By Gina Spadafori
October 18, 2010
See other animal-lovers and their animals, of course!
I got in to Lexington, Kentucky, late Thursday night, still amazed that I was on the same flight with Zenyatta’s trainer, John Shirreffs. Friday, I took it easy at Christopher and Glenye ( a/k/a the Hound Bloggers)’s home, and Saturday I headed north to Columbus, Ohio, to meet up with, as Heather Houlahan says, my imaginary friends — people I’ve come to know through Teh InterwebsÂ — including, of course, Houlie herself.
Houlie brought Mary Cvetan down with her from Pennsylvania, along with Pip and Cole, the English Shepherds who were going with Heather on a Search-and-Rescue training session immediately after. My long-time friend Amy Suggars lives near Columbus, so she joined in, too.
We met for lunch and then headed over to Thurber House, which, to judge from the pictures on the wall, is a necessary stop for almost everyone who has ever written anything about a dog. (Heather will fill in the details on the “almost everyone,” I trust, in her own entertaining style.
I then split to visit another friend in Columbus, sitting outside in the perfect fall weather with her husband and their dogs while watching the Ohio State pregame show. (Sadly for Columbus and the entire state of Ohio, the Buckeyes lost not only the game but also their No. 1 ranking.)
Then, it was off to Delaware, Ohio,Â for more visiting with Amy and with her dogs, especially Mayor McFizzy, who was placed because she read about him in this very blog. Fizzy has adjusted beautifully to the change in homes and has settled in to be a normal, sweet and happily ball-obsessed retriever. I also think he remembered me from when he was a puppy and I visited him at his breeder’s home in Texas — either that or he crawls into everyone’s lap for a picture!
Saturday morning I sped back to Lexington, where I hooked back up with Glenye and we rushed to the afternoon meet of the Iroquois Hunt. I’ll be guest-blogging about that on Full Cry later this week, but it was an incredible experience I’ll never forget, bounding over hill and dale in an ATV with Jerry Miller, one of the two Hunt Masters, who given up the opportunity to ride to give me the chance to follow the hunt closely. Everyone got home safe and tired, including the coyote but especially one of the puppies who got separated from the pack and was located by her tracking collar, frightened and thirsty. Little Bangle was named the hound of the meet, since she was the only one smart enough to hitch a ride home — in Glenye’s arms, no less.
Today, the obligatory trip to the Kentucky Horse Park, tomorrow a visit to the Iroquois Hunt kennels to meet the hounds in person and then another meet and maybe some riding (I brought my helmet, books, breeches and chaps.)
Friday will come too soon, in any case, or rather it would if I weren’t flying to Minnesota to spend the weekend with still more friends and their dogs, the latter including Parker and Dooley (a/k/a PKR and The Big D), both born in my bedroom, and their cousin Otter (also Fizz’s sister), who I raised to six months for her breeder.
What, don’t you plan your vacations around horses and dogs?
Top: On the steps of Thurber House with Heather, Amy, me and Mary, with Cole (in Heather’s arms) and Pip.
Above: Me with Fizz at Amy’s.
Below: After the hunt, Glenye Oakford, me and Huntsman Lilla Mason.