Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Boy and His Borrowed Dog

Our friend, Elise, who lives three houses down for us and who moved up here from Dobbs Ferry, New York two weeks before we moved here, adopted a puppy last fall which she named Henry the 8th because he was she and Michael's 8th dog. There were moments when I thought the dog was going to be ours, but ultimately we just couldn't take him. At the time, we still had Misty and we wanted her to live out her last days as the queen of her castle. But we all love Henry. I'd marry him if I could. The shelter that had him up for adoption described him as a Miniature Pinscher. I love Min Pins, as they are nicknamed. There was a gym I used to go to in NYC and there was a trainer there who owned a Min Pin, and that little dog used to follow him all around the gym, prancing like an itty bitty show horse. Cute. The two of them together - the trainer and the dog. Made me want to have one of each.

But as it turns out, Henry is no miniature anything. Elise had his DNA mapped and it turns out he is one half Standard Pinscher (huge), one quarter Leonberger (huger), and one quarter everything else. Henry is not going to be a small dog but we love him anyway.

When Mickey is craving "a boy and his dog" moment, we borrow Henry and bring him up to our house so he and Henry can run around the yard. Mickey is so overwhelmed by Henry being here he can't just run around the yard with him, he has to bring him into the house and show him around, pick up him up and carry him, and force him to be cuddly on the sofa.

I love it when Henry looks like it's taking all he's got to hold it together. His tiny ears lay back flat and his whole head seems to do the same thing.

Elise and Michael have had to install an invisible fence in their yard because Henry and Cha Cha (Henry's housemate, and really, the Queen of all she sees) . . .

. . . will take off like a light through the woods, up the street, and around and around. So they can get out and really stretch their legs, Henry more than Cha Cha as Cha Cha has hardly any legs to stretch, Elise takes them both down to Umpachene Falls - I've taken you there. Look for a very early post. One day she threw the dogs and Mick in the car and they all went to the falls and expended a little energy.

Mickey is often the conscientious citizen. Upon arrival to the park, he began picking up litter to put it in its proper place.

Don't you think he should be in Ralph Lauren ads?

A birthday is coming up in July for one little boy desperate to have a dog that he can play ball with, circle the yard with and call his own. I hope Henry doesn't get jealous whenever that day arrives, and I hope he finds they can be the bestest of friends.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ah, the Days of Summer!

I meant to post these photos last summer, but was too overwhelmed with everything else to do so. Now, as the spring rains come and the snows melt and temperatures begin to rise, I thought I'd post them to remind ourselves of the warm, and soggy (in so many ways) days of past and the warm, and hopefully less soggy, days soon to come.

One warm day last summer when it wasn't raining, Mickey and I were home and he was yearning for a play date, as he always is. We made a phone call to his friend Alek's mom, Lori - who you do not see in the photos - and asked if Alek could come and play. Yes, Lily could come, too. Then, we got a call from Lori who asked if she could bring along two little boys - Winter, and the other name escapes me as I write this - whose dad, Asa, was having a meeting up the street with Alek's dad. The boys were sitting in the office bored out of their minds and trying to behave. Sure, the more the merrier! Soon, Lori arrived with the four kids in tow. We pointed them toward our "playground" and said "have at it", while she and I sat in the shade barking at them to stay away from us with the squirt guns. Before long, Asa arrived, his part of the meeting having ended. Asa picked up a squirt gun, or two, and Lori and I couldn't figure out who was the bigger kid! The afternoon was sheer joy and bedlam.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bells Are Ringing

Did I ever tell you that Tom and I got officially married in the state of Massachusetts? Good old Massachusetts. Tom and I had our commitment ceremony back in May of 2004. It was a beautiful, but chilly Saturday at my best friend Kelly Kirby's house, surrounded by 40 friends, fed by a great caterer. It was the whole sha-bang. But since we are now living in Massachusetts where we could be legally married, we thought we should do as the Romans do and tie the not, again. So on the cold Wednesday before Thanksgiving around 5:00 in the evening, our friend Nancy, who officiated at our commitment ceremony, Uncle Patrick, Tom and Mickey and I crept out onto the north lawn, lighted candles and written ceremony in hand to take our place within a circle of candlelight Patrick and I had set up on the lawn moments before. There, by dim candlelight and through much emotion, Nancy revisited her text and we restated the vows we wrote for our commitment ceremony in 2004. Uncle Patrick, who was not present for the commitment ceremony, boo hooed like a girl, and Mickey looked at all of us like we had lost our minds. It was a great and memorable evening. After we got Nancy back into the safety of our house without her breaking a hip out in the dark of night, we piled into the car and headed up the road a piece to have a celebratory dinner at The Old Inn on the Green. Chef Platt and Meredith Kinnard, innkeepers and proprietors of The Old Inn are also my employers at The Southfield Store. They each visited the table to bestow upon us their best wishes which they topped off with a very nice bottle of bubbly for the table. After a fantastic dinner, Meredith took our one wedding photo for us to remember the evening by.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Grand Central

This photo was taken a few weeks ago. We have more snow on the ground now since we had that string of storms, but look at all those foot prints. THOSE ARE ANIMALS! The fatest footprints starting on the right hand side about half way up the photo and going up the hill are mine, all the others are the animals that criss cross our property when I'm not looking. Recently we've been visited by the fantastic Mr. Fox, and we've seen him! He's beautiful. We see him in the morning when we're getting ready for work and school. One of these days I'm going to have my wits about me and get a picture of him instead of just galking at him and screaming at Mickey to look out the window. All those prints aren't Mr. Fox's, they belong to deer and God knows what else. Today I went out to check the level in our gas tank and around the tank were the most delicate paw prints, much smaller than those of a cat. I have no idea what they could be. Old Mr. Bear should be waking up pretty soon and paying us a visit. I wonder if we'll see any faun trotting through the yard with all the adults we saw last summer. I love our wildlife.