Monday, January 28, 2008

Tag is a Golf Course Game

Keeping Canada Geese off the course is one of Mulligan's jobs. I admire the grace of these beautiful birds in flight, but their impact on a golf course is devastating. The rules for tag on Mulligan's playground are slightly different from the schoolyard game we played; in his game, the first player to get the others to quit wins. He never tires of being the winner, and the geese, despite their losing record, keep coming back to play. I guess animals don't care about the score.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Elcona: A New Day Begins

The serenity captured in this early morning view of Zimm's Creek belies Mulligan's anticipation of a good run. He sits beside me on the cart and lifts his black nose to the air, haunches quivering, waiting for the GO command. Another day in black lab paradise is about to unfold.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mulligan: A Dog of Second Chances

A dream can be nurtured over years and years and then flourish rapidly. . . . Be patient. It will happen for you. Sooner or later, life will get weary of beating on you and holding the door shut on you, and then it will let you in and throw you a real party!
-- Les(ter Louis) Brown

Could Mulligan possibly have dreamed about this playground life would provide when the door opened on his second chance?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Off Season Training

Change of season means different things to different people. For the superintendent, it means catching up on maintenance and planning projects. For the golfer, it means trips to warm climates or training at the gym. For Mulligan it means full run of the grounds. This is his season to roam freely without any of the golf etiquette constraints that the playing season demands. After 8 years on Colorado mountain golf courses and 2 years in northern Indiana, this one dog jury is in: winter is the best season for a golf course dog.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not All Days Are Diamonds

Mulligan and I are both creatures of habit. My morning routine is so predictable that by the time my alarm goes off, he's ready to go. He hops impatiently, his front feet bouncing off of the ceramic tile by the door, waiting for me to pick up my keys.

Unfortunately for him, not all days begin with an invitation to jump in the truck. Some days are filled with meetings, while other days are so long or labor intensive that Mulligan cannot be included. On these days I have to tell him to stay. His excited half barks turn to pathetic whines. He hangs his head and gives a disgruntled moan as he retreats to his chair to pout. When was the last time any of us complained and pouted when we were given an unexpected day off?