Celebrating the long return of sunny days, Peach and Lu recently got sporty little halters and we hit the pavement (it’s true: we’re fair-weather beboppers). Under friendly skies we generally clock 2 or so miles in our favorite stomping grounds: our own eighborhood. The terrain is a perfect mix of atlands and steep hills, so I get a little bit of a workout, and the friends, neighbors and landscapes in the ‘hood feed our souls.
One thing that captivates me as we cruise is the unique gait sported by each of my girls. Lula, aka my ‘wretched redheaded rescue,’ is a sleek, leggy, dark red beauty who has a bossy little bounce and jaunty “back porch swing.” Peach, meanwhile, built like a 10-lb. dairy cow (stocky and a little butch), has this smoooooth stride that keeps her body sailing along just above the pavement — she is all about the glide.
Despite the dramatic difference, every time we approach a rise or curb, they are suddenly, amazingly, in perfect sync, clearing each rise like dancers in flight. The sight takes my breath away; it’s a mystery how they seamlessly break stride for that split second when their bodies fuse as one, soaring beautifully.
In addition to many wonderful sights and smells, we usually enjoy a few encounters with other pets and their peeps. Recently we met a woman with Stanley, a beautiful smiling mop who is completely blind. Stanley shuffled around his mom’s legs shyly as she and I swapped stories about the challenges our blind babies face and the tricks we use to protect the quality and manageability of their lives. My 6-lb. Scout is blind now, too, and further has “shaken baby”-type brain damage from a puppy-hood fall. Some days my tough little one does great; other days her NAV system is just off , sending her through the house like a pinball – bouncing off this cupboard, that chairleg, even the landing that’s been ‘right there’ all her life (she’s nearing 13).
I sadly discovered recently that Scout is done with walks. I took her out alone after Lula and Peach’s adventure, and she let me know unequivocally, “Nope; too stressful. I am done with this.”
So now Scout guards the castle while we three head for the hills. Lula lunging at anything on wheels — cars, bicycles, skate-boards, you name it — and Peach zooming along, all little torpedo. As for me, I dance along happily, savoring every bit of sunshine, joy and vitality we get to share.
While I don’t consciously dwell on how fleeting their lives are, the certainty lives in my bones . . . ever reminding me to revel in these great days of beauty . . . with my crazy lunging loon and amazing flying torpedo.
These are the moments,