19 April 2009

Greetings from a relaxing evening at Sunset Magazine.

Here at Sunset Magazine, we have expansive decks made from trees who committed suicide sustainably in rainforests and traveled here on solar powered, pirate free prius ships. They are spacious and curved and surround the floor to ceiling glass paneled doors and windows that ring the great room of wide open square footage topped with soaring vaulted ceilings and skylights galore. The terraced back gardens wind gently up the hill to the pool, and beyond that the hillside climbs to the top of the ridge. Wrapping back down the hill, the olive grove skirts the hot tub side of the house, making it's way back down to the front garden, with the pasture below.

It's silent at Sunset Magazine, oasis in the hills, except for the tiny beating of hummingbird wings, feeding on the exotic plants from around the world. Occasional quiet buzzing of bees, feeding on the subdued, yet colorful and coordinated blooms.

And except for the sound of Team Small Dog. As they go barreling down the terraced gardens. Sounding like tiny little chainsaws as they attack eachother and dive through the yard.

"YOU GUYS!" I hiss at them. "Use the goddamn PATHS!"

Shit. I am pretty sure the gardens are not used to this. A well behaved dog with garden manners lives here. She does not crash through the terraces at top speed, leaping through the plants like Evil Knievel, except drunk. Hitting those cars and ricocheting off of them, then dusting right off and going back for more. Off I go.

"YOU GUYS!" I hear the sound of a hole starting somewhere. It's Gustavo. He is in burrowing heaven but it is ABSOLUTELY ILLEGAL to dig burrows here. OMG. Del and Gary, I swear, there are no holes. None! You guys even have internet on your vacation? No worries here! No holes being dug! Or biting off of twigs and chewing of plants.

I go and break up the, uh, Not Digging of holes. Confiscate some twigs.

They split up, and start running again. Gustavo has this little problem with nature. Being that, he needs to bark at it. When he's out in the forest, he runs at top speed the whole time so nature is a blur, moving by him at 30mph. Nothing to bark at, it's blurry and goes by way too fast. When the nature is quiet and still and terraced and trimmed and olive tree grove, well, whole different situation.

At our house, garbage night is barking night. We have garbage cans out on street for our nature. Because the garbage cans, they're just so, There. Here in nature, the manicured terraces, multicultural plants, fence posts, trees and all of them, suspect. The other dogs, bark at things like intruders, people, neighbors. Here, they are blissfully silent. It's just Gustavo. Who is so wound up beyond belief of the running that can happen, the naturey-ness of it all, right there in his face. Causes him to face it off, and bark his shrieky little monkeyscream back 'atcha, Nature.

Majestic old, heritage oak tree. Crowning glory of the sloping terraces. Nature. And I go off in search of the barking, and here is Gustavo. Standing in front of giant oak tree, barking at it.

It's a tree. IT'S A TREE. Augh. How did I ever teach him to do weave poles?

Not sure how he would actually survive in Nature, if a bowl of dog food weren't served to him every 12 hours. Just watch Ruby out there to know why. She is stealth. She's not afraid of nature, she stalks it quiet and slow, ready to pounce on it and kill it. Not running amuck and letting it know 6 miles away that Hiya, Fella's, I'm HERE! We believe Ruby to have grown up in nature, feral terrier. Otterpop, maybe not a sleek killing machine like her sister, but gets the difference between a tree and a bobcat. Bird and a orange cactus flower. Squirrel and a rake. Gustavo, stray dog about town from the slums near Juarez, Mexico, acquired different survival skills. Has no problem charming the pants off of a group of picknickers, but nervy when faced with a hillside of bushes.

Monkeyscream barking ensues. "Gustavo!" I run back out and he's barking at a pool umbrella, up on top of the hill. Otterpop and Ruby, laying in some dirt, flick an ear towards the ruckus. Really. How DID I teach him weave poles?

It's true, that the nature here looks way different than our usual nature. The tractor, that I just called him off of, way shinier and newer and oranger than the tractor he's used to. And maybe the nature sticks out more because it's all so artfully arranged. Set in just the right spot, so more noticeable, at Sunset Magazine. Every time I follow the monkeyscream, out to him, his little heart beating so fast, himself whipped up into a little frenzy usually reserved for agility barking.

I guess when nature writers get all caught up in the inspiration and the beauty, this is what they're talking about? So inspiring, that you can't help standing there, frozen, screaming your tiny little head off at it?


Elf said...

ROTFLLLLLL: "It's a tree. IT'S A TREE. Augh. How did I ever teach him to do weave poles?" This is SO Boost-like. But now that she's 4, she's getting better. I actually moved some chairs in the back yard the other day, and the next time we went out, she didn't even look at them. More than maybe once or twice anyway, with the skinky eye. And I dragged a whole lot of very large flower pots around late yesterday, and this morning she had nothing to say about it at all when she went out for her morning constitutional. A huge victory indeed!

On the other hand, about a month ago, when I refilled the compost bin in the back corner that hadn't been touched in a long time and so left the black plastic sheeting flopping out of one side where it hadn't been before, you betcha I heard about the imminent danger.

Apparently it has become OK for flowerpots and chairs to move around, but black plastic sheeting hasn't yet earned the right. Ah, well. Next year.

team small dog said...

Maybe Gustavo really IS a shrunken border collie?

Elf said...

The resemblance is uncanny!

Anonymous said...

It's really unfathomable why no one has responded to your Gustavo needs a Team request. Except your arch enemy.