Tag Archives: walk

Lost in the Snow

We got about two and a half feet of snow this weekend.  Snow for a little dog owner is no fun because the dogs have a hard time finding a spot to take care of their business.  After the first day in the snow, I dug a place under the bush out front and a patch of grass in the lawn for Tildy to do what she needed to do.  Apparently, neither spot was good enough and she decided to hold it for two days.  Craziness and amazing at the same time.

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Yesterday, I had someone clear a path to my car in the back yard.  That was all she needed to feel confident in the snow.  It must be scary when the ground gives way under you and you sink so deep that you have to hold your head up to be able to see.  Now that she had a path and could see dirt and grass, we no longer had a problem.

This morning, when we went outside, it was 12 degrees.  I was deterred, but Tildy was determined.  She pulled me to the end of the back yard and then started barking frantically.  There was a black puppy in a purple knitted sweater.  She started barking like crazy and then hid behind a tree.  I picked up Tildy because she has the tendency to go after other dogs that we encounter.  I think she was a street fighter in a previous life.  As I scooped her up, a light brown pit bull mix came up from behind me.  Tildy started talking trash and the dog started walking towards us.  When I told him to stop, he listened, so the fear in me was calmed.  He then walked back to the end of my yard, peed on my trashcan, and took a dump in front of it.  Tildy growled and I stood there in disbelief.  After he was done, he looked at me as if to say, “Now this is mine.  Whatchu got to say ’bout it?!”, then he nudged the puppy and they both walked off.

Just when I thought they were gone, they both doubled back and decided to check out my yard.  They walked all the way to the front yard and then looked up and down the street, probably trying to find their way home.

Tildy and I walked all the way to the river and enjoyed the solitude of the frozen park.

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On our way back, we encountered a father and daughter, both yelling , “Peanut!”.

“Which one is Peanut?”

“He’s a brown lab.”

“Yeah, right”, I thought.  “That’s a pit bull if I ever saw one.”  I told the father about my experience with the two dogs.  He told me that they had found the puppy, but were still searching for Peanut.  I asked where they lived and told them I would keep a look out for their dog, and I walked back to my house.  For some reason, I decide to look under my back porch, but I didn’t see Peanut.  Since it was so cold, I figured I’d go in the house and just watch for him from my front window.  Just as I walked up the steps to the door, Peanut popped out from under the porch.  I don’t know how I missed him when I looked under there.

Now that I knew his name, he responded to me in a non-threatening way.  I was able to get him to follow me a block and a half down the street.  It was obvious that Peanut knew that his house had a fence around it because there were two houses along the way that had fences and he stopped to sniff around them.  The last one he sniffed must have smelled familiar to him, because he laid down in front of the fence.  Coincidently (or maybe not) his house was directly across the street from that house.

I was able to get him up and delivered him to his home.  His owner was so happy that he cried.  He was on the phone when he answered the phone and hollered, “He’s home!”  A truck pulled up with two crying women inside.  They both thanked me profusely.

I had carried 12 pound Tildy on this entire journey and now she was started to feel heavy and I was sweating, but was very happy.

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A Very Interesting Day

I'm patiently waiting here for you to take me outside.

First, let me give you the postscript to yesterday’s post.

Last night, Matilda and I went out for our normal evening walk around 5:30.  Then I took her for a pre-bedtime outing at 8:30.  I was asleep by 9:30. (Yeah, I know.  That’s pretty early, especially for a Friday night, but I was exhausted.)  She woke me up four times and was quite forceful with her demand to go outside.  Each time I responded by pulling the deepest baritone from my gut that I could muster and gave her a resounding and firm, “No!”.  Then I rolled away from her and tried to go back to sleep.

Around 4:30, she woke me up again.  This time she started walking in circles and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I decided that she must be serious this time, so I took her outside.  I was right.  She quickly handled her business and ran back in the house.  I wasn’t thrilled to be outside at 4:40 in the morning, but I was happy that she was quick about it.

We’ll see what tonight brings.

