April 25th 2009 9:00 pm
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I know how to get her attention. All I have to say is, "Do you want to go see the fish?", and she is on full alert. Except for the vibrating tail, she is motionless, head cocked to one side, ears perked straight up, eyes boring into mine. Did she hear right? Had she heard the majic word: fish? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. She is practically at the door and in the car before I can gather up her leash and my purse.
"Load up." I direct her into the car. She's jumped into the back seat and is in her MuttHutt in 5 seconds flat. I zip her in, and we're off.
We are off for Lizzie's special treat: a trip to PetsMart to peruse the fish tanks. She knows exactly where to go as soon as we enter the store. She veers directly to the left and stops infront of the tanks. There are several feet of aquariums lining two walls. Her favorites are in the corner. The fish are bigger and are easier to see. As much as this little dog dislikes being picked up, she stands waiting, looking over her shoulder and raising herself up a bit on her back feet so that I can reach easily under her, scoop her up, and hold her at the right height for ideal viewing. She's gained just enough weight to make my arms ache, and after the first few minutes I have to crouch with her balanced on my thighs. We'll look at the bottom row of tanks for awhile. She's mesmerized, mouth open, ears pricked forward. I pick her back up and we walk down the whole lengh of the row of tanks. She can barely contain herself. I can feel the tauntness in her little body. Her eyes are fixated on the motion of the fish in front of her.
I decide we need to shop for some doggie treats, so I put her down and we cross the store to find Greenies and Liver Treats. She smells the bags. She knows I'm shopping for her and she wags her tail, but her patience doesn't last. Not a dog to pull on the leash, she can't help herself and she turns us back to the fish section of the store. This is her special outing, so I humor her and pick her up again. Gotta stock up on low-calorie dog food, either that or start lifting weights, my arms are practically cramping as I hold her up.
August 2nd 2008 10:54 am
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I swear my dog is telepathic. Seriously. This dog can transmit her feelings like waves crashing against a shoreline. Lying on the floor, head between paws, eyes huge and intense, she stares at me. Before I am even aware that she has plopped herself down in ‘transmit mode’, I feel her presence. She directs the full measure of her craving-of-the-moment in my direction; her transmission ricochets off and then boomerangs back. She can not, will not, be ignored. I pull my eyes away from my book. “What now?” “Are you bored, AGAIN?” “Bloody Hell dog!”. “Stop staring at me!” Yes, we’ve hit the dog days of summer. How does one find ways to amuse a house-bound canine in the heat and humidity of an Arizona late summer.
The sidewalks simmer and there is close to no shade. The pavement is at least 25 degrees hotter than the air temperatures, and Lizzie's little tummy is less than six inches from the ground. Going for a walk in plus 100-degree temps is more than uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. And since 5:00am--the perfect time to be out and about-- is simply not acknowledged by my brain as a reasonable time for humans to be out of bed, Lizzie and I are relegated to either playing games indoors, or waiting until sundown to walk to the park to join our other heat-dazed, dog-owning neighbors for a bit of doggie meet&greet play time.
But, 7:00pm is a long way off. So, in my desperation to read a book in peace, I drew on my childhood for inspiration. Remember when your Mum used to let you build summer tents in the house made out of sheets and blankets draped over and attached to dining chairs and tables? Remember the efforts made to stave off childish boredom from being stuck indoors because of summer rainstorms or miserable humidity and mosquitoes? Well, keeping that in mind, picture mt house right now: A doggie amusement park. We have an agility tunnel running under and around the dining-room table, and a agility table (for a "go table", "down&wait") off to one side. An easy-to-put-up jump rests against a wall. The rest of the canine amusement-park mess -- the toys, bones, the crate, touch stick, the bags of training treats, and a bench placed infront of a window for her viewing pleasure -- "decorates" the rest of the house. Now that I think about it, being a dog around here just isn't so bad. And.. before I forget... we started a "tricks" class two nights ago !! No matter what we do or don't learn, it's something to do indoors (at PetsMart, her favorite place), and the homework assigments should keep her entertained and maybe, if I get really lucky, might tire out her busy brain ! Her nap time = my reading time! Just like having a toddler again.