May 7, 2009

why hello!Getting To Know You

No rain. Whew!  After yesterday, I thought I was going to have to build an ark (or is that a bark…can’t remember.) Anyway, the rain only came this afternoon on our drive back from agility class. Can I tell you in words how much I like agility? Probably not so I won’t even try.

Today was a full day; agility was just the last in a long line of events. First up, Ollie and I got to go to Magnuson Off-Leash Park. That’s two times this week for me. Ollie had never been there before, but he thought it was cool beans.  He played Mr. Visitor greeting every dog who passed us.

And I mean EVERY dog!

big sniffPersonally, I find the whole meet and greet routine boring. I’d rather play fetch or better yet, go swimming, but water and Ollie don’t mix so we just had to play in the park.

Fine by me because that meant that my ball got thrown again and again and again and I raced passed all those visiting dogs on my fetching quest.

Surprisingly, after yesterday’s Noah-fest (as in rain) the park wasn’t too wet.  Sure, there were puddles and Gretchen did her best to steer us clear of them, but there wasn’t even a lot of mud. Good thing because as much as I like mud, I know that a bath soon follows and frankly, I’m not a big fan of baths.

It’s most important, though, to keep Ollie out of the mud and water. Though we are both labardoodles, our hair is very different. Ollie is all fleece, thick as a sheep’s while mine is finer and more course.  His mats in dreadlocks. Mine just tangles in places and then curls. I get wet and my hair curls more. Ollie gets wet and he becomes a walking mat.  I guess it wouldn’t be a good idea to teach him to like swimming!

But trust me — the boy knows how to party at the dog park!this way

that way

full speedpure happiness

weeeeeeee

After our romp with Ollie, Gretchen dropped me off at home (for a bit of rest) while she met up with Gerta. Gerta, apparently, had been a bad dog because her dad was there washing off her feet after she got into the ink cartridges. Oops.

who me? But she looks so innocent?

You may be asking yourself — interesting picture. Cute dog, but what’s that on the telephone pole behind Gerta?

Great question.  One thing Gretchen is always taking pictures of are shoes dangling from telephone wires around the city.  I’m not sure why she’s obsessed with this oddity, but she is and often we have to stop in the middle of our walk so she can focus on the pair of sneakers or dress shoes hanging from the wires.

Her theory is that every town in America (and maybe even in other countries) has shoes dangling from wires.  She’s taken it upon herself to seek out these shoes, photograph and catalogue them into a photo album. What she’ll do with them all who knows, but the album is getting quite full!

Humans are weird.

Anyway, she was pleased today to find more shoes only these pairs were NOT dangling from the wires of telephone poles. Nope, the were actually ON the telephone pole…the very one in which Ms. Gerta is posing in front of!  I think Gretchen watched too much GET SMART when she was a child.

shoe phoneGerta, apparently, got tired of posing in front of the shoes, so she got up and stuck her nose in Gretchen’s camera. Yes, this is Gerta’s nose!

nostrilsGretchen got the hint and they walked on down the street exploring the possibility of more shoes…

onwardAfter Gerta, Gretchen came back to pick me up so that I could meet Teabiscuit. Teabiscuit, as her name implies, is very small. Not the smallest dog I’ve ever met, but still small. She’s not sure she likes big dogs, that’s for sure, so I had to be Mr. Aloof to get her to warm up to me.

ignoringHere I am ignoring her.  We walked from her house down to Madrona Woods and the whole way there, Teabiscuit walked behind us — I mean at the end of her leash behind us.  When we got to the woods, Gretchen let me roam free and even though I really wanted to play with Teabiscuit, I didn’t want to startle her so I pretended she wasn’t even there.

ignoring2

Eventually, Teabiscuit asked about me all the while Gretchen comforted her with soft words and gentle rubs around her chin…she liked that.

Are you sure he's nice?
Are you sure he's nice?
Are you sure, sure, sure?
Are you sure, sure, sure?

That’s when the posing began. First, Gretchen put Teabiscuit on a rock so she’d sit up taller than me. This was to give her the illusion of power.

Is it working? Is she feeling more comfortable?
Is it working? Is she feeling more comfortable?

Then she put us side by side — well, there was some distance between us, but still, we were fairly close.

"Move closer. I won't hurt you. Promise."
"Move closer. I won't hurt you. Promise."

It was all over after that!  We walked all the way back home side by side. I am such a clever fellow.

close quarters

side by side

And then, after all the walking and the romping and lessons on being friends, I got to go to agility class.  That’s like eating ice cream after eating a really good dinner!

Happiness to all!

Rubin

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