Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in?
I think that's how dogs spend their lives.
I grew up in families that have always had dogs, and life with out a mutt
was just too much to bear. Back on July 20, 1998, we had no choice
(so our hearts told us) but to adopt Maggie.
Despite all the dogs that I (Dan) have had over the years, Maggie is the
first one over which I had any influence in training and being A#1 Alpha.
While she rarely pays heed to Jen's orders to cease and desist or just
"pay attention once in a while" it takes nothing more than a snap of the
finger, a whistle, or coarse word to get her to behave for me.
Maggie's (and mine) ideal world of having all day to play came to an abrupt
end back in April when I began work at the Virginia State Library.
Nowadays Maggie and I get out on weekends but the cold season makes trips
to the river a bit too chilly for our bones. We still go down to
Belle Isle, to nearby battlefields, or along the south shore of the James
River Park, where we explore amongst the rocks and riffles of the Mighty
James, but for now our days of swimming are on hold until things warm up.
Come summer we'll get back to the usual swimming, jumping and wading amongst
boulders and pools, sunbathing, watching the little fishies, staring endlessly
at geese and herons, watching canoers and tubers float by, and eating or
rolling around upon any dead creature we may find washed up among the marsh
grasses (Maggie does the eating and rolling, I do the hollering).
interaction with other canines has improved a zillion percent but too many
encounters and Maggie starts to sour and blow her good track record by
growling and snarling at anything that passes by. After the competition
has passed, though, she goes on her merry way as if nothing had happened.
She has unfortunately given up her little habits of untying things (shoes,
teddy bears, etc.) and hasn't eaten anything but rawhides in quite a while.
She has that beagle "soft mouth" and I can't even get her to play tug of
Our latest adventure:
Our hospitable Southern colleagues and neighbors know well that Jen and
I are Yankees at heart (me upstate central NY, Jen CT, RI, MA, NH) but
it is hard to tell that VA native Maggie (who cannot speak with any accent)
has now switched loyalties from her native southern heritage and is now
a devout NH Yankee! Back in July the three of us took a road trip
and visited family up north and managed to squeeze in a few days of New
Hampshire wilderness (as close as Jen will get to the real "wild").
Maggie had a blast watching and chasing chipmunks, rummaging through the
forest duff of old dead leaves and sticks, and wandering to her heart's
content. (She even checked out the glacial boulders scattered through
the woods and seems to be coming up with a theory that they were transported
and eroded by ice - unlike the boulders in the James
River which are water-worn.) One of her favorite things to do
was hang out on the beach of the pond (actually a small lake in my book)
and watch for anything that moves in the water. We took several trips
out in the Old Towne and Maggie was the perfect canoeist, although I wished
she had learned to hold the paddle properly. With Dan fishing and
Maggie navigating we were bound to have fun! She was incredibly well
behaved when I landed what few fishes I managed to convince onto my line
("is that what those things look like up close - that's amazing!
Lets get some more!!!!!). Our trips are shorter nowadays but just
about anywhere I go I have Maggie by my side the whole way - my buddy and
companion in places where Jen will not go. (don't get me wrong, Jen
goes to the river and went canoeing with us, she just doesn't have the
agility to jump around the boulders and swim and play like Maggie and I
do - she's getting better!)
Whadda ya say, Mutt, Road Trip ? !
Here's Dan and Maggie!
(photo by Jen)
Maggie pondering the long term effects of flowing water on hard granite.
Here's Jen, Dan, and Maggie!
We aren't at all thrilled with
Bath Day, especially when it happens in December
(gotta love Virginia)
Now, THIS is what winter should
THINGS WE CAN LEARN FROM A
Never pass up an opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Allow the experience of fresh air & the wind in your face to be pure
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
When it is in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they have invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Never pretend to be something you are not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you are scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and
Thanks for visiting!
Drop us a line if you like Maggie or if you think this is just