Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Addie Meets a Llama

We are visiting some friends in Washington, and Addie is having a wonderful time!  Of particular interest to her are the blackberries, which she eats enthusiastically, and their three llamas; Wally, Ollie and Dolly.  She is oh so curious about those llamas, and they seem not even aware of her existence.  I was worried about her getting in their pasture and annoying them, but my friend Gary said not to worry.  "Those llamas can totally take care of themselves," he told me.  "Really?  You sure?" I asked.  "Believe me, they'll be fine."  So I didn't call her back to me and watched her slip under the fence.  A bound or two and a stop and sniff... a crouched creep a little closer and a stop and sniff.  The llama paid no attention.  A long stare and a creep a little closer, then she laid down and sniffed and stared.  A long time.  The llama moved and she darted back a little.  And so it went... no actual contact.  I got tired of it and called her back.  She wasn't really wanting to do that and it took quite a bit of coaxing to get her to crawl back under the fence.  All that day and the next she spent quite a bit of time peering down at them from the porch balcony, watching.

On our third day here, the husbands went out into the pasture to pick blackberries, and they took Addie with them without a leash.  Being the overprotective mom I am, I protested a little.  "You'll keep an eye on her?  Really watch her?  Are you sure you should take her?"  My husband rolled his eyes. "She'll be FINE!" he insisted.  Now my husband, Woody, is way more liberal with her than I am.  He lets her off the leash and trusts her in unfenced places, and he's always telling me "she's fine!" and that I am being ridiculous, etc. And so far nothing bad has happened to her, but I'm just not that trusting.  She could get into trouble so quickly!  Anyway, I watched them disappear down the hill and went inside.  Pretty soon I heard them talking and laughing and they came back with the berries... and Addie. Of course.

Well, apparently Addie helped them pick and eat blackberries, and then she sneaked off to check out the llamas.  They didn't see her, but heard a loud "Yipe! Yipe!" and Addie came running back to them.  The men were having a big chuckle over how the llama must have put her in her place.

So this morning, I went with Addie outside without the leash with new found confidence.  "She'll be fine..." I thought.  A llama was close by the fence and Addie fixated on him (I think it was Wally).  There are plenty of places for her to get under the fence, but I wasn't worried.  I stepped back in the house and told Woody she was out there checking out the llamas.  "No!" he exclaimed. "Don't let her go out there!  Those llamas can kill her!  One swift kick and its over, she'd be dead!  Bring her back in here!" 

Go figure!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Hose

Addie totally loves the hose.  She is more thrilled about the hose than anything.  It commands her full attention and she chases it, bites at it, leaps at it and never takes her eyes off it.  Once that hose is on, I can't even get her attention with a treat! Nothing else exists except that stream of water coming out of the hose.  She gets soaking wet, and usually muddy, and she'll run in circles for a ridiculous amount of time chasing the water if I make it go in a circle.  I can blast her full on, and she just shakes it off and goes for more.  Sometimes she jumps so high at the water that she almost does back flips!

I have to admit that at first this whole hose deal made me quite grumpy.  My morning ritual watering was not going as usual, and it was taking a lot longer. She leaps on my plants, gets all muddy wet and muddy, leaps on me... whatever she can do to get at that water streaming out.  But it didn't take long for me to appreciate this new little ritual and now we have so much fun with it!  I told my husband all about our morning playtime with the hose, but I guess he wasn't listening.  Yesterday he washed his car and took her out with him while I was out.  When I got home he was so excited!  "You should see Addie with the hose!" he says.  "She goes absolutely crazy!  I was blasting her and she just loved it!"  Sigh...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Addie Meets a Cat

Our friends have a beautiful cat named Freya.  She is an Abyssinian, and is a redwood color with ticking and has a soft, rich apricot belly, and she is all cat.  She's sleek, alert, confident, finicky, and aloof.  Usually when we are at their house, Freya is discreetly hidden away somewhere napping.  When she does come out, it is very briefly and she pays no attention to us, and she usually only comes out for a little snack at her kitty bowl or a drink. 

The idea was to introduce her to Addie.  We were all pretty sure what the result would be and took precautions to make sure that Freya was safe.  The scenario we expected was Addie bounding up to her in clumsy curiosity, maybe attempting to chase her, and Freya, horrified, wanting to get as far away as possible.  Addie is very friendly with other dogs and with people.  So we were pretty surprised when it didn't quite play out the way we imagined...  Addie was scared!  And Freya was not!  Freya was curious and Addie cowered and tried to get away and hide.  She just didn't know what to make of a cat!  Freya knew she had the upper hand and was thoroughly enjoying it.  She stayed out with us the entire rest of the evening, sliding in and out of the furniture and watching Addie.  I'm pretty sure that if Freya had run, Addie would have chased her.  But Freya didn't run, and Addie never got up the nerve to get close.  We all supposed that if they spent a few days together, they might even play together!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Toy Wars

