Last night was Halloween. We asked JJ if he wanted to go trick or treating, and explained it to him earier in the month. He said he wanted to go, but then when we told him he had to dress up as something, he wasn't too keen on the idea. Later he was at a store and came into contact with a battery-operated witch, which completely freaked him out, and then a short time later a talking ghost, and he lost it again. We decided after that we weren't taking him trick or treating just to have him freaked out the entire time. So a big church in new Tampa had a festival thing with bounce houses and candy, we went ahead and took him there. James and I were bored out of our brains, it was pretty lame on the adult end of things, just standing there watching him jump around with the other kids for an hour and a half, and having to put up with all the other crazed kids on a sugar high, but we were glad he at least had fun. We were pretty proud of him for some of the things he tackled, climbing his way through some obstacle courses and sliding down some pretty huge slides.
I decided right then and there that if Halloween is the devil's holiday, it is for the reason that we supposedly celebrate young kids who are allowed to go crazy with sugar and sleep deprivation on a weeknight.
Right as soon as we left the church and pulled out onto the road, it being already after dark, we saw this dog wandering through the cars ahead of us, on the road. James, driving, already knew the drill: when there's a loose/stray dog he has to pull over for me to jump out to try and save it. The big dog came over to me when I squatted on the road and called to him, and he had a piece of broken leash attached to his collar with, thankfully, a tag with a phone number on it. We called the number, got no answer, so we waited a few minutes to see if anybody was going to come running down the road holding the other end of the broken leash or something, but no. We put him in the back of the Mountaineer to start driving home, but shortly after he jumped into the back seat with JJ. He rested his big head on the console between James and I and just sat there politely the whole ride home.
We tried calling like a dozen more times, leaving voicemails, but for the night we stuck him out in the utility room in the barn with Tipper, who was not happy having to babysit for the night. I would have let him stay inside but he stunk pretty bad and I had just spent 5 hours cleaning the whole house and didn't feel like giving this huge dog a bath at 9:30 at night.
This morning he was pretty happy to see me and Tipper was pissed, haha, but I didn't get a hold of anyone until early afternoon, having googled the guy's name and finding out where he worked. Turns out he was the owner of an International shipyard and he had left this morning for a flight, his secretary was so happy to be able to tell him that his dog, Rascal, had been found.
Meanwhile, this lovely dog stayed with us for the afternoon and boy he was a nice guy. We accidentally discovered he loved to play fetch when JJ had kicked a ball, so then he and JJ played ball literally all afternoon. The dog would barely take a break for water, he went after that ball for hours and JJ freaking loved it. JJ has no clue dogs can actually be fun because Tipper is too much of a prima donna and thinks playing fetch is stupid. I loved seeing JJ running around with this big dog following his every move, totally engaged in playing with him.
The people, friends of the owner, showed up tonight to get him and gave us a $200 reward, which we tried to wave off until they practically shoved it into James' hand. JJ was sad to see him go, and we learned that Rascal was a very rare breed to come by, a Drahthaar, (pronounced droth-hauer) a German imported breed from the pointer family. He was really cool. I told the owner's secretary to tell him when he got back that if the dog ever produced puppies, I wanted one!
I only had time to ride Drama today for myself and the rest of the day was filled with other lessons and whatnot. Drama's work was more stretching the topline at all three gaits and then trying to extend the trot slightly while staying reliably on the bit. He's a bit of a wiggle worm; you'll learn more about him later.
Then I ran tonight, 6-something miles on the treadmill. I had rearranged my music on my iPod because I was getting bored of the current workout mix. I added some new songs and brought some old music back to the top. While I was running, which I felt pretty unmotivated when I got started, I realized that the switch-up with the music really helped to engage my senses, and I finished really wanting to run longer because I felt energized. I think perhaps there is a lesson to be learned there in horse training as well, doing the same thing too much really doesn't foster an engaging atmosphere; we should make more of an effort to mix it up a bit, help revitalize the senses.