Rusty had a very successful day today. After the morning walk, Rusty alerted his dad to the fact that there was a mouse under the sofa! Rusty held the mouse at bay while his dad went looking for an appropriate weapon with which to vanquish the mouse.  My preference would have been to capture the mouse unharmed, educate him or her on the advisability of decamping to the great outdoors, and open the door—but alas, I slept through the whole thing. So, together, Rusty and his dad took care of the mouse problem. Later, on the noon walk, Rusty treed a cat. After a lunch of barbecued brisket, Rusty took a nap, which was necessary to recover from the blistering heat. Then Rusty had dinner (Beneful and roast chicken from Robért) and another nap. Altogether, a day well spent.

We are spending some time in New Orleans before moving into our house in Charlottesville. We humans went down to the French Quarter Sunday to watch the Krewe of Barkus parade. Didn’t take Rusty because (a) we took the streetcar from our house and (b) it was pretty hot. But we had fun, and we brought some beads home for Rusty. He does like his bling!

R.I.P. Zorro

Sad news from The Hague—Our friend Zorro has died. Zorro was a mastiff from Spain who was among the group of dogs walked every day at noon in the bos by our friends Lenny and Kaja. Zorro had already survived one bout with cancer when we met him, and it returned a few months ago. He was a very sweet dog and will be missed.

Yes, all of it!

Here’s Rusty on the couch in our new, temporary abode in Washington, DC. He’s been amazing about the move–he wasn’t fazed by the removal of our stuff from the apartment, or the huge numbers of unfamiliar people who were in it, or the drive to the airport, or being locked up in a crate (well, I’m sure he got lonely after several hours, but he bore it with good grace until we were reunited at Dulles). What a trouper! He is still a bit tired from the journey and dealing with all the changes. He’s very interested in exploring the neighborhood, but he knows this isn’t “home.” He likes to look out the window, but he’s just observing, not being vigilant as he was when the view out the window was his realm. We all miss Marlot and the bos. Walking on city sidewalks, even in the leafy residential areas, is not the same, and we can’t let him off the leash. We have met two other Airedales in the local park and will try to get photos soon.


Farewell to Marlot, October 7, 2010


In our garden this week

Shy hedgehogs . . ..

Volunteer poppies . . .

Mole invasions . . .

Except for a very brief thundershower last night, it’s been very hot and dry in The Hague for a couple of weeks. We haven’t had moles in our garden the previous two summers, and I suspect they came this time because I’ve been watering. The grass in public areas nearby is parched and brown and the soil must be nothing but dust. I felt bad because I left the hose running under the hostas one day and flooded a family of field mice out of their burrow. They came running out from under the leaves single file, following each other so closely it looked as if each mouse was holding the tail of the one before. They’re tiny and cute, as long as they stay outside.

Rusty is coping with the heat as best he can.

Double trouble

Here is Rusty with Othello, another Airedale who sometimes walks with what Rusty considers his pack (a group taken out every day by our friendly neighborhood dog walker). Othello is quite handsome but “doesn’t listen,” so is never allowed off leash. I know I’m guilty of anthropomorphizing, but it always seems funny to me that purebred dogs don’t seem to recognize others of their breed. Rusty is no more interested in Othello than in any other dog, and Othello doesn’t seem to care much about other dogs at all. He’s in his own world.

Rexford Tugwell!

From George Will’s column in today’s Washington Post: “In 1932, during a lunch in Albany with Rexford Tugwell, an adviser, New York Gov. Franklin Roosevelt paused to take a telephone call. . . .”

It’s an excellent column, but I had a hard time reading it because I was so distracted by the name Rexford Tugwell. Perfect!

This was taken about a minute and a half before he decided to plunge into the canal while I was taking a photo of something that was not him. Doesn’t he look nice?

Update: By popular demand . . . this was taken a few minutes after said plunge. His legs looked much worse in person. The water level is low and the canals are particularly mucky right now. So we took a detour to the dog beach (which is still clean), and when we got home Rusty looked like this: Just call him a cock-eared optimist! He is a happy, happy boy.

Was he fuzzy? Yes he was!

Before we paid a woman a lot of money to pull his hair out, Rusty was once again beginning to look like a sheep. Here he is looking sad because it’s been a whole hour since he’s been outside:And here he is holding up the wall while resting up from having been outside: