The Perfect Walk

July 7th, 2015

Life is usually not perfect.  I learned that experiencing a perfect month, week or even a day is not likely to happen.  So, when everything falls flawlessly in place, one appreciates it.  Bailey and I had such a moment.  The morning began in the normal fashion.  That was until we clamoured outside for our first walk of the day in the early hours.  At 16 degrees Celsius, the temperature was not too hot or cold – just right for a stroll.  Temperature plays a big part on Bailey’s mood.  There was no glare from the sun which was hidden behind cloud cover.  A warm breeze greeted us with the promise that no bug spray was necessary.  I suspected that Bailey was relieved not to be squirted with her special insect repellent.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Bailey was motivated to get her business over with.  Her timing was perfect as I was able to bag and dispose of it with relative ease – a dumpster was nearby.  Most mornings, Bailey spends a considerable amount of time looking for that “perfect spot” which is usually not close to any public garbage can.  When this happens, I find myself carrying the bag until we arrive back home.  There’s a lot of stuff in that bag and it emits a very fragrant odor.  In the warmer weather, it can get quite ripe.  Her walk can often be a two bagger one.  Fortunately for me, today’s walk did not involve a large volume and disposal was quick.

We settled upon a comfortable pace and proceeded through the nearby playground.  Bailey ignored the temptation to gobble the rocks hidden in the grass.  I was treated to a litter free walk which meant not having to pry pieces of garbage out of Bailey’s mouth.  Old discarded chewing gum is one of her favourite contraband items.  Most mornings, I stoop down to collect litter left on the ground.  No bug spray needed and now, no trash strewn around to pick up.  The walk was becoming more enjoyable.

The two of us made our to the adjacent baseball field and completed a circuit to close the gates.  Once that was done, Bailey sat and waited while I walked across the field to the other side.  I blew the silent whistle and she charged quickly towards me.  Watching Bailey thunder closer and closer can be scary as she is not always the best about putting on the brakes.  Today, she stopped in front of me with space to spare.  Bailey resumed her sitting position in anticipation of the cheese treat.  The second and third times went equally well.  I was pleased.  More importantly, Bailey was happy that I was pleased.

We began to head back towards home.  The street was quiet except for the sound of my footsteps, Bailey’s panting and the rustling tree leaves from the wind.  I smiled at seeing the breeze ripple through her fur.  I noticed that her puppy fur was starting to give way to patches of shiny adult fur.  I wondered where the time had gone.  I glanced around to observe the chirping birds and the flowering gardens without any thoughts of the upcoming busy day ahead.  Occasionally, I would notice Bailey looking up at me.  She would softly nuzzle my hand when our eyes met.  Everything was right with our world.  I realized that Bailey was heeling without any need of correction.  She was not straining on the leash.  Instead, we were in sync as we sauntered side by side down the street – the perfect partnership between owner and dog.

P.S. At 23 weeks, Bailey is now 31.2 kg or 68 pounds 11 ounces.

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