Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Years ago, when I took an interest in health walking, Mike suggested I walk the dog (Nobie at that time). There are two schools of thought on combining health walking with dog walking. 1) Walking the dog gives you the incentive to get out and walk, and 2) This is your walk; don’t take the dog.

Well, I walk the dogs, and these days Mike often accompanies us because the two dogs, Nellie and Bess, have such different styles. Nellie dawdles, walks in the middle of the street, and lingers over whatever interests her. By contrast, Bess runs ahead with exuberance.

Thursday afternoon (Aug. 25), Mike went to the “Show and Shine,” and he wasn’t home yet when it was time to walk the dogs. Not walking the dogs is not an option, so at 4:30 I decided I’d better take them by myself. I put on my visor and grabbed a leash and the three of us set out on our customary route.

The walk seemed to be going well. Bess was exploring and Nellie was sticking close by me. It was hot, so I had already determined that we would go back when we reached the end of the pavement. Suddenly both dogs became interested in something in the middle of the road – something humans can’t see or smell. “Get out of the road, dogs,” I instructed, and towing Nellie on the leash I walked on the short distance to our “go back” place, assuming that Bess was right with us.

“Back!” I called, mostly for Bess’ benefit, but where was Bess? Honestly, I had just taken my eye off her for a minute, and she was GONE. I looked up the road – and down the road. I looked up the hills and down the ditches. She was no place to be seen. “Maybe she’s on point,” I thought to myself, so I looked harder in places that I knew she liked to hunt.

Meanwhile, probably sensing my indecision, Nellie trotted across the road, up the hill, and disappeared over the top. Calling to her is useless; she doesn’t hear – or chooses not to hear. At almost 13, she seldom runs but can still outdistance me at a trot. So, now I’ve lost control of both dogs, but I figure Nellie will do the predictable thing – travel along the top parallel to the road and come out near our crossing place. That being the case, I had to make tracks to meet her at the appropriate spot. I couldn’t afford to wait longer for Bess.

It didn’t really dawn on me until Nellie was safely back on the leash that Bess must have gone home. Bess identifies as Mike’s dog, and she probably didn’t like that he was absent from the walk and she had to take orders from lowly me. Sure enough! When Nellie and I got to our driveway, there was Bess waiting for us. She pranced up, her tail wriggling her whole body, pretending she was sorry for having worried me. KW


Hallie said...

Parallel lives! Here's a fresh story for you from today. My coworker just adopted a dog. The dog is a very timid two year-old little something that had apparently suffered some abuse. My co-worker had a meeting and the little dog started whining, so I decided to bring her over to my cubicle for company. I set her leash down for a brief moment while I got situated and off she trotted! I couldn't chase after her because I knew she would bolt, so I walked quickly and whispered at people ahead of me in the hallway, "Loose dog! Loose dog!" Finally, the little dog turned a corner and came upon three people who were amused at her escape and taken with her cuteness. They helped corner her and she cowered as if in trouble, which of course, she was NOT in great trouble. Sadly, she was so frightened that she dropped a little poo nuggie.

Chuck said...

You two are really meant for each other. Now I know you live surrogate lives. Yea!!

Chris said...

I thought I'd written something, but I guess I only thought it. Again, you win the big gold prize for wife of the year!!