Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eat, pray, love

It always cracks me up when I offer Hathaway something to eat and he sniffs it first, like there's the remotest chance he will not take it.

The only thing thing this dog has declined is leafy greens without dressing. Even then, because he is always the gentleman and his manners are impeccable, he will still daintily take the lettuce or baby spinach, just to spit it out when he thinks I'm not looking. The same thing goes for raw mushrooms; he prefers his fungi sauteed or on pizza.

Still, offer him things he loves: a nut or a bite of bagel, piece of apple or his favorite -- banana -- and he will take a whiff before accepting your offering. Maybe he's checking the vintage. Maybe he's whetting his appetite. Regardless, his devotion and his pleasure are food. Indulge him, and he will worship you. He eats as we all should: with love and gusto as evidenced by his prolific and appreciative drool, if not by his svelte body.

Maybe we should all follow our noses.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Go jump in the lake

Five days of our vacation are being spent at a lake-front property. It's rough, let me tell you. All this swimming, fishing, paddleboating and lounging. (Hathaway is laying at the edge of the water as I type, watching the butterflies.) It's exhausting.

Back in November, I wrote about Hath's dislike of water. As the weather got hot early this summer, he actually started dipping his paws in the ocean to cool off. Next he started chasing his pals, splashing along the shore. Then I started throwing a ball for him, and voila! the pit bull can swim. It isn't always pretty, especially since his head and shoulders account for about 45 of his 64 pounds, but he retrieves better than some of the retrievers.

Now swimming is a regular part of his daily walk, vacation being no exception. I think he likes the fresh water better than the ocean's saltiness. The water is also calmer, so I throw the ball farther. It's also warmer, so it's not a big deal if I have to go rescue him. He charges into the water with a big splash and power paddles his way out to the ball, leaving a wake like a motorboat.

The day he found a 4-year-old to throw the tennis ball for him was like a dream come true. She was as tireless with her tossing as he was with his fetching. He'd bring it back and drop it at her feet. Again! And Cassie would squeal and laugh and throw it. Again!

Even though he thinks he's a Lab sometimes, he's still a pit bull at heart. Despite all the swimming and fetching, I haven't yet been able to get him to jump off the end of the dock.

And he still avoids puddles at all cost.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bedtime story

Another day, another new place with new adventures.

Just when Hathaway was getting used to the farm, we came to my dad's lake house. New smells. New dark corners. New beds to sleep on!

Our room has three beds: A double for me, twins for the kids. When it was time to use them, Hathaway tried them all, and it was like watching Goldilocks.

This one's too hard. This one's too soft. This one's where Mama sleeps, so it's juuuuust right. At one point before curling up, he jumped from bed to bed to bed without ever putting a paw on the floor.

What we have always loved most about our boy is his joie de vivre and this vacation is no different. I was worried he'd be anxious, and there are moments of that. But for the most part, it's like traveling with another kid, full of excitement and wonder. It's all an adventure and he shows us something through new eyes each day.