Monday, April 30, 2012

Hounds don't take baths and other lessons from picture books

Had a sleepover with some great pups over at Southboro Kennels this weekend while my folks went to visit my sister at college. She'll be home soon, claiming her bed and therefore reducing my sleeping options, so it was good practice for me to try something different.
Who says pigs are so smart?

Brought my big green bed so I'd be comfy, my own food, and my big self and Mary gave me an enthusiastic greeting. Like all great hoteliers, she recognized me, even though it's been awhile.

Spent some time sunning, with drinks provided by the attentive staff.

The only hitch came during the spa treatment, which I'm pretty sure I didn't schedule. That might have come from leaving the arrangements to Mom. Anyway, I checked out the tub, which while perfectly clean, would have meant that I would have had to become perfectly clean. So I pulled a No, David! (remember that scene in the David Shannon book where the boy takes off, without a stitch on?) and skedaddled out of there.

Mom reminded me of another picture book, Pirates Don't Take Baths, in which a reluctant pig finally is persuaded by his mother to come clean. He imagines he's searching for underwater treasure, but it would take some treasure for me to plunge in. Instead, I'll go the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Won't-Take-a-Bath Cure route (remember, the girl grows radishes on her dirty skin?). Conveniently, it's planting time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

If I built a car...

My sister did an amazing parking job even with my bulky
self hogging the rear view. After snagging an ice cream cone
at JP Licks, I loomed larger, if that's possible.

Here's the challenge I'm posing to the Car Talk guys: what kind of car would suit a passenger who's relegated to riding in the way back, weighs in at about 90 lbs., measures 30 inches high, 51 inches wide (nose to rear, not including a 20-inch tail), without entirely blocking the rear view?

I pretty much fill up the window of my vehicle of choice now, a sturdy Volvo V70 2000 wagon that's boxy as all get out. My favorite mechanics, Doug and Dominic at Neighborhood Wrench in Natick, just love that car, and so do I.

However, there's one little, $450 problem: The tailgate won't latch properly, and Mom fears that somewhere, somehow, like maybe bumping over that crazy moonscape of holes called our street, that hatch will pop open and I'll leap out to freedom and fun. Meanwhile, Dad's been trying to put Mom into some lesser make of car (cough, Subaru, cough) while he tools around in his own speedy Swedish sedan, claiming he wants her to get better gas mileage.

Ever read If I Built a Car, by Chris Van Dusen? In it, a boy imagines the perfect car design—a swimming pool, snack bar, and jet engine are just some of his ideal features. The book has terrific retro illustrations, and, of course, a super looking hound.

I say, ditch the rear view camera and GPS (I've got a nose, don't I?), and pack this buggy with some real style:
  • Everlasting treat bar
  • Perpetual puddle water fountain
  • Tempur-Pedic memory foam lounge chairs (super idea, and as usual, you read it here first)
  • Way back sunroof
  • Dirt pile
  • Several cubic feet of bone storage
  • Unimpeded access to front seat
  • Automatic awning extender for dry entry/exits during rain events
So, what's the perfect car, Click & Clack? I need a recommendation, and pronto. It's time to hit the road.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Boston Marathon: to run or not to run was never a question

My marathon nap training program.
It was the question on Mom's mind all weekend, and after much to-ing and fro-ing (well, after Dad said it was absolutely not a good idea) she decided to defer her entry into the 116th Boston Marathon until next year.
About 400 other runners did, too, plus whomever just decided not to pick up their race number. It was a tough one: after all that training, all those missed walks for me and lack of attention, to not touch one's toe to either the start or finish?
Me, it was simple: I stayed home, where I stayed hydrated, rested, and air-conditioned. Nice.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Running: to stretch or not to stretch?

Mom should be so flexible.
Personally, I always stretch first thing in the morning. Having curled up all night in the wing chair, I carefully unroll myself, front legs on the floor, back legs on the chair seat. It's good for the glutes. Then, I immediately get into dynamic stretching, springing down the stairs, pouncing on my parents and bouncing outside for a warm-up run.

Mom's running the marathon this year, so she learned about pre-run stretching the shin-splint way. So while I'm all warmed up and ready to roll, Tigger-style, she's limping along behind me. At least she's stretching out the arm that holds the leash.