During Fair Week, and again last weekend, we were caring for Olive and Angus while Girl was busy with her other loves, the Riverview Clydesdales.
If I want to survive the day with the “kids” with minimal destruction of property, and without noisy wrestling, and disturbance to the Grand Dame, Daisie, a long walk is necessary.
And it usually seems plenty long, even though the distance is only a mile.
In the morning, Olive and Angus observe intently anytime I make a move toward the back door. If this move is accompanied by putting on shoes, and handling leashes, Wild Celebrations of Joy break out.
These wild celebrations involve a bunch of loud fighting, growling and biting between the kids. Daisie braces herself for the requisite Body Slam of Joy that she receives from Olive. “We’re going for a WALK!!!!! A WALK!!!! It’s the BEST DAY OF OUR LIVES!!!” Undoubtedly, it will again be the worst day of their lives as soon as we are done walking.
As soon as I load my pocket with treats – the sign of imminent departure – Olive and Angus are standing, noses to the door, staring as if they can open it by mind power. Daisie is looking at me with pleading eyes, “Do they HAVE TO COME?”
I double check that the leashes are securely fastened because as soon as the door cracks, they are out like a shot. Daisie gives one last pleading look, and then heads out, steering wide of the wrestling, growling, barking, jumping mass of black & white bodies that is ahead of us.
In spite of their gyrations, they are pulling me along. I barely get the door closed, and we are on our way.
It’s a sunny morning, and warm. Olive always huffs because she is at the end of her leash, with tension, and I presume her breathing is constricted. She’s on a walk; she’ll breathe later. However, by the time we get to the back of our field, she drags me to the shade and cool dirt of the neighbor’s field. Pig flop! – She calls a cool-down break, and stretches out. We are not going anywhere until she’s ready.
Finally after some encouraging pokes, Olive decides she can continue. We resume progress and then both Olive & Angus spy a pile of coyote poo. Excitement!! Unfortunately, they take opposite directions to investigate, and suddenly, I am not going anywhere, and trying to stay upright.
Daisie wisely watches from a distance – for much of the walk.
I untangle myself and we carry on. Soon we are at the wondrous Rabbit Condos, large piles of posts that are inhabited by the cute critters. Immediate sniffing consultations ensue…
…until Daisie is sighted doing some sniffing of her own. A rapid change of direction and they join her for further investigation.
We’re halfway through our walk, and Angus starts to lose focus. Olive is doggedly (pardon the pun!) pulling forward and Angus is wandering to and fro…and sometimes backwards. He has earned the nickname WrongWay Angus because we must say it so often…
And then, JACKPOT!, he finds a dried up pile of raspberry sort outs…A cache of delicious fruit leather, in his opinion…And he tries to eat as much as he can before we drag him away.
By this time, Olive is hot again, and she drags us to the shade, and does her pig flop into the long cool grass…It’s time out again.
Angus and Daisie find some late, low growing fruit and help themselves to a snack while we wait for Olive to regain the will to go on.
We march on, and finally arrive back at the house. Then comes End of Walk Rituals:
Angus checks for blueberries.
Olive pig flops in the wet grass.
Everyone gets a drink.
Daisie refuses to come in the house “with those two”, and goes to her hideout.
Olive and Angus wait impatiently for After-Walk-Treats.
Olive turns around to crunch hers down in privacy. Angus swallows his whole, and asks for another one…"Please, Gram, can I have sum mo'?" Sorry, no, Angus...
After all this adventure, they are content for approximately 15 minutes. Then, they realize their lives are crap! They don’t want to be inside! The demands to go outside escalate, and when refused repeatedly, (MUST.STAY.STRONG.) they finally nap for about an hour…As long as I lay down on the couch and be their cushion.
You probably think I’m whipped, but, I tell you, that is not so. I’m really just being prudent…’cause you can’t believe what these two can do when they are not worn down, or catered to…It’s not pretty.
Being a dog grandma is a lot of work.
But what can I say…They love me for it!
And I like being loved...and I'm prudent...really...