Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Girls' Day Out

See this here? This here is the face of a dog that infuriates me and makes me melt at the same time. She was my first very challenging entity in our family. And she remains rather insolent, spirited, joyous, expectant and yet unbroken by all the reprimanding (from us and from Mother Pepper - see the bite marks on her nose? I feel for her yet I know she probably asked for them because she does have a tendency to tease the old girl). She really is a naughty little shit and I love her, she's gorgeous.

And patient with the LGBB? Faultless. She and Jazz are pretty good chums. And mostly because Lolly pays out in crumbs and tidbits like Jazz never knew a person could....

I took the LGBB on a picnic on Monday. The picnic involved getting ready - "I cut sandich? I make sandich? I eatit?" - and then going the long way around to a park that is actually only five minutes from home. I had to do something to lengthen out my morning with Lol and with the weather so fine all of a sudden and that slightly warmer tinge to the air (God I love how Spring does that, like no other season, it can switch it on almost instantly, to the very day of the season change), I felt like taking my girls on a picnic. The picnic itself was dreamy enough for the LGBB. But when I suggested we take Jazz, she was positively levitating off the floor with excitement.

"We take Peppah? Peppah too?" she implored. But I had to explain that Pep would no sooner be out the gate with us than she'd be squaring up every bypasser and dog in their front yard and, frankly, I would rather she stay home and have a nice, stress-free old lady nap in the sunshine. Poor Pep. She has always been so dysfunctional in that way, socially I mean. Hands-down THE BEST companion dog I have ever had, but so bad with children and strangers. An awesome guard dog. Not really suited for family picnics though.....

So off we went on our five-minute-turned-1-hour round trip to the park. We started off by taking Jazz to see 'Cino Lady up the street and the LGBB was beside herself with glee that her friend with the waggy tail was coming to meet her beloved 'Cino Lady (who gives her extra marshmallows and chocolate freckles because Lolly is a bit of a fave in the coffee shop there).

And then we headed off on our picnic, some rather ominous afternoon clouds beginning to form and follow us.

It was okay, though, the weather kept at bay and I delighted in sitting back and just observing the LGBB enjoying the breeze and being outside with me and the dog. And Jazz enjoying catching whiffs on said breeze of Lolly's stras and egg salad sandwich.

The LGBB hasn't quite grasped yet that there is no turning back once you give a dog a morsel of your food. You have basically promised them the whole plate right there. I wanted to explain it was kind of like when Mummy and Daddy stupidly allowed Lolly to taste whatever it was they were eating, in the early days, when we sometimes did different meals for all of us but now we can't get away with it because as soon as she gets a taste, no matter if it's previously been something she hates, you can never tell when she'll decide it actually won't permanently scar her to eat it (like the tuna salad I had a few weeks back and thought I was safe eating in front of her because there was no WAY she would eat tuna.. or lettuce... and she pretty much ate the whole bowl and I let her because I thought, OMG, she's eating tuna.... and lettuce!!! as if she may never do it again so I might as well savour the moment and forego eating, and she ate it with this sly smile on her face, looking at me the entire time and I couldn't tell whether she was enjoying it or just enjoying taking food from my mouth.....).

There was a moment there where the LGBB did let Jazz have a taste, unbeknownst to me because I was looking at camera settings and gazing around at the lovely park, and then not more than a minute later, during a story about something or other that Lolly was relaying to her furry friend, an unsolicited taste of the portion of sandwich Lolly was holding ended up in Jazz's disbelieving mouth, she was so surprised she'd managed to score an entire triangle instead of a pissy crumb or two. And when I got home, I realised that despite how quick it had happened (so quick I couldn't stop Jazz), I had actually captured the moment on film. And I sat back and laughed my ass off just seeing the look on Jazz's face again. As it happened, I could see Jazz thinking she had two options: stop at that one taste or go for broke and just daintily remove the whole piece of bread from the kid's grasp, they'll only have to throw it out now anyway. It was like slow motion and yet it happened really quickly at the same time, and how is that? I have to hand it to her, she is a dog who, rather like Lol, knows what she wants and weighs up in an instant what will be so bad about any repercussions, if only she gets what she wants. See? To them, it's a bit of sacrifice for a win. And she's still eaten the forbidden bread. Ah. Forbidden food. The yummiest kind. Oh, who am I kidding? Jazz will eat anything. This is the dog who had to get her stomach pumped after eating some hard plastic bottle from our garage containing God-knows-what and slicing her oesophagus as she vomited the glass-like shards back up. What a turkey. The vet said, when I went to collect her from her weekend stint at the hospital, "Yup... typical Labrador, always chewing on something." And it's so true. Yesterday I caught her with my little glass jar of lip gloss, licking it like an ice cream on her outdoor bed. Bloody little shit, I told you she was!

They were thick as thieves, these two. And I delighted in seeing it so clearly right before my eyes. My little girls are growing up!

Smiles across the blanket

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