May 25, 2009

Long Walks, Sweet Goodbyes, and Shade

sun rollingThis morning we took a very long walk all the way back to Teabiscuit’s house. It was time for her to go home and since the morning was beautiful, we loaded up her things — her bed and food and toys — and walked up the hill to her house. I’m not sure who was more excited to see whom. Teabiscuit wiggled and barked and the family giggled and smiled. Everyone was happy and that means I’ve done a really good job playing host for the weekend.  I shall miss my little Teabiscuit!

Because our walk was so long this morning, Gretchen left me at home to rest while she went on another walk with the silly boys on the other hill.  They were excited to see her though they stopped at the car to see if I’d be joining them. A tad bit disappointed, they shook off their sadness and headed out into the sunshine. While their walk can be on the trail the whole time, Gretchen likes to take them up onto the grassy hills where she jogs ahead and the boys gallop along behind her…well, most of the time.

Maybe because I wasn’t there, the boys had a harder time moving forward. Riley, pictured above, wanted to do nothing more than roll in the cool grass and roll he did. Feet to heaven, as Gretchen later explained it to me. no rollRufus doesn’t roll at least not during the time we’ve spent with him, but he was sure interested in Riley rolling.  It almost looks as if they are dancing. I think dancing would have been preferrable to rolling because at least with dancing Gretchen could keep them moving forward.

But what’s a dog walker to do?  I wasn’t there to inspire them, so Gretchen had to pull out the treats to keep the train moving. Even then progress was slow, but I told her later that it’s really warm out for dogs, especially dogs so low to the ground, and even I would have had a hard time keeping up with our normal pace.

Still, I think Gretchen wishes she’d taken me along.

Then again, maybe the photographs of treat-hungry pups wouldn’t have turned out so well if I’d been there as a motivational distraction!

Coming alongmoving on

But this has to be my favorite picture of joy in motion…


While the walks generally take place on the trail and in the grass, Gretchen decided to explore the neighborhood a bit more. They boys seemed to really appreciate a change of scenery.



anklesAfter looping through the neighborhood, the boys were mighty tired so Gretchen sat down with them in the lawn and rubbed their bellies.  Rufus, the Basset Hound, enjoyed that, but mostly he enjoyed just resting.  Gretchen wanted to get a photograph of Rufus’ ankles because they are pretty funny.

See how they bend? I think this is common in the breed, as are the gi-normous feet and ears, but they certainly add character to a dog who already has a ton of it…character, that is.smiley

Riley’s character is in his smile. At the beginning of the walk, he’s not so smiley, but once Gretchen puts treats in her pockets and Riley gets a good whiff, then he busts out into smiles.

He follows Gretchen everywhere and when she stops, he jumps up on her demanding a goodie. Rufus isn’t as bold. He just sniffs the ground or sits quietly or, something Gretchen tried to catch, shakes his big old ears.

She almost got the shot, but not quite…Riley’s ear kind of got in the way of Rufus’ ear. If Riley hadn’t of been there, you would have seen Rufus’ right ear flayling in the air!

ear shaking

Still, she got some fun shots of Rufus and of the boys together today.

coming close


I’ve never really thought of this before, but most of the dogs we walk — not all, mind you, but most — are boys like me.  I wonder why that is?

Next up were the neighbor boys — Oshi and Perrito.  I got to go on this walk and we wandered through the neighborhood where we visited with another neighbor dog named Nippy. He’s a Dachsund and every time we see him, he rolls over and pees. It’s like a German fountain! Gretchen had her hands full with three leashes at the time so unfortunately, no photographs.

By the time we made it to the park, everyone, including me, was too hot to do anything but rest in the shade. Some rest in weird positions!

stretchedThat’s Oshi. He’s alway ready for some rest. Perrito, though generally a big time explorer on our walks, found some shade of his own.


And then Oshi did what Oshi always does…he rolled and rolled and rolled and then popped up like something had just possessed him…

rollingrolling 2

Popped up

Perrito watched on in amazement…and a bit impatiently. I wanted to continue on with the walk so he could sniff and frolic some more!

let's go!

Oshi just looks at Perrito as if to say, “Cool your jets, sonny!”

cool your jetsWhere am I during all of this? Lying in the shade with my favorite ball in my mouth rolling around in the grass.  Gretchen didn’t get a photograph of me today. “We have thousands of photos of you, buddy.  Let’s save the space on the computer for our clients.”

Well, if you must…

The afternoon included a nice nap and now, after I finish the Dog Blog, we’re going to finish cleaning the house, tie up some grape vines, make some cilantro pesto, start dinner (a savory bread pudding with mushrooms and fresh herbs), and relax a bit more on this holiday Monday.

It hasn’t felt much like a holiday, though I did enjoy the sleep over with Teabiscuit and having my other mom around when we went on our adventures.

Tomorrow, though, it’s back to serious work. Our schedule is full and unfortunately, the weather doesn’t look as promising, but then again, you never know until tomorrow comes.

Enjoy your life and don’t forget to roll around in the shadey grass. It will do wonders for your mood!

All the best,


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