At my house, there are two kinds of toys; Addie's toys, and Oliver's toys.  Oliver is my 9 month old grandson whom I take care of Monday and Tuesday mornings, and all day Friday.  He's a wonderful little boy (of course!) and I love having him.  He's pretty much always happy, or you can easily make him happy, and his laugh makes the world a better place.  Oliver respects Addie's toys, well, he isn't crawling or walking yet so I guess that's not really a fair statement.  But Addie definitely doesn't respect Oliver's toys.  In fact, she finds them particularly more interesting and obviously more challenging (to get anyway!).  And she seems to have much more fun with them.  She isn't allowed to run free in the house, but somehow she sneaks in sometimes and runs straight for his toys.  Convincing her that her toys are the appropriate play things isn't easy.  She is clearly baffled when I try to make the case that her toys are much better.  Oliver's toys stay neatly in his play corner.  Addie's toys are all over the place.  Oliver is entertained by his toys for a quite a while.  Addie is done with her toys very quickly and immediately starts looking for something new.  Oliver will share his toys.  Addie will not.

There is one particular toy that gets a lot of attention.  It's a roly poly stuffed toy with a silly cow face and it has some mechanism inside that makes a "boing" sound when its bumped.  I bought it for Oliver before I got Addie, and I've been waiting for Oliver to get old enough to appreciate it and understand how to make it make noise.  That happened a week or so ago and Oliver thinks its pretty cool and beats the floor with it to make it go "boing."  I was very pleased.  Then somehow Addie found it.  Oh what joy!  She thought it was the greatest thing ever!  She ran out to the yard with it and I heard it going "boing, boing, boing, boing, boing, boing"... you get the picture.  By the time I rescued it (I was laughing so hard it took awhile), it was slobbery and filthy.  She was very disappointed when I took it away, and her little quizzical expression was heartbreaking; "why can't I have that wonderful thing?"  I was able to clean it up, but the question is... who shall I give it to?  Who will appreciate it the most?  I really think Addie will, but she'll probably destroy it pretty quickly.  If I give it to Oliver, he'll probably have it for a long time.  Until... Addie finds it again somehow!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


If Addie is cheery, active and wild in the morning, its nothing compared to how she gets late at night.  Right around 10:00 pm her energy rises to a peak and she officially becomes a member of the wild animal kingdom.  There is no calming her down, uh uh.  If you pick her up she wiggles, squirms, bites, snaps, growls, squeals and does everything she can to get away and run, run, run.  She picks up anything and everything in her path; rocks, sticks, hoses, flower pots, flowers, cushions, and runs tail flying, ears flopping, with an unmistakeable grin of pure exuberance, delight and glee.  Then back to you to grab your shoes and bite your feet, pull your pants.  And there is no getting her attention.  You can shout, plead, run away, make loud noises, growl at her, and she is oblivious in her own world of perfect pleasure.  Every night, when we are dog tired and ready for bed, and ready for her to go to bed, she is contrarily expending the last little bit of energy from the day in a furious burst of mischief and terror.  And if I don't let her get all that out, and put her to bed in her crate, she thrashes around in there and she's like a blender dog.  Sigh...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good Morning?

Addie loves the morning. She wakes up bright and cheery, full of energy and eagerness.  I on the other hand have never, ever been a morning person... unless... I have a plane to catch, which always means big fun is happening soon!

When I was in high school, my job was to make lunches for my family in the morning, a dreaded task.  Every morning (except weekends) my dad would oh so cheerfully come in my room, turn on the light and wake me with a lilting greeting.  To this day he is always good natured and pleasant. I didn't appreciate his good humor then, on those mornings, when I was sure I hadn't slept nearly long enough and felt that the task given me at that hour was unjust and cruel.  Although I only remember my feelings at the time, and not my actions, being a teenager and not at all happy about being woken up, I'm pretty sure I probably wasn't very nice to him.  But my dad, who had a long day ahead of him, and not always a pleasant one I'm sure, and had to deal with waking up a grumpy teenager, was always wide awake, happy, bright and cheery, like Addie.  I wonder if he is still like that in the mornings...

So Addie wakes up a terror at first light.  I have to let her out of her crate to pee and she runs, almost flying, everywhere and grabs everything as I chase after her to retrieve socks, toilet paper, rocks, sticks, plants, and anything else she can find, and try to get her to eat her breakfast and play with her own toys, which she has no interest in, either one, whatsoever.  Because getting things that aren't her toys is so much more fun... me chasing her around in exasperation.  Her little face is full of glee and mischief and she is absolutely the cutest... and here I am again, grumpy and resentful, sure I haven't slept nearly long enough and feeling my plight is unjust and cruel.  It'll be like this for a long time I'm sure... sigh... but I so love and appreciate them both, my dad and Addie, and I am so envious of their great enthusiasm, for any kind of day, in the morning.