Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Dog's Life

I'm hoping to have some renovation updates soon, but having a new dog in the family has kept us pretty occupied for the past couple of weeks, so this will be another post about our rescue Lab, Jodie.

Jodie adapted pretty well to living with us during her first week--we had some bathroom accidents, some poor leash manners, and some skirmishes with the cat, but she is a quick learner and eager to please, so most of the problems we had initially are pretty well resolved at this point.

But Doug was worried about whether Jodie was happy.  She has a very soulful face:

We also noticed that she didn't wag her tail a lot.  I started thinking about the video on her petfinder page and remembered that she had loved playing ball in Taiwan and that she had been living with a bunch of other dogs. 

I realized that although Jodie was getting plenty of exercise with our daily 5-mile walks, as well as lots of attention and praise, she was missing a very important element of life--fun.

So on Friday afternoon, even though it was chilly and damp, I took her out with the retractable leash and threw a tennis ball for her in an open grassy area across the street from our house.  

She had a blast and started wagging her tail.  She also got tired in a way that she didn't from just walking--the panting-I-just-want-to-sprawl-on-the-kitchen-floor kind of tired.

The next day, we took her to the beach.  It's a pretty deserted place, so we got brave enough to take her off the leash and really throw the ball hard so she could get in some good runs.  She raced through the sand to retrieve the ball and brought it back every time:

When we got back home that night, Doug was planning to grill some chicken and some venison that someone had given him.  I figured Jodie was probably tired enough that she would stay with us on the deck without her leash--especially with the smells of deer and chicken in the air.  She was very good, and we found an old inflatable rubber ball that was kind of squishy for her to chase. I don't know where she got more energy for that game, but she found reserves somewhere:

The next day, Christine, Doug, and I met Alex, Ashleigh, and Honey at a park in Havre de Grace, Md., and it was like Jodie was reuniting with a long-lost sister (Jodie is the one with the red collar):

They chased balls, wrestled:

 and then crashed in the shade under the table while we ate our lunch:

Once again, Jodie taught us a lesson.

Life is about more than healthy food, exercise, and work--everyone needs a little fun....every day.

P.S. Yesterday afternoon, Doug stumbled on this pleasant little scene in our bedroom:

I'm sure if Jodie was allowed on the bed, they would have been napping together. I just wish Doug had moved the clothes I had just taken off out of the picture :-)

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