05 October 2014
Where did the Blue Ladies go, four forest chapters from the hot days.
Do you remember the Blue Ladies from a long time ago?
They drifted around town, both of them so tiny, swaddled in layers of powder blue, always topped with a blue hooded wind breaker tied tight around their little faces. They never talked, and they were always together, the two of them. I don't remember exactly, but they both looked like ladies but maybe were actually men. They were old. They were everywhere. But they lived in their own, tiny, blue world.
I remember, a long time ago, one of them died. This was the word on the street, anyways, maybe this is when we learned that she that died was really he, RIP. I don't know what happened to the other one, a tiny blue lady, left out there alone. I thought I saw them when I was driving down the mountain yesterday in the heat, coming out of the forest where it was about as hot as everywhere else, but it was just a tiny little couple of Chinese grandmas, making their way down the road. Not sure why, in that heat, too hot to be walking on the asphalt. At least they were together.
Sometimes on Sunday mornings, we've been running into the Lady Dogpack when we walk in the northwestern quadrant.
We've been out a bit later since I saw the mountain lion tracks. Beautifully preserved huge pawprints, and came up out of the bush and onto one of our trails. They were big, they were definitely cat. Seeing them was breathtaking, the big cat taking the same path as me, each footprint the size of a hand. They slunk along, then turned back to the bush. Animals have different ways when the heat strikes. For now we walk a bit later and somewhere else, in case the cat enjoys strolling that way at dawn.
The Lady Dogpack is 4 ladies who each have at least 2 dogs, some of them 3. All the dogs are big, and some of them are mean. Specifically, do not get near the dalmation, the cattle dog, or the ridgeback. The rest are big, loud labs types, and all come running fast. The Lady Dogpack doesn't walk, they are a mass of fast runners and loud talkers. The ladies are strong, and can grab and hold onto those bad dogs quick and hold them really good.
When we see them, it's usually the black and brown labs that come around the bend first. I'm always ready, I can hear them from far away. I know now, just pick up Otterpop and carry her under my arm. Banksy always pops into her lie down to assess how many of them are out there, and Gustavo and Ruby quietly pick their way through. While the ladies hang on tight to the bad ones, somehow my 4 can always pass their 10, even on the narrow little track that wraps down the hill, past the biggest stumps, to the creek. We all had to share the creek today, to get the dogs to the only tiny little trickle of water.
After we pass, we can hear them running for a while. But they go fast, and we both go our separate ways. Then the forest goes back to quiet.
Gustavo came back with gray fur in his mouth.
I believe that Gustavo chased an old, sick, crippled squirrel up an old, fat, redwood tree. I do believe that he must have caught a tip of tail in his mouth, his tiny little mouth that's missing most of it's teeth. I am sure he has never got this close to a squirrel, which is why I believe it must have been old, sick or crippled, maybe all of the above. We hear them chippering like monkeys when we walk, high above us in the branches. The rest of us waited for a long time at the bottom of the hill, and when Gustavo never showed up, we walked back up and there he was, running in circles around the trunk, trying to scale a redwood, taste of squirrel fur in his mouth for the first time.
Banksy was a good girl, never had the thought that this squirrel business was a good idea. Me and the lady dogs all waiting patiently for little guy who's lost his mind. I had to go in and yell at him, his worst thing ever. "BAD BOY, MISTER AND YOU BETTER GET OUT OF THERE NOW." Oh. This made him ever so sad and out he came.
We spend a lot of time walking in the forest, more than we used to, in the name of a good puppy is an exercised puppy and to be in the shade when the October earthquake weather hits us like a fireball.
I'm taking an online Silvia Trkman course with Banksy. Agility foundations. We have enough room at work for some tunnels and jumps, and I practice when I can. I already feel very, very behind. You go online and watch the homeworks, and try to be like how Silvia is on the video. I wish we could practice this 100 times a day. But practice has to squeeze into moments at work, and I think we are making progress at a snail's pace, not efficient like a champion would do it. I forgot to use a blind with come to hand. I haven't tried as many patterns as the other puppies have, and she is sticky on some of her sends. I thought we were doing great until I started watching the other puppies' homeworks.
Practicing is fun, but I do so wish we had some space to play at home. At work, you need to be doing the work, so there isn't always time for playing. But I'm grateful to have any space at all.
There's always time, though, for walking in the forest. Banksy always comes to me and walks in a close or side til I say, off you go. She doesn't go off on the squirrel hunt with Gustavo, and she patiently stands aside to let a mountain biker speed by. Maybe hiking skills will transfer to obstacle discrmination, and walking on my side will help with the come to hand. Maybe not. But it's shady in the forest, and that's where we were today.
by team small dog at 12:25 PM