Wednesday, March 12, 2008


We went to the Kennel Club property today. All nine dogs and I. Usually, I take the three youngsters, Sam I Am, Swede William and Lindy Loo, and the object of the trip is to run. And run and run. I throw toys and encourage zoomies and throw more toys. And if I do take more than three dogs, I only put them out in groups of two or three at a time, to avoid high speed collisions or disagreements.

It was beautiful today. I don't mean nice, I mean if today were a food it would be home grown fresh gigantic strawberries dipped in Godiva chocolate, chilled, and with the juice running down your chin. Sixties. Warm sweet sunshine. Light blessed breeze.

I took them all.

I tossed their regular toys in the fenced area, and I set up my dog show folding chair and plopped my camera on it. I filled a bucket with water and clipped it to the fence. I had thought about bringing my book, but decided against it. I would just sit and watch my dogs.

I brought them all out of the van and into the yard. It was a little bit gutsy of me. If someone had started mad zoomies, disaster might have ensued. For once in my life, I didn't dwell on the worst case scenario; I sat in my dog show folding chair and I enjoyed the day. I enjoyed the dogs.

There were some mini zoomies, but Madame Fun Police Delia said, "Oh, I think not! Not on my watch." She wouldn't bother Sam, or Fat Charlie or Luciano. She was intent on keeping the young 'uns, William and Lindy Loo in line. Very Old Dog and Maria appreciated this. They walked and trotted around the perimeter with their noses in the grass, stopping to press their nostrils down into the dirt after a scratch to release the fresh scent. They don't see so well, and their hearing is diminished, but those noses are just fine. The smells of exquisite earth and spring roots must have taken those two old dogs right back to their grand glory days.

Mama Pajama was one of the finest running whippets in the country. That little dog was fearless, focused, and flat out fast. But since her illness, she has not enjoyed being in any situation which could involve being accidentally crashed into. When I've brought her to the Kennel Club property before, she would wait anxiously at the gate to go back in the van. It would take much coaxing to get her to play, and then only if she were alone in the fenced area. But today, maybe since zoomies were at a minimum, or perhaps because I was sitting in a chair instead of hurling toys like a pitching machine gone spastic, Mama Pajama enjoyed herself. She too sniffed and snuffled along the entire fence line, sometimes lifting her lovely head as high as she could, savoring some airborne aroma floating by.

We had no agenda. After a while, Mama Pajama, who is usually off by herself in the house, climbed up in my lap and settled there. Very Old Dog, who is perpetually, trippably* glued to me at home, wandered the far reaches of the enclosure, never giving my whereabouts a first thought, much less a second. Maria roached and rolled, and then her daughter Delia and great granddaughter Lindy Loo plopped down and copy-catted, for a roach-a-rama threesome. Swede William and Lindy Loo would grab a toy and do mini zoomies, avoiding Delia, only to have special Luciano swoop down and steal the toy right from their mouths. He'd smile triumphantly with a mouth full of stuffie, and then lose interest and drop it.

Fat Charlie ran and played and grinned at me and then flattened himself in homage to his God, the sun. He let his dear sister Mama Pajama hump him in high spirits. She only does it for a couple of seconds, and only when she's exceedingly happy, and only to him. He played a little with the young 'uns, and chased Sammy for a bit. But mostly he laid his angelic self down, right near my chair, and smiled his pleasure.

And dear Sam I Am. He had worked hard the last two days. At the hospital, at the women's shelter, and even at the Public Radio station, where he helped with the Spring fund raising. He was never without a squeaky toy in his mouth. He sopped up the ablutionary rays of that glorious southern sun and filled his lungs with cleansing country air. He relaxed. So did I.

Hug your hounds.

*I made that word up, but I like it.


  1. What a wonderful way to spend your time.

  2. What lovely photos! You all look so happy. Mummy wishes sometimes there be enclosed places to exercise here in England, cos big Harry had never been off lead before he came to live here, and he can be selectively deaf!

    Cassidy x

  3. What a PERFECT day! We loved your photo album!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  4. Ha, it just don't get any better than that..

  5. In Michigan we are still a few weeks away from this. Your pictures hold out the promise for all of us in the north. Enjoy!

  6. That sounds like a wonderful day! I love seeing them all enjoying themselves and wish for dry spring weather!

    Ane & the WriggleButts

  7. What a glowious day!! all of you look so happy and so vewy vewy bootiful!
    That fened awea is so can all be safe and wun like the wind..
    I love heawing about youw gwaceful lives
    smoochie kisses,Asta

  8. Oh that sounds so glorious. I love days when the weather is like that, where it has a real feel to it, like you could literally drink it up.

    And for what it's worth, that sounds like pure bliss! I can't think of any better way to enjoy a good day.

  9. Ahhh, it looks like more green grass in your area than mine. What a wonderful day.

  10. Lovely pictures. Sounds like a great time.

  11. Hmm...if your day was a strawberry...ours was um....pan fried bass over an open fire with hash was was fun...we post pix on our blog too...

    Patience, ur writing is so...real. We were there with you. A spastic pitching machine??? Absolutely.

    Thanks for sharing your day!!

    Lacie and Mumsie

  12. Sure it was a fun day with all the kids playing there!
    Sunny day! I want those days here!
    Kisses and hugs

  13. Mom can barely handle taking the two of us somewhere on her own!! Looks like a great day for all of you!

  14. lovely lot! our two have been on lead walks only this week so they are looking forward to a good run this weekend!

  15. I like "trippably" too...and I especially liked the way you described a beautiful day in the way of food.

    Kissies to the nimble nine!

  16. What a great way to spend a spring day! There's nothing better than spending time with your lovely fur-kids!

    Poppy, Penny & Pockets

  17. Hey Patience,

    My name is Arabella, I live in Louisville-I've been by your blog before and I would've commented but I'm lazy and been having some internet problems.

    Anyway I'm in a bit of a rush but wanted to stop by before another month had gone by - mom snapped this photo of a rather familiar painting hanging at her's work (put it on my blog Made me happy to see all that artwork from the place you blog about.

    Puppy Licks
    Be back soon,


  18. Hi Kids
    I meant to tell you how much I always love Delia's's so nice to have such a wondewfully talented Dad
    I'm having a pawsome time in's so gween and bootiful, especially aftew all the gwey of this wintew in NY
    smoochie kisses,Asta
    (special kissies to Sammy)

  19. and the Canine Kids said,
    What a beautiful way to spend the day and thanks for sharing your observations of your time with your hounds. It was beautiful to read.

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this joyful outing with all of us Patience. It's like the dogs have spring fever as well. Everyone just enjoying the moment and all you had to do was sit back and capture the best shots for your readers.

  21. Sounds like a very splendid day!

    Peace + Paws,

    The Zoo Crew


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