Lately I am not allowed to sleep in. I am daily getting nuzzled to ‘put out’ as it were. As I try to get a few more seconds of slumber, I am jostled – sometimes tongued – to roll over, and “get up”.

This is not Someone but Harper. She’s connected the dots if she whimpers and uses those dog-eyes (her most barbarous weapon) I will take her for a walk.


This is the best time of the year for morning dog walks. The weather is bright; the main allergens are passed. It is warm without being too hot. I don’t have to wear much. A pair of berms over last night’s sleeping wear suffices.


Today it was quiet; no one was about. In the distance I saw six hot air balloons. They were vittate in gay colours, hovering there, without the slightest sign of movement. They looked like they had been painted onto the morning sky.  But Harper was not looking towards the sky apotheosizing the dawn. Her snout is downwards into the various bushes and ground level objects. Investigating all the odors is what she’s about. If a dog’s smell is so acute, why is it necessary to stick her snout into every mephitic object she finds?


The coast seemed clear to take her off the leash for a short spurt of ‘run and rumpus’. But we were not alone: at the other end of the park there was a man shooting hoops. It’s 6AM and the man (who looked about forty) was bouncing a basketball making baskets. What on earth was he doing there?  It would made more sense if there were two of them, but he was alone. He did not say hi; he was lost behind sunglasses and earphones. Harper paid him no heed.


We average 20 minutes or 150 calories per walk, which is a good nickel-and-dime way to keep our health. However, another habit Harper is training me to do is ‘put out’ at walks’ end a treat.

Try explaining to a dog this defeats the purpose of the walk.