August 07, 2014

A morning with Oliver

I had absolutely nothing to write about yesterday. I feel like I'm always just saying the same things over and over again, so I decided not to try and come up with something just for the sake of writing.

Today, Jerry was off work, and we decided to go for a walk this morning. Jerry had gone for a run through the woods on the access road that I've written about before, and he told me that it had gotten really overgrown again. He said the path was very narrow, which I just couldn't believe. Last time I walked out there, in the spring, it was really wide. So I wanted to go check it out.

We obviously didn't leave the kids at home, so all four of us headed out on the trail. Jerry was right--it was very overgrown with weeds, which was a bummer. 

We headed down by the water and saw a TON of snails, though--from teeny tiny ones to really big ones. I've never seen so many snails in my life. It was interesting to watch them.

We kept going on the trail, and I told the kids that the trail would end near Oliver's house. Oliver is a Brittany Spaniel that we got in 2007, when we were stupid enough to think we could manage two toddlers, two cats, AND a dog. We had him for three years, and he was the most hyper dog you could ever imagine. He used to jump all over the place when someone would come over, peeing as he jumped. Hahaha, I think I was the only one who really liked him. 

Here he is modeling a scarf I crocheted

Anyway, we found a great home for him with a man who reminds me of Cesar Milan, in that he's AMAZING with dogs. He told me he'd love to train Oliver, and he lives about a mile from us, so we could visit anytime. Oliver was really happy there, and trained pretty well within a month of living there, so we knew it was best for him to stay. 

I've seen him a couple of times over the past few years, but the kids hadn't seen him since he left; so I was surprised today when they said they really wanted to go see him. I didn't want to just show up unannounced, but I figured we could walk by and see if Ollie was outside. And sure enough, he was! Along with his "brothers", an enormous Great Dane and a Siberian Husky. Oliver got really excited when he saw us, and ran over to us. His owner was outside, so we chatted with him for about half an hour. 

When we were ready to leave, he said that he was just about to take Ollie out for a run on the path we'd just walked, so he came with us, along with the Great Dane. I couldn't believe how well Oliver listened to his commands. He was off-leash, and he stayed right at the left side of his owner until he got the "okay" to run. He took off through the weeds and marsh, chasing after the Great Dane (and vice versa). Every time his owner whistled (one short whistle), Ollie would be back at his side in three seconds flat. I was completely amazed. 

It was so fun to watch the dogs running through the super tall weeds and grass in the marsh, because you couldn't actually see the dogs--just the weeds moving around. It reminded me and Jerry of Jurassic Park, when you can see the trees rustle when a T-Rex is moving. Then suddenly, one of the dogs would pop out into the path. 

I love this pic of the Great Dane jumping out of the weeds and grass

We stopped at the water for about half an hour and chatted while the dogs played and got completely soaked and muddy. It was nice to see Oliver have so much fun!

I loved hearing about how he managed to train Oliver. Sometimes I really wish we had a dog, because I'd love to take a dog with me for a run (or just long walks), but right now, we have too many cats to think about ;) Oliver's owner said if we ever do get another dog, he'd be happy to help us train it. 

When I got home, I spent quite a bit of the afternoon folding origami out of dollar bills. I took out $300 in ones from the bank to take to Punta Cana for tips, and I thought it would be fun to fold them in different shapes. I know how to make a few of them by heart, and they're pretty simple (like a frog, elephant, ring, and bow tie). But when I started looking up other instructions for more complicated things online, my head was starting to spin. Most of the instructions weren't very explanatory! 

Elephant and frog

A collared t-shirt

I think this is supposed to be a bull...?
I'll probably just stick to the ones I know well and fold a bunch of those!

When I was a kid, and my family would go out to a restaurant for dinner, I remember my dad always used to fold the tip into a bow tie. The servers got a big kick out of it, and I always thought it was a fun idea. Before everybody started using credit and debit cards, and I actually paid with cash, I used to continue the tradition, and fold a bow tie tip at restaurants. At my parents' house recently, I found a book of dollar bill origami that I'd bought as a kid, and had the idea to fold different shaped tips for Punta Cana. 

We leave in two and a half weeks!


  1. I've never thought of origami money. At Disney the housekeeping staff (known as mousekeeping!) will sometimes leave towels folded into fun animal shapes. Sometimes they even stick little eyeball stickers on them to complete the effect. I'm totally going to look up instructions on how to do origami money to leave for their tips (we go again next month!). So cute! Thanks for the fun idea. :)

  2. If you're staying at an all inclusive, you actually don't have to worry about tipping. It's not expected. And I think some places the staff isn't allowed to take it!

  3. Oooh, a vacation sounds lovely just now! I'm also guilty of getting a puppy at a very inopportune time (kids were then 3 and 1). She was my first dog and I didn't realize quite what we were getting into! 2 years later though she's mellowed quite a bit and my kiddos love her. She's also my running partner. I'm just starting out and it really helps keep me on track because skipping a run would mean she misses out on her exercise too. For some reason I'm perfectly willing to neglect my own exercise, but not a helpless animal's.

  4. Aw the dog and the scarf is so cute! And that is such a great picture of the great dane jumping - looks like a professional shot!

  5. I should have Oliver's new owner come and train my Bulldog Juno. She is out of control. When I walk alone, I don't even take her along, she is just too hard for me to control. When my 28-year old son walks with me, Juno gets to go, my son takes the leash, and she does love it. I feel guilty when I don't take her, but she is actually stronger than I am. The legs on that Great Dane are SO LONG! What a big dog. Ollie is adorable, glad the kids got to see him again.

  6. I love the Great Dane jumping picture! I also love the fancy dollar bills. :)

    I'm very impressed that this man trained the dog so well--I know a few dog owners who could benefit from his services, lol!!


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