Lauren has been away visiting her sister for the week, and although she left me to watch the beagle on my own, she didn’t leave me too unprepared. She prepared a big crockpot of chili, another crockpot of BBQ pulled pork, and stocked up on other meats for my week alone. Pretty sweet deal for me! Baxter has been pretty good, though he clearly misses his mama. Every time we walk in the door he thinks this just might be the time Lauren is waiting for him with open arms, but he’s quickly disappointed. His accidents in our apartment have gone way down for some reason–he has peed on the carpet just once and pooped on the carpet just once in the five days since Lauren’s been gone. Up until now he’s been having multiple accidents per day. But if there’s anything I have done well, it’s making sure he spends plenty time outside.

I had him at the office on Wednesday, mostly confined to his crate. He was surprisingly good that day, and of course popular with the co-workers. Our office is apparently okay with bringing pets in once in a while but I don’t think they want it to be a regular thing. So on Thursday I dropped him off with our friend Bobbi Jo. He was less than stellar there, making a number of messes and vomiting up a pile of leaves on her balcony.

I took a vacation day Friday and took Bax out for some serious hiking in the morning. We ran around Walnut Creek Park for a couple hours. As usual, he got under a lot of bicycle tires and caused some mischief. He found a decomposing animal carcass of some sort. It had either ragged gray feathers or fur and a couple bones and remnants of some guts, but he was on the top of the world prancing around with that carcass! Unfortunately he refused to come anywhere near me for fear I would dispose of this carcass, so I chased him for what seemed like a half hour trying to at least get him back on his leash to no avail. He just growled and kept running ahead. And he is much faster and agile than me. Finally I was so mad at him I threw my water bottle at his head and he got the picture and we went home.

On Saturday we visited our friend Kristin who works at a nearby apartment complex with a fenced-in dog park, so I let the pooch run around and play for a while. And today we went back out to another area hiking trail called St. Edward’s Park which features a lot of cool rock formations and cliffs. Baxter happily pranced right up to the edge of a 100-foot drop-off and looked over, and considered jumping. He was pretty good on the hike aside from messing with the wrong dog when we first got there. A violent terrier in the parking lot snarled at Baxter and may have bitten his snout. Whatever happened it scared the absolute shit out of Baxter. He yelped and cried and leaped back into the car and cowered under the seat. It took some treats to even get him back outside.

Aside from dog stories, it has been a pretty quiet time without Lauren. Thursday after work I picked up Baxter from Bobbi Jo and then hung out with her and her husband Tom while watching the Chargers game. Friday I got a lot of Microboards contract work accomplished in the day and ran a few errands. That night I walked over to the nearby bar Woody’s and mingled with some locals, who as you may have noticed on Facebook had some connections in the TV industry. Two worked for Sci-Fi Network and one was a producer for Top Chef. I volunteered to be an extra if they ever needed someone. One of them did give me a DVD of a pilot to review and give feedback. As we were chatting, some idiot joined us and took over the conversation, giving us a long likely BS story involving him driving 210 mph all the way from the scene of an attempted murder in Mexico to this random strip mall bar in North Austin. We tried to keep our distance, but he kept showing us his military tattoos and began touching one of the guys in a creepy way. I decided to leave at that point.

Saturday afternoon I joined friends Rob and Elizabeth for some pickup kickball. The crew we played with was super hipster. Everyone was wearing mesh hats and jorts and had odd piercings or glasses and drinking PBR and Tecate. When I showed up in my Twins t-shirt and Callaway cap and cleats, I stuck out a bit. I of course brought the dog along and he was the hit of the show. I hadn’t played kickball since grade school and wasn’t too good. I popped out quite a few times in the three games. Defensively I did alright at first base and the outfield. It was a good way to kill a few hours and get some more exercise.

Other than that it’s been nice to just kick back and relax and watch some Netflix and mess around online. We’ll sure be anxious to welcome Lauren back to town on Tuesday!

Thought I’d try inserting a slideshow of photos this time… Hover over to scroll through a few shots I’ve taken this week.

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