Walking all Summer

It was a very hot summer.

Happy Dog on the Baseball Diamond

I had planned to walk 2 – 3x’s a day.  That didn’t happen.  I did walk at least once a day – early in the morning.  Some days I managed a short walk in the late afternoon.  Now I want to share these lovely urban walks.

Joy of Dog Walking

Leaving the Cool – into the Hot

I took photos for painting reference and because it was so wonderful.

We have a fair bit of fog and the mornings can be quite wet.  That was the only thing that kept the grass from dying with the lack of rain in July.  When we finally got the rain it transformed the parks in a few days.  People were out and lying on the fresh grass.  I’ve only seen sunbathers do this in the parks.  I did it too and the grass was like spring – so new and like a freshly laundered rug.

Graffiti Untouched

The Graffiti that you see under the Railway Bridge was cleverly framed.  The city employee must have run out of paint at that point and made this decision.  So far the kids have left it alone and painted the other walls.

Leaving the city park one morning I noticed the local sparrows having a bath and as a large family flock their happiness was wonderful to see.  I was only able to capture this in one photo.  They don;t seem to mind that the busy street is inches away or that they are resting on a metal guard.

Happy Sparrows


Toys that Challenge & are Fun.

Toys as  Mental Stimulation

How it started:  My husband had a plastic blow-up base-ball at work, that she grabbed when we picked him up one day.  Dali would wrestle it – hugging, rolling, pinning it down and then carry it around triumphantly, when half deflated.  It had to be repaired a lot.  Then Dali found a plastic bag that had held bedding – that one came from the closet.   It was bigger than she is and because it has to be supervised so she wouldn’t eat the plastic,  it is now history – it was fun while it lasted.  Then of course on laundry day she loves to wrestle the bags I use, once they are empty.  This is how we started the ‘Naughty’ game.  Whenever she finds something that’s OK but wasn’t given to her – we ask her, “Are you being naughty?”.  This will get her very excited and off she runs with her prize, expecting to be ‘chased’.   It is a great game.  When she finds something ‘bad’ it is serious and after she drops it I thank her and off we go to the garbage.

The newest find:  I use a lot of rags for my art clean-up and they come from old T-shirts and Hoodies.  They are kept on my art shelf.  Recently my Chihuahua found them.  She is always checking out my art bag and my art supplies – so training is in progress.  Getting back to this new toy idea, I see that a rag about 12″x18″ is perfect wrestling  material for my pup.  This is a T-shirt with the sleeves and neck removed.  When you cut down the sides  you can make it into 2 rectangles.  I think that one of the reasons this is so interesting is that the T-shirts are from our old ones and they still must smell of us, although they have been laundered.

The Games:  Dali brings me the rag and I loosely knot it and throw it as far as I can.  Off she goes to retrieve it and worry it into submission [or whatever is going on in her imagination].   She even brings it to her bed to wrestle.  After it is open again she brings it back to be rebuilt.  Once tired of the loose knot I add the ball.  The ball is rolled inside the fabric – leave it possible for the ball to come out.  Dali loves to hunt for her ball – any ball.  The knot throws better too and bounces a bit, adding to the excitement.  When she gets the ball out she nudges it in my direction so I know she wants me to try again.  This is a good opportunity to offer praise and join her in her happiness.

Mental, creative and physical play all in one.  I really like this toy – it is simple and at the same time the dog gets to use its brain to figure it out.  I believe it encourages fantasy play as well.  Besides the ball I have added her chew antlers, the toilet rolls and scrap paper she loves. Now I have to stop her from searching for more ‘rags’ to wrestle.