Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Labour Day Weekend Day 2 - Lake Sammamish

After our humiliating, torture session ended, mum decided to reward us with a walk at a lake. Before leaving, I had to get dressed, but mum just couldn't keep up with me (and my SuperARM). It happens a lot, (mum: Sunshade automatically sticks her arm through the harness loop, sometimes, she gets a little too eager before I have the loop ready.)

Finally, we got to the lake,

This is Lake Sammamish, in Issaquah, WA,

I couldn't wait to be let off leash, this place smelled soooooo clean and fresh!!!

I was so happy, no pee and poo smell because doggies shouldn't really be off-leash there. They said nothing about the SuperDALE tho,

(mum: we were using the GPS on the iPhone to find a place where there's water to take them for a swim. Lake Sammamish seemed like the perfect spot. It wasn't until we got to the beach that we saw the sign for dogs to be on-leash. I just couldn't keep them on-leash when they were that excited at this wonderful new place. It was getting dark anyway on a relatively cool day, so nobody was at the beach. Plus there were other dogs running around and Jaffa was getting super pumped! Ok ok, I'm a bad dog owner......but it was so worth it seeing Sunshade/Jaffa so happy (and well behaved at the same time)!)

I ran ALLL the way down to the beach, I was FIRST to get there!!! Mum had to use SuperZOOOOOOM on her camera, and then she had to SuperCROP so I didn't look like a tiny ant in the picture,

The reason that STINKY wasn't in the picture is because his priority in life is meeting dogs. So he went to the right where they were running around on the beach.

I waited by the water for everyone to catch up,

STINKY came first after he finished harassing other dogs,

I was really waiting for the special delivery of my RING, which mum had looped in her arm,

However, I realized that since mum's preferred walking speed is turtle (sea turtle) speed, I might get my RING faster if I did the work,

I was right! I got MY favouritest RING (with mum's arm still in it)!

Evil-mum didn't want to let go of MY RING, see, I was pulling and pulling and she still wouldn't let go!

(mum: Miss Sunshade didn't have the patience to wait until I took the donut off my arm. She jumped and grabbed it while I was trying to get it off. Once she got her mouth around it, I had no room to pull my hand out, especially with her big nose in the way.)

Then D-Guy saw the dogs on-leash sign, so he and I came up with a plan,

We walked as if I were on-leash!!!

(mum: Sunshade loves her donut, once she gets a hold of it, she won't let go until made to.)

Then I remembered the leash sign said nothing about a SuperDALE needing to be leashed, so I stopped walking as if I were on leash. Here, I was supervising STINKY's harassment session from afar,

STINKY brought one of his friends back, and he (the friend), of course, could not take his eyes off the MUSCLE BUTT!

At the same time, STINKY was trying to take MY ropey stick,

Finally, I got him off my stickie and waited for mum to throw for me,

I went to retrieve MY toy like I always do,

And I brought it back everytime,

Awaaaaaaaaay from STINKY!

Poor D-Guy, something startled him and he took off. Weird as I didn't hear any firecrackers going off. Anyway, being the responsible gurrrrl that I am, I ran after him to calm him down,

After I brought the startled D-Guy back, I asked him to throw my RING for me (distraction tactic),

Look at that impeccable style & athleticism,

I brought my RING back to him each time,

Then mum started getting bored, so I went and entertained her,

Bestest way to entertain mum is by posing,

Then I played ball with her.

Yes I want MY RING for the millionth time.......

YIPPEE! Great throw mum, good gurrrrrrl!

Now come chase me!

Ok, SERIOUSLY! After almost 11 years, you still think you can sneak up behind me and get MY ring??

Can you tell I KNEW what she was up to from a mile away????

Then, I battled a crocodile,

And defeated it!

Now what?

Just I was pondering about what to do next, mum called me as she needed me to rescue my ropey stickie. You see, STINKY has a tendency to storm out whenever he sees mum throw something, but that's all he does. He storms out, but doesn't bring anything back 60% of the time. Sometimes when I see him storm out ahead of me (which is all the time), I just stay back. I mean, why have two of us retrieve one toy right?

So the floating RING in the picture was from MY retrieve, whereas I was heading towards the ropey stickie that was left out in the open water by STINKY,

(mum: Sunshade is a VERY reliable retriever in water. Her retrieve rate is 120%. There hasn't been a time when she's not brought anything I threw back, no matter what the distance may be. Sometimes if its windy, she may lose sight of it. As long as I throw rocks towards the direction of the object, she will follow the rock path and find the toy. I said 120% because there has been many times where she's retrieved things that I didn't throw. She has retrieved other dogs' "expensive" toys back for them and saved the distraught owners from anymore distress (because the toy cost $20 you know.. LOL). She has refused to bring some of those toys back even after she'd reached them because being the princess that she is, she sometimes doesn't like to touch anything with other dog's smell on it. I find the tennis material is the worst as it seems to absorb most slobber, plastic ones she doesn't seem to mind.

