Friday, June 21, 2013

Summertime, and the Living Is . . . Hectic

Driving back from picking up some prescriptions at the pharmacy today, I had a strong urge for a Chicago Dog from Sonic. Man, are those good hot dogs -- made the Chicago way, with a lot of peppers, a little tomato, and absolutely no ketchup. But a strange thought intervened: Wouldn't I really be using my time better if I went to the community workout room? Better to work off some calories instead of packing them on? And amazingly enough, that's what I did -- headed to the workout room.

There for the first time, I pushed my bionic knee to do 20 minutes on the nice new exercise bike. I feared some soreness, but it didn't happen, so I can keep pushing a little more each visit. I iced the knee when I got home and it felt great.

All this happened, I am happy to say, after a nice dog walk late in the morning. It is as though Sadie has some built-in sensors that work even when she's in the air-conditioned house. She knows when there is oppressive humidity outdoors and she wants no part of walking. But late this morning (after company had departed), there was a bit of a refreshing breeze and the humidity had not yet resettled over coastal Carolina. And Sadie instructed me to put on her leash and get moving.

So we drove to the nice starting spot at the recreation center and began a walk that Superdawg just kept extending, and extending, and extending. She didn't want to turn back. Our one challenge was a Rottweiler that clearly wanted to charge us and was being restrained (barely) by two middle-school-age kids holding its leash. I thought about the tactics I would use if it tried to jump us -- planting my thick Carolina Hawthorn walking stick in the ground and loudly asserting "No!" Or if it came to that, whacking the attack dog with the sturdy stick until it backed off. Certainly, I would never let a dog like that rip into sweet Sadie uncontested. We would stand or fall together. Fortunately, the boys managed to hold onto the leash and none of the worst-case scenarios came into play.

I thought about letting Sadie continue to lead us on a full circle of our large community, but it was starting to get hot, so I tricked her by guiding us on a shortcut that did not seem as though we were retracing our steps. When we got back home, she drank lots of water, then crashed. Fortunately, though, she perked up and ate dinner and then wanted to play tonight. It wasn't like our walk in the thick humidity one recent day when she acted lethargic -- almost as though she was on her last legs -- for two days afterwards.

So by reading Sadie's sensors and mixing in alternative exercise, we should be able to survive another South Carolina summer. The pool sure looks inviting, too.

© Robert G. Holland  2013

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