a short boston vacation

I had a long weekend over the 24th/25th/26th, so I headed down to see the grandpuppies and their family in Boston.  I made lots of photo plans, including a “posed” session (babies with Ella, babies with their family, maybe even dogs and ME…), and while the sun was nice and it wasn’t TOO cold, the wind sabotaged my ambition.  I did get a few, but nothing I am thrilled with.

I have traveled a lot, driven all over, and the drive from Warren to Boston is the easiest I have ever made.  I have done it half a dozen times on my own, and several more with Dawn for shows or visits to Joanna’s, and the three hours feels more like one.  And most of that one hour feels like it’s spent stuck in traffic on I-93, going INTO Boston, because apparently I can only make it there during rush hour.

What a cool town it is, though.  I’ve only spent time in the area around Kathy and Jim’s house, but would like to go into the city and do a little touristy stuff when the weather gets better.  Coming from the West, where everything is new, some of the larger New England cities intrigue me.  They are like creatures.  You can feel that they have been there longer, that they better understand who they are.

I am so in love with Valentine and Ollie’s family, if I haven’t made that obvious.  They take care of and spoil those dogs they way I would, and those puppies have thrived, and really come to their full potential as doggy “people”.  At night, when Jim and Kathy have chocolate pudding with whipped cream, the puppies each get a little whipped cream from the can in their bowls.  I love spoiling dogs like that.

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Attending to Mommy Kathy.

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Valentine gets cooler every time I see her.  She is so fun.  Kathy finally put her finger on it when she said, “She is just so interesting to live with.”  Never a dull moment with that one.  Take this photo, for example:

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Valentine has no interest in fetching.  What she does want is for the OTHER dog to run and fetch, so she can chase that dog, usually with something else – a ball or a toy – in her mouth.  This is so funny, because this is what her grandmother Bronte liked to do:  run along while the others played, with a toy of her own.  Valentine is not one who is content to let things happen on their own.  She knows how to get things done, and she knows how to communicate her desires.  I was trying to take a photo of Ollie and Ella on the other side of the yard, and she was standing beside me, staring at me with this well-loved yard-ball in her mouth.  Staring.  And staring.  And staring.  So I turned around and took a few photos of her.  Then she came closer and stood up on her hind end to dig at my leg with her tiny Tyrannosaur arms.  This is how she insists that the toy be thrown, Kathy had told me the day before.  “Don’t waste my valuable time,” Val says.  “Do you know who I am? I won’t stand for this!”  This is how Val asks for everything.  If you have spent too long not paying attention to her, she will sit up and dig at you to remind you she is there, and needs service.  Also, Ollie does what his mother did forever (which took forever to break), which is to drop the ball 6 feet away and fail to understand why you are not throwing it.  Val will not fetch, but she will bring the ball back from that 6 feet, so you can throw it.  She will deposit Ollie’s ball at her people’s feet, pick her toy back up, and back away, waiting to give chase again.  This is just one of many, many funny things she does.

Kathy has been training them to free-stack, and here Valentine is stacking for her mommy.

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“Cheese, please!”

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Ollie’s heart is as big as Valentine’s brain.  He is such a good, sweet boy, and has really blossomed in his new home.  He just finished dropping all his coat, so he should have hair again for the next show, at the beginning of April.

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We went out to Concord, MA, on Saturday and hit the town for some lunch and dog-showing-off.  Few things get as much attention as a trio of Cardigans, if only because people can’t figure out what the hell they are, especially when there are three of them.  One can be a corgi/border collie mix (or whatever), but a matched set blows their minds.  Afterward we found a nature trail and stayed out until the cold drove us back to the car.  The dogs were unphased, of course.  They ran and ran, and played in the water, and marched in the mud.

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Ella and Val frolicking.  There are several more photos in the album, here.

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And more…

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Kathy had this clock made for me, and I picked it up while I was down.  Brian (Kathy’s son) found a black and white one in a shop in New York City, and Kathy contacted the company (Pink Cloud) to see if they would do a custom one (since she knows how nuts I am about Ella).  It hangs above the dog cookie jar on my desk, ticking comfortingly and wagging away.  I love it.

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Ella rated the weekend 5 balls out of 5.

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