Summer is winding down, the kids are back in school, and Stacey says it is time to catch you up on my August adventures! I did not travel far and wide, but it was a busy month. The first of the month I found myself in another movie theater, no fireworks this time. After the movie we ate outside at the Washingtonian Center – there was a band playing and lots of people walking by. I was very good, mostly. There was one dog that I just could not ignore; she came by twice, and both times I had to stand and stare for at least a little bit.
The next day Stacey took me to church, which I do frequently, and I went into children’s church. She teaches elementary kids and they were learning about perseverance, which is a very big word that means not giving up just because something is hard. Anyway, she used me as an object lesson; I demonstrated picking up a coin and a credit card from the slippery floor. The kids loved me and Stacey was very proud of me.
On Monday August 3 it was the Hero Dogs golf tournament. I was not out there swinging a club; but I was out there swinging my tail back and forth warmly greeting golfers. Each foursome had their picture taken with several of us Hero Dogs in training. It was very good practice for sit – wait. It was also good for watch; it seems they prefer that you look at the camera while being photographed rather than the golf ball flying through the air. It was a big day! I can’t remember what time I came home, but I went to bed very early that night.
The very next weekend we headed down to Lynchburg. Stacey and Dave were going to babysit their little granddaughter. This time we stayed in a house and not a hotel. It was the first time I had kind of lived with a baby. Babies have lots of stuff that looks like it needs to be picked up and carried around or chewed on. My toys and bones just seemed boring when I was there. I had to work a great deal on leave it. Little Lily seemed to love me, from a distance. The closer I got to her she was not convinced. Stacey explained to me that I needed to not lick her face at all and that if I sat looking away from her or would go “down” she would touch me. By the end of the weekend, she actually sat with me on the floor and patted me once or twice. I stayed very still.
Stacey and I did an event with Moira and Mae. Mae is very cute by the way; why have I not really noticed that before. As a matter of fact, girl dogs have suddenly become pretty interesting to me in general. Stacey keeps saying “you are acting like such a boy.” It also seems that she does not think it is safe for me to even sniff around a mailbox or lamp post; she runs the opposite way and acts like there is a monster there. I don’t quite get it, but she’s the boss.
Big dog class has been busy and challenging; I think I have said that before. One week we went to Damascus and walked along the busy streets, down into a park and around a McDonalds and into the ice cream place parking lot. Stacey actually wanted me to do all of this without pulling or eating anything off the ground. One class we worked on “go,” “go through,” “follow,” “back,” “turn,” “stand,” and “wait” all in one hour. My head was spinning. Last week we had the Metro ride class. We met outside of the Shady Grove Metro and one by one practiced going through the gate barrier. I had to “go through” ahead of Stacey and under the closed gate, turn and then sit and wait while Stacey put her card in and the gate opened and she walked through. We rode the elevator and then practiced getting off and on the Metro and getting under the benches. We were practicing and Becca said ok, let’s all get on this one; Stacey and I were already inside. As soon as she said that, the doors closed and we left the group behind. Stacey and I found a place to sit. I was fine, until the thing moved. It made me nervous at first, but Stacey kept giving me treats and telling me what a good boy I was. I was fine after like two minutes. When we got off there were lots of steps we had to go down, SLOWLY. It is confusing when we go up the steps Stacey wants me to go first and wait and then when she is coming down she wants me to wait and she goes first. I wish she would make up her mind.
I have saved the best adventure for last. Every Tuesday in August “Not Your Average Joe’s” donated money to HD when the people ate there. Petra and Ivy had this great idea to invite some HD friends out to lunch there and then go swimming at her pool. Grete, Robbie, Chester and I came. They were very nice to us at the restaurant; we had requested a table outside and they brought out a water bowl for us. I knocked it over and Stacey was super embarrassed, but they kept saying it was no problem. Several dogs walked by us and some of my friends, not saying who, had some barking issues; nevertheless, as a whole we were very good.
Swimming was new to me; the only reason I went in that pool thing at first was because there was a ball to get. I got a little freaked out when I realized I could not touch bottom nor could I climb out by myself in the deep end, and then a raft floated over me and Ivy jumped on top of me! Don’t tell everybody, but Stacey had me on the long line and I was never really in any danger. The story is more dramatic the way I tell it. After that it took me a lot of convincing to get back in. Robin S. fell into the pool, so she would place the ball just out of reach. Bit by bit I got back in. At first all that I could do was do paddle and when I could touch bottom, I did. I would stand up with my feet on the bottom and my paws on the side of the pool. That darn ball kept ending up farther and farther away. Robin would kind of pick up my back legs as I was going by. I am not exactly sure how it happened, but suddenly I started using my back legs as well, and then run in the water. After that I did not want to get out. Talk about tired!!!!!
The month ended with a visit from Lily and her parents to my house. She did not bring very many of her toys with her, so I tried to give her mine. It seemed that Stacey did not think that was the best idea; every time I brought Lily my ball or my bone and she started to put it in her mouth, just like we all know she should, Stacey would trade one of her toys for my toy. Go figure. She seemed to be getting more used to me, which makes me happy. She does seem to like Cody more! I don’t know why; he’s kind of boring. He just sits there quietly when she gets near him; I mean, his tail wags a bit but that’s it. There is just no accounting for taste I guess.