Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Monthly Diary for September

I was pretty active this month. Mommy and I did a few hikes and I took her on a couple of crazy long morning walks (see my previous entry about one of them). Mommy started taking something called Tai Chi again and I don't like it. I don't like anything that changes my routine. She plugged the nasty beepy thing back in the wall again too, which I didn't like so I got all nervous and whiny for a whole night. It didn't even beep, but just knowing that it was plugged into the wall and COULD beep is worrying enough.

I almost caught some squirrels this month too, which impressed Mommy and some strangers who saw one of my near misses. It's a good thing they weren't there for the day I tried to catch a squirrel at the squirrel park. I was walking with Mommy and I spotted a squirrel. I went after him and he ran up a tree right in front of me. I tried to brake, but I was standing on a whole bunch of acorns and they all were rolling under my feet! My feet slid around like a cartoon character running on ball bearings and I finally fell over and slid into a drainage ditch. I was very sore that night, but I didn't need any meds and I felt fine the next day. Those squirrels are evil.

Weird Kitty who Mommy says is an opossum has come back to visit us at night. He likes to see what Mommy has put in the compost heap and I like to go out and chase him up the trees. Mommy says he isn't the original Weird Kitty because he is smaller and whiter than Original Weird Kitty, but he is just as fun to chase and bark at.

I met the new neighbor dog. She is a HE!! His name is Cocoa and we thought he was a girl because he pees like a girl! He is a grown up boy dog, but he doesn't know how to lift his leg. Very sad that. He came to the fence to talk to me and I got all excited and barked at him and he decided he wanted to go back in the house. A couple days later he came back to the fence to talk to me again and this time I didn't bark at him right away so we got to talk a little bit, but then I got excited again and barked and he went in. Mommy says that my barking is scaring him and I need to stay a little calmer so he can get brave enough to play run along the fence with me.

I also went to the vet this month. I needed my rabies shot. Mommy told the vet how I was slowing down and not wanting to walk long distances anymore and she was worried that my back or joints might be hurting me more than they used to. The vet checked me out and said that I didn't seem to have anything major going on, but that I had lost some muscle in my hind legs. She told Mommy no more babying me. She said that Mommy should take me for 8 mile hikes even if I was getting grumpy at 4 miles. She said I should just stop and take breaks every mile or so if I want to. So Mommy has started doing that with me. On our last walk I got grumpy around mile 4 1/2 but we did 8 miles anyway. I was tired for the rest of that day, but not the day after, so Mommy says it is working.

I made some new friends this month. Mommy and I were walking home from the lake and we passed a house where some people were standing in the driveway talking. One of them said, "Oh look! It's the dog that I told you I saw the other day." I know when people say "dog" they mean me so I went up to him to say hello. He thought that was funny and he pet me and I smiled and he really liked that. The others pet me too so they could see me smile and we had a good long petting session. Finally Mommy said I had to go and we left. The next week when we were walking back from the lake we passed the same house and I slowed down so they could see I was there. One of them did and she came out to pet me. Her friends who had pet me the other day saw she was out petting me and came over to pet me too! Then some kids came by and pet me as well. Now when we walk by that house I make sure to slow down and look for people who want to pet me.

It is good I have some new petters because the girls who come out to pet me at night live on a block that is too dark for Mommy and me to safely walk down at night so we don't get to see them much anymore. This weekend Mommy and I took our evening walk earlier than normal so I made sure that we walked down the road where the girls live. When we got to their house they were not out. I stopped in their driveway and refused to move. Mommy said they were busy and weren't going to come out to pet me. She tried to get me to move, but I refused. She pulled on my leash so I sat down. She told me to stop being silly, the girls were not out and they weren't coming out and I needed to start walking. I lay down in the driveway and refused to move. Mommy pulled on my leash, but I still refused to get up and walk. We argued for about 10 minutes and then the girls' father came out of the backyard where he was raking leaves and started laughing at me. He went to the house and called inside, "Your friend is here. You need to come out and say hi." The girls said, "What friend?" and the dad said, "Merlin" and so the girls and their mom came out to pet me. After a good petting session Mommy said we needed to go and I agreed to leave. As we were walking away I made sure to give Mommy a very smug look. For some reason she thinks I am spoiled.

