Saturday, January 28, 2012


The Run

It has been a busy week at work and I was looking forward to a good detox session Saturday morning.
Rain or shine or snow or whatever, I was going to run.
My outside meter said that it was 37 degrees this morning at about 5:30 so the weatherperson got it about right.
I set out with two layers on legs and top, wool mittens and my trusty fleece ear cover.
From the first step, my right foot/ankle served notice that things would go its way or not at all.
A pain somewhere on the top of my right foot just in front of where my leg attachments connect was loud and insistent.
After a few steps, I found that if I came down on my heel a bit more and allowed my leg to rotate forward a bit more, foot pain went away.
Not sure why the problem was there but it was a my-way-or no-highway kind of deal.
So I went along with the requirement.
And after a quarter of a mile or so, we made our peace for the rest of the journey.

It was a good session.
Although I felt just a bit weak, I encountered no need to stop.
I spent most of the time daydreaming – a good sign.
Other than the lady runner I saw just before I parked my car, and a guy coming down Bankhead Parkway with his dog as I was going up, I had the road to myself.

That is, until I started down Bankhead during that last part.
As many as 50 cars came up Bankhead in groups of three or six.
At first I was perplexed at the unusual amount of traffic at this time of day, then I remembered: today must be the day of the Mountain Mist 50 mile trail race.
That pretty much kept me from running on the road for the rest of the party.
But all in all, it was a great run.

On the drive home, Jesus lit up the deck of clouds above the city and painted the eastern half of them in various shades of red and purple and everything in between.
I arrived home at 6:45.

The Dog Frolic

[Some background – we had a two-day rain here that soaked everything (duh) including Sally the Dog.
Since she still thinks she can slither under my utility shed, she was pretty well white and brown Thursday evening when I arrived home from work.
So I gave her her second bath.
This session included her new tub mat so there was no slipping and sliding around like the first time.
She did better this time, though she did try to escape the tub once.
But she was happy to be finished, I could tell, as I dried her off with her towels.
End of background.]

As I came in from my run, I decided to take Sally to the dog park after I went shopping.
And thus, it was so.
Sally, in just her fourth or fifth car trip, sat up in the shotgun seat and watched the excitement with me.
There was very little gnawing and bothersomeness while we drove.

When we arrived at the dog park, the recent rains and turned much of it into a mud pit.
But there were a few brave humans and their furry friends romping around and so I turned Sally loose for the festivities.

We went to the Big Dog section first and there soon arrived a couple of older dominant dogs that literally ran over Sally multiple times.
And while she tried to run and play with them, the older dogs ruled the area.
And in the process, Sally lost her just-bathed look.
So after 15 or 20 minutes of the rough and dirty stuff, I took Sally to the Small Dog area, that was mostly grass.

There was just one young dog in the Small Dog area and they made quick introductions and then proceeded to play.
Finally, Sally found someone she could play bite with.
And they went at it for, perhaps, 15 minutes while I chatted with the nice folks who owned the other dog.
While we chatted, other dogs and people arrived, but they all went to the Big Dog area.
There will be a lot of dog baths today.
Sally and Cathy – the other puppy – ran and rolled and jumped with wild abandon, all within about 20 feet of we people.

Finally, I could tell Sally was pooped, though she would not admit it.
I leashed her, bid farewell to the nice people and we headed to our car.
But Sally, in her intense playing, had neglected some biological imperitives.
So she was reluctant to enter the car (which she would normally do, now, without hesitation).
We walked and sniffed (well, she sniffed...) for a minute or two until a suitable spot was located.

Finally, with all the biology tended to, we got in the car and drove home.
My estimation of Sally's energy level proved accurate.
She could not even sit up on the car seat.
Instead, she lay on the floor with her nose between the front of the seat and the center console.
One dog pancake, coming right up.

When we got home, I let her loose in the back yard while I prepared the bathroom for another doggy bath.
I let her in and put her in the tub and we did it all again.
Sally did well and allowed me to wash her legs and chest.
Finally, I lifted her out of the wetness and we dried off.
Interestingly, Sally does not shake herself right away, as some dogs do.
She lets me dry her with a towel for a minute or two before she gives herself a finishing fluff.

Her fur is very thick and dense and holds a LOT of water.
(It takes a gallon or two of water just to get her completely wet to the skin)
So, I can dry her with two large towels, getting them rather wet, and Sally will still be damp.
So her final drying will be an air dry where I rub and fluff her fur.
Of course, then she is ready to play.
But today, she was trashed.
She was ready to lay down and sleep.

Dog House 1.1

An Engineering Change Order had been issued for Sally Manor.
It seems that the tall door-way allowed too much blowing rain to enter the cozy interior of the dog box, so changes were planned.
This being winter, opportunities for outside dog house modifications are rare.
But today was/is a beautiful day for this area, for this time of year (last year at this time it had already snowed 5 times.).
It is clear (the morning clouds have drifted off) with a 10 MPH breeze and about 53 degrees.

The Design change involves adding 10-inch vertical extensions to each side of her door-way, and a new 12 inch roof addition over the door.
The expectation is that the vertical extensions will disrupt the air flow around the door-way to limit the intrusion of blowing rain into the house from the sides, and the roof addition will stop falling rain from entering the house through the 32-inch tall door-way.

Hopefully, these changes will help keep the interior dryer for the pooch.
This has become more important because her days of fitting under the utility building are numbered.
In another month she may not fit under there at all.
Thus, the dog house will really become her only place of protection from the rain/wind.

All in all, it has become a rather successful day.

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