life without this little piece of heaven.

Max was the calmest of his brothers and sisters.  While they were running amok chewing ears and tails, he Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in dog, Dogs, Family, kids, Teaching

 

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Max, the birthday boy, celebrates at the dog park

Max turns 8 years old today! Happy Birthday Max! In dog years, that makes him the oldest in our family.  To celebrate, we will be giving him a special treat – he doesn’t have to know it’s also good for cleaning his teeth. We’ll also be taking him to one of his new favorite places in the entire world:  THE DOG PARK!

The dog park opened in late May and we’ve gone numerous times.  I actually overheard someone say, “What happens at the dog park, stays at the dog park.”  I found out later that it’s a slogan on a t-shirt and I provided the link here.

We’d never experienced too much “off leash time” with other dogs, so I was a little hesitant at first and wasn’t sure what to expect.  Would we encounter Cujo-like dogs that’d attack my gentle and loving Max, who thinks everyone is his best friend? What if a dog fight breaks out and he gets swept up in it?

Poop bags and water on hand, we braved it one sunny afternoon. The second we arrived, Max’s nose went into full sniff mode. It was like me in a fudge store, inhaling all the wonderful smells that make me want to devour ten pounds of fudge.

Of course, Max left his “mark” every couple of feet, and we weren’t even at the gate of the fenced off area yet. There were only a couple of other dogs in the “small dog” section and of course, they greeted each other in their up-close and personal way. Again, think fudge store! Soon, Max ran off with one of the dogs and it was pretty sweet to see his little personality shine. I also found it to be a great social time for us owners, and it reminded me a lot of when my teenagers were toddlers and I made tons of mommy friends.

I was so pleased with our first visit that I go several times a week, which is more times than I go to the gym! Hmmm…funny how that happens.

We’ve gone at times when there were 20 or more dogs running around and, happily, haven’t had any Cujo incidents or aggressiveness. But there was one incident with growling and ironically, it came from Max!

Now that Max is in his “golden years”, he likes to take a little break now and then and not run around non-stop. The other dog was a puppy that never stopped running or jumping and he hadn’t quite learned the fine art of giving another dog his space. He’d race around with another dog and bulldoze his way into and over Max, who was minding his own little business on the soft grass. The first time, Max gave him a warning “look”. The second time, he put that puppy in his place with a vicious growl that surprised the heck out of me. My Max? He knows how to growl? He doesn’t hardly even bark! The puppy left him alone after that.

I highly recommend our dog park. It truly is a great place where dogs can run off leash to exercise and socialize. There’s also the added benefit of seeing all the different breeds, mixed or pure, and laughing at their individual antics.

In honor of Max’s birthday, here is some doggie etiquette for the dog park:

Do run off and socialize

Do not run off and socialize until you’re off leash

Do greet other dogs in the usual sniffing the privates ritual

Do not lick said privates, regardless of the enticing smells

Do smell every square inch of the 5 acres

Do not lick any of those inches, regardless of the enticing smells

Do relieve yourself of that full bladder

Do not relieve it all over a curious onlooker, human nor canine

Do empty your bowels if the urge arises

Do not empty them in small increments, every few feet

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Dogs, Funny

 

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