Happy Halloween!

Mama, I LOVE my dragon costume! I have already beheaded + unstuffed several toys this AM… What I DO NOT LOVE is you interrupting my play session to take this dumb photo 😏

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #ghosteyes #lovebug #aussiestare #velcropup #attentionjunkie #affectionjunkie

Advertisements

Hudson Blue – Working Hard OR Hardly Working?

I just returned home from my new job volunteering at Lakeside Senior Center, and boy am I tired! I met so many people over the course of 1 hour… Licking many of the seniors’ hands (many of who are wheelchair bound and with varying stages of dementia), snuggling up with them in their wheelchairs and/or beds (with permission, of course), and just making many of them smile with my charisma and charm – AND stealing a few kisses on their chins and cheeks 😏, while trying to be on my best behavior – WORE ME OUT! Plus, it’s my nap time… Yep, I AM only 7.5 months old and still take 2 long naps per day… AND, carry a stuffed animal around quite often… AND, cry like a baby when my mom leaves me with others… PLEASE don’t tell anyone 🤫🤫🤫. BUT, I have a job. A job I think I am really going to like. (I am a working breed after all). I get paid in lots of oohs, aahs, smiles, pets, snuggles, and an occasional dog treat, for doing what I love – giving/receiving affection. I overheard the Director tell my mom that I made one of the long-term residents smile for the first time in years! (Just by licking his hands and nuzzling his neck). THAT you can tell others 😘.

Hi, my name is HUDSON BLUE, and I am an affection junkie!

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug #aussiestare #velcropup #attentionjunkie #affectionjunkie

Hudson Blue, the “Aussie Stare”

Mom, I am going to continue to stare you down until you PLAY 👏🏼 WITH 👏🏼 ME 👏🏼! I made it sooooo easy… I dropped ALL of my FAV toys in your lap. Just pick one… Pretty, please???

Hi, my name is HUDSON BLUE, and I am an attention junkie!

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug #aussiestare #velcropup #attentionjunkie #affectionjunkie

Hudson Blue, Velcro Pup

Mom, I know we just woke from an 8 hour snuggle session 1/2 hour ago… I want to make sure you don’t forget that I am here… I am DEFINITELY more entertaining than your work 😇. Hi, my name is HUDSON BLUE, and I am an affection junkie!

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug

Hudson Blue, Affection Junkie

My struggle is REAL 😢… Can’t mom see that I am MUCH better looking and MUCH more entertaining than her laptop??? I cannot believe I have to SHARE her lap! I try to tell her, and sometimes she just looks at me and laughs at my barks, while other times she flat out ignores me – especially if she is talking to her boss or colleagues. Today, I even tried to sit right on top of her laptop while she was typing. That didn’t work out very well… Mom put me (and all of the toys that I brought with me onto the sofa) on the floor… Yep… Every. Single. One. I. Own… AND, I have A LOT of toys. I am sooooooo OVER her work thing! Hi, my name is HUDSON BLUE, and I am an affection junkie!

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug

Hudson Blue, Ladies Man

My mom took me to Lake Merritt today. Talk about exciting! I was able to run, Run, RUN, and RUN SOME MORE! It felt so good to really stretch my legs. I even raced my mom a few times. She did an ok job of keeping up 😏… She wasn’t able to navigate the people relaxing in the grass as well as me. I tried my best to drag her right through the middle of their blankets… I know they didn’t mean to forget MY invite to their picnic…

I LOVED showing my mom that I could sit and stay on command – that is until I discovered girls – the two-legged variety. Did you know if you sit pretty for a hot second and then mesmerize them with your eyes, they will hug and kiss all over you??? I loved them so much that I passed up the opportunity to play with other pups – including my cousin, Baby, born 1 month before me at @colorcountryaussies. Truth be told, of all the ladies I met yesterday, @_helenade_ and @earthy.eva were my FAVS 😘.

