Monday, May 07, 2007

Cobalt: Photon Again!

We were having a lazy day on Saturday, just playing World of Warcraft with some friends, when we all decided we'd reached a good breakpoint for dinner. I suggested we take the pup out to Riverdale Park and let her off-lease in the valley, just to romp a bit.

We hadn't been out to a park with Cobalt since the previous weekend's visit to Cherry Beach because our dog-walker had had to run off to Denver on short notice (family emergency). We ended up expanding Cobalt's doggy day-care at Urban Dog from two days a week to five -- which she really enjoyed, but she was coming home pretty exhausted! Still, even though she was getting plenty of exercise, we wanted her to have a chance to do more than just putter around the house and back yard with us.

When you drive up to Riverdale Park, you see a pretty standard residential park in Cabbagetown: a square grassy area with paths and trees and a wading pool. What makes Riverdale Park unusual is, first, Riverdale Farm, and, second, the steep hill down from the south-east corner into the Don Valley, where there's a much larger, untreed park that doubles as sports fields and an off-lease dog park.

Our first stop was at the edge of Riverdale Farm to introduce Cobalt to the clydesdales. She didn't quite know what to make of those -- she found them quite alarming, and barked up a storm. We didn't stay long.

About halfway down the hill I decided to let Cobalt loose -- we were far enough from the streets that I didn't think she'd run after them, and besides, all the other dogs were down at the bottom of the hill. She took off like a shot, zooming all over with great enthusiasm.

When we got to the bottom, we stopped by the other groups of dogs to say hello. One fellow there took a look at Cobalt, turned, and yelled "Photon! Come!"

Just by chance, it turned out we were visiting the park at the same time as Photon, Cobalt's sister! We'd met her briefly at Urban Dog, but Cobalt was quite tired at that point and they just sniffed each other a bit. This time was very different! They chased and wrestled each other almost non-stop for the next forty minutes.

We got a chance to chat with Photon's owner, Peter Cook, as well. We'd met his wife Laura when we encountered Photon at Urban Dog. It turns out that they had considered adopting Cobalt shortly before we did, but decided on her sister instead. Their son, Jon, has periventricular leukomalacia, and they had to be very particular about the personality of the pup they adopted.

Unfortunately, in spite of having bought a new Canon G7 camera for such trips (our regular camera, a Canon 20D, is a great camera, but since it's an SLR it's rather bulky), we'd forgotten to bring it this time! So no photos of Cobalt & Photon. However, you can see pictures of Photon at Peter & Laura's blog, Chez PLJ.

The wild romp came to an end when I noticed blood on Cobalt's fur. Nothing serious, though! Photon's still losing her baby teeth, and in all the excitement, Cobalt managed to knock out her left-front canine. When Photon nipped at Cobalt, she got a little blood on her.

Vicious Fighter
Blood-stained wrestler

Vicious Fighter
Blood-stained wrestler

It turns out that they live over the river and through the woods -- to the east of Riverdale Park, about 2km from us, and they're in the park regularly, so we'll be getting Cobalt & Photon together regularly from now on.

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