a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Rain. And Phone Books.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rain. And Phone Books.

SUMMARY: Boost does some surprising fetching and is surprised by water from the sky.

It last rained in San Jose on March 15. Yesterday's forecast called for rain last night and this morning. An agility friend posted on her web site, "I wonder what rain feels like?" Anticipation lay low, humming, in the background of all conversations in the valley. Rain. At last.

Every morning, Boost fetches the newspaper for me from the driveway. Today, she woke me at 5:30 demanding to go out (drat, are we not over this yet? And it was going so well--). The ground was dry. Another wet forecast turning out to be all wet?

Since I was getting up at 6:00 anyway to go for an early hiking adventure, I opened the front door to see whether the paper yet sat in its plastic rain-bag at the end of my driveway. Nothing was there. But Boost burst past me, down the sidewalk, and skidded to a halt next to a dark, hulking, plastic-wrapped shape near the roses, and began to work at grabbing it. --What on earth--?

I walked out to the sidewalk, and discovered that the Phonebook Fairy had left the new phonebook for me, carelessly wrapped in plastic so that one end was protected from potential rain but the other end lay completely exposed. And dry. Boost was wrestling enthusiastically, trying to find some pages to grab, as the whole thing was, shall i say, a wee bit larger than even the usual Sunday-supplemented Saturday paper. I hurriedly aligned the phone book with the spine towards her, to prevent having the entire M section ripped out with a too-effusive effort to Get That Newspaper.

I didn't think she could actually manage it, but with several bits of assistance and several drops and re-pick-ups, she managed to get that whole huge thing into the house and deliver it to where she always delivers the paper. Quite an entertainment for her mom early in the morning.

As I gave her some thanks-for-fetching treats, the sky opened. How grateful was I now for being wakened early and also having the dog run out the front door without permission? Had she done neither of those things, I'd now have a sopping wet gigantic blob of former phonebook.

A few minutes later, Tika put up a big racket about Something Dangerous In The Front Yard. I peered out the door, and sure enough, the paper itself had arrived. So I fetched Boost, lined her up, said, "Ready....Get The Paper!" and released her. She blasted down the steps to the sidewalk--and skidded to a halt. She jerked her head and body left and right. She ran to one side. She stepped back. She looked at the roses like she might be about to spook. She started to wuff a "Danger! Unknown danger!" wuff, when I realized what was happening: She hadn't been rained on in 7 and a half months.

So I had to run out into the rain to reassure her, run with her down to the paper at the end of the driveway, and then follow her as quickly as I could as she dashed back inside, plastic-bagged paper grasped firmly in her jaws. OK, so now **I'M** wet, but at least the phone book is dry.

(I'll try to get my hike photos up soon. No dogs this time, though.)

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