This post is also known as “Titan’s Exciting Weekend”
Ah… a three day weekend comes around finally, one without a day being sick on either end. Here’s a rambling account of the weekend activities.
Friday after work I went out for a drink with Jen because I’m a helper. See, her computer died 10 months ago and she’s been unable to get it working since. It’s also taken her 10 months to ask me for real help. We met so I could get the computer and work my magic. (My magic appears to work well.) Afterwards, I was supposed to go down to the market to get my Copper River Salmon, which is my extra-extra splurgy birthday treat for myself. But they were closed by the time we got there. I pouted for about an hour. :) We got home, made dinner, played with Titan, watched Sahara and then went to bed.
Saturday morning we woke up with ideas of hiking. The forcast for the week had shifted from being promising to looking like crap. But you should never let that stop you. We opted to go to Lake Serene, and off we went with Titan. As soon as we got out of the city, the clouds were gone and it was a beautiful day. The hike was good; we were basically the first ones up the trail. Titan did really well and I think he’s getting conditioned nicely to our activity level. Lake Serene is a short trail, only 3 miles one way or so, but it gains its 1600ft of elevation gain in miles 2 & 3 via a number of steps. The big goof had plenty of energy, wasn’t too hot, and loved it all. We didn’t make it all the way to the lake because the final slope was rather snowy and had lots of postholes and gaping black spots of nothingness, and Titan didn’t quite know how to handle it, which made our traverse of it dangerous. So, we just stopped and had our snacks there.
We were running a little late after the hike because Titan was due for his monthly bath. The place closed at 3, and we got there at 2:30. He’s been blowing coat lately, and he was getting groomed on Sunday, so getting a bath on Saturday after a grungy hike was important. He was very tired after the hike and during the bath, but when we got home he still had energy to romp around and play. Like I said, his conditioning is getting better. He did crash hard later though.
Sunday was planned to be a big, big day for Titan. On the morning walk we met the local Berners, Ben & Jewel, who live down the street. We’ve seen them before and had good encounters, but we haven’t spent much time with them. Titan’s very timid with dogs, but with Berners he’s much more comfortable. After a minute of uncertainty, Titan let his guard down and he was romping around the yard with them. He really liked Ben, and they rolled around the yard, romping, huffing, growling; fur flying everywhere. Jewel participated too, but she was more interested in flopping on my feet and getting a belly rub. We parted company and made tentative plans to get together on Monday for more romping.
At 9:30 we left to go down to Tukwila to visit with Dave & Shirley, Titan’s previous humans, and get him groomed. He’s not been back to the house since we took him home on March 8. As he got out of the car he was excited, curious, and as soon as he saw Shirley he went nuts; jumping around, tail wagging wildly. He wandered through the house, sniffing everything, checking out all the old haunts. And if all that wasn’t exciting enough, they then let the dogs out:
Spirit, the now 6 month old puppy he used to babysit and play with.
Summit, a new 6 month old puppy he hasn’t met.
Touche, his sister from the same litter, who he has only seen once since the litter split.
Luna, his old girlfriend and the one who makes him lose his mind.
Bart, his old friend.
What a mass of dog. We all hung out on the deck while the doggies checked each other out. Titan was tremendous. He was a little unsure at first when all the dogs came at him, but he got over it quickly when the familiarity of most of them took hold. He especially liked Luna. Titan, the dog-timid Berner, was romping and playing with 4 dogs in an enclosed space. He batted Spirit around as usual, he welcomed Summit with an open mouth and a big paw, and Luna? Well… he’s only been fixed for 3 months. He kinda remembered what she meant, but nothing happened. Of course, Touche interested him too. He was great with all of them. Totally at ease.
Then we got the carting equipment out. He’s never been attached to a cart until now so I was unsure of how he’d respond. The first time alone was ok, but he was definately uneasy with it on him at first, but calmed down a bit. To aid in his acceptance, she changed the cart from a single to a double and put him in a team with Bart. This was the key. Bart did most of the work. He’s a carting national champion. Titan was calm and walked next to his buddy proudly. Then we took Bart off and let Titan go it alone and he did much better this time. The cart still spooked him at times, but he didn’t freak. I will definately be getting him a cart to work with from time to time.
We all played with the dogs, ruffing up puppies, being extra nice to Touche (she’s people-timid), and getting covered in drool and hair.
After all the dogs calmed down we grabbed Titan and put him on the grooming table. Dave groomed him nicely, and after blowing coat, having a bath, and a grooming session, he was in prime condition. Then Robin came over. Robin owns Titan’s dad, Rocky, and she was instrumental in me getting Titan. She got to see our big, beautiful, healthy happy Berner Boy Titan for only the 2nd time in 5 months. She was impressed. She also brought along her puppy Ferarri, who is 4 months old. That puppy got mauled by everyone when he showed up.
It was a great visit, and D&S were impressed with Titan. He’s is great shape, well behaved, and I was very proud of him, and with myself and all of us too, for being able to take care of him like we have.
Around 1:00 or so we left to head back downtown. I still had fish business to complete. We parked at Goob’s office and walked down to Pike Place Market to obtain my salmon. It was packed with people. The goobers stayed back with Titan while I went to the fish throwers. Titan had had enough by the time I got back with my fish. Too much going on, too many people paying him attention, hot, thirsty, and tired. We walked back to the car and he had his “I’m ready to be done” walk. This walk is fast and purposeful, it’s only direction is the one that leads directly back to the car/house.
It wasn’t over for him yet though, because we had to go to his final class in his Better Manners course. He was excitable, tired, hungry, and a little off during the class. He wanted to play with the other dog (which he never did before), and was timid around the instructor. But, he was attentive and followed instructions well. We went through all the tests of the CGC (Canine Good Citizen), and the only one he had a problem with was the ones with the instructor petting him, grabbing a paw, etc. He’s done it fine before, but he was just off on Sunday. He finished the course, got a toy and a certificate, and we went home for dinner.
Somehow, he still had energy. Both Saturday and Sunday when we expected him to be a Zombie, he managed to be energetic and playful. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with if we can’t wear him out on a hike.
He’s had a big weekend thus far. Today should be low-key because this human needs a day of rest. However, Ben & Jewel may come over for some romping. Other than that, he’ll be calm. He’s tired, even if he doesn’t want to admit it. He’s sleeping right now, but I guarantee that if I grab his lead and show it to him he’ll be up, alert, tail wagging, and ready to go for a long walk again.
As for the humans, Goob’s home working, I have fish, floors, and computers to attend to, and the girls have… well, homework and room cleaning. Other than that, we’re lounging today.