Tag Archives: woods

8/24/15 Back to the Woods

Hello, everyone!

I trust my buddies Mason & Murphy kept you up to date on the humans and their camping trip.

I, myself, took Mom at her word that she wouldn’t board me again. So, I stayed home with Erik and snuggled! I also had Laurel time when Erik had to be at work. When the rest of my family came home, I was happy to see them, but not stressed out in the least. Much better than the last time, when I had to be boarded, and became gravely ill from dehydration.

We went for a long walk in the woods yesterday, about two miles. It felt good to get out and have a hearty sniff. Here is a view from Dad’s front window at the green canopy covering the trail:

carview

Dad asked if we wanted to walk the wooded trail, or on the pavement. Naturally, everyone chose the wooded path. We started our walk at the totem pole in front of the Nature Center:

totempole

Here I am, with Dad, sniffing around:

walkers

It’s funny, I didn’t get sick at all in the car yesterday, and we had quite a long ride. However, the big van is definitely a smoother gig than Zeus, the little Fiat. My stomach got quite upset picking Jamie up from school today, and when Mom hit a bump in the road – oopsey! Well, that’s why Mom says she has car seat covers.

Jamie started school and he is a Sophomore now. That means he’s not a first-yearer any more.

Last year, Jamie had a wonderful schedule with early dismissal. This year, he is chugging along til the end of the day with the rest of the kids. Poor Jamie! It’s going to take some getting used to.

Watch for school buses! Bye for now!

Woof! Love, Maggie

6/2/15 A Grand Day for a Walk

Jamie and Mom surprised me with a walk today. First, Jamie gave me a heaping spoonful of peanut butter (“That’s too much!” said Mom, but I loved it) and inside she tucked my motion-sickness medication. We waited a bit, and I thought they were going to put me in the crate, so I flattened myself out on the bed, but then Mom said, “Who wants to go outside?” My ears perked up at that! Jamie chimed in, “Who wants to go for a walk?” and naturally, I started dancing when it was time to put on my “jewelry” and leash. “Sitsitsitsitsit!!!” Finally, I was ready and off we went.

Mom said this would be another kind of “test” for me, since it has been a week since I’ve been on my medication, and she wanted to see how I would react to other animals.

Several dogs were out on their lawns near the house and none of them were tethered or leashed (NOT a good idea), especially when I know these dogs will roam the neighborhood. We drove past them, though, and went to the woods.

It was beautiful, I just can’t describe it:

sunbeam

This was taken as we were walking. It’s not reflected off the glass in the car. It’s just a pure sunbeam that Jamie captured.

We did see a small dog and I was very interested. I didn’t bark or go nuts but my ears were up and I pulled. Mom checked me and Jamie said, “Get your nose in the clover, Rover, and relax!”

Hmpf. Rover.

I listened to Mom though when she checked me, so she feels I am improving. She says I have a ways to go and to not be a smarty-pants about it.

We wandered along the path for a long time. I did in fact stick my nose in the clover, and would breathe in deeply and then snort when a dandelion went up my nose. Jamie thought this was very funny.

backside

Pardon my backside!

Now, home and fed, it’s time for a nap. These humans wear me out!

Woof! Love, Maggie

3/13/15 A Messy, But Perfect, Walk.

Mom was going to go to the gym this morning. She opened the windows in the house and she took a deep breath of fresh, 51 degree F air, which is something very close to Heaven considering this winter we have had.

I stood next to her and sniff, sniff, sniffed. Everything smelled good. Kind of soggy, but good. Mom looked down at me with a smile and said, “Forget the gym, let’s go for a walk.”

Mom gave me one of those pills coated in peanut butter, and I settled down to rest. Mom got dressed in her clothes that are too shot for even the gym, and her oldest gym shoes. Then she got her backpack and put in her wallet, two bottles of water and a plastic dish, some take-out bags (just in case), a couple of sheets of paper towels, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. She put a fluffy blanket in Zeus’ back seat and took me into the backyard for a quick pee. Mom was taking her time so the pill would work. She didn’t want me throwing up or uncomfortable.

When it was time to leave, Mom drove so smoothly it was like Zeus wasn’t even moving. She had the windows half way down and I enjoyed the breeze. I didn’t even whine in the car. We got to the woods in no time.

When we arrived, Mom let me out and I stuck my nose to the ground like a bloodhound. For most of the trip, Mom let me sniff and take my time and walk in circles. We walked about two miles. Deep in the woods, we saw a beautiful deer. If you look closely in the middle of the trees, you will see her, too:

deertrees

The ground was very puddle-y, muddy, and the leaves were slippery and soaked. There was snow up on the hill where the sun hasn’t broken through the trees yet. I got wet and muddy and shook myself off several times. When we were through, I looked like a Black Lab. At least my legs and belly did!

