Bumper Times

I’ve been doing a lot of scientific writing this week, which I have to admit isn’t as much fun as blog-post writing.  But since I don’t get paid for blog posts (yet!), I guess I’ll keep at it.

Though it’s not as much fun as doing experiments, it does have one advantage: I can do it from home.  No commute saves me at least an hour during the day (not to mention not using gasoline), and I have the added benefit of being able to hang out with my dog.

Now, Penny seems a little confused when I work from home because I’m here, but for some reason, I’m not playing with her.  About every 40 minutes she seems to recognize that fact and try to entice me away from the computer for a game of tug-o-war with some toy.  Sadly, I try to stick to getting things done.

But I DO make sure we take a little break in the afternoon – which is good for both of us.  We go to the end of our cul-de-sac and I throw bumpers out into the canyon beyond and she goes and gets ‘em.  She gets to run and use her brain, and I get a little fresh air and to stop using my brain.  All good.

Ready for action

Today, I decided to take out the camera since the afternoon light was so nice.  Penny always has to sit before she gets to go get the bumper, though she’s pretty impatient about it.  Pictures don’t do justice to the imploring whine coming from her when she’s made to wait.


After that, she’s on the hunt for bumper.  She usually does pretty good – mostly using her nose.  Sometimes, she can’t retrieve it because I’ve thrown it into one of the sticker bushes – which means I get to trudge down an extract it.

Ummm -- You Threw It In The Thorn Bush... Again.

Found it!

Penny’s always excited to find the bumper and bring it back.  Ready to go for another round.

Here It Is!

Except when she’s done.


All in all, a great way to take a break from that “other” part of the day.

15 thoughts on “Bumper Times

  1. The terrain there looks like coastal scrub. Do you live near the ocean?

    But what a lucky dog Penny is! I don’t envy her owner for having to retrieve the bumper out of the thorn bushes, however. ;-)

    • Yes — we’re about in 6 miles in from the coast. Our neighborhood is right on the side of a hill/canyon — so there’s lots of good places to run and sniff around.

      Fortunately, I can protect my hand from the thorns more than she can protect her snout! :)

  2. And that pretty much sums up why I look at people like they are insane when they suggest that I could save on day care costs by finding a job I can do from home. I’d have a three year old and a one year old constantly trying to get me to come play!

    It just took me three days to write a short summary of my past research experience and future research goals. During that time I wrote three blog posts and could easily of written more.

    Huh. Wouldn’t it be funny to write a research summary in the style of a blog post? “You guys! I want to do the coolest research!”

    • In the end, isn’t it all just telling-a-story? The professional writing just has more structure…. :)

      And it is easier to tell Penny “Go lay down!” and not feel as badly as I think it would, you know, with a human… :)

      • I think it probably depends on how much the human has been whining/hitting her sister/generally misbehaving….

        And of course, I can always resort to putting Dora on the TV!

        But yeah, I don’t get much done when the girls are home.

  3. It sounds like both Penny and you know how to take care of one another when things aren’t as they usually are. Of course diving into a bush with thorns isn’t what I think of when taking care of me, but them I am not a dog.

  4. Penny is so photogenic. She looks totally patient in the first picture (she told me to say that). What is a bumper and does it have a particular smell, since you said she finds it by smell. I see what it looks like but I have never heard the term.

    Love your Penny pics. What a great dog and owner :)

    • FS – A bumper is a hollow rubber tube usually used as a “bumper” on the sides of boats to keep them from scraping on the sides of docks or slips. These small ones (about a foot long) are perfect for retrieving — especially when we go to the beach since they float.

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