They’re tired from walking, probably. Tired enough that Joey isn’t growling at Phoebe for touching him while he tries to sleep. It seems we’ve all come a long way and I’m not just talking about walking.
We started taking the dogs with us on some of our long walks up and down the neighborhood trails lately. This is new for the pups. R and I walk the trails, but in the past the dogs have typically been too afraid to proceed too far into the teeth of whatever dragons lie on the county regional trail that our neighborhood trails connect to. There could be monsters. Greyhound-eating monsters.
For years we’ve accepted their trepidation and stuck with short walks around the block, but a few weeks ago—to our delighted surprise—Joey and Phoebe were willing to accompany us for several miles and they did this with no tail-tucking or application of the greyhound brakes. This is a far cry from the time I had to carry all 65 pounds of Phoebe half a mile home because she got spooked by a leaf blowing across the street.
We’ve taken them on more walks since, and they’ve been eager to go and enjoyed being out and about. I realized we’d been letting them be the pups they were when we got them and we’d somehow forgotten to recognize how much they’ve run away from being scared (and scarred) ex-racers to becoming just normal dogs. As normal as a lazy stubborn skinny needle-nosed speed pup can be anyway.
Sometimes it seems those changes, those moments of becoming, happen so gradually those closest can miss their occurrences, allowing ourselves to get stuck in the way we’re used to knowing the world. Fortunately for us, we’ve realized how willing they are to adventure out of their normal walks because there’s just something primal and wonderful about a good long walk with a dog whose enthusiasm and simple awareness of the world makes time spent outdoors that much sweeter, something I haven’t experienced since my days hiking with Zephyr.
It’s good to have walkin’ dogs again even if it does make them lazier than ever before. Something I hadn’t previously thought possible.