Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dog Daze Of Summer (#229)

As you folks are no doubt darn sick and tired of hearing, I’ve spent a lot of time at the cottage this summer. (And I’m going up again in a couple of days! Nyaa-nyaa!)

When I was a youngster, well before my folks built our current cottage, I loved spending chunks of the summer at my cousins’ cottages. Two of my aunts and uncles built adjoining cottages on a lake only 45 minutes from where we lived. I had loads of fun there, fishing, swimming (nearly drowning) and playing with my cousins.

As it was for me back then, for Sons #1 and #2 a large part of the allure of the current cottage was the chance to spend time with their cousins. Each of my five sibs has at least a couple of rug rats of their own and the age groups mesh reasonably well. Chances were, if we were sharing the cottage time with one or two other families, they’d have playmates with whom to swim, explore and get into trouble.

Now, my sons are in their 20s, as are most of their cousins. What with jobs, girlfriends, boyfriends and busier lives, they don’t get together at the cottage as often.

Fortunately, this is not the case for Benny and his cousins. He’s enjoyed spending time with, primarily, three pooches belonging to one of my brothers and two of my sisters. In the pic below, you'll see that he took up surfing this year. (As always, you can click the photo to see a larger version.)

But back to those cousins.

There’s Calley, brother Karl’s dainty, pretty, King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. Looking at her, you just know she’s a girl. It’s easy to picture her as Lady, in Lady and the Tramp. Even easier than picturing Ben as a tramp.

Wasn't lying, was I?

Calley is Ben’s size and he adores her. Well, he’d like to adore her. If she let him get with adoring range.

For Ben, adoring range occurs when his nose is from zero to one millimeter from her naughty bits. She tolerates it/him for a few seconds before doing the doggie version of slapping his hands. Fortunately, Ben’s a pretty good-natured pooch and deals well with rejection. He shrugs it off and tries again another time. Usually within a few seconds.

Luckily for Calley, sister Lisa’s dog, a big, lovely Bernese named Oona, is also at the cottage a fair bit and can share Ben’s affections.

That's her. Thanks to Hilary for the pic.

Oona doesn’t quite know what to make of Ben. Which puts her squarely among the majority of those who’ve ever met him – four-legged or two. I think she just might regard him as a furry mosquito, one who jumps instead of flies. He’s forever leaping up to give her kisses. Every once in a while she lifts a massive paw to swat half-heartedly but I’ve yet to see her make contact. I suspect she secretly loves the attention.

But Ben has spent most of this summer bonding with Duncan, sister Theresa’s big, stolid (and solid!) sheepdog. In his last life, I’m pretty sure Duncan was a tree. His gait is ponderous. Despite being euchred several years ago, every once in a while Dunc gets frisky and will try to hump any animal or human that he thinks is presenting. In the pic below, Dunc is considering logistics while Ben is busy draining the lake.

We’ve all learned to look around warily before bending over, especially when we’re on the dock. Duncan also has a signature move that cracks us all up.

When he wants into a room, he will approach the door, lower his head until the crown is just touching it, and wait.

And wait.

Head bowed, apparently studying something on the floor, he waits. And waits.

He knows eventually some human is going to wander along and open it. All of us have had to deal with opening a bedroom or bathroom door and walking into Duncan’s face.

Ben adores Dunc. Yes, it’s true. Ben’s an equal opportunity pooch and is not afeered of showing affection to another male, jumping up to deliver kisses to Dunc’s face or sniffs to his naughty bits.

As much fun as Hilary and I have had this summer, I think Ben has trumped us. The grin doesn’t leave his face ‘til he sleeps. Which is about all he does for a couple of days after returning home - resting up for next time. Which, did I mention, is coming in a couple of days? (Neener-neener!)


Hilary said...

Too funny and too true.. mostly. You don't give beautiful Duncan enough credit though. He DID come scratch at our door twice to let us know that Benny wanted out in the morning. He's a great big gentle giant, that Duncan. And Benny is as crazy cute as ever.

I'm very much looking forward to being back up there in a couple of days.

Christine said...

Great pictures! Cute enough to make me want a pet. For about 10 seconds.

Leah J. Utas said...

Benny is having a wonderful summer. Good for him and he's a lucky dog to have such cousins.

Grayquill said...

Well Frank, you have entirely too many dogs at your place. BTW - out here in the west we don't have cottages, only cabins. Cabins are more rustic I suppose. If they ever start calling them cottages out here I will know too many easterners have moved in.

Land of shimp said...

In response to this I bring you The Corgi Flop.


