Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Walk in the neighborhood.

My new morning routine. Coffee, check computer for email, bank and Facebook, more coffee, bathroom, gather supplies, call my little dog, she comes; and then I have to chase and catch her so we can go for our walk.  This is a little game with her.  She wants to go for her walk but first she has to play hard to get.  Once I catch her I lift her up, kiss her little neck, carry her to the counter to get dressed and then get my walker.
I put on her into her little service dog vest and her leash. I have my walker, cane, pepper spray, cell phone, inhaler, sun glasses and poop bags.   Oh, and I almost forgot, my coffee in a container hooked to the seat of the walker.  Now I am ready to go for a walk with my Chihuahua
It is a lovely day, full of sunshine, which immediately makes me clip on my sun glasses.  As we strolled along Angie detoured to pee on the neighbors lawn, then skipped ahead to the utmost length of her 15 foot retractable lease and lead the way like a mushing sled dog. 
On ward ho! until we spotted a kitty in the far distance.  Suddenly we stopped, dead alert for this unforeseen intrusion on our peaceful walk.  Ears straight up(Angie's, not mine), and tail at full mast, we watched as kitty scooted across the street and slid under a garage door. Said door conveniently left open 4 inches for several neighborhood cats.
Interest now gone,  Angie starts up the street again at breakneck speed sloshing my coffee as I attempt to keep up with her.   It never fails to amaze me how much strength a 7 lb Chihuahua with a mission can exert.  As we pass neatly trimmed lawns  my little dog stops to squat and deposit a teaspoon of liquid on the grass.  Further along she takes the same action on a rock lawn, but also stops to sniff among the wild flowers.  Ah Ha!! she has found a snack of some unknown origin.  It could be gum, poop or a dead cricket for all I know, but she seems to enjoy it immensely and patently ignores my shrike of anguish.
Once said snack is eaten with great relish my little lady resumes our walk.  Tail held high and a spirit of inquiry in her normally soft eyes.  She cannot wait to find the next adventure.  Soon we begin to pass one of the alleys which cross behind most of the houses in our area.  Angie doesn't seem to realize that the walker wheels do not travel well over dirt, ruts and gravel, so she is forced to stop at the end of the leash and find a place to poop.  She walks back and forth in ever tightening radius until she finds the perfect place to drop her offering to the alley spirits. At this point I must leave my walker and proceed, plastic bag in hand, to retrieve her waste.  Angie does not even glance at me as I conduct this rather strange activity.  She cannot wait to pull me to the next challenge. I, however, must hold her back until I find one of the huge city garbage cans to deposit the plastic bag.
She is so impatient to get on with her walk she makes me trip over a rut before I manage to make the walker. Off we go again, now with a bit more decorum from my pup.  She stops to smell more spots and in a lush patch of grass begins to eat certain tasty blades.  She chooses from the lawn very carefully.  A blade here and another one there.  Never munch all at once from the same little patch.  I can't help wondering what guides her selection.  They all look the same to me.   Perhaps one is flavored from a spot of pee from some former dog, or even some more exotic animal like a raccoon or a bird.  What ever the draw she finally manages to eat her fill and then the retching begins.  Her tail curls between the legs and up under her belly.  Her whole body spasm's from back to front several times until finally she hacks up a blob of mucus and chopped grass.  She surveys this output for several seconds then hoists her tail and we are off to other pursuits. 
In the meantime, between all of Angie's activities, I maintain my role as protector, and follower, bringing up the rear guard and taking a sip of coffee when we stop for a minute..  I have my cane at the ready to beat off other dogs or human attackers, if the case may be.  I also have my little pink canister of pepper spray in my pocket to use only as a last resort.  With my aim I would most likely spray Angie instead of an attacking dog.  My plan would be to quickly place Angie on the seat of the walker where she has some protection on four sides.  I would then use my voice (or kiai) and banish my cane like a short jo to scare off any attackers.  Once, before I had to use a walker, we were attacked by a dog running out of an alley.(the dog was running, not Angie or me)  Anyway I grabbed her and put her on top of a large blue plastic garbage can(fortunately it was re-cycling pick up day) and faced the evil dog, cane in hand.  I let our a yell and stepped towards the dog banishing the cane, and he ran off yipping. Angie watched the whole process with interest from her perch on the garbage can and was none the worse for ware.  I was shaking and couldn't breathe and had to resort to leaning on the can and using my inhaler.  I always say I have about 20 seconds of intense activity before I am done for. This is just about time to save either my little dog or myself.  So far I have chosen the dog and it has worked out O.K.
Of course the highlight of any walk for Angie is to meet one of her little dog friends.  Two of them Poppie and Keeko, live together with their humans, around the corner and up the block.  Another friend, Little Bucko, lives two blocks away and we see him less frequently as his human leaves early for work.  These three little dogs are Angie's favorites but she will show interest in any dog, no matter how far away.  Her interest is very short lived.  She is such a CAP(Canine American Princess) that her attention to any other animal is very short lived.    It is a brief sniff and be sniffed under the tail, and then she wants to be on her way.  No matter if the other dog is drooling with excitement about potential play.  Off we go with no backward glance to find the next interesting thing.
Finally we have made the circle to home from whatever direction she chose to start from, and our walk is over.  Angie never shows any disappointment that her one walk of the day is over.  Instead she walks at my side with the leash off from the fire hydrant to our front door. We take the leash off to show we trust her, but it is never very far because she has been known in the past to gleefully play Duck, Duck, Goose, and you know who the goose is.
Angie is impatient when I open the front door because she has to run for her bacon strip treat.  And she dances around as I struggle with the walker through the front door. Finally I give her the treat and she jumps on her green pillow on the sofa for her well deserved rest.