Friday, May 16, 2008

More from Camp Mimi (almost Week Three!)

We'll have had Mimi a full two weeks tomorrow, and a lot has happened. She's been spayed, she's peed inside the house (our bad -- a dog's notion of "indoors" and "outdoors" is not precisely the same as a human's, so we've been taking precautions since then, and all's been well), she played with her new toys, and she's learned to sit, almost when we want her to!

Here's Mimi with Starman, on the grass. She loves being outside, provided it's not raining. It's raining now, and that is not making for a happy dog. Tough. You will survive being wet... (and we'll survive the "wet dog smell").
When we first went shopping for play toys for Mimi, we fell in love with a series of realistic animals sold with AKC labels. (I am not sure I believe that a licensing deal by the American Kennel Club guarantees real quality, but at least someone has looked at the toy and said, "probably won't kill anyone..." if only to prevent an ugly lawsuit. . . Um, I'm doing that lawyer thing, aren't I? Sorry.) Here she is enjoying "Possy," her opossum toy. She's very gentle with it, if you consider gentle to be consistent with shaking it vigorously from side to side. She doesn't try to eviscerate it, though, and that's my definition of gentle.

Another AKC toy we've gotten so far is Rocky, the raccoon. We have Bunny, but that's living in the car at the moment, for car travel. We need to get a groundhog, but NOT a skunk. There's a skunk living around here -- we trapped it twice and released it both times -- but we really don't want Mimi to mess with the skunk. If she does, though, Hope (hi, Hope!) has a recipe for what to wash the dog with.

This would be that "gentle play" I was telling you about.

We're supposed to be keeping Mimi from running and jumping for two weeks following the surgery. This is harder than it seems, as she's feeling very feisty just at the moment. We've done pretty well so far, although she is very energetic when she plays with a tuggy toy, and that can't be good for the abdominal wall, can it?

Anyway, that prohibition ends on Wednesday, and we've got to decide if she comes to Philadelphia with us. (Oh, right, I forgot to mention that to Hub 1.0 -- she'd have a crate, mind you, so she wouldn't be any trouble at all . . .!) It could be that I come by myself and Starman stays at home to work with Mimi on expending lots of pent-up energy. We'll see.

We did take her to Conklin last weekend to the annual town-wide yard sale. She was good as gold with people, and particularly with kids. Sat calmly, let people pet her (pretty much everyone asks permission first, even little kids), didn't bark or squirm or anything. The only blot on her record came when she really really really wanted to meet a German Shorthair Pointer (or something of that ilk). She was heeling pretty well until we were about ten feet away, and then she lunged. The Pointer barked, and its owner hustled it away. Poor Mimi was heartbroken. Babe, don't you know it's never good to show how emotionally needy you are?

We met up in Conklin with Scott & Hope, friends of Starman's from yoga. Hope was pleased to meet Mimi but we didn't hang out very long. The next day, I was taking the long (2.6 mile) loop walk we refer to as "Cat Hill." (This is now officially a misnomer, but we called it that because it includes a steep slope to a T-junction. At the top of the hill is a house that used to have stray and feral cats living underneath it. So the slope became known as "Cat Hill" and the full walk is the Cat Hill Loop, primarily because seeing the cats was the reward for making it up the hill, and also because once you'd done that bit, you really had no reason not to keep going around for the rest of the loop. But then the old guy died, and his heirs collected all the cats, and now the only reward for getting up the slope is the knowledge that the rest of the walk is way way easier.) I'd just turned the corner and was walking along the level road north of the (former) cat house when I saw a car coming towards me. I moved onto the grass with Mimi, and promptly fell flat on my face. Who gets out of the car to check on me, but Hope! Small world we live in. (I'm fine, thanks.)

Life with a dog is good. I've lost two pounds since the beginning of the month!

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