Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Problem Solving In The Rain

The first thought I had this morning was that it was raining.

I heard it through the windows, through the earplugs and through the dark of the predawn hour. 

After reaching for the phone to check the weather radar I realized it would be a wet walk.

One thing you learn when you have an active breed dog like a Mc Nab Dog, or many others, is that you are going to go out into the weather regardless of what it is doing out there.   Be Prepared.  Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Mottoes aside,  you're going to take that dog out or you're going to have to deal with the chaos that will ensue.  Besides, not only will the dog benefit from the exercise but so will you.  Look down at your waist and no matter what I bet you will agree.

Gathering up the dog after I threw on some shorts and a T Shirt, this is Florida and February after all, I went out to inspect the weather.   Usually I let her go out and water the yard before feeding her, but not today.  She wasn't having any of that foolishness.   She looked up at me then turned and walked inside.

You didn't know a dog could talk did you?

She did.  I fed her and then got her leash.   She will go out in the rain even if I don't want to.  Our normal morning walk is a solid mile and a quarter, 2 KM worth of wandering, sniffing, and pushing palm fronds aside.  It takes around 45 minutes and usually is through the Central Business District here in Wilton Manors. 

We set out on a normal route, with me holding an aging golf umbrella against the slowing rain, Lettie sniffing the same spots she usually does.  Just like clockwork, she did her normal morning business and waited for me to get out plastic bag and remove the offense from the pea gravel in front of a neighbor's home.

When I stood up, flashlight removed from my mouth and umbrella at the ready I noticed that I was being spoken to.  Today was different, I had left my MP3 player at home so I wasn't walking with a series on British History playing in my ears, today I was being spoken to by the dog.

Lettie had just been to the Vet this weekend and one of the things they did was to clean her ears out "professionally".  It must have had an effect because her hearing is better.   She's 11 years old, it isn't perfect but she is reacting to me and my babbling.  I thought why not test it out.  

Lettie was also facing away from our usual walk.  While not still looking at the house, she wasn't looking like she wanted to do any more of this.   We had only walked half way down the block, maybe only 500 feet, but I knew this was not going to be a normal one.

"Show Me!" I said, "Lettie, Show Me!".

6:45 in the morning, the neighbors were beginning to leave for work, the rain was steady but lessening and I'm talking to a "Senior" dog in front of their house.

"Lettie, OK Girl, Show Me!"

Come On Grandma, show me you can still hear.

Just like that, she looked up, then back toward the house and kept going.   We were on the way home.  No more of this rain, she was saying, I'm too old for this and you look silly in shorts and a T Shirt and the dreaded long white socks.

Taking five steps, she looked up at me with those big brown eyes and smiled that gap mouthed doggie smile as if to say "Good, you can still hear" and we walked home.

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