Walkin’ the ‘hood

I hardly ever walk my dogs around my neighborhood. Not that it’s not a nice place and all, but because I just prefer to take them out and about where there are more trees, more grass, apparently more critters, and definitely fewer people and cars.

013 Camm prefers places like this.

Today, they walked the’ hood.

I had to drop my jeep off for a fix early this morning. Apparently it’s not firing on all cylinders. Story of my life. When I get my repair bill, I’m sure I will not find this as amusing as I do at present.*

I wasn’t amused when my engine malfunction light went off in Canada last Sunday afternoon. But after looking up what the idiot light was telling me, I figured I’d be able to get back to the U.S. of A. And I did, and still managed to drive around a fair bit over the week, but momma ain’t taking any more chances before driving north again this weekend.

Brady came with me to drop the jeep off. I figured he’d be the first neighborhood walk victim as he’s extremely pokey about doing his business in the morning and new territory would be inspiring for him.

Brady was elated to be checking out the sights and sniffs of the neighborhood and proceeded to prance about, pissing on all the things and looking about for new human friends. All he needed to complete the picture was a plumed hat, but he has a plumed tail, so that worked.

All was well and quite exciting until a white panel truck drove by.

So, Brady has a “thing” against certain trucks, and especially against buses. Thank god we did not see any buses or large tractor-trailer trucks on the walk. Okay, well we did see a tractor-trailer, but it was parked and quiet as it was performing a delivery, and therefore was not offensive.

Anyway, the sight of the white panel truck driving by pissed Brady off. First he lunged when he saw it driving past, then he had to sharply and continually rebuke it’s very presence, and I had to hear all about it.

I thought it wise to just turn for the hill to go back up into my neighborhood and home after that, rather than to go around the long way and potentially encounter other trucks on their morning rounds.

Next out was Camm.

I already know that Camm is incredibly skittish with cars whizzing by and with unknown people walking about. Luckily, it’s a school day, so no worries about encountering children. Camm is convinced children need to be nipped to control their erratic movements and to stop their sudden motion. I have to confess that I don’t feel she’s always wrong on this.

I decided to take Camm into a quiet adjoining neighborhood area. The street used to dead end and there’s hardly any through traffic on it, but it still makes for a pleasant walk.

Camm was definitely sketched out on the first part of the walk, pulling, darting and weaving in front of me like a yo-yo, but managed to handle her nervousness and still waited politely to cross the street to the quiet area. Once we actually got to the neighborhood, she visibly relaxed and started sniffing all the things and looking curiously at the halloween decorations. She was even polite about the three delivery men swapping washing machines and dryers out in front of one house, although I also steered a wide path for her.

The quiet neighborhood road comes out to a pretty busy street in my town and while I considered taking Camm for a longer walk, the idea was quickly nipped in the bud when I saw her face as she saw the traffic whizzing by. So back we went, and up the hill to my house.

I took Jasmine and Youke together for the third walk of the morning. Youke, like Brady and Camm, is a bit skittish about traffic going by and the sudden noises and sights. On the other hand, Jasmine is a pro. Jasmine is the only one of the four that ever had any kind of neighborhood walks. I never took her a lot because she’s a strong dog and pulls mightily, but at least she doesn’t freak out about traffic much.

This time I opted to go further up the hill from my house into the neighborhood above me. Being a work day, it was quiet and there was not much in the way of traffic, but by that time the wind had picked up and was swirling leaves and branches around. Trash cans sitting on the curb started to shake, although none actually fell in our walking path.

Youke was clearly feeling nervous, but Jasmine was very much into the smells of the neighborhood and peeing on not as many things as Brady, but still a lot of things. Pretty much every yard had to get a good sniff. Maybe it’s because she was so curious about the yards and smells, but Jasmine also wasn’t pulling like she used to do back in the day. I suppose all those years of loose leash walking training might have helped.

Because Jasmine seemed to be enjoying herself, and Youke had the comfort of Jasmine with him, I decided to extend our walk and go around the entire neighborhood outside loop, back onto the main street of the town and back up the hill to my house.

If you are counting, as I was, this was the third time I walked up the hill to my house. This is also the hill that I see neighborhood runners using as some sort of training tool.

I was soaked through with sweat when I got back in the house for the third and final time this morning. I also came to the embarrassing realization that I had done more physically by 10 am than I normally do by noon. Um, so I’ll confess that normally I’m still sipping my coffee at 10 am.

Just not a morning person. Unless it’s an agility weekend. Or a hiking with friends that like to be up early day. Otherwise, noon seems like a decent time to actually get out and about. I sort of forgot this about myself until this past summer.

The dogs are now laying about napping. I’m sure a nap will probably be in my future too.

* I might just have the vapors and lay down for a long time. Just got the call from the mechanic about my jeep. Funny how once your vehicle turns over 100,000 miles, the repairs suddenly start. All fairly minor stuff, which is good, but all that crap adds up. Ugh.

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