10 March 2009

This is what they're wearing as the economy comes crumbling down.


Haven't been up to the forest much lately. Between rain and work and teaching myself to walk like Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords, dogs haven't had a good forest run in a while. So yesterday morning, in the sun, drove up to the easy forest for a walk. Run. Walk.

A nice thing to remember is that even though it's sunny, doesn't guarantee weather actually hot and dry. So short pants and slip on sneakers without socks, perhaps not bestest hiking costume for yesterday. As I'm walking by frosty grass remembering, March, not quite yet summer. Also to the dismay of other hikers, which today, is mostly wizened old guys in dirty camo ensembles with unusual, waterproof backpacks, I'm displaying very white chubby legs sticking out from short pants. I think this means Spring is springing yet not completely sprung.

Today, many mud crossings to just walk the forest path! Ingenious hikers on the trail before me had created very Indian like little systems of tree branches across the muddy bits to avoid walking in the muck which would have been super had I been able to walk like an Indian and stayed on the tiny tree branch systems. Also due to the time change, somehow was wearing a wrongly matched red plaid shirt with a brown and orange sweater and forgot to brush hair. Karl and Deb, who, you guys, were eating breakfast with me before this walk, Did you EVEN NOTICE this and NOT SAY ANYTHING? Like Hi! Laura! Dressing like a CRAZY PERSON? Did not notice til I get home. Neither Karl nor Deb nor any old wizened camo guys found reason to point this out. I wear this outfit the rest of the day however. That we are in a global recession seems like an ok reason to do this.


So along the lines of we are walking across tiny tree branches on mud like an Indian, this walk, Team Small Dog visits their Native American roots. However much roots we got. Quiet, hunterlike stalking, me and the small dogs, walking through the forest. So right away, we stalk right up to our first forest creature of the morning. Big and fat forest creature, the size of 2 border collies stacked upon themselves. Surprised us as much as we surprised it. Two thirds of Team Small Dog luckily attached to leashes, so as not to try to pounce on it, because not sure how fast can run, creature known as the Wild Turkey. Yes. In this forest, we turn a bend and there's a big fat turkey standing there. Gobble, gobble, gobble and off it scurries into the bushes, tries to fly and almost whacks itself on a tree branch. Turkeys, sort of the lame-o of the bird world. Otterpop and Gustavo, totally unglued because this is something to chase and almost whack their heads on tree branches. Turkeys, have those beady eyes, wedged into tiny turkey head with leathery old turkey skin bagging around it. Fly like fatty helicopter dinosaur from the ground to oak tree branches and like to sit there until they fall off. This one vanishes, down a bank and into the brush.

So now I'm like, pilgrims, Indians, sticks and turkeys, we keep walking all silent like the Indians. Native Americans. You know what I mean. Nice and silent, let's see what other forest creatures we can surprise out here. So silent walking, 2 tiny sled dogs pulling me along, Ruby trotting along side. Get up to the part in the trail where I always let the mayhem duo free, and moments before I let the rippers rip, we see the next forest creature. Another one of those Everyone Surprises Everyone moments. It's the Forest Lady of German Shepherds! We've seen her before. Gnarly ass german shepherds, attached to all kinds of hardware. This time there are 2 of her, one lady per German Shepherd. Which is a good thing because we are pretty sure they eat small dogs. The shepherds and ladies turn tail quick, garbed in their dominatrix safety ensembles, run the other way, then hustle off to the side of the trail and plotz the dogs, facing away from Team Small Dog, execution style.


These dogs, perhaps trained a little bit Magic of Cesar style. They get a leave it and a yank for their plotz, then each of their ladies stands almost on top of them. A soft kick to the head of one ensures no small dog hors d'eorves action as we hustle by. Hustle we do. We've seen these dogs before and not sure why they get the major hold down treatment when we walk by, but pretty much happy that they do, I guess. Get safely past them, so everyone gets to run.

