So there’s a special look from Woof that means “Let’s go for a walk.” It’s different from all the others and more persistently demanding. Once I say “OK” she does a little leap into the air and I grab her old pink collar and leash. I think it was Woof lV who loved pink, and bequeathed it to V and Vl, and in spite of the pinkish gray that it’s become, we’re both attached to it.
Our post dinner walks were usually around 9:00, but now that it’s dark so early, we head out around 8:00. I often watch Rachel at 9, and Woof watches FOX..( she’s not a Republican, but she likes the network name ). As we head down the big cement steps, past the giant gargoyles that I found at MARSHALL’S a few years ago, I check out my hillside garden and wonder how I’ll get the tulips planted with all the things that have to be cleared out first. I glance over at the carriage house to see if our tenant who lives there might be home. When he moved in he told me he had a dog…then gradually confessed to having a couple of cats….and snakes….as well as a tendency to change jobs..a lot. Collecting his rent brings out the worst in me. He’s no slave to responsibility or honesty.
Woof and I are barely out of the driveway before the seven dogs across the street announce us. They sound like they’re attacking an antelope as we walk by. About halfway down the hill from our house we start to get a whiff of the local Italian restaurant…last night the sidewalk tables were busy, and Woof tried once again to lure me over there and unleash her. She’s part Italian. I love seeing people do “summer things” like alfresco dining in October.
The highlight of our stroll is still the doughnut shop. One of Woof’s best friends works there….a pretty young girl named Philomena, who comes flying out the door when we come by to hug and kiss Woof. On the nights when she isn’t working Woof is visibly depressed…stubborn…and gloomy, in spite of all of my explanations and understanding. Phil rides a motorcycle, and sometimes the parking lot there will be filled with about a dozen big butch motorcyclists…kinda scary looking, but really nice people. When one of my friends was being harassed by his homophobic neighbor, I offered to have the “gang” pay a visit…they love Woof and me. My friend declined…for the time being.
We pass the house with the leaping and screaming Jack Russell, the house where the guy and his wife hate each other, the guy with the mean dog who scared us one night enough to make us change our route, and the pizza place where you’d really choose to starve rather than try any of their food.
Our early evening walks really allow me to experience the changing seasons. from those hot humid nights where we really take it slow, to the brutal winter days when we take it really fast, to the early spring days when the whole world seems to be yawning awake with that great earthy perfume. Last night I noticed the leaves crunching under foot and paw, and I sigh, feel that life is good right now…with my dog beside me, and big plans for decorating the house for Fall. Once again I have to remind myself…one day at a time…one day at a time.