Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Doggie Adventures (part 1)

The dogs (my Jasper, and my parents' two dogs Mitzi and Abby) have been having an adventure-filled summer so far. I promise to post pictures and videos of them as soon as I find the USB cord for my camera (everything seems to get lost whenever I pack to move). Here's just a few of the fun things the doggies have been up to:

1. A few weeks ago, I decided that my car was in dire need of a bath (half of it looked like a graveyard for insects, and the other half resembled a seagull relief station). Since Jasper loves water, I let him out to "help" me. He thought this was terrific! For about half an hour, Jasper amused himself by chasing and "attacking" the water as it came out of the hose. He also managed to capture and carry away a bucket (with a little bit of water in it). That boy has some strong jaws!

2. Last week, Mom saw a vole digging near the deck, so I got the hose and washed him out of his little hidey-hole. Mom suggested letting the dogs out to see what they would do to the vole (he was still alive, albeit very wet and tired). Mitzi, Abby, and Jasper soon proved to be excellent "huntin' dawgs." They chased the vole around the yard, caught him, barked at him, and finally decided to play tug-o-war with him. I'm guessing the vole probably died of a massive stroke!

3. After a sleepless night the other night, I gave up on resting and got up early. I thought the dogs might enjoy getting up early as well, so I took them down to the basement with me (to keep them from waking up my father). In an effort to distract the dogs from investigating some of my teaching supplies, I gave them each a marshmallow to play with. Abby decided that her marshmallow was Public Enemy #1, and started growling ferociously at it and batting it around the room with her paws. Jasper investigated his carefully, decided it was edible, and promptly ate it in a single gulp. Mitzi also reached the conclusion that marshmallows are edible, but had a little trouble in consuming hers. Somehow she got it stuck to the side of her face, and started running in circles trying to "catch" it!

4. Dad bought a large ball for Jasper, after I caught him playing with my volleyball the other day. Jasper promptly taught himself how to play soccer! He pushes the ball all over the yard while running and barking merrily. It's quite a sight! I don't think I've ever known a shih tzu to be quite as athletic as my Jasper is. His other recent favorite game is frisbee.

5. While I had the dogs out earlier today, Mitzi tracked down a wounded baby rabbit (I believe it's the one that my brother-in-law shot with a BB gun yesterday). Before I could stop her, she shook the life out of it, and then had a rambunctious round of bunny-tug-o-war with Abby. Furry woodland creatures are no longer safe at this house!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"