Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ebony and Ivory: A Tale of Two Tails

The dogs around here are crazy, and in my mind I've written several posts about them. To be honest, I'm not sure how much I've actually typed out about these two girls. I'm sure the story of their lives could be compared to Marley & Me, it's at least as humorous!

The sub-title for today is: The Walk
I will refer to them as Ebony and Ivory to protect the innocent, or slightly unintelligent. 

Ivory came to us from a home where she was not walked much. I walked her when she was about a year and a half old and the entire time I was thinking, "If I trip this dog will drag me down the road until she is tired." She pulled like a man pulling a semi-truck on the strongest man competitions! Now that Ivory is four years old, one would think she is starting to calm down. But, you'd be wrong! One of my stipulations for bringing her to out home was that the previous owner, my mom, would send a gentle lead for each girl with us. Now, this device does help, but it is not a solve all.

Ebony used to think walks were for her to explore the world around her. With another owner, they might be. But with me, they are to sweat, drop pounds and wear the dog out. Unfortunately I am tired WAY before she is. The gentle lead has worked beautifully on Ebony. The first time I strapped it on her, she froze and waited for my lead. She keeps the leash loose the whole walk and only rebels when she needs to take a "pit stop." She is a pleasure to walk while on her lead.

Ivory is a better walker on her lead, but still a maniac. I have determined that her enthusiasm is due to a lack of exercise in her younger years and a zeal for a good workout. If she's going for a walk, she wants to get the most out of it. There's no wasting steps for this girl. In fact, she gets a double workout. While walking, she insist on looking to the left ever 3-4 seconds. She starts panting the moment I open the drawer that her leash is in. Once it's strapped on her tongue is hanging out. Remember, this is no small dog and neither is her tongue. It swells and produces more saliva as we walk. So, when she looks to the left, her big fat tongue is hanging out and she slides it across the victim's head and touches the front of my right leg. I have given the victim (or child in the back seat) a hat to protect their head, and this seems to help. But, as I get hotter and stickier, this tongue feels grosser and grosser. (Is that a word?) Anyway, it just grosses me out! Along with slobbering all over me and the victim, Ivory runs to the front of the stroller, then behind me. I keep her on a short leash, so I'm not sure how she does this. I have kicked her in the heel one second, then have her head by my back side the next. In brief, she runs back and forth beside the stroller while we walk for 2 miles. This is an enthusiastic dog! Once we get home she drinks about a gallon of water and passes out for a while. Ebony is not even tired! I have to change shorts and the victim gets their head washed off. Oh yes, we are the circus!

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