22 February 2014

Amazing walk with Penny tonight

The last couple of nights have been short walks since I had to go places where she couldn't accompany me. It amazed me when she took off out the door and down the street, noticed Nice Kitty (but didn’t lunge at him), and just kept on moving. It was difficult for me to keep up with her for the first couple of blocks. That's NOT the way walking with Penny usually works. She's usually an anchor, nose just barely off the ground, constantly entranced with smelling EVERYTHING. She barely paused at her best friend's house to leave him a quick pee-mail on the fence and off we went along the sidewalk, past dog home after dog home.

After burning off that initial burst of energy it was more difficult to keep her on task, her nose lowered too close to the ground. We reverted to a shortened leash and the "let's walk now" command repeated many times.

We crossed Shute Park near the Senior Center and the almost ready library before heading for Arbor Roses, rounded the perimeter of that development, more or less, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset over Jackson BottomWetlands. Lots of pink, yellow, and orange dappled the cloud-covered sky - all but the section between the far western and southern horizons where deepening sky blue remained. A story below, ducks quacked and took to the water, and we made only an infrequent stop. The water level was higher than I remember, extending well into the low-lying forest and within a couple yards of one remaining, privately-held out-building below the bluff. Yes, we’ve had a couple weeks of wet and it shows.

And me without my camera as usual.

Leaving Arbor Roses, we crossed the Portland and Western tracks, returned through Shute Park, only stopping for a couple trees. By this time Penny’s mouth was open and her nose pointed ahead. She wanted to keep up with me, enjoy the walk, and, frankly, get home to her water dish and dinner. It’s rare for her to go two blocks without a break for an intensive olfactory investigation of trees, utility poles, street signs, and frankly, just about any blade of grass or other piece of landscaping material.

One last pass at her best buddy Noodle’s fence – he was inside – and we returned home. Can’t remember another time we spent an hour walking. She’s sacked out on her bed, stomach nowhere near what she considers full but well-fed and watered. Will her dreams be different tonight? Just endless legs twitching, covering remembered distance?

It’s nice to have a walking dog again.

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