Our "day" started at about midnight last night, when Murphy's recurring ear infection kicked into high gear. He spent most of the night crying and rubbing his ear on things, and I spent most of the night up with him massaging his ear and rubbing cortisone into the places where he'd scratched it raw. Compounding it was Belle's insane jealousy that caused her to interfere every time I tried to treat Murphy. If I went to clean or rub his ear or put medicine in, Belle was always there to shove in between us with that look on her face that says "No! Pet ME! Pet ME!" Damned dogs.
So first thing this morning, Murphy and I took a trip to the vet, and Belle rode along too, just because we can't leave her behind.
The real fun started when the vet tech came out to get Murphy. He knows the score by now and he did a damned fine job of evading her and fighting off both her and my combined efforts to get him into the vet leash that they use to take the dogs into the back. We finally got him hooked up and took my leash off of him, and then it only took two vet techs working as a team to drag him into the back, crying all the way. (Him, not them.)
With Murphy now occupied, I took Miss Belle to the local park and we walked around for a bit. Then I took a tennis ball out and tried to teach her how to play "fetch", since she is clearly confused on the matter. Alas, she refused to play. Time and time again, I threw the ball only to have her look at me as if to say: "Well that was dumb. Now you gotta go get it." And after I went and got it myself a dozen or so times, I finally gave up and just lay down in the grass. This Belle understood, and she promptly lay down beside me and rolled over on her back for a tummy rub. Happy dog. We lay there for a while, me watching the clouds and gently rubbing her belly, and then all of a sudden I noticed that she was SNORING! Heh--she was sound asleep. She is so gentle and mellow when her evil half isn't around.
We spent a bit of time playing on the playground equipment, and even though she's somewhat skittish around it, she obeyed every command to climb ladders.
Next, we did some "off leash" work, and she stayed right by me as I walked around the park, never getting more than fifteen or twenty feet from me and coming instantly every time I called. This dog is really, really good, and I seldom notice it because she's usually overshadowed by Murphy's antics. Her only slip-up came when she found a particularly interesting scent in a bush and got so engrossed in it that I was able to walk away about fifty feet and hide behind a tree without her noticing. Then I called her name.
Belle quickly looked up and--ZOMG! She was all ALONE! Quickly she ran to the picnic pavilion where we'd first sat down. No Dad there. Then she ran up to my Jeep. Still no Dad. I could see the anxiety building as she stood up tall and frantically looked around. Then she spied an old man walking on the other side of the park. That must be Dad!
Yeah, I know. Kinda mean. But also the best way that I know to teach a dog to stick close and keep an eye on you. And it works. Belle never got more then fifteen feet away from me for the rest of the outing.
Ah, Belle. Pretty as a picture.
She can still be a goof though.
After about an hour in the park, we went back into town. We had a very early lunch at a little restaurant with an outdoor table, and while I ate, Belle sat or lay quietly behind my chair--such a change from Murphy's typical shenanigans. I did notice though that twice, when people walked up and asked to pet her, she allowed it but she placed herself squarely between those people and me. Interesting. She was reserved and tolerated the petting without being overly friendly back, but you could see that protective instinct kicking in. Man, this is a great dog.
Then the vet called and I went back to pick up Murphy. He was still clearly not feeling too good, so I took them both home, and then it was my turn to go to the doctor. It seems that, last week, I stepped on a small piece of glass in the basement and it embedded itself in the sole of my foot in a spot where I really couldn't get at it. I kept waiting for it to just work itself out, but the wound closed and it got infected, and since I had the day off, I called the doctor's office up and the doctor spent a fair bit of time and no small amount of Lidocaine digging it out. Oh, joy indeed!
But now we're all home safe ad sound, and we're sitting out on my covered deck enjoying the thunderstorms that are passing through the area. Not a bad day after all, at least for two of us.
(Sorry, Murph. Every dog has his day, but today just wasn't yours, was it, pal?)