Photo Updates

Here are some recent photos of DiploTot enjoying her books and her tunnel.



The World Was II Memorial on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.


Enjoying the view from the P.O.V. Roof Terrace at the W Hotel, home to the most expensive beer, sangria and calamari that we will likely ever have.



Diplomatic Passports


Our diplomatic passports have arrived and needless to say we are quite excited. Although this is a small part in the overall picture of getting ready to move to Guatemala City, I have to confess to a certain geeky excitement about arriving at post and presenting this passport instead of my tourist passport.

DiploDog Impressions


In our time here at The Oakwood over these past three months, I’ve come to some conclusions about the impressions that a lot of people seem to have upon meeting DiploDog. Most of these interactions occur in or around the elevators as I am taking her out to do her business (can’t wait to hopefully have a yard again), or on our way out for a walk or to go play with her canine friends at dog daycare. A lot of people ask how old she is, and seem a bit surprised when I say she is 3.5 years old, or they will refer to her as a puppy. DiploDog is a bit smaller for a Lab, but at around 60 lbs, she is still a pretty decent size. It is always a bit fun to be able to surprise people with my answer.

The other conclusion I have come to is that a decent number of people think that the Gentle Leader collar that we use on her is some type of muzzle, with the requisite assumption that perhaps DiploDog might be a bit aggressive or snappy, which is a complete 180 from her temperament. Far fewer people ask about the collar, but those that have have been universal is saying they thought it was a muzzle.

I think this helps explain the one extreme reaction we had from a man as we were getting off the elevator a few months back. As the elevator doors opened and we headed out, he jumped back when he saw DiploDog and then actually ran away down the hallway. Needless to say we were quite surprised by his reaction, while simultaneously doing our best to contain our laughter. At the time I thought this poor guy must be having a rough go of it, given the number of dogs around here, but now I suspect he saw the Gentle Leader, thought it was a muzzle, and assumed she was aggressive.

The most classic Gentle Leader comment came from a little girl at the park who asked us why our dog was equipped like a horse. We found this a hilarious and also a very insightful observation on her part, as the leader does look very similar to a bridle that would be guiding a horse.

A New Lease On Life

After spending our first two-and-a-half months in a one bedroom apartment, we were finally offered the opportunity to move into a two bedroom. While we only have about 5 weeks or so until we will be moving out, we decided we would be stupid to pass up the chance to get this space upgrade, so we spent part of Saturday and most of Sunday moving our stuff into our new place. I think the fact that we even debated whether or not to move is a testament to how well we adjusted to living in a one bedroom with a baby. The inconveniences just seemed normal.

Thankfully we just moved up a few floors in the same building. If we would have had to change buildings, we most likely would have stuck with our one bedroom. Now that we are settled into the two bedroom, I can’t believe we even hesitated. Now that DiploTot has her own room, we are sleeping better and are enjoying the flexibility that comes with not being so restricted whenever she is napping or asleep at night. No more brushing my teeth and taking out my contacts in the kitchen every night. No more creeping through the bedroom to get to the bathroom, worrying about waking her up or having to delay showers until she was up. The mere fact that we can do laundry now whenever we want hopefully means an end to having to get it all done on the weekend.

We very well may be back in a one bedroom in Guatemala City during the estimated two months it will take to get our permanent housing sorted out, so we are going to enjoy our extra space and freedom, even if only for a short period of time.

Shots and Docs

DiploMom and I got started this week on the immunizations that we will need for Guatemala City by visiting the health unit at FSI. We don’t need to get too many, mainly Hep A/B, which is administered in a series of three shots and one for typhoid. Rabies is recommended as well, but there is currently a major shortage, so if we want to get that one, we’ll likely need to do so once we are already in country. Guatemala City is at a high enough elevation that there is no concern for malaria, which is really great, since we won’t have to worry with taking daily pills, that many times have some unpleasant side effects.

We also went down to Main State to get our pictures taken and to submit our documents for our diplomatic passports. DiploTot was even able to keep her bow in for her first photo, which apparently will not need to be retaken until she is five years old. 🙂


After swinging by Club Pet to check out the facility that is likely going to board and then handle the shipping/customs paperwork to get DiploDog down to Guatemala City, we kept heading west towards Middleburg, where we stopped in for a nice visit at a kid and pet friendly winery – Chrysalis Vineyards. It was a fairly warm day, but it felt pretty good in the shade where we enjoyed our lunch, followed by a refreshing Chardonnay.


Quintessential DiploTot right here.