Bebop has been with us for more than 6 months, now. Are we bonded? Oh yeah! She is constantly with one of us. When we are in the same room, it’s an easy choice of where to be. Otherwise, she has preferences:
Kitchen: Well I guess that’s obvious. It’s where the food is.
Outside: That’s where we play. That’s the fun place. Unless it’s too hot or too cold or too wet or the person there is not into fun!
Upstairs office: She has a nice bed there, and the people are friendly.
The shop: She has a nice bed there, too. When Duane is tuning, voicing, or playing a piano, it’s a nice place to be.
While Terri was working outside today, it was too hot and Terri wasn’t enough fun. So Bebop chose option four: shop dog.
Yesterday I did tell her, “Bebop, I think you’re going to have to get a job!”
I was sitting at my desk, either working or wasting time (who knows). In the background I could hear Bebop’s satisfied chewing on a chew toy. But given time, the parenting skill of “eyes in the back of the head” came into play. I realized that satisfying chew didn’t really sound like any one of her dozens of “chew toys”.
No indeed. It was my best pair of progressive bifocals that she had cleverly plucked from the edge of my desk.
A few seconds of evaluation showed me that in addition to distorting and re-decorating the frames, my sweet dog had also chewed into the lens coatings. I know that I paid about $500 for those glasses in 2018, so Bebop heard some things she hasn’t heard before. I went so far as to say:
“Bebop, I think you’re going to have to get a job.”
You see she was still working off the $15.99 from her allowance for the corded headset of my phone.
I went downstairs to tell Terri, Bebop’s Mom and reliable advocate, the entire story. As I described the event, focusing on “bad dog” and “get a job”, Bebop looked from one of us to the other, with tail between her legs. Yes, she knew she was in serious trouble. We had more discussions about “this is yours, but THIS is mine.”
Later in the day, in discussion with the optical department of Utah Eye Centers, I found to everyone’s relief that the insurance/warranty that I had purchased with the glasses would cover 100% of replacement. Even for puppy destruction. Whew. That was a huge relief for Bebop.
Today, she has had a very relaxing day, knowing that she would not need to join the workforce. Indeed she will maintain her status here of favored one. Much loved and pampered. The education of Bebop continues.
She’s an expensive dog, and worth it! Now complete is a new walkway to the shop, and concrete steps.
When Bebop arrived in February, we realized we’d want improvements. In the winter time we haven’t been accessing the shop from the deck. Instead we take the safe route from the front door with handrails and well shoveled and salted concrete steps. However, we clearly needed to use the newly fenced backyard for Bebop’s winter potty runs. Once again, the new puppy addition brings improvements for all.
I don’t do concrete well. That was left to the pros. I built the handrail yesterday using redwood for posts and mahogany for railing. Terri finished the job today by staining. Bebop approves.
Bebop will be 6 months old at the end of the month. We started our daily morning walks one month ago on May 12. We haven’t missed a day! It’s a good routine and one that Bebop loves. We love the sights, smells, and spending the time together.
My knowledge of doggie thinking is improving, I’m sure, but my own thinking is progressing too. I’ve come to realize that walking a mile or two everyday might be good for me, not just the dog. It’s a mile or two I wasn’t doing before!
Today once again, was our two-mile circuit that takes us through the powerline park. Bebop gets to romp through more than a quarter-mile while off leash. She is always ready. She runs ahead and then waits for the old man to catch up. It’s nice to have her looking out for me!
We’ve been having strange June weather. Temperatures have dropped 30 degrees in the past 3 days. It was a chilly 42 degrees at 6:30 this morning. But it wasn’t raining and Bebop was eager to go. When I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk, she whimpered with joy!
