Saturday, June 28, 2008


Low: 58° F
High: 82° F
Conditions: Humid with a chance of thunderstorms.
Growing up, I had a “best friend” named Cathy. I put this term in scare quotes deliberately: while our moms were convinced that Cathy and I were destined to be lifelong confidants, the two of us were often less certain of our BFF status. Sometimes, we got along famously. Other times, we pulled each other’s hair and chased one another around the house with kitchen implements (I still maintain this is because Cathy would never share her toys with me. I suspect she would disagree).

Cathy was very pretty and very, very proper (except for when she was chasing me around the living room with a potato masher). She always wore her hair in pigtails with pink ribbons and she knew about lip-gloss years before I had anything other than a milk mustache for adornment. I, on the other hand, wore tube socks with sandals and preferred pillow-time snarls to anything more coifed. Cathy played Barbie and went to gymnastics classes; I built go-carts and was the worst soccer player on an otherwise all-boy team. These may be just a few reasons why our friendship was a little hot and cold.

Meet Ari’s Cathy:This is Sylvie, the gorgeous rescued pharaoh hound. Sylvie’s human housemates are good friends of ours, so the two get to spend a fair amount of time together. Sometimes, they are thick as thieves. Other times, they’d just as soon bite off one another’s snout than share a rawhide.

Still, like doting parents, Sylvie’s human Julie and I believe in the prospect of their friendship.

That’s why we took the two dogs to Moose Point State Park this morning for a grand day out. Moose Point is a lovely bit of land settled by Scotch-Irish immigrants during the late 18th century. It was claimed by the British during the War of 1812. Once the colonists got it back, nobody was all that keen on living where Red Coats had just been, so the land returned to forest and, eventually, a state park.It’s a lovely patch of land on the edge of a bio-rich estuary, where eagles and osprey regularly come to feed. It’s also a favorite place of both Ari and Sylvie’s, so Julie and I were certain it was the perfect place for an outing.That, of course, assumed that we could get the dogs out. We had planned to take Julie’s larger SUV so that the dogs would have more personal space. But Ari wasn’t about to get in any vehicle claimed by Sylvie. We tried putting Sylvie in the very back and Ari in the very front, but the caninaturalist wasn’t about to have any of it. After a good 10 minutes of trying, we gave up and opted for my diminutive Honda. Ari was okay with this, provided she got to sit on the top of the hatchback, where she could lord over Sylvie. Miraculously, Sylvie was fine with her bossy friend’s demands.

Once we arrived at the park, there was a minor altercation when a ranger offered the two dogs two biscuits (both pups agreed this was absolutely the wrong ratio of canine to treat) and when I tried to offer Sylvie some of Ari's water (which the caninaturalist believes is a highly limited resource, all drinking fountains to the contrary). It's a good thing neither one of them had access to rolling pins of the opposable thumbs needed to use one as a weapon.

Even better, both dogs were willing to call a truce long enough to enjoy a good nature walk and to remember that they really do enjoy one another's company.

This white spruce (Picea glauca) is over 70 feet hight and 100 years old. As such, it is one of the biggest and oldest in the state of Maine. It's also the highlight of any hike for most humans at the park.

The caninaturalists gave it a dutiful glance or two, but neither experienced the reverence shared by their human companions.
Like any good adolescents, they were far more interested in what their peers had been up to around the trail. Would we have liked a little more transcendent awe from both of them? Maybe. But if good gossip prevents a blood letting, we're willing to make a few concessions now and again.


Anonymous said...

Milk moustache! I snorted my milk (and coffee) out my nose at that. Very funny tales of you and your best friend. And I LOVE Moose Point, though I haven't been since my Unity days....

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari.
It is fantastic light of Moose Point State Park.
The stroll with a wonderful park is happy.
The owner of a beautiful place stands upon one's rights.
However, I think that a correct thing is a shared property of the
Please spend a wonderful weekend in the park. :)

from loved ume tyan

Amici said...

That is a lovely park. We used to go there when we were in the Midcoast area (that is where Alan and I grew up).

BFF are so special, even with the ups and downs. :)

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

Poor Booker doesn't have a BFF ... but is a rather aloof that way. He'll pay attention for a second and then ditch his buddy for something that catches his nose and his imagination. Not BFF material! The park is wonderful, we miss northern greenery and hills. All these palms and sand DO actually get a little monotonous!

Blue said...

Giggling here @ this post - friends; doesn't matter whether canine or human, they seem to cause us angst.
The park looks an interesting spot.

Best wishes, pats & pets

The Army of Four said...

Our mom had a friend like that when she was a biped puppy, too. Our mom was more like yours. :)
Sylvie looks very beautiful! And that forest looks like it would have all KINDS of wonderful smells!
We got to meet Eva and Brice yesterday! All of us got along really well! Stop by the blog - we're going to salute them all weekend! Eva is sooooooooo sweet and Brice. Sigh. Brice is SOOOO HANDSOME!

Mary said...

I bet they really enjoyed the walk

Rhea said...

hahaha loved meeting Ari's "friend"

Tracey and Huffle said...

That's hilarious! Girls can be so mean to each other. I'm glad they made friends long enough to go one the walk. You live in such a nice part of the world! I'm gonna steal mum's credit card and buy a ticket to come and visit.

Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

Lorenza said...

Nice to meet Sylvie, Ari's "BFF"!
That thing of the friendships always have its ups and downs!
That place looks pawesome!
Kisses and hugs

Gary,Charity,Katie&Louis said...

Ari and Sylvie are so cute together. Maybe in time they will get along better.

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

Awww, that's cute that you have a friend. I'd like to make friends at the dog park, but Kat beats me up if I try to play with other dogs. She's very jealous. Be glad you don't have a sister!


Kess & Her Mama said...

Aahh..Relationships of the two-legged or the four-pawed variety is never straight-forward. That's what makes life interesting. Glad you were able to work out the lil' kinks (like which car to use!)

angelfantabulous said...

Moose Point looks and sounds like a wonderful place. A nature walk with friends and dogs...what a lovely day!

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Furry nice post -

My mom had a BFF like that - and my mom was more like your mom too -
Nice woo have a yes/no BFF -

I've got two - Sitka is my Sibe BFF and PHBbbbbbb is my MalGal -

Once again, you managed to take some pretty good pikhs with your mom's khamera!


Kapp pack said...

Mom and dad have always wanted to go to that park! DId you see any moose?

WOo woo, KA

JB's Big World said...

CAthy looks like a wonderful friend. Moose point looks like a great park with lots of nature to look at too. Did you see any, uh, moose?

Gus and Louie said...

She is so pretty. It looks like you all had a wonderful walk in the park.
Hey I forgot to tell that the bird was a green heron. I posted the picture on that site you had mentioned. I guess it isn't very rare since I just got kind of a matter of fact reply...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Kathiesbirds said...

Pretty funny Kathryn! Nice analogy btween the two friendships. I will be coming your way this weekend with a stop in CT first before moving on up to Maine on the 11th. The Monsoon has started here and we are getting thunderstorms and other things.

powder-puff said...

Hey Ari!!

Looks like you had a great walk in the park! And its always nice to meet a "bff" of yours!

lots of love

The Daily Echo said...

Woo! Sylvie's a real looker Ari. Just make sure you keep her out of Mom's kitchen and away from the kitchen utensils.