Most days I try to get a walk in down by the river. Some days that walk is for a klick or two, turn around, and walk back, going as fast as I can. Some days its walk as far as I can before my leg threatens to buckle, sit down by the river on one of the donated benches and knit till my leg starts to behave. Other days, days I've been abusing myself, I sit by the start of the trail and knit. Some times, my brain's desire to get out and move is more enthusiastic than my body's ability to comply.
I seem to know most of the dogs on the trail. There's Sir Flash, a very handsome, charming and cocky little Sheltie. He and his human walk several kilometres to get to the trail, then do several kilometres down the trail and back again. Occasionally, they have his mistress with them, but she meets them at the trail head. There's the two daschunds that follow their biking humans. You'd think those two tiny dogs would have issues keeping up, but disappearing down the trail for thirty minutes, they reappear behind the bikes running just as fast as when they left; their little legs a blur of motion, their mouths stuck in eternal doggie happy grins. There's the two great danes who I have nicknamed Pony One and Pony Two. (They're actually Floris and Mikey.) There's the fishing Newfoundlander; he's a talented doggie, no fishing license required as long as the fish is for him. He jumps in, swims around, disappears, and comes back up with a struggling salmon in his mouth as he swims back to shore to deliver the fish to his master to off. Once swimming to the next life (so to speak), the Newfoundlander will sit by his prize until his master is ready to go and they'll walk off, doggie proud of his fish in his mouth. There's others, not so regular - a Dalmatian, several flavours of "mixed breed" animals, big dogs, small dogs, but all seem to be happy, friendly dogs!
Last night, my brain was screaming "Get out, get out, go walkies!" and my body was screaming "I don't think so, I don't think so, oh god, please don't make me move." It was a sit on the bench day. Just after I sat down, a guy with a pit-bull started on the trail. The guy had the look you see on many a pit-bull or doberman owner's face, the "Please don't be afraid of my dog." look. The dog spotted me and I said "Hi puppy!" in my usual "Its a doggie! Can I pet him???" voice. The dog barrelled over, yanking on his human and then came to a dime stop, just out of arm reach, sat down and held up a paw. "I'm sorry!" said the human.
"Can I pet him?" I asked as the dog in question started to whine softly.
"You have a choice?" The man muttered.
I immediately put down the knitting and started making the proper amount of fuss over a silly and happy doggies. Scritch the chest, play with the ears, belly rub, duck doggie slobber, all the important things. And of course, commiserate with the human owner about a dog that seems to be smarter than he is.
"I swear, he just has to see something ONCE and he knows how to do it! Get out of his collar? He can unbuckle the thing! Open the door? Took him three tries. I'm just waiting for him to drive himself to the beach! And I don't care what anyone says, he understands English and counts just fine!"
I said I know of a dog JUST like him, and he should look for the book Big wrote. Oh, sure, Laz THINKS he had a hand at it, but we all know it was doggie mind control at work controlling what keys were pressed. I think its just a good thing for the world that these superior beasts are (mostly) willing to put up with the inept humans and their strange ways. Imagine how much trouble we'd be in if they didn't..