Thursday, July 16, 2009

Merrily We Stroll Along

Walking in our neighborhood is an enjoyable experience for the most part. Somehow, though, throwing two grehounds into the mix makes things infinitely more interesting. Two different styles of walking could not be found. Bunny is always eager to go. As soon as I pick up her harness, she is dancing around, barely able to be still long enough for me to put it on. It is at this point that Blueberry enters the fray. She, too, is all shades of excited, however, I am hesitant to take her. Blueberry and I have a long history over her walks. If I zig, she zags -- if I am trying to move forward, she has to stop and sniff the flowers -- if I want her on my left, she will always end up on my right. I dearly love her, but she has never been easy to walk. She also has never seemed to have the stamina for it. So, as I get ready to go for a walk, Blueberry walks between Bunny and me and gazes up at me, very soulfully. Guilt kicks in.

Me: Blue, we're going for a walk, you don't like walks.

Blueberry: I never get to do anything!

Me: That's not true, but when I take you, we always end up having a problem.

Blueberry: Oh, I see! You just love Bunny more. Woe. Is. Me.

Me: Blue, come on! Don't be like that! You'll get exhausted and I can't carry you back home.

Blueberry: I've been working out!

Me (suspiciously): Running in and messing up our bed at night is not working out.

Blueberry: Please, please, please!

At this point, she breaks through, barrels past me and stands at the door wagging her tail wildly. I know two things in this scenario. One, she is going to sulk outrageously if I don't put a leash on her and two, if i take her, I am going to end up tired and frustrated on the walk. Sadly for me, I seem to be unable to resist this one small request of hers. I know that she needs exercise and that it will make her happy to go along with us. She really does ask for very little from us. So, I give in and grab a leash for her.

In the beginning, it's all sunshine and roses. Both girls have tails wagging and the thrill of what we might encounter makes everyone's steps light. As we get to the end of our street, Blueberry is suddenly walking quietly beside me while Bunny continues to forge ahead. I try to keep Blue enthusiastic and moving along. Another two blocks and her tongue begins to loll out of her mouth. I try to sound upbeat and cheerful. As we arrive at the park, Blue is now walking behind me, switching sides on occasion so that I have to keep switching the leash back and forth to keep her moving. Bunny is now intent on the park, ecstatic with the knowledge that there might be kids to pet her, pee mail to sniff, possibly a dog to greet, and maybe even a toad to catch by the creek. Her little feet begin to dance on the sidewalk and she prances over to the grass to get to her destination even quicker. I drift over into the grass, hoping to cut corners a little and make it a tad easier on Blueberry. Finally, we reach Bunny's favorite spot to sniff and leave pee mail and Blue gets a few seconds' reprieve.

By now Blue's tongue is hanging out nearly to the sidewalk. Walking has never been her forte and now that she's getting a little older, it is even less so. Still, she doesn't want to be left behind. She soldiers on. As we leave the park, it begins to become ridiculous. I will say here, for the record, that I strongly believe that a lot of this is for dramatic purposes and that I do not believe it is possible for a brief walk to overexert a hound to this degree. This is the point, as we slowly walk up the gentle hill where her sides begin to heave. She walks as far behind me as the leash will allow. A desperate gasp escapes her lips. I look at her and realize that I have lost the battle yet again. I don't think she realizes how lucky she is to be born during the age of cell phones.

I pull out my cell phone and call Husband. I explain that I need him to come and pick up his dog in the van. He doesn't even ask where we are. The scenario has played out enough times that he knows where we will be sitting on the edge of the sidewalk like poor, shiftless drifters. A few minutes pass and he arrives. I open the door and suddenly Blue jumps in with remarkable enthusiasm. Bunny looks in the van and then hopefully down the street. I tell her to make up her mind. I see her weighing the option of greeting Husband and going for ride versus the possibility of being petted by someone she has yet to be formally introduced to, since there are no strangers in her world. Blueberry sighs from the back seat of the van and Bunny decides she doesn't want to miss an opportunity like a drive through window. We both get in and she stands between Husband and I, excited to see what might be out there.

Maybe it would be easier to just pile them into the car and go for a ride. Is exercise really that overrated?

1 comment:

  1. This sounds a lot like our walks in the summer heat! Joy is the one pulling us ahead and Red drags behind, with lots of drama of course. But should a squirrel run across her path she magically has all the energy in the world ;)


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