Usually when the dogs are running, Ruby stays around me, Otterpop and Gustavo are off. Off and off and off and not always sure where they go, you can only hear the crashing of tiny dogs through brush for so far. I decide, since it's silent like Indians, not going to whistle and call them today. They should be the ones checking in with me. Not vice versa. I'm just walking here. They're the crazy runners. So Ruby and I, silently trotting up the path, slipping through mud patches, trying to stay warm. The runners actually not too bad about checking in before flying off another bank or up a cliff and on a scent. Little heads pop out of the forest, find us, then pop back in and off they go.


We get up to the clearing where the spring box is, everything wet and muddy and water everywhere. Big leafy ferns and actual sun patches getting in through the redwoods. A nice place to hang out a little while. And what better forest entertainment than finding Otterpop a tree branch to fetch. Which is always funny for a few minutes until she goes obsesso on the branch and will try to drag it up any bank I throw it down, out of a creek and gets that checked out zombie look in her tiny little stink eye. Muuuust Haaaaave Braaaanch. She eventually drags it off behind some stumps to hoard it. I try to grab it and she just drags it away. Next part of the walk, very enjoyable for all 5 of us now. Laura, Ruby, Gustavo, Otterpop and Our Branch. That dog is little, but weirdly mighty.

Eventually rip it out of her mouth, and back we walk. Me in this outfit, the dogs a little bit of tired. We stay quiet the whole way back. Not sure what the dogs are thinking about. I'm wondering about all the money and where it's going to come from. Except we stop for a minute, and it's a clear view all the way out across the Monterey Bay, and you look through a field of flowers at it. And for that minute, where I can see every single bit of sun hammering down on the sea way out there, dogs don't think about turkeys and I don't think about collapsing economies. When it's time to stop looking, we practice walking super quiet, all in a row, almost like we're invisible to every jogger in their hoody that comes upon us, until we get back to the car.

9 comments:

WP said...

"...small but weirdly mighty" will endure as a quotable quote for my lifetime ... in fact, I may adopt Ruby as my totem dog...I'm seeing this phrase tattooed perhaps across my chest (you will have to advise on typeface, Laura), so that years hence when doctors examine my wizened, ancient body they will step back in awe...

Deb said...

Um... Laura -- Did you see what we were wearing yesterday? And my hair? As usual? Uncombed...

-The other deb

Double S said...

Thanks for the read this morning Laura... I was ROMALOL over the Forest German Shepherd Lady's appearance. Who needs money when you can read FREE blogs like yours???

Glad you and the Team had such a nice time in the forest...

Elf said...

LOL on the branch story. Nice job.

sclmarm said...

We have our own wee and mighty tree branch hauler too. Nub is 11.5" tall, but thinks he needs to drag around a stick twice his size on our forest walks. Here's a post with his picture and his branch. http://sclmarm.livejournal.com/89689.html

team small dog said...

Yes, Nub and Otterpop would have a nice time in the forest with branches except Otterpop doesn't share and I can just imagine where that would go. 11 and a half inches of jack russell vs. 11 and a half inches of Otterpop. Because there's only 1 good kind of branch in the WHOLE forest. That is the EXACT same branch she has, that Nub has in his photo!

Small but weirdly mighty would make a good tattoo! Maybe a neck tattoo? In a very good goth blackletter face. Except it is Otterpop. Ruby not weirdly mighty. She is just weird.

WP said...

I meant Otterpop but I said Ruby. Could this mean (yet another) indication of incipient Alzheimers?

team small dog said...

Just don't forget to get your tattoo!

sclmarm said...

Nub likes to entice others to try to take his stick, then makes a lot of noise when other dogs try to help him carry his stick. Sometimes impatient Border Collies bark at him and tell him to get a smaller stick and he won't. Sometimes he doesn't realize how big his stick is and whacks people in the back of their legs as he walks by. Otterpop and the Nub shorty, wierdy dogs for sure:) Nub belongs to Zach who would probably get a small, but mighty tattoo on his bicep so he could make it move:)