Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring In The Dog Park

Today was the first nice Saturday morning we've had this year, so we decided it would be a great day to take Blueberry and Bunny to the dog park to burn off some cabin fever. You know, since greyhounds always have all that bottled up energy anyway!

So, we load the girls up in the van. Everything is loaded up and off we go. I suspect the conversation between them went something like this.

Bunny: Where are we going? Do you think there will be people there who want to pet me?

Blueberry: The world does not revolve around you. They will obviously be waiting to pet me. Now let me catch a few winks before we get wherever it is we're going.

We arrive at the dog park on a sunny afternoon and there are only two dogs there in the big dog side, and a pair of loud-mouthed dachshunds in the small dog side. The girls sniff about a little, and then it begins. I know, you're thinking I'm about to say that they erupt into joyful strides -- true poetry in motion. That was my dream, and what I was hoping we'd end up with a few pictures of. Alas, no, my dogs have to go on Spring Pee Fest 2009. There can't be a leaf on the whole property that they didn't christen. I really thought that might be the only photo opportunity we had.

However, finally, Blueberry made an inspired discovery. Someone had just started the tiniest hint of a hole. She went to town, digging like she was excavating Milkbones from China! It was the most action the dog park was seeing all afternoon. Bunny tried to figure out what Blueberry was doing, but no people were surrounding the hole, and eventually she gave up to go and investigate the possibility of some people she hadn't been introduced to yet petting her. There are no strangers in Bunny's world.



Just as I was about to give up on the whole afternoon as a wash for the girls getting any kind of exercise, Bunny finally got her burst of energy, inspired by who knows what. She took off like a zephyr, sprinting through the trees and leaves like a tiny dervish. Soon Blueberry was in hot pursuit as well a young black lab who had no prayer of catching them. I thought she'd make one lap around the park, just for show and fun, but she ran crazy circles all over the dog park. This is the closest we came to capturing the idyllic moment, however.


After a few laps, Blueberry gave up on the tomfoolery and went back to her hole. Bunny trotted around, christened a few more leaves and then we were ready to head home. I don't think the girls had much to say to each other on the way home. They were both enjoying a sunshine and play enduced coma. It's good to have spring in the air!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

Today life took an interesting turn for Lilac, our old lady greyhound, and Bunny, the puppy. During the week, my mornings at home are usually filled with Bunny cuddling up as close to me as she can possibly get on the couch. If we were any closer most mornings, she would be inside my skin. I believe she keeps hoping that she can will me to stay at home with her. That, and of course, hope always springs eternal that I will feel generous and share some of my breakfast with her.

However, a surprise was in for her today. I got ready to leave, but instead of grabbing my things for work, I grabbed my purse and the bag we take with us when the dogs go with us. I picked up a leash, and Bunny couldn't get to the back door fast enough. Hawk and Blueberry, our other greyhounds, also beat a path to the back door. I called to Lilac, and she opened an eye from the cushy dog bed at me, then flopped her ear back to the bed. So, out the door I went with Bunny while hubby held on to the other two who were not going. Then he got Lilac and convinced her to come out with him.

Lilac does not like to ride in any moving vehicle. It doesn't impress her at all, and at thirteen years old, she is most content to sleep in a sunny spot in the house. She was a good sport, however, and went to lay on the back seat, no doubt praying to the canine gods that she would survive whatever crazy ordeal we were putting her through this time.

Bunny, on the other hand, loves to go for rides. Her little nose is always pressed to a window, watching the world go by. Each and every thing is still new and exciting to her. She associates going for rides with drive thrus, where people fawn over her, trips to the dog bakery, where people fawn over her, visits to the nursing home, where people fawn over her, travels to dog obedience, where people fawn over her, and going other places where people fawn over her in general. Perhaps you see a trend.

In the back of the van, Bunny was her enthusiastic little self. Lilac looked at her the way you look at a person who runs off to jump into the icy waters of New Year's Day as a Polar Bear. I think she even shook her head in mild disgust. I can imagine the conversation between them.

