Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Witch hunt

Now that it's early October, Dempsey and I have been on a witch hunt. We know there are going to be a lot of ghouls and goblins out on Halloween, and we want to introduce them to Dempsey early, so come All Hallows' Eve, he won't be scared.

Sadly, our witch hunt is not going well. On Saturday, we went to the home improvement store looking for Halloween decorations, but all we found were... Christmas trees. Dempsey did a double-take at the shiny ornaments, but yes, they were indeed Christmas ornaments. In October.

I know Bill O'Reilly thinks he has won the "war on Christmas," but I suspect the real reason why Christmas trees have been re-re-named from "family trees" or "holiday trees" is because there are so many holidays between October and Christmas. Calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree would avoid any confusion, say, if you were thinking about lighting up a "holiday tree" for Guy Fawkes Day.

We haven't had much luck finding Halloween decorations at any of the other garden or home improvement stores we've visited -- do people really buy all this stuff in July? -- but at least Dempsey has been getting a lot of practice being a rain dog.

He's gotten better about being outside in the rain, though he still finds small ways to resist. The other day, I asked him to jump "over" a puddle, which he did beautifully. We hadn't practiced "over" over a puddle, so I made him do it again. Perfect! On the third "over," he landed short, splashing my jeans with water. Dempsey wanted a treat anyway. This is when I decided to call it quits and go home.

Dempsey was overjoyed. As soon as he leapt into the car, he did a "shimmy," drenching the inside of the car, including his chauffeur. Dempsey says this is what happens when you take a puppy in the rain. Next time, he said he wants his own umbrella -- or else. I told him he could have his own umbrella as soon as he learns to carry it himself without chewing it.

We've also had fun! Dempsey has had visits from two of his sisters, Nala and Angel, and he's also gone on a couple of trips up north to look for fall colors.

Here are Dempsey and Nala playing one of their favorite games, bobbing for ice cubes:

More pics of Dempsey and Nala:

And here is Dempsey at Jay Cooke State Park.

Dempsey's big adventure at Jay Cooke was crossing the creaky swinging bridge over the St. Louis River. He was afraid at first, but as soon as he crossed it the first time, he turned around and wanted to cross it again.

We crossed the bridge six times altogether, and by the last trip, Dempsey was comfortable enough to sit, drop, shake, and bow on the bridge -- though only in the middle. We caused a minor "dogjam" when we met an English bulldog on the bridge, who also only wanted to walk in the middle of the bridge.

Fortunately, we were near the end, so it was easy enough to back up and let the bulldog pass. Brave and polite! Dempsey is such a good little dog.

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