Whoever invented the word “bounding” definitely had a young dog
I nearly tripped over Minnie when we both tried to go in the door to my office at the same time. I somehow grabbed at the windowshade and it snapped up like in a cartoon. That scared poor Minnie and she went into full-on subservient terrified mode, ears down and tail between her legs. She required many minutes of soothing and reassuring, but now she is back to her old self.
This week I caved in to common sense and resumed taking Minnie out for our long, brisk walk first thing in the morning, while it’s still cool. I had been going in midday, but it’s too blamed hot then, and it’s going to get hotter through September.
Added bonus: It started to rain slightly this morning just as we were getting home, and now I’m sitting on the deck with Minnie, reading and drinking tea and enjoying the cool breeze, rather than wondering whether the rain is going to let up.
This guide is for runners. I found it useful for our long, brisk walks.
We watch TV and read on the sofa in the evenings, and Minnie joins us, either lying between us or on the floor. It’s all very domestic and cozy.
She loves to work on an antler or Nylabone, or shred a big knot of rope (they call it a “monkeyfist” — great name).
Minnie has got a hell of a set of jaws on her. I often watch the muscles of her jaws when she works. She could shred a Sherman tank.
One of the things she loves to chew on is the end of her leash. We keep her leashed in the living room to limit her ability to chase after the cats or otherwise get into mischief. We keep a leash attached to the big, heavy coffee table. And she chewed through that leash. It took her a while, but she finally finished the job on Friday. So we dug out one of our other leashes, one that none of us likes for walking her, and we attached that to the coffee table.
That leash proved pretty puny. She made it through that in less than a night.
Sunday I made an emergency Petco run, and bought her another leash. This was a big-ass sturdy thing that looked like you could use it to restrain an angry rhino. Minnie managed to get halfway through that in a single night.
I ordered another leash from Amazon. It’s basically a 6′ length of steel cable with a hook on one end and a handle on the other. It’s due to arrive Wednesday. I hope the current leash hangs on until then. And that Minnie isn’t, in fact, Superdog and able to chew through a steel cable.
Fortunately, Minnie has not gone to work on the main leash I use to walk her. The only time I use that leash is when we’re out and about. She mostly keeps her teeth off that — although she does have the occasional bad habit of trying to play tug-of-war with it, which we discourage.
The last time this happened, her crate the next morning looked like something out of a Lovecraft story, if Lovecraft had written about puppy diarrhea.
Late this afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen and saw her Minnie wal out from the back of the house. No, “walk” is not the right word. Minnie strolled out from the back of the house, as though it was the most ordinary thing in the world.
The back of the house is a catzone, not a Minniezone. Minnie is still destructive, she has monthly accidents, and two of the cats avoid her. Also, the catfood is in the back of the house. Minnie loves catfood, but the catfood does not love her. The catfood causes Minnie to generate substances normally only seen in early Roger Waters movies. So when Minnie is indoors off-leash, we keep her confined to the kitchen, sunroom, and laundry room, and always supervised. When she’s indoors outside those rooms, she’s leashed, and mostly supervised.
Except this afternoon somebody forgot to leash her and left the kitchen gate open. This someone was almost certainly me, though I don’t remember it at all.
I checked the catfood dishes. Minnie had eaten about a cup of dry food, maybe more. And she ate half a small can of wet food.
I hope we have no disasters tonight. Hopefully she’s had enough time to work it out of her system.
Writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis is traveling the country meeting dog-obsessed Americans for a book about dogs in America. He kicked things off by spending a full day with his dog at Tompkins Square Park in New York’s East Village, the oldest in the city.
Dog parks are a relatively modern invention, a “kind of victory over the anonymity and transience of life,” as writer Mary Battiata put it. They’re a place of long-lasting friendships, longer-lasting feuds, and dog-park know-it-alls who disapprove of the job you’re doing with your pet. At a dog park in Boston, where I live, the park’s queen bee once asked me what I was feeding Casey.
She didn’t like my answer. “Well, you can certainly feed him that if you want to _kill_him,” she barked.
I’d come to New York City to experience the rituals and rhythms of the city’s oldest dog run. The New York Times has described Tompkins Square (also called First Run) as a lively and contentious place, one brimming with dog-park politics and the kind of class-related tension that led one woman to declare that some dogs deserved to get “roughed up because they wore sweaters.”
One dog park regular says it’s a great place to meet people, and a few of the regulars have even gotten married. Another regular, a woman, replied, “I try not to date where my dog shits.”
Dog parts engender community. Immediately after 9/11, regulars flocked to the dog park to be with people close to them.