I Ate A Vole And I Liked It

We’ve been playing ball in the long grasses (which are still long, but no longer tall, mashed flat by winter winds and cemented to the earth by the rains) lately, because a) less mud and b) a better work out, navigating through the peaks and valleys and c) sometimes the ball gets lost in the grass mounds and they have to put their sniffers to work to find it.  An all around more engaging exercise time than just playing Dumb Ball on the lawn.

But there are other creatures in the long grasses too, and a full seven of the 10 dogs prefer to hunt for them than play ball.

Sometimes, stupid puppies don’t know where the long grasses end and the muddy ditches begin, and then this happens.

And we’ve been seeing a lot more of these lately, also hunting for the creatures in the long grasses.

As long as they aren’t hunting these, we’re cool with sharing the space.

If I bring out a more novel toy, I can get a better percentage of dogs playing versus dogs hunting.

Little Man is getting his fetch on!

(how he hasn’t been adopted yet, I’ll never know)

He’s even willing to take on The Flamboyance(tm)!

The fabulous Miss P is having a good hind-end week and has not needed her wheels at all.

Winter is having a good anxiety week, and had one of his rare attack-of-the-for-no-reason-zoomies, which I managed to snatch a photo of.

Everyone is having fun

and lovin’ life.

No exciting stories this week, just a little snapshot of our wonderful lives :)  Happy Weekend!

Bowling Ball Dogs; You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too; Mellowing With Age

I do not have very many photos for you in this post, because the weather and my schedule have not been cooperative lately.  So this post will be short.

But.

A few days ago I hiked up a mountain in the snow with an old friend and our combined 14 dogs.  My ass really hurt the next day, but my heart was happy because TWooie was a Very Good Dog.  He didn’t know any of these new dogs but he chose not to be an asshat about it, and was very civilized the whole time.  Off-leash and unencumbered by my potential wrath, he sniffed noses politely and even let them cavort near his giant personal space bubble.  Perhaps he is mellowing in his old age.

Good boy, TWooie.

At agility class last night, Dexter found a Holy Roller ball (which he didn’t, for once, steal out of The Sadist’s dog gear bag).  Once he possessed it, he was not giving it up for anything and wouldn’t let me have it; he pressed his face into the dirt and covered it with both his front feet so I almost couldn’t see it.  So instead of arguing with him, I let him keep it and asked him to run the course with it in his mouth.  Last night I learned that Dexter cannot multi-task … he was not able to spasm with possessive joy of the toy and take obstacles at the same time – he was running really slowly and kept stopping to figure out where to put his feet.  About halfway through the course – actually, mid-weave-poles – he voluntarily dropped the precious item and then kicked into Dexter gear and burned around the rest of course.  He learned an important life lesson about not being able to have his cake and eat it too.  He then went on to have one of the most productive and flawless classes of his entire life.  I imagine there is a lesson in there for me too, but I’m still not sure how his brain knits things together, so I’m still trying to work out what it is.

Good boy, Dexter.

I went for a walk along the dykes with my friend Heather and her French Bulldog Hollie yesterday.  Five minutes into the walk, the dogs went flying down the side of the steep dyke and Spring, Dexter and Easy all went tumbling ass-over-teakettle into the water off the edge of a little cliff.  The boys hauled their asses out of the water but Spring couldn’t get out and was hollering her fool head off.  Heather flew down the hill and landed basically in the water and hoisted Spring out.  I stayed at the top of the dyke mostly bemused, because my dogs are creative, athletic autonomous beings who can figure shit out.  Spring would have found her way back to land eventually.  It’s not like they all fell into a tsunami or something.

So Heather climbed back up the hill and started shedding her clothes like she was auditioning for Magic Mike or something – baseball cap winged this way, coat flung that way –  and I was all “what the f*ck are you doing?” and she was all “MY DOG CAN’T SWIM!” and started screaming Hollie’s name.  I slid back down the same narrow path o’mud on the side of the dyke and crouched at the edge of the little cliff listening and watching and I heard the tiniest of whimpers to the left.  I said “I think she’s over this way” and Heather – no shit – HURLED herself into the tangle of blackberry branches (sans half her outfit) to the left of me and started trying to make her way through that mess to rescue her invisible dog.