This morning’s walk was very interesting.  Tildy tried getting me out of the bed around 6:30, but I refused to move until about 8:30.  While we were strolling, we encountered a woman that we see every once in a while in the morning.  She’s usually accompanied by a man, but this morning, she was alone.  She walks as if she experienced a stroke sometime in her recent past, but over the last year, her gait has gotten better.  As she walked towards us, she announced that she was waiting for a bus.  She had her royal blue bus pass clipped to her shirt in much the same way that a parent might pin a note to a child’s shirt so that the teacher wouldn’t miss it.  Her wet, curly hair, that looks like it once was blond, is now a golden hued gray.  She again announced she was waiting for the bus and it was in that moment I wished I had walked in a different direction.  In the next three minutes, I learned that she has lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years, she is from St. Louis, she came here to be with a guy she met online and had talked to every day for two months before getting on a train to move to here.

The trip took two days.  The train pulled in at 7:40 p.m. that day and I took a cab here.  That trip took 4 hours and it only should’ve taken two.  It was just stupid.  I didn’t know where I was going.  I had never been here before.  I had to pay the cab driver $147.  The train pulled in at exactly 7:40 p.m. and I got here at 11:40 p.m.  It was just stupid.  We’ve been together for two years and eight months.  I don’t know.  Do you count the two months on the phone?  Yeah.  two years and eight months.  I’ve been catching this bus to go to the gym every day that I’ve been here and that’s been two years and six months.  Do your parents live here?  Where are you from?  My parents are divorced and that was stupid.  They divorced in ’78 and dad died in ’82.  I don’t know why they divorced.  It was just stupid.  He died four years later.  It was just stupid.  And then mom died two days after dad’s birthday two years later.  It was just stupid.  Where is the bus?  How long have you lived in this neighborhood?

At that point, Matilda decided that she’d had enough and started pulling me away.  I was never more thankful for her bossy little butt.  She kept talking to me as Tildy and I walked away.  Thankfully, the bus came so I didn’t get pulled into another one-sided conversation.

 

Groundhog’s Day

This afternoon, I got home at the same time as I always do.  I went straight up the steps to greet Tildy, like I always do.  I changed out of my work clothes, into my walk-the-dog clothes, like I always do.  As I was walking down the steps, I realized that I was wearing a white t-shirt and black pants for the third afternoon in a row.  I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to the fact that I was stuck in a rut except for the fact that I saw a good looking guy during our afternoon walk yesterday and I caught him checking me out as he drove toward the hospital.  If he was on his way to work, I would hate to run into him again wearing the exact same thing.  But by the time I had thought it through, I was already at the back door and Matilda was barking incessantly, so I threw on a different baseball hat than I wore yesterday, and kept it moving.  As it turned out, I didn’t run into that guy, but it did make me think I need to step up my walk-the-dog outfits because you never know who you might meet while walking your dog down the street.

Paparazzi, no pictures, please.

Matilda and I take almost the same path on our walks everyday. The park that we go to is right next door to the local hospital. During our early morning walks, we get passed by hospital personnel on their way to work.

Same people. Every day. For almost three years.

There have been a few that have stopped to talk to us. There was one nurse that rolled down her window in the rain to tell me how much she enjoys seeing Matilda every morning. Another met us in the parking lot to tell me how much Matilda reminded her of her late dog and that she looks forward to seeing Matilda because it brings back such great memories.

The woman that drives the bus that comes through the area has stopped to tease Matilda on a few mornings. (Matilda likes to bark and run after buses and large, loud trucks.) The only conversation directed at me was “What’s the dog’s name?”. After that, whenever she stops, it’s all about Matilda. “Whatchu gonna do now, Matilda? You’ve caught the bus. Whatchu gonna do now? Hahaha. See you later, Matilda! Bye!”

All of the hospital folks that pass us in the morning wave at Matilda, and THEN look to me and wave. Some folks that we’ve never even met have learned her name through the grapevine and will roll down their windows to speak to my dog. Matilda has become somewhat of a neighborhood celebrity.

