Geoff has taken to calling our dogs by new names. Gonzo is Ginzo. Brodie is Bodey, and Jack is Yak. It is kind of weird, but they respond to him when he talks to them, even when bastardizing their names. They don't care. It's Geoff and they love the attention.
For the past couple of nights I've been walking the dogs. This should'nt come as a surprise at all, because dogs usually like to go for walks and responsible pet owners take them for walks.
Our dogs have been traditionally different.
Jack and Brodie have been perfectly happy not going for walks. They enjoy hanging out in the back yard, they get their run time, play time, puppy face fighting time in, and generally get their fill of the great outdoors just by chillin' in the crib. When we have taken them for walks, it has been geocaching, and it's like doggie nudist colony time -- no leashes, just naked running through the woods.
Gonzo requires a walk. On leash. He insists. And he won't leave me alone until I take him on one. Because I'm the only one who has been taking him frequently (and by that, I mean every couple of days when I can't stand him bothering me to go), I have become the only soul he nags.
He doesn't nag Jess, oh heavens no. Doug? Geoff? Forget about it. No nagging there.
It's always the same. I walk in the door and he begins the ritual. Barking first, mostly to be fed his dinner. So I give him that. For some reason, he doesn't ask anyone else to feed him. He just asks me. He finishes and I let him out to do his "dirty, sinful business" as the Reverend Tim Lovejoy might say. And about 20 minutes later, he stands next to me, whimpering pathetically.
Please take me out for a walk. Pleeeeeeaaaaasssssse!
He could have been outside for hours running and playing and jumping all day. But he wants that leash time.
So I give it to him. Like I said, usually every couple of days when I can't stand it anymore with the whining and the begging.
But I decided that for him and for me that he should get his daily stroll.
Monday I took him on an extensively long walk, much longer than I'd anticipated. I think it worked out to four miles. I should measure these things so I know. We walked up to the town property, with the huge hill and the lake out behind the old Episcopal Parsonage where Rev. Chuck used to live before he moved away. I followed his loop trail out to the woods to the Carriage trail, and let Gonzo off leash. He ran like a maniac. Constantly returning to me to make sure I was still there.
We then circled back around and walked DOWN the big huge hill with the Ethan Fromme tree (as Tanager calls it) and I envisioned what it will be like when the snow comes and they've mowed all the different meadow plants down. We walked home and he slept well. My legs burned.
Now, because Gonzo gets to go out for leash time, both Jack and Brodie are bothering me for their turn. Great.
So starting this past Sunday I've taken them each, one at a time, on pre-decided routes.
My Gonzo route takes us out the back door, past our little side street down the main road. We turn right, walk past the playground, turn right again, pass the fire house, pass the other end of our little side street, pass the Episcopal Church, turn right again, pass the Catholic Padre's parsonage, and then return to the back door. All told it is 1.2 miles.
If I am not feeling up to that long a walk, I turn at the fire house at the end of our little side street to cut home. That's .70 miles.
My Jack route takes us out the same door, turning right down our little side street, turning right again to pass the Episcopal Church, turning right again to pass the Padre and returning to our back door. That is .50 miles.
My Brodie route takes us out the back door, down our little side street to the end, turn around, come back. All told, that's .25 miles.
I'm noticing that evenings are a lot quieter if I do this for all three and not just Mr. Gonzo. They are mellow, they are tired, they rest. They sleep through the whole night, no pacing, no whining, no jingling of collars all night long. Well, Gonzo does still pace but he doesn't whine. He mostly paces downstairs, then up to our rooms to check on us, and then back to our bedroom to lay down in his spot again or off to the futon to sleep.
Getting into the habit of doing this (last night was only night three of my new ritual) is going to be difficult. I didn't get home last night until 7pm, so by the time I ate dinner and watched House it was rather late. The whining wouldn't stop, and I knew I had to do. And I'm glad I did it. Even though it was 9:50 by the time I wrapped up the walkings.
Once I get into the pattern of doing this, I guarantee you it will be too cold to WANT to do it and I'll be rather extra reluctant to go. Perhaps it will return to a Gonzo only walk on the Brodie course. Who knows. Only the snow knows.
I had observations from last night that I was going to write about but my neighbor was telling me in my driveway for the last 20 minutes about how my other neighbor's son is a registered sex offender and is in prison for 10 years for molesting 9 year old boys. Great. He won't have eligibility for parole at all, and after he's released he'll be on 30 years probation. He has a younger brother in my daughter's grade. I can't imagine what their family is going through.
So anyway -- that's it for this entry. I'll try and record the thoughts I had while on my walk. I made many profound observations that you absolutely are dying to know. I'm sure. Yeah right.