Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WALKIN' "MY" (Borrowed) DOGS!

Oh, such fun I'm having.....unfortunately at a neighbor's expense, because if she hadn't been forced to stay relatively flat on her back for a few months to recover from some bone fractures, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of walking her darling little doggies each day.

These darling little pooches are Mariah and Tiffany -- mother and daughter maltepoo's, I think I remember their human mom saying. Tiffany was shaved of her heavy coat earlier this summer, so they don't look much alike right now, but when she's in full coat they always remind me of two dogs I knew a long time ago named "Pete" and "Repeat." Except for their size (they are both adults), they certainly have that cookie-cutter look.

Although I hate to admit it, my day centers around the half-hour I get to take them for their exercise. I also am loathe to admit that it is also exercise for me. I hate exercise. But I don't consider it as such. It is pure fun, and although I wish their mom a quick recovery, we may have a fist-fight when she is well enough to take them on her own.

These dogs have their own little quirks. They are unable to walk together without crossing back and forth so many times that if there were three leashes they would be able to create a braid in 30 seconds! There is no side-by-side walking; no, it's back and forth, back and forth. They also are quite capable in their starting and stopping, sniffing and peeing on every foot of grass they pass, to entangle me in their leashes. It is embarrassing to have someone in their yard caution me to be careful while I try my best to gracefully untangle myself. You know us oldsters don't have such good balance anymore, and believe me I am careful. But the pooches think it's fun to see me do what is required to extricate myself.

Tiffany hustles right along, letting nothing get in her way. Momma dog and I huff and puff to keep up. It is exercise, all right, and I know this walk is as good for me as it is for the dogs.

I just didn't realize how much I missed having a dog. For most of our married life Jerry and I did have a dog. First we had little Missy Maud, who had been a "lost" dog and no owner ever claimed. She was a tiny little thing but thought she was a great dane. We had her for 14 years before she died unexpectedly of a stroke.

Then we became foster parents to my cousin's pet dog, Bucky, who did not get along well with the other dogs that my cousin was breeding. I was there when Bucky was born, so we truly felt like he was "our" dog -- and for all intents and purposes he was. He was a purebread sheltie. His name originally was "Bucket of Fun" because of all those born in his litter, he was the most rambunctious. We fostered him for about six years; he died of bladder cancer. This photo does not do him justice; it is a polaroid photo and they don't scan well. But you can see how beautiful he was.

So having the pleasure of walking Mariah and Tiffany (Momma and Sissy I call them) is right up my alley. I do want my neighbor to heal fast, but I also hope she'll take me up on my offer to remain her personal "dog-walker."

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