September 3, 2009

Bursts of the Unexpected

smiling bursts

In my line of work, I’ve come to appreciate bursts. By this I mean sudden, unexpected changes of schedules, behaviors, and emotions. Today was filled with such bursts of the most unexpected kind.

1) A burst of happiness:

This is best demonstrated by the one moment when Saber meets Gemma who waits patiently outside Saber’s door for him to emerge. Saber, generally sleepy, yawns out the door and then, once he sees Gemma, wags his puppy tail in a kind of slow, happy swing that increases in velocity and frequency when his sleepy eyes realize that Gemma is sitting patiently waiting for him. They walk, happily bouncing, to the park anxious to be allowed to play. Sometimes this happens in the little field, but sometimes, like today, it happens at the tennis courts where they burst into play the moment they are let off their leashes.

burst of playbiting bursts

2) Cloudbursts: Just when you think the day is going to be beautiful, sometimes the clouds have other ideas. One minute Gemma and Saber were rolling around in the sun, the next they were bounding through the rain! The wet weather didn’t slow them down a bit!

flying burstbiting burst

3) Burst of Calm: Despite the crazy, wild play, Saber and Gemma eventually settle down and just like the cloud burst, it happens quickly. Okay, mostly it happens because Gretchen says, “Look, treats!” and they both come running.

IMG_8226look burst

4) Burst of shyness

Gretchen has walked Rosie two times now and the best word to describe her is SHY. She’s very sweet and excited to see Gretchen, but she’s shy about pets, about putting the leash on, and really shy about getting her picture taken.

oh goshoh golly

Gretchen had to let Rosie smell the camera at first, that’s how shy and uncertain she is and once she did, then she burst into a cute smile.

okaysmiling dog

5) Burst of energy: Rosie is the last dog Gretchen thought would show a burst of energy. Gemma, yes. Saber, yes. Bella, most definitely, but Rosie? After their photo shoot, they walked across the open field and Rosie burst forth in a mad dash. Gretchen ran beside her trying to capture the burst of unexpected energy on film. That’s one happy dog!

burst forthgo girl!

6) Chasing Burst: Gretchen walked Bella today and all went well practicing her heal. She walked Bella through the park and then stopped at our house so Bella and I could have a chasing burst. Monty just watched from the porch…

chasing burstwatching burst

omgcome back here

7) Tumbling Burst: Bella and I chase each other around a lot and then, all of the sudden, we’re tumbling over each other.

tumblinghead over heels

8) Burst of Snarfling: Snarfling is Gretchen’s word for the times Bella and I lie on the ground, too tired to chase, too tired to really wrestle, and only have enough energy to make playful noises at each other. Gretchen calls those noises snarfling. Works for me.


snarfling3snarfling 4

9) Stealing Bursts: This is a tricky one because planning to steal someone else’s toy takes timing and quickness. Notice Wilson and his unassuming behavior. In both instances, he’s stealing someone else’s ball!

standing in waitthe rolling steal

10) A burst of rest: Monty is really good at this one. He fetches his ball and then he curls up on the grass for a rest. Usually Wilson never rests, but tonight even he joined in! Check out that tired tongue!

restingwilson rest

11) Demanding Bursts: We all have ways of demanding that someone play with us. I tend to bark though not usually when playing fetch. Monty just drops the ball and takes off running positively convinced you’re going to throw the ball. Wilson gives you that look like, “Please, please, please?” He has many versions of it!

beggingclose up begging

12) Burst of Bliss: There is a moment in my day when I am the happiest — a ball in my mouth, racing across the field feeling happy and content. This, my friends, is bliss…for Wilson, too!

bliss timebliss2

13) A Burst of Friendship: I may have moments when I get grumpy — snarl at the other dogs who are in my space or persistently trying to get my attention — but most of the time, being a dog dog walker is all about my friendships with all the dogs that we walk. Truly, these are some of the best dogs ever and I’m one lucky guy who gets to spend time with such company. I was reminded of that tonight when Gretchen said, “Look, treats!” and we all lined up to get them. Monty gets a little impatient and in a classic Monty move, leans back his head slowly and woofs. It made Wilson and me laugh…as you’ll see! This was truly a burst of friendship moment.

barking Montyhahahaha

More unexpected bursts to come someday, but for now, I’m ready to call it a night. Sleep well everyone!

Until tomorrow,


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