Spring has sprung The Valley of the Sun and all mesquite trees are all in bloom with fluorescent yellow flowers. It’s a pretty sight, but the pollen is wracking ruin on my breathing. Apparently dogs are not so effected as Harper sniffs as much as ever. A dog’s ability to smell is a marvel. When I can’t smell it is a nuisance, but if a dog should become unable smell it must be like blindness.

The HOA (or somebody like them) recently dumped a fresh layer of small red rocks ’round the ravine where we go for our walks. The place looks better but the new stones are sharper than the last lot and they hurt Harper’s paws. When she goes off the sidewalk to sniff or pee she has a pained Jack Benny expression on her face. Every time a puppy takes a poop, the owners pick up a few rocks with it. Over time the rocks deplete and new ones are brought in.

More on this topic: the neighborhood app has as its latest outrage complaints about dog owners placing the poop bags into their garbage pails. Normally one uses the rubbish containers along the walkways or wait until you get home. On Tuesdays all the rubbish bins are out by the curb and dog walkers use them to discard their droppings. Apparently the complaints apply even to the garbage pails about to be picked up by the sanitation trucks that morning. I guess there is some law about the disposal of one’s rubbish into other people’s receptacles, however a small black bag placed discretely in nearby barrel that is about to be picked up by the truck, only an hour later, seems a bit harsh. The neighborhood app is up in arms on both sides of the debate.

Harper and I, we don’t care. She’s learned with sad looks and body language she can easily steer me wither she wills it. Lately she’s zeroed-in on a specific path, apparently choosing this familiar path to repeat rather than roads not taken. I wonder if this is an age matter. As I grow old beside her, I tend to choose likewise.

It’s getting warm here, hot enough to not go out at noon time, for the mid-day son on the sidewalk burns sensitive old-dog paw pads. I’ve thought again to buy her some booties, but I sense she would not like to where them. So our dog walks drop from three in a day toward two for the season, going out before and after sunset to avoid scalding. I make up in quality for the cutback in quantity. Perhaps after many years of this seasonal cycle she remembers and takes it in stride.