Sep 302009
 

Every day I wake up hopefully to the welcome sound of my dad saying “Come on, Joey, let’s get up!” I know that we’re going to get our run! Once I hear those words, it doesn’t take long to get me out of my daze and to get my tail wagging.

Running with my dad in the early morning hours has been my life! I used to run with him for over an hour.  Since I was hit by the car, even after I’ve been running every day or every other day, I am pretty tired after 20 minutes. And my Dad knows this. After we go around the pond and are heading back up the big hill, I can hear him saying “Joey, you can do it. Come on. You can do it!”  Before I was hit by the car, he never had to say that to me.  I would go and go and go. So once we get to the top of the hill, we turn off of the carriage path and Dad runs me back home.  But still, I love running and I love my dad and I love running with my dad – any amount of time. Nothing could be better!

After our run, I wait and see what gems my mom is going to offer me on this day. Will I be able to go outside for walks? Will I spend time in the glow of the sunlight in the back yard while my mom does things outside that I don’t understand? Will I ride in the back seat of the car as she goes from place to place?

Sometimes the day unfolds to a place way beyond my imagination – to some land so close to my heart that I can just sing a song of nature.  Today was such a day.

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playland for dogs
playland for dogs

As my mom and I walked down the path in this blessed woodland, I could almost hear the call of my father and his father and his father, champion hunters all.

*

A babbling stream called to me. My mom didn’t remind me that I’m supposed to be afraid of water. Instead, she said “Joey, gogogo” and sort of nudged me toward the water’s edge.  I walked right down and into the water, pulling her behind me.  She followed. I kept going and she stopped.

*

She watched me fearlessly go into the water.  She was a little nervous: She was wondering how my broken leg and broken foot were going to fare in this new untested and rocky ground, where the bottom wasn’t always visible.   She wanted to encourage me to feel free and comfortable and happy in the water – but didn’t want to encourage me to do something if it was going to be harmful. I jumped from rock to rock, making sure I was stable on one before I scouted out where to go next. My mom stopped and just watched me.  I was absorbed in my own world.  My world.

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I went from rock to rock, across the knee-deep stream toward the other side and then across the rushing waters to the other side – and then felt the tug of my lead telling me I couldn’t go any further. My mom called. Then I went back across the water and from rock to rock again to where my mom stood and waited. Then suddenly we were crossing the rushing waters of the stream again, me first, and my mom following me every step of the way.

It’s hard to say what captivated me about the water. Were there smells in there that I could smell but she could not? Was it the sounds of the rushing water itself, hurrying to get somewhere?

I was still in the water but about to climb up the other bank and my mom was in the middle, struggling to get to my side, when a wonderful dog and his very nice master came walking along the path, and crossing the little bridge!

I discover Cody

I discover Cody

I couldn’t figure out how to get to Cody fast enough.  Cody was on his lead and I was on mine and this was it, but still, I’m not complaining.

Once my mom gets out of the stream, Cody and I get nose to nose – and then it’s time to move on.  I’m okay with that. There are jewels in every step of this park and my mom is happy to just let me wander, explore, stop, smell, and delight.  Maybe the memories of my father, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, champion hunters all, are visiting her, too.

More to come!

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Jun 262009
 

I don’t know what my veterinary doctors are going to think about this but here goes:

There I was – happy as could be – without the splint for the first time in months.

It was the afternoon and I was with my mom.  The telephone rang and my mom was talking and talking to my dad. Then my mom turned to me and said, “Joey, it’s “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” in Boston” and we’re going to go out! But she didn’t tell me we were going to see Dad.  Next, my mom dressed me all up (that is, she put the sock on my foot, the bootie over that and put the lead on me). Then we walked to her car. We drove to my dad’s work.  There, she pulled the car up to the curb and there stood Dad! Happiness and Joy!  Dad opened the car door and I got out. Jane drove away.  Dad stood and I sat until Jane came back (without the car). Then the three of us waIMG_0006_adjlked to Dad’s work, which was only a few feet away. We went up the elevator and into a new and special place.

