Sunday, August 21, 2005

My Dog Just Went To Camp

I promise that is not as horrifically yuppie or "my-dog-is-Mr.-Snuggles- Isn't-he-cute-in his sweater?" as it sounds. Country Mouse's dad, the Very Reverend Liberal Thunderer and his wife The Herbal Bluebird* are up home in Maine from his parish on Cape Cod for a month, using up all that comp time from having to work Sundays by lounging (or rather hiking, boating, etc) about on a lake down east. As is their way, their menagerie (two dogs, two cats, and a rescued parrot named Inca) travel with them. It just so happens that our younger dog Dinah (that's her scrawny arse above) boarded with them at the same camp when we were in England for my mother's wedding last year, and following that visit her two best friends in the world are Kya and Shaloin, the dog component of said menagerie.

Fast forward a year: about a month ago The Very Reverend Liberal Thunderer called and offered to take Dinah up to camp to play with the other two young dogs for a week. Cue much anguished hand-wringing at this end. On the one hand, Di would get to swim, hike, and wrestle all day (and maybe make a macaroni face picture or whatever one does at summer camp), things that elderly dog Bailey (see below) will not do and Country Mouse and me can only do on a work-restricted basis with her. On the other, she is part of our household and the only one who gets deliriously happy to see me every afternoon (Mrs. Weasel is usually happy I think, but she doesn't try and jump into my arms every day at 5:15pm) and will 'sing' "Louie Louie" with me not knowing or caring what I'm doing but rather just enjoying a good howl. Besides, I think I saw an episode of "Nature" that dogs don't like to be separated from their familiar environs etc, etc.

Despite realizing that I was acting like the worst "dog person" in the whole world and indeed, like the parent of a first-time preschooler en route to kindergarden I did actually have a fair amount of mental anguish about this. However I ultimately agreed that Dinah would have a fine time and would come back leaner, fitter, and smellier than ever, so off she went tonight. Her various ragbag toys stayed (nothing like a semi-destroyed tennis ball to spark possessive scraping amongst even the best of beasts) but her green bed and dog house went with her; the former as she seems to be comfortable wherever it is and the latter so that TVRLT can shut her in occasionally to get some respite from the non-stop ear bitin', play-growlin', furniture-hurdlin', tight-circle-runnin' three dog bundle that will be his lot for the next seven days.

It will be a bittersweet week for me with Dinah away (and Country Mouse popping off to the Dolly Parton concert in Portland on Thursday) but I can at least rest easy knowing that whatever happens, Di will be better off than The Random Doubts of Walter Mondale's niece and nephews' guinea pigs.

Bailey tries to join Dinah in hip canine teenager extreme sports, but his heart really isn't in it

*:Jolly good Bluebird Botanicals' concoctions are too, should one be in the market for medicine or soaps, etc.


Anonymous said...

That dog is a 100%. She and Thor should join forces and take 'em all on!

weasel said...

I have yet to admit to that ultimate act of saddo dog ownership...