I'm extra tired today ... but it was well-worth it!
photos taken by Fishboy : June 25, 2004
Fishboy joined me for a full day
of hiking, dogparking and errands yesterday. I haven't spent
quality time with him in a few months. When I see him I wonder how I
survive the days I don't see him.
He was not willing to have his picture taken [without a scowl on
his face] so he took over behind the camera. Now I know what to
get him for his birthday!
It's hard to believe he's almost eleven years old. I met
him when he was a wee seven year-old. His wit and humor can keep
me rolling so much, I lost track of time. At around 2PM I said
this is the first day I wasn't feeling as tired as I have been
lately. His response was,"How lucky am I?" It meant we could spend more time together and go shopping for his 5th grade graduation gift. They grow fast, people! Don't let time slip away.
He was a great help - in so many ways. He hiked Hunny
while I hiked the other two [my sometimes-morning-hike-clients].
Without Fishboy, Hunny has to stay home during the hikes. I was
out of bottled water. I told him I wanted two cases but didn't
think there would be enough room in the car when it's filled with
dogs. He insisted we could make it work. So he lifted the
two cases for me. And he strategically loaded them in the car -
under the picnic table.
He was an absolute joy to be with. I kept us well fed and
active all day. He's so good with the dogs. He threw the
ball for some of them. He let them kiss his little face. He
stuck by the water fountain to make sure every last dog got their full
share of fluids. He even helped me keep Marley in line.
Marley was in rare form yesterday. The moment we arrived
at the dogpark, he took off. He spent the first ten minutes
running from me, jumping and trying to mount and dominate every dog in
the park. We had our first fight for dominance. The one
where I HAVE to win or he'd think he's top dog forever.
I swear, we had a full-on wrestling match. In my mind, it
was a ten-minute fight from hell. But it might have been three or
five. He resisted so much that his head knocked my jaw and my
front teeth slammed each other. That just made me madder and gave
me more strength to grab his front paws and flip him over. I
might not weigh much more than him - but I'm the boss! Don't mess with the dogwalker!
The fight finally ended with him on his back and me sitting on
top of him. Every dog needs that at least once... otherwise, they
run the pack. Once I got him to submit, I made him stay for a
minute [unrestrained] while I stood over him. I was firm with my
language and while handling him. But I was sure to let him know
he's loved and how good he was being in that submissive moment.
Then I gave him a release command. After that, he was like
a completely different dog. As if we'd just performed an
exorcism. Every time I called him, he came to me. He stuck
by us for the rest of the day.
And the mounting? I just had to use my growly voice and he
responded. He's young. And I knew it was a matter of time
before we'd have that dance. You know, every dog has his
day. But boy, what an energy-suck!
I was quickly reminded of how resistant Hunny
was to submitting to me oh-so-many years ago. She was a terror
when she first started to settle into our home. She's little -
but do not underestimate her strength. [she destroyed two couches, a
couple of stuffed chairs, every pillow corner, baby pictures,
keepsakes, cds, books, blankets, - do I really need to go on?] It
took me months to get her to submit. She's so precious now and
such a well-behaved dog, that I'd forgotten all those times when she
taught me more about my anger than I ever wanted to know.
This is where her dominant/stubborn personality shows. [so much like her mama] As you can see from these pictures - and Robbie could
tell you - Hunny's a tough one to photograph sometimes. If she's
in the mood, she can be a big ham! We've all seen it. If
she's not ready for her close-up, she stops smiling and literally looks
away from the lens. It's as if she knows the camera is focused on
Fishboy was determined to get a 'good' Hunny shot. I like them all.