Friday, October 13, 2023

"Walks"


Years ago, I saw a man in the park walking an old little dog while reading a book.  I was surprised at this ridiculousness – how can someone read a book and walk a dog?!  Impossible, and how amusing!  Sigh.  I came to know that it is possible. 

Walks started to change noticeably when Charly was about nine.  She had been an avid trail runner, but we had followed the vet’s advice of shorter walks and no runs.  Then, she started passing up an opportunity to go for a walk.  She would growl.  I started to receive texts from the dogwalker, her special person, her loving friend, saying, “Charly didn’t want to walk today.  She growled at me from under the bed.”  (She was still flexible enough at that time to squirm herself under).  I would apologize, worry, feel embarrassed, and pay him anyway.  Eventually, we cancelled the dogwalker.  Charly wanted to go out in the morning, and in the evening.  She didn’t want the mid-day walk.  There was no “dog-cuddler” service that we knew of…were we ridiculous for wondering!?

 

Walks kept declining meter by meter.  For the past couple years they have been to the end of the block, cross the street, and walk back…very very slowly.  If we go 800 metres, it’s a very long walk.  She does not want to be carried…and she’s a bit heavy anyway.  There are pauses to sniff for a looong time.  Pauses to sit on a grassy area.  Pauses to lay down on a grassy area.  Pauses on a grassy area to look at the horizon…the mountains…the sunrise.  Pauses to eat the grass – the broadleaf variety only.  Walks take almost as long as they did when Charly was a young dog.  Instead of taking a book on our walks, I drink a cup of tea.  I use one of my favourite mugs that has a plastic lid …I’m having trouble admitting that I do not need that lid. 

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