Painting and Pots
16 x20, oil, using limited palette
Rainy day walk up here in the top left hand side today. Bit of a slog, if truth be told, but WBF aka: Joey, loves a bit of a stretch, a sniff with the old ears flapping and the paws muddy. Rain wasn’t exactly horizontal but when one and WBF emerged from the lea cover of the woods it was decidedly persistent.
He’s not quite forty pounds and a dachshund cross with what someone hilariously wrote in his notes ( more on this later) as Springer Spaniel. Joey’s got those diabolically bent dwarfed houndy knees, which, when he’s standing there giving you The Look makes him resemble a seal. The image posted is one taken a couple of years ago around Halloween. He’s much, much grayer around the muzzle now which dusts the tops of his eyebrows, his paws and whizzer, for instance. But I adore this shot because he’s clearly humoring me after I slung a lei of Halloween lights round his neck and said OOps! The perennial call to dogs to investigate something delicious which has fallen to the kitchen floor. Let’s make a Halloween card. We can do it! I believe that one of the cats had slunk in stage left and was dissing him. Hence the I’ll deal with you later look off camera.
Joey is never off leash during these walks. Never mind the posted signage requesting the public’s compliance with observing leash laws with Please and Must featured prominently in their message, but I’ve come across a couple of people who do not have their BF on a a lead. If I can see them, I stop and raise my hand with Joey’s lead prominently displayed and waved as a signal to “get sorted or else”. I have to admit that most folks recall their animals and hitch them back up. One rather fit guy running along with a Pointer of some sort recalled him back to his side with a magical move, and said P didn’t give Joey a second glance. Joey, of course, wants to take a little bit of his heart….
Backstory: Joey is admittedly a rescue dog. He was not quite 2 when I adopted him. I’d done a cruise through on a Friday. Spotted him. Liked his nose. His head. Told myself if this dog were still there on the Tuesday, I’d adopt him. As it happened my daughter and SIL went along with me on the Tuesday. I needed help with a good vet post adoption. When we walked in to the pound, there was this huge bottle blonde in a pink velour leisure suit holding My Dog’s Leash. I overheard her say, as he did a submission wee on the floor at her feet, I don’t want this dog, I think I want a kitten. I reached over and snatched the lead out of her hand, and said that he was mine now.
That was in late August of 2004. Joey still wants a piece of of any dog’s heart whom he meets on his leash anywhere. He boxes above his weight in all circumstances. When he has been trounced by dogs off leash when we are on our walks, he squeals like a pig. It’s been horrible to sort out these events. He does not listen to reason unless I’ve spotted the dog and make him sit with his back to the trail etc and feed him treats. He huffs and he puffs. He goes from ears back loving little compliant chap to snarling Lager Lout in 3 seconds. He’s cool in a dog park and will live and let live, but does not suffer fools. He’s the kind of dog, to continue with the Lager Lout analogy, who says Wha’cher loookin’ at yer foook!I /p>
We went to Obedience Sessions. Totally worthless. But, in Joey’s favor and redemption, I’d asked local chums at the outset when we met at random in my neighborhood on walkies, well, can we hook up and trail along behind you? I’ve got a dog here who’s a good chap, but needs to make friends quietly on his own terms. So, can we follow you for a few blocks and just chit-chat back and forth? This method had been Joey’s redemption. He has many local chums: Stella, Abbey, Honey Girl, Zuzu, Duncan, Sherman, Murphy, Clancey, Dottie. But strangers beware. It’s still Wha’cher loookin’ at…yer fooker?
Choosing pumpkins is taken seriously here in Skagit Valley. Obvious characteristics include color, a roundedness of plump and pleasing proportion and segmentation. A stem stump not tapering off to several feet of dessicated vine, not too stumpy either. Ability to sit on the flat and maintain pumpkinness by not toppling over. Pacing the patch one sometimes lured to The One only to poke finger through rotting surface, or have the stem detach in hopeful grasp. Pumpkin Purists eschew carving for careful Zen Rock garden-like placements. Either in porch or centerpiece. Graduated stacking, using deeply segmented and pale coloured French varieties, topped with miniatures are pleasing to the eye. Then there
were the roguish louts who under cover of darkness rearranged some neighborhood pumpkins and posted several atop fire hydrants. Had the look of a self-conscious gallery installation.
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