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug

Hudson Blue

Guess what??? I have a name… I overheard my mom tell the vet that my name is HUDSON BLUE CASHEL WALLACE. Cashel after someone she called The Dude (aka dad), who apparently was a pretty cool cat. I was confused at first because I am a dog not a cat. But after overhearing my mom talk about all of The Dude’s admirable qualities, it all makes sense. GULP… I have some pretty big shoes to fill…

I had my 1st play date, and it was SO MUCH FUN! Although I am much younger than Tipsy, I showed him (and my mom) that I can wrestle with the best of them 😏. I also had my 1st mini adventure exploring the neighborhood in the rain. Lots of smells, sights, and sounds to take in. SO EXCITING! Leaves blowing in the wind are pretty darn cool! Can I just tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE OUTDOORS…

I have listened to 2 full days of healthcare tech conference calls… BORING! Yesterday, I found my voice and put my two cents in a few times, trying to tell mom and her colleagues that I am way more interesting but I just got ignored, so I cried. I see my mom try to hide her smirk and look of adoration when I point my nose toward the sky and howl 😏. Wrapping my mom around my paw is a bit tougher than I thought… Although she does allow me to climb up in her lap to take my naps, which I do quite often. It’s all about the snuggle! If only I didn’t have to share with her laptop… Hi, my name is HUDSON, and I am an affection junkie!

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug

New Beginnings

I finally made it to my new home… I am a bit jet-lagged and SOOO incredibly nervous with all these new sights and sounds… I am trying my best to be brave but I am struggling – as evidenced by my photo. It’s the only one I have allowed my new mom to take… That big device is 1/2 my size… SCARY! Plus, I am stressed/about to cry, tired/fighting sleep, and hungry/not wanting to eat…

She bought me all these toys, but for now, I would just rather snuggle in her lap, watching her every move with my bright blue eyes, and kissing her chin every few minutes. Maybe tomorrow I will be brave enough to explore my new surroundings a bit…

My new mom calls me “Baby Boy” and “Pretty Boy”, which is ok for now. But, sheesh, I CANNOT have her call me that around the 4-legged friends I hope to make over the coming weeks.

Will you pls help her out with my name???

#iluv2xplore #hudsonblue #miniaussie #colorcountryaussies #miniatureaustralianshepherd #miniaussiesofinstagram #bluemerle #blueeyes #lovebug

It’s ALL About the Food AND Family

During the drive throughout Morocco the past 12 days, Moha, the Dude (aka dad) and I have gotten to know each other rather well. In addition to Moha providing background on the sites we were visiting, we have spent hours upon hours talking about our families, values, movies, hobbies, etc. and with even more time spent on the more taboo topics in America – religion, politics, economics and social issues. Despite our basic differences, Moha and I have SOOOOOOO much in common – down to our love of cooking and food. We had briefly discussed my interest in taking a cooking class while in Morocco, and Moha suggested that Essaouira and/or Marrakech would be the perfect place. As it is high season in Morocco (both from tourists and locals due to spring break), Moha found that most cooking classes in Essaouira were full. However, just as we were pulling into the Essaouira city limits, Moha was able to find an opening at a small family-owned restaurant that also offers cooking classes. The only catch – it was starting 30 minutes after our arrival into town, giving us just enough time to check into the riad (with a hurried reception of “Berber Whiskey”), and to walk through the medina’s maze of streets to the restaurant.

I, along with two French ladies from a small town outside Toulouse, France – a grandmother and her teenage granddaughter – took the class. (The Dude said he was going to support the Berber custom of no men in the kitchen 😜). Despite me knowing very little French and the instructor (and the other two students) knowing very little English, we seemed to understand each other quite well. I became very familiar with Moroccan cooking spices – especially saffron, cumin, and turmeric) and learned to make Harira (soup made from tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, lamb, and lemon juice), Zaalouk (cooked salad of eggplant/ aubergines, tomatoes, and garlic), Pastilla or B’stilla (paper-thin pastry crust filled dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and filled with pigeon/squab meat (or chicken), almonds, and eggs spiced with saffron, cinnamon, and fresh coriander), and Tagine (stew, consisting of meat and vegetables in a rich broth, cooked and served in a round earthenware dish with a conical lid). While I was taking the class, Moha took the Dude around his old stomping grounds and to meet some of his friends, and occasionally peeked their heads in the class.

tastes... TASTY- quite the understatement!

tastes… TASTY- quite the understatement!

Although we only made enough food for us students to eat a nice-sized meal, the restaurant owner extended a complimentary dinner invitation to the Dude, Moha, and the French ladies’ family – a total of 6 extra people – all who coincidentally appeared when all of the food was finished cooking 😋. We were ushered to the restaurant’s rooftop terrace to taste our creations (along with a few that the chef quickly prepared to provide a filling meal for the additional guests). This is where I got my first glimpse of Essaouira’s PHENOMENAL views of the Atlantic Ocean, and right at sunset. Who could ask for a better way to dine and with better company than the Dude and Moha???

