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Walking the dog

It was 3 April 2010 when Harper came home to us. I’ve been walking the dog ever since. She was approximately a year old upon her arrival, so this makes her now ten. I guess she is officially an old dog. I see subtle signs this is so: her snout is growing white; she naps more often and longer. While she doesn’t leap up with the same zeal upon hearing the W-word she is excited. It is a comfort to see someone sees the mundane with such euphoria.

It’s April; the morning walks grow more pleasant. At 5AM we are walking again in nautical twilight so it is not as dark. It’s also not as cold; these AM strolls feel more pleasant. I try to vary our paths to give Harper new scents but also to keep her memory on the lay of the land if ever she should get out/get lost and need to find her way home.

It is curious where Harper does her business. Squatting or lifting leg seems to be random and suddenly decided. In contrast she is quite particular where she takes a dump. I’ve applied this knowledge to ascertain she accomplishes this task if I know she’s to be crated afterwards.

Over the years Harper grows disinterested in the rabbits who taunt her from a distance. In her youth she was quite vigilant at a bunny-sighting and pull at the lease wanting to chase after them. Nowadays she seems to give them hardly a glance. Is this sign her vision has lessened? Perhaps it is wisdom: they are impossible to catch and/or not worth pursuing. She’s much more interested now in the pillars and the bushes, in which she sticks her snout for a strong inspection. It is a joy seeing her so intent.

I made the mistake the other day to walk the dog while listening to the news. It was all so depressing. I felt quite disconsolate. I took Harper home, closed the doors and drew the blinds, and bedded down with dog. Sometimes this feels like the only good to do. Dogs are uncanny they measure our moods.  After ten years of co-living and co-operating it is a comfort we have each other in our respective declines.

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