Saturday, November 28, 2009


Thanksgiving 2009: 11 people, 4 golden retrievers, one border collie. The good news: the toilet didn't overflow, and no blood was shed.
Plenty of fur flew, though. When Mom and Dad arrived with their two goldens on Wednesday, Zorro sniffed them, circled them, and immediately jumped them as soon as they tried to walked away. Not a good start. I kept the peace by keeping them separated--Zorro on the porch while Binky and Biscuit were inside, or vice versa. When Chip's family arrived with their two dogs on Thursday,, we decided to put all of the animals on the porch and, in my mother's words, "let them work it out." Here's how they worked it out: Zorro herded all the dogs into a corner, and spent the rest of the day keeping them there. We didn't have to worry about having any dogs underfoot during dinner. Zorro took care of that.
Back in Arlington now with clear skies and a waxing gibbous moon. The sheet is over the bay window and the pillow case is over the front door.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Enemies around us

Warm fall day, so everyone is out raking leaves. We ended up doing it manually because a) the leaves are too wet for the leaf blower, and b) Zorro attacked the leaf blower. Looks like I'll have to take him for a walk next time Denny wants to use it. We put it back in the shed with his other arch enemies, the lawnmower and the weed-whacker.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wildlife in Arlington

A wild morning. While Denny and Zorro were returning from their run, Zorro began to act erractically, sniffing wildly and pulling on the leash. The reason soon became apparent: a deer raced by them, scattering runners on the bike path. Zorro has become accustomed to seeing deer in West Virginia but probably didn't know what to make of a city deer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Uncomplicated dogs

A friend at work has been fostering a black lab for possible use as a service dog. Next spring, the pup will undergo a battery of tests to test his aptitude for the job. Only about 40% of dogs fostered for the program are accepted. So the friend is looking for potential owners if this dog doesn't make the cut when he takes the exam in May.
He would be an ideal dog: already trained, well-behaved and socialized. The friend owns two border collies. Denny thinks he might make a good pal for Zorro, and possibly even calm him down. So we're on the list (I suspect these dogs aren't hard to place). It would be just our luck that Zorro would teach him to bark at the moon.
Moon is on the rise so need to go put up the sheet ...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Being proactive

Big bright full moon tonight so I have a sheet hanging in the bay window AND a pillow case over the front door window (because the moon is shining right through). Thank you, Patricia McConnell, for giving me permission to hide the moon.
Maybe later I'll take Zorro outside to look at it.

Dogs everywhere

Took Zorro for what I had planned to be a short run yesterday afternoon, but it ended up being a real test of endurance and patience. It seemed like every dog in Arlington and surrounding jurisdictions was out for a walk. Maybe it was because daylight savings time ended Saturday and everybody wanted to get a walk in before dark.
Normally, when I see another dog coming I'll try and take a sideways route, or head in the other direction. But yesterday, it seemed like every time I turned around, I encountered another dog coming towards us.
Zorro did pretty well, considering. I put him into multiple "sit-stays" and ran out of treats pretty fast. He didn't bark or lunge--although he sure did crain his neck--until the very end, when he lost it over a wiry white dog coming down the path by our house. I think that dog started it; he was yanking on his leash and trying to get at Zorro.
When we got back inside the gate, Zorro raced around the yard, probably overcome by pent-up energy. But it wasn't too long before he was knocked out, and as the trainers like to say, a tired dog is a good dog.
Now that the weather is cooler, he wants to run forever. This morning, we came up behind one of the women who participates in boot camp near our house. She was running with some difficulty, and I was tempted to ask her if she wanted to borrow my dog. He'll speed up anyone's pace.