happy tired dogs

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sugar Beet & Baby Duke in the throngs of round 1

Well that Miss D, she's surprised us all. I had no doubts that Winnie would like Baby Duke 'cause Winnie is a dog's dog. She had an unfortunate beginning in life and was not socialized at all with people. One of those poor dogs, we're quite sure, that lived her life at the end of a short rope or chain, tied outside. She was surrendered to a shelter when she was just shy of a year old. My friend Jean, from this local shelter said she was one of the worst cases of fear that she's ever seen. Her previous name was Princess (Princess Winnie Poo Poo from some speck of an atoll in the South Pacific). Jean asked if I would foster Winnie because she was very concerned that Winnie was so frightened, so freaked out by being at the shelter that she was going down hill at a rapid rate. I picked her up one Saturday morning years ago, Em & Jake welcomed her with open paws and giant retriever hearts and Princess Winnie was flinging teddy bears around and grinning ear to ear that same afternoon. It was Em & Jake, I'm convinced, that made Winnie feel safe and at home here.

She loves the girls that we walk with and now seeks out and requests their love and pats and scratches several times each early morning. But she mistrusts and won't go near anyone else. If I have company (which is a very rare event here at 29 Black Street) she skulks from room to room, from dog bed to dog bed, avoiding even the slightest eye contact with whoever (evil demon) might be here. If those same girls that she loves in the morning arrived at my door she behaves like she doesn't recognize them and insists (by barking her scraggly face off) that they go away now. As far as she's concerned they can't come in her house.

But she loves other dogs. And she sure is sweet on that Baby Duke dog. They have at least three rounds of this flat out running and tumbling and chasing, gnashing and bumping and rolling until their tongues are hanging out and their eyes are sparkling with pure, happy, dog delight each morning.

It's so good for Winnie. It's the best kind of exercise a dog can get. That perfect combination of flat out physical aerobic exercise combined with the incredible mental stimulation of doing something that they love. In this case planning their fancy footwork or their next tricky move. And my Miss D. she's got the moves, she loves to spin and twirl. For my boy Jake, his thrill was endlessly retrieving 2 or 3 (sometimes even 4) sticks, at the same time, from deep water, never ever 1 stick - that was boring Jake loved the multi-stick challenge. Planning his strategy as he swam around collecting his sticks. Which one would he gather first? No question he was put on this earth to retrieve things from water- he loved it so. And our Miss Maggie Sue, well she prefers to retrieve large round rocks, the occasional stick does add a little spice to her morning routine, but her true love is scuba retrieving - plunging her head under water, holding her breath for awe inspiring and (we're sure) record breaking times while using her front paws to gather submerged items, rocks, perfect white clam shells, etc... and she swims lengths back and forth parallel to the shore in between scuba events.

When we arrive home, these recent mornings, Winnie's been skipping sleeping in her dog bed under the teak topped desk and preferring to immediately hop up on my bed or the guest bed where she can completely stretch out and snooze contentedly.

She's a happy tired dog. Smile.

Maggy Sue joins in the play fray, taking a very brief break from her scuba duties


  1. How precious and moving! The pictures say it all! It's sad that so many dogs are left homeless with abused pasts.

    Thank you for the birthday wish yesterday. It meant so much. Overall, I had the best birthday, sick or not..I was surrounded by family and friends last night for a few hours...it felt good.

    Love you much...from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Fun pictures! Ralphy had a favorite playmate a few doors down named Buddy. Brings back sweet memories.

  3. Once again, a beautiful post Susan.I find a quiet comfort in coming here- a walk along the beach.I enjoy the personalities of your dogs. Jake with his multi-stick challenge reminds of those among us (not me) who thrive on multi-tasking and have the go-gettem drive. Winnie reminds me of the terror my girl experienced with child-care,the "please just find me a nice at- home mum" where she relaxed, like Winnie, flying teddy bears around at family day care, and grinning from ear to ear with an understanding adult.The guilt saw me give up paid employment to become that nice at home Mum she needed.God we were poor(husband was studying) but it was worth it!When we see a person or animal struggling for a life-raft, it is a privelege to haul them aboard.These things are never forgotten.

  4. Wonderful photos today. Makes me think of my crew that used to love tousling on the beach, Mutz dragging sticks and rocks up, and he and Dallas running and bowling over little Jake who then would take up the chase.

    So good that you and Winnie hooked up.

  5. There's nothing better for me than watching Edward and Apple play. Edward stands up and bats with his front paws like a polar bear, and Apple gets so excited she eventually has to run lightning-fast figure eights around the entire back garden. Edward will then simply crouch and wait for her to come back around and then he'll pounce. Of course on rainy or roasting hot days they do this inside, which is quite the experience. More than once, I've flattened myself against a wall, cup of coffee in hand, as they fly by. It's so good for their well-being. And for mine!

    We are renting a cottage at the sea in October and taking them with us. I can't wait to see them there. Edward loves the beach more than anything. Not the water, you understand, just the windy beach!

    Happy day to you!

  6. Oh the high speed figure eights, big swoon ! and how every dog lover knows and loves those eights and Pamela I can just picture you flattened against a wall in your house grinning from ear to ear as the chase goes by. My girl's sleeping soundly as I sit drawing frames that say "Rejoice" and such with one eye watching a live feed of the CBC TV coverage of the Olympics on my computer.

    Happy day to all of you as well.

  7. It looks like SUCH fun! I can see why Winnie likes to play with Duke, he's adorable. Hope you have a happy and productive day. :)

  8. What I'm noticing is the color of the sand too!


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