Auguste never used to get up on the couch. He was a good dog. And then one day, he just decided he wanted to sleep on the sofa. We walked in the living room one morning, and there he was, curled up and sound asleep. Continue reading
We’re a dog family. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a dog. When I was a baby, we had two golden Labs – Cain and Abel. I don’t remember them at all, but I do remember a golden collie named Lassie. I must have been 4 when we got her. She was sweet and silly, and was run over by a car and killed a few years later. It was my first heartbreak so I remember very clearly. I was in Sunday school then and was glad that there was a heaven, so she’d be waiting for me up there. When my Sunday school teacher said that dogs didn’t have souls, and therefore would not be in heaven, I decided I’d rather go to Hell. Continue reading
Today was a chilly, blustery day and we headed out to a horse show. Julia was the only rider from her club, so she went with Kalin and her coach, Marion, and I followed with Auguste and lunch. The show was running late, so I mostly ambled around walking Auguste, watching some of the ponies, and keeping an eye on the multitude of dogs running around without leashes. Auguste is a small dachshund, and although he is tough enough to hunt wild boars, he is a dismal fighter and I’m always worried he’ll get attacked by a big, mean dog – which is exactly what happened today at the show. Continue reading
My village in the snow.
What’s up here:
The garden is trimmed, the brush cleared away (I helped drag branches around this morning) the snow is melting (it never stays long here) and the washing machine is fixed and chugging along happily washing dirty clothes. The mountain is now a mole-hill.
I have a new oven. I made chocolate chip cookies to celebrate. I ate far too much cookie dough. (Why does the raw dough taste better than the cooked cookies?)
There is still lots of ice on the ground, so people are putting woollen socks OVER their shoes and walking around – the wool sticks to the ice. It’s a good idea, but the socks are probably destroyed.
The dogs love the snow, and Rusty slides like an otter on her belly whenever there is a hill. Auguste always looks like he’s cold, and he walks around with his favorite toy (an empty water bottle). He did find a way to escape this morning, and the neighbor’s boy brought him back.
Have a happy New Year Everyone!
Actually, his favorite toy in the whole world is an empty water bottle, so when we get one, we always give it to him. He chomps it nearly flat, and carries it everywhere with him. He hides it, outside and inside. Inside, he usually shoves it under his doggie bed, then complains when Rusty (our Lab) lies down on it and he can’t get it. Outside, he puts it carefully under a bush or just behind the stairs.
One night I found it in the hallway, and I picked it up and put it on a baby chair we have under the coat rack. (The chair usually has a pair of shoes on it, but that night it was empty, so I put the bottle on it.) The next morning, a frantic Auguste woke up and rushed out of the kitchen to look for his bottle. He saw it on the chair, grabbed it, and pulled. The bottle got stuck on the chair’s arms and wouldn’t budge off the seat. Auguste tried and tried, but the bottle was stuck. So like a baby, he sat down in front of the chair and cried. “Whooo hhoooo hoooo”.
My husband and I came to see what was wrong, and to show us, Auguste grabbed the bottle again and pulled. It stayed stuck. We started to laugh. (Dogs hate when you laugh at them.) Then my husband reached down and turned the bottle so it was pointing out, and you could just see the lightbulb going off in Auguste’s little skull. Now he works the bottle around so that he can pull it off the chair.
Right now he’s sleeping with the water bottle tucked under his chin like a pillow.
The weather report said rain all day, so at 8:30 am, when the sky was still clear blue, I put the dogs on their leashes and headed out for a long walk. When we got to the fields on the top of the ridge, I took the leashes off and let them run. Rusty, who never much liked running, stayed nearby and snuffled in the hedges and grass. Auguste took off in huge, delighted circles, staying always in sight, but as far away as he could without actually disappearing. We walked through the stone fields, crossed a stream in the bottom of a narrow ravine, and then headed across the big fields towards the back road to the village. We were alone. Auguste runs like a dachshund -with ears flying and butt bouncing because of his ridiculously short legs. He bounced up the path, then startled a meadow lark. Auguste loves to chase birds. It’s absurd and futile, but he works himself into a frenzy over birds. The lark darted off to the side and Auguste launched himself off the slightly raised path and into a ploughed field. He landed in the mud and was stuck for a few moments, then managed to thrash over to a field of winter wheat and he was off – away, running with his ears flying and his tail whirling and his barks getting fainter as he headed over the rise.
“Auguste!” I cried, and of course started running across the field after him. “Auguste you silly dog, come back here! Leave the birds alone! You’re supposed to hunt badgers! Come back here, you mustached wiener!” As I ran across the field, now sloping down so I was going quite fast, my yellow boots flashing in the morning sun, I vaguely noted we were approaching the dairy farm. I caught up with Auguste, still yelling things about birds, badgers, and wieners, (in French, of course – I would pick today to scream at my dog in French.) and put his leash on. And looked up.
The farmer, his son, and his two grandsons were standing in the doorway staring at me.
I straightened up, tried for a dignified expression, and waved. “Bonjour,” I said.
A throat cleared. The two boys huddled to their grand dad, their eyes round. The father’s mouth twitched, and he gave a half a nod.
I tromped out of their field, onto the road, and noted that I was covered in mud, Auguste was covered in mud, and Rusty was still about a hundred yards behind us, trotting in her loopy, floppy style, her tail wagging, her mouth open like she was laughing at me.
I waited up for her, put her leash on, and went back home where I hosed myself and the dogs off before going inside. (Why do dogs always wait until they are inside the house before shaking off?)
My husband says not to worry – the villagers already think I’m eccentric. I can just imagine what the dairy farmer and his family think now, after watching me fly down their hill after Auguste, calling him a mustached wiener.