Our walks are not the regular, every day, set your clocks by them occurrence that they once were. ('Once' meaning daily since 1992, except for a brief period when my first Whippet, Gracious, was too old and infirm to walk. I couldn't bear to go without her so nobody went. What? Oh yes, I am a wuss. I have no delusions.)
Since I've returned to work, our walks are all hit or missy. On work days I leave the house at 6:40 AM - my commute is all of 24 blocks - and I get home somewhere around 7:45 to 8:45 PM.
You remember. I drag my 56 year old sorry self home to something delicious that Bill has prepared and eight dogs who are beyond ecstatic that I finally found my way home. A younger version of me might go for a walk before or after work. This version of me can barely make it through dinner and up to bed. And in fact if I've worked two days in a row, we're lucky if I get out of bed by 5 pm the next day (not counting the 42 times I trudge downstairs to let a dog out/in/out/inout).
But today, Bill walked Luciano and Delia. I walked Mama Pajama, Fat Charlie, and Easy around their one block. We dawdle, we sniff, we stop to rest, they pee and pee and poop, poop, poop. Day after tomorrow, Mama Pajama and Fat Charlie will be thirteen. Easy's tumor has grown to alarming proportions and he is quite precious, I fear. He feels fine - glorious in fact - but I see danger signs; it claws at me.
So they can dawdle all they please.
Then Sam I Am, Swede William, and Lindy Loo (who are having a full blown, old fashioned, deep throated in three part harmony howl from their crates in the dog room when the seniors and I return) and I head out. There is air moving, and a bit of cloud cover. But it's godawful hot.
By one of the funeral homes (we pass two on the way to the river) a mocking bird is taking its parental duties seriously. It dive bombs Sammy from behind. "What the heck?" says Saint Sam. Then it goes after me. I flail my (full, thank you) poop bags around my crown. I have a flashback to an eight year old me:
We were spending the summer in New Orleans; my father doing post grad studies at Tulane. I went to a day camp. Either my parents were ridiculously irresponsible, or it was a different world. I would walk the ten blocks to camp alone. I told my mother that a bird was attacking me every morning.
I did possess an active imagination, and my mother thought I just didn't want to walk alone, I suppose. She ignored me. One morning I started to cry. I was afraid. I said the bird had made me bleed. My mother looked at my scalp and lo and behold there was a chunk of skin missing and a bigger bald spot. We didn't have mocking birds in Massachusetts. She walked with me that morning. Damn bird nearly pecked her eye out. She found a different route for me to walk.
Today's mocking bird nearly proves Darwin's theory when it launches a third, and frontal, attack on Lindy Loo. She got a piece of it, and if it hadn't been for her leash, it would have been breakfast. The adult in me was relieved that some baby mocking birds in Paducah still have their parent. The eight year old... The words "chortled" and "nanny nanny boo boo" and "foot stomping happy dance Lindy Loo you GO girl" come to mind, I'm not sure why.
I'm working form 11 to 3 today. One of the nurses needed today off, and the only way she could get coverage was to get 3 nurses to work four hours each. If she had asked me first, I would have worked the whole day for her. Tomorrow I work all day.
And that's that.
hug your hounds