Friday, September 2, 2011

Changes in the Pecking Order

JODIE: There have been some changes in the pecking order here at Tempesta's Hacienda. No, it's not what you think, I'm still the TOP DOG, the ALPHA FEMALE. Coco is still number two and that makes Sandy number three. The change is sort of performance related. See, I could always out run Coco and Coco could always out swim me. Now that Sandy is part of our pack, she has come to dominate the field in running and swimming. OK, with her long legs and lean body the running was a no brainer, but the swimming?

Here's how Sandy got her start.

Sandy would have no part of the pool for the longest time. Coco and I would swim and Sandy would pick up a ball and run around the patio, lap, after lap, after lap. She couldn't be coaxed in the water by any means. Then Mom and Dad started picking her up and carrying her into the pool. The first few times were hilarious as Sandy would swim to the nearest side and try to climb out. Dogs can't get out that way. Neither can Dad. Eventually she realized that the steps were the only way out.

COCO: Well, there's the ladder, too.

JODIE: Yes, Coco. You are the only one who can get out using the ladder, at least the only dog. I can't see how you do it, bad hips and all. Now, back to Sandy.

She used to get the balls out of the pool by waiting for them to get close to a side and she would lean over and get a ball.

Sandy's old way of fetching the ball.

Then she started going in the pool to get her special ball. Her ball is the spit covered ball with some of the fuzz taken off.

COCO: Yes, Sandy actually peels the yellow covering off the tennis balls. I watch her to make sure that she doesn't eat any of the stuff, but she just peels it off and spits it out.

JODIE: Thanks for the help Coco. I'd be lost without you.

OK, so Sandy starts fetching some of the balls herself and this is no big deal. When a ball is thrown in the water, Coco is always first on the scene because she runs around the pool to get close and leaps into the pool. Sandy and I only enter and exit the pool from the steps. I didn't notice how fast she was getting. Finally, Dad threw a few balls up the far end of the pool while Coco and Sandy were side by side in the pool. They both raced for the balls and I was flabbergasted to see Sandy out swim Coco. Her paws are not as big as mine, but they're webbed. So the long legs that give her the speed on land also give her the speed in the water. Of course,Sandy is only part Golden Retriever, the other part is Lab.

Sandy in true swimming form.

COCO: I'm the only one who dives and I'm the only one who jumps into the pool.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Note from Sandy

SANDY: Hello all, Riggs, Sadie, Tucker, Harley, Mya, et al. I want you to know that I celebrated my first anniversary as a Tempesta. Yup, I was taken from a shelter with my pups a year ago Tuesday. I would never have believed how much my life has changed. I share the house with my two Folks and Jodie and Coco. This much nicer than sharing with 60 other animals. I get SO MUCH attention. I'm also learning so much from Jodie and Coco, like playing fetch, swimming in the pool, and running in the woods. One of the nicest things is where I'm allowed to sleep.

Don't I look comfy??? And cute....don't forget cute.

So here I am, living the royal life. Getting to run, play, and swim with Jodie and Coco. I eat well, sleep well and really enjoy my new life. Another thing that is fairly new is the treatment I get after swimming. I watched this happen to Jodie and Coco, but didn't pay much attention. After spending a couple of hours in the pool, I get washed off with a hose and then I go in the garage. There, Dad dries me off with a jet of air from a hose. He also puts something in my ears, and I'n not too keen on that. Last, he gives me a super toweling with big bath towels. I get a brisk rub down from nose to tail and it really feels great.

OK, that's all for now. I just wanted to tell you all about my year's celebration.

Oh, wait......Coco wants to say something.

COCO: This is mostly addressed to Riggs, but it's good information for all of you. Riggs had a bad time due to eating stuff he is not supposed to eat. I can relate to that. When I was first adopted, I found a treasure trove of stuffed animals and toys. I guess Jodie used to play with them, but they we still in one piece.

JODIE: I loved those stuffed animals. Dad and I would play "chase" with them, until you came and ruined them all.

COCO: Ahem,,,well....that's beside the point. What I'm trying to explain is that in the course of tearing the toys apart, I would swallow a lot of the stuffing. For some reason, the stuffing doesn't make it all the way through and I was taken to the Vets. I was at the Vets for several days and they gave me all kinds of stuff to make me go. If they couldn't make me go, they were going to cut me open like a gutted fish and remove the stuffing. That's enough to make me shiver still. Fortunately, they didn't have to cut the stuffing out of me, but I heard Dad complaining very loudly about how much it cost.

So the bottom line, Riggs, is stick with the food and treats that your people get for you. I'm glad that they were able to fix you without cutting you open. Just remember the image of a gutted fish and how you don't want that to happen to you.

We are all looking forward to seeing you in October,,,,we hope.

Your pal,