August 25, 2009

Monty at sunsetThe Fading Light

There is something about the arrival of fall that makes me a bit nostalgic. I know, I’m a mere boy in the eyes of many, but in my 2 1/2 years of age and year as a dog dog walker, I’ve been around the block a time or two.

What I like about fall is the light. Take for instance the morning light. It’s arriving later, it’s a bit chillier, and it’s heavier with the mist of morning. The evening light is the opposite — warm and golden, it casts the most amazing shadows before it fades away.

Today, we tried to capture the light in all of its autumnal manifestations. It’s hard, of course, since we are in charge of a plethora of pups including Ollie, Gemma, Bella, Wilson, and Monty, and as much as we try to manage all the dogs and photograph the light, sometimes we are simply laughing at the mayhem of our work.

First up, Ann, Monty, and I walked Gretchen to work. It was a beautiful morning with rain-scented air from last night’s cloud burst. Gretchen returned home a few hours later with Ollie and Gemma in tow and leashed up Monty and me for a trip to the small park. There we played as the noon sun heated the day, dried up the moist grass, and flashed in our gleeful eyes.

on the runpuppy play

out of my waytongue in the sun

As you can see, Gemma and Ollie played with vigor today, racing up and down the field, wrestling on the grass, and waiting patiently for something fun to happen.  I tried my best to keep moving, but those puppies like to wrestle right under my feet so sometimes it’s hard to move forward.

gemma comes after meracing

Eventually, everyone tired out a bit and that’s when Gretchen tried her hardest to capture those silly moments we see every day like Monty showing off his belly (which he did a lot today) and getting us all to look the same direction for a group photo. Sorry Gretchen, it’s not going to happen!

belly timelook this way?

Of course, it didn’t take long before the puppies started playing again and begging for the treats in Gretchen’s pocket…

ears updo you have a treat for me?

At one point, Gretchen got us all lined up for the last photo of the day, but Ollie kept scooting forward every time she backed up to get the shot. I heard him say, “Wait, come back here. The treats are in your pocket and you keep moving away!” She got three of us in the shot, but Ollie, well, he got to be his own star in his own photo…

three of usollie star

Gretchen walked Monty and me back home and then she and Gemma walked Ollie back to his house. Ollie did his typical “see you later” when he got inside his gate and then shot through the dog door and into his house as fast as he could. Gemma was a little taken aback, but she got over it as they headed back to her house.

Gemma lives close to Bella, so on her way back to our house, Gretchen picked up the wild and crazy Bella! Woo-wee what a handful that girl is!  Gretchen worked on the “heal” command at the park and after about 10-15 minutes, Bella finally eased into it, but by they time Gretchen got back to our house with Bella at her side, it was game on!

game ongame on2

dance movesgame on4

As you can see, we practiced our dance moves, too and then I spent the rest of the time trying to stay out of wild Bella’s way. But she stalked me down. She’s a wily one, that pup!

wilycatch me

Bella might look all sweet and innocent from the back side…

back end…but check out these eyes!  See the mischief?

mischief eyes

Yep, she’s a player and so, what’s dog dog walker like myself to do? Play on!

play onplay on2

Let’s just say, Bella isn’t complaining!

ear girllots o fun

Where’s Monty in all of this? Well, since Bella arrives at 1 and Monty must eat lunch, he only gets to say hello and then he has to rest before his meal.  He seems okay with it…can you see him behind the screen practicing his “kush?” (A llama move with the front legs tucked under the body…)

llama man

Bella eventually went home while Monty and I rested — me after my play time and Monty after his meal. Gretchen, in the meantime, went back to her classroom and stayed there until this afternoon when the light of the day glowed like honey.

Our day felt done, but it wasn’t as there was still one more dog to walk. Gretchen went to retrieve him while Ann walked us to the park to meet up with funny boy Wilson and there we played fetch in the fading light of a beautiful day.

fetch in the lightgolden coat

Wilson’s coat really shows off the autumn light, doesn’t it? And see how the shadows (Gretchen’s included) cast long and lean (which Gretchen likes very much!)? Glorious!

sunsetshadow man

I know, it looks like only Wilson played fetch, but Monty and I chased after our fair share of balls, too. Monty in particular was having fun in the sunset.

fun in the sunball chewie

Gretchen enjoyed her time because she could focus on the camera while Ann focused on throwing the balls. At one point, she threw mine in the bushes though and then had to give me explicit directions on how to find it. Wilson, meanwhile, waited for his turn.

go rightthat's it!

See how the light makes everything look mystical? That’s what I like about fall.  Of course soon it will be dark when we play fetch, which isn’t a bad thing because we can play with the blinky balls, but it’s not that conducive to good photographs!

After lots and lots of fetch, we rested a bit. Well Monty and I rested. Wilson doesn’t rest much. Monty though is really good at relaxing. He spread out to show his belly again and then laid transfixed by his ball (which is really my ball, but don’t tell him!)




At the end of the day, we were all pretty tired and the sun was on its way behind the mountains. It was a perfect time to walk Wilson back home…off into the sunset!

Until tomorrow,


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