Saturday, December 26, 2009

Terfel's Big Day(s)

Two big days in a row for the puppy.

Christmas Brunch 2009

On Christmas we met up with Sj, C, and E for a bit of a walk out at Green Lake. E has a 15-week old Boxer puppy name Jamoca. The walk was fun with Terfel poking his nose into everything and otherwise leading Jamoca around.

Then back to Sj and C's place for brunch ("yum" is not really a strong enough word for "rosemary potato strata, breakfast meats such and yummy bacon and sausage, potatoes (you can never have too many potatoes), baked pancakes, toast and C’s coffee cake"), an occupation which took the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon and involved a great deal of puppy play. To wit:


Which resulted in . . .

Boxing Day 2009 turned out to be another big day for the puppy.

Brilliant blue skies and, by the time I bestirred myself from the bed, pretty warm temperatures. One of those amazingly pretty (and mild) Puget Sound winter days.

My cold, of course, has abated (some) but not enough to go run this morning with Sj (and her crew, and I missed a pretty cool run out at Tiger too). Would have a been a fantastic morning but I cannot manage even a block without descending into a coughing fit.

So, M and I decided to take the pup out for a hike at Cougar Mountain. His first time. Nothing like getting him excited about going out there now is there.

Cougar Mountain

Parked down at Red Town and took the Wildside trail out to where it joins with Red Town. A short loop really but lots of ups and downs and interesting things for puppies (and, well, me too) to poke noses in to. He was pretty happy to be climbing up logs.

Just past the trail down to Ford Slope and the Steam Hoist area we met a couple walking another puppy from the other direction. Annie, their Wire-Haired Terrier-Lab Mix, was about the same age as Terfel. We let them off-leash to have at it. About 15 minutes of full on puppy-play and chasing ensued and we had a nice chance to chat. The wind was coming up and branches (small ones) were beginning to fall of the trees. THAT got both the puppies attention.

Continuing on we were passed by a dad walking with his two daughters. This would not be at all noteworthy but for two things: first, one of the girls was plainly afraid of Terfel and second, both girls were wearing their brand-new Merry Christmas cowboy boots (one pair red, the other green). Just the thing for slogging through the mud, right?

Then it was time for a drink once we got to Red Town and so I carefully lifted the little fella up and . . .

He was pretty scared and unsure of his footing. Pawed at the water a couple of time and had a little bit of a drink. The important thing is that he did not panic.

Took a bit of a detour off Red Town down to the Ford Slope Mineshaft to read the signs. Ran down the hill and I almost biffed it on some ice. Terfel had a blast. He was less enthusiastic when we ran back uphill towards M. :-P

Terfel was tired but neither M nor I were ready to head home on such a pretty day. What to do, what to do?

How about stopping to get some more cookies from Immortal Dog and then (maybe) go for a swim out at Magnuson. OK!

While in the shop, Terfel met two lab mixes that had been playing frisbee. One, a young male, hiked his leg and peed all over a box of dog food bags. Hmm. There is a problem there methinks.

Lots of snoring out of the back seat as we made our way North.

Magnuson Park

So many people out walking their dogs in the park today. We put Terfel on Jessica's old Flexi-Line so he could get some distance and walked down towards the shore area. The first thing we came upon were two Pomeranians that were so fat (and puffed out)—imagine very fuzzy fully inflated puffer fish. Terfel tried to say "hello" but they were really having none of it. As round as these two were, however, they were obviously delighted to be out and about.

The water level in the lake has dropped and it was possible to walk along the beach for a very good distance (normally you cannot). Terfel is fascinated by bodies of water but tends to keep his distance. Today he ventured a bit closer and actually put a paw in the water. We came across a woman swimming her dog and Terfel watched and tried to play a bit but didn't go in. I threw a stick for him and he just watched it disappear. I suspect that he'll learn to swim with Jas the next time she goes.

It was pretty amazing to watch Terfel in the fields and bushes. He was bounding excitedly from place to place in obvious enjoyment. So much fun to watch.

Kite Hill was busy with kite fliers and even someone with a radio controlled glider. The kites and some of the kids flying them were very noisy. The kites because the wind was up and the kids, well, can kids ever be quiet when flying kites? I know I couldn't and I'll bet not much has changed. Terfel watched all this for a while and then we continued on down Kite Hill. A woman got out of her car and hailed us just as we were coming off the hill. "May I ask you a favor?" she asked. "Is your dog friendly?" she continued. "Sure" and "Yes" I said, "What can we do for you?" Her grand-daughter had been eyeing Terfel as we came along and wanted to meet him. She couldn't walk. So, the she opened the car door and Terfel jumped up to meet her, eliciting such a beaming smile. I gave the little girl some treats to give Terfel and she did. He was so enthusiastic and at the same time gentle. Turns out, the family was from Gig Harbor and had a baby who was at Children's Hospital. I can't imagine what it must be like to have three children, two of whom have medical difficulties at such a young age. I wished them well as we left but now regret not giving them my number. Perhaps the little girl would like some more puppy time? Her smile was wonderful.

Hmm. Perhaps Terfel has a future as a therapy dog?

Then we ran into (yet another) Lucy. What is it with that and dogs around here? We have three "Lucy's" on our block. Anyway, Lucy does not like puppies, a fact she made quite plain. But her family did, including a toddler and we stopped a bit to chat. I fed Lucy treats and pet her and everyone else pet Terfel. He was loving it.

All this running around in the dirt meant only one thing. Bath Time!

So off to Rub-A-Dub Dog for his very first bath. We'd been taking Jessica there for years, after discovering the hard way that her hair would clog the bathtub drain very, very badly.

What can I say. He did really well after a little coaxing up onto the platform. We wasn't happy about getting bathed but he didn't struggle or otherwise make things difficult. Only one problem. He didn't like the blow dryer. So, we just won't use that.

A very, very busy day which (again) resulted in

Just a few short months ago I was sadly thinking of all the "last" things I would be doing with Jessica. I am finding all of these firsts with Terfel to be wonderfully therapeutic and just plain fun.

I think he has the makings of a fine trail dog. He sticks pretty close, obviously enjoys being out in the woods, is curious, and (actually) likes to run. It'll be a while before we can do that though. Even so, I cannot wait.

Oh yes, I also learned something funny about Terfel's namesake and his pants (Thanks C!)


Slomohusky said...

Happy pooch and one happy pooch life.

PuddleThumper said...

what a great life your uh dog leads. ;-)