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Posts Tagged ‘Denver’

Charlize has a new buddy, Chloe. I wrote previously about my Denver friend’s tiny dog. She, reportedly weighs five pounds, I doubt she tips the scales at much more than four.  My friend and Chloe recently returned with me to Edmonds in Old Blue. We visited Mount Rushmore, Great Falls and other interesting spots along the way. The two dogs, Mutt and Jeff, formed a bond along the way. Here’s Chloe in possession of her owner’s couch:

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Charlize likes Chloe and they play well together but she is also jealous. Chloe left her bed to peruse other interests and this was the result:

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The two of them invented a game involving one of Chloe’s toys, a hollow rubber ball with another squeaky ball inside. Chloe grabs the ball and runs all over my house daring Charlize to take it from her, hiding under chairs and beds where Charlize can’t reach.  Eventually Charlize corners her and takes possession, then teases by retiring to her bed and pretending she doesn’t want the ball, but snatching it up again when Chloe gets close.

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Chloe and my friend flew back to Denver a couple of days ago and Charlize is very quiet, almost depressed since they left. I have also been depressed, but for a different reason.  After eight months of procrastination I am removing Rosalie’s clothes from the four closets they occupied and bagging them up for transport to a charity that can put them to good use.  She was a discerning shopper and purchased good stuff, but rarely got rid of anything. I found some clothes I remember her wearing in the seventies. She must have thought she would be able to get back into them and/or the styles would regain their popularity. In any case it’s not an easy chore, but one I know I must face down.

I had a long talk with our oldest son last night, about how difficult it is for me to get rid of her clothes. He confessed that he still has emotional problems when he and his family visit me, too much of his mother is still in the house. He is still grieving too. When does it become easier?

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Seems I can’t stay away. I’m back in Denver visiting old friends who have made a special effort to welcome and include me in their lives even after a fifty plus year hiatus of minimal contact. Some of their friends are people I knew back when CSU was still Colorado A & M and we were all young and unbelievably ignorant of life.

Denver is now a cosmopolitan city and my friends participate in many of the activities that make it so. Their lives seem very different from mine in quiet, artsy Edmonds. I’m certain I cannot live here full time. I have come to rely on the moist air, overcast days and lush green, not to mention my son and his family who I am already missing after only twelve days, but the Mile High City is a great place to visit. Maybe I am destined to just wander then return to Edmonds only to wander again. Not so terrible a thing to contemplate.

During the last few months Charlize has developed some troubling behavior. When she is on leash she is extremely aggressive to other dogs when we encounter them while out walking. I have been using the techniques promulgated by the Dog Whisperer on his TV show and we are making good progress. If I spot another dog before we are too close I put Charlize in a “sit” and make her pay attention to me. This prevents her from getting her “ruff” up, snarling and lunging at the other dog. What is remarkable about this aggressive behavior is that when I take her to a dog park she is not aggressive to the other dogs at all.

My host recently adopted a Maltese/Pomeranian that might weigh five pounds before she shakes off her bath water. When we introduced Charlize and Chloe I put Charlize in a “down stay”.  She wagged her entire hind end and although Chloe was a little apprehensive and slightly aggressive at first they are now getting along with no problems and have started to play together when the spirit moves. Chloe hides under a chair or couch, where Charlize can’t reach her, then launches preemptive strikes with a quick retreat to safety. Charlize seems mostly bemused at this behavior but seems to be getting the idea that it is a game. Occasionally she responds and lands one of her big paws knocking Chloe off balance, but only for an instant. The little dog is almost cat-like in her ability to ability to instantaneously regain balance, change directions in the air and leap onto surfaces twice her height. A couple of mornings ago the two of them shared a plate with a taste of leftover quiche, fun to watch.

A few days ago I went on line and found an off leash dog park not far from my host’s home. Charlize and I have been there several times now. This morning it was already in the high eighties, supposed to reach mid-nineties today, bright sunshine, clear air and high altitude. There were a dozen or more dogs when we arrived shortly after eight AM, some of them already old friends. As usual Charlize was completely focused on her ball. She races after the ball when I chuck it more than a hundred yards using the plastic throwing stick. She ignores the other dogs and if not the fastest she is the most focused on the ball. So far she has outraced all other dogs to retrieve her ball. She also ignores the other dogs as she retrieves but holds the ball in her mouth until she catches her breath then drops it for me to throw it again. If someone throws a ball for one of the other dogs or even if they intercept her ball and throw it, she ignores all but her ball and only if I throw it for her. When she brings it back she continues to ignore the other dogs even when they try to interfere with her progress back to me. No aggressive behavior at all in response to the challenges by any of the other dogs. Good girl!

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