Rocky and Ripley are half of the venerable Carmen Crew (that is, they live on Carmen Avenue in Andersonville) and they are undoubtedly the leaders of the pack. What they lack in size, they make up for in personality. For reference, the other two dogs in the Crew are Hutson, an ornery ol' cocker spaniel [or at least part cocker spaniel] that will be written about soon enough and Cooper the pomeranian, who has already rocketed to stardom after being covered on the blog).
Ripley has supersonic hearing, or perhaps some kind of telepathy, because I swear he can hear me coming from down the block. Even though they live up on the third floor, the SECOND my keys jangle in the front door, I can hear him start to bark. I'm not sure how he hasn't figured out that it's almost NEVER an armed home invader and ALWAYS me coming up to give him some head scratches and then take 'em on a delightful flight of fancy in the outside world. Especially since I come at the same time every single weekday. His consistency is admirable. Once he confirms that is indeed me and that I still don't mean him or his dojo any harm, he's quite demure and it's not problem leashing him up and departing.
Rocky doesn't bark or yip or squeal or anything. In fact, he's lucky that Ripley is there, because if I were some kind of cat burglar (ha ha ha ha) intent on stealing the family jewels I'm not sure he would raise any kind of ruckus. He's always snoozing in the other room when I arrive and then reluctantly pops up and ambles over to get leashed up.
Perhaps the most representative anecdote of Rocky's temperament is his reaction to his snow boots and jacket. As I'm sure you all know, in the colder, snowier, rock saltier months, some dogs need lil booties and jackets in order to survive treks out into the tundra. Rocky never puts up a fight while putting these things on, but the second the booties get on, he tumbles to the ground like he was hit by a tranquilizer dart. He will get up eventually, but it takes quite a bit of encouragement. Totally worth it though, because you get pictures like this one.
If it is a particularly wet or puddly day outside, I will towel them off upon returning to the apartment. Both puppers LOVE this tan rain towel, and will shoulder roll and rub their heads onto it with great vigor. In order to amuse myself, I will sometimes toss the towel from great height down onto them. This creates what I like to think of as a living, breathing, towel creature with a mind of its own. After chuckling to myself for a couple seconds, I get down there and fluff the doggos dry.
In terms of walkers, R and R—as I have taken to calling them to save time—are an energetic, frenetic, kinetic experience. Without fail, they always manage to pull in completely opposite directions, which always makes me feel a bit like legendary strongman of antiquity Louis Cyr. Except that R and R probably weigh a couple pounds less than two fully grown horses.
They're very curious pups as well, stopping to sniff and nasally examine every street sign, tree stump, and fence post in the greater metropolitan area. They are dedicated smellvestigators as well, and typically won't budge from a particularly interesting street corner until I give them a lil tug on the leash. They also harbor a slight mistrust of most other dogs, and while they're not aggressive and don't bite or even nip really, they will bark and get a bit rowdy. I can't blame them—the Carmen Crew has quite a rep to maintain and you gotta protect your home turf.
In closing, it's great fun to walk these two little firecrackers and perhaps even greater fun to take pictures of them. I literally have dozens of photos of these dogs. R+R4L y'all.