Petra’s Peregrinations

Petra is my live wire. Rarely tired, Petra could be on the go all day long and still look for more to do. As I type, she’s dribbling a tennis ball by bouncing it on the floor, catching it, bouncing it again, and so on. Sometimes she lies flat on her side, looking calm, but rolling a tennis ball in circles with a front paw, all the time staring at it, until apparently it suddenly needs to be grabbed, at which point she leaps to her feet and takes the ball captive.

All three of my dogs are enthusiastic about their meal times, and I love the different ways they express their eagerness for me to finish dishing out their kibble, each in a way that reflects their own personality. Rowan sits close to my right side, his nose under my elbow, as I reach into the bin to scoop up the food. His front paws dance slightly up and down and he trembles with contained energy, but he doesn’t otherwise move or make a sound. Milo dances with his whole body, leaping into the air, flipping his head and ears, and baying with uncontained excitement.

Petra peregrinates. As soon as I reach into the bin, while Rowan quivers and Milo bays, Petra trots off in the opposite direction, heading down the hall, through the living room, through the kitchen and back to me. She pauses, surveys the situation, then sets off on her circling again. In the past few weeks I’ve been saying, “Petra peregrinate!” as she starts off, and now she is starting to peregrinate on cue if I tell her to at other times during the day. There’s no good reason for the command “Peregrinate,” except that it is fun for Petra and makes me laugh. It fascinates me to see how, like Milo, Petra turns her excitement into motion, but unlike Milo, her enthusiasm is expressed in a calm and contained manner.

Petra has finished her dribbling and has moved on to practice her back spin, something she has begun working on recently. She places a front paw firmly on the ball, grabs at it with her nails, then pulls her paw back and down hard and fast, causing the ball to shoot out from under her paw, but with a strong back spin so it quickly moves back toward her, at which point she pounces on it and repeats the game.

Petra is a fun, fun dog to have around, always thinking, always ready and eager to work with me, always willing to do some problem-solving.

4 Replies to “Petra’s Peregrinations”

  1. Wow, you have been so busy since last I caught up with your blog Melissa… I've been a little busy this week and have been a little exhausted from Hazel's workshops…. they run until Thursday. You write so beautifully too and enjoy catching up with your daily musings.

    Hope your mom had a wonderful day… looks like you had fun with Jennifer too. Wish you were closer so I could drop off my two elderly pooches for a crash course on 'how to be a good obedient young pup again'!!!! But I blame myself for being a bit complacent when they were younger… training two together just seemed so daunting! And thought I could do it myself!

    Love your painting of Petra. She has magnificent eyes……
    Bituminous is also a fav of mine!

  2. Hi Melissa, I just found your blog and I really love your paintings, especially the dog ones (I'm a dog lover too). They are so alive, beautiful! I paint watercolors too, but mostly people. I look forward to following you here!

  3. Thank you, Terri!

    Thank you, Debbie. My mother did enjoy her day and Jennifer and I always have fun painting together. Would be fun if we lived close enough for me to work with your dogs and us to paint together.

    Hi, Crystal! Thank you! I look forward to seeing your paintings. I find people harder to paint.