(Our hosts for this week's Fun Monday are Angela and the Lurchers . They want to go on one of our favorite walks. Why is it our favorite? What makes it interesting?)
My normal walk is quite beautiful at this time of the year with its green lawns and flowering trees and shrubs.--redbud, viburnum, dogwoods pink and white, crabapple, bradford pears, lilacs, flowering almond. And not a minute too soon to show off nature's best finery because next Saturday all eyes will be on Louisville for the greatest two minutes in horse racing, the Kentucky Derby.
The city will be filled with women--and men--sporting fantastical hats and outfits eager to see and be seen at all the celebrations for this annual rite of spring. The city, and the 'burbs where I live, always looks its best for the first Saturday in May, making people want to come back year after year.
Willie the pit bull and I march through this neighborhood every day. I'm working on my pack leadership skills and he's learning to follow. In previous posts I've written about my struggles, and partial successes, in transforming Willie from a willful, aggressive dog to a credit for his breed. I credit this practice of structured walking for our accomplishments. The neighborhood is our classroom and right now it's a beautiful one that includes three small semi-wild parks.
Here's the routine. We get out of bed, not talking to each other. I lace up my walking shoes and tamp down some bad "bedhead" hair with a splash of water. Willie runs to the backdoor and sits to get his slip collar on. I go out the door and gate first, he follows. We book it for a couple of blocks with minimal opportunities for sniffing and leaving pee-mails. I don't wait and he has to keep up. We pass where the two border collies live. . .one chained to a dog house, then by the rottweilers, and the German shepherds behind a privacy fence. They bark. Willie keeps walking. Near the end of the walk we head into the parks. I loosen the leash and Willie gets to go all doggy. If we're lucky his friend Cooper, the yellow lab, will be waiting at the fence to chat a few minutes. When we get home, I take his leash off, look him in the eyes and tell him he's a Good Boy. And, of course, Good Boys always get a milkbone and beggin' strip to enjoy on the sofa while he rests and catches up on the morning news.
Now head on over to Angela and the Lurchers to check out the favorite Fun Monday walks. And, I hope you'll come back to Louisville next Saturday for the Kentucky Derby.
(P.S. I use the dog walking techniques taught by Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer from the National Geographic Channel. If you would like to learn more about the importance of the walk in building a good partnership with your dog and see some photo illustrations go to Dog Walking .)
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.