As soon as we passed the shopping centers in Issaquah, Mike lowered the car window next to my seat, and my nose immediately told me we were near my getaway. This time we got to stay out here for a whole week, so I got to really unwind and appreciate it.
The first few days, I had to reacclimate myself to unfamiliar surroundings, so I made sure I kept Mike in my sight at all times. Whenever we took a walk, I made it a point to look back every 10 seconds and make sure he was still behind me.
If we were inside the house, I always made sure I was in the same room as Mike, whether it was sleeping near his feet on the floor in the office or dropping one of Tara’s many toys at his feet to force him into playing tug of war or fetch while he was trying to watch basketball on the television. Rattling Santa has definitely become my favorite of Tara’s toys; it is both a tug toy and a fetch toy, and it makes a neat noise. But I also still get a charge from just picking toy after toy from Tara’s pile and leaving them all around the house for Heather to pick up when she comes home from work.
Speaking of fetch, the other day I fetched and returned my new purple-and-white ball 26 consecutive times along one of the forest roads out back. Mike announced proudly that this is a new world’s record for any dachshund anywhere. Personally, I’m willing to accept his authority on this, and if anyone wants to do an Internet search to refute it, be my guest. My comments page is always open.
A couple of days of snowy weather and my record-setting fetch performance were clearly the highlights of my week. Tara was even grumpier than usual, possibly because she had an upset stomach and her usual leg pains. I actually felt sorry for her a few times; when we took a walk together, I made Mike go slow so we wouldn’t get too far ahead of her, and when she wanted to go home, I made Mike turn around right away.
There were a couple of lowlights that bear mention: Mike scared the heck out of Tara and me during Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament games, which he was watching all by himself instead of with his regular viewing buddies. All that cursing and screaming and yelling,”YES!” every once in a while. For such a quiet guy, Mike was making quite the ruckus. It must have turned out OK,, though, because Mike seemed very happy afterwards.
Besides, those March Madness noises Mike made weren’t nearly as scary as when he started singing along with Bruce Springsteen while we were driving around the countryside in his car. Even more disconcerting: It happened more than once, and, trust me, it was not pretty, not pretty at all. I was quite shaken up by it each time.
So I tried to blot it out of my mind, relax on the carpet and commune with nature.