August 19, 2010

Close to home and far afield…

When we started this business a couple years ago, all of our clients were within walking distance of our home. It was really nice. We’d head out, walk a few blocks, pick up a dog and head out on a long walk around the neighborhood. Thankfully, our neighborhood is close to many parks and really close to the lake. In 15 minutes we can be there, have a lot of fun, and then head home, tired and wet.

But our business has grown and some of our clients have moved farther away and some of our new clients don’t live within walking distance, so now we get in the car, head to other neighborhoods, explore them with our clients, and then head home for some snacks and water. We like all of our walks and while we fondly remember those days when we walked from one client to the next, I must say, there are some great adventures to have out there in the world and I’m thankful for the opportunity to walk in places I rarely get to go.

That’s how it was this morning when we fetched Woobie who lives the farthest north on our route and drove to pick up Ollie, who lives the farthest south on our route.

The three of us (plus Gretchen) walked through Ollie’s neighborhood and found lots of places to “perch” for our photos.

As you can see, it was rather windy…and gray and cloudy…but eventually it all cleared up…but not the first thing this morning. For our first walk it felt a bit like fall, but that didn’t stop us from having a nice long walk through some really nice neighborhoods.

Rosie (and her brother, Tyson) live close by, so Gretchen walked over to her house and off they went to play fetch in the park. Rosie loves to play treat fetch! But still those clouds and the wind hung around.

Woobie hung out at our house for part of the day and slept right by me most of the morning. I tried not to sleep, but as you can see…

Gemma lives really close to Rosie and really close to Saber. So on her way back from her time with Ms. Rose, Gretchen picked up Gemma then headed over to Saber’s house and off they went again to the lake. Saber was THRILLED…Gemma, not so much. Still Saber tried to engage her by lifting her up, showing her the ball, and my favorite, lying down in the water — an aquatic play bow!

While Gemma got wet and even longingly looked at the water from afar, Saber is a no-fear kind of dog and he frolicked and swam like only a Labrador can!

We took Woobie home then and I thought our day was over, but as the clouds started to part and the sun showed its yellow, I realized that we weren’t driving home after dropping off Woobie.

We were driving to Paige’s house! Yahoo! Paige lives the farthest west on our route and while we occasionally walk around her neighborhood, sometimes Gretchen takes us on adventures. Today was such a day. She said the mountains were calling to her so we all piled into the car, headed east, and landed in one of my favorite spots — Rattlesnake Lake!

But we weren’t just going there for a swim. Nope, we hiked to the ridge first and let me tell you, that was quite an experience. Gretchen had Paige on a flexi-leash — the kind that extends out really far — and I was on a bungee leash, the kind that snaps to Gretchen’s backpack. Only that combination didn’t work.

Paige, as I may have mentioned, is a huntress and being in the mountains really brought out her hunting instincts. About a quarter-mile into the hike, Gretchen’s shoulder was sore from Paige pulling so she decided to give Paige my leash and I got to go off-leash! (Don’t worry, I was amazingly good…so good, in fact, Gretchen said I made her proud!). Giving Paige my leash (that hooked to the waist belt of Gretchen’s backpack) was a stroke of genius because Paige literally pulled Gretchen up the mountain and they both got a workout.

Now, while I like exploring new places, I’m not very fond of high places and all the way up the mountain I kept thinking, “I’ve been here before and I think it’s very high up.” To steel myself, I walked right next to Paige (the most confident dog I know) and braced myself for the top. Only the scariest part wasn’t the height. Nope, it was the chipmunks!

No, I’m not scared of chipmunks, but remember how Paige is great at hunting? Well, when we got to the top chipmunks heard us coming and scurried hither and thither into every nook and crevice on the steep, rock ledge. Paige went crazy. “Oh my DOG!” she shouted from the mountaintop, “Did you see all those chippers, Rubin?”

I’m old enough now to admit that while I did see them, I was too busy smashing myself flat on the ground in fear of falling off the mountainside to really be interested in the chipmunks. Meanwhile, remember how Paige was using my leash? The one that ties onto Gretchen’s backpack? Paige lurched forward toward the edge of the mountain and Gretchen lurched to! She dug her heels into the rock as best she could and held on for fear of both of them flying over!

Wait, wait, wait Rubin! That’s not completely true!

Oh hi, Gretchen. I didn’t realize you were READING OVER MY SHOULDER!

Yes, I am and while I love a good story, don’t exaggerate too much. Paige did lurch but we weren’t that close to the edge and while I know she’d fly right over if she hadn’t been leashed up, I had things under control.

You did?

Yes, I did and while you were holding on for dear life, you missed the whole thing.

I wasn’t that bad, was I?

Well, remember when the nice guy took our photo and you kept trying to crawl underneath me?

Oh yeah…

And Paige kept trying to find the chipmunks?

Oh yeah…I guess I wasn’t really paying attention, though I did see you snap a photo of the nice man who took our photo and the friends he was with!

Well, they forgot their camera and I didn’t want them to miss the photo opportunity.

You rarely miss those!

Besides, we’re all safe and sound now with our feet off the mountain and you have to admit, you had a pretty good time!

I’ll admit it, but I’ll also admit that coming down the mountain was a lot more fun than going up!

What about the swimming?

Icing on an already magnificent cake!

Okay, you may continue with your daily blog…

Thanks though there’s not much left to tell! You’re right though, it was a grand day. We literally covered all four corners today and every inch of it was perfection! I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Until then,


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