Quince and Simon live in San Francisco, with their people, Tammy and Elena. All four spend the summer nearby on Squam Lake. All last spring we tried to take a walk together in the Bay Area, and it just never quite happened. Yesterday we finally all made it to the same place at the same time. That place was my house, and we took a nice walk up the road. In one of those small-world stories, Tammy had spent the majority of one year’s school holidays with her close friend at that girl’s family home…which is about a mile up the road from my house.
Simon and Quince, like their people, are moderate in size, gentle in temperament, and happy to go someplace new. Chico knows them, they don’t play rough, he isn’t afraid of them, it was the perfect set up for all to have a good time and we did. As we got going, Chico came around the corner of his barn to find Simon right there sniffing. Chico stopped with such a surprised look that I broke out laughing because I hadn’t quite realized what he’d seen, just seen his reaction. Mercifully, Elena was looking at things from the other side of the barn, knew what had happened, and had the presence of mind to praise Chico for being good. Talk about being with the right people! We walked for about an hour and it was Chico’s usual pattern of being with us, but not really with the other dogs. Which is fine. When we are together and Chico ignores other dogs (instead of worrying about owning me in their presence), he is showing lots of self control, emotional maturity, and confidence. And that is what we’re working towards.
After the walk, we went to lunch at our village store. Dogs go in all the time – including Chico, there are dog cookies behind the counter, but Quince and Simon had never been to a “restaurant” before. When Bill came out from behind the counter to give all the dogs a cookie, you could see them thinking, “Wow, this is a cool place.” We had our lunch on the porch, and while Simon and Quince were confined to quarters with their leashes, I let Chico off. He explored the immediate area, and then came to lie by my side. His being able to wander off into the yard while I sat on the porch was, to me, a sign that his confidence is up.
I wanted a picture of all three dogs to show how much fun we all had.
Well, it took a minute or two to get there.
It was very good of the dogs to resist the river, to get so close to each other and far from us, so we let them have a wade before heading off to our respective errands.