Finally, last week I got back to my ridgetop getaway for an extended stay. Every time we go out there, it’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven. When I think about the highlights, there are so many I don’t know where to begin.
A Lawn. Rich, thick, green. I could roll around and lie in it for hours. Just wake me up when it’s dinner time.
Pastures. There were mice in that grass, lots of them. And moles. If you couldn’t find me rolling around the lawn, chances are I was in the fields, digging holes. Keeps my nails neat, too. When I got tired of chasing mice, I liked to go after the little lizards that scamper across the patio.
Tara! I bugged the heck out of Tara, the Aussie who lives there. She’s getting old and cranky, growling at me softly every time I crossed her path. Every damn time! I ignored it, however, realizing there’s so much I can learn from her if she would just let me hang around. So I followed her around whenever I knew she wasn’t looking, and I even sneaked a sniff around her ample butt now and then . There’s definitely some wisdom there.
But I’ve seen her get nasty, too. Every time Mike threw one of her toys for me to chase, she leaped in my way to cut me off. I backed away each time, not wanting to challenge her authority in her own house. Instead, I just went back to her toy pile and pulled out another one. They’re all good, every last one. And all of them wound up strewn around the carpet at one time or another, often with a trail of fluffy white stuffing behind . Get this: Heather had Mike gather all the little white balls and stuff them back inside the toys–like Tara’s ever going near those toys again after we left.
Carpeting. Did I mention the wall-to-wall carpeting? If there’s one thing that’s better than lawn for rolling and sleeping on, it’s got to be wall-to-wall carpeting. Luxurious. I love carpeting.
Hiking. We did some great hiking, too. The first weekend we hiked the Middle Fork and Denny Creek trails in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, which was great fun. Besides the swimming and great scenery, I was lucky enough to find two small spills of sesame snack mix and potato chips, one on each hike. Keeping nourishment and hydration at optimal levels is extremely important on a hike, you know.
Relaxing . I’ve got to admit, things seemed calmer out there. In contrast to Magnolia, where I bark when anybody or anything walks down the street, when I was outside in my exercise pen near the driveway, I barely noticed when delivery and service guys came around, and there were a lot of them, more than I see in Magnolia in a month. Tara barked at some–she really let the mole guy have it–and her barking got me going, too, as if she needed any help. But I didn’t bark at the pool guy, not even when he was cleaning the fountain where I have my swimming lessons.
I did bark at Manuel Garcia, Blue’s trainer, but just once before I recognized him. He’s OK.
Those horses, though, that’s another matter. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get too close to something that big. Whenever I saw horses I slipped into self-defense mode, barking at them and sprinting away. One day when Mike and I were hiking a horse damn near ran me down. I could sense him getting closer, so I got out of his way quickly and cowered. The very next day I lunged after two horses that Manuel was leading to the corral, barking up a storm. Mike had to run over to shut me up. I guess my equine relationships are a work in progress.
So how’s this for an idea? I know Heather and I are coming back out here next week for her company picnic (Mike isn’t going because he’s flying to a Syracuse football game in Los Angeles on what is apparently a “no-dogs weekend”). Maybe Heather and I should just stay out at the getaway for the week in between so I can have more time to sort out my equine behavior issues.
Oh, but if Mike’s not there with us, who’s going to be making and serving my meals? Maybe I better think this one through again–and what better place to do that than on Mike’s pillow?