Monday, January 14, 2013

The Loyal Dog Deserves Her Daily Walk

What do they make hospital and mall floors out of anyway? They must be the hardest surfaces yet devised by man.

 Today, I walked the long corridors of the hospital from Cardiac Rehab in the old section, to the Heart Center in the new wing, to do my Mended Hearts visits with folks who'd just had their heart surgeries. Then I walked all the way back to our MH meeting room to preside over my first meeting as president. I didn't take my medical cane, thinking that would be a downer for a heart patient to see. His or her visitor should be a heart surgery survivor who projects a picture of vim and vigor. (Well, I try.) But those floors are hard on the knees. I don't have any alternative to propose, but I will lean on the cane next time.

Anyway, by the time I got back after lunch, Superdawg was rarin' to go on her walk. I had to ask her to make do (so to speak) on a solo backyard visit, and then to content herself being an indoor watchdog all morning. However, ol' Sadie doesn't forget the walk she's due any more than the time for her supper; indeed, her diligence is a large part of the reason I have remained as active as I have into my 70s. She is truly golden, a sweet and smart mix of golden retriever and yellow lab that Westminster ought to declare a new breed: the Sunny Superdawg.

This being yet another Spring-like day in January, Superdawg insisted we follow the woodsy route that goes by a pond and a lake. (See the photos here of the pathway and Sadie checking it out.) Basically, it is a narrow trail that in places is nearly overgrown. Going out, it is flanked on the right side by a spooky looking creek. One day, I heard a huge splash as we walked by. Never figured out what that was. You have to wonder sometimes what might jump (or crawl) out from either side. A bobcat? A bear? A gator? I just hope Florida doesn't export any of those Burmese pythons it's dealing with.

In actuality, there's probably not anything much more menacing than a rabbit or a raccoon out there, and both Sadie and I are grateful for our wooded preserve. We just hope the developers don't have designs on it. It is our second favorite walk -- the beach being No. 1. As the weather heads back down to the near-freezing marks more typical for January, we may settle for neighborhood walks again for a while. What is certain is that there will be a walk every day that we are both able. Few things could be more certain in life than the walking companionship of a loyal dog. And yes you could often say that she's the one taking me on the walk.

© Robert G. Holland 2013

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