Monday, July 21, 2008

On the Subject of Frisbee Dogs and Cruisers

More convergence stuff, or maybe just wild ideas. Time will tell.

This is Brandy.

She's predominately Australian Shepherd. If you know the breed at all, they are 110% about their job. Since we don't have a ranch, her city-slicker job is chasing down anything that is launched from our hands or feet. I'm not talking about chasing it down as in getting it done sometime before coffee break. The future of civilization hangs in the balance, on every throw. She makes greased lightning look slow. This dog can scoot.

When our longtime family lab started to slow down, we intentionally went out looking for a smaller, auxiliary, back-up dog, that could learn the ropes and excellent manners from the main, heavy-duty dog. Brandy was a respectful student and picked up all kinds of great traits from the old girl. The other thing we intentionally went after was some energy. The kind that keeps your metabolism up. The kind that keeps you from sitting on your ass when you get home from work because you feel guilty that she has been waiting for you all day and her whole life revolves around you and nothing short of a drool-spewing workout will do. The kind that gets you out in all kinds of weather because it's just so flat-out fun to go hang out in the park with your pal and share the joy of gettin' after that damn ball!

Jasmine went to dog heaven a few weeks ago, and Brandy is a different dog. She's no longer auxiliary, and it's a hard adjustment when you've had an older sister that handles all the tough situations. But she's stepping up. And she's more focused than ever on her job.

So we're down to the park almost every day, like we've been every day since she came home with us. We walk sometimes, but mostly we bike, because she sleeps at the speed I walk. So we ride. And we pack the essential gear, as dictated by the conditions:

Ball "chucker"
Nylabone (daylight) frisbee (er, um, flying disc)
Large LED lighted frisbee (er, um, flying disc)
Small LED lighted frisbee (er, um, flying disc)
Plastic bag for picking up poop (I'm usually "plastic" on the "paper or plastic?" question)
Optional master's hydration for those extra-hard workouts

I threw the the blue and orange thing in there. It's called the 'flying squirrel'. Lame. If you have a really slow dog, it's yours. (As you can tell, I've been living with a slow dog for years and am now drunk with fast-dog arrogance.)

LED frisbees? Yeah, we get 'em at REI. Greatest invention EVER. We love summer, but we love the winter even more, because we have the whole place to ourselves and we turn it into a glow-in-the-dark playground. Sometimes we freak people out in a UFO-kind-of-way. People have immense immaginations in the dark. (Myself included.)

The AquaVelva's been a blessing, because now I can carry all the stuff I need in the baskets.

Yup, that's a bud light stashed under the (empty) poop-sack in the front basket. Good eye. Anyway, no more slobbery frisbees (er, um, flying discs) stuffed into my backpack. No more plastic bags of poop stinking up the side pocket.

But the other night, as I was hydrating between demanding, athletic tosses, I had a vision. It had to do with some cruiser stuff that's been happening lately.

First, I went to get my hair cut the other night. Ed cuts my hair. He's the reason I look so awesome. (Not buying it? Whatever, bite me.) Anyway, Ed has this new, totally awesome, head-turning, screams-cool Electra cruiser that he's commuting on. I got there early and I'm checking it out, and Ed says that I better take it for a spin while I'm waiting. Twist my arm. And it turns out to be way more fun than way fun. People are yelling at me about how cool my bike is. It's not my bike, but the secret is safe. At my age, I'll take all the attention I can get.

Then, over this past weekend, Patty, Jacque and I went out of town for a family wedding and had an opportunity to rent some cruisers in our spare time one afternoon. We were diggin' it! Just one of those "in the moment" deals.

I've always thought cruisers were cool. Someone else's cruisers, though. Never could figure out what to do with one, myself. But all of a sudden, with a brilliant flash of LED light, I'm thinking about how cool it would be to take a cruiser and turn it into a dedicated run-dog-run-dog-bike. Something like this:

Is this legit, or have I finally lost it?

1 comment:

Jacque Hendrix said...

Great post Pat. Love "The Dog" comments. Dogs are the best and combined with some bicycling everyone's happy.