I got down on my stomach, rolled up my sleeve and started fishing around in the freezing cold water underneath the little cliff overhang and my fingers grazed a very wet and short snout that I could not see.  In the pauses between Heather’s screams of her dog’s name I listened and heard the tiniest of the most pathetic little panicky paddling sounds – a Frenchie trying not to sink to the bottom of the river.  I slithered a little closer to the edge and fished around some more and caught hold of an ear and managed to pull her face up and out of the water and grab her collar.  Which left me in a bit of a dicey situation, because the hill is like 80 degrees steep and ends in a cliff and I’m laying face down in MUD, balanced on the edge of a precipice and the whole thing is about to tip not in my favour because I am now top-heavy with a soaking wet and half drowned French Bulldog that I can’t let go or she’ll just … sink.

Which is when Addy bounced joyfully down the hill and onto my ASS, and proceeded to do the Italian greyhound “I Killed A Human” victory dance … on my ASS.

Anyway, with some careful maneuvering, I managed to get Hollie out of the water without falling in myself and we got ourselves back up the slope to Heather, who was bleeding all over the grass and pulling blackberry thorns out of all sorts of places on her body.  She put her clothes back on and we went for a walk anyway, with Hollie on leash, and Heather making squooshy sounds in her wet boots.

It got me thinking about function versus form and how dangerous it is to breed for the latter rather than the former.  Don’t get me wrong – I love Hollie, and I also have me some love for my own useless little dogs, but all of mine at least float (even Addy can swim!).  Hollie is shaped like two bowling balls stuck together, so no wonder she can’t perform a perfectly natural function like un-drowning.  What are we humans thinking, when we selectively create these little animals that can’t even save themselves from their own stupidity?  Italian greyhounds break their legs just being dogs sometimes and Frenchies sink like anchors.  We are a naughty, nasty selfish species and we do naughty, nasty selfish things.

Woke up to this beautiful vista on our morning constitutional:

Am I a lucky gal or what?

One Listening Ear

When you live with an Italian Greyhound, one is all you get.  IF you’re lucky and the stars are in alignment.

The other day it snowed overnight, but when I got up in the morning I was too lazy to dig out my camera for our walk.  Later that day for our second walk I whipped open the door and the snow had all melted.  *rage*

The following morning everything was frosty and cold and the sun was shining and the light was beautiful, but my fingers were tool cold to camera so I left it behind.  Later for the second walk, it had started raining and rained all afternoon and evening.  *more rage*

This morning the sun was peeking through the clouds and I brought the camera out.

So of course the sun disappeared behind clouds about 10 minutes into our morning exercise.  Oh come ON.

But this afternoon the sun came back and made some beautiful light for our afternoon exercise.

Happiness.  Finally.

But real happiness is this:

I have been acclimating The Fabulous Miss P to her wheels for the last week or so.  It’s taken some convincing and cajoling, but she’s now motoring around in it like a f*ckin’ BOSS.  It’s an “assist” cart, so she can still use her hind legs, but doesn’t have to put any real weight on them, so she’s not so sore-slash-crippled after she goes out for a run.  At first she was pretty certain she couldn’t walk in it at all, so I tempted her with a frisbee, which got her motor runnin’ a little.  I tossed the frisbee to her as a reward for carting down the driveway, but I threw it too high and she jumped up to get it and went ass over tea kettle and ended up turtled on her back, which I don’t think she has quite yet forgiven me for.

A couple more days of crusin’ along in her cart and we did a two hour dyke walk in Pitt Meadows on the weekend, and she did amazingly well, until Michelle and I got to chatting and forgot to pay attention … Piper’s wheel went off the side of the dyke and she rolled sideways over and over down the hill.  No harm no foul, but I kept a leash on her harness for the rest of the walk.  It’s been a bit of a learning curve for both of us.

Now she’s free-wheelin’ it pretty good, even in the bush.

It’s so beautiful to see her playing like her old self in her new cart.

Even arguing with Wootie over the kong-on-a-rope!

So we all got to have fun in the fading sun today.

Ghillie went home, but Dexter is pretending she is still here with us.

Tried to get a family photo, and TWooie was pretending Dexter was NOT still with us, and ruined it.

But there’s nothing NOT awesome about my happy and mobile old lady dog :)