Guess that actually depends on your definition of "normal", but it's a bit more normal than it was when we had Pauli and Amery bunking in, and a lot more peaceful than it will be in a couple of weeks when we share the house with puppies!
Pauli went home on Friday, when I met Wendy & Kathleen for lunch so we could discuss our plans for her (and of course DCA week and Pauli's wonderful win). It was a good thing that DCA was not held a few days later, since Pauli actually started looking pregnant by the next day! Pups due in 4 weeks, so Pauli will be back here about a week before her expected due date. In the meantime, Wendy & Kathleen will feed and exercise her properly - and I'm sure we'll see lots of them after the babies arrive!
Amery flew back to Virginia on Sunday. She came home with me after DCA, got her health certificate for shipping on Friday, and flew off on United airlines yesterday. Our friend Kandee was on the same flight, so she collected Amery and Laurie will pick her up this morning. Only one minor glitch, when Amery was not available with the luggage as we were told she would be, and Kandee had to find United Cargo at the Dulles airport. I really don't care for shipping dogs and am always so glad when it is over.
On Saturday I added some new pets! Ah, just what I needed, but these are actually pretty easy to care for. Argus went along with me to pick up veggies at Mississippi Market, and I took him for an off leash run in the open area behind the market. I've been there before, but never realized there was a pond on the far side, and it brought back so many childhood memories of dabbling in ponds. Argus was most annoyed that I wouldn't let him swim in the pond, but I was delighted to find that it was full of tadpoles. Watching tadpoles turn into frogs or toads is such fun, so I went back later in the day armed with nets and a large jug, and caught myself some new pets. Fun!
Always hard to plan "events" for my mother, but my sister hit it out of the park yesterday when she suggested a picnic on my deck. Kris picked mom up and took her home (because I had to work around getting Amery to the airport) and supplied the most fabulous locally-made brats. They even passed the "eat it cold" test. I can't ever recall having such nice weather for Mother's Day, absolutely perfect.
After getting Amery checked in at the airport, I took Argus to Hidden Falls Park for a run. Oops. About 9 million people there, and they were practically shoulder to shoulder along the rocky beach. Argus had to stay on leash, but got to wade around in the boat launch area. Later we found a bit of rocky secluded beach where he could be off leash for a few minutes. Guess we'll stick to early morning visits to Hidden Falls, but glad to see so many families enjoying the day.
I was very proud of Argus as we walked through the picnic area. As we passed a large family group, Argus was tackled by a boy of about 3 - he literally tried to jump on Argus's back and grab him around the neck. Argus yelped but did nothing more than that - a situation where a dog could have turned and snapped. The kid's family all laughed and did not take me seriously when I explained that this is the kind of situation where kids get bit and dogs get blamed for reacting like dogs. Good dog Argus! Two weeks ago a jogger ran into him when coming up behind us. Again Argus startled but reacted properly. A dog's life is not always easy!