Just the other day, I took Sunshade to the beach. I wanted to play with her in water, so I took my flip flops off and left them lying around on the beach. Unaware of the rising tide, we played with various big sticks and her tennis donut. I threw a long shot, off to the side of the usual retrieving path. The donut landed, and in front of it, an inconspicuous black object floated. My flip flops were black. I moved closer and thought "you've GOTTA be KIDDING me.....". I had just spent $40 on those pair of flip flops couple weeks ago because I really liked the design on the straps. I looked back to shore, and sure enough, both my flip flops were gone. One was floating just a little ways up the shore line. I ran after that one as it was still reachable for me without having to be soaked in the 10-15 Celsius water.

With one rescued flip flop in hand, I watched Sunshade as she swam back gracefully with her donut in mouth. Sunshade has great stamina in water because of her relaxed swim style. She doesn't race out, she isn't frantic, she just chugs along. Thinking to myself there goes forty dollars (yes, I was distraught!! LOL), not to mention the fact that I would have to walk bare feet to the car. I should mention, this was the infamous English Bay beach in Downtown Vancouver with over a thousand passerbys any day of the year. Moving my eyes onto Miss Sunshade, who at this time was lying on the beach contently with her prized donut securely locked in between her jaws. I thought, maybe, just maybe she would go all the way out and retrieve it for me even though she's never been particularly interested in shoes? Afterall, she did learn to unlock car doors for me from the inside when I didn't think she could. In other words, she's never ever let me down when I needed her.

With that thought in mind, I picked up a few rocks, and started throwing them in the direction the lone flip flop floated. It had been carried out quite a bit further by the waves, and my rocks were landing short of it. Sunshade knew the drill; when I threw rocks, there's something out there she needed to get. I was about to give her the command "GO FIND YOUR BALL" before I caught my tongue and stopped myself.

The command above is what I use if she'd lost sight of her ball, not knowing what direction to go, to have her follow the direction in which rocks are being thrown. It also means that she has to "look" for the toy. Knowing how specific Sunshade is, I realized if I had used the word "ball", she would be expecting her toy to be out there. If she got that in her mind, she would not be bringing anything back unless it was her toy. But, I didn't have a word for "shoe/flip-flop"!! Being the creative person that I am, I told her "go find the SHOE"... It really didn't matter what word I used really, I just needed a word that she couldn't associate to anything she knew.

I watched as Sunshade followed the rock path perfectly and reached the flip flop. My voice in which I was saying "good girl! Get it! Bring it back!" got higher as my hope of getting back my flip flop was getting closer to reality. I saw her take a sniff at the flip flop; the moment of truth. Like I had mention before, she is very sensitive to smells. The times she'd been sent out to retrieve toys for other dogs, she had always sniffed the objects carefully before even thinking about putting her mouth on them. Some she sniffed and sniffed, picked up and brought back. Some she sniffed and sniffed, picked up, dropped, and ignored. Some, mainly tennis balls, she sniffed, ignored, and came back.

So what was Miss Sunshade going to think about my flip flop???

The moment of truth........

YES! MY FEET DON'T STINK (to Miss Sunshade's standard)!

She secured my flip flop in her mighty jaws and swam all the way back with it!! She dropped the flip flop by my feet and promptly went back to her tennis donut - the only thing she would really "want" to retrieve at anytime. Sunshade brought my flip flop back because I asked her to, nothing more. We have so much trust and understanding with each other that even in the face of the unknown, we know with confidence that there would be a solution. In this case, she didn't know what she was looking for, but she headed out because she knew something I wanted had to be out there. I knew if I got the rocks, she would be able to locate my flip flop without a doubt and most likely bring it back (since Sunshade isn't normally disgusted by my smell LOL).

Sunshade just has it in her to try her best and do (and perfect) whatever it is that I ask of her. My perfect girl.)

Ok mum, you just wrote a five page essay there, I would like my blog back now please.

So if you still remember, I was sent out to get the ropey stickie that STINKY didn't bring back,

Then I had to go get the RING because somebuddy kept not bringing it back, and somebuddy kept on THROWING IT!

STINKY followed me out. Believe it or not, STINKY tends to get a little worried when he sees me swim out far, so he will actually swim all the way out just to landshark my face, and then swim back with me.

