20. November 2006 · Comments Off on Run Like The Wind · Categories: Critters, Domestic, General, Pajama Game

In the last couple of weeks, I have begun taking both dogs with me for the morning run. This must present a most amusing spectacle; I am certain that people all over the neighborhood are laughing at the spectacle of me, with a fistful of leash in either hand, being dragged at a fast clip by the wildly unmatched pair of Lesser Weevil and Spike. Lesser Weevil is a great rawboned boxer-pit bull mix with a soupcon of retarded thrown in for good measure. Otherwise fairly intelligent and sensitive to a fault, she just occasionally does the most jaw-droppingly bone-headed things such as walking straight into walls, telephone poles, or the deep end of swimming pools. Upon bouncing back, or climbing out, she displays a look of complete surprise and bafflement. She still pulls like a tractor, which gets me an upper-body workout, in addition to the run, and varies her own personal program of exercise by launching herself clear off the ground, leaping and whirling in the air when she is excited. She spends the first three or four blocks being excited, bouncing along with all four feet clear off the ground, leading to speculation that she might be part jack-rabbit as well.

I was told that Spike, as a shih-tzu, and a toy shih-tzu at that, would not cope with the great outdoors very well; she definitely could not handle summer heat, but then neither did Weevil. When I first began taking Spike out for walks on the weekends, I usually had to carry her for at least half the distance. Once the cool fronts moved in, Spike was revived and invigorated; she bounds along tirelessly with her nose up, tail curled proudly over her back, ears flapping madly and her fur blown back in the wind of her passage. (Spikie! Run Spikie, run like the wind!!) She must gallop at top speed to keep up with Weevil, but she never seems to tire now, and both of them are straining ahead, pulling their leashes straight out in front of me… especially when they see someone or something that interests them. Today it was a squirrel, which we surprised as we ran past a pile of yard clippings put out for the trash. The squirrel flashed out in front of us, not ten feet away, and both the dogs lunged after it with the greatest enthusiasm imaginable. I had a good grip on the leashes, though; and the squirrel leaped up onto a fence and then discovered there was another large dog in the backyard on the other side, and had to do that “walking on the edge” thing while all the dogs went nuts in chorus.

They are madly enthusiastic about people; any people, large or small. They are about the two most social dogs I have ever had anything to do with; to them, everyone they meet when we are out and about are their dearest friends in all the world… which wouldn’t bode well for being watchdogs, except that Spike has the expected small-dog propensity for barking at any little noise. And Lesser Weevil at least looks intimidating, so I do have some faint hope that she could bring herself to throw herself on an intruder… even if it would be only to slobber affectionately.

The three older cats: Morgie, Henry and Arthur are still very stand-offish, although it is not for lack of trying from Spike. She and Percival are very affectionate and playful with each other, probably because Percival is the only beast in the house smaller than Spike herself. She is a year old, now, and seems to have hit her full growth at about ten pounds, every bit of it muscled and full of energy. She chases Percival under the chairs, pins him down and nips as his ears, and he bats at her with all four paws, and when he feels like it, takes over her dog-bed. None of the cats want anything to do with Weevil, though; she is just too big. She was entirely flummoxed one morning, when I was talking to a neighbor, and the neighbor’s cat sauntered up fearlessly. I had a both hands on the leash, and a length of it wrapped around my knuckles, but all the cat did was sniff at her, and touch muzzle to hers… much to Weevil’s bafflement. What? Aren’t you going to run, so I can chase you? Whassup with that???!

“She was raised with dogs” Explained the neighbor, but Weevil still looked puzzled. I don’t think any of my current cats will adjust and look on poor Weevil as a good buddy and playmate. Détente is probably the best that can be hoped for, until Weevil gets over the urge to chase fast-moving objects. Which she probably won’t, unless she figures out that Blondie deliberately polishes the floor to a high sheen, just for the fun of watching Weevil and Spike skid and slide on it, while chasing a ball or yarn-bone. We did dress them for Halloween, just to be sadistic: I’ll post a picture as soon as we have that capability again!

Comments closed.