We had the woods basically to ourselves. We saw two Blue Jays, streaking through the trees, and a very interesting flock of geese. At first, we didn’t know they were geese, since they were making kind of a trilling sound, not a honking noise. It was a lovely, woodsy sound. Mom tried to get a picture, but all she managed to get was the tops of the trees:

treetops

As you can see, it was a glorious day.

On the way back to the car, we saw a small, Pug-like dog. I looked at it and reared up on my hind legs when it started barking at Mom. Mom told me, “Leave it” and we walked away, the Pug’s mom calling out, “Sorry!” behind us.

I saw two other dogs, one walking and one guarding his car, and they were both about my size. I just looked at them and kept going. I did want to chase a couple of fat brown squirrels, though, and from the empty acorn shells strewn all over the path, I could tell that they didn’t starve this winter!

Mom headed toward a trim, green and white topped building out in the middle of the field. “Sorry, Mags, I can’t hold it,” she said, and stuffed me into the Port-A-Potty with her. I cringed. That place didn’t smell good at all! I don’t know why Mom didn’t just go on the grass. I’m sure she felt the same way. “This is outhouse living, Maggie,” Mom said grimly, taking out the hand sanitizer.

Speaking of going, it was time to go. We got home just fine and Mom let me out in the backyard again (as I’m kind of a homer), then she marched me upstairs and into the bath. Aaargh! I should have seen that one coming.

Mom gave me a bath with the oatmeal shampoo. I suppose I don’t mind taking baths, it’s the idea of them I don’t care for. Now, I’m fresh, clean, relaxed, and ready for a nap.

It was a messy, but perfect, walk. Have a great Friday!

Woof! Love, Maggie

10/29/14 Over the river, and through the woods

Or, over (at least the pond) and through the woods. But not to Grandmother’s house!

Today started off like any other day. Except I decided to work The Plan.

See, I’ve been after the rabbit for a while now, and who should move in to the pond next door but a “swamp kitty”. I’ve seen it in our – er, MY yard and I’ve seen it sitting in front of the woods. Today, after a nice long nap and lots of cuddling, I was refreshed, and decided to act.

I let Mom know I had to “go” and when she let me in the backyard, I bolted for the fence, where I have conveniently been making a hole with my head. The hole is behind where a bush is sticking through the fence, so Mom and Dad did not see me making it, and it’s not visible from the house. I felt all, “Shawshank Redemption” and everything. Mom chased after me but wasn’t quick enough. Before she could clear the patio, I was in the woods.

Mom had to cut through the house, go into the front, then to the side of the house into the woods to find me. She saw me “going” in the woods, but when I saw her, I stood up and ran for it. I was gone a while.

Mom ran back to the house, covered in burrs and thistles, and called the Police, the Animal Control Officer, Laurel, and Dad. Laurel calmed Mom down while she cried. “I’m afraid they’re gonna shoot her because she’s a Pitbull,” Mom said, her throat catching, tears sprinkling down her cheeks. “I kept telling them she’s friendly.”

Laurel was in the process of reassuring Mom when I slinked in through the hole in the fence and made my way toward the back door. I was cowering pretty low, but I couldn’t make out the look on Mom’s face. I’d say, “heartbroken” kinda covers it. She hung up with Laurel and checked me over for ticks. (No ticks). But lots of mud. She checked me all over again for blood, and didn’t see any blood, so she knew the kitty and rabbit had gotten away once more.  Mom just said, “Bad dog” and got the lead. She wasn’t even loud about it. I thought she was putting me in the crate, but she frogmarched me upstairs and into the big walk-in shower for a bath.

Mom wouldn’t let me lie down on the human bed because first I was muddy, then I was wet. So I curled up with my blankie on my chair.

Mom says she is talking to Dad about a solution to the backyard problem – either another tether or a “dog run”, since they can’t keep me from breaking the fence. Mom’s not talking to me now, and I think that’s the worst punishment of all.

Woof! Love, Maggie

5/18/14 A Surprise Walk

Thank you to all my friends who wished me a Happy 1-Year Family-versarry!  Sending you all a big Woof! and Tail Wags!

We have been busy over here with lots of school obligations.  We finally calmed down a bit today.  My humans surprised me with a long walk in the Pilcher Woods in Joliet, IL.  It was a surprise, because when I saw Mom getting her light jacket on, I skulked under the table, figuring I was crate-bound on such a nice day.  However, Jamie came downstairs with my training collar in hand, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I was going for a ride!  I was so excited, I bounded over to the back door, wagging my tail and encouraging my humans to hurry it up.

It was a perfect day for a road trip; not too hot, not too cold, with the sun shining and a cool, but not chilly, wind blowing gently.  I was very happy to hop into Dad’s van, because that is a much cusher ride than little Zeus, who jounces me all over and sometimes, I get carsick.

I settled down onto the soft back seat and sprawled out my hindquarters.  Then I realized Jamie had to get in, so I scooched over a bit, but not much.  Mom said to share the seat and then I moved a little bit more so that Jamie could buckle his seatbelt.

