Sunday, December 19, 2004

To The Big Park Today

Drove all 3 dogs to the big park with the hill and the huge grassy areas to play frisbee and to let them run free. Tika was very well behaved. Although she didn't come when called at one point when she got curious about another dog, she did come after a quick sniff and wag. This is the dog who goes ape-sh** on a leash when she sees another dog. There were about 4 other dogs there today at different times and places, and she showed only mild to moderate interest and had to go say a quick "Hi" to two of them.

She came when called almost every time (I was carrying junk food in a bag on my belt). Whenever she'd start to dash in a direction that I found undesireable and called "Tika, this way!", she came this way. Ohhhhhh, how different from 2 years ago!

We played a good game of frisbee (Casey will chase the frisbee and bring it most of the way back, but mostly he wants to hold it and then slam it against Tika when she starts running), then walked around the park. Temperature was in the upper 30s to lower 40s--frost bedecked some sheltered areas of grass--and my feet got thoroughly soaked and very cold. The things I do for a good time.

Then we played a good game of frisbee, discovered that the water fountain wasn't functioning, so the dogs spent a good deal of time munching the long grasses--I suspect primarily for the cool dewey water, then walked around the park. It was otherwise a beautiful sunny morning, just a little hazy. Lots more people there off and on than I'd have expected on a chilly Sunday morning starting at 8 or so.

Then we played a good game of frisbee and walked around the park. My pedometer registered 1.3 miles, but it seems to be registering low lately, so it might have been more--and some of it was up and over the hill, which would be good for my cardiovasculars.

Tika was clearly overheating again. When she's walking on her Gentle Leader, she often rubs her face on lawns. Today she never saw hide nor hair of the GL, but by this time she was rubbing her face and head in all of the dampest, longest grasses, then lying down in other patches. I surmise it was all an effort to cool down. Not that she ever runs out of energy; I'd make some comment to her and she'd put her ears back and leap up into the scootchy I'm-ready-to-play pose, then zoom off in some other direction.

Jake mostly kept an eye on me and kept swooping in for a free goodie. I was only too glad to oblige; as a hard-of-hearing dog, he's better off sticking closer and paying more attention. I practiced recalls with Casey and Tika constantly and relied on Jake watching them for his cues. Even so, once as I surmounted the tippy-top of the hill, where the sides fall away steeply and the dogs can't see me if they're not right with me, Tika and Casey came bounding into sight when I called them, but Jake had vanished. I had to backtrack a bit to see him bounding back around (rather than up) the hill, trying to figure out where I was. Fortunately he saw me bouncing and waving my arms--I was concerned that he'd head off down the hill full tilt thinking I had gone back the way we came.

Then we played a little more frisbee and, an hour or more having passed, I took the sopping wet dogs and the cold-footed mom home.

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