Foxy’s Wild Ride

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The ride to the beach wasn’t that bad. I fell asleep and then suddenly we were there at a house on top of a hill. The wind was big and cold. Ellie brought me into a strange house, lights and music everywhere. We walked around and checked out the rooms. Even with my fur coat, it was cold in there. I saw some steps going down a dark passage, but we didn’t go that way. I heard Ellie mumble about “wood” and “go to the store.” She packed me back in the car and we drove a short distance to a parking lot.

Ellie left me in the car but returned after a little while with groceries and a big bundle  that smelled like trees. We drove up the hill to the house and she brought me inside. Then she went back out and closed the door. I heard her grumble and push on the door from the outside, but who could figure humans, so I wandered around and found a rug to curl up on to try and keep warm.

Ellie was gone for a while, but there’s nothing unusual about that. I smelled someone else in the house and a strange man came up the steps from the cavern below. He stomped around while I hid in the room with the bed. Then the front door opened and I heard Ellie.

“Thanks for coming to let me in,” she said.

“The slider was wide open,” the guy said loudly to Ellie. It sounded like a scold–no treat for you, lady.

She answered, “Hey, I didn’t open it! Did you see the dog?”

“I didn’t see any dog,” he said. I saw Ellie run in, panic all over her face until she saw me. “Are you OK, boy?” she asked. All I could think was, I’m fine but could you warm this place up and give me my dinner?

Ellie made a fire in the stove in the main room and it got a little warmer. We had dinner and then she took me for a walk outside. The cold wind was blowing like crazy and I kept falling down the hill. I couldn’t see the ground in front of my nose. She kept picking me up and carrying me like a baby back up the hill. Yuck. I was glad to return to the house and find my bed.

The next day she moaned and groaned while she packed up the car and we were off to another house not too far away. This house was nice and warm inside and there was a glass door in the bedroom so I could watch the grass and the wind and the ocean from my bed. I even got to see some big four legged creatures with stand-up ears like mine. We stayed at this house for a few days, only going out for my walks, which were pretty easy in the daytime, because the ground was flat. At night it was still really dark and hard to see where I was going, but it was less windy than up on the hill.

Ellie spent all her time, when she wasn’t cooking, sitting at the table in the big room and clicking the keys of her writing machines. She seemed to enjoy herself. I had a lot of nice naps in between my meals, walks, and wandering around the house.

When it was time to go, Ellie put everything in the car and took me for one last walk. Then I was in the car too, in the back seat as usual, but I felt trapped. I couldn’t just sit there, so I jumped to the front seat next to Ellie. I missed the seat and landed on the floor, where she had put some coats and a box of tissues. I climbed back up on the seat, but then needed to get out of there, so I jumped to the back. I did this a few more times, then thought I might try the part of the car where Ellie was sitting. She was talking to me in a calm voice this whole time, making her “shhhhh” noises. The world was rushing by outside the windows. So I jumped onto her lap. The car slowed  and suddenly stopped with a jerky motion. Ellie made grumpy noises, then picked me up and moved me back to the other front seat. I was panting happily, drooling all over.

The car started up again and I jumped to the back seat. I tried jumping onto her lap again, but she held up her arm when I was in the front seat, so I couldn’t get there. She stopped the car again and scolded me. “No, Foxy. That’s dangerous! No more car trips for you, buddy.”

By this time, I was pretty tired, so I curled up in the back and went to sleep. Soon we were back in Napa and I watched the unpacking. It was a relief to crawl into my bed in its familiar place. So much for vacation. I’m happier at home. I think Ellie is too.

NO MORE STAIRS

ramp

I used to run up and down the stairs from the house to the yard every day without stopping to look at them, without feeling any pain. That’s not easy anymore. I still run up, but sometimes it takes me a while to gather my energy to leap. And going down the stairs? No, thanks. Especially at night, I can hardly see them. So Ellie picks me up before our walk and at bedtime and places me on the grass or the sidewalk. I struggle to escape when she picks me up. I’m a guy! I’m tough! Well maybe not so much anymore. But I still want to do it myself.

