Sunday, October 7, 2012

Catch & Release

I have been tragically remiss in keeping up the blog. I know it's true. I'm trying to remember to blog but when the day is beautiful, as it's been for several days now, and the leaves are turning and winter fast approaches, it's very hard to stay inside and type. There are weeds calling to be cut back, rocks that need moving to create my wild rose rock wall, dead fall to be moved, grass to be mown (yes, it's still growing in October), a cat pen still needs to be designed and built, drywall powder to be removed from my lawn (who throws drywall into the tall grass and just hopes it's going to disappear?) and still more garbage to be taken to the dump. Oh, and don't forget the new television season has just started and I have hours upon hours of Downton Abbey, Bones, Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Survivor, Amazing Race, New Girl, Boardwalk Empire and various other shows I Must. Not. Miss. Plus in a short while my parents and I are heading out on the long awaited trip to Barbados that my mom won last year. So yeah, life is pretty awesome.

The dogs think it's pretty awesome too but lately I thinking we need a break from each other - or at least they need a wake-up call. I'm hoping they learn, while in a boarding kennel(and while I'm soaking up the Caribbean sun), to appreciate the things they have here like a warm bed to sleep on, a walk on 4 acres just outside their door every day twice a day, a squirrel to harass, dirt to dig in, a creek to chase frogs along and hugs and kisses from a (sometimes very annoyed) Mommy. Jumping the fence to go see a dog walking along the road does not a happy Mommy make, so that has to stop. If it means a hot wire or an e-collar to ensure their safety and to stop them going over, I'll do it. Last resort, but their safety is paramount and jumping the fence is unacceptable. I bought them 4 acres, there is no need to try and get hit by a car.

This face looks innocent but he can jump a 4' field fence from a stand still. Yes, we will either be raising it or electrifying it. Can't have Mr Incredible get creamed by a car.

And this one. She followed him only she jumped the part that was slightly less than 4', also from a standstill. Bad Cora. Check out that head. The planes of her skull are almost parallel. Awesome. Plus she's at least a year away from being done growing so there is even more awesome to come. And look at that clever eye ... lots going on in that brain.

Esme wishes she could tell you she is the best behaved dog I own. Her wish is my command because she is. Not that she wouldn't go over, under or through the fence if she could but she can't so ... hooray. She's not immune to her own little misadventures though, shortly after this photo was taken she tried to cross the creek on a log and fell into the deep side (of course she did) and ended up dog paddling. Her cords were all floating around her like a halo. She was incredibly worried and I won't say I wasn't a little concerned. I ran into the creek to grab her and pull her up. She was fine and not really in any danger, a short way down stream her feet would have touched bottom. I made the mistake of telling my mom this story and her exact words were "Don't let anything happen to that dog, she has two majors you know."

Leeloo is not immune to getting into trouble but she finds herself less on the receiving end of a stern talking-to than Boy or Cora. Mostly I end up calling her because she disappears into the woods to stare at the trees and look for squirrels. These days though her second favorite past time has become hunting for frogs. At long last she has realized that there are frogs along the banks of the creek. She is determined to catch one and spends a lot of time smashing her delightful white feet into the mud to startle them into jumping. It's really quite darling. It also means that before heading into the house all the Ridgebacks get their feet hosed off. The water in the creek cleans these toes just in time for them to walk through the mud on the way back to the house. It doesn't help that a natural spring just down from my house is leaking out the side of the hill just under the squirrel's favorite apple tree. Mud galore and in a direct path to the back door.

Every day I have stories about the dogs. So many things happen on each walk, or simply in the course of the day, that I try to stockpile them to tell at a later date ... only to have them disappear from memory before I can jot them down. I'll try to do better. It brings to mind one of my guilty pleasure movies, Catch and Release - at one point Jennifer Garner's character asks Timothy Oliphant's character (who's been single for a while) "But, who do you tell your stories to?" I forget his answer but this is mine; I tell my stories to you.

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