Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Sun is Out ...

Poor little Tindra is going to be the only whippet in the history of whippets that thinks a walk is torture.

It has rained nonstop since her arrival to Western Kentucky. Non. Stop.

Some of it was warmish rain. That was bad enough. But on Tuesday it was bitter cold, windy, with a mix of biting rain/sleet/wet snow.


A brilliant member of the fabulous Whippet World group, (my scissors sister Christel of Cottage Hounds Coats and Jammies) , suggested taking a sleeve of an old coat or sweatshirt and cutting leg holes to make a coat for a young pup. Perfect! I had an old Goretex jacket, which Tindra's great grandfather Jazzbo had chewed a hole in years and years ago. I finally had reluctantly put it in the trash clothes bag (but hadn't actually gotten the bag to the trash - imagine that). I whipped it out, hacked off a sleeve, cut some leg holes and voila!

L to R: Delia, Jabber, and Tindra

Only it was a wee bit snug. I had to work on Wednesday, and I had worked the weekend so I was comatose on Monday, and I just felt like these dogs NEEDED to get out of the house on Tuesday. The grown up dogs (including 11 month old Jabber, whose puppyhood has been assassinated by the arrival of his sister/cousin) rejoiced! We're going for a walk oh happy day! Even Fat Charlie walked to one corner, crossed the street, and walked back. (Mama Pajama didn't budge from her warm, blanketed throne in Bill's study. Clever as ever, that one!)

Normally, the youngest puppy goes on several walks. I just take two adults and a puppy until all the adults have walked. Now, I have two puppies. It's just a lot of walks, but we get it done. (Occasionally in desperation and in deference to my aching nurse's feet, I break my own rule and walk four at a time, instead of my maximum of three. And pray for a minimum of squirrel/feral cat/loos dog encounters.)

Tindra didn't mind wearing her makeshift coat at all. (Whippets are all about warmth.) But when I headed out the gate and expected her to come with me, she balked. "You are not even considering... Oh you are an idiot human! No! You can't make me!" I pulled her through the gate, her four little legs squarely planted, her eyes squinting in determination. "Okay, you apparently can make me. But I don't have to like it. Oh merciful heavens HUMAN did you notice that it is spitting ice and freezing awful stuff on ourselves? And the wind is going to blow me over and I am going to die" (this in a long, pitiful wail).

Her walk-mates, Fat Charlie and Sam the Puppy Slayer, busied themselves with a hearty pee on the wilted day lilies. They celebrated the great good fortune of their walk, if not the weather. (Note re: whippets - try to bathe a whippet in nice warm water with the heat turned up and a cushy towel for drying and wrapping up in and they will tell you in no uncertain terms that whippets will melt and water is acid and someone had better call the animal control officer immediately and report your sorry ass for cruelty. But. Pouring rain, sub zero temps, and puddles on a walk/run/lure coursing/racing/hunt? No problemo!!! Buck up, wimpy human. Come on.)

Tindra hung behind us, contemplating her future adoptive home in Florida or the Bahamas after she called WRAP (Whippet Rescue and Placement) and reported me. This was a short walk, as mentioned already, so that Fat Charlie could feel like he'd been out and about. When we turned for home, Tindra surged to the front. "Well," she huffed. "Thank my Ancestors you came to your senses. Hurry up."

Imagine her dismay when I included her in the next walk, with her great, great aunt Delia and her brother/cousin Jabber. This time she jammed on her parking brakes in the kitchen. "No! No! No! I will NOT! Arrrrrrrgh! This is a travesty of injustice! Call the warden! Mr. Bill help!!! No! Oh NOoooooooooooooooooooooo! Where's my Nana Laurie! Mother!!! Father! Auntie Lindy! Someone make her stop!"

I must say, I am impressed with this puppy's homing instincts. She knew with each turn whether we were heading towards, or away from, home. Zoom to the front as we turned west. Slam on the brakes when we headed eastward.

I didn't take her on the last walk. Bad enough I had made her squeak when I struggled to get the sleeve coat off. It really was too small. Jabber marched happily along with his mother and father, looking at me occasionally to see if I realized that I had forgotten Little Bit. When we got home, the Little Bit was curled in a tiny whippet snail ball in her downstairs crate.

I opened her crate door. She opened one eye, halfway, doing her level best to ignore me. "I don't see any stinking Human. Don't even think of taking me out of this Safe Place." I picked her up. "Moannnnnnnn. Errrrrrrrrr." (Aren't puppy mumbles the cutest thing ever?)

I carried her upstairs to snuggle on our bed pillows while I took a hot shower and changed into dry clothes. (Yes, I did put on my Big Pink Hoodie-Footie, why do you ask?)

In the wonderful Way of Dogs, when she woke up, she had forgiven me. That and it was suppertime.

Today the sun is shining. Tindra and Jabber played in the puppy yard all morning long, though the temps are only in the mid 40's. Who cares? The sun is amazing and glorious and good for a puppy's soul. When she wakes from this nap, we'll go for our walks.

I'll be curious to see if she is mortified at the notion.

Hug your hounds and enjoy the sun whenever you can.