|My Labrador Retriever, Maggie|
In the condo complex where I live you meet everyone pretty quickly as we all seem to walk our dogs at about the same time. Most are friendly but then there are those that aren't.
For me, living alone for the first time in nearly 40 years, a dog sort of grounds you into a daily routine, whether you want one or not. I've discovered its not unlike bringing up a child all over again! However, they also provide great company and are so happy to see you when you return. Feed them, give them walks every few hours and they make the best companion ever.
|Palm Springs Dog Park|
We started walking to the city dog park when I realized it was about a 20 minute walk away from the condo. Maggie has spent most of her life alone with me and has never been particularly interested in other dogs. Not aggressive to them, she prefers going up to the owners and getting a free pet instead! Each visit however she becomes more dog sociable and that gives the owners a chance to chat and pet whatever dog happens to come up and want petting. Soon you realize most do.
|After breakfast - she sleeps you are awake!|
Currently we have a small problem. While I used to always wake up quite early, say around 4 - 5 am, she still thinks that is the proper time. I would get up, feed her, make coffee and begin my day. I don't need to get up that early anymore but well, she still does. It starts at the appointed hour, say 4:30 am with half of her on the bed. Her cold nose finds a vulnerable spot, the tongue comes out and then paws. It doesn't do any good to discourage her because, well, I am now awake.
Oddly, once fed, she is content to go back to sleep again and leave you awake. So there I sit, coffee in hand and catch up on the email I have ignored all day the day before.
There is a short LP, then later we have a good 30 or so minute walk that she is insistent on having. Actually, I need it too so after delaying it if I'm involved with something she comes up to you with "the look." First its just "the look." Then she grins and if that doesn't do the trick up come the paws on your
I'm not really sure here who is training whom. I would say that she has done a pretty good job of getting me to do her bidding. While we haven't had 100º+ weather yet, I would imagine soon that feeding time and our long walks will coincide. This week promises to be the hottest one since I moved here in January and so far she doesn't seem to be affected. I'm concerned about the heat on her paws though.
Already I am beginning to look for walks that have more shade. I've discovered that while palm trees are impressive and quite large here, they are useless for shade. Palm Springs has been tearing up the grassy sidewalks and replacing grass with desert landscaping. That includes trees that do give some shade. Actually this desert landscaping is far more colorful than grass and provides even more interesting places for critters to hide, much to Maggie's delight. Their world must be so different from ours. They say a dog has a 100,000 % greater sense of smell that humans; watching her sniff a spot in the dirt, this must be so.
|After the long walk|
She is also a great travel companion ... always riding shotgun if she can. Sitting up and looking out the window, like a people, she causes more than her share of stares as she looks down from the truck's high window. After awhile, she will sprawl across the seat and really stretch if I pull up the center armrest. Now that the truck is gone though, she will have to be content with her new front seat. The center console doesn't move anymore. Sometimes she will stretch out in the back but she seems to prefer getting as close as she can, putting her head on the console, making sure she gets her petting quotient.
|Qiang and Maggie|
One of the best things about living here is that I don't have to worry about her escaping as before. She is an escape artist. I probably got her because she got out of her previous owners yard. She can easily climb a chain link fence ... a constant source of worry leaving her alone in the yard. Now I have a concrete patio with high walls and a high wooden gate. I can leave the slider open so she can sleep in her kennel, have access to water or roam the condo when I am gone.
|A man's best friend!!!|
Thank you for reading my blog. Please check out earlier blogs as they all, one way or another, talk about the way we and our world designs how we live.