I think I have gained some weight this past couple of months. I haven't been walking like I used to. Walking alone just isn't any fun and I don't have anyone to bring the ball back to me if I throw it out ahead of me. I am missing my Starskey in more ways then I had been thinking of in my grief. Having him was good for me too. He made it fun to do the things that I really didn't enjoy doing because I usually had to do them alone.
Walking with Starskey is always an adventure. Around the farm we could walk off leash and he could wander a little ahead and to the sides of me as he sniffed around to see who or what had been there since our last walk. Squirrels were always fun to chase up the tree but once he got them up there he didn't know what to do. They would just sit in the branches and cuss at him and he would just look up at them and tip his head and cock an ear and wonder what the heck they were chattering about anyway - he just wanted to play......
Frogs and toads were almost as fun for him to chase as it was for me to watch. Of course if you were going to chase them you have to move the same way they move - you know, hop. Ever watch a long legged dog try to hop? There is this nose that seems to hit the ground first, followed by a head shake and a sneeze (or snort) and the look around to see who saw that - and then he is on the next hop with a similar landing. Eventually one of those close encounters between his nose and the ground will alert him to another scent...............a mouse or shrew.
Okay now mouse tracking is a serious job. You keep your head down and your nose on the scent and you follow that scent even if it leads you in circles. Keep in mind that Starskey is no longer looking where he is going.....his eyes are on the ground in front of his nose and he is seriously following that mouse trail - even if it means running straight in to the mower deck because the mouse ran under it...Ouch! Look around - did anyone see you do that? No, okay back to tracking.
A half mile walk around the pond could actually take us over a mile by the time we have done all the busy things we need to do. We check out all the tufts of grass, give the geese plenty of space (as we walked past their nest), follow a deer trail and sniff some poop. This is just on the way through the yard and across the dam. Then we are in the timber and there are trails all over the place. Mice, raccoon, deer, geese, turkey, opossum, Dufus, Mom, Dad, the kids, squirrels and even a snake or two. The smells are intoxicating and the dead leaves, damp ground and assorted animal poop is perfect for a serious long and twisting roll on the ground. That done it is time to shake it off and head in the direction of home.
Do we continue on the trail around the ponds - or do we dive in to the water and take the short cut? Well Starskey always had that choice but I didn't. I walked the rest of the way around the ponds and sometimes he came with me but sometimes he headed for the water. If he swam he would always meet me on the other side - properly shaken dry and having rolled in clean grass so he was ready for a hug and a rest in the lawn chairs in the sun.
I need to get walking again - with or without my walking partner but it sure would be a lot more fun and a lot more interesting with Starskey to walk with.
Come home Starskey - it is time for our walk.