"Are you ready to go?" I ask, as I tug the hat over my head. I bend down to slip on my shoes, and dodge his leaping form as he goes for the hat strings that fall from my head. Clicking his collar into place, I notice my neighbor must have decided it was too tight the day I had him let Orion out, because suddenly it seems larger.
Out the door we go, Orion tucking his tail between his butt and running full tilt in an butt-tucked dash for the door. I open the door to the apartment and am greeted with damp sticky snow falling from the sky. It is cold out. Just yesterday I was in a tee shirt. I push the packing snow from the first step, so I don't sled down the rest of them feet first. Orion prances on the wood board that covers a vacancy in the stone, where age and weathering have made erosion a natural outcome to the ancient stairs. I believe he is most intrigued by the slippery surface of the board, shoveling his paws in front of him, butt in the air as he prances about.
I try to bribe him to try the stairs--a method we are perfecting since he jumped in a bush the last time I asked him to go down stairs. He is not interested.
I scoop him up, wet belly and all, depositing him in our potty area, letting him scoot about before guiding him down the hill and onto the sidewalk. While Orion easily looks like he has the energy to run a nuclear power plant, he is not too thrilled about this walk. Leash between his teeth, he trots up the street. We have gone one block when he starts to whimper.
"What is it Orion?" I ask, as if he might pause and say, "Mom this was a miserable idea, I'm freezing, I swear I'll chill out at home if you would just get us out of this snow." Instead, I let him direct our progress. He decides we're turning around.
"Okay," I say. "We're following you."
We cross a street and make it half way down that block before,
"Whimper, whimper." Orion stops. Plops his bottom down.
He turns and begins retracing his steps. I am wondering if he is aiming to return home, and if so if he can figure it out having only done this walk two times.
He loops back towards our apartment and bolts for the building when he sees it in sight.
"Well. I guess that means we're done with our walk."