November 5, 2011

Wonders of the Week

A lot happens during my week. Some of it you get to read about and some of it you don’t. While I try to describe a wide variety of my weekly experiences there are days and weeks that go by when I wrack my curly head trying to pick through the delectable morsels of my Doodle life. Yes, yes, yes…it’s not all pork belly and marrow bones. There are days when I feel that all I do is wait for action and other days when all I want to do is go to my bed and get some rest.

But I’m not complaining. Not many dogs are as lucky as I am to have such a blessed life. Every day I get to go on some kind of adventure — sometimes just with Gretchen, though most days with one or two or three of my canine friends who I am lucky enough to also call clients. They help put food in my bowl and I hope I help them find joy in strolling through the park, walking down the the lake, or barking at a squirrel or a cat or…

…a partridge.

It was that partridge — spotted on Friday morning, the end of my work week — that is the inspiration for this week’s blog.

We were walking Rosie and Tyson and had just left their house when I heard a sound — like no other sound I’ve ever heard — that made my head snap up and my ears shoot forward.

“What’s that sound?” I asked Rosie and Tyson, but they were so busy smelling the grass and the trees that they didn’t hear it.

“What sound?” asked Rosie.

And then it came again — a sort of warbling whistle, melodic and strange. “That sound!”

Gretchen saw it first, a funny lump on the sidewalk. Startled, it jumped once then flew awkwardly to the lowest branches of a tree. “It looks like a partridge!” Gretchen explained.

“Is that a pear tree?” Tyson asked.

“No,” giggled Gretchen, “But that was a funny joke, Ty!”

“Can we get a picture of it?” I asked Gretchen.

“I’ll try,” she said.

And here’s the part that you have to picture. She has on her backpack (where she keeps her camera, rain gear, extra dog treats, a first aide kit, and some toys in case we stop at a field somewhere to play) — she has three dog leashes in her hand and at the end of those leashes are me — staring up at the partridge not in a pear tree; Tyson — sniffing the base of the tree deciding if he wants to lift his leg; and Rosie, who is, in fact peeing for the fourth time since we left the house…about 200 feet from where we stand.

Without letting go of the leashes, Gretchen slipped her backpack off, removed her camera and pointed into the tree to see if she could get a photograph.

“We need to get closer,” she whispered to me.

“Okay,” but then I realized Rosie was at the end of her leash, her snout buried nostril deep in a pile of racked leaves and Tyson had moved across the sidewalk to lift his leg on the corner of the fence.

“Guys,” I said, “There’s a partridge in the tree. We have to move closer. Rein yourselves in!”

“Aren’t we going for a walk?” asked Rosie,

“I’m being a good boy,” said Tyson, “Isn’t it time for a snack?”

Uncooperative as they were, Gretchen moved us all a bit closer and after about 15 attempts got the photo of the partridge and that’s when it struck me — there are a lot of wonders around me and I better pay close attention.

Of course, it was the end of my work week and I was sad to realize that I’d probably missed a few important wonders Monday through Thursday, but luckily Gretchen had a photographic chronicle of the week. So, when we got back home, I combed through the photos and realized that many of the wonders had been captured. The partridge was, in fact, the punctuation mark at the end of a very wondrous week.

The first thing that struck me was the color of the week. True, it’s Autumn and the leaves are still clinging their orange, yellow, red, and crinkly brown selves to the limbs, but many have also fallen creating these amazing kaleidoscopes of filtered colors.




Green and blue…

It’s amazing! I never realized how appropriate the name Emerald City is for Seattle!

And then I noticed the light. On Monday, for instance, Rosie and Tyson and I were out on a long walk through the wooded park when Gretchen stopped us on the stairs and snapped this photo. “Sweet,” she said. “The light is amazing!”

I paid no attention at the time, but when we got home and looked at the photo, I too was amazed.

Then later in the week, I walked with Paige and the sunshine of the early part of the week was being pushed out by a gray wind.

The effort it took to get a good photo of us — what with the gray skies rolling in and the gray waters of Puget Sound — was a mighty feat. Coupled with the fact that Paige rarely looks a the camera because she’s always watching for something else to scurry by, I was surprised to find photos of Paige staring right into the camera.

“I know how to behave,” Paige informed me, “I just make the choice not to.”

There are many reasons why I love Paige, but her spunk and boldness are only matched by her sweetness and ability to tell an amazingly funny joke.

Oh and we make a great team — she scents out the squirrels and I use my keen eyesight. Let me tell you, not a single squirrel goes unnoticed on our walks!

Going from beautiful light to gray skies (which later opened up into a full-fledged rainstorm that we luckily avoided!) as well as capturing the beauty of Paige in the camera was only matched by Roux (who we walked the next day) actually staying in place for photographs.

With Roux you get about 10 seconds to take a picture. I’ve learned, as I’ve explained before, that the quicker you behave, the quicker you get your treat and we can be on our way. Roux has yet to fully embrace this fact. But lo and behold, she sat on the picnic table with me for a good 30 seconds…

…and then she was off…sniffing the ground and misbehaving.

Oh Roux! Luckily she comes when called…well, eventually she comes.

We walked Monty twice this week (as usual) and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was the wonder of our time together then Gretchen said, “You two have been friends now for almost five years Rubin! Imagine!”

And yep, that’s when I realized that sometimes wonder isn’t captured in a camera. Sometimes wonder is captured in time and there’s not a camera fancy enough to hold every moment of five years as well as what I hold in my heart for Monty…heck, for all my friends and family.

But sometimes…sometimes when you least expect it a partridge lands in your view and “snap” you realize all the wonders of the world are right in front of you.

Have a great weekend (enjoy that extra hour!)


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