Beach at low tideSunday morning, I take Lucy for her daily walk to each end of the block and back. She is much more comfortable with this journey now, trotting along happily at my side. When we reach the end where the scary skateboarders were the other day, I decide to take her a half block further. She follows, but reluctantly, and so I stuff her mouth with liver treats and slowly turn back.
She has begun to anticipate her walks, and to jump up eagerly and run to the back door when I call “Lucy, walk!” and hold up her leash. Once the puppies arrive, those walks will stop for a while, but I hope I have drawn the template for further learning. Walks are FUN, Lucy, FUN!
I put her in the mudroom and take Charley and Sadie for their walk. Knowing that Lucy could go into labour any time, I have moved our summer’s evening walks back to the morning lest fostermom responsibilities should steal away the day and shortchange my collies. We head to the beach, a light breeze keeping the pulp mill smells away, and a weak sun vying for attention amid spots of rain. The faintest of rainbows appears in the sky, and gradually becomes more vivid as we walk.
Rainbow on a Sunday morning
I glance downward and see a rainbow there too – someone has spilled a fair quantity of oil which is spreading across the road, slithering down the asphalt and into the storm drain at the corner. This annoys me no end – surely car buffs can be more careful than that. I cross the road so the dogs won’t pick up oil on their paws, and we head for the beach.
It is a good day for a slow stroll – or it starts out that way. We see deer prints on the sand, and seagulls rising and falling among the rocks as they smash shellfish for their brunch. It is the day of the black dogs – my two, plus three large black dogs plus two small black dogs – the humans chuckle about black dogs ruling the world as one lone white dog cautiously leads his owner past us.
Deer prints in black sand The tide is out and I want to stroll some more, but Charley’s back end gives out. Her hind legs become splayed quite frequently in the house now, but this is the first time it has happened at the beach. I tell myself once more that I must remember to bring my cellphone on these walks or one day I may have to carry a 50 pound dog all the way home. We rest a bit, and as we do the wind disappears, the sun sucks up the morning’s rain and makes the air oppressively humid, and the wasps, overly abundant this year, begin their annoying attempts to make me dance. I oblige, flapping my arms and twisting my body as I try to evade their attentions.
The morning having lost its splendor, the dogs and I slowly make our way home, just as a volley of the first firecrackers of the season fires off in the neighbourhood park.
As we enter the back door, to be greeted by Lucy’s happy wagging tail and kissy face, I mutter to myself “it is good to be home”.
The rest of the day passes uneventfully, one butternut squash asleep on the livingroom floor, one elderly collie sleeping off her beach adventure in the whelping bed, and one collie cross snoozing on the couch. It should have been a good day to straighten my office but somehow time slipped away. Maybe tomorrow, if the baby butternuts don’t arrive.