May your heart’s desire be close at hand this Valentine’s Day!
Between book designing, painting, World Cup, and the spring dressage scene here in California, I realize that Tinto has been missing from my blog scene for a while.
To his fans, Tinto sends his regards. And expects a cookie, please.
As you can see in his pictures, his coat is in the “sheep” phase. People keep commenting on how big he’s gotten: I just reply that underneath all that hair is the same skinny little dog. He’s wearing his collar on the last hole right now because his fur is so thick. And I know it’s time to clip him because when it’s warm he stops playing his version of Tinto-ball after a few minutes, and usually you have to pry him off the thing when playtime is over.
So welcome to Tinto’s day: first we chase the ducks off the studio roof. They come up from Lake San Marcos, hoping for something besides pond water. For about a week our pool cover was stuck in the open position, and the ducks thought that our pool was their personal spa…. Let’s just say I was glad that the water was too cold to swim in anyway. Then there is napping in the studio or office, depending on what’s on the work agenda for the day. Eventually lunch happens, and then there’s more sleeping to be done. When the mail comes, we go on “the cheese leash” to the mailbox: he will follow any command, including sticking to my ankle and paying no heed to birds, lizards or fascinating smells, when I say “heel”, as long as I have a piece of cheese in my hand.
Then there’s playtime with the Big Ball (see below) unless Axel and I play tennis, in which case Tinto is the “ball dog.” I kid you not, he retrieves every ball that hits the net or the fence, then deposits them in a pile under the chairs. No, we did not teach him this. The balls get a little moist, so we have to play with two cans at a time. The only problem is when he starts to go after balls that are still in play. He doesn’t understand the difference between a ball that’s about to flop into the net and one that just puffed over…. You know, the one that I’m racing full tilt for until the Projectile Terrier snatches it out of the path of my racquet. But those are rare. We have Tinto rules when he’s on the court, and you’re always allowed to call a Doggy Do Over.
One of these days we’ll play when someone else is around with a camera. Until then, you’ll just have to use your imagination!