Spo-fans and various relations are sending words my way, worried about the heat here in Arizona. It is rawther hot here with lows in the mid-30s and highs in the mid-40s. * This is not new; it happens every year, although admittedly not so early. Normally these ardent temperatures start in early July. Global warming I suppose, although right wing know-it-alls will deny it so. Meanwhile the water supply is drying up and no one is listening to the Cassandras.

Regardless, it is bloody hot and no good for dog walks. In these ardent months, Harper and I must go out about 5AM, before The Sunbane commences.** Mid-day walks are right out until October – too hot for paws! – and our evening walks are delayed until after sunset. Even then it remains quite hot and Harper-hound quickly shows signs of not liking this. Panting soon commences and back home we go – just a quick walk to the post-box and back.

We’ve stayed our distance from other walkers for over a year, and I think Harper has grown wary of being near other dogs. . Perhaps in her dotage she is not interested in other dogs anymore. She remains very interested in sniffs. She still has her favorites, which she inhales like a scotch expert inspecting a rare single-malt whisky.

Someone is looking for some extra exercise this season, so he sometimes joins us on our morning strolls. Fascinating! Harper loses complete interest in me when she senses he will be walking with us. He can’t stray behind or worse, decide to branch off to fetch the mail or go home prematurely. Harper won’t have this, but goes after him. It is rather sweet; it seems to uphold my theory in her eyes I am not the other owner, but The Other Dog.

The HOA, in their infinite wisdom, put down new stones along the gulley designed for flood water. These red pebble-sized rocks are just the right size and shape to cause Harper pain when she walks on them. At one point on her favorite trail she has no choice but to step onto them. She does slowly, looking pained, until she is again on the sidewalk. Ouch indeed.

Dog walks now end with me taking Harper off the leash on the driveway while I go around the back to discard the waste-bags and turn on/off the sprinkling system. She doesn’t go with me, but waits impatiently at the start of the walkway that leads up to the front door, stomping her little last season Pradas shoes at me, wanting in for the obligatory post-walk treat. After receiving it, she runs off and eats this out of sight – usually in the bedroom on the bed and on my side. There goes dignity. She is a happy dog this way, so I don’t push her off.

When you love them, they drive you crazy, because they know they can.

*Celsius. I am at heart a scientist. Thems with complaints wanting Fahrenheit may email The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. Be advised they don’t check their email right away. Sometimes not for months.

**Does anyone know of the literary reference? I would be wowed to know.