I had my rear in the shade and my face in the sun.   I was surprised at how long we were in the car!  It was an enjoyable ride.  Dad is a careful driver.  Mom says he is slow like an old man, but me and my tender tummy appreciate his caution.

Dad took the lead and we headed off into the woods:

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You can see the black spot on my tail. 

Pretty soon, we came to a scenic bridge, where we got out of the way of a couple of humans on wheels:

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We walked 2.2 miles.  We stopped for a rest at the halfway mark and Mom gave me a cold drink of water and a treat.  She said I was walking very nicely!  Whenever we saw people, I wagged my tail and perked my ears up, but I did not jump or pull.  Dad said, “Look, she thinks everyone is here to pet her!” and I could not argue that logic.  Why shouldn’t everyone be there to pet me?  I love people!

Finally, we got back to the van (another drink, another treat) and on the way home I was so tired that I put my head on Jamie’s lap and fell fast asleep.

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I didn’t mind sharing the seat this time!

Woof!  Love, Maggie

PS, Mom reports that the dent in my side that looked like I had been hit with a tennis ball – hard – is nearly completely filled in and I am just as beautiful as ever!  Woof!  -M.

 

8/23/13 The Forest Preserve

I am beginning to realize how much together-time Mom and I have, now that Jamie is in school.  Mom took me for a surprise walk today.  We headed out to the car and I thought we were going to pick Jamie up (we dogs have no sense of human time), but instead Mom drove us to the Forest Preserve where we went on a very long trek.  

At first, I tugged a the chain and wanted to smell in a volley of different directions.  However, Mom kept me on the left side and, while she let me sniff, she didn’t let me go overboard about it.  The forest was full of the rich scent of the first leaves falling, rotten branches, acorns, moss, grass, weeds, flowers, and an assortment of other living creatures.  Although the sun was shining, it wasn’t too hot, and those little white butterflies danced everywhere the sun shone.  Soon I calmed down, and we settled into a leisurely pace; Mom letting me walk in the grass often so my pads wouldn’t get too hot.  The leash dangled carelessly between us, forgotten in the rhythm of a peaceful walk between human and dog.  A huge stag slipped from the bushes and gracefully crossed the path in front of us.  We stopped stock-still to breathlessly watch it.  Neither of us moved for a few minutes.  Silently, it disappeared into the woods.

We walked until we reached the mile marker and I was panting a little.  Mom turned us around, ever wary of the fact that it is warm and I am wearing a fur coat.  Then we saw the stranger.

When we reached the turn, a man was walking in our direction.  As we got closer to him, he looked at us and abruptly turned around and started walking slower.  There was something about the way he was walking that made Mom and me suspicious.  He was walking with a strange gait, as if he had something large and heavy in his front pants pocket.  I was panting harder now, my back hair up, and Mom pulled me into the grass to wait until the man had gotten a little distance away from us, but she could see him. Then she slipped the little canister that she carries out of her pocket and put it in her hand.    A couple of times, the man slowed down his pace, as if he wanted us to catch up with him.  When this happened, Mom pulled me off to the grass to wait.  Mom told me to “stay” because she did not want this man beside or behind us.

Finally, we left the wood path and headed out toward the clearing.  A police officer was parked on the side of the parking lot and, it may be a coincidence, but the man crossed the street, away from us, and went into his own car.  The police officer rolled down her window and told Mom how beautiful I was. 

Mom took me back to Zeus, but first she made sure that the odd man had left the parking lot.  I jumped into the back seat and collapsed.  When we got home, Mom tried to get me to drink some water but all I wanted to do was splay out on the cold kitchen floor.

I think the walk was a huge success, all things considered, but Mom still feels a little funny about it.  She says if we go back, we will walk in a different direction.

Stay safe.  Woof.  Love, Maggie

 

5/24/13 The Long Walk

This afternoon, Mom leashed me up and took me out in the car to the Forest Preserves and we went for a 2-mile walk in the woods.  I think it had something to do with me trying to bite her yesterday.  I have to admit, I was doing a bit of testing, because I kept trying to walk in front of her like I was Lead Dog, and she kept pulling me to the side.  I found the walk was much nicer when I wasn’t struggling and tugging and straining, so I settled down after a while. 

I was actually glad that Mom kept me on the short leash because there are hidden dangers in the woods, like humans running up from any direction all of a sudden.  Or worse, people on two wheels that come darting over the hills out of nowhere!  At those times I just froze with my ears up and stayed close to Mom.  Mom patted me and told me I was good.  Then she’d give me a treat.  She reassured me I was good on the walk.  I was happy to hear that.  After yesterday, I needed to hear that.  Then I was so tired I crawled right into my crate and fell asleep for a long time.  I don’t mind the crate so much, as long as it’s on my terms.  I can sleep in there without anyone petting me or bothering me. 

Grandma came back!  I’m so happy to see her! She’s really a nice dog person.  I think she’s staying the weekend.  So I know I’ll get something good to eat at dinnertime.  Yum.