Oh! I almost forgot! Mommy FINALLY figured out that I say, "Yes". She had noticed a couple years ago that if she asked me if I wanted to go see the guys at the feed store I would lick the right side of my mouth. She thought that was funny because I was anticipating getting a treat and licking. Then one day she asked me if I wanted a treat and I licked the side of my mouth. Again she thought it was anticipating a treat. But this month she said, "Do you want to go for a car ride?" and I licked the side of my mouth. Mommy said, "Wait a minute! Do you want to go for a car ride?" and I licked. Mommy said, "Do you want to take a hike?" and I licked. She said, "Do you want to take a bath?" and I didn't lick. She said, "Do you want to take a car ride?" Lick. "Do you want a bath?" no lick. Mommy said, "Does licking mean yes?" and I licked and Mommy nearly fainted. She now asks me yes and no questions and I will answer yes with a lick. The feed store guys today said, "Do you want a treat?" and I licked and Mommy said, "He just said yes." She may be a little slow, but she finally caught on!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Crazy-Long Morning Walk

Mommy needed to return a DVD to the library this morning so she decided we would walk there. Since she figured we'd only do a 5 or 6 mile walk she didn't wear any shoes. We went to the library and then through the park and then I decided that I wanted to go see where a new bike trail I had noticed last week went. Since it was a nice morning Mommy said okay to following the bike trail for awhile. We took it north to a park I'd never been to before. It was rather boring being only a baseball field surrounded by houses, so I decided to backtrack to where a different new bike path broke off. We followed that path and found ourselves at some nice lakes full of geese surrounded by some big McMansions. Mommy kinda knew where we were even though the trail twisted around a lot so we kept going straight. Eventually we came out to the busy road that is by one of my favorite forest preserves. We found there was a new bike trail there too so we followed it towards the forest preserve. It was starting to get rather hot at that point and Mommy had no water for me. We had gone about 4 miles at that point and my tongue was hanging out, so when Mommy saw a Walgreens up ahead she said, "Let's see if they'll let us in." She stood in the door and asked if we could come in and get some water for me and a soda for her. The manager said okay so we walked in in our bare feet and got some water and a soda and Mommy bought me a mug to drink out of. Here is my new mug:

We went to a shady bench and I drank my water. A person who was in the store felt sorry for me and gave Mommy a couple more bottles of water, which was very nice, but unnecessary because Mommy knew that if the trail continued the way it was going we'd be at my forest preserve in about 1 mile and there was a drinking fountain there. The lady refused to take the water back so I drank another 1/2 bottle and then we followed the path which DID go to the forest preserve. I finished off the water there and Mommy refilled one of the bottles at the drinking fountain and talked to some older ladies who said I looked tired. We had done about 4 1/2 miles by then and Mommy said I was and we were not at all where she had planned to be. They asked if we knew how to get home and Mommy told them we did. We followed a bike trail we knew that headed towards home, but breaks off and goes through another development that Mommy didn't know so we just cut across the grass because I was getting really tired by then. When we came to a nice shady spot Mommy and I lay on the grass in the shade by the side of the road and rested for a little bit. Then we continued on our way. Eventually we got to a section of bike trails that I recognized so I started to lead the way home again. We took that trail to the creek path and then the creek path to the main road to the Dog n Suds!!! Mommy said I could have some cheese fries so we stopped and she ordered cheese fries and a bowl of water. We shared the cheese fries and I drank the water and finished off the water she had gotten from the drinking fountain at the park. I tired to get the car hop girl to give me more fries, but even though she thought I was very cute, she didn't come out of the building to bring me anything. Then we continued to town. I wanted to go get a Pup Cup at the Tastee Freeze but Mommy said she was out of money. So we walked through town and I tried to get her to stop at all the restaurants to see if they'd give me anything, but she said no to that too. We did walk to the lake and I took a short swim and then we walked the final 1/4 mile home. It added up to about 9 miles and 4 hours of morning walk and we found all sorts of nice new places! Mommy says we can do it again, but she needs to bring water and a bowl for me if we are going to do it.