Monday, October 20, 2008

Rally Advanced/Excellent

Sailor here.

Mom says I have a new title. She says it’s the AKC RAE title. I had to do two things ten times. But actually I did a LOT of things many more times than ten times, more even than twenty toes and several dewclaws worth. So although I can’t count high enough, I have a new title.

Now I like titles, I do, but my new one? RAE? I mean, what is this? I think I would like the title Duke, or Earl, or even Prince. Or King. That’s it! King! I’d love to be a King.

Then I could get cookies whenever I want and go for walkies whenever I want and sleep on any dog bed I want even if Jib wants it, too. He can be Mister or Sir or something, but I want to be King!

And what does this RAE get me, anyway? Huh? Mom and I two green ribbons and a yellow ribbon and a blue ribbon and two coffee cups, but NO COOKIES. What good is that?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bay Spaghetti

Sailor here.
Well, it was another good day. Mom took Bilgewater and me out for a spaghetti breakfast, but we didn’t eat spaghetti. I had fizzy water and Jib snorted some out his nose. And we made a new friend, too.
This morning, Mom hustled us both downstairs and out to pee. She let us back in and bustled around the kitchen, getting things out and putting things in and getting in my way because I was trying to smell what she was getting out and putting in. And because of all this getting and putting, she forgot to give Jib and me our usual breakfast. We had what Mom called an abbreviated breakfast.
Bah humbug.
Then she brushed us and shoved us in the car. That part was normal. She filled my big water bottle and fastened her seatbelt. That was normal, too. I thought we were going to a dog show.
Instead, we drove out to the Bay. Mom said we were at Bayfront Park.
“I hope she doesn’t take me swimming,” I thought and I sat in my crate a long time sniffing the air and the water and the bushes and the water and the Bay.
“Come on, Sailor,” Mom called, hanging on hard to Jib who was trying to chase a seagull.
I jumped out of the car and stood there, looking for a way out. But instead of putting on my swimming vest, Mom put my backpack on. Then she loaded up the pockets with spaghetti. She put water in Jib’s backpack and stuck a funny-looking hat on her head.
“We’re going on a picnic!” she told us excitedly.
“Oboy!” Jib barked. “I love picnics!” He turned to me. “What’s a picnic?”
“A picnic is where you eat on the ground,” I explained.
“So why is this different from dinner in the backyard?” Jibby asked.
I didn’t know the answer to that, so I quickly changed the subject. “Do you have the sauce?” I asked him. “I don’t have the sauce.”
“What sauce?” Jib asked. “I have the water.”
“Meat sauce, I hope,” I said. “For the spaghetti,” I added since Jib was looking a bit puzzled.
“Nope,” Jib said. “No meat sauce.”
“What about plain sauce?”
“Water,” Jib said. “I have the water. Maybe Mom has the sauce.”
I took a swift sniff of Mom’s backpack. No sauce. But I smelled something, a maybe something, a maybe something interesting, a maybe something…
Mom twirled out of reach and grabbed up our leashes and marched off, telling us how exciting this was going to be.
I failed to see how exciting that would be since clearly we were having spaghetti with no sauce.
Bah humbug.
We walked down a trail with holes alongside and I tried to sniff out who may have made the holes, but couldn’t find a scent I knew. Jib trotted on Mom’s other side, watching for something to chase.
We came down a small hill and there in front of us was the Bay. Mom said something about All That Mud, but it didn’t smell like All That Mud to me. It smelled like something Good To Roll In. I wondered if Mom would take off my pack and let me roll in it. She didn’t. She wouldn’t. And she wouldn’t let Jib, either.
A nice man joined Mom and took my leash because Jib is sometimes too hot to handle, even with a backpack full of water and an almost-grown-up brain. Mom said the man on the other end of my leash was John, but he didn’t smell like spaghetti sauce or cookies or anything exciting. He just smelled like, well, like John. And so I lost interest in his pockets.
We walked for a long time. A really long time. And we stopped for water, too. And we walked again. And finally the morning started to be exciting. A ground squirrel ran across the road making Jib jump around and bark. A pelican swooped over our heads, smelling like the I-Want-To-Roll-In-It mud. When we stopped for water, I got to smell other dogs who walked the trail before us and where shore birds had scratched in the gravel.
We spent another long time walking, and then we came to a grassy place with duck poop all over it. Now this was exciting. But Mom and John didn’t let us smell or snack or even walk near the poop. They took us over to a large flat bench and we all had to sit on that. I pretended I couldn’t jump up with my backpack on, but Jib leaped up and was getting all the butt scritches, so I made small face and jumped up for a butt-rub, too.
And then the sun came out and shined on us. And Mom opened her backpack and took out lunch. It wasn’t spaghetti. It wasn’t sauce. It was hot dogs! I love hot dogs!! She gave one to me and one to Jib and one to John and kept one for herself. Mine didn’t have a bun, but it also didn’t have mustard, and I ate it in about three nanoseconds. John passed a soda to Mom. Mom poured water for Jib and me. John slipped us some of his fizzy water into my bowl, which made my drink a bit exciting. Mom ate her hot dog right down. John ate his hot dog right down. I suppose Jibby ate his, too, because it was not there when I went to check. He eats faster than even I do.
Then Jib took a sniff of our water and snorted and jumped up and fizzy water came out his nose! He spent some time sneezing and rubbing his snout. I found this quite exciting!
Then, in mid-sneeze, Jib jumped up and woofed. Two yappy frizzy dogs came trotting by yapping and frizzing at us and choking at the ends of their leashes. Jib almost got sucked into Bark and Lunge Wars, but Mom said, “Look at that!” and he turned right around to look at her. (They have been practicing this for a long time and I don’t get it.) By the time Mom got through patting him Good Boy, the yappy frizzies were gone. And the fizzies in Jib’s nose were gone, too.
A small flock of seagulls flew low overhead looking for a handout. Mom’s hands were not out, so they gave up and flew out over the water. Jib sat and stood and sat and stood and couldn’t decide what to do. I lay down and put my nose in Mom’s rear pocket. Mom gave John a funny look before she realized it was my nose in her pocket and not John’s.
I dozed.
The next thing I knew, we had to scramble to our feet and go back up a new hill and down another trail back to the dog car. Jib and I hopped in. Mom hopped in. She waved. We drove.
And in the car crate, I smiled. This was a great morning. We saw exciting things, drank exciting water, and ate hot dogs for breakfast. And I came home with a backpack still full of spaghetti.
But no sauce.