Wags n Words Healthy Dogs & Happy Tales

February 18, 2011

Saturation

Too much of one thing. That’s how I define saturation. There’s no value judgment because it can be too much of a good thing or it can be too much of a bad thing. And even then — the good thing or the bad thing — can have good and bad qualities about it. The photograph above is meant to illustrate this point. The beginning of the week was soggy wet. The rain just kept coming. It’s been like this all winter and the ground is completely saturated, so much so that when the rain falls, it really has no where to go and just rolls down the street or forms large puddles every where.

And it’s muddy. If we have to walk across a grassy field, we’re guaranteed to have muddy, muddy paws by the time we get to the other side.

That’s the bad side. The good side is that everything is very green and rain means the temperatures are fairly warm (warmer than usual) so the trees (like the above cherry tree) are fooled into thinking that the groundhog was right and Spring is just around the corner therefore they started budding out. Gretchen stopped to look at those early buds on our walk Monday afternoon and felt compelled to pull out the camera (even though it was pouring down rain) and try to capture the moment — the juxtaposition of spring and winter, of a tree saturated and blooming.

She also captured our annoyance (Rosie and me) with the endless rain…in fact, if you click on the photo to the right, where my ears are down and Rosie looks as if she’s saying, “Uh, can we go home now?” you’ll see the pelting rain falling all around us (and, of course, on us!).

In fact, it rained so much on Tuesday, she didn’t take any photos and was worried that perhaps the cherry tree and my photo with Rosie would be all the pictures we’d get for the week.

But just as the rain can saturate us, so can the sun and the odd beauty of it all is that the more rain we have, the more glorious those sunny days. Tuesday was miserable, but Wednesday was divine and Monty and I soaked up the warmth on our long walk down by the lake Wednesday morning…

…and then our wonderful stroll with Rosie later in the day…

It was so wonderful, I rolled around in the grass (yes, it was a tad bit muddy and wet) and my ear flipped back in the effort…

Of course, by the afternoon, the black clouds brought us more rain, more wind, and the most amazing hail storm I’ve ever seen. Luckily, we had to run errands (to the Natural Pet Pantry for my food) and then we swung by the pool to drop off some stuff only to be asked to pose for a crazy photo with Catherine, Sheila, Paige, and yes, Kane (you can just see his head on the side)…

Thursday we woke up to snow actually in the low-lying hills. That poor cherry tree…fooled into thinking that the warm temperatures would stay, but surprisingly, despite all the forecasts, the rain stayed away. This was the good kind of saturation — the kind that made me happy to be out and about exploring the deep and saturated greens days of rains (months?) highlight. Of course, it made me even happier that Rosie and I got to go to the tennis courts for a brief romp.

I don’t get to play at the tennis courts much anymore. I was saturated as a puppy and my joints and muscles apparently paid the price. But once every now and then, we get to go and I get to play with my ball. On Thursday, I got to play with a new ball that we found on one of our walks. It’s a boomerang ball with a stretchy string on it that allows Gretchen to fling it really far. Of course, that string posed a bit of a problem and Rosie worried that once again I might hurt myself…

But I was okay once I figured out how to get that stretchy thing off my leg. And, as you can tell, I saturated myself in Rosie’s smile. I have to laugh because for a long, long time Gretchen wouldn’t let me walk with Rosie. You see, in the beginning, Rosie got over-saturated, which is to say, she got really nervous about other dogs when she was on the leash. She was thought to be unpredictable, lashing out and being aggressive when other dogs walked by. It’s true, she can sometimes lose her head — overstimulated is perhaps a better word — but she’s never acted that way toward me.

Which got me to thinking about saturation from another perspective: When there is too much of one thing — over-stimulation in this instance — dogs are a lot like the ground when it rains way too much. Our energy pools, forming puddles of frustration. Some of us act out when the puddles form, others avoid, and still others get wildly and happily excited.

Rosie and I are a lot alike in many regards. When I am saturated by stimuli — for me it’s skateboards, Jack Russell Terriers, and large intact male dogs — I get nervous and bark to protect myself. Rosie does the same. I think we knew that about each other from the start. It was as if we said to each other, “Hey, you get nervous that way, too?” and so we formed a friendship based on our common experiences and have forged a friendship around it — a friendship that allows us to now go for walks together, hang out at the tennis courts, and soak up the sunshine, which everyone hopes dries out our innate nervousness.

Woobie, on the other hand, (the next dog we walked on Thursday) is more excitable than nervous. She gets over-saturated with the thought of squirrels, but other than that she stays relatively calm in the midst of craziness.

And yes, I was the craziness…but don’t worry, Woobie helps center me and once saturated in her presence, I settle right down.

Everyone said that the rain saturation was supposed to continue, but much to our surprise, we were saturated in sun! It was glorious! Chilly, but still glorious!

And everyone got to play fetch. Rosie and Tyson at the tennis courts…well Tyson played while Rosie watched for treats…

And you aren’t imagining it…Tyson is wearing a purple bootie. That’s because he had minor surgery to remove a cyst and to make sure everything stayed relatively clean, he had to wear a latex sock. He minded at first, but once the ball went flying, he flew, too.

And then Gretchen spent time playing with her camera and close ups of the siblings…hey, it was a beautiful day for it and the light was perfect!

Monty and I got to play fetch too, though we got to play at the little field and man oh man did that ever make me happy!

And then Roger showed up and while I was worried he’d still my ball, Monty could care less…Roger too!

When the week started, I thought for sure that our saturation was going to all be the bad kind – wet and dreary and heavy with the sogginess of winter. But what do you know…it all turned around and the beauty of the cherry tree won out!

That’s the kind of saturation I like the most — the unexpected kind.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Rubin

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