Monday, August 15, 2016

Tough Summer's Walk With Tough Dawg

Just three days after our best walk of the summer under a gentle mist, we had our worst this morning. Wait, I will amend that to toughest because there is hardly ever any such thing as a bad dawgwalk.

Various tasks delayed our stepping off until almost 11 am. by which time the temperature already had risen to 89F and the dew point was 72. The "real-feel" (as AccuWeather calls the heat index) already had hit 100F. No gentle mist was to be had, and no puffy clouds intervened to protect us from the sun.

Ellie Mae provided a burst of entertainment as usual. She lunged at a tree and came within inches of grabbing one of the biggest lizards I've seen in these parts. It looked like a Texas lizard come east on a road trip. I am not sure what would have ensued had Ellie grabbed it. Could it have been poisonous? Maybe. My scariest thought is that one day Ellie is going to pounce on a copperhead snake. What then? She might succeed in chewing the snake in two but before that happened. chances are good the copperhead would get in a venomous bite or two. What then? Off to the emergency vet?

I try to avoid tall grass and other places snakes might lurk.

Coonhound + labrador retriever = junkyard dog, aka goofball.

By the way, I am loving my hickory walking stick from WhistleCreek.com. I have finally learned the difference between a walking stick and a cane. A walking stick is very tall and gives you traction on a dawgwalk (plus potentially helping you ward off a snake or mean dog). A cane is for stepping out in style at the mall or the hospital. An African-American fellow saw me with my thick Carolina Hawthorne cane, which uses the gnarly root as the knob, and said, "With that, you could be a playa!" (I took it as a compliment.)

Back to today's trail of sweat: At times, I began to feel weak and slightly nauseous. Those are likely the first symptoms of heat sickness. So we stopped and I drank water. We finished the morning walk at 4,000 steps -- not bad. And then to recover, we got in the car, turned the a-c on full blast and went through a MacDonald's drive-through for a plain biscuit for sharing and a senior coffee (black).

Okay, in the summer, yes, we do drive to a 90-percent-shaded location to do our walking. Maybe driving seems counter-intuitive; however, there is little or no shade between home and prime walking territory. In fall, winter, and spring, we usually just step out the door and walk to the good walking places (unless we are going to the beach. in which case we do drive).

Walking will be on hold later this week when I have cataract surgery on my other eye (previously my "good eye.") If it goes as well as surgery No. 1 did on the "bad eye," I may be in the market for non-prescription sunglasses. But surgery is surgery. I never take anything for granted.

                                                © Robert G. Holland  2016

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