Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dog Walk

My father and step-mother are out of town, so SodaBoy and I have temporary custody of their neurotic little Australian shepherd, Arlo. This is the second time he's stayed at this house, and he remembers it, which is good because that makes him happy. Or less deranged anyway. I think the recurring forced marches are the best feature of dog stewardship, but I always enjoy a good walk. I have "default" walks I take him on, the morning loop that passes a public garbage container, the midnight laps in the deserted streets. But I always try to work a little variety into the routes as well. I don't want the little guy to get bored.

I had been thinking that on this visit, I should take Arlo on a morning walk to Stormwater Park, with my camera and a water bottle, make a whole thing of it. But there is a small problem: my brain doesn't work very well very first thing. The first morning he was here, I just staggered out of bed, threw on some jeans, and crashed out the door. See the problem? Jeans! We hadn't taken him out late the night before, as D had said when dropping him off that she'd already taken him out--and to SodaBoy that was inarguable. I'm staying up fairly late nowadays, so I was in quite a stupor so early. And paid for it by being exceedingly overwarm in my jeans. Hence the default morning loop, which is the walk I was taking him on mornings before work. Not too short, not too long.

Yesterday morning, I more sensibly put on capris, and even managed to brush my teeth first. I felt downright civilized, and felt up to adding on a loop extension. There is some pleasure in walking in the rain. But I still made a small oversight, and neglected to wear a hat. I'm not a big hat wearer, especially in the summer, but a hat with a brim is nice in the rain to keep the glasses dry (and functional, minor detail).

This morning, I put on shorts and brushed my teeth. See how I am? Clever, clever. Or so you might think. But somehow I ended up over at Stormwater Park, with no camera, and no water bottle. Clearly that was not the plan. And to cover the sheer stupidity factor, wherein I neglect my own comfort, I did not put my hair up. Apparently I have this deep-seated unconscious assumption that it should be cool in the mornings, but alas... it is August, and I am a fool. So again, I sweated far more than necessary. What the hell is my problem? Anyone care to take odds on tomorrow? Can BerryBird dress herself properly for a morning dogwalk? I would like to point out in my defense that I do not have these problems later in the day. Like anyone believes that.

Arlo was funny at Stormwater Park. He seemed to think it was quite mandatory that he walk right in the skinny little foot path, and not on the grass to either side. The path is too narrow for us to transverse side by side. Problem is, if left to set the pace, he is far too slow. So we ended up taking the lap with him mostly on my heels. In addition to the resident great blue, who flew over and squonked at us twice, we saw several egrets. One of the cutest things about Arlo is that when I return from taking him for him morning walk, the very first thing he does upon deleashing is run upstairs to make sure SodaBoy is still in bed where he left him.


Erin said...

Is he behaving any more dog-like this time? Sniffing things? Peeing? Or is every walk still feeling like it's for your benefit more than his?

Sara said...

Yes, he's certainly doing his fair share of sniffing. I'm none too patient with that when he's leashed. It's piss or get off the pot, dude.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

LOL! I like this and it does seem to be "improved" over the original which was also quite good.