Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ben the Retriever

My parents have a Golden Retriever at the farm.  Retrievers are "our" kind of dog.  There has been a retriever at the farm for almost 21 years.  The first one, Penny, joined the family as a puppy in 1994, the second one, Chubs, joined the family as an eight year old adoptee in 2005, and the current dog, Wally, arrived in 2009 as a four year old.  He's still there.  Ben loves him.  He talks about "Wal Wal" all the time.  He even refers to dogs in general as Wal Wals. 
Here is Wall Wal himself, looking like the finely bred specimen that he is.  And I am being serious about that.  He is purebred but all signs point to him being the type of dog that people pay quite a bit for.  His previous owner was clearly kind to him and trained him well in a gentle way because he is so well behaved and doesn't jump on people, chase cars, or growl over his food or anything like that and he also doesn't show fear of people, hands, or men which some of our dogs have displayed which indicates that they weren't treated so kindly in the past.  Hoever, he said he never trained him to hunt but yet Wally still shows hunting insticts.  He points and when he followed my dad out hunting the fall after he arrived he sat down behind my dad when he raised the gun.  Very interesting.  Dogs really are very intelligent. 

Wally has this really weird habit, which usually happens during warm weather, where he submerges himself in the creek, his wading pool (yes he has a wading pool) or some other puddle and then goes to my mom's vehicle and circles around it while rubbing his body all over it.  He also does this to a tree trunk in front of the house but he really enjoys rubbing on the SUV.  As a result, the vehicle is usually decorated with swirls of water streaks in the gravel dust. 
Here is a picture I have from one summer afternoon when my mom was washing the car.  You can see he is going in for the rub!
The reason I am bringing this up at all is because Ben has started doing the same thing.  When he gets out of the car he walks around the car while keeping in contact with it and running his fingers through the winter grime that is always coating it.  So it is streaky and his coat is dirty.  I tried to take a picture of the streaks but you can't see what I am referring to in the picture.  It's just one of those weird things that is mildly amusing on these boring winter days...
We had an OK Valentine's weekend.  The kids were horrendously crabby and whiny and tantrum-y so 90% of the weekend was spent listening to crying, fit throwing and screaming.  Our Valentine's Day dinner out was at a burrito place because we knew a full sit down restaurant would have been a disaster.  It was fine though.  We are just in the transition period between the youthful college girls movie nights and card paying and drinking (referring to when I was single, not including Justin haha), the over crowded dinner dates, and the school Valentine box making adventures of the future.
Here are my Valentine flowers.  

I also received a live calla lily plant.  Hopefully it lives a long time! 

Here is Tessa with her hugging kittens!

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