Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My ALASKA VACATION, 2011, Part 10


SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011, Part 2

After dinner, Lolly and I went to the nearby dog park to walk Sheila.
The dog park is about a mile from our house, surrounded by nearby housing development and University of Alaska land. Very woodsy; one has to watch out for moose, and on occasion, brown bears. The dog park itself is built around a gravel pit that has been turned into a small L-shaped lake surrounded by trails and, on parts, a dirt road. In the middle of the lake is a small island with trees and a beaver lodge built nearby. The beavers have been known to attack dogs that swim in the lake.
The dog park was crowded with humans and their canine partners, most off the leash but some on. And a stray cyclist. Lolly put Sheila on the leash as the errant human passed. If it had been me, or if I had been there without Lolly, I would have let Sheila stay free. It’s a dog park, darn it. If the jerk wants to crash our turf, he does so at his own peril as far as I’m concerned.
Sunday evening was our second outing at the park; the first was on Wednesday. On Wednesday, we strolled alongside a middle-aged woman and her lab/rotweiller mix puppy. He was about Sheila’s height but longer, and faster. Sheila was more agile, avoiding the lab, stopping and turning on a dime, letting him fly past her, and stop, waiting for him to check his puppy momentum and turn back in her direction. A couple times they wore each other out and would stand there panting, or trotting slowly to keep pace with their humans. It was highly amusing to watch.
On Sunday, all the dogs seemed to be traveling in the opposite direction, except for some occasional jogger/dog combos. Sheila kept herself busy, charging up and down hills, in and out of the forest like a hyper- active bat out of hell. Unlike Wednesday night, she didn’t seem to tire ever. Lolly remarked on this; perhaps it was a side effect of the chocolate that will or Carrie had left within Sheila’s reach on the arm of the couch (Carrie reported on Saturday).
Sheila had been hyper and demanding of attention all day. She would stand by me as I was sketching and stare at me, whining plaintively. In the morning, it had worked. Assuming she to do her doggie business, I took for a short walk outdoors. She only wanted to explore. Back inside, she goaded me into playing with her by throwing her stuffed squirrel across the length of the narrow downstairs hallway to our childhood bedrooms (this is the house we grew up in). Lolly ignored us; she had set up her home office in what used to be our rec room at one end of the hallway. She was preparing for the upcoming school year, reading and taking notes on a new math textbook. Lolly runs the math department at Chugiak High, 20 minutes outside of Anchorage proper.
As the day had progressed I stopped giving in to Sheila’s whining demands for attention.
In fact, I started sketching her as she sat near me, staring at me. She didn’t much like this and would turn away from me. She would go back and forth between Mom/ Lolly, checking them out as they packed for Sunday’s trip to Hesketh, and myself, until she got annoyed by my staring back at her.
Lolly’s interpretation was that Sheila was on high alert because she recognized packing behavior and didn’t want to be left behind.

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