March 19, 2009

At Play in the Fields of the Forest

Can I be off-leash, too?
Can I be off-leash, too?

One of my favorite places to walk and play is Seward Park.  It’s a big circle of a forest with a trail that goes around and lots and lots of trails that weave through it.  Gretchen had to do a few errands today, so we walked up to get Ollie, walked back to load up in the car, and then headed out to run the errands and then play at Seward Park.

Ollie has been there with me before, but he’s never been on the trails with us. While I get to run off-leash, Ollie stayed on-leash until we got way into the woods. While we played chase for a bit, Ollie was glued to Gretchen’s side…well actually, her back end. She’d be walking and I’d be up ahead in my usual investigative position, and she’d look around to see where Ollie was. And where was he?  Right behind her! I mean RIGHT BEHIND HER!

Gretchen would move to the right and Ollie would move, too. Gretchen would walk to the left, and like a shadow, Ollie followed.  It took a lot of cajoling on my part to get him to chase me, but he did for a bit and then he’d head right back for that place closest to Gretchen.

Sometimes he’s such a good dog it’s upsetting.  He makes me look bad! I’m not a good follower much to Gretchen’s annoyance.

But that Ollie, he’s like the good dog to my bad.

Coming back to the safe spot!
Coming back to the safe spot!

Lately, we’ve had a lot of rain.  The trails weren’t exactly dry so as you can see from Ollie’s black boots, we got a tad bit muddy. Good thing Gretchen carries a towel with her every where she goes!

good dog

I did my best to be a bad influence…but instead, I think he influenced me. I showed him how to wait up ahead of the trail and look out into the thick forest watching for squirrels.

Do you see anything?
Do you see anything?

I even showed him my agility tricks using the downed trees as impromptu jumps…

First you jump over...
First you jump over...
...and then you jump back.
...and then you jump back.

But eventually, after all my attempts, Ollie had me following right behind Gretchen too and you know what he did? He followed me.

The view never changes from here!
The view never changes from here!

Despite the fact that I ended up behaving myself, we had lots of fun at the park.  We got back to the car just as it started to rain and after we got our feet wiped off, we headed back to Ollie’s house.

He’s really funny when he gets home. He’s a creature of habit. He races through the backyard, up the back steps, slams through his dog door, and a few minutes later, right when we’re securing the gate to leave, he races back out through the dog door and stands on the porch to say goodbye and thank us for a fun play date.

I’m a pretty lucky dog to have such great friends even if they are well-behaved.

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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