Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pooches on the patio

Left to right: Jay with Santiago, the retired guide dog;; Christian with their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Phil, with Porter the brand new guide dog; center, Jacob with my Sophie
With eight people and five dogs, it was definitely pooches on the patio night at my house as we celebrated neighbor Jay's birthday. The dogs love their evenings in the back yard with everyone on the deck except Jacob who plays with them, throws the ball, climbs on the dog house and then retires to the kitchen to love Santiago. Santiago is nine and just retired as Phil's guide dog. If you think about it, most of our dogs spend their days pretty much sleeping; working dogs spend their days working, and they tire out. Santiago likes nothing more than to sleep on the cold stone floor, and Jacob loves to oblige by getting down there with that gentle giant.
Porter, the new guide dog, is two years old, fresh out of training, and has been in his new home about four days. He visited last night and ran and played with Sophie--she'd been waiting for someone with more energy than Santiago. Sometimes she'd bark at him because he wouldn't play with her, so Porter is just right. They run, chase balls and have a wonderful time, with Sophie all the time making her growling noises.
The two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are another story--quiet dogs, not interested in running and playing, thank you. They'd much prefer to sit on a lap. Without that alternative, they sit right close to the people's feet. Sophie finds them a little boring too, and I think they find her a bit intimidating. She is twice their size and has much more energy than they do.
Jay even picked the menu for his birthday dinner--a casserole of rice with cream of mushroom and celery soups, dry onion soup, and chicken. I almost blew it because I thought, "Oh, a chicken casserole, bake for an hour at most." Luckily about four I looked at the recipe and found it was to bake for two hours. It was really good, chicken most and tender and the rice delicious. I don't like to use prepared foods much but this was worth it. We had green peas, which Jay loves and most of my family won't eat, and salad. Jordan was already to bake a cake but Jay wanted store-bought brownies, the kind with thin frosting. Jacob of course had to help him blow out the candles. All in all, it was a delightful evening with much hilarity. And I think the presence of five dogs made it even better.
The irony was that the birthday boy, who loves dogs, didn't bring his two. We haven't yet tried to socialize them with "the pack" and may not ever.

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