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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dog days of winter

Over a week has gone by since the last update, but it's not because we've been sitting around. We walk or bike 2-4 miles a day, plus what the dogs do on the treadmill in late afternoon (usually 20 minutes of a slow trot or quick walk.) So they're fit, eating well, and sleeping the long night through.

Someone gave us matching dog sweaters. Spike doesn't know that black leather collars with spikes are hardly usual accessories for pink and navy plaid. I put them on the dogs a few times last week, when they'd have to play in the cool conservatory. I prefer that they have room to romp and play with their toys rather than crating them, and it seemed every second day I had a few hours away.

About the third time I pulled the sweaters out, Spike refused to come when I called. He knew what was up. I bribed him to come with food and he reluctantly walked over. I tossed some garlic liver bits in, and once he was in the conservatory, he raced Bella for them. She's not hesitant to bound into the space, so she wiped most of them up before he had a chance!

We've met more and more neighborhood dogs, and Bella is better socialized and usually happy to see them after a minute or two.

Bella still throws a fit occasionally when people come to the door. Yesterday, a friend came for tea and Bella yipped as though there was danger arriving. She finally subsided: Tirza had done just the right thing, standing in place and waiting for the hysteria to subside.

After Tirza and I finished tea in the conservatory, we wrapped warm blankets around us, put our feet up on the chaises, and chatted. The dogs hopped onto Tirza's lap for hugs and strokes. Good doggies.

They must hear the car when I come up the driveway. Even if I walk to the conservatory door from the outside, they are waiting at the kitchen slider. We'll be wiping little fingerprints off the glass next year (our first grandchild is due this summer), but for now we are cleaning dog nose prints from the doors.

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