I knew it was a Sunday, because in the morning I was allowed to jump into bed with Mike and Heather before breakfast and lick their plates after they ate blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and butter. Those things only happen on Sundays. After that, however, nobody paid much attention to me, which is not at all typical for a Sunday. I was not at all happy about it, either.
Mike stayed outside in the garden all day, busting his ass in the dirt and listening to yet another Mariner defeat on the radio. He was not a happy camper, either. I hung in the office with Heather, who worked at the computer and cursed to herself all afternoon; except, guess what, I was there to hear it. No way I was going to get her way! I wouldn’t even risk asking her to take me out to pee, even though I had to. I just held it until Mike came inside. Heather made it clear to me that she couldn’t go with us, so I reluctantly went for a walk with Mike. That’s how badly I needed to pee.
By the time we finally got outside, the wind had picked up, and I knew the park would be chilly even on this sunny afternoon. So I guided Mike over to Magnolia Boulevard and set a quick, steady pace towards the south side of the bluff, where you can see downtown Seattle, the harbor and, on a clear day, distant Mount Rainier. There are some wide, grassy areas over there that provide excellent terrain for chasing my ball for a while before circling back towards home.
Mike and I had been playing fetch on the lawn, and I wasn’t paying much attention when a tour bus parked along the street. I had dropped my ball in the grass and was busy sampling the local salad bar when I noticed tourists getting off the bus and walking toward me, taking pictures and videos they could share with their friends and family from Nebraska or Japan. I immediately realized that my exploits in the realm of catch and fetch have received widespread exposure on the Internet, so they must have traveled to Seattle to meet me, witness my athletic prowess firsthand and perhaps go home with an autographed Visi-Ball or paw print souvenir. The Tours Northwest website touts “scenic Magnolia Bluff with its stunning homes and views” as the reason for bringing them here, but I know these tourists were really looking for Chloë the Magnificent.
While I can understand such adulation, I was still shy with these strangers, as usual. Mike didn’t want me to scare them and create a scene, so he put me into a down- stay at his feet, and I watched them silently from a distance until they gave up on observing my fetch repertoire and re-boarded the minibus. I was a bit let down at the time, but in retrospect I agree that it was better to leave them wanting more.
After the bus pulled away, Mike flipped my ball downhill, and I took off in hot pursuit, catching up to it on the first high bounce and banging my teeth against it, which knocked it skyward until it landed in the thicket that rings the lower perimeter of the mowed area. Mike investigated, quickly discovered that mowing stopped at that point for a reason (thick vines and steep drop-off) and aborted his search. Another Visi-Ball gone in a sudden, untimely manner. I have a feeling we’ll be ordering a few more soon.