Monday, September 19, 2011

Wood walking

My body hurts from three hours in the car in a traffic jam that required the highway to be shut down. I walk up the rain streaked steps, pull out my keys, pause. Is that Orion I hear barking? He never does that! Mind bounces, he's been in the crate for awhile but my neighbors said they let him out when I asked after the unexpected time delay... he can't be that bad.
I open the door.
"Is that my bogger dog making all that racket?"
Orion looks at me in his crate.
I smile because my neighbors put his water bowl in his crate for him.
"Aren't you lucky they like you?"
I pop open the crate, Orion spins out, back legs prancing, eyes looking up at me.
"Need to go out?" He flies to the door. I trudge after with a tired smile on my face.
In and out, I'm flopped out on the futon. We still haven't moved back into the hazard room. Hive free for two weeks is kind of motivation enough.
"I feel like an old woman Orion."
Orion prances around, stepping on me, chewing my fingers, my toes. I'm too sore to move rapidly to save myself. I prop up on my elbows.
"You want to just go for a walk?"
Ears perk up. Mouth goes limp on my foot.
"I know it's raining but who cares? Let's go."
I get up, dig around for the boots and out we go.
It is perfect. The misty rain, the wet earth. "Orion, this is what it would be like in New Hampshire right now. This is good for us."
He's happily retracing the morning steps, checking out the new smells.
"I miss New England a lot right now. I know I have a fun job and good friends here, but this helps. Us and the woods." Orion does his usual zig zag.
"Please don't forget I'm attached to you," I say as the leash tightens around my waste. I have him double leashed so he gets about fifteen feet of his own, with me trailing behind. It has it's perks, but also back fires if a squirrel or human catches his eye before I can center my gravity.
We walk past an off shoot trail, Orion scurries, nose down up the trail a bit. "No, Orion, we're going this way." I say, continuing past on the path we took in the morning. We walk a few steps. I stop.
"You want to go there?"
Orion cocks his head up at me listening.
"What the heck. It's not like we have any other plans, and I'm enjoying myself and your company, no point in cutting it short."
So off we go.
"Remember this is the path we took in the snow Orion? When I felt like I was going to pass out and have to eat kibble, when we didn't know the way out or how long it was?" I'm smiling. "We both looked like wrecks, you slipping face first into the mud, me face first into the snow." Orion's plowing ahead, slip sliding on the mud.
"Quality bonding."
My footing slides slightly. I'm glad I choose the boots rather than my Keens.
"Orion, wait." I need a moment to slow him on this decline. He trots up, accepts the treat, then bolts. "Remember, I'm ATTACHED!" I grab a tree on the way down, feet wobble as they're sliding down the muddy decline. The tree branch saves me. Orion stops. Looks back. What's going on up there Mum, hurry up, we have stuff to explore! I can see it in his face. "No pull Orion."
Pointless comment at this juncture as I right myself and carry on, thanking the tree branch as I release it.
And we are off again, Orion flying across the wooden bridge only to slide into the muddy ledge and look as if he went to a war paint convention.
"We could still win a competition some day for cutest mud dog."
He stares up and smiles.
I smile back and we keep going.

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