No one knows my name. I’m just the lady that walks Matilda twice a day.

Quote of the Day

I had to take Tildy out early tonight because I have dinner plans. As we were cutting through the hospital parking lot, I observed a child exchange – you know, parents that don’t get along or don’t want the other anywhere near their house or new “friend” meet in a public place to exchange the children for the weekend. This woman was dropping off her two children to a man driving a refridgerated truck. The baby was handed off in her car seat. He just put it on the seat. Didn’t bother to strap it down. The mom got two bags out of the car at the same time as she was escorting the second child that appeared to be about four years old. As she was passing off the bags, the man said, “You don’t need all this shit for a baby!”. All I could do was shake my head.

Intuition

My walks with Matilda take us by the Dorchester General Hospital. I’ve heard that they have a busy mental health ward. Our path takes us through the lit parking lot and into the park that abuts it. During the early morning and late evening hours, it is not uncommon to encounter someone who has been or should be a patient.

This morning, as we were walking, I saw a car parked near our normal path. The passenger door was open and I found that to be quite odd. I decided that we would take a right and walk towards the playground area of the park instead of left toward the open field. Matilda must have sensed my change of plan because instead of leading me left, as she does every morning, she pulled me right.

As we started for home, I heard a man screaming, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I figured he was off of his meds and I decided to just keep it moving. But then I saw this dark blur coming towards us. And then there was a bark. Matilda went crazy. The dog ran towards us like we were a gang of cats or a wagon full of steaks. Matilda lunged toward the dog and started with her “I mean business” street fighter bark. The dog got to us so quickly and Matilda was jumping around so much that I couldn’t pick her up. I just kept turning in circles and yelling “No!”. Thankfully, the dog’s owner was able to get the dog’s attention through his indiscernible screams, and neither of the dogs were injured.

Something told me we shouldn’t have walked near that car. If we had, that dog might’ve gotten to Matilda much faster and somebody might have gotten hurt.

Intuition is a powerful thing. Listen to it. It will never steer you wrong.

Long Walks

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about me and Tildy. You haven’t missed much. Life for us has been a bit mundane. Walk in the morning. Walk in the evening. Eat dinner. Go to bed.

Last week my Mom came to visit. I was a little nervous about her visit because we had never really spent that much one-on-one time together before and I wasn’t sure what we would talk about for a week. I was also concerned about her spoiling Matilda while she was here. It’s not as if Matilda isn’t already spoiled rotten, but whenever we go home, Mom always gives Matilda more snacks and table food then I would give her. Matilda’s gas is lethal and I try to avoid creating that toxic situation whenever possible.

It rained for the first 48 hours Mom was here, but she walked with us, in the rain, each morning and evening. It was nice to have company on those dreary walks. It was nicer still to have an actual person to talk to. I’m sure my neighbors think I must be a little crazy when they see me walking down the street talking and the only living thing near me is my dog.

By Wednesday, the weather broke and it was beautiful outside. That evening, the three of us walked the circumference of the park and the length of the fishing pier – something Matilda nor I had ever done. That woman had us walkin’ as if we were tryin’ to get to freedom! The fishing pier used to be the bridge between Talbot and Dorchester counties until the Malkus Bridge was built. Each half of the pier is about a half a mile long. Our total walk in the evening ended up being about two miles. And Matilda loved it!

Mom decided that she must’ve been an outside dog before I had her because she goes absolutely bonkers when it’s time to go outside. For most of the day she lays in one spot and sleeps or watches television, but the mere mention of o-u-t-s-i-d-e and she is barking, panting, turning circles, and jumping up and down. I think she would stay outside all day if you let her.

Now that Mom is gone, we aren’t walking the pier anymore, but every time we get to the footbridge that leads to the pier, Matilda tries to take me across. Every day I say to her, “no, not today”, and she looks so disappointed. I’m sure she misses Mom. I know I enjoyed having her here too.

Maybe today we’ll make it across the pier and think about Mom as we watch the sunset.

Post Script: We did. And it was nice.