Summer Dog


Our dog is far more of a cold weather dog than a warm weather one. It’s mostly his thick black coat. In cold weather, when there is snow on the ground, he enjoys bouncing through the snow, sniffing footprints and sneezing, and running crazily around us when we try to walk him.

In summer weather, like we’ve been having, he’s much more likely to sneak down to our basement garage, and lie on the cold hard concrete floor and go to sleep. He still enjoys his walks, but they take a lot more out of him. The part he likes back is either finding a puddle (there are a lot of them at the moment, we’ve had a lot of rain), or being taken down to the creek, where he can climb into the water, and lie down and get cool.

Usually, when I take him down to the creek, I get annoyed by the mosquitos, but they don’t seem to bother him. That coat of his is probably good for something besides keeping warm.

When the dog does stay up with us to sleep, he is far more likely to be sleeping on his back, to cool off his belly, than curled up in a little ball, like he does when it’s cold out. This, of course, invites belly rubbing, which he also loves. Usually. Sometimes he just gets up and wanders away when we try. Most of the time, though, he just lies there with an idyllic expression on his face (similar, but not identical to an idiotic expression on his face), and lets us rub until we get tired and walk away. Then he looks at us reproachfully. Sometimes that brings us back, sometimes not.


Fun walking the dog


Friday was Jonathan’s work from home day, but our internet connection, when it worked at all, was as slow as molasses in January. I believe I reposted Jonathan’s blog about that.

At least we had a better response from our internet provider from that than we did back in July, when they kept trying to convince us that it was our modem at fault, rather than their tower. (Though, to be fair, then we had an excellent signal, it just wasn’t connecting to anything.)

So, we had planned to go out to Panera that morning, so Jonathan could get more of his work done. But first, I took the dog for his good long walk, and Jonathan was planning on going down to the church to practice the organ, and then we’d go out afterwards.

So, I was surprised to see our car drive into the church parking lot as Rocky and I were walking by it. I had thought that Jonathan’d walk down, and back, to practice the organ. He waved, and started walking toward me, and I headed toward him.

Rocky was quite confused, as usually we walk around the edge of the parking lot, by the grass, rather than cutting across the asphalt, and he resisted that change a little.

It took him a few moments to realize that someone was coming toward us, and it was funny watching him gradually realizing that the person was my husband, and getting all happily excited. I know that the dog doesn’t see as well as we do (and rather assumes that we only see as well as he does), but I would have thought he’d recognize the scent sooner, especially since the wind was blowing toward us, from behind Jonathan. Still, though, it’s always fun seeing the dog do his happy/fun dance.

Turns out that shortly before (while Jonathan was getting ready to head down to the church, one of the construction guys had knocked on our door, and told him they’d be working on our driveway, and if we didn’t take the car out in the next 15 minutes, we’d be stuck there until after 3. (I think he was exaggerating, but that’s beside the point.) So, Jonathan took the car out.

Rocky was also excited when we walked by the car, which I think he recognized sooner than he had my husband, and jumped up on it, and looked in the window.

He wasn’t too happy when I tried to get him to go home after that. I think the problem was more that we were leaving the car behind us there rather than that we were leaving Jonathan. After all, if the car was there, it must mean we were going somewhere fun, right?

He also wasn’t happy when we got to the house, and had to cross the driveway pretty close to the guy who was using a circular saw on it. He never likes the construction equipment anyway, it makes too much noise.

Then, when we were in the house, they started using a backhoe to break up the driveway a bit more, and he kept looking at me for reassurances for that. Though by the time I left, an hour later, he had gone to sleep, so he could at least get used to the noise.

Water Main Replacement Update


Since Rocky is currently on “restricted activity”, we aren’t taking as long of walks as we were before, so we’re seeing less of the digging and pipe placement as we were before the Christmas break.

However, everything I do see makes me think it won’t be long before they do switch over the pipes.

Several times I’ve driven by someplace where the old and new hydrants are near to each other, and have seen them connected to each other with a fire hose. I’ve also seen water pouring out of various hydrants as workers stood around and watched. Other times, I saw water pouring out of a small wooden box. Both make me think that they’ve been doing pressure tests or leak tests on the new pipes. The new hydrants no longer have the white plate under the side nozzle, which I assumed was meant for any fire fighters to know it wasn’t a working hydrant. Which makes me hope the hydrants are actually working now.

Also, they’ve been digging up spots on the streets where they’ve previously laid the pipe. I’m guessing that they’re doing the final connections, and getting rid of the PVC pipes that they were using as markers (the ones that were still there, and hadn’t been knocked down or otherwise gotten rid of).

Recently I figured out that the construction equipment and pipes I saw in a fenced vacant lot near us was related to the water main replacement. I should have figured it out earlier, of course, but I hardly looked at it when we drove or walked by. It wasn’t until I realized that the six-foot orange pipes I saw lying horizontally had black caps at one end that I knew I was looking at fire hydrants, and then made sense of the rest of it.

If they are going through and connecting the houses to the pipes, then they probably will reach our street today or tomorrow.

I’ll let you know.

Wintry Weather (Again)



We have a winter weather advisory today, and partway through tomorrow. So far, we’ve just had rain, though. Cold, icy, wet rain.

It started this morning, while I was walking the dog. I was going to be cutting the walk short before the rain started, I was hoping to get back inside before it got too bad.

