The dogs love a car ride. I loaded them up this morning and drove west into Mississauga to Jack Darling Park, which has the best leash free area I’ve seen anywhere, designed around the water filtration facility. It’s big enough that the dogs get play time with lots of different dogs and also some time goofing around on their own.
Upstairs, in the great room – the tv on, playing an old episode of Homicide: Life on the Street (a great show in my books). Tuffy P made coffee. George wanted to play but I was ignoring him. It had been a long day and I was trying not to be grumpy. For Homicide: Life on the Street fans, the episode was Nearer my God to Thee, the episode in which we first meet Lt Megan Russert, the one in which a Samaritan of the Year figure is murdered, left in a pair of white gloves.
George was determined I play with him. He brought me several different toys, offering to play tug or perhaps chase the toy. I ignored him steadfastly, and took a sip of coffee. Let me say at this point that George has paws like canned hams. They’re big and they’re powerful. He looked at me with the look that could only be saying, “we could be having fun now and you know it”.
Without warning, George brought up his left paw and whacked my half full mug, spilling coffee all over me, soaking my shirt. Fortunately I’m a slow coffee drinker and my beverage had already cooled considerably. I thought I detected a tiny smirk from George, but maybe I’m projecting. I believe I may have shouted some words you can’t say on television before storming out of the room to get changed. When I returned to the sofa and Life on the Street, George remained downstairs, sulking.
“Hey Georgie, bring me your toy….” He came running, toy in mouth and we played tug and we played throw the squeaky toy and we wrassled, and I scratched his ears and I forgot why I was grumpy.
We picked up Georgie the day before the ice storm last year, so he’s been with us for a year. He was 4 months old and 57 pounds. George had gone out with a family but was returned to the breeder. They said someone in the family was allergic. We brought Memphis up there with us. She approved. Our first adventures with George were walking around the neighbourhood right after the ice storm.
What a strange time. Everything was covered with ice. Large limbs had fallen from many trees. The silver maple next door lost a 20 foot limb while I was out front clearing ice and snow. It missed the hydro wires by a hair. Other areas were not so lucky, and many pockets of Toronto were without power for days. George didn’t care. He just wanted to explore his new environment and make friends with us.
George is a lovely dog, still full of puppy playfulness, even at 16 months and 140 pounds. He’s not done growing yet, but his growth has slowed right down. People think of Newfs as slow and lazy, and it is true they do get that way (ask Memphis!), but a young male Newf is a handful. Everything is a toy and everyone is a playmate. In the evening he’s usually in play mode until about 9 pm, then he conks out, usually close to one or the other of us.