July 7, 2009

A Wednesday in Chapters

Chapter One: Cecilia’s Operation cecilia

We went for a walk this morning and on our way we picked up Monty and continued on north toward the park. We passed the house of my dog friend Lulu and her mom, Cecilia who was dressed in what can only be described as a surgical outfit.

Turns out she was performing surgery. On her garage.

At first, she was kind of scary, but then when I heard her laugh I realized she was the same Cecilia I’ve always known and despite her outfit, was my friend. Because she’s my friend, I begged Gretchen (and Ann, who came with us again now that she’s on summer break) to ask if Lulu could go on our morning walk, which is exactly what ended up happening. So while Cecilia performed surgery, Lulu, Monty, and I had a lovely morning stroll up to Powell Burnett Park, along the ridge, and back home to Cecilia’s Operation.

Gretchen posed us all in the park…first Monty with me (because Lulu wouldn’t sit still) and then Lulu with Ann reassuring her that the camera was a good thing (though I have my doubts these days!).

me and Montyfour of us

By the time we got back to Cecilia’s house, well the garage was still under anesthetic and Cecilia was up to her elbows in the bowels of the garage. It was going to be a very long surgery indeed.

Chapter Two: The Difficulty of Posing

Monty and I got to hang out at home after that while Ann worked on some house projects. She organized all the “stuff” going to Goodwill, she got some things ready for our camping trip this weekend, and she wiped the counters in the kitchen.  Gretchen took care of some billing, gave me a brushing (yuck!), and packed up her bag for a walk with the boys next door — Oshi and Perrito.  Oshi

Because I was out of dog food, Gretchen hiked the boys to the top of the hill to Dog Mania (one of the places where we shop) and along the way did her best to pose the boys. If you think Lulu has a hard time sitting and staying, the boys are worse. They want to pee on everything and they want to venture off despite the lack of accompaniment by an adult…mainly Gretchen. But at the top of the stairs where Gretchen likes to take photos, she got a few good ones of Oshi and Perrito, but only a few as the boys were anxious to get going. You can tell that Perrito is anxious because he lies down. Seems oxymoronic, but that’s what he does. Lies down and looks at you with those plaintive eyes.

Oshi’s a bit more cooperative, but not too terribly much so Gretchen has to be quick about it or she’ll miss the opportunity to snap some expressive photos of the boys next door.


Once posed, they all headed up to Dog Mania where they bought my dog food (yummy) and then headed back home. Oshi and Perrito got a drink at their house right away because it’s a hot one today.  I watched Gretchen from our window and I thought she would come get us for another walk, but no. While she came into the house, she did not leave with Monty and me in tow.

Chapter Three: Swallowing Disappointment

Gretchen dropped off the cans of food she hauled down from the hill in her backpack, gave Monty and me a pat on the head and then, much to my disappointment, walked out the door to fetch Gemma. Wait…why don’t I get to go?

“It’s a big day, Rube,” she explained. “You played very hard yesterday and there are lots of dogs to walk today. Rest and I’ll be back soon.”

REST? What is she kidding?

But I was forced to slumber in the living room while she took Gemma through the park, around the Judkins loop, and then finally back to our house for a visit.

Gemma’s a funny girl. She’s recently realized how fun birds are and on her walk with Gretchen, she focused on the crows and swallows hanging out in the open field.

spotting birdscrow-magnum

She particularly likes swallows and if you look closely in this next picture, you’ll see them. Gemma certainly sees them!


Watching for birds makes Gemma very, very happy.

happy gemma

But it also makes her very hot so Gretchen brought her by the house to cool off a bit and I showed Gemma exactly how cooling off should be done! First you fill up the pool and then you dig in it. Digging makes the water splash up on your belly and that is very cooling indeed!

cool offtry it

Try it, Gemma!

try ityou've got it

Yep, that’s the way…play bow in the water just like this!

play bow

And then, because now you’re all cooled off, race around the yard, get wild, and tackle each other!


Whew, that’s exhausting but oh so much fun!  Gemma went home after that — exhausted and refreshed — and Monty and I continued our rest.

Chapter Four: A Long Farewell to Teabiscuit

While we’ve been walking Teabiscuit now for over a month, she is not really one of our clients. We’re covering for another dog walker who’s been out on the road, but soon he will return and so today was our last time with the ‘Biscuit for awhile. Because of that, Gretchen went to her house, let her out to play some fetch in the park, and then brought her home so we could spend some time with her.

First, the game of fetch was fun but short-lived as it is very hot today.

feathery fetchyummy fetch

Teabiscuit seems very demure, I know, but when the ball comes out, she can get demanding. She often barks to have the ball thrown and Gretchen is very obliging…

demandingwhimsical fetch

Eventually though, that ball got too hot to carry and the shade looked mighty appealing…

too hotshade time

…so Gretchen packed up the camera and the balls, loaded Teabiscuit into the car, and headed to our place where Monty, Ann, Teabiscuit, Gretchen, and I all went for a walk through the park, but boy did we get hot!  So we came home for a cool drink and some time in the shade.


Until we meet again, Teabiscuit!


Chapter Five: Skinny Dipping with Wilsonballballball

You wouldn’t know it by this picture, but Wilson, Gretchen, and I headed to the lake this evening. Because of the hill behind us, the sun no longer casts light on the part of the lake where we swim, though off in the distance, the sunshine is still visible…and warm. It was a warm one today. It’s now 8:15 pm and it’s still 75 degrees outside, so it seemed important that on our evening walk with Wilson we walked to the lake.

Wilson is, if anything, ball obsessed. He, too, has a passion for the squishy orange and blue ball and he brought his along today. Gretchen actually uses it as a motivator to keep Wilson moving forward since he likes to walk all over the place and occasionally lie down and not get up. She keeps a ball in her hip pocket and Wilson gets the ball when he walks calmly and by her side. But once we get to the lake, Wilson has no limits to his ball and let me tell you, a limitless Wilson is a sight to watch.

which ball?First, let me explain that it’s hard to distinguish one orange and blue ball from another so when Gretchen threw one out for Wilson and the other out for me, we had a moment of panic on our hands.

She threw Wilson’s first and then mine, but once I saw Wilson going for both of them, I didn’t see the point of my getting in to get the one thrown for me. Only Wilson apparently can’t hold two balls in his mouth (nor can I) so instead he kept pushing the balls farther and farther out into the lake.

“Great,” were the words that came out of Gretchen’s mouth and then she sat on the bench, took off her shoes and socks, emptied her pockets and started wading into the water.

“We’re ALL going in?” I asked. Who needed an invitation…I jumped right in, swam right out to Wilson, snatched one of the balls (he snatched the other) and into shore we swam.

“Good God!” were Gretchen’s last words. Her feet wet, her hands thrown in the air, she could only praise us for being good dogs.

Oh, and throw the balls again and again and again (and again, in Wilson’s case!)

dusk swimming


Talk about fun. Gretchen laughed at us because while Wilson is three times my size, he’s probably about the same weight — all skinny especially when wet.  She said we were skinny dipping at dusk and if that’s what it’s called, I’m all for it! So is Wilson!

yepshake shake shake

The mountain, better known as Mt. Rainier was still bright in the sun while we swam in the shadows of the lake.  It made for a nice backdrop and a great way to end my little novella on Wednesday…

the mountain

mtn. swimming

Until tomorrow,


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