My new dog Remy is a high energy dog, the likes of which I--51-year-old woman--cannot challenge, but I try. On days that we are together all day (which number 6), we walk three times a day, between 2 and 3 miles each time. Despite the fact that a couple years ago, my Achilles tendons became my Achilles heels, I'm running with him, too, and the most obvious and very festive news about this walking schedule is that I've shed some pounds.
But I've learned many profound and important things about life from, during, and while on our walks. Here they are in no useful order.
1. The most obnoxious, dangerous, scary drivers out there are the paper delivery folk at about 6 on a weekday and 7 on a weekend. At just that time, many of their papers are officially late. Up in Montclair in Oakland where I live, the roads are often one lane sized, and I tremble when the Tribune and Chronicle folks come through in their usually rattling vehicles tossing out projectiles at 30 miles an hour. Fun times.
2. The second most obnoxious, dangerous drivers out there are high schoolers late for first period, say about 8.45 or so. Hang onto your leash.
3. Poo is really interesting when it comes out of something small that you love and are supposed to take care of. I remember knowing a great deal about my children's poo, and now here I am, observing with scientific interest the color, shape, and formation of my dog's poo. I'm wondering if I'll be able to easily scoop it into one of the plastic bags I know carry in every single pocket in every single item of clothing I own.
4. If you ask "Is your dog nice?" and the pet owner answers yes, it's not necessarily true. Just saying.
5. Poo aside, my dog has a seeming reservoir of pee, better to mark every single stump, mailbox, ivy patch, fence post in sight. Where, my goodness, does it come from? Okay, I know. But really.
6. Walking is good for us, not just to slim the ass, but to clear the mind. But people who walk with headphones on have no idea what's going on. People who walk with headphones and text at the same time should think about what the newspaper delivery drivers might do to them on a blind curve.
7. My dog is happy in the same happy way every time we leave the house for a walk. Who cares we've walked this walk now about 120 times! It's outside! It's smells and sights, and hopefully Bailey, Einstein, Dexter, or Ginger will be out! Yay! I'm alive! Yay!
8. A leash is the extension of the walker. Be scared, and the dog will tense. Be lax and the dog will lunge forward.
9. I have met more of my neighbors in four months than I did in the prior three years in this house. Actually, I know their dogs names and not theirs, but we stop and chat and compare notes. Mostly (except for the very bad Standard poodle owner) everyone has been lovely.
10. I knew having a dog would change my life, but I wasn't sure how. Actually, I had no clue as to how things would roll. I thought the dog would eat and sleep and walk--when I thought it was a good idea--and then we'd all hunker down for a calm TV evening and then bed. things sort of go that way sometimes, but I didn't know that I'd have to buy new running shoes, flashlight, three leashes, a harness, and a tiny reflective coat for my dog and a vest for myself (I look like I'm about ready to lay pavement). I didn't know I'd end up just like my dog, happy that yay! it's walkie time! Yay! Let's go.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org