It wasn’t really that cold out, but cold enough that it started freezing on various surfaces, and I started slipping. I didn’t fall, fortunately, but I was trying to go slow and be careful. The dog didn’t help any, he just wanted to pull me on. (If I were trying to go fast, he would have wanted to stop at every blade of grass and mailbox for a smelling session. Go figure.) This was on the north slope of a hill, going down, of course. I hate going downhill if there is any sort of slickness at all. A lady on the other side of the street came out with her trash, and put it by the side of the road, and then slipped and fell. If I hadn’t had Rocky, I would have gone to help, rather than just asking if she was all right (she was). But I’ve seen how Rocky tries to ‘help’ someone who’s fallen. He tries to encourage them to get up by first jumping on them, then grabbing an arm and pulling on it. At least he did a couple of years ago. Haven’t had much opportunity to see if he’s figured out any better method since then. I did keep an eye on the lady until she was up, and got into her car.

The water construction guys were working even in this weather.

Some places were slicker than others. I noticed that the slickest spots seemed to be within a couple of feet of places where the previous snow hadn’t been completely cleared off. I think that must have been connected somehow. The church parking lot was just glazed ice. As was our driveway, and front steps. But we got home all right.

Rocky looked completely bedraggled when we got in. Until he shook himself off, of course. Then he just looked fluffier than usual. There were ice-crystals in his tail fur before we came in. His tail is so fluffy, though, I don’t think the ice came anywhere close to his skin.

Oddly enough, he didn’t need me to “Grrr” at him this morning. After he got his customary cookie, he just found a comfortable spot to lie down, and went to sleep. I think it’s because he knows there’s a storm coming.

Taking the dog biking


On the weekends, my husband tends to go bike riding with the dog. That’s what we call it. He rides his bicycle, and Rocky runs along beside him.

The dog really likes this. He doesn’t get much opportunity to run during the rest of the week. I take him on long walks, from which I come back tired, and he comes back energized, but I don’t run for him. But every time we come across a bicycle while we’re walking (which isn’t really that often), Rocky gets excited.

Jonathan and the dog had a few tumbles on the bike when they started, but once Rocky figured out some basic rules for biking, those incidents went way down.

But these past couple of weeks, they’ve been getting them again.

First, a couple of weeks ago, something decided to cross the road right behind them. Jonathan has no idea what it was, he just heard the leaves rustle. Why it didn’t just continue to hide until they were both further away, we have no idea. But whatever it was, Rocky decided it had to be chased, and went back after it, while Jonathan and the bike kept going forward. Rocky was fine, but Jonathan got some scrapes and bruises, and pulled his wrist.

By the next weekend, Jonathan had basically recovered, so he tried going out with the dog again. This time, Rocky took off running after something while Jonathan had the leash looped between his fingers on the other hand (not the one he had hurt the week before), and it pulled his fingers apart painfully.

Now the back of Jonathan’s hand is swollen, while the palm is bruised purple. He’s wearing a support on that hand, and the other wrist, until the bruising goes down.

I’ve suggested that they don’t do the bicycle thing again until spring.

Walking the Dog, and DST


As I was walking Rocky the other morning, we passed the yard of another dog, who frequently gets out and bothers us. I watched as he ran through his gate, and came and barked at us. The dogs sniffed at each other suspiciously for a moment, then the other dog’s owner came out and yelled at him to get back in the yard. Unlike Rocky, that dog was obedient enough to run in through the gate. But then he ran quickly to the corner of the yard, and slipped through the corner of the fence, between two closely placed fence posts, as quickly and slickly as if there weren’t any fence there at all, and came back and barked at us again. The lady yelled at him again, and he went back through the gate, and out between the fence posts. This happened two or three times, the dogs obviously enjoying it thoroughly, before the other dog gave up, and followed the lady back up the stairs into the house.

In other news, the time changes this weekend, so I need to make sure to run out and get batteries for the fire alarms. I think we tend to forget half the time.

I’m not all that fond of time changes, though I’m not as adamant against them as some people. I am glad, however, that if they’re going to have it, they changed the starting date for it from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November. It makes a lot more sense for it to happen after Halloween, when so many kids are out trick or treating, then have it happen right before it, and have people still getting used to dark coming so early in the evening.

Rocky, I’m sure, will adjust to the time change just fine, though it may take him a few days to get used to the idea that we’re getting up an hour later, and so taking him out for his first morning walk an hour later. Dogs can usually adjust pretty quickly to whatever crazy nonsense their people get up to.

Spring Snow, and Non-Escaping Dog


Funny, last week, it was so warm we had all the windows open and were wearing shorts. Now, as soon as the weekend came, it turned cold, and even snowed. It snowed all afternoon yesterday, and didn’t stop until sometime late last night. Of course, for most of the afternoon, it didn’t stick at all, just turned everything wet and yucky. Overnight, it did start to stick though. Just enough to cover the grass and the tree-branches. Not enough to actually stick to the roads or driveways. The snow was still there when we got up, and when I took the dog out, but it didn’t stay around much longer. Pretty much as soon as the sun hit it, it was gone. Fortunately.

I’m from Michigan, so I’m used to having nice weather, then snow again the first week of spring. But even there, we didn’t usually get shorts weather before hand.

I think it’s now been several months since the dog escaped. Which means that we’ve gotten considerably better at keeping ahold of him, rather than that he’s reformed at all. I can tell that he’s still longing to race around the park all day, chasing squirrels and cats and whatever else he’d find, and coming home filthy, soaked, and tired. Then, of course, he’d have to go through the horrors of a bath (why does he like playing in the water so much and hate baths?), and spend the next day or two barely able to move with his sore muscles. Of course, delayed consequences don’t discourage him much at all. Even that bad cut on his foot last spring, and the six weeks wearing the cone of shame and hardly being let out of the house didn’t discourage him, either. That was hard work keeping him cooped up like that. The first week or so was easy, since he didn’t feel like moving, but after that he felt better, and was back to his bouncy self, and couldn’t understand why we weren’t taking him for any walks other than right around the house, and just long enough to do his business.