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Adventures of Chip de ‘Ville (Scenes of Summertime)

chipwaddle1

Hi all. Chip here.

It’s the dog days of summer, so what better time to get back to the blog?

Prue* and I have been pretty busy, beginning with my first dental cleaning; rotating our presence around a few of Metro Louisville’s excellent parks; making two trips to the country to visit family; and finally an excellent production of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park by Kentucky Shakespeare.

I don’t remember a lot about the dental cleaning, but boy did I have a great dream! I was in a field of the softest Kentucky bluegrass ever. Half was in the sun and the other half was in shade so all I had to do was just roll over to warm or cool myself, accordingly. There was a never-ending row of posts to water, and I could have all the grilled meats and gooey cheese I wanted.

I awoke sans one tooth and with breath that, according to Prue, smells like nothing, which she says is a monumental improvement. Prue and I give major props to our vets at Johnson Animal Clinic for taking great care of me. All the vets are great but my personal favorite is Dr. Brian who refers to me as “Big Pup,” despite my diminutive stature. (The fact that I share this term of endearment with other canine clients in no way diminishes my affection for the dude.)

Prue’s “country cousins” do not currently own pets but they seem to like me OK, and they love grilled meats so I’d love to visit more often. Sometimes I get to go off leash, but I got into trouble once when I chased a geriatric beagle from the yard, across the street and into someone else’s yard. What can I say? The dog had a shifty look. Prue was concerned that, with the hound’s advanced age, I might have given him/her a coronary.

She prefers that I remain polite but aloof regarding strange canines, mostly because nearly every dog we meet weighs approximately twice as much as I do. I, on the other hand, reserve my fear and trepidation for the Blue Viper.

blueviper

Sinister, isn’t it?

Why Prue brought this menace into our lives is beyond me. It’s a cunning reptile, posing most of the time as a retractable leash, but let the demon jump from Prue’s hand as we are walking and it transforms into a relentless pursuer intent upon injecting its venom into my ankles or backside. I have to admit, the thing terrifies me. Twice it has attempted to overtake me as I fled from its demon fangs. Prue has been forced to give me daily sedatives, cleverly disguised as Milk Bones, to keep me from fraying at the edges.

Such is the life of a dog.

If my prose seems a bit more dramatic than usual, blame the Bard. Kentucky Shakespeare welcomes pets to its performances in the parks, so our friend, “Auntie Brenda,” invited us to accompany her a few weeks ago to see Romeo & Juliet. It was a wonderful and unique performance. During the first act the cast wore traditional period costume. At the beginning of the second act, actors wore sort of a combination of period and contemporary dress. By the end of the play, everyone had transitioned to contemporary wardrobe.

In addition to being dog friendly, performances are free! Readers with well behaved doggies should take the opportunity to add some culture to their canine’s lives. Romeo & Juliet ends soon but the summer season extends to Aug. 12. (As a plus, Central Park has some enormous trees to sprinkle during intermission!)

Later, Chip

*Person Responsible for Ultimately Everything

 

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Adventures of Chip de ‘Ville (Seneca Park)

chippose

Hi all. Chip here.

This past Saturday was a sight to behold. Sunshine and mid-70s with a light breeze. Prue* plopped me in the basket for a trip to the park when the strangest thing happened: the roof of the car disappeared. It was a bright, warm trip to Seneca Park and then the roof came back.

I’m telling the truth, I promise. It’s not like the elk.

Prue told me that the car roof is supposed to do that, and in fact the disappearing roof was one of the reasons she bought the car. It still sounds fishy to me, but I digress.

Even though I’m only about three years old, the Magic Eye (see above) has given me perception beyond my years. On display at Seneca Park Saturday were many things I find most endearing about the promise of Spring in Kentucky.

It is vitally important to me that I dwell upon such endearments today. It’s 37 degrees out there. (I know Prue’s going to stuff me back into that sweater.)

At the first hint of Spring, the parks are filled with bipeds wearing the most alarming assortment of clothing. The smartest wear layers and peel as the day progresses. Those in sweaters shove up the sleeves and then turn on the AC when they get back in the car.

Then there are those who jump the gun. They dress as though it’s mid-July. Shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, and heaven help us if the guys decide to take off the tees. The sun bouncing off that much fish-belly white skin could bring down an Airbus A380.

I love the optimism demonstrated by the jump-the-gunners, and the bravery of those who are convinced the next snowfall could be only 24 hours away. (And, by the way, the latter group often is correct.) As temperatures climb back into the high 50s and low 60s the next few days, I expect to catch the scent of burning charcoal and hear the buzz of weed eaters and lawn mowers.

According to the Olmsted Parks Conservancy here in the ‘Ville, Seneca Park was sort of the final jewel in a crown of parks conceived by Fredrick Law Olmsted. Considered the father of landscape architecture, Olmsted was invited to Louisville in 1891 to help develop the park system. (FYI, his resume includes modest concerns such as New York’s Central Park and the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.)¬†Eventually the Olmsted firm would design 18 parks and six connecting parkways across the city.

Seneca has more than 530 acres and includes an 18-hole golf course. There is an enormous green (well, it’s pretty brown right now) surrounded by a 1.2-mile walking path located between Pee Wee Reese Road and Rock Creek Drive. There are tennis courts and a great playground. Prue and I saw multiple sports on display in addition to these intrepid would-be kite pilots.

kites

The Kentucky Mountain Bike Association stewards a 10.3-mile trail between Seneca and Cherokee parks, too.

This is a very busy park with lots of vehicle traffic so visitors, especially those with kids, need to be vigilant.

I can’t wait to visit again, but Prue’s going to have to get me some sunglasses, especially for those jump-the-gunners.

(*Person Responsible for Ultimately Everything)

 

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