Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Is In The Air - The Dogs Know It

Yesterday was the first full day of my wife's and daughter's trip to Germany. That meant I was supposed to man up, get my butt in gear and start taking the dogs for their daily walks. It was pouring - they stayed inside except for a quick potty call to the backyard. Same thing last night, it was raining pretty heavily when I got home form work so just a quick trip to the backyard. This morning was a different story.

This morning I rolled out of bed at about 5:45 to let out the dogs. The morning air was damp, and the steely gray look of the skies promised more rain although it was holding back at that moment. The dogs seemed reluctant to go out but they did. Once back inside they all devoured a cookie (dog biscuit) or two and I left them to themselves and tried to get some more sleep. I was off from work today and could sleep until ten or so when I would have to get ready for a doctor's appointment. They let me sleep too and the 2 chihuahuas joined me under the covers. They love snuggling to keep warm, not with each other so much as with people. The big ones stayed downstairs. By 8 I was up again, this time the big ones seemed restless. I knew what it was, they were chomping at the bit to be outside for a walk. I grabbed their leashes off the hook on the wall and they started whining and jumping with eagerness. Once outside they both sat obediently and let me put their collars on, then we were off.

I don't know if it was just that they missed their walks yesterday or that Fall was in the air but they were pretty frisky on this walk. There were a lot of piles of wet leaves under this tree and the next and that one over there and they wanted to sniff at em all. I imagine getting your warm nose down right into a pile of cool wet leaves must be a rush - well for a dog anyhow - because they sure seemed to enjoy it. Heck, I could smell that certain pungent but not unpleasant and earthy aroma that the downed leaves of a damp fall day give off and it was a good smell at that, one that had me thinking of the upcoming hunting season. Of course, with the two of our bigger dogs Mimi and Roxie, it was not just the leaves that got them going tugging at their leashes. They too were thinking of the hunt but of a more immediate nature. They were on the hunt and I was tugged along many a scent trail right to the base of an old oak tree often left wondering just who was 'on' the leash. That's because they are both nuts about squirrels, especially Mimi and she taught Roxie to be likewise. Mimi runs at break neck speed, jumps fences in a single bound, climbs trees (or tries to) in her attempts to catch squirrels (and birds but squirrels are her favorite prey). Roxie now tries likewise, Mimi was a good teacher. When we got to a small local park with a good number of trees, they both went almost wild sniffing for squirrel scent.

Of course, this is not a great habit for a dog in an urban setting and it is pretty urban around our home. So I let them have some fun then had them both heel. It has been so long since I have walked them they both seem to have forgotten the meaning of the word heel. They soon started remembering though, a tug or three on the choker chain and a stern growling "NO" and they were getting it again. They even walked passed 2 squirrels about halfway through our walk and only furrowed their brows and peaked their ears - then when I said hell, they came right along with me with nary a tug of the leash. Back to another wooded and grassy park-like area and they were given the liberty to pull as they wanted as they sniffed the ground here and there seeking out the scents of other dogs, or cats, or squirrels and birds and I am sure making an aromatic map in their memories of the way we went.

Once home they were spent and relaxed. I made breakfast and am still enjoying a hot cup of Sumatran French Roast, mmm good! As I was taking the first few sips, I did some surfing of other blogs and I came across a piece that inspired me to write about my walk with the degs this morning. Yes I wrote degs, it is what we call the dogs sometimes. The blog that inspired this piece today can be found over at Upland Feathers at this link. It is a much better written piece than was mine, and is also about a man and his dog, or was that a lass and her dog (could have been either) and some fond memories of Fall being in the air and both the dog and the human knowing it and enjoying it together!

As for me, I am looking forward to 3 weeks of walking the dogs even though the skies opened up and the rain poured down on us for the last 1/2 mile or so of our walk today. It was all good anyway. Who knows, I may keep it up once the frau returns and before you know it I may be fit and somewhat trim again. As for the present, I need to get the two little ones out for a walk later this afternoon or this evening.

All the best,
Glenn B