Friday, July 27, 2007

A Dog's Love

I was thinking last night, while I slept with my head on Lesli’s lap, about the love between us and how strange and unique it is – this relationship between humans and dogs.

I don’t think about things often. I react, based on instinct.

Perhaps that is a part of what I bring to her life. Not thinking too much. Not worrying about whether I’ve gained five pounds, whether I look as good as Tessa, the greyhound down the street or comparing myself to the other dogs I meet. I just take life’s surprises as they are – I take people as they are.

The rules in my world are pretty clear. I don’t spend much time analyzing them. I just live. When an older dogs shows up, I defer. When a younger dog shows up, I expect it to defer. When I'm angry, I show it. When I'm happy, I show it. When I want to roll in the grass, I do it. I don’t care what people think if they see me. Why should I? If I like someone, I show them. If they reject me, I move on to the next person I like and show them! If I want to explore something, I do it. I don’t wonder whether I should or not, whether I have time. I get more joy out of chasing a squirrel or seeing someone I love than most humans get in a week of living. I feel. I am. I don’t analyze it. I don’t spend my days worrying about my death. Who does that? It will come. Somewhere, in the dark and ancient recesses of my mind, I know that.

So I live. Completely and fully. Experiencing every moment like it has never happened before, and may never happen again.

I think maybe that’s the basis for our love, Lesli and me. I love her the way people should love each other – fully and completely, for who she is. My love isn’t fickle. I will love her until I die. She doesn’t need to question that. I forgive her when she hurts me. In seconds. It is forgotten. When she’s sad, I lick her face until her tears are gone. When she’s injured, I lick her wounds and heal them (or make them worse…which has happened). When her heart is breaking, I let her know I’m there. Always. No matter what. We teach each other about how to love, and about how to live.

My love her for her is instinctive. She takes care of me. And I know her love for me is unconditional. If I eat her underwear, if I get sick and make a mess in the house, if I shake mud all over her brand new car, she will still love me. I will still sense the immense joy she feels when she sees me, when she touches me, even if I chew her cell phone.

And we will continue to go through this journey together. Even though we’re both supposedly grown up now, we still share the same lust for life, the same curiosity, the same emotional highs and lows. If it’s possible for dog and human to be alike, then that is us. We are excited by and sometimes devastated by life. But both feelings pass quickly, and we move on together to the next moment. We’re both tough on the outside…but what lies inside is much different.

I think we were meant to be together, my human and me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What a Morning Walk!

Our walk this morning was a blast! Things were quiet until we got to Mr. Bunny's spot. Usually he's pretty far back in the grass - close enough to see well, but not so close that I ever have a hope in hell of catching him. But this morning, he was right beside the path. We must have both been daydreaming, because in an instant, there we were - face to face. He ran like crazy and stopped, and I took off like a shot, almost pulling Lesli over with me (man, it hurts when I do that with a prong collar on, but sometimes it's worth the pain). I was soooooooooooo close to getting him!

Next was a huge hawk, sitting on a fence on Burloak. Right there, on someone's front yard fence. It was huge. We both stood still for a few seconds to watch it. Lesli was just in awe...and I was contemplating how I would climb that fence to get it. It flew away, and we continued.

At the lake, we saw a pair of swans and their four babies. I figured, with four kids surviving, those swans must be pretty good at defending them...I used my head for once and stayed away from them. We walked a bit further, to our usual morning lookout point, and saw a heron there. So, we stopped to watch the heron. Lesli was in front of me, I was still behind her - and I suddenly heard movement on the rocks behind me. Thinking it was likely a squirrel, I turned - and stared at this thing just a couple of feet away from me. I couldn't figure out what the hell it was - had never seen one before. It came up onto the rocks by me, checked things out, sniffed around for a few seconds, then left before I had the chance to fully assess the situation and go after it.

Turns out it was a river otter!

SO many potential meals on our walk this morning!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Tail of Forbidden Love

Hey everyone.

