We are... ok let's face it, I am, for the time being... dog-sitting Rescue Pup Neela for Andy and Jenna, while they take a quick trip South to scout out Fla. fishing.
Now you would think dog-sitting on the Vineyard is not so very different than the mainland.
Au Contraire, mon ami.
But see for yourself.
Dog-sitting Vineyard-style goes like this:
1. Wake up at the crack of Dog, go outside in your pjs (just cause you can!), stumble along the driveway gully with dog in tow for "morning" constitution.
2. Hurry back inside, because it is nippy out in the morning - and btw, does anything before 6 am constitute morning? Or is that still late night? - bat the warring cats away from the eager pup entering the house.
3. Feed everyone. Fix a cup of coffee. Ah.
4.Hear the string of bells hung at the door (for just this purpose) - Rescue Pup now needs to go "out" again after her morning meal for an additional "morning" constitution.
5. Trapse out again, step in mud, divert possible disaster by heading opposite direction of the wild turkey group that roams the Vineyard Haven - Edgartown Corridor (have we met? yes, we have. At the bank drive thru. See the post here), and finds our back yard interesting.
7. I am ready for a late morning walk. The dog wakes up, we head out.
8. This is a little sketchy as Rescue Pup has not walked with "Grammy" in a good long while. But we do well. The hitler collar, as I like to call it, or the pinch collar as it's properly known, is good, but largely not needed. Neela is an intuitive dog, sensing my "frailties" lol, and walks accordingly.
We hear some morning dog barking, a big black lab woofs its way to the end of its property, but I command, "stay back, stay" in a rather firm but quickly bordering on hysterical tone, and miracle upon miracle, the black lab obeys. Hm. I am Dog Whisperer.
9. We make it back in one piece, where I prepare an early lunch, and read emails. Neela settles into her "chair."
10. We are now ready for our afternoon ride. We head out.
I digress for the moment, to explain that the first command a pup learns here is "Get in the truck."
And they do! You can't have a truck on the Vineyard without the requisite Dog Sticking Head Out Window.
It just doesn't happen. And even better, if the dog is a black lab (for the iconic Black Dog of Martha's Vineyard - the Tavern, Cafe, two working schooners, etc.) (And let's not forget the t-shirt a Head Of State once purchased for an "intern" with the Black Dog emblazoned on it.).
I now say, "get in the truck," not because I have one, or that we are using one, but because I, for one am not tempting fate. We enjoy a nice time of driving with the dog's head out window, me stopping for errands, dog patiently waiting in car - she has this down pat :) - without complaints, and a quick stop to SBS (the local feed store) for a doggie treat! Good Dog.
11. Back to the hacienda, where 3 perturbed cats wait.
12. The day rolls on. At one point there is a very rousing game of treasure hunt, where, to keep occupied, Neela's parents have hidden treats and treasures for her to find. This is my cue to take a break.
13. Just before dinner, we inspect, in no particular order, the driveway gully again, the edge of the wildlife preserve, where I frantically steer pup away from a huge patch of poison ivy ( the island's "state" flower, if you ask me), and spend a few valuable moments wiping the dog's coat with a baby wipe where she decided to perfume herself with a patch? of questionable origin by rolling in it.
14. Dinner is quiet, but my "sous chef" is willing to taste test any ingredient I deem necessary, or that drops on the floor, whichever comes first.
15. By 11 pm we retire, each to our own beds, Neela to the guest bedroom, thank goodness. Neela is a bed-hogger.
And that's just Day 1.
Have a good one. :)