Sep 112009

Some runs are really exceptional.

This morning did not start out like a typical morning. It started out even better.

First of all, my mom got out of bed shortly after my dad did. This is unusual. Sensing something out of the ordinary, I got up too.

day begins in our home

a new day begins for my family

Besides, it seemed like something I wanted to be a part of. I stretched, yawned, and followed my mom downstairs and into the kitchen, where my dad was already fussing around.

My water bowl was full, as usual.  I drank a lot of water.  Mom asked, “Is this typical of him to drink so much water early in the morning?”  If she were up early more often, she would know.

Soon, things got more interesting and I could feel myself getting excited….Something good was in the air.  It was a warm morning.  Dad opened up my little box that is in the front hallway and I know that when he or my mom open that little box that somebody is taking me outside! Dad got out his supplies: little poop bags, little lights that he clipped onto my collar, and a little flashlight. Those are his toys, not mine.

Mom, meanwhile, had disappeared.   When Dad and I got to the front door, there was Jane, standing outside waiting for us. Dad and I came outside and – we all three started running!  See me?  I’m the one with my eyes glowing (from the light hitting my tapetum).


But first, I want to tell you that it was dark outside so I am going to write about the little blinking lights that my dad clipped onto my collar.  Whenever it’s dark outside, my parents click these little lights, two of them, one on each side, onto my collar.

I have my flashing lights on so I can be seen in the darkness.

I have my flashing lights on so I can be seen in the darkness.

These flashing lights don’t seem to help me in any way but they don’t bother me either, so I don’t mind. Without my lights, I’d still be able to see and smell my way around perfectly well. Dogs can see pretty well in the dark, and we can smell at any hour of the day! But humans wouldn’t be able to see me. This is important because my dad wants to know where I am at all times. He also wants cars to be able to see me.


Here I am with my lights on, under the light on the carriage path by the pond. It’s still dark out – for humans.

Once I have my lights on, we’re ready to run! Off I scamper into the delightful world that awaits.  There are no other dogs out at this hour but still – life doesn’t get any better than this!

May 102009

How do dogs perceive something far off in the distance? Do they use their sense of sight, hearing, smell, or touch? Why would the doctor not allow our friend Joey to chase a squirrel?


Wait.  I perceive some movement beyond the fence.  Who’s that I see and hear off in the distance?  Is that my little neighbor, Zooey, and her mom? Oh, it is! Can she see me?  I’ll just quickly wag my tail and say hello!

Zooey’s mom calls hello back, and tells Zooey to say “Hi Joey!” They wave. Then Mom calls out, “Joey … can have visitors today!” Soon Zooey and Zooey’s mom come over to my home to say “Hello, Joey!” closeup.  They walk slowly because Zooey is only now learning how to walk.  This is great. When Zooey and her mom come into our home, I am very excited, because I love to play with children. However, I’m a big dog and almost 10 years old, and Zooey is a small child and only 2 years old.

So on this afternoon, Mom puts me in the living room and closes the new gate that we have, and Zooey stands in the hallway in the arms of her mommy, and she waves at me from there, and says, “Hello, Joey!”  Then she smiles, and I wag my tail.  Both Zooey and I are happy.

We have great neighbors, and I’m a Labrador Retriever, after all, and being neighborly is one of my and our favorite hobbies.

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