Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lena does her part to save the planet

Yesterday was lawn mowing day in my neighborhood.  One of the many delightful perks of living in a townhouse is that chores such as yardwork, snow shoveling, shrub pruning and the like fall to the hands of the association.  Although I have complained about their slow reaction time in the face of major snowfall (and will likely complain about it again someday), they generally do a pretty good job.

Now, I have not been around the house much this summer, but I do believe that the normal day for grass cutting is Monday.  Due to the scary/rainy/dangerous weather we had this Monday, the work was postponed until yesterday.  OK.

Our copious amounts of rainfall paired with days full of straight on sunshine has made for some pretty lucious lawnage.  It grows pretty fast.  This means that by the end of the week, things start to look a bit jungle-like.  Again, OK.

When long grass is finally cut, one of the potential side-effects is that you may end up with large clumps of clipping scattered at random.  Some people use bag attachments to their mowers to avoid this, but the mowers used for huge mass cuttings such as, say, an entire neighborhood are a bit larger and more industrial.  No bags here.

Again, does this bother me?  Not in the least.  I probably wouldn't even notice it, except for the fact that I now have a dog.

It is nothing new to note that dogs sometimes like to eat grass.  I have been told that they usually do this when their tummies are upset, but I think sometimes they just think it's fun to munch on vegetation that is not chicken, liver or other meat flavored.

My dog, Lena, takes it to another level.  Now that she is becoming a free-range dog during the day when I am at work, I find it necessary (for my own peace of mind) to take her on a walk first thing in the morning.  This helps her in her bathroom duties and lets her expend a little energy as well.  Plus it gets me moving in the morning. 

When Lena walks, it is important not to ignore what she is doing.  She loves to sniff around, but occasionally she will pick something up in her mouth.  Normally, she will not eat everything she picks up, but if I stop to try and remove it from her mouth, she may try and eat it just to keep me from taking it away.  It is a tricky manuever. 

Some things she simply cannot eat.  Socks, underwear, rocks, feathers, frogs.  These are relinquished with relative ease.  It is much more difficult when it comes to dirt, leaves and grass. 

This morning, literally one minute into our walk Lena had already snatched up a large clump of damp grass clippings.  As she is also prone to dropping things as she finds other objects of interest, I decided to let her be for the moment.  Unfortunately, things did not go as expected.

Somehow in the course of the first half of our walk, Lena managed to pick up several more clumps of grass.  By the time we reached the halfway point, she resembled a baseball player carrying a wad of chewing tobacco in their lip.  A very sloppy baseball player who let their chew hang outside their mouth, that is.  When I finally stopped her to address the situation, she looked like she was wearing green wax lips. 

Fortunately, when the grass is so abundant that it protrudes from her mouth, removal is a bit easier.  This means that I do not have to mess with the jaws of death.  I simply grab on to the exposed clump, pull out as much as I can and toss it as far away as possible. 

I did this a couple of times on our walk this morning.  I believe that she did manage to eat a small amount based on the amount of smacking that she did after I threw away the last major clump.  By this point in the walk, she had already done her duties bathroom-wise, so I had no problem restricting her wanderings to stay on pavement. 

So far this week, my dog has been my major source of entertainment.  This may be due to the fact that I have no other live interactions at my house.  Or the fact that when we are home, all of Lena's outdoor activities end up being monitored while at my parents' house she is given free reign of the fenced backyard with relatively little micromanaging on my part.

Whatever the reason, I am sure that both of us will be more than ready to return to civilization for the weekend. 

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