In October of 2006, my family gathered to celebrate my mother’s 9th birthday. My niece hadn’t had her annoying rescue for very long, but he made it into the photo album my thoughtful cousin Andrea made.
Little did I know that ten years later that annoying beast would be my treasured heart-dog and I would be thrilled and tearful to find an image of him as a young guy.
We had a fun visit to Maggie’s back yard yesterday. Maggie and Bonney played with each other, and Chico got excited enough to play with me like we were a couple of dogs. He can run at me and punch me with two feet, play-bite at my arms and hands, dance to “I’m gonna get you!” – he can even roll around like two dogs playing bitey-face with me. Not with another dog, but with me, yes.
His eyes were shining, his tail was wagging, his mouth was half-open in a doggie smile. He ran and dodged.
Bon-bon did the same with Maggie.
And when we came home and had dinner, everyone canine was very relaxed:
This week I’m going to mail my first ever agility trial entry that doesn’t include any classes for Chico. It’s AKC and he has to jump sixteen inches there and I have not been asking him to do that lately. He likes practices better than trials (in fact, he jumps twelve inches fast and happy, with shining eyes and a happy tail, at Julie’s arena in run throughs), we only ever did agility because he was crazy and now he’s not, he’s twelve and he shouldn’t have to do something he doesn’t find to be fun.
But he’s my heart dog and it’s hard to do this thing that I only have to do because he’s getting older.
Loose in the house together with a bone each, Chico and Bonney will trade them back and forth, always wanting what they don’t have, even arguing about it.
Closed in their crates with a bone, they don’t chew the bones, they forlornly look at me, clearly expecting to be left out of something fun.
But each will stay in an open crate and chew her or his ‘assigned’ bone without bothering the other. At least, they did this evening.
This series of pictures was taken to make sure that I had something nice to show the garden stake. At the maximum snow depth after our February blitz of storms, the tips of the little ears of the garden stake just barely stuck up out of the snow.
But it turns out, I was really taking these sweet pix of Chico.
This is the best one. Look at his little pink tongue sticking out.
Rally Obedience is a more relaxed version of formal obedience work, and it’s something a lot of older agility dogs do – less stress on the body with a chance to work together in the familiar team setting.
Chico and I have been doing some rally classes and he really loves it. Last Friday our teacher recorded one of our “runs” and I now offer it for your viewing pleasure. Just look how happy my boy is!
My handsome guy.
My silly ball-carrying girl.
With a fresh foot or so on the ground, I had the privilege of breaking the trail yesterday.
But, oh, the running back and forth on the way back!
There really has been a lot of snow lately.
The other day, between storms, the plow guy sent the front loader to push back and move snow from right by the house to the snow mountain at the end of the driveway.
The guy is an artist with that big thing. He tapped down the snow so the heat exchangers can breathe.
He made me a place to access the snow shoe path through the field.
And he cleared as close to the truck as he possibly could have without scraping it.
I’m so grateful that I have lots of space to put the extra snow, and that someone comes with a big machine and moves it there for me.
Bonney loves this, I think she would do it until she dropped.
As is so often the case, Chico played sheriff. Our dog pal Maggie was not as interested in this game as Bonney, but they both loved chasing snowballs.