May 4, 2010


We headed out early this morning for a walk up to our work at school. All along the way, Gretchen is saying words like transverse, dorsal, median, sagittal. I looked at her, stumped.

“What’s with the foreign language?” I asked.

“I’m trying to remember all the body planes,” she responded as if I’d know what a body plane was.

“Uh, okay,” I mumbled back, slightly distracted by a bold squirrel crossing my path. And then she starts in with Occiput, Crest, Withers, Carpus, Metacarpus, Croup, Stifle and I’m totally lost.

“Did you get enough sleep?” I ask. And then she laughs.

“Sorry, Ruby (one of my many nicknames). I’m trying to remember all the regions of a dog’s body.”

Oh. Finally. I get it. She’s studying “Well, can I help?”

“You know that might not be a bad idea,” she says. “When we get home tonight, can I practice identifying your body parts?”

“Uh, sure,” I say, a bit embarrassed, “though that sounds a bit personal.”

And then we both giggle and continue on our walk.

Not a lot happened at school today. The students are on the last chapters of their long stories and were focused on the task at hand. We walked back home where I napped while Gretchen headed out to walk Rosie. Of course, I kept dreaming about words like manus, pes, thorax, occiput, flank…geez, this schooling thing is going to be hard on both of us!

Now Rosie is a study in post-surgical stiffness. She walks with a limp (though a bouncy one) and her back legs move sideways, not forward.

It doesn’t seem to stop her, though. She’s still very happy  and relatively pain free as she walks along and occasionally bursts into a little sprint. Every time Rosie sprints ahead, Gretchen laughs because Rosie is almost gleeful when she gets to go outside and check out the ever changing weather from the gardens on the hill.

Of course, she doesn’t much like her photo taken as she often sticks out her tongue when Gretchen makes the attempt. Wish I could do that!

I was curious about the weather myself so it was nice when Gretchen returned home to pick me up for our walk with Zoe. Normally, Zoe goes with our friend, Maureen (of Mo’s Dog Walking) to the dog park, but Zoe has also had knee surgery so for the past few weeks, she’s been confined to leashed-walks. Well yesterday, Zoe got to go out with Maureen and on our walk, we talked about how much fun Zoe had at the dog park, seeing her pack friends again, and hanging out with Maureen.

“It was a blast!” Zoe exclaimed.

“I bet it was good to see your friends again,” I said.

“Oh, Rubin. You’ll never guess. There were three of us Bernese dogs and you know, we’re so very sweet, I think Maureen had the best Monday ever!”

“How does your knee feel today?” I asked.

“It’s a bit stiff, but not bad,” Zoe told me. “But I sure don’t have the same kind of stamina as I did before the surgery.”

“Don’t worry,” I told her, “You’ll get back into shape. Maybe we should play a little so you can build up your endurance.”

“Oh good idea! you start,” she said and I did! I think I overwhelmed her at first, but if we had been let off leash, we would have whooped it up but good!

Next was Saber. I was feeling might frisky by then and all those anatomy words flew right out of my head. Saber was in a frisky mood too and while he is in perfect health right now, anatomically speaking, we have to be careful not to overstress his still developing body.

Too bad he doesn’t understand that my body shouldn’t be overstressed! This next photo is kind of blurry, but do you see how he pushes me around? Ridiculous!

We went for a walk after getting out our ya-yas and then Gretchen posed us by a beautiful Rhododendron. Meanwhile, the clouds were gathering again and I had the feeling it was going to rain. Boy did it, but luckily Saber made it home before it did and I made it home as well.

But by the time Gretchen drove to Ollie, Playa, and Doodle’s house, the rain had stopped, though she didn’t believe it would stop for long so Playa and Doodles wore their raincoats. Mine was in the car for Ollie, but it turns out they didn’t really need them. No rain until the last few minutes of the walk.

Yes, Doodles went along for the walk, which is not a common occurrence. He gets kind of scared, but he finds comfort and solace in his great protector — Playa. No matter where they go, Doodles keeps Playa close by, which is sometimes hard to do because Playa likes to be at the very, very end of the leash exploring the world. She’s definitely part Husky!

Ollie, Playa, and Doodles are all in pretty good anatomical shape, but Gretchen tells me she practiced identifying body parts on them anyway. Ollie thought that was great because it meant he got petted.

Doodles was skeptical…

…and Playa, well, Playa is just interested in going somewhere so she whined a bit while Gretchen labeled her body– abdomen, loin, flank!

I suppose it’s important for Gretchen to study and I know I should do what I can to help her out, but sometimes I just want to play, you know because as they say, “All work and no work makes Rubin a dull boy!”

Until Tomorrow,


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