Right away I was so happy to see new people and make new friends, and people were so happy to see me and I could hear the smiles in their voices. “Joey!” they called to me. This made me even happier. Then more and more people started coming to see me. “Joey! It’s Joey, from the blog!”  They were so excited which made me more excited. They especially got a big kick out of my sock.

Rachel, Tammy and me

Rachel, Tammy and me

Then we all walked to my dad’s office. After all, Dad had work to do. I’m not sure what that means, but I think it means that I’m supposed to be quiet and “sit” and “stay”.

Being quiet and sitting was difficult to do because more and new people kept showing up and wanting to pet me and wanting me to play with them, and take photographs with them.

Jane took a lot of photographs but she wasn’t very happy with the photographs. She kept saying, “Joey, stick your tongue back in your mouth”. But I ignored her.

Rachel, Tammuy, Jody and Jamie

Rachel, Tammy, Jody and Jamie

Then I went into my dad’s office and Jane said, “Joey, sit” while my Dad got quiet and then she got quiet. When I would sit, everybody would say “He’s so gooooood!!!” and then I would get excited and stand up.  Jane wasn’t so happy about that because I still had my injured foot and she didn’t want me standing up too much. But that’s happens when a dog goes to work: A dog has to work at making all the friends he can!

Soon my Dad brought me a bowl of water and Jane said “Joey, drink”. People were watching me drink and they said, “Wow! He’s so good!”  I felt happy to hear them say that with their approving voices.

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so much work

Then it got quiet again and Jane said “Sit” and then “down”.  She kept piling books near me.  It depressed me that I couldn’t play with my new friends while she kept piling more and more books near me.

What's that?

What’s that?

Another big deal was the bald patches on my fur. Although my coat is beginning to grow back, people pointed and said “What’s that?” and my dad was explaining everything. I actually don’t understand what they’re talking about but I do know that they talk a lot and point a lot to my back.

Soon it was time to leave. My dad didn’t think he could work with me there, which I think means that I couldn’t sit and be quiet. Actually, I could sit and be quiet but all my friends there couldn’t stop coming and visiting me. So it was time to go back home with my mom.

The most important thing I have to say is that I love all of my new friends and that if my friends are reading this I want them to know that I would be happy to come back and see them some time.

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this photo speaks for itself

The other most important thing is that it was really nice to spend some time with my dad in the middle of the day and I really love him a lot.  And Dad, if you’re reading this, I love you.

May 122009
 

Does your dog like to play with a ball?  Why do dogs like to play catch? Can dogs really see what is on the TV? How much do you know about the way your dog sees the world?

One of my favorite hobbies is playing with a ball.  I have many ways to play ball.

ellsbury-at-batOne is for somebody to throw it and then I go and run after it and catch it in my mouth.  Then somebody yells “Bring me the ball” and I’m supposed to bring it back, but I don’t always do that. Sometimes, I do, but sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes my parents will have to say, “Joey, come” and I’m supposed to come with the ball, but I don’t always do that, either. Sometimes I drop the ball, and then come to them, leaving the ball behind. Then they say, “Joey, bring me the ball” and here we go, all over again.

Sometimes I’ll bring them the ball, but I won’t drop it. Then they say, “Joey, sit” and then “Drop it” and “Drop the ball” and “Joey, Drop it” until I finally let go of it.  I like this game.

Another game I like to pay is toss the ball high in the air and catch it with my mouth.  I play this by myself, and I am proud of this skill. I can play this for a long time.  Sometimes when we have people over our house, I will start to play this game as a way of attracting their attention and as a way of saying “Play with me”.

Now that I’m wounded, I can’t play ball either with them or by myself.

The closest I can come to playing ball is watching baseball, as you see here.  I’m watching baseball with  my parents so that we can spend time together.  Baseball is very big where I live.  I’m a little interested in the motion on the screen.  In these lugo-at-batpictures, my team is at bat.

We won this game, by the way, 4-3.

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