Saturday, November 26, 2005

No Go

Nigel takes to the street.

The Saturday before Halloween was a perfect autumn day. Imagine the most beautiful fall weather - dry, sweet smelling air; a cloudless sky; sun that feels perfect down to your bones. There was no way we could stay in. We set off in the muttmobile in search of any activity that would provide entertainment out of doors.

Our first stop was only two miles from home. An ocean of pumpkins adorned the front yard of a quintessential Vermont farmhouse. We found a parking spot by the barn and walked across the driveway, Nigel and Sola waiting in the truck. We were greeted by Gus, the resident yellow Lab of Conants' Riverside farm. Gus bore a striking resemblace to Sola - dark around the edges, with a moderately blocky head. He rubbed against our legs, and we obliged him with a good scratching.

Gus, keeper of the pumpkins.

We met his human and learned that he was bred in the same rural area (banjos) of Vermont Sola came from. It seemed plausible that Gus and Sola were related, though there was no easy way to confirm this without additional research. We browsed the rows and clusters of pumkins and gourds. Mrs. Author made her selections (with careful consideration, matching gourd colors to our floor mats). We paid for our goods and began the walk back to the truck, Gus on our heels.

Sola came completely unglued at the site of Gus. She yelped, screamed and barked, her tail stirring the air in the truck like a helicopter blade. Nigel retracted to the rearmost corner, covering his ears. Gus perked up at the sound of Sola's pleas for attention. He observed her with a lusty look. We squeezed our way in to the truck, careful to keep them separated. As we pulled on to the highway Sola gave one last rearward look at Gus shrinking away through the back window.

We made our way to Church Street, one of our favorite fair-weather haunts. Crowds of shoppers walked the streets, taking in the air. Nigel and Sola rejoiced, visiting with dogs and humans, smelling fire hydrants, stalking pigeons.

No more than thirty minutes had passed, and Nigel did the unthinkable. He looked at the brick street below him, circled twice and dropped. That was it - he was out of gas. Thirty minutes of excitement and Nigel was ready for a nap. I looked him over for mold. All appeared well. But nothing would stir him from his resting place in the middle of the most popular pedestrian destination in the state. This is a dog that is afraid our cat is going to step on him.

Nigel: A'hem!

Author: So that's about it. There could have been a fun story, but Nigel called a major time out. And that sums up Greyhounds well. They are reserved, polite, and completely unpredictable at times. They are great fun indeed.

Nigel rules.


Sola: He most certainly does.

Nigel: ZZZZzzzzz.....