January 14, 2010


I realized today that much of our walking is really a series of loops. Take today, for example. I woke, as I always do, and was invited up on the human bed where I lounged for a long time — so long, in fact, that I was whisked away straight from bed to school. We walked the six blocks that we always walked and once at school, I looped around the classroom following Gretchen or sliding under the tables to receive pets and rubs from the students.

Once class was over, we walked over to Ollie’s house and this is when the really loop began. On days when we walk Gemma and Ollie both, we pick up Ollie, walk along the ridge to Gemma’s house, stop at the tennis courts, loop up to our house where I get dropped for a meal, Gemma walks Ollie back up to his house completing the circle, and then Gemma gets walked back to her house. That’s like one and half rotations — big rotations — completed, but there’s more, much more.

The next stop is at Rosie’s house. Since Rosie is only walked for a half hour, it’s hard to do any long, extended walks and so Gretchen tends to focus on four different loops — to provide Rosie some variety. One loop heads up to the ridge and takes a turn around Bradner Gardens; another meanders through the two parks — Sam Smith and Judkins — and circles by the elementary school; the third goes along the ridge the other way and sometimes loops through Frink Park; and the last one is a new addition where they wander through the parks again, but then meander through our neighborhood exposing Rosie to some new sights and smells. Today, they chose option one hoping to find a spot out of the rain for a photo-op. The ended up taking the photo in the rain. As you can see, Rosie made faces trying to show Gretchen how annoying all this rain feels!

It was almost impossible to take photos in anything but the rain. It’s been a steady stream all day and is still coming down as I type. The next loop substantiates that point beautifully. Gretchen dropped off Rosie, walked the block and half to Saber’s house who then walked over to our house where I joined them on a walk up to Woobie’s house. This is a loop we rarely do — generally only once a week when we walk Woobie — and involves a decision once Woobie is leashed up: Do we head east to walk the long loop back to Saber’s house or west and down through Judkins Park?

Well, since we were all drenched by the time we got to Woobie’s house and since Woobie’s long coat is like sponge strings hanging all the way to the ground, mopping up all the water that’s fallen for the past month. Woobie and I are very different from Saber in that way — where he is like an otter able to repel and shed water with his rain-resistant coat, Woobie and absorb the water and must shake it off as we walk. Therefore, we weren’t thrilled to be doing any loop nor were we thrilled when Gretchen made us wait while she took a photo.

It’s hard to tell, but the rain is really coming down and Woobie and I can only think of some place dry while Saber, fresh from his snip snip surgery, can only think about running in the big open field behind Gretchen. And I thought his surgery would slow him down! Not in the least. He seems bigger than ever, he smells kind of antiseptic, and his voice is a tab bit higher, but other than that, he hasn’t skipped a beat — he just wants to play!

But no playing today for Saber as he’s still technically in recovery, so he was a bit disappointed when walked by the tennis courts and didn’t stop to play. Gretchen said she heard a distinct harrumph when he laid down in his kennel, peeved that walking is all we did.

Woobie and I headed back to our house where we got toweled vigorously and then given a few treats to warm us up. Woobie, who normally doesn’t eat treats, was happy to have a few morsels after her rubbed down and since Woobie ate, I couldn’t refuse my snack either.

Of course, I was surprised when Gretchen loaded Woobie up in the car and I got left behind, but I suppose we were all tired of the rain and Gretchen (and Woobie) were happy to finish the last loop in the car.

So, there are circles upon circles in our day, but thankfully, I never feel as if I’m chasing my tail, though at times, I can be rather loopy!

Until tomorrow…may the circles be unbroken!


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