Thursday, March 27, 2014

Have dog, will travel

Feeling handsome, a tad preppy.

In this photo, Sue says we look like we are in a band. I thought The Cheewas. She came back with even better ones: Lap Dog, Yap Dog, Gold Yappe.

Tiny Dog would be a great traveler in a band van.  Look how comfy she is in my coat, strapped in under the seat belt.

When it gets warmer (I know it will), we will transition to riding shotgun in her cozy cat bed. Here she is last summer breaking it in on a trip to Minnesota.   

I am so pretty.

Sue allowed her previously to hop in the driver’s lap in her truck, so half of the time she was in her bed, half on my lap.  In town, it’s harder to drive with her on your legs because I have manual transition, and she does a lot of seesawing with the shifting. With spring still ahead, she can ride zipped in my vest, warm.

It’s mutual, our comforts of traveling so closely together. She fits in my coat and my pulse simmers down, and I let out a sigh.  Whether I had a sad or hard or good day at work, it spills out of me the minute we sit in the car, her small body tucked tight against my chest.

She often falls asleep on the ten minute drive home, and I look down, oxytocin spilling into my blood and brain, and I just want to keep driving to elongate this moment, one + one. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Out of town

A week ago I was blissfully walking around downtown Charleston, SC with my mother, on our way to a patisserie in the rain.  I was visiting the Southern half of my family for five days, and my flight back had been delayed a few hours. An excuse for croissants!

Every time I travel without the dogs, I always imagine what it would be like to have them along, even live in a place with them. The trip before SC, a year ago, was Brooklyn, and Wren would not like the noisy streets, George would bark rudely at the other dogs, and Chibi would do just fine, blinking at everyone.

In Charleston, they all would like it there. Less sweater wearing time, though I did bring home a new one for Tiny Dog: a cream turtleneck with a squirrel holding a nut. (This sweater made her briefly do a half-hearted handstand as she tried to get its unaccustomed longer length off her hips.) No or rare snow to ice their small toes. Leash walks at the plantation gardens (but some, watch for gators). I don’t know how they’d feel about the beach. Wren hates cacophony, but loves to run. The beach might just be too hot most of the time, for their small selves. Anyways, there are rules now, unlike when I lived there in the early 90’s: strict on-leash beach hours, usually before 7 am.

How terrible, forced sweater wearing.
I missed the dogs, as I always do, when I am out of town. So I sat each morning on my mother’s bench, and looked out her fourth story condo window down at the park and lake below.  There was a poop bag dispenser on that corner, so I got to see the parade of pups each morning: mostly pedigrees, but always cute, and of course, do not forget about the King Charles spaniels—sweet, soft, doe-eyed, and more likely than not, heart-murmuring away.

But most of the time, the best part of going away is coming home. Wren did the most exuberant hello I have ever seen her perform, pushing Tiny Dog out of the way. And George might have peed on the floor. I came home after dark, and it was 30 degrees colder at least than when I left SC.  I sighed at winter. But then, those tails and tongues and dancing feet! Well, how could you not be glad?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Almost spring

Fifty-two degrees outside today equal veritable tropics. There were hints this was about to occur: Tiny Dog went outside to pee yesterday.  She just trotted out, behind the other two, like it was summer. And it happened again today!

Georgie must have felt the shift too; she started to whine and bark this morning, and Wren has been pacing for a few days inside, looking up at the humans for something.  So I took all three chihuas on a puddled meander. Warm enough out, Chibi walked about 25% of it, rather than her usual 2%, with the rest of the time in my jacket, shivering her antenna ears.  At one point on the bike path today, Tiny Dog followed the wrong person for a little bit, her eyesight poor. She looked smashing in her red fleece coat, her tail up and wagging, though.

I have proof that Tiny Dog was out today: that itty silhouette trailing George around the fire pit. Look at the scattered sunflower husk mess those songbirds left. Such bad manners. 

Outdoor Tiny Dog sighting.

I have the day off after a busy month of filling in days here and there for my influenza’ed boss. Two acupuncture house calls rescheduled today, but I am ok with this, the first wonderful day of the year: jacket unzipped, hat off, no mittens, sun on the face.

George and Wren pulled and pulled on our walk, their undercarriages splattered with mud and melting snow. They did not care.  Once home, they submitted to the towel rub down with sad faces, and then hopped up on the couch in a spot of sun.  Atticus is at daycare; they have to take advantage of the open comfy spot. They rule the world.