It’s been one adventure after another for Darby recently. Her heat ended, and we picked her up from the kennel on April 9. (Tucker seemed more or less happy to see her.) Two days later, Darby, Steve, and I took off for a 5-day trip to Phoenix, where Steve was attending a professional meeting, and Darby got many opportunities to practice being virtuous.

Steve and Darby at Taliesin West

She rode quietly in her kennel for the six-hour road trip there and back. She stayed (for the most part) under tables in restaurants and banquet halls. She and I did a long self-guided walk around downtown Phoenix, and she also comported herself admirably at Taliesin West (the long-time winter home of Frank Lloyd Write), Cosanti (the Scottsdale residence and workshop of the venerable artist and architect Paolo Soleri), the Musical Instrument Museum, the Heard Museum, a horse-training ranch, and other public places.

Steve and Darby at Cosanti

Her favorite place, far and away, was the dog park I discovered not far from where we were staying. She and I visited the huge field for “Active Dogs” several times, and while Darby enjoyed a certain amount of socializing, mainly she ran and ran, chasing the balls I lobbed for her.

Steve came too on our last morning there, and after she’d raced around like a maniac for 10 or 15 minutes, he insisted on taking her to the field reserved for small and “passive” dogs. She often lunges at them during street encounters. But in her calm (and tired) state, she ignored them like a true princess.
We would have reasonably high hopes for her graduating, except for one worrisome bad habit she’s developed.  I’ll write about that in my next post.

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