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» Sunday, November 09, 2003Tuckered-Out "Terror"
She doesn't show it at home, of course, but Willow is shy. She approaches people carefully and is pretty much frightened of other dogs; turns tail and hides behind James or tries to get away--except in odd circumstances, like the time the guy down the street was walking his Akita and she challenged him in large barks. (This huge dog gave her a look like "What?")
Our friend Amy, whose dogs are entered in bench, agility, and obedience shows, says she needs more socialization, and we do try taking her places that are not the vet: Petsmart, which she hates because of all the "wolves" around, and to Bruster's, where they call a little bowl of vanilla ice cream and a dog biscuit a "dog sundae."
Well, we'd been planning a trip to Helen in the fall to see the leaves, and that's what we did today. And we took Miss Wil with us.
In case you haven't read "back issues," Helen is up in the North Georgia mountains (for you doll aficionados, Helen is about 8 miles from Cleveland, where the real Cabbage Patch Dolls come from). A bunch of us go up there every spring for a weekend get-together at Unicoi State Park, which is three miles from Helen. We prefer the fall to the spring, wanted to see some autumn leaves, and wanted a nice walk around.
Alas, the leaves had peaked last week, when James had to work. However, we did have a nice time, even if Willow, as usual, whined the first half hour of the ride. We took my .mp3 player and listened to Fibber McGee and Molly episodes on the way up and back. It was in the high 50s, so we were able to stroll around for a half hour and not perspire copiously. The sky was a vivid, chilly blue over the Bavarian-style rooftops of downtown Helen as we stopped at Paws and Claws and bought some gourmet dog cookies (the proprietor loved Willow as she likes "scruffy dogs"), at the Christmas shop (James and Wil stayed outside and she allowed some kids to pet her--she's not as afraid of kids), at the ice cream place (she had a small cup of vanilla, sans dog biscuit), and at the Hansel and Gretel candy shop, which has edible sugar-free candy.
We walked her back to the car through the back, passing over the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River that widens and muddies here in the metro area, but which is shallow, cold and clear up in Helen. She kept sniffing at it through the bars of the bridge, so we found a set of steps that led down to the water to see what she would do.
It was funny: she was thirsty and realized it was water, and also something in it called to her instincts, I'm sure. But tempering that was her loathe of baths, and all that river looked like to her was a big bathtub! So she finally turned back with us and back to the truck.
We were doing fine, but we managed to tire her out; she snoozed most of the way home!