I've been thinking a lot about my old (two times ago) dog, the best dog ever, lately because sweet pea is such an exceptional dog too. They have in common that they were both solid black. I don't understand why people don't want black dogs. I hate being covered with white or tan dog hair. The hair is still there but at least the black doesn't show!
Once, back in the olden days before we had kids, the husband and I were at scumcle's house with my parents for a weekend and the husband and I went upstairs to take a nap. When we came back down a couple of hours later my mom had taught the best dog ever to give paw. She also gave him an entire box of biscuits during her training, but I was so happy that she taught him a trick that I tried to hide my shock about feeding him whole box of dog biscuits.
So, a couple of days ago I was walking with sweet pea in the woods when we bumped into a dog friend. I chatted with the owner as we strolled (or more accurately - I baby stepped my way through ice patches) when suddenly sweet pea was no where to be found. I called and called for her and she did not come running, like she always does. Just then my phone rang in my pocket and I just knew it was someone who had gotten my phone number off of her dog tag. And it was! It was woman who lives on the perimeter of the park. Now, you should know that I am (cough cough) somewhat familiar with the yards of the people who live on the perimeter of the park because sometimes ... I look. And sometimes I might encourage my dog to hop the park fence and "say hello" to the lovely looking incredibly friendly and playful yellow labs that are out there all alone, and sometimes other people point out your addition and renovations to me. She said sweet pea had somehow gotten into her pool enclosure (have I ever mentioned my suspicion sweet pea is part kangaroo?) so I apologized and I waited for her to either scold me or tell me something and she said that sweet pea was confused and didn't know where she was. Which is kind of hilarious. Proudly, I held me laughter at bay. Sweet pea knows that back yard like the back of her paw. She's in it a couple of times a week easily! I am assuming that sweet pea was actually unnerved by the lady holding her still while she got my number off of her tags. I said I "thought" I knew where she lived (I totally knew who she was -she yelled at me once for stepping on her driveway while I was photographing trees) and I would walk towards her while calling for sweet pea, so she should let her return to me. Sweet pea was back in a flash and not entirely traumatized by the capture in the pool area or by being held captive for a minute judging by her immediate sprint off into the distance after a squirrel.
Then yesterday I took sweet pea to a new woods, because the BIL had hip replacement surgery (cue bionic man soundtrack) and his wife managed to slip in the ice and break her wrist (been there, done that, storm of '96) so I went out there to walk their dog, somewhat affectionately I will call him MANIAC, with sweet pea. The dog walking woods/park near their house has a lake (keeping in mind that despite looking like she surely has a chunk of lab in her sweet pea has no desire to swim and will only run in water a couple of inches deep-and only if it is completely still) and naturally, illegally, I took sweet pea off of the leash. She got close to the edge of the water and I didn't quite notice she had gotten over the edge (recalling- there is/was ICE here) until I heard the crack of breaking ice and then sweet pea was standing in water up to her back. I called to her, so she would swim out of the water and she broke through the rest of the thin ice and made to shore and looked down at her wet self and then looked at me with an expression that could only be read as "what.the. F.U.C.K.? I'M WET?" It was pretty funny and this time she heeded the warning and stayed clear of the frozen lake.
I'm going to teach her some tricks.