Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water Progress

Winnie's not crazy about water. In fact she doesn't even like to drink it, with the notable new and severely frowned upon (depending on who you ask) habit of drinking out of the toilet. Early on we took her and the other dogs to a lake that was still pretty cold, and nobody was thrilled with the idea of swimming. So I let it go, figured I'd deal with it when it warmed up. We filled a baby pool on a very hot day a month or so ago, and I think the only way she was getting in that would be if I blocked the door to the air conditioned house with it and she had to walk through it to get inside.

So when I brought her down to the river last night I figured I'd do some fishing and she'd just hang out and wander around. But for some reason she was very curious about the water. For the longest time she wanted to sit right in front of me right at the water's edge while I was fishing. And she occasionally tested the water with her front paws. I tossed a stick in the water and she'd get it if it was close enough, but I feel like her curiosity is really piqued now. I wasn't dressed to get in the water but next time I am, I think she will come to me if I'm out there. Or perhaps she'll go in if she sees my neighbor's dogs go in.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted, but I think the curiosity was a positive step toward swimming.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Deer, Fences, Rivers and Fish.

Been a while since I've reported anything or taken any new pictures, so here's the latest. (Wow she sure is meticulously groomed these days, isn't she?!)

Today Winnie and Gromit were in the yard, Sandy and I were in the barn (which is not in the yard that is fenced for the dogs). Gromit was barking at something, but this is not unprecedented. Then a few minutes later here comes Winnie trotting up to the barn. Hmm, interesting. Seems she climbed and/or jumped at the corner of the yard, either to get to me or she saw the deer that she notices often in the field and went after them. Either way, she wasn't gone long and came back to me, so I'll be keeping a close eye on things until I figure out what action to take.

We then went down the path to the river to do some fishing before dark. I put her little cowbell on her collar so she could wander around down there and I would be able to fish and know by hearing her how far she wanders off. Great plan, but unnecessary. Turns out she jumped right up into the shelter down there and hung out there most of the time, just watching me. A little curious when fish splashed, but generally it's starting to seem that she's not really the outdoorsy type. At least not in the summer. She prefers the air conditioned indoors to the summer heat, but when the river comes down a little lower I'll try to get her interested in swimming.

Friday, June 19, 2009

MVP - Most Viewed Photo

Almost every day, at least one person gets to this blog because they found this photo in a Google Image search. (Originally from this post.) I can't see what the search terms are, but people all over the world are clicking on this picture!! Which is neat, but I wish I knew how people were getting to it. So if you are coming across this blog because of this photo, please leave a quick comment and let me know what you searched for. Thanks!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dog outing...

This weekend we took Winnie and Gromit to a horse show to just walk around and spend some time with them. It was pretty hot, and Winnie does NOT like the heat. But it was fun nonetheless, and it tired both of them out. Here's a picture of them looking over the edge of a horse jump. Pardon Winnie's ungroomed appearance, she, well she IS ungroomed. But she also had just had water poured over her egg so she looks even more ungroomed than usual.

Monday, June 8, 2009

9/13/95 ~ 6/9/09

When Sandy and I first met over a dozen years ago, we had four dogs between us. In fact, the dogs were why and how we met, walking in the same neighborhood. And over the years our interaction with and affection for our dogs taught us as much about ourselves as it did about each other. Those original four dogs were, are now and always will be a big part of who we are, as individuals and as a couple.

The young Scooter was an athlete. I'll never forget how impossibly excited he got in the car when the smooth hum of highway turned to the unmistakable crunch of gravel as we neared a Terrier Trial. Racing dogs have to wear muzzles, and he was nearly unmuzzleable. He wasted so much energy fighting to get to the races that it's amazing he could finish, let alone win. But win he did, early and often. As he got older, he became less competitive but he always loved the races. And his affinity for a gravel road, long removed from its original source of excitement, never left him.

He was also ornery. I looked up his registration this morning to get his birth date right. Pine Hill Scooter. Personality Traits: Aggressive w/ other dogs. I also looked up 'Ornery' to make sure it was accurate: bad tempered and combative; stubborn. Yep, ornery. Some dogs are easy to love. Others are more of an acquired taste. For me, in all honesty, it took probably five years for Scooter to work his way fully and irrevocably into my heart. And maybe because it didn't come easily, the bond ultimately seemed doubly strong. Like the difference between a hand-rubbed oil finish on a piece of furniture and a thick coat of paint. As much as I loved my dogs, I found myself starting to hope that the universe would see fit to let Sandy's beloved Scooter, that cranky bastard, live the longest.

We of course moved through life and inevitably started losing those 'charter' dogs - a young Jasmine early on, old Junior many years later and Sierra most recently. And the tough, cantankerous baby outlived them all. But today we had to say goodbye. My heart aches for Scooter, but it flat out breaks for Sandy.

I take strength at such times by reminding myself that we are different, better, for having known all of them. And Scooter's place in our history will always be extra special. His loss will be deeply felt. The end of a good, full life. The end of an era. We love you, Scooter. Rest in peace.