I spent a great weekend at dog camp while Lesli went to Ford & Bonnie’s cottage up north. She dropped me off with Tracy and Wendy early Saturday morning. I put on usual show to make Lesli feel guilty about leaving me but as soon as she pulled away I started to party, and didn’t stop until she picked me up.

After we got our greetings out of the way, she said we needed to have a talk, about my cousin Griffin.

Griffin was, of course, at the cottage this weekend. He’s Ford & Bonnie’s five year old yellow lab. I hear he’s nice. We haven’t met. I’ve smelled him – stayed at his place one night last December while he was away. He smelled like a cool dog.

When Lesli got to the cottage, Bonnie told her about Griffin’s friend Charlie. Said that Charlie and Griffin visit each other, look almost identical, that they’re great buds.

Charlie is a yellow lab, a year younger than Griffie. He lives two cottages over.

They met when Charlie first showed up in the ‘hood, and started hanging out. Found they had a lot in common.

They started wandering over to each other’s cottages. Playing with sticks together. Wrestling on the dock. Sitting on the dock sniffing the world as it goes by.

When Griffin kissed Charlie, no one thought anything of it. Even when the two buds were busted, uh, “cleaning” each other, everyone chalked it up to normal dog behaviour.

But when Ford and Bonnie came home one rainy afternoon to find Griffin and Charlie watching Brokeback Mountain, they knew…this was a special dog friendship.

This was love.

Lesli says you can see it when they’re together.

Even when Bad Charlie moved into the territory between their cottages and starting attacking them because of their forbidden love, the two dogs found a way to be together – risking their lives and necks to pass through Bad Charlie’s territory just to see each other.

The Romeo and Juliet of the Trent Severn Waterway.

So, I guess Griffin and I are never gonna hook up. Which is ok. I like German shepherds better anyway. And Griffin and Charlie make a great couple.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Storm: Goddess of the Hunt

I walked out the door this morning at 5:30 ready for action and looking for prey. My ears were straight up and listening. My tail was straight up and telling everyone that I rule. And my eyes were focused. First they focused on the patch of grass across from our driveway where the baby bunny has been most mornings. I looked...I walked cautiously and quietly...but he wasn't there today. So I moved to my next hunting area - down the street, second site of many close calls with a bunny. Another baby. Not too bright. I've been close. Only the leash saved it. He wasn't there either.

On we walked. Stopped for a pee...then chased a squirrel who was on a telephone wire above me.

You heard me right.

He was in the air. I was on the ground. Following him. Like the great hunter I am. Growling and stalking him from below.

You may think I haven't got a hope in hell of catching a squirrel on a phone line. You have the right to your opinion.

We moved along on our morning hunt. Saw Mr. Bunny; she wouldn't let me pursue him, even though I really wanted to. (she wants to pet the bunnies; I want to eat them...we clearly have little hope of finding common ground in the bunny department)

Not long after we saw Mr. Bunny, I was just too hot to hunt anymore.

It has been brutal. Hot, humid, sunny.

On the bright side, I've had plenty of swims in the lake across the street lately, and I have an excuse for being uber-lazy.

But I'm looking forward to fall...

Friday, July 6, 2007


I fell out of bed last night.

Lesli was reading. I was asleep at the foot of the bed.

I was tired. It had been a long, hot day. Four walks. Rabbits to chase. I had earned a good rest.

So, while she read in bed, I was out like a light.


I stretched.

And sent myself off the end of the bed. Landed on the antique stool she put there to help me climb up during the night. Upside down.

Oh my god, how embarrassing.

I righted myself. Tried to look like I planned it.


Apparently I just looked humiliated.

And decided to sleep on my own bed on the floor for the rest of the night.

Lesson: No big stretches when you're near the edge of the bed.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Crazy Wet Dog is in the Building!


She took me to the lake for a swim. Let me off leash. God it was great. I swam in Lake Ontario and ate water as I went.

We came home and I ran all over the house. Upstairs, downstairs, onto the couch, off the couch, onto the loveseat, off the loveseat. Ran up the stairs. Onto the bed...pushed my head into her pillows and flung them around the the bed...onto the next there...downstairs again...

Ahhhhhh. Being a dog is joyful.