Like the last two posts I’ve put out there for your reading pleasure, this blog continues discussing one of the things I didn’t get to tell you about my first year. Similar to the last iteration, this one deals with a topic that gives much credit to James. (Score: A treat at the beginning! Keep those delicious delights coming.) It wasn’t included before because he didn’t write a poem about it. (No, I will not give back that treat.)
I’m talking (and James is typing because my paws are too large for the keyboard) about what is called a telescoping pet ramp. That’s right. It’s like a slide but isn’t slippery because the part I walk on is kind of sandpaper. It can get longer or shorter depending upon the height I have to go up and down, ergo, the use of a variation of the word telescope. It’s how I get in the rear of the car ever since I was around six months old. At that point, I was too big to sit in the front seat beside James.
It was initially used for my getting both in and out of the car. I would wait for James or Ron to put it in place so I could walk up or down it. These days I don’t use it to get out of the car – I jump out.
Occasionally I’ll not want to get out of the car, so James will put it in place and plead for me to get out. Still, I don’t leave since I love being in the car.
Now you might be wondering how it came about that I use this ramp. You could have even tried it with your dog, or maybe not. Either way, knowing might be something that will help you in the future with your canine.
Within the first week of my arrival at Skygate Farm, James put the ramp flat on the garage floor. He led me over to it while I was on a leash. Now, if you’ve read about my first year, you know that I was suspicious of new and strange things. Well, when I’d been in the garage before, this rectangular item had not been on the floor. I had no idea if it was going to jump up and nab me, or what.
It was interesting that all James did was have me walk beside it – well, I put him between me and it. The next day, the ramp was back. This time I was curious, so I tentatively went over and sniffed it. It smelled of metal and dirt. Now, I liked dirt at that time, so it was a welcoming odor. The next day, or maybe a few days later, James got me to put a paw on it. Since it didn’t attack me, I put two paws on it before backing away. Slowly, but surely, I began walking on it and jumping off every time James would raise it a little bit higher on one side. As such, by the time I was six months old and made to ride in the rear of the car, I would climb up and down it when asked.
Oh, yeah, something I left out in my explanation. Delicious treats were involved in getting me to even sniff the ramp, much less get on it and begin to jump off. Speaking of treats, here’s one of James’ poems for your reading pleasure:
The stature and steepness of Vermont’s
hills and heaps are succulently savored by my
dogs, Trek and Pip, and me. Having once heaved
to heights of over a mile, these mature mounts have
weathered into desirable destinations to play and stay.
When autumn cleans to its conclusion our world runs
russet and gray. Once the climate curls cold we
are twirled with creamy, white, feathery
powder. The first buds pop, reflecting
muted, autumnal colors. As quickly they
explode into exciting shades of emerald and
jade. Completing the cycle the warm tints of fall
evolve on these knolls. Like my chin, the mountains
enfold us within their earnest embrace.
As the years have receded, like the height I once
reached, the implements of recreation have worn
away, or been put aside for more leisurely
strolls. The trails we tramp are like aged
wrinkles, providing each prominence
with its own, precious personality.
While we miss our friends and family far
afield, we have grown to honor these historic
hillocks we call home. There is a comfort known
only to those, like Trek, Pip and myself, who can sit
silently for hours in one another’s company, knowing
without the exchange of words or whimpers that we are
content, life is good, we’re happy to share what little
time we have with each other – and with these
Such are the pleasures of Vermont’s Green Mountains.
You might ask why they use a ramp for me. Well, I’ll tell you. The back of his car is a good three feet off the ground, and I’m a big boy at over eighty pounds. As such, lifting me is not such a good idea since it could possibly hurt their back. Besides, their previous Old English Sheepdog, Pip, hurt his knee ligament when he jumped into the back of James’ car. A few days later, while running, the tendon snapped, and Pip had to have surgery. I hear such an operation and the recovery period are less than pleasant, unlike the Green Mountains of Vermont like in James’ poem.
We certainly don’t want anything like that to happen to me. I’m willing to bet you don’t want anything like that happening to your best friend. So take my advice, follow James’ lead – like I do (most of the time) – and get a ramp for your buddy, expose it to him/her at the get-go, and have a fun time tooling down the highway together.
Speaking of fun times, the pleasures of the Green Mountains has caused me to build up an appetite. Food, glorious food: Come back in two weeks and hear all about my food habits, including, drum roll please, TREATS. I hope to hear from you.
Until then, please scroll down and leave me a comment, letting me know what you think of my blog and James’ poems. I always like to hear from you, so please jot me a quick note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)