Friday, September 2, 2011

Our evening walk

Ivan and Dasa love their evening walks through our neighborhood. This evening we went out around dusk so they wore their puplights. Dasa also has a reflective leash because we want to make sure we’re visible. Most of our neighbors know us, if not by name then as the people with those little dogs.

We also associate a lot of our neighbors with their dogs. Ivan and Dasa like to make a stop at Monti the Maltese’s mailbox diagonally across the street from ours. We stride briskly up the street, past houses and yards belonging to Charlie the Papillion and Watson the big yellow dog. A bit farther along, as we pass a high wooden fence we are greeted by a very deep woof from points unseen. We turn the first corner and send Carmen the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into paroxysms of frenzied barking. Then we come to the black labs’ house. Dasa’s little ridge goes up and she huffs indignantly.

The black labs seem like very sweet dogs, so I don’t know why Ivan and Dasa are so horrified they live in our neighborhood. We can always tell when the labs are walking their people past our house because Ivan and Dasa act as though a lab-alert siren has gone off. They race circles through the house, jump on the couch, check out the window, race another circle, jump on the couch, etc. as the labs amble sedately down the street.

The Munchkins know exactly which house belongs to those evil labs, and they make sure they pee on the lawn every time we go past. Heaven forbid we should actually meet the labs on our walks. Ivan and Dasa go into a turbo-charged flurry of agitation. We hold onto their collars until the labs go by and then our munchkins tow us determinedly down the street, certain they must pee on every spot the labs dared to pee on or their street will be ruined. (The labs’ people are quite nice and appear to be amused by Ivan and Dasa’s blatant efforts to rule the world or at least their tiny corner of it.)

Cars occasionally slow down to ask us about Ivan and Dasa’s puplights or else how to get out of our neighborhood. The streets are all dead ends, almost like the tines of a fork with a few extra spokes bristling out of them. After dark, this can be a maze, and we’ve helped quite a few confused motorists escape to Main Street.

During some walks we go past the pugs who run out into their yard to bark and then make funny little steam engine noises in an effort to recover from the jog across the lawn. We never linger near their yard, I’m worried one or both of them would have a heart attack. Then we move briskly past the beagle’s house. If he’s out in the yard, he begins baying and galloping up and down the fence. Other days our walks go past the house with large cages of parrots and other tropical birds in their garage. The birds are quite vocal, and Ivan and Dasa find them most interesting.

Our evening walks are entertaining for all of us. When we come back home, the Munchkins are ready to settle in for some snuggles before bedtime. Unless, of course, the labs go past our house. Then tooth brushing and bedtime stories have to wait for a few more laps of the Basenji 500.

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