Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This year's count: nine people, four dogs, including Zorro. The dogs got along fine when they were all out on the porch--once Zorro got them where he wanted them, he left them alone. The troubles began when one of us went out on the porch. Bogey, Dad's 8-month-old golden, has a bad habit of jumping on people. So as was the case a week earlier with Dolly, Zorro felt the need to protect the family member and pounced on Bogey. Occasionally, Binky, Dad's oldest golden--a gentle giant who nonetheless has an edge to him--would move in and try to protect Bogey. To keep the peace, we ended up keeping Zorro on the porch and the goldens inside.
At night, we kept Zorro in our bedroom with the door closed. Otherwise, we knew he would station himself right outside my parent's door, where the other dogs were sleeping. It also prevented any late night moon alerts. Zorro didn't like it but was too tired to make much of a fuss.
Mom and Dad left Friday (big high school football game that night) and Saturday, Denny and I went for a run on the tow path to burn off some calories. Once the weather cools off, Zorro is a great running companion--you get the feeling he would run all the way to Georgetown if given the opportunity. The morning moon was up, so after the first mile I had to turn Zorro over to Denny for a while. Zorro's moon run is great speedwork but I can't sustain the pace for very long.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Head case

Poor Zorro. He was romping in the yard with Denny this morning and was so distracted by his favorite rope game that he ploughed right into the shed. He hit his head so hard that he yelped, and Zorro never, ever does that, even when he gets a shot or someone treads on his paw. How do you determine whether a border collie has a concussion? Ask him to count to 10? Name the president?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Non-mortal combat

Interesting weekend in WV. Our friends, Jessica and Glenn, along with their two young children, came for an overnight visit. They brought their eight-month old yellow lab, Dolly, a sweet-natured pup who likes to jump on people, countersurf and get into the garbage. (Jessica and Glenn are hoping she'll outgrow these habits).
As soon as she arrived, Zorro went into his badass mode, jumping on her, smacking her with his paw, and basically bossing her around. But after we put both of them on the porch, Dolly decided that being herded was a great game. They spent hours running around the porch, occasionally colliding. There was a lot of growling and snapping, and at times it was hard to tell whether they were fighting or playing. But no blood was shed, and at various intervals they would retire to their corners to rest. When we took them on a walk, Zorro pretty much ignored Dolly, even though he was on a leash and she was not (she has good recall: even though she would run ahead, she always looked around immediately when her name was called. We can't count on that with Zorro).
Jessica reports that Dolly, normally rambunctous in the car, slept all the way home. Zorro is pretty wiped out, too. I told him to save his strength because more dog guests are coming: Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I wasn't here for Halloween and was a little worried that Zorro would scare the trick-or-treaters. Lately, he's been barking at the pizza man, and he has an intimidating bark.
Luckily, though, it went fine, Denny says. He was mainly curious about all the little people coming to our door. He figured out pretty quickly that if the neighbor's door squeaked, kids were on their way. Denny told all the kids that Zorro was wearing his Halloween mask, which they liked. Next year, I'm getting him a Batman cape.