Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bumper Crop

Evil WeedThanks to my tireless research last fall, I was able to pinpoint the source of the burrs all through Pappy's fur each time we would go out on a walk. Now that I am familiar with the evil weed, I can't help but notice that this summer there is a bumper crop growing along either side of the creek path. We're talking a gauntlet of six foot plants all along the route Pappy and I walk at least twice a day. And Pappy is every bit as captivated by them now as then, burrowing deep into the plants each time we pass-- thankfully the flowers haven't yet burr-ified.

It could be my imagination, but it seems like the plants are thickest in all the spots where I would stop to pick the burrs out of Pappy's face. Pappy and I might be the ideal distribution system for seeds.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Going Native

Pappy in MaineSo Pappy has been going off-leash as much as he ever has during this vacation in Maine. When we first started out taking off the leash he seemed so incredulous-- "you mean you want me to walk by myself?" Every few feet he'd stop and look back to check in. And when I beckoned to have him come back to have the leash put on, he seemed relieved. But more recently he's grown into his newfound freedom. He falls a little further behind and "forgets" to come along. And when I let him out into the unfenced front yard he no longer does his business and races back to the screen door to come in. He has started to amble down to the beach to lick spilled butter off of the rocks from the recent lobster party, or check out the spot where we dumped out the mussel shells. This morning I had to go looking for him, and he was whuffing at a poor passing walker on the road. Not all good.

But one thing he has enjoyed has been exploring the "back 40". Across the road from our house we have a patch of land shared with two other families-- about 30 acres of spruce forest and wetlands. The way through the woods is layer on layer of fallen trees and crisscrossing pointy branches, with occasional lovely clearings. Jungles wish they were as impenetrable as this. Pappy and I have made three excursions into the back 40, being unable to find the property markers and getting incredibly lost each time. He just loves it, racing back and forth and quickly recalling when I clap my hands. Of course I'm terrified that he's going to pick up some ticks, but so far so good.

Monday, August 04, 2008

World's Most Annoying Dog

Be it a swimming pool or a tidal pool, Pappy's favorite game is to drop his ball repeatedly into the water and then whine and angst until it's close enough to snatch out of the water. And then he drops it back in the water. Pappy's not afraid of swimming off of a shallow beach, but he is afraid of steep dropoffs and so won't go swimming after the ball. This video is of Pappy at my cousin's beach where they have a little tidal wading pool formed by some ancestor jamming a stick of dynamite into the rocks-- before the days of ecological correctness and greening.

Okay, so the other day Pappy was standing out on the rocks, drops his ball in the water, paws at it once or twice, and watches mournfully as it as the tide carries it away to sea. Now Pappy has been swimming in the bay since we arrived, but he has developed a flash neurosis and can only stand on the rocks whining about his lost ball while staring out to sea. I break out the kayak and paddle out after the ball. On turning around to return to shore who should I see paddling after me but our insane little seal dog, churning away in my wake. All I'm saying is that he could have saved me some trouble.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Turn in the Weather

Foggy foggy foggyWell, the beautiful view of the other day has disintegrated. The island weather has moved to the pole opposite crystal clear and beautiful-- suffocatingly foggy. Pappy has been pretty mopey for a couple of days as his paws healed from thundering around on the rocky beach, but seems to be on the mend. I've been painting away pretty happily, but our houseful of guests is getting a little stir crazy. So, I grabbed the bicycle, ditched Pappy, and rode into the village to sit at this picnic bench outside the library and filch internet access.