(Fats Domino reference)
Somehow in the midst of turning into an automaton, I found the energy to walk Cody this morning at precisely 9AM. Here is what I did: from three states away I shook his choke chain and presented his leash and he came running, grinning from ear to ear.
(Wendy, choke chains are not cruel. They actually save lives, of both dogs and people they would like to eat. Additionally, they are a very effective crowd control tool, even if the crowd consists of only one golden retriever with an enormous curiousity for dead frogs (I didn't do it!) and the fecal matter of other dogs)).
Cody came running, then sat abruptly in front of me, expectantly, and I placed the choke chain around his neck and then hooked it up to the leash, which is your standard six to eight foot piece of something that is sturdy with a handle on one end for me and a clip on the other end for his chain. Maybe he is a masochist, but he seems to like it, and I take him at his word.
We have been walking off and on for awhile, but lately, every morning. Today it is seasonably warm, which is to say already hotter than hell, given that there is a hell, which I am not sure of, so lets just say hotter than the sun-facing side of Mercury (the planet, not the god). We have not really made it that far. We get to the end of the block, then turn into the grass and walk along the lake for a brief spell, but since City Hall took out the benches for whatever reason and without warning, there is nowhere to stop and rest unless you lean against a tree which is not a fetching way to look and may cause people to mistake you for someone who is dying, as would lying in the grass while your dog roams throughout the village seeking vulnerable deer (just joking Wendy!).
I learned something today (yes, I'm rather stupid). It seems the dog, who is a well-behaved fellow now that he is through his sofa eating, throw rug eating, digging up plants stage, has been keeping pace with me. I tend to walk fast, which means that we don't get so very far and we also miss out on a lot of things, including dead frogs and the fecal matter of other dogs, among other things including budding trees, flowers, ducks, birds I cannot identify having foregone a degree in ornithology, and even the waste along the edge of the lake that is so sad and frightening, as it shows the ignorance, laziness, and careless (as I have previously documented) of kids (and others) who simply don't give a damn.
The point, however, is that I have been leading, and I have been leading fast. Today, I tried to go at a slower pace and while I forgot from time to time, I managed most of the time to keep at Cody's ambling, sniffing, observing, peeing, dumping pace (I did NOT pee in public!).
And it worked. We made it farther than we ever have, in fact all the way to the picnic table they allowed to stand when they took out the benches, the farthest we have ever gone. And while the picnic table was not a thing of beauty and needs paint or at least somone to clean the bird **** off of the top (and I am not qualified for that job), it was a nice resting place for me, allowed me take the leash off of Cody, and allowed Cody to do some minimal roaming, a test for future endeavors as a team.
As always, the real test is getting home. The picnic bench was what we call halfway.
I was getting rather warm, having worn jeans and a long-sleeved collarless shirt in VA Tech maroon, ill-advised, I would say. And Cody's tongue was hanging out as he seemed eager to get home. Fortunately, taking his pace, we ambled slowly back to the homefront, both managing to survive.
Cody is under the bed where it is cool, disdaining the cool water in his bowl as if he is too tough for that. I am here. Let's just say I am hydrating in an inadequate but satisfying way.
We killed no deer, we killed no frogs, and, most importantly, we didn't even kill time. I think we got some value out of this walk and will do it again and again, me remembering to bring the camera in the future.