Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wet Doggy Morning...

I've been a little discombobulated the past few days – my company has moved to a new building, and my first week in the new building is on an unusual schedule for me.  I'm helping one of my team teach a class on our Runbook Automation product, and the hours aren't what I'm used to.  Nobody else seems to think that 5 am is a good time to start, so we're not starting until 8:30 am.  I still wake up at around my normal time (it's habitual; can't help it), so these shifted hours feel hard.  Oh, well.  It's all done on Friday!

We got a half inch of rain yesterday, most of it late in the day and early evening.  This morning it had stopped raining, but the ground was sopping and the sky completely overcast.  The sounds of the morning were completely dominated by our ecstatic frog community.  All four dogs were a little subdued, and very actively sniffing – probably something intimidating visited our yard last night.  I couldn't see or smell any sign of it, but the dogs were all over it.

Bringing the dogs back in after a wet morning walk is always a challenge.  Imagine having four very vigorous dogs on short leashes – bad enough already.  Then when you approach the house's front door, of course they all want to go in – so they're madly jockeying for position as I try to unhook them from the leashes.  After that madness is completed, I've got a writhing ball of dogs at the door, but every few seconds one of them gets distracted and darts away – so I've got to call it back, which isn't always easy (depends on the attractiveness, in dogly terms, of the distraction).  On a wet morning like this morning, I've an additional step: I have to dry off the worst of the water with an old towel we keep by the door.  The dogs, naturally, have zero interest in being dried off; in fact, they have no idea what I'm doing, and find the whole process puzzling and distasteful.  So they wriggle all the more!  Eventually I get them somewhat drier and all positioned by the door – and when I slide it open, the four-dog herd goes thundering into the house.

That home entry always follows the same pattern.  Miki, our youngest field spaniel, always is in the lead.  He's driving as hard and fast as he can, heading straight for the bedroom where Debbie is still in the process of waking up.  Miki's arrival on the bed will speed that process up, and make the final result more certain (you cannot remain asleep with Miki bouncing on you).  After Miki, Racer (the border collie) follows slightly behind.  I think it's mostly reflex with him; he sees Miki running, has no idea why, but can't stand to be left behind.  After Racer, it's Mo'i, our oldest male field spaniel, lumbers along.  He's not running, and he's not headed for the bedroom – he heads for the food bowls in the kitchen (just in case they magically filled up with food while he was outside), and then, always disappointed, heads to the water bowl for a prolonged drink.  That could take five minutes.  Finally, at the back of the herd, is Lea – our oldest dog, a female field spaniel.  I think she's actually running flat out, but she's old and creaky, so that isn't very fast.  She usually gets tuckered out before crossing the living room, so she changes course for one of the doggie beds that our house is littered with, and curls up for a nice nap before doing anything more energetic.  It's the same pattern every morning...

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