Saturday, May 13, 2006

Big Day

We did a lot today. There was a bike race in our area, 18 miles through the countryside. It wasn't very well advertised, so there were only about 15 participants. I took the kids in the bike trailer, and Anthony rode with me (he was a little embarassed to have me do all the pulling, but I insisted, since I'm the one who's training for the triathlon).

It was a beautiful morning, with a cool, dry breeze that whisked the sweat off my body. It also blew away the whiny voices of my children when they argued. Overall, they were very good during the long trek and ate all the snacks I provided, but if you put two small kids in such a confined space for that long, there's going to be some bickering. Actually, it was a good lesson for us all - since Anthony and I really couldn't interfere, they had to work it out between themselves.

The scenery was very pastoral, and we saw lots of corn and cattle. The roadside grew native grasses and some of the heartier wildflowers - firewheels, Mexican hats, primrose, winecups, and bishops flower. Also, heard many birdsongs, very appropriate for International Migratory Bird Day.

Anna was very disappointed that there was no tape at the finish line. She was cheered up somewhat by the cookies that were there instead! I was just pleased that we were not the last to finish.

After the race, we did our civic duty and voted in local elections. Anna said, "I like voting, because you get a sticker!"

Then, we went down to the shelter to check out a dog I had been looking at. I had been talking about getting an older dog, maybe 2-5 years old. I'm already working on housetraining my "puppies," I don't need another.

But this dog seemed really special. She's 8-10 months old. I noticed her sitting quietly in the back of her kennel, while her obnoxious cagemate, a barking jumping red heeler, tried to get my attention. She looked at me with a friendly expression, but when Colin came to the cage she got up and sniffed him, tail wagging. She was calm and pretty well mannered, and friendly to kids without bowling them over.

Today we all went to see her. Anna wanted her immediately; Anthony was still a little reserved but agreed; Colin just wanted to go see the cats. She was even offered at a very reduced rate, since she had been at the shelter so long (over 1 month) and was a large, black(ish) dog. She is actually a catahoula mix, a Louisiana all-purpose dog, used for retrieving and herding.

Once home, Anna and I immediately gave her a bath (she was very stinky after being in the kennel a month). I kenneled her while we ate lunch and she sat in there, quiet and well-mannered. She seems very willing to please, and is learning the rules quickly. She's peed outside 3 times and pooped once! Claudio is not thrilled but as usual takes her arrival in stride.

Oh yeah, since we are trying to keep with the Italian theme for pet names, I think she is going to be FRANCESCA.

Photo of Francesca and me (with wet hair), taken by Anna.

Happy dog, making herself at home in the kitchen.


Jess said...

Awww! That is so exciting a new dog! YAY! Francesca is a wonderful name! I love it so much! AND Jennifer, you look very pretty in the picture with Francesca, very lively and happy! I am so happy you will be getting a new addition to your lovely family! :)

Anonymous said...

Little Francesca looks very sweet! Can't wait to meet her.
Love, M

kelley said...

Cool! Francesca looks very sweet! I wish I could meet her.

Leigh-Ann said...

That's a gorgeous-looking dog, and lucky, too :)

paula said...

That's fabulous news Jen, really happy for you all and Francesca - she looks really lovely. XX

Leah said...

I am so glad that you and your family were able to open you home up to another wonderful dog. She looks very happy and content in your home.

Lisa said...

I agree with everyone else: she looks lovely and very sweet. It's kinda funny, that she has all these fans who haven't even met her yet. Anyway, that sounds like a great day!


Yes! I'm so happy you guys have another dog. Francesca looks so loving and sweet....I can't wait to meet her!


Emily said...

Congrats on finishing the bike race while pulling the toddler trailer! Very impressive. Hope the weather is as nice for our triathlon.

Looking forward to meeting Francesca this weekend. Did you tell your friend Francesca about her namesake?

EdamameMommy said...

Welcome Francesca. What's that sound I hear? I think it's Francesca barking, "Buon compleanno, Dr. Martin!"

angie said...

What a beautiful dog! Sounds like she's got a terrific temperament too. Congrats!