Saturday, January 25, 2014

Underage Driver (Zeke at the Wheel)

Underage Driver copyright 2014 Katy Widger Oil on Canvas
All summer long, almost every day, we drive to the soccer park.  It's only about five minutes away.  Zeke takes his place on Ken's lap. As they drive along, Zeke barks at all the gas meters (they have "arms" and must look like short people to him, I guess).  He also barks, furiously, at any joggers or dog walkers we come across, to the point where we'll take another route if we see anyone in the distance, just to avoid harassing them.
Wyatt sits in the middle, on the console, on a little platform Ken made for him out of a scrap of plywood and a piece of carpet.  He needs to be able to see where he's going.  Sadie sits patiently, quietly on my lap,  And Hunter  anxiously occupies the entire back end.  
If we're lucky there's no one else at the park and the dogs exit the car with much excited barking.  I gear them up but let them drag their leash.  They take off, running, for the other end of the park.  Ken and Hunter take their position for a fierce game of  Frisbee, which is all that interests Hunter.  He heels off leash and does all his other obedience lessons interspersed with retrieving the Frisbee as a reward.
The Apsos are only interested in reading the news and marking their own daily commentary over the fading remarks of previous dogs. Zeke runs, as fast as his short little Apso legs will carry him, across the park, over to Ken and Hunter, back to me, down the field, enjoying the rush of air through his long ears and the sheer excitement of running full out across the soft grass.  Wyatt can easily outpace him, but rarely does so.  He'll run along until some curious scent grabs him and he slides to a halt or backtracks to check it out.  
Sadie keeps up with me and we poke along, occasionally running together to catch up with the boys and to insure that Sadie gets some exercise, too.  She finds  spots that, for no obvious reason I can discern,  occupy her interest, so I wait while she reads the latest gossip and dribbles out her response.
When Hunter's tongue is long we head back to the car, slowly and without anywhere near the enthusiasm with which we exited.  Hunter drains his water bowl, and the little dogs load up, one by one, for the short and quiet journey home.