Monday, January 25, 2010

The SPIT Command

I just gotta tell the story about how my dog cannot hold the ball in his mouth and sit at the same time when waiting at the door to go out.

Sunny is ball crazy but not completely obsessed so I don't have to hide the balls when we aren't playing. Therefore, there might be half a dozen tennis balls laying around the living room floor at any given time.

Sometimes when it is time to go out for a walk (or a "quick pee" depending on the weather), he decides he wants it to be an outside ball game, so he grabs up a ball and gets a little hyper.

Our normal winter routine at the door consists of me putting on a coat, shoes, gloves and sunglasses, and then asking him to get his leash. If he doesn't have ball on the brain, he will pick up his leash and hand it to me, and then sit for me to clip it to his collar.

If he does have ball on the brain, forget the leash trick. I have to bend over and pick up the leash. Then I have to ask him to sit, at which point the ball comes flying out of his mouth. He chases it around, accidentally kicks it a few times, but eventually returns to the doorway with it in his mouth.

"Sunny, Sit". Butt goes down, ball goes flying out of the mouth. And around and around we go. I suddenly realized today that he was executing the "spit" command right on cue!

Eventually I get him to leave the ball where it lands and sit for the leashing up, but he keeps his eye on the ball, fuzzy forehead all wrinkled up with intense focus.

As soon as the door is open and the "Let's go" command is given, he pops off his butt and, almost in one motion, picks up the ball and runs out the door. I will have to see if I can capture this on a short video clip on my new cellular communication and recording device (CCRD).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Funny Smart Boy

Sitting at my table working yesterday, I heard a ruckus behind me. The dog was folding his bed in half so he could have a pillow! Now how did he learn how to do that.

And in the car today driving to the vet he was sitting in the back seat and decided he wanted to come up front. He got his front half over the center console and onto the passenger seat, but with his back legs all the way on the floor of the rear seat, he couldn't get them over. So he hung out half and half for the last mile of our trip.

Then when he realized he would have to get back to the back in order to get out (he wouldn't have bothered if he'd known what was coming up at the vet appointment) he didn't just spin around and tangle himself all up in a knot like a dog might have done. Nooooo. This smart cookie got his front feet on the center console and then reached up with his left "arm" (he used it so much like an arm I have to go with that word) and placed it on the top of the driver's seat so he could push himself up with it, just like a person would do. Then he very deliberately stepped backwards with his rear legs, one at a time, to get them up on the back seat. From there it was an easy maneuver to bring the front half along onto the back seat where everything belonged. I watched the whole process in awe of how he figured out how to do that.

And he knows how to send e-mails too! When I was gone last week, I received this nice message from him:

Hey Mom

Aunt Deb helped me to write an email to let you know how I'm doing.
I'm having a lot of fun! I love being around Blue and Bree. Blue and I share the bone, and we always play nice.
I have been staying with Jim at night, cause he needs the company. He misses his dog Taylor, I like to spend time curled up next to him and lay my head on his leg. I think that makes him feel better. It helps me too, because I miss you. Deb comes and gives me hugs when she sees me staring out the door, cause she knows that I'm looking for you. She told me that you will be coming back really soon, which always makes me feel better, so then I know I can go play with Blue. I don't understand why they won't let me play with the ball! That isn't any fun at all. I did get to see the monkey that Blue got for Christmas tonight, but the monkey had to go away when we got too wild with him.
Anyway, I have to go and curl up to sleep. I can't wait to see you!!

Love you mom,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crying over Missing the Picture of Spilled Milk

It was such complete destruction. T'would have made an excellent 1/1/10 blog posting. T'would have read something like this:

The morning of 01/01/10, 8 hours into the new year, new decade. Haven't even eaten my breakfast yet. Working in the kitchen, I hear a ruckus, followed too quickly by the crash to have stopped it in time. Quick glance into the other room. Sigh - this is not going to be a good year.

Use your imagination to construct the after picture.

I'll help you get started. The table is flipped on its side. The plant is upside down. The large pot (my favorite) is shattered. The dirt is all over the carpet.

And there's a confused dog sitting nearby. (Don't worry - no animals were harmed in making this episode.)

A pessimist would say this is a bad omen, it's gonna be a bad year. An optimist would say the year can only get better from here.

I'll choose to be the optimist.

And now it is time to stop kicking myself for not taking the picture before cleaning up the mess and slicing my finger on a sharp edge. Time to get on with the new year, new decade. At least I have gotten my annual vacuuming chore out of the way - once a year, if it needs it or not!