I guess the dogs get a silver lining out of COVID-19, too.
My spring/summer/early fall days usually start with a walk. The length and exercise value of this walk have varied at times, mostly according to the dogs’ ages and abilities.
Right now, I have one 10 ½ year old lab who knows my every move. She keeps her eyes on me from the moment I get out of bed, watching to see which clothes and which shoes I put on. Her joints are arthritic, and she just can’t go for the longer walks she’s enjoyed for years.
But she won’t let me out the door without her.
Walks with this one must go at a slow pace. I must stop often for her to catch up, no matter how slow I go. It’s also required that we stop for her to swim. She will return from this venture soaking wet, smelling “like a wet dog”—for hours. Guaranteed.
Our second dog is a Bernese Mountain Dog of only seven months. She needs to burn off some energy. Her pace is frenetic. Right now, her newest trick is to dive in and out of all the ferns. She hides, pops out and wags furiously—before she takes off like a wild child for more plant life on the other side of the lane.
But her absolute favorite part of the walk is sloshing through the mud. The sound of her feet slapping up and down—mud flying every which way—seems to spur her onto even more zooming about.
Better yet? She, too, has finally learned to go into the very small pond. By the end of this little jaunt, her normally white feet will be black. Her undercarriage will have so much dirt packed in that I will have to bathe her with shampoo. A simple rinse will not help in the least.
I dressed this morning, prepared to go for the longer walk, the one I can only do if, for some reason, both of them decide to sleep in. But who am I kidding? The lab had her eye on me from the moment I stepped by her. The puppy had already gone downstairs with my husband, but bounded over to me with great anticipation the moment she saw me.
I can’t turn them down. How could I even think of squashing such unabashed enthusiasm?
What a lovely silver lining for them that I have no huge deadlines… since there will be at least 45 extra minutes spent on two baths this morning!