November 12, 2009


Scientifically speaking, a sun dog is a halo around the sun. In my research I found out that sundogs are formed by plate shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or – during very cold weather – by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low level. Now, you may think I don’t understand what all of this means, but I do because I see sundogs all the time. I even think I saw one today — well, the scientific one described above, but I also so another kind of sundog today.

To me a sundog is one who can cast shadows, feel sleepy in the warmth, and just pause in the moment of the sun’s delight. We did that today, and much more, because, for a second day in a row, we had sun. No one expected it, but there it was — warm and bright and glorious. What this meant, of course, is that we had to play as much as we possibly could in the warmth of this day and so we head out, after our morning of teaching, to collect our pals.

First up was Ollie. Ollie kind of has his own halo on his head. Even though it took a little coaxing to get him out of his house (his dad was home) when he realized what a beautiful day it was, he raced and jumped and got really excited when he recognized the path to Gemma’s house.

Gemma doesn’t really have a halo. She glows, but mostly Gemma goes like a bullet, excited to be on the road to some adventure especially when that adventure includes Ollie and me. Because we were all rambunctious, we headed over to the tennis courts where we played one of my favorite games — CHASING OLLIE!

chasing olliechasingollie2

Ollie loves to be chased and Gemma and I did our best to give him what he loves. He’s a speedy little sundog and often even Gretchen’s camera couldn’t catch him in the frame.




He winds down a lot quicker than Gemma so when he’s done being chased, Gemma comes after me. I must do my best to entertain our clients, but let me tell you, it’s hard work! But not today. Today the sun cured all my worries, all my weariness. I just ran around that court smiling and hopping up and down like I was as young as my friends.

ready?still running



Ollie and Gemma walked me home where I stayed in order to eat my breakfast. The Gemma walked Ollie home and finally Gretchen walked sunbunnyGemma back to her house, making a complete loop in her route. After Gemma was tucked away in her house, Gretchen headed up to Rosie’s house.

Rosie LOVES the sun. When she felt it on her skin when they first exited her house, she smiled really big and pranced all the way down the driveway. Her prance got more elated and deliberate as they headed out on their walk with Rosie asking if they could head up to the gardens. Know the sun would shine full and bright on the last of summer’s crops, Gretchen agreed and off they went, through the park and up the big hill.

The gardens are dying back, just as they do every fall, but they are still beautiful, especially in the sun.

See how happy Rosie is? The sun’s so bright, she has to squint!



Rosie was reluctant to go home, but when she realized Gretchen had special treats to give her, she relented, sitting pretty on her dog bed while Gretchen sprinkled treats like sun drops around her.
Gretchen came home for some lunch then. Usually she doesn’t have time for lunch, but today we sat on the back porch in the sun and snacked on her favorite — Delicata squash! Yes, even I got a taste. I love squash as much as she does and this one was particularly sweet and delicious.

But our work was far from over. We walked up to Alice’s house where Alice glowed like the sun when she saw us. Without even asking where we were going, Alice pulled us north because she knew we had to pick up Woobie. I’m not sure how she knew, but she did. And when we got to Woobie’s courtyard, we both raced up the long flights of stairs to meet our friend.Woobie was equally thrilled to see the sunshine and see her friends.

We walked through Squirrel Gulch (that’s what I call it because it’s swarming with the pesky rodents) and down to the park. When Alice sees the big field she gets all frisky and wants Gretchen to let her off leash to run and run and run. Instead, Gretchen put us in a sit stay and tried her best to get our photos.


Eventually it worked!



Woobie and I walked Alice back home after that and then we raced down the street to Saber’s house. When Saber saw us waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs, he almost leaped off the porch and down the 14 steps to where we sat. Gretchen held him back and then directed his clumsy 5-month old, 60-pound body through the park to the tennis courts for another round of play.

Woobie was content to soak in the sun while Saber and I played fetch.


soaking it upfeelswarm

And then Bella and her mom showed up and Saber thought he’d died and gone to the Sundogs. He loved playing with Bella and she seemed to love it too!



Woobie and I were just content to soak it all in — the sun, the fun, and the friends.



We took Saber home and then headed over to the school to meet up with our student friend, but he didn’t have a good day. So as a consolation, Woobie got to come to our house and hang out for awhile. We were pretty tired so it was nice to rest before we headed back to Woobie’s house.

But our day was still not done because Gemma needed one more outing. So we walked over to Gemma’s house and then back up to Woobie’s. And that’s when I saw the real SunDog — the halo around the sun! They say that the SunDog is a prediction of rain, but I like to think it’s just an exclamation point at the end of a beautiful day.

Until Tomorrow,

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