Just in case you haven't seen it, as I think you'll appreciate it :-)

Lovely dogs with good humans, and the world is as it should be.

Frank Baron said...

Hil, I was saving the story of Dunc scratching the door for a future post tentatively called "OMG! Timmy's In The Well!!" :)

So, what you're saying, Cuz, is we can't expect Cha-Cha Chris to babysit for a week or three?

Leah, I think he realizes it. He's a pretty happy guy.

GQ, "cottage" might be more of a Canuck term, than eastern. Most of my American friends from the east, also refer to "cabins." Names don't matter. Being on nature's doorstep does. I'm sure you'd agree.

That was very cute, Shimp. Thanks. Among their many qualities, dogs are plucky. :)

Reb said...

Lovely dogs all. Does Theresa let Duncan grow out over the winter?

Dianne said...

I love the notion that Duncan was a tree in another life, that's wonderful

I'm happy that Benny has had such a great summer
you'll need to show him these photos when the snow piles up and the wind blows and he gets antsy at the back window :)

beautiful pups - one and all

Anonymous said...

What adorable dogs! Love Benny on the surfboard - how cool is that?!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ha! Ben's an equal opportunity pooch! Love that.
Your cabin and the lifetime of experience you've had make it sound like a very welcome retreat.
Enjoy, jj

Kappa no He said...

The Benster is the happiest dog in the world and just hearing about his adventures makes me happy.

CINDY and BUDDY said...

Like the photos. We are caring for our daughters dog now. He is 16 years old. He follows Buddy out to the porch when he smokes and if buddy just opens the door the dog won't go out until he does. Ha!

Tabor said...

Cabin life is wonderful...although not having a cabin, how would I know. I think this photos are wonderful and worth framing!

Anonymous said...


Frank, if you ever need a cottage-sitter, I'm willing to volunteer. As long as you help me carry a seasonal supply of toilet paper inside, I'll even keep an eye on it in the winter for you.

June said...

I think watching the dogs would be at LEAST as much fun as watching the kids. Benny on the raft reminded me of my first poodle, who used to go out on the lake with us for overnights in the boat. He couldn't swim, so every morning if we were anchored out, I'd have to get into a half-wet bathing suit and he'd ride to shore on my back. We were fine so long as he kept his balance; those toenails were murder on a sunburn.

Must be gettin' a leetle chilly at the cabin by now, innit?

Frank Baron said...

Reb, yep - Dunc gets one or two shaves per summer to help deal with the heat. The rest of the year he's a big, shaggy pooch.

Glad you enjoyed, Dianne. Thanks for the visit and kind words.

They are a pretty spiffy group, ladyfi. :)

It is that, Joanna, and more. Thanks for the visit. :)

Terrie, if you're happy, I'm over the moon. ;)

They can be quirky critters, all right. Thanks for the visit, C/B. :)

It is indeed, Tabor. If it was winterized, I'd rarely leave.

Lori, if you're cottage-sitting in the winter, that TP would have to be stockpiled in "the little shack out back." We don't have running water from Nov/April. ;)

June, I'd love to see photos of your piggy-backing poodle. :) And yep, it's crispy-cool at the cottage these days. Might only have one trip left this year. Possibly two.

Thanks all, for the visits and comments. I appreciate them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your recent comment. I'm an ex-pat Brit living in Sweden. I do know what an Inukshuk is and, on your recommendation, have just enjoyed seeing lots of lovely pictures via Google. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll try and re-create one in the woods next time.

Anonymous said...

Lack of running water is not a deterrent.

TechnoBabe said...

Hubby and I have been following the adventures at the cabin all summer on Hilary's blog. You two have such a great life. Family, pets, and nature.

MagnoliaGirl said...

You know, I am just really glad, you and Hillary;) are having so much fun:):)!

Frank Baron said...

You're welcome, ladyfi. :)

Lori, it is when it's -15F and you need an ax to fetch some. ;)

It's been a wonderful few months Technobabe, no argument here. :)

Thanks, MG. I am too. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Frank, I was just checking out your blog and beautiful photos. Makes me miss my camera. I had to sell it last year when times were tough. Guess I'll have to buy me another one now that I'm getting back on track again. That picture of the oak leaf in the water gives me inspiration to write a haiku. I'll share it with you later if it becomes a complete haiku. Also reminds me how I want to have a book with my own photos and haiku (or other poems) written to accompany them. Ah, how I love to dream. Anyway, I just wanted you to know I'm still around and still read your column, even though I'm "quiet" sometimes. :) Take care.

Frank Baron said...

Thanks msred. I hope you're able to afford another camera soon. Looking forward to the haiku. :)