Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jasper's Nemesis, Round Two

It took a day or two before Jasper fully calmed down and returned to normal after his first terrifying encounter with the upstairs neighbors' hideous bulldog (the dog means to be friendly, but is so large and ugly that I can well understand Jasper's fear), so you can imagine how shook up he was tonight after a second encounter. Fortunately, this time was far less traumatizing for him, since there was not a long chase involved.

Jasper is very good about letting me know when he needs to go, so when he started up with his "potty-time" whine and his little "I can't hold it for very long" dance, I took him right outside. As soon as we got to the grass, I heard a loud bark coming from the darkness, and that ginormous bulldog came barreling towards us. Jasper gave a loud squeak and actually leapt into my arms - literally. I carted him inside immediately, then spent the next twenty minutes calming him down. I knew he still needed to go out, but it took a lot of convincing before Jasper would go - normally just the word "outside" sends him into ecstatic raptures of joy. Never before have I seen my dog empty his bladder so quickly! He barely even stepped into the grass! As soon as he finished, he bolted back to the door. Clearly, he was in no mood to spend extra moments outdoors.

Eventually, Jasper relaxed and became his usual playful self. He spent a good amount of time beating his rubber chicken against the wall, then raced around the apartment with his octopus in his mouth, finally stopping after he accidentally collided with my chair - he did the same thing last night, only the collision was with the bedroom door. He's my dog all right!

A little while ago, I found a new form of entertainment. It may be a little cruel, but it sure was funny. I had emptied my plastic jar of dried minced onions when I made soup earlier, so I pulled the label off, cleaned it, and then filled the container with a few pungent dog treats. Then I gave it to Jasper. Nearly half an hour later, he is still chasing the jar all over the place, growling and doing his best to try to get the treats out. Don't worry; I'll let him have one in a little while. I'm curious to see if he can figure out how to get the lid to open on his own.

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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"