Thursday, August 05, 2004


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

It's all about the ride.

At speed.

Sola and I have something in common. We both love to mountain bike. The smell of forest and sound of dirt passing under wheel and paws at speed is our church. When I pull the bike out and load it in the truck Sola stands in the window screaming at me as though I have just left her behind on the Titanic. But when we are in the woods we are one. She will not be separated from the back tire of a mountain bike at speed. If I stop she will wait by my side for the fun to resume. There is a beautiful crystal clear mountain stream that we always stop at for her to swim, drink and recharge. In the last five days she has probably logged about 18 miles of rugged terrain, and is no worse for the wear. She's a tough little seven month old girl. And she worships the ground I walk on, unless she feels like ignoring me.

Sola: What a bunch of fruity crap. I'm just in it for the mud. I stay behind that tire and get big old gulps of it. I wish I were in school. I would eat paste......

At rest.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


The Graceful one...

Greyhounds are remarkable. It is difficult to find adequate words to describe them. They are ever so graceful. They are patient to a fault. They are incredibly thankful for the simple luxuries of living in a house. They are lazy, and will sleep all day if allowed to do so. They love and love and love unconditionally.
Greyhound racing is a dying sport, and that is good news. Until then, if you haven't considered adopting one, do. You will never regret it...

Nigel: It's about time you sang my praises. Sola has been a camera hog these days. So here is a picture, one I like to share with the ladies.....

Playgirl Pose

Monday, August 02, 2004

And then there were three...

So we had a bit of a scare yesterday. I was out walking Nigel & Sola and a stray Pit Bull Terrier came running around the corner to greet us. He was at my side before I could even move, doing the doggie handshake with Sola. A neighbor was there with her dog and he approached it. She gave it a push with her leg and we both yelled at it to get lost, which it promptly did. After changing my underpants I walked the dogs back home. I jumped in the truck to find out where the stray had gone.

Another neighbor was walking her dog through the village and the Pit bull was running up behind her. I thought I'd spare her the change of underwear necessitated by a surprise Pit Bull visit. I switched on my flashers and stopped the truck in the middle of the road beside her. She turned and noticed the stray, which was just starting the butt-sniff exchange with her dog. I jumped out of the truck, ran over to them and asked the stray if he would like to go for a ride. Apparently that was exactly what he was searching for. Perhaps he had been seeking out a cab, because when I opened the door he jumped in immediately. I jumped back in the truck and we headed home.

So we called the local animal control officer. And we called again. And again. Apparently he likes to keep his Sundays to himself. In the meantime I fed treats to our visitor and entertained him with a tennis ball. He thanked me with huge sloppy kisses and frequent tail wags. He pulled me around the neighborhood on the leash and collar I had put on him (he arrived nekkid).

Oddly enough, despite my fear of Pit Bull terriers he proved to be a sweetie. Except when I had him on a leash and strangers approached. Then he would growl and attempt to protect me. One of our previous dogs was a beautiful Dalmatian. She was so striking that all who saw her wanted to approach us and meet her. This was unfortunate because she was too protective of us and could not be allowed to meet strangers. It was sometimes difficult to walk her or have company over, but she was a wonderful dog and my wife was comforted to know that she was protected by her dog. Now we have that same sense of safety.

When you walk a Pit Bull it's a bit different. Cars swerve out of the way, schools lock their doors and women and children run for shelter screaming. It's quite entertaining, and makes me wonder if perhaps we should invest in a factory that can produce underpants at competitive prices. In any event, it would seem that the chap is here to stay. We have yet to select a name for him, but we are pondering suitable names, and have narrowed the list to Assault, Bleeder, Killer, Reaper and Stitches (in alphabetical order). I think Stitches is cute so perhaps it will stick.

Sola: How dare you.

Nigel: They've lost their minds. I'm sleeping on top of the refrigerator from now on. This is getting to be regod-damned-diculous.

Disclaimer: This story is true, except that you'd have to be smoking crack in order to believe that we'd keep a Pit Bull. We put that part in to give our friends and family aneurysms. After the animal control officer never showed up we promptly dropped him off at the shelter. Shortly thereafter a handful of rednecks in a beatermobile stopped our neighbor and asked if she'd seen a young Pit Bull anywhere.........