Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sassy - Are You Trying To Tell Me Something?

Sassy snagged her ball from the air again yesterday,
then headed inside, away from the heat and humidity.

Sassy has the most hilarious ways of signaling what she wants.

When she shares medallions of cinnamon toast with me, the pieces that are off spec (too much crust) are left in the bedding.

I taught her to lick her lips when she wanted a snack. She does more than that - she looks at me, smiles broadly, and licks them. Last night I gave her two pieces and stopped. She repeated her signal and I shook my head no. She gave me an even bigger smile and kept beaming the love at me. I gave in, went to the kitchen, and got her one more.

On our walks - To go in a different direction, she plants her feet and does not follow me across the street. She acts deaf but turns toward her goal and looks at me smiling. "Do you want to go down there?" She says yes by heading that way - and I catch up.

The neighborhood children are intrigued by Sassy stopping to look into my face until I give her permission to cross the street. "Do you want to see your friends?" Her answer is to bolt across the cul-de-sac to greet all the children.

Sassy has a tendency to treat the street as a broader version of the sidewalk. The other day I had to remind her to listen to me. A couple of stern words had her making up to me at once. The drivers are especially careful of her, and it is seldom an issue, but I still do not want her Inner Puppy in charge.

I have to tell Mrs. Ichabod the latest Sassy stories when we come back from the walk. We are now a bunny hunt team. Rabbits have their favorite hang-outs, one every few yards. Some have broad expanses of grass and bushes for hiding. If a rabbit is motionless because we are approaching, I point and Sassy makes her run. She will never catch a rabbit, but she enjoys the brief chase.

At the garage sale on our block, Sassy checked in several times a day and visited each family member. She has baby Sophia on her radar now so she always gives the newborn a kiss. Sassy is family to them, and they love to see her.

She is looking at me now, so I need to give her some time and some cinnamon medallions.

Sassy found Ronald McDonald a bit stiff on our trip,
so she refused to sit on his lap. Instead, she posed with her staff
when a local resident offered to take the photo.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sassy Opens the Largest Walmart Supercenter in Arkansas

Ronald is adding a store next to the Supercenter.

Walmart opened the largest Supercenter in Arkansas a short distance from our home, on the way to Ecclesia College, where I teach. They bought a family farm located on an interstate exit.

A woman who grew up on that farm graduated from Ecclesia. The family sold part of the farm and retained the rest for future development.  

Mrs. Ichabod and I went to the grand opening, the first grand opening of anything we have ever attended. We were not about to miss this one. I set the alarm for 5 AM and woke up at 6. I fixed coffee and we were at the store at 6:30.

The lot was almost empty and there was only a tiny group of people at each door. We parked near the platform where the opening ceremonies took place. Sassy walked around me me, letting loose her happy barks. Everyone loved her - except for the frowning Walmart suits, who probably imagined the ceremony like this:

"Welcome to the bark bark mony of bark bark bark. We are so bark bark bark bark you here."

Sassy greeted the two groups of people at the doors. Sassy and I then waited in the limo, which is a second home for Sassy. 

Mrs. I watched the ceremony from the door and I stood by the car. Sassy was completely silent until the opening was done and I got back in the car. She cheered as only Sassy can: "Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark."

Empty lot? At 7:15 AM it was full. At 7:25 a man answered his cell and said, "Where do you think you will park when you get here? There is no room left."

Sam's Club left Springdale for Fayetteville a few year's ago, depriving the city of millions in tax revenue. Everyone is happy to have the Supercenter at our exit of I-49 (Elm Springs), with a new Sam's Club planned in 2016 for the next exit south (Rt. 412 - Sunset) in Springdale. Naturally, businesses like McDonald's surround new retail and even more business is generated.

We are hoping for a Greek restaurant and other amenities. As we tell our friends, Springdale was a sleepy town until we moved here two years ago. 

We love our neighborhood. Sassy is a star wherever she goes. Yesterday she walked across the road to greet a van full of grandchildren. It seems the grandfather brought one set to meet with another set. Sassy met each new child and enjoyed the petting and talking about her. Her pals took their turns loving her, too. 

This home is where all the kids ran screaming into their home when Sassy came by and barked. Then one of them said, "That's Sassy," and they all came out again to play with her.

The configuration is a bit difference for this store.
Everyone is happy to have hundreds of new jobs here,
plus many opportunities for advancement.