Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dog Playdate

by Maggie Mae Mushko
(Border Collie: age 2 years and 10 months)

On Monday, Mommy's friend Claudia came over with my friend Belle to walk Polecat Creek Farm with me and Hubert. This time, Belle brought her adopted puppy, Penny.

On the way to the farm, I tried to throw my frisbee through the cab window at Mommy, but it got stuck between the cab and the back of the truck. It's still there.

Once we got to the farm, I—as hostess of the walk—introduced myself to Penny and explained some of the rules:

Then we dogs started our run. For someone not quite six months old, little Penny can run fast. She also loves water. Of course, Hubert and I had to check out some smells with Penny:

We took a different route this time. Mitzi had mowed a trail toward Barton's line, so we crossed the creek and followed that that trail for a while. Then we started uphill toward the old horse trail. We followed deer trails, or trails just a little bigger than deer trails. Partway up the steep hill, we came to a place that had a smell we just had to roll in. Luckily everyone took turns. Hubert rolled and rolled:

A little farther up the hill, we came to this rock that had recently been upturned against a tree. Some critter wanted whatever was under the rock. I'm pretty sure the critter wasn't a deer. You can tell how big the rock is by the size of the dog nose in the lower left of this picture :

Soon we reached the top of the hill. We stopped at a BIG old tree that had fallen across the trail several years ago. Part of the tree had decayed and termites were eating it. Something BIG had clawed the tree in several places. This picture shows of of the clawed places:

After we came down the trail and crossed back over Polecat Creek, we went through one of the bottom fields to where the Smith Mountain Hounds cross the creek. We examined the horse tracks briefly. Then we came back. Penny rooted in the spring branch and got muddy. Belle had to explain to her that pigs root, but proper Australian Shepherds don't:

We had to go to the creek again so Penny could get clean. On the way back to the trucks, Penny was running flat out and ran into me hard. The next time she came close to me, I said "Snarffff!" which means "Excuse me, it is not considered polite for a young whippersnapper like you to run into the hostess."

Penny ran off, but Belle came up to me, got into my face, and said "Snrrr!" which means "If anyone is going to correct that puppy, I'll do it!" Then I said "SNARRLL!" which means "Border Collies rule!" Well, Belle also said "SNARRLL!" but with a slightly different inflection, so it meant "Australian Shepherds rule!" Then a bite-fight started. It was a matter of stock dog honor.

The bite-fight only lasted a couple of seconds. Mommy grabbed me and pulled me back while Belle's Mama grabbed her and pulled back. No blood was drawn, and Belle and I forgave each other. However, Mommy clipped a leash onto my collar, and I had to walk back to the truck like I was a prisoner. How humiliating!

And my frisbee is still stuck in the truck!
Thursday update: Daddy got my frisbee unstuck. Life is good.

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