Saturday, October 23, 2010

Take Time

Dogs are great for reminding us:  Take time out.  Go for a walk.  We'd all been working hard Friday and needed a break.  I thought that since Alfie's just here a couple more days -- and our family's only here in Texas for a couple more weeks -- we needed to get out and enjoy meandering around the capitol building one last time!

Alfie and me on the walkway leading up to the main entrance of the Capitol; he's jacketed and sitting all relaxed next to me

Alfie's lying down facing me where I'm seated on a park bench he just found for me.
Find the seat, good dog!

going up the steps, Alfie's fur and ears are blowing back
As usual -- it was gusty.

Funny little story:  We waited in line quite a while to get in, due to the new security measures and metal detectors.  I thought going through a metal detector would be a great new experience for Alfie!  I asked the officer if he wanted us to go through separately, or together.  He said together -- and that if the detector went off, we'd just have to get "wanded" by another officer.  We went through together and Alfie was fine despite the LOUD beeping when --yes-- we set it off.  I obediently went over to get "wanded."  The lady there said (no kidding):  "Oh, you don't have to come here unless you set it off.  Did you set it off?"  Seemed to be on the honor system!  I was oh so tempted to say no and avoid the hassle, but of course I'm too honest.  She used her metal-detecting wand on Alfie and that DID make him jump -- it seemed a very threatening gesture, plus it beeped too (collar and tags).  She shrugged and said, "go ahead," and off we went.  I guess we just don't look that suspicious, hehe!

We worked lots and lots and LOTS of stairs.  Then we found elevators...and bathrooms.  With bathrooms on so many floors, the capitol is a great training location.  I did my best not to give him any hints so that he could practice finding and decision-making on his own.  Fun!  

I'm half-sitting, half-leaning against an enormous live oak with Alfie seated at my feet
Loved this big live oak...

looking into the distance across bright green, neatly trimmed sections of lawn, you can see Alfie and me walking together in the distance, framed by trees, as the evening sun starts to slant down
...and the peaceful, manicured grounds.

Couldn't resist this shot!  Plus, a chance to practice down/stay in the presence of pigeons and passersby.

view from the passenger's side of Alfie's head resting right where the AC vents are in the front console of the car

And to close, another thing I'll remember about Alf:  when in the car, he's usually good about curling up in the passenger-side floorboard.  But the moment I turn the AC on "outside air"...he's up and resting his chin like this, drinking in the smells.  There's just enough space for him to stand comfortably between the seats.  He can't see much but I don't think that matters -- he can smell it ALL!


Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

Aw... what a great outing. Alfie is going to make someone an incredible guide dog. I love the distance picture of you two and the last one of course!

Sierra Rose said...

Alfie!!! Such an adventure there! We are missing you already, but know you are going to be a very special and amazing companion to someone. Wish we could follow you to the next chapter :)

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Becky said...

Oh, Alfie, what a great day. Indeed we want to keep following your adventures and also those of your raisers! Wishing you the best in this transition, all of you!

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

It's great that you are visiting some Texan landmarks while you can. Yes, I agree, dogs remind us to play and enjoy life. That's too cute about the outside air vent smells.

Christine said...


I can't even imagine how tough it was to say goodbye to Alfie! I am going to miss your blog so much... and reading about his progress. I love that last picture of him with his nose up to the AC vent... adorable! What a smart pup, but we already knew that.

Hope the move goes/went/is going smoothly!

(from the Dixie's Doodles group)