Walks with Rumpy are wondrous things.
Walking out the front door leads to canine greetings from our neighbor dogs. Sometimes Rumpy sniffs the yard before heading toward the gate.
Once we’re on our way, there are amazing things to experience. Some things only Rumpy could love, such as the smell of another dog’s pee on a utility pole, or animal poop by the sidewalk.
Other things we see are of interest to both of us.
There was the morning I happened to notice that a homeless guy had made camp in some brush. He was just waking up as we walked by. We often see transients walking around the area. Some have places to go. Some don’t. Rumpy didn’t seem the least bit concerned, so we just kept on going.
Lizards are out and about now. One we saw recently had a red throat that expanded and contracted. He was quite stunning. Rumpy’s interest in lizards has more to do with the soft rustling in the dry leaves left from the fall.
Hills of ants pop up in the cracks of the sidewalks. Some have gotten quite large; they’re probably fire ants.
Squirrels play in our yard, seemingly ignoring us, then JUMP! and run up the nearest tree as soon as Rumpy closes in. We watch them run across power lines and leap from limb to limb with the greatest of ease.
And then there are the outdoor cats. There are quite a few of them.
We see the white cat most often. That little guy is often found hanging out in a paved lot. Sometimes he has a friend with them. Sometimes he’s alone. He gets around. Once we ran across him rolling in the grass.
There’s a big tux that Mary, the feral cat chronicler, calls Demon. He’s comfortable in his own skin. Once we saw him lying in our neighbor’s yard, and they have a dog! He roams around a rather large area. I’ve seen him as far as a couple of blocks away at Charlie’s shop. Charlie feeds the outdoor cats, and old Demon is one of the ones that frequents Charlie’s Cafe.
There’s another black and white cat whose markings remind me of a Holstein cow. He likes to hang out in my yard sometimes. So do the two gingers that are seen in the alley. One looks like he’s got a home. The other looks like a scrapper.
There’s a ginger and white long-haired cat that lives at the apartment house a block away. He rarely leaves the yard, and if he does, it’s just to cross the street. I feel bad for that one, because he seems to be out of his element outside.
And last, but not least, is miss dilute tortie who lives next door, but has claimed my yard as her own. She is a climber, and I’ve seen her perched on top of my house on more than one occasion.
There are smells. For instance, did you know it took less than a week for the dead possum in the road to go from dead, to smelling the rotting corpse a half block away, and then to no smell at all?
And then there are the differences in the way the air feels. From crisp and cold in the winter, to humid now. A few days are cool with soft breezes blowing my skin.
So much of my life I spend ripping and running from here to there. When Rumpy and I walk, I feel grounded, and actually aware of all that is around me.
What do you notice around you when you’re walking with your dog (or without)?