He was doing that here (funny, he basically swam the same distance as if he were to have retrieved the toy in the first place!),

(mum: I think I have mentioned this before, but here it goes again. The first time Jaffa took the plunge was when Sunshade swam out far around a bend, and disappeared from his sight. He totally panicked, and before I could stop him, he flapped vertically in water all the way to Sunshade (who was on her way back around the bend by then). Jaffa always shows his sigh of relief by giving Sunshade a few nibbles on the cheeks (in water), and at times, tries to climb on top of her (in water). Both those actions are almost always met with a stern growl or snarl (in water) from Miss Get Out of My Way!)

Finally, I rescued everything out of the water,

And had my favouritest RING with me!

The sky was getting dimmer and dimmer,

Seeing that we might be losing light faster than we would like, we decided to hurry to the trail that had yet to be explored still,

I thought mum might be too heavy carrying both of MY toys, I offered to help her out, (mum: she insisted.)

Upon getting my ropey stickie, I quickly caught up to D-Guy,

And we resumed our "leash" walking from earlier,

Periodically, I've had to slow D-Guy down to wait for mum,

She's always lagging behind and it was getting dark, so I must look after her, while obeying the leash law,

Then... a secret beach appeared in front of my SuperEYES, and I again remembered the fact that the leash law said nothing about a SuperDALE,

I again, led the way,

All the way to the edge of the water,

(mum: Sunshade is always so happy whenever she sees a beach by the water :-)

The beast was unleashed,

I noticed D-Guy was having some behaviour problems because he was bored. He was swinging MY ropey stickie repeatedly,

So I thought I would go entertain him,

See him smiling? He was having so much fun!

All thanks to the Perfect ME,

Since he insisted on continuing to play, I complied,

The situation began to escalate as D-Guy was having too much fun,

It soon became a battle,

Finally, mum came to my rescue and told D-Guy to "DROP IT". He did, and she threw the ropey stickie for me. Oh, and look who decided to actually bring something back this time?

After a few swims, we started heading back on the trail. Me and D-Guy resumed our leash walk,

It was almost dark by then,

We walked like this all the way back to the DaleMOBILE,

On the way back to the hotel, mum and D-Guy stopped to buy din din. They left me in the back of the DaleMOBILE. Strangely, I ended up in the front seat when they came back. No idea what happened there, must have blacked out,

(mum: I'll tell you what happened there. Miss Piggy came to the front seat in search of food, hoping that like the day before, I would somehow leave 3 chicken drumsticks and 2 big ribs lying around for her to eat (steal)! No luck this time, I'm happy to report!)

As usual, STINKY's version on his blog....


The Thuglets said...

OMD..Mis Sunshade you recovered the flip flop. we think you are an amazing girl!

We love the photos of you and him swimming.......just looks so tempting.

Glad you had such a lovely day.

Big Nose Pokes
The Thugletsx

NelsonandBoober said...

Wow!! What an awesome long weekend you guys had. You are such a great retriever and swimmer Sunshade. Wish we lived close to beaches like that. Your mum takes such great pictures of you guys.

Asta said...

Miss Sunshade
I loved that you had that bootiful beach all to youwself fow a while and it looked so wondewful when you got to go in to swim and wecovew youw special toy.
I'm sowwy if I don't visit often these days..Daddi is looking fow wowk and Mommi is wowking at a pawt time stoopid job till late in the night when she's not painting..I hope this changes cause I hate it
smoochie kisses

Duke said...

What an awesome day you had, Sunshade! Did you hear us cheering that you rescued your mum's flipflop for her? Good girl!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

What fun woo all had !


I'd be at The North Pole by now!


My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Sunshade - we're all very impressed.

Sonic said...

Hi Miss Sunshade!

Wow you're only the second Airdale blog I've come across (the first is those two cuties Maggie and Mitch).

I still think you dales look too cute to be real dogs!


violett said...

Wow Miss Sonnenschutz,
what you are for a super girl!
This was an exellente achievement with the flip flop shoes.
I see in the picture that it are also a water-dale.
Me love water, the swimming and retrieving like you.
Lots of love

Finni said...

We like your leash walking technique Sunshade. What a great time you had at the lake! Well done for bringing back your Mum's flipflop! Pity there were no chicken drumsticks left in the car. After all that swimming we think you must have been STARVING!
Finni xx

Lorenza said...

Hi, Sunshade!
I loved looking all the pictures of that place!
It looks so beautiful and serene!
And good job bringing back your mom's flipflop! Now we all know your mom does not have stinky feet! Ha!
Kisses and hugs