Surprisingly, the restaurant owner adamantly refused to let us pay for the extra mouths. Another instance of the INCREDIBLE hospitality of Moroccans! I was able to sneak money to cover the cost of the extra meals and a generous tip into her apron pocket when she wasn’t looking…

After dinner, the Dude and I wandered the streets of Essaouira with Moha – taking in such sights as the medina, fishing harbor, art galleries, and artisans’ workshops selling all sorts of handicrafts. Essaouira is just as Moha described, a cute, quiet, little seaside town. It’s a walled city, with a maze of narrow alleyways just like many other Moroccan cities but Essaouira has yet to be overrun with tourists. It’s a very culturally diverse city comprised primarily of Arabs, Berbers, Europeans, and Gnawas (West Africans originating from the ancient Ghana Empire of Ouagadougo). Although it is known around the world for windsurfing and kite surfing because of its strong winds and currents, I didn’t see anyone in the water beyond children splashing in the surf and young boys diving off the pier. Maybe the winds weren’t strong enough or the undertow was too strong… Essaouira has seen the likes of Orson Wells (who filmed “Othello” here), Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Marley as well as many other artists. Every June, Essaouira hosts the esteemed Gnawa Festival of World Music, which is equivalent to Woodstock. The Dude and I might have to check it out on a future visit 😉. Moha has already been asking us about our return date…

sights... sounds... smells... the city SCENE. The streets of Essaouria.

sights… sounds… smells… the city SCENE. The streets of Essaouira.

The Dude and I were originally planning on spending 2 full days in Essaouira and then venturing toward Casablanca, but Moha invited the Dude and I to his house in Marrakech for dinner on what would have been our 2nd night. I felt honored that he would extend another invitation to share a meal with his family. (The first invitation was for lunch, the main meal of the day in Morocco, at his parent’s house in Erfoud (near the Sahara Desert) where we met his mother, father, sister, brother, sister-in-law, young nephew, and baby niece). This invitation was for dinner at his home that he shares with his wife and two small children. (He even offered a cooking lesson given by both his wife and him). I was eager to go as I had heard so much about his wife and children, and even heard the voices of his young boys asking him to come home. His youngest, who is not quite 2, would call his mobile and repeatedly say “back”. TOO cute!! In any event, the Dude and I were DELIGHTED to be able to spend the evening with them.

sights... sounds... smells... the city SCENE. The streets of Essaouria.

sights… sounds… smells… the city SCENE. The streets of Essaouira.

I was greatly surprised that we were directly ushered into the beautifully decorated sitting room (which is typically restricted to family members and very close friends) vs his OPULENT bet diyaf (guest room). Moha explained that now we are family… He, respectfully, calls the Dude – Dad, and me – his sister. The Dude and I feel the same way about him. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with Moha and couldn’t imagine a better person to explore Morocco with!

Moha turned the TV in the sitting room to an English language channel for the Dude while I was off to the kitchen for my cooking lesson. His lovely wife showed me how to make couscous w/ vegetables and lamb, while Moha instructed me on how to make beef tagine w/ vegetables. Despite being a Berber man, Moha is a wonderful cook! (His mother was concerned that he would never marry – as he seemed more interested in business – so she made sure he knew his way around the kitchen). While the entrées were cooking, I had plenty of opportunity to play with his two young sons. Just like in America, his 4 year old is addicted to playing Angry Birds on his iPad. His youngest, who is a bit reserved and quite shy, surprisingly warmed up to me rather quickly (according to Moha and his wife). My favorite heart melting moment was when he came and sat next to me, scooting as close to me as he could possibly get without sitting in my lap, and then laid his head on my leg 😘. Such a cutie!!

Keeping with tradition, dinner was served at a knee-high, round table in the sitting room. Typically, Moroccans eat from a common dish, scooping up food with the fingers on their right hand and/or bread. For this meal, all of us adults ate more Western-style using plates and utensils, while the kids ate traditionally. I have never seen little ones who loved tea, meat and vegetables as much as these two.  You would have thought they were eating candy… Although both the lamb couscous and beef tagine were QUITE TASTY… Kudos to the chefs 😉!!!

#iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover