It’s just like old times. It’s just the dogs and me, facing life all alone in the wee hours of the morning. It has been eleven weeks since my foot surgery and one week bootless. This morning was the first morning that it was just me holding both leashes wandering around in the predawn hours. It was a nice quiet morning all by ourselves, no critters or other vermin about. It was a slow walk much to dogs dismay, my foot is still stiff and a bit tender, but I’m walking, and that is a wonderful feeling.
Charlie kept an eye on the road ahead as usual always on the hunt. Orso snatched as much tall grass to munch on along the way as always. The world is his “All You Can Eat Buffet”. I’ve never had a dog that will eat just about everything he comes across. Tall grass, mulberries and wild blackberries in the summer, acorns in the fall and hackberries in the winter are all on the menu, plus the undesirables, goose poop and deer droppings are quite the delicacy. Yuck.
This morning was quite uneventful and for that I am very grateful, because I know in the not too distant future, something will be out waiting for us. Waiting to run in front of us or make a noise in the dark and the dogs will lunge and drag me around like a boat anchor, and hopefully my foot will be able to take it, not to mention the rest of my body.
But there is hope, our wonderful friends that walked the dogs for me while I recovered also worked with them daily, training them to heel, do stupid pet tricks and not lunge at other dogs on the walk. I intend to carry on and continue the training; otherwise we’ll have dog stew for dinner. Just kidding, we don’t eat stew in the summer.
It felt good though, almost as though life is almost in balance again.
We just got back from a long weekend trip to Castle Rock, Colorado to see my best friend in the whole world. Castle Rock is located on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains about 2 hours or so from the foothills. It has been decades since either Mitch or I have been to Colorado. So we went sightseeing to some of the areas attractions. On a whim the four of us decided to drive up to the top of Pike’s Peak. My parents had taken me up when I was a child but I had forgotten anything about it other than going.
Pike’s Peak has an elevation of 14,110 feet above sea level, 31st highest peak out of 54 so it’s no slouch. For some reason though, I didn’t think that 14,110 feet was so high, I don’t know, maybe I was suffering altitude sickness or just that impoverished model of reality that I live in. Because for someone that is not a fan of heights I thought that driving up a winding narrow two lane road in thin air sounded like a great idea. The ride started off nicely with great vistas of the mountains in the background and dramatic cliffs climbing all the way up to heaven.
We hadn’t even gotten half way up when one side of the road was a huge drop off with no shoulder. The side of the road just ended and there was nothing but space. I was terrified to look out the window and over the drop off for fear that the mere force of my body weight angled toward the car window would cause us to veer off the side and plummet down to our deaths. Consequently I found myself leaning over toward my friend trying to will the car’s weight and balance toward the middle of the road. Yes I know a truly rational thought.
When we finally reached the top of Pike’s Peak and got out of the car the second thing that totally surprised me was how cold it was. Yes I know, we just drove vertically 14,110 feet and the air should be colder, but at the base the air temperature was 68 degrees why was it now 28 degrees and I was not dressed for 28 degrees. Plus I was shocked at how little air there was to breathe and I was sucking in as much I could get, but there wasn’t much to go around.
Once I finally decided to quit being such a baby I marveled at the height we were at. We were two thousand feet above the tree line with only tundra and rocks scattered around. The view was magnificent, which as a matter of fact, was what inspired the song, America the Beautiful. After warming up in the visitors’ center, we loaded up and headed off back down the mountain. Lucky me we are going to be hurtling out of control down the mountain at break neck speeds around fifteen miles an hour or so. Woo hoo.
Even a routine visit to the vet to get the dogs their six month bordetella vaccination is never dull. People can call dogs “dumb” animals if they want, but those that do evidently don’t actually own dogs. Our three love to go with us everywhere and when we can accommodate them, we do. Before Orso that was easy for us. AJ and Charlie were always happy and content just to be in the car with us. When we got Orso, dog rides became arduous to say the least. He will howl and bark at us when he doesn’t get to get out of the car to go in when us. Getting to ride in the car being out and about isn’t enough for him, he wants to get out of the car and go inside the store with us too. Now he has succeeded in getting the other two to bark and carry on along with him. Very painful on the ears, plus the looks from other bystanders are very embarrassing. We’ve even been paged while shopping at Cabelas, that “the station wagon with the barking dogs, has left your lights on.” I made Mitch go and turn off the lights on the car; I didn’t want anyone to know who owned the heathens.
A trip to the vet, no big deal, right? Wrong, Orso remembers where places are and how we get there. Once we start out on our treks, he gets his bearings and depending on where we are going he starts howling and barking at us, even before he knows whether or not he gets to get out or has to stay in the car. Very annoying, makes me crazy having a dog bark at the back of my head to yell at me. Coincidence, no, because he doesn’t bark at us at the gas station or when I drop Mitch off at work in the morning, he knows that we’re not staying. Not so dumb, huh. He knows the road to the vet and starts barking and raising hell as soon as we pass the grocery store.
Today we had the added bonus of road construction. Yay. Lane and road closures, oh goody. The road to vet is closed and the only way in was to take the roundabout and go through the very exclusive golf course and housing addition that the vet’s office is by. Here we were driving a seventeen year old station wagon with three dogs sticking their heads out of the windows barking at golfers and residents as we snaked our way through the detour to get to the vet. We looked like the poster child for chaos. Thank god no one holding a golf club was within throwing distance to our car. Though I’m sure we caused a few muffed shots.
After today I think the city may rethink their detour route after all the nasty phone calls they will probably receive.