This summer has been excellent for walking. We have not had many bad stretches of weather. There has been some storms, and days that it was too hot to walk, but they have passed quickly. I don't think we have gone three days this summer without taking our constitutional — not a bad record for this vicinity.
This year we began taking our hikes in the front of our village near the old yellow barn. From there, we walk to the big field on the left. We do this because my parents mistakenly think that River, and especially I, act like crazed dogs desperately in need of attention when we see humans, so they keep us away from populated areas. We only pass four houses on our new route. It has totally changed our waking habits.
Because the barn sees little activity, it has become a place for the creatures of the night to gather together. When the sun comes up, they go back in their holes, but they leave behind the most amazing smells.
If there is no room at the barn, the critters overflow to the field. By the time we turn to go home, we are on sensory overload.
The different ways River and I sniff are an indicator of our personalities. I try to sniff everything at once, my head bobbing up and down in the grass. River will find a single blade and bury her face in it studying it like a scientist examining a new flu strain under a microscope.
Still, we miss seeing our humans. Our interactions with them have been few and far between.
This week we were blessed to see two people on our walk. Better than just seeing us, they stopped, smiled, and reached down to give us blessed attention.
We approached the couple the way we approach life. River slowly, and silently walked up to the gentleman and gratefully took his scratches. I went to the woman, excitedly barking: "Me! Me! Touch me." When the woman did, I immediately went over to the man who had to be better at giving attention. I muscled River out of the way. The man stroked me once. "Nope, the lady is better," I barked. I went back to find that she was not as good as I remembered, so I barked and went back to the man. I kept this up for the entire two minutes and only got ten seconds worth of attention. How did this happen?
I barked at them as they walked away and then we went in the opposite direction. "You know," River said, "you would get more attention if you didn't act like a spaz."
Goes to show what she knows. A spaz always gets extra attention.
But, maybe River is right. Perhaps if I learned how to curb my enthusiasm, I would get more attention. Perhaps I am my own worst enemy.
Hark! What is that sound? Are those footfalls outside my door? Bark bark bark. Off I go, exhibiting my enthusiasm.
It is something that should be celebrated, not shunned, even in the most spastic little dogs.