It's been a rough few weeks without my buddy. His toys are still around so it's easy to pretend he's just snoozing in the other room until I drop food on the floor in the kitchen and yell, 'Clean Up!' and no one comes running. Or when I need a big old hug and sloppy kiss....let's just say Cooper is a poor substitute.
I have discovered a way to relieve a little of my Doggy-Less Life Blues recently though. You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I've been walking three miles a night and 5 on the weekend days forever now. I've always stopped to greet the dogs I've met along the way; a head scritch here, a kiss there. I don't care if you're running, or in a bad mood and don't care to stop and talk, thank you. If you have your canine companion with you, I'm going to wreck your timed run and possibly enhance your bad mood, because your pup and I? We got bid'ness to attend to! After all, all dogs on the planet belong to me....I just keep them different places.
To be honest, I've lost a lot of the runners in the past. One look at my 'built for comfort, not for speed' physique and they just know, there is nothing I can do to stop them, unless I trip them...and that was just that one guy that time. But I've recently become much wiser. I load my pockets with dog treats before I leave the house, that way I have the means to easily approach folks and get my puppy loves!
I've discovered that all I have to do now is to stop a runner ONE time. Then once I give their fur baby a treat, the dog will do all the work every time I encounter them after that, possibly dislocating the runner's shoulder should he/she try to resist! Who's a good puppy?! I think it's you! Yes it is!
Yesterday was a pretty horrible day. I dreaded my walk because it was so hot and humid and I felt blah, but I dog-boned up and off I set. Seems like Howard (of 'Our Father, who art in Heaven, Howard be Thy name' fame) knew that I needed a little something extra last night, so he put a lot of new dogs in my path. I ran into the folks I almost always run into each night, like Bubba and Otis, who start baying like werewolves now when they catch a glimpse of me in the distance; and Betsy, the Great Dane whom I've been tempted to ride around my walking path more than once. And Katie and Oscar, two lab puppies at two different houses along the way, that keep my arms consistently scratched and bitten up with their enthusiasm. But last night I also made a bunch of new friends and met some pretty great neighbors too. There was:
Sadie-A sweet, little lab mix that was found alongside the road with her puppy-brothers and sisters in Georgia. I met her in her yard, and then THREE more times with her Mommy and two, young, human brothers out on the trails. She reminded me of Ben the way she sat-kerplunk once she realized I was packing Milk Bones! Her brothers, Seamus and Andre were quite put out that I didnt' have a pocket full of chocolate chip cookies for them!
PePe-In all honesty, PePe may be some South American rodent. He was small with sparse, wiry hair and a bald tail. His eyes here running, he had diarrhea and the longest fangs I've ever seen on a 'dog' but we were pals from his first bite of biscuity goodness. South American River Rats need love too! His dad was very stand-offish at first, but after two minutes was listing all of PePes ailments and we were discussing possible solutions. It helped that the dad was running into the park where there are no trash cans so I offered to take his poop bag back with me and toss it since I was almost home.
And Reilly-the new kid on the block; an 8 week old Boston Terrier. Oh. My. Howard. I contemplated sticking her chunky, fuzzy body in my free pocket and forcing my chunky, fuzzy body into a run and kidnapping her. But who was I kidding? Her dad was easily 350# and had a 11 month old toddler on his hip and he still would have tackled me before I made the end of the door yard. What a sweet little pup, though. Not only did I give her a tiny Milk Bone. Her dad said he wasn't sure she would eat it because 'it was her first treat ever'! That's right, direct from Aunti Min!
By the time, I got home, I felt marginally better. Pretty cheap therapy for the price of a box of Midget Milk Bones!