I always swear we’re never going to get another puppy (especially after our “puppy” pooped on the floor this morning) but then I see faces like these and I forget all my reservations.
My friend Vicki has an adorable Boxer who could be Nix’s twin. His name is Franklin. I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time last month when he and Vicki came to visit. Nix, unfortunately, didn’t take to Franklin too kindly, but Leela was absolutely smitten. Here’s a video of them playing in our backyard, with a soundtrack of panicked barking courtesy of Nix, who was crated after demonstrating that he couldn’t be polite.
Today’s post goes out to whoever used that search term to find my blog.
My coworker and I took a walk on Friday during our lunch break. Accompanying us was her dog, Emma, a beautiful Golden Retriever and fountain aficionado.
This campus is covered in fountains, and we hit a fair number of them on our walk. We started with the fountain at the bookstore, which attracted the attention of tourists who snapped Emma’s picture as she tossed her ball around in the water.
After the bookstore fountain, we walked for a bit before moving on to another fountain that Emma eventually rejected, probably due to its small size.
After all, why bother with a small fountain when you could roll around freely in a huge field of grass?
Another fountain down the way was set up as a sort of water corridor. Emma happily traipsed along the man-made stream until reaching the fountain at its end, where she promptly dropped her ball so she could better inspect the miniature geysers spouting from the center.
The fountain below wassupposed to be the last fountain we visited on our walk, but the water was so gnarly (check out the bright green color and the algae growth) and Emma dove SO deep into it that my coworker suggested we stop by another, cleaner fountain to give Emma a chance to clean off.
Can you believe that water? And there was a student dangling her feet in it. ICK.
So we stopped once more, at a fountain that was nice and clean, which Emma loved, until my coworker tried to splash her to get some of the icky green water off her. Then it was immediately, “NO I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS, GET ME OUT OF HERE.”
Thus concluded our walk.
Dan and I had already been talking about teaching our dogs to swim, but this outing with Emma made me really crave a space where we could safely do that. Dan’s parents’ house is hard, because even though they have a pool, they also have other dogs and a grandbaby that we’d have to contend with. I’ve also looked into the local lakes, and while Quarry Lakes allows swimming, it’s only for humans, not dogs. Lake Elizabeth doesn’t let anyone in the water, and I’m not really interested in taking Nix and Leela to a huge off-leash dog park like Pt. Isabel or Ft. Funston where they can go swimming but will be more likely to get into a fight with another dog over some random piece of driftwood they’ve decided is THEIRS.
Maybe a visit to the campus fountains (the clean ones, anyway) is in order.
Dan and I drove up to San Francisco last night to have dinner with my parents and meet my cousin, Jason. Jason is my dad’s cousin’s son, which I guess makes us either second cousins or first cousins once removed? I have no idea. I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure that shit out and still don’t understand it.
Jason and I bonded over our love of animals (he and his wife have four cats), Jason and Dan bonded over their love of science fiction (at which point I promptly tuned out), and Jason and MoMo bonded over their love of filtered water.
This cat, man. I’m telling you. My parents needed a purple, and they got a very, very green.
You guys, where can I find this costume in a size that will fit my dogs??
We visited Juneau on Saturday, and out of the three cities we hit on our trip, Juneau was by far my favorite. This was in part due to the fact that, because it’s the capital of Alaska, it has a ton of stuff to do. Oh, and I also signed us up for an excursion that revolved entirely around sled dogs.
We took a tiny bus up a tiny road on a huge mountain that looked like this:
I was honestly terrified, because the road was narrow and steep and made of gravel, and the bus barely fit. But you know what? We survived. And it’s a good thing, too, because I would have been pissed if I hadn’t been able to see all this:
You guys, DOGS EVERYWHERE. Barking and running and standing on their houses and OMG I died from cuteness.
Basically, this camp is what’s called a summer sled dog camp. It’s where the dog owners / trainers and their pooties go during the summer to train for sled races during the winter. And as promised, we got a taste of what it was like to be pulled by sled dogs. They loaded us up in a cart:
Hooked the dogs up to the harness …
And off we went!
