Alys: Ryder, how are you doing?
Ryder: Very well. And you?
A: Pretty good. I’m enjoying the late fall weather. How about you?
R: I’m enjoying it. However, it’s getting darker and colder.
A: Yes it is. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
R: Like last year?
A: Like last year.
R: Well, I’ll have no complaints if you and Pete keep the home fires burning.
A: You know, there are many dogs in this state that live outside year around, in dog houses. Some are sled dogs – they pull sleds long distances. What do you think about that?
Ryder and Fiona
R: Goodness. Are some of these dogs border collies?
A: No. These dogs that I’m talking about are usually huskies – dogs that look like Rainbow.
R: But Rainbow lives inside, with us.
A: That’s right.
R: And I’ve never seen her pull a sled.
A: And you never will.
R: So you’re making all this up, right?
A: No I’m not. Here, come over to the computer. We can look at some photos together.
R: I don’t want to see pictures right now. I want to play. Look, here’s my sun toy. Betcha ya can’t take it from me. Come on, try.
A: I know better.
R: When’s Pete getting home? We haven’t played tug in a few days.
A: Want me to play with you?
R: No. I want to play with Pete.
A: Why Pete?
R: He’s way more fun than you.
A: Is that so?
R: Yes. I do enjoy being out on the trail with you. Like today, we went a long, long ways, first with Raudi and then with Tinni. I had such a good time. I found something dead to roll in and a bone to chew on.
A: What is it with dogs and dead things?
R: Umm, love the smell. Love the feel. Love the look when I’m done rolling. The more wretched the dead thing the better.
A: That so?
R: The bath after isn’t so great. I mean, gag me with a bar of soap. But I’ll live with the prospect of a bath if I know that I’ll first get in a good roll.
A: What do you think about the other dogs who live inside here?
R: Do you really want to know?
R: Well, Jenna is losing it. She can’t hear well, can’t see well. And she gets upset when one or the other of you leaves the room. She really believes that you might not come back, just like the other people who used to own her.
A: Can you tell her otherwise?
R: I’ve tried. She gets it, but then forgets that she got it.
A: And Rainbow, what do you think about her?
R: Rainbow is my buddy. A dog could not have a better trail companion. She and I check things out together.
A: But what about her running off?
R: That’s simple. She just doesn’t want to go home.
A: But we can’t stay outside forever.
R: She would if you would. She told me that the best time in her life was when you all did your long trip. She was sorry to see both trips come to an end.
A: Me too.
R: Do you think you’ll ever do a long trip with me?
A: That’s the plan.
A: When Hrimmi gets old enough to be Pete’s riding horse.
R: Ohh, that one. Watch out for her. She’s got a mean streak and a mouth to match.
A: Hey, you’re talking about my horse.
R: That’s right. You need to be a better disciplinarian.
A: Back to Rainbow – do you have any idea about how she hurt herself?
R: No. We were together under the trailer and I noticed she was bleeding. Then you took her away and brought her home. She was stitched up. She was in a lot of pain for three days. She felt like I felt like when I got kicked in the nose by Hrimmi. Rainbow loves you both. And love causes injuries to heel faster. Heck, even Jenna knows this. There is just one thing that didn’t sit well with Rainbow and that was her having to have that e collar around her neck. Gosh, she hated it. The only good thing about it was that she was able to have a conversation with Spud, her favorite space brother.
A: Do you have a favorite space brother?
R: No. I like them all.
A: Do you have conversations with them?
R: Sure. I don’t need a damned collar on in order to hear aliens. I just cock my head and listen.
A: What have they been telling you?
R: Nothing of any importance. They have, in using their GPS coordinates, helped to locate dead stinky things to roll in. But now that winter’s here their devices are of little use. That’s because the dead stinky things are all froze up. Umm umm, I can hardly wait until spring. How long until spring?
A: Another six months.
R: That’s like 3.5 years in a dog’s life.
R: The space brothers say that unless you humans get your act together, that the planet is going to heat up and we are all going to fry.
A: How do they know this?
R: We all know this. It’s just that earthlings are in a state of denial.
A: What’s your favorite thing to do?
R: Chase sheep. Pete said that you are going to sign us up for another herding class. Right how I live to herd. I want to herd to live.
A: You should be happy. You got goats.
R: I know, I know, and G.O.A.T. means greatest of all time.
A: I am working on getting you sheep of your own.
R: I’ll believe it when I see it and see it when I believe it.
A: Yee of little faith. There but for the grace of dog go I.
R: Pete’s home. Time to play tug. See you later.
Next: 291. 10/31/14: Farrier Visit, etc.