Ellie gives me treats in the backyard every day. It has something to do with a metal pathway with a scratchy surface. She puts it down on the grass and holds out a treat for me. Sure, I want the treat. (It’s a piece of some little hot dogs that come out of a tiny jar…why are they called hot dogs?) So I jump up to get the treat and land on the grass or on the metal thing or halfway on each. Usually the treat lands in the grass, since I can’t find it in her hand. Then I sniff for it in the dry grass while she waits. After a few tries, she gets at one end of the pathway with me at the other and beckons for me to come get the treat. Sometimes I run all the way down the metal to her and grab my treat. When that happens, she’s jumping up and down.

Before we’re done, Ellie moves the metal thing so one end is on the deck and the other is on the grass. She climbs up to the deck and asks me to come up the ramp for my treat. I have to think about it. Sometimes I’m feeling the breeze or a fly going by or I hear a noise behind me. Sometimes I walk up the ramp and she gets all excited. Then she tries to get me to walk down the ramp, but so far, that doesn’t appeal to me, no matter how many treats she has in her hand. You must think I’m nuts. I don’t want to be picked up, I don’t want to go down the ramp or the stairs, and I don’t want to pee on the floor. That’s just the way it is. TIme for a nap.

A Walk in the Dark

eye in the dark

On these hot  nights Ellie often takes me for a walk in the dark. I hear her murmuring about how lovely the air is, as she walks along in her short pants and tee shirt. Hey, you’re not wearing a fur coat, lady. So I huff and puff and pant my way down the street.

Night walks are great for sniffing and listening to all the critters peeping and cheeping, but I can’t see much. In the light I can always see the dog on the other side of the street, but in case you didn’t know, I don’t see much that’s right in front of my nose. Well, unless it’s moving, like when Ellie throws treats on the floor.

So at night I have to find my way by sniffing. Of course my wonderful human comes to the rescue with her little flashlight, which she points at the ground in front of me. It helps me find my way down the steps from the front door, across the grass and down the sidewalk.

So we walk along, Ellie murmuring, me sniffing, licking the best spots, jumping on the cool grass, and following the bouncing light down the street. Happiness.

I WALK THE LINE

Foxywind-4

From the front lawn I leave Ellie in the dust and run straight to the door. As soon as she gets the door open–sure wish I could do that myself– I race down the hall, slipping and sliding on the wood floor, and skid to a stop on the rug in the TV room. That’s  near my food bowl and I like to check it often to see if anything new has turned up. Then I trot back to the bedroom and lie down. Or go through Ellie’s office and down the other hallway to the front room or the garage. Most of my walking is back and forth between the bedroom and the kitchen. If that floor was more like the dirt in the woods, I’d have worn a path into it by now.

At night I’m not sure where I want to be. Ellie is in her bed and the lights are out. I look around the bedroom, not seeing much. I walk to my water bowl in Ellie’s bathroom and give it sniff. I step out into the open space by the front door. What now? Where to? I saunter into the kitchen, sniff my food bowl, walk around the sofa. Do I want to go out through my door? Not really. Check the food bowl again–empty. Everything else the way it should be here, I walk back to the bedroom. Click, click, click, my claws mark my pace. I walk in, hear Ellie sleeping, check out my beds–the old one I never use any more, the comfy one that smells like me and is lumpy and ripped, and something new that Ellie keeps throwing treats on. It’s thick and spongy, hard for me to walk on. None of them seems very interesting, so I walk back out to see what’s going on in the kitchen. Click, click, click…

NASHVILLE???

Ellie is leaving me again. She’s going to a Blog Paws (www.blogpaws.com) conference in Nashville. She’s going to meet a lot of dogs there. I hope she’ll still like me best. If you’re going to be there too, please look for her. She’d like to meet you. She’ll be wearing a tee shirt with my picture on it!