Bunny: This is so exciting! It's gonna be great! I wonder how many people will want to pet me!

Lilac: It's not going to be what you think it is, kid.

Bunny: I hope there are people there! They'll want to pet me!

Lilac: There will be people there, and trust me, you don't want any part of it.

Bunny: I'll bet they think I'm cute! Everybody will want to pet me!

Lilac: I'm getting car sick. Think what you want, just be quiet.

When we arrive, Lilac's suspicions are confirmed. This is nothing she wants any part of. She squats in the grass as we head inside, doing everything she can to delay us from getting inside. Bunny, of course, is at the end of her leash, waiting for the big adventure. As we walk in the door, I see her little nose start twitching. Most likely she's trying to figure out why she can't smell the people who are no doubt waiting inside somewhere to pet her over the strong smell of antiseptic. Lilac tries putting the brakes on at the door, but Bunny's and my forward momentum pulls her over the threshold and we're inside.

Fortunately, we are the first appointment of the morning, so we don't have to wait in the lobby. We head straight for the scales. Dutifully, Bunny hops up on the scale, wagging her tail in anticipation of the attention she's about to recieve. Lilac begrudgingly stands there after I lift her up so all four feet are on the scale. Then we head for the exam room.

Bunny checks every nook and cranny, no doubt waiting for the fanfare that is about to begin at her arrival. Lilac tries to climb in my lap, completing her entire spring shed there in the exam room. She blows enough hair off her body to make a carpet for our entire upstairs level in our house.

A few minutes later, the vet comes in to get Bunny first. She fusses over her unusual coloring, and Bunny wags her tail like a little fan, doing the greyhound version of the Grace Kelly wave. Finally, the people have noticed her. Lilac tries to hide under my chair as we wait. Her plans are foiled, however, as they return Bunny, whose tail is no longer wagging until she sees me. Lilac is reluctantly led from the room, most likely hoping that they are not cutting her toenails this time.

Five minutes later, it's over, and I collect our things, along with both dogs and go out to pay. We get back in the van. Lilac can't get in fast enough. Bunny is stunned, there weren't people there to fuss over her after all.

After lunch, I decide to run out for lunch. I take the dogs out first, and then decide I'll take them along for the ride, since Blueberry and Hawk are sulking over being left behind before. I open the door to the van, and help Hawk get his back feet up in there. Blueberry leaps in right behind him. Bunny waits for her turn, then leaps like a dainty gazelle into the back as well. I turn to look, and Lilac has departed, to stand at the back door, waiting to go inside. No amount of convincing will get her back to the van, so I open the door and let her go inside. She's happy as a clam.

We pull out and head off to go pick up my lunch. It seems another conversation is going on in the back.

Blueberry: Bunny, stay on your side of the seat! I need my space.

Hawk: Don't step on me, I'm an old man!

Bunny: Where are we going? I bet they're all waiting to pet me!

Ahhh, hope springs eternal!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well, I'll admit, I've put off starting a blog for a long time because, well, I'm not sure I have enough to talk about to keep one running, but I am going to give it a shot, in any event.

Most of the interesting things that happen in my life ensue because I share my life with four greyhounds. Yes, four, for all the incredulous people who always ask the question. We started with one, then we thought she'd like company so we got a second. A year or so later, we had an older dog here waiting for a home, and nobody wanted her. The heartstrings were tugged, and we agreed to keep her here. Later that year, we were asked if we could keep one of her daughters while the owner had sugery. She decided she couldn't take her back, and so we agreed to keep the poor homeless waif here with us. There's also the fact that my husband was completely smitten with her by that point, too. Last year, our first greyhound died, and because I enjoy doing nursing home visits and other therapy dog work, I decided to add another and the number went back to four. Call me crazy! We have agreed that the numbers will dwindle after this, but sometimes life throws you curveballs and you go with it.

There will be other amusing things to share along the way, too. Hopefully I remember to write about them!
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