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Yesterday afternoon Second Child and I spent some time playing soccer in the yard with Crispin. He has two soccer balls, a fat round one that rolls nicely so he can chase it and bring it back, and a partially deflated one that’s easy for him to carry and that throws sort of like a lead weight. Both of these activities are known to him not as “fetch” or “playing ball,” but simply as “soccer.” We say, “Hey, Crispin–soccer!” and he runs for the ball.

Airedales are natural soccer players. Here, for instance, is Dinah on her first day in our home, working on her game strategy:

So the radio’s on in the kitchen this afternoon, tuned to NPR’s Fresh Air, on which host Teri Gross and her guest are discussing over-involved soccer parents. The dialog on the show is going mostly: “so, soccer blah blah blah soccer soccer blah di blah di blah soccer and then soccer . . .”  And doesn’t Crispin run to the mud room, fetch the better inflated of the two soccer balls, bring it back to the kitchen, and set it down in front of the radio.

Coincidence?  I think not!

Letterman, look out!

Apparently an oldie, but I just came across this story today.  It’s by Alan Guthrie, and comes from the Telegraph in the UK.

It seems that the famous  ethnographer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl had participated in a television broadcast, and was waiting for a cab that had been called to take him home afterward.

Before too long a cab pulled up and the driver came inside, looked around, and sat down on a bench.

Heyerdahl approached the driver and said that he was the one for whom the cab had been ordered.

“Nope,” said the driver. “I was sent to pick up four airedales.”

Hysterical.  Why can’t my dogs do this?

Things have been pretty quiet around here, dogwise–knock wood (please join with us in doing so).  The fridge has resisted the prying paws and nudging noses of marauding airedales for several weeks.  The warming weather has enticed them into spending much of their waking time romping happily in their big back yard. They’ve even been sleeping late on weekends and during Second Child’s spring vacation, meaning that we’ve all been able to enjoy a little extra sleep.

This past week, though, they both suffered briefly from . . . some internal disturbances. Without going into detail, let me just say that when you have two or more dogs operating within the same back yard, sometimes it’s difficult to tell which one is leaving evidence of being a little off in the digestive department.

Enter the humble crayon.

Not sure which of your dogs is leaving unpleasant gifts in the back yard? Try this:  peel some crayons, one bright color for each dog you own, and use one of those little square pencil sharpeners (or the built-in one found in larger sets of crayons) to grate just a bit of colored wax over each dog’s plate of food.  Just a little bit–good quality children’s crayons are non-toxic, but you don’t need to overdo it.  The next time they do what dogs must do, you’ll be able to tell which one has the collywobbles.

Aren’t crayons wonderful?