After the run (which was about a mile and a half in total), I took some time to pose with the lead dogs on our team.
And had some snuggle time with an Alaskan Husky puppy named Punk. (Dan legitimately checked my purse before we left to make sure that Punk wasn’t coming home with us.)
We stopped for lunch in town later that afternoon. I had been craving Mexican food for DAYS, so naturally, my choice of meals was nachos, Alaskan style (complete with Halibut!):
We also did some shopping, during which time we found what are probably best referred to as “curiosities” in the fine stores of Juneau.
Dan kept himself entertained with the official Sarah Palin coloring book:
And I posed with every giant animal (stuffed or non-stuffed) in downtown Juneau:
In short, it was a VERY good day.
Bronson is our venue owner’s dog. He lives at the Heirloom, and is one hundred and twenty pounds of “Oh hello there, I’m going to sit on your lap.”
(Yeah. It’s uncomfortable to say the least.)
He’ll be holed up in a back room for the entirety of our wedding, which is kind of shame. Since Nixon and Leela won’t be there, I thought Bronson would make for an awesome ring bearer, but Dan vetoed my idea.
I don’t know why. I mean, how can you resist this stud muffin?
I’ve been exposed to lots of animals in my life, both wild and domesticated. I’ve seen everything from raccoons to hippos to llamas to coyotes. But I had never seen a possum.
Until Friday night.
I’m sitting on the couch, enjoying a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress (yes, my life is really that exciting), and all of a sudden, the dogs start going BALLISTIC. As in, even Leela – who never ever ever ever barks – is barking and growling and generally going crazy.
Figuring it’s probably one of the neighborhood kitties who hang out on our back fence, I opened the door and went out into the backyard with the dogs.
There was something on our fence, for sure. But she was no cat.
Hellooooo, Mama Possum.
The dogs continued to go crazy, at which point I noticed that two of the baby possums had fallen off of their mom’s back and were steadily trying to avoid my dogs getting all up in their face because OMG WHY ARE YOU IN MY BACKYARD.
At this point, my maternal instincts kicked into overdrive. I dragged the dogs back in the house and called Dan to see if there was anything I could do to help the baby possums. He’s lived in suburbia his entire life, so SURELY he had a solution for me.
“Don’t touch them,” he told me. “Possums are angry, and they have diseases, and the mom will either take care of them or she’ll leave them to die. Not your problem.”
Yeah. Not what I wanted to hear.
But I heeded his advice, mostly because I had vivid flashbacks to the dog attack from last year, and wasn’t interested in yet another summer-time mauling (especially now that we’re just six weeks away from our wedding). So I watched quietly from my living room as the babies ran back and forth along the base of my back fence, trying desperately to get to their mom. It broke my heart to watch, but I knew I had to let nature take its course.
Early next morning, I went back out into the backyard, expecting to find all possum babies recovered and the whole family gone. But I found an unwelcome surprise.
There is a small gap – probably four or five inches – between our back fence and the concrete patio. Overnight, this gap had filled with water from the neighbor’s sprinklers, and one of the baby possums had fallen in. Again, I called Dan, totally distraught. And again, he told me not to do anything.
“It’s dangerous. And if his mom left him behind, he’s probably not going to survive the day,” he said.
Feeling tremendously guilty and helpless, I went back to sleep. Not forty minutes later, I woke up to more crazed barking from the dogs.
Baby Possum had dragged himself out of the Puddle O’ Doom and was now laying on the concrete patio. And guess what? Mama Possum dropped off her other babies and came back for him.
When I told this story to Raeann, she practically shit a brick. She could not believe that Mama Possum came back for her baby. And I have to say that I totally agree with her. They’re nocturnal creatures, and they HATE HATE HATE people. So the fact that she was willing to brave my nosy, interfering ass and daylight hours speaks volumes about the bond between mom and baby.
I’m just glad this story had a happy ending. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to handle watching Baby Possum slowly bake to death on my concrete patio in hundred degree heat.