Friday, August 27, 2010

Eleven Friends and a Garden Pawty

The last time the herding dogs (Sadie, Charley, Riley, Crystal, and - at that time - Belle and Oliver) got together, was May 2009. I was just about to leave my five beautiful acres in the Fraser Valley to move to the island. Three honorary herders were also invited - whippets Kinley and Cisco and pomeranian Ginger (aka Ginger Snap). Four humans and nine dogs - thirteen friends and a garden pawty. You can read about it here.

In this past year, Cisco, Belle and Oliver have passed away. Logan, another whippet, became Kinley's younger brother.

Handsome Logan
(Photo by Deb Strong, with permission)

And so this year, we are eleven, and we all met in Deb's back yard for dinner on Tuesday. Eleven friends and a garden paw-ty.

The weather cooperated, the food was excellent, and the dogs all got along just fine as usual. None of them did too much herding of the others, and in fact I think the only herding was when Logan spotted something (I forget what - a bird? a squirrel?) in a tree and decided he'd rather be a pointer than a herder.

All the dogs are beautiful. All of them are sweet. All of them are very well loved. But I covet this one:

Ginger Snap. Wee, tiny, cute, very well behaved, Ginger Snap with the biggest personality and the most demanding little tiny bark. I was truly tempted to sneak her into my suitcase when I left at the end of the visit. I think Deb might have noticed though. After all, how can you not notice this face peering over the back of the couch as you prepare your breakfast....or lunch.....or dinner?

But I digress. Back to the, pawty.

Crystal is fifteen and lives with Sharon. She is much like Oliver in her present needs and actions - deaf, visually impaired, and while she doesn't have canine cognitive disorder like Oliver did (or at least, not noticeably at the pawty), she does have his habit of being very anxious in strange environments, and of taking tumbles on uneven ground. And she is beautiful:

Absolutely beautiful:

And very, very much loved:

Riley is Deb's dog (and Ginger Snap's canine sister) and she and Charley are so much alike. Riley is a rough collie (Lassie dog) while Charley is a border collie/rough collie cross, but when I see them together it is clear that Charley got more rough collie genes than border collie ones in both looks and temperment.

And when we add Sadie to the mix, my collie-crossed-with-who-knows-what, we get three giant commas punctuating the lawn:

Collie commas

(Photo by Deb Strong, with permission)

Of course, from the other side, they look like typical long-nosed collies:


(Photo by Deb Strong, with permission)

We sat in the garden and ate and drank and talked about - what else? - the dogs.

And once the dishes were done:

And the collies decided us humans were just a bit too strange to hang out with:

And even a whippet named Kinley admitted he can't keep pawtying all night:

We called it a day and said our goodbyes - until the next time the friends get together for a garden pawty.

Oh my goodness, I thawt they'd nevah leave! I'm exhausted!


Jen said...

Ahhh, so sweet that little Ginger Snap! Yeah for Pawty's to celebrate life!

Jen and the Black Dog Crew

EvenSong said...

Ah! I've always been partial to blue merles (tho I've never had the privilege to be owned by one). And little Ginger looks like she can hold her own with the big girls. (Is she clipped? I thought Poms had longer hair.)

My very first dog (the first "Kate") was a Collie-German Shepard cross: although at fist glance she appeared to be a white GS, she had that long Collie nose that bespoke the truth of her parentage.

Sounds like it was a luvly pawty!

Anonymous said...

It was a wonderful afternoon/evening pawty, very much enjoyed by all.

And all that hair...

That picture of Logan is his discovery of Rupert the cat, sitting on the railing upstairs, out of reach but staring down at him. Logan is "thinking", but thankfully not barking! Now had Kinley seen Rupert, it would have been a very different story...

Great pics of everyone Jean.


Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, wee Ginger Snap had so much hair, she was a veritable puff-ball on legs. However genetics have intervened and she now suffers from a hair-loss problem that's common to the breed. The condition is still progressing, so apart from a fluffy little head and legs, she could soon be completely bald. Thankfully she is acquiring quite an extensive wardrobe of shirts and sweaters, and looks adorable in them all.

It was indeed a lovely pawty!

Deb S., Riley, Ginger Snap, Rupert & Jasper

Anonymous said...

Thanks Deb for hosting such a lovely pawty in your garden! It was so good to see everyone again.

Jean, the photos and blog certainly capture the flavour of our time together, and some highlights!

Ellen, I'm sure glad you brought a youngster to our group, I was happy to meet Logan in person.

And of course Ginger stole the spotlight - she always does! BTW - she can come do my dishes anytime she likes.....

Sharon & Crystal