Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dallas in the Garden

Carrots, cucumbers, basil, blackberries, blueberries, sweet potatoes, strawberries, watermelons and tomatoes. Also I have zucchinis which will soon take over the planet. I'm afraid to weed them because 1- they are ALREADY huge and so obviously need no help from me, and 2- there are humongous spiders who love their gargantuan leaves, and yes I worked with cheetahs and chimps and great horned owls and porcupines. Still.... these are SPIDERS we're talking about. 

Anyway, these are what I've got in my garden- mostly began from seeds, but a few from seedlings. Next year, I'll be better prepared and buy my seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange. Just finished Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" which will set you straight on best farming practices, as well as the importance of buying local produce or growing it yourself. In fact, I'm really into restaurants which purchase locally grown produce, too.

So far, I have lost one sweet potato plant and one raspberry bush to the great plant avenger, Dallas. Both on Chris' watch, while I was in Wilmington. Which I have pointed out to him, on more than one occasion.  

But, if I'm honest, two is far fewer plants than I expected to lose by this time.

Is this the face of a sweet potato murderer?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Easter's Lake Snake

Easter Sunday was beautiful in Charlotte. I was home from Wilmington, where I'm currently consulting on a project (four hours away from home) and only enjoying my family (Chris and Dallas) on weekends. Easter was one of such weekends.

Around noon, I decided to take Dallas on a stroll to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine. On our walk, we encountered an enormous millipede. Brightly colored and crawling across the sidewalk, I was enthralled as its body slink-ied across the path in a fluid formation, one leg after another. I gasped and bent down to get a closer look. Dallas stopped to see what I was looking at. But she looked up. So I pointed. And she looked past it. So I held her head in the correct position only several inches from the millipede. And after about five minutes, I gave up. She never did find the darn bug.

Ten minutes later we were home, and I announced to Chris that I was taking Dallas to swim in the lake. He was a bit worried about letting her off leash, but I insisted that he worried too much, and that she'd be fine, only suggesting later that he throw a few treats in his pockets.... "just in case."

We crossed the street and I let her off the leash. Dallas ran smack toward the lake and within ten seconds, found a 2.5 foot long snake sunning itself on some rocks on the shore. Seriously. She couldn't find a millipede on a sidewalk in front of her, but given 52 miles of shoreline, she'll pick out the one rock with a huge snake immediately. We screamed and she ran away before it could strike (or she could), and proceeded to spend the next ten minutes doing her "am I in trouble?" run- racing back and forth between us, fast as she possible, to avoid being caught. I kept myself between her and the snake the whole time, with my back to the snake, to keep her away.

Chris yelled "What should I do?" So I suggested he start "chucking treats at her." He looked at me like I was kidding. I wasn't. So he did.

Of course, Dallas is a lab, so when she finally realized he was throwing food, the entire game stopped and she came right to him, allowing him to easily leash her back up again, and lead her safely away from the snake.

We certainly don't want to deny Dallas a good swim in the lake, as she IS definitely a water dog, but with six venomous snakes native to our neighborhood (she found a dead copperhead two nights ago on a walk and water moccasins are also indigenous), we're not likely to risk taking her off the leash again until she gains some... maturity

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dallas' First Trip to the Beach

May, 2011: We took Dallas to the beach for the first time. Here is a clip of our adventures in Wilminton, NC.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Laughter- Dallas & the McMillan Kids

Laughter is an amazing thing. Especially when it just won't end! This was captured in February, when Dallas was much smaller, as were the McMillan kids- two doors down!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mac & Dallas

Dallas' best friend is Mac, a black lab in the neighborhood that looks like her spitting mirror image. I daydream about the two of them mirroring each other, in slow motion, first with one raised paw, and then with the other, to the astonishment of the neighbors. We could take this on the road. 

Mac was also born in October 2010, and was adopted from a shelter shortly before we found Dallas. In fact, Chris and I question the potential for a DNA match. 

And when they get together, they do NOT stop playing. AT. ALL. Even to breathe. Which is especially funny because Dallas is much thinner and faster than Mac. And he knows it. So he's begun just sitting still amidst her crazy racing bouts. And if he waits long enough (a good .2 seconds), sure as a tiger has a tail, she'll come to him. He unwittingly proves his point this way.

Together, the furry black pups toss and tumble and tug on each other, two balls, all teeth and tummies. No matter how many time I scold Dallas playfully, "Dallas! We do NOT drag others around by their faces!" She'll still grab Mac's in her teeth and try to drag him around until he tackles her and returns the favor. And they can't see, hear or understand anything else when they are together in their world- completely focused on the fun that is "togetherness." 

Here are some photos of "Umoja"- the spirit of togtherness.

AND... after a full day of MacPlay, Dallas will fall asleep anytime, anywhere, and in any position....
Yes, she really is completely & sound asleep, here.