Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dreams of Past

I have been dreaming a lot lately.  It's strange.  I'm normally a person who can control what I dream about much like a TV channel.  I have been tired and sleeping hard.  I have also been having unexpected dreams that leave me feeling unsettled when I wake up.  It was December when I said goodbye with Tessa.  I was and am very much at peace with my decision regarding her care.  It is now April and I have been dreaming of her.  I wake looking for her only to realize morning after morning that she is gone.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the "babies".  They are distinctly different than Tessa.  They have their own personalities and quirks.  It seems odd to me that I'd be missing Tessa now.  Wishing for a little more time to enjoy her company.  Feeling sad that I won't hear her howl of joy.  Having her jauntily trotting along side me when I run or walk.

I fully understand there will not be another Tessa, and maybe that's the problem.

Diva, Ryder, and Tessa.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Diva lulled me into complacency.  She's been listening so well that rather than have them "potty" in the run I've been taking them out into the yard.  I'm always outside with them.  I'm always paying attention to them.  We've been playing in the yard.  We've been working on "wait", "stay", and recalls - all in the yard.

As per normal routine I'm almost always awake by 7 am.  Wearing my PJs I walk the dogs out into the potty area of the yard.  Diva is always much quicker than Ryder in completing her business.  So while Ryder stood there with his leg in the air, Diva cocked her head, and sprang into a run.  Calling Ryder in, I put him back in the house, slid on my winter boots and walked to where I could better see where Diva had run off to.  Calling her with no response.  I continued walking towards the field.  Knowing the Canadian Geese (Diva's arch enemies) were out there I figured she was stalking them.  Was I ever wrong.  Not only were the geese out there, there were also 4 deer.  Seeing me Diva dove towards the deer, chasing them across the field.  The deer easily jumped the fence and took off down the subdivision road.  Diva ran back and forth, ignoring my calls before finding a hole and diving though the fence, and giving chase to the deer.

Wearing my pajamas and winter boots I began trudging down the subdivision road towards where I last saw my dog.  She had followed the deer up a driveway and past a house.  Calling, and calling with no dog in my sights.  Walking back to my house I got dressed and went back out.  Calling her name, whistling I tried to figure out where she'd be.  I live in a populated area near very busy roads.  Worst case scenarios jumbled in my head as I walked up and down the road.  By this time it's 7:30 am.  I'm not really wanting to go knocking on doors...

Beginning to feel hopeless I began to head back when I heard shrill barking.  Recognizing Diva's distinctive bark I begin calling more enthusiastically.  It sounded like she was behind a neighbors land.  The only problem?  Almost all the lots are fenced.  Most with page wire or chain link.  How on earth was I going to get back to her?  Walking along I thought I'd try coaxing her along the fence line to get closer to where she entered the area with the deer.  I began to really worry when her cries never moved.  Was she hurt?  Trapped?  Captured?  Why were her barks not moving?  After each time I called I'd get these shrill yips.  It was as though she was saying "Mom!  Mom!  I'm here!"  By this point in time over 30 minutes had passed.  I pondered my neighbors.  Do I just tromp through their land to try to get closer to my dog?  Do I knock and risk waking them up?  The other thing I wondered about is no one, not one single soul stuck their head out to see what the ruckus was about.  This blew me away.  There is no way I'd have slept through it.  Her shrill barking, my calling her name and whistling.  I clearly live in a very friendly neighborhood...

On the verge of giving up, I see a flash of black through the trees.  Calling I see Diva streaking towards me.  Only to be stopped by another fence.  Walking partially up the neighbors driveway I call and call.  She tries to get through the page.  She digs.  She stands up and tries to climb.  Weighing my options, I walk along the edge of their property, and up the fence line, moving deeper onto their land.  Reaching Diva I try to figure out how I'm going to get her onto my side of the fence.  It was old large squared page wire with barb wire along the top.  It's important to note we still have an easy foot or more of snow.  I had walked/half fallen through the crusty snow.  Sometimes staying on top, sometimes breaking through.  This just added another layer to the challenge.  Reaching down I gently tug on the wires, managing to pull them apart enough to let my athletic dog squirm through reaching me.  She joyfully leaps up and trots ahead of me as I try to work my way back to the road.

Once on the road the little rotter does an amazing job of off leash "heel" staying perfectly by my leg.  She happily trotted into the garage and Ryder and her greeted each other as though they'd been tortured.  Chilled and tired, I curled up in bed.  Diva jumps up and licks and snuggles in, not understanding that I was still not talking to her.

Needless to say she has lost her off leash privileges.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dog Love

I just enjoyed a week off of "work".  Only I spent it working...  I had pulled a muscle in my back dealing with snow... I was officially on restricted activity.  My big physical outlet was walking and playing with the dogs.  My little doggy darlings started out the week needy.  After a few off leash walks to blow out some energy they settled in to enjoy their time with me.  It never fails to amaze me how steady they can be.  It's true they're growing up.  Ryder is sooooo soft.  When my back really hurt, he curled up beside me with his head on my lap.  When I went to town the dogs traveled along.  I loved this quality time with them.

Diva is slowly growing from problem child to awesome little creature.  She's developing her play drive.    Becoming much more consistent with her "fetch".  She has recalled and entered the house without being on leash!  She's also decided she's my dog and as such has been a bit bratty.  She seems to be jealous of Ryder.  She's taken to picking on Ryder.  He of course just takes it.  She ALWAYS picks her time when I can't easily get to correct her.  For example when I'm in bed.  Or on the toilet.  This is classic Diva.  She now sleeps with me every night.  Crawling up my body in the morning for a cuddle.  That's not the problem.  How territorial she is around Ryder is.  She will snark at him if he comes into the bedroom.  She has to eat first (even though there are two dishes with plenty of food).  She will even take the toy from his mouth!  Bratty, bratty behavior.  I know separation time will benefit them both but it's a wee bit challenging when I'm at work.  I don't know if I'm comfortable enough leaving one dog in the house and the second in the run while I work.

It seems, that I'm not the only person who loves the dogs.  I was telling mom about Diva.  Her comment was that maybe Ryder needed to come live with her for a little while.  I knew she loved him, I just didn't know how much.  (Mom has come here to visit me, but spent much of her time cuddling and playing with the dog...)  I know my parents miss Tessa.  I miss her too.  Mom's commented on how empty the house seems and how she misses walking with a dog.

So, it may, just may, happen that Ryder will go to my parents for a little stay-cation.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.