Hurrah! Hallelujah! I have started my daily walk again after a four-month layoff waiting for the wound on my foot to heal enough to allow it. And are my faithful walking companions, Daisy and Rosie our beautiful cavoodle dogs, ecstatic about it as well? You bet they are. The mere mention of the word “walk” accompanied by me putting my sneakers on is enough to drive Daisy into a high alert state and she follows me anywhere I might go as if connected by some string to my heels.
They both take to the walk quite differently. For Daisy I use an extending reel lead which allows her to bounce out in front as far as the lead will allow, then stop to sniff some important treasure that presents itself until the lead reaches its limit again behind us and then she bounces past us again to as far in front as she can go and the pattern repeats itself. I say “bounce” because that is the best way I can describe her “run” with two front feet together and her large cavalier ears flapping up and down. And the whole effect just exudes such pure joy that it brings a tear of deep pleasure to me when recalling it. Sometimes Daisy stops and looks back at me and I swear she has a look on her little face that can only be a big happy smile.
Rosie on the other hand usually just trots along beside me and I use a fixed lead for her because it is easier to manage and all that is required for her. But Rosie did go through a period where she would determinedly avoid getting her lead on unless Molly looked like she was going for a walk as well. Not now and she steps up for her harness to be attached as soon as possible after Daisy is fitted out. It has to be in this order because there is no way Daisy is going to brook anyone getting ready for a walk before she does. I suspect though Rosie is still happier about it if Molly does join us, a real Mummy’s girl is Rosie.
Rosie does have one little foible that brings a smile to my face. I think it happens when she is getting a bit tired and wants to have a rest. Rosie will suddenly stop to sniff a piece of grass with such a focussed intensity. This continues until such time as Daisy who is way out front notices that we are not moving and then races back at full speed to see what it is that Rosie has discovered with an air of “how did I miss that!” Once Daisy has engaged in the intense sniffing Rosie turns her head away and starts to walk away. The look is like “Hah fooled you”! Daisy then abandons the grass to race away to the front again as if to say “It wasn’t that interesting!”. Rosie smugly resumes her sedate pace feeling satisfied that she managed to get a bit of a rest, and fooled her sister at the same time.
We are just doing short walks for a start until we all build up a bit of fitness, just 1.4 kilometres over 20 minutes. Of course, this old geek nerd has an application on his iPhone called MapMyWalk which measures and records this sort of data. Our route then is just around the long block that our daughter lives in. As we pass our daughter’s house on the homeward stretch we get into what I call “cat territory”. There are about ten houses that the cavoodles have previously seen cats out at the front. So our walk slows down a bit as both girls start excitedly checking out every bush or shrub or flower bed hoping to flush out a cat. Occasionally they do and the cat races away to their house while the cavoodles go berserk, yelping and straining at their leashes trying to chase the cat and I have to haul them back onto the path and onwards to home. I find it amusing because they are never so brave at home with Millie, our cat, who basically has the control and chases them around on a daily basis. Rosie will just turn back on Millie if Millie jumps on her with what passes for a snarl from these placid dogs. Daisy, however, is not so brave and just scuttles away at high speed for safety, sometimes my lap if it is available. Maybe on the walk, they are trying to exact revenge on the feline species for all of Millie’s torments.
After we have safely negotiated “cat territory” we are almost at the end of the street and the cavoodles slow down markedly. They are starting to get tired combined with the after-effects of the adrenalin rush from the cat hunt. They sit unbidden at the end of the street waiting to cross over and home. The photo above captures this moment. At home, harnesses off, the cavoodles just drop to the ground and don’t move for a few minutes, contentedly resting and recovering, smiling at the same time. Oh, what fun it is to go walking with Dad.