This year has seen a whole stretch of nothing going on or off the knitting needles. Sure, I have loads of reasons (excuses) as to why I haven't been able to accomplish much of anything, but to blame it on any of that feels very much like the 'my dog ate my homework' excuses of yore. Of course.... MY dog? he would eat my knitting if I let him near it.
So, I toss out the excuses (and toss a ball for the dog to keep him away from the knitting) and vow to get back on the wagon in time for another set of vows I'm very close to saying.
This little project has been on my needles for quite some time. Armed with new yarn and a new purpose, I am very set on having this done by the time a few of our close friends and family gather with us to celebrate our marriage in a couple short weeks.
There will be naysayers who suggest I have a backup plan in case I don't quite finish this little shawl in time. And I too, will have doubts along the way. But somehow, having the odds stacked against this project feels oddly appropriate. You see, the odds have been against our relationship too. We didn't choose the simplest path to where we're about to stand. This work in progress has had it's own share of mistakes, naysayers, and has even come dangerously close to being frogged.
Knitting was woven into this relationship from the beginning, as I spent many a night during our years of distance cozied up in front of my rabbit-eared TV with a sleeping hound dog beside me on the couch, knitting needles in my hands. This craft kept me focussed on the goal, not the countless make-you-crazy-thinking-about-how-many rows, kilometres, or months that lay ahead.
So when I stand up there to make some lofty vows to my guy, I'd love to have that piece of our history there with me.
Boomer and I are about to spend eight days together. Just the two of us. It's a slightly daunting thought for me - and that in itself makes it such an important eight days. As much as I love the pink spot on the top of his nose, the heart shape that forms in the crease of his back leg, and the little licks he gives my hand when I reach it down to his height, we haven't really bonded. He and I clash from time to time (in the classic battle of Charlie versus Beta) and I find myself easily frustrated by his stubborn disobedience.
It's a far removed feeling from the relationship I had with my dog Simon. That one came so naturally, with it being just the two of us for so long, I got Alpha status by default, and that seemed okay by him from day one. But now, with our new little clan and our new little dog, there's a mutual admiration society in our house to which I don’t belong.
So now, with these eight days, I have the opportunity to develop a daily rythmn with this little dog and work out problems on my own. Something I was once so good at. I have ideas in my head of visits to the local farmers markets and dog parks, roaming the neighbourhood, practicing our favourite commands "off" (mine) and "take it" (his), making a Wilco and Weakerthans fan out of him by weeks end with the blasting of the iTunes, and nights spent knitting with him snoring quietly on his bed beside me.
The hopes are high, but the expectations are much more realistic. I expect that on day #8, Boomer and I just might launch ourselves at the missing pack member the second we see him walk through the front door.
On a day when Boomer peed twice in the house (somebody buy this dog some Depend's because I'm done with housetraining) and "tweaked" the panel curtains in our kitchen (read: shredded), it's a tad hard to focus on the many wickedly awesome things about this dog.
So, with this in mind, I present a list (naturally) of "random stuff to do with Boomer":
When we first brought him home, Boomer was afraid of stairs. It took a couple of days to convince him to climb up stairs, and at least a few more to convince him to climb down them.
He loves fruit.
He likes to "hunt" his treats (rawhides, milk bones, ice cubes) before enjoying them. He'll push them around on the floor and squash the life out of them by laying on them before he starts to chew.
His green ball is his most favourite toy, ever.
He loves to swim, and will even dunk his head underwater to retrieve his non-floating (green) ball.
So eager to visit with anyone of the canine kind, while we're out on walks he'll submit to dogs that are a block and a half away.
He barks like a seal when he wants you to throw the (green) ball, and howls like a true blue hound dog when the phone rings.
His back legs will twitch if you rub his belly in just the right spot.
Boomer hates monsters.
His favourite colour is green (for all of you who know better... just indulge me)
He is the best little gamer I have ever seen. He'll invent games to play by himself (tossing and nosing the ball around the house and even down the stairs, making obstacle courses out of canoes and dining room furniture) and with others ('Boomer in the Middle' and 'Oh no, I accidentally dropped my ball in the dock again' are two classics).