Shadow Tails - Bezerkeley
We have some of the most beautiful Spring times in the world here in Northern California. The winter rains and long months of cloud covered sky give way to a sunny beauty that is all but unbelievable. Those rains that make winter so miserable fill the mountains on either side of our valley with solid flowers of purple, orange, white, and gold. When that late Winter or early Spring sun finally pops through the air becomes so crystal clear you can see the magnificent snowcapped Sierras to the East and the softly rolling flower covered hills of the coast range on the West. The whole valley is filled with newly planted crops emerging to feed a hungry world and blossoms everywhere on the millions of trees of every imaginable variety. The large beds of Jasmine and Gardenias fill the air with a heavy but subtle perfume that just kind of makes you glow inside.
Of course, there are wonderful ways to enjoy all this clear beauty. One of my most favorite, taking out my large motorcycle, finally gave way to caution as there were just are too many careless drivers out to get me. As a result, my big old Norton road bike gave way to a wonderful vintage MGA sports car. Putting the top down and just driving on these incredible Spring days is unbelievable. Plus, of course the Shadow has a place and can come too! She is one sharp puppy! As soon as I began to struggle with the soft top on that MGA, Shadow instantly appears with her traveling gear. Of course, she travels light only needing her Frisbee! She loves to go exploring to new places as much as I do, especially traveling in that little MGA sports car with the top down.
The Shadow has this thing about wind. There is just the right amount of wind and too much, nothing in between. On the freeway and back country roads at speed she would carefully sit in her chair staying just below the wind screen. She became kind of a natural speed control. If I sped up much above sixty-five miles an hour, the air blast made her angry. She would bark loudly at me until I slowed. If we were on a back-country road with no traffic, she also would bark at me to slow way down so she could put her paws up on the top of the window frame and peer over the top of the window. Often, my trips to either the coast range or the Sierras never got out of the valley, because the Shadow just demanded that I enjoy at a slow speed what was there right near where we lived.
On one of those beautiful Spring days to live for I decided to go back and visit UC Berkeley where I took a few college classes. They have some of the most beautiful gardens in the world all over that campus. Of course, no sooner had the top come down on the MGA and boom the flying shadow had hopped right inside with Frisbee in mouth and tail going a million miles an hour ready for a whole new adventure. We zipped right down the freeway making her a little angry, but I paused at the top of the Coast Range pass at a vista point to let us stretch. She loved it and the beautiful view that let us look out over the sparkling dark blue Pacific Ocean and many bays in our area.
After just enough Frisbee, she tired and hopped into the car ready to get the show back on the road. We soon were at Berkeley and enjoying one of the most beautiful days in the world. As we slowly wandered walking around the campus memories came flooding back. I thought of the silly physics professor I had been listening to when People's Park was gassed. I had thoughts about the terrible time from my calculus class. Kind of lost in a daze, just enjoying the beautiful weather, I kind of misplaced the Shadow. She was having a ball covering easily a hundred times as much ground as me. Every time I turned around she was off on another new adventure.
The Shadow also is an incredible flirt and tease unbelievably friendly and yet standoffish at the same time. She would carefully inspect the many students and people around picking only the most happy and bubbly to share her Frisbee. Throwing that Frisbee for her was an incredible feeling. She was more rocket ship than dog able to literally fly. No matter how hard you threw her Frisbee, as long as it stayed airborne she would catch up then do incredible acrobatics leaping way up in the air to catch it. Strangely, she was just as happy with a young lady that could only toss it a few feet, as she was with some of the athletes that could throw it hundreds of feet. All that really mattered to her was how happy they were when she played with them and that they did the appropriate Ohhhs and Ahhhs when she did her magic. Of course, most thought they were in charge, having no idea that it was her game completely. *Smile*
After she wore out enough students in the big grassy parks there, we continued to wander through some of the gardens until we hit a big surprise. The Shadow was walking next to me utterly exhausted and suddenly spied on the path ahead a little heavy golden bear statue. That fat happy bear could have been her twin if it was painted black. The Shadow wanted no part of any bear sharing her day. She kind of went up to it but not too close, then began barking loudly slowly backing up as it refused to move. She backed right into a twin bear on the other side of the path that was hidden in the flowers. That cold bear statue nose touched the Shadow's behind! There was this terrible squeal as the Shadow went straight up twisting around in the air like some of her Frisbee moves. She was totally upset that another bear has snuck up at her and barked most fiercely at the indignation. Of course, we were right in the middle of the quad where with two crossing paths with a bear on each corner, so as the Shadow continued to bark backing away from these two, she bumped into a third. Again, airborne and terrified at being thoroughly surrounded there was only one thing to do. My fierce protector that could bite a baseball bat in half, ran quickly right between my legs growling and watching all four bears at once to make sure none got to us without her seeing them. She took my hand and headed us back for our car, fully certain that this Bezerkeley place was full of crazies. I think she may have been right, including the two of us!