Tuesday, January 20, 2009

10 Things I Learned While Walking the Dog

On Sunday, Darcy and I made our longest trek yet around Mills Park, 55 minutes and a little over 2 1/2 miles. When you have to stop and smell every bush the first time around, that's pretty good time. As a person built for distance instead of speed, sometimes it takes me a little time to catch my breath. The painful stitch in my side gets in the way. And then I wish there were more interesting bushes in my path.
So here's my list:

10. It's a good thing we don't have hairy feet. I only get the rear view of Darcy and I noticed the bottoms of her feet have turned white. I'm sorta glad that's one area that doesn't require much maintenance to keep a youthful glow (as much as feet ever can).
9. Being built for distance ought to mean I don't worry much about speed. It doesn't. Being lapped by the Silver Sneaker crowd is never a good thing.
8. My dog has no sense of efficiency. When we are on nice, happy, flat ground, she darts side to side to smell, sniff, and...claim all the area that she can. But when it's time to go uphill, she climbs it at a flat-out run. And I explain to her the proper way to do these things every time. She pays me no attention.
7. It's a very good thing she never learned to drive. I'm pretty sure she'd have the roof down and be a regular at the park. I catch her sitting in the driver's seat all the time so I think she may secretly plotting to steal the car when I'm not looking.
6. It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. In our hour at the park, we passed many, many small dogs. Small dogs doing their best Peter Pan impressions at the end of the leash...they made it to the end and then just lunged...and were pulled back to the ground. Darcy, oblivious, would have said, "Hey howdy!" but mom doesn't strangers.
5. People fear black dogs. Kids do not. I don't understand it, but I appreciate it. And the occasional (dog) slobber doesn't help much.
4. She probably could have learned to drive. I never would have thought she'd make it around the park like this at the ripe old age of 12, but she does. She does it much better than I do at my less ripe age. Must have something to do with aerodynamics or proximity to the ground.
3. A chihuahua is probably a better walking partner for me, one that has to take 40 steps to my one. And I could carry it in a pouch if needed.
2. Or maybe a dog big enough to actually ride up the hill instead of being dragged along behind.
I don't think they make dogs that big. And neither one would fit through the dog door.
1. And I wouldn't change my walking partner at all. There's just something about watching her tail wagging up in the air (Lanny would have trouble with Darcy so it's good I don't have his hang up, Lisa.) even though I can barely see it in the distance, what with the lack of oxygen to my brain and all.

I'm thinking about getting a new treadmill. Wonder if Darcy'd use it? Probably more than I would...

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