March 11, 2010

You Outta Be in Pictures…

…but unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. At least, not today. It rained. It was windy. It was cold. These are not conducive conditions for photography so the camera stayed dry even if we didn’t.

But I’d like to take this time to thank my other mother, Ann, for helping out today. Gretchen has parent-teacher conferences today and tomorrow. She’s been getting up early and NOT taking me to school with her. Therefore, I get walked by Ann in the morning and then left inside until someone decides to pay me some attention!

Today it was Ann, who had to the day off to take care of some personal issues. She did those in the morning, while I slept, and then she came home, leashed me up and we went for a walk. Boy, was I surprised when we walked right up to Ollie’s house! “We’re going to walk Ollie?” I asked.

“Yep!” replied Ann. “I’m helping out your other overworked mother!”

And off we went for a wonderfully long walk through the park and down by the water. Ollie LOVED it, being such a gregarious fellow, and when Ann left he asked, “Will you come back again?”

“Someday, I hope,” she responded.

I spent most of the day with Ann who worked at home while Gretchen set out to walk Rosie after she finished her first round of conferences (Gretchen, that is…not Rosie). Rosie wasn’t very happy about going out in the rain OR about leaving her Dad who was also working from home. (Hey, why can’t dog walkers work from home?) But once Rosie got her raincoat and leash on, she was happy to go outside even if the rain was unforgiving…and the wind, too!

They walked through one park and over to Judkins Park where both Rosie and Gretchen had a bit of a scare. Racing around the open field of Judkins Park was a large dog in a pink, plastic raincoat. Really. I’m not lying (of course, I wasn’t there, but I believe Gretchen). Once the dog saw Rosie and Gretchen headed her way (sorry, I’m pretty sure the pink meant she was a girl, though I hate to stereotype), she put her head down and sprinted over to them. The closer she got, the more Gretchen could tell that this off-leash dog in a pink coat was a pit bull and even though the owner was madly yelling at his dog, the dog had only one goal — meeting Rosie.

In those quick moments, it’s hard to tell if the dog’s intent is friendly or vicious. Knowing that Rosie was jittery about other dogs, Gretchen stepped in front of Rosie pulling the leash behind her back, stood with her biggest, baddest presence and yelled loudly and deeply, “NO!” The dog in her pink coat skidded to a halt three feet from Rosie. The owner kept yelling, “Maya come!” but still Maya was focused on Rosie though now Gretchen could see a wagging tail under the pink coat. “She’s friendly,” shouted the owner, but Gretchen had to respond, “I’m not sure how Rosie will respond so if you could get your dog, that would help this situation.”

Rosie, Gretchen reports, behaved admirably. She just stood and watched. She was nervous, yes, but not the least bit annoyed or aggressive and Gretchen praised her mightily after Maya was put on her leash. “I have nothing against pit bulls,” Gretchen told the owner, “but even dressed in pink it’s hard to know what a charging dog has in mind.”

The owner apologized and Gretchen continued to praise Rosie for her relatively calm response. Whew!

Rosie was happy to go home to her Papa again — who knows what her version of the story was — while Gretchen moved onto Saber’s house. Saber’s been a bit sick so he had to be walked alone. He wasn’t happy about that and looked for Gemma when he charged out the front door and then for me when he barreled down the stairs.

No one. Still, he and Gretchen had a nice long walk down to Mt. Baker, through the secret trail, up on the hill and down through the tunnel. They even had a bit of time to play some fetch and practice their recall command at the tennis courts (in the pouring down rain!) before Saber finally flopped his immense body down, exhausted. Gretchen reports that she laughed, slapped her hands together, and said, “My work is done here!” and with that, walked the tired puppy home.

Gemma was next and by then the rain was letting up, but just a bit. Gemma walked to our house and I was very happy to know that I got to go with them to pick up Woobie. We made our way up the hill, fetched a happy Woobie from her house, and then walked through the park back to Gemma’s house. Yes, the same park with the pink raincoated Maya, though she wasn’t there when we passed through.

Then Woobie hung out with us for awhile before we headed back to her house where she raced up the steps and happily entered her warm, dry home for a nap before her parents returned from work.

Then I spent quite a bit of time in the car as Gretchen got a massage (in her continued attempts to help her gimpy leg) while Ann went shopping for new plants. Yes, that meant my ride home involved sharing the back of the car with two large bushes. Jeez. What a dog must endure.

Friday is predicted to rain more than today, but I’m holding out hope that photos will be taken. They make my stories so much more interesting, don’t you think?

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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