This morning we chose the same two-mile walk as yesterday with the feature of a jaunt through Powerline Park. Familiarization and routine are a dog’s friend. Today Bebop had no hesitation about the route, and we set a faster pace. When we got to the powerline trail, it was clear that she really remembered the off-leash time of yesterday. I wasn’t so sure because there was a woman walking ahead of us, but as we started she was 30 yards ahead, so I said OK! Bebop enjoyed the trail zigging and zagging, but not getting more that 20 yards ahead of me. As we dallied, the gap between us and the woman walker grew.
When the woman was 100 yards ahead, Bebop’s trotting about widened. She took off on a trot outside of the normal 20 yards, and that concerned me. I called out, “Bebop! Wait!” And just like that, Bebop turned and waited. We are learning together, and that is very good.
At home again, I’m here writing these words in the office, and Bebop is quietly enjoying the remnant of a 3-day old bully stick. The day has begun.
We walked a new route from home today, and it was interesting to see and try to understand Bebop’s reactions to the different route.
June 7, 2020 morning walk ( 2 miles)
When we started out, and went north instead of east, Bebop was unsettled at a new direction. She demonstrated her discomfort in the normal manner, by wanting to jump all over me. But with a bit of coaching, she got with the program. On our walk across 1300 North to the west, all was good until we approached Powerline Park. There she became unsettled again. The air had an “agricultural scent”, and the residential landscape disappeared. Again I encouraged her, and she powered on to turn north with me into Powerline Park.
X marks the transition from residential to agricultural smells.
Heading north along the pathway became uncomfortable to Bebop. But looking about and seeing no one else along the trail, I decided we could try off-leash. That was good.
Google’s image of our entrance to “Powerline Park”
She would lead out about 20 yards, then stop to look for me and wait. She enjoyed the sights and smells along the trail. It’s interesting that the freedom gave her new interest and enjoyment. When we turned east into the residential area, Bebop asked for the security of the leash again (good, because that was the only option). On the mile walk through the neighborhoods to home, she was relaxed and enjoying it all.
We thought it would be nice to see some new things today, so we got in the car and drove out the the Bluff Trail for a walk.
View to the West from the trail at 7 am
At 6:30 in the morning, it was a very pleasant place for an old man and his little dog. We saw no dogs, but a few friendly bicyclists. Among our sightings were birds:
a pair of cranes heading to the Great Salt Lake
And other animals
chickens (yeah I guess those belong in the bird category)
Bebop loved all the new sights and smells. But she also learned about cheatgrass. She collected some cheatgrass seeds in her harness and fur. Then when it was bugging her, she rolled in the cheatgrass to rub it off. Oops. Bad idea. We found a nice bench along the trail, where her partner (me!) spent five minutes picking it all out.
“I want a dog that doesn’t know it’s cute,” one woman said to another.
— Sara Latta
Since I’m a novice at dog ownership (or partnership) I had no idea that dogs have an ego! They certainly do!
On Monday, Bebop scored two walks. In the morning, a retired couple paid Bebop absolutely no attention, as Bebop strained at the leash and expressed her desire for their attention. Giving credit to her, she did it in the best manner: looking cute, wagging all over and making not a sound! The couple was fast-walking and Bebop dragged me for a block to get their attention. In her failure, she did seem dejected.
In the evening, as Terri, Bebop and I left the park, I steered us toward the sidewalk where we would approach a young family with 3 kids on small bikes. As we met, Bebop was being her wiggly, cutest self, and one of the kids said, “I LIKE YOUR DOG!”
I responded, “Thank you. We like her too!”
Bebop turned to me and smiled. No, actually she gave me that doggy laugh!
Bebop enjoys the sights and smells of our walk, but she is also alert to threats. We got started a half hour late this morning, and she heard something new when we approached the first intersection. We heard a small dog barking behind a tall fence across the street. She was all over me for protection, which was a bit uncharacteristic. Usually she can handle a little bark like that. I thought she was just tired, so I said “OK, let’s go home”.
We went home, but kept right on walking past, and did our usual park tour from the reverse direction. Funny little dog. Everything was just great, she says.