Walking the dog

Most mornings I don’t wake to the sonorous sounds of the alarm clock but to the solicitous whimpers at the side of the bed. Harper wants a walk. This is not always a guarantee; there is a sense of anticipation like a Las Vegas tourist hoping this nickel will ‘pay off’. She usually wins and weekends are a pretty safe bet. There is a sense of ebullience when she realizes I not heading to the shower but to the drawer where we keep the leash and bags. It’s dog walking time. At this time of year dog-walks are quite pleasant; the sun is not quite up and the morning temperatures are in the lower 70s. Short pants and t-shirts are still OK for now.

“Dog-walk” should be re-christened ‘Dog-sniffs’ for Harper is not very interested in going from A to B in a steady clip as The Personal Trainer has suggested we do. She is prefers the stop and sniff style of walking. Being both creatures of habit she prefers the same routes and the same bushes, so I wonder how the scents vary.  She also prefers certain discrete areas – not just anywhere – to do her business. I must remember to bring multiple bags for she has turned into a ‘ two bags’ type of dog. There is no compunction quite like that of your dog having another dump while you stand sheepish -no bag to hand – wondering if anyone is looking for this is not going to be picked up.

In our morning walks we often see the same people doing likewise. There is plump beagle walked by his equally plump owner. The beagle is a whiner and our presence gets it going. More often that not we see an elderly lady out on her matutinal exercise. She is Indian and always in a sari. She walks in the bike trail in the street, never on the side walk. Another regular is a young couple and their two dogs. Someone calls them Ken and Barbie for they are blonde, lithe, and walk at a brisk pace. Their dogs are quite large and Harper doesn’t like them so we avoid them. These yuppies tend to be a bit miffed if we are ‘in their way’.

The best walks are when we have the streets to ourselves. Before nautical twilight we see the winter constellations right overhead.  If we are lucky we encounter Mrs. Oliver, who is the neighborhood great horned owl. We hear her more often than we see her. She flies in complete silence. Her wingspan is majestic. I am very fond of owls. Seeing her heralds a good day, in my opinion. She is worth the effort.